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On behalf of our friends at Ultracane


Dear All

UltraCane mobility aid for the blind hailed as a Miracle of Nature in a new BBC programme.

You may recall that in June 2010, we purchased the assets of a company previously known as Sound Foresight Limited; a company that had developed and manufactured the UltraCane,  a revolutionary electronic mobility aid which helps blind and visually impaired  people to ‘see’ in a different way. 

Following a year of redevelopment work to incorporate sophisticated state-of-the-art electronic and software technology to produce a more accurate and sensitive device, the product, following extensive trials in the UK,  was re-launched back onto the market in October 2011, with customers and distributors now buying the product worldwide

We have had a successful year reintroducing the ‘NEW’ UltraCane and as a result, we were approached by Richard Hammond’s production team to assist with a BBC programme relating to ‘patents of nature’ that have been incorporated into modern everyday equipment. 

Subsequently the UltraCane now features in BBC1’s new prime time series Miracles of Nature, presented by Richard Hammond.   The UltraCane will be featured in the programme on Monday 12th November at 9pm on BBC1. 

The programme feature shows how the navigational abilities of bats have been copied to give blind and visually impaired people a new found ability to detect and avoid obstacles by using this same technology within the UltraCane.

Please watch the programme if you can.  Ours is a real success story and we are extremely proud of our achievements in bringing this product back to life again for the benefit of many thousands of people around the world who are currently using and enjoying the benefits of the UltraCane mobility aid.

My sincere best wishes.                                                                         Julie A Davies

For more information on the product, please check Aspire at



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Thank You.

Aspire had a busy day yesterday at                                                                                                                          Wear Vision
Stadium of Light

Thank you to all those that came to talk to us.

Our last exhibition of the year will be in2weeks

22nd November
Teeside Society for the Blind Open Technology Day

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A request from The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association

Our Talking Buses campaign is lobbying for audio-visual announcements on board buses to help everyone, not just blind and partially sighted people. We want all buses to have information telling passengers the next stop and the final destination, much like trains.

The campaign has made real progress this year, with positive developments right across the UK, but we still want the law changed so audio-visual announcements are compulsory.

To help us increase the pressure on the Government we are interested in your opinions as a guide dog owner about travelling by bus where you live.

We have created a simple online survey that we would be grateful if you could complete.

If you have any difficulties completing the survey online, please contact the Campaigns Team.

The survey results will be used to create a report that we will be sending to the Department for Transport, as well as bus operators across the UK.

Thank you for your help.

The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association

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Help Desk

Early one morning a chicago employee of one of the worlds largest sofware companies received a telephone call from a distressed man with a Lancisher accent. the coversation was recorded.

“Technical desk how may i help?2

“Hello this is Tony,im calling from Darwin.”

“OK Tony take your time.How may I help”

“IM having trouble with your programme,”

“What sort of trouble sir?”

“Its terrible I was typing along and all a sudden the words went away.”

“Went away?”

“They disappeared. I looked round the back but they’re not there eather.”

“OK so what does the screen look like now sir?”



“Its blank. It wont do anything.”

“Are you still in our programme,sir,or did you get out?”

“How do I tell?”

“Well can you see the programme window on the screen?”

“Whats a programme window? Janice never told me about them.”

“Whos Janice?”

2The nice lady in the computer shop:

2Fine.tell me sir, can you move the curser around the screen?”

“There isn’t any curser . I told you it wont do anything.”

“Does the monitor have a power on light?”

“What’s a monitor?”

“It’s the thing that looks like a t.v. Now does it have a little light to tell you when its on?”

” I dont know.”

“Can you please look at the back of the monitor and see where the mains lead goes into it.Can you see that?”

“Yes I can.”

“Great now follow that cable to the plug and tell me if it’s plugged into the wall”

“Hold on . Yes it is.”

“When you were behind the monitor did you notice that there were two cables plugged into the back of it,not just one?”


“Well there are and I would like you to look again and find the other cable.”

“Right I’ve found it.”

“Follow it for me and tell me if it’s plugged securely into the back of your comuter.”

“I can’t reach”

“Can you see if it is?”

“no it’s too dark”

“too dark?”

“Yes all the lights are out.”

“Well then ,sir,can you turn them on?”

“I can’t We’re having a power cut.”

” A power cut? Okay, we’ve got it sorted now sir, Do you still have the boxes and manuals and packing that your computer came in?”

“Yes I Do why?”

