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National Federation of the Blind Applauds Release of KNFB Reader iPhone App

September 18, 2014
Source: National Federation of the Blind (NFB)

The National Federation of the Blind (NFB), the nation’s leading advocate for access to print by the blind, has applauded the release of KNFB Reader, a new app for the iPhone and other Apple iOS devices, which uses the phone’s camera and state-of-the-art optical character recognition (OCR) technology to give the blind instant access to the contents of print materials. Members of the National Federation of the Blind have worked with K-NFB Reading Technology, Inc., which developed the app along with Sensotec, Inc. KNFB Reader is now available in the iTunes app store.

Mark Riccobono, President of the National Federation of the Blind, said: “The National Federation of the Blind has been involved for forty years in the development of technology that helps blind people to acquire access to the various print materials that we all encounter from day to day. Ever since our first collaboration with Ray Kurzweil to develop the Kurzweil Reading Machine, which was the size of a household appliance, we have been interested in the development of better and more portable reading technology. Print on office documents, flyers, letters, menus, labels, and throughout our environment is still a part of everyday life, even with the increased electronic transmission of documents. Now revolutionary technology that resides on the phones that many of us carry each day provides instant access to the printed word. We can hear our mail or the menu at our favorite restaurant spoken with the iPhone’s built-in text-to-speech technology, or read it in Braille with a refreshable Braille display. This app will fundamentally change the everyday lives of many blind people, helping us to get the information we need and live the lives we want.”

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