GTT Edmonton Meeting Notes, Independent Living Skills, January 13, 2020

Summary Notes

GTT Edmonton Meeting January 13, 2020

 

The most recent meeting of the Get Together with Technology (GTT) Edmonton Chapter was held January13 at 7pm at Ascension Lutheran Church 8405 83 Street in Edmonton.

17 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.

 

January Topic –Independent Living Skills

We had a robust round table open discussion on independent living skills. People talked about their strategies and tech they use to perform everyday tasks. The topic turned out to be one of our more interesting ones. The discussion lasted nearly two hours with lots of enthusiasm and lots of ideas shared about how to do everyday tasks. Many of the tasks relied on common sense approaches as well as using tech. Following is a brief summary of the discussion.

 

 how to get the bus:

  • Google the destination to be aware of its surroundings.
  • Use the ETS app or Transit app.
  • Don’t be shy. Ask someone at the bus stop.
  • You can use the AIRA app which provides trained sighted agents to help you get to the stop by using the video camera on your phone. It was pointed out that AIRA now provides the first 5 minutes of each sighted assistance session for free.

 

How to shop:

  • Many people remember the location in the store of products they use regularly.
  • Customer service can be a great help.
  • Seeing AI app can be useful for reading product labels and info.
  • Place an order online and pickup (Superstore) or get delivery for about $9 (from Save On Foods. Save On has a code that allows you to use 2500 Save On points for free delivery. This code saves you a lot more than using your points for anything else.
  • Use Be My Eyes app to have a volunteer guide you and describe your item by looking through the video camera of your phone. It was mentioned that, unlike AIRA which uses paid trained agents, Be My Eyes uses volunteers so there may be a wait for a volunteer to engage you.

 

How to Cook:

  • Use an Instant Pot. Put everything in it at once. Seasoning is everything! Use less liquid so it is thicker. If you get the Bluetooth InstaPot, then you can control all the settings from an app.
  • Label stove with dots for “Start”, “Medium”, “High” etc.
  • Label microwave critical buttons such as #5, Power, Start, and Clear.
  • Modern induction burners are appealing because they only heat the steel pot, the burner does not get hot.
  • Use smaller knives so less likely to cut yourself.
  • When grilling on the BBQ, get a 2-sided spatula with attached tong (you can slide the spatula under the food, and then squeeze the food with the tong, so you can easily flip the food.
  • Use a boiling water probe to tell the level of hot water in a cup.
  • To avoid messy bacon frying, cook bacon at 350 degrees in the oven (on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper.
  • Add milk to eggs and scramble them in a frying pan. When you press on them and they don’t make a squishy sound, they are done.
  • When browning meat such as ground beef, it will feel dry to the touch when it is fully browned. More frying is safer than less.
  • Organize spices in baggies and /or in same size containers using braille labels if you know braille.
  • Put braille labels on spice containers and refill the same labelled container when it is used up.
  • Sometimes can tell the difference with texture or smell
  • Use braille recipe card labels and secure them to tin cans with rubber bands. Put the card aside when you open the can and it becomes your shopping list.

 

How to do Laundry:

  • Use the “Seeing AI app to help sort colors of clothes.
  • Buy clothing in similar colors, so they will match, and can be washed together.
  • Avoid white clothes, which might absorb other colors.
  • Use “Color Catchers” or “Dye Magnets” which absorb colors that run from clothes. They are like dryer sheets, but you put them in the washing machine. London Drugs carries them.
  • Use sock pairing devices (CNIB has them), or buy same color socks, or socks with different textures so you can tell the difference.

 

Travel:

  • Hotels have more services and help available.
  • The Travel Eyes organization pairs sighted and non-sighted  individuals to travel together on trips.
  • Use headphones that do not cover your ears such as the popular bone conducting headphones from Aftershokz.
  • Use an app for GPS navigation and orientation such as Blind Square or Microsoft Soundscape.
  • Can do both touring and mountain biking with a tandem bicycle and an experienced captain.
  • Be aware of what insurance covers.
  • Wear good boots, jacket, all weather gear, be sure clothing is reflective.

 

House Cleaning:

  • Feel with your hands what needs cleaning.
  • Clean once a week because it probably needs it.
  • Use an app like AIRA or Be My Eyes to get help to tell you if an area is clean.

General

  • Smart apps can be used to control lights, thermostats etc.
  • If you are going into college or university, be sure to clearly identify your needs for accessible course materials (audio, e-text, braille, tactile, tutor) to your contact at the disability student office. These materials and/or services take time and special grant funding needs to be organized so be sure you are leading the process and not the other way around.

 

Next Meeting (Monday February 10 at 7pm)

  • Topic is to be announced.
  • 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]

Next Ottawa GTT in Person Meeting January 20, 2020 6-8 PM, tiles, way round tags, scripttalk and more.

You are invited to the first in-person meeting of 2020 for GTT Ottawa.

 

Meeting date:

January 20, 2020.

