FSCast #235 FSOpenLine

August,  2023

GLEN Gordon:  So Rachel, we’re about to play the archive of the August FSOpenLine.  But when we recorded that, there were some things we couldn’t talk about.  Ryan said they were embargoed.  But they are no longer.  And so it made sense, I think, for us to talk a little about those before we roll FSOpenLine to help people who aren’t yet in the know become in the know.  And the first thing I want to commend you on, and I know that the training department does amazing things, but how did you get naming rights for the month of November?

RACHEL BUCHANAN:  That was more of a creative endeavor than you might think.  Sharktober was already taken, it turns out.  And so we settled on Sharkvember, and it didn’t have quite the ring as Sharktober, but we went with it.

GLEN:  Well, Sharkvember is easy to remember.

RACHEL:  Yes, it is.

GLEN:  What is going to be unique about that month?

RACHEL:  Well, our new month of Sharkvember, taking the place of the previously known November, is going to be our month to celebrate JAWS and ZoomText and Fusion and the community of people who use it, basically.

GLEN:  Do we know yet the activities that are going to be happening?

RACHEL:  Some of them definitely fall into that embargoed information we’re going to give a few more details on.  We are going to do several events throughout the month of Sharkvember, but also a contest.  Of course, we’ve always had our suggestion, emails, et cetera.  But this is an opportunity for people to chime in and suggest a feature for the future of our software.  And that contest is called The Next Big Thing.

GLEN:  What are we doing this time to try to up the ante a little bit?

RACHEL:  We’ve added quite a bit of incentive for those who are willing to participate in The Next Big Thing contest.  So for those who make it to the finalists round, which will be announced on October 23rd, they would receive five years of software.  And then, of course, there’s the grand prize, which is a $1,000 Amazon gift card for every member of the winning submission, which they can be a team of up to three.  So there is quite a bit more incentive to bring your suggestions along and participate in this contest.

GLEN:  What does it mean to submit an idea?

RACHEL:  It means that that person has gone over and hopefully checked out our Sharkvember page at freedomscientific.com/sharkvember, and then went over to our Next Big Thing homepage and filled out the entry form there.  It’s very short.  You just need to provide your name and email; the name of your team; of course your feature suggestion and a short description of it; as well as a three-minute video.  And then you want to mention any of the team members who may have helped you out with your submission so that they get their recognition.

GLEN:  Is the video supposed to be in any particular form?

RACHEL:  We do have some video criteria that we suggest.  It’s also all listed on that Next Big Thing page.  But again, start out by introducing yourselves and your team, if you have one; and then explain your feature idea and how it would impact people in the blind and low vision community for the better.

GLEN:  And I assume the idea is, just like a résumé, is supposed to get somebody’s attention.  This video is supposed to get the attention of our judges and cause them to say, “Wow, interesting idea.”

RACHEL:  Right.

GLEN:  “Never thought about it.”  So any way you can talk about, I assume, the feature you have in mind, how people would use it, the need that’s unmet, anything like that.

RACHEL:  Right, how it might alleviate pain points.

GLEN:  And people have to have their entries in by...

RACHEL:  October 16th.

GLEN:  And then we have a first round of judging where we’ll judge the videos; right?

RACHEL:  That’s right.

GLEN:  And then that’s that October 23rd date you mentioned where we’ll announce the finalists.  And then what about the grand finale?

RACHEL:  We’re going to have a Next Big Thing live event on November 14th.  So this will be the conclusion of the contest, and hopefully a really well attended, energetic celebration that we are going to use so that the finalists can submit their ideas to the judges.  And then we’ll declare our grand prize winner live.  It’ll be a little bit like Shark Tank.

GLEN:  And the fact that it is a shark tank for a JAWS, ZoomText, and Fusion contest, I had not realized the double impact of that term.

RACHEL:  That’s very much where part of the idea was born.

GLEN:  Can everybody worldwide participate, or are there legal restrictions that we have no real control over?

RACHEL:  Definitely the latter.  We would love it if everyone could participate.  But because of those legal restrictions, we only have four countries we’re able to take entries from.  And that’s the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Australia.

GLEN:  So if you live in one of those countries, or you’re going to go visit one of those countries for long enough to be part of the contest, tell us again what the website is.

RACHEL:  The URL where you are going to go to fill out the form and enter your submission is freedomscientific.com/nextbigthing.

GLEN:  And we should mention again that the grand prize is nothing to sneeze at:  a $1,000 Amazon gift card for up to three members of a submitting team.  So well worth spending a few hours of your time thinking about what the next big thing could be.

RACHEL:  Right.  And then of course you also get your feature included on our software roadmap for the future.  You also get the five-year software license as a finalist.  And then, of course, that grand prize.

GLEN:  And the goal of this, obviously, is to get people involved.  But it’s also to come up with a really good idea that we can put on our roadmap for future product inclusion.

RACHEL:  And we know our community has good ideas.  So we wanted to generate that excitement and hear from the people who use our software every day.

