The #Accessibility for the #Blind advent calendar: day 5 - Italy - expand the content warning to open the window and discover the interesting fact for the day. 

@jscholes @Piciok I’ve seen these here (Poland) too. The way DVDs work, every item in the menu is a separate scene, showing an almost the same static picture, except with a different highlighted item. Pressing the arrow keys just moves you between such scenes. There’s nothing stopping you from putting an extra “play sound” instruction there, with the appropriate sample.

The #Accessibility for the #Blind advent calendar: day 5 - Italy - expand the content warning to open the window and discover the interesting fact for the day. 

@Piciok I’ve heard of a similar system employed somewhere in the US, but I haven’t been able to find specifics. Considering that they used to have free or flat-rate local calls, and considering how low the latency was in the days of analog TVs and phone systems, it definitely seems believable.

Accessibility for the blind advent calendar: Day 8 - Austria (Part 2) 

As there were no links today, have a binaural audio postcard from Amras, a village that became a part of Innsbruck itself some hundret years ago. The recording was taken in the lovely park near the Schloss Amras castle which is located somewhat uphill and makes for a good basic hike for starters. Recording made using the Ambeo Smart headset hooked up to an iPod touch 7th Gen.
The recording is a 1:26 long collage of several clips taken in the park.
Clip 1: Birds chirping with some cars driving past in the background (the park was located directly over a highway);
Clip 2: The call of a group of peacocks mixed with footsteps and somewhat strong wind blowing into the mikes;
Clip 3: A waterfall flowing to my right and footsteps over a wooden bridge;
Clip 4: Moving further past the waterfall so that it's moving in the stereo spectrum and a white cane hitting the wooden bridge;
Clip 5: Another perspective of the waterfall;
Clip 6: Clearly can't get enough of waterfalls;
Clip 7: The last sounds of a waterfall, peacocks and the white cane;
I recommend listening in headphones for the best spacial experience.

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Accessibility for the blind advent calendar: day 8 - Austria (Part 1) - expand the content warning to open the window for today 

For almost one year and a half I had the pleasure of living in Innsbruck, the charming Austrian city which is the capital of the Alpine region of Tirol which is very popular with tourists. While my stay there was heavily marked by the Covid situation, lockdowns and a really difficult start to building a stable social life, it presented me with some highlights of interest to us so here are they:
- A tiny version of the Czech remotes system, at that time capable of triggering the audible traffic lights, currently also the talking public transport info boards;
- an exceptional training of the public transport drivers who always stopped the bus right in front of you as long as you stood at the designated, tactile spot; opened the door and told you the bus/tram line they were driving;
- a tactile line going across what seemed to be all of the city's market square which made for a nice walk through the city center;
- the general feeling of safety that encouraged me to take long walks and explore the city by myself;
- the amazing community around my former workplace, Freirad, the social, community-driven radio station that focused on giving voice to those who wouldn't find it in the mainstream media. This meant tons of content from marginalized groups, a wealth of diverse cultural, music and linguistic spectrum and plenty of social initiatives on air. Of course, blind and partially sighted radio hosts were more than welcome and I was happy to be a part of this journey, organizing workshops for prospective hosts with visual impairments, including a really fun group of kids and spreading the word about the importance of accessibility which was always well-received. My former show on Freirad aired for the last time today so it's a bit of a chapter closing.

For those using Braille Screen Input on the iPhone, did you know that there are navigation gestures now? You can move around the text by character, word, or line. Here is how it is done.
1, In Braille Screen Input, hold one finger down on any dot. You must keep that finger down during the whole process.
2, It will make a couple of beeps, then say, Exploring mode. This is the mode it has to be in, in order to move the cursor around. If you left your finger off the dot, it will leave exploring mode, so again, keep it held down.
3, Here is the 3 gestures needed. They all use 2 fingers.
2 finger flick up and down moves between navigation types; character, word, or line.
2 finger swipe to the left, moves cursor forward or right by character, word, or line.
2 finger swipe to the right, moves cursor backwards or left by character, word, or line.
This is been demonstrated on several podcast, here is a link to one of those demonstrations.

