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Braille technology

Braille technology is assistive technology which allows blind or visually impaired people to do common tasks such as writing, browsing the Internet, typing in Braille and printing in text, engaging in chat, downloading files, using electronic mail, burning music, reading documents. It allows blind or visually impaired students to complete all assignments in school as the rest of sighted classmates and allows them take courses online, it enables professionals to do their jobs and teachers to lecture using hardware and software applications. The advances of Braille technology are meaningful because blind people can access more texts and libraries and it facilitates the printing of Braille texts. "Despite the Braille system's universal reach, the National Federation of the Blind estimates that only 10 percent of the vision-impaired are able to read Braille”. Some of the software available currently: Duxbury DBT, is a program that translates inkprint to braille and braille to inkprint for over 100 languages.

JAWS, is a program that reads the words on the screen and enables the browsing of folders and programs on Microsoft Windows. Words on the screen can be sent to a Braille display. Kurzweil, a device that scans texts into the computer and narrates them. Nvda, open source screen reading software with braille support. Braille display Braille keyboards. Braille reading computer users prefer the standard keyboard as a text composing input device. Braille computer keyboards are rare. Braille embosser Braille notetakers Braille e-books, using electroactive polymers, so far only as a concept design Assistive technology Braille Technology, American Foundation for the Blind Duxbury Systems American Foundation for the Blind Braille Technology at RNC Dancing Dots Assistive Technology Products

Zalmon Richards

Zalmon Richards was an American educator from Washington, D. C, he is best known as one of the founders and the first president of the National Teachers Association, now known as the National Education Association. Richards played a large role in Congress passing a bill creating the Office of Education, precursor to the Department of Education, his former home in Washington, D. C. was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1965. Zalmon was born in 1811 in Massachusetts, to Nehemiah and Elizabeth Richards. Regarding his unusual first name, Zalmon signed his name only with a "Z" and had "vials of wrath if one called him'Zed'." His father was a descendant of English emigrant William Richards, a Plymouth colonist. Richards became interested in education and religion due to the influence of his first teacher, Sybil Bates, he attended the local school from the ages of three to ten. For the next four years, he was only able to attend school for one semester a year due to him helping his family on their farm.

Around this time Richards heard a lecture on temperance and made a vow to never consume alcohol, which according to him, he kept. When he was fifteen, Richards joined a local Baptist church his father had co-founded and attended Baptist churches the rest of his life, he attended Cummington Academy until the age of seventeen. At that point he began teaching at a small school for eight dollars a month plus board. While teaching at the school he decided to pursue a career in education, he attended Southampton Academy and received private tutoring before entering Williams College in 1832. Richards' family was unable to assist paying his tuition, so he continued teaching during college breaks and borrowed money which he repaid, he graduated from Williams in 1836 and earned his Master of Arts. After graduation, Richards returned to his alma mater, Cummington Academy, but this time as principal, he held this position for the next three years, during which time he married his assistant teacher, Minerva Todd.

In September 1839, Richards became head of the Stillwater Academy in New York. During his nine years at this academy, Richards organized normal schools in Saratoga County, New York, at the request of Governor Horace Eaton, in Vermont; these training grounds for educators was considered innovative at the time. He and his wife moved to Washington, D. C. in 1848 where he became principal of the preparatory department of Columbian College, a position he held for three years. In 1852, Richards founded a private school, Union Academy, successful until Southern students left at the outbreak of the Civil War; the school was located on the northwest corner of 14th Street and New York Avenue NW. He helped organize the Young Men's Christian Association of Washington in 1852, it was the third association of its type in the United States and Richards was its first president. He remained president for two years and continued having an active role with the organization for the remainder of his life. Richards was one of thirty-eight delegates who met at the Athenaeum of Philadelphia in 1857 and founded the National Teachers Association, renamed the National Education Association in 1870.

He was elected the NTA's first president and presided over the organization's first annual meeting in 1858. He played an active role in the NTA/NEA the rest of his life and attended annual meetings until 1896. In reference to the NEA, Richards said: "There is not a state, city or town in all our country where the influence of our associational work is not more or less felt."During the Civil War, Richards was involved with the Christian Commission, visiting sick and wounded soldiers in local hospitals. He was elected to the Common Council, representing the Second Ward, while his brother Almarin represented Ward Three. In 1861, he was appointed to work in the Treasury Department as a clerk. Richards was transferred to the Bureau of Statistics and worked there until 1867; that same year he became its president. During his time on the Council he returned to his work with education by managing a normal school for Washington, D. C. public school teachers and by being responsible for Congress establishing the Office of Education in 1867.

Richards worked at the new agency until it became a bureau of the Interior Department in 1869. He helped pass a Council ordinance which created the Office of Superintendent of Public Schools and served as the first superintendent of Washington, D. C.'s public schools for one year. In 1871, Richards was appointed auditor for the government of the District of Columbia and served that position until 1874. Richards' wife, died on July 15, 1873; the following August he married his second wife, Mary Frances Mather, a direct descendant of Puritan minister Cotton Mather. In 1880, Richards published Teachers' Manual for primary school instructors, in 1885, he published The Natural Arithmetic. Richards and Mary moved to 1301 Corcoran Street NW in 1882. Richards lost most of his property, he supported himself during his last years by teaching a small private school in his home. Mary died in 1896 and Richards died three years on November 1, 1899, he was buried in Oak Hill Cemetery in a family plot, next to his two wives.

Richards' former Second Empire residence on Corcoran Street, the Zalmon Richards House, was designated a National Historic Landmark on December 21, 1965. The home is designated a contributing property to the Greater

Reach Museum

The Reach Museum known as the Hanford Reach Interpretive Center, is a museum and visitor center for Hanford Reach National Monument located in Richland, Washington. The center tells a story of the cultural and scientific history of the Hanford Reach and Columbia Basin area, as well as promoting tourism; the Columbia River Exhibition of History and Technology was the predecessor that transitioned into what is now the Hanford Reach Interpretive Center. The Reach opened on July 1, 2014; the Reach is host to two main exhibit galleries. The exhibit in gallery one tells the story of the history of the surrounding area. Gallery two presents the story of the Hanford Site's early days and its role in the Manhattan Project; the museum hosts a rotating exhibit which tells various stories of local history. There is an outdoor stage for various musicals. Educational activities are offered by the center, from camps for kids to current environmental forums, the museum hosts off site tours to several local areas.

The Reach has a 14,000 square foot ground floor which contains the galleries, rotating exhibit, a great hall, a store. The museum has seen 70,000 visitors since opening in July 2014, has worked with about 15,000 students as of December, 2015; the project development had several bid phases. Construction on the facility started in 2013; the Reach Museum