Assistive Technology

In this episode

Jeremy and Mark have a fund discussion about the accessibility of the iPhoneX especially as it relates to the facial recognition feature.

The Interactive Accessibility Podcast (IAP) is an entertaining approach to accessibility. We enjoy sharing our discussions on accessibility and how it relates to technology, real-life issues, information, businesses, and people with disabilities.

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JAWS 2018 Public Beta

Jaws has released the 2018 Public Beta. Among the new features are:

  • JAWS Version Number Change
  • Microsoft Edge Support
  • Convenient OCR Adds Support for Freedom Scientific Cameras and Flatbed Scanners
  • All New Installer
  • New Verbosity Options for the Virtual Cursor“Document and Web Pages Automatically Read when Loaded” Option added to settings
  • Support for Microsoft Mobile Voices in Windows 10
  • Updated Liblouis Braille Translator
  • Improvement to Jaws Language Switching
  • Acronym Expansion Included When Spelling a Word
  • Read Dialog Boxes in Modern Apps

For more details and to download the JAWS 2018 Public Beta read What’s new in JAWS 2018 Public Beta on the Freedom Scientific website. 

For those who are blind the total solar eclipse, which is coming on August 21, 2017, could be little more than a story if it weren’t for The Eclipse Soundscapes Project by NASA’s Heliophysics Education Consortium. Through an iOS app, the project will deliver a multisensory experience of the event. This will include:

  • Audio description in real time
  • Recordings of the changing environment
  • A “rumble map” allowing user to visualize the eclipse through touch

The recordings will remain available as an open source file. The app can be downloaded from the apple store.  It will also be available for android soon. MP3 and MP4 files will also be available for desktop

The ZoomText development has delivered a robust set of version 11.5 updates for ZoomText 11 Magnifier, Magnifier/Reader and Fusion. These free updates deliver important enhancements to the ZoomText software, improving performance, stability and functionality in ZoomText’s features and tools. Also included are much faster updating of ZoomText (through the ZoomText Update Wizard), new localizations for Hebrew and Japanese, and a new “Hotkey Layouts” menu for simultaneously switching ZoomText and JAWS between their respective desktop and laptop hotkey layouts (when running ZoomText Fusion only). You can learn about all of the changes in the 11.5 update in the ZoomText 11 release notes: https://www.zoomtext.com/help/releasenotes.

To get the ZoomText 11.5 updates (for Magnifier and Magnifier/Reader)

  • If a previous version of ZoomText 11 Magnifier or Magnifier Reader is already installed on your system, go to the ZoomText 11 toolbar and choose ZoomText > Manage License > Check for Updates. This will launch the update wizard and walk you through the fast update process.

    If you need to install ZoomText 11.5 Magnifier or Magnifier/Reader on a new system (where ZoomText is not yet installed), you can download the full installer from the ZoomText Downloads webpage: http://zoomtext.com/downloads. On this webpage, go to the section titled “ZoomText 11 Magnifier and Magnifier/Reader” and choose the installer that matches your license type.

To get the Fusion 11.5 updates

  • Go to the ZoomText Downloads webpage: http://zoomtext.com/downloads. On this page, go to the section titled Fusion 11 and choose the installer that matches the language you require.

We hope you are enjoying ZoomText 11 and would love to hear your thoughts on how we can make it better. Send your feedback to support@aisquared.com.

The ZoomText 11.4 update is now available for ZoomText 11 Magnifier, Magnifier/Reader, and Fusion. This free update (for users of ZoomText 11) provides expanded support for Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox, including full 32- and 64-bit support, stable magnification, and our popular Smart Invert feature. In addition, this update also brings a variety of compatibility fixes for popular applications, a new banner and sound cues that improve the usability of ZoomText’s layered command keys, and other refinements to the ZoomText user interface and localizations.

Learn about all of the changes in the 11.4 update in the ZoomText 11 release notes https://www.zoomtext.com/help/releasenotes.

To get the 11.4 update, go to the ZoomText 11 toolbar and choose ZoomText > Manage License > Check for Updates. This will launch the update wizard and walk you through the installation. If you prefer, you can also download the full ZoomText 11.4 installer from the product updates page: https://www.zoomtext.com/help/product-updates/. Be sure to download the installer that matches your license type.

We hope you are enjoying ZoomText 11 and would love to hear your thoughts on how we can make it better. Send your feedback to support@aisquared.com.

The latest release of NVDA (2017.2) includes full support for audio ducking in the Windows 10 Creators Update; fixes for several selection issues in browse mode, including problems with select all; significant improvements in Microsoft Edge support; and improvements on the web such as indication of elements marked as current (using aria-current).

