+++E-Access Bulletin.- Issue 60, December 2004.

Technology news for people with vision impairment (http://www.headstar.com/eab ). Sponsored by RNIB (http://www.rnib.org.uk ).

NOTE: Please forward this free bulletin to others (subscription details at the end). We conform to the accessible Text Email Newsletter (TEN) Standard: http://www.headstar.com/ten .

++Issue 60 Contents.

  1. Section One: News.
  2. 01:
  3. 02: Adobe moves to tackle pdf access problems - but concerns remain over screen reader blocks.
  4. 03: Call for national taskforce to boost access to reading - report finds 96 per cent of books are never made accessible.
  5. 04: Management tool for disability practice is 'world's first' - organisations can measure progress and plan improvements.
  6. 05: Winter glut of web access awards - three types of accolade bestowed on public and private sector bodies.
  7. News in brief:
  8. 06: Naturally Speaking - Dragon integrates with Dolphin;
  9. 07: New Dolphin - version 6.
  10. 08: Asian Fund - cash for 13 projects;
  11. 09: Portable Access - accessible PDA;
  12. 10: MaX Benefits - web sites for kids.
  13. Section Two: 'The inbox' - Readers' forum.
  14. 11: Content Question - query on content management systems;
  15. 12: TV Guide - set-top box research.
  16. Section Three: Interview - Judy Brewer.
  17. 13: Guardian of the Global Access Standard: Mel Poluck talks to Judy Brewer, director of the World Wide Web Consortium's Web Accessibility Initiative, about the first major overhaul of international web content accessibility guidelines.
  18. Section Four: Techshare Conference Report - Low-Cost Accessible
  19. 14: Computing.
  20. 15: Funding the Basics of Modern Life: Many blind people do not have high incomes, but even the most basic of properly accessible home computing systems can cost a small fortune. Dan Jellinek reports on how these costs can be slashed.
  21. Section Five: Focus - Future technologies.
  22. 16: Too Much Information: Kevin Carey contemplates a world of information overload, an increasingly graphical environment, and an educational revolution.

[Contents ends].

++Sponsored Notice: J-Say Standard from T and T Consultancy Ltd.


J-Say Standard combines the unparalleled flexibility of JAWS for Windows with the outstanding voice recognition capabilities of Dragon Naturally Speaking Preferred.

Imagine being able to: - Create word processor documents using natural speech; - Create and process email using your voice; - Browse the internet using a combination of voice input and keyboard; - Rapidly move to specific cells within an Excel worksheet; - Access an interactive help system, manuals and a tutorial; - Train the speech recognition software to understand your voice, as well as having speech-based access to all the features of Dragon software.

J-Say Standard is ideal for any JAWS user wishing to use voice input as an additional means of computer input. For more information please contact T&T Consultancy Ltd by telephone on 08452 303015 or email on: enquiries@tandt-consultancy.com .

[Sponsored notice ends].

++Section One: News.


+01: Adobe Moves To Tackle Pdf Access Problems.

Adobe Systems has moved to address severe accessibility problems posed by its 'portable document format' (pdf) files, with the release this month of a new version of software to create and read the files.

The pdf system is a largely graphical way of exchanging and printing files, which has often rendered plain text information inaccessible.

The new version of Adobe's Acrobat software which creates pdf files and Reader software which reads them - version 7.0 - contains several new access features. File publishers will find it easier to add 'tags' to text, tables and graphical objects, to establish a reading order for files in complex layouts. And even if the publishers do not create tags, the new version of Reader will try to determine a logical reading order and reflow the text into a single block.

The new version of Reader also contains an accessibility set-up assistant, which detects if a screen-reader being used and asks how the user would like to view the files. Other features include better tagging of the software's own graphical buttons; and improved help and search functions.

"In the past, pdf was deemed to be inherently inaccessible," says Greg Pisocky, accessibility outreach manager at Adobe Systems. "Now we've introduced something that at least makes it easier to modify how information is presented. Things are not perfect in Adobe 7.0. Tables continue to be the bane of our lives. But we've moved forward."

Pisocky unveiled the new features at last month's Techshare conference hosted by RNIB (http://www.techshare.org.uk ). However, some delegates voiced ongoing concerns about certain security features of pdf files, which in the process of preventing unauthorised copying of files, may lock out some screen-reader users.

Steve Tyler, Policy and ICT Access Manager at the RNIB, told delegates the existence of a feature which can exclude some screen- readers could contravene European copyright law which champions accessibility.

