Friday, March 31, 2017

2nd Annual Dyslexia Awareness Day at the New York State Capitol! April 4, 2017

NY Dyslexia Awareness Day 2017 at The Capitol

Meet New Yorkers from across the state who care about Dyslexia! Hear from expert speakers and a panel of consumers. Connect with organizations who can provide help and resources. Visit with legislators and share your experiences and knowledge about Dyslexia.
Attendees can also observe legislative proceedings and the adoption of Dyslexia Day Legislative Resolutions in the Assembly and the Senate!
Tours of the Capitol will be offered at various times throughout the afternoon. Please let us know if you are interested in a tour.
Take a look at this inspirational video featuring the students at the Mary McDowell Friends School and their commentary about Dyslexia.


9am-9:30am Greetings & Refreshments
9:30am-10am Welcome Remarks & Opening Video
*Assembly Member Simon, Senator Golden, and others
10am-11am Expert Presentations
*Amy Margolis, PhD, Assistant Professor of Medical Psychology, Columbia University Medical Center, Director of Neuropsychology, Brooklyn Learning Center
*Carolyn Strom, PhD, Professor of Education at New York University
11am-11:30am Panel of People with Dyslexia
*Senator David Carlucci, students with Dyslexia and others
11:30am-12pm Legislative Tips and PSA
12pm-3pm Visits with Legislators


Can I host an informational table?
Please contact us if you are interested in hosting a table with information on your organization or other resources for people with Dyslexia.
Who can I contact with any questions?
To RSVP, call Assembly Member Jo Anne Simon’s district office at 718-246-4889.
For any other questions, please call Assemblymember Simon’s Albany office at 518-455-5426 or email:
How can I find my legislators?
Find your Assembly member here. Find your Senator here.
Please let us know who your legislators are and we will help you make appointments.
Do I have to bring my printed ticket to the event?
There is no need to bring a copy of your ticket. Your ticket will be used to indicate your willingness to meet with legislators and help the organizers know the number of participants attending the event. 
Will food and refreshments be provided?
Coffee and juice will be available in the morning.
Lunch will not be provided but attendees can bring their own lunch or purchase lunch from the cafeteria. We recommended that you get your lunch ahead of time because the cafeteria is located outside of the security area and the lines are generally long during the lunch hour. 
Learn more about Dyslexia legislation A.01480/S.02534
#SayDyslexiaNY #TeachDyslexiaNY

Introduction to Web Accessibility

What is Web Accessibility

Web accessibility means that people with disabilities can use the Web. More specifically, Web accessibility means that people with disabilities can perceive, understand, navigate, and interact with the Web, and that they can contribute to the Web. Web accessibility also benefits others, including older people with changing abilities due to aging.
Web accessibility encompasses all disabilities that affect access to the Web, including visual, auditory, physical, speech, cognitive, and neurological disabilities. The document "How People with Disabilities Use the Web" describes how different disabilities affect Web use and includes scenarios of people with disabilities using the Web. when done, link to intro doc

Millions of people have disabilities that affect their use of the Web. Currently most Web sites and Web software have accessibility barriers that make it difficult or impossible for many people with disabilities to use the Web. As more accessible Web sites and software become available, people with disabilities are able to use and contribute to the Web more effectively.

Web accessibility also benefits people without disabilities. For example, a key principle of Web accessibility is designing Web sites and software that are flexible to meet different user needs, preferences, and situations. This flexibility also benefits people without disabilities in certain situations, such as people using a slow Internet connection, people with "temporary disabilities" such as a broken arm, and people with changing abilities due to aging. The document "Developing a Web Accessibility Business Case for Your Organization" describes many different benefits of Web accessibility, including benefits for organizations.

Why Web Accessibility is Important

The Web is an increasingly important resource in many aspects of life: education, employment, government, commerce, health care, recreation, and more. It is essential that the Web be accessible in order to provide equal access and equal opportunity to people with disabilities. An accessible Web can also help people with disabilities more actively participate in society.
The Web offers the possibility of unprecedented access to information and interaction for many people with disabilities. That is, the accessibility barriers to print, audio, and visual media can be much more easily overcome through Web technologies.
The document "Social Factors in Developing a Web Accessibility Business Case for Your Organization" discusses how the Web impacts the lives of people with disabilities, the overlap with digital divide issues, and Web accessibility as an aspect of corporate social responsibility.
Another important consideration for organizations is that Web accessibility is required by laws and policies in some cases. WAI Web Accessibility Policy Resources links to resources for addressing legal and policy factors within organizations, including a list of relevant laws and policies around the world.

