CCB Tech Articles: Donna’s Low Tech Tips, Talking Thermometer, June 11, 2018

June 18 2018

Meet the talking Thermometer

 

Hi there!  It’s Donna and thank you for allowing me to come into your inbox.

Today, I’d like to talk about the talking thermometer.

 

Meet the talking thermometer

 

There used to be a time when dreaming of having a talking thermometer was just that; just a dream!  No more!  This nifty device has been on the market now for several years and you can find them as either stand alone units or folded into other gadgets.

 

As an example, you may find talking thermometers that also tell you the time.  Mine tells me the time as well as both the indoor and outdoor temperatures.  It tells the time on the hour.

 

Again, it is the best of both worlds.  The advantage of a stand alone unit may be that there are no other add-ons to it; clock, alarm, time, and so on.  The advantage of having it as part of another gadget is that you get other things with it but if that main gadget breaks or stops working then there goes the thermometer along with it.

 

Almost all talking thermometers will give you the temperature in both Farinheight and Celsius versions.

So go out there and make friends with the talking thermometer.

 

Want some contact info?

Here are a few places for you to contact if you are interested to learn more.

CNIB – toll free = 1800 563 2642

Frontier Computing – toll free = 1-888-480-0000

Or visit http://www.futureaids.ca

You can also call them at 1-800-987-1231

There is also no harm in checking out http://www.independentlivingaids.com and

http://www.maxiaids.com

 

If you would like to become a member of  my CCB Mysteries chapter you can do so for the price of $10 annually and in return you will receive unlimited access to either of the following libraries.

Recipes –

http://www.donnajodhan.com/library-recipes.html

Audio mysteries for all ages –

http://www.donnajodhan.com/library-audio-mysteries.html

Or you can subscribe to both for the price of $20 annually.

 

To contact me, send me an email at info@sterlingcreations.ca and I’d be happy to respond.

Have yourselves a great day and see you next week.

Donna

 

 

Advertisements

CCB Tech Articles: Donna’s Low Tech Tips, At The Table, June 11, 2018

June 11 2018

At the table

 

Hi there!  It’s Donna and thank you for allowing me to come into your inbox.

Today, I’d like to talk about things to consider while at the table.

 

To locate items at your place setting, start at the edge of the table and with your fingers                            curled and arms flexed, move gently toward the centre of the table until you find your plate.  With fingers low to the table, extend arms and fingers gradually to the right and left to find silverware, teacup, glass, salad bowl, bread and butter plate, etc.  Accidents can happen easily, so remember to keep your hands on the surface of the table and move slowly.  If you cannot find the item you need, ask for it to be passed to you.

 

To determine contents on a plate, use the tip of your knife or fork to gently probe the food on the plate, noting the difference in the texture, shape, smell, and location of the food on the plate. Try to determine any special characteristics.  Are there paper containers of relish?  Is the baked potato cut down the middle?  Does it contain any sour cream or is a separate container provided?  Is there finger picking food on the plate?  Does the meat have a “cooking-directions” marker pierced into its middle?  Does the meat have a bone?  Is the decorative salad cut or are there large lettuce leaves?  Is there a separate container of gravy or sauce on the plate?  Such questions are endless, yet each is easily answered by thoroughly checking out the contents with your utensils and determining the characteristics of your food before you start to eat.  As with most people, you will make the occasional mistake or misjudgment.  Laugh it off, learn by it, and go on.  If you are doubtful or need affirmation of your plate’s content, don’t be afraid to ask.

 

A sighted person may describe the location of the various items on the plate. Imagine the plate to be like the face of a clock.  For example, if peas are located at the top of the plate, it is said that the peas are at 12 o’clock.

 

You may find it helpful to turn your plate so that foods that require cutting or special attention, such as meat or corn on the cob, are brought to the bottom of the plate (6 o’clock position).  In this way they are easier to locate and manage without reaching over other foods.

 

“Loose” food such as peas or corn can be difficult to pick up.  Many people use a “pusher” such as a piece of bread, a roll, or a knife to help guide food onto the fork.  Another idea is to gently move the “loose” food, i.e., peas, against a barrier of “solid” food, i.e., mashed potatoes.  This will give you the advantage of being able to get under the “loose” food, as the barrier prevents such food from moving around the plate.

 

While eating, direct the motion of the fork or spoon toward the centre of the plate. Food on the plate should be pushed inward for it tends to move out to the edge of the plate during the normal course of the meal.

 

As you eat, be aware of the weight of the food on your fork or spoon.  With practice and patience, you will soon be able to gauge whether you are lifting an appropriate amount of food.

 

When sprinkling salt from a shaker onto food, sprinkle first into the palm of your hand to determine the amount and how fast the salt is flowing.  This will prevent a fast-flowing shaker from ruining your food.