However, Pisocky said the new software did allow 'trusted agent' software to access files whatever the security settings. To date, the JAWS and WINDOW-EYES screen-readers were the only two to have been granted trusted status, but Adobe was open to approaches from other providers, he said.

+02: Call For National Taskforce To Boost Access To Reading.

The RNIB (http://www.rnib.org.uk ) is urging the UK government to set up a taskforce with blindness charities and publishers to develop a national plan for making more ordinary books and reading materials accessible to those with sight problems. The government also needs to fund new research into the field, the institute says.

A recent RNIB report, 'Written Off!', found that some 96 per cent of books are never published in formats that people with sight problems can read, such as large print, audio or Braille, and that as a result some three million people in the UK are being denied the right to read.

Digital methods have a lot of potential for integrating mainstream publishing with formats that are accessible to blind and visually impaired people, the report says.

"In the past, organisations such as the RNIB worked from a paper copy of a book to make a voice recording or to scan or key in text to a PC," says David Mann, author of the report and RNIB spokesperson for the institute's ongoing 'Right to Read' campaign (http://www.rnib.org.uk/righttoread ). "This was very time-consuming and didn't start until after publication. If publishers could provide us with content prior to publication and in digital form, it would cut out this process. Digital technology also allows different outputs from the same 'master', and for the user, formats such as DAISY offer much more flexibility to index and bookmark content, for example."

The report criticises the UK government for "side-stepping" the issue of funding for accessible format production and says that it is unreasonable to expect charities to continue to take responsibility for producing the bulk of audio and Braille titles.

"Charities should not have to subsidise reading for blind people, nor can they hope to meet all reading needs from their current resources," says Mann. "Publishers can't be expected to operate at a loss. So we need substantial and reliable streams of public money to increase our storage and production capacity and to set up new working arrangements with publishers."

The report found that just 2.8 per cent of books are currently made available on standard audio cassette, with even fewer in other audio formats; 1.5 per cent of titles were available in large print; and 1.9 per cent of publications were available in Braille. Such alternative formats were also often considerably more expensive than traditional books. For example, a full-length audio book might cost over 50 pounds, while the equivalent paperback would cost less than 10 pounds.

+03: Management Tool For Disability Practice Is 'World'S First.'

What is claimed to be the world's first management tool for assessing organisations' performance on disability has been launched by a UK business body, the Employers' Forum on Disability (http://www.employers-forum.co.uk/ ).

The Disability Standard allows private and public sector organisations to measure their progress on disability across all areas of their business and put in place plans for improvement. Its main component is a 100- question benchmark survey, covering a whole range of areas such as employment, e-commerce, customer care, IT systems and buildings.

The service will cost organisations from 2,000 to 8,900 pounds, depending on number of employees. Once the benchmark survey is completed, it is then scored by the University of Brighton and submitted to an independent panel of disability experts, which produces a report outlining current risks, areas for improvement and required actions.

Some 15 questions relate to the accessibility of IT systems to staff and customers. For example, there are questions about whether organisations devote money and resources to making their internal IT systems accessible to staff and their web sites accessible to disabled customers; and whether reports and accounts are available in accessible electronic formats. The survey is supported by an accompanying guide which sets out relevant legislation and codes of practice, and organisations are required to submit evidence to support their answers.

"Information technology is an important part of the Disability Standard, because it is so embedded in the way organisations are run and is crucial to how they perform on disability," says Aletheia Gentle, project manager for the Disability Standard at the Employers' Forum on Disability. "It fundamentally affects how they reach customers, staff members and other stakeholders."

The Disability Standard was researched and piloted by 15 members of the forum, including the bank Abbey, telecoms company Cable & Wireless, Royal Mail, the Department for Work and Pensions and the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister. Twenty-two organisations have signed up to the service and have eight weeks from the beginning of February to the end of March 2005 to complete the benchmarking exercise.

+04: Winter Glut Of Web Access Awards.

Three sets of major awards for accessible web sites were bestowed last week.

The annual Visionary Design Awards from the National Library for the Blind (NLB - www.nlb-online.org), supported by Barclays Bank, recognised eight sites out of 100 nominees. They were AbilityNet (http://www.abilitynet.org.uk ), charity technology supplier for disabled people for the voluntary sector; the web site of children's writer Anne Fine (http://www.annefine.co.uk ); global insurer Aviva (http://www.aviva.com ); the Disability Rights Commission (http://www.drc.org.uk ); Henshaws Society for Blind People (http://www.henshaws.org.uk ), a charity from the North of England; Motability (http://www.motability.co.uk ), a car scheme for people with a disability; Philip Murphy and Associates (http://www.philipmurphyassociates.com ), a family dental practice; and the Transport Archive (http://www.transportarchive.org.uk ), a site covering British transport history.

