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Accessibility Spots FOCUS 40 BLUE - 5TH GENERATION

Please contact 312-733-9800 and/or e-mail info@woodlaketechnologies.com for more information.

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The newly improved Focus® 40 Blue, the most RUGGED portable Braille Display available, has been tested to rigorous standards.

This fifth generation of the Focus Braille Display line incorporates our vast knowledge base from manufacturing and servicing displays in the previous designs. The new housing is an aluminum extrusion on a steel base. Each Braille cell is physically isolated from its neighbors. The housing incorporates bumpers that absorb shock when the unit is dropped or knocked against a wall or door. The durable unit has been drop-tested to US Military Standard MIL-STD-810G.

A single smooth cell cap covers the Braille, so you feel only the Braille pins, no seams. Special attention has been paid to the dot keys and spacebar to ensure smooth positive feedback and quiet operation. The Braille pins have been retooled to provide a crisper, more uniform feel that you’ll notice with your first reading.


  • 40 Braille cells
  • 8-dot Braille keyboard
  • Smooth, paper-like feel
  • Convenient thumb key and panning buttons
  • Our exclusive NAV Rockers let you rapidly scroll by line, sentence, paragraph, or pan through a document
  • Menu button for quick access to settings
  • Adjustable key repeat for rapid scrolling and panning
  • Select your personal Braille firmness with VariBraille
  • Time and date display

Compatibility and Connectivity

  • Bluetooth 3.0 connectivity – switch between five Bluetooth devices and one USB connection
  • Out-of-the box compatibility with Apple® iOS* and Android devices
  • Use with JAWS for combined speech and Braille access
  • Use with JAWS for Braille Study Mode to learn and teach Braille
  • Works with JAWS BrailleIn™ for contracted Braille input in Windows®

*Requires iOS 11. Beta users of iOS 11 already enjoy connectivity

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JAWS 18 OrCam Wearable Solutions

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Join us on October 17th between 12:00pm-6:00pm at Woodlake Technologies and get a complimentary demonstration of OrCam MyEye. See for yourself how OrCam can help you or your visually impaired family member or friend be more independent. Please RSVP on the link below so we can provide you with a personalized experience, and an OrCam professional will reach out to you to set a time for you to come in!


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Refreshable Braille Display Keyboards Tactile maps

Focus Blue Compatibility with iOS 10.2 for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch


On December 12, 2016, Apple released an update to iOS 10, the operating system for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.

This update introduces a bug which affects the use of Focus Blue Braille displays. This document describes the issue, and what you might do to mitigate it. We will update this document when we receive information from Apple about when they can correct the issue.

The Problem

If you are a Focus 14 Blue, Focus 40 Blue, or Focus 80 Blue user, your display is paired with your iOS device, and you upgrade from iOS 10.1 to 10.2, you will be able to continue using your display normally.

If you are a new Focus Blue customer who has not yet paired their display with their iOS device, or you need to unpair your display with your iOS device and wish to pair once again, you will not be able to complete the pairing process and you will be unable to use your display with your iOS device.

What you can do

If using your Focus Blue with your iOS device is important to you and you have a successful pairing relationship already, then it is important not to unpair your display from your iOS device when running iOS 10.2. If you need to use your PC with your display and USB is not a practical option for you, then we suggest toggling off Bluetooth from iOS settings while you use your PC with the display.

It is also possible for now to downgrade from iOS 10.2 to the last version of iOS 10.1, but Apple typically does not permit this for long. We have reached out to Apple not only to seek a specific timeframe for them to resolve this issue, but also to urge them to permit downgrades until the matter is resolved.

To downgrade your device, you will need to use iTunes to install the appropriate IPSW file from Apple. Apple Accessibility support should be able to assist you with this.

If Braille support is critical, we urge you not to delay and to do all you can to downgrade as soon as possible in case Apple stops signing the previous version.

What we are doing

As the screen reader vendor, Apple has complete control over the drivers they write and include for all Braille displays, including ours. We have reached out to Apple to communicate the significant impact this issue is having on our customers, urging a speedy resolution and seeking a timeframe for it. We will update this bulletin with any progress we are able to report and will do all we can to assist Apple to resolve the issue.

