Windows From the Keyboard Tips, External Devices – How to Safely Remove, February 19, 2020

Hello. This is Gerry Chevalier from the GTT Edmonton Chapter. This weekly blog provides tips that I find useful as a keyboard user of Windows. The information is for Windows10 and Office 365, although many tips still apply to older versions.  The tips do not require a screen reader unless specifically noted. Thus, the tips apply whether you are a keyboard user or low vision mouse user. Here is this week’s tip.

 

Windows External Media – How to Safely Remove from the Computer

When you are using external media such as a USB drive or SD memory card, there is a recommended method to safely remove it to prevent corruption of the files on the media.

  • First, use Alt+F4 to close all File Explorer or other apps (e.g. Word, Excel, Notepad etc.) that are using the external media.
  • Then you can log off or shut down your computer after which it is safe to remove the media.
  • If you prefer to remove the media without shutting down your computer, then press Windows key + E to open File Explorer.
  • Arrow down to the drive that contains your external media (E:, F:, G: etc.).
  • Press the Applications key to bring up a context menu for that drive.
  • Arrow down the menu to the Eject item and press Enter to eject the drive. It will not actually pop out of your computer unless it’s a CD/DVD drive, but its file system will be released by Windows.
  • Now it is safe to physically remove the media.
    Note that depending how your computer is set up or how you were using the drive will influence whether the Windows Eject function is required but it’s always safest to shut down or use Eject to prevent any corruption of the media’s file system.

 

That’s it for this tip. Until next Wednesday, happy computing.

 

 

GTT Toronto Meting Agenda, Editing Documents, February 20, 2020 by Zoom Conference

GTT Toronto Adaptive Technology User Group

February 20, 2020

 

An Initiative of the Canadian Council of the Blind

In Partnership with the CNIB Foundation

 

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

 

Hey Everyone, You’re Invited!

 

Theme: Editing Great-Looking, Well Formatted Documents

 

The Date & Time:

Thursday, February 20, 6:00 PM til 8:00 PM Eastern

The Place:

CNIB community Hub at 1525 Yonge St.

 

Hey Everyone!

Just a friendly reminder that the GTT Toronto Assistive Technology User Group will be meeting on Thursday February 20 from 6pm to 8pm Eastern at the CNIB Community Hub, 1525 Yonge Street.

 

This month, we’ll be looking at using our technological tools to create great-looking, well formatted documents with Christine Malec.  Chris brings her irreverent wit and exacting editing and proof-reading skills to bear on that bane of the blind: sloppy copy!  She’ll be focusing on MS Word, Outlook, JAWS, and perhaps a bit of iPhone in her quest to root out the editorial demons that plague the texts of those with vision loss, so we can all do a better job of accommodating those who are visually unimpaired!

 

As usual, light refreshments will be served.

 

Please book your Wheel-Trans rides for pick up just before 8pm.  Or, for more flexibility, you can always schedule your pick up from the Midtown Gastro Hub right next door at 1535 Yonge.

 

Come on out to the Get together with Technology meeting and discover the tech tools that can unlock your world!

 

Bring your tech, bring your questions, and Get together with Technology!

GTT Toronto

https://www.gtt-toronto.ca/

 

Join Zoom Meeting

https://zoom.us/j/5119510004

 

One tap mobile, Toronto Local:

+16475580588,,5119510004#

 

Toronto Local:

+1 647 558 0588

Meeting ID: 511 951 0004

 

As usual, light refreshments will be served.

And don’t forget, you can get the notes from our past meetings at

https://www.gtt-toronto.ca/

 

So, bring your adaptive technology, and your questions, and join the GTT Toronto adaptive technology user group!

 

To visit GTT Toronto’s web page for meeting announcements and summary notes visit this link.

 

GTT Toronto Adaptive Technology User Group Overview:

  • GTT Toronto is a chapter of the Canadian Council of the Blind (CCB).
  • GTT Toronto promotes a self-help learning experience by holding monthly meetings to assist participants with assistive technology.
  • Each meeting consists of a feature technology topic, questions and answers about technology, and one-on-one training where possible.
  • Participants are encouraged to come to each meeting even if they are not interested in the feature topic because questions on any technology are welcome. The more participants the better able we will be equipped with the talent and experience to help each other.
  • There are GTT groups across Canada as well as a national GTT monthly toll free teleconference. You may subscribe to the National GTT blog to get email notices of teleconferences and notes from other GTT chapters. Visit:

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

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

 

GTT North Van Meeting Agenda, General Tech Discussion, February 23, 2020

Get Together With Technology (GTT) North Vancouver

 

Sponsored by the Canadian Council of the Blind

In Partnership with

North Vancouver City Public Library

 

GTT North Vancouver February 2020 Bi-Monthly Meeting:

 

Theme: General Adaptation to Vision Loss and Technology Discussions

When: Sunday February 23, 2020 1:15 PM to 3:00 PM

Where: North Vancouver City Library, Third Floor, 120 West 14th Street.

