Category Archives: Meeting

CCB-GTT Edmonton Summary Notes, Accessible Library Apps and Bluetooth Devices, June 12, 2017

Summary Notes
GTT Edmonton Meeting June 12, 2017

The most recent meeting of the Get Together with Technology (GTT) Edmonton Chapter was held June 12 at 7pm at Ascension Lutheran Church 8405 83 Street in Edmonton.
21 people attended.
Note: this was the final meeting before summer break. Our next meeting will be September 11, 2017.

June Topic – Library Apps and Blue Tooth Devices

Hoopla App
Lorne demoed the free Hoopla app on his iPhone, also available as a website, which allows members of the Edmonton public library, (and other libraries from across the world), to get access to movies, music, audio, and eBooks. The app is very VoiceOver accessible, and get’s it’s audio books from the same professional publishers as places like Audible, etc. You loan out your book for 21 days, and then it automatically returns if you don’t return it manually. When listening to an audio book, you have controls for skipping forward and back by 30 seconds, 5 minutes, or the standard scrub controls for going 10% at a time. You can also set bookmarks, and there’s a sleep timer.
You can find out more information here:
Edmonton Public Library Hoopla Resource

and here is the link to download the app from iTunes:
iTunes Hoopla App

and here is a list of all the amazing free online resources like Hoopla that you get access to with an Edmonton Public Library card:
Edmonton Public Library Resources

as well as a list of the Edmonton Public Library Assistive Services for clients with disabilities:
Edmonton Public Library Assistive Services

New Dolphin EasyReader App for CELA Library Books
Russell gave a brief introduction to the new Dolphin app, EasyReader on his iPhone. He played a book he downloaded through the CELA library, but explained that it may be several weeks before CELA books are available for everyone to use through the EasyReader app. He encouraged people to go ahead and download the app now as Bookshare materials are available through the same EasyReader app providing you have a Bookshare membership.

Find out more about the EasyReader app at…
Dolphin EasyReader App

Use Blue Tooth to Extend Life of Older Stereo/TV Equipment
Carrie demonstrated two inexpensive Blue Tooth devices to enhance her older TV and stereo systems. Below is Carrie’s summary of how she uses them:
To make my old tech wireless I purchased 2 pieces of Bluetooth equipment.
First an OT Adapt Bluetooth Receiver which I plug my old computer speakers or headphones into and they become wireless.
And second, the Indigo 2 in 1 Bluetooth Transmitter/Receiver which converts my old picture tube television or stereo into a Bluetooth audio sending device. In the end, the combination of these two devices allows me to play music from my old stereo component to my old computer speakers on the deck. Or, listen to the old picture tube TV in private via headphones while I’m in the kitchen making dinner. The OT Adapt receiver by itself can receive audio from a Bluetooth enabled device like my iPhone to listen to audiobooks or if connected to my stereo auxiliary input it can pipe my electric piano through the home speaker system. Both devices plug into the standard 3.5mm audio jack or a digital audio jack and make the devices wireless. This saved me having to buy Bluetooth headphones, Bluetooth speaker system, Bluetooth enabled stereo components or a Smart TV with Bluetooth. Approximately $125 for both from London Drugs. Now I notice they are available on Amazon. You do not need both so if shopping around, have a good idea of what you want to make wireless. A good salesperson will help you out. Remember one device must transmit and one must receive. Most Smartphones, laptops and Smart TVs already transmit a Bluetooth audio signal, it just must be turned on in the device settings.

Next Meeting (Monday September 11 at 7pm)
• 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 in Ottawa, Toronto, Kingston, Northern Ontario, Pembroke, Halifax, Sydney, Regina, Calgary, Edmonton, Grande Prairie, Victoria, Nanaimo, Vancouver, and more to come.
• There is also 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]

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GTT Victoria Summary Notes, White Canes and Mobility, February 1, 2017

Get together with Technology (GTT) Victoria
A Chapter of the Canadian Council of the Blind

Summary Notes, Wednesday February 1, 2017
GVPL Main branch, Coomunity Meeting Room

The meeting was called to order at 1:05 pm by chair Albert Ruel

Attendance, Kara, Bruce, Brent, Evett, Karen, Sky, Elizabeth Lalonde, Elizabeth Syringe, Joan, Albert and Corry.

Albert welcomed everyone back for another calendar year of the CCB GTT program in Victoria.

BC Transit, Victoria Trekker Breeze Issue:
The meeting started with some discussion and an update on the Local Transit situation, that being that BC Transit has publicly stated that they will have a fully operational GPS system up and running within the next 18 months. The importance of having a fully inclusive system in place was reinforced by several members including Bruce who stated that the readout of stop locations was a must in his world. The question of whether this new system would include a speaker by the front door identifying the bus route name and number. It was agreed that we should communicate to transit the importance of this specific feature to ensure that it is given high priority and does become a reality.

Transit App:
The Transit app was discussed at great length and highly recommended by both Tom and Corry. Although the service does not feature real time tracking yet in Victoria, the app is great for letting you know when you are approaching your desired stop.

GPS Apps:
From there the discussion centered around the various types of GPS apps available, Albert spoke briefly about some of the differences. Data usage was also discussed and tips on how to minimise data requirements were discussed. Mapmywalk and Runtastic are two apps that seam to use minimal data and can be very helpful if you wish to incorporate a fitness component to your daily activities.

White Cane Week:
After a short break, the White Cane was discussed at length (White Cane Week is Feb 5 – 11, 2017). Elizabeth Lalonde gave us a great overview of the various types of canes available and the great work that is going on at the Pacific Training Center in regards to mobility training and cane usage.

iHabilitation:
Tom Decker spoke about a new initiative going on at Ihabilitation, they have purchased a new program called Screen Flow Recorder and will be producing inclusive “how to” videos in the near future. Tom will keep us posted on the progress.

White Canes:
During the final portion, several types of White Canes were passed out and the members had an opportunity to try different types and lengths.

Meeting adjourned at 3:45 PM
Next meeting, Wednesday March 1, 2015
Submitted by Corry Stuive

Newsletter: Braille Literacy Canada, January 2017 Newsletter

[Braille Literacy Canada logo]
Newsletter
January 2017 ● Issue #5

Notice to B LC Members: Save the Date

Our next annual General Meeting (AGM) will take place in Toronto on May 6th, 2017. We recognize that not all members will be able to attend in person, so we will offer some options for participating electronically. These will include appointing a proxy or submitting an electronic ballot. A notice with more details will be sent out to members in the next couple of months. We look forward to seeing you there!

