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Leasey, it just gets better! Includes Tek Talk Presentation.

Introduction.

Earlier today on Tek Talk as part of Accessible World, we revealed the new features which will be upcoming in Leasey version 2, to be released at the end of July. We've listened very carefully to the suggestions from our many users around the world. We've taken those ideas and built them into the next version of our product which is becoming more widely used week by week! You can download the audio version of the presentation here which includes users talking about what they think of Leasey.

Please find below a brief description of the new features.

Support for the Microsoft Outlook 2013 Calendar.

Support for the Outlook calendar is probably the most requested feature we have had. This is not surprising, since many people need to use it as part of their employment. Calendar appointments can also be synchronised to your mobile device.

The support we have added includes:

  • Automatic announcing of timed appointments and all day events as you move through the days. Leasey tells you brief details of each appointment, not just that they exist.
  • Pressing tab to move through all appointments presents them in a logical sequence for easy review and understanding.
  • As you Tab to each appointment, you are automatically advised whether it is an all day event (rather than speaking midnight from one day to midnight on another), the total number of days the appointment spans, whether you are focused upon the final day of a multiple all day event, and the notes associated with it.
  • Leasey can be customised to speak the full details of the appointment, (such as whether a reminder is associated with it), or just the subject and location details.
  • All appointments can be placed within the JAWS Virtual Viewer for closer inspection.
  • A cue is available, in the form of the words "end of items", to denote that no more appointments exist for a given day.
  • Within the Week or Work Week Views, as you navigate the days you are advised how many appointments are available for the given week. If you Tab through the appointments, you hear the date on which each appointment falls, together with the other details listed above.
  • A Leasey Application menu exists to move to all common calendar elements, such as the next appointment, even if it is some distance away from the focused date. Leasey Basic users will enjoy real human speech in this menu.
  • Braille support is available in the calendar.

LeaseySearch.

LeaseySearch has been confined until this point for the purpose of searching for book information. LeaseySearch allows you to quickly find any information no matter the application in which you are working. Currently, it functions with RNIB Overdrive, Bookshare, Audible books, the CNIB Library in Canada, Vision Australia's library catalogue, and the National Library Service of america's Braille and audio collection.

LeaseySearch has now been extended to include:

  • Google. Type what you want to search for, press Enter, and focus lands on the first result.
  • Wikipedia. Enter the search term, press Enter, and the full Wikipedia article is retrieved with focus at the starting point.
  • Youtube. Again, enter the video title or artist, press Enter, and a specially customised Youtube page is available with focus on the first result. When inside a Youtube video, keys are available to pause and play it, together with fast forwarding and rewinding quickly. A Leasey Application menu exists in Youtube to perform other actions, such as sharing to Facebook and Twitter.
  • Amazon. It is not only possible to search by individual department on amazon, but it is also relative to your own country. When the chosen item is located, Leasey will set focus to the appropriate point on the amazon page to obtain a description, such as a book summary.

Amazon Kindle.

Many of our Leasey users would like to read books on Amazon Kindle when they have been purchased. Leasey version 2 will support the Amazon Kindle accessibility PlugIn, with a number of significant improvements:

  • Kindle can be launched from Leasey's Main Menu.
  • Books are presented in a vertical list rather than a four-by-four grid for easy navigation.
  • Keystrokes are available when reading the book with which Leasey users will be familiar. Good examples would be Insert+Down Arrow to read, Control key to pause, Right and Left Arrow keys during SayAll to skip sentence by sentence.
  • A Leasey Application menu again is available to carry out common tasks within Amazon Kindle, including changing voice parameters, moving to specific book sections and to synchronise the reading position with other devices.

Leasey Games Module.

One of the most exciting developments in this release is a special Games Module. Whether you would like an easy to use word building game, something to get you thinking or to play online with your friends, Leasey has you covered.

We are pleased to offer RS Games for online playing. Using a simple menu structure, RS Games makes it easy to play games such as Apples to Apples, Blackjack, 1000 Miles, Battleship, Cards Against Humanity, Uno, Monopoly, Bingo and many more. It is a wonderful client for both game play and social interaction.

We are also delighted to offer the full complement of the Blind Gamers catalogue from Spoonville software. Includes over 30 fantastically developed, easy to use games, such as card and board games including Scrabble, Solitaire, Code Breaker, Cribbage, Mastermind and more. Sound effects and music are available too. Ideal for relaxation and fun!

The amazing Park ~Boss from NA Soft is a strategic arcade gamewhere you need to use your brains rather than your quick reactions. You begin with a field on which you need to construct a theme park. This game is all about management. You need to build attractions, employ people, keep your customers satisfied, ensure utilities are available such as toilets and refreshments, and much more. It is wonderful to see your own little empire grow, but things can, and do, go wrong!

