go to sections menu

The Technology blog and podcast

This is for the technology blog and podcast Commentary, articles, and podcasts

header picture for Ingegno theme

You are here: accessibility newsand issues

Go to Homepage [0], contents or to navigation menu

New ways on accessing books on BARD mobile for IOS

Here is something for those of us who use BARD. Remember, the new BARD app was released some time ago.

Over the coming weeks, they say, we’ll get info on some of the new features.

Here’s today’s email I found, and I hope it is of value to you.

New ways to find books with BARD Mobile for iOS

Hello everyone,

The new version of BARD Mobile for iOS includes a variety of exciting features, and we’ll tell you about several of them in detail over the next couple of months. One of the most exciting is how much easier it is to find books similar to your current book. From any list of books, you can easily select a book and find other books by the same author, in the same series, and on the same subject. Here’s how:

Open a list of books such as a bookshelf category, your wish list, or Recently Added to BARD.
Find a book that interests you.
If you use VoiceOver, touch the book title and flick up or down. You'll move through a set of options called an action menu. The menu wraps, so you will eventually reach all the options whether you flick up or down. Most of the options are the same regardless of the book list you are in, but some vary from one list to another. For instance, if a book isn't on your device, there's a Download option. If it isn't in your wish list, there's an Add to Wish List option. And if it is on your device, there's a Delete option.
All action menus include these options:
    All books by [author's name]. If there's more than one author, each author has a separate entry.
    All books in [subject]. If there's more than one subject, each subject has a separate entry.
    All books in [series] if the book is in a series.
Double-tap when you get to the option you want. A screen opens that lists the books in that category.

Note that every book on this new screen has the same options as in other lists. This makes it easy to download multiple books by the same author or in the same series or add them to your wish list.

If you don’t use VoiceOver, or you don’t want to use the action menu, you can reach the same options as follows:

Choose the More Info button to the right of the book of interest.
Choose the More Actions button to the right of the author's name, just below the title. A screen opens that lists all the options discussed above, as well as a Cancel button at the bottom.
Choose the option you want.

If your book is in a series, the final option before Cancel is a Subscribe button that allows you to subscribe to the series. If you do, any new books in the series are automatically added to your wish list when they are posted to BARD. We’ll talk about series subscriptions in more detail in a future post.

As you can see, it’s now easy to find and download multiple related books. Please remember, though, that these books aren’t going anywhere, and you don’t need to download them all at once. You can add them to your wish list and download them when you’re ready to read them.

Happy reading,

The BARD Support Team

Thanks for reading!

Comments (0)

A very thoughtful blog post from a technology guy now at home

I was looking at Apple Vis to determine what if anything I needed to talk about here as informational. I found a very thoughtful blog post on there on how technology is helping them stay in touch with the people they care about since nobody is venturing out. I thought this would be appropriate to share here, because there is no many articles out there about the dangers, and nothing about how technology is helping people like us, the disabled.

The article itself is not technical, and it doesn’t talk about any particular app, but is more of a thoughtful piece.

I’ll be putting this in the accessibility section, as it fits there. While a few apps are mentioned, nothing is detailed.

Staying Home: Already a Pro is the article title, and you’re welcome to discuss it here or on Apple Vis.

Comments (0)

Taking the sensus? You can

I’ve never taken the sensus before, so when I got multiple letters saying ensus, I wasn’t sure what was happening. Using AIRA services, I got a code and a web site. I went there, entered the code, and found it to be very accessible. Blind Bargains has a post on this by J.J. and it may lend some additional information. It’s Time to be Counted: How to Take the 2020 U.S. Census Now is the post, and I hope it finds value if you need help.

Thanks for reading. And Thanks Sensus for making the site accessible to us.

Comments (0)

Mac, Watch, TV, and other updates

Apple Vis is reporting that Mac, TV, Watch, and other products have been also updated today as well as the IOS updates. Here is the Mac, Watch, and TV post: Apple Releases macOS Catalina 10.15.4, watchOS 6.2, and tvOS 13.4 for those who want to review it themselves.

