Friday, October 26, 2012

Freedom Scientific Releases MAGic 12 Screen Magnifier

Freedom Scientific, the world leader in assistive technology for those that are low vision or blind, on October 24 announced the release of version 12 of its MAGic® screen magnification software.

Freedom Scientific logoMAGic makes it possible for computer users with macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, and other causes of low vision to use a PC. It increases the size of what a user sees on the monitor, all the way up to 36 times magnification and can also speak out loud what’s on the screen.

“This MAGic release has a simple, attractive user interface delivering the enhancements most requested by our users,” says Dusty Voorhees, Senior Product Manager at Freedom Scientific. “The new HD Text feature smooths the letters no matter which font or magnification level you choose – no more looking at blocky, pixilated text as you increase magnification. The new HD mouse offers selectable styles and continuous mouse pointer sizing that remains sharp at all magnification levels. This new look and feel provides intuitive access to any feature while being easy on the eyes, so users enjoy longer computing sessions with more comfort and less fatigue.”

This release is replete with unique new features that enhance productivity for low vision users:
  • Take full control of what MAGic says, and when it says it, with Speech On Demand. Using speech can reduce eye fatigue and improve efficiency, but sometimes too much speech can be overwhelming. MAGic 12 goes far beyond a simple on/off toggle for speech, allowing you to eliminate extra chatter. No other screen magnification product provides this level of control over the speech you hear.
  • All new mouse, cursor, and color schemes make it easier for low vision users to work in today’s modern applications. Enhancements offer high-contrast, low-glare screens and a customizable, easy-to–track mouse and cursor.
  • Application-specific voice profiles make it very easy to select, create, change, and save default voice settings
  • Research It gives you quick and easy access to a wide range of information available on the Internet, and it’s available at the touch of a button if you’re using the MAGic Large Print Keyboard
  • Navigation Quick Keys make surfing the Web and working with PDF files more efficient. Get to where you want to be with just a key press.
  • The Skim Reading tool gets you quickly to just the information you want
For a downloadable demonstration copy of MAGic 12, or to find out how to upgrade, visit the MAGic What’s New page.

Competitive Upgrade Promotion
“We’re sure that many longtime screen magnification users will want to upgrade to MAGic 12 once they see its features,” says Voorhees. “We want to give them that opportunity, even if they are not currently using MAGic. Through January 31, 2013, ZoomText users can upgrade to MAGic 12 for just $199. They’ll get MAGic 12 with Speech, a MAGic Large Print Keyboard, and an SMA. A five-seat license can be upgraded for $995, including five keyboards and the SMA.”

For more information on this upgrade promotion, call 1-800-444-4443.

About Freedom Scientific
Freedom Scientific is the leading worldwide provider of assistive technology products for those with vision impairments. The Company sells its products worldwide and has offices in Florida and Switzerland. The Company’s products have been translated into 24 languages and are available in 55 countries. Freedom also has a line of software products for those with learning disabilities.

Freedom Scientific®, MAGic®, and Speech On Demand™ are either trademarks or registered trademarks in the United States and/or other countries. The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

For more information, visit or contact Brad Davis 800-444-4443 or 727-803-8000,

Source: GAATES

Sochi 2014 Puts Accessibility on the Map to Mark 500 Days Until the Paralympic Games

Russia marked 500 days to go until country’s first Paralympic Winter Games, which will be hosted in Sochi and begin on 7th March 2014.

Sochi 2014 logoTo celebrate this milestone date Sochi 2014 volunteers have already located and placed 500 accessible venues from dozens of Russian cities on the Accessibility Map; Sochi became the heart of the celebrations with the opening of an Equal Opportunities Park and with an outstanding “Class Mira” theater musical, and Paralympic lessons across the entire country marked the launch of the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Education School Program.

Accessibility Map
In the build up to 500 days to go the Accessibility Map ( – the unique interactive internet project has been launched by the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee with the support of the International Paralympic Committee.

Sochi 2014 Puts Accessibility on the Map to Mark 500 Days to Go to Paralympic Games 24 October 2012. (Photo credit: Sochi 2014)
Sochi 2014 Puts Accessibility on the Map to Mark 500 Days to Go to Paralympic Games 24 October 2012. (Photo credit: Sochi 2014)
The new Accessibility Map website was presented and demonstrated by the President of Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee Dmitry Chernyshenko, the General Secretary of the RPC Mikhail Terentiev and Sochi 2014 volunteers to the guests gathered at the Park via a big screen. The volunteers together with the internet users will create on this website the complete list of barrier-free venues and infrastructure to make it easier for people with a disability to find places to play sport near to their home, sometimes for the very first time. The Sochi 2014 volunteers from 26 volunteer centers all over the country have already found and put on the map the data on 500 barrier-free venues in their cities.

