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Jim Fruchterman speaking tonight at talking communities

November 27, 2007 • Darrell Shandrow Hilliker

Tonight Jim Fruchterman, Benetech CEO and Founder of, is the
Guest of Friends of Bookshare Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Topic: The Future of

We are especially pleased to announce that next Tuesday the Friends of
Bookshare will be privileged to have Jim Fruchterman, the founder of, as its honored guest. During his presentation, he will
explore his vision for the future, will discuss the challenges of
delivering high quality textbooks while maintaining the user-created spirit
of, and will talk about the expansion to serve all students
with print disabilities in the U.S., while starting to support International, as well.

In the blindness community, Jim Fruchterman is truly a legend. Not only did
he create a massive, not for profit, web-based library of downloadable
accessible eBooks, made legally available to blind , visually impaired and
print handicapped people but he invented the well-known Open Book reading
access machines, using technology originally meant for the military. Much of
his time is devoted to his responsibilities as CEO of Benetech, but also in
assisting numerous human rights organizations throughout the world. In all
of his endeavors, Jim's explicit goal has been to use the power of
technology to serve humanity.

Date: Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Time: 6:00 p.m. Pacific, 7:00 p.m. Mountain, 8:00 p.m. Central and
9:00 p.m. Eastern

Where: Friends of Bookshare Community Room at:

There are no membership requirements, no direct costs, no need to
pre-register, and no passwords required. All you need is a PC running
Windows 2000 or later, an Internet connection, a sound card, and speakers.
Since this is an audio conference, a microphone will be needed to allow you
to interact audibly with the presenter and each other. However, text chat is
also available.

If you are a first-time user of the Accessible World online conferencing
software, there is a small, safe software program that you need to download
and then run. A link to the software is available on the entry screen of
each room.

Note: Archives of events are available for download at:

Media Contact:
Pat (Patricia) Price, Planning Committee Chair
Friends of Bookshare

Categories: Uncategorized

Happy Thanksgiving!

November 22, 2007 • Darrell Shandrow Hilliker
We at Blind Access Journal wish all of you a very happy Thanksgiving Day.  Let’s all give thanks for our families, friends and all good things we enjoy, while moving forward toward even brighter days ahead!
Categories: Uncategorized

Blind Bay Area Residents and Bloglines Users Urged to Participate in Survey to Promote Accessibility

November 18, 2007 • Darrell Shandrow Hilliker

If you are both a resident in the San Francisco Bay area and a Bloglines user, we ask that you urgently complete this short survey giving the Bloglines folks feedback on how you use RSS feed readers from a blindness perspective. There have now been several updates made to the Bloglines Beta; while several of us have been supplying feedback, there have been no noticeable improvements in its accessibility. Bloglines is one of those critical resources for many of us, so let’s make sure our voices are heard.

Categories: Uncategorized

AxsJAX Brings Accessibility Features to Web 2.0

November 15, 2007 • Darrell Shandrow Hilliker

I have just one critical question, my friends. Why haven't the "leading"
screen reader makers incorporated any of this technology into their
products? News
Thursday, November 15, 2007

AxsJAX Brings Accessibility Features to Web 2.0

By Scott Gilbertson

Google Reader's recent makeover wasn't just skin deep. Most people probably
didn't notice it, but the revamped Google Reader also added an accessibility
layer which makes the app screen reader friendly.


Web 2.0 sites may be slick and easy to use for most people, but such sites
often lack accessibility support, making them difficult, if not impossible,
to use with screen readers and other assistive technologies.

In an effort to improve accessibility on AJAX-heavy websites, Google
recently released the framework behind the new Google Reader tools as an
open source project dubbed AxsJAX. The code has been reworked and most of
the Google-specific features removed, which means it should work for just
about any site that chooses to use it.


AxsJAX is designed to enhance the accessibility of AJAX applications.
Charles Chen, who added the accessibility features to Google Reader and
develops Fire Vox, an assistive device friendly add-on for Firefox, writes
on the Google Code Blog:

Based on the experience of access-enabling Reader, we have now refactored
the code to come up with a common JavaScript framework for enhancing the
accessibility of AJAX applications. This framework is called AxsJAX, and it
was refined in the process of access-enabling Web Search.

We're now excited to open-source this framework since we believe that there
is nothing Google-specific in the techniques we have implemented. We invite
the Web developer community to help us collectively define a robust
framework for rapid prototyping of accessibility enhancements to Web 2.0


AxsJAX features can be accessed by users in several ways: as a bookmarklets,
using Greasemonkey or through Fire Vox. The underlying code implements the
W3C's WAI-ARIA spec (Web Accessibility Initiative – Accessible Rich Internet
Applications). Rather than simply providing assistive device users with a
non-AJAX page as is the standard practice, ARIA makes the results of AJAX
calls accessible to screen readers. Check out the ARIA roadmap for more


If you'd like to know more about the AxsJAX framework, have a read through
the documentation on the Google Code project page.



Categories: Uncategorized

Visual Verification: Slashdot Adds Accessible CAPTCHA, Allows Blind Readers to Create Accounts and Post Comments

November 6, 2007 • Darrell Shandrow Hilliker

We thank Rachel for her report that Slashdot has now enabled full participation by their blind and visually impaired readers by adding an audio CAPTCHA for creating accounts and posting comments. This issue was filed as a priority 5 bug on August 27, and is reported to have been resolved sometime in October. We thank the Slashdot folks for fully opening their doors to the blind and visually impaired.