Sponsored by the Canadian Council of the Blind in partnership with Blind Beginnings
Present: 13 Members
Monty Lilburn described social Media and how that relates to Facebook.
Social Media is generally an exchange of information – transmitting and/or receiving.
Users can consume info from a news source or they can transmit/re-post/send social media to a specific person, group, or to everybody.
Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Focker, Instagram, YouTube are all social media outlets.
Facebook has been around since 2005 and is now starting to plateau.
Facebook becomes a more powerful tool the more popular it gets.
You join a social network when you sign up with Facebook.
Once you add your contacts as friends you can read what your friends have to say and you can post information that your friends can read.
There are ways to read public posts, or to send public posts where the world can access your offerings
When you register/join Facebook it wil ask for certain personal information.
It is up to you how much information you give them.
Some people give them fake information, like birth dates, cities of residence etc, or they post fake profile or cover photos, or avatars rather than their own pictures.
There are privacy settings where you can choose to keep certain information confidential.
What are some of the benefits of Facebook;
– Support network
– Place to vent some of your frustrations to a network of people who may understand what you are going through.
– A way to find out about events that might be of interest.
– Opportunity to join groups that are a specific interest to you.
Facebook changes their interface all the time.
If you are using a screen reader go to http://www.m.facebook.com
This is a mobile page you can access on your computer but it takes away many of the images and graphics.
It brings up a condensed version of the FB Web-site. You have your search bar to look up people, groups, events, etc.
It shows links to your Facebook Inbox to access Facebook Messages.
Some browsers will speak the shortcut key to access some of the links. You can also arrow to the link you want and press enter to select.
Your Newsfeed is where all your Facebook friends will post their updates, photos, events.
It’s like an interactive newspaper.
It shows you the Friends with whom you have been most active.
Clicking on the See more stories Link will get you to the next page of newsfeeds.
It can be hard to get back to the top because Facebook is always updating every time somebody posts something new.
Your Status update is you posting on your own wall and a post could be on somebody elses wall.
Your newsfeed is where you see other people’s stuff.
Your Timeline is where you see what other people have posted or what you have posted on your timeline
Your Profile – your timeline shows up first and then you will see About, friends, photos, likes, activity log, and timeline.
Under likes on your Profile it will list all the businesses/organizations you have Liked.
You can choose who to share your post with.
You can unfollow somebody so that you only see some of their posts.
Using Facebook on your iPhone or iPad;
There are 5 tabs on the bottom of the app, Newsfeed, Requests, Messenger, Notifications, and More
Notifications will show you what action has happened on your timeline.
You can react with more than just a Like on the phone by double tapping with two fingers or swiping up or down with one finger.
The react feature is not available on the mobile Facebook.
Under Status update you can access live recording or start a live broadcast using the iPhone’s camera.
During the June meeting we will discuss the following:
How to optimize your Web Searches.
Which Search engines to use, and how to find things of interest.
What types of things can you search for.
How do you search on the iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch.
What are the advantages of browsers like Firefox verses google Chrome, verses Internet Explorer, verses Safari.
The Albert A. Ruel Road to Blindness
A 21 year old man stood on the beach at the Sproat Lake Provincial Park with friends early in May of 1977, and upon gazing across the lake found the Gulf Oil sign missing from the dock-side filling station there. When this fact was shared with his companions they glanced at him with puzzled looks and said, “No Albert, the sign is still there”.
That was the beginning of a road through confusion, anger, isolation, loneliness and discovery for me. It all began with a visit to a local Optometrist who could see that my vision wasn’t right, but that corrective lenses wouldn’t help. He then referred me to a General Practitioner, where I received a clean bill of health and an additional referral. This time to an Ophthalmologist. Immediately upon peering through the dilated pupils, Dr. McKerricher was able to see the problem, Retinal Vasculitis.
Now, you would think that all would start to improve at this point, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. You see, CNIB, from 1918 until 1985 only served the needs of people who were “Legally Blind”, a level of vision loss I wouldn’t reach until November of 1979. The words of Dr. McKerricher still echo in my mind today, “Albert, I don’t know what has caused this and nothing we’ve tried is helping to stop it, and you’re not blind enough for me to refer you to CNIB”!
