Archive for January, 2008

new 2 gig zen stone

January 21, 2008

Sadly my zen stone died over the week end – very annoying as it’s less than a year old and hasn’t really been used excessively. but I like it a lot and with a long train journey looming later in the week I hit the web for a replacement.  So I was chuffed to bits when I found that there is now a 2 gig version of the basic stone.  not the plus edition which has a screen, user interface and all the bits that go with that to make it harder to use but just the simple as you like stone but with twice the capacity of the original.  and better still currys and PC world both currently have it at half price. That’s  £30, the same as I payed for the 1 gig version and only £5 more than the 1 gig sells for in most places.  Chuffed.


opportunity for anyone who fancies doing a PHD with the open university on E-inclusion, E-accessibility or other angles of education and technology

January 17, 2008

The Open University’s Centre for Research in Education and Educational
Technology (CREET) is offering up to 6 full-time funded post-graduate
research studentships starting in October 2008.

Areas which may be of particular interest include Accessible Educational
Media, Technology Supported Learning including Networked and Mobile
Learning, and Education and Social Inclusion.

Further information is available from the Open University’s Jobs page –

TechDis recruiting

January 11, 2008

If you fancy working in the disability and education sector then TechDis currently have 2 openings.


1. Vacancy: JISC TechDis Coordinator

The JISC TechDis Service is currently seeking a Coordinator.

The TechDis Co-ordinator will work closely with the Head of Service and
Executive Assistant to ensure successful delivery of the objectives of
the service. The successful candidate will have excellent project
management skills, working knowledge of educational technologies and the
UK educational sectors, and experience of financial management.

The closing date for this vacancy is 29 January and interviews will be
held on 13 February.

For more information including details of how to apply please see full
information on the Higher Education Academy website.

2. Vacancy: Project Officer

The JISC TechDis Service is currently seeking a Project Officer.

The TechDis Project Officer will work with all staff within the TechDis
team to ensure that project work is successfully delivered. The
successful candidate will have excellent research, computer and
communication skills (both oral and written), and experience of managing
a varied workload.

A Project Officer works with and supports Advisors, Senior Advisors
Executive Assistant Heads of Service and other staff to ensure work is
successfully delivered against the Strategic Aims and Objectives of the

For more information including details of how to apply see further
details of Project Officer vacancy on the Higher Education Academy

call for Test documents for the Microsoft Save as DAISY XML Plug-in

January 11, 2008

In support of the announced plug-in for Microsoft Word, Save as DAISY XML,
we are seeking documents for testing. We are looking for documents from:
-Alternative Media Producers (AMP), such as libraries serving the blind and
print disabled or university offices providing services to students with

The DAISY Consortium, Microsoft, and the sub-contractors working on the
"Save as
DAISY XML" plug-in for Microsoft Word respect the rights of document owners.
copyright and any intellectual property contained in the documents submitted

will be honored. The documents submitted will be used only for testing the
translator. The documents will not be shared outside the small group working
the project. Each person working on the project has agreed to keep the
secure. We are asking those submitting the documents to password protect the
zipped files and to place them in a secure area.

We can take files in Word 2007, 2003, and in Word XP. All languages are

To start the process, please visit:
If you have any questions, feel free to contact me directly.


George Kerscher Ph.D.
Access to information is a fundamental human right in our Information Age.
 Senior Officer, Accessible Information
Recording For the Blind & Dyslexic (RFB&D)
Secretary General, DAISY Consortium
Co-chair Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI), a division of the W3C
Board Representative to the International Digital Publishing Forum    (IDPF)
Phone: +1 406/549-4687


initial reaction to the free newsgator inbox 3.0

January 11, 2008

                        As have opted to make all their products for individuals free of charge – minus any support other than online user forums I’ve decided to give NG in-box a try.  In-box lets you access rss feeds via outlook rather than, in the case of their Online product, via the Web.  So far it works well, I’ve had no problems with using it with my screenreader short of some randomly labelled form fields in the initial sign-up screen.

But – there’s always a but:

I still don’t like it as much as newsgator Online – I seem to have to scan down the list of all the feeds I’m subscribed to looking (listening) for those which have new items, and as 90% of the time 95% of them don’t this takes much much longer than working with Online where I’ve ticked the box to only display feeds with new items.  Coupled with organising feeds in to folders along common themes this is a much faster way of working.


More problematic though is the fact that I have some questions about how to use, change, or modify things within Newsgator in-box – for example is there a keyboard shortcut to create a new Blog post? However in order to post to forums, or contact any of the NG staff contributing to the forums you have to register to participate on the forums.  That in itself I don’t mind however the registration process uses a visual CAPTCHA (type the figures on the picture in to this box….) which by virtue of being Blind I can’t – no audio CAPCHA here.  Thanks newsgator! – maybe time to turn to my LinkedIn network to look for a real live person at Newsgator who can answer my questions or at least do something about the “no blind persons allowed” sign on their forums.

now posting with newsgator publisher

January 11, 2008

Ok as I singularly failed to take advantage of the blog posting feature of Word 2007 I’m taking advantage of the fact that all products are now free and am going try using newsgator publisher which lets me post from outlook.

Sounds good – lets see if it encourages me to write some more though.