How to perform OCR with Jaws – audio demonstration

You can learn in this short episode of podcast today how to make Jaws to read text from pictures or unaccessible documents or websites.
Simply, just open that file or document, or maximise your browser window then press Insert and spacebar at the same time followed by O, then S to start the process.
Jaws will say Jaws OCR has started. Shortly you hear OCR finished.
A Jaws voice with a different pitch then the one used regular will read the result of OCR.
OCR stands from Optical Character Recognition which is a technology used to detect automatically txt from pictures.
Listen how I have done my demonstration with a little package card from a SIM to check what is written on it.
If you wish to learn more about Jaws just go here.

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How to add a Google Re-captcha code to your WordPress website

Today I will show you how to insert a Re-captcha Google code into your WordPress site.
It is annoying to receive all sorts of automatic e-mails with spam, as comments or messages via contact form.
Adding a tick box “I am not a robot” we can avoid all this unpleasant extra work with cleaning spam.

Introduction

Before starting, I wish to mention this tutorial is for screen reader users, and instructions are provided with keyboard navigation only in mind.
I have used Jaws for Windows 2020 screen reader and Google Chrome for demonstration.
I am looking to open a course soon called WordPress with Speech which will help blind people to go blogging with WordPress independently.

Resources

I have used for contact form builder a plugin called Jetpack which is available here.
I like it because it is packed with lots of features which are available on wordpress.com site. Actually, takes the power of wordpress.com into your selfhosted WP blog.
In order to insert Google Re-captcha code, I will use a plugin called Re-captcha Jetpack which can be downloaded or installed from this page.
If you wish to install it straight from your dashboard then go to your website dashboard, login, then click on Add new link under Plugins section.
In the search field for plugins type Re-captcha Jetpack and press enter.
A list of plugins will appear, each one having the title displayed as heading.

Installation and configuration

For easy navigation use H key to jump from result to result until Re-captcha Jetpack will come up.
Arrow down to install link and press enter.
When the plugin is installed do not forget to activate it.
We will go then, to Re-captcha Jetpack settings where two edit fields are important for us.

  1. Site key
  2. Secret site key

These 2 keys we need to obtain them from Google Re-captcha page.
There, we need to add the website where the Captcha code will be placed.
A link to Google Re-Captcha admin console is provided just below the edit field of the site key in the settings page of Re-Captcha Jetpack plugin.
If that link does not work properly for you, you can access just here Google Re-captcha admin console.
You need to have a Google account and a gmail address.
Type a label for your website, because the same console can be used to add multiple websites.
Then, you need to choose a type of captcha for your website.
I will recommend Re-captcha version 2.0 and I am not a robot tick box model. Also, under version 2.0 other 2 models are available: an invisible captcha and one for Android.
It is important to choose the right option here, then insert your website domain name, your gmail address in the e-mail field, then tick the box I agree terms and conditions.
Finally, press enter on submit button and wait for few seconds.
When the request is processed, a new window will appear mentioning your website name has been added.
Below that message is a line where your site key appears in clear, and few lines below the secret site key as well.
For each key it is a button which allows you to take it in clipboard.
Paste them into the right edit field, in your website dashboard, where the settings page for Re-captcha Jetpack plugin is, then press save changes button.
Pay attention to paste the right key in the right edit field. It is easy to mess them around, thing which will make the plugin to not work.
Once the correct information is saved you do not need to make other things to appear that Re-captcha code into your form. Just go to check your form in your front end of the website and amazingly see your little Re-captcha code there, just above submit button.

Conclusion

Things are not so complicated with all this process, but require attention.
It is possible to have similar results with other plugins, but I was interested in this particular one because I use Jetpack plugin to create forms. Also, it is free of charge.

What to do next?

If you wish to hear an audio demonstration with step by step instructions, please listen the podcast episode below.
If you are interested in learning more about WordPress with Speech, then contact me and let me know which are your biggest challenges with WP blogging.

