GTT Toronto Summary Notes for the 2017 Fall and 2018 Spring Seasons are Now Available Online

Summary Notes

 

GTT Toronto Adaptive Technology User Group

Posted on August 13, 2018

 

An Initiative of the Canadian Council of the Blind

In Partnership with the CNIB

 

Thanks to Ian White and Jason Fayre for managing and facilitating the GTT Toronto Group we now have access to the great Summary Notes from their entire list of past meetings.

 

GTT Toronto Summary Notes 2017 and 2018

 

 Upcoming Meetings:

  • Next Meeting: Thursday, September 20 at 6pm
  • Location: CNIB Community Hub space at 1525 Yonge Street, just 1 block north of St Clair on the east side of Yonge, just south of Heath.
  • Meetings are held on the third Thursday of the month at 6pm.

 

GTT Toronto Adaptive Technology User Group Overview:

  • GTT Toronto is a chapter of the Canadian Council of the Blind (CCB).
  • GTT Toronto 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 across Canada as well as a national GTT monthly toll free teleconference. You may subscribe to the National GTT blog to get email notices of teleconferences and notes from other GTT chapters. Visit:

http://www.gttprogram.wordpress.com/

There is a form at the bottom of that web page to enter your email.

 

GTT Edmonton Summary Notes, Taking Pics with iPhone, June 11, 2018

Summary Notes

GTT Edmonton Meeting June 11, 2018

 

The most recent meeting of the Get Together with Technology (GTT) Edmonton Chapter was held June 11at 7pm at Ascension Lutheran Church 8405 83 Street in Edmonton.

14 people attended.

Reading Tip: These summary notes apply HTML headings to help navigate the document. With screen readers, you may press the H key to jump forward or Shift H to jump backward from heading to heading.

 

June Topics –Taking Pictures/Videos with iPhone

 

iPhone Pictures and Videos

Huseyn, a Grade 4 student, provided the members with an overview of how he uses his iPhone 6 to take pictures and videos.  Some of the suggestions that Huseyn provided regarding the use of his iPhone camera are as follows:

  • Use the Camera app to take both pictures and videos. All controls in the camera app are fully accessible.
  • Use the Camera Mode button to choose between taking a photo or video.
  • Use the Camera Chooser to select either the front or back facing camera.
  • Activate the Take Picture button or Record Video button depending on whether you select photo or video mode.
  • There is a button to stop the video recording or you may double tap with two fingers.
  • Take a still photo and text the image to a friend for interpretation.
  • Use the video to record a presentation or even a conversation – as then you can re-listen to it at a later date or show it to friends to “prove your point”.
  • Take a selfie.
  • The slow-mo feature of the camera is fun to use.

 

Some of the general commands that Huseyn demonstrated are as follows:

  • Touch or slide your finger around the home screen and VoiceOver tells you the names of every app.
  • Touch a button or icon to hear its label. The last label you hear can then be activated by double tapping with one finger.
  • Instead of sliding your finger around the screen you may also Flick left and right with one finger to move back and forth between elements.
  • Huseyn noted that the WhatsApp was a good app to download for messaging and free phone calls.  Huseyn uses it to communicate with his Grandfather.

 

New at CELA – Magazine Subscriptions

Gerry noted CELA Library now offers the ability to subscribe to any of their 150 magazines. You need to call customer service (1-855-655-2273) to set up your subscriptions. Once you are subscribed, the corresponding magazine will be automatically added to your Direct to Player bookshelf when each issue is available.

 

iPhone Gestures

Gerry took a small group to demo and discuss basic iPhone gestures.

  • Gerry reviewed basic gestures as previously summarized in the February 2018 meeting notes.
  • Gerry also covered the 3 finger gestures. Swipe up or down with 3 fingers to scroll up or down through a long web page or document. Swipe left or right with 3 fingers to scroll the screen left or right such as moving between the various pages of the home screen.
  • The app switcher was also discussed. It lists all the open apps on your phone. You reach the app switcher with a double click of the Home button.
  • In the app switcher a 3 finger scroll up is a shortcut to close the app. It is a good idea to close apps from the app switcher as this reduces memory usage and improves battery life. Also, if an app is misbehaving it may help to go to the app switcher and close that app then relaunch the app.
  • Be careful with the 3 finger gesture because if you accidentally double tap with 3 fingers this turns off speech. If your speech goes silent try double tapping with 3 fingers to turn speech back on.
  • The gesture help screen is a good place to practice gestures. Each gesture you perform will be announced as well as its purpose. This helps you to confirm that your gestures are interpreted correctly by the phone. To quickly reach the help practice screen, tap twice with 4 fingers. To leave the help practice screen again double tap with 4 fingers.

 

Next Meeting (Monday September 10 at 7pm)

  • We will break for the summer and meet again the second Monday of September. Have a great summer!
  • 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 across Canada as well as a national GTT monthly toll free teleconference. You may subscribe to the National GTT blog to get email notices of teleconferences and notes from other GTT chapters. Visit:

http://www.gttprogram.wordpress.com/

To subscribe, use the form at the bottom of that web page to enter your email.

 

National GTT Email Support List

CCB sponsors a GTT email support list to provide help and support with technology for blind and low vision Canadians.  To subscribe to the email list, send an empty email to:

GTTsupport+subscribe@groups.io

 

[End of Document]

 

 

GTT-Tech-Ease Regina Summary Notes, Accessible Games and Access2Entertainment Card, May 26, 2018

Tech-Ease/ Get Together with Technology

Regina Drop-In Meeting

Summary Notes

May 26, 2018

 

Sponsored by Vision Impaired Resource Network (VIRN),

Canadian Council of the Blind (CCB)

And the

Regina Public Library

 

Assistive Technology Peer Support by and for people who are blind/low vision

 

In Attendance: 9 members; Amber, Michelle, Doug, Barry, Wes, Jerome, Lori, Donna, Patti-Lynn

 

Access 2 Entertainment Card:

https://access2card.ca/

– 3 years for $20, 5 years for $30

– Through the Easter Seals Website or Access 2 Entertainment website

– Send in copy of CNIB card as proof to get an Access 2 Card

– The list of places that accept the card can be found here: https://access2card.ca/participating-venues/?province=9

 

Notes from Michelle “Accees 2 card info. For GTT”

http://access2card.ca

The Access 2 card is for people of all ages and types of permanent disabilities who require the assistance of a support person at hundreds of participating entertainment, cultural and recreational venues across Canada.

 

A support person is an adult who accompanies a person with a permanent disability to assist with services that are not provided by the employees at the participating venue, such as assistance with eating, administering medication, communication and use of the facilities.

The Access 2 cardholder (the individual with a permanent disability) presents the Access 2 card to a venue.

 

The Access 2 cardholder pays  regular admission price.

 

The Access 2 cardholder receives 1 FREE ADMISSION for their support person)

Movie theaters throughout the province are:

Cineplex..  Landmark cinima  .  Rainbow theaters.  Magic Lantern theaters.

 

Places in Regina:

Vendors. Royal Saskatchewan Museum. RCMP Heritage Museum..

