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Press Release: Radio Shack Undertakes Accessibility Initiative

June 13, 2007 • Darrell Shandrow Hilliker
RadioShack Announces Point of Sale, Web Site Initiative for Customers with Visual Impairments Blind Community Leaders Applaud RadioShack’s Commitment
Washington, DC
 (June 13, 2007) — In a move praised by state and national blindness organizations, RadioShack (NYSE:RSH) today announced it has undertaken a nationwide initiative to improve services for RadioShack’s customers with visual impairments.  As part of the program, RadioShack will install new point of sale equipment with tactile keypads to protect the privacy and security of visually impaired shoppers and will make improvements to its Web site that will benefit visually impaired shoppers and other customers with disabilities.
Today’s announcement is the result of collaboration between RadioShack and major blindness organizations including the American Foundation for the Blind, American Council of the Blind, and California Council of the Blind.
Point of Sale Improvements
It is anticipated that by the end of September of this year, every RadioShack store will have the new device, which is designed to protect the financial privacy of blind and visually impaired shoppers.  The devices, manufactured by Ingenico (, have tactile keys arranged like a standard telephone keypad and plug easily into existing point of sale payment terminals.  The new units will allow RadioShack shoppers
who have difficulty reading information on a touch screen to privately and independently enter their PIN, telephone number, and other confidential information.
Blind community representatives praised RadioShack’s plan to upgrade its point of sale devices.  “Point of sale devices must have tactile keys so blind people do not have to share their PIN with strangers,” explained Melanie Brunson, executive director of the American Council of the Blind.  “Today’s announcement, and the collaboration that led to it, demonstrates RadioShack’s understanding of this fact and its strong commitment to blind and visually impaired customers.”
Web Site Access
Today’s initiative includes RadioShack’s commitment to design in accordance with guidelines issued by the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) of the World Wide Web Consortium (w3c) ( The guidelines, which do not affect the content or look and feel of a Web site, ensure that Web sites are accessible to persons with a wide range of disabilities.  The guidelines are of particular benefit to blind computer users who use screen reader or magnification technology on their computers and who rely on a keyboard instead of a mouse.
“Web site accessibility is of critical importance to both the blind community and to people with disabilities generally,” said Paul Schroeder, vice president, programs and policy group of the American Foundation for the Blind.  “We applaud RadioShack’s leadership role in committing to address the accessibility of its Web site, thereby improving the browsing and shopping experience for a broad range of on-line shoppers.”
“The program announced today is one way we can help customers who are blind or visually impaired enjoy a better shopping experience in their neighborhood RadioShack stores as well as on and complements our on-going efforts to improve the shopping experience of all our customers with disabilities,” said Frank Espinoza, vice president-store operations of RadioShack Corporation. “RadioShack would like to thank the American Council of the Blind, the California Council of the Blind, and the American Foundation for the Blind, for their cooperation and expertise in making RadioShack a better place to shop for our customers with disabilities.”
About RadioShack Corporation
RadioShack Corporation (NYSE: RSH) is one of the nation’s most experienced and trusted consumer electronics specialty retailers. The company has a presence through more than 6,000 company-operated stores and dealer outlets in the United States, over 100 RadioShack locations in Mexico and nearly 800 wireless phone kiosks. RadioShack’s dedicated force of knowledgeable and helpful sales associates has been consistently recognized by several independent groups as providing the best customer service in the consumer electronics and wireless industries. Operating from convenient and comfortable neighborhood and mall locations, RadioShack stores deliver personalized product and service solutions within a few short minutes of where most Americans either live or work. For more information on RadioShack Corporation, or to purchase items online, visit
About American Council of the Blind (ACB) and California Council of the Blind (CCB)
American Council of the Blind is a national consumer-based advocacy organization working on behalf of blind and visually impaired Americans throughout the country, with members organized through seventy state and special interest affiliates.  California Council of the Blind is the California affiliate of the ACB, and is a statewide membership organization, with 40 local chapters and statewide special interest associations.  ACB and CCB are dedicated to improving the quality of life, equality of opportunity and independence of all people who have visual impairments.  Their members and affiliated organizations have a long history of commitment to the advancement of policies and programs which will enhance independence for people who are blind and visually impaired.  More information about ACB and CCB can be found by visiting and
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VASCO Offers Smart Card Based e-Security to the Blind and VisuallyImpaired With Digipass 840 Comfort Voice

