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Posts tagged disabilities

ALA comes out in favor of HathiTrust appeals ruling
June 18, 2014 | 12:25 pm

hathi.jpgThe American Library Association (ALA) has gone on record to declare its support for the recent appeals court victory by HathiTrust versus the Authors Guild for specific fair use by libraries. As already noted in Teleread, the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals upheld an original ruling in Authors Guild v. HathiTrust, deciding that it is is fair use to provide a full text search database and access to works for those with print-reading disabilities . This shouldn't come as a surprise, since the whole case revolved around fair use by libraries in the first place, but it's good to see...

Are Amazon, Sony, Kobo and company dissing on disabilities?
August 7, 2013 | 9:39 am

A piece of news has surfaced that makes for some pretty alarming headlines: Amazon.com Inc., Kobo Inc., and Sony Electronics Inc. have formed a self-described "Coalition of E-Reader Manufacturers" to petition the U. S. Federal Communications Commission, "for Waiver of Sections 716 and 717 of the Communications Act and Part 14 of the Commission’s Rules Requiring Access to Advanced Communications Services (ACS) and Equipment by People with Disabilities." Yes, they are asking the FCC to waive their legal obligations to provide ACS access for disabled users of e-readers. But wait: Is this really a straight attempt to get out of obligations to...

Three users of Speak For Yourself apply to intervene in AAC app patent case
July 17, 2012 | 8:40 pm

I’ve lately covered the legal situation surrounding the Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) iPad app Speak For Yourself, which is the subject of patent litigation from larger AAC companies. Concerned parent Dana Nieder, whose 4-year-old nonverbal child Maya uses the app, has blogged several times about the difficulties the lawsuit has caused, including the removal of the app from the iTunes store, and its possible future nonfunctionality, due to legal pressure by the patent holders. Up to this point, she and her family have largely been legal bystanders in the case. However, she now reports that her daughter Maya,...

Apple will reinstate AAC app Speak For Yourself if its developers win in court
June 28, 2012 | 5:15 pm

The Register reports that Apple will reinstate the AAC app “Speak For Yourself” if the speech therapists who made the app are able to win the patent lawsuit brought against them. Apple pulled the app several weeks ago as part of the ongoing dispute between two larger AAC device companies and the small start-up that created the app. Apple removed the app as a matter of policy, says The Register, as it always removes apps that are subjects of litigation to protect users from any potential legal consequences of using a possibly illegal application. There was no significance of...

Augmentative communication app Speak For Yourself pulled from iTunes store at patent plaintiff request
June 13, 2012 | 8:26 pm

A few months ago I wrote about the patent situation surrounding an app called “Speak For Yourself” that allows autistic and otherwise nonverbal people to communicate with others. A couple of companies who make much more expensive AAC (augmentative and alternative communication) devices are suing the makers of Speak For Yourself for infringing 100 of their patents. Dana Nieder, mother of a four-year-old nonverbal child named Maya, has updated her blog to note that thanks to the app, Maya’s communication skills with the app have improved dramatically over just a few weeks. But she also notes that, as...

Kindle Chronicles interviews Temple Grandin on ereaders and autism
May 7, 2012 | 8:38 am

Images From The Kindle Chronicles: I visited Dr. Temple Grandin at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado, on April 30 and brought with me an array of Kindles and an iPad. Her considerations of the devices as reading aids for those on the autism spectrum were candid and astute. Her bestselling books include Animals Make Us Human: Creating the Best Life for Animals and The Way I See It: A Personal Look at Autism and Asperger’s. The story of how she used her personal experience of autism to revolutionize the livestock business was dramatized in an HBO special starring Claire Danes. I recorded...

Blind patrons sue Free Library of Philadelphia for providing unaccessible Nook ereaders
May 4, 2012 | 2:23 pm

Nfb logo From the press release by the National Federation of the Blind: With the assistance of the National Federation of the Blind, four blind patrons of the Free Library of Philadelphia—Denice Brown, Karen Comorato, Patricia Grebloski, and Antoinette Whaley—have filed suit (case number: 12-2373) against the library because they cannot access one of the library’s programs for which they are eligible.  The Free Library of Philadelphia has instituted and announced plans to expand a program in which free NOOK Simple Touch e-readers, which are manufactured and sold by Barnes & Noble, are loaned to patrons over the age of fifty.  Unlike some...

