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Introduction to Web Accessibility Online Course Offered by Google

Web developers who are interested in learning how to make their websites accessible can now participate in a free online course offered by google. The course starts today and runs through the end of September. Participants will be able to complete the course at their own pace. Topics that will be covered include: the fundamentals of using Aria within html 5 and tips and tricks hon how to build accessibility into your site without breaking code. Participants will also have the opportunity to test out their website using the Chromevox screen reader that is compatible with Google Chrome. Those who register should have a basic understanding of html, java script, and CSS.

Apple Rolls Out It's New Trade-In Program Today

In an effort to boost sales of iPhones at it's retail stores, Apple has just rolled out it's new trade-in program. Starting today, if you visit an Apple store and you want to upgrade to a newer iPhone, you will have the option of trading in your old device for in-store credit. To use the trade-in program you will have to agree to sign a new two year contract with the cell phone carrier of your choice. According to the chart on the CNBC website, a 16 gig iPhone 5 could get you as much as $336 and an iPhone 4S as much as $221. The article also lists all of the other trade-in options and how much each company is willing to give you.

Listen To the Sessions From This Year's Vision's Conference

If you weren't able to attend this year's Visions Conference hosted by the Foundation Fighting Blindness, you can now download the audio from many of the sessions. The Visions Conference is unique in that it is the only conference where you can learn about different diseases of the eye as well as learn about the research that is being done to treat diseases of the eye. All of the audio sessions can be downloaded for free. This year's conference featured sessions on topics such as gene therapy, the Argus II Retinal Prosthesis, overcoming the emotional barriers of blindness, participating in a clinical trial, information sessions on diseases such as Ushers and RP, and stem cells 101.

United States Visitor Center in Washington Now Offers Audio Tours

The United States Visitors Center is one of the many destinations for tourists to visit when they come to Washington D.C. If you're planning a trip to the U.S. capital, and plan to stop at the Visitors Center, you can now get an audio tour. The tour can either be played on a special device that can be requested at the front desk, or you have the option of downloading the files onto your own personal device before you arrive. The audio files are more then three hours of content, and provide the visitor great detail of the exhibits at the center. The files are available to download in Mp3, Zip, and text. Having a text option means that the tour is even accessible to the deaf/blind.

List of YouTube Videos on Blindness

The Fred's Head blog is compiling a list of videos that you can find on YouTube that address issues about blindness and how to adapt to losing your vision. The current list has 86 videos and they plan to add more as they find them. The list of videos is organized by category. The list also has the title of the video, the name of the presenter, and how long the video is.

Using a Victor Reader Stream As An Audio Teleprompter

Giving presentations can be a challenge when you can not read print. Many blind people use braille notes or memorize what they want to say. If you don't use braille, or find memorizing too challenging, this demonstration from Bruce Gardener will show you how to use a Victor Reader Stream as an audio teleprompter.

New Blog from Louisiana Tech University

The Professional Development and Research Institute at Louisiana Tech University has started a blog that they hope will be a useful resource for anyone who works with blind children and adults. These are some of the topics that the blog will cover.

  • The latest research on blindness to help you to better answer questions
    from educators and the general public, which will improve the opportunities
    available for blind students and professionals;

  • Methods for teaching braille and cane travel that will increase the
    effectiveness of instruction, allowing blind people to lead active, truly
    independent lives;

  • Philosophy-rich speeches and articles leading the public to see blind
    people as equal participants in their training, education and employment;

  • Perspectives from current students and alumni about why they find it
    rewarding to teach blind students and adults, encouraging others to join the
    growing profession; and

  • Interviews with experienced professionals, which will create nationwide
    networking opportunities for teachers of the blind that will foster
    collaboration on the latest, research-based instructional methods.

On the website, there are ways to subscribe either via RSS or email.

Learn How to Use Windows 8 Using WindowEyes or JAWS From the Assistive Technology Institute`

If you're looking for an in depth look at Windows 8 and you use JAWs or WindowEyes, ATI is offering two online courses that provide an overview of the operating system and how to use your screen reader with the new features of Windows 8. The courses include 4 pre-recorded lectures as well as a copy of the textbook. There are also periodic tests that students can opt to take. Each course can be purchased for $225.

Blind Wiki Aims to Be the One Stop Shopping for All Blind Resources

There is a new site that hopes to be the place where anyone can come to get all the resources they need to learn about blindness and ways to adapt. Blind Wiki has a large list of resources so far, and they are continuing to add more. They also ask that users should submit resources that they don't already have listed.

AFB Launches a New Career Connect Blog

If you're looking for career tips, job seeking pointers, employment advice and career connect updates, then the new Career Connect blog is for you. The first post features Lesson Plans for Professionals and is the first in an upcoming series.

