GTT New Westminster and Vancouver Meeting Invitations, Facebook – using the GTT group, March 20 and April 7, 2018 Respectively

Get Together With Technology (GTT) New Westminster/Vancouver!

Sponsored by the Canadian Council of the Blind

in partnership with

Blind Beginnings


Vancouver Community College


People who are blind or partially sighted of all ages are invited to “Save the Dates” for these two sessions of the GTT Vancouver and New Westminster meetings where Facebook – using the GTT group will be demonstrated and discussed.


March/April 2018 Theme: Facebook – using the GTT group

Some folks struggle to use Facebook Groups as a means of seeking/gaining additional tech support from fellow GTT participants between meetings, so the upcoming GTT New Westminster and Vancouver meetings will work through the process of posting to, and gaining valuable information from the posts others send to the GTT Program Group on Facebook.


Who Should Attend?

  • People who would like to know what the GTT Program Facebook Group is, why we might be interested and the value it can bring to the tech support experience;
  • People who want to know what is involved in finding and reading the GTT Program Facebook posts, and posting questions and/or responses to the Group;
  • People interested in learning how to start and manage a Facebook Group;
  • People who want peer assistance with other assistive technology.


GTT New Westminster:

Date & Time: Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Where: Blind Beginnings Office, 227 6th Street, New Westminster


GTT Vancouver:

Date and Time: Saturday, April 7, 2018 from 10AM to 12Noon

Where: Vancouver Community College, Broadway campus – Room 2501 Building A 1155 East Broadway


Hour one:

A demonstration and discussion of the GTT Program and GTT Vancouver Facebook Groups by Clement Chou, Matthew Alvernez, John Ogilvie, Albert Ruel and Monty Lilburn.

Hour two:

The second half of the meeting will include an opportunity to seek tech advice from those with more knowledge.  Please bring the device you want assistance with.


For more information contact either Shawn Marsolais or Albert Ruel: or 604-434-7243. or 250-240-2343


What is GTT?


An opportunity for individuals who are blind or partially sighted to get together and

  • Share how they are using assistive technology for work, school, and in their daily lives
  • Learn from others who are using different assistive technology
  • Request information on new technology
  • Mentor and support each other


You’re invited, and encouraged to circulate this invitation widely to your circle of friends, colleagues and family who have an interest in peer support in the area of assistive technology.


For more information about GTT contact:

Shawn Marsolais                  Albert Ruel

604-434-7243                        1-877-304-0968 Ext. 550




GTT New Westminster and Vancouver Summary Notes, Bluetooth Keyboards, February 20 and March 3, 2018

Get Together with Technology (GTT)

New Westminster and Vancouver Meetings


A Chapter of the Canadian Council of the Blind

in partnership with

Blind Beginnings and

Vancouver Community College


Summary Notes

February 20 in New Westminster and March 3 in Vancouver, 2018


Attendance at both meetings totaled 17


Summary Notes on Bluetooth keyboards


John Ogilvie lead both discussions:

There are Bluetooth keyboards available for the IPhone and IPad.  Some are smaller and fold in half, and others are larger.

Using the keyboard, means you don’t have to use the touch screen and gestures

There are various keyboards which are slightly different

Quick Nav – left and right arrow together puts you in or out of this mode

When we are writing we turn it off, but when we’re reading we turn it on.

Swiping left and right with quicknav on is just using your arrow keys

To get to the top of the screen – control up arrow, or control down arrow to get to the bottom

When it says actions available you can use your up and down arrows to hear what options there are

Double tap on the keyboard is up and down arrow together

Hitting 2 takes you to level 2 headings

Option key with left or right arrow is to go back one word or forward one word – when writing

Command key is like the control key on a PC

Keyboard help allows you to touch any key on the keyboard to figure out where the keys are.

Control option K turns on the keyboard help

To exit keyboard help press Escape

Control option A is read from where your cursor is onwards


Control up arrow to top of mail

Right arrow will take you through each of your messages

Hit control to stop it from reading

Attachments are always at the bottom of the Emails and you can get there by doing a control down arrow

Up and down arrow together to select or open

Hold down an arrow can skip you forward or back quickly

Roter on the keyboard is up arrow with left arrow, or up arrow with eright arrow and then just arrow up or down to read.

When you are going through the list of your Emails you will hear actions available.  When you hear actions available you arrow up and down to hear the options.  Select more to get to reply


When you are moving your arrow to the right it puts your cursor to the right of the character, and when you are arrowing left, it puts your cursor to the left of the character

Option left and right brings you from one screen to the next


Works similarily to navigate around

Search button on the keyboard – type in what you are searching for

Use QuickNav to look through the options to find the one you want and select it with up and down arrow together


next meeting: March 20, 2018

Facebook – using the GTT group


For more information about GTT contact:

Shawn Marsolais                  Albert Ruel

604-434-7243                        1-877-304-0968 Ext. 550


GTT New Westminster and Vancouver Overview

  • GTT New Westminster/ Vancouver is a chapter of the Canadian Council of the Blind (CCB).
  • GTT New Westminster and Vancouver promote 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.


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:


[End of Document]


CCB-GTT New Westminster Summary Notes, Using the Safari Web Browser on iDevices, April 19, 2017

Get Together with Technology (GTT)
New Westminster Meeting

A Chapter of the Canadian Council of the Blind in partnership with Blind Beginnings

Summary Notes
April 19, 2017

Present: Shawn, Albert, Peg, Mary, John, Carol, Pat, Fay, Louise and Kiyo

Safari is the native Web browser on iPhones/iPads/iPods and Mac computers.
A web browser is used for accessing web pages on the Internet.
It is the Apple equivalent to Microsoft’s Internet Explorer.
You can download Firefox or Google Chrome on your iDevice but Safari will always be the default browser.
Unlike with the Microsoft Windows platform, you can’t change the default web browser on iDevices.
The Safari icon is usually found in the Doc at the bottom of your phone, however it can be moved to other locations on the Home Screen.
When you open/launch Safari it will open to the last site you visited, not a default homepage like can be established in PC web browsers.
To type/dictate a new web site or a search string you will find the Address bar at the top of the page, and you can conduct a one finger double tap to bring focus to it.
Once you are focussed on the Address Bar you can type/dictate the direct address of the site you want to visit, or you can type/dictate key words to conduct a web search.
Once you type/dictate the relevant text, conduct a one finger double tap on the “Go or Search” icon in the bottom right corner of the device to activate the search.
If you want to copy the URL of the web page you are on, conduct a one finger double tap on the Address Bar and the text contained therein will be highlighted. Activate the Share Button on the Safari Doc and one finger swipe right to find the Copy Button, then one finger double Tap it and a copy of the URL will be moved to the clipboard ready for pasting where ever you need it.


One Finger Double Tap;
The one finger double tap activates/launches/selects/opens items.
To activate the Play Button in any audio player or on YouTube you must conduct a one finger double tap on the button. Once the audio is playing the Magic Tap will pause/resume playing. If ever you find that music or your audio book starts playing without you tapping the relevant button, you may have accidently conducted a Magic Tap, so repeat the action and it will pause the audio again.
To activate an Edit Field you must conduct a one finger double tap, then you will be able to type/dictate.
When VoiceOver says that Actions are available it means you have options and you can flick up and down with one finger to hear the options.

Magic Tap;
The Two finger double tap is called the “Magic Tap” because you can use it for many things including dictating, turning off or on music or audio books, or answering or hanging up a phone.
You must be in the edit field and in edit mode in order for the two finger double tap gesture to open the microphone so that you can dictate.
You must be outside of the edit fields in order to have the two finger double tap answer/hang-up the phone or play/pause audio.

Siri and dictation are related, but not the same. Siri gives you very little time to dictate your request/instructions before she thinks you are finished, and Dictation allows you time to stop and think during dictation.

Activate the Rotor by placing two fingers on the screen and turning them as if you were turning a radio knob. Ensure your fingers aren’t too close together or it will think it is just one finger.
Use your rotor to select characters, words, lines, headings, links, etc.
Once a Rotor item is selected, the one finger flick up and down moves the focus point forward or back by the selected movement unit, like, characters, words, lines, headings, links, etc.
Once you land on an actionable item the one finger double tap will activate/select the item.
The one finger flick up takes the focus to the beginning of the character/word/line, and the one finger flick down takes the focus to the back of the character/word/line. This is important for Back Spacing over text you want to delete.

Two finger flick up or down;
The Two finger flick down will start VoiceOver reading from where the focus is.
The Two finger flick up will send the cursor to the top of the screen/page and start VoiceOver reading from there.

Google Operators:
Put quotation marks around multiple words that should appear in specific order that you are looking for, for example, “Joe Bloe” so that only Joe Bloe will show up in the results. Otherwise, all the Joe’s and all the Bloe’s will show up.
Add a plus sign after the search string to add two things together in a search term, for example if you are looking for Joe Bloe in Vancouver you would do the following:
“Joe Bloe” +Vancouver
You can also use a minus symbol to exclude something in a search term, for example, if you are looking for Joe Bloe and don’t want the Vancouver one to show up you would replace the above + sign with a minus sign, and all Joe Bloe’s outside of Vancouver should appear.
If your initial search term is too generic you may get too many results, so try to be really specific in your search terms.

Two finger scrub;
At the top left corner is a back button that takes you back to the screen you were at before, including lists of email messages, Contact profiles, web pages or Twitter/Facebook posts.
The Two finger scrub like the print letter Z done quickly is attached to the Back Button and will also usually take you back to the screen you were on before.

Saving Favourites;
You can save a site to your favourites by selecting the Share Button on the Safari Doc at the bottom of all web pages you will visit. It is found just above the home button at the bottom of the screen.
Swiping through the list of options you will find several actionable items including air drop which allows you to share with someone in the room who also has an iDevice, message – allows you to send the link to the site to somebody else through text, mail – allows you to Email somebody the link, notes allows you to save it in a note, Twitter/Facebook – allows you to post to those social media sites, add to favourites – allows you to include that page to a list of your favourites, add bookmark – sets a bookmark in the Bookmarks list, add to reading list – allows you to access it without being on the Internet, add to home screen – allows you to save it to your home screen as an icon.
In the above list you can double tap on Add to Home Screen, and that will allow you to edit the name before flicking left to double tap on the Add/Save Button and it will be saved to your Home Screen for easy access to that web page.

PC Web Browsing:
Hold down the Alt and type the letter D to bring focus to the Address Bar in Firefox or Internet Explorer. When you land there the URL for that web page is selected, so just hold down the Control key and type the letter C to copy it to the clipboard for pasting in a document or email message.

Possible topics for future meetings that resulted from this talk:
Rotor on iDevices,
Tips for searching in a browser,
Gestures with voiceover,
How to set up your home screens,
Text editing – copying, cutting and pasting.

Topic for the May 17 meeting will be rotor and gestures with VoiceOver.
Albert will check if we can designate a donation to our public library for CELA.

Respectfully submitted by Shawn Marsolais and Albert Ruel

GTT New Westminster and Vancouver Summary Notes, Making TV Accessible, February 15 and March 4, 2017

Get Together with Technology (GTT)
New Westminster and Vancouver Meetings

Sponsored by the Canadian Council of the Blind in partnership with Blind Beginnings

Summary Notes
Feb. 15 and March 4, 2017

Making TV Accessible

Feb 15 in New Westminster:
Present: Albert, Matthew, Ryan, Fay, Carol, John, Bill, Karim, Pat.
March 4 in Vancouver:
Present: Sean H, Ryan, Monty, Rita, Betty, Maria, John

Starting out with TV in general:
• Antenna or cable was the traditional way, but now you can access TV over digital, the internet, or satellite.
• IP TV is internet protocol television.
• Something like YouTube or Netflics uses an application to stream video from the internet.
• IP TV is similar in that it uses an app to access a server that broadcasts traditional live TV channels (CTV, CBC, Global, etc.).
• You need to subscribe to the service, and get some hardware like ChromeCast, Apple TV or the xBox.

How accessible is it:

• AE-BC internet corp is the only one Monty knows of, in terms of IP TV provider
• The are an internet service provider.
• They buy their bandwidth in bulk from bigger companies, so you are using the same infrastructure, but when you phone up customer service, you are talking to AE-BC.
• Internet plans are potentially cheaper, unlimited downloads as well.
• So you need the internet to have IP TV service.

So how do we watch it:

• They can sell you an Android cypher bar, which is a small Android box that plugs into the wall, and into your tv through HDMI, and it has USB inputs and a couple different audio outputs.
• It is about six inches by two inches, almost the size of a small braille display.
• Last year that box was the main option, it cost 200 dollars, and you had to buy it.
• Monty found that he could use talkback, the android accessible screen reader that is built in to the box.
• It did not work one hundred percent, but it was a partially talking set top box.
• The iPhone app was not 100 percent accessible either, but Monty was able to move up and down the navigation menu and choose the channel he was looking for, and he was able to toggle descriptive video on and off (however, the descriptive video was not working on shows he knew it was available on), so that was one drawback. He was also not able to get descriptive video on the iOS app.
• So you get the basic 40 local channels for free, and they allow you to bundle extra channels just like shaw and Telus.
• So that concludes the description of live TV over the internet.
• Participants gave information on Shaw Free Range TV, which is a similar internet TV service that is offered to shaw customers.

Moving on to Apple TV:

• It is a box you hook up to your TV with Voiceover – you can use Netflicks, Show Me, Crave TV, – has its own App store.
• Apple TV can only get info from the Internet – not from your regular cable TV. All cable TV menus are still not accessible.
• There is a device you can use to connect the Apple TV to your stereo to allow you to access the audio of the Apple TV programming.
• Google also makes the ChromeCast – is cheaper and everything is done through your smart phone.
• Shaw cable is starting to offer the ChromeCasts service in the Vancouver and Calgary areas, and are planning to go nationwide with it soon.
• Siri is available on the new Apple TV as well.
• You can ask Siri to go find a movie on NetFlics or iTunes or a song on YouTube.
• You can set triple click to turn off and on Voiceover on the Apple TV.
• You can turn on audio description so that any program you play that has audio-description will play automatically.
• You can use a Bluetooth keyboard instead of the apple TV remote.
• Price ranges from $150 – $250 depending on the amount of storage you want, 32, 64 or 128 GB.

Microsoft Xbox:

• Xbox also allows you to use Narrator to access Netflicks etc.

Tutorial Podcasts:

• Podcast providers like and David Woodbridge offer many opportunities to learn about the many apps and devices available.

Tell Me More TV:

• Another subscription service that is currently available is Tell Me More – everything is in described TV – like AMI for $7 per month – watch on Internet. They are working on an app
• Use the PromoCode Tellmemore17 and you’ll get $25 percent off

Topic for the next New Westminster meeting, March 15 will be GPS:

• We will play a podcast on Nearby Explorer.

The topic for April Vancouver and New Westminster meetings:

• Dropbox will be the focus, both a lecture component and then a hands on signing up for and installing Dropbox component. Bring your laptop computer or smart phone so you can receive the support you need.