Category Archives: Assistive Technology

GTT Chatham-Kent Summary Notes, GPS Navigation and Smart Speakers, December 13, 2017

Summary Notes

GTT Chatham-Kent Meeting December 13, 2017

 

The most recent meeting of the Get Together with Technology (GTT) Chatham-Kent Chapter was held December 13.

Six people attended.

Reading Tip: These summary notes apply HTML headings to help navigate the document. With screen readers, you may press the H key to jump forward or Shift H to jump backward from heading to heading.

 

Meeting Ideas:

Matt proposed discussing the use of Blind Square and Google Maps for navigation. We can practice them outside at the next meeting.

Dave L. asked that we also discuss Google Home and Amazon Echo if there is time. Harvey has several Google minis and Dave plans to buy one on the way home today.

 

Theme, GPS Maps for Navigation:

Matt opened Google Maps and demonstrated how it can be used to find locations and get directions by foot, transit (including uber and lift) and driving. It only uses about 30 megs of data a month. Although it will tell you bus times, bus stop locations and cost, it doesn’t tell you when to get off. To solve this, Matt makes sure it announces the stop ahead of when he wants to get off, so he can get ready. In the menu, you can change miles to kms., download maps. You can type in a destination or voice search it. To reverse the destination and start point, say stop start of destination. You can choose the time to depart.

Matt used text search for ‘coffee’. He found all the coffee shops near his home. It stated where the shop was open, what its hours are, directions and the time to get there. It gives bus numbers, how soon a bus should come, the cost and where the bus stop is. None of us could find the location of the Chatham Bus Terminal. There isn’t a phone there. We don’t know if Chatham’s four bus routes in Chatham are on Google Maps. Dave H. Uses Chatham’s bus app. It is not very helpful. Chatham buses do announce stops.

 

Matt told us that, right now, Apple Maps which is similar has a bug right now when giving walking directions.

 

Matt demonstrated Blind Square, which is an Apple app. It is the only app that tells you where you are. You can simulate a location to explore what is around it and plan routes using Google Maps or Apple Maps. It is only for the iPhone. It will also give the weather in the place you have searched.  If you hold your phone flat and turn around, you can ‘look around’. You can set filters to only hear street names and my places.

 

Swarm app also helps you to explore what is around you. Move it and Around Me are other apps.

 

Smart Speakers on Sale for Christmas:

We discussed Google Home, Google Dot and Amazon’s Echo. They are on sale right now for Christmas.

 

Echo has skills. You need to pay for Spotify. It does more than Google Home right now. You can ask, “What’s the news?” It doesn’t play audible books yet. It does play Kindle books, podcasts and radio stations. You can also ask Alexa, “Where’s my phone.

 

Next Meeting:

At the next meeting we will bring Google Home and Google Dot and discuss them. We suggested that Dave L. ask Best Buy staff to demonstrate that Google Dot connects with BlueTooth to his hearing aids before he buys it.

 

Minutes taken by Susan Vollmar

 

GTT Chatham-Kent Overview

  • GTT Chatham-Kent is a chapter of the Canadian Council of the Blind (CCB).
  • GTT Chatham-Kent promotes a self-help learning experience by holding monthly meetings to assist participants with assistive technology.
  • Each meeting consists of a feature technology topic, questions and answers about technology, and one-on-one training where possible.
  • Participants are encouraged to come to each meeting even if they are not interested in the feature topic because questions on any technology are welcome. The more participants the better able we will be equipped with the talent and experience to help each other.
  • There are GTT groups across Canada as well as a national GTT monthly toll free teleconference. You may subscribe to the National GTT blog to get email notices of teleconferences and notes from other GTT chapters. Visit:

http://www.gttprogram.wordpress.com/

There is a form at the bottom of that web page to enter your email.

 

National GTT Email Support List

CCB sponsors a GTT email support list to provide help and support with technology for blind and low vision Canadians.  To subscribe to the email list, send an empty email to:

GTTsupport+subscribe@groups.io

 

[End of Document]

 

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GTT Toronto Summary Notes, Smart Speakers, Seeing AI and ShopTalk CNIB, December 14, 2017

Summary Notes

 

GTT Toronto Adaptive Technology User Group

December 14, 2017

 

An Initiative of the Canadian Council of the Blind

In Partnership with the CNIB

 

The most recent meeting of the Get Together with Technology (GTT) Toronto Group was held on Thursday, December 14 at the CNIB Community Hub.

 

*Note: Reading Tip: These summary notes apply HTML headings to help navigate the document. With screen readers, you may press the H key to jump forward or Shift H to jump backward from heading to heading.

 

December 2017 Topic – ShopTalk, Smart Speaders and Seeing AI:

 

GTT Toronto December 14, 2017 Meeting Summary can be found at this link:

 

Ian opened the meeting. We’ll be talking about Google Home and the Amazon Echo. The next meeting will be all about Android.

 

CNIB ShopTalk:

Shane took over to discuss ShopTalk. This is a program where local businesses have installed beacons that give information through Blindsquare. St. Clair station, the closest subway station to the CNIB Hub which hosts our meetings, has also installed them. This isn’t publicly announced yet because it’s still being tested. In January, Shane and the TTC will be recruiting testers. Shane will run an orientation with some TTC staff, and anyone who’s interested in this should get in touch with Shane. More information will be coming out on the GTT list. TTC hopes to make this available at all stations. It will offer information about entrances, fair gates, collector booths etc. on the fly. It will offer specific directions for finding stairs, busses and so on.

 

BlindSquare Event is a free version of BlindSquare . It has a radius of several kilometers, and it makes BlindSquare available for people who haven’t purchased the ap. It makes a given area accessible to BlindSquare even if you haven’t paid for it, but only within that radius.

 

Seeing AI Updates:

Jason took over, and began by describing the latest update to Seeing AI, which is the free Microsoft solution for text recognition and barcode scanning. The latest update includes colour identifier, hand-writing identification, currency identification, and light detection. Because it’s constantly being updated, it will get even better by degrees.

 

Smart Speakers, Amazon Echo and Google Home:

Jason then began his presentation about smart speakers. In front of him he had a Google Home, a Google Home Mini, an Amazon Echo, and an Echo Dot. These are all devices that connect to the internet. They’ll answer questions, and do various home-control tasks. Amazon was the first to release this technology. The original Echo came out in 2014. For a long time it wasn’t available in Canada; you had to buy it from the U.S. As of December 5, 2017 they’re available here. You can order them through Amazon, or get them at Bestbuy here.

 

The Amazon Echo is about 6 inches tall, and looks like a beer glass. There are 4 buttons on the top, volume up and down, microphone on/off, or start microphone. All of these devices respond to a wake word. They’re not recording all the time, but once they hear the wake word, they listen to what you’re saying, and respond. The echo wake word is Alexa. It will respond to queries about the weather, the time, setting timers, making phone calls so it becomes a speaker phone, and will give you recipes and much more. Another one of its features is that it allows you to talk to other smart devices. The Alexa ap is what you install on your phone for initial setup. From this ap, you can talk to it through your phone. There are 4 possible wake words, Alexa, Amazon, Echo, and computer. You can attach the device to multiple phones. You don’t actually need the ap for much after setup if you don’t want to use it.

 

It has “far-field recognition,” which means you can activate it from far away. The microphone is quite sensitive. There are lights on the top of the unit that show visually when it’s listening. By default, the lights activate. In the ap, you can turn on a setting to play a sound to let you know it’s been activated by the wake word. It’s not sensitive to know who’s speaking to it yet, but Amazon is working on specific voice recognition so that one person could, for example, order something from Amazon, and it would be automatically charged to their specific account. Not all features are available here yet, but they’re coming. In the U.S. you can play Audible books on it.

 

Where the Echo Shines is in its ability to work with what it calls skills. This means specific tasks that you can write a small program to perform. Skills are written and published, and you can enable them. If you’re technically inclined, you can write your own skills within its parameters.

 

Jason demonstrated a skill he wrote titled GTT skill. When activated, it offered him options to read the date of the next meeting, or read the previous meeting notes. He invited it to read the last-month’s meeting notes. This skill is not yet public, but will be. When you publish a skill you need images, and that’s the last step. Once Jason has that, he can publish it, and anyone can access it.

 

Setting the language of your device controls how it speaks, how it understands, and what skills you can use on it. There are local and specific skills. Banks and airlines for example, will publish their own skills, that will allow you to interact with them and do things you might now be doing on-line. You can write skills that are kept private, for example incarnations of home automation. Writing skills requires some programming knowledge. Home automation processes often require extra hardware.

 

If you know the name of the skill you want, you can ask the Echo to enable it. Within the ap, you can search under categories. There are over 15,000 skills. There’s an Uber skill that ties into Uber, then lets you order a car.

 

The standard Echo costs around $130, and has the better speaker. The Echo Dot is the same circumference as the standard, but about a third of the height. It’s $50. If you have a smart thermostat, you can control your home temperature through the Echo. If you want to control devices in your home, look on the Amazon site for compatible interfaces. Jason uses Wemo.

 

The Echo will connect via bluetooth, so you can connect it to other speakers. It’s got a line-out jack too. The Alexa ap is completely accessible. From the ap store, look for Amazon Alexa by Amazon.

 

Microsoft and Apple are also coming out with stand-alone smart speakers. The Microsoft Home Pod will be around $400. Google is coming out with a larger version called the Google Home Max. It’s a much larger version that has stereo sound.

