Guest Post: BlindShell, Simple, intuitive and accessible phones for visually impaired

BlindShell, Simple, intuitive and accessible phones for visually impaired
Date Saved: 7/5/19, 1:50 PM
Source: https://www.blindshell.com/
Note: Check above and below links for videos about this device.

New BlindShell Classic
Over the past few years, we have sold phones for the visually impaired to thousands of customers across 20 countries. We have worked to create a phone that would be durable, stylish, and most importantly, easy to use for the blind and visually impaired. Based on the feedback and input from our users, we introduced the BlindShell Classic last year. This phone encompasses the best of what the world of mobile phones for the blind offers.
• Carefully designed keypad with comfortable buttons.
• Voice Control or tactile keypad for the simplest to use phone yet.
• Optimized shape, which perfectly fits your hand.
• Lifetime updates and fantastic support.

Blindshell Classic
• Single button quick dial
• SOS emergency button
• Quick menu navigation by shortcuts
• FM radio
• Calendar
• E-mail
• Voice control
• Text dictation
• Object tagging

BLINDSHELL 2 BAROQU
• Voice control
• Text dictation
• Object tagging
• Color recognition
• Mp3 and audio-book player
• GPS position
• Games
• WhatsApp
• Facebook Messenger

WHAT SEPARATES BLINDSHELL FROM THE REST?
First and foremost, it’s been designed to be helpful. No frills. We’ve listened to our customers and honed its features to be simple. The BlindShell Classic caters to the actual needs of visually impaired users. The physical keypad and large assortment of applications are designed and chosen specifically for the blind user’s needs.
It is truly intuitive to use. You can either use the keypad or control your phone by voice. And yes, you’ll figure out how to operate it in less than 30 minutes.
Lastly, we wanted to develop a phone which will last. That’s why we carefully chose the BlindShell Classic design to be practical, sturdy, and easy to use. The lifelong free updates give peace of mind that you will be happy with your purchase for years to come.

Demonstration Video Re-posted from Carrie Morales, Live Accessible:
Hey Everyone,
The BlindShell Classic Phone is coming out to the US and it’s a phone that’s specifically designed for the blind and visually impaired. It’s a great option for someone looking for a phone that has physical buttons, very easy to use, and totally accessible. Here’s a review I did of the phone if anyone is interested! https://youtu.be/XSE8grhy_8g

Carrie Morales
Website: LiveAccessible.Com
YouTube: Live Accessible
Instagram: @LiveAccessible
Twitter: @LiveAccessible
Email: carrie@liveaccessible.com

*Picture Description: Text reads Live accessible: blindness or Low Vision does not define or limit you on a blue background

Guest Post: You are invited to participate in the Government of Canada’s Accessibility Survey/Le gouvernement du Canada vous invite à participer à son sondage sur l’accessibilité  

On June 25, 2019 at 2:35:36 PM EDT <ACCESSIBLE-CANADA@HRSDC-RHDCC.GC.CA> said:

You are invited to participate in the Government of Canada’s Accessibility Survey/Le gouvernement du Canada vous invite à participer à son sondage sur l’accessibilité

**French follows English **

 

To whom it may concern,

Employment and Social Development Canada’s (ESDC) Accessibility Secretariat has engaged Quorus Consulting Group to conduct a survey measuring Canadians’ awareness and experiences with accessibility and disability issues. The results of the survey will be used to help shape future federal accessibility policy.

We are inviting you to participate. The study is open to all Canadian citizens at least 18 years of age who have had a disability in the past or are currently living with a disability.

The survey should take about 15 minutes of your time, depending on how much feedback you want to provide. Your decision to participate is up to you and will not affect your relationship with the Government of Canada or the services they provide you in any way. The information you provide will be managed according to the requirements of the Privacy Act. The final report on the survey will be available to the public through Library and Archives Canada, and shared with the disability community.

Quorus is accepting survey submissions until July 5th, 2019. There are many ways you can participate in the survey:

  • You can complete the fully accessible online version of the survey by clicking on the following link: online survey
  • You can schedule a telephone interview by calling the following toll-free number: 1-866-875-5470. You will be prompted to leave a message describing when you would like to be called by an interviewer.
  • You can use your VRS, IP relay or TTY service to call the toll-free number: 1-866-875-5470 to schedule a telephone interview. When you are prompted to leave a message, please include your VRS, IP relay or TTY contact number, preferred language and time you would like to be called by an interviewer.
  • You can also email discussions@quorusconsulting.com to request a VRS, IP relay or TTY interview. In your email please include the following information:

o       If requesting VRS, your preferred language (ASL or LSQ) and your VRS contact number.

o       If requesting IP relay or TTY, your preferred language and service contact number.

If you have any questions or concerns about this survey or need it in another format, please contact the team at Quorus at discussions@quorusconsulting.com.  If you would like to contact someone at ESDC regarding this study, please email ACCESSIBLE-CANADA@HRSDC-RHDCC.GC.CA

The team at Quorus and at ESDC want to thank you for your involvement in helping to shape the future of accessibility in Canada. Feel free to share the information about this survey with other people who might be interested in participating.

 

Avis aux intéressés :

Le Secrétariat de l’accessibilité d’Emploi et Développement social Canada (EDSC) a retenu les services du groupe‑conseil Quorus pour faire enquête sur le degré de connaissance et d’expérience des Canadiens et Canadiennes face aux questions d’accessibilité et aux handicaps. Les résultats de cette enquête aideront à orienter les politiques fédérales sur l’accessibilité.

On vous invite à participer. L’enquête est ouverte à tous les citoyens et citoyennes du Canada âgés d’au moins 18 ans qui ont eu un handicap dans le passé ou qui vivent présentement avec un handicap.

Le questionnaire devrait prendre environ 15 minutes, selon le nombre de commentaires que vous voulez partager. Vous êtes entièrement libres de participer ou non au sondage et votre décision n’aura aucune conséquence sur vos interactions avec le gouvernement du Canada ou sur la prestation de services que vous recevez. Les renseignements fournis seront traités conformément aux exigences de la Loi sur la protection des renseignements personnels. Le public aura accès au rapport final du sondage auprès de Bibliothèque et Archives Canada; le rapport sera aussi partagé avec les communautés des personnes handicapées.

