UK: The ProGUIDE Project has a new high-profile advocate, writes David Davies. Established in October 2006 by Stig Hedlund, Pro GUIDE offers training for visually impaired music technology users and aims to provide sound engineers, musicians and producers with effective solutions that mean they can access the latest digital recording equipment. Now, following its acquisition of SADiE, Prism Sound has joined the project in place of SADiE's former owner, Studio Audio and Video Ltd.
Prism Sound has already held a ProGUIDE seminar day (pictured) at its HQ in Cambridge and is also assisting with technical and marketing initiatives intended to further boost the ProGUIDE cause.
"This is an important initiative and one we are very happy to support," says Graham Boswell, sales and marketing director of Prism Sound. "Without special tools, blind and visually impaired people face real difficulties finding employment in audio production. This is a shame, as the aural nature of our business ought to make it an ideal profession. The work ProGUIDE has done to date is already providing a neat solution that allows blind and visually impaired people to work on audio production projects using SADiE. We are determined to help further this work and we hope that by lending Prism Sound's weight to the project we will be able to encourage other manufacturers to take this issue seriously."
The SADiE brand has been involved with the ProGUIDE project since 2006, and its audio editing systems are said to be a popular choice among blind and visually impaired users because of their ease of use and comprehensive editing abilities. SADiE has previously created hardware surfaces designed with the visually impaired in mind, with SADiE v5.6.1 adding enhanced accessibility by reporting more information to the screen reader. Meanwhile, ProGUIDE has recently released a set of scripts for screen reader JAWS that exploits SADiE's accessibility features.
"The SADiE system with the Papenmeier Braille display and the adapted JAWS screen reader allows blind people to take job opportunities that were inaccessible before," said Hedlund. "The quality of the SADiE system is close to perfection and these latest adaptations make it possible for our target group to use it in a very effective manner."