Free expo showcases gadgets of brave new world


Date: 21/11/2002

Pens that read, talking computers and environmental control systems are just some of the cutting edge inventions on display at the upcoming Assistive Technology Expo on Friday 29 November in Bankstown, Sydney.

This free expo targets people with disabilities but promises to be a bonanza for anybody keen to check out the latest computer gadgets.

Around 30 companies from across Australia will showcase their technological break-throughs at the exhibition which is the first of its kind in NSW.

"There will be a new, improved speech recognition computer which can recognise your voice after only ten minutes of training and allows you to control your computer and also type in text just by using your voice," says expo organiser Anna Mungovan.

Visitors can also try out a pen that scans word documents and then uploads them into computers. The pen will show you how a word is pronounced phonetically on a small digital screen and also boasts an inbuilt dictionary to help explain the meaning of difficult words.

A cutting edge 'read and write' program that assists people with learning difficulties by predicting words and correcting embarrassing spelling mistakes will also be on display.

Demonstrations will include wiring your entire office or home, so your computer, phone, fax and other electronic devices can be operated by a touch-screen or your voice.

The expo is sponsored by the University of Western Sydney through its Regional and Community Grants Scheme.

"Nowadays, students want access to the internet and emails while studying at university. This expo shows how the latest technology enables people with disabilities to fully participate in a study program or at work," Maxine Lacey, Director of the Social Justice Unit at UWS says.

A special seminar will run concurrently with the expo, focusing on how technology can benefit people with disabilities in education and employment. The seminar includes first-hand stories from students and workers with disabilities on how to use assistive technology, tips on identifying technology options and how to negotiate technology options with employers.

More information on the expo and seminar is available on the University of Western Sydney's website:
http://www.uws.edu.au/uws/policies/uwsequity/settingdirections/expo_contents.html

WHEN: Friday 29 November 2002

TIME: 10am - 6pm

WHERE: Bankstown Sports Club Conference Centre
8 Greenfield Parade, Bankstown

COST: Free

For registration and further details contact: Regional Disability Liaison Officer Anna Mungovan on (02) 9772 6314, email: a.mungovan@uws.edu.au or Liz Claridge on (02) 9772 6314, email: e.claridge@uws.edu.au.

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For more information or requests for interviews please contact:

Mikael Kjaerbye
UWS Media Manager
Ph: 02 9678 7418
Mob: 0405 356 021
Email: m.kjaerbye@uws.edu.au

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