Upcoming events to help with social distancing from Braille Literacy Canada

Dear parents, teachers, braille users, and friends,

Over the past few weeks, we have all, like you, been impacted by the ever-evolving COVID-19 situation. Staying at home and practising self-isolation will continue to be critical for overcoming this global pandemic. Many children are home as schools suspend their operations. Many people are working from home, while others may be feeling anxious if they are among those whose work has been impacted.

For some people with disabilities, this global pandemic may be presenting even more challenges. Some may have lost the social activities they once relied on, or may be experiencing the effect of temporarily suspended supports and services. For those who can’t drive, accessing essential services may be posing even more challenges.

We at BLC recognize that these are unusual and stressful times for many. On behalf of the entire board, I want you to know that we have been thinking about what we can do to help.

First, if you have a friend, colleague or family member with a disability (or without!), reach out (by phone or text). Ask if they need any help ordering groceries online. Check in with the people around you with a friendly social phone call.

Here is what BLC will be doing to help:
1. Braille Zoomers Group: You may have seen our announcement in January that we will be launching a virtual group for adults who are learning braille. In light of the current situation, we have decided to start these meetings sooner than planned. They will take place on the first Saturday of each month at 1 PM Eastern, beginning on April 4th. If you are an adult braille learner, please email info@blc-lbc.ca (or call 1-877-861-4576) to join our group. We will be sending the Zoom link and call in details for the first meeting in the coming days. We invite any adult braille learner regardless of where you are in your braille journey. Come join us for this social get-together through Zoom, and meet other adult braille learners just like you!
2. Resources: We are compiling a list of resources that may be especially helpful to the Canadian braille community – online shopping apps and resources, distance learning and online homework assistance, methods for accessing alternative reading materials to maintain student skills, social get-togethers through telephone or online platforms, resources for learning how to use Zoom, and much more. If you have specific resources that you think would be helpful, please write to us at info@blc-lbc.ca and we will add it to the list. We will circulate this list in the coming days both by email and on our Facebook page, and will update it as more resources become available.
3. Parent support: For parents with blind and low vision students, we want to do our part to support you while your students are not at school. Though we are not all teachers, we still can play a role in supporting you in a variety of ways. We will be circulating an announcement directed specifically to parents, inviting them to write to us with any questions they may have about the braille code, how their child’s assistive technology works, and ideas for maintaining braille and braille technology-related skills during this time. If you are a parent of a braille using child with a specific question or if you are looking for a resource, write to us at info@blc-lbc.ca (or call 1-877-861-4576).
4. Special teleconference: We are organizing a special teleconference to take place in early April (date TBD) specifically directed to parents (though all are welcome). We will use this opportunity to share resources that support home learning and ideas for home-based braille activities. We will also answer any questions you may have about braille and braille-related technology. If you are a parent (or student) with questions, please join us. Registration will be free of charge for members and non-members alike for this special online workshop.
5. Facebook page: Keep an eye on our Facebook page. Whenever we come across a resource that we feel might be helpful, we will share it there, with the hashtag #SixDotsStrong
We hope that these measures provide some added support during this time. Please let us know if you have any questions, and stay tuned for all of the above in the coming days and weeks!

With friendship and solidarity,
Natalie Martiniello and your entire Braille Literacy Canada board

Resource: Audible App, Deleting books on iPhone 6 Running iOS 11-4-1

Deleting books in the Audible App on iPhone 6 in iOS 11-4-1

  1. With the My Library Tab at the bottom left corner of the main Audible Player screen selected, and Device selected near the top of the screen the iPhone will list the books on the device.
    2. Flick right several times from the top of the page to find the Delete Button icon and one-finger double tap it. Now, each book in the list will have something appear just before the title labelled, Delete from Device.
    3. Flick with one finger through the list to find the book title to be deleted and flick once to the left to access the Delete From Device Button pertaining to that book. One-finger double tap that button to start the deletion process.
    4. Focus will remain on the Delete From Device icon just activated, and above it will be found another button with the same label. Flick once to the left to locate that one and one-finger double tap it to finalize the deletion of the book.
    5. If there are multiple books to delete repeat steps 3 and 4.
    6. To turn off the Deletion process go back to the top of the page then flick right to locate the Delete Button and one-finger double tap it. The list of books wil return to its original state.


