Shared Resource Page from Laser Eye Surgery Hub

Many thanks to Paige Watts from Laser Eye Surgery Hub, who has written to share their page with various resources for blind and vision impaired people at

The introductory paragraph on this resource page states:
“When it comes to finding online resources for the blind and vision impaired, there is a range of tools, sources and solutions for most needs. Even so, becoming aware of and finding the tools that you need can be an overwhelming experience, not only because of the sheer numbers of tools available, but also because new eye health treatments and discoveries, as well as low vision tools and services are continuously emerging.
We have compiled a listing of resources based on specific needs and situations. From help adapting to life with low or no vision, to financial assistance for the vision-impaired, these resources can provide assistance and helpful insights for easier daily living and a higher quality of life.”

The page has been divided into the following main categories, which can be found at heading level 2.
Resources for Help with Adjusting to Low Vision or Blindness
Resources for Youth, Parents and Educators
International Resources
UK Based Resources
U.S. Based Resources
Resources for the Latest Medical Advancements and Research
Communication Tech and Mobile App Resources
Financial Assistance Resources

I hope our readers may find the information helpful.

ASPIRE, a Go Fund Me Campaign by Dan Thompson

It is with much admiration and appreciation that I share the following letter received from a subscriber, Dan Thompson.
It is not only inspiring to read about the campaign itself but also to understand Dan’s story and motivation for undertaking this campaign. I wish Dan only the best with all he is doing to give back to those around him.
Here is what he writes:

“Since I’ve started the ASPIRE Go Fund Me Campaign in may 2017, , eleven individuals between ages 30 and 65 have now experienced serious changes in their lives. Three who were afraid to leave their apartments are now exploring the neighborhood with the help of GPS devices designed specifically for blind and low vision persons. The other seven are either volunteering in their community, have returned to taking college classes, or significantly gained new independence around their homes.
Words will not express my graditude for all those who were instrumental in making these dreams come true via financial or equipment donations.
I unfortunately have had some negative responses to this campaign. Comments ranged from
“why bother with those over 55, they should just retire and enjoy life. They had their chance”,
“Isn’t there a grant for that?”, “Perhaps you are trying to help the wrong people. If they couldn’t manage it in college or find a job, how can ASPIRE help?”
My anser is both personal and conviction.
In 1973 I was told it would be a waste of state funding to send me to college. I was reaching for a dream totally out of my ability.
Fortunately God blessed me with a wrestling coach in grade and high school who installed a “never quit” attitude. The greatest power of encouragement in this world was my Wife who also never gave up on me.
Five years later, a new Rehab Counslor who believed in the impossible took a chance. College was finished with honors projects taken in every class. Thirty five years later, I am joyfully retired and trying to give back.
Everyone deserves a chance to prove themselves and/or enjoy life to the highest level of their potential. Perhaps the right conditions were not in place or opportunities made available for a person to
“aspire” and do the impossible in their life.
As a youth and on into my adulthood, I confess to frequently wondering just how could I ever make any significant change that would matter much in this world? “It cannot be done” was heard some many times, I even started believing it myself. My Mother, God Rest her soul, frequently said I was retarded and would only end up on public aide. As my faith matured and through occasional glances into the past, what was once a mystery to me has a new clarity. Perhaps God allowed life’s climb to be challenging so when sharing my journey, it may encourage others to “ASPIRE” to success once considered out of their reach.
My volunteer work with adults of all ages now is dedicated to giving those who fel through the cracks or what some consider “over the hill” to have any aspirations a new chance. Just because someone over 50 doesn’t have a vocational goal, gaining independence and self-esteem is still extremely important to them.
Even if someone couldn’t jump through all those hoops for getting gainful employment, there may be hidden awesome potential in there. Disabled persons are still very “able!”
Please give my ASPIRE Campaign another look. Perhaps there’s unused equipment you’ve tucked away or thought no one uses it anymore. It may be old. However, that same piece of equipment will provide a new portal to a world otherwise out of limits for a person who is blind or has low vision.
Any amount of funds will be put towards helping someone’s dream of independence come true.
Be a visionary who brings renewed vision for a person’s future.

“Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”
Luke 6:38)

Please consider visiting for the first time or revisiting my Go Fund Me Campaign.
Campaign link for go fund me
Thank you for your interest in my mission and for taking the time to read my proposal.
Dan Thompson

Below is a list of items I am still trying to make available.
Ten Victor Reader Trekks Stream New Generations:
This is a GPS, book storage, and recording device all in one.
Cost $599.00 each if ordered before October. $700.00 if ordered after October.
Total cost of $5990.00 before October or 7,000.00 after October.
5 Blaze Ez Hand held digital recorder and scanner @ $600.00 each or $3,000.00
Five Braille writers from Perkins School for the Blind: $800.00 times five equals $4,000.00
Ten boxes of braille paper for $29.00 a box, thus $290.00 for ten boxes.
Ten slate and styluses at $15.00 each or a total of $150.00.
Five laptops @ $700.00 each equals $3,500.00

I directly contact all recipients receiving equipment and provide one on one free training, and they must prove competency on the device before they may take their computer or assistive tech device home.”

Dan also compiles two free e-mail newsletters.
1. Subscribe to Friday Finds by sending a blank email with “subscribe dan’s tips” in the subject line to
2. Subscribe to “Hotspot With God” daily devotion by sending a blank message with “subscribe devotion” in the subject line to

These Gorgeous Designer Gowns Are Made By Blind Dressmakers

As someone who likes to do sewing as a craft myself, I found the article I am sharing today quite interesting and inspirational. My mom loved to sew all kinds of things and my dad taught me how to operate, clean and manage a sewing machine. I have since come across quite a few blind people who do sewing and quilting by hand or machine. We have all shared the adaptations we have made and the alternative techniques we use, but as is evident from this article, being open to an idea in the first place and exploring ways to make that idea happen in practice, is one of the most important ways to help us all reach beyond what is generally expected or thought to be possible.

I hope you will join me in spreading this positive message far and wide.

The full article can be found at heading level 1 at

Need or Want to Switch to NVDA?

Firstly, I’d like to put your mind at ease. I made the switch more than three years ago, from Window-Eyes to NVDA and the learning curve wasn’t steep at all. NVDA is now a fully-fledged and fully-functional screen-reader that is considered by many to be the best around. The best of all? You can simply download a copy of NVDA and start to use it at no cost.
Donations are welcome, but cost should no longer keep you from having access to the latest version of a tool you can use to access your PC, the world wide web and beyond.
Check out the link below for a concise tutorial on switching from Window-Eyes to NVDA. At heading level 3, near the top of the page, there is also a link for switching from JAWS to NVDA and near the end of the article, there is info on how to join a list for users of NVDA.
Please feel free to pass info on to others who might be finding themselves needing or wanting to change screen-readers.
More info at:

NVDA: Now More Than Ever!

With the recent announcement that Window-Eyes will be discontinued it is clear that change is on the horizon of the screen-reader landscape. Chris Hofstader shares his viewpoint on this subject in the article below.
No matter which screen-reader you are currently using or might be considering for use in the future, this article makes for interesting reading.

