Monday, August 18, 2008

IBM and GW Micro Join Steering Committee for Accessibility Interoperability Alliance Expanded Committee Drives Associations Strategic Mission

Way to go GW. Great news!

WAKEFIELD, Mass. — August 4, 2008 — The Accessibility Interoperability Alliance (AIA), a coalition of leading information and assistive technology companies dedicated to enabling developers to more easily create accessible software, hardware and Web products, welcomes the addition of two new steering committee members: Doug Geoffray of GW Micro and Richard Schwerdtfeger of IBM.

The five-member Steering Committee guides the AIA in its mission to improve the lives of people who can benefit from accessibility technologies. The AIA accomplishes this by encouraging the enhancement of current technologies, creating new technologies, and promoting the implementation of APIs and specifications across platforms and the accessibility industry.

"We are very pleased to have Doug and Rich join the AIA leadership team. They both have a pragmatic understanding of the technical and business challenges facing the accessibility industry today, and have a long history of working across boundaries to advance the state of the art in accessibility," said Rob Sinclair, Chair of the Steering Committee and director of the Accessibility Business Unit at Microsoft. "Their technical expertise and long-standing relationships with members of the AIA make them highly valued additions to our Steering Committee. We look forward to working with them in this new capacity."

Richard Schwerdtfeger is a Distinguished Engineer, the IBM Software Group Accessibility Strategist and Architect, Chair of the IBM Accessibility Architecture Review Board, and a Master Inventor. His responsibilities include guiding the overall accessibility architecture and strategy for IBM Software Group and he participates in numerous W3C standards efforts including HTML, WAI Protocols and Formats, and Ubiquitous Web Applications. He chairs the W3C WAI-ARIA subcommittee accessibility effort for Web 2.0 applications as well as OASIS and IMS GLC Access for All accessibility standards efforts.

Doug Geoffray is co-owner of GW Micro, Inc. and leads the software development and product support groups. Geoffray has been developing assistive technology for more than 25 years. He currently oversees a team at GW Micro that focuses mainly on Window-Eyes, a leader in Windows screen readers.

About the Accessibility Interoperability Alliance (AIA)

Initiated by the accessibility industry, the AIA is a group of leading Information Technology (IT) and Assistive Technology (AT) companies, content providers, and other key engineering organizations, working to collaborate on the creation of solutions to long-standing compatibility problems that hinder the development of solutions for people with disabilities. Since its founding in 2007, AIA members have worked together to develop accessible technology for customers with disabilities. Founding members of AIA include Adobe Systems, BayFirst Solutions LLC, Microsoft, Novell Inc., Claro Software Ltd., Dolphin Computer Access, GW Micro, Inc., HiSoftware Inc., Madentec Inc., Texthelp Systems Inc. and QualiLife. More information about the AIA can be found at  


Friday, August 15, 2008

Of Lawsuits and Press Releases

Over the past several weeks, I have been trying to sort out my feelings concerning the lawsuit Freedom Scientific has filed against GW Micro over placemarkers on the Internet. The foremost emotion I have experienced is sadness. It is not often that a press release from a screen reader developer makes me sad. Usually, I smile when a new release of a screen reader comes out. I eagerly await the myriad of demonstrations and interviews touting new features. Occasionally I smile when a screen reader developer sponsors audio description of a TV show or participates in an episode of Home Makeover. Sadness is an emotion I experience less frequently. I dread the day that Fox News does a short piece on two screen reader developers suing one another over a feature that makes using the Internet easier for blind people. Another emotion I have been experiencing is anger—anger that we even have to talk about this at all; anger that I even care about patent infringement and HTML tags; anger that support lists are spending more time belittling the competition than dealing with real questions concerning how to use their favorite screen reader.
The last emotion I have been experiencing lately is fear. The stakes are really high for all of us—the developers and the users alike. This is no game and it’s not a TV show where everything will turn out right in the end; it’s reality in the most brutal sense of the word.
Everyone reading this probably has an opinion regarding who should or who will win this lawsuit if it ever goes to court. I am no different. I would submit for your consideration, however, the possibility that, in the end, nobody will win. That, my friends, is a truly sobering thought.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

GW Micro Response to Freedom Scientific Lawsuit

Fort Wayne, Indiana, August 15, 2008 -- GW Micro, Inc., a Fort Wayne, Indiana-based company dedicated to providing high quality adaptive technology solutions for blind and visually impaired individuals, announced today that it has received notice of a patent infringement lawsuit brought by Freedom Scientific, Inc., the self-described "world leader in technology-based solutions for people with visual impairments."  The lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court, Middle District of Florida, alleging infringement of U.S. Patent No. 6,993,707 for a "Document Placemarker."  GW Micro has reviewed the claim and believes it is overreaching and not consistent with what Freedom Scientific told the Patent Office when obtaining its patent. GW Micro intends to defend itself vigorously and expects to prevail in court.

"As many of our users know, our screen reader -- Window-Eyes -- has had the capability of returning to a specific line within a webpage since version 3.1, which was released over nine years ago, well before Freedom Scientific's alleged invention," said Dan Weirich, GW Micro's Corporate President.  Weirich went on to note that, "The implication in a recent Freedom Scientific press release that GW Micro is 'benefit[ing] from [Freedom Scientific's] investment at no charge' is simply not accurate nor in line with GW Micro's tradition of success and fair play."  Finally, Weirich concluded, "We will aggressively defend both our legal position and our place in the assistive technology community."

Daniel R. Weirich
GW Micro, Inc.
725 Airport North Office Park
Fort Wayne, IN  46825
ph 260-489-3671

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Review added for AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition version 8.0.1 build 100

Review added for AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition version 8.0.1 build

This is an alert to let you know that emerson has just added a review for
AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition version 8.0.1 build 100. You may read it by
using the following link:

Special announcement from Bibles for the Blind

-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of Keith Reedy
Sent: Wednesday, August 06, 2008 11:04 AM
SubjSpecial announcement from Bibles for the Blind,our BRF
files are now on our site for free download.

We are pleased to announce that the BRF files that we have used to
create hard copy braille our now on our website.

The KJV Bible, 17 BRF files, The daily devotional My Utmost for His
Highest by Oswald Chambers 4 BRF files and more. For details see:

Keith Reedy