Internet Explorer 9 Support
For all of you ZoomText 10 users out there, you probably saw an update notice from us earlier this week that 10.0.3 was available. In this free update, we now have full support for Internet Explorer 9, reading support for the Thunderbird email client, improved performance when running ZoomText with JAWS, added Portuguese language support, fixed a bunch of bugs, and more. Phew, that's a mouthful!
If you haven't upgraded to 10 and you need one or more of those features, give us a call at 800-859-0270 or 802-362-3612 option #2 and we'll give you a quote to upgrade to the latest and greatest. Read on to the next article for a coupon code that will save you 20%.
For even more information, head on over to our website to check out all the new stuff in version 10, read the release notes specific to 10.0.3, or download a free 60-day trial to give it a try yourself.
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Summer is basically here and just to convince Mother Nature not to bring back the cold, we're offering a summer storewide sale, now until June 30th! Sometimes, we need all the help we can get in Vermont.
Simply use the code "SUMMER" when you checkout online or when you place your order over the phone (800-859-0270) to get 20% off your entire order! This code is good on anything that we sell
- of course there's ZoomText (new products and upgrades), but there's also the ZoomText Large-Print Keyboard, ZoomText Camera packages, the i-loview handheld video magnifier, ZoomText Express - you name it!
Be sure to take advantage of this limited time offer!
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Survey Results: Organizational Tips
Thanks to everyone who sent me their best tips for low vision organizing. First off, congratulations to JoAnn Carey whose name was chosen in the raffle - she won a $100 Amazon.com gift certificate!
Here are some of the tips that you sent in:
- "I have a family that understands what is easier for me in daily living. Everything is always put in the same location by all members of my family."
- This one made me laugh: "In summary, know exactly where YOU want your STUFF and scream loudly if someone destroys the INTEGRITY OF YOUR SYSTEM."
- Never going to argue with a woman who says you should have expensive boots: "Socks are my biggest problem or pain the ...... Does anyone have that problem? Well, here is a sure way to solve that problem of matching socks. At least it will work for those with partial vision. I wear only white and black. If they still get mixed up, too bad I wear them anyway. Besides, it is the craze to wear miss matched socks. There is a whole company on the web that sells just that. My black socks are a little higher cut than the white socks as the white socks are athletic socks to wear inside sneakers. Done. Simple? Therefore if I wear anything brown and do not want to look stupid, I wear boots. Always have an expensive pair of nice boots and no one will look at your socks."
- "I cut milk carton plastic into half-inch strips, punch a hole in one end with a standard hole punch, then use a one-line Braille slate to write some label text on it. The tag can then be attached to just about anything."
- "I assemble small projects within a used 9 by 13 inch cake pan. This keeps tiny parts together. I can carry the project from place to place without dropping anything."
- "I sort clothing by function or purpose. Pants, Jeans. T-shirts, Tops all together. They can be mixed and matched easily."
- "I always try to keep most of my favorites in the same small area in both the refrigerator and freezer. And I usually take over one or two shelves in the cupboards with whatever I use most. I've found that communication regarding food can be challenging at times, but overall, it works pretty well and gets better over time."
- "Surgical tape. I have so much left over that I use it to mark buttons on the microwave, the washer/dryer, crunchy peanut butter (creamy has no tape :-)), etc. It has texture that I can easily feel and stays stuck in place for a long time."
- "I use ZoomText to write myself a note, keep recipe instructions, phone settings, and insulin pump settings for easy retrieval."
- "I am blessed with a wonderful wife that makes me do all that I can for myself. This requires me to come up with things to make my life easier such as folding money. For example: $1 bill is not folded. $5 bill is folded in half, $10 bill is folded in half lengthwise and a $20 bill is folded in half and then folded again making a 2/3 fold, a $50 bill is folded smaller than a $20 bill."
- "Some associates suggest that olfactory (smell) be incorporated into labels on clothing. Cool stuff ehh!"
If you'd like to check out all the tips, you can download a PDF document.
Read on for another chance to win!
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This time around, we're asking you to answer
the following question that was posed to us by ZoomText user Melissa Burch: "What is one thing that you have been told that you could not do with your vision that you have overcome and did anyway?"
Simply reply to this email (the address is firstname.lastname@example.org) with your answer by July 10th to be entered into
the drawing for a $100 Amazon.com gift certificate. Good luck!
