Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Making cell phones more accessable to the blind/visually impaired

Here's another tidbit I'm just passing along because I thought some would be interested.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


CONTACT:Chris Danielsen

Director of Public Relations

National Federation of the Blind(410) 659-9314, extension 2330

(410) 262-1281 (Cell)cdanielsen@nfb.org


Jennifer EricksonMotorola, Inc.(847) 435-5320

Jennifer.erickson@motorola.com


National Federation of the Blind and Motorola to Cooperate on Making Cell Phones Accessible to the Blind


Baltimore, Maryland and Libertyville, Illinois (September 14, 2009): The National Federation of the Blind, the nation’s oldest and largest organization of blind people and the leading advocate for making mainstream devices accessible to the blind, and Motorola Inc., a leading manufacturer of cell phones and other mobile communications devices, announced today that they have entered into a cooperation agreement to promote technologies that improve the accessibility of cell phones to blind consumers.


Certain future Motorola cell phones will provide verbal readouts of information such as the time and date, battery level, signal strength, user’s phone number, caller ID information for incoming calls, missed and received calls, and voice mail alerts. Blind users will also be able to take advantage of verbal readouts and voice-command features for ring tone status, inputting and accessing contacts, and various other settings. Motorola expects these cell phones to be available in 2010. The parties have also agreed to work together to make additional phones and features accessible to blind users.


Dr. Marc Maurer, President of the National Federation of the Blind, said: “In an age where productivity and success increasingly depend on access to mobile technology such as cellular telephones, it is critical that blind Americans have equal access to today’s cell phones through user interfaces that do not require vision. The National Federation of the Blind appreciates Motorola’s commitment to making the features of its cell phone products accessible to blind users without the need for third-party software, and we look forward to working together with Motorola to make future improvements to the accessibility of telecommunication technology.”


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