GTT Edmonton Meeting October 17, 2016
The most recent meeting of the Get Together With Technology (GTT) Edmonton Chapter was held October 17at 7pm at Ascension Lutheran Church 8405 83 Street in Edmonton.
16 people attended.
2017 Membership Dues
Thank you to those who paid their CCB 2017 $10 membership. We would appreciate if new or existing members can pay in November as we are required to submit our dues by the end of November to qualify for a 50% refund back to our chapter.
Dean Kozak joined us briefly to explain his Master’s degree project to research the activity levels of blind and visually impaired people. Dean needs volunteers to survey for his research. We agreed Dean will construct a letter about the research which we will email to our members so those who wish to participate can contact him directly.
October Feature Topic – Your Needs and Dolphin Guide Software
Carrie surveyed attendees so we could all hear what technology they use and what topics they would like to learn more about. Members wish to continue the demos of technology but they also want more one on one help with the basics including:
• Using computers especially Windows PCs with both JAWS and Zoomtext.
• Using DAISY players and downloading books to them.
• Basics of iPhone including iCloud and useful apps.
Several people would like a home visit by a technician to deal with computer issues. One person could benefit from a volunteer to take him on errands to acquire or repair technology. Most people have desktops they can’t bring to the meeting so we will look into whether some laptops could be borrowed for use at our meetings or we could rent a computer lab to teach people one on one. We will continue the discussion regarding your needs in the next meeting.
Guide Software from Dolphin
Lorne demonstrated the Guide software program from Dolphin that can be purchased and installed on your Windows PC.
• Guide replaces Windows for many basic computer functions such as writing letters/documents, email, finding/downloading/listening to audio books including those from CELA and Bookshare, listening to radio and podcasts, managing appointments and contacts, browsing the Internet, making Skype calls, even playing games, and more.
• Guide is self-voicing and has built-in high contrast magnification so you do not need a talking screen reader or screen magnifier.
• Guide reduces everyday tasks to simple menus that direct you to press 1 for this, press 2 for that etc. much like using an interactive telephone system.
• When you select a function such as sending an email it leads you through the process with simple spoken directions such as “type the email address you wish to send to”, “now type the subject line”, “now type the email body”.
• It has its own file format for documents so you don’t need to learn a program like MS Word or know how to manage document files. However, it can produce or read MS Word if needed.
• All functions work the same way so unlike Windows programs there is no need to memorize keyboard shortcuts or different interfaces for different programs.
• It could be a viable solution for people using a Windows computer for the first time or those who have difficulty remembering the steps to follow or keys to press for different programs.
• Cost is $1169 CDN.
• Dolphin is a UK company but the Guide program is available in Canada from Frontier Computing. For more information contact Frontier Computing at this link. A free 30 day trial is available. On the above web page there are additional links for product reviews and YouTube demos.
Next Meeting (Monday November 14at 7pm)
• We will try to identify the next steps to provide more one on one assistance especially with respect to using computers, DAISY players, and iPhones.
• No demo is yet planned. We will confirm on the agenda.
• Send your meeting topic ideas to GTT.Edmonton@gmail.com.
• As always, for help with technology bring your devices and/or questions to the meeting.
Meeting Location and Logistics
• Ascension Lutheran Church 8405 – 83 Street NW, Edmonton.
• We meet in the basement hall. There is elevator access.
• Enter the church from the back door. There is parking at the back and drop off space for taxis, DATS.
• Meetings are every second Monday of the month at 7pm.
• If you have someone helping you your assistant is welcome to remain for the meeting.
GTT Edmonton Team
• Carrie Anton is visually impaired and is the accessibility specialist for Athabasca University.
• 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 a career and employment specialist with extensive experience helping blind and visually impaired people find employment.
• Russell Solowoniuk is blind and works with alternative formats and assistive technology at Grant MacEwan University.
• Lorne Webber is blind and is the accessibility specialist for Norquest College.
GTT Edmonton Overview
• GTT Edmonton is a chapter of the Canadian Council of the Blind (CCB).
• 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 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.
• There are GTT groups in Ottawa, Toronto, Kingston, Northern Ontario, Pembroke, Halifax, Sydney, Edmonton, Grande Prairie, Victoria, Nanaimo, Vancouver, and more to come.
• There is also a national GTT monthly toll free teleconference. You may subscribe to the National GTT blog to get email notices of teleconferences and notes from other GTT chapters. Visit:
There is a form at the bottom of that web page to enter your email.
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