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Tactile maps, especially those with an audio component, have myriad advantages:
  • They are cost effective
  • They allow for independent exploration and orientation in space to gather information leading to greater spatial awareness, independence and enhanced exploration.
  • They can display precise location of building entrances, points of interest and vital areas in public spaces. Can pinpoint sites of restrooms, ticket machines, fire escapes, subway access and any other important features particular to a given location.
  • Tactile maps can be used in interior spaces to allow blind or low vision individuals to navigate internal spaces and gain understanding of the routes needed to move freely and independently within a designated area.
Tactile Maps for Public Institutions
At Woodlake Technologies, we specialize in creating customized tactile maps which address the problem of navigating through the world when blind. Our maps give visitors a hands-on understanding of the venue and the spatial relationships of it’s landmarks. We create and produce tactile maps for campuses, schools, office suites, floor plans, public spaces and more.

Contact 312-733-9800 and e-mail info@woodlaketechnologies.com
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VP Columbia SALE ZoomText 11.5 Release

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ZoomText 11.5 Release Notes (for ZoomText 11 and Fusion 11)

Version 11.5 for Windows 10, 8.1 and 7

Released August 2017

Note: This update applies to version 11 of ZoomText Magnifier, ZoomText Magnifier/Reader and ZoomText Fusion.

Finder performance improved for all supported applications

The ZoomText Finder now starts and operates with greater speed and reliability in all supported applications, including faster search results and faster switching between the Page View and List View modes.

AppReader performance improved in Microsoft Outlook

When reading email in Microsoft Outlook 2013 or 2016, certain types of text could cause AppReader to freeze for a long period, sometimes requiring the user to log out and back into Windows. This problem has been fixed.

AppReader performance improved in Mozilla Firefox

ZoomText’s AppReader now starts and operates more reliably in the Mozilla Firefox web browser. All of AppReader’s reading modes can be used, including App View, Text View and the Speak It tool. Skimming and reading text by word, line, sentence and paragraph are also supported.

AppReader now exits properly without residual reading

When exiting AppReader, sometimes ZoomText would start reading the same document again. This problem has been fixed.

Support for ZoomText’s reading tools restored in Chrome 60

ZoomText’s reading tools did not work in Chrome 59. Support for ZoomText’s reading tools has been restored in Chrome 60.

Improved stability in Microsoft PowerPoint 2016

A defect that caused Microsoft PowerPoint 2016 to crash after running for only a few minutes has been fixed.

Improved support for Java applications

A defect in ZoomText’s support for Java applications has been fixed. This fix should improve compatibility in a variety of Java applications.

GeoSmoothing now supported in Mozilla Thunderbird

ZoomText’s GeoSmoothing now works in the Mozilla Thunderbird email application, providing magnified text and graphics that are easy to read and view.

Save As Default now works in ZoomText Magnifier

When running ZoomText Magnifier, attempts to save changes to ZoomText default configuration file would fail. This problem has been fixed.

ZoomText Update Wizard is now faster and more reliable

The ZoomText Update Wizard has been improved and now provides faster downloads of ZoomText updates. The update wizard checks for available updates to make sure that your installation of ZoomText is current with the latest enhancements and fixes. You can run the update wizard manually at any time or configure the wizard to run automatically each time you start ZoomText. To launch the update wizard manually, choose ZoomText (menu) > Manage License > Check for Updates. To configure the wizard to run automatically, choose ZoomText (menu) > Preferences > Program, then check the box next to Check for online updates each time ZoomText is launched.

Localizations added for Hebrew and Japanese

This release adds Hebrew and Japanese to the localizations now available in ZoomText 11. The complete list of localizations now includes: Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Hebrew, Hungarian, Icelandic, Italian, Japanese, Norwegian, Polish, Russian, Romanian, Slovak, Spanish, Swedish, UK English and US English.

Refinements to ZoomText localizations

A collection of language translation issues have been resolved in localized versions of ZoomText. These issues include refinements to dialog layouts and access keys, and problems with controls not being echoed properly.

ZoomText now properly restarts after switching the user interface language

When switching the ZoomText user interface language (in the Preferences dialog), after ZoomText restarted the ZoomText toolbar would not appear. This problem has been fixed.

