Talking Tech 23th May 2017

May 23, 2017

Some good news for folks that follow AFL

Some Links to Come out of GAAD (Global Accessibility Awareness Day) or Events and Blogs with simlar content

Tim Cook Sits Down Over Coffee and Talks Accessibility to several Accessibility Advocates

Accessibility Stories from Apple:`com/accessibility/stories/

Windows Accessibility: what to expect later this year from Microsoft blog

Google demonstrates Accessibility at Google iO 2017

No More Window-Eyes

Why Can’t NVDA Run on Windows 10S


Talking Tech 15th May 2017

May 16, 2017

Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD) may 19 2017

Time to celebrate Global Accessibility Awareness Day on May 18.

Humanware upcoming Brailliant 14 cell Braille Display

Braille tutor iOS (iPad) app for teaching UEB Braille



VO Lab: iOs app for teaching basics of VoiceOver



Prizmo Go: OCR iOS app very similar to what KNFB Readers functionality


What’s New In JAWS 18 for April 25 2017

The Paciello Group Joins FVO

Proof reading on the Mac from Apple’s

Latest titles from National Braille Press: Mac and Word Basics for the Beginning User (

In Braille, BRF, Word, and DAISY: Starting at $12.00


Talking Tech 9th May 2017

May 9, 2017

David’s  Twitter Top Followers List


One of the ways I try and keep up to date with tech story’s that are relevant for blind or low vision is to read specific tweets from specific organisations or individuals.  To make this a easy, I have made a top-followers Twitter list.


If you are a Twitter user here is the list link:


A Correction on one of David’s Podcasts re the YourType Keyboard


 Issue with NumPad Commander not working with Modifier Keyss. If you listen to the podcast concerning the YourType keyboard VoiceOver only partially works at the moment so don’t go out and buy one if working with the modifier keys (Shift, Control, Option or Command) are the keys you want to use, over the keys that do work (the num keys themselves plus the 0 key as a modifier key).


Talkback 5.2 officially released for Android with new audio feedback, verbosity settings, interface to magnification.  


This update really does make Talkback much nicer to use, I’ve even turned my sounds back on.  The audio feedback sounds are much more gentle and discrete, having different verbosity settings is a great feature, and having the screen reader interface with the inbuilt magnification so you can tell when it is on/off or when magnification is changed is very useful for low vision folks that want the benefit of using both screen reading and screen magnification.


Microsoft Announcement re Windows 10s


Main concern with Windows 10s is the fact that only apps will run from the Windows Store, which begs the question, how do 3rd party apps such as screen readers run on Windows 10s? Hopefully in the coming months we’ll learn the answer.


Quantum RLV selling El Braille


Good to see another note taker on the market.  El Braille comprises a docking station, Focus 14 Braille display, and JaWS for Windows.  The best thing about this modular design, is that if you have one of these options already, you don’t need to purchase anything else.  Contact Quantum RLV for further info: 1300 791 777.


An interview with Danny from Quantum RLV on the El Braille on Vision Extra:




Zoom Us: Accessible Webinar Platform


This will open up possibilities for all: for those that want to host a online webinar or participate in one.  Seems to be fully accessible.


Blind Side Episode 33 with Jonathan Mosen


 Jonathan does an introductory demo on the Sony Bravia X80000D TV running Android TV which uses its own screen reader (plus other accessibility features).  Another option out there for accessible TVS.


Catching Up about Netflix


Audio Description comes up as a category in Netflix for iOS, Apple TV, and Android: this may be old news for some, but first time I have heard of this.  If you go down to the bottom of the category list you’ll find Audio Description: when I checked last, there was over 360 content items listed.


Talking Tech 2nd May 2017

May 2, 2017

Stephen and David spend most of this weeks show talking about home kit and the difference between Home Kit and the Internet of Things:


Some notes for listeners:

What is the Internet of Things?

The internet of things is where a device has network connectivity data and shares information back to a computer or smartphone. 

An example is the Parrot Flower Power. 
It looks a bit like a twig and you put it in a plant - then download the Flower Power app on to your iPhone and connect to the Parrot Flower Power through Bluetooth. You put into the app the type of plant the device is in and it will tell you how much water and sun the plant is getting through collecting this data with a solar and water detector. You receive alerts if your plant needs more water - or if it needs to be moved into the shade. 

There are many apps like this available for many items that you may have in your home. But for each item you wish to interact with - there is an app. Which means many apps to go in and out of. 

What is a connected home? 
A connected home is where you can control accessories in your home, such as lights, door locks, security cameras, temperature control and power sources. 

Each item in a home can be controlled separately 

But with Apple’s HomeKit - they can all talk to one another in the same app. 
And even more exciting - be controlled via the built in personal assistant, Siri. Turning on your lights will be as easy as saying, “Turn on the lights”
You might be asking, but how does it work? 
Is Apple making lights now? 

In iOS 10, there is a new app for the platform, called the Home App. 

Home App allows you easily connected HomeKit enabled devices and create a smart home. It is accessible on iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and even the Apple TV. 

