Blog

  • JAWS® for Windows version 13

    Freedom Scientific today announced the release of JAWS® for Windows version 13, including Convenient OCR, a feature that performs Optical Character Recognition on text that is displayed as an image, thereby enabling blind computer users to read items that were previously inaccessible. Examples of such screens include a PDF file, the setup screen of an application, or the menu of selections on a DVD. JAWS now provides an opportunity to read and interact with these screens, including locating and clicking on text which may be required to activate a control.

    JAWS 13 also includes Results Viewer, a new HTML interface that displays the results of features like Research It. The new interface enables faster navigation with Navigation Quick Keys and switching to other windows without losing the results of your lookup. Sports scores have returned to Research It and are easier to navigate than ever before. The INSERT+V keystroke now opens the new Quick Settings, which replaces Adjust JAWS Options and matches the easy-to-use Settings Center style interface introduced last year in JAWS 12.

    “This release represents a huge step in accessibility for screen reader users,” says Eric Damery, Vice President of Software Product Management for Freedom Scientific. “Whether trying to identify and read inaccessible PDF documents that are just scanned images or interacting with graphical controls that could not previously be located, the new Convenient OCR option built into JAWS 13 has been described as a real game changer. JAWS 13 is also packed with other features and enhancements that have been selected and designed to improve access and ease of use for all users.”

    The upgrade is an SMA release and can be downloaded as either a 32-bit or 64-bit version from the JAWS downloads page. DVD shipments to SMA holders and new product customers will commence on Nov 1, 2011.

     

  • Sight and Sound Technology announce UK offer for launch of ZoomText 10

    Sight and Sound Technology, the UK/Ireland master distributor for ZoomText Magnifier/Reader, is delighted to announce the release of ZoomText 10.

    ZoomText 10 is made by Ai Squared - worldwide leaders in screen magnification software for the visually impaired, and it is the latest version of the popular screen magnifier/screen reader. ZoomText makes computers accessible and friendly for Windows users by magnifying and speaking what appears on the screen.

    In addition to the already versatile capabilities of ZoomText, the new ZoomText 10 release is full of new features designed to enhance users’ productivity by allowing them to multitask, navigate around the web faster and easier than ever before, take their work with them when they’re away from the computer, and access print material. Additionally, an HD webcam magnifier has been included in Ai Squared’s growing list of accessories.

    “In this day and age where everything is accessed online, it’s imperative that the visually impaired have the tools that let them surf the net as quickly as their sighted colleagues,” states David Wu, CEO at Ai Squared. “Not to mention that the need to have access on the go – ZoomText 10 offers so many new and robust features that it’s really going to be a game changer.”

    The four new main features in ZoomText 10 are: ZoomText Camera, which allows you to use a webcam along with ZoomText as an inexpensive CCTV alternative; Background Reader, which lets you listen to text spoken aloud in the background while you concentrate on other tasks; Enhanced Web Finder, the ultimate productivity tool for browsing the web and finding information; and finally ZoomText Recorder, which lets you create audio files from any text on screen which you can put on your portable device(s) for access on-the-go.

    Glenn Tookey, CEO of Sight and Sound Technology, explains: “ZoomText 10 is a clear step forward for screen magnification and screen reading solutions. All the new features in ZoomText 10 continue to push the functionality of the world’s most popular screen magnifier above and beyond. This latest release of ZoomText reaffirms its position as the leading solution for visually impaired Windows users in the screen magnification/reading market.”

    Sight and Sound Technology is currently offering the newly launched ZoomText 10 at the same price as the previous, less advanced version of the software.

    For Sight and Sound Technology customers who purchased  a full boxed copy of ZoomText 9.1 after 25th October, the upgrade to ZoomText 10 is free.

    ZoomText at a Glance

    ZoomText is a powerful computer access solution for the visually impaired. Consisting of two adaptive technologies—screen magnification and screen reading— ZoomText allows you to see and hear everything on the computer screen, providing complete access to applications, documents, email and the Internet. Specialized support is provided for Microsoft Office (Word, Excel and Outlook), Internet Explorer, Firefox and Adobe Acrobat Reader.

    ZoomText is available in two versions— ZoomText Magnifier and ZoomText Magnifier/Reader—and available on CD and USB. Both versions include Ai Squared’s exclusive “xFont” technology, delivering perfectly clear text at all magnification levels (up to 36x). A variety of screen enhancement features make everything on the screen easy to see and follow. ZoomText Magnifier/Reader features powerful screen and document reading with human-sounding “NeoSpeech” voices that are pleasant to listen to all day long.