 

First Hour:

Albert Ruel will facilitate discussions on general adaptation to vision loss tips, techniques and strategies that employ assistive and accessible technology, as well as the following external blindness related events and activities:

  • White Cane Week 2020, Park Royal on February 14
  • CCB BC Yukon Division AGM in Courtenay, April 2020

 

Second Hour:

We will discuss anything participants have on their minds, or work with accessible devices brought into the room.

 

Who Should Attend?

Any blind or partially sighted person who is interested in learning how peer mentoring and assistive technology can help you lead more independent lives.

 

For more information contact:

Albert Ruel, Toll Free: 1-877-304-0968 Ext. 550, or Mobile: 1-250-240-2343, Email: Albert.GTT@CCBNational.net

GTT Northern Ontario and Rural Conference Call, Alexa and the Amazon Speakers, February 20, 2020 By Zoom Conference

Get Together with Technology (GTT)

Northern Ontario and Rural Conference call

Sponsored by the Canadian Council of the Blind

 

Theme: Alexa, the Amazon Smart Assistant found in the Echo Speaker, Echo Dot and others.

Date: February 20, 2020

Time:7:00-8:30 PM Eastern Time

 

Meeting Agenda:

  • Albert Ruel will demonstrate some of the fun and useful features of the Amazon Smart Speakers with the help of Alexa delivered through the range of Echo Speakers like,. Echo, Echo Dot, Echo Show and Echo Sub.  If you have one join us to share your results and to ask how else it might be beneficial to you, and if you’re not sure whether or not to take the plunge, join us to get your questions and concerns answered. 
  • If time permits discussions will also be undertaken for any other iOS apps participants might be interested in.

 

You can participate using the Zoom Conference system by phone or internet from wherever you are:

 

Join the GTT Northern and Rural Conference Call Zoom Meeting from computer or smart phone:

https://zoom.us/j/9839595688

 

Just keep in mind that the below numbers are Toronto based.

 

One tap mobile, Toronto Local:

+16475580588,,9839595688

 

Toronto Local:

+1 647 558 0588

Meeting ID: 983 959 5688

 

For more information contact:

Brian Bibeault, Volunteer Co-Facilitator

GTT.NorthBay@Gmail.com

Kim Kilpatrick, GTT East Coordinator

GTTProgram@Gmail.com

1-877-304-0968 Ext 513

Albert Ruel, GTT West Coordinator

albert.GTT@CCBNational.net

1-877-304-0968 Ext 550

 

CCB Backgrounder:

 

The CCB was founded in 1944 by a coalition of blind war veterans, schools of the blind and local chapters to create a national self-governing organization. The CCB was incorporated by Letters Patent on May 10, 1950 and is a registered charity under the provisions of the Income Tax Act (Canada).

The purpose of the CCB is to give people with vision loss a distinctive and unique perspective before governments.  CCB deals with the ongoing effects of vision loss by encouraging active living and rehabilitation through peer support and social and recreational activities.

CCB promotes measures to conserve sight, create a close relationship with the sighted community and provide employment opportunities.

 

The CCB recognizes that vision loss has no boundaries with respect to gender, income, ethnicity, culture, other disabilities or age.

The CCB understands in many instances vision loss is preventable and sometimes is symptomatic of other health issues.  For the 21st century, the CCB is committed to an integrated proactive health approach for early detection to improve the quality of life for all Canadians.

As the largest membership organization of the blind and partially sighted in Canada the CCB is the “Voice of the Blind™”.

 

 

CCB National Office

100-20 James Street Ottawa ON  K2P 0T6

Toll Free: 1-877-304-0968 Email: info@ccbnational.net URL: www.ccbnational.neta

 

 

GTT Edmonton Meeting Notes, Fitness Tech, February 10, 2020

Summary Notes

GTT Edmonton Meeting February 10, 2020

 

The most recent meeting of the Get Together with Technology (GTT) Edmonton Chapter was held February10 at 7pm at Ascension Lutheran Church 8405 83 Street in Edmonton.

14 people attended.

Reading Tip: These summary notes apply HTML headings to help navigate the document. With screen readers, you may press the H key to jump forward or Shift H to jump backward from heading to heading. Read the Additional Resources section following the meeting notes to learn about our one on one telephone support, the National monthly teleconference, and the support email list.

 

February Topic –Fitness Tech

Lorne and Russell demonstrated the Apple Watch and other fitness and wellness technologies.

