Guest Post: Narrator Tutorial Podcasts for Windows 10 by Blind Vet Tech Podcast

Narrator Screen Reader Tutorial Podcasts by Blind Vet Tech

 

Narrator is a screen reader  utility included in Microsoft Windows that reads text, dialog boxes and window controls in most applications  for Windows. Originally developed by Professor Paul Blenkhorn in 2000, the utility made the Windows operating system more accessible for blind and low vision users.

 

In the October 2018 release of Windows 10 Narrator’s functions and keyboard commands have been dramatically expanded.  We are now at a point in it’s development that it will start to rival the third party screen readers we have become accustomed to using in the Windows environment.  Finally, it might be said that PC computers purchased off the shelf are accessible to blind and low vision users out of the box.

 

The latest version of Windows 10 is the October 2018 Update, version “1809,” which was released on October 2, 2018. The below tutorial podcasts only apply to the latest version 1809, so please check to see the current version running in your computer.

 

How do I know what version I’m running?

To determine whether or not these tutorials apply to Narrator in your computer you can check your version number as follows:

 

  1. Press and release the Windows Key and type the word Run, or merely hold down the Windows key and press the letter R.
  2. In the window that pops up type the text, WinVer and press the Enter key. Typing immediately will replace any text that might already be there.
  3. The computer will display, and your screen reader will speak the version of your operating system. If it indicates you’re running version 1809 Narrator will function as outlined in these podcasts, however if your computer is still running an older version please disregard these tutorials for now.  Press the Space Bar to close this dialog.

 

The Complete Guide to Narrator on the Microsoft Windows Help Page:

Click here to access the Complete Narrator’s Guide on the Windows Help Page.

 

Blind Vet Tech Guides and Tutorials:

Are you a visually impaired Veteran interested in learning more about technology and adaptive software? Have you received a device, like an iPhone or iPad, from a Blind Rehab Center, but require more information on how to use it? Are you a visually impaired Veteran looking for a network of peers to assist you in determining if updating your device is the right choice? If you answered yes, or simply are interested in learning more about assistive technologies for blinded Veterans, the Blind Vet Tech Quick Guides and Tutorials podcast will assist you. Developed by blinded Veterans aiding our fellow peers adapt to sight loss, Blind Vet Tech focuses on iPhones, iPads, computers, other smart phones, and different technologies Veterans might receive to increase their independence.

 

To that end, BVT have produced a spectacular series of tutorial podcast episodes ateaching users how to maximize their use of the latest version of Narrator.  Below are Hyperlinks to each of the Blind Vet Tech Podcast episodes on the web.

 

Blind Vet Tech Direct Links to Narrator Podcast Episodes:

 

  1. Windows 10 Narrator Basics
  2. Navigating Webpages and Netflix With Narrator’s Scan Mode
  3. Narrator’s Five Best Windows 10 Fall Creators Update Features
  4. Activating Narrator
  5. Basic Keyboard Commands and Navigation
  6. Quickly navigate Edge, tables, and apps with Scan Mode On
  7. Learn how to read documents, apps, webpages, and much more with Narrator

 

To subscribe to the Blind Vet Tech podcast follow this link.

 

Thx, Albert A. Ruel

 

Guest Post: Narrator Tutorial Podcast for Windows 10 Version 1809 by David Woodbridge

Narrator Screen Reader Tutorial Podcasts by David Woodbridge

iSee – Using various technologies from a blind persons perspective.

 

Narrator is a screen reader  utility included in Microsoft Windows that reads text, dialog boxes and window controls in most applications  for Windows. Originally developed by Professor Paul Blenkhorn in 2000, the utility made the Windows operating system more accessible for blind and low vision users.

 

In the October 2018 release of Windows 10 Narrator’s functions and keyboard commands have been dramatically expanded.  We are now at a point in it’s development that it will start to rival the third party screen readers we have become accustomed to using in the Windows environment.  Finally, it might be said that PC computers purchased off the shelf are accessible to blind and low vision users out of the box.

 

The latest version of Windows 10 is the October 2018 Update, version “1809,” which was released on October 2, 2018. The below tutorial podcasts only apply to the latest version 1809, so please check to see the current version running in your computer.

 

How do I know what version I’m running?

