CODI: Cornucopia of Disability Information

Cornucopia of Disability Information

                  "Invisible" Computers For Blind Clients
 
        An Integrated Campus-Wide Model for Adapting Computer Equipment 
                          for Clients who are Blind


Mike Thompson  (505) 646-4183
New Mexico State University
Computer Center - Room 133
Corner Stewart & Sweet
Las Cruces, New Mexico  88003
e-mail: mthompso@nmsu.edu



Abstract:


      Imagine yourself walking into a library and finding all the books
are in Braille.  Later, you go to a classroom and find that the only
chairs are wheelchairs.  Not being comfortable with the seating
arrangements you decide to go to the theatre, only to discover that no
words are spoken, but the entire dialogue is in American Sign Language. 
Frustrated with the situation, you go to the lobby to buy a soft drink
where you find that all of the vending machines are behind doors you have
no way of opening. 

      Is this an unlikely scenario?  Not at all.  These frustrations are
very real to thousands of people every day. People who are members of the
disabled minority who do encounter: 

              * Libraries where all the books are in print
              * Classrooms where all the seats are attached to the floor
              * Theatres where all the dialogue is spoken
              * Vending machines in a lobby at the top of several steps

      With the advent of computer technology, a whole new arena of
frustrations related to accessibility threatens to emerge.  However, new
computer hardware and software products are being developed by an
increasing number of companies to address these accessibility problems. 
Many of these products are "highly specialized" and can be extremely
expensive to implement.  Even when they are implemented, a whole new set
of problems can emerge.  The "highly specialized" approach is by nature
different from common computing services.  Often, they are not even
compatible.  Therefore, people who have to use the "specialized devices"
are limited once again in terms of computer access.  They are, in fact,
segregated from the rest of the computing community by locations of
"specialized devices", software compatibility, information services, and
connectivity. 

      New Mexico State University (NMSU) is taking a unique integrated
approach in making computing services accessible to clients who are blind. 
This cost effective system is achieved through software site licensing and
a cooperative agreement with the New Mexico Commission for the Blind
(NMCB).  In essence, NMSU provides the base services of Screen Reading
Software, Character-Screen Enlargement Software, Braille Translation
Software, and a Braille printer. The software is installed on computer
servers as well as stand-alone systems.  The Braille printer is connected
to the network, maximizing the number of devices which can access it. The
New Mexico Commission for the Blind provides blind clients with portable
speech synthesizers. The end result is blind clients using the same
computer equipment, software, and services as everyone else. The physical
appearance of the computer labs has not changed at all, leaving the
solution ... "Invisible." 



Introduction: 


      If something is invisible, it is said to be incapable by nature of
being seen.  To perceive something is to become aware of it through the
senses. It is not always necessary to see something in order to perceive
it.  We don't see the air, but we definitely perceive it.  We would, no
doubt, perceive its absence.  If we do, in fact, "see" the air then our
problems are beyond the scope of this adaptive model. 

      Some would argue that all things are invisible to blind people.  The
truth is that blind people simply use alternative techniques in order to
perceive things.  That is not to say that blind people have some automatic
increase in the other senses simply because of a lack of ability to see. 
It is possible, however, to develop the skills to use the other senses to
perceive things around us. It is also possible to take advantage of tools
to aid in this perception.  We do it all the time.  People who wear
glasses are using a tool to increase their ability to see what they would
have had problems with otherwise.  Blind people use a white cane as a tool
for mobility to help detect objects and to find their way. 

      As our technology advances, more sophisticated tools become
available, not just to blind people, but to everyone.  As computers play a
more significant role in education, and as more blind people are
participating in both public and private education, so the demand for
computers which are accessible to blind people also increases.  Since it
is not possible for blind people to read a computer screen, it becomes
necessary to adapt the computer in such a way as to provide an alternative
means of interacting with the computer.  This is commonly achieved by
adding adaptive software and hardware to a computer system.  These
adaptations include screen reading software, a speech synthesizer, screen-
character enlargement software, Braille translation software, and a
Braille Printer. 



