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Top Tech Tidbits for Thursday, December 14, 2023 - Volume 941

The Week's News in Access Technology

A Mind Vault Solutions, Ltd. Publication

Top Tech Tidbits. The world's #1 online resource for current news and trends in access technology.

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1) Top 5 Most Clicked Tidbits From Last Week

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A) Quick Tip For Users of iOS 17: What Can You Do To Temporarily Disable Siri's Follow-up Mode | David Goldfield

While Siri is speaking to you it often listens for you to ask another question. Unfortunately, sometimes even just clearing your throat can cause Siri to interrupt itself and then start listening again as it misinterprets this sound and assumes that you have something else to say to the assistant. While there's currently no option to disable this feature you can force Siri to stop listening for a follow-up response. Here's how:

B) JAWS Power Tip: How To Turn On Keyboard Shortcuts In Gmail In Standard View With JAWS | Freedom Scientific

Google provides keyboard commands specific to Gmail. Though they are not screen reader dependent and can be used by everyone, they may be especially helpful to JAWS users when navigating with the JAWS Virtual PC Cursor off. To use these commands, you will need to turn them on in Settings. Here's how:

C) Smart Glasses Use ChatGPT To Help The Blind And Visually Impaired | 5G Playbook | Business Insider

Envision Glasses are AI-powered smart glasses that help people who are blind or have low vision to live more independently. This assistive wearable technology uses ChatGPT and Google Glass hardware to capture and convert the visual information around the user into speech. And thanks to more widespread 5G networks, these smart glasses are able to process this information much more quickly, providing a much more seamless experience for visually impaired users. Take a look at how the Envision Glasses work, and how it assists the blind and visually impaired:

D) BrailleBot Teaches You How to Read with Your Fingers | Cameron Coward | Hackster.io

Learning Braille is hard for many people, which is why Mukesh Sankhla invented the BrailleBot for Braille training:

E) AppleVis Unlimited: What's New and Noteworthy for November 2023


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9) AI Updates

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A) New Study Showed GPT-4 Performs Worse When It Thinks It's December Than When It Thinks It's May | Rob Lynch | X

Publisher (Di Blasi): Are you enjoying the holiday season? Maybe by taking it just a little slower than usual? Well, so is ChatGPT. At least that's what a new study reports. The "AI Winter Break Hypothesis," suggests that training data taught AI models (inadvertently) that it's normal to do less work over the holidays. And can we blame them? No, I do not think that we can.
Rob Lynch: Wild result. GPT-4-Turbo over the API produces (statistically significant) shorter completions when it "thinks" its December vs. when it thinks its May (as determined by the date in the system prompt):

B) Google Launches Gemini, The AI Model It Hopes Will Take Down GPT-4 | The Verge

It's the beginning of a new era of AI at Google, says CEO Sundar Pichai: the Gemini era. Gemini is Google's latest large language model, which Pichai first teased at the I/O developer conference in June and is now launching to the public. To hear Pichai and Google DeepMind CEO Demis Hassabis describe it, it's a huge leap forward in an AI model that will ultimately affect practically all of Google's products. "One of the powerful things about this moment," Pichai says, "is you can work on one underlying technology and make it better and it immediately flows across our products:"

C) Officially Worried About Google: Gemini Looks Great, But A Year Later It's Still Behind OpenAI | Aaron Di Blasi | Mind Vault Solutions, Ltd.

This week in the world of AI Google has made a notable stride with its latest model, Gemini. Yet, despite the buzz, it still seems to be playing catch-up with OpenAI's already established prowess:

D) Google Just Launched A New AI And Has Already Admitted At Least One Demo Wasn't Real | The Verge

Publisher (Di Blasi): In AI latency is truth, as is modality. In addition to the many other ways in which this video intentionally misrepresents the functionality of Gemini, the most important one, in my opinion, has yet to be mentioned. Watching the video, especially where the blue duck is concerned, the viewer is led to believe that Gemini is using video to "see" the current scene. Interpret it. And comment on it. All in real time. This is not stated, and is even disclaimed not to be the case, but is still very strongly implied by the production makeup of the video. A marketing choice that might otherwise be considered just heavy-handed editing by any other company comes across as pure and intentional obfuscation from Google.
The Verge: The company's demo video, featuring a spoken conversation with Gemini as it identified drawings in real-time, was edited and did not involve an actual spoken prompt:

E) Apple Joins AI Fray With Release Of Model Framework | The Verge

Apple, which many had considered very conservative in its approach to AI, quietly released frameworks and model libraries designed to run on its chips and maybe bring generative AI apps to MacBooks. The company's machine learning research team released MLX, a machine learning framework where developers can build models that run efficiently on Apple Silicon and deep learning model library MLX Data. Both are accessible through open-source repositories like GitHub and PyPI:

F) Generative AI: What Just Happened? | 2023 Sight Tech Global Recording | YouTube

Reader (Lena): I enjoyed his presentation. He gave a bit of history, explained how LLM models are used, and shared some expectations and caveats for the future.
Sight Tech Global: Since the launch of OpenAI's chatGPT in November last year, the technology and startup world have been in transfixed by the possibilities inherent in what's referred to as "generative AI," which means AI that can actually create content, whether that's very fluent sounding essays, stunning images, computer code, and much more. Many of the sessions at Sight Tech Global discuss the impact of generative AI on accessibility, which is vast, if also problematic in some cases. At the same time, many AI experts warn that generative AI is too powerful, advancing too quickly and argue it should be regulated to prevent a potential catastrophe. Dr. Stuart Russell, Professor of Computer Science at the University of California at Berkeley, is one of the world's leading authorities on AI and author of the bestselling book, "Human Compatible, Artificial Intelligence and the Problem of Control:"

G) Seeing AI Meets Generative AI | 2023 Sight Tech Global Recording | YouTube

Reader (Lena): Seeing AI is an app I use daily. Mostly for reading, but also for scene description which can be a card or a new building. It is excellent in every way except color. It needs a course in the color wheel! Saqib Shaikh gave a fine presentation and talked about the plans to expand language capability. This week Seeing AI became available on the Android platform. I have found Seeing AI to be more reliable than Google Lookout for reading. I prefer the Android platform because of its flexibility:
Sight Tech Global: Microsoft's Saqib Shaikh co-founded the Seeing AI app, which was one of the first deployments of AI computer vision in an app to help blind users "narrate the world around you" by using AI to describe nearby people, text and objects. Shaikh's employer, Microsoft, is a leading investor in OpenAI, the organization that created the ground-breaking chatGPT, a type of AI called "generative" because of its ability to "generate" novel content in response to questions. Today, Seeing AI can tell you there is a chair in the room because it is "trained" to identify a chair. With chatGPT, Seeing AI might be able to answer a random question it was not specifically trained for, such as,"Is there a cat in the room?" The answers chatGPT provides can be wondrous or wildly off base "hallucinations," in the lingo of AI specialists. Can generative AI's quirky nature be tamed for accessibility?

H) 2023 Sight Tech Global Recordings


I) Azure AI Speech Launches Personal Voice in Preview | Microsoft

At Ignite 2023 conference, Microsoft is taking customization one step further with its new 'Personal Voice' feature. This innovation is specifically designed to enable customers to build apps that allow their users to easily create their own AI voice, resulting in a fully personalized voice experience. It has powered companies like Vodafone, Swisscom, Progressive and Duolingo to deliver more engaging digital interactions to their customers and create a stronger emotional connection to their brand. Now with custom neural voice's newest feature, personal voice, users can get AI replicating their voice in a few seconds by providing a 1-minute speech sample as the audio prompt, and then use it to generate speech in any of the 100 languages supported:

J) A Symphony of Senses: Introducing Sensory AI: A Pathway to Achieving Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) | Aaron Di Blasi | Mind Vault Solutions, Ltd.

In the ever-evolving world of artificial intelligence two domains are leading the way towards new horizons: Sensory AI and the ambitious goal of achieving Artificial General Intelligence (AGI). Here we discuss the makeup and current state of both:

K) 6 Things You Can Do With Windows Copilot | HowToGeek.com

Windows Copilot is Microsoft's AI-powered assistant that comes integrated into Windows 11, with plans to feature it in Windows 10 at the time of writing. Like a copilot in the cockpit, Windows Copilot can help you with various tasks as you use your computer. Here's what it can do:

L) AI in 2024: Moving Toward An Agent Model Architecture | Aaron Di Blasi | Mind Vault Solutions, Ltd.