Web Accessibility is Essential for Equal Opportunity
Use of the Web is spreading rapidly into most areas of society and daily life. In many countries the Web is increasingly used for government information and services, education and training, commerce, news, workplace interaction, civic participation, health care, recreation, entertainment, and more. In some cases, the Web is replacing traditional resources and service delivery.
The Web is an important medium for receiving information as well as for providing information and interacting with society. Therefore, it is essential that the Web is accessible in order to provide equal access and equal opportunity to people with disabilities. This basic human right is recognized in the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which specifically mentions the Internet and other accessible information and communications technologies (ICT). An accessible Web can also help people with disabilities and older people more actively participate in society.
The Web is an opportunity for unprecedented access to information for people with disabilities. That is, the accessibility barriers to print, audio, and visual media can be much more easily overcome through web technologies. For example, when the primary way to get certain information was go to a library and read it on paper, there were significant barriers for many people with disabilities, including getting to the library, physically getting the resource, and reading the resource.
When that same information is also available on the Web in an accessible format, it is significantly easier for many people to access the information. Therefore, people with disabilities can have more effective and efficient access to information through accessible websites — in some cases, where there was essentially no access to it before.
The Web is an opportunity for unprecedented interaction for people with disabilities. For example, some disabilities limit the type of work a person can do and an accessible Web can increase their employment options. An accessible Web also expands opportunities for communication, social interaction, and community participation for people with disabilities and older people with age-related impairments.

