Category Archives: volunteer opportunity

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

Summary Notes
GTT Edmonton Meeting March 13, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Next Meeting (Monday April 10 at 7pm)
• As usual, we will provide one-on-one training especially iPhone and DAISY players. If you have other training requests email your interests to us so we can try to accommodate you.
• As always, for help with technology bring your devices and/or questions to the meeting.

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

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

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Guest Post: VocalEye Newsletter, Spring 2017, Specializing in Audio Description of Live Performances in Vancouver and Victoria

** VOCALEYE NEWS – SPRING 2017
————————————————————
IN THIS ISSUE:
1) SPRING LOADED!
2) Described Performances in March and April:
3) Bittergirl at the Surrey Arts Centre
4) Angels in America at the Arts Club Stanley
5) Mom’s the Word 3 at the Arts Club Granville Island
6) Community:
7) Audio Subtitles
8) Coming Up:
Plex Talk Raffle
Alice Munro Stories at the Belfry
Comedy on Wheels for Realwheels
9) Support
10) Reminders

** 1) SPRING LOADED!
————————————————————
[This month’s opening image is a photo of a yawning bunny rabbit.]

This spring’s schedule is so loaded that I’m doubling up this issue! I’ve been invited to lead a describer training at the new Tangled Art Gallery in Toronto at the end of March. Tangled is the first art gallery in Canada dedicated to showcasing the work of artists with disabilities. I’m thrilled to have this opportunity to work with them to make their gallery more accessible to visitors with vision loss. (http://tangledarts.org)

I will get back in time to meet a grant deadline at the beginning of April… This tight squeeze means I won’t be able to send you an April newsletter, so I’m loading you with all the info I have on our upcoming shows. Please visit the VocalEye website for updates and support materials and keep in touch through Facebook and Twitter.

March will be a bit quiet for described performances, with Bittergirl at the Surrey Arts Centre and the launch of our “audio subtitle” project this weekend. If you’re craving even more comedy and drama this month, check out PlayMe, an innovative audio podcast that celebrates the work of Canadian playwrights and performers. (http://www.playmepodcast.com/listen-to-playme/)

If you’re looking for more podcasts, check out Aroga’s ATBanter and their most recent interview with Master Chef, Christine Ha. (https://soundcloud.com/user-639785526/at-banter-podcast-episode-39-christine-ha)

Or try A History of the World in 100 Objects, a look at human history through 100 objects from the British Museum. (https://soundcloud.com/a-history-of-the-world)

In case you missed it, this AMI video highlights VocalEye’s partnership with the Push Festival, Ingrid’s description and our first pre-show Touch Tour of Concord Floral last month. Big thanks to Erin Brubacher, Anika Vervecken, Grant Hardy and everyone who attended the show! (http://bit.ly/2lhRjQ4)

Rick Waines is busy describing his second season at the Belfry in Victoria and he sent us some lovely photos from the Touch Tour of last month’s show, Gracie. Our thanks to everyone who attended and to Jenn Swan and Erin Macklem for sharing some of the production’s backstage secrets!

In April, Rick returns to Vancouver to describe two performances of the award-winning Angels in America, Part 1 at the Arts Club Stanley. The Arts Club will produce Part 2 next season, so don’t miss it!

PAWS Trivia night is always so much fun and it turned out to be my lucky day as I won the coveted 50/50 draw for the second year in a row! More fuel for VocalEye! I want to thank our awesome Faux Paws team: Jeff and Meagan, Eileen Barrett, Rick Lin, Brian Nicol, Teri Snelgrove and Anika Vervecken for your impressive smarty pants. Big thanks to Wendy, Rosamund and Moose’s Down Under for hosting another great evening that supports PAWS for Independence! (http://pawsforindependence.ca)

I’ve received a number of inquiries about describing shows at the Queen Elizabeth and these take the most time to negotiate. Once again, I encourage you to let the producers know you’re interested in having shows described.
I’ve also been talking to several dance companies about describing dance. This would involve some special training and workshops with describers, choreographers, dancers and members of the blind community. Our resources are limited and we want to make the best use of them. Please let me know if you would be interested in having dance described, what kind of dance interests you and if you would like to participate in a development workshop (you can reply to this newsletter). If there is enough interest, we will pursue some funding for this project.

Time to get hopping!

Wishing you a happy spring with loads of chocolate bunny eggs!

Steph

** 2) DESCRIBED PERFORMANCES IN MARCH/APRIL…
————————————————————

** 3) BITTERGIRL, THE MUSICAL
————————————————————
BITTERGIRL, a new musical featuring the best breaking up and making up songs of the 60’s (on tour). Described on Saturday March 4, 2017 at 4 pm at the Surrey Arts Centre, 13750 88 Avenue, Surrey. Tickets are $25 for VocalEye users, while they last. Please call the Box Office to purchase at 604-501-5566.
(http://www.vocaleye.ca/shows/bittergirl/)

** 4) ANGELS IN AMERICA, PART 1
————————————————————
ANGELS IN AMERICA, PART ONE: MILLENIUM APPROACHES, an award-winning modern epic that tackles life, death, love, sex, heaven, hell, AIDS, Reaganism and redemption in 1980’s New York. Described on Sunday April 16, 2017 at 2 pm and on Wednesday April 19, 2017 at 7:30 pm at the Arts Club Stanley, 2750 Granville Street. Tickets are $29 for VocalEye users, while they last. Please call 604-687-1644 to purchase.
(http://www.vocaleye.ca/shows/angels-america-part-one-millenium-approaches/)

** 5) MOM’S THE WORD 3: NEST HALF EMPTY
————————————————————
MOM’S THE WORD 3: NEST HALF EMPTY, a touching and hilarious new chapter in the lives of Vancouver’s favourite Moms. Described on Tuesday April 25, 2017 at 7:30 pm at the Arts Club Granville Island, 1585 Johnston Street. Tickets are $29 for VocalEye users, while they last. Please call 604-687-1644 to purchase. This performance will be followed by a Talk Back with the cast.
(http://www.vocaleye.ca/shows/moms-word-3/)

** THEATRE BUDDIES
————————————————————
Theatre Buddies are available to guide VocalEye Members 18 years of age and over from a designated meet up location to and from selected theatres in the lower mainland. Reserve your Theatre Buddy by calling 604-364-5949 or send us an email (mailto:buddies@vocaleye.ca?subject=Theatre%20Buddy%20reservation) (48 hours notice is required). In Victoria, please contact Linda Bartram at 250-595-5888.

** 6) COMMUNITY…
————————————————————

** 7) AUDIO SUBTITLES
————————————————————
Audio subtitling is a new program VocalEye is offering in partnership with the Kids Culture Film Series and Reel2Real International Film Festival for Youth to make foreign language films with English subtitles more accessible to young children and to others who have difficulty reading print materials. The English subtitles will be read aloud and transmitted through VocalEye equipment. Headsets are limited. Please reserve when booking your tickets.

ANINA is an animated film from Uruguay suitable for children age 5 and up. This film is in Spanish with English subtitles and will be screened on Sunday, March 5 at 1 pm at The Rio, 1660 East Broadway at Commercial Drive. Advisory: some scenes of child nightmares. Kids $7 and Adults $10 in advance or $8 and $12 at the door. (http://kidscultureanina.brownpapertickets.com)

Anina Yatay Salas is a ten-year-old whose name spells trouble: those three palindromes in a row are an ongoing source of teasing at school. When a playground fight results in mysterious punishment, Anina will learn to put her problems in perspective and empathize with others in this sweet little daydream of a tale.

HEIDI is a Swiss-German film with English subtitles suitable for children age 9 and up. Screening on Saturday, April 8 at 2 pm at the Vancity Theatre, 1181 Seymour Street, Vancouver. Tickets are Kids $7 and Adults $10. (http://www.2017.r2rfestival.org/content/heidi)

Heidi is one of the most beloved and best-selling books ever written. Director Alain Gsponer’s fresh take on this classic tale conjures everything that is magical about the precocious orphan girl who is sent to live with her mysterious grandfather (Bruno Ganz, Downfall) in the Swiss Alps. When Heidi is whisked away by her aunt to a posh house in the city, her worldview expands rapidly. A term of Heidi’s lodging and education is that she is expected to provide companionship to Clara, the lonely, wheelchair-bound daughter of this well-to-do family. This is hardly a chore since goofing around with her new friend is decidedly fun, and Heidi is up for adventure. Ultimately, she finds herself caught between her friendship with Clara, and longing for the freedom of mountain life. Heidi is an epic tale of friendship, family, and following your instincts.

** 8) COMING UP…
————————————————————

We’ll launch our third raffle of a Plex Talk Mini, generously donated by Aroga Technologies, on May 1! (http://aroga.com)

ALICE MUNRO STORIES, the sublime words and blessed humanity of Canada’s celebrated author come to life.. Described on Sunday May 7, 2017 at 2 pm at the Belfry Theatre, 1291 Gladstone Avenue in Victoria. Tickets are $24.68 for VocalEye users plus a 25% discount for a companion, while they last. Please call 250-385-6815 to purchase. This performance will be followed by a Touch Tour.
(http://www.vocaleye.ca/shows/alice-munro-stories/)

VocalEye will also describe COMEDY ON WHEELS for Realwheels on May 18, 19 and 20.
(http://realwheels.ca/wheel-voices/comedy-on-wheels/)

In June, we’ll offer training workshops in sighted guiding, Fingerworks for Fireworks and introductory description. Filmmaker Sarah Race will begin shooting her documentary short about our fireworks project this summer as well. Dates and details still to be confirmed.

In July, we’ll be back at Bard on the Beach for two shows in the main stage tent with Touch Tours. Plus summer musicals at the Arts Club, Theatre Under the Stars, the Vancouver Pride Parade and more!

** 9) SUPPORT…
————————————————————
VocalEye will describe more than 40 performances and events this season for people who are blind and partially sighted, thanks to the generous contributions of our funders and supporters (http://www.vocaleye.ca/support-us/sponsors/)

We gratefully acknowledge the Canada Council for the Arts, the BC Arts Council, the Province of British Columbia, the City of Vancouver, Metro Vancouver, our Community Donors and Individual Donors for their critical financial and in-kind support. VocalEye is currently in the process of becoming a registered charity and will not be able to issue tax receipts for donations until our application is approved. In the meantime, donations are greatly appreciated from anyone not requiring a tax receipt.

We thank you for helping us provide people with vision loss greater access to arts and culture.

GIVE NOW
(https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=W6ZXMTEJ9MSGC)

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

Thank you for reading through. See you at the theatre!

https://www.facebook.com/vocaleye/
http://www.twitter.com/vocaleye
http://vocaleye.ca
mailto:info@vocaleye.ca
http://www.youtube.com/vocaleyeful

GTT National Conference Call Summary Notes: White Canes and other Mobility Aids, February 8, 2017

GTT National Conference Call.

Sponsored by the Canadian Council of the Blind

Summary Notes

February 8, 2017.

Questions from previous GTT NatConCall:
How do I find an Insert Key on my small PC laptop:
• To have the Caps Lock Key become an Insert Key do the following; Press Alt + the letter H to access the Help menu of jaws, arrow to the Start-up wizzard, Tab through the dialog box and change keyboard layout to Laptop. Press the Enter Key to save the changes. This will have the Caps Lock Key turned into an Insert Key, which means that pressing it twice quickly will toggle the actual Caps Lock on and off.
• Alternatively, from Staples, London Drugs or Best Buy you can purchase a USB Numeric Keypad that will allow you to access JAWS navigation from the Numpad.
• Some people carry a full-sized external keyboard, however Lap top bags are often not able to hold it all. Weight is also a consideration for some. Albert usually travels with a lap top, scanner and MS Ergo keyboard.
• For Mac desktop and laptops there is available a trackpad instead of using the laptop built-in trackpad. It is approximately the same size as an iPhone/iPod and allows the user to use the regular and familiar swiping gestures to do things such as:
1. Start and stop speech
2. Select an item
3. Read continuously
4. Scroll down by page
5. Turn screen curtain or speech on and off
These are done just like on the i devices so people using them will be familiar with the gestures.

