Reviewing EyeNote vs Money Reader vs SeeingAI to Recognize US Notes

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In this Blind Vet Tech Quick Guides, News and Reviews podcast, we review the three major iOS money reading apps for US bank notes, EyeNote, Money Reader, and SeeingAI. Wile many in the blindness community advocate for the US to adopt tactile bank notes, there is absolutely nothing stopping one from simply integrating one of these three amazing currency recognition apps into their lives. Here are the three and our general thoughts:

  • EyeNote by the US Bureau of Engraving and Printing
    • Version 3.0, December 2017
    • The official app from the Bureau of Engraving and Printing updated Eyenote to support the 64bit requirements for compatibility with iOS 11. The result is a very quick and smooth US currency recognition app that detects and announces the denomination and which side is facing up. The only draw back involves the lack of support for other currencies.
  • Nant Mobile Money Reader (aka Money Reader) by IPPLEX
    • Version 2.6, October 2017
    • Long touted by the blindness community as the best currency recognition app on the App Store despite numerous name and developer changes, Money Reader still preforms admirably. The identification occurs rapidly through your Voice Over’s voice. It also continuously announces the denomination of the note as long as you hold it under your iOS device’s camera. Additionally it identifies most every major bank note in the world.
  • SeeingAI by Microsoft
    • Version 2.0, December 2017
    • Microsoft continuously expands upon the sheer awesomeness of SeeingAI. The recent addition for currency recognition occurs flawlessly. Similar to Money Reader, it will continuously announce any currency you have under your device’s camera, relying on speech settings you selected within its settings under menu. At this point, SeeingAI requires you to select the type of currency you use under Menu, Settings, Currency, and is limited to US, UK, Canadian, and Euros.

… and the winner is… It depends.

SeeingAI will remain my main solution since its capable of recognizing more than just currencies. The multifunctional aspects of it promotes my willingness to integrate it into daily life. I do not do international travel, so being able to recognize multiple currencies is not a big deal. The ability to set currency recognition within the 3d Touch menu only makes it that much easier to access this feature.

The updated version of Eyenote is a very close second and would not dismiss it. If anything, its a great backup and its abilities to inform you which side is facing up aids those Type A folks who need things in a certain way.

If you require the ability to identify multiple currencies, then Money Reader will be the best app to rely on. I have used it during international travels and found it very accurate and simple to use.

If you enjoy the Blind Vet Tech Podcast series, we invite anyone interested in assistive technology for the blind to join us on our monthly tech teleconferences. Click here to see a list of our calls and how to connect via Zoom.

Stay Informed

Stay up to date with the latest news and announcements through the Blind Vet Tech Quick Guides, News and Reviews blog and podcasts.

If you have any questions, comments, or requests, feel free to send us an email here. All of our podcasts and other information related to Veterans, blindness, acceptance of a disability, and other resources may be found at BlindNotAlone.com

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February’s Tech News Update on Low Vision Awareness Month, Blind Vet Tech Monthly Teleconferences Announcements, VFO Becomes the One Ring, and AIRA’s #AIRABowl and Site Access Expansion

After the maelstrom of news and concerns we covered in January’s Blind Vet Tech News Update, we are happy to provide hope and optimism for February. First an administrative note. We will continue to post the Blind Vet Tech News update here on the main Blind Not Alone blog. Followers will now receive all of our content when they subscribe here at Blind Not Alone. Secondly this action enables us to evolve the Blind Vet Tech Quick Guides and Tutorials podcast into the Blind Vet Tech Quick Guides, News and Reviews podcast channel. This enables us to advance our mission bringing you more relevant content to assist you in bridging the technological divide we each face when living with a visual impairment. Now time for the news.

February’s Low Vision Awareness Month

did you know February is Low Vision Awareness Month? Low Vision encapsulates a very broad set of visual impairments. The World Health Organization describes Low Vision as an individual with a visual impairment impacting normal functioning even after corrective lenses or medical treatment and is able to use, residual vision for the planning and execution of a task. The American Academy of Ophthalmology describes common low vision symptoms as blurriness, night blindness, restricted fields of view, hazy vision, glare, or blind spots. These are commonly noted in age related conditions like Glaucoma, Diabetic Retinopathy, or Macular Degeneration; childhood and adult conditions like Retinitis Pigmentosa, or Stargardt Disease; or trauma to the lens, cornea, retina, optical nerve, Traumatic Brain Injuries, or strokes.

Low vision symptoms serve as the canary in the coal mine alert for blindness. Early diagnosis and treatment may stop and even reverse the progression of the disease. For this reason, we each need to be aware of what Low Vision is and trust in a hope for a brighter future.

If your vision is not correctable, talk with a low vision clinic, like state blind rehab services, Department of Veterans Affairs eye clinics, ophthalmology or optometry clinics, or Lighthouses for the blind. These entities may discuss with you some rather simple low tech solutions to innovated technological devices. If your field of view is restricted, as with central field loss or blind spots, prism lenses to the eSight glasses will aid in expanding your sight. If you struggle with reading things up close or seeing distant objects, magnifiers and telescopes offer simple ways to focus on newspapers or signs. Alternatively digital magnifiers, Cyber Eyez smart glasses, or the JORDY will enable you to watch your favorite team or read a wonderful book. IF you are tethered to a computer, integrated accessibility options will allow you to increase the size of the text, reduce glare, and improve contrast. If you require screen magnification, Windows users will wish to check out ZoomText, while Apple MacOS users rely on Zoom. Similar items may be found on any iOS or Android smart phones and tablets.

Blind Vet Tech February Teleconferences

If you have any questions with life with a visual impairment or methods to address barriers associated with low vision and blindness, join us on one of our Blind Vet Tech Monthly Talks. Our Monthly Talks provide visually impaired individuals the chance to learn and share information about their favorite devices. Below is a list of our calls for February and how to connect via your computers, smart phones, or landline phones. We rely on Zoom for our teleconferencing platform, which is very usable. More information may be located by clicking here.

VFO Becomes the One Ring

In relatively surprising news, VFO acquired Enhanced Vision. VFO already owns Freedom Scientific, ZoomText, and Optelec. This places the leading stand alone optical character recognition devices, digital magnifiers, and Windows screen reader and magnification software under one financial holding group. This concerns many within the visual impairment tech world, including myself, for concerns best classified as conspiracy theories.

AIRA’s Virtual Super Bowl Party and Site Access

Finally, AIRA executed the best virtual Super Bowl party with the #AIRABowl. AIRA quickly developed into my favorite assistive tech device/service, having relied on it for reading charts and graphs for research articles, following my daughter as she cycles and I run behind her, finding the front door for various establishments, and many more reasons. During the Super Bowl, they hosted the first ever Super Bowl party for the blind with full audio descriptions of the game, stands, commercials, and halftime show. As a long time Chicago Bears fan with a great love for the game, Al Michaels and every other telecast’s announcers simply provide horrendous descriptions during their broadcasts and no one ever provided audio descriptions of the commercials. AIRA’s agents resolved this issue with the tremendous #AIRABowl party.

Sticking with AIRA, they recently announced the site access program exists in the Louisville and Minneapolis airports. Site access enables an AIRA explorer to use the AIRA service at no cost to oneself, as the location picks up the tab. This service needs your assistance to roll. It out in other airports, universities, and metropolitan areas. Click here to learn more about how you can make this happen.

Stay Informed

Stay up to date with the latest news and announcements from the Blind Vet Tech team, by doing one of the following:

If you have any questions, comments, or requests, feel free to send us an email here. All of our podcasts and other information related to Veterans, blindness, acceptance of a disability, and other resources may be found at BlindNotAlone.com

Don’t miss another Blind Vet Tech teleconference, click here to see a list of our teleconferences and others we support.

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Getting Started with Narrator, Activating Narrator

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In this Blind Vet Tech Quick Guides, News and Reviews podcast, we embark upon our “getting Started with Narrator” series. This series enables one to learn how to use Microsoft Narrator by following along with the “Get Started with Narrator,” located on the Microsoft Support Pages. This series is our companion series to our Monthly Narrator Talk, which occurs on the second Tuesday of the month at 1300 CST. To learn how to connect, click here. To follow along, you will need Windows 10 Fall Creators Edition or later, since earlier versions of Windows 10 do not have many of the same key combos or functions as newer versions of Windows. Anyone with Windows 8 or older will not be able to follow along on their computers, since Narrator was very limited in these versions.

This first chapter focuses on how to activate Narrator. This may be accomplished by doing the following:

  • Press Windows Key plus Control, Enter while on any screen
  • Press Windows Key, Control, “N” to bring up Narrator’s settings and press Spacebar
  • Press Windows Key and “U” to bring up the Ease of Access Center, press tab, and then Enter

If you enjoy the Blind Vet Tech Podcast series, we invite anyone interested in assistive technology for the blind to join us on our monthly tech teleconferences. Click here to see a list of our calls and how to connect via Zoom.

Stay Informed

Stay up to date with the latest news and announcements from the Blind Vet Tech team, by doing one of the following:

If you have any questions, comments, or requests, feel free to send us an email here. All of our podcasts and other information related to Veterans, blindness, acceptance of a disability, and other resources may be found at BlindNotAlone.com

Don’t miss another Blind Vet Tech teleconference, click here to see a list of our teleconferences and others we support.

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Tech Resources for the Blind

Hines Alumni Association and Blind Not Alone, LLC offer and recommend the following list of teleconferences and resources to support your assistive technology goals. Please send any corrections or additions to TERRYKEBBEL@HINESALUMNI.ONMICROSOFT.COM or info@blindnotalone.com

Conference Calls

Blind Vet Tech’s Monthly Teleconference

The Blind Vet Tech team operates four monthly teleconferences. Below is the list with their times and how to connect. You can visit https://blindnotalone.com/zoom/ for more information.

  • Get Started with Narrator on Windows 10, meets the 2nd Tuesday at 1300 CST
  • Monthly MacOS Talk, meets the 2nd Thursday at 1300 CST
  • Monthly Tech Talk, meets the 3rd Thursday at 1300 CST
  • Open Mic Night, meets the 3rd Thursday at 1900 CST

To participate with any Blind Vet Tech teleconference:

  • Visit https://zoom.us/j/7854091838 to connect via your computer or iPhone/iPad app
  • Click this number with your iPhone: 6468769923,,7854091838#
  • Dial (646) 876-9923, Meeting ID is 7854091838#

Hines Alumni Association’s Monthly Teleconferences

The Hines Alumni Association conducts two monthly teleconferences. Below is the list with their times and how to connect. Learn more about the Hines Alumni by visiting http://hinesalumni.org/.

  • Kevin Jackson moderates the Hines computer conference call. It meets the first Thursday at 10 AM CST. For more info, kmjacksonsr@att.net.
  • Rick Olsen moderates the Hines iPhone and GPS Users conference call. It meets the first Tuesday at 10AM CST. For more info, rwoverna2@gmail.com.

To join either of the Hines Alumni conference calls:

  • Click this number with your iPhone, (800) 767-1750,44125#
  • Dial (800) 767-1750, Meeting ID is 44125#

Future Teleconferences

Hines Alumni Association and Blind Not Alone are interested in receiving your feedback and interest for future teleconferences. We believe in connecting virtually to share our thoughts and experiences in order to promote independence. Below is a list of teleconferences we wish to host via ZOOM. If you are interested, email Terry Kebbel at terrykebbel@hinesalumni.onmicrosoft.com

  • Hines Alumni’s Before and After
    The call will provide individuals with the chance to share their experiences and questions related to attending a Blind Rehab Center. The conference is open to anyone who has attended a Blind Rehab Center.
  • Hines Alumni Virtual Book Discussion Group
    Many of us are avid readers, so let’s come together to discuss our favorite books.
    Coaching Sessions on demand
    Hines Alumni Association and Blind Not Alone offer peer-based and professional coaching sessions. If you are interested in participating in a coaching session, send an email to terrykebbel@hinesalumni.onmicrosoft.com or info@blindnotalone.com.

