Carter has a great video on showing the use of Keyview while taking you through the steps of accessing YouTube videos from the Apex:
: Download the the HOW to for keyview from the HumanWare site at: http://support.humanware.com/en-usa/support/braillenote_apex/software
Chrome book Accessibility features
Not highly recommended for blind students–still too many barriers to total accessibility and speed with Chromevox
**** to turn off ChromoVox in Google Chrome – go to paper looking icon – click tools – click extensions – and disable *****
How to Enable Accessibility Options In Chrome OS
To enable accessibility options in Chrome OS, go to settings and search accessibility. You can also access them by going to Settings > Advanced Options > Accessibility
Chromevox Suit of Accessibility Options for Chrome
ChromeVox is a screen reader for Chrome which brings the speed, versatility, and security of Chrome to visually impaired users. Here is a video explaining the features of this extension. http://youtu.be/gZJtLIHZb2s
How Spoken Feedback Works
From the Chrome OS help website:
ChromeVox is a screen reader for Chrome which brings the speed, versatility, and security of Chrome to visually impaired users. The following are a few resources to help you start using ChromeVox or to help you learn new features if you're an experienced ChromeVox user.
ChromeVox is available as an extension for Google Chrome on Windows and Mac OS and comes built into Chrome OS to provide out of box accessibility. The information below should help you setup ChromeVox in your environment.
ChromeVox is an extension for Google Chrome and is available for one-click install via the Chrome Web store.
Learn how to get up and running with ChromeVox on Chrome OS devices.
This tutorial is intended to be used with ChromeVox running. It's an interactive walkthrough that introduces ChromeVox features one at a time, and enables you to try them out as you read the tutorial.
A quick-start guide to navigating with ChromeVox.
This page lists all of the ChromeVox keyboard shortcuts for your reference. ChromeVox also includes an interactive command lookup feature.
Details about changes in the 1.31 ChromeVox release available on the Chrome Web Store.
This reference a complete list of all the keyboard commands associated with ChromeVox. These commands can be referenced at any time through the command help menu. Press ChromeVox + Period and use the up and down arrow keys to navigate or begin typing the command you are looking for.
If you are using ChromeVox on Chrome OS, the ChromeVox Keys are Search + Shift. On Mac OS X, the ChromeVox keys are Control + Command and on Windows and other platforms, the ChromeVox keys are Control + Alt.
The Prefix Key is activated by pressing Control + Z. If the prefix is activated, the next key press will behave as if the ChromeVox keys are enabled. After that, the ChromeVox keys will go back to being off unless the Prefix Key is pressed again.
ChromeVox allows you navigate through lists of similar items, such as links, headers etc. To move to a specific item on a page, press ChromeVox + either N or P. N stands for Next and P stands for Previous.
To move to the next header on the page, press ChromeVox + N then H. To move to the previous header on the page, press ChromeVox + P then H.
You can also move to a specific heading level by pressing ChromeVox + N or P then the number representing that heading level. For example, to move to the next level 2 header, press ChromeVox + N then 2.
Table Mode is activated by ChromeVox + Back slash when reading a table. The following are the commands that become available only in table mode.
Use the command help menu ChromeVox + Period to explore additional table commands.
Accessibility Features on a Chromebook
posted Oct 17, 2012, 8:07 AM by Molly Schroeder
By mistake, one of my teachers found out about the Chromebook Accessibility features. Here is the information on how to Enable Spoken Feedback. Thanks to Scott Johnson for this information!
Enable spoken feedback
If you're on the main sign-in screen, press Ctrl+Alt+Z to enable or disable spoken feedback. You can also adjust this option on the Settings page.
How spoken feedback works
So many students and teachers have asked about assistive technology classes in all things blind from TechVision, so they can gain the skills they need to either have their students learn from these classes or take them themselves to increase their blind skills to TEACH their students, or just use these skills themselves. The huge advantage with these up coming classes is if you are a TVI who feels uncomfortable with teaching the tech skills right now, your students can actually take the courses (you follow along too) and you can learn together (while asking any question within the course to an instructor to move you along). While you are learning too with the student with these online classes that you can access right from a school room to learn together, you will see the student progress quickly in their studies. Because these courses will be actual lessons that teachers are requiring students to complete in class right now.
One huge advantage I have is I teach all over the country daily and I teach applicable lessons to exactly what they need that day, so everyone who takes these courses will be able to take advantage of that instruction.
The time is arriving as classes are being developed to start this spring. If you have not done so, email firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know what your biggest need is and we can make sure it is online first.
Nemeth Worksheets (NW) is a freeware program that creates Nemeth coded math worksheets based on answers to a few simple questions. NW creates worksheets for addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, simple/complex/mixed fractions, basic Algebra plus formats for money; expanded form, regrouping and decimals.
To try this product out, go to: http://nemethworksheets.weebly.com/
Constant access can happen with a teacher when students learn how to use Skype with Jaws scripts. The scripts will allow the blind person to go anywhere and do anything in Skype. When sitting in class they can contact the teacher for help through a quick text and recieve the answer in seconds….no matter where the teacher is at in the world.
