Describing Science: Best Practices | Accessible Science
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Describing Science is an art.

The National Center for Accessible Media (NCAM) at WBGH in Boston through a grant from the NSF has researched extensively best practices for describing images for the benefit of individuals who are visually impaired.  This research included extensive surveys of STEM professionals and post-secondary students with visual impairment.  The result is a set of image guideline which will prove a valuable resource for Teachers of the Visually Impaired, General Education teachers, parents, and others wishing to accurately describe images for an individual with visual impairment.  Key areas of recommended practice include per NCAM, "brevity, focus on data, clarity and consistency of language, appropriate navigation control and proper use of headers."
Source: Describing Science: Best Practices | Accessible Science
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VoiceOver on New MacBook Pro with Touch Bar: First Impressions | The Website of Luis Perez

MacBook Pro's Touch Bar

MacBook Pro's Touch Bar

I finally had a chance to stop by an Apple Store to give the new MacBook Pro with the Touch Bar a try with VoiceOver. What follows is a summary of my initial experience, rather than a comprehensive review. If you do want to read a comprehensive review of these new Touch Bar MacBook Pros from a non-accessibility perspective, there are several of those around, including this excellent one by Jason Snell at Six Colors. Your first question when you try out this new laptop for the first time is probably going to be: how do I perform the Command F5 shortcut to turn VoiceOver on without the hardware function keys? Well, if you have been using an iOS device, the answer will sound familiar. It involves a triple-click of the Touch ID button located on the right side of the Touch Bar (this button doubles as the power button for the laptop as well). This is similar to how you use the Home button on iOS devices for the Accessibility Shortcut. The only difference on the Mac is that you have to hold down the Command key as you perform the triple-click on the Touch ID button. The Touch ID/power button is the only part of the Touch Bar that can click with a press. It is separated from the rest of the Touch Bar by a small gap that feels like a notch. I tried to take a photo in the bright lighting of the Apple Store.
Source: VoiceOver on New MacBook Pro with Touch Bar: First Impressions | The Website of Luis Perez
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Seeing Assistant Light on the App Store

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Seeing Assistant Light detector

Seeing Assistant Light

Seeing Assistant Light allows blind people to detect the light sources. During operation, the application generates a characteristic, continuous sound. The tone of that sound depends on light intensity – the more intense light, the higher the tone. User can locate the light source by turning camera when the sound has the highest pitch – camera then points to the brightest point.
man tipping hat animation

Thanks to AppleVis for the tip!

Sound can be turned on and off by double-tap (triple-tap on VoiceOver mode). User can not only check whether light in the room is turned on, but also whether some electronic device with display is turned on, or even whether LEDs on electrical device is turned on or off.
Source: Seeing Assistant Light on the App Store
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Warriors on Wheels
Warriors on Wheels has been empowering individuals with disabilities in Albany for twenty-five years. Founded by trainer Ned Norton in 1988, the Warriors program uses a strength and conditioning fitness regimen to enhance life skills and independence for individuals with disabilities. Located at 230 Green Street, the Warriors Gym is a unique, custom-built facility featuring a variety of adaptive fitness equipment that is designed to accommodate individuals in wheelchairs and others for whom the modified design is more effective for their fitness routine than traditional gym equipment. Every gym is more than just a collection of fitness equipment, and Warriors on Wheels is no different. Reflecting Ned Norton’s enthusiastic nature, the Warriors Gym provides a supportive community for everyone wishing to improve their life skills and independence through strength and conditioning.
Source: Warriors on Wheels
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Switching from IOS to Android for the busy professional | Inclusive Android
Author: PranavLal

