Windows From The Keyboard Tips, How to Use the Recycle Bin, April 1, 2020

Hello. This is Gerry Chevalier from the GTT Edmonton Chapter. This weekly blog provides tips that I find useful as a keyboard user of Windows. The information is for Windows10 and Office 365, although many tips still apply to older versions.  The tips do not require a screen reader unless specifically noted. Thus, the tips apply whether you are a keyboard user or low vision mouse user. Here is this week’s tip.

 

Windows File Explorer – How to Use the Recycle Bin

Have you ever accidentally deleted a file and wanted to get it back? In File Explorer a deleted file is not actually removed from your computer. Rather, the file is moved to the Recycle Bin, so it is possible to restore the file. To restore a deleted file, follow this procedure.

  • Press Windows key + M to go to the desktop.
  • Press R multiple times until you reach the Recycle Bin icon and then press Enter to open the Recycle Bin.
  • You will be placed in a list of deleted files. Likely, your deleted file is in this list unless it was deleted a very long time ago. Also, when you deleted the file, if you pressed Shift+Delete to bypass the Recycle Bin, then the file will have been removed from your computer.
  • You can arrow up and down the list of files to find the file you have deleted. If you know the file name, you may press its first letter multiple times until you reach the desired file. Note that beside each file are details such as the name of the original folder that contained the file and its deletion date. You can read these values with a screen reader by using the right arrow or reading the entire line.
  • When you find the file, press the Applications key.
  • From the resulting context menu, select the Restore item and press Enter. The file will be restored to its original folder on your computer.
  • Press Alt+F4 to close the Recycle Bin.

Sorting the Recycle Bin:

If you have many files in the Recycle Bin, or you cannot remember the name of the file you deleted, it may help to sort the file list as follows.

  • If the current file you are focused on is selected, then unselect it by pressing Control+Spacebar .
  • Press the Applications key.
  • Arrow through the resulting context menu and select the Sort By submenu and press Enter to open it.
  • Arrow through the submenu and choose the sort option you want. For example, you can sort the list of files alphabetically by name, by their original location, by the deletion date, or by the date the file was last modified. You can also choose ascending or descending order.

 

That’s it for this tip. Until next Wednesday, happy computing.

Windows From the Keyboard Tips, File Explorer – Delete File Confirmation, March 25, 2020

Hello. This is Gerry Chevalier from the GTT Edmonton Chapter. This weekly blog provides tips that I find useful as a keyboard user of Windows. The information is for Windows10 and Office 365, although many tips still apply to older versions.  The tips do not require a screen reader unless specifically noted. Thus, the tips apply whether you are a keyboard user or low vision mouse user. Here is this week’s tip.

 

Windows File Explorer – Delete File Confirmation

When you press Delete to delete a file Windows may or may not ask you to confirm. You can ensure there is a confirmation prompt by doing this:

  • Press Windows key + M to focus on the desktop.
  • Press R multiple times until you are focused on the Recycle Bin icon.
  • Press Alt+Enter to open the Properties of the Recycle Bin.
  • TAB to the check box to Display a Delete confirmation prompt and press the spacebar to activate it.
  • TAB to the OK button and press spacebar to activate it and return to your desktop. You will now be prompted to confirm each time you delete a file. The files you delete will be moved to the recycle bin so you can recover them if you need to. You can selectively bypass moving the deleted file to the recycle bin if you press Shift+Delete when deleting a file.

 

That’s it for this tip. Until next Wednesday, happy computing.

 

Windows From the Keyboard Tips, File Explorer Useful Shortcut Keys, March 18, 2020

Hello. This is Gerry Chevalier from the GTT Edmonton Chapter. This weekly blog provides tips that I find useful as a keyboard user of Windows. The information is for Windows10 and Office 365, although many tips still apply to older versions.  The tips do not require a screen reader unless specifically noted. Thus, the tips apply whether you are a keyboard user or low vision mouse user. Here is this week’s tip.

 

Windows File Explorer – Useful Shortcut Keys

While browsing folders in Windows file Explorer, these shortcut keys are helpful.