Watch Youtube video: Demonstration of how to use Skype with Jaws scripts to communicate with students
Calling all blind Seniors:
If you want to impress your senior committee members for your Senior Project….this is the way to do it. Just create a PPT right before their eyes, with just a keyboard and talking software and any of the other myriad of great tech skills you use to access the world.
Completely blind yet notice the perfect touch typing skills- click on You Tube. She knows all the keystrokes to insert videos and pictures into a PowerPoint presentation and complete the perfect slide show
Lessons to help you.
Now that the Cogswell-Macy Act has been reintroduced in the U.S. House of Representatives as HR3535 and is beginning to get a fair bit more attention, as the principal author of the blindness provisions, I'm starting to hear both a lot of excitement about the bill and some questions about it, and I wanted to make sure that the lines of communication are open and clear. In particular, I'm hearing that some folks are concerned about the bill's potential impact on braille use and instruction, so let me try to address that. And please feel free to share this with others who may be interested.
First, the Alice Cogswell and Anne Sullivan Macy Act is intended to make the strongest case possible for the need for dramatic improvements in the education of students who are blind, deaf, or deafblind, and as such, H.R.
3535 is the most comprehensive special education legislation meeting the unique needs of students with sensory disabilities that our communities have come together to promote in decades. While it is conceivable that the bill could be enacted by the Congress as stand-alone legislation, more than likely, the policy objectives it is intended to achieve will be incorporated in Congress's overall effort to review and amend the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), which the Congress is expected to take up in the next couple of years. However, we shouldn't wait for Congress, and in fact many of us are working with the U.S. Department of Education now, as we have been doing for a long time, to keep making improvements for students. But the Cogswell-Macy bill sets out the specific longterm legislative changes that must be made to IDEA if all of the students we care about are going to succeed.
The main things that the Cogswell-Macy bill does include: making sure students with sensory disabilities, including those who have additional disabilities, nevertheless have their blindness, deafness, or deafblindness properly identified and those sensory-specific learning needs addressed; holding states and schools more accountable than they are today for all of the services our students need; adding resources to the blindness community so that our teachers can do their jobs better; and particularly with respect to deafblindness, promote intervener services and much more recognition of the full array of services needed by students with deafblindness. There is a lot to the Cogswell-Macy Act, but in brief, it is really the first time our communities have come together in this way to lay out in know uncertain terms that all of the specialized services our kids need must be met if America's special education system is going to be meaningful for them.
Far from undermining instruction in and use of braille, the Cogswell-Macy bill reaffirms that every child who is blind is to be provided with braille unless the team of educators, administrators, parents and other advocates, the IEP Team, makes a determination after appropriate evaluation that braille isn't appropriate for this or that child. This has been the law of the land since 1997. Why isn't braille being provided today as it should be? We know that there are lots of excuses, including negative attitudes about braille, the unavailability of teachers to teach it, and so on. But one key reason why students are denied braille is that they are not recognized as being blind but are classified as having multiple disabilities or are categorized in one other of the thirteen disability categories in IDEA. Since most of the students we're fighting for do in fact have additional disabilities, you can imagine that lots of students who are blind or deafblind are getting put into other disability categories and so are not being recognized for their blindness-related learning needs.
The Cogswell-Macy bill puts a stop to this practice, making the braille mandate even more meaningful. And for those students who are in fact blind only, the Macy bill demands, as it does for blind students who do have additional disabilities, that the U.S. Department of Education take the braille mandate much more seriously and track whether students are in fact receiving braille as they should.
It is true that H.R. 3535 also lays out additional services to which students who need such services must clearly have a legal right to in order for them to fully participate and succeed in school. These services include orientation and mobility, low vision services and devices, independent living and other vital services. But it is important to remember that everything in the Cogswell-Macy bill, just like everything in IDEA, is about spelling out what the students we care about must have a right to. No law is automatic or can work without strong advocates to make it a reality.
So what we need to do is to give parents every tool that we can give them to make sure that their children have access to any and all services that they need. For example, if it is suggested to parents that their child be evaluated for independent living services, and the parents say no, our child's doing very well in that area and we want you to focus on other more pressing unmet needs, then independent living services will not be in the IEP. Conversely, if a school tries to tell parents that teaching students important independent living skills isn't the school's responsibility, the Macy bill will ensure that parents can much more effectively challenge that denial of services and, just as importantly, ensure that a blind child who has additional disabilities is taught independent living skills in a way that is truly effective for students who are blind.
As someone who has been a life-long braille reader, I can tell you on a personal note that I would never tolerate any attempt to weaken the existing braille requirements. And I'll also tell you that, professionally, I have been trying to respond to those in our field who are interested in finding some way to strengthen the braille requirements even more. One way I think that can happen might be to spell out in IDEA that the IEP Team can only make a determination to withhold braille with the parents' consent.
