Top tech tip of the week – MyReader and MyEye from OrCam

If you are in the market for something to help you save time while at the
same time pop a problem; then you have come to the right place.
Below, you will find something to help you just do that and if you would
like to learn more then visit us at www.donnajodhan.com/takeanother5.html
Follow us on Twitter @accessibleworld and like us on facebook at
www.facebook.com/donnajodhan

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

MyReader and MyEye from OrCam
MyReader and MyEye from OrCam: Text and Item Recognition at the Touch of a
Finger

Bill Holton

In a recent AccessWorld article, Choice Finds from the ATIA 2016 Conference
Exhibit
Hall, we
took a first look at the OrCam from Israeli-based OrCam Technologies. The
OrCam is a wearable device that detects what you are looking at, recognizes
the presence of text, and speaks the text aloud. The OrCam can also identify
various products, US currency, credit cards, and even faces.

While many individuals with visual impairments use smartphones and other
mobile devices to accomplish most of these tasks, there is a growing
population of people who are newly blind for whom such a device might enable
a significant step toward personal independence. People who are newly blind
and who do not have substantial technology experience and training may find
this device of particular benefit.

At the time of the previous AccessWorld mention, OrCam was not yet available
for purchase. It is now available with training via a network of
dealers. Recently I had a chance to put the device
through its paces in an extended training session. Here’s what I found.

A quick Tour of OrCam

The OrCam has two components. The first is the processor unit, which is 5.5
inches by 2.25 inches by .8 inches, and weighs just over 5.5 ounces. It fits
easily in the palm of the hand, and is designed to fit into a standard-size
hip pocket. A belt clip is also provided, but using a handbag might be
problematic. A shoulder bag carried on the right shoulder might work, or a
backpack, since there is a 32-inch cable connecting the processor unit to
the OrCam. Hopefully, the company will soon be able to offer the option of
either Bluetooth or other wireless connectivity.

The processor unit has an audio jack, a charging port, and three buttons: a
Power button and Volume Up/Down rocker on one edge, and on the opposite edge
the Trigger button, which the user can press to initiate a scan or hold down
for two seconds with either of the Volume buttons to open the Settings menu.
As you will soon see, however, you can access most essential OrCam features
without using the physical Trigger button.

The second component is the camera/speaker head unit, which is connected to
the other end of the cable. This component snaps on to the right arm of
nearly any standard-size pair of eyeglasses or sunglasses. (Note: wire frame
glasses cannot currently be used with the OrCam.) When attached properly,
the OrCam 8-megapixel camera is positioned at the very front of the glasses,
and the speaker is positioned toward the rear. Weighing in at just over 1
ounce, the head unit does not feel awkward at all to wear. Some prerelease
versions of OrCam Eye used bone conduction earphones, but for the release
version these have been replaced by a single speaker with sound output
directed toward the user’s right ear. Those who have hearing deficits in
this ear may have a problem using OrCam out of the box. Such users may need
to connect their own headphones, external speaker, or hearing aid using the
processor unit’s audio jack.

The non-swappable battery is rated for 4.5 hours of continuous use. It can
be recharged in four hours using a USB power adapter, computer port, or car
charger. At the beginning of my two-hour training session the battery was at
100 percent. It ended at 50 percent, so at first glance these numbers do
seem fair.

The Two Flavors of OrCam

OrCam comes in two versions: OrCam MyEye, which is priced at $3,500, and
OrCam MyReader, which costs $2,500. Let’s take these configurations one by
one, describing what they can and can’t do. Keep in mind that, as is the
case with most camera-based accessibility devices and apps, there is a
certain learning curve involved. I only had one training session, so I also
sought out feedback from an OrCam veteran, which you will find later in this
article.

OrCam MyReader

OrCam MyReader focuses on text recognition. There are two ways to instruct
the device to identify and speak recognized text. First, look directly at
the page or label of text. This can be a bit tricky, at least at first. I
tended to look higher and a bit to the right of my intended target. With
practice I quickly improved my aim. Now, with the target text directly
ahead, press the Trigger button on the processor unit. You will hear a
shutter sound as the image is taken. A second or two later the text will
begin speaking.

Alternatively, place a finger near the top center of the page or block of
text you wish to have read. You will need to place your finger so that the
fingernail is facing up. OrCam recognizes the fingernail, and uses it to set
the camera’s focus. After hearing a confirmation chirp, remove your finger
from the text. This action “triggers” OrCam to auto-snap the picture. If you
do not hear a chirp, remove your finger from view and then try again.

The developers of OrCam have built their own, proprietary text recognition
engine from the ground up. I found the recognition equal to or better than
other OCR products, including the KNFB Reader. OrCam prompts you if the text
is upside down or too blurry to recognize, and seems to do a good job
cleaning up off-center images. It’s also quick, and again, there is no data
connection needed. You do need adequate lighting, however. OrCam tended to
fail in poor light conditions, and there was way to know if the failure was
caused by text not being included in the view or because the light was
inadequate. This lead to several instances where I kept trying to get the
text in view, when my problem was actually poor lighting. Perhaps an
inadequate lighting message should be added.

The text is read using either the Ivona, Brian, or Kendra voice. I found the
results clear and easy to understand, even with the small built-in speaker.
You can change voices, speed, and volume via the Settings menu.

If you wish to stop text reading, simply place your hand in front of the
object you’re reading. To scan the text: after speech begins, place your
finger against the text and slide it down toward where you’d like to skip
to. This was a bit tricky, and my attempts resulted in many recognition
stops and restarts. With practice I was able to perform the gesture about
half the time. I suspect that with further practice I could improve this
gesture even more, but I’m not sure it is a feature I would use enough to
warrant the effort.