 

The Google Home and the Echo are comparable, but the Google Home excels in web searches and geographical information. Both devices ask for your home address during setup. The Google Home is about the same height as the Echo. Jason demonstrated it giving the weather forecast. You can hook it up to your contacts, and use names to make phone calls rather than phone numbers. It’s using wireless to make the calls. You don’t need to have a phone in your house. It does similar things like timers and alarms. He demonstrated using it as a translator by translating a sentence into Spanish. Many things that Google can do on a PC is accessible via the Google Home. It will sometimes give you information, then send more details to your phone ap. It has a version of skills called “actions,” but not nearly as many. You can sync it to your calendar, and query it about your appointments. Both devices will let you set up appointments or reminders. You can’t play YouTube videos on the Google Home unless you have a TV or a device called a ChromeCast hooked up to it. If you have a ChromeCast and a TV, you can use the Google Home to play Netflix to it.

 

Everything that works or doesn’t work right now, can change from moment to moment because the net connection allows continuous updates. The Google Home hooks up to www.allrecipes.com so that you can ask for recipes, and have them read to you.

 

Jason demonstrated asking for flight prices. It replied, then offered to send price alerts to your email account. This process can be done on Google on the PC, but it’s very complicated.

 

You can set it up so that when you say “good morning,” it will reply with news from specific sources, or specific information. It’s pretty forgiving about phrasing; it picks up on key words.

 

After initial setup, you can sign up for sustained subscriptions to music services. Both devices do Spotify, but neither do Apple Music. The Echo offers Amazon Music, which is free if you’re already signed up to Amazon Prime.

 

The Google Home Mini has better sound than the Echo Dot. The Echo and Echo dot have an audio  jack so you can connect it to your stereo or another speaker. If you have a standard and a mini of either, you can specify which device you want to play music from.

 

The Echo will read books you’ve purchased through Kindle. A member asked whether either device can read books from CELA. The answer is no, not at present.

 

Upcoming Meetings:

  • Next Meeting: Thursday, January 18, 2018 at 6pm
  • Location: CNIB Community Hub space at 1525 Yonge Street, just 1 block north of St Clair on the east side of Yonge, just south of Heath.
  • Meetings are held on the third Thursday of the month at 6pm.

 

GTT Toronto Adaptive Technology User Group Overview:

  • GTT Toronto is a chapter of the Canadian Council of the Blind (CCB).
  • GTT Toronto promotes a self-help learning experience by holding monthly meetings to assist participants with assistive technology.
  • Each meeting consists of a feature technology topic, questions and answers about technology, and one-on-one training where possible.
  • Participants are encouraged to come to each meeting even if they are not interested in the feature topic because questions on any technology are welcome. The more participants the better able we will be equipped with the talent and experience to help each other.
  • There are GTT groups across Canada as well as a national GTT monthly toll free teleconference. You may subscribe to the National GTT blog to get email notices of teleconferences and notes from other GTT chapters. Visit:

http://www.gttprogram.wordpress.com/

There is a form at the bottom of that web page to enter your email.

 

 

GTT Edmonton Summary Notes, Canadian Assistive Technology Demonstration, December 11, 2017

            Summary Notes

GTT Edmonton Meeting December 11, 2017

 

The most recent meeting of the Get Together with Technology (GTT) Edmonton Chapter was held December 11, at 7pm at Ascension Lutheran Church 8405 83 Street in Edmonton.

23 people attended.

Reading Tip: These summary notes apply HTML headings to help navigate the document. With screen readers, you may press the H key to jump forward or Shift H to jump backward from heading to heading.

 

December Topic – Technology Demo

We were treated to a technology demo from Canadian Assistive Technologies, formerly known as Aroga, a company with over 30 years’ experience providing assistive technology to blind and low vision Canadians. Company owner, Steve Barclay, exhibited some of the latest tech available including:

  • Orcam MyEye Version 8 ($4500) head worn OCR artificial vision system. Converts text into spoken word, recognizes money, products, faces. Steve also has gently used model for half price at $2250.
  • Jordy Headworn CCTV System is like the E-Sight but less expensive at $4995 and with a superior camera and optics.
  • Transformer HD ($3995), a Wi-Fi connectable CCTV with optional OCR camera. Display to iPad or Android tablets.  Or direct connect to USB and HDMI TV.
  • BrailleNote Touch 32 ($6895) and BrailleNote Touch 18 ($4995) Android braille enabled notetakers from HumanWare.
  • BrailleSense Polaris, the latest Android Braille Notetaker from HIMS
  • Dolphin Supernova ($590) Screen Magnifier and screen Reader
  • KNFB Reader Enterprise Version and Hovercam Solo 5 – Super Speedy OCR for Windows/iPhone/Android. The KNFB Reader Enterprise ($110 and up) allows installation on multiple devices including iDevices and Windows PC.
  • To learn more about the indoor navigation beacon that Steve showed us visit the manufacturer’s web site, Right-Hear.

 

Steve also has some good deals at the Canadian Assistive Technologies gently used marketplace which is worth checking out.

For more information on these or any other Canadian Assistive Technologies products, you may contact Steve at:

(844) 795-8324

Or  sales@canasstech.com

 

Steve’s team also produces a weekly assistive technology podcast which is called AT Banter. You can subscribe to it with your iPhone or Victor Reader Stream.

If you have assistive technology that requires repairs consider Steve’s partner company, Chaos Technical Services. Based in Vancouver, it offers professional repairs with quick turnaround.  Contact owner, Rick Chant, at (778) 847-6840 or chaostech@shaw.ca

 

Next Meeting (Monday January 8, 2018 at 7pm)

  • Carrie and Lyle will demonstrate and answer your questions about the magnification and screen reading features native to Windows-10. Learn how these features can help low vision and blind users use a Windows PC without the need to install any special software.
  • Lorne, Russell, and Gerry will work with individuals who want help or to learn more about the Voice Over screen reader that comes with every iPhone and iPad to provide access to these devices by blind people.
  • As always, for help with technology bring your devices and/or questions to the meeting.

 

Meeting Location and Logistics

  • Ascension Lutheran Church 8405 – 83 Street NW, Edmonton.
  • We meet in the basement hall. There is elevator access.
  • Enter the church from the back door. There is parking at the back and drop off space for taxis, DATS.
  • Meetings are every second Monday of the month at 7pm.
  • If you have someone helping you your assistant is welcome to remain for the meeting.

 

GTT Edmonton Overview

  • GTT Edmonton is a chapter of the Canadian Council of the Blind (CCB).
  • GTT Edmonton promotes a self-help learning experience by holding monthly meetings to assist participants with assistive technology.
  • Each meeting consists of a feature technology topic, questions and answers about technology, and one-on-one training where possible.
  • Participants are encouraged to come to each meeting even if they are not interested in the feature topic because questions on any technology are welcome. The more participants the better able we will be equipped with the talent and experience to help each other.
  • There are GTT groups across Canada as well as a national GTT monthly toll free teleconference. You may subscribe to the National GTT blog to get email notices of teleconferences and notes from other GTT chapters. Visit:

http://www.gttprogram.wordpress.com/

There is a form at the bottom of that web page to enter your email.

 

National GTT Email Support List

CCB sponsors a GTT email support list to provide help and support with technology for blind and low vision Canadians.  To subscribe to the email list, send an empty email to:

GTTsupport+subscribe@groups.io

 

[End of Document]

GTT Toronto Summary Notes, Online Shopping, November 16, 2017

Summary Notes

 

GTT Toronto Adaptive Technology User Group

November 16, 2017

 

An Initiative of the Canadian Council of the Blind

In Partnership with the CNIB

 

The most recent meeting of the Get Together with Technology (GTT) Toronto Group was held on Thursday, November 16 at the CNIB Community Hub.

 

*Note: Reading Tip: These summary notes apply HTML headings to help navigate the document. With screen readers, you may press the H key to jump forward or Shift H to jump backward from heading to heading.

 

November 2017 Topic – Online Shopping:

 

www.gtt-toronto.ca is the local website for getting together with technology, where you can find out about future meetings, and read notes from past meetings.

 

Ian opened the meeting and invited us to have a go around in which you give your name, and some aspect of technology you’re interested in, or would like to cover in future meetings. Ideas included the new Trekker Breeze, the Amazon Echo coming to Canada, starting a blog, integrating Siri with Wheeltrans, an accessible MP3 player for music, newest GPS aps, accessible podcasting and audio editing, an accessible timer that’s discreet and doesn’t disturb others, vibrating watch bands to tell time and also as sonar for proximity alerts, and learning the basics of Apple and Windows.

 

Jason spoke about Uber, who presented to the group several months ago. They just released their new service animal policy, which looks very promising. It’s been circulated on several blindness-related email lists.

 

Jason announced that the latest version of Firefox has broken accessibility, and screen readers have not caught up to Firefox57. Use Chrome. Internet Explorer is obsolete, and most sites won’t support it anymore. Adam added ESR version 52 is a version of Firefox that does work at least with Zoomtext. It’s available in 32 and 64 bit versions. Rylan added that this solution will only work temporarily. Rylan added that Chrome may be starting to display mobile versions of sites; he’s noticed this in the past day or two. It may be Chrome deciding that the mobile version is better for accessibility. Jason added that this can happen if your window isn’t maximized, because some sites adapt to what they’re being displayed on, and a minimized window will trigger the mobile version. Rylan noted that the latest versions of Jaws are compatible with Google Chrome.

 

Meeting Theme:

Rylan introduced himself as the speaker for the evening. He discovered that most people in the room have done online shopping before. Rylan asked for questions off the top. A member asked which sites are not accessible. Rylan answered Best Buy and Kijiji.

