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    NVDA (NonVisual Desktop Access) is a free, open source accessibility screen reader for Microsoft Windows

    Danie van der Merwe · news.movim.eu / gadgeteerza-tech-blog · 2 days ago - 09:27

For blind people to use a computer, they need a screen reader which reads the text on the screen in a synthetic voice or with a braille display. But in many cases, screen reading software costs more than the computer itself. In the past, this has left computers inaccessible to millions of blind people around the world. This is a critical problem, because without computers, access to education and employment is severely limited, not to mention everyday functions such as online banking, shopping, and news.

NVDA has been translated by volunteers into more than 55 languages, and been used by people in more than 175 countries. It has also won multiple awards.

See https://github.com/nvaccess/nvda/

#technology #screenreader #accessibility #disability #sightimpaired

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    Apple details new iPhone features like door detection, live captions

    news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · 3 days ago - 21:24

Global Accessibility Awareness Day is Thursday, so Apple took to its newsroom blog this week to announce several major new accessibility features headed to the iPhone, Apple Watch, iPad, and Mac.

One of the most widely used will likely be Live Captions, which is coming to iPhone, Mac, and iPad. The feature shows AI-driven, live-updating subtitles for speech coming from any audio source on the phone, whether the user is "on a phone or FaceTime call, using a video conferencing or social media app, streaming media content, or having a conversation with someone next to them."

The text (which users can resize at will) appears at the top of the screen and ticks along as the subject speaks. Additionally, Mac users will be able to type responses and have them read aloud to others on the call. Live Captions will enter public beta on supported devices ("iPhone 11 and later, iPad models with A12 Bionic and later, and Macs with Apple silicon") later this year.

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    Staybl is a new free app makes using iPads easier for people with hand tremors - Its creators want to expand the tech to other devices, too

    Danie van der Merwe · news.movim.eu / gadgeteerza-tech-blog · Thursday, 14 April - 10:55

Their goal is to improve access to technology for those dealing with Parkinson’s disease and other health issues that cause tremors. While the app is currently only available for use on Apple’s iPad, its creators aim to bring it to other digital devices and platforms in the future.

Using the iPad’s accelerometer, Staybl can detect when the device is shaken because of tremors and then immediately respond by moving its on-screen web browser in the opposite direction. This stabilizes the screen so the user can easily view the web page and hold the device steady.

You can download the free app through the App Store, though it’s only currently compatible with iPads running iPadOS 14 or later.

See https://www.theverge.com/2022/4/13/23024029/staybl-ipads-hand-tremors-parkinsons-disease

#technology #stabl #Parkinsonsdisease #accessibility #tremors

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    Amazon gives Alexa some more patience

    news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Wednesday, 6 October, 2021 - 14:13

It may be common for your kids, partner, and coworkers to tune you out, but shouldn’t your virtual assistant be different? Amazon Alexa will now practice a bit more patience with users, thanks to a Tuesday update that makes the service wait longer for a person to finish speaking commands before it stops listening.

As reported by Forbes , the feature is optional. It could certainly come in handy for those who speak slowly or just need more time to process their thoughts. But it’s really intended as an accessibility feature that makes it easier for people with speech impairments to use Amazon’s virtual assistant. Amazon added the new behavior after some customers told the company that “they just need a bit more time before Alexa responds to their requests,” Shehzad Mevawalla, head of Alexa Speech Recognition at Amazon, told Forbes.

Giving people more time to speak with Alexa could make the product more appealing to millions. The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders reports that more than 3 million Americans stutter, and almost 7% of Americans have a language impairment of some sort, according to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.

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    How game makers are catering to disabled players - Hardware and software solutions open gaming to a wider audience than ever

    Danie van der Merwe · news.movim.eu / gadgeteerza-tech-blog · Monday, 30 August, 2021 - 09:04

According to a recent study, more than 2 percent of the US population can't play video games due to poor accessibility options. This same study suggests more than 9 percent are unable to enjoy the traditional gaming experience because of visual, cognitive, or physical impairments. Additional research suggests 20 percent of the casual gaming audience is disabled in some fashion.

That amounts to millions of disabled players who are locked out of games because of a lack of support. But after decades in which accessibility options were absent or an afterthought, game developers in recent years have shown an increasing willingness to cater to this audience explicitly.

See https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2021/08/how-game-makers-are-catering-to-disabled-players/

#technology #gaming #hardware #disabled #accessibility

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    How game makers are catering to disabled players

    news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Sunday, 29 August, 2021 - 21:20

The high-contract backgrounds in <em>Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart</em> are just one of the more prominent examples of game designs tuned for the visually impaired.