Using OrCam I was able to scan the left page and the right page of a book
with high speed and accuracy. OrCam does not save your recognized text after
it has been read. You cannot scan ahead in a book as you listen to previous
pages, or save your scanned text to a computer or other device. And speaking
of computers, when I pointed OrCam at my computer screen it detected I has
an Excel spreadsheet open and began reading the data one row at a time.

Taking OrCam to my pantry, I could touch my finger to a can of corned beef
hash, for instance, or a box of crackers, and OrCam would speak most visible
text. This text tended to be cooking instructions, or nutritional
information, from which I could often as not determine what was in the
package. Product names were problematic, because they are usually printed in
unusual fonts OrCam can’t recognize. There is a way to more consistently
identify products, which I will describe in the next section. For now, it
was time to hit the road.

On the Go with OrCam MyEye

Heading outdoors on the day of my training session I was startled to learn
that, even though I have lived in my current house for eight years, I never
knew that the street number was printed on top of my garage door. As the
instructor and I headed out, the UPS man arrived with two Amazon packages. I
was easily able to tell that one of the boxes was for me and one for my wife
by simply touching the label with my fingertips, then moving my finger away
for the picture to snap. On one of the packages it took me a while to find
the label, since it felt so much like the packing tape. Assuming the
daylight was sufficient, when OrCam did not chirp I knew I had to pull my
finger away and try again.

Corner street signs were also readable, but I cannot say this feature is
particularly useful. I had to be in precisely the right spot, and know at
which of the four corners the sign was located. Trees and other branches
typically interfered, and I had no way to tell if I was even close to being
on target.

Heading to a nearby fast food restaurant/gas station/convenience store, I
was delighted when OrCam read many of the outdoor signs. I do not think it
will be able to distinguish different stores in a strip mall, as most signs
use unusual fonts, and OrCam does not do well with lighted neon.

At the order counter, I could pick up snatches of the menu board overhead. I
could not read it all, so I had to rely on a printed menu.

By happenstance, the previous occupier of the table I selected had left a
newspaper, so between bites of burger I tried reading a few articles. OrCam
did an excellent job columizing and only reading down one column at a time.
I had to start the text recognition again for the next column. I also needed
to have some sense of where things were on the page. OrCam doesn’t identify
when you’re pointing at graphic or picture; it simply doesn’t recognize
these elements on a target.

When using the Trigger button, as opposed to the point gesture, for reading
a newspaper, OrCam reads the text on the entire page, starting at the
top-left corner to the bottom-right corner. OrCam announces “reading next
text block” to distinguish between headlines and different articles.

Our final stop was inside the convenience store, where I was blown away by
OrCam’s capabilities. Walking up to a shelf, I touched a finger to an item.
It read the item name and the price. It was a bag of dog food. I moved on to
another unknown item in a blister pack. OrCam informed me it was a tire
gauge, and also provided the price. Last stop–the refrigerator case, where
I pulled the door open and began touching beverage bottles. Nearly every
time it read what it was and the price tag. It was much easier than my own
pantry or refrigerator, since stores always display items with their labels
front and center.

OrCam MyEye

Along with all the features described above, OrCam MyEye can recognize
currency, credit cards, household or work items you have previously
identified and placed into OrCam’s memory using voice memos/audio tags, and
the faces of friends, family, and coworkers.

Currency must be touched or viewed using the trigger button in order to have
it recognized. The various denominations have been pre-added to the OrCam’s
memory. Other items you will need to add manually.

OrCam MyEye will store and recognize up to 150 credit cards, pantry items,
household cleaners, and other objects from the size of a pack of playing
cards to a box of cereal. To add an item to the device’s memory, press and
hold the Trigger button until OrCam prompts you with “Start new product
learning. Please point at the product three times at different positions.”
It’s best to take one photo with the item at arm’s length, a second closer
up, and the third using a different background.

After snapping the photos you are prompted to add an audio name or
description of the item. Multiple image sets can be taken, if, say, you want
to add the front and back sides of a box, but this will count as two items
toward your maximum of 150. Note: You must still have the item in order to
clear it from memory.

Now, when you wish to identify that box of teabags or distinguish your sugar
canister from your flour canister, touch the item and then pull away your
finger, as though you were identifying text. OrCam will speak your audio
message.

Identifying faces works similarly to object identification. A person only
needs to be photographed and entered into OrCam one time. Press and hold the
trigger button for about two seconds. The OrCam device will ask you to
please name the person in front of you after the beep. Then you confirm the
person by pressing on the trigger button again to complete the facial
recognition entry process.

Now, whenever that person comes into view, OrCam MyEye will play your audio
tag. Remember, it’s playing through a speaker, and though the volume is
fairly low, you should probably avoid names such as “My stupid boss,” or
“The guy who owes me money.”

My trainer had pre-entered his facial image into OrCam MyEye. At the fast
food restaurant when he wandered away I tried to locate him. It took a
while, but finally he came into view and I knew in which direction to look
and speak.

One last feature I discovered on my own was when OrCam MyEye abruptly
announced, “One person is in front of you.” OrCam can recognize that there
are up to eight faces in front of you–a handy feature if you’re standing in
a line, or if you’re at a party wondering if you’re speaking to a person or
a floor lamp.

