ZoomNews June 2011 Volume 11 Issue 3

New App Sneak Peek!


of our new app's logoIn the next week or so, we're going to be releasing a new app for the iPad and iPad 2.

This time around, we developed an app that isn't specifically "assistive technology" but is more of a lifestyle app that an even wider audience will find useful in their everyday lives.

We promise to spill all the details soon, so keep an eye on your inbox!!

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Father's Day Promotion


of magnets laid out to spell 'i love you dad'This weekend is Father's Day, and while I'm sorry to tell you that I actually have the best dad in the world, I'm sure yours is pretty great too :)

In honor of Father's Day, we're offering 20% off any ZoomText purchase from now until the end of June - whether or not you're a dad of course. This includes new copies of ZoomText, upgrades, our Enhanced Support Plan, the ZoomText Large-Print Keyboard, and ZoomText Express. Just use the code "DAD" when you call us (800-859-0270 or 802-362-3612 option #2) or when you shop online.

Happy Father's Day to all you dads out there!

**End users only, dealers are not eligible**

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New Contest

Image of 

MoneyThanks to all the comments on ZoomReader in last issue's survey. We really appreciated the feedback and want to congratulate Joe Drenth whose name was chosen as our raffle winner - he won a $100 Amazon.com gift certificate!

This time around, we're doing another super quick survey about tablet devices (iPad, Playbook, Samsung Galaxy...those fun things). It will take you no more than 5 minutes to complete and if you fill it out by July 15th, you'll be entered in the drawing to win a $100 Amazon.com gift certificate!

No better time than the present to fill out the survey! Good luck in the drawing :-)

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Mind's Eye Travel

Image of 

the Mind's Eye Travel logo - an eye with a globe for a pupil

The other day, our support technician Lloyd spoke with someone who works for Mind's Eye Travel, an organization that creates tours for people who are blind or visually impaired. We thought it was the perfect thing to share with you in ZoomNews!

Travel planning can be a stressful and time consuming process - even more so when you're visually impaired. Luckily there are organizations like Mind's Eye Travel to aid in the details so you can just relax and enjoy your vacation. Their prices include sighted guide assistance and assistance with the following:

  • Immigration Documents
  • Boarding Passes
  • Cruise Line Bag Tags
  • Embarkation & Disembarkation
  • Orientation & Mobility While Onboard Ship
  • Front Row Seating in Shows
  • Shore Excursions
  • Menu Assistance
  • Braille Deck Plans
  • Airline Bookings

Take a look at their website for more information. They've got some really exciting trips in the coming months - the next one is a tour of the Grand Mediterranean from Venice to Barcelona! Be careful - if you're planning on going on that trip, I just might try to squeeze into your suitcase.

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Upcoming Training Opportunities

Picture of a question mark 
inside a circular buttonAs always, we are running new user online training sessions every week. These are free, but you do have to register for the session you'd like to attend. Head on over to our training page to sign up today!

In addition, we have another free webinar coming up - this one goes into more depth than the new user trainings do. It will be on June 28th from 11 AM to 12 PM EST and is called "Understanding ZoomText Reading Zones".

This is meant for beginner and intermediate ZoomText users and will concentrate on how to create, edit and use Reading Zones. Support Specialists James and Michael will show you how Reading Zones can help improve your productivity as you use your everyday applications. Sign up today!

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Staci Mannella Update

Picture of Staci Mannella with her guide, Kim SeeversEarlier this year, we wrote about our sponsorship of Staci Mannella, a 14-year-old skier who is visually impaired. Staci's goal is to represent the United States in 2014 as an adaptive alpine skier in the Paralympics in Sochi, Russia.

Her guide, Kim Seevers, sent us an update on how the 2011 ski season has been going. Great news - Staci has earned a position on the US Adaptive Alpine Team! It's the first step on her way to the Paralympic Games. Join us in congratulating her and wishing her well on her journey.

Check out our blog post for all the details!

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Cool Websites

Image of a 

smiley face with sunglasses onZoomText user Kathy Kalaluhi sent in a bunch of websites that she thought other ZoomText users would find interesting and helpful. We liked the idea so much that it's become a regular "column" in ZoomNews! Below are her suggestions and if you'd like to submit any websites for the next issue, please email them to Becca at rproskin@aisquared.com!

  • Shelf Life Advice - You can check on this site to see actually how far past the expiration date or best sell by date that certain types of food will last.

  • Squabbler - This looked to be a fun site to just visit like YouTube. It is free to register and is a social network where you upload 30 second videos of your complaints then users can vote on whether you are right or wrong in your squabble. They said a lot of older people are using this site and they showed an old lady who uploaded her complaint of her husband eating popcorn and getting it all over the floor and leaving a trail of it. I think it could be funny to watch especially with older people.

