Welcome to The CITE -- a blog on Course materials, Innovation, and Technology in Education, created by Mark Nelson and now part of the Publications Department of the National Association of College Stores. CITE is a pun with multiple meanings - referring to cite as in citation, something people reference; site as in location, website, or place people go to; and sight as in foresight or looking ahead to what is coming. Comments, discussion, feedback and ideas are welcome.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Intel introduces e-reader for the blind and visually impaired

Earlier this week, Intel introduced an e-reader that is designed specifically for the blind and visually impaired. The device can read digital books aloud as well as convert printed material to digital form so that it can be magnified or read aloud. Users convert the print material by taking a picture of it with the built-in camera. Additionally, the menus on the device have audio capability so that blind users can operate the device on their own. This is an important feature because the current Kindle DX device has text-to-speech technology but does not feature audio menus so blind users can not navigate to the books.

Intel has also created a capture station device to be used with the e-reader to capture the images of entire books. A video demonstration of the e-reader and capture station can be viewed on Intel’s website.

According to an article from VentureBeat, several organizations have endorsed the e-reader including: National Center for Learning Disabilities, the International Dyslexia Association, the Association of Assistive Technology Act Programs, the Council for Exceptional Children, and the National Federation of the Blind.

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