Hi and welcome to the archive of Tech Talk, brought to you by ACB of Maine. Below you will find the recordings of past editions of Tech Talk. As always, please reach out if you have any questions.
Tech Talk for 04/12/2022
Thank you for joining me for this evening’s edition of Tech Talk, during which we discussed various aspects of social media.
hardly a week goes by without some sort of news relating to social media, often negative. And while there certainly are negative or concerning aspects of social media, there’s one extremely important aspect that often gets left out of the conversation: it’s a great way to connect with others. When I think of social media, I think of a platform or a virtual way that I can meet or communicate with other people with similar interests. Those interests need not necessarily even be technology-related, there are people communicating on social media about everything you can possibly think of. Are you into knitting? There are plenty of extremely active groups for you to share and learn. Gardening more your thing? Plenty of groups there too, in fact some very kind gardeners helped me plant my first garden last year and, spoiler alert, stuff actually grew! Looking for that next great read? Yep, there are social media networks dedicated to book lovers, some of which even let fans interact with authors. Travel, politics, love of coffee or chocolate, 1940S-erra aircraft, cooking, fitness, beading – it’s all out there.
One thing I often hear when I mention social media to someone is, “I don’t have anything really interesting to say”, or “nobody will really care what I have to contribute on a particular topic”. While it may be natural to feel that way, the thing is, each and every one of us has really interesting things to say. After all, we’re all living our lives and experiencing things in our own way and that makes whatever we have to say really unique. When I think back over my own time on social media, the things I’ve said which have gotten the most attention are the things I didn’t think anyone would care about at all. For example, I once mentioned my favorite flavor of coffee – French Toast blend for anyone who cares – and that sparked a lively discussion about coffee flavors. Another time, I had accidentally broken a glass and was struggling to find and clean up all the pieces. I posted about this and was amazed to learn all kinds of techniques for how I might safely go about cleaning up broken glass without vision. My point is that even if you’re not a die-hard techie, or even if you don’t think you’re the most fascinating person on the planet, social media has the power to make connections, connections that can help us all learn and grow. Of course there certainly are privacy and other concerns around social media and, while I certainly don’t want to discount those, it’s important to put them in perspective.
We covered quite a lot this evening, what follows are links to some of the things we discussed:
- Twitterrific: great and accessible Twitter client for iOS and Mac.
- Easy Chirp: Accessible web-based Twitter client, works on all web browsers.
- Mystic Access FaceBook tutorials: These are not free, but well done for anyone wanting more about how to use FaceBook in a more accessible way.
- Official FaceBook Accessibility help page: Lots of info from FaceBook about accessibility features of their service, this is a great place to start.
- Using FaceBook with JAWS: Free webinar produced by Freedom Scientific/Vispero, makers of JAWS.
- Steve’s blog: Not saying it’s great content, just an example of the types of things you can easily do with a blog.
As always, I do my best to try and capture the topics we discuss, but if there’s something I missed, let me know and I can definitely include it in a future update.
Thanks so much for joining me, let’s continue learning together.
Tech Talk for 03/08/2022
Hi everyone, and thank you for joining me for the March edition of Tech Talk, sponsored by ACB of Maine. First, my apologies that this recap is so long in coming, it’s been a very stressful few weeks for me as I was busy preparing to present at Axe-con, an accessibility-related conference and unfortunately, I was not able to get this recap out as soon as I would have liked. For those who may be interested, Axe-con is a three-day conference focusing on accessibility and design. The conference is free and all the sessions are available to anyone who registers. While it was certainly an honor to be a presenter, the real joy for me was getting to attend sessions in which many individuals and companies discussed some really cool innovations in accessibility: Web sites, mobile apps, exercise equipment, virtual reality, all these and much more were discussed in the context of accessibility and it’s just exciting to see accessibility moving forward on so many fronts.
Getting back to Tech Talk, we discussed the accessibility of iOS including some of the many things we can now do with our mobile devices such as:
- Reading books.
- Reading printed materials.
- The ability to control the iOS device using voice only.
- Resources for additional training.
Below are links to some of the resources we discussed. As always, I have done my best to capture everything, but if there’s something I missed, let me know and I’ll make sure to send it out to the group in the next update.
- Gutenberg: free resource offering thousands of classic books.
- NLS/BARD, National Library Service app which provides audio and braille access to the NLS catalog for NLS members.
- Audible: Commercial resource offering professionally produced audio books. Audible is not free, but they do offer the ability to purchase books individually and also offer monthly subscription options to their service.
- iOS Access For All: Fantastic book for learning all things relating to iOS and its accessibility. The book is available in PDF and ePUB formats making it possible to read electronically on a wide array of devices.
Thanks again for joining me for the March edition of Tech Talk. One final note, many of you have asked me about whether Tech Talk is recorded and how to get access to those recordings. The short answer is that yes, the program is recorded, however, I am still working out the best way to provide access to those recordings. As soon as I get that figured out, I’ll be sending out an announcement and will also include a link in these recaps going forward.
Again, thanks for joining me and for contributing to Tech Talk, I look forward to seeing all of you for our next edition on April 12 at 7:00 PM. The information for joining will be the same as last time, however, no worries if you no longer have it as I’ll be sending it out again as we get closer to 04/12.
Tech Talk for 02/08/2022
I just want to take a moment and thank all of you for attending this evening’s inaugural ACB of Maine Tech Talk. I already love all the participation and knowledge that was shared. For those who were unable to attend, we do have a recording of tonight’s program, but we’re still working out the details on how to make that available. As soon as we have all the technical stuff ironed out, I will share a link to the recording.
In addition to introductions, here are some of the topics that were discussed, with relevant links:
- Zoom hotkeys for PC, Mac, and mobile devices
- Orcam MyEye reading solution
- Be My Eyes is a free app that connects blind and low-vision people with sighted volunteers and company representatives for visual assistance through a live video call.
- Aira: Visual Interpreting – Get Live, On-demand Access to Visual Information
- The Dexcom G6 CGM System. Technology that lets us manage diabetes without fingersticks.*
- Dice World® 6 Fun Games: available on iOS app store and on Google Play store.
Note, I do my best to keep track of all topics and resources discussed, but there’s a lot going on behind the scenes during the program and so if I missed anything, please let me know and I’ll include it in the next update.
Thanks again for joining me for Tech Talk, I look forward to our next discussion on Tuesday, 03/08 at 7:00 PM.