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

IOS 15 is now released, lots of things to be aware of

AppleVis has a great writeup found by the article title Apple Releases iOS 15 and iPadOS 15; Bringing Focus Modes, Live Text, and Enhancements to Multitasking, Notifications, FaceTime, Safari, Privacy, and More that covers podcasts, blog posts for the blind and deaf blind, as well as Ipad specifics.

I did read the post The Accessibility Bugs Introduced and Resolved in iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 for Blind and Low Vision Users which details the bugs AppleVis knows about that might impact users. The one that might be of concern details the wallet and multiple items and only having access to the first one, but the others may be of concern in the critical section if you use those options.

Under moderate, there are 9 potential issues including Voice Over not speaking apps while in the app switcher. It does it for a couple of them, but more than so many, it has problems. I try only to have two or three open at any given time, but this one does concern me.

If you use a braille display, the 2nd item in the list may be of importance.

Need to edit an alarm? You’ll probably have to delete it and recreate it, says the post. I personally don’t do this often but knowing this is annoying but at least we can work around it. I’ve not used alarms much since the Pandemic, and mine are pretty set anyway.

There are 12 different items under minor that might be of concern for people. I’m not sure what might be of importance to you, I didn’t see anything that might be a problem for me but we’ll see.

There are other bugs that have been reported but have not been seen that is also part of this post.

I’m only seeing this blog post titled What’s New in iOS 15 Accessibility for Blind and DeafBlind Users and as I write my own blog post, I’ll have to give this a perusal to see what is up that might be of value.

The main blog post linked above talks about how to update your IOS device, and I’ll probably do it after all of my meetings for the week conclude. I’d rather be stable on a version that I don’t have to worry about a lot of things while I deal with TSB, PSAC Wednesday night and the board meeting on Thursday.

Comments (0)

A new BARD express is out

In the better late than never department, although I’m not too far late.

This should already be out already, go to BARD for the link. I have forgotten about this address for email lists, I’m not way too late for it though.

BARD Express will be released the week of May 31st. This version will be supported by Windows 8.1 through 10.X operating systems. Screen readers supporting this latest update of BARD Express are JAWS for Windows 2018 to the most current version and NVDA 2017.1 to the most current version.


  • Within the Installation Type section, Private is now the default choice, and Public is the second choice, which will help keep users from mistakenly installing BARD Express on a shared
  • computer.

  • The font size of the Getting Started guide has been increased to 16 point for better viewing.
  • The Previous Downloads list can now be organized by Type, Subject, or Author, just like the Bookshelf.
  • Previous Downloads, Recently Added, and Most Popular Downloads will now display 100 titles at a time by default.
  • The keyboard shortcut Control + S can now be used to quickly navigate to the Search Field from within Search, the Book Details screen, or from anywhere within BARD Express (excluding the
  • menu bar).

  • All shortcut key combinations will be spoken by the screen reader and will be shown on braille displays. Focus now lands on the first book or magazine title in both the Bookshelf and Wish
  • List.

  • The Okay button is now the default action any time the Enter key is pressed from within the Library Information dialog.
  • A Cancel button has been created to enable a search to be canceled from within the Search menu. Pressing the Escape key will also cancel a search.
  • The Author label is now announced when a user tabs through the Book Details. If a user clicks on the name of an author, BARD Express will bring up a list of books on BARD by that author.
  • While in the Filter utility, a user can tap the letter S to jump directly into the Subject List.
  • Preferences that have been changed by users will carry over to newer versions of BARD Express when updating via the auto-updater.
  • Verbosity is reduced when NVDA speaks the status of checkboxes. NVDA now says, “Checkbox checked,” if a user has upgraded the screen reader to version 2020.4.
  • Screen readers now speak a notification when switching between Standard and Advanced modes when using the keyboard command Control+L.

Bug fixes:

  • JAWS now correctly reports the status of the radio buttons in the Filter utility when first letter navigation is used to move from All to Fiction and Nonfiction.
  • Subscription status is now correctly reported by screen readers in Browse by Series and in Browse Magazines.

This should be found on NLS’s BARD page when you log in, or through its auto updater. Since I don’t use it, I don’t know how to access it, but check its menus. The email came from the BARD support list which I’m a member.

Comments (0)

Firefox 87 has just been installed here

Hello folks,

Just running firefox as I wanted to do something and it popped up a notice that installed firefox 87/. Tjhere are some accessibility changes as well as security changes.

POne of the things they highlight is that they now work with the Mac’s Voiceover program. I don’t know if it works with IOS, I have not tried. Be that as it may, I think this is important for those who want a choice in browser.

My limited use of the Mac (2017) indicated that I could use Safari and Chrome and both seemed to work. Now you can add a third browser if you’re using the Mac.

To read all of the release notes from Mozilla, head on over to this link to read them and let me know what interested you in these notes.

