Family Friendly Tech and Advocacy: Tech Psychologist's Guide by Dr. Jeanne Beckman

Family Friendly Tech and Advocacy: Tech Psychologist's Guide   by Dr. Jeanne Beckman
Finally, a book to help families find the right technology to accommodate reading disorders (dyslexia) and other disabilties! ISBN 978-1-60264-089-4

How to purchase my book

To purchase through Virtual Bookworm (my publisher) you can click Virtual Bookworm Publisher: Tech Psychologist's Guide or
Amazon no longer allows Illinois professionals to get credit for referrals to Amazon due to a sales tax dispute. I will be referring to Powell's in the near future.

What is that TinyURL notation that you see in my blog? For those who use a screen reader, the link that is hidden behind words like Tech Psychologist Guide remains hidden. However, screen readers can read aloud the website address, or URL, if it was produced by Also, sometimes these addresses are so long that they wrap around several lines or overlap into colored areas of a website that obscure the actual address. Intrigued? You can create your own tinyurl's at

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Voice Recognition for GPS: Now that's Universal Design that's finally listening to me!

Consumer Report's blog reviews a portable GPS unit that can listen to users with voice recognition.

SEMA - TomTom 920 portable GPS
As competition in the GPS market continues to heat up, TomTom showed its first voice-command activated navigation system at SEMA. (We recently tested the Magellan Maestro 4050, considered the first portable unit with voice recognition.) The 920 allows users to enter a street address by speaking it to the unit rather than using a keyboard, which the manufacturer says makes it the first portable unit with this capability. Other recently introduced voice-command units can only take voice commands for pre-programmed addresses or items from their point-of-interest menu. The 920 also can continue to provide guidance when it temporarily loses its signal, such as when going through a tunnel. Another new feature enables users to press one button for their current location in an emergency, or to note where they’ve parked their car to help find it later. Called “Help Me,” this also enables users with a Bluetooth-enabled phone to summon police or a wrecker with one button, akin to a core feature of OnStar. Priced at $599.95, the 920 is in stores now. The 920 adds a traffic receiver for $100 if purchased with the unit including a one year subscription, or $129.95 if purchased later. Annual renewals cost $60 for the service.
Voice-recognition programming is a big safety benefit for any GPS system. Without a helpful passenger, a driver trying to program a system by hand while driving is a big no-no because of the distraction from driving. While the best factory voice-recognition systems work well and are comprehensive in capability, we found the Maestro’s abilities were limited. Hopefully, the TomTom works better.
No word on whether the 920 could talk to itself with a downloaded celebrity voice...
—Jim Travers
Read this and other Consumer Report reviews at

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