The #Accessibility for the #Blind advent calendar: day 7 - Australia and New Zealand - expand the content warning to open the window and discover the interesting fact for the day 

@Piciok Our municipality in Ontario did this for our local elections, actually. It was quite nice.

The #Accessibility for the #Blind advent calendar: day 7 - Australia and New Zealand - expand the content warning to open the window and discover the interesting fact for the day 

A lot of countries employ voting templates to allow blind votees to cast a ballot in local or state elections. It's the same in Poland and in my experience it has been pretty much prone to mistakes such as the ballot paper slipping a fraction underneath the template. This is why I was happy to learn that Australia and New Zealand employed the "voting by phone" system. Blind citizens of these countries are one of the groups elligible to vote by phone. In order to do that, one calls the central voting committee to register, is assigned unique credentials that allow the person taking the vote to identify the elligibility in an anonymous way. On the day of voting, the elligible person calls another number where only the previously agreed credentials are taken from them, the ballot paper is read and the vote is cast by telling the committee representative. Sounds simple and flawless but perhaps there are some security flaws I am not aware of that made it not a more globally adopted solution. Thoughts?

TWBlue 2022.12.6 Release 

This release contains everything from our mastodon testing version, plus bugfixes and improvements. This version should be completely safe to upgrade, although due to changes in the pyton version used, we suggest to remove any prior version if you cannot open the application. As always, you can safely use the autoupdater to get the latest version, or read more information at the following link:

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TWBlue 2022.12.6 Release 

hi there! We are aware of some issues when accessing TWBlue in some regions. This is caused due to a bad response from a Twitter API endpoint. This failure doesn't affect everyone, but we have decided to anticipate a new release which should hopefully fix this bug.

The #Accessibility for the #Blind advent calendar: day 3 - The Czech Republic - expand the content warning to discover the interesting fact for the day 

@Piciok Oh btw almost 20 years later some cities e.g. Prešov or areas (Banskobystrický samosprávny kraj) are trying to pursue these remote controls for their public transport services too. Majority of our country coverage is still ahead of us.

The #Accessibility for the #Blind advent calendar: Day 6 - France with potential global impact - expand the content warning to open the window and discover the interesting fact for the day. 

The 6th of December is traditionally the day when Santa comes and brings small gifts to children in Poland and several other countries (not to be confused with the 24th of December which is also when gifts, bigger ones, are distributed). Obviously somebody's got to pay for all these nice things so how to do it in an accessible way?
I thought of including Handsome, a French fintech dedicated to serving customers with visual impairments, as a part of this calendar, as it offers an accessible voice payment card; a dedicated concierge service, insurance in case of damage to assistive devices or stranding with no immediate mobility options. They can be found at:
Imagine my shock this morning when I discovered that through cooperation with the Tales Group, Handsome's voice card has become global so it's a matter of time before banks start introducing it.
The card is equipped with a Bluetooth LE chip, connects to the customer's smartphone either through their banking app or a specially designed one; then, once its inserted into the terminal, it delivers all of the status messages to the app E.G. the amount to be paid or the current state of the payment process. This way it is possible to avoid being scammed on the amount and we can make sure all is well with our transaction.
I'm curious if any banks are going to introduce this any time soon.

Today's tune of the day belongs to the band that rocked us all in preparation for yesterday's#WithinTemptation show in Gliwice. Great to hear that the European metalcore scene, if that's the right way to call it, is doing alright. They are also competing in next year's and are thus in the runing for a chance to represent at the next year's . Keeping my fingers crossed. ESC needs more metal. - Smash Into Pieces - Running Away From Home -

The #Accessibility for the #Blind advent calendar: day 5 - Italy - expand the content warning to open the window and discover the interesting fact for the day. 

