Blind Resources info
Article About Joey Stuckey
Well, I don't usually cross-pollinate between my music and my trying to be of service to other blind folks, but, this little article in the online web mag Junior's cave does have some relevance to both I think so I thought I would share.
Just click link below to enjoy:-)
(I got an email from this gentlemen and wanted to let you all know about his service. I haven't used it yet myself as I have my own FTP computer... However, it sure seems like a great idea! his email is copied below...)
My name is Bernard Maldonado. I read your blind resources site and found your link page. I'm writing you to let you know about a blind friendly service I operate It's called Blind FileSharing and the site address is http://www.blindfilesharing.com/ It's a site that does not use graphics or capchas and allows visually impaired people to share files in an easy to use environment. I don't advertise, so it's not a free service. However, I think it's quite inexpensive. Basically, it only costs 2 cents per file transfer. The size of the file does not matter.
Want to make audio files of your DVD's?
If you want to get the audio from your favorite movies and TV shows or musical concerts and don't care about having video for sighted friends and family to enjoy on your iPod and/or computer, check this out: http://www.castudio.org/. It's 100% accessible, and can even be used as a DVD player.
New Media Player available
Copied from an email I received...
Hello to all,
I think some of you may be interested in the following information: We, the Mar-Dy-Team, have created a new program, a mixture between Media player and playlistgenerator. This program is called MaPlEr. We have created it, because we are not happy about the usage of Windows Mediaplayer, and, as versions grow, the usage of Winamp too. So we tried to create a program, which can play the most popular sound files, has the ability to create and modify playlists, and has such features like adjusting the pitch, without changing the tempo and vice versa, adjusting the volume of music, without changing the volume of the screenreader, and so on.
The link to our homepage is: http://www.mar-dy.com/ Here you can find more information about all the features, download MaPlEr and listen to an audio presentation which we did on BCT (http://www.blindcooltech.com/).
We would be very interested in feedback. What do you think of the program? Is it useful for you, what features would you like in future versions. And if you want to discuss with other users of MaPlEr, or just want to be informed of updates and so on, just send an empty email to firstname.lastname@example.org o subscribe to our software mailing list.
Best regards to all of you,
Marco Steinebach (Germany)
New dock for iPods - the I-Tel
This is copied from an email from blind iPod guru Brian Hartgen.
The I-Tel is a product designed to make your existing iPod talk. It will work with iPods which are capable of docking station connectivity since that is essentially what the I-Tel is, a docking station. The iPod sits inside the I-Tel and if you go to the Cobolt web site you can see a picture of it. The iPod Shuffle cannot be used by I-Tel because it does not have docking station connectivity but most iPods do, certainly the larger capacity devices such as the Nano or even the iPod Touch and Classic.
Rather than using the wheel of the iPod to control functionality, the wheel is represented on the I-Tel by four buttons which are well defined controls. There is a fifth button in the centre to represent the centre of the wheel and two lower buttons for volume adjustment.
The I-Tel is capable of speaking all menu items on the iPod, together with items such as genre, album and track titles. It uses a newly developed speech system. That is about as far as I can go on that subject because I have not seen the product.
If this works, the I-Tel could be extremely beneficial for those people who want to use their iPods to listen to music purchased from the iTunes music store or other material transferred to the iPod via iTunes.
Here is yet another "accessible audio player" for the blind. The website has very little info and this is an UK product, but if you are still looking for an accessible audio player, then you might want to check it out.
I have no experience with this product so have no idea about how well it works and none of my blind tech friends have even heard of it, but, I thought I would mention it.
Check it out:
JFW 10 out
This just came to my inbox and sounds great, however , these guys are great at promising wonderful things and, well, let's just say they some times don't live up to the hype!
Oh well, we'll just have to wait and see, but, here is the info for those of you wondering about JFW 10.
Freedom Scientific Releases JAWS® 10
Users Call JAWS Tandem™ a "Breakthrough"
(St. Petersburg, Florida, November 3, 2008) — Freedom Scientific today announced the English release of JAWS version 10, the world's leading screen reader
for visually impaired computer users. This new release includes new features that will expand employment, training, and educational opportunities for users
at all levels. These new features include AutoForms Mode, JAWS Tandem, and RealSpeak™ Direct Solo.
"The new AutoForms Mode makes it easier than ever for new users to work with Internet Explorer, FireFox 3, and Acrobat Reader," said Eric Damery, Vice President
of Software Product Management. "There is no question that JAWS 10 has taken working with HTML and PDF forms or Web-based applications, especially the
new Web 2.0 Accessible Rich Internet Applications (ARIA), to a new level."
For more information,
try the updated Surf's Up training
aid which now includes all the details on AutoForms Mode.
