Great NVDA Tutorials From CNIB

The great folks over at CNIB published six videos on YouTube covering different uses of NVDA.

I converted these six videos to .mp3 for someone to use offline.

Below is a DropBox link to these tutorials.

First, the link to CNIB’s page with links to the tutorials on YouTube.

My DropBox link

This is from the CNIB page:
NVDA (Non-Visual Desktop Access) is a free screen reading tool that reads aloud the information on a computer screen so that people who are blind can access it. And although there are several excellent screen readers on the market today, NVDA is rare in that it doesn’t cost the user a cent. In this video series, you’ll learn more about NVDA, including where to download it and how it works. • NVDA – Introduction to NVDA
• NVDA – Voice options
• NVDA – Using a computer with NVDA
• NVDA – Using the free Open Office software with NVDA
• NVDA – Keeping in touch with email
• NVDA – Finding information on the Internet

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Accessible Android Apps May 2017

These are the apps I am currently using on my Note 5, which is running Android 7.0.
I use these apps by touch, Logitech K380 external keyboard or a combination of both.
Its a matter of doing what works for me. That is why I consider these apps to be accessible.

Acapela TTS Voices



Amazon Kindle


AquaMail Pro Unlocker


Arcus Pro Key




chomp SMS

Clipper Sync Plugin


Freemotion change


Google Opinion Rewards

IDEAL Currency Identifier



KNFB Reader



Music Folder Player Full

My App List

Nearby Explorer Online



NFC Labeler

Nova Launcher

Nova Launcher Prime

Pocket Casts

Pro Weather Alert

Rain Sounds






Trusted Contacts

TuneIn Radio Pro




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Info You Need For RideKC Freedom On-Demand

This new service starts on Monday May 1, 2017 in the Kansas City area and there are a few things I wanted to make sure everyone knows about.

After you install the app for your phone, you will need to enter your Share-A-Fare account number into the settings part of the app.

On Android, I double tap on Menu, which is in the upper left corner.

Next double tap on settings then double tap on account.

There is a field labeled Account number. Enter your 5, 6, or 7 digit number into this field.

Your PIN is your four digit birth year.

If you do not know your Share-A-Fare account number call 816-842-9070 and they will find it for you.

If you don’t enter your correct account number and PIN into the app, you will not get the discounted rate on your trip.

The information below is from:

Detailed app instructions
What you need to get started:
• An iPhone or Android smartphone with access to the App Store or Play Store • Your Share-A-Fare account number and PIN number
• Trips that originate in the pilot Freedom On-Demand service area Follow these easy steps to get started:
1. Download the app.
2. Sign up: First name, email, phone number and password.
3. Set up your account: You will need your five-to-seven digit Share-A-Fare account number. You will also need to enter your PIN at the time of each booking. Your PIN is your birth year (example: 1975).
4. Book the trip: Make sure your origin is correct, then select your destination. Then request your trip.
5. Pay for trip: Use cash or credit/debit card in cab or pay through RideKC Freedom app. Standard data rates apply.
When using the Freedom On-Demand service, look for a zTrip, Yellow Cab Co., or 10/10 Taxi branded with the RideKC Freedom logo on the sides of the vehicles. On-Demand vehicles include zTrip, Yellow Cab and 10/10 Taxi
RideKC Freedom minibuses and sedans will not be serving On-Demand trips. Share-A-Fare minibuses are now blue and white with the RideKC Freedom logo. The sedans will stay white and will now have the new RideKC Freedom logo.

Here are links to get the app:

iOS app:

Android app:

No smartphone? No problem! Call 816.842.9070 to book a trip.

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What’s new in TalkBack 5.2

What’s new in TalkBack 5.2

The new Speech Verbosity setting lets you control how much spoken feedback you hear. Go to Talkback Settings > Speech Verbosity. and choose Custom, High, or Low. Custom (the default setting) lets you adjust all your speech preferences.

Choose High to quickly turn on speech preferences, or choose Low to quickly turn off speech preferences. •
New spoken feedback:

Hear spoken feedback when you turn magnification on or off by triple-tapping, or when you zoom in or out by pinching (only on Android 7.0). ◦
Hear the number of characters when you enter passwords in Chrome web views, starting in Chrome 56. ◦
The word “dismissable” is no longer spoken on dismissable elements, such as notifications in the notification shade. Instead, the usage hint informs you when elements are dismissable. ◦
“Custom actions” are now simply called “Actions.”