Comments (0)

Firefox gets an update in firefox 73 for low vision users who use magnification

In non-corona news, Blind Bargains is reporting that if you use options to magnify the screen for your use with firefox, there’s now going to be a global option for that in firefox 73. This deals with a global zoom option and some backplate options. Tangela has the complete details on this Blind Bargains post: Firefox version 73 introduces several low vision improvements which you can find of interest like I did. While I use a screen reader, its important to cover news like this for those who use magnification. Thanks Firefox!

Comments (0)

IOS 13.4 is released

Several posts ago, I posted an apple vis post talking about IOS 13.4 and its release today. They braught it up to the front of their page, and I think it’ll be good to post this. [Update: Now Available] Apple to Release iOS 13.4 and iPadOS 13.4 on March 24; With Several New Features, but Mixed News for Blind and Low Vision Users is the updated post and there may be new things that may or may not have been covered before.

Comments (0)

Jaws releases March 17, brings free use to everyone through June 30th

I’ve got two pieces of news crossing my desk. As part of the required reboot process for Windows Update, Jaws prompted me to get and install an update. It is dated 3/17/20 and here are the notations from Jaws’s web site.

• In Office 365 and 2019, JAWS and Fusion now properly announce column and row titles for tables in Word documents when navigating using JAWS table reading
keystrokes (ALT+CTRL+ARROW keys). For users who prefer to turn off reading of titles while navigating tables for the current document or for all documents,
these options can be configured through JAWS Quick Settings (INSERT+V) by searching for “table” or “title.”
• If the view in Outlook 365 or 2019 is set to show messages by date, JAWS and Fusion will now indicate using both speech and Braille the date change when
you move from one day to the next in messages lists. For example, as you navigate a list of messages covering multiple days, when you move to the first
message in the new date group, you will hear announcements such as “today,” “yesterday,” “last week,” or “two weeks ago.”
• In Microsoft Teams, addressed an issue where JAWS was not always reading as expected when navigating between messages in a conversation thread.
• Resolved an issue where Microsoft Teams would stop responding for several seconds when CTRL+BACKSPACE was pressed to delete a word in a chat edit field.
• Added a new Language Processing group, located under Text Processing in Settings Center. This group now contains the options for configuring language
detection which allows JAWS and Fusion to automatically switch to the appropriate synthesizer language when encountering text in documents and web pages
in different languages.
• In response to customer feedback, the keystroke to display the text of the current control in the JAWS Virtual Viewer so it can be selected and copied
has been changed to INSERT+SHIFT+V. In Microsoft Teams, this command will also virtualize the currently selected item in a list of messages in a conversation.
• The PC Cursor is now active by default in the Weather, News, and Windows Store applications. Since this cursor now works much better in these apps, it
is no longer necessary to use the Touch Cursor.
• JAWS now indicates when text on a web page is marked as deleted or inserted.
• Addressed issues with JAWS and Fusion not always reporting the correct information when navigating tables in Chrome and Edge Chromium.
• When using the ARROW keys or Navigation Quick Keys to move between controls on web pages like check boxes, resolved an issue where the visual highlight
was not properly tracking the location of the Virtual Cursor.
• Addressed an issue where pressing Navigation Quick Key G to move to graphics on web pages was not working as expected in both the Chrome and Edge Chromium
• Addressed a customer reported issue with JAWS not identifying edit fields on certain websites in Chrome.
• If Contracted Braille input is enabled and you select all text in a document using CTRL+A, resolved an issue where using the Braille command LEFT SHIFT+D
(DOTS 1-4-5) was not deleting the selected text as expected.
• Removed extra blank lines that were appearing in the JAWS Virtual Viewer when using WINDOWS Key+SEMICOLON to display comments in Word documents.
• Resolved a customer reported issue where attempting to use voice aliases to indicate attributes such as bolded text were not working when using Vocalizer
• Resolved an issue where the emoji for a red heart was being incorrectly spoken as a black heart.
• When using the Wikipedia Research It lookup source, only the link to the article is now displayed. Due to changes with the Wikipedia website, JAWS is
no longer able to retrieve the synopsis.
• You can now press INSERT+SHIFT+B in either desktop or laptop keyboard layout to obtain battery status and charging information as well as network connection
status. You can also still use CAPS LOCK+SHIFT+B in the laptop keyboard layout to read this info.
• Added a new dictionary entry for “endnote” that is specific to the Eloquence synthesizer to improve this announcement for Fusion users. Other synthesizers
like SAPI5 and Vocalizer Expressive already speak this correctly.
• Resolved a long-standing issue where configuring individual punctuation settings for a voice profile using the Voice Adjustment dialog box was not working
properly. For instance, if you set the punctuation level to None for the PC Cursor voice, but leave it set to Most for the JAWS Cursor, Keyboard, and Tutor
and Message voices, JAWS should now use the correct punctuation setting depending on the active voice.
• Updated the JAWS Hot Key Help (INSERT+H) for Skype to remove references to the Back button that existed in prior Skype versions and is now no longer

