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community for the blind:-)'s Journal

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13th July 2014

keiko19812:55am: Low-vision needs suggestions on how to read piano scores
I'm having trouble reading piano scores. They are very small for me, and I end up straining my eyes/neck.
Other than using iPad or such, what other suggestions do you have?

In secondary high school I took piano lessons for two years, and notation reading for three years.
At the moment I don't take any lessons, only play myself. In school the way I was taught was to read notations, it took forever.

I know there are those who learn to play by ear. I don't know exactly how to do it. Picking out the melody (right hand) goes okay, but left hand is a problem then.

The piano is such a nice sounding instrument, and there are so many beautiful songs I wish I could play. Thank you in advance.

5th July 2014

maybeimadreamer12:03pm: Iphone

Who here has an iphone?

I have been using them since they came out and up until IOS7 I have had no trouble reading any content on my phone. Since IOS7 I have really struggled to see many of my day to day apps such as facebook or youtube (the font, not the videos). i have my text size set to as large as it will go but this only enlarges font on apple apps like mail and text messaging not third party apps. I have got partial sight so I don't like using voiceover and i find the "zoom" feature (3 finger tap) to be difficult and annoying to navigate. I have taken to using an android phone because when you select extra large on the phone it makes EVERYTHING on the phone extra large, and i mean everything. Is there no way to do this on the phone?

Has anyone else had issues using the zoom feature? I love using it on my mac but i think i have a problem with using it on the iphone because its such a small screen real estate to work with. And every time i do the three finger tap to activate it i end up hitting links and going places I dont want to go.

I do love my iphone but I feel like I can't use it. Does anyone else feel like this? I feel stuck between a rock and a hard place. I hear rumours that they will bring out a larger screen with the iphone 6 but I bet the font will be just as small, just more spread out!

14th August 2013

kaolinfire9:24am: Travel
How do you prepare for traveling somewhere new? Do you talk to the visitor bureau? A lighthouse? Friends in the area?

10th August 2013

kaolinfire9:09am: TextDetective
Greetings! Text Detective is an application for the iPhone that can detect text and read it aloud–whether it’s a nearby sign, a handout, or any other document. The application uses the phone’s camera, and our patented text detection algorithm analyzes the video stream and tells you whether there is text or not. Optical Character Recognition (OCR) and VoiceOver parse the text that was found and read it aloud, all within seconds.

It currently only runs in landscape mode—it's more meant for very-quickly scanning an area for text, getting the gist of a document or sign, and less for OCR-ing entire pages. Best results are achieved with an iPhone 4S and higher because of its camera resolution and processing power (really an iPhone 5 sings, and I personally can't wait to see how it runs on the next-gen phones....).

It's available on the app store for $9.99. I'd be happy to answer any questions you have about it. :)

An android version is in development.

26th September 2012

michaelsjournal9:14pm: Blackberry suggestions?
Hi all,

My employer is about to issue me a Blackberry (yes, it has to be a Blackberry). I have very little useful eyesight, and generally avoid smartphones, because I can’t see enough of the screen to read anything. I’ve been told that magnification apps exist, but I think that using 6x magnification on a four-inch screen is absurd. That said, I’m open to a screen-reader or other voice navigation option. Does anyone have any experience with, or suggestions for, Blackberry options?

Help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks,


Current Mood: tired

24th July 2012

littlebit19889:50pm: JAWS question
Good evening , Jaws users!
I am wondering if any of you JAWS users are having trouble with Jaws and Nortan Anti Virus. I can not get jaws to read it for anything. I could uesed to read it with the jaws cursur, but now can't even do that!

Suggestions anyone?

24th February 2012

star_of_jade5:33pm: For blind pagans
To the blind pagans/witches, I've created a yahoo group for blind pagans here is the info. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/vipblessedbe

People can join by sending an email to vipblessedbe-subscribe@yahoogroups.com For those interested, feel free to join.

3rd February 2012

aurora_nebulosa10:20pm: iPod Touch: Separating Christmas Music
How do I separate Christmas music from the rest of my music on the iPod Touch? I'd like to like have a separate folder/playlist especially for Christmas music but where the music in that Christmas music folder/playlist doesn't appear with the rest of my music as a whole under my main Music folder/playlist/section. I don't want my Christmas music mixed up with the rest of my music other times of year, but I just want a separate Christmas music folder/playlist that I can just play around Christmas time. Or, also, is there any way to make certain songs/albums play only during certain times/dates during the year?

