GTT Edmonton Meeting June 8, 2015
The second meeting of the Get Together With Technology (GTT) Edmonton group was held June 8at 7pm at the Ascension Lutheran Church 8405 83 Street in Edmonton.
Approximately 20 people attended most of whom were blind or visually impaired.
Church Meeting Logistics
Gerry Chevalier, the GTT Edmonton coordinator, explained some logistics for future meetings.
GTT meetings will be every second Monday of the month at 7pm so the next one is July 13.
We meet in the basement meeting hall.
Please enter the church from the back door only. There is parking at the back and drop off space for taxis, DATS.
Try to arrive between 6:45pm and 7:15pm at which time the door will be locked. If you arrive late there is a door bell to the right of the outside door.
If you have someone helping you your assistant is welcome to remain for the meeting.
GTT Edmonton Team
Gerry Chevalier is blind. He is retired from HumanWare where he worked as the Product Manager for the Victor Reader line of talking book players.
Heather MacDonald is the specialist for CNIB career and employment services. She has a wealth of experience helping blind and visually impaired people
with the challenges of finding employment.
Carrie Anton is visually impaired and is the accessibility specialist for Athabasca University.
Russell Solowoniuk is blind and is the accessibility specialist for Grant MacEwan University.
Lorne Weber is blind and is the accessibility specialist for Norquest College.
GTT Edmonton Overview
GTT is sponsored by the Canadian Council of the Blind (CCB).
CCB now has GTT chapters in Ottawa, Victoria, and Nanaimo.
There is a national GTT monthly teleconference as well.
GTT Edmonton will foster the same learning experience as the above GTT chapters by holding monthly meetings to help participants with all manner of assistive
Each meeting will have a feature technology discussed in the first hour and general question and answer about any other technology in the second hour.
Small groups or even one on one assistance is possible at the meetings.
Participants are encouraged to come to each meeting even if they are not interested in the feature topic because the second hour is for any and all questions.
The more participants the better able we will be equipped with the talent and experience to help each other.
Participants decide what the feature topic will be for the next meeting.
Michel Pepin is the Canadian Account Rep for HumanWare. He was in Edmonton for meetings and agreed to join us at our Meeting. Michel talked for a few minutes
about HumanWare. He believes in the value of GTT and HumanWare will do what it can to support us. For example, we could designate one of our meetings where
HumanWare would conduct a workshop on their products including braille , GPS, and Victor Reader. The group was very interested in this. We talked about
a possible HumanWare workshop at the September meeting. Watch this space!
June 8 Feature Topic – iPhone
Russell demonstrated basic navigation of the home screen and then used Siri to dictate a text message to Carrie. The audience heard the text arrive on
Carrie’s phone and she then demonstrated how to type a reply text using both the standard split-tap typing and direct typing methods available on the iPhone.
Gerry then demonstrated the flexibility of using the Siri voice command feature to get information from the web, check the weather, get sports scores,
do calculations, convert measurements, etc. all without the need to type anything.
Gerry then demonstrated the Blindfold Solitaire app designed for rapid audio play without the need to look at the screen. There are many accessible games
sold under the Blindfold brand name available from Kid Friendly Software through the app store.
Some asked about iPhone resources. The best free resource for learning about iPhone from a blindness/low vision perspective including tutorials, podcasts
demos, and app reviews is at:
Some asked about a comprehensive iPhone book. NBP.org has just the book. It is Getting Started with iPhone and iOS 8 Step by Step for $25. Visit:
The second hour of the meeting was devoted to separate discussions in four groups:
Creating music with computers
Continued blind user iPhone discussion including hands on try-out by first time users.
Continued iPhone discussion by low vision users.
Next Meeting Agenda (Monday July 13, 7pm)
The group would like to discuss the use of social networking programs Facebook and Twitter using PC, MAC, and iPhone which we will do in the first hour.
In the second hour breakout groups will discuss any topic you wish. Please bring your technology and your questions.
There was also interest expressed in learning about GPS. At the July meeting we may be able to take small groups outside to experience GPS orientation.
[End of Summary]