Feed on

Large Clickable Targets

Some mouse users have may have difficulty with fine motor control, so it is important that clickable targets be sufficiently large. Radio buttons and checkboxes should include properly-associated labels (using the <label> element). Small icons or text, such as previous/next arrows or superscript links for footnotes, should be sufficiently large or combined with adjacent text into a single link.

Why Take Pictures If You Are Blind?

Contributed by Lou Smith, Amateur photographer and rehabilitation counselor in Maryland

As a person who is blind and uses an iPhone, this question has been posed to me. The logic behind the question is, as a person who is blind, what kind of enjoyment could I possibly derive from photography?

There are several reasons. First, let’s consider why people with vision take pictures. The rationale varies, but include a desire to share one’s life visually, to show family and friends, or to collect memories of significant events and people in one’s life. A person who is blind could have the same desires or motivations. With the proliferation of smart phones and other such devices, software has been developed to assist people with tasks requiring vision. These include telling the color of a shirt, reading directions, or determining if a light is on or off. I have used my iPhone for all of these practical purposes, and have recently begun delving into photography.

I found an excellent book on the subject published in several formats by National Braille press (www.nbp.org) entitled “Get the Picture” by Judy Dixon.

It has encouraged me to begin exploring this use of my iPhone in more detail.

The first thing that I realized is that while my iPhone gives me some information on the photograph (lighting level, whether the photo is blurry or clear, the presence or absence of people’s faces), it is valuable to seek out sighted assistance for opinions. I have made plenty of mistakes in my brief foray into this realm. I took a panoramic picture of our living room and sent it to my wife who was out of town at the time. She told me that the photo was “various shades of dark.” I was puzzled. She asked me if I had turned the lights on. As I took the picture at about ten in the evening, my error provided considerable amusement. I was so excited about figuring this stuff out that I forgot to turn on the lights.

Another thing I learned is that I have to be cautious about holding the camera too low. I have taken nice pictures of floors, however that was not my intent.

I  didn’t realize that most photos are taken with the camera in landscape orientation. For some  reason I just held the camera vertically, assuming that’s the way all photos were taken. Thanks, Ms. Dixon, for telling me this in the book.photo (4)

I quite by accident took a good picture of my cat, lounging on the back of our loveseat. My wife thought it was so good, she insisted I post it on Facebook. I took the picture by putting my hand on Merlin’s head, and backing the camera away a few feet and snapping the picture.

I have always had an interest in what things look like. I believe I am getting a chance to experience my world from a visual perspective through taking pictures. People can describe what my pictures look like, and it gives me a different perspective than what I previously had. I have also learned a little more about visual fields. And on an elemental level, I learned (in a rather amusing way), the importance of light.

It would be interesting to hear about perspectives of others who are visually impaired on photography.


Humanware, developer of assistive technology for those who are blind, is launching a series of FREE back-to-school webinars. The first in this series is Back to School: Connect Your Technology with Braille! on Wednesday, August 27ht at 11:00 AM EST.

Description: With the start of a new school year, we prepare to return to the classroom in full force as students stock up on paper, pens, pencils and the other necessities for the rigors of the academic year to come. For a blind student, the equivalent of a pen and paper is their access to technology and the tools they use to build their foundation for braille literacy. HumanWare will present a series of webinars during the coming months to demonstrate the installation and navigation when using the Brailliant refreshable braille display with popular screen readers and iOS devices. A FREE training guide with essential key commands will also be available for download to help with instructing students.

Register online!


Smart canes, smart glasses, smart cars…a little food for thought this week for all those smarty-pants technology lovers out there!

AT in the news for the week of 8/11 thru 8/15

Cyberbullying alert app for parents made in Thunder Bay

Apple Patented A Mouse That Would Vibrate At Your Touch

Driverless cars could change lives for people w/ disabilities, if we let them

Brain-computer interface project gives hope to disabled

Apple’s iPhone Is at the Center of Another Major Revolution

Using Her Eyes to Talk

Wearable Tech Could Be Boon for Parkinson’s Research

Beyond Braille: 3-D Printed Books For The Blind

Star Trek-style smart glasses that allow the blind to see could be on sale by 2016

Can iBeacons Be Used To Help The Visually Impaired Navigate Public Transport?

How do you make walking easier for people who are blind? Put submarine tech in a cane

This has been a week full of not-so-good news (you know what I’m talking about). So, I’m here to cheer you up and take your mind off so many sad & seemingly impending things. Smart shoes for the blind, remote coaching for parents, customized chopsticks, taking exams using blink-technology, and so much more. It’s a good, wide world out there – let’s refocus and read up on some of the coolest stuff happening!

AT in the news for the week of 8/4 thru 8/8.

New technology brings sight to deaf & hard of hearing of theater goers

MIT Students Design Functional, Fashionable Clothing for Disabled

Visually-impaired kids get into game at Camp Abilities

Met + Parsons Museum Accessibility Collaboration Workshop

Smartshoes for the visually challenged could help curb isolation among that group

Why game accessibility matters

New prosthetic arm controlled by neural messages

Find Out How Remote Coaching Helps Parents Deliver Autism Therapies

Developing and using a Caregiver’s Calendar

Disabled teen sailing 400 miles – in boat she controls by puffing down tube

Talkitt App Clears Garbled Speech of People with Disabilities

National Federation of the Blind Endorses Online Ballot Marking

San Francisco Airport Testing Assistive Technology For The Blind

Super cheap Smart Home kit brings automation to the masses

One Man’s Mission To Design Better Chopsticks For People w/ Disabilities

Woman with locked-in syndrome earns degree by blinking through exams

4 apps to help the visually impaired in school

An app that lets blind people read

In shipyards in Korea, robot exoskeletons are giving workers superstrength

Digital Reading System Helps The Blind Read Graphs

FCC Approves New Rules to Ensure Accessibility of Online Video Clips for People Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing

Data from cameras & ultrasonic sensors is sent to tablet that provides audible directions

Quadriplegic Former Firefighter Uses New Technology to Communicate

Robotic pets for seniors part of wave of assistive technology

Like social media? Like making sure everyone can access your content? Then you may want to check out this nifty, updated guide – Federal Social Media Accessibility Toolkit. Although developed primarily for federal social media content managers, there are tips that any of us can use, from the casual Facebook user to PR and communications managers for any business.

Be sure to check out these great tips, like:

  1. When posting videos on Facebook, link them directly to your YouTube Channel so you don’t lose access to the captioning.
  2. When making a tweet, use camel case for multiple words within hashtags (i.e. use #DigitalGov, not #digitalgov)
  3. To ensure accurate captioning in YouTube, create a transcript of the video.


Find all of these and more on the DigitalGov blog.


« Newer Posts - Older Posts »

MDTAP | 2301 Argonne Drive, Room T17 Baltimore, Maryland 21218| Voice: 410-554-9230 Toll Free ⁄ Voice 1-800-832-4827|Email: mdtap@mdtap.org