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



NLS BARD releases Bard Express 2.0.32

I’m a little late for this, but I think that this is important to pass along. This comes directly from the BARD mailing list and from BARD themselves.

I hope the following is of interest to those who use this utility.


BARD Express 2.0.32.68 Now Available

The National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled is pleased to announce the next version of BARD Express. Version 2.0.32.68 brings many features
to NLS patrons, providing new ways to discover even more of the national collection of books and magazines.

Here is the list of the new features available in this release:

Public or Private:

By choosing the Public option during installation, the new version of BARD Express can be installed on computers that are available to the public. This
means the program will not retain user credentials any time the program is closed, or is left idol for 5 minutes.

Choose the Private option during installation to have BARD Express remember your username and password so you don’t have to.

Choosing Your Preferred Format:

Tell BARD Express your preferred format. Have BARD Express display audio, braille, or both formats, it’s up to you. Change it at any time by opening the
Preferences menu, or by using the keyboard command Control+E.

Braille:

BARD Express can now search for, download, and copy braille books and magazines to an external storage device for your reading on the go.

Column Configuration:

There are 2 additional column types that can be found under Column Configuration: Format, and Date Added. Format lets you know if the book is braille or
audio. Date Added informs you when a title was added to BARD.

Back One View: Escape

You can now use the Escape key to return to a view you just came from. For example, perhaps you opened the book details page of a title that sounds interesting.
After reading the details, you decide that book is not for you. Press the Escape key to return to the list of Recently Added books and Magazines.

Manage Devices: Control+N

This is the new keyboard command assigned to open the view where you can manage external storage devices. In addition to the new keyboard command, this
dialog now provides a utility to eject the cartridge or thumb drive. The keyboard command to eject the drive is Alt+E while in the Manage Devices dialog.

Open the Download Status view: Control+T.

There is now a place to keep track of your downloads in progress. This is handy when you have multiple titles downloading at the same time.

Find: Control+F

This utility gives you even more control over finding which books and magazines you want. From within menus such as Recently Added Books and Magazines
for example, use the Find utility to sift through metadata to refine the type of material you want. After opening a view such as Recently Added Books and
Magazines, tab or shift-tab to locate the “Find” button and open it. As an alternative, use the keyboard command Control+F to open the Find dialog. This
feature works with any list of books such as your existing Bookshelf, Recently Added Books and Magazines, Most Popular Downloads, and after clicking a
specific subject under Browse By Subject. The various checkboxes in the Find dialog tells the program where to look for the text string you want to find.
The checkboxes include: Title, Author, Annotation, and Content Flags. They are checked by default, which means the program will sift through each of these
items to see if they contain your search criteria.

Reset Find utility to the default: Alt+E

This Reset button returns all options in the Find dialog to their defaults, and erases any text from the Search field.  Activating the Reset button will
result in the original book list repopulating. For example:

list of 6 items
1. Load the list of Most Popular Books.
2. Run the Find utility and type a search such as “Romance” without the quotes.
3. Choose the Okay button.
4. The resulting book list will likely be less than 50, assuming you have BARD Express to display 50 books at a time.
5. Open the Find utility again, and this time choose the Reset button.
6. The Find utility will close and focus will land in the original list of 50 books
list end

Filter utility: Alt+I

The Filter utility lets you choose to see only fiction, nonfiction, or music titles.

Bring up a list of books such as in Most Popular Downloads. Navigate this dialog and choose the “Filter” button. This dialog presents a few control types.

list of 4 items
• Use the “Item Type” combo box to choose either Books and Magazines, or Music.
• If Music is highlighted, you will see only music materials after clicking the Okay button.
• If Books And Magazines is highlighted in the “Book Type” combo box, use the set of radio buttons to choose fiction, nonfiction, or all if you want to
see both fiction and nonfiction titles in the same list.
• Click the Okay button to get the resulting list of books.
list end

Previous Downloads: Alt+V, P, P, Enter

Users of BARD Express now have the ability to access their list of previously downloaded books and magazines.

Under the View menu in the menu bar, choose Previous Downloads to see your list of previously downloaded titles.

Or, type the keyboard combination, Alt+V, P, P, and Enter

Sort: Alt+T

To try out the new keyboard command, navigate to a list of titles such as your Bookshelf, Wish List, Recently Added, Most Popular Downloads, or Browse
By Subject. After bringing up the “Sort” menu, explore the new ways you can sort the titles.

