GTT British Columbia Meeting Agenda, Accessible BC Act Consultation for Residents who are Blind and Partially Sighted, November 18, 2019

Get Together with Technology (GTT) BC

 

Sponsored by the Canadian Council of the Blind

 

Theme: Accessible BC Act Consultation

 

Date: Monday, November 18, 2019

Time: 6:00 until 8:00 PM Pacific Time

Where: GTT Program Zoom Conference Room

 

Meeting Agenda:

Please Join Us and Have Your Voice Heard!

 

Accessibility through Legislation – Government of British Columbia

A Consultation and discussion with People from the blind, low vision and Guide Dog Community throughout British Columbia.

 

Purpose of meeting: to express what is most important to us as British Columbians who are blind, deaf-blind or partially sighted about accessibility, inclusion and full participation in our communities.

 

Your interaction during this meeting will be included in a final report to the Accessible BC Act consultation process currently underway by SPARC BC.  The BC Coalition of Dog Guide users and the CCB are engaging the vision loss community with 5 meetings throughout the province with a view to ensuring that our voices aren’t missed during the general consultation planned and facilitated by SPARC.

 

To learn more:

BC Government Accessibility Legislation Intro:

https://engage.gov.bc.ca/accessibility

 

link to alternate format Accessible consultation documents

https://nnels.ca/items/british-columbia-framework-accessibility-legislation

 

To Learn More Contact:

Heather Walkus at the BCCoalition@hooh.ca

 

The call-in info is:

 

Join the GTT National Conference Call Zoom Meeting from computer or smart phone:

https://zoom.us/j/9839595688

 

One tap mobile, Toronto Local:

+16475580588,,9839595688# Canada

 

Toronto Local:

+1 647 558 0588

Meeting ID: 983 959 5688

 

For More Information:

Contact Albert Ruel at 250-240-2343, or at,

Albert.GTT@CCBNational.net

 

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 detectio 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: http://www.ccbnational.net

Guest Post: Teleconference Workshop: Braille is Best: Out and About – Everyday Strategies for Advocating for the Use of Braille, Braille Literacy Canada, November 30, 2019

Braille is Best: Out and About —
Everyday Strategies for Advocating for the Use of Braille

Inclusion of braille and braille accessibility is an ongoing challenge for those who read braille. Have you ever encountered a situation when braille was simply overlooked and you were asked if braille copy was really necessary?

Join us for the next teleconference where our knowledgeable panelists will share their experiences advocating for braille in post-secondary education and in everyday life. Whether you’re a braille reader, a parent or a professional in the blindness field the solutions and strategies we’ll discuss will equip you to advocate for braille literacy wherever it’s needed.

Date: Saturday, November 30, 2019

Time: 1:00 – 2:30 PM Eastern (Starting at 10 AM Pacific, 11 AM Mountain, 12 Noon Central/Saskatchewan and 2 PM Atlantic)

Cost: The teleconference is free for BLC members as well as those who are members of organizations that are corporate members of BLC.  Cost for non-members is $20.

To Register: send an email to info@blc-lbc.ca by Thursday, November 28, 2019.

CCB-GTT Parksville and The Technology Learning Center Sponsors, Reading News Articles with PC and iOS Browsers Workshop, November 19, 2019

Get Together with Technology (GTT)

Parksville Workshop

November 19, 2019

 

Sponsored by the Canadian Council of the Blind (CCB)

in partnership with

The Technology Learning Centre

Building Learning Together

 

Theme: Reading Online News Articles with PC and iOS Browsers.

Please RSVP

 

Please share with anyone who might benefit!

 

  • Are you finding it increasingly difficult to read print newspapers and magazines, or articles online from your smart tablet, phone or computer as a result of reduced vision, eye fatigue, or blindness?
  • Are all those website controls and advertisements keeping you from enjoying news articles online?
  • Is the text too small, or contrast not sharp enough for reading long news articles when accessing them online from your smart tablet, smart phone or computer?
  • Would you like to have your favourite news articles read aloud to you from your smart tablet, phone or computer?

 

If you’ve answered yest to any of the above questions we have the workshop just for you!

 

Date: November 19, 2019; 1:00 until 2:30 PM

Place: Technology Learning Centre, 494 Bay Avenue Parksville

 

On the above date the staff and volunteers at the Technology Learning Centre, along with Albert Ruel from the Canadian Council of the Blind will show you how to resolve all the above issues so that reading/listening will become effortless and enjoyable again.