Survey about using passwords when you are blind or partially sighted.

Hi All.

I have been working with this lady to find some other solutions for entering passwords.

She has asked that I pass along this survey to anyone who is interested in doing it.

It is real this time.  Not like the keyboard one.


Sent from my iPhone

Begin forwarded message:

From: Daniella Briotto Faustino <DaniellaBriottoFaust@cmail.carleton.ca>

Date: December 19, 2017 at 3:45:57 PM EST

To: GTT Program <gttprogram@gmail.com>

Cc: Nolan Jenikov <nolan.gtt@ccbnational.net>

Subject: Online survey: The use of passwords by people with visual impairment


My name is Daniella Briotto Faustino and I am a Master student in the Human Computer Interaction program at Carleton University (Ottawa, Canada). Under the supervision of Professor Audrey Girouard, I am conducting a research for my thesis and looking for participants to answer an online survey about the use of passwords by people with visual impairment. This research has been cleared by the Carleton University Research Ethics Board.

As a token of appreciation, participants will be included in a prize draw of an Amazon gift card, in the value of 50 Canadian dollars.

Survey title: The use of passwords by people with visual impairment

This online survey contains around 30 questions, either multiple choice or text entry. It can be completed all at once or within a week, by accessing the same link. To participate in this survey, participants must be: visually impaired, at least 18 years old, and comfortable with the English language.

Here is the link to access the online survey: https://cuhealth.eu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_4UdAGTWkF32wzpb

If you know others that would be interested in participating, please forward this email to them.

Thank you,

Daniella Briotto Faustino

Master student in Human-Computer Interaction




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Information about the trust your buddy program which was featured on the GTT national call on July 12.

TRUST YOUR BUDDY information!!

Good afternoon all, here is all the relevant information on the TYB program. This is CCB’s newest program, set out to ENGAGE, EDUCATE and EMPOWER the blind/VI to adopt a lifestyle full of activity and integrated sport.

IN FACEBOOK AND YOUTUBE search bar, simply type:

CCB Trust Your Buddy

Then “like” and “subscribe” to our page and videos.

12noon EST / 9am PST

I’ll be on talking about various fitness topics and HIGHLY encourage to go ahead and “like” our Facebook page then submit your questions in the comments box. Either before or during th the video, then I’ll have a chance to answer them LIVE for you.

Anything sport, health, fitness, exercise, equipment, related…nothing is off the list.

Share our page and channel with all your contacts!!

CCB is excited to provide you with this FREE Health Education/Accessible Sport resource….take advantage and get all your questions answered!!


Ryan Van Praet (Reg. Kinesiologist)
Program Manager
Accessible Sport & Health Education
Canadian Council of the Blind

At last, a brand new email support list for GTT.

Many people have asking for an email list for GTT. This list is so that we can support each other and ask questions about tech and all things blind access tech.
Please keep your posts on topic to technology and please keep your answers supportive and respectful.
We will also be putting up the blog posts and other info that goes to this blog.
I know that some people are not getting all of the posts regularly.
To subscribe to the blog, send a blank email to

Very important information for the users of window eyes screen reader.

Hello everyone.
I received this information in an email list I am subscribed to and thought I would pass it along.
Some of the information below does not lead you to any Canadian distributors of window eyes. You could call your Canadian distributor with questions.
It had been rumoured for a long time that the window eyes screen reader would go away and it looks like this is the case.
See below.
Thank you for being a valued member of the GW Micro and Window-Eyes family. We regret to announce that sales of Window-Eyes have ended in the United States and Canada. Users outside of the United States and Canada should contact their local distributor for options. We are committed to our customers and will honor existing product purchases and software maintenance agreements, and we will continue to provide technical support to end users that have purchased Window-Eyes or a support package.

All users who are currently using Window-Eyes can continue to use the software indefinitely; however, as the Windows® operating system and/or applications change over time, Window-Eyes may not function adequately for your needs.

