Monday, 8 July 2013

Talking Tech for July 8 2013

Vision Australia's Technology exhibition (Texpo) 2013


Just a reminder that the Vision Australia Texpo is coming up again in August/September 2013 held at the Vision Australia office's in Brisbane, Melbourne, and Sydney.


Dates are:

Coorparoo (Brisbane) - Friday the 30th and Saturday  the 31st of August 10am to 4pm both days.

Kooyong (Melbourne) -  Friday the 6th and Saturday  the 7th of September 10am to 4pm both days.

Enfield (Sydney) - Friday the 13th and Saturday  the 14th of September 10am to 4pm both days.

As usual there will be lots of suppliers, and a number of workshops including: Digital Access (Tablets and Smartphones, Q&A panel (a chance to ask the experts), etc.

We are also trying out the use of QR codes to give those that have SmartPhones access to dynamic information.

For more information about Vision Australia Texpo, please use the following link:


AFB AccessWorld July 2013 edition


In the July edition of the AFB AccessWorld 2013, major topics included: a review of the screen enhancement features in Android 4.2.2: review of TapTapSee, CamFind and Talking Goggles object identification apps for iOS: working with text on the Mac: an update to AccessNote: and other articles.


This is the back to school edition for AFB AccessWorld, which is odd for us folks in Australia since we don't start our new school year until the beginning of 2014.


The following link will take you to the July AccessWorld edition:


revisiting HD voice - mobile voice calling technology


Sometimes I forget when I speak to another person using their iPhone 5, that we are using HD voice for our calls, which is a lot clearer than calling mobile phones that do not use this technology.


Quite a few smartphones (besides the iPhone 5) are using this technology.  As long as the mobile provider provides HD voice, there is nothing for you to do besides call another person using an HD voice compatible handset and enjoy the increased voice quality, and reduced background noise.


The link below is a presentation done by Telstra when HD voice first became available on the Telstra network, and gives a comparison of HD voice and non HD voice mobile phone calls: quite surprising the difference.


GW Micro announces SocialEyes


Gw Micro (the developer of the Window-Eyes screen reader for Windows), announced last week the upcoming release of SocialEyes: a Windows application to allow a screen reader user to access Facebook in an accessible manner which will work with Windows screen readers (not just Window-Eyes).


The service will cost $50 per year (with a $25 per year introductory offer when it becomes available).


GW Micro is taking pre-orders, and you can read more about it at:


GW Micro - GW Connect


Just a reminder that GW Micro has also developed another Windows application to allow screen reader users to use Skype via the fully accessible GW Connect application which supports the functionality of Skype.


Read more about GW Connect at:


Job Access work place funding scheme in Australia


In Australia, we have a Government service: Job Access: which provides equipment for people in the work place that require modifications or assistive technology.


I recently had a Job Access work place assessment, and thought I would share the 3 main items which I received via this scheme as I often get asked what type of assistive technology that I actually use myself.


Pearl - portable document reading solution from Freedom Scientific


Yes, I know, it's not an Apple product (smile).


I needed a quick and reliable portable OCR solution for my work Windows 7 laptop, and the Pearl digital document camera, and the OpenBook software fitted the bill extremely well.


Read more about the Pearl at:


Braille Sense U2 from HIMS


Yep, another non Apple product.


My Pac Mate from 2003 had finally given up a year or two ago, and I needed another Braille note taking solution which would also work with my iPhone, iPad, and Mac, of course, all using VoiceOver.


What attracted me to the Braille Sense u2 was it's access to Dropbox, Twitter, and Youtube.  In addition, in all the times I have assisted folks over the Help Desk in connecting the U2 to iOS and Mac, I have never had an issue.


Read more about the Braille Sense U2 at:



The New MacBook air with 12 hour battery life


Yes, an Apple product at last.


The main reason for getting the Mac air was to replace my own personal MacBook pro which I was using for doing presentations via the Apple TV, podcasting with Amadeus pro, and training folks on the use of VoiceOver on the Mac.  The weight reduction is great, and of course, the up to 12 hours battery life is absolutely fantastic: considering my MacBook pro was doing about 5 hours.


Read more about the new MacBook pro at:

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