Paid Resources Available to Persons Who Are Blind and Visually Impaired for Learning to Use Apple Devices

Paid Resources Available to Persons Who Are Blind andVisually Impaired for Learning to Use Apple Devices

In a recentFred’s Head post, we explored free resources that persons who are blind andvisually impaired could access to learn to use Apple products. Along with theseresources, however, other materials exist that differ in scope and format andare available for varying levels of costs. In this post, we will list a numberof books, audio tutorials, and multimedia series that persons who are blind andvisually impaired or those who teach them may purchase and use to learn orteach persons who are blind and visually impaired to use Apple products.


National Braille Press

National Braille Press, NBP, offers several books discussingApple products including iPhones, Macs, the Apple TV, and different categoriesof apps.

Learning the Mac

Janet Ingber, who has written other books about using Macswhich NBP has published, recently authored a new book called Everything You Need to Know to Use the Macwith El Capitan and VoiceOver (MAC-CAPITAN). Here is NBP’s briefdescription of this book:

This guide on Apple Macintosh computersrunning the El Capitan Operating System is intended for all blind users -whether you have already been using Windows, currently have a Mac and want touse it more effectively, or are considering purchasing a Mac. It explains howto use VoiceOver (Apple’s onboard screen reader), learn the keyboard layout,choose preferences, navigate text, surf the Web, and use many of the standardapplications that come with the Mac, such as Apple Mail, Safari (Apple’s webbrowser), iTunes, and TextEdit. It covers different models of MacBook and iMac.

This book is available in multiple formatsincluding Braille, electronic Braille, Word, ASCII, and DAISY. Purchase this comprehensivebook about the Mac at this link.

Getting Started with the iPhone andiOS 9

Anna Dresner has redesigned this book which first wasoffered for previous versions of the iOS operating system. It covers changes iniOS 9 while still including information for people with little or no iOSknowledge. Here is NBP’s description of this book:

This new edition of our soup-to-nutstutorial for beginners contains everything you need to know to get startedusing the iPhone and the iOS 9 operating system. If you like step-by-steptutorials, you’ll appreciate the detailed way in which you’re guided throughsetting up your phone, loading and backing up music, contacts, etc., placingcalls, entering text, using a Bluetooth keyboard and braille display, and more.If you prefer to look up the commands you need, you’ll love the first appendix,which lists every gesture and button on the phone in an organized manner so youcan find the one you want.

Other appendices include troubleshooting tips and a list of resources to helpyou learn more. Most of the book is relevant for iPod Touch users, and sincethe layout of many iPhone 6 Plus screens resembles that of corresponding iPadscreens, iPad users should find this edition useful as well.

The book is available in multiple formats and can bepurchased at the followinglink.

iOS 9 Without the Eye

Jonathan Mosen has written this book to describe the newfeatures of iOS 9 as they affect VoiceOver users. The main difference betweenAnna Dresner’s book and Jonathan Mosen’s book is that Dresner starts fromscratch, assuming you have no particular iOS knowledge while Mosen’s book seeksto explain in great detail the newest features of the latest iOS versionwithout necessarily teaching you iOS basics. NBP describes Mosen’s book in this way:

The incomparable Jonathan Mosen takes youthrough the latest enhancements to Apple’s iDevices – for the iPhone, iPodTouch, and iPad – with iOS 9, showing it to be a more powerful, more capable,and more open system than ever before. Learn all about its newest feature, 3DTouch, as well as peek and pop, Apple Music (3 months of free access to 30million songs!), what’s new with Siri (new voices and a flight statusdetector), built-in Apple News, a re-vamped Notes, Apple Map transitdirections, improved battery life options, Find My Friends, iCloud Drive, HomeKit, and so much more!

You also may purchase iOS 9 Without the Eye directly fromJonathan Mosen’s website, Mosen Consulting, which offers Jonathan’s blog andfeatures all of his publications and other services which he provides. Buy iOS9 Without the Eye from NBP at http://www.nbp.org/ic/nbp/IOS9-EYE.html,check out Mosen’s site at http://mosen.org/,and follow Mosen Consulting on Twitter @MosenConsulting.

Remember that the iOS 9 books should be updated and/orrereleased when subsequent versions of iOS software become available. Mosen’sbook iOS 10 Without the Eye, for instance, can be preordered now on the MosenConsulting site and can be downloaded on the day that iOS 10 is available fordownload.

Other NBP Books

The remaining selections offered by National Braille Pressare more specific in their scope, consisting of an iOS 9 Reference Guide, a MacReference Guide, and several books about specific types of apps. These booksabout apps include Anyone Can Play:Accessible Games for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch, Out and About: OurFavorite iOS Travel Apps, and Twenty-TwoUseful Apps for Blind iPhone Users (Second Edition). NBP’s site includes Tablesof Contents for each of these books, all of which can be downloaded at http://www.nbp.org/ic/nbp/publications/apple.html.

