GTT Edmonton Meeting November 9, 2015
The most recent meeting of the Get Together With Technology (GTT) Edmonton group was held November 9at 7pm at Ascension Lutheran Church 8405 83 Street
11 people attended.
November Feature Topic – Direct to Player Books
• Gerry demonstrated obtaining a Direct to Player book from CELA/CNIB Library on Victor Reader Stratus and Victor Reader Stream new generation players.
• Russell demonstrated listening to Direct to Player books using the iPhone popular Voice Dream Reader app.
• Lorne demonstrated the CNIB iPhone Direct to Player app which is free from the iTunes app store.
• Our guest, Mike Mcwilliams, demonstrated a new device called After Sight. It is a sensory substitution device. It consists of a web cam mounted on eye
glasses, a pocket-size computer processing unit, and headphones to listen to a generated soundscape. The camera takes pictures once per second and generates
positional sounds of varying tones in the headphones as an interpretation of the camera image. In addition to the sonification of images, the unit also
vibrates if there is an obstacle in front of you. The closer the object the more intense the vibration. It can detect obstacles up to 5 metres. Mike has
a limited number of devices available at no charge for testing or units can be purchased for $300. Testers are welcome. Mike’s contact information is in
the Resource section below. We thank Mike for his demonstration.
Direct to Player Books from CELA/CNIB
• Direct to Player compatible book players include Victor Reader Stream new generation, Victor Reader Stratus12M or Stratus4M, Plextalk PTX1, and Plextalk
• The CNIB/CELA Direct to Player bookshelf resides on the cloud i.e., on the Internet. If you have a compatible Direct to Player device and it is connected
to the Internet then it will periodically check this cloud bookshelf and download books from it until it fills the memory of the player. When you finish
listening to the book simply press the “Return Book” key to free up memory on the player to download additional books.
• To place a book on the cloud bookshelf you can use a computer to find the book or simply have the CELA/CNIB Library computer choose books for you and
place them on the cloud bookshelf at specified times for example, 1 book per week. You can set up this automatic book selection by contacting CNIB/CELA
• 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 and your 6 digit library account number. 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 through the Internet.
No more CDs!
• 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 Direct to Player service at:
CELA-CNIB Direct to Player
• For more information about the demonstrated sensory substitution device contact:
Next Meeting Agenda (Monday December 14, 7pm)
• We are pleased that
has accepted our invitation to bring an exhibit of various assistive technologies to our December meeting. Aroga is Canada’s premiere assistive technology
retailer with 28 years of experience. In accordance with the holiday season, Aroga will also treat us with pizza! We hope to see you all in December to
learn about the latest in technology, meet the folks from Aroga, and enjoy the pizza. More information will be provided in the meeting agenda in early
• 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).
• There are GTT groups in Ottawa, Toronto, Kingston, Sydney, Edmonton, Victoria, Nanaimo, Vancouver, , and more to come.
• There is also a national GTT monthly toll free 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.