Next GTT Ottawa meeting reminder Monday December 17 6-8 Pm CCB national office 20 James street. All about gifts and shopping.

GTT Meeting Invitation

GTT Ottawa Meeting

When:

December 17 2018

Time: 6 Pm to 8 PM Eastern time.

Location:

CCB national office 20 James Street

Topic:

We will catch up on the accessibility card for LRT, discuss shopping and gift giving ideas and tips, answer your tech questions and share ideas and resources

We will not be ordering food, but if you wish to come early and bring your dinner or get something in the nearby area, we will be open and happy to socialize before the meeting.

For more information contact Kim at

(613) 567-0311

CCB Tech Articles, Donna’s Low Tech Tips, A scam alert, December 17, 20187

December 17 2018

A scam alert

 

Happy holidays everyone!

Hi there!  It’s Donna and thank you for allowing me to come into your inbox.

Today, I’d like to introduce you to my scam alert.

 

A scam alert

Better not to answer your door to the unknown person

 

These types of scammers come in all age groups and with limitless types of requests.  Now it is up to you to use your judgement and go with your gut instinct.

 

They could be anyone from the youngest to the oldest.

They could be selling small appliances and electronics.

They could be insurance sales persons.

They could be someone offering to do your taxes.

 

Just remember!  These types of scammers do not have a specific age.  Adults often use children to help them carry out their unhealthy deeds.

 

What’s the risk of opening your door to an unknown caller?

You take your future and your life into your hands.

 

Until next week then!

 

 

That’s it from me for this week.

If you would like to become a member of  my CCB Mysteries chapter you can do so for the price of $10 annually and in return you will receive unlimited access to either of the following libraries.

Recipes –

http://www.donnajodhan.com/library-recipes.html

Audio mysteries for all ages –

http://www.donnajodhan.com/library-audio-mysteries.html

Or you can subscribe to both for the price of $20 annually.

Now you  can subscribe to “‘Let’s Talk Tips”‘ which is my monthly resource for the most current and reliable

informational tips available in the areas of Technology, Nutrition, Media,

Business, and Advocacy.

http://bit.ly/ADJSubscribe

 

To contact me, send me an email at info@sterlingcreations.ca and I’d be happy to respond.

Have yourselves a great day and see you next week.

Donna

 

 

 

Canadian Council of the Blind/GTT $10/Annual Membership Dues for the Year 2019 Are Now Due

December 12, 2018

 

Attention GTT-CCB Participants and Members in Western Canada:

 

Subject: Canadian Council of the Blind $10/Annual Membership Dues for the Year 2019 Are Now Due

 

Dear GTT Participants and Members.  The end of 2018 is fast approaching and a New Year is just around the corner, so I am tasked with the duty of collecting as many membership dues as I can for the GTT Vancouver, Victoria a Nanaimo Chapters.  This call to action is also directed at those who participate in other GTT activities and events like GTTSupport Email List, GTT National Conference Call and the GTTProgram Blog.  If you belong to any other CCB Chapter and have paid your dues through your Chapter as is best done, we thank you for that.

 

As the Get Together with Technology program (GTT) is an initiative of the Canadian Council of the Blind, that is the organization to which we submit our annual dues.  So, if you have participated in any of the above noted Chapters, events or activities and wish to re-new, or to establish your CCB membership for the first time please check in with me directly.  You can E-Transfer or Interac $10 to my work email address, or I can be reached at that address and will be happy to make arrangements as best suit you.  Please call or email if you have any questions.

 

Albert Ruel, GTT Coordinator

iPhone: +1-250-240-2343 (call or text:

Albert.GTT@CCBNational.net

 

In order to complete your membership, especially if it’s your first time I’ll need the following information;

 

Name:

Phone Number:

Email Address:

Mailing Address:

Degree of Vision Loss:

Date of Birth:

 

Thx, Albert

 

***

 

Albert A. Ruel

From an Island in The Pacific

Parksville BC, Canada

Albert.GTT@CCBNational.net

iPhone: +1-250-240-2343

 

Life is a journey not a destination, enjoy the trip.

 

 

 

GTT Questionnaire: Top Ten iOS, Android, PC and Mac Apps of 2018, Due on December 21, 2018

Get Together with Technology

An Initiative of the

Canadian Council of the Blind

 

Top Ten iOS/Android/PC/Mac Apps for 2018

 

Hey GTT participants and friends, for the second year in a row I want to generate a list of the top 10 accessible iOS, Android, Mac and PC Apps you found/used in 2018. You don’t have to come up with 10, just tell me about your favourite 3 “can’t live without” apps, and I’ll do the rest. A final report will be tallied just before Christmas and so that you have time to plan your Boxing Day deal shopping.

 

To participate simply forward this note by December 21, 2018 to my email address, Albert.GTT@CCBNational.net with the below fields filled in.  Please replace the samples I’ve offered with your top 3 choices.  If you wish to read the 2017 final report a link is provided at the bottom of this note.

 

iOS Apps: (iPhone/iPad/iPod)

 

  1. Sample, Compass
  2. Sample, Audio Book Reader
  3. Sample, Vacation Planner

 

Android Apps: (Phone/Tablet)

 

  1. Sample, Compass
  2. Sample, Audio Book Reader
  3. Sample, Vacation Planner

 

PC Apps: (Screen Reader/Magnification/Productivity)

 

  1. Sample, Window Eyes
  2. Sample, Word Processer
  3. Sample, Vacation Planner

 

Mac Apps: (Screen Reader/Magnification/Productivity)

 

  1. Sample, Voice Over
  2. Sample, Word Processer
  3. Sample, Vacation Planner

 

If you haven’t seen the results of the previous survey titled, Top 10 iOS, Mac, PC and Android Apps according to GTT Participants Final 2018Jan05

 

If you have any questions please reach out to Kim Kilpatrick or Albert Ruel at, Toll Free: +1-877-304-0968, or GTTProgram@Gmail.com and Albert.GTT@CCBNational.net.