 

Russel Apple Watch Demo

Russell demonstrated some of the health and fitness apps available on his Apple Watch series 4. It is a great tool for helping to keep you motivated to exercise and stay fit. He demoed the Heart Rate App, the ECG App, the Activity App, the Workout App, and the Breathe App.

Heart Rate app

Your Apple Watch monitors your heart rate if you are wearing it. You can check your current heart rate, resting rate, and walking average rate at any time by opening the Heart Rate App. Russell showed an example of his heart rate stats for the day. You can also set the Heart Rate App to notify you if your heart rate goes above a certain rate, for example, 120 BPM, or below a certain rate, for example, 40 BPM after resting for 10 minutes. These rates can be set through the Watch App on the iPhone. The app also keeps track of your heart rate during a workout which you can view in the Workout app, and keeps track of your heart rate while using the Breathe app.

ECG App

The Apple Watch ECG app can help detect atrial fibrillation (AFib, which are irregular heart rhythms, and track this in the health app. Russell gave a demo of how to take an ECG on the Apple Watch. The app warns that the Apple Watch cannot check for signs of a heart attack and suggests that you contact emergency services if you believe you are having a medical emergency.

 

Activity App

The Activity App on the Apple Watch helps you keep track of Moving, Exercise, and Standing. Each of these categories is referred to as a ring. The Moving ring tracks the number of calories you burn in each day by moving. You can set the number of calories you wish to burn each day, and then track how well you are doing throughout the day. The Exercise Ring is set to 30 minutes of brisk exercise. You can track the number of minutes of exercise you have completed at any point in the day. The Standing Ring keeps track of how many times you’ve stood during that day. By default, it prompts you to stand once each hour of the day.

 

Workout App

The Workout App on the Apple Watch can be set to the type of activity you plan to do, for example, indoor or outdoor walk or run, indoor or outdoor cycle, hiking, stair stepper, yoga, etc. You can also choose what you wish to track, for instance, distance, duration, heart rate, total calories burned. Russell opened the Workout app to show some of the different setting choices available.

 

Breathe App

Russell opened the Breathe App on his Apple Watch and showed how you can set the duration of the breathe session, and discussed how you can set the number of times your Apple Watch prompts you to breathe each day through the Watch app on the iPhone. The duration can be set from 1 to 5 minutes. Russell then went through a 1 minute breathe session. When you set the duration and tap on start, VoiceOver prompts you to “Inhale along with the taps you will feel on your wrist and to Exhale between taps”.

 

 

Lorne Webber Demos

 

FitBit

Lorne demonstrated some of the accessible fitness and health tracking features of the Fitbit app, as connected to his Fitbit Charge 2, especially as it compares to those of the Apple Watch.

The Fitbit itself contains little to no accessibility features, especially for totally blind users; excluding a vibration notification when it’s successfully connected to the power and charging, like most phones.

Via the Fitbit app, “silent” vibrating alarms can be set for the Fitbit to alert you with a vibration which won’t stop until you tap the screen or press the side button.

The Fitbit app gives the user access to fitness and health metrics such as Total steps, distance, Flights climbed, total caloric expenditure, current and resting heart rate, daily time spent exercising, and, if you wear it to bed, total time sleeping and a sleep score estimating how restful your sleep was, (i.e., were you technically sleeping but doing lots of tossing and turning in your sleep.

Perhaps the biggest advantage the Fitbit has over the Apple Watch is its Battery life, approx. 5-7 days of 24-hour use, as compared to the 24- 48 hours of most Apple Watches. (with the proviso that the Apple Watch is much more fully featured than the Fitbit; these more powerful features take up much more battery life.

Perhaps the biggest disadvantage of the Fitbit is the need to view all of it’s statistics via the Fitbit app. Without the app on a smartphone or Tablet, the device itself, unlike the Apple Watch, is not accessible. Some users point out that the most basic feature of an Apple Watch on your wrist is that it can tell you the time accessibly, which the Fitbit cannot.

 

Polar Heart Rate Strap

Lorne also demonstrated his Polar H7 Heart Rate chest strap which can connect to hundreds of iOS and Android apps to keep track of Heart Rate during exercise. The strap must be next to your skin not worn outside clothing. Lorne was using the Runmeter app which is very accessible and offers hundreds of configurable audio announcements, however many other apps offer comparable functionality such as the WalkMeter app.

 

7-Minute Workout App

Next Lorne demonstrated one of the many guided exercise coaching apps; 7-Minute Workout,

Which has its premise that you can start your fitness journey by just performing a series of 12 body weight exercises in just 7 minutes. The app counts down and notifies you when you need to switch, and what the new exercises are. One Criticism of this app is that if you happen to be unfamiliar with how to perform that exercise, while the app does offer some text based descriptions, the pictures/diagrams built in to the app probably won’t be very helpful for a totally blind user.