  • F2 will allow you to rename a file. Press F2 while focused on the filename. An edit box opens with the current filename highlighted. Only the filename is highlighted not the filetype. Since Windows replaces highlighted text with typed text, all you need to do is type the new filename and press Enter. The filetype will remain as it was. For example, if you have a file named, John.txt, and you want to rename it to Jane.txt just arrow down to the John.txt in your list of files, Press F2, type, “Jane”, without the quotes, and press Enter.
  • Press Alt+Up Arrow to return to the parent of the folder you are currently in.
  • Press Backspace to return to the previous folder.
  • Press Control+Home to move to the top of the folder.
  • Press Control+End to move to the end of the folder.
  • Press Alt+Enter to open the properties of the file or folder you are focused on.
  • Press Delete to delete the file or folder you are focused on. Depending on the properties of your Recycle Bin, you may or may not be asked to confirm the file deletion.
  • Press Control+C to copy the file or folder to the Windows clipboard. You may then move to another folder and press Control+V to paste a copy of the file or folder into the new folder. Note: A quick way to make a copy of a file is to press Control+C on the desired file and then immediately press Control+V to paste it back. Windows will make a copy of your file in the same folder with “copy” appended to the filename.
  • Press Control+X to cut the file or folder to the Windows clipboard. You may then move to another folder and press Control+V to move the file or folder into the new folder thus deleting it from its original location.
  • Press the Applications key (usually just to the left of the right Control key) to open a context menu for the file or folder you are focused on. Arrow up and down the menu to find other actions you may wish to perform on the file or folder such as printing a file or extracting files from a ZIP folder. If you do not have an Applications key, then Shift+F10 is another way to open the applications context menu.

 

That’s it for this tip. Until next Wednesday, happy computing.

 

Windows From the Keyboard Tips, File Explorer – Searching for Files, March 11, 2020

Hello. This is Gerry Chevalier from the GTT Edmonton Chapter. This weekly blog provides tips that I find useful as a keyboard user of Windows. The information is for Windows10 and Office 365, although many tips still apply to older versions.  The tips do not require a screen reader unless specifically noted. Thus, the tips apply whether you are a keyboard user or low vision mouse user. Here is this week’s tip.

 

Windows File Explorer – Searching for Documents

Have you ever lost a file? You may remember downloading the file or saving it from an email attachment, but you can’t remember which folder it was saved in. Likely, it is in your Documents folder or one of its subfolders. To search your Documents folder and all its subfolders, open your Documents folder and then press Control+E to open the search edit box. Type one or more words that you believe are in the filename and then press TAB several times to reach the list of files that were found to have your search text in their filename. Arrow down the list to find your file. To  abandon the search and return to your Documents folder from the search results, press the Backspace key. To open the file’s location (folder), press the Applications key to open a context menu. Arrow down the menu and press Enter on the “Open file Location” item. The folder containing your file will be opened.

 

To search your entire computer’s hard drive press Windows key +R to open the run dialogue. Type C:\ to open the root of your hard drive. Then press Control+E to type your search. This will search all the folders in your hard drive. Again, TAB several times to reach the list of search results.

 

That’s it for this tip. Until next Wednesday, happy computing.

GTT Edmonton Meeting Notes, Edmonton Publick Library Accessible Services, March 9, 2020

Summary Notes

GTT Edmonton Meeting March 9, 2020

 

The most recent meeting of the Get Together with Technology (GTT) Edmonton Chapter was held March 9 at 7pm at Ascension Lutheran Church 8405 83 Street in Edmonton.

15 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. Read the Additional Resources section following the meeting notes to learn about our one on one telephone support, the National monthly teleconference, and the support email list.

 

March Topic –EPL Accessibility

Our guest was Vicky Varga, manager of the Castle Downs Branch of the Edmonton Public Library (EPL). Vicky presented on the topic of Edmonton Public Library accessible services and kindly provided the following extensive notes on these services. If you have any questions not answered in her notes, she is more than willing to get back to you. You can email her at:

vvarga@epl.ca

 

Accessible materials at EPL

Large Print Books, including hardcover and lightweight softcover books. These are available at all Library locations.

DAISY Books are digital talking books used by blind and visually impaired customers and played on a special player. They are different from audiobooks in that the discs are large format and contain an entire book on one disc versus multiple discs as well as a hierarchical structure with marked up text to make navigation easier. Anyone with a library card can request DAISY books online or via a library staff member at any branch.

Descriptive Videos/DVDs (DVS) are movies which describe the visual elements for people who are blind or have low vision. They can be played on any DVD or Blu-ray player. Nowadays, most (if not all) DVDs released in Canada provide this as part of their options. Because of this, we don’t catalogue items separately anymore. The best way to confirm if an item has described video is to go to epl2you and scroll down to where there’s a catalogue link to described video OR search our catalogue for the following: “audio description available”

Assistive technology at EPL

Victor Stratus devices read DAISY disks. The device can also be used to play regular audio books and CDS. Large buttons with high contrast colours.