 

Thx, Albert

CCB National Newsletter, Visions, December 2018

A person in a warm sweater holds a textured christmas tree ball in their hands
Bell offers the Doro 824C and 824. These smartphones are designed with accessibility in mind. With your purchase of a Doro mobile device, you’ll also receive
a free pair of AfterShokz Trekz Titanium headphones.

Click this message to learn more.
VISIONS
Canadian Council of the Blind Newsletter
December 2018
“A lack of sight is not a lack of vision”
Canadian Council of the Blind Logo
President’s Message++
1Louise Gillis – CCB National President
63
A portrait of Louise Gillis
As many of us have experienced winter rather early this year it seems today happens to be a bright, sunny and slightly warmer day more typical of the season.
I hope that this continues for everyone so that we can enjoy a bit of family time as we prepare for the holiday season.
We continue to be very busy in many areas with a variety of CCB programs. GTT has been posting a lot of great information to assist in mobility, new apps
and some simple ideas to make life easier for those living with vision loss. Thank you to all the leaders working with GTT to continue to make it a successful
program.
The Canadian Senate sitting in session.
This has been a busy month with the
Accessible Canada Act which has now moved
through the third reading unanimously and on
to the Senate for consideration and hopefully
approval. We have sent in a written
submission to the Standing Committee as did
many other organizations of persons with disabilities. The Act, as it stands now does
not give time lines and some other concerns expressed by varying organizations, for a
fully accessible Canada by a specific date but what it has is standards for regulations
for federally run agencies which will have to comply with the Act. You can check out on
the “HUMA” website many of the submissions and the progress of Bill C-81.
http://www.ourcommons.ca/Committees/en/HUMA/StudyActivity?studyActivityId=10268658
The Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) is busy making changes to regulations for air, rail and ferry services under federal jurisdiction. For those who
have computer access you can go on their website to follow what is transpiring. This is also taking place with CRTC as well for communications. The changes
are being made to comply with the anticipated Accessible Canada Act. CCB has been involved in providing input and submissions to both agencies. Thank you
to Kim Kilpatrick and Shelly Morris on their work with CRTC. Several CCB members have been working with rail, air and ferry services and thank you all
for your input.
414
We have recently completed a submission to Canadian Agency on Drugs and Technology (CADTH) for a new treatment (eye drops) for Glaucoma. It is the first
of its kind also there has not been any new drops in many years. What is CADTH? CADTH is an independent, not-for-profit organization responsible for providing
Canada’s health care decision-makers with objective evidence to help make informed decisions about the optimal use of drugs and medical devices in our
health care system. Created in 1989 by Canada’s federal, provincial, and territorial governments, CADTH was born from the idea that Canada needs a coordinated
approach to assessing health technologies. The result was an organization that harnesses Canadian expertise from every region and produces evidence-informed
solutions that benefit patients in jurisdictions across the country.
CCB continues to work with Best Medicines Coalition, FFB, CNIB, and others to ensure that Canadians get the best care possible not only eye care but other
disease processes that many of our members may be dealing with in their lives health promotion and illness prevention.
The Mobile Eye Clinic continues to check children in the Ottawa region schools. Results still show that approximately twenty five percent of children attending
have previous undetected eye concerns needing further follow-up.
ll our committees have been very active over the fall. It takes a lot of time and important work to complete items as we make our way through to ensure
everything meets requirements that are set for compliance. Thank you for the work of the committee members for their great work and time commitment.
690
It is now time to enjoy holiday festivities with families and friends. As our country is made up of a vast number of nationalities I would like to wish
everyone a time of enjoyment, relaxation, spending time with fellow workers or neighbours as we will soon will be moving into a new year with lots of hope
for continued strength and growth.
Best wishes for the holidays and Happy New Year to all.
Louise Gillis, National President
Two grey pencils on a yellow background, behind the word Announcements.
Announcements
‘EXPERIENCE’ EXPO 2019++:
Ad for Experience Expo 2019 Saturday February 2 10am to 4pm, at the Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre 750 Spadina Ave. Toronto, ON. For more information
please visit http://www.ccbtorontovisionaries.ca
785
Thank-you!++
CCB would like to acknowledge and thank Ken Christie, from the Windsor Low Vision Chapter in Ontario for his many years of support and activity within
the Council. Ken joined CCB in 2005, after having volunteered with CNIB for over 25 years. He was already quite active in the blind bowling community,
and decided to bring his enthusiasm for bowling and community engagement to CCB. Ken pulled together the communities of Sarnia, Chatham and Windsor to
bowl, and each May, he would organize a tournament followed by a banquet. He worked closely with the local Lions Club, who ended up cosponsoring the bowling
tournament. Ken and the Windsor chapter could also always count on lots of support from his wife, Catherine, who volunteered to drive members to meetings
and help organize fundraising activities. Ken will be turning 89 years old in January, and he has decided it’s time to take a step back from his active
role in the chapter and reflect on the wonderful times he spent with the chapter members in CCB.
Two hands hold a card that says “thank you” over a bouquet of tulips.
Jim Tokos adds:
Two people shaking hands
Ken was a mentor to me, as when I first joined the Ontario Board, Ken, along with Don Grant, Theresa Dupuis, Doug Ayers, to name a few, always encouraged
me to move forward, and how can you not be motivated to succeed when you are surrounded by such wonderful and devoted persons.”
I have also been fortunate enough to know Ken quite well over the past and upon request from Ken have spoken to the Windsor Low Vision Chapter on many
occasions. Ken will certainly be missed as he touched a lot of hearts, and Ken and Kay, what more can the Council say but Thank You for your outstanding
service to the CCB.
CCB Toronto Ski Hawks Ski Club Chapter at the
Toronto Ski and Snowboard show.++:
In late October the Ski Hawks had an exhibit at the Ski and Snowboard show. This was the first time in many years that we have been at the show.
2CCB Toronto Ski Hawks Ski Club Chapter at the Toronto Ski and Snowboard Show.
1154
Some members of CCB Toronto Ski Hawks Ski Club Chapter at their booth at the Toronto Ski and Snowboard Show.
Over the course of the 4 day show the booth was staffed, in rotating shifts, by 9 of our blind skiers and several volunteer ski guides. Many of the visitors
to our booth were truly amazed that blind people actually ski downhill.
Of particular interest was our short video that describes how we ski with a guide. At the very least it definitely raised awareness that people with low
vision or no vision can be skiers.
One of our goals at the show was to recruit volunteers to be trained as guides and this was indeed a success! The other was to get some form of sponsorship
from the ski industry, we are currently pursuing some leads from the show.
3 Kelsey Serwa posing with her Gold Medal
Kelsey Serwa poses with as if she’s biting her gold medal
The highlight of the show for our blind skiers was when they had a visit with Kelsey Serwa winner of the gold medal in ladies ski cross at the 2018 winter
Olympics in Pyeongchang. Not only did they have the opportunity to ask her questions but also got to hold her gold medal and discovered that the edge was
inscribed in Braille.
1356
Submitted by Chris Wyvill
The Situation of Blind and Partially Sighted Persons
in Accessing their Human Rights – from the World
Blind Union
Persistent cultural, social, legal, physical and institutional barriers pose
restrictions to the full inclusion of visually impaired persons in society in all
areas of private and public life, including education; employment; health
care; cultural, recreational, sporting and leisure activities; and political
participation. They face huge barriers to personal mobility owing to lack of
accessibility. Poor access to justice limits their access to communications
and compounds their isolation and exclusion.
Unemployment of persons with visual
disabilities is a significant challenge and they
remain the poorest of the poor, unable to
compete with the labour market. Therefore,
disaggregation of data by disability, sex and age
is fundamental for understanding the situation of
blind and partially sighted persons and
informing policies to ensure their effective
inclusion and the full realization of their human
rights.
Black and White image of a homeless man from Melbourne, Australia
While significant progress has been made towards the inclusion of bind and partially sighted persons in the international human rights and development
frameworks, concerted advocacy efforts are still needed to ensure that these commitments are translated into an enabling environment that mobilizes stakeholders,
enhances participation of organizations of persons with disabilities and strengthen political will and the capacity of governments to implement to 2030
Agenda in line with all the UN International human rights instruments, together with the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD).
This requires constant attention to ensure that human rights mechanisms uphold the highest CRPD standards and facilitating interconnections and consistency
of these mechanisms with normative development frameworks.
A woman wearing glasses lookes for a book on a bookself
We further celebrate the adoption and ratification of
the Marrakesh Treaty that calls upon researchers,
publishers, and the academia in line with the
intellectual property rights to ensure that persons with
visual disabilities receive and access information in
accessible formats of braille, large print, audio and
electronic formats. We celebrate this achievement,
but we call upon states to ratify this instrument and
domesticate it into their legal framework to ensure
that the obligations spelt under the treaty are met.
However, this is still a big challenge by many states, as this goal has not
been adequately implemented. This poses a barrier to our participation as
blind and partially sighted persons on an equal basis with others.
We advocate for the availability of resources to accommodate the different needs for blind and partially sighted persons. We appeal to governments and
international agencies to provide consistent statistical data for persons with visual disabilities to provide evidence during planning, budgeting, programming,
policy development and implementation.
4 people work with various graphs in the middle of a conference table.
We further request governments and development partners to promote the full and effective participation of persons with visual disabilities by ensuring
that their organizations and their representatives are permanently consulted on contentious issues and rights affecting them during development processes.