Blind Alive Workout Videos with Audio Description

In terms of following along with pictures, diagrams and videos of exercises, Lorne discussed exercise videos, which sighted people will recognize from decades ago. They have been much harder for those with no or very low vision to follow along with, unless they have sighted assistance; now that has changed.

 

Lorne discussed the amazing resource which is the BlindAlive.com website, which hosts Eyes Free Fitness.

(The following quote is taken directly from the BlindAlive.com home page, donations would be welcome and go to support keeping this resource free).

“You just discovered the home of a complete set of the Eyes-Free Fitness® audio exercise programs. All programs are completely free for your downloading pleasure — no strings attached. These programs allow you to stretch, strengthen, condition, and tone your body, all without the benefit of eyesight. All these programs are thoroughly described with extra supplementary audio and text materials, should they be needed.

Mel Scott, who is blind, brought together a team of fitness instructors, musicians, and audio editors in order to provide a variety of exercise programs for people who need or prefer non-visual cues while exercising.”

 

Relaxation/Meditation

Lorne also discussed a number of relaxation and meditation resources, such as the Headspace app

which is one of several accessible guided meditation apps where you get the first lesson for free but then must pay to continue to more advanced material.

Headspace, along with many similar options is also available if you have a Google Home or Amazon Echo smart speaker, just by saying Connect to Headspace, or Open Headspace.

 

Some people prefer to listen to nature sounds or calming music in order to meditate, relax, or unwind from a busy day; your smart speaker can help you with this. just ask it to play types of sounds, such as Ocean sounds, or sleep sounds; sometimes you will have to enable a specific skill such as the Amazon Echo Island Sounds skill, before it will start playing.

If you have a subscription to a streaming music service such as Spotify or Apple Music, you can ask the smart assistant to play “relaxing music, meditative music, yoga music, etc. and it will queue up a corresponding playlist of music to help you relax.

 

Many of the above Meditation/relaxation  resources can also be found for free by searching YouTube for meditation, guided meditation, ASMR, Nature sounds, Meditation music, relaxation music, etc.

 

Next Meeting (Monday March 9 at 7pm)

  • Vicky Varga from Edmonton Public Library will provide an update on accessible library services such as CELA and NNELS.
  • As always, for help with technology bring your devices and/or questions to the meeting.

 

Additional Resources

Telephone Support

Contact our GTT coordinators, Kim Kilpatrick in the East or Albert Ruel in the West to book one on one telephone support.

Kim: 877-304-0968 Ext. 513

Email: GTTProgram@Gmail.com

Albert: 877-304-0968 Ext. 550

Email: albert.GTT@CCBNational.net

 

GTT Blog and Monthly Teleconference

CCB sponsors a national GTT monthly teleconference. You may subscribe to the GTT blog to get email notices of teleconferences, meeting notes from GTT chapters, and other information. To subscribe, activate the Follow link at the bottom of the blog web page to enter your email.

GTT Email Support List

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

GTTsupport+subscribe@groups.io

 

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 2 hour meeting consists of a feature technology topic in the first hour and a general tech discussion in the second hour.

[End]

Windows From the Keyboard Tips, External Devices and Autoplay Settings, February 12, 2020

Hello. This is Gerry Chevalier from the GTT Edmonton Chapter. This weekly blog provides tips that I find useful as a keyboard user of Windows. The information is for Windows10 and Office 365, although many tips still apply to older versions.  The tips do not require a screen reader unless specifically noted. Thus, the tips apply whether you are a keyboard user or low vision mouse user. Here is this week’s tip.

 

Windows External Devices and Auto Play Settings

Have you ever inserted a USB flash drive or SD card into your computer and then had some difficulty opening the media? Windows has a feature called Auto Play that determines how external media is handled when it is inserted into the computer. The simplest method I have found is to set Auto Play to just automatically open the media in File Explorer. TO achieve this:

  • Press the Windows logo key to open the Start menu search.
  • Type “Auto Play” without the quotes. Windows search results should bring up the Auto Play Settings choice within System Settings.
  • Press Enter to open the Auto Play Settings window.
  • Make sure “Use Auto Play” is set to, ON.
  • Press TAB to reach the Removable Drive item and press Down Arrow to select the option to “Open Folder to View Files”, and press Enter to select it.
  • Similarly, Press Tab to reach the Memory Card and Down Arrow to select the same option to “Open Folder to View Files”. Now whenever you insert a USB drive or memory card it will be automatically opened for you to view its files.
    • Press Alt+F4 to exit the Auto Play Settings window.

