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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
trends.

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.

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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

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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
menu.
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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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Apple Adding Customizable People Detection Capability to LiDAR-Equipped iPhones and iPad Pro with Upcoming Releases of iOS 14.2 and iPadOS 14.2

Apple Vis is having a blog post about the up coming IOS 14.2 which is not available to us yet. I read this blog post which i’m using for my title and this sounds quite interesting. Too bad I don’t have a 12, as I needed a phone earlier this year as my phone pretty much died. Want to read more about the new potential features of IOS 14.2 to soon be released? Apple Adding Customizable People Detection Capability to LiDAR-Equipped iPhones and iPad Pro with Upcoming Releases of iOS 14.2 and iPadOS 14.2 is the blog over at apple vis, and this should get interesting.

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IOS 14.1 is now available bringing fixes and potential new bugs

I’ve just been notified that IOS 14.1 is now out and it fixes some things that were mentioned in 14’s release. However, this release also may bring new bugs. I’ll be lookking to upgrade when it is convenient for me, but i want to get the word out that this is now available.

To learn more, please check the apple vis blog: Apple Releases iOS 14.1 and iPadOS 14.1 with VoiceOver Fixes and Support for New iPhone Models and thanks for reading!

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A petition on lowering the cost of an iphone for the disabled? Let’s discuss

Hello folks,

I was perusing the applevis web site and while I saw this post some days ago, I never really read it. The post I’m going to link to is a petition asking Apple to lower the price of their devices for people with disabilities.

While the Iphone S.E. 2020 is roughly $400 compared to other models of phones, some of the commenters did talk about buying the phone through a monthly plan.

My family invested in two new phones this year just before Covid-19 hit. Do you know what we did? We put the cost of the phones on the current bill, and the bill is getting paid.

There should be no reason why we as a disabled community should ask for the lowering of the price of the phone, especially when we can already use several methods such as the apple care program or the carrier plan to pay for the use of the device.

I do understand the one commenter who talked about developing countries who struggle with basic necessities. While the point is spot on, and even Blind Access Journal’s Darrell Shandrow even said no to this. He has been promoting petitions that would be fair for accessibility change, and without even reading the petion on the initial post to be linked, this just tells me that the person posting just wants another handout.

The problem with the blind community as a whole is that people want free handouts. If I can’t afford it, I just can’t have it!

I once never went to Fresh Books, and said “I can’t afford it, but I want you to give me free service because I’m blind, and oh BTW, your service isn’t accessible.” No! I didn’t do this. I took the chalenge to see if I could do it, then got a Freshbooks person on the phone to discuss how we can make their product better.

Because of my willingness to report these issues, and a company who now ports at least 5 million and counting customers, this company showed me that they want this to work for everyone and I know that blind people are working with Freshbooks on a daily basis.

This petition sickens me and I don’t have to read it to know that it smells bad. No, I’m not calling it a scam. I don’t want to go that far. I do understand that people can’t afford a product or service you want, but you can’t expect companies to bend backwards for you because you’re disabled.

The only reason why we have NLS Bard is because the government is providing it as a service to us. All we have to do is show proof of reading disability through a doctor or other health professional who is qualified. That is all. That’s why I’m a Learning Ally member, because my family paid the money and I have a life time membership there.

I’m sure that I’ll once again pay for Freshbooks, even though I had paid them before. I’ll need to do that as the free service has come to an end.

If you want to read the apple vis forum topic about this petition, you may. Here is the forum topic: A petition asking Apple to consider discounts for people with disabilities. for you to check out. Feel free to register and comment on this. Registration is free, and if you can’t do it, contact one of the admins and we’ll be happy to give you a hand. Thanks so much for reading.

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Time to get your M-braille On

After some time away, M-braille is back and working for those of us who like it. I like it because i can hear what I’ve typed. While I’ve used braille screen input, my hands prefer the ease of m-braille and what it has to offer.

I know a lot of people were wondering what was going on, and nobody knew until now. I saw the update to m-braille yesterday in my update list. I’m now using the iphone 11, and it works great on it with the new update and IOS 14.0.1.

