GTT Nat Con Call Summary Notes, iOS 13, the Good and the Bad, 2019Oct09

GTT National Conference Call.

An Initiative of the Canadian Council of the Blind

 

Summary Notes

October 9, 2019

 

Theme: Apple’s iOS 13 update, the good, the bad and the ugly.

 

On October 9, 2019 the GTT National Conference Call discussed the above topic with the help of the below presenters, which was followed by a number of spirited questions from the floor.  The presenters were asked to talk about 3 of the things they like and don’t like about the version being used on that date, namely iOS 13.1.2.  Since then additional updates have been released so depending on the date you read these Summary Notes your experience may be different.

 

To learn more about iOS 13 visit this Apple Website:

 

To access many fantastic iOS 13 AppleVis Podcasts follow this link:

 

Presenters: Michael Feir, Elmer Thiesen, Tom Dekker, Kim Kilpatrick, Brian Bibeault and David Green.

 

Please check out the presentation on the CCB Podcast below for more details.

10 GTT National Conference Call, iOS 13, the Good and the Bad, October 9, 2019

 

Michael Feir:

  • Michael expressed frustration over the hang-up bug, and suggested that in iOS 13.1.2 users can use triple click on the home button three times to turn off Voice Over, which always resolves the freeze being experienced.
  • To set the triple tap on the Home or Side buttons to Voice Over do the following: Go to Settings, Accessibility and select the Accessibility Shortcut to launch Voice Over.
  • Be careful not to accidently click the button five times in a row without sufficient pause or you can activate the SOS call to 911.
  • Custom Controls Can Be used to limit or expand the haptic feedback and sounds given off by iOS 13 devices. The user can also re-define existing gestures, and define undefined gestures to functions that are difficult to manage, like the turning of the Rotor dial.
  • The Reminders app is another area where iOS 13 has made great strides. It is far more customizable and configurable to the needs of the end user. It now boasts some project management features that make it really good to use.

 

Elmer Thiesen:

  • Elmer indicated that for him the ability to customize gestures is a really big deal, and the first one he changed was the Rotor gesture to use two fingers sliding across the screen left or right to turn it in those directions.
  • He also expressed that the Vertical Scroll Bar is a great addition to iOS 13. It allows the user to scroll pages of information far more easily and efficiently.
  • Elmer likes the ability to establish Activities with desired features like, having a specific voice read emails with no punctuation, and another voice work on word processing apps with all punctuation turned on. These can now be customized to the user’s preference.
  • One of the bugs Elmer has struggled with is that Siri would get lost in what she was asked to access and keep repeating the same irrelevant thing over and over again until he re-set the Network Settings. Apple Support assisted in getting this sorted out.

 

Tom Dekker:

  • Screen Recording is the thing Tom likes most about the upgrade to iOS 13. it never quite worked well before iOS 13, and now works very well with good quality sound.
  • Commands and the ability to customize them is another of Tom’s favourite things about iOS 13.
  • On Screen Braille keyboard is better than ever. He can now type more quickly and with more accuracy than before.
  • Tom thinks that a weird thing is the iPhone User Guide downloaded to the iOS Books app. It only reads the first line or two of each paragraph. It doesn’t track anything correctly. Older Guides work well, but not this one.

 

Kim Kilpatrick:

  • Kim agreed that the iOS 13 User Guide doesn’t work well.
  • As for the hang-up bug, her experience seems to be that it only happens when she uses the microphone button on the wired earbuds. She also indicated that this bug didn’t come up during the beta testing phase, which she has been on since the beginning.
  • Kim expressed that a great feature of iOS 13 is that Accessibility is not buried in General and that it has its own spot in Settings.
  • Kim has heard that Low Vision users are liking the Dark Mode offered in iOS 13.
  • She indicated that there are some good things added to Braille support that allows Voice Over to have more things read back to the user as they type, however a bug seems to have been introduced that creates a disconnect when back spacing to delete errors. Kim also agrees that Braille Screen Input has improved dramatically.
  • Voice Control is another item Kim appreciates about iOS 13. Although it isn’t a Voice Over specific feature, it never-the-less works well with it, and it will really help those with limited hand function to access even more functions of their iOS devices. Voice Over users must use earbuds when accessing Voice Controls otherwise the Voice Over speech will interfere. The strong point about using Voice Control when dictating in an edit field is that Voice Over will read back what is being dictated periodically. It functions more like Dragon Naturally Speaking in that regard. this should only be used in quiet places otherwise it makes many errors.
  • Kim told the group that in Activities you can also adjust punctuation for different apps and activities according to your personal preferences, the voice, rate and punctuation can all be set for different apps and tasks.

 

David Green:

  • David told the assembled that when inserting passwords and code numbers for voicemail iOS 13 seems to be far faster in echoing the touch screen presses, which leads to increased accuracy in typing those characters. This is especially noticeable in voicemail entry codes.
  • One bug David noticed is in the Native Mail app. When he tries to move from one account to another focus seems to go into Edit Mode instead of activating the new account. It will also do this in the Messages app sometimes.

 

  • David found that after the upgrade to iOS 13 the speaking voice was changed from his favourite American voice to a British one. The only way to fix this was to set the Location to America in order to get those voices back.
  • Slide to Type is one feature that David will have to practice a lot before it will become comfortable, if it ever does.
  • Many of the new features and functions of iOS 13 are not of interest to David, so he will likely give them a pass.

 

Brian Bibeault:

  • Brian wasn’t going to upgrade yet, however having forgotten to shut off his phone one evening he woke up to an upgraded iPhone. Since this event he has worked at trying to learn its new features and is getting comfortable with them. The first day was a nightmare, but he recommended that anyone intending to make the move go to AppleVis and listen to the many Thomas Domville podcasts about iOS 13. He provides a great set of tutorials and guides to the important features and upgrades.
  • One glitch Brian found is when using the Bluetooth Keyboard, the focus jumps all over the place unexpectedly.
  • Brian suggested that if one is going to use Voice Control, turn it off after using it, otherwise it’ll drive you nuts if you answer a phone call with it still turned on. It’ll keep repeating text not relevant to the conversation.
  • He found that his recent move to Bell Fib Cablevision has improved since iOS 13, whereas the app was not accessible with iOS 12.4.

 

Question Period:

Participants had a range of questions to ask the presenters, for which some found answers and some are yet to be resolved.  To access the remainder of the session please find the complete Podcast recording on the Canadian Council of the Blind Podcast channel.

 

For more information please contact your GTT Coordinators:

 

Albert Ruel                   or                               Kim Kilpatrick

1-877-304-0968,550                           1-877-304-0968,513

albert.GTT@CCBNational.net                      GTTProgram@Gmail.com

 

CCB Backgrounder:

 

The CCB was founded in 1944 by a coalition of blind war veterans, schools of the blind and local chapters to create a national self-governing organization. The CCB was incorporated by Letters Patent on May 10, 1950 and is a registered charity under the provisions of the Income Tax Act (Canada).

The purpose of the CCB is to give people with vision loss a distinctive and unique perspective before governments.  CCB deals with the ongoing effects of vision loss by encouraging active living and rehabilitation through peer support and social and recreational activities.

CCB promotes measures to conserve sight, create a close relationship with the sighted community and provide employment opportunities.

 

The CCB recognizes that vision loss has no boundaries with respect to gender, income, ethnicity, culture, other disabilities or age.

The CCB understands in many instances vision loss is preventable and sometimes is symptomatic of other health issues.  For the 21st century, the CCB is committed to an integrated proactive health approach for early detection to improve the quality of life for all Canadians.

As the largest membership organization of the blind and partially sighted in Canada the CCB is the “Voice of the Blind™”.