 

It’s easier to put sticky jam, honey, etc., on your bread if you use a teaspoon to scoop it out of the jar and then use the back of

the spoon (or a knife) to spread                      it.

 

People who are visually impaired should keep colour contrast in mind when setting the table. White plates almost disappear on a white tablecloth but show up well against a plain dark tablecloth. Similarly, if food is dark (such as roast beef), use light dishes and if food is light (fish, cheese, eggs) use dark plates.

 

It is fine to make special requests (ie., to have meat cut or shellfish served out of the shell) when eating away from home.

 

Don’t hesitate to ask for assistance at home or when                                     eating out.

 

I hope that these tips are helpful to you.

 

If you would like to become a member of  my CCB Mysteries chapter you can do so for the price of $10 annually and in return you will receive unlimited access to either of the following libraries.

Recipes –

http://www.donnajodhan.com/library-recipes.html

Audio mysteries for all ages –

http://www.donnajodhan.com/library-audio-mysteries.html

Or you can subscribe to both for the price of $20 annually.

 

To contact me, send me an email at info@sterlingcreations.ca and I’d be happy to respond.

Have yourselves a great day and see you next week.

Donna

CCB Tech Articles: Donna’s Low Tech Tips, Talking Alarm Clock, June 4, 2018

June 04 2018

Meet the talking alarm clock

 

Hi there!  It’s Donna and thank you for allowing me to come into your inbox.

Today, I’d like to talk about the talking alarm clock.

 

Of course, there are several places where you can buy one of these and I would prefer not to endorse any one in particular but here is the picture.

 

I am always excited whenever someone comes along and improves on an existing product and this is what I have seen in the case of the talking alarm clock.

 

Just imagine!  Now you can find a clock that accepts voice commands!  No more having to press the button to hear the time!  No more having to set the time with buttons!  You now have the best of both worlds!

 

You can either choose to set and hear the time with the press of a button or you can do this through voice commands. Most of these alarm clocks come with extra nice to have add-ons.  Timers, thermometers, date, and more.  You can even choose which voice you want to have announce the time and so on and many of these voices are extremely clear and easy to understand.

 

No more having to depend on sighted assistance to set the time or alarm for me.  No more having to ask someone for the time.

 

So go out there and make friends with the talking alarm clock.

 

Here are a few places for you to contact if you are interested to learn more.

CNIB – toll free = 1800 563 2642

Frontier Computing – toll free = 1-888-480-0000

Or visit http://www.futureaids.ca

You can also call them at 1-800-987-1231

There is also no harm in checking out http://www.independentlivingaids.com and

http://www.maxiaids.com

 

If you would like to become a member of  my CCB Mysteries chapter you can do so for the price of $10 annually and in return you will receive unlimited access to either of the following libraries.

Recipes –

http://www.donnajodhan.com/library-recipes.html

Audio mysteries for all ages –

http://www.donnajodhan.com/library-audio-mysteries.html

Or you can subscribe to both for the price of $20 annually.

 

To contact me, send me an email at info@sterlingcreations.ca and I’d be happy to respond.

Have yourselves a great day and see you next week.

Donna

 

CCB Tech Articles: Donna’s Low Tech Tips, Medications, May 28, 2018

May 28 2018

Medications

 

Hi there!  It’s Donna and thank you for allowing me to come into your inbox.

Today, I’d like to talk about how we deal with medications.

 

If you are taking medication, you may wish to take advantage of the many pill organizers available at drug stores.  Some               have one section for    each day; others are larger and have two or more sections for each day.

These are especially useful for people who take several kinds of pills in the morning, at lunch, at dinner, and            at bedtime.

 

Organize medication according to frequency of use, in alphabetical order, or in categories used.

Large print or braille labels may be placed on medicine bottles to easily identify them.  Any personal marking (for example, a piece of tape) will do the trick as long as it is understandable by you.

When refilling medications, simply transfer the new medicine to the old bottle or ask your pharmacist to use the same container.  If your label will fit on the lid of the bottle, you only need to transfer the lid.

 

“Bubble Packing” service is available from drug stores. The system consists of a weekly supply of medication per card. “Days of the week” are located along the left side of the card and the “time of day” is located across the top of the card. The upper side of the card consists of a series of clear moulded elastic bubbles, containing the pills; the under side is foil. By pushing down on the bubble, and breaking the foil, medications are easily removed into your hand or small glass.                      Since the bubble is crushed by this procedure, it is always easy for a blind or visually impaired person to tactually check to ensure medications have been taken.

 

I hope that these tips are helpful to you.

 

If you would like to become a member of  my CCB Mysteries chapter you can do so for the price of $10 annually and in return you will receive unlimited access to either of the following libraries.

Recipes –

http://www.donnajodhan.com/library-recipes.html

Audio mysteries for all ages –

http://www.donnajodhan.com/library-audio-mysteries.html

Or you can subscribe to both for the price of $20 annually.

