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Arkenstone Uses ABBYY FineReader Technologies in Reading Systems for People with Disabilities

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Arkenstone Uses ABBYY FineReader Technologies in Reading Systems for People with Disabilities


"We've been pleased with the performance of ABBYY's technology and are planning on expanding our use of this technology across our different product lines".

Jim Fruchterman,

President of Arkenstone

Arkenstone is the world's leading maker of reading systems for people with disabilities. The reading systems scan books and other documents, perform OCR and then read them aloud using a synthetic voice. Arkenstone added the ABBYY FineReader technology into their flagship reading product, Open Book, in early 1999, to strengthen the page analysis part of the product.  

Arkenstone, Inc. was founded in 1989 as a nonprofit organization providing reading tools for people with disabilities. For over a decade, it delivered these tools to over 35,000 individuals in 60 countries. In 2000, Arkenstone business operations were sold to Freedom Scientific, which now sells three products originally developed by Arkenstone: OpenBook scanning/reading software for people who are blind and low vision, WYNN scanning/reading software for people with reading challenges, and the integrated VERA reading machine for people who are blind and low vision. 

After the sale, Arkenstone changed its name to Benetech , an innovative Silicon Valley nonprofit that uses the Arkenstone model to develop technology projects addressing major social problems in areas such as disability, human rights, literacy, education, and the digital divide. Its first two projects are the online library of accessible digital books for people with disabilities and The Martus Human Rights Bulletin System, a technology tool to assist grassroots human rights workers worldwide to collect, safeguard and disseminate information on human rights abuses. Benetech continues to be led by Arkenstone founder, Jim Fruchterman, and includes the former Arkenstone engineering team.

For more information about Benetech, please visit

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