National Federation of the Blind and Maricopa Community College District Resolve Litigation
MCCD Will Take Steps to Make Technology Accessible
Phoenix, Arizona (October 23, 2014): The National Federation of the Blind today announced an agreement with the Maricopa Community College District (MCCD) and Mesa Community College resolving litigation brought by the Federation in 2012. Under the agreement, MCCD will take a series of steps that will result in the procurement and deployment of electronic and information technology that is accessible to all students, including those who are blind. The technologies covered by the agreement include the college’s public website, library website, learning management system, personal response systems (or clickers) used in the classroom, campus ATM’s, and more. The blind use computers, smartphones, and tablets equipped with special software that allows the contents of websites, applications, and documents to be read aloud or displayed in Braille on a connected Braille device. When websites or documents are not properly coded, however, they cannot be accessed with the technology used by the blind. ATM’s can also be equipped with headphone jacks and text-to-speech software that guides blind users through transactions via audio prompts.
Mark Riccobono, President of the National Federation of the Blind, said: “The technology procured and deployed by America’s institutions of higher education must be accessible if blind students are to acquire the full benefit of their education and participate fully in campus life. We are pleased that the Maricopa Community College District and Mesa Community College are committed to equal access for all students, including the blind.”
The plaintiffs were represented in this matter by Joseph B. Espo of the Baltimore firm Brown, Goldstein, & Levy, LLP.
About the National Federation of the Blind
The National Federation of the Blind knows that blindness is not the characteristic that defines you or your future. Every day we raise the expectations of blind people, because low expectations create obstacles between blind people and our dreams. You can live the life you want; blindness is not what holds you back.
This announcement to encourage high school students to apply for the summer PREP program comes from Charlene Guggisberg, Admissions and Special Programs Manager at BLIND, Inc. Please circulate widely!
Warm Greetings from BLIND, Incorporated:
It is once again time to start making plans for your summer. This year the PREP, Post-secondary Readiness Empowerment Program, our eight-week program for blind high school students, will run fromJune 14, 2015 to August 7, 2015.
This exciting summer program is for blind high school students and is designed to prepare them for academic, employment, and social success.
The PREP curriculum is designed to empower blind youth with the alternative techniques of blindness they will need to be successful in the college and the career fields they choose, and to give them the confidence and belief in themselves they need to find and keep a job.
The core classes include Braille reading and writing, independent cane travel, adaptive technology, career exploration, and home/dormitory management, which includes cooking, cleaning, washing and labeling clothes, personal care, and daily living skills. Students also participate in regularly scheduled discussion groups designed to build confidence and learn from blind peers and adults. This program includes a three-week paid employment experience. Students will utilize the skills they have developed while earning minimum wage working approximately 20 hours per week in local businesses and agencies.
PREP students live with fellow students and adult counselors. These counselors and instructors serve as successful and positive role models. Students shop for groceries, prepare meals, and clean their apartments as part of their home and personal management training.
They begin to learn how to live independently while still in a supportive environment. They develop problem-solving skills and come to realize that they will be able to take care of themselves and take responsibility for their own futures.
This program is based on a positive view of blindness, that if blind people are given proper training and opportunity, they can be successful in education, find meaningful employment, and live full and productive lives.
Traveling to Orlando Florida
In July, 2015 PREP students will enjoy the exciting opportunity of accompanying BLIND, Incorporated staff and adult students as we travel to Orlando, Florida to attend the weeklong national convention of the National Federation of the Blind. During this convention, our PREP students will join hundreds of other high school and college students from around the country when attending the National Association of Blind Students seminar. Students will also attend other meetings, seminars, learn about new ground-breaking technology and get involved in social and recreational activities. This annual convention is packed full of fun and great learning opportunities and experiences.
Throughout the summer the PREP students will also participate in a variety of fun activities including going to Wild Mountain Water Park, camping, rock climbing, shopping at various malls, etc.
For more information: or to complete an application you can visit our website at www.blindinc.org or call 612-872-0100 (ext. 251), or toll free 800-597-9558, or e-mail email@example.com
Charlene Guggisberg, Admissions and Special Programs Manager
The iPhone and iPad are wildly popular devices, but if you're one of those people who likes to carry a lot of data with them, you've probably at one time or another hit a storage limit. Here's how you can add more storage to your iPhone or iPad quickly and easily - no jailbreaking or cracking your device open required.