Cineplex Odeon Theatres. Southland mall.  Galaxy Theater. Or whatever they’re called now. In Norman view Shopping Center.

Rainbow theaters Golden Mile..

Moose Jaw Vendors:

Tunnels of Moose Jaw. Western development Museum…

 

Saskatoon Vendors:

Fitness on 25th. YMCA.

Western development Museum Saskatoon..

Forestry farm and Zoo..

 

North Battleford:

Western development Museum.

http://access2card.ca/apply-first-time/

 

How to Apply:

STEP 1

FILL OUT APPLICATION

Complete “Section B – Applicant Information” (ensuring to check off the “New Card” box). The form can be found below.

 

Complete “Section C – Health Care Professional Authorization”. This section is to be completed by an authorized healthcare professional. Please refer to Section C for a list of accepted health care professionals…

For those that have a valid cnib  client. number. Just a photocopy attached to the application is sufficient.

 

Complete “Section D – Administration Fee Payment”.

 

STEP 2

MAKE PAYMENT

Payment can be made online with a credit card, Visa debit card or PayPal account.

OR

A cheque or money order can be mailed to our office.

Please refer to Section D of the application form for payment details. Paying online is highly recommended – as you will receive your card much faster.

 

MEMBERSHIP PRICES (2 options)

$20 for a new 3-year card

OR

$30 for a new 5-year card.

PAY ONLINE.

 

STEP 3

SUBMIT YOUR APPLICATION

There are three ways you can submit your application: by mail, fax, or e-mail.

Submit Sections B, C, and D.

For all faxed or e-mailed applications, the  administration fee must be paid online before sending your application.

Mailed applications must include a cheque or money order along with the application, or they can be paid online before mailing.

There is a spot on Section D of the application form to indicate your payment confirmation code if paid online. This code is e-mailed to you after an online payment has been made.

Submit application online.

 

CNIB Photo ID Card:

We also discussed the advantages of showing your CNIB card if you ever go to Disneyland as they will allow you a fast pass for the rides.

 

Saskatchewan Identification card:

Issued from SGI:

– It is valid for 5 years and is $10

– It looks like a driver’s license but the colours are a bit different

– It acts as ID all the places a driver’s license would be asked for

 

Accessible Games (iOS, unless otherwise noted):

– Dice Games – across the world P2P, works with voice-over, Android & iOS

– Blindscape – an RPG, controlled with gestures on screen, is self voicing

– Blind Legend – an RPG – Medieval themed, kill off the royalty as a blind man with the help of your daughter, the king wants you dead because you are blind and you must live, free game

– Blindfold Games – vast list of games, so many are free and then you pay for them, the list of other games to download comes with the first game you download and you can click links from there to get the rest, Marty Shultz is the designer and he tries to keep things free, KidSolitaire is the company, examples of games in it include: ping pong, pool, car racing, bowling, solitaire, candy crush, etc.

– Audio Games Hub – iOS or Android – variety of different games, you pay $30 for unlimited access to the games, games include: Bombs Disarmer, Simon Says, Archer, Hunt, Fruit Ninja, Tetris, Labyrinth, Bejeweled, etc.

– Trivia Crack – is not designed specifically for blind but works well with Voice Over, iOS & Android, Trivia Crack Kingdoms we have not tested so don’t know how accessible it is

– Blind Cricket – hard to play, but accessible

– Cribbage Pro – is not designed specifically for blind but works well with Voice Over

 

Notes from Michelle “Some accessible games for GTT”:

– Crafting kingdom

– Dice world

– Blind fold series

– Black jack and solitare. .  By Mobility ware

– Zany touch. Or Zany Touch free

– Papa sangra  1 &2

– Blind  legend

– Audio defense

– Where’s my rubber ducky. Audio archery

– Mine sweeper

– De steno games

– Audio game hub

– Cribbage pro

– For almost a year now OSeyeris has been working on an Audio game for the blind and vision impaired

 

PC Games:

– RS Games – on PC or web based – P2P type games – Monopoly, Scrabble, Uno, etc.

– There are a variety of MUD & MMORPG text based games that are accessible by merit of being text based

 

Physical Games – Games that have tactile or Braille options:

– Braille cards

– Braille Uno

– Braille Monopoly

– Braille Scrabble

– Tactile MasterMind

– Jump a peg, tactile peg jumping game

– Cards Against Humanity has a Braille overlay pack through 64 ounce games, they also offer a blind pack with blind based cards

– Dominoes is always VI friendly due to it’s tactile nature

– Tactile Battleship

– Tactile Chess/Checkers

 

Announcement from the Library:

– The library now has a lending library of musical instruments, please ask at circulation desk to find out what’s available

– These will only be available 2 week loan at a time

– No mouth piece instruments are available

 

Next Meeting:

– June 23, last meeting before summer, we will meet again in September

– It was suggested we go for a coffee or snack as a group, location to be decided, after the meeting

– The topic of our next meeting will be “Year in Review” we will go over all the topics we have discussed since September, please review and bring any questions

– We will also discuss our favourite Podcasts, please send any info you want to share to Amber ahead of time to be read or please prepare shot descriptions of eadch Podcasts to share

– We will also discuss (time permitting) new and interesting technology for blind and partially sighted individuals

– Saskatoon is welcome to join via Facebook Messenger, we will mute the call until we are ready to get started as there was some confusion about that last time

 

Connect with us:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GTTTechEaseRegina/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/techeasesk

Tech-Ease YQR YXE (@techeasesk) | Twitter

twitter.com

The latest Tweets from Tech-Ease YQR YXE (@techeasesk). Are you Visually impaired, Related to someone visually impaired, or an educator of someone visually impaired …

 

Tech-Ease/ Get Together with Technology Regina Drop-In Meeting Summary Notes, Accessible Shopping & Banking, April 28, 2018

Tech-Ease/ Get Together with Technology

Regina Drop-In Meeting

Summary Notes

April 28, 2018

 

Sponsored by Vision Impaired Resource Network (VIRN),

Canadian Council of the Blind (CCB)

And the

Regina Public Library

 

Assistive Technology Peer Support by and for people who are blind/low vision

 

In attendance: 11 Participants. Amber, Doug, Michelle, Kari (RPL), Camille, Wes, Donna, Lori, Anna, Barry, Jerome

 

Today’s topic: Accessible Shopping & Banking

 

 

Accessible Shopping:

We discussed pros & cons of online shopping in general

Pros: Fast, convenient, don’t have to go out and get help, don’t have to navigate new spaces or remember familiar ones, sometimes there are deals online that aren’t in the store, don’t have to haul things home from store or get a cab

 

Cons: Can’t see online pictures and descriptions aren’t always great, can’t try on clothes to make sure they fit, can’t feel fabrics, many only take credit cards, aren’t exactly sure what you’ll get

 

We discussed examples of online vendors that people in the room have used, the following is notes on each online vendor we discussed, I have tried to group them by type.

