The Chromebook is an Accessible Option for Those who are Blind or have Low Vision

Photo description:
Text reads the chromebook is an accessible option for those who are blind or have low vision
There is a photo of an open black chromebook below the text

Now that school has begun I want to shine a spotlight on the chromebook. I know that these computer models are not new but I want to highlight the built-in accessibility that is available. I believe that the chromebook is one of the most affordable options for those who are blind or have low vision. 

The chromebook comes with a screen reader called Chromevox, it is fully accessible out of the box. The computer turns on when you lift the top, you will be taken to a sign in page. It is very easy to activate the screen reader right from the sign in screen. 

  • Press control, alt and z at the same time to turn the screen reader on and off. 

I was so thankful that I was able to set up my chromebook on my own without any sighted assistance. 

I will mention that the chromebook is mainly for searching the internet and taking notes and writing papers or creating presentations, and it has a webcam that can be used for meetings. I would not recommend it for gaming. 

Here is a short video I shared on my Instagram page where I give a short demo on how it works.

I hope that this is a helpful tip for anyone looking for an affordable and accessible laptop.

Starbucks Gets an A+ in Accessibility

Text reads starbucks gets an A+ in accessibility.
The A+ is in red and the other text is white on a black background
---- #accessibility  #restaurants #braille #largeprint

When businesses disregard accessibility, they can expect to lose out on revenue. 

One of the most frustrating aspects for me as someone with a disability is to encounter businesses that completely disregard accessibility. I wrote a post on how businesses can become more accessible, you can read it here.

As someone with a vision impairment, I am mainly looking for any print materials and web pages to be fully accessible. 

I recently went to eat at a restaurant and as I usually do I went to their website to check the menu so I would be able to choose my order beforehand as I am not able to read the print menus. Sadly, the website only had a photo of the menu. T did not include any description and therefore was not accessible. I had to ask someone to read the menu to me while at the restaurant.I personally would not return to this place.

It is important to highlight businesses that are making an effort to be accessible to everyone. I recently found out that Starbucks started to provide menus in braille and in large print. This is an excellent step towards accessibility. Learn more in the video below.

I hope that more restaurants will follow this example. Do you know of restaurants that care about accessibility? Highlight them below in the comments.

The MTA Tap and Go System Enhances Accessibility for all Riders

Text on image reads the mta omny tap and go system enhances accessibility for all riders. The image below the text shows an entrance to a subway station in New York city.
The photo of an NYC subway station is by ShonEjai via Pixabay

The New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority is currently upgrading its payment system to a tap and go contactless system. This allows riders to pay their fare by simply tapping their card or mobile phone on a designated reader. It will also work with smart watches. Learn more about how the technology works here.

This is a great step towards improving accessibility. The MetroCard that is used now has to be swiped and inserted in a certain direction. I have low vision and on days where I was rushing to catch a train I could easily get confused on which way to insert the card.

This upgrade will speed up the process for everyone. Those with mobility issues would just have to swipe their smart watch.

Swiping a card does add extra time and now being able to simply tap and go will cut down the time it takes to enter the turnstyle or paying the fare in a bus.

Here is a demonstration of how the MTA OMNY system works.

The MetroCard will only be accepted until 2023. Then it will go the way of the token.

I have not been able to try this but I would definitely like to try it when I get an opportunity.

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Spotlight: Traveleyes – A Unique Travel Experience for People who are Blind or have Low Vision

Text reads a unique travel experience for those who are blind or have low vision. There is a photo of Parlament, the palace and big ben in england below the text.
Photo of the palace, Parlament and Big Ben in England is by derwiki via Pixabay

*This post is not sponsored by Traveleyes*

Do you enjoy traveling? Do you find your loss or lack of eyesight to be an obstacle to travel, or has it made travel less enjoyable? Well, today i want to spotlight a company that offers a unique travel experience to people who are blind or visually impaired. 

Traveleyes provides independent group travel for people who are blind or have low vision. The unique aspect is that each group is made up of a mix of sighted and blind and visually impaired individuals. The sighted participants help to provide sighted guide and to describe the sights. There is a 50% discount for sighted participants. This allows those who are blind or partially sighted to travel independently without having to rely on family. 

Traveleyes handles all of the details including the entire itinerary.  Click here to learn more about how it all works.

I have not used this service myself but I hope to be able to do so in the future. I would love to visit England one day and other places as well. Individuals, couples and small groups are welcome. I think it is important that this allows a person who is blind or has low vision to travel independently because they do not have to rely on family or friends to travel and they can go on their own schedule. I know my family would probably not want to fly all the way to England or other far off destinations. This service would give me an opportunity to travel on my own. It is also nice to know that the sighted individuals want to contribute and help guide and describe the sights as they agree to this when signing up for the trip. I would not feel like I was asking for too much or feel like a burden when asking for descriptions or for sighted guide. I think this would make the vacation much more enjoyable for me. It is a great benefit that sighted participants get a discount because they offer a very helpful service. 

Click here to learn more about the destinations you can explore with them.

I should add that you should check the site to find out when the tours will be taking place as the pandemic has changed travel rules.

So if you feel safe enough to travel again or when you do feel safe enough you should look into Traveleyes.  I hope to take part in one of their travel tours one day.

(T) Tactile Graphics for Blind and Visually Impaired People (#AToZChallenge 2021)

The 2021 blogging from a to Z April Challenge letter t graphic is on top center. Text below reads tactile graphics
The 2021 Blogging from A to Z April Challenge letter T graphic is available here.

My theme for the 2021 Blogging from A to Z April Challenge is to give an overview of what it is like to be visually impaired. I also hope to address misconceptions regarding the blind and low vision community.

In this post I want to bring attention to tactile graphics. This allows people who are blind or have low vision access maps, graphs and drawings.

I have not had an opportunity to use these tools myself but I wanted to put this out there and I hope it will help others. These tools make math and science accessible and easier to grasp for those who are blind or have low vision.

Here are some helpful videos.