    ZoomText 10 supports Windows 7, Vista, and XP, and can be used with virtually any application. ZoomText is localized in 21 languages: Arabic, Chinese, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Hebrew, Hungarian, Icelandic, Italian, Japanese, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Slovak, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish, and UK English.

    Ends

    Notes to Editor

    • To find out more about Ai Squared and ZoomText 10 please visit http://www.aisquared.com/

    • To find out more about Sight and Sound Technology please visit http://www.sightandsound.co.uk

    • Sight and Sound Technology is the UK’s leading provider of hardware and software to the blind, visually impaired and those with learning and reading difficulties. They work in unison with private individuals, charitable organisations, educational establishments and commercial enterprises to help our users fully realise their potential. Their product solutions have been specifically designed to improve quality of life at work, at study or in the home.

    • To arrange an interview with Glenn Tookey, CEO of Sight and Sound Technology, please contact katie@zoodikers.com

  • ZoomText 10 Storms onto the Scene

    The wait is over - ZoomText 10 is here and ready for sale! For those of you who pre-ordered, you're all set. For those who didn't, here's how:

    Today

    • Buy ZoomText "Digital Only" version. We'll give you a serial number so you can start using ZoomText immediately. The product documentation will be available online for downloading.
    • Buy ZoomText "Physical Shipment". We'll give you a serial number so you can start using ZoomText immediately. Your documentation will be sent to you at a later date.

    In the Coming Weeks

    • You can still choose to buy ZoomText Digital (and save yourself some money on shipping), but we will also be offering up the traditional shipped ZoomText box.

    Purchase ZoomText Magnifier or Magnifier Reader online or give us a call at 0845 634 7979.

    Even though ZoomText is just ready electronically, we've got camera packages ready to be shipped out!

    Want to try ZoomText 10 before you buy? Download a copy from our website download a free 60-day trial

    We've sent out emails with videos on each particular feature, but we have prepared a quick video that covers all the new and exciting features in version 10.

    Introducing ZoomText 10

     

     

     

  • Latest video from Sight Village London 2011

    CEO Glenn Tookey outlines the solutions available to the blind, visually impaired and those with reading and learning difficulties

    Latest video from Sight Village London 2011


  • Equipment Demonstrations at Library Sessions

    My County Council News Release

    My

    PR 2798

    08 November 2011

    For Immediate Release

    EQUIPMENT DEMONSTRATIONS AT LIBRARY SESSIONS

    Technology to help blind or visually-impaired people and those with other reading difficulties will be demonstrated at drop-in sessions taking place at Northamptonshire County Council’s libraries this month.

    The sessions will be an opportunity for people to have a go at using the technology as well as watch demonstrations of the equipment and computer software by Northampton-based company Sight and Sound Technology.

    Sight and Sound Technology (www.sightandsound.co.uk) supply computer equipment for blind and partially-sighted people as well as people with reading difficulties such as dyslexia. They specialise in developing and supplying accessibility solutions such as screen-reading software, hand-held and desk-mounted magnifiers and text-scanning equipment.

    The drop-in sessions are taking place at:

    • Hunsbury Library on Friday 11th November from 9am to 6pm

    • Wellingborough Library on Friday 18th November from 8am to 6pm.

    Cabinet member for customer services Councillor Heather Smith said: “Our libraries contain enormous amounts of useful information and resources but sometimes people with visual impairment or conditions like dyslexia can struggle to obtain the best from what’s on offer. These drop-in sessions are an opportunity for local residents to find out how the computer equipment and software offered by Sight and Sound Technology can make a real difference.”

    Glenn Tookey, CEO Sight and Sound Technology Ltd commented “Libraries offer an amazing source of rich information free of charge, but so often those who have either vision or literacy challenges don’t venture out to use these great facilities. We are therefore delighted to be working in partnership with Northamptonshire County Council to remove these barriers and show people just how our solutions can enable them to access the wide range of information and services available.”

    Ends

    Notes to Editor

    • To find out more about Sight and Sound Technology please visit

    http://www.sightandsound.co.uk

    • Sight and Sound Technology is the UK’s leading provider of hardware and software to the blind, visually impaired and those with learning and reading difficulties. They work in unison with private individuals, charitable organisations, educational establishments and commercial enterprises to help our users fully realise their potential. Their product solutions have been specifically designed to improve quality of life at work, at study or in the home.

    • To arrange an interview with Glenn Tookey, CEO of Sight and Sound Technology, please contact katie@zoodikers.com

    For further information please contact: Annalee Bougourd, media relations specialist on 01604 236349

    Northamptonshire County Council logo

  • Improving the quality of life on the Isle of Man for those with disabilities

    Sight and Sound Technology to assist in the introduction of the Disability Discrimination Act 2006

    Sight and Sound Technology has been chosen to assist in the introduction of the Disability Discrimination Act 2006 (DDA) in the Isle of Man.

