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Month: July 2013

Meet Carren Jenkins: Fedora’s Director of Teaching and Curriculum

Posted in Apple Inc

Hello. I’m Carren Jenkins, Director of Teaching and Curriculum. I’m the newest member of the Fedora Outlier team.

You may remember me as Carren Hack from BLVS (Blind and Low Vision Services of North Georgia), where I taught computer classes to other blind people. I got married in 2004 and changed my name to Carren Jenkins. I have enjoyed being a stay-at-home mom to our son Caleb and daughter Grace since 2005, but now that Grace is starting preschool in the fall, I thought it was time to go back to teaching.

I was diagnosed with atypical RP (Retinitis Pigmentosa) when I was 7. I lost some peripheral vision in my left eye and lost some central vision in my right eye. I took Orientation and Mobility classes from CVI (Center for the Visually Impaired) in Atlanta, Georgia. I earned a B.A. in English from Wingate University in 1999.

After graduating college, I interned at GARRS (Georgia Radio Reading Service) as morning board operator and was their first intern to become an employee. In 1999, I started a company called braille-it! to transcribe documents into braille using Duxbery software and an embosser. I also taught clients how to use a computer with JAWS. In October of 2001, I started the computer program at BLVS, (now known as VRS or Vision Rehabilitation Services of Georgia), where I taught over 200 people how to use Windows, JAWS, ZoomText, Connect OutLoud, Internet Explorer, Word, Excel, and Outlook. It was such a joy watching people learn new things.

I learned how to use a computer on an Apple IIc. When my vision got worse, I switched to a PC with JAWS. I’m glad I learned how to use Windows so I could teach it to others, but I was so excited to get an iPhone and a Mac in 2010. Now I have an iPad Mini, too. It’s so amazing to me how Apple builds accessibility into their products. When I bought my iPhone 5, an Apple Store employee showed me how to use VoiceOver. For the first time, I could setup a phone by myself. I was so impressed by this, I wanted to teach other people how to use the iPhone, iPad, and Mac using VoiceOver.

I searched for companies that teach blind people how to use Apple devices with VoiceOver and that’s when I found Fedora Outlier. I was amazed to learn how VaShaun Jones had started Fedora Outlier LLC with a great team and other blind and low vision team members who are passionate like me to teach others how to use Apple devices and how this service will open up so many doors for endless possibilities of how a blind or low vision user can use their phone, iPad or computer with their Assistive Technology built in and can start using the product like their sighted friends and family. I am excited to join them and experience the joy of learning new things from more clients.

If you need training on your Apple products, don’t hesitate to contact us at, or subscribe to our newsletter.

TOOLBOX: Create Your Own Ringtones with iTunes

Posted in Apple Inc

There are thousands of ring tones out there, from those you can purchase from iTunes, to various apps designed for you to make your own. But you can make your own ring tones right in iTunes. You can pick the part of the song you want, and it only takes a few minutes. Simply follow these directions to produce your very own, self-made ring tones.

RELEASE: Special July 9 #AccessChat Marks Move to Weekly Format

Posted in Apple Inc

ATLANTA, Georgia (July 8) — After maintaining a monthly format since April, #AccessChat will become a weekly event beginning July 9 at 8:00PM EST, which will feature two special guests, Michael Hansen with AppleVis and the Blinkie Chicks. Fedora Outlier, LLC, the official sponsor for #AccessChat, will also be giving away a $25 iTunes gift card to one lucky participant.

Hansen, a member of the AppleVis editorial team, plays an important role in the website and community’s contribution to the blindness community. From a community-driven app directory with reviews, monthly advocacy campaigns targeted at inaccessible apps and a steady flow of content, AppleVis is a recognized authority in the Apple accessibility conversation.

“AppleVis is a rich resource that strives to empower the community by offering multiple pathways to access and share relevant and useful information,” Hansen said. “AppleVis also offers resources and mechanisms for raising awareness of the accessibility of Apple products and related applications, and for promoting further advancement in accessibility.”