Thanks so much for reading, and make it a great day!

Comments (0)

Hims announces new note taker

I saw this briefly either on Thursday or Friday when looking for something specific on blind bargains, but I didn’t get a chance to read it till now. Hims looks like they’ve been busy with a 32-cell version of their note taker. It succeeds the polaris, and this model looks like its got some awesome stuff.

Want to learn more? Breaking: Hims Announces BrailleSense 6 Notetaker at #CSUNATC21 was written by JJ over at blind bargains, so check it out if it interests you.

Comments (0)

BARD and Older iOS Devices

The following was sent to the BARD email list. The JRN is passing this along for those who are not on this list. Please contact NLS or your library for more information about the following announcement. It is between the ruler markers.

With regret, we write to confirm that BARD no longer supports iPhones, iPads, and iPod Touch devices running any version of iOS earlier than 11.0. NLS staff worked hard to find a way around this situation, but after an exhaustive search, we have found none. We realize that, especially in these difficult times, this poses a very real hardship for some of you, since the only solution for continuing to use BARD Mobile is to purchase a newer device. You can find a list of all devices that run iOS 11 at this apple support page.

Any newer iOS device will also work. Since the current version of iOS is 14, some of these devices are quite inexpensive.

There are many low-cost Android devices and Fire tablets, also known as Kindle Fires, that can run BARD Mobile as well. If you opt for one of these, make sure that the Android device is running Android OS 7 or later, or that the Fire is running Fire OS 7 or later, which means eighth generation or later.

If replacing your iOS device is not an option for you, we can suggest a couple of alternatives:

  1. If you have access to a computer, you can download books and transfer them to a flash drive or cartridge for use with the free NLS Digital Talking Book Player available from your regional NLS library. If your computer is running Windows 7 or 10, BARD Express makes downloading books and copying them to flash drives particularly easy. Follow the BARD Express link on the BARD main page to learn more.
  2. If you don’t have access to a computer, you can ask your regional library to mail cartridges to you with books of your choosing that you can play on that same player. If you like, your library can copy books from a series or multiple books by the same author to a single cartridge.

For more information regarding either of these options, please contact your regional NLS library. You can obtain contact information by following the link “Find Your Library” at The NLOS main web page.

We apologize for any inconvenience or hardship this situation has created for you and hope you will find a way to continue enjoying BARD.


The BARD Support Team

We hope this information is of value to users, and thanks for reading!

Comments (0)

Blind Bargains report that the ID mate is being discontinued

Hello folks,

Its never great to share a little bit of sad news, and I’ve complated on buying this device but with mhy phone, it isn’t necessarily necessary because there are bar code readers as part of apps like Seeing AI and maybe others.

The post I’m linking to is 3 days old, and I look from time to time to see if any news of interest could be passed along to my readers. Joe does a great job with deceminating the information in their post.

The item The I.D. Mate Is Being Discontinued shoould be read from Blind Bargain’s Joe Steinkamp for complete details.

I know that people may not have the necessary means to get a device whether smart or this device. I’m happy that they were able to offer a payment plan for the product, but they aren’t offering that anymore due to the announcement linked here.

I hope that this information is of value to people, and thanks for reading.

P.S. A telephone number for the company is at the bottom of the post linked within.

Comments (0)

Another Jaws update for January, minor changes

Jaws got another update in January, as I had an issue in which I needed to restart Jaws. I’ve not gotten a chance to look until now, but these changes are minor.

Enhancements in JAWS 2021.2012.57 (January 19, 2021)

This update addresses a few key issues that were reported shortly after the January 2021 release.
To download the latest release, visit the Downloads web page.

You must be logged on as an administrator to install this software.

  • • A new feature was introduced earlier this month, designed to let a user change the volume of JAWS speaking or the system volume itself using a layered
    keystroke: INSERT+SPACE, V followed by J for JAWS or S for System. Since this change, Eloquence users reported hearing Ticks when reading and typing, especially
    around the letter O. We also had reports of the volume randomly changing when reading documents or web pages. These issues are now resolved. ,
  • • Resolved an issue where pressing INSERT+ALT+SPACEBAR was not starting the Voice Assistant in JAWS or Fusion.
  • • The JAWS voice commands to speak faster or slower now adjusts the speech in larger increments.
  • • Addressed an issue where JAWS was not reading table headings in Excel.
  • • Added a new JAWS Dictionary entry for “DocuSign.”
  • • When spell checking a document in Word, resolved an issue where JAWS was not reading as expected when navigating by word through the text containing
    the error. ,
  • • Resolved an issue where attachments were not being reported correctly in the Danish version of Outlook 2019.
  • • In the Italian version of JAWS, addressed an issue where the keystrokes to access the Braille and Text Viewer layer, as well as the Volume layer, were
    not working as expected.

