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We are delighted to present you with a business desk filled with informative and up-to-the-minute news clips. Check this page frequently to stay in the know and to read the insights and opinions of respected business experts and trend watchers.



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Saturday, September 29, 2007

The growing enconomy of home based businesses

Hey there!  I'm Alix Shadonnay at the business desk, and it's time to wrap up this week with some words of wisdom to keep your chin up.
I know!  So many of you are just so tired of being told that those lucrative opportunities can be found out there.  You're just so tired of looking, and you've looked everywhere.  You want to become your own boss, you're so tired of those headaches of dealing with the traffic jams, the bad attitudes at work, and so much grumbling and groaning in the workplace.  You're at a stage now that you just don't know what next to do or how to go about improving your lives.  Maybe I can help a bit.
I just read a survey that reveals that the home based business economy is just going guns these days.  Maybe you're not aware of it but it's very true and it's all because more and more persons are taking the big plunge to redefine their workplace.  Instead of being at the office for so many hours per week, they are doing it from home and doing it in many creative and innovative ways.  This rend started a few years ago and within the last year it has really started to take off.  Persons from all walks of life are joining the band wagon.  From career professionals to retirees, college graduates to single parents, moms to housewives, plus many more.  They are going into business for themselves.  Small business to entrepreneurships. 
What types of businesses are they pursuing?  Here's a small sample.  Ghost writers to transcribers to translators.  Answering services to tech support.  Import export to cleaning businesses.  Real estate agencies to party planners.  Culinary specialists to fitness instructors. 
Are you getting the picture as yet?  Give it some serious thought and if you need to motivate yourself then you can visit www.untappedwealth.com for some free and useful info.  This website has some very interesting and exciting info for you that will knock your socks off.
 
It's time now for book talk!  Our Amazon picks of the week.
 

Whoops! I'm In Business: A Crash Course In Business Basics

by Richard Stim and Lisa Guerin

A great book for those of you on the verge of going into business for yourselves.  This book shows you how to look before you leap.  Think before you act.

 

Profit from Your Idea: How to Make Smart Licensing Deals (License Your Invention)

by Richard Stim

I've chosen a second book by this author because again, he shows you how to think before you act.  It's also a book with some great ideas for a very unique type of business.

 

Untapped Wealth discovered

By Jeff N Marquis and Kerry J Harrison

 

In the mode of looking before you leap, and thinking before you act, these authors have important messages for you.  Please take the time to read this book before taking that all-important step to entrepreneurship or going into business for yourself.

At the business desk, I'm Alix Shadonnay wishing you a very pleasant weekend.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Important news for women

Good evening!  I'm Kerry J Harrison at the business desk and it's time for our weekly feature on important news for women.
First, I'd like to thank the many persons who have taken the time to email us with their feedback.  We truly appreciate your feedback and we continue to work on ways to inspire women to greater heights.  It is so easy for society to bash the hopes and dreams of women.  However, this is changing and changing for the better.  More and more women are going into business for themselves.  They are taking the bull by the horns and shaking off that old familiar comment that women are not able to be as good as men.  Absolute nonsense and I'll let someone else tell you more.
Here now is one of our favorite associates Donna Jodhan.  Donna is definitely a model for anyone to follow.  Not only is she a woman but she is also a very successful business woman, author, and terrific friend of us all.
 
Hi!  Thank you Kerry for those nice words and as part of our efforts, I'd like to lend my voice to the push towards inspiring women to greater heights.  I know that it's not easy for a woman to be successful at any given time but if I've done it then you should be able to as well.  Being blind and being a woman all at the same time is not easy but there are ways to combat these challenges and this week I'd like to share an article with you that will hopefully inspire you to sweep your reservations and concerns away and replace it with tons of confidence and vigor.  Here now is the article.
 

Sofia Echo, Bulgaria
Monday, September 17, 2007
 
Chances instead of charity in Bulgaria
 
By Boriana Parvanova
 
Habitat for Humanity Sofia
 
This is a story of two sight-impared individuals, their daughters, one renovation and a rare, unbridled enthusiasm for life, despite a series of difficult choices and challenges.
 
I first met the Yanevi family when they applied to the home renovation programme of my organisation, Habitat for Humanity Bulgaria, or Podslon za Chovechestvoto Foundation, which provides support to improve the living conditions of financially challenged families. Beneficiaries then pay back this interest-free loan in small installments over three to five years.
 
In 2007, Habitat, with an emphasis on energy efficiency, improved homes by altering the woodwork, improving wall insulation and enclosing terraces.
 
This family's story
 
Ivan and Roumyana met when attending one of the very few secondary schools for sight-disabled children in Bulgaria, after, at the age of six, Ivan lost his sight through a sporting accident and an unforgivable medical mistake. In addition to quality education, the school bestowed another dear present - his wife Roumyana. They couldn't wait for graduation and were married at 17. She comes from Koinare and he is from Pernik, but in search of opportunity, their joint destiny blew them into Sofia. When you witness their tenderness it is difficult to believe they've been together for 15 years.
 
When we visited the Sofia borough of Drouzhba for the first home-interview, Roumyana told me about their struggle to receive social housing. It took several years, many administrative offices and a lot of door-knocking to overcome the cumbersome bureaucratic procedure. They were happy to finally be placed, but a change in location was tough - especially for Ivan, who is 100 per cent sight impaired.
 
For him, moving meant a long process of learning a new commute by heart through recognising the curves in the pavement, memorising the sound of a particular traffic light and remembering where to cross the street. For nine months he needed assistance for every home departure. I had never imagined how only a poorly parked car could create unnecessary obstacles for sight-impared individuals.
 
When they moved in two years ago, the apartment was in extremely bad shape, so they began improving it little by little. Just when they were wondering how to finance the next renovation, a friend of theirs told them about Habitat for Humanity.
 
With Habitat's help, they decided to increase energy efficiency by improving the insulation on their terraces. The ugly self-made iron window frames, which let cold air and humidity inside, were removed. Now the balconies have become a shiny living space - with smooth white PVC window frames and colourful wall paper.
 
It would have been hard to repay an ordinary bank loan with Ivan's salary at the Ministry of Education and with Roumyana's student allowance. They felt fortunate to receive Habitat's help.
 
"We might have been able to do it ourselves, but not for a few years. And who knows whether we could have saved enough money for a house renovation," said Roumyana. "Habitat also helped us co-ordinate with a qualified and affordable construction company. They did a great job and were a vast improvement from our previous vendor."
 
Cosy and comfortable in their drawing room, I was curious to learn more about their life. Maybe I was asking too many questions but they didn't mind. Ivan became excited when the conversation turned to one of his favourite topics - the goal ball club. This game is specially designed for sight-impared people and Ivan is proud president of the Sofia chapter. He divides time between his biggest interests - family, sport and history.
 
"Goal ball is the number one for me," says Ivan, immediately adding "of course only after my family".
 
How they became
 
With a dream to become a lawyer, Ivan applied to law school with excellent marks. However, without connections, he was not accepted. Disappointed but determined, he joined the history department, where he eventually earned his PhD in history sciences and is now passionate about this subject. He has more than 500 books, which he scans in order to read.
 
Roumyana graduated with a degree in economics, and is now continuing her education, but along a different path: she is following a dream to study pedagogy for sight-impared people. The rest of her time is devoted to their family, and especially to their two daughters Anita and Viktoria. She seems like a wonderful and affectionate mother, demanding respect, but with a soft touch. A caring housewife, she is thankful for the latest home improvement.
 
The new window frames not only keep out the weather, but also isolate from noise. She jokes that now they hear the neighbours through the walls rather than through the windows.
 
When I visited a second time, I saw that Habitat's renovations were not the only new addition to their home. A furry friend met me at the door: Ivan has a new companion - a seeing-eye dog, Vita. Although a bit perplexed about how to behave with her, he is positive she will help him gain more independance and security on the street.
 
When talking about their life, Roumyana insists that their sight disability has nothing to do with their capacity for success and happiness. "What you want to achieve in life - it's a question of character," she says.
 
Ivan explained his understanding for life this way: "Don't give a person a fish, but teach him how to catch one himself." They don't like asking for charity but would like to be given chances. I was pleased to hear that, because Habitat's principle, to provide a hand up instead of a handout, stems from the same idea.
 
As I was leaving, Roumyana asked me not to describe them as heroes or to exaggerate their story. I didn't exaggerate but I cannot help thinking about them as extra-ordinary people. Not just because they are a sight-impared couple managing to live a normal life, but because of the rare love and optimism that seems to surround them like an aura. Not many families can say the same.
 
Boriana Parvanova is project co-ordinator for Habitat for Humanity Sofia. For more information about the organisation, go to www.habitat-sofia.org.
 
Habitat for Humanity Sofia or Podslon za Chovechestvoto Foundation, founded in 2001, is a not-for-profit organisation that aims to alleviate housing problems of economically disadvantaged families through volunteer-powered construction and renovation. By providing interest-free loans, Habitat Sofia provides a hand up instead of a hand-out. Since 2001, more than 20 families have benefited from its programmes, among them single mothers, sight-impared people and pensioners. In 2005, Habitat Sofia completed its first project, an eight-family home in the Slatina borough. Since then, it has focused on renovation and repair. It is now developing new projects to help us achieve a greater scope of influence.
 
At an international level, Habitat for Humanity Sofia is part of Habitat for Humanity International, an organisation that, through the help of former presidents, celebrities, professional athletes and community volunteers, has provided hundreds of thousands of homes to needy people all over the world.
 
Habitat for Humanity Sofia operates its programmes with the help of donations and grants. If you wish to donate:
 
Podslon za Chovechestvoto Foundation, Unicredit Bulbank Sofia, Hemus
SWIFT code:
BIC UNCRB GSF,
USD BG20 UNCR 9660 1166 85 2702
BGN BG78 UNCR 9660 1066 85 2709
 
To learn more about Donna Jodhan's company please take a moment to read about it.
 
They call themselves a "One Stop Writing Shop" and well they should.  There are not too many companies around at present that are able to do this and do it so well.  The experts call them unique!  They offer complete services that can help you do research, write, translate and transcribe your info into multi languages.  For absolutely free they can help you to keep abreast of important trends and news items if you're either too busy to search for them or you don't know where to find them.  They can help you to increase your revenues, reduce your costs, and expand your customer bases.  They can offer you a free online monthly magazine filled with info designed to help you keep abreast of market trends and consumer habits and articles that will point you in the right direction when it comes to finding opportunities that are explosive, lucrative, but above all safe.
To learn more visit them at www.sterlingcreations.ca.
 
At the business desk, I'm Kerry J Harrison wishing you a pleasant evening and weekend.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Explosive news for multi lingualtranscribers

Good day everyone!  I'm Jeff N Marquis at the business desk and on this very pleasant evening I'd like to break the news to those millions of transcribers who have been waiting for a break for such a long time.
The time has come for you to be happy, and jumping for joy.  This is your day!  Your time has come.  Time for you to start celebrating.
A recent trend for transcribers has been growing very rapidly and it all has to do with the push for more and more info to be transcribed from audio files to e files.  In addition, if you're blessed with being able to speak more than one language, then you're definitely it!  Yes, this is a very potent and tangent trend.  One for transcribers to take careful note of.
What's happening here is that more and more companies of all sizes, more and more global governments, and more and more sectors of our economy, are pushing for info to be transcribed from audio files to e files.  This is all because more and more persons are demanding to have info produced in a format that is easier to read.  They want the ability to read info sitting at their computer screens, and they are finding that it's more convenient to do so.
Indeed, many more persons have the ability to read e files than audio files.  In addition, it is more acceptable, easier, and more flexible.  Then we have a greater push towards the transcription of hard copy files to e files.  It is now an established fact that too much paper takes up too much storage and we all know how easy it is to store e files. 
Against this background we have an additional demand for multi lingual transcribers.  Those people who can transcribe as well as speak more than one language.  It's a definite asset and if you can do both then much more power to you.  With the bulging demand for more and more info to be made available online and across the Internet, more and more of those countries whose first language is not English are desperately seeking multi lingual transcribers to transcribe their info from printed format and audio files to e format.
So, a very healthy picture for those of you listening in.
 
Now it's time for our weekly news round-up for translators.
 
 Meet some of the folks who make this area special
Annapolis Capital - Annapolis,MD,USA
The women got two translators, one from Annapolis and one from Philadelphia, who will be contributing to the success of the project. ...
For more detail check out:
http://www.hometownannapolis.com/cgi-bin/read/2007/09_16-61/CAN
 
Nashua weighs refugees' impact
Nashua Telegraph - Nashua,NH,USA
"Now we have languages for which we have no immediate access to translators," he said. David Scannell, community relations coordinator for the Manchester ...
For more detail check out:
http://www.nashuatelegraph.com/static/popup_circ.htm
 
Translators 2008 - From success to recognition
With three concurrent tracks, the program will provide information and opportunities for discussion on many linguistic and professional aspects, including case studies from a wide range of applications. Anyone interested in delivering a ...
ICE Upcoming Events - http://www.iti.org.uk/ice/
For more detail check out:
http://www.iti.org.uk/ice/pages/viewDetails.asp?id=402
 
Hampden teachers explore China, come back with lessons for students
Bangor Daily News - Bangor,ME,USA
17, traveling with 19 fellow schoolteachers and translators through Chinese cities and villages. Most of the educators were from Massachusetts, ...
For more detail check out:
http://bangordailynews.com/news/t/news.aspx?articleid=154323&zoneid=500
 
Israeli Study: Give Combat Role to Women
ABC News - USA
Many remain in traditional jobs, such as health care, but they have also served as translators and mechanics, commanded police companies and support ...
For more detail check out:
http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory?id=3611729
 
Milwaukee director goes to India for 'Pool'
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (subscription) - Milwaukee,WI,USA
We had a script in English and (cast and crew members) were translators for us, and they'd take the scenes we had written . . . and sort of work them into ...
For more detail check out:
http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=663703
 
Cultural program comes to county
Potomac News - Woodbridge,VA,USA
Four translators, including an NVCC professor and student, facilitated discussion between the Chinese educators and the local teachers and school officials. ...
For more detail check out:
http://www.potomacnews.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=WPN%2FMGArticle%2FWPN_BasicArticle&c=MGArticle&cid=1173352820099&path=
 
International World Changers leave lasting impression in Ecuador
Raleigh Biblical Recorder - Raleigh,NC,USA
Volunteers with IWC - an International Mission Board (IMB) program that connects high school and college students with overseas missions opportunities ...
For more detail check out:
http://www.biblicalrecorder.org/content/news/2007/09_21_2007/ne21092007international.shtml
 
French Officer Writes his Mother on an Impending Raid
By David L. Boyle(Juan Cole)
[British Translators' Notes] (1)This is put gently enough of a place which we know every man in the army regarded with horror,--but "poor Charles" dined too often with the General to speak out, especially after being just put on the ...
Napoleon's Egypt - http://napoleonsegypt.blogspot.com/
For more detail check out:
http://napoleonsegypt.blogspot.com/2007/09/french-officer-writes-his-mother-on.html
Found in Translation
By Marco van Hout
I grew up traveling overseas and have had many opportunities to listen to translators. I've also had the chance to learn a few languages well enough to do a little translating of my own, so I know how hard it can actually be. ...
Design - Emotion - http://www.design-emotion.com
For more detail check out:
http://www.design-emotion.com/2007/09/21/found-in-translation/
 
I'd like to leave you with some info that you can use to help you become more global present.  In a world where global trade is growing at tsunami rates, you'll need all the help that you can get in order to attract those millions of global consumers.
 
Are you looking for skilled and experienced translators/writers/researchers to help you craft your articles, blogs, business letters, emails, faxes, newsletters, and proposals in multi languages? 
Are you seeking skilled and experienced language coaches to help you learn the English language more quickly and efficiently?
Then you need to visit the folks at www.translationpeople.com.  Here you'll find a team that guarantees quick turn around, professional work, and total confidentiality.  Prices are extremely affordable and services are offered in English, Spanish, French, Cantonese, and Mandarin.
Check out the free useful information page while you're there and for absolutely free you can also tap into the latest trends and headlines.
 
At the business desk, I'm Jeff N Marquis wishing you a pleasant evening.
 

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Important news for important consumers

Hello there!  I'm Matt Chadwick at the business desk and it's that time of the week for our very important feature.  Important news for important consumers.  After reading our news we invite you to read about how you can learn more about these growing groups of consumers.  Please enjoy the articles that we have especially selected for your reading.
 
Table of contents
 
September 26 2007
 
1 iPhones and the Disability Divide
2 Seeing a world with sound
3 Code Factory brings Mobile Speak solution to Windows? Mobile 6-based HP iPAQ
4 Sens Time By Touch Clock For The Blind Is Sexy And Round.
5 Lovells wins payout for visually impaired Ryanair passengers
6 Sony Makes TV Compatible for the Blind
7 More Canadians working later in life
8 Artificial cornea is both strong and clear
 
 
 
iPhones and the Disability Divide
 
By Edward J. Heaton
 
August 2007 Column
 
In all the hype about Apple's new and revolutionary iPhone, it seems that
one segment of the population has been ignored.  As usual, it's persons with
disabilities.
 
The most revolutionary feature of the iPhone is supposed to be its user
interface, which consists of a touch screen.  A touch screen interface does
not allow persons with limited mobility in their hands, or persons who are
blind, to use the iPhone.  Early sales estimates say that in the first
weekend of sales (June 29 to July 2), up to 750,000 units were sold.  The
effect of the iPhone is not just limited to Apple products.  According to
Fortune Magazine's David Kirkpatrick, "every other handheld device maker no
doubt will immediately start trying to imitate [the iPhone's touch screen
interface]."
 
If this is true, then PWDs will really be in a hole.  The debate on whether
iPhones should or should not be accessible has already started on Apple user
websites. There are two schools of thought.  The first is that if you are
blind, why would you buy an iPhone?  The second is that one cannot determine
who wants to use the technology.
 
The iPhone was introduced in January by Steve Jobs.  In the six months since
then, I have seen no disabled organization, such as the National Association
of the Blind, or any ADA-related group come up with a position on whether or
not the iPhone should be handicapped accessible.  Given the other serious
issues facing the disability community, I can certainly understand the
oversight.  However, given the early and probably ongoing success of the
iPhone, I think this will become an issue as more companies attempt to
either license or come up with their own version of the Apple technology.
 
According to "Disability and the Digital Divide", a report released in 2006
by RTC Rural, "[t]he most current data (October 2003) show Internet use by
fewer than 30% of those with disabilities over age 15 while more than 60% of
those with no disability used the Internet at
some location."   If people with disabilities are already using the
Internet half as much as people without disabilities, the iPhone will only
continue to swing the pendulum in the wrong direction.
 
What needs to be done?  Organizations, such as National Organization on
Disability, and the American Association of Persons with Disabilities, need
to push for accessibility standards for all devices that will use the iPhone
technology.  Currently, in America, there are approximately 30,000 ATMs that
are accessible to people with low vision by the use of a headphone jack.
Perhaps a similar arrangement can be developed for the iPhone.  This needs
to be done because of the other feature of the iPhone: that it acts as a
true mobile computer that allows consumers to surf the Web as if they were
at home on their own computer.  The digital divide is already wide enough.
We need to ensure that it doesn't become the digital chasm.
 
 
 
Seeing a world with sound
 
 
By Siham Al Najami, Staff Reporter
Gulf News - Dubai,United Arab Emirates
Friday, August 03, 2007.
 
 
Dubai: Imagine a world with no colour, a personal world with no boundaries,
a world without any visual inputs.
 
One such world belongs to Dana Nashwati, a 20- year-old who lost her sight
at the age of 13 after a severe bout of flu, which affected the nerves
around her eyes. She can still see a blur of colours and shapes in her
dreams, although it is now gradually turning into only shades and sounds.
 
She can still visualise things by learning to identify the characteristics
of an object. "I still use colours to identify people I haven't seen before
losing my eyesight. I visualise individuals by giving them a colour by the
sound of their voice," said Nashwati.
 
She tries to help visually-impaired people to learn how to match colours to
sounds. She is surrounded by her friends from the Blind Association, who
occasionally escape busy schedules to enjoy a day with nature and good
company.
 
Among the group is Khalfan Bin Daher, who was demonstrating his knowledge of
guessing people's age and skin colour by feeling their hands. In a few
minutes he was able to correctly guess the age of the person next to him. "I
don't know how people look like, but through the sense of touch I can find
out about the person's age and skin colour," said the 18-year-old.
 
"I can see light when it directly hits my eyes. That's the only thing I can
'see', but I would love to learn how to match colours. I would like to know
if red goes well with blue," he said.
 
He explained that he sees things the way his imagination visualises it. "My
dreams are usually shapeless and colourless. But then reality will always be
defined by perception," he said.
 
Composing music
 
Ahmad Al Jafli, 20, enjoys listening and composing music. The media
communications student and radio presenter said he can recognise the mood of
a person by carefully listening to every unconscious movement and sound.
 
"People can control their expressions, but they are usually unconscious of
certain movements due to discomfort, happiness," he said.
 
Nashwati points out that people are increasingly taught to be
visually-driven. "This undermines the significance of their other senses,"
she said.
 
Mona and Sharifa Al Hashemi, they visualise objects by the sound they make.
"I identify objects by listening to the sound they create. I dream with
sounds," said Mona.
 
All the group members were born visually impaired except for Nashwati.
"Losing your eyesight is obviously difficult, but your visual impairment is
not always a restriction. The visual element can be deceptive at times. I
learned to understand matters and people better because I take the time to
listen to their views ... you learn the art of listening," she said.
 
