Cool Stuff in Every Pocket: An Interview With Fred GissoniBy Kendrick, Deborah; Access World, Vol. 10, No. 6
Publication Date: November 2009
Article profiles an inventor of assistive technology devices for blind users. Blind from birth, Fred Gissoni collaborated on the development of the Pocketbraille and Portabraille in the 1980s while at the Kentucky Department for the Blind. With the Pocketbraille, which was housed in a VHS videocassette box, a user could enter data from a Perkins-style keyboard and hear it spoken through speech. Using the Portabraille, data entered could be read in Braille, and those data could be transferred to a computer for manipulation. Rather than selling the machines, the inventors sold detailed instructions for building the Portabraille for 5 dollars to about 200 individuals, including an inventor who went on to develop the Braille ‘n Speak. Gissoni, who at the time of the article’s publication had been working at the American Printing House for the Blind (APH), is also credited with the invention of the Janus Slate, a Braille slate that holds an index card for brailling on both sides; and the FoldRite, a low tech gadget for folding a sheet of paper into thirds. An APH-published web site offering information on a variety of topics to blind and visually impaired readers, Fred’s Head, is named for him (http://www.fredshead.info/).
Assistive Products Discussed: FOLDRITE LETTER FOLDING TOOL (MODEL 1-08009-00)
BRAILLE 'N SPEAK
Published by: AFB Press (Website:http://www.afb.org/Section.asp?SectionID=46)
American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) (Web Site: http://www.afb.org )
Link to text: http://www.afb.org/afbpress/pub.asp?DocID=aw100607