We understand how important a screen reader is to you and are offering JAWS® for Windows 18 as a replacement. We are committed to providing a smooth transition and will honor existing Window-Eyes product purchases and software maintenance agreements (SMA), as follows.
· End users that paid for and are current with Window-Eyes 9.x will be converted to JAWS 18 at no charge.

· If you are using an earlier version of Window-Eyes, you can purchase an upgrade to JAWS 18.

· If you are using the free version of Window-Eyes you can continue to use it. While there is not an upgrade path from the free version, if you are interested in purchasing JAWS, please contact our sales team at 800-444-4443.

· Existing Window-Eyes SMAs will be rolled into the JAWS SMA program for end users that migrate to JAWS.

Learn more about the migration options and pricing by visiting http://www.gwmicro.com/window-eyes/migrate.

To make this process as easy as possible, we ask you to complete a simple web form that will go directly to our sales team, who will then contact you with an authorization code for JAWS 18, or request additional information if necessary.

Requests for upgrades must be submitted at http://www.gwmicro.com/window-eyes/migrateform or by phone at 800-444-4443 by July 31, 2017.

Note, the free Window-Eyes Offer for Users of Microsoft Office version is not part of the conversion program.

If you have any questions please call us at 800-444-4443 or email us at orders@vfogroup.com.

The Transit system in Ottawa (OC Transpo) introduces exterior bus announcements starting this Sunday April 23rd.

Hello everyone from Kim Kilpatrick.
This is an official news release from OC Transpo in Ottawa. I was glad to be on this committee and glad that we finally have exterior bus announcements here. Thanks to the staff at OC Transpo for taking our thoughts and suggestions into consideration and for working with us so well.
OC Transpo takes bus announcements outside
On April 23, OC Transpo launched improvements to its next stop announcement system. Exterior bus announcements, which audibly announce the route and destination of the arriving bus, can now be heard by customers waiting at all bus stops and transit stations.
Some customers are unable to see or read the visual destination sign of an approaching bus – particularly, customers who are blind or who have vision loss. This affects their ability to identify the bus, and to use transit independently and safely. Exterior bus announcements will assist all customers in confirming they are boarding the correct vehicle, especially at stops and platforms served by multiple routes.
Generated from a speaker located outside the front door of the bus, this technology will automatically announce, in both official languages, the same information that can be seen on the exterior destination sign of the bus. When the operator opens the door, the bus will make the announcement – for example, “Route 95 Baseline, Circuit 95 Baseline.”
Announcement volumes have been set to be only a few decibels above the ambient or surrounding street-level noise at the stops. They are intended to be heard by those waiting at the stop. The volume of the exterior bus announcements will also vary depending on the time of day – getting quieter from 9 p.m. to 7 a.m.
The implementation of OC Transpo’s new exterior bus announcements has been guided by feedback from an eight-member community working group, composed of residents and stakeholders with an interest in the provision of a more accessible transit service. This group helped to initiate the project, provided OC Transpo staff with an enhanced understanding of the unique challenges faced by some customers, and assisted in the development of the announcement content and sounds. The community working group included representatives of the City’s Accessibility Advisory Committee, Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB), Alliance for the Equality of Blind Canadians, Canadian Council of the Blind and Women’s Initiatives for Safer Environments.
For more information on OC Transpo’s exterior bus announcements or on the other accessibility features that make it easier for customers to use transit, please visit http://www.octranspo.com or contact OC Transpo Information at 613-741-4390 (TTY 613-741-5280).

Crashes and problems with the autour app have been fixed.

I had a message from the developers of the Autour GPS app to say that the app crashes have now been fixed. Some people were asking about autour, it is a free GPS app. It is designed to give you a picture of what is around you. It is unique in that if something is on your right, it speaks in your right ear, if something is on your left, it says so in your left ear. If something is straight ahead it speaks in both ears. It tells you streets and businesses you are passing but does not give any turn by turn navigation. It is free to try. It has been developed by University students and their professor in Montreal.

Important information about the autour app.

This is a message from the developer of the app Autour. At present, Autour is crashing at startup, as a result of a certificate that our university needs to update with the Apple App Store. Regretfully, we had no notice that the certificate was about to expire until this morning. We are hoping that the university’s IT Services department will remedy this promptly so that Autour’s services can be restored. We will notify you once this is done, but in the meantime, our sincere apologies for the disruption.