Purpose


      The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) which was signed into law
in July of 1990 makes it illegal to discriminate against a person based on
disability.  Universities are making a number of changes campus wide in
order to make programs, services, and facilities accessible to persons
with disabilities.  The "Invisible Computers for Blind Clients" model
presents a practical, cost effective means of making computing accessible
to blind clients.  The unique feature of this model is that it integrates
blind clients into standard programs by making the existing computing
equipment and software accessible.  It does not segregate blind clients by
providing specialized devices for use by the blind.  Segregation is a form
of discrimination.  By implementing this model, blind students, faculty,
or staff members will be able to use the same computer software and
hardware as everyone else. 


Background:

Computing at NMSU:

      New Mexico State University offers a wide variety of computer
systems to its students, faculty, staff, and in some cases to community
organizations.  These computers are used by nearly every department of the
university, and are located all across the campus.  In fact, it is
possible to wander through the halls of nearly any building on campus and
find computers or terminals in just about every office.  Many departments
offer state-of-the - art computer labs to their clients.  Some of these
labs are open 24 hours a day.  The Computer Center provides a
sophisticated network which connects many of these computer systems.  In
addition, several large systems are also available on the network.  These
systems include a multitude of UNIX machines, VAX systems, an IBM ES9000
Mainframe and a Cray Y-MP EL.  The list goes on to include an endless
series of PCs and MACs, WorkStations, X- Terminals, IBM 3270 devices,
serial terminals etc.  Much of the software includes Word Processing,
Image Processing, Visualization, etc. which runs on these computing
devices.  However, many offices and departments provide specialized
software including university administrative applications.  There are
computer classrooms where "hands-on" training is provided.  There are
computers and terminals in the Library.  Some students use computing
devices in their dormitory rooms to access central computing services. 
The point is that computers are found and used everywhere on campus by
people from all backgrounds. 

Original Adapted WorkStation:

      The NMSU Computer Center originally purchased Telesensory Systems
Inc. (TSI) equipment to serve as an accessible computing station for blind
clients.  The device consisted of a Gateway 2000 36/25 PC equipped with
VertPlus - Screen Reading Software (Digitized Speech Output), VISTA -
Screen-Character Enlargement Software, and OSCAR - Page Scanner.  The
system was located at the front of the main Computer Center PC lab, and
clearly labeled (VIEW) Visually Impaired WorkStation. 

Problems:

      The VIEW system was designed and implemented with the best
intentions, however, several problems soon became apparent. 

-- Accessibility
              
     The first problem with the VIEW system was one of accessibility. 
There was only one station available to blind clients, and it was located
in the main PC computer lab.  If a blind person wanted, or needed, to work
in any other location it was simply not possible.  Given the description
of computing on campus from above, this placed blind clients at a severe
disadvantage.  They could not participate in the "hands-on" training
offered in any of the other computer classrooms.  They could not take
advantage of the 24 hour labs.  They could not take advantage of computing
services offered in the Library.  Blind faculty and staff members could
not use the administrative computing services.  In general, blind clients
could not participate in group projects and activities taking place in the
variety of locations where computing services are available.  The single
workstation literally segregated our blind clients from everyone else. 

-- Compatibility

      The second problem with the VIEW system was one of compatibility. 
It simply did not work with many of the software applications -- some of
which were required for classes.  A computer equipped with speech is of
little use to a blind person if it is not compatible with the software
applications required for class or work. 



-- Reliability

      Reliability became an issue when a power supply went bad in the
Gateway 2000 PC.  In addition some of the internal TSI boards were also
damaged.  This left blind clients with absolutely no computer access at
all.  TSI took several weeks to replace the damaged equipment.  Without a
backup system, blind students were unable to complete class assignments. 

-- Learning Curve

      Computers can be intimidating to many people.  Learning how to use a
computer, understand the jargon, work the keyboard and mouse, interpret
the instructions on the screen, and understand the manual, can be
overwhelming to a new computer user.  Blind clients have an additional
dimension to this problem in that they must first learn how to use the
adaptive hardware and software.  Documentation for the system was not
readily available in Braille, Large Print, or on Tape.  Furthermore,
copies of the documentation could not be checked out and taken home to
study. 