New UEB Listserv

If you are learning, teaching or transcribing Unified English Braille (UEB) and are looking for a place to post questions, Braille Literacy Canada (BLC) invites you to join our UEB listserve. Subscribers can post to the list, and all queries will be answered by code and formatting experts. Information and announcements relevant to UEB will also be forwarded to this list.

To subscribe to the discussion list, visit https://lists.blc-lbc.ca/mailman/listinfo/ueb_lists.blc-lbc.ca

Focus Group Announcement

As many of you may be aware, the federal government is currently undertaking a consultation process to inform the development of new legislation aimed at improving accessibility and removing barriers to the participation of persons with disabilities in all aspects of Canadian society. Public consultation sessions have been held in major cities across the country, but individuals and organizations are also permitted to make written submissions to the process.

The scope of these consultations is wide. Feedback is being sought to help determine the goals of the legislation, the approach it will take to improving accessibility, how standards should be developed, how compliance and enforcement should be handled, and what the government can do to support organizations in becoming accessible. More information on the consultation process generally can be found at https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/programs/disability/consultations/accessibility-legislation.html.
For more information on the scope and reach of the federal government’s regulatory power, please see:
https://slmc.uottawa.ca/?q=laws_canada_legal.

Braille Literacy Canada intends to submit a position paper to the government outlining the importance of federal organizations ensuring that information is accessible and available in braille. To facilitate this, we would like to hold a consultation session with our members to gather input on what factors should be considered in this submission. Questions to consider may include:

(1) What arguments (academic, theoretical, practical, or otherwise) would you use to justify the importance of having access to braille from federally-regulated organizations for Canadians who are blind or deaf-blind?
(2) Should braille materials be on hand, available upon request, or, within a “reasonable” timeframe? If the latter, what would seem to be a “reasonable”
timeframe?
(3) In the reverse direction, should Canadians who are blind or deaf-blind have the right to submit documentation in braille to federally-regulated bodies?
(4) To what degree, if at all, should the legislation specify the standards to which braille is to be produced? What ‘standards’ should it adopt, and how?
(5) Should we attempt to solidify, through legislation (or regulation), Braille Literacy Canada’s (internationally recognized) role as the preeminent “authority”
for braille standards in Canada? If so, how?

Anyone interested in contributing to this discussion is invited to join us by telephone for a conference call on January 28th, 2016 between 1 and 3pm Eastern (10-noon Pacific, 11am-1pm Mountain, 12-2pm Central, 2-4pm Atlantic) or, alternatively, to submit written comments and feedback to info@blc-lbc.ca
on or before January 28th, 2016.

If you would like to participate in the conference call, please e-mail secretary@blc-lbc.ca
to register. Information on how to join the call will be sent to you a few days before the event.

We look forward to your participation on January 28th! If you have any questions or require further information in the interim, please feel free to email info@blc-lbc.ca.

BLC Committees

As many of you know, the work of BLC is done by committees. Here is a list of our current committees and their responsibilities. New members are always welcome!

For more information please send an email to info@blc-lbc.ca.

The web committee

* Maintains web site and social media and updates content with current events, resources and other items of interest.
* Works with other committees to update content as appropriate.

The membership committee

* Collaborates with the BLC treasurer and the Corporate Secretary to manage membership data.
* Ensures that email reminders are sent to those members who have not renewed their membership.
* Proposes options for increasing membership.

The communications committee

* Proposes options for increasing communication with BLC members and the general public.
* Prepares and distributes the BLC newsletter.

The braille formats committee

* Determines other guidelines that should be reviewed by BLC for use in Canada. Members of this committee must have a thorough knowledge of braille and must be familiar with issues specific to formatting.

The teaching and learning committee

* Conducts research related to braille instruction of children and adults.
* Seeks funding sources to support this research. Committee members should be employed as an educator of visually impaired students or be studying in the field.

The nominations committee

* Seeks candidates to fill vacant positions on the Board of Directors.
* Presents the slate of nominations to BLC members at the Annual General Meeting.

The braille promotion committee

* Proposes and implements activities to promote braille in Canada. The brailler bounce initiative is a project of this committee.
* Plans teleconferences on various braille-related issues.

The French braille standards committee

* Proposes and implements research and/or other projects pertaining to French braille in Canada.

The bylaws committee

* Drafts text for changes to BLC bylaws as appropriate. Previous experience with bylaw revisions is an asset.

Braille Screen Input on iOS Devices
By Natalie Martiniello

For people who are blind or who have low vision, one could argue that the built-in accessibility of Apple’s iPhone and iPad ranks among the most significant developments for our community since the year 2000. Based on universal design, Apple products led the way by demonstrating that technology could and should be accessible to diverse users from the start. Rather than retrofitting, universal design from inception has not only levelled the playingfield for those of us who are blind, but has also benefited users with perfect sight. After all, doesn’t everyone – sighted or blind – use Siri nowadays? And this is the point. When you make things accessible from the start, everyone wins. And the trend is catching on. Though Apple paved the way, other companies are following in their footsteps – Google’s Android, being one.

As someone who is blind and who has also taught clients who are blind, I have seen multiple examples of how this innovative technology can increase independence and opportunities. I have about 7 pages of apps on my iPhone. The true wonder and joy of all of this, for those of us who are braille users, is that all of these apps that are accessible with VoiceOver (the built-in screenreader on Apple products) can be used with a braille display. Suddenly, we have so much more access to braille – for learning, practicing and using it in our everyday lives. With the launch of the Orbit Braille Reader (sold by CNIB in Canada), the first low-cost braille display, access to braille information in this way is about to increase for many more people. Despite what mainstream news at times inaccurately proclaims, technology hasn’t replaced braille – it’s solidified its place in a truly exciting digital age!

As a Vision Rehabilitation Therapist, I’ve harnessed the power of this technology with braille learners – many of whom are adults and seniors, when possible. It allows us to access far more material than ever before, and enables braille learners to practice braille in ways that are so meaningful to them – writing a facebook post, a tweet or an iMessage provides instant satisfaction to many, particularly for those who are losing their vision and who are eager to reconnect with the social world. These are just some creative ways one might use a braille display (connected to an I-device) during lessons.

