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Welcome to iBUG Today - Empowering the Blind Through Accessible Technology

The website of iBUG Today, Inc., 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) is dedicated in helping the blind and visually impaired community become more proficient in using the accessibility features of the Apple iOS1 Devices.


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 right alongside the sighted community. 

 

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 25, 2:00 to 4:00 PM (CT)  

WHERE:

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

Get more details... 

 

  • 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.


  • The iBUG Guy applies for the Holman Prize for Blind Ambition  
Hi everyone, I am applying for the Holman Prize for Blind Ambition. I have created a 90-second YouTube video pitch as part of the application process that I am asking everyone to watch and "LIKE" on the www.HolmanPrize.org webpage
and on the YouTube video
at the link below.  I would also be grateful if you would please share this on your Facebook page and with other social media contacts you may have.

While I really appreciate all teh "Likes" on Facebook, I really need you to show your support with a "Like" on the www.HolmanPrize.org webpage and on thevideo, YouTube video, rather than just on my Facebook page.  Thank you for your support and spreading the word.
 
 
Here's a description, “The Holman Prize is not meant to save the world or congratulate someone for leaving the house. This prize will spark unanticipated accomplishments in the blindness community. You will see blind people doing things that surprise and perhaps even confuse you. These new LightHouse prizes will change perceptions about what blind people are capable of doing.”
— Bryan Bashin, CEO at LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired

With 2017 as its pilot year, the San Francisco LightHouse for the Blind has designed The Holman Prize to support emerging adventurousness and the can-do spirit of blind and low vision people worldwide. This endeavor celebrates people who want to shape their own future instead of having it laid out for them.
 
Created specifically for legally blind individuals with a penchant for exploration of all types, LightHouse’s initial 2017 prizes will provide financial backing for a as many as three individuals to explore the world and push their limits through travel, connections, construction and communication.
 
The ideal candidate is someone who is willing to probe their environment and eager to savor the richness of a world that is so often thought of as inaccessible to the blind. This exploration may involve travel, community organizing, scholarship, daring art or projects we haven’t even considered.
(Special thanks to Sandhya Rao, Rajani Katta, Shaan and Teja for helping with the production of the video)
 

  • Weekly iBUG Buzz (conference call) 

Q&A help session on Monday nights via conference call. 

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, March 12, 4:00 to 6:00 PM (CT)

WHERE:

 Spaghetti Western 
 1608 Shepherd
 Houston, TX  77007

The iBUG Cafe is a "deep dive" training session into a third-party app or genre of apps to gain a hands-on, working understaniding and utilization of the app.  Advanced iBUG member, Raul Gallegos, facilitates the iBUG Cafe.
We have selected contact management 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... 

 

  • 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 WWDC 2016 Keynote on June 13.  The presentation included upcoming changes to Watch OS, TV OS, MacOS and iOS and more.  

 

 

  • 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 5-Year Anniversary - May 27, 2016

 

  • 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 2016 - July 30, 2016

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

Some iBUG members stop by the iBUG table sporting their new iBUG polo shirts and lady bug wrist bands - Michael, Stacie, David, Robert, Wes (top row); Raul and Sandhya (bottom row)

 

  • iBUG Buzz Radio Program
Our iBUG Buzz program is hosted on Sight into Sound radio on Wednesdays, 1:00 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 Alan Gordon and Michael McCulloch 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. 


  • New authorized Specialized Telecommunications Assistance Program (STAP) vendor in Houston area

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...

 

  • Michael McCulloch, The iBUG Guy works at the NASA-Johnson Space Center and will be posting the latest episode of This Week @NASA, October 7, 2016 for your info and enjoyment.

 

 

  • 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 has 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.