Also coming from Freedom Scientific’s home page, Jaws is now free for personal use through June 30, 2020. The entire message is available with a link on Freedom Scientific’s web site. During this difficult time, this is nice to see. Please stay safe, and thanks for reading.

Comments (0)

IOS 13.4 to be released on Tuesday

Tuesday is going to be a big day, according to an apple vis post talking about the release.

There are some bug fixes, and regressions according to the post. While they’re a small team, I want to make sure that you understand that the post linked to here may not be the case for you, and may experience things differently you might. Yes, I wrote it that way on purpose.

In any light, I want you to see this post, and you’re welcome to look at it and determine if you want to wait, or whether you want to go ahead and update.

Apple Vis: Apple to Release iOS 13.4 and iPadOS 13.4 on March 24; With Several New Features, but Mixed News for Blind and Low Vision Users

Comments (0)

Online training and schools

Something has been coming to mind in regards to school and online training. I’m hoping in an upcoming podcast, we can hear from people who have done online training like I have through Universal Class. I’m wondering what you’ve found to be accessible or not through the years.

Please send your files through dropbox or We Transfer or any other file sharing service like Sendspace or You Send it. The email address is tech at menvi.org and I look forward in what you have to say!

There is no deadline, so if many files come in, I’ll play them in turn. This is where participation matters, and we’ll play any submissions.

If you want assistance taping your segment, email me and we’ll work some time out on doing things.

Comments (1)

New Dice World out, dyslexic may benefit

Saw a forum post today that indicates there is a new version hitting stores for IOS. This version has a new font. This font is for dyslexic people to be able to read the screen and play with us.

Search Dice World if you don’thave it already, nd you’re welcome to challenge me. My user name is jared9607 if you want to have it.

Happy gaming!

Comments (0)

How to get a bus or taxi using an iphone

This 2014 discussion from someone asking whether it was possible to stop a bus or taxi was quite interesting on first look. While we’ve advanced with apps like Transit App, Move it, and even specific Metro apps for specific agencies, I don’t believe there is anything for Taxi use.

Someone suggested an app that would have a taxi light, but I’m unaware of this type of an app.

The reason why I like Transit App or move it is because it is real time. You know when your bus or train is going to be there with crowd sourced data.

stopping a taxi or bus with iPhone is from Apple Vis’s forums, and you may want to peruse it and see what might be true today. If this is something you want to bring up on a podcast, I’d love to hear from you.

Comments Off on How to get a bus or taxi using an iphone

Aira dropping Horizon kit support as of April 2020

I was looking at twitter and saw that Blind Bargains is reporting through AIRA that they are dropping support for the Horizon kit.

The most expensive plan that AIRA has is $199 for 300 minutes and $224 per month with Horizon. I’ve never used it, but it comes with a telephone that is equiped with the technology to get it to work.

According to what I’ve read, the application that AIRA relies on is not going to be updated past April 1, 2020. I also have read that it is not that reliable, and AIRA would like to find a replacement.

