Friday, October 30

NAGDU phone conference on dog guides in healthcare facilities

Greetings. I received this information for a phone conference/seminar that the National Association of Guide Dog Users (NAGDU) is putting on in late November. I'm posting it now so those interested can register for this free event. Registration is limited from what I hear so act soon. Read on for more details.


National Association of Guide Dog Users
National Federation of the Blind
October 27, 2009

Guide Dogs in Hospitals & Other Health Care Facilities

What are your rights as a guide dog user when visiting family or friends in the hospital? As a patient, do you have the right to have your dog in the room with you? Are there places or conditions in which you can be restricted from being accompanied by your guide dog? Can your doctor deny you the right to have your guide dog with you in an examination room? Can an ambulance refuse to transport your guide dog with you? These questions and many more will be answered in an upcoming special teleseminar.

The National Association of Guide Dog Users (NAGDU), a strong and proud division of the National Federation of the Blind, will host "Guide Dogs in Hospitals & Other Health Care Facilities" on Sunday, November 22, 2009 at 8:00 p.m. eastern standard Time (7:00 pm Central; 6:00 pm Mountain; and 5:00 pm Pacific). This teleseminar is absolutely free; however reservations are required. Participation is limited and is on a first come first served basis.

In order to reserve your space in this teleseminar, please send your name, city & state, and your email address by Friday, November 20, 2009 to


An email confirmation with the call-in number and access codes will be sent to you. Those without email access or who would like more information may call 813-626-2789.

The information provided during this teleseminar is intended as informal guidance only and should not be construed as legal advice. The National Association of Guide Dog Users, the National Federation of the Blind, or any of its affiliates, divisions, or chapters will not be responsible for any telephone charges or fees that may be incurred as the result of participation in this seminar. For more information about the National Association of Guide Dog Users, the National Federation of the Blind, or to locate a Chapter in your area, you may visit the following websites:

National Association of Guide Dog Users

National Federation of the Blind

The National Federation of the Blind is changing what it means to be blind!

Security update for JAWS 10

Greetings. I've been meaning to post this from earlier this week but haven't gotten to it until now. Below is information on a security update that has been released for JAWS version 10. Note that this is very similar to the update put out for JAWS 11 last week. If you use a computer that you have to log into, or have a computer with multiple users, then you'll want to get this update. Below is more information about the update from Eric Damery of Freedom Scientific. Enjoy.

*Additional note*: The same security update has been made available for JAWS 9.



Last Friday, we released an update for the JAWS 11 Release that came out
on October 19th. These same changes have now been rolled into an update
for JAWS 10 and we have released an update for JAWS 10 as a result.

If a users has JAWS 10 installed today, and does a check for updates,
they will get this security update now. Alternatively, if they go to the
Freedom Scientific Download page for JAWS, they will find the full JAWS
10 English version is now version 10.0.1167 and this build contains the
security update already. If you download this and install over top of a
previously installed JAWS 10, the update is applied.

Eric Damery
Vice President, Software Product Management
Freedom Scientific Inc.

Tuesday, October 27

Remembering Ed Eames

Greetings. A few days ago, the world lost a great champion for the rights of the blind and otherwise disabled, and even more important, the rights of guide/service dog users. This article in the Fresno Bee really sums up the life and contributions of Ed Eames. Ed Eames fought for rights of disabled. Farewell Ed; you contributed and you will be missed.

Monday, October 26

JAWS 11 security update

Greetings. Here's information on the JAWS 11 security update released late last week after the initial JAWS 11 version. What the information below does not say is that you can either run the Check for Updates feature in the Help menu of the JAWS window to retrieve the update, or download it from the FS site. This was taken from an email to the Gui-Talk email list. Enjoy.


Hi all,

There has been some discussion lately about a security hole found in
Jaws 11 and also in Windows. For a lot of you this will not be an issue
and you probably won't need this update. If any of the following applies
to you then you should download and install this update:

1. You are running a copy of windows and need a password to log in.

2. You're running a system with more than 1 user and any or all of those
users have restricted access.

3. You only have 1 user but that user has restricted access.

For anyone else you probably won't need to worry too much about this.
It's not something that anyone who's not physically sitting at your
computer can take advantage of.

For those people waiting to get the cd before you update you will get
the version with the fix included. You won't need to download it

Sunday, October 25

Removing the U3 LaunchPad tool from a SanDisk USB flash drive

Greetings. To get rid of the annoying U3 LaunchPad tool, click this link to read the steps for removing the SanDisk U3 LaunchPad from your USB flash drive. If you're going to use the S.A. to Go software on your drive, you might not want to do this. However, keeping the U3 software on the drive can be annoying since it causes the computer to become sluggish while the software loads, whenever you plug the drive into a computer. This page, which is apart of the forum on the SanDisk site, offers easy steps to remove this software. Note that you can also activate the LaunchPad application on the drive and it will offer an option to use the drive for storage, and once chosen, this will remove the software. This forum page also gives you the option of downloading a small removal application that can remove the software for you. These SanDisk flash drives can be used on Windows XP operating systems or above. Once the software is removed, you might want to delete any associaited folders from the drive and start from scratch. This is what I have done and it makes the process easier, since I can create and put what I want on the drive, which doesn't always match the folder names they offer. Enjoy.