Author: PranavLal

I have recently switched to an Android phone namely the Motorola Moto-g Third Generation phone. My iPhone 5 was showing its age and I want to wait for the iPhone 7 before returning to that platform. I have a full time job so need to get up to speed quickly.This means that I have to duplicate as much of my iPhone experience as possible on Android. Yes, IOS and Android are different operating systems but I need to be able to get the same things done with equal facility. By the way, I chose Motorola because they appeared to be providing a close to stock Android experience and their updates appear with reasonable frequency. Getting my contacts: The first thing I had to do was to export my contacts from IOS to Android. The easiest way I found was to backup all my IOS contacts to a virtual card file (*.vcf) and pull them into Android. I used the following app to get all the contacts on my Iphone. I e-mailed the file to the Google e-mail address I wanted and then opened it in the default mail app of my Moto-g Third generation phone. The contacts were imported. The SIM card: The iPhone takes a nano SIM while the Moto-G takes a micro SIM. A colleague had a SIM adapter which I used to insert the SIM. Starting Talkback: The tip about placing two fingers that are slightly apart until you hear Talkback does work on the Moto-G. Keep them towards the middle and a bit on the left. One good thing about this phone is that it will vibrate when it powers up.
Source: Switching from IOS to Android for the busy professional | Inclusive Android
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Virtually Unknown iOS VoiceOver Feature | Automatically Announcing the Time
Clock Status Bar on the iPhone

Clock Status Bar on the iPhone

As an iOS VoiceOver user, several years ago I discovered that if I touched theitem VoiceOver would continue to automatically announce the time until interrupted by touch or certain incoming notifications. I can’t remember exactly when this became a feature, but it was more than 3 years ago, and I’ve never heard anyone else mention it nor have I seen it documented anywhere; so I thought I’d share it, as I can imagine it being helpful to many others.
This time announcement feature is very useful to me, especially when I’m in a hurry, and need to get ready for something quickly. I even use it occasionally with my Anker Soundcore Bluetooth speaker in the shower; time can really accelerate there. Time announcements are also available on macOS in the Date & Time Preference Pane, near the bottom of the clock tab. Though not customizable to the exact minute; 15, 30, and 60 minutes are optional. I could also see this useful on the Apple watch, though it’s not there yet.
Source: A virtually unknown iOS VoiceOver feature, automatically announcing the time every minute | kevinrenatojones
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Bryan Dooley | The Huffington Post | Observations from Below 

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Bryan Dooley Motivated, personable and determined journalist and disability rights advocate

Bryan Dooley Motivated, personable and determined journalist and disability rights advocate

Bryan Dooley is a graduate of Guilford College. While earning a degree in History, he won numerous leadership awards and scholarships, wrote for The Guilfordian, and worked as a Diversity Coordinator. Bryan currently writes twice-weekly for a Huffington Post blog entitled “Observations From Below,” and is a board member at The Adaptables Center for Independent Living in Winston-Salem. Bryan, who has cerebral palsy, is an advocate for people with disabilities. He began advocating from a young age, earning state and national awards by high school, including the Yes I Can award in assistive technology from the Council for Exceptional Children and the Matthew Graziadei Achievement Award. He participated in the Youth Leadership Forum and numerous youth groups, including the National Youth Leadership Network and the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD). Bryan chose to focus on the history of the disability movement as an academic subject because of these experiences. He completed the NC Council on Developmental Disabilities Partners in Policymaking program in 2014. He actively participates in the Advancing Strong Leadership in Developmental Disability Initiative, NC Post-Secondary Education Alliance, Disability Rights NC and speaks at numerous educational and disability advocacy events. Bryan can be reached at
Source: Bryan Dooley | The Huffington Post
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Gamasutra: Ian Hamilton’s Blog – VR & accessibility

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View from virtual reality googles

Virtual Reality

Virtual reality brings some fantastic opportunities for people with disabilities. New experiences, therapeutic benefits, even accessibility for people who have better head control than hand control. But it also brings considerable new barriers, with great potential to lock people out from these benefits. Some of the barriers that VR presents are unavoidable, there are people who will simply never be able to take part in VR as it currently exists. From the people who will never be able to overcome simulation sickness, to people who simply aren’t physically able to have a bulky device on their head. But other barriers are avoidable, through the right design considerations - through accessibility. It is still early days for this iteration of VR, so this post doesn’t aim to provide all of the answers or form a concrete set of guidelines. There will be issues that are not covered here, and still there’s huge room for innovation, discovering new and better design patterns. It does however aim to ask some questions, point out a few VR-specific barriers to access, and show a few possible solutions, allowing you to include more people as a result.
Source: Gamasutra: Ian Hamilton's Blog - VR & accessibility
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BLINCAM | Wearable Camera
Blincam Wearable Camera