 

To contact me, send me an email at info@sterlingcreations.ca and I’d be happy to respond.

Have yourselves a great day and see you next week.

Donna

 

CCB Tech Articles: Donna’s Low Tech Tips, The Talking Watch, May 21, 2018

May 21 2018

Meet the talking watch

 

Hi there!  It’s Donna and thank you for allowing me to come into your inbox.

Today, I’d like to talk about the talking watch.

 

I am a great advocate of the talking watch and it may not be for everyone but for those who do not know Braille and would prefer to hear the time announced out loud; then this is the perfect product for you.

 

The talking watch comes in all sizes and styles.  Several manufacturers have put out their own version of the talking watch.  There are talking watches for the man, talking watches for the lady, and talking watches for the sporty one and even more.

 

The talking watch is what I call a sort of backup device for you to tell the time.  It is portable of course and most talking watches have an alarm set on them.  You would be amazed to learn how this nifty little device can help you to keep up with your schedule.  Sure!  The Apple watch is now here but there is absolutely no reason to ignore the talking watch.

 

So go out there and make friends with the talking watch.

 

Here are a few places for you to contact if you are interested to learn more.

CNIB – toll free = 1800 563 2642

Frontier Computing – toll free = 1-888-480-0000

Or visit http://www.futureaids.ca

You can also call them at 1-800-987-1231

 

If you would like to become a member of  my CCB Mysteries chapter you can do so for the price of $10 annually and in return you will receive unlimited access to either of the following libraries.

Recipes –

http://www.donnajodhan.com/library-recipes.html

Audio mysteries for all ages –

http://www.donnajodhan.com/library-audio-mysteries.html

Or you can subscribe to both for the price of $20 annually.

 

To contact me, send me an email at info@sterlingcreations.ca and I’d be happy to respond.

Have yourselves a great day and see you next week.

Donna

May 21 2018

Meet the talking watch

 

Hi there!  It’s Donna and thank you for allowing me to come into your inbox.

Today, I’d like to talk about the talking watch.

 

I am a great advocate of the talking watch and it may not be for everyone but for those who do not know Braille and would prefer to hear the time announced out loud; then this is the perfect product for you.

 

The talking watch comes in all sizes and styles.  Several manufacturers have put out their own version of the talking watch.  There are talking watches for the man, talking watches for the lady, and talking watches for the sporty one and even more.

 

The talking watch is what I call a sort of backup device for you to tell the time.  It is portable of course and most talking watches have an alarm set on them.  You would be amazed to learn how this nifty little device can help you to keep up with your schedule.  Sure!  The Apple watch is now here but there is absolutely no reason to ignore the talking watch.

 

So go out there and make friends with the talking watch.

 

Here are a few places for you to contact if you are interested to learn more.

CNIB – toll free = 1800 563 2642

Frontier Computing – toll free = 1-888-480-0000

Or visit http://www.futureaids.ca

You can also call them at 1-800-987-1231

 

If you would like to become a member of  my CCB Mysteries chapter you can do so for the price of $10 annually and in return you will receive unlimited access to either of the following libraries.

Recipes –

http://www.donnajodhan.com/library-recipes.html

Audio mysteries for all ages –

http://www.donnajodhan.com/library-audio-mysteries.html

Or you can subscribe to both for the price of $20 annually.

 

To contact me, send me an email at info@sterlingcreations.ca and I’d be happy to respond.

Have yourselves a great day and see you next week.

Donna

 

CCB Tech Articles: Donna’s Low Tech Tips, Bathroom Tips, May 14, 2018

May 14 2018

In the bathroom

 

Hi there!  It’s Donna and thank you for allowing me to come into your inbox.

Today, I’d like to touch on the subject of in the bathroom.

 

If you have a white or light-                           colored bathtub, buy dark colored contrasting soaps. They are easier to locate than white soap, especially if they float.

 

Use soap on a rope or liquid soap dispensers.  They are easy to locate and you avoid the slippery soap problem.

 

A shower caddy (available in department stores and at hardware stores) is useful to hang over your shower head and to hold personal care items such as shampoo and soap.

 

A clear plastic shower curtain allows more light into the shower area than an opaque or solid one.

 

Use your index finger to guide a small amount of toothpaste onto your toothbrush.  If you have your own personal tube of toothpaste, squeeze a small amount directly onto your finger or directly into your mouth. It’s much easier and less messy.

 

I hope that these tips are helpful to you.

 

If you would like to become a member of  my CCB Mysteries chapter you can do so for the price of $10 annually and in return you will receive unlimited access to either of the following libraries.

Recipes –

http://www.donnajodhan.com/library-recipes.html

Audio mysteries for all ages –

http://www.donnajodhan.com/library-audio-mysteries.html

Or you can subscribe to both for the price of $20 annually.

 

To contact me, send me an email at info@sterlingcreations.ca and I’d be happy to respond.

