Blind/vision impaired Digital Technology & Online Media news

Coming back to Facebook

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Guest contributor and screen reader user Andrew Devenish-Meares shares his experience of giving Facebook another go.

Quite some time ago I just gave up on Facebook.  Being blind it was just too hard to deal with, navigation was awful, there were parts of the iPhone app I just couldn't use.  I deleted my account and left.

Since that time, Facebook has been working on accessibility.  The nightmarish navigation shown in the Access iQ video is gone, and the iOS app has undergone some major changes.

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Window-Eyes screen reader made free to Office users

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The market for screen readers, software which converts text on computer screens to synthetic voice, is becoming more competitive and people who are blind are beginning to see huge benefits. Last week, GW Micro announced it would make its Window-Eyes screen reader free to users of Microsoft Office.

The announcementstates that Window-Eyes will be available globally to anyone using Microsoft Office 2010 or later, saving users from paying $1,022. GW Micro states that the decision was a result of an increasingly critical need for people who are blind or vision impaired to have reduced barriers to technology access.


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Test of Android 4.4 KitKat on the Moto G smartphone

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We’re entering an era where cost doesn’t mean we have to compromise on accessibility. Last year, Motorola announced its $US179 Moto G smartphone. Here, Dr Scott Hollier, who is legally blind, road tests the device and Android’s latest operating system, KitKat.

As we reported in November, the Moto G is arguably the world’s cheapest accessible phone. And while the operating system that runs on it, Google Android, is not quite as good as Apple iOS, there are simple tricks you can use to ensure lower-cost Android phones and tablets suit your needs.


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Accessibility highlights from the Consumer Electronics Show

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The annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) was held last week in Las Vegas, revealing a number of interesting new products that are likely to turn up in our stores in the months to come. Here are some of the main themes this year and their accessibility implications.

Interactive home appliances

With Panasonic introducing its accessible talking TV last year, LG is aiming to go one better, this year introducing a range of interactive home appliances.

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