Brian Charleton

Thanks for your presentation  Thursday, Feb 9 at the Waltham Senior Center
to the Greater Boston Senior Computer Users Group.

The Carroll Center for the Blind

Brian Charleton is Vice President of Computer Training Services
He's worked at the Carroll Center for 20 years.

Brian heads the technology group

For the last 10 years they have had a nice 9500 sqare foot technology 
center that cost $2.5 million.

They train only about 250 people per year; many who will teach how to 
use the technology.

Once trained, they can take follow-up courses on-line on the internet.

The technology group has a separate website:

that explains about how to take classes in "popular Windows-based applications
and use screen reader or screen magnification programs to access your 

Brian has been blind since youth, 39 years. His first computer was an 
Apple II, where
he adapted the voice on its "echo game card" for text reading.

Massachusetts Sponsored Training Program

Massachusetts has a program that can send people to learn skills 
needed for employment,
most are between 18 and 65.

There are about 336 thousand blind in Massachusetts

They have assisted U-Mass Boston in a summer program to teach 
teachers. The Massachusetts
Department of Education supports this program. Of these teachers, 2/3 
are sighted.


Only one in ten who are blind can read braille.

Aging is the primary cause of blindness; others include Rubella and Measles.
A particular challenge is someone who is deaf-blind. Information is 
available at:

Brian passed around his refreshing braille text reading device; with 
40-character display across the
bottom, and "correction" keys just above it. Interesting way to 
locate sensed errors. Cost from the
Freedom Scientific website: $3200; a 20-character display is $1400 .

He's definitely into tools, including Jaws $1495; and PackMate $2895, 
also from Freedom Scientific.

He also has a GPS locator  that gives instructions for walking down a 
street; and identifying what
he's passing.

Brian has a seeing-eye dog "Kegan." that helps pick the route: curbs, 
curb-cuts, etc.

Text to Speech Reader

Brian has a Kurzweill 1000 scanner that converts text to speech. It 
costs about $900.

"The Kurzweil 1000 is award-winning software that makes printed or 
electronic text readily available to
people who are blind or visually impaired. It combines accessibility, 
communication and productivity
tools to ease and enhance their reading, writing and learning experience."

"The Kurzweil 1000 is easy to use for beginners, yet powerful and 
flexible for advanced users.
With its wide array of useful features, users save time and gain 
independence – whether at home,
at school, or at work."

The Newton Free Library has one of these Kurzweil 1000 scanners.

Brian uses his laptop for 60% of his work.

Currency Identification

Canadian currency includes raised dots to differentiate denominations.

When the Government Printing Office was approached to use different 
corner slicing on US bills
to identify the values, the idea was rejected.

Some pertinent websites Brian identified include:

     American Foundation for the Blind

Many others are identified on VIsionConnection

Best Regards/Harvey Bingham

Received on Friday, 10 February 2006 05:22:45 UTC