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EBU Access Cast

Jun 20, 2018

Welcome to our second episode of the Ebu Access Cast. Our hosts Mario Percinic and Jakob Rosin prepared a bunch of news from the assistive tech industry, and at the end of the Podcast, you will be able to hear a short demonstration about Google Home.

But first let’s check what news do we have for you this time:


Microsoft launched new version of Windows 10 for all members of their Windows Insiders program, and the version is called Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 17692.

 Except many new improvements for all users, a few accessibility related topics are covered as well. Ease of Access has a new feature for partially sighted users so that all the content can be bigger; Narrator has a new list of keyboard layout, which you can find here:

Besides new keyboard layout Narrator now supports

  • Automatic Dialog Reading: Narrator will now automatically read the contents of a dialog box when brought to the foreground.  The experience is for Narrator to speak the title of the dialog, the focused element within the dialog and the static text, if any, at the top of the dialog. For example, if you try to close a document in Word with unsaved changes, Narrator will speak the title “Microsoft Word,” the focus “Save button” and the static text within the dialog.
  • Narrator Find: You now have the ability to search for text using Narrator’s new Find feature. If the text is found Narrator will move to the found item. Please refer to the accompanying keyboard layout documentation for command mapping.
  • List of Objects: Narrator now has the ability to present a list of links, headings or landmarks present in the application or content. You are also able to filter the results by typing in the list or the text field of the window. Please refer to the accompanying keyboard layout documentation for command mapping.
  • Selection in Scan Mode: Along with being able to select content in Narrator’s scan mode using Shift-selection commands, you can now also select a block of data by first moving to one end of the block and pressing F9, moving to the other end of the block and pressing F10. Once F10 is pressed, the entire contents between the two points will be selected.
  • Stop on Controls in Scan Mode: Scan mode is a feature of Narrator that lets you use just a few keys to move around your screen. Scan mode is already on by default in Edge and you can toggle it on and off by pressing Caps lock + Spacebar. While you’re in scan mode, you can press the Up and Down arrow keys to read different parts of the page. With this update, the press of a Down arrow in Scan Mode will stop on interactive elements, so that they are easier to use. An example of this new behavior is that if you are reading a paragraph with multiple links, Narrator will stop on these links when you press the Down arrow.


New Accessibility Features Coming to iPhone, Mac, Apple TV and Apple Watch

To check out all the accessibility related news for the upcoming Apple OS releases follow the link above.

Jakob gave us a short review about Aira, a new system which helps blind people to navigate around by using a special glasses or a smartphone with the guidance and the assistance from professional agents.

NVDA a very popular free screen reader has a new version for this year called 2018.2, and the list of improvements can be found here.

New version of JAWS was also launched during May and besides many improvements in the May update the biggest one is the support for Firefox 60, also called Firefox Quantum, which is finally working, again, after all of the blind users had a huge problems with Firefox performance at the end of 2017.

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 finally saw the day of its official release.

  WCAG 2.1 was initiated with the goal to improve accessibility guidance for three major groups: users with cognitive or learning disabilities, users with low vision, and users with disabilities on mobile devices. To check out all the features listed visit the link on the W3C website.

Those of you who had enough patience to stay and listen to us until the end can enjoy in the demonstration from Jakob about google home.

As always, you are free to contact us thru multiple channels including our email and Twitter, and we are looking forward to bring you new stuff during the upcoming summer.