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Audio Editing Services

Podcast cleaning and editing. Podcast production and distribution. Sound effects and humorous voices.

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Video marketing, podcast marketing, newsblogging, writing, editing, images, presentations, whitepapers, ebooks.

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Assistive Technologies

Inexpensive technology for overcoming hearing, speech and visual difficulties. Free tutorials and online programs.

“Image May Contain…” – Alt Text and Other Breakthroughs in Assistive Technology

Sometimes the screen has to go dark in the middle of an important presentation to make a point. That’s exactly what Matt King did during his, to show others in the room what he sees. King is an engineer at Facebook, and is also blind.Facebook’s automatic alt text uses AIKing was presenting the results of the project he was part of at Facebook, an AI-powered tool, officially unveiled by the company on April 4.In its press release, “Using Artificial Intelligence to Help Blind People ‘See’ Facebook,” written by Shaomei Wu, Software Engineer and Hermes Pique, Software Engineer on iOS, and Jeffrey Wieland, Head of Accessibility, Facebook introduced automatic alternative text, or automatic alt text, a new development for its applications that generates a description of an image using object recognition technology.This is how the feature works, according to the press release:

People using screen readers on iOS devices will hear a list of items a photo may contain as they swipe past photos on Facebook. Before today, people using screen readers would only hear the name of the person who shared the photo, followed by the term “photo” when they came upon an image in News Feed. Now we can offer a richer description of what’s in a photo thanks to automatic alt text. For instance, someone could now hear, “Image may contain three people, smiling, outdoors.”

Chromebook Chronicles, Part 3

Staunton Media Lab (SML) has concluded its three-week workshop series on Chromebook via live broadcast on March 16. The workshop was held on Google Hangouts and streamed on YouTube. Chromebook is a cloud-based netbook computer with a WiFi connection and limited storage. Last week’s broadcast covered security, storage options, accessibility settings, among other features.

Below are a few key points that were covered this week.

Touchpad or mouse?

As MaryKatherine Feehan, SML’s social media volunteer coordinator, explained, the Chromebook’s touchpad has no left- or right-click button, so you can use a mouse, or you can try some tricks using your fingers and the touchpad:

  • move one finger to move the cursor
  • use two fingers to right-click
  • use two fingers to scroll it up and down the page
  • move two fingers left or right to go back and forward on a page
  • if you move three fingers up and down it will minimize the screen

Chromebook Chronicles, Part 2

The Staunton Media Lab (SML) has launched a series of copyright-free workshops, first announced in February, on using  Chromebook computers. The first installment aired March 1; it was a disaster and the video was quickly removed. The second session on March 9 went much better. The Google Hangout on Air ran live on YouTube and the video is now archived there.

The live, online workshop included a live transcription window. Theoretically, hearing-impaired participants could watch the transcript unfurl live online. In practice, the transcription software had trouble keeping up with four different participants. The service used, http://speechpad.pw, is free and is still highly recommended by the Staunton Media Lab for the hearing-impaired.

In the future, SML is working to add live ASL to the workshops, so that hard-of-hearing participants can watch the ASL screen and participate in the workshops that way. SML is also looking at adding an ASL translation to the video after it airs. If you know ASL and are interested in helping sign our webcasts, please contact Steve O’Keefe today. Thanks!

Chromebook Chronicles: SML’s Live Tutorial Workshop in March

During the February 24 broadcast SML’s Executive Director Steve O’Keefe introduced the new three-week Chromebook Chronicles tutorial workshop and online user group. The Chromebook Chronicles will be conducted in Google Hangouts on March 2, 9, and 16, at 3:30 p.m. ET.

Chromebook Chronicles is a live tutorial workshop/online user group on Chromebook accessibility and applications. It’s copyright-free, and will be moderated by O’Keefe.

The Chromebook is an inexpensive “netbook” computer that has very little storage or memory. It works to access applications in the cloud, such as Google Docs, YouTube, Soundcloud, Zoho, Microsoft 365, Facebook, as well as video- and audio-editing software. It is also Amazon-friendly.

“Cloudbook is a better name for it,” quipped O’Keefe during the broadcast, noting that “the cloud is ready for your business” and its improving performance opens up a “new world of accessibility.”

How Can You Help?

Volunteer.  We need you! Do you know sign language? Do you know Braille? Do you know English? Do you have language? Then SML needs you! Call us at 540-324-7023, or email

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Staunton Media Lab - Copyright 2017