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AFB  ®
Technology News for People Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired
From the American Foundation for the Blind
 July 2009 Issue  Volume 10  Number 4

AccessWorld News

NFB Newsline on Demand or in Your Pocket

NFB Newsline, the popular telephone-based reading system, now offers two new ways of receiving nearly 300 newspapers and magazines. With NFB Newsline on Demand, users can navigate any of the available newspapers or magazines online and select an entire newspaper or section to be directly e-mailed to their e-mail accounts. With NFB Newsline in Your Pocket, users simply connect a portable player--such as Victor Reader Stream, Icon, or Icon Braille+ Mobile Manager--to the computer's USB port and transfer content directly from the site to the player for listening on the go. Once downloaded, Newsline content affords the user all the same navigation features that are available via telephone, so that the user can easily move from section to section, article to article, or paragraph to paragraph; have words spelled; or search for particular text.

The collection includes newspapers from every state, as well as such national publications as the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, New Yorker, AARP Magazine, and many more. Individuals who already subscribed to Newsline on the phone need only to go to the site and register for the online versions. Becoming a member is easy, since NFB Newsline accepts any previous authorization from organizations, such as the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped or state vocational rehabilitation agencies. Subscription is free. To learn more or to subscribe, visit www.nfbnewslineonline.org.

New iPhone Includes VoiceOver

In June, Apple introduced the new iPhone 3G S. Among the iPhone 3G S's myriad new features is the addition of VoiceOver, the Apple screen reader. Apple says that VoiceOver will enable users who are blind or have low vision to make calls, read e-mail, browse web pages, play music, and run applications. Apple's new universal Zoom function magnifies the entire screen, and the White on Black feature reverses the colors on screen to provide higher contrast for people with low vision. We look forward to finding out whether the addition of a screen reader will be enough to make the touch screen of the iPhone usable. For more information, visit www.apple.com/accessibility/iphone/vision.html.

A Little Low-Tech Fun

If you were blind as a child, chances are you were not prone to doodling or drawing as your sighted peers did. Or maybe you did it in a different way. Fiddling around with the shapes that can be made on a braille page by using different portions of the cell to build a raised image on the braille page can be great fun, and the Perkins School for the Blind has produced a book to show you how.

Drawing with Your Perkins Brailler, by Kim Charlson, is a book that provides instructions for making 36 drawings with a Perkins Brailler. Images include shapes, animals, transportation, and holiday themes, and a sample of each is provided to show the budding artist what the image will look like when completed.

Available in either 18-point print or braille, the book sells for $24.95. For more information, visit http://support.perkins.org/site/PageServer?pagename=store_homepage or phone 617-972-7308.

Pay as You Go GPS

For owners of BrailleNote PK or mPower units who do not have GPS software, the Sendero Group is offering an economical pay-as-you-go plan. For an initial fee of $199, followed by payments of $199 per month for 13 months, the Sendero GPS software can be purchased for your BrailleNote PK or mPower unit. For information on this offer, as well as other products and training, visit www.senderogroup.com or phone 530-757-6800.

Free Web Page Converter

A free and accessible conversion program is available online for turning your favorite photograph, document, or audio file into a readily accessible web page. No CAPTCHAs, fast download speeds, and complete blind-friendly access are among the features that users of this software have extolled. To try it out, visit www.file2.ws.

RFB&D Books for Download

Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic (RFB&D) has announced that its AudioPlus books are now available for Internet download. The 60-year-old nonprofit organization has a collection of more than 51,000 titles, primarily textbooks for elementary through postgraduate-level studies. All books are available in AudioPlus format, the RFB&D name for DAISY-formatted books, enabling you to navigate by page, chapter, and other levels via audio and text. When downloaded, books can be played on a PC, transferred to a portable DAISY player, or burned to a CD for use on a DAISY-enabled CD player. RFB&D members also now have access to either online or telephone support, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. To learn more about RFB&D or downloading books from the collection, visit www.rfbd.org or phone, 866-RFBD-585 (732-3585).

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Copyright © 2009 American Foundation for the Blind. All rights reserved. AccessWorld is a trademark of the American Foundation for the Blind.

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