The groups of friends feel the country needs more awareness about the needs
and wants of visually impaired people. Most shopping malls and buildings are
not accessible for the visually impaired, they said.
 
"We still have to depend on someone to get from one place to another. We all
want our independence. We always try to challenge ourselves ... but we need
the resources and means," Bin Daher said.
 
? Al Nisr Publishing LLC 2007.
 
http://www.gulfnews.com/nation/Society/10144086.html
 
 
 
 Code Factory brings Mobile Speak solution to Windows? Mobile 6-based HP iPAQ
HP iPAQ 500 series Voice Messenger is compatible with Code Factory's world-class screen reading
software for visually impaired.
Terrassa (Barcelona), August 1st, 2007
Code Factory today announced that Mobile Speak for Windows Mobile Smartphones is now available on
the HP iPAQ 500 series Voice Messenger. As a world class screen reader for Windows Mobile
Smartphones, Mobile Speak offers multilingual text-to-speech and Braille access to blind and
visually impaired business users of the HP iPAQ 500 series Voice Messenger, providing them full
access to the applications and functions of the device.
 
"For the past two years, we have worked with HP to provide the best access solution for visually
impaired users of HP iPAQ products," said Code Factory CEO, Eduard S?nchez. "We are very pleased to
support HP in its first Windows Mobile 6-powered Smartphone. We are sure this will become a popular
device among our customers."
 
Mobile Speak for Windows Mobile Smartphones further enriches the user experience by allowing
customers to:
Install any of more than twenty languages with highly intelligible TTS voices from award-winning
providers such as Acapela, Fonix and Loquendo.
Connect with any of more than fifteen Bluetooth-enabled Braille devices that are currently supported
for input and output in many Braille languages and grades.
Access documents in Word, Excel and PowerPoint formats.
Manage personal data using Outlook Mobile applications including Contacts, Messaging, Calendar, and
Tasks.
Surf the web using Internet Explorer.
Review call logs, hear the caller ID, and continue to have speech feedback when accessing other
functions while on a call.
Listen to sound files and audio streams using Windows Media Player.
Use other built-in applications such as the calculator, Voice Recorder and Windows Live Messenger.
Configure phone settings, profiles, speed dials and voice tags.
Synchronize or backup your data to your PC through ActiveSync.
Access 3rd-party applications like AvantGo, Audible Player and Audible Air, SlovoEd Multilingual
Dictionaries and many more.
Use Bluetooth-enabled headsets and QWERTY keyboards.
Read the date and time, signal strength, battery level, number of unread SMS and missed calls, and
other status details that are visually represented.
Change TTS-specific pronunciations through user dictionary files.
Configure more than 30 verbosity options and use intuitive commands to adjust speech settings on the
fly.
"The HP iPAQ 500 Series was designed with convenient hands-free operation through innovative
features such as its Voice Command and email Voice Reply. By supporting Mobile Speak compatibility,
HP is helping to provide products, services and information that are accessible to everyone,
including those with visual limitations," explained Michael Takemura, HP Accessibility program
director. "We believe that Mobile Speak for Windows Mobile Smartphones provides a comprehensive
speech and Braille solution that makes this the most accessible Smartphone for people with visual
impairment."
 
To learn more about Mobile Speak for Windows Mobile Smartphones, click here. You can also evaluate
the software free of charge by downloading it from here and activating a 30-day trial license. To
view the list of distributors and resellers, click here.
About Code Factory
Code Factory is a software company committed to the development of products designed to remove
barriers to the accessibility of mobile technology for the blind and visually impaired. Noted for
innovation and responsiveness, Code Factory is the leading provider of screen readers, screen
magnifiers, and Braille interfaces for the widest range of mainstream mobile devices including
Symbian-based and Windows Mobile-powered Smartphones as well as Pocket PC phones and PDAs. Further,
Code Factory is the only accessible software provider to support close to two hundred different
phone models working on the GSM, CDMA and WCDMA networks. To learn more about Code Factory and its
mission of bringing complete accessibility to mobile devices, visit http://www.codefactory.es.
 
For more information, feel free to contact Code Factory S.L.:
Code Factory, S.L., Rambla d'Egara 148 2-2, 08221 Terrassa (Barcelona)
Tel. +34 93 733 70 66, info@codefactory.es, www.codefactory.es
Code Factory, S.L. - 2007
 

Gizmodo.com - Budapest,Hungary
SUN AUG 5 2007.
 
Swatch develops some awesome concepts and this is no exception. Designed by
 Arnaud Lapierre, it is a high fashion clock for the blind called Sens Time
by Touch. Though there are many solutions for time keeping for the visually
impaired, this concept goes a long way to push for style and functionality.
 
The clock has a Braille twelve-hour marker on its outermost surface and this
serves as the main calibration point for time keeping. The device consists
in total of three concentric circles; the two closest to the exterior are
ceramic and the furthest inset is clear plastic. The time is revealed by
hedistance the twelve-hour marker is from the second ceramic ring, the
plastic ring is used to set the alarm using the same principal.
 
We love the fact that the design is elegant and not butt ugly-like most time
keeping gadgets for the blind tend to be. In fact, we like the presentation
of it so much we would love to have one of these up on our desk, because if
there is anything we love more than warm, sweet, syrup filled macaroons,
it's enigmatic, ceramic timepieces.
 
http://gizmodo.com/gadgets/touch-me/sens-time-by-touch-clock-for-the-blind-is-sexy-and-round-286138.php
 
 
 
Lovells wins payout for visually impaired Ryanair passengers
 
 
Author:  Source: The Lawyer
The Lawyer - London,UK
13-Aug-2007.
 
 
Lovells has won compensation from budget airline Ryanair in a pro bono
appointment on behalf of some visually impaired passengers. The passengers
were refused carriage on the grounds that their flight had already met its
quota of 'mobility-impaired' passengers.
 
The group was travelling to Italy for a walking holiday and had already
boarded the aircraft and taken their seats when on-board staff ordered them
to disembark.
 
The group alleged that Ryanair ground staff then informed them that they had
disembarked voluntarily, meaning that they would not qualify for assistance
or compensation under the European Commission Denied Boarding Regulations.
 
Although the airline did arrange for the group to be booked onto later
flights as a "favour", four of them were forced to sleep on the floor of
Stansted Airport awaiting an early flight the following day, with no offer
of food or accommodation.
 
The six passengers were represented by Lovells litigation associate Richard
Brown, who said: "It struck me that the group had been treated particularly
unfairly so I was keen to help them get a settlement."
 
Ryanair's insistence that the group had not been 'denied boarding' under the
meaning of the Commission's Denied Boarding Regulations surrounded its claim
that the quota of four mobility-impaired passengers per flight was necessary
for safety reasons.
 
The complainants argued that they were not mobility impaired simply because
they were visually impaired, as all of them had sighted guides. Consequently
they should have been paid compensation and, where appropriate, offered
accommodation under the regulations.
 
Ryanair claimed that it was within its rights under its terms and conditions
to refuse carriage, although the airline has subsequently changed its policy
towards the carriage of visually impaired passengers.
 
A settlement was reached before proceedings were issued.
 
 
The Lawyer Group is a division of Centaur Media PLC 2007
TheLawyer.com was built by Sift Group Ltd.
 
 
http://www.thelawyer.com/cgi-bin/item.cgi?id=127863&d=122&h=24&f=46
 

Sony Makes TV Compatible for the Blind
 
 
By JWhite
Associated Content - Denver,CO,USA
 
 
We are all familiar with subtitles, those little captions on TV that
narrates what characters are doing and saying, but what people don't know is
that a similar technology is available for the bBlind. Audio Description is
like subtitles that provides additional soundtrack for blind or visually
impaired people. During a break in a program's dialogue, a voice explains
visual plot points that can help visually impaired people to follow and
understand the plot more fully.
 
Sony is now providing for this technology in all of their Bravia
televisions. Audio description used to be only accessible through the use of
a separate set-top box or a satellite receiver. However, audio description
must also be supported by the broadcaster distributing the TV program. Most
TV manufacturers provide support for Integrated Digital Television (IDTV)
but only few provide audio description access.
 
In Europe, a variety of programs offers audio description but it is only the
United Kingdom that has a law that makes it a requirement for main
broadcasters to provide for audio description. Currently, BBC channels are
required to have 8% of their programs audio described.
 
According to Sony, one of the challenges facing audio description is low
awareness before visually impaired viewers can claim to enjoy the same kind
of service that subtitles provide for the deaf.
 
In 2006, an Ofcom research study said that only 22% of the visually impaired
respondents who have heard of audio description claims to have used it while
63% of those least visually impaired people have never heard of it.
 
Sony is now calling on the Television industry to join its campaign to
provide products and services for the visually impaired people. With Sony's
introduction of the audio description technology in its Bravia series, the
company hopes to put an end to broadcasters and legislator's argument that
there is limited need for channels to feature audio description because of
the lack of products with the technology to play it. Sony is now on a
Europe-wide PR campaign to raise awareness amongst consumers, media,
legislators and manufacturers.
 
A lot of people welcomed Sony's initiative to make blind and partially
sighted people enjoy television. Andreas Ditter, Vice President of Sony's TV
Operations in Europe said, "With the opportunities presented by digital
broadcast channels today, Sony believes that the ability to enjoy a great
televisual experience should not be the preserve of those that can see, but
should also be accessible to blind and partially sighted people."
 
2007 ? Associated Content.
 
SOURCE:
 
Sony press release, Sony Introduces Television For The Blind. URL:
(http://www.sony-europe.com/view/ShowPressRelease.action?section=en_EU_Press&pressrelease=1182234932989&site=odw_en_EU)
http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/345877/sony_makes_tv_compatible_for_the_blind.html
 

Increasing number of Canadians working later in life, survey finds; Changing
attitude to aging big reason older people stay in workforce
 
Shannon Proudfoot
Ottawa Citizen , Aug. 25, 2007
 
Canadians are working later in life and that may cushion a potential labour
shortage when baby boomers start to retire, a report shows.
 
An estimated 2.1 million people age 55 to 64 were employed or looking for
jobs in 2006 -- double the number who were working 30 years before,
according to a study released yesterday by Statistics Canada. Most of their
jobs were in the service sector and the vast majority worked full time.
 
Older workers made up 12 per cent of the Canadian labour force last year,
while they comprised 10 per cent in 1976. That reflects an aging population
and the fact that more people are working later.
 
"It's not only more older people -- it's not the same older person as it was
before," says David Cravit, 62, senior vice-president of marketing for the
50Plus Group, the largest Internet portal for baby boomers and seniors in
the country. ''I look and act and think 15 years younger than my
chronological age. I'm not here to be sitting in a rocking chair playing
cribbage for five years waiting for the axe to fall."
 
Three-quarters (76 per cent) of men age 55 to 59 either had a job or were
looking for one last year, as were 62 per cent of women. In the 60 to 64
group, 53 per cent of men were still in the work force and a record-high 37
per cent of women were in the same situation. The data came from the Labour
Force Survey.
 
Baby boomers' strong attachment to work, increased education -- especially
among women -- and the near-elimination of mandatory retirement at 65 are
expected to keep more older workers on the job in the future.
 
"Employment is an important form of validation for this generation. Remember
that the 60-year-olds of today were the yuppies of the 1970s," says Mr.
Cravit.
 
The financial responsibilities of caring for aging parents or grown children
who haven't flown the nest may also be pushing the "sandwich generation" to
work longer, he adds.
 
Others may work to finance luxuries their pensions don't cover, Mr. Cravit
says, citing his favourite example of a Calgary man in his 80s who works
part time at a Tim Hortons outlet so he can spend three months in Mexico
each year.
 
Although his employer recently scrapped mandatory retirement, 60-year-old
University of British Columbia professor David Sanderson plans to leave the
workforce in five years.
 
That will give him and his wife the financial means and the time to enjoy
their retirement years, he says, even though he's not ready for it quite
yet.
 
"I love my job, but I like doing things with my wife, travelling, restoring
cars, running, those kinds of things," Mr. Sanderson says.
 
David Patchell-Evans, founder of GoodLife Fitness Clubs, is about to turn 54
and doesn't foresee himself retiring in the next decade.
 
He has a good role-model in his 87-year-old mother, who still works for the
company full time, attending every meeting and scrutinizing the balance
sheets.
 
"Most people still want to get young, we don't want to get old," he says.
"And old is a very relative thing. I'm convinced it's not a state of age,
it's a state of attitude."
 

TECHNOLOGY: FEATURE.                                             p28
NS070825
 
#34  Artificial cornea is both strong and clear; Ten million
 
         people worldwide suffer from corneal blindness, but
 
         until now there has not been an artificial implant with
 
         just the right combination of properties
 
 
Aria Pearson
 
AN ARTIFICIAL cornea has been created that is as strong and clear
 
as the real thing. It could allow millions of people with damaged
 corneas to see.
 
Corneal blindness can be caused by disease, injury or infection of
the eye's clear surface. It can be cured with a transplant from a
human donor, but donors are scarce. The World Health Organization
estimates that 10 million people worldwide are blind because of
defective corneas, yet only 100,000 receive transplants each year.
 
Artificial corneas made from flexible hydrogels - polymers that
 absorb water - are now available, but they are not permeable
enough to support epithelial cells on their surface. These cells
guard against bacteria and stop natural corneas becoming cloudy,
by preventing proteins from sticking to them. Adding more water
to the hydrogels allows glucose to diffuse through them and
nourish epithelial cells on the surface, but it also weakens
them. So there is a push to develop a synthetic cornea that is
both strong and permeable. "The long-term goal is an
off-the-shelf cornea that looks and acts like donor tissue," says
 
Heather Sheardown of McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario.
 
Now Curtis Frank and colleagues at Stanford University in
California have done just that. They took polyacrylic acid, the
water-absorbing polymer found in diapers, and cross-linked it
with polyethylene glycol, which also absorbs water. The
 cross-links mean that the resulting material is 20 times stronger
than either of the starting polymers on their own, and about the
same strength as a human cornea. Crucially it also has the same
water content as a real cornea, which greatly increases its
ability to transport nutrients to the epithelial cells.
 
After forming the material, which was presented at the American
Chemical Society meeting in Boston on 20 August, into a
6-millimetre-wide disc , the researchers implanted it in rabbits.
They found that glucose from the eye diffused through the
material and fed the epithelial cells growing on the surface,
which had been modified with collagen to promote cell growth.
 
Sheardown is also developing a cornea made from two intertwined
 polymers. But it does not transport glucose as readily as Frank's
and she has not yet tested it on animals.
 
Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information, UK, a division of Reed Elsevier
 Inc.Al
 
To learn more about special needs consumer please read on.
 
They call themselves a "One Stop Writing Shop" and well they should.  There are not too many companies around at present that are able to do this and do it so well.  The experts call them unique!  They offer complete services that can help you do research, write, translate and transcribe your info into multi languages.  For absolutely free they can help you to keep abreast of important trends and news items if you're either too busy to search for them or you don't know where to find them.  They can help you to increase your revenues, reduce your costs, and expand your customer bases.  They can offer you a free online monthly magazine filled with info designed to help you keep abreast of market trends and consumer habits and articles that will point you in the right direction when it comes to finding opportunities that are explosive, lucrative, but above all safe.
To learn more visit them at www.sterlingcreations.ca.
 
At the business desk, i'm Matt Chadwick wishing you a pleasant afternoon.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The importance of keywords

Greetings everyone!  I'm Jayna Sheffield at the business desk and I'd like to continue this week by providing you with some very important tips on the importance of keywords.
First, the use of keywords is extremely important when it comes to ensuring that your articles, blogs, newsletters, online magazines, and websites get the full attention that you're seeking.
Second, the correct use of keywords can make the difference in the success/failure of your website.  Use inappropriate keywords and you could end up with a website that does not attract many visitors.  You need to understand how to use these keywords when attracting search engines to your website.
Third, if you fail to incorporate the right type of keyword in your articles, blogs, newsletters, or online magazines, you could end up working your heart out for naught. 
The use of keywords are very, very important.  You need to find the right keywords that will attract both search engines as well as visitors.  There's an art to this and you need to find it.  You need to do your research and develop ways to learn how to make it all work for you.
I'm going to leave you with some very useful urls.  Please check them out.
 
 
-          http://www.goodkeywords.com/ 
 
If you'd like to learn more about the art of writing good articles, websites, blogs, online magazines, plus much more, then please check out the info below.
 
 
 
 
 Looking for ideas and opportunities to crack the over 50s market?  The baby boomer market?  The seniors market?  Other niche markets?
Are you seeking opportunities in markets that are explosive, lucrative, but above all safe?
Are you having difficulty keeping abreast of important trends and news items because you're either too busy or don't know where to look?
Then you need to visit www.sterlingcreations.ca and there you'll find a suite of services that can help you to get where you want to go.
From writing to research, and translation to transcription.  There is even a free monthly online magazine that is crammed with very vital and valuable information.  You can even keep abreast of breaking trends and headlines for absolutely free.
Check it out at your convenience.
 
At the business desk, I'm Jayna Sheffield bidding you a happy rest of the day.

Small town businesses on the rise

Hi everyone!  I'm Heather DeMarco at the business desk and I'd like to kick off the week by telling you about a very fast growing trend presently sweeping across America these days.  It has been coined as the small town business idea trend and you can read more about this trend plus many others by visiting www.untappedwealth.com/business-strategies.html.
This trend started off in 2003 and it started slowly.  However, it has been going gang busters for the past three years and is expected to keep on growing in strength for at least the next decade.
So what's causing this trend to grow like this?  There are several reasons and many stakeholders involved.  We need to keep in mind that many of our large corporations have their roots in small town businesses.  Many corporations started as small town businesses and have grown into giants.  This is one of the reasons for this trend's growth.  Many small town businesses owners are hoping that they can pattern their success after those corporate giants that started as small town businesses.  In addition, the American government is really hoping that the small town business idea trend can encourage and motivate interest and excitement among those who are seeking lucrative and lasting opportunities.
The small town business idea is also growing because of many entrepreneurs who are using the idea to create and develop business to suite the needs and demands of their own small towns.  They are using the small town business idea to develop models that can be used by larger towns and cities.  They are using the concept of cutting off a slice of the large picture, a manageable slice, and using it to create and develop safe and solid business models. 
There's another stakeholder in all of this and this is the large corporation.  Many large corporations are anxious for others to develop smaller models that they can then use to test drive.  In short, they are looking to small business owners and entrepreneurs to develop models that they can then take and use to their advantage.
A win-win situation you say?  Most definitely.  America wins because new ways are being discovered to develop fresh new business ideas through the small town business idea trend.  Large corporations win because they are getting fresh new blood to do the development.  Small towns and small cities win because they get to take first crack at successful new ideas.
 
I think that you should consider this trend and if you're seeking more imaginative encouragement then please read on.
 
How would you like to keep abreast of breaking headlines, latest trends, and up to the minute news and do it all for free?  How would you like to save yourself some precious time and energy by going to a website that offers you daily updates by some very hardworking experts and all of this at no cost to you?  Would you like to learn how to keep your assets safe and protected from the fast fingers of those unscrupulous scammers, identity thieves, and cyber pirates?
The experts at www.untappedwealth.com can show you how to obtain all of this plus much more and they are offering all of this for free because they are bound and determined to help you stay away from those get rich quick schemes, those scams with broken promises and smoking mirrors, and those pitfalls that could land you in endless trouble.  Their fingers are strategically placed on what's going on minute by minute around the world and they bring it to you as it happens.  Take advantage of their knowledge and experience and do it at no cost. 
 
At the business desk, i'm Heather DeMarco wishing you a pleasant day.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Time to kid your youngsters involved in the small business arena

Hi everyone!  I'm Heather DeMarco at the business desk and I'd like to end the week with a call to those young and budding entrepreneurs.
If you're a teen, or even in your early to mid 20s, with a healthy interest and aspiration to become an entrepreneur or small business owner, then America is looking for you.  If you're sure that you want to become your own business person but you don't quite know how, then America is holding out its helping hand to you.  If you really want to become your own boss but don't quite have the money to get a start on things, then America is standing by  to show you how.
There is a widening gap between demand and supply these days when it comes to those who are willing and ready to produce and those who simply don't want to any more.  Let me explain.  More and more baby boomers are retiring early because they are simply burned out.  They are anxious to retire early and leave the workplace.  They've had enough and now they want to go away and enjoy the fruits of their labor.  Because of this, there is a growing need for others to take their place and this is happening in all sectors of our economy.
For the purpose of this blog, I'm going to shine the light on the small business arena and the growing need for our youngsters to step up to the plate and take the reins of leadership.  America is seeking bright and upcoming youngsters to become the business leaders of the future and where better to start than with a small business?  One that is your very own, one where you get to learn how to manage things, and one where you get to learn how to make those typical mistakes and correct them under the supervision of the real experts.  Our American government is extremely concerned about the future of our small business economy and to this end they are willing and ready to start training youngsters who are interested, and willing and ready to become the leaders of the future.
What a wonderful way for parents to invest in the futures of their youngsters by embracing opportunities that will help them to become smart, bright, and business savvy citizens.  What an excellent way for youngsters to start their careers by becoming a part of this growing trend towards becoming their own bosses, becoming the experts and leaders of the future, and becoming America's new generation of super heroes.  If you'd like to read more about a very important trend towards teens becoming their own bosses, then please visit www.untappedwealth.com/business-strategies.html and check out the link on teen business idea. 
 