NVDA: Now More Than Ever!
May 23, 2017 by Chris Hofstader
“All the power is in the hands,
Of the people rich enough to buy it,
While we walk the streets,
Too chicken to even try it,” The Clash.
Regular readers of this blog and of BlindConfidential (its predecessor)
already know that when it comes to Windows screen readers, I am an
enthusiastic supporter of NVDA and NVAccess . Recent events in the news
of the blind world have moved NVDA from being an excellent screen reader
used by more than 20% of the blind people who run Windows into the
single most important piece of technology used by our community.
This article will explore the VFO acquisition of The Paciello Group
(TPG) as well as its decision to end the life of its Window-Eyes
product. It will also explain why Free, Libre Open Source Software
(FLOSS) is the only way we as blind people can control our own
destinies, ensure our privacy and be certain that we have a screen
reader that will not disappear overnight.
If you’re unfamiliar with the word “FLOSS” (spelled in all caps), it
stands for Free Libre Open Source Software. When Richard Stallman
started this movement he used the term “free software” which some people
find confusing as “free” in the English language can mean either “at no
cost to the consumer” as in “free beer” or it could mean “at liberty” as
in “Lincoln freed the slaves.” Others started calling this type of
software “open source” but that ignores the other aspects of the
philosophy so another set of people started using the word “libre”
instead of “free” or “open source.” I started using FLOSS as it’s a
compromise position and generates fewer questions about what I mean. If
you’re interested in learning more about the philosophy behind this
movement, I recommend taking a look at the “Free Software Foundation web
site as that’s where it all began.
One of the best kept secrets in the blindness world and an issue people
have pressured me to not report for many years now is that a screen
reader is a highly effective piece of spyware. In brief, a screen reader
monitors all activities on a computer and reports the information back
to the user in speech and/or braille. Any software engineer with access
to the source code can tweak it a little and also report everything the
user does on their computer back to the company that made the screen
reader or to any other data gathering system of their choice. Thus, the
VFO people can add a spyware function to JAWS, MAGic or ZoomText and
there’s no way a user can know if their information, usage habits or
anything else they do with a VFO product is being collected by them and
potentially sold or shared with others. In the era of data mining, do
you trust Vector Capital, the company who owns the notorious MP3 patent
trolls to not also take unethical actions against users of the other
products made by companies in their portfolio?
NVDA is free, libre open source software (FLOSS) and anyone with the
skills required to read and evaluate the source code can independently
verify that the NVDA screen reader is not also spying on them.
Admittedly, few people have these skills but any number of blindness
agencies or a collection thereof can grab the NVDA source code from
GitHub, pay security specialists to review the code and independently
verify that it is not doing anything malicious, a freedom we do not have
with the VFO products under the proprietary, closed source model under
which they sell JAWS, ZoomText and MAGic. The verified version of NVDA
can be digitally signed and have a checksum one can test to further
ensure that they are running code certified to be safe.
Is it illegal to turn JAWS into a piece of spyware? The answer is a loud
“No!” Google and Amazon are notorious data miners and their privacy
policy permits them to gather information about their users, including
which apps they use and, in the case of blind users, if they run a
screen reader or not. In essence, this means that a company or
organization can buy information about screen readers and know that
you’re blind before you even apply for a job and could lead to wholesale
discrimination as we blind people are believed (erroneously) to be more
expensive to employ than are our sighted peers.
Nobody can stop VFO from spying on its users; our entire community can
work with NVAccess to ensure that our private information is being kept
Two Guys In A Garage?
Recently, I was told by more than one person who had a private meeting
with VFO salespeople at CSUN 2017 that the guys trying to sell JAWS are
telling those who buy enterprise site licenses that “NVDA is just two
guys working in a garage, if they’re hit by a bus, the whole thing
disappears.” This is a bald faced lie, NVDA is more than the amazing
Mick Curren and Jamie Teh, it’s an entire community made up of hundreds
of people who contribute to its source code, write plug-ins like NVDA
Remote Access and DictationBridge, write documentation, help with
testing, create tutorials and participate in making it the only Windows
screen reader that has witnessed marketshare growth over each of the
past six years. If something bizarre and tragic happens to Mick and
Jamie, the rest of the community can pick it up where they left off.
