January 30th, 2014

YouTube has again improved the functionality of their captioning tool for videos that you have posted on the site. The instructions are much the same but now, as you caption, the site will automatically pause the video while you are typing. This allows you to listen to exactly the amount that you can remember before you type it out, and saves hitting a pause key.

January 30th, 2014

You may have heard that a coalition of e-reader manufacturers consisting of Amazon, Kobo and Sony, filed a petition requesting the FCC waive the rule requiring e-readers to have text to speech capabilities. 

The FCC has made a decision and the National Federation for the Blind has shared the following:

The FCC issued its final order on the e-book reader waiver petition this week.  They granted the waiver, but limited it to only one year despite the e-book reader coalition’s request for an indefinite waiver.  Our collective opposition efforts had much to do with this overall very good result, as you will see in the order (attached and links below).  A summary of the FCC’s decision is excerpted below:

“We grant a waiver from the Commission’s ACS rules for the class of “basic e-readers,” as defined herein, until January 28, 2015. We limit the term of the waiver to one year from the expiration of the temporary waiver, rather than grant the Coalition’s request for an indefinite waiver. We believe that, given the swift pace at which e-reader and tablet technologies are evolving and the expanding role of ACS in electronic devices, granting a waiver beyond this period is outweighed by the public interest and congressional intent to ensure that Americans with disabilities have access to advanced communications technologies.”
Links to the Order:
Word:  http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-14-95A1.docx
PDF:  http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-14-95A1.pdf
Text:  http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-14-95A1.txt
January 30th, 2014

The Assistive Technology Conference of New England returns on November 20th, 2014 in Warwick, RI. You can keep up to date on developments by visiting their website.

January 30th, 2014
Window-Eyes is now being packaged with Windows running Office 2010 or higher. The version of Window-Eyes available to Office users is a full version, available globally and in eighteen languages. It comes with Microsoft speech and eSpeak, and is available from WindowEyes
According to the National Federation for the Blind blog post,
If you already have a license of Window-Eyes, that will still work, and unlike the bundled version, it entitles you to unlimited tech support. Window-Eyes extended apps will continue to work. If you are using the bundled version, you will have to pay on a per incident basis for tech support, or per twelve incidents in twelve months. Installation CDs, GW Connect, better speech synthesizers, and hotkey lists will also be available for an additional charge.
January 30th, 2014

Creating institutional guidance for faculties and staffs on captioning can be a tricky issue. This NCDAE blog post shares what others in the field have to say. It's based on a discussion on the Educause ITACCESS list and shares perspectives of several institutions.