I thought i’d take this opportunity of letting people know that it seems to be working now, so go get it and enjoy!

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Yahoo! Groups to close on December 15, 2020

I can’t believe this news, although some of us have used this and Topica for years. Topica closed their free service with no email to us free users, and now they brand themselves as one of the paid options for mail delivery.

Now, I can dispose of my email lists page, as those lsists I was trying to promote for subscribers to join.

Yahoo! has this post on their help pages and I as well as Shaun will be talking about our experiences with these services on a future edition of the technology podcast.

We’re sad that these services have gone, but the sad fact is, that companys need to make money. Providing a free service is nice, but between the abuse through the years, and the decline as the announcement I read had said, it may not be that effective anymore. Topica didn’t let us list owners know, and they monitored that list.

Now, to go to work on that page, i suppose.

Have you used the service? Want to send me a file with your experiences between either service? You can use dropbox, google drive, sendspace, your own web server, or even my sendspace dropbox and I’ll have it played. You can go in to as much or little detail as you wish.

If you put contact info, make sure its something you want to be given out, and if you want to be identified, put in a name you want to be used if you use a name other than your own. You don’t have to even put any contact info or name if you don’t want, the choice is yours.

The page has a question and answer format which pops out and is accessible.

Thanks for reading, and make it a great day.

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Here is some Google news for you guys … Accessibility news with Docs and more

I finally got around to reading a post on Blind Bargains talking about a Google announcement. Reading the lengthy list of articles around the web came across this Tech Crunch article Google Docs is now easier for visually impaired users to navigate which is cool. Now if they only made it work with Firefox and Jaws? That is completely broken, and for me to utalize that, I have to copy the URL then open chrome to get it to work. Freedom Scientific was not interested in having this fixed. While I have Chrome and know how to use it, I shouldn’t be forced to change browsers just to get it to work.

To be fair though, Anchor and firefox is somewhat broken and so is Mixcloud. I’ve got a mixcloud account but forget to upload there. I used to do that all the time, but have been lackluster at that. I figure if I upload to Anchor using Chrome, while I’m doing that, I should upload to the other.

Besides that article which made me want to blog about Google, here is Blind Bargains September 30 rundown on what this event was and all of the very interesting headlines. Maybe Googlers may find this resource of interest. Thanks for reading!

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NFB newsline 3.0 with KNFB basic included

Hello Folks, just received the following Email today through NFB. I’m passing this along for everyone, and I hope that it is of value. While I have the full KNFB reader app, as well as others, this may be of value for those who don’t have anything and need something like this and are subscribed to newsline.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE.

NFB-NEWSLINE Mobile 3.0 with KNFB Reader Basic Released

Free iOS App Now Available

The National Federation of the Blind has released version 3.0 of NFB-NEWSLINE Mobile to the Apple App Store. The brand new, redesigned app not only allows subscribers to access all of the content available through NFB-NEWSLINE from their iPhone, iPad, or other iOS device, but includes a free basic version of the KNFB Reader mobile app. NFB-NEWSLINE Mobile includes these features and much more:

KNFB Reader Basic, a free version of KNFB Reader with the core functions necessary to quickly scan any printed text – just point, shoot, and read!

The ability to share articles from publications in the breaking news category to social media channels.

Multiple customization options to organize, save, and manage both NFB-NEWSLINE content and documents scanned with KNFB Reader Basic.

NFB-NEWSLINE Mobile 3.0 is fully accessible with VoiceOver so that users can hear content read aloud or read it in Braille with a connected refreshable Braille display or notetaker, making the app ideal for blind and deafblind users.

“We are pleased and proud that NFB-NEWSLINE Mobile 3.0 – a technology solution created by blind people for blind people – is now a one-stop destination for access to all kinds of information, including printed text,” said Mark Riccobono, President of the National Federation of the Blind. “Having instant access to the information we need wherever we go helps all blind and deafblind people live the lives we want.”

