Two Webinars: Braille Innovations & What’s new in JAWS 2021 – Wednesday, November 18th Posted on 13th November 2020 Two Webinars in one day! Yes, you’ve read it correctly, we’re so busy and there’s so much happening, that on Wednesday November 18th, we’re going all out and hosting two great sessions in one day. Please read below to find out more, and register for whichever interests you, or better still, attend them both! Webinar Wednesday: Braille Innovations When: 2:00 pm on Wednesday November 18th For blind people around the world, Braille is integral to our lives. We use it numerous times every day, to do all sorts of things, and there’s no doubt that it has been instrumental in linking education to better career prospects. At Sight and Sound Technology, we’re passionate not only about how Braille is used right now, and the technology that works alongside it, but to look at how Braille is evolving, and what might be possible in the future. On this special Webinar Wednesday session, we’re talking about Braille Innovations and how you can find support to know more about Braille and its many codes in the UK and Ireland. Our guests for this session are Dr. Sile O’Modhrain, from the University of Michigan, Dr. Donal Fitzpatrick, from Dublin City University, and Mr. Dave Williams, Chair of the Braillists Foundation. Sile O’Modhrain is an associate professor at the University of Michigan where she holds a joint appointment in the Performing Arts Technology (PAT) program in the School of Music, Theatre and Dance, and in the school of information. Her research focuses on human-computer interaction, especially interfaces incorporating haptic and auditory feedback. For the past eight years, she has been working with Brent Gillespie and Alex Russamanno to design and build a full-page tactile array to support the display of braille and tactile graphics. Sile’s presentation will focus on designing a Full-Page Tactile Display: What we Know and What We Don’t Know Yet. Though no such devices have reached the market, there are a number of manufacturers who are getting close to releasing products. It is safe to say that in the next five years there will be at least one product released. However, we are only now beginning to think about what interacting with content on these displays might involve. In this presentation she will discuss this journey. Donal Fitzpatrick is a lecturer in the School of Computing Dublin City University. His research interests focus on accessible user interfaces for persons with disabilities. His recent work has been in the area of access to mathematics using Unified English Braille. Donal is a life-long Braille reader, and he uses it for both work and pleasure. Donal’s presentation will focus on Braille in his work and personal life, Braille research initiatives including Euromath and Braille Translation and will also discuss the importance of Braille in education. Dave Williams is chair of the Braillists Foundation, a grass-roots community group connecting Braille readers with Braille technology developers and funders. The Braillists Foundation believe Braille has the potential to transform the life of any blind person who has the opportunity to learn it. The Braillists work to Promote the value of Braille as a proven literacy tool that enriches the lives of blind people, support efforts to make affordable Braille and tactile reading technologies available to all blind people irrespective of education and employment status and to provide an open forum for the exchange of ideas about the development of future Braille technology. Dave’s presentation will discuss the work of the Braillists Foundation and their many initiatives including their collaboration with Bristol Braille Technology, their community meetings, forum, podcasts, training and equipment distribution. Please register here to attend this session. Webinar Wednesday Extra: What’s new in JAWS 2021 When: 7:00 pm on Wednesday November 18th We’re always excited at Sight and Sound when a major release of JAWS, Zoomtext and Fusion becomes available. Now that the 2021 version of all three products are released, we are keen to spend some time showing you all that is new in JAWS, the world’s most popular screen reader. Come along to this session and find out about the new voice assistant, Picture Smart enhancements, scanning directly into word documents and much more. Please register here to attend this session.