BrailleBlaster Transcription Software

I don’t know about you but I remember having to wait and wait to receive my textbooks in braille assuming they weren’t already brailled. When I got to college I no longer received braille books unless someone transcribed (brailled) them for me or if I did it myself.
There’s a new Transcription software that says it can change the wait time and get you your books faster. It’s called BrailleBlaster. I have to be honest it looks pretty cool.

At first I was a little skeptical but considering all of the features it has it could possibly get the job done in record time. The features include: Translate braille accurately in UEB or EBAE, Format braille, Automate line numbered poetry and prose, Split books into volumes
, add transcriber notes
, describe images
, automate braille table of contents, glossaries, preliminary pages and special symbols pages
, automate a variety of table styles
, translate and edit single line math, and do much more with the software.

You can find out more about the software here: BrailleBlaster Transcription Software I look forward to knowing how well this works. Thanks for reading!

The Amazon Echo

Hi there! How are you? This isn’t mine, but I thought I’ would share it anyway.

Since none of us actually own an Amazon Echo I thought it would be wise to share a podcast from someone who does. He not only has one Echo, but three. Though, he says that he’s returning one of them soon… maybe. lol. His name is @richcav and we have his permission to use this.

Enjoy this podcast! Maybe in the next couple of weeks I can get the podcasts I’ve done uploaded. That way you’ll have new material. If you have any questions please contact him at the link above. You know, the one with his name on it? lol.

Thanks for letting us use this again, Rich! We really appreciate it. Thanks for reading everyone!

MCrem doesn't work.

On December 1st I posted this little gym for those who don’t know what this is here is a basic summary. It is a tool to remove Macafee without sighted help from your windows computer. This only works with the anti-virus software though which is totally inaccessible to us blind folks. (Now I sound like an old lady) lol.

However it doesn’t work. That’s right this little tool that I was so proud of doesn’t work. 🙁 Poor us!

How do I know. I ran it three times at least and still can’t access windows defender. Yesterday a notification came up on my windows 10 machine (wwhich is where I was trying to remove the inaccessible software from. That pesky software! lol.) that said that my trial was about to run out. My trial of Macalfea I mean, um… Macafee that is. *runs away screaming*

I want this off my system. Anyone got any solutions that actually work? Maybe I just need a working pair of eyes. ahhhhh! Can mine just start working now? Please!

Thanks for reading!

Web visum *Not* working with current version of firefox.

So many people including myself has/have noticed that Web visum the ad-on for firefox that allows the users the ability to do an assortment of things which are listed on their website is not working with the latest version of firefox. So what can it do? One of the main things I use it for is it’s captcha image solving capabilities. It does a few other things, but I don’t use those features.

Honestly I’m surprised that web visum is still around. I’ve been hearing romors for years that web visum wasn’t going to work with the next version of firefox, and the next, and the next. I belong to a jaws for windows list, and there is a message that tells of a way to fix firefox so that it works with web visum, but it sounds difficult unless one is a computer geek. Therefore, I’d recommend that one contacts web vissum via their contact page. I don’t remember the directions for making firefox work again with web visum. Perhaps those who want to know can google it?
Thanks for reading!

Amazon music, not accessible

I’m posting this for anyone who may be curious. Do not, and I repeat, do not buy anything that uses Amazon music. I downloaded it because I wanted to try it. Here’s my experience.

I followed the directions, downloaded the installer file, and pressed run. The installer itself wasn’t so bad, but it needs improvements. It’s your typical installer, so if you’ve installed programs on your computer before. This should be easy for you to do.

So, now I’m at the point where I get to open up Amazon music, and play with it. So, I did that, or at least I tried to. Wait! How do you work this thing? *goes back to the instructions*.

*Tries to follow the instructions.* Where’s the file menu? What’s this button for? (No buttons are labeled.) “Why does NVDA keep saying “Pane” every time I try to tab around?