It's time now for book talk!  Our Amazon picks of the week.
 

Deduct it!  Lower your small business taxes

By Stephen Fishman

We recommend this book because many small businesses are constantly struggling to keep their taxes at a minimum and in many cases they often find it a killer challenge to do so.  The author has some very interesting theories and strategies to offer.  We highly recommend this book.

 

The complete Guide to Service Learning: Proven, Practical Ways to Engage Students in Civic Service Learning: From Classroom To Community To Career

by Marie Watkins and Linda Braun

This book is a wonderful reference and good reading material for both kids and parents.  Too often, there is a gap between the classroom and the community and before you know it, our youngsters are out there not knowing how to cope.  Excellent reading.

 

Untapped Wealth discovered

By Jeff N Marquis and Kerry J Harrison

We like this book because the authors have managed to engross their readers in some very interesting and logical strategies.  If you're contemplating making a jump from the workplace to your own small business, then this book should be read before you take that big step. 

 

If you're seeking ways to avoid some common pitfalls when it comes to managing your own business, then you should pay attention to the info listed below.

 

Are you tired of looking over your shoulder because you're so scared of being scammed out of your hard earned savings, your house, and your other assets?
Are you looking for ways to avoid those scams with their broken promises and get rich quick schemes?  Are you worried that one day soon someone is going to try and scam you out of your worldly possessions?  Do you know what you should be doing in order to combat those seedy scammers, identity thieves, and shady investors?
Now you can take advantage of some very potent info and daily updates plus more in order to help you stay healthy and sleep well at night.  All of this info is free for the taking and it will save you thousands of research hours, protect your savings and worldly possessions, and help you to make decisions that are safe, logical, and sound.  The experts at www.untappedwealth.com are offering you all of this at absolutely no cost because their philosophy is that if they help you then you will help others and we will become a safer and better country.  Check them out!  You have absolutely nothing to lose and everything to gain!

 

At the business desk, I'm Heather DeMarco wishing you a pleasant weekend.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Important news for women

Hey there!  I'm Alix Shadonnay at the business desk and it's time for our new weekly feature focusing on women.
Today I'd like to center the attention on inspiring women to greater heights.  Too many women tend to give up so easily because of the mountainous challenges facing them each day. 
Women as a whole have to face so many biases, so many negative attitudes, and so many challenges that it's no wonder that too many of them give up before they even start.  Society has not really been fair to women because the general opinion still exists that women just can't cut it when it comes to being able to compete with men.  Our associate Jodhan, has a message for you this week and I'd like to hand things over to her.
 
Hello, I'm Donna Jodhan and today I'd like to share an article with you that I found just hours ago.  I truly believe that this article will inspire other women to reach for greater heights.  As a blind woman who has been successful at running my own business for the past 13 years, I want to be a conduit of change and so I'd like for you to take a look at the article below.
 
Savannah Now, GA, USA
Thursday, September 06, 2007
 
Blind couple's answering service has got your number
 
By Robin WRIGHT Gunn
 
Thursday, September 6, 2007 at 12:30 am
 
Ever called a Savannah physician after office hours? Chances are good that Donna or Robert Culver took the message and forwarded it to the doctor.
 
The Culvers' business, Chatham Answering Service, has provided off-hours telephone answering for 19 years for hundreds of physicians, real estate agents and other businesses
 
Yet few of the thousands of patients, clients or office staff who interact with the Culvers are aware that their message-takers are slightly different from most answering services.
 
Both Donna and Robert are legally blind.
 
"My staff didn't know they were blind in the beginning," said Dr. Michael Zoller, a physician with Ear, Nose and Throat Associates who's been a client of Chatham Answering Service for more than 15 years. "The first time they came in with the (leader) dog they were shocked."
 
The couple met in the 1960s as students at the Georgia Academy for the Blind in Macon and married after Robert graduated from the University of Georgia in 1976. They raised their two sons and have two grandsons.
 
Lifelong activists for people with blindness, the couple is active at Washington Avenue Christian Church, where Robert is associate minister and Donna plays the organ.
 
"I was born totally blind," said Robert, 55. "I received (my) sight back after four cataract surgeries" before age 6. "I'm legally blind, but I am losing it again."
 
Donna, 54, lost most of her sight at age 3 days when she was given oxygen after being born four months premature. She lost all her sight in 1987.
 
Donna founded Chatham Answering Service in 1988.
 
"I had two line telephones. They had different rings to them so I knew who I was answering for," she says. "I had a Braille typewriter; it looks similar to a typewriter. That was all I had other than notebooks.
 
"I was pretty fortunate. When the lights went out ... I could work in the dark."
 
After almost three years of Donna working solo, with Robert helping out on nights and weekends, the couple decided it was time for Robert to leave his career as a horticulturist with Oelschig Nursery Inc. to help manage the growth of the answering service.
 
"I said, 'It's time to cry uncle.' I'm trying to raise two boys at the same time. I cannot keep a house, raise two children, run the business and not have Robert here, too," Donna said.
 
Chatham Answering Service operates out of the Culvers' eastside home, assisting 158 doctors and about 30 other businesses. Currently, the company employs six people in addition to the Culvers.
 
Their first employee was a close friend who was also blind.
 
"We try to hire blind people first," said Donna. "Then if we can't, we hire most of our people from Savannah State and Armstrong. We want to help them pay their way through school."
 
Over the years, they've had between 17 and 20 employees, of which four were blind.
 
"Technology has driven us nuts," Robert said. "We have had to learn and learn and learn again. Text messaging, alpha messaging, e-mail. We had to learn all of that stuff. But the sighted people did too, didn't they?
 
"We have talk software on both cell phones. Can you imagine? Blind people with camera phones!"
 
Voice activation, sound indicators and Braille computers are technological enhancements that aid the Culvers in their work and home life. Without warning, buzzers and bells sound off in different spots in their home and in the office behind their house.
 
"Everything ring-dings and sings around here," said Donna.
 
As the answering business has transitioned from relying on land lines to using pagers, then radios and then to cell phones, each technology revolution brings adjustments in how the Culvers interact with clients.
 
"One doctor may want to be paged; one wants to be called at home; the next wants to be called on the cell phone. It makes it more complex," said Robert.
 
For Zoller, what sets the Culvers apart is their personal service and commitment to their clients.
 
"Their business has become enormous because they are so popular," he said.
 
"If they can't reach you, they have numbers to call you at the gym or at a friend's. It's not just the mechanics of calling the doctor on the beeper
 
"They know a lot of my patients from 15 or 20 years and that makes a big difference, too.
 
"Nowadays everything is so cold and distant. So many times (the service) is a hook-up so it goes out of town. I like the local person who really knows the community."
 
Robert and Donna Culver met in the 1960s as students at the Georgia Academy for the Blind in Macon, and married after Robert graduated from University of Georgia in 1976.
 
http://new.savannahnow.com/node/355120
If you'd like to learn more about Donna's company then please read on.
 
They call themselves a "One Stop Writing Shop" and well they should.  There are not too many companies around at present that are able to do this and do it so well.  The experts call them unique!  They offer complete services that can help you do research, write, translate and transcribe your info into multi languages.  For absolutely free they can help you to keep abreast of important trends and news items if you're either too busy to search for them or you don't know where to find them.  They can help you to increase your revenues, reduce your costs, and expand your customer bases.  They can offer you a free online monthly magazine filled with info designed to help you keep abreast of market trends and consumer habits and articles that will point you in the right direction when it comes to finding opportunities that are explosive, lucrative, but above all safe.
To learn more visit them at www.sterlingcreations.ca
 
At the business desk, I'm Alix Shadonnay wishing you a pleasant weekend. 

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Important opportunities for translators

Good afternoon!  I'm Kerry J Harrison at the business desk and it's time for our new weekly feature featuring news for translators.
This feature is still very new and already we've been receiving positive feedback.  Thank you!
The potential for translators is very real.  Opportunities abound and with the increasing growth of global trade, and now the push towards dealing with global warming, the demand for translators is only going to grow at phenomenal rates.  Please do not under estimate the demand for translators.  It is real and it is only going to get better.
Translators/writers are in great demand these days.  Translators who can help investors, lawyers, real estate agents, plus more, are also in demand.  If you can translate and write at the same time then you're definitely it.  If you love the fast pace of financial markets, and dealing with people, then you're the future.
 
Now for our translator news round-up of the week.
 
Bookmarks Part III
By Amit Kumar(Amit Kumar)
Moneycontrol India > News > Woman, internet is your handy employment exchange > > Financial Planning > transcription, online media, indian publishing, job sites, BPOs, content, website, online instructors, translators, data processing, ...
Nirvana Musing - http://nirvanamusing.blogspot.com/
For more detail check out:
http://nirvanamusing.blogspot.com/2007/09/bookmarks-part-iii.html
 
WHAT IS FREELANCE TRANSLATING?
By Melissa G.(Melissa G.)
It won't be unusual to discover your writing skills can be just as in demand as those that power your incredible translation abilities. Always keep your eyes peeled for opportunities to combine the skill-sets of a writer and translator, ...
Creative Freelancing - http://creativefreelancing.blogspot.com/
For more detail check out:
http://creativefreelancing.blogspot.com/2007/09/what-is-freelance-translating.html
 
BEYOND GROUND ZERO: THE NEW INTELLIGENCE INFRASTRUCTURE
San Francisco Chronicle - CA, USA
It would have been a lot easier in 2001, if the National Security Agency and the FBI had had enough Arabic and Urdu translators. They had very few, ...
For more detail check out:
http://www.sfgate.com/templates/types/popunder/orbitz/orbitz.html
 
Yuma Glance 9-12-07
Yuma Sun - Yuma,AZ,USA
The Earned Income Tax Credit Coalition is seeking volunteers to serve as tax preparers, greeters, instructors or translators for the various Volunteer ...
For more detail check out:
http://www.yumasun.com/news/tax_36463___article_news.html/set_volunteers.html
 
Homeschooling comes of age In the late 1960s and early 1970s, the ...
By jonjayray(jonjayray)
The other day I heard a consumer programme complaining, in righteous PC tones, that not enough banks in Wales offer Polish language leaflets and onsite translators. It made the reasonable point that this would be good business for the ...
EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL - http://edwatch.blogspot.com/
For more detail check out:
http://edwatch.blogspot.com/2007/09/homeschooling-comes-of-age-in-late.html
 
Translators leverage language skills
Taiwan Journal - Taiwan
"A lack of job opportunities has forced some talented T&I graduates to go overseas or to China to find a brighter future," he said. Translation would seem ...
For more detail check out:
http://taiwanjournal.nat.gov.tw/ct.asp?CtNode=122&xItem=24665
If you'd like to expand your horizons as a translator, or if you're seeking to expand your global presence, then please read the info below.
 
Are you looking for skilled and experienced translators/writers/researchers to help you craft your articles, blogs, business letters, emails, faxes, newsletters, and proposals in multi languages? 
Are you seeking skilled and experienced language coaches to help you learn the English language more quickly and efficiently?
Then you need to visit the folks at www.translationpeople.com.  Here you'll find a team that guarantees quick turn around, professional work, and total confidentiality.  Prices are extremely affordable and services are offered in English, Spanish, French, Cantonese, and Mandarin.
Check out the free useful information page while you're there and for absolutely free you can also tap into the latest trends and headlines.
 
At the business desk, I'm Kerry J Harrison wishing you a pleasant day.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Important news for important consumers

Good day everyone!  I'm Jeff N Marquis at the business desk and it's time for our weekly feature.
We would like to thank the flood of emailers who have taken the time to send us their positive feedback and we hope that you find this week's articles interesting.
Have a great day.
 
Table of contents
 
September 19 2007
 
1  Net becoming more accessible to vision-impaired
2  Start wearing sunglasses early, and they may help to preserve your sight in later life.
3  AT&T Launching New Services to Support Customers With Special Needs
4  Sony Introduces Television For The Blind
5  New product announcement
6  Blind have ally in device that turns text into words
7  Rebel doctors prescribe ?10 cancer drug to fight blindness.
8  Fish eye cure for the blind
9  Zebrafish study may point way to blindness cure
 

'Net becoming more accessible to vision-impaired.
 
 
By Jeffrey Pieters
Post-Bulletin - Rochester,MN,USA
7/24/2007.
 
 
Dale Davis, a Rochester Community and Technical College student pursuing a degree in information technology, began losing his sight from retinitis pigmentosa about 15 years ago, but the effects became serious in only about the last 10 years.
 
He remembers what it was like to surf the Web sighted and says JAWS, special reading software whose title stands for "Job Access With Speech," while nice, cannot compare.
 
"Nothing's ever as positive or as competent as our vision," he said. "You do have to find a roundabout way to take a Web page, to understand just how it works. Trying to find exactly what you're looking for is sometimes hard with vision impairment."
 
For one thing, the software can't skim information, he said. One has to listen to the computer's reading voice from start to finish.
 
Still, there are things a blind computer user can learn to make them the equal to -- if not superior of -- the sighted mouse-clicker, says Ken Trebelhorn, a Rochester-based technology instructor specializing in blind issues. His home business is called Low Vision Technologies of Minnesota.
 
"I could guarantee you that you could whip out an e-mail faster than you could before," he said. "Because it's all on the keyboard. Everything is done on the keyboard. There's no need to pick up the mouse and try to figure out where to point the thing."
 
Composing an e-mail, though, is a fairly standardized task. Navigating the Web, where every page can be designed differently, is something altogether different.
 
There is, however, a set of national standards for Web design, said Adam Starkey, the city's Webmaster. Section 508 of the U.S. Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act prescribe accessibility standards for Web design, and Rochester keeps its pages in compliance with those, Starkey said. They're specially checked twice a year, he said.
 
None of it is a legal requirement -- at least not yet -- but "we just figured it's probably the best practice to make sure we are compliant," Starkey said.
 
Prior to joining the Rochester staff 2 1/2 years ago, Starkey was a professional Web designer in the Twin Cities. He doesn't recall accessibility issues being a common subject for discussion then.
 
"It's certainly becoming more of an (industry) issue," he said. "It's just a best practice for any government site. ... A lot of the larger (commercial sites) try to be compliant."
 
Starkey noted that Target.com was the subject of a class-action suit, filed by blind users alleging discrimination over accessibility to Target's Web site.
 
"It can lead to lawsuits if your site isn't (accessible)," he said.
 
So, how many Web sites are acceptably accessible?
 
"I would say somewhere between 70 and 80 percent," Davis said. "Most of them are pretty good."
 
 
http://news.postbulletin.com/newsmanager/templates/localnews_story.asp?z=31&a=301571
 

Start wearing sunglasses early, and they may help to preserve your sight in later life.
 
 
By Jeremy Laurance
Independent - London,England,UK
24 July 2007.
 
 
For decades, doctors have warned about the dangers of going out in the sun. Slap on a hat, slip on a shirt and slop on the suncream to protect your skin from harmful rays and avoid getting cancer, they say.
 
But what about the eyes? If sunlight burns skin, what does it do to the cornea, lens and retina? Most people wear sunglasses for comfort or to look cool. But perhaps there is a more pressing reason - to save our sight.
 
Should the advice be; wear shades or risk going blind? One of the world's best-known scientists, James Watson, a Nobel prizewinner and the discoverer of the DNA double helix, seems to think that is exactly what the risk is.
 
At the opening of the Wellcome Medical Museum in London last month, he was extolling the benefits of genetic research. In May, he became the first person to be presented with his entire DNA sequence on a disc, potentially allowing him to identify genetic defects that could put him at risk of disease.
 
Asked if there were any downsides to such research - something he is notably reluctant to admit - he had his answer ready. Analysis of his genome might have revealed a vulnerability to, say, macular degeneration, which is the most common cause of blindness.
 
"I could have seen the [gene] sequence when I was in my fifties and worn dark glasses for the rest of my life. But I am now 79, and I don't have macular degeneration. So it would have been unnecessary - based on incomplete information," he said.
 
It was a deliberately frivolous point, intended to suggest that the worst the new genetics could foist upon us was the inconvenience of wearing dark glasses. But the assumption that lay behind it was that dark glasses can protect eyes from premature ageing, in the same way that suncream can protect the skin. They may even, Watson implied, prevent vulnerable people from losing their sight.
 
The facts about blindness are chilling. By the age of 80, more than half of Americans either have a cataract or have had cataract surgery. A cataract occurs when the lens in the eye becomes cloudy, blurring the vision. Treatment is by surgery, to replace the lens with an artificial one made from plastic.
 
Age-related macular degeneration affects about 500,000 people in the UK. It occurs when cells in the centre of the retina at the back of the eye become damaged. Symptoms are the loss of central vision and visual distortion. Both conditions are most common in the elderly - and as we live longer, the numbers affected are growing. The eyes, in common with other organs, need protection if they are to last. Some eye specialists say that protecting the eyes of children is the most effective way to prolong 20-20 vision into old age.
 
Ian Anderson, an optometrist and the chairman of the Eyecare Trust, a charity devoted to promoting eye health, said: "Your eyes can be damaged by ultraviolet light. There are two types in sunlight - UVA and UVB. UVA sunlight penetrates quite deeply and can damage the lens and the retina. People should be aware that they need to wear dark glasses and do more to protect their eyes."
 
People who have fair skin are at greatest risk. They have less pigment and their eyes are thus most vulnerable to UV light, while dark-skinned people are better protected.
 
But it is a myth that blue-eyed people are more sensitive to light and therefore more vulnerable to eye damage. The iris is almost opaque, although there are differences in the amount of pigment in the retina, Anderson said.
 
Children are worse off because their eyes are young and the lens and vitreous - the fluid behind the lens - are clearer, so the light goes straight through and goes on to hit the retina.
 
"Children need sunglasses, but parents need to be careful that they are not toys with tinted lenses. That causes the iris to open and let more light through. Parents need to be very careful to buy sunglasses with the right CE marking to show that they filter out UV light. It is more important to wear sunglasses when young to protect the eyes."
 
In older people, as the lens of the eye ages, it creates more glare. "It becomes like a frosted window - this is called 'veiling glare'. A lot of older people have incredible problems driving when the sun is low or it is reflecting off wet roads," Anderson says.
 
If sunglasses are necessary to protect the eyes from damage, why are they not the subject of health promotion campaigns? The answer, according to Andrew Lotery, professor of ophthalmology and a specialist in macular degeneration at Southampton University, is that the case for shades is unproven.
 
"It has been a hypothesis for decades [that exposure to sunlight damages the eye]. There have been large-scale epidemiological studies; for example, of fishermen who are exposed to a lot of light reflected off the sea. There is no evidence of an increase in macular degeneration. That link has been looked for, but it has not been found."
 
Some experts say that blue light is more damaging to eyes, but this too has not been proved, Lotery says. "One concern was that when cataracts were removed, the blue light filters present in the natural lens were removed also. Now, all replacement lenses have blue light filters," he says.
 
For certain people with rare eye conditions, such as retinitis pigmentosa (an inherited condition that causes degeneration of the retina), excess light can be damaging. "I advise these patients to avoid sunlight and wear dark glasses," Lotery says.
 
A juvenile form of macular degeneration called Stargardt's disease, which affects one in 10,000 children, is also affected by light. Experiments in mice show that they are protected when raised in the dark. Lotery says: "Most ophthalmologists would recommend sunglasses for this group." But he's sceptical about suggestions that we all need protection: "I don't think, for the general population, that the evidence is there."
 
 
http://news.independent.co.uk/health/article2795845.ece
 

AT&T Launching New Services to Support Customers With Special Needs
 
Published: Jul 22, 2007
 
 
AT&T Inc. has announced plans to launch new wireless software products this
year to increase usability for customers who are blind or visually impaired.
AT&T will partner with Code Factory to offer two new products: Mobile Speak
and Mobile Magnifier, both for Windows Mobile and Symbian Series 60
operating system devices.
 
AT&T consults with leaders from the disability community to develop product
and service offerings designed to meet the needs of customers with vision
loss. "By working closely with organizations that are committed to serving
seniors or people with disabilities, AT&T is able to better understand the
unique needs of its customers." said Carlton Hill, vice president of Product
Management for AT&T's wireless unit. "These new software options will help
make it easier for all individuals to enjoy a digital lifestyle wherever
they go."
 
"Code Factory's mission is to make it possible for visually impaired
consumers to use the most advanced mobile technology," said Eduard S?nchez,
CEO of Code Factory. "AT&T has a long track record of enabling
communications for all of its customers, and we are very pleased to partner
with them to make even more mobile devices accessible to the visually
impaired."
 
Mobile Speak is a powerful, full-fledged screen reader with an easy-to-learn
command structure, intuitive speech feedback in several languages and
Braille support that can be used with or without speech. Unlike other screen
readers for mobile phones, Mobile Speak automatically detects information
that the blind user should know, just as a sighted user would easily find
highlighted items or key areas of the screen at a glance. Supported
applications and functions include:
 
Speed dial, call lists and contacts
Text messaging
Calendar, tasks, notes and calculator
Internet browser
Word, Excel and PowerPoint
Voice Recorder, Media Player, voice speed dial and voice command
Phone/device settings, profiles, alarms and ringtones
Mobile Magnifier is a flexible, full-screen magnification application that
supports low- and high-resolution screens and can be used with or without
speech feedback. Magnification software is compatible with a wide range of
mobile devices. Unique features include:
 
Magnification levels from 1.25x to 16x
Font-smoothing for easier readability
Three different layouts: a full-screen, split and distributed view
Different color schemes, including inverted color
Automatic panning and cursor-tracking
Automatic zoom function that detects areas of interest on the screen
 
"We have found that individuals who have vision loss want to be able to
choose from a range of wireless handsets," said Paul Schroeder, vice
president of Programs and Policy, American Foundation for the Blind. "Just
like people who can see, customers with disabilities want options. We
applaud AT&T for its leadership in investing the effort to understand and
address the needs of individuals with vision loss."
 
