This Blog includes information related to Library Adaptive Technology events, archives, presenter and participant recommendations and suggestions.

Monday, June 28, 2010

White Cane and More Store

On Wednesday, June 30th, The White Cane and More Store will be relocating to another suite in the same building, in the same office as The Light House for the Blind. New suite is #210.

Address is:
8720 Georgia Avenue, Suite 210
Silver Spring, MD 20910
Phone: 301 589 0866

Friday, June 18, 2010

Gary's Guide is the #1 Business Events Calendar in the world covering Technology, Media, Finance, Healthcare, Legal, Biotech, Cleantech & other events and listing a comprehensive collection of conferences, un-conferences, forums, workshops, seminars, meetups, tweetups, mixers, parties and more.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Free Technology Training

If you know of anyone interested in Free Technology Training, please pass along this information.

The District is joining Microsoft Corp. in a public-private partnership to provide free technology training to more than 10,000 D.C. residents.
Through Microsoft’s Elevate America initiative, the D.C. Department of Employment Services will provide 11,250 vouchers for free online technology training and certification. Any D.C. resident may apply; there are no income requirements.
Please visit

Tony Paschal

ICON Community Services

1240 North Pitt St. Ste. LL

Alexandria, VA 22313

703.548.4048 ext. 232

703.548.0198 (fax)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

DC Assistive Technology Resource Center

DC Assistive Technology Resource Center invites you to attend:

Augmentative Alternative Communication Device demonstration
Date: Tuesday, June 22nd

Time: 1 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Room: 2B

Speaker: David Goldberg

Company: Tobii ATI ( )
This demonstration is about communication devices for individuals who have restrictions on the production or comprehension of spoken or written language. A few of communication devices from Tobii ATI ( ) will be demonstrated. They are:
C8 - a speech generating device

C12 with CEye - a speech generating device with eye tracking MyTobbi P10 - a Speech generating device with eye tracking Lightwriter SL40 - the new version of a popular text to speech device

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Top Tech Tidbits!

1) The Applian Technologies for Blind Users site was created by an enthusiastic user of these recording product for Windows pc's.

2) Jonathan Mosen and Brian Hartgen have developed The Mushroom FM Fun guys Guide to Internet Broadcasting. This is a three-hour 20-minute audio tutorial that will help get prospective broadcasters up and running with all the necessary tools. It is free and available in DAISY and mp3. Choose the Become a Presenter link here:

3) HandyTech has re-launched the Mobile Access Payment program whereunder U.S. residents can buy Code Factory software such as Mobile Speak and Mobile Geo on one-year interest-free contracts.

4) Mark Taylor will present a Code Factory live broadcast on Mobile Geo 2.5 on GMT Saturday, 5 June at 17:00.

5) This Fred's Head post is entitled "What is Computer Vision Syndrome?"

6) The Tech Doctor podcast begins a series entitled "Windows 7 and Mac OS X: A Head to Head Comparison"

7) If you have to use sharepoint at all, here's an excellent article outlining strategies for using SharePoint with a screen reader

8) The .NET framework is an accessible system both for those wishing to write programs and for those running those programs. Jamal Mazrui has written gotNET to help developers help those running their programs ensure that the necessary version of the free .NET framework is installed on their system.

9) EASI will have free webinars in June regarding hardware DAISY players and the PDF Accessibility Wizard.

They have also begun making their webinar archives available to all.

10) Vinux is Linux for the visually impaired, based on Ubuntu 10.04 - Lucid Lynx. It includes a screen reader, screen magnifiers and support for USB braille displays.

11) Rigel Technology offers three of its two-hour, $70 trainings during June. These can usually be purchased for the same price on cd if you can't attend in person. All start at 21:00 GMT: Tuesday 8 June: Google This; Thursday 17 June: Dropbox 499; Tuesday 22 June: Microsoft Office 2010. The only way to register for these appears to be by phone at (888) 723-5011 Ext. 1

12) From Gizmo: You can easily create your own customized program launcher just by making smart use of inbuilt Windows features. This two minute tutorial shows you how.

13) These next few Gizmo items are for the more technically inclined: New Free Sysinternals Tool: RAMMap

14) Find Out What's Been Causing Your PC to Crash

15) Blue Screen of Death Survival Guide: Every Error Explained

16) US owners of the Book Sense can take part in a free 1-hour training on downloading NLS books and placing them on the device. The training will bake place Thursday, June 10 at 11:00 A.M. EDT, 8 A.M. PDT. To register, e-mail placing "BookSense Training Registration" in the subject. The training will afterward be available at:

17) The article "Browse Mode restarting when performing a Google search in Firefox" has been added to the Gw Micro knowledge base.