Contractual and Peer Mentorship Services Services

If you represent the VA or a State Vocational Rehab program that requires an assessment or training of a consumer prior to issuing a device, services are available and are conducted by a Licensed Social Worker and ACVREP Certified Assistive Technology Instructional Specialist. For more info contact info@blindnotalone.com

Websites to visit

Below is a list of websites we find the most beneficial. Please visit them and add them to your bookmarks.

Help Desks

Each of the major technology companies offers dedicated support for individuals with disabilities. Below is how to contact the accessibility support programs.

  • Microsoft Accessibility Desk personal – (800) 936-5900
  • Apple Accessibility – (877) 204-3930
  • Amazon Accessibility – (888) 283-1678
  • VFO Accessibility Desk (727) 803-8600

Podcasts

Podcasts offers a great method to listen to news and information on your own schedule. The below podcasts represent some of the best ways to learn more about the technologies and services you use. If you are using a Victor Reader, Hims Blaze, or any podcasting app, just search the name and add to your play list.

  • Blind Vet Tech Quick Guides and Tutorials
  • Blind Vet Tech News Update
  • Freedom Scientific (FS Cast)
  • Apple vis
  • Seminars at Hadley
  • Tech talk archive
  • Eyes on success

Hey Siri, whats the latest news: How to use Apple’s stealth update to Siri

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In this Blind Vet Tech Quick Guides, News and Reviews podcast, we demonstrate how to listen to the latest news through a simple Siri command. Apple recently rolled out a stealth update to Siri that enables you to quickly listen to a current news podcast from sources like NPR, CNN, Washington Post, and Fox. This update occurs behind the scenes, so you do not need to update anything, outside of ensuring Siri is able to run and access Apple’s podcast app. To use this feature, try the following Siri Commands:

  • Hey Siri, play the latest news
  • Hey Siri, I want to listen to the latest news
  • Hey Siri, switch to the Washington Post

When using this, keep in mind that Hey Siri does not always work if something is already playing in the foreground.

If you enjoy the Blind Vet Tech Podcast series, we invite anyone interested in assistive technology for the blind to join us on our monthly tech teleconferences. Click here to see a list of our calls and how to connect via Zoom.

Stay Informed

Stay up to date with the latest news and announcements from the Blind Vet Tech team, by doing one of the following:

If you have any questions, comments, or requests, feel free to send us an email here. All of our podcasts and other information related to Veterans, blindness, acceptance of a disability, and other resources may be found at BlindNotAlone.com

Don’t miss another Blind Vet Tech teleconference, click here to see a list of our teleconferences and others we support.

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Blind Vet Tech News Update on Intel’s devastating security exploit, Apple’s battery replacement program for older iPhones, and our teleconferences for January

Happy New Years to everyone. This year starts out with alarming news coverage of the Meltdown and Specter exploits impacting all Intel Processors, Apple’s $29.99 battery replacement plan after admitting to throttling older devices, and The return of our own Blind Vet Tech monthly teleconferences.

If you are wondering about the Meltdown and Specter exploits affecting all Intel processors, yes it impacts a vast majority of Microsoft, Dell, Asus, Acer, Apple, Android, and so many more manufacture’s devices. The best defense we each have is to update our operating systems and internet browsers. Apple and Microsoft recently released OS updates to patch vulnerabilities and more are on the way. If you are using Windows XP still, I advise upgrading to Windows 10 since you will be left out for the most part. Google and Mozilla will be releasing updates to Chrome and Firefox in the near future, and Apple will update Safari for legacy Mac’s and iMacs.

Shortly after Christmas, Apple admitted to throttling iOS devices based on battery health. Their reasoning is one I fully support, to promote the usability of older devices. This affects Voice Over by slowing down its responsiveness and may cause some glitchy behaviors. The solution is to take advantage of Apple’s $29.99 battery replacement for all of your older devices from the iPhone 6 and newer. The catch is the slots at your local Apple Store are filling up a week in advance, so you need to jump on any available time slots with the Genius Bar you see available. The best way to arrange an appointment is to
contact Apple Support or use the Apple Support iOS app.

Finally, January starts our new times and calls for the Blind Vet Tech Monthly Talks. Our Monthly Talks provide visually impaired individuals the chance to learn and share information about their favorite devices. Below is a list of the upcoming calls and how to connect. We have switched to the Zoom platform for our calls, which enables one to connect via their computers, iOS devices, or landline phones in a simple and accessible manner. More information may be located by clicking here.

  • January 9 – Blind Vet Tech Monthly Narrator Talk
  • January 11 – Blind Vet Tech Monthly MacOS Talk
  • January 18 – Blind Vet Tech Monthly Tech Talk
  • January 18 – Blind Vet Tech Open Mic Night

Stay Informed

Stay up to date with the latest news and announcements from the Blind Vet Tech team, by doing one of the following:

If you have any questions, comments, or requests, feel free to send us an email here. All of our podcasts and other information related to Veterans, blindness, acceptance of a disability, and other resources may be found at BlindNotAlone.com

Don’t miss another Blind Vet Tech teleconference, click here to see a list of our teleconferences and others we support.

How to use iOS 3D Touch with Voice Over

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In this Blind Vet Tech Quick Guides, News and Reviews podcast, we guide you through the basics of iOS’ 3D Touch. 3D Touch is a method to interact with iPhones and iPads by firmly pressing into the screen to bring up a contextual menu, preview of a linked item, and so much more. Voice Over users may require a couple of attempts to get the hang of it, since it requires you to first locate an item through explore by touch and then press into the screen. This is very different from the standard swiping, flicking, and other gestures commonly used with Voice Over, though its similar to the double tap and hold gesture.

iOS offers individuals a couple of settings to customize 3D Touch and a limited practice area. You may find these items by navigating into Settings > General > Accessibility > 3D Touch. Here are the three options in this menu:

  • 3D Touch on/off toggle
  • Sensitivity ticker with Light, Medium, and Firm settings
  • Practice mode button, which may be difficult for Voice Over users to activate as the podcast demostrates

3D Touch may be used on the Lock Screen, Home Screen, and in various locations within apps. Here are a few of the ways I use 3D Touch:

  • Clear away notifications on the Lock Screen
    • Find the notification by exploring the screen with a finger
    • 3D Touch on the notification
    • Swipe to the left or right to locate the desired button, like clear or complete buttons
  • Quickly interact with apps on the Home Screen to compose messages or make a call
    • Find the desired app by exploring the screen with one finger
    • 3D Touch on the app to bring up a contextual menu consisting of buttons for dismissing the menu, sharing the app, composing a new message, calling a favorite person, viewing recent activities, or starting a workout

3D Touch possesses many more exciting functions based on the app. To aid in learning how 3D Touch works, share your favorite ways to use 3D Touch below.