For complete details, links and more, Go on over to this Jaws 2021 web page and thanks for reading!

Comments (0)

Accessible Apps releases new version of Chicken Nugget with updated features

I’m a few days behind on this, but Blind Bargains is reporting that Chicken Nugget got a major update with new features and some changes in some keystrokes. I used to use Chicken Nuget until it stopped working.

The apps that were used for the blind are inclusive to Chicken Nuget, TW Blue and Qwitter Client. Qwitter Client has not been heard from in quite awhile, and when Chicken Nuget didn’t get authenticated after a twitter change, a lot of us abandoned Nugget in favor of TW Blue.

While I have used all of the apps in the above paragraph, I can’t say which one I like better since they all pretty much work the same. To read more from Blind Bargains, click on: It’s Back! Accessible Apps releases Chicken Nugget version 4.71, bringing AI image descriptions, new sounds, and More and feel free to comment. Hope you all enjoy the great news of this once popular app.

Comments (0)

IOS 14.4 is out, bad news for braille readers

I’m saddened at the lack of responsibility of Apple when it comes to braille support. While I don’t have a braille device to use with IOS, there are a lot of people that use braille on all of their devices because they need to. The voice support is awesome, and yes, there could be bugs in this release that could degrade the usability of the device, but that comes with the territory.

Apple Vis talks about a braille display made by APH, who advises not to update to IOS 14.4 until they resolve the issue. While apple vis is a small team, braille users who rely on IOS need to tell apple how important it is they fix these issues.

For complete details on IOS 14.4 and what is fixed and broken for the disabled, [Updated With Important Warning for Braille Display Users] Apple Releases iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4; Bringing a New Direct Touch Setting for VoiceOver Users and thanks for reading. Do make it a great day!

Comments (0)

BARD message of interest, January 9, 2021

Bard maintenance notice

The following comes from Bard’s web site, and may be of interest to patrons of BARD.

I went up to look up something, and saw this.

Alert Message

NLS is planning routine maintenance that will begin 11:00 PM, Eastern Standard Time (EST), Tuesday, January 12, lasting 17 hours or less, with the expectation that BARD will resume normal operation by 4:00 p.m. EST on Wednesday, January 13. The NLS main public and Network Library Services websites, Voyager catalog, Text-Only catalog searches, and ThatAllMayRead website will remain available. This maintenance work includes our long-expected move of BARD to a cloud environment. Once operation resumes, patrons will experience no functional change to BARD, but these users accessing the system via a high-speed Internet connections may notice faster download speeds. Don Olson

I hope this message may be of benefit to those using BARD, and thanks for reading!

Comments (0)

Enhancements in JAWS 2021.2012.48 (January 2021)

Jaws just got released with a new update for January. Below is information on that update with links to the original source and the downloads page.

The following is a list of improvements made between the initial 2021 release and the January 2021 update.
To download the latest release, visit the Downloads web page. You must be logged on as an administrator to install this software.

New Layered Keystrokes for Adjusting JAWS and System Volume

Many users working with conferencing applications like Zoom and Teams have raised the issue of JAWS volume blocking their ability to hear a meeting or
webinar while trying to navigate in other applications. To solve this issue, we have introduced a new feature that lets you easily adjust the volume of
JAWS independently from the volume in other applications, such as Zoom, Teams, Skype, YouTube, or other apps that play audio.
JAWS and Fusion now offer a set of layered keystrokes for quickly adjusting volume. To access this layer, press INSERT+SPACEBAR, followed by V. Next, press
J to control the volume of JAWS speech or S to control the main system volume. After pressing J or S, use the ARROW keys to raise or lower the volume in
small increments, or PAGE UP or PAGE DOWN to raise or lower the volume in larger increments. Press ESC to exit the layer when finished. Volume changes
remain in effect until you later adjust them using the same commands.
Note: When adjusting volume with the ARROW keys or PAGE UP and PAGE DOWN, the lowest level that can be set is 10 percent.

New Voice Assistant Option for Selecting the Microphone

You now have the option to choose which microphone the Voice Assistant uses when listening for commands. By designating a different microphone for this
feature than what is being used for other applications such as Teams or Zoom, it allows you to mute those applications during meetings and still use the
Voice Assistant with JAWS, ZoomText, or Fusion. You can find the Microphone input device combo box under the Voice Assistant group in Settings Center.