An OrCam MyEye User Story

As mentioned above, since I only had one OrCam training session I thought it
prudent to check in with another, more experienced user. So I spoke with
Dorothy Boyd, 80, who lives in Titusville, Florida. Boyd has retinitis
pigmentosa, and her vision is limited to four degrees. Her granddaughter is
an optician who followed the progress of OrCam as it was being developed and
obtained a device for Boyd as soon as one was available.

Boyd uses a speech-enabled iPad and Kindle, but she usually prefers to use
her OrCam MyEye to review the screens. “I don’t have to worry about
accidentally touching something I didn’t mean to and changing things,” she
says.

Boyd also uses her OrCam to read her print Bible and daily devotional. Her
husband teaches Sunday school, and she was amazed when she could follow
along with his PowerPoint presentations. “OrCam actually helps me orient my
scans,” she says. “If my finger isn’t pointing directly at the PowerPoint
display it tells me, ‘There’s more text to the right.'”

Boyd doesn’t have many household items in her object recognition database.
She doesn’t need to. “I can usually tell what I’m looking at just by the
snatches of text I hear,” she says. “It’s very handy when I’m looking for
something in the refrigerator–especially when you have a husband who never
puts the mustard back where it belongs.”

Boyd does use the facial recognition. Besides her husband, she’s also
programed her OrCam with images of a number of neighbors and church friends,
her two daughters, four grandchildren, and their spouses, along with her
four great-grandchildren. “My husband can’t sneak up on me anymore,” she
laughs.

Recently, the family threw a big celebration for Boyd’s 80th birthday. “They
gave me eight slips of paper with printed messages like, ‘Today you’re
having your nails done,’ and ‘You’re going on a shopping trip with your
daughters.'”

Final Thoughts

OrCam MyReader and OrCam MyEye definitely work as advertised. For the newly
blind or individuals with physical or cognitive limitations that prevent
them from using a touch screen mobile device, the MyReader and MyEye are
excellent ways to answer the question: “What is this?” Office workers and
others who frequently socialize in groups may also enjoy the OrCam MyEye.

If I have any hesitation about the OrCam it is because of the two different
models. Many years ago when IBM started selling printers under the Lexmark
name they offered two models of laser printers: a 4-page-per-minute and an
8-page-per-minute. The printers were identical, other than the fact that the
company had disabled the higher speed on the low-end model. IBM doesn’t sell
printers anymore. Similarly, OrCam MyReader and MyEye seem identical other
than the preloaded software. MyReader is upgradable to the MyEye, but I
think the company would have been better served by setting a single price
for the full-featured model. I also wonder how long it will be until someone
designs a similar headset unit and connects it wirelessly to an Android
smartphone.

Who knows? Perhaps the company is already hard at work on that very thing.

Product Information

Products: OrCam MyReader and OrCam MyEye Available from: OrCam
Technologies
1-800-713-3741 (US)

OrCam is available in English, French, German, and Hebrew in the following
countries: United States, Canada, Australia, France, Germany, Austria,
Switzerland, UK, and Israel. OrCam will soon be released in Spanish.

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Scam watch! Scams of the week

Hello everyone and we at the business desk are introducing a new feature to
help you become more aware of those nasty scams making the rounds.
This is going to be a weekly feature and we hope that you take advantage of
our info as it will help you to stay out of the way of scams and scammers!
It’s all about scam alerts!

You need to remember that scams come in the following formats:
As emails, as phone calls both recorded and via a live caller, and o yes!
It can even show up at your door and in your mailbox.
And now they are targeting us through texts being sent to our cell phones.

Before giving you the latest scams making the rounds; we have some do nots
to share with you.
Do not respond to emails that look strange to you.
Do not download attachments from unknown senders.
Do not share your username and password to your online banking and any other
online payments facilities with anyone.
Do not give out any banking or personal details on the phone to unknown
callers.
Do not pay any attention to threats from automated phone recordings or from
live persons with regard to your credit card or that you owe money to any
revenue agency.
Do not entertain any offers either via email or by phone from senders and
callers offering incredible service packages as they may pertain to cable
and tv services, prizes that you have won, or any sort of any type of
service package.
Do not answer the door to unknown callers.
Take extra caution to make sure that the details of your credit cards and
debit cards are fully protected when you make payments at restaurants or at
stores, pharmacies, and elsewhere.
Do not enter your password for Facebook or Twitter in response to a text
request on your cell phone.
The same if you are asked for your Apple ID.
Do not fall prey to a text message telling you that your banking details
have been compromised online.

Scams of the week –

1. For this week we see that phone calls are being made to us with the
caller claiming to be the tax crime expert. This call originates from India
and you need to know that as soon as you hear a voice with a very thick
accent; just hang up and go on with your business.
Many of the scam calls these days originate outside of North America and it
is hardly likely that any agency or company would send you an automated
call.

2. The caller pretending to be that good old researcher. Now, it is often a
bit difficult to be able to tell which is authentic and which is not.
Indeed, there are genuine researchers out there making genuine calls but how
can you tell? We say that you simply hang up if you are not sure!

3. Another repeat offender and this time it is the one sending you those
fake invoices and if you make the mistake to download the attachments from
these emails; you are simply opening up yourself to an unknown person and
giving them the keys to your kingdom so to speak.
Just ignore these emails and delete them. Do not even open them.

Until next week.

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Who’s promising what?

Greetings everyone and alas! It is almost the end of May and I simply
cannot believe that this month is just about over. Where did it all go?
Today, I am delighted to share our president’s weekly editorial with you and
for today Donna J. Jodhan talks about who is promising what! With the
Province of Ontario election just around the corner; we would like to know
if leaders are going to pay any attention to the voices of Ontarians with
disabilities.
Here’s to a great holiday weekend.
And enjoy that fabulous Royal Wedding spectacular!
I’m Christian Robicheau.