If you enjoy the Blind Vet Tech Podcast series, we invite anyone interested in assistive technology for the blind to join us on our monthly tech teleconferences. Click here to see a list of our calls and how to connect via Zoom.

Stay Informed

Stay up to date with the latest news and announcements from the Blind Vet Tech team, by doing one of the following:

If you have any questions, comments, or requests, feel free to send us an email here. All of our podcasts and other information related to Veterans, blindness, acceptance of a disability, and other resources may be found at BlindNotAlone.com

Don’t miss another Blind Vet Tech teleconference, click here to see a list of our teleconferences and others we support.

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Happy Holidays and 2018’s Announcements

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In this Blind Vet Tech Quick Guides, News and Reviews podcast, we would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and good fortune in the New Year. This past year has been incredible for us at Blind Not Alone, LLC and our ever growing number of listeners to the Blind Vet Tech podcasts and teleconferences. Without the support from each of you, these services and chances to connect with other visually impaired individuals interested in technology would not be possible.

For 2018, our monthly teleconferences will expand to four different calls. These calls are open to everyone interested in sharing. Below is a list of the calls we will offer in 2018:

Teleconference Name Teleconference Date Teleconference Time Connect Via Computers or Zoom Mobile App Dial-In Phone Number Notes
Monthly Narrator Talk 2nd Tuesday of the month 1300 or 1:00 PM Central Time Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android by clicking here Dial – (646) 876-9923,,7854091838# This call focuses solely on learning Microsoft’s integrated screen reader, Narrator on Windows 10.
Monthly MacOS Talk 2nd Thursday of the month 1300 or 1:00 PM Central Time Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android by clicking here Dial – (646) 876-9923,,7854091838# This call focuses solely on learning Apple’s integrated screen reader, Voice Over and other accessibility options in MacOS.
Monthly Tech Talk 3rd Thursday of the month 1300 or 1:00 PM Central Time Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android by clicking here Dial – (646) 876-9923,,7854091838# This call focuses on the greater world of cross platform to stand alone devices and apps for blind and visually impaired individuals.
Open Mic Night 3rd Thursday of the month 1900 or 7:00 PM Central Time Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android by clicking here Dial – (646) 876-9923,,7854091838# The Blind Vet Tech is all about the community of individuals who come together to support each other. The Open Mic Night is open to anything from latest in Apple rumors to asking anything about blindness.

To connect to our monthly teleconferences, click here to view how to access our Zoom room.

Stay Informed

Stay up to date with the latest news and announcements from the Blind Vet Tech team, by doing one of the following:

If you have any questions, comments, or requests, feel free to send us an email here. All of our podcasts and other information related to Veterans, blindness, acceptance of a disability, and other resources may be found at BlindNotAlone.com

Don’t miss another Blind Vet Tech teleconference, click here to see a list of our teleconferences and others we support.

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Narrator’s Five Best Windows 10 Fall Creators Update Features

A suspension bridge spans the logo with the acronym BVT in the middle. Beneath the bridge the words Blind Vet Tech appears. The bottom of the logo contains morse code reading TAVVI.
In this Blind Vet Tech Quick Guides, News and Reviews podcast, we provide our five favorite updates to Narrator from Windows 10 Fall Creators Update. These are a combination of new and updated features that makes Narrator much more powerful of a screen reader for Windows 10. Its our opinion that Narrator will become the leading screen reader for Windows users, since its an integrated screen reader that Microsoft is vested in enhancing its usability. The top five are:

  1. Caps lock 1 – Input Learning –
  2. Automatic Scan Mode
  3. Caps lock Shift Enter – Toggle Search Mode
  4. Caps lock Shift D – Describe and recognize text in an image
  5. Caps lock W and R – Read the entire window or from Narrator’s cursor

If you enjoy the Blind Vet Tech Podcast series, we invite anyone interested in assistive technology for the blind to join us on our monthly tech teleconferences. Click here to see a list of our calls and how to connect via Zoom.

Stay Informed

Stay up to date with the latest news and announcements from the Blind Vet Tech team, by doing one of the following:

If you have any questions, comments, or requests, feel free to send us an email here. All of our podcasts and other information related to Veterans, blindness, acceptance of a disability, and other resources may be found at BlindNotAlone.com

Don’t miss another Blind Vet Tech teleconference, click here to see a list of our teleconferences and others we support.

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Options for Voice Over when the focus is on the Status Bar

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In this Blind Vet Tech Quick Guides, News and Reviews podcast, we demonstrate some options that becomes available when you place Voice Over’s focus on the Status Bar. The Status Bar is located at the top of an iPhone or iPad’s screen. While on the Status Bar, you can quickly check connectivity status, current time, and battery level. However, Voice Over is also to preform the following actions:

  • Three finger swipe downwards to bring up Notifications
  • Three finger swipe upwards to bring up Control Center
  • One finger double tap to bring the current page’s view back to the top of the page

If you enjoy the Blind Vet Tech Podcast series, we invite anyone interested in assistive technology for the blind to join us on our monthly tech teleconferences. Click here to see a list of our calls and how to connect via Zoom.

Stay Informed

Stay up to date with the latest news and announcements from the Blind Vet Tech team, by doing one of the following:

If you have any questions, comments, or requests, feel free to send us an email here. All of our podcasts and other information related to Veterans, blindness, acceptance of a disability, and other resources may be found at BlindNotAlone.com

Don’t miss another Blind Vet Tech teleconference, click here to see a list of our teleconferences and others we support.

