Help with technology
(This page last updated March 2021)
TAVIP members have a wealth of experience in using all sorts of technology. Many work in IT, with in-depth knowledge of how to access systems used in business and industry. Equally though many simply use technology as a tool for daily living, employment or education.
Whether you wish to acquire keyboard skills, learn how to use a windows-based or Apple Mac computer, smartphone, (Apple or Android) tablet or smart speaker (Alexa or Google Home). The resources listed below take account of whether you need speech output (with or without refreshable braille), magnification or a combination of speech and magnification.
The quickest and simplest way to find an answer to a technical query is to join the TAVIP Email forum, (discussion list) where your question is usually answered within minutes or hours. Click Here to sign up.
On the first Thursday of every month between 7:30-9:00 PM you can call the TAVIP helpline for a live and in-depth advice session hosted by one of our board members over Zoom.
To access the monthly helpline either:
- Click/tap here on a Zoom-compatible device
- Open Zoom on your platform of choice and enter the ID: 2222-239-7064,
- Or telephone: 020 3695 0088, the passcode works with this number.
In general, the following sites, contain a wealth of information on how to access computers, smart phones, smart speakers (Alexa, Google home) and tablets.
AFB AccessWorld Magazine
The American Foundation for the Blind produces this free monthly online magazine which includes news and reviews of products and services relevant to a Visually Impaired audience. Some content is US specific, but there is much that is also of relevance in the UK.
IAAP is a professional membership organisation promoting and supporting the dissemination of skills and techniques in the field of accessibility. Its stated mission is “to define, promote and improve the accessibility profession globally”. To this end it employs networking, education, and certification, offering regular online seminars in various areas of accessibility to individual members and member organisations. IAAP runs a number of forums dedicated to the interchange of accessibility-related information, and has developed a certification programme which includes the following areas:
- Certified Professional in Accessibility Core Competencies
- Web Accessibility Specialist
- Certified Professional in Accessible Built Environments
- Certified Professional in Web Accessibility
A list of certified members is held in the Certified Professional Directory
Additionally IAAP produces a regular newsletter available to members and non-members.
The G3ICT quotes the following goals on its website:
- Promoting digital inclusion through ICT procurement policies, standards, and technical resources developed with United Nations agencies.
- Benchmarking progress in implementation, deploying capacity building programs on digital accessibility policies for governments and advocates.
- Fostering innovation and promoting accessible technologies and environments for all at G3ict annual flagship event, the M-Enabling Summit.
- Building accessibility skills through its division IAAP, the world’s leading provider of professional resources and certification in ICT accessibility.
The Thomas Pocklington Trust Vital Tech website is an easy to use guide to the world of assistive technology. It’s organised into themes, including reading, staying in touch etc so that you can quickly find a range of solutions.
National Braille Press
National Braille Press in the USA which, despite its name, produces books in Braille, eBraille, DAISY, a navigable audio format and MS Word. For example, it contains books on windows keyboard shortcuts, iPhones and Android devices.
Browse its Technology guide for blind users – second heading on page.
The technology section of the RNIB website contains many fact sheets and other support services to empower you to understand the range of technology available and the support they can offer. This includes guides, and information about the Technology Volunteers service through which you
can request a visit from a volunteer to help with technology-related issues.
www.rnib.org.uk/technology/ or call the RNIB helpline on 0303 123 9999.
If you prefer to have accessibility solutions demonstrated then you can access a range of podcasts, videos etc from Henshaws Knowledge Village.
Common braille commands for VoiceOver on your iPhone, iPad and iPod touch can be found at https://support.apple.com/en-gb/HT202132
Note: Problems have been reported by users of braille displays with iOS version 14.4. At time of writing, it is believed that efforts are underway to rectify these issues as part of iOS 14.5.
AppleVis offers an extensive range of support for users of iPhones. iPads and Macs. The site includes a forum, blog, podcast and tutorial guides.
Visit the Microsoft site to find out more about the range of accessibility tools they offer. Many of these are built into Windows or are available as phone apps.
This section contains a list of links to tutorial and training information.
(Currently Under Development)
Miscellaneous External Links
As is the case with all external links on this site, TAVIP is not responsible for the content of the referenced sites, and doesn’t guarantee their accuracy or reliability. They are included here usually following recommendation from a TAVIP member.
- Tooltips in the time of WCAG 2.1 by Sarah Higley. The author works for Microsoft, and this is her review of the history and accessibility of Tooltips on Websites.
- DATEurope: A New Voice for Digital Assistive Technologies Across Europe This announcement from G3ict: The Global Initiative for Inclusive ICTs.