Meanwhile, Haringey council's web site (http://www.haringey.gov.uk ) has been picked as November's accessible site of the month - the first in a new series of awards by the Guild of Accessible Web Designers (GAWD - http://www.gawds.org ).

"Because we worked with a specialist web accessibility agency, it helped us ensure the site was technically structured to work with a range of assistive devices," said Maria Stewart, web development manager at Haringey. Residents, including those with a vision impairment, were asked to test the site and submit their ideas.

GAWD is now taking nominations for December's site of the month - anyone can register a vote (see http://www.gawds.org/poll/index.php?poll=4 ).

Finally, the Cancer Research web site (http://www.cancerresearchuk.org ) came first in the accessibility and usability category of last month's British Interactive Media Awards (BIMA - http://www.bima.co.uk ). Second and third places went to the business support group Business Link (http://www.businesslink.gov.uk ) and Imperial Tobacco (http://www.imperial-tobacco.com/ ).

++News in Brief:


+05: Naturally Speaking:

A software package has been launched that integrates the voice recognition solution Dragon Naturally Speaking with Dolphin's Supernova screen magnifier and Hal screen reader. 'Nova-Link,' was developed by T and T Consultancy in association with UK technology company Dolphin Computer Access, who claim it has an accuracy rate of over 90 per cent: http://www.tandt-consultancy.com .

+06: New Dolphin:

Meanwhile version 6.03 of the Dolphin Computer Access software suite including Supernova, Hal and the Lunar and LunarPlus screen magnifiers has been released. New features will allow users to enter details on forms more easily and to make Microsoft Excel spreadsheet software easier to handle: http://www.dolphinuk.co.uk/news/2004/603_release.htm .

+07: Asian Fund:

Some 550,000 dollars of funding has been awarded to 13 local organisations in south-east Asia, for projects that use technology to improve the lives of people with a disability. Recipients of cash from the 'DigitAll Hope' scheme funded by electronics giant Samsung Asia include a 'Picture-to-speech communicator' from Singapore Polytechnic: http://fastlink.headstar.com/asia2 .

+08: Portable Access:

A fully accessible Personal Digital Assistant (PDA), which can be used with a wireless Braille or standard keyboard, has been developed by Canadian assistive technology company VisuAide. The company aims to integrate Global Positioning Satellite technology with the 'Maestro' device in a future version: http://www.visuaide.com/news_maestro2_en.html .

+09: MaX Benefits:

A new version of the online web-site-building software 'MaX' allows both sighted and vision-impaired children and adults to create their own accessible site for free. The sites are created live online, and hosted by the software's creator, Danish company the Sonokids Foundation. The system is compatible with Braille keyboards and screen readers and available in English, Dutch and Danish. A version for blind schools is available. For a MaX account email: max@sonokids.com .

[Section One ends].

++Special Notice: Register now for Vision 2005 London- the world's premier event on low vision and sight loss.


Vision 2005 London will be the most wide-ranging conference and exhibition ever held on low vision and sight loss.

The programme will cover six themes, including 'Advances in technology: designing and constructing for an inclusive environment'. Presentations, posters and round table discussions will explore new legislation and its impact on inclusive design, web accessibility, technology specifications, DAISY and high-tech devices.

Register before 6 January to obtain an early-bird discount for the full four-day conference. Day delegates will still obtain a discount if they register before 17 February.

To register and find our more, visit: http://www.rnib.org.uk/vision2005 .

[Special Notice ends].

++Section Two: 'The Inbox'- Readers' Forum.


Please email all contributions or responses to inbox@headstar.com .

+10: Content Question:

E-Access Bulletin's own technician Nick Apostolidis would be interested in hearing from any reader with knowledge of a content management system that produces content accessible to the JAWS screen reader. "I also want the administration of the system to be easy to use and to provide good accessibility. I would be grateful if someone that worked with one and is happy with the way it works could let me know about it," he says.

"I have had two systems recommended to me and I would like to hear from anyone who knows how accessible they are or if you know of one that is better.