I’d like to use the remainder of this post, however, to describe the use of the on-screen braille keyboard. Since iOS 8, braille users can activate an on-screen braille keyboard that they can use in place of the regular, on-screen QWERTY keyboard that usually appears for typing. Though many blind users, myself included, can and do use the regular on-screen QWERTY keyboard, it can be somewhat cumbersome and time-consuming to use, since the letters need to be located and selected one at a time. The on-screen braille keyboard, in contrast, allows you to form braille letters directly onto the screen, which greatly increases writing speed.

I use the on-screen braille keyboard exclusively for all my iPhone typing, and can type quicker than most of my sighted friends because of it. It’s also a great way for learners to practice braille. Using the on-screen braille keyboard requires them to think about how braille symbols are formed and what dots are included – It can be a great way to reinforce the learning of braille letters while accomplishing meaningful and relevant tasks on an I-device. Plus, the built-in screen reader on Apple products provides instant audio feedback, which is a great motivator and learning support for students!

To activate the on-screen braille keyboard:
1. Select the Settings Application from the Home Screen.
2. Press the “General “button, found within the Settings main menu.
3. Press the “Accessibility” options button.
4. Press the “VoiceOver” options button.
5. Press the “Rotor” options button.
6. Find the Braille Screen Input function.
7. If Voiceover doesn’t say, “Selected,” double-tap on braille-screen input to add it to your rotor.

Though it’s beyond the scope of this article to explain the Rotor and how it works, I recommend this website which provides a very helpful explanation: http://www.voiceover-easy.net/References/RotorFunctions.aspx

Once you’ve followed the above steps, you’ll also want to configure your braille-screen input to best meet your needs before using it for the first time. Visit this link to learn more about how to select uncontracted or contracted input, six or eight key entry, and the braille code you wish to use when typing. By default, the braille code that is used for Braille Screen Input is Unified English Braille:
http://www.voiceover-easy.net/AdvancedOptions/OtherInputMethods.aspx#section0300

Once you’ve added braille screen input to your rotor and configured the settings for the first time, the braille screen input will now be available to you whenever you’re within a text field and need to type. Simply perform the Rotor gesture to select braille screen input.

How to Type using On-Screen Braille Input: Once activated, there are two options for typing using braille screen input. Table-top mode (when your device is laying flat on any surface) allows you to use your index, middle and ring fingers for typing as if it were a Perkins brailler. Screen-away mode, which I prefer and find more reliable, is preferable for smaller devices (such as the iPhone). To use braille screen input in screen-away mode:

• Activate braille screen input in your rotor
• Hold your iPhone in landscape orientation (that is, with the screen facing away from you, and the home button to the right).
• Hold your iPhone using your thumbs on the top edge and your pinky fingers on the bottom edge of your device. Your Index, Middle, and Ring fingers should now form two vertical columns of three dots just like the dots in the braille cell.
• Imagine this braille cell in front of you before typing, with dots 1, 2 and 3 placed vertically on the left and dots 4, 5 and 6 placed vertically on the right. Press down the fingers that correspond to the dots of the symbol you’d like to form. For example, press down your left index finger (which should be located on the top left of your screen in landscape orientation) to form the letter “A”, and press your left index, right index and right middle fingers together to form the letter “D”.

Try doing the entire alphabet for practice!

Other useful gestures when using braille screen input in screen-away mode:
• Swipe with one finger towards the left to delete the previous letter
• Swipe with one finger towards the right to insert a “space”
• Swipe with two fingers towards the right to move to the next line (VoiceOver will say “new line”)
• Swipe with three fingers towards the left to switch to contracted mode (which allows you to type contractions).
Swipe with three fingers towards the right to move back to uncontracted mode.

Now, you can type in braille on your device wherever you are!

Braille: A Story of Personal Life-Long Empowerment
By Leo Bissonnette, Ph.D.

As we celebrate the contribution of Louis Braille and his impact on our individual lives today, this issue features articles that make a strong case for the value of braille. My story adds to this accumulated statement of empowerment and the need to keep braille relevant in the lives of the blind today.

Like so many others in the blind community, I have listened to audio books since I was able to operate the record player that used to store talking books back in my early childhood. Today I enjoy reading books on my iPhone, using my Victor Reader Stream, or sitting at the computer. As important as the digital age is to me, nothing has even come close to empowering me as a blind person the way braille has.

A Little About Me
I was born with low vision and started my education working in large print. Then my mother, who was quite the advocate in making sure that I received a good education and essential rehabilitation services, felt that braille should be a tool added to my toolbox. So I started learning braille in third grade while attending the Montreal Association School for the Blind. I quickly took to using braille right away, and have used it as my first tool, taken from my toolbox, on a daily basis ever since.
Back to the Present
These days, what with the portability and low cost of ebooks, it seems that braille is struggling to keep its place in the lives of the blind. The high cost of braille displays compounds the problem, making it easier to simply abandon braille, or perhaps relegate it to infrequent use. Does it really matter if Braille becomes a medium that exists only in the memories of older blind people? Is it time to move on to more modern and cost-effective ways of communicating the written word, or should we fight to bring braille back to the forefront of our collective consciousness? Why is braille still relevant today?

I believe braille is essential for good writing. I would not be the proficient speller I am today if I had not read hundreds of thousands of braille words over the course of my life. While any decent screen reader provides the ability to spell words and review lines of text character by character, it is virtually impossible to catch all formatting and spelling errors in a document with speech alone. Anyone who uses text-to-speech software at all knows all too well the frustration of deciphering b’s from d’s, and sorting out all of the words that sound alike but are spelled differently such as there and their.

When I really need to digest something I am reading, I will slow my speech rate down or transfer the content to an SD card for later reading on my braille display. I am constantly amazed at the number of errors I find in documents I am reading in braille that I did not catch with speech alone.

Would I want to go back to the days before I had my iPhone and portable book reader? No way. Am I as likely to use a slate and stylus today as I was 50 years ago—although I still carry one in my brief case just in case I need it? Probably not. Can I imagine what my life would be like if I never again read another line of text in braille? I don’t even want to dwell on the thought!

Exploring Braille Settings on iOS
by Kim Kilpatrick

This will be the first in a series of articles exploring the use of braille displays with iDevices.

In this article, I will briefly describe the braille settings and show you how to pair a refreshable braille display with an iDevice. Braille support for iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, and iPad Mini is built into the screen reader which comes with your iDevice. This screen reader is called VoiceOver. Most braille displays work well with VoiceOver. You must use Bluetooth to pair a braille display with your iDevice. Unlike other Bluetooth devices (keyboards, headphones, speakers) braille displays are not paired in the Bluetooth settings but are paired in the VoiceOver braille settings.