@Piciok The UK has some DVDs with accessible menus, although I don't know how many. Doctor Who box-sets are the only examples I've personally used.

W kolejnym odcinku TyfloPrzeglądu mówimy sporo o dostępności. Zarówno tej obecnej, lub planowanej, jak choćby w przypadku systemu GrapheneOS, jak i tej historycznej, dotyczącej różnych nieistniejących już obecnie usług. Oprócz tego rozmawiamy m. in. O aplikacji, która udostępni restauracyjne menu mieszkańcom USA i Kanady, nowościach w monitorach B.Note, kolejnym narzędziu do generowania wykresów audio, mamy też coś dla miłośników dźwięku zarówno tych słuchających, jak i z nim pracujących. Chcecie więcej? Zapraszamy do słuchania!

PARENT: "Have you finished writing your letter to Santa?"

CHILD: "I'm don't believe in Santa anymore. Now I believe in a decentralized network of independently operating elves who federate using an open protocol called ActivityPub to share information about children's Christmas wishes and source gifts to fulfill them"

The #Accessibility for the #Blind advent calendar: day 5 - Italy - expand the content warning to open the window and discover the interesting fact for the day. 

Is it possible to have audiodescription on TV if the broadcasting mode is analogue and the ability to employ several language audio tracks does not exist yet? Italy has had the solution, at least a decade ago still, where audiodescription for the movies aired by RAI, the Italian national broadcaster, would have the descriptive track delivered on a designated FM radio frequency. A blind person wishing to watch such a movie would turn on their TV to the right channel and then tune a radio receiver to the right frequency to enjoy both the original movie track and the audiodescription in sync. As it turns out from the paper below, keeping both in sync is difficult.
By the device of anecdotal evidence I know that a similar system existed in Slovenia.
Another thing that was available in Italy, and I haven't heard of it anywhere else before, are accessible audio menus on DVD's.

My friend Anthony Corona does a weekly show called Sunday Edition. I help him by streaming and recording the show and uploading it as a podcast in the future. This week we're talking about Mastodon from a blindness perspective. Listen live at or find the podcast in your favorite pod-catcher.

Have you tried following someone and it says "pending"?

In theory this is meant to only happen when someone has manual follower approval switched on. If they have it switched on, there will be a padlock 🔒 next to their name on their profile.

However, "pending" may also happen if servers are overwhelmed and your request is in a long queue, or there is some kind of technical fault.

Don't assume someone is rejecting your follow if you see "pending". They might not even know it is happening.

Hi @ivory. Welcome to the fediverse. Your Tweetbot app is popular on Twitter, so no wonder there’s plenty of interest about your forthcoming Mastodon app here.

One thing you need to take into account. Blind people belong here on Mastodon, and we will advocate strongly to preserve that sense of belonging. Many sighted people do the right thing and add alt text to their images. Many of those same people gently remind those who don’t, or decline to boost the toots of those who don’t. So it was disappointing to see that your introductory toot contained an image without Alt text. Still, we were all new here once and it can be a learning experience. Hopefully you’ll be mindful of the culture and add Alt text to images in future.

To that end, please involve some blind testers as part of your alpha process. The best time to integrate #accessibility into a new project is as it is being built. Tweetbot has had accessibility challenges over the years. Please learn from those, embrace the inclusion that is part of mastodon’s ethos, and don’t shut us out. Many of us want you to succeed and are willing to help.

Good luck, and thanks for reading.

I'm excited to announce that egui ( is now the first pure-Rust GUI toolkit to implement platform accessibility APIs (most mature on Windows, with macOS catching up), via AccessKit ( This was just merged in egui's master branch. New versions of egui crates should be published to soon. Thanks to the Google Fonts team for funding both the development of AccessKit and the integration in egui.

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A fun, happy little Mastodon/Hometown instance.