From: Access Info [mailto:Access.Info@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] Sent: Tuesday, February 01, 2011 10:04 AM Access Technology Newsletter (February 1, 2011) Accessibility Software Links Below is a list of links that will guide you to information concerning the latest available versions of accessibility software. The list is incomplete and others can be added upon request. • AiSquared Inc. 800-859-0270 • ZoomText 9.1 • ZoomText Express • Freedom Scientific 800-444-4443 • JAWS 12.0 • MAGic 11.0 • OpenBook 9.0 • GW Micro 260-489-3671 • Window Eyes 7.2 • Kurzweil Educational systems 800-894-5374 • Kurzweil 1000 v12 • Serotek Corporation 612-246-4818 • System Access ## The Benefits of a Global Position System (GPS) "It is better to travel hopefully than to arrive." Mike Mae Sendero Group Global Positioning System (GPS) is especially beneficial to individuals who are blind. Sighted persons can pick up a map and figure out where things are or how to get somewhere. It is only fair and reasonable that those individuals who are blind and who aspire to become independent be given the opportunity to develop skill in the use of this valuable technology as it may lead to complete independence and employment. GPS is a very important tool since it liberates blind individuals from dependence on others and serves to increase their self esteem. Knowing where you are and what is around you gives a person a tremendous psychological advantage over not knowing. The GPS system allows individuals who are blind to become adventurous and, in the process, opens enumerable doors to the outside world. The benefits of having a GPS far outweigh the costs involved. However, a blind individual’s mobility skills should also be taken into account before purchasing a GPS system. GPS is no substitute for good mobility skills. And an individual should be able to justify how a GPS system will be beneficial before making that expenditure. ## Featured Technology This Article was taken from the NFB Access blog, Written by the Access Technology Team, Edited by Clara Van Gerven. The Book Port Plus 12/6/2010 The Book Port Plus is one of the latest additions to an ever-expanding line of portable digital talking book players. The device is a small, flat, rectangular unit about the size of a simple candy bar type cell phone. A numeric keypad comprised of round, dome-shaped number buttons takes up most of the front face of the unit. Arrow keys flank a large, round enter key. Four buttons surround the arrow keys for opening the menu system, navigating to specific pages and headings in DAISY titles, managing bookmarks, and choosing which media is to be played. Buttons also exist for power/sleep timer, and recording functionality. Those familiar with the Plextalk Pocket will recognize the Book Port Plus as both units are based on the same hardware. One major difference between these two units is that APH has written the software for Book Port Plus and has included human-recorded speech for system prompts. Book Port Plus's software also changes the behavior of some keys as you use number keys on the keypad to navigate through sections of a DAISY book. The Book Port Plus does not contain internal memory. Therefore, books and other content must be stored on Secure Digital type cards. The device can also be connected to USB flash drives or the NLS digital talking book cartridge using a small cable that comes with the unit. A wireless networking chip is built into the Book Port Plus, and future enhancements will utilize it. Supported file types include wave, MP3, unprotected Windows Media Audio, and music CDs through an external CD drive. Books from audible.com can also be played, as well as DAISY (Digital Accessible Information System) talking books. Protected DAISY titles from the National Library Service for the Blind (NLS) and Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic are also supported. One of the unique features of the Book Port Plus is its recording capabilities. As with most other DTB players on the market, recordings of varying lengths can be made on the unit in a number of formats. Both the Plextalk Pocket and the Book Port Plus provide the capability to create a DAISY book from recordings. One can do this as the recording is occurring by pressing a button to add a heading, or headings can be added later by editing the recording after the fact. Once this has been done, a DAISY 2.02 type book can be created from the recording. Book Port Plus also has the ability to detect spaces between tracks when importing cassette tapes, records, or music from an external source. This allows the device to separate these tracks into multiple files at the time of recording. Note taking capabilities have been recently added to Book Port Plus. Though one would not want to write a great deal of information, this function might be ideal for entering simple addresses, phone numbers, or quick notes regarding a phone call while traveling. Text can be entered either using A, B, C entry, pressing the number key that corresponds to a specific letter, or through the use of thumb Braille. Thumb Braille uses number keys on the keypad to mimic dots in the Braille cell. 1, 4, and 7 serve as Braille dots 1, 2, and 3. Dots 4, 5, and 6 are represented by number keys 3, 6, and 9. Keys 2, 5, 8, and 0 represent multi dot combinations for dots that are not close together on the cell, and thus would be difficult to enter with one thumb. For example, dots 1 and 3 are represented by the number 2, and the number 5 represents dots 1, 2, and 3 held simultaneously. Similarly, the number 8 represents dots 4-6, and 0 represents 4, 5, and 6. Brailling in this way can only be done using uncontracted Braille. The editor also allows you to review files in formats like HTML and plain text. ## Introducing Transformer! The next generation of portable electronic magnifiers! Experience the most flexible and portable solution for reading, writing and viewing magnified images in the classroom, at work or at home. Key Features: • Weighs less than 3 pounds • Magnification up to 30x • Auto install software • USB connectivity for laptop/computer • Battery operated - up to 4 hours • Camera rotates 330° for reading, distance & self viewing • Compatible with popular magnification software and the latest *Windows operating systems • Includes soft carrying case & cloth sleeve For more information call (888) 811-3161 or Click Here ## Tech News This Article was taken from the NFB Access blog, Written by the Access Technology Team, Edited by Clara Van Gerven. CES Wrap-up 1/18/2011 The night before the official opening