 

The features, strategies and techniques we will demonstrate and teach are referred to as Reader View/Simplified View, and they’re already built into the web browsers you know and love.  Those web browsers are, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge and Safari.

 

Bring your smart tablet, smart phone or computer to the workshop and someone will assist you in learning how best to configure the device for easy reading, and how to bring out the power of Reader View built into the browsers you have on your device.

 

Space is limited so please RSVP your intentions, and let us know which device you will bring, or want to learn about.

 

To RSVP or for more information please contact:

Albert Ruel, Get Together with Technology Coordinator

Canadian Council of the Blind

Toll Free: 1-877-304-0968,550                         Cell: 250-240-2343

Email: albert.GTT@CCBNational.net               URL: http://www.GTTProgram.Blog

 

Brian Collicott, Technology Learning Centre Coordinator

Building Learning Together

Phone: 250-947-8258                                      Email: BCollicott@SD69.bc.ca

URL: http://www.OBLT.ca/TLC

 

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: http://www.ccbnational.net

 

 

CCB Tech Articles, Donna’s Low Tech Tips, Apps round up November 4, 2019

November 04, 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. Button by Neatebox (iOS, Free)

18 years working for Guide Dogs for the Blind watching my blind and visually impaired friends struggle to interact with pedestrian crossings prompted me to look for a solution which would make the lives of all disabled people easier in this area.  Many crossings poles are out of reach or too far from the crossing to be useful so I set up Neatebox and looked for a way in which we could press the button at the crossing using our mobile phones.  “Button” by Neatebox is the result of this hard work and gives you a hands-free remote crossing control from your phone. It removes the need for you to make physical contact with the crossing pole and leaves you free to focus on a safe and efficient crossing.

 

Simply download the free app and input your details and you are ready to go.  At this time there are limited locations in which the system can be used but we are keen to install more. If you feel that a crossing near you could do with an innovative solution such as this please let us know using the ‘request a crossing’ feature within the app’s settings and we will contact the Local Authority on your behalf to ask for our system to be installed.

 

Current Version: 1.02 (February 1, 2018)

Read Button by Neatebox’s AppleVis App Directory entry for more information:

Visit Button by Neatebox’s App Store page:

 

  1. Welcome by Neatebox

(iOS, Free)

Do you feel that society has disabled you and hinders you from receiving the level of customer service you would like?

 

“Welcome” by Neatebox aims to redress this balance and provides you with an effective communication tool which can help customer service teams give you the support you deserve.

 

Simply download the free app, input your details, specify your needs and plan your first trip.

 

Please request any venues you would like to see included and remember there is strength in numbers so invite your friends and request together for greater impact.

 

Current Version: 1.9.0 (July 24, 2019)

Read Welcome by Neatebox’s AppleVis App Directory entry for more information:

Visit Welcome by Neatebox’s App Store page:

 

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

iOS:

Mac:

Apple Watch:

Apple TV:

 

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

 

Airacast Episode 20 Aira’s Street Crossing Policy

Hi all.  I listened to this podcast yesterday and got the low-down on how Aira has changed their street crossing policy.  Previously their Agents wouldn’t talk to you at all when you were crossing streets, however as of November 4, 2019 they are offering limited information during street crossings if you ask for it.  To me this is a huge game changer.  Check out the podcast link below.

 

https://overcast.fm/+QWHMkaT2M

 

Thx, Albert

 

Windows From the Keyboard Tips, Applications Key for Context Menus, November 6, 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 still apply to older versions.  The tips do not require a screen reader unless specifically noted. Thus, the tips apply whether you are a keyboard user or low vision mouse user. Here is this week’s tip.

 

Windows Applications Key for Context Menus

Mouse users frequently right click on items to bring up a context menu of things they can do with the item their mouse is pointing at. Keyboard users can also access the same context menus.

 

While focused on an item, press the Applications key beside the right control key and the same right-click context menu will pop up. Arrow up and down the menu items and press Enter on the item you need. If you can’t find an Applications key on your keyboard, you may also press Shift+F10 to bring up the context menu. It is called a context menu because the menu items will vary depending on what item you are focused on.  Don’t hesitate to press the Applications key anywhere for these handy context menus. For example, you can press the Applications key when focused on a file or folder, an item on the desktop or task bar, an email message, a word in a document, a cell in an Excel spreadsheet, an email message, and many other places. It is extremely important to use the Applications key frequently if you want to be productive using Windows from the keyboard.