GLEN:  And although a lot of people listening to FSOpenLine probably focus on JAWS, we are equally eager to receive ideas about how to improve ZoomText.  So whichever area your idea falls into, we’re very receptive.

RACHEL:  Right.  Either JAWS, ZoomText, or both.

GLEN:  Rachel, I would say thank you, but your voice is going to be back in about 25 seconds as we roll FSOpenLine from the end of August.  So I’ll just say we’ll see you from a week or so ago, thanks to the benefit of time travel.

RACHEL:  All right.  Thanks, Glen.

FSOpenLine Intro Music

RACHEL:  Hello, everyone, and welcome to FSOpenLine, Freedom Scientific’s Global Q&A.  This is our show for August of 2023.  And before I introduce my colleagues, let me just go over a couple of housekeeping items.  In case you haven’t joined us before, we are live on several platforms.  The only two you are able to ask questions on are Zoom and Clubhouse.  So if you happen to be listening on one of the other platforms where we’re live streaming, and you’d like to ask a question, head on over to Zoom or Clubhouse.  And from there, the way that you can put your hand out and get ready to interact with us is on Windows with ALT+Y, if you’re on the Zoom desktop application; and then, if you’re joining us by phone, star nine.  And then on the mobile platform you just double tap the Raise Hand button.

Now that all of those items are out of the way, let’s go ahead and introduce my esteemed colleagues Brett Lewis, Glen Gordon, and of course, Ryan Jones.  How are you guys?

BRETT LEWIS:  Good evening, Rachel.  I’m good.

GLEN:  I’ve never been an esteemed colleague before.

RACHEL:  Welcome.  You are now.

GLEN:  Are you sure you’re talking about me?

RYAN JONES:  Yes.  It’s a good thing to be an esteemed colleague, I believe.

RACHEL:  This is always an exciting time of the year because we’re rolling up to busy times for us, public beta and some other big things.

RYAN:  Yeah, it is.  In fact, this is the season of the year on our software team where everybody’s on all cylinders.  Summer vacations are over, school’s back in for families and things.  So it’s kind of all hands on deck because at the end of October we have the official 2024 first release of those products coming out for JAWS, ZoomText, and Fusion.  So we’re kind of wrapping up a lot of the feature development right now.  The team’s working on fixing bugs and then, you know, fixing things that have been in our backlog for 2024.  So there’s a lot going on for the engineering team, the test team, the training and documentation team.  Everybody’s really, really busy.

But it’s really exciting.  This is a fun time of the year.  And in fact you mentioned it, Rachel, we’re coming up on the first public beta release of the 2024 versions.  And by beta version, it’s gone through all of our own internal testing.  It’s gone through testing by our private beta team.  So it’s not like we’re just throwing this out there.  We’ve done a lot of testing on it already.  But we want to give all of you the ability to test it.  And there are some really cool new features that I’ll just kind of briefly highlight this evening.

But the public beta program for us is really important because, although we can do a lot of testing ourselves, we have a private beta team that does a lot of testing, we can’t test JAWS or ZoomText or Fusion on every possible computer and operating system uniqueness.  And there’s no way we can cover all the iterations that many of you use.  And so that’s why we like to get it out there, let you try it, give us feedback.  Do you like what you’re seeing?  Are you finding problems?  We’ll have a form online that you can fill out to submit feedback, or if you’re having difficulty; and then we’ll try to work through those bugs and get them fixed before the official release at the end of October.

So I want to highlight one of the new things that you will see in version 2024, and you will see it in the public beta.  For those of you, this will directly impact those of you who use refreshable braille displays.  And it’s a feature that we’re calling “split braille.”  And “split braille view” is a way to take a single-line braille display, whether it’s an 18-cell or a 20 or a 40 or an 80, doesn’t matter.  But think of taking that single-line braille display and splitting it in half.  And you’ll have a left half and a right half.  So if I have a 40-cell braille display, I would think about the left half being 20 cells, or actually it’ll be 19 because we have a delimiter, two delimiter cells that will split the left and the right halves.  But I’ll have a left half and a right half, and I can have different content on either side of the braille display, which I can navigate independently of each other.

So, for example, I might have a Word document that I’ve placed onto the right side of the braille display, and I can be using different panning commands and navigation commands to move through the text of my document, while on the left half of the display is an open email message.  Maybe I’m reading some notes from the document and writing some things down in the email.  I don’t have to ALT+TAB back and forth between Word and Outlook.  I can actually have both things open at the same time on the braille display and, using my hands, just move from either side of that braille display, the left half or the right half.

There’s a lot of different ways this can be used.  We’ve got things set up and using it with Outlook or Teams or even PowerPoint.  So, for example, in PowerPoint you could have your slide notes on one half of the display and the actual text of the slide on the other half.  There’s a lot of different ways this split braille can be used.  Our team who’s been testing and developing it has absolutely loved it.  And we’re really excited to get it out there.  There’ll be a lot of documentation on this.  An overview of this will come out next week when the official Public Beta One release happens.  And then our training team will be doing a lot of content around this feature as we go through the next couple of months.  So this one I’m really excited about.  I think it’s going to be a great advantage for those of you who are using refreshable braille displays.  So let’s see.  What else have we got for 2024?