All the above games will be included within a special Leasey Games menu for quick and easy location. Very kind permission has been obtained to include them within the Leasey Games Module.

A Game Exclusive to Leasey!

The piece de resistance however is the first in a series of games developed exclusively for Leasey.

Designed by Lulu Hartgen and developed by Philip Bennefall, (a seasoned game programmer and software engineer), Treasure Troll combines quality and fully orchestrated music (which changes depending upon how effective you are at game play), original sound effects and vocal production. The music emanates from the Elias engine. Used in specialist and mainstream gaming products, through Elias the music is just as dynamic and flexible as the corresponding composition would have been in a movie. Simple yet challenging, as with all the Leasey Games the interface is easy to use with few keystrokes to remember.

You are a troll who suddenly falls into a cave. Fairies, who guard a horde of golden treasure, sleep around the walls of the cave. Your task is to steal all the treasure By collecting it as it moves and floats across the cave. Gather it before it disappears, don't hit the walls which will wake the fairies with nasty consequences, avoid hazards and perils, snatch falling bonuses from the air, play through ten quickening levels and increase your scores. Completing the game is not enough to get the highest score! Quick reactions and careful thought will do that!

What Else Should I Know About the Leasey Games Module?

  • The Leasey Games Module cannot be downloaded and installed by anyone. You will need to have a Leasey User License, not a demonstration copy. If you have one, you will be able to select the Module from the Help menu or LeaseyManager. The games will then be downloaded and installed automatically.
  • Treasure Troll is not available outside of the Leasey platform.
  • Full documentation will be available for all supported games.
  • The overall footprint on the machine for the Leasey Games module is kept as small as possible.
  • If the Games Module is not installed, Leasey users will not see an option for it on their Main Menu.
  • While games vary in their complexity, the way in which you play is kept very straightforward.
  • Any game developers who would like us to license their projects on the Leasey platform should send an Email to games@hartgen.org, whereupon we can have a folow-up discussion. All games should be bug free as far as possible, and sound effects and music used should be original.

We very much hope that the 50 games included in Leasey version 2 provide a good starting point for those people who would like to play. More games will become available over time.

Smaller Improvements.

LeaseyCuts. People love our LeaseyCuts facility, where you can launch a Microsoft Word document, folder or web page from any location on the computer. We know customers who have hundreds of LeaseyCuts stored. This has now been extended to accommodate any file, such as a text document, PowerPoint presentation or an Excel Workbook. Simply create the LeaseyCut pointing to it and launch the item whenever you need to. It's quick and easy!

Firefox. Leasey version 2 supports the Mozilla Firefox web browser. Our LeaseyAlerts (for setting focus to areas of web pages automatically), LeaseySelect (for selecting text passages for copying), LeaseyCuts (for storing web pages to get back to later), LeaseySticky Notes (for annotating web page content) and LeaseyPoints (for bookmarking specific passages) all work.

Dropbox. While Leasey version 1 contains the ability to monitor Dropbox activity, (such as advising you of the progress of file upload or download), version 2 provides full access to the Dropbox Preferences dialog for managing activity. This includes more reliable performance when moving from one control to another, switching between Tabbed Pages, and accurately speaking field names.

Scanning. We've had a lot of requests for support in respect of scanning documents and books with Leasey, which has come from both individual customers and organisations. Leasey will provide support for Serotek's DocuScan program. We evaluated many mainstream and specialist packages and we felt DocuScan provided the highest quality access with a straightforward keyboard-centric interface. Because the new release of DocuScan contains the ability to function alongside JAWS, your speech and Braille-based preferences can be used alongside the program. When inside a scanned document, the aforementioned LeaseySelect and LeaseyPoints will function as usual.

DocuScan is much more than a scanning program however. You can quicly process and read PDF files which have previously been scanned as images. Alternatively, import a PDF, Word Document, text or HTML file into DocuScan, and convert it to Braille, large print, DAISY with structure, or audio MP3. If you wish, documents can be saved to the cloud for permanent storage, or indeed to access from another computer, even if DocuScan is not installed.

DocuScan can be purchased directly from Hartgen Consultancy at £200 or $300.

And That's Not All!

We're very pleased with the upcoming version of Leasey and we hope you will be too. Please don't forget our special offers for Leasey, available from July 5 to 15. If you purchase the product at that time, you will be able to receive Leasey version 2 at no extra cost, as is the same with all existing license holders. Please Visit Leasey Central to Learn More About Leasey!

We have lots of exciting plans for our winter upgrade to Leasey. But if you'd like to suggest a feature, or an application that needs support, we would love to receive your suggestions. Do feel free to Email support@leaseycentral.com. After all, Leasey just gets better!

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