CEO Glenn Tookey outlines the solutions available to the blind, visually impaired and those with reading and learning difficulties
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.”
Notes to Editor
• To find out more about Sight and Sound Technology please visit
• 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
For further information please contact: Annalee Bougourd, media relations specialist on 01604 236349
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.
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
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.
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.