Quorus accepte les questionnaires dûment remplis jusqu’au 5 juillet 2019. Votre participation au sondage peut se faire au moyen d’une des méthodes suivantes :

  • Cliquez sur le lien suivant pour remplir la version en ligne entièrement accessible du questionnaire : sondage en ligne
  • Composez le numéro sans frais 1-866-875-5470 pour fixer un rendez-vous pour répondre au questionnaire par téléphone. On vous demandera de nous dire à quel moment vous voudriez qu’on communique avec vous pour faire l’entrevue.
  • Composez le numéro sans frais 1-866-875-5470 avec votre SRV, votre relais IP ou votre service ATS pour fixer un rendez-vous pour répondre au questionnaire par téléphone. Lorsqu’on vous demandera de laisser un message, veuillez donner les renseignements suivants : vos coordonnées téléphoniques de SRV, de relais IP ou d’ATS, la langue dans laquelle vous préférez répondre au questionnaire et l’heure à laquelle vous voudriez qu’on communique avec vous pour faire l’entrevue.
  • Faites parvenir un courriel pour demander une entrevue par SRV, relais IP ou ATS à l’adresse discussions@quorusconsulting.com. Assurez-vous de fournir les renseignements suivants dans votre courriel :
    • Si vous utilisez le SRV, précisez votre langue de préférence (ASL ou LSQ) et les coordonnées téléphoniques de votre SRV.
    • Si vous utilisez le relais IP ou ATS, précisez votre langue de préférence et les coordonnées téléphoniques de votre service.
  • Demandez ou téléchargez un exemplaire papier, un exemplaire papier ou numérisé en braille, ou un format DAISY du questionnaire en vous rendant sur le site quorusconsultations.com ou en faisant parvenir un courriel à discussions@quorusconsulting.com.

Si vous avez des questions ou des préoccupations concernant cette enquête ou si vous avez besoin d’un autre format, veuillez communiquer avec l’équipe Quorus à l’adresse discussions@quorusconsulting.com. Si vous désirez communiquer avec une personne d’EDSC au sujet de cette enquête, veuillez faire parvenir un courriel à ACCESSIBLE-CANADA@HRSDC-RHDCC.GC.CA

L’équipe Quorus et EDSC désirent vous remercier de votre contribution au développement de l’avenir de l’accessibilité au Canada. Nous vous invitons à partager les renseignements concernant le sondage avec d’autres personnes qui souhaiteraient y participer.

 

 

Guest Post: iPadOS 13 Features: What’s New for iPad, iPad Pro and iPad Air by Khamosh Pathak

iPadOS 13 Features: What’s New for iPad, iPad Pro and iPad Air

Author: Khamosh Pathak

Date Written: Jun 3, 2019 at 5:00 PM

Date Saved: 6/4/19, 9:32 AM

Source: http://www.iphonehacks.com/2019/06/ipados-13-features-whats-new.html

 

Apple is finally taking the iPad seriously. And their way of showing it is a whole new OS specially designed for the iPad. And they’re calling it iPadOS. While iPadOS shares a lot of features with iOS 13, it adds many iPad specific features for enhances multitasking, file management, Apple Pencil use, and pro app usage. Here are all the new iPadOS 13 features you should care about.

iPadOS 13 Features: Everything That’s New 1. Dark Mode

 

iOS 13’s new Dark Mode is also available on iPadOS 13. It is system-wide. It extends from the Lock screen, Home screen, to stock apps. Apple has even integrated dynamic wallpapers that change when you switch to dark mode.

Dark Mode can be enabled from the Brightness slider and it can be scheduled to automatically turn on after sunset.

  1. Multiple Apps in Slide Over

 

iPadOS 13 features a bit multitasking overhaul. And it starts with Slide Over. Now, you can have multiple apps in the same window in Slide Over. Once you’ve got one floating window, you can drag in an app from the Dock to add more windows to it. Once more than one app is added to Split View, you’ll see an iPhone style Home bar at the bottom. Swipe horizontally on it to switch between apps just in the Slide Over panel. Swipe up to see all apps in Slide Over.

  1. Same App in Multiple Spaces

The next big thing is the fact that you can have multiple instances of the same app in multiple spaces. This means that you can pair Safari with Google Docs on one Space, Safari and Safari in another space and have Safari and Twitter open in yet another space.

And this works using drag and drop. You can just pick a Safari tab from the toolbar and drag it to the right edge of the screen to create another instance of the app.

  1. App Expose Comes to iPad

App Expose on iPad answers the question, how do you keep track of the same app across multiple spaces? Just tap on the app icon that’s already open and it will open App Expose. It will list all instances of the open app. You can tap on a space to switch to it or swipe up to quit the space.

  1. New Tighter App Grid on Home Screen

Apple has also tweaked the iPad Home screen grid so that you now have a row of 6 icons on the 11 inch iPad Pro.

  1. Pin Today Widgets on Home Screen

If you swipe in from the left edge of the Home screen, you’ll find that the Today View widgets will be docked to the left edge. And you can see and use all your widgets easily. But you can also pit it so that it’s always available (from the Edit menu).

  1. Favorite Widgets for Home Screen

You can also pin your favorite widgets to the top so that they are always accessible.

  1. 30% Faster Face ID Unlocking

The new iPad Pros with Face ID now unlock up to 30% faster when running iPadOS 13.

  1. New Reminders App

The new Reminders app is also available on the iPad and it looks gorgeous. The sidebar has the four filters at the top, and your lists below. You can quickly tap on a list, see all reminders and create new ones. New reminders can be created using natural language input.

  1. Real Automation in Shortcuts App

There’s a new Automations tab that brings real-world automation to the iPad. Shortcuts can now be triggered automatically based on time, location and even by using NFC tags.

  1. Improved Photos App

Photos app brings an improved browsing experience. There’s a new Photos tab that is a list of all your photos. You can pinch in and out to zoom. From the top, you can switch to the Days tab to only show the best photos from a given day. The same goes for the Months tab as well.

  1. New Photo Editor

There’s a new photo editor in the Photos app. Just tap on the Edit button to access it. The new UI is much more visual and easier to use. All the standard tools are available, along with new tools for editing Brilliance, Highlights, Shadows, Saturation and more. There’s also a very good auto-enhance mode.

  1. New Video Editor

The new Video editor is also quite good. You can quickly crop videos, change the aspect ratio, rotate videos and more..

  1. Access Apple Pencil Tool Palette Anywhere Apple is integrating the Apple Pencil deeply into iPadOS. The new Pencil Tool Pallete will be available in more apps. And it can be minimized and moved around easily.
  2. Reduced Apple Pencil Latency

Apple Pencil is even faster with iOS 13. The latency has been reduced from 20ms to just 9ms.

  1. Full Page Markup Anywhere

You can swipe in from the bottom corner of the screen using the Apple Pencil to take a screenshot and to start annotating it. You’ll also see an option to take full page screenshot in the right side.

  1. Scroll Bar Scrubbing

You can grab the scroll bar from the right in any app and quickly move it up or down to jump to the particular part.

  1. Use your iPad As Second Mac Display

Apple’s new Sidecar feature will let you use the iPad as a secondary display for a Mac that’s running macOS Catalina. It will work both wirelessly and using a wired connection. It’s quite fast and there’s no latency.

  1. Use Your iPad As a Mac Tablet with Apple Pencil If you have an Apple Pencil, you can use the attached iPad as a drawing tablet for your Mac.
  2. Easily Move The Cursor Around

Apple is also taking text selection seriously. You can now just tap and hold on the cursor to pick it up and instantly move it around.

  1. Quickly Select Block of Text

Text selection is way easier now. Just tap on a word and instantly swipe to where you want to select, like the end of the paragraph. iPadOS will select all the text in between the two points.

  1. New Gestures for Copy, Paste, and Undo Once the text is selected, you can use gestures to copy it. Just pinch in with three fingers to copy, pinch out with three fingers to paste and swipe back with three fingers to undo typing or action.
  2. Peek Controls

There’s no 3D Touch on iPad looks like there’s no need for it. You can tap and hold on app icons and links to see the preview and actionable items. This works very well in apps like Safari.