 

CCB National Office

100-20 James Street Ottawa ON  K2P 0T6

Toll Free: 1-877-304-0968 Email: info@ccbnational.net URL: www.ccbnational.net

 

 

GTT National Conference Call Summary Notes, How to Search and Download From the New CELA Website, September 11, 2019

GTT National Conference Call.

 

An Initiative of the Canadian Council of the Blind

 

Summary Notes

September 11, 2019

 

 

Please check out the presentation on the CCB Podcast below for more details.

08 GTT National Conference Call Summary Notes, How to Search and Download From the New CELA Website, September 11, 2019:

 

 

What is CELA:

  • The CELA accessible library service for print disabled Canadians 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.
  • In early 2019 CELA launched a new accessible website that brings together their collection and that of Bookshare searchable from one place.
  • 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.

 

The Players:

  • 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 your local Librarian 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.
  • It is 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 Direct to Player audio books can also be played on your iPhone or Android phone using the free Dolphin EasyReader app.
  • CELA audio books can also be downloaded through Dropbox to iPhones and played using the Voice Dream Reader app.

 

How much does it cost:

  • There is no fee for CELA service or Bookshare service.

 

 

How do I find CELA:

  • Visit the CELA web site for information on all their services or call their customer service at 1-855-655-2273.

 

For more information please contact your GTT Coordinators:

 

Albert Ruel                   or                        Kim Kilpatrick

1-877-304-0968,550                      1-877-304-0968,513

albert.GTT@CCBNational.net                GTTProgram@Gmail.com

 

CCB Backgrounder:

 

The CCB was founded in 1944 by a coalition of blind war veterans, schools of the blind and local chapters to create a national self-governing organization. The CCB was incorporated by Letters Patent on May 10, 1950 and is a registered charity under the provisions of the Income Tax Act (Canada).

The purpose of the CCB is to give people with vision loss a distinctive and unique perspective before governments.  CCB deals with the ongoing effects of vision loss by encouraging active living and rehabilitation through peer support and social and recreational activities.

CCB promotes measures to conserve sight, create a close relationship with the sighted community and provide employment opportunities.

 

The CCB recognizes that vision loss has no boundaries with respect to gender, income, ethnicity, culture, other disabilities or age.

The CCB understands in many instances vision loss is preventable and sometimes is symptomatic of other health issues.  For the 21st century, the CCB is committed to an integrated proactive health approach for early detection to improve the quality of life for all Canadians.

As the largest membership organization of the blind and partially sighted in Canada the CCB is the “Voice of the Blind™”.

 

CCB National Office

100-20 James Street Ottawa ON  K2P 0T6

Toll Free: 1-877-304-0968 Email: info@ccbnational.net URL: www.ccbnational.net

 

GTT National Conference Call Summary Notes, WayAround Tags, August 14, 2019

GTT National Conference Call.

 

An Initiative of the Canadian Council of the Blind

 

Summary Notes

August 14, 2019

 

Jessica Hipp, CEO of WayAround presented all that is possible with the use of WayAround Tags in the kitchen, workshop or office, as well as there potential use as a means of identifying products in stores.  Please check out the presentation on the CCB Podcast below for more details, as well as the links also found below for downloading the free app and purchasing the Tags from Canadian Assistive Technologies.

06 GTT National Conference Call, WayAround Tags, August 14, 2019:

 

WayAround

 

The Smart Assistant for People Who are Blind

Meet WayAround

 

WayAround is the app for your smart device that provides on-demand details about everyday things. The simple tag-and-scan approach lets you quickly and easily identify things around you. It also provides extra details, like how something works or when it expires.

 

The result? Doing more of the things you want, with more confidence and more independence.

 

Get the FREE App!

 

Download WayAround on the App Store

Download WayAround on the Google Play Store

 

Canadian Distributor:

Canadian Assistive Technologies Ltd:

 

Check out this Sample Pack of WayAround Tags:

 

Contact Canadian Assistive Technologies:

OUR MISSION

 

Because Assistive Technology has been our lives for over 30 years, we understand the importance that any given device or piece of software can have in

our clients’ day to day lives. We strive to ensure that every client has the tools and training they need in order to empower them to be able to live the

lives they want through the power of Accessibility.

 

1-844-795-8324

 

SALES@CANASSTECH.COM

 

For more information please contact your GTT Coordinators:

 

Albert Ruel                   or                       Kim Kilpatrick

1-877-304-0968,550                      1-877-304-0968,513

albert.GTT@CCBNational.net                GTTProgram@Gmail.com

 

CCB Backgrounder:

 

The CCB was founded in 1944 by a coalition of blind war veterans, schools of the blind and local chapters to create a national self-governing organization. The CCB was incorporated by Letters Patent on May 10, 1950 and is a registered charity under the provisions of the Income Tax Act (Canada).

The purpose of the CCB is to give people with vision loss a distinctive and unique perspective before governments.  CCB deals with the ongoing effects of vision loss by encouraging active living and rehabilitation through peer support and social and recreational activities.

CCB promotes measures to conserve sight, create a close relationship with the sighted community and provide employment opportunities.

 

The CCB recognizes that vision loss has no boundaries with respect to gender, income, ethnicity, culture, other disabilities or age.

The CCB understands in many instances vision loss is preventable and sometimes is symptomatic of other health issues.  For the 21st century, the CCB is committed to an integrated proactive health approach for early detection to improve the quality of life for all Canadians.

As the largest membership organization of the blind and partially sighted in Canada the CCB is the “Voice of the Blind™”.

 

CCB National Office

100-20 James Street Ottawa ON  K2P 0T6

Toll Free: 1-877-304-0968 Email: info@ccbnational.net URL: www.ccbnational.net

 

GTT National Conference Call Summary Notes, LV and Blindness Features of Windows 10, 2019Jul10

GTT National Conference Call.

 

An Initiative of the Canadian Council of the Blind

 

Summary Notes

July 10, 2019

 

Find the CCB Podcast of this event at the link below:

05 GTT National Conference Call, Low Vision Features of Windows 10, July 10, 2019

 

Windows 10 Accessibility Primer

 

Following is a summary of the Windows10 accessibility primer Carrie Anton and Lyle Rollaman presented to GTT National Conference Call meeting attendees on July 10, 2019. Although the presentation was focused on low vision Windows access there is information that is also relevant to blind users. There are links to other resources so you can research more commands and tools. The commands provided are for Windows 10. The resource links provided take you to the Microsoft pages where you can choose the version of Windows you are using.  Also find at the bottom of this document links to three Microsoft Accessibility Learning Webinar Series episodes hosted by Microsoft staff related to low vision and blind access to Narrator and Magnification features built into Windows 10.

 

Windows Shortcut Keys

Learning Windows Shortcut Keys is important to be Efficient and to be able to perform functions when you cannot use a mouse.

 

Windows Ease of Access Center

This is where all Accessibility related settings can be adjusted.

. TO DO THIS PRESS THIS
Open the Ease of Access Center Windows logo key + U

Scaling

This is a setting that adjusts the size and clarity of most items on your screen. The default is 125% but you can also customize it to what you want. Adjusting this to higher settings does require more scrolling of windows. Icons are larger, and text is larger without the stepping pixelating that often happens with magnifying things.

 

Right click anywhere on the desktop

Go to display settings

Scaling and Layout appear in the middle of the screen.

 

Magnifier

Magnifier allows you to enlarge the entire screen or sections of it. There are 3 viewing modes including full, lens, and docked. Magnifier’s application toolbar appears in the Taskbar at the bottom of the screen. It may also hover a magnifying glass on your screen. Click it and see the tools like plus, minus, zoom percentage, View, and a gear for settings.

