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Month: May 2013

A Word to All Mothers

Posted in Apple Inc

Since May is the month when Mother’s Day occurs, it seemed fitting to honor all mothers by making the theme of this month’s newsletter, Mothers.

What is it like to be a mother? Motherhood is like nothing else in the world. Being a mother is hard work, a 24-7 job, yet It is the most gratifying title anyone with children can have in a lifetime. It begins even before a baby is born, and never ends, even when That tiny fetus grows into adulthood. The role of mother changes, however, as each child passes through the stages of life. At first, a mother is all mom, fulfilling every need of the baby, toddler, and small kiddo. Her role begins to change as her child’s role changes. Mother still provides much of what her children need, but also begins to become a friend to them. She wants each of her children to feel that they can come and talk to her about anything. She wants to be their confidant, while still exercising the rules required to teach them boundaries and the difference between right and wrong. As each child grows into a teenager, then young adult, and finally to a full-fledged adult, a mother’s role grows also, and the ratio of mother and friend swings. By the time our children are grown, we are still their mothers, but our role is more of friend. If we’ve done our best, and our children have respect for us, as well as confidence that they can talk to us openly, we have succeeded.

What is it like to have a mother? Having a mother is security, happiness, nurturing, and unconditional love. Mothers take care of our every need. This is true from the time we are born. When we are sad, they hold us in their arms to comfort us. When we fall and skin our knees, who cleans the bruise and puts on the bandage as well as wipes up whatever just dripped onto the floor? They cook and clean, and always make sure we have clean clothes to wear. They drive us all over the place, from dance and music lessons, to playing at a friend’s house. They only want to see us happy, and will do just about anything to make that happen, if it is within their grasp. This is true even as we become adults. Grown children no longer rely on their moms for their happiness, yet always appreciate the continued love, support, and desire of their moms to insure their happiness.

If you have a mother, spend time with her on Mother’s Day. If you know a mother, give her a call, or even better, a visit on her special day. If you are a mother, take Mother’s Day for your time. Relax, and do whatever makes you happy, for you deserve it. Though there is a day set aside, the second Sunday in May, every year, to recognize and honor all mothers, the truth is that every day is Mother’s Day.

Fedora Celebrates the Kindle App with a Giveaway

Posted in Apple Inc

You’ve, no doubt, heard that Amazon has released an updated version of its Kindle for iOS app yesterday, and the blindness community is abuzz with excitement and intrigue. We’ve even shared a few of our thoughts in this post breaking down the features and accessibility of the app.

These are just a few of the tweets sent the past 36 hours since the official announcement was made…

Good news! Read aloud over 1.8 million titles available in the Kindle Store using Apple’s VoiceOver technology. phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?…

— Rich Cavallaro (@richcav) May 1, 2013

The sun has risen from thewest today as Amazon announced that #Kindle for iOS is now fully accessible. #a11y #accessibility

— Pratik Patel (@ppatel) May 1, 2013

My Kindle library synced perfectly with the app. Books totally readable with VO. Its Christmas for book lovers.

— Robert Carter (@Robert_Carter) May 1, 2013

Accessible kindle app comments and use. boo.fm/b1365336 via @audioboo

— Tim Emmons (@emmons2010) May 1, 2013

ACB sees brighter future for #ebooks for with the release of of the accessible Kindle for IOS. #accessibility

— ACB National (@acbnational) May 2, 2013

Amazing. Chicago tribune on kindle is accessible.

— Liam Erven (@Liamerven) May 2, 2013

Now–It’s Time to Give Away Something to Celebrate!

In celebration of the new accessible Kindle app, Fedora Outlier, LLC, is pleased to offer up one (1) $25 gift card for Amazon.com, which can be used to purchase anything from the Kindle Store. That’s right, one lucky winner can buy some brand new books for their brand new accessible Kindle app. Here’s how you can score an entry (or two) for the giveaway:

You can earn one entry for each option, but additional entries won’t be considered past that point. If you have questions about the giveaway, send an email to justin@fedoraoutlier.com, or use the contact form to get in touch with us. Hurry, though! The giveaway ends Wednesday, May 8th at 5PM EST!

BREAKING: Amazon’s Kindle for iOS Updated with Accessibility

Posted in Apple Inc

I remember the feeling quite vividly—sitting in my college courses on the first day of class, staring at a syllabus with books I knew I’d never be able to obtain in an accessible format before we were to review them. I attended a great university and had access to a fabulous disability services office, but far too many books were simply out of reach in a timely fashion.

I’d talk to peers who would download their books onto a Kindle, and as time progressed, soon they’d load them on their iPhones and iPads to tote around wherever they went. But, sadly, Amazon seemed to stubbornly push inaccessible Kindle products onto the market without any regard to the blindness community.

That all changed yesterday morning, though, and many have voiced their excitement for the newly accessible Kindle for iOS application (available now through Apple’s App Store). That’s right—the blind, visually impaired and dyslexic now have full access to Amazon’s catalog of over one million books, magazines and newspapers, all at the touch of a button in the Kindle Store.

After playing around with the app, connecting my braille display and exploring tactilely and buying (more than) a few books to try out, I want to share some initial impressions and a general breakdown of what you can expect from the app.

TOOLBOX: Quickly Enable/Disable VoiceOver on a Shared AppleTV

Posted in Apple Inc

Apple found another way to pry my wallet open when they launched VoiceOver access on the AppleTV. Seriously, that thing sees a ton of action in my living room, whether it’s movies I’ve purchased or rented from iTunes, watching Netflix or Hulu (which are both fully and beautifully accessible), or watching a baseball game through the MLB.TV app.