  1. New Compact Floating Keyboard

You can detach the keyboard in iPadOS 13. It turns into a floating window, with a compact view that can be moved around anywhere.

  1. Gesture-Based Typing on the Compact Keyboard You can type on the iPad’s software keyboard using gestures. Just glide your finger on the keys instead of typing on them. It’s similar to SwiftKey.
  2. New Start Page and UI for Safari

Safari gets a slightly refreshed UI and a more feature-rich Start page. You’ll now see Siri suggestions for websites and pages in the bottom half. Plus, there’s a new settings screen where you can increase or decrease the font size of the text (without zooming into the page itself).

  1. Desktop Class Browsing in Safari

Safari automatically presents a website’s desktop version for iPad. Touch input maps correctly when a website expects mouse or trackpad input. Website scaling takes advantage of the large iPad screen, so you’ll see websites at their optimal size. And scrolling within web pages is faster and more fluid.

  1. Full Safari Toolbar in Split View

Now, even when you’re in Split View, you’ll see the full tab toolbar. This makes it easier to switch between tabs and perform actions.

  1. Open Three Safari Web Pages At The Same Time Thanks to the new multitasking features, you can basically have three Safari tabs open together at the same time. First, take a tab and put it into Split View. Next, take a tab and put it in Slide Over!
  2. Safari Gets a Full Fledged Download Manager Safari gets a download manager on both the iPhone and iPad. When you visit a link that can be downloaded, you’ll see a popup asking if you want to Download the file. Then, a new Download icon will appear in the toolbar. Tap on it to monitor all your downloads.

Once the download is finished, you’ll find it in the Downloads folder in the Files app, It will be stored locally.

  1. New Super-Charged Share Sheet

Share sheet gets quite a bit overhaul. On the top is a new smart sharing option with AirDrop and contact suggestions. The whole actions section has been redesigned and it’s now a vertical list of actions. All available actions for the app are listed here in a long list. There’s no need to enable or disable action anymore.

  1. Create Memoji on Any iPad

You can now create multiple Memojis on any iPad with an A9 processor and higher. Memoji creation is also much better now.

  1. Share Memoji Stickers From iPad

Once you create a Memoji, Apple will automatically create a sticker pack for you. It will be accessed in the iMessages app and in the native keyboard so you can share the sticker using any messaging app.

  1. Desktop Class Text Formatting Tools for Mail App Mail app has a new formatting bar. You can change the font, font size, indentation and lot more.
  2. New Gallery View in Notes App

Notes has a new Gallery view which shows all photos, documents and attachments at a glance.

  1. Audio Sharing with AirPods

When two AirPods are active, you can now send a single stream of audio to both of them.

  1. Manage Fonts Easily on iPad

iPadOS 13 will let you download and install fonts from the App Store. And you’ll be able to manage them from Settings. Once added, a font will be available across all supported apps.

  1. A New Detailed Column View for Files App Files app has a new detailed column view, similar to the Finder app. It will help users quickly drill down into a complex nested folder structure.
  2. Quick Actions

When you’re in the column view and you select a file, you’ll see quick actions for it right there below the preview. You can convert an image to a PDF, unzip files and more.

  1. New Downloads Folder

There’s finally a designated Downloads folder in the Files app. Safari and Mail apps use this for now. But I hope third-party apps will be able to use it as well.

  1. Create Local Storage Folders

One of the biggest annoyances of the Files app has been fixed. You can now create folders for the local storage on the iPad. There’s no need to use iCloud Drive every time. Apps will be able to use these folders as well.

  1. Zip and Unzip Files

Files app will help you quickly unzip and zip files.

  1. Easily Share iCloud Drive Folder With Anyone You can easily share iCloud Drive folder with any user from the Files app. This will ease the collaboration process for iPad Pro users.
  2. Add File Servers to Files App

You can also add remote file servers to the Files app.

  1. Connect External Hard Drive, SD Card Reader or USB Drive to iPad You can finally connect any USB external drive to the iPad Pro using the USB-C port. And now it will show up as a USB drive in the sidebar. It will work just how it works on the Mac. You’ll be able to access all files, copy files over, move files and even save files from apps directly to the external drive.
  2. Mouse Support Using Accessibility

There’s official support for an external mouse on the iPad. But it’s accessibility support. Basically, the cursor is imitating a touch point. You can add a Bluetooth mouse from settings. A wired USB-C mouse will work as well.

  1. Unintrusive Volume HUD

Volume HUD now shows up at the top status bar, in a small pill-shaped slider.

  1. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Selection from Control Center If you tap and hold the Wi-Fi or Bluetooth toggle you’ll be able to switch between networks right from Control Center now.
  2. iOS 13 Features in iPadOS 13

There’s a lot more to iPadOS 13. The smaller features from iOS 13 have been carried over to the iPadOS as well. Features like:

  • Improved Siri voice
  • Voice Control
  • Newer Accessibility options
  • Low Data mode for Wi-Fi networks

We’ve outlined these features in detail in our iOS 13 roundup so take a look at that list to learn more.

Your Favorite iPadOS 13 Features?

What are some of your favorite new features in iPadOS 13? What did we miss out featuring on this list? Share with us in the comments below.

 

 

Yes, Alexa, Siri, and Google are listening — 6 ways to stop devices from recording you by Janet Perez, Komando.com

Yes, Alexa, Siri, and Google are listening — 6 ways to stop devices from recording you

komando.com

 

Yes, Alexa, Siri, and Google are listening — 6 ways to stop devices from recording you

Janet Perez, Komando.com

Full text of the article follows this URL:

 

Seems like we owe the tinfoil hat club a big apology. Yes, there are eyes and ears everywhere in just about any large city in the world. Here in the good,

old U-S-of-A, our smartphones, tablets, computers, cars, voice assistants and cameras are watching and listening to you.

 

We don’t know what is more troubling — that these devices keep track of us or that we shrug our shoulders and say, “Oh well?” That attitude of surrender

may stem from an overwhelming sense of helplessness. ”

Technology is everywhere.

Why fight it?”

 

Truth is, it’s not a fight. It’s a series of tap-or-click settings, which we’ll walk you through.

 

You can take control of what your devices hear and record, and it’s not that hard. We have 6 ways to help you turn off and tune out Alexa, Siri, and Google,

as well as smartphones, third-party apps, tablets, and computers.

 

How to stop Alexa from listening to you

 

Weeks after the public discovered that Alexa, and by extension Echo devices

are always listening,

Amazon announced a

new Alexa feature that’s already available.

It allows you to command the voice assistant to delete recent commands. Just say, “Alexa, delete everything I said today.”