Learn How to Become a Beta Tester for IOS with Jonathan Mosen's Next Webinar

If you have wanted to become a beta tester for IOS, but feel like you don't know enough, join Jonathan Mosen on Saturday July 6 to learn all that you need to know.

According to the webinar description, some of the topics that will be covered include:

Becoming legally entitled to run iOS betas
Downloading the latest build
Taking precautions before you take the plunge
Reporting bugs, being a beta tester who adds value
Your obligations under Appleā€™s Nondisclosure agreement (NDA)

The webinar will take place at 3 PM EST or 1900 UTC

If you can't attend the live webinar, you will be eligible for a copy of the archive. Purchase your spot today for $19.95.

Participate in Free Webinars Offered By Ai Squared

AI Squared is offering a number of free webinars this summer. The first one is on Tuesday June 25. It will cover the ZoomText for Mac Reading Tool. Other webinars this summer include: an introduction to ZoomText for Windows 8, ZoomText Image Reader advanced tips, and an overview of ZoomText University. If you can not attend the webinar when it's happening, then you can access the recorded version at your own convenience. If you plan to attend any of these, you will need to sign up in advance to access the live events.

Summer is Here, so It's Time to Go to Camp

Camp can mean a lot of things for people. For some, it's the place where you met your best friend, and for others it's the place where you learned new skills. There are a number of summer camps around the country that cater to the blind and visually impaired. Some camps are only for children and others even serve adults. The Brailleworks blog provides a great list of options to choose from. Maybe this is the summer that you'll choose to go to camp.

FCC Seeks Comments on Proposed Rule Changes to the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act

There are already two rules in the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act that specify that on screen menus and access to accessibility options such as closed captioning and descriptive audio must become accessible to the blind. The FCC however, is seeking comment to find out if these rules need to be more specific. For instance, should these rules only be applied to cable and satellite providers, or should it be expanded to include devices such as a Roku box. In addition, the FCC is proposing that audio description and close captioning should be able to be turned on using a single button press or another similar method. We've linked to the long and confusing FCC rule proposal. Comments can be submitted until July 15.

Purchase "Record Tech Demos Like A Pro" by Jonathan Mosen for $19.95

Technology demonstrations can be a great asset when they are done properly. This past weekend Jonathan Mosen put on his first webinar to teach people how to do demos like a professional. If you didn't catch the webinar live, you can still purchase the recording. Some of the topics covered include: tools for the mac an PC, microphone considerations, what to communicate, and how to get the best exposure for your demo. It's available as a download for $19.95.

Virtual Employment Workshops from Action for Blind People

There are a number of resources available that offer tips on how to get a job, but most of them are not from the perspective of the visually impaired. Action For Blind People, a UK non-profit has put together a set of videos that provide tips and tricks to getting a job when you have a visual impairment. Some of the topics include: deciding when and how to disclose your disability, the do's and don'ts of applying for a job, and where to look for work. The library of videos is continuing to grow so return to the site periodically for updates. Happy job hunting.

Apple Launches Telephone Number for Accessibility Support

Apple has recently launched a telephone number for accessibility related questions and technical support. The toll-free number is (877) 204-3930.
Representatives are available to assist with iOS inquiries Monday-Friday 6 am to 11 pm, and Saturday and Sunday 6 am to 10 PM central time. For all other products, specialists are available 8 am to 10 PM central time, 7 days a week. This number can also be used to file accessibility bug reports, according to the representative we spoke with.

Quick Take: Open Library Brings More Accessible Books to the Blind and Print-Disabled

We read with excitement of a new service from which aims to offer accessible DAISY titles to the blind, low-vision, and print-disabled communities. While services like Bookshare have provided a library of thousands of titles in electronic format for the past decade, the new offering has the potential to put the necessity for accessible books in the forefront of many who may not have realized the need previously. While the site has potential, it will need to expand greatly to become relevant. Luckily, a donation drive is helping to jumpstart the collection.

A sneak peek at Talks version 5.0

Talks, one of the leading mobile phone screenreaders will soon be releasing version 5.0 with support for a host of new devices.
In a recent podcast found on we heard a 40 minute interview discussing some of the new features being offered in the upcoming release. Check out the interview for yourself by navigating to the blog and please let us know what you think by leaving a comment.

Olympus and accessibility

Are the olympus line of digital audio recorders really accessible? In a recent podcast, done by some wonderful folks in Australia, we find out about the accessibility features built in to the Olympus DM420 and DM520 respectively. These small and sleek digital recorders feature enhanced voice guidance and superior recording quality along with extended battery capabilities and increased built in memory capacity. Please navigate to the link above and have a listen to the demonstration featuring accessibility and let us know what you think.

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