Assistive technology news and info.
Passports are one of the most important travel documents, and one country is working to make them more accessible for blind travelers. According to the Yonhap News Agency, The South Korean Foreign Ministry will begin issuing the modified passports on April 20 at hundreds of locations
Freedom Scientific has posted the April update to JAWS version 18 which includes a laundry list of changes with a heavy Google Docs and Microsoft Office focus.
It's time once again for the Seeing Eye's annual online auction, and this year's edition has over 500 items to tempt your fancy or your wallet.
A new USPS service may be able to scan your mail for you before it is delivered, potentially providing a more accessible way to read mail. The Informed Delivery service has been tested in several cities and is schedule for a nationwide roll-out on April 14.
Twitter has been making a lot of changes to how the default profile photos work on its website, and this may cause some users to become hidden if they choose not to upload an image.
A researcher from the University of Salford in the United Kingdom wants to hear from assistive technology users who have administered Wordpress websites. The WordPress Administration - Accessibility' survey has now been posted to gather feedback from such users and will be available through April 30.
Another company is plunging hands-first into the crowding accessible smart warable market, armed with a $100,000 award from a weekend competition. Somatic Labs, creators of the moment wearable device, won the prize at the Innovation Open, an event for entrepreneurs hosted at Arizona State University.
Dolphin has released version 16.03 of the SuperNova screen reader, a free update for existing users. Don't let the version number fool you, as this release packs in quite a few new features.
Voxygen, the company that brought us Halloween fun with the Witch text to speech voice, has now introduced their lineup of voices to Windows computer users. Dozens of goofy and more naturally-sounding voices are now available in SAPI 5 format, compatible with Windows screen readers.
A lot of cable and television providers, some with more fanfare than others, have launched some form of accessibility for their talking guide software. While we were enjoying the holiday break, Verizon quietly enabled this feature for their Fios customers.
Another piece of early audio book history has been uncovered. According to the American Printing House for the Blind Fred's Head Blog, A 1936 recording of Gulliver's Travels was recently donated along with other early talking books.
The last time guidelines for accessible web content were published by the World Wide Web Consortium, many of our readers were likely using flip phones or early talking Nokia devices. The next version will address many of the advancements in technology which have been released over the past few years including mobile apps and touch screen devices.
The first public beta of TalkBack 5.2 has been posted for Android users. As we previously reported, this new release introduces a variety of features including custom verbosity settings which allow a user to select how much speech feedback is given while navigating. Feedback via sound is also different in this version, with a new collection of earcons, the sounds that are played to indicate various elements on the screen. The new sounds are less musical and more brief and to the point.
As promised by Greg Stilson in our recent Humanware CSUN podcast, version 3.0 of the software for the BrailleNote Touch is now available as a free update. This version adds support for opening multiple documents in KeyWord, updated support for WebViews included in newer versions of Android, additional voices and languages, and a smattering of additional features and bug fixes. Greg demonstrates some of the new features and goes into more detail on the podcast linked above. The version 3.0 changelog is listed below and also linked from this post. Thanks to Jay Pellis for the tip.
Terrill Thompson has once again posted a completely accessible NCAA March Madness bracket which you can fill out and monitor. It uses accessibility best practices to create one of the most usable brackets for screen reader users. Check the source link on this post to check it out or fill out a bracket. The first main tournament round starts just after noon on Thursday.
#CSUNATC17: Google Demonstrates Features of TalkBack 5.2 for Android; Teases Contracted Braille Input for BrailleBack
Google had a full slate of sessions at this year's CSUN conference and showed off some of the features for the next version of the TalkBack screen reader for Android devices. Google's Victor Tsaran highlighted several changes for version 5.2, which is set to enter public beta in a couple weeks.
As we announced earlier, KNFB Reader for Windows 10 is here. At that time, we did not have much information as to the specifics, but that has changed with the release of the app The Windows version boasts, among other things, full support for Narrator as well as compatibility with other popular screen readers including NVDA, JAWS and Dolphin SuperNova. It also supports Microsoft's text-to-speech voices."
Today at CSUN, HIMS is officially unveiling its latest product in the line of Braille Sense notetakers known as the Braille Sense Polaris. The Polaris, unlike previous Braille Sense models which have run on Windows CE, will run on Android 5 Lollypop. It will contain many of the Sense suite of applications and also retain much of the menu structure found on all previous models. Features like the Bookshare Downloader, Bard app, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and others which can be downloaded and are usable from the Google Play store are not included.
According to a press release, Sendero has announced the rlease of Sendero GPS 2017 for notetakers and the PC. For the notetaker side, the update is to the points of interest (POI) database and map data. For the PC version, version 2017 introduces the ability to virtually explore by POIs along a street and it also allows the user to virtually enter, display details and exit a POI.
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