At this point I thought I was doing something wrong. I called my cousin over. After she took my place at the computer I started telling her the directions to add music. Her response: “I don’t see a file menu.” What? That’s the first step, and a sighted person can’t find it either?

Okay, time to uninstall this pile of trash! *goes to control panel>programs and features>clicks uninstall.* *waits for the windows uninstaller to come up. It finally does.* Um… What am I suppose to do here? It keeps saying “Pane!” It takes me a long time, but I finally figure it out by playing with the typical shortcut keys that most installers use.

First I clicked “alt Y” for “Yes I want to uninstall this program.” Then, I waited. After a few minutes NVDA made the sound indicating that there was a progress bar. So, I assumed that it was uninstalling the program.

When I didn’t hear the progress bar indecater any more. I went back to the uninstaller. Okay, time to play with key strokes again “Alt N” for next? Nope! Nothing. “Alt F” for finish? Nope! Inter? Yes, and just like that the program is gone from my computer.

I would like to point out that it took me several tries to figure this out. It didn’t just happen just like that. At last count before I got it right. I tried to uninstall this program at least three times.

Think the IOS app is better? Not quite. Oh sure you can listen to the music you bought. You just can’t downloaded. So, that was $5.00 I wasted. My poor college budget, and my bank account is still crying over this. (not really)

My hope is that someone who works on the Amazon music app for the computer, or the IOS app will see this. I hope that they will work to make this accessible to everyone. It would be nice if the buttons, or whatever they’re using were labeled. Could you guys also work on the installer/ uninstaller?

Thanks for reading!

I just ran into that tree branch!

Okay, so I realize that this is old. However, due to stuff that was going on in my personal life. I could not post this, so here goes nothing.

There is now a smart phone app that detects low-hanging obsticles. Such as tree branches. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve ran into one of those. 🙂

It uses 3d cameras to detect the obsticles. The person using it wears the phone like a necklace with the camera facing out. Unfortunately, I think it leaves us iphone users out. As this is only available on Android (I think)

I suppose you want the name of this app. 🙂 It’s called Aerial Obstacle Detection. I think it’s pretty cool. 🙂

In case I’ve gotten anything wrong, or you would like to check out the article for yourself. click here for the article. I hope you enjoy it. 🙂

Thanks for reading!

Update on the youtube player

Recently Youtube changed their players from what they were before to the html5 player. This has now been done for everyone I am assuming

Now that youtube’s updated it’s player I can now update you on something that I wrote about in a previous blog post. The volume slider can now be accessed by us (blind, and I’m assuming visually impaired people). I’ve tried it on numerous videos, and it seems to work just fine. 🙂

How do you get to it? 1. find the video player. 2. scroll down until you see the second slider. It should be near the bottom of the player. 3. Press inter on it, and use your arrow keys to move the volume up and down. Yes this is in fact, the volume slider. It’s not labeled though. 🙁

I believe that the first slider you’ll encounter is the seek slider. You now also have access to the play/pause button, and mute buttons as well. I hope this is somewhat helpful.

Thanks for reading!

Be Careful What You Wish for: or, What Not to Say to a Blind Person

If you’re blind, or know anyone who is, you’ve probably either witnessed or been on the receiving end of comments like “I wish I could bring my dog to work” or “It’d be so awesome to have a computer that talks like Stephen Hawking.” Here’s the thing. I’m pretty sure even Stephen Hawking wishes he didn’t talk like Stephen Hawking sometimes; he’d probably much rather use his own voice—the non-computerized, non-patented one.

People with disabilities have grown used to these comments which, as off-handed as they seem, sometimes carry larger, problematic implications about the extent to which the non-disabled fail to recognize what using assistive technology or having a service dog really means for the disabled person. As both a guide dog handler and an adaptive tech user, I can tell you honestly that they are, like everything else in life, alternately amazing and a huge pain in the butt. When my dog spares me the pain and embarrassment of twisting my ankle on a crack in the sidewalk, he’s amazing; when he scavenges through the trash or chews a hole in my favorite pair of running shoes, not so much. When I can “see” a picture of my friend’s baby by running it through TapTapSee, technology is awesome; when my screen reader freezes on a website I’m navigating because Flash keeps refreshing the page every ten seconds, not so much.

