The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires “that no individual shall be discriminated against on the basis of disability in the full and equal enjoyment of goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations or any place of public accommodation.” While touch terminals have been used with automated library systems for a number of years, devices for the visually impaired are a relatively new component. Among the manufacturers of devices which have been used with several different library systems is TeleSensory.
TeleSensory has been providing specialized access technology for the visually impaired for over 22 years. Two of the products, V Voice and V View, have been customized to specifically work in a library environment.
V Voice provides synthetic speech output of all text information that appears on the screen. The user controls the speech through a series of easy to learn keystrokes. Keycaps can also be marked in braille or large print to improve the user interface. With a single keystroke, one can listen to the subject, title, and author of the item of interest and quickly obtain the reference information needed. The user can also control the speaking rate and volume as desired. An internal speech synthesizer, headphone, external speaker, software and documentation are included.
V View provides direct screen magnification of all text and graphics appearing on the screen. A three-button mouse is standard, enabling the user to adjust magnification up to 16 times. The mouse also enables the user to read the entire screen. One can return to full screen immediately with the touch of a button. Screen presentation views are also available to see an electronic magnified ruler, dual screens, and positive/negative image. The screen enlargement circuit board, mouse, mouse pad, software and documentation are standard. An optional 13-key mouse emulation keypad is also available.
The products can be used together on the same PC, and they can be “turned off” so that the PC can be used by any patron. The minimum configuration recommended is a 386-based PC with 1MB of memory, 1MB of available hard disk storage, VGA color monitor, DOS 5.0 or higher, ISA board, and MCA board (for V View only).
TeleSensory has not set a retail price for these two products, but it does sell consumer versions of both at a price of $2,000 for speech output and $2,500 for screen magnification.
The products have been successfully used with CLSI, Dynix, Gaylord, Geac, INLEX, Innovative, SIRSI, VTLS, and Winnebago systems.
[Contact: TeleSensory, 455 North Bernardo Avenue, Mountain View, CA 94043; (415) 960-0920; Fax (415) 969-9064.]