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Who is promising what?
By Donna J. Jodhan

With an Ontario election scheduled to take place on June 09 and who knows;
by the time that this editorial gets posted we may have had our illustrious
Party leaders promising to make things better for Ontarians with
disabilities.

To date, it has been deafeningly silent on this scene but one never knows
when one of these fine folks could break the silence bubble. In the
meantime though, we could only wish and hope but more than this that
whatever is promised is made with the sincerest commitment and that this
commitment will be realized.

After thinking about this for some time now and chatting with others, I
think that one of the most important issues for our community would be for
Party leaders to recognize that the ADP program which has been in existence
for many years now no longer serves our needs in any sort of meaningful way.
True it is that when it was set up so long ago it was meant to assist
persons with disabilities to be able to afford technology.

For whereas the intention was a great one at the time; I am afraid that
within recent years this program has really sunk to its lowest objectives.
As we stand today, several categories have either been scrapped or changed
to such an extent that it is no longer possible to obtain any sort of
technology of the day.

In addition, the wait for persons to receive their technology has increased
several fold. ADP vendors have to wait extra long to receive compensation.
By the time that recipients do receive their technology it is already
outdated.
We are told that we can only apply every five years and this alone is a
severe restriction on us because it is always going to put us behind.
ADP vendors continue to struggle to support us and nine out of 10 times
their technical support and training are practically non existent.

I can only hope that Party leaders, if they decide to pay attention to the
needs of Ontarians with disabilities, will take the time to address this
problem. For after all, we pay our taxes like everyone else. Don’t we?

Just my two cents for today.

I’m Donna J. Jodhan wishing you a terrific weekend.
To reach me, please send an email to info@sterlingcreations.ca

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.donnajodhan.com/takeanother5.html
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

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Tech tip of the week – Capti Voice Narrator on the App Store

If you are in the market for something to help you save time while at the
same time pop a problem; then you have come to the right place.
Below, you will find something to help you just do that and if you would
like to learn more then visit us at www.donnajodhan.com/takeanother5.html
Follow us on Twitter @accessibleworld and like us on facebook at
www.facebook.com/donnajodhan

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

Capti Voice Narrator on the App Store

Open iTunes to buy and download apps.
Description
Listen to everything you want to read on the go and at your leisure!
You can listen to any content from Safari, Chrome, GoogleDrive, Dropbox,
Bookshare, or Gutenberg. Whether you are a student, a language learner, a
commuter, a busy professional, a retiree, or a person with dyslexia or
other print disabilities, Capti will improve your productivity and make
your reading more enjoyable. Synchronize your Playlist and switch seamlessly
between your devices.
Visit www.captivoice.com to download Capti for your computer
FREE FEATURES
Text to Speech: Turn any text into an audiobook; listen hands-free and
eyes-free Save for Later: Save documents and web articles for later in
your Playlist and access it even offline; synchronize your Playlist and
your reading position across all your devices Sophisticated Navigation:
Jump to the next/previous word, sentence, paragraph, heading, or page
Screen-Reader Support: Extensively customized for VoiceOver
PREMIUM PLAN BENEFITS
Full-text search of your Playlist: The search algorithm is intelligent,
and will guess the best matching tracks even when the exact match cannot be
found Store and view images with text: In tracks created from EPUB, PDF,
or DOC(X) documents you will be able to see both text and images File
Size Limit: Add documents and books that are up to 100MB in size; default
limit is 10MB Word Translation: Right-click any word in the track to
translate the word to your language (available on Windows and Mac only)
Create Playlists: Stay organized by saving tracks into different playlists.
CONTENT SOURCES
Safari, Chrome, or the built-in browser
Any browser on your Mac or PC (visit www.captivoice.com)
Project Gutenberg: 49,000+ titles of public domain literature Bookshare:
300,000+ titles for people with print disabilities Google Drive
Dropbox
OneDrive
Pocket
Instapaper
Copy-paste via clipboard
Share from other apps
Email attachments
Other Capti users (AirDrop)
SUPPORTED FORMATS
PDF, DOC, DOCX, PPT, PPTX, RTF, TXT, EPUB, ODT, ODP, ZIP, HTML, HTM
IN PRESS
“…a wonderful, free tool for listening to web content while driving, biking,
exercising – whatever.” – Doug Bardwell, Examiner.com “Capti Narrator
offers me an attractive solution to the challenge of reading my iPhone while
on the elliptical every morning.” – Peter Himler, Forbes.com “I highly
recommend the use of CAPTI.” – Ben Maynigo, Asian Journal USA “…godsend for
busy multitaskers. ” – Gregory Zeller, Long Island Business News
APP STORE TESTIMONIALS:
“A must have for parents” – Garrets24601
“This will change the way I travel” – Detroitmakeovers
“It’ll be the best app for readers! ” – Abhimanyu B.
CAPTI SPEAKS IN
Arabic, Dutch, Czech, Danish, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek,
Hungarian, Hindi, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Polish,
Portuguese, Romanian, Norwegian, Russian, Slovak, Spanish, Swedish, Thai,
Turkish
PREMIUM PLAN SUBSCRIPTION DETAILS
Available plans: free limited-time trial, $1.99 per month, or $9.99 for 6
months Payment will be charged to iTunes Account at confirmation of
purchase Subscription automatically renews unless auto-renew is turned off
at least 24-hours before the end of the current period Depending on your
plan, your Account will be charged $1.99 or $9.99 for renewal within
24-hours prior to the end of the current period Subscriptions may be
managed by the user and auto-renewal may be turned off by going to the
user’s Account Settings after purchase No cancellation of the current
subscription is allowed during active subscription period Any unused
portion of a free trial period, if offered, will be forfeited when the user
purchases a subscription Terms of Service:
https://www.captivoice.com/capti-site/public/entry/terms_of_service
Privacy Policy:
https://www.captivoice.com/capti-site/public/entry/privacy_policy
GET IN TOUCH
Want to help? – Send suggestions and bug reports to:
feedback@captivoice.com
Source: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/capti-voice-narrator/id437052502

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How accessible are those apps?

