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NPR, Harris Corporation and Towson University Launch Global Effort To Make Radio Accessible to Hearing and Sight Impaired
Date:1/8/2008

First Over-The-Air Transmission From Special CES Station

LAS VEGAS, Jan. 8 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- (LVCC S227) -- NPR, Harris Corporation and Towson University today announced a new initiative to make radio more accessible to the hundreds of millions of hearing and visually impaired people around the world.

At a press conference at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the three organizations announced the global accessible radio technology initiative and provided the first live demonstration of the accessible radio technology. The group also announced a new research center for developing future technologies on the campus of Towson University near Baltimore, MD. Additional plans call for the establishment of an international consortium of equipment manufacturers, broadcasters and other organizations to help foster broad adoption of the initiative.

The initiative will be spearheaded by the three founding organizations and will leverage cutting-edge HD Radio(TM) technology to enable hearing-impaired people to "see" live radio content on specially equipped receivers by applying television closed-captioning processes to radio broadcasts. The technology also will provide audio cues and voice prompts, as well as advanced radio reading services, for those visually impaired and blind.

"Digital radio technology makes it possible -- for the first time -- to serve the sensory impaired," says Mike Starling, vice president and chief technology officer of NPR. "Beyond developing the technology, this initiative will ensure the accessibility of these radio services at minimal costs."

During the press conference, the organizations showcased the first over- the-air transmission of the accessible radio technology using a signal from WX3NPR, a special temporary station authorized by the FCC for the live broadcast. Attendees at the press conference watched the text transcript of the NPR flagship morning news magazine "Morning Editi
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SOURCE Harris Corporation
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