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Welcome to iBUG Today - Empowering the Blind Through Accessible Technology

iBUG Today, Inc. is a non-profit organization promoting the individual independence, social integration, and educational development of the blind and visually impaired community through accessible technology.  iBUG (iBlind Users Group) endeavors to transform the blind community through accessible technology so they can live extraordinary lives full of independence, productivity, communication and social integration in a world where everything is within the realm of possibility. 


More and more of our community are finding the Apple devices to be useful assistive technology tools in their daily lives.  iPad and iPhone 4SWhether at home, at work or school, or on the go – the accessibility features of the iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Apple Watch and Apple TV have cleared new pathways for the visually impaired to be more productive, consume online content, stay connected through social media and have fun. 

 

Please explore our website to learn more about iBUG and for additional information related to iOS and iDevice accessibility resources.

 

Announcements 

  • Next iBUG Face-to-Face Meeting / Apple Workshop 

The meeting is open to anyone desiring to become more proficient at using the iOS accessibility features of the iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Apple Watch and Apple TV.       

WHEN:  Saturday, March 24, 2:00 to 4:00 PM (CT)  

WHERE:  

Apple Store Highland Village (Briefing Room)
4012 Westheimer
Houston, TX  77027

Get more details... 

 

  • iBUG Dream Vacation Raffle

iBUG Today is offering a sweepstakes for a chance to win your choice of a Dream Vacation Week to any location RCI has resorts domestic or international.  You will have a two bedroom, two bath resort that sleeps eight.  All resorts come with all amenities.  You will be responsible for your own transportation.  The vacation will be valid through December 2018. 

Tickets:  $10 each or 15 tickets for $100

Please note we will only sell 500 tickets, so your chances to win are very high. Ticket sales end April 1, 2018

Please contact one of the following to purchase your tickets and get your ticket number:  Belinda Skloss, belinda131@verizon.net, Sandhya Rao, sraotexas@gmail.com, Michael McCulloch, mdmcculloch1@gmail.com

Sell Dream Vacation tickets and receive one Getaway Retreat for every 25 tickets sold.  Retreats can be taken at any Silverleaf Resort.  You will have a two bedroom/2 bath Presidential Suite with all the amenities. The Getaway Retreat must be used by December 31, 2018.  You will be responsible for your own transportation. Getaway Retreats are from Sunday thru Thursday.  Check out time is 10 a.m. on Thursday.  Deadline for ticket sales is April 1, 2018.

Contact Belinda Skloss, belinda131@verizon.net for ticket numbers and receipt.  Checks can be mailed to Belinda Skloss, 22 Ranchview Drive, Huntsville, TX  77320.  


  •  Next iBUG Android Insider Conference Call - March 28

The iBlind Users Group (iBUG Today) has expanded! Are you an Android user or do you have questions about the Android operating system and its devices? If you are, or if you want to learn how an Android device can be used by the blind and visually impaired, come join us for the Android Insider conference call.

Conference Dial-in Number: 641-715-3580, Participant Access Code: 787800#

Get mor details... 

 

  • Check out this awesome video of advanced iBUG member, Keith Pevoto  

 

  • iBUG Named Agency of the Month  

Check it out!  iBUG Today is the featured Agency of the Month on the American Foundation for the Blind's (AFB) VisionAware website.

 

  • Weekly iBUG Buzz (conference call) 

Q&A help session on Mondays, 7:30 PM (CT) via conference call: 605-468-8002, access code:  154497# 

Get more details...

 

  • iBUG JumpStart Mentoring Program

Did you recently get an iPhone or iPad?  Are you ready to throw it against the wall?  Are you frustrated because you cannot seem to perform the most basic tasks?  Or perhaps you have had your iPhone for a while and would like to learn some new feature or app.

There is help!  The iBUG JumpStart Mentoring Program!  The iBUG Today Team will match you with a qualified mentor who can help you accomplish some basic objectives. iBUG JumpStart is intended to introduce you to some basic concepts and gestures that will help you get the most out of your iPhone.  Once you are familiar with the layout of the phone and are able to execute essential commands, you will be on your way to unlocking the awesome power of the iPhone.  As you gain proficiency with the iPhone, the weekly iBUG Buzz Conference Calls on Monday nights and the monthly Face-to-Face meetings at the Apple Store will continue to provide a valuable resource for on-going help and support.

So, for those of you that would like to participate in iBUG JumpStart as either a mentor or mentee, please download the appropriate application form (MS Word format) below, fill out and return to the address indicated on the form. 

For additional questions about the iBUG JumpStart Mentoring program, please contact the program administrator, Sandhya Rao, at sraotx@yahoo.com

Mentee Application        Mentor Application

 

  • Next iBUG Cafe 

WHEN:  Sunday, April 8, 5:00 to 7:00 PM (CT) *** Note new time for this month only ***

WHERE:

Cafe Express 
1422 W. Gray
Houston, TX  77019

The iBUG Cafe is a "deep dive" training session into a third-party app or genre of apps to gain a hands-on, working understanding and utilization of the app.  Advanced iBUG member, Raul Gallegos, will facilitate the iBUG Cafe.

We have selected TBD apps for our deep dive training session.  If you have recommendations for future iBUG Cafe sessions, please submit those to the ibugtoday@gmail.com   Get more details... 