BRETT:  Well, let’s see.  Ryan, I’d like to talk about the feature that I’ve spent the most time working on, which is Face in View.  All of us have been in a lot of online meetings since the whole pandemic started.  And people often want you to turn your video on.  And as a blind user, I’m always a little nervous, to say the least, to turn on my video because I don’t know if it’s happened to most of you, but it certainly has to me.  I’ll turn it on, and someone will say, “Oh, that’s great.

I’m really enjoying seeing the top of your head.”  Or “I really have an excellent view of your chest.”  Or “Your head’s turned all the way to the right,” or “Your lights are off.”  That one has gotten me several times.

So with Face in View, the idea is going to be that, if you’re starting a Teams meeting or a Zoom meeting or Google Meet, one of those that uses your camera, before you actually join with your camera, you launch this application.  And it tells you if you’re looking directly at the camera, or you’re tilted up or down, left or right, those sorts of things.  And what it does is it gives you directions on how to move yourself.  So we didn’t just say you’re to the right or to the left.  We really focused on saying, here’s how you get into sort of a normal view for the camera.

So in other words, if I lean too far to the right, it doesn’t say you’re right.  It says, you need to move left.  Once you’ve positioned yourself in the frame, you turn off Face in View, and then you join your meeting.  We don’t have it as something that runs while the meeting is on because your camera’s in use by the meeting.  So we couldn’t do that at this point.  It also will tell you, as I said, the light levels.  There’s ways to request that.  So if you’ve forgotten what the light level is, you can launch the Face in View app and press L, and it’ll tell you what the light level is.  You can also get a Picture Smart description of you and your background.  That’s a bit of a work in progress, but it’s – at least what I’ve found it the most useful for is it tells me what T-shirt I’m wearing.  So that can often be useful.

And then we also have detailed percentages of where you are on the screen.  And so to be in the exact center of the screen, you try to position yourself right where it says 50% horizontally and vertically.  And this is very much a work in progress.  We definitely need your feedback on this, and let us know how it’s working for you.  So that’s the feature that I’m excited about.  I know there are others.

GLEN:  I want to say, I thought you did a really good job filling in for me on FSCast.  No, I was not kidnapped, for those who wrote and said, “What’s the ransom?  We won’t pay it, but we’re just curious what it is.”  But you did a really good job of demonstrating this on the most recent FSCast.  So if you’ve not heard that, that’s a good thing to go back and listen to FSCast 234.

MATT ATER:  I personally, Brett, thought that it was awesome.  This is Matt.

BRETT LEWIS:  Oh, thank you.

MATT:  And good job, by the way.  And you didn’t announce who you were when you started talking here.  So for those of you who’ve not heard Brett on one of these or in the podcast, this is Brett talking now, and go back and listen to the latest FSCast because it was great.

BRETT:  I just assumed everybody knew me and recognized my voice, but thanks for the introduction.

RYAN:  They will now, for sure.

BRETT:  They will.

GLEN:  And I want to talk about something that in some ways is a niche area.  But if you need this, and it doesn’t work perfectly, you’re in big trouble.  And I speak of JAWS reviewing MathML and allowing you to move through math or chemistry or other scientific notation that is coded in a particular way that we’ve represented for years using the JAWS Math Viewer.  But we’re not mathematicians.  And so although it worked well in most situations, there were some it didn’t work well in.

Meanwhile, Neil Soiffer, who was the person who was behind MathType years ago, he created something called MathCAT.  And MathCAT is an open source way of reading math and other notations in a really predictable and much more complete fashion because, guess what, Neil’s a mathematician.  And so we have integrated as an optional feature initially, and ultimately to become the default, MathCAT, the new, really the standard, that’s becoming the standard, for how to read math with a screen reader.  The experience is largely the same.  You’ll hear some things read a little bit differently.  But a lot of people think it’s different; but, yes, it may be better.  So that’s another thing that you can try out and offer feedback in the public beta, releasing a couple of days after Labor Day.

RYAN:  Those were some quick overview.  I think those were kind of some of the highlights.  There’s a lot of other stuff.  For ZoomText I do want to mention – we don’t want to leave ZoomText out ever.  But there’s been a lot of work under the hood of ZoomText around the magnification engine, which is basically the guts of ZoomText, to try to help it be faster to respond.  It will load quicker now, take up less resources on the machine.  There are some other enhancements with cursors that have been done.  So a lot of work still going into ZoomText, as well.  So keep on the lookout next week for the public betas.  And with that said, are we ready to take questions?

RACHEL:  Yes.  Let’s go ahead and take a question from our Zoom crowd.  We already have hands up.  I’m going to ask Steve now to unmute.  Hi, Steve.

STEVE:  How are you doing?  Can you hear me okay now?

RACHEL:  Yes, you sound great.

RYAN:  Yes, hello.

STEVE:  Couple of comments.  First, as you’ve been complimenting, Glen, particularly complimenting Brett, I would agree.  I listened to the podcast already.  I thought you did a good job filling in, Brett.

BRETT:  Oh, thank you.

STEVE:  I’d also like to compliment Elizabeth and Rachel because I have listened to the last two webinars, one on JAWS and Windows 11, and one on Google Doc features.  And I have to confess that I hadn’t listened to one for probably five years.  And you’ve come a long way.  And they were superb webinars.  And I would say to anyone listening that, if you have not tuned into one of Liz and Rachel’s webinars in the last X number of years, I would recommend it highly.

RYAN:  Oh, thank you.  That’s great feedback.

STEVE:  Yeah.  No, I’m sincere.  And as Glen, I think, knows, I used to do this for a living.  Fifteen years ago I stopped.  But so I do have some appreciation for the work that goes into it.

I have maybe an esoteric one that nobody else may be able to reproduce.  And that’s fine, if this is the case.  This has to do with Outlook and JAWS.  As you all know, INSERT+PAGE DOWN is the command to read the status line in JAWS.  Normally in Outlook, if you’re in a mailbox, as long as it’s set to the IMAP view, assuming that you are using IMAP, if you press that key shortcut combination, INSERT+PAGE DOWN, Outlook should, at least it certainly has always done for me for 20 years, should tell you how many messages are in view, whatever mailbox you happen to be in.  If I have a reason to change an option in Outlook by pressing ALT+F, followed by T, and then choosing an option to change, when I return to the mailbox that I was in, when I press INSERT+PAGE DOWN, I no longer am told the number of messages in view.  All JAWS says is “people.”  And it’ll happen even if you just press ALT+F and nothing further to open any item on that menu.

GLEN:  Well, you’ll be happy or sad to know that this is not a new issue, but we thought we solved it.  It has been – and yeah, but we thought we solved it like a year ago so don’t get so excited.

STEVE:  Should have told you, Glen.  Sorry about that.

GLEN:  But you bring something new to the table, and that is that you seem to come up with a couple of scenarios to make it happen at will.  Because I’ve seen this problem in the past; and then, you know, it goes away.  And I feel others have had that same experience.  So maybe armed with this added detail, we can get further towards the bottom of it.

STEVE:  And the only way then, and you may have already discovered this, to return the view to the way it used to be, is to close Outlook and open it again.

GLEN:  Yeah, which is not what should happen.

STEVE:  Yeah.

GLEN:  We will look into this.  And if we come up with a solution, it likely will be in scripts.  And so we may be able to sneak something to you to see if it solves the problem for you.

STEVE:  Happy to help in any way I can.

RYAN:  Cool.

STEVE:  Thanks a lot, guys.

RYAN:  Thank you, Steve.  Appreciate it.  Right, who’s next?

RACHEL:  All right.  We have our next questioner on the stage in Clubhouse.  And thank you, Steve, for your kind words about the training.

CALLER:  Can you hear me now?

GLEN:  We can.

CALLER:  Excellent.  Yeah, I’m excited about the braille feature.  And I have two questions.  We know there are some braille display that has two or three lines, like the Orbit 3x40 and 5x20s.  Is it only just left and right, or it can be first line, second line?

GLEN:  It in theory can be first line, second line; but we don’t have that enabled at this point.  It certainly could happen as more multiline braille displays come to the market.  It’s certainly something that we’re thinking about and plan to support.  And it fundamentally is the same underlying technology with a few other wrinkles.

CALLER:  Regarding typing, can you choose which window to type?  Like, if you have left and right, can you type in the left and then type something on the right and read the response?

GLEN:  One of the details that we sort of glazed over in describing this is there really can only be one active application at a time.  So if you want to read a Word document on one side, and you’re entering email on the other, the Word document basically gets, you know, grabbed as a single block and gets put into a buffer.  So you can really only interact with the foreground application.  The other things are more for reference or for helping you.  And sometimes both pieces of the information are info from the foreground application.  So for instance, if you’re doing a slideshow in PowerPoint, one of the things we’ve tried is half of the display is showing you the notes for a particular slide, and the other half of the display is showing you the actual slide contents.

CALLER:  I’m excited to try it.

GLEN:  Excellent.  Some of this is going to become clearer as we begin to document this more, and undoubtedly we’ll do a webinar or two over time.  Easy for me to say, since I won’t be doing them.  But we’ll gradually expose more of these details.  With great power comes some level of complexity, the more things you want to do.  And so as we describe it in greater detail, I think it’ll become clearer.

RYAN:  Sounds good.

RACHEL:  How about Paul’s iPhone?

PAUL:  Okay.  I’ve got two questions for you.  First of all, a while back, you guys in training did an episode on Clubhouse on Sharky about collections.  And that didn’t get recorded.  And I’d be interested in getting another, a re-recording of that, if you guys can actually do that again, because it’s something I tried and couldn’t get to work.  And so I’d like to work on that a little bit at some point.  The other question I have is I’m starting to train a student for the first time that can only work with one hand, basically.  She can work with her right hand, but not her left.

And I was trying some things with JAWS today.  I was trying to get sticky keys to work in the laptop mode.  Well, the documentation said it works in the laptop mode, but it didn’t.  It only worked with the INSERT key.  It didn’t work with the CAPS LOCK key.  And I also tried to change the key to the SCROLL LOCK.  It didn’t work there either.

GLEN:  It’s probably worth turning off unified keyboard processing and see if this improves.  You go into Settings Center, search for – change the default file with CTRL+SHIFT+D.

PAUL:  Sure, okay.

GLEN:  And then search for “unified” and just uncheck it for long enough, at least, to test this.

PAUL:  So I’ll let you know.  I mean, I’ll send you an email.  Ggordon?

GLEN:  Yeah, at...

PAUL:  Vispero.com.

GLEN:  Yeah.  There is hope for this.  I just don’t know what exactly that hope is.

PAUL:  Okay.  I’ll give it a try, and I’ll let you know.

GLEN:  Sounds good.

BRETT:  Glen, I do think that we have a bug that’s related to this, now that we’re talking about it.  I’ll check.

GLEN:  That’s interesting.  So you think in terms of the sticky JAWS key?

BRETT LEWIS:  The phrase “sticky keys” and something to do with INSERT and also related to unified keyboard processing.

GLEN:  Ah, okay.  So I might’ve been on the right path.

BRETT:  Yeah.  So I’m interested.  I’ll look it up and send you the bug.

MATT:  Paul mentioned something that I’ve never been able to find the setting for, and maybe I’m just forgetting where it is.  Where do you change to set the scroll lock, or to something else?  I know where you can switch between desktop and laptop layout, but where do you actually change which key you want to use?

RYAN:  Settings Center, and go to default.  And in the search box, if you type in the word INSERT and DOWN ARROW, there’ll be a – one of them says INSERT key.  And then if you F6 to go over to where all, if you press F6 to move to where all the controls are for that group and tab around, there’s a radio button that will let you change what the insert key is.  SCROLL LOCK, CAPS LOCK, for example.

MATT:  All right, cool.  Thank you.

RACHEL:  All right.  Let’s ask David to unmute.

DAVID KINGSBURY:  David Kingsbury you were asking for?  Me?

RACHEL:  Yes.  That’s who I’m asking for.

RYAN:  Hi, David.

DAVID:  Okay.  Thank you.  Hey, hello.  So I have a comment and a question.  The comment first is I listened to the FSCast yesterday, and I thought the work you have been doing on the Face View is great, and I’m really looking forward to using that.  The fact that you really thought about how to intuitively tell people, here’s what you do, move your head left, right, this, that, or the other, I don’t think that should be underestimated because, you know, I’ve had a number of, like, scanning apps on my iPhone where you’re trying to position your piece of paper, and you can’t understand what it’s saying.  So the fact that you actually thought about that type of stuff and are giving sort of some common sense ideas is really great.  So I’m looking forward to using that in Zoom meetings very much when it comes out.

My question relates to Google Slides.  I have started playing around with Google Slides.  And when I started playing around with it, I was rather amazed to find out that you can create slides and all of this stuff.  But when it comes time to give a presentation, you know, in Slideshow View or whatever they call it, you can only read the title.  You can’t read the extra content, which is a little bit like saying, here’s how you create a Word document.  Only little problem here is, well, once you create it, you can’t read the thing.  So I’m wondering if you have discovered a way to actually accessibly give a presentation with Google Slides.  And if you haven’t, are you in contact with Google Accessibility to repair this sort of like huge accessibility problem?

BRETT:  I’ve seen some presentations that do show the content in the virtual buffer when you’re actually doing the slideshow.  And so I wonder what the difference was in your case.  Because I know, Matt, a while back you asked me about it, as well.  And it was difficult to read all the content, but you could see it in the virtual buffer.  It was just – had extra text and everything else appended to it.  So it was not a good experience, regardless.

DAVID:  And again, the issue with me is, you know, when you’re doing a presentation in front of a bunch of people, it has to be seamless because, you know, you don’t want to embarrass yourself and have to tab around and do all this crazy stuff.  And of course in PowerPoint you can do it quite easily.

BRETT:  We do work with Google pretty extensively on things.  And it’s just been a question of where things are in their priority list, as well.  We will meet with them next week, as a matter of fact.  And so I will talk to them about that, as well.

RACHEL:  Right.  And as we move closer to our training, we’re going to be in conversation with them to work out any kinks that we run into.  But we haven’t done extensive testing on the presentation part yet, David.  We’ve been working on creation.  So good to know, and thank you for bringing it up.  We will get to that.

DAVID:  Yeah.  I mean, I know you can read the content in various different ways.  But then when it gets to actually presenting it to real live people, a real live audience, there is a – seems to be a big issue there.  So thank you.

RACHEL:  Good to know.