“Good go get them,then unplug your system and pack it up just like it was when you bought it. Then take it back to Janice in the shop you bought it from.”

“Really? Is it that bad?”

“Yes sir. I’m afraid it is.”

“Oh dear.What do iI tell Janice when I take it back?

“Just tell her you’re too stupid to own a computer.”

Hope this made you laugh,

Brian Hennigan’s

Scotish Urban Myths

Aspire will be at                                                                                    Wear Vision
Stadium of Light

On the 7th November 2012




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DaVinci All-in-One Video Magnifier

DaVinci All-in-One Video Magnifier

Using a Da Vinci to read and listen to a recipe book With a 3-in-1 Camera, HDdisplay and Text-to-Speech (OCR), DaVinci is a high performance desktop video magnifier (CCTV). With HD you will experience high definition colourand contrast giving you a beautiful, crystal clear picture and vibrant colours.Experience the joy of reading with the new text-to-speech feature. DaVinci will read printed text aloud with the push of a button.DaVinci Sony® HD camera displays crystal clear images in vibrant colourand contrast, resulting in the brightest white and deepest black. DaVinci’s high resolution LCD produces maximum levels of picture detail for a clear, bold display. Large field of view allows you to see more on the screen.

Give your tired eyes a rest with our text-to-speech (OCR) feature. Let DaVinci read your favouritearticle or book aloud. Simply place your printed text under the DaVinci camera and press a button; DaVinci will begin reading what is on the screen within a few seconds. Choose a male or female voice and use the headphone port to enjoy this feature in private. Many different languages are available.

Camera Adjustments

The DaVinci camera is attached to a specifically designed arm that allows the camera to slide left to right or to pivot in multiple directions.

DaVinci can be used as a video magnifier to see near, far and everything in between. You may also use the self-viewing camera position, like a mirror, for applying make-up or other personal grooming tasks. With DaVinci, you’ll have the freedom to read, write, view presentations, whiteboards, and work on crafts and hobbies at work, school or at home

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Police taser Blind Man

Police use Taser on blind man whose stick was mistaken for samurai sword                                                                                    Police in Lancashire have apologised to a blind stroke victim after he was hit by a Taser when his white stick was mistaken for a samurai sword.                                                                          ColinFarmer, 61, required hospital treatment after being shot in the back with the 50,000-volt device and handcuffed on the ground in last Friday’s incident in Chorley town centre.

He said he had filed a formal complaint and was considering legal action against Lancashire constabulary, which has apologised and referred itself to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

MrFarmer, who used to run an architecture business, said he felt like he was ‘trapped in a nightmare’ after being hit by the Taser while walking to meet his friends for a drink.

‘I didn’t even know the police were there. I heard this man shouting. I thought they were shouting at some people,’ he said. I certainly didn’t know they were police – and I certainly didn’t know they were shouting at me.’

He continued: ‘I thought I was going to be attacked by some hooligans. The next thing they fired a Taser at me, though I didn’t know it was a Taser at the time.

‘I just felt this thump in my back. As soon as the Taser hit me I hit the ground. I hit my head on the floor, then this policeman came around. I said “I’m blind, I’m blind. I’m blind”.

‘This policeman knelt on me and dragged my arms round my back and handcuffed me so tight I’ve had bruises since.’

MrFarmer went on to say: ‘I said “you’re hurting me, I’m blind” – and there’s no way he could not have seen my stick on the floor.

‘I walk at a snail’s pace. They could have walked past me, driven past me in the van, or said drop your weapon.

‘They wouldn’t even stop when I said I’m blind. I was absolutely terrified. I thought any second I’m going to have another stroke and this one will kill me.’

Lancashire constabulary Chief Superintendent StuartWilliams said police had received reports of a man carrying a samurai sword through Chorley.

‘A description of the offender was circulated to officers and patrols were sent to look for the man,’ he said.

‘One of the officers who arrived in Chorley believed he had located the offender. Despite asking the man to stop, he failed to do so and the officer discharged his Taser.’

Ch SuptWilliams said the force ‘deeply regrets’ what happened.

‘We have clearly put this man through a traumatic experience and we are extremely sorry for that,’ he explained.

‘Officers have remained in contact with him and his family over the past few days to enquire about his recovery and we will continue to keep in touch with him and keep him informed of our inquiry.

‘We have launched an urgent investigation to understand what lessons can be learned and the matter has also been referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.’