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Apps for Independence in the Community and Orientation and Mobility

Apps for Independence in the Community and Orientation and Mobility I have a penchant for buying apps to check which work best for various activities. Here are a few favorites that are either specifically designed for blind or visually impaired users, or are apps that work well with VoiceOver. Many are multiplatform and available on iOS via the Apple Store, Android via Google Play, and Windows Phone via Windows Phone Store. GPS Apps: Apple Maps and Siri (built in iOS app, free) Apple Maps is built into iOS devices and can provide spoken location information and pedestrian directions, but it needs to tie into other apps to provide routing directions that involve public transportation Google Maps with Google Now and Talkback (free) Can provide location and directions with spoken information [https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/google-maps/id585027354?mt=8] [https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.apps.maps&hl=en] BlindSquare Terrific GPS app that is tailored to travlers who are blind and visually impaired. It integrates with other...
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VoiceOver Accessible Apps

A group out of Belgium just sent me a link to a website that contains a list of  1642 apps that are accessible with VoiceOver.  Most of them are in English but beware some are in Dutch, the language of Northern Belgium.  It is a fairly extensive list of apps...enjoy. Website URL:  http://www.appwijzer.be/app/AppWijzer.html
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iOS 7 Accessibility Features

I thought I would share some links on new accessibility features on iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch using the new Apple iOS7 operating system. Both of the links lead to About Assistive Technology Accessibility Features in iOS 7 Switch Control in iOS 7
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NaviDys For iPad Offers Total Control Over Browser Text

From Cult of Mac: Ever wish that you could change the font size in your iPad web browser? Well, with NaviDys you totally can. You can also switch up the font, and adjust letter spacing and line spacing. What is this browser? A type nerd’s dream? Well, maybe, but really it’s designed to make things easier for the visually impaired. Double-tapping a chunk of text to zoom in works great, except that once that wrapped text hits the edge of the screen it isn’t getting any bigger – not unless you want to pan left and right just to read a sentence. Navidys brings in a host of text-based accessibility options, including one thing that might just make it my go-to browser for reading: Christian Boer’s Dyslexie font. How much for this mobile marvel? Just $3.  
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Amazon Bringing New Accessibility Features to Free Kindle Reading Apps

Amazon Kindle press release Amazon today announced new accessibility features for the Kindle reading app, making it easier than ever for blind and visually impaired customers to navigate their Kindle libraries, read and interact with their books, and more. These new features are available starting today on Kindle for iOS, and accessibility enhancements will be available on additional platforms in the future. “We’re excited to introduce these new features to our Kindle for iOS app, making it easier than ever for our blind and visually impaired customers to access the vast selection of over 1.8 million books in the Kindle Store on their iPhone or iPad,” said Dorothy Nicholls, Vice President, Amazon Kindle. “With this update, we’re also making customer-favorite features—such as X-Ray, End Actions, sharing, highlighting and bookmarking—more accessible. We look forward to continuing to develop and extend our accessibility features on Kindle Fire and our other Kindle apps.” New...
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iOS apps Developed Specifically for People who are Blind or Low Vision

I'm sure many people know, but in case you don't there are iOS apps developed specifically for people who are blind or low vision. And if you are unfamiliar with the AppleVis website it is an excellent resource for iOS apps and podcasts. http://www.applevis.com/apps/ios-apps-for-blind-and-vision-impaired
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BrailleTouch App for iPhone

The BrailleTouch app is now available in the US iTunes Store; free for the basic and then a purchase price to add in additional features such as text, E-mail, etc. It might be fun for students to try, especially the free version. It is awkward feeling at first but you get used to it as all fingers represent the same dots as they would on the Perkins Brailler. It helps to have a case on your iphone while learning to use the app so you have a surface to grip which prevents your phone from slipping out of your hand while learning to use the braille keyboard.
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Free On-line Video Tutorials for Voiceover!

Watch Brian Charlson, Director of Technology at The Carroll Center as he demonstrates how to use Voiceover  screen reader on the iPhone. Thesefree tutorials focus on the use of Apple products and blind friendly apps. There is also a videoUsing Apple TV with Voiceover showing how to use the digital entertainment center device, Apple TV. All videos are captioned and audio described. Enjoy the show! VoiceOver Screen Navigation on the iPhone 4S Using Apple TV with Voiceover Identify Anything with VizWiz on the iPhone Gestures with VoiceOver on the iPhone 4S Accessing BookShare with Read2Go on Apple iOS
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iPad Calculator Apps and the Order of Operation

calculator thumbnailWhen deciding on a calculator app for students with visual impairments, you have to consider a few features.  Some of the considerations are: Size of the numbers and operations on the keys (for low vision users) Color contrast between the keys and background Reflow resolution when using Zoom (screen magnification feature) How well it works with VoiceOver for users needing screen readers That is all good if you are keeping this in mind, but here is just one more glitch concerning calculator apps.  It's called "Order of Operation".  So what does this mean? A math problem that does not have any parenthesis in the equation yet contains addition and multiplication operations, the order of operation rule states that the multiplication operation is solved first before addition. Huh? Let's take a math problem like 2+3x4=n.  If you solve this problem from left to right, the answer will be 20.  If you solve...
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iPad Curriculum for Students with Visual Impairments

