GTT Toronto Adaptive Technology User Group
September 20, 2018
An Initiative of the Canadian Council of the Blind
In Partnership with the CNIB
The most recent meeting of the Get Together with Technology (GTT) Toronto Group was held on Thursday, October 18 at the CNIB Community Hub.
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October 2018 Topic: Rogers Ignite TV, Smart TVs and the BrailleMe
Ian White (Facilatator, GTT)
David Isaacson(Presenter, Rogers)
Debbie Gillespie (Presenter, CNIB foundation)
Aamer Khan (Note taker)
Ian- opening Remarks & Open Questions
How to Access Help Menus?
For a lot of products (especially Humanware) products holding down the number “1” key can access the Help menu.
What kind of computer should I buy?
Suggestion were made to
- member said the Intel NUC Series processors (computer chip) are good
- Lenovo T series may be a good choice as known for its toughness
- Look for solid state hard drive as it is significantly faster
- Gaming laptop is likely overkill if not using for gaming
What’s up with JAWS and Chrome?
Member informed that there is a bug with JAWS 2018 and Chrom 70- keystroke of “alt+down arrow” must be used to open combo boxes
What kind of Tech is Out There to help with Hearing Loss?
- Tom Decker described he uses CommPilot hearing aids which also come with a auxiliary cable which can be plugged into almost anything.
- Audio conn are $2200 each for each ear
- Bose is coming to the market with “hearphones” hearing aids with significantly cheaper product $500 USD
What kind of discounts are there for Cell Phones?
Most of the cell phone carriers have discounts for people with disabilities including the below mentioned by members:
- Rogers Wireless and Telus have a $20/month discount for people with disabilities
- Virgin Mobile and Bell offer 2 extra gigs of data to people with disabilities
Presented by Tom Decker
- BrailleMe is a low cost Braille display that works on iPhone and android via Bluetooth as well as the PC via USB.
- preconfigured for NVDA, Spanish, English, French and several other languages
- Frontier Computing will be the Canadian distributor, however currently only available in the United States.
- Questions about servicing (no info at this time)
- Does not use pizo electric cells, runs on magnet
- $700+ CDN for the unit
- Durable, makes noise
- Six cell Braille, cursor routing keys
- Members are claiming Orbit Braille reader has a high failure rate
Smart TV Demonstration
Presented by Debbie Gillespie
- Debbie describes the remote in detail specifically the Description of accessible button on remote
- TV being demonstrated is a Samsung NU8000
- Debbie will be playing Three sound Recordings
- Sound clip-1: asking like SIRI
- Can you change the speech rate-Yes
- Be careful of claims of “accessible” or “Smart TV’s” some will offer large print, screen readers or just WIFI
- Low fidelity user guide, cannot re read paragraphs, you can pause and start but can’t re read
- It is not on by default, you can turn it on by pushing down on the button
- Cannot change voice type
- Cable box overrides, tv controls for audio description
Rogers On demand- TV won’t read it
It will read AppleTV, Netflix, Chromecast, DVD player
Rogers Ignite Presentation
Presented by David from Rogers
- Rogers general information on Vision Accessibility Products/Options
- Rogers Accessibility Desk (877) 508-1760 (will have all pricing information on Rogers Ignite. you can also dial *234 on any Rogers phone
- As of October 21st, 2018 Rogers will be offering a 30% discount to people with disabilities (for example a CNIB card or other evidence will be required for the discount) If already subscribed to vision products, it will not roll over automatically (like if you have Braille bills)
The Ignite Box Demonstration
- The Ignite Box has the same tech as the Comcast X1 box and has been enhanced with a new remote, voice commands and a screen reader
- With the voice commands you can speak into the remote and search for shows whether they are on cable or Netflix or your PVR
- You can search shows by which are audio described
- The unit comes with its own wireless modem which is a very good one (members report it is resolving long standing wifi dead zone issues)
- Base speed on modem is 150 MB (very fast)
- Only one box in the household needs a coaxial cable (the cable from the wall)
- New features include Restart button (to restart a show), record and a tone for when the menu has reached the end
- New Enhancement of Volume control, separate for menu and TV is coming
- You can press the B button twice to active voice guidance on the remote
- You can turn on “Voice guidance on” holding Accessibility button
- All recordings stored in the cloud: 200 Hours of recording comes with the base package
- Base package also includes Apple App so you can watch shows through iPhone or iPad, max of 2 devices outside the home are allowed for viewing at a time. You cannot set a recording from mobile devices (must be done through the box)
- You can also download the shows to your mobile device for travel or subway use
- No AirPlay support for mobile devices (stream to chromecast, Bluetooth speaker etc.
- Maximum of 5 boxes allowed per household
- Rogers Wireless has a $20 month discount for people with disabilities (cell phone
- Question: Shaw- multiple boxes- each box has different settings? yes for rogers as well you can name your box it too
- No support currently for Amazon Prime
- No adult content
- Flex Channels in the top tier packages you can swap out called “Free for Me” only channels u are paying for)
- KidsZone, restricts children’s access based on your PIN
- Metrolinx- Triplinx app and website are more accessible now
- Presto App- update, you can check your Presto balance if you have an
- Android phone with NFC (Near Field Comms) technology
- Crosstown App- Can give you updates on construction sites- accessibility is still an issue
- Way Around-App- It works like the pen friend with barcodes and text/speech you can input to code, but no actual pen so no loss of data if you switch phones
- Next month’s meeting will be about learning NVDA (free screen reader) : NVDA 1O1 Part 1.
- Next Meeting: Thursday, November 15 at 6pm
- Location: CNIB Community Hub space at 1525 Yonge Street, just 1 block north of St Clair on the east side of Yonge, just south of Heath.
- Meetings are held on the third Thursday of the month at 6pm.
GTT Toronto Adaptive Technology User Group Overview:
- GTT Toronto is a chapter of the Canadian Council of the Blind (CCB).
- GTT Toronto promotes a self-help learning experience by holding monthly meetings to assist participants with assistive technology.
- Each meeting consists of a feature technology topic, questions and answers about technology, and one-on-one training where possible.
- 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 across Canada as well as 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.