Guest Post: Must-Have Blindness Related Assistive Tech Podcasts, February 1, 2019

Must-Have Blindness Assistive Tech Podcasts

As Determined by

GTT Participant’s

Revised on February 1, 2019

 

To stay in touch with the blind world of accessible and assistive technology GTT participants refer frequently to the following list of podcasters.  Some we go to just to hear what’s new, what’s coming, what does or doesn’t work, and some we go to when we want to learn how to do a task, set-up a device or how to use an app.  Either way, these are our collective go-to podcasts for your consideration.  Please don’t think that you have to agree, and if you have others not yet included in this list please share them and they will be included.  The list is alphabetical and not by importance.

 

Thanks goes out to those GTT participants who helped make this list a little more complete.

 

  1. Accessibility Moving Forwards Podcast, for interesting interviews and assistive technology presentations.
  2. Airacast with Jonathan Mosen, for interviews, Agent and Explorer features and news about Aira.
  3. AMI Audio Live, for blindness related radio programs on AMI Audio.
  4. AppleVis, for learning how to, and for the news related to all things Apple.
  5. AT Banter Podcast by Canadian Assistive Technology, which consists of interviews with interesting people in the blind and multi-disabled assistive tech worlds.
  6. Audio Pizza, by and for the Blind, audio reviews and tutorials on the things we’re passionate about. Assistive tech from Apple’s Mac & iOS to reviews of the latest bespoke devices.
  7. Blind Abilities, for learning how to, and for the news related to all things assistive tech.
  8. Blind Bargains Audio, for learning how to, and for the news related to all things assistive tech.
  9. CNIB, Blind Wide Open Podcast, for presentations and interviews about blindness. Kim Kilpatrick was featured on January 8, 2019 talking about GTT.
  10. CNIB, Venture Zone Podcast, which seems to be interviews with blind entrepreneurs
  11. Comments On, Blind Vet Tech Quick Guides, for learning how to use all manner of apps and devices.
  12. Cool Blind Tech, it has over 400 episodes available, and appears to not have added anything new since August 2018.
  13. Devon Wilkins operates three podcasts related to blindness, Guide Dogs and our first love, old time radio, and they are called: Insight Peterborough; Spotlight On Assistance Dogs; and Canadians in Old Time Radio.
  14. Double Tap, an AMI Audio Show dedicated to blindness assistive tech interviews.
  15. Eyes on Success, a weekly, half hour radio show / podcast covering a wide variety of topics of interest to the visually impaired.
  16. FS Cast by Freedom Scientific giving you all the news about JAWS, ZoomText and Fusion.
  17. IACast, Making Success Accessible!
  18. iHabilitation by Tom Dekker, which is an iOS training podcast offering paid training sessions along with some free episodes.
  19. InTouch, a BBC interview podcast dealing with blindness and low vision issues.
  20. Kelly and Company, an AMI Audio program that features some assistive tech segments, local reporting and other blindness related interviews.
  21. Main Menu, ACB Radio, for the news related to all things assistive tech and blindness.
  22. Mystic Access, for free tutorials, helpful hints and news about the online and home-study courses they sometimes offer on a fee-for-service basis.
  23. Parallel, Relay FM, an interview podcast featuring many experts and innovators in the blind/tech world by Shelly Brisban. She is the author of the series of books titled, iOS Access for All, and is herself vision impaired.
  24. RNIB Tek Talk, for news on the blind assistive tech world.
  25. Seminars at Hadley, for hour long presentations, discussions and interviews related to assistive tech.
  26. TedTalks, consisting of several separate podcasts related to Education, Health, News and Politics, Society and Culture, and Technology, which all must be searched for and subscribed to individually.
  27. Technology Podcasts, NCBI from Ireland, Working for people with sight loss.
  28. The Canadian Council of the Blind Podcast, just because I have a couple of episodes on there, and the CCB Health and Fitness program has many more than that.
  29. The Tech Doctor Blog and Podcast, which posts new episodes infrequently, and that is very good, all-be-it completely Apple ecosystem based.
  30. Victor Reader Stream Information, which is infrequently updated with new material.
  31. Woodbridge, David, iSee – Using various technologies from a blind person’s perspective, for learning how to use many apps and devices.

 

Thx, Albert

 

 

Guest Post: Narrator Tutorial Podcasts for Windows 10 by Blind Vet Tech Podcast

Narrator Screen Reader Tutorial Podcasts by Blind Vet Tech

 

Narrator is a screen reader  utility included in Microsoft Windows that reads text, dialog boxes and window controls in most applications  for Windows. Originally developed by Professor Paul Blenkhorn in 2000, the utility made the Windows operating system more accessible for blind and low vision users.