Support for Native Math Equations in Microsoft Word

JAWS and Fusion now supports reading math content in Word documents inserted through the Office ribbon without the need for additional extensions. While
you can still use the MathType extension from Design Science to create math content, you now have the option to also use the built-in math creation functionality
in Word. Whether math content was inserted in a document using the MathType extension or directly through the Insert tab of the ribbon, when you encounter
a math equation or formula, JAWS reads the problem and then says “Math Content.” You can then press INSERT+SPACEBAR followed by EQUALS to open the JAWS
Math Viewer so you can study the equation in greater detail.
Once the Math Viewer is opened, you can navigate individual parts of an equation, such as variables, terms, coefficients, or exponents. As you navigate
to the various components, pressing DOWN ARROW lets you drill down into and navigate within that level of the equation using LEFT and RIGHT ARROW. Pressing
UP ARROW moves you back to the prior level. In addition, if you have a Braille display and JAWS is set to United States English or Unified English Braille
Grade 1 or Grade 2, math equations or formulas are displayed in Nemeth Braille. Pressing ESC closes the Math Viewer and return to the document.

Other Changes

• To accommodate the new Volume layer keystrokes, the layered command to access the Braille and Text Viewer layer is now INSERT+SPACEBAR, B.
• When using the Convenient OCR feature to recognize the current control, screen, or window, you now have the option to use the Microsoft OCR engine as
this may provide better OCR results for onscreen images than OmniPage, which is the default. For example, if you press INSERT+SPACEBAR, followed by O,
and then W to recognize the graphical window in an application and you find the results less than satisfactory, open Settings Center, select the Use Microsoft
OCR For Screen Recognitions check box, and then try the OCR again.
• You can now have both the Avoid speech cut off when using Bluetooth headphones or some sound cards and Lower audio volume of programs while JAWS speaks
options enabled at the same time in Settings Center. Previously, these two features could not be used together.
• When using the mouse to select text in Outlook messages, resolved a long standing issue where pressing CTRL+C was not copying the selected text to the
Clipboard as expected. This only worked if text was selected using the keyboard.
• Resolved issues where JAWS and Fusion were not reading as expected when tabbing through links in Outlook messages.
• In response to customer feedback, improved the description of the Speak Window Titles for Read-Only Messages Automatically Quick Settings option.
• JAWS no longer says “no selection” while navigating through slides while editing a PowerPoint presentation.
• In Excel, you can now select a range of cells on the current worksheet similar to how you select a block of text using a PlaceMarker in Word. To do this
in Excel, press INSERT+WINDOWS+K to set a cell marker on the cell where you want to begin the selection, move to another location on the same worksheet,
and then press INSERT+SPACEBAR followed by M to select the cells between the mark and the current location.
• Resolved an issue where the Windows 10 Mail app would close unexpectedly when replying to a forwarded message and you navigate the message contents using
• Addressed a reported issue where JAWS was not always correctly reading content inside of an HTML span tag in some situations.
• JAWS now continuously announces autocomplete information in the web browser address bar as you type.
• Addressed a reported issue where JAWS was not reading properly in the edit window of the TextPad application on certain systems with higher DPI display
• Addressed an issue with Libre Office Writer where JAWS focus was not in the document when the application was first opened.
• Added an updated 64-bit braille display driver from Handy Tech and also added a new driver from Eurobraille for their Esys and Iris braille displays.
• Resolved an intermittent issue where JAWS would unexpectedly close when attempting to connect to a braille display over Bluetooth.
• Improved the user experience when using JAWS with the Visual Studio Code application. This includes turning off the Virtual PC Cursor by default, eliminating
the announcement of ARIA regions, and removing the announcement of a long URL when the program is launched.

We took this information from the Whats new page for Jaws. We hope that you find this information of inteerest.

Comments (0)

Weather apps for IOS

I posted this on a site called Apple Vis, and I’m sure I’ll hear from them, but if you aren’t over there, I’ll post here so it gets some attention. I’m in no rush to switch, just looking around.

Hello folks,

I’m writing today as I’ve thought about this long and hard. I was recommended Weather Radio which I’ve enjoyed. I had written them about some issues which they confirmed via voiceover this year. Sadly, when I wrote through the app to find out about the status of the bug which has to do with reading the alerts and the constant back reading it does, I was informed that the app was removed from the app store.

I got to thinking about what app to use as I liked weather radio and the way it gave alerts. I did try and podcasted about Weather Underground but I agree with the presenter, it doesn’t feel that great, and the alerts are vague. It took me a bit to set up locations, the current, plus two others I have people in.

Then I got to looking at Dark Sky which is a paid app. I’m not opposed for paying for an app, but the developer of this app says Apple. I remember reading on this site from someone from this app that was going to make changes, which were then implemented. I also saw something here called Carrot Weather which I only read here.

What I’d like to do is find something similar to weather radio where I can customize the alerts I get like weather radio did. Weather Underground doesn’t seem to cut it, the alerts they do have are good, and the forecast is nice, but am just looking to see what people are using.

I would greatly appreciate if someone can assist me in this endeavor so I can make the best choice. Thanks for reading!

I’m using an Iphone 11 gotten at the beginning of 2020, latest IOS 14.3 and use voice over exclusively with no braille.

Comments (0)

IOS and Mac have updates, time to get your update on

Apple Vis is reporting that IOS and Mac have updates that are released today. Here is the IOS post on IOS.

