Thursday, March 19, 2015

Bureau of Engraving and Printing Distributes Free Currency Readers

The U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) announced it will distribute free currency readers to eligible blind and low-vision individuals, a preemptive solution to the Federal Reserve’s tactile-enhancement of currency notes. Originally announced in the form of a July 2014 press release, the BEP and National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, Library of Congress (NLS) are collaborating through their U.S. Currency Reader Program to promote access to paper currency. This serves as a BEP initiative, which is also realized through the BEP’s assistance when developing the Wireless RERC-funded IDEAL Currency Reader®.

The pilot of the U.S. Currency Reader Program began in September where approximately 12,000 were pre-ordered and delivered. The national rollout of the program allows all U.S. citizens, or legal residents in the U.S. who are blind or visually impaired, access to the iBill® Currency Identifier. The iBill® “identifies all denominations of U.S. paper currency by either voice announcement, tone pattern, or vibration pattern.”
Currency Readers are currently available and may be requested by submitting the U.S. Currency Reader application form to: U.S. Currency Reader Program, 14th & C Streets, S.W., Washington, DC 20228. The form is available in English and Spanish, and may be accessed HERE. Additional information is also available by contacting BEP at or (844) 815-9388.

Source: Technology and Disability Policy Highlights

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Research Study on Accessibility at Microsoft

Microsoft is seeking people who have experience using either screen reading or magnifying products. They seeking people in the Seattle or King County area who can travel easily to the Redmond campus.
Study Details:
•         Research sessions are available starting March 2nd.  We will have sessions available throughout the month of March
•         Participants will receive $100 gratuity for participating in this research study
•         Transportation assistance can be arranged to and from our facility in Redmond
•         Research sessions are about 2 hours long
•         Participants must be at least 18 years old
•         Our research projects are fun, and a great way to make a direct impact on the development and improvement of accessibility features
•         Call 425-242-8030 to sign up or get more information!


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Metro Transit Seeks Smartphone Screen Reader Users for App Testing

Metro seeks individuals who use screen reader technology on their cell phones to test Metro’s new mobile Trip Planner app
Metro launched a Puget Sound Trip Planner app—available for Apple and Android mobile devices—in January. It allows riders to plan a trip that covers many transportation choices, including buses, rail, ferries, streetcars, and water taxis. It merges popular features available on existing trip planners and offers real-time predictions for bus arrivals.

Since launching the app, the developer has worked to improve its accessibility with screen reader technology. We need your help to test these improvements!

Testers will need to have a mobile device that fits the minimum requirements for the iPhone or Android app they plan on testing. Plus they need to have a high proficiency in the use of screen reader software for their device. To participate, please contact Damon Berbert at In your email, you’ll need to specify what phone you have, as well as the version of the operating system and the name of the screen reader software you currently use on your phone.

After receiving this information, we’ll get back to you about whether you qualify to participate and the details to help test the app. We expect the testing process to last no longer than a week. Testers will be given a list of tasks to complete using the app, then provide feedback on the experience.

Thanks in advance for your help to make sure our technologies work for all our users!
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