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Access to Vista

31st January 2007 • Dave

It has long been the dream of many blind people that we should be able to have comprehensive access to main stream technologies available at the same time and at the same cost as everyone else. Anything which falls short of this fundamental REQUEST IS NOTHING LESS THAN discriminatory, reducing the ability of blind people to be productive, competitive and most importantly considered as equal participants in this technological age.

By their very nature many technologies are intrinsically inaccessible and history has shown that it is unrealistic to expect that main stream market forces guided by legislation will always foster the specialist expertise required to deliver accessibility for all. It would appear that Microsoft recognise that they cannot be all things to all people in this area, consequently Microsoft promote an ecosystem of private companies and individuals who have made a business out of taking on the responsibility to make sure that people who are disabled have the information and tools required to: learn, work, play and communicate using main stream technology.

Many believe the assistive technology industry which makes a living by producing and marketing products for clients who are disabled and those working on our behalf, has an ethical and moral responsibility to create and inform the disabled community about appropriate solutions which enhance the accessibility of main stream technological innovations. If for no other reason than this is in the financial interests of the AT industry itself. So when a major PC operating system is launched, it is to be expected that people with disabilities look to the AT companies for access solutions. This is exactly what I did on Tuesday following the launch of Windows Vista.

It is reassuring to know that along with most screen reader developers, my employer dolphin computer Access had publicly announced their commitment to Windows Vista by the time the new OS made a consumer launch. Users of Dolphin screen reading and screen magnification software can expect vista support during the second quarter. This will be a free update for customers of dolphin version 7 software.

Categories: Technology
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