Barriers to Web Use
Currently there are significant barriers on the Web for many people with disabilities. Because most web developers do not make their web pages and web tools accessible, many people with accessibility needs have unnecessary difficulties using the Web, and in some cases, cannot effectively use the Web at all. For example, when developers require mouse interaction to use a website, people who cannot use a mouse can have great difficulty; and when developers do not include alternative text for important images, people who are blind cannot get the information from images. Many of these barriers also impact older users with accessibility needs due to ageing.
However, when websites are accessible, they enable people with disabilities to use the Web effectively. The document How People with Disabilities Use the Web includes scenarios that describe people with different disabilities successfully using the Web.
Number of People Affected (statistics)
Estimating how many people are affected by Web accessibility is difficult for several reasons. Countries define disability differently and use different methods to determine the number of people with disabilities. Some common conditions that do affect people's use of the Web (such as color blindness) may not be considered disabilities in many countries. Not all disabilities affect access to the Web (for example, difficulty walking does not affect access to the Web, though difficulty moving one's hands does). Additionally, some people do not want to disclose their disability, and some older people do not consider their impairments a disability.
The United Nations Human Functioning and Disability page includes links to data for different countries. Market research such as The Market for Accessible Technology - The Wide Range of Abilities and Its Impact on Computer Use and Accessible Technology in Computing - Examining Awareness, Use, and Future Potential illustrates a different approach to estimating the percentage of computer users who might benefit from Web accessibility. The Statistics on People with Disabilities and Web Use section of the Resources page links to additional statistics, including on ageing demographics and age-related impairments.
Overlap with Digital Divide Issues
The term "digital divide" is often used to refer to economic and social barriers to computer use for people without disabilities. Many people with disabilities are affected by the same economic and social factors, including very low rates of employment and consequently low income. Together with barriers in the physical environment and in computer technologies, these factors can result in:
  • lack of accessible mainstream web technologies (such as browsers and authoring tools)
  • lack of effective, up-to-date assistive technologies
  • lack of opportunities for training to become proficient with web technologies
  • limited access to a social environment that encourages web use
  • limited access to high-bandwidth connections, or even to regular Web access
An organization that is committed to reducing the digital divide can include in its business case a description of how Web accessibility can reduce the impact of economic and social barriers to web use for people with disabilities.
Overlap with Mobile Access
In some parts of the world, most people use the Web only through a mobile phone, because they do not have access to a desktop or laptop. The overlap between mobile design/development and accessbilty is introduced in Web Content Accessibility and Mobile Web.
Overlap with Older Users' Needs
As more people live longer and older people use the Web more, making the Web work well for older users is becoming an increasingly important social factor. Many older people have age-related impairments that can affect how they use the Web, including declining:
  • vision - including reduced contrast sensitivity, color perception, and near-focus, making it difficult to read web pages
  • physical ability - including reduced dexterity and fine motor control, making it difficult to use a mouse and click small targets
  • hearing - including difficulty hearing higher-pitched sounds and separating sounds, making it difficult to hear podcasts and other audio, especially when there is background music
  • cognitive ability - including reduced short-term memory, difficulty concentrating, and being easily distracted, making it difficult to follow navigation and complete online tasks
These issues overlap with the accessibility needs of people with disabilities. Thus, websites and tools that are accessible to people with disabilities are more accessible to older users as well. Specific examples are listed in the Access for Older People section below.
For detailed research on ageing age-related impairments and Web accessibility, see Web Accessibility for Older Users: A Literature Review.
Web Accessibility Benefits People With and Without Disabilities
While the main focus of Web accessibility is people with disabilities, accessibility also benefits people without disabilities, including:
  • older people
  • people with low literacy or not fluent in the language
  • people with low bandwidth connections or using older technologies
  • new and infrequent users
  • mobile phone users
The Increased Website Use section of Financial Factors lists aspects of Web accessibility that increase usability, thus also benefiting people without disabilities. People with temporary disabilities, for example from an accident or illness, also benefit from Web accessibility.
Below are examples of how Web accessibility benefits others. The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) Overview has information about the WCAG references.
Access for Older People
The accessibility provisions that make the Web accessible provide many benefits for people with age-related impairments, even though they may not be regarded as having a disability. For example:
Older people with deteriorating vision benefit from:
  • sufficient contrast between foreground and background colors 
  • (WCAG 2.0 success criteria 1.4.3, 1.4.6; WCAG 1.0 checkpoint 2.2)
  • text that can be increased in size so that it can be read directly by people with mild visual impairment without requiring assistive technology such as a screen magnifier; along with easy to read fonts and increased line spacing
  • (WCAG 2.0 success criteria 1.4.4, 1.4.8; WCAG 1.0 checkpoint 3.4)
  • styled text instead of bitmap images of text to convey information enables better browser-based enlargement
  • (WCAG 2.0 success criteria 1.4.5, 1.4.9; WCAG 1.0 checkpoint 3.1)
  • text and other elements that do not blink, flash or move in a way that distract users or cause seizures 
  • (WCAG 2.0 success criteria 2.2.2, 2.3.1, 2.3.2; WCAG 1.0 checkpoints 7.2, 7.3)
Older people with reduced dexterity or fine motor control benefit from:
  • an ability to increase the clickable area of targets
  • (WCAG 2.0 success criteria 1.4.4, 1.4.5, 1.4.8; WCAG 1.0 checkpoint 3.4)
  • being able to use the keyboard, rather than having to use the mouse, for all website interaction (device independence)
  • (WCAG 2.0 success criteria 2.1.1, 2.1.2, 2.1.3, 2.4.7; WCAG 1.0 checkpoints 6.4, 9.1, 9.2, 9.3, 9.4, 9.5)
Older people with hearing loss benefit from:
  • transcripts and captions for audio content 
  • (WCAG 2.0 success criteria 1.1.1, 1.2.2, 1.2.4, 1.2.8; WCAG 1.0 checkpoints 1.1, 1.4)
  • contrast between the audio foreground "information" and background "noise"
  • (WCAG 2.0 success criteria 1.4.7)
Older people with cognitive decline benefit from many of the accessibility aspects list in the next section, Access for People with Low Literacy and People Not Fluent in the Language.
Additional aspects of Web accessibility that benefit older users are included in the analysis in the Web Accessibility for Older Users: A Literature Review.
Access for People with Low Literacy and People Not Fluent in the Language
Accessible websites benefit people with low literacy and people who are not fluent in the language of the website. Specifically, many of the aspects of Web accessibility for people with cognitive disabilities help people who do not know the language well, including:
  • clear and simple language
  • (WCAG 2.0 success criteria 3.1.5; WCAG 1.0 checkpoint 14.1)
  • supplemental illustrations 
  • (WCAG 2.0 Guideline 3.1; WCAG 1.0 checkpoint 14.2)
  • clear and consistent design, navigation, and links 
  • (WCAG 2.0 success criteria 1.3.1, 2.4.1, 2.4.2, 2.4.4, 2.4.5, 2.4.6, 2.4.9, 2.4.10, 3.2.3, 3.2.4, 3.3.2; WCAG 1.0 checkpoints 13.1, 13.3, 13.4, 13.5, 13.6, 13.7, 13.8, 14.3)
  • blocks of information divided into groups 
  • (WCAG 2.0 success criteria 1.3.1, 2.4.1, 2.4.10; WCAG 1.0 checkpoint 12.3)
  • text that does not blink, flash or move too much
  • (WCAG 2.0 success criteria 2.2.2; WCAG 1.0 checkpoints 7.2, 7.3)
  • provide users enough time to read and use content
  • (WCAG 2.0 success criteria 2.2.1, 2.2.2, 2.2.3; WCAG 1.0 checkpoints 7.4, 7.5)
In addition, accessible sites can be read by screen readers so people who have difficulty reading can benefit from listening to sites.
Access for People with Low Bandwidth Connections to the Internet or Using Older Technologies
Some aspects of Web accessibility benefit people with low bandwidth connections. Low bandwidth can be due to:
  • location- for example, rural areas where high speed connections are not available or mobile phone reception is limited
  • bandwidth congestion
  • connection technology- for example, mobile phone or personal data assistant (PDA)
  • financial situation- that is, cannot afford high-speed connection
Some older technologies load pages very slowly and do not support features used on newer sites.
People with low bandwidth connections to the Internet and people with older technologies benefit from:
  • text alternatives for images, multimedia and other non-text objects - for people whose older technology or mobile technology cannot access multimedia formats, people whose connections are too slow to download multimedia files, or people who turn off images and multimedia to limit connection charges
  • (WCAG 2.0 success criteria 1.1.1, 1.2.8; WCAG 1.0 checkpoint 1.1)
  • redundant coding for information conveyed with color and sufficient contrast between foreground and background colors - for people who have older monitors or are viewing information outdoors where the sunlight makes it difficult to see the screen
  • (WCAG 2.0 success criteria 1.4.1, 1.4.3, 1.4.6; WCAG 1.0 checkpoints 2.1, 2.2)
  • text size defined as relative units - for older browsers that do not override absolute text sizes 
  • (WCAG 2.0 success criteria 1.4.4, 1.4.8; WCAG 1.0 checkpoint 3.4)
  • styled text instead of bitmap images of text to convey information, which can increase download speed 
  • (WCAG 2.0 success criteria 1.4.5, 1.4.9; WCAG 1.0 checkpoint 3.1)
  • style sheets used effectively to separate content from presentation, which can decrease file size and file download requirements thus increasing download speed 
  • (WCAG 2.0 success criteria 1.3.1; WCAG 1.0 checkpoint 3.3)
  • sites that are organized so they can be read and understood without style sheets, because some older technologies cannot handle style sheets (accessible pages can use style sheets and still be usable when style sheets are not supported)
  • (WCAG 2.0 success criteria 1.3.1, 1.3.2; WCAG 1.0 checkpoint 6.1)
  • sites that use valid W3C technologies and are more likely to work on older technologies 
  • (WCAG 2.0 success criteria 4.1.1; WCAG 1.0 checkpoints 11.1, 3.2)
  • clear and consistent design, navigation, and links, which helps users open the pages they want and helps save wasted page loading time from users going down the wrong path 
  • (WCAG 2.0 success criteria 2.4.1, 2.4.4, 2.4.5, 2.4.6, 2.4.9, 3.2.3, 3.2.4; WCAG 1.0 checkpoints 13.1, 13.3, 13.4, 13.5, 13.6, 13.7, 13.8, 14.3)
Access for New and Infrequent Web Users
Some people have little opportunity to use the Web because of the socioeconomic issues mentioned previously. Many older people are new users because the Web didn't exist when they were younger. New and infrequent web users benefit from aspects of accessibility such as:
  • clear and consistent design, navigation, and links 
  • (WCAG 2.0 success criteria 2.4.1, 2.4.4, 2.4.5, 2.4.6, 2.4.9, 3.2.3, 3.2.4; WCAG 1.0 checkpoints 13.1, 13.3, 13.4, 13.5, 13.6, 13.7, 13.8, 14.3)
  • providing redundant text links for image maps 
  • (WCAG 2.0 success criteria 2.4.4; WCAG 1.0 checkpoint 1.2)
  • informing users before new browser windows are opened
  • (WCAG 2.0 success criteria 3.2.1, 3.2.2, 3.2.5; WCAG 1.0 checkpoint 10.1)
Access for Mobile Device Users
For examples of how accessibility benefits people using mobile devices, along with links to WCAG success criteria, see Shared Web Experiences.