 

In the October 2018 release of Windows 10 Narrator’s functions and keyboard commands have been dramatically expanded.  We are now at a point in it’s development that it will start to rival the third party screen readers we have become accustomed to using in the Windows environment.  Finally, it might be said that PC computers purchased off the shelf are accessible to blind and low vision users out of the box.

 

The latest version of Windows 10 is the October 2018 Update, version “1809,” which was released on October 2, 2018. The below tutorial podcasts only apply to the latest version 1809, so please check to see the current version running in your computer.

 

How do I know what version I’m running?

To determine whether or not these tutorials apply to Narrator in your computer you can check your version number as follows:

 

  1. Press and release the Windows Key and type the word Run, or merely hold down the Windows key and press the letter R.
  2. In the window that pops up type the text, WinVer and press the Enter key. Typing immediately will replace any text that might already be there.
  3. The computer will display, and your screen reader will speak the version of your operating system. If it indicates you’re running version 1809 Narrator will function as outlined in these podcasts, however if your computer is still running an older version please disregard these tutorials for now.  Press the Space Bar to close this dialog.

 

The Complete Guide to Narrator on the Microsoft Windows Help Page:

Click here to access the Complete Narrator’s Guide on the Windows Help Page.

 

Blind Vet Tech Guides and Tutorials:

Are you a visually impaired Veteran interested in learning more about technology and adaptive software? Have you received a device, like an iPhone or iPad, from a Blind Rehab Center, but require more information on how to use it? Are you a visually impaired Veteran looking for a network of peers to assist you in determining if updating your device is the right choice? If you answered yes, or simply are interested in learning more about assistive technologies for blinded Veterans, the Blind Vet Tech Quick Guides and Tutorials podcast will assist you. Developed by blinded Veterans aiding our fellow peers adapt to sight loss, Blind Vet Tech focuses on iPhones, iPads, computers, other smart phones, and different technologies Veterans might receive to increase their independence.

 

To that end, BVT have produced a spectacular series of tutorial podcast episodes ateaching users how to maximize their use of the latest version of Narrator.  Below are Hyperlinks to each of the Blind Vet Tech Podcast episodes on the web.

 

Blind Vet Tech Direct Links to Narrator Podcast Episodes:

 

  1. Windows 10 Narrator Basics
  2. Navigating Webpages and Netflix With Narrator’s Scan Mode
  3. Narrator’s Five Best Windows 10 Fall Creators Update Features
  4. Activating Narrator
  5. Basic Keyboard Commands and Navigation
  6. Quickly navigate Edge, tables, and apps with Scan Mode On
  7. Learn how to read documents, apps, webpages, and much more with Narrator

 

To subscribe to the Blind Vet Tech podcast follow this link.

 

Thx, Albert A. Ruel

 

Guest Post: Narrator Tutorial Podcast for Windows 10 Version 1809 by David Woodbridge

Narrator Screen Reader Tutorial Podcasts by David Woodbridge

iSee – Using various technologies from a blind persons perspective.

 

Narrator is a screen reader  utility included in Microsoft Windows that reads text, dialog boxes and window controls in most applications  for Windows. Originally developed by Professor Paul Blenkhorn in 2000, the utility made the Windows operating system more accessible for blind and low vision users.

 

In the October 2018 release of Windows 10 Narrator’s functions and keyboard commands have been dramatically expanded.  We are now at a point in it’s development that it will start to rival the third party screen readers we have become accustomed to using in the Windows environment.  Finally, it might be said that PC computers purchased off the shelf are accessible to blind and low vision users out of the box.

 

The latest version of Windows 10 is the October 2018 Update, version “1809,” which was released on October 2, 2018. The below tutorial podcasts only apply to the latest version 1809, so please check to see the current version running in your computer.

 

How do I know what version I’m running?

To determine whether or not these tutorials apply to Narrator in your computer you can check your version number as follows:

 

  1. Press and release the Windows Key and type the word Run, or merely hold down the Windows key and press the letter R.
  2. In the window that pops up type the text, WinVer and press the Enter key. Typing immediately will replace any text that might already be there.
  3. The computer will display, and your screen reader will speak the version of your operating system. If it indicates you’re running version 1809 Narrator will function as outlined in these podcasts, however if your computer is still running an older version please disregard these tutorials for now.  Press the Space Bar to close this dialog.

 

The Complete Guide to Narrator on the Microsoft Windows Help Page:

Click here to access the Complete Narrator’s Guide on the Windows Help Page.

 

David Woodbridge produces great podcasts under the title, iSee – Using various technologies from a blind persons perspective.  Below are the links to each individual podcast for you to Stream in your favourite podcatcher.

