GTT Edmonton Meeting Notes, Hearing Assistive Tech, November 9, 2020

Summary Notes

GTT Edmonton Meeting November 9,  2020

The most recent meeting of the Get Together with Technology (GTT) Edmonton Chapter was held November 9 7pm as a Zoom virtual meeting.

18 people attended.

IMPORTANT: Read the Additional Resources section following the meeting notes to learn about one on one telephone support, the National blog, CCB Podcast, Zoom meetings, and the support email list.

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 Topic: Hearing Tech, CNIB Old Time Radio, Sharing Circle

Sound Booster Program for Windows

Bruce Toews (pronounced taves) from Winnipeg was our guest. Bruce is blind and has a severe hearing impairment. Bruce described a software product he purchased for Windows 10 which boosts the audio on his PC with a simple hotkey. The volume can be raised as much as 5 times the normal maximum Windows volume. The program is called Sound Booster and costs $20 per year. It will increase the volume of audio including your screen reader voice, audio files, YouTube, Zoom meetings – any kind of audio on the computer. The program is not available for MAC computers. If you discontinue the annual subscription fee, the program will continue to operate but you won’t receive further updates.

Bruce commented there appears to be a bug with audio output from the Google Chrome or Edge browsers. This would include anything you might listen to with your browser such as YouTube or web conferences. For audio from a browser to benefit from Sound Booster you must use the Firefox browser.

Personal Listening Systems

Bruce described the system he uses for conversation within his home and for listening in groups such as a church service or meeting. The system consists of a pair of FM transmitter and receiver units that clip to your belt or clothing and transmit a mono audio signal between each other using the 2.4GHz FM analog band. You connect headphones and a lavalier microphone to these units. When one person speaks into the microphone the other person can hear them in the headphones.

The range is very impressive. Bruce and his wife, Caroline, live in a high-rise condo building. Bruce was able to have a conversation with Caroline while he was down on the first floor of the building and she was on the 12th floor.

When Bruce attends a group presentation such as a conference or church service, he gives a transmitter and microphone to the presenter or pastor and can hear the presentation from anywhere in the room. You can learn more about this personal listening system from Harris Communications.

Old Time Radio

For those of you who are fans of old time radio shows from the 30’s through 50’s, Bruce is the program manager of Mushroom Escape which is a channel of the MushroomFM Internet radio station that features blind DJs playing music from the 50’s through 80’s. If you wish to contact Bruce about his hearing assistive technology or his Mushroom Escape radio program you can reach him at:

Bruce@mushroomfm.com

Caroline Toews and Sharing Circle Zoom Group

Caroline who is also blind and an expert with technology,  invited members of our meeting to join her in the CNIB Zoom meeting called the Sharing Circle. It is a community social peer mentoring group that meets the first Wednesday of the month to discuss a wide variety of topics. The upcoming meeting is December 2 from 10 to 12noon Central. It will be a discussion of cooking and recipes. Caroline is very excited to provide information about her favorite accessible website that she uses to find recipes, do meal planning, and even generate her grocery shopping list. The web site is called Plan to Eat. Learn all about it at the December 2 Sharing Circle. You can register directly for the session by contacting Joanne Fabian at CNIB

Joanne.fabian@cnib.ca

If you have questions for Caroline, you may reach her at:

Caroline.toews@shaw.ca

Next Meeting (Wednesday December 9at 6pm)

We will combine our December GTT Edmonton meeting with the CCB National Zoom call. Steve Barclay, owner of  Canadian Assistive Technology, will be the guest. Steve will present some of the latest tech his company offers. The meeting link will be included in the agenda which will be emailed in early December.

Additional Resources

Telephone Training and Support

Contact the CCB national office GTT coordinators to book one on one telephone training.

Kim: 877-304-0968 Ext. 513

Email: GTTProgram@Gmail.com

David Green 1-877-304-0968 Ext. 509

AccessibilityTraining7@Gmail.com

GTT Blog and Regular Zoom Meetings

CCB sponsors more than a dozen monthly Zoom meetings on technology, lifestyle, and open chat socialization.  You may wish to read the GTT blog to find email notices of the Zoom meetings and other information such as the weekly Windows from the Keyboard Tips. If you would prefer to receive the blog posts in your email inbox, then you may activate the Follow link at the bottom of the blog web page to enter your email. IF you have difficulty contact Kim or David for assistance.

CCB Podcast

CCB sponsors a podcast feed. Use your favorite pod catcher app or the Victor Reader Stream book playing device to subscribe to the feed. Search for “CCB” (Canadian Council of the Blind). You will find episodes on technology as well as general interest topics such as CELA Library, NNELS Library, WBU, and more.

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:

GTTsupport+subscribe@groups.io

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 2 hour meeting consists of a feature technology topic in the first hour and a general tech discussion in the second hour. If you know someone in the Edmonton area who would like to be a part of our group, simply ask them to email their full name and vision status (blind, low vision, sighted) to:

Gtt.edmonton@gmail.com

-End of document-

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