Braille Settings
In Settings on your iDevice go to General, then Accessibility, then VoiceOver. You can also ask Siri to open VoiceOver settings. Double tap on Braille.

The settings are as follows (double tap each setting to explore its options):
1. Braille Display Output (this is what you read on your display). You can choose from uncontracted 6-dot braille, uncontracted 8-dot braille and contracted braille. Double tap on the one you want.
2. Braille Display Input (what you use when brailling with your display). Again, you can choose from uncontracted 6-dot braille, uncontracted 8-dot braille and contracted braille.
3. Automatic Braille Translation: When this is turned on, it translates braille contractions as you type. When it is off, it waits until you press space to translate the braille.
4. Braille Screen Input: This is for typing braille on the screen of your iDevice. I will discuss this in a future article.
5. Status Cells: This will also be discussed in a later article.
6. Equations Use Nemeth Code: You can toggle this off or on depending on how you feel about Nemeth code.
7. Show on screen keyboard: I will discuss this in a future article.
8. Turn pages when panning: This is also a toggle and I suggest you leave it on as when reading a book it will just keep going to the next page.
9. Braille Translation: In English braille your options are: English (unified), English (US) and English (United Kingdom)
10. Alert display duration: This will be discussed in a future article.
11. Choose a braille display: Verify that Bluetooth is enabled on your iDevice.

Pairing Your Braille Display
Make sure that your braille display is in Bluetooth or pairing mode. How you achieve this varies depending on your display (consult your braille display manual). Then, find your braille display in the list below the heading titled Choose a braille display and double tap on it.

Some displays pair automatically while others require a PIN to be entered. Check your braille display manual for more information.

Once the display is paired, it should stay paired.

When turning off the braille display and/or iDevice, lock the device first, then turn off the display. When turning them back on, turn on the braille display first then unlock your device. They should pair again without you having to do anything in the braille settings.

If you need help using your braille display with your iPhone, or have questions or topics you wish to be covered, let us know.

BLC on Social Media

Braille Literacy Canada is now on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn! Find us there to receive news about BLC and braille, to stay informed, and to join a network of others devoted to braille just like you.

[Twitter]@brllitcan
[Facebook] Braille Literacy Canada/brailleliteracycanada.us10.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=83d7b705ce15164e7d276ebc9&id=5801fede7f&e=50d41d60d5>
[LinkedIn]LinkedIn/brailleliteracycanada.us10.list-manage.com/track/click?u=83d7b705ce15164e7d276ebc9&id=a06b5e8777&e=50d41d60d5>

GTT Victoria Summary Notes, General Discussion, December 7, 2016

Get together with Technology (GTT) Victoria

A Chapter of

The Canadian Council of the Blind

Summary Notes
Wednesday, December 7, 2016
Held in the Community Meeting Room of the GVPL Main branch

The meeting was called to order at 1:05 pm by chair Albert Ruel

Attendance, 10 people, Kira, Bruce, Doug, Joan, Karen, Trevor, Yvette, Mike, Albert and Corry.

Over the last few days the poor weather in Victoria has made mobility somewhat difficult thus the reason for the smaller than usual number of attendees. Seeing as only a half dozen participants were there at the meeting outset, it was decided that today’s meeting would be very informal in nature. Let’s just talk, share tips and tricks and solve any problems or concerns you might have, was the decided upon format.

So, we proceeded as a group on that matter and as it turns out the discussion was extremely productive. Questions and discussion ranged in topics including CELA, Victor Stream and podcasts, Windows 10 and the need to upgrade, is it really essential is 7 is doing everything you want?, Siri vs VoiceOver, Texting without sight and getting started with tech.

The group was informed that we are selling 50/50 tickets for the CCB BC/Yukon division and CCB annual memberships are now due for the 2017 club year.

In total, the CCB GTT Victoria club now has 9 members, down substantially from last year. We encourage you to support the GTT initiative by becoming a member if you have not done so already.

It was decided that the January 4, 2017 meeting will be cancelled. the next CCB GTT Victoria meeting will take place just ahead of White Cane Week, on Wednesday February 1st. 2017.

We hope to see you there……For more info contact 250-240-2343, or email us at GTT.Victoria@Gmail.com

Merry Christmas and all the best in 2017 to all and from all at the CCB GTT Victoria chapter.

The Get Together with Technology (GTT) program is an exciting program of the Canadian Council of the Blind. It is designed to help people who are blind, deaf-blind or have low vision to explore low vision and blindness related access technology. You can learn from and discuss assistive technology with others walking the same path of discovery.

The group 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 meet monthly to share their passions for assistive technology and to learn what others can offer from their individual perspectives.

In order to get information about upcoming GTT meetings and conference calls as well as meeting notes and resources, please subscribe to the GTT blog. To register please visit the web page below. Look near the bottom of the page for a link called, “Follow“. Press Enter on that link and leave your email address in the edit field that will appear. The final step is to Click on the Submit Button below the Edit Field. You will receive an email message asking you to confirm that you wish to be subscribed, and clicking on the “confirmation” link in that message will complete the process.

https://GTTProgram.Wordpress.com/

GTT Edmonton Summary Notes, Aroga Tech Demo, December 12, 2016

Summary Notes
GTT Edmonton Meeting December 12, 2016

The most recent meeting of the Get Together with Technology (GTT) Edmonton Chapter was held December 12at 7pm at Ascension Lutheran Church 8405 83 Street in Edmonton.
19 people attended.

