IMPROVING TECHNOLOGY, TRAINING, AND OPPORTUNITIES FOR BLIND PEOPLE IN WORD PROCESSING.

Award Information
Agency:
Department of Education
Branch
n/a
Amount:
$200,000.00
Award Year:
1985
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase II
Contract:
n/a
Award Id:
1282
Agency Tracking Number:
1282
Solicitation Year:
n/a
Solicitation Topic Code:
n/a
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
455 North Bernardo Ave., Mountain View, CA, 94043
Hubzone Owned:
N
Minority Owned:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
n/a
Principal Investigator:
John G. Beard
Director New Product Planning
() -
Business Contact:
() -
Research Institution:
n/a
Abstract
WHILE WORD PROCESSING JOBS INCREASE WITH SERVICE INDUSTRY GROWTH, BLIND TYPISTS ARE ACTUALLY LOSING JOBS. ADAPTIVE DEVICES DESIGNED TO READ TYPWRITERS IN THE 70'S UNDERUTILIZE WORD PROCESSORS IN THE 80'S. AS THE TECHNOLOGY GAP EXPANDS, COMPETITIVE EMPLOYMENT IS INCREASINGLY DIFFICULT. TRAINING PROGRAMS FOR THE BLIND ARE BECOMING DISARRAYED. NEW TECHNOLOGIES HAVE POTENTIAL TO MODIFY EXISTING OFFICE WORD PROCESSING SYSTEMS WITH TACTILE, AUDIO, AND MAGNIFIED VIDEO DISPLAYS. ALTERNATIVELY, THERE ARE EMERGING STAND-ALONE WORD PROCESSING SYSTEMS FOR THE BLIND WITH THESE DISPLAY OPTIONS. EITHER WAY, TO BE COMPETITIVE, THE BLIND TYPIST MUST ULTIMATELY CREATE A DISK FILE THAT CAN BE SHARED FOR CORRECTIONS BY OTHER TYPISTS USING A DIFFERENT SYSTEM. IF THIS IS ACCOMPLISHED, THE BLIND WORD PROCESSING OPERATOR WILL BE INCREASINGLY COMPETITIVE AND TRAINING PROGRAMS WILL BE REVITALIZED NATIONWIDE. WE PROPOSE A TECHNICAL STUDY OF DOMINANT WORD PROCESSING SYSTEMS. WE PLAN TO STUDY THEIR FILE FORMAT AND COMPATIBILITY REQUIREMENTS, HOW THEY COMMUNICATE INTERNALLY AND EXTERNALLY, AND WHETHER THEY ALLOW EXTERNAL ACCESS. ONCE AN INTERFACING STRATEGY IS DEVISED, WE PLAN MULTIPLE OUTPUT MODALITIES AND A CORE TRAINING PROGRAM WHICH RESPECTS THE NEEDS OF EACH USER. TRAINING STAFF WILL BE INVOLVED IN TASK ANALYSIS WITH BLIND PEOPLE, TRAINING SITES, AND EMPLOYERS THROUGHOUT PHASE I.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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