GTT Victoria Meeting, January 6, 2016
The January meeting took place at the Central Library, 735 Broughton Street from 1-3:30 PM. There were 11 people in attendance.
This month’s meeting featured a presentation by Mike Gower from IBM Canada, regarding accessibility of the ribbons that replaced the traditional menus as of Microsoft Office 2007. He explained that Freedom Scientific added a new feature to the JAWS screen reader, enabling users to virtualize the ribbons. Thanks also to Linda Bartram, who experimented with virtualized ribbons after the meeting and producing the notes attached at the end of this report. Thanks also to Mike for offering to do occasional presentations on other topics that may be of interest to the group.
Tom then gave a brief presentation about Q-Seek, another convenient tool from Accessible Apps for Windows PC users. This is the same company that produces Q-cast for podcast management as well as the Chicken Nugget Twitter client, demonstrated at previous meetings.
Q-Seek provides the capability for a very flexible pop-up reference and search facility anywhere in Windows. Simply select text, then Alt-Control-Q to open the Q-seek window with the selected text automatically copied into the search field. Then tab to a list of the search types and use the arrow keys to select from ten choices. These include: word definitions; synonyms; antonyms; calculation; spell check; translate (into English); Wikipedia search; manage lookup (for programmers); stock quotes; and, urban dictionary. Press enter and the search result appears in a text box. Paste the result anywhere by pressing Alt-F4 to close Q-seek, place the cursor in a document and do the usual Control-V to paste.
Note that Accessible apps software is developed by blind programmers, so all of their apps are extremely screen-reader-friendly. All apps are available as free demos for a limited time, so you can try before you buy.
Tom also gave a very brief tour of what it is like to navigate around the screens of a Windows phone, as he has had the chance to use a Nokia Windows phone, running a beta of WindowsPhone 10. It looks like it has the potential to be quite accessible. The worst problem so far is that the on-screen keyboard is extremely sensitive and currently difficult to use, even for someone who has a lot of experience with the iPhone on-screen keyboard. We will provide feedback to Microsoft in this regard and will be watching for improved accessibility in the first public release of WindowsPhone 10.
Linda announced that there will be an open house at Pacific Training Centre for the Blind on Thursday January 21 from 4 PM to 7 PM.
The next VocalEyes described event at the Belfry Theater is “The Valley”, and takes place on Sunday, February 21 at 2 pm. The Belfry Theatre is located at 1291 Gladstone Avenue in Victoria (250-385-6815). Described by Rick Waines and followed by a Touch Tour. Ticket prices vary.
Suggested topics for our next meeting include, a discussion of accessible games and game apps, and music apps. Tom can share his experience with Apple Music. We also hope that members will do some exploring, or share their experience regarding other music apps and accessible games.
We will send out a notice a week or so before the next meeting, which will take place at the Central Library at 1 PM on Wednesday, February 3.
Information on Virtual Ribbons
from Linda Bartram
To turn on virtual ribbons:
1. Go to the Jaws screen
2. Press alt to open the menu bar
3. Right arrow to help
4. Down arrow to Start Up Wizard and press enter
5. Tab to next and press enter.
6. Tab to next again and press enter.
7. Jaws will say “use virtual ribbons” check box unchecked.
8. Press the space bar to check.
9. then tab to next and press enter three more times until you come to the finish button
10. Press the enter key. You will be back on the Jaws screen and the startup wizard will close. Virtual ribbons is now your default.