Archive for the ‘Blog On!’ Category

Organizing Blogroll on WordPress.com Blogs

October 10, 2008

I recently updated and reorganized my blogroll on this blog. In the process, I discovered that I was unable to access the check boxes needed to control which categories links were in. I could find a categories heading with my screen reader, but there didn’t appear to be any category check boxes on the page, and pressing ENTER on the categories heading did nothing. I contacted tech support, and received the following answer, which I thought those of you with WordPress.com blogs might want to know about. Apparently in order to see these check boxes with a screen reader, you have to disable Javascript. The site will be updated soon, and an accessibility expert will look at it to try to improve accessibility, so there’s a good chance the following information will only be relevant for a couple of months. I hope so, but in the meantime, here’s how to disable Javascript.

Disabling Javascript in Internet Explorer 7

  1. Type ALT+T to go to the tools menu.
  2. Type O to choose Internet Options.
  3. Press CTRL+TAB to choose the security page in this multi-page dialog box.
  4. Press TAB once to reach Custom Level and press Enter.
  5. Type S until you get to Scripting.
  6. Press DOWN ARROW twice. You’ll reach “Active Scripting” the first time, then probably “Disable – Off.”
  7. Press the SPACEBAR to turn it on.
  8. Press ENTER.
  9. You will be asked if you’re sure you want to make this change. Press ENTER to say Yes.
  10. Press TAB until you reach the OK button and press ENTER.
  11. Close and restart Internet Explorer.

Be sure to turn Javascript back on when you’re finished reorganizing your blogroll, as many sites don’t work well without it. The procedure is the same except that you press DOWN ARROW three times when focused on Scripting, so that you are focused on Enable when you press the SPACEBAR.

Disabling Javascript in Firefox 3

  1. Type ALT+T to go to the Tools menu.
  2. Type O to go to Options. You are in a list of option categories.
  3. Use the UP and DOWN arrow keys as needed to locate Content.
  4. Press TAB until you reach the enable Javascript check box.
  5. Press the SPACEBAR as needed to uncheck this box.
  6. Press ENTER.
  7. Close and restart Firefox.

Be sure to enable Javascript once you’re finished reorganizing your blogroll, as many web pages don’t work well without it. the procedure is the same, except that you check the enable Javascript check box.

New Website for Main Menu

October 1, 2008

Main Menu, the blindness technology show on ACB Radio, has a new website that includes all shows from September 10, 2008, on. the site also includes announcements, information about the people running Main Menu, information on submitting content for possible airing on Main Menu, and more. download older shows here. The URL for subscribing to Main Menu as a podcast has not changed.

Free Tutorial on RSS Features of IE7

December 3, 2007

Internet Explorer 7 includes several features that make it easy to subscribe to RSS feeds and read the articles in those feeds quickly and efficiently. In the November 2007 edition of FSCast, Jonathan Mosen demonstrates everything you need to know to use these features, including finding the RSS feeds on a page, subscribing to the ones you’re interested in, navigating the feeds, reading articles efficiently using tabbed browsing, and subscribing to podcasts. While he uses JAWS 9 for this demonstration, almost all the commands and keystrokes he uses work just as well with other screen readers. This is a great resource.

WordPress Mobile Useful on the PC as Well

April 17, 2007

I am writing this post using the mobile version of WordPress.com on my PC. In addition to its usefulness for pocket PCs and similar devices, this site is great if you want to write a quick post or add a link to your blogroll without having to wade through the forms on the main site.

Posting to WordPress.com Blogs with Pocket PCs or Notetakers

April 12, 2007

When I got a PAC Mate a few months ago, one of the first things I tried to do — once I could connect it to the Internet — was to post to this blog. I couldn’t do it; I couldn’t get the focus in the right place. But thanks to Miranda Borka, a participant on the wonderful PAC Mate Users mailing list, I am posting this message with my PAC Mate. This is possible by using a mobile version of WordPress.com.

The mobile site has very few links and is easy to use. You log in with your username (usually the name of your blog) and password. Then you’re on a page where you can view blog stats, write a post, or add a link to your blogroll.