Time: 6-8 Pm

Location: CCB national office 20 James street

 

Topics:

Kim Kilpatrick will show way round tags, and the way round app.  She will also demonstrate the app for reading prescriptions Scriptalk.

Rebecca Jackson will demonstrate tiles and the tile app.

Come with your questions, the new tech you have received for Christmas, and your tips to share.

For more information, contact Kim Kilpatrick at

(613) 567-0311

or gttprogram@gmail.com

 

Exploring the use of smartphones and tablets among people with visual impairments: Are mainstream devices replacing the use of traditional visual aids?: Assistive Technology: Vol 0, No 0, by Natalina Martiniello

Dear GTT Blog readers.  I urge you all to check out this well done report by Natalina Martiniello and how it impacts the community of blind, partially sighted and deaf-blind people.  You will find the website to be well marked with Heading navigation, so click the below link with confidence.

 

ABSTRACT

 

Smartphones and tablets incorporate built-in accessibility features, but little is known about their impact within the visually impaired population. This

study explored the use of smartphones and tablets, the degree to which they replace traditional visual aids, and factors influencing these decisions. Data

were collected through an anonymous online survey targeted toward visually impaired participants above the age of 18, whom had been using a smartphone

or tablet for at least three months. Among participants (n = 466), 87.4% felt that mainstream devices are replacing traditional solutions. This is especially

true for object identification, navigation, requesting sighted help, listening to audiobooks, reading eBooks and optical character recognition. In these

cases, at least two-thirds of respondents indicated that mainstream devices were replacing traditional tools most or all of the time. Users across all

ages with higher self-reported proficiency were more likely to select a mainstream device over a traditional solution. Our results suggest that mainstream

devices are frequently used amongst visually impaired adults in place of or in combination with traditional assistive aids for specific tasks; however,

traditional devices are still preferable for certain tasks, including those requiring extensive typing or editing. This provides important context to designers

and rehabilitation personnel in understanding the factors influencing device usage.

 

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/10400435.2019.1682084#.Xcr3YgJRFKU.linkedin

 

Thx, Albert

 

Sent from my iPhone

VoiceOver vs. Talkback: My Time on the Other Side | AppleVis

Having read this well done article I think I remain comfortable with my decision to stay with the iPhone.

###A Fair Look at Talkback and VoiceOver
— Read on www.applevis.com/blog/voiceover-vs-talkback-my-time-other-side

CCB Tech Articles, Donna’s Low Tech Tips, talking Olympus digital recorder, October 28, 2019October 28, 2019 Meet the talking Olympus digital recorder Hi there! It’s Donna and thank you for allowing me to come into your inbox. Today, I’d like to talk about the talking Olympus digital recorder. Let’s meet this product. Meet the talking Olympus digital recorder Note: You will probably find that there are several competing products on the market today but I chose to write about this product as it is just another alternative for you to use in case you do not have an i device at hand. I met this nifty little gadget a few years ago and I really like it! This very portable little recorder is easy to use, easy to stow away in your pocket or purse, and its voice is extremely clear. Crystal clear so to speak. All of the menus are easy to navigate and have voice instructions. The recordings are very clear and you can use this nifty little gadget to record quick notes, tape lectures, create podcasts, and record music. The price is just right and the one thing that I like is that improvements continue to be made on a regular basis. You can even use the talking Olympus digital recorder to record and upload to your computer. Why not give this little gem a try? Just go out there and make friends with the talking Olympus digital recorder. 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

October 28, 2019

Meet the talking Olympus digital recorder

 

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

Today, I’d like to talk about the talking Olympus digital recorder.

Let’s meet this product.

 

Meet the talking Olympus digital recorder

Note:  You will probably find that there are several competing products on the market today but I chose to write about this product as it is just another alternative for you to use in case you do not have an i device at hand.

 

I met this nifty little gadget a few years ago and I really like it!  This very portable little recorder is easy to use, easy to stow away in your pocket or purse, and its voice is extremely clear.  Crystal clear so to speak.

 

All of the menus are easy to navigate and have voice instructions.  The recordings are very clear and you can use this nifty little gadget to record quick notes, tape lectures, create podcasts, and record music.

 

The price is just right and the one thing that I like is that improvements continue to be made on a regular basis.  You can even use the talking Olympus digital recorder to record and upload to your computer.  Why not give this little gem a try?

 

Just go out there and make friends with the talking Olympus digital recorder.

 

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

Windows From the Keyboard Tips, Windows 10 Accessibility, October 23,2019

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 will 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.

 

Windows10 Accessibility

Many people who are experiencing progressive vision loss find it increasingly difficult to see their computer screen and ask what kind of assistive tech software they should buy. The good news is you can improve the accessibility of your computer without buying anything. Windows 10 has built-in accessibility settings for both screen magnification and screen reading with speech.

 

Just hold down the Windows logo key and press U to open the Ease of Access settings. You will find a list of accessibility features such as screen magnification, contrast, and alternative mouse pointers. Try setting these parameters to improve your screen reading experience.

