Volume III Number 4, December 1996

Department: Online Information and Networking

Steve Noble
Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic

DIAL-JAN Bulletin Board

The President's Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities' Job Accommodation Network announces the re-opening of its electronic bulletin board DIAL-JAN. The Job Accommodation Network is a consulting and referral service providing information about accommodating people with disabilities. This online bulletin board can be accessed by dialing 1-800-DIAL-JAN (1-800-3425-526). The bulletin board will now be open from 10am to 10pm, Eastern time. If you have any questions, please call 1-800-526-7234 in the US or 1-800-526-2262 in Canada, or you may direct e-mail to jan@jan.icdi.wvu.edu.


If you are a Californian with a speech disability (but can hear) you can now use a new, free telephone assistance service 24 hours a day. This service, called Speech-to-Speech, provides human voicers for people who have difficulty being understood by the public on the telephone. You can dial 800-854-7784 to reach a trained operator who makes telephone calls for you and repeats your words exactly.

Users now make about 3,000 calls a month. Speech-to-Speech is also useful if you use a speech synthesizer. Speech-to-Speech is the only way for many people to telephone others not accustomed to their speech. Many Speech-to-Speech users are people with Parkinson's disease or cerebral palsy.

If you would like to use this free service, please make your first call by dialing 800-854-7784 and then asking the operator who answers to connect you to 916-927-3794. If enough people identify themselves as users, the California Public Utilities Commission will make Speech-to-Speech permanent. Callers from other states may also use Speech-to-Speech to connect to telephone numbers within California following the same procedure.

For further information on Speech-to-Speech, contact Bob Segalman or Cindy Gooch at 916-927-3787 V/TT; 916-649-1665 FAX; or Toll Free at 1-888-3SPEECH. You may also address email to: Bob.Segalman@deaftek.sprint.com


George Brown College offers a home-study Certified Electronics Technician CD-ROM program and presently has many students with disabilities enrolled. The CD-ROM consists of 23 courses and a laboratory software simulation package called Electronics Workbench that allows students to complete over 400 laboratory projects at home, using a computer. Each course contains videos, animations, photographs, text, illustrations, and computer-based testing and evaluation. Students who complete the program will receive a Certificate as an Electronics Technician. To find out if this program can be adapted for your specific disability and computer access environment, as well as pricing and other information, please contact Dr. Colin Simpson, Director, Learning Innovations, George Brown College, Toronto, Canada. You may direct email enquiries to csimpson@gbrownc.on.ca



The Browser and Screen Reader Listserv, BASR-L, is a professional mailing list for the discussion of access to the World Wide Web for individuals who use screen readers. The main focus of this mailing list is to improve access for Web users who are blind.

To subscribe to the list, send email to listproc@trace.wisc.edu with a blank subject line and the following line in the body of the text:
subscribe basr-l


The Public Libraries Learning Disabilities Initiative Listserv, PLLD-L, is an outgrowth of the American Library Association's project called Roads to Learning, and is intended to be a forum for people who want to learn more about learning disabilities and their implications for public library services and collections.

To subscribe to the list, send email to listproc@ala1.ala.org with a blank subject line and the following line in the body of the text:
subscribe plld-l


The American Foundation for the Blind, AFB, has established two new listservs. AFB's aging-vision listserv will be used to disseminate updates from AFB's National Aging and Vision Network, as well as legislative alerts, conference announcements, policy and program changes, and other related information. The other new listserv, brl-help, has been established to promote discussion about braille instruction in educational settings. To subscribe to either listserv, send an email message to majordomo@afb.org with a blank subject line and the following line in the body of the text: subscribe aging-vision or subscribe brl-help


Students for Computers in Education, SCiE, is a new student group advocating the improvement of the education process through the use of computer technology. SCiE (pronounced 'sky') is still a small group, and still needs members to make it grow. SciE is working closely with several software developing initiatives to make computer based learning more popular. Students with disabilities are encouraged to join and add important input on computer access issues.

One particular project, the Personal Knowledge System (PKS), is being developed to become the standard in computer based learning. SCiE members can influence the development of this exciting project and will even have access to early software releases.

SCiE is currently running three mailing lists: SCiE-News -- The first mailing list is an announcement list. It is designed to keep all SCiE members informed of current developments, and software releases. It functions as an organization newsletter and no postings will be admitted to this list. The output of this list will probably not exceed one or two messages per week. If you decide to join SCiE it is recommended that you join at least this mailing list.

SCiE-PKS -- There is also a PKS discussion list. This list receives messages, and sends them to all members. This is the list for giving input, getting ideas, and some good old fashioned arguing. Contributing to this list is the way to share your ideas and influence the development of the PKS.

SciE-Gen -- This list is designed for other ideas on how the education process could be improved through computers. For this, there is a more general discussion list. This list is an open forum, on all ideas for computers in education.

To join a SCiE list:

Send an e-mail to listserv@listserv.readadp.com and in the body of the message put the following line:
In place of use one of the following:
SCiE-News -- for the newsletter mailing list
SCiE-PKS -- for the PKS discussion group
SCiE-Gen -- for the open SCiE discussion group
In place of type in your first and last name.
For Example: sub SCiE-Gen Bill Clinton

To get more information about SCiE and the Personal Knowledge System, visit the SCiE homepage at: http://ww2.readadp.com/scie/



The Integrated Network of Disability Information, INDIE, is designed to be a comprehensive one-stop resource for products, services, and information for the world-wide disability community. To connect to INDIE, use the following URL:


FCC Disabilities Task Force

The Federal Communications Commission's Disabilities Issues Task Force now operates a WWW site that contains information about telecommunications issues pertaining to persons with disabilities. To connect to their Web site, use the following URL:


Noble, S. (1996). Online information and network. Information Technology and Disabilities E-Journal, 3(4).