Martin Murdoch's home pages - Welcome!

For those of you currently on DLA you might find the following link of interest,
it's a very strange & scarey process for many, people being told that you cant
be blind as you are looking at them etc. & that is from the expert assessing 
you for the benefit!  Don't panic though, many are successful with their claim.
PIP assistance
Saddly Trent my third guide dog passed away a couple of days ago, many thanks
for all the kind messages from so many people, the house feels strangely empty
with just myself & Kraken.
A sad day when we had to cut down thee elm in the front garden, after 80 years 
it fell victim to dutch elm disease so had to go, I'm looking for a replacement
tree & planning some further landscaping of the area that is nowclear.
The garden railway was open last weekend for the last time this year, more
people than ever visited the line.  At a rough guess we think the trains 
covered close on to 25 miles over the weekend!

A really big thanks to all my helpers, Jan Daynes for all her cooking & hard
work keeping everything organised, Marc Tiltman, Tom Exley, Gary ?, Grace Smith,
Harvey Lock & others for helping with the trains. 

We raised 480 for Kidney research UK this time bringing our total so far
to a very pleasing 3,546 - thank you for your generosity

The next event will be in spring 2017 when we look forward to seeing you again.
Latest video of my garden railway
NV access have now released version 2016.4 of its screen reader software.  This 
version offers yet more support for windows 10, even for those using previous 
versions of windows it's always really worth down loading the latest release, 
it's an amazing bit of software that does as well as, if not better than,  many
of the comercial products such as Jaws.  If you do find it useful please do 
spread the word & also make a donation to keep this very important project 
Went to my good friend Mike gold's 50th a few days ago & Jan managed to catch
this picture of St. Paul's church Chigwell - hope you like it.

Not the mythical sea monster this time but a 2 year old german shepherd who
after many months of training by Sabine Chapman & 2 weeks of very intense 
work under the watchful eye of GDBA's Nicola Schwarz he has now qualified to be 
my new guide dog.

With all the formal training under my belt we will spend the next several
months fine tuning the team work, Like with all guide dogs, if you see me in 
the area please do not touch Kraken until I say you can, he is young & still 
learning so both Kraken  & myself will be working very hard to keep our act
I've just had the experience of trying to place an online order with 
Sainsbury's.  A few years ago it was so simple but now it is hopeless.  They 
even have the nerve to mention screen readers on their page but no way did they 
test their site with one.  This is a clear example of where the DDA is being 
ignored - I first spoke to the Sainsbury's IT team in October 2013 & they have 
ignored everything I mentioned & tried to help them with.  I hope that all 
blind folk will avoid their site & shop until they make a real effort to make 
the site accessible again.
Great to be able to say something nice about a shop for once, I'd like to thank
the staff at Morrisons Seaford for their friendly help when I visit the store 
with my guide dog Trent.  Even at the busiest times they manage to assist.
Thanks to John Squire I was lucky enough to get a trip to the Lynton & 
Barnstaple railway in his 1931 Rolls Royce to attend the lines gala weekend at 
the end of September.  Pictured above is the car with Sid, one of the locos 
that was in steam for the weekend - a boys dream too, I had the chance to drive 
the loco for a couple of minutes!  Many thanks to Tony Nicholson for the copy
of the picture - my camera decided to play up at the vital moment!
Just to show the world my mum was not the only person with green fingers in
this family, mind you it does help that it is the sort of plant you can
forget for up to a month without the bloody thing dying on you!
There are several reasons for why I started to build these pages, firstly it
gives me some practical purpose to play with HTML & Javascript, secondly it 
will eventually, hopefully, provide examples of both attractive and accessible 
web page design which can be used as an outline reference for others involved 
in web page creation - who knows, the contents might even be useful!

This site is constantly being tested with a variety of screen readers & access
devices including:-

* NVDA version 2017.1 with Espeak, Vocalizer & BRLTTY 5.1-1,
* Various Alva Braille terminals, mainly Alva satelite 584 pro,
* Mozilla firefox 53.0 (64 bit), Internet explorer 11.0, Google chrome &
  Microsoft  Edge on Windows 10 64 bit (version 1607 Anniversary).
* Firefox on Samsung galaxy S5 running Android 6.0.1 (Talkback version 5.1)

I'm no longer intending to test with:-
* Jaws 16.0 or later due to lack of Braille support of 64 bit systems & price.
* Windows XP, 7 or 8.1

The upshot of all this testing is that these pages should be fully accessible 
by the blind & many of those using speech recognition systems.

I will be adding more detailed notes on design considerations with examples
of small HTML changes that will make all the difference to disabled
users being able to access your web pages easily.

The contents of these pages are always changing so please do visit frequently
to find updates.

If you have noticed any bugs on these pages or have found a broken link please
do let me know via the feedback form which can be found along with my contact 

I'm always looking for bits to add so let me have links I should include
especially if they use fancy HTML that is still accessible.

Please do drop in again soon!

Site last amended - 23 April 2017 at 11:08