Freedom Scientific News
We at Freedom Scientific were saddened to hear of the recent passing of Dr. Abraham Nemeth, the inventor of the Nemeth Code for Braille mathematics, at age 94. Although Dr. Nemeth was truly a giant in the field, he was so down-to-earth that he always objected to that characterization.
The New York Times posted an obituary for Dr. Nemeth that gives a good overview of his life and contributions. We join with the rest of the world to celebrate his life as we mourn his passing.
On October 15, the third public beta for JAWS® 15 was released (the first public beta was released in early September, the second on October 1). JAWS 15 adds support for new Touch Screens with Windows®, plus support for Windows 8.1. Touch Screen support in JAWS 15 includes both touch and gestures on Windows 8.
Other new features include the ability to navigate DAISY books in JAWS; a new setting for controlling how Web page links are activated; updated Skype support; many enhancements for Braille use; support for third-party Braille displays; and support for Vocalizer™ Expressive speech synthesizers from Nuance®. Vocalizer Expressive offers many benefits including pitch control, so you can more easily identify upper case characters, improved performance, especially in the areas of latency and speech quality, as well as support for a wide variety of languages.
Check the What’s New in JAWS 15 Public Beta for complete information including download link.
Come to one of our upcoming Vision Awareness Days to learn about vision, visual impairments, and tools and equipment that can help. Freedom Scientific sponsors Vision Awareness Days in locations all over North America for those with vision loss, instructors and trainers, parents and families of those with vision loss, seniors and senior center staff, and support groups. Each session includes information about the benefits of video magnifiers, screen magnification software, and Braille displays with pocket devices, all products that read your computer screen or read your books, bills, and mail - and more!
Upcoming sessions in October are available in:
- Nashville, TN
- Buffalo, NY
- Watertown, MA
- Leesburg, FL
Sign up at the Vision Awareness Seminar Web page.
Shinano Kenshi Company, the maker of the PLEXTALK® Pocket, announced a new version of the PLEXTALK Pocket PTP 1 firmware in July. That new firmware, version 6, is now shipping in new PLEXTALK Pocket PTP1 units. Enhancements in the new build include:
- Higher quality text-to-speech voice
- Adjustment of speech pauses between sentences for improved reading experience
- Support of the EPUB 2 format
- Added support for recording to USB media
- Added support for launching Web radio and podcast streaming content on USB media
- Added DAISY3 format for both the Book Creation and import option
- DAISY3 format, Webcast, and podcast Compatibility updates
- Improved Plex Voice quality for better sounding speech at high and low reading rates
PLEXTALK Pocket PTP1 owners who wish to download and install the new firmware can find download instructions and download files at the PLEXTALK Pocket Support Web page.
Cost-Effective Training - Bring Our Expert Trainers to Your Location
If you have four or more people interested in taking one of our workshops, it is often more cost-effective to have one trainer travel to your location than having people travel to our headquarters in Saint Petersburg, Florida. At your location, simply provide a training lab with computers. If you do not have enough software licenses (JAWS, MAGic®, OpenBook®, etc.) for all of your associates, our trainers will bring temporary authorization to allow our software to run on your computers for the duration of the training.
The cost begins at $5,500 for a two-day workshop for up to 12 attendees, which includes all instructor expenses and training materials on CD. Three-day workshops at your location are $8,000, and four-day workshops at your location are $10,500. Call the Training Department at extension 1016 or 4001 or e-mail us to discuss available dates and options, including having the course materials customized for your particular needs.
JAWS 15 and Touch Screen Webinar Training - Free
JAWS 15 will enable you to use the touch screen on many of today's popular Windows 8 tablets, such as the Surface™ Pro from Microsoft®, to navigate and access information. To use a touch screen, you will use one or more fingers to perform various gestures right on the surface of the device's screen to control JAWS and the tablet. The Training Department has a free Webinar on October 30 that covers the new JAWS Touch Cursor in JAWS 15 on tablet computers. Be sure to visit our free Webinars page to register for this and other exciting new Webinars. If you cannot join the training sessions live, simply registering for them ensures you will receive an e-mail after each one with links to the archived recording, MP3 file, and HTML text documentation for each one.
Tips from the Training Department - Move by Region on Web Pages
Navigation Quick Keys in JAWS and MAGic make it easier to move to different elements on Web pages. Many Web page authors use ARIA and HTML5 to mark up Web pages with regions to make it easier to navigate the broad structure of their sites. Moving by region can give you a quick way to navigate to the major parts of a Web page. Beginning with JAWS 15, press the letter R to move from one region on a page to another. Press SHIFT+R to move backward by region. You may also bring up a list of regions for the current page by pressing INSERT+CTRL+R. (Note that for JAWS 14 or earlier, use SEMICOLON instead.)
August's FSCast presents an interview with Eric Damery, Product Manager for JAWS. Eric talks about the new features in JAWS 15, including support for Windows 8.1, plus the schedule for later public beta and final releases. Eric also discusses updates to JAWS 14.
In September's FSCast, we speak with John Blake, who became Freedom Scientific's President and CEO in June. John talks about his background, outlines what interested him in the Freedom Scientific role, and offers some candid thoughts on the future of the company.
FSCast is a regular feature provided by Freedom Scientific; we invite you to subscribe today. You can always listen to previous podcasts at our archive site where you can download previous episodes in MP3 format.
Freedom Scientific's Mission
To develop, manufacture, and market technology-based products that provide equal access to information and computing for those with vision impairments or learning disabilities.