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Top Tech Tidbits for Thursday, January 21, 2021 - Volume 791The Week's News in Adaptive Technology
A Mind Vault Solutions, Ltd. Publication
Top Tech Tidbits. The world's #1 online resource for current news and trends in adaptive technology.
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Top Tech Tidbits is a sponsor and reader supported publication. Your sponsorships along with reader support are critical for us to be able to continue to provide free and unbiased adaptive technology news to thousands of blind and visually impaired professionals, educators and enthusiasts all over the world, each week. If you are already a sponsor, or have already made a contribution, thank you! If you are unable to sponsor or donate for any reason, please ignore this message. We are happy to have you here.
Top Tech Tidbits for Thursday is a leading, not-for-profit Adaptive Technology publication that reaches over 6,500 Adaptive Technology professionals, educators and enthusiasts each week. Top Tech Tidbits offers a total of 12 Sponsorship Packages which are used to support the ongoing distribution of the publication. There are currently only 2 of these 12 packages still available. Secure one of these remaining packages today for just $325.00 USD for the next 3 months, or save $100.00 USD and join us for the year. All Sponsorship Packages are offered on a first-come, first serve basis. Please help us to support the ongoing distribution of this publication. Consider showing your support for the world's #1 online resource for current news and trends in adaptive technology, and enjoy these incredible benefits. Learn more today at https://www.toptechtidbits.com/sponsorship-information.html or contact Aaron Di Blasi of Mind Vault Solutions, Ltd. at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dear Tidbits Subscriber,
1) Top 3 Most Clicked Tidbits From Last WeekA.) How to Answer iPhone Hands-Free: (16.6% of all clicks.)
B.) Accessibility Devices Playing Larger Role at CES: (6.9% of all clicks.)
C.) A Week in the Life of Jill's Apple Watch: (5.1% of all clicks.)
2) Dolphin Computer Access Joins Top Tech Tidbits as 11th SponsorWe would like to open this week by welcoming aboard our 11th Sponsor in the form of Dolphin Computer Access. From all of us here at Top Tech Tidbits, readers included, we sincerely thank you for your ongoing support. For anyone not familiar with them Dolphin provides accessibility solutions for sight loss and dyslexia to millions of blind, partially sighted and dyslexic people across the globe who have chosen Dolphin products for their personal and professional use. Learn more today at:
3) How to scan QR codes on iPhone, iPad, or iPod touchThanks to Apple Insider we learn how to accomplish this increasingly necessary task:
4) Training Course by Access Technology Institute | Microsoft Edge with JAWS for WindowsAccess Technology Institute offers this six-lesson course for $259 USD:
5) Using AI to Improve Photo Descriptions for People Who Are Blind and Visually ImpairedThis describes improvements in Facebook's Automatic Alternative Text feature, used when people do not provide alt text for their photos:
6) An up-to-date and in-depth Discord guide for Screenreaders: Windows and iOSThis guide is an individual initiative and is kept up to date:
7) Blind CompassThis ingenious free iOS app emits tones for the cardinal directions. It also has a mode for locking the direction when one needs to traverse a straight route:
8) Virtual Product Expo on Intuitive AI Solutions for PDF & STEM Image AccessibilityJanuary 29th 2021 | 6:30 AM PT, 7:30 AM MT, 8:30 AM CT, 9:30 AM ET, 2:30 PM GMT:
9) AccessWorld January 2021The first issue of the year contains "Braille in the 21st Century: How Far Have We Come?," "The 40-Cell Question: A Comparison of 40-Cell Braille Displays," "Braille by Sight: A Guide to Online Braille Workshops from Hadley," "Chromecast with Google TV: An Accessibility Review," and "What's New in MacOS Big Sur:"
10) How to Search in Windows 10The Windows 10 search feature seems pretty simple, but it can be even more effective. PC Mag shows us some ways to control our searches and find things even faster:
11) What is Windows 10X, and How Is It Unique from Windows 10?One day every device will likely run on this new Windows operating system. It's built with the help of a new modern version of Windows called 'Windows Core OS' that has original components and features in favor of contemporary user experiences and enhanced security. For those unfamiliar, Windows 10X was originally designed for dual-screen devices, such as the Surface Neo, Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold, and Intel prototypes. Reports have suggested that Windows 10X will now launch in the Spring of 2021 and we've finally managed to get our first look, thanks to a leaked build:
12) Microsoft Edge Now Supports Voice Typing with Native DictationMicrosoft Edge now allows typing using your voice with help of the native Dictation feature of Windows 10:
13) Google's TalkBack Screen Reader is Getting New Features Available First on Galaxy PhonesGoogle says, "As part of our commitment to make computing as accessible to everyone, we've collaborated with Samsung to develop a new version of TalkBack, a Google screen reader, available first on Galaxy:
14) Alexa Care Hub: A New Feature To Remotely Check In On Your Loved OnesAmazon recently rolled out a new feature on their Alexa devices called "Care Hub". The Care Hub is a free feature found in the Alexa app that gives families a way to remotely check in on aging parents or loved ones. This feature establishes a connection between two Alexa accounts, allowing one person to support a loved one through the Care Hub:
15) YouTube Adds Voice Commands to Search, Navigate, and PlayThe last big update to YouTube on the web saw autoplay controls move inside the video player. YouTube.com is now gaining voice search for fast lookup and hands-free navigation commands:
16) Accessibility Devices at CES 2021 Reflect Growing Focus on Inclusive TechThe products at CES that generate the most buzz are typically TVs, computers and phones, but there's also plenty of important and groundbreaking tech geared toward improving the everyday lives of users that doesn't receive as much attention. These include a range of products primarily focused on accessibility, from hearing aids to braille keyboards to apps that guide visually impaired users:
17) The Intersectionality of Identities with DisabilityThis resource comes to us from the National Center for College Students with Disabilities (NCCSD), a federally-funded project under the U.S. Department of Education, and provides a range of disability resources for people of different races, ethnicities, cultures, LGBTQI identities, and religions (listed in no particular order). Also includes a collection of self-care and identity resources:
18) The Music of the Stars: Sounds from Space Teaching Astronomy to the BlindThe "Music of the Stars" program is a unique space exhibition that opens its doors to kids and adults in 2021, both in-person and virtually, and unlike other programs of its kind, it teaches the blind the magic of astronomy through real sounds from space:
19) Podcast | Apple's Audio MagicThis Tech Doctor podcast covers the new $550 AirPods Max headphones:
20) Podcast | Blind Tech Guys | CES 2021, BBC Apps And How To Utilise GesturesJanuary 19th 2021 | On episode 69 of the Blind Tech Guys, they went through all that happened at CES 2021, Marco demonstrated two BBC apps and Nimer showed us how to go about setting up and utilising gestures on Android and iOS:
21) Podcast | Eyes on Success #2104 | Eric Damery and His CareerJanuary 20th 2021 | Eric Damery has had a long career in the field of assistive technology and is currently VP of Software Product Management at Freedom Scientific, a Vispero company. Hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey talk with Eric about how he got started in the field and how he worked to bring these technologies to people with vision loss around the world:
22) Podcast by Tek Talk | Evo 10 PlayerJanuary 26th 2021 | 5PM PT, 6PM MT, 7PM CT, 8PM ET, 1AM GMT | Learn about a powerful recorder, player and DAISY reader:
23) Webinar | JAWS OCR, What It Is and How It Works!This is an archived Freedom Scientific webinar:
24) Webinar | Kindling Your Imagination:January 21st 2021 | 3PM PT, 4PM MT, 5PM CT, 6PM ET, 11PM GMT | This Zoom call will focus on the Kindle Fire and perhaps the iOS app:.