"The first is called Plone (http://www.plone.org ). It is built using another tool called Zope (http://www.zope.org ). Plone claims to create pages that follow the WAI guidelines and it seems to be accessible. The second one is called Mambo (http://www.mamboserver.com ). this seems OK but I have found its admin pages to be a bit unfriendly. Thanks for any information provided." Responses please to inbox@headstar.com.

+11: TV Guide:

A team of researchers at Bournemouth University is looking to find out about vision-impaired people's television-watching behaviour, to inform the development of an accessible digital television set-top box. They aim to have the prototype built by June 2005. Readers are invited to take part in a survey by calling 0845 22 60 228 (charged at local rates) or by completing an online questionnaire at: http://www.atv-survey.org.uk .

[Section Two ends].

++Special Notice: Web Accessibility Forum.


Accessify Forum is a discussion forum devoted to all topics relating to web accessibility. Topics cover everything from 'Beginners' and 'Site building and testing' through to projects such as the new accessibility testing tool WaiZilla and the accessibility of the open source forum software itself.

All you need to register is a working email address, so come along and join in the fun at: http://www.accessifyforum.com .

[Special notice ends].

++Section Three: Interview- Judy Brewer.


+12: Guardian Of The Global Access Standardby Mel Poluck.

"In an area where the pace of technology is so rapid, lost ground is not easily made up. We need a continuation of the good work of organisations involved in developing web solutions, so that the web can move forward as a technology that serves all."

These were the words of web accessibility pioneer Judy Brewer, as she presented the case for increasing the accessibility of all web sites to a US House of Representatives' sub-committee on the Constitution.

That was back in 2000, but her words are just as relevant today. Brewer is director of the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI - http://www.w3.org/WAI ), one of four main work areas of the global World Wide Web Consortium, a grouping of several hundred organisations across the world which upholds the standards of the web.

At WAI, Brewer's remit includes ensuring technologies support accessibility; developing accessibility guidelines; improving tools for evaluation and repair of web sites; conducting education and outreach on web accessibility; and monitoring research and development which may impact future accessibility of the web. But she also oversees development of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG - http://www.w3.org/TR/WAI-WEBCONTENT ), the benchmarks used to measure the accessibility of web sites against a series of checkpoints grouped in three priority levels: 'A,' 'AA' and 'AAA' (http://www.w3.org/TR/WAI-WEBCONTENT/#Conformance ).

The guidelines were first released in 1999. Now, web developers and disability organisations are waiting with bated breath for the release of WCAG version 2.0 - the first ever major overhaul of the guidelines - a draft of which is currently under development for release during 2005 (for a current working draft, see http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG20 ).

What will the major changes be compared with WCAG 1.0? "One of the biggest changes is to ensure more precise testing criteria," said Brewer, speaking to E-Access Bulletin after delivering the keynote address to the RNIB's Techshare conference in Birmingham last month. "The question of evaluation is interesting from many perspectives. When WCAG 1.0 came out we had less robust testing requirements for the guidelines. In some cases it's not clear how to test for a given checkpoint," she said.

However, she warned against over-reliance on automated software checks for accessibility, either now or in the future. . "Most people will say 'I passed the majority of tests - I'm going to slap a logo on my site.' That doesn't reflect how well it will work for people with a disability," Brewer said. "By and large automated testing tools can help with the evaluation of large web sites but they may miss an accessibility barrier. Experts use multiple tools," she said. "With WCAG 2.0 we're expecting that more precise testing criteria will fuel development of a more precise set of tools."

She also said that the working group is focusing more on access issues for people with cognitive difficulties. "Cognitive difficulties have been important to home in on - we expect that support for these will improve," Brewer said.

Brewer says that there are advantages in using a common set of W3C/WAI guidelines in any country that is developing a web accessibility policy. "There is still a tendency in some countries to say 'web accessibility is great, let's develop our own guidelines.' Disabilities are similar in different countries so you need the same functionality - standards harmonisation benefits everybody," Brewer said.

The WCAG system has been at the centre of controversy in the UK recently after this year's on the findings of what was claimed to be the largest ever investigation into web site accessibility by the Disability Rights Commission (DRC - http://www.drc-gb.org ). The survey involved the testing of 1,000 UK sites by researchers at City University, London.

While the report found that WCAG improved usability, it said the guidelines were overly complex, and suggested that there were many barriers to accessibility which were not yet covered by WAI guidelines. "We've gone backwards and forwards through the available data for that survey," Brewer said. "We found that almost all (95 per cent) of barriers noted in the survey were covered by WAI guidelines - - the great majority by WCAG, and the rest by the User Agent Accessibility Guidelines, which address browser accessibility."

