This page contains links to the apps and technologies presented each week by the iHabilitation Man. If there are apps that you would like to have discussed, click here to let us know.
May 21, 2019
This week’s feature: Supersense
1. Supersense: A New Kind of App for the Blind and Vision Impaired
See how AI and machine learning continue to provide a new generation of assistive tools for people who are vision-impaired
2. “Now Hear This” from Jonathan Mosen, 2019 edition.
Evaluating Widex Evoke and Oticon OPN S 1 hearing aids, what vision-impaired people should know about hearing aid accessibility
3. Google Announces several New Accessibility Features from I/O 2019
4. AdGuard Pro
5. PYB Music:
Play music in the background while working, all on the same device
May 7, 2019
This week’s feature:
1. Latest updates to the Clew indoor navigation app bring significant improvements
2. Smart Chef Smart Food Scale calorie counter & diet tracker
- Personalized user specific thermometer that learns minute temperature variations, correlated with hormonal fluctuations throughout the ovulatory cycle.
4. Simply NFC
- Complete Near Field Communication RFID reader.
5. Dexcom G6: Continuous Glucose Monitoring
- Dexcom G6 CGM System provides continuous glucose monitoring.
6. Two more Android Phones with Simplified Interface
- These are designed primarily for seniors with impaired vision.
7. Strip Unwanted Content from Web Documents
- If you’re using a browser that doesn’t have a Reader View, like Chrome (though it’s getting one!) you can copy the URL of an article you want to read to this service and get a much more readable version.
April 30, 2019
This week, we bring you several (six!) great iOS tips and tricks from Applevis podcasts.
Quick Tips: Three Examples of Where a Double-Tap and Hold can Make your use of iOS more Efficient
How to Tell if Your iPhone is New, Refurbished or a Replacement
How to Enable Reader View in Safari Automatically for iOS
Using Made for iPhone hearing aids from a VoiceOver user’s perspective. Mailing list: send email to email@example.com.
Enjoy using Skills and Games with Amazon Alexa for iOS
Apple Shares Information on its New Accessibility Events Feature; most notable is that it’s not enabled by default.
2. From David Woodbridge:
- Comparison notes on using the Galaxy Watch with Voice Assistant and Apple Watch with VoiceOver
April 23, 2019
1. This week’s feature: The Voice Behind Siri (Apr. 17, 2019)
Podcast #1916: Meet Susan Bennett whose voice was used to create the original female English language Siri voice. Hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey talk with Susan about her experiences as a voice artist, actress, and musician, what it was like to create the voice for Siri, how she found out that she was the voice behind Siri, and how it changed her career.
Related podcast 1717 about speech synthesis
2. Forsythe Center for Employment and Entrepreneurship.
3. Using Netflix on Your iDevice
Notes from the GetTogether with Technology about Netflix on iOS
Netflix fees, app navigation, playing content, controlling playback, and audio description.
4. Access World:
- The Access World app has now been replaced by a mobile website.
- The April issue contains reviews of two job-hunting apps for iOS, four food-delivery apps, two mobile phones designed to be easier to use, review the Freestyle Libre Talking Glucose Meter, and an article about YouTube accessibility.
- Three more CSUN info sources.
5. More GTT. A CSUN Summary from Canada
6. CSUN Interviews on FSCast #169
7. CSUN Summary from Web Axe
This conference summary and resource has received positive reviews.
8. Galaxy S10 and Galaxy watch podcasts from David Woodbridge
April 16, 2019
This week’s featured app is Medisafe
1. An Accessible Personal and Family Medication Management for iOS
2. Here are two web sites concerning deaf-Blind hearing aid and travel information
First, Podcasters Discuss Hearing Aids
This edition of the Accessibility Moving Forward podcast features interviews with three blindness-oriented podcasters who discuss their hearing aids.
Second, Traveling the World With Visual and Hearing Impairments from the Eyes On Success podcast
Eyes on Success #1914 features an interview with an intrepid traveler with vision and hearing impairment:
Use CardHop to manage your contacts with simple sentences.
An automated front end, rather like shortcuts but connected with your contacts.
All contact info can be entered in one text field.
4. REC TEC grills
Get full control of your Wi-Fi enabled REC TEC grill using any IOS device.
This is a high-quality voice recorder specifically designed for eliminating background noises.
Automatically detects and eliminates background hissing noise while recording.
- Automatic hissing noise cancellation
- Sound monitoring while recording
- Recording and playback in the background
- Share your recordings using Airdrop or cloud apps
- iTunes file sharing
- Slide Over and Split View
- Dynamic Type
NOTE: Intended only for recording of speaking voice in quiet environment. Not intended for long distance recording and has a distance limit of 8 inches (20 centimetres).
6. VoiceDream Scanner
A great addition to the VoiceDream family.
April 2, 2019
1. This week’s feature:
Adding Alternative Text to Your FaceBook Photos from the FaceBook App
Listen to the instructional podcast, complete with transcript.
2. A whole lot more interviews from CSUNATC19
3. The latest from CoolBlindTech (five items)
4. Replacing Your Computer with an iPad
The free online course, “Replacing Your Traditional Computer With an iPad” starts on 9 April 2019. Skill with VoiceOver is mandatory.
For information, put “Wish to Join Online Course” in the subject line and send a message to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Check out their website.
March 26, 2019
1. This week’s feature: How to Find the Estimated Value of your Device with Apple GiveBack
The Applevis podcast about this can be found at this address.
And to actually do it, go here.
2. Apple Announces New 10.5-inch iPad Air and iPad mini with A12 Bionic chip and Apple Pencil Support
3. Turn off “Hey Siri” without going into settings.
Simply place the phone face down and it will stop listening while in that position.