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TW Blue – A Screen Reader Friendly Twitter Client for Windows – audio demonstration

Are you blind and fancy using Twitter on your PC?
Then this audio podcast episode is for you.
I will show how to download and install TW Blue, an accessible client for Twitter, which can be used in conjuction with any major screen reader.
In my case, I have done the demonstration using Jaws 2020 and Chrome browser.
A short overview of the program is provided as well, but also how to authorise the program to work with your Twitter account.
Keep in mind, this program works with multiple sets of shortkeys, so be sure you choose your favorite set from settings.
This sets are:

  • Qwitter
  • Chitcken Nuggets
  • Windows 10
  • Default

If the first and second sets are from older clients for some users will be easyer to keep the same commands like in the past.
For default short keys check the documentation using help menu.
Windows 10 keys are the same with this recommended by Twitter in its main page when you open Twitter in browser.
Another notable thing is the capability to use the program with a graphical interface or without.
The program kit which I have used is the one which is available at www.twblue.es.
Now, listen the demonstration below!

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Download and convert videos from Youtube with Pontes Media Downloader

Pontes Media Downloader is a program which helps blind people to download and convert video files from YouTube but from other video services as well.
The interface is clean, simple and accessible for screen reader users.
Now the program has versions for Windows, Mac and Linux.
Today I will show you how to use it in Windows.
Later I hope to come with a demonstration for Mac as well.
Download the program from
www.pontes.ro
And install it normally, like any other program under Windows.
Once installed go to YouTube and copy the link from the share menu along the video what you wish to download.
When the YouTube link is copied go to Pontes Media Downloader icon into your desktop and open it.
The program will check your clipboard for a YouTube link. If such a link is present will be automatically pasted into the right place.
Going around with tab key you can select from a couple of combo boxes the quality of the source file in the first instance, but also the format what you wish to choose for your download. You can keep the original format, or you can convert the file in video or audio formats.
Check the podcast episode for the demonstration with Jaws.
Also, you can learn more about formats available for audio and video.
The program will create a folder in your Documents where you can access the files at any time without opening the program.
When a link is pasted in for download an audio signal will be heard, and, also when the download or conversion is done.
For long videos the process could take a while according with your internet connection and your computer specs.
I will give a thump up for Pontes Association and the team whom was involved in this program development. Good stuff!
If you wish to learn more about navigating around YouTube, or how to use accessible programs for this task don’t hesitate to contact us.
Enjoy your listening now!

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How blind users make an ECG test on Apple Watch

I have decided to post today a new demonstration in the podcast episode, related with Health App in iPhone and Apple Watch.
Starting with Apple Watch series 4, there is a new feature built-in which work great for me as a blind user.
As one whom encountered some heart issues a while ago because a chest infection, I was learning to keep an eye on my heart bit and on my health of heart of course.
I have recently discovered how easy and effective is to perform an electrocardiogram on my watch.
I will demonstrate in the podcast episode today how to perform this task and, how to share the result with your doctor. Alternatively, you can store the results in one of your cloud accounts in order to show them later at hospital when needed.
The experience is easy

Follow this steps

1. Open ECG app on your Apple Watch
2. Hold your finger on the crown navigation button until Voiceover will say Done, or you’ll hear the special sound made during the test running off.
3. Double tap on done button.
4. Go to your iPhone and open the notification received when ECG test was done.
5. Open the newest result with double tap
6. Flick to the right until hear share result with your doctor button.
7. Double tap on that button and then choose a method to share the pdf from the regular iPhone share screen.
Job done.
If you listen the audio demonstration till the end, you’ll see how easy it is to do it.
Note, it is necessary to have a first set up which might be a bit lengthy but no longer than 10 minutes.
Must be collected in the health app some information about you in order to have relevant results. The information required in the health app are things like weight, height, age, sex and some basic medical info.
I would recommend going through this before using for the first time ECG app on your watch, other way you’ll be directed to same place during the first test trial.

Hope this demonstration encouraged you to give a try to this nice feature.
For any comments, questions or mentions do not hesitate to right a comment down below or to contact me using the details in the podcast recording.

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Setting up an Amazon Echo Dot 3rd gen as a blind user

It is not a secret for anyone how popular and useful is an Amazon Echo device today.
Just talking with this intelligent device you can find out more about lots of things, you can do shopping, organise your calendar and much much more.
I will show today in the podcast episode how to set up an Echo Dot 3rd gen as a blind user without any sighted help.
I have used for this my iPhone X where the Alexa app was installed before, and the process was simple.
When the device was added to my devices list I have had to organise it in terms of where it is placed. In my case, the new device is seating in my bedroom.
Also, I have renamed this new device and I have activated the sound for start and end requests.
This little beep help blind people to know if Alexa heard your request and also when the answer is following.
Enjoy the audio demonstration and do not hesitate to contact us for any help if you encounter problems during set up as a blind user.
Do you have a particular task what Alexa helps you with? Which one? Do you recommend any skill?
Please leave your comments below.

