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High Tech Help With Disabilities

Techstination feature for Wednesday, February 9, 2000

Computers can create abilities when there are disabilities. I'm Fred Fishkin with Bootcamp, a report on computers and technology. You hear stories all the time. Computer chips that will help restore vision and hearing. Technology is giving hope to a lot of people and it is creating some real opportunities today. For instance, meet Matt King, an accessibility specialist and advocate at IBM...who lost most of his vision while earning an electrical engineering degree at Notre Dame. He is able to work using IBM's Home Page Reader...

"The IBM Home Page Reader is a major portion of the standard computing platform for all IBM employees who are blind."

It allows him to work over the Internet, which is important since he is, believe it or not, a cyclist in training at the Olympic training facilities in Colorado for this year's Paralympic Games in Sydney, Australia. He rides a tandem cyle...and competed four years ago in Atlanta...

"I ended up placing fourth there and setting a world record in the process."

Now part of his job is helping others overcome obstacles...

"I would like to encourage them to understand that their disability doesn't have to disable their life. Blindness disables eyes. It doesn't disable your ability to have an absolutely full, incredible, wonderful life."

And technology is one of the tools that makes it possible.