It has notations in that post about full fixes across the landscape of IOS, and you can read it and decide what isimportant to you.

Next, the mac, TV, and other information. This blog post entitled: Apple Releases macOS Big Sur 11.1, watchOS 7.2, and tvOS 14.3 is the blog post.

I hope that this information is of value to you, and make it a great day!

Comments (0)

TikTok making it possible to skip videos that may cause seizures?

The BBC is reporting that TikTok is going to roll out a feature that will allow users to skip videos that may cause seizures in people who have epilepsy. While I definitely applause the video sharing service for this move which is probably needed in the worst way, the company behind TikTok needs to get their privacy straight first. Here is a little bit what the article is saying.

TikTok has announced a new feature that will allow people with photosensitive epilepsy to skip videos that could trigger seizures.
It comes a few months after it began labelling videos featuring effects such as flashing lights.
The Skip All option, to be rolled out in the next few weeks, will allow users to set their profile to not show these videos.

An epilepsy charity said it hoped other social-media sites would follow suit.

Users who come across a photosensitive video will receive a notification inviting them to skip all similar videos in future.

TikTok said it wanted to make the platform “accessible for everyone”.
“Given the visual nature of our platform, we’re beginning this work with a series of photosensitivity features,” it added.

I wonder how this technology works? I like the idea, but don’t you think they should get their privacy and security taken care of at the same time they’re doing something good to a community that so badly needs technology in place so they can enjoy the videos that the sighted and other disabled communities take for granted?

The UK’s Epilepsy Society has previously raised concerns with TikTok about harmful content, after being alerted to strobe video filters and seizure-challenge

The challenge encouraged young people to mimic the effects of a seizure on camera, to the song Lucid Dreams, by rapper Juice WRLD, who died following a
seizure last year.

The trend was widely condemned by epilepsy charities and described as highly offensive.
Epilepsy Society acting head of external affairs Nicola Swanborough said of the new feature: “It is extremely encouraging to see a platform with such a
significant following as TikTok introducing algorithms to detect photosensitive content and protect people with epilepsy.”
And she hoped the move would “turn up the heat on other big players in the industry to take the safeguarding of its users with epilepsy seriously”.

I do hope the move goes well, but fixing your PR first should be your priority.

Have thoughts? Why not comment. The boards await you.

Comments (0)

IOS 14.2.1 for Iphone 12

Perusing through Apple Vis, they are reporting that IOS 14.2.1 is available for Iphone 12 users. It fixes three specific items that are specific to iphone 12 use. If you use the iphone 12, you might want to take a look at this blog post, and see if you’re effected. Then if you are, instructions on how to upgrade are given.

Apple Releases iOS 14.2.1 for iPhone 12

Comments (0)

Jaws 2021 was released on November 12, 2020

Before I begin, let me tell you that the following text comes directly from the what’s new in Jaws 2021 web page. This page may have links to other information of interest including previous releases, download information and the like.

I’m providing the text here for convenience, but also provided a link to the release notes so you can go download your copy. I hope that this is of interest to you.

JAWS 2021 Features

Picture Smart Improvements

Introduced in JAWS and Fusion 2019, Picture Smart allows you to choose a photo and submit it to be analyzed. A description of the image is then displayed
in the Results Viewer. To use Picture Smart, press INSERT+SPACEBAR, followed by P to activate the Picture Smart layer. You can then press A to describe
a photo acquired from the PEARL camera or a flatbed scanner, F to describe a selected image file in Windows Explorer, C to describe the current control,
or B to describe an image on the Windows Clipboard.
JAWS and Fusion 2021 continues to expand this feature by offering several improvements including:

• Describing images on web pages: If focused on an image that is part of a web page, such as a photo on Facebook, pressing INSERT+SPACEBAR, P followed
by C now describes the photo.
• Submitting images to multiple services to help improve accuracy: By default, images are submitted to Microsoft for analyzing. However, the Results Viewer
now contains a More Results link which submits the image again to additional services for analyzing and displays an updated description. You can also add
SHIFT to a Picture Smart command to use multiple services. For example, INSERT+SPACEBAR, P followed by SHIFT+F, SHIFT+C, or SHIFT+B.
• Using Picture Smart in multiple languages: If you are using JAWS or Fusion in a language other than English and you attempt to use Picture Smart, JAWS
and Fusion will use machine translation to display descriptions in the particular language. You can also manually choose from 38 languages for displaying
results, configurable using the new Picture Smart Language option in Settings Center.

Please note that these changes, especially the machine translation for other languages, is still experimental, so things may not always work as expected.
Results will improve as we continue refining this functionality.
For more information on Picture Smart, press INSERT+SPACEBAR, P followed by QUESTION MARK or refer to the Picture Smart topic in the JAWS help.

OCR Text Directly into a Word Document

The Convenient OCR (Optical Character Recognition) feature has been enhanced to support sending recognized text directly to Word. Convenient OCR enables
you to access images containing text that is part of the image and displays this information in the Results Viewer. This includes onscreen images such
as the graphical setup screen for an application, an inaccessible PDF opened in Adobe Reader, a currently selected image file in Windows Explorer, or a
document acquired by the PEARL camera or a flatbed scanner.
If Microsoft Office is installed on your system, you can now:

• Use the new command INSERT+SPACEBAR, O followed by R to perform OCR on a selected image file in File Explorer or the Desktop and place the recognized
text directly into a Word document. You can also press the APPLICATIONS key and choose Convenient OCR to Word with JAWS or Fusion from the context menu.
• Use the new Open in Word link that appears at the bottom of the Results Viewer once the OCR process is complete.

For more information about using Convenient OCR, press INSERT+SPACEBAR, O followed by QUESTION MARK or refer to the Convenient OCR topic in the JAWS help.

New Voice Assistant to Help with Various JAWS Commands and Features

The new Voice Assistant provides a way to interact with JAWS in Windows 10 using speech input. Supported languages include English, Dutch, German, Spanish,
and French. Ask it to help you out with various JAWS features using natural speech. This means that the same action can be performed by more than one similar
phrase instead of a single predefined voice command. For instance, to launch JAWS Settings Center, you could say “Settings Center” or “change settings.”
Unlike keyboard shortcuts, which can be hard to remember, natural voice commands are an easier way to interact with the JAWS software. Using voice input
to control JAWS can also benefit users with certain conditions which prevent them from using a keyboard effectively.
The JAWS Voice Assistant uses your computer’s internal microphone or you can talk to it using an external microphone or headset. To tell the Voice Assistant
to begin listening for a specific command, there are three options:

• Press the key combination, INSERT+ALT+SPACEBAR.
• Speak a specific wake word which alerts the software to begin listening for a voice command, similar to using an Alexa or Google Home device. The wake
word is “Sharky.” Speak this word followed by a specific JAWS command, such as, “Sharky, list links.”

Note: The wake word is not available if you are using a Bluetooth microphone. In this case, you must use the keystroke before speaking the voice command.

• From the JAWS main window, press ALT+U to open the Utilities menu, expand the Voice Assistant submenu, and then select Talk to JAWS.

When the Voice Assistant starts listening for a voice command, a short audio indicator plays, and a visual indicator is displayed. After hearing a voice
command, a different audio indicator plays until the command is processed. After processing, the visual indicator is removed, a different, short, audio
indicator plays, and the desired JAWS action is performed.
If the Voice Assistant does not hear anything, the message, “Sorry, I didn’t hear anything” is spoken. If the Voice Assistant does not understand or if
the voice command is not supported, the message, “Sorry, I didn’t catch that” is spoken.
Note: Since all voice recognition processing is performed over the Internet using Microsoft Services in the cloud, there will be a slight delay depending
on your connection. Be patient and experiment with different commands. This is a new technology being added to our software products and will continue
to change and evolve over time. We welcome your suggestions and feedback.
To turn off the Voice Assistant or change other options, such as whether or not JAWS listens for the wake word or to turn off the sounds, open the JAWS
Utilities menu, expand the Voice Assistant submenu, and then select Settings.
You can also press INSERT+ALT+SPACEBAR twice quickly to immediately toggle the wake word on or off. When the wake word is off, you must always press INSERT+ALT+SPACEBAR
first to tell JAWS to begin listening for a command.
To learn more and to view a full list of voice commands for specific actions, say “Sharky, help.” You can also select Getting Started from the Voice Assistant
Here are a few commands you can try to help you get started. Remember to say “Sharky” or press INSERT+ALT+SPACEBAR before speaking each command.

• Help
• Talk faster
• Talk slower
• Change settings
• Command search
• What time is it
• List links
• List headings
• List spelling errors
• Tell me a joke

Improved Microsoft Teams Support

• If you press ENTER on a document in the Files list which opens the inaccessible document viewer, you can now press ESC to return to the files list. You
are also prompted to use the SHIFT+F10 context menu and open the document in the desktop application, which is the suggested method.
• You can now press ALT+1 through 5 to go directly to the first five tab pages.
• Pressing ALT+LEFT ARROW now automatically activates the back button from anywhere in Teams.
• You can now press ALT+H to hang up a call in progress.
• You can now press ALT+T to set focus to the Teams tree view, if visible. Note that it is usually only visible if CTRL+3 has been pressed to show the
teams and channels list. The screen should also be maximized to ensure this control is visible.
• Pressing ALT+R now raises or lowers your hand in a meeting.

