PLEXTALK™ Pocket Offers Individuals Who Are Blind and Visually Impaired a New Portable DAISY Player that Reads Bookshare Digital Books

By Benetech, posted on

Bookshare and Shinano Kenshi Corporation, Ltd. Announce Partnership

Bookshare, the world’s largest online accessible library for individuals with print disabilities, today announced a partnership with Shinano Kenshi Corporation, Ltd. (Japan and North America), a global leader in advanced technology hardware and precision electronics.

This partnership will allow Bookshare members to easily download and read tens of thousands of accessible books, periodicals, New York Times best sellers, educational books, textbooks, general fiction, non-fiction and literature on the new PLEXTALK™ pocket portable digital DAISY player and recorder. DAISY (Digital Accessible Information System) players, like the PLEXTALK Pocket, easily convert Bookshare’s digital text files to speech so books and newspapers can be read aloud.

“The PLEXTALK Pocket offers a new choice in portable devices to our Bookshare members and introduces the latest digital book navigation,” said Jim Fruchterman, CEO of Benetech, the nonprofit organization which operates Bookshare. “Our goal is to work with high-tech assistive technology vendors to increase the availability of accessible devices that our members can use to read Bookshare books.”

The PLEXTALK Pocket PTP1 is a lightweight, pocket-sized, DAISY-compliant music, voice, and book player/recorder. The player/recorder supports playable contents in DAISY 2.02, ANSI/NISO Z39.86/DAISY 3.0, and audio files (MP3, AMR-WB+). It will record DAISY 2.02 with a recording capacity of up to 90 hours and supports multiple audio playback formats. The manufacturer’s retail price starts at $359 and includes ear phones, a holder and a 2GB SD (Secure Digital) memory card. For a complete list of features and specifications, visit the PLEXTOR website.

“PLEXTALK is a true crossover and high quality media player/recorder with a host of new applications and features to support complete accessibility for people with sight problems or learning disabilities,” said Rex Bergsma, President of Shinano Kenshi Corporation, Ltd., North America. “Using the PLEXTALK Pocket, Bookshare members will experience more reading freedom and enjoy self-reliance which comes from the ability to access digital talking books in any environment.”

About Bookshare

Bookshare is the world’s largest accessible online library for people with print disabilities. Through its technology initiatives and partnerships, Bookshare seeks to raise the floor on accessibility issues so that individuals with print disabilities have the same ease of access to print materials as people without disabilities. In 2007, Bookshare received a $32 million five-year award from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), to provide free access for all U.S. students with a qualified print disability. The Bookshare library now has more than 56,000 members. Bookshare is an initiative of Benetech, a Palo Alto, CA-based nonprofit that creates sustainable technology to solve pressing social needs.

About Shinano Kenshi (SKC) and PLEXTALK™

Shinano Kenshi Co., Shinano Kenshi Corporation & PLEXTALK Shinano Kenshi Co. Ltd., are responsible for the development and manufacturing of digital talking book players (DTBPs) and other products sold under the brand name of PLEXTALK. SKC is the world’s largest manufacturer of DTBPs and a leader in digital recorders and software since the initiation of the digital talking book players and the creation of the global standard DAISY (Digital Accessible Information System). PLEXTALK assistive products are created to improve the quality of life, self-reliance and independence of their users. Shinano Kenshi Corporation is the North American subsidiary of Shinano Kenshi Co., Ltd.

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The content of this Press Release was developed under a grant from the U.S. Department of Education. However, those contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the U.S. Department of Education, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government.