Apple October 16 Event and a Few Other Items

I am a bit behind, but I have updated the
News page of the site
in regard to the event Apple held last week. This includes all of the details about the new iPads, OS X Yosemite, Apple Pay, the iMac 27 inch model with Retina 5K display and the updated Mac Mini.

In addition, iOS 8.1 was released on Monday. Some bugs have been fixed, but there are still that remain. To read a summary of what has been fixed and is still outstanding as far as accessibility bugs go, Applevis, once again, has
a complete run down here.

As for OS X Yosemite, just to be clear here, it is completely safe to upgrade. Compared to Mavericks and it’s initial release, there are no major bugs. A few people are making Federal cases on public lists out of feature changes, such as in Spotlight and iTunes, but the reality is Yosemite is a great upgrade. If you are, though, one who is concerned about bugs and would like to know what to expect, as well as read about the new features of Yosemite, again, I refer you to Applevis and their lists of features and found bugs that can be
found here.

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Laugh for Sight 2014 info

Once again, as I have done over the last few years, here is some info courtesy of Brian Fischler about this year’s Laugh for Sight event.


Please join us for the 9th annual Laugh For Sight NYC on Monday, October 27th at Gotham Comedy Club. This year’s All star Laugh For Sight NYC will be Hosted by Craig Carton from the Nationally Syndicated Boomer & Carton hit morning show and feature Legendary Comedian Robert Klein, Gilbert Gottfried, Jim Norton, Brian Fischler with his guide dog Nash, and more Surprise Guests!

Laugh For Sight raises awareness about retinal degenerative eye diseases and also helps to raise the much needed funds for gene therapy research being done at the Scheie Eye Institute at the University of Pennsylvania. Along with the comedy show there is a silent auction featuring luxury jewelry donated courtesy of Susan Michel and friends, tickets to late night television shows, and sports memorabilia. The Silent Auction will kick off at 7PM followed by the comedy show at 830PM. Gotham Comedy Club is located at 208 West 23rd St., NYC, NY. Tickets can be purchased by going to and clicking on October 27th, by calling 212-367-9000, or clicking directly on this link

Corporate Table and donations for the silent auction are still being accepted and you can contact Brian Fischler at 718-480-3566 or, and to learn more about Laugh For Sight please visit, and follow them on Twitter @LaughForSight.

Additionally if you can not make it to this year’s benefit, you can still help support Laugh For Sight NYC by sharing the attached ad for this year’s benefit on your social networks. Please help us get the word out there, as gene therapy research is at a critical juncture where people who have been blind their entire life are getting close to receive the gift of site, and people like me who went blind later in life have a realistic chance of having their vision restore, so taking the few seconds to share this add is greatly appreciated.

Furthermore if you would like to make a tax deductible donation to Laugh For Sight, you can do so through the website at and click the donate button.

Brian Fischler
Twitter: @LaughForSightLFS10-NY-r1.jpg

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iOS 8: to upgrade or Not to Upgrade?

As seems to be the talk with any “.0 release” with an operating system, the matter of whether or not to upgrade always takes center stage in the blindness community. Certainly iOS 8, Apple’s latest version of the iDevice operating system, is no exception.

Let me first start off by pointing folks to a pretty comprehensive resource if one is interested in reading about what known bugs exist in iOS 8 from an accessibility standpoint. This might be the best place to start in regard to making your decision. You can
go here
to read about all of the known bugs and issues.

In my opinion, it is personal choice. From my experience with both an iPhone 5S and an iPhone 6, I have not encountered any bugs that I’d say are definite show stoppers. Some of the bugs Applevis has listed have not shown up at all for me. However, I do not discount them, and, thus, it is up to you as the user to make that all important decision.

What I am advising my clients is simply this. You should take the time to read about the bugs and speak to a variety of users who have upgraded to iOS 8 first. Educate oneself and just don’t rely on a single source. Also, keep in mind that we do have those in the blindness community who seem to have a way of magnifying problems and blowing them out of regular proportion by the way they write about their experiences. In other words, some folks simply make a heck of a lot more than is necessary and probably accurate out of their experiences for one reason or another.

