GTT Edmonton Meeting November 12, 2018
The most recent meeting of the Get Together with Technology (GTT) Edmonton Chapter was held November 12at 7pm at Ascension Lutheran Church 8405 83 Street in Edmonton.
20 people attended.
Reading Tip: These summary notes apply HTML headings to help navigate the document. With screen readers, you may press the H key to jump forward or Shift H to jump backward from heading to heading.
November Topics –VR Stream and General Discussion
Victor Reader Stream Online Functions
Gerry provided a demonstration of the Online functions of the Victor Reader Stream including Podcasts, Bookshare, Internet Radio, Wikipedia and Wiktionary References, and CELA Direct to Player.
It is not possible to describe these features in length in these notes but here is a brief summary. Refer to the HumanWare resources below for more detailed instructions.
- Online Button: You move back and forth between the SD card bookshelves and the online bookshelves by pressing the online button in the centre of the top row just above key #2. You press and hold this online button to turn airplane mode on or off. Airplane mode must be off to enable a wi-fi connection to the Internet which is required to access the online content.
- You move between the online bookshelves by pressing key 1 multiple times.
- Podcast Bookshelf. When you are on the podcast bookshelf you move back and forth between its books (podcast feeds) by pressing keys 4 and 6. You may add a new podcast feed by pressing the GoTo key multiple times to find the option to add a new feed. You open the list of episodes in a feed by pressing the Confirm key. You then move back and forth between the episodes by pressing keys 4 and 6. Prior to the first episode is the option to get more episodes.
- Bookshare Bookshelf: You must contact the CELA Library to request that Bookshare access be added to your account and then add the Bookshare username and password to your Stream using menu key #7. You may search for new Bookshare books and download them. Bookshare books are DAISY text only meaning they are read by the Stream’s built-in speech. You navigate the list of books on this bookshelf with keys 4 and 6 and open any book by pressing the Play or Confirm key.
- Internet Radio Bookshelf: You Press keys 4 and 6 to move back and forth between the Radio books (playlists). Press the Go To key multiple times to find the search option where you can type keywords to find new radio stations. Press the Bookmark key to add a radio station from the search results list to your Favorites playlist. Press Play key to play any station.
- References bookshelf: You press keys 4 or 6 to move between the 2 books (Wikipedia or Wiktionary) on this bookshelf. In either case you use the GoTo key to search for a word in Wiktionary or an article in Wikipedia. A preview of the word definition or article will be heard. You press the Play key to listen and navigate the full article. You may save the article by pressing key 3.
- CELA Direct to Player Bookshelf: You register for CELA service online or through your local library. You must then add the assigned user account number to your Stream using menu key #7. You navigate the books on this bookshelf with keys 4 or 6. You open a book by pressing Play or Confirm key. These are DAISY books, so you navigate them with keys 2 or 8 to select the level of navigation and keys 4 or 6 to move back and forth at the chosen level. You return a book to CELA with key 3 followed by confirm. Unlike Bookshare books, you cannot search for CELA books using the Stream. You must search the CELA library with your computer and when you find your book select its Direct to Player link to cause the book to download to your Stream. You may also ask CELA customer support (1-855-655-2273) to automatically select your books based on your reading interests. You may also ask customer support to subscribe you to magazines which will download to the Stream automatically when issued. There are 150 magazines to choose from.
The HumanWare training web page for the Victor Reader Stream has information on using the Stream online features including:
- Connecting to a wireless network.
- Using the multi-tap text entry method to enter text on the keypad.
- Adding Bookshare accounts.
- Searching for Bookshare books.
- Searching for Internet Radio stations.
- Playing Internet Radio stations.
- Searching for and adding Podcast feeds.
- Managing Podcast feeds and playing Podcast episodes.
- Also, refer to the built-in User guide which can be accessed any time by pressing and holding key #1. To exit the User Guide press and hold key #1 again. While in the User Guide, you may navigate by chapter and section as it is a DAISY book. You may also search the User Guide. Press the Goto key at the top left until you hear, Search. Then type in your search keywords on the number pad and press the Confirm or Pound key. You will be positioned in the User Guide at the first occurrence of your search text. Press key #6 to find the next occurrence or key 4 to find the previous. Instructions on typing text on the number pad can be found at the same HumanWare training web page.
The second hour comprised a very good general discussion on many
technology topics. Here is a summary:
- Screen Reader: JAWS remains as the most prevalent screen reader program but for those transitioning to a screen reader the free NVDA screen reader should be quite adequate especially if the environment is not work or school.
- Touch Typing: It is important if you are losing your vision and cannot touch type that you
- learn this skill as the screen reader will not type for you.
- Braille: There are some who think braille is old fashioned in our modern high tech world, but the reality is that braille is more available than ever through the use of electronic braille keyboards and refreshable displays to access computers and smartphones. Also, braille remains the only way to read and maintain your literacy skills as a blind person.
- Android vs. iPhone: The choice of which type of phone to purchase is always a personal choice as both have screen magnification and screen reader accessibility features. Advantages of Android include a wider variety of phone devices that are less expensive than iPhones. Advantages of iPhones are that they are thought to be less problematic with the access features and as there are many more iPhone users than Android, your chances to get iPhone support are better.
- Retail Advice re: Smartphones: Generally, sales people in retail stores don’t understand accessibility. For example, if you are blind, they often show you the Siri voice assistant whereas they do not understand that VoiceOver, the built-in screen reader, is the essential tool. Be cautious with advice from retail people. They mean well but are not typically well informed on accessibility.
Next Meeting (Monday December 10 at 7pm)
- As usual for our December meeting, we will be joined by Steve Barclay, owner of Canadian Assistive Technology. Steve will demonstrate and talk about blind and low vision assistive technology products that may be purchased from his company. Bring your questions! This is a terrific opportunity to meet Steve and benefit from his many years in the assistive technology business.
- 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 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 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:
To subscribe, activate the “Follow”link at the bottom of that web page to enter your email.
National GTT Email Support List
CCB sponsors a GTT email support list to provide help and support with technology for blind and low vision Canadians. To subscribe to the email list, send an empty email to:
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