 

Sounds great, but there’s still the problems of Alexa always listening and your old recordings. Let’s tackle the old recordings first. Unless the delete

command is expanded to include all recordings, you still have to remove old files manually. Here’s what to do:

 

list of 4 items

  1. Open the Alexa app and go into the “Settings” section.
  2. Select “History” and you’ll see a list of all the entries.
  3. Select an entry and tap the Delete button.
  4. If you want to delete all the recordings with a single click, you must visit the “Manage Your Content and Devices” page at amazon.com/mycd.

list end

 

As for Alexa and Echo devices always listening, well you could turn off each of the devices, but then what’s the point of having them? The real issue is

that we discovered Amazon employees around the world are listening to us and making transcriptions.

 

Here’s how to stop that:

 

list of 7 items

  1. Open the Alexa app on your phone.
  2. Tap the menu button on the top left of the screen.
  3. Select “Settings” then “Alexa Account.”
  4. Choose “Alexa Privacy.”
  5. Select “Manage how your data improves Alexa.”
  6. Turn off the toggle next to “Help Develop New Features.”
  7. Turn off the toggle next to your name under “Use Messages to Improve Transcriptions.”

list end

 

For extra privacy, there’s also a way to mute the Echo’s mics. To turn the Echo’s mic off, press the microphone’s off/on button at the top of the device.

Whenever this button is red, the mic is off. To reactivate it, just press the button again and it will turn blue.

 

How to stop Siri from recording what you say

 

Alexa isn’t the only nosey assistant. Don’t forget the ones on your iPhones and Androids. On your iPhone,

“Hey Siri” is always on

waiting to receive your command to call someone or send a text message, etc. Apple says your iPhone’s mic is always on as it waits for the “Hey Siri”

command, but swears it is not recording.

 

If it still makes you nervous, you don’t have to disable Siri completely to stop the “Hey Siri” feature. On your iPhone, go to Settings >> Siri & Search >>

toggle off “Listen for Hey Siri.”

 

Note: “Hey Siri” only works for iPhone 6s or later. iPhone 6 or earlier has to be plugged in for the “Hey Siri” wake phrase to work.

 

How to delete your recordings from Google Assistant

 

Google Assistant has the

“OK Google” wake-up call,

but the company introduced the My Account tool that lets you access your recordings and delete them if you want. You can also tell Google to stop recording

your voice for good.

 

Here’s how to turn off the “OK Google” wake phrase: On Android, go to Settings >> Google >> Search & Now >> Voice and turn “Ok Google” detection off.

 

How to control third-party apps that record you

 

Even if you do all these steps for your Apple and Android devices, third-party apps you download could have their own listening feature. Case in point:

Facebook (although it denies it. But it’s still a good practice to check to see if third-party apps are listening).

 

Here’s how to stop Facebook from listening to you:

 

If you are an iPhone user, go to Settings >> Facebook >> slide the toggle next to Microphone to the left so it turns from green to white.

 

Or, you can go to Settings >> Privacy >> Microphone >> look for Facebook and slide the toggle next to it to the left to turn off the mic. You can toggle

the mic on and off for other apps this way, too.

 

For Android users go to Settings >> Applications >> Application Manager >> look for Facebook >> Permissions >> turn off the mic.

 

Tricks to disable screen recorders on tablets

 

Certain Apple iPads have the phone’s “Hey Siri” wake-up command feature. They are the 2nd-gen 12.9-inch iPad Pro and the 9.7-inch iPad Pro. Other iPad

and iPad Touch models have to be plugged in for the “Hey Siri” wake phrase to work.

 

The bad news for privacy seekers is that iPads come with a screen recording feature that also records audio.  It may pose issues in terms of both privacy

and security.

 

You can disable the screen recording feature through another feature, “Screen Time”:

 

list of 4 items

  1. Open the Settings app, and then tap Screen Time. On the Screen Time panel, tap “Content & Privacy Settings.”
  2. Tap “Content Restrictions.” If you don’t see this option, turn on the switch next to “Content & Privacy Restrictions” to unhide it.
  3. Under “Game Center,” tap “Screen Recording.”
  4. Tap “Don’t Allow” and then exit the Settings app. The screen recording control should no longer work, even if it is enabled within the Control Center.

list end

 

Screen Time is available in iOS 12 and above. If you are still using iOS 11 or iOS 10 on your iPhone or iPad, the above steps can be found under Settings

>> General >> Restrictions.

 

Android tablets also can record video and audio. However, you have to use a third-party app to disable the camera.

 

On your Android device, go to the Play Store, then download and install the app called “Cameraless.”

 

list of 5 items

  1. Once installed, launch the app from your app drawer.
  2. On the app’s main menu, tap the option for “Camera Manager On/Off.” By default, the camera manager is set to “Off,” so you need to enable the app first

as one of your device administrators before you can switch it “On.”

  1. Once your camera manager is “On,” just tap the option for “Disable camera” then wait until the notice disappears on your screen.
  2. Once you’re done, just close the app then go to your tablet’s camera icon.
  3. If successfully disabled, you’ll immediately get a notice that your device camera has been disabled due to security policy violations. This is the notice

that you’ll get from the “Cameraless” app. If you click “OK” you’ll be taken back to your home screen.

list end

 

Desktop and laptops are watching and listening too

Computer monitor and keyboard

 

We’ve been warned for years about hackers taking control of cameras on your computer screen. No need for elaborate instructions on disabling and enabling

the camera. Just slap a sticker on it and only remove it if you have to use Skype. Sometimes the best solutions are the simplest ones.

 

Unfortunately, you do have to root around your computer a bit to turn off mics.

 

For PCs running Windows 10, the process is actually quite painless. Right-click on the “Start Button” and open “Device Manager.” In the “Device Manager”

window, expand the audio inputs and outputs section and you will see your microphone listed as one of the interfaces. Right-click on “Microphone” and select

“Disable.” You’re done.

 

For Macs, there are two methods depending on how old your operating system is. For Macs with newer operating systems:

 

list of 5 items

  1. Launch “System Preferences” from the Apple menu in the upper left corner.
  2. Click on the “Sound” preference panel.
  3. Click on the “Input” tab.
  4. Drag the “Input volume” slider all the way to the left so it can’t pick up any sound.
  5. Close “System Preferences.”

list end

 

If you have an older operating system, use this method:

 

list of 5 items

  1. Launch the “System Preferences.”
  2. Click on “Sound.”
  3. Click on the “Input” tab.
  4. Select “Line-in.”
  5. Close System Preferences

list end

 

Now you know how to take control of your devices and how they listen and record you. It’s a pretty simple way to get your privacy back, at least some of

it.

 

Stop Facebook’s targeted advertising by changing your account settings

 

Let me be frank: I only keep a Facebook account to engage with listeners of my national radio show. I don’t use my personal account. I stepped away from

the social media platform, and I never looked back.

 

Click here to read more about Facebook advertising.

 

Please share this information with everyone. Just click on any of the social media buttons on the side.

 

list of 14 items

  • Fraud/Security/Privacy
  • Alexa
  • Amazon
  • Android
  • Apple
  • Echo
  • Facebook
  • Google
  • iPad
  • Mac
  • PC
  • Privacy
  • Security
  • Siri

list end

 

_._,_._,_

Groups.io Links:

You receive all messages sent to this group.

