Using Web Sites With A Screenreader

I was recently asked the following questions concerning accessing web sites via a screen reader. When using a screen reader on a new page you’ve never accessed before, how do you typically figure out what’s on the page and how to navigate around it? Has there ever been a site that pleasantly surprised you with how easy it was to navigate? If so, what was it and what made it so exemplary? What are the bugs or layouts that frustrate you the most and make sites impossible to use? What are the things that make you quit using a website and …

Continue Reading

Virtual Braille and Image Discernment the key learnings of the Optacon

I am a life long braille reader who enjoys the freedom that braille gives me to read any book that has been transcribed or translated. Braille is the key to literacy for all of us who are blind. I can’t imagine not reading braille. It would be like depriving me of the human right of learning. I recall in the 1970s’ learning to use the Optacon for reading print. As an Optacon user, I was by no means the most efficient. I found that I could read print at about 60 words a minute. The great thing was that the …

Continue Reading

Reel to Reel Tapes sure hold there magnetism

In doing some cleaning out of storage spaces recently, I came across ten reels of magnetic tape with no labels on them. My parents had given them to me several years ago when they were cleaning up. I was fortunate to be able to listen to there contents thanks to a friend who still has a working tape deck capable of playing them. These tapes were recorded when I was a teenager. It is amazing to hear sounds that were recorded over forty years ago. I heard one piece of a recording that continued the voice of my Mother as …

Continue Reading

Chromevox On The Mac Cripples My Style

It is an amazing thing to think about is the reality of the world we experience in our day-to-day lives. When I was a child, I was told by someone – who’s name I have now forgotten – that “blind people can’t ride a bike because if one cannot see one cannot maintain balance.” Why should one be so limited? My curiosity got the better of me and my pride made a pact with my competitive self which caused me to learn how to ride a bike with no imbalance. I have written about my experience with Voiceover both on …

Continue Reading

The Resurrected Blog

I am so amazed that I haven’t posted to this blog in over two years! 🙂 So much has happened and so much has changed. I am now almost 58. 🙂 Both of my parents are in heaven! I am loving learning and school! I made one of those new year resolutions to do things differently this year. This includes writing one blog post a week minimum. Stay tuned!

Continue Reading

The New Version Of The Syrinx Twitter Client Is Awesome

I have been using the new version of Syrinx by MRR Software for the Mac to handle my Twitter interactions for a week now. Syrinx is an absolutely stellar Twitter client because the author has worked very hard to make the entire experience of using Syrinx a breeze with VoiceOver. The new Twitter list support has been added along with the ability to preview the tweet timeline using any of the VoiceOver navigation functions. Now, I am able to quickly and efficiently read, review, and answer the tweets in my many lists. I am constantly amazed at how productive the …

Continue Reading

A Funny Thing Happened To Me On A Walk In April

I think I remember the title of a book or article that was popular when I was a child. It went something like this “A Funny Thing Happened To Me On The Way To The Park”. I remember thinking about the fact that I always wanted adventure and new and unusual experiences. I had been accustomed to walking between three and five miles a day for about six months or so; a good daily exercise walk had become quite routine. On Sunday April 11, I walked five miles non-stop with no effort. The very next day, Monday April 12, I …

Continue Reading

Accessible Productivity And Spell Check On The Mac

Operating With A PC Moving to the Mac with VoiceOver from Microsoft WIndows and JAWS was a great organizing exercise for me. I took a look at my daily tasks and realized that I spent the majority of my computer time in the following programs: • Microsoft Outlook 2003 • AOL, Yahoo, and MSN Instant Messaging • Firefox • Adobe Reader • Microsoft Office Email was handled by Microsoft Outlook 2003. Contact management, calendar maintenance task management, and note taking was also handled by Outlook 2003 I used the Miranda instant messaging client for AOL, Yahoo, and MSN messaging. Although …

Continue Reading

Using Vienna As An Accessible Twitter Client

In my quest to move all my activities to the Mac one of the first items that needed to be handled was an accessible Twitter client. Although I am not a power user, the number of people that I follow on Twitter has crossed the three thousand mark. This means that there is a need for a precise filtering mechanism that permits one to take a Twitter stream of over Twenty Thousand tweets a day and quickly glean the high priority Tweets. I chose Vienna version 2.3.4. This solution is totally accessible with VoiceOver and permits one to specify the …

Continue Reading

Palm Pilot Replacement

I remember in the late 90’s buying a Palm Pilot for my wife because it was the latest thing out there for organizing one’s life! Organizing is a very general term and definitely means that the Palm Pilot could claim to be a general device. The razor blade concept was just as true for the Palm Pilot at that time as for the razor manufactures. I think we spent more on replacement pens for that Palm in the first year than the entire cost of the Palm Pilot and it’s accessories. WIth the iPhone we now have a device that …

Continue Reading