You can set up each of the devices on a full customisable Home screen. And you can set up scenes so that a series of events occur at the same time. 
For example, you can set up an “I’m Home” scene, which will mean your front door will unlock with a schlage door lock, your lights will turn on with Phillips Hue lights and your temperature control will activate. 

Or you can turn lights on and off in one area through the app, or just using Siri “Hey Siri, turn off the bedroom lights”

Apple Watch will also have quick glances, so that you can easily access the actions you may require on your wrist.

You can also swipe up on your Control Centre and immediately have access to controlling your home. 

And all of this can use the Personal Assistant of Siri. 

Use Siri to activate a Scene or an individual item. 

Setting up HomeKit accessories are very easy! Just tap on the Add button in the Home App, scan the barcode on the box that the item came in - select the name and room and you are done. 

You can use Apple TV and your Apple ID to become remote access to your home. You can be away from home and using your iPhone that is with you, say “Hey Siri, did I leave my front door unlocked?” Siri will go back to the Apple TV connected on the same network on your phone, check the status of your door lock and tell you. You can then ask Siri to lock the door, unlock the door if a friend is wanting to get in, or turn your lights on and off. 

HomeKit can also do event and time triggers  - even if you are not there. 
Such as time based trigger - to turn your lights on every evening at 7pm. 
Or geo based - so when you arrive home with your iPhone - the front door will automatically unlock. 

All of this is done in a secure and private manner - the protocol or home kit is a two way handshake to securely set up the device. 

To be secure Apple could not simply integrate with existing hubs and smart devices.  It had to build a platform and then convince third-party companies to build to it. 
Not only did this entail programming, but Apple was also requiring the integration of secure hardware for end-to-end encryption.

Apple’s commitment to security means they did not want any cloud-based services, no surreptitious data gathering to learn more about your habits. Nothing leaves the confines of the accessory-Apple HomeKit relationship. 

Which means your home is secured, and the data on when you enter and leave and turn on your lights and everything else, remain secure and private to you. 

You can invite other users to access your home and you can add and remove people as needed. So if you have a house guest, they can turn on the lights. Also, with Apple TV now having the Home App also, they can control your home through the Apple TV. 

For further info:


Talking Tech 25th April 2017

April 24, 2017

3 Podcasts from me over the last few weeks:

Find my iPhone to Find my AirPods

In this demo,  I show you how to locate your AirPods in the house by using the Play Sound feature in Find my iPhone.

Talking Typer comes to iOS

This is amazing with the arrival of Talking Typer on iOS from AFB previously only available on Windows.  In this demo, I take you though using the app using a Bluetooth keyboard, and it really does feel like you are using the Windows PC version.


Swift Playgrounds Lego demo

A follow-up to my Swift Playgrounds demo on the iPad Pro using VoiceOver.  In this demo, I give a good run down how I use Lego to allow people to get a tactile view of the visual world grid.

AccessWorld April 2017 Edition

Two articles of note: a catch up on CSUN 2017 and a comparison of some Braille displays from HIMS.

App brings movie  Cinema experience to the Blind

This app is a great way of delivering audio described content to a movie playing in a cinema.

Susan Bennett reveals more about Becoming the Voice of Siri

This lady is the voice of Samantha I believe for iOS/Siri.  Interestingly the voice of Karen for iOS/Siri  sounds more the same.


Talking Tech 18th April 2017

April 18, 2017

David’s Singapore trip on behalf of Vision Australia Sharing Apple Accessibility April 4 to 7 2017-04-18

I was invited by the Singapore Government representing Vision Australia to talk to developers about Swift Playgrounds and coding for accessibility SG Enabling Village to share the story of Apple accessibility in a day workshop, and Singapore Association for the Visually Handicapped sharing more on Apple accessibility.

This video from Apple with Audio Description says it all for using technology for everyone from the accessibility landing page:

Several articles from Singapore media that interviewed me during my trip give a good summary of what I talked about in my various meetings and workshops:

My hands-on experience so far with the Orbit Reader 20 Braille display

No specific date quite yet on when Vision Australia will be selling the Orbit Reader 20 Braille display, but I am quite impressed with its standalone note taking functions, and its use as a Braille display with my iPhone.

In the next week or so I will be publishing an audio demo of the Orbit Raeder 20.

Non Visual Desktop Access (NVDA) Expert Certification

Great to see there is now a certification that folks can take to give training and support for NvDA.


Talking Tech 11th April 2017

April 11, 2017

This week, David and Stephen talk to Sam Taylor from Pacific Vision discussing Pacific Vision’s products: in particular the new BrailleSense Polaris and an easy to use smart phone with real buttons. David describes an accessible game for the Apple TV 4th generation that you can play with the Siri Touch remote or a game controller: Inside The Cave.

How to Keep your Phones Battery Healthy. Stephen came across an article on how to look after your battery in your Smart phone or Laptop: quite an interesting read.


Talking Tech 4th April 2017

April 4, 2017

Stephen and David catching up with Romana and Blake from Humanware