Victor Stream can have materials (audiobooks, audio magazines, etc.) loaded on to it OR, if connected to the internet, have items pushed directly to it by CELA. The Streams also have internet radio and can have any audio file loaded to them.

EPL has a few of each that can be loaned to customers to provide an opportunity to test the devices to determine if they would be a good fit and to fill the gap while customers acquire their own. If they qualify, CNIB can provide support and grants for purchasing VICTOR devices that will subsidize almost the entire cost.

Home Service:

EPL has provided home delivery since the 1970s!

If you’re unable to come to us at the library for three months or longer, we’ll come to you. We can deliver to your home, extended care facility or seniors’ lodge.

Staff will work with you to select the types of books, movies and/or CDSs you like so we can meet your needs OR you can select what you would like yourself on our website.

You can have a friend or family member pick up materials for you at the library OR we will match you with a carefully screened and trained volunteer who will deliver your items directly to you.

 

 

 

Extended Loans

For customers who can come in, but not too often (i.e. Depend on rides/DATS/weather and/or health often keeps them home)

Loan period is extended to 6 weeks for print items (DVDs remain at 3 weeks).

Talk to a library staff member if you’re interested in extended loans or home service

CELA

The Centre for Equitable Library Access (CELA) is a national organization that supports public libraries in delivering equitable library service for their patrons with print disabilities.

CELA provides local library access to Canada’s largest collection of alternative format books and online resources for people who have difficulty reading print due to a visual, physical or learning disability.

CELA offers a collection of more than 500,000 books and more for people who have trouble reading print due to a learning, physical or visual disability. The collection includes:

  • Accessible books, magazines, and newspapers
  • Choose preferred format: audio, accessible e-text or braille
  • Full range of subjects, genres, best sellers and award winners for all ages

Access to the CELA collection is restricted to people with print disabilities living in Canada.

A print disability is a learning, physical or visual disability that prevents a person from reading conventional print.

More specifically, a print disability can be a:

  • Learning disability: An impairment relating to comprehension
  • Physical disability: The inability to hold or manipulate a book
  • Visual disability: Severe or total impairment of sight or the inability to focus or move one’s eyes

This definition of print disability is from the Canadian Copyright Act because it is this Act that lets CELA reproduce published materials in alternative formats for its collection. The term used in the Act is “perceptual disability”.

How to read CELA material

Download books to your mobile device and read with an accessible reading app like Dolphin EasyReader. Dolphin EasyReader is a FREE accessible reading app designed for readers with dyslexia, low vision or blindness. It’s what is recommended by CELA, but there are other apps that can be used including some paid apps.

Download or have books downloaded direct to a DAISY player over a wireless connection. Books can be chosen on the CELA website and downloaded to DAISY players, but CELA can  also push books directly to DAISY or Victor Stream devices if they’re connected to the internet.

 

Receive audio (DAISY) or braille by mail. DAISY disks and braille books can also be mailed via Canada Post directly to customers. Braille books and DAISY magazines and newspapers are theirs to keep, but books have a return mail label included and must be shipped back.

Bookshare via CELA

Bookshare is a US-based accessible online library for people with print disabilities. Bookshare offers more than 500,000 titles, including books for all ages, best sellers, and more. The books are available in e-text and e-braille. Audio versions are in synthetic speech.

Bookshare creates its accessible books by automatically converting book files provided by publishers. This automatic process makes large numbers of books available quickly and in a wide variety of accessible formats. However, because humans do not check the books, you may find errors in the synthetic audio or computer-generated braille. In addition, books which rely heavily on illustrations, charts, and graphs may not be usable because this material is generally presented by the publishers as images which cannot be converted automatically.

Proof of Disability: If you wish to access the Bookshare collection, you must provide a proof of disability, as required by Bookshare’s agreements with publishers. CELA manages the proof of disability process and ensures the privacy of your personal information. If you prefer not to submit a proof of disability, you will still have access to the CELA collection.

Signing up for CELA

Visit CELA Registration Page or contact the library for assistance.

What students/individuals need to register:

  • EPL library card
  • You must have a print disability to use CELA services, but proof of disability is not required

CELA Educator Access

If you’re an educator supporting a student with a print disability, receive free access to CELA’s entire collection including Bookshare!