One of the biggest drawbacks of owning an iPhone or iPad is that Apple doesn't offer a way for users to supplement the internal storage with an SD or microSD card like many Android devices do.
One way to get around the problem is to buy the largest capacity on offer, but the price tags means that's not an option for everyone. Thankfully, there are other options.
MediaShair Wireless Media Hub
This is a lot more than just storage.
Take a look at is the IOGEAR MediaShair Wireless Media hub. This device brings a whole raft of features to the table. Not only can you plug an SD card (SD up to 2GB, SDHC up to 32GB, and SDXC up to 2TB), USB flash drive, or even a portable USB hard drive into the MediaShair hub and the built-in Wi-Fi can share the content with up to seven iOS or Android devices, it has a built-in battery that can be used to recharge your devices.
The device also supports pass-through, so you connect the hub to the internet-facing Wi-Fi connection, and then connect the devices to the hub to allow them to have web access. This way you have access to both the internet and your data.
Access to the data on the device from iOS and Android device is handled through a free app.
On top of that, if you're in a hotel that only has Ethernet connection, you can connect the MediaShair hub to the wired connection and share the connection wirelessly.
You can also connect the MediaShair hub to Windows and Mac PCs.
A solid device for road warriors (car charger included), BYOD and business users, and consumers looking to expand the storage on their mobile device without breaking the bank.
The SanDisk iXpand is a flash drive that has a USB port and a Lightning connector, which means that you can connect it to a computer of an iPhone or iPad. This makes moving data to and from your iOS device quick and easy.
Here's another flash drive. The Leef iBRIDGE also features a USB and Lightning connector that connects directly to the both a computer and the iPhone or iPad.
File management is handled using a custom app.
Capacities from 16GB and 256GB.
Price: From $59.99 for 16GB.
Creating a Skype account for the first time is rather easy.
With the help of the following steps you will be able to do it too. Its very important to write everything down as you go. If you follow the simple steps that I am about to provide you with you will be fine.
Open either Internet Explorer or Firefox. Thus, doing a search for WWW.Skype.com. Then click on "Join Skype".
This brings you to the next window where you can create your account. Keep in mind that you must complete all fields. You want to be sure to put in your email address, a valid username and a password that will be easy for you to remember.
When you get to the verification part of the process you may need sighted assistance unless you are using Firefox which will give you the freedom of doing it yourself with the help of the program called, Web Visum".
Congratulations, you have successfully created your very own Skype account.
Apple has today released iOS 8.3, bringing with it a host of new features and improvements across the operating system.
For blind and low vision users, Apple has made significant progress towards addressing many of the accessibility bugs still present in iOS 8.2. In addition, Apple has introduced a few new features specific to the needs of VoiceOver users.
At this point, it is worth noting that our testing of iOS 8.3 has been somewhat limited. While a majority of our editorial team has been using iOS 8.3 since late February, it is impossible for us to test all devices, apps, and use cases. Though we are quite confident in the accuracy of the information presented below, it is possible that, as with all software testing, we have overlooked some changes. With this in mind, we would greatly appreciate your help in ensuring that the information on this page is as complete and accurate as possible. If you spot any accessibility changes in iOS 8.3 that we do not have listed on this page, please do let us know in the comments. As additional information becomes available, we will update this post accordingly.
New Features for Blind and Low Vision Users in iOS 8.3
· When using Braille Screen Input, it is now possible to delete entire words by performing a two-finger swipe to the left. Previously, it was only possible to delete by character.
· iOS now supports the Baum VarioUltra 20 and VarioUltra 40 braille displays.
· When using a Bluetooth keyboard, pressing VO-Q (Command, Option, Q) turns Quick Nav on and off. It is worth noting that toggling Quick Nav by pressing the left and right arrow keys together also appears to still work.
· The delay before alternate characters are displayed by the default onscreen keyboard appears to have been increased. The implementation of this feature also now appears to be a little slicker when using VoiceOver.