GPS for Mobility:
• Another question was related to the use of GPS devices while travelling in our communities: How do you multitask with mobile GPS devices.
• Some indicated they use their stand-alone and iOS GpS apps, but they turn a lot of the POI and other verbosity off. Maybe just approaching streets need to be spoken while walking.
• When you are in unfamiliar areas, you can quickly turn these things on if you wish.
• Albert likes the clip on speaker from the trekker Maestro. The Breeze one doesn’t seem to work with iPhones. Kim uses the aftershokz headphones and likes them very much.
• If anyone knows of any other available clip on speaker please let us know through the comments on the http://www.GTTProgram.WordPress.com web site.

White Canes and Mobility Preferences:
• Several participants indicated they use Dog Guides, with folded white canes used for locating items or for indoor use.
• Cane Tips people like the roller tip that is like a ball.
• Cyramic tip; sharp sound and because it is hard it never wears out.
• What to do with the cane when signing documents at a counter etc; Stick folded cane in a back pocket or handbag.
• One person indicated that she shoves the cane down her sock.

Do you wash the cane tips when entering your home or public buildings:
• Some people wash their canes regularly, and others only when they’ve gotten particularly dirty.
• Instead of setting a dirty cane on counters/tables, try placing the cane on the floor between your feet when sitting at a restaurant.
• Using the elastic, attach the folded cane to your chair.
• Using the elastic, atach the cane to your purse strap or backpack.
• There are holders/pouches/hooks you can buy for folded mobility canes that attach to your purse-strap or belt.
• Ambutech is one place where White Mobility Cane Holsters, Pouches and Hooks can be purchased.
https://ambutech.com/shop-online/accessories/pouches-holsters-and-hooks

Is it wise to have the elastic attached to your wrist when walking with a mobility cane:
• Most recommended that it isn’t wise to do so.
• It is safer to drop your cane than put it around your wrist in the event it gets caught up by a passing bike or motor vehicle.

What styles of canes are most often used:
• Few on the call use the Rigid cane. It is too cumbersome to store on buses, trains and airplanes. Albert prefers the rigid for most excursions, however uses a folding cane when travelling with sighted guides.
• One can carry folding canes in backpacks or purses when using Dog Guides if needed.
• It was thought by some that drivers seem to be better able to see white canes than Dog Guides. Perhaps it’s because of the increased usage of service dogs.
• Some thought the red stripe at the bottom of the cane is to show drivers that you want to cross the street when it is held out in front of the user horizontal to the ground.
• Some believe that the red stripe at the bottom of the cane is for depicting deaf blindness.
• Some have noted that the cane disappears from view when walking on painted street crossings.

Multi-Coloured Canes:
• Some people use them without issue, and the first time Albert used his the Greyhound Driver in Victoria didn’t recognize it.
• Once colour wears off one user said she cannot buy replacement tape.
• Does a coloured cane really show that you are blind?

BuzzClip and Amutech Glasses:
• No one on the call is currently using BuzzClip or Ambutech glasses, however they have been trialled by some.
• BuzzClip or Ambutech glasses are good for staying abreast of the person in front of you in line-ups, for finding open doorways in malls, locating bus stop sign posts, etc.
• One person who tried the Ambutech glasses while using their white cane thought they were receiving too much information and were distracted by it.
• One participant uses the Mowat sensor, which sends out a beam, or beams that causes the device to vibrate when the user approaches a person or thing. This device is no longer manufactured, however operates on the same principal as the BuzzClip and Ambutech Glasses.

Monoculars for low vision mobility:
• Some people use them for reading the names/numbers on the front of buses and menus/signs on the wall when out in public places.
• One person indicated that she uses the iPhone camera and the magnification app instead of a monocular.
• Kim has heard that SuperVision is a great free magnifyer app for the iPhone.

How to be more visible when travelling with a mobility aid:
• Make sure you are visible with reflecters, flashing lights or other high-visibility wearable devices.
• Some ideas of what is available are, collars for guide dogs in red or blue, continuous or flashing.
• Construction worker high-viz vests have stripes and lots of pockets etc.
• Some people wear helmets or other protective gear in the winter.
• One option is the Ice halo head protection Padded head band. Check the bottom of this document for details on how to order.

How to keep hands warm when travelling with a mobiliby aid in winter:
• Hot pockets in gloves, which can be purchased at cosco, London Drugs and many outdoor/sports stores.
• Someone in Vancouver sews battery operated warmers into gloves, socks, shirts and pants that is operated by a battery pack worn by the user.

Appendix 1:

SAFETY WITH STYLE

Several styles and many colours to choose from!

Ice Halo, the Canadian owned and manufacturer of the innovative head band protection for sports or pleasure. Check out the new styles that now include Halo Hats at http://www.icehalo.com. .

Don’t risk losing ice time in your favourite activity – Don’t hold back your best because of that nagging fear of a nasty fall. Its lightweight, closed cell construction doesn’t make your head hot and the Velcro closures make it adjustable and secure. The choice of material and colour make it easy to find the right one for you. It’s available in team colours, and you can customize with your corporate logo. The Ice Halo is a great way to keep you or your friends and loved ones safer on the ice.

PROTECTIVE HATS

All Pro Hats have an inner vinyl lining of nitrile High Density foam (the same foam used in many Hockey Helmets) to help lessen the impact of a fall. All Halo products have been tested to Hockey helmet standards and exceed the requirements for front, sides and back impacts where padded. The toque and knitted caps have padding wrapping all around the head. The baseball and army caps have padding in the back and sides of the cap for added protection.

Lori Fry continues in her role as representative for the Blind in Canada with Ice Halo and is able to provide discounted prices to curlers or others looking for stylish head protection. Many thanks to Barbara Armstrong, President of Ice Halo for her sponsorship of the 100 Mile House Blind Curling Team and such strong support to the vision impaired and blind community of Canada.

In order to receive special reduced pricing on your order, please contact Lori at 250-395-2452 or ODIFRY@shaw.ca

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]

GTT National Conference Call Summary Notes, Web browsing with screen readers, January 11, 2017

GTT National Conference Call.

Sponsored by the Canadian Council of the Blind

January 11, 2017

Web browsing with screen readers.

Many people just use their arrow keys to browse the web. This can be good for exploring a page initially, but it is slow and there are many more efficient ways of browsing the web more quickly and easily.
The best web browsers for PC are: google chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or the last version of internet explorer. The Edge Browser is becoming more accessible with Narrator, and to some degree with NVDA.

There are some slight differences with key commands between NVDA, jaws, window eyes and system access which all work well for browsing the web. Please check your screen reader help section for these.

When you do a google search, be as specific as you can with your search terms. Example: look for mystery books by a certain author on amazon. The more specific you are, the easier you can get to the web site you need.

To go directly to the address field to type in the web site name or your search press Alt D. Alt is the key just to the left of your space bar. This works on all screen readers and in all of the different PC browsers.

You can move around on your web site by headings, lists, buttons and much more. These commands vary by screen reader so check your screen reader manual for the short cut keys.

NVDA and jaws have a great command called insert f7 The insert key is the big key on the bottom left of the number pad and f7 is in the top row of keys on your PC.

For NVDA this is called the elements list. It lists anything on the page that you can click on. The great thing about this is that you can press the first letter of the link you need to find and you can get to it more quickly.

For JAWS users there is also an insert f 6 command to list the headings on a page, email message or MS Word document.

For the mac computer, the accessible web browsers are safari and google chrome.

To get into the address bar/search field on the mac, type command l. Command is the key just to the left of the space bar where the ALT key is on the PC.

The mac has what is called a web rotor which is a little like the insert f 7.

To get to this, press VO command which is control and option keys plus u. You can right arrow then through the various options like links, headings, buttons, ETC and arrow down to go through each category.

The mac also has first letter navigation. This is also true on the PC. You can press h for headings, v for visited links, l for links ETC on the mac.

Some of the commands are different for different screen readers but they all have first letter navigation commands.

Remember that in addition to using the letter H to navigate Headers you can press the numbers 1-6 above your letters on the keyboard to go to heading level 1 2 3 ETC. This is the case for all major screen readers on the PC or mac.

The mac and the iPhone also have a very useful button which is in the top left hand corner of the screen for I devices and one of the first things you come across when a web page loads on the mac. It is called the reader button. Firefox also has a Reader function that is accessed by holding down Shift and Control while typing the letter R.

It is not always available but when it is, it is most useful. If you double tap that button, it jumps you right to the main content on your screen, (say the contents of an article for example).