  • Foodily - One giant recipe site where you can search for recipes providing ingredients that you CANNOT eat. For example, if you search for pancakes eliminating dairy, you'll be given search results of recipes that are vegan.

  • ecosquid - If you are looking for a place to recycle old electronics such as cell phones, mp3 players, monitors or laptops, this site will provide information on where you can get rid of these things. Cell phones and music players may provide some cash to you while other electronics may cost you to get rid of them. You can search for the model and type of electronic that you wish to get rid of and it will provide you with the logistics of where it can be dumped. Some items may be mail-in while others you will be given a location where you can dump it.

  • National Gardening Association - this site provides all the information you will ever need to plant a garden. You can find information and videos for planting container gardens as well as raised-bed gardening. You can also find info for tools and materials needed for gardening as well as about pest control.

  • Kickstarter - If you have a creative invention that you would like to launch, but do not have the funding to see it through, this site is for you. You can describe what you want to launch and detail your goals and your timeline. Investors then can choose to back your project.

  • PDRhealth - This site is based on the Physician's Desk Reference. It provides information on medications including proper dosage, side effects, and information that you should provide to your doctor if you are going to take a particular drug.

  • Home Elephant - This is like a neighborhood watch site. You can get to know your neighbors through this site and leave messages on this board. For example, you can leave messages like someone's trash can blew into my yard and needs to be picked up.

Thanks to Kathy for these great suggestions!

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In the News

Image of stack of 

newspapersFirst patients picked for stem cell vision trials - Two patients with two different forms of vision loss will soon start treatments made from embryonic stem cells as Advanced Cell Technology kicks off two early-stage clinical trials.

Student up for charity award after conquering Kilimanjaro - Despite her visual impairment, Ella Chubbock conquered Africa's highest peak for charity, and has been nominated for a national award.

Virginia woman to start adaptive tennis league - Jody Silverberg is starting up an adaptive tennis league - specific provisions for someone who is visually impaired will include sound-adaptive balls that allow people to hear where they land better than regular tennis balls.

Sharper focus for film funding - Funding support for future Australian feature films will depend on the films being modified to ensure access by cinema-goers who are hearing and visually impaired.

Program teaches ballet to the visually impaired - Last year, New View Oklahoma teamed with City Arts Center and the ballet to offer a week of dance instruction to visually impaired children - this year they expanded the program for adults as well.

Texas middle school students in national Braille contest - Merlyn Hileman and Harley Fetterman are among the 60 finalists culled out of a field of some 850 competitors headed to the national Braille Challenge in Los Angeles on June 25th.

Ontario government offers new ID card - Some visually impaired residents are applauding the Ontario government's decision to begin offering what it calls the "non-drivers driver's license."

Visually impaired man embarking on 100-mile quest - Simon Wheatcroft of Rossington, England is on a mission - visually impaired himself, he is setting out on a 100-mile run to help save the sight of hundreds of children.

Blind youth enjoy an unusually noisy game of soccer - Fifteen children who are visually impaired and their blindfolded siblings were paired with sighted students from Jesuit College Preparatory School to learn soccer basics.

Flash Sonar helps blind and visually impaired bike, ski, skateboard - An echolocation method called "Flash Sonar" uses the subtle sound of a tongue clicking to help blind and visually impaired people interpret their surroundings - even at high speeds.

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Tradeshow Schedule

Image of 

tradeshowSummer's a very busy time for tradeshows here at Ai Squared! If you're planning on attending any of these shows, be sure to stop by and see what's new with us.

VISIONS Conference
June 24th - June 26th, 2011
Baltimore, MD
Booth #105

National Federation of the Blind (NFB) Conference
July 3rd - July 8th, 2011
Orlando, FL
Booth #C6

American Council of the Blind (ACB) Conference
July 8th - July 16th, 2011
Reno, NV
Booth #25

Association on Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD) Annual Conference
July 12th - July 14th, 2011
Seattle, WA
Booth #48

QAC Sight Village Birmingham
July 12th - July 14th, 2011
Birmingham, UK

Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired (AER) Regional Conference
August 12th - 14th, 2011
Boston, MA

Envision Conference
September 21st - September 24th, 2011
St. Louis, MO

New England Library Association (NELA) Conference
October 2nd - October 4th, 2011
Burlington, VT
Booth #309

Assistive Technology Industry Association (ATIA) Chicago Conference
November 3rd - November 5th, 2011
Schaumburg, IL
Booth #418

National Ergonomics Conference & Exposition (NECE)
November 29th - December 2nd, 2011
Las Vegas, NV
Booth #608

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