Here we're going to dive into the current state of generative AI and (not just large) language models and where they might be headed in 2024, a topic that's gaining a lot of buzz as we approach the year's end:

10) Apple Updates

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A) The Top New Features in Apple's iOS 17.2 and iPadOS 17.2 | Wired: Subscription Required

This update includes the all-new Journal app, enhanced AutoFill for PDFs, the catch-up arrow in Messages, Contact Key Verification, Live Sticker reactions in Messages, a Translate feature for the Action Button (on the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max), Spatial Video Recording (on the iPhone 15 Pro models), the option to change your default notification sound, a focus filter in Apple Music, and more. We've added details about these features here:

B) Apple Is Set To Stop Selling Two Of Its Best Products Next Year In Major Shakeup | iMore.com

Apple is making a confusing iPad lineup a lot clearer next year by discontinuing one of the most popular entry-level devices it sells, but it's also set to kill off one of it's most iconic Mac devices alongside it. The era of the M1 is almost over:

C) How To Use Type To Speak on Apple Watch | iDownloadBlog.com

There are various ways to use text-to-speech on iOS and macOS. And with watchOS 10 on Apple Watch Series 4 and later, you have the same ability on your wrist, thanks to the Live Speech accessibility feature. With Live Speech, you can enter what you want to speak, and your Apple Watch will do it for you. When you activate Live Speech, you might have noticed a few pre-made phrases, like "Hi, how are you?" "Thank you. It was nice talking to you," and "Bye bye." These are favorite phrases that appear on the Live Speech screen for one-tap use in addition to typing out exactly what you want to say:

D) How to Use Double Tap on WatchOS | Aaron Di Blasi | Top Tech Tidbits

In the realm of smartwatch technology, Apple's WatchOS has introduced an innovative feature that revolutionizes how users interact with their devices. Dubbed "Double Tap," this feature, part of the WatchOS 10.1 update, allows users to perform primary actions on their Apple Watch without the need to physically touch the screen. This advancement is particularly advantageous for Series 9 and Watch Ultra 2 owners:

E) Apple's watchOS 10.2 Update Is Here With Six Big New Features | iMore.com

Apple has been testing watchOS 10.2 in beta form for weeks as it gets ready to release the update to watchOS 10 to the public but that testing has now come to an end. The watchOS 10.2 update is now available for download with a number of new features for Apple Watch owners around the world now able to enjoy:

F) This Custom iPad Uses Eyesight to Maneuver Wheelchairs, Browse Internet | TheMessenger.com

The TD Pilot is essentially an iPad Pro with TD's own apps layered on top of it and an eye-tracking case (with speakers and a rear screen for text-to-speech) surrounding it. The Pilot is an elegant solution that unites a familiar interface with eye tracking and text-to-speech capabilities. Its main drawback is that users cannot text Android devices — users can only use iMessage to text other Apple users. The Pilot's screen also may also be too small for some, with a fixed size of 12.9 inches, and it can only be accessed through eye tracking and the touchscreen on the device:

G) Could Apple Have Finally Squashed the Longstanding "Safari Not Responding" macOS Bug? | David Goodwin | AppleVis

I am thrilled to share some potentially great news - with the upcoming release of macOS Sonoma 14.2, Apple may finally have fixed the longstanding "Safari not responding" bug that causes repeated temporary freezes for many when using VoiceOver on a Mac:

H) The Apple Watch's Double-Tap Gesture Is a Lot Better Than Expected and I Want More | Scott Stein | CNet.com

Apple's double-tap gesture is here now, and I've been trying it for over a week. Sometimes it's fantastic. Sometimes it feels annoyingly limited. But it's made me want more. After I'd been dreaming for years of future interfaces on wrists and on AR/VR headsets, this little double tap feels like the tiniest little entry point to a lot more. Almost as if Apple is easing us into a whole new interface language, step by tiny step. Next year, Apple has a far more ambitious product it's releasing: the Vision Pro, a combination AR/VR headset that folds all of iOS into a mixed-reality interface. It's leaning entirely on eye and hand tracking to control everything, and double-tapping is one of the key gestures it uses to 'click' on things:

I) Apple Shares 'The Lost Voice' Short Film, Companion Ebook | Steven Aquino | Forbes: Subscription Required

Upon its unveiling back in May for Global Accessibility Awareness Day, Apple boasted Personal Voice was built in collaboration with many in the ALS community, including those from the Team Gleason Foundation. It was a rightful claim, as ALS inevitably causes people to lose the ability to talk. The essential idea behind Personal Voice is to more or less preempt the loss of one's voice by allowing someone to record their voice and have it saved for posterity. This way, once someone indeed does lose their ability to speak naturally, they can still communicate with family and friends using the Personal Voice that sounds exactly like them. Put two and two together, and it's easy to see why Apple's new short film is titled the way it is. Personal Voice truly does let someone preserve their voice before it's intractably lost forever by a disease such as ALS:

J) Siri Can Now Help Users Access And Log Their Health App Data | Apple.com

watchOS 10.2, iOS 17.2, and iPadOS 17.2 are now available, allowing Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2, iPhone, and iPad1 users to conveniently access and log their Health app data using Siri:

K) iTunes Store App Ends Support For Buying And Renting TV Shows And Movies | December 11, 2023 | 9to5Mac.com

The release of iOS 17.2 takes another step toward killing the iTunes brand once and for all. Via a server-side update tied to today's software update, Apple has discontinued the ability to buy and rent TV shows and movies via the iTunes app on iPhone and iPad:

L) For Parkinson's Disease, Advances Spurred By Apple Watch Offer A Glimmer Of Hope | StatNews.com

While there is no cure for Parkinson's and treatment options can be daunting, people with the disease can now turn to technology spawned by the Apple Watch to take an active role in their care much as continuous glucose monitors have helped people manage diabetes better. Over the past year, the Food and Drug Administration has cleared three Apple Watch apps from independent developers to track symptoms associated with Parkinson's that can help inform treatment decisions for people and their doctors:

11) JAWS Power Tip: How To Compose and Send Messages in Gmail Standard View with JAWS | Freedom Scientific

You can compose and send messages using Google keyboard shortcuts. One way to do this is with the JAWS Virtual PC cursor toggled off. If it is on, press INSERT+Z to turn it off. To compose a message:

12) Alphabetical List of VoiceOver Sonoma Commands | Debee | Access Technology Higher Education Network (ATHEN)

The table below is an alphabetical list of VoiceOver specific Sonoma commands. I retrieved all these from the latest Sonoma user guide, but I have shortened the command descriptions extensively. The goal is to have a cheat sheet that's quick and easy to read with magnification, speech or Braille, using the fewest words possible:

13) Braille for Beginners On-Demand | The Braillists Foundation

Welcome to Braille for Beginners On-Demand! This course will introduce you to the braille alphabet, numbers, punctuation and common conventions such as email and website addresses, and is based on our very successful Zoom courses ran in 2020, 2021 and 2022. It is designed to be studied in your own time and at your own pace. We expect fast learners will complete it in about eight weeks, but there is no shame in taking longer:

14) Cautionary Note From Reader Regarding Activator Braille Display | Donna Goodin | Reader | Top Tech Tidbits

A while ago, Top Tech Tidbits ran a story on the Activator Braille Display. I thought it sounded intriguing, so I've been looking into the possibility of purchasing one. In my research I have learned that anyone who purchases an Activator now, will also have to purchase a new dock when they upgrade to one of the newer iPhones that has USB-C, rather than a lightning port. In my case, that would have been nine months after the initial purchase, as I'm eligible to upgrade this coming October. Here is a response I just received from HelpTech:

15) 10 Extensions That Turbocharge Windows Explorer | PC World

The File Explorer is one of the central tools in Windows. This is because the operating system is file-orientated, so the folder in which a file is stored, its name, and extension play a major role. Copying, moving, renaming, and deleting files as well as searching for one or more files is a routine activity for every Windows user. Although Explorer can fulfil all these tasks, it only offers a rather cumbersome way of working. Third-party manufacturers are constantly showing how it can be done better with their tools. This applies, for example, to the large, alternative file managers such as Total Commander or Free Commander, which work with a two-window technique, but also to various smaller tools that supplement the functions of Explorer or replace them with better versions. In this article, we present a selection of these programs:

16) Google Announces New Features In Talkback 14.1 | DoubleTap

Google has launched a major new release of TalkBack, the screen reader application within Android smartphones. The new 14.1 update brings notable updates for braille users, keyboard navigation, and image descriptions:

17) If JAWS Won't Increase Speech Rate While Reading, What Do I Do? | Say It In Braille

Recently, while working on this Lenovo Yoga laptop, I was reading something & wanted to increase the speaking rate of jaws permanently. I remember being taught that the command to do this is control+Alt+page up, which is a tricky command, since my computer doesn't have the "6-pack." So, what do I do?

