Low Vision Awareness: A Survey of Useful Tools for the Newcomer to Low Vision

Low vision awareness is about recognizing the diversity of vision we might find in our community or workplace. Blindness and low vision are not visual conditions that are either on or off. Low vision affects people in different ways, so it might be that someone with low vision has less peripheral vision, like looking down a cardboard tube, which can be caused by glaucoma, or it might be a very soft focus in the center of the visual field that can't be corrected. Imagine, for example, a smudge…

GPT-4 Image Recognition: An Absolute Game Changer in Accessibility

Accessibility is always improving, but 2023 saw one of the most significant accessibility breakthroughs since the advent of the accessible smartphone. GPT4, produced by Open AI, is a Large Language Model (LLM) that can accept both text and images. In summary, you can converse with an LLM much like you would with a person, and it will respond in a manner closely approximating human interaction. Also, the most powerful LLMs such as Open AI's GPT and Google's Bard, perform various tasks only…

Spotlighting Breakthroughs in Multi-line Braille Displays

One of the most exciting developments in refreshable braille display technology is the creation of market-viable multi-line braille displays. While single-line braille displays have been in production for many decades, multi-line displays have only become widely available in the past half-decade or so. Currently, several multi-line displays are available or soon to be released. In this piece, I want to highlight three such displays: the Orbit Slate, the Canute 360, and the Monarch. Orbit…

Conjury, A Showcase on Game Accessibility Using the Unity Accessibility Plugin

Just after I published this piece on game accessibility in the fall issue of AccessWorld, a game was brought to my notice that used one of the access methods I discussed in that piece. The game is called Conjury, and uses the Unity Accessibility Plugin to provide access to the user interface (UI) for people who use screen readers. The game is a turn based card game, meaning that by making the UI accessible, the game itself is entirely playable. I was excited to bring information on this game to…

Reflections on International Day of Persons with Disabilities

Since 1992, December 3rd has been recognized as the International Day for Persons with Disabilities. It is important to recognize the voices of the hundreds of millions of people with disabilities who are burdened by the political and social forces in their native land. At the same time, we must identify ways to leverage the technological breakthroughs that have revolutionized our world and find ways to allow this technology to become a key driver toward expanding opportunity and independence…
Blog Topics General

Year-End Appeal

Give Today Dear Friend, As we approach the horizon of the new year, I invite you to join me in being a part of something truly transformative. Let’s imagine a world of endless possibilities for millions of Americans who are blind or have low vision. From conducting research to identifying pressing needs in the sector to creating a more accessible and inclusive world, the American Foundation for the Blind has been a driving force for the full and equal inclusion for those who are blind or…
Author
Blog Topics

AccessWorld Classics: New Mainstream Features in iOS 17

On September 18, 2023, Apple released iOS 17 for iPhone and iPad. This new operating system has many changes for some very popular apps and features. This post will cover some of the major changes. Before upgrading, make sure your device is backed up and ensure it can use iOS 17. You can check compatibility with the list of compatible phones and iPads Apple has prepared. Also be sure to check the AppleVis Accessibility Bug Tracker to be sure any active bugs will not interfere with your usage…
Author Janet Ingber
Blog Topics Technology

AccessWorld Classics: iOS 17 Accessibility Updates

It's that time of year again! time for changing weather and new operating systems. iOS and iPadOS 17 were released on September 18, 2023, and this year brings us a treasure trove of new accessibility features. Most, but not all, of the accessibility updates related to vision are in VoiceOver. The VoiceOver updates can be found in Settings > Accessibility > VoiceOver. Voice Settings In VoiceOver Settings, under Speech > Voice, there are dozens of voices to choose from for the various…
Author Judy Dixon
Blog Topics Accessibility

Advice and Information in the AccessWorld Archives

Over the years, we have published a great deal of material related to employment in our AccessWorld magazine. Though much of the content we have published is time specific, there are still many articles with information and advice still of use today. Historically, we published a column in AccessWorld titled Employment Matters, now our Employment Journeys series, which detailed the life and work of people who are blind and or low vision and successfully employed. In addition to providing a…

AccessWorld Highlights: National Disability Employment Awareness Month: Getting Started in the Accessibility Industry

One of our goals at AFB is to promote wide spread high-level change in society for people who are blind or have low vision. One way we do so, in the Digital Inclusion space in particular, is by encouraging the employment of people who are passionate and knowledgeable about accessibility in the technology industry. Providing suggestions from the outside can only go so far; having people who think of accessibility during the product development process and have the knowledge to bring it about is…