Blind bargains reports that AIRA will be contacting customers who baught Horizon outright to work with them to find another solution.

Blind Bargains: Aira drops support for Horizon glasses, looks for new solutions.

Comments Off on Aira dropping Horizon kit support as of April 2020

CSUN vendors dropping like flies

Lots of news is being reported in regards to the CSUN conference. Last I knew, the conference was hosted in San Diego, but I guess its going to be hosted in Anaheim this year. Growing List of Sponsors including Google, Microsoft, Deque Bail on #CSUNATC20, Organizers Remaining Silent and #CSUNATC20 is Still a Go for Now, though Coronavirus Concerns are Causing Many to Reconsider are only two articles through blind bargains.

I saw through their twitter that Microsoft, Adobe, and other vendors have pulled out due to the concerns of this new virus that started in China.

I was hopeful to go to Arizona to represent Braille2000 in an event, but B2K’s Bob Stepp has backed out in concern of the virus, as well as other committments days after the Arizona event.

Other news across the spectrum about this virus goes beyond this blog, but sports events may be impacted. To keep this tech related, I hope that the organizers will do the right thing to keep everyone safe through this difficult time since there is no cure for this virus last I heard. Please be safe!

Comments (2)

IS TLS 1.0 and 1.1 really ready to go?

Livewire says yes, and articles out there have more

The last several days on Livewire have been quite interesting. Last week, I experienced a technical issue which has since been resolved. On top of that, I was notified that the site was upgraded to only work on 1.2 or higher TLS connections. Sans News Bites talks about this in one of their segments and this blog post entitled: It’s the Boot for TLS 1.0 and TLS 1.1 is one post and it comes from Mozilla themselves.

After the technical issues were resolved in live wire, someone recently reported running Windows 8, Firefox, and Jaws 16.

  • Windows 8, to my knowledge is not getting any updates
  • Firefox may be old, and unable to understand the TLS infrastructure
  • Jaws 16 isn’t supported with bug fixes
  • Chrome can’t run on 8

In the next podcast, I talk about Live Wire a little bit, what it is, the basics on the LTN (Livewire Telephone Network) and that while I did have an issue, it was my own doing.

The person behind Live Wire understands the security well, and I believe more sites will be moving toward this aspect. I said this before reading this article, and this is Sans News Bites from February 11, 2020. If I had the chance to read this before that discussion, I’d be more up to date!

Browsers negotiate to the highest common denominator which can mask the presence of less secure connection options. Make sure you’re regularly scanning the encryption settings on your web servers to ensure older, less secure connections are disabled, or monitored and documented where enabled. Monitoring may show the need to support older less secure operating systems and browsers may not be as significant as thought, or worth the risk.

Livewire is the first site to my knowledge to have taken this step, and I believe we’ll have more.

There are other articles around the web that covers this, and I’m running 73 of firefox now and have no trouble with connecting to Livewire since my own technical issue was resolved.

Comments Off on IS TLS 1.0 and 1.1 really ready to go?

Apple releases watch OS 6.1.3

Apple on February 18th released 6.1.3 to fix something specific with irregular heartbeats and something in Iceland. Applevis has a blog post on this and you can click through.

They also released an update in the 5x series for those who can’t upgrade to 6x because of phones.

Click through to read more from Apple Vis if you’re interested.

Comments Off on Apple releases watch OS 6.1.3

Nvda Version 2019.3.1 released, bringing support for new braille displays, screen curtain, more

Blind bargains is reporting the update of NVDA version 2019.3.1.This breaks some addon functionality as addons may need to update themselves, but screen curtain is braught in by default as part of this update.

Also, several braille displays from the Handitech corporation are introduced.

If you’d like to learn more, please check out the Blind Bargains posting about NVDA by clicking on the link.

Do you Use NVDA on a consistant basis and want to tell me all about your experience? No problem! Just contact me at and I’ll be happy to receive your report! Thanks so much for reading!

Comments Off on Nvda Version 2019.3.1 released, bringing support for new braille displays, screen curtain, more

Blue Diego Investment Group Announces Acquisition of Aira Tech Corp

I’m passingthis on for people to see. I saw this from one of my followers, and we don’t know what this effect will have as of yet.