Important information about Jaws and an upcoming Windows 10 update!

The message below is from Jason Fayre from CNIB who is one of the leaders of GTT Toronto. I do not know how this applies to other screen readers such as NVDA. If anyone has any additional information, please send it to me at
Gttprogram@gmail.com and I will post to the blog.
Hello all,
On April 11, Microsoft will begin roling out the next major update to Windows 10. This is a very large update, so Microsoft is sending it out in stages. You will probably not get the update immediately.
JAWS must be updated to the latest version of 17 or 18 to be compatible with this new update. If you already have the latest JAWS 18 update, there is nothing you need to do.
If JAWS is requesting that you update it, you should run the update. To be sure, I would suggest going to the Help menu in JAWS, then selecting “Check for Updates.”
The latest version of JAWS is 18.0.2530.

CCB national office has had a flood and we are not able to work in there right now.

Hello everyone.
There has been a big flood at the CCB National Offices at 20 James street.
Staff are not able to work there right now. This means, that GTT training sessions or drop ins may have to be cancelled or moved.
Before coming to the office for anything related to GTT, please call or email Kim at the following numbers to check.
Or gttprogram@gmail.com

Reminder of the next GTT National Conference call tonight February 8 at 7 PM Eastern, 4 Pacific.

This is just a reminder of our GTT national teleconference call which will take place tonight February 8 at 7 PM Eastern, 4 Pacific time.
We had been asked to talk about on line shopping (especially for groceries) but have been asked by some who are away to put this one off until March. Since it is white cane week, I thought we could talk about mobility devices and apps? What type of cane do you use? What type of tip? What colour? Do you use a guide dog? What apps or tricks do you use for getting around?
Here is the call in info.
Passcode 5670311

Reminder that the rural and northern Ontario GTT teleconference is tonight January 26 at 7 PM eastern.

This is just a reminder of the northern Ontario and rural GTT teleconference taking place January 26 at 7 PM Eastern.
This is an open call with no guest speaker this time.
People are asked to bring any questions, tips, or tech issues to discuss.
Here is the call in info
Time: 7 Pm eastern.
Date: January 26 2017
Call in number 1-866-740-1260
Passcode 5670311

Notice of forum for CITIZENS with Disabilities Ontario forum Tonight Tuesday January 10 at 7:30 Eastern.

Hi everyone.
See below for a message from Citizens with Disabilities Ontario.
Sorry for the short notice.

Hi Everyone,

Please Circulate Widely, especially for Ontario!

There is room for additional participants!

You are invited to attend a forum on National Accessibility and Inclusion Act, (NAIA), Tuesday evening at 7:30 PM EST, January 10, 2017, in CWDO Auditorium 1.

Your input is requested to inform CWDO’s submission about what the Act should include.

Captioning will be provided for this discussion.

Please use this link:


When the Auditorium 1 page comes up, please read carefully. You may need to download a plug-in or an App, depending on what technology you are using.

If, for some reason, Auditorium 1 does not work for you, please call to have your input counted.

Thanks to CCD for supporting the teleconference.

Call 1-877-733-5390

Conference Participant Code number is: 2622423515#

Below my name is the notice which has been appearing in our CWDO Newsletters.

We hope you can join us Tuesday evening,

Pat Seed

(807) 473-0909

*CWDO forum on federal consultation

Join us on Tuesday, January 10 at 7:30 PM to share your views on what should be included in federal government legislation to address accessibility.

The forum will be held in Auditorium 1 in our accessible, online conferencing system. Go to our conference rooms and choose Auditorium 1. First time users – choose the download that matches your computer or phone device.

Please register for the forum on national accessible legislation to let us know you’re coming and to let us know of any accommodation needs you may have to participate in this online discussion (for example, captioning).

*Take our survey on national accessibility laws

The accessibility yardstick could be moved considerably with accessibility legislation that applies to federally-regulated organizations at the federal public service.

CWDO will be submitting a response to the federal government’s consultation and we would like to reflect our members’ views in that response.

Please take CWDO’s survey on national accessibility legislation and let us know what’s important to you.