Subscribe to a book series or magazine: Alt+S

This keyboard command lets you subscribe to your favorite book series and magazines.

list of 4 items
• Locate a book series or magazine and open it so you see all the titles in that series or magazine publication.
• Choose the Subscribe button.
• BARD Express will say that you are now subscribed to the item.
• Choose Okay.
list end

Unsubscribe to a book series or magazine: Alt+U

list of 4 items
• Locate a book series or magazine and open it so you see all the titles in that series or magazine publication.
• To unsubscribe, choose the Unsubscribe button.
• BARD Express will say that you are now unsubscribed to the item.
• Choose Okay.
list end

Manage Subscriptions: Alt+V, S, S, Enter

An alternative to unsubscribing to a magazine or book series as described above, consider managing all your subscriptions from one place.

list of 4 items
• Open the View menu in the menu bar, Alt+V
• Scroll through this menu until you find the item named Subscriptions, and choose it. Alternatively, use the keyboard command listed above.
• Open the item you wish to unsubscribe to.
• Choose the Unsubscribe button as described above.
list end

Here’s how to download the software.

If you’re already using BARD Express:

list of 4 items
1. After running the program, open the Help menu and choose, “Check for Updates.”
2. If you’re not already running the latest version of BARD Express, the program will notify you that a new version is available.
3. Choose the option to download the software. BARD Express will download the new version and start the installation process.
4. Follow the prompts to complete the installation.
list end

Alternatively, you can download the software from:

https://nlsbardpractice.loc.gov/LOC_02/BARDExpress.html

Note, this version supports Windows 7.0 and above.

Sincerely,

The BARD Support Team

Comments (0)

Join AT Guys on January 13th for an informal demo of a brand new display

Blind Bargains is asking people to join them for a demo of a brand new braille display which is 360 cells and a multi line display. The article Join Us Monday for a Canute Multiline E-Reader Live Demo and Q&A has all of the details of the presentation including dial in options.

Since this gets retweeted and resent one week after posting, it is important to note that its January 10th today, and when it gets retweeted, the event will have already passed. You may still be able to get a recording if one is available, I’m unclear if this is the case. I’m passing this along to subscribers in case they want to participate in this event.

It sounds facinating! Have you ever heard of this?

Comments (0)

Yahoo forcing random password resets … am I the only one supporting someone having trouble?

This is more of a curiosity thing than anything else, but I have a hunch from what I’m told that this has been going on for a number of years now.

The service AT&T has email service. When we started with this service it was known as SBC Yahoo! Through the years, some have gotten straight att.net addresses although the web site is a dot com for everything else.

In this world, we’ve got many types of people with varying degrees of capability in the technology world. We also know that Yahoo! email has been breached and that came to light three years after the fact.

When you authenticate as an SBC Yahoo! customer using mail, you go to the Yahoo! mail web site.

The authentication is your full email address I.E. jrimer2002@sbcglobal.net which belongs to me. It also asks for your password, which is the account password for that address.

Here’s the problem. I was able to switch the account to a different interface two weeks or so ago. But for awhile now, ATT Yahoo! account holders need to reset their password every two weeks.

My grandmother has had an SBC Yahoo account for a number of years, and has never experienced this until recently. I never experienced it, although I don’t use my SBC address anymore, in favor of my accounts on my domain and my gmail. I understand this has been going on for a couple of years now, and enough is enough! The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) folks changed the guidelines where passwords are not needing to be changed as often, as long as there is not a valid reason for the passwords to be reset.

My grandmother is older than most on this blog, reads facebook, comments on things, plays games, checks email, and does some shopping on amazon for things she needs. Nobody except ATT Yahoo! services have prompted her to change her password.

Here is my hunch based on what I know:

  • passwords may not be as secure as they should
  • company never sent email to my knowledge about said policy
  • too much time was spent on hold trying to get the issue resolved and
  • frustration as to why no email can be accessed and wondering why the account was locked out.

I’ve never seen any of this behavior with any company before. Unless there was a valid reason, I’ve never changed my password, even after all of these breaches. The fact my biological data is potentially out there now, its game over for me! I know this, and I’ve been working hard to make sure I don’t use the same password everywhere and thats why I have Lastpass, the last password you’ll ever need.

I’m thinking that this is targeted because of the potential weakness of the passwords given to me, yet my password may not be all that secure over there anyhow. I’m thinking it may be the same password i use somewhere else.

So ATT, what gives? Why are you making an elderly person who has no knowledge of why and what to do about the issue if you don’t tell them in writing or email or phone?

