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Opening new worlds

Many gadgets developed for a disabled audience have found favor with the mainstream - and made use of technology that couldn't find a toehold anywhere else. Here's a selection.

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Telecaption Adapter
Closed Captioning was first tested by PBS in the 1970s. In January 1980, Sears started selling a $250 gadget called the Telecaption Adapter, manufactured by Sanyo. Originally intended for deaf viewers, Closed Captioning soon found its way into every new television set -- and became a familiar function in bars and airports.
NEXT: Kurzweil Reading Machine
LAST UPDATE: Sep 24 2008 | 11:48 AM ET
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