 

Windows users often ask, “how do I do that?”. The answer is frequently, press the Applications key and what you need is in the context menu. Keyboard users may complain they can’t find what they need in the Office ribbons because they are difficult to navigate, but likely, what they need in the ribbon may be in the context menu. If you don’t find what you need in the context menu, just press Escape to close the menu. The Applications key will be used many times in upcoming Windows from the Keyboard Tips.

 

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

 

How to Protect Company/Individual Copyright when sharing written/recorded material to GTT Networks

Protecting Copyright when sharing written material to GTT Networks:

 

Hi all.  It recently came to our attention that GTT contributors, including yours truly, aren’t always operating under established strict rules for sharing Copyrighted material from other sources to the GTTSupport list and GTTProgram Blog.  I will attempt to lay out what I think are some of the ways we can all continue to benefit from the sharing of great and notable articles without infringing on the creator’s ownership Rights.

 

It’s not appropriate to copy and paste entire articles even if the link to the original source is provided.  Essentially, online content has the same Copyright protection as any original image, writing, or recording.  This means that “Fair Use” rules apply, which allows you to quote brief excerpts verbatim from Copyrighted content for purposes such as criticism, news reporting, teaching and research.  For online use, the basic rule of thumb is that quoting 2 or 3 paragraphs is acceptable, and that it still needs to be wrapped in original content of your own.

 

For example, in the case of software releases, you should write a summary of your own, include some selected quotes from the article/release, and direct readers to the original source for more information by providing a web link.

 

In researching the “Fair Use” Rules where they pertain to Copyright I came across this article and appreciated how simply it lays out the rules and some of the ways they can be applied.  As the GTTSupport email list and the GTTProgram Blog were established as peer mentoring tools aimed at allowing us to teach and support each other around the use of assistive technology, I believe we fall under the following bullet point, “copying a few paragraphs from a news article for use by a teacher or student in a lesson…”.

 

What Is Fair Use? – Copyright Overview by Rich Stim – Stanford Copyright and Fair Use Center

 

“Commentary and Criticism

If you are commenting upon or critiquing a copyrighted work—for instance, writing a book review—fair use principles allow you to reproduce some of the work to achieve your purposes. Some examples of commentary and criticism include:

  • quoting a few lines from a Bob Dylan song in a music review
  • summarizing and quoting from a medical article on prostate cancer in a news report
  • copying a few paragraphs from a news article for use by a teacher or student in a lesson, or
  • copying a portion of a Sports Illustrated magazine article for use in a related court case.

The underlying rationale of this rule is that the public reaps benefits from your review, which is enhanced by including some of the copyrighted material. Additional examples of commentary or criticism are provided in the examples of fair use cases.”

 

Here is the link to the entire article:

https://fairuse.stanford.edu/overview/fair-use/what-is-fair-use/

 

Sample CCB Reference:

Below is a sample of a properly referenced comment Regarding a News article about CCB.

 

It was great to read in the below article how over 150 people crowded a Vancouver area community center to give the BC Government their views on what should be in a future Accessible BC Act, slated to be tabled in the BC Legislature during the Fall 2020 session.  Here’s how the CCB is being pro-active toward the recognition of our rights as British Columbians with disabilities.

 

British Columbians pack meeting to help develop accessibility law | Vancouver Sun

NICK EAGLAND

 

“Conway said he has visited hotels with elevators which do not have Braille labels on their buttons. Grocery and drug stores have replaced human cashiers with self-checkout machines which have touchscreens he can’t use. Businesses have refused to allow DA Chief to enter, breaking the law.

Strong enforcement is key to making the legislation work, said Conway, who is the 2nd vice-president of the Canadian Council of the Blind’s B.C.-Yukon division.”

 

The entire article will be found here:

https://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/b-c-government-holds-vancouver-community-meeting-on-accessibility-legislation

 

Thx, Albert

 

 

 

Windows From the Keyboard Tips, Windows General Shortcuts, October 30, 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 still apply to older versions.  The tips do not require a screen reader unless specifically noted. Thus, the tips apply whether you are a keyboard user or low vision mouse user. Here is this week’s tip.

