Tuesday, June 20, 2006

The interview is online! The link is: http://www.examiner.com/a-154791~Technology_aids_deaf_blind.html
Here's the text:

Technology aids deaf-blind

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Meghan Shapiro, The Examiner
Jun 20, 2006 7:00 AM (17 mins ago)BALTIMORE - For the deaf-blind community, today?s technology spells independence.

At the American Association of the Deaf-Blind National Conference held at Towson University, several manufacturers displayed and promoted multiple products that bridge the communication gap between the deaf-blind and the general population.

Katherine Spears, 73, from Sacramento, Calif., who has been deaf-blind all her life uses BrailleNote, a product offered by HumanWare that enables the deaf-blind to communicate using a Braille keyboard.
The keyboard, which is also equipped with wireless Internet, lets the user surf the Web, download, use a word processor and even talk to others when attached to the palm pilot.

Spears said that she lives in a community where people do not know how to communicate with her, and that because of her BrailleNote, others can now understand her.

?The deaf-blind community is misunderstood, and this equipment has made a difference,? she said.

Dona Sauerburger, an orientation and mobility specialist who is speaking at the conference that kicked off Monday, said: ?The biggest obstacles in a deaf-blind person?s life is not necessarily communicating to a fellow deaf-blind, but communicating with the general population. The public has no clue.?

Sauerburger said the result often is deaf-blind people automatically thinking they are being rejected.

Whereas in the past there was little hope, today technology can make a difference, said Jonathan Mosen, product manager for HumanWare.

?There?s never been a better time to be blind,? he said.

mshapiro@baltimoreexaminer.com
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It's shorter than I expected, and KC's name is wrong (it should be "Kathleen" and "Spear"). But she did manage to get some of the salient points in there. (Just the interview with KC, had all the main points been included, would have doubled the size of the article. Ditto for the comments from the guys from HumanWare, and I'd bet from Dona Sauerberger, as well.)

Gotta scoot. More details later.

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