4. Here’s Why You Should Be Buying Certified Refurbished Apple Devices
5. CSUN ATC coverage: Interview podcasts from Blind Bargains
Twitter HashTag: #CSUNATC19 Audio
Topics covered in interviews include:
- Bose frames, Aira and AR
- TMap: Adding trails, parks and building layouts
- Access At 210 mph With MyEye 2 and Orcam
- A Transformative Experience For Kiosk Access With AudioEye
- Bristol Braille Details The Rotors And Motors Behind The Upcoming Launch Of The Canute
- VoxiTV Brings Information And Entertainment To The Palm Of Your Hand
March 19, 2019
Features this week: Great news from Seeing AI, Be My Eyes and Google
1. Seeing AI version 3
- Explore photos by touch from the scene channel, photo browser, or when recognizing photos from other apps. Then, move finger around to locate things. Explore how objects in a photo are arranged.
- All new iPad support
- Customize order in which channels are shown
- On person channel, teach it to recognize a new person directly from the main screen
- When recognizing photos from other apps, you will now hear the processing sound as in the main app
2. Be My Eyes and Google Accessibility Support
- Blind and low-vision users can now request assistance from the Google Disability Support team through the Be My Eyes app for questions about assistive tools and accessibility features within Google’s products.
- Follow on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
3. Speaking of Be My Eyes
Back to Video Games Thanks to Be My Eyes
- An avid gamer uses Be My Eyes volunteers to get past the inaccessible portions of XBox games:
4. Nearby Explorer Becomes Access Explorer
- A new company has taken on development of the Nearby Explorer apps:
- The company is called Access Explorer. A main focus will be to integrate indoor navigation technologies into the app.
5. Another new resource: Web-Friendly Help
- More than 25 keyboard shortcuts for navigating Youtube
- Getting signed up for Bookshare
- Acquiring and reading ePub books
6. 100 apps that work with Siri Shortcuts
iMore keeps adding to and updating this list of useful places to use shortcuts.
7. Really Big Shortcut Collection from MacStories
This growing collection of Siri shortcuts is currently at 150.
March 12, 2019
Feature, Adventures in Laundry Appliance Accessibility
- New format called Barbecue bites, and each episode takes a deeper dive into a specific topic.
- This one includes exploration of control panels, connecting through Google Home and making the system work.
- The GE 755C 4.9 Washer from Home Depot.
2. Accessibility Moving Forward (Power to the People!)
- Discussion on making devices accessible when the manufacturer doesn’t.
- The Power Air Fryer Elite
- Help from Anne DeWitt of Tangible Surface Research
3. Latest from Dot To Dot
- Amazon Echo Skills. As of this script, 765. When first mentioned, 749
- Angel Investor, Fact or Fib, Bulls and Cows (MasterMind), Blind Technology Trivia, Space Commander, Word Slice.
4. EBU Episode 8
- Demos and news.
- Updates for JAWS and NVDA.
- Demo of Google Interpreter (now available everywhere).
- New image recognition extension for Google Chrome. (AutoAltText)
- Silent cars campaign 10 years ago AVAS (Acoustic Vehicle Alert Systems). Includes FAQ, TED Talk and other related articles.
- Recents include: Code Jumper, ViewPlus Graphical Braille Embossers, blind-friendly architecture, Prosthetic Eyes and anaplastology.
March 5, 2019
1. This week’s feature:
MiniWiki for Apple Watch! An encyclopedia on your wrist!
- Read articles, search articles, nearby.
- Bookmarks, downloads, most read, and settings.
2. Tech It Out Discussion groups from Hadley Institute f/t Blind and Visually Impaired
- Accessing Entertainment with Technology
- Audio Identification and Visual Interpreter Services
- Using Digital Assistants Siri Alexa Google
- Restaurant and Cook at Home Delivery Services
- Online Grocery Delivery Services
3. Apple’s iOS Update Finally Makes it Easier to Manage Your Subscriptions
- iPhone and iPad users running iOS 12.1.4 or iOS 12.2 beta can now simply open the App Store, select on their profile picture in the top-right corner, (It will say My Account for VoiceOver users), and select on Manage Subscriptions to view and edit App Store, Apple Music, and Apple News subscriptions.
- List includes: purchased, personalized recommendations, Manage subscriptions, redeem gift card or code, send gift card by email, or add funds to Apple Id, or sign out.
4. ‘Inaccessibility of CAPTCHA’ Draft Seeking Input
The Accessible Platform Architectures working group has a paper on CAPTCHA inaccessibility almost ready to submit, and seeks comments by 24 March 2019.
5. Vision Australia Podcast revisited!
My Blind Spot
Albert Rizzi and The Accessibility Blog
- Why Digital Equity Benefits Everyone
- Digital Accessibility and Inclusion in the Gaming World
- Government Shutdown Hurts the Disability Community Disproportionately
- When it comes to employment, we failed to live up to the promise of the Americans with Disabilities
- How do we create a world of authentic inclusion?
Product: My Blind Spot JAWS Scripts for QuickBooks, Virtual Lessons and User’s Guide
February 26, 2019
1. This week we feature all the links you need to be in touch with Apple, whether seeking information or giving feedback to help them improve their products.
Apple Accessibility Web Page:
Find information about accessibility features of apple products.
Apple Product Feedback Web Page:
General feedback and suggestions other than those specific to accessibility.
The Official Apple Support Webpage: Forum monitored by Accessibility experts
Today at Apple Accessibility:
Find out about accessibility classes at local app stores.