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Have some #Halloween fun with #Alexa and #Siri with these simple commands

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In this Blind Vet Tech Quick Guides, News and Reviews podcast, we demonstrate some fun ways to utilize Alexa and Siri on Halloween and other times. Both digital assistants offers an amazing array of daily to seasonal responses that allows you to have fun. Here are some of the commands we used:

  • Alexa
    • Good Morning, to receive a factoid about the day
    • What should I wear for Halloween
    • What are you wearing for Halloween
    • Tell me a Halloween story or joke
  • Siri
    • Happy Halloween Siri
    • What should I wear for Halloween
    • What are you wearing for Halloween

If you enjoy the Blind Vet Tech Podcast series, we invite anyone interested in assistive technology for the blind to join us on our monthly tech teleconferences. Click here to see a list of our calls and how to connect via Zoom.

Stay Informed

Stay up to date with the latest news and announcements from the Blind Vet Tech team, by doing one of the following:

If you have any questions, comments, or requests, feel free to send us an email here. All of our podcasts and other information related to Veterans, blindness, acceptance of a disability, and other resources may be found at BlindNotAlone.com

Don’t miss another Blind Vet Tech teleconference, click here to see a list of our teleconferences and others we support.

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Recognize Images in #iOS11 with #VoiceOver and a Three Finger Single Tap

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In this Blind Vet Tech Quick Guides, News and Reviews podcast, we recognize images on a website with Voice Over. iOS 11 introduced a simple way for the blind to identify what is happening in a picture through a three finger single tap. Voice Over will announce the number of faces, any clearly discernible expressions, and objects in the photo. Yes, the Photos app received this feature in iOS 10, iOS 11 enables you to use the feature in almost every app on your iOS device. If you are struggling with utilizing the feature, here are some tips:

  • Make sure Screen Curtain is off by preforming a three finger triple tap
  • Make sure the screen brightness is set to at least 30% for best results, though its debatable how much this actually impacts the recognition process
  • Select Images in the Voice Over rotor under Settings>General>Accessibility>Voice Over>Rotor to quickly swipe up or down to the previous/next picture

Thank you for listening to this Blind Vet Tech tutorial on how to recognize pictures and images in iOS 11 with Voice Over and a three finger single tap.

Stay Informed

Stay up to date with the latest news and announcements from the Blind Vet Tech team, by doing one of the following:

If you have any questions, comments, or requests, feel free to send us an email here. All of our podcasts and other information related to Veterans, blindness, acceptance of a disability, and other resources may be found at BlindNotAlone.com

Don’t miss another Blind Vet Tech teleconference, click here to see a list of our teleconferences and others we support.

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Learn How to Optimize Storage on your iPhone or iPad Through iOS 11 Storage Settings or Offloading Apps

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In this Blind Vet Tech Quick Guides, News and Reviews podcast, we demonstrate how to optimize your iPhone’s or iPad’s storage in iOS 11. Apple changed how information appears in the Storage settings in your Settings > General settings menu. Of note, you may quickly regain much storage by automatically deleting messages and large files from the Messages app that are more than a year old. If you keep swiping, Apple changed how individual apps appear, and if you tap on one, you may offload the app. Offloading allows you to delete the app while retaining user settings from the app. Here is how the iPhone or iPad Storage settings appear:

  • Amount of storage used and total capacity of your iOS device
  • On/off toggle to automatically delete messages more than an year old
  • Option to view and delete large files from the Messages app that are more than a year old
  • List of individual apps, highlighting their name, storage required, and last used

If you double tap on an app, a detail menu appears with the following options:

  • List the name of the app, developer, and version
  • Amount of storage the app requires
  • Amount of storage the user settings and data files require
  • Offload or a reinstall and delete button an its description

Thank you for listening to this Blind Vet Tech tutorial on how to optimize your iPhone’s or iPad’s storage in iOS 11.

Stay Informed

Stay up to date with the latest news and announcements from the Blind Vet Tech team, by doing one of the following:

If you have any questions, comments, or requests, feel free to send us an email here. All of our podcasts and other information related to Veterans, blindness, acceptance of a disability, and other resources may be found at BlindNotAlone.com

Don’t miss another Blind Vet Tech teleconference, click here to see a list of our teleconferences and others we support.

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Learn How to Use iOS 11 Camera’s QR Code Reader, Photo’s Facial Features Recognition, and OCR Images with Voice Over

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In this Blind Vet Tech Quick Guides, News and Reviews podcast, we demonstrate how to use the new QR Code reader in the Camera app, explore facial features in Photos, and recognize text in images through Voice Over. Apple continuously improves features for the blind and visually impaired with each update, and these three new features simply make iOS the goto device for us. Here is how to preform these features:

  • QR Code Reading through the Camera App
    • Open the Camera app and place it over a Qr Code
    • Wait for Voice Over to announce that a QR Code was recognized
    • Navigate to the Notification banner at the top of the screen that allows you to read the QR Code and navigate to the embedded link in Safari (if available)
  • Find facial features in the Photos app
    • Find a picture with a face in it by doing a three finger single tap on a photo in the Photos app
    • With the photo opened, place Voice Over on the picture and do a one finger swipe down to locate Show Facial Features (if this is not available use the rotor to find Actions)
    • Double tap on Show Facial Features and then explore by touch or swipe to find the facial features,/li>
  • Recognize text in images with Voice Over
    • Find an image in Safari, emails, social media or wherever that might have images with text
    • Place Voice Over’s focus on the image and do a three finger single tap
    • You will hear details about the photo, and if text is identified Voice Over will say “Possible Recognized Text”

Thank you for listening to this Blind Vet Tech tutorial on how to use the new features in iOS 11 for QR Code Reading in Camera, finding facial features in Photos, and recognizing text in images with Voice Over.

Stay Informed

Stay up to date with the latest news and announcements from the Blind Vet Tech team, by doing one of the following:

If you have any questions, comments, or requests, feel free to send us an email here. All of our podcasts and other information related to Veterans, blindness, acceptance of a disability, and other resources may be found at BlindNotAlone.com

Don’t miss another Blind Vet Tech teleconference, click here to see a list of our teleconferences and others we support.