"JAWS Tandem provides an accessible remote assistance option for anyone with access to the Internet - including dial up. Technical Support staff, consultants,
trainers, dealers, and knowledgeable friends now have a simple and powerful tool to assist JAWS users from a distance. It literally lets our Tech Support
team make house calls," added Damery. "Perhaps the most important part of this feature is that friends can now help friends. Whether troubleshooting a
problem on their friend's computer, teaching them something about JAWS, or even test-driving some new software with JAWS on their friend's machine before
buying, it has already proven to be a huge success."
For more information, take a look at the
FAQs on JAWS Tandem.
The RealSpeak Solo Direct Synthesizer is another new feature in JAWS 10. RealSpeak Solo is much more responsive than the SAPI 5 option in JAWS 8 and 9.
Customers will also appreciate the 43 different voices in 19 languages and the convenient on-line location where everyone can
sample and download any of the RealSpeak Direct voices
for use with JAWS and the upcoming MAGic 11 update. These new voices are even available for use with demonstration licenses of JAWS.
To make learning JAWS even easier, free DAISY training material for JAWS and MAGic is now offered via the Check for Updates feature. JAWS 10 now includes
17 DAISY titles which can all be read using the free software DAISY player (FSReader Demo) installed with all versions of JAWS and MAGic. MP3 versions
of all the DAISY training material are also available free of charge on the
Training Downloads Web pages.
Hear All the New JAWS 10 Features Demonstrated in FSCast
Listen to Eric Damery, Product Manager for JAWS, and Jonathan Mosen, Vice President of Blindness Hardware Product Management, discuss the latest JAWS 10
enhancements in the
August 2008 FSCast
September 2008 FSCast.
The August FSCast covers AutoForms Mode and RealSpeak Solo Direct, and the September FSCast covers JAWS Tandem and the new iTunes 8 support. For more information
about JAWS 10,
see the What's New page.
Yes we care video
Recently, I have started working with Wellsphere.
An amazing site that brings all kinds of health information together in one place.
I was just featured in the Yes We Care Video, a little video that showcases the folks that help to make the site content. Check it out at:
There is a lot of good info on the site well worth a look see:-)
Automated teller machine voice guidance system and method
If you are like me, you have wondered why there is brail on the teller machines. I mean, you still can't read the text on the screen and you can't tell how much money you are actually getting. However, my cousin just sent me some great info because you can now bring a set of headphones to the teller machines and get voice prompts. Read below:
Automated teller machine voice guidance system and method
There is provided an automated teller machine (ATM) voice guidance system and method that enables a visually and/or hearing impaired individual
to conveniently and easily carry out financial transactions on an ATM to thereby conform to government regulations. The ATM voice guidance system provides
simultaneous and synchronized audio instructions via an audio port that correspond to visual instructions presented on an ATM display screen and comprises
creating voice guidance instructions and scripts, converting the instructions and scripts to audio files, loading the audio files to an ATM for subsequent
access and retrieval of the audio files for voice guidance, detecting use of the ATM, outputting the selected audio files to an audio port in synchronization
with said corresponding text instructions or scripts displayed on a display screen, and accepting user input to said outputted audio files.
This product assists seeing-impaired individuals at the ATM. A headset is plugged in and the cardholder is guided through the transaction.
The American Disabilities Act recommends that this feature be supported on ATMs.
This product is only applicable for English.
Lawsuit History NFB VS Diebold
Automated teller machine voice guidance system and method
accessible CD artwork
Just bought "Ultimate Prince" the double disc collection. It came with one of those annoying cardboard sleeves that slides over the jewel box. However, I found that the name "Prince" was raised or embossed on the front so that I can read the letters by feel. The really exciting part is that his symbol often talked about especailly in the days when he was called the artist "formerly known as Prince" is raised on the back of the same sleeve so I now know what his symbol looks like. Any of you who have ever wondered about this should check out the CD.
new hope for blind users on the Mac platform!
For so long, few blind folk used Macs as they were even behind the ridiculous screen readers that MS provided. Now however, it sounds like Macs are trying to catch up and in a big way. According to the Mac World Podcast from April of 2008, the new screen reader for Mac is build right in to the OS making it much more user friendly and less likely to crash like our beloved JFW does so frequently.
For more info on the blind user and Mac check out:
accessible media players for PC
Just recently, someone wrote me and asked about accessible media players for the blind. I guess I forgot that many people don't know about the latest and
greatest in that regard, so I have decided to list them here. This info is correct as of fall 2007. I haven't really researched any more since then as
I have what I need at this time.
1. Windows Media player is probably the best as far as functionality without any extra work, though it can't support FLAC and some other new and better
file types. Current version is WMA-11
2. Media Monkey has lots of file types supported and does make some provision for JFW.
3. I haven't used it personally, but, their many blind folk using Sound Taxi with great success. Their are even scripts for JFW at the link below:
4. Though it isn't on the market anymore, Win Amp was very JFW friendly and I believe that you can still find free downloads of it on the net.