 

Online Only Vendors:

Amazon – $30 and then free shipping on all of their items, they have 3rd party vendors that should be avoided, can only use credit card at this time,  there is a disability support area you can contact if you need help due to accessibility and they are very helpful (https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/accessibility?ie=UTF8&ref_=s9_acss_bw_cg_a11ymcro_md1_w&skip=true or http://www.amazon.ca/access ), they have a great return policy as you can just put box in mail return to sender, they also work with people when there are problems to resolve them, you can call their customer service as well for help: 1-877-586-3230

Amazon.ca: Online shopping in Canada – books, electronics, Kindle, home & garden, DVDs, tools, music, health & beauty, watches, baby, sporting goods & more

www.amazon.ca

Amazon.ca: Online shopping in Canada – books, electronics, Kindle, home & garden, DVDs, tools, music, health & beauty, watches, baby, sporting goods & more. Free two-day shipping with Amazon Prime.

 

 

Zulily – Mostly clothes, sizes tend to run small, great deals, good return policy, takes a long time to arrive as they come from Asian countries primarily

 

Facebook Ads that lead to vendors – Hit or miss, many aren’t checked, a few of us have never received products from these and been ripped off the money

 

Stores that have online options:

Chapters – They will deliver to your house or the store, if you choose the store and there is any problem with it they can return your money in store. If you go to the store to purchase something and they don’t have it they will assist you to order it in via the webstore, can use credit card or paypal

 

Toys R Us – They have a lot more options online, they will deliver to the house and you can return in store or by mailing back if there is any problem, there are often deals online they don’t have in store and better prices

 

Wal-Mart – Can deliver to you or to the store, they can return in store if there is a problem with anything, more selection online, online does tell you if the item is available locally but it is not always accurate

 

Costco – Good for a variety of products, you can return in store, they ship right to your house or the store, some good deals online, saves having to deal with crowds in store, you still need a Costco membership to shop online

 

Best Buy – The accessibility of the site is not great, the mobile version is better than web version, they will help in store with website if they don’t have product in-store you are looking for

 

Quarks – They have more selection and better deals online but it is better to go in to store to try on shoes for sizing before ordering online

 

Online Marketplaces:

eBay – Is wither an auction site or a buy it now site depending on how you have your preferences set, the auction aspect can be addicting, Hit or miss, depends on the vendor, generally good for small cheap products as they come from online stores in Asian countries, very hit or miss when dealing with individual sellers, always read ratings before choosing who to deal with, long wait times primarily for things to arrive (2+ months), can use credit card or PayPal

 

Etsy – Artisans marketplace primarily for buying crafts and antiques, depends on the vendor, always read their rating before dealing with them, hit and miss for how long items will take to arrive, some items are made to order so make sure you understand what you are buying before you purchase as the expected wait times may be 3+ months, you have to have PayPal to use Etsy

 

Local Grocery Options that Deliver:

A lot of people felt the best way to utilize delivery from stores is to buy the things that are heavy or non-perishable like pop and paper towels and go to the store for the produce themselves

 

Save on Foods – Order online, deliver to your door, it gives you certain windows for deliveries, need a credit card, there is a delivery charge approx. $10

 

Superstore – Does not deliver but does do Click and Collect where you can choose items on-line and then show up in window and they will hand your groceries to you, need a credit card

 

Lakeview Fine Foods – Delivers locally on certain days to certain areas, $14 (ish) delivery charge

 

Walmart – Delivers to your door through their website but not a lot of fresh food options are available online, free delivery on orders over a certain amount (either $30 or $50)

 

Local and Fresh: http://localandfresh.ca/

– Local, fresh, seasonal produce, delivered monthly or more often, credit card online or debit at the door

 

Delivrr: https://www.deliverr.ca/

– Delivers whatever you want, how much you pay is how much you have delivered and how long it takes them to pick it all up, groceries, fast food, liquor, etc.

 

Reach Regina: http://www.reachinregina.ca/

– Delivers “convenience meals” pre-made meals on a weekly or monthly basis, made fresh and then frozen, just defrost, cook and eat, prices and plans vary

– They also have Good Food Box depots around the city to get local fresh, seasonal produce

 

Other notes about shopping:

  • PayPal – PayPal is a way to pay online, your PayPal account is linked to your bank account and/or credit card, it allows you to type in a username and password at checkout online instead of a credit card number, it is very secure and has been around for 15+ years
  • Both Safeway & Sobeys have commitments to help customers who are blind and partially sighted to shop, to take advantage of this the best plan is to call ahead or go during a down time (middle of the afternoon) and go to customer service to receive help with shopping
  • PC Points – offered through Superstore & Shoppers are a great way to earn free groceries, they have an app that goes on the mobile phone or a physical card, for the most part points are accumulated automatically but it is a good idea to check you received all the points you were entitled to after a shopping trip, this can be done online or through the app
  • In some cities Sobeys has a liquor store and it delivers, we don’t have this yet in Regina but it should be happening soon
  • In some cities Superstore delivers as well so keep an eye our for that option here in the future
  • In some cities (Moose Jaw, Saskatoon, etc.) there is a service called Mrs. Grocery that delivers, keep an eye out for this service coming here

 

Accessible Banking:

  • The main 5 banks have a commitment to accessibility: TD, Scotiabank, RBC, CIBC & Bank of Montreal
    • Because of this they have accessible ATM machines that have a place to plug in headphones so that the banking experience is audible
  • The mom & pop banks (like Conexus, Teachers, Affinity, etc.) do not have the same commitment but they often offer better customer service to help those with needs
  • All banks offer things like RDSPs, RRSPs and TFSAs, the bigger banks may not be as accessible in getting these things as the smaller mom and pop banks are.
    • Both RBC & Scotia have a phone line to help set up RDSPs
  • Some investment companies like Sunlife and Mackenzie group offer RDSPs, TFSAs, RRSPs, etc. and it may be advisable to go with one of these as the financial advisor will often come right tot your home

 

Some other items of note from today’s meeting:

  • The Regina Public Library has 18 Victor Stratus machines for loan, if you would like to borrow one please contact Outreach at the downtown library
  • By 2019  CELA will partner with Book share so even more titles will be available to CELA patrons
  • Sobeys is getting talking prescription labels, to find out more talk to your local Sobeys pharmacist

 

Nest Meeting:

will be Saturday May 26, we will also be meeting in June before our summer hiatus. The topic for the May meeting will be Accessible Games, mostly online, but also physical games will be discussed. We will also be discussing the Access 2 Entertainment card***

 

Connect with us:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GTTTechEaseRegina/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/techeasesk

Tech-Ease YQR YXE (@techeasesk) | Twitter

twitter.com

The latest Tweets from Tech-Ease YQR YXE (@techeasesk). Are you Visually impaired, Related to someone visually impaired, or an educator of someone visually impaired …

 

 

 

GTT National Conference Call Summary Notes, NuEyes Smart Glasses, May 9, 2018

GTT National Conference Call.

 

An Initiative of the Canadian Council of the Blind

 

Summary Notes

 

May 9, 2018

 

Attendance: 12 participants.

Theme: NuEyes Smart Glasses

 

Rajish from NuEyes Presented about their device:

 

Removable smart glasses, US based California designed for military by two vets.