To determine whether or not these tutorials apply to Narrator in your computer you can check your version number as follows:

 

  1. Press and release the Windows Key and type the word Run, or merely hold down the Windows key and press the letter R.
  2. In the window that pops up type the text, WinVer and press the Enter key. Typing immediately will replace any text that might already be there.
  3. The computer will display, and your screen reader will speak the version of your operating system. If it indicates you’re running version 1809 Narrator will function as outlined in these podcasts, however if your computer is still running an older version please disregard these tutorials for now.  Press the Space Bar to close this dialog.

 

The Complete Guide to Narrator on the Microsoft Windows Help Page:

Click here to access the Complete Narrator’s Guide on the Windows Help Page.

 

David Woodbridge produces great podcasts under the title, iSee – Using various technologies from a blind persons perspective.  Below are the links to each individual podcast for you to Stream in your favourite podcatcher.

 

Narrator Tutorial Podcasts from iSee – Using various technologies from a blind persons perspective by David Woodbridge:

 

  1. Demo of the Windows Insider build for the new Narrator Quick Start Guide
  2. Windows 10 Narrator Series Episode 1 – turning Narrator on and off
  3. Windows 10 Narrator Series Episode 2 – Narrator keys and Input (keyboard and touch screen) Learning mode
  4. Windows 10 Narrator Series Episode 3 – adjusting speech rate, Volume, Punctuation, and a tip on Verbosity

 

 

  1. Windows 10 Narrator Series Episode 4 – changing Volume, Pitch, Audio Ducking, and an initial intro to Scan Mode
  2. Windows 10 Narrator Series Episode 5 Startup options for Narrator including Narrator Home
  3. Windows 10 Narrator Series Episode 6 – Typing Echo and Keyboard Settings
  4. Windows 10 Narrator Series Episode 7 – Navigating within a document with Narrator keyboard commands
  5. Windows 10 Narrator Series Episode 8 – Scan Mode, Narrator Views, and using Narrator Gestures with the Touch Screen

 

To subscribe to the “iSee – Using various technologies from a blind persons perspective” podcasts by David Woodbridge click on this link.

 

Thx, Albert A. Ruel

 

CCB Tech Articles, Donna’s Low Tech Tips, Beeping Luggage Tags, January 28, 2019

January 28 2019

Meet the luggage tags that beep

 

Happy New Year everyone!

Hi there!  It’s Donna and thank you for allowing me to come into your inbox.

Today, I’d like to talk about luggage tags that beep.

Meet the luggage tags that beep

 

Yes, these tags sure work and they are quite handy for anyone; especially so for a blind person.

 

When you are in a busy airport, or at a conference, and you need to depend on someone sighted to help you identify your luggage, then the beeping luggage tags come in very handy.  How do they work?

 

You attach the tags to your luggage and then you have a remote that you can press that will pick up the encoded tags on your luggage.  It beeps to within 50 feet of where you are.

 

You can also use this little gadget or device for other purposes.  Just use your imagination and see what you can come up with.  All I know is that I can use it when I travel and am in airports or train stations or even at hotels.

 

I am happy to endorse this nifty little gadget as I constantly use it when I travel to navigate to my hotel room.

 

I hang the tag on the door of my hotel room and then I use the transponder to locate the tag on the door.  There is a beeping sound that is emitted when the transponder is pressed.  You can hear the beep as you get closer.

 

So go out there and make friends with the luggage tags that beep.

 

That’s it from me for this week.

If you would like to become a member of  my CCB Mysteries chapter you can do so for the price of $10 annually and in return you will receive unlimited access to either of the following libraries.

Recipes –

http://www.donnajodhan.com/library-recipes.html

Audio mysteries for all ages –

http://www.donnajodhan.com/library-audio-mysteries.html

Or you can subscribe to both for the price of $20 annually.

Now you  can subscribe to “‘Let’s Talk Tips”‘ which is my monthly resource for the most current and reliable informational tips available in the areas of Technology, Nutrition, Media, Business, and Advocacy.

http://bit.ly/ADJSubscribe

 

To contact me, send me an email at info@sterlingcreations.ca and I’d be happy to respond.

Have yourselves a great day and see you next week.

Donna

 

 

 

 

CCB Tech Articles, Donna’s Low Tech Tips, Scam Alert, January 21, 2019

January 21 2019

A scam alert

 

Happy New Year everyone!

Hi there!  It’s Donna and thank you for allowing me to come into your inbox.

Today, I’d like to introduce you to my scam alert.

 

A scam alert

You have been chosen

 

This is one of the more common scams going around these days and if you are not careful or paying attention you can be easily taken in.