Mobile Speak and Mobile Magnifier for Windows Mobile and Symbian Series 60
operating system devices will be available from AT&T in the fall of 2007.
 
Source: AT&T
 
http://www.axistive.com/att-launching-new-services-to-support-customers-with-special-needs.html
 

Sony Introduces Television For The Blind
 
 
Press Release.
broadcastbuyer.tv (press release) - London,UK
Fri, 27th, Jul 2007
 
 
Sony has launched an international campaign to provide television products
and services for blind and partially sighted people, with Sony BRAVIA
leading the way.
 
The entire BRAVIA television range now provides access to Audio Description
(AD) as standard which, in combination with a commitment to raise awareness
of AD, aims to increase the number of programmes, broadcasters and
television manufacturers that offer the service.
 
"We are all used to seeing and using subtitles on TV, but what many people
don't know is that the technology exists to make a similarly useful service
available for the 30 million* or so visually impaired people we have in
Europe," says Andreas Ditter, VP, Sony Europe.
 
Audio Description Built-In
While the majority of consumers have embraced and benefited from the
increase in services, channels and programmes today's digital broadcasters
provide, many visually impaired people are unable to take advantage of these
benefits - and yet the technology exists for them to enjoy TV programming as
much as those that can see.
 
Audio Description (AD) is an additional narrative soundtrack for blind or
partially sighted people.  During gaps in programme dialogue, an additional
voice explains visual plot points, enabling visually impaired people to
follow the storyline more fully.
 
Audio description is available on a variety of television programmes
throughout Europe but, until now, has only been accessible through the
purchase of a separate set-top box or satellite receiver.  Now, all Sony
BRAVIA televisions will include Integrated Digital Television (IDTV) as
standard, and provide access to AD without the need for an additional
decoder.
 
Most television manufacturers now have products that offer IDTV, a built-in
digital tuner that does away with need for a separate set-top box for
converting digital channels.  However, few - if any - have the ability to
offer AD access.  Sony engineers and designers constantly assess and refine
every aspect of BRAVIA TVs to ensure that they are as good as they can
possibly be. One result of this scrutiny is a new, more powerful audiovisual
processor, capable of decoding multiple audio channels and thereby providing
access to AD in addition to other aesthetic benefits.
 
Spreading the Word
To date, the UK is the only country in Europe which makes the provision of
Audio Description a legal requirement for key broadcasters.  In 2005, the
broadcasting watchdog Ofcom stipulated that 76 channels must carry AD.
Current regulations state that all BBC channels, for example, must audio
describe at least 8% of their programmes per week.
 
With the limited availability of programmes offering AD throughout Europe,
it is hardly surprising that awareness and take up of the service is low.
In 2006 a UK survey** found that, although only 22% of visually impaired
respondents who had heard of AD claimed to use it on 'some programmes' when
it is available, nearly two thirds (63%) of those with at least moderate
visual impairment who had not previously heard of it claimed they would be
interested in using it.
 
One argument put forward by both broadcasters and legislators, is that there
is a limited need for channels to feature AD due to a lack of products that
are available with the technology required to play it.   Sony BRAVIA now
changes this, and Sony is now also undertaking a Europe-wide PR campaign to
raise awareness of the issues amongst consumers, media, legislators and
manufacturers, working with organizations for the visually impaired
throughout Europe, such as Royal National Institute of the Blind (RNIB).
 
Stephen King, RNIB Group Director, Access and Innovation comments:  "I am
delighted that all of the new Sony BRAVIA televisions will give people with
a serious sight problem access to Audio Description via Freeview in the UK.
Audio Description is a fantastic service that many blind and partially
sighted people value. RNIB welcomes the commitment from Sony to this service
and congratulates them on their work in this area."
 
Fujio Nishida, President of Sony Europe comments:  "For nearly 40 years Sony
has been one of the world's leading television manufacturers.  With the
recent advances in digital technology, television is now something that can,
and should, be enjoyed by everyone, including the visually impaired and hard
of hearing.  As a market leader, Sony is leading by example by making Audio
Description accessible as standard in our entire BRAVIA range.  We hope that
other manufacturers follow our example, thereby leaving no excuse for
broadcasters not to offer this service."
 
 
? Copyright 2007 by broadcastbuyer
 
http://www.broadcastbuyer.tv/publish/Displays_63/Sony_Introduces_Television_For_The_Blind_printer.shtml
 

  Freedom Vision
         Providing the freedom to read again
     New Product Announcement
   QUICKLOOKZoom
 
 
Press Release
Contact:  Steven Heller
Phone:    800-961-6541
 
July 30, 2007
 
Freedom Vision announces QuickLook ZOOM, our newest model of
QuickLook manufactured by Ash Technologies Ltd. in Ireland. As the
name Zoom implies, QuickLook ZOOM features a range of
magnification
from 3x - 18x (starting at the smallest magnification of any
portable video
magnifier), a 4.3" wide ratio LCD screen, the longest lasting
battery
among portable models (running 4 - 7 hours on a full battery
charge), the
popular Freeze Frame image, and is noticeably lightweight at only
8.5
ounces.
 
QuickLook ZOOM offers the brightest image in the 4" portable
class,
displaying brighter whiter letters on a blacker background or the
reverse
image.QuickLook ZOOM is covered by Ash's two year limited
manufacturer's
warranty (one year warranty against battery failure).
QuickLook ZOOM priced at $795 plus $20 shipping.
 
Visit our website to view full product details  at
www.freedomvision.net  or
open
the attached PDF file of our color brochure.
 
Call us to find your nearest Distributor.
 
QuickLook ZOOM is now shipping. today!
 
 
Freedom Vision
615 Tami Way, Mountain View, CA 94041
Tel: 800-961-1334  Fax: 650-968-4740
file://www.freedomvision.net www.freedomvision.net
Email: sales@freedomvision.net
 

Blind have ally in device that turns text into words
 
 
Frederick News Post (subscription) - Frederick,MD,USA
July 31, 2007.
 
 
BALTIMORE - James Gashel had an "a-ha" moment last year as he walked to a
boarding gate at Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall
Airport.
 
He had just eaten at an airport restaurant. He had paid his bill in exact
change and left a generous tip. Nothing unusual - except he didn't ask
anyone to read to him.
 
Gashel has been blind for 50 years. Typically when he ate out, a waiter or a
fellow diner would have to read the menu and the bill to him.
 
But last year at the airport, he used a portable machine instead.
 
"As I was walking to my boarding gate, I stopped and thought, 'You just had
an experience that you've never had before,'" he said.
 
Since then, he has used the machine - the Kurzweil-National Federation of
the Blind Reader - in many places and conducted thousands of transactions
without anyone reading to him.
 
While he is independent and capable without the reader, the ability to
handle printed text anytime and anywhere has simplified his daily schedule,
he said.
 
"I find that to be life-changing," Gashel said.
 
The reader, unveiled last June, is the first hand-held device that
translates text into speech, said Chris Danielsen, spokesman for the
Baltimore-based National Federation of the Blind.
 
It combines a personal digital assistant with a digital camera inside a
customized case. The camera can photograph just about any printed text, such
as books, newspapers, menus, mail, receipts - even paper U.S. currency. The
PDA runs software that analyzes the photographed images and translates
printed letters into spoken sounds.
 
The reader has a choice of two computerized voices, and the user can adjust
the voice speed, Danielsen said. Other keys allow the user to direct the
device to read by line, character, word, paragraph or sentence and to
recognize when to read across a page or in columns.
 
Text is typically translated in 30 seconds or less, he said.
 
The device sells for $2,595. It operates on batteries, measures about 2
inches by 2 inches by 6 inches and weighs less than a pound, making it easy
to carry, Danielsen said. Plus, headphones can be inserted so the device can
be used anytime without disturbing other people.
 
It's portability appeals to blind people, said John Pare, executive director
for strategic initiatives for the National Federation of the Blind.
 
Earlier text-to-speech machines have been larger or tied to a computer so
users have to bring the text to the machine, which isn't always possible or
convenient.
 
People who can see probably don't consider the amount of times they come
into contact with text each day, said Danielsen. A trip to the post office,
the supermarket or the mall typically involves reading to some degree.
 
Now blind people can handle those situations without hassle as well, he
said. They can bring the machine to the text and read independently and
privately.
 
With proper tools like the reader, blind people can achieve at the same
level as their peers at work and in school, Pare said.
 
The reader can also benefit people who don't know how to read or who have
learning disabilities, such as dyslexia, that make reading difficult, he
said.
 
It does have a few limitations, Gashel said. Super-stylized fonts on some
restaurant menus, for instance, can be hard to identify, and signs are
typically hung too high to be photographed.
 
For most circumstances, however, the reader performs surprisingly well,
Gashel said.
 
"I'm not looking for 100 percent perfect," he said. "That said, this device
stacks up at the high end of quality results."
 
Gashel was working for the National Federation of the Blind about 32 years
ago when inventor Ray Kurzweil walked into his office and told him he had
created a prototype of a reading machine for blind people.
 
The first model was a square box the size of a dishwasher and took about a
minute to process scanned documents into spoken text.
 
Through the years, Gashel witnessed the machine grow smaller, faster and
capable of reading more types of text.
 
The portability of the Kurzweil-National Federation of the Blind Reader,
however, was the technological advance he had been waiting for.
 
The fixed models of the past weren't convenient to use, he said. People had
to set aside their documents until they could get to a reading machine.
 
"You'd end up piling things up, and sometimes you didn't get to everything,"
he said. "It was like scheduling a person to read to you. It wasn't
natural."
 
The portable reader can be used as documents are received, he said.
 
Gashel believes in the value of the portable reader so much that he now
serves as vice-president of business development for K-NFB Reading
Technology Inc., the Boston-based company that sells the reader.
 
"I treat it like my American Express card," he said. "I don't leave home
without it."
 
 
http://www.fredericknewspost.com/sections/business/display.htm?StoryID=63165
 

Rebel doctors prescribe ?10 cancer drug to fight blindness.
 
 
This is London - London,England,UK
Tuesday 31.07.07.
 
 
Doctors are dodging restrictions on expensive sight-saving drugs by offering
patients an unlicensed alternative costing just ?10
Doctors are dodging restrictions on expensive sight-saving drugs by offering
patients an unlicensed alternative costing just ?10.
 
Eye specialists in Manchester are prescribing Avastin to sufferers of the
most common cause of blindness in the elderly, agerelated macular
degeneration.
 
The drug is widely used to treat bowel cancer but has not been given a
safety licence for treating AMD.
 
The rebel doctors say it offers hope to patients denied treatment with the
tailor-made, but much more expensive, drug Lucentis.
 
Under National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence guidelines,
Lucentis can only be prescribed on the NHS to the worst 20 per cent of cases
and only then when they have already lost sight in one eye.
 
But while Lucentis costs more than ?700 per injection, Avastin - which is
made by the same company - costs as little as ?10 a shot.
 
Peter Elton, Bury's director of public health, said: 'We think as many
people as possible should be treated for wet AMD.
 
"To afford it we need to use Avastin. If you have only got one eye affected,
the other eye might get something else the next year.
 
"By the time you come to treat the wet eye, it has gone too far. We think
that is not ethically acceptable."
 
He added that Medicare in the U.S. uses Avastin to treat AMD in 48 out of 50
states.
 
However, the Royal National Institute for the Blind cautioned against using
drugs without safety data.
 
A spokesman said: "While no adverse effects have been reported in
association with the use of Avastin for the treatment of wet AMD, there is
anecdotal evidence that it has been linked to severe adverse effects,
including heart attacks.
 
"Until clinical randomised trials have been conducted to show that Avastin
is safe and effective as a treatment for wet AMD, we cannot recommend the
use of the drug.
 
"Where consultants recommend Avastin it is essential that they provide
patients with full information about all available options and that any
indemnity issues are resolved prior to treatment."
 
The NHS is now funding a trial comparing Avastin to Lucentis in the
treatment of AMD.
 
Charities say the rationing of Lucentis and Macugen, a second AMD drug, will
lead to 20,000 patients a year going blind.
 
Both are available to everyone in Scotland.
 
http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/news/article-23406343-details/Rebel+doctors+prescribe+?10+cancer+drug+to+fight+blindness/article.do
 

Fish eye cure for the blind
 
 
The Sun - London,UK
August 01, 2007.
 
 
A CURE for blindness may have been found by British boffins - after studying
FISH eyes.
 
Powerful "Muller" cells that repair damaged lens tissue were discovered in
tropical zebrafish.
 
The team - from University College London and Moorfields Eye Hospital - then
found the cells in human eyes, but in numbers too small to work in the same
way.
 
They are now growing the cells in a lab, to be injected into damaged
lenses - the most common cause of blindness.
 
It could lead to a treatment in five years. Study leader Dr Astrid Limb
said: "Our findings have enormous potential."
 
? 2006 News Group Newspapers Ltd.
 
http://www.thesun.co.uk/article/0,,2-2007350420,00.html
 

Zebrafish study may point way to blindness cure
 
 By Ben Hirschler
Reuters
Wed Aug 1, 2007.
 
 
LONDON (Reuters) - The ability of zebrafish to regenerate damaged retinas
has given scientists a clue about restoring human vision and could lead to
an
experimental treatment for blindness within five years.
 
British researchers said on Wednesday they had successfully grown in the
laboratory a type of adult stem cell found in the eyes of both fish and
mammals
that develops into neurons in the retina.
 
In future, these cells could be injected into the eye as a treatment for
diseases such as macular degeneration, glaucoma and diabetes-related
blindness,
according to Astrid Limb of University College London's (UCL) Institute of
Ophthalmology.
 
Damage to the retina -- the part of the eye that sends messages to the
brain -- is responsible for most cases of sight loss.
 
"Our findings have enormous potential," Limb said. "It could help in all
diseases where the neurons are damaged, which is basically nearly every
disease
of the eye."
 
Limb and her colleagues studied so-called Mueller glial cells in the eyes of
people aged from 18 months to 91 years and found they were able to develop
them into all types of neurons found in the retina.
 
They were also able to grow them easily in the lab, they reported in the
journal Stem Cells.
 
The cells have already been tested in rats with diseased retinas, where they
successfully migrated into the retina and took on the characteristics of the
surrounding neurons. Now the team is working on the same approach in humans.
 
"We very much hope that we could do autologous transplants within five
years," Limb told Reuters.
 
Autologous transplants, initially on a trial basis, will involve
manipulating cells and injecting them back into an individual's own eye.
Eventually, Limb
hopes it will also be possible to transfer the cells between different
people.
 
"Because they are so easy to grow, we could make stem cell banks and have
cell lines available to the general population, subject to typing as with
blood
transfusions," she said.
 
Just why zebrafish have an abundant supply of adult stem cells to regenerate
their retinas, while they are rare in mammals, remains a mystery but Limb
suspects
it is because mammals have a limiting system to stop proliferation.
 
The new work on Mueller glial cells is the latest example of researchers
exploring the potential of different kinds of stem cells in treating eye
disease.
Another team from UCL and Moorfield's Eye Hospital said in June they aimed
to repair damaged retinas with cells derived from embryonic stem cells.
 
? Reuters 2007. All rights reserved.
 
http://www.reuters.com/article/healthNews/idUSL3139081320070801?sp=true

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I have some very exciting info for you if you're interested in learning about more types of small business and entrepreneurial opportunities.  This info is free and I invite you to read on.
 
How would you like to keep abreast of breaking headlines, latest trends, and up to the minute news and do it all for free?  How would you like to save yourself some precious time and energy by going to a website that offers you daily updates by some very hardworking experts and all of this at no cost to you?  Would you like to learn how to keep your assets safe and protected from the fast fingers of those unscrupulous scammers, identity thieves, and cyber pirates?
The experts at www.untappedwealth.com can show you how to obtain all of this plus much more and they are offering all of this for free because they are bound and determined to help you stay away from those get rich quick schemes, those scams with broken promises and smoking mirrors, and those pitfalls that could land you in endless trouble.  Their fingers are strategically placed on what's going on minute by minute around the world and they bring it to you as it happens.  Take advantage of their knowledge and experience and do it at no cost. 
 
At the business desk, I'm Jayna Sheffield wishing you a pleasant day.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Important news for the business builder trend

Hello there!  I'm Matt Chadwick at the business desk and I'd like to start the week by telling you about a very powerful little tool alled the business builder.  This nifty little tool is easy to use, simple to understand, and its potential is very real and has been around for as long as we could remember.
The thing is that many people have been ignoring the business builder strategy for too long and now it's time for us to dust it off and start using it.
Call it what you may:  A trend, a strategy, a technique, a tool, whatever you like.  It is important for us to keep it in mind and start using it soonest. 
So, what exactly is the business builder tool or technique? Very simple!  This strategy consists of you entering into a relationship with your clients and/or friends whereby in exchange for you writing their articles, blogs, newsletters, or online magazines, they would advertise your services on their websites and by word of mouth.
The trick of the trade is for you to include your contact info at the bottom of what you write for your clients and/or friends so that when readers read your work even though they are being offered through your clients, they will see that you've written it. 
It's a win-win situation for all stakeholders.  You write, you give to your clients and friends, they advertise you on their websites.  You don't have to pay for this type of advertising but instead you have to spend time turning out quality stuff through your writing skills. 
Makes sense?  Sure does.  You write, you place your contact info at the bottom of your written stuff, you offer it to clients and friends, and they advertise you on their websites and through other channels.  It's one of the oldest tricks of advertising.  Not only does it help to advertise your business but it also helps to expand your ability to attract new customers.  The key to success here is for you to convince others that you can write well enough to help them attract customers. 
Give this a try and if you'd like to learn more about other important strategies presently sweeping across America, then visit www.untappedwealth.com/business-strategies.html.   If you're seeking to learn more about writing services, maybe a one stop writing shop, then please read the info below.
 
Looking for ideas and opportunities to crack the over 50s market?  The baby boomer market?  The seniors market?  Other niche markets?
Are you seeking opportunities in markets that are explosive, lucrative, but above all safe?
Are you having difficulty keeping abreast of important trends and news items because you're either too busy or don't know where to look?
Then you need to visit www.sterlingcreations.ca and there you'll find a suite of services that can help you to get where you want to go.
From writing to research, and translation to transcription.  There is even a free monthly online magazine that is crammed with very vital and valuable information.  You can even keep abreast of breaking trends and headlines for absolutely free.
Check it out at your convenience.
 
At the business desk, I'm Matt Chadwick wishing you a pleasant evening.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Why not sell your knowledge for a profit?

Hi everyone!  I'm Heather DeMarco at the business desk and I'd like to end the week on a high note.
So many of us are busy trying to figure out how to find that illusive business venture that will enable us to make a profit.  Try this on for size!  Ever thought of selling your knowledge for profit?  No kidding!  I'm very serious and I'm going to give you some very valuable hints.  It's a growing trend and we have several clients who are doing it and doing quite well at it.  Here's how.
You can write books that touch on topics of self help, how to, and books that give messages of inspiration.  Books like these are extremely popular these days and you just have to find those topics that persons are interested in.  However, with a bit of touch and serious marketing you can certainly do it.  Try this on for size!  Books on such topics as:  Gardening, weight loss, dieting, fitness, and anything that can help the reader to stay healthy.
The so-called how to books would include things like how to improve your golf swing, how to start small businesses, how to find the best vacations, and so on. 
Books that give messages of inspiration are extremely popular these days.  Readers are constantly hunting for books that can help them to cope with such situations as stress, depression, losing loved ones, and so on.
You may think that these are trivial topics but write a good book and you can certainly make some very useful income.  However, you have to do your research and write well.
In addition to books, you can use your knowledge to write blogs, articles, newsletters, and online magazines.  I'm not kidding.  There is a definite demand for writers to use their skills and knowledge to provide information to others and if you're a good writer, if you love doing research, and if you're imaginative, then you should look into what I'm telling you.  if you're seeking some starting points then by all means take a look at the message below.
 
Are you tired of looking over your shoulder because you're so scared of being scammed out of your hard earned savings, your house, and your other assets?
Are you looking for ways to avoid those scams with their broken promises and get rich quick schemes?  Are you worried that one day soon someone is going to try and scam you out of your worldly possessions?  Do you know what you should be doing in order to combat those seedy scammers, identity thieves, and shady investors?
Now you can take advantage of some very potent info and daily updates plus more in order to help you stay healthy and sleep well at night.  All of this info is free for the taking and it will save you thousands of research hours, protect your savings and worldly possessions, and help you to make decisions that are safe, logical, and sound.  The experts at www.untappedwealth.com are offering you all of this at absolutely no cost because their philosophy is that if they help you then you will help others and we will become a safer and better country.  Check them out!  You have absolutely nothing to lose and everything to gain!
It's time now for our Amazon picks of the week.  Time for book talk!
 

Start up:  An entrepreneur's guide to launching and managing a new business

By William Stolz

This book is for all you budding entrepreneurs.  Before you take that all important step to become an entrepreneur, you should read this book.  Too many people fail at entrepreneurship because they leap before they look and this book is a good way for you to avoid this pitfall.

 

New retirement savings incentive may be an opportunity for retirees

By Anthony Bakale

(An article from the tax adviser)

I chose this book because again, too many retirees fail to do their research before stepping into the market to invest their savings.  They fail to remember that upon retirement things are different and that whereas before retirement they earned a constant income, it's different after retirement and now they need to find ways to preserve their savings.