 

Narrator Tutorial Podcasts from iSee – Using various technologies from a blind persons perspective by David Woodbridge:

 

  1. Demo of the Windows Insider build for the new Narrator Quick Start Guide
  2. Windows 10 Narrator Series Episode 1 – turning Narrator on and off
  3. Windows 10 Narrator Series Episode 2 – Narrator keys and Input (keyboard and touch screen) Learning mode
  4. Windows 10 Narrator Series Episode 3 – adjusting speech rate, Volume, Punctuation, and a tip on Verbosity

 

 

  1. Windows 10 Narrator Series Episode 4 – changing Volume, Pitch, Audio Ducking, and an initial intro to Scan Mode
  2. Windows 10 Narrator Series Episode 5 Startup options for Narrator including Narrator Home
  3. Windows 10 Narrator Series Episode 6 – Typing Echo and Keyboard Settings
  4. Windows 10 Narrator Series Episode 7 – Navigating within a document with Narrator keyboard commands
  5. Windows 10 Narrator Series Episode 8 – Scan Mode, Narrator Views, and using Narrator Gestures with the Touch Screen

 

To subscribe to the “iSee – Using various technologies from a blind persons perspective” podcasts by David Woodbridge click on this link.

 

Thx, Albert A. Ruel

 

Resource: artificial intelligence technologies is seeking Testers using Android Devices

Hey friends,

 

We are an MIT-based startup that’s developing artificial intelligence technology for the visually impaired and the blind. We have recently released a test version of our first app on Android. It is very different from any of the existing apps such as Envision or SeeingAI. It helps you locate empty chairs, doors, stairs, and other objects around you, by using cutting-edge artificial intelligence.

 

We are accepting a limited number of tech-savvy people to try the app out before it is released and become a tester for artificial intelligence technologies. If you are interested, you can follow this link:

 

Google Play Store link

 

I am looking forward to hearing your feedback.

 

Best,

 

Emre Sarbak

Mediate

 

Resource: Audible App, Deleting books on iPhone 6 Running iOS 11-4-1

Deleting books in the Audible App on iPhone 6 in iOS 11-4-1

  1. With the My Library Tab at the bottom left corner of the main Audible Player screen selected, and Device selected near the top of the screen the iPhone will list the books on the device.
    2. Flick right several times from the top of the page to find the Delete Button icon and one-finger double tap it. Now, each book in the list will have something appear just before the title labelled, Delete from Device.
    3. Flick with one finger through the list to find the book title to be deleted and flick once to the left to access the Delete From Device Button pertaining to that book. One-finger double tap that button to start the deletion process.
    4. Focus will remain on the Delete From Device icon just activated, and above it will be found another button with the same label. Flick once to the left to locate that one and one-finger double tap it to finalize the deletion of the book.
    5. If there are multiple books to delete repeat steps 3 and 4.
    6. To turn off the Deletion process go back to the top of the page then flick right to locate the Delete Button and one-finger double tap it. The list of books wil return to its original state.

 

Guest Post: Let’s Talk Tips for Tuesday, January 1st 2019 Volume 4 An Author Donna Jodhan Publication

Let’s Talk Tips for Tuesday, January 1st 2019 – Volume 4 An Author Donna Jodhan Publication About | Let’s Talk Tips is your monthly resource for the most current and reliable informational tips available in the areas of Technology, Nutrition, Media, Business, and Advocacy. Find out more at: http://bit.ly/ADJLTT Web Version | Read this Volume of the Let’s Talk Tips Newsletter on the web at: http://bit.ly/LETSTALKTIPSV4, or at http://www.donnajodhan.com/lets-talk-tips-newsletter-2018/01012019/index.html.

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Dear Reader,

Happy New Year! This month in Let’s Talk Tips:

________________________________________

➜ Technology

________________________________________

1.) Netflix is Testing an Instant Scene-Replay Feature Did that scene in “Black Panther” or “Stranger Things” wow you so much that you wanted to stop everything and instantly rewatch it? A new feature being tested by Netflix could give viewers the ability to do exactly that.

🌐 https://lat.ms/2ReaZbU

2.) SMS to RCS. A New Messaging Standard. What it is and why you might want it.

A lot of people have become bored with SMS messaging, and the tech industry is very aware of it. While services such as Apple’s iMessage, Facebook Messenger, and WhatsApp allow you to add photos, GIFs and videos to your messages, they are not universal solutions.

🌐 http://bit.ly/2rYUgex

3.) The AI boom is happening all over the world, and it’s accelerating quickly.

The second annual AI Index report pulls together data and expert findings on the field’s progress and acceleration.

🌐 http://bit.ly/2GC9W1f

4.) The Worst Passwords of 2018. Is yours on this list?

Making it into the Top 25 for bad passwords this year are “donald,” “princess,” and “sunshine.” If you’re guilty of using one of the offending passwords on SplashData’s 100 Top Worst Passwords List of 2018, it’s time to get more creative.

🌐 http://bit.ly/2QIFkjt

5.) CNET Gives Us The Top Tech Stories of 2018 From Google’s scary Duplex AI to Fortnite mania, this year showed the good, bad and uncomfortable ways that tech is changing our lives.

🌐 https://cnet.co/2Reb2EC

________________________________________

➜ Nutrition

________________________________________

1.) Arjun Kapoor’s Weight Loss Diet Plan & Workout Routine. Before & After Pics Bollywood actor Arjun Kapoor’s incredible weight loss story is indeed an inspiration for many people struggling to get fit. Read on to learn his diet plan and workout routine.

🌐 http://bit.ly/2PVVjFl

2.) How to Lose Belly Fat and Build Muscle Fast. 5 Workout and Diet Secrets Every Man Should Know Building muscle is tricky in itself, doing that while losing the unwanted belly fat is perhaps, trickier. Here are some things that you need to incorporate in your workout routines to meet your goals.

🌐 http://bit.ly/2QItHJ7

3.) What is the Fast Metabolism Diet and How Does it Help with Weight Loss?

Essentially, the Fast Metabolism Diet is a 28-day eating plan that aims to speed up your metabolism by consuming specific foods in a certain time, resulting in weight loss. The diet, developed by a celebrity nutritionist and wellness consultant Haylie Pomroy, claims that eating the certain foods at the right time can ‘trick’ your metabolism into speeding up, helping you lose up to up to 20 pounds (9 kilos) in just 28 days.

🌐 http://bit.ly/2CsB7aN

4.) Why Relaxing is More Important for Weight Loss Than You Think. And How Often You Need to Chill Out More and more gyms are investing in relaxation areas and luxury saunas, but you can reap the same benefits at home.

🌐 http://bit.ly/2V6sKcn

5.) 7 Tips for Exactly How to Eat Before and After a Workout Nutrition pros break down the guidelines for pre and post workout eating, so you can maximize the benefits of your sweat session.

🌐 http://bit.ly/2PUZNfi

________________________________________

➜ Media

________________________________________

1.) All of Facebook’s Ad Targeting Options in One Infographic Facebook’s Ad Targeting Options got you dizzy? Well you’re not alone. Check out this awesome infographic for a complete visual represenation of your options, fully categorized and illustrated.

🌐 http://bit.ly/2Lwa8y2

2.) The Verge Gives Us 22 Predictions for Social Media in 2019 What to expect from Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and more.

🌐 http://bit.ly/2EJ2nUQ

3.) For the first year ever, Pew Research Study reveals more people now turn to social media for news than actual newspapers.

It’s a sign of the times. Pew also found that other sources of news, including television, radio and news websites still outrank social media. You can take a look at Pew’s data distribution here.

🌐 https://cnet.co/2CthNu4

4.) Why businesses are relying on Facebook Groups to build engaged audiences.

At the beginning of 2018, Facebook switched up its algorithm in an attempt to “fix” the News Feed by promoting more posts from family and friends and demoting content from businesses, brands and media. The move actively distanced brands from their followers on the platform by limiting exposure to organic content posted by businesses. At first glance, the only solution for brands was to invest more in their Facebook ad campaigns, but some businesses have found an alternative to connect with their audience by building vibrant Facebook Group communities.

ic https://mklnd.com/2QJB1nS

5.) Instagram Strips Out Fake ‘Likes’ Tied to 3rd-Party Apps Instagram has begun to remove inauthentic engagement with accounts that used third-party apps to grow their follower count and engagement on the platform — a practice that violates the app’s community guidelines and terms of use.

🌐 https://mklnd.com/2Cs5mym

________________________________________

➜ Business

________________________________________

1.) Barriers to Working Longer are Coming Down Whether by choice or necessity, more adults are working past retirement age.

🌐 https://dpo.st/2BEA2uG

2.) Long Term Care and Nursing Home Information Systems Market Report The Long Term Care and Nursing Home Information Systems Market Report provides an overview of the Long Term Care and Nursing Home Information Systems Industry, including industry characteristics, manufacturing technology, industry chain analysis and the latest market trends & dynamics.

🌐 http://bit.ly/2LtlaUJ

3.) Hunger Among Senior Citizens is Serious Problem The period of life known as “the golden years” is often more bleak than bright for a lot of senior citizens in the United States. Nearly 5 million seniors citizens currently deal with hunger in the U.S., according to Feeding America, a nonprofit organization that focuses its efforts on hunger relief.