 

That’s it for this tip. Until next Wednesday, happy computing.

 

Press Release: Talking labels makes prescriptions easier to access for the visually impaired at pharmacies across Empire’s family of brands, February 12, 2020

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

February 12, 2020

 

Talking labels makes prescriptions easier to access for the visually impaired at pharmacies across Empire’s family of brands

 

Lawtons Drugs, Sobeys, Safeway, Thrifty Foods, Foodland, IGA (western Canada) and FreshCo pharmacies partner with En-Vision America to boost medication safety for low vision, blind and print-impaired pharmacy patients through ScripTalk; an innovative and accessible audible prescription label service

 

Stellarton, NS – Empire and its family of brands, continue to lead the grocery retail sector in providing inclusive customer experiences as the first national pharmacy network in Canada to offer ScripTalk audible prescription labels at all its in-store and stand-alone pharmacy locations, including Lawtons Drugs, Sobeys, Safeway, Thrifty Foods, Foodland, IGA (western Canada) and FreshCo.

 

A first-of-its kind at the national level by a Canadian pharmacy network, this rollout offers Canadians reliable access to simple, innovative technology to improve independent management of prescription medication.

 

ScripTalk audible prescription labels enable blind, low vision or print-impaired pharmacy patients to hear important prescription label information free of charge using En-Vision America’s Pharmacy Freedom Program.

 

With ScripTalk, pharmacists are able to code prescription labels with RFID or Radio Frequency Identification technology. Patients can then use a small, hand-held, base prescription reader called the ScripTalk Station Reader, available free of charge, to hear important prescription information and instructions read aloud (i.e. an audible label).  Patients can also access talking prescription labels by using En-Vision America’s mobile phone application that is compatible with the coded prescription labels.

 

“We’re proud to offer ScripTalk at all of our pharmacies across the country. ScripTalk is an easy-to-use yet innovative technology that is breaking barriers for those who are blind, have experienced vision loss, or are otherwise not able to read vital prescription information,” said Vivek Sood, Executive Vice President, Related Business, Sobeys Inc. “With this technology, we’re empowering our patients to independently manage their medications safely at our pharmacies, in their homes, or wherever they may be.”

 

“We at the Canadian Council of the Blind (CCB) are very pleased to be working with Empire and its family of brands to make prescriptions and important medical information more accessible for those of us who are unable to read or have difficulty reading medication labels. ScripTalk provides independence for people with print disabilities. The ScriptTalk audible prescription labels and readers are helping to overcome major issues that our community has struggled with for years. We’re thrilled to see this innovative new technology being offered across all of Empire’s banner pharmacies in Canada, including Safeway, FreshCo, and more,” Said Louise Gillis, CCB National President.

 

CCB’s Louise Gillis went on to say, “With Sobeys’ new talking labels, individuals with sight loss are now able to manage their medications more safely and independently.  The CCB estimates that there are 1.5 million Canadians living with vision loss, ranging from partial sight to total blindness. This population is seriously underserved with limited accessible pharmacy provided options for prescription labels. This puts them at risk for misinformation when accessing the pharmaceutical information on the attached labels.”

 

All Empire banner pharmacy locations across Canada, including Lawtons Drug Stores, and in-store pharmacies located in Sobeys, Safeway, Thrifty Foods, Foodland, IGA (western Canada) and FreshCo banners have implemented the ScripTalk service.

 

About Empire

Empire Company Limited (TSX: EMP.A) is a Canadian company headquartered in Stellarton, Nova Scotia. Empire’s key businesses are food retailing, through wholly-owned subsidiary Sobeys Inc., and related real estate. With approximately $25.6 billion in annualized sales and $13.8 billion in assets, Empire and its subsidiaries, franchisees and affiliates employ approximately 123,000 people.

Sobeys National Pharmacy

Sobeys National Pharmacy has more than 420 pharmacies across Canada, including Sobeys, Safeway, Thrifty Foods, FreshCo and Lawtons Drugs pharmacies; each with a dedicated team to help you manage your medication and health care needs. From advice on what to take for a cough or cold to helping you manage a new prescription medication, our teams are committed to providing convenient and personalized services for your family’s health and wellbeing.

 

About En-Vision America

En-Vision America, a Palmetto, Fla.-based company, provides high-tech products aimed at solving problems for individuals with disabilities. The company has spearheaded many innovations relating to labeling including voice-enabled products like i.d. mate, the talking bar code reader, and ScriptAbility, which includes talking prescription labels, Braille, large print, dual language and Controlled Substance Safety Labels (CSSLs). Originally founded by Philip C. and David B. Raistrick in 1996, the cornerstone of the company is based on one single premise: To provide those with disabilities equal access and greater independence through technology. Today, more than 20,000 individuals are using ScripTalk. For additional information, visit www.envisionamerica.com.