From 2X to 12X magnification

 

Watch TV, distance and close-up

125 grams, light weight. Looks like ordinary sunglasses.   There is a light that can be turned on and off battery pack can last for up to 14 hours with battery pack.

 

Prescription lenses can be inserted to the glasses.

Wireless Bluetooth remote to zoom and operate the camera and light.

 

3 different nose pieces.

Text to speech OCR, capture the image so the book doesn’t have to be held.  Change the colours and mirror the image for better contrast.

Headphone jack and Charging ports are magnetic.

Does it de-colonize, no.

64 GB of internal storage for photos and text.

Bluetooth speaker or headphones can be used, as there is no built-in speaker on the device.

Glasses will last up to 2 hours if fully charged.

There is a YouTube presentation for this device.

Best for Mac Degen, best for vision of 40/600 or better.

 

OCR happens in milliseconds.

OCR voice can be adjusted, for gender  and fast or slow.

Text size can be adjusted, as well as black on white or white on black.

Remote is about 2 inches and attaches to the finger with a strap.

Verbal commands for increasing and decreasing magnification.  Verbally request the glasses capture the image before you.

Controls on the bottom of the glasses for adjusting magnification.

30 degrees field of view with the glasses.

Auto light adjustment for bright or dark rooms.

NuEyes is primarily a magnification device with OCR features added.

It will magnify or OCR text on a wall like menus.

Firmware upgrades are pushed to the glasses when connected to Wi-Fi.

It can read bar codes as well, only when connected to Wi-Fi.

Scans QR codes, however not yet completely developed yet.

$8,595 CDN

NuEyes is more streamlined and less obtrusive when worn in public.

Funding programs, hoping that funding with loans through the company which will allow for monthly payments.

Not available through ADP in Ontario.

Based in California, and Rajish is in Toronto.

No current resellers in Canada, besides Rajish.

2 year warrantee.

Glasses are tested in harsh conditions and are built by a military contractor.

Android platform, with Facebook, Google Maps, Twitter and YouTube features to come.

Will it be able to install the BeMyEyes app from the Google Play Store? Not yet.

 

GTT National Conference Call Overview

  • GTT National Conference Call is a monthly discussion group of the Canadian Council of the Blind (CCB).
  • GTT National Conference Calls promote a self-help learning experience by holding monthly meetings to present and discuss new and emerging assistive technology.
  • Each meeting consists of a feature technology topic, along with questions and answers about assistive technology.
  • Participants are encouraged to attend each meeting even if they are not interested in the feature topic because questions on any technology are welcome. The more participants the better able we will be equipped with the talent and experience to help each other.
  • There are GTT groups across Canada as well as an email distribution list where assistive technology questions are provided by participants. You may also 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.

 

National GTT Email Support List

CCB sponsors a GTT email support list to provide help and support with technology for blind and low vision Canadians.  To subscribe to the email list, send an empty email to:

GTTsupport+subscribe@groups.io

 

[End of Document]

 

 

 

GTT Edmonton Summary Notes, MAC vs Windows Computers and iPhone, May 14, 2018

Summary Notes

GTT Edmonton Meeting May 14, 2018

 

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

17 people attended.

Reading Tip: These summary notes apply HTML headings to help navigate the document. With screen readers, you may press the H key to jump forward or Shift H to jump backward from heading to heading.

 

May Topics –MAC vs. Windows Computers and iPhone

 

MAC vs. Windows PC Discussion

There are several things to keep in mind when you are in the market for a new computer. The following are some considerations:

 

  • What do your friends and/or family use?  These are the people you will turn to for assistance. Are they a Mac or PC user?

 

  • What are you going to use the computer for? Most employers use Windows PC and Microsoft Office.

 

  • Microsoft Office works well on a MAC, too.

 

  • BrailleNote Touch works with both PC and MAC.

 

  • A MAC computer is more expensive than a PC. However, voiceover is built in and if you use a screen reader you do not need the expense of paying for JAWS.

 

  • On the other hand, you can get the NVDA screen reader (by a small donation) and it works with Windows.

 

  • If you are buying a new computer for a specific purpose, e.g. work or school, make sure you have enough time to become proficient with it before you need to use it for that purpose.

 

  • The built-in magnification on Windows is very good and in some respects is better than the magnifying program ZoomText.

 

  • One caution with MAC is that the operating system is colour-based and if you have some vision this can be overwhelming.

 

Russell’s MAC Experience

  • In 2009 Russell bought an iMac. At first, he was frustrated with all the interacting one had to do on the Mac, but after a while, it became second nature.
  • One concern Russell did have with the Mac is that Voiceover, the built-in screen reader on the Mac, did not let the user know when text was formatted in a heading style. This has recently change though, and in High Sierra, the latest Mac OS, and the latest version of Pages, the Apple equivalent of Microsoft Word, VoiceOver does now announce when text is formatted in a heading style.
  • Websites are easy to browse on the Mac with either Safari or Chrome. You can navigate by headings, links, visited links, etc. There is also a “Quick Nav” setting that allows single-letter navigation, so you can navigate a website by headings by pressing just the letter “H”, just as you can do on the Windows side using Jaws or NVDA.
  • Russell said he considers the Mac to be as accessible to a blind person as is Windows but did warn that there was no accessible database program for the Mac so, if a user had need of a database program, the Mac might not be the way to go.
  • Another factor that might prevent someone from purchasing a Mac is that a Mac computer usually costs quite a bit more than a Windows machine. This might be offset a little by the durability of a Mac. Russell purchased his iMac in 2009 and used it for 8 years without much of a noticeable slowdown till the last year.
  • Russell advised that if a blind person was looking to purchase a new computer, they shouldn’t be afraid to purchase a Mac because of accessibility concerns. The main thing is to think about what you will be doing with the computer, how much you are willing to spend, and then go out and try both platforms to see which you like better. If you are currently a Windows user, and plan to move to a Mac, there is quite a steep learning curve, so don’t purchase a Mac a week before beginning University or college courses.

 

Laptop versus Desktop

 

Some things for you to ponder as you decide about buying a laptop or a desktop:

 

  • What will you be using your computer for? If you will be using it mainly for email and web browsing, then a laptop will do. If you will be using your computer constantly, especially in one location, then you should probably get a desktop.

 

  • How much do you want to spend? A desktop priced around $300. – $400. will be about the equivalent of a $1000. laptop.

 

  • The keyboard on a laptop is smaller and may not have a built-in number pad which is necessary for navigating the screen with JAWS.

 

  • It is good to have some separation between the groups of function keys, so you don’t press the wrong ones.

 

  • It is also good to have space around the cursor cross keys, so you can quickly find them.

 

  • If you elect to buy a laptop you can still buy a full-sized keyboard and a large monitor to connect to your laptop.

 

  • When you buy a computer the F1-F12 function keys are often pre-set to special laptop functions.  This is not good for non-mouse users because many Windows functions require the F1-F12 keys (e.g. Alt+F4 to close programs, F2 to rename files etc.). To allow them to behave as normal Windows F1-F12 functions you may need to reset them in the laptop settings or get your vendor to reset them.