View/Reply Online (#18797) | Reply To Group | Reply To Sender | Mute This Topic | New Topic

Your Subscription | Contact Group Owner | Unsubscribe [albert.gtt@ccbnational.net]

_._,_._,_

 

Guest Post: Government of Canada investing in teaching digital skills to Canadians who need them most

*Note: This program is only available to British Columbia and Nova Scotia residents.

Government of Canada investing in teaching digital skills to Canadians who need them most

Author:

Date Written: May 20, 2019 at 5:00 PM

Date Saved: 5/28/19, 2:19 PM

Source: https://www.canada.ca/en/innovation-science-economic-development/news/2019/05/government-of-canada-investing-in-teaching-digital-skills-to-canadians-who-need-them-most0.html

News release

Canadians needing fundamental digital skills training to benefit from this investment Digital skills widen Canadians’ access to a world of possibilities. All Canadians should have the necessary skills to get online by using computers, mobile devices and the Internet safely and effectively. That is why the Government is putting in place initiatives to ensure no one is left behind as the world transitions to a digital economy.

Today, the Honourable Joyce Murray, President of the Treasury Board and Minister of Digital Government, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, announced an investment of $1.3 million in the Canadian National Institute for the Blind’s (CNIB) Connecting with Technology initiative. This initiative will deliver fundamental digital literacy skills training to participants in British Columbia and across the country.

CNIB’s Connecting with Technology initiative will be targeted at seniors who are blind or partially sighted. This initiative will reach about 750 participants, providing them with training in digital literacy and offering required assistive technologies.

This investment is being provided through the Digital Literacy Exchange program, a $29.5-million program that supports digital skills training for those known to be most at risk of being left behind by the rapid pace of digital technology adoption: seniors, people with disabilities, newcomers to Canada, Indigenous peoples, low-income Canadians, and individuals living in northern and rural communities.

The program aligns with the Government’s Innovation and Skills Plan, a multi-year strategy to create good jobs and ensure Canadians have the skills to succeed.

End of article.

 

 

Guest Post: Voice Dream Scanner: A New Kind of OCR by Bill Holton, AccessWorld

Voice Dream Scanner: A New Kind of OCR | AccessWorld
Author Bill Holton
9-11 minutes

Bill Holton
There is a new player in the optical character recognition (OCR) space, and it comes from an old friend: Winston Chen, the developer of Voice Dream Reader and Voice Dream Writer, both of which we’ve reviewed in past issues of AccessWorld. In this article we’ll start out with a brief conversation with Chen. Then we’ll take a look at the developer’s latest offering: Voice Dream Scanner. Spoiler alert—it will probably be the best $5.99 you’ll ever spend on a text recognition app!
AccessWorld readers who use their phones to audibly read e-Pub books, PDFs or Bookshare titles are likely already familiar with Voice Dream Reader. It works so well with VoiceOver and TalkBack, it’s hard to believe it wasn’t developed specifically for the access market. But according to Chen, “I just wanted to build a pocket reader I could use to store all my books and files so I could listen to them on the go. No one was more surprised than me when I began receiving feedback from dyslexic and blind users describing how helpful Voice Dream Reader was for their needs and making some simple suggestions to improve the app’s accessibility.”
Chen’s second offering, Voice Dream Writer, was also directed at the mainstream market. “Sometimes it’s easier to proofread your document by listening to it instead of simply rereading the text,” says Chen. At the time, Apple’s VoiceOver cut and paste features and other block text manipulation capabilities were,shall we say, not quite what they are today? The innovative way Chen handled these functions made Voice Dream Writer equally useful to users with visual impairments.
Reinventing the OCR Engine
“I’ve been wanting to add OCR to Voice Dream Reader for a few years now,” says Chen. “It would be useful for reading protected PDF’s and handouts and memos from school and work.”
The hurdle Chen kept encountering was finding a useable OCR engine. “There are some free, open source engines, but they don’t work well enough for my purposes,” he says. “The ones that do work well are quite expensive, either as a one-time license purchase with each app sold or with ongoing pay-by-the-use options. Either of these would have raised the price I have to charge too much for my value proposition.”
Last year, however, Chen began experimenting with Apple’s artificial intelligence (AI), called Vision Framework, that’s built into the latest iOS versions, along with Google’s Tesseract, TensorFlow Lite, and ML Kit.
“Instead of using a single standard OCR engine, I combined the best aspects of each of these freely available tools, and I was pleasantly surprised by the results.”
Instead of making OCR a Voice Dream Reader feature, Chen decided to incorporate his discovery into a separate app called Voice Dream Scanner. “I considered turning it into an in-app purchase, only there are a lot of schools that use Reader and they aren’t allowed to make in-app purchases,” he says. As to why he didn’t simply make it a new Reader feature, he smiles, “I do have a family to feed.”
Chen has been careful to integrate the new Voice Dream Scanner functionality into VD Reader, however. For example, if you load a protected PDF file into the app and open it, the Documents tab now offers a recognition feature. You can now also add to your Voice Dream Reader Library not only from Dropbox, Google Drive, and other sources, including Bookshare, but using your device’s camera as well.
To take advantage of this integration you’ll need both Voice Dream Reader and Voice Dream Scanner. Both can be purchased from the iOS App Store. VD Reader is also available for Android, but currently VD Scanner is iOS only.
Of course you don’t have to have VD Reader to enjoy the benefits of the new Voice Dream Scanner.
A Voice Dream Scanner Snapshot
The app installs quickly and easily, and displays with the icon name “Scanner” on your iOS device. Aim the camera toward a page of text. The app displays a real-time video image preview which is also the “Capture Image” button. Double tap this button, the camera clicks, and the image is converted to text almost immediately. You are placed on the “Play” button, give a quick double tap and the text is spoken using either a purchased VD Reader voice or your chosen iOS voice. Note: You can instruct Scanner to speak recognized text automatically in the Settings Menu.
From the very first beta version of this app I tested, I was amazed by the speed and accuracy of the recognition. The app is amazingly forgiving as far as camera position and lighting. Envelopes read the return addresses, postmarks and addresses. Entire pages of text voiced without a single mistake. Scanner even did an excellent job with a bag of potato chips, even after it was crumpled and uncrumpled several times. Despite the fact there is no OCR engine to download, and the recognition is done locally, a network connection is not required. I used the app with equal success even with Airplane mode turned on.
After each scan you are offered the choice to swipe left once to reach the Discard button, twice to reach the Save button. Note: the VoiceOver two-finger scrub gesture also deletes the current text.
Scanner does not save your work automatically. You have the choice to save it as a text file, a PDF, or to send it directly to Voice Dream Reader. You probably wouldn’t send a single page to Reader, but the app comes with a batch mode. Use this mode to scan several pages at once and then save them together: perfect for that 10-page print report your boss dropped on your desk, or maybe the short story a creative writing classmate passed out for review.
Other Scanner features of interest to those with visual impairments are edge detection and a beta version of auto capture.
Edge detection plays a tone that grows increasingly steady until all four edges are visible, at which time it becomes a solid tone. Auto-capture does just that, but since the AI currently detects any number of squares where there is no text this feature is only available in beta. However, if you’re using a scanner stand it will move along quite nicely, nearly as fast as you can rearrange the pages.
You can also import an image to be recognized. Unfortunately, as of now, this feature is limited to pictures in your photo library. There is currently no way to send an e-mail or file image to Scanner. Look for this to change in an upcoming version.
The benefits of Voice Dream Scanner are by no means limited to the blindness community. Chen developed the app to be used as a pocket player for documents and other printed material he wishes to scan and keep. Low vision users can do the same, then use either iOS magnification or another text-magnification app to review documents. It doesn’t matter in which direction the material is scanned. Even upside-down documents are saved right-side up. Performance is improved by the “Image Enhancement” feature, which attempts to locate the edges of scanned documents and save them more or less as pages.
The Bottom Line
I never thought I’d see the day when I would move KNFB-Reader off my iPhone’s Home screen. Microsoft’s Seeing AI gave it a good run for its money and until now I kept them both on my Home screen. But I have now moved KNFB-Reader to a back screen and given that honored spot to Voice Dream Scanner.
Most of my phone scanning is done when I sort through the mail. Seeing AI’s “Short Text” feature does a decent job helping me sort out which envelopes to keep and which to toss into my hardware recycle bin. But Scanner is just as accurate as any OCR-engine based app, and so quick, the confirmation announcement of the Play button often voices after the scanned document has begun to read.
This is the initial release. Chen himself says there is still work to be done. “Column recognition is not yet what I hope it will be,” he says. “I’d also like to improve auto-capture and maybe offer users the choice to use the volume buttons to initiate a scan.
Stay tuned.
This article is made possible in part by generous funding from the James H. and Alice Teubert Charitable Trust, Huntington, West Virginia.
Comment on this article.
Related articles:
• Envision AI and Seeing AI: Two Multi-Purpose Recognition Apps by Janet Ingber
• An Evaluation of OrCam MyEye 2.0 by Jamie Pauls
More by this author:
• Letters, We Get Letters: Receiving Digital Scans of Your Mail Envelopes Using Informed Delivery
• A Look at the New Narrator, Microsoft’s Built-In Windows Screen Reader
Share Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Guest Post: Getting the Job Done with Assistive Technology: It May Be Easier Than You Think, AccessWorld