Recently, the network drivers on my brand-spanking new laptop decided to stop working. As a freelance writer and consultant, I find the loss of internet capability more than a first-world problem; it jeopardizes my work and my ability to pay my bills. Desperate to resolve the issue and admittedly not particularly tech savvy, I put myself in a cab and made my way to the nearest Best Buy with my weirdly possessed laptop in my bag and my rosaries in my pocket, praying that somehow the geek squad would tell me I wasn’t screwed. In what I suppose was an attempt to make polite conversation, the driver asked what I needed at Best Buy, and upon hearing that I was on my way to troubleshoot a computer problem, he predictably asked, “Oh, does your computer talk to you?”
“Yes,” I replied.

The driver proceeded to edify me with a ten-minute monologue about why screen reading technology and other access software like voice activation shouldn’t just be available for the blind and disabled because it would make life so much easier for everyone. According to his logic, “it would be so great to just say to the computer, ‘Do this,’ and then sit back and wait.’ It would save a lot of time.”
‘Yes,’ I thought. ‘Your life is already so difficult because you have to read everything on your computer screen with your working eyes. How do you get out of bed every morning knowing the hardships you have to face?’ (If there were a sarcasm font, it would go here). Of course, because my life epitomizes staircase wit and I still had to depend on my driver to reach my destination, I kept my comments to myself for the time being.

I love the freedom that my adaptive technology gives me, from the ability to write for a living to reading reviews of the latest Colin Firth movie. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t wish every day that I didn’t need to rely on such technology. Sometimes I wish we lived in a world where the people who make such off-hand statements were forced to spend a day relying on the tools that they see as a convenience rather than a necessity. On a particularly bad day, the Sheldon Cooper suggestion of implanting chips into people’s brains that explode when they say something stupid is also appealing. People would sing a different tune if they had to ask someone for help every time they encountered an inaccessible captcha on the internet or couldn’t read a PDF that wasn’t properly formatted to work with a screen reader.

As if this weren’t enough, I had to deal with my other pet peeve: the lady who wished her dog was like mine. Now, I don’t want to give the impression that I don’t appreciate it when someone compliments my dog, the way I handle him, or his guide work. Most service animal handlers invite questions about the training process and how our dogs do their jobs.

That being said, whenever a non-disabled person, however innocently, asks how they can “turn their dog into a service dog,” they think they’re just observing how cool it would be to be able to take their dog everywhere, but This question essentially translates to: how can I take my dog to Starbucks? There’s only one way to legally have and travel with a service animal, and pay very close attention to this: you have to have a disability or other health condition that requires a dog—a medically, legally documented one. I’m not sure you “want” that. Actually, I’m pretty sure you don’t. Trust me.

I’ve had several friends over the years with multiple disabilities who have trained their dogs to perform tasks ranging from guiding to retrieving medication and picking up dropped objects from the floor. At first, it’s tempting to say “I wish my dog could pick up my keys when I drop them,” but in order to understand why some service animal handlers find this remark irritating and even offensive, we need to appreciate the distinction between convenience and necessity. The tasks that the non-disabled person wants their dog to perform, some of us need our dogs to perform. The emails that the non-disabled person wants their computer to read to them, some of us need our computers to read to us. To marvel at the advancements of technology or the intelligence of service animals is perfectly acceptable. Sometimes my brain is still bent a bit sideways when I think about just how much my iPhone makes me feel as though I’ve got a pair of working eyes in my pocket. To desire the mobility aids and access tools that we use overlooks the fact that these aids do for us many of the things that the non-disabled do for themselves with little or no difficulty. I love the fact that, on nights when I’m too tired to cook, I can snap a picture of the back of a frozen pizza box and get the directions, but trust me when I tell you that I’d love it a lot more if I didn’t have to do it.

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