TO DO THIS PRESS THIS
Turn Magnifier on Windows logo key + Plus (+)  
Turn Magnifier off Windows logo key  + Esc  
When Magnifier is on, zoom in or out Windows logo key  + Plus (+) or Minus (-)  
Zoom in and out using the mouse scroll wheel Ctrl + Alt + mouse scroll wheel  
Open Magnifier settings Windows logo key  + Ctrl + M  
Pan in the direction of the arrow keys Ctrl + Alt + arrow keys  
Invert colors Ctrl + Alt + I  
Switch to full screen view Ctrl + Alt + F  
Switch to lens view Ctrl + Alt + L  
Switch to docked view Ctrl + Alt + D  
Cycle through views Ctrl + Alt + M  
Resize the lens with the mouse Ctrl + Alt + R  
Resize the lens with the keyboard Shift + Alt + arrow keys  
Quickly see the entire desktop when using full screen view Ctrl + Alt + Spacebar  

More About Magnifier   https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/11542/windows-use-magnifier

 

Mouse Enhancements

As one of the hardest things to find as a visually impaired person, the Pointer’s Size and Color often makes the difference in its visibility.

Also, if you can find your Mouse Settings in Control panel, you can adjust more mouse shapes and effects like pointer trails.

Press WindowsKey+U to open Ease of Access centre.

IN the Search box type, Mouse

Then the mouse panel appears and you can choose to change the look of the mouse, how it looks when moving, and more.

More on adjusting your

mouse settings

 

Cursor Thickness

In the Ease of Access Center, “Other Options” you can change the thickness of the typing cursor by using a horizontal left/right slider from a blinking vertical line to a thick blinking box. This makes finding where your cursor is much easier.

Color & High Contrast

There are many ways to change color of THE screens in Windows.

Magnifier’s invert color

Windows color filters – especially useful if someone has color blindness

Windows Themes – is a quick way to adjust all colors in every application for text, hyperlinks, buttons and active or inactive items.

I find that using a Windows Theme presents the best diversity of color especially high contrast. However, the possibility of losing information that is only represented by color is there. Take for example, a web page that is not coded for accessibility may eliminate colored items if a theme is enforced. You will need to be the judge of your own experience. For working with text and email Themes work great. For someone who is always on the web and uses cues from images and color, themes won’t work well.

Use invert colors of Magnifier or similarly the Color & High Contrast Invert setting. Keep in mind certain colors have hard to read inversions like organize and green. Yellow’s invert is blue. White is black.

TO DO THIS PRESS THIS
Turn your High Contrast Theme on or off press Left Alt + left Shift + Print Screen
Turn your color filter on or off press Windows logo key  + Ctrl + C

Text to Speech to Read What is Magnified

There is a built-in screen reader called Narrator which I’ll mention later. For those of us who just want reading in MS Office documents there is a Speech feature you can activate. It reads aloud any text you select in the document. It can be activated by keyboard shortcut or a button in the Quick Access Toolbar at the top of the application. This feature is available in Microsoft Office 2013, 2016 and of course Office365.

Narrator

Narrator is a full-blown screen reading application that does just that, it reads the screen. Again, keyboard shortcuts are handy in controlling and navigating documents.

Narrator has a setting panel that allows you to customize the way narrator acts such as voice, cursor and pointer following. Narrator also lets you “highlight the cursor” which is where it is reading, a red box appears around where Narrator is reading. This is useful when I am trying to hover my mouse over text I want read.

On many keyboards, the Windows logo key is located on the bottom row of keys, to the left or right of the Alt key.

TO DO THIS PRESS THIS
Open Narrator settings Windows logo key  + Ctrl + N
Turn Narrator On or Off Windows logo key + Ctrl + Enter for Windows 10

Windows Logo Key  + Enter for Windows 7/8

 

More on Getting Started with Narrator

There are several ways to read text using Narrator. The first and simplest way is to use the arrow keys to navigate text if you’re interacting with a document in a word processor, such as Microsoft Word.

If an app doesn’t support text reading commands, Narrator will say “not on explorable text.” In this case, use Scan Mode to navigate and read text. While in scan mode you need to listen for Narrator saying scan on or scan off, otherwise, the letters or arrow keys you use are actually moving in your document.

Move to the next or previous word

TO DO THIS PRESS THIS
Turn Scan Mode On or Off Caps lock + Spacebar.
Read by paragraph in scan mode Up and Down arrow keys
Read by character Left and Right arrow keys
To activate an item that you want to use, such as a button in an app, a link in a webpage, or a text box Press the spacebar
Move to the start or end of a line of text in an app or webpage Home and End
Move to the beginning or end of text Ctrl + Home and Ctrl + End
Move to the next or previous word Ctrl + Left arrow and Ctrl + Right arrow
Move to the next or previous line Ctrl + Up arrow and Ctrl + Down arrow

 

To learn more about Scan Mode. https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/22809/windows-10-narrator-using-scan-mode

Speech Recognition

A great feature for dictating to the computer as well as in documents. The trick to anyone using speech recognition software is to recognize when mistakes are made. You can open programs, control menus, click buttons and dictate text.  First be in a quiet environment with a microphone connected to your computer.  At the start menu type Speech Recognition or just speech and it will appear in the Start Menu.

More about Speech Recognition

 

Microsoft Accessibility Learning Webinar Series

 

Microsoft Accessibility Learning Webinar Series for low vision and blindness on YouTube

 

Accessibility Learning Webinar Series: Magnifier and Low Vision Features in Windows 10, Feb 27, 2019

 

Accessibility Learning Webinar Series: Narrator 101, Jan 30, 2019

 

Accessibility Learning Webinar Series: Narrator 101 for the May 2019 Update to Windows 10, Jul 2, 2019

 

For more information please contact your GTT Coordinators:

 

Albert Ruel                   or                             Kim Kilpatrick

1-877-304-0968,550                                    1-877-304-0968,513

albert.GTT@CCBNational.net                   GTTProgram@Gmail.com

 

CCB Backgrounder:

 

The CCB was founded in 1944 by a coalition of blind war veterans, schools of the blind and local chapters to create a national self-governing organization. The CCB was incorporated by Letters Patent on May 10, 1950 and is a registered charity under the provisions of the Income Tax Act (Canada).

The purpose of the CCB is to give people with vision loss a distinctive and unique perspective before governments.  CCB deals with the ongoing effects of vision loss by encouraging active living and rehabilitation through peer support and social and recreational activities.

CCB promotes measures to conserve sight, create a close relationship with the sighted community and provide employment opportunities.

 

The CCB recognizes that vision loss has no boundaries with respect to gender, income, ethnicity, culture, other disabilities or age.

The CCB understands in many instances vision loss is preventable and sometimes is symptomatic of other health issues.  For the 21st century, the CCB is committed to an integrated proactive health approach for early detection to improve the quality of life for all Canadians.

As the largest membership organization of the blind and partially sighted in Canada the CCB is the “Voice of the Blind™”.

 

CCB National Office

100-20 James Street Ottawa ON  K2P 0T6

Toll Free: 1-877-304-0968 Email: info@ccbnational.net URL: www.ccbnational.net

 

GTT National Conference Call Summary Notes, Lucia Accessible Cell Phone, June 12, 2019

GTT National Conference Call.

 

An Initiative of the Canadian Council of the Blind

 

Summary Notes

June 12, 2019

 

Find the CCB Podcast of this event at the link below:

02 GTT National Conference Call, Lucia Accessible Cell Phone, June 12, 2019:

Robert Felgar, CEO, Raz Mobility  attended the GTT National Conference Call to tell us all about the Lucia talking cell phone that is now available for sale to Canadians.

  • Lucia is an Accessible mobile phone for individuals who are visually impaired, blind, hard of hearing or seniors.
  • Lucia is a user-friendly cell phone that allows persons who are disabled to remain independent.
  • Advanced features such as accessible buttons in different colors and shapes, voice guide to transform the phone into a talking companion, ergonomic design, combined with long battery life, make this high-quality, Swiss-made phone the perfect mobile phone for users who are disabled.
  • Lucia has a powerful battery and can operate for more than one week before requiring a charge (up to 7 days standby time and 10 hours of talking time).
  • Lucia allows users who are blind to enter their own contacts and move through the contact list to hear the contact names read out loud.
  • Low vision users benefit from extra large characters and can choose between various color schemes such as white on black or black on white display.
  • For emergencies, the phone has a dedicated SOS button on its back.
  • Easy to navigate menus with large and highly tactile buttons. The control buttons are different colors and shapes so that the user always presses the correct button.
  • Speech interface guides the user while using the phone. It speaks everything that is on the screen, speaks the keys that are pressed and even prompts the user to perform certain functions. Caller ID, amount of remaining battery power, contacts, list of missed calls and text messages are read out loud by Lucia. The user can select between more than 10 different voices.
  • Lucia is 100 percent accessible to individuals who are blind. Its features make it the perfect phone for individuals who are visually impaired, blind, hard of hearing or seniors.
  • To assist people who are hard of hearing, the phone has a “sound boost” function that provides additional volume during phine calls with the press of a button. Lucia has premium speakers to maximize clarity and sound experience.

 

For more information please contact your GTT Coordinators:

 

Albert Ruel                   or                        Kim Kilpatrick

1-877-304-0968,550                               1-877-304-0968,513

albert.GTT@CCBNational.net                GTTProgram@Gmail.com

 

CCB Backgrounder:

 

The CCB was founded in 1944 by a coalition of blind war veterans, schools of the blind and local chapters to create a national self-governing organization. The CCB was incorporated by Letters Patent on May 10, 1950 and is a registered charity under the provisions of the Income Tax Act (Canada).

The purpose of the CCB is to give people with vision loss a distinctive and unique perspective before governments.  CCB deals with the ongoing effects of vision loss by encouraging active living and rehabilitation through peer support and social and recreational activities.

CCB promotes measures to conserve sight, create a close relationship with the sighted community and provide employment opportunities.

 

The CCB recognizes that vision loss has no boundaries with respect to gender, income, ethnicity, culture, other disabilities or age.

The CCB understands in many instances vision loss is preventable and sometimes is symptomatic of other health issues.  For the 21st century, the CCB is committed to an integrated proactive health approach for early detection to improve the quality of life for all Canadians.

As the largest membership organization of the blind and partially sighted in Canada the CCB is the “Voice of the Blind™”.

 

CCB National Office

100-20 James Street Ottawa ON  K2P 0T6

Toll Free: 1-877-304-0968 Email: info@ccbnational.net URL: www.ccbnational.net

 

 

 

GTT National Conference Call Summary Notes, CELA Library Update, May 8, 2019

GTT National Conference Call.

 

An Initiative of the Canadian Council of the Blind

 

Summary Notes

 

May  8, 2019

 

Theme: CELA Library Update

 

Michael Ciccone who is the executive director of CELA joined us to provide updates and answers to our questions.

Note: CELA is updating the web site continually so these notes may be out of date if you are reading them after May 2019.

On the main page of the CELA web site

www.celalibrary.ca

you will find the latest updates, service alerts, and what they are working on now.

Michael thanked everyone for their patience and acknowledges that this has not been the smooth transition they would have wished for.

CELA continues to work on improving the searching feature.  At the time of the call, searching resulted in receiving way too many search results.  Michael assured us that by May 9, 2019 the searching feature would be greatly improved.  This was the case when Kim Kilpatrick tested it on Thursday May 9, 2019.  Fewer results came up and it was more accurate.

Michael is aware that the searching needs to improve and will include key words and other ways of searching as well.

People can now download books in daisy zip format and for the most part direct to player.  Some people are still having trouble with direct to player.

Cd’s and single use braille are being sent out as well.

People have access now to all CELA and bookshare titles for the most part.  New titles are being added.

Recently, the focus has been on improving the search functionality which they have heard a lot of complaints about.  Michael brought in someone to assist with this.  In order to fix the search issues, they had to re-index the entire collection which did take time.  Search filters and advanced search still needs to be implemented.

After the search is working well, the focus will be on improving the patron account information.  Implementing the history, the setting of preferences, manage holds lists and update account information.

Another priority is getting the daisy text magazines back.  They must build additional programming to do this.

CELA is hoping to have most of the site up and running by the summer.  However, many of the issues they have encountered have been issues they did not foresee.

There is a known issue with getting direct to player books on the plextalk players.  This is an issue with the company who makes plextalk.  Plextalk has done nothing about it.  Both CNIB and optilec have stopped selling their players for this reason.  Nevertheless, they are hoping to get a resolution for this issue.

CELA has been contacting the patrons they know use plextalk and giving them some alternatives.

There was an issue with voiceover (the screen reader for IOS) that has been resolved.

Some of the bookshare titles that appeared are titles we should not have access to in Canada.  And, another bookshare issue where duplicate titles are appearing.  This means that the bookshare title might not be able to be downloaded successfully.  Bookshare is working on this from their side too.  Once everything is fixed, this will be a great and very accessible system.

This system will give CELA room to grow and allow them to add other library systems as they become available.

Bookshare is already working with other blindness libraries to improve their product and interaction.  Michael is hoping that we continue to be patient (that is so appreciated) and continue to reach out and let CELA know our thoughts and ideas.  The pace at which issues are being fixed has picked up over the past few weeks.

People expressed their appreciation for the update progress e-mails that we have been getting regularly.

Someone liked that the site is easier to use on smart phones.

All formats being in one record are appreciated.

The mobile site works well.

The New titles section will be restored when CELA is able to add the filter for new titles.  That should happen within the next few weeks.

Michael will update us on this and any other major updates as they happen.

Michael will also investigate answers for the questions below and provide answers as he gets them.

Kim and Albert will share to the GTT list and blog.

  1. Will the bookshare new titles be updated as well as the cela titles?
  2. Michael will check.  We may have an option for filtering the new titles lists.

Comment. the dialogue box that comes up after you press get it for the book does not always pop up.

Michael has made this a high priority.

Sometimes bookshare has several versions of a book.  If you cannot download one, try downloading another one.

 

Comment. When you download a book into direct to player, there is no book description on the victor stream.

Michael will investigate.

Comment. There are some issues with bookshare download saying service error.  Bookshare was contacted and this seems to be a humanware issue.  There should be a victor stream software update in June which will correct this.

Michael suggested trying to download the bookshare books through CELA and see if this works better.

Publishers sign agreements with bookshare and they either say they will let international patrons have their books or not.  About 90 percent of publishers in bookshare let us have them.  May 8 Marrakesh treaty has passed so there may be an increase in books available.

Comment. The notification on the iPhone that says go to your downloads section, does not always show up or is not read automatically.  Someone suggested that this is a voiceover and screen reader focus issue on all platforms.

Comment Someone is having a problem with downloads not showing up in the download section.  Some people have also seen books that are much older in their list of holds or books on their shelf.

Michael wondered if It might be that the history feature once implemented will fix this.  This seems to happen with direct to player books in dolphin reader.

Comment.  Someone had an issue where CELA kept logging them out even when they were signed in.

Michael said that sometimes it is a personal account issue and you might have to call CELA help to fix your actual account.

Comment. Some people ended up downloading the same book 3 or 4 times because they did not get the notification.  The new system is a bit of a learning curve as there is one extra step to download a book.  Suggestion. Indicate all the known problems on the CELA front page?

Michael said that now, it would take a long time to get through the list of issues.  It was further suggested that any major issues be put on the front page.