 

CCB Backgrounder:

 

The CCB was founded in 1944 by a coalition of blind war veterans, schools of the blind and local chapters to create a national self-governing organization. The CCB was incorporated by Letters Patent on May 10, 1950 and is a registered charity under the provisions of the Income Tax Act (Canada).

The purpose of the CCB is to give people with vision loss a distinctive and unique perspective before governments.  CCB deals with the ongoing effects of vision loss by encouraging active living and rehabilitation through peer support and social and recreational activities.

CCB promotes measures to conserve sight, create a close relationship with the sighted community and provide employment opportunities.

 

The CCB recognizes that vision loss has no boundaries with respect to gender, income, ethnicity, culture, other disabilities or age.

The CCB understands in many instances vision loss is preventable and sometimes is symptomatic of other health issues.  For the 21st century, the CCB is committed to an integrated proactive health approach for early detection to improve the quality of life for all Canadians.

As the largest membership organization of the blind and partially sighted in Canada the CCB is the “Voice of the Blind™”.

 

For further information, please contact:

Violet MacLeod

External Communications and Corporate Affairs

Sobeys, Inc.

Violet.MacLeod@Sobeys.com

782-440-2208

Guest Post: Community Advocacy Training, National Dog Guide Coalition and ARCH CRPD-OP

Hi Everyone

We are doing this last push to invite you all to sign up for this exciting free on-line training through ARCH Disability Law Centre. The course is 4 hours one Saturday a month for four months starting last Sat in March. The National Coalition is one of the partners in developing the training with ARCH. The purpose is to develop advocacy skills and a strong knowledge about how implementing the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities can and will impact you locally. Its also about developing relationships and building a network of people to work with. There are video links below this email that will explain more.  
 
What does that mean to you in your day to day and why is it important for you to consider taking this course?

1) Our Human Rights in Canada are based on us, the individual. Not a charity, not a business, not an agency, just us, the individual, we have standing in Human Rights law. 
2) As a result, everything that is being decided on our behalf by Governments Local, Provincial and Federal, including funding to organizations that provide services on our behalf, fundraise on our behalf and sit at the decision making tables, impact us the individual, every day. 
3) Nothing about us, without us, gets lost in translation when those that are invited to sit at the decision making tables are not us. They usually have no constituency in which to get advice and direction from and make sweeping decisions about us without us.    
3) How involved do we want to be in making decisions that impact ourselves and each other on a daily basis? What knowledge do we need and how do we get it?  Why spend 16 hours of my life over 4 months to take this course? 
4) One example of why this is important, is when a simple process of developing training methods and standards for PTS Dogs for Veterans, was highjacked. 
5) From early 2015 to April of 2017, two years of secret meetings and development by many unelected, non representative groups of people with no connection to us, developed standards that if adopted by the Federal Government, would have taken away our individual rights to choose and decide where we go to get our dogs and create a mandatory National Registry.    
6) This National Registry of us under a certification model included people we don’t know inspecting our homes, going through our financials and taking our dogs away from us to test them. Then they would decide if they would certify our dogs and they would be allowed to work with us in Canada. Thinking back it is as ridiculous sounding as it was almost three years ago. But it happened and the Federal Government funded it. This was the misplaced thinking of people at the decision table secretly deciding what was best for us. .
7) That is when our Coalition began. We said no and through all of your hard fought advocacy, shut it all down by March 2018. 
8) Unfortunately the almost half a million dollars that was spent, failed to produce any training methods and standards for PTS dogs for Veterans. That is what happens when people sit at tables without being responsible back to the people whom decisions impact and move their own agenda’s.    
9) This is brewing to start up again, standards accreditation and certification Federally. The same people who started working on that standards fiasco mess since 2009 and almost pulled it off in 2017, are still committed to having it happen and we are constantly responding to their push to do it all over again.
10) why take this training? Because we need more of us to have the knowledge, capacity and skills to continue to protect our hard earned rights and push back when decisions are being made that are eroding them. The more understanding each of us have, we can catch the game way ahead of 2 years of development and stop it before it starts. That is why many of us worked with ARCH to develop this training and to continue with more.    

As people who have already gone through round one of the standards debacle, I encourage you all to consider learning and preparing for no doubt another round that is coming our way in the next year, not to mention the provincial issues we are already dealing with. Understanding the legal protections of our Rights in the Convention will allow us, individually and together to articulate why these types of ideas are backwards thinking and do not promote a rights based one. We need to be able to argue from a position of strength and knowledge and we all deserve to have that knowledge. 

Thanks everyone. The videos and further information are next with the information in French following.

