Sao Mai AccessTech Issue 47

Opening Message

Dear Readers,

Time flies! Our Tech team is back and hope to bring you more exciting news and useful articles in this issue. Firstly, we would like to give you a quick update on Sao Mai related news:
1) We welcome MS Lu Le Huong on board! She will join our materials production team, be in charge of Braille transcription and printing.
2) Since June 12th, 2017, we have moved to the new office located at: 52/22 Huynh Thien Loc St., Hoa Thanh ward, Tan Phu Dist., HCM, Vietnam. All other contact information is still same as before. During the first week of June, users couldn’t download files including software and digital books due to our transition to the new office, we apologize for this inconvenience.
3) All books from our digital library now are added with Epub format and two courses on NVDA Basics and Microsoft Word with NVDA has been uploaded and opened for free on our online training page.

In this issue 47, beside interesting tech news around the world, you will find useful articles such as a preview of new accessibility features of upcoming Apple platforms, using OneDrive on Windows 10 with screen reader, continuing with series of notes for Gmail users, a good replacement for Talkback on later Samsung smartphones with Samsung Voice Assistance and the article about accessibility basics for web developers.
In the Tips and Tricks section, there are 4 quick tips which you might find helpful for your daily uses, included: block incoming calls on iPhone, light detector app, manage multi-sims on Android phones and how to make the later antivirus program AVG to be accessible as before.

Hope you enjoy reading and with best regards,
Sao Mai Tech Team

 

News Section

VNSpeak Update for Windows 64-bit – A Vietnamese SAPI-5 Compliant TTS

According the feat back from Vietnamese blind users, later in May, 2017, Le Anh Tuan released the VNSpeak TTS for Windows 64 bit. This synthesizer is compatible with most of version of Windows 32 and 64 bits. Download the latest version from http://www.vnspeak.com/en.

 

Switching from Jaws to NVDA

The article about switching from Jaws to NVDA is still updated frequently. You can read this at http://bit.ly/2qCkMMp.

 

Window-eyes Discontinued

This screen-reader has been end of sale in the US and Canada. Users outside of the United States and Canada should contact their local distributor for support. You can still use Window-eyes, but it might not compatible with the future updates of Windows and applications.
Jaws 18.0® is a recommended screen-reader replacement. Find out more at  http://www.gwmicro.com/window-eyes/migrate. Or, you can use NVDA – a free open source screen reader as a replacement. Check out at http://bit.ly/2qZrg4d.

 

EdSharp 4.0 Update

Jamal Mazrui has been updated version 4.0 of EdSharp. This is a free open source text editor and the interface is similar to Notepad++. It supports multiple programming language, quite accessible, even it can work without screen reader. Download and try it at http://bit.ly/2r5Fdl9

 

NVDA 2017.2

On May 29th, NV Access released the official version of NVDA 2017.2. Some of its new highlight features are included: full support for audio ducking in the Windows 10 Creators Update; fixes for several selection issues in browse mode, including problems with select all; significant improvements in Microsoft Edge support; and improvements on the web such as indication of elements marked as current (using aria-current). Full list of new features and changes can be viewed at What’s new item under the help NVDA menu.

 

Collection of NVDA 2017 Conference Audio Presentations

As announced in our last issue, from May 19-21, NV Access hosted an annual NVDA conference for its user community. For your easy navigation, we made this list of audio presentations here. More information can be viewed on the NVDA conference itself at: www.nvdacon.org

 

Inclusive Design 24 – A Free Community Online Event

Last June 9th, the Paciello Group organized a free community online event which will have different presentations about how to design and make technology related products accessible for all. Presentations can be seen on their YouTube channel; or, read more information the at Inclusive Design website.

 

Smart Braille Watch Has Been Delayed

Recently, Dot Inc. just announced that their first smart Braille Dot Watch product will be delayed in final release and haven’t confirmed the date yet. They said that they need more time to change the band, improve the accuracy including Braille cells, Bluetooth connection and using mobile apps.

 

Zoomtext Fusion 11

On May 30th, VFO just made an announcement on their new product, Zoomtext Fusion, which is considered as a joint solution for users who want to have both Zoomtext screen magnification and Jaws screen reading features. With Fusion, users can either run Zoomtext and Jaws together or independently. It uses the same activation license code so obtaining Fusion license will authorize you your both Zoomtext and Jaws. The price is 1,200USD for Home and 1,500USD for Pro version.

