G3 iMac in a manual wheelchair over an old OS X default desktop image.

Weekend Roundup for 9 November, 2014

Here are some of the best articles, links, and new products that I have spotted online in the past week or so which have some relevance to Apple products and disabled or chronically ill users …

Everything’s a bit sparse this week because I’ve been super-ill so blogging has been a pretty low priority. I had a bit more energy this morning finally but I was so sick of staying at home I zoomed off into the city in my awesome wheelchair and used up all that energy! It was great to get out though…

OS X Links

Dragon Dictate 4.0.6 with OS X Yosemite compatibility has now been released. Go forth and update!

Speak N Spell 1.7.0 – Practice spelling skills with the built-in word list or with your own custom list.

Quick Guide to Using VoiceOver on Mac OS X – a guide especially for sighted developers or instructors who aren’t familiar with screen readers.

Yosemite Quick Tip: How to Reduce Transparency and Increase Focus.

iOS Links

Flashcards by Me – an app designed by a parent of a son with Down Syndrome to help him learn vocabulary and sight words using familiar photos.

Three Siri Tricks for iOS 8.

PrAACtical AAC provides a road map for co-writing a story with a Pictello user.

Proloquo2Go on an iPad
Proloquo2Go, a symbol-supported communication app.

Tracking Proloquo2Go use through the day.

Osmo: An Essential iPad Learning Add-On for Schools and Homeschoolers.

iOS’s Speak Selection, Speak Screen, and Voice Over – What’s the Difference?

Best Apps for Creating Visual Schedules.

New in Text to Speech for iOS 8 – the Alex Voice.

What’s new in iOS 8 accessibility for users with motor impairments?

ArtikPix Levels Plus is now available on the iTunes app store

Dim your screen further than Control Center allows (and other cool iOS 8 tricks).

Fleksy Keyboard can now use iOS typing shortcuts and has Dvorak and Coleman layouts.

Home Automation / Internet Of Things

Sphero and Ollie – app controlled robotic toys. These definitely offer some accessibility possibilities for kids with very severe physical disabilities – does anybody have one?

SkyBell – Great bit of home automation here, it’s a video/intercom doorbell that hooks up to your iPhone.

Amazon’s ‘Echo’ is a standalone Siri-like virtual assistant for the home.

Other Links

One Mobile Device or Two? Things to Consider When Using iPads/Tablets as Communication Devices.

False Negatives: Evaluations of Functionally “Nonverbal” Children – A fantastically useful article from Dana Nieder about some of the myriad reasons that evaluations of nonverbal kids can go horribly awry and give you false-negative results. Most of these also apply to verbal disabled kids, incidentally, but I suspect testers are more likely to be able to figure out what’s going on if the child can speak.

Here on ATMac

New articles for this week:

iPads and iPhones vs Dedicated AAC Devices

Did you see anything else online that I missed? Leave a comment or drop me a line!

– Ricky

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