The website has been expressly developed to take accessibility requirements into account, allowing a user to switch to an alternative version for visually impaired users with just one click of a mouse.
After the Paralympic Games, the project will be further developed, with the internet allowing the program to reach thousands of people online.

Equal Opportunities Park
In the center of Sochi the Equal Opportunities Park was the heart of the celebration. All visitors could speak with prominent Paralympic sportsmen and were able to try their hand at several Paralympic sports including sledge hockey, wheelchair curling, biathlon and basketball and had the chance to attempt to cross an obstacle course blindfolded. The guests of the Park also got into the spirit of the Winter Games by ice skating, playing table hockey and taking photographs with the Paralympic Champions and mascots of the Paralympic Games, the Ray of Light and the Snowflake.

The Park’s guests of honor included the President of the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee, Dmitry Chernyshenko, General Secretary of the Russian Paralympic Committee, Mikhail Terentiev and the Mayor of Sochi, Anatoly Pakhomov.

Class Mira
The guests of the Equal Opportunities Park also watched a scene from the outstanding “Class Mira” theater musical, which actively includes children with a disability and provides them with an opportunity to participate in leading theatrical performances. The full premiere will take place in the Sochi Winter Theater on 27th October as part of the Sochi 2014 Cultural Olympiad. The star roles in this unique performance will be played by leading talents including Andrei Merzlikin, Artur Smolyaninov, Maria Golubkina and Ekaterina Volkova.

Paralympic Lessons
A Paralympic lesson took place for schoolchildren in the Equal Opportunities Park. The lesson was held by RPC General Secretary, Mikhail Terentiev, “Sochi 2014 Our Champion”, Ivan Goncharov and Sochi 2014 Ambassador, Sergei Shilov. To further celebrate 500 days to go, Paralympic lessons took place across the entire country, with the support of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation, and marked the launch of the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Education School Program.

The Paralympic lessons throughout Russia were not only held by teachers, but also by Sochi 2014 volunteers who organized 500 lessons in different cities. Sochi 2014’s Official Supplier English First (EF) introduced all those taking lessons to their online language school, Englishtown, and gave out gift cards towards the study of English language.

A video version of the “London 2012 – Sochi 2014″ lesson was also uploaded today on the official Sochi 2014 website, The video was shot at the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee’s Moscow office on 1st September 2012, the first days of the Paralympic Games in London, and included Russia’s Paralympic athletes.

Sir Philip Craven, IPC President said:

“I am delighted that to mark 500 days to go until the Winter Games, Sochi 2014 is launching its innovative accessibility map. This project will help generate awareness across Russia of accessible facilities and is a project that, with the help and support of the IPC, could act as a blueprint for other countries to follow. Planning for the launch of this project started some time ago under the supervision of the IPC and I am pleased to see it come to fruition to mark 500 days to go.”

Dmitry Chernyshenko, the President of the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee, marked:
“In 2014 Sochi will host the first Paralympic Games in the history of Russia. I am sure that the high accessibility standards that will have been set in the Olympic region by 2014 will be needed in other cities across the whole country, and our efforts in passionately promoting the Paralympic values will help to remove the “barriers” in society towards people with a disability forever”.

Mikhail Terentiev, the General Secretary of the RPC, noted:

“The Accessibility Map is a completely unique project for Russia. Its uniqueness lies not only in it being the first interactive map of the sports venues for people with a disability, but also in the fact that it is created from and will be added by the data received from the residents of Russian cities. Every resident of Russia can contribute to the creation of a barrier-free Russia which will make it possible for people with disabilities to lead an independent lifestyle and to actively participate in the development of our society.”

Sergei Shilov, Sochi 2014 Ambassador, underlined:

“I am delighted that the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee has undertaken such a significant and groundbreaking project. Thanks to the Accessibility Map, so many people will be able to engage in sport who previously did not have the opportunity, helping them to enjoy all the benefits that playing sport can bring and be fully included in society”.

Source: GAATES