 

Windows from the Keyboard – General Shortcuts

When progressive vision loss makes it increasingly difficult to see the mouse or read the screen you can use Windows without a mouse. You can operate most Windows programs such as Word, Excel, email, and web browsing without using the mouse. Did you know that the TAB key will move from link to link in a web page or from item to item in a web form or from field to field in an email? Once you navigate to an item you can activate it without clicking the mouse. Just press the Enter key.

 

Here are some other handy Windows keyboard shortcuts:

  • Control+Backspace will delete the previous word while typing in an edit field or document.
  • Control+Delete key will delete the next word while typing in an edit field or document.

Control+S will save your document.

  • Control+P will print your document.
  • Control+C will copy selected text, files, or folders to the clipboard.
  • Control+V will paste clipboard text into a document or email. Also, Control+V will paste files or folders that have been copied to the clipboard into another location.
  • Alt+F4 will close a window.
  • Alt+F4 while focused on the desktop will bring up the Windows shutdown menu.
  • Pressing TAB multiple times while on the Desktop will move to the Start button, then to the Task Bar, then to the Notifications area, then back to the Desktop. While in the Notifications area you can press down arrow to cycle through the System Tray icons.
  • Alt+Tab will cycle between open windows.
  • Windows key + M will minimize all open windows and return to the desktop.
  • While on the desktop, press the first letter of any icon to jump to it. Press Enter to activate the icon.
  • The Applications key beside the right control key is very important in Windows so much so that it will be discussed in a separate tip.
  • Here is Microsoft’s Windows 10 Complete List of shortcuts.

 

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

 

Cybercrime Reporting Website Accessibility Research with Canadian Digital Service, Government of Canada

Hello GTTProgram Blog Subscribers,

 

The Canadian Digital Service (CDS) is working with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) to create an accessible website for reporting cybercrime to the police.

 

They’d like to speak to you if you, or a loved-one, have ever been phished, hacked or called by a scammer, etc. Especially if you have a disability and/or use assistive technology, and if you are interested in testing the website used to report the above, please contact,

melissa.banyard@tbs-sct.gc.ca

for more information on how to get involved.

 

How you can help

 

The Canadian Digital Service can reach you via phone, video chat, or in-person to show you a work in-progress website and get your feedback on it. This  will not take longer than 30 minutes, and they can reach you at a time that’s convenient for you.

 

Your privacy

 

You’re volunteering to take part in this research, so you can choose to stop participating at any time for any reason.

 

The Canadian Digital Service will make sure your responses are confidential, which means they will not be linked back to anyone.

 

Your participation and answers will not impact your relationship with the Canadian Digital Service (CDS), and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), or any part of the Government of Canada.

 

The Canadian Digital Service  handles all personal information in accordance with the Privacy Act, and we’ll give you a copy of our Privacy Statement.

 

For any further questions about this research, please contact:

Melissa Banyard

343-548-9044

melissa.banyard@tbs-sct.gc.ca

 

Access: Technology lags for people with vision, hearing impairments, Victoria News

Access: Technology lags for people with vision, hearing impairments

Author: Nina Grossman

Date Written: Oct 23, 2019 at 9:30 AM

Date Saved: 10/28/19, 8:53 PM

Source: https://www.vicnews.com/news/access-technology-lags-for-people-with-vision-hearing-impairments/

This is the third instalment of “Access,” a Black Press Media three-part series focusing on accessibility in Greater Victoria. See Part One- Access: A Day in the Life Using a Wheelchair in Victoria, and Part Two- Access: Greater Victoria non-profit brings the outdoors to people of all abilities

Heidi Prop’s fingers run over the raised white cells on her BrailleNote Touch Plus. She easily reads more than 200 words per minute, consuming online content with the tips of her fingers faster than most people can with their eyes.

Without vision since birth, Prop doesn’t ‘see’ the words in her head when the pins pop up to form braille words on the android-based braille tablet, she instead hears them like a narrator. She’s sitting in an office at the Pacific Training Centre for the Blind (PTCB) in Victoria, but the braille display allows her to read and write almost anywhere. With a braille output, Prop can check her email, browse the web, download apps and more.