 

Untapped Wealth Discovered

By Jeff N Marquis and Kerry J Harrison

Yet another book that can help you to avoid those common pitfalls of looking before you leap.  These two authors do a masterful job of showing you how to find those riches in niches.  Niches that are real, and niches that are going to be around for a very long time.

 

At the business desk, I'm Heather DeMarco wishing you a pleasant wekend.

ready

Friday, September 14, 2007

Important news for women

Hey there!  I'm Alix Shadonnay at the business desk and it's time for our weekly feature focusing on important news for women. 
Too many persons find it easier to not give women a chance to prove themselves.  They prefer to say that women are less than adequate in the workplace.  That women don't have what it takes to become managers.  That a woman's place is in the home.  That women should stay out of the business world. 
Personally, I find this very disheartening but above all very disappointing and downright cowardly.  I would like to see more women step up to the plate and voice their disapproval. 
Too many women fall prey to society's opinion of them and in particular if the woman happens to be classified as disabled, then woe on to be them.  This week I'd like to share an article with you that was recently passed on to us by our associate Donna J Jodhan.  Donna herself is a very successful special needs consultant and author.  She is blind, and not only is she an author and consultant, but she is also a researcher, plus so much more. 
Donna was the main researcher to Jeff N Marquis and Kerry J Harrison during the writing of their most recent book Untapped Wealth Discovered and she is one of the producers of our daily blogs.  I'm going to publish the article that she passed on to us and then I'm going to give you some up to date info on her company. 
Here now is the article.  We hope that you find it inspirational.
 
Blind and partially sighted women are challenging the public to see them in a different light
 
MCSC Ann Marie Houston: For one sight only! Diamonds and white dresses
 
BLIND and partially sighted women are challenging the public to see them in a different light.
 
Forget white sticks and think shimmering in white dresses and dazzling in diamonds.
 
That's exactly what Strabane woman Anne Marie Houston, Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB) Project officer, will be donning at the launch of the new Derry office, which will service the West, including Tyrone, this Saturday evening.
 
She said, "A common perception of blind and visually impaired (VI) people is of self-conscious and low-achieving individuals who depend on others and are resigned to their fate. However, this is not the reality.
 
"Low expectations can dictate what we allow ourselves to be but local blind and visually impaired women invite you to challenge this misconception at the official Project Launch on Saturday.
 
"Last October RNIB (Royal National Institute of Blind and Partially-Sighted People) opened its doors to the women of the West, making its services more accessible to those living beyond the Greater Belfast area.
 
The EASW Project (Employability and Skills for Women) aims to equip its members with the tools to successfully overcome the unique challenges they face as a result of their sight loss.
 
Offering confidence building, personal development, mentoring, IT training and volunteer placements.
 
Annmarie Houston, herself visually impaired, is passionately committed to introducing and supporting these women in furthering their careers and in developing a more positive attitude to their future. "
 
The Derry office, based at Magazine Street, is open to all women who consider themselves to have a sight problem. If you, a family member or someone you know feels limited by imperfect vision, all those involved with the project invite you to contact them, by phone, email or, better still, in person.
 
In recent months the project has provided support and training to around fifty women, who were either born with or later developed sight difficulties, enabling them to fulfil their true potential. Members are aged 16 to 65 and resident throughout the west, including Tyrone.
 
It's time to celebrate the achievements of all its members and to encourage more women and their families to avail of the services and support in the future.
 
Anne Marie adds, "These VIPs will be getting all glammed up to make an impact contrary to popular perception, appearing on the night dressed in white and diamonds - for one sight only!"
 
"Friends" a fantastic group from Strabane will be playing and a great night is promised to all.
 
For tickets (£20-dinner dance or £5-dance only) or any further information, please contact Annmarie on 71 366 060, Monday-Friday, 10am-4pm or via email: annmarie.houston@rnib.org.uk.
 
 
http://www.nwipp-newspapers.com/SC/free/311233222348543.php
 
Now for the info on Donna Jodhan's company.
 
They call themselves a "One Stop Writing Shop" and well they should.  There are not too many companies around at present that are able to do this and do it so well.  The experts call them unique!  They offer complete services that can help you do research, write, translate and transcribe your info into multi languages.  For absolutely free they can help you to keep abreast of important trends and news items if you're either too busy to search for them or you don't know where to find them.  They can help you to increase your revenues, reduce your costs, and expand your customer bases.  They can offer you a free online monthly magazine filled with info designed to help you keep abreast of market trends and consumer habits and articles that will point you in the right direction when it comes to finding opportunities that are explosive, lucrative, but above all safe.
To learn more visit them at www.sterlingcreations.ca.
 
At the business desk, I'm Alix Shadonnay wishing you a pleasantt weekend.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Translators rising to great prominence

Good evening!  I'm Kerry J Harrison at the business desk and it's time for our weekly spotlight on the world of translators and related topics.
Don't take the services of translators for granted.  This unique group of skilled professionals is in very great demand these days  and it all has to do with anyone and everyone making great attempts to improve their communication.  Several global governments are at the head of the list when it comes to those who are desperately seeking the services of translators.  China and India in particular are leading the pack and even good old Uncle Sam is right there in mix.
America is seeking translators who can communicate in Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, and other Asian languages.  Due to the increase in global trade more and more stakeholders are literally popping up each day or coming out of the woodwork looking for translators to help them keep up with the competition on the global stage.  you see, America is no longer able to claim that it is the one and only number 1 economic power in the world.  Many other countries are starting to catch up and accordingly the American government is turning to translators, interpreters, and linguists to help it keep its feet firmly planted in the driver's seat.  It's going to be quite challenging for the United States to hold on to the numero uno position but it can be done and if you're seeking those lucrative opportunities to realize personal and financial satisfaction, then here's your chance. 
The perception that translators are over worked and underpaid are no longer true.  No!  Not true anymore.  Everyone involved in driving the demand for translation services is openly admitting that they are willing to pay top dollar for these types of services and the experts are predicting that the future for translators will be extremely bright for at least the next 25 years.
 
Time now for our weekly translation news round-up.
 
When in Rome, look up a tender
Czech Business Weekly - Prague,Czech Republic
And even in the case of smaller firms, communication is possible via translators. I think translators are good because they don't only translate the ...
For more detail check out:
http://www.cbw.cz/phprs/2007090326.html
 
HISPANIC INFLUX GIVES LIBERAL
Kansas.com - KS,USA
Police officers calling translators at crime scenes. Old white men sipping coffee and explaining how bad things have gotten. A middle-aged father here ...
For more detail check out:
http://www.kansas.com/news/story/163871.html
 
Translation Services
We can have your company website, brochures, product packaging and other documents translated to different languages for better marketing opportunities. Â We take pride in our professional and experienced translators who are well versed ...
Buy and Sell Philippines (Free... - http://www.sulit.com.ph/index.php/classifieds+directory/id/4/Business+Products+and+Services
For more detail check out:
http://www.sulit.com.ph/index.php/view+classifieds/id/58735/Translation+Services
 
Profielen exposanten IBC 2007
Netherlands Corporate News (persbericht) - Netherlands
MITEQ manufactures subsystems such as Upconverters, Downconverters, Test Translators, Redundant Switchover Units, Video Modulators and Demodulators, ...
For more detail check out:
http://www.netherlandscorporatenews.com/archive/en/2007/09/07/v002.htm
 
Materials and mentalities
By Anne(Anne)
In the process of human becoming, both artists and archaeologists, as skilled negotiators, mediators and translators of things, have opportunities to steward, provoke and subvert our intra-relationships in the shared ecologies of our ...
Purse Lip Square Jaw - http://www.purselipsquarejaw.org/index.php
For more detail check out:
http://www.purselipsquarejaw.org/2007/09/materials-and-mentalities.php
 
Center for US-Mexico Studies Annual Lecture Series Begins Sept.19 ...
University of Texas at Dallas (press release) - Dallas,TX,USA
The program is co-sponsored by the American Literary Translators Association, the UT Dallas School of Arts & Humanities and the UT Dallas Center for ...
For more detail check out:
http://www.utdallas.edu/news/archive/2007/09-06-001.html
 
One High-Pressure Phone Room
Washington Post - United States
... that "trainers will drive translators to and from work and will be responsible for making sure they have the same opportunities for lunch as their own. ...
For more detail check out:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/09/06/AR2007090602298.html?hpid=topnews
 
Individuals Fundraising Manager
Third Sector (registration) - London,UK
To manage and oversee relationships with suppliers, agencies and translators in the UK and abroad. · To deal with information requests from member of the ...
For more detail check out:
http://jobs.thirdsector.co.uk/jobs/jobDetails/303892/Individuals-Fundraising-Manager
 
If you're seeking professional translation services then here's some important info for you.
 
Are you looking for skilled and experienced translators/writers/researchers to help you craft your articles, blogs, business letters, emails, faxes, newsletters, and proposals in multi languages? 
Are you seeking skilled and experienced language coaches to help you learn the English language more quickly and efficiently?
Then you need to visit the folks at www.translationpeople.com.  Here you'll find a team that guarantees quick turn around, professional work, and total confidentiality.  Prices are extremely affordable and services are offered in English, Spanish, French, Cantonese, and Mandarin.
Check out the free useful information page while you're there and for absolutely free you can also tap into the latest trends and headlines.
 
At the business desk, I'm Kerry J Harrison bidding you a pleasant evening.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Important news for important consumers

Good day!  I'm Jeff N Marquis at the business desk and it's time for our weekly news round-up.  You know, our very popular weekly feature where we get to share some very interesting and exciting articles with you.
I'd like to thank the many emailers who have taken the time to tell us how happy they are with this feature and we hope you enjoy this week's articles.  Moreover, we hope that these articles help to spark your imaginations into creating and developing similar products and services and that it would lead to you being able to generate new and exciting income bearing opportunities for yourself.  Just keep in mind that these products and services can help practically hundreds of millions of consumers around the world.  So now, sit back and enjoy.
 
Table of contents
 
September 12 2007
 
1  Camera lets the blind "hear" their mail
2  RadioShack.com has made a commitment to the Web Accessibility Initiative
3  AT&T Partners with Code Factory to Offer Solutions for Customers with Disabilities
4  New speech-recognition software helps those unable to type
5  New CD-R Media Feature Braille Code
6  More on AFB's Campaign to Make Cell Phones Accessible
7  Accessibility Is A Right, Not a Charity, Convenience, Luxury or Privilege
8  Haptic technology set to touch all of us
9  Radio Talk Show for the Visually Impaired
 
 
WIS News 10, South Carolina USA
Monday, July 16, 2007
 
Camera lets the blind "hear" their mail
 
By Dawndy Mercer reports
 
July 16, 2007 10:00 PM
 
NATIONAL - In a typical day, how many times do you have to read something to get by? Now imagine that same day if you could not see. Well, there's a new high-tech gadget that gives blind people more independence.
 
Like many of us, Chris Danielson gets a lot of mail. The only difference is, he can't see it.
 
Danielson says, "Normally, as a blind person, you have to sort of put your mail aside when you get home and then get somebody to read it or go through it with you later."
 
Now thanks to a small device, he can read the mail himself.
 
"Document reader. Usually, within a few seconds of the reader reading it, I can actually determine whether it's something I need to keep or not," says Danielson.
 
The reader, from the National Federation of the Blind, combines a digital camera with a small computer.
 
"All you do is basically put the camera down right on top of a document, that's the best way, and then raise it up above and snap the picture."
 
During the past year, the National Federation of the Blind has continued to conduct the activities.
 
It reads various printed formats, from the money in your wallet to the cereal box in your cupboard.
 
James Gashel, Strategic Initiatives Director at the National Federation of the Blind, says, "It'll read it just as well upside down as it would right side up or it would read it just fine sideways."
 
What makes the reader revolutionary is its portability.
 
Danielson says, "You're traveling, you go into a hotel room or a hotel restaurant, they have a menu there that you can't otherwise read."
 
Now he gets the information in a flash.
 
The reader costs about $3,300. For more information, visit
 
http://www.nfb.org
or call: 1-877-708-1724.
 
Posted by Bryce Mursch
 
http://www.wistv.com/Global/story.asp?S=6793959&nav=menu36_3
 

TWICE.com (This Week in Consumer Electronics), USA
Monday, July 16, 2007
 
RadioShack.com has made a commitment to the Web Accessibility Initiative
 
By Colleen Bohen and Alan Wolf
 
(Extract) from
Retailers Revamp Web Sites With New Functions And Cleaner Looks
 
www.radioshack.com
 
RadioShack has made a commitment to design RadioShack.com in accordance with guidelines issued by the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) of the World Wide Web Consortium. According to RadioShack, the guidelines do not affect the look for feel of the site, but will ensure that the site is accessible to people with a wide range of disabilities. The company says the guidelines are of a particular benefit to blind computer users who use screen readers or magnifiers on their computers and who rely on a keyboard rather than a mouse.
 
The move comes as the result of collaboration with major blindness organizations including the American Foundation for the Blind, the American Council of the Blind and the California Council of the Blind to develop a series of initiatives to improve services for customers with visual impairments. The initiatives will be put in place both online and in stores.
 
The company has also announced plans to implement a device designed by Ingenico in all of its stores by the end of September. According to the company, the new devices are designed to protect the financial privacy of blind and visually impaired shoppers. They feature tactile keys arranged like a standard telephone keypad that plug into point-of-sale payment terminals. They are expected to eliminate the need for visually impaired customers to share PIN numbers and other private information while they're attempting to make payments.
 
 
http://www.twice.com/article/CA6460740.html?industryid=23098
 

TMCnet.com (Technology Marketing Corp)
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
 
AT&T Partners with Code Factory to Offer Solutions for Customers with Disabilities
 
By Stefania Viscusi, Assistant Editor
 
Accessibility is an important feature in much of the solutions available today. Thanks to new technologies and advancements, providing these solutions not only for the typical user, but for the blind or visually impaired has also become important. 
 
Today, AT&T Inc. announced plans to launch new wireless software products this year that will make it easier for customers with disabilities to utilize their offerings.
 
For the newly announced plans, AT&T is partnering with Code Factory, a software company developing products designed to remove barriers to the accessibility of mobile technology for the blind and visually impaired.
 
From the partnership, AT&T will offer two new products-- Mobile Speak and Mobile Magnifier. The solutions will both be for Windows Mobile and Symbian (News - Alert) Series 60 operating system devices and will be available in the fall of '07.
 
Paul Schroeder, vice president of Programs and Policy, American Foundation for the Blind commented in a statement, "We have found that individuals who have vision loss want to be able to choose from a range of wireless handsets."
 
"Just like people who can see, customers with disabilities want options. We applaud AT&T for its leadership in investing the effort to understand and address the needs of individuals with vision loss."
 
Mobile Speak will provide a solution for those with hearing disabilities and includes a screen reader with an easy to learn command structure as well as Braille support and feedback in several languages.
 
Mobile Magnifier provides full-screen magnification for the vision impaired community and offers support for low- and high-resolution screens and can be used with or without speech feedback.
 
http://www.tmcnet.com/comsol/articles/8591-att-partners-with-code-factory-offer-solutions-customers.htm
 

 
Arizona Business Gazette, AZ, USA
Thursday, July 19, 2007
 
New speech-recognition software helps those unable to type
 
 
M.B. Pell
Arizona Business Gazette
Jul. 19, 2007 12:00 AM
 
Gene Comstock is legally blind. In the past, he had a hard time using his computer to organize events for the Engineers' Club of the West Valley, but thanks to new speech-recognition software, Comstock now can draft e-mails, track attendance and double-check programs with ease.
 
The Sun City West Foundation is offering a class to teach people how to use Dragon Naturally Speaking software. The software, compatible with Microsoft operating systems, turns speech into text.
 
"I have to type by feel, so I often make a lot of mistakes," said Comstock, a former engineer with General Electric. "And if I don't see that red squiggle line under the word, I don't know I made a mistake. With this, it reads it back to you in your own voice so you can hear where you made a mistake, which is a lot easier."
 
Ginny McKeehan, a Sun City West Foundation board member, said the software also helps people who suffer from arthritis and cannot type, people who never learned to type and professionals who rely on dictation to take down large amounts of information.
 
The course, for Sun City West residents only, is offered from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Mondays and Thursdays at the Computer West Club in the Palm Ridge Recreational Center, 13800 W. Deer Valley Drive, Sun City West. Currently, 11 people are participating.
 
Bill Mitchell, a foundation board member and author of a textbook on speech-recognition software, said the foundation will offer at least one more class at the end of September that will accommodate 21 students.
 
"It'll keep on going because once people get the word out as to what they can do, new people will come in droves," Mitchell said.
 
Along with Microsoft Word, the software also can be used with Excel and Access.
 
Comstock said the class helped him overcome a few small problems with the software. For example, he could not figure out how to make Dragon recognize his first name, Gene, as a proper noun. But the instructors quickly set him straight. "I've only been at it for three weeks, and my accuracy is already much better," he said.
 
http://www.azcentral.com/abgnews/articles/0719abg-speech0719.html
 

CDRinfo.com
Friday, July 20, 2007
 
New CD-R Media Feature Braille Code
 
Mitsubishi Chemical Media Ltd introduced today a new series of CD-R media, specialy designed for people with weak vision.
 
The new discs feature a special surface that includes information about the type, the capacity and the recording speed of the discs in the Braille code, a special language commonly used among blind people.
 
The new discs will be available in Japan next month.
 
http://www.cdrinfo.com/Sections/News/Details.aspx?NewsId=20981
 

AFB (American Foundation for the Blind) Blog
Thursday, July 19, 2007
 
More on AFB's Campaign to Make Cell Phones Accessible
 
By Paul Schroeder
 
From Paul Schroeder, VP, Programs and Policy Group
 
Earlier this week, I wrote about AFB's 255 Action campaign designed to improve the accessibility of cell phones.
 
 LINK:
http://www.afb.org/blog/blog_comments.asp?TopicID=3002
 
Section 255 (a law that is part of the Communications Act) requires all phones to be made usable for people with disabilities. For example, we would expect that phones would now have keys that can be identified by touch, displays that can be read by people with limited vision, and with speech output for people who cannot read the phone's display at all. Yet, this is just not happening.
 
I am pleased to see that AT&T is showing real leadership on the accessibility front. This week, AT&T announced plans to add screen reader and magnification software to several cell phones to increase usability for customers who are blind or visually impaired. We are thrilled to see a company taking meaningful steps to address the needs of individuals with vision loss, and are excited to test the new products. (And, yes, we were disappointed that AT&T also introduced the iPhone, which appears to be such an accessibility nightmare.)
 
Now, more companies need to take initiative. We just sent a letter to leading cell phone carriers and manufacturers to ask how they plan to address the needs of people with vision loss. We told these industry leaders about people's major frustrations with current cell phones, including:
 
cell phones do not provide for audio output of information displayed on the screen;
the visual displays on most phones are hard to read;
numeric and control keys are not easy to distinguish by touch; and
product manuals or phone bills are not available in braille, large print, or other formats they can read.
Given today's technological advancements-advertised constantly by cell phone carriers-it is particularly shameful that access features are not being made available. If AT&T can harness new technology to add features for people with vision loss, then all cell phone carriers and manufacturers can. We are going to continue an aggressive campaign over the next few weeks, so stay posted. In the meantime, we'd love to hear your thoughts on this important issue.
 
Posted by Carl Augusto on 7/19/2007 4:52:16 PM
 
http://www.afb.org/blog/blog_comments.asp?TopicID=3009&FolderID=25#comments
 

Blind Access Journal
Saturday, July 21, 2007
 
Accessibility Is A Right, Not a Charity, Convenience, Luxury or Privilege
 
By Darrell Shandrow
 
Blind Access Journal is almost three years old. We will be celebrating our third anniversary of concerted online accessibility evangelism on December 17,2007. Now that we have embarked on our second major CAPTCHA (visual verification) accessibility initiative, I thought it would be a good idea to make the agenda of Blind Access Journal plainly clear to both long time and new readers. The overarching statement we consistently make in the pages of this journal is: "accessibility is a right". Accessibility provides blind and visually impaired people with the opportunity to participate in society on terms of equality with the sighted. Inaccessibility excludes the blind and visually impaired, resulting in exactly the opposite condition. We must have accessibility in the form of "reasonable accomodations" that permit us to participate, in order that we may be afforded the opportunities to live, learn and work in the world around us. Though we greatly appreciate anyone who is willing to work cooperatively with us, we must also keep in mind that full and equal participation of the blind in society ought not, ultimately, be a charity, convenience, luxury or privilege, but rather a human right in just the same way as those earned by women, minorities and other groups of human beings who have found themselves disallowed from full participation in one or more important elements of their society at different times in history.
 
The concept of charity revolves around the ability and willingness of people who have something (clothing, food, shelter) to share that wealth with those less fortunate. Rescue Missions, soup kitchens and other efforts to feed and shelter the homeless population are excellent examples of wonderful charities. In many cases, these organizations simply hand out food to the people who are eligible for their services. We also have non-profit, "charitable" organizations within the blind community that provide us with opportunities we would not otherwise be granted from companies in the business sector. Benetech and The Seeing Eye are excellent examples of two such organizations. Benetech now provides over 35,000 scanned electronic books to its subscribers, increasing their opportunities to read for entertainment and educational purposes. The Seeing Eye provides trained guide dogs to blind and visually impaired people to increase our ability to safely move through the world around us. Organizations like Benetech, The Seeing Eye and many others are charities in that they are non-profit, tax exempt entities with a mission to provide services not otherwise available to a minority population. In this sense, the concept of charity is quite positive. Unfortunately, there's another side to the concept of charity that is not so great with respect to accessibility issues.
 
