Accessibility

Here's some resources for blind computing.

Jaws

Episode 1643

Jim from Las Vegas, NV

Jim is blind and he uses JAWS as a screen reader for his computer. It's not cheap, but your state may have an occupational therapy program that will underwrite the cost. Rich says that there's a home edition for $90 a year. JAWS will read the entire screen and tell you where things are. He says he can do just about anything. There's also ORCA, which is an open-source option.

Is Fingerprint Unlock Going Away?

Braille Institute's Best in Tech LA conference

Episode 1642

Julian from LA, CA

Julian is blind and relies on touch ID on his iPhone a lot. But he's worried that the fingerprint ID is being replaced and will no longer be available in mobile phones. Rich says he's heard rumors that Apple may be bringing it back in the next iPhone in 2020, so stay tuned. Meanwhile, check out IOS13's new VOICE CONTROL feature.

Also, check out the Braille Institute's Best in Tech LA conference, coming Sat, Nov 16 at the 

What is a Good Screen Reader for PC?

Dragon

Episode 1642

Mark from Mission Viejo, CA

Mark is losing his vision and would like to find a screen reader for his Windows 10 PC. He can't even read it with the text zoomed in. So he needs something that will do voice dictation and screen reading. Rich says that iOS13 will now speak almost everything on your phone screen. It's called "Voice Control." So now you can control your entire phone with just your voice. So go into the accessibility features and try that out.

The best software for voice dictation is Dragon Naturally Speaking. 

 

Are there hearing aids that can work with my mobile device?

iHear Icon CIC

Episode 1637

Fred from Columbia MD

Fred called in to say that there's a new wireless microphone for the hard of hearing, which can connect to your mobile device via Bluetooth and Quatro hearing aids so that those with trouble hearing can participate in group conversations. Leo says that's a great feature. Leo loves that modern hearing aids can interact with your mobile phones in order to listen better.  Check them out here - https://www.resound.com/en-us/hearing-aids/bluetooth-hearing-aids.

How Can I Have Email Read Out Loud?

JAWS

Episode 1618

Mark from Farmington, New Mexico

Mark's mom has macular degeneration and can't read her email. What can she get to read her email for her? Leo says that Windows does have text to speech (TTS) built-in, so he can try that. Microsoft Outlook also has voice commands. Leo usually recommends contacting the local Foundation for the Blind. Maybe they can set her up with a JAWS screen reader. He could also try a web-based solution through an email provider. They may have accessibility features like using Google Text to Speech.

Can I Use the iPhone Without Touching It?

Siri

Episode 1616

Howard from Tarzana, CA

Howard's wife has severe neuropathy and needs a way to use her iPhone without touching the screen. Leo says that the iPhone has some of the best Accessibility features, so using SIRI and voice activation could be the best bet. But Bixby in the latest Android phones is better at voice control. Go into the iPhone's settings under Accessibility and see what's available. She can call Apple and see what they can do because they have great Accessibility support. In iOS12, there are also SIRI Shortcuts, which enables users to use verbal cues to run shortcuts.