Breaking: Window-eyes discontinued, in the hands of the VFO Group


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Cool Blind Tech

Cool Blind Tech

Today may be a pretty historic day when it concerns innovation and partnerships. Window-eyes might not be a household name among screen readers, but it’s discontinuation means that many especially within the international blind community may be impacted. For anyone who has used the offer whereby a free copy of Window-eyes could be used with Office licenses, you will now be running an unsupported screen reader, and we know how quickly Microsoft has been changing their framework with newer, more modern Windows 10 releases. I am for one doubtful that Window-eyes users will ever experience the new audio ducking behavior changes which will be coming in releases such as NVDA 2017.2. Alas, updates will come no more. Of course, there is no grand exit for anything. Just a simple FAQ page and transition table. VFO did not say they will release Window-eyes as a free screen reader entirely, with perhaps a patched wetool.dll file that has a license, or a way to request licenses for free for those needing it. In fact, for anyone wishing to reinstall their license, there will probably be no official ways of recovering it once the Window-eyes servers go offline which handled such requests.
Walking penguin tipping hat

Thanks to Cool Blind Tech for the tip!

This may have future headache ramifications for some. Although you could argue that free users should use NVDA across Europe and “screw Window eyes because it was one of the worst screen readers ever anyway!” This day, then, marks how easily 22 years of programming work can be stopped and “thrown out the window.”  
Source: Breaking: Window-eyes discontinued, in the hands of the VFO Group Continue reading
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Transcending Disabilities: Positive Body Imaging | Kim Lan Grout | TEDxUNC – YouTube


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One day in the grocery store, someone questioned Kim Lan Grout's ability to be a mother because of her leg amputation. In this talk, Grout explores the way we judge differences, and how simple it is to change the way we think about them. Kim Lan Grout is a writer, photographer, and entrepreneur in Durham, North Carolina, as well as the director of the Redefining Disabled Project. After electing to have her leg amputated at the age of 18 after a very painful journey with Klippel-Trenaunay-Weber Syndrome, she decided to redefine what it means to have a disability. Having a disability hasn’t held her back from anything, including traveling the world, raising her two toddler daughters, and practicing yoga. She channels much of her energy into highlighting multiple dimensions of disabilities and showing that they can be a source of love, tolerance, patience, and determination. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at http://ted.com/tedx
Source: YouTube
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AgrAbility: The Toolbox


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ErgoMates Anti-Fatigue Overshoes

ErgoMates Anti-Fatigue Overshoes

grandpa tipping his hat

Thanks to AgrAbility for the Tip

ErgoMates Anti-Fatigue Overshoes are designed to minimize impact shock, pain, and fatigue for those who have to stand or walk for extended periods of time on hard surfaces. Strapped over the worker's footwear (including work boots), these overshoes have a flexible, slip-resistant, two-ply soles that absorb shock and reduce fatigue. Other features include a self-cleaning tread design, oil/solvent/chemical-damage resistance, and secure/comfortable strapping system. They come in five sizes.
Source: The Toolbox
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FARMER/VETERAN


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Farmer Veteran

Documentary on PBS' Independent Lens, May 29th

Our Website Home from three combat tours in Iraq, Alex Sutton forges a new identity as a farmer, hatching chicks and raising goats on 43 acres in rural North Carolina. He dives into life on the farm with his new love Jessica, but cannot shake the lingering traumas of war. The stories he tells about battlefield experiences become unmoored from reality as he cycles between states of heightened awareness and “feeling zombified” from a cocktail of prescriptions meant to keep him stable. For the viewer, as for Alex, what to believe about his past is uncertain. The farm becomes a terrain to unearth what is buried, what it really means to be “the perfect soldier," and where to find the way forward.
Source: ABOUT — FARMER/VETERAN
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Maccessibility Roundtable Podcast 131


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In Episode 131 of The Maccessibility Roundtable Podcast, our knights discuss:

  • Follow-up: Workflow updates
  • Follow-up: Prizmo Go
  • Desktop and Documents in Sierra
  • Is the Apple Watch a good app platform?
  • Is Amazon Prime Video coming to Apple TV?
  • Beats 1New Amazon Echo devices
  • Rumor about the Touch ID sensor on new iPhones

Knights on this episode:

  • Darcy Burnard
  • Holly Anderson
  • Eric Troup
  • Robin Christopherson
Source: Maccessibility
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Assistive Pan Holder for One Hand Use for Disabled


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Pan Stabilizer

Pan Stabilizer

Many people might have either a broken arm or even a missing one. This $2 assistive pan holder can help people who are disable and love to cook. Now idea came to me when my step mother broke her arm and had to be in a cast for a very long time.
Suction cup stabilizer

Suction cup stabilizer

One of her favorite thing to do is cooking and it was really hard for her to do it due to she was not able to hold the pans when cooking and sometimes even spilled hot soup over herself. When went to the store we saw a similar PAN HOLDER for more than $20, so I decided to make an economic one.
Source: Assistive Pan Holder for One Hand Use for Disabled for Under $2.: 4 Steps (with Pictures)
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Uber-Like Service Designed For Riders With Disabilities – Disability Scoop


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 RideKC Freedom

The one-year pilot project enables riders to use a cellphone app to hail taxis. While the core of the service was built with the mobility of people with disabilities in mind, it is open to the general public to use, too. KCATA is offering the new service through a partnership with Transdev and will use taxis from 10/10 Taxi, Yellow Cab Co. and zTrip.
Transit Options for RideKC Freedom

Transit Options for RideKC Freedom

This new app-based option offers same day service getting you where you need to go, when you need to get there.    
Grandpa tipping his hat

Thanks to Disability Scoop for the Tip!