Web Accessibility is an Aspect of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
Web accessibility provides improved access, interaction, and social inclusion for the people described above, which is a primary aspect of corporate social responsibility (CSR).
Corporate social responsibility, also called corporate citizenship, corporate responsibility, or responsible business, generally means conducting business ethically and operating an organization in such a way that treats internal and external stakeholders ethically, increases human development, and is good for society and the environment. Web accessibility can impact an organization's employees, stockholders and board members, suppliers and vendors, partners and collaborators, customers, and others. Thus Web accessibility is an integral part of CSR in demonstrating an organization's commitment to providing equal opportunities.
Just as an accessible website can demonstrate CSR, an inaccessible website can undermine an organization's other CSR efforts.
The financial benefits of CSR are addressed in the Increases positive image section of the Financial Factors page.
Role of Organizations' Websites
When an organization's website is not accessible, it further excludes people with disabilities from society. When an organization's website is accessible, it empowers people with disabilities to participate in society. Providing an accessible website is one way an organization can demonstrate that it strives to meet the access needs of a diverse society.
for more info :

Thursday, March 30, 2017

World report on disability

World report on disability

he first ever World report on disability, produced jointly by WHO and the World Bank, suggests that more than a billion people in the world today experience disability. 
People with disabilities have generally poorer health, lower education achievements, fewer economic opportunities and higher rates of poverty than people without disabilities. This is largely due to the lack of services available to them and the many obstacles they face in their everyday lives. The report provides the best available evidence about what works to overcome barriers to health care, rehabilitation, education, employment, and support services, and to create the environments which will enable people with disabilities to flourish. The report ends with a concrete set of recommended actions for governments and their partners. 
This pioneering World report on disability will make a significant contribution to implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. At the intersection of public health, human rights and development, the report is set to become a "must have" resource for policy-makers, service providers, professionals, and advocates for people with disabilities and their families.
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Full report
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Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Accessible Internet, Communication, and Technology (ICT) - Bottom-line, Accessibility Benefits Everyone


Universal accessibility in the Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) sector holds unparalleled promise and opportunity for people with disabilities never before seen in our history.
Many people are surprised to learn just how much of the world’s population is affected by a disability, and how valuable accessible design of ICT is to the global marketplace. It is also important to note that disabilities are a normal part of life. Persons with disabilities are not broken, they just might navigate the world in a different way. We all can add value when given the opportunity to tap into our unique innate abilities. Accessible ICT is an important part of that equalizing equation.

To understand the impact one has to look no further than the World Health Organization which indicates that people with disabilities are the world’s largest and fastest growing minority group. With the population of the United States aging and the likelihood of developing a disability or other mobility limitation increasing with age, the growth in the number of people with disabilities can be expected to rise dramatically. Also impacting this formula is the growing population of veterans with disabilities.

his is an exciting time, of great promise and opportunity for people of all abilities. This is a new era for global citizens, one where emerging new technologies and mobile computing devices are serving as enablers for people of all ages and all levels of education. Designing and delivering ICT to be fully accessible ensures all individuals can enjoy the benefits and advantages of technology to enrich their lives and fulfill their dreams.

