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Voting Technology to Help the Disabled

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Cities in the United States often use various methods to assist the disabled on voting day. This typically consists of transporting the handicapped to voting sites in a wheelchair van and ensuring the disabled have access to voting sites. Legislation such as the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 ensures that polling places accommodate disabled voters.

Now, voting machines have the capability to accommodate people with a range of disabilities. This technology ensures that the disabled voters truly do have equal access to polling places.

Long Beach, California plans to use voting machines for visually impaired individuals during the April 2012 primary elections, according to These machines are able to issue audio commands to users, allowing them to vote without assistance, even if they are completely blind. This will mark the first use of these voting machines in Los Angeles County and is an important step in providing independent voting for the disabled.

Dolores Nason, executive director of the Disabled Resources Center, was nearly brought to tears when she saw some of her volunteers, workers and clients using these machines during a demonstration. “People who have disabilities, they still want to be independent and they want to keep their dignity,” she told, “and being able to vote can be a big part of that.”

Los Angeles County has 88 cities, 60 of which have municipal elections. Long Beach used an independent contractor to conduct its elections until 2006, and this city has been improving its voting facilities in-house ever since. In 2006, Orange County began using the e-slate voting machines, electronic machines that directly record voting machines. Anyone can use these machines, but they are especially useful for people with disabilities.

E-slate machines issue voice commands through headphones for the visually impaired. The large buttons are easy for people with motor disabilities to control, and those without any use of their hands can control these machines with a sip and puff device. An e-slate machine displays the entire ballot as if it was a paper ballot and also allows the user to modify previous choices before submitting the ballot.

Long Beach officials will install four e-slate machines at City Hall for the 2012 elections, which run from March 12 to April 3. The city decided to buy these $24,000 machines instead of electronic poll books, which allows voting officials to review voter information. Officials plan to install e-slate machines at all 270 polling locations, although this will require several years to fully implement.

Voting machines allow the disabled to maintain their independence and keep their dignity while voting, in addition to increasing the number of people who vote. These machines also allow the handicapped to vote independently, thus ensuring privacy for all voters.

In order to ensure equality at the voting booth, this technology should be widespread, rather than contained in such a limited area. With technological advancements being made every day, it is feasible that, assuming everything goes as planned in California this year, this technology can be available nationwide by the next presidential election.

Wired on Wireless Internet – is That What We Call a Technology Addiction?

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Hey, everyone’s addicted to technology these days. Get over it, I say. Would you want to go back to the days when you had to be plugged into the wall to surf the net? Of course you wouldn’t. When you’re out in the pub with your mates, your wireless internet device solves more arguments than Phone a Friend ever did. And if you work for yourself, the ability to take your job with you wherever you go is a boon like no other.

Wired on Wireless Internet – is That What We Call a Technology AddictionThere’s very little you can say against wireless internet – except that some wireless providers for example, verizon internet, haven’t yet developed a heart and allowed you to power as many wireless devices as you want from a wireless home connection. Most of them have an upper limit of five and some charge you for more than two. Which is frankly mean. You’re paying for the connection, why you shouldn’t use it howsoever you choose is beyond me.

Anyway, apart from that I can’t see a problem. The internet, properly used, is the single key resource in modern life. You can shop on it, you can interact on it and you can find things out on it. You can inform yourself and ensure that other stay informed. You can foment revolution. You can right wrongs. Read More

Is A Cheap Sat Nav System Your Best Bet For Satellite Navigation?

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Picture the articulated lorry wedged between 18th century cottages on a narrow village high street. Commiserate with the poor tourist hoping to visit Hampton Court Palace but ending up driving around Birmingham’s Bullring instead of leafy Surrey. Satellite navigation took the lorry driver and tourist on these misadventures but don’t let them blame an electronic device for their problems. Newspapers, the internet and the high street are overflowing with tempting sat nav deals. Their price is not always a guide to their quality.

Is A Cheap Sat Nav System Your Best Bet For Satellite NavigationThe first step in buying a sat nav is to decide whether you are a gadget person or not. Internet prices may be half of those in high street shops for the same device. If you are not familiar with these gadgets and do not have any idea how to programme them, visit the high street store and pay the extra pounds or pennies. Then, you can see the different sat nav makes and touch them and learn to programme them. See how you can plan your route by programming in a postcode, street name or local monument.

What do you want a sat nav for and where do you want to use it? Sat navs can be portable, hard-wired into a vehicle or software loaded on to a smartphone. If you don’t plan to drive outside of Britain, you don’t need to pay the extra price for road maps of southern California. You do need to ensure that the supplier provides regular mapping updates. Quarterly updates are the best as at least 15 percent of national road systems change annually. The sat nav deals can be quite cheap and then ask you to buy separate updates online. The cost of the update may be the same as that of the original bargain and you could be left with an increasingly expensive toy. Read More