5. for professional audio editing Sound Forge is the way to go. It works well out of the box with JFW, but, it can be made 90% accessible with scripts by
the Snow Man.
6. For CD burning, Nero, just about any version works well with JFW.
7. For CD ripping, you can get the amazing Spesoft Free CD Ripper. It works perfectly with JFW.
8. For your Ipods, the best thing to do is buy the kind of expensive scripts from T&T Consultancy Ltd . That will give you much better usability, Itunes
doesn't work at all with JFW out of the box.
9. For audiobooks, the audible player works just great with JFW with no special set up required.
10. For Mac users, with the leopard OS, there is a screen reader build right in to the OS that will give you access to email, internet, and word processing
along with iTunes perfectly. However, it doesn't work with any other professional sound applications as of April of this year, 2008.
11. By the way, JFW is the main screen reader on the market right now. It has many flaws but is the best at this time. JFW stands for JAWS for Windows and
JAWS is an acronym for Job Access With Speech.
blind business you got to check out!
I just love it!
It is so cool to find out about blind folks and their contributions to the community and nation!
I just found out about blind treasures. They sell a variety of goodies. Here is what it says about them on their about us page:
Blind Treasures physical presence is in Richmond, Virginia. We have been doing business since 1999 in the blind community. Offering great prices on a variety
of general merchandise and providing our customers with fast, friendly service, more times than not, on a first name
basis, is how we built our reputation and achieved such longevity.
In 2003, we determined to apply the same principles to our "cyber" store. And while we eagerly embrace the technologies the Internet affords, such as, "at
your convenience" shopping carts and communications via e-mail, we also provide person to person customer service, available at (804-266-3062). We are
committed to giving you the best service you can find anywhere. Whether you wish to place your order by phone, or have a question or concern, we are here
Customer Service Office Hours
We understand a customer can elect to purchase from a variety of different sources, however, that is only part of what a customer deserves and expects.
At Blind Treasures, we are committed to providing you with unmatched customer service. Our customers do notice the difference.
If you're apprehensive about doing business with a company many miles from you, we invite you to take some time and inquire about us. We'll be here.
another great blind resource website!
I just found out about Lynn White and his great page!
Lynn is the list owner and moderator for Blind Tech. The purpose of this list is to exchange information about technology
from the view of blind people.
In addition if you are blind, in to music or a Christian, you will find Lynn's personal websites of interest. Check it out at:
accessible CD burner and ripper freeware:
I just checked out this website and the programs and it is very accessable and most of the programs are free to download.
Check the product line out at:
Promoting Success in Agriculture for People with Disabilities and Their Families.
Check out this amazing story!
AgrAbility Quarterly. Becky Conrad - Opportunities Bloom for AgrAbility Client.
Blind Geek Zone
I just found this site and it's just amazing!
Here's a bit about the site:
Welcome to the Blind Geek Zone
The zone contains lots of tech goodies for all you blind geeks out there. I have audio tutorials that will show you how to use many popular programs with
JAWS as well as audio demonstrations of tech gadgets of all kinds. I may have audio files from other people here too. I have lots of links to mailing lists
and websites to places of interest to all you blind geeks out there. Even if you're not a geek come on in and have a look. I am sure you'll find something
I am now also offering customized one on one software training and technical support for very reasonable rates. So if you are in need of training or tech
support then check out the training and support section of the site.
Check out the site at:
Louis Database of Accessible Materials
Louis and the APH File Repository
The American Printing House for the Blind (APH) maintains and promotes the Louis Database of Accessible Materials for People who are Blind or Visually Impaired.
Louis contains information on nearly 200,000 titles in accessible formats including braille, large print, sound recording, and electronic files. Information
is contributed by over 180 agencies throughout the United States.
Louis is available free on the Web. Just go to the APH web site at www.aph.org and follow the links for Louis. Once you have arrived at your chosen search
screen, you can click on the link for Search Hints for additional help.
If you have problems or questions, APH Resource Services is happy to walk you through the search process and answer questions:
Phone: 800-223-1839, ext. 705
it's official, no one likes JFW 7.1!
it's official, no one likes JFW 7.1!
In the last month or so it seams like everyone and their Momma has come out with some type of press release or something saying that they can't support JFW 7.1!
Well, I could have told you that it is the worst version of JFW i have worked with since 4.0, but, the folks at freedom need to listen to these programmers that won't support the product, since they sure don't listen to their customers.
For one thing, if you want to use the most recent version of itunes, you can't use 7.1, 6.1 or 5.1. Only 5, 6, 6.2 or 7.0 are supported, here is the reason as found on the blind iPod mailing list:
T&T Consultancy Ltd are proud to announce that a major update to our
Accessible iTunes Interface will be available as from 23 October 2006.
