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/24-7PressRelease/ - FARMINGDALE, NY, March 28, 2008 - Since the announcement of the resignation of Eliot Spitzer, the spotlight has been on David Paterson, sworn in last week as the new Governor of New York, who is legally blind. These developments were watched with great interest by the visually impaired community, numbering by some estimates 10 million people, of which nearly 1.5 million are legally blind. But after this initial flood of attention fades and Gov. Paterson settles into his new position, an important statistic will linger: according to the National Center for Health Statistics, approximately 70 percent of legally blind people are not employed.
This staggering number makes it clear that we as a nation need to do a better job of making our workplaces more accessible and equipping the visually impaired with the tools they need to function in it. "One of the stumbling blocks is public awareness... many people simply don't know of the options that are available" says Elliot Zaretsky, president of Maxi-Aids, a company specializing in assistive aids for the blind, visually impaired, deaf, hard of hearing, and those with mobility and other special needs. As the father of an adult deaf son, Zaretsky knows the challenges faced by special needs individuals. But he also knows the vast array of products available that can help those individuals live more independently and enter the workforce.
"There are many powerful magnification devices and computer software packages available today to assist those with low vision," notes Mr. Zaretsky. "CCTV's enable those with moderate vision loss to view text magnified on a TV or computer monitor. Screen magnification software allows text on a computer screen to be enlarged. For the blind, there is screen reading software that reads not only what is typed, but also whatever is pointed to by the mouse, and announces it, so the user has verbal confirmation of all keyboard and computer activity. And the TADI Talking Personal Organizer has great features such as a notepad, address book and phone dialer to name just a few." In addition, there are scanning and book reading devices which allow documents and even entire books to be scanned into a computer, then either magnified on screen or read aloud through the computer's speakers.
Maxi-Aids uses assistive products in their own office in Farmingdale, NY, where among their staff are a number of deaf, hearing impaired and blind employees. "The bottom line," concludes Mr. Zaretsky, "is that in this day and age there is no reason that such a high percentage of blind people should be unemployed. The attention around Governor Paterson has put the visually impaired community in the public eye. Now it's up to business owners to take this chance to utilize the great resource available to them in the special needs communities."
To learn more about products for independent living, visit Maxi-Aids' website at www.maxiaids.com or to call 1-800-522-6294.
Maxi-Aids is a world-leading provider of products for independent living, supplying an extensive range of aids and devices to improve the lives of the Blind, Low Vision, Deaf, Hard of Hearing, Diabetic and those with mobility and other special needs. Maxi-Aids is the exclusive distributor of the Marks Script Guide writing aid for the Visually Impaired and Reizen products for special needs. For further information, please visit our website at www.MaxiAids.com or call 1-800-522-6294.
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