Fred’s Head from APH, a Blindness Blog

Fred’s Head, offered by the American Printing House for the Blind, contains tips, techniques, tutorials, in-depth articles, and resources for and by blind or visually impaired people. Our blog is named after the legendary Fred Gissoni, renowned for answering a seemingly infinite variety of questions on every aspect of blindness.

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Friday, September 19, 2008

MacVisionaries: Making The MAC Accessible

MacVisionaries is a UK company specialising in products and services to help blind people to use the Apple Macintosh computing platform.

With the release of Mac OS 10.4 Apple has produced the first ever computer that is usable by blind people out of the box, eliminating the need to purchase expensive screen reading software. Macvisionaries is very excited about this development, and the aim of this company is to provide help to users switching to Mac OS X in the form of additional software required by the blind, audio tutorials and an online community.

MacVisionaries' main focus has been their Discussion mailing list. The list is used by members from at least eight different countries, including some well-known names from the access technology industry. Theyalso added a couple of special-interest lists and made a few small changes to help manage the flow of traffic on the lists.

They also launched the MacVisionaries Switch Counter, encouraging VoiceOver users to stand up and be counted. The counter continues to rise, counting the number of people who bought a Mac or a copy of Tiger just to get VoiceOver.

Finally, they introduced their unique Accessibility Testing service, and some more information on the web site which should help new users get started with the Mac, and started selling the great new voices from Cepstral. They are also working to bring you a tutorial that people can listen to and learn how to use VoiceOver and the Mac.

For more information about Macvisionaries please visit their website at:

The Mac-cessibility Site

This site is dedicated to offering information and links related to the use of Apple products by the blind and visually impaired. The inspiration for this site came with the increasing need for a collective resource of information and resources to educate and assist blind and visually impaired Mac users. Much information regarding these topics is scattered and fragmented, and a tremendous amount of misinformation has perpetuated around the Internet and VI communities about Apple and the accessibility of its products. The site hopes to provide a concise, useful, and accurate resource to remedy these misconceptions and encourage others to use the Mac OS X platform for work, school, or pleasure.

Click this link to visit The Mac-cessibility Site at

Gregg Kearney has produced a Daisy talking book of the manual for the VoiceOver screen reader for the Macintosh. Download the zip file at:

A mailing list to discuss use of the Macintosh by the blind has been started. The list is macfortheblind, and you subscribe by sending a blank message to

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