· It appears as though Apple has done some work to improve the quality of VoiceOver speech while a phone call is in progress.
Accessibility Bugs Fixed in iOS 8.3
· Using the back button (or scrub gesture) in Safari now works correctly.
· VoiceOver no longer freezes when viewing certain types of web content.
· The issues with moving apps on the home screen appear to have been resolved.
· The “Clear Section” buttons in the “All” section of the notification center are now labelled correctly and work as expected.
· Entering and deleting text in the search field in the App Store now works as intended.
· VoiceOver now correctly navigates the Featured tab of the App Store.
· VoiceOver now indicates when a Mail folder is empty.
· The Mark Read/Unread flags in Mail, set via rotor actions, now work as intended
· It is now possible to navigate to and from the “Minimize Draft” button when creating a new email message. Note: This button appears to be at the bottom of the window when using VoiceOver.
· VoiceOver now behaves much more reliably when a draft is minimized in the Mail app.
· The “Details” button in group message conversations is now properly labeled.
· In group message conversations, VoiceOver now correctly recognizes the button to add a title to the conversation.
· When a say-all is in progress, VoiceOver is no longer interupted by incoming text message notifications.
· VoiceOver no longer crashes when attempting to navigate or change the Sounds settings.
· The space gesture (a one-finger swipe right) in Braille Screen Input now works as intended.
· It is now possible to use Braille Screen Input to enter text in Safari.
· When using a Braille display, the Find command (Space + F) now works as intended.
· When double-tapping on a contact name in App Switcher (Quick Contacts feature) to reveal the available contact options, VoiceOver now correctly announces the identifying label (home, work, cellular telephone, etc.).
· When using the Quick Contacts feature in App Switcher, VoiceOver now correctly navigates between all contacts - even when details for one contact are expanded.
· VoiceOver now correctly reads the prices and storage amounts in the iCloud subscription options (Settings> iCloud> iCloud Drive).
· VoiceOver now correctly reads all time indicators in the stock Weather app when using 24-hour time.
· Detailed descriptions have been added to the still photo wallpapers in Settings> Walpaper> Choose a New Wallpaper> Still photo wallpapers.
General New Features and Improvements in iOS 8.3
In addition to the accessibility features and improvements above, Apple's release notes, via 9to5Mac list the following new features and changes in iOS 8.3:
This release includes improved performance, bug fixes, and a redesigned Emoji keyboard. Changes include:
Improved performance for:
· App launch
· App responsiveness
· Control Center
· Safari tabs
· 3rd-party keyboards
· Keyboard shortcuts
· Simplified Chinese keyboard
Wi-Fi and Bluetooth fixes
· Fixes an issue where you could be continuously prompted for login credentials
· Addresses an issue where some devices disconnect intermittently from Wi-Fi networks
· Fixes an issue where hands-free phone calls could become disconnected
· Fixes an issue where audio playback could stop working with some bluetooth speakers
Orientation and rotation fixes
· Addresses an issue that sometimes prevented rotating back to portrait after having rotated to landscape
· Improves performance and stability issues that occurred when rotating the device between portrait and landscape
· Fixes an issue where device orientation appeared upside down after pulling the iPhone 6 Plus from your pocket
· Resolves an issue that sometimes prevented apps from rotating to correct orientation after switching apps in multitasking
· Addresses issues that caused group messages to sometimes split
· Fixes an issue that sometimes removed the ability to forward or delete individual messages
· Resolves an issue that sometimes prevented a preview from appearing when taking a photo in Messages
· Adds the ability to report junk messages directly from the Messages app
· Adds the ability to filter out iMessages that are not sent by your contacts
Family Sharing fixes
· Fixes a bug where certain apps would not launch or update on family members’ devices
· Fixes a bug that prevented family members from downloading certain free apps
· Increased reliability for Ask to Buy notifications
· Fixes an issue where Maps could come up as a black screen
· Fixes an issue where the UI could be incorrectly rotated
· Fixes an issue where the keyboard could appear on the CarPlay screen when it shouldn’t
· Improves reliability of installing and updating enterprise apps