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If you haven't had a chance to check out the Training and Consulting page on our website, now is the time to do it! In addition to the "What's New in ZoomText 10" and "New User" webinars that we host every week, we're adding new monthly webinars with rotating topics. Coming up, we have a webinar on our brand new handheld video magnifier, the i-loview, and a session that will provide you with tips and best practices when using the various ZoomText reading tools.
All of our webinars are free, you just need to sign up. Hope to "see" you in a session soon!
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Ai Squared Donates i-loview Magnifiers to Art at Hand
The Shelburne Museum in northern Vermont just kicked off their second season of Art at Hand - a program financially sponsored by the Lions Clubs of Vermont that provides museum access to visitors who are blind and visually impaired. Through this innovative program, visitors are able to explore Shelburne Museum with specially trained Museum guides who take them through a gallery space, provide verbal descriptions of works of art, and let them feel tactile objects related to the collection.
Angela Pratt, Education Fellow at the Shelburne Museum, noted that one of the longstanding assumptions is that people who are blind or visually impaired cannot appreciate or enjoy museums. Luckily with programs like Art at Hand, that stigma is gradually disappearing. We all know that the arts enrich our lives; even more importantly, we know that art encompasses far more than the eye can see.
Because this wonderful program is happening right in our neck of the woods, it made sense for Ai Squared to become involved. We donated two i-loview magnifiers so that participants can properly zoom in on and apply color filters to any print material that they encounter during their tour. Of course when the two-hour tour ends, they are welcome to "check out" the i-loview and take it around as they explore the rest of the museum.
Head on over to our blog for more information and to learn how to sign up for one of their free tours!
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Spotlight: Armen Bekarian
We'd like to introduce you to Armen Bekarian - with the help of ZoomText Magnifier/Reader, he has written a book called The Outcasts that is now for sale in many online bookstores, including Amazon, Zeus Publications, The Book Depository, and more.
At the age of 59, Armen lost most of his eyesight due to a vein occlusion in his eye. Within a matter of two months, the world was getting darker each day, leaving Armen a blind man. "As a result, unable to cope with it all, depression and trauma took over," says Armen. "I was pushed to the brink of being a madman. That's when retina specialist Dr. Paul Beaumont came in - he saved my life."
With the help of Dr. Beaumont, Armen's eyesight steadied and he retains about 20% of his original sight. A professional photographer by trade, Armen felt compelled to find a new medium in which to express himself after becoming blind. This is where writing came about. "All I needed was to learn the skills and craft of writing, that was all," declared Armen. "The question was, HOW?"
Armen found exactly what he was looking for in the creative writing course he took from Northern Territory University Australia. With the help of VisionAustralia, all of his text books were converted to audio tapes. But, the introduction of ZoomText into his life was what really turned things around. Let's let him tell you in his own words:
"Without ZoomText, which now I purchased the latest version 10, and the Large-Print Keyboard, I wouldn't have had the courage to even sit in front of the computer, let alone write and complete a whole novel. What's more, apart from writing novels and so on, I can go onto the Internet, which gives me a great advantage and freedom as well. For instance, novelists often need to do a lot of research for their subject. Having ZoomText gives me independence; I don't have to rely on others, and that is a wonderful feeling.
Of course, there are other similar programs also, but the reason I use only ZoomText is because it has multiple different features that would suit every user - i.e. a wide range of magnification; choice of colors; choice of reading voices, speed, and most importantly, the AppReader, which is my favorite. When I revise a chapter, using AppReader allows me to pinpoint where the errors are as the highlighted word moves along and stops with the voice. It's so helpful."
The Outcasts, which was just recently published, is a social satire that can be seen as a criticism, or a vision of an alternative society. At the moment, Armen is already at work on his second book.
Armen's wife Sonia contacted us, thinking that her husband's achievements could be an inspiration for others. Join us in congratulating Armen on his success and wishing him luck in all his future endeavors!
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ZoomText user Kathy Kalaluhi sent
in a bunch of websites that she thought other ZoomText users would find interesting and helpful. We liked the idea so much that it's become a regular "column" in ZoomNews! Below are her suggestions and if
you'd like to submit any websites for the next issue, please email them to Becca at email@example.com!
- ZipList - ok if you do not have your grocery shopping list and recipes organized by now, you never will. But alas, another website for creating your grocery list and storing recipes. The site is partnered with some of the most popular recipe and chef's databases to search for recipes to plan your weekly meals. Once you save a recipe to your recipe box, you can open the recipe up and add the ingredients to your shopping list. The site also offers coupons to registered members.
