DEDICATED TO IMPROVING THE LIVES OF BLIND AND VISUALLY IMPAIRED PEOPLE

Tech Talk

New Source for High Tech Help

Through a grant from RDPFS, Perkins Paths to Technology has developed an AT Vendor Support List for teachers and others who may need “technical assistance in teaching and/or using assistive technology”. The list includes U.S.-based high tech vendors with help desk services when making technology work for their students poses challenges. Access the list at Paths to Technology. Digging into the list, we came across the help desk service at Blind Bargains, and of course decided to visit their website, because who doesn’t love a bargain. Turns out there aren’t a lot of bargains on offer, but they produce a podcast with lots of information on what’s going on in the world of high tech, including plans for CSUN 2021 and a modification to AIRA’s free five minute calls. Visit here.

AIRA Changes Free Five Minute Phone Call Policy

With COVID came increased use of free calls by AIRA guests and paid subscribers. The volume increased to a point that was simply not sustainable for a small business. As a result here are changes to the free five minute call policy as outlined by AIRA’s CEO. “As of August 25 at 6:00am Pacific time, Aira will provide two tiers of ‘Free 5’, one for guests and another for paid subscribers. Guests may make one (1) free call every 24 hours of up to five minutes in length. Paid subscribers may make one (1) free call of up to five minutes in length every four hours. The app will have a timer located in the usage tab to make it easy to know when you can make your next call.” Read the entire CEO letter.

More ways to navigate your surroundings

TapTapSEE is a free mobile application for blind and visually impaired individuals. This application has been around since 2012. Simply take a picture of anything and any object and within second it will identify it for you. Import photos from your camera and it will describe them to you. To download it, simply search TapTapSee on Apple app store.

Microsoft Soundscape is an accessible GPS application which uses “3d audio technology” to provide information about your surroundings. It provide sounds and directions from your current location. Set markers for it to guide you to where you need to be; set beacons at your current location and it will direct you back there. More info at Microsoft research and to download for free from Apple app store.