Greetings to all and a very happy Mother’s Day to all moms out there!
Another gorgeous weekend is in store for us and today I am delighted to
share our president’s weekly editorial with you.
For this week, Donna J. Jodhan talks about accessible apps.
Great reading and I hope you take a minute to read.
I wish you a great weekend.
I’m Scott Savoy.

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

How accessible are those apps?
By Donna J. Jodhan

Like everything else; there are accessible apps and then there are
accessible apps. These days, apps are being developed by persons with a
plethora of backgrounds.

We have developers, hobbyists, those doing it on the fly, and on and on we
go. We have those who truly understand the meaning of the words
accessibility and usability and how to make their apps available to those
persons with disabilities.

Then we have those who develop apps on the fly to meet the needs of a
specific function or that of a niche market. Then we have those who do it
just to see if their creation will sell.

No matter what; it is not possible to control whether or not an app is
developed with usability and accessibility in mind. We can however expect
that when Apple puts out an app, there is a certain degree of accessibility
and usability built into it. This is as far as we can expect.

There is no way to mandate app developers to include accessibility and
usability into the creation and development of their apps and there is no
way to force them to change present apps to include such. All that we can
do is to hope that they do indeed do and one way of doing this is for us to
start raising awareness of the benefits for apps that are made accessible
and usable.

What kind of benefits are we thinking of? Primarily to a wider range of
consumers; seniors, those with disabilities, and those who did not grow up
in the age of technology. our population is aging rapidly, something that
is not going to change so we might as well adjust to this fact and use it to
increase accessibility and usability.

Just my two cents for today.

I’m Donna J. Jodhan wishing you a terrific weekend.
To reach me, please send an email to info@sterlingcreations.ca

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.donnajodhan.com/takeanother5.html
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

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Top app of the week – the Weather Gods App

If you are in the market for something to help you save time while at the
same time pop a problem; then you have come to the right place.
Below, you will find something to help you just do that and if you would
like to learn more then visit us at www.donnajodhan.com/takeanother5.html
Follow us on Twitter @accessibleworld and like us on facebook at
www.facebook.com/donnajodhan

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For this week we have a fantastic article to share with you that points you
to a nifty little app.
We invite you now to read on.

Weather Gods App
This article originated from the
www.Apple vis.com website
weather gods (ios, us$2.99)
meet the gods: fire, ice, water, air & moon delivering you the weather as
you have never experienced it before. weather gods redefines the weather app
with painstakingly
crafted data visualizations, procedural graphics and audio that enable you
to literally see, hear and feel the weather. with no more weather icons to
decode, the weather gods
is simply the quickest, most engaging, most enjoyable way to get the
accurate weather information you need.
the weather gods skillfully integrates premium weather data into an elegant,
ios exclusive, easy-to-use interface that will delight casual users and
weather enthusiasts alike.
with a wealth of rich weather data from the world’s most
respected providers, the weather gods provide detailed site-based forecasts
for over a million locations
worldwide. our advanced, next-generation notifications are easy to setup and
bring you exactly the information you want right when you need it.
with 24 hour charts, observed weather, built in moon phase, widget, world
clock and much, much more, the weather gods is a powerful personal time
machine that lets you travel
the world and visit the future. please come join us on this exciting journey
as we begin our mission to bring you the finest, most practical, most
enjoyable weather app
experience ever. we can’t wait to hear what you think!
current version: 1.3.1 (may 31, 2017)
changes in version 1.2-1.3.1
* new notification engine for push notifications. you no longer
need to keep the app in the switcher!
* new: full support for ipad in landscape
* new: sunset notification
* new: combined weather wheel charts
* new: show device status bar
* update: voiceover; current temperature in timeline
* update: voiceover; fix for day high and low temperatures
* update: voiceover now uses a picker for the volume control in
settings
read weather gods’ applevis ios app directory entry for more information
visit weather gods’ app store page

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Another perspective of emotional abuse

Greetings everyone and welcome to the merry month of May.
Today I am delighted to share our president’s weekly editorial with you and
for this week Donna J. Jodhan focuses her attention on emotional abuse.
Have a great weekend.
I’m Christian Robicheau

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

Another perspective of emotional abuse
By Donna J. Jodhan

For the most part, whenever society hears the words ” emotional abuse” being
uttered the most popular reaction seems to be that it more than likely
relates to what has been going on in some sort of relationship. However, I
am going to try and paint another perspective.

My perspective has probably always been quietly simmering on the back burner
at the back of my mind just waiting for me to bring it to a boil and I am
afraid that for me it is now.

The other day a friend mused to me in pure frustration that maybe and just
maybe it would be better for persons with disabilities to choose the path of
having our rights violated as opposed to subjecting ourselves to continuous
emotional abuse due to complaints systems and processes that are highly
stacked in favor of respondents.