Apple Accessibility and Assistive Technology Email Address: Accessibility@Apple.com
North America Apple Accessibility and Assistive Technology Phone Number: 877-204-3930
Contact Apple for support and service: Apple Support
2. Check out my interview by CNIB Venture Zone Podcast
Innovation and Inspiration with The iHabilitation Man
3. Blind Bargains ATIA2019 coverage
Search for #ATIA19 audio
- Command multiple devices with HIMS QBraille XL
- Document Accessible Solutions (online) Crawford Technologies
- BraiBook (one cell) braille display. Looks like a USB drive.
- BrailleNote Plus
4. Blind Bargains Qcast 173
- Microsoft helps Blind/VI children to develop an interest in coding from a young age with Code Jumper
- New Cane and Guide Dog Emojis Coming in 2019, We Asked Aira to Describe what They Look Like
- Crowd funding of the week, AppA11y is attempting to port Dice World to Alexa, and they need your help
- QRead Version 3.21 Released, including improved heading navigation, improved and goodreads search
- Announcing Scripts for the Zoom Conferencing Platform – Professional Edition.
- Resources for accessing and using Google Suite with a screen reader
5. Vision Australia Cast
Demo of Talking Induction Hob (hot-plate), using Apple Pay with Apple Watch, etc.
February 19, 2019
1. This week’s feature – The Dog Whistler (Original)
Combination of variable frequency and programable patterns.
2. Accessibility Moving Forward podcast.
Latest episode features Dot to Dot, a goldmine for Amazon Echo users Visit Dot To Dot for more info.
3. iOS food safety detection and food supply management coming soon.
- What if, within five years, the food supply chain was simpler, safer, and less wasteful?
- IBM researchers working to transform food supply chain as we know it.
4. How to transfer a call, message, or email from Apple Watch to iPhone
5. Apple’s iPad Mini 5 to retain Home button, 3.5mm headphone jack; targeted as lower cost product
6. How to Customize the Music App’s Equalizer
- Go to Settings
- then Music
- then find the EQ button. You’ll find a wide range of EQ choices.
February 12, 2019
1. This week’s feature is Cash Reader
This is an inclusively designed international currency identifier.
- Paid version $20
- Unpaid shows only lowest two bills
- North American (Can US)
- EU (10). Other, (8)
- Argentine peso
- Aussie dollar
- Asia (5)
- Africa (3)
- Mid-East (7)
- MultiMedia (voice/sound/vibe)
- Low vision display setting
- Works on Android/talkback
2. Japan’s Accessible Internet of Trains App Gives Real-Time Feedback
Yamanote (ring line)
- Which cars are accessible
- Crowd conditions – enough seats to sit, comfortable to stand, comfortable for reading, shoulder to shoulder, and overcrowded.
- Newer trains have baggage racks
3. How to change your Apple ID Email address
- Go to Appleid.apple.com
- Sign in with Apple ID
- Edit account
- Change apple ID (button)
- Enter new email
- Continue (sends email verification)
4. How to gift an app from the App Store
- Go to app store, search
- Enter app name and search.
- Then more
- Then gift app
- To (email)
- Also “from” and “message” fields.
- (only in native country)
- Next, to add theme,
- Next, to review, then, buy.
- Done? Send another.
- Check for confirmation email
5. Pure Nature – 3D Soundscapes
Each sound pack, $2.99, all, $9.99
6. Blind Bargains items from Podcast 172
- Chromecast audio only with 3.5MM jack is gone
- Humanware, Reveal16, Full HD digital magnifier $2995
- HIMS QXL update includes Mac support, one handed mode and more $3195
- Digital Trends Top Tech of CES 2019 Award Winners
- Every product with Google Assistant, every product with Amazon Alexa, and the weirdest smart appliances announced at CES 2019
- Aira training now available
- UX rant: The nightmare horror show that is the Apple TV remote
- The Beyonce.com Lawsuit Reminds Us How Shitty the Web Is for Users With Visual Impairment
February 5, 201
1. This week’s feature – Clew – a path retracing indoor navigation app
Designed by a research group at Olin College of engineering
- As you walk to a location, your phone keeps track of its path with a series of virtual crumbs.
- After you get there, your phone simplifies the path to a series of “keypoints” where you made a turn or used a stairway.
- As you navigate back, your phone will give you instructions to each point, in reverse order, until you reach your starting location again.
- You’re now back where you started.
Uses Apple AR kit:
- Combination of sound, voice and haptics
- Records breadcrumbs
- Uses them to navigate back to origin.
2. Using a Screen Reader with Microsoft Word: Modifier Keys and Desktop Navigation
- This is the first of the Hadley Institute’s new series of videos about Word.
3. European Union AccessCast
- Episode 7 of this podcast covers a variety of devices.
4. Echo For The Blind Mailing List
- Sign up by sending a blank message to: email@example.com
5. Demo of adjusting reading speed of Audible books on the Amazon Echo using Alexa
- Read faster (150) read slower (75), or read normally.
6. Reminder to check out the various podcasts on our resources page.
January 29, 2019
This week we start with Things Google
1. First, find out a lot more about search Google in Jonathan Mosen’s comprehensive book.
Getting Started with Google Suite:
- The Mystic Access team has written Getting Started with Google Suite, a Brief Overview of Google’s Most Powerful Productivity Apps, and National Braille Press sells it. Paper Braille and electronic downloads cost $12, and electronic copies shipped on USB drives cost $14.50. The book describes: downloading, installing, navigating, and using Gmail, Chrome, Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Hangouts, and Calendar on a PC, with helpful notes about Mac and mobile devices as well.
Check out these handy Google search tips:
- Minus sign to exclude
- Quotes “one thing”
- Asterisk for unknown word(s)
- ~ all synonyms
- Double-period between number range
- Site: query
- Link: query
- Related: query
Also, from Mystic Access, iOS modules 13 to 18:
- Here’s to your health
- It’s about time
- learning every day
- Music (teach the world to sing)
- games people play
- Size matters (from iPhone to iPad).
