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02 July 2010

Technology gets disabled-friendly

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Manufacturers of handheld devices seem to be more eager to accommodate customers with various disabilities - particularly those with impaired vision.

A recent exhibition sponsored by the Royal National Institute for Blind People (RNIB) - Techshare Mobile in Birmingham - saw a number of producers and service providers displaying technology that aimed to give blind and partially sighted users the same experience as non-disabled people.

Olympus is about to launch a new dictaphone - the DM5 - that has been designed in conjunction with the RNIB and the British Dyslexia Association (BDA).

It has 8Gb of internal storage which can accommodate more than 2,000 hours of recording.

Since most people would never need anything like that capacity to store audio memos and the like, the device can also be used as a personal music player.

It also supports the DAISY (Digital Accessible Information System) format which the RNIB uses to encode audio books.

DAISY is also popular among people who have dyslexia, and the DM5 has been designed to meet their needs as well.

"It's intuitively designed so all of the buttons are very tactile and should be very straightforward," said Olympus product specialist, Georgina Knight.

"Once you get into the menu of the device and you scroll down to the different options, you have voice guidance, telling you what area of the device you're in."

(BBC News)

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