Although this list states that it covers all theApple-related books available, further searching of NBP’s site shows twoadditional Apple-related books in the “Computers and Technology Section”. Theseinclude Stream It! Music,Movies, and More with Apple TV and VoiceOver and Get the Picture! Viewing the Worldwith the iPhone Camera. You also may find these books listed in NBP’s Computersand Technology Section of their bookstore. You can follow NBP @braillepresson Twitter, https://www.facebook.com/NationalBraillePresson Facebook, https://www.youtube.com/user/NationalBraillePress?feature=watchon YouTube, https://www.pinterest.com/braillepress/on Pinterest, and https://nationalbraillepress.wordpress.com/which is NBP’s blog.

iOS Access for All

IOS Access for All: Your ComprehensiveGuide to Accessibility for iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch, written byShelly Brisbin, covers more than just VoiceOver; in fact, it covers all of theaccessibility features built into iOS. The site’s description of the book isquite helpful:

iOS Access for All isa comprehensive guide to the accessibility features of Apple’s mobiledevices. From the VoiceOver screen reader, which allows blind users to controlan iPhone or iPad, to support for hearing aids and closed captioning,Apple’s mobile operating system, iOS, includes features that support use of thecompany’s popular iDevices by people with a wide range of physical andcognitive disabilities. iOSAccess for All is the most thorough, hands-on guide toaccessibility features available. Readers will learn how to set upand use an iOS device in an accessible way, and how to get the most from appsprovided by Apple, and available from the App Store. The book also introducesiOS tools, including the Siri voice assistant, that weren’t designed foraccessibility, but that nonetheless enhance the productivity and pleasure ofdisabled users.

Brisbin offers a Table of Contents, a sample chapteravailable for download, and an explanation as to why she wrote this book on thesite that promotes the book. She also has stated that the version for iOS 10should be available in the fall, assuming that version 10 is released asexpected by Apple. If anyone buys the version 9 book after iOS 10 is releasedand before Brisbin’s newest book is released, they will receive the revisedbook for version 10 for free. Read the information about this resource at http://www.iosaccessbook.com/. You mayreceive email updates from this site which also provides social media links.Follow @iosaccessbook on Twitter, https://www.facebook.com/IosAccessForAllon Facebook, and https://plus.google.com/communities/104191387699677276608on Google Plus.

Audio Tutorials


We discussed MacForTheBlind’s available resources in thepost about free resources for people who are blind who wish to learn to useApple products. However, the site also offers audio tutorials for sale. Twopages of audio lessons exist, one for the Mac and one for iOS devices. Theadvantage of this series is that you do not have to go through every file; youmay pick and choose which files most interest you. The Mac page lists 20 files,the first of which is free and contains introductory VoiceOver information. TheiOS page contains 14 files, the first of which is introductory in nature and isfree. Check out the Mac audio tutorials at http://macfortheblind.com/Audio-Tutorial-seriesand the iOS tutorials at http://macfortheblind.com/iOS-Lessons.Follow MacForTheBlind @macfortheblind on Twitter and https://www.facebook.com/macfortheblind/on Facebook. They expect to have a YouTube channel in the future.

Fedora Outlier

Fedora Outlier is a teaching and consulting firm that existsto empower people who are blind and visually impaired to use technology effectivelyat home, in the classroom, or at work to accomplish as much as they can. Fedoraoffers this brief description of their firm:

The nation’s first provider of consulting, teaching and supportfor Apple’s range of accessible technologies (including the Mac, iPhone andiPad), Fedora Outlier, LLC, partners with private consumers, agencies andgovernment organizations to provide better than excellent products and servicesto encourage, equip and empower users to do more with their technology.

Fedora works withagencies and individuals, offering specialized training; they also providecomprehensive training on Apple products with their Mac Master Series, iOS Master Series, and their Apple Watch Master Series.
Each series focuses on that particular Apple product oroperating system and offers “Teaching from the time you take your device out ofits box to mastery.” Each series offers a standard and premium membership;premium memberships offer one-on-one coaching opportunities in addition to theelements present in the standard editions. Each series requires a yearlymembership. When you purchase any yearly membership, you receive weekly classmodules (Mac and iOS Master Series) or monthly class modules (Apple WatchMaster Series) in audio and/or video formats that teach a particular aspect ofthe product or operating system, dedicated forums, quick tips, and the opportunityto ask questions of the coaches of each series. Premium memberships offerdiscounts on other courses or series Fedora offers and opportunities for moreone-on-one interaction with coaches and even the possibility to benefitfinancially for getting people to enroll in a series. Thus, each series walksyou step-by-step through the process of mastering each device or operating systemfrom unpacking the box to setting up your device, learning its basic features,and discovering advanced features. Fedora’s site also lists additional coursesthat will be released soon. You may contact Fedora in several ways foradditional information. Contact them by E-mail or iMessage at: Excellence@FedoraOutlier.com, @fedora_outlieron Twitter, https://www.facebook.com/fedoraoutlierllcon Facebook, https://www.linkedin.com/company/fedora-outlier-llcon LinkedIn, and https://plus.google.com/114511140220970872889/postson Google Plus.

As you can see, the existing resources available forpurchase for persons who are blind or visually impaired who want to learn touse Apple products are quite varied and extremely comprehensive in scope. AsApple changes its products and operating systems, these resources should beupdated to reflect the changes.

Stan Greenwood
A humble human, who is always found working on something or drinking coffee. A perfect introvert who talks barely anything but shares a lot through his blog posts at FredForum.

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