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Old 01-17-2009, 11:23 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Optimizing Bold Theme/Reverse Contrast

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I am a legally blind Bold user. Having any bright background presents a serious problem for me.

I am using the Reverse Contrast feature which makes viewing contacts, calendar, emails, most websites possible.

Unfortunately it also reverses the otherwise perfectly viewable default AT&T theme making it largely unreadable as it now shows bright icons against a bright background!

As a side note (not nearly as big a deal) any images (photos, images on webpages album art) are also reversed making them unreadable.

Is there a theme (I have experimented with many) that would approximate the light text against a dark background when using the Reverse Contrast feature?

Is there another way anyone can suggest that I can achieve that result?

Thanks,

Glenn
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Old 03-11-2009, 03:01 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default New Theme To Resolve Reverse Contrast Issue for Visually Impaired

> RC-Fix (Remote Contrast Fix) <

For those of you who are visually impaired / legally blind and use the Blackberry Bold (9000), Here is what you've been looking for in order to do what Reverse Contrast & large fonts settings on the Bold does NOT do.

This theme will darken the home / application / phone and other areas that Reverse Contrast does NOT.

It also enlarges fonts in those areas that the Blackberry does NOT enlarge.

This is free, but a donation no matter how modest would be nice.

This was tested on my Blackberry Bold running the latest version of the OS (downloaded 3/10/09). I am not responsible for any problems that this may cause. It's better than not having any option, right?



Jeff
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File Type: zip RC-Fix.zip (209.9 KB, 93 views)
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Old 03-11-2009, 12:23 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Cool UPDATED RC-Fix (v2) - Remote Contrast Fix for Visually Impaired / Legally Blind

> RC-Fix v2 (Remote Contrast Fix) < (MAJOR UPDATE Version 2).

For those of you who are visually impaired / legally blind and use the Blackberry Bold (9000), Here is what you've been looking for in order to do what Reverse Contrast & large fonts settings on the Bold does NOT do.

This theme will darken the home / application / phone and other areas that Reverse Contrast does NOT.

It also enlarges fonts in those areas that the Blackberry does NOT enlarge.

This is free, but a donation no matter how modest would be nice. I spent the last few days ignoring my family to put this together. This nerd needs to take them out on the town sometime this week.

See the README.txt included with the files.

This was tested on my Blackberry Bold running the latest version of the OS (downloaded 3/10/09). I am not responsible for any problems that this may cause. It's better than not having any option.

Version 2 was updated from the original to include the following enhancements ...

1. Home screen revised to show today-type format with large captions next to icons (vertical format).

2. Applications menu was reorganized into something that makes a little more sense for squinties like me.

3. "Standard" & "All_Yellow" versions of this theme are included. Pick the one that best suits you vision. Note that Yellow is used for the Home options on both themes. The number of captions would otherwise be blinding for anyone against black. Also note that using Reverse Contrast makes it so that open
emails and things like that will be white on black. The message list will be yellow if you pick that theme. Howeveer, the theme has editor provides for no control over what happens to things like opened messages. No matter, this is still an improvement, wouldn't you say?

4. Enlarged the time on the home menu and did away with Unread (it appears anyway next to "Messages").

5. Other minor bug fixes and tweaks to make things as consistent as possible.

If only I had an editor for some of the applications that the "Plazmic" does not yet support for the Bold.

[b]Credits to the theme editor, "Plazmic Theme Editor".

Jeff
Attached Files
File Type: zip RC-Fix_v2.zip (437.2 KB, 71 views)
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Old 03-11-2009, 01:49 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Cool Alternative RC-Fix (v2.1) - Remote Contrast Fix for Visually Impaired / Legally Blind

> RC-Fix v2.1 (Remote Contrast Fix) <

** This alternative to version 2.0 simply provides a blue highlighter on the Home screen, instead of the light gray. **

For those of you who are visually impaired / legally blind and use the Blackberry Bold (9000), Here is what you've been looking for in order to do what Reverse Contrast & large fonts settings on the Bold does NOT do.

This theme will darken the home / application / phone and other areas that Reverse Contrast does NOT.

It also enlarges fonts in those areas that the Blackberry does NOT enlarge.

This is free, but a donation no matter how modest would be nice. I spent the last few days ignoring my family to put this together. This nerd needs to take them out on the town sometime this week.

See the README.txt included with the files.

This was tested on my Blackberry Bold running the latest version of the OS (downloaded 3/10/09). I am not responsible for any problems that this may cause. It's better than not having any option.

Version 2 was updated from the original to include the following enhancements ...