December Feature Topic – Aroga Tech Exhibit
We were joined by Steve Barclay from Canada’s premiere assistive technology company, Aroga Technologies, who demonstrated and answered questions on 3 assistive devices for blind and low vision people:
• Transformer HD portable magnifier with Wi-Fi and text-to-speech,
• HumanWare’s new Braillenote Touch Android tablet notetaker,
• NuEyes Easy Glasses electronic magnifier
Steve announced that Aroga now has a new financing program for items over $500. More information is available at their web site. Steve also explained that Aroga provides a consulting service for people who need one-on-one assistance with technology in their home. The fee is $90 per hour . For more information you can contact Aroga’s Calgary rep, Arlene Hansen, at:
Toll Free: 1-800-561-6222
Email: ahansen@aroga.com

Next Meeting (Monday February 13 at 7pm)
• As the January meeting time will be devoted to a training session at Norquest computer lab, we will not meet again until February. The students for this training session were selected at the November meeting.
• At the February meeting Owais has volunteered to demonstrate Google Classroom.
• Then we will continue our one-on-one training with iPhone and DAISY players.
• 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 Team
• Carrie Anton is visually impaired and is the accessibility specialist for Athabasca University.
carrie.anton@hotmail.com
• Gerry Chevalier is blind. He is retired from HumanWare where he worked as the Product Manager for the Victor Reader line of talking book players.
GTT.Edmonton@gmail.com
• Heather MacDonald is a career and employment specialist with extensive experience helping blind and visually impaired people find employment.
• Russell Solowoniuk is blind and works with alternative formats and assistive technology at Grant MacEwan University.
rsolowoniuk@gmail.com
• Lorne Webber is blind and is the accessibility specialist for Norquest College.
lorne.webber@gmail.com

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 will present a feature technology topic and general question and answer about any other technology.
• Small groups or one on one assistance is possible at the meetings.
• 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 in Ottawa, Toronto, Kingston, Northern Ontario, Pembroke, Halifax, Sydney, Edmonton, Grande Prairie, Victoria, Nanaimo, Vancouver, and more to come.
• There is also 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]

GTT Calgary: All Things GPS, October 17, 2016

Get Together with Technology (GTT) Calgary

The following are the notes from the GTT meeting on October 17, 2016:

Our GTT meeting was held at the CCB office at the CNIB, featuring GPS aps. We had 10 people in attendance with 2 late arrivals.

Since it was a cold day in Calgary, not much time was spent outside testing aps, but there was quite a bit of discussion on the different GPS aps available and their pros and cons. Jesse mentioned an android ap called Get there. A couple of our android users located the ap and did some preliminary testing of the ap.

The other aps covered in general discussion were Arieadney GPS, Nearby Explorer, Nearby Explorer on the web, Navagon, Auteur, and Blind Square.

Cherryl took those who were willing to brave the cold outside for a brief demonstration of Blind Square.

Auteur would not work at the time, but has since been updated and now works as expected.

Thank you for your attention.

Ted Phillips

CCB Calgary Club Secretary

GTT Edmonton: Summary Notes, One-On-One Computer Training, iPhones and Talking Book Machines, November 14, 2016

Summary Notes
GTT Edmonton Meeting November 14, 2016

The most recent meeting of the Get Together with Technology (GTT) Edmonton Chapter was held November 14 at 7pm at Ascension Lutheran Church 8405 83 Street in Edmonton.
12 people attended.

November Feature Topic – One-On-One Instruction
It was requested that meetings devote more time to one-on-one assistance especially with computers, iPhones, and DAISY players.

Computer Instruction
We spent the first half hour discussing how we could do more instruction with computers. Since most people could not bring their computers to the meeting we agreed to rent the computer lab at Norquest College downtown and provide 3 hours of instruction in 3 areas:
• Introduction to JAWS and Zoom text
• Basic web browsing with JAWS and Zoomtext
• Introduction to Microsoft Outlook using JAWS and Zoomtext
This instruction at the lab will take place January 9 2017 starting at 6pm and will be in place of the January GTT meeting. There are a limited number of workstations at the lab and we filled them with the attendees present at the November meeting. If this initial session goes well, we will consider a second computer training session perhaps in March or April. We will discuss that at the February meeting.

Touch Typing Resources
It was emphasized that those wishing to learn about the JAWS screen reader at the January 9 Norquest session must be able to touch type. Two books and one software download were suggested as resources to learn to touch type. The 2 books, both available from CELA are:
• College keyboarding: fourth Canadian edition by Ober, Scot
• Touch typing in ten lessons: a home-study course with complete instructions in the fundamentals of touch typewriting and introducing the basic combinations method by Ben’ary, Ruth
Those 2 books teach typing on a typewriter rather than a computer keyboard but the fundamentals of home row positioning and finger movements are the same. You should also be familiar with the number pad keys which are used extensively with JAWS.
• A demo of a self-voicing software typing tutorial called Talking Typer for Windows is available from American Printing House for the Blind. To learn more and download the free demo visit:
Talking Typer Demo

If you like the demo you may purchase the program for $89 USD.

For the remainder of the meeting we broke into two groups to discuss iPhones and DAISY players

iPhones
• Discussion about basic accessibility features.
• Some useful apps were discussed.
• Differences between older and newer iPhones were explained.

DAISY Players
The two people in the DAISY player group were both considering purchasing a Victor Reader Stream so a thorough overview of the Stream was presented to them including playing Talking Books, MP3 books, podcasts, music, text files, and recording voice notes. Victor Stream online features were also demonstrated including podcast search and download, Bookshare books search and download, listening to radio, and downloading/listening to CELA Direct to Player books.

Next Meeting (Monday December 12 at 7pm)
• We will be joined by Steve Barclay, Aroga COO, who will provide an exhibit of Aroga’s blind and low vision assistive technology products. This was a very popular exhibit at our last December meeting. We thank Steve for once again offering us a chance to see and learn about a wide variety of technology.
• 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 Team
• Carrie Anton is visually impaired and is the accessibility specialist for Athabasca University.
carrie.anton@hotmail.com
• Gerry Chevalier is blind. He is retired from HumanWare where he worked as the Product Manager for the Victor Reader line of talking book players.
GTT.Edmonton@gmail.com
• Heather MacDonald is a career and employment specialist with extensive experience helping blind and visually impaired people find employment.
• Russell Solowoniuk is blind and works with alternative formats and assistive technology at Grant MacEwan University.
rsolowoniuk@gmail.com
• Lorne Webber is blind and is the accessibility specialist for Norquest College.
lorne.webber@gmail.com

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 will present a feature technology topic and general question and answer about any other technology.
• Small groups or one on one assistance is possible at the meetings.
• 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 in Ottawa, Toronto, Kingston, Northern Ontario, Pembroke, Halifax, Sydney, Edmonton, Grande Prairie, Victoria, Nanaimo, Vancouver, and more to come.
• There is also 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]

GTT National Conference Call Summary Notes: All About Windows 10 and Screen Readers, November 9, 2016

GTT National Conference Call
Summary Notes

November 9, 2016.

Screen Readers:
Screen readers being used by people on the call.

