Blind Bargains

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The Onkyo Braille Essay Contest Returns with $2,000 Top Prize for Braille Essays

If you are a good braille writer and have a story to tell, you may be able to win $2,000 from Onkyo.

Navigate the Playa Accessibly with Updated Burning Man Maps

The San Francisco Lighthouse is once again offering maps for Burning Man, the one-of-a-kind event held each August in Black Rock City.

Hims Focuses on Camera, QWERTY Keyboards for First BrailleSense Polaris Update

Hims has released their first update for the BrailleSense Polaris. The free update activates the camera and adds support for USB and Bluetooth QWERTY keyboards among other functions.

Breaking: NVDA's Jamie Teh Leaving for New Job with Mozilla

James Teh, one of the 2 original developres of the NVDA screen reader, is moving on after working with the free screen reader for the past decade.

How fast can you process words? Participate in a 10 minute Research Study to Find Out

Here's a research study that may teach you something about how your mind works. It does not pay, but it may still be fun to take.

Opinion: Shady Code Alert: Amazon iPhone App Detects Voiceover and Quietly Disables Alexa

Earlier this week, I presented a brand new workshop on conversational assistants at the library where I work. Our discussion-based tech events are a chance for blind New Yorkers to explore what's new in accessible technology, And I was pretty excited to share how Google, Apple and Amazon have designed simple, conversational interfaces that work well for blind and sighted people alike.

Take this Survey about your City and Enter to Win an Orbit Reader 20

The American Printing House for the Blind is giving away an Orbit Reader 20 braille display to one lucky survey respondent.

Try All the Things: Get Free Rides, Food, and More at #NFB17 using this Handy Guide

If you're headed to the NFB convention in Orlando, there are a growing number of services which can help make your busy convention just a bit less busy. From rides and food to groceries and massages, one or many of the below services may help you.

Help University Students by Chatting with your Alexa

Here's a super cool way to help students create bots that can talk about various topics. From Amazon:

"Get an inside peek at the Alexa Prize, Amazon's university competition to advance AI. This year s inaugural competition focuses on the grand challenge of building a socialbot that can converse coherently and engagingly with humans on popular topics such as entertainment, politics, and sports for 20 minutes. The socialbots are works in progress, and your conversations and feedback will help students develop a more engaging AI. To try one, say: Alexa, let s chat."

To learn more about the Alexa Prize, click the provided link.

Amazon Brings Over 130 Audio-described Titles to Prime Members, Others

Amazon is the latest company to offer audio description for many of their available movies and original series. Currently, 133 titles are available with audio description, both for Prime members and for purchase.

Sendero's GPS Apps Updated with Indoor Beacon, Uber Support in Version 3.0

Sendero has released version 3.0 of their GPS apps for iOS devices, and the beginnings of indoor navigation support are among the list of changes.

The Accessibility Features Mentioned On-Screen in the Apple Keynote That Were Not Talked About

Apple introduced the next version of iOS, a new speaker, and new Macs and iPads at WWDC. But there were some accessibility features that gained a brief visual mention that were not covered.

ACB Convention Registration Starting Now, NFB Ending May 31

Convention registration season is in full force with both ACB and NFB forms now available.

NVDA 2017.2 Release Candidate Brings Back Audio Ducking, Adds More Edge Support

The release candidate for the 2nd major update for NVDA of 2017 has been posted and includes a laundry list of changes.

Google Demonstrates Android O Accesibility Features Including Accessibility Volume, Language Switching

Google's IO conference, the place where developers go to learn about what's coming up next in Android, has spilled the beans on some forthcoming TalkBack improvements in Android O.

Amazon Prime Video May Be Coming to an Apple TV Near You

Free Amazon Prime Video access is one of the best perks of being an Amazon Prime member. With it, you can watch tons of movies and shows for free, including Amazon originals you can't watch anywhere else.

Buzzfeed reports that Apple is planning to announce Amazon Prime Video's arrival on the Apple TV during the company's annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) on June 5 and the app is expected to go live as soon as this summer.

Even though the Amazon fire TV is somewhat accessible, Apple has done a much better job and have more accessible apps. Will this one be accessible with Voiceover? We'll just have to wait and see.

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.

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