RYAN:  That’s good timing on the question.

LIZ WHITAKER:  And this is Liz.  I just wanted to add, too, that in addition to, you know, working with this feature, you know, presentation in Slides, we’re also going to be presenting tips on different ways you could give a presentation if you had to do that.

DAVID:  Okay, thank you.

RACHEL:  I am going to ask Mr. Jeff Bishop to unmute.

RYAN:  Hi, Jeff.

JEFF BISHOP:  Good evening, everybody.  I have a bit of a technical question, and I’m happy if we need to take this offline.  But I just was wondering if you might have a quick solution to this.  I have come up with a workaround due to some security issues that we have at work in installing production versions of JAWS due to an administration by request feature that our university has deployed across the enterprise.  And I’m doing that through the use of the slash type silence command line switch so that no UI is present.  And I’m just wondering, it obviously then doesn’t tell you when it completes.  So you don’t know when to necessarily reboot the machine.  So I’m just wondering if, except for just, you know, outputting to a log file, if you have any other suggestions for knowing when that completes.

GLEN:  So is this an issue, without getting too far into the weeds, where the upgrade is running as a different user behind the scenes?

JEFF:  Right, and you can’t see the screen.

GLEN:  And no AT can see the screen in its default configuration.

JEFF:  Right, no AT can see the screen.  No.  No, no, no.  So you don’t know when to do, you know, check the box or, you know, TAB and press SPACEBAR for install or any of that stuff.  So I’m just trying to come up with a creative solution.  And it works.  The only problem is you just have to wait for a really long time before you, you know, reboot the system.

GLEN:  I guess I hadn’t intuited that when you use /silent, even if a reboot is needed, it doesn’t reboot.

JEFF:  No, it does not.  You never know that it’s done.

MATT:  Actually, Glen, I think if you use the INI file, you can specify a reboot.

JEFF:  Oh, really?

MATT:  So if you use the additionalsettings.ini, you should be able to force a reboot.

JEFF:  Okay.  Well, maybe we should take that offline then.

MATT:  Yeah, let’s take it offline.

JEFF:  All right.  Thank you for your time.

RACHEL:  Thank you, Jeff.  I’m going to ask Marsha to unmute.

MARSHA KATONA:  I work for the Library for the Blind in Michigan.  So I’m always encouraging people to – this is the best screen reader.  I was wondering if you would consider doing a seminar on, you know, all your training, how to access it.  I wondered if you could do a training on Zoom, also, if you thought about doing that, because it seems to have some new features.

RACHEL:  Absolutely, it does.  And we have looked at updating the training that we have existing on Zoom because they’ve added a lot.

MARSHA:  For example, when my name, when I got on Zoom, I don’t know, sometimes I just do things hook by crook.  But like it says “Marsha, Marsha, Marsha.”  And I just want it to say Marsha Katona.  You know, when you see my name, isn’t there a bunch of Marshas there?

RACHEL:  There is.  It’s when you register for the event, that edit field where you put your name.  It’s not reading it to you, but your name’s already there.  And then if you enter it again, the next time you go back to register for the next session, your name’s there twice.  And so you can keep adding Marshas to that as long as you want.  And I’ve seen some pretty long strings, but you can also go...

MARSHA:  I want to get rid of that.

RACHEL:  ...ALT+U into the participants window.  And if you UP and DOWN ARROW to your name, you should be able to tab twice once your name is in focus.  And there’s a More button.  And you should have the ability to rename yourself.  So you can just rename in that edit field.  It’ll pop up a little dialogue.  Type the name you’d like to see on the list and then tab to the change button.

MARSHA:  Okay.  And that’s ALT+U?

RACHEL:  Mm-hmm, ALT+U for participants.

MARSHA:  Now I’m going to go somewhere where you probably don’t want me to go.  But we have the new Ruby at our library.  We love it.  We would love a handheld Ruby, handheld that throws in our purse, because it can take a picture and also have OCR.  Because then this new Ruby, you can’t throw it in your purse and take it with you.

GLEN:  It’s all related to the size of your purse.

MARSHA:  Well, yeah, I’d have to carry a suitcase with me.  We just – and I’m going to tell you right now, I could have sold hundreds of these Rubies with OCR with not so big of a screen.

RYAN:  Yeah, it’s a good question, Marsha.  I know our product engineering team is always looking for where to add OCR and sort of what direction to go with the different handhelds.  So that’s something we can pass along to them and tell them there’s definitely interest in that.  And so that’s a good idea.

MATT:  So I think there’s actually a Ruby that does OCR that’s smaller.  But we also have models from EDS and models from Optelec.  So we just have to talk with your library.  So send a message to training, and we can get you the model that’s smaller that has OCR.  You probably have the Ruby 10, which is more like a laptop.

MARSHA:  We do have the Ruby 10.  And then I personally own a handheld Ruby, and I love it.  And I just wish it could talk.  But I love your products.  Keep up the good work.  And thank you for all these training sessions that you offer.