25) Webinar by Freedom Scientific | Microsoft Teams and JAWS, Beyond the BasicsJanuary 21st 2021 | 9AM PT, 10AM MT, 11AM CT, 12PM ET, 5PM GMT | Do you use Microsoft Teams with JAWS? Want more information about valuable features? Join us as we provide an overview of the Teams interface and discuss improved navigation options with JAWS 2021 and Fusion 2021:
26) Webinar | Apple Presentation Dispelling the MythsJanuary 22nd 2021 | 2PM PT, 3PM MT, 4PM CT, 5PM ET, 10PM GMT | Does Screen Curtain save battery power? Is it ok to leave my phone plugged in overnight? How important is the lighting when I use Face ID? And do I really need to force quit my apps all the time? These and more questions will be discussed:.
27) Webinar by the Autistic Women & Nonbinary Network | Abolition, Deinstitutionalization, and Decarceration in the PandemicJanuary 25th 2021 | 5PM PT, 6PM MT, 7PM CT, 8PM ET, 1AM GMT | The pandemic has hit hardest and deadliest in institutions including jails and prisons, psych hospitals, nursing homes, group homes, and large-scale developmental disabilities institutions. This webinar will discuss connections between disability justice and abolition, explain deinstitutionalization and decarceration, and explore strategies that advocates and organizers are using to challenge ableism, racism, and other forms of violence arising during the pandemic. ASL interpretation (with a CDI), CART captioning, and video and audio-only connection options will be provided. Regiser here:
28) Webinar from Knowbility | Screen Readers in the Wild. A Celebration of the 35th Anniversary of the First Screen Reader, Released in 1986January 25th 2021 | 8AM PT, 9AM MT, 10AM CT, 11AM ET, 4PM GMT | $35 | IBM Researcher and Accessibility Pioneer, Jim Thatcher, created the first screen reader in 1986. The IBM Screen Reader worked with the text-based Desktop Operating System (DOS). It was initially only available within IBM. Jim and his team continued development and released IBM Screen Reader/2 to work with graphical operating systems such as Windows 95 and IBM OS/2. Register here:
29) Webinar | Informational Session and Recruitment for the Intracortical Visual Prosthesis Project - A Clinical TrialJanuary 26th 2021 | 11AM PT, 12PM MT, 1PM CT, 2PM ET, 7PM GMT | Learn from the researchers about an experimental device intended to restore visual perception for individuals who are blind. Learn about the intracortical visual prosthesis device, the study, expectations, possible risks and benefits, process and post implant requirements hosted by The Chicago Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired. Interested individuals will receive contact information to speak with study personnel after the educational session is over:
30) Webinar from the Technology User Group (TUG) of the Maryland State Library for the Blind and Print Disabled | New & Exciting AppsFebruary 6th 2021 | 7AM PT, 8AM MT, 9AM CT, 10AM ET, 3PM GMT | Technology User Group will demonstrate new and useful apps for your smart device. Learn which apps are going to make a difference in your everyday life and which ones to avoid. They will also demonstrate how to make it easier to fill in repetitious information with just a couple keystrokes using your virtual keyboard. The presentation will be virtual and may be joined by calling (319) 527-4994 ☎. Duration is approximately 90 minutes. You do not have to RSVP for this event:
31) Training Course from Hartgen Consultancy | Winning Teams! Using Microsoft Teams with JAWS for WindowsMarch 17th 2021 | 11AM PT, 12PM MT, 1PM CT, 2PM ET, 7PM GMT | Cost: £150.00 / $205.00 USD | Four training sessions starting on Wednesday, March 17th 2021 and then weekly each Wednesday thereafter. If you cannot make a live session, you will have access to the recording of it shortly after. Requirements, registration and what you will receive available here:
32) Top Tech Tidbits Buy, Sell or TradeWe have one product for sale this week. Review it below or on the Tidbits website at:
Top Tech Tidbits Sponsor Classified Ads:
➜ This Week's Classified Ad:Get Coding with Code JumperTM - a fully accessible and inclusive computer coding innovation, originally designed by Microsoft® and developed by APH (for Windows, Chromebook, and Android devices)! With Code Jumper, students across the vision spectrum can learn the basics of computer programming and computational thinking by tactually creating computer code that can tell stories and make music. Learn more at:
Website: https://www.aph.org/ 🌐
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About: Since 1858, the American Printing House for the Blind has operated in Louisville, Kentucky as the world's largest nonprofit organization, creating accessible learning experiences through educational, workplace, and independent living products and services for people who are blind and visually impaired. APH believes that the future belongs to everyone. By offering innovative products and services, APH opens up a door of opportunities for lifelong independence and success.