2. WayAround Updates
- Enhancements in version 2.3 of this Android and iOS app for object identification include a new custom detail: with label and description, along with enhanced implementation of iPhone low vision accessibility features.
3. Check out this extensive collection of resources about how to stay Safe on the Internet
- This page’s author describes it as “An open source checklist of resources designed to improve your online privacy and security.”
4. Top Tech Tidbits, always lots of info.
- Lots more on CES from The Paciello Group
- Humanware training centre: (800) 722-3393
- Skills from APH – You can play O&M Trivia and Math Flash on your Amazon or Google Home device.
5. Five Ways To Make Your YouTube Videos More Accessible to People with a Visual Impairment
- This blog post is good to share with YouTubers
January 22, 2019
1. The feature for this week is Day One: accessible multimedia journaling app
2. Here at iHabilitation Canada, we’re working with some very good blind online entrepreneurs who run a company called Blind Employment Solutions.
Here are some of their websites. Check them out and you’ll see why we value these folks so much.
- Desiree Reed, President of BES and her website all about marketing to millennials
- Michael Babcock is listed in Databird’s top 100 podcasts
- A list of his podcasts:
3. Aside from celebrating Louis Braille, The January 2019 issue of Access World offers:
- Two articles on advanced tactile watches
- An overview of Braille support on the Kindle Fire Tablet
- Review of the Braille Blaster program from APH
- A discussion of the new operating systems for the Apple Watch, Apple TV and the Mac.
4. NVDA Users Can Influence NVDA Development by Completing a Survey
January 15, 2019
1. Backpack Studio is a fully accessible self-contained podcast production solution for iOS:
- 100% accessible podcast production environment for iOS.
- Record voice, trigger sound files.
- Fully automated mixdown and much more.
2. There is now a demonstration podcast of the Rivo2 wireless remote keyboard controller that we mentioned in the last show before Christmas. Check it out here.
3. CES (Consumer Electronics Show) 2019 Announces Pitch Competition and Accessibility Contest:
- The first annual CES Pitch Competition to highlight technology creating social connection
- Announced announced by the CTA Foundation and AARP, a national foundation with the mission to link seniors and people with disabilities with technologies to enhance their lives.
4. iHabilitation Online Coaching is now up and running, ready to help you in 2019.
- Read all about it here and get a free trial session.
5. Smart Guider Uses Technology for Autonomous Vehicles to Power a Self-Driving Cane.
6. 70 Web Accessibility resources for Designing with Inclusivity.
January 8, 2019
1. Read about the iOS year in review as featured in the final 2018 edition of Applevis Unleashed
2. We also have a little chat about the rather disappointing results following all the hype around driverless cars over the last year or so.
3. If you are a vision-impaired small business owner or entrepreneur, you will want to check out this amazing opportunity provided by Aira, the Visual Interpreter Service that everyone has been talking about. Check out what it is and how it can work for you whether you are a paid subscriber or not.
4. iHabilitation Online Coaching is now up and running, ready to help you in 2019.
- Read all about it here and get a free trial session.
December 18, 2018
Did you know that your iDevice actually has four, even five separate volume controls? Find out all about them from this Applevis podcast.
- Siri: Use volume buttons while holding home, or press home and quickly adjust volume.
- Voiceover’s own volume: Add “volume” in rotor.
- Media volume: Adjust with buttons, or in control center.
- Ringer and sound effects: “sounds and haptics” “ringer and alerts”.
- Audio ducking
- Navigation voice: Settings, maps, driving and navigation, navigation voices.
Why you might want to disable 3D Touch and how to do it.
- Some users have difficulty using it.
- Some features lost if this is disabled.
- General, accessibility, 3D touch.
iOS 12.1.1 update
- VoiceOver no longer speaks extraneous text on the Recents tab of the Phone app (on iOS 12).
- There are no longer duplicated items on the VoiceOver Actions Rotor in the native Notes app.
The Best Siri Shortcuts to Get You Started
This HowToGeek article suggests some Siri Shortcuts in case you haven’t yet seen a reason to begin using the Shortcuts feature in iOS 12:
- Scan a Product’s UPC to Search for It Online
- Automatically Record a Video When You Get Pulled Over
- Share Your Wi-Fi Password Quickly and Easily
- Get Notified When Your iPhone Charges to 100%
This week, we feature Rivo:
This is a keypad data entry system and remote that controls the smartphone with navigation commands for those who prefer not to work with touch-screen gestures.
- supports typing and editing text,
- delivers all sounds from the smartphone through its speaker and earphone jack,
- delivers user voice captured from its microphone to the smartphone for phone calls and voice recognition.
“Is there an app for that” from Second Sense:
Second Sense is an agency in Chicago that provides very good services locally and lots of related information online. This article about iPhone apps is a great example.
142 useful Siri commands (from Computer World)
iHabilitation Touch-Screen Coaching
You can now book online coaching sessions with the iHabilitation Man himself via Zoom, and your first lesson is free with coupon code “free”!
Videos to Teach Coding
- Hadley has created six videos helping visually impaired would-be coders learn the vision accessibility features in Apple’s Swift Playgrounds app:
- Coding For Kids: “Ballyland Code 1: Say Hello” is an iOS app introducing young blind and visually impaired kids (5+) to computational thinking and coding:
Microsoft Accessibility Learning Webinars
Starting in January 2019, Microsoft will begin conducting monthly webinars, including video presentations and Q&A sessions, on accessibility topics. The first three will cover Narrator, magnifier and low vision features, and navigating the new office ribbon:
December 4, 2018
Our feature app this week is Flipp
- Best deals and coupons from over 1000 retailers.
