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 [email protected].

Mobile Accessibility

Mobile Accessibility from Code Factory takes the accessibility of Android phones to a new level by making things simple and accessible. Android is the most rapidly growing Smartphone platform and with Code Factory’s commitment to making mobile phones accessible for the blind, it was necessary to develop a solution for the platform. However, with the technical limitations of Android, it is currently not possible to develop a powerful screen reader like Mobile Speak. Nevertheless, Mobile Accessibility provides basic screen reader functionality that can be used to give speech feedback in 3rd party applications. Apart from the basic screen reader, Mobile Accessibility comprises of 10 fully accessible applications including: Phone, Contacts, SMS, Calendar, Email, Web, Where am I (GPS Navigation), Alarms, Apps and Settings.

Window-Eyes Tech Tip: How Many Apps Can App Get Get?

In today's mobile world, many of us have been app-driven, or perhaps a better term might be app-crazed.  Regardless of which mobile platform you choose, there are a multitude of these little programs that just make our life easier.  From weather apps to stock apps to apps that tell you when the next train or plane will arrive, there's pretty much an app for anything you can imagine.

SuperNova 12 Tips

Tip: Magnified applications look stunning with Dolphin's all new True Font Technology which even supports vertical, diagonal and spiral text. Press LEFT CONTROL + NUMPAD8 (in the default desktop hot key set) to cycle through the 3 font smoothing options: True Fonts, Standard and None.

Tip: Boost productivity with SuperNova's fully featured multiple monitor support. With Extended Desktop enabled in Windows, press WINDOWS KEY + SHIFT + LEFT or RIGHT ARROW to move applications between monitors. Press CAPSLOCK + MIDDLE MOUSE BUTTON to jump the pointer to the next monitor without loosing the magnified position in your application.

Managing NFB Newsline Periodicals on Book Port Plus

NFB Newsline Online and Book Port Plus make a great combination for those who want to take a few newspapers on their daily routine. One problem, though, especially if you have upgraded the SD card to one of the 16 or 32 GB models is that it can be difficult to find the latest editions of the papers among the hundreds of other titles on the unit.

When you use the Newsline to Go program to automatically download and populate your portable device, you have the convenience of obtaining several papers all at once without having to wade through the contents of several complicated web screens. This is like home delivery of your favorite periodicals. Soon, though, they start piling up.

Step by step guide to creating an EasyReader Express book

It is easier than you think to add EasyReader Express to your talking book content. Follow these 3 simple steps:

Step 1: Create or source your DAISY talking book content:

EasyReader Express can be added to any DAISY 2 or DAISY 3 talking book which includes audio. You can create your own DAISY talking books quickly and easily using Dolphin’s EasyConverter, EasyProducer, and Dolphin Publisher software.  

Step 2: Add EasyReader Express:

Purchase a subscription and log into the "Add EasyReader Express" website at:

The Olympus DM-4 Digital Voice Recorder – Function Key Setting

When holding your DM-4 Digital Voice Recorder, with the scroll pad and LCD screen facing towards you, there are three small rectangular buttons in the top and first row of buttons that you will feel on the face. 
These buttons are your Function Keys.

Typically the far right function key, or F3 key, will bring you back to the “HOME” screen or the previous menu.  The HOME screen is the first screen that appears when you turn on your DM-4 and a starting point for all of its functions and features.

Using the BrailleNote Apex with the iPhone or other smartphone

Using Apex with iPhone iOS 4

The Apex can be paired with the iPhone running iOS 4 as a Bluetooth Braille display and provides Grade 2 Braille input and output.

The pairing has to be initialized from the phone, just as you would to pair with any other keyboard or Bluetooth device.

To make the connection do the following:

1- From the Apex main menu, make sure Bluetooth is turned ON. See the section Turn ON Bluetooth on your BrailleNote.
2- Enter Terminal mode. Change your terminal port to Bluetooth. The procedure is described in the section “Connecting your Apex via Bluetooth” . 

Setting up the BrailleNote Apex with your computer and screen access software

Setting-up your computer and screen reader:

1. Using USB client port requires the installation of a driver on your computer. You can download the appropriate driver and installation procedures from our Web site at:
2. Confirm the communication port is available on your PC. If you are using JAWS to communicate with Apex, you must use a COM port value 9 or lower. Please refer to the Setting your COM Port section below.
3. In your JAWS screen reader Braille display options, select the “BrailleNote” as your active Braille display.