How do you register? Get a free library card from Edmonton Public Library then complete the online Educator Access Program Registration Form: educators.celalibrary.ca/

CELA’s Client Access Support 

CELA’s Client Access Support program is designed for professionals who require access to CELA’s collection in order to assist individuals with print disabilities.

For example, if you work with students (being privately tutored), CNIB clients, residents of seniors’ residences or long-term care facilities, or those whose physical disabilities prevent them from manipulating a traditional book you could be eligible to access CELA’s alternate format collection on behalf of those you support.

 

What does CELA Client Access Support include?

The Client Access Support program provides access to CELA’s physical format collection including books on CD, braille books, descriptive video; our online formats such as downloadable DAISY audio or text; and electronic braille files available at celalibrary.ca.

Bookshare? No… Access to Bookshare is limited to educational institutions and to individuals with print disabilities who are registered for CELA. If you are working with individuals with print disabilities who want access to Bookshare’s online resources, you can assist them in adding the Bookshare membership to their CELA account.

Client Access Support accounts are valid until October 1 of the next year. Accounts approved on or after October 1 will expire on Oct 15 of the following year. CELA will send you a renewal notice.

National Network for Equitable Library Access (NNELS)

NNELS is funded by 8 separate provincial governments and is sustained and run by public libraries. Their goals are:

  1. accessible public library service for everyone;
  2. accessible publishing and distribution so that separate collections like ours are no longer required for access to books and reading.

NNELS is an online public library of 10,000+ titles in accessible formats. The most common formats are DAISY, PDF and e-text.

NNELS not only provides access to existing accessible books, but it also supports the creation of accessible versions of titles.

NNELS is unique in that it works closely with publishers and distributors to promote accessible formats, but it also supports the creation of accessible versions of titles as needed. Sometimes this means supporting local libraries in creating their own accessible versions – Lac La Biche just finished recording an audio version of a local collection of stories. Many Indigenous and locally-written material is not available in an accessible format and NNELS is working to combat this issue

Signing up for NNELS

To register for NNELS, individuals only need to contact the library. Library staff will change their membership to include NNELS.

Your library card number and PIN can then be used to access the NNELS catalogue on their website: http://nnels.ca

 

Next Meeting (Monday April 13 at 7pm)

  • Topic TBA.
  • As always, for help with technology bring your devices and/or questions to the meeting.

 

Additional Resources

Telephone Support

Contact our GTT coordinators, Kim Kilpatrick in the East or Albert Ruel in the West to book one on one telephone support.

Kim: 877-304-0968 Ext. 513

Email: GTTProgram@Gmail.com

Albert: 877-304-0968 Ext. 550

Email: albert.GTT@CCBNational.net

 

GTT Blog and Monthly Teleconference

CCB sponsors a national GTT monthly teleconference. You may subscribe to the GTT blog to get email notices of teleconferences, meeting notes from GTT chapters, and other information. To subscribe, activate the Follow link at the bottom of the blog web page to enter your email.

GTT Email Support List

CCB also 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.

[End]

Windows From the Keyboard Tips, File Explorer – Folder Options, March 4, 2020

Hello. This is Gerry Chevalier from the GTT Edmonton Chapter. This weekly blog provides tips that I find useful as a keyboard user of Windows. The information is for Windows10 and Office 365, although many tips still apply to older versions.  The tips do not require a screen reader unless specifically noted. Thus, the tips apply whether you are a keyboard user or low vision mouse user. Here is this week’s tip.

 

Windows File Explorer – Folder Options

The following are suggested settings for the folder options of your computer’s file system. I believe setting these folder options will make browsing files on your computer safer and easier especially if you do not use a mouse.