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Blind Vet Tech Monthly Tech Talk for September

This is an announcement for the Blind Vet Tech Monthly Tech Talk for September 21. This month we turn our attention towards our new conferencing platform, Zoom.us and what is new in iOS 11. Zoom is a highly accessible conferencing platform allowing participants to connect via their computers, smart phones, or through a dial in number, see below for how to do this and coming shortcut kets.

Apple releases iOS 11 on September 19, and we are super excited to share what we know. Voice Over received many updates and tweaks, earning our trust and approval. The couple of updates exciting us include the ability to fill out PDF’s, recognize a bit of text in images through a built into Voice Over OCR, find facial features in Photos, and ability to drag and drop multiple items. Zoom users will enjoy the ability to place your finger on the menu bar and automatically zoom into it without Zoom on, clean up of the Control Center for easier navigation, and the easier to see Dock and app switchers.

Participate on the call through Zoom by:

  • Thursday, July 20
  • 1900 Central Time

Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android by clicking here

iPhone users simply tap on the phone number below or dial:

  • (646) 876-9923,,7854091838#
  • or (669) 900-6833,,7854091838#

Zoom enables one to control their participation through a series of hotkeys. The table below lists the possible actions and how to complete it based on your connection method:

Action Zoom for Windows Zoom for MacOS Zoom for iOS Dial into Zoom
Mute Alt A Command Shift A Mute Button on app Star 6
Raise hand to prompt moderator Alt Y Option Y Raise/Lower hand Button on app Star 9

Stay Informed

Stay up to date with the latest news and announcements from the Blind Vet Tech team, by doing one of the following:

If you have any questions, comments, or requests, feel free to send us an email here. All of our podcasts and other information related to Veterans, blindness, acceptance of a disability, and other resources may be found at BlindNotAlone.com

Don’t miss another Blind Vet Tech teleconference, click here to see a list of our teleconferences and others we support.

Learn What Apps Will Not Be Supported in iOS 11 and an iOS 11 Sneak Peak

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In this Blind Vet Tech Quick Guides, News and Reviews podcast, we demonstrate how to check for what iOS apps are not compatible with iOS 11. iOS 11 drops support for 32 bit apps, which increases performance and battery life of iOS devices. We have a simple way to check for what apps will no longer be supported, which greatly aids in determining whether updating to iOS 11 is right for you. We also cover two new updates to iOS 11, the ability to drag and drop multiple items and Voice Over’s new ability to read text on certain images. Here is how to verify what apps are not compatible for iOS 11:

  • Open Settings
  • Tap on General
  • Tap on About
  • Tap on Application
  • Navigate through this page to see what apps are not supported on your device.

Thank you for listening to this Blind Vet Tech tutorial on how to see what apps will not be compatible with iOS 11.

Stay Informed

Stay up to date with the latest news and announcements from the Blind Vet Tech team, by doing one of the following:

If you have any questions, comments, or requests, feel free to send us an email here. All of our podcasts and other information related to Veterans, blindness, acceptance of a disability, and other resources may be found at BlindNotAlone.com

Don’t miss another Blind Vet Tech teleconference, click here to see a list of our teleconferences and others we support.

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How to Listen to Podcast Via Amazon Echo

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In this Blind Vet Tech Quick Guides, News and Reviews podcast, we demonstrate how to listen to podcast through an Amazon Echo via TuneIn Radio. This episode continues to build upon our previous Amazon Echo and Alexa episodes by guiding one through a couple of new commands and further inspection of the Alexa iOS App. In this episode we:

  • Ask Alexa to play the Blind Vet Tech Podcast
  • Search for a podcast through the Alexa iOS app by
    • Open the Alexa app
    • Double tapping on menu in the upper left corner
    • Navigate to and double tap on Music, Videos, and Books
    • Navigate to TuneIn Radio
    • Navigate to Podcast
    • Enter into the search field and search for a podcast
    • Double tap on the Podcast and the episode to start listening
  • Add a podcast to the Favorite list in the TuneIn Radio settings by
    • Double tap on Now Playing tab in the lower right corner
    • Find the Cue link
    • Find the name of the podcast or episode and swipe once to the right so Voice Over is on an unlabeled link
    • Double tap on the unlabeled link and swipe to the right and double tap on Favorite

Thank you for listening to this Blind Vet Tech tutorial on how to listen to TuneIn Radio podcasts on an Amazon Echo.

Stay Informed

Stay up to date with the latest news and announcements from the Blind Vet Tech team, by doing one of the following:

If you have any questions, comments, or requests, feel free to send us an email here. All of our podcasts and other information related to Veterans, blindness, acceptance of a disability, and other resources may be found at BlindNotAlone.com

Don’t miss another Blind Vet Tech teleconference, click here to see a list of our teleconferences and others we support.

Play

Optimize iPhone and iPad Battery Life

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In this Blind Vet Tech Quick Guides, News and Reviews podcast, we demonstrate how to optimize your iPhones and iPad’s battery life. Most iOS devices possess about 1000 charge cycles before you start to see battery life degradation. With these tips and tricks, you will be able to stave off charging your device, even if your battery begins to show its age. These tips and tricks will squeeze every bit of life from each charge by simply modifying various settings. All of these items stem from Apple’s support page on iOS battery life.

  • Check out the health of your battery in the Settings > Battery menu
  • Enable Low Power Mode from the battery settings, Control Center, or by asking Siri
  • Deactivate Screen auto brightness and set the screen brightness to a desired level in the Control Center or Displays menu
  • Turn on/off Cellular Data when needed
  • Set Mail and cloud accounts to fetch data in the Accounts menu
  • Turn on/off bluetooth as needed
  • Turn on/off Location Services in the Settings > Location Services menu
  • Turn on/off Background App Refresh in the Setting > General > Background App Refresh menu

Thank you for listening to this Blind Vet Tech tutorial on how to optimize your iOS device’s battery life.

Stay Informed

Stay up to date with the latest news and announcements from the Blind Vet Tech team, by doing one of the following:

If you have any questions, comments, or requests, feel free to send us an email here. All of our podcasts and other information related to Veterans, blindness, acceptance of a disability, and other resources may be found at BlindNotAlone.com

Don’t miss another Blind Vet Tech teleconference, click here to see a list of our teleconferences and others we support.