An inclusive, accessible and universal design approach to technology is critical to both public and private industry wishing to anticipate future needs of this growing population. By recognizing the importance of the protection and promotion of the rights and dignity of persons with disabilities through assistive technology and accessible ICT, the world continues to strengthen policies, strategies, and programs along with an increase in awareness of the public at large of the importance of the full inclusion of individuals with disabilities, accessible ICT and assistive technology.

Experts report that the most obvious and cost effective solutions are often ignored or overlooked, a mistake that organizations and governmental bodies can no longer make when serving all citizens in equal fashion. Making technology usable for all has become imperative for unleashing the potential of all persons and is critical for any public and private institution that hopes to fully participate and remain relevant in the 21st century.
Providing accessible ICT products and services also benefits the growing population affected by age-related impairments, in addition to people with disabilities. It is unwise to ignore the sheer numbers, influence and wealth of these individuals. In the US, baby boomers control $30 trillion according to Accenture.1 There are over 78 million Baby Boomers in the United States. Baby Boomers are Americans born between the years 1946 and 1964.
Photo: A photo of my daughter, Sara Ruh. She’s a tech-savvi young woman with Down Syndrome
It is important to note that this is not a USA phenomenon. Throughout the world all populations are seeing burgeoning numbers of “elders”, defined as persons aged 65 years and older. “In many countries, including Japan, the United States, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom, those aged over 65 are at, or approaching 15% of the population. People are living longer and are generally healthier at advanced ages than were previous cohorts, thus “old age” disabilities of the 20th century will be put off to older ages during the 21st century.”2
Here are a few recent reports about this trend.

Experts report that the most obvious and cost effective solutions are often ignored or overlooked, a mistake that organizations and governmental bodies can no longer make when serving all citizens in equal fashion. Making technology usable for all has become imperative for unleashing the potential of all persons and is critical for any public and private institution that hopes to fully participate and remain relevant in the 21st century.
Providing accessible ICT products and services also benefits the growing population affected by age-related impairments, in addition to people with disabilities. It is unwise to ignore the sheer numbers, influence and wealth of these individuals. In the US, baby boomers control $30 trillion according to Accenture.1 There are over 78 million Baby Boomers in the United States. Baby Boomers are Americans born between the years 1946 and 1964.
Photo: A photo of my daughter, Sara Ruh. She’s a tech-savvi young woman with Down Syndrome
It is important to note that this is not a USA phenomenon. Throughout the world all populations are seeing burgeoning numbers of “elders”, defined as persons aged 65 years and older. “In many countries, including Japan, the United States, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom, those aged over 65 are at, or approaching 15% of the population. People are living longer and are generally healthier at advanced ages than were previous cohorts, thus “old age” disabilities of the 20th century will be put off to older ages during the 21st century.”2
Here are a few recent reports about this trend.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

EasilyDo brings its powerful Email app to Android

Posted Feb 17, 2017 by Sarah Perez (@sarahintampa)

EasilyDo’s simply named “Email” application is one of the most popular productivity apps on iOS, because it closely resembles the look-and-feel of Apple’s default Mail app, but comes with more powerful features. Essentially, it feels like you’ve given the Mail app an upgrade. Now EasilyDo’s Email has made its way over to Android, bringing the same core functionality to a new platform, including its one-click unsubscribe to newsletters, undo send option, package tracking and automatic organization of your expenses, shopping, travel information and more.
Before launching Email, EasilyDo was best known for its smart mobile assistant for iPhone that also did things like track your shipments and organize your travel plans, among other things. But the company realized that these sort of features would make more sense in a mobile email application, rather than a standalone app.
Unlike many of the email apps on the market today, EasilyDo’s Email didn’t try to introduce a radically different user interface.
The app feels immediately familiar to iOS users. Messages are presented in the same was as in the default mail client — bolded senders followed by the subject line and preview text; blue dots to indicate unread status; timestamps to the right; plus buttons that are in the same spot.
For a minute, you might even be fooled into thinking you’re in Apple’s own Mail app.
But Email offers an expanded feature set, like the ability to snooze messages, detect and block read receipts, get real-time travel alerts, track packages, as well as dive into automatically organized folders where you can find all your email attachments, bills and receipts and entertainment bookings like tickets, among other things.
And with the recent iOS update, Email also adds Touch ID protection, a 3D Touch action widget, a one-tap add to Wallet feature for saving things like boarding passes or hotel reservations, as well as interactive notifications where you can mark incoming messages as read, reply, archive or trash them.

Now on Android, EasilyDo Email doesn’t mimic the Apple Mail app, but is instead somewhat inspired by popular Android apps, like Gmail or Inbox, with its rounded, colorful icons next to messages, typography and left-side hamburger menu, for example. This also gives it a sense of familiarity to Android users.

In addition, the engineering team built the new app with its own unique architecture for the Android OS, with a focus on building for speed, usability and reliability. And while the app includes the core functionality from iOS, it also introduces a number of features designed just for Android. For example, you can swipe to view the next message when navigating the inbox, and you can receive notifications and reply through voice on Android Wear.