Fast exit and restart of ZoomText and Fusion are now stable

Exiting and restarting ZoomText of Fusion too quickly would sometimes cause the program to crash. This problem has been fixed.


Name of Fusion desktop icon shortened to “Fusion 11”. [Applies to Fusion 11 only]

When Fusion 11 is installed, program icons for Fusion, ZoomText and JAWS appear on the Windows desktop. To make the Fusion icon more distinguishable from the ZoomText 11 icon, the name of the icon has been shortened from “ZoomText Fusion 11” to “Fusion 11”.

Echo buttons are now functional when running Fusion. [Applies to Fusion 11 only]

When running Fusion 11, the Keyboard, Mouse and Verbosity buttons on the Reader tab now control the corresponding features in JAWS.

New menu for selecting desktop and laptop hotkey layouts. [Applies to Fusion 11 only]

When running Fusion 11, a new "Hotkey Layout" submenu, located in the ZoomText menu, allows you to simultaneously switch the ZoomText and JAWS hotkeys between their desktop and laptop layouts. This ensures that the ZoomText and JAWS hotkeys are working in the same layout mode, eliminating conflicts that would otherwise occur.

AppReader now speaks using JAWS voices. [Applies to Fusion 11 only]

When running Fusion 11, AppReader now reads using JAWS voices and voice settings.

Toggle Default Settings command now works in Fusion 11. [Applies to Fusion 11 only]

The Toggle Default Settings commands provided in JAWS are now fully supported in Fusion 11. This allows you to toggle between personalized settings and the factory defaults for all ZoomText and JAWS settings. Toggling between the personalized settings and factory defaults is performed using the ToggleDefaultSettings layered command: INSERT + SPACEBAR, Z. You can also force Fusion to startup with the factory defaults by launching Fusion from a command prompt by opening the Windows Run command window, typing FUSION /DEFAULT and pressing the Enter key.

ZoomText and JAWS voice settings are now reliably in sync. [Applies to Fusion 11 only]

When running Fusion 11 and using the JAWS Toggle Speech command, the state of the ZoomText Voice button would get out of sync and display the incorrect state. This problem has been fixed.

ZoomText menu now properly announced. [Applies to Fusion 11 only]

When navigating to the ZoomText menu, the menu was announced as being a button rather than an application menu button. The ZoomText menu is now announced as “ZoomText application menu button”.

Installing older version of Fusion 11 over newer version of ZoomText 11 now works. [Applies to Fusion 11 only]

When installing Fusion 11, if a newer version of ZoomText 11 was already installed on the system the Fusion 11 installation would be blocked. This problem has been fixed.

Custom setup options now correctly applied in Fusion 11 installation. [Applies to Fusion 11 only]

When running the Fusion 11 setup and choosing the custom install options, unchecking the options to run Fusion at startup and in the logon screen were not applied to the installation. As a result, ZoomText was still automatically launched at Windows startup and in the logon screen. This problem has been fixed.

Fix for word highlighting not tracking in AppReader. [Applies to Fusion 11 only]

When running Fusion 11 and using ZoomText’s AppReader feature, the word highlight was not reliably tracking the spoken word. This problem has been fixed.

Fix for Fusion 11 spontaneously unloading when IE11 or Firefox are running. [Applies to Fusion 11 only]

When running Fusion 11, if Internet Explorer 11 or Mozilla Firefox were launched, Fusion would spontaneously unload. This problem has been fixed.

Fix for crash when running AppReader in WordPad. [Applies to Fusion 11 only]

When launching the AppReader in WordPad, the system would sometimes freeze requiring a forced restart of Windows. This problem has been fixed.

Fix for keyboard not working in the Windows logon screen after 40-minute demo expired. [Applies to Fusion 11 only]

When running Fusion 11 in the 40-minute demo mode, after the 40-minute period had expired use of the keyboard in the Windows logon screen was broken. Characters could be typed in the logon fields, but the backspace, delete and other keys would not work. This problem has been fixed.

FS Client Activator now displays the Freedom Scientific products. [Applies to Fusion 11 only]

When launching the Freedom Scientific Client Activator, the activator did not display a list of the Freedom Scientific applications installed on the system. This problem has been fixed.

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