Dolphin Newsletter - August 2006



  1. You're A Winner!
  2. Bring Access to your Mobile Life - Fantastic Pocket Hal Competition!
  3. From Noel Duffy
  4. Pocket Hal V7 Is Shipping Soon!
  5. Pocket The Difference: The Pocket Hal Tour
  6. Tip of the Month
  7. Get the latest free Map file updates for your Dolphin software!
  8. Sales News
  9. Dolphin Around The World
  10. Events
  11. Staff News
  12. Editors Note
  13. Subscribing and Unsubscribing


You're A Winner!

Congratulations to:

Diane Waites, St Vincent's School For Blind & Partially Sighted Children

James Kaplonek, Specalist Advisory Service, Woodside Centre

Anne Powell, RNIB Resource Centre, Solihull

who all win a copy of Dolphin Producer after entering the Dolphin prize draw at the recent Sight Village exhibition. Diane, James and Anne can now look forward to using Dolphin Producer to create their very own alternative format materials to support their vision impaired and print impaired students and staff.

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Bring Access to your Mobile Life - Fantastic Pocket Hal Competition!

Dolphin Computer Access have partnered with our generous friends at Hewlett Packard to offer you a fantastic chance to win one of five top of the range Hewlett Packard iPAQ PDAs, along with a collapsible bluetooth keyboard and a copy of Dolphin Pocket Hal. This combination offers the latest in accessible, mobile computing.

What is a PDA?

A Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) or Pocket PC is a small hand-held computer that runs a Windows® Mobile® operating system. They provide many of the capabilities of standard desktop PCs but in a portable and lightweight package. PDAs can also be used with many other add-ons such as Braille displays and keyboards which provide an accessible alternative to using the touch-screen. A PDA is a great solution for both students and professionals; in fact anyone who wants a truly pocket-sized note-taker or who wants to do more than make calls with their mobile phone.

Pocket Hal from Dolphin allows you to:

  • Enjoy greater mobility and continue working when away from your PC
  • Check and send emails on the move
  • Access the Internet on the move
  • Make and receive telephone calls on your PDA phone
  • Access your Calendar, Contacts and To-Do lists
  • Enjoy increased productivity - read, review, create and edit Word and Excel documents
  • Play MP3 files on the move using your PDA
  • Synchronise and share files between your PDA and your PC

Simply choose from a wide range of mainstream PDAs and select a Braille or QWERTY keyboard and instantly convert your PDA into a lightweight pocket sized note-taker.

From now until the end of September 2006, five lucky winners will each win a top of the range HP IPAQ PDA, together with a portable QWERTY keyboard and a copy of Dolphin Pocket Hal.

To enter, go to:

Five lucky winners will be drawn between now and the end of September 2006. The winners will need to correctly identify 3 benefits of using Pocket Hal and come up with the best reasons why Pocket Hal offers a better solution than traditional note takers.

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From Noel Duffy

We’ve just spent a busy July spent attending the main summer shows: NFB’s Annual Convention in Dallas Texas, ACB in Jacksonville Florida, AHEAD in San Diego and Sight Village in Birmingham, we’ve had our heads down working hard for the past couple of weeks.  Dolphin Pocket Hal and Dolphin EasyProducer seemed to get a lot of attention.

Pocket Hal is due to be released soon. The design and development teams have gone to great lengths to make using Pocket Hal on a PDA a pleasant experience. 

The new website will be launching very soon and we will be sending out an invitation to come and visit the new site.  We would love to have you visit the site once it’s been launched and let us know if we can do anything to improve it further.

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Pocket Hal V7 Is Shipping Soon!

Dolphin Pocket Hal is a powerful screen reading solution available for a wide range of handheld devices which are based on the Windows Mobile family of operating systems.  Dolphin Pocket Hal enables blind and low vision individuals to work, learn, communicate and be entertained using the same portable feature-rich technology used by fully sighted colleagues, relatives and friends.

The flexibility of modern mainstream mobile technology is enabling millions of people around the globe to remain productive and connected while on the move every day.  This technology has been unusable by people who experience blindness or low vision - until now!

Dolphin Pocket Hal dynamically and intelligently reads the screen contents of Windows Mobile-based Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs), and features a full complement of highly customizable verbosity schemes and speech style options, plus support for a choice of speech synthesizer voices, languages and refreshable Braille displays.

Dolphin Pocket Hal includes a range of intuitive screen reading methods for working with standard Windows Mobile software applications.  Additionally Pocket Hal provides powerful tools for training the screen reader to recognise output from many non-standard PDA applications.

Imagine an environment where blind and low vision computer users can share the same mainstream technology as their sighted colleagues, using the same equipment, available at the same time and cost, with the freedom to easily transfer information between all devices?  This vision is a credible reality and available today!