➜ This Week's Classified Ad:GuideLights And Gadgets: New Year, Products, Pricing. Mystery Gadget or Doggy Bags; Through Jan. 31, we will double the value of your choice of $25 or $50 gadgets-leather or "all-things-dog" grab bags. Our new shoulder lambskin patchwork tablet and Braille display case will hold just about anything you need for a day $50; form fitting BN Touch Plus leather case $60; new $10 Stream pouch or new Orbit Writer and Phone "On the Go" pouch; write as you walk $35.00; ask about other bag deals. New! Evo 10 Daisy Player with Internet and FM Radio, Podcatcher, lots more; Ivona Joey and Sally; Mystic Access tutorial, leather case, $225. Call Barry: (617) 969-7500 ☎; email@example.com.
Sponsor Since: June 25th 2020
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About: Our Scope of Products: We specialize in 3 lines of products, all intended to assist in access to adaptive electronics, enhance experiences for guide dog teams, and offer practical solutions for organization and travel with a variety of leather bags, pouches, and backpacks. Then there are the random products that are included, just for fun! We enjoy working with our customers 1-on-1 to their money is well spent and not wasted on something they may not use. In thinking about our customers and whether we will carry a product our guiding motto is that it must be: practical, affordable, simple, tested, and accessible (the pasta principle) and it seems to work very well.
What We Do: We bring our business either via zoom, phone, or to your conference or convention, to give each customer a chance for questions and where possible, "hands on" evaluation of the merchandise. Kae and I test and use each product as blind users before we put it in our catalog. In the case of products for guide and service dogs, our own three guides, Thor, Debra and Melody, are engaged in the process of evaluating the usefulness, durability, and/or fun of the product. We want each of our products to be useful, accessible, afforable, and, whenever possible, fun! Our inventory is constantly changing, so a visit to us is never the same experience twice!
➜ This Week's Classified Ad:If you're like me, you probably have more things to plug into your computer than available ports. That's why we've now added the Plugable USBC 7-in-1 Hub. Plug it into your laptop and you will get 3 USB ports, SD and Micro SD card slots, a USBC charging port, and an HDMI video port. It's available now for just $29.95:
Sponsor Since: June 11th 2020
Website: https://www.atguys.com/ 🌐
Phone: (269) 216-4798 ☎
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org ✉
Skype: atguys ✆
Twitter: https://twitter.com/atguys (@atguys) ✍
Facebook: https://facebook.com/atguys ✍
About: ATGuys.com. Your access technology experts, home for cool gadgets, accessories, and more. Our products are all tested to work great for blind and visually impaired users but also work just as well for anyone. If there's an item you're looking for, or if you have a question, please don't hesitate to send us a message or call (269) 216-4798 ☎.
➜ This Week's Classified Ad:A great way to kick off 2021! World renowned Apple trainer John Panarese offers you a way to get involved in the Apple world! Take advantage of his tutorials and courses! John will use your funds to help persons with disabilities to learn more! To purchase your special gift certificate visit:
Sponsor Since: June 4th 2020
Website: https://www.macfortheblind.com/ 🌐
Donate Course Time: https://donorbox.org/macfortheblind ❤
Email: email@example.com ✉
About: Macfortheblind.com is a place specifically for blind people who are either users or potential users of Macintosh computers or iOS devices, such as the iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, iPod Nano, Apple Watch and Apple TV. I am a blind individual who has used the Mac ever since VoiceOver became available in OS 10.4 Tiger, and I own an iMac, Mac Mini, Mac Book Pro laptop computer, an iPhone 6S, an iPad Air, an Apple Watch and an Apple TV 4th Generation. In addition, I am an Authorized Apple Business Affiliate, and as an Apple Certified Support Professional and an Apple Certified Trainer, I offer training and technical support for individuals, agencies and organizations on the mac and all iDevices, as well as offering assistive technology consulting.
