Get online week – 18th-24th october

AccessAbility Solutions supports Get online week which shows the benefits to users. An interesting article by Kelly Chan from AbilityNet explains the main facts about online life in the UK in 2021. Read on with interest:-

https://abilitynet.org.uk/news-blogs/facts-and-stats-about-digital-exclusion-get-online-week

New suits,new machines, new software & WORKPLACE CONFERENCE

Well, I am rather excited about travelling up to London today to attend the Nasen Awards 2021 dinner at the Waldorf Hotel. I went to this event a few years ago and now I get to take my wife and stay overnight. I am a judge for these awards and this year there was some really interesting and useful entries. Which shows that despite the pandemic there has been a lot of good and worthy use of technology to help special needs pupils. Ones I was impressed with was a local authority system to progress statements in a thorough yet fair way. In assistive technology terms there were some useful hardware and software. I can’t say too much until after the event so maybe watch out for a further article. So my new suit would be the first time ever wearing a dinner jacket.

New machines and new software would refer to the arrival of Windows 11. I looked to see if my machine of 2 years old was compatible and alas it is not. So if I want to use Windows 11 I have to purchase a brand new laptop. Do I hear notes of cynism? A not-so subtle plot to get people to buy more Microsoft machines. I am keen to try out the Accessibility Options on Windows 11 . We have discussed it in a previous post. And I have my colleagues sending me articles on the subject as well. Including an article on how to get around the TPM 2.0 problem. Now the irony is my 2 yr old Dell does have TPM 2.0 but failed it’s Ryzen processor which is a pity. I won’t be taking a risk upgrading this unapproved way. Best to wait and see how it fairs for a few months before committing to spending the cash on a new machine.

Finally, it has been a week of a conference which I have been helping to run. “The Disability Confident in Action – Unlocking potential and building inclusion,” attracted over 200 bookings of which over 70 came. Those who attended both days were treated to a veritable collection of brilliant speakers and fabulous assistive technology products. This BATA run event will publish the recordings in due course and you can then attend virtually as did the attendees again. If you want to make your workplace disability confident this showcase for good practise and provision would be the go-to setting to go to.

Now where did I put those train tickets?

iView health and wellbeing

A new product is being produced by Wyvern Business Systems. The concept is to have a smart watch that collects data about multiple items of information such as blood pressure, oxygen levels and sleep patterns. All useful information for medical professionals as well as the client themselves is provided 24/7 via the Smart Watch. More details are on this website – https://iviewhub.com/gold-signup. Use the contact us button for further details. This is new and about to be launched so it’s in the beta phase.

Useful for students on managing their lifestyle and monitoring their blood pressure. Also, other measurements would be useful for adults who want to monitor their exercise activity on Activities. Body Temperature useful for whether you have a temperature or a fever and therefore you are not well.

AAS will be looking into this further posts in the future. So watch this space!

Starr in the Community

It’s always good to give back to the community. Starr in the Community give opportunities for special school pupils to experience a surprise trip out to the circus. Circuses may not be your thing or you might not like clowns but some kids do so it’s a good thing to give some joy to one child to have this kind of event.

Dictate into Office Apps

As I opened up my Outlook this morning I was presented with this tip and link. It does contain useful information on how to use Dictate (Voice Input) into Word, Outlook, OneNote and PowerPoint, but not Excel.

Enjoy!

Accessibility features in Windows 11

This article that my colleague Dave Goldsborough sent me is very useful to get a glimpse of what’s changing. The biggest change is gone has “Ease of Access” and in comes “ Accessibility”. The aim is to make things easier to find and use. Anyway, read what this article says:-

https://blogs.windows.com/windowsexperience/2021/07/01/whats-coming-in-windows-11-accessibility/

The above article goes into more detail and explains that technical changes will make the experience for say, blind users , more seamless with a wider range of Office applications it will work with. At the moment I have not had the opportunity to trial this out. I think my equipment is a little old for it. But it needs to be tried out before any recommendation. I hope that I will be able to do that one day soon.

Is your machine going to be compatible for Windows 11?

Windows 11 is on the horizon and in order to run this new operating system it needs something called TPM – Trusted Platform Module. This is causing some debate in technical circles. It’s a chip on your motherboard but if Windows 11 doesn’t find it compatible it won’t run. Microsoft have taken off their website the PC Health Check app with no explanation as far as I can see. I did find a version and ran it on an old Surface 3 device and then my 2 yr old laptop. Both failed compatibility! It may be because the app is giving false information or it’s Microsoft trying to convince us to buy compatible machines.

One thing we do know about the new operating system is that it will run Android apps. How well and how effectively we wait to see. A new start menu, and the use of Widgets feature . As far as accessbility features we wait to see. You can sign up for news of when this new operating system is released that is scheduled for the autumn but that could change based on previous release dates changing.

For more details go to:- https://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/windows/windows-11

My Colleague suggested using this little app to see how your computer fares in the compatibility stakes:-

https://github.com/rcmaehl/WhyNotWin11

scroll down the page and “Download latest stable release”.