The innocence of kids

Greetings! I’m Scott Savoy, managing editor at
http://www.sterlingcreations.ca and ah yes! The final weekend of August and
soon it will be time to say a warm hello to September.
I am delighted to share our president’s weekly editorial with you and today
Donna J. Jodhan focuses on the innocence of kids.
I wish you a great weekend.

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The innocence of kids
By Donna J. Jodhan

I don’t think that anyone could disagree too strenuously with me when I say
the following: Our kids start off being innocent and pure but it certainly
does not last forever.

Some of them somehow manage to retain it well into adulthood. Others
probably lose it just before they turn the corner into adulthood while too
many somehow lose it just before puberty.

Think of it! The baby is born and before you know it they are smiling with
those around them. They are eager to play with anyone who interacts with
them and before we know they are starting to follow our actions and
examples.

Kids are quick learners and great imitators. Show them something no more
than twice and soon they begin to mimic you. They are little sponges just
waiting to soak up any and everything around them.

They are very good listeners. They form their habits and opinions based on
what they see and hear. Then other influences begin to take over. You soon
find yourself competing for their attention and the new influencers compete
hard for top position in the lives of your kids.

So what does all of this mean? I guess that I am only trying to say this!
Kids are born innocent but it is us along with other influences and
influencers that are responsible for taking it away from them.

I’m Donna J. Jodhan wishing you a terrific day and weekend.

To reach me, please send an email to info@sterlingcreations.ca and I would
be delighted to send you an electronic copy of our latest newsletter. Or
you can view all of our newsletters at
http://www.sterlingcreations.ca/newsletter.html

Here is a complete list of where you can view Donna’s blogs and editorials.
Donna Jodhan! Advocating accessibility for all
http://www.donnajodhan.blogspot.com
Weekly features on how to increase your success with your business ventures
http://www.sterlingcreations.com/businessdesk.htm
Weekly articles and editorials on issues about accessibility
http://www.sterlingcreations.ca/blog
Learn more about Author Donna Jodhan and her campaign against bullying at
www.jodhanmysterybook.club
Now you can enjoy Donna’s detective DJ crime crushers Series by visiting
http://www.donnajodhan.com

And now her weekly podcast at www.takeanother5.com.
From recipes to apps, and from 5 minutes mysteries to tips for entrepreneurs
and alerts on the latest scams
Available for download from iTunes and Google music play.

You can follow me on twitter @accessibleworld
and chat with me on Skype at habsfan0526.
Like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/authordonnajodhan

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Meet a New Video Magnifier

Are you looking for a product or service that can help to make life easier
for you or a family
member or friend? Or maybe you are looking for a story to help motivate a
family member or friend who is struggling to deal with their loss of vision?
Not sure where to look?
Well, we have a nifty piece of info to share with you this week.
Enjoy!
The Sterling Creations team
Follow us on Twitter @accessibleworld
and check out our weekly podcast at www.takeanother5.com
Available for download from iTunes and Google play musiic.
Take another 5 brings you recipes, tips on technology, mystery moment, for
the entrepreneur, and scam alerts.

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Meet a New Video Magnifier
We’re happy to announce the addition of the Candy 4 HD 2 Portable Video
Magnifier from Hims to our lineup of products. For $595, you get the power
and portability of reading a variety of materials. Use it
for anything life might throw at you. It features a 4.3-inch screen,
customizable color modes and an ergonomic handle which allows you to use the
magnifier in a variety of ways.
Go to
http://www.atguys.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=14&products_id=225
to order your Candy 4 HD 2 today!

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Disney Movies Anywhere App: Synced Audio Description for Pixar Movies

Each Wednesday, we will be bringing you an article of interest as it
pertains to the topic of accessibility and we hope you can use
it to become more familiar with this particular area.
This has become a rapidly growing and very important area and why?
Because the number of consumers in this market is growing and will continue
to do so for the forseeable future.
Governments, corporations, and individuals are paying more attention.
Please read on.
The Sterling Creations team
Follow us on Twitter @accessibleworld.