Yvonne Peters 
Heather Walkus,
National Coalition of People who use Guide and Service Dogs in Canada 
email: info@hooh.ca 
Phone: 250-499-0780     

Hands Off Our Harnesses, Hands Off Our Hounds   H.O.O.H

From: ARCH Staff 1 <archsta1@lao.on.ca>

Hi Heather!
I hope you are doing well.
 
As promised, I’m writing to let you know that we have the course dates confirmed.
 
OP Lab for OP Champions
·        March 28, 12-4 PM (EST)
·        April 25, 12-4 PM (EST)
·        May 30, 12-4 PM (EST)
·        June 27, 12-4 PM (EST)
 
OP Lab for Legal Experts
·        April 21, 2-4 PM (EST)
·        May 19, 2-4 PM (EST)
·        June 16, 2-4 PM (EST)
 
Joint Meeting for OP Champions and OP Legal Experts
·        September 15, 1-2 PM (EST)
 
We will be accepting applications until Friday, February 14, 2020, at 5:00 PM (EST). The information has been updated in our website:www.archdisabilitylaw.ca/initiatives/advancing-the-un-crpd/op-lab
 
Please share this as widely as possible, and as always let me know if you have any questions.
 
Thank you and have a great day,
 
Mariana Versiani
Communications and Outreach Coordinator
OP Lab Project Coordinator
 
416-482-8255, extension 2221
 
http://www.archdisabilitylaw.ca
 
Facebook @ARCHDisabilityLawCentre
Twitter @ARCHDisability
 
Please consider the environment before printing this email.
 

As a reminder, here’s the promotional information for the project:
 
1.   All information about ARCH’s initiative on the CRPD, and the OP Lab: https://archdisabilitylaw.ca/initiatives/advancing-the-un-crpd/op-lab/
 
2.   People who want to participate in the OP Lab will need to submit anapplication here: https://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/5281955/OP-LAB-Application-Form
 
3.   See attached a one-pager about the OP Lab, in English and in French.
 
4.   Primer video about the CRPD, the Optional Protocol and the OP Lab: www.youtube.com/channel/UCBwozUKpvREOrGGzpMHTXCw
 
5.   Factsheet about the CRPD and the Optional Protocol:https://archdisabilitylaw.ca/resource/factsheet-the-crpd-and-the-optional-protocol/
 
6.   ARCH Alert article about the OP Lab: https://archdisabilitylaw.ca/resources/arch-alerts/
 
All of these were shared through ARCH’s social media:
·        Facebook@ARCHdisabilityLawCentre
·        Twitter @archdisabilitylaw
·        OP LAB activities, including networking, will be encouraged on social media through #OPlab.
 
Here are the links in French:
·        Website/application form:https://archdisabilitylaw.ca/fr/la-mise-en-oeuvre-de-la-cdph-des-nations-unies/op-lab-apprendre-partager-agir/
·        Youtube video primer:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kQSU5WwWZdU&t=12s
·        Factsheet:https://archdisabilitylaw.ca/fr/resource/fiche-dinformation-la-cdph-et-le-protocole-facultatif/
·        ARCH Alert article:https://archdisabilitylaw.ca/arch_alert/arch-alert-volume-20-issue-4/#lancement-op-lab
 
Thank you again,
 
Mariana Versiani
Communications and Outreach Coordinator
OP Lab Project Coordinator
 
416-482-8255, extension 2221
 
http://www.archdisabilitylaw.ca
 
Facebook @ARCHDisabilityLawCentre
Twitter @ARCHDisability
 
Please consider the environment before printing this email.
 
Demain nous lancerons l’OP Lab: apprendre, partager, agir!, dans le cadre des célébrations de la Journée internationale des personnes handicapées.
 
Aidez-nous à promouvoir ce projet dans vos réseaux et médias sociaux!
 
Le lancement comprendra :
·        un courriel que nous enverrons demain avec des informations sur l’OP Lab
·        une vidéo sur la CDPH, le Protocole facultatif et l’OP Lab dans la chaîne YouTube d’ARCH :www.youtube.com/channel/UCBwozUKpvREOrGGzpMHTXCw
·        un article sur l’OP Lab dans l’ARCH Alerte du 3 décembre : https://archdisabilitylaw.ca/resources/arch-alerts/
·        une Fiche d’information sur la CDPH et le Protocole facultatif :https://archdisabilitylaw.ca/fr/resource/fiche-dinformation-la-cdph-et-le-protocole-facultatif/
 
Ceux-ci seront tous partagés demain via les médias sociaux d’ARCH :
·        Facebook @ARCHdisabilityLawCentre
·        Twitter @archdisabilitylaw
 
Toutes les activités d’OP Lab, notamment le réseautage, seront encouragées sur les médias sociaux à travers#OPlab.
 
