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'ASK CONGRESS,' A NEW INTERACTIVE MULTIMEDIA SYSTEM IS INTRODUCED ON CAPITOL HILL

 WASHINGTON, Nov. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- "Ask Congress," a public access interactive multimedia touchscreen kiosk, was demonstrated to Congress and the public today in the foyer of the Rayburn House Office Building.
 The "Ask Congress" system, designed by North Communications of Santa Monica, Calif., allows visitors to Congress to obtain a wide range of information about the lawmaking process with a simple touch of the screen. The interactive kiosk uses full-motion video, audio text and graphics to provide information on how laws are passed, on the budget and voting procedures, and on healthcare and social benefits. The system speaks to people in the language of their choice, guiding them through the program.
 Other multimedia systems in operation around the country which will be on display include:
 -- "Info/California, recent winner of a Ford Foundation grant for
 innovation in government and standard-setter for public access
 nationally.
 -- "Service to the Citizens," a joint project of the U.S. Postal
 Service, the Veterans Administration and the Social Security
 Administration. Social Security information is offered in
 Spanish, English, Mandarin and Cantonese.
 -- Hawaii, Nebraska, Kansas, Arizona and Los Angeles County systems
 demonstrating such applications as benefits information, job
 search, motor vehicles, licensing, traffic and family court
 business.
 "In the same way that ATMs have revolutionized banking, interactive multi-media will revolutionize the way in which government delivers services to its people," said Michael North, president of North Communications. "The goal of creating a government that works better and costs less can be realized with new interactive media technologies available today."
 North Communications is a high-tech computer company specializing in multimedia software tools and touchscreen applications for state and local governments. Through its design and development of integrated transactional networks, North has pioneered the use of information kiosks for the delivery of government services such as vehicle registration, birth certificates and notice of employment opportunities to taxpayers.
 -0- 11/17/93
 /NOTE TO EDITORS: "Ask Congress" and the other programs are being demonstrated continuously from 9 am. until 3:30 p.m. today in the foyer of the Rayburn House Office Building (Independence Avenue entrance). Michael North and Ernie Satterwhite, chief operating officer of North Communications, are available for technology demonstrations on site throughout the day.
 /CONTACT: Joan Worden for North Communications, 202-467-3900/


CO: North Communications ST: District of Columbia IN: TLS CPR SU: PDT LEG

IH-DC -- DC016 -- 5429 11/17/93 11:24 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 17, 1993
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