 

  • Laptops are more expensive to repair.

 

  • How much will you be moving around?

 

  • Desktops are generally faster although most of us don’t need the speed to do simple computing such as email, browsing, document writing.

 

  • Desktops are becoming smaller – now you can carry around a desktop and plug it into a monitor.

 

  • You can get breakage insurance if you think it is worthwhile.

 

 

iPhone Gestures

Gerry took a small group to demo and discuss iPhone gestures related to the rotor and text entry/editing.

  • The rotor gesture consists of using 2 fingers or 2 thumbs to make a small clockwise or counter clockwise rotating motion on the screen. Each rotation navigates through a contextual menu of options and each of these options has a submenu of choices that can be selected by flicking up or down with one finger.
  • For example, the rotor menu items might be characters, words, headings, speech rate, language and so on. If you were browsing a web page and you rotated to the Heading menu then you would flick up or down with one finger to jump forward or backward to headings on the web page. If you rotated to the Speech Rate menu you would then flick up or down with one finger to speed up or reduce the rate of Voice Over speech.
  • The rotor menu is contextual because the menu items change depending which program you are using.
  • You may add, remove, or reorder items on the rotor menu by going to Settings, then General, then Accessibility, then VoiceOver, then Rotor.
  • The rotor is handy for editing typos in dictated text. For example, suppose you are in the text message app focused on the message text field. Double tap with one finger to start edit mode. Now you can double tap with 2 fingers to start dictation, say your message, then double tap with two fingers once more to end your dictation. Now if you hear that there is a mistake in the dictated text you can correct it with the rotor. Rotate on the screen with 2 fingers until you hear the choice called, Words. Now you can flick up or down with one finger to move forward or backward a word at a time to the incorrect word and tap the delete key to erase one character at a time. You may also rotate to the menu choice called, Characters, to navigate the text by character.

 

Next Meeting (Monday June 11 at 7pm)

  • Huseyn has offered to demonstrate how a blind person can use the iPhone to take pictures and record videos.
  • 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 across Canada as well as a national GTT monthly toll free teleconference. You may subscribe to the National GTT blog to get email notices of teleconferences and notes from other GTT chapters. Visit:

http://www.gttprogram.wordpress.com/

To subscribe, use the form at the bottom of that web page to enter your email.

 

National GTT Email Support List

CCB sponsors a GTT email support list to provide help and support with technology for blind and low vision Canadians.  To subscribe to the email list, send an empty email to:

GTTsupport+subscribe@groups.io

 

[End of Document]

 

 

GTT Toronto Summary Notes, Aira Smart Glasses Explained, May 17, 2018

Summary Notes

 

GTT Toronto Adaptive Technology User Group

May 17, 2018

 

An Initiative of the Canadian Council of the Blind

In Partnership with the CNIB

 

The most recent meeting of the Get Together with Technology (GTT) Toronto Group was held on Thursday, May 17 at the CNIB Community Hub.

 

*Note: Reading Tip: These summary notes apply HTML headings to help navigate the document. With screen readers, you may press the H key to jump forward or Shift H to jump backward from heading to heading.

 

May 2018 Topic – Aira Smart Glasses Explained:

 

GTT Toronto May 17, 2018 Meeting Summary can be found at this link:

 

Thanks again to Chris Malec for taking these awesome notes! People may not realize it, but she writes these in real time!

Jason opened the meeting by saying that there was a BlindSquare announcement that many airports will be BlindSquare enabled; they went live today.

Tonight’s meeting is about AIRA, which is newly launching in Canada. Our guests are Greg and Kevin from AIRA.

Len Baker Vice President for Strategic Partnerships and Innovation, spoke on behalf of CNIB. CNIB wants to unleash the power of technology. We want to make sure accessibility is built in to products off the shelf, and to remove cost as a barrier to getting technology into the hands of blind and visually impaired people who need it. This can work first through government eg; the ADP program, then through industry and infrastructure. AIRA, BlindSquare and KeyToAccess are three partnerships that CNIB is involved with to better the lives of its clients. Len’s role in CNIB is to help foster these kinds of partnerships with all kinds of organizations.

Kevin began by explaining that AIRA stands for artificial intelligence remote assistant. You download an ap, then dial up a live agent who can see through your phone camera, or through glasses. The glasses have a camera mounted on the side. Either way, you’ll live stream video to trained agents. These agents provide instant access to information. They’re not meant to replace basic skills, but they can check labels, navigating a new environment, assembling furniture etc. From a navigation point of view, the agent won’t tell you what to do, just give you information.

Greg took over. If you have the ap, you’ll find that all CNIB locations have been AIRA enabled for two days as a trial. The ap will tell you that you’re in an AIRA access location. This means that, whether you have an account or not, you can use the service for free in that location.

The agents are heavily screened. We get thousands of applicants, and are very strict in the hiring process. The agents are trained to think like a pair of eyes, not like a brain. Their job is to tell you what they see, not what they think, or what you should do.

Greg then did a demo. He opened the ap. He immediately got a notification saying that he could call for free, because he’s in a “free access” location, i.e. the CNIB. AIRA has been partnering with many organizations and businesses to do this, airports for example. He tapped on the “call AIRA for free” button. Greg asked the agent for a general description. The agent described the room, wall colour, tables, items on the tables, individuals along the edges of the table, artwork on the wall. Greg asked for more detail about what was on the table. The agent replied, “A 1l Sprite bottle, grapes, cheese and crackers.”

Greg then asked the agent to describe what she could see in his profile. She said what they look for are things like whether you use a guide dog or a cane, what level of vision you have, how much detail you prefer in description, and how you prefer to be given directions, clockface verses cardinal directions etc. Greg explained that, when you sign up, you complete a five-minute questionnaire about your preferences, that goes into your profile.

The agents are distributed throughout the U.S. They need to prove that they have a secure, quiet location to work from, and get thorough background checks. The background check includes a criminal background check.

When you sign up, you get a pair of glasses. They connect wirelessly. You can then choose to use the glasses or your phone camera. Navigation tasks or anything you need to have your hands free for, are good choices for using the glasses.

Some users wear their phone on a lanyard, or place it in a pocket with the camera exposed. Many users prefer the phone camera at all times. The phone camera is sharper, and better for reading; the glasses are better for panning.

An agent can invoke a holding period if you’re call is cut off before your task is complete, so that you’ll get the same agent next time. Often, agents will take a photo of something so that they can enlarge it and see it more clearly, or transcribe it into an email and send it to you labelled. Students use it to have blackboard notes transcribed.

When you call in, the agent gets a dashboard. They see your camera image, a Google location map of where you are, and a Google Maps search box, so they can look for something for you. The agents’ ability to multitask is truly impressive. They might be navigating an airport or describing an art installation.

