RICOH SUPPORTS SECTION 508 REGULATIONS WITH ACCESSIBILITY MODULE
Multifunctional Products Accessible to Disabled Users
West Caldwell, NJ, January 4, 2010 - Ricoh Americas Corporation, a leading provider of digital office equipment, today announced the availability of Select Technology’s m3i Access Module to the Ricoh channel through the Ricoh Independent Solutions Vendor Program (RiSVP). Exclusively available to Ricoh, the m3i Access Module is an innovative user interface that allows users to control Ricoh multifunctional products (MFPs) remotely in circumstances when using the MFP’s own touchscreen is either not convenient or not possible. While intended to improve accessibility for all users, the interface has been developed to be of special benefit to people in wheelchairs or those with visual impairments. No dedicated hardware is required, just a browser and a network connection, and no software installation is required on external devices.
The m3i Access Module addresses both the public sector’s and private sector’s demand for information technology in compliance with disability legislation. To validate conformance with the technical requirements of Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, the m3i Access Module was submitted to the Accessibility Evaluation Facility at the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI), a highly-regarded applied research and development organization experienced in improving product and technology accessibility for disabled persons including the visually and hearing impaired and those with impaired mobility. GTRI utilized their research and technical expertise in information technology, test and evaluation and systems engineering to evaluate the accessibility impact of adding the access module to a Ricoh MFP and to substantiate Section 508 conformance.
“In concert with Select Technology, we are committed to delivering solutions that enable customers to comply with disability legislation,” said Joyce Ouellette, director, solution marketing, Ricoh Americas Corporation. “With our flexible and innovative solutions, customers will be able to maximize productivity, meet regulatory requirements and provide a work environment that is accessible for all.”
The solution transfers the user interface from the MFP to any external device with a compatible Internet browser, such as a PC, PDA or Smartphone. It employs state-of-the-art Web technologies to provide a dynamic and responsive remote user interface. The Access Module also takes advantage of existing assistive technology - for example a PC screen reader can allow selections to be spoken back to the user. The solution’s unique user interface has a clear, high contrast, scalable layout and can be operated using just the tab and enter keys.
“There are a lot of assistive technologies available to help with the printing process, so we were committed to creating a platform that would also help disabled users with the copying, scanning and fax functions of an MFP,” said Paul Weston, managing director, Select Technology. “The m3i Access Module is just the first in a range of innovative, customizable user interfaces that we have been able to develop only because of the Ricoh Embedded Software Architecture.”
One of three Ricoh Alliance programs, RiSVP, developed in cooperation with Ricoh solution partners and Ricoh’s direct and dealer channels, focuses on two key areas: expansion of channel marketing opportunities for RiSVP members, and simplifying solution access for Ricoh sales channels. By providing third-party products through Ricoh’s RiSVP program, the direct and dealer channels have more opportunities for new revenue growth and a simplified sales process.
For more information on RiSVP, please visit www.ricohalliances.com.
About Select Technology
Select Technology is based in the United Kingdom, close to London. Formed in 1981 as a specialist design engineering company, Select Technology now develops innovative user interfaces (UIs) for copiers and multi-function products. These range from UIs that are configurable for different markets, companies or individuals to those that are particularly accessible to people with disabilities.
Select Technology’s products have previously been showcased on BBC Television’s ‘Tomorrow’s World’ program and the company was named a ‘Cool Vendor’ by Gartner in a ‘Cool Vendors in Printing Markets’ special report.
About Ricoh Americas Corporation
Ricoh Americas Corporation, headquartered in West Caldwell, N.J., is a subsidiary of Ricoh Company Ltd., the 73-year-old leading supplier of office automation equipment and electronics, with fiscal year 2008 sales in excess of $20 billion.
Ricoh Americas Corporation is a leading provider of document solutions. Ricoh’s fully integrated hardware and software products help businesses share information efficiently and effectively by enabling customers to control the input, management and output of documents.
Ricoh Americas Corporation directly or through its network of authorized dealers markets and distributes products in North, Central and South America.
Information about Ricoh's complete range of products and services can be accessed on the World Wide Web at www.ricoh-usa.com.
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