Have yourselves a great day and see you next week.

Donna

VOCALEYE NEWS
MAY 2018

In this issue:
Happy Mother’s Day!
Described Performances and Events:
June 2: Described Tour at the Vancouver Art Gallery
June 3 and 8: Mamma Mia! at the Arts Club Stanley
Coming Up:
July 3: Once at the Arts Club Granville Island
July 22 and Aug 18: As You Like It at Bard on the Beach
Theatre Buddies | Ticket Access | Support | Reminders
HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!
We wouldn’t be here without them!

Last month we set a new record for the most Theatre Buddy requests for Misery at the Arts Club Granville Island, plus an out-of-town guest from Toronto. Big thanks to our Theatre Buddies Tal, Avital, Sandy and Rick Lin for taking such good care of them!

I just got back from leading an introductory workshop in dance description with CRIPSiE (Collaborative Radically Integrated Performance Society in Edmonton). It was wonderful to work with such a talented group of creators who are making accessibility and inclusion a part of everything they do. The workshop was held at the Universiade Pavilion at the University of Alberta, a sports stadium covered in bright yellow tiles that has been aptly and affectionately nicknamed “the Butterdome” by the locals.

Back in Vancouver this month, we’re partnering with the Revolver Festival at the Cultch to make the festival more accessible. Join community consultants, Deb Fong and Cathy Browne, as they check out some Low Vision Friendly programming (recommended as accessible without description) at the Cultch. Tickets are $15 with a free companion rate and priority seating when you mention VocalEye, 604-251-1363 (the Reading Series is free!).

June begins with two fabulous events: a described tour of Emily Carr in Dialogue with Mattie Gunterman at the Vancouver Art Gallery on June 2; and two described performances of Mamma Mia at the Arts Club Stanley on June 3 and 8.

Then I fly off to Ottawa to lead a describer/access training at the new Ottawa Art Gallery. The next edition of this newsletter will be out around mid-June with details on accessible and affordable Low Vision Friendly programming at this year’s Indian Summer Festival, updates on our continuing explorations with All Bodies Dance and more described performances.

I will leave you with a photo of the Butterdome and a couple of photos from the Touch Tour of Salt Baby at the Belfry. Big thanks to our volunteers Barbara and Frances, describer/photographer Rick Waines, artistic associate Erin Macklem, Linda Bartram and the Victoria Society for Blind Arts and Culture and all our patrons for another great year of described performances in Victoria. We look forward to spending next season with you!

Warmly,

Steph

The Butterdome, Edmonton (above). Patrons at the Touch Tour following Salt Baby at the Belfry (below).

DESCRIBED PERFORMANCES AND EVENTS…

DESCRIBED ART TOUR AT THE VAG
VocalEye is delighted to celebrate BC Access Awareness Day at the Vancouver Art Gallery, 750 Hornby Street, Vancouver on Saturday, June 2 from 3 pm to 5 pm.

Join us for a special Described Tour of Emily Carr in Dialogue with Mattie Gunterman, facilitated by Steph Kirkland, Founder and Executive Director of VocalEye, and Art Educators Marie-France Berard and Lynn Chen. This enhanced Gallery tour is designed for people who are blind and partially sighted; however, all are welcome to attend.

Refreshments and a feedback session will follow the tour. As this is the first Described Tour led by the Gallery, we seek your participation and responses to help us create meaningful and inclusive services for non-visual learners and all visitors with vision loss.

Admission is free. Please register in advance by calling 604-662-4700 or RSVP online.

Sighted guides are available to escort visitors with vision loss to and from the Vancouver Art Gallery for this event. If you require a sighted guide, please arrange when you register by phone (604-662-4700) or email buddies@vocaleye.ca. The meet-up location will be at the ticket level of the Burrard Skytrain Station at 2:45 pm. Sighted guides will return visitors to this location at the end of the event at 5 pm or earlier, as needed.

MAMMA MIA!
Mamma Mia! One of the most popular musicals of all time, described by Anika Vervecken on Sunday, June 3 at 2 pm and again on Friday, June 8 at 8 pm at the Arts Club Stanley, 2750 Granville Street, Vancouver. Tickets start at $29 for VocalEye users, while they last. Please call the Box Office to purchase at 604-687-1644. VocalEye’s new Ticket Access Program provides rebates for those in financial need. Theatre Buddies are also available to guide members to and from the theatre from a convenient meet-up location. Please contact Donna for more details on both programs: buddies@vocaleye.ca (deadline to book a buddy or a rebate is one week before the described performance).

A daughter’s quest to find her biological father before her wedding brings together three men from her mother’s past. Who will walk her down the aisle? Will she find out before saying “I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do”? This summer musical will transport you to a Greek island paradise filled with ABBA-tastic hits like “Dancing Queen,” “The Winner Takes It All,” and “S.O.S.”

