2003 Conference Proceedings

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Making Adaptive Technology Accessible to the Sighted

Marlaina Lieberg and Jim Halliday
Pulse Data HumanWare
175 Mason Circle
Concord, CA 94520
Phone: (800) 722-3393
Email: marlainal@pulsedata.com 
Email: jimh@pulsedata.com 

In addition to its mainstream connectivity to many Windows-based applications, the BrailleNote product line offers the ability for sighted persons to work along side persons who are blind through the use of its visual display capability. This session will explore and demonstrate innovative ways in which the BrailleNote's visual display feature can be used from the classroom to the boardroom.

Participants will see how the BrailleNote product line can be integrated with a hand-held PDA using the Palm Operating System, a laptop or a desktop, giving sighted persons full access to data on the BrailleNote. This integration also permits interaction between a blind user and sighted colleague or teacher as data is being entered into the BrailleNote.

At long last, people who use Braille can work alongside people who use print, each working comfortably in their own environment to jointly produce documents in the office, conduct research on the college campus, or help a child learn and understand lessons at school. Parents can see what their blind children are creating as the children work on the BrailleNote; teachers can gain immediate feedback as their blind student works through the various levels of learning Braille and other elementary and high school subjects, and sighted colleagues can give immediate input to blind professionals as they jointly create documents on the job.

The BrailleNote's unique visual display feature allows for serial connection to a laptop, pc, or hand-held device operating on the palm operating system.

We will demonstrate how effective the visual display tool is in languages other than English. Participants will see how easy and painless the switch between English and one of four languages really is, while still having the foundation of the BrailleNote, its menus and help system, remain in English.

In addition to its basic Microsoft Word compatibility, the BrailleNote offers access to the Internet through KeyWeb. Using the visual display, sighted and blind persons can conduct research as teams, with each being equally effective and interactive with the other.

Through the use of the KeySync utility, we will demonstrate BrailleNote's ability to sync with Microsoft Outlook email, address book and calendar components to corresponding applications on the BrailleNote. And, just as sighted users of PDA's can sync their PDA files with files on their PC, so too can BrailleNote users now sync their BrailleNote and PC files together.

Participants should leave this session with a solid understanding of the BrailleNote's compatibility with mainstream applications, and other new innovative features, which make BrailleNote the most powerful PDA for persons who are blind.

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