Brewer also noted that only a very small number of sites in the survey actually conformed to WCAG, so it is difficult to draw conclusions about the usability of WCAG-conformant sites for people with disabilities from this survey. "This raises another interesting policy question - why are so few sites in the UK accessible for people with disabilities, and what would change that?"

[Section Three ends].

++Section Four: Techshare Conference Report- Low-Cost Accessible Computing.


+13: Funding The Basics Of Modern Lifeby Dan Jellinek.

Many ordinary people with sight problems do not have high incomes, and lack access to grants for computer equipment and special access technologies such as screen readers that might enhance their lives in many ways.

If someone needs to use technology for their work, there are usually ways of funding it. And if someone has a particular interest in computers, they usually find a way too. But for people with no special interest or knowledge, and no pressing need to access computers for work or other reasons, it can be hard to fund access to what for most people is nevertheless a basic part of modern life: a simple home computer, with access to email, the web, and word processing.

A typical cost for a standard accessible home computing set-up for a blind person is in the region of some 2,600 pounds, according to a detailed estimate presented by RNIB officers to last month's Techshare conference (http://www.techshare.org.uk ).

Mary Steiner, RNIB Technology Officer, said this cost includes a PC (personal computer); a printer; Microsoft Officer software for word processing and other basic tasks; special access software such as a screen reader to convert text into speech or Braille; and a scanner with scanning software to allow users to scan and digitise text using 'optical character recognition' (OCR).

For low vision users the cost is lower, as they may simply need screen magnifying software instead of a screen reader and scanning equipment, but will still end up in the region of 1,325 pounds, Steiner said.

But need costs really be this high? Over the course of the session, Steiner and her colleague Richard Orme, RNIB Assistant Director for ICT Services, looked at each component of these accessible systems in turn to see how costs could be minimised or even driven out completely, resulting in alternative systems that offered similar functionality for far lower prices.

For example, many blind or vision-impaired people pay 1,000 pounds or more for computers bought through specialist firms that also supply them with access technology, since these arrive with access technology conveniently installed, and they can often receive specialist post-sales support as well.

But a basic home computer with a good enough specification for normal activities such as web browsing and word processing, and enough power to run access technology as well, can cost a lot less than this if it is bought from a mainstream supplier such as Dell. These suppliers are usually running a special offer of the month at any given time that can be around half the cost of a specialist supplier: for example, Dell has a current offer of a PC with an acceptable specification at less than 500 pounds, Orme said.

Of course, a PC bought this way will not come with access software already loaded onto it for you, or with ongoing support for access technologies. But this need not be a problem, as many specialist suppliers of screen readers and other access software will offer you installation support by telephone and ongoing help even if all you are buying from them is the software, Orme said.

As far as word processing software is concerned, most people do not need all parts of the suites of Microsoft Office software that they are sold, Orme said. 'Office Basic' - which offers Word, Excel (for spreadsheets) and Outlook - was good enough for most people, and is cheaper than other editions of Office such as the commonly pre- installed 'Small Business' version.

But if people want to cut costs even further, they could simply use the 'WordPad' text editor software that comes free with every version of Windows, he said. This does not have most of the sophisticated interactive functions of Word, but has enough to handle most simple word processing tasks like writing letters. You can also find free software additions to WordPad such as spellcheckers which add in some of the missing functions. "So the cost is reduced to zero!" Orme said.

For screen reader software, there are various products out there that are far cheaper than the market-leading products such as JAWS. Connect Outloud from Freedom Scientific is a pared-down version of JAWS, at around a quarter of the price; LookOut from Choice costs 105 pounds; and Narrator comes free with Windows.

For screen magnifiers, BigShot from AI Squared and Magnice from Choice (packaged with LookOut as 'Dual') are low-cost; and Lunar Lite from Dolphin and Magnifier which comes with Windows are free solutions.

There are also cheaper scanning software products, he said, which do not have as many features as the commonly purchased high-end products like Kurzweil 1000 but are good enough for most purposes. For example Cicero from Dolphin is several hundred pounds cheaper. As for optical character recognition software, which converts scanned images to digital text, you can use software that comes in free trial versions on many computer magazine coverdisks such as FineReader.

Taking all these money-saving options together, it is possible to reduce the cost of an accessible home computer system to as little as 695 pounds for a blind person and 640 pounds for someone with impaired vision, savings of almost 2,000 pounds and 700 pounds respectively on a typical 'state of the art' specification.