LIZ:  And also, Marsha, in regards to your question about JAWS training, we do have some training on using FSReader and the JAWS basic training.  So if you’ll send an email to training@vispero.com, we will send you all those links.

RACHEL:  All right.  Night Ninja.

NIGHT NINJA:  So a couple of versions ago, I guess, there was a feature which was launched wherein they said that it may be possible to update the authorization, even without the administrative privileges.  I think the UAC still kicks in when one wants to update the authorization.

GLEN:  My understanding is that starting with 2023, you do not require administrative rights to update your authorization.  And we actually tried to make that change to allow authorization to be updated in the background without having someone to need to elevate.

NIGHT NINJA:  All right.  I’ll see if this comes up again because we’ve got a number of other machines where the authorization needs to be updated.  So just in case it comes up again, I’ll get back.

RYAN:  Yeah.  Please let us know if it does ask for admin rights.

NIGHT NINJA:  Thank you so much.

GLEN:  Support@vispero.com, if all else fails.

RACHEL:  They are a great team.

RYAN:  Absolutely.

RACHEL:  I’m going to ask Ibrahim to unmute.

IBRAHIM:  Good evening.  So I just had a quick question.  Two actually.  The first one I’m wondering in JAWS or Windows, or maybe both of them, if there’s any something similar to the text replacement in iOS where you can assign an email address or some other repetitive text.

RYAN:  Ah, yes.  So let me make sure I understand.  So you would have a string that might say, “Thank you,” and you would assign it to “th” and space, and then it would, every time you type that, it would put in “Thank you” or something else.

IBRAHIM:  Yes, correct.

RYAN:  Yeah.  That actually is one, I don’t know where it is on our roadmap, but I know we’ve been discussing it because I actually use that in iOS myself and like it.  So it definitely is something we will be looking at.  I just can’t say exactly when.

GLEN:  There is a great program for Windows called AutoHotKey.  Do you know it?

IBRAHIM:  I have not heard of it.

GLEN:  I would look it up.  It does the kind of thing that you seem to be asking about, and we actually had some recent problems with it and fixed our new unified keyboard processing to work well with it.  So it may not do exactly what you want, but it’s a pretty powerful keyboard macro tool that a lot of people use, and it’s been around for years.

IBRAHIM:  And it’s called AutoKey, you said?

GLEN:  AutoHotKey.

IBRAHIM:  AutoHotKey.

GLEN:  Yes, A-U-T-O and then HotKey.  I think it may also be just one word.

IBRAHIM:  Okay.  I will check that out.  My other quick question was wondering if there’s any training information of extracting zipped PDFs and unzipping them.

RYAN:  Walk us through the scenario that you run into where that’s an issue.

IBRAHIM:  I go to download, you know, a free eBook or free menu from the web, and it says it’s in PDF, and it’s a zip file, and it wants me to unzip it once I download it.  Is any training on that?

RACHEL:  We don’t have any training just specifically on that task, but if you send an email to training@vispero.com, we can work with you to get some step-by-step instructions to work through that task.

IBRAHIM:  Okay, cool.  Thanks.

RACHEL:  Yeah, no problem.  I’ve invited Kamal to the stage in Clubhouse.

KAMAL:  I have a question, and it’s probably very much case-specific.  I’m a pretty experienced JAWS user, and I have tinkered in the past a little bit with scripting and so on, but not so much lately.  The question, the issue I’m running into at work, we’re using an electronic medical record system.  It’s a web application.  It’s basically PHP, MySQL, nothing too complicated.  However, it was created back in 2006, and they kept band-aiding it, adding great features to it.

However, it got to the point right now where the accessibility of the program is absolutely terrible.  I have 11 staff that I supervise, and they’re all clinicians and they have to review their files.  It came to the point right now where I have to use a person to assist me with that task.  The question I have, is there such a thing as web scripting?  And the reason I’m asking, because the company produces the program, they’re really not interested.  We’ve been pushing them, pushing them to work on accessibility and usability, and they’re being very slow to respond.  And in fact they tried to fix things, and they broke it more than they fixed it.

RYAN:  Well, I think you’re on the right track, and that the best way to resolve this really needs to be the application itself needs to be made more accessible.  But when that’s not an option or not a timely option because you still have to get your work done every day, that’s where scripting is a great stand-in solution.  And so you can absolutely write JAWS scripts that interact with web content.  It’s something, it’s becoming more and more common because more and more applications are built in web frameworks and are running in web browsers.  So it’s something that’s done quite often.

There are specific techniques and code that can do that.  One of our sister companies, TPGi, who’s our accessibility consulting group, they have a team that does a lot of JAWS scripting for different companies.  And so they write a lot of scripts for web applications.  So it absolutely could be done.

MATT:  If you email the training department, they can get you over to me.  This is Matt.

KAMAL:  Great.  Thanks, Matt.

RYAN:  Yeah.

MATT:  And we’ll get you to the right team.

KAMAL:  Awesome.  Thank you so much for that.

