Tech Tips

Welcome to our Technology Tips 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 on the tips, please contact Clara Van Gerven at cvangerven@nfb.org.

Pi Day Tech Tips: Tip 1

Blog Date: 
Friday, March 14, 2014

Math in Desire2Learn

Having math in an accessible format can be tricky, making it hard to interpret the math when students can’t even be sure that they’re getting the right message. The old way of dealing with mathematical equations was to create an image of the equation. Of course, this meant it was up to the instructor to create meaningful, unambiguous alt text for each equation. I think we all know that everybody’s idea of good alt text varies wildly, and we definitely all know how unforgiving math is about interpretations of equations. There is only one right answer.

Pi Day Tech Tips: Tip 2

Blog Date: 
Friday, March 14, 2014

Nemeth Code on the Braille Sense!

As of version 8.1 of the BrailleSense firmware, full Nemeth Support is available on the Braille Sense Plus, OnHand, and U2 series.

On Braille keyboard models, press BACKSPACE+N to enter and exit Nemeth Mode.
On QWERTY models, press ALT+N to enter Nemeth Mode. When in Nemeth Mode on QWERTY units, use Home row keys to write in Nemeth so that FDS are dots 123, and JKL are dots 456.

If you save your file as a DOC file and, unlike other products, it can print with standard mathematical symbols from a computer.

Pi Day Tech Tips: Tip 3

Blog Date: 
Friday, March 14, 2014

Using the BrailleNote Apex to create Nemeth code

1.    Use Keyview or a VGA monitor to display your work.  Keyview is recommended because sim Braille can be seen on the screen.  To download Keyview, visit www.humanware.com/support.  Navigate to the BrailleNote link, and press Enter.  Navigate tothe  software and press enter.  Navigate to the Keyview link, and press Enter.  Download and install the program.
2.    To use Keyview, press Space-o (spaces dots 1-3-5) v (dots 1-2-3-6) u (dots 1-3-6) Enter.  Start Keyview on your pc.  To use a VGA connection press Space-o (Space dots 1-3-5) v (dots 1-2-3-6) v (dots 1-2-3-6) Enter.  The document will be shown on a monitor as you type, but no Braille dots will be shown.

Pi Day Tech Tips: Tip 4

Blog Date: 
Friday, March 14, 2014

Acid-Base Titration

adapted from Experiment 24,"Acid Base Titration" from the Chemistry with Vernier lab manual

Objectives

In this experiment you will:

Pi Day Tech Tips: Tip 5

Blog Date: 
Friday, March 14, 2014

DropBox on the Braille Sense

The Braille Sense is the only notetaker that offers access to the Cloud. The BrailleSense Plus, OnHand, U2, and U2 Mini all provide easy access to the Cloud through our easy DropBox app.

To get a DropBox account, you can go to
www.dropbox.com

A Desire2Tame The Desire2Learn WYSIWYG Editor

Blog Date: 
Friday, September 27, 2013

At Desire2Learn, we care about the user experience of all users, no matter how they are accessing our system. But we know that even when we try to make things as intuitive as we possibly can, there are going to be places along the way that make people raise their eyebrows in confusion. One of them is the WYSIWYG editor.

Navigating Desire2Learn

Blog Date: 
Friday, September 27, 2013

At Desire2Learn, we really want to make it so that your focus is on taking your classes and learning the material you're in school for, not having to figure out how in the heck you're supposed to use the thing that's standing between you and those materials. So, we've tried to make navigating our stuff as consistent as we can. Here are some tips that should apply across the board to help make getting around our system a breeze.

Victor Reader Stream Tips and Tricks

Blog Date: 
Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Q. If I lose my reading place, how can I get back to it quickly if the DAISY or NISO book has no page numbers?

The Quick Access Toolbar (QAT) in Microsoft Office 2007

Blog Date: 
Wednesday, September 25, 2013

With the introduction of the Ribbon in Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint and Word 2007, Microsoft Office made a great change to the user interface of these applications.  To ease the transition of existing Office users to the Ribbon, and to provide an optimized experience for users who are already accustomed to the Ribbon, these applications provide a Quick Access Toolbar (QAT).  Any of the commands in the Ribbon can be easily added to this toolbar, allowing for easy access to commonly-used commands.  Below, we'll describe how to add commands to the QAT, and how to use them once they are there.

Adding a command to the QAT using the keyboard

Eliminating the Pains and Strains of Computer Use

Blog Date: 
Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Most would agree that computers are not inherently user-friendly. Many find using a computer to be painful, while others find daily computer use requires significant effort. These pains and strains of computer use are even more pronounced when the user is dealing with low vision or blindness. 

Most programs, however, can be controlled with keyboard shortcuts which often simplify the interaction.  Of course it would be overwhelming to try and learn them all. Instead, start with the most useful shortcuts in your most used programs and as well as some basic desktop shortcuts.

The USDA TARGET Center will be presenting a series of these shortcuts in this space.  More detailed trainings are also available online and in-person through the TARGET Center. 

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