Android Nougat users have a dedicated feature set of their own, including support for message grouping in notifications, quick reply from notifications and access to launcher shortcuts for searching the inbox or drafting a new message.

for more info:

Monday, March 27, 2017

0 of the best travel apps … that you'll actually use

No one needs a smartphone full of gimmicky apps. We’ve rounded up a selection of the best tools for the digital-savvy traveller

For a long time, whenever I was spotted using Google Maps to navigate London’s public transport network a friend would look over and prod: “Oh, don’t you use Citymapper?” 

Eventually, I relented.


Comprehensive, easy to use and also playful, Citymapper offers more detailed journey planner information than Google, including real-time departures and disruption alerts, as well as Uber integration and cycle routes. It is available in around 30 cities worldwide, with all the obvious city-break destinations covered. It even tells you how long your journey will take by jetpack – useless information really, but hopefully something to cheer you up when your train is cancelled.
Free, iOS and Android,

Over 70 million people have registered with Duolingo, a free and incredibly well-designed language learning app. Though not a replacement for proper language tuition, the app is a fun way to get the basics, or to keep yourself fresh on grammar and vocabulary, before a trip abroad. Just like a computer game, the app guides you through levels that you need to complete before advancing, and you gain experience points along the way.
Free, iOS and Android,

XE Currency

XE is the go-to site for currency conversions on the web, so it’s no surprise that its app is so popular: with over 20 million downloads since launch. It has lots of business-oriented features, such as rates for precious metals and historic currency charts, but for the traveller it is most useful for the simple fact that it’s able to convert every world currency. It also functions offline by saving the last updated rates, which is great if you’re in a place with limited connectivity or trying to save on data.

Free, iOS and Android,

for more info:

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Tool Time: Assistive Learning Apps for ADHD Kids