➜ This Week's Classified Ad:High profile educator, podcast commentator, and audio mysteries writer and producer! Donna Jodhan uses her expertise worldwide to ensure that persons with disabilities are not left out or left behind! Visit Donna at https://donorbox.org/author-donna-jodhan. Your donations will help to improve the lives of families with parents and kids with disabilities!
Sponsor Since: June 4th 2020
Website: https://www.donnajodhan.com/ 🌐
Donate: https://donorbox.org/author-donna-jodhan ❤
About: My name is Donna J. Jodhan and I have been blind all my life, but that has not prevented me from living independently as someone who takes care of my own home and garden, travels regularly for my job, and runs my own business. I am an entrepreneur, blogger, author, audio mystery writer, advocate, podcaster, and law student. I enjoy cooking, ice skating, playing chess, composing on my electronic keyboard, and communicating with nature.
➜ This Week's Classified Ad:Would you like to learn to control your computer with your voice, or to create documents using your voice rather than the keyboard? There are several tools to accomplish these objectives. I can provide training in their use. Write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org if interested.
Sponsor Since: June 4th 2020
Website: https://www.toptechtidbits.com/ 🌐
About: Dean Martineau is the Founder and a Contributing Editor to the Top Tech Tidbits for Thursday Email Newsletter.
➜ This Week's Classified Ad:Accessible Pharmacy, the new, home delivery pharmacy with a blind founder, is bringing its full range of support and services to Be My Eyes. Users of the Be My Eyes app can now call Accessible Pharmacy directly to get support with medication, medical devices, and even home delivery COVID testing. With a fully trained and discreet pharmacy staff on call from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM Pacific, Accessible Pharmacy is the new way for blind and low vision consumers to get an easy, frictionless pharmacy experience. Call today — and you'll never have to take an Uber to the drugstore again. https://www.bemyeyes.com/blog/accessible-pharmacy-joins-be-my-eyes.
Lead Contact: Will Butler, VP of Community
Sponsor Since: November 5th 2020
Website: https://www.bemyeyes.com/ 🌐
Download The App (iOS):
Download The App (Android):
About: Be My Eyes is a free mobile app that allows anyone who needs video support to get assistance from a dynamic range of volunteers and company customer support professionals from around the world. With more than 4 million volunteers and dozens of companies offering on-demand visual interpretation and support, Be My Eyes is a free, unlimited way to bridge gaps and get access to whatever information you need — 24 hours a day, seven days a week, in any language. Download the app today from the Apple App Store or Google Play.
➜ This Week's Classified Ad:The true beauty of a person lies within and if you hear our voices, you'll quickly understand.
24 hour peer to peer tech support in voice, and much more. Receive answers from folks who have gone through what you are going through. Help, and learn from others, like family. Ask-alls range from "How to do X from an accessibility standpoint?" to dealing with vision loss and potential eye surgeries. Light hearted ask-alls include "What do you keep in your bed other than yourself?" and "What word would you use to describe 2020?" "What word to describe your hopes for 2021?". Vorail is a 501(c)(3) non-profit.
Sponsor Since: January 21st 2021
Website: https://www.vorail.com/toptechtidbits/ 🌐
Download The App (iOS):
Download The App (Android):
Mission: Vorail is the only platform in the world for the low vision and blind community where everybody can join conversations by voice on equal footing. Every day members of the Vorail community create ask-alls (questions) about life (news, health, technology, religion, sports and more) that allow us to see the world differently, and connect in a way that is deeper than 'liking' a photo. Vorail is an audio-only experience, voice is the window into a human soul. It does not matter if you are tall, short, wide, thin, white, or black when nobody sees your picture. Without the visuals, what counts is who you are, the person inside. That is the mission of Vorail, to create an extended family where we are judged for who we are, not what we look like.