• JAWS, ranging from Version 13 to 17, paid only with time limited trials available.
• Window Eyes, free, trial and paid versions available.
• System Access, free, trial and paid versions available.
• NVDA, free with a suggested $30 donation.
• Dolphin Guide, paid only with a free 30-day trial.
• Many people are using windows 7, a few windows 8.1 and some windows 10 with one person still on xp but looking to change.
• One person is using ZoomText Magnifier/Reader but changing to NVDA.

Brainstorming specific questions:

PDF’s
Someone was trying to convert PDFs received by email into word documents without a scan and read program.
There are three main blindness specific scanning programs, and one that isn’t specific to blindness. There are also free web sites available to convert PDF files to text documents, and two of the screen readers discussed this night are able to convert PDF files to text on the fly.
ABBYY FineReader, which is not a blindness specific program, however that is being used successfully by screen reader and magnification users.

Kurzweil 1000, which is aimed at the blind market has been around a long time, and is used almost exclusively in the school and post-secondary systems. This program is available for the PC, and its sister program, Kurzweil 3000 is aimed at the Learning Disability sector on both the Mac and PC platforms.

Openbook is also blindness specific and is a product of Freedom Scientific. It is only available for the PC platform.

DocuScan plus is a blindness specific program and is created by Serotek, the makers of System Access. It is a stand-alone scan and read program that is self-voicing, and available for both the PC and Mac platforms.

DocuScan plus by Serotek appears to be the least expensive of the known scan and read software and is very easy to use.

Someone said that they try to read a PDF using Acrobat Reader and it says converting but then the screen reader says empty document.

This may be because the file has been scanned as an image and not converted for OCR. OCR stands for Optical Character Recognition, and you can learn more here. When someone is setting up their scanner they need to check the box which says check OCR so that it creates PDF files that will be readable by screen readers.

When a document has been scanned as an image file or when PDF files are received by email, programs like ABBYY FineReader, Kurzweil, Openbook and DocuScan can convert them to text based files electronically.

Also, sometimes iDevices read pdf’s that computers can’t access easily.
• The VoiceDreamReader app is good at converting and reading PDFs.
• The KNFB Reader iPhone app can also convert PDF files to text.

There is an OCR add-on that you can download from Freedom Scientific called, Convenient OCR. It is built into the latest versions of JAWS.

To OCR a document with JAWS, do the following:
1. Press jaws key plus the space bar
2. Press O for OCR then D for entire document.
3. Once converted to readable text one may select all or some of the text for pasting into an MS Word document. See more details by accessing the above link.

NVDA also has an OCR Add-on for converting PDFs to readable text. Download it by accessing the above link.

There are web sites that are free to convert PDF and other formatted files too many text based editable formats. One of them is, PDF to Text, and it can be found here. Narrator.
• In Windows 10 you can do more with narrator. You can move around your screen with it. It is not as robust as the above noted screen readers, however you can use narrator for the built in Live Mail and Edge Browser programs for Windows 10.
• You can use narrator to get to a website say to set up NVDA. Edge and Windows Live Mail are very inaccessible with any other screen reader.
• Narrator is not a full-fledged screen reader yet but people are encouraged to try it with Windows 10.
• It is free.

Google Searches:
It was pointed out that if you’re looking for download links to free software like NVDA, try typing in your Google Search NVDA Screen Reader Download or Thunderbird Download and it will usually take you right to the downloads page. Also, Google searches that start with “How do I…” will almost always get you good and helpful results.

General Questions:
Someone asked what version of JAWS is needed in order to run Windows 10? It is JAWS 16 or higher.

NVDA updates are always free and the software is free unless you buy the Eloquence Synthesizer voices which is around 80 dollars Canadian.

Once you have purchased the System Access screen reader, all updates are free, and it does work with Windows 10.

*Note: if your needs are being met with Windows 7 or 8.1 you don’t have to move to Windows 10. Those two operating systems will be supported by Microsoft for several years yet. However, if you are upgrading from Windows XP or Vista it might be worth your while to embark on a Windows 10 upgrade as you will be entering a significant learning curve anyway.

NVDA is a great screen reader developed by two people who are blind and they are updating all the time. This program is open source so some workplaces may not let you install or use it.

Many of the key strokes are very similar between NVDA and JAWS.

Trouble-shooting and training apps:
JAWS offers a built-in training and trouble-shooting utility called Tandem which allows someone helping you to access your computer provided both are running JAWS.

NVDA has a similar program called NVDA Remote.TeamViewer is another utility that can be used for trouble-shooting and training that is not screen reader specific. Difference between screen readers on the PC and mac?
• The Mac has only one choice for screen reader. It is called VoiceOver and is built-in. It is available on all Macs and you do not need to buy it separately.
• All the native Mac apps, (Mail, Web Browser, Spreadsheet, iTunes, Notes, Word Processing work well with VoiceOver.
• It has good high quality voices.
• The way you use this screen reader is very different than on the PC so there is a learning curve.
• There are good books through National braille press, as well as guides and podcasts through AppleVis.com and many resources to help you with the Mac and other iDevices.
• If you use other iDevices, your content will sync well between them and the Mac.
• The Track Pad on the Mac lets you do many gestures which are the same as those you use with your iPhone.
• If you have a friend with a mac and you want to try it out, hold down the Command Key and type F5 to toggle it on and off. The Command Key is known as the Alt Key on a PC, and is found to the left and right of the Space Bar.
• When you launch VoiceOver on the Mac, you are asked if you want to run the VoiceOver Tutorial, which helps you learn the basic keyboard commands.
• One other advantage is that you can run a copy of Windows on your Mac with NVDA. So, you can have both systems running on one computer. You might only want to do this if you love technology however.
• If you have questions about the Mac, Kim Kilpatrick uses it almost exclusively and can talk to you about the pros and cons.
• Mac computers are more expensive than many laptops but they are good quality.

What resources are out there for learning screen readers?
There are many good free and paid resources for learning to use your products and screen readers.
Often if users are having trouble, it is because they have not taken the time to set up the machine for maximum benefit from screen readers, or they haven’t learned enough about how to access the computer with their screen reading software.

CathyAnne Murtha textbooks are very good and highly recommended.NVDA has put out a very good manual for learning how to use it and someone said it is one of the best manuals he has seen. The cost for it is 30 dollars Australian and it can be found on the NVDA web site.