Nevertheless, once one has done the research, then making that all important choice is up to them. Maybe, 8.1 will be best for you to install when it is released. However, I think most users can deal with the bugs that do exist and take advantage of what iOS 8 has to offer. In the end, however, only you as the user can choose for him or herself.

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Correct Link for Logic and VoiceOver PodcastsLogic, VoiceOver

A short time ago, I posted about a podcast done by Keith Reedy on using VoiceOver on the Mac with Logic. I am posting the new and correct link for all of his podcasts that he will be doing on this subject. Please see the podcasts

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Apple September 9, 2014, Event

I’m a few days late here, but Apple held another event on September 9. Once again, they spoke about several new product releases and other news. You can read a summary of events on the
News page
in which I have taken information directly from the Apple Hot News page to make it easier to round up the news.

Basically, the
Apple Watch
iPhone 6 and 6 Plus
were the major product announcements. Additionally, it was announced
iOS 8
will be released next week on the 17th. There will be a new service included with iOS 8 and included on the iPhone 6 models and Apple Watch called,
Apple Pay.
Apple and the band, U2,
teamed up to give fans a free album one can download from iTunes.

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A Couple of Links to Share and a Quick Note

Here are a couple of links I wanted to share that might be helpful to others.

The first is from Applevis, and is written by, James Goldsworthy, a client and friend of mine. It’s on how to install the high quality voices for your iDevice. Note that it is written with UK English in mind, but the info James has provided works for all voices.

Go here to read the article.

The second link is for a podcast on Logic Pro X accessibility done by another friend, Keith Reedy. I have gotten more than a few questions about how accessible logic is with VoiceOver. This podcast should be quite useful to those interested in the subject.

You’ll find it here.

Lastly, as a note to the visitors and readers of this site, I have been fortunate enough to have gotten some contract work directly with Apple in regards to accessibility. As a consequence of this situation, I will be traveling out to California periodically. Also, well, I will have work to do for them, along with my training. How everything is impacted remains to be seen, but the point to this note is that updates to this site may not come as frequently and info I’d want to post quickly might be delayed. So, I apologize in advance, but it cannot be helped.

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Something to Check Out

It’s always interesting to me when accessibility is reported on by the mainstream media. This is a good source for Apple info and my brother sent me a link to this article. Whatever you may feel about the National Federation of the Blind, it is nice to see Apple getting some recognition for their commitment to accessibility. I am particularly please because of the nonsense I occasionally read by the ignorant or simple-minded Apple bashers who like to stir up the old and tiresome, “Apple doesn’t care about the blind” statements.

There are links to the original NFB blog post in the article, but the 9 to 5 Mac article can be read,

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WWDC 2014

I am a little late here, but Apple’s World Wide Developer Conference keynote for 2014 was held yesterday in San Francisco. I am not going to reinvent the wheel here. A lot has already been written about Mac OS X Yosemite and iOS 8. So, I will point you at a comprehensive summary done about the keynote and its highlights. The good folks at Applevis have done a far better job than I could do. You can read about it

For details on Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite, you can
see them here.

For iOS 8 information,
you cango here
for all of the details.

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Another item that Might be of Interest

Here is another announcement that crossed my desk. This is from the folks at Fedora Outlier. See the below link for all of the details!

Mac Master Series presented by Fedora Outlier LLC

Have you recently purchased a Mac computer? Did you make the switch from the Windows platform to the Mac, but have no idea where to begin? Everything you need from getting started to becoming a proficient Mac user will be available to you when you take part in Fedora Outlier’s Mac Master Series.

How will this course help you learn how to use your Mac? We are able to provide you with a better than excellent, easy to follow on-line course that will help you to master your Mac computer. It will begin from the moment you unbox the computer, with instructions for every step along the way, and move on to VoiceOver, the built-in screen reader that is included on all Mac computers ever since OS 10.4 Tiger.

We are beginning this journey with a fantastic launch party on Thursday, May 15 at 9 P.M. Eastern, 8 P.M. Central, 7 P.M. Mountain, and 6 P.M. Pacific time. You won’t want to miss a single moment, and have only to gain from joining the Fedora team along with all of our other attendees. We will explain more about the Mac Master Series, and answer all of your questions, so don’t delay, get your invitation right now at the following link:

Launch party

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Another Item that Might be of Interest to Some Folks

The following was passed along to me by Brie Rumery of Fedora Outlier, LLC. I thought some folks might be interested in the event described below. Rick Boggs, founder of Audio Eyes, LLC, is going to be a guest on Fedora’s Access Chat, Tuesday evening event via Twitter on May 6.