In the old days, perhaps as recently as the 1960's here in the United States and today in other parts of the world, blind beggars would stand on street corners handing out pencils and accepting coins from passers by dropped into a can or cap. In the modern world, most blind people receive monthly checks, such as those from Social Security here in the United States, as a replacement to begging. In both cases, begging and Social Security checks simply represent a way for society to show charity toward a group of people deemed too needy to effectively care for themselves. Since the blind endure an approximate 75 percent unemployment rate, the continuation of this charity remains absolutely critical. Unfortunately, there is a dirty little secret to this form of charity. The concept involves the assumption that these poor, pitiful handicapped people should be grateful for whatever they get and should thus take their charity and leave everyone else alone. People harboring such attitudes tend to feel, whether consciously or not, that whatever small measures they take to help us should be good enough. Any indication on our part that their actions may not be sufficiently helpful is written off as whining and complaining and met either with silence or, when we are lucky, with a statement of this attitude. They resent any insistance that a better job be done to work with us for a more positive result. Karen and I call this a settle-for-less attitude, for lack of a better label. This settle-for-less attitude is deeply and profoundly offensive to those of us who simply feel we must be granted the same opportunities as people without disabilities.
 
Unfortunately, many government agencies, businesses and even some non-profit organizations continue to take this settle-for-less attitude with us. For example, paratransit providers like East Valley Dial-A-Ride here in Arizona often take the attitude that "we're doing the best we can" while refusing to hold themselves accountable for errors, act professionally with their customers or listen to constructive input from the community. This same attitude and approach to challenges is often clearly evident in the people working for the Social Security Administration, Vocational Rehabilitation and many other agencies and organizations with a mission to help people with disabilities. While people with disabilities are required to follow the provider's policies to the letter as a condition of receiving the help they need, the provider feels free to violate their stated responsibilities, often without as much as a sincere apology and explanation of the actions that will be taken to insure the violation is not repeated in the future. The settle-for-less attitude is even clearly evident on the Internet.
 
Many web sites now feature a CAPTCHA (also known as visual verification) during the registration process or even as a condition of completing business transactions. The CAPTCHAs are designed to make abuse of the web site virtually impossible for scripts and other automated computer programs, requiring that a real human being be present to pass the test. The customer or user is asked to look at a picture of a string of distorted characters and enter them correctly into an edit box in order to be permitted passage to the promised land they seek. Some web companies, such as America Online, Google and PRWeb offer an audio playback of the characters as an alternative for the blind, visually impaired or even sighted users who simply need a different way to pass the CAPTCHA test. The job of implementing audio CAPTCHA on any given web site has become much easier over the past year. For example, the FormShield CAPTCHA tool for the Microsoft .Net platform provides quite an effective audio and visual verification scheme. Another example is the free ReCAPTCHA service that provides audio and visual CAPTCHAs that also serve to assist in the process of the optical character recognition of books from print into digital formats. There is even an example of a text-based CAPTCHA, WP-Gatekeeper that permits readers of WordPress blogs to post their comments after answering a basic, text-based challenge question. Though the audio CAPTCHA continues to exclude some users, such as the deaf-blind, it represents the current technological state-of-the-art, and there's absolutely no excuse at this point for any web site to be using a CAPTCHA without at least an audio playback as a reasonable accomodation for the blind and visually impaired. Concerted research and development must continue in order to ultimately devise and implement solutions that can tell computers and humans apart in a method that is non-censory, so that all human beings will be able to pass such tests and access online resources.
 
Unfortunately, there still exist many companies and organizations on the web that insist on the settle-for-less attitude. Two examples are Yahoo! and Western Oregon University. Yahoo! invites the blind person to complete a separate form and wait for a human to call back in order to complete the action protected by the CAPTCHA, while WOU invites blind students to contact a telephone number that is supposedly staffed 24x7 in order to receive assistance. A student at Western Oregon University has told me that the results of their CAPTCHA accomodation have been less than acceptable. Many blind Yahoo! users tell us that, after completing the form as requested, the promised callback from Yahoo! personnel simply never comes, even after numerous attempts to request help. A petition has recently been initiated asking Yahoo! to add an audio alternative to their CAPTCHA. Western Oregon University, Yahoo! and all other web site operators that either provide no accomodation at all to their CAPTCHA or provide a manual process requiring human intervention are examples of those who seem to believe in the settle-for-less attitude. When no accomodation is offered, a blind person must rely on the help of a sighted individual, who may not be available for hours or even days. Many manual intervention approaches tend to result in no follow up at all or the follow up comes hours to days after the request for help is made by the blind person. In both cases, either no access is provided at all or the access is vastly inferior to that granted sighted users, who are allowed instant gratification as soon as they are able to pass the visual verification process. Some in the blind community, myself included, feel that the current state of affairs with inaccessible CAPTCHA is tantamount to the segregation experienced by African-Americans before the mid to late 1960's.
 
A convenience or luxury item is clearly defined as something that is nice to have but is not required in order to fill basic needs such as food, clothing and shelter. For most people in society, the acquisition of those basics ultimately requires gainful, paid employment. Most jobs now require the employee to use a computer and other electronic office equipment. If an employee is unable to use one or more critical job-related computer programs, they are unable to be considered as candidates for the position or may lose their existing employment. This happens to blind people on a regular basis. It would have happened to me in February of 2006, had I not put my foot down and absolutely insisted on a better outcome. We are regularly receiving testimonials from others experiencing situations where their employment is in jeopardy simply due to a lack of cooperation on the part of software developers to make reasonable accomodations that would allow their software to function with screen readers and other assistive technology. These accessibility issues are further frustrated by the fact that most of the currently entrenched screen reader manufacturers refuse to innovate in ways that would increase the usability of those applications that have already been identified as inaccessible. It is absolutely critical that all assistive technology companies focus on innovation and stop engaging in destructive, unproductive, wasteful efforts such as filing lawsuits and other similar anti-competitive moves.
 
In addition to technology access concerns, transportation is an issue for many blind and visually impaired individuals. Most sighted people drive themselves to work, while a small percentage of the sighted ride the bus, subway or some similar form of public transportation. While most blind people are able to safely utilize buses or subways, many are not for various reasons. Those who can't take advantage of the regular public transportation system in a city may rely on a paratransit service such as Dial-A-Ride. When a paratransit service causes their customer to be late to their job due to an issue outside the customer's control, the employee may be written up and, ultimately, may lose their job altogether, even after successfully working around the technology access challenges. Such scenarios are, of course, also quite inexcusable.
 
Accessibility is not a convenience or luxury item! We must have equal accessibility to information and transportation in order to educate ourselves and acquire gainful, paid employment. It is just that simple and obvious. Consideration of accessibility as a convenience or luxury item is another component of the settle-for-less attitude demonstrated all too often by the agencies, assistive technology companies and organizations with a stated mission to help us, Federal, state and local government agencies charged with the duty to serve all citizens, the developers of mainstream products and services and even most blind people who are willing to accept inaccessibility without insisting on something better. When we encounter a case of inaccessibility that holds us back, we must start by politely asking for positive change, but we must also be willing to insist on the right thing being done and, even, demand equal accessibility when necessary. In most cases, sadly, accessibility is going to continue under the settle-for-less banner unless we, the blind and visually impaired community negatively impacted by the lack of equal opportunity caused by inaccessibility, stand up and take action!
 
Although most sighted people in modern times would probably consider it a right, the ability to drive an automobile is actually an excellent example of a privilege. The driver must pass a test showing basic competencies, acquire a driver's license and purchase the vehicle along with auto insurance, fuel and maintenance. Only after that do all the components exist for driving. Driving most certainly requires either gainful employment, retirement income in the case of senior citizens or some other substantial form of financial support. You do not have a legal right to drive a car. If you are willing to use public transportation or walk, you do not need to drive in order to meet your basic food, clothing and shelter needs. You can acquire most forms of education or employmehnt without independent use of a vehicle. The case is similar with luxury items, such as cable television or the ability to eat dinner out at a nice restaurant once in awhile. Of course, when accessibility allows blind people to acquire paid work, we are sometimes afforded these luxuries equivalent to similar opportunities afforded the sighted.
 
Accessibility is clearly not a luxury item or a privilege. Equal access places us on a level playing field with our sighted peers, so that we may equally participate with them in society for the purpose of meeting our basic needs as well as acquiring conveniences and luxury items when available resources allow. We are not able to meet those basic needs, much less acquire conveniences and luxury items, without the accessibility afforded by reasonable accomodations. No accomodation at all is never reasonable. Sighted people employed by or in leadership positions at agencies, companies, government institutions or organizations ought to be empathetic, understanding how they might like to be accomodated if they or a close friend or relative were blind or visually impaired. Blind people must learn to become better, more persistent advocates for themselves as well as evangelists for the good message of equal accessibility. Accessibility is simply the ethical, moral, and sometimes legal, right thing to do! I can imagine the great things that could happen if an increasing number of blind and visually impaired people would simply take more actions to convince, insist and, sometimes, demand more sighted people to become empathetic or, at least, do the right thing as a result of relentless pressure applied in the right amounts and circumstances. I believe the "if you build it, they will come" approach to accessibility evangelism can work if we, as a blind community, work much harder than we are now on both an individual and organizational level to communicate with the assistive technology companies and the developers of mainstream technology, reminding them of our needs and our constant insistance on having them met effectively. Remember, my blind brothers and sisters, most sighted people still don't even know that we are able to use computers!
 
posted by Darrell at 3:37 PM
 
http://www.blindaccessjournal.com/2007/07/accessibility-is-right-not-charity.html
 

The Hindu, India
Thursday, July 19, 2007
 
Haptic technology set to touch all of us
 
By ANAND PARTHASARATHY
 
Recent product launches may trigger off the next wave of tactile technology in consumer devices 
 
Caption: Touch and tell: Microsoft's Bill Gates demonstrates the touch-sensitive features of Hewlett Packard's TouchSmart PC, running Windows Vista
 
Technology may be the 'hidden hand' - no pun intended - of etymology! The term, 'hands-on computing' has come to assume a whole new meaning, when your fingers do more than jab at a keyboard; when they interact with the computing surface and receive a reassuringly reciprocal sensation that tells you, that your wish is its command.
 
 Origin of haptics
 
The ancient Greeks called it 'haphe' or 'haptesthai' - meaning contact or touch - the origin of the modern science of haptics: applying the sensation of touch to interact with computers.
 
In its earlier form this meant the use of special input/output devices like joysticks or data gloves to receive feedback from computers in the form of sensations felt in the hand and other parts of the body. It was central to technologies like Virtual Reality, which used elaborate gloves and headsets to achieve sensory realism.
 
Haptics have been used for medical simulations - allowing trainee surgeons to get a feel of a real operation without having to work on live subjects.
 
It has also been used to give the surgeon a more natural feel when deploying robot-assisted minimally invasive surgery systems, the best known of which is the DaVinci system from Intuitive Surgical. They have also been used in a variety of civil and military simulators from road vehicles to weapon systems.
 
All these are high-end industrial applications of haptics. and they have not 'touched' lay users - till now. But the explosion in 'convergence' devices at the confluence of PC, TV and Internet, has changed all that.
 
The customer's demand
 
The new and emerging customer is saying: "If you want me to use a computer or surf the Internet as easily as I use my television set, then I demand the simplicity of the TV."
 
Industry has heard the underlying threat in this demand. Which is why Francis Lee, Chief Executive of Synaptics, a leading maker of touch sensors, told the Associated Press last week: "This new ( touch) interface will be like a tsunami, hitting an entire spectrum of devices."
 
Hewlett Packard's new TouchSmart IQ770 PC, just launched in India, uses a 19-inch touch-sensitive screen as a user-friendly interface for all its functions - as entertainment centre, home security and control console, Internet browser and as a plain old personal computer.
 
Microsoft which generally touted voice as the emerging personal device interface, has nevertheless made its own 'touching' contribution. the 'Surface,' a table-top computer whose large plastic-topped surface hides a numbers of scanners, projectors and the heart of a personal computer. You could read the menu in a hotel, off the table top, touch an item to order it - then eat it at from the same surface. Perhaps the most hyped consumer offering to exploit touch technology is Apple's i-Phone. This all-in-one, phone-multimedia-Net-access device does away entirely with the mobile phone's keyboard and substitutes a screen that uses what is known as multi-touch technology.
 
You can slide a finger up and down to scroll through your address book, flick it to open and leaf through a photo album and glide it across the screen to open other applications.
 
Conventionally, touch sensitive screens are created by embedding a resistive or capacitive layer just beneath the exposed surface.
 
Touching it sets off changes in the electric current that runs between the two layers and knowing the coordinates of the spot touched on a grid, allows the computer to interpret the action.
 
Today's tactile technologies have become a bit more sophisticated. For the iPhone, it has deployed a proprietary gesture-enhanced multi-touch technology.
 
Dummies explanation
 
A recent article in Popular Science gave a dummies explanation: By setting off minute tremors, much like the vibrate mode of mobile phones, it fakes the feel of a real button or key.
 
From my own brief experience with the iPhone its haptic technology is no match for some work-in-progress called Haptikos, that I saw at a recent Nokia technology showcase.
 
The 'kick-back,' I got when 'touching' a virtual key on the screen of the phone was very palpable.
 
Even this may seem like yesterday for customers of the latest games controller, the Falcon, from the US-based Novint Technologies. Replacing mouse and joystick with a small robot device, it provides stunning levels of tactile realism, using what is known as 3-D-Touch, technology developed by the San Francisco-based Lunar Design.
 
'Pick up' a basketball and you feel its weight and inertia; 'fire' a weapon and your fingers are jolted by its recoil.
 
Interestingly, Lunar has put 3-D-Touch into car and aircraft simulators. Now the technology that used to cost Rs 1 lakh or more is available in a games controller for the equivalent of Rs 8,000.
 
Truly, haptic technology seems set to 'touch' all of us in the months to come.
 
 
 http://www.thehindu.com/seta/2007/07/19/stories/2007071950021500.htm
 

Bella Online
Saturday, July 21, 2007
 
Radio Talk Show for the Visually Impaired
 
By Carla Ruschival
 
Carla Ruschival
BellaOnline's Vision Issues Editor
 
Sound Prints is a weekly radio talk show all about topics of interest to the blind and visually impaired. It is also a good resource for family members of people who are just losing their vision.
 
Sound Prints brings you an hour of news and interesting interviews each week. Subjects discussed include:
 
* Jobs - It is estimated that nearly 70 per cent of people with low vision are unemployed or underemployed. Guests on Sound Prints are often blind or visually impaired people who are working successfully in a variety of jobs.
 
* Technology - Adaptive technology is bringing all kinds of new opportunities to the blind. Not only does technology open up new jobs, but it also makes it possible for visually impaired people to handle many daily tasks much more easily. Talking microwaves, talking clocks, accessible games and MP3 players are just a few examples of everyday adaptive technology. Computers that talk, braille displays, and handheld electronic magnifiers are very high-tech and very helpful, both on and off the job. Sound Prints listeners learn about the latest in high and low tech.
 
* Legislation and Advocacy - Sound Prints keeps you up-to-date on the latest bills, court cases and regulations that impact blind and visually impaired people. Question-and-answer show segments help listeners learn how existing laws apply to their daily lives. Topics such as transportation, Social Security, Medicare, accessible currency, and accessible textbooks are just some of the issues discussed.
 
* Daily Living Tips - The show hosts and listeners often share all kinds of tips and ideas. Hobbies, cooking tips, and new gadgets are often discussed.
 
* Upcoming events - Upcoming national events, as well as activities of interest to visually impaired Kentuckians, are covered on each week's show.
 
Sound Prints is produced by the Kentucky Council of the Blind. It has been on the air since May, 2002. Its co-hosts are Michael McCarty and Carla Ruschival.
 
Michael is a graduate of the Kentucky School for the Blind and the University of Louisville; his major was communications. He is currently employed as the Fred's Head Database Co-ordinator at the American Printing House for the Blind. He is a parent, guide dog user, and vice president of both the Kentucky Council of the Blind and the Greater Louisville Council of the Blind.
 
Carla is also a graduate of the Kentucky School for the Blind and the University of Louisville, with a degree in elementary education. She has run her own business, taught children and adults for over 30 years, and currently homeschools her grandson. She is a Lion, a member of the boards of the Guide Dog Users of Kentucky, the KSB Alumni Association, the Council of Families with Visual Impairment, and the Kentucky Council of the Blind. Nationally, she is a director on the Board of the American Council of the Blind, and she co-ordinates the ten-day annual ACB convention.
 
You can listen to Sound Prints in three different ways:
 
* Sound Prints is broadcast live each week on Wednesday evenings from 6:00 to 7:00 PM Eastern Time. It is heard on WKJK 1080-AM in Louisville, Kentucky.
 
* Sound Prints is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on the Kentucky Council of the Blind website. Visit KCB
 
LINK:
http://www.kentucky-acb.org/
 
and follow the Sound Prints link; the new show is usually available by 10:00 PM Eastern Time each Wednesday evening.
 
* Sound Prints is heard on ACB Radio Mainstream, beginning on Thursday evening at 9:00 PM Eastern Time and repeating every odd hour through 7:00 PM Eastern on Friday evening. Go to ACB Radio
 
LINK:
http://www.acbradio.org/
 
and follow the Mainstream channel link to hear the show.
 
 
http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art29626.asp
At the business desk, I'm Jeff N Marquis.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Increasing your website's popularity with free online magazines

Greetings everyone!  I'm Jayna Sheffield at the business desk and today I'd like to zoom in on a very interesting concept presently hitting our shores.
It's being called the online magazine fever and for the past year it has been going guns across the United States.  More and more companies are using it, in small and medium sized businesses.  They producing free online magazines and posting them on their websites.  They're filling these magazines with articles of interest that relate to the type of business that they're offering and the benefits being realized are many.
Some of these include:  Packing and enriching their websites with content that attracts the attention of search engines.  Attracting the attention of more visitors.  Showing off their knowledge. Using their online magazines to gain valuable feedback from their customers.  Increasing their Internet presence.
Free online magazines are a very good way for small businesses to learn more about their customers and in turn for customers to get to know them better.  Free online magazines enable small and medium sized businesses to stay close to the pulse of their market and this tool is a very good way for these types of companies to use when trying to keep up with bigger companies.  Free online magazines can be used as a win-win situation for both them and their customers.  Companies win because they get to market themselves for free, learn about their customers, and show off their expertise.  Customers win because they get to learn more about their providers and they don't have to pay to do this.
What needs to be kept in mind is that when posting your free online magazines, you should always include feedback forms or provide an email address for your readers to write to.  Encourage your readers to email their comments to you.  Produce articles that are interesting, easy to read, and easy to understand.  Make your free online magazines down loadable.  Make your articles newsworthy.  For an example of a free online magazine visit www.sterlingcreations.ca/magazine.html.
 
If you're seeking writers to help you launch your free online magazine then I have a message for you.  Please see below. 
 
Looking for ideas and opportunities to crack the over 50s market?  The baby boomer market?  The seniors market?  Other niche markets?
Are you seeking opportunities in markets that are explosive, lucrative, but above all safe?
Are you having difficulty keeping abreast of important trends and news items because you're either too busy or don't know where to look?
Then you need to visit www.sterlingcreations.ca and there you'll find a suite of services that can help you to get where you want to go.
From writing to research, and translation to transcription.  There is even a free monthly online magazine that is crammed with very vital and valuable information.  You can even keep abreast of breaking trends and headlines for absolutely free.
Check it out at your convenience.
 
At the business desk, I'm Jayna Sheffield wishing you a pleasant evening.

Pay attention to the service business idea strategy

Hello there!  I'm Matt Chadwick at the business desk and today I'd like to bring your attention to a very important technique that many companies of all sizes are using these days.  It has been coined as the service business idea technique and if you'd like to know more about the growing popularity of this technique then please visit www.untappedwealth.com/business-strategies.html
This technique has been around for quite a while now but up till two or three years ago it was not given much importance.  However, because of a very fast growing group of consumers with plenty of influence both financially and in numbers, this technique has become King of the country and many companies of all sizes are now deploying it like hot bread.  The service business idea technique is very logical and sensible and it only makes sense for companies to use it.
They're using it to attract more and more aging consumers and special meeds consumers as these types of consumers continue to demand that companies provide services to improve such things as convenience, affordability, and flexibility.  More and more aging consumers are demanding these services because they want to be able to live more comfortably and boy do they have the money to pay for it.  They're just not demanding it, but they expect it and they have the big bucks to pay.  In the case of special needs consumers, they're demanding that companies provide more and more services that would help them to improve their quality of life.
So, companies have to come up with novel and unique service business ideas in order to stay ahead of their competition and here's where you as a small business can cash in.  Many companies are already busy just trying to stay afloat but they are in dire need of others to help them implement the service business idea technique.  Accordingly, they are willing and ready to outsource to smaller businesses and they have the cash to pay or should I say that they are pulling out all the stops to make sure that they use this technique to its max. 
It's a marvellous opportunity for you to use your imagination and come up with attractive service business ideas that you can offer to these large and medium sized companies.  Put on your thinking hats and give it the old college try.  In the meantime, if you're wanting to learn more about current trends and strategies then please pay attention to the info below.
 
