With the advent of virtual personal assistants (VPA), assistive technology users are able to interact with their smartphones in ways that weren’t possible just a few years ago. These virtual personal assistants employ user-inputted voice commands to perform a wide variety of functions like sending messages, scheduling reminders, and even ordering groceries, giving assistive technology users with impaired vision or mobility an alternative way to interact with their smartphone or tablet. There are a few virtual assistants on the market right now, and most of them have been discussed in previous e-bulletins. This week, we’re going to look at Google Assistant, the built-in virtual personal assistant that comes pre-loaded on Android smartphones (Android 6.0 and above) and on Android smartwatches.
In case you haven’t heard of it, Dropbox is a cloud-based storage service that allows users to upload and share files from anywhere in the world, on virtually any device. Now, imagine combining that service with a free productivity and collaboration app that allows users to integrate their Dropbox files with other resources from around the web, while also allowing a multitude of users to comment on and add information to a cloud-based document.
Exercise balls (stability balls) have made their way from the gym to the office. You may have seen coworkers sitting on them or maybe the thought of trying one has crossed your mind. Maintaining balance when sitting and working on an exercise ball requires the user to engage his or her core, so it sounds like a no-brainer decision to use them. But, does the research back up the positive claims encouraging the use of exercise balls in the office?
Whether we’re ready for it or not, Virtual Reality (VR) is here. The technology is still in its infancy, but we’re already seeing some very interesting and unexpected applications for the technology. Of course, mega-corporations like Facebook, Google, Samsung, and Valve are all looking to claim their own piece of the proverbial pie, adding momentum to the revolution of ideas and innovations occurring within this space.
This post is part of the Neil Squire Society’s Powered to Enable campaign. Join us in October as we share the story of Neil Squire and the early days of the Neil Squire Society.
Neil and His Accident
On January 26th, 1981, Neil Squire, an accounting student and basketball star at the University of Victoria, was driving on an icy road in Nanaimo, BC. Only a short distance from his home, his car hit a patch of black ice and skidded into a tree.
Powered symbolizes the barrier-breaking technology and knowledge we provide to people with disabilities in order to Enable them to lead more independent lives. With your support, we are Powered to Enable.
Last week we looked at some of the accessibility features that are supported within the G-suite, Google’s free, online, suite of productivity apps. In last week’s e-bulletin we looked briefly at Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Docs, and Google Drive. This week we will continue to explore the G-suite, and we’ll look at Google Sheets, Slides, Drawings Forms, Sites, Hangouts, and Classroom.
Today we’re going look at the wide variety of accessibility features that are available for Google’s G-Suite. The G-suite is a free, online collection of productivity apps that gives users access to E-mail, video conferencing, spreadsheets, and much more. These free apps are absolutely packed with built-in accessibility features that are constantly being modified and refined, making them a great choice for AT users who want a no-cost and highly accessible solution to everyday online tasks.
The summer has passed, and September is here! Now that school is back in session, we thought we’d create a list of noteworthy “Back to School” apps for 2018. The apps have either been newly created in 2018, have just come to our attention, or have simply never been reviewed by us…after all, with so many apps on the market, it’s easy to miss a couple! And while these apps are diverse in their functions, and cover a wide range of categories, they are united by their potential in the classroom, as well as their ability to serve students, teachers, and even parents!