 

More often than not you receive a phone call telling you that you have been chosen for a phone survey.

I would say; ignore this phone call and hang up as quickly as you can.

 

More often than not it is with an airline or well known cruise line  company and if you choose to indulge this call in quick time you’ll be asked for your credit card details and banking details

Along with some personal preferences.

 

What could happen if you choose to go along with this phone call?

If you choose to divulge these then look out!

They’ll be used against you to hack your account.

 

Remember!  These calls could be in the form of either a recording or a live person.

 

Some important points to keep in mind:

You need to remember that scams come in the following formats:

As emails, as phone calls both recorded and via a live caller, and o yes!  It can even show up at your door and in your mailbox.

And now they are targeting us through texts being sent to our cell phones.

 

Before giving you the latest scams making the rounds; we have some do nots to share with you.

Do not respond to emails that look strange to you.

Do not download attachments from unknown senders.

Do not share your username and password to your online banking and any other online payments facilities with anyone.

Do not give out any banking or personal details on the phone to unknown callers.

Do not pay any attention to threats from automated phone recordings or from live persons with regard to your credit card or that you owe money to any revenue agency.

Do not entertain any offers either via email or by phone from senders and callers offering incredible service packages as they may pertain to cable and tv services, prizes that you have won, or any sort of any type of service package.

Do not answer the door to unknown callers.

Take extra caution to make sure that the details of your credit cards and debit cards are fully protected when you make payments at restaurants or at stores, pharmacies, and elsewhere.

Do not enter your password for Facebook or Twitter in response to a text request on your cell phone.

The same if you are asked for your Apple ID.

Do not fall prey to a text message telling you that your banking details have been compromised online.

 

That’s it from me for this week.

If you would like to become a member of  my CCB Mysteries chapter you can do so for the price of $10 annually and in return you will receive unlimited access to either of the following libraries.

Recipes –

http://www.donnajodhan.com/library-recipes.html

Audio mysteries for all ages –

http://www.donnajodhan.com/library-audio-mysteries.html

Or you can subscribe to both for the price of $20 annually.

Now you  can subscribe to “‘Let’s Talk Tips”‘ which is my monthly resource for the most current and reliable informational tips available in the areas of Technology, Nutrition, Media, Business, and Advocacy.

http://bit.ly/ADJSubscribe

 

To contact me, send me an email at info@sterlingcreations.ca and I’d be happy to respond.

Have yourselves a great day and see you next week.

Donna

 

 

 

GTT Toronto Summary Notes, Seeing AI, TapTapSee, Be My Eyes and Aira, January 17, 2019

Summary Notes

 

GTT Toronto Adaptive Technology User Group

January 17, 2019

 

An Initiative of the Canadian Council of the Blind

In Partnership with the CNIB Foundation

 

The most recent meeting of the Get Together with Technology (GTT) Toronto Group was held on Thursday, January 17 at the CNIB Community Hub.

 

*Note: 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.

 

Theme: Seeing AI, TapTapSee, BeMyEyes and Aira

 

GTT Toronto Meeting Summary Notes can be found at this link:

 

Ian White (Facilatator, GTT)

Chelsy Moller Presenter, Balance For Blind Adults

 

Ian opened the meeting. Chelsy Moller will be presenting on recognition aps.

 

General Discussion:

  • We began with a general discussion. OrCam will be presenting at the White Cane Expo. AIRA will not. We’re still in negotiation to see if they will open up the event as a free AIRA event space. Apple will also not be there. They make it a corporate policy not to present at generalized disability events.
  • Ian raised the issue of getting a media error 7 when he’s recording on his Victor Stream. Is there a list of errors somewhere? Jason answered that perhaps it’s a corrupted SD card. A member said that there’s a list of errors in an appendix to the manual, which can be accessed by holding down the 1 key.
  • Michael asked if there’s a way to add personal notes in BlindSquare, such as, 25 steps. One recommendation was a document that you could access through the cloud. Another recommendation was to mark a “point of interest” in BlindSquare. When you do this, you can name it, so you could call it, Shoppers 25, to indicate 25 steps. Another recommendation was to make notes using the iPhone notes ap. Another recommendation was to set up geo-dependent iPhone reminders. Within a radius of the spot you want, your phone would just tell you whatever information you put in.
  • A member raised the problem of using Windows 10 and Jaws, trying to synchronize contacts email with Apple, and having duplicate folders in his Outlook email. Microsoft exchange might help.
  • Jason told the group that he has an Instant Pot smart available for sale. This is a pressure cooker that works with the iPhone, and it’s no longer available as an iPhone connectable device. He’s thinking $100, talk to him privately if interested.
  • Then he described a new keyboard he got. It’s a Bluetooth called REVO2, which he received as a demo unit. It’s got 24 keys. You can type on your phone with it, or control your phone with it. Its most useful use is when you need to key in numbers after having made a call, such as keying in bank passwords etc. Alphabetic entry works the way old cell phones did, press 2 twice for B. It has actual physical buttons. It can control every aspect of VoiceOver. You can also route your phone audio to it, so you’re essentially using it as a phone. It’s about $300. It can be paired to iPhone and Android. Here’s a link to the David Woodbridge podcast demonstrating the Rivo Keyboard:
  • A member asked if Phone it Forward is up and running. This is a program in which CNIB takes old phones, refurbishes them, then redistributes them to CNIB clients. Phone It Forward information can be found at this link.

