Thursday, May 14, 2015

Audio Messaging Apps

If you are someone who enjoys messaging their friends. Well, the App Store offers a number of ways to do this. Some are designed to work with the social media networks, such as Facebook and Twitter.  Those are the most popular. I make reference to both Facebook and Twitter because mof them allow you to share your recorded messages to your friends. The following apps allow this feature TALKiT, Dictation and Quick Voice just to name a few.

IM Messaging

During my discovery of accessible apps for the blind. I discovered Trillian. The allows you to have access to your most popular IM accounts. It works well with Facebook, Google Talk, AIM and Yahoo Messenger. Just to name a few, unfortunately, Twitter, nor Skype or MSN aren't in the lineup when using Trillian to IM your friends. Trillian is fully accessible and easy to set up after creating an online account. Its free and can be found in both the App Store and the Google Play store give it a try for yourself.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Obtaining Your Own iPad Mini

If you are interested in owning your own iPad mini just email me at and I will send you all of the necessary information

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Introduction to the Jaws Training Budle

Very important information below:

Introduction to the JAWS Training Bundle
The JAWS Training Bundle, developed by the Freedom Scientific Training Department, contains over 50 hours of high quality one-on-one JAWS training. The training was produced in audio format and uses the DAISY standard which allows for easy navigation and bookmarking of the training material.
The JAWS Training Bundle is designed to be a starting place for new JAWS users or for those who need refresher training. It is self-paced and can be completed in a time frame based on user needs. It is designed to bring users to a baseline of JAWS skills with Microsoft Windows, the Internet, Microsoft Office, and more. Once these baseline skills have been achieved, additional one-on-one or center-based training may be appropriate based on the individual goals of the user.
General progression of the training
The training starts at the very beginning and teaches about basic Microsoft Windows and JAWS concepts. It then progresses to lessons specifically geared for users of Windows 7 or Windows 8.
The training continues by focusing on using JAWS to read, navigate, and edit basic text documents as well as how to save and open documents. Basic file management principles are also included.
Accessing many of the easy-to-use JAWS help features are covered in this training including how to open lists of JAWS or Windows specific keyboard commands. Further navigation of the main JAWS help system is also included.
The training continues by introducing the concepts needed in order to begin working with the Internet. A considerable amount of time is not only spent teaching JAWS related keystrokes for the Internet but also the concepts behind how web pages can be navigated and explored with JAWS. A live website developed by the trainers at Freedom Scientific is used as a tool in order to teach about the different types of web pages that JAWS users may encounter. The training even includes a lesson on using the Google search engine to perform a web search.
After covering the basics of using the Internet with JAWS, the training continues by introducing and teaching users how to access and complete the JAWS Progress Exams. Accompanying the JAWS Training Bundle are a series of 10 free online progress exams that users may take to check their comprehension of the training. The exams are 10 to 15 questions and are multiple choice. Results can be emailed automatically to a trainer or counselor if desired.
Additional topics are then covered including how to access the many hours of free online Freedom Scientific Webinars as well as downloading and using the high quality human sounding voices. ResearchIt, a JAWS tool that makes it easy to find certain information on the Internet, is also covered in this section.
The training then progresses into lessons for both Microsoft Office 2010 as well as Office 2013. Users can choose from which version of Office they would like training. Three lessons each are included for Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook. Each lesson is between 1 and 1.5 hours and covers both basic and intermediate topics. Practice files for the lessons are also included online and the training teaches how to download and access the files.
At the conclusion of the training bundle is audio from seven lessons taken from the free online Webinars produced by the Training Department. These topics include further training on file management for both Windows 7 and Windows 8 along with two lessons on reading PDF files with JAWS. Lessons on using Windows Live Mail, and the JAWS Tandem feature are also included.
Advantages of the DAISY standard
DAISY, or Digital Accessible Information System, is a standard that allows books to be created that contain built-in navigation features. Specifically, the JAWS Training Bundle uses structured headings that allow users to quickly move from one topic to another by the press of a single button on the DAISY player. Users can also add bookmarks in order to quickly return to a specific spot in the training.
Using the training on a hardware DAISY player such as the PlexTalk Pocket, or Victor Reader Stream, allows the user to operate the training independently from the computer. This allows the user to focus on the computer to do training exercises while using an easy-to-use handheld player to navigate the training material.
Pricing and format
The JAWS Training Bundle is provided on a 4GB SD card and is available in one of three formats.
• PlexTalk Pocket DAISY player along with training bundle SD card: $995.00
• Victor Reader Stream DAISY player along with training bundle SD card: $995.00
• SD card only: $750.00
With over 50 hours of training, the cost per hour is $15.00 for quality JAWS training done by the people who create JAWS.
Optional progress exams
Included with the JAWS Training Bundle are a set of 10 free online progress exams. The exams allow trainers or counselors to provide metrics on the progress of training and can also be a motivating tool for the student. Each exam consists of 10 to 15 multiple choice questions designed to reinforce topics covered in the training. Instant results are provided and correct answers are shown to questions that were incorrect. Exam results can also be emailed to another individual such as a trainer or counselor if the student provides a secondary email address. The training bundle includes a section on locating and working with the exams. The exams currently available are as follows.
1. JAWS basics
2. Windows 7 basics
3. Windows 8 basics
4. Text reading and editing commands
5. JAWS and the Internet
6. Getting help and the online Webinars
7. Microsoft Word 2010 and 2013
8. Microsoft Excel 2010 and 2013
9. Microsoft PowerPoint 2010 and 2013
10. Microsoft Outlook 2010 and 2013
Note that the Microsoft Office exams are not version specific so can be taken whether the student uses the 2010 or 2013 lessons.