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NewsFlash  iOS update

Contributed by Joel Zimba, Special Projects Coordinator, MDTAP

If, like me, you have been suffering with inexplicable keyboard problems while using VoiceOver on your iOS device—you are not alone.  This has been a definite, if hard to pin down bug which debuted with the arrival of iOS 7.1.

Today, Apple released iOS 7.1.1, which includes a fix for this vexing VoiceOver problem.  There are also some reports indicating a fix to the speech rate problem with some of the High Quality voices.  While not a stumbling block like the keyboard problem, I’m sure we can all breathe a collective sigh of relief to know E-books will read at the desired rate through the entire book.

The update can be installed  from the “Software Update” section in the Settings app under “General.”

Run through the Hearing and Speech Agency (HASA), the Baltimore Soundscape Project aims to create a sound map of Baltimore. It’s a simple plan – record what you hear in your travels through Baltimore and upload it to the soundscape map. By getting a variety of people to participate, from long-time residents to out-of-town visitors, the project will help promote a more sound-conscious city.

AT in the news for the week of 4/14 thru 4/18

Why technology will prove key to overcoming disability

Transition from high school to independence can be hard with ASD, find tips here

The Inclusive Design Lab at University of Maryland is looking for participants for a study on assistive mobile technology

4th Md. prison training veteran service dogs

Locked inside herself

More vets turn to prosthetics to help legless pets

Is tech the preserve of the young able-bodied? Let’s talk over a fine dinner and claret

Mudra: a Braille dicta-teacher

Google Contact Lenses To Trump Glass

Australia’s first ever accessible app competition has been launched

IBM helping orgs support government regulations to create a more inclusive workplace

Let’s take care of your chair! There’s nothing like a tidy wheelchair, and these cleaning tips will help!

Accessible Frank Lloyd Wright House To Make Public Debut

Old Computers Find New Life in Hands of Children with Disabilities

Disney Researchers develop tactile feedback touch screen technology

Samsung explores a stripped-down take on wearable displays

Students solve problem for rheumatoid arthritis sufferer

Helping the visually impaired with sensor tech

Tech lets wheelchair-bound walk again

DynaVox Affiliates File For Bankruptcy

 

Sheltering in Place

Contributed by Provi Sharpe, Director of Emergency Preparedness and Equipment Reuse

Do you know what it means to shelter in place?  “Shelter-in-place” means to take immediate shelter where you are — at home, work, school, or in between – even in your car. It may also mean to “seal the room.” In other words, taking steps to prevent outside air from coming in. This is because local authorities may instruct you to “shelter-in-place” if chemical or radiological contaminants are released into the environment. It is important to listen to TV or radio to understand whether the authorities wish you to merely remain indoors or to take additional steps to protect yourself and your family.

The Texas Department of State Health Services in partnership with The Northeast Texas Public Health District offer two very informative videos: Sheltering in Place Part 1 and Sheltering in Place Part 2.  These videos offer tips on how to be safe where you are when evacuation is not called for.

Tabindex

Difficulty: Advanced

Category:

  • Structure

Tabindex values of 1 or greater assign a specific tab order to elements. Because the default tab order of the page is typically logical and intuitive, positive values are rarely necessary. A tabindex value of 0 allows elements other than links or form elements to be focusable in the default tab order of the document. Tabindex of -1 allow other elements to receive focus, but only when focus is set through JavaScript or via a link. Setting and modifying tabindex values and controlling keyboard focus with JavaScript can greatly increase the accessibility of dynamic and interactive web applications and widgets.

The Braille Edge 40

Contributed by Joel Zimba, Special Projects Coordinator, MDTAP

Recently, MDTAP  has received several inquiries about refreshable Braille displays.  As their name implies, these devices have one row of Braille pins which refresh themselves to reflect the output from a computer or mobile device.  We have several examples of this species available for your examination.  The Brailliant, Braille Pen and Alva BC640.

The primary differences between refreshable Braille displays are portability and the amount of Braille which can be displayed at one time.  The Braille Pen has 12 Braille cells and is intended to be used with mobile devices, while the Brailliant has 32 cells and works well with either a mobile device or a computer.  There are larger displays, which usually top out at 80 Braille cells.  These are stationary and usually only connect to one computer.

I recently purchased a Braille Edge 40, produced by Hims Inc.  The Braille Edge is larger that many portable Braille displays, having 40 Braille cells.  It connects either via USB or Bluetooth.  The Braille Edge has features which set it apart from other refreshable Braille displays.  It has built-in applications, such as a notepad, calculator and alarm clock.  In a sense, the Braille Edge is a hybrid between a Braille display and a Braille note taker. To me, this is a vital difference.  Large documents, in a variety of formats, can be read directly from the device rather than from a host computer.

For those who prefer to read Braille output rather than relying on synthetic speech as their interface, Braille displays are the way to go.  Refreshable Braille is currently quite expensive.  It would be a good idea to compare various devices in the MDTAP equipment library before deciding which one is right for your purposes.

 

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