 

Seeing AI, TapTapSee, Be My Eyes, and AIRA Presentation:

Ian introduced Chelsie, who is an Adaptive Technology Trainer, and Engagement Specialist. She’s here tonight to talk about recognition aps.

We’re going to focus on 4 aps, Seeing AI, TapTapSee, Be My Eyes, and AIRA.

  • Seeing AI is an ap that allows the user to do a variety of visual tasks, scene description, text recognition, vague descriptions of people, light levels, currency recognition, and colour preview. Each of these functions is called a channel. As a side note, Chelsie said that her iPhone10 uses facial recognition as your password. A store employee told her it wouldn’t work because it needs to see your retina, but this isn’t true; it works from facial contours.

Chelsie opened the ap. There’s a menu, quick help, then channel chooser. To get from channel to channel, flick up. She did a demonstration of short text with a book. It’s helpful for reading labels and packaging. Try to keep the camera about a foot above the text, and centred. This requires some trial and error. The document channel takes a picture of the text. It’s better for scanning a larger surface. Short text is also very useful for your computer screen if your voice software is unresponsive. Short text will not recognize columns, but document mode usually will. The product channel is for recognizing bar codes. This is a bit challenging because you have to find the bar code first. Jason said that it’s possible to learn where the codes typically appear, near the label seem on a can, or on the bottom edge of a cereal box. The person channel tells you when the face is in focus, then you take a picture. You get a response that gives age, gender, physical features, and expression. Chelsie demonstrated these, as well as currency identifier. It’s very quick. The scene preview also takes a picture, and gives you a very general description. The colour identification channel is also very quick. There’s also a hand writing channel, that has mixed results. The light detector uses a series of ascending and descending tones. Beside the obvious use of detecting your house lights, it’s also useful in diagnosing electronics. If you turn all other lights off, you can use it to see if an indicator light on a device is on.

Seeing AI is free. It’s made by Microsoft, who has many other ways of generating revenue.

  • TapTapSee is a very good ap for colour identification. This is always a tricky thing, because colour is often subjective, and is affected by light levels. TapTapSee takes a picture, and gives a general description including colour. For more accurate colour description, Be My Eyes and AIRA are better. TapTapSee is free.
  • Be My Eyes is a service in which a blind person contacts volunteers who help with quick identification or short tasks. Because they’re volunteers, the quality of help varies. You may have to wait for a volunteer. There’s a specialized help button. You can use Be My Eyes to call the disability help desk. This is useful if you need technical help from Microsoft, and they need to see your screen. This ap is also free.
  • AIRA is a paid service. Chelsie has been using it for a month. She’s very happy with it. It connects a blind user with a trained, sighted agent. This could be anything from “what is this product?” “I need to find this address,” I need to navigate through a hospital or airport. When you set up your profile, you can specify how much information you want in a given situation, and how you like to receive directions. They can access your location via GPS, in order to help navigate. They will not say things like “it’s safe to cross,” but they will say things like, “You have a walk signal with 10 seconds to go.” They’re seeing through either your phone camera, or through a camera mounted on glasses you can ware.

They have 3 plans, introductory, 30 minutes. You cannot buy more minutes in a month on this plan. You can upgrade though. The standard plan is 120 minutes at $100, or the $125 plan, that gives you 100 minutes plus the glasses. The advantage of this is that you can be hands-free when travelling. The glasses have a cord connecting them to an Android phone that has been dedicated to the AIRA function. Otherwise, you simply use your own phone with its built-in camera. This happens via an ap that you install.