Check out ABBA’s 1974 Mamma Mia music video, with original hairdos and white jumpsuits!

Song List
Plot Summary
COMING UP…

Once, a captivating do-it-yourself musical, described by Ingrid Turk on Tuesday July 3 at 7:30 pm at the Arts Club Granville Island, 1585 Johnston Street, Vancouver. Tickets start at $29 for VocalEye users, while they last. Please call the Box Office to purchase at 604-687-1644. This performance will be followed by a Talk Back with the cast.
As You Like It, Shakespeare meets the Beatles in this 60’s staging, described on Sun July 22 at 2 pm and Sat August 18 at 7:30 pm at Bard on the Beach, MainStage, 1695 Whyte Avenue, Vanier Park, Vancouver. Bard offers a special ticket rate for VocalEye users. Please call 604-739-0559 to purchase tickets and reserve headsets. Seating on the left side of the audience is recommended for best reception. The matinée performance on Sunday July 22 will be followed by a Touch Tour.

VOCALEYE THEATRE BUDDIES

Theatre Buddies are available to guide VocalEye Members, 18 years of age and up, from a designated meet up location to and from selected theatres. To reserve a Buddy in Vancouver, please contact buddies@vocaleye.ca
In Victoria, contact Linda Bartram at 250-595-5888. Buddies must be arranged 3 days in advance.
VOCALEYE TICKET ACCESS

VocalEye strives to lower barriers for members in financial need by providing rebates to reduce the price of admission to described shows. Members in Vancouver and the lower mainland can apply for assistance by contacting buddies@vocaleye.ca.
In Victoria, please contact lbartram@telus.net.
SUPPORT…
VocalEye is now a registered charity (#80166 6702 RR0001) and able to issue tax deductible receipts for monthly donations or individual donations of any size. Please include all your contact information for receipt purposes. VocalEye season supporters are gratefully acknowledged on our website

SUPPORT VOCALEYE

REMINDERS…
A complete listing of VocalEye described performances and events can be found on our website.
Tickets must be purchased by calling the theatre’s Box Office unless instructed otherwise.
Be sure to mention VocalEye when booking your tickets to receive any discounts offered and to reserve your headset. Please indicate whether you have partial vision, a guide dog or other seating preferences. Seating options may be limited.
Arrive early to pick up your equipment so you can be seated in time for a sound check. A live pre-show introduction to the set, characters and costumes will begin 10 minutes before curtain.
Our handheld receivers come with a single earpiece that can be worn on the left or right ear, or you can use your own earbuds or headphones. The audio signal is mono, so it will come through on one side only.
VocalEye Memberships are FREE for people with vision loss.
VocalEye Members are eligible for Theatre Buddy assistance, ticket discounts and equipment pickup without a deposit.
VocalEye newsletters are available in your choice of formats: Plain Text or HTML with images. Both include a link at the top to a simple Word Doc format.
Help us spread the word about described performances and arts access for people with vision loss by sharing this newsletter with those in your network.
VocalEye respects your right to privacy. We will not rent, sell or trade our list. Our mailings are intended to inform you of our events, programs, services and fundraising activities. You may unsubscribe at any time.
Thank you for reading through. See you at the theatre!

Images: Boaz Joseph/Surrey Leader, Steph Kirkland, Rick Waines, Shutterstock and the interwebs

Copyright © 2018 VocalEye Descriptive Arts Society, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email as a member, subscriber, supporter or colleague of VocalEye.

update subscription preferences
|
unsubscribe instantly

Our mailing address is:
VocalEye Descriptive Arts Society
303-355 E. 15th Ave.Vancouver, BC V5T 2R2
Canada

Add us to your address book

CCB Tech Articles: Donna’s Low Tech Tips, Tactile Measuring Tape, May 7, 2018

May 07 2018

Meet the tactile measuring tape

 

Hi there!  It’s Donna and thank you for allowing me to come into your inbox once more.  Today I’d like you to meet the tactile measuring tape and it’s all in keeping with my low tech tips.

 

This nifty little thing as I will call it is neither a gadget or device.  It is truly below the realms of technology and is simply a measuring tape with tactile dots to mark off the half and whole inches.

 

Whoever developed the tactile measuring tape simply used common sense to do it.  I have the 60 inch version.  It is made out of very sturdy material and the half and whole inch indicators are clearly marked off with dots and holes with dots representing the half inch and the holes representing the whole.

 

I bought the tactile measuring tape when I started learning how to knit.  It is a God send to me and now I use it for so many other things.  One just needs to be careful when placing it on a surface such as a table or counter.  Just ensure that both ends are securely held down so that the tape itself does not slip and run away on you.

 

Here are a few places for you to contact if you are interested to learn more.

CNIB – toll free = 1800 563 2642

Frontier Computing – toll free = 1-888-480-0000

Or visit http://www.futureaids.ca

You can also call them at 1-800-987-1231

 

If you would like to become a member of  my CCB Mysteries chapter you can do so for the price of $10 annually and in return you will receive unlimited access to either of the following libraries.