June 13, 2007 • Darrell Shandrow Hilliker

PR Newswire, via
Tuesday, June 12, 2007

VASCO Offers Smart Card Based e-Security to the Blind and Visually Impaired
With Digipass 840 Comfort Voice

Posted : Tue, 12 Jun 2007 07:02:01 GMT
Author : VASCO Data Security International, Inc.
Category : PressRelease

OAKBROOK TERRACE, Ill., and ZURICH, Switzerland, June 12
/PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — VASCO Data Security International, Inc.
(, the leading software security company specializing
in authentication products, today announced that it has strengthened its
Digipass product line with Digipass 840 Comfort Voice (CV). This "speaking"
Digipass card reader is especially designed for blind and visually impaired
Internet users. The product is immediately available.

VASCO's mission is to be the Full Option, All-Terrain Authentication
company. This means that strong authentication has to be available for
everyone. The launch of Digipass 840 Comfort Voice fits perfectly with this
logic, as did the launch of Digipass 300 Comfort Voice in 2006. A person
with reduced eyesight will now be able to have the same high level of
Digipass security as other e-bank account holders or e-commerce users. All
Digipass client authentication products are supported by one and unique core
authentication engine, VACMAN Controller. This means that companies can
choose which type of client authentication device they offer to their
different user/customer segments.

Digipass 840 Comfort Voice Features: — speech based user interface; —
speech based feedback of entered data and selected functions; — e-signature
and one-time password functionality, converted into voice; — use of
built-in speaker or headset; — large display and keypad, with oversized
tactile keys; — supports Digipass standard, EMV-CAP, VISA dynamic password
authentication 1.1, German Sm@rt TAN, Belgian eID Card "Accessibility is one
of the most important success factors for any e-commerce application," said
Jan Valcke, VASCO's President and COO. "Unfortunately, few technology
vendors have an eye for the needs of visually impaired consumers. As a
consequence, this user segment doesn't reach the e-commerce vendors'
offering. By offering speech enabled Digipass client authentication
products, VASCO makes e-banking and e-commerce accessible for the blind and
visually impaired. Worldwide, over 20 leading banks already offer speech
enabled Digipasses to a part of their customer base."

About VASCO: VASCO is the number one supplier of strong authentication and
e-signature solutions and services. VASCO has established itself as the
world's leading software company specialized in Internet Security, with a
customer base of over 4,800 companies in more than 100 countries, including
close to 750 international financial institutions. VASCO's prime markets are
the financial sector, enterprise security, e-commerce and e-government.

Forward Looking Statements

Statements made in this news release that relate to future plans, events or
performances are forward-looking statements. Any statement containing words
such as "believes," "anticipates," "plans," "expects," and similar words, is
forward-looking, and these statements involve risks and uncertainties and
are based on current expectations. Consequently, actual results could differ
materially from the expectations expressed in these forward-looking

Reference is made to the Company's public filings with the US Securities and
Exchange Commission for further information regarding the Company and its

For more information contact:

Jochem Binst, +32 2 609 97 40, VASCO Data Security
International, Inc.

CONTACT: Jochem Binst of VASCO Data Security International, Inc.,

Web site:,120606.shtml

Categories: Uncategorized

ACB Radio Tuner Version 6.6 Now Released

June 11, 2007 • Darrell Shandrow Hilliker

Version 6.6 of the ACB Radio Tuner has been released. The main advantage to
this new version is adding support for Serotek's System Access product for
the Extra Speech option within the Tuner. In addition, an updated ACB Radio
Tuner Tutorial produced by Matt Campbell is also now available when pressing
F8. We will update the Tuner web site to include links to the older Tuner
tutorial in the next day or so. We would like to sincerely thank Serotek
for assisting us in getting these new changes into the new version of the
ACB Radio Tuner.

