GTT Atlantic Canada Conference Call Summary Notes, Accessible Low Tech Household Items, April 18, 2018

Get Together with Technology (GTT) Atlantic Canada

An Initiative of the Canadian Council of the Blind

Summary Notes

April 18, 2018


Attendance by teleconference: 11 people.


Theme: Accessible Low Tech Household Items

The topic was accessible low tech household items used for independence, daily living, hobbies and recreation.  Some of the devices used are, talking bathroom and kitchen weigh scales, timers, liquid level indicators, stacking measuring cups and spoons.


Some strategies discussed were, Fil the tea pot then pour into the kettle that way just enough water to fill the tea pot will be available to pour once it’s hot.


Other strategies were, Use jigs for woodworking, sticks cut to length for measuring and talking measuring tapes.


Some discussed the use of recipes where they write them in large print and/or they use a magnifier.  Today some are using devices like the Google Home for accessing recipes, conversions and timers.


Participants talked about devices like, stand-alone banknote readers and apps on their smart phones, as well as talking clocks, talking colour id and light detectors.


A discussion ensued regarding strategies for remembering phone numbers, which lead to the computer and smart phones being used to store and retrieve them.


We talked about the many resources available for learning the iPhone/Android smart phone.  Many tutorials are available for free online, as well as textbooks that can be purchased from a variety of sources.  For suggestions contact Kim Kilpatrick or Albert Ruel through the CCB National Office.


Some on the call indicated that Flip phones aren’t so good at receiving signals any more and are largely inaccessible.


Someone asked about the Google Home or Amazon Echo, are these things available to ADP programs? The answer was no as far as we understand it.  In BC a case might be made for some of these devices to be funded by Technology@Work if they were shown to remove barriers to employment.


A discussion was undertaken about application to CPP Disability, and the recommendation was to seek the support of a local advocate if denied access, or before applying.


Rachel told us about the upcoming CNIB internship program, and other employment related programs. It was acknowledged that even with Degrees it’s challenging to secure work against others with similar degrees and sight.


Going forward CNIB will increase its support of career and employment services, as well as assistive technology supports.


Someone asked about Apple disability support, so here is the list of the most used tech support lines:

For those who use access technology with the below noted systems, apps and devices, you may access free technical support by contacting Apple, Microsoft and Google using these toll free numbers/email address.


  1. Apple Accessibility Support



  1. Microsoft Disability Answer Desk



  1. Google Disability Support:



  1. Freedom Scientific

Toll Free Number: 1-800-444-4443


Next meeting:

May 23, 2018 and focus on Apple accessibility.


GTT Atlantic Canada Conference Call Group Overview

  • GTT Atlantic Canada is a group of the Canadian Council of the Blind (CCB).
  • GTT Atlantic Canada promotes a self-help learning experience by holding monthly meetings to assist participants with their assistive technology needs.
  • Each meeting consists of a feature technology topic, and questions and answers about technology.
  • Participants are encouraged to attend 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.


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:

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Canada Revenue Agency Post: Why claim medical expenses

Your association or organization has been identified as a key stakeholder of the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). We hope you will share the following information with your membership.

English version ***La version française suit***

The below text can be found at the CRA Web Site:

Did you have medical expenses? You may be able to claim them on your income tax and benefit return

Why claim medical expenses

You can reduce the amount of federal tax you pay by claiming a non-refundable tax credit on a wide variety of medical expenses, including hospital services, nursing home fees, and medical supplies.

You may be able to claim medical expenses for yourself, your spouse or common-law partner, your dependent children (under 18 years of age), and other dependants.

Conditions for claiming medical expenses

To claim medical expenses, the expenses must:
* be eligible
* have been paid by you or your spouse or common-law partner
* have been paid within a 12-month period ending in 2016 and not claimed for 2015

Before filing your return, make sure you are claiming eligible medical expenses. If you claim expenses that are not eligible (for example, athletic or fitness-club fees or over-the-counter medications), the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) may reassess your return accordingly.

Claiming travel expenses

Did you travel at least 40 kilometres (one way) from your home to get medical services? If so, you may be able to claim the public transportation (for example, taxi, bus, or train) expenses you paid. Where public transportation is not readily available, you may be able to claim vehicle expenses instead.

Did you travel at least 80 kilometres (one way) from your home to get medical services? If so, you may be able to claim accommodation, meal, and parking expenses in addition to your transportation expenses.

Did someone accompany you? If so, you may be able to claim that person’s transportation and travel expenses. To make that claim, a medical practitioner must certify in writing that you were not capable of travelling alone to get medical services.

Refundable medical expense supplement
If you have a low income and high medical expenses, you may be able to claim a refundable credit of up to $1,187.

Visit the CRA’s website for more information on eligible medical expenses you can claim on your return or watch Segment 3: Medical Expenses in the CRA’s video series on Tax Measures for Persons with Disabilities.
Stay connected
To receive updates on what is new at the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), you can:

· Follow the CRA on Twitter – @CanRevAgency.
· Follow the CRA on LinkedIn.
· Subscribe to a CRA electronic mailing list.
· Add our RSS feeds to your feed reader.
· Watch our tax-related videos on YouTube.

Votre association ou organisation a été désignée comme intervenant clé de l’Agence du revenu du Canada (ARC). Nous espérons que vous partagerez les renseignements suivants avec vos membres.
Version française ***The English version precedes***
Avez-vous engagé des frais médicaux? Vous pourriez être admissible à demander leur remboursement dans votre déclaration de revenus et de prestations.

Pourquoi demander des frais médicaux

Vous pouvez réduire le montant de votre impôt fédéral en demandant un crédit d’impôt non remboursable pour une vaste gamme de frais médicaux, dont des services hospitaliers, des soins à domicile et des fournitures médicales.

Vous pourriez demander des frais médicaux pour vous ou votre époux ou conjoint de fait, vos enfants à charge (enfants de moins de 18 ans) ou toute autre personne à charge.

Les conditions pour demander des frais médicaux

Les frais médicaux que vous pouvez demander doivent :
* être admissibles;
* avoir été payés par vous ou votre époux ou conjoint de fait;
* doivent avoir été payées dans une période de 12 mois se terminant en 2016 et aucun remboursement ne doit avoir été demandé pour celles-ci en 2015.

Avant de produire votre déclaration, assurez-vous de demander des frais médicaux admissibles. Si vous demandez des frais non admissibles (par exemple, des frais d’adhésion à un club d’athlétisme ou à un centre de conditionnement physique ou l’achat de médicaments en vente libre), l’Agence du revenu du Canada pourrait établir une nouvelle cotisation de votre déclaration en conséquence.

Réclamer des frais de déplacement

Vous êtes-vous déplacé à au moins 40 kilomètres (en une direction) de votre domicile pour obtenir des services médicaux? Si oui, il se peut que vous soyez admissible à demander le remboursement des frais de transport en commun (par exemple, taxi, autobus et train) que vous avez payés. Lorsque le transport en commun n’est pas facilement accessible, vous pourriez plutôt demander les frais d’utilisation d’un véhicule.

Vous êtes-vous déplacé à au moins 80 kilomètres (en une direction) de votre domicile pour obtenir des services médicaux? Si oui, il se peut que vous soyez en mesure de demander le remboursement des frais d’hébergement, de repas et de stationnement, en plus de vos frais de transport.

Est-ce que quelqu’un vous a accompagné? Si oui, il se peut que vous soyez en mesure de demander le remboursement des frais de transport et de déplacement de cette personne. Pour présenter cette demande, un médecin praticien doit attester par écrit que vous étiez incapable de vous déplacer seul pour obtenir des services médicaux.

Supplément remboursable pour frais médicaux
Si vous êtes un travailleur à faible revenu qui a des frais médicaux élevés, il se peut que vous soyez en mesure de demander un crédit remboursable maximal de 1 187 $.

Pour plus de renseignements sur les frais médicaux admissibles que vous pouvez demander dans votre déclaration, consultez le site Web de l’ARC ou visionnez le Segment 3 : Frais médicaux dans la série de vidéos de l’ARC sur les mesures fiscales pour les personnes handicapées.
Restez branché
Pour recevoir des mises à jour sur ce qu’il y a de nouveau à l’Agence du revenu du Canada (ARC), vous pouvez :

* Suivre l’ARC sur Twitter – @AgenceRevCan.
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* Vous abonner à une liste d’envoi électronique de l’ARC.
* Ajouter nos fils RSS à votre lecteur de nouvelles.
· Regarder nos vidéos sur l’impôt sur YouTube.