      The majority of the blind students attending NMSU are also clients
of the New Mexico Commission for the blind.  Many of these clients are
already familiar with certain adaptive hardware and software through
training provided by the NMCB Orientation Center.  In addition, these
clients are likely to encounter the same products in the work force after
graduating.  Therefore, the learning curve could be minimized by
coordinating adaptive products with those used by NMCB. 

-- "Fish Bowl/Spotlight Effect"

      The largest problem with the "Specialized" workstation is "The Fish
Bowl/Spotlight Effect".  The user of this equipment clearly stands out in
the crowd.  The device is marked for use by the handicapped.  It sets at
the front of the computer lab, and its special function is a natural
curiosity.  Blind people have a tough enough time "fitting in" to society. 
A "specialized" workstation only agitates the problem.  If a blind client
is intimidated by computers in the first place, his/her problems are only
magnified when he/she is placed "in the spotlight", while trying to learn
to use the system.  Add to this not one, but several lab assistants and
spectators standing around, both watching, and trying to help.  Not many
people would be comfortable in this situation. 

      An interesting contrast to the "Fish Bowl/Spotlight Effect" is the
way in which other adaptive devices are designed and marketed.  For
example, many people prefer to wear contact lenses instead of glasses. 
Hearing aids are advertised not by how well they help you hear, but by
that fact that nobody will even know you're wearing one.  Marketing
success for these products is based on societies view of the design. 
Large, obtrusive hearing aids are simply not in vogue.  Blind computer
clients should not be forced to use awkward, obtrusive equipment,
especially when many options are available. 


Research:


      Research began on the project in order to solve the problems
mentioned above.  The goal was to solve the problems and provide the best
computing services possible to blind clients.  In order to meet that goal,
a panel of blind computer professionals was established.  Members of the
panel served as consultants for the project.  Each member of the panel was
carefully chosen based on the following criteria: 


* Member must be blind.
* Member must be employed in a computer related field where he/she
  uses adaptive computer technology.
* Member must not represent a vendor of adaptive equipment.
* Member must have first-hand experience with multiple products 
  which represent industry standard adaptive technology.
* Member must be familiar with current, industry standard, general
  use, hardware and software.


      Panel recommendations were verified with other blind computer
professionals.  Ideas were discussed with various members of the New
Mexico Commission for the Blind as well as members of the National
Federation of the Blind.  In addition, Blind students and staff from New
Mexico State University were consulted. 

      Several postings were made to electronic news groups in order to
understand the scope of computer accessibility problems for blind people. 
Numerous responses were received addressing these issues.  I, along with
members from the panel attended the California State University at
Northridge (CSUN) Technology and Persons with Disabilities conference, in
order to learn what solutions were being proposed and implemented
nationally.  We were disturbed to learn that most institutions, which were
providing any access at all, were designing special computer labs for
persons with disabilities.  Others had purchased similar equipment to our
VIEW system.  Our conclusion was that no one was taking a complete,
integrated approach to the problem.  The solutions we learned of all
segregate blind clients from everyone else. 

      It quickly became clear that in order to meet our objectives, we
needed to design our own solution to the computer accessibility problem. 
Therefore, to provide the best computing services possible to blind
clients we set the following goals: 


* Integrate Blind Clients into Standard Curriculum 
* Maximize the Number of Adapted Seats Available 
* Insure Compatibility With Existing Software Products
* Maximize Reliability
* Reduce the Learning Curve
* Eliminate the "Fish Bowl/Spotlight Effect"
* Minimize Costs
* Develop an approach where the consumer of the service has input
  into the design
* Insure that the solution is easy to implement, manage and  
  maintain
* Develop a model that can grow and change with technology


The Invisible Model:


      Research and consultation with the panel, blind students and staff,
Computer Center administrators, Computer Center technical support staff,
and the New Mexico Commission for the Blind, resulted in the "Invisible
Computers for Blind Clients" Model.  The "Invisible" model is designed to
make computer equipment accessible to blind clients.  This adaptive model
is targeted at clients whose primary disability is blindness.  It is
designed to integrate blind clients into the standard curriculum.  The
following is a list of features: 

 *  Provides  Interactive Speech Output via Text to Speech 
    Translation
 *  Provides Character - Screen Enlargement
 *  Site License for all Software
 *  Takes Advantage of Existing Computer Equipment
 *  Integrates Blind Clients into Standard Curriculum
 *  Maximizes the Number of Adapted Seats Available 
 *  Minimizes the Amount of Software and Hardware Needed for 
    Adaptations
 *  Cost Effective
 *  Allows Clients to Use Their Own Speech Hardware if Desired
 *  Vendor Independent
 *  Provides simple tools to convert electronic documents into 
    Large Print and Braille



Components:

      The invisible model is composed of three component categories. 
These categories include speech output, screen/character enlargement, and
Braille output. 