The device is a model of technology that’s added ease to her life, but not all aspects of digitization have made the same leap; many aspects of the internet remain hidden to the blind community.

For example, devices called ‘screen readers’ make web pages accessible, but often stumble when navigating inaccessible websites. Elizabeth Lalonde, PTCB executive director, opens a Wikipedia page on grizzly bears and a robotic voice begins washing over the screen at a rate too rapid for most of the sighted population to consume.

But before the screen reader reaches the information, Lalonde has to navigate a series of unlabeled links and buttons – small hurdles standing in front of the content she’s trying to reach.

PTCB helps people who are vision-impaired learn how to navigate the world around them – from crossing the street and taking transit to cooking dinner or reading braille.

The centre also focuses heavily on using the web – a skill more or less required in order to survive the modern world. But technology is advancing beyond the speed of accessibility, says Alex Jurgensen, lead program coordinator at PTCB, who adds that creators end up playing catch up, adapting their websites and devices for vision and hearing-impaired users long after initial creation.

“A lot of information is out there, but websites can often be inaccessible,” Jurgensen says, noting things such as forms, apps and anything with unusual or unlabeled text can pose a challenge. Scrolling through unlabeled links will have the voice reader say “link” with no further description and scrolling over an image with no alt text embedded in the code will simply read off the name of the image file.

Lalonde says Instagram, for example, is simply not worth using for the vision impaired. But it could be if people described what was in their photos, or if Instagram added an alt text option for each picture, so users could describe what they posted, such as “pug sits on a red blanket in the park on a sunny day.”

Jurgensen describes it as adding a ‘sticky note’ to your image – an easy step that allows those who are vision-impaired to access a prominent element of everyday internet use.

But some elements of the information age don’t adapt. For example: memes. Text created as part of an image is indistinguishable for screen readers. Jurgensen notes apps such as Skip the Dishes can be difficult too. Without labelled button options, he’s ordered food far spicier than he’s intended.

One exception is the iPhone, which becomes usable for vision-impaired users with the simple slide of a toggle that turns on ‘voice over.’

“Camera. Maps. Google. Finance Folder.” The robot voice used to guide drivers to their destinations guides Lalonde through her phone. She double taps on the screen when she’s ready to use an app.

But devices with built-in accessibility software are few and far between – a disheartening reality for the more than six million Canadians living with disabilities.

Lalonde and Jurgensen say websites and online content should be “born accessible,” with accessibility built-in as part of the creation, instead of as afterthoughts or available only through expensive or impractical add-on software.

People with vision-impairments aren’t the only ones facing challenges either. A huge number of videos fail to include subtitles or descriptions of content, throwing in barriers for anyone who has hearing impairments.

And the barriers are nothing new. The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines were published in 1999 by a group of international experts in digital accessibility. The guideline was used internationally to create digital accessibility policies.

The experts created a testing and scoring format for websites and programs, finding the most successful sites included criteria such as audio tracks (so people who are hearing impaired can understand audio information), the ability to re-size text, the ability to turn off or extending time limits on tasks, and designing consistently, so people will always know where to find what they are looking for when they are navigating the site.

READ ALSO: Victoria’s $750,000 accessibility reserve fund makes improvement ‘not the side project’

And while the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms included people with disabilities when it was created in 1982, it’s only recently that a bill relating directly to accessibility was taken to the House of Commons.

The Accessible Canada Act (Bill C-81) received unanimous support in May and is in the final stages of becoming law. Accessibility Minister Carla Qualtrough called the bill “the most transformative piece of legislation” since the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and called its progress “a testament to the work, commitment and contributions of the Canadian disability community.”

The bill, still not fully formed, is expected to include digital content and technologies law, likely based on the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines – meaning a number of official sites might be scrambling to get their content up to code.

“A lot of the solutions are fairly simple,” Lalonde notes. “But it’s a question of getting businesses and innovators to adapt accessibility into their process from the start.

“It’s a catch-22,” she adds. “Technology has made a major difference in my life and I know [in] the lives of a lot of blind people because it’s allowed us to access so much more information than we could access before. In some ways it’s been absolutely phenomenal, but … the lack of accessibility keeping up with the technology – that’s the problem.”

Jurgensen nods. “No matter how many steps we take forward it feels like it’s a cat and mouse game, and we’re the ones who are one step behind.”

nina.grossman@blackpress.ca
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