18) Tobi version 1.0, the DAISY Consortium's open source multimedia production tool, is now available. Tobi produces full-text full-audio Digital Talking Books in the DAISY 3 (ANSI/NISO Z39.86-2005) format.

508 Compliance: Stop Enforcing, Start Innovating by Noel Dickover

Here on some thoughts on Accessibility from Noel Dickover of CrisisCommons:

508 Compliance: Stop Enforcing, Start Innovating

Posted By NoelDickover on March 27, 2009
In 1998, Congress amended the Rehabilitation Act to require Federal agencies to make their electronic and information technology accessible to people with disabilities. Now known affectionately as Section 508, it directs all Federal agencies to ensure that their websites and electronic information are just as accessible to people with hearing or vision impairments so that we don’t create second class citizens when accessing government information.

Enforcing 508 Compliance
This is a laudable approach, but in practice, enforcing 508 compliance has been an uphill struggle, and will continue to be for the forseable future. Here’s a headline from 2007 that explains the basic problem: “Web technologies outpace accessibility law and require a major rewrite of 508 standards“. The pace of innovation always outstrips our standards. This has been and will continue to be an ongoing issue. Complicating things further is in practice, many website efforts start by envisioning fancy interactions only to be stymied later in the development process when they realize their tool of choice isn’t compliant.
Enforcement costs lots of money: Even with the existence of a wonderful site that explains all aspects of 508, many companies now exist in large part for the sole purpose of helping Federal agencies understand and implement 508 compliance. A myriad of different types accessibility checkers have been developed. If you conduct a Google search on 508 Compliance, it returns 394,00 documents. GSA has been tasked with the tough job of enforcing 508, but as late as 2008, found that over 80% of the solicitations for electronic and IT development contained no provisions for accessibility.
~The Right Goal~

Make the Web Fully Accessible to Everyone

Currently the problem frame is that we haven’t been able to enforce 508 compliance standards on Federal websites. Even if we become 100% successful, the best we get is accessible Federal websites. This still leaves large swaths of the internet less accessible to those who are completely blind, color blind, or hearing impaired. The best we can do is “hope” that commercial products and websites test their software for 508 compliance, and that others worry about what is essentially a long tail concern.
~The Solution~

Innovate on the Browser & End-User Hardware Side

We’ve been tackling the wrong side of the equation. Instead of spending millions on education and enforcement, we should instead spend the money and prompting innovation in the browser and specialized hardware. Web accessible innovations in web browsers and associated specialized hardware solutions could make the entire web fully accessible to those with disabilities. My guess is even if we spent 10 million prompting innovation through contests similar to the Wearable Power prize or the DARPA Grand Challenge, we would still be saving lots of money overall. Even if the resultant solutions require subsidies to reduce purchase costs, this would be no different to what we currently do with providing motorized wheelchairs to those who need them.
Examples of Possible Innovations: There could be a variety of innovations that address specific disability concerns. Examples might include:
•Color Transform Browser Plugins for Color Blind users: If someone has red-green color blindness for instance, wouldn’t it be great if the browser automatically changed colors in graphics and text into colors more easily seen? We could imagine a control panel that allowed the user to choose which colors they wanted to see instead.

•Braille Displays that Display Graphics by Converting Each Color into Different Depths: Imagine a blue-yellow-green Venn diagram concentric circle graphic that’s so prevalent in business - only this time the colors are represented as a different height in the braille display. Translating colors into heights make them accessible.

•Automatic Speech to Text Translator plugins: Imagine if YouTube videos and podcasts could automatically create mostly accurate subtitles.

Again, my imagination is limited - I’m sure true innovators could come up with far better solutions.
Federal Accessibility Challenge: The Federal Government should unleash the power of innovation by creating a Federal Accessibility Challenge, where a million dollars is awarded to the best browser solution for each disability category (color blindness, hearing impaired, for instance), and perhaps a three million dollar prize for the best hardware solution for hearing impaired or blind web users. In both cases, the money should be doubled if the solution is an open-source software or open source hardware design.
The bottom line is the goal should be that those with disabilities should be able to get as much benefit and satisfaction out of using the entire web as the rest of us. We should shift the approach from enforcement, and instead spend our energy on innovating.