How would you like to keep abreast of breaking headlines, latest trends, and up to the minute news and do it all for free?  How would you like to save yourself some precious time and energy by going to a website that offers you daily updates by some very hardworking experts and all of this at no cost to you?  Would you like to learn how to keep your assets safe and protected from the fast fingers of those unscrupulous scammers, identity thieves, and cyber pirates?
The experts at www.untappedwealth.com can show you how to obtain all of this plus much more and they are offering all of this for free because they are bound and determined to help you stay away from those get rich quick schemes, those scams with broken promises and smoking mirrors, and those pitfalls that could land you in endless trouble.  Their fingers are strategically placed on what's going on minute by minute around the world and they bring it to you as it happens.  Take advantage of their knowledge and experience and do it at no cost. 
 
At the business desk, I'm Matt Chadwick bidding you a pleasant day. 

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Time to research before you take that all-important step

Hello there!  I'm Matt Chadwick at the business desk and today I'd like to focus some attention on those who do not take enough time to do their research before taking the all important big step.  Too many of us are so guilty of falling into the all too familiar pitfall of not looking before we leap. 
We want to go into business so we do it with our hearts instead of our heads.  We go out and without thinking we spend precious savings and borrowed funds to start a business based on info from well meaning friends and family and before we know it we're in deep water!  Water that starts to rise above our heads and then...  We start drowning and there are no life belts for us to cling to.  Those well meaning family and friends are nowhere around to give advise so we're now on our own to swim or sink.  Why is this happening?  Simple!  We did not take the time to do our research.
Some of us want to sell off our business because we're just too tired of working for ourselves so guess what?  We listen to our hearts and sell blindly and before we know it, we've gone and done something that we regret only too late and then we can't reverse our decision.  Why did this happen?  Because we did not take the time to think.  Instead we acted impulsively and now we have to live with the consequences.
Here's another scenario.  We are itching to earn more income so what do we do?  We take our savings and decide to play the stock market.  We don't really know how to start so we go out there and find an investment analyst who convinces us that they know how to make quick profits for you.  Sounds good to you so you take the plunge and invest your hard earned savings with them.  Two or three years down the road you wake up and realize that the promises that were made by this fast talking investment analyst have not been realized but now it's too late!  You've come to realize that you've lost rather than gained and...  Why did this happen?  You know why.  You did not take the time to do your research and find the safest and most logical way to invest your money.
Need I go on?  You get the picture.  Time for you to take a look at our book picks of the week.
  
It's time now for book talk!  Our Amazon picks of the week.
   

Street wise small business book of lists hundreds of lists to help you reduce costs, increase revenues, and boost your profits Adams Streetwise series

By Gene Marks

This is a good book for those of you seeking to reduce costs and increase revenues.  I guess that we are all always looking to do these things so why re-invent the weel?  Learn from this author.

 

The business sale system insider secrets to selling any small business

By James Laabs

If you're seeking to sell your small business, then this book has some very good points for you to keep in mind.  Too often we go about things in a haphazard manner and end up getting into hot water because we did not take the time to do our research.  This book can help you.

 

Untapped Wealth Discovered

By Jeff N Marquis and Kerry J Harrison

Again, a book that can save you tons of research hours if you're seeking to do things the right way when it comes to setting up businesses that can actually make it in the market.  The authors do a good job at giving you ideas and strategies to help you discover real markets with real demand.

 

I'd like to end now by leading you to a website that can help you to attract millions of consumers in those lucrative foreign markets.

 

Are you looking for skilled and experienced translators/writers/researchers to help you craft your articles, blogs, business letters, emails, faxes, newsletters, and proposals in multi languages? 
Are you seeking skilled and experienced language coaches to help you learn the English language more quickly and efficiently?
Then you need to visit the folks at www.translationpeople.com.  Here you'll find a team that guarantees quick turn around, professional work, and total confidentiality.  Prices are extremely affordable and services are offered in English, Spanish, French, Cantonese, and Mandarin.
Check out the free useful information page while you're there and for absolutely free you can also tap into the latest trends and headlines.

 

At the but;siness desk, I'm Matt Chadwick wishing you a great weekend.
 

ready

Friday, September 07, 2007

Women scoring huge gains in small business ventures

Good evening!  I'm Kerry J Harrison at the business desk and it's time for our weekly feature focusing on women.
Too many of us don't realize how many strides women have been making in the past few years re successful small business ventures and if you don't believe me then I think that it's time for you to check out the trend called small business idea for woman.  You can visit www.untappedwealth.com/business-strategies.html and there you'll see a link to the small business idea for woman. 
This trend is helping to push more and more women into successful small business ventures and in addition, our American government is making it easier these days for women to own their own businesses.  
So what types of businesses are women going into these days?  Let's take a peak.  Small business such as:
Virtual offices, health care establishments, fitness clubs, home care establishments, translation agencies, law practices, and even medical clinics.  This is just a sample but we are also finding more and more women going into their own consulting businesses and doing very well at it.  Women are just now beginning to gain the confidence to take the bull by the horns and go for broke.  More and more women are leaving the traditional workplace and making their own workplace; in the home, in their own little offices, and even on the road.  Now, when I say on the road, I mean that their self employment takes them on the road a lot.
I'd like to hand over the reins to our associate Donna Jodhan and she has a message of hope for women. 
 

Women are still earning less than men in the workplace, but there's hope…

 

Women are still earning less than men in the workplace, but this is not all bad news.  It's not a chauvinistic statement because the fairer sex is at the very forefront of an important small business trend.  According to CNN news, in the last year women owners of small businesses have grown by 23%, twice the rate of new company openings.

 

Even though this statistic is encouraging, many still face uphill battles when wanting to start something over which they have direct control.  However, this is not always possible because of circumstances that are so stereo-typical, but yet so very true:

 

  1. Being battered on a daily basis by abusive spouses.
  2. Having to be the single parent of the house.
  3. Caring for elderly parents.
  4. Having to work at more than one job in order to take care of both parents and kids.
  5. Having to deal with discrimination against them because they are female.
  6. Having to deal with discrimination against them because they are either immigrants or of an ethnic background.
  7. Having to face the challenges of being a woman and at the same time being either physically challenged or blind or visually impaired.

 

I'm here to tell all women that there's hope!  Being a woman and wanting to own your own successful business is not easy but I've done it despite being blind.   

However, we must not underestimate our willingness to create a better life for ourselves.  For those of us who are willing to search deep within our hearts, there is hope.  I am speaking from my own experience.

 

My name is Donna Jodhan and I've been the owner of a successful consulting business for over 13 years.  Having published three business books, and being currently actively involved in writing articles, blogs, and newsletters, I plan on continuing to address issues related to women, especially those who face further challenges.  You see, I was born blind and had to live through many challenges in my lifetime that are not faced by regular folks.

 

Here are some examples:

1        Professors at graduate school who did not want to work with me because I was a blind woman and they did not feel that blind women belonged in a graduate business program.

2        Managers who felt that I should be working at an agency for the blind instead of being a systems engineer.

3        Persons who feel that I am not competent enough to be a consultant because of being a woman who is blind.

4        A few years ago my business partner robbed me of over $30,000 but I survived and am still in business.

 

The hope and reality I wish to convey to women today is that if there is a will, there is a way!  This is not cliché.  I believe I am proof.  My next major challenge is to get this message across to our entire half of the population, and to be a conduit for real change. 

 

You can contact me by filling out the form on the contact us page at http://sterlingcreations.ca/contact.html (to avoid any spam emails)

 

To learn more about Donna's business pleas read on.

 

Looking for ideas and opportunities to crack the over 50s market?  The baby boomer market?  The seniors market?  Other niche markets?
Are you seeking opportunities in markets that are explosive, lucrative, but above all safe?
Are you having difficulty keeping abreast of important trends and news items because you're either too busy or don't know where to look?
Then you need to visit www.sterlingcreations.ca and there you'll find a suite of services that can help you to get where you want to go.
From writing to research, and translation to transcription.  There is even a free monthly online magazine that is crammed with very vital and valuable information.  You can even keep abreast of breaking trends and headlines for absolutely free.
Check it out at your convenience.

 

At the business desk, I'm Kerry J Harrison wishing you a pleasant weekend.

 

 
 

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Internet opportunities for translators

Hey there!  I'm Alix Shadonnay at the business desk and it's time for our weekly feature on translatorws.
The Internet has opened up practically hundreds of thousands of opportunities for translators.  There was a time when translators had to depend on the old fashion way to find employment.  Those being agencies specializing in employment for translators, through universities and colleges, and by word of mouth.  Today, it's an entirely different way of finding those lucrative and satisfying opportunities and we've got to thank the Internet for all of this.
Nowadays, translators can advertise their services through their own websites.  They can also do it by posting ads on bulletin boards and through websites that specialize in translation opportunities and in short they can advertise to the entire world through the Internet.  The one thing to keep in mind though is that they have to do it the right way. 
They need to keep abreast of what's going on in the world of translation and we want to help by doing our part.  So, we hope that the news items below can help you translators out there to get a head start. 
 
A life well lived
Pune Newsline - Pune,India
And though she had to have translators, the magnetism of her personality and belief in her cause transcended barriers of language. ...
For more detail check out:
http://cities.expressindia.com/fullstory.php?newsid=252933
 
Russian courses meet growing demand
Iowa City Press Citizen - Iowa City,IA,USA
Some of these students might have left Russia or the former Soviet Union and might serve as translators for their parents or hope to pursue a job that ...
For more detail check out:
http://www.press-citizen.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070826/NEWS01/70826005/1079
 
The Spy Who Came Out of the Shadow by Andrew G. Marshall
By dandelionsalad
With Sibel Edmonds, she joined the FBI shortly after 9/11, as they announced their need for Middle Eastern translators, and "She was fired less than a year later in March 2002 for reporting shoddy work and security breaches to her ...
Dandelion Salad - http://dandelionsalad.wordpress.com
For more detail check out:
http://dandelionsalad.wordpress.com/2007/08/29/the-spy-who-came-out-of-the-shadow-by-andrew-g-marshall/
 
The Most Common Complaints about Translation Services
By Catherine
By Marian Marcinkowski Within past years modern electronic communication has created extensive business opportunities for freelance translators. They are able to reach clients from all over the world and perform their jobs at their own ...
lynde - http://lyndeseabrook.blogs.friendster.com/lynde/
For more detail check out:
http://lyndeseabrook.blogs.friendster.com/lynde/2007/08/the_most_common.html
 
Panama Property Investments Doubling
PR Urgent - USA
They offer a customized, all- inclusive approach to real estate investing in Panama with a team that includes lawyers, surveyors, translators and builders. ...
For more detail check out:
http://www.prurgent.com/2007-08-30/pressrelease3443.htm
 
Being Multilingual Helps...
Ahmedabad Newsline - Ahmedabad,India
A new trend of learning foreign language has sprung up, with ample opportunities into a career as translators and communicators of the foreign languages. ...
For more detail check out:
http://cities.expressindia.com/fullstory.php?newsid=253553
 
At the business desk, I'm Alix Shadonnay wishing you a pleasant evening.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Important news round-up for special needs consumers

Hi everyone!  I'm Heather DeMarco at the business desk and it's time for our weekly feature.  Yes, the news round-up for our special needs consumers.
We hope you enjoy the articles that we've chosen for this week.
 
Table of contents
 
September 05 2007
 
1  Open skies
2  Inclusive Product Design Toolkit Launched by BT
3  TextAloud Takes Portables Like the iPhone (TM) to the Next Level
4  Can you hear these images?
5  Yahoo Pushes ALT-ernative Text For Images
6  NTT Com System Creates Illusion and Tactile Feeling - Video Report
7  VoiceSense, the PDA for the blind
8  SpeakOn accessible media player updated to version 1.5.2
 

OPEN SKIES WITH..                  
 
  Traveleyes
 
Latest news 12/07/07
 
Traveleyes, the world's first air tour operator company to specialise in the
needs of blind and sighted world travellers, recently announced a number of
new developments in line with their trail-blazing policy promising 'no
limits in world travel for blind and sighted people'. Their high quality
range of individually packaged holidays centres upon cultural exploration
and savouring the distinctive multi-sensory features of each world
destination.
 
Recently announced new ventures include eight days visiting cultural and
picturesque cities of Canada, savouring the unique atmosphere, aromas and
tastes of rural Tuscany and an exploration of the sleepy white villages,
great cities and rolling hills of Andalucia. The Traveleyes Travellers this
year have enjoyed a range of attractive, 'hand-made' holidays to such
destinations as Cuba, Crete, Gran Canaria and the Italian city of Sorrento.
 
Traveleyes take equally balanced groups of blind and sighted travellers to
select destinations and the emphasis is always upon unique and memorable
shared experience. Sighted travellers come from all walks of life, and with
Traveleyes they have the opportunity to explore the world at subsidised
rates. The Traveleyes system builds confidence and provides new scope for
all involved. Blind and sighted travellers alike are empowered to venture
beyond boundaries, defy restrictions and grasp a real sense of independence
and fulfillment.
       
A recent characteristically 'Traveleyes' escapade occurred when the intrepid
band of fourteen (blind and sighted) happened upon a remote primary school
in the foothills of Morocco's Atlas Mountains. The energetic welcome they
received from the excited children and their teachers inspired the
Traveleyes group to organize a spontaneous 'whip-round' and to return to the
school the next day with the local equivalent of a year's supply of new
exercise books and educational equipment purchased in a nearby town. The
delight on the faces of the children and teachers confirmed their joy at the
unexpected visit.
 
Among their range of unique services, Traveleyes exclusively offer the
world's first electronic versions of the famous 'Lonely Planet' travel
guides, which are specifically formatted for use by visually impaired
people. The newly-informed blind traveller, coupled with the vision of the
sighted traveller, makes for an unbeatable partnership.
 
The company's charismatic founder and director, Amar Latif (32) is blind,
but seems never to have allowed this fact to prevent him leading groups of
travellers on expeditions across the world.
 
He holds the accolade: 'Outstanding Young Business Entrepreneur of the
World', presented by the Chamber of Commerce International (JCI), an honour
he shares with some illustrious former winners, who include US Presidents
John F. Kennedy and Bill Clinton, and, interestingly, Easy Jet founder,
Stelios Haji-Ioannou.
 
Amar was seen by millions in the BBC2 TV series, "Beyond Boundaries", a
ground-breaking jungle endurance expedition across Central America by
individuals of various disabilities. The series was shown worldwide. 
 
Amar's other media interests have seen recent expansion. He has recently
directed a television documentary for Channel 4, which was broadcast on
April 15th 2007. The programme looked into the motivation and the experience
of visually impaired people who undertake world travel in pursuit of
cultural and aesthetic experiences. In addition, he continues with a regular
programme of inspirational public speaking appearances, addressing major
corporations and charities on a range of themes.    
 
Traveleyes has gained as many keen repeat-customers among their sighted
travellers as they have among those who are blind. The aim of the enterprise
has always been to enable people with a visual disability to enjoy the same
independence, choice of destination and freedom to book on impulse that has
always been the prerogative of sighted people. Previously, blind travellers
had to suffer the dual impediments of having to tag along with family
holidays, and also of being regarded by some travel companies and airlines
as 'special cases, presenting problems'. Amar Latif clearly enjoys
reassuring all-comers that: "at Traveleyes, to be blind is normal.. and
we're also very happy to cater for the needs of sighted people".  
 
Latif, despite enduring teenage onset of 95% sight loss due to a presently
incurable eye condition, has risen from comparatively humble Glaswegian
roots, to a broad range of achievements, including experience as an actor, a
professional singer/guitarist, and a business career which saw him rise to
Head of ICT Finance at BT. Here he had responsibility for multi millions of
pounds worth of business. 
 
In recent months, a steadily growing list of honours has included this
Strathclyde mathematics graduate being invited back to his old university to
receive the award    'Alumnus of the Year, 2006'. In a dynamic and
inspirational speech to graduates, their families and the assembled academic
body, Amar referred to the world as a place "where the sky is high, and the
horizon continually beckons to us." He went on to urge graduates to "Get out
there..and greet that world with heart and with outstretched arms... learn
its languages, unlock its codes, uncover its secrets,  set your aim for the
sky.... and hold on tight!".
 
Living up to its slogan: 'Open Skies with Traveleyes', this young and
vibrant company proudly continues to feature 'the blind' leading both the
blind and the sighted! This is a rare and dynamic example of 'equal access
for the disabled' being achieved in style by positive self-determination
rather than being governmentally imposed by albeit well-intentioned quota
systems.
 
Blind and sighted travellers with a thirst to see more of the world can
contact 'Traveleyes' for information. Call 08709 220221 or visit
http://www.traveleyes.co.uk/ www.traveleyes.co.uk.
 

Sourcewire.com (UK)
Thursday, July 12, 2007
 
Inclusive Product Design Toolkit Launched by BT
 
By Submitter: Sagentia Group (The Generics Group)
 
Press Release Date: 12-07-2007
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE : BT LAUNCHES THE INCLUSIVE DESIGN TOOLKIT
 
Today BT launches a new online Inclusive Design Toolkit, at this year's annual New Designers event at the Business Design Cente, in Islington.
 
LINK:
http://www.inclusivedesigntoolkit.com/
 
The event is aiming to encourage the industry-wide design community to develop products and services which are accessible by everyone, irrespective of age, ability or circumstance.
 
The website was commissioned by BT and developed by Sagentia,
 
LINK:
http://www.sagentia.com/
 
a lead member of the CITD (Centre for Inclusive Technology and Design), in conjunction with iDesign.
 
LINK:
http://www-edc.eng.cam.ac.uk/idesign/
 
It took three years to complete and provides a comprehensive guide to the principles and commercial benefits of inclusive design.
 
The Inclusive Design Toolkit has been developed to support designers and those involved in product development, as well as providing a general guide to inclusive design for businesses. Steve Andrews, BT's inclusive design champion, said: "Disabled people want to take advantage of new communication technologies just like anyone else and with 10 million disabled people in the UK at present, a figure which will increase as the population ages, this is an audience which must not be forgotten. We are proud of the products and services BT has developed and increasingly see the benefits of designs that are 'customer friendly' and easy to use. This is why we have invested in helping develop this toolkit."
 
BT commissioned the Inclusive Design Toolkit as part of its ongoing commitment to creating a more socially inclusive society and forms part of BT's Corporate Social Responsibility Programme. BT has a reputation for developing products which can be used by all of its customers, regardless of age or ability and has developed inclusively designed products and services for a number of years. These include the Converse range, aimed at both business, deaf and hard of hearing customers, introduced in 1992 and the BT Big Button range, introduced in 1998. BT has also provided bills to customers through alternative media, such as Braille and large print for over 15 years and in May 2007 BT Sign was launched, www.bt.com/sign providing information about products and services in British Sign Language.
 
As part of the launch, BT also announced a competition calling for the submission of designs based on the elements taught in the toolkit, for the chance to win £2,000. For further information log onto www.rsadesigndirections.org
 
-END-
 
Notes to Editor:
 
Testimonial
 
"Inclusive design is often talked about but rarely put into practice. This toolkit clearly demonstrates how these concepts can fit into the design cycle. Inclusive design needs to be seen as a route to better design rather than an afterthought or add-on to the process. We would like to see this become mainstream practice very quickly." Mike Rodd, Director of Learned Society and External Relations, British Computer Society
 
Timeline of Inclusive Design at BT:
 
1992 - BT introduced accessibility features into the converse range of phones
1998 - BT Big Button phone launched
2002 - BT included disability products in mainstream TV advertising
2006 - BT became the first FTSE 100 company to provide information to customer in British Sign language
2007 - BT launched free online Inclusive Design Toolkit
 
About Sagentia
 
Sagentia is a global technology management and product development company. Established in 1986, our unwavering commitment to innovation has led to the launch of new technologies, services and breakthrough products in six global markets. We employ more than 200 staff and have offices in six locations worldwide. Sagentia was instrumental in the CITD and is a leading expert on Inclusive Design and its application to technology. www.sagentia.com
 
About i-design
 
i~design 2 is an on-going collaborative research programme on inclusive design funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council www.epsrc.ac.uk. For more information please see
http://www-edc.eng.cam.ac.uk/idesign/.
 
About BT
 
BT is one of the world's leading providers of communications solutions and services operating in 170 countries. Its principal activities include networked IT services; local, national and international telecommunications services; higher-value broadband and internet products and services and converged fixed/mobile products and services. BT consists principally of four lines of business: BT Global Services, Openreach, BT Retail and BT Wholesale.
 
In the year ended 31 March 2007, BT Group plc's revenue was £20,223 million with profit before taxation of £2,484 million.
 
British Telecommunications plc (BT) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BT Group and encompasses virtually all businesses and assets of the BT Group. BT Group plc is listed on stock exchanges in London and New York.
 
For more information, visit www.bt.com/aboutbt
 
 
http://www.sourcewire.com/releases/rel_display.php?relid=32567&hilite=
 

PRweb.com (Press Release)
Thursday, July 12, 2007
 
TextAloud Takes Portables Like the iPhone (TM) to the Next Level
 
Popular Text to Speech program is the perfect solution for iPhones (TM), iPods (R) and other devices.
 
Clemmons, NC (PRWEB) July 12, 2007 -- With the recent release of the next generation of portables like Apple's enormously popular iPhone (TM), there's never been a better time for people to discover the power of Text to Speech products like NextUp.com (www.NextUp.com) software TextAloud.
 
