Access Technology Blog

Welcome to our Access Technology Blog section! The NFB Jernigan Institute Access Technology team is always on the lookout for new and better ways to give blind people access to technology, as the ever-growing International Braille and Technology Center attests. In these tips we want to share some of the pointers manufacturers and developers share with us to help you learn about new applications and new programs, and to help you find new functionality in familiar products. The Access Technology team works with the relevant manufacturers and developers to obtain the tips listed here, to make sure that you get the best and latest about anything new in the world of non-visual access technology.

 

If you have any feedback please contact Clara Van Gerven at cvangerven@nfb.org.

Mountain Lion: Does it Roar, or Slip in on Quiet Cat’s Feet?

Blog Date: 
Sunday, July 1, 2012

By Amy Mason

Apple’s Mac OSX 10.8 has arrived in the app store and several major news outlets claim that it “Roars”. It arrives on the scene at a ridiculously reasonable $19.99 for an operating system.  Unless your OS of choice is Linux, it’s probably been a long time, (if ever,) since you have gotten an OS upgrade for so little cash. 
This of course begs the question, do you want it?  That depends on a few things.  First, will your Mac support it? Do the programs you use the most support it? Do you care about any of the new features that Mountain Lion brings to the table? To be honest, for most of us, there will be enough compelling reasons to upgrade that it will be worth the work, hassle and $20 price tag, but you be the judge. 

Tactile Graphics Conference

Blog Date: 
Tuesday, April 17, 2012

We're putting on our first ever Tactile Graphics Conference November 30-December 1 - and on the occasion of this exciting event, the AT Team has produced its first ever YouTube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PyrVBKNKOfo&feature=youtu.be. Check it out. You can also find more information on registration, scheduling and accomodation at www.nfb.org/tactilegraphicsconference

Clara Van Gerven

Inclusive Publishing

Blog Date: 
Sunday, April 15, 2012

We love events here in the Access Technology dungeons; we love them especially right after they end. The Inclusive Publishing event last week was pretty outstanding if I may say so. With 160 attendees from twenty countries and with some of the best and brightest in the industry leading sessions, it confirmed what we suspected – that there is both a need for and a real interest in broadening access to digital book. As is becoming the habit, I tweeted about it all under the nfb_voice handle, #incpub, and got to share some of the highlights that way. The presentations that we could get our hands on are being posted to www.nfb.org/inclusivepublishing.

Review of the HIMS Braille Edge

Blog Date: 
Saturday, April 14, 2012

by Amy Mason

 

 

Vitamix

Blog Date: 
Wednesday, April 11, 2012

In a time when many appliances are inaccessible, its wonderful to see a high quality blender remain fully accessible. The Vitamix 5200 is a heavy duty home blender. The controls consist of two toggle switches on either side of a speed dial. The controls are large and could be marked if desired. The Vitamix can blend, make smoothies, shakes etc. Interestingly, when run at high speed, the blades create enough friction within the liquid in a container that the liquid will become hot. As a result, the Vitamix can create hot soup. The Vitamix is a durable machine with a seven year warranty. Available containers come in 32oz, 48oz and 64oz sizes. There is also a specialized container that can grind grain into flour. Unlike other blenders, the Vitamix containers are simply set on top of the base. The shape of the containers makes it unnecessary to lock the containers in place.

Train the Trainers

Blog Date: 
Tuesday, April 10, 2012

This post is a little delayed, but I wanted share with all of you some of the excitement from the Train the Trainers. We filled up the Technology Training Lab with attendees and the back room with shiny toys to show, and off we went. If you want a play by play description of the sessions, check out the #NFBTTT hashtag on Twitter – it was quite a lively affair. For future events, you can look for #NFBAT, which covers anything that relates to Access Technology.

A Quick Note on Zaggfolio, Magnification, and the iPad 3

Blog Date: 
Tuesday, April 3, 2012

 

The New iPad

Blog Date: 
Monday, April 2, 2012

Apple has chosen not to give the new iPad a specific name, and has left it to the rest of us to come up with that moniker.  Some people are calling it the “iPad 3”, other’s the “HD iPad”, and still others, the “new iPad”, but despite what you call it, the question remains, is it worth buying? 

Here at the IBTC we strive to keep up with the latest and greatest in technology accessible to the blind, so Clara was furiously refreshing her browser on the day it was announced in order to purchase one for the lab.  It only just arrived, so as good little geeks, we pored over it with a fine tooth comb to give you our impressions.

Microsoft Security Essentials

Blog Date: 
Sunday, April 1, 2012

Anti-Virus software is one of those things that everyone (including you Mac and Linux users) ought to have, but it’s not really all that much fun to think about, much less employ.  Furthermore, as a screen access software user, it’s often an exercise in frustration.  I don’t know what it is about the security suites out there, but they seem to be built with every intention of being difficult to use, cryptic, and downright unpleasant to use.  Often they are difficult to use with a screen access software (if not impossible), and they have an unfortunate tendency to be expensive, both in terms of monetary investment, and computer resources.  So, it made sense to mention an alternative for Windows users at least.  (Sorry Mac and Linux folks, I’ll have to get back to you after a bit of research.).

Apple Slices

Blog Date: 
Monday, March 26, 2012

 

 

Below are some items from the Apple world that we thought you might want to know about.

 

Air Media Center

 

App Dynamic
$1.99

 

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