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Visually Impaired User Weighs In on Assistive Technology Debate

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OSS

A situation has developed that has caught my eye in recent months and has made me realize that I could no longer keep silent concerning several things troubling me. I am visually impaired and a PC user, and I cannot see well enough to work with a PC without using JAWS for Windows and MAGIC for Windows Assistive Technology Software.

I have read recent articles vilifying Peter Quinn, CIO of the ITD of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, who wishes to make all Commonwealth documents accessible to all. But are those who tout JAWS for Windows to defend the rights of the visually impaired community speaking because they use this system every day for employment, or do they have some other hidden agenda?

In the case of use of Assistive Technology in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, it would seem that fiscally responsible politicians would want to provide the best solution for their respective constituents at the best price. But it appears that in all the arguments about the OpenDocument file format versus Microsoft's OpenXML file format and accessibility to the visually impaired community that something has been missed.

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