Suggestion. Make a download sound for when a book is downloading like NVDA does when it is downloading a software update.

Comment Several people have not been able to download books from CELA onto their stream direct to player.

Michael will check if this is a known issue.

There will be filters for recently added and publication date.  Michael is waiting to see if both can be added for filters.

Question. Will CELA be added as a service under voicedream reader.

Michael would like to be able to do this.

Question Will we also be able to search more easily in voicedream reader and in dolphin easy reader?  This will hopefully happen, but it is not top of the list.  Michael will follow up on the voicedream search and adding as a service for voicedream.  This would cut out some steps and would make it easier for people.

After the search, putting the magazines back is a very high priority.  The magazines are ingested into bookshare and then they come back to CELA.

Suggestion Occasionally when you remove books from dolphin, it does not clear from site.  Can you have a button on the new site to clear books?

Michael believes this is planned but will follow up.  The staff from CELA are wanting to make sure we can do more ourselves.

Question Is easy reader good on android?

Maybe not as straight forward as on IOS but still works.

Question. Can we search for just bookshare books or just cela books?  Could that be a filter? Will it be described as a bookshare book if you search for just direct to player?  Nice to be able to tell within the record if it is direct to player bookshare or CELA.

Michael will investigate this.  It was pointed out that Daisy text is pretty much always bookshare.  Daisy audio is cela.

It was pointed out that Using the victor stream to search for bookshare books will go away once bookshare is integrated with CELA.  Is that right?  Bookshare is willing to let us stay with bookshare accounts until all is sorted out.

Once everything is working, can we still do a search through our victor stream?  Michael will check if this is on the development list.

It was suggested that we change the filter searches from check boxes to radio buttons.

Hopefully, in future when searching you can just type in a name, term, author, and the search will be smart and provide the most relevant results.

Michael will investigate what will be included in our preferences.  Now, each new search clears all preferences.

Suggestion when using screen readers and Screen navigation, raise the level of the heading for the search.  Make the search heading level 1 and the filters heading level 2.  Michael will pass this along.  Suggestion Will cela be in touch with humanware for people to search just on the stream because people find this a very easy way to search.  Now every search on the stream is now very streamlined and similar.  Michael will check on this as well.

Suggestion. Build an API with CELA to allow people to search on the stream.  Will CELA work with humanware to build an API for searching CELA with the stream?  Michael will check into this.

A similar API or the same one could work to add CELA to voicedream reader.

There are people who do not use their computer at all but just search on the stream.  That is a very important service to have.

CELA is Encouraging people to not get hard CD’s but to change to direct to player and downloading onto your stream and onto your easy reader app.  CELA can also designate someone or add a designate to help you load your shelf.  If it is all legal, that is okay.  If CELA has a designate name, then CELA can contact the designate if there is any issue.

 

GTT National Conference Call Overview

  • GTT National Conference Call is a monthly discussion group of the Canadian Council of the Blind (CCB).
  • GTT National Conference Calls promote a self-help learning experience by holding monthly meetings to present and discuss new and emerging assistive technology.
  • Each meeting consists of a feature technology topic, along with questions and answers about assistive technology.
  • Participants are encouraged to attend 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 an email distribution list where assistive technology questions are provided by participants. You may also 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.

 

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]

 

GTT National Conference Call Summary Notes, NuEyes Smart Glasses, May 9, 2018

GTT National Conference Call.

 

An Initiative of the Canadian Council of the Blind

 

Summary Notes

 

May 9, 2018

 

Attendance: 12 participants.

Theme: NuEyes Smart Glasses

 

Rajish from NuEyes Presented about their device:

 

Removable smart glasses, US based California designed for military by two vets.

From 2X to 12X magnification

 

Watch TV, distance and close-up

125 grams, light weight. Looks like ordinary sunglasses.   There is a light that can be turned on and off battery pack can last for up to 14 hours with battery pack.

 

Prescription lenses can be inserted to the glasses.

Wireless Bluetooth remote to zoom and operate the camera and light.

 

3 different nose pieces.

Text to speech OCR, capture the image so the book doesn’t have to be held.  Change the colours and mirror the image for better contrast.

Headphone jack and Charging ports are magnetic.

Does it de-colonize, no.

64 GB of internal storage for photos and text.

Bluetooth speaker or headphones can be used, as there is no built-in speaker on the device.

Glasses will last up to 2 hours if fully charged.

There is a YouTube presentation for this device.

Best for Mac Degen, best for vision of 40/600 or better.

 

OCR happens in milliseconds.

OCR voice can be adjusted, for gender  and fast or slow.

Text size can be adjusted, as well as black on white or white on black.

Remote is about 2 inches and attaches to the finger with a strap.

Verbal commands for increasing and decreasing magnification.  Verbally request the glasses capture the image before you.

Controls on the bottom of the glasses for adjusting magnification.

30 degrees field of view with the glasses.

Auto light adjustment for bright or dark rooms.

NuEyes is primarily a magnification device with OCR features added.

It will magnify or OCR text on a wall like menus.

Firmware upgrades are pushed to the glasses when connected to Wi-Fi.

It can read bar codes as well, only when connected to Wi-Fi.

Scans QR codes, however not yet completely developed yet.

$8,595 CDN

NuEyes is more streamlined and less obtrusive when worn in public.

Funding programs, hoping that funding with loans through the company which will allow for monthly payments.

Not available through ADP in Ontario.

Based in California, and Rajish is in Toronto.

No current resellers in Canada, besides Rajish.

2 year warrantee.

Glasses are tested in harsh conditions and are built by a military contractor.

Android platform, with Facebook, Google Maps, Twitter and YouTube features to come.

Will it be able to install the BeMyEyes app from the Google Play Store? Not yet.

 

GTT National Conference Call Overview

  • GTT National Conference Call is a monthly discussion group of the Canadian Council of the Blind (CCB).
  • GTT National Conference Calls promote a self-help learning experience by holding monthly meetings to present and discuss new and emerging assistive technology.
  • Each meeting consists of a feature technology topic, along with questions and answers about assistive technology.
  • Participants are encouraged to attend 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 an email distribution list where assistive technology questions are provided by participants. You may also subscribe to the National GTT blog to get email notices of teleconferences and notes from other GTT chapters. Visit:

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

There is a form 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]

 

 

 

GTT National Conference Call Summary Notes, Auto-Mower, Google ChromeCast and the Roku Stick, April 11, 2018

GTT National Conference Call.

 

An Initiative of the Canadian Council of the Blind

 

Summary Notes

 

April 11, 2018.

 

Programmable Auto-Mower:

Michel gave us a presentation on an electric lawn mower, Robo mower or auto mower he uses to keep the grass looking good on his half-acre property.

