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VizWiz: A Wizard to Help in the Kitchen

May 31, 2011 • Darrell Shandrow Hilliker

In this approximately 30-minute podcast, I demonstrate the use of the VizWiz remote-assistance iOS app to successfully identify items in the kitchen. This podcast is meant as a preliminary effort to demonstrate practical real-world VizWiz applications for blind and visually-impaired people. Please stay tuned for additional coverage of this amazing free app.

Listen or Pause – VizWiz

Download – VizWiz

Categories: iPhone, podcast

SoundHound Asked to Roll Back Accessibility Declines and Open the App’s Ears to Blind VoiceOver Users

May 17, 2011 • Darrell Shandrow Hilliker

This is a collaboration effort between No Eyes Needed and Blind Access Journal, two leaders in blindness advocacy and the mobilization of efforts to improve accessibility in mainstream products, services and resources. Our goal today is to share insight on the current state of accessibility within the popular iOS music identification app, Soundhound. We will give you a brief rundown of Soundhound’s history pertaining to access with Apple’s built-in, screen reading solution, Voiceover, as well as a short audio walkthrough of the application’s interface and inaccessible components from a blindness perspective. The application was once a tremendously beneficial resource with nearly 100% accessibility for Voiceover users. It is our hope with this article and audio demonstration that we can illustrate the decline in access and some areas that the Soundhound development and engineering teams can address as soon as possible. Finish reading SoundHound Asked to Roll Back Accessibility Declines and Open the App’s Ears to Blind VoiceOver Users

Fixing the Broken Table Index on iOS Using the Rotor

May 4, 2011 • Darrell Shandrow Hilliker

Have you suddenly discovered you can no longer use the “table index” feature of your iDevice to navigate large lists like contacts and music alphabetically? The rotor gesture may be the culprit. Follow these written steps or listen to the podcast to learn how you can easily fix this issue.

Open the Contacts App

If you have not customized your iDevice by moving your apps into folders, follow the steps below to locate and start the Contacts app. If you customized the Home screen, locate and start Contacts in the folder it has been assigned.

  1. Press the Home button to make sure you are on the Home screen.
  2. Flick to the right until you find “Page 1 of 2” or a similar icon and double tap to move to the second page of apps.
  3. Flick to the right until you find Contacts and double tap.

Locating and Testing the Table Index

  1. Make sure you are in the list of contacts by flicking to the right a few times. If not, find and double tap the Back button in the upper left-hand corner of the screen just below the status bar.
  2. Place a finger on the right edge of the screen about halfway down. VoiceOver should say “table index.”
  3. Flick down a few times. If you hear the letters of the alphabet in ascending order, the table index is working correctly. If not, you will hear the words “table index” spelled as you flick down.

Using the Rotor Gesture

If the table index feature is not working, it is very likely the rotor gesture was accidentally used to change its behavior. Follow these steps to set the rotor to “adjust value,” which will fix the table index. Please note these steps are just one of several possible ways to learn and use the rotor gesture. Please email me if you continue experiencing difficulties performing this gesture correctly.

  1. Place your middle and index fingers on the screen.
  2. Move upward and to the right with your middle finger while your index finger moves down and to the left. This is known as a dial movement, which will adjust the rotor clockwise one position.
  3. Repeat the rotor gesture as you move through “words”, “lines,” “language,” etc. Stop when you reach the “adjust value” setting.

Test the table index feature in several apps. You should find it allows you to move alphabetically through your list of contacts, artists and song titles in your music library and in a number of other situations where you have large lists.

As always, your feedback is appreciated so I may improve the content and quality of my work. Please contact me using the previously given email address.

Listen or Pause – Fix Broken Table Index

Download – Fix Broken Table Index

Categories: iPhone, podcast