            1. Speech Output

                    Screen Reading Software
                    Speech Synthesizers

            2. Screen - Character Enlargement

                     Screen -  Character Enlargement Software

            3. Braille Output

                     Braille  / Large Print Translation Software
                     Braille Printer 



1. Speech Output

      Speech output is made available by means of screen reading software
and portable speech synthesizers.  The speech translation software is
installed on each PC server on the network.  In addition, a software site
license allows installation on any University PC system. The speech
translation software is configured on the PC network servers so that it
can be invoked by means of a "hot key" sequence.  The adaptive software
can be invoked by the client before he/she is required to perform any
preliminary log-in procedures etc.  The software is configured so that
each client is able to load and save personal configuration preferences. 
The software is automatically removed from memory when the client
terminates his/her network session.  Portable speech synthesizers are
provided to blind clients by the New Mexico Commission for the Blind.  In
addition, the Computer Center will maintain at least one portable speech
synthesizer for use as a backup.  Each client is responsible for
connecting his/her speech synthesizer to the desired computer system. 



Portable Speech Synthesizer Features:

              Portable
              Understandable speech
              Volume control
              Headphones
              Adjustable Speed via Software Control
              Battery and ac powered
              Standard interface
              Compatible with Standard PC Systems
              Compatible with Selected Screen Reading Software




Screen Reading Software Features:

Licensing:

              Site License (Stand-alone & Network)
              No Software Protection 

Hardware Compatibility:

      Compatible with standard PC and PS-2 CPUs
      Compatible with standard PC and PS-2 Video Systems (mono, 
      CGA,EGA, VGA, SVGA ...)
      Network Compatible 3+Open Lan Manager & Novell ver. 3.xx
      Standard Parallel Interface
      Standard Serial Interface
      Works with Standard  third party External Speech Synthesizers
      Works with Standard  third party Internal Speech Synthesizers


Software Compatibility:

Vt100 emulation
(PC) dBase III              (PC) Foxbase      (PC) FoxPro
(PC) Lotus Freelance Plus   (PC) Lotus 123    (PC) MathCad
(PC) NCSA FTP               (PC) NCSA Telnet  (PC) PC-write                  
(PC) SAS                    (PC) Turbo C++    (PC) Turbo Pascal              
(PC) Watfor 77              (PC) WordPerfect  (PC) Wordstar

(UNIX) elm                  (UNIX) emacs      (UNIX) Matlab
(UNIX) pine                 (UNIX) postmaster (UNIX) rn (news)               
(UNIX) tin                  (UNIX) TN3270     (UNIX) vi
(UNIX) WordPerfect

(VMS) EDT                   (VMS) Gemacs      (VMS) INFO
(VMS) PlotData              (VMS) RS/1        (VMS) TECHNET
(VMS) WordPerfect           (VMS) MAIL        (VMS) SAS 

(VM) VMDIRECT               (VM) XEDIT


Documentation:

      Available and included in Braille                                      
      Available and included in electronic format
      Available and included in large print      
      Available and included on cassette
      Charts & diagrams
      Examples
      Generally useful and well organized  
      On-Line Context sensitive help
      On-line Help
      On-Line Tutorial
      Quick reference   
      Step by step user instructions
      Technical Information (interface protocol ...)
      Up to date with current software version



Product Features:

       Ability to customize character pronunciation
       Ability to interrupt / silence the speech and clear buffer
       Ability to recognize and track screen colors
       Ability to suspend speech and continue
       Ability to track moving-bar menus
       Ability to track pseudo cursor (Lotus)
       All standard characters spoken (ext. char set)
       Autoload application configuration with application
       Hands stay on main keyboard
       Keyboard re-mapping
       Keyboard input voices character or word
       Keys belong to application by default
       Loads in extended or expanded memory
       Locate info on the screen
       Menu driven configuration settings
       Numbers spoken as digits or full numbers
       Organized menu structure
       Quick positioning in review
       Requires little memory
       Review Character
       Review Cursor Position
       Review cursor to bottom of screen
       Review Line
       Review Paragraph
       Review Screen
       Review sentence
       Review Word
       Review beginning of line to cursor
       Review cursor to end of line
       Review top of screen to cursor
       Route application cursor to speech cursor
       Route speech cursor to applications cursor
       Screen area masking
       Screen area tracking
       Software control of rate, pitch, tone and volume
       Spell words
       Spell words phonetically
       Spoken Status (config settings & toggles)
       Treatment of graphics
       Treatment of Punctuation
       Treatment of repeating characters
       Treatment of video attributes
       Treatment of abbreviations
       Treatment of Capitalization
       Treatment of punctuation
       Treatment of columns
       Treatment of windows
       Visible and Spoken menus

Simple adaptability and configuration for new applications software

Treatment of exception handling for mispronounced words

Speech control keys do not interfere with application control keys. 

Independent configuration of speech functions for keyboard and screen

Works in real-time with application without going into screen review

Multiple copies of software are able to run simultaneously on the network,
each with individual configurations

Ability to save and recall personal configuration settings independent of
defaults from within the speech application



Misc.:

     Easy to configure
     Easy to install
     Easy to learn
     Easy to support locally
     Low Initial Cost
     Easy to use
     Easy to update and maintains upward compatibility
     Reasonable Update Costs
     Remove product from memory without re-booting
     User config for standard third party external synthesizer

Software reliability - (software does not hang the application or system?)



2. Screen - Character Enlargement

     Screen - character enlargement is made available by means of screen -
character enlargement software.  The screen - character enlargement
software is installed on each PC server on the network.  In addition, a
software site license allows installation on any University PC system. 
The screen - character enlargement software is configured on the PC
network servers so that it can be invoked by means of a "hot key"
sequence.  The adaptive software is able to be invoked by the client
before he /she is required to perform any preliminary log-in procedures
etc.  The software is configured so that each client is able to load and
save personal configuration preferences.  The software is automatically
removed from memory when the client terminates his/her network session. 

Screen - character enlargement software Features:

              Magnifies both text and graphics characters
              Magnifies to at least 8X
              Displays in Inverse Video
              Adjusts Space Between Characters
              Adjusts Space Between Lines
              Displays Sharp Clear Characters
              Tracks Cursor
              Reviews any Portion of the Screen
              Provides Magnification Context
              
Controls Screen Foreground and Background Colors Independent of
Applications Software


3. Braille Output

       Braille output is made available by means of Braille translation
software and a Braille printer.  The Braille translation software is
installed on each PC server on the network.  In addition, a software site
license allows installation on any University PC system.  The Braille
Printer is located in the Computer Center Operations area, and output
distributed in a single "Braille output" box.  This Braille printer is
maintained by Computer Center Operations in the same manner as other
distributed printers. 


Braille Translation software Features:

              Grade 1, Grade 2 or Computer braille
              Standard Word Processor file translation
              Tables, Charts, Columns
              Reprint page or page series
              Multiple copies
              Termination Lines
              Print & Braille page numbering Headers &Footers
              Dividing Lines for - print page - letters


Braille Printer Features:

              Interpoint to conserve paper
              Produces sharp readable aligned characters
              Speed 50 CPS or above
              Able to emboss 8 dot computer braille

Able to emboss braille characters on both 9Ó X 11 and 12Ó X 11 paper. 


Implementation:


1. Speech Output

 *  Purchase portable speech synthesizer for configuration,
    demonstration, and backup. 
 
