Technology fair showcases new developments in adaptive devices

Jun 7, 2013
Originally published on June 7, 2013 10:32 am

There’s some new technology available for those who are visually impaired.

The Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired, or ABVI, hosted a technology fair on Thursday showcasing the latest advances in adaptive equipment. Nearly a dozen vendors from across New York, and the northeast, participated in the “What’s the Latest” event.

"I get a lot of phone calls on what kind of computer should I get? What kind of phone should I buy? ” says  Chris Frank who is the team leader of employment and technology services for ABVI.

Frank says the fair allows the blind community to access all the different types of technology and devices in one place while having an opportunity to physically try them out.

What’s new this year is a restaurant menu app.

"That allows people who are blind to be able to search local restaurants and view their menus from an iOS device, and get that back in audio feedback, rather than having to read a menu," Frank says.

Frank also notes the Closed Circuit TV's, which are computer monitors that enlarge documents for easy reading.

“Some of the new devices, not only can they enlarge the document, they can take a picture of it, and take the text from it and read the text to you out loud," Frank adds.

Among the other items on display: recording devices, sun glasses, magnifiers and a new braille machine that allows its user to read what’s happening on a cell phone or computer in braille.

This is ABVI’s 3rd event. The focus of its previous technology fairs were cell phone accessibility and electronic book reading.

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