Enlarge / The high-contract backgrounds in Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart are just one of the more prominent examples of game designs tuned for the visually impaired. (credit: Sony )

According to a recent study , more than 2 percent of the US population can't play video games due to poor accessibility options. This same study suggests more than 9 percent are unable to enjoy the traditional gaming experience because of visual, cognitive, or physical impairments. Additional research suggests 20 percent of the casual gaming audience is disabled in some fashion.

That amounts to millions of disabled players who are locked out of games because of a lack of support. But after decades in which accessibility options were absent or an afterthought, game developers in recent years have shown an increasing willingness to cater to this audience explicitly.

The Last of Us Part 2 launched in 2020 with a wide array of heightened accessibility options , for instance. Assassin's Creed Valhalla offers multiple forms of eye-tracking support , as well as colorblind options for the visually impaired.

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    Apple rolls out a slew of new accessibility features to iPhone, Watch, and more

    news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Wednesday, 19 May, 2021 - 21:40

On Wednesday, Apple announced a bunch of new accessibility features coming to iPhones, iPads, and the Apple Watch. The new features and services will roll out in the coming days, weeks, and months.

The first feature to arrive will be a new service called SignTime, which Apple says will launch tomorrow, May 20. SignTime will allow users to communicate with Apple's customer service representatives (either AppleCare or Retail Customer Care) using sign language. The service will launch first in the US, UK, and France with American Sign Language, British Sign Language, and French Sign Language, respectively. Further, customers at Apple Stores will be able to use SignTime to get in touch with an interpreter while shopping or getting customer support without having to make an appointment in advance.

While SignTime's arrival is right around the corner, software updates loaded with new features aimed at making Apple's software and hardware more accessible for people with cognitive, mobility, hearing, and vision disabilities will hit Apple's platforms sometime later this year.

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    How To Unlock the Best Features on Your iPhone

    pubsub.dcentralisedmedia.com / LifehackerAustralia · Friday, 5 February, 2021 - 06:17 · 3 minutes

We’ve covered a ton of iPhone and iPad features in the past , but these options are easy to overlook if you’re not used to browsing through the right sections of your iPhone or iPad’s Settings (or even just using certain buttons). And you should take some time to learn what’s available, as there are plenty of useful tools that Apple has snuck in there, and they’re great for increasing productivity.

Among our favourite iPhone hacks:

There are two features other we want to describe in a little more detail: magnification and voice controls. The former is a great way to get a closer look at anything your phone’s camera can see, and the latter is an incredibly useful way to control your iPhone or iPad with your voice.

Use Your iPhone/iPad as a magnifying glass

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The Magnifier tool uses your device’s camera to zoom in on real-world objects.

  1. To use it, go to Settings > Accessibility > Magnifier.
  2. Tap the “Magnifier” toggle on.
  3. Triple-press the home button to open the Magnify camera. You can zoom in and out using the slider, and snap a photo with the shutter button.

I was surprised at just how close the camera lets you zoom-in, though the quality of the zoomed-in image will differ between devices. If you find your zoomed image is too bright, try turning on the “Auto-Adjust Exposure” option in the Magnifier menu to help reduce glare. (Note that Magnifier is different from the Zoom feature listed above; that one gives you a closer look at whatever apps or photos are currently displayed on your screen.)

Use Siri to manage your iPhone or iPad via “Voice Control”

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  1. Go to Settings > Accessibility > Voice Control
  2. Tap “Set Up Voice Control” then tap “continue.” You’ll be shown a list of Siri commands that can be used to control your device.
  3. Tap “Done” to close the instructions.
  4. Tap the “Voice Control” toggle the feature on.

You can now use any of the commands listed in the instructional guide to control your device (and you can find the list again by tapping “Learn More…” under the “Voice Control” toggle).

You can also customise your commands, onscreen feedback and interface setup in Settings > Accessibility > Voice Control . Here’s what each option does:

  • Language: Set your preferred language for controlling Siri (defaults to your system’s preferences).
  • Customise commands: Create and edit new voice commands.
  • Vocabulary: Lets you teach Siri new words that can be used to create commands. This can help make your commands feel more natural.
  • Show confirmation: Turns on visual feedback when a command is heard by Siri.
  • Play sound: Enables audio confirmation when Siri hears your commands.
  • Show hints: Offers real-time tips based on how you use Siri commands, and suggests commands to use.
  • Overlay: Turn this on to give each on-screen element a number value, .which can then be used in your voice commands to specify buttons or parts of the screen you wish to access.

This article has been updated since its original publish date.

The post How To Unlock the Best Features on Your iPhone appeared first on Lifehacker Australia .