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2878The Days Of Costly Screen Readers Are Gone

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  • Peter Verhoeven
    Dec 1, 2004
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      Hi,

      Below is an announcement of Serotek about Freedombox system access.
      Does some of you have experience with these kind of product / service.

      BTW I don't believe days of costly screen readers are gone.

      Regards Peter Verhoeven

      Serotek Corporation, the company that created FreedomBox and the
      FreedomBox Network, takes another giant stride in its mission to make
      all digital information fully accessible by announcing FreedomBox System
      Access. System Access is an easy-to-use, fully portable application
      that
      makes any Windows XP or 2000 system accessible to the user. Following
      its tradition of "accessibility for everyone" Serotek makes System
      Access available free of charge to any user with an active FreedomBox
      Network account. For users who want to take System Access with them,
      Serotek makes this powerful little accessibility program available on
      its two popular portable media devices for a fraction of the cost of
      a screen reader. Either device turns any Windows XP computer into the
      user's own, personal FreedomBox fully equipped with FreedomBox Version
      2.0 and FreedomBox System Access. Remove the device and the computer
      returns to its normal configuration. This makes System Access an ideal
      solution for both beginners and advanced users of adaptive technology
      without braking the bank.

      Who Can Use System Access?

      - Training: Newly blind and/or seniors can be taught to use System
      Access
      quickly and easily, giving them immediate access to the benefits
      computer
      and Internet use can provide. System Access uses Windows tools as is;
      there are no new methods that must be learned and no scripts to write.
      The cost is minimal. Users can be up and functional in no time.
      Trainers who have tested System Access are raving about it. This is
      the first-step tool they've been looking for.

      - Educational Institutions: From grammar school to colleges and
      universities, accessibility has been problematic. Educators are faced
      with dwindling budgets and growing demand for accessible systems.
      System Access loaded on PassKeys can turn every computer in the
      institution into an accessible computer. Every student who needs one
      can be issued a PassKey. For the first time it is really possible to
      achieve an education system where "no child is left behind."

      - Corporations: Companies have struggled to comply with ADA. Many jobs
      are simply not available to the visually impaired because companies lack
      the resources to provide expensive accessible hardware and software.
      A System Access-enabled PassKey makes every computer on the network
      accessible. Direct access to the inner workings of Windows opens
      computer
      and network technician jobs to the visually impaired. With System
      Access
      companies don't have to pay a penalty to employ the visually impaired.

      - Public Access Facilities: Libraries, government centers, information
      kiosks, hotels and Internet cafes become fully accessible without a
      special investment. System Access either preloaded on the system or
      loadable via a PassKey or Key to Freedom means no special hardware,
      software, or training is required.

      - International Organizations: System Access has the ability to become
      immediately conversant in any language, using SAPI 4 or 5 and provided
      that the included message file has been translated. The FreedomBox
      Network maintains a library of message file translations, giving users
      the potential to access from anywhere in the world in the language of
      their choice.

      - Individuals: Full access on the go is the biggest benefit of System
      Access, loaded on a PassKey or Key to Freedom. Blind people are more
      mobile than ever, and with System Access they can have access to
      essential
      information wherever they find a computer. Every FreedomBox Network
      user has System Access available on his or her home system at no charge.
      PassKey and Key to Freedom devices are available for comparatively small
      fees giving each individual full mobile access.

      - Seniors: Sometimes the burden of learning new technology is just too
      much. System Access has a minimal learning curve. Sit down and start
      and you are fully functional in moments. System Access lets you do so
      many of the tasks you want to do -- write letters, read your e-mail,
      listen to favorite programming, and more. Now all that is available
      for simply opening a FreedomBox Network account. Buy a PassKey and
      take it with you for a very reasonable additional charge.

      Vision resource trainers classify System Access as an "intermediate"
      access program, providing text to speech access to Windows utilities,
      system files, and support programs such as Notepad, WordPad, Windows
      Media Player 10, and Windows Explorer. It also provides excellent
      access to key applications such as Microsoft Word, Outlook, Internet
      Explorer, and Outlook Express. It provides review access to Microsoft
      Office PowerPoint and Excel documents. With a System Access-enabled
      PassKey or Key to Freedom, a user can not only access the Internet,
      create new Word documents, and review PowerPoint and Excel documents,
      he can also query his home system from wherever he is via the Internet,
      search for documents and retrieve, modify, and save them and/or attach
      them to e-mails.

      System Access is not meant to replace screen reading software for
      all applications. In fact, System Access employs entirely different
      technology than conventional screen readers. But for many users and
      for many applications System Access provides enough accessibility to
      do many important tasks without the need for a costly screen reader.
      System Access gives a PassKey or Key to Freedom user full Internet and
      computer access, wherever he or she may be, using any available Windows
      XP computer.

      Users with a basic computer background require little or no training to
      become immediately functional using System Access. There are no special
      procedures to learn or scripts to write. A technician can run System
      Access via a PassKey and have immediate keyboard access to all of the
      internal workings necessary to diagnose, repair, and/or tune the system.
      Business, students, and casual users can access the documents and files
      they need; create new documents, browse the system, and the Internet
      all without installing any software.

      System Access uses DECtalk as its text-to-speech engine, and users can
      select speech rate, pitch, punctuation, and key echo. These preferences
      are maintained on the user's FreedomBox Network account and are
      automatically applied to any computer the user accesses via a System
      Access-enabled PassKey or Key to Freedom. The user can also choose any
      SAPI 4 or 5 synthesizer on the system at home or on the road.

      To order a System Access-enabled PassKey or Key to Freedom call
      1-866-202-0520 or visit www.freedombox.info.

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