Hansen will be on-hand to discuss all things Apple, including the much-anticipated release of OS X Mavericks and iOS 7.

During the second half of the chat, special guests, the Blinkie Chicks, will discuss accessibility, empowerment and other blindness-related topics. With a website, blog and a well-respected social media presence, the Blinkie Chicks have become a valuable resource to blind and visually impaired individuals.

“We are not only linked through visual impairment and through friendship, but through a need to make a difference in the world we live in. I think most people have this need,” said Jessica Smith, one of the Blinkkie Chicks’ founding members. “We started out as three college students trying to raise awareness on our college campus, but we have now expanded to providing online content as well.”

To see the lineup of guests schedule for the remainder of July, visit, where visitors can subscribe to receive occasional email alerts about the weekly Twitter chat.

“We’re excited about the move to a weekly event,” said VaShaun Jones, managing partner with Fedora Outlier. “It means we have even more opportunities to showcase the brilliant, talented and dedicated minds working to make life even better for persons with disabilities.”

For more information about #AccessChat, including details on how to participate or become a future guest, contact the chat’s coordinator, Chris Ingram, via email at, or by submitting a message through the Fedora Outlier contact form at

Wednesday Roundup For July 3, 2013

Posted in Apple Inc

Welcome to the July 3, 2013, edition of the Wednesday Roundup, brought to you by Fedora Outlier, LLC. It’s really been a busy week in technology, science and the world of blindness. Change is moving faster than the speed of light, and we are all witness to the progress that is being made in all areas. Get that favorite beverage and join us for some of the most interesting reading from the week.

The first item is one that really grabbed our attention. An eye condition being nicknamed as the “Rosetta Stone” of blindness. A genetic eye disease has been found in 100 people in the United States and 61 of those affected are from the same family. It is a progressive blindness that can take from 8 to 20 years till the person is totally blind. Scientists hope that when gene is isolated, that a cure can be found for many eye diseases.

Just one more thing that stress can cause. Stress can cause a whole host of illnesses, such as heart disease, kidney failure and can lead to nervous breakdown. This article talks about the fact that stress can cause. Hypertension induced by stress could cause vision loss and blindness, if left untreated.

Now for some news about Apple. It seems that Apple has signed a manufacturing agreement with Taiwan Semiconductor to make chips for its iOS devices. Ending its long term contract with Samsung. This didn’t come as a surprise to many, because they are competitors in the Smart Phone world. There have been clashes and issues, so Apple is moving on beginning in 2014.

Today we mark another important achievement for equal rights, this time for over a million Americans — and over 340 million people worldwide — who are blind, visually impaired, or with other print disabilities.
President Obama promised the United States commitment to a treaty that “ensures that copyright is not a barrier to equal access to information, culture, and education for visually impaired persons and persons with print disabilities.” This commitment came to fruition this week when 150 countries joined in the landmark treaty.

The last story concerns a study of the uses of the internet by seniors. Yes, they are realizing that seniors are getting more involved in searching the web. The group doing the study discovered that changes to accommodate seniors need to be done before they reach age 65, to make the websites more usable for that age group.
We hope that you enjoyed this edition of the Wednesday Roundup for July 3, 2013 brought to you by Fedora Outlier, LLC. Visit our website for more interesting and valuable content such as The Old Hat Guide To iPhone Accessibility. The team of Fedora Outlier, LLC would like to wish you a very safe and enjoyable Independence Day.

The Control Panel And System Preferences

Posted in Apple Inc

In this weeks edition of the Switching To A Mac series Damashe will explain the Windows Control Panel, and I will explain System Preferences on a Mac. This is where you will go on either platform to adjust your system settings which will hopefully make your computer run even better for you, so sit back and lets learn how to use the Windows Control Panel, and System Preferences on a mac.