Open Library Offers More Than 1 Million Books Free!

Open Library (openlibrary.org) is more than doubling the number of books available to print disabled people of all ages. The Internet Archive launched a new service that brings free access to more than 1 million books — from classic 19th century fiction and current novels to technical guides and research materials — now available in the specially designed format to support those who are blind, dyslexic or are otherwise visually impaired.

“Every person deserves the opportunity to enhance their lives through access to the books that teach, entertain and inspire,” said Brewster Kahle, founder and Digital Librarian of the Internet Archive. “Bringing access to huge libraries of books to the blind and print disabled is truly one of benefits of the digital revolution.”

Kahle also announced that the Internet Archive will be investing in the growth of its virtual bookshelf by funding the digitization of the first 10,000 books donated. Individuals and organizations are welcome to donate their favorite book or a collection of books. Books in all languages welcome. To donate books visit: http://openlibrary.org/bookdrive

Dr. Marc Maurer, President of the National Federation of the Blind, said: “Blind people must have access to repositories of digital information if we are to reach our goal of becoming full and equal participants in society. Access to the books that have been scanned by the Internet Archive in a format accessible to the blind will be another step toward that goal. We are excited about continuing to work with Internet Archive to make access to more books a reality.”

The 1 million+ books in the Internet Archive’s library for print disabled, are scanned from hard copy books then digitized into DAISY — a specialized format used by blind or other persons with disabilities, for easy navigation. Files are downloaded to devices that translate the text and read the books aloud for the user to enjoy. To access books visit: http://openlibrary.org/subjects/accessible_book

Coming soon, cars for the blind!

Coming soon!  Cars for the visually challenged and the blind!

The National Federation of the Blind (NFB) and Virginia Tech are developing a new  car that can be driven safely by a blind person – and plan  to demonstrate it on the famous Daytona International Speedway track next year.

The car will be controlled through a number of non-visual interfaces. For example, sensors transmit information about twists and turns in the road via vibrating gloves.

Another technique uses puffs of compressed air from behind the wheel to alert the driver to the objects around the car, such as other vehicles or obstructions in the road.

Other interfaces include a vibrating vest that gives feedback on speed, a click counter steering wheel with audio cues and spoken commands for feedback on the car’s direction.

The team demonstrated its first-generation prototype, http://www.tgdaily.com/general-sciences-features/43264-car-lets-the-blin-take-the-wheel a modified dune buggy, last summer. The new version is a Ford Escape, which will be demonstrated at the 2011 Rolex 24 at Daytona on January 29.

Computer Help for the Visually Challenged!

DAM Computer Service; Utilizing today’s technology to help the blind!
We partnered with DAM Computer Service of Chicago!
Offering free remote computer help for the visually challenged! (Telephone and Internet connection required and your normal phone and Internet charges apply)

Limited free services are available for the visually challenged

  • Help with basic computer problems.
  • Help with Zoom Text Screen Magnifier and Screen Reader.
  • For a service request please call 1 dash 773 dash 481 dash 1769 after 7 PM CDT.

    HelpTheBlind.com

    HelpTheBlind.com – Remote computer help for the visually challenged.

    We have partnered with DAM Computer Service to offer remote computer support and free help with ZoomText Screen Magnifier and Screen Reader for the visually challenged.