Right now, IEP Teams make that determination as a group based on consensus but may make that determination in spite of the parents' objections. Of course, if parents are upset at the denial of braille today, they can formally protest the decision using the procedures and remedies that IDEA provides already. So it seems to me that further restricting IEP Teams'
denial of braille to those situations in which parents concur might be a good way to further empower parents to protect their children's right to braille. But this proposal hasn't been written into H.R. 3535 because I know that other consumer advocates for blind kids are thinking through whether they like this approach or whether a different approach would be better or whether the existing law is sufficient.
So the bottom line for now is this– The Macy bill does nothing to the existing presumption for braille instruction and only makes it even more meaningful by ensuring that students who are blind who have additional disabilities nevertheless have their blindness-specific needs honored.
Additionally, the Macy bill empowers parents who want to be sure the fullest possible array of services are available for their children by spelling out exactly what those services are and unequivocally establishing that our kids have a right to these services. The Macy bill does not shove these additional services down students' throats but rather gives parents clearer legal footholds to stand their ground more effectively for their children.
With that, let me close by thanking you for your advocacy. We've got a long road ahead of us, but with the unprecedented collaboration we've built with the blindness, deafness and deafblindness communities working together, we are positioning ourselves well to affect significant change. And please do not hesitate to reach out to me directly with any questions or ideas you may have.
Orientation and Mobility made easier
By Julie Adkins
If you are an independent traveler, or you like to have control over planning your route and finding places around you, I just can't say enough good things about an app called BlindSquare. Okay, it costs $30.00. So, you may ask, why would I want to spend $30.00 on an app if my phone has a GPS app built in, and I can just ask Siri to give me directions wherever I want to go? First of all, it finds many more places than your iPhone does. This is because behind the scenes it uses data that has been input by thousands of users of a very popular app called Four Square.
Secondly, the app makes it extremely easy to find places to go and things to do (these are called "Points of Interest" or POIs in GPS apps). Everything is broken down into categories, like Food, Arts and Entertainment, Nightlife spots, Outdoors and Recreation, and Shop and Service, and then each category has a list of subcategories of things as specific as Afghan Food, or Falafel Restaurant (in Food), or Shoe Repair or ATMs (in Shop and Service). You can just read through the list of places in each category to see what is available, or have it announce the places to you as you are walking or riding.
If you need directions, you can ask it to give you directions to your destination through the built in Maps app, Google maps, or several other popular navigation apps, such as Wav, TomTom, and Navigon. You can even order an Uber ride from right within the app.
If you are walking or riding and having BlindSquare announce Points
of Interest to you as you go, you can use a filter to narrow it down
to just the information you want to hear. The example they give is
that you want to go shopping for clothes, but you don't know which shops you want to visit.
You would ask BlindSquare to only tell you places in the Shop and
Service category as you are walking through the city (and of course then you could even narrow it down to one of the subcategories if you wish, like clothing store). Or maybe have it only look for Food if you are looking for restaurants. And, of course, you could just search for a specific place if you know exactly where you want to go, or have it search within a specific distance. Easily save places to your Favorites so you can find them again quickly. You can even
simulate a trip from a certain spot so you can find out in advance what will be around you when you go somewhere, preplan your routes for when you will be there, and so on.
You can ask Blind Square to tell you what points of interest
(including intersections) are around you within a certain radius, and you get to
choose the radius. It even has a feature called Look Around that allows you to point your phone in a direction and find out what is located in that particular direction (again, you get to choose the distance). Just shake the phone to exit this Look Around mode. When you are walking, you can also just shake the phone to find out where you are. You can even leave your ears open to listen to traffic and
other sounds in the environment by using bone conducting head phones. No, I didn't realize there was such a thing, either. Apparently they have been in use by walkers and joggers for quite some time. There is a link within the BlindSquare app to find them on Amazon. It appears they range from about $50 to $150, depending on their features, such as battery life and sound quality. I would imagine you would want to be sure they are wireless (Bluetooth).
If you want to read about all the features Blindsquare has to offer
(yes, there are more!), you can find the help file on the internet at https://docs.google.com/document/pub?id=1Rz0w2tRq0uAVx9DQ0hpyVCX9G3c8IundPnzksTI1nVQ. Also check out this YouTube video of a blind person walking around by herself in a mall to see how it can work indoors with devices called iBeacons that transmit information about the person's location as he or she walks by: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9jH-Bdjmgb4. No, sorry, these iBeacons are not set up in your local mall. But this shows what is possible for independent travel in the future. The video has dialogue in another language, so if you use a screen reader, be sure it is set to read captions. There are other videos about BlindSquare on YouTube-just be sure they are in English.
If you want to try BlindSquare out without buying it, they have a demo version called Blindsquare Event that is free. You can't use it to get around in your environment (it is not going to connect to any GPS apps), but it lets you try out its other features as if you are located in places like Times Square in New York or Big Ben in London. When the app opens, choose the option for Demo, and then choose the simulated location you want to explore.
Assistive Technology Trainer