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Transferring files between Mac and iPhone via Airdrop

I will demonstrate today how to send a file via Airdrop between your Mac and your iPhone.
The process is quite simple.
You must have your Bluetooth connection turned on for each device. Both devices must be in range.

Sending from Mac to iPhone

I have selected my file on my Mac mini using Finder.
On the file prepared for transfer I have pressed VO shift M, which is the shortkey for contextual menu.
VO is the Voiceover key, or ctrl and option pressed together.
All this demonstration was made for screen reader users.
Blind and visually impaired people know Voiceover, and possible are familiar with this short key mentioned above. It is a Finder short key, not necessary a Voiceover command.
When shift VO M is pressed a list of options are displayed, but we need to go down to share.
There is another list displayed for share, where one of the options is Airdrop.
Press VO spacebar on Airdrop and wait a moment.
It is very possible to hear a notification saying:
“Not found the contact what you are looking for?”
When this screen appears do not press escape or cancel button, but navigate with tab until hear a table displayed.
If that table do not appear check your iPhone to not be locked.
For some reasons when the iPhone is password locked the connection is not possible to be completed.
When the iPhone is unlocked, just go around with tab on your Mac, until the table where the devices are listed appear. Some time Voiceover will read a username, or an iCloud account, or a name of devices found. Also. If the contact has a picture attached, you can see that picture, in case of any sight rest is left.
Press VO spacebar on that result displayed in table, and wait for the ding notification on your iPhone. Also, a little dialog come up to ask if you wish to accept or decline the file.

When file is accepted an option called “open with” will be displayed.
This window allows you to choose an app or place where that file will be saved.
Job done.

Sending from iPhone to Mac

For sending files from iPhone to Mac the procedure is quite similar.
Go to that file what you wish to transfer to your Mac and double tap on it.
Depending where that file is a share button must be present.
Choose Airdrop from the share list and wait to see a list of
recipients displayed.
When the username or name of the device appear double tap on it and leave your iPhone aside.
A notification will come up on your Mac asking to decline or accept the file.
If file is accepted, you can choose a place where that file will be saved or opened.

Check this thing in case of transfer failure:

Check if all devices involved in transfer have the Bluetooth turned on.
Perhaps you can use Siri to turn Bluetooth on.
Check Settings in your iPhone to see what kind of receiving files settings you have.
For this, go to settings/general/airdrop and double check what is selected there.
You can choose 1 of 3 options:
1. Off
2. Contact only
3. everyone.

Just in case of first option is selected, you need to alter this setting, other way leave as it is.
Warning! If everyone is selected, you can receive files from any Apple device found in range. Use this option only when desired contacts are not found, but do not forget to change after to option number 2 which is the default one.
For any other issue, check share settings in Mac, under your System Preferences.
Keep in mind, if your iPhone and Mac are registered under same iCloud account probably is worth using iCloud for easier sharing.
But for family members or sharing with friends the Airdrop sharing is probably the best and easiest way.

Listen an audio demonstration step by step in the podcast episode below.
For any questions or comments about this, leave a comment, or contact us.
Don’t forget about our training offer, if you wish to learn one to one about Voiceover in Mac and iPhone as a screen reader user!

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How tu update your Apple Watch OS as a blind person

In this podcast episode I will show how to update your Apple Watch OS as a blind person.
I am my self a blind user of Apple Watch and iPhone, and the whole process was recorded just to show you how to perform this task.
In order to update your Apple Watch you need the following:
• Your Apple Watch must sit on its charger
• Your Watch’s battery level must be at list 50%.
• Your Apple Watch and your iPhone must be in range and connected to same wireless network.
The update process must be started from Watch app on your iPhone.
Ask Siri to open Watch app and swipe right until all watch faces are past, then continue until general. Double tap on general and go to the right until software update. If a new version of Watch OS is available Voiceover will mention that.
If yes, proceed to update.
Will be 3 rounds of waiting time required: one for download, second for preparation and third for installing.
The whole process will take about 15 minutes, depending by your internet connection speed.
Two things are very important:
1. Do not remove your Apple Watch from its charger until the update is complete.
2. . Do not take your iPhone out of range of your watch and wi-fi network.
A short time, during the installation, your Watch will not speak.