If this issue persists, I’ll have no choice but to help her either set up a gmail, or even set up an address on the domain purchased for her and hosted through me. Then, I’ll either have to show her that web mail, or set it up through Tunderbird.

For someone who has so much in the way of notifying people and companies, I’m not going to be impressed with having to have her do all of this, and I can hopefully have mail forwarded to the new address in the meantime, but this is enough! Was it the weak passwords? You can check the hashes without knowing the password, and if you notice its weak, reach out! There is no need to make someone change their password every two weaks without probable cause. I know nobody else who is going through this experience, and I’ve not been tipped off to any articles saying there is a problem of this scope.

If anyone else is experiencing this, I’d love to hear from you. Please get in touch!

Comments (2)

jaws 2020 has been released

According to this earlier posting on Jaws 2020 I was confused and decided to be caucious on the ordeal of the release.

Seeing its near the holidays, I decided to call Vispero to find out the information so I know how to proceed.

Jaws 2020 is released as of the press release I blogged about. I didn’t get a letter as discussed in a podcast, but it also seemed like it was available.

I know we’re not receiving CD’s or DVD’s this year, so if you want it, you’ll need to go get it.

I’m happy I decided to go get the information as I’d like to use 2020 as it seems to have fixed some things with Google docs which I use.

I’m hopeful that the upgrade will be taking bplace either this week or next week, for me, but I thought since I was thinking about it, I’ll post this and make it clear that the update is out.

Comments Off on jaws 2020 has been released

Phil Raistrick, Founder of En-Vision America, Dies at 78

Blind Bargains is reporting the sad news of the founder of En-Vision America passing away on November 20, 2019. I knew of the ID Mate and I also knew of the Script Talk programs they run. I don’t think my pharmacy that I use has Script Talk available, but I hope to use it one day.

I just wanted to take this opportunity of passing this news along.

To read more about the company or any links, please go to the article directly.

Comments Off on Phil Raistrick, Founder of En-Vision America, Dies at 78

Bard express throws errors, fixes in the works

Hello all,

I just saw the following from BARD support today. For those who use the BARD express and have it installed currently, you aren’t effected. Any new users may receive a waring about it being from an unknown publisher.

This is because the certificate expired on December 2nd. NLS is going to precure a new cert and will release an update soon.

Here is the official email notice from NLS directly.


Hello List Subscribers,

The software that certifies BARD Express as “safe to install” expired on Monday, December 2, 2019. The expiration of this certificate does not affect current
users. It does, however, impact patrons who install BARD Express 1.2.4.72 on or after December 2, as they will be warned that the software is from an unknown
publisher. The software is safe to install.

NLS expects to procure a new software certificate in the coming weeks, at which point an update to BARD Express will be released, and users will no longer
receive this warning.

We apologize for any inconvenience.

The BARD Support Team


NLS should be ashamed of themselves letting the cert expire and not replacing it on a timely manner. It is too dangerous today to have software that is not signed as required now. I hope the fix comes sooner than later.

While this is specialized, we have to hold all companies that provide software responsible to fix their software whether its an expiring cert, or if it is a bug that effects functionality.

This can’t be good practice, and NLS is run by the government so I don’t expect any better.

If I hear any news, I’ll be sure to pass it along.

Comments Off on Bard express throws errors, fixes in the works

IOS 13.2 now out, lots fixed, a few new bugs

IOS 13.2 is now out. Apple vis has the details of lots of fixes, but 4 potential bugs that could have you holding off if you use braille. Spome may be device specific, so your milage will vary. Here is the Apple vis post on IOS 13.2 for you to peruse. Happy updating!

Comments Off on IOS 13.2 now out, lots fixed, a few new bugs

Jaws 2020 now or soon to be released

Hi all, I was going through and updating podcasts, and the freedom scientific podcast was released and I will be sure to check it out. It said that Jaws 2020 would be released ssoon. According to this Freedom Scientific news page it looks like its released today but I’m unclear. There are a lot in the show notes, so I’m not going to bore you with every little detail of the update. Lots of fixes though and some that might apply to you.

I can’t wait to see what might apply to me and to those that utalize it. I hope that this post is of value, and please email me or post a comment to tell me if this is an official release date, or release notes prior to the release which should be any day since the notes on the podcast say the end of the month.

Thanks for reading!

