Judie’s Gear Diary – 2002-10-24

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I just received word about something that sounds like a major development for blind people: PAC Mate, which is a Pocket PC for the Blind. According to the press release…

“The PAC Mate Pocket PC promises to play an important role in “leveling the playing field” for mobile people with disabilities in the workplace. (BTW: October is designated as National Disability Employment Awareness Month. Currently, an estimated 70% of the 54 million people living in the United States with disabilities are not employed.) Some of the more interesting third-party applications now being developed or tested for use with the PAC Mate include a personal GPS system that will give blind users a verbal reading of where they are in relation to that movie theater or office building they’re trying to find. Another third-party application, particularly useful to blind and low-vision people, is a bar-code scanner that allows users to ascertain the price, contents and characteristics of canned goods and other products, whether they’re shopping at the grocery store or preparing dinner in their own kitchen.
The device integrates easily with desktop software making it easy for users to keep email, contacts and appointments up to date.”

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