Tactile Graphics Conference

Dear readers,

We’re very, very excited about our inaugural Tactile Graphics conference – I may have mentioned that before. It’s an impressive line-up of speakers, and the level of enthusiasm (and number of submissions!) has been very high. Due to some unforeseen logistical issues, we are having to move the dates – the new date is April 12-13. Other than that, the agenda looks like it will stay mostly as it is, thanks to the forbearance of our rather splendid speakers. If you have a chance to attend, it will be well worth your while – and the conference is free!

For more information, check www.nfb.org/tactilegraphicsconference

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iOS 6 – The First Three Days. (With Commentary from the Twitterverse)

By Amy Mason

iOS 6 arrived on the scene Wednesday for all of us who were not privileged enough to be developers or beta testers. According to Apple there are more than 200 new features. (This seems to be their magic number by the way, because I am certain that Mountain Lion, and iOS 5 also came with more than 200 improvements, but I digress.)
This cannot be an “exhaustive” review.  As previously noted, 200+ new features, but let’s take a look at the upgrade experience, and what we’ve gotten to play with so far.  I’m certain that there will be more information to come from all quarters (including us) in the next few weeks, but this review should highlight some of the most visible new features of iOS 6, specifically from the point of view of a VoiceOver user. 

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What's New in Accessibility with iOS 6

by Scott Davert
As with the previous release of a major iOS upgrade (from version 4 to 5), there are many enhancements to iOS 6 not directly related to accessibility. In this release, they include FaceTime over cellular networks, a redesigned App Store, a revamped settings menu, direct Facebook integration, a Do Not Disturb feature, among many others. Please see the link at the end of this article for a list from Apple about changes not directly related to accessibility. To list and discuss all new features which do not pertain to accessibility is beyond the scope of this article. Rather, this is to specifically focus on changes with respect to the different options available from an accessibility standpoint.
 

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Google’s New YouTube App for iOS: Good, Bad and Ugly, All at Once

By Amy Mason

 

At the beginning of August, beta testers began to announce to the internet at large that the YouTube application had been removed from their devices when they installed the fourth beta of the upcoming iOS 6. Shortly after these discoveries were made public, Apple announced that its licensing relationship with YouTube had ended, so the built-in YouTube app would not be included in the new version of the operating system.  This brief article from Mac Rumors (http://www.macrumors.com/2012/08/06/ios-6-beta-4-removes-dedicated-youtube-app/) sums up the major points of the story, and finishes with a rather interesting quote which was passed along by folks from YouTube, that reads: “We are working with Apple to make sure we have the best possible YouTube experience for iOS users.”

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The 99 dollar question: a Review of the Humanware Communicator App

By Scott Davert

For quite some time, deaf-blind users of iDevices have been able to use face to face communication with the public through the notes app. This consists typically of an iDevice (iPod, iPad, or iPhone) paired with a Braille display and Bluetooth keyboard. The deaf-blind person can then type using the Braille input keys on their display, while the sighted and hearing person types on the Bluetooth keyboard. All text shows up on both the Braille display and the screen of the iDevice. Now, there is another option on the market geared toward this specific purpose.

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Amazon's new Kindles

by Clara Van Gerven

 

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Tech Doctor Podcast!

By Amy Mason
So, this is new for me.  I’ve been holed up in my office writing fun articles about technology, and necessary reports about technology, and well, just generally writing a great deal about all different aspects of access technology. Either way, I’ve been doing a lot of writing lately.   I’ll admit it, I like writing, and I feel I’m fairly good at it, but I also am fully aware that my writing is rather limited in scope. 
Therefore, I was really quite surprised when I received an e-mail the other day from Dr. Robert Carter, who is the creator of the Tech Doctor Podcast.  He said that he’d been intrigued by some of the things I’d been writing, and wanted to know if I would be interested in talking to him on the podcast. 

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

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. 

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Tactile Graphics Conference

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

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Inclusive Publishing

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.

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