Microsoft eAccessibility Roundtable
Pocket Hal took centre stage at the recent Microsoft eAccessibility Roundtable in Brussels last week as charities, NGOs, consumers and disabled people from around Europe quizzed Microsoft on their eAccessibility Policy and plans for the future. Dolphin Computer Access were exclusively asked to open proceedings showcasing Pocket Hal on a PDA running the Windows Mobile 5 operating system.
Dave Williams Mobile Product Manager and Hazel Shaw, Group Marketing Manager for Dolphin delighted audiences with an enthusiastic and entertaining role play of how a blind person can accomplish a series of tasks while on the move using a Windows Mobile PDA made accessible with the Pocket Hal mobile screen reader. A serious message underpinned Dave’s and Hazel’s demonstration as key EU dignitaries were exposed to the stark accessibility challenges faced by people who are visually impaired. Essential tools such as Pocket Hal on a Windows Mobile PDA is beyond the means of some EU residents and crucial funding simply is not available in many countries.
Dave Williams Mobile product manager, who is also blind, says, "Pocket Hal provides me with the independence, mobility and equality which was simply not previously achievable using a range of specialist devices."
Paul Timmers, Head of eGovernment Unit, European Commission expressed a particular interest in Pocket Hal quizzing Dave on the benefits of a PDA solution and the impact of owning a pocket sized PC.
Other delegates at this intimate event included Massimiliano Martines of the Committee for the Observatory Internet Sites Italian Blind, Richard Orme of the RNIB, Hajime Yamada of Toyo University and Pablo Lopez Alvarez of ONCE.
The Brussels roundtable event underlines the Microsoft Assistive Technology Group's continued commitment to eInclusion working closely with key Assistive Technology partners such as Dolphin.
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