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Alcatel partners with BrailleNet in Helene project, a digital library for visually impaired people


Paris, February 1, 2006 - Alcatel (Paris: CGEP.PA and NYSE: ALA) today announced its partnership with BrailleNet, a French association promoting the use of Internet to help educational and professional integration of visually impaired people.

Alcatel is a privileged partner of BrailleNet for the Helene digital library. This library enables visually impaired people to read books available in digital format via a dedicated computer, which translates book files in Braille or vocal speech. The Helene library, which opened in January 2006, initially includes books for young people, and the collection will grow during 2006.

“BrailleNet’s objectives since its creation in 1997 are to inform and promote changes to help visually impaired people get access to information technologies, education and culture. We are working to make information available in any form, whether it is electronic, paper (Braille) or sound” said Dominique Burger, founder of BrailleNet.

Within the Helene project, BrailleNet also manages a database providing books to companies dedicated to the translation of books for visually impaired people. 80 partner editors have made more than 2100 books available for BrailleNet, 75% of which are recent releases.

This digital library honor committee is today:
Prof. Pierre CORVOL, from the Collège de France
Julia KRISTEVA, writer, President of National authority on handicap
Prof. Jean-Charles POMEROL, President of the University Pierre and Marie Curie-Paris 6
Prof. Yves POULIQUEN, from the French Academy and Sciences Academy
Prof. José SAHEL, Director of Inserm unit 592

Alcatel is a partner of BrailleNet since 2001.

About BrailleNet
The BrailleNet Association was created in 1997 for developing the Internet as a instrument for making information, education and cultural contents more accessible to visually handicapped people. BrailleNet groups nearly 50 member oragnisations: associations, research organisations, industrial companies, ... Since 2002, BrailleNet is hosted by the University Pierre et Marie Curie - Paris 6 with which they have established a formal scientific cooperation agreement.

About Alcatel
Alcatel provides communications solutions to telecommunication carriers, Internet service providers and enterprises for delivery of voice, data and video applications to their customers or employees. Alcatel brings its leading position in fixed and mobile broadband networks; applications and services, to help its partners and customers build a user-centric broadband world. With sales of EURO 12.3 billion and 56,000 employees in 2004, Alcatel operates in more than 130 countries.


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