 

CregsList, Kijiji and Letgo are online shopping platforms that allow you to buy second-hand products. It can be risky because you’re dealing with strangers, but it’s also an opportunity to get good deals.

 

An extension of this is eBay.ca. Rylan began by demonstrating eBay. The site displays a carousel, which is a section of constantly changing content, and isn’t helpful for screen reader users. The easiest thing is to look for an edit field which will offer you a search window. He used number 1 and number 2 to move through heading level one, and heading level two. There are options to help you refine your search results such as price, condition, format, location etc. Watch the location, as you’ll have to deal with shipping. eBay puts the refine search after the search results. Below the link for the result, you can arrow down to read the price, shipping rate, whether the item is available immediately or on auction or both. You get information about the seller, how many items they’ve sold, what their feedback from previous customers has been etc. To use eBay requires a PayPal account. The iPhone ap is accessible too. eBay has done work to make their site accessible. Make sure you’re on eBay.ca so that you don’t have to worry about exchange rates.

 

Rylan then discussed straight online shopping sites. A member asked whether any screen reader should work on an accessible site, and Rylan answered yes, as long as you’re using a reasonably contemporary version. Hotwire and Pricline are other examples of sites that are difficult from an accessibility perspective. In terms of large retailers, Walmart is one of the worst from an accessibility perspective. Although Best Buy’s site is bad, the fliers they send are accessible on an iPhone. Grocerygateway delivers, and works well. Loblaws just announced a new service that’s coming. LCBO has an online ordering system, but the delivery can take up to two weeks. You can have something shipped to your local outlet and have it there in a couple of days.

 

Canada Post has flex delivery, which allows you to divert packages to your local postal pick-up location. You can trigger this when ordering. You register through Canada post, and they give you a custom address which is the postal outlet rather than your home. That way you know packages will go directly to the outlet, and won’t be left at your door unsafely. The item must be under ten pounds.

 

Amazon has lots of stuff very cheap, and has a good accessibility department. Someone said there’s an Amazon site dedicated to screen reader users which can be found at www.amazon.Com/access. Rylan disapproved of this, as it segregates accessibility rather than building it in. Amazon Prime is a service you pay for annually, which gets you some perks and discounts, such as free shipping on many items. Students get half price for Prime.

 

The site is less cluttered than eBay. Pressing H is one way to navigate results. R for regions is another way to navigate, but sometimes doesn’t work as well as headings. Many results have the word “sponsored,” which means the company has paid to have their result prominently placed. You can down-arrow for price, or enter on the link for more information. Use H until you find the heading titled with the product you’re researching. There are form fields to allow you to choose colour, add the item to your wishlist, or add the item to your cart. Some items are eligible for free shipping even without Amazon Prime. If so, it will say so on the page. A lot of Amazon products come from other parts of the world. The page gives a customer rating, and may offer you gift wrapping. Amazon has a great return policy, but you have to ship it back yourself. They will send you a pre-paid shipping label via email, but you’ll have to put the package and label together and get it into the mail yourself.

 

Reviews can be helpful, particularly if there are a lot of them. It’s worth while reading reviews for cues that suggest the reviews are plants.

 

You can set up 1-click ordering, which expedites the order process. So far it’s not possible to order through your Amazon Echo, but now that the Echo is available in Canada, that might change soon.

 

The product review page shows you an average customer rating, the reviews, and how many reviews were one through five stars.

 

Rylan demonstrated buying an item. Enter on the “add to cart” button, then the “proceed to checkout” button. At that screen you can change the quantity, or delete the item from your cart if you change your mind.

 

A member asked about security. Rylan said that he doesn’t take any special steps and just uses his own creditcard, but you can get pre-paid Amazon cards, pay through Paypal, get pre-paid Visa cards from your bank, or keep a card dedicated to online purchases with a low limit. Online transactions have become much more secure in the past few years. Retailers don’t want you frauded any more than you want to be frauded; it’s bad publicity for them. For security reasons however, when you’re setting up an account on a retail site, don’t use the same password you use for your email. If your email password gets hacked, you’re in big trouble. A member contributed that his bank account sends him a text every time his card is charged. If he sees a text for something he doesn’t recognize, he knows it’s fraudulent. Most banks will do this; look for the phrase, ‘feedback alerts.”

 

A member asked about cheaper sites like DealExtreme. Rylan said such sites aren’t likely to have the level of accessibility of Amazon. Jason said that there are very few sites that an experienced screen reader can’t navigate. A member added that some sites offer a customer service phone number that you can call, and have an agent complete your order for you.

 

Upcoming Meetings:

  • Next Meeting: Thursday, December 21 at 6pm
  • Location: CNIB Community Hub space at 1525 Yonge Street, just 1 block north of St Clair on the east side of Yonge, just south of Heath.
  • Meetings are held on the third Thursday of the month at 6pm.

GTT Toronto Adaptive Technology User Group Overview:

  • GTT Toronto is a chapter of the Canadian Council of the Blind (CCB).
  • GTT Toronto promotes a self-help learning experience by holding monthly meetings to assist participants with assistive technology.
  • Each meeting consists of a feature technology topic, questions and answers about technology, and one-on-one training where possible.
  • Participants are encouraged to come to each meeting even if they are not interested in the feature topic because questions on any technology are welcome. The more participants the better able we will be equipped with the talent and experience to help each other.
  • There are GTT groups across Canada as well as a national GTT monthly toll free teleconference. You may subscribe to the National GTT blog to get email notices of teleconferences and notes from other GTT chapters. Visit:There is a form at the bottom of that web page to enter your email.
  • http://www.gttprogram.wordpress.com/

GTT Edmonton Summary Notes, Amazon Echo and GarageBand Demos and CNIB, November 13, 2017

Summary Notes

GTT Edmonton Meeting November 13, 2017

 

The most recent meeting of the Get Together with Technology (GTT) Edmonton Chapter was held November 13, at 7pm at Ascension Lutheran Church 8405 83 Street in Edmonton.

20 people attended.

Reading Tip: These summary notes apply HTML headings to help navigate the document. With screen readers, you may press the H key to jump forward or Shift H to jump backward from heading to heading.

 

November Topic – Amazon Echo and GarageBand Demos and CNIB

 

Amazon Echo

Erick Seed very adeptly showed off the Amazon Echo, which is a Wi-Fi connected smart speaker product from Amazon that combines voice recognition “intelligent assistant” capabilities with speaker functionality in a cylindrical speaker form factor. Amazon Echo responds to voice control by returning information on products, Recipes, music, news, weather, sports, making calls, messaging, and much more.

Echo has seven microphones and beam forming technology so it can hear you from across the room—even while music is playing. Echo is also an expertly tuned speaker that can fill any room with 360° immersive sound. When you want to use Echo, just say the wake word “Alexa” and Echo responds instantly.

The Echo has just been released in Canada at an introductory price of $100 (later $130) and the Echo Dot model at an introductory price of $50 (later $70).

 

The echo’s main competitor, the Google Home smart speaker, sells in Canada for about $180 at outlets such as Best Buy. Google Home works very similarly to Amazon Echo and has the power of Google search behind it. Google Home can also play music, control your TV (via ChromeCast), make phone calls and more.

 

Apple also has an assistant coming out in December called the Apple HomePod which works similarly to its competitors from Amazon and Google but will be more expensive at about $350 U.S.

 

Apple MAC GarageBand App

New member, Justin Wack, demonstrated how to use GarageBand for the Mac. GarageBand is a free DAW (digital audio workstation) that is used to successfully create anything to do with audio, from music, to podcasts, and much more. He showed how to make songs or beats using loops. Loops are short audio snippets that you can create, or you can use the hundreds of pre-recorded loops that come with the app. He explained how it is possible to play out your own melodies using the computer keyboard as a piano or other instrument. You can even use the app to learn to play music. He entertained us with examples of his own music he has created entirely with his computer and the app.

 

to check out more of Justin’s Work, go to

soundcloud.com/haptycmusic or follow him on twitter at twitter.com/haptycmusic.

 

CNIB Introduces Vision Loss Rehabilitation Alberta

Our guest, Matthew Kay, the new manager of rehabilitation services for Vision Loss Rehabilitation Alberta explained how CNIB has changed its governance to better deliver and obtain provincial health care funding for its core rehab services. The core services still include provision of assistive technology, orientation and mobility training, low vision services, and independent living skills training. However, these services are branded under the new name of Vision Loss Rehabilitation Alberta which is a division of CNIB. VL Rehab Alberta will still operate from the CNIB headquarters at 12010 Jasper Avenue.

 

Matthew explained that managing the core services separately from CNIB’s charitable foundation services allows more direct access to Alberta Health funding for home care and other rehab services. The charitable foundation arm of CNIB will continue providing services such as the tech aid store, children’s services, public education, and emotional wellness support. If you have questions or wish further information, you may contact Matthew Kay at the local Edmonton office 780.453.8318 or email him at:

Matthew.Kay@vlrehab.ca

Next Meeting (Monday December 11 at 7pm)

  • Steve Barcaly, owner of Canadian Assistive Technology, will join us to exhibit some of the latest new technology his company sells. Steve was the former COO of Aroga which no longer exists, but Steve has brought his 30 years of experience consulting about and selling assistive technology along with his supplier network to his new company. This marks the third year Steve has joined us in December and he always has interesting new tech to show us. You won’t want to miss this meeting!

 

Meeting Location and Logistics

  • Ascension Lutheran Church 8405 – 83 Street NW, Edmonton.
  • We meet in the basement hall. There is elevator access.
  • Enter the church from the back door. There is parking at the back and drop off space for taxis, DATS.
  • Meetings are every second Monday of the month at 7pm.
  • If you have someone helping you your assistant is welcome to remain for the meeting.

 

GTT Edmonton Overview

  • GTT Edmonton is a chapter of the Canadian Council of the Blind (CCB).
  • GTT Edmonton promotes a self-help learning experience by holding monthly meetings to assist participants with assistive technology.
  • Each meeting consists of a feature technology topic, questions and answers about technology, and one-on-one training where possible.
  • Participants are encouraged to come to each meeting even if they are not interested in the feature topic because questions on any technology are welcome. The more participants the better able we will be equipped with the talent and experience to help each other.
  • There are GTT groups across Canada as well as a national GTT monthly toll free teleconference. You may subscribe to the National GTT blog to get email notices of teleconferences and notes from other GTT chapters. Visit:

http://www.gttprogram.wordpress.com/

There is a form at the bottom of that web page to enter your email.

[End of Document]

Tech Article: Firefox 57 from an NVDA user’s perspective – Marco’s Accessibility Blog

Firefox 57 from an NVDA user’s perspective – Marco’s Accessibility Blog

Marco’s Accessibility Blog

 

Helping to make accessibility accessible on the web and elsewhere

 

Article found at:

https://www.marcozehe.de/2017/11/07/firefox-57-nvda-users-perspective/

 

Firefox 57, also known as Firefox Quantum, will be released on November 14. It will bring some significant changes to the Firefox rendering engine to improve performance and open the door for more new features in the future. Here is what you need to know if you are a user of the NVDA screen reader.

 

For users of the NVDA screen reader, some of these changes may initially seem like a step backward. To make the accessibility features work with the new architecture, we had to make some significant changes which will initially feel less performant than before. Especially complex pages and web applications such as Facebook or Gmail will feel slower to NVDA users in this Firefox release.

 

Improvements in the pipeline

 

Fortunately, NVDA users will only have to put up with these slowdowns for one Firefox release. Firefox 58, which will move to beta the moment Firefox 57 is being released, will already improve performance so significantly that most smaller pages will feel as snappy as before, larger pages will take a lot less time to be loaded into NVDA’s browse mode buffer, and web applications such as Gmail or Facebook will feel more fluid.

 

And we’re not stopping there. In Firefox Nightly, then on version 59, performance improvements will continue, and more big pages and web applications should return to a normal working speed with NVDA.

 

I need full speed

 

If you do require Firefox to perform as fast as before and cannot or do not want to wait until the above mentioned performance improvements arrive on your machine, you have the option to switch to the Extended Support Release (ESR), which is on version 52 and will receive security fixes until long into 2018.

 

However, we encourage you to stick with us on the current release if you possibly can. Your findings, if you choose to report them to us, will greatly help us improve Firefox further even faster, because even we might not think of all the scenarios that might be day to day sites for you.

 

I want to stick with you. How can I help?

 

That’s great! If you encounter any big problems, like pages that take unusually long to load, we want to know about them. We already know that long Wikipedia articles such as the one about World War I  will take about 12 seconds to load on an average Windows 10 machine and a current NVDA release. In Firefox 58 beta, we will have brought this down to less than 8 seconds already, and the goal is to bring that time down even further. So if you really want to help, you can choose to upgrade to our beta channel  and re-test the problem you encountered there. If it is already improved, you can be certain we’re on top of the underlying problem. If not, we definitely want to know  where you found the problem and what steps led to it.

 

And if you really want to be on the bleeding edge, getting the latest fixes literally hours or days after they landed in our source code, you can choose to update to our Firefox Nightly channel, and get new builds of Firefox twice a day. There, if you encounter problems like long lags, or even crashes, they will be very closely tied to what we were recently working on, and we will be able to resolve the problems quickly, before they even hit the next beta cycle.

 

In conclusion

 

We know we’re asking a lot of you since you’ve always had a very fast and efficient browsing experience when you used Firefox in combination with NVDA. And we are truly sorry that we’ll have to temporarily slip here. But rest assured that we’re working hard with the full team to kick Firefox back into gear so that each followup release will bring us back closer to where we were before 57, plus the added benefits Quantum brings for all users.

 

Find the full article at:

https://www.marcozehe.de/2017/11/07/firefox-57-nvda-users-perspective/

 

GTT Edmonton Summary Notes, All About Games, October 16, 2017

Summary Notes

GTT Edmonton Meeting October 16, 2017

 

The most recent meeting of the Get Together with Technology (GTT) Edmonton Chapter was held October 16at 7pm at Ascension Lutheran Church 8405 83 Street in Edmonton.

17 people attended.

Reading Tip: These summary notes apply HTML headings to help navigate the document. With screen readers, you may press the H key to jump forward or Shift H to jump backward from heading to heading.

 

October Topic – Gaming Apps

 

Blindfold Games Apps

Blindfold Games is an organization offering 71 games but the list keeps growing. There are card games, word games, adventure games, action games memory games and more. Some are familiar like solitaire, poker, Blackjack, Sudoku, a Scrabble variant, a Monopoly variant, a variant of the JEOPARDY TV show, action games like battleship, car racing, horse racing, bowling, football and more. The complete list is on the Blindfold Games web site. They run only on iOS Apple devices such as iPhone and iPad. All the games are free to download from the App store and try but they have limited play time. If you like a game there is an in-app purchase option to buy the game for a few dollars which gives you unlimited use thereafter. The games are 100% accessible audio based designed specifically for blind people.

Audio Game Hub

Audio Game Hub is a set of eight experimental arcade video games that use audio as their primary interface – making them accessible for both sighted and non-sighted users.

 

RS Games

RS Games is a web site hosting accessible games for the blind where you play online with other gamers using your web browser.

 

Resource – Audio Games Web Portal

audiogames.net

is a web site that exists as a community portal for all things to do with audio games for the visually impaired. Here you will find news, articles, an active community forum and a database of over 500 titles on platforms from Microsoft Windows to iOS.

 

Resource – AppleVIS Web Site

The AppleVIS iOS games page has a list of 408 accessible games and growing for iPhone and iPad and you may also want to review the AppleVis list of accessible games for the Mac.

 

Resource – AbleGamers

AbleGamers proclaims to be the world’s largest charity set up to serve as a resource for gamers with any type of disability.

 

Next Meeting (Monday November 13at 7pm)

  • Eric has offered to demo the Amazon Echo which is a hands-free speaker you control with your voice. Echo connects to the Alexa Voice Service to play music, make calls, provide information, news, weather, sports scores and more. All you do is ask it.
  • As usual, we will provide one-on-one training especially iPhone and DAISY players. If you have other training requests email your interests to us so we can try to accommodate you.
  • As always, for help with technology bring your devices and/or questions to the meeting.

 

Meeting Location and Logistics

  • Ascension Lutheran Church 8405 – 83 Street NW, Edmonton.
  • We meet in the basement hall. There is elevator access.
  • Enter the church from the back door. There is parking at the back and drop off space for taxis, DATS.
  • Meetings are every second Monday of the month at 7pm.
  • If you have someone helping you your assistant is welcome to remain for the meeting.

 

GTT Edmonton Overview

  • GTT Edmonton is a chapter of the Canadian Council of the Blind (CCB).
  • GTT Edmonton promotes a self-help learning experience by holding monthly meetings to assist participants with assistive technology.
  • Each meeting consists of a feature technology topic, questions and answers about technology, and one-on-one training where possible.
  • Participants are encouraged to come to each meeting even if they are not interested in the feature topic because questions on any technology are welcome. The more participants the better able we will be equipped with the talent and experience to help each other.
  • There are GTT groups across Canada as well as a national GTT monthly toll free teleconference. You may subscribe to the National GTT blog to get email notices of teleconferences and notes from other GTT chapters. Visit:

http://www.gttprogram.wordpress.com/

There is a form at the bottom of that web page to enter your email.

[End of Document]

Accessibility Article: What’s New in iOS 11 Accessibility for Blind, Low Vision and Deaf-Blind Users, Submitted by Scott Davert, Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

What’s New in iOS 11 Accessibility for Blind, Low Vision and Deaf-Blind Users

Submitted by Scott Davert on 19 September, 2017 and last modified on 19 September, 2017

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

 

Text of article found below:

https://www.applevis.com/blog/apple-assistive-technology-braille-ios-news/whats-new-ios-11-accessibility-blind-low-vision-and

 

iOS 11 has arrived for users of the iPhone 5S and later; the iPad fifth generation and later; and the iPod Touch 6th Generation. Mainstream changes such as the revamped Control Center, new HomeKit options, the new Files app, and many other enhancements have been added. Other blogs and videos will cover these changes, but as is the case with all major iOS releases dating back to iOS 5, there are many changes specific to accessibility which may not be well documented.

Without a doubt, there will be other features not written about here that people discover as they have their play with iOS 11. While I’ve been running the betas since June, I am certain I will learn of more changes as the masses get their opportunity to play with the update. While I consider myself a decent Tech Detective, I’m sure there are things I’ve missed. Please note that this article is not intended as a comprehensive guide to iOS 11; rather, it is designed to document changes likely to be of particular interest to users who are blind, have low vision, or who are deaf-blind.

Before proceeding, I would like to acknowledge the hard work that went in to documenting the visual modifications in iOS 11 done by Ryan Pugh of the NFB’s International Braille and Technology Center. Without his input, the details with regard to visual changes would not have been possible.

Important Information To Know Before Upgrading

This section applies equally to those who work with accessibility features and those who do not. iOS 11 has dropped support for applications developed for only the 32-bit platform. Before performing the upgrade, you may wish to check your device to see which apps will not be supported that are currently installed; for step-by-step instructions on how to do this, consult this guide. Note that you will need to be running iOS 10.3 or later to use this feature.

Type It, Don’t Speak It

In iOS 11, not only has Siri earned a spot under Accessibility Settings, but you can now type to Apple’s virtual assistant instead of speaking to it. This makes it possible to perform queries silently. For Braille display users, coupled with another iOS 11 feature discussed below, you will now be able to fully utilize Siri from a Braille display without interacting with the touchscreen. Look for a guide on how to do this shortly after iOS 11 is released. To turn on this feature, go to Settings> General> Accessibility> Siri, and turn “Type to Siri” on. In this menu, you will also be able to control voice feedback. You can turn it on all the time, off all the time, or have Siri respect whether your device is muted or not. If you enable “Type to Siri,” you will no longer be able to speak to it unless you have “Hey Siri” enabled. Each time you bring up Siri, a keyboard will appear onscreen. For Braille users, though you will not be put in a text field, you can simply begin typing. Once you have completed what you wish to have Siri do, press dot 8 with space, or enter on the Bluetooth keyboard. To read responses through text using VoiceOver, you will then need to flick to the right 3 times, but if you leave Siri’s speech on, you will automatically get a verbal response. Speaking of voice feedback, there is a new Siri female voice which some find sounds more natural. The male Siri voices are the same, but they sound clearer since they are now at a higher sampling rate.

Indoor Mapping Comes to iOS

At the time of posting, I have yet to venture into a space that has this ability, but iOS 11 has support for indoor mapping functionality with the Maps application. Note that this will only apply to spaces where beacons exist.

More Control Over Accessibility

I wrote above about the newly revamped Control Center. It is now on one page instead of two, and can be customized to the users’ preferences to some degree. To add and remove items in your Control Center, head over to Settings> Control Center> Customize. Here you will find a total of seventeen features that you can insert or remove from the Control Center. Among other things, you will find the Accessibility Shortcut; Flashlight; Guided Access; Magnifier; and Text Size as options. This can be easily used to almost have a secondary Accessibility Shortcut since you can simply invoke the Control Center, and enable any of these options. This can come in handy for users who utilize different accessibility tools within the operating system at different times. Visually, the Control Center has been cleaned up and appears to be more intuitive. It has been reorganized into distinct groupings of functionality. The default contrast is significantly better. Cross screen bars have been replaced by banded blocks where possible.

I’ll Answer That

If you have ever been a person who finds answering calls to be a challenge for any reason, there is now the option to have calls answered automatically. Go to Settings>General>Accessibility>Call Audio Routing>Auto Answer Calls to configure this setting. Once turned on, you have the ability to tell your iOS device how long you would like the OS to wait before answering a call. Before auto answer kicks in, you can still dismiss the call through the methods already available in previous versions of iOS. You can set the time to have the call answered automatically anywhere from 0 up to 60 seconds after it comes in. This feature not only works for FaceTime and standard phone calls, but also appears to be functioning with several other third party applications that handle calls such as Skype, Whatsapp, Facebook, and Google Hangouts.

VoiceOver

What Has Changed?

Before discussing new features, it may be important to note what has changed for VoiceOver users. While this section will not highlight a lot of changes, a few of what the author would view as noteworthy are listed below.

Moving Apps Becomes A Drag, Sort Of

Last autumn, Apple introduced a new way of moving apps around the various Home Screens via the rotor. The primary change to this method is that dragging of multiple apps is now an option. In iOS 11, instead of swiping up to “Arrange Apps,” the touchscreen VoiceOver user must double-tap and hold to invoke “Edit Mode.” For Bluetooth keyboard and Braille display users, you can still press up or down arrow, or space with dot 3 or 6, to move to “Edit Mode”.

Once you are in “Edit Mode,” you still will need to first locate the app you wish to drag. You have the options of delete, drag, or stop editing apps. Note that if you are in “Edit Mode,” and you wait about thirty seconds, iOS 11 will automatically exit you from this mode. If you wish to move an app, find it, and then select “Drag.” Then navigate to the place you wish to “Drop” the app, and choose the appropriate option. Your options are to drop it before, after, or to create a folder with the app VoiceOver focus is set to. You can also drop an app within a folder.

The final option is to “Add To Drag Session.” This option will allow you to move multiple apps at once. When multiple apps are added, you can still “drop” them before; after; add the app currently in focus to your “drag session”; add to a folder if one is in VoiceOver’s focus; or create a folder with these apps and the app currently in focus. This comes in handy when you wish to drop several apps into a folder, and wish to add apps at the same time from various Home screens. I’ve only tested adding four apps to one “drag session,” but found it worked effectively.

Moving apps around is good practice for using the “Drag and Drop” method on the iPad. While it works on the iPhone and iPod Touch for the purposes written above, it’s also possible to, for example, add a file in the Files app to a drag session, switch to the Mail app, and attach that file to a message you are composing by “dropping” the file in the Mail application.

Previews Are Back!

In iOS 10, VoiceOver users had to perform a 3 finger single tap on a message to hear the preview of their email messages. The preview will now be read out loud by VoiceOver without the user having to interact with their touchscreen.

More Options

Continuing to cover the Mail application, there are a few other changes. When you are reading a message, the VoiceOver user will now find an “Actions” option. This enables the user to take action on the message. This has been a feature available from the “All Messages” mailbox for several releases, but never before from the content of a message. The actions of this rotor option are to reply, archive, flag, mark as read/unread, and to activate. This comes in handy for those who use the threading options who wish to act on a specific message in the thread.

If you choose to sort your messages by thread, there is another new rotor option called “Expand/Collapse Thread”. When expanded, mail threads show all messages without the need to open the thread. This lets you easily read and deal with each message individually. I prefer to use the “Messages” rotor option, as I find that more effective as a Braille user. Casting my personal preference aside, it’s good to have multiple options for the threading of emails.

Assigning The Old New Names

I wrote above that Siri has new voices. However, if you have enjoyed using some of the old Siri voices with VoiceOver, you’ll be happy to know that these are still around, but they now have names. The old American Siri voices are now named Aaron and Nicky, the British voices are known as Arthur and Martha, and the Australian voices are known as Catherine and Gordon. These TTS engines are available for download along with the rest of the voices that were introduced in iOS 10.

Verbosity Gets More Verbose

iOS 11 includes several new options for the configuring of Verbosity settings. To find the features in the below subsections, go to Settings>General>Accessibility>VoiceOver>Verbosity.

”I Periodically Have Questions”

If you have wanted to adjust the punctuation spoken with VoiceOver before, but didn’t enable this choice in your rotor, you now have the option here as well. Navigate to the punctuation setting under the Verbosity menu and select some, none, or all.

Updating In Real time

One of my small annoyances about earlier versions of iOS was that VoiceOver and Braille would not always report the status of certain things if one left the VoiceOver focus set to that element. A couple of examples include with transportation and delivery apps. If you left VoiceOver focus on the ETA element, it would not change automatically. This was an issue for those using Braille displays who wished to quickly check the status of something, but couldn’t without going to the previous or next element then navigating back to the element of interest. When turned on, Speak Detected Text will automatically speak any text that is changed on the focused element. It can still be turned off, so if you find it annoying, the option to disable it is also in this submenu.

Capitalize On This However You Want

Continuing to explore the new Verbosity options, you can now specify how VoiceOver speaks a capital letter. Your options are to speak the word “cap”, play a sound, change pitch, or do nothing. Another option under the Verbosity menu is “Deleting Text”, which offers similar options. You can have the word “deleted” spoken, play a sound each time something is deleted, change the pitch, or do nothing. The same options exist for embedded links. This means that if you encounter a link on a web page, you can have VoiceOver speak the word “link”, play a sound, change pitch, or do nothing.

Bringing More Verbosity Options To The Table

In this case, I’m not referring to the kitchen table, though I suppose I could be if you are using your iOS Device at said table. This refers to handling tables on the web. It’s now possible to control whether you have the headers of the column and row you are in spoken, as well as the number of the column and row you are currently in reported with VoiceOver speech. It was an option before, but now you can disable it if you would like. Note that if you decide to turn this information on, it is not displayed in Braille.

I’m Reading You Loud And Clear

Though the title of this option is “Media Descriptions”, this setting actually has to do with captions and subtitles. It’s now possible to read these with speech output, Braille, or to have both at the same time. If you are using Braille, you will need to be a fast Braille reader to keep up. This will come in handy for those who watch films where there are subtitles, or if you need some textual support to offset a hearing loss while watching a movie. This feature, however, will not work well for those who are totally deaf-blind since there is no context included within the captions and subtitles. For example, you will get everything that is being said, but you have no idea who may be saying it. It’s also worth noting that not all captioned videos are supported. This feature has been tested on Netflix and with iTunes movies, and found to work as expected with those services.

And… Here Comes The Pitch

It’s true that baseball season starts to heat up this time of year, but it’s also true that this has nothing to do with the feature discussed in this section. Under the “Speech” button of VoiceOver, you now have the ability to change the pitch of speech output. Whether you wish VoiceOver to sound like it has an Adam’s Apple the size of a medicine ball, has with lungs full of helium, or somewhere in between, you now have that ability. Leaving the slider at 50% will give you the pitch you are familiar with. It’s also worth noting that the pitch will be applied to all voices, and that these changes will also be applied to “Speak Screen” and “Speak Selection” functions. It would be nice to have “Pitch Change” as a rotor option so that it can quickly be adjusted on the fly, and to have it be something you can adjust with each voice.

Describe It All To Me! Well… Sort Of.

In iOS 10, Apple introduced the ability to generate alt text for the photos in your photo library and camera roll. With iOS 11, this has expanded to a few third party apps like Facebook. When you find an image you would like to have described, perform a 3 finger single tap when VoiceOver focus is set to that item. Note that for this feature to work, you will need to have the Screen Curtain disabled. To toggle the Screen Curtain on and off, perform a 3 finger triple tap. This also works to varying degrees with images containing text, where iOS will sometimes recognize text and perform OCR on it. It is not, however, a function that works across all applications. The best way to determine whether the app you are using is supported seems to be to just try it. If you are a Bluetooth keyboard user, you can also use this feature directly with the keyboard command VO+F3. Note that with some keyboards, you may also need to include the FN key in this command depending on how your keyboard is configured. You can also set up a Braille keyboard command for performing this function as described in the Braille section of this article.

VoiceOver On Demand

With Mac OS, you have always had the option to jump directly to the VoiceOver Utility. iOS 11 has this covered with the same keyboard command found in Mac OS: VO with F8. This will take you directly in to the VoiceOver menu instead of having to navigate to it from the “Settings” screen. You can also customize a keyboard command on a Braille display to perform this function, though it isn’t set up by default.

I Misspelled What?

While sighted users have always had an easy time finding misspelled words, this hasn’t been true for VoiceOver users unless you pause after each word to see if it is misspelled. There is a new rotor option, which now appears called “Misspelled Words”. It is not always appearing with each text field as was intended, but works well for finding those pesky spelling mistakes quickly. Once the VoiceOver rotor is set to this option, flicking up and down to cycle between misspelled words works well. However, if you wish to correct a word, you will still need to do the rest of the process through the “Edit” rotor options as it was done in previous versions of iOS.

New Gestures With New Features

Specifically, for iPad users, one of the changes is the addition of the Dock which is no longer limited to four items. The Dock now resembles what users of Mac OS have been experiencing for several years. The Dock has always been accessible from anywhere within the operating system, and this is now true for iPad users as well. To bring up the Dock, perform a 2 finger swipe up from the bottom of the screen, or press VO with D on a Bluetooth keyboard. You will find applications you have added manually, but also a list of your most recently used apps.

Putting the iPad in “Split View” functions much like it did in iOS 9, though now the Dock has become the main focal point for setting up “Split View” or “Slide over”. Start by using a 2 finger swipe up from the bottom of the screen to bring up the Dock. Then select an application, and in the “Actions” rotor, swipe up to choose “Open Side App”, (Slide Over) “Pin to Left”, or “Pin to Right”. Then double tap to carry out the desired action. Like before, you can tap the left, right or middle of the screen to switch between each app. You can also use the rotor to navigate to “Containers”, and then flick up and down to go between apps. Remember that Split View is only supported on the iPad Mini II and later, and also on the iPad Pro models.

If you are someone who has not enjoyed the Mail app when it is divided in to columns of messages on one side and then the message you are trying to read opens on the other, iOS 11 has given VoiceOver users the option to quickly jump from the table of messages to the message content. On the Mac, and also now on the iPad, this can be done with VO and the letter J. You can also perform a 2-finger swipe right if you are a touchscreen user.

Braille

Important Information Before Upgrading

If you are a Braille user, it’s worth noting that many users of Braille displays are reporting that their cursor puts them in random places on the screen when attempting to edit anything over a few sentences long. Further, if you are a fast typer with the Braille keyboard, it’s also been documented that the translator will miss letters. The longer the block of text, the more this happens. If you plan to do a lot of typing and editing with a Braille display, the first release of iOS 11 may not be for you. When working within any text field using either contracted or uncontracted Braille, these bugs seem to be present with both U.S. English and Unified English Braille. By typing rapidly, I mean anything over around 50 words a minute.

No Longer Lost In Translation

Those major bugs aside, there are many nice things about iOS 11 for Braille users. One of the changes is that you can natively use contracted Braille input without having to worry about the translator not taking what you have previously written into account. Though the translator works well, when editing, the cursor will exhibit the behavior documented above.

DIY W/BRL

Many users of Braille displays have desired for different commands to be part of the key mapping of iOS. Braille users of Mac OS have had the ability to customize Braille keyboard commands for quite some time. With iOS 11, you can decide not only what function you would like to be able to carry out from your Braille display, but also what keyboard combination you would like that command to have. If the command you desire is already in use by another function, that’s okay, you can change it to something else. The commands are specific to each Braille display. Though most Braille displays have a Perkins style keyboard, they also have buttons that make them unique. For example, the Braille Edge from HIMS has four rectangular buttons on either side of the spacebar. These can be assigned specific functions, or even Bluetooth keyboard equivalents. The same is true of the Focus displays, which have many controls on the front of the device that can be either assigned, or re-assigned, a specific command. The amount of options available for new commands will vary based on the Braille display’s specific capabilities and programmable buttons.

To assign a new command for your Braille display, go to Settings>General>Accessibility>VoiceOver>Braille>More Info. While you still have the “Disconnect” and “Forget This Device” options, you will also find one called “Braille Commands”. Within this screen, you will find seven options for configuring new or existing commands. You will also find the option to “Reset All Commands” at the bottom of this screen. There are too many options to list, but I will describe how to add or change a command by example below.

One advantage to using a Bluetooth keyboard on iOS has always been the ability to carry out a lot of tasks quickly using a robust set of keyboard commands. It is possible to, for example, carry out many Bluetooth keyboard commands to make using the Mail app more efficient. Command plus N creates a new message, Command plus R will reply to an open message, Command plus Shift plus R will reply to all, etc. When formatting text, Command plus B will bold the selected text, Command plus I will italicize it, Command plus U will underline it, etc. Touchscreen users must use the rotor for these options which involves a lot more steps than the keyboard. Bearing the power of the “Command” key in mind, let’s set up a Braille command to invoke this key using a Braille display.

  1. After navigating to Settings>General>Accessibility>VoiceOver>Braille>More Info>Braille Commands, activate the “Keyboard” button.
  2. Scroll down to the “Toggle Command” button. Note that there is also a “Command” button without the toggle, but I’ve found that trying to press a letter with this command doesn’t always work, whereas the toggle does.
  3. Navigate to “Assign New Braille Keys”, and activate it.
  4. Press a key, or combination of keys, that you wish to be assigned this command. Be sure to either pick something you do not ever use, or a brand new command altogether. For example, on the VarioUltra, I used D4 and D5 pressed together. Though this has already been assigned a command, which will force VoiceOver to translate whatever I’ve typed, that command already exists with space and dots 4-5.
  5. If the command you have chosen doesn’t already have something assigned to it, you will be done with this process. If the Braille keyboard assignment does have a command already associated with that keyboard combination, you will get an alert telling you what the already assigned action is, and asking you if you wish to change it.
  6. Choose “OK” or “Cancel”, and the appropriate option will be chosen.

You can now press that Braille keyboard combination you have assigned this function, once to toggle the Command key on and once to toggle it off, and perform all of the commands I listed above and many more. For example, to bold a selected block of text, press the Command key toggle, the letter B, and then press the Command key toggle again. You have many other options, such as the ability to invoke Siri. This allows you to then use Siri from your Braille display without ever having to take your hands off the keyboard.

What’s The Status Of The Formatting?

Another new feature in iOS 11 is the ability to detect what formatting attributes are in a document using the status cell. To turn this option on, go to Settings>General>Accessibility>Braille>Status Cells”, and choose to turn on “Show Text Status”. Cracking the code of what dot stands for each type of formatting will take a bit of memorizing, but you can easily pull up a list of which dots symbolize which text attribute by pressing the cursor routing button over the status cell. You can exit this mode by pressing Space with B. As the insertion point in your text changes by using the Braille cursor, so too should the status cell if the text formatting is different. If your cursor is not routed to somewhere on the screen, the formatting will follow wherever the insertion point is set to.

Feel Those Emoji’s

VoiceOver users who use speech have had the ability to listen to whatever emoji they have selected, or to whichever one they encounter. Prior to iOS 11, this was very limited for Braille users. They often saw a series of symbols that didn’t differ from emoji to emoji. Now, Braille users can tell what emoji they are encountering just like their speech using counterparts.

The Text Goes On And ON And On And…

Another new Braille function is “Word Wrap”. No, this is not a feature which will quote various Hip-hop lyrics, but is a feature which will not break up the contents displayed by words. Instead, you may find that you have half of a word at the end of the display, and then when you pan forward, you will find the rest of the word. This option may come in handy for users who are on smaller displays. You will find it under Settings>General>Accessibility>VoiceOver>Braille>Word Wrap.

Less Spaces Are Good

Prior to iOS 11, it was necessary to press the Spacebar in conjunction with dots 7 or 8 to perform a delete or to activate the Enter key. With iOS 11, you can simply press dot 7 or 8 without the Spacebar, and these functions will work correctly. However, as old habits die hard, you can still use the Spacebar with dot 7 or dot 8 like you could before.

Low Vision

General Clean-Up

The new features and enhancements in the below sections show that Apple has done substantial work to improve the low vision experience. While the below added functions are important, there are a lot of smaller changes to the appearance of the operating system that will make the upgrade potentially a good one. For example, a number of default icons have been visually cleaned up, removing “flair” to create a crisper and clearer presentation. Here are a few noteworthy changes, but not an exhaustive list:

  • The paintbrush ends on the App Store have been removed, and the lines across the pencil have been cleaned up to create a crisp overlapping “A” with curved lines.
  • The times on the clock have been boldened and clarified.
  • The Maps icon has been simplified to become more visually distinct.
  • The number of lines on the Notes and Reminders icons have been reduced.
  • The Calculator icon has been given a slight overhaul changing it from orange and gray boxes to a black calculator image with orange and white buttons on it.
  • The iTunes Store has a new icon changing from a music note to a crisp star.

Other little changes that can make a big difference include a larger navigation bar in some apps, a QR scanner built directly into the camera that eliminates the need for a third party app with unknown accessibility standards. Bigger, bolder and better controls for formatting in the notes app make the experience less of a strain.

The App Store Redesign

All around the App Store the off-white background has been removed in favor of a flat white theme throughout improving color contrast across the board. The install now buttons for apps are far larger and visually distinct, with a full button around the “install now” text. Reviews and ratings are now a dark gray instead of yellow, and much larger and more prominent, icons at the bottom of the screen are bigger and heavier. Search suggestions are twenty percent larger and far bolder. The search box itself has doubled in size and the grey of the box has been lighted to improve contrast against the black text as you type. The updates page has much larger text and icons and the buttons have a larger rounded look and there is even a system wide setting that has been added to disable feedback request inside of Apps to reduce visual clutter and eliminate those frustrating pop ups. The small cleanups around the Store are innumerable and make for a much more comfortable experience, the final big change that should be called out, there is finally an option to disable auto playing videos around the store and reduce the visual burden they can create.

iOS 11 Gets More Bold… Somewhat

Though iOS 11 sports more bold text, the issue is that it isn’t consistently done. For example, the passcode screen numbers are over twice as thick and significantly clearer than in iOS 10, while icons on the Home Screen and some native apps setup screens have only a modest increase in size and line thickness. One could easily miss that bold is even turned on, particularly on the web. This is a really nice feature in the areas where it has been implemented, but the places where it is functioning are the minority rather than the majority.

A More Dynamic iOS

iOS 11 brings with it more enhanced dynamic type. In all native menus and apps we examined, the line wrapping successfully shifted over lines and allowed the full body of text to be viewed. The irritating cutoffs and overflows that existed in iOS 10 have been removed. The tap and hold function for a larger pop out control in the middle of the screen does exactly what it says it will. However, the improvements do not carry over to the web where text appears to be presented exactly as it was in iOS 10. To enable this feature, head over to Settings>General>Accessibility>Text Size, and turn on “Larger Accessibility Sizes”.

Bigger Is Cleaner

In the Zoom window, the cleanness at high magnification levels is considerably improved. The Zoom window is not as impressive at enhancing images, but even at a 15x greater magnification level, it is still able to render a cleaner and smoother image than in iOS 10.

Sometimes, Being Negative Is Smart

Invert Colors has been made “smarter” in some places throughout the operating system. This feature is intended to not invert things like media, images, and some apps that have darker color styles to make them more clear. To enable “Smart Invert”, head over to Settings>General>Accessibility>Display Accommodations>Invert Colors and enable “Smart Invert”. It’s possible to use the Invert Colors functions from prior to iOS 11 by enabling “Classic Invert Colors”. Using smart inversion with the camera makes it easier to differentiate between objects of very similar colors, and apply tints to each to make them visually distinct. Smart Inversion determines whether to apply color inversion to a single object, or multiple objects, seemingly based on what is in frame. In some cases, this feature will invert one object, and not another directly beside it, to create sufficient contrast to differentiate the two.

With Smart Inversion active, there are still a few issues with app buttons that begin dark against a dark background, and light against a light background. Against a mostly black background, the background is not inverted, and neither is the Stocks icon. The edges of that image remain a little unclear. Native pictures and videos seem to not be inverted, but the same cannot be said for media on the web and third party applications. In Apple’s defense, this may require an update, or additional coding work by the app developers.

The biggest low vision issue we have been able to identify with the Smart Inversion is that pink and blue will turn green and orange. While providing improved color contrast, it is not sufficient to make it fully visually distinct on smaller items. This makes it markedly worse for those who are color blind. There are some holdover issues with inversion inside the Weather app. This is especially true where the inversion now creates an orange/brown background while the images of the sun remain a bright yellow. This makes them less distinct with inversed colors than without.

There are some inconsistencies in the way in which app logos are inverted. Examples include the list of apps in the Control Center, the Siri app suggestions were only sometimes inverted, the YouTube app was blue in one instance and then the normal red and white the next time, etc.

I Like More Colorful Speech, But Can You Give Me The Highlights?

Speak Selection has been around for several versions, but seems to get enhancements with each operating system. iOS 11 is no exception. You can now highlight colors with Speak Selection. This comes in two flavors: words and sentences. You can either use these functions independently or together. This can be used to track focus which is especially useful for complex web pages without intuitive reading orders. However, the line or colored band does not move in real time if you scroll the page until the next sentence is started. This could potentially create some visual confusion.

The selection of colors leaves something to be desired with only blue, yellow, green, pink, and purple available. The highlight bands are also inverted when Smart Inversion is active. Before inversion, a visually distinct sentence highlight of purple and green will be inverted into dark green and orange brown. This may result in having to repeatedly alter settings to use this function if you regularly use Smart Inversion. This is because the bad contrast will appear in only areas where the smart inversion actually inverts.

An Upgraded Magnifier

Though a slight delay still remains when going from darkness to bright light, this appears to be less than what is found in iOS 10. The Magnifier is now better able to handle glare, and adjust to rapidly changing light. Smaller objects, text, and stacked items seem to be receiving cleaner and faster focus. The upgrade is especially noticeable when using the magnifier to examine text either in print or on a computer screen.

Hearing

This Phone Was Made For You And My Hearing Aids

Over the years, Apple has been working with hearing aid manufacturers to develop Made For iPhone (MFI) hearing aids. iOS 10.2 saw some upgrades to the newer models, in that the technology behind AirPods and the w1 chip was implemented. It is my understanding, though I do not have a set of MFI hearing aids to test myself, that the stability issues found in iOS 10 have been addressed with the newer models using the w1 chip. Again, I do not have access to a set of MFI hearing aids, so it is impossible for me to tell you what else has been changed. It is my hope that someone who owns a pair of MFI hearing aids will take the time to inform us all of what has changed.

Can You Give Me More Background?

For those who are hard of hearing with low vision, or those who have low vision that wish to access subtitles, iOS 11 brings additional options for captioning. It is now possible to increase the size of captions, and to add an outline to make them more visually distinct. The outline functions presents the text in a far more consistent and clear manner than the bold function. This makes captions far more clear on the screen especially against a backdrop of a very bright, or very dark video. To play around with this new functionality yourself, navigate to Settings>General>Accessibility>Subtitle & Captions>Style.

Conclusion

Apple continues to make changes and enhancements to its mobile operating system for everyone. Their work toward inclusive design continues to keep them ahead of many other platforms in terms of built-in accessibility options. Certainly, the enhancements in iOS 11 prove this trend continues. Just like previous iOS releases, whether you should upgrade or not depends on whether the bugs present in the new release will impact you on a greater level than you can tolerate—and whether you feel the new features are worth the upgrade. If possible, it may be best to try out the new version of iOS on another device before installing it on your own. To check out a list of bugs related to VoiceOver and b/braille, check the this AppleVis post. To download the update over the air, go to Settings> General> Software Update, and follow the prompts onscreen. Alternatively, you can update your device through iTunes.

 

Get Together with Technology (GTT) on Twitter and Facebook

GTT on Twitter and Facebook

 

Get Together with Technology (GTT)

Sponsored by the Canadian Council of the Blind (CCB)

 

GTT is an exciting initiative of the Canadian Council of the Blind, founded in 2011 by Kim Kilpatrick and Ellen Goodman.  GTT aims to help people who are blind or have low vision in their exploration of low vision and blindness related access technology.  Through involvement with GTT participants can learn from and discuss assistive technology with others walking the same path of discovery.

 

GTT is made up of blindness related assistive technology users, and those who have an interest in using assistive technology designed to help blind and vision impaired people level the playing field.  GTT groups interact through social media, and periodically meet in-person or by teleconference to share their passions for assistive technology and to learn what others can offer from their individual perspectives.

 

To follow, and join in on the discussions undertaken my members of the Get Together with Technology initiative of the Canadian Council of the Blind, please find us on Twitter and Facebook.

 

GTT Program on Twitter:

To stay in touch with GTT on Twitter please follow the three Twitter Feeds listed below:

 

@GTTProgram @GTTWest @CCBNational

 

GTTProgram on Facebook:

To follow GTT on Facebook like and share the following FB Pages:

 

CCBNational GTTProgram

 

Or join the General and Youth GTTProgram Facebook Groups;

 

Join the GTTProgram Group for blindness related assistive technology discussions.  This group welcomes participants of all ages.  For more information contact Kim or Albert at GTTProgram@Gmail.com or Albert.GTT@CCBNational.net.

 

Join the GTTYouth for lively discussion on matters related to blindness assistive technology.  Canadian Youth aged 18 to 25 are encouraged to join this group.  For more information contact Rebecca.GTT@CCBNational.net.

 

For more information please contact your GTT Coordinators:

 

Albert Ruel                   or                          Kim Kilpatrick

1-877-304-0968,550                      1-877-304-0968,513

albert.GTT@CCBNational.net                GTTProgram@Gmail.com

 

CCB Backgrounder:

The CCB was founded in 1944 by a coalition of blind war veterans, schools of the blind and local chapters to create a national self-governing organization. The CCB was incorporated by Letters Patent on May 10, 1950 and is a registered charity under the provisions of the Income Tax Act (Canada).

The purpose of the CCB is to give people with vision loss a distinctive and unique perspective before governments.  CCB deals with the ongoing effects of vision loss by encouraging active living and rehabilitation through peer support and social and recreational activities.

CCB promotes measures to conserve sight, create a close relationship with the sighted community and provide employment opportunities.

 

The CCB recognizes that vision loss has no boundaries with respect to gender, income, ethnicity, culture, other disabilities or age.

The CCB understands in many instances vision loss is preventable and sometimes is symptomatic of other health issues.  For the 21st century, the CCB is committed to an integrated proactive health approach for early detection to improve the quality of life for all Canadians.

As the largest membership organization of the blind and partially sighted in Canada the CCB is the “Voice of the Blind™”.

 

 

CCB National Office

100-20 James Street Ottawa ON  K2P 0T6

Toll Free: 1-877-304-0968

Email: info@ccbnational.net URL: www.ccbnational.net

 

GTT Edmonton Summary Notes, Identification and Reading Apps, September 11, 2017

Summary Notes

GTT Edmonton Meeting September 11, 2017

 

The most recent meeting of the Get Together with Technology (GTT) Edmonton Chapter was held September 11 at 7pm at Ascension Lutheran Church 8405 83 Street in Edmonton.

17 people attended.

Reading Tips: These summary notes apply Microsoft Word headings to help navigate the document. With JAWS, you may press the JAWS key +F6 to bring up a list of the headings in the document. Then you can arrow up and down this list of headings and press ENTER on any heading to jump to its location in the document.

 

September Topic – Identification and Reading Apps

 

Thanks to Carrie and Russel for demonstrating the following apps and providing the summary notes.

 

Seeing AI App

Russel demoed the free Microsoft Seeing AI app on his iPhone. He talked about the different channels available: short text, Document, Product, Person, and Scene Beta.

 

Russell then explained how the Short Text channel reads text automatically as you point the iPhone camera at text. He uses it to read things like business cards, CCB membership cards, etc. The Short Text channel can also be used to scan and read things like signs.

 

Russell then showed how the Document channel guides you to move the iPhone camera over a page of text, and then, after guiding the user to hold the iPhone with the page in view, advises the user to “hold steady”, and then automatically takes a picture of the page. The text can then be read by VoiceOver using the appropriate gestures. The document can then be shared by email, or text message.

 

Russell then ran into some issues when demoing the Product channel feature which is used to identify bar codes. The bar code was found and scanned, but the app was not able to identify the product. Upon further investigation at home, Russell found that the app worked better in the Product channel with VoiceOver turned off. This also helped answer the question Gerry asked at the GTT meeting about whether or not the Seeing AI app had a self-voicing feature. It does, and in some instances, like the Product channel, it seems to work better with VoiceOver turned off.

 

Russell then briefly showed the Person channel by taking a picture of Carrie. The app identified Carrie as a 36-year-old blonde lady who seems to be very happy! Carrie and Russell then attempted to do face recognition, but were not able to get this to work. If people are interested, this feature can be further researched and demoed at a later meeting.

 

Russell then switched to the Scene channel which is still in beta test mode. He pointed his iPhone at the members in attendance. The app announced “Group of people sitting on a chair”.

 

The Seeing AI app is new, but already has some great features available. It will most likely get better as time goes on.

 

You can learn more about this app on the iTunes website at the following URL…

 

https://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/seeing-ai-talking-camera-for-the-blind/id999062298?mt=8

 

You can learn more about Seeing AI and watch some video tutorials on the Microsoft page at…

 

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/seeing-ai/

 

Carrie demoed the following iOS apps.

 

VocalEyes

This is an app for iPhone/iPad. It uses your Apple devices camera to view information and interpret what it is. Created at MIT,  VisionEyes proprietary algorithm can read text, recognize objects, detect logos, and observe facial expressions, ALL in less than 3 seconds! Unlike other applications, with confusing buttons and modes, VocalEyes has one button. One button for everything! Text, Facial, Object, and Logo, all in one so it’s easy.

 

Requires iOS 9.2 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.

 

More information: http://vocaleyes.ai

 

iTunes Store to get it:

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/vocaleyes-talking-ai-camera-for-the-blind/id1260344127?mt=8&ign-mpt=uo%3D8

 

 

VocalEyes – Talking AI Camera for the Blind on the App Store

itunes.apple.com

Read reviews, compare customer ratings, see screenshots and learn more about VocalEyes – Talking AI Camera for the Blind. Download VocalEyes – Talking AI Camera for the Blind and enjoy it on your iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.

 

Be My Eyes app for iPhones/iPads. Soon to be for Android.

Be My Eyes is a FREE mobile app designed to bring sight to the blind and visually impaired. With the press of a button, the app establishes a live video connection between blind and visually impaired users and sighted volunteers

 

Requires iOS 10.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.

 

More info:

 

http://bemyeyes.com/what-is-be-my-eyes/

 

iTunes Store to get it:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/be-my-eyes-helping-blind-see/id905177575?mt=8

Be My Eyes – Helping blind see on the App Store

itunes.apple.com

Read reviews, compare customer ratings, see screenshots, and learn more about Be My Eyes – Helping blind see. Download Be My Eyes – Helping blind see and enjoy it …

 

Near Sighted VR Augmented Aid for Apple and Android Smart Phones

These apps are used with a virtual reality goggle like the inexpensive Google Cardboard ($17). It can give you a sort of electronic monocular. You must cut out a piece of the Google cardboard box so the camera can view outside of the box, attach the head straps to hold it on your head, and get the free app which controls the zoom of the camera in a stereoscopic manner. You need to take the phone out of the Google cardboard box to adjust the zoom. But for the $17 cost of the VR goggles I think it a viable low vision hands free viewing option. The one I showed was cardboard so not real rain friendly. A couple of down sides is the apps zoom is not huge and when viewing a television, I need to have a light on near the tv so the image is not washed out. Otherwise, I’m impressed for the price of this hands free and relatively light weight, clear magnified image. If you want to try it again ask me to bring it to GTT.

 

Get it for Android Smartphones:

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=air.NearSighted&hl=en

Near Sighted VR Augmented Aid – Android Apps on Google Play

play.google.com

NearSighted -VR Augmented Aid Are you legally blind? Do you have low vision or can only see things up close? Then this app might be for you. NearSight is …

 

Get it for Apple iPhone or iPod Touch where it is called Myopia VR Glasses:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/myopia-vr-glasses/id1086689603?mt=8

Myopia VR Glasses on the App Store

itunes.apple.com

Read reviews, compare customer ratings, see screenshots, and learn more about Myopia VR Glasses. Download Myopia VR Glasses and enjoy it on your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.

Google Cardboard VR Googles at BestBuy.ca

 

Prizmo Go – a cloud OCR and Text Reader

Prizmo Go lets you quickly grab printed text with the camera. After text is recognized in a blink of an eye, you can interact with it in many useful ways. Read it aloud with its built-in text reader, share it, copy and paste it and for a small free app it’s not too bad.

 

Requires iOS 10.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.

 

More information:

https://creaceed.com/prizmogo/specs

 

Get it on iTunes:

https://itunes.apple.com/app/id1183367390?mt=8

Prizmo Go – Instant Text Capture on the App Store

itunes.apple.com

Read reviews, compare customer ratings, see screenshots, and learn more about Prizmo Go – Instant Text Capture. Download Prizmo Go – Instant Text Capture and enjoy it …

 

OrCam MyEye

This is a unique, portable and wearable device which consists of a tiny, yet powerful smart camera, attached to an ultra-mini speaker that is clipped onto any pair of eyeglasses, and is wired to a very small sized battery packed base unit (the size of a large iPhone).

Convenient, mobile and easy to use, you will witness how OrCam will instantly and discreetly read any digital text and printed text from any surface – including books, magazines, newspapers, computer & smartphone screens, restaurant menus, street signs with only a gesture of a finger point at the text.

http://www.orcam.com/

 

CNIB Edmonton is hosting an Orcam demo. You need to RSVP.

When:           Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Time:             10:00 am to 3:00 pm

Where:           CNIB Edmonton – 12010 Jasper Avenue – Edmonton, AB

RSVP to:        Monica Enica, her email is

monica.enica@cnib.ca

phone 780-488-4871

 

Next Meeting (Monday October 16 at 7pm)

  • Since the second Monday of October is Thanksgiving Day, we will meet October 16.
  • As usual, we will provide one-on-one training especially iPhone and DAISY players. If you have other training requests email your interests to us so we can try to accommodate you.
  • As always, for help with technology bring your devices and/or questions to the meeting.

 

Meeting Location and Logistics

  • Ascension Lutheran Church 8405 – 83 Street NW, Edmonton.
  • We meet in the basement hall. There is elevator access.
  • Enter the church from the back door. There is parking at the back and drop off space for taxis, DATS.
  • Meetings are every second Monday of the month at 7pm.
  • If you have someone helping you your assistant is welcome to remain for the meeting.

 

GTT Edmonton Overview

  • GTT Edmonton is a chapter of the Canadian Council of the Blind (CCB).
  • GTT Edmonton promotes a self-help learning experience by holding monthly meetings to assist participants with assistive technology.
  • Each meeting consists of a feature technology topic, questions and answers about technology, and one-on-one training where possible.
  • Participants are encouraged to come to each meeting even if they are not interested in the feature topic because questions on any technology are welcome. The more participants the better able we will be equipped with the talent and experience to help each other.
  • There are GTT groups across Canada as well as a national GTT monthly toll free teleconference. You may subscribe to the National GTT blog to get email notices of teleconferences and notes from other GTT chapters. Visit:

http://www.gttprogram.wordpress.com/

There is a form at the bottom of that web page to enter your email.

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