 *  Purchase screen reading software, site license, and software
    maintenance

 *  Install screen reading software on network PC servers
 
 *  Configure text to speech translation software for use with all
    network software
 
 *  Implement a means of invoking network screen reading software
    via "hot key" sequence
 
 *  Implement a means of removing screen reading software when
    network session is terminated
 
 *  Make site license screen reading software available to all
    departments on campus (Advertise)





2. Screen - Character Enlargement


 *  Purchase screen - character enlargement software, site 
    license, and software maintenance
 
 *  Install screen - character enlargement software on network PC
    servers
 
 *   Configure screen - character enlargement software for use with
    all network software
 
 *  Implement a means of invoking network screen - character 
    enlargement software via "hot key" sequence
 
 *  Implement a means of removing screen - character enlargement
    software when network session is terminated
 
 *  Make site license screen - character enlargement software 
    available to all departments on campus (Advertise)



3. Braille Output


 *   Purchase Braille Printer and Maintenance Agreement

 *   Install Printer in Computer Center Machine Room

 *   Configure Braille Printer as a Network Printer

 *   Designate a Braille Output Distribution Box

 *   Install Braille translation software on network PC servers

 *   Configure Braille translation software for use with all 
     network software

 *   Implement a means of invoking network Braille translation 
     software via network menu

 *   Make site license Braille translation software available to
     all departments on campus (Advertise)


Application:


1. Speech Output

      A client who requires speech output should obtain a portable speech
synthesizer from the New Mexico Commission for the Blind.  Not only should
the client be allowed to connect the synthesizer to any PC system which
he/she is required to use, but should also be allowed to connect to any
other PC system available for general use.  The client should be able to
invoke the speech software on any of these systems without obstruction of
log-in screens, captive menu, or other software.  Each client should be
able to load and save personal configuration preferences. 


2. Screen - Character Enlargement

      A client who requires screen - character enlargement should be
allowed to run screen - character enlargement software on any NMSU PC
system, both required for use, or available for general use.  The client
should be able to invoke the software on any of these systems without
obstruction of log-in screens, captive menu, or other software.  Each
client should be able to load and save personal configuration preferences. 


3. Braille Output

      A client who requires Braille output should be able to translate
text files into Grade 1, Grade 2, or Computer Braille by running braille
translation software on any NMSU PC system , both required for use, or
available for general use. A central Braille printer should be available
as a network printer.  The translated file should be printed from any PC
on the network.  This service should be available not only to blind
clients, but also to NMSU clients who need to produce Braille output.  For
example, an instructor may need to produce class handouts, tests, etc. in
Braille for a blind student.  The Computer Center may need to produce user
documents and handouts in Braille. 


Support:

Maintenance

      All hardware and software purchased by the NMSU Computer Center
should be maintained as a supported service.  Maintenance agreements with
vendors should be kept current.  Software upgrades should be applied as
needed. 


Training/Assistance

     Training and user assistance for these adaptive products should be
available to blind clients in exactly the same manner as other supported
services provided by the NMSU Computer Center. 


Documentation

      Vendor documentation and Computer Center handouts for these adaptive
products should be made available in large print and in Braille or
recorded format to end users. 



Conclusion:

             
      The "Invisible" model uses a distributed approach to provide
computer access to blind clients.  It solves both the technical problem of
access, and the social problem of segregation.  It takes advantage of
existing computer equipment.  It maximizes the number of adapted devices
available, and minimizes the amount of adaptive hardware and software
required -- making it a cost effective solution.  It does not place the
blind client in an awkward or obtrusive position, rather, it allows
him/her to work side-by-side with everyone else.  In fact, to the casual
observer, the computer labs look exactly the same before they are adapted
as they do after they are adapted.  Thus, the adaptations are: ...
"Invisible". 



Acknowledgements:



Special thanks to the following people who contributed their time, effort
and expertise to the project: 


     Yolanda Thompson - Rehabilitation Counselor New Mexico 
     Commission for the Blind

     David Andrews - Director Technology Center National Federation
     of the Blind
              
     Herb Lyford - Technology Specialist New Mexico Commission for
     the Blind

     Carlos Servan - President: Student Division National 
     Federation of the Blind
              
     Sylvia Lawson - New Mexico State University Student

     Kelly Burma - New Mexico State University Student

     Gayle Ortiz - Rehabilitation Teacher New Mexico Commission for
     the Blind

     Dwight King - Computer Center Technical Support Staff New
     Mexico State University 

     Terry Sunday - Computer Center Technical Support Staff New 
     Mexico State University 

     Bryan Gonderinger - Computer Center Technical Support Staff
     New Mexico State University 