Next, we move into holiday shopping.
- Tips from the November 29th Mystic Access free monthly webinar and Drop-In, followed by social time.
Apps covered during the webinar included:
- Retail Me Not: Coupons, Cash Back, gift cards and more
- Naughty Codes: Lots of coupons and promotional codes
Blind musicians activity
- Musicians and other audio production artists discuss progress with their projects – their successes and their challenges, accessibility and otherwise.
- Canadian musicians chatting on the Facebook group called “GTT Program, Canadian Council of the Blind”
- Or check out the GTT Program blog.
Instagram adds two new features for vision-impaired users
- Auto-recognition works on feed, explore and profile.
- Manual: Add text when uploading a photo. Go to “advance settings” after uploading andselect the “alternative text” option.
- More accessibility features on the way.
November 27, 2018
For this special Back To Basics Kelly and Company theme, the iHabilitation Man recounts discovering that he was experiencing partial deafness along with vision-impairment. Some interesting history, too, along with the following:
- a registered charity since 1976
- volunteer opportunities, music programs, sensory experiences, respite, social and recreational activities, art programs.
- activities include: Cooking classes, Movie nights, Local community outings, Socials, Workshops, etc.
- Music Room
- Snoezelen Room
Canadian Deaf-Blind Association, BC Chapter
- now a registered charity, having started the process in 2014.
- Early Intervention
- Intervention Program
- Summer Recreation Program
- Hospital Intervention
- Equipment Fund
- Principles of intervention
- Rotary-Cheshire Apartments (RCA) became North America’s first barrier-free independent living residence with intervenor services for people who are deaf-blind.
American Foundation f/t Blind publications such as:
November 20, 2018
This week’s feature is Freestyle Libre!
- This is a blood glucose monitoring system with a fully accessible iPhone app. For a demo of the iPhone app, check out this episode of the Accessibility Moving Forward podcast
We are pleased to announce that iHabilitation Canada now offers video demos
- We start with two demos of the Innovision BrailleMe: one in stand-alone mode, the other as a braille display for the iPhone. Feel free to let us know if there are apps that you would like to hear and see in action.
iHabilitation Canada is also offering a beta version of our online “Coaching to Increase iPhone Proficiency”.
- During this beta period, service will be free of charge so that nobody ends up paying us to work out the bugs. Let us help you explore techniques for structured touch-screen discovery to facilitate mind’s-eye visualization independent of physical vision.
From iSee this week:
- A work around for those who have difficulty with the iPhone 10 gestures – using the assistive touch function
- How to set up “Listen Live” in iOS12 for use with Apple AirPods
November 13, 2018
Here’s the latest from “Access World” including:
- A holiday gift-giving Guide,
- Review of the latest updates to the Narrator screen reader and more
And the latest Podcasts from Applevis:
- Applevis Extra 61 discusses new MacBook Air, Mac Mini and iPad Pro
- Applevis Unleashed covers a whole list of interesting goodies
Top Tech Tidbits
- Blind Bargains Qast 162 lots of Apple-related coverage.
- EasyReader will remain free, and is gaining the ability to access more and more libraries of accessible books.
- Manual for vOIC app for Android and Windows is here. This app lets you gain information about your surroundings using sound.
- Aira has New Plans in US Most plans are more expensive, unlimited usage is no longer possible, but there is now a basic plan for $29.95.
November 6, 2018
What’s new in iOS version 12.1
Resolved Accessibility issues:
- Users of devices supporting Face ID once again receive haptic feedback when the device has been unlocked.
- Users of braille displays are now able to access and use the misspelled words option in the VoiceOver rotor that was introduced with iOS 12.
- Notifications once again work as expected if you do not have a passcode set.
General 12.1 changes
On new phones
- E-Sim now works
- Depth control for portrait now works
For All Phones
- Group FaceTime feature
- Automatic detection of active speakers, based on duration of speech, volume and even motion:
- Ringless notification: When calling more than one person, FaceTime displays a notification that lets you instantly join a call without being disruptive.
- Messages integration: Group FaceTime is integrated into the Messages app, making it easy to start a Group FaceTime right from a group iMessage chat. If people in a conversation have already started a FaceTime session, Messages shows the active call in the conversation list and inside your conversations.
- Private: All FaceTime conversations, both one-to-one and multi-person, are encrypted end to end so they remain private and viewable only by the participants.
- Also more than 70 new emojis.
View passwords with Siri shortcuts in iOS 12.
- With Keychain and Siri enabled, say “show me passwords”.
- Requires authentication with touch or face ID.
Lots of goodies from Top Tech Tidbits
- iAccessibility training in web development, Braille display use, Windows, and iOS operation and app development
- Seven best TTS apps for Android
- National Disability Employment Awareness Month Podcast
- The Interactive Accessibility Podcast is back with focus on National Disability Employment Awareness Month:
Drop in to Dropbox from National Braille Press
New improved customer service from Aira:
- ability to leave a phone number for a member of the Customer Care team to call you back
- better tracking and communication regarding your issues
- ability to quickly look up your call history
- ability to quickly follow up on requests
October 30, 2018
Accessible Employment Awareness Month
Since October has been declared “Accessible Employment Awareness Month” in the US, we thought it would be useful to share a link to Access World, a monthly publication from American Foundation for the Blind, which has a lot of great information about employment initiatives that are generating great opportunities. Are we doing similar things in Canada? Have a look and see what you think.