Furthermore, the use of cheaper products did not necessarily mean a poorer user experience, Orme said. "Many of the low cost products do have sophisticated functionality."

It may be possible to make even greater savings by buying a second- hand or recycled PC, he said, although there was no evidence that it was cheaper to build your own PC. "I build my own so I can use the components I want, to customise, but it is not cheaper."

It was also not yet the case that using the free operating system Linux was a viable option to Windows if one wants to create an accessible environment, Orme said. It was simply too complex a task. "I have tried four times to install Linux and create an accessible system, but have failed every time, and I have worked for 15 years in the access technology industry and build my own PCs," he said. "It may be an option one day - but not this year."

[Section Four ends].

++Section Five: Focus- Future technologies.


+14: Too Much Informationby Kevin Carey.

Up until the end of the seventeenth century, 250 years after the invention of the printing press, a truly learned man could read in his lifetime everything written that was worth reading. Now information is being created and aggregated in such large amounts that it is sometimes referred to in units designated as LOCs, or Libraries of Congress - the equivalent of the entire contents of the US Library of Congress, or 20 million megabytes each. Until quite recently, that accumulation was accounted for by text, hypertext and low resolution graphics. That is now expanding still further with the explosion of high resolution graphics and DVD.

At the same time the graphic environment, once limited to engraving and painting, expanded into cinema and television, and is on the verge of becoming ubiquitous. Soon our environment will, literally, be plastered with pictures: short movies and adverts on the walls of underground train tunnels; audio visual messages in shop windows triggered by the footfall of passers-by; laser graffiti on every flat architectural surface. This massive visual assault may drive our sighted brothers and sisters mad with over-stimulation, but it might also drive us blind people mad with frustration.

We already know how mobile phones have changed our lives but enhanced wireless connectivity will mean that the norm will be for our personal devices to be always switched on; indeed, if we're switched off people will automatically assume that we are committing adultery. This means that the pressure on our time will increase, that decisions will have to be taken more quickly and the line between work and leisure will be even further eroded.

On the other hand, the environment we live in will be much easier: every building and even every door handle will have a device that can talk to our personal navigating receiver; doors will recognise us, encourage us to enter and open themselves; robotic devices will be safer, cleaner and more flexible than guide dogs. Flexible technology will also mean that almost any object can become a flat screen so that people with limited vision can use their personal device for receiving data which can then be projected onto a wall or table top in their preferred colour and size.

Perhaps it will be some compensation for the lack of visual information that 3D printers will produce much cheaper and much more accurate models of anything we want to touch. Indeed, I sometimes imagine a world where 3D printers will make the parts for 3D printers!

By this time, the whole structure of formal education is likely to have broken down and vision-impaired children will be freed from the straitjacket of a rigid curriculum; anything digital, including letters in graphics file, will be available in any kind of print and every kind of Braille. The internet and broadcasting will merge and the key skill will be defining a search for massive search engines. Except for the pictures, we will be able to have any information we want.

The key cultural question we cannot yet answer for the future is what role the picture will play in our overall lives; how much will society be able to take? In the meantime, however, the steady expansion of radio, the growth of broadband and the natural fit between the information needs of blind people and motorists and the explosion of weblogs all point in the direction of a healthy market for interesting audio data.

Finally, here is an interesting thought; in an era of massive data overload there might just be an advantage in being information- rationed, leaving space for reflection and the opportunity for perspective. We might yet realise society's stereotype of blind people as prophets with a sixth sense.

[Section Five ends].

++End Notes.



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Please send comments on coverage or leads to Dan Jellinek at: dan@headstar.com .

Copyright 2004 Headstar Ltd http://www.headstar.com . The Bulletin may be reproduced as long as all parts including this copyright notice are included, and as long as people are always encouraged to subscribe with us individually by email. Please also inform the editor when you are reproducing our content. Sections of the bulletin may be quoted as long as they are clearly sourced as 'taken from e-access bulletin, a free monthly email newsletter', and our web site address http://www.headstar.com/eab is also cited.


  • Editor - Dan Jellinek
  • Deputy editor - Derek Parkinson
  • Senior reporter - Mel Poluck
  • News reporter - Julie Hill
  • Technician - Nick Apostolidis
  • Marketing Director - Claire Clinton
  • Marketing Assistant - Katie Wilkinson
  • Editorial advisor - Kevin Carey.

ISSN 1476-6337 .

[Issue ends].