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media:Fw: Benetech and VisuAide Announce Partnership to Deliver Victor

From: David Poehlman <poehlman1@comcast.net>
Date: Wed, 06 Mar 2002 12:48:41 -0500
To: wai-ig list <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-id: <01ee01c1c537$2715ae50$c48d3244@cp286066a>


> Canada NewsWire
> February 25, 2002
>
> Benetech and VisuAide Announce Partnership to Deliver Victor Reader
Soft
> Digital Book Player to Bookshare.org Members
>
> Members of Benetech's new Bookshare.org internet-based digital book
> collection can now download a special edition of the Victor Reader
DAISY
> book reader from VisuAide, thanks to a partnership between the high
> technology nonprofit and the manufacturer of hardware and software
> digital audio players.
>     Similar to Napster, yet fully legal, Bookshare.org (
> www.bookshare.org <http://www.bookshare.org> ) is a
subscription-based,
> online file-sharing community that enables the upload and download of
> scanned books exclusively for use by people with print disabilities.
> Copyrighted books are available for download by Bookshare.org members
in
> either the NISO/DAISY format, or grade 2 digital Braille (BRF). The
site
> launched this week with over 10,000 books.
>     A copy of the Victor Reader Soft Bookshare.org Edition, a computer
> software application for reading the NISO/DAISY format digital books,
is
> included in Bookshare.org membership. The special edition enables
> members to read downloaded books, facilitates fast and easy navigation
> through a book, for example, marking specific passages with bookmarks,
> and customizing the visual display for font size and background color.
> Using screen reader software, a user can listen to the book with a
> synthetic voice.
>     The special version of the Victor Reader software is based on
> VisuAide's extensive range of technology and products for the print
> disabled. VisuAide is the leader in digital talking book technology
with
> its Victor Reader line distributed globally in multiple languages.
> VisuAide is an active participant in the Open E-Book Forum (OEBF) and
an
> early contributor to the NISO/DAISY Digital Talking Book Standard,
which
> Bookshare.org uses to deliver its accessible digital books.
> Bookshare.org delivers its NISO/DAISY books as
> text-
> only books, without recorded speech included, instead relying on the
> member's screen reader to speak the text or output it in Braille.
>     Designed to break-even financially as a service, the Bookshare.org
> collection is shaped primarily by its members and volunteers, who scan
> books on conventional scanners, from home or work, or at Benetech's
Palo
> Alto, California headquarters. Once a text is digitized, it's uploaded
> to the Bookshare.org website and checked by a volunteer via the
Internet
> to ensure that quality and copyright guidelines are met before being
> added to the collection.
>     Until now, hundreds of individuals might each spend three hours
> scanning in the latest novel, which is a massive waste of human
capital.
> Now, Bookshare.org will leverage the collections of tens-of-thousands
of
> individuals who regularly scan books, eliminating significant
> duplication.
>     To qualify for Bookshare.org, individuals with disabilities such
as
> blindness and dyslexia, as well as those with mobility impairments,
must
> submit written proof of their disability. Upon verification and
payment
> of an initial $25 set-up charge, members are given access to
> Bookshare.org's collection, enabling them to download as many of its
> books as they want for an annual fee of $50. Bookshare.org was
designed
> with input from the Association of American Publishers, the American
> Council of the Blind and the National Federation of the Blind, as well
> as other leading disability organizations.
>     Benetech ( www.benetech.org <http://www.benetech.org> ) is a new
> kind of nonprofit enterprise, whose mission is to empower people with
> disabilities to use state of the art technology to achieve
independence
> and high performance in education and the workplace. Prior to
> Bookshare.org, Benetech sold reading machines for the blind, under the
> Arkenstone brand, in more than a dozen languages to over 35,000
> individuals in 60 countries over an 11 year period. The Arkenstone
> products were sold to Freedom Scientific in 2000, providing the core
> seed investment for Bookshare.org.
>     VisuAide ( www.visuaide.com <http://www.visuaide.com> ) offers a
> global solution to help blind and other disabled people better
integrate
> within society. The world's leader in digital talking book technology,
> VisuAide develops and manufactures a broad range of both hardware and
> software digital audio players for the print disabled. Its Victor
Reader
> line is distributed internationally in multiple languages. Victor
Reader
> is the most complete line of digital talking book players, including
> portable players (Pro and Classic) and exclusive software
applications.
> VisuAide also leads the adaptation of software products for
> French-speaking countries and is a major distributor in Canada.
>
>     (x) The Bookshare trademark is under license from its registered
> owner,
>         Follett Library Resources division of Follett Corporation.
>
> VIEW ADDITIONAL COMPANY-SPECIFIC INFORMATION:
> http://www.newswire.ca/cgi-bin/inquiry.cgi?OKEY=62352
> <http://www.newswire.ca/cgi-bin/inquiry.cgi?OKEY=62352>
> http://www.newswire.ca/cgi-bin/inquiry.cgi?OKEY=52783
> <http://www.newswire.ca/cgi-bin/inquiry.cgi?OKEY=52783>
>
> CONTACT: Alison Lingane, Senior Product Manager, Bookshare.org, (650)
> 475-5440 x122, Alison(at)benetech.org; Nicolas LagacDe, Marketing
> Specialist, VisuAide Inc., 1-888-723-7273, nicolasl(at)visuaide.com
Received on Wednesday, 6 March 2002 12:49:12 GMT

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