• There are many other useful things on the NVDA Web Site including some tutorials, downloads of the software etc.
Serotek also has good materials for learning the screen reader and the programs it supports.Disability Answer/Support Desk:
The below free technical support hotlines are reserved for screen reader, magnification, hearing or physical disability software users. All reports are that the people working these hotlines are quick, respectful, expert and friendly.

Someone was having an issue getting iCloud Mail running on the PC or on Android. No answers came out of the group gathered this night, so it was suggested that he call the Apple Accessibility Support number:
1-877-204-3930

For all troublesome matters related to screen reader or magnification users and the Microsoft Operating System or MS Office products, the Microsoft Disability Answer Desk number is:
1-800-936-5900

It was suggested you could use two different email programs on the PC. Say Outlook for Gmail and Thunderbird for iCloud.

It was pointed out that Thunderbird is a good email program and is recommended by those developing NVDA, but there can be a few problems such as not landing directly in your inbox.

The Edge Web Browser does not work well in Windows 10 but you can use Google Chrome, Firefox or Internet Explorer.

Next meeting, December 14, all about Streaming Services.

Respectfully submitted,
Kim Kilpatrick and Albert Ruel

GTT Vancouver and New Westminster Summary Notes, GPS and OrCam, September and October Meetings, 2016

GTT Vancouver
Summary Notes

Topic: GPS and the OrCam

Session 1, GPS and the OrCam
Date: Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Present: 16 participants; Shawn, Corey, Lilo, Nora, John, Louise, Fay, Carol, Pat, Mary, Lynn, Peg, Ryan, Albert, Clement, and Barry from OrCam

Session 2, GPS
Date: Wednesday, October 19, 2016
Present: 8 participants; Shawn, Albert, Geri, John, Fay, Carol, Louise, Kari-Lyn

First Saturday Meeting which dealt with GPS,
Date: Saturday, October 22, 2016 at VCC
Present: 24 participants; John, Jeremy, Nora, Rita, Tammy, John, Peg, Bev, Pat, Bridget, Mary, Mo, Richard, Perry, Icy, Tracey, Shawn, Sean, Matthew, Monty, Cathy, Becky, Owen and Anna

What is GPS – Global Positioning System?
• What is it and how does it work?
• -type of technology that tells someone or something where it is on planet earth
• relies on a series of satellites in the sky
• there used to be 24, now there are many more
• your technology communicates, gets a message to tell you where you are in relation to the satellite
• The accuracy ranges from 1 metre in military technology to 2-3 metres, or as bad as five, depending on the service provider

History and Evolution
• Satellites were used initially for GPS
• GPS is used for anything that does long distance travel
• Nowadays everybody has GPS – it now is enhanced by Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, cell towers, and satellites.
• Some store maps so you can look at them even when there is no satellite signal or data connection.
• Portable GPS started in the late 90’s and were the size of back-packs and Laptops.
• The trekker was a PDA with special software added which was very expensive. Came with many components and wires to connect everything.
• It was full featured, would tell you points of interest, could browse a route, and was a very handy device. It had no Internet connection and relied on satellites. So, if it was rainy or cloudy it’s difficult to reach the satellites and would not work.
• Trekker Breeze had some improvements but was harder to relabel points of interest.
• At this point they started integrating GPS into note takers you could carry your one device.
• Freedom Scientific included it in the Pacmate which no longer exists. They used infrared for the receiver which meant you had to line it up perfectly in order to work.
• Then there was the BrailleNote which included GPS. You could add additional software for another $1500 which came with maps and a receiver. They used Bluetooth – Wi-Fi___33 without Internet – good for about 30 feet. This was more stable connection.
• Then BrrailleSense added GPS. Worked reasonably well.
• At the same time GPS were starting to be integrated into cars
• Then we started integrating into phones.
• Using 3G and cell networks.
• Apple came up with Maps on the IPhone so you did not need to purchase additional software.
• Google came up with google maps
• Now there is location tracking with phones.
• The more things you have transmitting on your phone the easier it will be for the GPS to work.
• Blue tooth will suck your battery life faster when turned on.

GPS apps – BlindSquare, Apple Maps, Navacon, Smartphone GPS, Seeing Eye, Nearby Explorer, AuTour.
• Google Maps, Apple Maps, and AuTour are free
• You do need data on your phone to use GPS on the go
• You may want an external battery pack or a phone case that charges it twice
• When you ask Siri to take you somewhere the phone will automatically use Apple Maps. Whenever you choose Get Directions uses Apple Maps
• Tell it to find a place and get directions or ask Siri to take you somewhere – tracking isn’t bad and directions usually will get you there.
• Apple maps will tell you when to switch lanes so it can be helpful if you are trying to help navigate for your driver
• Google Maps is more refined, better control, and you can do more stuff with it.
• You can find it in the app store, it’s free, and includes transit stops locally but not for every system.
• Five options driving walking, transit, biking, and ride services
• When you open google maps it opens a menu with an edit field. You can dictate as long as you have good service and your environment isn’t too loud.
• Menu will get you into settings, save your location
• When you click query you get a search field, recent history will give you the last places you’ve searched for, explore food and drinks, gas stations, pharmacy’s, nearby.
• Maps on the Trekker could be 2 years old but Google Maps are updated regularly.
• Not every business will show up but if you enter an address it will be able to find those smaller businesses
• You need location services on for GPS to work.

Seeing Eye has a look around arm that will tell you what is in each direction. It updates every 15 seconds which is why it sucks the battery so fast.
• Once it catches where you are it will tell you what is to your southeast or northwest. It will tell you what street is running from your left to right, or behind to forward.
• Seeing Eye uses worldwide maps. It pulls from foursquare or google maps.
• You can pay $13 per month, $60 per year, or buy it outright for $300.
• You can create routes, mark points of interest.

BlindSquare won’t give you turn by turn instruction
• It has a “look around” arm to see what is nearby
• It has a 15 minute sleep timer

Nearby Explorer is less than a third of the money but does pretty much the same as Seeing Eye.
• Both give route options, virtual walk abouts, include buses
• It also has a “look around” arm
• Nearby Explorer is $109. Covers North America. Downloads 4 gigs of maps into your phone and uses google maps and apple maps. It requires a lot of storage.

AuTour is a new free app
• You can point your phone at something and it will tell you what you are pointed at
• Radar will scan what’s around you 360 degrees. Beam tells you what you are pointed at.