The question was raised about whether the glasses could be Bluetooth, but the feedback was that there’s too much data being transmitted for Bluetooth to work.

On the personal phone ap, you open the ap and tap on the “call” button. With the glasses, there’s a dedicated button to press to initiate the call.

Chelsie spoke about how powerfully liberating it is to have this kind of independence and information. You can, read her blog post about her experience here

The third plan is 300 minutes and $190. All these prices are U.S.

Jason added that, in the U.S. many stores are becoming Sight Access Locations. This means that if you already have an AIRA subscription, use at these locations won’t count against your minutes. The stores pay AIRA for this. This will likely begin to roll out in Canada. Many airports are also Sight Access Locations. You can’t get assigned agents, but you may get the same agent more than once. If you lose your connection, the agent will be on hold for about 90 seconds so that you can get the same agent again if you call back immediately. For head phones, you can use ear buds or Aftershocks.

 

Upcoming Meetings:

  • Next Meeting: Thursday, February 21 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:

http://www.GTTProgram.Blog/

There is a form at the bottom of that web page to enter your email.

 

 

 

Resource: artificial intelligence technologies is seeking Testers using Android Devices

Hey friends,

 

We are an MIT-based startup that’s developing artificial intelligence technology for the visually impaired and the blind. We have recently released a test version of our first app on Android. It is very different from any of the existing apps such as Envision or SeeingAI. It helps you locate empty chairs, doors, stairs, and other objects around you, by using cutting-edge artificial intelligence.

 

We are accepting a limited number of tech-savvy people to try the app out before it is released and become a tester for artificial intelligence technologies. If you are interested, you can follow this link:

 

Google Play Store link

 

I am looking forward to hearing your feedback.

 

Best,

 

Emre Sarbak

Mediate

 

GTT Edmonton Summary Notes, AIRA and Library Services, January 14, 2019

            Summary Notes

GTT Edmonton Meeting January 14, 2019

 

The most recent meeting of the Get Together with Technology (GTT) Edmonton Chapter was held January 14, at 7pm at Ascension Lutheran Church 8405 83 Street in Edmonton.

28 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.

 

January Topics – AIRA and Library Services

 

AIRA

Carrie introduced Ashley, a  CNIB staff member and independent blind person, who lives in Saskatchewan. Ashley joined us remotely and presented her experience

With AIRA, a paid subscription service where blind or vision impaired people make an audio and video connection through a smartphone to trained sighted agents who can help them with virtually any task.

  • The AIRA user, referred to as an Explorer, uses their smartphone with an AIRA app or an optional set of smart eyeglasses called Horizon. The Horizon kit provides eyeglasses with built-in camera and audio connected to a dedicated Samsung smartphone that enables contact with the AIRA agents. The Samsung phone cannot be used for any other purpose other than to connect to the AIRA agent. The agent can see whatever the explorer points their phone camera at or, in the case of wearing the optional Horizon eyeglasses there is a camera that transmits video of whatever the explorer is looking at.
  • The agent becomes a sighted assistant talking to the explorer in real time and helping them navigate or perform other tasks at home or away.
  • Ashley emphasized that AIRA does not replace your mobility device. The agents will not assist you outside your home if you are not using a white cane or guide dog.
  • The agents will also not talk to you while you cross the street.
  • The AIRA subscription fee ranges from $29 USD per month for 30 minutes assistance up to $199 per month for 300 minutes of assistance.
  • The optional Horizon kit is $600 USD or can be purchased over time at $25 per month.
  • With Horizon your network data is covered in the AIRA fee. If you use your own smartphone then you must pay the cost of data through your own phone plan. It’s estimated that 1 hour of AIRA costs about 1GB of data.
  • There are now many sponsors of AIRA such as airports, retail stores, college campuses where your time on AIRA is free. However, Ashley was not aware of any sponsors in Canada yet.
  • Complete information about AIRA is available at http://www.aira.io/ or you can call them at 1-800-835-1934.

