A brief look at the iPad Pro

Introduction

I recently had a chance to use an iPad pro for a short time, and wanted to share some things I noticed as a VoiceOver user. The iPad Pro is Apple’s biggest tablet, and the first to have a specially designed keyboard and stylus, called the Apple Pencil. For the most part, using the iPad Pro is identical to using any other iOS device. All the gestures, buttons, and VoiceOver commands are identical. The iPad Pro, by virtue of having the largest screen size, fits the most on the screen and gives the most accurate positioning of items when exploring by touch. However, the device does have a few interesting benefits and drawbacks.

A brief look at the iPad Pro

By Karl Belanger

The Orion TI30XS Multiview Talking Scientific Calculator

As with the Orion TI84, the American Printing House for the Blind (APH) has teamed up with Texas Instruments to make another very common and popular calculator accessible. This calculator has an extension at the top with three buttons on it for accessing the accessibility functions, as well as a speaker on the back. The TI30 looks much more streamlined than the TI84. Where the TI84 had a piece that was clearly an add-on, the accessibility add-on to the TI30 looks much more like it is a part of the product. The TI84 used two separate sources of power, one for the Orion accessibility add-on, plus the regular batteries for the calculator; this device on the other hand has everything housed in one unit with a micro USB port for charging. Overall, this calculator is an excellent little device for doing any level of math, up to and including advanced trigonometry (trig) functions.

The Orion TI30XS Multiview Talking Scientific Calculator

As with the Orion TI84, the American Printing House for the Blind (APH) has teamed up with Texas Instruments to make another very common and popular calculator accessible. This calculator has an extension at the top with three buttons on it for accessing the accessibility functions, as well as a speaker on the back. The TI30 looks much more streamlined than the TI84. Where the TI84 had a piece that was clearly an add-on, the accessibility add-on to the TI30 looks much more like it is a part of the product. The TI84 used two separate sources of power, one for the Orion accessibility add-on, plus the regular batteries for the calculator; this device on the other hand has everything housed in one unit with a micro USB port for charging. Overall, this calculator is an excellent little device for doing any level of math, up to and including advanced trigonometry (trig) functions.

National Federation of the Blind Jernigan Institute Research Collaboration: Sunu Band

The National Federation of the Blind Jernigan Institute leads the quest to understand the real problems of blindness and to develop innovative education, technologies, products, and services that help the world's blind to achieve greater independence. Many technology developers have the best intensions when designing that great next product for the blind. Unfortunately they do not include blind people in the process. We strongly encourage developers of innovative nonvisual access technologies to work with us during the design and development phase. By leveraging the expertise and the life experience of the independent blind with the engineering expertise of these developers of next generation technologies, the result is an innovative, more useful product for the blind.  

We Must Stop the Amazon Fail!

We Must Stop the Amazon Fail!

Installers Beware! Microsoft Drops the Ball on Accessibility in Windows 10

There was a time when it appeared that, despite some glitches here and there, Microsoft was really getting the accessibility message. However, there has been actual regression in the area of accessibility with the last several releases of Windows, and the release of the long-awaited Windows 10 is sadly no exception. Despite determined efforts by some access technology manufacturers to remediate some of the issues, the problems with the Windows 10 rollout are a matter of grave concern for all blind Windows users, as well as for enterprise users with blind employees who are considering company-wide upgrades to Windows 10.

National Federation of the Blind Indoor Navigation Challenge

The National Federation of the Blind Jernigan Institute is the premier research and training institute that applies the collective knowledge and life experience of the blind to the development of innovative solutions to the barriers faced by blind people. We are designing the National Federation of the Blind Indoor Navigation Challenge to combine our expertise and experience with that of other technology and research professionals to partner in the development of universally designed access tools and strategies that enhance independent travel for the blind. Blind people effectively use tools and strategies like white canes, guide dogs, mental mapping, echolocation, and problem-solving skills to acquire and use environmental information to travel safely and independently outdoors and indoors.

Time for the White House to Upload the Internet Regs

Earlier this week I was honored to attend a White House reception and ceremony to celebrate the twenty-fifth anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). President Obama spoke with passion and sincerity about the progress made since the signing of the ADA and some of the very significant executive orders he has made to raise expectations for people with disabilities. While I am proud of what the President has done to raise the bar for employment of and payment of fair wages to workers with disabilities, I left the White House in complete frustration after the President failed to mention anything about meaningful regulatory action that will ensure our full participation in the twenty-first century where the internet is critical to success.

Braille Literacy through Technology

As a summer intern for the Jernigan Institute, I have come to realize that there are many areas in which I must improve in order to gain more confidence and independence. It has been about ten years since I became blind and I have to credit the National Federation of the Blind for pulling me out of the dark path that I was going down. The Federation shed light on the importance of receiving training and as a graduate of the Colorado Center for the Blind I can state that I can confidently use the majority of the blindness skills taught there. My pride and stubbornness allowed me to leave the center with the perception that it was acceptable to barely read and write Braille.

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