Don Johnston’s new cloud library available for whole schools a low license rate
April 30, 2012 | 10:40 am

Start to Finish Online Books2 567x189 From the press release.  Note that school-wide licenses are only $429 per year: Don Johnston Incorporated today released Start-to-Finish Online Accessible Library. Company founder Don Johnston said, "Thanks to the power of cloud computing, struggling readers can now use their iPads, mobile devices and laptop computers to read some of the most important and powerful books ever written. Just one license allows classrooms in an entire school to read books from school or home without buying copies for everyone." Before going to the cloud, Start-to-Finish built a strong fan base over a decade with computer, audiobook and paperback book sets. The product...

U.S. Senator Congratulates Bookshare on 10th Anniversary!
April 5, 2012 | 11:03 am

Five individuals standing with Senator Tom Harkin in the middle flanked on his left by Tom Sheridan, Julie Freed, and on his right by Jim Fruchterman and Betsy Beaumon, standing, all in dark suits, From the Bookshare blog: On March 8, 2012, ninety guests gathered at the U.S. Capitol to hearSenator Tom Harkin (IA- D), Chairman of the Health, Education, Labor, and Pension Appropriations Committee, recognize the good work of the staff and volunteers of Bookshare on its 10th anniversary. The Iowa Senator and Julie Freed, an assistive technology teacher and constituent of the Senator’s home state, thanked Bookshare for breaking down barriers to reading access for individuals with print disabilities. Senator Tom Harkin (middle) with Tom Sheridan and Julie Freed (left), Jim Fruchterman and Betsy Beaumon (right) In his speech, Senator Harkin first acknowledged the leadership of...

Patent lawsuit threatens inexpensive iPad app to let autistic speak
March 28, 2012 | 11:15 am

speakforyourselfThe iPad can be great for letting people read, but it can be just as good for letting certain people speak. As I’ve previously mentioned, autistic, nonverbal, and otherwise disabled people who have trouble talking can make use of AAC (augmentative and alternative communication) apps to say the words they can’t say for themselves. However, today I learned about a legal battle shaping up against a popular $299.99 AAC app for the iPad called Speak For Yourself. Dana Nieder, parent of a 4-year-old nonverbal child and extremely satisfied user of Speak For Yourself, posts to her blog that a pair of...

Bookshare celebrates 10 years of providing eBooks to those with print disabilities, by Sue Polanka
March 14, 2012 | 8:55 am

Nsr2 March 12, 2012 – Palo Alto, CA – Bookshare, the global leader in providing digital accessible books to people with print disabilities, today announced its 10th anniversary. Throughout the last ten years, Bookshare has been at the forefront of the digital book revolution, applying Silicon Valley technology to pioneer an innovative new approach to a library for individuals with print disabilities. Jim Fruchterman, the CEO and founder of the nonprofit Benetech, the parent organization of Bookshare, envisioned a library of eBooks formed by volunteers digitizing and legally sharing them over the Internet with others with qualified print disabilities (such as blindness,...

Don Johnston Announces Snap&Read A Simple Toolbar That Reads Any Text On-Screen
March 13, 2012 | 9:17 am

Snap read From the press release: Don Johnston Incorporated today announced Snap&Read, a software toolbar that reads any text on-screen as it floats over any application. Its simple one-button interface reads both accessible and inaccessible text aloud from Flash websites, Word docs, PDFs, web-based tests, web-delivered curriculum, and even dialog boxes. To read text aloud, users launch the Snap&Read floating toolbar and select text on-screen. That text is automatically read in high quality text-to-speech voices. Snap&Read also features built-in Optical Character Recognition (OCR) to read text delivered through inaccessible formats like Flash and...