Guest Post: Call for Blind, Deaf-blind and Low Vision Ottawa Research Participants: Help make tax benefits accessible

Hi GTT Program Blog Ottawa participants.  I forward this as a potential opportunity for those Ottawa residents who might be interested in participating face to face.

 

French to follow

En français à suivre

 

My name is Hillary Lorimer, I am a researcher working for the Canadian Digital Service. We are a government organization that designs and develops online government services. We are currently working with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) on a new service that will help low-income Canadians access the tax benefits they are entitled to.

 

We want to make this service as accessible as possible. We are looking for people who are blind or low-vision who would be interested in trying an early version of this service and providing feedback on their experience.

 

We are scheduling research sessions starting early to mid-February. The sessions will take approximately one hour and we are offering 50 dollars as compensation for 1 hour of your time.

 

You do not need to have low income to participate and the research session will have no impact on your personal tax return.

 

If you are interested in participating or would like to learn more, please get in touch by calling Hillary Lorimer at 613-402-3085. You can also send an email to Hillary.Lorimer@tbs-sct.gc.ca . We get back to you with more details about the research.

 

We are looking forward to hearing from you.

 

Hillary Lorimer

Researcher

Canadian Digital Service

Government of Canada

Hillary.Lorimer@tbs-sct.gc.ca

613-402-3085

https://digital.canada.ca

 

Privacy Notice

Giving the Canadian Digital Service (CDS) and the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) your contact information is completely voluntary.

If you respond to this opportunity, your email address, phone number, language preference, and name will be collected by CDS and CRA. This personal information will only be used to contact you about the study.

This personal information will not be used for any “administrative purposes”. This means that it will not be used to make any decisions that affect your access to Government of Canada services.

CDS is a program within the Treasury Board Secretariat (TBS) of Canada.

The collection and use of your personal information by TBS is authorized by the Financial Administration Act.

The collection and use of your personal information by CRA is authorized by the Income Tax Act.

Collection and use of your personal information for correspondence is in accordance with the federal Privacy Act. Under the Privacy Act, individuals have the right of protection, access to and correction or notation of their personal information.

Any personal information that may be collected is described in the Standard Personal Information Bank entitled Outreach Activities, PSU 938

If you have any comments or concerns about what you read here, or about your privacy rights, you may contact:

TBS Access to Information and Privacy Coordinator.

Email: ATIP.AIPRP@tbs-sct.gc.ca

Telephone: 1-866-312-1511

You have the right to complain to the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada about the handling of your personal information.

Email: info@priv.gc.ca

Telephone: 1-800-282-1376

 

Opportunité de participer à la recherche : Aidez à rendre les avantages fiscaux accessibles

 

Bonjour,

 

Je m’appelle Hillary Lorimer. Je suis chercheure et je travaille pour le Service Numérique Canadien. C’est une organisation gouvernementale qui simplifie et rend plus accessible les services publics. Nous travaillons avec l’agence du revenu du Canada (ARC) sur un nouveau service qui permettra aux Canadiens qui ont un faible revenu d’accéder aux avantages fiscaux auxquels ils ont droit, plus facilement.

Nous voulons rendre ce nouveau service le plus accessible possible. Nous cherchons donc des gens qui ont 18 ans et plus et qui s’identifient comme étant aveugles ou malvoyant pour nous donner leur avis sur la version numérique du service en utilisant des appareils d’assistance, incluant les lecteurs d’écran.

Nous planifions organiser ces séances du début jusqu’à la mi-février. La séance durera une heure et nous vous donnerons 50 dollars pour cette heure de votre temps.

 

Si vous utilisez des appareils d’assistance, que vous êtes intéressé ou que vous voulez simplement en apprendre plus, appeler 343.548.9468 . Vous pouvez aussi envoyer un courriel à clementine.hahn@tbs-sct.gc.ca Nous vous donnerons plus de détails par la suite.

 

Merci beaucoup et il nous fera plaisir d’entrer en contact avec vous!

 

Hillary Lorimer

Chercheuse

Service numérique canadien

https://numerique.canada.ca

Gouvernement du Canada

Hillary.Lorimer@tbs-sct.gc.ca

613-402-3085

 

 

Énoncé de confidentialité

Le fait de fournir vos coordonnées à l’équipe de recherche est entièrement volontaire.

En répondant à cette opportunité, vous comprenez que votre adresse électronique, votre numéro de téléphone, votre langue de préférence et votre nom seront recueillis par le SNC. Ces renseignements personnels ne seront utilisés que pour communiquer avec vous au sujet de l’étude.

Ces renseignements personnels ne seront pas utilisés à des « fins administratives ». Cela veut dire que vos renseignements ne serviront pas à prendre des décisions qui ont une incidence sur votre accès aux services du gouvernement du Canada.

Le SNC est un programme au sein du Secrétariat du Conseil du Trésor (SCT) du Canada.