  • Begin by opening the Documents folder.
  • Press Control+Spacebar to ensure no files are selected in the Documents folder.
  • Press the Applications key which is beside the right control key on most keyboards. Shift+F10 can also be used if you don’t have an Applications key. Pressing Applications key will open a context menu for the folder.
  • The first item on the menu should be View submenu. Press Right Arrow to open the View submenu and arrow down to the Details item and press Enter if Details is not checked. The details view mode ensures your files are listed in a vertical list with details such as date modified and file size displayed beside each file. The icon view modes are more difficult to use because they are shown in a grid meaning you must arrow in all four directions to browse the files in a folder. For keyboard users, it’s easier to display the files in the vertical details list so you only need to browse in an up/down direction.
  • After you have pressed Enter to check the Details view mode you will be returned to your Documents folder. Press the Applications key to again open the folder context menu.
  • Press Enter to check the Name choice. This causes the files to be listed alphabetically by name.
  • Now press the Windows logo key to open the Windows Start Menu search box and type “folder options” without the quotes in the search box. “File Explorer Folder Options Control Panel” should appear in the search results. Press Enter to open it.
  • TAB through the general and View tabs setting the items of interest. In the General Tab be sure to choose “This PC” as the default place for File Explorer to open. Also, in the Advanced Settings tree view of the View tab be sure the item to “hide known file extensions” is off. You press spacebar to toggle the on/off status. This ensures filetypes such as txt, DOCX, MP3 etc. will appear in your list of files.

 

That’s it for this tip. Until next Wednesday, happy computing.

 

Windows From the Keyboard Tips, Windows Version -How to Find It, February 26, 2020

Hello. This is Gerry Chevalier from the GTT Edmonton Chapter. This weekly blog provides tips that I find useful as a keyboard user of Windows. The information is for Windows10 and Office 365, although many tips still apply to older versions.  The tips do not require a screen reader unless specifically noted. Thus, the tips apply whether you are a keyboard user or low vision mouse user. Here is this week’s tip.

 

Windows 10 Version – How to Find it

For support issues or just curiosity, you may want to know your exact Windows 10 version and build numbers. To quickly find these values hold down the Windows logo key and press R . This opens the Windows run dialogue with focus in an edit box. Type “Winver” without the quotes and press Enter. Another dialogue opens with the Windows 10 version and build numbers. Press space bar on the OK button to close the dialogue.

 

That’s it for this tip. Until next Wednesday, happy computing.

 

 

Windows From the Keyboard Tips, External Devices – How to Safely Remove, February 19, 2020

Hello. This is Gerry Chevalier from the GTT Edmonton Chapter. This weekly blog provides tips that I find useful as a keyboard user of Windows. The information is for Windows10 and Office 365, although many tips still apply to older versions.  The tips do not require a screen reader unless specifically noted. Thus, the tips apply whether you are a keyboard user or low vision mouse user. Here is this week’s tip.

 

Windows External Media – How to Safely Remove from the Computer

When you are using external media such as a USB drive or SD memory card, there is a recommended method to safely remove it to prevent corruption of the files on the media.

  • First, use Alt+F4 to close all File Explorer or other apps (e.g. Word, Excel, Notepad etc.) that are using the external media.
  • Then you can log off or shut down your computer after which it is safe to remove the media.
  • If you prefer to remove the media without shutting down your computer, then press Windows key + E to open File Explorer.
  • Arrow down to the drive that contains your external media (E:, F:, G: etc.).
  • Press the Applications key to bring up a context menu for that drive.
  • Arrow down the menu to the Eject item and press Enter to eject the drive. It will not actually pop out of your computer unless it’s a CD/DVD drive, but its file system will be released by Windows.
  • Now it is safe to physically remove the media.
    Note that depending how your computer is set up or how you were using the drive will influence whether the Windows Eject function is required but it’s always safest to shut down or use Eject to prevent any corruption of the media’s file system.

 

That’s it for this tip. Until next Wednesday, happy computing.

 

 

GTT Edmonton Meeting Notes, Fitness Tech, February 10, 2020

Summary Notes

GTT Edmonton Meeting February 10, 2020

 

The most recent meeting of the Get Together with Technology (GTT) Edmonton Chapter was held February10 at 7pm at Ascension Lutheran Church 8405 83 Street in Edmonton.

14 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. Read the Additional Resources section following the meeting notes to learn about our one on one telephone support, the National monthly teleconference, and the support email list.

 

February Topic –Fitness Tech

Lorne and Russell demonstrated the Apple Watch and other fitness and wellness technologies.

 

Russel Apple Watch Demo

Russell demonstrated some of the health and fitness apps available on his Apple Watch series 4. It is a great tool for helping to keep you motivated to exercise and stay fit. He demoed the Heart Rate App, the ECG App, the Activity App, the Workout App, and the Breathe App.