Now, contrast the value of a community of hundreds to the half dozen or
so people currently writing JAWS code at VFO and we can only conclude
that JAWS is in a far more fragile state than is the very healthy
community of NVDA developers.
Window-Eyes Disappears
Now, let’s explore the abject hypocrisy in what the VFO salespeople are
saying behind closed doors at CSUN. Last week, they announced that their
Window-Eyes product had been discontinued (something I predicted in my
annual end of year article last December). Window-Eyes users with a
valid software maintenance agreement (SMA) can get a gratis upgrade to
JAWS; those without such either need to buy JAWS, a Dolphin product or,
as most to whom I’ve spoken seem to be doing switch to NVDA.
While the Window-Eyes marketshare was in single digits, many of its
users cannot afford to buy the upgrade and have no choice but to use
NVDA, something I would recommend but the transition will not be easy
for the less technically minded sorts.. More insidious, though, is that
Window-Eyes, NVDA and JAWS all have different user interfaces and the
people now using Window-Eyes, their employers, educational institutions
and so on need to pick up the tab in terms of time and money to learn a
new screen reader. Training is expensive both in time and in terms of
dollars, Euros, rupees, pounds sterling, yen or the currency of your choice.
If, like NVDA, Window-Eyes was a FLOSS package, the community could have
collectively taken over its management and development and its users
would have their screen reader of choice into the future.
We have the FLOSS model NVDA where its future is ensured by the hundreds
of people contributing to it that will be available even if its
originators choose to do something different with their lives. We have
the proprietary model Window-Eyes over which the community has no
control. VFO made a decision, Window-Eyes users got screwed and there’s
nothing we can do to change this.
A FLOSS package can last forever; users of a proprietary solution are
subject to the whims of VFO or Dolphin management. NVDA users needn’t
fear their favorite screen reader will go away overnight; VFO has
demonstrated that they will force users to go through a retraining
process, spend more money to use a different screen reader and allow
JAWS to deteriorate as they see fit. You are free to make your own
choices, I highly recommend taking the FLOSS route and using,
contributing in some way and promoting NVDA to the best of your
abilities. We simply cannot trust VFO with our future.
As far as I can tell, the annual NVDACon online conference is the only
forum in which the community can interact directly with the authors of
their favorite screen reader. Try to contact Glen Gordon (the person at
the top of JAWS at VFO) and see if you get a response to a technical
NVDACon started when community member and DictationBridge contributor
Joseph Lee saw the need for such an event and took it upon himself to
coordinate an international meeting of NVDA developers, users,
documentation specialists and anyone else who had an interest in
attending. It is now run by our friend and another DictationBridge
contributor, Derek Reamer. This year it had its biggest attendance so
far and we expect to see it grow into the future.
Standards Rule
The Paciello Group (TPG) is not the largest of the accessibility
contract shops (Deque Systems has more people and the company formerly
known as SSB-BART just got a $40 million investment). TPG is, however,
by far the most prestigious brand name in the field. Mike Paciello, its
founder, has been one of the most important and influential people in
the world of accessibility standards. Other TPG people like Steve
Faulkner, Karl Groves, Billy Gregory, etc. participate in writing and
promoting standards like WCAG 2.0, Aria and other generally accepted
practices for ensuring the accessibility of technology, web sites,
documents and all of the other things we blind and otherwise disabled
people need to fully participate in modern society.
It’s Accessible If It Works With JAWS
One of the big lies I told as a Freedom Scientific executive that I
still hear whispered around the VFO crowd is that JAWS is a benchmark
for accessibility testing. This could not be further from the truth,
JAWS is (of the Windows screen readers I know of) the least standards
compliant. Our rationale for telling this lie was that JAWS had an
overwhelming lead in the marketshare battles and, therefore, testing
against JAWS meant ensuring that most screen reader users would find a
web site or application to be accessible. When I was telling that lie,
NVDA didn’t exist and now it’s the most standards compliant of the
Windows screen readers and may be the most compliant screen reader on
any platform.
I will also add that testing one’s technology with NVDA is much simpler
than with JAWS. One only needs to download the NVDA image from the
NVAccess web site, run its installation routine and jump right in. There
are no hassles with license servers, copy protection or other barriers
to an efficient testing experience. And, like the people from TPG, the