La collecte et l’utilisation de vos renseignements personnels par le SCT sont autorisées en vertu de la Loi sur la gestion des finances publiques

La collecte et l’utilisation de vos renseignements personnels par l’ARC sont autorisées par la Loi de l’impôt sur le revenu

La collecte et l’utilisation de vos renseignements personnels aux fins de correspondance sont conformes à la Loi sur la protection des renseignements personnels du gouvernement fédéral. En vertu de la Loi sur la protection des renseignements personnels, vous avez droit à la protection, à l’accès et à la correction ou à la mention de vos renseignements personnels.

Toute information personnelle qui pourra être recueillie est décrite dans les Fichiers de renseignements personnels ordinaires qui figurent sous Activités de sensibilisation.

Si vous avez des commentaires ou des préoccupations concernant le présent énoncé ou vos droits en matière de protection de vos renseignements personnels, vous pouvez contacter :

Le coordonnateur de l’accès à l’information et de la protection des renseignements personnels du SCT
Courriel : ATIP.AIPRP@tbs-sct.gc.ca
Téléphone : 1 866 312-1511

Vous avez également la possibilité de déposer une plainte auprès du Commissariat à la protection de la vie privée du Canada quant à la façon dont vos renseignements personnels sont traités.

Courriel :info@priv.gc.ca

Téléphone : 1 800 282-1376.

 

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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iOS 13 Tip: Quickly Activate Reader Mode in Safari | Thoughts from David Goldfield

In previous versions of iOS it was fairly easy to activate reader mode while on a supported page in the Safari Web browser. All that was needed was to navigate to the Reader button, located toward the upper left hand corner below the status line, and, if you are a VoiceOver user, double-tap. iOS 13…
— Read on davidgoldfield.wordpress.com/2019/10/20/ios-13-tip-quickly-activate-reader-mode-in-safari/

Results of Accessible Canada Act Survey – Up to October 16, 2019

Good afternoon,

 

By way of follow-up from the September 25, 2019 – Accessible Canada Act: Candidates’ Forum, co-hosted by Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital and Reena, we are sharing a number of resources related to the event and preliminary survey results from the Accessible Canada Survey circulated by the two host organizations and Accessible Media Inc.

 

On the evening of October 17, 2019, CTV National News ran a lead story dealing with the hidden issue of the 2019 Election – Accessibility.

Link ß CTV National News – Video – Accessibility – The Hidden issue of the 2019 Federal Election

 

We are providing the preliminary side-by-side analysis of the Accessible Canada Act Survey; both results shared at the 9/25 Candidates Forum, as well as the results generated from a second publicity push from Accessible Media Inc.

Link ß (PDF) Survey Analysis 9/25 ACA Candidate’s Forum & 10/16 Snapshot of Accessible Media Inc. push of the survey.

 

For those with a visual impairment, we are attaching a Word document version without any graphics.

 

3 Major takeaways from the survey;

  • More education is needed to explain ACA and to differentiate between Federal & Provincial responsibility
  • A consensus is developing as to the priorities of Bill C-81 improvements, and suggested approaches
  • There is a Canada-wide interest in improving the ACA / Bill C-81

 

Going forward, and independent of the results of the October 21, 2019 Federal election, insights generated from this survey will be relevant to the national effort to improve and strengthen Bill C-81, the Accessible Canada Act.

 

As discussed at the Accessible Canada Act: Candidates’ Forum on September 25, 2019, the AODA Alliance has been seeking election commitments on advancing the cause of “Accessibility” for over 6 million people with disabilities in Canada. Here is the progress made as of October 18, 2019 – 10AM. The table below is a summary;

 

AODA Alliance – Seeking Election Commitments on Advancing the Cause of Accessibility
July 18, 2019
Party Responses as of October 17, 2019
Liberal Conservative NDP Green PPC
Directly Yes No Yes No No
Date October 16, 2019 X September 19, 2019 X X
Indirectly   October 14, 2019      
AODA Alliance – Summary of Federal Election Platforms – Issue by Issue Comparison
October 18, 2019

 

Additional Information;

  • Link ß Letter 1 – Follow-up Actions – Sent September 26, 2019 (Includes preliminary survey results)
  • Videos – Accessible Canada Act; Candidate’s Forum
    • Link ß Panel of Experts Education Session
    • Link ß Candidate Roundtable
  • Link ß Post Session Podcast – Original Air Date September 26, 2019 – 9:20AM – Accessible Media Inc

 

If you have any questions, please direct them to fwinegust@reena.org.

 

Please note… Neither Reena nor Holland Bloorview support or oppose any party or candidate in the upcoming Federal Election.

