'Representing the Deafblind Community in Victoria'

Posts from the ‘tech talk’ category

Assistive Technology – lunch and learn workshop by Guide Dogs Victoria

Deafblind Victoria attended the Lunch and Learn online workshop held by Guide Dogs Victoria on Tuesday the 7th of September, 2021.

Presenter Glen Morrow discussed the new Apple iOS15 for iPhones and iPads, as well as various accessibility settings like individual app settings for high-contrast, dark background with white large text, adding descriptions to photos as well as using dictation on Samsung smart phones.

Every month, Guide Dogs Victoria will have regular half-hour workshops covering many different topics relating to accessibility and technology for people with low vision needs.

Here is a short video of Deafblind Victoria member Andrew Howard talking about the assistive technology workshop he attended in Auslan.

Translation of video :

“Hello DBV!

They explained about AT (assistive technology) on mobile phones and iPads, and using apps on them. If the app’s background is white, it can be hard to read. You can change the background to black. That’s good! You can set it for any app.

The second thing was photos. There is a VoiceOver description for photos. It connects to braille so you can read it in braille too. That works for any app.

The third thing is… ummm…. dogs, shopping, technology… [Andrew tries to remember]

iOS 15 will be released soon – some time in the next few weeks. That’s all. Bye!”

Consulting with Coles about Deafblind Accessbility

Coles truck logo

On 8 January, DBV’s Michelle Stevens consulted with the Coles disability accessibility team. They wanted to know more about deafblindness, and how their website and app might be more accessible to deafblind people. Melanie O’Brien from Coles gave a presentation with Michelle, and Michelle talked about her experience shopping online using a braille display, a smart phone and a computer. It’s great to see how technology can help deafblind people shop for groceries independently – when the service is accessible, and the deafblind person has the skills to use it. The feedback from the team at Coles was positive:

“DBV ran an inspiring and insightful session on accessibility and inclusion for our Human Centred Design Team. The feedback from our UX designers and service designers was great, everyone learnt a lot about the benefits of designing experiences for people who are Deaf Blind. I highly recommend any organisation who has focus on inclusion to reach out to DBV for info session and presentations.” Melanie O’Brien – Accessibility Lead, Coles Group.

Deafblind Tech Talk #2: Seeing A.I. app for smartphones

By Michelle Stephens – dbvmichelle@gmail.com

The Artificial Intelligence app “Seeing A.I.” 2020 is an app for the iPhone which is an amazing device and very helpful for people who are blind or have low vision or deafblind.  The features this app has are:

  1. Artificial intelligence application developed by Microsoft for iOS
  2. A camera to identify people and objects around them.
  3. Audibly describes those objects for people with low vision.
  4. Scans short texts, currency, and a picture of a person.  You can tell when the light is on or off in the room.
  5. A product channel that is used for reading bar codes, with help this is a very useful tool.  Once a bar code is identified, Seeing AI will speak the name of the item.
  6. A handwriting function which can scan most handwriting which reads with the phone and braille machine.
  7. Has a colour probe so you can tell what colours you have.
  8. Seeing AI works well with Braille THROUGHOUT THE APP.
  9. Works with large print.
  10. Help menu.
  11. You can download the FREE app in the Apple App Store.

With practice, the app works well for a Deafblind person. I would like to see more features such as vibrations on the phone rather than sound.

You can learn more on the app website: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/ai/seeing-ai