Posts Tagged ‘assistive technology’

Lookout Vision App

A blind man wearing sunglasses and a white cane speaks into his phone while sitting on a bench.

We’ve talked a bit in the past about apps and services designed for individuals with low or no vision, but it’s been a few years since we’ve featured something new. In fact, we highly recommend you look at our previous e-bulletins for even more recommendations for vision-related apps and services, especially since the app that we are looking at today is for Android only.

Lookout is an assisted vision app created by Google. It uses your smartphone’s camera in conjunction with powerful AI to capture and describe the world around you. The app also has some universal design potential in that it could also be helpful for those with print-based disabilities.

WorkBC Assistive Technology Services Helps Roy Continue His Music and Radio Career

WorkBC Assistive Technology Services participant Roy.

Roy is a self-employed musician and broadcaster, who lost his vision in an accident eight years ago.

Today, Roy uses a computer to manage the administrative tasks for his music career, and to work on his weekly radio show — doing audio editing, script writing, making the playlists, and research. He uses the JAWS screen reader to navigate the various programs on his computer.

Having originally worked with Neil Squire in 2016 to learn how to use JAWS, he was referred to WorkBC Assistive Technology Services to update his assistive technology set-up that he needs for his work.

Action Blocks

A man in a wheelchair smiles while he uses his phone.

One of the greatest things about modern smartphones is the level of customization that is available to its users. Developers today are so much more conscious about how their technology might be used, especially when it comes to offering Accessible apps and services. In fact, besting the other brands accessibility is a major driving factor for both Google and Apple. And as we’ve mentioned before, at the time of me writing this article, both companies are doing an amazing job with their current built-in accessibility tools.

“I Would Highly Recommend the Assistive Technology Services Program”

A man draws with a pencil on some plans.

Gary’s job sees him wearing many hats, acting as project manager, site superintendent, and design engineer. His job involves a lot of communication, meeting with clients to discuss the project, interacting with work crews, before designing the project to be sent off to fabricators to be assembled and installed.

Gary, however, has hearing loss, and needed hearing aids to do his job. His audiologist referred him to WorkBC Assistive Technology Services for funding assistance.

“The people at Assistive Technology Services were awesome. They understood my issue, assisted me in completing forms, and the turnaround time once I completed the forms and submitted was incredible,” he shares. “[They] walked me [through] the application process and [were] extremely patient and understanding.

KiwiWrite Math

A boys uses a tablet in the classroom.

Alternative math apps are always so interesting to me. Growing up in the 90’s, we only had access to pens and calculators, but with today’s technology we have so many choices in how we want to approach math. This is especially important for persons with disabilities who might otherwise struggle with math for a variety of reasons. In fact, if you look back at our previous e-bulletins, we have over 40 articles solely devoted to math apps, so if you haven’t already, take a look at what we’ve already covered.

The app that we are looking at today is based around the concept of math without the need for handwriting. For students with dysgraphia, dyscalculia, or fine motor control challenges, this approach to learning and solving math could be a complete game changer.

New Hearing Aids Make Farhad’s Job Much Easier

A security guard going down an escalator.

Farhad works as a security guard at a shopping centre in the Lower Mainland. He has hearing loss.

“Cons of having hearing loss includes fewer job opportunities due to impaired communication, social withdrawal due to reduced access to services, and difficulties communicating with others,” he shares.

Referred by his hearing practitioner, he applied to WorkBC Assistive Technology Services. WorkBC Assistive Technology Services helped him purchase the new set of hearing aids he needed for work by covering most of the cost.

Microsoft Edge: An Accessibility Overview

A man in a wheelchair uses a laptop.

We’ve looked at Chrome’s accessibility add-ons in the past, and while that browser is still a great option for accessible web browsing, some users have found that Chrome has become noticeably sluggish in recent years, especially when using specialized extensions.

On the other hand, Microsoft’s built-in browser Edge has improved over the same period of time. It’s often more responsive than Chrome, and, with Edge all the accessibility features are built-in and ready to be toggled with no downloads or searching required. Of course, that means that Edge is less customizable than Chrome, but for the vast majority of users, Edge’s built in features are more than adequate.

Canva for Education

A teacher demonstrates something on a laptop to a student.

As a teacher, keeping your lesson plans interesting is not always an easy task. And while there are tools and resources available, putting together a multimedia-based lesson plan can take more time than the average teacher has in their schedule to prepare. So, what if there was a tool that made it possible to put together incredible-looking lesson plans or presentations quickly and easily?

Enter Canva for Education, a tool that allows teachers to create and personalize lesson plans, infographics, posters, video, and more. And if you haven’t heard of Canva before, you’ve almost certainly seen the work that’s been produced through the platform.

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