🌐 http://bit.ly/2BDkZlg

4.) Perennials, Not Millennials, Will Trigger the Next Wave of Talent Retention Efforts Headlines in recent years have trumpeted workplace changes demanded by millennials, from nap pods to flexible scheduling to student-loan repayment. But there is another fundamental shift in workforce demographics. Older workers — or “perennials,” as this cohort has sometimes been called — are now the fastest-growing population of workers, with twice as many seniors as teenagers currently employed in the US.

🌐 http://bit.ly/2rQznln

5.) LinkedIn’s 50 Big Ideas for 2019: What to Watch in the Year Ahead The business leaders, authors, journalists and academics who gave us their 2019 predictions foresee a shaky economy, a troubled world order and continued anxiety — but also a renewed focus on caring for ourselves, for each other and for doing the right thing. Here’s our annual look at the year ahead.

🌐 http://bit.ly/2CtFS3C

________________________________________

➜ Advocacy

________________________________________

1.) Accessibility at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Japan Tokyo, Japan is hosting the 2020 Summer Olympics. As usual, the Paralympics will follow. It is expected that forty million people will travel to Japan to watch the Olympics and Paralympics. As a result, Japan is examining accessibility at the 2020 Summer Olympics. While Japan is accessible in some places already, the country will be making improvements between now and 2020.

🌐 http://bit.ly/2V1XFWW

2.) People With Disabilities Face Significant Barriers in Education System, Commission Finds Ontario’s education system needs to modernize its approach to supporting disabled students at every age level and do more to eliminate persistent barriers they face in school, the province’s human rights commission said in a statement.

🌐 http://bit.ly/2EEjWoc

3.) Research Shows 1 in 5 Museums Do Not Provide Online Access Information and are Inadvertently Contributing to a “Disability Engagement Gap”

Museum websites are key tools for providing visitor access information, and the absence of this contributes to the ‘disability engagement gap’; where people with a disability are less likely to be regular or frequent visitors of museums than those who are not disabled.

🌐 http://bit.ly/2Sd3D5y

4.) Equal Access in Air Travel for the Blind. Raising Expectations from the United States Department of Transportation Air travel and the treatment of blind passengers by the airlines are not new topics for the NFB and in the Braille Monitor. But recent events have the topics squarely on the NFB Agenda as you will read in this article.

🌐 http://bit.ly/2rOYpkU

5.) What would a truly disabled-accessible city look like?

Most cities are utterly unfriendly to people with disabilities, but with almost one billion estimated to be urban-dwellers by 2050, a few cities are undergoing a remarkable shift.

🌐 http://bit.ly/2PVpNYi

________________________________________

➜ Subscription Information:

________________________________________

ABOUT:

The Let’s Talk Tips Newsletter is an Author Donna Jodhan Publication. Author Donna Jodhan is a blind author, advocate, blogger, podcast commentator, and accessibility specialist. The Let’s Talk Tips Newsletter is your monthly resource for the most current and reliable informational tips available in the areas of Technology, Nutrition, Media, Business, and Advocacy. The Let’s Talk Tips Newsletter is sent out by email and Facebook on the 1st Monday of every month at 6:00 AM EST.

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Each month we aggregate all of the very best tips we can find in the areas of Technology, Nutrition, Media, Business, and Advocacy. If you are a writer, author, blogger or podcaster of informational tips in any of these areas, and you would like for your content to be considered for publication within this newsletter, you may send any information for future issues to our editor, Donna Jodhan, at: LetsTalkTips@DonnaJodhan.com ✉.

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CCB Tech Articles, Donna’s Low Tech Tips, Scams and Scammers, December 31, 2018

December 31 2018

 

Happy holidays everyone!

Hi there!  It’s Donna and thank you for allowing me to come into your inbox.

Today, I am going to do something a bit different and as we get ready to welcome in 2019 I am going to give you some great pointers for avoiding scams and scammers.

I have gathered these through investigations, hard core experiences, and input from others.

 

Here goes.

You need to remember that scams come in the following formats:

As emails, as phone calls both recorded and via a live caller, and o yes!  It can even show up at your door and in your mailbox.

And now they are targeting us through texts being sent to our cell phones.

 

Do not respond to emails that look strange to you.

Do not download attachments from unknown senders.

Do not share your username and password to your online banking and any other online payments facilities with anyone.

Do not give out any banking or personal details on the phone to unknown callers.

Do not pay any attention to threats from automated phone recordings or from live persons with regard to your credit card or that you owe money to any revenue agency.

Do not entertain any offers either via email or by phone from senders and callers offering incredible service packages as they may pertain to cable and tv services, prizes that you have won, or any sort of any type of service package.

Do not answer the door to unknown callers.