1. Home screen revised to show today-type format with large captions next to icons (vertical format).

2. Applications menu was reorganized into something that makes a little more sense for squinties like me.

3. "Standard" & "All_Yellow" versions of this theme are included. Pick the one that best suits you vision. Note that Yellow is used for the Home options on both themes. The number of captions would otherwise be blinding for anyone against black. Also note that using Reverse Contrast makes it so that open
emails and things like that will be white on black. The message list will be yellow if you pick that theme. Howeveer, the theme has editor provides for no control over what happens to things like opened messages. No matter, this is still an improvement, wouldn't you say?

4. Enlarged the time on the home menu and did away with Unread (it appears anyway next to "Messages").

5. Other minor bug fixes and tweaks to make things as consistent as possible.

If only I had an editor for some of the applications that the "Plazmic" does not yet support for the Bold.

[b]Credits to the theme editor, "Plazmic Theme Editor".

Jeff
Attached Files
File Type: zip RC-Fix_v21.zip (436.9 KB, 66 views)
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Old 03-11-2009, 05:05 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks very much for spending time doing this mate. I'm not legally blind but i do have an eye condition and have surgery next week so i doubt I need to use this but its nice to see someone helping others! ;)
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Old 03-11-2009, 05:17 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Thanks. I hope it does help someone. It's been a real relief for me in use of the Blackberry. Hopefully, the originator of this thread will notice it is out there.

Best wishes on the surgery.

I'm getting ready to post version 2.2 that blows up the fonts on the dialogs a little more than 2.1. Been playing with 2.1 throughout the day and I have not found an other issues or regrets.

Jeff

Jeff
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Old 03-11-2009, 05:24 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Cool RC-Fix (v2.2) - Remote Contrast Fix for Visually Impaired / Legally Blind

UPDATED RC-Fix (v2.2) - Remote Contrast Fix for Visually Impaired / Legally Blind[/u][/b]

This update is based on version 2.1 with the blue highlighter used on the Home screen. Unless I hear any negative feedback, I will abandon the gray highlight of version 2.0. This version 2.2 is ONLY to intended to increase somewhat the font sizes of dialog boxes.

For those of you who are visually impaired / legally blind and use the Blackberry Bold (9000), Here is what you've been looking for in order to do what Reverse Contrast & large fonts settings on the Bold does NOT do.

This theme will darken the home / application / phone and other areas that Reverse Contrast does NOT.

It also enlarges fonts in those areas that the Blackberry does NOT enlarge.

This is free, but a donation no matter how modest would be nice. I spent the last few days ignoring my family to put this together. This nerd needs to take them out on the town sometime this week.

See the README.txt included with the files.

This was tested on my Blackberry Bold running the latest version of the OS (downloaded 3/10/09). I am not responsible for any problems that this may cause. It's better than not having any option.

Version 2 was updated from the original to include the following enhancements ...

1. Home screen revised to show today-type format with large captions next to icons (vertical format).

2. Applications menu was reorganized into something that makes a little more sense for squinties like me.

3. "Standard" & "All_Yellow" versions of this theme are included. Pick the one that best suits you vision. Note that Yellow is used for the Home options on both themes. The number of captions would otherwise be blinding for anyone against black. Also note that using Reverse Contrast makes it so that open
emails and things like that will be white on black. The message list will be yellow if you pick that theme. Howeveer, the theme has editor provides for no control over what happens to things like opened messages. No matter, this is still an improvement, wouldn't you say?

4. Enlarged the time on the home menu and did away with Unread (it appears anyway next to "Messages").

5. Other minor bug fixes and tweaks to make things as consistent as possible.

If only I had an editor for some of the applications that the "Plazmic" does not yet support for the Bold.

[b]Credits to the theme editor, "Plazmic Theme Editor".

Jeff
Attached Files
File Type: zip RC-Fix_v22.zip (436.9 KB, 73 views)
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Old 03-11-2009, 06:24 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Jeff,

Nice work! I imagine you spent quite a bit of time getting this done.

Do I have any control over the font size? With the change in contrast (hurray), I can see the Bold well enough (with magnifier) that the very large fonts don't add to the useability and result in very short lines, for example, in the list of new messages with corresponding loss of displayed info.

I can still see the info in the Calendar even though the size of the font there appears not to have increased.

Again -- thank you very much for the time and effort you have put into responding to my original query.

Glenn
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Old 03-11-2009, 07:04 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Glenn,

With Themes, at least those created by the editor I'm using, control of font size does give way to what YOU control under the Blackberry's native Options / Screen settings. For instance, an open email is controlled by Blackberry Options, while the theme font is controlling the list of messages. In Calendar, I think the Blackberry is controlling most of it. You might verify in your case by adjusting the font size under options, look at the area where an affect is desired to see any change happened, and make note. Let me know what you find that you can't control, tell me what you think you want it set to, and I can look at tweaking a special build for you. Also, are you using Standard or All Yellow version?

I don't mind telling / sharing the version of editor I'm using with all of the graphics I had to invert / edit and source file that pulls it all together, but it might be sort of a pain to transplant it all and figure it all out there for comparably simple changes.

