Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Talking Tech for March 8 2015

Some Changes at Pacific Vision and Humanware


Sam Taylor who has been one of the staff looking after blindness related products at Humanware has moved from Humanware to Pacific Vision.


Scott Erichsen has taken the place of Sam and is now working at Humanware previously working at Vision Australia, Pacific Vision, and Quantum Technology.


Pacific Vision

 amongst other products sell the HIMMS range of products including the Braillesense U2 etc.





Amongst other products sells the Braille Note.




Humanware Tease’s about a new product to be launch at the CSUN Conference Mar 23: Touching The Future. 

We don’t know what it  is, touching the future could be either a touch screen or touching Braille, we’ll find out at the CSUN Conference later in March.



News From Freedom Scientific


FSCast 121


Interesting development, you will get notified by a JAWS 17 update due out on March 15 when there is a new FSCast to listen to: a bit odd, but makes sense from a marketing point of view.


iOS Training

In more FS news, on March 4 FS announced a iOs training bundle with a daisy book training tutorial bundle with a Plextalk Pocket daisy player: not sure yet if this is available in Austrlia.


No news on yet when Quantum Technology may be bringing this in.


The training starts with an introduction to touch-screen devices, including basic navigation gestures and setting up an iOS device for the first time. This is followed by modules on navigating the Home screen, opening and closing apps, and making and receiving phone calls with an iPhone®. It then progresses to lessons for specific apps, including:

  • VoiceOver and iOS settings
  • Using Siri®
  • Using iCloud and iTunes®
  • Using a traditional Bluetooth® keyboard or refreshable Braille displayand Safari


$599 Us, and not sure if currently available in Australia.


Update to Openbook


Update to OpenBook V9 with OCR improvements and the ability to use Onyx or Topaz video magnifiers as cameras instead of the Pearl.



Extra Large Mouse and Cursors for Windows from 22 Point


Very handy for low vision users of Microsof Windows.



Send To Braille from APH


The American Printing House has created a free program, Send to Braille, that will generate a bare-bones UEB Contracted Braille Document from Word or other types of documents:




Microsoft Ongoing Commitment to Improving Office 365 and Beyond


Microsoft was very busy in 2015 ramping up its accessibility input in to their products, and in 2016 for Office 365 they have the following that they are committed to work on:


1. To insure authors that their content is accessible to screen reader users,

*Adding the Accessibility Checker to Office  for Macs,

*Enhance PDF support for the PDF standard to better support screen readers when Word docs are exported to PDF files with appropriate tags..

2. Better meet the needs of diverse writers:

*Enhance the spell checker in Word and Outlook 2016 for PC’s.

3. Enable users of screen readers to work with graphical objects in Word, Excel, and Power Point on desktop and mobile platforms.

4. Increase productivity of screen reader users of Office 365 apps on PC’s.

5. Increase the accessibility of Word for Mac.

6. Improve the accessibility of office 365 mobile apps including Windows 10, iOS, and Android.

7. Improve the accessibility of Office online and Outlook on the web for vision impaired users.



1 comment:

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