MATT:  Yeah.  So just training@vispero.com.  We’ll get you set up.  Just put “scripting” in the title.

KAMAL:  Scripting?  Okay.  Awesome.  Thank you.

GLEN:  And I will jump in here, too.  It’s not a perfect solution, but it solves a different kind of problem.  If the website itself is not easily navigable, there are some cases where actually changing the HTML can be helpful.  And if you’re so inclined as to write an extension for your browser, then you can actually really go to town and change how the page interacts by writing a web extension that can change the content on the page.  That’s kind of, you know, that’s kind of the sledgehammer approach when all else fails.  But I only mention it because I don’t know specifically your circumstances, and it might be something you consider down the road if needed.

KAMAL:  Well, Glen, it’s really interesting that you mention that.  And I don’t know if it kind of explains what’s happened here.  Up to the point where before Internet Explorer was decommissioned, Internet Explorer worked a lot better.  I mean, to the point that, just to give you a very simple example, where you have a typical editor that you would see on a web page where you’re going in, you’re choosing your case note type, you’re choosing the worker, you’re choosing the date, et cetera, et cetera.  And then you go down to a box to enter a case note.  That box is not available to me.  Like, I can’t even get to it.  Where previously in Internet Explorer it would have worked.

GLEN:  You should ask them about aria-hidden, and if they’ve put it somewhere on the page.  Because what aria-hidden does is take everything below a certain level on the page and says, “A screen reader shouldn’t see this.”

KAMAL:  Appreciate it.  Thank you, Glen.  Thanks, everyone.

RYAN:  Thank you.

RACHEL:  All right.  I’m going to ask John Vickers to unmute.

JOHN VICKERS:  Thank you.  Good evening, everybody.  I’m a vocational rehab counselor here in Texas.  One thing that we use is Microsoft Teams to communicate with colleagues and those types of things.  And there are several buttons in Microsoft Teams like where you can tab over, and then you get to these buttons like “Hi, participants,” or “Chat,” or those types of things.  Can JAWS scripting – is there a way to write a script where you wouldn’t have to do that, where you could just press a keystroke?  Because there are some features in Teams that don’t have a built-in hotkey.

MATT:  This is Matt.  I thought a while back we added “Select a button” in Teams.  In Outlook, I think it’s like INSERT+F8 or something.

RYAN:  It’s INSERT+F8 in Outlook.

MATT:  Yeah.  It’s worth trying in Teams.

RACHEL:  Lou made a comment in our chat just saying that they use INSERT+F8 frequently in Teams.

RYAN:  Oh, good.  Excellent.

RACHEL:  Thank you, John.  I am going to ask 1818 to unmute this phone number.

DAWN:  I’m new to JAWS, and I’m taking classes.  However, we take them through Zoom, but my instructor and any other Zooms I do, nobody’s able to hear my computer.

GLEN:  Are you using a separate headset, or are you using the microphone speakers and built-in microphone?

DAWN:  Just the built-in stuff, nothing else.

GLEN:  This is when you’re sharing your screen; correct?  I just want to make sure I’ve gotten it right.

DAWN:  No, not necessarily.  Just when we’re on Zoom and we’re doing our class is all.  So she can hear JAWS.

GLEN:  So apps like Zoom try to do a really good job of letting other people hear you and not hear stuff in the background.  And you can make that different by turning on, what is it called?  The thing for musicians.  It’s “Original Sound for Musicians.”  If you turn that on, there may be some other side effects that you don’t like, but then your microphone will probably pick up JAWS.

DAWN:  I don’t know how to do that. 

GLEN:  I don’t know that we can solve that here because there are a couple of things.  I think you need to enable it as a setting in Zoom, and then you can turn it on in a particular meeting.

RACHEL:  I would definitely follow up with an email to our training department because maybe we could work through it with you in a longer email thread.

DAWN:  And what’s your email?

RACHEL:  Training@vispero.com.  That’s V-I-S-P-E-R-O.

DAWN:  Okay, I’ll do that.  Thank you so much for your help.

RACHEL:  Yeah, thank you.

RYAN:  Thank you, Dawn.

RACHEL:  Now we’ve reached the end of our questioners.

RYAN:  Well, Rachel, Liz, thank you all for hosting, doing all the technical work.  You all have a really hard job keeping everything going, so appreciate your time.

RACHEL:  Yeah.  We had a great turnout.  Sorry if it was a little bumpy at parts.  I still blame that Mute All.

GLEN:  And for the replay audience, there were no bumps.

MATT:  No Mute All.

RACHEL:  Nope.

RYAN:  It was very smooth.

GLEN:  Yes, see what you miss by not being here at the time.  So thank you very much.

RYAN:  Thank you, everyone.

GLEN:  We will be back in a couple of months, in three months, I guess.

RYAN:  Exactly.  All right, thank you.  Bye-bye.

MATT:  Bye, guys.

GLEN:  Good night.


Transcript by elaine@edigitaltranscription.com




edigitaltranscription.com  •  09/09/2023  •  edigitaltranscription.com