  • They have been available in Canada for about 2 or 3 years, and in europe longer.
  • Some are made by Honda and John Deer, and the Huscavarna 450 is what Michel chose. He indicated there are three or four models sold by that manufacturer.
  • They are quiet and can be operated any time of day or night.  Some people use them at night only. They can cut grass whether it is raining or if the sun is shining.
  • They are safe for kids and pets because they stop or change direction as soon as they touch anything, and they slow down as soon as they detect an approaching opbsticle.
  • The more bells and whistles they have the more they cost. The one Michel purchased has a built-in anti-theft alarm system. If someone picked it up to steel it an alarm will sound that won’t stop until you key in a pin-code number.
  • It has a built in GPs so you can track it’s location in the yard it at all times.
  • It is rather techy looking but about the size of an electric lawn mower.
  • It even has LED headlights.
  • The blades are small and sharp so they don’t stress the grass, and because it can be scheduled to mow the grass several times each week it never has to cut long grass.
  • Michel says he has not had to change a blade and has used it one whole season.
  • It is a little like the Roomba vacuum system.
  • It has an outside charging station to which it returns automatically once the batteries start to run down, or when it’s finished mowing the scheduled area.
  • To set it up you will install buried perimeter wire in parts of the yard where there aren’t already fences or raised beds that will turn the unit away. The wire is buried like invisible fences for dogs.
  • Another item to bury in the yard is a guidance wire that will guide the mower back to the charging station. It docks itself to re-charge and returns to work once scheduled or if not finished the current schedule.
  • It can be used without perimeter wire as long as fences or raised beds border the area being mowed.
  • It has GpS assisted guidance.
  • It learns the yard and becomes more efficient as it learns where all of the obstacles are.
  • The two upper models sense obstacles and objects, like people and animals.
  • It has two speeds, fast like a fast walk and it will slow down to a crawl when it senses opsticles.
  • It learns what areas of the yard grow faster and it cuts them first and more often.
  • Michel indicated he can do 90 percent of the unit’s functions from the app on his iPhone. Start, stop, control the height, and he can see where it is in the picture. This feature is not likely accessible to blind users.
  • There is an emergency stop button on it which is a big red button, after which you can’t restart it unless you enter the pin-code.
  • The user can adjust it for height, time and schedule as well as monitor right from the app.
  • It will mow for about 4 5 hours and then charge for about an hour before going out again.
  • The less expensive models cut about 1,000 square meters, and his cuts about 5,000 square meters.
  • It can be set up for multiple zones if you let it cut one zone and then take it to the other zone.
  • It could be shared with other people in the neighbourhood, or friends and family.
  • It is capable of mowing on ground that is up to 45 degree angle.
  • Huskavarna is trying to make the features on the upper model more affordable, as these lawn mowers start at $1,900 and go to $3,900.
  • The kits to create a perimeter are about 200 dollars.
  • It doesn’t need to be cleaned as much as a traditional gass or electric mower at the end of the season. Changing blades is easy, and rarely needed.
  • These devices do have firmware upgrades on occasion.
  • Michel has low vision and uses it easily, however didn’t know whether or not the app is accessible with voiceover.
  • The display is LCD, but the start and stop buttons are tactile.
  • One could put locator dots on the buttons if they’re too difficult to feel.
  • The keypad is about the size of a typical phone keypad.
  • Some wondered whether it will work from a Google Home.
  • The app is available for both iOs and Android
  • It rides over things and does not damage them.
  • If it bumps against you it does not hurt you as it slows down upon detection of obsticles.
  • If you have raised beds it will leave a one inch strip similar to conventional mowers, and you can set it to cut past a perimeter wire by determined distances up to about 4 inches.
  • They have been using them at airports and other large areas that have to be cut regularly. Some are larger for such industrial applications.
  • It can cost less than having someone come in and cut the grass, and some companies will install the wires and rent you the lawn mower for a monthly fee. Apparently that is happening in Toronto.
  • It goes right back to the charger when it needs to or when you tell it to go home through the app.
  • It is about two feet long. Probably weighs less than 10 pounds, and it does not collect a lot of things in the tires.
  • You can set up sounds for it.
  • The phone app indicates how much charge remains.

 

Section Two of the Meeting:

Emergency Alert System:

Question how do we get rid of the sound on phones when they test the emergency system. It is assumed that once the alarms are sounded they quiet down and the cell phone is left with a text message indicating where to go or what to do.

Apparently the level of accessibility for these messages is dependent on who sends out the message.

Weather alerts could be from Environment Canada, and other alerts could be for tidal waves and forest fires from provincial and federal government.

Provided you have location tracking turned on you will get the alert for where you currently are.

If you do not have a data plan will you get the message? Answer from the website, http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/5-things-you-need-to-know-about-wireless-emergency-alerts-starting-this-spring-1.4502011

  • Unlike SMS, LTE messaging uses a phone’s data connection rather than its much slower and more crowded telephone connection.

 

Thunder Bay has an emergency radio station, and there’s one in Muscoca. There aren’t as many as before. Check with http://www.Informationradio.ca to see/hear what it is like.

If I’ve put my phone on mute will I get the sound? Yes, the sound will carry through mute and do not disturb.

How will we get the sound to stop? Sound will be audible once or twice and then go to your text message on Android phones and the Notifications Window on iOS devices.

It will also use unique vibration patterns.

More info about this system on www.Canada.ca

iOS 11 or better will receive alerts, which are the iPhone 5C or newer.

Many Android smart phones are also compatible.

 

Q.: What is Chromecast?

  • : Chromecast is a device that you plug into your TV’s HDMI port, powered by a USB cable (included). Using your smartphone or computer as a remote control, you can use Chromecast to access video content from Netflix, YouTube, Hulu, the Google Play Store and other services. You can also use it to stream almost any kind of content from the Chrome browser on a computer.
  • Albert bought google home and can only use youtube with it through ChromeCast Video. It will only play movies and Youtube video and music through the television and not the GH speakers.
  • You can ask it to pause, resume, rewind, fast forward by any amount of time, 3 minutes 5 minutes.
  • You can say Hey Google, quit or stop.
  • You can use it with netflix.
  • Google ChromeCast sells for about $35.
  • Use the Google Home app to associate ChromeCast with same Wi-Fi network as the GH speakerand then they work well together.
  • It ships with a short HDMI cable for connecting to the TV and a power cord. It is a very small round disc.
  • There is Google Chrome Audio also, to which you can plug in an external speaker or headphones.
  • Google Chrome Video cannot detach HDMI cable from round disc.
  • Can you get traditional television stations with chrome cast? No, only what you can cast from your smart phone, tablet, computer or GH speaker. One could download CBC, CTV or other TV app and see if it has the capacity to cast to Google ChromeCast.
  • Some tv’s are google chrome ready, and could be connected to the Google home speakers without the need for a ChromeCast device.
  • If you don’t have enough HDMI ports on your TV you can buy an HDMI hub. Albert got a 4-port HDMI hub at best buy.

 

Roku streaming stick.

  • Someone indicated that for the Canadian market it doesn’t have a screen reader built-in.
  • There are many channels you can watch. It can be purchased from amazon. Looked everywhere but no screen reader, and even updated the software and it’s still not there.
  • Apparently the screen reader is only available in the USA version.

 

Does anyone have a Nest thermostat who uses voiceover?

No one seemed to be able to answer this question. How does one reboot the memory this device stores so that a new schedule can be established?

 

GTT National Conference Call Overview

  • GTT National Conference Call is a monthly discussion group of the Canadian Council of the Blind (CCB).
  • GTT National Conference Calls promote a self-help learning experience by holding monthly meetings to present and discuss new and emerging assistive technology.
  • Each meeting consists of a feature technology topic, along with questions and answers about assistive technology.
  • Participants are encouraged to attend 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 an email distribution list where assistive technology questions are provided by participants. You may also subscribe to the National GTT blog to get email notices of teleconferences and notes from other GTT chapters. Visit:

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

There is a form 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]

 

 

GTT National Conference Call: Emergency Alert System Website Follow-up From April 11, 2018 Discussions

Fellow GTT Participants, here is the text of a Federal Government website related to the Emergency Alert System discussed during the April 11, 2018 GTT Nat Con Call.

 

Emergency Alert Messages and the National Public Alerting System (NPAS)

crtc.gc.ca

https://crtc.gc.ca/eng/television/services/alert.htm

 

Emergency Alert Messages and the National Public Alerting System (NPAS)

 

In 2014, the CRTC required that FM radio, AM radio and over-the-air (OTA) television stations, as well as

subscription-based broadcasting service providers

Footnote 1,

to participate in the National Public Alerting System (NPAS).

 

Since April 6, 2018, the CRTC requires that all wireless service providers participate in the NPAS and begin distribution of wireless public emergency

alerts on their long-term evolution (LTE) networks.