PDAs provide many of the capabilities of standard desktop PCs but in a portable and lightweight package. Like many desktop computer packages, some standard PDA software applications are already installed and reside on the device itself.  Adding Pocket Hal makes these applications accessible using the integrated PDA buttons.  Reviewing contacts, appointments, documents, spreadsheets, emails, text messages and web pages is simple using Dolphin Pocket Hal.  Output is provided via high quality synthetic speech or by using a refreshable Braille display.  Additionally, PDA’s can be used with many wireless peripherals such as refreshable Braille displays and foldable keyboards providing a choice of input and output methods.  Further, Pocket Hal leaves the functionality of the PDA touch-screen unimpaired so that it remains available for use by a person with some useful vision.

At last there is a realistic solution for organizations to implement the requirements of Disability Discrimination legislation, and for blind and low vision students and professionals who need access to mobile computing. No longer are organisations and individuals faced with the substantial costs, limitations and inconvenience associated with purchasing and maintaining non-standard proprietary hardware.  The advent of Dolphin Pocket Hal liberates these organizations and individuals from this technological minefield.

A regular PDA running Dolphin Pocket Hal enables a blind or low vision person to perform many of the tasks which would usually require a screen reader running on a full-blown PC.  The key difference is a PDA provides a user with the ability to do all of this from a handheld device whilst on the move, not just at the office, home or in school, but on the train, in the park or at a café.  Simply choose the PDA or PDA Phone that's best for your needs, and make it talk with Pocket Hal!

Steve Palmer, Dolphin CEO, comments; “Dolphin’s philosophy is to develop solutions that enable blind and low vision computer users to access the same technology as that enjoyed by their sighted colleagues. The latest Pocket Hal now offers unprecedented access to mainstream PDAs and provides new levels of mobility and portability for blind users.”

Dolphin is pleased to be working closely with other leading companies such as Microsoft and HP, in order to deliver the best possible access solutions for today’s mobile community.

“HP is committed to providing cutting-edge assistive features to help ensure the benefits of technology are available to all people” said Michael Takemura, director of the Accessibility Program Office at HP. “Dolphin’s Pocket Hal running on HP iPAQ Pocket PCs provides visually impaired users enhanced mobile communication freedom."

Bonnie Kearney, Director of Marketing, Accessible Technology Group at Microsoft, comments; “Thanks to accessible technology like Dolphin’s Pocket Hal, low vision and blind computer users are able to take full advantage of the latest range of Microsoft mobile solutions. Dolphin’s latest range of access solutions will ensure that visually impaired computer users are able to access the latest technology in a way that suits them best.”

For more information visit the Dolphin website at:

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Pocket The Difference: The Pocket Hal Tour

Next month Dolphin will be showcasing the features and benefits of Pocket Hal version 7 with a spectacular journey throughout North America.  Dates and destinations will be announced in due course.  If you are in one of the areas we are visiting, we hope to welcome you in person to one of our Dolphin days.  If you cannot make it to any of the events, stay tuned to the next Dolphin newsletter when we will be announcing exciting ways for you to be a part of this extraordinary adventure!

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Tip of the Month

What is the Virtual Focus?

Supernova, Hal and Pocket Hal, typically provide information about the current situation in Windows and in Windows applications by tracking and providing information about the Live Focus.  However, sometimes in Windows applications there is only a very limited live focus available. For example, when reviewing a web page or PDF file.  This makes it difficult for a screen reader user to obtain detailed information about the contents of the screen.  The Virtual Focus found in a number of Dolphin products is a solution to this problem.

The Virtual Focus is a simulated cursor which can be used to review the contents of the screen in situations where using a live cursor is not practical.  The Virtual Focus can also be used to operate the mouse, and used for quickly navigating objects not normally accessible with the keyboard.

Supernova, Hal and Pocket Hal will automatically switch the Virtual Focus on in situations where we think it is useful such as when browsing web pages or PDF files.  When this happens you will hear the announcement "Auto Virtual Focus".  This means the simulated cursor is now active and you can review the contents of the screen with your cursor keys.

If you wish to interact with the document or application, such as typing in text on web pages, you need to switch from the Virtual Focus to the Live Focus. NUmPad Minus will Toggle virtual focus mode on / off, and Left Control + 4 will Toggle automatic virtual focus on / off. 

Using Pocket Hal with your PDA buttons, you can enter the Virtual Focus using SHIFT then LEFT, and to exit Virtual Focus use BACK.

For a complete list of keystrokes available for controlling the Virtual Focus.  Consult your Supernova/Hal/Pocket Hal online Help information.

Don’t forget Dolphin's technical support department can be contacted in the following ways:

Tel:   +44(0)1905-754765

Fax:   +44(0)1905-754559


Until next time!

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Get the latest free Map file updates for your Dolphin software!

Map files contain the detection rules for your Dolphin software.  Maps can also contain actions which determine what monitor markers do, the role of Braille hooks and the role of custom action hot keys.  Supernova, Hal, Lunar and Lunar Plus are supplied with a large collection of Map files designed for the most popular Windows applications.  Periodically between product version releases, Dolphin provide free updates to the Map files.  These updates are intended to improve support for existing applications, as well as introduce support for newer applications.

If you have recently upgraded to version 7 of one of the Dolphin access products: Supernova, Hal, Lunar or Lunar Plus, you may like to use your Internet Updater to check for free version 7 Map file updates.

