Kenneth Jernigan's Prophetic VisionBy Kurzweil, Ray; Braille Monitor,
Publication Date: October 2002
Speech delivered by Dr. Ray Kurzweil at a National Federation of the Blind banquet celebrating the opening of the NFB’s National Research and Training Institute for the Blind in Baltimore, Maryland. Dr. Kurzweil is the inventor of the Kurzweil Reading Machine, among other things. In his speech, Dr. Kurzweil praises the NFB’s Dr. Kenneth Jernigan, who did not live to see his vision of the world’s first world-class research and training institute for the blind, and offers two reasons the vision came at a propitious time: Technology is reaching a point at which its inherently exponential growth is taking off at a nearly vertical slope; and technology is a mixed blessing, bringing both promise and peril. While reading machines, screen readers, voice-based news services such as NFB-NEWSLINE, and Braille translators, printers, and notetakers have all provided greater opportunity to the blind, with the great profusion of electronic displays, access for the blind is often an afterthought. Dr. Kurzweil contends that, with new technologies on the horizon such as bioMEMS – biological micro-electronic mechanical systems that place intelligent devices inside the human bloodstream and brain noninvasively, establishing pathways of communication directly to and from our brains – Dr. Jernigan’s initiative was prophetic in establishing an institute that can help insure these technologies bring promise rather than peril for the blind.
Assistive Products Discussed: KURZWEIL 1000
KURZWEIL READING MACHINE
KURZWEIL - NATIONAL FEDERATION OF THE BLIND READER
Published by: National Federation of the Blind (Website:http://www.nfb.org)
Link to text: http://nfb.org/legacy/bm/bm02/bm0210/Bm021009.htm