Sponsor Since: January 28th 2021
Website: https://yourdolphin.com/ 🌐
Phone (USA & Canada): +1 (866) 797-5921 ☎
Phone (UK, Europe & Asia): +44 01905 754577 ☎
Phone (Nordic & Baltic Contries): +46 0515 82175 ☎
Download The App (iOS):
Download The App (Android):
About: Accessibility for sight loss and dyslexia. Join the millions of blind, partially sighted and dyslexic people across the globe who have chosen Dolphin products for their personal and professional use. Our software and free apps support users with all degrees of sight loss, computer experience and reading ability.
➜ This Week's Classified Ad:One challenge someone with a combined vision and hearing loss must address is accessing the phone system without adequate vision or hearing. Individuals with no hearing but vision can access the phone system using a videophone. Those with no vision, but who have hearing can use the phone as it was intended. How would someone with vision and hearing loss continue to call doctors, contact emergency services such as 911, arrange for medical appointments, contact businesses, or friends and family who do not text? One solution, for those living in the U.S. with a form of hearing loss, is Sprint IP Relay. Come learn more at our webinars, specialized for the DeafBlind community. 11/10 at 10 AM EST, 11/12 at 4:30 PM EST, 11/17 at 1:00 PM EST, or 11/19 at 1:00 PM EST. RSVP by November 6th 2020 to email@example.com. CART and ASL interpretation will be provided.
Sponsor Since: October 22nd 2020
Website: https://www.sprintip.com/ 🌐
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org ✉
Download The App (iOS):
Download The App (Android):
Accessibility Customer Care: (800) 676-3777 ☎
About: Sprint IP Relay allows people who are Deaf, Hard of Hearing, DeafBlind or with a Speech Disability to make or receive phone calls using an internet connection, a computer, tablet or smartphone. Simply type what you want to say to the operator, the operator relays the message to the person you called and then types the caller's response back to you. This process is all done through text, so a user with a braille display, for example, would not need to see the screen or use their voice to communicate with the hearing caller. The Sprint IP Relay service is available at no charge for those who are eligible. Registration is required to verify an individual's identity and residency. If you are a person who is deaf, hard of hearing, DeafBlind or have a speech disability, you will qualify to register for the Sprint IP Relay Service. The user can call anyone at any time within the United States and its territories. Email email@example.com with any questions.
➜ This Week's Classified Ad:Featured Products: Revolution Cane Tip: Standard Roller Tip: $14.50 | Locator Dots: Small Pack of 6 (Clear or Orange): $2.00 | NFB Metal Cane Tip: $3.00 | TMAP - On Demand Tactile Street | Map (set of two maps): $25.00 | Ambutech Aluminum Folding Cane: $35.00 | NFB Chris Park Telescoping Cane: $45.00 | BoldWriter 20 Pen (Individual or 6-pack): $2.00 | Bump Dots: Mixed (50 count): $7.00 | Braille Apple Catalina VoiceOver Guide OSX 10.15 (3 volumes) - Latest Manual: $52.00 | SpeedDots iPhone Tactile Screen Protector, Phone Layout: $12.00 | NFB Chris Park 7-Piece Folding Cane: $50.00 | Visit https://adaptations.org/ to learn more today!
Sponsor Since: October 1, 2020
Website: https://adaptations.org/ 🌐
Toll Free: (888) 400-8933 ☎
Local: (415) 694-7301 ☎
About: Founded in 1902, San Francisco's LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired promotes the independence, equality and self-reliance of people who are blind or have low vision. Adaptations is your online go-to for tools, technology, and accessible solutions for blind and visually impaired people.
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