Canada accedes to the Optional Protocol to the
United Nations Convention on the Rights of
Persons with Disabilities
From:
Employment and Social Development Canada
News release
December 3, 2018 Ottawa, Ontario
Employment and Social Development Canada
The Government of Canada is working to create a truly accessible Canada. Today, as part of these efforts, the Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of
Public Services and Procurement and Accessibility, along with the ministers of Justice, Foreign Affairs and Canadian Heritage, announced that, with the
support of all provinces and territories, Canada has acceded to the Optional Protocol to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Accession to the Optional Protocol means that Canadians will have additional recourse to make a complaint to the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons
with Disabilities, if they believe their rights under the Convention have been violated.
Along with the proposed Accessible Canada Act, which was recently adopted by the House of Commons and is now before the Senate, today’s announcement shows
that the Government of Canada is taking another step towards creating a barrier-free Canada.
A fisheye photograph of the United Nations in session
Recently released data from Statistics Canada reinforce the importance of a more inclusive and accessible Canada. The 2017 Canadian Survey on Disabilities
shows that the prevalence of disabilities among Canadians is greater than many realize, with 22% of Canadians identifying as having a disability. The new
data will be used by the federal government to help build a more inclusive society that benefits all people in Canada – especially persons with disabilities
– through the realization of a Canada without barriers.
Quick facts
list of 2 items
• The United Nations (UN) Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (the Convention) is an international human rights instrument that requires
State Parties to the Convention to promote, protect and ensure the rights of persons with disabilities. Canada ratified the Convention in 2010.
• The Optional Protocol establishes two procedures. The first is a complaint procedure that allows individuals and groups to take complaints to the UN
Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in the case of an alleged violation of their rights under the Convention. The second is an inquiry
procedure that allows the Committee to inquire into allegations of grave or systematic violations of the Convention by a State Party.
list end
The members of the UN CRPD Committee
list of 7 items
• The UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is a body of independent experts that monitors the implementation of the Convention by States
Parties.
• As of November 2018, there are 177 States Parties to the
Convention on the Rights of
Persons with Disabilities, with 93 States Parties to the Optional Protocol to the Convention.
• Under Bill C-81, approximately $290 million over six years would serve to further the objectives of the proposed legislation.
• One in five people—22 percent of the Canadian population aged 15 years and over, or about 6.2 million individuals—had one or more disabilities, according
to the 2017 Canadian Survey on Disabilities.
• The survey also reports that people with severe disabilities aged 25 to 64 years are more likely to be living in poverty than their counterparts without
disabilities (17 percent) or with milder disabilities (23 percent).
list end
4The members of the UN CRPD Committee
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Close-up of colorful lines of code on a computer screen
Assistive Technology
Donna’s Low Tech Tips++
Meet the Talking First Aid Kit
Carl Augusto of the American Foundation for the Blind Blog posted the following about this great product.
I think it’s always important to keep safety in mind, so I thought I’d let you
know about a new product from Intelligent First Aid, the First Aid “talking”
Kit. The Kit includes nine injury-specific packs to help treat common injuries,
including Bleeding, Head & Spine Injury, and Shock. The packs are
individually labeled and color-coded, which I love because it would help
someone with low vision easily distinguish the packs. The best part, though,
is that with the press of a button, the audio component attached to each
card provides step-by-step instructions to manage the wound. Situations
often become chaotic when a loved one, an acquaintance, or even you,
experiences a minor injury.
With this tool, people with low vision can remain calm and have an idea of how to handle things without worrying about reading any print.
Check out the Intelligent First Aid website to purchase the product or get more information:
http://www.intelligentfirstaid.com/index.php
The site even allows you to listen to a sample of the audio component of the kit.
To contact Donna, send her an email at
info@sterlingcreations.ca
A person having their knee bandaged.
The edges of newspapers as a background to In the News
In
the
News
Disability Advocates Criticize Lack of Teeth in New
Manitoba Accessibility Regulations++
A new law is now in force for Manitoba businesses, but don’t expect a bylaw officer to show up at your door any time soon.
As of Nov 1, businesses and organizations in Manitoba should be following the letter of the law when it comes to providing accessibility for Manitobans
with disabilities.
The Customer Service Standard Regulation is the first of five areas to come into force under the Accessibility for Manitobans Act, which passed in December
2013, but at this point, officials are more interested in educating the public than imposing penalties on businesses.
A couple walk down a sidewalk by several stores.
“We would take concerns and educate and support those organizations into complying with legislation. Turning to the stiffer penalties would be more of
a last resort for us,” said Jay Rodgers, deputy minister for the Department of Families.
‘Never a ramp’
That means that it could be a while before Megan Clarke can roll into one of her favourite restaurants in Winnipeg’s Exchange District.
When the restaurant first showed up a few years ago, she was excited about trying it out, only to find that a small lip in the sidewalk created a barrier
for her wheelchair. Clarke waited outside while her friend went into the restaurant to order and bring the matter to the owner’s attention.
“[The owner] said ‘We’ll get a ramp made,’ so for the course of the summer,
we went back and there was never a ramp, never a ramp, and then one day