Robert Miller of the Oklahoma School for the Blind Assistive Technology Lab has written an in-depth curriculum for using the iPad with VoiceOver, Zoom and Refreshable Braille Displays. The curriculum will guide you and your student step by step through setting the accessibility features up to teaching specific gestures and commands needed to use the iPad with VoiceOver and Zoom.  As with any shared curriculum, please give credit to the author or authors when distributing the curriculum.  Robert asks for any feedback to help him improve his curriculum. Three versions of the curriculum can be found on the Oklahoma School for the Blind website.  
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Saving Internet Pages as EPUB Files

This is a wonderful resource, which allows your student to save a webpage as an individual EPUB file. What is an EPUB?  ".epub" is an electronic book format that has become the industry standard, allowing eBooks that use this format to be read on a wide variety of eReaders, from dedicated hardware to desktop software to online based readers. EPUB files can be read in most portable ebook readers, such as Sony, Ipad, Kobo, etc. For the purposes of this post I will describe how to open your EPUB files in iBooks on the iPad. First, some information from the dotEPUB website: "dotEPUB is software in the cloud that allows you to convert any webpage into an ebook. For content consumers (readers), we have developed a bookmarklet (or favlet) for Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari or Opera. And, if you are a Google Chrome user, you can install the dotEPUB extension in your browser." On the dotEPUB website I located and activated the...
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iPad for children with MIVI

The following iPad apps were chosen for a workshop with DARS Center for Learning Management. DARS is an acronym for Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services. The iPad accessibility features were demonstrated as well. The workshop covered working with children who have multiple disabilities, so the apps reflect their needs. For apps specific to visually impaired users, please reference these two websites: AppleVis (www.applevis.com) and Apps for the Visually Impaired (http://appadvice.com/applists/show/apps-for-the-visually-impaired). The websites and apps listed are not the only websites or apps to explore, they are just the ones chosen for the specific workshop. Apps List I Love Fireworks and Fireworks Arcade - You can touch the screen to trigger the fireworks to go off, you can drag your finger on the screen to have the firework trail up into the sky in whatever pattern you'd like, and the longer you hold your finger on the touch screen, the bigger the firework....
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Braille Institute IPhone/IPad App for Vision Simulations

At the recent SWOMA Conference a teacher shared a great app from the Braille Institute that show vision simulations.  Vision simulations are nothing new, but this one let you point your camera on your phone or IPad and see a vision simulation of a real-time scene.  Using touch-screen controls, the user can select one of the four simulators to replicate the symptoms of that particular disease. The application uses the device camera to allow the user to see the world through digital filters simulating the symptoms and experience of the disease. Using sliding touch-screen controls, the user can manipulate the severity of the symptoms. The real-time still images can be saved by the camera and stored for later review in the image gallery, or to be shared. Check out this free app at the Braille Institute. Kate Hurst Statewide Staff Development Coordinator Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired
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Voiceover How-To Resources

While this website has more than VoiceOver screen reader for the Mac and iOS, tutorials it also contains other computer information. I just wanted to point it out as an excellent resource with tutorials for VoiceOver. The site's name is Tech-Ease. Another good site for VoiceOver with iOS is AXS Lab maintained by Daniel Göransson.
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iPad Apps to Investigate

Dropbox - Free online storage. Get documents from any internet ready device. (computer, iOS device, Android device). Can pay for more storage monthly. Evernote - Free note taking app; also free online storage. Can add Webpages, pictures, text. When webpage added, links still work from the evernote document. Can pay for more storage monthly. Quickoffice Pro HD - Create, edit and share Microsoft® Word, Excel and PowerPoint files; access and manage email attachments with the most popular file formats; get to your files remotely via cloud storage services (MobileMe, Dropbox, Google® Docs, Box.net, Huddle, SugarSync, Evernote, and Catch); file support-ms office (97-2008) DOC, DOCX, TXT. Moe's Notepad - $0.99. A notes app. Audio - trim, change volume, strip silence, reverse, change speed; visual - organize any number of images and/or videos; image - crop, resize, change brightness; drawing - rectangular box or freehand; video - trim, create thumbnail, grab frames; text...
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