Sony and National Association for the Visually Handicapped Promote Electronic Reading

Initiative Highlights Advantages of Electronic Books for the 'Hard of Seeing'


Sony Electronics and the National Association for Visually Handicapped today announced they will work together to promote "electronic reading" as a means to improve the lives of individuals with visual impairments.

"NAVH has dedicated more than 50 years to ensuring that impaired vision does not result in impaired life," said Dr. Lorraine Marchi, founder and chief executive officer of the association. "Through the working relationship with Sony, NAVH hopes to expand opportunities to provide low vision aid tools to the Hard of Seeingā„¢ and promote the idea that electronic reading will help enable them to lead independent and active lives."

As part of the initiative, Sony will donate a number of Reader e-Book devices to NAVH, and make more available at a discount to the organization for use by the visually impaired.

"Sony is proud to work in concert with NAVH," said Ron Hawkins, vice president of Portable Reader Systems at Sony Electronics. "We are glad to have been given the opportunity to join forces with NAVH to make available assistive technology from the most trusted name in electronics."

The Sony Reader couples an innovative electronic paper display with simple controls and a stylish design. Users with impaired or limited eyesight can select one of several text sizes. As a result, the Reader provides another option to large print books and other technologies. Sony will be working with NAVH to further explore this potential use of the Sony Reader as an assistive technology.

The Reader device's high-resolution, high contrast electronic paper display provides a reading experience very much akin to ink-on-paper, which many may find superior to reading on displays typical of computers and personal digital assistants. The result is crisp text and graphics that are highly readable, even in bright sunlight.

Roughly the size of a paperback novel, but thinner than most (about .5 inches thin), the device can store hundreds of books and other documents using a combination of internal flash memory and optional Memory StickĀ® or Secure Digital (SD) flash memory cards. In addition to electronic books, the Reader can also store and display personal documents in Adobe PDF format, RTF, text and JPEG photos.

From the CONNECT e-Book store, readers can also download selected RSS feeds from blogs and news sites free of charge.

About NAVH

National Association for Visually Handicapped (NAVH), a non-profit voluntary health agency, founded in 1954, is the only national health organization solely devoted to approximately 20,000,000 Americans who, although not totally blind, have an eye disease which could lead to a serious visual deficiency. NAVH has worked tirelessly on behalf of individuals with visual impairments to obtain large print material, secure necessary visual aids, and learn how best to lead productive lives. More information on the organization is available at

  Contact: Sony Electronics Inc.
  Valerie Motis

  Goodman Media International, Inc.
  Bennett Kleinberg

SOURCE: Sony Electronics Inc.

CONTACT: Valerie Motis of Sony Electronics Inc., +1-858-942-8016,; or Bennett Kleinberg of Goodman Media
International, Inc., +1-212-576-2700,, for Sony
Electronics Inc.

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