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Assistive technology news and info.

Window-Eyes is No More, How We Got to This Point and What's Next

In a move that is unsurprising to most, VFO/Freedom Scientific, makers of the JAWS for Windows screen reader, has discontinued sales and support for former competitor Window-Eyes, previously made by GW Micro and then AI Squared. Current Window-Eyes users are entitled to a copy of JAWS 18 free of charge.

Keep In Touch with Alexa

Amazon has introduced a new, free feature for their Echo product with Alexa. Now you can call and message with your Echo device.

First, insure that you are running the latest version of the Amazon Alexa app for either iOS or Android. Next, complete the very accessible setup process, including importing your phone's contacts. Once everything is done, you can say things like, "Alexa, call Mom", or "Alexa, call Grace" to make a call. An example of sending a message would be, "Alexa, send a message to Chris". To answer a call, just say, "Alexa, answer the call". To check new messages, just ask, "Alexa, play my messages".

You can call or message any contact who also has the free Alexa App on their phone, an Echo, or an Echo Dot, and has enabled Alexa calling and messaging. Once you update the app, you can see which contacts have also enabled Alexa calling and messaging. Don't see your friends or family in the app? Just forward this post to help them get started. Need more information? Click the provided link to learn more!

Breaking: Humanware Posts Product Page for Brailliant 14 Portable Braille Display

Humanware has posted a product page for the Brailliant 14, a new portable braille display being shown at the SightCity event in Frankfort, Germany. The display can pair with up to 5 Bluetooth devices at once as well as via USB and can also be used to take simple notes.

This Year's NVDACon is Set for May 19-21; Features Dictation Bridge, Google, NVAccess Keynote

The dates and program for the next edition of NVDACon have been announced. The 3-day virtual event, featuring presentations, lightning talks, and discussion about the free NVDA screen reader, will be held May 19-21.

Breaking: Brailliant Sync App Hints at New Humanware 14-cell Braille Display

A new listing in the iTunes App Store hints at a possible new braille display for Humanware. Brailliant Sync is a free app that was recently posted which offers support for Brailliant 14 braille devices, a possible extension of Humanware's braille display line.

St. Louis, Rochester to Host Upcoming ACB National Conventions

In case you are looking to plan way into the future, the American Council of the Blind has announced its 2018 and 2019 convention cities.

IOS AudioGame Super Bundle for $20.99

Apple's App Store offers the AudioGame Super Bundle for $20.99. From the description, "In order to celebrate the official launch of Associazione Audiogames , we are releasing the AudioGame Super Bundle , containing some of our best audiogames: Space Encounter, Blind Gladiator, Audio Rally Racing, Audio Speed, She Noir and Inquisitor Heartbeat. Six of our best creations offered to you with an awesome discount! Available only for a limited time."

Google Announces Two Accessibility Sessions for I/O Conference

Google has posted about 70 sessions on the calendar for its upcoming I/O conference including two which are accessibility-focused.

TalkBack 5.2 for Android, with Verbosity Controls and New Earcons, is Official

Android's latest version of TalkBack is out of beta and now ready for your consumption. Version 5.2 includes new speech verbosity settings, new audio earcons, and other minor improvements

VFO Expands Again with Acquisition of The Paciello Group

VFO, owners of the Freedom Scientific, Optelec, and AI Squared brands, is growing in size once again with the acquisition of The Paciello Group.

Get $5 for a Quick Assistive Technology Survey and More if you Use Lots of Devices (expired)

You can earn $5 and have a chance for a $75 Amazon Gift Card by participating in a survey about assistive technology use. The survey is being hosted by the UNiversity of Washington, and you can take it multiple times if you use various types of assistive technologies.

A Minor JAWS 18 Update Fixes Web and Thunderbird Bugs

A very minor update for JAWS 18 has been released, on the heels of the bigger April update posted a couple of weeks ago.

A Blind Legend, Eye-D Among Google Play Award Nominees for Accessibility

The Google Play Awards, which recognize the best in Android apps, include an accessibility category and the nominees have been announced

CAPTCHA Solver WebVisum May Now be Gone for Good with Firefox 53

one of the earliest methods for users to solve visual CAPTCHAs may now be obsolete once and for all. WebVisum, a Firefox add-on for solving the pesky visual puzzles, seems to no longer work with the latest version of the browser.

One Box to Read it All: Solutions Radio Promoting the Webbox3

Netherlands-based Solutions Radio is debuting the 3rd version of its Webbox media solution. The device provides a simple interface to listen to newspapers, podcasts, books, Email, and other audio content and as of version 3, it's now portable

Version 2.7.3 of KNFB Reader App for iOS Adds a Potentially Useful Feature for Fans of Physical Buttons

Version 2.7.3 of the KNFB Reader app for iOS has received one small but potentially very useful feature

Victor Stream 4.8 Update Adds Daisy Online, NFB-Newsline Improvements

A promised update to the Victor Stream 2nd Generation software has been released by Humanware which will be of most use to users of the Daisy Online service. Version 4.8 supports dynamic menus in Daisy Online, a service used by organizations to distribute books which is popular in many countries but not the U.S.

ZoomText Now Speaks in Four New Languages with Free 11.3 Update

The latest version of ZoomText includes only two listed changes, but may be very helpful for certain international users and those experiencing stability issues.

ATIA 2018 Call for Presentations Now Open

It's barely spring, but the Assistive Technology Industry Association (ATIA) wants you to think about submitting a paper for its 2018 conference. ATIA 2018 will be held January 30-February 3 in Orlando, and the Call for Presentations is now open.

APH Brings Talking Typer and Hurry Scurry Game to iOS

The American Printing House for the Blind has brought their popular Talking Typer program to the iPhone. The typing tutor and learning tool includes nearly 3 dozen lessons and is available now for $4.99.

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