Volume I Number 3, July 1994

Feature Articles

What's Next in Adaptive Technology: MagNum--A Digital Recording Personal Assistant

Dick Banks

The MagNum, a device which utilizes digitized recording technology, takes the technology of the recorder one step further by providing the user with an efficient means of accessing notes, books, and other recorded information. This article describes MagNum, a digital recording device which offers many valuable features to the user of recording technology. The present state and future possibilities of digital recording technology are described. While the author is very impressed with the MagNum, this is not a scientific review of this product, and this article should not be taken in and of itself as an endorsement of this or any other product.

Ten Years of Computer Use by Visually Impaired People in Hungary

Terez Vaspori and Andras Arato

This survey is written by the developers of BraiLab, a talking computer family. The authors present an overview of computers and aids based on micro-processing systems used by blind people in Hungary in the past decade. The paper discusses various devices in use in Hungary in the past decade, and the impact of these devices on the education, work and everyday life of visually impaired individuals. Finally, the authors identify some of the tasks looming on the horizon.

Rehabilitation and Remediation in Educational Disability: The Use of the Direct Access Reading Technique

Sheila Rosenberg and Robert Zenausern

Educational disabilities are treated very differently from sensory and physical disabilities in at least two distinct ways. The first centers around the way the individual is typically held responsible for the disability. The child is told, "Try harder!" or "Don't be lazy!" No one would think to tell a child with a visual, hearing or mobility impairment to try harder to see, hear or move; rather these children are given support and encouragement. Individuals with physical disabilities are given rehabilitation; that is, they are taught alternative ways to approach the tasks that are affected by the disability. Individuals with educational disabilities are given remediation; that is, more and more practice in precisely what they cannot do. The need to "cure" is given more emphasis in educational disability than physical disability where the stress is on adaptation. The purpose of this paper is to isolate two specific disabilities that are the primary cause of reading disability and to show how a rehabilitation approach can have a profoundly positive effect on this ubiquitous problem.

ITD Technotes: Braille Displays

Gerhard Weber

Transitory Braille displays provide access to PCs but the displays are different from speech output. Braille is a notation tracking a cursor, and reading the screen and routing are accomplished by the fingers moving across raised dots. This article describes the technology utilized by transitory, or refreshable, braille computer displays.