18) Hable Announces Android App Launch

Hable, known for its innovative technology solutions, celebrates a major advancement with the launch of its Android app. This development is a response to community feedback, following the success of the Hable One app for iPhone. Users demanded an Android version, and Hable has delivered, aiming to enhance user-friendliness. The app allows wireless updating of Hable devices, ensuring access to the latest features and improvements. Hable plans to release 2-3 updates annually, based on user feedback. The app, now available on Google Play Store, is pivotal for existing users too. Those who purchased Hable before June 2023 must update their device to the December 2022 firmware using a PC and the provided cable. This update is crucial for compatibility with future app enhancements, which include new features, performance enhancements, and bug fixes. Hable emphasizes the importance of community feedback in its continuous improvement efforts:

19) Foxit Ends 'Upfront Payment" And Moves to Subscription | Karen | ATHEN List

Foxit has announced that they have ended "upfront payments," AKA the single payment option. The subscription price starts at $18.55 per month USD. Just a heads-up for those who switched to Foxit to save money. Not so much anymore. There is currently no indication that standalone / single purchase versions will expire, but I'm guessing there won't be any updates. Do not switch to Kofax PowerPDF to try and save money. It is the worst of the 3 in terms of tagging capability. Even taking a well-structured Word document, the results are only P, Figure and some table tags. It is not a viable alternative.

20) An Update On The Open Letter Written To Cerence / HIMS Regarding ETI-Eloquence On The HIMS Sense Player | Jay Pellis

There is now an update on the open Letter to Cerence and HIMS regarding ETI-Eloquence on the HIMS Sense Player. It is located under the level 2 heading labeled Update:

21) Microsoft Moves On From 'Speech Recognition' On Windows 11 | WindowsCentral.com

You can say goodbye to Windows speech recognition. Microsoft announced the deprecation of the feature recently. Going forward, Windows speech recognition will not be actively developed and will be replaced by voice access:

22) Microsoft's AI Narration App Expands to Android for Blind Users | Gizmodo.com

Microsoft launched the Seeing AI app on Android devices on December 4, 2023, expanding the free app that narrates the world to millions more blind and low-vision users. Seeing AI is now available for free in 18 languages on the Google Play Store with plans to expand to 36 languages next year:

23) Sony's Latest Access Controller Highlights Major Challenges in Adaptive Gaming | Aaron Di Blasi | Top Tech Tidbits

In a significant move towards inclusive gaming, Sony has unveiled the Access controller, a device specifically designed to cater to the needs of gamers with disabilities. This development marks a pivotal moment in the adaptive gaming hardware landscape, joining the ranks of the Xbox Adaptive Controller and the Nintendo-licensed Hori Flex for current-generation consoles:

24) MABVI Has A Free Aira Alternative | Robert Kingett

As Aira continues to raise prices, members of the blind community are seeking alternatives. This blog post outlines why one blind writer checked out a community funded alternative to Aira under the specialized help within the Be my Eyes app after becoming disillusioned with Aira's direction:

25) Be My Eyes, Timecrest, and Zanagrams Named 2023 AppleVis Golden Apple Award Winners | AppleVis

We are pleased to announce that the winners of the twelfth annual AppleVis Golden Apple Awards are Be My Eyes, Timecrest, and Zanagrams:

26) LibreOffice 7.6.4 And LibreOffice 7.5.9 Available For Download


27) Barbie Movie Unveils Groundbreaking Accessibility Feature

Set to premiere on Max this week, this film isn't just about doling out entertainment. It's stepping up its game by introducing a special feature aimed at enhancing accessibility for viewers with disabilities. And what exactly is this groundbreaking addition? None other than American Sign Language interpretation.:

28) Technology User Group (TUG) Is Moving To Zoom

Beginning January 6, 2024, the Technology User Group (TUG) will be moving to the Zoom platform. This new platform will allow attendees to hear each presentation better, view relevant subject matter, and have live transcription. To mark our inaugural meeting, we will have two guest speakers. David Ward from the Echo Tips podcast will talk about Alexa and some of the best tips and tricks for using this personal assistant, and Christina Nixon will be highlighting the new HIMS SensePlayer. Starting with this January TUG, the sign in information to join our meetings is as follows. Meeting ID: 656 203 7293 | One tap mobile+13017158592,,6562037293# | Join Zoom Meeting:

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December 6, 2023 | Blind Abilities Podcast: Wellness Wednesday: Navigating Friendships and Family During the Holidays and All Year Round

In this 24th episode of Wellness Wednesday, Beth Gustin, LPC, Robin Ennis, LCSW, CPC, respond to a letter from a listener regarding friendships and navigating friendships during the holiday season. Not only navigating friends but navigating family as well. They also glide into some of the trappings of having a disability and when to say no to the 20 questions thrown your way:

December 7, 2023 | Holiday Gifts and Vision Loss | Hadley Presents: A Conversation with the Experts

In this episode, the Hadley team talks all things gifts. Giving them, getting them, what's on their wish lists, and how vision loss may, or may not, impact these activities:

December 9, 2023 | Blind Android Users Podcast Episode 157: A Big Week In AI, And An Interview With Saqib Shaikh From Microsoft

Microsoft Seeing AI comes to Android! In our Android Basics segment, it's an AI episode this week. We discuss the Google Gemini, and Be My Eyes rolls out the Be My AI feature to many people running Android. Spotlight: We were delighted to welcome Saqib Shaikh from Microsoft to showcase and chat about Seeing AI, one of the most anticipated apps to arrive on the Android operating system:

December 13, 2023 | Eyes on Success Episode 2350: Uber - Making Movement Equal for All

Visually impaired people making use of a ride sharing service may have unique concerns such as the accessibility of the service, safety, accommodations for a guide dog, etc. Hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey talk with Briana Gilmore and Chris Yoon from Uber about how Uber addresses these concerns through its commitment to providing equal access to movement:

December 14, 2023 | Top Tech Tidbits Podcast for Thursday, December 14, 2023

Tune in each week as we announce the Top 5 Most Clicked Tidbits of the week. These 5 news items represent the most popular news and trends in access technology today, as voted on by Top Tech Tidbits readers:
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December 14, 2023 | Hadley Learning And Exploring Workshop | Florida Outreach Center for The Blind

10:30AM PT, 11:30AM MT, 12:30PM CT, 1:30PM ET, 5:30PM GMT
Please join the florida outreach center for the blind for our next workshop. We are proud to have Marc Arneson director of community at Hadley. Hadley offers practical help, connection and support free of charge to anyone with a visual impairment, their families and professionals supporting them. With Hadley, you can discover new ways to do things that have become more difficult due to vision loss and connect with a network of peers who "get it." And you don't need to come to Hadley. Hadley's help comes to you; online, or through the mail. Hadley offers a wide variety of self-taught classes and podcasts on a variety of subjects from braille, technology, daily living skills, and much more. A door prize will be given out to one lucky winner at the conclusion of the presentation, but you must be present to win! This event will be held over Zoom. If you have any questions please call The Florida Outreach Center for The Blind at: (561) 642-0005 📱️ or email us at: info_focb@bellsouth.net 📧️. Meeting ID: 835 8160 5488 | Passcode: 182630 | One tap mobile: +13126266799,,83581605488# | Dial directly: +1 312 626 6799 | Join Zoom Meeting:

December 26, 2023 | Tech It Out | Monthly Hadley Discussion Group

4th Tuesday of every month at 7:00 PM CT. Learn a few tips about everyday technology from a technology expert, ask your questions, and share your experiences.

December 28, 2023 | Get Started with WayAround Webinar | Michael Doise & Jessica Hipp

If WayAround is on your holiday wishlist, this is your chance to learn how to use your WayTags! Attendees will learn how to get started making your things permanently accessible! If you've already been using WayAround, join us to discuss how you can tag even more things. This is also a great opportunity to gear up for any New Year's organization projects. Space is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis. Please register at the link below:

February 20, 2023 through February 22, 2023 | Axe-Con 2024 | Deque Systems

Why attend axe-con? Building accessible digital experiences requires a team effort, across design, development, management, testing, accessibility experts, and of course, legal. Axe-con is the first of its kind, dedicating topics to each of these key players. This is not an assistive technology convention. Talks at axe-con will include case studies from enterprise companies leading in large-scale accessibility efforts, as well as best practices and updates from technology leaders around the world. Attendance of axe-con sessions can also be used towards continuing education (CE) towards IAAP certification. Topics of focus will include accessibility in development, accessibility in design, organizational success with accessibility, and a wildcard track. If you'd like to learn more about previous sessions and speakers, you can view last year's schedule here. Join us to learn how to build, test, monitor, and maintain digital accessibility:

April 8, 2024 and April 9, 2023 | 24th Annual Multiple Perspective On Access, Inclusion & Disability Conference | The Ohio State University — Columbus, Ohio

To be on the mailing list for the conference, send email to:
ADA-OSU@osu.edu 📧️

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1) Top Tech Tidbits | Top 60 Most Clicked Tidbits | Quarterly Compendiums

60 Most Clicked Tidbits for April, May and June 2022 - Volume 1
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2021 JAWS Power Tips Compendium - Volume 1
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➜ Sponsor Classified Ads

Sponsors may submit or update their Classified Advertisement at any time by submitting this short form: https://toptechtidbits.com/submit-sponsor-classified.

