Thanks to your valuable suggestions, the Freedom Scientific User Education and Outreach Team introduced many enhancements and new training initiatives in 2023. As the year comes to a close, we reflect on those successes and look forward to 2024.
Student of the Month
We continued our tradition of selecting a monthly K-12 student living in the U.S. who is blind or visually impaired and uses Freedom Scientific technology to achieve educational goals. In addition to profiling the student in our blog, we award the winner a gift card, Freedom Scientific software, and a refurbished computer in partnership with Computers for the Blind.
To learn about the 2023 students who were honored, go to Freedom Scientific Student of the Month. A video highlighting each student’s accomplishments is available for your enjoyment.
We will continue to post our upcoming monthly training schedules, which provide the date and time of each event, a brief description, and details on how to participate. Subscribe to the Freedom Scientific Blog or visit the Freedom Scientific Training Schedule page for the latest schedule.
We continued offering themed webinars on using popular applications with JAWS, such as Gmail, Edge, Chrome, Excel, and WebView content in Microsoft applications. Your suggestions resulted in task-specific topics, such as document revisions and customized web page navigation.
This in-depth training focuses on essential tasks regularly performed in school and in the workplace. Webinar series include “Prep and Proof” and “Power Tips.” Visit the Webinars On Demand page to stream or download these webinars. We will continue offering these types of series in 2024.
Deploying, managing, and licensing JAWS and ZoomText has become much easier using our Enterprise package at https://www.freedomscientific.com/training/enterprise/. Introduced in June 2023, thousands of new users have found the Enterprise process simple and user friendly.
New Resources Page
We added a Resources page at https://www.freedomscientific.com/training/resources/ to provide robust supplemental information for CSUN and training topics. For example, you will find reference sheets for using Google Workspace apps with JAWS, MS Teams and JAWS, online learning and JAWS, and using Voice Assistant in the classroom.
Mastadon has been added to our growing social media presence. See us on Mastadon at @firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also find resources at:
- X (formerly Twitter): @FreedomSci
- Facebook: FreedomScientificInc
- Instagram: @FreedomScientific
- YouTube: Freedom Scientific Training
- Podcast: FreedomScientific.com/training/podcasts
- Blog: blog.FreedomScientific.com
- Email us: email@example.com
Fusion Suite 2024
The JAWS, ZoomText, and Fusion Suite 2024 release brought innovations to our software products to improve usability and continue our reputation as the industry’s best. The biggest splash was made by these features:
- Face in View feature in JAWS and Fusion
- Split Braille feature in JAWS
- Inverted Mouse Pointer Schemes in ZoomText and Fusion
- Single Wedge Cursor enhancement in ZoomText and Fusion
- Improved training resources
Sharkvember and the Next Big Thing
November brought many fun activities, as we celebrated the first annual Sharkvember! We held a contest to determine the Next Big Thing in our JAWS and ZoomText software, and two panels of judges whittled down dozens of great ideas to award three big winners during an online event in their honor. The top honor went to Abigail, who suggested that we add Artificial Intelligence to our Picture Smart feature for real-time descriptions of images, graphics, and other visuals.
Another winner, John, suggested a new training aid that would be available from the JAWS Help menu. “JAWSGym” would offer an interactive quiz to help users strengthen core JAWS knowledge. The third winner, Mandy, imagined a Paragraph Preview feature, which would read the first or last paragraph of a document. This preview would aid users in deciding which file to open.
During November, we also provided daily JAWS and ZoomText keyboard command tips, called “Sharkvember Shortcuts.” You can find these helpful tips on the Sharkvember Shortcuts page.
JAWS Certification Exams
In collaboration with our distributor in Italy, Vision Dept, we now offer an Italian version of our JAWS certification exam. Vision Dept began promoting it to their customers shortly after the 2024 software releases and several users have already completed the test. An Italian version of the ZoomText certification exam is also in process and will be available in 2024. You can learn more on our Certification page.
What’s Coming in 2024?
We continually add new training events that tailor topics to meet your personal, educational, and professional needs. Join us in 2024 for new live webinars and other targeted training. Visit the Free Webinars page for information on upcoming training. Stream or download archived webinars from our Webinars on Demand page.
If you have training questions or want to suggest a training topic, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.