Future Reflections                                                                                               Winter 2001

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International Braille
and Technology Center for the Blind (IBTC)

The IBTC is a comprehensive evaluation, demonstration, and training technology center which contains over $2 million worth of speech and Braille technology.

Established in 1990 on the 50th Anniversary of the founding of the National Federation of the Blind, the IBTC is located at the National Center for the Blind in Baltimore, Maryland.

The IBTC serves as a
nerve center and laboratory to:

¨ Stimulate the use and development of technology for the blind,

¨ facilitate comparative evaluation of state-of-the-art technological devices,

¨ operate a test site for innovative technologies and

¨ function as a hands-on training center for blind individuals and other interested persons and groups.

Who wants to spend thousands of dollars for equipment when one has never had the
opportunity to see it in operation, to talk to someone who has used it, to compare it to other similar devices, to know something of its reliability and durability, or to determine its capacity to meet real-life, on-the-job, or personal needs in a practical way?

No one does, of course. Yet, this has often been the only option available to would-be purchasers of specialized access technology for the blind. Unlike their sighted counterparts, blind people are not able to purchase equipment that is accessible to them at their local computer stores. The companies producing Braille and speech access devices for computers tend to be small firms which do not have local outlets. At best it has been possible to get hands-on experience with only a few devices, and even then, under circumstances making true comparative evaluations virtually impossible. The IBTC meets this unmet need.

Who can benefit from the IBTC?

¨ Blind persons

¨ Employers

¨ Information technology, rehabilitation, and other professionals

¨ Vendors of technology

¨ Family members

¨ Members of the public

¨ State and federal government technology professionals

Personal and Telephone
Consultation Available

Experienced staff of the IBTC are available to answer questions about all manner of assistive technology for the blind, either in person or over the telephone. We welcome your questions.

How to Reach Us:

National Federation of the Blind
1800 Johnson Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21230
Phone: (410) 659-9314
Fax: (410) 685-5653

  www.NFB.org

  E-mail: nfb@nfb.org

Future Reflections

The National Federation of the Blind Magazine for Parents of Blind Children

1800 Johnson Street * Baltimore, Maryland 21230

(410) 659-9314  *  www.nfb.org   *   nfb@nfb.org

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