Take extra caution to make sure that the details of your credit cards and debit cards are fully protected when you make payments at restaurants or at stores, pharmacies, and elsewhere.

Do not enter your password for Facebook or Twitter in response to a text request on your cell phone.

The same if you are asked for your Apple ID.

Do not fall prey to a text message telling you that your banking details have been compromised online.

 

That’s it from me for this week.

If you would like to become a member of  my CCB Mysteries chapter you can do so for the price of $10 annually and in return you will receive unlimited access to either of the following libraries.

Recipes –

http://www.donnajodhan.com/library-recipes.html

Audio mysteries for all ages –

http://www.donnajodhan.com/library-audio-mysteries.html

Or you can subscribe to both for the price of $20 annually.

Now you  can subscribe to “‘Let’s Talk Tips”‘ which is my monthly resource for the most current and reliable

informational tips available in the areas of Technology, Nutrition, Media,

Business, and Advocacy.

http://bit.ly/ADJSubscribe

 

To contact me, send me an email at info@sterlingcreations.ca and I’d be happy to respond.

Have yourselves a great day and see you next week.

Donna

 

 

 

 

Guest Post: Switching From JAWS To NVDA nvaccess/nvda-community Wiki · GitHub

Switching From JAWS To NVDA

To visit the website where this article is posted please access the above link.

 

Introduction

 

The purpose of this guide is to assist users of JAWS (Job Access With Speech), a commercial screen reader by Freedom Scientific to switch to the open source screen reader NVDA (NonVisual Desktop Access) with ease. It assumes prior knowledge of JAWS and that you are proficient in its use.

 

It is not intended to be a replacement of the included user guide, rather as a means to make NVDA seem less daunting.

 

Strengths And Weaknesses

 

The intent of this guide is not to be a comparison of JAWS and NVDA, but it is necessary to mention some things that NVDA doesn’t currently support or that needs improving so you can make an informed choice.

 

Support for advanced features of the Microsoft office suite is a fairly recent addition, so you may not find it as polished an experience as JAWS. However, this has been improved significantly in recent versions, and is constantly being worked on.

 

With that said, you’ll find that – in most daily situations, NVDA works just as well as JAWS, if not better in some cases.

 

A Quick Note about NVDA’s Laptop Keyboard Layout

 

Selecting the laptop keyboard layout does not automatically set the CapsLock key to act as the NVDA modifier key. However, a check box is provided next to the Keyboard Layout combo box to toggle this setting.

 

Note On The Insert Key.

 

As you may be aware, both JAWS and NVDA can use the insert key for its modifier key. Both screen readers treat it slightly differently, which could lead to some confusion if you are used to one or the other.

 

With JAWS loaded, the insert key is solely for its use. This means that, in order to use the original function assigned to it (such as switching between insert and overwrite modes in a text editor or word processor), you first have to activate JAWS’s pass key through command.

 

NVDA on the other hand allows you to carry out the insert key’s original function by pressing it twice quickly. Keep this in mind the next time you’re editing text while using NVDA and find yourself erasing what you’ve already written by typing over it.

 

Alternatives to eSpeak

 

eSpeak NG is the speech synthesizer that is included with NVDA. Like NVDA itself, it is also free and open source, which is one of the reasons for its inclusion. Another being the shear amount of languages it can speak.

 

However, you may find that, for whatever reason, it is not for you. If this is the case you will be glad to know that there are alternatives, which will be discussed in the following sections.

 

Eloquence

 

One of the most asked questions concerns the use of the Eloquence synthesizer with NVDA. Until recently, it was illegal to do so, as explained by a developer.  However, Code Factory has released a version of eloquence as an NVDA add-on which can be purchased from this link.

 

A license to use Nuance’s Vocalizer synthesizer is also included in the price.

 

See the section entitled “Scripts” for information about NVDA add-ons.

 

Windows OneCore voices

 

If you are on Windows 10 and are running NVDA version 2017.3 or later, you have yet another alternative in the shape of Windows OneCore voices. These voices are developed by Microsoft and are included free of charge with windows 10.

 

There are quite a few available in various languages and dialects; some of which will already be installed. However, these will vary depending on the language packs you have on your system. The only way at present to get new voices is to install other language packs in Settings. Once done, you can then download the voices for that language. At which point, you can remove the language pack. This will not effect the voices you have just installed. hopefully this will be made more simpler in the future.

 

If you find that Windows OneCore voices do not speak fast enough, even when NVDA’s speech rate is at its highest, adjust the speech rate in windows settings as well.

 

Their slight complications aside, these voices offer a viable alternative to eSpeak NG as they are responsive and quite natural sounding.

 

Even more voices

 

If you still cannot find the perfect voice for you, This page lists several other speech synthesizers (both free and paid you can use instead.