NVAccess guys participate in a lot of the discussions surrounding the
writing of the standards, something VFO employees are only rarely seen
It’s Not Just About Vision Disabilities
If a company elects to test their technology against JAWS as the
benchmark, they will find that entirely standards compliant web sites
and applications will not work properly. If they then change their web
sites or applications to work nicely with JAWS, they will need to
violate the standards. If they do so, their technology will indeed work
well with JAWS but it will not with any other AT.
While I am blind and I write about and work on projects related to
vision impairments, I also understand that a lot of people with other
disabilities need access to web sites and applications. If the
technology is actually accessible it is compliant with the standards and
should work properly with any AT required for all disabilities. Coding
to ensure access to JAWS may mean that Stephen Hawking cannot use your
technology, a message I used to start my talk at the LibrePlanet free
software conference in March.
Will VFO force the universal design based TPG people away from standards
and onto the “if it works with JAWS it’s accessible” bandwagon or will
they allow them to continue working using generally accepted practices
and not on JAWS inability to implement such correctly? Exploring this a
little further, it’s in VFO’s best interest to destroy the standards
based model because web sites and applications coded specifically to
work with JAWS, will not work properly with NVDA or Dolphin products, a
clear market advantage for JAWS. Meanwhile, making things compatible
with JAWS will likely break all of the AT used by people with other
disabilities. A JAWS first testing strategy should be avoided by
everyone as it’s the outlier, not the standard.
TPG As An Educator
Historically, a number of TPG employees have spent a lot of time working
on podcasts, writing blogs and sending out useful accessibility tips on
social media. Steve Faulkner and Leonie Watson have terrific and very
educational Twitter personalities and many of us in the accessibility
business find our way to important information via the links they post
on social media.
Historically, the VFO leadership has been notorious for silencing its
employees from saying anything whatsoever about accessibility that
hasn’t been pre-approved by VFO, whether in their spare time using their
personal gear or while at work using VFO PCs. VFO now wants the TPG
employees to sign the same highly restrictive non-disclosure,
non-compete and non-disparagement agreements that prevent its other
employees from engaging with the rest of the community.
As much of what the TPG people write on social media, in their blogs and
discuss on their podcasts is about standards and we know standards are
not in the best interest of JAWS, will our community lose these people
as the valued assets they are today? Just as an example, listen to an
episode of “The Viking and The Lumberjack” and then listen to one of
Jonathan Mosen’s nearly content free FSCast episodes and you will
understand that V&L promotes standards; FSCast promotes VFO.
The VFO Patent Portfolio
Another hazard created by the company formerly known as Freedom
Scientific (FS) are the many patents they have related to access
technologies. When I was still working there, Lee Hamilton (then CEO)
readily admitted to we executives that our patent strategy had little to
nothing to do with the novelty of something we “invented” but, rather,
was to “drop boulders in the roadmap of our competitors.” Shamefully, I
participated in this deceit and authored many early drafts of what would
become actual patents. Hamilton and the FS lawyers then started filing
patent suits against GW Micro, KESI and perhaps other access technology
companies. Almost every patent prosecuted by FS was found to be invalid
but only after those FS had sued had spent a tremendous amount of time
and money defending themselves. This disruption in the competitor’s
business model did nothing but stifle competition and help JAWS reach
its monopoly level marketshare. It wasn’t until NVDA came along that
JAWS had any real challenger.
What If VFO Sues NVAccess Over Patent Infringement?
Because NVDA is a FLOSS package, NVAccess qualifies as a member of the
Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC) based at Columbia University in New
York. If history serves as a predictor of the future, it is very likely
that the patent VFO might use to attack NVDA would be found invalid if
challenged. SFLC knows how to fight this kind of suit and, in the event
they are needed, they will provide pro bono representation to NVAccess
and any other developer of FLOSS access technology attacked by a patent
troll like VFO.
All Of The Power?
Looping back to the epigram that I’ve heard Joe Strummer sing a million
times both live and in recordings, we need to ask ourselves if, indeed,
VFO with a monopoly position in proprietary Windows screen readers and
magnifiers actually has all of the power. While I like opening this
article with that quote, I actually believe that we, the community of
blind technology users and our friends, can seize the day and take back
