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Revolutionary New Software Tool Enables The Blind, Dyslexic And Print Disabled To Create Their Own Accessible Media

Article Editor: Christopher Laird Simmons

GRASS VALLEY, Calif. - October 18, 2004 /Send2Press Newswire/ -- Innovative Rehabilitation Technology, Inc. (www.irti.net) today announced the release of eClipseWriter, calling it a breakthrough "accessible media" creation tool for the masses.

eClipseWriter is a software application (MSRP $249.95) which enables users to quickly and easily turn virtually any electronic text document into a Digital Talking Book (a "print disabled" industry standard created by the DAISY Consortium [www.DAISY.org]). Digital Talking Books (DTB's) allow the blind, dyslexic, and other print disabled individuals to literally "hear" and browse written content. eClipseWriter uses a synthetic voice application from NeoSpeech, Inc. to automatically generate and add realistic human sounding voices to its Digital Talking Books.

A Digital Talking Book, most often recorded on a CD, plays back on computers or specialized players, and allows users to quickly search and locate chapters, subchapters, paragraphs, and phrases just as they would in a print document. For sighted or partially sighted users, DTB's also display text synchronized to the voice playback, which makes for a powerful learning and comprehension tool. More importantly, the product also creates audio "books" that play back on standard consumer CD players.

"eClipseWriter solves the everyday content accessibility problem that people with a print disability face," says Peter Proscia, company CEO and visionary behind the product. "In addition to the blind, an estimated 15% of our population is dyslexic and tens of thousands more have other print disabilities. We have empowered millions of people to access printed content when they want it, and when they need it, without any reliance on third parties," Proscia adds.

"For years there have been great sources of accessible content from a variety of library and publishing services," Proscia adds. "Unfortunately, most of this content has been focused on textbooks and other mainstream works of literature. The 'accessibility gap' between these works and all the other content people need to access every day, is huge. We decided the only way to solve this problem was to put an affordable tool into the hands of the masses, and that's why eClipseWriter exists. Imagine how a person who either can't see, or otherwise struggles to comprehend printed information feels, when suddenly an electronic document he received as an email attachment 'comes alive' and is read to him by a human voice, with the ability to browse through it at his own pace."

Proscia sees enormous applications in education, the workplace, as well as organizations faced with the challenge and/or legal requirement of making their content accessible to everyone. He cites a project recently completed for the Sacramento (Calif.) County, Department of Transportation.

"We used eClipseWriter to produce an accessible version of the ADA transition plan document for the Department," he explains. "We started with their 186 page document and spent a few hours inserting navigational aids such as page and heading markers, graphics and tables. eClipseWriter built a Digital Talking Book of the plan in about 45 minutes using only a standard desktop PC. As a result, the Department was able to distribute its plan in whatever form the recipients needed."

"We're very proud of what we've done," says Proscia. "One of our first users was a blind man who turned a 300 page document into a Digital Talking Book within the first day of operating the application. This is affordable technology that really helps people."

About Innovative Rehabilitation Technology, Inc.
Founded in 1979, Innovative Rehabilitation Technology, Inc. is a software developer and systems integrator specializing in providing technology solutions to the blind, dyslexic, print disabled, and those with other learning disabilities. The privately held company is headquartered in the Sierra foothills community of Grass Valley, California and serves thousands of clients worldwide.

For more information or to order the product, visit http://www.irti.net, or call 800-322-4784



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