 

SeeingAI – Smart Class for the Blind

SeeingAI project is being implemented with the aim to develop a smart class which will describe scenes around by capturing the images, analyzing and giving the object description to the blind. Some It can describe quite much information such as front person’s emotions, how old is he/she and things around etc. This project is carried out with the cooperation between the Pivothead and Microsoft. It’s developed based on the combination of Microsoft Cognitive Service and Pivothead image processing technology.

 

New Touch Tablet – Helping vision Disabilities Explore

Researchers at École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) have developed a tablet to help people with a vision disability find their way around unfamiliar places. The device very quickly forms shapes and relief maps that users can then explore with their fingers, using their sense of touch. The tablet could also be used to help school children with vision disabilities learn subjects such as geometry or mathematics. There are tiny buttons on the screen which will show the map of things around such as the door in a room, tables and stairs etc. These buttons are designed without using the power in order to save the battery for the tablet. Watch the introduction about this product on YouTube here.

 

Free EasyReader App for iOS

In the celebration of 30th anniversary of Dolphin, an England based assistive technology company, they released a free accessible reader app for iOS platform. According to their announcement, unlike other mainstream reading apps, EasyReader has no restrictions to accessibility. Users can increase text size, adjust colors, highlights and contrast, add speech to books and newspapers which have no inbuilt narration or choose from 100,000s of audio books available immediately. Readers with dyslexia can read with dyslexia friendly fonts and colors with perfectly synchronized text and audio.
In addition, users can access to about 21 digital libraries in 70 countries and some of popular accessible book libraries are included: Bookshare®, NFB-NEWSLINE®, RNIB Bookshare and Vision Australia.

 

Stop supporting old versions of Sdkype

Many of us prefer using an old version of skype. May be because we don’t like its new feature, or not familiar with its new interface. However, on July 1, 2017, any old versions of skype will be end of support. Skype user must update to the latest version of this program to keep in touch with people. See which devices need to update at http://bit.ly/1mFiHpu and get the latest skype for your devices at https://www.skype.com/download.

 

Article Section

New Accessibility Features on Apple Platforms Released Later Year 2017

By Dang Hoai Phuc

Listing main accessibility features improved and added in Apple iOS, watchOS, tvOS and macOS platforms which are planned to release later this year.

 

Get started using a screen reader with the OneDrive app for Windows 10 Part I

Edited by Dang Manh Cuong

You might know some popular file storage services like Google Drive and Dropbox. This article part 1 will guide you on how to use another popular service of Microsoft called OneDrive, using this application on Windows 10 with screen reader. Part 1 will focus on how to run the app, upload/download and share files with others. More advanced features will be published in the next issue.

 

Notes on Sending and Receiving Emails with Gmail

By Dang Hoai Phuc

Do you know how many messages you can send per day or can receive per hour? How Gmail categorizes your incoming messages and check for spammed ones? This quick article will introduce some main points that we should know about when using Gmail service to send and receive emails.

 

using Samsung Voice Assistant

by Dang Manh Cuong

                Another great screen reading option for Talkback on later Samsung Android devices.

 

Basic Accessibility Notes for Web Developers

By Dang Hoai Phuc

Making your website or any kinds of products/services accessible to everybody is the win-win solution, not only benefits the people with disabilities but also gets your products or services to more customers and strengthens your brand. This article will give web content authors, designers and developers key points to help you better create such an inclusive website.

 

Tips and Tricks Section

Blocking Incoming Calls on iPhone

By Nguyen Thanh Son

 

Android app: Light Detector

By Ly Van Hoang

A quick guide of an app for both Android and iOS on how to detect light around. This feature is especially quite useful for totally blind users.

 

How to Activate/Deactivate a Sim Card

By Nguyen Thanh Son

This quick tip might benefit users with multi-sim supported smartphones.

 

Installing Free AVG without Zen

By Dang Hoai Phuc

The later version of AVG goes with the installation of Zen interface by default, which is not accessible with screen readers. This quick tip will show you how to install later AVG without Zen.