It took me about probably 15 hours over 4 days to get it all worked out here. I can actually relax when I use my phone / email now.

Jeff

Last edited by JeffAlan66 : 03-11-2009 at 07:16 PM.
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Old 03-11-2009, 10:17 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Wishing good karma to Jeff for doing all this work. Your Mom should be proud.
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Old 03-12-2009, 04:02 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Cool RC-Fix (v2.2) - Supplemental 2.2 Includes Reduced (2.2rf Variants)

Supplemental Notice Concerning v2.2 - Each of the two themes are bundled with themes indicated with the suffix of 'rf' (2.22rf). These Reduced Font (rf) variants were created to reduce the font size somewhat in menus, dialogs, message list, and various other list boxes. Some of you may only have issue with the behavior of Reverse Contrast setting, not necessarily with the font sizes (as much as I do). This first release reduces to BBAlpha Serif 40 in those areas. I will tweak further depending on feedback. This is seemingly smaller than what I use on the Home menu (BBAlpha Sans 44). Hope that helps.

Both original & 'rf' versions of my themes are included in this download.


See bundled README.txt for more.

Please let me know if this Reduced Font variant goes far enough for its purpose.

Jeff
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File Type: zip RC-Fix_v22.zip (872.7 KB, 46 views)

Last edited by JeffAlan66 : 03-12-2009 at 04:05 AM.
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Old 03-14-2009, 05:33 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I am not visually impaired but read with interest this thread. Jeff, you are doing a wonderful thing. Indeed, your mom should be proud.
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Old 03-14-2009, 08:15 PM   #13 (permalink)
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My only hope is that the makers of the Blackberry take something like this determine in future models how to take the development the rest of the way on their own toward true Accessibility. I happen to know they are working behind the scenes to improve their R&D in this area. Accessibility can be complicated, as there are so many different combinations of disabilities. What I did here though is not unlike the mainstream accessibility features you will find in Microsoft Windows, under Accessibility Wizard where you can set black/yellow | black/white contrast with custom font sizes. The Bold almost goes there, but features do not apply to all areas of the phone natively. It's like they had the idea and started down that path, but they probably came upon a release date and decided to not finish it. This theme takes it further, but then there are still issues as a result of the product not being built from the ground up for accessibility. At least this is my perception, since for example you can ask for a larger font but then not find it enlarged on the dial-connect screen. Or, you pick reverse contrast to make things white on black, but then so many screens that are natively black are then blaring at you in white when RC is turned on. Not good for those of us with photo phobia.

Thanks for the encouragement. I hope that RIM finds value in this exercise for future releases. Actaully, I should direct some of that toward AT&T, since it is the carrier that determines what themes are distributed.

Both AT&T / RIM do have this now in case anyone else asks for it, as I found prior to this that they had no solution to our problem. gscroll posted this origianlly in January and received no response. Unfortunately, low vision is often a low priority in various markets, at least in what you experience in the foreground. It's better than it used to be, but they've got a long way to go.

Not to ramble on here, but pardon my soap box for one more thought here. Continuing to develop and release technologies inaccessible WHILE hardware / software is perfectly capable of handling the task, requiring customers such as I and gscroll to hunt down or develop custom solutions, is sort of like asking someone in a wheel chair to drag around his/her own bricks & boards in the event that a public building lacks a ramp at the entrance. ... or maybe I'm just a bit idealistic.

Ok, I'm off the soap box now.

Jeff
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Old 03-14-2009, 08:30 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Cool Verizon Working on Accessibility

Check this out. This initiative is what I'm talking about ...

TALKS for Verizon Wireless Offers Mobile Accessibility to Blind and Visually Impaired Customers
Available Initially on the MOTO Q 9c, TALKS for Verizon Wireless Gives Blind and Visually Impaired Customers Audio Feedback Support for Writing and Reading Text Messages, E-Mail and Notes


BASKING RIDGE, N.J., March 12 /PRNewswire/ -- The owner and operator of the nation's most reliable wireless network announced today the availability of TALKS(TM) for Verizon Wireless -- a new assistive technology that converts displayed text into highly intelligible speech for Verizon Wireless customers who are blind or visually impaired. Available initially on MOTO(TM) Q 9c smartphones beginning March 15, TALKS for Verizon Wireless supports audio feedback for writing and reading text messages, e-mail and notes.


