American Printing House for the Blind and Freedom Scientific Partner to Make JAWS and MAGic Student Edition Available on Quota

American Printing House for the Blind (APH) and Freedom Scientific have partnered to make a JAWS and MAGic Student Edition available to students who are blind or visually impaired in primary and secondary school in the U.S. using Federal Quota Funds.

American Printing House for the Blind now offers JAWS and MAGic Student Edition for purchase with Federal Quota funds. These licenses are sold exclusively by APH as annual subscriptions and will allow students who are visually impaired to install full versions of the screen reader software JAWS and/or the screen magnifying software MAGic on any computer they use, including computers at home. This will allow students to have 24-hour, 365 days-a-year access to their computers at both school and home. The annual subscriptions are priced at $300 per student. Read details about the products and how to order at the APH Shopping Site

AFB Press Release of iOS in the Classroom: A Guide for Teaching Students with Visual Impairments

AFB Press is pleased to announce the recent publication of iOS in the Classroom: A Guide for Teaching Students with Visual Impairments, by Larry L. Lewis, Jr.

iOS in the Classroom is an illustrated step-by-step resource guide to teaching the use of the iPad running iOS 9 to students with visual impairments. The book explores the extensive accessibility options available, where to find them, and how to configure them. iOS in the Classroom is geared toward allowing students with visual impairments to use the iPad to complete the same classroom tasks as their sighted peers. The book is 138 pages long and is now available in paperback for $29.95; e-books for $20.95; and online subscription for $17.95.

ENVISION Names Joshua A. Miele, Scientist and Inspirational Speaker, Keynote Speaker for 2016 Conference, Sept. 7-10 in Denver

Specialist in Information Accessibility, Survivor of Childhood Attack That Blinded Him, Highlights Four-Day Multidisciplinary Program on Low Vision

Envision recently announced that Joshua A. Miele, founder and director of the Video Description Research and Development Center and associate director of the Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute in San Francisco, will deliver the keynote address at the 11th annual Envision Conference, Sept. 7?10 at the Grand Hyatt Denver. The Envision Conference is the multidisciplinary conference where optometrists and rehabilitation therapists to special education teachers and government policy makers can receive updates and collaborate on the latest ideas and advancements in vision rehabilitation, research, practice and technology.

Dr. Miele will speak Sept. 8 during the Opening Plenary Session. He will discuss issues related to accessible technology, self-determination, STEM (science, technology, engineering and math education), disability, inclusion, universal design and The Maker Movement. His expertise in these topics comes from his personal life and 25 years of professional experience in developing innovative, information-accessibility solutions for people who are blind and visually impaired.

An unprovoked and senseless acid attack when he was only 4 years old left Dr. Miele blind and caused permanent deformities to his face and other parts of his body. Despite these physical setbacks, he completed a mainstream education in New York and then moved to California to attend the University of California, Berkeley. While pursuing his undergraduate degree, he worked for a technology company that invented a screen reader for Macintosh computers, a critical development at a time when blind and visually impaired individuals feared losing employment opportunities as computing shifted from command-line to the then-new graphic user interface (GUI). Dr. Miele provided technical support on the product and later helped guide its expansion to the Windows platform. The experience sparked his interest in information accessibility and he returned to school to obtain a graduate degree and then a doctorate in psychoacoustics, the study of auditory perception.

Open eBooks App Announced by White House

On February 24, the White House blog announced the availability of Open eBooks app, which had initially been announced as a work in progress in April 2015.

Open eBooks contains thousands of titles, available for free to children in need.

Any adult who works in a Title I (or Title I eligible) school, or a program or library that serves at least 70 percent of children from in-need families can sign up with First Book. Educators and library administrators can then access codes for children. Teachers and program administrators who primarily serve children with disabilities are also eligible to sign up.

The app is currently available on iOS and Android. Subsequent versions will be optimized to support as many open platforms as possible. There will be a web-optimized version coming in 2016. Open eBooks uses the EPUB3 standard but will expand to include PDFs in early 2016.

Built with Readium's rendering engine, the Open eBooks App takes advantage of the accessibility features that are native to the EPUB3 format in which the books are rendered. Open eBooks is compatible with Apple and Android's text to speech functionality. In the future we plan to improve the implementation of Readium to make this even more robust.

We're working on improving the experience and accessibility in future updates and versions of the app and its content. Again, making this content accessible is a top priority and we are working with all our industry partners to make progress in this area.

We also encourage families, teachers and librarians of readers with print disabilities to try applications like BARD, BookShare, and Learning Ally. These great resources can help students build an even bigger collection of eBooks.

Open eBooks supports Open Dyslexic Font for those with Dyslexia.

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