Great article on former CCRC student

Greetings. I found this in the Matilda Ziegler list of articles and was pleasantly surprised to read about this former Criss Cole Rehabilitation Center student. I saw her get an NFB of Texas scholarship this weekend in San Antonio in the amount of $1,500, but it appears that she is getting other scholarships and recognition out in West Texas. Watch out for this woman; she's going to make waves and changes in her world. The link is Blind Abilene woman receives scholarship help. enjoy, and go Mary!
On the bus heading back. Had another great omlet this morning.

Saturday, October 24

What is it with blind folk and eskelators? Twice today i've been asked if i wanted the elevator when standing at the bottom of an eskelator. Weird.
Hangin' outside a private party, for a wedding i think. They were playing good rock but now mexican.
Got back from banquet. Typical food but desert was great. A huge piece of choc cake, yum!
San Antonio radio is okay. Lots of Mexican stations and several country. Some good rock ones too.
Sitting in ballroom waiting for general session to begin. Great omlet!
Went on a boat tour of the River Wall last might. Lots of fun and interesting.
Waiting for breakfast. I always get the same when traveling, an omlet.

Friday, October 23

Wi-Fi is cool

Greetings. I'm sitting in the hotel lobby in San Antonio at the NFB of Texas state convention. People with canes are walking all around me. It's kind of interesting listening to lots of blind people attempting to find things such as the front desk. It's cool to be online though and wireless. I finished my first Audible book in several years a little while ago. I took my first ride on Greyhound this morning, breaking my anti-Greyhound stance. It went okay, though I'm not sure I'm going to start riding Greyhound lots. Taking it to San Antonio is one thing, but I'll gladly stick to my flights on Southwest to Dallas and other places beyond the close bus range. Anyway, I made it without incident, grouping up wiht two coworkers and as it turned out some other blind folk traveling to the convention. The Greyhound station is about a block from the hotel. It's also kind of weird to come on a weekend convention and see lots of coworkers and students wandering around. I've already seen at least one former student that I'd rather not see. Let's just say that they were, uh challenge when they were a student, and since they left CCRC, we have had some interesting interactions. I'd be fine if we didn't cross paths the rest of the weekend, but I know that this won't happen. Oh well. I was sitting a few rows in front of my coworkers on the bus this morning, and to be funny, I sent several text messages back and forth with them. I thought of calling one, but thought that this would be too obvious, so I settled for the texts. Anyway, be watchingb this space for some updates this weekend. I'm staying till Sunday morning before returning to Austin. I'm going out to dinner later on the Riverwalk wiht some family friends. that should be fun too. Later.

Monday, October 19

Overview of Kurzweil 1000 version 12

Greetings. Main Menu, from ACB radio, recently did a show on the new features in Kurzweil 1000 version 12. This link is a direct download of the MP3 file. The show is about an hour long and after the shorrt bit of tech news, there's a good interview with Stephen Baum, the lead developer of Kurzweil 1000. Among other notable things with version 12, users now have the ability to run Kurzweil from a USB flash drive. Check out the show above for more on this exciting new release. Enjoy.

Great article on current Google Books case

Greetings. I've mainly left it to others to rehash the dispute regarding the Google Books case and upcoming settlement. However, I came across this article from the Matilda Ziegler RSS feed (linked further down this page), which really sums everything up quite nicely. It's by Carl Jacobsen, the president of the NFB of New York affiliate, and is called Blind need more access to written word, from the Times union out of Albany, NY. Enjoy.

JAWS 11 released

Greetings. Today Freedom Scientific has released the new JAWS version 11 in time for the upcoming release of Windows Seven expected later this week. Check this link for all the details of what's new and, perhaps of more interest to some, what's been improved. Note that when you receive your JAWS 11 on disc, it will be on a DVD that will contain boht the 32 and 64 bit versions of JAWS. When you start the installation process, JAWS will detect what version of Windows you're using and automatically adjust to install that particular version. For instance, if you have a 32 bit version of Windows, then that's what will be installed. Also, since JAWS will now come on a DVD, there's more room to include the Daisy training material, the free copy of FS Reader 2.0, and more. Enjoy.

Saturday, October 17

Had a good horseback lesson 2day. Maybe I'll get around to posting about it soon, :)
Booked dirt cheap travel w/ Southwest 4 Christmas. Get it now b4 prices go up.

Saturday, October 10

White Cane Day site update

Greetings. For those interested, you can now view the marching route and park activities/events for the October 13 event. Check the White Cane Day site for more details. Also, a few days ago the site passed the 11,000 total hits mark. Currently, there's over 11,300 hits, and the numbers are growing by around 50 per day. The total hits have followed a pattern of at least doubling in peak (March to November) and off-peak (November to March) times of the year over the last couple of years. It will be interesting to see what happens over the next few weeks in the remaining time of the peak season following the day itself. If you know of a White Cane Day event that's happenig in your town/community that receives media coverage next week, email me the link and story and I'll add it on the page in the Media Coverage area. It's always fascinating to me to see all the different places that celebrate this "independence day" for the blind. Enjoy, and see you Tuesday!

Wednesday, October 7

Viewing PDF's in Google search results

Greetings. Google has had the ability to allow you to view PDF files in search results, but today they have improved that, according to the Google blog post called Quickly view formatted PDFs in your search results. Though the examples they give are untagged images, hopefully this will improve the usability of PDF files in search results. It will be interesting to see if form fields show up as they do on a normal web page and are accessible with screen readers. Enjoy.