IOS10 or later is what’s required. AIRA has a partnership with ATT, which has global connections. When you sign up in Canada, you get a small My-Fi box that handles all your data, because this takes a lot of bandwidth. You can use Wi-Fi too. It doesn’t use your data if you’re using the glasses, but it does if you’re using your phone camera. The charge on the My-Fi lasts about six hours, and the charge on the glasses lasts about two hours. For $89.00 U.S. you get 100 minutes per month, the glasses, and the My-Fi. This converts to $113 Canadian as of this writing. The calls aren’t recorded, but you can arrange to record a call if you want to. Australia and Canada are the latest new additions, but the UK and Ireland are coming. You can still use it in other countries if you use your phone camera. It’s not clear yet whether AIRA is available in parts of Canada that aren’t covered by Rogers.

An agent can remote into your computer to help you through processes that aren’t accessible to a screen reader. Some users use it for fashion sites, matching etc. At the end of each call you can rate the agent and leave comments. The community is still small enough to be pretty tight, so any bad behavior on the part of an agent would become known pretty quickly.

$329 is unlimited minutes. You can up your plan if you know there’s a month you’ll be needing it a lot. The minimum commitment is one month. Renewal will be automatic, so canceling requires you to take action.

When creating your profile, you can include photos of people important to you, which can help you find them in a crowd. You can ask an agent to favourite pictures, which means they’re kept in your profile. This might be useful for taking a picture of your luggage, to make it easier to find at an airport. You require a phone to use the ap. You can’t use it with just the glasses and My-Fi.

If you sign up today, you should have your glasses within approximately five days. As soon as you sign up however, your account is active, and you can use the service through your phone. The cost is explained by the fact that you’re getting live time with a highly trained professional.

Agents will not speak while you’re crossing a street; this is a very strict policy, from a liability perspective. There’s a slightly gray area: if you’re crossing and missing the kerb they might say something. It’s an information tool, not a safety tool. The explorer agent relationship is emphasized; you can get as much information as you want.

An agent has the right to end a call if they’re not comfortable.

Hearing aids can connect if necessary, and a text communication option is coming. This could be useful not only for hearing impaired users, but for times when you’re in an environment where you can’t speak out loud, but need information. The audio is rooted through your phone, so you can use whatever headphones you choose, or your phone speaker.

AIRA is connected to the prioritizing protocol of ATT, so if you’re in a crowded environment, AIRA calls get prioritized just below emergency data transfer. Users must be 18 or older.

Greg explained that one of the challenges is trying to mediate the social impact of using AIRA, and having the public around you confused by what you’re doing. People will still offer to help, and you have to figure out how to balance that. It makes a different and new kind of social interaction. One solution is to just say you’re on the phone. There’s a sighted-person social cue, point to your ear to indicate that you’re on the phone, and people will go away.

When you sign up, you can gain access to the AIRA community. There’s a mailing list and a Facebook group.

AIRA has partnerships with Uber and Lift. The agent can summon the car for you and help you find the car, or contact the driver for you. Work is in progress to have French-speaking agents available in the future.

You can go right to the AIRA site. There’s a sign-up form. You can download the ap, then find the, become an explorer, button. This will take you to the sign-up process. It’s a choice of whether you want to sign up on the computer or the phone. There’s a referral program. If you refer someone, you each get a free month. Whatever plan you sign up for, is what you’ll get as your second free month.

 

 Upcoming Meetings:

  • Next Meeting: Thursday, June 21 at 6pm
  • Location: CNIB Community Hub space at 1525 Yonge Street, just 1 block north of St Clair on the east side of Yonge, just south of Heath.
  • Meetings are held on the third Thursday of the month at 6pm.

 

GTT Toronto Adaptive Technology User Group Overview:

  • GTT Toronto is a chapter of the Canadian Council of the Blind (CCB).
  • GTT Toronto 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 across Canada as well as a national GTT monthly toll free teleconference. You may subscribe to the National GTT blog to get email notices of teleconferences and notes from other GTT chapters. Visit:

http://www.gttprogram.wordpress.com/

There is a form at the bottom of that web page to enter your email.

 

GTT Victoria Summary Notes, Low Tech Accessible Devices and Apps, May 2, 2018

Get together with Technology (GTT) Victoria

 

A Chapter of the Canadian Council of the Blind

In Partnership with

Greater Victoria Public Library

 

Summary Notes

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

GVPL Main branch, Community Meeting Room

 

The meeting was called to order at 1:00 pm by Albert Ruel

 

Attendance, There were 15 individuals in Attendance. Albert welcomed everyone to the meeting. We were privileged to welcome Kelvin Adams from the Campbell River CCB/GTT chapter (and the newest member of the CCB BC-Yukon Division Board) to our meeting.

 

Albert Gave everyone a brief overview of the 2018 CCB BC-Yukon Division AGM held on April 25th in Langley BC. Both Albert Ruel and Corry Stuive were in attendance. During the afternoon of the AGM a presentation was given on Emergency Preparedness. A lengthy discussion ensued amongst the group including our responsibilities as persons with disabilities, what to put into an emergency kit, where to keep it, etc. Albert stressed his number one takeaway from the CCB AGM session as being, It’s our responsibility to be prepared and as self sufficient as possible. Don’t simply expect the emergency responders to “look after us” just because we have vision issues.

 

Mike Carpenter added a great deal to the conversation including, if possible pack a little extra into a kit to perhaps help another person or two. Keep in mind there might not be cell, Hydro, internet or gas services available so be prepared. Make sure you have lots of water, food, medicine, some money and don’t forget your pets. Ham radio might in fact be one, if not the only source of communication still available in the event of really big emergencies.

 

The Nationwide Emergency Alert that will be tested next week was also discussed. The test in BC will take place on May 9th at 1:55pm. All radio, television and cell phones (connected to an LTE network) should receive a test notice at that time.

 

Low Tech Accessible and Affordable Solutions:

From there the topic moved to Low cost tech solutions and Albert informed the group that a new CCB Tech Email Distribution List is now available where you can buy, sell and/or trade used assistive equipment/software. To participate simply send an email to the following address:

CCB-Tech-BuySellTrade@Groups.io

Wanted items are welcome, as are Commercial venders to list previously enjoyed items but may not list new product offerings.

 

Older equipment seamed to be the preferred choice of many in the room as a solution for a low cost entry point into the assistive tech market, particularly in regards to smart phones. Some alternative software and apps were discussed (like BeMyEyes as opposed to Aira, or NVDA as opposed to JAWS, etc.)

 

Tom announced that a Major Windows 10 update is starting to roll out tonight for all users. Also for those using screen magnification apps on their PC computers, Tom recommended the following video be watched for help and guidance in setting it up and to learn more about some of the new magnification features:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ibu0BY-kAX4

 

QCast, QRead and Chicken Nugget were also talked about as very accessible and affordable means of accessing Podcasts, News Feeds and Twitter respectively from the PC computer.  Here’s what they say on their website:

“Accessible Apps creates high quality accessible software for the blind.

 

We make useful, innovative software, the kind blind people hope someone will make but can’t really find anywhere else. Why do we say this? Our development team is made up of blind people who have many of the same needs. We write software because we need to do something, and we can’t find an accessible way to do it. Our mission is to create software that improves the computing experience for blind and visually impaired people. We’re committed to innovation, and accessible, affordable software.”