If you want to know more about Ashley, visit her blog at http://www.blindmovingon.com/

 

Edmonton Public Library and CELA and NNELS

  • We were treated to a presentation on Edmonton Public Library services by Cassidy Munro, the community librarian at the Strathcona library branch.
  • Cassidy can be reached at 780.975.8102- or by email at: Cassidy.Munro@epl.ca
  • Cassidy described the CELA accessible library service for print disabled Canadians which provides many services including: downloadable recorded DAISY books, downloadable DAISY eBooks, downloadable Bookshare DAISY eBooks, DAISY books on CD mailed to your home, braille books mailed to your home, print-brailled books for kids, over 150 downloadable DAISY e-text magazines, recorded DAISY magazines by download or mail, and over 40 daily newspapers that can be read online.
  • Many will recognize these CELA services to be the same as those previously provided by the CNIB Library. CELA took over the CNIB Library
    • In 2014 and now serves all print-disabled Canadians not just those who are blind or vision impaired.
    • Edmonton Public Library (EPL) also has 100 or so DAISY CD books that can be borrowed for those who want to experience a DAISY book prior to registering for CELA service.
    • EPL also has a few Victor Reader Stratus DAISY CD players that can be borrowed to test the service. Customers must purchase their own book player or CNIB clients can approach
  • CNIB who may be able to subsidize 75% of the cost of a player.
  • In addition to playing CD books the Victor Reader Stratus can also receive direct to player DAISY books over the Internet. The user chooses their book by logging into CELA online and once a book is chosen it is sent directly to the player. For non-computer users, CELA customer service
  • or Cassidy can set up a reader profile for you and then the CELA computer will choose your books and send them directly to the player or on CD mailed to your home.
  • Cassidy also suggested some may prefer the pocket sized Victor Reader Stream which can accept the direct to player books and perform other online functions Such as getting Bookshare books and listening to podcasts and radio stations.
    • CELA books can also be played on your iPhone or Android phone using the free Dolphin EasyReader app.
  • Visit the CELA web site for information on all their services or call their customer service at 1-855-655-2273.
  • Cassidy can register you for CELA service.
  • Cassidy can also register you for NNELS another library service for print-disabled Canadians that offers downloadable DAISY or e-text books. Cassidy highlighted that NNELS is a good source for local content and First Nations content.
  • EPL also has non CELA materials you may be interested in such as CD books, Overdrive downloadable recorded books, Music recordings, large print books and more.
  • Cassidy was asked about fees. There is no fee for an EPL card, CELA service, Bookshare service or NNELS service.

Next Meeting (Monday February 11, 2019 at 7pm)

  • Cassidy from Edmonton Public Library plans to come to the February meeting. She can answer your library questions and register clients for CELA and NNELS that were unable to come in January.
  • 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.
  • 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 more talent and experience we will have 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:

http://www.gttprogram.wordpress.com/

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:

GTTsupport+subscribe@groups.io

[End of Document]

 

 

CCB Tech Articles, Donna’s Low Tech Tips, Privacy Protection, January 14, 2019

January 14 2019

Privacy protection

 

Happy New Year everyone!

Hi there!  It’s Donna and thank you for allowing me to come into your inbox.

Today, I’d like to introduce you to my tip on privacy protection.

 

Privacy protection

We are constantly striving to protect ourselves from scams and scammers, but most of all we need to ensure that our privacy, confidentiality, and independence are kept safe from prying eyes and those who thrive on destroying our right to these precious commodities.

 

Paying at the supermarket or at any type of store

 

Usually there are three methods of payment and you should probably choose the one that best suits you.

  1. Via cash: Make sure that when you open your wallet that you do not open it up too wide so that prying eyes could see or read what you have in it.

 

  1. Via credit card: Here is where you need to ensure that when you enter your pin number that you do it yourself.

Chances are that the helpful cashier or sales person would be willing to help but better be safe than sorry.  Make sure to ensure that you cover the screen or the keypad so that no one can see what you are entering.

 

  1. Using your debit card. This is probably the most risky of the three methods in that you would need to enter more info than in option 2. Not just your pin number, but the type of account that you are withdrawing from.

Chances are that the cashier or sales rep could be counted on to keep your info private but if you are concerned then it is probably best to take a trusted person along with you when you go shopping.

Be sure to destroy all of your receipts when you arrive home so that they do not get into the wrong hands.

 

That’s it from me for this week!

If you would like to become a member of  my CCB Mysteries chapter you can do so for the price of $10 annually and in return you will receive unlimited access to any of the following libraries.

Recipes – A collection of hard to find recipes

Audio mysteries for all ages – Comfort listening any time of the day

Home and garden – A collection of great articles for around the home and garden

Or you can subscribe to all 3 for the price of $30 annually.

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To contact me, send me an email at info@sterlingcreations.ca and I’d be happy to respond.

Have yourselves a great day and see you next week.

Donna

CCB Tech Articles, Donna’s Low Tech Tips, Apps Round-up, January 7, 2019

January 07 2019

Apps round up

 

Happy New Year everyone!

Hi there!  It’s Donna and thank you for allowing me to come into your inbox.

Today, I’d like to introduce you to my apps round up.

 

  1. Blindfold Doggy (iOS, Free With In-App Purchases)

 

Blindfold Doggy is a fully accessible dog ownership simulation game, for both sighted and visually impaired people, designed for rapid audio play. The object of the game is care for your dog: the better you care for your dog, the more points you’ll score.

 

After learning the sounds your dog makes when he needs something, you must take care of your dog: feed him, walk him, give him water, brush him and play with him.

 

For example, to walk your dog, put on his collar and leash, open the door and start walking: swipe down with one finger. Each down swipe takes you one step further from home. Each up swipe takes you one step closer to home. When you leave the house for a walk, the front door automatically closes behind you. To go back inside, walk back to the door and open it. Make sure you close the door, or your dog may run away.

 

Once you’ve mastered taking care of one dog, try taking care of two. It’s much harder!

 

Then try the adventure game – go shopping for new toys and food, and take your dog to the veterinarian for routine checkups.

 

The game comes with limited play before you run out of food. To get unlimited play, or other options, use the in-app upgrades.

 

Current Version: 1.5.5 (October 26, 2018)

Read Blindfold Doggy’s AppleVis App Directory entry for more information

https://www.applevis.com/apps/ios/games/blindfold-doggy

Visit Blindfold Doggy’s App Store page

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/blindfold-doggy/id1435160109?mt=8&at=11l4LS

 

  1. Out Of Tune – Live Music Game (iOS, Free)

 

Out Of Tune is a live music game where you compete to win a cash prize. All you need to do is correctly guess 10 songs. The game is played every weekday at 8PM Eastern Time / 5PM Pacific Time and 11PM Eastern Time / 8PM Pacific Time.

 

Current Version: 1.0.14 (October 28, 2018)

Read Out Of Tune – Live Music Game’s AppleVis App Directory entry for more information

https://www.applevis.com/apps/ios/games/out-tune-live-music-game

Visit Out Of Tune – Live Music Game’s App Store page

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/out-of-tune-live-music-game/id1361857195?mt=8&ign-mpt=uo%3D8&at=11l4LS

 

That’s it from me for this week.

If you would like to become a member of  my CCB Mysteries chapter you can do so for the price of $10 annually and in return you will receive unlimited access to either of the following libraries.

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Have yourselves a great day and see you next week.

Donna

 

Guest Post: Works of art reimagined by Francine Kopun The Toronto Star

Works of art reimagined

OCAD University students rework a selection of AGO paintings into hands-on art the visually impaired can appreciate

 

Francine Kopun

The Toronto Star, Jan. 4, 2019

 

Peter Coppin remembers the discussion with a visually impaired student that helped him understand how much can be misunderstood when a person has to depend on words to understand what someone else can see.

 

They were talking about Italy and the student knew that Italy is shaped like a boot. But when Coppin described it as a boot with a high heel like the Three Muskateers would wear, the student laughed out loud. He had been envisioning Italy as an entirely different kind of boot shape and the idea of Italy as a Muskateer boot was comical to him.

 

It’s these chasms in understanding that Coppin and the Art Gallery of Ontario are trying to bridge with a program that brings multisensory projects, based on works of visual art, to AGO museum tours for people in the blind and low vision community.

 

While in the past museums have relied heavily on audio recordings and guides to bridge that gap, new practices are being brought on board, including multisensory aids designed by graduate students at OCAD University.

 

“Visuals are dominant in our culture. If you are a part of society and you don’t have access to visual items, then you don’t have access to a lot of  stuff about the culture that people who have vision have access to,” says Coppin, associate professor of the inclusive design graduate program and director of the perceptual artifacts lab at OCAD University.

 

In Coppin’s graduate class, students select a work of art at the AGO to interpret for people living with vision loss.

 

This year – the second year of the program – the works included four paintings: Tom Thomson’s The West Wind, Otto Dix’s Portrait of Dr. Heinrich Stadelmann; La Demoiselle de magasin by James Tissot and Jar of Apricots by Jean-Siméon Chardin.