control of our own destinies. The most obvious first step is doing
whatever you can to help NVAccess improve and promote NVDA.
What Can You Do To Help?
Every screen reader user can help NVDA in their own way. A number of
things you and I can do to advance NVDA and our freedoms include:
•If you have programming skills, you can do something to improve NVDA
itself. You could help the core team fix bugs and add features, you can
write a new plug-in providing more functionality to NVDA users and
participate in various other ways as well.
•If you have good writing skills, you can help create documentation and
training materials for NVDA.
•If you are multi-lingual, you can help translate NVDA documentation and
training materials into languages other than English.
•If you use NVDA and find a bug, you can report it through their
tracking system to ensure the programmers know about the defect so they
can then find a remedy.
•If you have a social media account, you can help promote NVDA with
tweets, FaceBook posts and such.
•Instead of paying for a JAWS SMA, you can send the money to NVAccess to
help the people working on the software.
•If you’re a solid NVDA user, you can help other users with tips and
tricks and other helpful information on mailing lists and the like.
•If you have a blog, you can write about why you like NVDA and
relatively high profile people like me will help you promote your
stories on social media.
•If you’re a TPG person and haven’t signed the restrictive covenants
with VFO yet, continue to refuse to do so. You’re all capable of finding
another job in a real hurry. so VFO needs you more than you need them.
•I ask that you please promote this article on social media or on your
blog or podcast.
An Endowment For FLOSS Access Technology
When I heard that the VFO salespeople were trying to tell the world that
NVDA could disappear overnight and then demonstrated their own
willingness to kill a product without warning, I started noodling around
with an idea. When I was doing an on stage interview at San Francisco
Lighthouse Labs meeting earlier this month with Erin Lauridsen, their
new and outstanding director of access technology, my friend and one of
the sharpest minds this community has ever known, Josh Miele asked a
question about how we could ensure the future of FLOSS packages in the
disability community. While NVDA has a terrific and thriving community
supporting it, other less well known packages do disappear when the
people maintaining such move on to something else. So, I decided to work
on a long term strategy for ensuring the futures of important FLOSS
access technology projects.
I’ve been mulling over a number of ideas to allow this to happen while
also permitting the package maintainers the freedom to move onto new
projects when they want to. The best idea I’ve had so far is to
establish an endowment to finance maintenance of existing and creation
of new FLOSS packages related to accessibility for all people with
disabilities. I have set a goal for myself to raise $5 million in the
coming year to establish this endowment. If you work for a disability
related organization with a bunch of money in the bank and you think
this is a good idea, please write to me via the contact form on this
site and we can discuss how your organization can join this important
movement. I’ve already done a number of meetings with big agencies
discussing this notion and I’m feeling hopeful that we’ll make our goal.
This community has made tdsr ($5000), NVDA Remote Access ($10,000) and
DictationBridge ($20,000) for less money than VFO would spend on the
salaries of the people in the meetings just to decide if these were good
ideas or not. We can, therefore, take less money from the community for
each project and, for the same number of dollars, do much more work than
can VFO. With an endowment, we can ensure the future of these packages
and many more already available as well as develop new and exciting
features for them and start new projects too. The economics are pointing
to the FLOSS model and away from VFO.
NVDA is the only screen reader we can trust to protect our privacy, to
survive a decision by its founders to move onto other things in their
lives and to be compatible with standards. There are a few reasons to
continue using JAWS (some job sites who have custom JAWS scripts for in
house software for instance) but there is no reason whatsoever to either
avoid NVDA for your enterprise, your personal computing, at an
educational institution or in virtually any other situation. I urge all
of you to stop buying JAWS SMAs and put the money to learning and/or
supporting NVDA as it is the only one that will protect your freedoms
moving forward.
We can accept the VFO domination of the technology we need or we can
throw as many virtual bricks at their roadmap as possible. We can topple
the proprietary screen reader model if we’re willing to work together to
the common goal of controlling our own destiny, securing our own privacy
and collectively taking responsibility for our own future. I’m not
saying this will be easy but I believe it is possible and that it is the
road we need to pave for ourselves.

