Category Archives: product review

Guest Post: Check out the GARI Web Site to learn more about Accessible Smart Phones, TVs and other Devices

The Global Accessibility Reporting Initiative

The Global Accessibility Reporting Initiative (GARI) is a project created in 2008 by the Mobile & Wireless Forum (MWF) and designed to help consumers learn more about the various accessibility features of wireless devices and to help them identify a device that best suits their needs.

The project website (www.gari.info) includes information on more than 110 accessible features in over 1,100 mobile phone models from around the world, as well as information on accessible tablets, accessibility related mobile applications, and as of late 2016, accessible Smart TVs and Wearables.

As part of the GARI project, the MWF has committed to regular reviews of the features that we report on in light of changes in the technology and customer needs. As a result, we invite all stakeholders to provide any comments or suggestions on the features that they would like to see reported on by manufacturers, as well as comments on the usability of the GARI website.

Comments or suggestions can be made by 31 July 2017 in order to be included in the current review cycle.

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Guest Article: High Tech Tools for the Visually Impaired

High Tech Tools for the Visually Impaired

Image by Erikawittlieb (via Pixabay)

Assistive technology for those who are visually impaired is a personal topic to me. My sister-in-law has limited vision and recently came to live with my husband and me. We knew had a lot of work to do in order to prepare our old farmhouse for her and her guide dog, but we didn’t know where to start. I’m so glad we did our research, because as it turns out, technology has come a long way in making the home a more accessible place for those who can’t rely on their vision to guide them!

The technology behind things like voice recognition, GPS and speech to text has continued to get more and more advanced. With each advancement comes a wide range of uses for those who are blind or partially-sighted. When preparing your home for a new resident with a visual impairment, it might be useful to explore some of the high tech appliances, applications and gadgets out there to make daily living easier for those with disabilities. Explore these new high-tech products for the blind or visually impaired.

Talking Microwave

Imagine the convenience of a microwave that is just a little bit smarter. This microwave comes equipped with a voice that walks the user through each function and setting for the unit. It comes with the same functionality of a standard microwave including the rotating plate for even cooking as well as the added features for independent use.

Apple Watch and the iPhone

Wearable technology like the Apple Watch can be useful for those with visual impairments when paired with applications for voice recognition, personal GPS, and voice to text. In order for the Apple Watch to work in this manner, it needs to be paired with an iPhone.Personal GPS Apps

Moving to a new area can be challenging for anyone, but for a blind person learning a new apartment building or city block can be especially challenging. Personal GPS applications use the standard GPS technology and customize it for someone with limited vision. An app like Seeing Eye GPS adapts GPS for someone who uses a white cane or a guide dog in the community. LowViz Guide uses GPS technology to assist those with low vision to navigate inside buildings. Nearby Explorer not only provides directions to those who are blind, but also describes surrounding environments in such a way that the user knows what landmarks are in the area. Similarly, Trekker Breeze is a handy GPS device that “speaks” directions, and is a good option for those who don’t have a smartphone and can’t download an assistive app.

Smart Light Bulbs

The average light bulb gets an amazing update in the Smart Light Bulb. These lights can be controlled from a smart application or via programming that includes changing color, brightness, and timers. The bulbs have a variety of features that can be useful for those with visual impairments including being able to adapt light to the user with the best colors of light for the individual, brighter lights as needed and even controlling timed intervals.

Moshi Interactive Voice Response Clock

Instead of using those tiny buttons and hard to control dials to set an alarm clock, Moshi is interactive and voice controlled. The oversized digital read out is great for those with limited vision while the voice activation feature works for the full range of vision abilities.

Recognition Apps

For someone with a visual impairment, something as simple as recognizing color can make dressing independently impossible. While recognition apps started with things like identifying a popular song, they are now being used to turn a smartphone into a tool for identifying color, denominations of money and more. The Color Identifier uses the camera on the smartphone to scan, identify and then verbally share the name of the color scanned.

High tech gadgets are often made in order to make life easier, and this is the case for those with visual impairments. Talking appliances, smartphone apps and even light bulbs with a brain give users a bit more freedom and independence as they navigate through daily life and give them an opportunity to pursue their passions, whatever they may be. Things like recognition software will only continue to expand and open up more possibilities for uses by those with visual impairments.

Submitted by,
Jackie Waters
jackie@hyper-tidy.com

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]

Assistive Tech Resource: An iPhone 7 with a headphone jack is now just a case away

On 6-Jan-17 08:24 AM VIRN Info [mailto:info@virn.ca] said:

http://www.techradar.com/news/an-iphone-7-with-a-headphone-jack-is-now-just-a-case-away

An iPhone 7 with a headphone jack is now just a case away

By Gerald Lynch

Bringing back what was thought lost

Still crying yourself to sleep at night over the iPhone 7’s lack of a 3.5mm headphone jack? Wipe those tears away – CES 2017 bears wired audio fruit for iPhone fans, thanks to a clever new case.

Incipio’s iPhone 7 bumper case not only protects the edges of your smartphone, but also squeezes a headphone jack alongside its Lightning port in its elongated lip. With it attached to your handset, you’ll be able to use a standard wired pair of headphones without resorting to Apple’s 3.5mm adapter.

Righting a wrong? Or a reductive wraparound?
Sure, you’re swapping out one accessory for another here. But the Incipio OX does have the advantage of letting you both listen to audio over a 3.5mm connection and harge over the Lightning port at the same time.

“We wanted to bring the headphone jack back to the latest iPhone so our customers could still enjoy their favorite pair of traditional headphones without worrying about low-battery and sacrificing device protection,” said Carlos Del Toro, Director of Products, Incipio.

It’s as good a solution as you’re likely to get at this point. Hitting shops in the first quarter of the year for $59.99 (around AU$83 / £50) the OX will come in black, purple and “forest” color options.

New year, new tech – check out all our coverage of CES 2017
straight from Las Vegas, the greatest gadget show on Earth

http://www.techradar.com/news/an-iphone-7-with-a-headphone-jack-is-now-just-a-case-away

Resource: Windows 10 Workshop Notes from an AEBC Workshop held by Teleconference on October 18, 2016

Windows 10 Workshop Notes
Presented by Albert Ruel and Jennifer Jesso
with the AEBC on October 18, 2016
Upgrading to Windows 10
• Windows 10 had a free upgrade period which ended in July, but people with disabilities are still able to upgrade for free
• To upgrade, visit https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/accessibility/windows10upgrade
• You can also contact the Microsoft Disability Answer Desk at 1-800-936-5900 – they can answer questions about upgrading and also take over one’s computer to troubleshoot
Screen Reading Software
• Most screen readers are now compatible with Windows 10
• JAWS must be version 16 or above
• Window-Eyes must be version 9.2 or above, and is available free to anyone who has purchased Office 2010 or above or subscribes to Office 365 – see http://www.windoweyesforoffice.com/
• System Access works with Windows 10 as upgrades are included in the purchase
• NVDA is a free, open-source screen reader that supports Windows 10
• Narrator is a screen reader that is included in Windows 10 and has seen vast improvements since previous versions of Windows
• Guide is a product from Dolphin Computer Access that greatly simplifies the user interface and supports Windows 10 with version 9.04 and above
Screen Magnification
• Windows 10 comes with a built-in screen magnification program called Magnifier, which provides full-screen magnification and colour inversion, but no mouse or pointer enhancements and no font smoothing
• ZoomText supports Windows 10 as of version 10.1
• MAGic supports Windows 10 as of version 13
Accessible Software Compatibility
• Kurzweil 1000 supports Windows 10 with version 13 and above – there have been some issues with it converting to trial mode after Windows upgrades and needing to re-register
• OpenBook supports Windows 10 as of version 9.0
• FineReader (a mainstream OCR software) supports Windows 10 as of version 11
• OmniPage (another mainstream OCR application) supports Windows 10 as of version 18
• Be aware that when upgrading you may have problems with drivers for scanners or document cameras, drivers may need to be updated
• Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Chrome are all accessible and work on Windows 10
New Changes in Windows 10
• The Start Menu is back, though it’s more complex than the Start Menu in Windows 7 and includes Web and other search results by default. To learn how to alter/configure your Start Button consider a textbook by CathyAnne Murtha called, ” An Immersion into Windows 10 with JAWS for Windows”.
• The File Explorer app now goes to a Quick Access view instead of Computer when it’s opened with Windows Key + E (this setting can be changed back)
• From the Start Menu one may search for This PC, and a shortcut to the Desktop can be added for easier use. Once again, consider purchasing CathyAnne’s textbook to learn how to add This PC to your Desktop.
• The new Microsoft EDGE browser is not yet fully accessible
• Narrator has been greatly improved and can now function as a capable screen reader, especially on touchscreen devices such as tablets, and when accessing the built-in app called Windows Mail.
• There is a new built-in voice-activated personal assistant named Cortana (similar to Apple’s Siri), though use of Cortana is not yet fully accessible but is still usable. CathyAnne’s textbook covers this topic as well.
Navigation and Keyboard Commands
• Navigation is nearly identical to earlier versions of Windows, with small changes. To learn a wide range of JAWS and Windows Key Commands access the following link: http://doccenter.freedomscientific.com/doccenter/archives/training/jawskeystrokes.htm
• Apps and programs can be set up on the Taskbar and quickly accessed with the Windows key plus numbers 1-0. CathyAnne’s textbook is a great resource for learning how to maximize the use of your Taskbar.
• Ribbons are now the norm in many programs – they are accessible, but different from menu navigation and act slightly differently with different screen readers (to ensure ribbons work in JAWS with shortcuts, make sure Virtual Ribbons is turned off). CathyAnne Murtha offers textbooks for both JAWS and Window-Eyes screen readers.
Productivity
• First-letter navigation works as usual, and the first few letters can be used to jump directly to an item in any list view (including the desktop). CathyAnne’s textbooks can guide you in learning more about First Letter Navigation.
• The spellchecker in Word 2013 and later has changed; the keyboard commands may not work or may work on their own (without holding alt), but spellcheck can also be used directly in the document without the need to launch the spellchecker. CathyAnne’s textbooks can guide you in learning more about spellchecking.
• Quick navigation keys in screen readers such as JAWS and NVDA make online navigation much faster and make it possible to “skim” a webpage; these also work in Word documents, e-mails, and PDFs if activated. The toggle to turn on and off Quick Navigation Keys is Insert + the letter Z. To learn more about QNK check the web page below:
http://doccenter.freedomscientific.com/doccenter/archives/training/jawskeystrokes.htm
Resources
• Top Tech Tidbits is a weekly newsletter with links to technology-related articles:
http://www.flying-blind.com/ttt_enews_archive.html
• AccessWorld is a free newsletter published by AFB six times a year that covers a variety of technology-related topics such as new accessible products:
http://www.afb.org/aw/main.asp
• Get Together with Technology is a technology sharing program run by the CCB, which has extensive archives available on the blog:
https://gttprogram.wordpress.com/
• Freedom Scientific has many webinars on how to use JAWS with various applications, including some focused on Windows 10: http://www.freedomscientific.com/Services/TrainingAndCertification/FreeWebinars
• CathyAnne Murtha produces a range of Windows, Browser, MS Office and screen reader textbooks, one of which is called, An Immersion into Windows 10 with JAWS for Windows. See the link below for a full list of available textbooks:
http://www.blind.training/ati-textbooks/

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

Summary Notes
GTT Edmonton Meeting December 12, 2016

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

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

Next Meeting (Monday February 13 at 7pm)
• As the January meeting time will be devoted to a training session at Norquest computer lab, we will not meet again until February. The students for this training session were selected at the November meeting.
• At the February meeting Owais has volunteered to demonstrate Google Classroom.
• Then we will continue our one-on-one training with iPhone and DAISY players.
• As always, for help with technology bring your devices and/or questions to the meeting.

Meeting Location and Logistics
• Ascension Lutheran Church 8405 – 83 Street NW, Edmonton.
• We meet in the basement hall. There is elevator access.
• Enter the church from the back door. There is parking at the back and drop off space for taxis, DATS.
• Meetings are every second Monday of the month at 7pm.
• If you have someone helping you your assistant is welcome to remain for the meeting.

GTT Edmonton Team
• Carrie Anton is visually impaired and is the accessibility specialist for Athabasca University.
carrie.anton@hotmail.com
• Gerry Chevalier is blind. He is retired from HumanWare where he worked as the Product Manager for the Victor Reader line of talking book players.
GTT.Edmonton@gmail.com
• Heather MacDonald is a career and employment specialist with extensive experience helping blind and visually impaired people find employment.
• Russell Solowoniuk is blind and works with alternative formats and assistive technology at Grant MacEwan University.
rsolowoniuk@gmail.com
• Lorne Webber is blind and is the accessibility specialist for Norquest College.
lorne.webber@gmail.com

GTT Edmonton Overview
• GTT Edmonton is a chapter of the Canadian Council of the Blind (CCB).
• GTT Edmonton promotes a self-help learning experience by holding monthly meetings to assist participants with assistive technology.
• Each meeting will present a feature technology topic and general question and answer about any other technology.
• Small groups or one on one assistance is possible at the meetings.
• Participants are encouraged to come to each meeting even if they are not interested in the feature topic because questions on any technology are welcome. The more participants the better able we will be equipped with the talent and experience to help each other.
• There are GTT groups in Ottawa, Toronto, Kingston, Northern Ontario, Pembroke, Halifax, Sydney, Edmonton, Grande Prairie, Victoria, Nanaimo, Vancouver, and more to come.
• There is also a national GTT monthly toll free teleconference. You may subscribe to the National GTT blog to get email notices of teleconferences and notes from other GTT chapters. Visit:
http://www.gttprogram.wordpress.com/
There is a form at the bottom of that web page to enter your email.
[End of Document]

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

GTT Vancouver
Summary Notes

Topic: GPS and the OrCam

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Which is the best GPS App:

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

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

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

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

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

The next meeting topic is to be determined

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

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

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

Wednesday November 2, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Home

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

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

IOS 10 and voiceover and braille. Should you update?

Hello everyone.
I have been running the beta of IOS 10 for a few months now. There are some exciting new voiceover features. There are two bugs one quite annoying for braille display users. These are just my impressions.
You can also go to
Www.applevis.com to find podcasts about this.
Big Pluses
1. New voiceover voices. There are several new voiceover voices to try. Some of you may recognize them from the mac and they are very high quality.
2. Arranging apps on your phone. Gone are the days when you had to slide your fingers around the screen to arrange apps. Now, when you are on a home screen, swipe down with one finger and when you hear arrange apps, double tap with one finger and you can then begin arranging apps.3. Getting rid of stock apps you do not want. You don’t have to keep any of the native apps on the phone that you don’t use anymore.
4. Pronunciation dictionary for voiceover. It is here.
5. In mail, when you read a message and then press delete, it goes right to the next message body and starts reading that.
Two bugs.
One is a big braille bug. When you have a braille display paired with your I device and. You are reading mail, each new line it inserts the name of the mail sender. This is quite annoying and has been pointed out to apple. If you are just listening with voiceover, you do not hear this.
Another bug is that in some apps, if you do a 2 finger double tap to continue listening to music etc, it sometimes starts dictation.
We are always here to help everyone get used to IOS 10. There are some great magnification features for people with low vision.
Contact me if you want to talk this through further.
1-877-304-0968
Gttprogram@gmail.com