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

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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.

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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(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.

(P) Phones | A Person who is Blind or has Low Vision can use a Cellphone (#AToZChallenge)

The 2021 blogging from a to Z April Challenge letter p graphic is on top center of image. Text below reads phones a person who is blind or has low vision can use a Cellphone
The 2021 Blogging from A to Z April Challenge letter P 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 and to break down the misconceptions that still exist regarding the blind and visually impaired community. In this post I will discuss the topic of phones. 

A few years ago there was a post on Facebook that showed a photo of a woman with a white cane looking at her mobile phone. And in the post she was accused of faking her vision impairment because she was able to look at her phone. You can read an article on this here.

This post is an example of the lack of education there is regarding vision impairment and the spectrum that exists when it comes to visual impairment. Blindness can range from total blindness to light perception to some usable vision. 

I have low vision and I use glasses with a high prescription and I use a white cane when I am out on my own to let others know I can not see well and for safety reasons. This could have been me looking at my phone. This could have also been any  screen reader user trying to listen to their phone. 

Blind and visually impaired people are able to use mobile phones with the help of assistive text to speech software that reads out the text on the screen and the user can interact with items on the screen by swiping and double tapping. 

(O) OrCam | Assistive Technology for People who are Blind or have Low Vision (#AToZChallenge)

The blogging from a to Z April Challenge letter o graphic is on top center of image. Text below reads OrCam assistive technology for people who are blind or visually impaired
The 2021 Blogging from A to Z April Challenge letter O 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 want to show that it is possible for a person who is blind or has low vision can lead an independent life. I hope to break some of the misconceptions that exist about people who are blind or have low vision. Today I want to highlight a piece of assistive technology that makes it possible for a blind or visually impaired person to complete many tasks independently.

This piece of technology is called OrCam. It is a small device that can be attached to glasses if desired. This device is able to read text, turning it into speech. It is also able to recognize faces after images are programmed.

This device is able to identify products allowing independent shopping. It is able to identify products via barcodes as well. This device can identify money and colors as well. It does not need an internet connection to work.

I think it is important to have this kind of technology because it allows a person to be fully independent as they do not have to rely on a shopping assistant as this can be used to identify products. It may take longer but it could be done independently.

Here are some demonstrations of how it works.

I would like to get one of these for myself as it would be very helpful for me. I am very thankful for this technology.

You can learn more about OrCam here.