Hope the audio demonstration below will help you to understand how simple is to update your Watch OS when a new version is available.
For any question or comment around Apple Watch and iPhone fill free to write us, using the comments form below, or the contact form.
Finally, I wish only to remind you, Accessible Computer offer training courses for blind people, one to one, face to face or at distance, in topics like iPhone and Apple Watch, but other as well.

Check out here the all list of available training courses.

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Borrow Box app accessibility for Voiceover users

Borrow Box app is an app used by local libraries in UK for e-books and e-audio-bookx.
In this audio demonstration I will show you how to borrow a book from Poole and Cristchurch Library.
Also, an overview of the main tabs in the menu will inform you what you can do in this app, as a blind user.
The app is 100% accessible with Voiceover screen reader in iPhone.
Eventually, the only step where a problem may aquire is the signup process. There is a barcode which must be scanned from your library card and a pin code required.
I remember, this first step, for me at list, has been done by a library emploee. I can’t remember if is possible to pair manually the app with your library card, avoiding that barcode scann.

Appearance

The first page when you open the app is My Loans, where you can see an overview of your borrowed/reserved books.
In the app you can borrow books, but also to rezerv books, if they are not available at the visit time. Some of the titles are limited in terms of licences offered to your local libraries. When that maximum is reached you have to wait in the queue untill that title is returned by others. The returns are made manually, or automaticaly, when the borrow term expire.
The second tab is e-audio-books where you can see a list of available books . A filter is available is well, if you wish to sort books after category, age target, etc.
Each title is followed by a date when is available for download, in case of all copyed owned by the local library are taken. If the title does not display any availability date, that mean that title is available for download straight on.

When a double tap with one finger is performed on book title you open the book details.
In this page are buttons available for preview, borrow, or rezerv.

The third tab is search.
With search box I was unsuccessful, probably because my search term was unusual. Probably if you search for a book title about you know for sure is available , the results are relevant.
For my trials the results were not relevant.
I have inserted the terms “learn social media” and “Living forward” which is a book title.
Also, the little popup with suggestions under the search box always suggested funny terms.
The forth tab is settings where you can adjust some details like downloading books on wi-fi only, account details with personal data, and few others.
All together I am pleased about Borrow Box accessibility for screen reader users.
Do you have a similar experience?
Let me know if you checked this app in Android or iPad.

Listen the audio demonstration in the podcast episode below.
For any questions leave a comment or drop me an e-mail using the contact form.

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Installing WordPress manually as a screen reader user

A while ago I have recorded a podcast episode about WordPress installation via Softaculous, but at this time I have decided to show you how to install a WP website on your server manually.
Why manually? Because is coming with some advantages.
You can create a DB name as you like, and you can upload, straight on, the WordPress package with the desired plugins and themes.
Also, you can manage separate the files from FTP, and Database file, in case of a crush.
When Softaculous is used if you decide to remove the installation the DB also is removed.
I have encountered a couple of situations when, in hurry, I have deleted accidentally the wrong website because the check box ticked was related with the website below the one wanted to be removed.
Anyway, it is a double warning there asking you if you really wish to remove that installation because is not possible to undo the task.
My fault, of course, to not pay attention to second warning, but good for me to know how to repair everything here.
Another thing for a manual installation is the possibility to name the database as you like. A meaningful name helps me to identify the DB for each domain easily when I must deal with DB management.
Softaculous tends to name the DB/username randomly and similar which is not always good.
Enough with pros and cons, but not before saying Softaculous is a very good option for commodity or new blog developers.
If you wish to install manually a WordPress website, you need to meet some requirements:
1. To have a hosting account somewhere preferable with LAMP. LAMP stands from Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP.
2. A domain names
3. A copy of WordPress downloaded from www.wordpress.org.
4. An FTP client like FileZilla
5. A text editor like Notepad.
6. A program for unzip like 7zip or WinRAR.
7. Internet connection.
If you wish to have the same hosting service and interface like me just contact me.
A domain name could be purchased together with hosting. In this way the domain price is cheaper.
The FTP client FileZilla can be downloaded from here.

Download 7zip from here.

Let’s start the job now!
You have to do 4 steps as following:

  1. Create a MySQL database in your cPanel
  2. Modify your config file from the downloaded WordPress package
  3. Upload the modified WordPress folder content to your server using FileZilla client
  4. Run the instalation wizzard accessing your domain name in browser

Creating MySQL database

Go to your cPanel and login.
Assuming you have a domain and hosting purchased, you must type in your browser the name of your domain followed by slash cPanel and press enter. Use credentials provided by your hosting provider and login.
Under MySQL data base wizard create a new DB and a new user.
Tick the box “all privileges” and press next.
Make a note of the DB details like name/user/password.
Keep in mind, in cPanel with LAMP the database name will be like your cPanel username underline Database name.
AE: If my cPanel user name is Adrian and the new created DB is named ice-cream the final name will be Adrian_icecream and the user will be Adrian_DBusername where DBusername will be the user for DB.
Password and DB name/user are case sensitive.
Create an e-mail for the domain where WordPress will be installed in case of you haven’t yet. You can use also a personal e-mail like gmail or Hotmail, but I not recommend because spam filters of this e-mail providers which may cause problems with sending/receiving e-mails.
Close the cPanel and go to next step.

Prepare your WordPress package for upload

Navigate to downloads folder and unzip your WordPress copy what you have just downloaded from WordPress.org.
A folder called WordPress will be created. In this folder are other 3 folders and a bunch of files.
The file what we need to edit is called WP-config-sample.php.
Press F2 on it in order to rename it and change the name in WP-config.php.
Open this renamed file in Notepad and arrow down until Jaws reads first line starting with “Define”.
Several lines are above, majority of them starting with star.
All this line are comments and explanation but ignore them.
First line starting with the word “Define” is the one where we must insert the dB name.
You must read word by word that line and in between apostrophes you can read ‘database_name_here’. Delete all in between apostrophes and type the DB name what you have just created in cPanel.
Continue to arrow down and search for “Define DB username”.
Like above, go word by word and delete what is in between apostrophes when you find ‘database_username_here’. In between apostrophes right the DB username exactly as you have created in the DB wizard in cPanel. Don’t forget the right format.
Arrow down again until next line starting with “Define” and their search for ‘database password’ and delete what is in between apostrophes. Type the DB password as created in cPanel.
Press alt f4 and save the changes.
Any wrong character or extra space in between apostrophes will cause installation fail.
When this change is made properly it is the time to upload the modified pack to FTP.

Upload your WordPress to server via FTP

Open FileZilla and type your credential like hostname, username and password.
This detail is provided by your host. In most cases are similar with the cPanel credentials.
FileZilla will display two screens; one for your local machine and one for your FtP server.
Tab around until the tree view related with your local machine point to the WordPress folder with the modified WP-config.php file and then tab until pass remote site slash. That tab marks the server screen half and in that tree view you must point to the root folder of the domain where WordPress is following to be installed.
Turn back using tab key to your local machine screen and just a tab below the tree view is the content of WordPress folder. There press CTRL A to select all, then application key, or shift F10. Select upload and press enter. You can check up the upload progress with insert page down.
A notification will appear when the upload is finished.

Run the installation wizzard

Assuming you have uploaded the content of WordPress folder up to the right folder in FTP, and the data modified in WP-config.php is correct, the installing wizard will appear in your browser when you type the name of the domain where you install WordPress.
In this wizard you must put a name for your site, a username for admin, an e-mail address and a password.
Presuming you have created before an e-mail under that domain, where WP installation runs, type that address.
Leave the tick box marked in case of wish to leave Google to index your blog.
If you plan to put the content later is good to tick that box until content is posted.
Press tab key until install button and press enter.
A success installation message will come up, displaying your chosen username and a link to login in your blog dashboard.
Job done. It is the time to start blogging and customise your site.

Conclusion

Keep in mind, to install a blog is not a big deal, but posting quality content regular is the path to a successful blogger.
I have performed all this using a Windows 10 machine, Jaws 2018 and Google Chrome as browser.

Stil need help?

In case of any information is not clear enough, please listen the podcast episode below, where I have recorded all steps from scratch, down to the moment of having the brand-new blog installed.
For any questions about blogging as blind don’t hesitate to contact me.
Also, Accessible Computer provides training courses one to one for blind people interested to learn blogging with screen readers.

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