[adaptech] some interesting news for your reading enjoyment

  • From: "Shane C. A. Lush" <sca.lush@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "Adam Macleod" <adam@xxxxxxxxxx>, <adaptech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 28 Feb 2003 21:02:00 -0500

hello to all!
I just received the following press release.
Please read it and send me your comments.
For immediate release ? February 24, 2003
Christchurch, NZ / Palo Alto, CA / Concord, CA
February 24, 2003

Pulse Data and Benetech Announce BrailleNote/Bookshare.org Collaboration
Pulse Data International, the world?s leading manufacturer of products
designed for people who are blind and visually impaired, and Benetech, the
Silicon Valley technology nonprofit formerly known as Arkenstone, today
announced a formal collaboration integrating Benetech?s Bookshare.org
initiative with Pulse Data?s BrailleNote family of products.  Bookshare.org
is a subscription service that provides an extensive online library of
accessible digital books to U.S. residents with severe visual, reading and
mobility disabilities.  The BrailleNote Family is the first suite of
Personal Data (Assistants designed for persons who are blind.  Since last
September, the Windows-CE based KeyWeb Internet Browser has been integrated
into the entire range of BrailleNote products.
This collaboration allows BrailleNote users with a Bookshare.org
subscription to browse the Bookshare.org website using the BrailleNote,
select one of the 12,000 books already available from this site and download
it directly to the device.  The user can then press enter on the downloaded
book, and will be prompted for his Bookshare.org user name and password. 
The BrailleNote will then seamlessly unpack the downloaded book to the
BrailleNote?s bookreader to be read off-line.  This unpacking scheme
preserves the book?s copyright protection.
This functionality was debuted by Pulse Data HumanWare CEO Jim Halliday on
February 21 at the Vision Loss In the 21st Century Conference, which is
sponsored by the American Foundation For the Blind.  In his speech, Halliday
stated, ?Because of this new development by Pulse Data International and the
tremendous service Benetech is providing with its Bookshare.org project,
BrailleNote users can now have 12,000 Braille books available to them
instantly. This is a long time dream come true for Braille readers.? Jim
Fruchterman, founder and CEO of Benetech, said, "Lowering barriers to book
access is the core objective of Bookshare.org. By building access to our
collection directly into a device like the BrailleNote, we make it possible
for a blind person to carry around their own personal library in Braille!"

?This effort further illustrates Pulse Data?s commitment to promote Braille
literacy via portable, independent, seamless acquisition of electronic text
by persons who are blind,? states Larry Lewis, Product Marketing Manager for
the BrailleNote.  And Bookshare.org Senior Product Manager Alison Lingane
notes, ?Our goal is to make access to the wide collection of books from
Bookshare.org as seamless as possible for our members.  This collaboration
is a dramatic move to support Braille readers.?
In celebration of the partnership, Pulse Data HumanWare is offering a $100
discount to all Bookshare.org subscribers who purchase a BrailleNote or a
VoiceNote, while Benetech is offering new Bookshare.org members who purchase
a new BrailleNote/VoiceNote or upgrade $25 off the purchase of an annual
subscription to Bookshare.org?s rapidly growing collection of accessible
digital books.   

About Benetech
Bookshare.org is a project of Benetech, an innovative Silicon Valley
nonprofit that develops technology projects to address pressing social
issues in areas such as disability, human rights, literacy, education and
the digital divide.  Benetech was formerly Arkenstone, the leading maker of
reading machines for people with visual impairments and reading

About Pulse Data International 
Founded in 1988, Pulse Data International has become a world leader in the
design, manufacture and distribution of innovative products and software
that enhance the lives of visually impaired people. These include electronic
magnifying systems for people with low vision and hardware and software
products, which use synthesized speech and electronic Braille for persons
who are totally blind.

Today Pulse Data's biggest markets are the United States and the United
Kingdom. The company also has established sales offices in Canada, the
Netherlands, Sweden and Australia as well as a strong distribution network
throughout North America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

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