· Corrects the time zone of Calendar events created in IBM Notes
· Fixes a problem that could cause web clip icons to become generic after restarting
· Improves reliability of saving the password for a web proxy
· Exchange out-of-office message can now be edited separately for external replies
· Improves recovery of Exchange accounts from temporary connection problems*
· Improves compatibility of VPN and web proxy solutions
· Allows use of physical keyboards to log into Safari web sheets, such as for joining a public Wi-Fi network
· Fixes an issue that caused Exchange meetings with long notes to be truncated
· Fixes an issue where using the back button in Safari causes VoiceOver gestures to not respond
· Fixes an issue where VoiceOver focus becomes unreliable in draft Mail messages
· Fixes an issue where Braille Screen Input cannot be used to type text in forms on webpages
· Fixes an issue where toggling Quick Nav on a Braille Display announces that Quick Nav is off
· Fixes an issue keeping app icons from being moveable on home screen when VoiceOver is enabled
· Fixes an issue in Speak Screen where speech will not start again after pausing
Other improvements and bug fixes
· Introduces a redesigned Emoji keyboard with over 300 new characters
· iCloud Photo Library has been optimized to work with the new Photos app on OS X 10.10.3 and is now out of beta
· Improves the pronunciation of street names during turn-by-turn navigation in Maps
· Includes support for Baum VarioUltra 20 and VarioUltra 40 braille displays
· Improves the display of Spotlight results when Reduce Transparency is turned on
· Adds Italic and Underline format options for iPhone 6 Plus landscape keyboard
· Adds the ability to remove shipping and billing addresses used with Apple Pay
· Additional language and country support for Siri: English (India, New Zealand), Danish (Denmark), Dutch (Netherlands), Portuguese (Brazil), Russian (Russia), Swedish (Sweden), Thai (Thailand), Turkish (Turkey)
· Additional dictation languages: Arabic (Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates) and Hebrew (Israel)
· Improves stability for Phone, Mail, Bluetooth connectivity, Photos, Safari tabs, Settings, Weather and Genius Playlists in Music
· Addresses an issue where Slide to Unlock could fail to work on certain devices
· Addresses an issue that sometimes prevented swiping to answer a phone call on the Lock screen
· Addresses an issue that prevented opening links in Safari PDFs
· Fixes an issue where selecting Clear History and Website Data in Safari Settings did not clear all data
· Fixes an issue that prevented autocorrecting “FYI”
· Addresses an issue where contextual predictions did not appear in Quick Reply
· Fixes an issue where Maps did not enter night mode from hybrid mode
· Resolves an issue that prevented initiating FaceTime calls from a browser or 3rd-party app using FaceTime URLs
· Fixes an issue that sometimes prevented photos from properly exporting to Digital Camera Image folders on Windows
· Fixes an issue that sometimes prevented an iPad backup from completing with iTunes
· Fixes an issue that could cause Podcast downloads to stall when switching from Wi-Fi to cellular networks
· Fixes an issue where remaining time on timer would sometimes incorrectly display as 00:00 on Lock screen
· Fixes an issue that sometimes prevented adjusting call volume
iOS 8.3 is available via Over-the-Air Update (Settings> General> Software Update) or from iTunes.
Blog Post, Audio Messaging Apps by Latisha Lyles
If you are someone who enjoys sending audio messages to your friends rather than typing them. Then the following apps will definitely suit your messaging needs. Both the App Store and the Google Play Store offer a variety of apps that allows the blind to not only type their messages, but they can also send a voice note rather than a written note. You may be asking yourself how is that possible right. Well, i have tested a number of them and below I will list my favorites and you can try them for yourself.
1. Quick Voice
2. Recorder HQ
4. Inbox Messenger
5. What's Up Messenger
Each app has its own individual function. For example, Quick Voice, Recorder HQ and iRecorder would allow you to share your recorded messages by email and it will also allow you to give a name to your recorded message. Whereas, both Inbox and What's Up Messengers will allow you to chat with your friends either by voice or by text and they also allow for video messaging as well.
That's it for now, but stay tuned because I will be back with more.
Description of the FUZE APP (Available from APP Store)
NOTE: (PC and MAC and Android versions are also available)
Experience the power of Fuze on your iPad and start meeting in minutes.