 

Terminology

 

Most of the time, both NVDA and JAWS share a lot of the same terminology to describe controls e.g. radio buttons, combo boxes, check boxes etc.

 

One notable difference is that NVDA differentiates between single and multi-line edit fields, and will also tell you if a field is “protected” (anything you type will be replaced by asterisks). It will also alert you if text is selected in a field when you tab over to it. If so, typing will replace the highlighted text.

 

NVDA refers to the different languages a speech synthesizer can speak as voices, and the different voices supported by your synthesizer as variants.

 

Cursors

 

NVDA has various cursors to aid in navigating Windows and applications, similar to JAWS. The terminology is slightly different as described below.

 

The PC cursor in NVDA’s documentation is referred to as the system focus and system caret.

 

The equivalent to the JAWS cursor is a combination of object navigation, the review cursor and the various review modes; such as Document review, object review and Screen Review. The Screen Review function is the one perhaps most similar to the JAWS cursor, however it is beneficial to become familiar with all of these. You will find thorough, easy to understand instructions in the user guide.

 

Unlike JAWS, you don’t have to switch between the PC and JAWS cursor equivalents as the numpad is reserved exclusively for working with the JAWS cursor like functions.

 

It is worth noting that when you use object navigation or the review cursor, the mouse does not move in sync. You have to press a command to move the mouse to the location of the review cursor, which is similar to how JAWS’ “invisible cursor” works. There are also commands to simulate clicking or locking both

mouse buttons.

 

However, if you simply want to activate the current object you are focused on when using object navigation, there is a command to do this without having to move the mouse cursor to it first.

 

Touch cursor

 

In JAWS 15 or later, you can use numpad keys to navigate apps using a tree-like structure, similar to how users of smartphone screen readers such as VoiceOver would navigate touchscreens. in NVDA, object navigation and object mode touch commands can be used for this purpose

 

Virtual Cursor

 

The virtual cursor in NVDA is known as browse mode. It functions in much the same way as JAWS, giving you access to navigation quick keys, or in NVDA speak, single letter navigation.

 

Following are some common issues you may encounter when browsing the web with NVDA for the first time, and how to address them.

 

Why Is Everything On One Line?

 

In case you are unaware, JAWS has two modes for displaying webpages or other documents using the virtual cursor; simple layout and screen layout. Simple layout is the default, which displays content in a linear fashion – putting each link or control on its own line. Screen layout formats the content similar to how it’s displayed on screen.

 

The default in NVDA is screen layout, but you can easily switch to its version of simple layout by pressing NVDA+V while in browse mode. This will turn Screen layout off. Be sure to save your configuration after making this change with NVDA+CTRL+c.

 

It Keeps Saying Clickable Clickable Clickable.

 

While reading webpages, you might notice sometimes that NVDA says “clickable”, even multiple times on the same link or control.

 

As of version 2018.4 and later, NvDA will now only say clickable once, so if you experience this issue, please upgrade your copy.

 

You can also turn off the announcement of clickable elements entirely by going to document formatting in settings and unchecking “clickable” in the elements group.

 

Find doesn’t work on the web.

 

While JAWS is loaded, pressing ctrl+f in Internet Explorer or Firefox brings up the JAWS Find dialogue rather than activating the browser’s built-in find command. This is to allow you to search for text using the virtual cursor. The regular find command will search for the next occurrence of the entered text, but will not move the virtual cursor to that location. This is due to how screen readers interact with web pages.

 

NVDA has its own find command to search in browse mode, but it has not been tied to CTRL+F, so pressing that shortcut key calls up the browser’s find command, hence find not working as expected.

 

To bring up NVDA’s find dialogue, press ctrl+NVDA+F. Type in what you wish to find then press enter.

 

No commands to view forms and headings?

 

In JAWS, you can press JAWS+F5 to list forms, JAWS+F6 to list headings and JAWS+F7 to list links. In NVDA, the latter two have been combined into an elements list dialog, and you can access it by pressing NVDA+F7.

 

Forms Mode

 

The equivalent of forms mode in NVDA is focus mode, and it behaves very similar to JAWS, Even switching modes automatically when navigating through a webpage.

It will play a sound alerting you to which mode you are in.

 

Details about Focus Mode can be found in the user guide.

 

NVDA talks too much.

 

Sometimes you may find that NVDA can seem overly verbose, particularly in some list views. This is because as far as NVDA is concerned, list views are tables. NVDA is configured by default to announce each column or row header.

 

To turn that option off, uncheck “Report table row/column headers” in the “Document Formatting” dialogue.

 

Solving unexpected Speech Dictionary behaviour.