Recipes –

http://www.donnajodhan.com/library-recipes.html

Audio mysteries for all ages –

http://www.donnajodhan.com/library-audio-mysteries.html

Or you can subscribe to both for the price of $20 annually.

 

Have yourselves a great day and see you next week.

Donna

CCB Newsletters: Latest Report from NNELS on Library Services Project

In late July 2017, NNELS was among a number of organizations invited to apply for a grant from the Government of Canada through the Social Development Partnerships Program – Disability Component (SDPP-D) to develop partnerships and produce alternate formats for Canadians with print disabilities. In mid-December we were notified that the BC Libraries Co-op would receive $1 million to carry out the activities in a revised NNELS proposal. Work began in January and a public announcement about the project was made on February 15th. The deadline for the completion of the work was originally set to March 31st but was revised on March 19th to May 31st, 2018.

 

Most of the projects are nearing completion and final reports on each of them will be distributed before the end of May. This interim update is for members of our partner organizations.

 

 

  1. E-text Production

 

We hired six people with vision impairments to learn how to produce ebooks and help improve both book quality and the NNELS workflow. This work was complete as of March 31. During the project, weekly activities related to book analysis and production were led by our team of Production Assistants in Alberta. Through email and discussion forums (discuss.nnels.ca), the new production assistants analyzed EPUB files, explored the functionality of reading and editing tools, and learned by working on books of their own choosing, some of which are complete and available in NNELS. Some projects are continuing, thanks to momentum: in particular, a team from the Ontario College of Art and Design is working with one of our now-former production assistants to explore how a university-level physics textbook could be accessible through audio, tactile, and visual modalities.

 

We loved this experiment. We have ideas for next steps for involving readers of accessible formats in book production and hope to work again with the outstanding people who helped us so much. Our thanks to Karoline Bourdeau, Daniella Levy-Pinto, Ka Li, Richard Marion, Steve Murgaski, and Ryan Ollis. Thanks also to the production assistants in Alberta: Leah Brochu, Jenn Lortie, and Rachel Osolen.

 

 

  1. Accessible Publishing

 

We organized seven workshops with EPUB accessibility expert Laura Brady of Brady Typesetting. These workshops took place in Victoria, Vancouver, Calgary, Winnipeg, Montreal, Halifax, and Toronto. A total of 73 publishers, editors, and alternate format producers attended, with about ten more requesting access to a video recording. Special thanks to provincial publishers’ associations who helped with promotion, and to Alternative Education Resources for Ontario (AERO), and Bob Minnery there, for organizing and sponsoring local arrangements for the Toronto workshop.

 

Laura Brady also analyzed EPUB files for 21 Canadian publishers, creating comprehensive three to five-page reports for each publisher, full of accessibility and coding suggestions.

 

The workshops and audits both contained a lot of information and were overwhelming for many people. We learned that most publishers are still producing EPUB 2 files, probably out of habit, and very few publishers know much about accessibility. Also, many publishers outsource their ebook production to overseas companies. Many ebooks, whether outsourced or produced in-house, are missing basic accessibility functionality such as headings for navigation and descriptive text for images.

 

Our collective goal is for books to be published accessibly so that they do not require further intervention to be read with assistive technology. We are a long way from reaching that goal. There is a lot of pressure on publishers to learn and implement accessibility changes, and they are nervous about the cost and time required to implement everything being recommended to them. Many publishers do not know a lot about HTML and CSS, let alone standards such as ARIA. We need to chunk lessons into short, prioritized, and digestible lists, and find ways to support publishers in making changes. We have some ideas for what to do next.

 

Coincidentally, this project was supported by our purchasing work: while we were prescribing a standard for accessible publishing, we were offering to pay publishers for any EPUB 2 or 3 files that they had already published. This was a good approach and we suspect it encouraged publishers to work with and sell files to us.

 

These projects also gave us some recognition in advance of our presentation to publishers and editors at the ebookcraft conference in Toronto in late March, organized by BookNet Canada. Laura Brady opened many doors for us: she was a conference co-organizer, she presented alongside us, and she initiated a number of conversations which we expect will be fruitful for years to come.

 

 

  1. Print-Braille Children’s Books

 

This project benefited from the extended deadline: these 15 print-braille children’s books are still in production and we’re looking forward to seeing the results. We’ve chosen great books, and the team at the Vision Impaired Resource Network in Winnipeg is using an innovative approach to create a fully accessible reading experience: stay tuned.

