We are pleased and excited to announce the six people who have been invited to join our newly created AppleVis Blog Team. Each brings with them a unique mix of interests and experience, and we are sure that they will help us to make our blog an even more powerful and respected voice in the space that we occupy.
Rather than attempt to summarize each team member's unique backgrounds and qualifications, we felt it would be better to let each person introduce themselves:
I live in Tehran, Iran, and have an M.A. degree in TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language). I'm currently head of the International Desk at YJC (Young Journalists' Club) of Iran, which is the largest Persian news agency. I'm also a translator, radio journalist and assistive technology adviser, and always jump at the chance to beta-test applications on many platforms -- iOS in particular. I also produce podcasts from time to time and have a proclivity to collect recorders and microphones. You may also want to take a gander at my previous blog posts on AppleVis as I was a blogger here in the past. Looking forward to a coruscating blogging experience at AppleVis.
Brian Giles (left the Team in March 2017)
I live in Ogden, Utah and just graduated with a B.S. in journalism from Weber State University last May. I've been blind all my life and have only light perception, but I don't really pay attention to it much anymore. Right now I spend a lot of time going on long walks with my guide dog and getting acquainted with the frustration and repetition that is looking for a first job.
I became very interested in Apple at the end of 2004 when my friend showed me his brand new 4th generation iPod. Shortly after I got an iPod Shuffle a few months later, I began eagerly reading reviews of all things iPod. I've been a fan ever since.
I'm excited to be joining the AppleVis team and seeing what everyone comes up with.
Darrell Shandrow (left the Team in March 2017)
I am a blind accessibility advocate with over 20 years of consulting and support experience in the assistive and mainstream sides of the technology industry. I am currently employed in a technical call center, where I help businesses and residential customers resolve issues with their cable TV, high-speed internet and telephone service.
For over 10 years, I have been passionately and publicly evangelizing the need to insure the full inclusion and participation in society by blind people that only equal accessibility to information and technology can achieve.
In 2010, my life as a blind technology user changed significantly with the release of the iPhone 4. For the first time, a blind person could access banking information, browse the web, exchange emails, participate in social media, play games, read the news and do so much more, all on relative terms of equality with her sighted peers, thanks to Apple's robust implementation of VoiceOver. Unfortunately, I believe that as iOS has evolved, and some aspects of accessibility have continued to move forward, blind people have experienced a number of significant setbacks in the implementation of VoiceOver.
It is my intention to create compelling AppleVis blog articles that encourage you to act! I would like to see AppleVis blog readers writing to Apple and to third-party developers asking them to improve their support for accessibility and, thus, to fully enable the enjoyment of and participation in all aspects of Apple's ecosystem by blind people. From time to time, I will also mix it up a bit by blogging on topics that go beyond all accessibility all the time.
Mike Taylor (left the Team in April 2017)
Hi, I am Mike and love technology, and I have a background in accessibility and audio production. I am the one in our house who is called on to do all things technical, and when I am having a break from the technology I am running around after my 2-year old daughter. I am thrilled to be able to have this opportunity to contribute to AppleVis and look forward to posting soon.
I live in Austin, Texas, and have been a daily visitor to AppleVis for many years.
I spent thirty years at the University of Texas at Austin, most of it in campus-wide computing services leadership. I also enjoyed thirteen years volunteering on the Board of Directors at Guide Dogs for the Blind in San Rafael, California. After retiring from the University, I had the opportunity to serve as the Guide Dogs for the Blind Acting President and CEO.
I have happily retired again, and I love to spend my free time writing and reading. I prefer to do my work with an iPhone and a Bluetooth keyboard. My personal goal has been to turn my iPhone into a completely functional and stand-alone business system, information station, and entertainment center. I love my iPhone pocket computer. I look forward to sharing some of my perspectives and learning even more from all of you.
I recently graduated from the University of Limerick here in Ireland with a MSc. in Human Resource Management, and I am due to start my first job in October. I am currently volunteering as a Digital Inclusion Champion as part of DigiPlace4All, which is a European project focused on promoting assistive technology among those with a disability.
I have been using iOS since 2009 when I purchased my very first iPhone, i.e. the iPhone 3GS, and I later entered the world of Mac OS when I purchased the MacBook Pro. My hobbies/interests include listening to music, reading and discovering new technologies. I also enjoy travelling, attending musical theatre productions and finding new projects.
AppleVis is a fantastic resource, and I am delighted to be part of the blogging team. Please don’t hesitate to ask me any questions you may have, as I am very passionate about assistive technology and helping those who use the said technology in any way I can.
We are very excited to welcome these six individuals to our new AppleVis Blog Team, and we look forward to their contributions to the community as AppleVis opens a new chapter in its history.
We also want to take this opportunity to publicly thank everybody who expressed an interest in joining this new Team. We were thrilled by both the number and quality of people who applied. You gave us some tough decisions to make.