 

The apps they produce are obtainable for demo or purchase at the following URL:

https://getaccessibleapps.com/

 

After a break the conversation continued and centered on some low tech ideas. A tactile sewing tape measure, Braille and talking watches, sock sorters and lock-Dots were discussed. The Braille Superstore, MaxiAids and Shop CNIB were three purchasing options suggested by group members.

 

Under the category of general discussion:

Downloading audio and electronic text based books from the library was raised and talked about. Some of the locations for such downloads are, BookShare, Dolphin EasyReader, Hoopla and Overdrive. More information will be forthcoming during the June 6, 2018 GTT Victoria meeting when Scott Munro from the Greater Victoria Public Library will give the group an overview of services and products available through GVPL.

 

In closing:

Mike Carpenter gave everyone a quick update on the CCB Health and Fitness initiative. Mike is a local champion with that CCB project, and he told us about a Nationwide Virtual 5K challenge coming up on June 1.  He invited everyone to get involved, and also generously offered his time and energy to anyone interested in improving/maintaining good health and fitness after vision loss.  He can be reached at any time by calling or emailing him at, +1-250-384-5644 or MikeCarpenter@Shaw.ca.

 

Meeting adjourned at 2:50 PM.

Next meeting: June 6, 2018

(Note, the June meeting will be our last until September.)

 

Meeting notes submitted by Corry Stuive

 

GTT Victoria Overview

  • GTT Victoria is a chapter of the Canadian Council of the Blind (CCB).
  • GTT Victoria 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 across Canada as well as a national GTT monthly toll free teleconference. You may subscribe to the National GTT blog to get email notices of teleconferences and notes from other GTT chapters. Visit:

http://www.gttprogram.wordpress.com/

There is a Follow link at the bottom of that web page to enter your email.

 

National GTTSupport Email distribution List

CCB sponsors a GTT email support list to provide help and support with technology for blind and low vision Canadians.  To subscribe to the email list, send an empty email to:

GTTsupport+subscribe@groups.io

 

[End of Document]

 

GTT/Tech-Ease Regina Summary Notes, Travelling with a Disability, March 24, 2018

Tech-Ease/ Get Together with Technology

Regina Drop-In Meeting

Summary Notes

March 24, 2018

 

Sponsored by Vision Impaired Resource Network (VIRN),

Canadian Council of the Blind (CCB)

And the

Regina Public Library

 

Assistive Technology Peer Support by and for people who are blind/low vision

 

Attendance: 10 in person and 2 on the phone from Saskatoon.

 

topic: Travel with disability: Plane, Train, Car Airport procedures, reliefe etc:

Train/subway:

Toronto subway system audible announcements very effective and functional, Calgry C train same, ETS(Edmonton) LRT accessible without question

Mexico City accessible transit system for subway for the VI community, other aspects of city less accessible

Bus:

Most city transit systems have stop announcements, Regina recent and primarily functional most of the time, Saskatoon rarely functional currently in process of change.

Other cities have accessible systems in place

Car:

Dogs are trained for back seat, or floor in front. Front floor placement not recommended as airbags if deployed can injure the dog fatally.

It is illegal under ADA in the USA to disallow service (guide) dogs into cabs/ubers/lift services

Airports:

Ticket booking:

WestJet is very accessible both on web base and application.

Does not provide discounted price for attendant for VI passengers

Document to receive this accomidation requires you to be declared basically unable to travel alone. Fear of issues if flying solo due to this documentation.

Disallows self checkin for those who have declared a service animal

AirCanada:

Provides discount price for attendant for a Vision impaired passenger upon presentation of CNIB client number.

Disallows self check in if service dog is declared

Web base is not very accessible nor is application

Both airlines provide over the phone service for both medical desk and ticket booking.

Form for service dog, on both airlines requires all dimensions of dog, width/height/gerth/weight/length name, and breed.

Airport Navigation and special areas:

Upon request  assistance to security can be provided

Security may pull you aside and do your security check in another section of checkpoint for benefit of you.

Assistance from check point to your gate (via cart) in larger airports

Will assist you through customs

Do research before departing to find out the relieving areas at each airport you will be going to. Some may have internal relieving areas, some require you going outside the secure area. Vancouver for example has internal near International terminal.

There is an app  for iOS and android. That is free. Called working like dogs. Where to Go.

gives the general directions of use their indoor relief areas for United states airports . or directions to the nearest area outside the terminal.

Denver has a Special Needs room, for handlers and dog to relax in,  or disabled folks or seniors while not having to worry about flight or gate changes.

Bus:

To catch  the Greyhound bus you are now travelling to Regina airport. And there is a tiny counter near the car rental counters. For grey hound bus service.

For  in the province travelling between cities.  In Sask. Right now it’s a 15 passenger van service called  rider  express..

if you tell the driver  or receptionist when you buy your ticket. that you have a disability .  you have the ability to get on  board first.  Service dogs ride free and are welcome. As stated on rider express website.

Also if you’re  vision impaired. And travelling with  a human companion.  Ask about the two-for-one discount on ticket.

Their physical office is located downtown Regina. 1517 11th Ave..  in other major cities there drop off places / pick up locations . are typically Tim Hortons  parking lots.  Saskatoon also has a 2nd pick up drop off location at Subway on  8 th Avenue. As well  The Tim Hortons on 22nd St w.

Please check www.riderexpress.ca  for more details.

Riders Express Transportation » Transportation to Estevan …

www.riderexpress.ca

PLEASE NOTE: Our new office location is Unit #36, 1736 Quebec Ave, Saskatoon, SK. This location is the only location to pickup and drop off in Saskatoon effective April 11.

 

 

In the works with a different disability organization. Within the province ,. they are working on a wheelchair accessible transportation service. So hopefully that will not be restricted to just  a van . Maybe something bigger.

 

General discussion on airport and travel experiences

Brit mentioned that  purchasing a “burner” or prepay phone in country you are visiting is beneficial and sometimes much cheeper than using home countries phone

 

Discussion of next month topics.. thoughts were online banking / accessible banks. and shopping online on Amazon

Notice:

 

Saskatoon/YXE Tech-Ease termination for summer. Attendence will be welcome via phone or Facetime

Connect with us:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GTTTechEaseRegina/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/techeasesk

Tech-Ease YQR YXE (@techeasesk) | Twitter

twitter.com

The latest Tweets from Tech-Ease YQR YXE (@techeasesk). Are you Visually impaired, Related to someone visually impaired, or an educator of someone visually impaired …

 

 

GTT/Tech-Ease Regina Summary Notes, Ways To Get There, February 24, 2018

Tech-Ease/ Get Together with Technology

Regina Drop-In Meeting

Summary Notes

February 24, 2018

 

Sponsored by Vision Impaired Resource Network (VIRN),

Canadian Council of the Blind (CCB)

And the

Regina Public Library

 

Assistive Technology Peer Support by and for people who are blind/low vision

 

In Attendance Feb 24, 2018: 18 participants, Amber, Michelle, Camille, Lori, Donna, Darlene, Anna, Barry, Wes, Jerome, Tracy & Mitch, Kari, Linda & Blaine

 

Today we Talked about Ways to Get There

 

BlindSquare:

An app, paid or non-paid, for iPhone. It works off FourSquare (Swarm) maps as well as Apple maps. It helps people with no or partial sight navigate their environment by announcing places nearby as you walk, the places are announced within feet of your location so it is very well triangulated.