 

NVDA has always included a function to edit “Speech Dictionaries”, which are similar to JAWS’ dictionary manager files. However, until recently, the result of adding a word to them might not be what you had expected. If you added a word you wanted to change the pronunciation of to a dictionary , such as “mono”, any word that started with or included the word mono would be affected. Whereas in JAWS, only the text entered into the “actual word” field would be affected, unless you appended an asterisk (*). So as in this example, mono would be seen as a route word.

 

There was a work around, but this involved regular expressions, which aren’t at all obvious to the average user. However, as of 2014.4 or later, you will now find a group of radio buttons in the Add/edit dictionary entry labelled type, which determines how the text in the pattern, (NVDA speak for actual word), box will be treated.

 

list of 3 items

  • anywhere, which is the default behavior.
  • Whole word, which is how JAWS handles dictionary entries.
  • Regular Expression, which is complicated. You will also find a case sensitive check box.

list end

 

If you previously found NVDA’s speech dictionaries frustrating, be sure to take another look.

 

Scripts

 

Like JAWS, scripts can be added to NVDA to provide support for other applications or to add new features that can be accessed from anywhere. These script packages are called NVDA Add-ons. You can find several add-ons here:

http://addons.nvda-project.org/

 

These include a few that emulate JAWS features not currently present in NVDA such as a system tray list, virtualise window function and ability to append text to clipboard. Scripts for popular applications such as GoldWave are also available. The user guide has details on installing add-ons, and you can read help documentation that comes with each add-on to learn more about how to use the add-on.

 

The following link is to the developer guide with information on how to create ad-ons.

http://community.nvda-project.org/documentation/developerGuide.html

 

Remote access

 

In 2015, Christopher Toth and Tyler Spivey released a free add-on to allow NVDA users to provide remote support, similar to JAWS Tandem. To learn more about this add-on, go to

http://www.nvdaremote.com

 

Application-specific settings

 

Until recently, NVDA’s settings were global (applied everywhere). Starting with NVDA 2013.3, it is possible to configure certain settings to be applied when using a program. This is done by creating an app-specific configuration profile. To create an app-specific profile, open the Configuration Profiles dialogue while using the app in question. To open the dialogue, hit NVDA, N, to bring up the NVDA menu. arrow down until you hear configuration profiles.

 

When the dialogue opens, select New, and select “current application” when asked when to use this profile.

 

Alternate say all

 

In recent versions of JAWS, you can configure a different speech synthesizer to be used when say all is active. You can do this in NVDA by creating a say all profile in the configuration profiles menu.

 

Here are the steps.

 

list of 3 items

  1. Open the configurations profile from the main NVDA menu. Press NVDA, N, then arrow down to configuration profiles.
  2. Create a new profile by tabbing to the new button or press alt, N.
  3. After you name your profile, tab to the profile usage radio butttons. arrow down untill you hear say all. Hit OK

list end

 

while this profile is active, you need to complete the process by configuring the synthesizer while the say all profile is active.

 

© 2018 GitHub, Inc.

 

Guest Post: iHabilitation.ca Offers Online Training for Voice Over on iOS Devices

One of the GTT Victoria members and periodic contributors, Tom Dekker wants you to know about his paid online training service now available.

 

Are you ready to gain greater command of your iPhone? Are you willing and able to work at it? iHabilitation Canada is very happy to announce a new iPhone instructional opportunity that will help you do just that. At the same time, you will gain experience with the latest in inclusively designed meeting and webinar platforms – a skill that offers ever-increasing educational and employment potential.

 

We also offer the opportunity to engage in a Structured Discovery approach to what we like to think of as touch screen O&M. That’s right! Orientation and Mobility, “on scree” as with “on land”! This means that you gradually learn the location of everything you may need on an app’s screens before making serious use of the app. Familiarity reduces frustration.

 

This is very different from the kind of iPhone Voiceover instruction where learners are simply taught a “flick-and-tap route”. They flick and tap through the steps of a task without learning much about other on-screen clues and landmarks that would otherwise provide a broader picture of the virtual environment.

 

Imagine the fun and benefit of transforming that sometimes seemingly endless bead flicking experience to a full-screen Mind’s Eye view, independent of physical vision. Imagine whizzing around the screen with your finger just as you would with a mouse as if you could see to use one.

 

Find out more about iPhone Structured Discovery coaching and online multi-media learning possibilities available via Zoom Cloud Meetings! For more information, visit ihabilitation.ca/coaching.

 

To learn more about our methodology and some of the apps and possibilities for increasing personal iPhone-based productivity in general, check out our workshop document from the 2018 CNIB National Braille and Technology conference. Ihabilitation.ca/bc2018

 

Sincerely,

iHabilitation partners

Tom Dekker and Ken Sudhues