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Listening to Podcasts Via Hims Blaze

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In this Blind Vet Tech Quick Guides, News and Reviews podcast, we demonstrate how to listen to podcasts on a Hims Blaze. Hims Blaze series of audio readers offers many features to enjoy various audio content like audio books from NLS BARD and BookShare, FM radio, internet radio, podcasts, and integrated OCR capabilities.
The Hims Blaze audio readers provides countless hours of listening enjoyment for individuals with visual impairments. The easy access to NLS BARD, BookShare, internet radio, integrated FM radio tuner, and ability to capture images and OCR text and colors makes it a wonderful addition to anyone’s technology tool kit. You may listen to the latest best sellers and mail, stream international radio, listen to your local FM radio, and much more. This episode focuses on how to acquire and listen to podcasts. NOTE: This Procedure assumes that a Wifi network is configured on your Hims Blaze.

  • Make sure you are connected to a Wifi network by pressing the Info button located in the top left corner on the face of the Blaze.
  • Press the down arrow on the main menu until you reach Podcasts
  • Press the right arrow or the circular OK button located within the four arrow keys.
  • To add new podcasts, press the Menu button located between the down arrow and #2 keypad buttons.
  • Press the down arrow to navigate to the search function and press the OK button, or just press the #8 button.
  • Use the left and right arrow buttons to navigate between category of word input modes.
  • Press the down arrow to explore options, and the up arrow to return to mode selection.
  • If opting to search for a podcast through word input mode, use the numerical keypad to type in the name of a podcast. Then press the down arrow to view results and left and right arrows to go between results.
  • Press the OK button to subscribe to a podcast.
  • Press the cancel button located above the #1 button to jump to the main podcast menu.
  • On the main podcast screen, use the up and down arrow keys to navigate between podcasts, and then the right or OK button to view episodes.
  • When you find an episode to listen to or to download, press the OK button.
  • Press and hold the cancel button for 2 seconds to delete a podcast.

Thank you for listening to this Blind Vet Tech tutorial on how to listen to podcasts on your Hims Blaze.

Stay Informed

Stay up to date with the latest news and announcements from the Blind Vet Tech team, by doing one of the following:

If you have any questions, comments, or requests, feel free to send us an email here. All of our podcasts and other information related to Veterans, blindness, acceptance of a disability, and other resources may be found at BlindNotAlone.com

Don’t miss another Blind Vet Tech teleconference, click here to see a list of our teleconferences and others we support.

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Listening to Podcasts on a Victor Reader

A suspension bridge spans the logo with the acronym BVT in the middle. Beneath the bridge the words Blind Vet Tech appears. The bottom of the logo contains morse code reading TAVVI.
In this Blind Vet Tech Quick Guides, News and Reviews podcast, we demonstrate how to listen to podcasts on a Victor Reader. The Victor Reader series of audio readers provided countless hours of listening enjoyment for individuals with visual impairments. The easy access to NLS BARD, BookShare, internet radio, and podcasts, makes it go to solution to read the latest best seller or catch up on the latest news through podcasts. This episode will focus on how to use the podcast features of the Victor Reader. NOTE: This Procedure assumes that a Wifi network is configured on your Victor Reader Stream .

  • Turn off airplane mode by pressing and holding down the online features key (the top center round button.) This action toggles on and off airplane mode.
  • Press the online features key (the top center round button) until you are using the internal bookshelf. Note: this keystroke is a toggle between the two bookshelves, internal and external.
  • Press the bookshelf key (key 1) to go through the bookshelves until you find the podcast shelve. If you don’t hear the word ‘podcasts’ you are in the wrong bookshelf. Press the bookshelf key again to find the podcast shelf.
  • Press the right arrow (Key 6) or press left arrow (Key 4) until you hear “add a podcast feed”. Then press the confirm key (key #).
  • Press the up arrow (key 2) or the down arrow (key 8) until you hear “title search”. Then press the confirm key (key #).
  • Type in the podcast title (“Blind Vet Tech” in this case) and press the confirm key (key #).
  • Select the podcast title you want from the search list. This creates a folder named “Blind Vet Tech” and the podcasts will be downloaded Into this folder.

Thank you for listening to this Blind Vet Tech tutorial on how to listen to podcasts on your Victor Reader.

Stay Informed

Stay up to date with the latest news and announcements from the Blind Vet Tech team, by doing one of the following:

If you have any questions, comments, or requests, feel free to send us an email here. All of our podcasts and other information related to Veterans, blindness, acceptance of a disability, and other resources may be found at BlindNotAlone.com

Don’t miss another Blind Vet Tech teleconference, click here to see a list of our teleconferences and others we support.

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Microsoft’s Seeing AI Is the One Recognition App To Rule Them All

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In this Blind Vet Tech Quick Guides, News and Reviews podcast, we demonstrate Microsoft’s Seeing AI. Microsoft essentially crammed the KNFB Reader, AI Poly, Tap Tap See, Red Laser, Facebook’s AI alt tag, and Apple Camera’s accessibility features into a single app. Unlike other apps which tried to do this, like Talking Goggles, Microsoft’s Seeing AI combines ease of use with fairly high accuracy, making Seeing AI a must have. Let’s just call Seeing AI, the Orcam killer. The main features of Seeing Ai includes:

  • Short Text
  • Document
  • Product
  • Picture and Facial Recognition
  • Scenery
  • Currency

Thank you for listening to this Blind Vet Tech tutorial on Microsoft’s Seeing AI.

Stay Informed

Stay up to date with the latest news and announcements from the Blind Vet Tech team, by doing one of the following:

If you have any questions, comments, or requests, feel free to send us an email here. All of our podcasts and other information related to Veterans, blindness, acceptance of a disability, and other resources may be found at BlindNotAlone.com

Don’t miss another Blind Vet Tech teleconference, click here to see a list of our teleconferences and others we support.