There are beacons that can be set up in building that have specific to BlindSquare information loaded on them by the building owner that provide the BlindSquare user additional information. For example, when you walk into the CNIB in Regina the beacon tells you have entered CNIB and the reception desk is to your left and seating is to your right. You can have multiple beacons in a space.

There are also BlindSquare specific QR codes you can put on doors to tell you about who or what is in that room. These can be scanned with the reader installed within the app.

 

BlindSquare has a free and paid version, the free version works with BlindSquare Events, the paid version works with maps and announces businesses, points of interest, etc as you walk. With Events it just announces information from beacons and lets you scan QR codes. The CNIB in Regina is set up as an event so you can go there and see how beacons work in real life.

 

The library is hoping to get beacons soon. Other places that often have beacons are places like malls, stadiums, downtowns, government buildings, etc.

 

Example of how it works:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DU8geoiMF8g

 

Download BlindSquare here:

https://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/blindsquare/id500557255?mt=8

 

Google Maps:

Google maps comes installed on all Android devices, it can be downloaded on iPhones. It is a map program. It can help you navigate your environment by driving, walking, cycling or taking transit. It is rather accurate in it’s routes and finds the best routes for pedestrians or the fastest transit routes when those are chosen.

 

It is a very visual map but it does work well with Talk Back (Voice Over for Android). It shows locations and puts pins on the map to identify them. You can switch the view to satellite or street view for more information if you are partially sighted.

 

It does have voice navigation as a built-in option.

 

It works with Regina Transit and is very accurate.

 

Google Maps Tutorial (this is a sighted person explaining so apologies for no DVS):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rPzuz1x839k

 

Google Maps explained:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Spel7vfkpNc

 

Download Google Maps for iPhone here;

https://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/google-maps-gps-navigation/id585027354?mt=8

 

Moovit:

An app for transit, it shows you the best routes for buses, it tells you when your bus will arrive (not GPS enabled so pretty accurate but not perfect). It will tell you how many stops until your stop and will tell you when to get off the bus. It also tells you how to walk to the place you are going from the bus stops or from where you are to the bus stops. It gives you multiple route options if multiple option exist.  Works well with Voice Over & Talk Back.

 

Moovit Tutorial (sighted person explaining so apologies for no DVS):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WH_nJW-64Xc

 

Download Moovit for iOS:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/moovit-public-transit-app/id498477945?mt=8

 

Download Moovit for Android:

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tranzmate&hl=en_CA

 

Nearby Explorer:

(literally copied from description in app store as I have never used it)

 

Nearby Explorer is a full featured GPS app designed for use by people who are blind. Instead of just providing directions, it describes the environment in ways comparable to reading signage or observing road characteristics.

It uses onboard maps, so a data connection is not required, but if you have one, Nearby Explorer supplements the on board map data with crowd collected locations from Foursquare or Google Places. It includes complete maps for the United States and Canada which contain millions of points of interest. The onboard maps are over 4GB in size, so be sure the device you plan to use has enough available space before purchasing.

Nearby Explorer works with any device running iOS version 9 or later, but if the device does not contain its own GPS receiver, like most iPads and iPods, you must use an external GPS receiver. All iPhones contain GPS receivers.

Nearby Explorer works by letting you select from several different location related options about what to announce as you move. These include both typical items like street name and address and specialized options like approaching streets, intersection configurations, and nearby places and the distance and direction to them. (All announcements are optional.) All of this information is shown on the home screen and is available at any time, but typical use is to adjust the level of announcements, then lock the screen and put the device away. This keeps both hands free and let’s your preferred voice speak the characteristics of the environment as you move.

You may also use the devices position and orientation to obtain additional targeted details such as pointing the end of the device to scan for businesses, even in a moving vehicle, or tilting it vertically to function as a compass, including a listing of streets in the indicated direction. This all works with the device locked, so one need not fuss with the touch screen while moving. You may even mark a point, then use the position of the device to get haptic feedback about that point’s location.
Nearby Explorer includes a transit feature that provides detailed mass transit schedules for over 60 metropolitan areas in the U. S. and Canada. It treats transit stops just like favorites and points of interest by announcing their name and relative position as you move, but in addition, transit stops add next vehicle stop time, direction of travel, and route name to the announcements. You can use the transit schedules to look up times or even follow a route.

You may virtually move to any area in the U.S. or Canada and explore the road network, search, or use the transit maps for that area.

For complete details about Nearby Explorer, see http://tech.aph.org/ne

 

Download Nearby Explorer:

https://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/nearby-explorer/id1095698497?mt=8

 

City of Regina has a transit line at 306-777-RIDE you can call to find out what bus to take or when your bus it going to arrive.

 

Trekker Breeze/Victor Trek:

Jerome was explaining how his Trekker Breeze works.

There is a device that goes on your shoulder (speaker) and another that clips to you belt (GPS & controller). You program in where you wan to go using the alpha-numeric keypad on the controller and it lets you plan a route. You can save favourite routes.

 

It announces streets/intersections as you get to them, 25 feet before. When you plan a route is saved it rings bell 25 feet before you reach your location.

 

You program in by addresses, not by GPS coordinates. You can put in waypoints and name them for future use. Once your route is entered you can preview in simulation mode so you have an idea of where you are going.

 

The city had an install of all the bus routes that added them as waypoints to the Trekker, but it hasn’t been updated in a few years.

 

It uses NavTech maps.

 

The new Trek can program in virtual routes. It knows the names of places. It can look around you and tell you points of interest around. It uses TomTom maps

 

The new Trek is also a Victor Stream so you can get your podcasts, e-books, internet radio, streaming things on it as well.

 

Cab Companies in Regina:

People have had varying degrees of luck with all these companies for accessibility, guide dog access and ease of use.

  • Co-OP Cabs & Regina Cabs are run by the same company apparently
  • Capital Cabs
  • Premiere Cabs, which also may be part of Regina Cabs

 

Advocacy with Cab Companies’ – It is always important that you report troubles with any of the companies to dispatch and if you don’t feel you are being heard take your complaints higher up to managers or owners of companies and if you still don’t feel heard to go Human Rights and file a complaint.

 

ParaTransit:

Very hard for a partially sighted or blind person to get permission to use unless they have another disability.

 

Your doctor needs to fill out a form to try to get access. The form is available on the City of Regina Website as well as the rules and conditions of use:

https://www.regina.ca/residents/transit-services/regina-paratransit/

 

There are some people who have seasonal or special circumstance passes to ParaTransit.

 

Uber/Lyft:

Will be coming to Regina in the future. It is a ride share program. You can pay to have a ride by yourself or pay less to ride share with others going to similar destinations. It is all controlled by an app.

 

CNIB is working with the government across Canada to ensure that Uber & Lyft are accessible for guide dog users and person who are blind or partially sighted.

 

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