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.
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 email@example.com 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.