Read Barrier-Free Canada’s principles and their Discussion Paper about what could be included in the legislation.

Together we are stronger.

Next GTT national conference call on Wednesday January 11 2017 all about web browsing.

Hello everyone and a very happy 2017 to all.
Since the last teleconference, several people have asked for more information about web browsing and how to do it in the most accessible way.
So, this Wednesday January 11 2017, our topic will be web browsing.
Come with. Your tips, tricks and questions.
What is your preferred browser? Do you like to browse on the PC, Mac, Apple or android or a specialized device?
Here is the call in information.
Wednesday January 11 2017
Time 7 PM Eastern 4 pacific
Call in number 1-866-740-1260
Passcode: 5670311

Reminder next GTT national teleconference call tonight Wednesday December 14 at 7 PM Eastern. Topic is live streaming.

This is just a reminder that the regular monthly GTT national conference call will take place tonight December 14 at 7 PM eastern time. Our topic will be live streaming. Here is the call in information again. 1-866-740-1260 Passcode 5670311

Next GTT national conference call about streaming services. Wednesday December 14 2016 7 PM Eastern 4 Pacific.

Our last GTT national conference call of the year will take place on Wednesday December 14 at 7 PM eastern, 4 Pacific. Our topic is streaming services. Wondering about the differences between apple music, spotify and others? What about streaming radio and podcasts? Come and join in the discussion. Share your tips and tricks.
Call in info 1-866-740-1260 Passcode 5670311

Opportunity to earn a gift certificate and test government web sites for accessibility.

Hello everyone. I have done testing for the below company before.
You can be from anywhere in Canada to do this. Also, both people with low vision and those who are totally blind would be eligible.
Use the contact information provided below in the posting.
Earn a $50 gift certificate for doing 1 hour of work from home.

Roy Ballantine at Neo Insight is looking for blind and partially sighted internet users to sign up to participate in 1-hour Skype sessions to test the usability of the Government of Canada website. The sessions are run entirely online using Skype and an internet browser, and a mutually convenient day and time. Participants are given a $50 PayPal or Amazon gift certificate for their time.

To be added to our list of candidates, please email your contact information to signup@neoinsight.com, or call Roy at (613) 317-1683. Your information will not be shared and your privacy will be preserved.

Aroga has a link on its page where they are selling demo units of their accessible products at reduced prices.aroga,

Now that I can finally post links to the blog, sorry for all of the backed up posts but I wanted to do them justice.

See below from aroga.

Some of these items might have been sold already but it is great to look back at their pages and see what they might have for sale.

With new products added every day, our Clearance Section features demos, consignment items and product that has been slashed in price by up to 70%! 

Here’s just some of the amazing deals you’ll find there:




BraillePen 12 Touch Demo Unit




DaVinci HD Desktop Magnifier Demo Unit






Jot A Dot Braille Writer





Braille Sense U2 Demo Unit





Merlin 20″ Desktop Magnifier Demo Unit





Plextalk Linio Pocket Demo Unit




Supplies are limited. All Demo Units are sold AS IS but are in great and working condition.

CELA looking for users to be on their advisory committee.

See below for a post from CELA about becoming involved in a user advisory group.  In order to do this, you must fill in a survey or contact them directly.

See below.

Are you interested in sharing your experiences and providing input to improve services for the print disabled community? CELA is now accepting applications for its new User Advisory Group! The group will meet 6-12 times a year with the goal of informing technology decisions and overall strategy of the organization and strengthening CELA services for all.  CELA is looking for input from a variety of users with a wide range of experiences and abilities. Appointments to the Advisory Group is for a two-year term and CELA asks that those applying meet the following criteria:


  • Willingness and ability to commit to the necessary time and effort required to contribute meaningfully to the group;
  • Commitment and interest in the future of CELA services, with that interest informed by personal or professional experience and an ability to balance local and regional perspectives;
  • Skills and experience related to previous work with community-based and/or cultural or library projects


CELA welcomes and encourages interested GTT members to apply for the group by completing theapplication form (SurveyMonkey) by Friday, December 2, 2016. For additional information, please read the Terms of Reference (Word) or email Michael Ciccone, Executive Director.