Blue Diego Investment Group Announces Acquisition of Aira Tech Corp

I’m going through twitter, and found this: Blue Diego Investment Group Announces Acquisition of Aira Tech Corp and I’m interested to see how this ends up turning out.

I recently decided to pay for the basic AIRA plan, and utalized it to do some mail and was on for 8 minutes only needing to pay for three of them.

I guess we’ll have to see what overall improvements or degredations this may cause, and since both companies are privately held, this may put more money in to Aira so that we don’t have to pay so much and pricing may at some point can come down.

I guess we’ll have to see what happens with this one. Passing this along.

Comments Off on Blue Diego Investment Group Announces Acquisition of Aira Tech Corp

BARD Mobile for iOS version 1.3

I got this update and saw this in my app store, but here are the notes sent directly on the email list.

An upgrade for BARD Mobile for iOS is now available on Apple’s App Store. The release includes the following new features:

• Simultaneous downloads: You can now download up to three items simultaneously.
• Braille autoscroll: When reading braille books, you can have your braille display scroll automatically. You have full control over the speed.
• More actions button: The details screen for each book now includes an “ellipsis” button (labeled More actions) that offers a number of other things you
can do with that book, including seeing a list of other books in the same series, by the same author(s), or in the same subject area(s).
• Enhanced actions list on VoiceOver rotor: You can also get to those very same additional actions using the Actions item on the rotor while in a book
• Quickly switch between titles: No need to go back to the bookshelf to change books! Just swipe left with one finger (or three, if using VoiceOver) while
on the Now Reading screen to see a list of other books on your device that you’ve already opened. They’re in the order of most recently read. There’s also
a Recently Read button in the upper left if you don’t want to use the gesture.
• Format hiding: Don’t ever read braille? Tell BARD Mobile not to show you any braille items (unless they’re on your wish list or previous downloads).
Don’t ever read audio? It works that way, too. Find this by going to the Settings tab, selecting User Account Settings, and then selecting Show Me.
• Book and magazine subscription support: You can now subscribe to magazines via the app just like you can on the BARD website. Book series, too! New magazine
issues or books in subscribed series are automatically added to your Wish list.
• AirPlay support: There’s now an AirPlay button right on the Now Reading screen. From there you can send your audio to any available AirPlay or connected
Bluetooth device.
• Braille/audio indicator: For lists with mixed formats (Wish List, Previous Downloads) there’s a format icon distinguishing format type so you know if
it’s audio or braille.  
• Save Jump By setting with each book: The app will now remember how you had your Jump By button set when you close a book and will restore that setting
the next time you open it.
• Compatible with iOS 11-13

The release also includes internal updates and significant download reliability improvements.

The user guide has been updated too. It can be found here:

Comments Off on BARD Mobile for iOS version 1.3

Jaws 2020 February 2020 is now available

Hello folks, Jaws has released an update today. It was talked about on the most recent Freedom Scientific podcast.

Here are the notations from the updates page about this update.

Enhancements in JAWS 2020.2001.70 (February 2020)

The following is a list of improvements made between the December 2019 release and the February 2020 update.

To download the latest release, visit the Downloads web page.
You must be logged on as an administrator to install this software.