Heart Rate app

Your Apple Watch monitors your heart rate if you are wearing it. You can check your current heart rate, resting rate, and walking average rate at any time by opening the Heart Rate App. Russell showed an example of his heart rate stats for the day. You can also set the Heart Rate App to notify you if your heart rate goes above a certain rate, for example, 120 BPM, or below a certain rate, for example, 40 BPM after resting for 10 minutes. These rates can be set through the Watch App on the iPhone. The app also keeps track of your heart rate during a workout which you can view in the Workout app, and keeps track of your heart rate while using the Breathe app.

ECG App

The Apple Watch ECG app can help detect atrial fibrillation (AFib, which are irregular heart rhythms, and track this in the health app. Russell gave a demo of how to take an ECG on the Apple Watch. The app warns that the Apple Watch cannot check for signs of a heart attack and suggests that you contact emergency services if you believe you are having a medical emergency.

 

Activity App

The Activity App on the Apple Watch helps you keep track of Moving, Exercise, and Standing. Each of these categories is referred to as a ring. The Moving ring tracks the number of calories you burn in each day by moving. You can set the number of calories you wish to burn each day, and then track how well you are doing throughout the day. The Exercise Ring is set to 30 minutes of brisk exercise. You can track the number of minutes of exercise you have completed at any point in the day. The Standing Ring keeps track of how many times you’ve stood during that day. By default, it prompts you to stand once each hour of the day.

 

Workout App

The Workout App on the Apple Watch can be set to the type of activity you plan to do, for example, indoor or outdoor walk or run, indoor or outdoor cycle, hiking, stair stepper, yoga, etc. You can also choose what you wish to track, for instance, distance, duration, heart rate, total calories burned. Russell opened the Workout app to show some of the different setting choices available.

 

Breathe App

Russell opened the Breathe App on his Apple Watch and showed how you can set the duration of the breathe session, and discussed how you can set the number of times your Apple Watch prompts you to breathe each day through the Watch app on the iPhone. The duration can be set from 1 to 5 minutes. Russell then went through a 1 minute breathe session. When you set the duration and tap on start, VoiceOver prompts you to “Inhale along with the taps you will feel on your wrist and to Exhale between taps”.

 

 

Lorne Webber Demos

 

FitBit

Lorne demonstrated some of the accessible fitness and health tracking features of the Fitbit app, as connected to his Fitbit Charge 2, especially as it compares to those of the Apple Watch.

The Fitbit itself contains little to no accessibility features, especially for totally blind users; excluding a vibration notification when it’s successfully connected to the power and charging, like most phones.

Via the Fitbit app, “silent” vibrating alarms can be set for the Fitbit to alert you with a vibration which won’t stop until you tap the screen or press the side button.

The Fitbit app gives the user access to fitness and health metrics such as Total steps, distance, Flights climbed, total caloric expenditure, current and resting heart rate, daily time spent exercising, and, if you wear it to bed, total time sleeping and a sleep score estimating how restful your sleep was, (i.e., were you technically sleeping but doing lots of tossing and turning in your sleep.

Perhaps the biggest advantage the Fitbit has over the Apple Watch is its Battery life, approx. 5-7 days of 24-hour use, as compared to the 24- 48 hours of most Apple Watches. (with the proviso that the Apple Watch is much more fully featured than the Fitbit; these more powerful features take up much more battery life.

Perhaps the biggest disadvantage of the Fitbit is the need to view all of it’s statistics via the Fitbit app. Without the app on a smartphone or Tablet, the device itself, unlike the Apple Watch, is not accessible. Some users point out that the most basic feature of an Apple Watch on your wrist is that it can tell you the time accessibly, which the Fitbit cannot.

 

Polar Heart Rate Strap

Lorne also demonstrated his Polar H7 Heart Rate chest strap which can connect to hundreds of iOS and Android apps to keep track of Heart Rate during exercise. The strap must be next to your skin not worn outside clothing. Lorne was using the Runmeter app which is very accessible and offers hundreds of configurable audio announcements, however many other apps offer comparable functionality such as the WalkMeter app.

 

7-Minute Workout App

Next Lorne demonstrated one of the many guided exercise coaching apps; 7-Minute Workout,

Which has its premise that you can start your fitness journey by just performing a series of 12 body weight exercises in just 7 minutes. The app counts down and notifies you when you need to switch, and what the new exercises are. One Criticism of this app is that if you happen to be unfamiliar with how to perform that exercise, while the app does offer some text based descriptions, the pictures/diagrams built in to the app probably won’t be very helpful for a totally blind user.