Getting the Job Done with Assistive Technology: It May Be Easier Than You Think | AccessWorld
afb.org

Getting the Job Done with Assistive Technology: It May Be Easier Than You Think | AccessWorld
Author Jamie Pauls
10-12 minutes
——————————————————————————–

main region
article
Jamie Pauls

I remember getting my first computer back in the early 90s almost like it was yesterday. A friend of mine was receiving regular treatments from a massage
therapist who happened to be blind. My friend mentioned that this gentleman used a computer with a screen reader. I was vaguely aware that this technology
existed, but I never really considered using a computer myself until that first conversation I had with my friend. I began doing some research, and eventually
purchased my first computer with a screen reader and one program included. I’m sure there were a few other programs on that computer, but WordPerfect is
the only one I recall today. The vendor from whom I purchased the computer came to my home, helped me get the computer up and running, and gave me about
a half-hour of training on how to use the thing. A few books from what is now
Learning Ally
as well as the
National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped
along with some really late nights were what truly started me on my journey. I sought guidance from a few sighted friends who were more than willing to
help, but didn’t have any knowledge about assistive technology. There were times when I thought I had wasted a lot of money and time, but I eventually
grew to truly enjoy using my computer.

I eventually became aware of a whole community of blind people who used assistive technology. They all had their preferred screen reader, and most people
used only one. Screen readers cost a lot of money and hardware-based speech synthesizers increased the cost of owning assistive tech. Unless the user was
willing to learn how to write configuration files that made their screen reader work with specific programs they wanted or needed to use, it was important
to find out what computer software worked best with one’s chosen screen reader. I eventually outgrew that first screen reader, and spent money to switch
to others as I learned about them. I have no idea how much money I spent on technology in those early years, and that is probably for the best!

Fast forward 25 years or so, and the landscape is totally different. I have a primary desktop PC and a couple laptop computers all running Windows 10.
I have one paid screen reader—JAWS for Windows from
Vispero
—and I use two free screen-reading solutions—NVDA, from
NVAccess
and Microsoft’s built-in screen reader called Narrator.

I also have a MacBook Pro running the latest version of Apple’s Mac operating system that comes with the free VoiceOver screen reader built in. I have
access to my wife’s iPad if I need to use it, and I own an iPhone 8 Plus. These devices also run VoiceOver. Finally, I own a BrailleNote Touch Plus,
HumanWare’s
Android-based notetaker designed especially for the blind.

Gone are the days when I must limit myself to only one screen reader and one program to get a task accomplished. If a website isn’t behaving well using
JAWS and Google’s Chrome browser, I might try the same site using the Firefox browser. If I don’t like the way JAWS is presenting text to me on that website,
maybe I’ll switch to NVDA. If the desktop version of a website is too cluttered for my liking, I’ll often try the mobile version using either Safari on
my iPhone, or Chrome on my BrailleNote Touch.

The lines between desktop application and Internet site have blurred to the point that I honestly don’t think about it much anymore. It is often possible
to use either a computer or a mobile device to conduct banking and purchase goods.

So what makes all this added flexibility and increased choice possible, anyway? In many cases, the actual hardware in use is less expensive than it used
to be, although admittedly products such as the BrailleNote Touch are still on the high end of the price spectrum. Along with the availability of more
screen readers and magnification solutions than ever before, the cost of most of these solutions has come down greatly. Even companies like Vispero that
still sell a screen reader that can cost over a thousand dollars if purchased outright are now offering software-as-a-service options that allow you to
pay a yearly fee that provides the latest version of their software complete with updates for as long as you keep your subscription active.

While some may not consider free options such as NVDA or Narrator to be as powerful and flexible as JAWS, they will be perfectly adequate for other people
who aren’t using a computer on the job complete with specialized software that requires customized screen reader applications to make it work properly.
There are those who will rightly point out that free isn’t really free. You are in fact purchasing the screen reader when you buy a new computer as is
the case with VoiceOver on the Mac. While this may be true, the shock to the pocketbook may not be as noticeable as it would be if you had to plunk down
another thousand bucks or so for assistive technology after you had just purchased a new computer.

In addition to the advancements in screen reading technology along with the reduced cost of these products, app and website developers are becoming increasingly
educated about the needs of the blind community. I once spoke with a game developer who told me that he played one of his games using VoiceOver on the
iPhone for six weeks so he could really get a feel for how the game behaved when played by a blind person. Rather than throwing up their hands in frustration
and venting on social media about how sighted developers don’t care about the needs of blind people, many in the blind community are respectfully reaching
out to developers, educating them about the needs of those who use assistive technology, and giving them well-deserved recognition on social media when
they produce a product that is usable by blind and sighted people alike. Also, companies like Microsoft and Apple work to ensure that their screen readers
work with the company’s own including Safari and Microsoft Edge. Google and Amazon continue to make strides in the area of accessibility as well. Better
design and standards make it more likely that multiple screen readers will work well in an increasing number of online and offline scenarios.