    The leading UK provider of technology and solutions for users who are blind, visually impaired and have difficulties learning and reading, Sight and Sound has been commissioned by The Department of Social Care as consultants to assist them to scope the economic impact of the implementation of the act.

    Hon Chris Robertshaw MHK, Minister of Department of Social Care in the Isle of Man comments: “I am committed to implementing the Disability Discrimination Act in order to promote the interests of all people with a disability in our community…. Sight and Sound has demonstrated it has significant experience and insight from the implementation of similar legislation in the UK and elsewhere, hence Sight and Sound is ideally placed to help my Department determine the best way forward that balances the interests of individuals with those of local businesses and other organisations on the Island, some of which will need to make some changes in order to comply with the Act...”

    Glenn Tookey, CEO of Sight and Sound Technology, said of the company’s involvement: “We’re pleased to be selected by The Department of Social Care and to be involved in such important legislation for the Isle of Man. The Disability Discrimination Act 2006 seeks to improve quality of life for people with disabilities, which underpins the ethos of our day to day work as a business.”

    To achieve this, Sight and Sound will conduct a survey of key organisations in the public, private and third sectors in order to understand the effects of the DDA on these stakeholders. The findings will then be reviewed by The Department of Social Care, and brought before the Council of Ministers and the High Court of Tynwald in the Isle of Man for approval.

    The study, which should be completed by January 2012, is fundamental for compliance with the Government‘s requirements regarding new and amended legislation.

    In addition to the survey, Sight and Sound Technology will review similar implementation projects in the UK and will support the Department of Social Care who will hold a briefing event on Thursday 3rd November 2011 at the Barrule Suite, Tynwald Legislative Building to capture a wide range of views from the business community, governmental departments, and the third sector regarding the introduction of the DDA.

  • Intel Reader - The History

    Ben Foss, one of the creators of the Intel Reader, talks about the deign of the device and how it can be used.

    The Intel Reader on CNN (opens in new window)

  • Blind Golf Championships 2010

  • PEARL

    The new Portable Reading Solution for the Visually Impaired, the PEARL portable reading solution converts printed text to human-like speech in seconds.
    The PEARL is sure to be a hit with blind and low vision students and professionals everywhere, the product combines the new PEARL portable reading camera and the latest release of Freedom Scientific's popular OpenBook software. The PEARL camera deploys in seconds to connect to a PC, and users simply press a keystroke to snap a picture and hear their documents read back to them with synthesized speech while they control the reading rate and voice. OpenBook lets them select from the Eloquence synthesizer or one of the human-sounding voices from RealSpeak Solo Direct.
    Price: The Pearl and Openbook solution is £1200 ex VAT until 31st March 2011 and comes with a 2 year warranty

  • SARA CAMERA EDITION

    Instant Scanning and Reading with the SARA CE
    Freedom Scientific today announced the SARA CE (Scanning And Reading Appliance Camera Edition), the next-generation self-contained scanning and reading appliance for the blind and those with low vision.
    The SARA CE is simple to use. Just place a printed page under the camera, and the SARA CE instantly starts reading with human-sounding speech. No computer experience is needed. You don’t even need to push a button to read almost any printed material – books, magazines, mail, and more. The camera automatically senses when a new page is presented.
    A built-in keypad with brightly coloured tactile keys provides access to a wealth of additional features. Pause reading, move forward and backward, or hear a word spelled out. Change the reading speed and volume. Select a different voice. Scan and read in one of 18 languages. Change the scanning mode to capture bound books, and save them on the hard drive or a USB thumb drive. Read one of the 222 classic novels that come already installed. The SARA CE talks you through each step with audible menus. There is even built-in help and an audible onboard user manual.
    Connect a monitor to access the customizable low vision features, and you can increase the text size, change text and background colours, add more space between letters, and highlight words as they are spoken.

  • JAWS VERSION 12 LAUNCHED

    First Windows Screen Reader Supporting Contracted Braille Input
    Freedom Scientific today announced the release of JAWS for Windows version 12, including JAWS BrailleIn, a powerful new feature that enables users who prefer typing in Braille to use contracted Braille in common Microsoft applications such as Internet Explorer and Word.
    JAWS 12 includes a new Virtual Ribbon feature which provides a fast way to navigate the Ribbon Menus that Microsoft uses in Office 2007 and Windows 7. JAWS 12 also replaces the Configuration Manager with a new Settings Center. The Settings Center allows easy access to all JAWS settings and includes a search box to instantly locate and adjust the desired settings.

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