Powered by Nuance Communications, Inc. , TALKS for Verizon Wireless uses ETI-Eloquence text-to-speech software -- similar to other screen-reading packages on Windows(R) PC platforms -- to offer visually impaired and blind customers instant familiarity and the highest intelligibility. With the TALKS application, the MOTO Q 9c from Verizon Wireless can:


-- Read the caller ID of an incoming call
-- Dial a number from the phone's Contacts directory
-- Add and edit entries in the Contacts directory
-- Read and write text messages and e-mail
-- Read and write documents using Mobile Office
-- Access and compose multimedia message service (MMS) messages
-- Use Mobile Internet Explorer to access the Internet
-- Control speech volume and rate of speech


"The TALKS application helps Verizon Wireless provide the best wireless experience for our customers who are visually impaired," said Jeffrey Dietel, vice president - marketing operations for Verizon Wireless. "TALKS for Verizon Wireless turns the MOTO Q 9c smartphone into a communications tool that will help customers with impaired vision stay connected to family, friends and colleagues through methods beyond voice calls."


The MOTO Q 9c with TALKS for Verizon Wireless will be available online under New Cell Phones, CPO Cell Phones, Prepaid Cell Phones, Cell Phone Plans - Verizon Wireless on Sunday for $249.99 after a $70 online instant rebate with a new two-year customer agreement. Existing MOTO Q 9c customers who wish to add the TALKS application should contact Verizon Wireless Customer Service at 800-922-0204.


Customers can learn more about TALKS for Verizon Wireless by visiting verizonwireless / accessibility.

About Verizon Wireless

TALKS(TM) is a trademark of Nuance Communications, Inc. and/or its licensors and is used under license.

Verizon Wireless
CONTACT: Brenda Boyd Raney, Verizon Wireless, +1-908-559-7518,

Jeff (I have nothing to do with Verizon. Just thought I would pass this along while on the topic).
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Old 03-14-2009, 09:05 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Cool UPDATE - RC-Fix (v2.3) - Remote Contrast Fix for Visually Impaired / Legally Blind

Version 2.3 includes everything from "Supplemental 2.2".

Additionally, it includes minor tuning to dialog font size & the unread messages indicator on the applications page has been moved to the left in order to not crowd the date.

Cheers.

Jeff
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File Type: zip RC-Fix_v23.zip (873.1 KB, 193 views)
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Old 03-14-2009, 09:42 PM   #16 (permalink)
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nice app
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Old 04-16-2009, 03:00 AM   #17 (permalink)
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I know this is for Bold model only. But is there a way to apply this excellent theme to 83xx models as well? Would appreciate it very much! Thanks...
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Old 04-16-2009, 06:44 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Default Re: iamsuperman143

I suppose there probably is a way to do this for other models, but it would take time and really require a hands-on to do the testing and troubleshooting. I had access to a Bold when working on this theme, and I had personal motivation to do it for myself. I never received any donations for releasing it, and I'm not likely to gain any personal value out of working on it for another model. I don't now if this theme can be loaded on another model without revision, but I highly doubt it. I feel your pain. Sorry. If you are having troubles with your model's accessibility and the responsiveness of AT&T and/or RIM on accessibility, might I suggest that you take your phone to an AT&T rep, point out my theme as a solution for you, whine about it a little bit until they want to get rid of you, and maybe they will trade you for a Bold so that you can use this. I hate to say it, but sometimes you have to jump up and down a little in order to be taken seriously over a visual impairment. ... sometimes.

Jeff
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Old 04-16-2009, 06:51 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Hey! To all the legally BLINDS out there who benefitted much from JeffAllan66's worderful theme, won't you agree to open your pockets after his theme opened your eyes for Bold? He squarely deserves it for a job well done, isn't it?

JeffAllan66, I'm new in this forum stuff so am not sure of the procedure on how to send you donation. Nonetheless, I agree that "necessity is the mother of all inventions" and am thinking of imitating similar theme like yours for all 83xx users out there who are blinds as well. Would appreciate your advise on how to jumpstart it. May your tribe increases!
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Old 04-16-2009, 07:57 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Cool RE: iamsuperman143

Sure, if you do want to donate, you can just send me an email and I'll reply back with address OR you can PayPal me as well. Just let me know in your email. My email is [email address].

If you want to create a theme, I recommend you visit this page (Plazmic) and download the latest of Plazmic). You'll have to install all of the required components (See System Requirements). It's a pretty nice editor once you get the swing of it. As you deal with making a reverse contrast theme, the challenge is to convert all graphics using a batch graphic invert program. There are tons of them in freeware. Then you have to reattach everywhere there is a graphic with the inverted version. You also use all of the inverted colors to make the desired font color. For instance, a blue makes a yellow, etc. If you played with my Theme, you will see by selecting it without turning on Reverse Contrast results in exactly what you might expect ... everything is inverted and isn't fun to look at UNTIL you turn on reverse contrast. Unfortunately, not every application is available for you to invert. However, things like email, calendar, contacts, etc. etc., all of the executive application, they can be manipulated.

That's a start. It is a bit of work, but in the end, you get fairly close to what you want.

Thanks for your support of this project.

Jeff
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