These words coming from someone who generally has a positive attitude really
resonated with me and hence this editorial. I respectfully submit that I
sadly agree with this comment.

As it stands today; our Federal Government continues to allow certain of its
departments to use complaints systems and processes that are for the most
part broken, inaccessible and unusable to persons with disabilities, and
ones where respondents with deep pockets are being allowed to bully,
intimidate, and force complainants to give up the fight.

In addition, these departments are perceived to be nothing more than paper
tigers with no authority to do anything but listen and dismiss. In short,
their roles are perceived to be nothing but ceremonial.

Just imagine this! Many complaints take years to be resolved. Respondents
with deep pockets are allowed to drag out complaints instead of being
mandated to address them.
Complainants complain, respondents take departments to court and drag
complainants along for the ride instead of adhering to decisions handed down
by said department if they do not like the decision.
Online forms are inaccessible. Websites are also inaccessible and unusable.
Staff often lack awareness skills. Tribunals and panels are often void of
persons with a disability, women, and persons of ethnic backgrounds.

This is a very sad and unhealthy picture and it is no wonder that many of us
out here honestly feel that this all leads to emotional abuse. If one does
not know how to navigate the system, they might as well give up before they
start. If they do not either possess the necessary will and expertise or
have access to someone with the necessary expertise, then they might as well
give up instead of subjecting themselves to emotional abuse.

In short; persons with disabilities are practically on their own out here
without much support and/or protection from respondents with deep pockets.
This is what I humbly call emotional abuse.

Just my two cents for today.

I’m Donna J. Jodhan wishing you a terrific weekend.
To reach me, please send an email to info@sterlingcreations.ca

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.donnajodhan.com/takeanother5.html
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

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Top apps of the week – from the April Apple NewViz newsletter

If you are in the market for something to help you save time while at the
same time pop a problem; then you have come to the right place.
Below, you will find something to help you just do that and if you would
like to learn more then visit us at www.donnajodhan.com/takeanother5.html
Follow us on Twitter @accessibleworld and like us on facebook at
www.facebook.com/donnajodhan

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

Welcome to the April 2018 edition of AppleVis Unlimited, our monthly
newsletter which aims to highlight what’s new and noteworthy on the AppleVis
website. Below, you’ll find a selection of the best content posted to
AppleVis – from new app entries, to app updates, to the latest news and
podcasts. For easier navigation, the major sections of this post are at
heading level 3, and each individual item is at heading level 4.

New and Noteworthy App Entries

1. Birdees – Birthday Reminder (iOS, US$0.99)

Birthdays are easily forgotten. Wouldn’t it be great to be reminded of the
most important day of your family members and friends.

BIRTHDAYS

Keep an eye on all birthdays – Birdees shows a list of all upcoming
birthdays. Customize the list according to your needs – do you want to see
past birthdays or want to peek into the future? And for a quick overview,
you can use the Today widget that shows the next four upcoming birthdays.

With Birdees, you can import the birthdays right from your contacts, but
also create new birthdays without the need to create a contact first. This
keeps your contact list clean, but still reminds you of upcoming birthdays.

REMINDER

Let Birdees remind you of upcoming birthdays – how often and whenever you
like. Birdees is the only birthday app where you can set an unlimited amount
of notifications. This means that no birthday will be forgotten anymore.

GROUPS

Use different groups for your family members, your friends and colleagues.
Set your reminders on a per group basis and determine the right time to be
notified for each birthday.

UPDATES

A long list with further improvements to make birthday management even
easier is already next to me on the table. I’m constantly working on keeping
Birdees up-to-date and enhancing the app. If you notice something that is
not working yet or something that would make your life with Birdees easier,
send an email to hello@birdeesapp.de.

Current Version: 3.0.5 (April 23, 2018)

Read Birdees – Birthday Reminder’s AppleVis App Directory entry for more
information
https://www.applevis.com/apps/ios/lifestyle/birdees-birthday-reminder
Visit Birdees – Birthday Reminder’s App Store page
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/birdees-birthday-reminder/id1252413626?mt=8&at=11l4LS

2. Eye-D (iOS, Free)

Eye-D is here to assist the visually impaired in independent living by
helping them evaluate the world around them with help of their smartphone.

It will work as your companion when you travel, help you explore places,
tell you about the objects in front of you and read text whenever you need.

This is what we have built for you:

* Where Am I: Be it the busiest suburbs of Mumbai or the loneliest roads of
Siberia, whether you are a common man or zombie, Eye-D will make sure
that you are never lost. Tap on “Where Am I” and let the magic
happen. You get to know your location with a list of landmarks nearby.
Found any of the landmark interesting? Then why wait tap the preferred
landmark and Eye-D guides you to it with directions (currently by opening
Apple/ Google maps for navigation).
* Around Me: Stuck in an alien town? Calm down, fire the Eye-D app and
select “Around Me”. Bingo!! You can now find ATM’s, Banks, Bus
stops, Cinemas, Restaurants, Hospitals, Stores and even the Religious
places nearby. Select the desired category and navigate to the preferred
place. To ensure that you never miss out a place we have provided a
search radius controller. So the next time you don’t find a relevant
place nearby try adjusting the search radius to anything in the range of
500 to 5500 meters. What? Still in that alien town? Come-on find the
nearest bus stop and head out.
* See Object: I’m facing the gate… No the lemon tree…. No the bike,
Easy pal!! Use the See Object mode in the Eye-D app to evaluate your
surroundings. Click on this mode, take a picture and Eye-D app will tell
you what’s in front. So the next time you are standing at the window
use the See Object mode to check what’s happening on the other side. In
case you missed the description the first time simply swipe right to hear
again.
* Read Text: We designed this feature so that next time your visit a
restaurant or want to get a novel for you friend you won’t have to ask
anyone for help. Open read text mode, click a picture and Eye-D app will
read the text in front you. You can swipe right to hear the text again in
case you missed it the first time.

