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Forum Showcases Technology Designed to Help Persons with Disabilities
AD Information and Communications Co., Ltd.
Recent breakthroughs in technology have been a godsend for the persons with disabilities, who now have an array of computerized aids to make everyday living easier. In Los Angeles, VOA's Mike O'Sullivan attended a forum on technology and the disabled to speak with the makers of some of the high tech instruments.
The devices talk, and some, with the aid of voice-recognition technology, almost seem to understand. California State University conference on technology for persons with disabilities
Jodi Johnson is associate director of the Center on Disabilities at California State University, Northridge. The center sponsors the annual conference on technology for the disabled, from robotic arms to super-fast encoders that convert written text to Braille. That reading system based on touch is widely used by the blind, and Ms. Johnson says, today, it is supplemented with other high tech systems.
"There are lots of new things here, in terms of access for blind and low-vision," she notes.
A Korean company called A.D. Information and Communications produces a text reader called Voiceye, which operates in English, Japanese, Chinese and Korean.
Michael Park, the company's chief executive and president, explains that printed information can be reduced to a small image, something like a bar code used in supermarkets. The system converts information to audio, using voice recognition software.
"It is composed of Voice Eye camera and recorder and software, Voice Eye Maker," says Mr. Park.
Mr. Park's assistant, Halen Jeong demonstrates the software, as the device reads information that has been encoded in the corner of a sample driver's license. She places the camera on the data symbol, a block of dots 1.5 centimeters square."It captures the image," she explains.
A computer reads the information.
COMPUTER: "License number BO91101. Class, C-M One. Male, Hair Brown, Height. Six feet Two inches. Expires, March 10, 2005."