Blind Media Professionals Open Hollywood’s Eyes to Watching TV

Make Media Accessible Event and Live Streaming Interactive Webcast Set for May 14; Entertainment Industry, Educators and Disability Community Invited to Attend

Los Angeles, CA. (April 29, 2014) — Nationally renowned video description expert Rick Boggs, of Audio Eyes, LLC. and his team of production professionals who supply video description for broadcast TV networks, will demonstrate the process they use to produce effective video description in a May 14, 2014 event and webcast at

The event, “Inside Video Description: How Pictures Become Words,” will take place from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. (PST) in Burbank at the Dolby Labs, Umlang Theater, 3601 West Alameda Avenue Burbank, CA 91505, along with the live interactive webcast on

“This is a unique opportunity to bring together Hollywood executives, TV producers, educators and a number of professionals from within the disability community to reveal state-of-the-art techniques on ways professionals with vision loss are adding value to the description production process,” says Rick Boggs, whose company, Audio Eyes LLC, provides accessible media services to the entertainment community.

Boggs and his team will demonstrate his company’s Quality Control Process to those attending the event as well as broadcast it online in partnership with the Described and Captioned Media Program (DCMP), the nation’s largest free-loan educational described and captioned media library.

Boggs believes all these communities have a great deal to learn from one another in making commercial and educational media accessible.

Josh Miele, director, Video Description Research and Development Center (VDRDC) agrees. “We all find ourselves wondering how to make media more usable and enjoyable for persons without sight. We wonder about the cost and the time involved in making media accessible, and how to tell whether the video description accommodation is effective and worthwhile to students and consumers,”

In particular, Miele and Boggs believe this process offers the film and television industry, the creators of America’s most powerful cultural and economic export, a new opportunity to make media inclusive and to work inclusively with “disabled” professionals.

A television celebrity host and a nationally renowned video description expert will lead a demonstration and discussion to review the process and to answer questions.

“Holding the event in Burbank will give executives and producers from Hollywood who attend the chance to see firsthand the live demonstration of the critical video description quality control process, with plenty of time to ask questions about how the process can impact their work,” says Boggs.

He adds that blind consumers who attend the web event will be invited to submit their comments and questions live during the video description process. He also notes that those with vision loss will have an unprecedented opportunity to learn about professional opportunities in the field of accessible media.

About Audio Eyes: The company is a leading provider of video description and accessible media for broadcast television networks, major movie studios, independent filmmakers, educational institutions, and government agencies. Based in Los Angeles, Audio Eyes was founded by Rick Boggs, a blind audio engineer and pioneer who has championed the inclusion of blind professionals in the production of description and accessible media. His commitment saw him awarded the California Governor’s Trophy and the Barry Levine Memorial Award for Audio Description. Audio Eyes describers, engineers and producers have delivered Video Description for first run and syndicated TV shows, theatrical movies, DVDs, award winning documentaries and online published videos. Additionally, they have extensive experience producing audio dramas, audio books, music, radio programs, radio ads, and a variety of business-to-business audio products. For more information,

About The Described and Captioned Media Program (DCMP): The Described and Captioned Media Program (DCMP) provides the nation’s largest free-loan educational described and captioned media library. DCMP also offers an accessible media information center, providing information on accessible media, a database of accessible media available for purchase, and guidelines for vendors and other wishing to learn to add description and captioning to media. DCMP has also developed an accessible event/webinar platform, providing an accessible event experience for attendees who are deaf or blind. The DCMP is administered by the National Association of the Deaf and is funded by the U.S. Department of Education. More information is available online at

For information contact:

Rick Boggs: 818-439-9698
Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn

Micah Grossman: 818-815-5865

Rick Boggs, General Manager
Audio Eyes, LLC
Studio: 818-678-0880
Mobile: 818-439-9698

Recipient of the 2013 Barry Levine Memorial Award for Career Achievement in Audio Description

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