 

Emergency alert messages are issued by public officials

Footnote 2

who are designated by the federal government or your province or territory to warn the public of imminent or unfolding hazards to life and property (e.g.,

fire, natural disasters, biological threats, hazardous materials, environmental disasters, civil emergencies). These officials are also responsible for

issuing scheduled test messages.

 

Each year, during Emergency Preparedness Week in May, wireless service providers and broadcasters will distribute a test alert. Read more about alert types

and testing at

Alert Ready.

 

For more information about the NPAS:

National Public Alerting System.

 

The list of subscription-based broadcasting service providers currently participating in the NPAS

 

The following list indicates the subscription-based broadcasting service providers that distribute emergency alerts. If you subscribe to one or more of

the subscription based broadcasting service providers below, you should be receiving emergency alert messages. If you require more details, please contact

your broadcasting service provider.

 

Subscription-based broadcasting service providers that distribute emergency alert messages:

list of 24 items

  • 2251723 Ontario
  • Access
  • AEBC Internet
  • Bell
  • Bell ExpressVu
  • Bragg Communications Incorporated
  • Câblevision du Nord de Québec
  • Cogeco Connexion Inc.
  • IAAK Technologies
  • K-Right Communications
  • Nexicom Communications
  • Northwestel
  • Persona Communications
  • Rogers
  • SaskTel
  • Shaw
  • Shaw Direct
  • Sogetel
  • TBayTel
  • TELUS
  • Vianet
  • Vidéotron
  • Wightman Telecom
  • Zazeen

list end

The map of FM radio, AM radio and over-the-air (OTA) television stations broadcasting emergency alert messages  figure

If you want to find out whether you can receive emergency alert messages where you live, consult the map below:

 

TV and Radio Stations that Broadcast Emergency Alert Messages

The map of FM radio, AM radio and over-the-air (OTA) television stations broadcasting emergency alert messages  figure end

 

Wireless Public Alerting

 

To be able to receive wireless alerts, your mobile device must be an LTE device like a smartphone, compatible with wireless public alerting, and connected

to an LTE cellular network at the time the emergency alert is issued.

 

Emergency alerts are issued to a defined geographic area, such that only people in the defined area will receive the emergency alerts. If you are travelling

in another province when an alert is issued, your compatible wireless device will receive the alert, provided your phone is powered on and connected to

the LTE cellular network. There is no need to enable the location services on your wireless device to receive alerts.

 

When an alert is issued, you will hear the same alert tone on your mobile devices as you currently do while listening to the radio or watching television.

The alert will also trigger a unique vibration cadence.

 

To know more about the compatible wireless devices offered by your wireless service provider, visit

Alert Ready.

 

Important Notes

 

There might be radio or TV stations or subscription service providers broadcasting or distributing emergency alert messages that aren’t on our map or that

do not appear in the list. Why?

 

There are two possible reasons.

 

First, the map and list are created by using data collected from CRTC annual surveys that are issued to FM radio, AM radio and over-the-air (OTA) television

stations, as well as

subscription-based broadcasting service providers.

Recipients are required to submit the surveys to the CRTC no later than November 30 of each year. The data contained in the list and map were collected

as part of the November 30, 2016 annual surveys. Any station or service provider that started broadcasting or distributing emergency alerts after November

30, 2016 may not appear on the map and in the list.

 

Second, the surveys were only sent to FM radio, AM radio and over-the-air (OTA) television stations and

subscription-based broadcasting service providers

holding a broadcasting licence from the CRTC. Some stations or service providers, under very specific conditions, are not required to have a licence and

therefore do not appear in the map or list.

 

GTT National Conference Call Summary Notes, Aira Smart Glasses, March 14, 2018

GTT National Conference Call.

 

Sponsored by the Canadian Council of the Blind

 

Summary Notes

 

March 14, 2018.

 

Theme:

Aira Smart Glasses; Our name is derived from two interesting sources: the emerging field of Artificial Intelligence (AI), and the ancient Egyptian mythological being and symbol known as the Eye of Ra (RA). Steeped in the mysteries of Egyptian mythology, the Eye of Ra has symbolized protection, healing and the power to perceive and interpret both the seen and unseen in the universe.

Check it out at:

https://aira.io/

 

Guests:

Jason Fayre, Debbie Gillespie and Victor Marques are using AIRA glasses and joined the GTT Nat Con Call to tell us about their experience so far.

 

  • AIRA has been around for about a year publicly and is based out of California. They connect users with live agents that can describe the environment, read printed info, and help guide the user through many life situations. Anything you might need eyes for, sort of like having a sighted person in your pocket.
  • It is similar to BeMyEyes, however the major difference is that Aira is not free.
  • BeMyEyes volunteers are not trained in sighted guide technique, nor are they always aware of issues related to blindness and vision loss, whereas all Aira agents are employed and well trained by the company.
  • Aira Agents sign agreements of confidentiality, and the user also signs an agreement regarding amount of information wanted and things they won’t be permitted to request, etc.
  • The presenters agreed they would not have a BeMyEyes agent read credit card information to them, but they may have an Aira agent read such info.

Price:

Cost of service is not cheap.  It needs to be more affordable to more people.

Most basic plan 89 dollars a month USD provides 100 minutes.

$199 USD Premium Plan

$329 USD unlimited plan

No specific Canadian pricing yet.

Victor Marques Said following the call:

A reminder, as I mentioned, that if you do decide to try AIRA, your first three months should be on a double minute promotion. Do not sign up straight away for the $329 unlimited plan because the $199 Premium plan comes with unlimited minutes for the first three months anyway. You can change plans as you wish at any time once you figure out what your usage will be.

 

Also, if a current explorer refers you, you’d get your second month of whichever plan you choose for free.  Feel free to contact any of us who presented tonight for further information so that we can arrange that for you.

 

How it works:

  • The user has an app on their smart phone and a pair of glasses with a camera mounted on the right-hand side.
  • The package includes a Mi-Fi connection device that connects the iPhone and the glasses with the Agent over a high priority high speed cellular connection.
  • The data the glasses use is not part of the user’s cell phone plan.
  • It does use a significant amount of data.
  • Data uses is included in your monthly subscription.
  • The data for the voice portion of the call goes through your cell phone but video does not.
  • Currently all agents are in the USA, so if you have no long distance cell plan to call the USA it could be more expensive to use Aira.
  • If users do not want to use the glasses, they can connect through the phone’s camera, however the call will use the cell phone’s data for the video portion, as well as the cell phone’s long distance charges.
  • You can minute share. Can have up to three users using 1 account.
  • More than one person can be on a call at the same time with agents, however only 1 pair of glasses is issued per subscription.
  • You can connect through your home Wi-Fi or use your phone as a hot spot, and you don’t have to have a North American plan to connect to Aira.
  • AIRA support is a regular long distance phone call to the USA, so if you don’t have a long distance plan on your cell phone it might be wise to Use your land line to call AIRA support.
  • Minutes are determined by the amount of time you use with an agent.

 

What is the advantage of wearing the glasses vs using the smart phone camera:

  • The glasses are good for navigation hands free.
  • Data is optimized for video streaming. Gets priority if wearing the glasses.
  • It is supposed to have better connection.
  • Aira is just about to release a new pair of glasses, which it is estimated will have a wider field of vision and higher resolution.
  • The camera on the phone is better for fine detail because it has higher resolution. For reading small print the phone camera might be better.
  • An agent may ask you to call back using your phone for fine detail.
  • They can take a photo for you in your app and it stays in the app that both the user and the agent can utilize in the future, like photos of people the user will want to recognize in group settings, etc. They can e-mail you photos and other information captured during a session.
  • Aira has apps for iPhone and android.
  • AIRA is not officially launched in Canada, however they are accepting new users.
  • The presenters weren’t sure when the official Canadian launch is slated to be announced.
  • They are currently shipping the Mi-Fi unit AT and T that connects with the Rogers network. It is assumed that Aira won’t work outside of Rogers’s cell coverage areas
  • The presenters recommended that people use AfterShokz or other bone conducting head phones with the glasses.
  • AIRA is your eyes not your brain, you need to be able to cross streets. It is imperative that users have good mobility. Aira can enhance but not replace those good skills to help users do what they want to do.
  • When working with an Aira agent they are trained not to talk to users while crossing streets.

 

When to use it:

  • Jason wanted to go to a store he had never been to before. He looked it up and got close to it by bus, and as there was no one around to offer guidance he contacted an agent and the agent guided him right to the door of the location. From the street, the store entrance was around the back of the building and through a large parking lot.
  • In addition to what the agent sees through the glasses, they have access to GPS so they can look around your location on a map.
  • Aira really helps in unfamiliar Cities, parts of your own City and/or construction areas.
  • You can give them an address and they will help guide you to it from where you are.
  • You can register your Uber and Lyft accounts and the agent can call them for you, and they will stay on the line to help you identify the car when it pulls up and that it is the correct one. They will also guide you to the door if the driver isn’t helpful in that regard.
  • The agents can read hand written charts and other paperwork in a work setting, or anywhere else.
  • They have been used by Victor’s wife for describing diagrams and visual things for University courses.
  • They are often used in busy airports for transferring to connecting gates, or for getting through the airport to begin with.
  • Victor told stories of times when their meet and assist did not show up, so they used Aira to quickly get to the next gate.
  • Aira is good for independent shopping to help find things.
  • Aira is good to use when travelling to a place you’ve never been, and might not ever go back to. Debbie indicated she is often required to go places once, so rather than learning the travel intricacies of accessing such locations she will use an Aira agent.
  • Some folks use Aira agents to read computer screens when screen readers fail to complete a task or action.
  • The presenters have used Aira to order an Uber.
  • Aira provides a convenience and independence factor.
  • After every call you can rate your experience.
  • When you sign up you do have to complete a user profile.
  • Each profile can have a documents/photo folder associated with it, which is available to the agent and/or the user.
  • The presenters indicated that agents will take/save a photo of someone you might wish to find during a conference or seminar, and they will help you find/identify that person when he/she walks in the room.
  • The user can correspond with agents by email to share documents, photos etc.

 

AIRA employment program:

  • Subscribers can use Aira for free for job seeking, guidance for visual resume proof-reading/preparation etc. without using minutes from their personal account.
  • Part of the over-all desire is to have employers pick up the cost of Aira once you are working.

 

How quickly do you get an agent, and do they try to link you with the same one:

  • They do not connect you to the same agent, but maybe if an agent has a specific expertise they might.
  • At this point most calls are connected in about a minute, and sometimes a little more.
  • Agents are available 7 AM to 1 AM eastern.
  • A rule of thumb is to let the agent know quickly and efficiently what you want to do so that minutes aren’t wasted with long explanations.
  • With the soon to be released new glasses Aira may be eliminating the need for Mi-Fi and the phone. Perhaps all will be built into one device instead of three as it currently stands.
  • It will be good if they include a push button on the glasses for answering/making the call.
  • The presenters indicated that there are too many parts right now, with a smart phone, the Mi-Fi device and the glasses that all need to be connected to each other in order for the system to work.
  • Also, the user has to make sure all these items are charged.
  • It was emphasized that users should always have a backup plan and independent mobility and orientation skills.
  • Debbie leaves the glasses and Mi-Fi on and pared so she can use it quickly.
  • The presenters indicated that having an agent guide you through touch screen devices isn’t always great.
  • They will identify whether or not it’s too dark, which limits their ability to assist.
  • Rural areas may pose issues if the Rogers cell coverage is weak or nonexistent.
  • All Aira plans include one set of glasses and the Mi-Fi device, and the user has to have a smart phone and a cellular service plan in place.
  • There are areas in Canada that do not have Rogers’s cell phone coverage and this might mean that Aira won’t be available in those areas.
  • The glasses are tinted and apparently quite stylish.
  • Some people think they are a little heavy to the right side due to the camera being mounted there.
  • When signing up each user gets an orientation.
  • The presenters were asked if people express problems with their having a camera built into their glasses, and all indicated they’ve never been asked to take the glasses off because of the camera.
  • If users plan to minute share all parties must have their own profile, and when signing up users receive an email and are taken to a profile page where they are asked questions like name, address, email, subscribe to Aira news, mobility skill level, how much description information do you want on a scale of 1-5, and the Type of directions, clock face, cardinal, or degrees, how much vision does the user have, is night blindness an issue, is the user a cane or dog guide user?
  • Users are also asked about their cause of vision loss, however that question is optional.
  • The average length of calls is about 8 minutes for Debbie.
  • Jason and Victor agreed that most of their calls are about 5 minutes long.
  • Victor when he was on the unlimited plan at the start of his use of Aira had the Kamloops Santa Claus parade described to him.
  • If you are running low you can purchase another block of 100 minutes for 50 dollars in a month, and your minutes roll over if unused.
  • If someone refers you you get a free month.
  • Aira has approached several businesses to sign them up as Aira subscribers, so when you use your Aira equipment there you do not use your personal minutes. In addition to some retail outlets, a few Airports in the USA have signed up. Check the Aira website for a listing of supportive businesses. Other places are some grocery stores, Disney world and some Museums.
  • You have to pay your monthly payment in advance by credit card which is kept on file.
  • The presenters were asked if wearing a hat effects the camera, and that only happens if the hat covers the camera that is mounted on the right arm of the glasses.
  • Some thought it might be good to use when looking for lost things, like keys, dog poop and the TV remote.
  • There are some operating buttons on the right side, and it’s a USB cord that is used to charge it.
  • One of the buttons tells you your battery status and the glasses do have a tiny speaker built-in.
  • When a user signs up it is a month to month contract.
  • If you run out of time for the month the agent will not cut you off during a call, and your remaining time can be checked in the app.
  • Like all cell phones and GPS devices, you cannot use them underground.
  • While connected to an Aira agent, you can put it in privacy mode so agent cannot hear or see you until you are out of privacy mode, like in washrooms and other private conversations and situations.
  • The agent sees about 60 degrees with the camera, whereas the human visual field is about 120 degrees. Jason and Victor indicated that the new glasses will have 120 degrees of vision.
  • The camera is good for distance, and not as good for close up or small print access.
  • Soon it will have features similar to the OrCam glasses, where it will read text and identify things in the immediate environment without the need for an agent or the use of precious minutes.
  • At this time Aira will not allow the user to call someone he/she knows through Aira, only trained agents.
  • The agent will tell you what object is in your path, or that the traffic light is green but he/she will not tell you it is safe to cross the street.
  • Some suggested that around the house one could use BeMyEyes unless hands-free is needed, then it might be better to call an agent through Aira.
  • An Aira agent can help you sign documents.
  • Some of the Aira agents have remote control app for computer and can remote in and click on something graphical on your computer that the screen reader can’t identify.

 

GTT National Conference Call Overview

  • GTT National Conference Call is a monthly discussion group of the Canadian Council of the Blind (CCB).
  • GTT National Conference Calls promote a self-help learning experience by holding monthly meetings to present and discuss new and emerging assistive technology.
  • Each meeting consists of a feature technology topic, along with questions and answers about assistive technology.
  • Participants are encouraged to attend 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 an email distribution list where assistive technology questions are provided by participants. You may also subscribe to the National GTT blog to get email notices of teleconferences and notes from other GTT chapters. Visit:

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

There is a form 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

 

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