- SaveUp - whereas most financial institutions and credit cards offer you rewards for spending money, this site offers rewards for those who save. Once you create an account, you can store or link to your financial institutions and monitor your banking from this site. Once you make a deposit into an account, you are enrolled to win gift cards, money and other prizes.
- Pingg - yes that is two g's at the end. No typo. This is a professional way to send invitations, greeting cards etc. You can also monitor RSVP's and reminders from the site. There is a free membership or you can upgrade for $19.99 and receive more choices on the artwork available on your cards.
And a new category of sorts: "Best fruits in the orchard" - the best Mac apps for iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad! Some of them are available on the Android platform as well.
- Presenter - you can control your presentations from your iPhone. Won't that impress somebody?
- No Wait - an app designed to be used in place of the traditional pager while waiting for a table in a restaurant.
- PaperDesk - a note taking app for the iPad that allows you to take notes by typing, writing with a stylus or by using your finger. You can organize your notes and/or customize your screen to suit your note taking preference. Not free, but is just $3.99 (and they do have a Lite version as well).
Thanks to Kathy for these great suggestions!
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In the News
Personal shopper qualifies to help visually impaired decide what to wear - Choosing that special outfit can be difficult at the best of times - but for people who are blind it is altogether a different kind of challenge; this is where personal shopper Sharon Dyson comes in.
Vodacom caters for visually-impaired - Vodacom announced it would offer three Nokia handsets - the Nokia C6 Zooms phone, Nokia E6 and Nokia C6 speaking phones for visually-impaired users.
Gift puts visually impaired woman in the driver's seat - Instructor Bill Sawkins of Medallion School of Driving gave Gail Riddall directions as she did several laps to the cheers and applause of the spectators on the sidelines.
Walmart introduces new prescription system to aid visually-impaired Customers - Walmart announced that it will installing the ScripTalk program via En-Vision America, which is a talking prescription system that will help those who have trouble reading standard print find out more about their medication.
Bionic eyes are totally a thing come 2013 - The Google Glasses may be the big news in optics, but the real tech to watch might be the Australian cyber-eye that's set to begin clinical trials next year.
Blind sailors ready for yacht race - Three visually impaired sailors, are to race a small yacht from London to the Olympic sailing site on behalf of Action For Blind People.
Blindsquare uses Foursquare data to guide the visually impaired - Blindsquare is giving guidance systems for the visually disabled a new twist with user-generated Foursquare data, text-to-speech, GPS and some OpenStreetMap mojo.
Landmark program to give fans with visual impairments enhanced access to MLB.com continues expansion - Fans with visual impairments will gain expanded accessibility to baseball through the continuation of a joint collaboration between MLB Advanced Media, L.P. (MLBAM), the interactive media and Internet company of Major League Baseball, the American Council of the Blind, Bay State Council of the Blind and California Council of the Blind.
Library program teaches technology to low-vision patrons - A new, free program offered through the Macomb Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped aims to offer alternative coping methods for accessing computers and other low vision issues.
Beep Baseball provides competitive outlet for visually impaired - Check out this video showcasing a game from the 2011 Beep Baseball World Series!
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With summer (basically) upon us, you know what that means - tradeshows galore! Check out our list of upcoming events - as always, stop by and see us if you're going
to be there!
Texas Assistive Technology Network (TATN) Statewide Conference
June 12th - June 14th, 2012
June 28th - July 1st, 2012
National Federation of the Blind (NFB) National Conference
June 30th - July 5th, 2012
American Council of the Blind (ACB) Conference and Convention
July 6th - July 14th, 2012
Association on Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD) Annual Conference
July 9th - July 14th, 2012
New Orleans, LA
Queen Alexandria College (QAC) Sight Village Birmingham
July 17th - July 18th, 2012
Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the
Blind and Visually Impaired (AER) International Conference
July 18th - July 22nd, 2012
September 12th - September 15th, 2012
St. Louis, MO
New England Library Association (NELA) Annual Conference
October 14th - October 16th, 2012
Accessing Higher Ground
November 12th - November 16th, 2012
The National Ergonomics Conference and Exposition (ErgoExpo)
December 4th - December 7th, 2012
Las Vegas, NV
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