  • Next VILA Book Club

WHEN:  Thursday, April 12, 6:30 to 7:30 PM (CT)

WHERE:

Cafe Express 
1422 W. Gray
Houston, TX  77019

FACILITATOR:  Heide Miller

We will be discussing our reading for the month:  

Joyland, Stephen King, DB 76799

Heartbroken New Hampshire college student Devin takes a summer job at a North Carolina amusement park. He is intrigued by tales of the ghost of a murdered girl and by a young neighbor and her ill son.   

(11 hours, 7 minutes)

If you are planning to eat dinner, please order at the counter first and then come to theback room on the left side of the restaurant.  They will bring the food our to you when it is ready. 

If you cannot attend in person, there is also a conference call-in number to participate by phone.

Conference Call Info:  605-468-8002, Access Code:  154497#

NOTE: this is not a toll-free call, so it is best to use your cell phone or VOIP.

*** RECOMMENDATION ***

We recommend you use the Free Conference Call HD app in the App Store) to connect to the conference call using your Wi-Fi connection.

 

iBUG Trekkie Talk (conference call)

Since many iBUGgers are also Trekkies or Trekkie wanna-be's, we have created a discussion group to watch audio described episodes of Star Trek, the Original  Series (TOS) and then meet together via conference call to discuss the episodes.  We review the episodes on the 1st and 3rd Thursdays of the month, 8:00 PM (CT).  The iBUG Trekkie Talk discussion group is facilitated by Shane Christennson.  Everyone (even if they are not a member of iBUG) is welcome to participate.

Get more details...

 

  • Check out the Apple Special Event, September 12, 2017.  The keynote presentation deidicated the new Steve Jobs Theater and introduced the Apple Watch Series 3, Apple TV 4K, iPhone 8 and 8 Plus and iPhone X.

 

 

  • iBUG at 2016 ACBT Convention and Conference - September 23-25, 2016

Chelsea, Sandhya, and Michael at the iBUG table in the Exhibition Hall.

 

Sandhya and Michael presenting at the Amazon Echo workshop.


 

  • iBUG Today celebrates 6-Year Anniversary - May 27, 2017 

  

  • The iBUG Guy appears on iAccessVO

The iBUG Guy, Michael McCulloch, appeared on the May 21, 2016 edition of the iAcessVO program.  Michael was interviewed by iAccessVO hosts Brian Fischler and Ed Plumacher as he described the resources and services provided by iBUG Today to the blind and visually impaired community.

Listen to the recording of the iAccessVO program here.  Note the iBUG Guy comes on at about 25 minutes into the program. 


  • iBUG at Insight Expo 2017 - March 4, 2017

Sandhya, Michael and Chelsea all set up at the iBUG table in the Exhibtion Hall to help users with iOS and iDevice questions and issues

 

Sandhya, who gave the Keynote Address at the Insight Expo, giving some love to one of the guide dog puppies in the Exhibition Hall.


Wes, Sandhya, and Michael taking a break between workshop sessions.

 

  • iBUG Buzz Radio Program
Our iBUG Buzz program is hosted on Sight into Sound radio on Wednesdays, 1:30 PM (CT) (rebroadcast Tuesdays, 5:30 PM and Wednesdays, 5:30 AM).  Additionally, the program is archived and available on demand 24/7.  You may listen to the program hosted by Jim Bratten using the special digital receivers from Sight into Sound, iBlink app on your iDevice or via the internet by going to the Sight into Sound website at the following link and selecting the "Tune in Now" or "Listen on Demand" buttons:  http://www.sightintosound.org 

 

  • The iBUG Guy appears on the Accessible World Tek Talk Program

On Monday, December 1, 2014, the iBUG Guy, Michael McCulloch, appeared on the Accessible World Tek Talk program along with about a dozen other technology based groups.  Dean Martineau who produces the Flying Blind, LLC Top Tech Tidbits newletter, moderated the program discussion as  each group spokesperson described the resources and services they provide.

Listen to a recording of the Tek Talk program here.  Note the iBUG Guy comes on at about 43 minutes into the program. 


  • Subsidy for iPhone through Specialized Telecommunications Assistance Program (STAP) for Texas residents

Contact Ray Wathen: 713-557-4937

Adaptive Communication Devices is now assisting qualified Texas residents obtain an iPhone using the STAP vouchers program.  Please check out their website for further details:  http://adaptivecommunicationdevices.wordpress.com

 

  • Apple Accessibility Support - for questions about assistive technology on your Apple device 

Phone:  (877) 204-3930

Email:   accessibility@apple.com


  • App Accessibility Issues - contact the app developer

Here is a sample letter that you may use to send an email to an app developer regarding the inaccessibility of their app. 


  • iBUG Road Show

A 90-minute presentation given by several advanced iBUG members that will provide your group or staff an introduction to the iPhone and its accessibility capabilities (currently limited to the Houston area).  Read more...

  

  • One of The iBUG Guy's favorite composites of video shot by Space Station astronauts.  Even after all these years, he finds it hard to believe that he had the priviilege of helping develop and build this fantastic "flying" machine.  Please enjoy "Walking on Air

 

 

  • The iBUG Guy received the CARE Award 2014, presented by the Houston Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities for his outstanding dedicated service to citizens with disabilities in the City of Houston, Texas, September 26, 2014.

 

 

1 iOS is the operating system of the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch.