Technology and Blind Students

Here’s a video my friend Andrew Pennington, a student at the Washington State School for the Blind made:

Here is a some more information about my recent experience with Andrew while teaching at Clark College that was originally shared on Facebook:

What a wonderful day it has been. My job shadow student from the Washington State School for the Blind spent the day working with me on class prep, code examples, a tour of the campus and then spent 2 hours in my PHP class. The students in the PHP class made him feel part of the class. He also shared with the class his plans for becoming a programmer and his plans to attend WSU. He was also very witty, which for those of you who know my PHP students, fit in perfectly

Another thing that truly struck a chord with me was that he has the same visual acuity as I do. Throughout the day I kept flashing back to myself at his age.

Again, what an awesome experience it was to host him at Clark College — Vancouver, Washington today.

You can also follow Andrew on Twitter.

Great Collapse

Great Collapse Cover Art

A few months back I was turned onto the rocking music of the bands Nations Afire and Rise Against. Members of Rise Against, Strike Anywhere, Set Your Goals and Comeback Kid formed a new group named “Great Collapse”. Their first EP “Elemental” was just released and it kicks some serious rocking ass. I absolutely love the guitar work of Chris Chasse. The drumming of Comeback Kid drummer Kyle Profeta is also outstanding.

Give it a listen >

For those outside of the US >

Happy

Thank you Joyce Davis

I wanted to take this opportunity to personally thank IBM’s Joyce Davis for her tenure as the IBM Collaboration Solutions Community Manager. I have learned so many things from Joyce over the years that it would be impossible to list them all however, the one thing that I have learned from her more than anything is to always look at the bright side of an issue or a person. Always focus on the overall good, rather than a moment of dissatisfaction.

Being a community manager can’t be an easy job. We the ICS Community have gone through several transitional times, both good, bad and even unfortunately ugly. Joyce has been there to ensure that the community as a whole remained even keeled. She provided us with the occasional “sanity check” that was sometimes needed. Joyce is “real” and she sometimes tells you things you didn’t want to hear.

All the best to Joyce in her new role in the IBM CIO’s office. You and the leadership you gave us will be missed.

I want it NOW!

amazonprimeair

We’re excited to share Prime Air — something the team has been working on in our next generation R&D lab.

The goal of this new delivery system is to get packages into customers’ hands in 30 minutes or less using unmanned aerial vehicles.

Putting Prime Air into commercial use will take some number of years as we advance the technology and wait for the necessary FAA rules and regulations.

More >

Our community mourns the loss of Jens-B. Augustiny

Today I received the following email from Jens-B. Augustiny’s son Herbert:

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,

Last Saturday my father, Jens Augustiny died. You are entered in his
address database and because of this you are receiving this sad news. For
details please refer to the attachment.

Since we are not sure whether we can address all friends, business partners
and customers, we ask you to forward this message to other people which had
contact with Jens.

Best regards

Herbert Augustiny

I was deeply saddened by the news of Jen’s passing. My heart felt condolences to the Augustiny family.

jens1

jens2

Snagit for OS X gets an update

 

Snagit 2.2.0 UpdateSnagit has been my “go to” app for on OS X for all things screen capture. This update adds some nice features that I have been asking for. Snagit in combination with Camtasia 2 for screencasts are the most used tools now in my “educators toolbox”.

 

 

Mac-cessibility Network: All Things Accessibility for Apple Products

On the October 13, 2013 episode of the legendary MacCast, Adam Christianson interviews  Josh de Lioncourt, a blind Apple products user. Josh is part of the Maccessibility Network which focusses on accessibility of Apple products:

Maccessibility is devoted to connecting, compiling, and providing easy access to the best resources for blind, visually impaired, and other disability groups using Apple products. It is maintained by a dedicated group of visually impaired volunteers, who are Apple enthusiasts themselves.

Maccessibility began in 2007 as a project on Lioncourt.com to provide news and informational materials to low and no vision users of the Mac platform. Additionally, it served as a resource to dispel false information regarding the accessibility of Apple products.

As somebody who relies on accessibility on both OS X and iOS I am surprised I didn’t know about the Maccessibility site sooner. Many thanks to Adam for a great interview with Josh and for his awesome MacCast podcast.

 

You would think people would be smarter

insanityThe unread Twitter DM tweet is what I am referring to. To be honest, I get these from dozens of people, almost daily. Think before you click people.

Fill in the blank

The other day Voker Weber shared his thoughts about BlackBerry and he stated the following:

The sentiment. BlackBerry smells of old. People want new. iPhone. Maybe Android. Once people have made up their mind to divorce you, it’s a tough thing to turn around. It’s no longer good enough to be good enough. You have to be way better.

Now let me change the above to this:

The sentiment. ______________ smells of old. People want new. iPhone. Maybe Android. Once people have made up their mind to divorce you, it’s a tough thing to turn around. It’s no longer good enough to be good enough. You have to be way better.

Unfortunately, I can think of dozens of products and services that can be filled in the blank. The world has certainly changed over the last decade and sometimes no matter what a company and/or organization does, they can’t turn it around.

Shiny and new are the “new black”.

 

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