[tabi] FW: Freedom Scientific Announces Secure Driver Initiative

  • From: "Chip Orange" <Corange@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 11 Aug 2009 16:55:44 -0400

Hi all,
normally, I would regard the announcement below as not being of
sufficient importance to be worth mentioning.  however, if anyone is
using a braille display with jaws, and the driver for that braille
display was provided by it's manufacturer rather than by freedom
scientific, you should be aware that your braille display will not work
with jaws 11 or later, unless you can get a new driver for it from the


Chip Orange
Database Administrator
Florida Public Service Commission

(850) 413-6314

 (Any opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not
necessarily reflect those of the Florida Public Service Commission.)



        From: @ Freedom Scientific News
[mailto:freedomscientificnews@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of
@ Freedom Scientific News
        Sent: Tuesday, August 11, 2009 3:34 PM
        To: Chip Orange
        Subject: Freedom Scientific Announces Secure Driver Initiative
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        Freedom Scientific Announces Secure and Compatible Braille
Display Initiative

        JAWS(r) 11 to Offer Improved Security and Interoperability

        St. Petersburg, Florida - August 11, 2009) - Freedom Scientific,
one of the leading providers of assistive technology for people who are
blind, announced its Secure and Compatible Braille Display Initiative

        The goal of this new program is to follow Microsoft's move to
signed drivers to improve security and compatibility for customers who
use a Braille display with JAWS. Under this program, Freedom Scientific
will test Braille displays to ensure compatibility with JAWS and then
digitally sign the driver. Starting with the JAWS 11 release later this
year, only drivers that have been digitally signed by Freedom Scientific
will work with JAWS. 

        "A digitally signed driver means you can be confident that the
driver actually comes from the publisher it claims to and that it has
not been altered," said Eric Damery, Vice President of Software Product
Management for Freedom Scientific. "This is important, as one of the
most insidious ways that computers come under attack is through
malicious rootkits, programs that install at the device driver level and
take over the entire system. Such programs can be very difficult to
detect since they cannot be found with traditional security scans, such
as anti-virus or anti-spyware programs."

        For those currently using JAWS with 32-bit Microsoft Windows(r)
and a Braille display whose driver was included in a previous English
version of JAWS, there will be no change. Freedom Scientific will
include signed versions of all those 32-bit drivers in JAWS 11. If you
have questions about your Braille display, please call Freedom
Scientific technical support.

        However, all Braille display manufacturers will need to develop
new 64-bit drivers to support 64-bit Microsoft Windows - most new
computers now come with 64-bit Microsoft Windows preinstalled. To
support this effort, Freedom Scientific created the Secure and
Compatible Braille Display Program. The program provides a driver
development kit for third party Braille display manufacturers and a test
suite that Freedom Scientific will use to ensure compatibility with JAWS
before digitally signing the driver.

        Freedom Scientific is the first company in the industry to
develop a signed driver program which improves the security and
compatibility of Braille displays.

        Papenmeier, a German manufacturer of Braille displays, has
already completed their 64-bit signed driver, and other Braille display
manufacturers are actively working on 64-bit signed drivers for their
Braille displays.

        Dirk Kochanek, of Papenmeier in Germany, says, "We at Papenmeier
appreciate the signed driver concept of Freedom Scientific. Signed
drivers improve the security of operating systems and enhance the
compatibility of hardware. This also can help the acceptance of screen
reader solutions in the professional IT environment, especially with
large employers. Papenmeier was the first company to have their drivers
certified and signed by Freedom Scientific and is ready for 64-bit
Windows operating systems."

        About Freedom Scientific

        Freedom Scientific is one of the leading providers of assistive
technology products for those who are low vision or blind.

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