Current Version: 1.1.1 (April 1, 2018)

Read Eye-D’s AppleVis App Directory entry for more information
https://www.applevis.com/apps/ios/productivity/eye-d
Visit Eye-D’s App Store page
https://itunes.apple.com/my/app/eye-d/id1354363634?mt=8&at=11l4LS

3. Eyes-Free Fitness (iOS, Free With In-App Purchases)

Eyes-Free Fitness is the first app designed to help people who are blind and
visually impaired reach their health and fitness goals. The cornerstone of
the app is the variety of workout types for people of all levels and
aspirations of health. All workouts are described fully, so they can be done
‘Eyes-Free’. Additionally, access blog and podcast content from
BlindAlive, and expand your health knowledge and horizons. The app
interfaces with Apple Watch health data, and offers complete support for
VoiceOver and dynamic text. For more information about BlindAlive and
Eyes-Free Fitness, please visit our website. www.BlindAlive.com

Current Version: 1.1.3 (April 26, 2018)

Read Eyes-Free Fitness’ AppleVis App Directory entry for more information
https://www.applevis.com/apps/ios/health-and-fitness/eyes-free-fitness
Visit Eyes-Free Fitness’ App Store page
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/eyes-free-fitness/id966686576?ls=1&mt=8&at=11l4LS

4. FlickType Keyboard (iOS, Free)

familiar? It’s because it is! Using the standard QWERTY layout and 3
simple flick gestures, FlickType is the fastest available typing method for
blind and low-vision users, ever. You don’t need to learn a new way to
type. Just tap where it feels natural and FlickType’s powerful algorithms
will get it right, almost every time!

No more spacebar or other control keys to hunt for. Simply flick right for
space. To delete, flick left. Not the right word? Flick down for alternative
suggestions.

An extremely fluid typing experience, and with enough additional functions
to satisfy the book writer in you, FlickType will turn the chore of typing
into something you may actually enjoy!

Happy typing! Smile

Current Version: 1.0 (April 24, 2018)

Read FlickType Keyboard’s AppleVis App Directory entry for more information
https://www.applevis.com/apps/ios/productivity/flicktype-keyboard
Visit FlickType Keyboard’s App Store page
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/flicktype-keyboard/id1359485719?mt=8&at=11l4LS

5. Sleep Watch (iOS, US$2.99)

Track sleep with your Apple Watch automatically. No buttons to press. Just
wear your Watch to bed and wake to insightful sleep analysis and
personalized feedback. Automatically log your data. Follow your sleep trends
with powerful charting tools. Don’t have an Apple Watch? Sleep Watch can be
used without a Watch by logging your sleep manually.

How it works

1) Wear your Apple Watch to bed (do not enable Power Reserve)
2) Upon waking, check the Watch or iPhone app to see your auto-detected
sleep details; that’s it!
3) Opt to confirm or adjust your auto-detected sleep times in the iPhone
app to help us build you a smarter sleep detection algorithm

We recommend scheduling ‘Do Not Disturb’ to turn on automatically during
your typical sleeping hours to prevent any Watch notifications from
disturbing your sleep. This can be done in the iPhone Watch App > My Watch >
General > ‘Do Not Disturb’ section. We also recommend enabling ‘Theatre
Mode’ while asleep to keep your Watch screen dark until waking.

Features

* Auto Sleep: Automatically log your estimated total sleep time, total
restful sleep time, avg. sleeping heart rate, sleeping heart rate dip,
sleep rhythm, and sleep activity levels for each day by simply wearing
your Apple Watch to bed
* Discover: Take control of your sleep habits with AI-powered, personalized
insights. Every body is unique. Using artificial intelligence, Discover
uncovers the lifestyle choices you make that appear to help you achieve a
better night’s rest. The more data you track with Sleep Watch, the more
you can Discover.
* Sleeping Heart Rate Dip Tracking: Studies among particular populations
suggest that the more heart rate slows—or “dips”—during sleep
compared to waking may be better for both overall and cardiovascular
health in years to come. Get motivated to build a healthier lifestyle and
start tracking your sleeping heart rate dip today.
* Sleep Rhythm Tracking: track an estimate of how consistently you sleep at
the same time each day
* Sleep Charge Tracking: a fun new way to help you track and recover from
recently missed sleep
* Easy Editing: Manually adjust your detected sleep times to your desired
accuracy
* Daily Sleep Goal: See daily progress towards your custom sleep goal
* Daily Briefings: Effortlessly get daily notifications about how you slept
* Powerful Trending: Track daily, weekly, or monthly changes in sleep stats
* Auto sync sleep data to Health app
* Share each day’s sleep
* Create an account and access your data cross-devices
* See last night’s sleep details on your Watch
* Watch Complications

Current Version: 3.7.3 (April 28, 2018)

Read Sleep Watch’s AppleVis App Directory entry for more information
https://www.applevis.com/apps/ios/health-and-fitness/sleep-watch
Visit Sleep Watch’s App Store page
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/sleep-watch-by-bodymatter/id1138066420?mt=8&at=11l4LS

6. Woven Words (iOS, Free With In-App Purchases)

It all fits together in this unique brain-twister!

