“I Know It’s a Good Travel Day When….”

germaine snuggles and pat lets her cross the seat line“I Know It’s a Good Travel Day When….”

Here are the top five ways I know it’s a good travel day:

1. Everyone who offers me assistance starts by sharing their name, title and company.

2. The gate agent has an idea of a more comfortable seat for my service dog, but discusses it with me before making the change–“yeah”

3. the gate agent calls for “preboard” allowing us to get settled ahead of others.

4. The gate agent observes a loose pet causing distractions for my service dog. He asks the owner to gain control of their dog.

5. (Specially for my service dog, Germaine) everyone we ask knows where the dog relief area is located and we find it well maintained.

now for the question I most often get about traveling!
“Where does your service dog sit on the plane?”

My dog has been trained to put her head and shoulders underneath the seat in front of me, curling her body in my foot space. I get whatever is left, tucking her harness against the wall and my feet wherever they fit.

Germaine is no dummy though and she’s flown enough that, as we all do, she notes when the center seat is vacant and begins to expand into that area!

The picture on this post is kinda a joke on me. I wanted one showing that she fits in the allotted space because most people don’t believe she can. She weighs about 78 pounds and is 21 inches tall. So, she was tucked into her space and we got set for the picture. Germaine, however, noticed the photographer, and since it was someone she knows and who has been friendly to her, she drifts her head across the dividing lines! Well, Best laid plans!!

Accessible iPhone Apps

screen shot of VoiceOverThe following article is adapted from some iPhone training material that I created for special education teachers in June 2011. It describes over 70 accessible iPhone apps.

Apple’s iPhones (starting with the 3GS) are accessible to people who are blind as they come, complete with a screen reader, “VoiceOver”, and print enlarger “zoom”. As you know, the iPhone is famous for its touch screen so this is a very new experience for most blind users. Apple reps are well prepared to sell these phones and to explain their accessibility features in their stores, although it’s a noisy environment so it can be somewhat challenging. Similar accessibility is experienced on iPod Touch and iPad devices.

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Tips For Accessibility Testing Of iOS Apps

Accessible iPhone

Use of mobile devices has skyrocketed over the last five years, and due to Apple’s commitment to provide accessibility, people with disabilities are participating in mobile use as never before. Apple’s apps provided on iOS devices are amazingly accessible including calenders, maps, and even operational items such as battery life and settings. Third-party apps, however, are accessible only if developers created them with accessibility in mind. There are no mandates for app accessibility, no checklists, and little advice for developers. Please see the resources section at the end of this piece for links to existing guidance.

Accessible apps not only benefit people with disabilities but are often helpful as well to older people, people with low literacy or language limitations, and new or infrequent users. You can reach these populations more effectively with accessibility features built into your app. In this paper you will learn how to set up your device for accessibility testing, how to operate your device with VoiceOver turned on, and how to test your app for accessibility.

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