Teams also allows you to show meetings and calls in separate windows with fewer controls. To do this, press CTRL+COMMA to open Preferences and select the
check box labeled: “Turn on new meeting experience (New meetings and calls will open in separate windows. Requires restarting Teams.)” While JAWS specific
keystrokes for meetings and calls will not work in this split mode, Microsoft has their own set of keystrokes you can review by pressing CTRL+PERIOD.

New Keystroke for Setting Punctuation Level

You can now press INSERT+SHIFT+2 on the number row (CAPS LOCK+SHIFT+2 in the Laptop keyboard layout) to cycle through the four punctuation levels which
controls how much punctuation JAWS and Fusion speak while reading. The available levels are None, Some, Most, and All. Similar to toggling Screen Echo
(INSERT+S) or Typing Echo (INSERT+2), the punctuation level will revert back to the previous setting when JAWS or Fusion is restarted. To permanently set
a punctuation level, use the JAWS Startup Wizard or Settings Center.
Note: Due to issues with some Dell keyboards when using the Laptop layout, you may need to use the RIGHT SHIFT key to perform this keystroke.

Announce Most Recent Windows Notification

You can now perform the new layered command INSERT+SPACEBAR followed by N to have JAWS repeat the last notification that was spoken. Notifications include
an incoming Teams or Skype call, a recent Zoom message, a new email in Outlook, and more. If you use a Focus braille display, you can also press RIGHT
SHIFT+N (DOTS 1-3-4-5). To view and manage all your Windows notifications, use the Microsoft keystroke WINDOWS Key+A.

FS Support Tool for Gathering System Information

The FS Support Tool is a new utility that collects information about your computer and sends a report to our Technical Support and Software Development
teams to help us troubleshoot any issues you may be experiencing while running JAWS, ZoomText, or Fusion. You will typically be asked to run this utility
during a technical support session if it is determined that additional details about your system are needed. Some information that is collected includes:

• System information such as processor, RAM, operating system, architecture, and more
• Event logs
• Version of Adobe Reader (if installed)
• Versions of all installed web browsers
• Information on installed Microsoft Office applications
• Crash dumps
• Installation logs
• Currently running system processes
• User settings

The FS Support Tool can be started from the Help menu in JAWS, or the Support menu in ZoomText or Fusion and guides you through collecting and submitting
a report.

Announce Accessible Notification Events

By default, JAWS now automatically announces Windows generated accessible event notifications in both speech and braille. These types of notifications
are found in a variety of places including business bars in Microsoft Office. If you do not want to hear these announcements, open Settings Center and
clear the Enable Accessible Notification Events check box.

Automatic Message Reading in Outlook 365

When you open a message from the Inbox in Outlook 365, JAWS and Fusion will now immediately begin reading the message contents without reading the title
or header information. Currently, messages are not automatically read if you ALT+TAB to an open message, or you press ENTER on a message in the Inbox that
is already open.
To further customize how messages are read, open Quick Settings (INSERT+V) while in Outlook, search for “message,” and configure any of the resulting options.
A few items you might want to change include:

• Message Header Field with Message Announcement: Turn this option on if you want JAWS and Fusion to announce the sender’s email address and the subject
of the message when a message opens or gains focus.
• Messages Automatically Read: Turn this option off if you do not want JAWS and Fusion to automatically read messages when they are opened.
• Speak Window Titles For Read-only Messages Automatically: Turn this option on if you want JAWS and Fusion to announce the title of the message window
when a message opens or gains focus.

General Changes

• Fixed a long-standing issue in File Explorer where JAWS would often not announce the correct number of files in the current folder.
• JAWS now properly reads as expected in Skype when moving focus back to the app withouth the need to first press ALT and ESC.
• Added a new Settings Center and Quick Settings option called “Pan Text by Paragraph” which is off by default. When enabled, JAWS sends an entire paragraph
to the braille display instead of only the current line as you navigate web pages and documents. This can help improve the flow of reading when panning
through text as you are less likely to encounter large amounts of empty space on the display when you reach the end of a line. You should now only encounter
blank space if you reach the end of a paragraph, and you would move to the start of the next paragraph when panning again.
• While in a Zoom meeting, you can now press CTRL+SHIFT+T to find out who is currently talking. Zoom recently added this option with CTRL+2 but we were
previously using it for a JAWS feature.
• The default graphics verbosity for JAWS is now to read only labeled graphics as it is no longer as important for JAWS to read graphics that are not labeled.
If you encounter a situation where you need to read unlabeled graphics, or you do not want to hear graphics at all, open Settings Center and search for
Graphics Verbosity.
• When using certain keyboards or headsets with multimedia controls, you can now press the layered command INSERT+SPACEBAR, followed by the GRAVE ACCENT
key to toggle volume notification announcements. These announcements are off by default.
• Removed the announcement of Tutor Messages in Microsoft Office Ribbons as they were very verbose when attempting to navigate.
• Increased the size of the Speech History Buffer to allow for 500 strings rather than just 50 when you press INSERT+SPACE, H to review the most recent
strings sent to the synthesizer.
• Updated braille drivers provided by Papenmeire.