If you are a Window-Eyes customer and are running under Windows VISTA, then
you will want to make sure and download the patch provided by GW Micro to
correct the Extra Speech issues experienced by 6.5 Tuner users under VISTA.
You can find more information on this patch by reading this knowledge base

GWKB1074 : Window-Eyes API Functions Unavailable in Windows Vista

You can download the new version of the ACB Radio Tuner at the following

If you have any questions, just let us know.

Jeff Bishop
ACB Radio Webmaster

Categories: Uncategorized

Coming up on Main Menu Live for the week of June 13th, 2007

June 11, 2007 • Darrell Shandrow Hilliker

This week on Main Menu Live, we present two hours of live content.

In the first hour we bring on Jamal Mazrui. Jamal has created numerous
freeware applications like Textpal, PDF2TXT, FileDir and many more. We will
talk with Jamal all about these individual applications and you will be able
to call in and ask any questions you may have about them. We will also talk
about the landscape of programming using current screen reader technologies.

In the second hour we hear from Woody Anna Dresner from the National Braille
Press. A new book entitled "Google It! A Guide to the World's Most Popular
Search Engine" has been released and is based on Jonathan Mosen's audio
Google tutorial. We bring her on to talk to us all about this new book and
all things Google.

In the last half hour of Main Menu Live we bring on representatives from
Serotek Corporation. Mike Calvo and Matt Campbell join us to make a major
announcement from Serotek about a new technology coming from them. The Main
Menu production team has gotten a sneak peak at this new technology and we
assure you it is something not to miss.

The number to call into the show is 866-400-5333. You can email your
questions to You may also interact with the show via
MSN Messenger. The MSN Messenger ID to add is

Would you like to interact with a group of Main Menu listeners about the
topics heard on Main Menu and Main Menu Live? You can do this by joining the
Main Menu Friends email list. The address to subscribe is:
Come join an already lively group of users.

Would you like to subscribe to podcast feeds for Main Menu and Main Menu
Live? The RSS feeds to add to your podcatching application are:

Main Menu –
Main Menu Live –

Main Menu and Main Menu Live can be heard on Tuesday evenings at 9:00
Eastern, 6:00 Pacific, and at 1 universal/GMT on Wednesday mornings on the
ACB Radio Main Stream channel. To listen to the show, just click this link:

Jeff Bishop and Darrell Shandrow
The Main Menu Production Team

Categories: Uncategorized

TextPal 3.8 released

June 9, 2007 • Darrell Shandrow Hilliker

Version 3.8
Released June 9, 2007

Fixed the Yield command, Alt+Y, saying "Yield selected" when it meant "Yield
all," and vice versa (depending on whether text is selected).
Fixed the Paste command, Control+V, removing a trailing line break from text
that is inserted. Made the Copy Append and Cut Append commands, Alt+C and
Alt+X, insert a line break before appended text if none is present, thus
making it easier to identify separate chunks of text that you append to the

Upgraded to the latest, 1.86 version of the Ruby interpreter. Improved
documentation about regular expressions in TextPal/Ruby.

Enhanced the status command, Alt+Z, so that it indicates the state of word
wrap, as well as indent mode and selection size. As before, F8 starts a
selection and Shift+F8 completes it. Now Alt+Shift+F8 is a quick way of
returning to the point that marked the start of a selection.

Added support for programming in Java, e.g., with the Standard Widget
Toolkit (SWT). The Pick Compiler command, Control+Shift+F5, includes Java
in the list of languages, and if chosen, configures settings for
ToolCommand, ErrorPosition, AbbreviateOutput, NavigatePart, and
CommentCharacter. These and other settings may be examined and refined in
the Settings dialog, Alt+S. They may also be edited more directly and
flexibly with the Manual Settings command, Alt+Shift+M.