Next, the latest from Applevis as they continue with their multi-part podcast series covering everything you would ever need to know about “Shortcuts”, the new app that now runs under iOS 12. Also, now that Apple has discontinued financial rewards to online content supporters such as Applevis, check out “Club Applevis” as a new way to support the work that Applevis does. Although it is a completely volunteer effort, money is still required to pay for server space, website maintenance etc.
During our visit to Toronto, riding subways and buses with real-time information we found out some cool things about “The Transit App”. When on the subway, I was alerted that I was going to miss the bus originally designated in the trip planner and was told when the next bus would be arriving. I was also alerted that GPS signal was weak, so that I should pay attention and be sure not to miss the subway station I needed. The developers of this app have continued to be aware of Voiceover accessibility.
October 23, 2018
Today we discussed iHabilitation’s at this year’s CNIB Braille and technology conference.
It was entitled: “New Dimensions of the Integrated Braille/iPhone User Experience: Visualization, Communication, Multi-tasking and Participation”. The paper associated with the presentation is here.
The Aira Braille conference experience:
As a result of his amazing experience at the National Federation of the Blind convention, navigating with only a cane and Aira, and after nigh on 40 years strictly as a dog user, the iHabilitation Man has become an Aira explorer.
Other Aira resources:
In the Blind Side podcast 105 Jonathan Mosen elaborates on his move to Aira, plus offering a demo of text entry via the on-screen braille keyboard by Judy Dixon.
More about that move in this Mosen Explosion closing blog post:
Visit the Aira website at www.aira.io
Remember that podcasts are a great way for keeping up to date on new assistive technology and accessibility developments:
- Blind Bargains Qast
- Also, important apps from monthly publications like Access World.
October 16, 2018
Since we’re traveling this month, we have a chance to play with Westjet Connect. It’s very accessible!
The music app in iOS12 lets you find a song by typing a few words of the lyrics into the search box. It’s that easy.
More books have become available in accessible format as the EU has ratified the Marrakech Treaty.
A comprehensive WordPress Course is now available from Mystic Access.
A new method for 3D printing of tactile maps developed at University of Florida. Could this technology also be used to generate tactile screenshot diagrams for touch-screen devices?
October 9, 2018
This week’s feature:
The iHabilitation Man’s presentation at the CNIB London Community Hub on Friday, October 12th.
More on Balance for Blind Adults and why The iHabilitation Man would probably not exist without it.
Narrator update, plus, possibilities for touch-screen enthusiasts with Windows Surface Go:
Windows 10, Version 1809 has been released and is being gradually sent out to Windows 10 users. The Narrator screen reader has received a lot of improvements, and the new User Guide is here.
Using The Tile App:
Better tiles now available including replaceable batteries and more!
Recording of First Hadley “Tech it Out”:
October 2, 2018
The Roomba 980 accessible vacuum cleaner from iRobot.
- Weighs about 9 pounds
- About $900
- Various models and feature sets
- Can be controlled with iPhone iRobot app, Google Home or Amazon Alexa
- Schedule cleaning times
- Type of cleaning you want done
- Set up virtual barriers
- Turn on halo (dog dish avoidance)
- Has onboard camera and sensors
Check out this quick demo by Randy Rusnak from the “Accessibility Moving Forward” podcast.
Or listen to this podcast from Mystic Access about the unboxing and complete setup of the Roomba 960
Resources for Siri Shortcuts
First, David Woodbridge summarizes the progress he has made in creating Siri shortcuts, and this YouTube video provides instruction about the Shortcuts app:
A summary of Accessibility of Apple Watch Series 4
iMore tells us ‘What Apple Watch Series 4 Means for Accessibility‘.
KNFB Reader Version 3.1
This update brings better file management, more effective handling of PDF documents and other fixes.
September 25, 2018
Following Kelly’s visit to Baltimore for the NFB/Baltimore Orioles event last week:
Here’s more about The National Federation of the Blind and its Accessibility Switchboard. It’s a comprehensive database containing a collection of resources to facilitate integration, serving consumers, agencies, government and industry.
Follow-up info for new Apple product releases:
- BBQast 157 complete with excellent show notes with links to fifteen follow-up articles
- An Overview of Some of the New Features and Changes in watchOS 5
- An Overview of Some of the New Features and Changes in iOS 12
Spotify raises download and device limits
- From 3.3 to 10K songs downloaded
- 3 to five devices
- Personal library limit of 10k songs remains
September 18, 2018
This week’s feature: What’s new from Apple
- Apple Watch Series 4 and three new iPhones
- Click here to download “iOS12 Without the Eye” by Jonathan Mosen (highly recommended)
- Always more from Apple via the WWDC App
- Complete roundup in Applevis blog
Accessibility coverage in podcasts such as:
First impressions of BrailleMe and where to order http://www.nbp.org/ic/nbp/BRAILLE-ME.html?id=KmYAAP6k
Looks like BliTab is back
A braille and graphics tablet for around $500
Spotify raises download and device limits
- From 3.3 to 10K songs downloaded
- 3 to five devices
- Personal library limit of 10k songs remains
September 11, 2018
How to make your Google Home bilingual.
The “WayAround” app for digital labeling tags is now available for Android. See iHabiliation’s extended walk-through of the iOS version.
Skype 8 can now record calls from within Skype.
Brian Hartgen has updated his free JAWS scripts for the Zoom platform.
Mystic Access offers six modules, around six hours of training, on iOS for $475 as a digital download. And they’re offering six more modules via live weekly trainings for $15 each.
For $19.95, the San Francisco Lighthouse for the Blind offers a personalized tactile map of the surroundings of any address.
September 4, 2018
Keyboard alternatives for iPhone or iPad.
