Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: N/A
Contract: 1R43EY014481-01
Agency Tracking Number: EY014481
Amount: $100,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2002
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 (541) 754-4002
Business Contact
Phone: (541) 754-4002
Research Institution
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Screen readers (computer applications that display screen text and icons in speech or an on-line mechanical braille display) can give blind people good access to standard text in many computer applications. We propose to develop an affordable on-line Accessible Graphics Reader (AGR) to provide comparable access to graphical information. AGR will give excellent access to graphical information presented in well-structured, labeled Scalable Vector Graphic (SVG) format. SVG is a new World Wide Web markup language: SVG authoring programs are already available that permit one easily to create graphical information that is universally usable in principle. The AGR will make those graphics easily accessible in practice to blind people, including those who do not read braille. AGR consists of a high-resolution embosser integrated with a touch pad permitting blind people to emboss and feel tactile graphics and hear (or read with an on-line braille display) names and descriptions of important objects in the graphic. Any text included with the graphic can be heard in speech or displayed in braille. Sections of the graphic may be selected, expanded, and re-printed at will. The critical components of a more general "AGR interactive print viewer" software application will be created also. It will emboss information from any Windows application that has the ability to print. It will then permit users to interact with that tactile printout and optimize any graphics. The AGR interactive viewer also gives access to text that may be hard to read with a screen reader. The research is successful if AGR provides access to SVG. The commercial market is considerably enhanced if the AGC Viewer application can be created also. AGR and its associated software promotes rehabilitation of computer-literate blind people by providing improved access to education and professional opportunity. A second generation AGC integrated with a talking e-book reader could give user-friendly text and graphic access even to elderly or computer-phobic blind users.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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