This will provide visually impaired users with access to the recently
released iTunes version 7 software from Apple.
Now to JAWS. Most of the last few days has been spent carrying out
exhaustive tests with and without the scripts using different versions
of jaws on different machines. What we can say as a result is that
iTunes 7 and our interface will be compatible with jaws 5.0, 6.0, 6.20
and 7.0, not 5.10, 6.10 and disappointingly 7.10.
When we started this iTunes project, (I think about 18 months ago), we
had a problem with jaws 5.10 in that using the jaws cursor was not
reliable enough within the iTunes application. Most crucially, routing
jaws to PC was not reliable enough, because jaws thinks that there is
additional highlighted information on the screen other than what is
selected and, in addition, informs you of characters which simply do not
Well the problem is back big time in 7.10. I have given Freedom
Scientific lots of detailed information about this problem. But because
of the inaccessibility generally of iTunes (which has considerably
worsened in 7.0 especially with the new Nano functionality), we have to
use the jaws cursor to do a lot of the work, and if that's not working
reliably then we may as well stop. We cannot support something which is
All the jaws versions I have listed in this message which we do support
are working in the way we would expect.
In summary, we are not letting this hold up production of the scripts.
The reality is now that if you buy a new iPod, you have to use iTunes 7.
I also understand that Rockbox no longer supports the new range of
iPods, and so we have to have something which works as good as we can
If that isn't enough, scripts for the latest version of Sound Forge, 8. something, doesn't work with JFW 7.1. To quote The Snow Man, maker of the Sound Forge scripts, JFW 7.1 is a real POS!!!
I can tell you from much experience that 7.1 sucks with Outlook and Sonar 5!
Well, maybe it will get better next version, what can I say I am the eternal optimist!
Talking Piano tuners for the blind
Okay, so we all know that it is a stereo type for blind folks to tune pianos, but, I have to say that the best piano tuners I know in my home town are in fact, blind!
How have the blind guys always done it? Simple, there ears!
However, if you want to keep up with the advanced technology that the sighted guys have, you can with the new audio accessible Verituner 100
It is a bit pricy at about $1800, but, it is $1500 for the sited folks, so it is easily worth the extra $300 to make it accessible.
Currently there is a software version of the Verituner, but it is not accessible. However, if there was enough interest, Dave Carpenter, CEO of Verituner says that they would consider working on that project.
It would most likely be a scaled down version, not for pianos, but, for guitar/bass. Dave says that he feels that it would not be practical to try and get the software version for the blind to recognize all the complex graphics that are used when using the Verituner at it's full capability, but, getting the blind friendly version to work for guitar and bass seams much more possible.
The software version is designed to work on PDAs, not something that the blind currently have access to, but, perhaps the blind friendly version could work off one of the many portable media players there are now available.
Raised Bar is trying to gather statistics to aid the cause of improving access to music technology for visually-impaired people.
sign The Raised Bar Petition at:
What's the petition for?
One of the biggest obstacles to achieving success in this area is being able to convince hardware and software manufacturers that there is sufficient demand to warrant their investment
in making the necessary changes.
To help us overcome this obstacle, we ask you to submit your name and email address to our petition so that we can present meaningful numbers when we meet
with interested individuals and organisations. Any submitted names and email addresses will only ever be used for this purpose. We're only asking for
email addresses at all because they will act as a proof that there's a person behind the name. We will only ever divulge them to the interested bodies
unless we obtain your permission first and only then as a means of verifying the total being presented. In addition, we will never use this information
to aid our own marketing - you are not signing up to become part of Raised Bar's customer database.
Please only submit valid information - we're not trying to artificially inflate the figures as this would irreparably damage our credibility with those
we are trying to encourage to help our cause.
This is your chance to help raise the bar in terms of the level of access that we all need, so please sign up now!
Please don't treat this form as a substitute for contacting manufacturers and vendors directly if you have a particular issue with a product and its accessibility.
When you do this, it helps to strengthen the case with regard to accessibility in music technology products and gives the manufacturers valuable information
about specific problem areas. We have found manufacturers are open and do listen to constructive feedback as you, the customer, are important to them.
Additionally, don't forget to let a manufacturer know if their product is working well for you in accessibility terms - we all like to know if we've done
a good job and positive feedback can help encourage a development team to try even harder in their next product cycle.
shopping for a screen reader?
I just saw this and thought if you are a first buyer of a screen reader, you might want to check out this site!
screen readers at EnableMart
BlindResources.info is a website administered by Joey Stuckey of Macon, Georgia U.S.A. The purpose of this site is to provide blind computer users with important information, product reviews, resources and real-world results with regard to software usage for the blind as well as script implementation and usage for Jaws For Windows plus any other information pertinent to the blind computer user. Visit our website for more info. www.blindresources.info