Comments Off on Jaws 2020 now or soon to be released

The New Features, Changes, Improvements, and Bugs in macOS Catalina for Blind and Low Vision Users

A little bit of Mac news coming across our desk while perusing Apple vis. This blog post with the same article title has all of the details.

What I really like are the functions that remind me of Dragon during voice dictation. That is awesome! I tried Dragon with Jaws many years ago, but its been a long time.

There are some bugs in regards to playing podcasts, and another bug, but a lot of enhancements with this update.

Give it time, update at your convenience, and feel free to report any bugs to the AppleVis community so they’re aware of it and to Apple so they can fix it.

Do let me know if you find this info of value.

Comments Off on The New Features, Changes, Improvements, and Bugs in macOS Catalina for Blind and Low Vision Users

Apple Releases iOS and iPadOS 13.1.2 With Camera, iCloud Backup, Flashlight, Shortcuts Fixes and More

On the heals of 13.1.1, we’ve got more fixes for those who use IOS 13. This Apple Vis post goes in to detail in regards to what has been fixed. From what I’m reading, there may not be any accessibility fixes, but the release notes are general by the looks of it. I want to pass this along, so you know things are out.

Comments Off on Apple Releases iOS and iPadOS 13.1.2 With Camera, iCloud Backup, Flashlight, Shortcuts Fixes and More

Why the fate of online accessibility may rest with a Domino’s Pizza lawsuit

I think I’ve covered this before, but this seems to be an update. I know the person involved although I’ve not talked to him in a long time. We’ll be watching to see what happens, and of course, we’ll see if there is pushback.

The pizza chain is asking the Supreme Court to review a case that could push business websites to better serve people with disabilities.

Source: Why the fate of online accessibility may rest with a Domino’s Pizza lawsuit

Comments Off on Why the fate of online accessibility may rest with a Domino’s Pizza lawsuit

IOS 13.1.1 has been released

Hi folks,

On keeping up to date as best we can, IOS 13.1.1 fixes some issues including battery drainage faster than usual. My IOS 12.4.2 sure seems not to have fixed that, I noticed it when updating to 12.4.1. In fact, my phone seems to not hold a charge at all by the way its acting, so I may have to take it to the store to have them do a battery check. Apple Vis has more detail. Stay safe.

Comments Off on IOS 13.1.1 has been released

Jaws crashes somehow, restarts jaws, and gets new update

Well, I know its a little dramatic, but this is how it went. I went to read an article, and hitting the key for the client to open the web page crashed Jaws. After getting JFW back up, it lets me know of the update.

This is the September update. I know I rebooted yesterday as I do each week, but its OK.

From the Jaws web page, here’s whats new for September 2019.

Enhancements in JAWS 2019.1909.28 (September 2019)

The following is a list of improvements made in JAWS 2019 between the August 2019 update and the September 2019 update.

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

• For single-user perpetual licenses, JAWS, Fusion, and ZoomText 2019 now check to see if an update to your license is available when the software first
starts. For instance, you recently purchased or renewed a Software Maintenance Agreement (SMA). You will then have the option to update the license on
your local computer. This allows you to install major releases in the future you are licensed to run without having to go through the authorization process
after the install.
• While browsing the internet, JAWS will no longer announce “Clickable” by default as you move to various content.
• You should no longer hear the message “Press JAWS Key+ALT+R to hear descriptive text” as you navigate form controls and certain other elements on the
web.
• Resolved a reported issue where JAWS and Word would become unresponsive when attempting to edit a long comment.
• By default in Word and Outlook, JAWS will no longer announce “Alt SHIFT F10 to adjust Auto Correction” when you move to something that was auto corrected
previously.
• The AutoCorrect Detection option, previously only available in the Quick Settings for Word, can now also be changed in the Quick Settings for Outlook
(INSERT+V).
• JAWS and Fusion will no longer gather and announce the count of all the objects, misspellings, grammatical errors, and so on when a document is opened
in Word. This will enable documents to load much faster, including very large documents containing a lot of these items. You can always press INSERT+F1
for an overview of what the document contains.
• If the Table Display option located under the Braille group in Quick Settings is set to Current Row or Current Column, addressed a reported issue where
the current row or column was not being shown on the braille display as expected while navigating tables in Java applications.
• Resolved translation issues with the Hungarian Liblouis braille table.

Comments Off on Jaws crashes somehow, restarts jaws, and gets new update

Smart cities could give the visually impaired a new outlook on urban life — GCN

Can you imagine what type of a thing this could do? I just sent this off to Los Angeles Metro, and I could definitely see some benefits to that. I’m glad I saw this, because it could be of value to talk about.