You may be someone who is currently comfortable using only one screen reader with one web browser and just a few recommended programs on your computer.
You may be thinking that everything you have just read in this article sounds great, but you may be wondering how to actually apply any of it in your life.
First, I would say that if you are happy with your current technology then don’t feel intimidated by someone else who uses other solutions. That said,
I would urge you to keep your screen reading technology up to date as far as is possible. Also, make sure that you are using an Internet browser that is
fully supported by the websites you frequently visit. This will ensure that your experience is as fulfilling as it should be. For example, though Microsoft
Internet Explorer has been a recommended browser for many years for those using screen access technology due to its accessibility, it is no longer receiving
feature updates from Microsoft, and therefore many modern websites will not display properly when viewed using it.

If you think you would like to try new applications and possibly different assistive technology solutions but you don’t know where to start, keep reading.

Back when I first started using a computer, I knew of very few resources to which I could turn in order to gain skills in using assistive technology. Today,
there are many ebooks, tutorials, webinars, podcasts, and even paid individual training services available for anyone who wishes to expand their knowledge
of computers and the like. One excellent resource that has been referenced many times in past issues of AccessWorld is
Mystic Access,
where you can obtain almost every kind of training mentioned in the previous sentences. Another resource you may recognize is the
National Braille Press,
which has published many books that provide guidance on using various types of technology. Books from National Braille Press can generally be purchased
in both braille or in electronic formats.

There are also many online communities of people with vision loss who use a specific technology. Two of the most well known are
AppleVis
for users of iOS devices and the
Eyes-Free Google Group
for users of the Android platform. Both communities are places where new and long time users of these platforms can go to find assistance getting started
with the technology or for help troubleshooting issues they may encounter.

While I vividly recall my first experiences as a novice computer user, it is almost impossible for me to imagine actually going back to those days. Today,
the landscape is rich and the possibilities are endless for anyone who wishes to join their sighted counterparts in using today’s technology. While there
are still many hurdles to jump, I am confident that things will only continue to improve as we move forward.

So fear not, intrepid adventurer. Let’s explore this exciting world together. In the meantime, happy computing!

This article is made possible in part by generous funding from the James H. and Alice Teubert Charitable Trust, Huntington, West Virginia.

Comment on this article.

Related articles:

list of 2 items
• Looking Back on 20 Years of Assistive Technology: Where We’ve Been and How Far and Fast We’ve Come
by Bill Holton
• Getting the Most out of Sighted Computer Assistance: How to Help the Helpers
by Bill Holton
list end

More by this author:

list of 2 items
• Pinterest Takes Steps Toward Accessibility
• A Review of “Stress Less, Browse Happy: Your Guide to More Easily and Effectively Navigating the Internet with a Screen Reader,” an audio tutorial from
Mystic Access
list end

Share
Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
article end
main region end

 

Re-post: Alt-texts: The Ultimate Guide by Daniel Göransson

Alt-texts: The Ultimate Guide

Author: Daniel Göransson

Date Written: Oct 14, 2017 at 5:00 PM

Date Saved: 5/14/19, 1:43 PM

This post contains everything you need to know about alt-texts! When to use them and how to perfectly craft them. By me, Daniel, a web developer with vision impairment who use a screen reader in my day-to-day life.

 

My experience of images on the web

I use a combination of magnification and screen reader when surfing the web. As a rule of thumb, I use magnification on larger screens and a screen reader on smaller devices.

I, like everyone else, come across many images when surfing the web. If I’m using a screen reader I depend on getting a description of the image – the alt-text – read to me.

Many times the alt-text is not helpful, often even a waste of my time because it doesn’t convey any meaning.

Let me illustrate this on The Verge’s startpage. This is what it looks like for sighted people:

 

Below is what I see. I’ve replaced the images with what my screen reader reads:

 

Not very useful, huh?

Here are some common alt-text-fails I come across:

  • “cropped_img32_900px.png” or “1521591232.jpg” – the file names, probably because the image has no alt-attribute.
  • “” – on every image in the article, probably for improving search ranking (SEO).
  • “Photographer: Emma Lee” – probably because the editor doesn’t know what an alt-text is for.

Alt-texts are not always this bad, but there’s usually a lot to improve upon. So whether you are a complete beginner or want to take your “game” to the next level, here’s our ultimate guide to alt-texts!

What is an alt-text

An alt-text is a description of an image that’s shown to people who for some reason can’t see the image. Among others, alt-texts help:

  • people with little or no vision
  • people who have turned off images to save data
  • search engines

The first group – people with little or no vision – is arguably the one that benefits most from alt-texts. They use something called a screen reader to navigate the web. A screen reader transforms visual information to speech or braille. To do this accurately, your website’s images need to have alt-texts.

Alt-texts are super important! So important that the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) have alt-texts as their very first guideline:

All non-text content that is presented to the user has a text alternative that serves the equivalent purpose.
– WCAG guideline 1.1.1

How do I add an alt-text?

In html, an alt-text is an attribute in an image element:

HTML

Most content management systems (CMS), like WordPress, let you create the alt-text when you upload an image:

 

The field is usually named “Alt-text”, “Alternative text” or “Alt”, but in some interfaces it’s called “Image description” or something similar.

Let’s create the perfect alt-text!

Here are the steps to crafting fabulous alt-texts!

It might sound obvious, but an alt-text should describe the image. For example:
“Group of people on a train station.”
“Happy baby playing in a sand box.”
“Five people in line at a supermarket.”

Things that do not belong in an alt-text are:

  • The name of the photographer. This is very common, but makes absolutely no sense.
  • Keywords for search engine optimization. Don’t cram alt-text with irrelevant words you’re hoping to rank high on Google with. That’s not what alt-texts are for and it will confuse your users.

Content of the alt-text depends on context

How you describe the image depends on its context. Let me give you an example:

 

If this image was featured in an article about photography, the alt-text could be something along the lines of:

“Close up, greyscale photograph of man outside, face in focus, unfocused background.”

If the image is on a website about a TV-series, an appropriate alt-text could be completely different:

“Star of the show, Adam Lee, looking strained outside in the rain.”

So write an alt-text that is as meaningful as possible for the user in the context they’re in.

Keep it concise

Reading the previous section, you might be thinking to yourself: “I, as a sighted user, can see many details in the image, like who it is, how it’s photographed, type of jacket, approximate age of the guy and more. Why not write a detailed, long alt-text so a user with visual impairment gets as much information as I do?”

Glad you asked!

Well frankly, you can also get the necessary information from the image at a glance, and that’s what we’re trying to achieve for users with screen readers as well. Give the necessary information in the alt-text, but make it as short and concise as possible.

One of the few times you should write long alt-texts is when you’re describing an image containing important text. Ideally, you should not have images of text, but sometimes you need to. Like on some screenshots or photos of signs.

But the general rule of thumb is to keep it concise and avoid a verbose experience.

Don’t say it’s an image

Don’t start alt-texts with “Image of”, “Photo of” or similar. The screen reader will add that by default. So if you write “Image of” in an alt-text, a screen reader will say “Image Image of…” when the user focuses on the image. Not very pleasant.

One thing you can do is end the alt-text by stating if it’s a special type of image, like an illustration.