- iSee site with David Woodbridge
- Demo of the wearable Tap Keyboard from Tap With Us
- Demo of the FlickType Pattern Recognition Keyboard and App as of June 21 2018
The Anova Sous Vide precision cooker with Wifi and Bluetooth from “Audio Pizza – More Than Just A Sound Bite”
- Direct link to Anova cooker podcast
“Fire in The House”
- Everything about the Amazon Fire Tablet from the Accessibility Moving Forward podcast
Blind Bargains News Items
- Envision AI 1.5 has new real-time scanning features
- FlickType 2.5 has more new gestures, self-voicing, spelling and shortcuts.
- APH Word Puzzles needs desktop beta testers.
August 21, 2018
Udemy online learning platform
- 80,000+ video courses
- programming languages: Python and Java
- personal development classes: design, drawing, writing and yoga
- more than 24 million students
- courses in over 2,000 topics
- New courses, on cutting-edge topics like machine learning, artificial intelligence, and blockchain
- both free and paid courses
- Once enrolled in a course, you have lifetime access to the content
- 35,000+ expert instructors teaching in 50+ languages
- Personalize experience with speed controls and closed captioning
A recent course from Coursera, “Basics of Inclusive Design for Online Education“
Free and available to those who teach and want to make their classwork available to those of all abilities.
Simple, and fully accessible. Just search for it in the app store.
New Music Streaming Services Now Available on Google Home, Pandora Premium and Deezer.
GTT Toronto Summary Notes for the 2017 Fall and 2018 Spring Seasons are Now Available Online
Contains individual links to the following topics:
- Internet basics
- CSUN conference reflections
- TTC apps
- Accessible gaming
- All about Android
- Amazon Echo and Google Home
- Online shopping
- ScripTalk and Shoppers Drug Mart
- Fitness technology
The American Foundation for the Blind recently launched Learn Tech
This is an access initiative that features free online tutorials to help people who are blind or visually impaired improve computer and technology skills. The newest examples: Tutorials on NVDA, Google Docs and Google Drive.
Audio Description has arrived on Amazon Video.
The feature is available on Fire TV, Fire Tablets, iOS devices, and Android devices.
August 14, 2018
“Inside 1” Windows Tablet tactile braille tablet for Deaf-Blind Users
- Windows 10, 64 Bit
- 4GB RAM, 128Kb SSD
- 256Gb Micro-SD card reader
- Gorilla glass touch-screen
- 32 cell braille display
- Braille keyboard engraved in glass
- Vertical grooves either side of braille keyboard for gestures
- Engraved line for panning and routing
- Inclusive single device communication
- FF 2MP and RF 5MP cameras
- 5 MM headphone jack
- Mike and stereo speakers
- Wifi and Bluetooth
- Mini USB, USB 3.0 and HDMI
- 8 hour battery life
- NVDA preinstalled
- App suite called “Home”. Independent of Windows
More about Twitter’s forthcoming API changes and their effect on third-party apps.
(from Blindside podcast #98)
- Native app for push notifications
- Windows clients not affected
- Why Twitter is doing this
- API’s may shut down
- Twitterific working with MicroBlog, etc.
Good Skype news: The total abandonment of version 7 has been put off for an undetermined time!
And here are keyboard shortcuts for those wishing to move forward with Skype 8.
- CNIB Windsor presentation via Zoom, August 21
- CNIB Braille conference presentation, October 18.
August 7, 2018
- Happy 10th Anniversary, App Store!
- Apple Releases iOS 11.4.1 with Improvements to Find my AirPods; HomePod Also Gets an Update
- Your iPhone now does Morse code, thanks to Google’s Gboard keyboard
- Twitterrific pulls the watch app, Today view & push for tweets from latest update
- Apple schedules Q3 2018 earnings release for July 31st
- Amazon’s iPhone app uses computer vision to identify and replace screws and other parts
- Tip: How to use USB Restricted Mode on your iPhone or iPad
Dolphin Easy-Reader updated
Changes in Version 2.1
- 2 new libraries are available through EasyReader: RNIB OverDrive (UK) and Libro Parlato (Italy).
- Stability and performance improvements have been made for downloading and reading books from KDD (Czech) and Project Gutenberg libraries.
- Privacy and security improvements to ensure EasyReader is compliant with the latest General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) including options to update your communication preferences at any time.
Read Dolphin EasyReader’s AppleVis App Directory entry for more information
Lodestone GPS updated
Current Version: 1.3 (July 21, 2018)
- Route support has been added. Routes are like a list of checkpoints but have a defined order and direction.
- An explore mode has been added. This is similar to the exploration mode in the old Symbian version. This mode lets you explore points around your current location or a specific point by compass direction.
- The speed of importing points has been doubled.
- A share option has been added to point actions to allow a single point to be shared.
July 31, 2018
This week’s feature covers everything from object recognition to comparative shopping.
Camfind was the world’s first mobile visual search engine and now it has more new features. The app, which has not had any updates in quite a while, has released an all new version.
A new patent filed by Apple is called Spatial Headphone Transparency (a.k.a. acoustic transparency or HearThrough mode). It uses microphones to include ambient sound which makes it seem As if headphones are not being worn. This effect is created because the ambient sound is combined with music, and played back in a new mix. Thanks to digital processing it sounds like the music is coming from speakers above your head rather than through headphones.
Facebook has experienced a $118 billion drop in its market value, because of growth slowdown and concerns around privacy standards. This is the worst single loss in stock market history. The company has concerns around growth rates, and that expenses will exceed income in 2019. Also, Facebook and WhatsApp continue to be blocked in China, the world’s biggest consumer market.
Interesting interviews from Blind Abilities
- Peter Walters – A Nuclear Scientist and Venture Capitalist: His Journey from Education to Employment
- TVI Toolbox Presents: Science, Technology, Engineering and Math: Carving His Pathway Towards Success, Meet Simon Bonenfant
- A Morning with Tony Gebhard: An Extraordinary Musician, and a Dynamic Individual – Can You Say Metal?