David DeNotaris, who participated in beta testing of the app, said: “As a husband/father, entrepreneur and elected school board director, access to print information is crucial! NFB-NEWSLINE provides me with fast, reliable and accessible local, state, national and international breaking news and information at my fingertips! At a recent school board meeting, a document was distributed in print with updated guidance that needed to be considered prior to a vote later in the evening. I used my NFB-NEWSLINE app to quickly and discreetly snap a picture and listen to the document through my earbuds, take some notes, ask questions and make an informed decision. NFB-NEWSLINE helps me stay connected, empowering me to contribute on our local school board and compete in our global economy, allowing me to fit in, not sit out. Thank you NFB-NEWSLINE team, you are #DifferenceMakers!”

For more information about the NFB-NEWSLINE service and the new mobile app, please visit nfb.org/programs-services/nfb-newsline.


The tech blog is passing this on for people to know about, and I hope it is of value. Thanks so much for reading!

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Apple updates 1 week later

After the release of IOS, watch and Mac updates, the respective platforms are updated. This apple vis post covers all of what is new. I was tipped off by perusing the forums over on Dice World and it was mentioned there.

We are unaware of whether it fixes any of the blindness issues found in IOS 14 just a week ago.

For now, I plan on staying on IOS 13.7 unless my phone is ready for an update. This is my only device, and I am not in any hurry to update it at this time.

Have you found anything of interest with IOS 14.01? Want to submit your own updates to the tech podcast? Please feel free to do so, and I’ll be sure to include it.

You can submit audio via Dropbox Transfer or We Transfer or any other service that allows you to share files. You can send me a link to my tech email address. If you have other contact info, you may use that.

Check out the apple vis post for any update to whether blindness related issues are fixed. Thanks for reading!

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APPLE watch 7

I didn’t see this when perusing Apple Vis on Wednesday, and am seeing it now as I peruse. Info on Apple watch 7 can be found. Since I’m not an apple watch user, I do not have experience with this, so someone else will have to let the blog know what they think. Enjoy!

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Braille Note Touch gets updated, signing in to Google is possible

Hello folks,

Checking in with Blind Bargains this morning, I found something that might be of interest if you use the Braille Note plus note taker. It has gotten updated to sign in to Google using the O-Auth protocol as well as reading PDF files directly by extracting the text from the file.

I know that a lot of PDF files are images, so how would that work if that was the case? It doesn’t say.

To read more, here’s the blind bargains post: Software update for the BrailleNote Touch Plus adds pdf support, sign in with google, and more is the article, and I hope that this is of value.

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Jaws August Edition now out

The August Edition of Jaws is now out. Most of the following has been covered in the upcoming podcast for the tech podcast, I did miss just a couple of items.


Enhancements in JAWS 2020.2008.24 (August 2020)
The following is a list of improvements made between the June 2020 release and the August 2020 update.
To download the latest release, visit the
Downloads web page.
You must be logged on as an administrator to install this software.