Blincam Wearable Camera

BLINCAM is a wearable camera that attaches to any pair of eyeglasses. All you have to do is wink to capture any moment you see, exactly as it happens. Beautiful scenery, smiling faces, authentic moments you spend with your family or friends, all preserved with BLINCAM.
Blincam Camera

Blincam Camera

BLINCAM is a wearable camera that responds to winking and blinking. It doesn't simply respond to ordinary blinking, though--you have to give a noticeable wink (or blink, if you aren’t a good winker).
BLINCAM is committed to producing a device that simply attaches to your glasses. We didn’t want to make a massive, multi-function pair of goggles that was expensive. We wanted a more simple and intuitive design that could be used by people everywhere. The product is just 25 grams in weight (about 5 coins), meaning it can be attached to your glasses without discomfort.
Source: BLINCAM, take a picture with a wink | Indiegogo
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Braigo Web App | Extracts Text from Images for Persons that are Blind

Posted Aug 18, 2016 Apps accessibility Braigo launches web app to help blind people parse text on images. The internet is all about sharing information, but a lot of the information shared assumes that its users are able to rely on their senses to consume said information. That isn’t always the case, and for the more than 285 million people around the world who are visually impaired, browsing the ‘net can be a less than fruitful experience.Braigo Labs is today launching a beta of its service to help blind and visually impaired people make sense of text on images. The beta is the first part of a bigger platform, taking a broad-spectrum approach to helping those unable to see. Braigo Platform is a free web application aimed at anyone who needs accessibility solutions for the visually impaired. The platform supports more than 50 languages, and can be used to extract text from images from a variety of sources, whether from the web or from a phone. PALO ALTO, Calif., Sep 9, 2014 – Developed by Shubham Banerjee, a 8th grade student from Santa Clara, California. BRAIGO v2.0 is a Braille Printer using new patent pending technology along with the Intel’s Edison Chip with associated development board to bring a consumer oriented braille printer to the market.In February of this year Shubham developed a low-cost Braille printer using Lego Mindstorms EV3 that slashed the price of a Braille embossing device by 82% compared to devices available in the market. He called it “Braigo”TM and made the design and code open source ( The next natural progression for him after multiple feedbacks from the visually impaired community was to make a real consumer version that could eventually be bought off-the-shelf. This is a social impact project and can bring relief to more than 53 Million legally blind people in this world and more than 200 Million people who are on the verge of being blind.  ” What I did with Lego has me convinced that I’m onto something here.  I want to bring a Braille printer to market that’s at an affordable price point.  To do that I needed something small and powerful to drive the system.  Intel Edison is a great fit for that.  I’m so passionate about solving this problem that I spent my summer building what you see here. I got membership at the Techshop in San Jose to learn design tools, worked with other individuals to get 3D printed mechanical parts and also machinist to design new braille heads and assembly”Shubham commented that – ” Intel’s new chip Edison Edison was the perfect choice for being connected to the cloud/internet and at the same time reduces the BOM price by not using separate components/drivers. It is less power hungry and has the future possibilities of using batteries for using in remote places of the world. The design uses new (patent pending) technology and also using Edison opens up the possibility to potentially use the same mechanism for other assistive technology products, like a refreshable reader and a display. The ability to use the backend cloud for software upgrades (without requiring any user interface) can make it much easier for a visually impaired person to install drivers or programs. The capabilities of Edison enabled me to do a whole set of use cases I hadn’t previously thought about. For example, when we wake up in the morning we look at our smartphone or tablet to see the headline news.  With Edison, we’ve set it up so the CNN headlines are printed off automatically every morning.”
Source: Braigo launches web app to help blind people parse text on images | TechCrunch
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