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.
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.
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 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.
We read with excitement of a new service from Openlibrary.org 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.
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 BlindMind.net 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.
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.
Today, BrailleNote mPower users and the public at large received their first view of Humanware’s new breed of PDA devices. While many are quick to discount the Apex as overpriced, outdated, and meaningless, we can’t hardly blame Humanware for the new release. And while users are quick to scoff at the price, the machine brings some welcome competition to the blindness-specific PDA market which I’m glad to see.
The Assistive Technology Industry Association offers this list of exhibitors scheduled to appear at their new Chicago conference later this week. Over 100 companies will be represented including most assistive technology companies for the blind, though curiously Serotek is not on the list. It will be interesting to see how this new conference is received and whether it will adversely affect attendance for the Orlando conference next January.
One of the biggest challenges faced by a blind traveler is obtaining a concept of their surroundings. The availability of Braille maps has been rare if not nonexistent. Thanks to a partnership between the Tactile Map Automated Production (TMAP) Project and the San Francisco Lighthouse, one can now obtain hard copy maps for any address in the United States for a small fee. After seeing the results for an area near our home, we were quite impressed.
Serotek has been busy this year rolling out a wide array of podcasts covering a wide array of accessibility news and technologies, both from Serotek and other companies. Of note, the Serotalk Tech Chats are now hosted on their Accessible Event service, allowing for user interaction and questions via text. Their latest weekly podcast, for example, includes a discussion of the accessibility of upcoming versions of the Pro Tools audio editing software for the Mac, among many other stories.
Handy Tech North America now offers Handy CMS, the new online Contact Management System developed with an emphasis on accessibility. Please navigate to the above link to read more and obtain a trial!
This is a great new website dealing with Bioptic Driving.Bioptic driving is a method which allows persons with soe usable vision to become licensed drivers. Candidates often have good peripheral vision but lack the ability to sometimes see street signs and other objects, according to the Bioptic Driving website. While much debate exists on the safety of this or other driving systems for those with some useful vision, this site may serve as a useful jumping off point. It is sponsored by the Low Vision Centers of Indiana,.
Code Factory has added another mailing list to their portfolio, this time for the Mobile Geo GPS software. This software was recently released for Windows Mobile smartphones and Pocket PC phones and offers accessible turn-by-turn directions and points of interest information. Follow the link on this post to go to the subscription page.
The new issue of Accessworld has been posted to the AFB website. The July 2008 edition has a heavy emphasis on access to mainstream technology, including looks at MP3 players and in-flight entertainment systems. You'll also find the latest news and technology insights. AccessWorld is published bimonthly and is available free on the web.
Well, the day has finally arrived. It's been an unprecedented 14 months since the release of any version of Window-Eyes, and now users around the world will get to decide if the wait was worth it.
Follow the link to read the entire article.
This is the title of a new blog focusing on accessibility news and updates. Initial topics covered include accessible GPS software, notetakers and PDAs, and screen reader news. It seems to be well-updated so far, and we'll add it to our blogs to watch.
There's actually lots of quite accessible software available for your Symbian-based cell phone. Brent Harbolt discussed a large list of programs in a recent seminar now hosted on BlindSea.com. You can listen to the archive as well as find links to the programs mentioned.
We've seen several resources made available for blind people who wish to program in their language of choice. But a new effort led by popular programmer Jamal Mazrui has the potential to open many doors for current and potential developers alike. NonVisualDevelopment.org is a wiki-based site which offers links to articles, resources, and information for a variety of programming and scripting languages. Whether you are writing Windows programs in VB.net or web pages in HTML, there is a section for you. The site is still early in development, but we're sure it will evolve into a rather useful destination.
A new kind of checking generic valium 5mg has been introduced that provides unlimited refunds
of surcharges from automatic teller machines, allowing blind people to use any talking
ATM free without fee or extra charges. Kelly Pierce explains how to do it and which banks offer this very useful service.
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