Writing a post is easy; there are edit fields for title, content, and tags/categories, followed by Save as Draft and Publish buttons. Adding links to your blogroll is also straightforward. My only complaint is that there isn’t a View Site button; you have to go to your blog manually to see how your post looks. Still, it’s a wonderful site.

I’m sure the site will work with BrailleNotes, Pocket PCs running MobileSpeak, and any other portable device with a reasonably up-to-date browser. It’s great that WordPress.com has added this capability.

Alternative Examples to the Mosen Explosion

October 4, 2006

I was sorry to learn that Jonathan Mosen had closed down his Mosen Explosion blog and had deleted it from LiveJournal. It was a fantastic resource, as well as a place where Jonathan shared a great deal of his personal life and professional knowledge with the world. It will be sorely missed.

I had a practical reason to be sorry as well: I referred to the Mosen Explosion frequently in Blog On! as anyone who has read the book knows. Because Jonathan used the blog in so many different ways, it was an ideal example of blogging, as well as a good blog.

Fortunately, many others are writing excellent blogs and creating fine resources as well. So if you’re reading Blog On! and are wondering where to turn, here are some sites that fulfill some of the same functions as the Mosen Explosion.

One site to try is Blog of a Blind Bookworm. Maintained by Kestrell, this site includes book reviews, news stories, personal comments, and more. Because this blog is hosted by LiveJournal, it shares many structural characteristics of the mosen Explosion, such as LiveJournal categories.

A useful feature of the Mosen Explosion was its extensive technology news. You can find similar coverage on Jeff Bishop’s Desert Skies blog.

Finally, for a large collection of RSS feeds (though not as large as the one that used to be on the Mosen Explosions’s RSS page), check out the news links on the ACB Radio main page. It begins with the first level 5 heading on the page, so from the top of the page, you can move to it by typing the number 5 if you use JAWS, or 5 followed by H if you use Window-Eyes.

Blog On! Reviewed in AccessWorld

September 15, 2006

If you haven’t read Blog On! and would like more information about it, the September issue of AccessWorld, the technology magazine produced by the American Foundation for the Blind, includes a review written by Deborah Kendrick.

Bloglines Search Function Expanded

June 8, 2006

You now have more options when searching on Bloglines. You can search for posts, feeds, and citations (find out who is linking to a particular URL) as well as conducting a general web search or subscribing to an URL.

The search form still appears near the top of each Blogger page; go to the first edit field on screen to find it. First comes the edit box for typing in your search term. Next is a combo box for selecting the type of search you want. This is followed by the Search button.

Navigating search results has changed a bit since Blog On! was written. The search results section begins with a level 2 heading, but the titles of search results are now level 3 headings instead of level 2.

A nice feature is that if you conduct a search and then conduct another one, Bloglines uses the same search option for the second search as it did for the first unless you change it. So if you search for a feed and then conduct another search, Bloglines will assume you want to do another feed search.

Google Implements Audio CAPTCHA for Creating and Commenting on Blogger Blogs

June 7, 2006

As I suspected would happen but could not verify before Blog On! went to press, There is now an audio alternative to the visual word verification required when creating a blog at Blogger or commenting on Blogger blogs. Here’s how it works:

Below the visual verification is a link that says, “listen and type the numbers you hear.” When you click it, you may be placed automatically on the edit field where you need to type. If not, press Shift-Tab once to get there. Press Enter and type the numbers. If you need to repeat them, press tab once to return to the “Listen and type the numbers you hear” link and click it again.

It’s great to have the audio CAPTCHA option, particularly since the numbers are much easier to understand than with other audio CAPTCHA I have tried to use. I hope that an option for deafblind bloggers will soon be added as well, particularly since e-mail verification, appears to have been removed, but this is an excellent start.

Correction regarding Mosen ExplosionBlog

June 7, 2006

After Blog On! went to press, I learned that Jonathan Mosen uses LiveJournal, not Technorati, to categorize his posts on his Mosen Explosion blog. Thanks for the info, Jonathan. It’s good to know that LiveJournal has a built-in category feature.