Ayes.ai logo.

➜ Classified Advertisement: Every Traffic Light Accessible With The OKO Application

AYES is happy to announce the launch of our new application OKO. OKO uses artificial intelligence and the back camera to recognize the pedestrian traffic light and inform the user of the walk, don't walk and the countdown state. We bring this state back to the user with three types of feedback, visual overlay, vibrations and audio feedback.

The application does not rely on any adaptations to the traffic light and runs locally on the smartphone, this means that it works at every intersection.

We always recommend to hold the phone at chest level with the camera pointing towards the direction that you want to cross. You can then rotate your chest between 10 to 15 degrees to locate the pedestrian traffic light. The moment we see that light the software immediately reacts. This helps to orient in the right direction and also stops you from veering off into traffic because the moment you veer off the feedback stops, you reorient and receive feedback to continue in the right direction.


Sponsor Since: March 16th 2023 Calendar icon.

Website: https://ayes.ai/ 🌐

App: Download the OKO App from the Apple App Store here.

Email: hello@ayes.ai 📧️

About: AYES was founded by three experienced AI engineers that are defining autonomous navigation for blind and visually impaired people.

AYES.ai is the creator of the OKO App.

OKO App logo.

Simply point the back camera of the phone towards the intersection that you want to cross and the OKO application will instantly detect the traffic light and inform the user through audio and haptic feedback.

The OKO application can provide multiple services for your company, city or your country, all independent of physical infrastructure. This can increase your accessibility to 100%, overnight. OKO provides an accessible traffic light at every intersection. And, best of all, all OKO data is completely anonymized, ensuring your personal privacy at all times.

The OKO app is fully independent from infrastructure and does not require a Wi-Fi or Cellular connection to operate at full capacity. The algorithm runs locally on your device, meaning that it works consistently and reliably every single time. The application has been trained on more than 150,000 images and continues to improve. Download the app today.

Sterling Adaptives, LLC logo.

➜ Classified Advertisement: Limited Time Introductory Pricing On The New Victor Reader Stream 3!

With the NEW Victor Reader Stream 3, it's so easy to take your books, music, and more wherever you go. Imagine being able to listen to the latest novels, magazines, or your favorite music, podcasts, and your own voice recordings, all in the palm of your hand. With its sleek, compact design and easy-to-grip edges, the digital media player gives you hours of listening wherever you are and a superior text-to-speech experience in multiple languages.

Take advantage of our introductory pricing on the NEW Victor Reader Stream 3! Order today or call (415) 878-2922 📱️. Use promo code TOPTECH for Free Shipping!


Sponsor Since: March 9th 2023 Calendar icon.

Website: https://sterlingadaptives.com/ 🌐

Shop: https://sterlingadaptives.com/collections/vision-products

Phone: (415) 878-2922 📱️

Email: info@sterlingadaptives.com 📧️

Hours: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Monday through Friday, Pacific Standard Time

Social: Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Instagram

About: Based in California, Sterling Adaptives supplies the most technologically advanced equipment and software currently available. We serve those who are blind or have visual impairment and also others with disabilities.

We have a showroom in Santa Rosa and can also meet in the comfort of your home. We supply a full range of computer hardware, software, peripherals, and assistive technology products. We are able to provide demonstrations, installations, troubleshooting, and ongoing product training.

We work with private individuals, non-profit agencies, private organizations, educational establishments, and commercial enterprises. We help our customers fully realize their potential.

We are known for providing you and your clients with the standards of service that you demand and that result in the right product at the right time and with the right backup service.

We look forward to hearing from you and being afforded the opportunity to show you just how Sterling our service is!

Lighthouse for the Blind, Inc. logo.

Sponsor Since: December 29th 2022 Calendar icon.

Website: https://lhblind.org/ 🌐

Phone: (800) 914-7307 📱️

Fax: (206) 329-3397

Contact Us: https://lhblind.org/contact-us/

About: The Lighthouse for the Blind, Inc. is a private, not-for-profit social enterprise providing employment, support, and training opportunities for people who are blind, deafblind, and blind with other disabilities. The Lighthouse has provided employment and support to people who are blind in our community since 1918.

The Lighthouse for the Blind, Inc. is a successful manufacturing organization with over 60 years of experience in precision machining. We produce an array of machined parts and plastic injection molding for various aerospace manufacturers, as well as a host of office products and hydration equipment sold to the Federal Government and the U.S. Military. We also own and operate stores on military bases along the West Coast. Our products and services include:

Manufacturing: We are a successful manufacturing organization committed to making jobs accessible to individuals who are blind. Our manufacturing operations center on making quality products for the Federal Government under the AbilityOne Program and producing parts for aerospace manufacturers.

Managed Services: The Lighthouse for the Blind, Inc. offers a variety of services to our commercial, federal, and military customers. These include Contract Management Support (CMS) services for government contracting offices.

Base Supply Centers: We operate 12 AbilityOne Base Supply Centers (BSCs) that offer easy customer access to Lighthouse products, direct feedback and communication with customers, and employment opportunities for individuals who are blind in geographic areas not served by larger nonprofit agencies.

WayAround logo.

➜ Classified Advertisement: You Can Still Save 10% On WayTags — Use "joy10" At Checkout Through December 20, 2023

This holiday season, enjoy an extra layer of joy by adding joy10 to any of your WayTag orders, and receive a 10% discount. Some of our most popular items include the Kitchen Starter Pack, Oval Hole Buttons, and WayClips. If you need ideas, email connect@wayaround.com 📧️ and we can help you decide on the perfect gift!

There is still time to order for Christmas! The last day to order is December 16, 2023 for Expedited Shipping.

Note: The "joy10" coupon code applies only to purchases of WayTags on WayAround.com. The WayLink Scanner is not eligible. Offer ends December 20, 2023.


Sponsor Since: January 5, 2023 Calendar icon.

Website: https://www.wayaround.com/ 🌐

General Sales & Support: (888) 898-4465 📱️

Business Sales & Support: (888) 898-4465 📱️

Email: connect@wayaround.com 📧️

About: WayAround is the app for your smart device that provides on-demand details about everyday things. The simple tag-and-scan approach lets you quickly and easily identify things around you. It also provides extra details, like how something works or when it expires. The result? Doing more of the things you want, with more confidence and more independence.

All the information you want with just a tap of your phone. No more waiting around to ask someone. You need just two things to get started: The free mobile app for iOS or Android and some of our smart WayTags®.

Accessible labels for the blind, deafblind, and anyone with vision loss. Your biggest problem isn't poor eyesight. It's that so much of the information in the world is visual. But you shouldn't have to wait around for someone else to get the information you need. Or carry around a bulky, outdated device. There is a better way to get accurate and complete information every time. So you can reduce stress and gain independence.

Download The App (Apple): https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/wayaround-tag-and-scan/id1294361140?mt=8

Download The App (Android): https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.wayaround.wayaround

Aira logo.

Sponsor Since: August 4th 2022 Calendar icon.

Website: https://aira.io/ 🌐

Download the App: Apple App Store | Google Play Store

Plans and Pricing: https://aira.io/pricing/

Phone: NA: +1.800.835.1934 📱️ | AU: +1.800.765.096 📱️ | UK: +0.800.046.5668 📱️ | NZ: +1.800.425.451 📱️

Text Message: NA: +1.858.242.4457 📲 | AU: +61.488.839.767 📲 | UK: +44.149.320.2474 📲

Email: support@aira.io 📧️

Social: Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn | YouTube | Instagram

About: Aira's mission is to remove barriers and make the world more accessible with visual interpreting.

We provide a live, human-to-human professional assistance service, an accommodation or productivity tool, that enhances independence by delivering on-demand, skilled and reliable visual interpreting for just about any task. Using the powerful combination of a camera and the Aira app on someone's device of 'choice', a professionally-trained agent will assist by visually interpreting what is in the camera's view or on screen, from describing to reading, from explaining to navigating - just about anything, safely and securely. Aira supports a growing range of devices including smart and tactile button phones, desktop computers and soon, wearables.