In the middle of this transition from 20/20 vision to “Legally Blind” came the Motor Vehicle Branch and it’s rules of the road. On August 3, 1978 I drove a car for the last time as my vision had reached the level at which operating a motor vehicle became too dangerous, further intensifying feelings of fear, isolation and anger. Sadly, through this period the only available guidance and support was through family and friends, but not the experienced professionals I needed at the time. Although these support systems are critically important they can often be smothering and facilitating, rather than encouraging and supportive.
With gratitude, and some trepidation I finally was able to access CNIB services in November of 1979, and the world opened up then. There I was able to meet other blind people and receive the daily living and mobility skills required to live independently in this sighted world. I learned elementary braille and began to discover technology as necessary tools of independence.
Thankfully, in 1985 CNIB’s National Board altered the course of service to visually impaired Canadians forever. They added a third prong to their Mission Statement, “To promote sight enhancement services”. This opened the door to all Canadians who were beginning to lose sight, as well as those who had a fear of vision loss to access the full range of CNIB Support and Rehabilitation Services. So now, whether it’s someone’s Mother who is experiencing Macular Degeneration, or an Uncle experiencing the affects of Glaucoma, all have the ability to seek information, guidance and support as all involved deal with the fear and anxiety that accompanies such life altering experiences.
With the help of professional Rehabilitation Workers and Employment Counselors I was able to continue traveling independently within my own community, and even more remarkably anywhere in the world I desired to go. I managed to attend College in Nanaimo and New Westminster, as well as traveling to the Mayo Clinic and to doctor’s appointments in Nanaimo and Vancouver without assistance. All of this while living with some usable vision, but not yet needing a white cane for travel.
During the mid 1980’s I was a stay-at-home Dad and did all that was required of that challenging work, from changing diapers to preparing meals, and from cutting the grass to maintaining our home. I even took a woodworking course through Alberni’s Adult Education program and built and restored several pieces of furniture. Of course the 1958 Chevy Impala in the garage was my pride and joy, and I devised ways to do much of the work it required.
I also joined and participated in many community activities, like the local Car Club, and a disability support group that catered to the needs of people with many different disabilities. Of course, continued participation in family life remained of critical importance through this period.
In 1989 a secondary condition began to extinguish the vision that remained, which set into motion a new stream of professional rehabilitation services and supports. By the spring of 1990 Glaucoma had turned out the lights completely, and the darkness I had feared so desperately was upon me. Strangely though, I found this to be a great relief rather than the tragedy I had imagined it would be.
Through several professional rehabilitation sessions, and by joining peer mentoring and advocacy groups I was able to come to terms with this strange feeling, and to learn additional skills and strategies for living with no visual cues of the world around me. This is also about the time that I decided to explore CNIB as an employer, and to see if I could provide the sort of guidance and support to others that had been my pleasure to receive. Those 14 years were a wonderful experience of ongoing discovery for me, as teaching may be the best way to solidify one’s own learning. In other words, those we assist through this transition in turn help us all as we develop best practices and improved service.
Following a 14 year career with CNIB I also served the blind community as the first National Equality Director employed by the Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians (AEBC), and as a Basic Computer Literacy Trainer with the Canadian Council of the Blind (CCB). Most recently I have enjoyed coordinating the CCB’s newly launched Get Together with Technology Program in Western Canada, which brings to the fore my passion for assistive technology and the power of peer mentoring.
Without sight I have continued to travel far and wide, with trips to Conventions of and for the Blind in Anaheim California and Melbourne Australia, as well as to many events and activities in Toronto and Vancouver. Of course my work has taken me to many communities throughout Western Canada, and most particularly nearly all regions of BC and on Vancouver Island. None of which would have been possible without the services and support of organizations like CCB, AEBC and CNIB.
For most people blindness generates a fear of extended movement, both within one’s home and community, but that doesn’t have to be the case. Independence comes from personal desire and increased skill. Many community organizations can assist with both through their mentoring and skill development programs. I remember always that life has little to do with what happens to me and 100% what I do about/with it. There is a quote I like to use from the National Federation of the Blind in the USA, “With adequate skill development and opportunity blindness can be reduced to the level of a nuisance”, and nothing could be closer to the truth.
Helen Keller said many years ago, “There is nothing more tragic than someone who has sight, but no vision”. She also challenged the Lions Clubs of the world to become the “Knights of the Blind, and to take up the crusade against darkness”. I too joined a Lions Club in 1992 and continue to work on the crusade that Helen Keller began in the 1920-s.
View all posts by Albert Ruel