 

 

  1. National Braille Study

 

Mary Ellen Gabias, President of the Canadian Federation of the Blind, has been volunteer-leading a team of five writers: Michelle Creedy, Danny Faris, Holly Hoffmann, Kerry Kijewski, and Marcia Yale, and one research assistant, Lilith Lee, to propose a sustainable long-term strategy for making braille accessible to all Canadians in print and digital forms. The report will discuss how to manage decisions about storing and mailing braille material, and the comparative costs and benefits of building library collections, supporting digital collections, and printing on demand. The extended deadline has allowed for extra writing and editing. When complete, the report will be available in both French and English.

 

 

  1. Recording Kits for Libraries

 

Thanks to support from the Canadian Council of the Blind (CCB), we’ve had a really great team for the past few months: two people with audio recording experience and two librarians have created a plan and instructions for volunteers to record audiobooks in Canadian public libraries. We have ten recording kits complete with good quality headset-microphones, USB keys, quick instructions, and a bright red shipping case. These kits are in the final stages of assembly and are about to be sent to the first libraries that have expressed interest so far. They can be sent to any library in Canada that wants to record an audio version of a children’s picture book. Working with this team, and with CCB, has been an immense pleasure.

 

 

 

  1. Purchasing EPUB & Audiobooks

 

Thank you to members of the Alliance for Equality for Blind Canadians (AEBC) and the Canadian Federation of the Blind (CFB) for their help with making purchasing suggestions, and encouraging members to request books.

 

To date, we have purchased 17,767 EPUB files (we committed to 14,000) and 3,435 audiobooks (we committed to 3,000) and we are currently adding these files to the NNELS repository. With the weight of the Co-op behind us, we were able to get favourable pricing from vendors, and work with eBOUND and Demarque to purchase a large amount of Canadian ebooks in both English and French. We’ve also been able to work directly with a number of Canadian publishers, many of whom were probably able to sell files to us because the accessible publishing work that was happening alongside this project.

 

We also commissioned 30 narrated audiobooks, some of which were requested by AEBC and CFB members. We have notified some of the requestors that their books are now available, and there are more to come.

 

Finally, the extended deadline gives us more time to work with the Camp Bowen Society for the Visually Impaired. Their team is using machine learning tools to help us improve our production workflow, and we are supporting them to develop that technology. They are also producing 50 books in accessible formats, contributing a number of narrated titles, and making much-needed improvements to the NNELS website, particularly our catalogue searching.

 

If you have comments or questions about any of these projects, please get in touch with us: info@nnels.ca <mailto:info@nnels.ca>, or 1-888-848-9250, option 5. Thank you so much for your time.

 

CCB Newsletters: Gateway Navigation C3 Newsletter – Accessible Audio Indoor Navigation, April 2018

GNC3 Newsletter – Accessible Audio Indoor Navigation

Published April 2018 by Gateway Navigation CCC Limited

Website: www.gnc3.com

Email: partners@gnc3.com

Contents – Newsletter

Straight Talk – Indoor Navigation

Upcoming Event – AEBC Workshop

Standard of Excellence – Wayfindr Open Standard

Action – BC / RHF Accessibility Grant

Next Step

Straight Talk – Indoor Navigation

Listen to Mike May – Founder Sendero Group, David LePage – Co-Founder Buy Social Canada, Albert Ruel – Canadian Council of the Blind: Get Together with Technology and Steve Barclay – President Canadian Assistive Technology discussion on accessible audio indoor navigation with David Brun – Founder Gateway Navigation. To listen, click here

Upcoming Event – AEBC Workshop

Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians (AEBC) is holding their National Conference at the Burnaby Metrotown Hilton Hotel – April 27th to 29th, 2018.

AEBC Workshop – Augmented Reality: 1:30 PM Friday, April 27th, 2018.

Join Albert Ruel, Canadian Council of the Blind, David Brun and Jim Taggart, Gateway Navigation CCC Limited at the Burnaby Metrotown Hilton Hotel. Presentation exploring the potential and opportunities possible through BLE (Bluetooth low energy) beacons, smartphones and apps. Focusing on the importance of standardization and best practices to create consistent and repeatable experiences for users. With hands on experience using the Right-Hear Accessible Zone Management Platform and App. Experience how this technology can augment our reality of indoor environments.

Standard for Excellence – Wayfindr Open Standard

Wayfindr was founded through collaboration and partnership between the Royal Society for Blind Children, ustwo design studio and Transport for London. Supported by an Impact Challenge Grant from Google.Org. All coming together to problem solve a need identified by blind youth. The desire and importance to be able to independently navigate the London Underground”. Starting their journey in 2015. They quickly realized the potential of what they were undertaking went far beyond the scope of their initial purpose. Last month Wayfindr published version 2.0 of their Open Standard.  Here is the update and the vision we share.

Wayfindr’ s Open Standard is an approved international standard by the International Telecommunications Union as ITU-T F.921.

Why an Open Standard?

When individuals and organizations get behind a purposeful vision, solutions to what previously seemed like big challenges become attainable.

