Previewing a Year of Promise for the DisabledBy Williams, John M.; Business Week Online,
Publication Date: January 2001
Article focuses on assistive technology released by manufacturers in 2002. Luminaud's ChatterVox is a speech amplifier designed for use by individuals with weak voices or low-volume speech. ChatterVox can be used with several types of microphones: headband mikes, handheld mikes, collar mikes, and a transdermal throat mike. This device can help a wide variety of speech-impaired conditions, including multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, and vocal-chord nodules. Electronic Speech Enhancement makes a battery-powered cordless headset that lets people with inaudible and incomprehensible voices use wireless telephones. This product could help anyone with a severe speech impediment, such as stuttering, as well as those with Parkinson's disease or cerebral palsy. The cordless headset could dramatically improve the quality of life of someone who is both mobility and speech impaired. The Ultratec CapTel allows users to combine both audible and visual signals to provide enhanced conversation. The user presses the phone's "Captions" button, which connects the call to a captioning service. At the service center, an operator trained to use voice recognition software revoices whatever is said by the party being called. The voice recognition system transcribes the operator's voice into a text stream, which is spliced together with the called party's actual voice and sent down the line to the CapTel. This combination of sound and text allows people with partial hearing to use the telephone in a far more functional and comfortable way. Sliding a videotape into the VCR is a big problem for people with limited hand strength or who lack fine finger control because of muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, or Parkinson's disease tremors. The University of New York at Buffalo's Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Technology Transfer has developed a VCR videotape guide to make loading tapes easier. The guide consists of a metal cover that partially encloses the machine. Users push tapes into a pivoting chute that can be easily positioned to feed directly into the VCR's tape slot. HumanWare's VoiceNote is a purse-size, note-taking computer with a built-in speech synthesizer that can vocalize text files. VoiceNote is compatible with most Windows-friendly software, and it translates files across a broad range of formats, including text, Braille, ASCII, Microsoft Word, and WordPerfect formats. The Swedish Company GEWA makes a page turner called Page Turner BLV-6. Rubber rollers flip the pages gently forward or backward. The Page Turner works with books, magazines, catalogs, brochures, and mail, and can be operated with a variety of multiple-switch assemblies or a visual scanner.
Assistive Products Discussed: VOICENOTE QT
Published by: McGraw-Hill Companies (Website:http://www.mcgraw-hill.com)
Link to text: http://www.businessweek.com/bwdaily/dnflash/jan2001/nf2001013_087.htm