Host and manage online/mobile meetings with up to 25 participants,
12 HD Video Feeds, unlimited VOIP calling, and 1GB of Cloud Storage for FREE.
Get Fuze and you’ll be running online meetings from your iPad in minutes.
You can also attend any Fuze meeting without registering!
** All new design and user experience with powerful video, audio and content sharing
** 2013 Tabby Award winner "Best Collaboration App" by Applications Developers Alliance
• Multi-party HD video conferencing right from the iPad with up to 12 video feeds.
• Crystal clear audio conferencing directly on your iPad or use our Call Me feature
and Fuze will call your phone.
• Powerful content sharing with support for PowerPoint with animations,
Word documents, PDFs, movies and high resolution images.
• Start a meeting with just one click or schedule meetings and invite attendees
from your iPad address book.
• Zoom, pan and use our iPoint™ technology to engage your audience and control meeting layout.
• Controls to mute and unmute all or select participants and make attendees
presenters so they can share or annotate content.
• Use in-meeting chat and integrated IM to communicate during your meeting.
• Access and share the photos or videos from your iPad camera library.
• Record and store your meetings in your Fuze storage locker for sharing later.
There is no purchase necessary to register or attend a Fuze Meeting. Unregistered
users can also join meetings via iPad join meetings via
** Free Account includes 25 participants, 12 HD video Stream capabilities,
content sharing, and unlimited VoIP Internet calling.
To qualify for the program you will need to do the following:
1. Submission letter:
This email/letter should be addressed to Virginia D'Addario, Founder & President of Women Working Wonders This document is based upon you as a whole. Meaning, give a little background about yourself, how the device would enhance your life and explain how you intend to use the device in your everyday life.
2. Contact information:
Make sure that all the parties involved have a way to contact to you such as, a email, cell/home phone number or mailing address.
3. Your part:
Submit either a check or a money order in the amount of $150, to make possible for another person to be able to get an an Apple I Pad mini.
Please, do not assume, presume that the program will purchase a different type of device in place of the offered device because it will not happen. The only device that will be purchased is the Apple I Pad Mini and nothing else. Good luck, to anyone who may be interested in participating in the program. Tell them that Latisha Lyles sent you and I wish you all good luck.
From your Cally Girl
For those who are blind or visually impaired there are many different things we can purchase to help us function on a day-to-day basis. This article is going to cover android versus Apple iOS 8.
When you are blind or visually impaired trying to decide what kind of cell phone or tablet to get is a little more difficult. Right now Android and Apple are the two main devices that are out there and they work great. we want to attempt to educate you on both devices so you can make an informed decision on which one suits your needs.Please note that you should always go out and play with both before making a decision there is no substitute for hands-on experience.
We will be covering Android and Apple IOS in more detail in separate postings.
Screen Reader— VoiceOver on iPad is much more comprehensive than an Android Talks.
VoiceOver will read webpages whileAndroid Talks will not. voiceover will read books to students. Books can be purchased fromiBooks, Amazon.com, or Google Play Store. On iPad over 4 million books can be read aloud. None of these books can be read aloud on Android The exception for Android is that it can read public domain books, that's all. VoiceOver can read email. Talks cannot.
Book share: Both devices can read Book share books.
Apple IOS uses Read2Go app Android uses Go Read app. The Read2Go app offers a better control over speech rate and color of text and background.
The one place where Android shines is in the Swype Keyboard. It has word prediction. This means word prediction in any text field. Apple iOS8 does have word prediction. One must buy specific apps on IOS. like Co:Writter to get word prediction.
Pinch and Zoom is much better on iOS than Android.
When pinch and zoom does not work iOS 8 offers a Zoom feature that magnifies the whole screen. Android offers the Zoom feature but it only magnifies part of the screen and is less effective. And now iOS 8 has a feature called speak screen which android does not.
Apple iOS 8 now has switch control build in. Android requires purchase of additional hardware for switch control e.g. Tecla Shield.
Apple iOS 8 has Braille keyboard support. Android does not.
There are a number of apps that are the same for iOS 8 and Android.
However, over all, the apps work much better on iOS than Android.