• Once you have installed this August 2020 update, the English language versions will now include notification of official releases of new versions such
as the 2021 release coming out later this year. When you check for updates using the English versions of JAWS, ZoomText, and Fusion, major updates will
now also appear in the list once they are released. If your license is authorized to run the new version, the update can be installed. Otherwise, the update
is shown along with a message stating that a license renewal is required for use of this new version to work in other than 40 minute mode.
• Resolved an issue reading Tables in Microsoft Word 365 where JAWS was reporting “table” at the beginning of each row as you navigated by line.
• Resolved an issue with navigating tables in Chrome reported by Google where cells containing the ColSpan (column span) attribute were causing issues
when navigating by cell.
• Resolved an issue in Microsoft Word where text that was previously hidden and then unhidden, was not being read using speech.
• In Chrome and Edge, resolved an issue where selecting text from Right to Left was very sluggish in edit controls.
• Resolved an issue where HTML controls that started with punctuation were not reading as expected.
• Resolved an issue in Internet Explorer reported by SSA where JAWS was not honoring the language tags in ARIA live regions.
• Updated the Help Topic for Microsoft Edge to reflect support based on the latest Edge Chromium browser.
• Resolved an issue where JAWS was overly verbose when tabbing to a Video Player on web pages in Chrome and Firefox.
• Resolved a reported issue where Mouse Echo in Excel was too verbose, especially when moving the mouse across empty cells. These improvements make mouse
navigation with Fusion much better.
• When using Google Docs with Chrome, resolved an issue reported by Google where pressing the ALT key to access the Docs menu would sometimes unexpectedly
open the Chrome menu instead.
• Posted a TSN on the support pages for JAWS and Fusion customers using the latest version of Skype from Microsoft. A problem has been introduced with
this update which causes our software to stop reading correctly. The work around is to activate the menu with the ALT key, and then press ESC to leave
the menu and return to Skype. The issue has been reported to Microsoft and we anticipate it will be resolved in the near future.
• Resolved reported issues in Google Sheets where accurate column or row headings were not always being reported as expected while navigating.
• Resolved a reported issue in Libre Office where JAWS and Fusion would fail to read every other line after opening a document that was previously edited
and saved.
• Resolved issues reading prior messages in Zoom meetings and webinars using the JAWS commands, CTRL+1 through 0.
• Updated scripts and Help files provided by Corel Corp with changes to improve support for WordPerfect.
• Resolved problems where JAWS Personalized Web settings, accessed in Quick Settings (INSERT+V), were not saving and loading correctly. Personalized Web
Settings allow you to customize JAWS settings for a particular website. For example, if you have a particular page where you do not want JAWS to Automatically
read, you can make that change apply only for the specific domain rather than global.
• Added updated Braille display drivers tested and provided by Humanware to support new Braille devices shipping as of August 2020.
• Resolved an issue where JAWS was not reading the ALT Text for Graphics in both Chrome and Edge. Previously, JAWS was reading the Title.
• In Chrome and Edge, JAWS now relies on the “layout-guess” attribute to determine when a table is a layout or data table. Previously, JAWS could make
mistakes when the browser’s zoom level was very high, such as 200%.
• Resolved a reported issue in Outlook where pressing CTRL+E to access the Search option on the ribbon, would not work as expected when the JAWS Virtual
Ribbons were enabled.
• Resolved an issue in Word 365 where JAWS would announce “misspelled” on each character instead of when you first encounter the misspelling when JAWS
is configured to detect spelling errors as you navigate.
• Resolved an issue where navigating to www.kmiz.com using Chrome was causing a hang in JAWS as it was attempting to process this site.
• Resolved an issue with the new Braille Viewer where “Computer Braille” was being announced under certain circumstances when navigating in Outlook.
• Added a Topic to the Help System to include all Layered Keystrokes. Previously, only the Table Layer commands were included.
• Added 8 Dot Braille Translation Table for Dutch.


For complete information about how to get your update, go to this jaws page for complete details.

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Blind bargains puts up newsy things, there may be something for everyone

Good day everyone,

Blind Bargains usually runs a weekly podcast. There are two different categories of news, one for blindness related and assistive stuff, and some other tech news. Some may be in the Security Landscape.

This post is a couple of days old and I’m now seeing it. If you’re on either podcast, and you find sonething you want to talk about or me for the security box, feel free to send me the article in question.

This is the Blind Bargains post: BBQ In Review: A pile of news to smooth things over until our next podcast is the article. The last podcast as you remember featured me in the middle of the program. I’ve not yet checked out the program in full, but I need to.

If there is anything in this list, please let me know. I look forward in hearing from you!

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Firefox upgrades, fixes in the works and a great fix for Jaws users

Hello everyone,

I was having issues accessing some sites including this blog’s posting page after upgrading to 78.0.1 some time ago.

I got interested in what was new as I saw it pop up just now as I wanted to go check something out and saw that firefox was updated.

Here’s what is fixed in version 79.

  • Various security fixes.
  • Several crashes while using a screen reader were fixed, including a frequently encountered crash when using the JAWS screen reader.
  • Firefox Developer Tools received significant fixes allowing screen reader users to benefit from some of the tools that were previously inaccessible.
  • SVG title and desc elements (labels and descriptions) are now correctly exposed to assistive technology products such as screen readers.

Want to read the entire release notes? Please head on over to the firefox release notes page for the full details.

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