1st February 2012

aurora_nebulosa5:54pm: iPod Touch: Audio Formats
What audio formats does the iPod Touch support?

28th January 2012

cdlegg1:58pm: Survey
A friend of mine as me to pass on this survey to totally blind PC users.

His name Kris and his his email is at the end of the survey - here is
his message and survey:
In order to validate (or refute) some of the theories in my doctoral
dissertation I am collecting answers to a short survey about graphical
user interface, and how they are used by people who are totally blind.
I am looking for brief information on how you perceive elements of the
user interface, and what they mean to you. It would really help me a
lot if you could take a few minutes to answer the short survey and send
me the answers in reply email.

As is common for scientific surveys, I do ask a few questions about
demographics. I have tried my best to limit it to non-intrusive questions.

If you have any concerns with any of the questions (about GUIs or the
demographics) please feel free to email me also.

If possible, I hope that it takes little time to complete this little
survey and that you might be able to send me your answers by Aug 3rd?
Also, please feel free to share this with friends who you know are
totally blind. The more the merrier, in a way

Thank you so much for your time. It is very helpful for me, and the
results will be incorporated in my dissertation. I also intend to make an
electronic version of the dissertation available after completing my
doctorate and I'd be happy to send you a copy when that time comes.

Kris Van Hees

A. Gender:

B. Age:

C. Years of experience with computers:

D. Job (or equivalent):

E. Blind since (if since birth, write 'birth'):

F. Braille, Speech Synthesizer, or Both:

1. Briefly explain what a 'window' in a user interface is, from your

2. Briefly explain what a 'button' in a user interface is, from your

3. Briefly explain the 'desktop' of a GUI environment, from your

4. a) Do you find yourself exploring the overall layout and
content of a user interface before you interact with it?

4. b) If so, what kind of things do you look for?

5. a) Do you find yourself creating a mental image of the user
interface as your explore it?

5. b) If so, what does that mental image look like from a high
level perspective (not much detail)? What are the main
components of the mental image?

6. a) Do you ever have a sighted person describe the user interface
for you?

6. b) If so, what kinds of information do you ask for?

6. c) If so, how well do you feel sighted people describe user
interfaces for you?

6. d) What is your most common complaint about people describing
user interface to you?

6. e) What stands out with the best descriptions of user interfaces
that sighted people have given you?

7. Does it help you to know what user interface elements look like
visually, i.e. as a way to make it easier for you to interact
with the user interface?

8. a) Are there any user interface elements in graphical user
interfaces that you have found to be difficult to understand
in terms of how to interact with them?

8. b) If so, please list the top three difficult elements, and
briefly explain why you felt each was difficult?

Thank you for completing the survey - please forward your answers to

8th January 2012

aurora_nebulosa11:56am: iPod Touch: Music with Alarms
Is there a way to set music to start playing when an alarm that you've set goes off on the iPod Touch? If so, how (accessible with VoiceOver)?

7th January 2012

aurora_nebulosa9:29pm: iPod Touch: Headphones
I am looking for a pair of headphones (NOT ear buds) that:

a) allow as much sound as possible to come through (why I don't like ear buds; they cancel out sound so I can't hear what else is going on around me)

b) go back AROUND the head instead of over it (the around-the-head kind fit me better and I can move around better with them)

c) ones where the plug will fit correctly/properly through an iPod Touch holster that hooks onto your belt

d) have superior audio quality

Any recommendations?

6th January 2012

aurora_nebulosa11:42pm: Playing streaming media on the iPod Touch
How do I save MP3 files from online live streaming radio stations to my iPod Touch so that I can easily access them but also so that they will not play/be stored along with my MUSIC files? Where would I save the live streaming MP3 files to make this happen?

5th January 2012

sky_queen12:14pm: Blind ESL Teachers?
Hey everyone. I recently completed my TESOl certification (teacher of English to speakers of other languages). I will be leaving to work in Peru in a few months, but am going to be working with some students here in Canada before I go. I was wondering if any of you have worked as an ESL/EFL teacher or if you know someone who has, and if so, are there any good resources for blind ESL teachers, or ways you've found to work around the sometimes rather visual activities that are popular with ESL teaching? I've Googled, but mostly I find information on teaching visually impaired ESL students, not how to teach sighted ESL students if the teacher is visually impaired. Thanks in advance for any ideas.

