Freedom Scientific is a corporation that researches, creates, and sells technology intended for people who are blind or have low vision and those with learning disabilities. The company's Blind and Low Vision Group's products include software and hardware to help people with low vision work with their computers, organize information, and work with standard printed materials. Their Learning Systems Group provides tools to help people with reading and/or writing difficulties work more effectively with written material.
Freedom Scientific was created in April 2000 by the merger of Henter-Joyce, Blazie Engineering, and Arkenstone, Inc. Henter-Joyce, founded in 1987 by Ted Henter, was known for its JAWS screen reader and MAGic screen magnifier for the PC. Blazie Engineering, founded in 1986 by Deane Blazie, was known for its braille and speech-output note takers, braille displays, and braille embossers. Arkenstone, founded in 1989 by Jim Fruchterman was known for producing page scanning software to permit blind people to read print books and documents through voice synthesizers and braille displays. Freedom Scientific still sells all of these products, and its technology is still expanding. The founders of all three of the companies are still on the board of directors. Its President and CEO is Dr. Lee Hamilton. It is headquartered in St. Petersburg, Florida, and it has a computer lab in Palo Alto, California. Its European center is in Tägerwilen, Switzerland, with a support center in Hamburg, Germany.
Freedom Scientific's products include:
- JAWS, a screen reader.
- MAGic, a screen magnifier.
- Connect Outloud, a cut-down version of JAWS designed for basic web use.
- OpenBook, a scanning and reading application.
- PAC Mate, a Pocket PC PDA incorporating JAWS-based speech and/or braille.
- Focus braille displays.
- "Freedom Scientific GmbH" (in German). Freedom Scientific. Retrieved 2008-09-24.