source URL:

Review of Twitterific for IOS with Voice Over by Alternate Visions Coaching

If you would like to delve into Twitter, currently one of the most popular social media channels, but find the standard app or its web interface a challenge, the review of the Twitterific app by James Goldsworthy of Alternate Visions Coaching may be of interest.

Here is what he writes on

“It took me quite a while to get into using Twitter, initially for personal use and later for my business. One of the reasons it took some time was because I simply didn’t find the standard Twitter app for iOS to be particularly easy to use nor its home feed screen to flow particularly well. I also found that although the Twitter app itself is perfectly accessible with VoiceOver I really didn’t enjoy using it at all. As a result I began looking for an alternative Twitter client that would be easy to use, would give me a clean flowing home feed and of course would be fully accessible with VoiceOver.
When I was searching for information online I read a lot of good things from both visually impaired and sighted people about the Twitterific app for iOS. Not only that but it’s a free app! Needless to say I immediately found it on the App Store and downloaded it. I’ve been using the app for a few months now and have to say that I love it.
The first thing to impress me when I initially opened the app was that if you don’t already have a Twitter account you can actually sign up and create one directly using the Twitterific app. This really is excellent whether you’re a VoiceOver user or not as you can create your entire account and profile without ever needing to leave the app. Not only that but it’s completely accessible with VoiceOver and takes you through the process step by step.
The second thing to impress me was that every single button, tab and menu is labelled and fully accessible with VoiceOver. The app layout is simple, easy to navigate and crucially, is uncluttered.
There’s also a great help section which lists gestures that you can use for all manner of tasks and functions whilst using the app. The app is also customisable in terms of the notifications you receive, marking your current position in your home feed and how you view tabs and menu bars.
As you’d expect you can do everything with the Twitterific app that you can on the standard Twitter app, including posting and deleting tweets, replying to tweets, retweeting, liking and sharing other people’s tweets, private messaging, searching for and following other Twitter profiles etc.
There’s also an AppleWatch app which works smoothly with the iOS app allowing you to receive notifications directly to your AppleWatch.
Everything I’ve mentioned so far is excellent, functional and accessible, the most striking and impressive thing about the Twitterific app for me however is the simplicity of the home feed. It’s completely uncluttered, is wonderfully easy to navigate and works beautifully.
The only thing you can’t do with the Twitterific app that you can with the standard Twitter app is post tweets using Siri. I think I’ve only ever posted one or possibly two tweets using Siri on the standard Twitter app over the entire time that I’ve been using it. I much prefer typing my tweets on the virtual keyboard or using my Magic Keyboard as I find it a lot more accurate. However, the lack of Siri interaction with Twitterific might be something to consider if you normally post most of your tweets using Siri.
Finally, although the Twitterific app is free there are optional in app purchases. In a nutshell, when you get the app some adverts do appear on the home feed screen, the adverts aren’t actually too annoying and the app works perfectly regardless of them being there. However, if you prefer not to have adverts appear you can choose an in app purchase option to remove them. The in app purchase is a very small amount and in my opinion well worth it, not only because it removes the adverts but also because it contributes to the ongoing development of the app. Not to mention that by making an in app purchase you’re helping support a great and fully accessible product.
If you haven’t tried Twitterific for iOS yet you can download it from the app store at:
If you’d like to follow me on Twitter you can find me on @AVCoaching …”

Article by: Alternate Visions Coaching | 24/05/2017 at 17:12 |
Original Source URL:

BG Word Candy – Latest Accessible Game from Spoonbill Software

B G Word Candy is the latest blind accessible offering from Spoonbill Software.

To read about the game please visit:

From this page, you can also directly download the game.

Be sure to also check out the long list of other accessible games in the Blind Gamers series available for free from Spoonbill Software.

Safety First: Adapting your Home for a Child Who is Visually Impaired

I have great pleasure in sharing the article below, written especially for us by Jackie Waters from

You can read more about her at
About Me | Hyper-Tidy
and feel free to check out the rest of her site as well. Many thanks, Jackie, for giving of your time and expertise. It is much appreciated.
Also, be sure to see the resource list that Jackie has provided at the end of the article for more information.