Blind Alive Workout Videos with Audio Description

In terms of following along with pictures, diagrams and videos of exercises, Lorne discussed exercise videos, which sighted people will recognize from decades ago. They have been much harder for those with no or very low vision to follow along with, unless they have sighted assistance; now that has changed.

 

Lorne discussed the amazing resource which is the BlindAlive.com website, which hosts Eyes Free Fitness.

(The following quote is taken directly from the BlindAlive.com home page, donations would be welcome and go to support keeping this resource free).

“You just discovered the home of a complete set of the Eyes-Free Fitness® audio exercise programs. All programs are completely free for your downloading pleasure — no strings attached. These programs allow you to stretch, strengthen, condition, and tone your body, all without the benefit of eyesight. All these programs are thoroughly described with extra supplementary audio and text materials, should they be needed.

Mel Scott, who is blind, brought together a team of fitness instructors, musicians, and audio editors in order to provide a variety of exercise programs for people who need or prefer non-visual cues while exercising.”

 

Relaxation/Meditation

Lorne also discussed a number of relaxation and meditation resources, such as the Headspace app

which is one of several accessible guided meditation apps where you get the first lesson for free but then must pay to continue to more advanced material.

Headspace, along with many similar options is also available if you have a Google Home or Amazon Echo smart speaker, just by saying Connect to Headspace, or Open Headspace.

 

Some people prefer to listen to nature sounds or calming music in order to meditate, relax, or unwind from a busy day; your smart speaker can help you with this. just ask it to play types of sounds, such as Ocean sounds, or sleep sounds; sometimes you will have to enable a specific skill such as the Amazon Echo Island Sounds skill, before it will start playing.

If you have a subscription to a streaming music service such as Spotify or Apple Music, you can ask the smart assistant to play “relaxing music, meditative music, yoga music, etc. and it will queue up a corresponding playlist of music to help you relax.

 

Many of the above Meditation/relaxation  resources can also be found for free by searching YouTube for meditation, guided meditation, ASMR, Nature sounds, Meditation music, relaxation music, etc.

 

Next Meeting (Monday March 9 at 7pm)

  • Vicky Varga from Edmonton Public Library will provide an update on accessible library services such as CELA and NNELS.
  • As always, for help with technology bring your devices and/or questions to the meeting.

 

Additional Resources

Telephone Support

Contact our GTT coordinators, Kim Kilpatrick in the East or Albert Ruel in the West to book one on one telephone support.

Kim: 877-304-0968 Ext. 513

Email: GTTProgram@Gmail.com

Albert: 877-304-0968 Ext. 550

Email: albert.GTT@CCBNational.net

 

GTT Blog and Monthly Teleconference

CCB sponsors a national GTT monthly teleconference. You may subscribe to the GTT blog to get email notices of teleconferences, meeting notes from GTT chapters, and other information. To subscribe, activate the Follow link at the bottom of the blog web page to enter your email.

GTT Email Support List

CCB also 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.

[End]

Windows From the Keyboard Tips, External Devices and Autoplay Settings, February 12, 2020

Hello. This is Gerry Chevalier from the GTT Edmonton Chapter. This weekly blog provides tips that I find useful as a keyboard user of Windows. The information is for Windows10 and Office 365, although many tips still apply to older versions.  The tips do not require a screen reader unless specifically noted. Thus, the tips apply whether you are a keyboard user or low vision mouse user. Here is this week’s tip.

 

Windows External Devices and Auto Play Settings

Have you ever inserted a USB flash drive or SD card into your computer and then had some difficulty opening the media? Windows has a feature called Auto Play that determines how external media is handled when it is inserted into the computer. The simplest method I have found is to set Auto Play to just automatically open the media in File Explorer. TO achieve this:

  • Press the Windows logo key to open the Start menu search.
  • Type “Auto Play” without the quotes. Windows search results should bring up the Auto Play Settings choice within System Settings.
  • Press Enter to open the Auto Play Settings window.
  • Make sure “Use Auto Play” is set to, ON.
  • Press TAB to reach the Removable Drive item and press Down Arrow to select the option to “Open Folder to View Files”, and press Enter to select it.
  • Similarly, Press Tab to reach the Memory Card and Down Arrow to select the same option to “Open Folder to View Files”. Now whenever you insert a USB drive or memory card it will be automatically opened for you to view its files.
    • Press Alt+F4 to exit the Auto Play Settings window.

 

That’s it for this tip. Until next Wednesday, happy computing.