Get Together with Technology (GTT)
New Westminster Meeting
A Chapter of the Canadian Council of the Blind in partnership with Blind Beginnings
April 19, 2017
Present: Shawn, Albert, Peg, Mary, John, Carol, Pat, Fay, Louise and Kiyo
Safari is the native Web browser on iPhones/iPads/iPods and Mac computers.
A web browser is used for accessing web pages on the Internet.
It is the Apple equivalent to Microsoft’s Internet Explorer.
You can download Firefox or Google Chrome on your iDevice but Safari will always be the default browser.
Unlike with the Microsoft Windows platform, you can’t change the default web browser on iDevices.
The Safari icon is usually found in the Doc at the bottom of your phone, however it can be moved to other locations on the Home Screen.
When you open/launch Safari it will open to the last site you visited, not a default homepage like can be established in PC web browsers.
To type/dictate a new web site or a search string you will find the Address bar at the top of the page, and you can conduct a one finger double tap to bring focus to it.
Once you are focussed on the Address Bar you can type/dictate the direct address of the site you want to visit, or you can type/dictate key words to conduct a web search.
Once you type/dictate the relevant text, conduct a one finger double tap on the “Go or Search” icon in the bottom right corner of the device to activate the search.
If you want to copy the URL of the web page you are on, conduct a one finger double tap on the Address Bar and the text contained therein will be highlighted. Activate the Share Button on the Safari Doc and one finger swipe right to find the Copy Button, then one finger double Tap it and a copy of the URL will be moved to the clipboard ready for pasting where ever you need it.
One Finger Double Tap;
The one finger double tap activates/launches/selects/opens items.
To activate the Play Button in any audio player or on YouTube you must conduct a one finger double tap on the button. Once the audio is playing the Magic Tap will pause/resume playing. If ever you find that music or your audio book starts playing without you tapping the relevant button, you may have accidently conducted a Magic Tap, so repeat the action and it will pause the audio again.
To activate an Edit Field you must conduct a one finger double tap, then you will be able to type/dictate.
When VoiceOver says that Actions are available it means you have options and you can flick up and down with one finger to hear the options.
The Two finger double tap is called the “Magic Tap” because you can use it for many things including dictating, turning off or on music or audio books, or answering or hanging up a phone.
You must be in the edit field and in edit mode in order for the two finger double tap gesture to open the microphone so that you can dictate.
You must be outside of the edit fields in order to have the two finger double tap answer/hang-up the phone or play/pause audio.
Siri and dictation are related, but not the same. Siri gives you very little time to dictate your request/instructions before she thinks you are finished, and Dictation allows you time to stop and think during dictation.
Activate the Rotor by placing two fingers on the screen and turning them as if you were turning a radio knob. Ensure your fingers aren’t too close together or it will think it is just one finger.
Use your rotor to select characters, words, lines, headings, links, etc.
Once a Rotor item is selected, the one finger flick up and down moves the focus point forward or back by the selected movement unit, like, characters, words, lines, headings, links, etc.
Once you land on an actionable item the one finger double tap will activate/select the item.
The one finger flick up takes the focus to the beginning of the character/word/line, and the one finger flick down takes the focus to the back of the character/word/line. This is important for Back Spacing over text you want to delete.
Two finger flick up or down;
The Two finger flick down will start VoiceOver reading from where the focus is.
The Two finger flick up will send the cursor to the top of the screen/page and start VoiceOver reading from there.
Put quotation marks around multiple words that should appear in specific order that you are looking for, for example, “Joe Bloe” so that only Joe Bloe will show up in the results. Otherwise, all the Joe’s and all the Bloe’s will show up.
Add a plus sign after the search string to add two things together in a search term, for example if you are looking for Joe Bloe in Vancouver you would do the following:
“Joe Bloe” +Vancouver
You can also use a minus symbol to exclude something in a search term, for example, if you are looking for Joe Bloe and don’t want the Vancouver one to show up you would replace the above + sign with a minus sign, and all Joe Bloe’s outside of Vancouver should appear.
If your initial search term is too generic you may get too many results, so try to be really specific in your search terms.
Two finger scrub;
At the top left corner is a back button that takes you back to the screen you were at before, including lists of email messages, Contact profiles, web pages or Twitter/Facebook posts.
The Two finger scrub like the print letter Z done quickly is attached to the Back Button and will also usually take you back to the screen you were on before.
You can save a site to your favourites by selecting the Share Button on the Safari Doc at the bottom of all web pages you will visit. It is found just above the home button at the bottom of the screen.
Swiping through the list of options you will find several actionable items including air drop which allows you to share with someone in the room who also has an iDevice, message – allows you to send the link to the site to somebody else through text, mail – allows you to Email somebody the link, notes allows you to save it in a note, Twitter/Facebook – allows you to post to those social media sites, add to favourites – allows you to include that page to a list of your favourites, add bookmark – sets a bookmark in the Bookmarks list, add to reading list – allows you to access it without being on the Internet, add to home screen – allows you to save it to your home screen as an icon.
In the above list you can double tap on Add to Home Screen, and that will allow you to edit the name before flicking left to double tap on the Add/Save Button and it will be saved to your Home Screen for easy access to that web page.
PC Web Browsing:
Hold down the Alt and type the letter D to bring focus to the Address Bar in Firefox or Internet Explorer. When you land there the URL for that web page is selected, so just hold down the Control key and type the letter C to copy it to the clipboard for pasting in a document or email message.
Possible topics for future meetings that resulted from this talk:
Rotor on iDevices,
Tips for searching in a browser,
Gestures with voiceover,
How to set up your home screens,
Text editing – copying, cutting and pasting.
Topic for the May 17 meeting will be rotor and gestures with VoiceOver.
Albert will check if we can designate a donation to our public library for CELA.
Respectfully submitted by Shawn Marsolais and Albert Ruel
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