my friend went in to talk to him and his response was, ‘Well, we don’t have
the ramp made yet, but she can have free dessert any time she comes,’ and
I was like, well, that’s the last time I’m going to come to your place,” said
Clarke.
Under the Customer Service Standard Regulation, any business or organization with one or more employees in Manitoba must provide its goods and services
in a barrier-free way.
A pink sign showing the direction for a step free route
The regulations cover everything from training staff to the built environment, but don’t prescribe specific measures, such as the installation of ramps
at doors with raised entryways.
“Our expectation, I think, would be that if the building is physically inaccessible that there might be other ways of offering the service to the customer,
whether it means coming out and meeting someone at the front or doing business over the phone. Our point would be that the alternative ways of accessing
the service need to be communicated broadly to the public,” said Rodgers.
Documentation required
The regulations also require every business with 20 or more employees to document customer service policies and procedures, and either post them publicly
or provide them on request, so those living with disabilities understand how the business is working toward eliminating barriers.
However, there are no clear guidelines for enforcing the standards, so businesses will be unlikely to comply, advocates say.
“Without effective enforcement, a law is a voluntary law, and a voluntary
law is really not very much of a law at all,” said David Lepofsky, a lawyer
and disability rights advocate who was highly influential in the creation of
Ontario’s accessibility laws.
Legislators in Manitoba looked at the Ontarians with Disabilities Act while creating Manitoba’s legislation, but Lepofsky warns poor enforcement means
Ontario’s law has failed in many areas.
A low shot of a tactile strip at a subway station
“We revealed through Freedom of Information Act applications and otherwise that [officials] were aware of rampant violations and yet deployed a paltry
number of enforcement staff and a paltry number of audits and therefore did a really ineffective job of enforcing [the act],” Lepofsky said.
Slow rollout
Manitoba is considering using its existing bylaw enforcement officers, such as those operating under Workplace Safety and Health, to enforce the act, Rodgers
said.
It’s a step above what Ontario is doing, Lepofsky said, but he is critical of the lack of a solid plan for enforcement.
“This law was passed half a decade ago in Manitoba and half a decade is more than enough time to plan to get something like this set up,” he said. “The
Manitoba government has had ample opportunity to contact Ontario, find out what they’ve learned, get this designed, get it up and running. They shouldn’t
just be looking at it now.”
Complaints and concerns
Bringing businesses into compliance with the act will take time, despite the
November 1 deadline, Rodgers said. Complaints and concerns about
business compliance should be directed to the Disabilities Issues Office, he
said. It is up to him as director to determine whether a complaint is
reasonable or not.
Despite the slow rollout, Clarke remains optimistic about what the act could mean for her. Already she is seeing small changes in her neighbourhood, such
as the addition of accessible buttons on an automatic door at her local Starbucks.
A push to open accessibility button for a door
“Whether it’s coffee or groceries or clothing or getting my hair cut, whatever service I’m going to, I’m going to be able to just go in and live my life.
That’s what it’s all about. It’s just access,” she said.
By Kim Kaschor, CBC
Guide Dog Users, Inc. Publishes Handbook to Help
People Who Are Blind Decide if the Guide Dog
Lifestyle is Right for them++
Guide Dog Users, Inc. (GDUI), the largest membership and advocacy
organization representing guide dog handlers in the United States, is
pleased to announce the recent publication of a revised handbook for
perspective guide dog users which shares comprehensive information about
acquiring and using a guide dog for safe and independent travel.
A yellow lab sitting in leaves.
The guide, 90 pages in length, and available in e-book and print formats, “A Handbook for the Prospective Guide Dog Handler,” 4th Edition, updates a GDUI
publication, called “Making Impressions,” which GDUI members wrote and published a quarter of a century ago. The original manual assisted countless guide
dog users with applying for training with and adjusting to working with guide dogs. Many of those original readers are now working successfully with a
third or fourth or even an eighth, or tenth guide dog. Realizing how well their original publication had served guide dog users all over the country and
beyond, GDUI has spent the past several years updating the manual to reflect changes in guide dog training methodologies, growth in the community of guide
dog users, changes in the number of schools now available to provide training and dogs, and evolving attitudes among the public concerning acceptance of
guide dogs as reliable and respected aids for blind and visually impaired people who choose dogs for independent travel.
The informative handbook answers questions not only for the prospective guide dog team, but also for families of people who are blind, blindness rehabilitation
professionals and educators, and the general public.
Part One, Section One sets the stage with heartfelt accounts from many guide dog users who can speak with authority about the guide dog lifestyle which
pairs humans and canines in a relationship, unlike few others, that involves a 24-hour daily bond between dogs and their owners.
Then the handbook covers the whole process of deciding whether a guide
dog is the right choice for mobility and safety, choosing and applying to a
training program, learning to become a guide dog handler, returning home,
and spending the next several years bonding with a dog who is likely to
become an indispensable assistant and treasured companion.
Kim Kilpatrick relaxing on the floor with her guide dog Tulia
The manual outlines the indispensable support that an organization like GDUI can provide to guide dog users during times when their partnership can pose
uniquely stressful challenges, for example, when a guide dog team experiences denial of transit in a taxicab, or exclusion from a restaurant or other public
venue, when a treasured guide dog becomes ill or passes away, or when family or friends don’t understand how the team functions safely and independently.