• Addressed issues using JAWS and Fusion with the new Microsoft Edge Chromium Browser released in January 2020. Notable fixes include reviewing text in
Edit Controls and the Address Bar as well as a possible loss of speech and braille output.
• Added a new JAWS Settings Center option called “Skip Blank Lines While Navigating” which is on by default when reading web pages and PDF documents. This
feature helps make reading more efficient as JAWS and Fusion ignores blank lines as you navigate using UP and DOWN ARROW. For those who prefer to hear
blank lines while navigating, open Settings Center (INSERT+6) and clear this check box. You can find this new option in the Web / HTML / PDF group under
• Changed the Highlight Tracking used in JAWS when navigating web pages or PDF documents with the Virtual Cursor from a Green Block to a Red Box to match
ZoomText and Fusion. To further customize the settings used for visually highlighting text as you navigate, open Settings Center and expand the Visual
Tracking group.
• When reading comments in Word documents, JAWS now also reads any reply comments. For instance, if you are focused on a comment that contains a reply,
pressing ALT+SHIFT+APOSTROPHE now reads both the original comment followed by the reply.
• When using Say All (INSERT+DOWN ARROW) to read a book in the Kindle for PC application, resolved a customer reported issue where JAWS or Fusion would
repeat the last line after reaching the end.
• Added a new Quick Settings option called “Blank Cell Announcement” for JAWS and Fusion that is available when using Excel. By default, when you encounter
empty cells as you navigate spreadsheets, you hear “blank” followed by the cell coordinates. Turn off this option if you only want to hear the coordinates
of empty cells, making speech less verbose as you navigate.
• Removed the “Microsoft Edge Browser Support” option from JAWS Settings Center as it is no longer needed. This control was required in order to use the
original Edge browser that is being removed from Windows 10 by Microsoft and replaced by the new Chromium version of Edge released in January 2020.
• Added the ability for JAWS and Fusion to properly recognize and report both Column Span and Row Span info in HTML tables where information might span
over 2 or more cells.
• For JAWS installations licensed using one of the new portal licenses that is tied to an email address, the status line of the JAWS window now only displays
the expiration date for the license. The About dialog box will display additional license information including the users email Address, expiration date,
and the serial number.
• Resolved a reported issue where a customer was not able to properly migrate settings from an earlier version.
• Addressed an issue where typing Contracted Braille very quickly using a Braille keyboard would sometimes cause text to appear in gibberish. This was
observed primarily when typing in Office applications and when exporting text from the Scratchpad on Focus displays into an open Office document.
• Resolved a long standing issue where attempting to select and delete multiple words in a row using a Braille keyboard was not working as expected in
Word and Outlook.
• When typing into a Word document using Contracted Braille, resolved an issue where immediately backspacing over a word and typing a replacement word
would result in duplicate text on the current line.
• Added support for 3 African Languages (Sotho, Xhosa, and Zulu) when using Convenient OCR in JAWS and Fusion.
• Resolved a reported issue with TreeViews in Eclipse not reading as expected using speech. Braille support for these controls will be addressed in a future
• All JAWS Flexible Web Rules created for 1 chromium based Browser will now apply for any other browser that also uses Chromium. For example, if you create
a Flexible Web Rule in Chrome, it will also apply for the new Microsoft Edge Chromium Browser.
• Resolved an issue where FSReader would become unresponsive when opening a very large DAISY book.
• Added a function for web application scripts that helps JAWS ignore the role=”application” attribute when a web author has used it incorrectly. This
was reported by ONCE in Spain and was related to SAP web-based applications.
• Resolved a reported issue from Once in Spain where opening very large messages in Outlook 365 with lots of nested levels was causing JAWS and Outlook
to stop responding.
• Added Color Settings options to the View menu in the Script Manager to help users who have issues viewing certain colors, for instance, red/green color

You can get Jaws up through the jaws updater or through their downloads page,. They talk about this update in the latest FS Podcast.

Comments Off on Jaws 2020 February 2020 is now available

RS Games has beta client of 64 bit Mac version of their client

RS Games reported through twitter that they now have a beta of their program for 64 bit Mac. There may be bugs in the program, and you’re encouraged to let them know of bugs. With any beta software, it could even be unstable. I don’t think this will be the case, howevber, its worth mentioning anyhow.

Nice going, RS Games! Hopefully, it can be fully developed and Mac players will be able to join the fun.

RS games web site

Find the client under the downloads section of the site.

RS Games, A 64 Bit Mac version is available on the Downloads section of http://rsgames.org. Note it is still in Beta and you may encounter bugs. 34 minutes ago, RS Games


Comments Off on RS Games has beta client of 64 bit Mac version of their client

Older Posts »

go to sections menu

navigation menu

go to sections menu