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Contributed by Dan Thompson
Disney Movies Anywhere App: Synced Audio Description for Pixar Movies
By Janet Ingber from the AFB’S “Access World June issue”
http://www.afb.org/afbpress/pub.asp?DocID=aw170603
The Disney Movies Anywhere app for iOS has now been upgraded to offer synced
audio description for some Pixar movies. As of this writing, description is
available for 16 animated
movies including “The Good Dinosaur,” “Inside Out,” “Monsters University,”
and “Up.” Pixar Animation Studios plans to make the feature available on all
future releases.
What You’ll Need
In order to use this feature, the Disney Movies Anywhere iOS app must be
installed on an iPhone or iPad running iOS 7 or later. The app itself is
free, but there is a fee to purchase
movies. To use description, the movie and descriptive tracks cannot be
playing on the same device simultaneously; two devices are required. For
example, a movie can be playing on
your computer while the descriptive audio track is played on your iPad or
iPhone. At least one of the two devices must be an iOS device.
When the app is first launched, select the “Go There” button to see a list
of titles with audio description. Under each title there is a button labeled
“Sync & Play Audio.”
The Disney Movies Anywhere App
The app has five tabs at the bottom of the screen, but VoiceOver does not
always read them in order. The Featured tab is at the bottom left corner.
Next is the Movies tab. Flicking
right, the next tab is Discover. VoiceOver says this is the fourth tab. The
next and last tab, in the bottom right corner, is labeled More. Flicking
left, past the Featured tab, is the My
Collection tab. VoiceOver says it is the third tab. If you slide your finger
across the bottom of the screen instead of flicking, VoiceOver should read
the tabs in order.
Featured
The Featured tab has a “Search” button and a button labeled “Go to Movies
with Audio Description.” This is the most direct place to go if you are
looking for audio description. Next in
the Featured tab are several headings including “New and Upcoming” and
“All-Time Favorites.” Movies in this category include “Frozen” and “101
Dalmatians.” Movies in this list do
not necessarily have audio description.
Under the headings is a “Sign In” button. Activating the button loads a page
for your user name and password if you already have a Disney account. There
is also an option to create
an account. The sign up form consists of edit boxes and pickers. For
information such as birth date, VoiceOver says that the controls are pop up
buttons, but they are pickers that
are found at the bottom of the page. Double tap on the buttons and then
choose from the picker.
Movies
At the top of the page is a Search option. Next is a long list of categories
including Star Wars, Comedy, Animation, Disney Princesses, and 2015 Movies.
When any category is
selected, a new page loads with specific results. If a movie has audio
description, that feature is not indicated in the list.
Once a movie is selected, the next page loads with information about the
movie including a brief synopsis, running time, and cast. There is a button
to buy the movie. At the top of the
page is an option to go to movies with audio description.
My Collection
After movies are purchased, they will be listed in this tab.
Discover
This tab contains information about various movies. For example, I watched
an interview with Carrie Fisher about “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”
More
In this tab are three options: Redeem Rewards, Settings, and More Apps. The
Settings section contains a button to sign in and three headings: Access,
About, and Legal. The “Audio
Description” button is under the Access heading.
Activating the “Audio Description” button loads a new page. The first item
on the page is a toggle switch button. Make sure it is in the on position.
Next is information about turning on
audio description and how to use it.
The app reminds users that the actual movie must be playing through a
separate device such as a tablet, iPhone, or theater screen. The first time
audio description is used, it is
necessary to give the app permission to use the device’s microphone.
Playing a Movie
On your iPhone or iPad, locate the description track for the movie. You can
find a list of all described movies by activating the “Go to Movies with
Audio Description” button in the
Featured tab. For each listed movie there will be a title and a button
labeled “Sync & Play Audio.”
Start the actual movie playing or if you’re in a theater, wait for the movie
to start. Next, activate the “Sync & Play Audio” button. The first time you
use this feature, you will be asked to
allow it to use the microphone. There will also be a list of tips such as
making sure headphones are plugged securely in the jack. You do not have to
use headphones. Within a few
seconds the description track will sync with the movie. There is no need to
do anything else. There is a “Cancel” button and a “Done” button. If you
press the “Done” button once the
movie syncs, it will stop the sync.
I used a DVD of “Ratatouille” and an iPhone 6 to test the audio description
feature. I started the movie and then synced the app. It took less than a
minute to sync and I then received
verbal confirmation. Once synced, a “Done” button, a “Pause/Play” button, a
volume control, and a “Re-Sync” button all appeared on the screen.
If you sync at a point other than the beginning of the movie, it will start
audio description at that point, where you are currently listening.
Ways to Improve the Disney Movies Anywhere App
Disney Pixar should be commended for their efforts to include audio
description. Hopefully they will improve this app in the near future.
Nowhere in the app’s description in the App
Store does it say anything about the audio description feature. The first
time description is mentioned is when the app is opened for the first time.
Although the app is accessible, there are some accessibility issues such as
mislabeled controls, as mentioned above.
It is unfortunate that two devices must be used: one to play the actual
movie and an iPhone or iPad to play the audio description track. A sighted
person would only need one device.
If the person who is visually impaired is with a group of people, the person
would have to use headphones if the others in the group do not also want to
hear the description.
Therefore, the person is not getting the full dialogue and sound effects
because they are also wearing at least one ear bud or headphone.
Conclusion
The Disney Movies Anywhere app
is basically accessible and easy to use. The addition of an audio
description track to many Disney/Pixar movies is a very good start. It would
be more convenient if both the dialogue
and audio description could play on the same device.
Product Information
Disney Movies Anywhere app
https://www.disneymoviesanywhere.com/
Available on the
App Store
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/disney-movies-anywhere-watch/id766894692?mt=8
and
Google Play
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.disney.disneymoviesanywhere_goo&hl=en
Price: Free

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Blind kids sighted kids

My perspective
Blind kids sighted kids

When it comes to kids, they are practically all alike. By this I mean that
they all love toys! They all love candy! They all love to laugh and have
fun! They are all curious! So what is the difference between blind kids
and sighted kids?

In my humble opinion, blind kids use their sense of hearing more acutely
then their sighted counterparts. Some of their games are talking ones and
some of their toys are the same. For those kids who have enough vision to
read large print, the scope of games and toys available to them is more than
for those who do not have enough to read large print.

When I was growing up, my brothers and cousins made every effort to include
me in their games and I played with their cars. At times, they went
overboard to ensure that I fitted in. I rode bikes, scooters, and ran,
jumped, and skipped with the rest. I played dolls house with my girl
cousins and they too made it possible for me to be included.

Blind kids of today have a better opportunity to find some mainstream toys
and games that have been adapted for blind kids and it is only going to get
better. Sometimes I wish I could be a kid again just to play with all of
the technology available today.

I’m Donna J. Jodhan your friendly accessibility advocate wishing you a
terrific day and urging you to go out there and tell others how blind kids
play with toys. Visit www.nfb.org to learn more.

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Athletes should be made responsible

Greetings! I’m Christian Robicheau; assistant editor at
http://www.sterlingcreations.ca and it is so great to be able to enjoy some
really terrific days of summer.
Today, I am delighted to share our president’s weekly editorial with you and
this one is quite appropriate given that we are about to close off the 2016
Brazil Olympics.
This editorial is especially relevant because of what took place a few days
ago re the American swimmers and their actions at the games.
We thank Donna J. Jodhan our president for her continuing contribution to
our weekend feature.
Happy weekend to you.

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Athletes should be made responsible
By Donna J. Jodhan

Sometimes I think that we probably place our athletes on too high a
pedestal. So much so that when they slip and make errors we are hard put to
either understand why or to even try to forgive them.

Sometimes I believe that we may be guilty of letting off our athletes a bit
too easily when they do petty things. Sometimes I believe that the athletes
themselves believe that they can do no wrong. Then sometimes I believe that
it is a combination of both.

Being a top or popular athlete does not give one the right to be careless
with their behaviour. It does not give them the right to do such things as
try to bend the rules, get around the law, or seek special privileges.
Being an athlete on the whole does not entitle them to special treatment.

For athletes often become role models and they need to remember this. Many
of them are idolized, looked up to, and emulated especially so by the
younger ones. This is what our athletes need to member.

Their lives are inspected, speculated on, examined, criticized and there is
no getting around this. We all need to remember this.

They live in glass bowls so to speak and everything from their sneezes and
coughs to the food they eat and the clothes they wear are scrutinized on a
daily basis and with the advent of social media it only makes things even
more challenging for them to avoid the public eye.

I’m Donna J. Jodhan wishing you a terrific day and weekend.