Safety First: Adapting your Home for a Child Who is Visually Impaired
by Jackie Waters

If you’re a parent of a young child or toddler who is visually impaired you obviously have concerns about your child getting around your home safely and comfortably, especially as she becomes more mobile and independent. There are a number of relatively simple changes you can make to ensure your child can move safely within your home using her limited sight and her other senses.
As well as thinking about safety issues, it’s important to consider how you can reorganize things at home so that your child can learn how to manage things independently.

Take a good look around your home and assess what changes would be helpful. Some things to consider may be:

Lighting: Are there areas of the house where you could add extra lighting, such as the bathroom or kitchen? LED lights can be very helpful in these areas. Lamps are a good idea if you want to focus light on a game or a particular project your child is working on. Try to eliminate glare; for most visually impaired children, light reflected from a shiny surface can be very uncomfortable.

Contrast and color: Using colors that contrast strongly can help your child distinguish different objects. For example, a red towel hanging on a white bathroom wall, or a blue plate on a white table cloth. Choose some of your child’s favorite colors and use color coded boxes in her bedroom to store different types of toys. You can also use contrast in cupboards and draws by using colored liners.

Texture: Using different textures can help your child learn to use her sense of touch to recognize different things around your home. For example, different textured ribbons tied around bottles can distinguish toiletries. You might put a textured rug in the corner of her room to help her find her toy box.

Labelling: Large print or braille labels can be used on food items, personal hygiene products and toys. Tactile labels are a great way to help your child recognize a wide range of items including food, toiletries, the contents of cupboards and drawers, and puzzles and games. You can also use an audio labeler to help her identify things around your home.

Clutter: Try to avoid crowding things together on shelves or countertops; this will make it very difficult for your child to pick out specific items. Eliminate clutter from her cupboards, dresser, nightstand and bookshelves. Keep bathroom counters clear of everything but necessities, such as soap dispensers. Putting space between items on shelves and surfaces will make them more visible.

Height: Look around your home from your child’s perspective. Imagine what she can and cannot see from her height. Make sure you put things she needs to see at her eye level. You don’t have to reposition every single thing in the house, but objects she needs to reach for should be at the appropriate height and depth.

Encourage your child to use her sense of touch to garner information about where things are throughout her home. For example, in the bathroom, you could put a rubber band around her toothbrush so she can distinguish it from everyone else’s or you could put tactile labels on the kitchen cabinet where her cereal is kept. She may also begin to use clues such as the difference in floor surfaces between rooms. She may begin to trail her hand along the wall at waist height as she walks around the room, or slightly in front of her to avoid obstacles.

Gradually she will build confidence in her ability to orient herself in your home and, as she gets older, other, less familiar and more complex environments.

Resource Links:
Tactile Marks and Labels for the Blind | Braille Superstore

PenFriend Audio Labeler for the Blind (Version 2) | Braille Superstore

Home Accommodations for Persons with Disabilities

What is visual impairment?


I would like to share the link below in spite of the fact that the closing date for entries is just two days away.

Many or perhaps most of us are quite comfortable with our fairly familiar environments and predictable daily routines, but, there are, among us, those who could be described as true adventurers or explorers. Blindness or other disabilities are not likely to stop those who feel the need to conquer the unknown, no matter what adaptations they have to make to achieve their goals. In fact,
constant adaptations and innovations may just be one of the advantages needed for success in this competition. However, the Holman prizes are not only about an exploration of the physical world by blind or visually impaired people. It has a much wider scope as described in the post at the link below.

“The ideal candidate is someone who is willing to probe their environment and eager to savor the richness of a world that is so often thought of as inaccessible to the blind. This exploration may involve travel, community organizing, scholarship, daring art or projects we haven’t even considered. We’re looking for intrepid travelers, creative problem solvers, effective communicators, natural ambassadors, passionate advocates, joyful builders, active boundary-pushers and experience seekers.”

Good luck to all participants. For more information, visit
LightHouse Announces the Holman Prize for Blind Ambition | LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired