January 2014 Issue  Volume 15  Number 1

Letters to the Editor

Comments and Questions

Dear AccessWorld Editor,

After reading Bill Holton's August 2013 article, A Review of the Voice Dream Reader for iOS: A One-Stop Solution, all I can say is, "Wow!"

This article was clear, thorough, and well written. Thanks to Bill Holton for taking the time to write this and explaining all of Voice Dream Readers' features to readers like me who are interested in possibly purchasing this app. I have already downloaded the lite version, but now… I am absolutely going to buy it!

Also, can you please let me know if there are other apps similar to this? I am fully sighted, but work with the blind and visually impaired community, am a reader for Sight Into Sound Radio in Houston and am also an employer who is interested in learning as much as I can about accessible technology for my new staff member who is visually impaired that will begin working with me soon.

Awesome review and keep up the great work!

Sincerely,

Chelsea C. Nguyen

Response from AccessWorld Author Bill Holton

Hi Chelsea,

Thanks for the kind words regarding my review of Voice Dream Reader. It is a very powerful program, and recent updates have added even more functionality, such as the ability to mark and highlight text using VoiceOver and to quickly move ahead and back in your text with a single one-finger swipe up or down. Another similar product is the Read2Go app from Bookshare, which includes many of the same features as Voice Dream Reader.

Dear AccessWorld Editor,

I really enjoy the AccessWorld publication. I have recently started using the AccessWorld app and am enjoying its convenience and portability. I would like to make a recommendation for a change in the AccessWorld app that I think will make it even better.

Many who read publications such as yours choose what they read not just on the subject of the article but also on the columnist who wrote it. I know I always enjoy the articles written by Deborah Kendrick and have been following her for quite some time. I find the omission of the writer's byline from the AccessWorld app screen listing the current issue's content to be a major shortcoming. This information could be included without much investment in screen real estate if it were placed on the line below the article title or in some cases it might even fit beside the title.

I hope you will consider making this change, because I feel it would be a big improvement to the AccessWorld app and would also be much appreciated by your readers.

Thanks for the great work done by AccessWorld and for considering my recommendation.

Happy holidays,

Alan Lemly

Dear AccessWorld Editor,

In response to the article by Bill Holton, Looking at the New Microsoft Accessibility Answer Desk, I would like to share my experience with the Answer Desk. I myself have had good success with this service. Out of the three times that I have used this service, I had one session where I got no help at all. The other two times I called, I had very good sessions.

Steven Whiteker

Dear AccessWorld Editor,

First, thank you for the invaluable information you share with us each month. I benefit from it personally, and in my work with blind and visually impaired Kansans with disabilities as a rehab counselor for our state. I read your magazine on my Victor Reader or Braille Sense.

Now, I have to jump through several hoops to find the "download entire issue" link.

Would you please consider making downloading your magazine very simple so those of us who use portable devices [can] capture the entire text of your magazine [more easily]?

If there's an easier way to do this already, I'm certainly willing to swallow my rather limited techy pride and take your advice.

Sincerely,

M. Todd Morando

Dear AccessWorld Editor,

I was very excited to read J.J. Meddaugh's Audio Description in Theaters: Making Theaters More Accessible article. I had given up on watching movies. But now I have checked the website of my local theater and found out that it does indeed offer video description. A door that I had closed may now be reopened!

Thank you for this wonderful magazine.

Regards,

Laura Griffith

Dear AccessWorld Editor,

Thank you for an excellent overview of the progress of movie theaters' audio description services in J.J. Meddaugh's Audio Description in Theaters: Making Theaters More Accessible article.

I am a Star Trek fan so I watched "Into Darkness" using the special headset.

Fortunately, my parents were gracious enough to do some research in advance to find out that audio description was available, but the movie theater staff had to be educated and told that I didn't need an Assistive Listening Device.

However, I found that the noise level of the movie made it difficult to hear the audio description.

I wish there were a way to equalize the volume so that a blind person could hear the dialogue and descriptive track clearly without sighted assistance.

In addition, if the person wanted to buy the movie later with an audio described track, how would he/she do this since there are many versions of the same movie and no centralized database for current described movies?

Thank you,

Rebecca Skipper

Dear AccessWorld Editor,

I really enjoyed Bill Holton's Looking at the New Microsoft Accessibility Answer Desk article on the Microsoft Accessibility support group. I am a totally blind person, and I discovered the Accessibility Support group just a short while ago, when trying to update my computer from Windows 8 to 8.1. I was having no luck at all, and the Microsoft Windows support team could provide no assistance. When I called back to the Answer Desk to attempt to get help with my issue again, the person at the Answer Desk connected me to the Accessibility group, who had me up and running with Windows 8.1 in no time. The problem it seems is that with the JAWS screen reading application installed, it blocks the download and installation of the update. So, the technician uninstalled JAWS, downloaded and installed the Windows update, and then reinstalled JAWS on my computer for me. And, this whole process took just over an hour. I know, without a doubt, that this is the best support that I have ever received as a blind person. Thank you for your article.

Regards,

Michael Boyd

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