Seeing assistant move, Lite and paid versions available
• -has a suite of applications, colour detector, light detector
• -it is an app, somewhere around nine or ten dollars
• -reason it is ten and not one hundred, is because it does not pay map companies to license expensive maps from third parties
• -instead it makes use of a project called OpenStreet Map, a project where people all over the world, have designed the map for the company
• anywhere people go, they log their current location, and open street map shares it with the rest of the users
• takes advantage of free mapping from countries
• -not as good as the ones that use really detailed third party maps, but probably about 90% as good, and much more affordable
• -don’t always need a data connection, but will need to download maps at some point
• -the presenter demonstrates the app to the group
• the presenter shows a point close to our location that he added to the open map
• the presenter hits the where am I button, gives a slightly different address, but that is probably the closest address to this classroom
• This app can also identify cross streets
• now giving an example of a route
• the presenter goes to all categories, clicks entertainment, to see what is around, and looks for close by restaurants
• clicks actions, hits add to track
• the app also tells you by clock face where your destination is, so as you approach it will say the place is at 11 clock, 10 o’clock, and so on, orienting you to the building
• calculate a turn by turn route
• start point, my location, end point, restaurant, route type, fastest
• designate and track route
• -drawbacks
• the simulate location feature
• tell your phone where you will be in the future, choose a place, and it can simulate that location, and then you can explore that area in the same way you would with the app if you were actually there
• this feature stopped working in parts of the app, however when the presenter contacted the developers, they were receptive and thanked him for pointing out the error

Which is the best GPS App:

Blind Square is inexpensive
• Accessible overlay that uses the compass, apple maps, transit app and makes it accessible
• Tells you where you are in relation to your destination but no turn by turn directions

• Ask your I-phone to find directions to an address
• Choose whether you are driving, walking and then it will talk you through the directions
• I-Beacon technology requires Bluetooth which will work indoors
• GPS doesn’t work in a mall
• Tap with 4 fingers at the bottom of the screen brings cursor to bottom or at top of the screen brings you to the top
• Four Square – you can pull up the restaurant where you are and rate your meal. The more places you check in at, the more places end up on Four Square
• Blind Square uses four square
• You can search for arts and entertainment, food, residences, shops, outdoor and recreation, colleges and universities, etc
• Sometimes it will tell you about a restaurant that is now closed

Nearby Explorer – need more than a 16 gig phone – a bit more expensive but does give turn by turn directions
• Costs more than Blind Square but less than Seeing Eye.
• Increase or decrease radius to hear what is closer or father away
• You can turn on a setting to tell you every street you cross, city boundaries, addresses, etc. You can choose as little or as much as you want
• Guidance can be turned on to give you guidance to get to your location
• Nearby Explorer was developed by American Printing House and it has been running on Android for 4 years.
• Once you have maps loaded on the app and you use only onboard apps, you don’t need data

Seeing Eye requires data for maps which is why it doesn’t require as much space.

OrCam demo from Barry Underwood
• Comes with glasses with a small camera attached. The camera can attach to any set of glasses
• Once the device is turned on, you hit the single button which is a trigger to take a photo of what you are looking at.
• You can also use your finger and point to the document and it will also take a picture and start reading

The next meeting topic is to be determined

November 23 will be the next Daytime GTT Vancouver Meeting at Blind Beginnings.
December 3 will be the next Saturday GTT Vancouver Meeting at VCC

GTT Victoria: Summary Notes, Identifi and OrCam, November 2, 2016

Get together with Technology (GTT)
Victoria Meeting – GVPL Main branch, Meeting Room
Summary Notes

Wednesday November 2, 2016

The meeting was called to order at 1:15 pm by chair Albert Ruel

Attendance, Karis, Bruce, Tom, Sabena, Karen, John, Sky, Shelly, Jenna, Evette, Steve, Corry and Albert. As well Barry Underwood, representing OrCam was in attendance for a second half presentation.

The group welcomed Shelly and Jenna from Salt Spring Island, who were both first time participants within the group and had made the trip over specifically for the GTT meeting.

During the first half, various topics were discussed. Albert started things off by introducing the group to a new app called identifi, Developed byAnmol Tukrel, a young Canadian residing in Toronto. Currently only available for iOS, the app lets one take pictures via the device camera and will provide an audio description of the item photographed. Albert demoed the app. Results took about 10 seconds. The app will not retain the photo and you can identify pictures from your camera roll. You must have iOS9 or higher on your iPhone, more info at the Apple Apps store.

John spoke in regards to needing an audible signal at the corner of Government and Humbolt/Warf, right by the tourist center. Extremely busy corner and an odd one for pedestrians to cross based on it’s configuration. Unanimous agreement.

Tom, communicated to the group that he is now featured as a regular guest on the Kelly and Company show on AMI Audio, more info at ami.ca. Tom also continues with his weekly world music program on Mushroom FM, more info at mushroomfm.com

Tom spoke of a new kitchen appliance he had purchased called the Onepot. The appliance can be controlled via an iPhone app, is Bluetooth enabled and to date Tom has no accessibility issues. Information on one such device can be found at https://applevis.com/podcast/episodes/demonstration-instant-pot-electric-pressure-cooker-and-its-companion-ios-app

A discussion ensued about other appliance and home security apps and programs. The group also discussed driverless cars, and the rapid growth of technology in this regard.

Question, what is Bluetooth, summation, short range wireless, seamed to be the best description. The discussion continued around Bluetooth settings on one’s phone, on or off if not in use and how much battery does Bluetooth take. Off and very little were the verdicts. The “find my iPhone” feature was also discussed.

Tom spoke of a luggage identifier that is now available and is accessible tracking one luggage when away from the carrier. more info at mosen.org.

Tom informed the group how pleased he is with the iOS10 on screen braille keyboard. Perfect was his description,

After a short break Barry Underwood made his presentation.
He placed in front of 6 participants an OrCam device then walked them through the unboxing and activation process. OrCam has undergone an upgrade in 2016 and now includes the ability to pause and resume reading, and guidance on whether or not the text is centered in the camera view. There are two versions of the device, the OrCam Reader and the OrCam MyEye. Many questions were asked and answered, and if anyone has additional need for information about the OrCam Barry can be reached at the below contact info.

Home

Barry.Underwood@OrCam.com
250-498-6515

Next meeting, Wednesday, December 7th, 2016
Time 1:00pm
Topic: Open Discussion about Assistive Technology, and Santa’s Wish List. LOL