Category Archives: Norquest

GTT Edmonton Summary Notes, CSUN Report, Educational Materials, and Training, March 13, 2017

Summary Notes
GTT Edmonton Meeting March 13, 2017

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

March Topics – CSUN Report, Educational Materials, and Training
California State University at Northridge (CSUN) Conference Report
A new GTT member Stu Starkey returned from last week’s CSUN Assistive Technology conference in San Diego California and gave us a rundown on some of the hot products and new technologies he had a chance to see.
OrCam
OrCam Technologies presents the world’s most advanced wearable assistive technology device for people who are blind, visually impaired, or have a reading or other disabilities. OrCam MyEye instantly and discreetly communicates visual information by utilizing a small, intuitive smart camera mounted on the wearer’s eyeglass frame. The breakthrough artificial vision device reads any printed text – from any surface – recognizes faces and identifies products
and money notes. OrCam gives independence.
Website: http://www.orcam.comm

Aira – Visual Interpreter for the Blind
Aira offers an innovative, on-demand service designed to help blind and low-vision users gain mobility and independence via live streaming and wearable technologies. It provides personalized assistance from orientation and mobility experts who can be trained Aira Agents, family members, or friends. Our experts, backed by state-of-the art technology, serve as visual interpreters and navigators for our users, helping them accomplish a wide range of daily tasks and activities.
Website: https:// aira.io/

Second Sight Medical Products
Second Sight Medical Products is the developer and manufacturer of the Argus II® Retinal Prosthesis System – the first and only approved long-term therapy for people living with advanced Retinitis Pigmentosa in the U.S. Argus II is designed to restore some level of vision to people who are profoundly blind and provide them with increases in orientation and mobility skills and is intended to increase their independence and quality of life by restoring their
ability to see objects and motion.
website: http://www.secondsight.com
Video describing one person’s experience with the Argus II https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WhYe6REdljw

Orion I
For those who are not suitable candidates for the Argus II, Second Sight has developed a new product called the Orion I. it is described as a wireless Visual Cortical Prosthesis. instead of implanting electrodes on the Retina, this bypasses the optic nerve and directly stimulates the brain’s visual cortex. Here is their press release from their recent successful proof of concept clinical trial:
http://investors.secondsight.com/releasedetail.cfm?releaseid=995211

More About CSUN 2017
most of the above descriptions are taken from the CSUN website, you can find much more information about these, as well as all the products and sessions at their website:
https://www.csun.edu/cod/conference/2017/rebooking/index.php/public/exhibitors/index/page:3

Educational Materials for our Chapter
We thank the Edmonton Blind Curling Club who have generously provided us a grant for training purposes. We used some of the grant to purchase a total of 29 audio tutorials and e-textbooks. These materials have been distributed via download links. The 6 most popular choices were:
• 4 x Mystic Access audio tutorial for Google Suite of products
• 4 x NV Access Basic audio tutorial for NVDA
• 3 x Mystic Access audio tutorial for Victor Reader Stream
• 3 x Access Technology Institute Word 2016 with JAWS textbook
• 3 x Access Technology Institute Excel 2016 with JAWS textbook
• 3 x National Braille Press Getting Started with the iPhone and iOS 10 text book

One-On-One Training
• The donation from the Edmonton Blind Curling Club also allowed us to provide another training session at the Norquest computer lab on March 2. Two people had basic training on Zoomtext and 3 others on JAWS. We are delighted that the 3 JAWS trainees were junior high students!
• At the March 13 meeting, we also provided basic Victor Reader Stream training to two people.

Next Meeting (Monday April 10 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, 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 Edmonton Summary Notes, Google Classroom and Computer Training, February 13, 2017

Summary Notes
GTT Edmonton Meeting February 13, 2017

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

February Topics – Google Classroom Demo and Education/Training

Google Classroom Demo
Owais, a junior high school student member of our chapter, demonstrated how he uses the Google Classroom app on his iPhone in conjunction with his BrailleSense. Google Classroom was designed together with teachers to help them save time, keep classes organized, and improve communication with students.
With this tool Owais can keep track of his assignments, post them for teacher review, his teacher can return with edits, and Owais can formally turn in the completed assignment. He can do all the work in braille both creating documents and reviewing them. Owais showed us the remarkable capability of young blind students who are both braille and technology literate.

JAWS Screen Readers and Students
After Owais finished his demo a discussion ensued whether students need to also learn Windows computers with screen readers such as JAWS or whether they can continue their education and employment using only braille notetakers such as the Braillesense or BrailleNote. The consensus from our blind team is that both are needed and students should aim to be familiar with Windows and Microsoft Office during high school and certainly before entering college/university. Also, Windows computers with Office are the most prevalent computers used in business and industry so mastering the Windows environment is essential for future employment.

Funding for JAWS
A question was posed about funding assistance for JAWS. Two possibilities:
1. CNIB. CNIB clients may qualify for the CNIB STEP program funding. If so, the STEP program would pay 75% of the JAWS purchase price which is currently $1185.
2. ASVI. the Alberta Society for the Visually Impaired (ASVI) Northern Alberta Chapter offers funding to provide assistive technology equipment and software for members ages 18 and under, if a qualified professional has recommended it, such as the student’s vision consultant. ASVI is only able to provide this funding through the generous donation of time and effort by its board, parents, and volunteers. Interested parents and individuals are asked to consider helping by volunteering their time by serving on the Executive, or helping at the ASVI fundraisers. More information about the application process can be found here:
http://www.asviedmonton.org/funding.html
P.S. ASVI is seeking volunteers for their upcoming casino fundraiser on March 16-17. Please email info@asviedmonton.org

Educational Materials for our Chapter
We thank the Edmonton Blind Curling Club who have generously provided us a grant that we may use to purchase educational materials and help with training. We will use the grant this year and next to purchase technology related tutorials and text books. Soon we will send a list of possible tutorials and text books to those listed on our email list. You may look through the email and respond to let us know which tutorials or text books might help you. Watch this space!

One-On-One Training
The donation from the Edmonton Blind Curling Club also allows us to provide another training session at the Norquest computer lab. This will happen on March 2. At the February 13 meeting, we registered 3 people for JAWS training and 2 for Zoomtext. We are delighted that the 3 JAWS registrants are all students!

Next Meeting (Monday March 13 at 7pm)
• Currently we have no volunteer demonstrations.
• We will focus on 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 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]