To reach me, please send an email to info@sterlingcreations.ca and I would
be delighted to send you an electronic copy of our latest newsletter. Or
you can view all of our newsletters at
http://www.sterlingcreations.ca/newsletter.html

Here is a complete list of where you can view Donna’s blogs and editorials.
Donna Jodhan! Advocating accessibility for all
http://www.donnajodhan.blogspot.com
Weekly features on how to increase your success with your business ventures
http://www.sterlingcreations.com/businessdesk.htm
Weekly articles and editorials on issues about accessibility
http://www.sterlingcreations.ca/blog
Learn more about Author Donna Jodhan and her campaign against bullying at
www.jodhanmysterybook.club
Now you can enjoy Donna’s detective DJ crime crushers Series by visiting
http://www.donnajodhan.com

And now her weekly podcast at www.takeanother5.com.
From recipes to apps, and from 5 minutes mysteries to tips for entrepreneurs
and alerts on the latest scams
Available for download from iTunes and Google music play.

You can follow me on twitter @accessibleworld
and chat with me on Skype at habsfan0526.
Like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/authordonnajodhan

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Meet Viskey, The Visible Keyboard for iOS

Are you looking for a product or service that can help to make life easier
for you or a family
member or friend? Or maybe you are looking for a story to help motivate a
family member or friend who is struggling to deal with their loss of vision?
Not sure where to look?
Well, we have a nifty piece of info to share with you this week.
Enjoy!
The Sterling Creations team
Follow us on Twitter @accessibleworld
and check out our weekly podcast at www.takeanother5.com
Available for download from iTunes and Google play musiic.
Take another 5 brings you recipes, tips on technology, mystery moment, for
the entrepreneur, and scam alerts.

+++++++++++++++

Meet Viskey, The Visible Keyboard for iOS
A Dan Thompson contribution

Viskey keyboard is now
available for iOS
Visky provides large text preview
and good contrast. Existing text
can be reviewed in large
adjustable font using cursor
keys.
Viskey is aimed for anyone who
needs reading glasses, so
practically everyone over 40. But
it is also engineered for low
vision users, including support
for self voicing the letters and
words and
full support for VoiceOver.
Main features setting Viskey
apart from other third party
keyboards and Apple keyboard:
* Text preview with adjustable
size for all text fields.
* Cursor keys, double tap to
move by word.
* Good contrast and large bold
font for the keys, usable also
outdoors
Available for $4.99 at Apple App
Store.
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/viskey/id998451252
Product page:
http://mpaja.com/viskey
Youtube video:

If you’d like to review Viskey 2.0,
I’m happy to send a Promo
Code over.
Just contact me, Harri Pasanen,
CEO/Owner/Designer/Developer
and now press evangelist.
Screenshots, icons and other
related media are available for
download from here:
http://mpaja.com/static/viskey-
presskit.zip
Submitted by Harri Pasanen

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a cautious welcome as europe looks to lock-in web accessibility

Each Wednesday, we will be bringing you an article of interest as it
pertains to the topic of accessibility and we hope you can use
it to become more familiar with this particular area.
This has become a rapidly growing and very important area and why?
Because the number of consumers in this market is growing and will continue
to do so for the forseeable future.
Governments, corporations, and individuals are paying more attention.
Please read on.
The Sterling Creations team
Follow us on Twitter @accessibleworld.

+++++++++++++++

‘taken from e-access bulletin, a free
monthly email newsletter’, http://www.headstar.com/eab

Note: How would Brexit affect this?

a cautious welcome as europe looks to lock-in web accessibility
a provisional agreement to make public sector websites and mobile apps
across europe more accessible has been reached, creating mixed reactions
from the accessibility community.
the deal between the european parliament, the council of the european union
and the european commission was made earlier this month, and relates to the
existing ‘directive on web accessibility for public sector websites’,
which has been the subject of debate since its introduction in 2012 (see
e-access bulletin’s previous coverage at the following link:
http://eab.li/b
).
if formalised, the directive would demand that both new and existing public
sector sites and apps be more accessible to citizens with disabilities
across the european union (eu). older public sector content would also be
made accessible when requested by citizens.
carine marzin, chair of the european blind union (ebu) campaigns network,
told e-access bulletin that the ebu welcomed this “significant
milestone” based on the information publicly available, but warned that
the final text of the directive is still to be released.
marzin said that the ebu is also encouraged at the inclusion of mobile apps
in the initial agreement – an issue it has been campaigning for. another
eu campaign focused on eliminating proposed exceptions to the directive,
which would have meant that public sector intranet services and other
content formats would have been excluded from accessibility regulations.
marzin said that “significant progress” appeared to have been made on
some of these exceptions, again based on available information. such
intranet services are “very important for all disabled people in terms of
access to education and jobs,” she said.
however, there is still some way to go before any enforceable web
accessibility regulations appear. the agreement needs to be formally
adopted by the council and the european parliament, and then formed into
legislation across all eu countries. in practice, it could be several years
before the proposed new accessibility rules are applicable; legislation
would first be created for new websites, followed by remaining public
sector sites, and mobile apps after that.
technology access charity abilitynet also welcomed the initial agreement,
but called for the measures to go further than just regulating public
sector content. writing on the charity’s website, ceo nigel lewis said:
“abilitynet wholeheartedly welcomes this recent move . but it doesn’t
go far enough . policy makers are missing a trick by not including
websites and apps in the private and third sectors. their sheer volume
vastly outweighs public sector websites and in our experience, they lag
behind the public sector in accessibility terms.”