5Kim and her guide dog Tulia
4087
GDUI encourages readers and members to share the handbook with family, friends, colleagues, blindness and disability advocacy organizations, and other
guide and service dog handlers. “A Handbook for the Prospective Guide Dog Handler” is available as an e-book and in print from Amazon.com, Smashwords,
and other online sellers. Visit this link for further information and to explore options for purchase:
http://www.dldbooks.com/GDUIHandbook/.
I live with Alexa, Google Assistant and Siri. Here’s
which one you should pick++
Sure, you could chose a smart speaker based on sound or price. The go-to gadget gift of the season is available from Amazon, Apple and Google with better
acoustics, new touch screens and deep holiday discounts.
But you’re not just buying a talking jukebox. Alexa, Siri and Google
Assistant also want to adjust the thermostat, fill your picture frame or even
microwave your popcorn. Each artificial intelligence assistant has its own
ways of running a home. You’re choosing which tribe is yours.
Four people hanging out and dancing during a sunset.
I call it a tribe because each has a distinct culture — and demands loyalty. This decision will shape how you get information, what appliances you purchase,
where you shop and how you protect your privacy. One in 10 Americans plan to buy a smart speaker this year, according to the Consumer Technology Association.
And Amazon says its Echo Dot is the bestselling speaker, ever.
The last time we had to choose a tech tribe like this was when smartphones arrived. Did you go iPhone, Android, or cling to a BlackBerry? A decade later,
it’s increasingly hard to fathom switching between iPhone and Android. (A recent Match.com survey found iPhone and Android people don’t even like dating
one another.)
Now imagine how hard it will be to change
when you’ve literally wired stuff into your
walls.
Looking into a living room through an arch way at a blue armchair
In my test lab — I mean, living room — an Amazon Echo, Google Home and Apple HomePod sit side by side, and the voice AIs battle it out to run my home like
genies in high-tech bottles. Here’s the shorthand I’ve learned: Alexa is for accessibility. Google Assistant is for brainpower. And Siri is for security.

Amazon’s aggressive expansion makes Alexa the one I recommend, and use, the most. Google’s Assistant is coming from behind, matching feature by feature
— and Siri, the original voice assistant, feels held back by Apple’s focus on privacy and its software shortcomings. (Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos owns The Washington
Post, but I review all tech with the same critical eye.)
Smart speakers are building the smart home that you never knew you needed. Inside the audio equipment, they’re home hub computers that work alongside smartphone
apps to connect and control disparate devices and services. Now with a speaker and the right connected gizmo, you can walk into a room and turn on the
lights without touching a button. Or control the TV without a remote. Amazon even sells an Alexa-operated microwave that cooks, tracks and reorders popcorn.

A modern lamp with a small house pant and decorative orb
But home assistants can also be Trojan horses for a specific set of devices and services that favour one company over another.
My buddy Matt recently asked me to help him
pick speakers and appliances for a big remodel.
He loves the Google Assistant on his Android phone, so selecting his tribe
should be easy, right? Hardly: He wanted to put Sonos speakers all around
the house, but they take voice commands directly via Alexa. (Sonos says
Google Assistant support is coming, though it’s been promising that for a
year.)
Figuring out which connected doodads are compatible can be like solving a 10,000-piece puzzle. The best smart home gadgets (like Lutron Caseta and Philips
Hue lights) work across all three tribes, but sometimes alliances and technical concerns make appliance makers take sides.
One man explaining something to a second man. Both are smiling and laughing.
Each AI has its limitations. They’re not all equally skilled at understanding accents — Southerners are misunderstood more with Google and Midwesterners
with Alexa. The price of ownership with some is letting a company surveil what goes on in your house. You can try, like me, to live with more than one,
but you’re left with a patchwork that won’t win you any favours with family.
How do you find your AI tribe? Here’s how I differentiate them.
Alexa
Supported smart home devices: Over 20,000.
Who loves it: Families who buy lots through Amazon and experiment with new gizmos.
The good: Alexa knows how to operate the most stuff, thanks to Amazon’s
superior deal making. The only connected things it can’t run in my house
are the app-operated garage door and some facets of my TV. Amazon also
has been successful at spawning new connected gadgets: Alexa’s voice
and microphone are built into more than 100 non-Amazon devices. And
Amazon recently announced plans to offer appliance makers a chip that lets
Alexa users voice command inexpensive everyday things, from wall plugs to
fans.
Alexa has also mastered some of the little details of home life. It will confirm a request to turn off the lights without repeating your command — super
helpful when someone nearby is napping.
An Amazon Echo Dot which is on and sitting on top of a pile of books
The bad: Alexa grows smarter by the week, but it can be a stickler about using specific syntax. It also has the weakest relationship with your phone, the
most important piece of technology for most people today. Amazon has bolstered a companion Alexa app for phones, making it better for communicating and
setting up smart home routines, but I still find it the most confusing of the lot.
Amazon doesn’t always show the highest concern for our privacy. This spring, when Alexa inadvertently recorded a family’s private conversations and sent
it to a contact, Amazon’s response boiled down to ‘whoopsie.’ And it records and keeps every conversation you have with the AI — including every bag of
popcorn it microwaves. (Amazon says it doesn’t use our queries to sell us stuff beyond making recommendations based on song and product searches).
Some love Alexa’s ability to order products by voice. But as long as Alexa runs your house, you’ll always be stuck buying those goods from Amazon. (That
microwave will only ever order popcorn from Amazon.) The coming generation of appliances built with the Alexa chip inside could similarly trap you forever
into Amazon-land.
Google Assistant
Supported smart home devices: Over 10,000.
Who loves it: People who are deep into Google’s services.
The good: Google Assistant comes the closest to having a conversation with an actual human helper. You don’t have to use exact language to make things
happen or get useful answers. Its intelligence can also be delightfully personal: It’s pretty good at differentiating the voices of family members. And
on the new Home Hub device with a screen, Assistant curates a highlights-only show from your Google Photos collection.
While Android phone owners are more likely to use lots of Assistant-friendly Google services, the Assistant doesn’t particularly care what kind of phone
you use — its simple companion apps work on iOS and Android.
A coral coloured Google home mini on a grey desk
And Google is neck and neck with Alexa on many of the nuances: Night mode reduces the volume of answers at night, and it can even require Junior to say
“pretty please.”
The bad: As a relative newcomer to the smart home, Google has been catching up fast. But in my house, it still can’t fully control my Ring doorbell or
send music to my Sonos speakers. And I’m not convinced that Google has Amazon’s negotiating sway, or the influence to bring the next generation of connected
things online.
The bigger problem is privacy. Google’s endgame is always getting you to
spend more time with its services, so it can gather more data to target ads
at you. Like Alexa, Google Assistant keeps a recording of all your queries —
every time you ask it to turn off the lights. Google treats this kind of like your
Web search history, and uses it to target ads elsewhere. (Thankfully, It still
keeps data from its Nest thermostat and home security division separate.)
The potential upside is that when Google discovers your habits in all that data, it might be able to better automate your home — like what time all the
lights should be off.
Siri
Supported smart home devices: Hundreds.
Who loves it: Privacy buffs and all-Apple households.
The good: Apple means business on security and privacy. Any device that wants to connect to HomeKit, its smart home software that works with Siri on the
HomePod and iPhone, requires special encryption.
An Apple HomePod sitting on a table
What’s more, your data is not attached to a personal profile, which aside from protecting your privacy also means that Apple is not using your home activity
to sell or advertise things. (While other smart speakers keep recordings and transcriptions of what you say, Siri controls devices by making a request
to its system through a random identifier, which cannot be tied to a specific user.)
And Apple is pretty good at keeping the smart home simple. Setting up a smart home device is mostly just scanning a special code. Even creating routines,
in which multiple accessories work in combination with a single command, is easier in the Siri’s companion Home app than with competitors.
The bad: You have to live in an all-Apple device world to reap these
benefits. Siri’s a pretty good DJ, but only if you subscribe to Apple Music.
You’re stuck with the HomePod as the one-size-fits-all smart speaker, and
Siri still isn’t as competent as her AI competitors.
And Apple’s security-first approach has kept too many appliance makers from joining its ecosystem. Sure, it’s quality not quantity, but Siri still can’t
interact with my Nest thermostat or Ring doorbell, just to name two. Apple did recently loosen up a tad: starting with Belkin Wemo’s Mini Smart Plug and
Dimmer, it no longer requires special hardware for authentication — that can now happen via software. The move should make it simpler to make new products

Siri compatible, and allow it access to existing ones.
By Geoffrey A. Fowler, The Washington Post
An elephant standing among grass.
REMINDERS
DON’T FORGET DONATIONS!++
Donations Received in the office in 2018 are the only ones that can be receipted for 2018. Remember to send those donations now if you want receipts for
the current year.
Membership Madness++
Hi Everyone! Becky from the office here. All chapters should have received their membership packages. The rebate time has passed, but there is still time
to get your chapters membership in for 2019!
All 2019 Memberships Due – December 28, 2018
WCW Orders and Insurance Requests Due – January 4, 2019
5969
http://www.ccbnational.net
1-877-304-0968
ccb@ccbnational.net

CCB Tech Articles, Donna’s Low Tech Tips, Privacy protection, December 10, 2018

December 10 2018

Privacy protection

 

Happy holidays everyone!

Hi there!  It’s Donna and thank you for allowing me to come into your inbox.

Today, I’d like to introduce you to my tip on privacy protection.

 

Privacy protection

You are planning to open banking accounts

The safest way for you to ensure that your personal banking details are kept private and confidential is for you to visit your bank and enlist the help of bank staff.

They will help you and you need not worry about your privacy being compromised.

You may want to see if they could provide you with electronic documentation but this should not be counted on.

 

The safest piece of advice that I can offer is for you to be stubborn and demand electronic documentation.  This is what I had to do several times.

 

 

That’s it from me for this week.

If you would like to become a member of  my CCB Mysteries chapter you can do so for the price of $10 annually and in return you will receive unlimited access to any of the following libraries.

Recipes – A collection of hard to find recipes

Audio mysteries for all ages – Comfort listening any time of the day

Home and garden – A collection of great articles for around the home and garden

Or you can subscribe to all 3 for the price of $30 annually.

Visit http://www.donnajodhan.com/subscription-libraries.html

 

To contact me, send me an email at info@sterlingcreations.ca and I’d be happy to respond.

Have yourselves a great day and see you next week.

Donna

GTT Duncan Meeting Invitation, Online Shopping, December 13, 2018

Get Together with Technology (GTT) Duncan

 

An Initiative of the Canadian Council of the Blind,

in Partnership with the

Vancouver Island Regional Library, N. Cowichan Branch

 

Theme: Online Shopping

Date:  December 13, 2018

Time:  4:00 PM to 6:00 PM

Where: Vancouver Island Regional Library, N. Cowichan Branch

2687 James Street Duncan BC

 

First Hour:

Albert Ruel will lead the group in discussion of some accessible/usable online shopping sites, as well as strategies, tips and techniques for staying safe online.

Second Hour:

The Library is still holding several audio books free for the taking, so bring along a shopping bag with which to take books home.  Also, bring those assistive gadgets you’re having trouble with and we’ll see if others in the group can assist in learning how to best use them.

 

For More Information:

Contact Albert Ruel at 250-240-2343, or by email at Albert.GTT@CCBNational.net

 

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: http://www.ccbnational.net

 

Message from CCB President: Canada accedes to the Optional Protocol to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Canada accedes to the Optional Protocol to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

From: Employment and Social Development Canada

News release

December 3, 2018         Ottawa, Ontario                   Employment and Social Development Canada

The Government of Canada is working to create a truly accessible Canada. Today, as part of these efforts, the Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Accessibility, along with the ministers of Justice, Foreign Affairs and Canadian Heritage, announced that, with the support of all provinces and territories, Canada has acceded to the Optional Protocol to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Accession to the Optional Protocol means that Canadians will have additional recourse to make a complaint to the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, if they believe their rights under the Convention have been violated.

Along with the proposed Accessible Canada Act, which was recently adopted by the House of Commons and is now before the Senate, today’s announcement shows that the Government of Canada is taking another step towards creating a barrier-free Canada.

Recently released data from Statistics Canada reinforce the importance of a more inclusive and accessible Canada. The 2017 Canadian Survey on Disabilities shows that the prevalence of disabilities among Canadians is greater than many realize, with 22% of Canadians identifying as having a disability. The new data will be used by the federal government to help build a more inclusive society that benefits all people in Canada – especially persons with disabilities – through the realization of a Canada without barriers.

Quotes

“Over the last year, our government has taken important steps to help realize a barrier-free Canada. Today, on the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, we celebrate those accomplishments and look towards the future of accessibility in Canada with optimism. Canada’s accession to the Optional Protocol of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities builds on our work and sends a clear message that we are committed to the rights of persons with disabilities and committed to giving all Canadians a fair chance at success.”
– The Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Accessibility

“Canada joining this UN convention is about protecting and promoting the rights and dignity of persons with disabilities. As a country, we need to ensure that everyone has access to the same opportunities and enjoys the same rights. Today is a step forward to making that goal a reality.”
– The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, P.C., M.P., Minister of Foreign Affairs

“I am proud that the Government of Canada is taking this step to advance the rights of persons with disabilities. Enabling the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities to consider complaints of violations of rights under the Convention is an important way to strengthen and protect the human rights of Canadians with disabilities.”
– The Honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould, P.C., Q.C., M.P., Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

“Promoting and advancing human rights for everyone is a fundamental part of our Canadian identity. It is important that federal, provincial and territorial governments continue to work together to uphold the rights of persons with disabilities. I am proud of the intergovernmental consultation held in support of Canada’s accession to the Optional Protocol to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and I look forward to driving further change.”
The Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism

“This announcement regarding the Optional Protocol, along with this government’s intention to pass the proposed Accessible Canada Act, sends a strong message to Canadians with and without disabilities that this government truly believes in inclusion and equality for all. This is one positive step to ensuring that Canadians with intellectual disabilities have their voices heard and that we are one step closer to ensuring we are not the left behind of the left behind.”
–  Kory Earle, President, People First of Canada

Quick facts

The United Nations (UN) Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (the Convention) is an international human rights instrument that requires State Parties to the Convention to promote, protect and ensure the rights of persons with disabilities. Canada ratified the Convention in 2010.