Source: Uber-Like Service Designed For Riders With Disabilities - Disability Scoop
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Word Bank for Google Chrome | OT’s with Apps & Technology


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Word Bank logo Word BankDon Johnston just announced another new product, Word Bank for Google Chrome. A similar support to Co:Writer but without the prediction features, Word Bank easily creates a word cloud or word list on a topic from an electronic document or web information. Word Bank provides a floating tool with options to customize the word list supporting use of vocabulary when writing. How does it work? Here are some screenshots of Word Bank: Word Bank 1 Word Bank is an extension added to your Chrome Browser. When activated, the above dialog box is available with a search tool bar allowing choices of gathering  general topic words or from a specific web page. The process is easy and the word banks can be saved for later use. Words in the word bank are spoken aloud when selected and can be easily inserted into your document when clicked to reduce spelling and copying errors. Options available within the settings of the Word Bank tool allows you to rename a Word Bank saved, delete it, download a word bank, print, choose a layout (alphabetical or circular- which is like a word cloud with frequency of words displayed), and provides a slider for the number of words desired. Word Bank 2 The options of layout and number of words can help with differentiating the list from complex to simple pending the student skill level.
frog tipping its hat

Thanks to OT with Apps for the Tip!

Although I have not trialed this with students, it appears to be another great writing support for struggling writers. More information and a video about Word Bank can be found at Word Bank Demo Video, and Word Bank overview page.
Source: Word Bank for Google Chrome | OT's with Apps & Technology
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Stylus Options for iPad and iPhone Users: Do It Yourself | ATMac


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Directly touching the screen is a very easy access method for most people, and has many accessibility benefits, but for others it’s brought new accessibility challenges.This article is about custom and do-it-yourself options for styluses and pointers, including head pointers and mouth sticks.

The Need For Conductivity

Making your own stylus isn’t too hard, but there’s one principle you need to understand first: iPhones and iPads and most other touch-screen devices these days have what’s called “capitative touch screens”. The details don’t matter but the effect is that you need to have a continuous path for electricity to flow from some part of the user’s body – usually the skin is used but inside the mouth is fine too.
Everything in this picture - thread, yarn, fabric, and cotton, are made of conductive substances.
Everything in this picture – thread, yarn, fabric, and cotton, are made of conductive substances.
The amount of electricity is so tiny that you’ll never feel it, that same electricity flows from your fingertip to the screen every time you use your phone or tablet, so there’s no danger of being zapped or shocked. You just need to make sure there’s a something conductive all the way between the skin and the tip of the pointer. There are LOTS of options for making this conductive path. Wire is the most traditional thing for conductivity, but if that doesn’t suit your needs these are other options:
  • Aluminum foil. A piece from any regular roll of aluminium foil you’d buy in a supermarket will work just fine.
  • Conductive Tape, which is pretty much like foil but has adhesive on one side. Doesn’t matter what metal – copper, aluminium, anything else – and any width or thickness will do.
  • Conductive foam is especially good for making the tips of styluses because it will make good contact with the screen, if you aren’t using a commercial stylus tip.
  • Conductive sewing thread is effectively very thin soft wire, but because it’s very flexible and thin enough to be unobtrusive it can be useful in more situations.
  • Conductive fabric is what happens when you make fabric out of conductive thread, unsurprisingly.
  • Conductive pen or paint lets you just draw a path of conductivity, though I’m not sure how it would stand up to being rubbed by fingers.
Source: Stylus Options for iPad and iPhone Users: Do It Yourself | ATMac
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Accessible Guitar Tuner 


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A
Accessible Guitar Tuner

Accessible Guitar Tuner

Guitar Tuner for Blind Guitarist

This is a tuner that is made specifically for blind people. It uses audio feedback to tell you if a string is too high or too low.

How does it work?

After turning it on, the tuner will be set to the low E string. Holding the button cycles through all 6 strings in standard guitar tuning. A pattern of beeps is played continuously. Low-high indicates the string is too low. High-low indicates the string is too high. A single beep indicates the string is tuned.

Appearance

The current prototypes are circuit boards slightly smaller than a credit card. Going around the edge clockwise there is a 9V battery connector wire(bottom left), the power switch(left), a push button for changing the current string, a piezzo buzzer(top left), the microphone amplification circuit(top right), the microphone(right), the microcontroller(bottom right), a 6-ping programming header(bottom), and then we're back at the start. In the middle is a voltage regulator for powering the microcontroller.
Source: Accessible guitar tuner from pepijndevos on Tindie
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