To check for the latest Map file updates while using Supernova, Hal, Lunar and Lunar Plus, press LEFT CONTROL + SPACE to open the Dolphin Control Panel, ALT + M for the Map menu.  From the Map menu, ARROW to "Update from Internet" and press ENTER.  Follow the prompts, and you will be advised if any free updates are available.  IF updates are available you will be told what they are and given the option to download and install them.

If you need any further assistance with getting the latest updates, contact your dealer or the Dolphin technical support team who will be glad to help you.

The latest map files released for Dolphin software this month are:

- Updated map file for Cicero:

This update fixes some hotkey conflicts between Supernova and Cicero V3.

- Updated map file for EasyPublisher:

Contains corrections and updates.

- New map file for Audacity:

Audacity is free software for recording and editing sounds.

- New map file for Audible Manager 5:

Software that manages the audio files from

Cicero V3.04 released:

Cicero 3.04 has been released, containing some bug fixes. Users who have previous V3 releases installed can download the free update patches from our web site.

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Sales News

It’s been a very busy and productive month in Sales, with the planning of several Special Needs Exhibitions for the rest of the year - more dates and details will be published in next month’s newsletter.

All Dolphin product Demo CDs now carry a 30 day trial period and demo’s can be downloaded via:

We have a new demo available for Dolphin Tutor which includes the Scansoft Daniel voice (which will run for a 15 day period).

Our UK sales office is offering PDA bundles of the Dell Axim x51 or Qtek 9000 (including mobile phone). Call the sales office on 0845 130 5353 for more details or try your luck in the HP competition.

The Government has increased the composite rate of VAT for UK customers from 4.81% to 5.41%. This will affect disabled people purchasing adapted computer equipment (e.g. PCs with a screen reader or magnifier) and applies to those registered blind or partially sighted, or assessed as being dyslexic.

Overseas sales were very good this month, thanks to an important education project in Poland.  Steve Bennett attended the ICEVI exhibition and conference in Kuala Lumpur last month, details of which can be found on

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Dolphin Around The World

Dolphin Continues Sponsorship of the Association on Higher Education And Disabilities (AHEAD) National Postsecondary E-Text Initiative.

For the second year in a row, Dolphin Computer Access has been a major sponsor of a national curricular access initiative that is underway in Higher Education in the United States.  Ron Stewart, Dolphins VP for Operations is chairing the initiative in his long standing capacity as AHEAD’s Technology Advisor.  This effort compliments and strengthens similar efforts by Dolphin in England, Ireland, and Scandinavia.  

The AHEAD E-Text Solutions Group grew out of a cooperative effort, spearheaded by AHEAD, that included representatives of the Academic Publishing industry, disability related NGO’s such as and Recordings for the Blind and Dyslexic, a variety of disability advocacy organizations, and representatives from the major constituent groups that comprise AHEAD.

AHEAD is the major representative organization for disability services in Higher Education in North America.  Its rapidly growing membership consists of over 1700 accredited colleges and universities in North America as well as affiliate organizations in the EU.  This strategic initiative was formulated to respond to what has become a crisis situation in the provision of accessible curriculum for students with print related disabilities. 

The E-Text Solutions group has identified two key goals for the project:

1. Finding comprehensive solutions to the issue of providing students with print disabilities access to books and other curricular materials in a manner that is timely and accurate.

2. Insuring that the student with a print related disability is able to obtain the information needed for his or her education in a manner equivalent to that of their peers without disabilities

And a very appropriate motto was coined by Dolphin’s Steve Hawkes at an E-Text training in Milwaukee in 2005.  This has become the catch phrase for this effort amongst all its participant groups.

Create The Darn Thing Once

For more details on the AHEAD effort visit the website at:

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QAC Sight Village 2006

Dolphin would like to extend a big thank you to everyone who came along and visited us at the recent Sight Village exhibition. Once again Sight Village was a success for Dolphin, with significant interest in Pocket Hal v7, Supernova v7 and our latest range alternative format conversion tools. 

AHEAD 2006

Dolphin recently ran a series of highly successful workshops at the AHEAD Conference, in San Diego. The AHEAD Conference (Association on Higher Education and Disability) is a major North American event focusing on assistive technology within higher education. The two day workshops showed how easy it was to use Dolphin’s latest solutions to create accessible alternative format materials for education, to help students with vision problems, print impairment and dyslexia.

Cornwall Blind Association – BIG party

Dolphin will be supporting the forthcoming Cornwall Blind Association’s 150th anniversary party. The event takes place on September 3rd at the Lemon Quay and Hall for Cornwall in Truro. If you are planning to attend please drop by and meet the Dolphin team.

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Staff News

Dolphin is sorry to say good bye to Raj Taheem this month, who has decided to further his career outside of Dolphin. Raj worked in the UK Sales Office and was responsible for the Education and Altformat product ranges in the UK.

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Editors Note

This newsletter is produced by the Marketing Department.  If you have any news, views or items for inclusion please send them to the Marketing department.

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Subscribing and Unsubscribing

If you would like to change your email address or unsubscribe from this newsletter please send an email message to Marketing with CHANGE DETAILS or UNSUBSCRIBE in the subject line.

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