Categories: Uncategorized

Legislative Alert – Urgent Action Needed to Protect Talking Books Program

June 7, 2007 • Darrell Shandrow Hilliker

Urgent action is needed to respond to the House's Legislative Branch
Subcommittee's proposed appropriations bill relating to the fiscal year 2008
budget request of the Library of Congress. As you all know the National
Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS) has been
working on a plan to convert the Talking Books program to a digital format.
The cost of this needed transition from analog cassette to digital
technology is $76.4 million over a four-year period ($19.1 million for each
of the next four years). The House Legislative Branch Subcommittee has only
included $7.5 million for this project in the bill, which passed the
subcommittee yesterday. The subcommittee also voted against an amendment
raised by Congressman Ray LaHood of Illinois that sought to include full
funding for the NLS upgrade. Not only is this amount just a third of what
was requested by the Library of Congress, but the subcommittee further gave
the Librarian of Congress the power to transfer all or part of the funds
from the Books for the Blind program to other upgrades for the Library.
Essentially, if the Librarian of Congress chooses to transfer funds from the
$7.5 million allotted for the digital conversion program, the Talking Books
program will be killed due to a lack of equipment to repair broken tape
players and the simple fact that all aspects of cassette technology will
become obsolete in the next four years.

The Legislative Branch Appropriations bill will now be presented to the full
Committee on Appropriations on Tuesday, July 12. It is imperative that we
flood the offices of Committee members and the office of Subcommittee Chair
Debbie Wasserman Schultz before July 12th to urge them to include the full
funding for the digital upgrade and to protect these funds from being
shifted within the Library of Congress to meet other needs. The Talking
Books program is the largest and most essential available source of
information for blind people as a whole, and we need to protect this
information source with our greatest effort. Included below is a list of
the members on the Appropriations Committee and their office numbers.
Please contact their offices, and let them know how important the Talking
Books program is to the blind. I will update you with further information
on this initiative, but your calls should start immediately.

Thanks in advance for all of your hard work.

Jesse Hartle

Government Program Specialist


1800 Johnson Street, Baltimore, MD 21230

(410) 659-9314, ext. 2233

House Committee on Appropriations

Full Committee – June 7, 2007

FL D, Schultz, Rep Debbie Wasserman, 202-225-7931

(alphabetical by state)