      John Bunn - Computer Center Technical Support Staff New Mexico
      State University 

      Josh Walgenbach - Computer Center Technical Support Staff New
      Mexico State University 



             
Appendix A



Definition of Blindness

      Blindness is defined through federal guidelines, outlined in the
Randolf Shepard act and other state and federal laws.  A person is legally
considered blind when he/she has no more than a 20 degree field vision,
20/200 visual acuity, and/or 20/70 field vision along with a progressive
eye condition.  In addition to this criteria, the state of New Mexico
Commission for the Blind also recognizes "functional blindness" defined as
follows: 



PRESENCE OF A VISUAL DISABILITY WHICH, FOR THE INDIVIDUAL, CONSTITUTES OR
RESULTS IN A SUBSTANTIAL HANDICAP TO EMPLOYMENT. 

Visual Disability:

      A visual disability exists when the functional ability of an
individual is limited as a result of: 

 1.  Legal blindness.
 2.  Visual impairment functionally equivalent to legal blindness.
 3.  Progressive condition which if untreated, is expected to result 
     in legal or functional blindness provided that the individual's  
     visual acuity is 20/70 or less in the better eye with best correction.

Legal Blindness is:

     1. A visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the better eye with
        best  correction or:
     2. A visual field no greater than 20 degrees in the better 
        eye.

Substantial Handicap to Employment:

     A substantial handicap to employment exists when a visual disability
significantly: 

     1. Interferes with the opportunity for suitable employment,
     2. Interferes with preparation for suitable employment,
     3. Causes loss of employment,
     4. Causes the individual to require special assistance in 
        securing suitable employment or in performing his or her 
        job, or
     5. Requires the individual to use alternative techniques in
        a substantial number of life's activities, in order to  
        function competently. 


Appendix B


Vendor Reference:

G.W.  Micro
Doug Geoffrey
(219) 483-3625
Vocal-Eyes Screen Reading Software (Text to Speech Translation)
LP-DOS Screen-Character enlargement Software


Henter-Joyce
Ted Henter
(800)336-5658
Accent SA Speech Synthesizers


Raised Dot Computing
(608) 257-9595
Mega-Dots Braille Translation Software


Enabling Technologies
Portia Huntley
(800)756-3687
Juliet Braille Printer


American Thermaform
Computer Braille Paper
Part # 01/0-0022 11X11 1/2 19 hole fanfold final edit pre-punched
paper
(213)723-9021


National Federation of the Blind
National Technology Center
Free Consultation on Adaptive Equipment
David Andrews
(410)659-9314



Mike Thompson  (505) 646-4183
New Mexico State University
Computer Center - Room 133
Corner Stewart & Sweet
Las Cruces, New Mexico  88003
e-mail: mthompso@nmsu.edu

             
Appendix C


Cost Estimates:



Qty. Component                  Vendor          Cost            Ext.    
--  -------------------------   -------------   ----------      ----------
 
1   Vocal-Eyes 
    10 user Site License        GW Micro        $1,350.00        $1,350.00
--  -------------------------   -------------   ----------      ----------
 
1   Accent SA Speech 
    Synthesizer                 Henter/Joyce      $906.00          $906.00
--  -------------------------   -------------   ----------      ----------
 
1   LP DOS 10 user
    Site License                GW Micro        $2,000.00        $2,000.00
--  -------------------------   -------------   ----------      ----------
 
1   Juliet Braille Printer      Enabling 
                                Technologies    $3,995.00        $3,995.00
--  -------------------------   -------------   ----------      ----------
 
1   Mega Dots 
    10 User Site License        Raised Dot 
                                Computing       $3,000.00        $3,000.00
--  -------------------------   -------------   ----------      ----------
 
10  Part # 01/0-0022 
    11X11 1/2 19 hole 
    fanfold final edit 
    pre-punched                 American 
                                Thermaform         $28.95          $289.50
--  -------------------------   -------------   ----------      ----------
 

TOTALS                                          $11,279.95      $11,540.50




FOR MORE INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:

Mike Thompson  (505) 646-4183
New Mexico State University
Computer Center - Room 133
Corner Stewart & Sweet
Las Cruces, New Mexico  88003
e-mail: mthompso@nmsu.edu