The iPhone (TM) offers customers a host of technological solutions from telecommunications, to games, e-mail and more in one smart, streamlined device  
 
Introducing an entirely new user interface, the iPhone (TM) is a revolutionary new portable combining three products into one small, lightweight handheld device. For users who create audio files for use on their portable devices, and who seek the perfect hardware complement to Text to Speech, a product that operates as a mobile phone, a widescreen iPod (R) and a pocket Internet browser is more than ideal. TextAloud is a terrific fit for use with this kind of new technology.
 
"Users of iPhones (TM) as well as other recently launched multitasking portable devices are clamoring for useful software programs that allow users to utilize them to their fullest potential," comments NextUp President Rick Ellis. "Products like the iPhone (TM) illuminate what a portable device is really capable of, especially when enhanced with the power of Text to Speech."
 
Equally useful for commuters and truck drivers, students and teachers, TextAloud is an award-winning program that enables anyone to easily and affordably export books, magazine articles, web content, even e-mails, into spoken audio. TextAloud smoothly converts text into spoken audio for listening on a PC or laptop, and can also save text to audio files for playback on portables like the iPhone (TM), iPod (R), PocketPC (R), and a wide range of other players and devices. A software program that is highly popular with people of a variety of professions and walks of life, TextAloud is inexpensively priced, and is simple for anyone with a PC, laptop or portable.
 
"The iPhone (TM) offers customers a host of technological solutions from telecommunications, to games, e-mail and more in one smart, streamlined device," adds Ellis. "TextAloud and other Text to Speech products help to truly maximize the efficiency of these kinds of devices by incorporating the ease and convenience of spoken audio. They become not just valued, but invaluable."
 
In addition to a host of useful features, TextAloud even offers specific enhancements especially for users who use the program to listen to their emails in Microsoft Outlook (R), another highly useful feature for iPhone (TM) users. In addition, TextAloud's easy and friendly VCR-like controls and high-quality assortment of Premium Voices make it easier than ever to select and hear e-mail messages via portable -- the perfect solution for business users and commuters who wish to maximize their time.
 
"The release of the iPhone (TM) really highlights the many uses possible in portable technology, and when utilized in combination with TextAloud, can really help thousands of users everywhere to get more out of their commutes, activities, work and studies," adds Ellis.
 
About TextAloud
 
TextAloud has been featured in The New York Times, PC Magazine, Writer's Digest, on CNN and more. Hailed by critics and users alike, TextAloud is priced at just $29.95, and is compatible with systems using Windows (R) 98, NT, 2000, XP and Vista. The program is available for fast, safe and secure purchase via http://www.NextUp.com
 
About NextUp.com
 
NextUp.com, a division of NextUp Technologies, LLC, provides award-winning Text to Speech software for consumers, professionals, businesses, educators and those with visual or vocal impairment or learning disabilities.
 
In addition to TextAloud, NextUp.com markets other innovative Windows software designed to save time and deliver vital information. NewsAloud (TM) is a talking personal "news agent" that finds the stories users want, and then reads them aloud or to portable audio files. WeatherAloud (TM) is a weather application that lets users select and listen to personalized weather forecasts, while StocksAloud (TM) reads stock updates and related news headlines aloud for specific companies of interest. NextUp Talker is an easy and affordable program that allows people who have lost their voices to use the latest in high-quality computer voices to communicate with others. Most recently, NextUp introduced a new text reader, AbleReader, available with the AT&T Natural Voices (TM) for use on Mac computers. Information on AbleReader is available at http://www.AbleReader.com
 
NextUp.com also offers TextAloud with optional premium voices from AT&T Natural Voices (TM), NeoSpeech (R), Nuance (R), Acapela (R) and Cepstral (R) for the most natural-sounding computer speech anywhere. Available languages include U.S. English, U.K. English, Indian Accent English, Scottish Accent English, French, Canadian French, Latin American Spanish, Castilian (European) Spanish, Mexican Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, European Portuguese, Russian, Mandarin Chinese, Cantonese Chinese, Korean, Japanese, German, Italian, Dutch, Belgian Dutch, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Polish and Arabic.
 
Evaluation copies of TextAloud are available for the press upon request. For more information on NextUp.com or TextAloud, or for a range of Case Studies on users ranging from firefighters, doctors and lawyers, to truck drivers, musicians and more, please contact publicist Angela Mitchell at (904) 982-8043 or via Admitchell @ Nextup.com.
 
All companies and products referenced in this press release are the trademarks of their respective owners.
 
http://www.prweb.com/releases/2007/07/prweb539305.htm
 

Yahoo! Yodel Anecdotal (blog)
Thursday, July 12, 2007
 
Can you hear these images?
 
By Victor Tsaran
 
July 12th, 2007 at 12:03 am
Yahoo! Accessibility Program 
 
Images/menu3
gr2/rssicon_green
balloons/balloon_mods_nancydrew
yahoo_music4/20070605_internal_1_220×125_mu_lyrics_singit
 
Do the phrases above mean anything to you? If they do, then you are genius! If they don't, then, don't worry. You are not alone!
 
This is what I, as a screen reader user, hear when I come across an image on the web that does not have "ALT attribute" or, speaking in simpler terms, is not labeled with alternative text. Put several of such images together or sprinkle tens of them throughout a web page, and you've got an unpleasant browsing experience and a very unhappy user.
 
The Yahoo! Accessibility Stakeholders Group decided to do something this week to help reduce the number of unlabeled images on Yahoo! web sites as well as to encourage Yahoo! developers and designers to pay attention to things that are not readily visible on the screen. In other words, you do not always get what you see!
 
ALT attribute, as it's known in the developer's world, is a feature of HTML language to provide alternative text for any image on the screen. Alternative text is invisible to the user, but is used by screen readers to describe the image to a blind user or by the browser to display something inside the image placeholder while the image itself is loading (this normally happens on a slow connection). Thus, our internal ALT= campaign came into existence!
 
Listen to the screen reader sound sample of images with and without ALT attribute. Can you guess which is which?
 
The ALT= campaign is just one of the many programs my team has created to help Yahoos keep universal accessibility in mind as they design and build our products. We hope it'll improve your experience across our network. And if you have a web site, please mind your ALTs.
 
LINK: For an introduction to how a screen reader works, check out this video (courtesy of the Yahoo! User Interface Theater).
 
http://video.yahoo.com/video/play?vid=514676
 
Victor Tsaran
Yahoo! Accessibility Program Manager
 
http://yodel.yahoo.com/2007/07/12/can-you-hear-these-images/
 

WebProNews.com
Thursday, July 12, 2007
 
Yahoo Pushes ALT-ernative Text For Images
 
By David A. Utter
 
Thu, 07/12/2007 - 11:46.
 
By effectively labeling images that lack descriptive or any ALT-attribute text, people who use screen readers can more fully understand the contents of images on a web page.
 
Not everyone sees websites the same way. Some folks have to deal with a variety of issues that make the use of a screen reader an absolute necessity when browsing the Internet.
 
When someone posting an image to a web page includes the ALT attribute with text in the IMG tag, a screen reader can recite that text to the person browsing the image. Without ALT information, image-laden sites offer a depressing experience to screen reader users.
 
It's a situation the Yahoo! Accessibility Stakeholders Group wants to address. Victor Tsaran, of Yahoo's Accessibility Program, blogged about this on Yahoo's official blog:
 
LINK:
http://yodel.yahoo.com/2007/07/12/can-you-hear-these-images/
 
The Yahoo! Accessibility Stakeholders Group decided to do something this week to help reduce the number of unlabeled images on Yahoo! web sites as well as to encourage Yahoo! developers and designers to pay attention to things that are not readily visible on the screen.
 
The ALT= campaign is just one of the many programs my team has created to help Yahoos keep universal accessibility in mind as they design and build our products. We hope it'll improve your experience across our network.
 
Web developers of all sorts should be as mindful of their images and ALT text, especially in e-commerce. Just because someone uses a screen reader doesn't preclude them from becoming a loyal customer.
 
 

JCN Network, Japan
Thursday, July 12, 2007
 
NTT Com System Creates Illusion and Tactile Feeling - Video Report
 
By JCN Newsdesk
 
Tokyo, July 12, 2007 (JCN) - NTT Communications has developed a system which creates not only the illusion of depth visually but also the tactile feeling to go with it, allowing people to shake hands or hold solid objects from across the globe.
 
The system combines a stereoscopic camera setup with a haptic glove connected to a 3D display. When the user sees the object in front of him and touches it, the hand is manipulated by various components in the glove to make it feel as if it is touching a solid object.
 
As the process is happening in real time, when the object, such as a hand, moves, the user can also feel the movement.
 
Possible applications include video conferencing, education or making rare museum exhibit touchable.
 
LINK: View the Video Report (with sound, embedded SWF format),
 
http://movie.diginfo.tv/2007/07/10/07-0065-r.php
 
By JCN Newsdesk.
 
 
http://www.japancorp.net/Article.Asp?Art_ID=14823
 

Akihabara News, Japan
Friday, July 13, 2007
 
VoiceSense, the PDA for the blind
 
Extra, a Japanese company presented its brand new VoiceSense aimed at the lind people, an excellent product giving them access to things that we take for granted.
 
The VoiceSense is a PDA running Windows CE and equipped with great features such as a vocal guiding system, unique keyboard, possibility to write documents, PIM system (schedule, alarms, tasks, contact list...), internet browser (mail function), calculator, MP3 player, radio tuner, MSN Messenger...all using a WiFi wireless connection. Sd and CF cards can also be used.
 
The dimensions (188x77x25mm) and weight (266g) make it an easily transportable product. Expect it to hit the shelves next week (July 21st) in Japan, for (a sadly expensive) 1560?.
 
http://www.akihabaranews.com/en/news-14354-VoiceSense%2C+the+PDA+for+the+blind.html
 

a-technic adaptive & assisitive technologies (UK)
Saturday, July 14, 2007
 
SpeakOn accessible media player updated to version 1.5.2
 
By Isaac Porat
 
SpeakOn overview
Latest version available: 1.5.2, 11 July 2007
Latest update fixes a recent problem with the Last.FM player.
This release features support for TNAUK audio publications streaming, CD MP3 books, CD audio music. Settings are simplified.
 
LINK: New features in this version
http://www.a-technic.net/SpeakOn/docs/SpeakOn/ht/SpeakOn-r-0079.htm
 
SpeakOn is a free program that runs on your PC and is a speech enabled environment containing applications for listening to various media. SpeakOn has been developed for people who are comfortable using computers. It does not require a screenreader or magnifier; it does not have a visual interface and in fact does not require a screen at all. You communicate with SpeakOn using a numerical keypad or the standard keyboard and SpeakOn responds with speech. With a low cost external USB slimline numerical keypad, you can operate SpeakOn with one hand from the comfort of your armchair.
 
All SpeakOn's applications operate in exactly the same way. Once the interface is mastered, it offers a quick and easy access to all its features.
 
At the heart of SpeakOn is the 'Media Centre' application which allows you to do the following:
 
CD media - Play DAISY books, MP3 books and CD audio music.
Music - Play music stored on your computer.
Radio - Listen to many internet radio stations through the directories provided.
Podcasts - Play from source literally thousands of podcast files available through subject directories on the internet. Play podcast files downloaded by another application to your computer. Favourites links are provided to blind resources such as 'Soundings' magazine and ACB radio. Other Favourites directories such as information technology, shows, music and science are included.
 
TNAUK (Talking Newspaper Association of the UK)
eText publications - Browse, find and download automatically and then read text based newspapers, magazines and network guides.
Audio publications - Browse, find and listen to streamed narrated newspapers, magazines and network guides.
(You must be a subscriber of TNAUK to use this service which is available to the blind community for a modest annual fee.) You can visit their website at www.tnauk.org.uk.
Seeing Ear Library - Browse, find and download automatically and then read books from the Seeing Ear library. (You must be a subscriber to the Seeing Ear Library to use this service which is available free of charge to the blind community under certain conditions.) You can visit their website at www.seeingear.org.
 
You can customize many of the services above. For example, you can create and organize your music in directories of your choice. Also, you can add your favourite radio stations and organize the links to your favourite podcast resources. Similarly you can organize your magazines and books.
 
A recent addition to SpeakOn is the "Last.FM" application, which is an accessible player for the Last.FM website.
 
Last.FM is "a free service that tracks your musical taste, finds similar users, and provides musical recommendations and free personalised radio". Last.FM provides a free specialized player program which you can download and install on your PC. Unfortunately, this player is not easily accessible (if at all) to screen readers.
 
The Last FM SpeakOn application provides a player which can be operated using the usual SpeakOn interface and hence it is fully accessible.
 
Imagine that you have a radio with 40 or so stations, each of which plays a different genre of music. Imagine that you can skip a track you don't like and influence the frequency that tracks you like are played. You can also ban a track you don't like, forever. Last.FM enables you to listen to your personalized radio station which plays the tracks you like and plays the tracks that people with similar tastes to you like.
 
The Last.FM website can be found at: www.last.fm
 
Other applications for SpeakOn will be available in the future and will integrate seamlessly with SpeakOn using exactly the same user interface.
 
If you think you might be interested, read the first two pages of the Introduction section of the manual:
 
http://www.a-technic.net/SpeakOn/docs/SpeakOn/ht/SpeakOn.htm
 
SpeakOn and its applications are available to download free as a single installer. The system requirements, download and installation instructions are here:
 
http://www.a-technic.net/SpeakOn/docs/SpeakOn/ht/SpeakOn-r-0016.htm.
 
For further information and constructive suggestions you are welcome to send us an email at: speakon@a-technic.net
 
SpeakOn was conceived, developed and is maintained by Isaac Porat.
 
a-technic are also working on a complete speaking solution for the technologically frail, code name Pipistrelle and based on custom hardware. More information on Pipistrelle can be found here.
http://www.a-technic.net/pipistrelle.htm
 
Pipistrelle may use some of the SpeakOn software.
 
http://www.a-technic.net/speakon.htm
 
At the business desk, I'm Heather DeMarco wishing you a pleasant evening.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Some ppowerful marketing tools

Good day everyone!  I'm Jeff N Marquis at the business desk and as the fall fast approaches and the Christmas season following on its heels, I'd like to highlight a few very powerful marketing tools that small businesses and entrepreneurs should be considering.  No doubt, some of these may already be familiar to you but it does not hurt to revisit them.
Let's take a quick look.
 
Articles:  Used to spread the word about who you are and the knowledge or expertise that you have to offer.  Use articles to let the world know who you are and what you know.  Post your articles to websites that can give you the most exposure.  Those websites that allow to post for free may not always be the best ones to post to.
Blogs:
Use this tool to spread the word about your company.  The services you offer and the products you sell.  The nice thing about blogs is that you have unlimited space to express your opinions but do make them constructive, exciting, and interesting.
Link exchanges:
Use this tool to create a presence on the websites of others and in return allow them to create presences on yours.  However, make sure that when you get into link exchanges you exchange links that are relevant to your website.
Newsletters:
Use this tool to spread the word about your company.  Do not offer them for a price, offer them for free.  Most people would definitely snap up free newsletters.  Do not put them in emails as they may be tossed aside as spam mail.  Instead, offer them on your website.
Online magazine:
A great way to affect a combination of objectives such as describing your company, offering free articles, talking about yourself and your company, plus so much more.  There is a lot of scope here for you to pad your website with content and search engines just love this.
Websites:  Use this tool to create an Internet presence.  However, don;'to forget to make your website easy to access, usable, easy to understand, and unforgettable.  Not with busy images but with memorable words of wisdom.
 There you have it and if you're wanting to learn more about how to make your websites accessible then please read the info below.
 
 
At the business desk, I'm Jeff N Marquis wishing you a pleasant evening.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Are your teens ready for the business world?

Greetings everyone!  I'm Jayna Sheffield at the business desk and today I'd like to tickle the fancies of those parents with teens. 
Summer is almost over and with the last long holiday weekend almost behind us now, it's time for us to turn our attention to a brand new school year and in many cases a brand new year for many college students.  I know, many of you may be groaning at my comments but I have something in mind for you.
It's called the teen business idea and it's a growing trend these days.  As a matter of fact, this trend probably got started a few years ago but it is still relatively new and we have been noticing a steady growth within the last few months.  The experts are predicting that this trend will really start to take off very soon as more and more teens turn towards the creation of their very own business creations.  You can read more about this trend plus many more by visiting www.untappedwealth.com/business-strategies.html but in the meantime I'd like to furnish you with some very sobering facts and then I'll leave it up to you to make up your own minds.
First, the teen business idea trend is being pushed by several stakeholders such as the United States government, large corporations, and small businesses. 
The United States government is more than anxious to see the development of teen entrepreneurs because they feel that this will help to cement the future of our economy.  They see this as an investment in the future and to this end they have been pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into the development of processes that would encourage teens as well as persons in their early to mid 20s to go into their own businesses.  They are offering low interest loans and lucrative grants to this particular age group as incentives.
Large corporations are overly anxious to see the growth of the teen business idea trend because they too feel that it would be a great investment in the future.  However, the reasons for large corporations to do so are a bit different.  With the start of the exit of baby boomer workers from our labor force, large corporations are nervous about being able to maintain their positions both at home and abroad and to this end they are anxious for those fresh young minds to fill the spots being vacated by the baby boomer workers.  Not only are they willing to hire these young guns but they are also willing to help them develop their own businesses so that they can help to take the load off them.  In other words, large corporations are willing and ready to help teens develop businesses that would offer services to them thus creating an outsourcing type of environment.
As for small businesses, they are very anxious to see teens develop types of business ventures that would help them to compete in a more robust way against the larger fishes.
So, a very interesting and exciting picture for our teens and those in their early to mid 20s and if you are a parent who is willing and ready to help your youngster, then now's the time.  I'm going to leave you with some info that you can use to help you do your research.
 
How would you like to keep abreast of breaking headlines, latest trends, and up to the minute news and do it all for free?  How would you like to save yourself some precious time and energy by going to a website that offers you daily updates by some very hardworking experts and all of this at no cost to you?  Would you like to learn how to keep your assets safe and protected from the fast fingers of those unscrupulous scammers, identity thieves, and cyber pirates?
The experts at www.untappedwealth.com can show you how to obtain all of this plus much more and they are offering all of this for free because they are bound and determined to help you stay away from those get rich quick schemes, those scams with broken promises and smoking mirrors, and those pitfalls that could land you in endless trouble.  Their fingers are strategically placed on what's going on minute by minute around the world and they bring it to you as it happens.  Take advantage of their knowledge and experience and do it at no cost.
 
At the business desk, I'm Jayna Sheffield wishing you a pleasant last few hours of the holiday weekend. 

Saturday, September 01, 2007

How to stay ahead of the pack

Hello there!  I'm Matt Chadwick at the business desk and I'd like to end the week by giving you a few tips on how to keep your small business ahead of the pack.

I've gathered these tips from articles of the day and although many of you may feel that it may not be possible to be ahead of the pack let alone stay ahead, we say to you that it is possible.  So, take these tips for what they are and use them well.

Use Articles to tell the rest of the world who you are.  The more articles that you can author the more that people would come to respect you and your expertise.  The more articles you write the better it would be for you.  Send your articles to websites that are similar to yours.  By this I mean websites that can be tied to the same type of business that you do or that are related to the type of business that you do.

Use blogs to spread the word about your expertise.  Write blogs at least once weekly and as often as you can.  Blogs are a great way for you to express your opinions freely but make sure that in your blog you mention the name of your business as often as possible.

Use newsletters to tell the world about what your company does.  Offer them for free and do not make the mistake of flooding someone's in basket with emails containing your newsletters.  Start by sending them to people you know.  It's a good way to float a trial balloon.

Use websites to create an Internet presence.  Make your websites easy to access, easy to understand, and do not clutter your pages with images that are jus too busy and too confusing.

Do not use emails or faxes to spread the word about your business.

There you have it.  Some tips to get you started. 

 

Now it's time for our book talk of the week and here now are our Amazon picks.

 

Investor's daily guide to the markets

By investor's daily

So many of us are often caught literally with our pants down when it comes to making bad investments because of a lack of knowledge about the markets.  May I suggest that you read this book before you take that all important big step.

 

Alpha dogs how your small business can become a leader of the pack

By Donna Fenn

I like this book because it makes for good reading for anyone who is striving to differentiate their small business.   The author does a very good job here.

 

Untapped Wealth Discovered

By Jeff N Marquis and Kerry J Harrison

I've also chosen this book because too many of us don't really know how to find those markets that are lucrative, rich in consumer demand, and high in growth.  We are often fooled by fast talking and so-called investment annalists.  Give this best seller a read.

 

Now I'm going to leave you with some info that can help you to save many hours of research time, and it will also help you to protect yourself from scams, scammers, and those get rich quick schemes with their broken promises.

 

Are you tired of looking over your shoulder because you're so scared of being scammed out of your hard earned savings, your house, and your other assets?
Are you looking for ways to avoid those scams with their broken promises and get rich quick schemes?  Are you worried that one day soon someone is going to try and scam you out of your worldly possessions?  Do you know what you should be doing in order to combat those seedy scammers, identity thieves, and shady investors?
Now you can take advantage of some very potent info and daily updates plus more in order to help you stay healthy and sleep well at night.  All of this info is free for the taking and it will save you thousands of research hours, protect your savings and worldly possessions, and help you to make decisions that are safe, logical, and sound.  The experts at www.untappedwealth.com are offering you all of this at absolutely no cost because their philosophy is that if they help you then you will help others and we will become a safer and better country.  Check them out!  You have absolutely nothing to lose and everything to gain!

 

At the business desk, I'm Matt Chadwick wishing you a happy weekend.

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