The Optional Protocol establishes two procedures. The first is a complaint procedure that allows individuals and groups to take complaints to the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in the case of an alleged violation of their rights under the Convention. The second is an inquiry procedure that allows the Committee to inquire into allegations of grave or systematic violations of the Convention by a State Party.

The UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is a body of independent experts that monitors the implementation of the Convention by States Parties.

As of November 2018, there are 177 States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, with 93 States Parties to the Optional Protocol to the Convention.

Under Bill C-81, approximately $290 million over six years would serve to further the objectives of the proposed legislation.

One in five people—22 percent of the Canadian population aged 15 years and over, or about 6.2 million individuals—had one or more disabilities, according to the 2017 Canadian Survey on Disabilities.

The survey also reports that people with severe disabilities aged 25 to 64 years are more likely to be living in poverty than their counterparts without disabilities (17 percent) or with milder disabilities (23 percent).

Related products

Associated links

Contacts

Ashley Michnowski
Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Carla Qualtrough
819-997-5421
ashley.michnowski@canada.ca

Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada
819-994-5559
media@hrsdc-rhdcc.gc.ca
Follow us on Twitter

 

Louise

 

Louise Gillis

National President

The Canadian Council of the Blind

20 James St. Suite 100

Ottawa, ON. K2P 0T6

1-877-3040968

613-567-0311

(902)304-1276

ccbpresident@ccbnational.net

www.ccbnational.net

 

 

CCB Tech Articles, Donna’s Low Tech Tips, Apps Round Up, December 3, 2018

December 03 2018

Apps round up

 

Happy holidays everyone!

Hi there!  It’s Donna and thank you for allowing me to come into your inbox.

Today, I’d like to introduce you to my apps round up.

 

  1. Battery Monitor App (iOS, Free)

 

Battery Monitor, the most accurate battery life monitoring app on the App

Store. With its simple battery life calibration, you can get estimations

with down-to-the-minute accuracy (±1min)! It also have a handy widget to

access estimations anywhere!

 

This app contains calibration for battery usage, battery charging time and

much more, making it the most accurate on the App Store! Don’t download

those clones you find everywhere, download this FREE app now!

 

Features:

* ±1 min battery life accuracy*

* ±1 min charging time accuracy*

* Simple interface, easy to use

* iOS Widget for easy access

* One time battery calibration

 

Current Version: 1.1 (November 21, 2017)

Read Battery Monitor App’s AppleVis App Directory entry for more information

https://www.applevis.com/apps/ios/utilities/battery-monitor-app

Visit Battery Monitor App’s App Store page

https://itunes.apple.com/app/battery-monitor-simple-accurate/id1182374760

 

  1. Shortcuts (iOS, Free)

 

Siri Shortcuts deliver a quick way to get things done with your apps with

just a tap or by asking Siri. The Shortcuts app enables you to create

personal shortcuts with multiple steps from your favorite apps. Start from

hundreds of examples in the Gallery or drag and drop to create your own.

 

Shortcuts includes over 300 built-in actions and works with many of your

favorite apps including Contacts, Calendar, Maps, Music, Photos, Camera,

Reminders, Safari, Health as well as any app that supports Siri Shortcuts.

 

Use the Shortcuts app to:

 

* Get directions home, send your ETA and start listening to the news, just

by asking Siri

* Add a home screen icon that calls a loved one

* Make animated GIFs

* Make PDFs from Safari or any app with a share sheet

* Get directions to the nearest coffee shop in one tap

* Tweet the song you’re listening to

* Get all of the images on a web page

* Send a message including the last screenshot you took

* And so much more…

 

Shortcuts can be launched from the Today widget, from Search or by asking

Siri. You can even add an app icon to your home screen for your favorite

Shortcuts.

 

Shortcuts opens up incredible possibilities to automate things you do

regularly on your iPhone and iPad.

 

Current Version: 2.0 (September 17, 2018)

Read Shortcuts’ AppleVis App Directory entry for more information

https://www.applevis.com/apps/ios/productivity/shortcuts

Visit Shortcuts’ App Store page

https://itunes.apple.com/app/workflow-powerful-automation/id915249334?ign-mpt=uo%3D8&at=11l4LS

 

That’s it from me for this week.

If you would like to become a member of  my CCB Mysteries chapter you can do so for the price of $10 annually and in return you will receive unlimited access to either of the following libraries.

Recipes –

http://www.donnajodhan.com/library-recipes.html

Audio mysteries for all ages –

http://www.donnajodhan.com/library-audio-mysteries.html

Or you can subscribe to both for the price of $20 annually.

Now you  can subscribe to “‘Let’s Talk Tips”‘ which is my monthly resource for the most current and reliable

informational tips available in the areas of Technology, Nutrition, Media,

Business, and Advocacy.

http://bit.ly/ADJSubscribe

 

To contact me, send me an email at info@sterlingcreations.ca and I’d be happy to respond.

Have yourselves a great day and see you next week.

Donna