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The challenge with facial expressions

My perspective
The challenge with facial expressions

For the most part, I depend on one’s voice to help me determine and decipher
expressions. For those who do not have enough sight to read facial
expressions, it is the only method for us to use. When I had enough vision,
I could read some body language but now that is gone, I have to depend
solely on the inflections in one’s voice to help me out.

The reading of body language and facial expressions are so important when it
comes to communicating and you can add how so many use their eyes to express
themselves and you have the picture. Blind persons for the most part are
unable to use their eyes to express themselves but they can certainly use
facial expressions and body language to do so.

I refer to this whole thing as a one way communication path. For whereas I
can use my face and body to express myself, I am unable to read the return
expressions. Just another challenge to deal with.

I’m Donna J. Jodhan your friendly accessibility advocate wishing you a
terrific day and inviting you to come visit me at www.sterlingcreations.ca.

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Don’t take those sounds for granted

Greetings! I’m Scott Savoy, managing editor at
http://www.sterlingcreations.ca and another very hot but pleasant day in our
neck of the woods.
Today, I am delighted to share our president’s weekly editorial and for this
one Donna J. Jodhan asks us not to take those sounds for granted.
I wish you a great weekend.

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Don’t take those sounds for granted
By Donna J. Jodhan

This is what I say to others whenever I get the opportunity to do so and
why? Here in a very large city such as Toronto, there are many sounds for
us to experience and appreciate but on the other hand there are many that we
often miss out on.
How could this be? I am going to speak personally for myself and here goes.

I live in a high rise condo and yes! I often hear the sound of cars racing
along the road, trucks and buses rumbling along, hors blaring, and passers
by talking to each other. This often occurs if I really strain my ears to
hear what’s going on many floors below me in the street.

However, there are other types of sounds that I have grown to love and
appreciate and I am just one of the more fortunate ones who has had those
cherished and priceless opportunities to hear much more than what exists in
the world of a large city living in a high rise condo.

Having spent the first few years of my life in a small city in a small
country, I have always managed to carefully preserve the sounds that mean so
much to me. The sound of raindrops falling either lightly or heavily onto
galvanized roofs. The sounds of laughing kids chasing each other in the
park. The sound of cars making swishing sounds as they travel along wet
streets.

Then there were the sounds of rolling waves coming ashore. The noises of
gentle breezes whistling through tall trees and those singing birds waking
me up each morning with their assortment of songs, melodies, and scales from
A to z.

I can still remember as a child listening for the mournful sounds of the
ships in the harbour on a clear night and enjoying the voices of party goers
walking homeward from dance halls and night clubs. Yes! These are the
sounds that I never take for granted and the ones that have stayed with me
from earliest memories.

Living in a high rise condo I do not have the luxury to hear these but each
time I visit my home town and stay for a while, these are the sounds that
all come back to me and I never tire of enjoying them.

So as I will say once more; don’t take those sounds for granted! You never
know when the day may come that you may not have the opportunity to hear
them again. For if for some reason I am no longer able to visit my home
town; then these memories will need to be even more carefully preserved.

I’m Donna J. Jodhan wishing you a terrific day and weekend.

