Join Jessica, James, Leo and Tomi for a very special VIP. It’s all about creativity and innovation this year as we continue to provide exclusive after-event headlines from the leaders in technology today. Microsoft and Apple both recently held their events, where the major focus seemed to include accessibility, integration, and innovation. Here are some of the great stories from these events:
Code Factory offers the Eloquence text to speech synthesizer which is compatible with any SAPI 5 platform. This means that it will work with screen readers like Narrator and NVDA. Try it out free for seven days and see if you agree that it makes an enormous difference in the performance of Narrator. Go here to read more about the product and download it to your PC. The license allows you to use the synthesizer on up to three PC’s at once, so you need to deactivate it and reactivate it on a different computer, that is perfectly fine. This allows people to use the synthesizer at school, at the library, or while working on other people’s computers.
The government of Canada is developing new accessibility legislation.
According to their website, Canadians, communities and workplaces benefit when everyone can participate equally in everyday life. There has been much progress in making our society more inclusive, but we can do better.
This is why the Government of Canada is committed to developing new planned accessibility legislation to promote equality of opportunity and increase the inclusion and participation of Canadians who have disabilities or functional limitations.
Many Canadians continue to face barriers that affect their ability to participate in daily activities that most people take for granted. These could include:
• physical and architectural barriers that impede the ability to move freely in the built environment, use public transportation, access information or use technology;
• attitudes, beliefs and misconceptions that some people may have about people with disabilities and what they can and cannot do; and
• outdated policies and practices that do not take into account the varying abilities and disabilities that people may have.
In developing this new legislation, the Government of Canada is consulting Canadians both in person and online.
The Government of Canada is seeking your ideas to inform the development of this planned new legislation, including:
• feedback on the overall goal and approach;
• whom it should cover;
• what accessibility issues and barriers it should address;
• how it could be monitored and enforced;
• when or how often it should be reviewed;
• how and when to report to Canadians on its implementation; and
• how to raise accessibility awareness more generally and support organizations in improving accessibility.
The public consultation will be open until February 2017 and information on viewpoints received will be made available after the consultation is closed.
Satya Nadella unveiled Microsoft Teams today, just one week after Microsoft announced a new lineup of Surface devices and the new Creators Update version of Windows which will arrive next Spring. Microsoft Teams works on PC’s, Mac OS, Android, and iOS. It creates a team workspace where all your conversations, content tools, and contacts are available in one place. Microsoft Teams provides built in access to SharePoint, OneDrive, OneNote, Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and Skype for business. Microsoft assures us that Teams is secure and accessible. To find out more, visit Microsoft’s product page for Microsoft Teams.
Under the Help America Vote Act of 2002, blind and visually impaired people have the right to vote independently. The National Federation of the Blind has put together a comprehensive guide to help you know your rights. You can access it here.
The NFB has also set up a hotline for anyone who encounters problems voting. The number is: 877-632-1940.
Apple now has a website for anyone who wants to know about accessibility features on any Apple device. Do you need to know more about Switch Control, Live Listen, Speak Screen, VoiceOver, audio description, or display settings? No matter which Apple device you are using, this is the one stop place for all your accessibility inquiries. Click here to visit Apple’s new accessibility webpage.
Tune in Nov. 2, 2016 at 11 a.m. ET to hear from Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Office CVP Kirk Koenigsbauer and special guests to learn more.
Join Jessica with Tamas, Leo and Joel for another exciting VIP! This week, Google held their Google Event on October 4th, where they announced several new products. You won’t want to miss this exciting update as our team brings you the latest news and insights about these exciting new products, including the new Pixel phones, the all new Google Assistant, the Chromecast and the all new Google Home and Google Router. Google has stepped up their game in the world of virtual reality with their new Google Daydream VR Headset (Pictures) Daydream Product Info
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For years, blind and visually impaired people who wanted to use a Kindle were left with a lot of frustration and even hassle. Amazon released their Kindle readers with only the barest of text to speech. Amazon did make their apps on iOS and Android accessible but only after significant push back from the visually impaired community. That, however, looks like it’s going to change. Recently, Amazon has announced, publically, that they are bringing VoiceView to their Kindle e-readers, starting with Kindle Paperwhite, so that visually impaired customers can enjoy reading on Kindle devices.