1. Read2Go/Learning Ally Audio
(; iOS; $19.99)/(; iOS; Android; free with Learning Ally membership)
Bookshare and Learning Ally, audiobooks services for people with reading challenges, are familiar names in education. Read2Go (for Bookshare) and the Learning Ally Audio app make these valuable resources more accessible. Some students with attention challenges find it tough to focus while listening to audiobooks. Read2Go and audiobooks in Learning Ally's VOICEtext format highlight each word on the screen as it is read. This innovative feature is also good for students who need to build decoding skills. Seeing a word while hearing it improves reading skills.
2. Voice Dream Reader
(; iOS; $4.99)
Voice Dream will read text from any source — from Microsoft Word and PDF files to webpages. Users can listen to text in one of 36 available voices, and it's easy to pause, rewind, or fast-forward. Voice and reading speed can be adjusted easily while reading text. Voice Dream makes it simple to navigate text and start reading anywhere, and users can highlight and make notes in the app as they listen.
3. Rhyme to Read
(; iOS; first book free, full series is $9.99)
Developed by two expert educators, this app gives kids and parents access to a series of high-quality, controlled texts (short, simple stories that use a combination of patterned words and sight words). Controlled texts help young children gain fluency, automaticity, and confidence. The series is so well designed that kids who are easily discouraged will stick with it. Readers can tap target words to hear them and words they've already learned will appear in later books in the series.
4. iBooks
(; iOS; free)
For Mac users, it's hard to beat the simplicity of iBooks. Students can replace heavy stacks of textbooks with an iPad or an iPhone. The app makes it easy to use reading comprehension boosting strategies, like highlighting and note-taking, which are critical for students with low attention. Some textbooks go a step further, with interactive features and quizzes at the end of sections. College students will breathe a sigh of relief thanks to iBooks' update policy: it automatically replaces old textbooks with new editions.
5. MotionMath
(; iOS, Android; free to $6.99, depending on game; bundle for $25.99)
It's tempting to prescribe a stack of flashcards when kids struggle with math, but students with weak attention benefit more from improving their number sense than from rote memorization. The research-based MotionMath helps to improve that. Preschoolers can begin with Hungry Guppy, which teaches basic numeracy using both objects and number symbols. As students progress, there are plenty of more difficult games. One of our favorites is Zoom, which requires players to tilt their devices to drop whole numbers and decimals on number lines.
6. Equator
This imaginative, two-player game is sure to please students who need motivation to practice their math facts. The screen is divided into two hemispheres, so that each player can easily read his own half of the iPad as he adds and subtracts. The goal is to arrive at the same total using different numbers, but the numbers are only the beginning of the challenge. Every successful equation causes the globe to spin, turning day into night and night into day. The seasons also change, and players must survive "storms" of multiplication and division. This game is fun.
7. Math Ninja
(; iOS; $1.99)
Making things fun is important to students with attention challenges, and Math ninja is an addictive way to practice addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Correct answers earn more weapons for ninjas' arsenals, like ninja stars and smoke bombs, which can be fired at the evil Tomato-San and his robot cronies. The graphics are bright and cartoonish, and squeamish players (and parents) can rest assured that these battles are silly rather than violent.
8. MindNode
(; Mac, $19.99; iOS, $9.99)
Organizing a jumble of ideas to write a book review or essay is a daunting task. Mind mapping is a good way to understand how thoughts fit together to make a coherent essay. MindNode is an excellent tool for this kind of pre-writing. Many students with learning difficulties find that visual mind maps work better than outlines. Writers begin by placing their initial idea in the center, then add ideas, color-code them, and draw connecting lines. It's easy to convert maps to Microsoft Word documents or image files, to share with parents and teachers for feedback.
9. Storybird
(; Web; free)
Writing is one of the toughest tasks for students, and the beautifully crafted Storybird provides young authors with engaging, meaningful ways to express themselves. A multitude of artist-created images are available for inspiration or as supplements to stories, making Storybird valuable to students with strong spatial skills. Images are also useful for helping to sequence events in a story. There are a variety of genres to choose from, and Storybird allows writers to share their stories easily and to comment on others' work, too.
10. SpellBetter
(; iOS; free)
Students with learning difficulties often find writing frustrating, so poor spellers are bound to love SpellBetter as a word processor. Word prediction and auto-completion features allow writers to focus on recording their ideas instead of on spelling. SpellBetter can untangle the most mangled spelling, and its text-to-speech function makes it easy to listen to the suggested words in the word bank or proofread one's writing. SpellBetter's spell checker considers both phonetics and context, and it exports finished pieces to other formats (PDF, e-mail) for sharing.
Getting Stuff Done
(; iOS, Android; free)
Sometimes there's beauty in simplicity, and it doesn't get much simpler than For those who get lost in options and details, is the perfect solution for managing a busy life. Set up a to-do list and program the app to send reminders. That's it. Because it's sometimes easier to lay out an agenda while looking at a calendar, the Cal version (also free) combines iCal and the task list.
12. Finish
(; iOS; free)
Writing down every task can result in an intimidating list. Since prioritization is critical, Finish allows users to place items on one of three lists: short-, mid-, or long-term. The app initially defines short- term as tasks due in 0-2 days, mid-term tasks as 3-7 days, and long-term as due in 8 days or more, but these settings are adjustable. Finish is user-friendly. Type in the task ("E-mail Prof. Brown re: paper"), select the deadline for completion, and relax, knowing that Finish will send a reminder. When you enable it, it will prompt the app to send continuous reminders.
13. Wunderlist
(; iOS, Android, Mac, PC; free)
Wunderlist is a simple, powerful way to organize lists of all kinds. But the best reason to use Wunderlist is its collaboration capability. Users can make group lists, assign tasks to different members of the group, and even arrange for the app to send reminder e-mails. The organizer can see which delegated tasks have been marked complete, and a conversation feature allows group members to discuss their tasks seamlessly, too. Parents of teens can use the app to provide the nudge many kids need, without having to nag, and Wunderlist's ability to attach files to tasks can coordinate group projects.
Limit Distractions
14. iDetective
(; iOS, $2.99)
Computers and other electronic devices are helpful tools, but they can distract kids. Parents who want to make sure that their child is spending more time on research sites than on Facebook can use iDetective to monitor activity. This app gives detailed reports on how a computer is being used. iDetective allows a parent to send messages to the device, so a child's social media session could be interrupted with "Done your homework?"
15. LiveScribe
(; $149–$306)
Students and professionals with focus challenges miss important content if they zone out during lectures or meetings. LiveScribe, which looks like an ordinary pen, records everything that is said, so a student can replay a lecture later to hear what he or she may have missed. Since relistening to a whole lecture is time-consuming, LiveScribe's time-sync capability enables note-takers to tap on any word they've written in the LiveScribe notebook to listen to what was said at the moment they wrote that word.
16. WizCom Tech Pen
(; $159–$199)
This high-tech tool can be a great resource for readers who need help with tough words or vocabulary. This scanner, which is about the size of a marker, enables readers to "highlight" a word in a printed text to hear its pronunciation and definition. (There's a headphone jack for use in the classroom.) Because the scanning motion is somewhat disruptive to the reading process, we recommend the pen to readers who need help only with a word or two per sentence.
Time Management
17. Time Timer
(; iOS, $2.99; Android, $0.99; timers and watches, $29.95–$79.95)
Time Timer is a lifesaver for those who lose track of time or get too wrapped up in what they're doing. The format of the timer — a red field within the clock face gets smaller as the time passes — is simple enough for even young children to understand. Time Timer is wonderful for preventing arguments between parents and kids. When the limit is reached, there can be no real argument that a few more minutes of Minecraft are warranted. Older students and adults can use the timer to keep breaks from lasting twice as long as they should or to keep from spending 20 minutes composing an e-mail that should take five.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

20 Apps that Can Help Individuals with ADD/ADHD

Using the Vanderbilt Scales published by the American Academy of Pediatrics, ADHD Tracker makes completing and submitting a behavioral assessment easier for parents and teachers of children ages 4 through 18 years who have already been diagnosed and treated for ADHD.

Neurocognitive therapy has been clinically shown to improve executive functions in as little as three months in several double-blind studies. Until now however, similar digital treatments have cost hundreds of dollars. After over a year in development, ADHD Treatment app can decrease your dependence on medication with a natural treatment that is clinically proven to combat ADHD symptoms. Unlike other programs, ADHD Treatment strengths the core cognitive skills and executive functions. By doing so it is able to address the fundamental causes of ADHD and achieve long lasting results.