New Features

  • Cell border information can now be reported in Microsoft Excel by using NVDA+f. (#3044)
  • In web browsers, NVDA now indicates when an element has been marked as current (specifically, using the aria-current attribute). (#6358)
  • Automatic language switching is now supported in Microsoft Edge. (#6852)
  • Added support for Windows Calculator on Windows 10 Enterprise LTSB (Long-Term Servicing Branch) and Server. (#6914)
  • Performing the read current line command three times quickly spells the line with character descriptions. (#6893)
  • New language: Burmese.
  • Unicode up and down arrows and fraction symbols are now spoken appropriately. (#3805)

Changes

  • When navigating with simple review in applications using UI Automation, more extraneous objects are now ignored, making navigation easier. (#6948, #6950)

Bug Fixes

  • Web page menu items can now be activated while in browse mode. (#6735)
  • Pressing escape while the configuration profile "Confirm Deletion" dialog is active now dismisses the dialog. (#6851)
  • Fixed some crashes in Mozilla Firefox and other Gecko applications where the multi-process feature is enabled. (#6885)
  • Reporting of background color in screen review is now more accurate when text was drawn with a transparent background. (#6467)
  • Improved support for control descriptions provided on web pages in Internet Explorer 11 (specifically, support for aria-describedby within iframes and when multiple IDs are provided). (#5784)
  • In the Windows 10 Creators Update, NVDA's audio ducking again works as in previous Windows releases; i.e. Duck with speech and sounds, always duck and no ducking are all available. (#6933)
  • NVDA will no longer fail to navigate to or report certain (UIA) controls where a keyboard shortcut is not defined. (#6779)
  • Two empty spaces are no longer added in keyboard shortcut information for certain (UIA) controls. (#6790)
  • Certain combinations of keys on HIMS displays (e.g. space+dot4) no longer fail intermittently. (#3157)
  • Fixed an issue when opening a serial port on systems using certain languages other than English which caused connecting to braille displays to fail in some cases. (#6845)
  • Reduced the chance of the configuration file being corrupted when Windows shuts down. Configuration files are now written to a temporary file before replacing the actual configuration file. (#3165)
  • When performing the read current line command twice quickly to spell the line, the appropriate language is now used for the spelled characters. (#6726)
  • Navigating by line in Microsoft Edge is now up to three times faster in the Windows 10 Creators Update. (#6994)
  • NVDA no longer announces "Web Runtime grouping" when focusing Microsoft Edge documents in the Windows 10 Creators Update. (#6948)
  • All existing versions of SecureCRT are now supported. (#6302)
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader no longer crashes in certain PDF documents (specifically, those containing empty ActualText attributes). (#7021, #7034)
  • In browse mode in Microsoft Edge, interactive tables (ARIA grids) are no longer skipped when navigating to tables with t and shift+t. (#6977)
  • In browse mode, pressing shift+home after selecting forward now unselects to the beginning of the line as expected. (#5746)
  • In browse mode, select all (control+a) no longer fails to select all text if the caret is not at the start of the text. (#6909)
  • Fixed some other rare selection problems in browse mode. (#7131)

Changes for Developers

  • Commandline arguments are now processed with Python's argparse module, rather than optparse. This allows certain options such as -r and -q to be handled exclusively. (#6865)
  • core.callLater now queues the callback to NVDA's main queue after the given delay, rather than waking the core and executing it directly. This stops possible freezes due to the core accidentally going to sleep after processing a callback, in the midle of a modal call such as the desplaying of a message box. (#6797)
  • The InputGesture.identifiers property has been changed so that it is no longer normalized. (#6945)
    • Subclasses no longer need to normalize identifiers before returning them from this property.
    • If you want normalized identifiers, there is now an InputGesture.normalizedIdentifiers property which normalizes the identifiers returned by the identifiers property .
  • The InputGesture.logIdentifier property is now deprecated. Callers should use InputGesture.identifiers[0] instead. (#6945)
  • Removed some deprecated code:
  • `speech.REASON_*` constants: `controlTypes.REASON_*` should be used instead. (#6846)
  • `i18nName` for synth settings: `displayName` and `displayNameWithAccelerator` should be used instead. (#6846, #5185)
  • `config.validateConfig`. (#6846, #667)
  • `config.save`: `config.conf.save` should be used instead. (#6846, #667)
  • The list of completions in the autocomplete context menu of the Python Console no longer shows any object path leading up to the final symbol being completed. (#7023)
  • Unit tests and infrastructure are located in the tests/unit directory. See the docstring in the tests\unit\init.py file for details.
  • You can run tests using "scons tests". See the "Running Tests" section of readme.md for details.
  • There is now a unit testing framework for NVDA. (#7026)

If you are submitting a pull request for NVDA, you should first run the tests and ensure they pass.

GAAD Logo

As you may have guessed from the title, today is Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD)! If you don’t know what GAAD is, it is “to get everyone thinking and learning about digital (web, software, mobile, etc.) access/inclusion and people with different disabilities.”  And, if you are coming to our site to learn about accessibility, you are in the right place!  Interactive Accessibility is known globally for being the experts in digital accessibility.

GW Micro recently announced on its website that they are ending the sales of Window-Eyes, effective immediately in the United States and Canada. Users outside of the United States and Canada should contact their local distributor for options.

Understanding how important a screen reader is to individuals with vision disabilities, they are offering JAWS® for Windows 18 as a replacement. Stating, “We are committed to providing a smooth transition and will honor existing Window-Eyes product purchases and software maintenance agreements.”

It is important to note that the free Window-Eyes Offer for Users of Microsoft Office version is not part of the conversion program.

For complete details visit the GW Micro website.

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