Other improvements:

Shorter delay before usage hints.

Updated earcons.

Other minor fixes.
Introducing Select to Speak
Select to Speak is a new accessibility service designed for people with print disabilities. With Select to Speak, you can tap items on your screen to hear them read or described aloud.

When you upgrade to TalkBack 5.2, Select to Speak is included automatically. To try Select to Speak after upgrading to TalkBack 5.2, go to Accessibility > Select To Speak.

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Updated Notes Installing Windows 10 Creators From USB Drive

I’ve had some time to play around with this process using a desktop computer that is not currently being used for anything. That allows me to not worry about making mistakes, nothing to lose and nothing to worry about.

I suggest the use of a USB headset with a microphone, it just makes things easier and that is something we want in this process.
This will allow Cortana to start talking later in the install process. A USB headset isn’t as important if you are installing on a laptop but its essential when installing on a desktop with no internal speaker or microphone.

After booting from your USB drive with the Windows install, give it a few minutes to get started before you start Narrator by pressing Control WindowsKey Enter.

Once Narrator starts, you’ll hear Sara. She will help you make selections and give you progress updates.

One item to keep in mind is when you are asked for a product key. If this computer has previously had Windows 10 working on it, you can choose I don’t have a license number when you are prompted. The previous install of Windows 10 got that computer authorized and in the world of Windows 10 there are no more license keys as there were in previous versions of Windows.

I cleared up one area that caused me a bit of confusion the first time or two I tried this process. When this first part of the install process is done, files copied to drive etc.. you’ll hear Narrator say the computer needs to restart. At this point remove the USB Drive you booted from and set it aside. While you’ll hear the keyboard shortcut to restart, it will restart on its own in about 30 seconds.
If you don’t remove the USB Drive, once the computer restarts it is going to start from that same USB Drive again instead of starting from the hard drive as the install process needs to do.

This next part is where that USB headset with microphone comes in handy. Your computer will restart a couple of times as the actual install process is taking place. Again, don’t have any bootable USB Drives connected.

I have chosen that instead of starting Narrator so I can hear the progress and trying to start it again after each restart, I just let all of that happen without me trying to do anything. I set my keyboard aside and keep my USB headset on.

I use a Logitech H800. Its a wireless headset with a microphone and has a small USB dongle that does all of the work. This is okay to keep plugged in, as it isn’t a boot device, the same if you are using a USB keyboard.

One thing I like about this headset, is it will beep as the computer turns on or after it is restarting and loading Windows again. It beeps once more as the computer / Windows recognizes it as a headset and microphone. Paying attention to the beeps lets me know what is going on in the boot process.

One nice change with the creators update to Windows 10, Cortana will start talking when its time for you to start making some settings as far as selecting keyboard type, time zone etc…

The benefit of not trying to start Narrator in the install process after each restart is you can just sit back and let the computer do all of the work. Since I have a USB headset with a microphone connected, Cortana will start talking when the computer is ready for you to start doing things again.

She’ll even tell you to press Control WindowsKey Enter to start Narrator.

If you don’t have a headset with a microphone or as with a desktop computer, no microphone at all, Cortana, at least in my experiments won’t start talking and offer to help.

Most of her assistance is done through yes or no questions. I’ve found its easier to wait until later to setup a WiFi connection, after I’ve installed my screen reader of choice. If you have a wired Ethernet connection, Cortana will say, I see you are already connected and the WiFi setup is skipped.

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Notes Installing Windows 10 Creator Update With Narrator

I’ve been playing around with a desktop computer and installing Windows 10 Creators Update using Narrator.
For now, these are just some notes I want to share. I might work on putting something better together, just depends on how I’m feeling as I recover from carpal tunnel surgery.

I made a bootable USB drive with using the Media Creation Tool from Microsoft. This is an easy way to get the install files onto a USB drive.
In order to boot from a USB drive automatically you’ll need to have that selected in the boot order in the BIOS settings. There are other ways to boot from a USB drive by pressing certain keys but it seems sometimes those are different depending on which brand computer you are using.
Nothing is quite as easy as having that option set so it just happens automatically.
For those of us who are totally blind that means getting someone who can see to change the boot order setting in BIOS. Its one of those things that once its set, you don’t have to worry about it.

