Spotlight on Technology: The Apple Pencil

Apple has a well-deserved reputation for offering universally designed products that come packed with accessibility features right out of the box. The iPad is a great example of this, and since its launch in 2010, the iPad has dominated the tablet market by creating easy-to-use and accessible products that range in application from casual use in one’s home to a more fast-paced, professional environment.

The newest iteration of the iPad, the iPad Pro, caters more to professional use, offering a larger, more powerful device that is supported by the accessory that we are going to be focusing on today: The Apple Pencil.

Ideaphora: Browser-Based Concept Mapping

Mind map

For visual learners, mind mapping is often the most effective way of breaking down complex concepts. And while there is no shortage of good options available, Inspiration Maps has typically been our top choice for this type of software. However, we’ve recently become aware of a new contender in the arena of mind mapping that bears discussion.

Ideaphora takes the basic concept of mind mapping software a step further by integrating media directly into the content of the diagram, providing learners with a more diverse and multi-media approach to study that supports multiple means of expression. The only downside to this approach is that Ideaphora ends up being less user-friendly than its competitors, trading simplicity for depth of content.

SensusAccess: Helping Users Create Accessible Content

Person at a monitor that reads "Accessible"

Creating accessible content isn’t always easy, but, alternative solutions to traditional media are needed in order to ensure that individuals with disabilities are able to make use of that content. Granted, the acceptance and implementation of universal design philosophy is making a huge impact in this regard, with companies such as Google and Amazon offering universally designed products out of the box. However, for smaller organizations, non-profit groups, and educational institutions, creating content that is universally designed can be cost-prohibitive and extremely time consuming. However there is a service available online which is tackling this issue head on, and in today’s e-bulletin we’re going to look a bit closer at this service and see how it could be used to create cost-effective and accessible content.

Spotlight on AT: OrCam MyEye 2.0

The OrCam MyEye 2.0

In this e-bulletin, we’re going to put the spotlight on an incredible new piece of assistive technology: The OrCam MyEye 2.0. Designed for blind and partially sighted users, this device employs a lightweight smart camera that’s been designed to read text aloud and to recognize faces, products and money, allowing users to independently interact with the world around them in a way that wasn’t possible before the advent of this technology.

Flick: The Easy Sharing App

Desktop, laptop, tablet, and smartphone

Sharing digital content across platforms is often a tedious and frustrating task even among the more techno-savvy assistive technology users. Up until now, truly cross-platform solutions were hard to come by.

Enter Flick, a new sharing app that’s designed to be simple and accessible for everyone, regardless of what device they use to access digital content. Unlike most other sharing apps, Flick is available for PC, Android, iOS, Windows Phone, Mac, and Linux, so no matter what device is being used, users can share that content with any other type of computer, smartphone, or tablet.

New Improvements in ClaroRead for PC

Claro logo

ClaroRead is an advanced text-to-speech/writing/OCR program for PC that helps users read, write, and study with confidence. Recently, version 7.3 was released, and it’s packed with improvements and new features. Let’s take a look at some of these improvements in this newest version of ClaroRead.

Home Assistants as Assistive Technology

We’ve covered the various ways in which a smart phone can be used hands-free, and the ways in which that can serve as assistive technology. But what if there was a device that was designed to be activated and used almost exclusively via voice commands? Enter the home assistant, a new and revolutionary type of virtual assistant that’s already been adopted by millions of households worldwide! Because these devices were created with universal design in mind, they are highly accessible and easy to use; in fact, the vast majority of those users do not actually require assistive technology.

CTV’s Your Morning Featuring the LipSync

Ben Mulroney and Avery Swartz on Your Morning

Tech expert Avery Swartz showed off the LipSync on CTV’s Your Morning today. Watch it here:

LipSync Buildathon

The Solutions Team during the build

On January 24th, the Solutions team worked with the Neil Squire Society’s Makers Making Change team to build LipSyncs. A LipSync is a mouth-controlled device that helps people with limited use of their arms to operate a touchscreen device. 

The team was given an introduction to soldering, after which they began building the devices. More details about the LipSync and its open-source project files are available here.

Neil Squire Society logo
400 – 3999 Henning Drive
Burnaby, BC V5C 6P9


A little technology, a lot of independence.