Browsing the web on an I device can also be fast and easy.

If you use voiceover, go to settings, general, accessibility, voiceover, and then to rotor. Here you can check and uncheck what you want in your rotor which is like a menu of common settings you use. You can include many web browsing navigation elements such as: Headings, links, search fields, visited links, buttons, and much more.

When on a web page, you can turn your rotor with a gesture like a radio dial to move between these elements. You can also navigate your rotor by using the up and left arrow and up and right arrows together on your Bluetooth keyboard or space with dots 23 and space with dots 56 on your braille display.

Once you are on the element you want, swipe down with one finger to go to the next heading and up with one finger to go to the previous one. Up or down arrows on the Bluetooth keyboard do this as well. So do dots 3 with space bar or dot 6 with space bar on a braille display.

GTT Program Overview
• GTT was founded in Ottawa by Kim Kilpatrick and Ellen Goodman in 2011.
• Many GTT Groups are chapters of the Canadian Council of the Blind (CCB).
• GTT Groups/Chapters promote 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 “Follow” Link at the bottom of that web page to enter your email in order to register.

Respectfully submitted by Kim Kilpatrick and Albert Ruel

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Newsletter: Braille Literacy Canada, January 2017 Newsletter

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

Notice to B LC Members: Save the Date

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

New UEB Listserv

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

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

Focus Group Announcement

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BLC Committees

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

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

The web committee

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

The membership committee

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

The communications committee

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

The braille formats committee

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

The teaching and learning committee

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

The nominations committee

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

The braille promotion committee

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

The French braille standards committee

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

The bylaws committee

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

Braille Screen Input on iOS Devices
By Natalie Martiniello

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Try doing the entire alphabet for practice!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Exploring Braille Settings on iOS
by Kim Kilpatrick

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

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

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

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

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

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

Once the display is paired, it should stay paired.

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

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

BLC on Social Media

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

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

GTT Edmonton Summary Notes, ZT and JAWS Training with Outlook, January 9, 2017

Summary Notes
GTT Edmonton Training Session January 9, 2017

On January 9, a 3 hour training session for JAWS and Zoomtext was provided to 5 members of the Get Together with Technology (GTT) Edmonton Chapter at Norquest College computer lab. Our students were Sonia, Irene, Bob, Bruce, and Claude. Trainers were Carrie, Lyle, Russell, Lorne, and Gerry. Thanks to Lorne who arrange the session at Norquest and did all the software setup on the computers. Thanks also to Heather and Hazel who helped as sighted guides.

All students were enthusiastic about the information they obtained and the exposure to the Zoomtext and JAWS programs. The team believes we should do another training session. We will discuss this at the February meeting.

*Note: A zipped file containing the handouts for using Zoomtext and JAWS in Windows and Outlook referred to below can be found at this Link.

Carrie prepared some handouts for using Zoomtext and JAWS in Windows and Outlook. These handouts are attached to this email. To save all the attachments using Outlook follow these steps:
• While reading this email press Alt+F to reach the file tab of the Outlook ribbon.
• Press down arrow until you reach the Save All attachments item and then press ENTER to activate it.
• A dialog will ask you to confirm that you want to save all the attachments. Press the space bar to activate the OK button.
• A second dialog will open where you can type the path to the folder where you want to save the attachments. Type the folder path or, alternatively, you can Shift+Tab twice to reach a list of folders where you can arrow up and down to select the destination folder. Either way, press Tab until you reach the OK button and then press space to activate it. The five attachments will be saved to the folder you typed or selected.

Next Meeting (Monday February 13 at 7pm)
• At the February meeting Owais has volunteered to demonstrate Google Classroom app.
• We will also discuss the possibility of another training session with Zoomtext and JAWS.
• 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]

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 Victoria Summary Notes, General Discussion, December 7, 2016

Get together with Technology (GTT) Victoria

A Chapter of

The Canadian Council of the Blind

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The group is made up of blindness related assistive technology users, and those who have an interest in using assistive technology designed to help blind and vision impaired people level the playing field. GTT groups meet monthly to share their passions for assistive technology and to learn what others can offer from their individual perspectives.

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

https://GTTProgram.Wordpress.com/