of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) typically features a pre-show keynote address headlined by the Microsoft CEO. This year was no exception. Following a brief introduction by the Consumer Electronics Association president, Gary Shapiro, who gave a brief rundown of the Show's statistics (including 2,700 exhibitors, and 2,000 new products being launched), Steve Ballmer took the stage and along with a few Microsoft team members, touted the company's accomplishments over the past year, and demonstrated what's in store for 2011. Ballmer recapped Microsoft's convergence of full-powered computers with the central living room presence of the television. He demonstrated the voice control, and air gestures, of the xBox 360 Connect sensor platform. Connect allows one to preface a command with the keyword, "xBox," and follow it up with an instruction to play music, suggest a movie, or another media related task. Air gestures allow the user to control the playback, pausing, skipping forward, rewinding, etc., by waving their hand in the air. Ballmer announced that in spring, 2011, Netflix and Hulu Plus (both subscription services) will be supported by the Connect interface. For blind users, were Microsoft to incorporate speech output for menus, and media listings, this would represent a change in the way blind users could access media and control their entertainment experience. As of now, we are not aware that speech output is available on the xBox platform, as in Windows, but our discussions with Microsoft will certainly raise the question and encourage this development. The presentation next moved on to showing off Windows Phone 7, Microsoft's new operating system for mobile phones and portable devices. Ballmer said, "Once people see [a Windows Phone 7 phone] they fall in love." Unfortunately for the blind, in its current release, sight is a required factor in utilizing the platform, since Microsoft has failed to include either built in speech, or hooks to allow third party developers to provide speech enabled interfaces. It is hoped that this will be remedied quickly, because as of now, Windows Phone 7 represents another consumer platform the blind are excluded from. The final portion of the presentation focused on the future of Windows. So far, the work has mostly focused on hardware integration for System on a Chip (SoC) technology, which allows system motherboards to be built into a framework about 2 inches tall and an inch-and-a-half wide. We can only speculate at this point, but this could represent a giant leap forward in portable computing and Braille notetaker technology. The demonstration PCs shown, which are using the current interface with the underlying hardware code changes to allow for these micro PCs, were capable of rendering high resolution video in a computer no bigger than the size of a user's hand. If notetaker manufacturers were to take advantage of SoC technology, and integrate built-in Braille displays, then full-powered computing in a handheld device, with full accessibility, could be a reality for blind users. During our final two days at the Consumer Electronics Show we observed a number of emerging technologies that may be promising for blind users, had discussions with manufacturers about improving accessibility to appliances and other consumer electronics, and spoke to a number of higher education textbook producers about the importance of making their books accessible. Control Your Appliances with Your Smartphone A number of manufacturers, including LG and Kenmore, showed off the ability for their appliances to talk to a smartphone. Originally created to allow someone to preheat their oven on their commute home, or tell your drier to fluff your clothes while you're out enjoying life and not wanting to fold laundry, this capability could offer the blind an intermediate solution to the problem of flat-panel, non voice guided, appliance control. Provided, of course, that the smartphone app is accessible, users could control their stove, washer and dyer, or even check the contents of their refrigerator while at the grocery store. Representatives from both companies expressed an interest in accessibility for the blind, and we will be scheduling follow-up meetings to that end in the near future. ## Tech Tip The Power of the Windows Run Box Many users enjoy control of the computer by typing commands like in the old DOS days. Many functions can be executed in windows by typing commands in the run box. Here are a few that might be helpful for quickly accessing programs and features. The command to bring up the run box is WindowsKey+r in any version of windows. You can type any web address and it will load in your default web browser such as Internet Explorer. Another useful shortcut that is not that well known is to type a period “.” in the run box to go directly to your home folder and quickly access your personal files such as documents and favorites. Here is a small list of other commands that may be useful. calc - opens the windows calculator program winword - if any version of Microsoft word is installed will open word control - opens the control panel notepad - opens the basic text editor note pad any drive letter such as c: will open windows explorer for that drive cmd - opens a command prompt (note, type exit to close the command prompt) MSInfo32 - runs a program that shows details about your computer jawsXX - where XX is a version number of JAWS (assuming you have JAWS installed will load that version of JAWS, for example jaws11 will run that version. You can use up and down arrow keys in the run box to list the history of commands entered in the run box. There are many other commands that can be run from the run box. ## Tech Support Information and Referral Freedom Scientific 727-803-8600: Jaws Magic Openbook Pack mate Human ware 800-722-3393: Braille Note Products GW Micro 260-489-3671 Window-Eyes Serotek 612-246-4818 System Access Sa to go Sam Net AiSquared Inc. 800-859-0270 ZoomText 9.1 ZoomText Express Kurzweil 888-995-9905 Kurzweil 1000 Kerswal Mobile Reader 877-547-1500 Mobile Reader Level Star 800-315-2305 Icon APH 800-223-1839 Braille Plus Enhanced Vision 888-811-3161 CCTV’S -- End of Newsletter -- Michael Elliott Rehab Engineer Technology Consultant access.info@xxxxxxxxxxxxx 386-254-3840 Check out the TABI resource web page at http://acorange.home.comcast.net/TABI and please make suggestions for new material. if you'd like to unsubscribe you can do so through the freelists.org web interface, or by sending an email to the address tabi-request@xxxxxxxxxxxxx with the word "unsubscribe" in the subject.