Les personnes souhaitant participer à l’OP LAB doivent s’inscrire et nous souhaitons encourager autant de personnes que possible à s’inscrire. Vous trouverez le lien vers le formulaire d’inscription sur le site Web d’ARCH: www.archdisabilitylaw.ca/fr  
 
Cordialement,
 
 
Mariana Versiani
Communications and Outreach Coordinator
 
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1. ARCH Disability Law Centre
http://www.archdisabilitylaw.ca
 
55 University Avenue, 15th floor
Toronto, ON, M5J 2H7
 
Tel:   416-482-8255 or 1-866-482-2724 (extension 2221)
TTY: 416-482-1254 or 1-866-482-2728
Fax:  416-482-2981 or 1-866-881-2723
 
Facebook @ARCHDisabilityLawCentre
Twitter @ARCHDisability
 
ARCH’s office is physically accessible.  ARCH is a scent-free environment. We try our best to keep our office and events free of scents and fragrances.  These may cause health problems for staff and visitors. We ask for your cooperation by not wearing perfumes, aftershave, lotions or any other scented products when visiting us.
 
The information contained in this email may be legally privileged and confidential.  If you are not the intended recipient, any disclosure, copying or distribution of this material is strictly prohibited.  If you have received this email in error, please immediately destroy this message and kindly notify our office. 
 
Please consider the environment before printing this email.
 

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Re-Post: How do *YOU* Read? NNELS Survey and Focus Groups of Book Reading Habits, Needs and Preferences of Print Disabled Canadians

Follow these links to the National Network for Equitable Library Service (NNELS) survey if you wish to have your reading preferences known.

 

How do *YOU* Read?

Survey

NNELS is conducting a survey of the book-reading habits, needs and preferences of people with print disabilities in Canada.

 

Focus Groups

As part of the “How do *YOU* read?” study, NNELS will be conducting six Focus Groups across Canada and online.

 

 

White Cane Week 2020: International Legislation About White Canes

Legislation about White canes[

 

To commemorate White Cane Week in 2020 I will post daily articles giving readers some insight as to the types, history and importance of this vital tool used for mobility by blind citizens of the world.

 

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_cane

 

While the white cane is commonly accepted as a “symbol of blindness”, different countries still have different rules concerning what constitutes a “cane for the blind”.

 

In the United Kingdom, the white cane indicates that the individual has a visual impairment; with two red bands added it indicates that the user is deafblind.

 

In the United States, laws vary from state to state, but in all cases, those carrying white canes are afforded the right-of-way when crossing a road. They are afforded the right to use their cane in any public place as well. In some cases, it is illegal for a non-blind person to use a white cane with the intent of being given right-of-way.[13][14]

 

In November 2002, Argentina passed a law recognizing the use of green canes by people with low vision, stating that the nation would “Adopt from this law, the use of a green cane in the whole of Argentina as a means of orientation and mobility for people with low vision. It will have the same characteristics in weight, length, elastic grip and fluorescent ring as do white canes used by the blind.”[2]

 

In Germany, people carrying a white cane are excepted from the Vertrauensgrundsatz (de) (trust principle), therefore meaning that other traffic participants should not rely on them to adhere to all traffic regulations and practices. Although there is no general duty to mark oneself as blind or otherwise disabled, a blind or visually impaired person involved in a traffic accident without having marked themselves may be held responsible for damages unless they prove that their lack of marking was not causal or otherwise related to the accident.

 

CCB Backgrounder:

 

The CCB was founded in 1944 by a coalition of blind war veterans, schools of the blind and local chapters to create a national self-governing organization. The CCB was incorporated by Letters Patent on May 10, 1950 and is a registered charity under the provisions of the Income Tax Act (Canada).

The purpose of the CCB is to give people with vision loss a distinctive and unique perspective before governments.  CCB deals with the ongoing effects of vision loss by encouraging active living and rehabilitation through peer support and social and recreational activities.

CCB promotes measures to conserve sight, create a close relationship with the sighted community and provide employment opportunities.

 

The CCB recognizes that vision loss has no boundaries with respect to gender, income, ethnicity, culture, other disabilities or age.

The CCB understands in many instances vision loss is preventable and sometimes is symptomatic of other health issues.  For the 21st century, the CCB is committed to an integrated proactive health approach for early detection to improve the quality of life for all Canadians.

As the largest membership organization of the blind and partially sighted in Canada the CCB is the “Voice of the Blind™”.

 

 

CCB National Office

100-20 James Street Ottawa ON  K2P 0T6

Toll Free: 1-877-304-0968 Email: info@ccbnational.net URL: www.ccbnational.net