That’s all folks! I hope that this is of value, and thanks for checking out the blog as usual.

Comments (0)

Apple releases Mac version 11

Applevis posts about mac version 11. I’m not a mac user, but maybe some people who visit this blog will find this post of value. I did learn the Mac some years ago but my knowledge of it has faded, so I can’t be of help here. The New Features, Changes, Improvements, and Bugs in macOS 11 Big Sur for Blind and Low Vision Users comes from Apple Vis and I hope it is of value to you.

Comments (0)

Do you think the Internet is for everyone? Graphic, graphic, unlabeled buttons, and more still rule the Internet today

I started on the Internet way back in the early 90s before graphics became a thing for the Internet. I’m sure that there could have been small little icons made for Dos that could’ve appeared, but it wasn’t a big deal. Links were numbered, and it was easy to navigate.

Fast forward to the windows age, and graphics started. Using a screen reader myself as I do every day, I admire an article like this. We covered the Dominos case and I know the person named in the article that filed that suit.

In this wired piece entitled The Internet Is for Everyone, Right? Not With a Screen Reader is a great article. The subheading says:

Blind users have been fighting for a more inclusive web for over 20 years. Are lawsuits like the one against Domino’s going to make a difference?

I’m unsure at this time if this suit will have implications on whether the Internet will change. This goes on way beyond ordering a pizza.

This article talks about someone finding out that clothing stores are closed, and that everything is going to go online. That is all well and good if the images are labeled correctly so we know what they are and can make an informed decision on what we’re buying.

When I last baught a fanny pack, I asked my person who comes to assist me to look at the various options where he can see the pictures. I told him which ones based on description I didn’t want, and we picked one and I made the purchase through amazon. While Amazon is usually pretty good with their buttons to buy and the like, there are still sites tha don’t do this.

When I learned how to code, I learned how I can make my images have alt text or alternitive text. Take the following code taken from MENVI’s web site.

I have the image tag, the path to the file, and alternitive text in a piece of code. It’s described below.

The first tag is the center tag to tell the browser that I want to center the logo on to the page. Then the image tag and the pointer to the file. After that, I have “alt equals” and in quotation marks a small description of the image. This is a sample, and it can be used as a sample for you to describe your images.

If you want to see the code, contact me, as I tried to get it in place but it didn’t show the code based on how I understand how to do this. I’ll be happy to share it!

Buttons are harder, I use a standard button with the input type for submitting and resetting the form. I have sample code to make images clickable links, if I were to do that, but I’d rather be simple.

One of the things I had trouble with was my edit boxes weren’t working right. I would tab around and nothing would read. I was sent information about titles within edit boxes, and now I use them within the forms of my site.

As you can see, I have even taken the steps as a blind web master to make sure I learn how this is done as I don’t want to have a site I can’t even use. It doesn’t benefit me or my visitors, especially through MENVI. MENVI has blind and sighted people, and I need to make it accessible for all.

Have you read this wired article and what have you thought of it? Have any other ideas if you’ve looked at my site(s) that I can learn? I’d love to hear from you, so do contact me, register and comment, and make that voice be heard. We’re all in this together, let the learning begin!Read the article, because it’ll be an eye opener on how the technology works. Don’t be afraid to close your eyes and picture what is written.

Comments (0)

Here is some apple news, IOS 14.2, Watch OS 7.1 and more

Hello folks,

In a duel release which was posted later in the afternoon or early evening since I looked at Apple Vis last, indicate that IOS 14.2 and watch OS 7.1 have all been released.

As previously blogged both on this blog and elsewhere on the Internet, this release does confirm the new detect people feature which sounds quite interesting. For that, you must have the latest IOS with the latest Iphone 12 that came out this year.

Besides that, IOS release notes indicate a bunch of emogies as well as notations from AppleVis in regards to fixes for voice over and braille users. One of the fixes was dealing with the last page of apps and going to the app library which was not supposed to happen. Read the IOS post for more.

In the watch OS post linked above, they talk about TVOS and other releases including the Mac which got an update for supplemental releases. Please view the post there to see what may impact you.

I’ll see if I can find time within the coming days to update my phone to IOS 14.2 and we’ll see what happens.

Thanks so much for reading!

Comments (0)

Apple announces a one more thing event for November 10th

Just posted today an apple event for November 10th where a new possible Mac computer, headphones, and anything else might be announced at this one more thing event next Tuesday. To read Apple Vis’s post on this, Apple Announces “One More Thing” Event for 10 November is the blog post, nothing in phones though. Let us see what happens with this one.

Comments (0)

Older Posts »

go to sections menu

navigation menu

go to sections menu