Lots of cool new gadgets and accessibility innovations coming along

The following post consists of three topics.  I am too lazy to set up three separate posts.

MED-EL announces new all-in-one CI processor

MED-EL, one of the three companies that makes cochlear implants, just announced that the FDA approved their new all-in-one CI external processor.

Here’s the link to the press release: RONDO, the World’s First CI Single-Unit Processor,Now CE Mark and FDA Approved

My processor isn’t due for an upgrade for another two years, so that will give them time to fine-tune things, and hopefully add more colors.  The current release only includes four basic colors.  I will be especially grateful to not have to worry about cord snags.  I was walking to work one morning, and I hit a bump, and somehow my cord got tangled up, causing my processor to hit the pavement.  Ouch.

My one year “hearingversary” is coming up on December 16, so stay turned for a post with my thoughts on my CI journey this past year.  It has been incredible, and the CI will never stop improving because technology and research can only get better.

Accessibility-ready themes for WordPress

A team of expert developers are working on a series of criteria called Theme Accessibility Audit. If a theme developer wants to declare their theme accessibility-ready, it has to pass the reviews in order to be added to the theme repository as an accessible theme.  If it doesn’t pass, it can still be added, but not under the Accessibility section.  I use WordPress for all of my websites and this blog, and it will be very helpful to have the option to choose an accessible theme out of the box.  I am NOT a developer by any means.

The power of memory

I’ve been in several intern or learning positions over the past few years.  The experience has allowed me to really look at my learning style.  I’m one of those people that don’t necessarily learn quickly, but learn well.  I have a really good long term memory, and it takes what seems like forever to committ things to my long term memory, where they stay.

When I played the piano, and some extent, the violin, I found that committing the music to memory was what made it take off for me.  I think this is a good way to compensate for my vision loss, since I can’t sightread very fast.  The same can be applied to technology and new learning tools.  I stumble around for awhile, then it just clicks.  I want to find ways to help build on this learning style to make it work more in my favor.

One thing I’ve definitely learned over the years is that there isn’t just one way to learn.  Everyone has their own learning styles and abilities.  the key is learning how to use them in the most effective way.

I am going to work on exploring audio options, like JAWS, NVDA, System Access, and VoiceOver on my iPhone and iPad now that my hearing is better than my vision.  I’ve always heavily relied on my vision.  I want to see if using audio will help my writing and coding.  I am finding that relying so much on my vision can get exhausting because often, a tiny mistake in code, like a semi colon, can throw off a whole website.

It is really interesting to follow the advancements in technology these days, and overwhelming as well..  It is crazy to think how ideas and opportunities that were not even possible a few years ago, are now looking very feasible.

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