AL D, Cramer, Rep Robert E. Bud, Jr., 202-225-4801

AL R, Aderholt, Rep Robert B., 202-225-4876

AR D, Berry, Rep Marion, 202-225-4076

AZ D, Pastor, Rep Ed, 202-225-4065

CA D, Farr, Rep Sam, 202-225-2861

CA D, Honda, Rep Mike, 202-225-2631

CA D, Lee, Rep Barbara, 202-225-2661

CA D, Roybal-Allard, Rep Lucille, 202-225-1766

CA D, Schiff, Rep Adam, 202-225-4176

CA R, Calvert, Rep Ken, 202-225-1986

CA R, Lewis, Rep Jerry, 202-225-5861

CT D, DeLauro, Rep Rosa L., 202-225-3661

FL D, Boyd, Rep F. Allen, 202-225-5235

FL R, Crenshaw, Rep Ander, 202-225-2501

FL R, Weldon, Rep Dave, 202-225-3671

FL R, Young, Rep C. W. Bill, 202-225-5961

GA D, Bishop, Rep Sanford D., Jr., 202-225-3631

GA R, Kingston, Rep Jack, 202-225-5831

IA R, Latham, Rep Tom, 202-225-5476

ID R, Simpson, Rep Mike, 202-225-5531

IL D, Jackson, Rep Jesse L., Jr., 202-225-0773

IL R, Kirk, Rep Mark Steven, 202-225-4835

IL R, LaHood, Rep Ray, 202-225-6201

IN D, Visclosky, Rep Peter J., 202-225-2461

KS R, Tiahrt, Rep Todd, 202-225-6216

KY D, Chandler, Rep Ben, 202-225-4706

KY R, Rogers, Rep Hal, 202-225-4601

LA R, Alexander, Rep Rodney, 202-225-8490

MA D, Olver, Rep John W., 202-225-5335

MD D, Ruppersberger, Rep C. A. Dutch, 202-225-3061

MI D, Kilpatrick, Rep Carolyn Cheeks, 202-225-2261

MI R, Knollenberg, Rep Joe, 202-225-5802

MN D, McCollum, Rep Betty, 202-225-6631

MO R, Emerson, Rep Jo Ann, 202-225-4404

MS R, Wicker, Rep Roger F., 202-225-4306

MT R, Rehberg, Rep Dennis, 202-225-3211

NC D, Price, Rep David E., 202-225-1784

NJ D, Rothman, Rep Steve, 202-225-5061

NJ R, Frelinghuysen, Rep Rodney P., 202-225-5034

NM D, Udall, Rep Tom, 202-225-6190

NY D, Hinchey, Rep Maurice D., 202-225-6335

NY D, Israel, Rep Steve, 202-225-3335

NY D, Lowey, Rep Nita M., 202-225-6506

NY D, Serrano, Rep Jose E., 202-225-4361

NY R, Walsh, Rep James T., 202-225-3701

OH D, Kaptur, Rep Marcy, 202-225-4146

OH D, Ryan, Rep Tim, 202-225-5261

OH R, Hobson, Rep David L., 202-225-4324

OH R, Regula, Rep Ralph, 202-225-3876

PA D, Fattah, Rep Chaka, 202-225-4001

PA D, Murtha, Rep John P., 202-225-2065

PA R, Peter son, Rep John E., 202-225-5121

RI D, Kennedy, Rep Patrick J., 202-225-4911

TN R, Wamp, Rep Zach, 202-225-3271

TX D, Edwards, Rep Chet, 202-225-6105

TX D, Rodriguez, Rep Ciro D., 202-225-4511

TX R, Carter, Rep John R., 202-225-3864

TX R, Culberson, Rep John, 202-225-2571

TX R, Granger, Rep Kay, 202-225-5071

VA D, Moran, Rep Jim, 202-225-4376

VA R, Goode, Rep Virgil H., Jr., 202-225-4711

VA R, Wolf, Rep Frank R., 202-225-5136

WA D, Dicks, Rep Norm, 202-225-5916

WI D, Obey, Rep David R., Chair, 202-225-3365

WV D, Mollohan, Rep Alan B., 202-225-4172

Categories: Uncategorized

House Subcommittee Vote Could End Books for the Blind

June 7, 2007 • Darrell Shandrow Hilliker

House Subcommittee Vote Could End Books for the Blind

Blind Americans Urge Congress to Restore Funds

Baltimore, Maryland (June 7, 2007): On Wednesday, June 6, the House of
Representatives Legislative Branch Appropriations Subcommittee voted to
substantially underfund the Books for the Blind program of the Library of

Dr. Marc Maurer, President of the National Federation of the Blind, said:
"Since 1931, Congress has consistently supported on a bipartisan basis a
national program of audio and Braille books for the blind, operated by the
Library of Congress. The blind of America are shocked and disappointed that
a House subcommittee has callously disregarded our literacy needs since
literacy leads to independence. By appropriating only $7.5 million of the
$19.1 million needed for transition from antiquated analog cassette tape
technology to digital technology, the subcommittee has effectively voted to
shut down the only public library available to blind Americans. The audio
books produced by the Library of Congress will be useless unless the digital
playback technology is provided for readers. The Talking Book program is at
a crossroads because the analog tape used for the past thirty-six years has
become obsolete and must be replaced for the program to continue.
Virtually, all government programs, except Books for the Blind, have
converted to state-of-the-art digital communication technology at a cost of
billions of dollars to the taxpayers. Leaving the Books for the Blind
program behind is unconscionable. Since it is early in the appropriations
process, however, Congress still has time to correct this grievous error.
We therefore urgently appeal to the full House Appropriations Committee, the
members of the House of Representatives, and the United States Senate to
provide the full $19.1 million requested by the National Library Service for
the Blind and Physically Handicapped of the Library of Congress to begin
production of digital talking books and players."

The Talking Book program serves over 750,000 blind Americans, including
blind children and an ever-increasing number of older Americans who are
losing vision. The incidence of blindness is expected to increase as the
baby boom generation reaches retirement age. Therefore, the need for this
essential program will only increase.

John G. Paré Jr.
Director of Public Relations
1800 Johnson Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21230
Telephone: (410) 659-9314, ext. 2371
Cell phone: (410) 913-3912
Fax: (410) 685-5653

Categories: Uncategorized

Freedom Scientific and Serotek Reach Agreement to End Lawsuit

June 7, 2007 • Darrell Shandrow Hilliker

We here at Blind Access Journal are very glad this matter has finally been settled in a manner that permits both Freedom Scientific and Serotek to continue their business operations and retains the ability of innovators in the field to provide the products and services we must have in order to participate in the world of technology alongside our sighted peers. This news calls for celebration!

(St. Petersburg, Florida, and Minneapolis, Minnesota – June 4, 2007) Freedom Scientific and Serotek jointly announced today that they have reached an agreement whereby Serotek has agreed that it was inadvertently infringing Freedom Scientific’s federally-registered trademark.

“It is unfortunate that we had to take this action,” said Lee Hamilton, President and CEO of Freedom Scientific, “but trademarks are valuable corporate assets, and they must be protected, or they are lost. This agreement accomplishes that, and we have agreed to dismiss the lawsuit. As part of this agreement, Serotek has agreed not to use our trademark or any other trademark that is similar.”

“We are pleased with the settlement agreement,” said Mike Calvo, CEO, Serotek. “We will be renaming the FreedomBox and other affected products and services in a separate announcement in the near future.”


See the Freedom Scientific and Serotek Agreement press release for public confirmation of this wonderful news.

Coalition of Organizations for Accessible Technology (COAT) ApplaudsFCC’s New Disability Accessibility Requirements

June 7, 2007 • Darrell Shandrow Hilliker

PR Newswire
Friday, June 01, 2007

Coalition of Organizations for Accessible Technology (COAT) Applauds FCC's
New Disability Accessibility Requirements

By Press Release

WASHINGTON, June 1 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Today, the Federal
Communications Commission (FCC) adopted a Report and Order, "Disability
Access Requirements Extended To VoIP Services" at its monthly open meeting.
The FCC Order levels the playing field so that interconnected Voice Over
Internet Protocol (VoIP) service providers must meet similar requirements
for providing access to people with disabilities that wireline and wireless
providers currently meet.
"We applaud this significant step forward in making sure persons
disabilities will not be left behind or left out of the next generation of
phone services using Internet technologies," says Jenifer Simpson, of the
American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD), a cofounder and
spokesperson for the Coalition.
The Order does three things for persons with disabilities. It extends
the accessibility and usability requirements of Section 255 of the
Communications Act to VoIP service providers. It requires VoIP providers to
contribute into the Interstate Telecommunications Relay Services (TRS)
Fund. It also requires VoIP service providers to meet the same TRS
obligations that traditional phone companies must meet, such as connecting
relay service users via 711, the nation's free access number to reach a
relay service center.
"Companies using new phone technologies should make their products and
services accessible and usable for people with vision loss. Why should I
have to ask someone to place a phone call for me just because some company
forgot to design phone services with my needs in mind?" asks Mark Richert
of the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB), another co-founder of the
disability coalition supporting the FCC action. "And, if we can't get our
telephone bills in Braille, how do they expect us to pay them?"
"New contributors into the relay services fund are important because the
number of traditional phone customers is continuing to decline,"
explains Karen Peltz Strauss of Communication Service for the Deaf (CSD,
Inc.), also a founder of the new disability coalition. "Relay services are
absolutely essential for people with hearing and speech disabilities."
"The 1996 Telecommunications Act required phone companies and
manufacturers to make services and products disability accessibility and
usable," adds Jenifer Simpson. "Here we are, eleven years later and some
companies still forget to design at the front end for the needs of people
with all kinds of disabilities, leaving them behind as the rest of the
population gets to use all kinds of new and exciting communication
technologies. Everyone's getting pretty fed up with not being able to use
these innovative gadgets and services. This FCC action is a good step
forward, but it's time for the whole communications industry to take a giant
step forward. We want to see accessibility in all products and
services in the marketplace."
COAT is a new coalition of disability organizations, launched in March
2007, to advocate for legislative and regulatory safeguards that will
ensure full access by people with disabilities to evolving high speed
broadband, wireless and other Internet protocol (IP) technologies. The
Coalition of Organizations for Accessible Technology, or COAT, consists of
over 67 national, regional, and community-based organizations dedicated to
making sure that as our nation migrates from legacy public switched-based
telecommunications to more versatile and innovative IP-based and other
communication technologies, people with disabilities will benefit like
everyone else. More information about the disability coalition is available
at website


Categories: Uncategorized