- Meet Aira’s Agent Analyst, Patrick Lane – An Overview of the Aira Services Compliments of the Completely Booked Podcast
- That Blind Tech show #19
- Audio: Wait, Walk And Cross The Street With Polara
- Audio: Rein In Kiosk Navigation With Storm Interface
- Blind Bargains podcast 149
- Special Interview With the Creator of WayAround
- Special Interview With Patriot ViewPoint Creator John Palmer Gallery
- Unbox Cast 19 – Horizon Glasses
July 24, 2018
- Check out Chirp, the full-featured Apple watch Twitter client. Listen to a “Blind Abilities” interview with the developer here.
- Jonathan Mosen has updated his Aira blog to include all the newest features.
- Google is conducting many accessibility research studies. To participate, follow this link.
- New wireless braille embossing from Irie-AT.
- Check out “The Blind Life” channel on Youtube with over 400 videos about assistive tech and daily living tips. Especially useful to those with low vision.
- For more summer conference reporting, RNIB Connect Radio covers news from Sight and Sound Technology and begins coverage of Sight Village 2018.
- South-western Ontario residents may be interested in attending The Canadian Federation of the Blind of Ontario summer social barbecue on Saturday, August 18th. It is being held at Gibbons Park: 2B Grosvenor Street, London, Ontario, picnic site 4. Hamburgers, salads, chips, desserts, and drinks are provided. Cover charge is $10 to help with the cost of food and picnic site. You can send Email to firstname.lastname@example.org for more information, or complete the RSVP via this Google form. There is also a public Facebook event.
July 17 2018
This week, among other things, we feature podcasts produced during and after the NFB and ACB conventions.
From Blind Abilities, we have Interviews with:
- and a successful massage therapist/Aira user.
From Blind Bargains, we have interviews with:
- and Braille Design.
Companies like Mystic Access had convention specials without even being at the conventions. Even if you missed these sales, check out what Mystic Access has to offer. Specials like those offered during convention won’t be seen again until around Black Friday in late November.
Want to know more about NFB and follow its activities? Visit nfb.org. You can also subscribe to “The Nation’s Blind” podcast.
The June edition of Applevis Unleashed features:
- Free trials for non-subscription apps
- Turning on Apple’s new messages in iCloud
- Removing suggested contacts in mail
June 26, 2018
The Blind Side Podcast 90, discusses:
- “The Secret Sauce of Savvy Search” Mosen Consulting’s latest audiobook about making the most of Google search
- Mushroom Escape, the old-time radio drama station, returns, and
- an extended interview with Neal Ewers about the history of accessible audio production, accessible technology and more
Interesting podcast from the team at iAccessibility discussing techniques for coping with the constant and rapid changes in the world of technology and accessibility.
June 19, 2018
- This week we start with an app to help you write better English: Garner’s Modern Usage English Dictionary
- New USB Standard Aims to Make it Easier to Use Braille Displays Across Different Operating Systems and Hardware
- The iSee Podcast, recently featuring a series of episodes about the Apple HomePod. Also covers Google, Amazon home automation, Apple Watch and much more
- How to play fun audio games with Google Assistant
- Making daily tasks easier with IFTTT (if this, then that)
June 12, 2018
A different slant on WWDC comes from Shelly Brisbin’s Parallel Podcast – a mainstream podcast with a sprinkling of accessibility. Shelly is the author of “iOS Access For All”, a book that is updated for each new iOS version.
And from Blind Abilities, yet more perspectives on WWDC in “That Blind Tech Show” Episode 17
- Check out the “Applevis Unleashed” podcast for May 2018.
- An Applevis podcast tells us how to download all of your iCloud music to your iDevice in a single procedure.
- How to delete old and inactive devices from “Find My iPhone”.
- How to tell if your iPhone was originally purchased new, refurbished, replacement or fancy/personalized.
- How to know which iPhone you have https://coolblindtech.com/how-to-know-which-iphone-you-have/
Cool Apps this Week
Travel Ear: Listen to the sounds of the world in 3D stereo
Blindfold Video: Take a video by simply opening the app!
June 5, 2018
First, a Hands Off Our Harnesses update.
- Please visit to read the minutes from the May 10 “Moving Forward” meeting. There will be a Memorandum of Understanding between the coalition and the Canadian Centre for Disability Studies.
- We also posted the latest Air Passenger Protection Regulations consultation paper to do with the Transportation Modernization Act which just received royal assent.
What’s new in accessibility from Apple’s 2018 World Wide Developers Conference
Jonathan Mosen’s Top Ten Wishlist for iOS12
May 29, 2018
Here are a few articles:
From 9 to 5 Mac
From Tech Crunch
From Apple Insider
Apple brings Everyone Can Code to schools serving blind and deaf students
Google and Alexa
Google Home will soon Let You Talk Through A Phone Menu system.
Amazon just added two features to Alexa’s calendar abilities
Job Insights #4: Apps With Productivity in Mind for Education and in the Workplace
May 22, 2018:
For the best news browsing experience ever, on iPhone or iPad, try Google News.
Whether you have an Apple Watch or not, SleepWatch can help you monitor and improve your sleep habits.
Windows April 2018 Update and Freedom Scientific Products
Learn the official version of ‘What’s new in the Windows 10 April 2018 Update‘ from the Windows Experience Blog.
From the Freedom Scientific Blog comes “Freedom Scientific Software and the Microsoft Windows 10 Spring Creators Update. What You Need to Know“.
Upgrades for ZoomText and Fusion are available to make them compatible with the new version.