VoiceOver works great on this device, and if you don’t have one, you should drop the $99 and snag one for your living room, as well. But there’s one little issue–I’m not the only one using the AppleTV. My family loves VoiceOver (about as much as a group of totally sighted people like hearing a robotic voice announcing text they’re already seeing flashed on the screen), but there hasn’t been a quick way to turn the screen reader on and off in situations like this. Until now…

REPLAY: Fedora Outlier Featured on Accessible World Tek Talk

Posted in Apple Inc

Did you miss the Fedora team on Accessible World Tek Talk this past Monday? VaShaun and Brie spent some time with the Tek Talk community discussing some of the services our team offers, general questions about iOS accessibility and a rundown on our book, “The Old Hat Guide to iPhone Accessibility“.

To catch a replay of the conversation, just click the link below to view an archived MP3 from the Accessible World website. Thank you so much to Robert Acosta and the entire Accessible World family for hosting us–and we certainly hope to have the pleasure again very soon!

Listen to Fedora Outlier on Accessible World Tek Talk from April 29th, 2013

Fedora Outlier Roundup For Wednesday May 01, 2013

Posted in iOS

This week, the Fedora Roundup takes a look at more accessibility flubs from Facebook, a father’s noble cause for his blind daughter, an exciting new audio-only iOS game and a trick that might just save you $600. Ready, set, go–it’s the Wednesday morning edition of the Fedora Roundup!

1. Facebook Home Inaccessible to Blind Android Users – There’s been a ton of discussion about Facebook Home lately–and with good reason. The social media giant is taking one step further into our lives, and it comes in the way of tapping into your Android phone. But, due to accessibility issues, FB won’t be prodding into the lives of blind, screen reader users. Read all the details here.

2. Breakthrough Braille Smartphones for the Blind – An India-based startup, Kriyate, is in the process of developing a braille-enabled smartphone. Would you ditch VoiceOver for a more tactile solution? Apparently, the device is slated to cost less than $200. We’re just seeing the tip of the iceberg for accessible technologies, friends.

3. Father Runs Marathon Blindfolded to Honor Visually Impaired Daughter – Have you ever run a marathon? Michael Bruno loved running, but an injury prevented him from doing so for the past few years. But now, he has his sights set on a 26.2 mile adventure–and he’s doing it completely blindfolded in honor of his seven-year-old daughter, Cassie. A noble cause, indeed.

4. The Nightjar is a Unique Sensory Experience for iOS Gamers – Hop aboard the Nightjar, a dying space ship floating in orbit, which you must now navigate in complete and total darkness. Developed by Somthin’ Else, makers of innovative iOS game, Papa Sangre, and narrated by Benedict Cumberbatch, most notably of BBC’s, Sherlock, this audio-only game will stretch your sensory perceptions to the max. Will you give it a try?

5. Dropped an iPhone in Water? Here’s How to Save it from Water Damage – I had a friend who tried this trick a year or two ago–and it worked perfectly. Don’t fret, follow these quick and painless steps, and avoid shelling out the big bucks for a new iGadget.

6. #AccessChat Guest for May Announced – If you joined us last month for #AccessChat, you’ll know that the conversation was fast and furious–but oh so much fun. This month looks to continue that excitement with our very special guest, Amy Billman with SpeedDots. Get all of the details right here!

6. Ultra-Professional Word Processing on the Go – Out and about, but you need to put together a professional document? Looking for a super flexible app for note taking on the go? Take a look at our Old Hat review of Pages for iOS–and let us know what you think about the app if you’ve used it.

Want to Stay in the Know?

The Fedora team is scouring the furthest corners of the world wide web to bring you the best tidbits on Apple, assistive technology, blindness and more–and you don’t have to wait until Wednesday to get it. Just follow @Fedora_Outlier on Twitter and find us on Facebook, to get all the news and alerts to keep you in the loop each and every day.

Do you have the “scoop” on some breaking news? Let’s talk! Just use our contact form to submit an article, post or link for consideration in a future Fedora Roundup.

Newspapers For iOS – Old Hat App Review

Posted in Apple Inc

Do you remember the old days when you would go to the newspaper stand, drop a quarter in the box and grab a issue of the morning news? Well I do and those days are long gone. Now there are apps for that and here’s one I’m really excited about.

Name: Newspapers

Accessibility Rating: 4 Hats   Completely accessible

Version: 8

Developer: David Earnest

App URL: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/newspapers/id308196376?mt=8

Price at time of review: $0.99

Category: News

Platform: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. This app is optimized for iPhone 5. Requires iOS 5.1 or later.

Our Review

Do you like news from around the world and not just the stuff in your own back yard? If so then try this app out for yourself. Instead of a quarter a copy you pay just $0.99 and get literally thousands of newspapers from around the globe. Now how is that for a low cost way of keeping up with the world?

Do you want to purchase an app, but just aren’t sure how accessible it REALLY is? Let us spend the cash to find out! Let us know which apps you’d like to see reviewed here by submitting an iOS app for review here.

Want to Come and Hangout with a Few of Your Favorite App Developers?

#AccessChat is a monthly Twitter chat focused on connecting the blindness community with app developers, software engineers and other professionals putting the spotlight on accessibility. Guests include companies like SpeedDots, Fleksy, Digit-Eyes and Sendero.

Don’t miss a single second of the conversation. Submit your details in the form below, and we’ll send you alerts for upcoming chats, share announcements about future guests and give you a heads up when we’re giving away cool prizes during the chat.