Whether you are involved in the work of business, the work of school or the work of life, Aira enhances everyday efficiency, engagement, and independence. Used by employees and customers of hundreds of organizations including airports, banks, the largest software companies, financial firms, retailers and universities, we invite you to join the community, access the Aira app today and try it for free.

Step One: Subscribe and Download. Pick the plan that lets you explore on your terms and on your time, sign up in a few minutes, and download the Aira app to your smartphone. Plans shown are for the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. Add or cancel at any time.

Step Two: Connect with an Aira Agent. On the first call, connect with one of our certified, specially-trained Agents and learn how everything works.

Step Three: Real-time Assistance. At the touch of a button, Aira delivers instant access to visual information, when and where you want it.

Fable logo.

➜ Classified Advertisement: Learn Management Skills For Free. Get The Job You Want.

Everyone deserves equal access to the internet which is why Fable works with people with disabilities who use assistive technologies like switch controls to improve the accessibility of websites and apps. Fable Pathways, a free, accessible, and on-demand skill-building program, is an extension of Fable's mission. Fable Pathways provides new opportunities for people with disabilities to gain the skills they need, from experts like Judy Heumann and Kelly Ford, to contribute to improving digital accessibility.

Sponsor Since: June 30th 2022 Calendar icon.

Website: https://fablepathways.com/ 🌐

Email: community@makeitfable.com 📧️

Phone: (888) 212-3532 📱️ Extension 810

About: Just like curb cuts help everyone get on and off sidewalks, designing digital products with accessibility in mind helps make the internet more accessible for everyone. Fable is an accessibility platform powered by people with disabilities. Fable connects people with disabilities to accessibility managers, user researchers, designers, and developers to build incredible and accessible user experiences.


Fable Pathways: Fable Pathways is a free skill development program for people with disabilities interested in working in the tech sector. Sign up to take your career to the next level. Courses include "Getting started in web development" taught by Kelly Ford, a screen reader user, and Senior Program Manager at Microsoft, and "Becoming a manager" taught by Fable's Head of Accessibility Innovation, Kate Kalcevich. Instructors are subject matter experts in their fields and have lived experience with disability. Pathways courses are free, self-paced and assistive-technology-friendly. Sign up now at https://fablepathways.com/.

Fable's Community of Accessibility Testers: Work from home to contribute to real changes in digital accessibility and make the internet a more accessible place for everyone. Ever leave a website because it was too hard to navigate? Because it was missing button labels? Because it didn't respond to voice commands? Us too. Our community of testers who use assistive technologies work from home and contribute to real changes in digital accessibility with recognizable brands. Earn money to share your feedback on websites and apps of your favorite brands and work with companies that care. No experience required and no resume required. Fable is looking for assistive technology users in the USA and Canada to work the hours that they want, from the comfort of their own homes. Learn more at https://fablepathways.com/community/.

Clusiv logo.

➜ Classified Advertisement: Looking For Blind Job-Seekers Wanting To Advance Their Salaries, Careers And Digital Accessibility For The Blind

Are you interested in learning new tech skills and working remotely while earning a competitive salary? At Clusiv.io we have created the world's first digitally accessible e-Learning platform built by the blind, and built for the blind. Visit the link provided and request Clusiv through your Vocational Rehab counselor for lifetime access to our e-Learning platform with courses such as Business Applications, JAWS, and more:

Sponsor Since: June 9th 2022 Calendar icon.

Website: https://clusiv.io/ 🌐

About: As there are many challenges people in the blind community face in employment and education, Clusiv has built the world's first e-learning platform designed for the blind to provide the training, tools, and resources needed to remove barriers to the modern workforce. Our courses teach you occupational and technology skills you need towards employment. Plus, we are working to connect our graduates to internship and job opportunities. Our courses are remote, self-paced, and we provide support throughout your whole journey through our student success team, and even provide lifetime access to our courses so you can keep up to date as technology evolves. You can request Clusiv training through your vocational rehabilitation counselor and fill out the form in the link below on our website. If you are a counselor wanting to learn more about Clusiv for your clients, or an employer looking to hire Clusiv graduates, click the respective link below and fill out a form to get more info.

Person Looking To Enroll In Clusiv Courses

Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor Looking To Learn More About Clusiv For Their Clients

Employer Looking To Hire Clusiv Graduates

Sponsor: Access Tech Live

Access Tech Live logo.

Sponsor Since: December 23rd 2021 Calendar icon.

Website: https://accesstechlive.com/ 🌐

Email: feedback@accesstechlive.com 📧️

YouTube: https://youtube.com/@accesstechlive

Apple Podcasts: https://bit.ly/3BQmUTl

About: Formerly Double Tap TV, Access Tech Live is a weekly tech show on AMI-TV, (also available on CBC Gem in Canada and YouTube).

Join hosts Steven Scott (@blindguytech) and Marc Aflalo (@marcaflalo) each week as they help viewers better understand how technology can assist them in their everyday lives.

Its tech from an accessible point of view! The show features interviews with some of the biggest names in consumer tech and features up and coming companies and services.

Facebook: https://facebook.com/accesstechlive

X (Formerly Twitter): https://twitter.com/accesstechlive

Instagram: https://instagram.com/accesstechlive

LinkedIn: https://linkedin.com/accesstechlive

HIMS, Inc. logo.

➜ Classified Advertisement: HIMS BrailleSense 6 & 6 Mini Upgrade Released!

This upgrade updates the operating system from android 10 to Android 12, ensuring greater longevity of the BrailleSense, and the ability to install and use modern applications for years to come. This upgrade also adds a new To Do List application, brings the same games offered in the U2 to the BrailleSense 6, makes several improvements and enhancements to the e-mail program, and adds and optional Chat GPT interface. Please find the complete list of fixes and improvements in the release note. Please visit our BrailleSense 6 Download Page or BrailleSense 6 mini Download Page to gather the complete list of improvements through the release notes, as well as links to the firmware and upgrade instruction. Visit us on the web at:

Sponsor Since: September 30th 2021 Calendar icon.

Website: https://hims-inc.com/ 🌐

Shop All Products: https://hims-inc.com/shop-all-products/ 🛒

Phone: (512) 837-2000 📱️

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5R9NjA1nfWo

Sales Email: sales@hims-inc.com 📧️
Support Email: support@hims-inc.com 📧️

About: HIMS, Inc. is a global manufacturer and distributor that has provided braille, magnification and accessible healthcare devices since 1999.

Carroll Center for the Blind logo.

➜ Classified Advertisement: Attend the Screen Reader User Tester Training Program at the Carroll Center for the Blind

Launch your career in the digital accessibility field! The Carroll Center for the Blind's new 7-week intensive Screen Reader User Tester Training program allows participants to learn and grow their ability to professionally explore, test, and report findings regarding the accessibility of websites, mobile applications, and digital document files using screen readers. Want to learn more? Start your journey to becoming a Screen Reader User Tester by visiting:

Sponsor Since: August 5th 2021 Calendar icon.

Website: https://carroll.org/ 🌐

Phone: (617) 969-6200 📱️

Fax: (617) 969-6204

Shop: https://carroll.org/store/ 🛒

Donate: https://carroll.org/donate

Social: Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | LinkedIn | Instagram

About: The Carroll Center for the Blind is the foremost leader in vision rehabilitation services for individuals confronted by the challenges of vision loss. Our mission is to empower those who are blind or visually impaired to achieve independence and to lead a fulfilling life. Established in 1936, the renowned Carroll Center for the Blind has been serving those with vision impairment for over eight decades; we are known nationally as a premier Vision Rehabilitation Center. Located just outside of Boston on a sprawling campus in Newton, Massachusetts, we proudly serve ALL ages and ALL stages of vision loss. With the ongoing promise of improving the lives of people with vision-related problems, The Carroll Center for the Blind has pioneered many innovative services allowing people who are blind or have low vision to learn the skills to be independent in their homes, in class settings, and in their work places. Our services include vision rehabilitation, vocational and transition programs, assistive technology training, educational support, and recreation opportunities for individuals who are visually impaired of all ages. For over 80 years, the expertise of Carroll Center staff has provided help for thousands of blind and visually impaired persons with diverse opportunities for success and independent living.

Pneuma Solutions logo.

➜ Classified Advertisement: December Gift of Accessibility: Scribe For Meetings Completely Free For All Until January 2nd, 2024!

Celebrate the Holidays with Inclusive Meetings! This holiday season, Pneuma Solutions is thrilled to announce a special gift for everyone: Scribe for Meetings is available for free throughout December! In the spirit of the holidays, we are dedicated to making meetings more inclusive and accessible, especially for those with visual impairments. Scribe for Meetings is an innovative cloud-based solution designed to make online meetings and webinars accessible to blind and low-vision participants. By integrating seamlessly with popular meeting platforms like Zoom and Microsoft Teams, it ensures that all participants can engage fully in the online experience. Our December Offer: Unprecedented Accessibility for Everyone! In an effort to spread holiday cheer and inclusivity, Scribe for Meetings is completely free for the entire month of December. This offer is open to businesses, organizations, and individuals, aiming to make every online meeting an inclusive and joyful experience.

Sponsor Since: June 3rd 2021 Calendar icon.

Website: https://pneumasolutions.com/ 🌐

Email Newsletter: Click here to receive periodic news via email concerning Pneuma Solutions products for business, consumers and education.

Sales: (866) 202-0520 📱️

Support: (650) 249-1000 📱️

About: Backed by two decades of creating award-winning accessible cloud technologies for people with visual impairments, Pneuma Solutions is the global leader in accessible cloud-based solutions. Pneuma Solutions was founded by long-time accessibility developers Mike Calvo and Matt Campbell. For more information on their individual profiles, click on their respective bio pages. We're proud to be the first company to develop cloud-based accessibility at the network level. Our tools provide organizations, like yours, a way to deliver secure, accessible information right from your network or from our secure servers. You can provide your print disabled consumers, students, employees, and citizens with a multitude of accessible options. Additionally, we offer a suite of cloud-based applications to blind and print disabled consumers directly from our website. Our consumer products are designed to make the day-to-day lives of blind and print disabled individuals more accessible and simpler to manage. Access to information is not a privilege, it's a right. It's also your right to obtain affordable, accessible cloud solutions to serve your end user. When organizations like yours implement our tools, together we help make it a more inclusive world for people with disabilities. Want to know more about how we can help you become more inclusive?

Contact us here. We'll be happy to discuss how our tools can help with your accessibility needs.

Freedom Scientific logo.

➜ Classified Advertisement: Freedom Scientific Focus Blue 5th Generation Refreshable Braille Displays

Our world-class refreshable Braille displays deliver efficient Braille input and outstanding output for your PC or mobile device. The robust Bluetooth® connectivity provides seamless use with Windows®, Mac®, iPhones®, iPads®, and Android TM smartphones and tablets. Ergonomic navigation features allow quick, natural hand movements for greater productivity. When used with JAWS® screen reading software, they support our popular Braille Study Mode, an interactive tool for teaching and learning Braille. Learn more today:

Sponsor Since: April 15th 2021 Calendar icon.

Website: https://www.freedomscientific.com/ 🌐

Email: info@vispero.com 📧️

Phone: (800) 444-4443 📱️

Facebook | Twitter | YouTube (Training)

About: Freedom Scientific, a Vispero brand, is a leading worldwide brand of assistive technology products for those with vision impairments. We offer products designed to promote independence, allowing blind and low vision individuals the same access to information as their sighted peers. World-renowned JAWS (Job Access With Speech) screen reading software and ZoomText screen magnification software provide users the independence and ability to seek education and obtain or maintain a career after vision loss. Our expansive product line includes both low vision and blindness technology for all aspects of daily living. The wide range of RUBY, TOPAZ, and ONYX desktop and portable video magnifiers are designed for their ease of use and assist with daily activities. Our impressive line of blindness hardware products include refreshable Braille displays and scanning and reading devices, offering many options tailored to fit individual needs.

HumanWare logo.

➜ Classified Advertisement: BRAILLIANT Renewed! The NEW Brailliant BI X Series is here!

The wait is over! A redefined family of Brailliant refreshable Braille displays has arrived! The NEW Brailliant BI X Series will help you stay connected, download books from many participating online libraries and share information easily with your peers. You will enjoy the intuitive, seamless user experience of KeySoft Lite, the HumanWare flagship accessibility suite designed to make you more productive. Including the Brailliant BI 40X and the Brailliant BI 20X, this is the Brailliant idea you need!

Sponsor Since: February 4th 2021 Calendar icon.

Website: http://humanware.com/ 🌐

Phone (Asia): +61 2 9686 2600 📱️
Phone (Australia): +61 2 9686 2600 📱️
Phone (Canada): +1 888 723-7273 📱️
Phone (Europe): +44 1933 415 800 📱️
Phone (International): +44 1933 415 800 📱️
Phone (Ireland): +01 8307033 📱️
Phone (New Zealand): +027 700 1674 📱️
Phone (United Kingdom): +01933 415800 📱️
Phone (United States): +1 800 722-3393 📱️

YouTube Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VRWVYiggn-w 🎥

About: HumanWare is the global leader in assistive technology for people who are blind or have low vision. HumanWare offers a wide range of innovative products, including the BrailleNote Touch, first Google certified braille tablet, the iOS compatible Brailliant braille displays, Victor Reader®, the world's leading family of digital audiobook players, the unique Prodigi® family of desktop and portable vision and reading systems, and the ultra-portable explore line of electronic handheld magnifier.

Guidelights and Gadgets logo.

➜ Classified Advertisement: We're Already Thinking Ahead For The Holidays!

Our Victor Stream Bundle, with leather case, bone conduction headphones, and 256 GB SD card; $625, including shipping; SensePlayer OCR Bundle; same accessories as above; $875, incl. shipping. All 3 accessories for less than the Exec Products case alone! Leather Stream or SensePlayer case, $35; Telescopic Locking 60 and 54 inch titanium canes; $70 and $65, plus shipping; Hands free no-bounce leather pouch, $35; or our original 3 pocket hands-free leather pouch for Be My Eyes or AIRA, $30. Talking Medical Bundle with Leather case; $140 incl. shipping. Zip-around RFID Italian leather wallets; $35.00. Call or email Barry at: (617) 969-7500 📱️ or barry.scheur@gmail.com 📧️. Call or email Kae at: (781) 286-1696 📱️; or guidelightdogs@gmail.com 📧️.

Director, http://www.GuideLightsAndGadgets.us

Sponsor Since: June 25th 2020 Calendar icon.

Website: http://www.guidelightsandgadgets.us/ 🌐

For Gadgets and Leather Contact Barry at:
Phone: (617) 969-7500 📱️
Email: bscheur.gadgetsandtech@gmail.com 📧️

For All Things Dog Contact Kae at:
Phone: (781) 286-1696 📱️
Email: guidelightdogs@gmail.com 📧️

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, affordable, and, whenever possible, fun! Our inventory is constantly changing, so a visit to us is never the same experience twice!

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Sponsor Since: June 11th 2020 Calendar icon.

Website: https://www.atguys.com/ 🌐

Phone: (269) 216-4798 📱️

Email: support@atguys.com 📧️

Skype: atguys ✆

X (Formerly 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 📱️.

Sponsor: Braille Works

BrailleWorks. Making the world a more readable place (TM). Serving Customers Quality and Excellence Since 1994. Certified WBENC. Women's Business Enterprise.

Sponsor Since: November 17, 2023 Calendar icon.

Website: https://brailleworks.com/ 🌐

Email: info@brailleworks.com 📧️

Phone: +1 (813) 654-4050 📱️

About: Dedicated to making the world a more readable place, Braille Works is one of the nation's leading providers of reading materials for people who are blind, visually impaired, or reading impaired. Making The World A More Readable Placeā„¢ has been our mission from day one. We are creative and innovative because our customers expect it.

Your projects are given careful consideration to make every page easy to read and handle. This gives your blind and visually impaired customers the respect and independence they rightly deserve. At Braille Works, attention to detail drives everything we do. From the layout of your braille document to the format of a large print document, the scripting of an audio document, or the full compliance and accessibility of your PDF, we seek to exceed the expectations of your customers.

Products and Services: 508 Compliance | Audio | Braille | Large Print

Industries We Serve: Government Agencies | Banking & Financial | Translation Agencies | Healthcare & Insurance | Restaurants | Utilities

Request A Quote: Contact Braille Works today to discuss your project. We welcome the opportunity to discuss your specific needs and the quality solutions we provide. Click here to get started or call us today at +1 (813) 654-4050 📱️.

Social: Facebook | LinkedIn | Instagram | X (Formerly Twitter) | YouTube

Sponsor: Hable

Right: A blind woman sits on her couch using a Hable keyboard to wirelessly control an iPad sitting on the table in front of her. Left: Hable logo. Simplifying smartphone use for the visually impaired. Order Hable.

➜ Classified Advertisement: Breaking News in Tech: Hable One's Android App Launched! | Hable

We're thrilled to announce a significant milestone at Hable: the launch of our Android app for the Hable One braille keyboard! Following the success of our iPhone app, we heard your calls for an Android version — and it's finally here!

With the new Android app, Hable One becomes even more accessible and user-friendly. Now, updating your device is as simple as a tap, ensuring you always have the latest features and improvements.

This app goes beyond a technical upgrade; it's a prof to our strong connection with our amazing Hable community!

Don't have a Hable One yet? Head over to our Amazon Store if you are in the USA or to our website if you are in another country.

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Whether for personal use or supporting someone with visual impairments, Hable One offers a seamless, empowering experience. Together, let's break barriers and redefine accessibility!

Order (US): https://amzn.openinapp.link/TechTidBits_Sponsorship_Android_App_Launch

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Sponsor Since: November 16, 2023 Calendar icon.

Website: https://www.iamhable.com/ 🌐

About: At Hable we empower people with visual impairment in the digital world.

Inclusivity at the core and innovation at the fingertips.

Our keyboard for the blind has redefined cellphone and tablet experiences and accessibility for over 5,000 visually impaired people globally.

Hable is an external keyboard designed to make using a smartphone simpler and more convenient for those with visual impairments, allowing for easy operation and accessibility.


Ready to experience the convenience and accessibility of Hable for yourself? Order Hable today at:
Amazon in the USA: https://amzn.to/3MEvLN5 | Other Countries: https://bit.ly/3sq4kjz.

Website: Home | Experiences | Tips and Tricks | Support | Order Hable

Social: Facebook | Instagram | X (Formerly Twitter) | YouTube | LinkedIn

Sponsor: The Accessibility Guy

The Accessibility Guy logo.

➜ Classified Advertisement: Expert Document Accessibility Remediation: Compliant, Multilingual, & Inclusive

Unlock the power of inclusivity with our specialized document accessibility remediation services. With over 100,000 documents transformed and compliant with standards such as Section 508, WCAG 2.1 AA, HHS, AODA, and PDF/UA, we are your go-to accessibility experts. No document is too complex!

What To Expect:

Screen Reader Testing: We test all documents with industry-leading tools like JAWS, NVDA, VoiceOver, CommonLook Validator, and PAC3.

Turnaround Time: Our standard time is 5 business days. Expedited options are available.

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Languages Supported: Offering remediation in over 50 languages.

File Types Supported: Word, PDF, PowerPoint.

Custom Reports: Available for an additional fee.

Learn More: https://theaccessibilityguy.com/document-remediation/

Sponsor Since: August 3, 2023 Calendar icon.

Website: https://theaccessibilityguy.com/ 🌐

YouTube: https://youtube.com/@TheAccessibilityGuy 📹

About: My name is Shawn Jordison and I love helping others learn the ins and outs of digital accessibility.

I have made over 100 thousand documents accessible, provided hundreds of trainings in the areas of accessibility and document remediation, and reviewed many websites and mobile applications for accessibility.

I have developed and reviewed VPATs, LMS courses, and other pieces of training. I am the accessibility Swiss army knife. Let me be your personal accessibility expert.

➜ Over 13 years of experience in the field of accessibility.

➜ Passionate about providing equal access to information for everyone.

➜ Wide range of project experience, including document accessibility, training, and more.

➜ Expertise in captioning, assistive technology, and accessibility best practices. I'm here to help you create a more accessible world.

The Blog: This blog covers topics like making Word, PDF & PowerPoint files accessible, Closed Captioning, assistive technology, and other important accessibility topics.

Training and Consulting: Offering customized training and consulting for implementing accessibility best practices.

Accessible Document Service: Providing top-tier document remediation services for all types of files, ensuring compliance with WCAG, 508, and PDF UA standards.

Sponsor: Glidance

Glidance logo.

Sponsor Since: July 20th 2023 Calendar icon.

Website: https://glidance.io/ 🌐

About: Fun and easy, you'll just love going out. You walk with confidence, and Glide will simply guide you where you want to go.

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Glide will guide you to your destination or just keep you to a safe path and leave it to you to steer the way, giving you full autonomy and independence.

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Without hesitation, anxiety, or getting lost.

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Sponsor: Echobatix

Echobatix logo.

Sponsor Since: July 20th 2023 Calendar icon.

Website: https://echobatix.com/ 🌐

App: Download the Echobatix App from the Apple App Store here.

About: Echobatix develops accessibility products and indoor navigation systems for the blind, deafblind, and those with low vision. Our technology complements the use of a cane or guide dog and your existing Orientation and Mobility (O&M) skills. Our first app is an accessibility tool for printed text, touch screens, kiosks, and signage. Read what's at the end of your finger. Speak to search for a word.

Top Tech Tidbits is the world's leading not-for-profit access technology publication that reaches over 20,000 blind, low vision, deaf, hard of hearing, deafblind, neurodivergent and/or disabled professionals, educators and enthusiasts, all over the world, each week.

Access Technology: Broadly encompasses technologies that enable access to information and communication systems for a wide range of users, including those with disabilities. It's about making existing systems like computers and the internet more accessible.

Adaptive Technology: A subset of Access Technology, specifically tailored or modified for people with disabilities. It's designed to assist individuals in performing tasks that might otherwise be challenging due to their particular disabilities.

Assistive Technology: This term is often used interchangeably with Adaptive Technology but can have a broader scope. Assistive Technology includes any device, software, or equipment that helps people work around their challenges. While Adaptive Technology is primarily focused on modifications for disability-specific needs, Assistive Technology can also include tools and devices used by the elderly, those recovering from injuries, or individuals with temporary impairments. Examples include hearing aids, wheelchairs, and voice recognition software. The key aspect of Assistive Technology is its role in enhancing functional capabilities and improving quality of life for individuals facing a variety of challenges.

Top Tech Tidbits offers a total of 24 Sponsorship Packages which are used to support the ongoing distribution of the publication.

Waiting List: If you would like to become an Top Tech Tidbits Sponsor but there are no sponsorship packages currently available, we encourage you to join our waiting list by sending an email to: sponsorships@toptechtidbits.com 📧️. Once you have joined our waiting list we will notify you the next time a current sponsor decides not to renew. You will then have 72 hours to secure your sponsorship before it is offered to the next sponsor on the list.

Payment Options: When available you can secure one of these packages for just $100.00 USD per month, $300 USD per quarter or $1,200.00 USD per year.

Payment Option Benefits: Monthly Sponsors receive Zero (0) Featured Advertisements. Quarterly Sponsors receive One (1) Featured Advertisement per quarter. Annual Sponsors receive Five (5) Featured Advertisements per year. All other benefits remain the same.

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➜ Top Tech Tidbits News Team

Publisher: Aaron Di Blasi (Volunteer)

Photo of Aaron Di Blasi.

Volunteer Publisher Since: June 4th 2020

Location: Mayfield Heights, Ohio

Time Zone: Eastern Standard Time (EST/EDT) (GMT-5/GMT-4)

In addition to serving as Publisher for Top Tech Tidbits Aaron also serves as Publisher for the Access Information News Publication and is also the President and Senior Project Management Professional for Mind Vault Solutions, Ltd.

As Publisher Aaron oversees the weekly distribution of Top Tech Tidbits as a not-for-profit project on behalf of Mind Vault Solutions, Ltd.

Aaron also serves as a Volunteer Editor to Top Tech Tidbits.

Aaron Di Blasi, PMP

Publisher (2020-Present)
Top Tech Tidbits
The Week's News in Access Technology
https://toptechtidbits.com 🌐

Publisher (2022-Present)
Access Information News
The Week's News in Access Information
https://accessinformationnews.com 🌐

Sr. Project Management Professional (2006 - Present)
Mind Vault Solutions, Ltd.
Innovative ideas. Solutions that perform.
https://mvsltd.com 🌐

Email: publisher@toptechtidbits.com 📧️
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Editorial Contributor: John Hanlin (Volunteer)

Volunteer Editor Since: June 4th 2020

Location: Boulder, Colorado

Time Zone: Mountain Standard Time (MST/MDT) (GMT-7/GMT-6)

In addition to serving as an Editor to Top Tech Tidbits, John also serves as an Editor to the Access Information News Publication and is also an attorney-at-law specializing in long-term disability claims for blind and visually impaired persons.

John is also a long-time contractor and member of the Board of Trustees at Mind Vault Solutions, Ltd.

John Hanlin, Esq.

Editor (2020-Present)
Top Tech Tidbits
The Week's News in Access Technology
https://toptechtidbits.com 🌐

Editor (2022-Present)
Access Information News
The Week's News in Access Information
https://accessinformationnews.com 🌐

Board of Trustees (2006 - Present)
Mind Vault Solutions, Ltd.
Innovative ideas. Solutions that perform.
https://mvsltd.com 🌐

Email: editors@toptechtidbits.com 📧️
Subscribe: https://toptechtidbits.com/subscribe
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A Mind Vault Solutions, Ltd. Publication: https://mvsltd.com

Editorial Contributor: Jenna Lang (Volunteer)

Volunteer Editor Since: June 4th 2020

Location: Des Moines, Iowa

Time Zone: Central Standard Time (CST/CDT) (GMT-6/GMT-5)

In addition to serving as an Editor to Top Tech Tidbits, Jenna also serves as an Editor to the Access Information News Publication and runs her own advocacy foundation.

Jenna also serves as a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) for Mind Vault Solutions, Ltd.

Jenna's son was born blind and she is always seeking new and innovative ways to empower him through technology.

Jenna Lang, PMP

Editor (2020-Present)
Top Tech Tidbits
The Week's News in Access Technology
https://toptechtidbits.com 🌐

Editor (2022-Present)
Access Information News
The Week's News in Access Information
https://accessinformationnews.com 🌐

Project Management Professional (2022 - Present)
Mind Vault Solutions, Ltd.
Innovative ideas. Solutions that perform.
https://mvsltd.com 🌐

Email: editors@toptechtidbits.com 📧️
Subscribe: https://toptechtidbits.com/subscribe
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Editorial Contributor: Stephen (Alex) Marositz (Volunteer)

Photo of Stephen (Alex) Marositz.

Editor Since: October 7th 2021

Location: Los Angeles, California

Time Zone: Pacific Standard Time (PST/PDT) (GMT-6/GMT-7)

In addition to serving as an Editor to Top Tech Tidbits, Alex is also an Accessible Technology Coordinator for California State University, Dominguez Hills. He has worked in accessibility in higher education since 2005, is certified by the International Association of Accessibility Professionals, and in his spare time plays for the San Gabriel Valley Panthers Beep Baseball Team. He can be reached on twitter at: @samarositz.

Stephen (Alex) Marositz

Editor (2021-Present)
Top Tech Tidbits
The Week's News in Access Technology
https://toptechtidbits.com 🌐

Accessible Technology Coordinator
California State University, Dominguez Hills
https://csudh.edu 🌐

Email: editors@toptechtidbits.com 📧️
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Editorial Contributor: Ben Moxey (Volunteer)

Photo of Ben Moxey holding Ferris, Guide Dog in Training.

Editor Since: January 1st 2022

Location: Newcastle, Australia

Time Zone: Australia Eastern Standard Time (AEST/AEDT) (GMT+10)

In addition to serving as an Editor to Top Tech Tidbits, Ben is also an Access and Technology Advisor for Guide Dogs, New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory (NSW/ACT).

Hi, Tidbits readers, my name's Ben Moxey and I'm based in Newcastle, Australia. I'm really happy to be part of the Tidbits Team and look forward to supporting this valuable publication.

A bit about me and how I came to work in the BVI area. I grew up with very low vision in one eye due to retinal issues and relied on magnification and speech throughout school. They also tried to teach me Braille, but let's just say that I wasn't the best student! I was determined to use my remaining vision, no matter how impractical it was becoming.

When I was 20, the other retina came off and I've now been totally blind for about 21 years. This is when my love for assistive technology, and technology in general, really kicked in. I'll be honest, I was a bit of a computer nerd anyway, but I could quickly see how technology was my key to enhanced independence and lifestyle. I embraced screen readers, early smart phones and mobility aids. I even finally realised the huge value of Braille and finished off the course, though I'm still pretty slow!

Long story short (not one of my strong points), I've worked in the BVI area for 12 years with much of that spent reviewing, recommending and teaching assistive technology that suits the individual. I'm currently a proud employee of Guide Dogs NSW/ACT where I was the Practice Lead for the assistive technology service, and I've now moved into an Access and Technology Advisor role. Basically, this involves a strong focus on accessibility and technology innovation.

Feel free to look me up on LinkedIn, but I'll warn you in advance that I haven't given my profile the recommended attention!

All the best and happy reading!

Ben Moxey

Editor (2022-Present)
Top Tech Tidbits
The Week's News in Access Technology
https://toptechtidbits.com 🌐

Access and Technology Advisor
Guide Dogs, New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory (NSW/ACT)
https://nsw.guidedogs.com.au 🌐

Email: editors@toptechtidbits.com 📧️
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Editorial Contributor: David Woodbridge (Volunteer)

Photo of David Woodbridge.

Volunteer Editorial Contributor Since: February 6, 2023

Location: Central Coast, New South Wales, Australia

Time Zone: Australia Eastern Standard Time (AEST/AEDT) (GMT+10)

In addition to serving as an Editor to Top Tech Tidbits, David also serves as an Editor to the Access Information News Publication and is also the National Commercial Assistive Technology Advisor for Vision Australia where he has worked since 1990. Over this time he has assisted people who are blind or vision impaired in their home, education, and work settings to take advantage of the benefits of using assistive and main stream technology.

In the last seventeen years, he has also been involved with evaluating technology for use by people who are blind or vision impaired covering both low and high tech equipment (including Microsoft, Samsung, Google, Amazon, and Apple). David is also one of the key spokespersons for Vision Australia relating to technology.

He has been an Apple Ambassador for Apple Australia since 2009 with a group of other Ambassadors / Apple Distinguished Educators (ADE)'s covering the range of Apple's Accessibility solutions throughout Australia.

David produces a range of podcasts (since 2011) covering Apple and other technologies which are distributed on his own podcast (http://davidwoodbr.podbean.com). In addition, he also has a regular Talking Tech program (since 2013) which can be heard every Tuesday at 4:30 Eastern Summer Time on Vision Australia Radio Melbourne (available online) or via https://omny.fm/shows/talking-tech-vision-australia-radio

David also runs a weekly Tech Monday where people can chat about assistive and main stream technology, share information, and any tips and tricks.

David lost his sight when he was 8 years old and had to learn Braille. Since then, he completed high school, went to Sydney University receiving a Social Work degree, spent 4 years drug and alcohol counselling, and then moved into his current job.

As a person who is blind, David believes that as a user of the technology that he recommends to others, that he is well situated to look at the strengths and shortcomings of the assistive technology that he comes across in both his professional and personal life, in particular, mainstream technology that is accessible.

X (Formerly Twitter): @dwoodbridge
Mastodon: woody@dragonscave.space
iSee Podcast: https://davidwoodbr.podbean.com
Vision Australia Radio Talking Tech: https://omny.fm/shows/talking-tech-vision-australia-radio

In addition to his weekly contributions to Top Tech Tidbits and Access Information News, David's regularly occurring activities are his weekly tech radio show, bi-monthly exploring tech webinars for Vision Australia, his iSee podcast when something of note grabs his attention, and the weekly Tech Monday chat sessions.

David Woodbridge

Editorial Contributor (2023-Present)
Top Tech Tidbits
The Week's News in Access Technology
https://toptechtidbits.com 🌐

Editorial Contributor (2023-Present)
Access Information News
The Week's News in Access Information
https://accessinformationnews.com 🌐

National Commercial Assistive Technology Advisor (1990 - Present)
Vision Australia
Live the life you choose. We're here to support all Australians who are blind or have low vision.
https://www.visionaustralia.org/ 🌐

Email: editor@toptechtidbits.com 📧️
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➜ Subscription Information


Founded in 2004, Top Tech Tidbits is the world's leading not-for-profit access technology publication that reaches over 20,000 blind, low vision, deaf, hard of hearing, deafblind, neurodivergent and/or disabled professionals, educators and enthusiasts, all over the world, each week. Subscribe here. Review the most recent issues here. Access Technology broadly encompasses technologies that enable access to information and communication systems for persons with disabilities. Adaptive Technology is a subset of Access Technology designed to assist individuals in performing tasks that might otherwise be challenging due to their particular disabilities. Assistive Technology includes any device, software, or equipment that helps people work around their challenges. Top Tech Tidbits is a Mind Vault Solutions, Ltd. Publication. Publisher: Aaron Di Blasi. Contributing Editors: John Hanlin, Jenna Lang, Stephen (Alex) Marositz, Ben Moxey, and David Woodbridge. Top Tech Tidbits is a sponsor and reader supported publication.


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Are you blind or do you live with low vision? Are you deaf, hard of hearing or deafblind? Do you require a wheelchair for mobility? Do you consider yourself to be neurodivergent or otherwise disabled? We specialize in information that can improve your quality of life. Learn more today at: https://toptechtidbits.com/store.


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