I booted from the drive I made and waited a few minutes before starting narrator with the control + WindowsKey + enter command.
I heard that nice Sara talking. I followed the prompts making settings and didn’t have any problems.
I used the external keyboard that I usually use on a computer. I like to use a keyboard I’m familiar with when setting things up.

One area of confusion I had was when all of the files were copied and the process was ready to restart the computer. I tried reading the screen with turning on scan mode capslock + space.
I’ve done this a few times and it doesn’t seem to either be anything else on the screen or maybe that any keystroke starts the reboot process. Next time I’m going to try the capslock w command to read the window.
It would be helpful to have some sort of a prompt that narrator speaks instructing the person to remove any bootable USB drives before selecting restart.

One thing I’d like to see done in a update is to have the install process automatically start narrator after the restart if it detects you used narrator in that first part of the install process when you booted from the USB drive and started narrator.

Maybe have that part of the install process create a file on the drive that after that first restart, windows sees the existence of that file and starts narrator automatically.
Maybe even with a dialog asking, I noticed you used narrator in the first part of installing Windows. Would you like to continue using narrator?

I think this would remove some of the not knowing what is going on after that first restart.

Cortana was helpful in setting things up but note that if you don’t have a microphone on your computer, she doesn’t, at least in my experiences offer to help. On one of my several times of doing this all over from scratch, I connected my logitech h800 headset. After I had that connected via its USB dongle, cortana spoke up and it was quite nice answering some yes or no questions.
Again, just some thoughts and notes. The biggest thing that will help is patience. It also helps if you are installing windows from a USB drive on a computer that isn’t your daily use computer that you depend on. If you have access to another computer that it isn’t the end of your online existence and loss of your cat pictures if something goes wrong and you can simply try again, that would be great.
Lastly, as always backup your data before installing Windows in this way or even a regular update from within Windows.

You can contact me on twitter @blindbites
email “”

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United Reminds Me Of CitiBank

I started to write this as a tweet but 140 characters couldn’t begin to say what I needed to share.

In 2006 I was hired by CitiBank at their call center here in Kansas City. I and another co-worker who was also blind sat there for a few months doing nothing after our month long training for the job.

As I expressed it back then, there were too many Indians running around trying to figure out how to make the software and job accessible and not enough chiefs to form a plan.

I with the help of some great employees made the job 99% accessible using Window-Eyes. There was only one type of situation that just wasn’t going to be accessible, no problem though, just transfer the call to another employee.

I did such a good job making everything work that I was asked to do a special project to make other jobs at CitiBank accessible so they could hire more people who are blind locally and at other locations across the country.
I spent time working with folks in engineering who would get me access to every software platform they were using.
I got Window-Eyes working with the other jobs too, special hotkeys that would benefit each job someone might be doing, ie. inbound vs outbound calls. I wrote all of the training materials for both the new employee to use and the person training them. There were several versions of these tutorials as they were customized for each job and software platform.
When the project was completed, I along with those who provided assistance were given awards and a special recognition dinner.

About a month later it was time for my annual performance review. I was told by my unit manager that I made a poor choice in agreeing to do that special project that management asked me to do. She said my job is answering phones and not playing with computers.
As a result of this poor decision I didn’t receive an increase in my salary and was marked down in other areas of my review as well.

So CitiBank asked me to make other jobs accessible, I do the work, people are hired, I assist other locations in training and would be available when a trainer or the new employee had a question. I do what they asked and at a beyond excellent level and I’m punished for doing what I was asked to do.

Its the corporate bullshit like this that flows through the companies we give money to and the same ones that receive big tax breaks for bringing jobs to a city.

This is also found in our schools with the no tolerance policies. I’m not talking about the child who actually brings a gun to school, I’m talking about the kid who draws a basic outline of a gun with their crayon and is suspended or expelled from school.

I don’t have any answers other than to remind everyone of something my Dad told me. Your money is green, it spends anywhere. So if you want to say something to United about how they treat people, take your money elsewhere and let United know why you are doing so. Don’t do this just for the next time you need to fly somewhere, as they’ll just issue a meaningless corporate apology and back to business as usual.
You need to speak with your money and your words each and every time. There are many other airlines, banks, and services that would be happy to have your business.

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