Ever wished you could jot down a task and set up a reminder alert really, really fast? Yeah, we do too. The beauty of Due lies in its simplicity. There’s no account to create, no start or end date to set, no need to prioritize, tag nor categorize. What there is however are what that matters: a note for your reminder and an alert that is set up in mere seconds.
4. EpicWin

EpicWin is an iPhone app that puts the adventure back into your life. It’s a streamlined to-do list, to quickly note down all your everyday tasks, but with a role-playing spin. So rather than just ticking off your chores and reminders, completing each one earns you XP to improve and develop your character in an ongoing quest to improve stats, gain riches, and level-up.

Take your to-do list anywhere with this feature-packed app; never forget the milk (or anything else) again.  Key Features: Add and complete tasks on the go, Sync with Remember The Milk online (limit once every 24 hours). Great for backing up your tasks and notes. Organize the way you want to with priorities, due dates, time estimates, repeating, lists, tags, and more. Search your tasks and notes, and save your favorite searches as Smart Lists. See tasks nearby and plan the best way to get things done.
6. Clear

Life is messy. Keep it together with Clear, an amazing new app for list-keeping that is unbelievably simple, quick and satisfying to use. Clear is designed with simplicity and flexibility in mind and works great with any list you throw at it! With no clutter, you won’t be distracted by your organizer.

Dragon Dictation is an easy-to-use voice recognition application powered by Dragon® NaturallySpeaking® that allows you to easily speak and instantly see your text or email messages. In fact, it’s up to five (5) times faster than typing on the keyboard. With Dragon Dictation you can also dictate status updates directly to your Social Networking applications (Facebook and Twitter) or send notes and reminders to yourself….all using your voice.  So when you’re on-the-go, stop typing and start speaking – from short text messages to longer email messages, and anything in between.

Keeping a private diary / journal has never been so easy. Momento helps you privately capture your daily activities, thoughts, ideas and photos, and combines them with your activity from social networks to create a complete and unified timeline of your life.

Attention Exercise sharpens your ability to focus, using simple drawing tasks that just take a minute a day. With daily use, your attention span will grow longer. Try using the Daily Reminder setting for improved results. This app was designed for people with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or attention deficit disorder (ADD). But Attention Exercise can help anybody lengthen attention span and improve focus.

MindNode makes mind mapping easy. Mind maps are a visual representation of your ideas, starting with a central thought and growing from there. This allows you to brainstorm & organize your thoughts in an intuitive way, so you can focus on the idea behind it.

123 TokenMe can help motivate children with ADHD to stay focused and on task in a brand new way. It completely replaces old-fashioned token boards. 123TokenMe is highly motivating, easy to personalize, and collects data. It works with unlimited students and behaviors.  An SLP and special ed teacher’s frustration with doing things the “same old way” led to its development, and this real world perspective shows.

Take charge of your repetitive household jobs with HomeRoutines. With HomeRoutines, you can create routine checklists, then complete them on your chosen days of the week, with reminder notifications to keep you on track, and a gold star for each completed task. This is a great way to motivate anyone to get chores done!
13. 30/30

For anyone that has trouble completing tasks in a timely fashion, 30/30 can help. All you do is set up a list of tasks, and a length of time for each of them. When you start the timer, it will tell you when to move on to the next task. That’s it! The task list is controlled entirely with gestures; a simple and natural way to use the app. The display is minimal but attractive and it still shows you everything you need to know. 1. What am I supposed to be doing right now? 2. How much time do I have left to do it?

iRewardChart is the perfect app for parents who want to keep track of their child’s behavior and reward them appropriately. It is an app that brings the traditional reward chart onto mobile device, with a customizable, interactive interface.

15. Evernote
Evernote makes it easy to remember things big and small from your everyday life using your computer, phone, tablet and the web. Information is in one location, organized, and available through a simple search. Type in what you need and Evernote will find it for you.

MotivAider changes your mobile device into a habit changing tool. It works in the background to cut through the clutter and keep your attention focused on making any particular change you’ve decided to make. First you decide on a desired behavior and devise a brief personal message that will remind and urge you to engage in that behavior. Next you choose a prompt – either vibration only or vibration accompanied by an audible tone – and decide how often to receive prompts. Then you simply associate your personal message with the prompt so that whenever you feel (and hear, if you choose that option) the prompt, you’ll automatically think your personal message. Available for Android too!

Remember the days of the large desk blotter pads – and all the scribbling they would gather…. by the end of a month, you were ready for a clean page of the desk calendar. This application is an attempt to help out with the void left by missing desk pad calendars and sticky notes in today’s world of technology. You now have the ability to scrawl notes on a virtual pad… and add sticki’s to it as needed or preferred. Add tabs for different aspects of your life to keep everything clean and organized.

A simple tool to help keep track of time spent on tasks such as work, studies, or other things. This tool allows you to create a list of tasks with time goals in hours, and keep track of the amount of time you spent on each task.

19. Dropbox
Put your stuff in Dropbox and get to it from your computers, phones, or tablets. Edit docs, automatically add photos, and show off videos from anywhere. Use it for work and school. Upload everything to dropbox and never forget your assignments at home.

Sometimes it is difficult to realize how much time you are wasting. Rescue time sends you weekly reports to indicate where you spend your time. You may be shocked to discover how much time you are wasting. You can even set goals to help keep you on track and improve your productivity. View your progress on your dashboard, in the weekly email report, and in the goals report.