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Five Alexa Commands All Echo Users Should Know

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In this Blind Vet Tech Quick Guides and Tutorials podcast, we demonstrate five Alexa commands Echo users should know. Listening to music and streaming radio, catching up with the news, setting timers and alarms, playing games, and checking your calendar ranks amongst the most common tasks blind individuals access through an Echo. Bookmark our podcasts on Amazon Echo to learn how to utilize the Echo to its fullest capabilities.

The commands we use include:

  • Alexa play WBBM Radio (or other radio station)
  • Alexa play songs by Pearl Jam (or other artists, song titles, and genres)
  • Alexa stop
  • Alexa next or previous track
  • Alexa play the News
  • Alexa play my flash briefing
  • Alexa next article
  • Alexa set a timer for 1 minute (or other time interval)
  • Alexa how much time is left on the timer
  • Alexa set alarm for 0600 tomorrow
  • Alexa play Jeopardy or Geography Trivia
  • Alexa what is on my calendar for tomorrow

Thank you for listening to this Blind Vet Tech tutorial on five common commands for Amazon Echo’s Alexa.

Stay Informed

Stay up to date with the latest news and announcements from the Blind Vet Tech team, by doing one of the following:

If you have any questions, comments, or requests, feel free to send us an email here. All of our podcasts and other information related to Veterans, blindness, acceptance of a disability, and other resources may be found at BlindNotAlone.com

Don’t miss another Blind Vet Tech teleconference, click here to see a list of our teleconferences and others we support.

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Amazon Echo: Setting Up The Echo Dot

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In this Blind Vet Tech Quick Guides and Tutorials podcast, we preform step 2 of 2 when setting up an Amazon Echo product, setting up and paring an Amazon Echo Dot. In the prior podcast, we covered step 1, installing the Amazon Alexa app. The Amazon Echo enables you to interface with Alexa and all of your connected devices and other skills. We choose the Echo Dot due to its low cost, ease of use, and portability. Check out our article on Paul’s experience with a smart home from the Heartlander newsletter, and bookmark our podcasts on Amazon Echo to learn how to utilize the Echo to its fullest capabilities.

In this episode we will:

  • Describe the Echo Dot
  • Walk through the process with the Alexa app to set up the Amazon Dot
  • Quickly demonstrate how Voice Over repeating the tutorial commands can activate Alexa

Thank you for listening to this Blind Vet Tech tutorial on setting up the Amazon Echo Dot.

Stay Informed

Stay up to date with the latest news and announcements from the Blind Vet Tech team, by doing one of the following:

If you have any questions, comments, or requests, feel free to send us an email here. All of our podcasts and other information related to Veterans, blindness, acceptance of a disability, and other resources may be found at BlindNotAlone.com

Don’t miss another Blind Vet Tech teleconference, click here to see a list of our teleconferences and others we support.

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Amazon Echo: Setting Up The Alexa iOS App

A suspension bridge spans the logo with the acronym BVT in the middle. Beneath the bridge the words Blind Vet Tech appears. The bottom of the logo contains morse code reading TAVVI.
In this Blind Vet Tech Quick Guides and Tutorials podcast, we preform step 1 of 2 in setting up an Amazon Echo product, installing the Amazon Alexa app. The next episode will feature step 2, setting up and paring an Amazon Echo Dot. The Alexa app is the center of managing any Amazon Echo product, since the app allows you to control your profile, enable new Alexa Skills, and connect new smart home devices to other products. You can even link your contacts with the Alexa app to call up other Amazon Echo users. The Echo’s and Alexa’s simplicity makes adopting the platform as the center of your smart home world a breeze, no matter your technology proficiency. Check out our article on Paul’s experience with a smart home from the Heartlander newsletter, and bookmark our podcasts on Amazon Echo to learn how to utilize the Echo to its fullest capabilities.

In this episode we will:

Thank you for listening to this Blind Vet Tech tutorial on setting up the Amazon Alexa app.

Stay Informed

Stay up to date with the latest news and announcements from the Blind Vet Tech team, by doing one of the following:

If you have any questions, comments, or requests, feel free to send us an email here. All of our podcasts and other information related to Veterans, blindness, acceptance of a disability, and other resources may be found at BlindNotAlone.com

Don’t miss another Blind Vet Tech teleconference, click here to see a list of our teleconferences and others we support.

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Blind Vet Tech News Update: Rise of the Accessible Microsoft Machines

Welcome to this installment of the Blind Vet Tech News Update. In this episode, Terry and I discuss the evolving accessibility culture filtering through Microsoft, our thoughts on Narrator as a stand alone screen reader, the accessibility and usability of One Note and other Microsoft Office products, and why machine learning to recognize objects and text excites us. The combination of these items truly demonstrates what happens when a company, like Microsoft, takes the stance to integrate universal design within its core beliefs.

For those skeptical about Microsoft’s commitment to accessibility, watch this Youtube video. It outlines exactly how accessibility is no longer a buzz word where Microsoft passes the responsibilities to fix inaccessible platforms onto third party solutions. Rather Microsoft takes the lead with integrated accessibility tools, accessibility checkers in Office products, and even promoting universal design amongst its partners.

Visit these links if you wish to learn more about how to use the Microsoft integrated accessibility tools or produce completely accessible Office documents.

Regarding Narrator, we both agree its a wonderful screen reader to use. Placing our screen readers where our mouth is, we both have made the commitment to adopt Narrator as our primary screen reader on Windows in the upcoming year. Currently a lack of end user guides exist, but Microsoft released a terrific user guide for those willing to take part in our challenge. Its from this guide we have started to produce the Blind Vet Tech Quick Guides and Tutorials Narrator series.

The final segment quickly reviews machine learning and how its recognizing the world around us. As blindness tech advocates, these complex systems needs to be promoted by our community. Its up to us to share how machine learning to recognize objects works, what type of descriptions would benefit us, and dispel myths about computers rising up against us to take over the world.

Stay Informed

Stay up to date with the latest news and announcements from the Blind Vet Tech team, by doing one of the following:

If you have any questions, comments, or requests, feel free to send us an email here. All of our podcasts and other information related to Veterans, blindness, acceptance of a disability, and other resources may be found at BlindNotAlone.com

Don’t miss another Blind Vet Tech teleconference, click here to see a list of our teleconferences and others we support.