 

In a way, it’s about getting back to the roots of what museums used to be, said Melissa Smith, co-ordinator of the gallery guide, adult education officer and access to art programs for the AGO.

 

Early museums began as private collections, typically belonging to the wealthy, who would share art and artifacts they had purchased or collected on their travels. They were displayed in “wonder rooms.” People were allowed to touch the items as part of the experience.

 

The AGO already offers multisensory tours for people living with vision loss, which include some works that can be touched – including the museum’s large Rodin sculptures – under supervision, but providing 3-D support for works of visual arts offers the possibility of evoking more than just the sense of touch.

 

For months, Coppin’s students grappled with the idea of how to render the terrifying look on Dr. Stadelmann’s face into a tactile experience and how to communicate the cold of the water in The West Wind.

 

“We were totally drawn to this portrait; the eerie atmosphere,” said student Shannon Kupfer, speaking of the Dix portrait. “I was dying to interpret it.”

 

Dix layered paint on the doctor’s eyes – they appear to bulge. He seems haunted. His hands are in fists by his sides. Kupfer and her partner, Tyson Moll, wanted viewers to feel that tension, and also feel the deep wrinkles in his face.

 

They made a 3-D replica of the doctor’s head in polymer clay that felt cold and a bit yielding, but still firm to the touch. The eyes bulge like they do in the painting.

 

They sewed hair onto his head in little batches, to mimic the strokes of the paintbrush in the painting. They made the body boxy and rigid, to communicate the physical tension in the painting. They gave him a rigid collar, backed by cardboard. His fists were made of polymer clay coated in silicone.

 

They also made it out of products that were easy to care for – the clothes are fastened with Velcro to make it easier for curators to remove them and wash them if necessary.

 

They recorded an audio component – a fluent German speaker reading a passage from one of Dr. Stadelmann’s writings, concerning avant-garde art in relation to what was then considered psychiatric wisdom. They included the hissing noise that used to accompany recordings played on records.

 

“It’s not just engaging for the low-sight community, it’s engaging for everyone. It’s such a cool way to get kids – or anyone – more engaged with art,” Kupfer said.

 

The problem of communicating the coldness of the water in Tom Thomson’s piece was solved more simply, with a bag of blue slime. To convey the feeling of wind, the students invested in a $20 miniature fan from Amazon.com.

 

“When you stand in front of this painting you can feel the strong wind because of the shape of the tree and the waves on the lake,” said student Norbert Zhao.

 

John Rae, who lost his eyesight in his 20s and is now blind, has been on the AGO multisensory tours and experienced the works made by this year’s OCAD students. While he liked the Otto Dix sculpture, some things didn’t communicate as planned. For example, without knowing anything about the painting, when Rae touched the sculpture, he thought the doctor was a boxer wearing gloves, because of the way the hands felt. “That comes from me as a sports fan,” said Rae, a retired public servant and a board member of the Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians.

 

Rae liked the multisensory adaptation of Jar of Apricots, by students Nikkie To and Grace Mendez. The painting is a still life that includes a jar of apricots, a glass of wine, bread and a cup of tea.

 

Their model included dried apricots for tasting, jarred scents including a cork soaked in wine and apricot jam with added artificial apricot scent; 3-D printed objects including a tea cup and wine glass to handle, background music from the period and others sounds – touching the wine glass triggered the sound of a liquid being poured.

 

While Rae believes the multisensory aids provide another tool, he thinks museums in general need to consider making more objects available for handling by the blind and vision impaired. He cited as an example ancient pottery – while a museum may have perfect examples on display, it may also have imperfect examples in storage. What would be the harm, asks Rae, in making those available to people with limited eyesight, especially since the tours happen infrequently, involve about six to 12 items, and small numbers of people?

 

“One can learn a fair amount from the expertise that the people who run these tours bring to the table, but there is no substitute for being able to touch,” Rae said.

 

The challenge at the AGO, Smith said, is that in an art gallery the works tend to be flat and one-of-a-kind.

 

“Our conservators and curators do their utmost to ensure the objects, like sculptures, which make the most interesting objects to touch, are cared for and exhibited to support this program,” Smith said.

 

Ian White, president of a local Toronto chapter of the Canadian Council of the Blind called the CCB Toronto Visionaries, said that while AGO tour leaders excel at describing art in a way that triggers the imagination, the multisensory tours are evocative.

 

“It starts a conversation about the piece, about the artist, about the history,” White said.

 

“It really allows people to engage with works that are part of our collective culture.”