Internet-connected devices and artificial intelligence can improve services and the quality of life for visually impaired smart city residents.

Source: Smart cities could give the visually impaired a new outlook on urban life — GCN

Comments Off on Smart cities could give the visually impaired a new outlook on urban life — GCN

Apple releases IOS 13.1 to the public

Today, Apple has released IOS 13.1 to phones and pads. This apple vis post from the 21st will cover fixes and regressions. As they are a small team, you can let them know of your experience by commenting in the post linked. I give you this post as a service for those who don’t follow Apple Vis directly.

Comments Off on Apple releases IOS 13.1 to the public

Have an apple watch? Watch OS is now out for you to get

Today, I’ve found an article via Apple Vis talking about Watch OS version 6. I do not have this product, therefore, I can’t comment on it. I can tell you that the changes are quite detailed in this post, and I’m providing it to people so they may see if the upgrade is worth it, and instructions are given to update it.

Headings include:

  • An App Store on your Wrist
  • New Health Apps
  • Some Siri Changes
  • A New Way to Keep Track of the Time
  • Other Changes
  • And What About Accessibility?
  • How to Update to watchOS 6

These headings are at level 3.

Apple Releases watchOS 6; Bringing New and Enhanced Apps, New Health Features, a Dedicated App Store, Siri Improvements, and Much More

Comments Off on Have an apple watch? Watch OS is now out for you to get

Want to learn more about IOS 13 and accessibility?

I read this post last night from Apple Vis and it talks about the accessibility changes in IOS 13.

Yiou’ll want to check out podcasts 1258-1262 in their series to date that covers IOS 13.

Passing this along for those who would like to see it.

Comments Off on Want to learn more about IOS 13 and accessibility?

First Public Beta of JAWS 2020 Posted with Improved OCR, Form Control Handling, More

For those who love to do beta software like I do, you might be interested in this. Lots of very interesting changes coming in the upcoming version I have never beta tested Jaws before, I did beta test Window-Eyes back in the day from the very beginning. If you’d like to read more, please go over to the blind bargains article entitled: First Public Beta of JAWS 2020 Posted with Improved OCR, Form Control Handling, More and read all the notations for yourself.

I hope you all find this of value, and do let me know what you think of these changes in Jaws. The comment boards await you. Thanks for reading!

Comments Off on First Public Beta of JAWS 2020 Posted with Improved OCR, Form Control Handling, More

Have Braille Blaster? You’ve now got an update

I just decided to check out Braille Blaster, and I found the blind bargains post that covers details on a release. Lots of different things including an experimental graphics option for inserting images for certain embossers. I’m also sending this info to someone who uses the program.

While I’ve not used Braille Blaster, I think that people should be notified where possible of this and they can decide what they use, update, and the like.

Thoughts on using this software? Let me know how you enjoy or not enjoy it. Opinions are interesting.

Comments Off on Have Braille Blaster? You’ve now got an update

Breaking: AIRA now free for calls of Five Minutes or Less

I saw this article on blind bargains, I had to do a doubletake. Michael Hingson, a representative of IRA, spoke at the Accessibility Advisory Committee in our last meeting in regards to IRA. Either a meeting back, or two meetings back, Paul Schroeder also spoke as a public commenter in regards to IRA. I talked briefly to both gentleman about IRA and what I’ve heard amongst the community here on twitter and elsewhere.

I was on Facebook today, why, I don’t know. Perusing the posts, was the announcement from Michael Hingson himself, in regards to the free offering that IRA is offering. I’ve personally never used the service, and this is definitely a welcome change for those who can’t afford long term services.

I’m going to link to the blind bargains post, and I’ll look to utalize it to do basic mail stuff to determine what I need to keep, and what can be thrown away so when I do get help, they can only deal with what I know I needto have help with.

Blind Bargains: Breaking: AIRA now free for calls of Five Minutes or Less August 14, 2019

I’ll look at getting the app, and see what I think. The demo at Metro had some issues due to connectivity issues but for the most part, it went well. A video was also shared.

Thanks Michael and Paul for letting Los Angeles Metro know about the service, I hope that we can have a partnership with IRA where we can utalize the service in some way while traveling, so we can get assistance with finding bus stops, train departures, and the like.

Comments Off on Breaking: AIRA now free for calls of Five Minutes or Less

Older Posts »

go to sections menu


navigation menu

go to sections menu