News for News Junkies from NFB-NEWSLINE!

Bill Holton

If you are an NFB-NEWSLINE® subscriber and make use of the organization’s free iOS NFB-NEWSLINE Mobile app, you may have noticed some significant changes to the interface in the newest Version 3.0 release. The app is now presented in four pages with a slider control to move from page to page. The main homepage offers buttons to access your local weather report, a “What’s new” button, and a link to breaking coronavirus news. A list of your “Favorited” publications also appears on the homepage for quicker access.

Page two includes links to the complete roster of over 500 NEWSLINE publications, TV listings and “Breaking news articles.” Once you have located and opened a NEWSLINE newspaper or magazine article, either in Breaking News or in the standard periodical menu, you will discover that in this new release, each of the articles appears in its own link, with a brief preview pane. They are no longer grouped together with heading markers between clips. Access the full article by double tapping the article title. At the top of each article you will now also find a “Share” button. However the choices are limited. You can only share a NEWSLINE article to another reading app, such as Voice Dream Reader or Kindle, or send a copy to yourself or another contact via email or message. Remember, according to the NEWSLINE terms of service, the recipient must also be a NEWSLINE subscriber.

There is one exception. The original Web links to articles that appear in the app’s “Breaking News” section can now be shared via Facebook or Twitter. This is not accomplished via the normal share sheet, however. Instead you must use the Facebook or Twitter buttons at the end of the article.

Now for pages 3 and 4 of the new NFB-NEWSLINE app, and this is the release's premier new feature. The organization has added a free copy of KNFB Reader Basic to the NEWSLINE Mobile app. KNFB-Reader is a text recognition app with features tailored for the specific needs of people with visual impairments. For example, the app will automatically adjust for text that is tilted or even upside down. We originally took a look at the KNFB Reader in November 2014 in the AccessWorld article entitled, KNFB Reader for iOS: Does This App Live up to All the Hype? Our answer to this question was an enthusiastic "yes."

Since the publication of our first look, other players have entered the blind-friendly text recognition arena. Most notable among these are Seeing AI, free from Microsoft, and Voice Dream Scanner from the developers of Voice Dream Reader and Voice Dream Writer. The full standalone version of KNFB Reader is priced at $99.99.

The Basic version lacks some of the advanced features. It does not, for example, provide the same precise field-of-view report. It only recognizes English text, and does not include the same file save options as the full version. You can set whether KNFB Reader Basic will automatically recognize and/or speak text, as well as set the text reading speed, by swiping your way to page 4 of the app.

“The basic version is really meant for quick, on-the-fly reading, such as when you need to distinguish two different packages of frozen foods,” says Scott White, NFB Director of Sponsored Technology Programs. 

The free NFB-NEWSLINE app is available for iOS devices only. You will also need a free NEWSLINE account, which requires certification of your disability. Learn more at the NFB NEWSLINE website.

NVDACon Call for Session Topics

The NVDACon International planning committee would like to invite you to submit session topics for the upcoming NVDA community conference (NVDACon). The conference will be held December 4-6, 2020. NVDA, NonVisual Desktop Access, is a piece of software that has changed the lives of thousands of people with visual impairments worldwide by providing access to the Windows operating system at no cost. As an open-source project, NVDA is backed by a large and dedicated community. The NVDA community is unique due to the fact that visually impaired and non visually impaired people work together to improve accessibility on Windows and to boost efficiency when working with third party applications. NVDA is not only a piece of software, it is a social movement that has spread around the world.

The NVDA community conference (NVDACon) underpins the social interaction among users, developers, institutions, and stakeholders. Each year, the stakeholders in this community meet at the online conference and discuss or present interesting topics related to accessibility and the NVDA screen reader.

If you or an organization you represent are interested in presenting an exciting topic about NVDA, please submit your topic to the NVDA Con Planning Committee, at, by November 7, 2020.

Three presentation types are available for the conference:

  1. Thunderclap Tweets: short news segments that are about 30 seconds each and that will be compiled into a15-minute news feed. Ideal for promoting your new add-ons or updating the community on new features.
  2. Lightning Talk: This style of presentation is a 15- to30-minute talk, with limited time available for questions and answers. One session will include two or three Lightning Talks.
  3. Full Blast Sessions: These are usually 60- to 90-minute presentations, ideal for a more in-depth look at a topic.

October 2020 Table of Contents

Article Topic
AccessWorld News