The aim is that this Open Standard will help lower the barrier for built-environment owners and digital navigation services to make their environments, products and services inclusive from the outset as we continue to weave technology into our cities

Once the Open Standard is adopted across the built-environment and digital navigation services alike, vision impaired people will benefit from a consistent, reliable and seamless navigation experience.

Emerging indoor navigation technologies such as Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) Beacons and 5G hold the key to opening the world for vision impaired people. However, to achieve the greatest impact globally, there is a pressing need to develop a consistent standard to be implemented across wayfinding systems. This will truly open up a world where vision impaired people are no longer held back by their sight loss, removing barriers to employment, to seeing friends and family and engaging in their community.

The Wayfindr Open Standard aims to do just that. As the Open Standard develops it will give venue owners and digital navigation services the tools to implement high quality, consistent, audio wayfinding solutions. It includes an open-source demo app that enables people who download it to use BLE beacons to understand and implement the open standard with real users, in real contexts, in real time.

The Directors of Gateway Navigation and our Canadian Council of the Blind advisors support the work and open standard concept being undertaken by Wayfindr. We encourage all stakeholders to support the standards and best practices published in version 2.0…Through collaboration, partnership and advocacy stakeholders all play a vital role in developing accessible audio indoor navigation solutions that are consistent and repeatable regionally, nationally and globally.

Click on the link for more information on Wayfindr version 2.0:www.wayfindr.net

Action – BC / RHF Accessibility Grant

Read how you can help initiate accessibility, inclusion and independence in your local community. By supporting and advocating for the installation and deployment of accessible audio indoor navigation projects.

“Creating livable communities begins with integrating accessibility into everything we do, our workplaces, buildings, neighbourhoods and businesses. This is the province I believe in and want to help build – a place where everyone can contribute and help make our communities inclusive, welcoming, and vibrant.” BC Premier Horgan

In the spirit of the Premier’s vision of building accessible, inclusive communities for all people. The Government of British Columbia is funding two programs designed to improve universal access in communities across the Province.

Through $9 million in provincial funding, the Rick Hansen Foundation (RHF) has launched two new programs to improve accessibility for British Columbians.

“When we remove the physical barriers, we create communities where everyone feels welcome. We are pleased to support the Rick Hansen Foundation with this initiative where together we can build a better B.C. for people of all abilities to be able to live, work and play,” said Shane Simpson, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction.

With the provincial funding, the Rick Hansen Foundation has developed the Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Certification (RHFAC) and the BC Accessibility Grants Program. RHFAC is a LEED-style system to rate accessibility for retail, commercial, institutional and multi-family residential buildings. Provincial funding is enabling approximately 1,100 free accessibility ratings within British Columbia, until March 2019.

Once rated, organizations will be eligible to apply for B.C. accessibility grants of up to $20,000 to use toward accessibility improvements. All projects will provide people with disabilities increased access and opportunities related to workspaces, health and fitness, arts and culture, and education. The upcoming round of B.C. accessibility grant applications must be submitted by May 31, 2018.

Gateway Navigation CCC Limited is a Community Contribution Company in partnership with the Canadian Council of the Blind. Our objective of being involved in accessible audio indoor navigation projects are to:

  • Uphold and contribute to the UN Telecommunications recognized (Wayfindr) open standard in the design, installation and maintenance of pilots and projects.
  • Share venue data so all app developers can include the venue in their app database. Allowing users to select the app that provides them with the best experience for their individual needs.
  • Facilitate engagement with stakeholders inside and outside of the local communities in raising awareness on the benefits and value the technology offers.
  • Identify and implement training and employment opportunities for disabled persons in projects we undertake.

Gateway is dedicated to improving the accessibility of interior spaces for members of the blind and visually impaired community in Canada. Just as smart phone-based GPS has made exterior navigation easier for everyone, so Gateway supports wireless network solutions that will make all buildings more accessible to all those who cannot read signage or interpret other visual wayfinding cues.

Unlike GPS, interior navigation systems of a similar kind must be established one building at a time. Through the Accessibility Grant Program, we have a path to accelerate the deployment and recognition on the value this technology brings to our communities.

The current BC / RHF funding provides the opportunity to raise awareness and accelerate acceptance of this empowering technology. Through engaging venue partners to be accessibility champions.

However, it is vital for those who share our vision. To advocate our message to stakeholders and venue owners and operators in their local communities. Stressing the importance of building accessible audio indoor navigation environments. Benefiting seniors, new immigrant’s, people with vision loss and many others. Building – a place where everyone can contribute and help make our communities inclusive, welcoming, and vibrant

Next Step

For more information, provide feedback or venues we can contact to participate in the Accessibility Grant Program for the installation of accessible audio indoor navigation click here..

Or contact: David Brun

Gateway Navigation CCC Limited

Email: david@gnc3.com

Mobile: 604.499.4818

To unsubscribe GNC3 Newsletter: Accessible Audio Indoor Navigation click here

End of Newsletter