The Woven Words puzzle grids come in all different shapes and sizes, and
when you’re done every row and every column will spell out complete words!
Each game board is a mix of letters and blank tiles. Can you find the right
letters for the blank tiles so that every line spells a word both down and
across?

The free app includes 6 basic puzzles so you can get your feet wet – and
then 12 more challenging puzzles to test your skills. In addition, over five
hundred more puzzles are available for purchase.

We’ve worked hard to make Woven Words fully accessible with VoiceOver.

Read Woven Words’ AppleVis App Directory entry for more information
https://www.applevis.com/apps/ios/games/woven-words
Visit Woven Words’ App Store page
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/woven-words/id1318581239?mt=8&at=11l4LS

All recent app entries posted to AppleVis can be found at:

iOS http://www.applevis.com/apps/latest?type=ios_app_directory
Mac http://www.applevis.com/apps/latest?type=mac_app_directory
Apple Watch
http://www.applevis.com/apps/latest?type=apple_watch_app_directory
Apple TV http://www.applevis.com/apps/latest?type=apple_tv_app_directory

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Scam alerts! Scams of the week

Hello everyone and we at the business desk are introducing a new feature to
help you become more aware of those nasty scams making the rounds.
This is going to be a weekly feature and we hope that you take advantage of
our info as it will help you to stay out of the way of scams and scammers!
It’s all about scam alerts!

You need to remember that scams come in the following formats:
As emails, as phone calls both recorded and via a live caller, and o yes!
It can even show up at your door and in your mailbox.
And now they are targeting us through texts being sent to our cell phones.

Before giving you the latest scams making the rounds; we have some do nots
to share with you.
Do not respond to emails that look strange to you.
Do not download attachments from unknown senders.
Do not share your username and password to your online banking and any other
online payments facilities with anyone.
Do not give out any banking or personal details on the phone to unknown
callers.
Do not pay any attention to threats from automated phone recordings or from
live persons with regard to your credit card or that you owe money to any
revenue agency.
Do not entertain any offers either via email or by phone from senders and
callers offering incredible service packages as they may pertain to cable
and tv services, prizes that you have won, or any sort of any type of
service package.
Do not answer the door to unknown callers.
Take extra caution to make sure that the details of your credit cards and
debit cards are fully protected when you make payments at restaurants or at
stores, pharmacies, and elsewhere.
Do not enter your password for Facebook or Twitter in response to a text
request on your cell phone.
The same if you are asked for your Apple ID.
Do not fall prey to a text message telling you that your banking details
have been compromised online.

Scams of the week –

1. for this weeek, We see an Air Canada email appearing in our inbox asking
us to take a satisfaction survey.
The email tells us that we have been chosen to do so.
However, it is not signed at the bottom and this is the biggest give away.
You know what to do.
Delete this email.
If you are too curious and visit the website using the link that is provided
then you run the risk of having some malware inadvertently downloaded to
your system.
Then the fun will start and you’ll be in huge difficulty.

2. You still need to be on the lookout for those nasty phone calls from the
IRS and from the CRA threatening you with action because they say that you
owe money.
Folks, it’s tax time and these are just the routine calls from those
scammers and hackers.
Simply hang up and go about your business.

Until next week.

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Complacency or condescension?

Greetings everyone and it’s the final weekend of April and I know that many
of us would be just happy to say so long to this month; one of the most
unpleasant weatherwise in a very long time.
Today, I am pleased to share our president’s latest editorial with you and
for this week Donna J. Jodhan focuses her attention on
asking this question; complacency or condescension.
Tell us what you think.
Enjoy your weekend.
I’m Scott Savoy

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Complacency or condescension?
By Donna J. Jodhan

It is often difficult for me to decide which of the two is being dished out
to me whenever I take that decisive step to either challenge an entity or
God forbid the system. Sometimes it is not difficult.
That is; whenever my intuition tells me that I am being placated which means
complacency or whenever I am being treated to interesting comments which
means condescension.

I think that I have now lived long enough to know the difference and what do
I really mean? Well, here goes.

There are those companies and organizations that truly believe that they
have done enough and that they do not really need to do any more. They
truly believe that their efforts have gone far enough and now it is time for
them to rest on their laurels. Then there are those companies that use
their high priced lawyers to try and persuade, intimidate, and bully you
into either thinking that they don’t need to do any more, that they have
done enough, that they have done what is necessary and that they are right
and you are not.

The former is what I call complacency and the latter is what I call
condescension. For trust me when I tell you that there are entities out
there that believe that they can get away with either of these two
strategies and it only makes things worse for complainants whenever the ones
that they are counting on to help, support, and protect them and their
rights are nothing but paper tigers with plastic teeth!

I am afraid that sadly enough this is the picture that Canadians with
disabilities face today and as complainants they will continue to face off
against companies and organizations that are being allowed to get away with
either complacency or condescension or a combination of both. For as long
as the various levels of Government continue to dance to the tunes of
industry and entities with deep pockets and high priced lawyers,
complainants with a disability will continue to be subjected to systems and
processes that are unfairly eschewed against them.

We need to bare in mind that for the most part, lawyers are only out to win
on behalf of their clients and as long as their clients are willing to pay
high legal fees this picture is not going to change. Can it change?

This is the million dollar question that I personally continue to ask myself
every day and I am definitely not alone. We could either continue to put up
with it or we can decide that enough is enough and come together to do
something about it. It’s our choice.

Just my two cents for today.

I’m Donna J. Jodhan wishing you a terrific weekend.
To reach me, please send an email to info@sterlingcreations.ca

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.donnajodhan.com/takeanother5.html
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