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Aipoly app opens up the world for people with vision disabilities

An Australian engineer has co-created created an app for people who are blind or have low vision that reads out what is in front of it. The Aipoly app uses artificial intelligence to recognize its surroundings, and then says those objects out loud as a way to aid users with vision disabilities. This uses your […]

Cooking In The Dark Show 356

Join Dale and Cheryl for some delicious fish cooked in two different ways.

Indian government focusing on inclusive educational development of students with disabilities

NEW DELHI: The government has formulated a scheme to promote education of students with disabilities living in villages or rural areas and deprived of high schools, the Lok Sabha was informed today. In a written reply, Minister of State for Human Resource Development Upendra Kushwaha said under the Rashtriya Madhyamik Shishka Abhiyan, all disabled students, […]

iFax – Send Fax & Receive Faxes (with FREE Trial)

Category: 

Description of App: 

“EXCEPTIONAL” -PCWorld “iFAX IS A TOOL THAT I HIGHLY RECOMMEND!” -J. Brandon, Macworld FEATURES ● PDF and Document Integration – import from mail, upload or download from the web: PDF, TIFF, JPG and other documents supported. ● Unlimited Inbound Faxing – get your own iFax number in the United States (Local or Toll-Free), Canada, UK (Local or Toll-Free), Australia, Germany, Italy, Spain, Israel & Turkey. Start receiving faxes directly to your iPad and/or iPhone – powered by Apple Push notifications! (Read further for subscription details & pricing) ● Push-Notification & Email Fax confirmations – real-time messages sent to the app with fax notifications and status updates. ● Document Scanner technology – Attach image/pdf from Finder, crop and adjust brightness, sharpness etc to optimize images for faxing. Using these tools to brighten backgrounds and darken text/foregrounds. (Darker photos will not appear clearly in a fax.) ● Professional, customizable cover page template. You can even insert your company logo, add a note and sign your signature on the cover page! ● You can send faxes without getting a fax number. PRIVATE & SECURE Secure & private faxing using HIPAA-compliant, enterprise-grade fax technology. OUTGOING FAX PRICING – BUY CREDITS OR PAY PER FAX iFax is powered by in-app payments. Cost of faxes are determined by the number of pages and destination. You can also purchase credits to fax at heavily discounted prices! INCOMING FAX SUBSCRIPTIONS & PRICING: – NEW! Get a FREE a fax number for up to 7 days before paying. – Pricing for a personal fax number service starts at just $12.99/month for UNLIMITED inbound faxes. – Cost depends on subscription period, location of fax number and toll-free options. All details are available from the INCOMING menu based on the region selected. – Payment will be charged to iTunes Account at confirmation of purchase – Subscription automatically renews unless auto-renew is turned off at least 24-hours before the end of the current period – Account will be charged for renewal within 24-hours prior to the end of the current period, and identify the cost of the renewal – Manage subscriptions or turn off auto-renewal from your Account Settings after purchase – No cancellation of the current subscription is allowed during active subscription period Privacy – http://ift.tt/1shY0mz

Version: 

2.21

Free or Paid: 

Free

Version Of OS X App Was Tested On: 

10.12.4

Accessibility Comments: 

The app is totally not accessible. no buttons are labeled and I left a 1 star review on the app store.

Usability: 

The app is totally inaccessible.

Other Comments: 

I did not contact the developer as of yet but this would have ben a useful piece of kit had it ben fully accessible.

Developer's Twitter Username: 

from AppleVis – Recent Additions to the Mac App Directory http://ift.tt/2nbaqfI
via IFTTT

A Double Tap to the Touch Screen Devil’s Head

In the battle between touch screens and tactile buttons, the touch screen is quickly becoming the reigning champion. It’s not that I can’t see the advantages of touch screens. Less moving parts means less maintenance and all that, but dammit, it used to be I only had to worry about touch screens where warming food was concerned. Slap a tactile dot here, a Braille label there, and I could conquer the basic operations of a microwave.

Once while on travel for work I met the enemy at a fancy hotel. I strolled from the hotel registration desk to the bank of elevators as if I was a frequent guest of the swanky resort. I even hit the bank of elevators on my first try like the super blind traveler that I was, but then the elevator doors whispered open. I walked in and reached for the familiar panel of buttons with accompanying Braille numbers. Only, the travel gods felt I had enjoyed enough arrogance for one day, because instead of neat rows of buttons, my fingers skated across a smooth panel.

Below the display I found a standard telephone keypad. The discovery was perplexing. I’m not one prone to melodrama, but as the doors started to whisper shut I wondered just who in hell was I supposed to call other than perhaps the hotel manager for chucking the most visible display of the ADA? Yes, my ego was slowly bleeding. I really did resort to mentally waving about the ADA!

Every now and then my brain fires on all pistons. I used the telephone keypad to dial 22 for the twenty-second floor. Anything’s possible, right? I breathed a sigh of relief when the car began to lift. I later confirmed guests could punch in the number to their floor and achieve the same result as pressing the designated number on the touch screen above the dial pad.

Perhaps it was just a fancy attribute of the hotel. They have to find subtle justifications for the king’s ransom you pay for the luxury of renting a bit of their space, but I think it’s just one more way the touch screen is smugly invading my world.

