GTT Edmonton Meeting October 19, 2015
The most recent meeting of the Get Together With Technology (GTT) Edmonton group was held October 19 at 7pm at Ascension Lutheran Church 8405 83 Street in Edmonton.
11 people attended.
October Feature Topic – Talking Books
• Gerry summarized the various kinds of talking books available such as DAISY, EPUB, e-text and the sources where you can find them, CELA/CNIB, Bookshare, Audible.com, Amazon Kindle, and Apple iBooks being among the most popular.
• Gerry also commented on how the new national nonprofit organization called CELA started operating in April 2014. CELA is run by public libraries. There are over 600 member libraries across Canada including all Alberta public libraries.
• CELA Mission: To support public libraries in the provision of accessible collections for Canadians with print disabilities and to champion the fundamental right of Canadians with print disabilities to access media and reading materials in the format of their choice, including audio, braille, e-text and described video.
• CELA has contracted CNIB Library to provide books in the form of audio and braille.
• This means you can now access your library books from your local Alberta library just like any other Albertan and that access includes the entire CNIB collection plus any other accessible materials provided by the public library.
• The CELA library search and download pages are identical to the CNIB Library web site and your login credentials for CELA are the same as CNIB.
• Existing CNIB Library clients can continue to use CNIB Library web site if they wish.
• New users who want access to CNIB talking books or braille books will now register through their local public library.
• As a CELA or CNIB Library client you are entitled to download the e-text DAISY books from Bookshare.org. Visit the CELA/CNIB web site or ask your library customer service to sign you up for Bookshare.
• Bob Logue demonstrated the Edmonton Public Library and Overdrive iPhone apps. These apps allow access to recorded books and e-text books that are separate and apart from the CELA public library books. Bob commented and demonstrated that navigating these apps is rather complex and has accessibility challenges when compared with the fully accessible web site interface to the CELA/CNIB library service.
• Lorne circulated various talking book players including Victor Reader Stream, Plextalk Pocket, Plextalk Linio, and HIMS Booksense.
Direct to Player Books from CELA/CNIB
• The CELA Library or (CNIB library for existing clients) Direct to Player service was explained.
• If you have a talking book player capable of playing Direct to Player books then you no longer need to wait for CDs to be delivered in the mail. If you have a wireless Internet connection in your home and configure your DAISY player to connect to your home Internet then your CELA/CNIB library books will be delivered directly to your talking book player without the need to use a computer.
• The process of converting from CDs to Direct to Player books is simple. Once you have a compatible player contact CNIB or CELA with the SSID and password of your Wi-Fi router. The library will then create a setup file to configure your player and send you that file via email attachment or SD card. Simply insert the SD card with the setup file to your player and it will be configured to receive books. No more CDs!
• Direct to Player compatible devices include Victor Reader Stream new generation, Victor Reader Stratus12M or Stratus4M, Plextalk PTX1, and Plextalk Linio Pocket.
• The CELA Library web site is
• CELA toll free customer service number is 1-855-655-2273
• CNIB Library customer service is still available for existing CNIB Library clients. The toll free number is 1-800-268-8818
• You can learn more about registering for Bookshare at:
Get Access to Bookshare From CELA
• You can learn more about Direct to Player service at:
CELA-CNIB Direct to Player
Next Meeting Agenda (Monday November 9, 7pm)
• We will focus on talking book players including Victor Reader Stream/Stratus, Plextalk Linio Pocket, and the iPhone Direct to Player app provided by CELA.
• Bring your DAISY player to learn how to better use it.
• If time permits we will show how to search for books on the CELA/CNIB web site and send these books directly to your player.
• In breakout groups we can discuss any other topic you wish. Please bring your technology, your questions and answers.
Meeting Location and Logistics
• Ascension Lutheran Church 8405 – 83 Street NW, Edmonton.
• We meet in the basement hall.
• Please enter the church from the back door only. There is parking at the back and drop off space for taxis, DATS.
• Meetings are typically every second Monday of the month at 7pm.
Try to arrive between 6:45pm and 7:15pm after which 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 works with alternative formats and assistive technology at 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, Nanaimo, Edmonton, Vancouver, Toronto, and more to come.
• There is also a national GTT monthly teleconference.
• GTT Edmonton promotes a self-help learning experience by holding monthly meetings to assist participants with assistive technology.
• Each meeting will present a feature technology topic and general question and answer about any other technology.
• Small groups or 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 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.
• Participants decide what the feature topic will be for the next meeting.
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