 

Also, within the Windows 10 Ease of Access Centre is a speech screen reader called Narrator that should be explored if your vision loss is significant and you would benefit more by having the contents of your screen spoken to you.

 

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

 

CCB Tech Articles, Donna’s Low Tech Tips, Accessible Canadian Federal Election 2019, October 21, 2019

October 21, 2019

 

The 2019 Canadian Federal Election is upon us, so if you plan to vote and haven’t yet checked out what to expect in terms of accessibility, here is Election Canada’s website.

 

The partial text of the main page follows the link where you will find live links to all you need to know as you head for the Polls.

https://www.elections.ca/content2.aspx?section=acc&document=index&lang=e

 

Accessible voting

 

We work hard to make voting in the federal election accessible to all Canadians.

 

If you have a disability or know someone who does, we have many tools and services to make it easier to vote. Explore the options below.

 

Can’t find what you need? Call us at 1-800-463-6868 or 1-800-361-8935 (TTY).

 

Elections Canada also welcomes VRS calls. Visit Video Relay Service (VRS) to know more. (external link)

 

Check the accessibility of your polling place

Tools and services at the polls

Accessible polling stations

Information in other formats

 

Useful material

  • Voting hours across Canada
  • Canada Elections Act

 

(Justice Laws website)

  • Maps Corner
  • List of political parties

 

(main website)

  • About federal elections

 

CCB Mysteries chapter:

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, Privacy Protection, October 14, 2019

October 14, 2019

Privacy protection

 

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

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

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.

 

Signing an employment contract

Now, you need to make sure that your employment contract contains terms and conditions that you expect to be there.  Before you sign anything, ask your future employer to provide you with an electronic copy.  You can also suggest to them that signing an electronic copy is acceptable.  You will either need an electronic signature which you would need a bit of help to create Or ask if you can reply to an email that they can send extending the offer and this too is acceptable.

 

Things to pay attention to:

  • Salary, benefits, period of contract, probation period.
  • Anything that pertains to working conditions and workplace requirements.

 

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.

Visit http://www.donnajodhan.com/subscription-libraries.html

 

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, October 7, 2019

October 7, 2019

Apps round up

 

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 roundup.

Enjoy!

 

1. Backgammon with Buddies (iOS, US$2.99)

Backgammon with Buddies lets you play backgammon with your friends whether they’re nearby or far away.

 

You can open the app and play on your phone or tablet, just as you would with a board.  It’s also possible to play with your friends through the Messages app, by sending the board back and forth after every turn. If you don’t know the rules, the app also contains a small guide to help you get started.

 

Backgammon with Buddies also supports a wide range of accessibility features, such as Dynamic Type, reduced transparency, VoiceOver and custom rotors. This means that you can play Backgammon with all your buddies, not just those who can see or touch the board.

 

Features

*        Beautifully designed board with rich wood textures and felt lining

*        An integrated Messages app experience to play with far away friends

*        Highly accessible with VoiceOver and Dynamic Type

*        A lightweight app that respects your privacy

 

 

Read Backgammon with Buddies’ AppleVis App Directory entry for more information:

 

Visit Backgammon with Buddies’ App Store page:

 

2. Trace See Plus (iOS, US$0.99)

Use App when people with visual impairment want to know what is in a picture. The application selects the closest thing from the 1000 categories of the learning model and answers in English the probability of the correct answer as to what the image is. Also, detect the person’s face and answer the number of people. Since all processing is completed inside the device you use, you can use it with confidence without forwarding information such as photos to the outside.

 

After recognizing the image, by touching the screen with your finger, examine the color and shape of what is being seen with voice and sound.

 

Current Version: 1.20 (May 30, 2019)

 

Read Trace See Plus’ AppleVis App Directory entry for more information:

 

Visit Trace See Plus’ App Store page:

 

All recent app entries posted to AppleVis can be found at:

 

iOS App AppleVis Entries:

Mac App AppleVis Entries:

Apple Watch App AppleVis Entries:

Apple TV App AppleVis Entries:

 

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, Talking Calculator, September 30, 2019

September 30, 2019

Meet the talking calculator

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

Today, I’d like to talk about the talking calculator.

Let’s meet this product.

 

Meet the talking calculator

Believe it or not, such a neat little device or gadget certainly exists.  This product has certainly evolved from a clunky device to various versions that range from the nifty little stand alone to being incorporated in other gadgets and devices.

 

The talking calculator has come a very long way; from being a simple one with simple functions to a sophisticated one that includes scientific functions.  The stand alone talking calculator is still around but is threatening to leave our landscape and those that are now being included in other devices and gadgets are becoming more powerful and sophisticated.

 

In today’s world, you can find talking calculators with very clear voices.  The keys are superbly marked and it is relatively easy to learn how to use a talking calculator these days.

 

Some of the devices that include talking calculators include:  Braille note taking devices, combination talking clock and calculator devices, and of course there is the iPhone and iPad plus more.

 

So just go out there and make friends with the talking calculator.  I have known this product for a very long time now.

 

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’ll be happy to respond.

Have yourselves a great day and see you next week.

Donna