“Dog jumping through a hoop. Illustration.”

End with a period.

End the alt-text with a period. This will make screen readers pause a bit after the last word in the alt-text, which creates a more pleasant reading experience for the user.

Don’t use the title-attribute

Many interfaces have a field for adding title-texts to images close to where you can add an alt-text. Skip the title text! Nobody uses them – they don’t work on touch screens and on desktop they require that the user hovers for a while over an image, which nobody does. Also, adding a title-text makes some screen readers both read the title-text and the alt-text, which becomes redundant. So just don’t add a title-text.

When not to use an alt-text

In most cases you should use an alt-text for images, but there are some exceptions where you should leave the alt-text blank. Important note: never remove the alt-attribute, that would mean breaking the html-standard. But you are allowed to set it to an empty string, that is: alt=””. Do that in the following cases.

Repeated images in feeds

Pretend you’re scrolling through your Twitter feed. Everytime you want to read a new tweet, you first have to listen to “Profile picture of user ”. In my opinion, that would be super annoying!

Other examples of feeds are:

  • A list of links to articles. Like the one on our page Articles.
  • Chat or messaging feeds
  • Feeds of comments

So for an ideal user experience, leave the alt-text blank for images that are used repeatedly in feeds.

Icons with text labels

You should always have text labels next to icons. Assuming you do, the icon should not have an alt-text. Let me explain why!

Let’s take a social media button as an example:

 

If you would write an alt text to the Facebook icon, a screen reader would say something along the line: “Facebook Facebook.” Very redundant!

OK, this is technically not about alt-texts but still important: make sure both the icon and the link text are in the same link-attribute, to get a smooth experience. Like this:
HTML

  

  Facebook

 

Another common mistake with icons is on menu buttons:

 

If the menu button has no visual text label – which, by the way, is really bad for the user experience – then it needs an alt-text (or another way of describing its function in code, like aria-label). Explain the icon’s function, like “Menu”. Don’t write “Three horizontal lines” or “Main hamburger”, which sadly are real examples I’ve stumbled on.

If the menu icon has a label, you should leave the alt-text blank. I often find menu buttons which are read as “Menu menu”. Once I even came across “Hamburger menu menu”. Somewhat confusing wouldn’t you say?

Images in links

Usually an image within a link is accompanied by a link text. Like in the example below:

 

In this case, the image and the link should be in the same link-tag in the html. In this case, you can just leave the alt-text blank. The important thing for the user is to hear the link text. An alt-text of the image would only distract by adding information that the user will not find necessary. The image is probably found on the page that is linked, and then you can give a good explanation of it in the alt-text.

If you really, really have to have an image in a link without an accompanying text, then the alt-text should describe the link destination, not the image.

Preferably, decorative images that do not convey any meaning to the user should be placed as background images in css. It probably goes without saying, but this means you don’t need alt-texts on them at all.

I’d classify most images that you place text on as decorative. You don’t need an alt-text on them. One example is the background image on Netflix’s startpage:

 

Special cases

Logos in the banner

Logos in the banner almost always link to the websites start page. The opinions vary a bit on the topic of alt-texts for logos.

Some say it should include the company name, the fact that it is a logo and the destination of the link. Like such:

“Axess Lab, logotype, go to start page.”

In my opinion, this is a bit verbose. Too much noise! Since my screen reader already tells me it’s an image and a link, I only feel I need to hear the company name. From the fact it’s an image I assume it’s a logo and from the fact it’s a link I assume it follow conventions and links to the start page.

Svg

Scalable vector graphics (svg) is an image format that’s becoming more and more popular on the web. And I love them! They keep their sharpness while zooming and take up less space so websites load faster.

There are a two main ways of adding an svg to an html-page.

  1. Inside an img-element. In that case, just add an alt-text as usual:
HTML
  2. Using an svg-tag. If you use this method, you can’t add an alt-attribute because there’s no support for that. However you can get around this by adding two wai-aria attributes: role=”img” and aria-label=”.

Actually, for the second case, you’re supposed to be able to add your alt-text as a title-element in the svg, but there is not enough support for that from browsers and assistive technologies at the moment.

Can’t a machine do this for me?

Although machine learning and artificial intelligence is improving quickly and can describe some images quite accurately, they are not good enough at understanding the relevant context at the moment. On top of that, machines are not good enough at deciding what is “concise”, and will often describe too much or too little of the image.

Facebook has actually built in a feature that describes images automatically. But I feel like the descriptions are usually too general. One image in my feed right now is described as: “Cat indoors”. The actual photo shows a cat hunting a toy mouse.

So I’m sorry, you still have to write alt-texts yourself!

Thanks for making the web better!

I’m happy you read this far! It means you care about making the web a better place for all users. Spread the knowledge and keep being awesome!

Get notified when we write new stuff

About once a month we write an article about accessibility or usability, that’s just as awesome as this one (#HumbleBrag)!

Get notified by following us on Twitter @AxessLab or Facebook.

Or simply drop your email below!

 

 

 

Resource: NaviLens for iOS and Android: The cutting edge technology for the visually impaired

NaviLens for iOS and Android: The cutting edge technology for the visually impaired

Date Saved: 5/13/19, 10:44 AM

Source: http://www.navilens.com/

 

Maximum autonomy for the visually impaired

 

Unlike other markers, such as the well-known QR codes, NaviLens has a powerful algorithm based on Computer Vision capable of detecting multiple markers at great distances in milliseconds, even in full motion without the need of focusing. It is a cost-effective solution with minimum maintenance required.

 

The application is based on a novel system of artificial markers, which combines high density (multitude of combinations) with long range (a 20cm wide marker is detected up to 12 meters away).

In addition, the detection algorithm could read multiple markers at the same time, at high speed and even in full motion.

Discover the interface

100% user friendly interface for the visually impaired

 

See for yourself, YouTube testimonials!

This is how NaviLens can help the visually impaired. Below discover the testimonials of the first users

 

Underground

Ticket machine

Signs

Bus stop

Press

Awards

 

Subscribe to our Newsletter

You will receive the latest updates. We won’t spam you, we promise 🙂 NaviLens is a new integral system of artificial markers based on Computer Vision. It allows the user to read a special tag, displayed in their environment, from a great distance; it also assists in orienting the user toward the tag as well as obtains detailed information associated with that tag in particular in the same way that traditional signs would be read by a person with full visual capacity. To do this, the marker recognition algorithm is complemented by a novel 3D sound system that, without the need for headphones, informs the user of the position, distance, and orientation of the marker. It allows a visually impaired person to navigate in unfamiliar territory with complete autonomy in the same manner a person without a visual impairment could.

 

How to use NaviLens from YouTube:

Published on Dec 28, 2018

NaviLens, an app that makes it easier for visual impaired people to access information through QR codes of colors, has a new functionality available for users to download tags for their own personal use. Until now these tags were available in public spaces such as train stations. In this new functionality, the codes provided are blank for users to record any information about the objects in their environment. The developers have created tags of different sizes that can be adjusted to the needs of remote reading. In addition, they are printable and easily separated.

 

Category

Science & Technology