To reach me, please send an email to info@sterlingcreations.ca and I would
be delighted to send you an electronic copy of our latest newsletter. Or
you can view all of our newsletters at
http://www.sterlingcreations.ca/newsletter.html

Here is a complete list of where you can view Donna’s blogs and editorials.
Donna Jodhan! Advocating accessibility for all
http://www.donnajodhan.blogspot.com
Weekly features on how to increase your success with your business ventures
http://www.sterlingcreations.com/businessdesk.htm
Weekly articles and editorials on issues about accessibility
http://www.sterlingcreations.ca/blog
Learn more about Author Donna Jodhan and her campaign against bullying at
www.jodhanmysterybook.club
Now you can enjoy Donna’s detective DJ crime crushers Series by visiting
http://www.donnajodhan.com

And now her weekly podcast at www.takeanother5.com.
From recipes to apps, and from 5 minutes mysteries to tips for entrepreneurs
and alerts on the latest scams
Available for download from iTunes and Google music playing.

You can follow me on twitter @accessibleworld
and chat with me on Skype at habsfan0526.
Like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/authordonnajodhan

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A headset that talks

Are you looking for a product or service that can help to make life easier
for you or a family
member or friend? Or maybe you are looking for a story to help motivate a
family member or friend who is struggling to deal with their loss of vision?
Not sure where to look?
Well, we have a nifty piece of info to share with you this week.
Enjoy!
The Sterling Creations team
Follow us on Twitter @accessibleworld
and check out our weekly podcast at www.takeanother5.com
Available for download from iTunes and Google play musiic.
Take another 5 brings you recipes, tips on technology, mystery moment, for
the entrepreneur, and scam alerts.

+++++++++++++++

Contributed by Penny Leclair

The scenic route to your happy
place

A headset that talks visually impaired people around cities has been
designed by Microsoft.

It works with a Windows phone and uses location and navigation data with a
network of information beacons in urban locations to describe routes.

The headset was tested on a journey from Reading to London, including
shopping, bus and train travel.

The charity Guide Dogs, which helped develop the technology, said it could
help improve lives.

Of the two million registered visually impaired people in the UK, 180,000
rarely or never go out, according to the charity.

“People living with sight loss face a multitude of challenges every day that
can prevent them from getting where they want to be in life,” explained
Jenny Cook, head of strategy and research at Guide Dogs.

“Currently, visiting a new city is often daunting, even for people with
enough confidence to tackle the challenge independently. For others, who
rarely leave home alone, the thought of an unfamiliar journey leaves them
stressed and anxious and visiting a new area is an impossible dream.”

line

The BBC’s technology correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones tested out the headset.

Before trying out Microsoft’s headset I put on a blindfold, picked up a
white stick and went for a short walk along London’s Grand Union Canal.

All the way, I was being helped by a tutor from the Guide Dogs
organisation – but even so I found it an exhausting and disorientating
experience. That gave me some context for when I used the experimental audio
system on the trial route in Reading.

At first I found it distracting rather than helpful, a clippety-clop sound
echoing around my head plus a repeated ping to say I was on track. But as I
hesitantly made my way down a residential street, across a road and to a bus
stop, the instructions – “parked cars and overhanging trees ahead” – gave me
added confidence and the 3D sound provided me with a somewhat better feel
for my surroundings.

For me it was all about feeling a little less scared – but for the visually
impaired people who have been testing the technology for some weeks, it
seemed to have increased their confidence in taking new routes up to a new
level.

line

The headset is an adapted version of one already on the market. Designed for
cyclists, it sits in front of the ear so as not to drown out traffic and
environmental noise.

Sound is conducted through the jawbone and the headset gives a series of
verbal and non-verbal descriptions.

For someone who has requested a specific route, it will make a series of
clicking noises to assure them they are on the right course and it will
provide specific instructions such as “turn right”.

It also provides information about the route and points of interest.

Greater freedom

Lady wearing a headsetBeacons at bus stops and in shops beam information to
the wearer

Eight people with sight loss have tested the headset and five of those
reported feeling safer and more confident wearing it.

Kirstie Grice, one of those to trial the technology, said: “We want to live
like normal people. We don’t always want to plan ahead to see if we can get
community transport or a taxi or something, we want to be able to just jump
on a bus and go somewhere and have that freedom.”

The idea for the headset, which has been designed in partnership with the
UK’s Future Cities catapult and Guide Dogs, came from a Microsoft employee.

Amos Miller is visually impaired and realised that technology might be able
to help him “enjoy everyday experiences outside of the home” after his
daughter was born.

Some experts have questioned if the technology is capable of being rolled
out widely as it is to rely on a network of beacons attached to street
furniture.

A Microsoft spokesman said: “A lot of the information comes from GPS and
annotated maps in the cloud which provide as much, if not more than, the
beacons.”

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