Freedom Scientific Inc. and Microsoft Corp. have announced the availability of the PAC Mate by Freedom Scientific, a personal data assistant for people who are blind. This launch signals the first time a mainstream PDA product has been available to people with disabilities. Built on the Microsoft Windows CE platform and interwoven with Microsoft Pocket PC applications, the PAC Mate is equivalent to Pocket PC devices for sighted users and supports many of the same third-party applications. Using Microsoft Pocket PC technology in combination with the JAWS screen reader running on the Microsoft Windows CE operating system, the PAC Mate converts objects and text to speech so users who are blind can hear documents, images, and Web content. In addition, the PAC Mate integrates with desktop software and other Pocket PC devices, making data exchange, including infrared wireless transfer with sighted people, fast and convenient. Other benefits include the ability to take notes and make and keep track of appointments in real time.