The B2G - This Is Not the Droid I’m Looking For… Yet.

Seldom have I come across a device that has left me so conflicted. As regular readers know, I have a tendency to gush, or condemn products pretty universally, often with little middle ground. Not so with today’s entry. The B2G is an enigma, wrapped in a mystery, wrapped in a quandary for. I don’t know what to think of it. Hardware, software, and documentation all leave me scratching my head a little. There are things I love about each aspect of the device, and yet, I cannot give my love to it wholeheartedly as I often want to fling my hands up in desperation, and give up on the whole mad experiment of even reviewing it.

Android 6.0 and Talkback 4.5 Accessibility Improvements

With Android 6.0 and Talkback 4.5, some significant accessibility improvements have been made. The gestures seem more forgiving when inputs aren’t perfect, web browsing is much better, and the overall experience feels more fluid. I’ve attempted to use Android a few times in the past, but have always been frustrated by inconsistent interpretation of my gestures, random focus jumping if any other part of the screen is touched, and a lack of navigation granularity on the web and in other apps. With the current versions, things are much better. While the overall navigation is not as seamless as on iOS, the gap has narrowed significantly. Unfortunately, as Brailleback has not received an update since December and the introduction of Unified English Braille, Braille accessibility was not tested for this review.

Spreading the Good News About Technology Accessibility

In the Federation, we know that technology accessibility is critical to the success of blind people, and people with other disabilities, in the twenty-first century. After all, today technology is ubiquitous at home, at school, at work, and in the community. Unfortunately we have all experienced technology that was not built upon the principles of accessibility and as a result poses tremendous barriers for us. On the web, unlabeled buttons, images without alternative text, poorly labeled links, and poor heading structures are the everyday reality for blind users.

A brief look at the iPad Pro

Introduction

I recently had a chance to use an iPad pro for a short time, and wanted to share some things I noticed as a VoiceOver user. The iPad Pro is Apple’s biggest tablet, and the first to have a specially designed keyboard and stylus, called the Apple Pencil. For the most part, using the iPad Pro is identical to using any other iOS device. All the gestures, buttons, and VoiceOver commands are identical. The iPad Pro, by virtue of having the largest screen size, fits the most on the screen and gives the most accurate positioning of items when exploring by touch. However, the device does have a few interesting benefits and drawbacks.

A brief look at the iPad Pro

By Karl Belanger

The Orion TI30XS Multiview Talking Scientific Calculator

As with the Orion TI84, the American Printing House for the Blind (APH) has teamed up with Texas Instruments to make another very common and popular calculator accessible. This calculator has an extension at the top with three buttons on it for accessing the accessibility functions, as well as a speaker on the back. The TI30 looks much more streamlined than the TI84. Where the TI84 had a piece that was clearly an add-on, the accessibility add-on to the TI30 looks much more like it is a part of the product. The TI84 used two separate sources of power, one for the Orion accessibility add-on, plus the regular batteries for the calculator; this device on the other hand has everything housed in one unit with a micro USB port for charging. Overall, this calculator is an excellent little device for doing any level of math, up to and including advanced trigonometry (trig) functions.

The Orion TI30XS Multiview Talking Scientific Calculator

As with the Orion TI84, the American Printing House for the Blind (APH) has teamed up with Texas Instruments to make another very common and popular calculator accessible. This calculator has an extension at the top with three buttons on it for accessing the accessibility functions, as well as a speaker on the back. The TI30 looks much more streamlined than the TI84. Where the TI84 had a piece that was clearly an add-on, the accessibility add-on to the TI30 looks much more like it is a part of the product. The TI84 used two separate sources of power, one for the Orion accessibility add-on, plus the regular batteries for the calculator; this device on the other hand has everything housed in one unit with a micro USB port for charging. Overall, this calculator is an excellent little device for doing any level of math, up to and including advanced trigonometry (trig) functions.

National Federation of the Blind Jernigan Institute Research Collaboration: Sunu Band

The National Federation of the Blind Jernigan Institute leads the quest to understand the real problems of blindness and to develop innovative education, technologies, products, and services that help the world's blind to achieve greater independence. Many technology developers have the best intensions when designing that great next product for the blind. Unfortunately they do not include blind people in the process. We strongly encourage developers of innovative nonvisual access technologies to work with us during the design and development phase. By leveraging the expertise and the life experience of the independent blind with the engineering expertise of these developers of next generation technologies, the result is an innovative, more useful product for the blind.  

We Must Stop the Amazon Fail!

We Must Stop the Amazon Fail!

Installers Beware! Microsoft Drops the Ball on Accessibility in Windows 10

There was a time when it appeared that, despite some glitches here and there, Microsoft was really getting the accessibility message. However, there has been actual regression in the area of accessibility with the last several releases of Windows, and the release of the long-awaited Windows 10 is sadly no exception. Despite determined efforts by some access technology manufacturers to remediate some of the issues, the problems with the Windows 10 rollout are a matter of grave concern for all blind Windows users, as well as for enterprise users with blind employees who are considering company-wide upgrades to Windows 10.

Pages

Subscribe to Access Technology