The experience put me in mind of my first days with an iDevice. Even then I understood the value of using gestures to accomplish more with the minimal screen real estate, but the realization did not completely obliterate fantasies of tossing the hateful device out my window in the first 24 hours. Was that two swipes left or one finger up? I gave Apple a pass though because theirs was a touch screen I could control the same as anyone else.

The problem is, no one else is reading the memo about making their interface accessible to blind people. I felt a mild pang of irritation when washers and dryers began leveraging the technology. I’m a fairly basic guy and do not require special handling of my laundry. That pang became a steady throb when the technology became popular on stove panels though, because now we were getting closer to something over which I need greater manipulation. But when I attended a car show last year and discovered no tactile means of controlling the radio on several dashboards, I damn near had a conniption. :)

And now elevators, those public beacons of vertical mobility, are adopting the inconvenient interface too? What happens when someone realizes the tactile keypad is redundant? I suppose the laws will hold out a little longer, but I don’t know because airport kiosks are just as much a part of public space as elevator buttons. No one seems in a rush to get those retrofitted to help blind folks operate them.

Perhaps some will argue most smart appliances can be operated with the help of a mobile app. That is true, and it is also true the accessibility of these apps often leaves something to be desired. Besides, while I enjoy the conveniences my smartphone has unlocked, I would hate to think I am tethered to the phone as though it were a virtual key to my life, and of course, what happens if the phone is ever lost or stolen?

Others may point out there are more appliances that will be configured to take voice commands. And, fine, I suppose Alexa has done an excellent job of eliminating any awkwardness I may have once felt at chatting away with a device. The trouble with voice commands is that unless there is a detailed tutorial on the capabilities of the device, the user never truly knows what they do not know. Does that make sense?

Here’s the thing, I would hate for blind consumers to feel as though we require an alternative means to operate appliances, kiosks, and other public facilities the same as anyone else. The apps and voice commands that are sold as neat little bells and whistles could wind up creating a kind of separate but equal environment that dabs at the problem but never completely addresses it.

I hope the industry takes note of the real meaning of accessibility. Accessibility means having the freedom to walk up to any device and use it with the same independent leisure as any sighted person. If there are apps developed for remote operation, so much the better. If I can speak to the machine and achieve something similar, that would be great. Hear hear for accommodating severe disabilities that preclude the use of manual operation, but I need to be able to tap, swipe, flick and thump as the case may call and hear audible feedback as to how the machine is processing my input.

Again, vehement article titles notwithstanding, I am not opposed to the touch screen. I concede their value, but I am concerned at what feels like a slow, relentless limitation of my technological sphere of influence.

We should take it upon ourselves to interact with manufacturers about ensuring accessibility is baked into the product at release time. No one cares more about our equal use of electronics as much as we do. We need to be vocal about the features we need to make full use of the products rolling off the various assembly lines. Though there is a time and place to advocate for greater accessibility among the apps we use on our computers and on our mobile devices, let’s not forget the need for accessibility in the growing pool of appliances and standard public facilities.

If we do not act, touch screens will rule our lives. Sadly, a double tap may not be enough to escape the backward trend in technological equality.

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Hape All Season Furnished Wooden Doll House for $67.67 (Shipped)

Amazon offers the Hape All Season Furnished Wooden Doll House, model no. E3401, for $67.67 with free shipping. That's the lowest total price we could find by $22. It's designed for ages three and up and features six rooms with accessories, moveable stairs, and a reversible winter/summer-themed roof with solar panel.

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Turtle Beach 7.1 Surround Wireless Headset for $49.99 (Shipped)

Quick Ship Electronics via eBay offers the Turtle Beach Ear Force i60 7.1-Channel Wireless Gaming Headset, model no. TBS-7020-01, for $49.99 with free shipping. That's the lowest total price we've seen. (It's the best deal by $5, although most merchants charge around $98 or more.) This 7.1-channel headset features a frequency response of 20Hz to 20kHz, 50mm drivers, microphone, Bluetooth, up to 10 hours of playback, earpads with memory foam cushions, microUSB, 3.5mm jack, and desktop control unit.

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$50 Uber Gift Card for $45

PayPal Digital Gifts via eBay offers a $50 Uber Gift Card for $45. That's $5 off list, and the best deal we could find.

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Unlocked ZTE 8 Inch 16GB GSM Android Tablet for $48 (Shipped)

Qualitycellz via eBay offers the Unlocked ZTE Trek 2 8" 16GB GSM Android Tablet in Dark Grey, model no. K88, for $59.99. Apply coupon code "C20SPRING" and checkout with PayPal to cut it to $48. With free shipping, that's the lowest total price we could find by $34. Features include a Qualcomm MSM8952 1.5GHz octo-core processor, 8" 1200x800 LCD with Gorilla Glass 3, 2GB RAM, 16GB storage, 802.11ac wireless, and Android 6.0 OS (Marshmallow). Coupon ends today. Note: The coupon can only be used once per account.

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$100 Airbnb Gift Card for $90

PayPal Digital Gifts via eBay offers a $100 Airbnb Gift Card for $90. (It'll arrive via email to the address associated with your PayPal account.) That's the lowest price we could find by $10.

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