2nd January 2012

aurora_nebulosa11:07pm: Mobile Sites/Apps for TV Listings
Are there any mobile web sites that have minimal if no graphics and that are accessible with either MobileSpeak or VoiceOver that give you TV listings? Also, are there any apps accessible via MobileSpeak or VoiceOver that do the same thing? If so, what are they?

1st January 2012

aurora_nebulosa9:24pm: iPod Touch: Keyboard Problems?
Does anyone else have problems with their virtual keyboard on the iPod Touch when using VoiceOver? I have tried to log into Twitter both on the web site and using the app and I know I'm entering the right password in both cases, but it won't log me on on either the app or the web site! How do I fix this?

30th December 2011

aurora_nebulosa9:32pm: Playing All Albums on iPod Touch
On the iPod Touch, how do I play ALL of my albums at once, with each track playing in the sequence that it appears on each album?

28th December 2011

aurora_nebulosa5:04pm: iPod Touch and Home Stereo
First, I would like to say that I am entirely non-technically oriented when it comes to sound systems, so please taylor your explanations accordingly! :)

I have the latest version of the iPod Touch as well as a relatively modern Sony home stereo system. How do I get sound from my iPod Touch to my home stereo system speakers? What do I hook into what? Do I need to buy anything? If so, what? and specifically what brand/model/type would you recommend for me to get the best sound quality?
aurora_nebulosa4:05pm: iPod Touch and Sound Quality
I recently got an iPod Touch and am in the process of transferring music from CDs I have already purchased. I am therefore wondering which music audio format supported b the iPod Touch produces the best sound quality/has the least loss?

17th December 2011

aurora_nebulosa12:48pm: iPod Touch 4th gen and iTunes: What I Need to Download Music
A while back, I downloaded iTunes onto my PC, even though I didn't at that time have an iPod, simply to download and listen to podcasts. It looks like now that I'll be getting an iPod for Christmas and I understand I'll need an Apple ID to download songs from the iTunes Store. Since I have already downloaded iTunes, does that mean I already have an Apple ID or do I still need to obtain one? If I still ned to obtain one, how do I go about doing so?

Also, someone told my mom recently that I need some kind of Apple card (as opposed to a regular credit card) to download songs from iTunes. Is this true? If so, how do I get one?

10th December 2011

aurora_nebulosa3:42pm: Updating Existing Contacts on my Phone
How do I update an existing contact on my HP iPAQ Glisten with Windows Mobile 6.5? When I go to my Phone window and select the number I want to use to update my existing contact then hit Edit, none of my existing contacts come up, just stuff like "New contact", "Pay my bill", etc. (I am with AT&T and their customer service couldn't help me.)

29th November 2011

michaelsjournal8:23pm: Citrix and JAWS
Hi all,

Is there anyone in this community who uses Citrix Client, GoToMyPC, or some Citrix variant thereof, and JAWS? I was recently told about a completely blind, JAWS user colleague who's been having trouble accessing Citrix CLient through JAWS. I suspect that this is an impossible problem, as Citrix is Java-based, but I wanted to know whether anyone could suggest a solution? Thanks for your help.
Current Mood: tired

17th November 2011

purpurealuna9:45pm: Impairment Friendly Tabletop Dice
Has anyone had any luck finding visually impaired accessible tabletop gaming dice? Not D6, which is the standard 6-sided die, but things like 20 sided or ten sided, or any of the kind usually used in tabletop role playing games.

11th November 2011

aurora_nebulosa5:01pm: Phone Question: "Button Breaker"?

STATS: HP iPAQ Glisten / MobileSPeak / Windows Mobile 6.5

When I go into Start > Settings > Personal > Buttons, one possible option that I can assign to the four programmable buttons is something that sounds like it's called a "button breaker". What the heck is that???

10th November 2011

aurora_nebulosa7:12pm: AT&T Ringtone Shopping
Is the site(s) to which AT&T takes you from your phone to shop for ringtones accessible to mobile screen reading software, specifically, MobileSpeak with Windows Mobile 6.5 on an HP iPAQ Glisten phone?
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