 

Fred Winegust

On behalf of the Reena and Holland Bloorview team that organized the Accessible Canada Act: Candidates’ Forum and the team that developed and deployed the ACA survey

 

 

Fred Winegust, MBA, BsC
Stakeholder Relations – Associate


Reena
927 Clark Ave West | Thornhill | L4J 8G6
w: (905) 763.8254 x3636 | f: (905) 763.8272

Cellular:  (416) 801-4039
fwinegust@reena.org  | reena.org | facebook

 

Information on Reena   www.Reena.org

Information on Intentional Community Consortium:       http://intentionalcommunities.ca/

Virtual Tour of Reena Community Residence:     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYRgeF6MYW4

 

This e-mail communication is CONFIDENTIAL AND PRIVILEGED. If you are not the intended recipient, please notify me at the telephone number shown above or by return e-mail and delete this communication and any copy immediately. Thank you. L’information apparaissant dans ce message électronique est PRIVILĖGIĖE ET CONFIDENTIELLE. Si ce message vous est parvenu par erreur, vous êtes en conséquence prié de nous aviser immédiatement par téléphone ou par courriel. De plus veuillez détruire ce message immédiatement. Merci.

First Public Beta of JAWS 2020 Posted with Improved OCR, Form Control Handling, Blind Bargains by J.J. Meddaugh on September 17, 2019

First Public Beta of JAWS 2020 Posted with Improved OCR, Form Control Handling, More

Author: J.J. Meddaugh

Date Written: Sep 17, 2019 at 4:38 PM

Date Saved: 9/19/19, 11:33 AM

Source: https://www.blindbargains.com/bargains.php?m=20489

The first public beta of JAWS version 2020 has been posted. It’s free for JAWS 2019users.

This version includes a variety of enhancements, including several improvements for web users. Many websites will double-speak names of controls because of the way they were programmed. This beta aims to reduce much of this double-speak as you move through forms. Improved support for modern web apps which use their own keyboard hotkeys is now included, with JAWS remembering the state of the virtual cursor across tabs in Chrome. This is especially useful for sites such as Gmail. Other improvements will benefit users of Microsoft Word, the Zoom conferencing platform, and the Convenient OCR feature. Check the source link to get yur beta copy. Here’s a list of what’s new, taken from the public beta page:

New Features Added in JAWS 2020

The following features are new to JAWS 2020.

Reduced Double Speaking of Form Control Prompts When navigating and filling out forms on the web, it has become increasingly common for web page authors to include the prompt inside the control in addition to assigning an accessible Tag for the control. While non-screen reader users only see the written prompt, those using a screen reader are getting both the Prompt and accessible Tag in Speech as well as Braille if a display is in use. Often times, the web page author has assigned the same text for each, so it appears the screen reader is double speaking. In JAWS 2020, we have greatly reduced the amount of double speaking of form controls as you navigate using speech and Braille by comparing the prompt and these tags, and only speaking or brailling them both if they are different.

Note: For Public Beta 1, only the double speaking of prompts has been completed. The Braille representation will be corrected for Public Beta 2 in early October.

Zoom Meeting Scripts Added for an Improved Experience Thanks to Hartgen Consulting, basic scripts for Zoom are now included directly in JAWS and Fusion to improve the experience when attending Zoom Meetings. This platform is used for our quarterly FS Open Line program as well as the free training webinars we hold each month. These scripts offer a more pleasant experience by giving more control over what you hear, without interrupting the flow as users enter or leave the room or make comments. Press INSERT+H to view a list of JAWS keystrokes available in Zoom such as turning off alerts, speaking recent chat messages, and more. You can also press INSERT+W to view a list of Zoom hot keys.

Hartgen Consultancy also offers more advanced scripts for Zoom Pro if you are interested.

Enhanced JAWS and Invisible Cursor Support for Windows 10 Universal Apps For years, JAWS users have relied on the JAWS cursor (NUM PAD MINUS) and Invisible cursor (NUM PAD MINUS twice quickly) to review and interact with areas in an application where the PC cursor cannot go. This includes reading textual information which is on-screen but not focusable, and interacting with controls which are only accessible using a mouse as the mouse pointer will follow the JAWS cursor and NUM PAD SLASH and NUM PAD STAR will perform a left and right click. However, the Off-Screen Model (OSM) which has traditionally been used to support the JAWS and Invisible cursors is becoming less and less available as newer technology such as UIA, found especially in Windows universal apps like the calculator or the Windows Store, is now being used exclusively for accessing screen content. This results in the JAWS and Invisible cursors becoming unusable when attempting to navigate in those windows. All you would hear in those cases was “blank” as you reviewed the screen. This is because the modern technology currently in use is not able to be captured by the traditional Off-Screen Model. In those cases, the only solution was using the Touch Cursor, something most users are not as familiar with.

JAWS 2020 now detects when focus is in an application where the OSM is not supported and will automatically use the new JAWS Scan cursor in these situations. You will use all of the same navigation commands as you would with the traditional JAWS cursor or the Invisible cursors.

For example, if you open the Calculator or Windows Store in JAWS 2020 and press NUM PAD MINUS, you will now hear JAWS announce “JAWS Scan Cursor” as these are apps that do not support the OSM. You can then use the ARROW keys like you always have done to move by character, word, line, as well as INSERT+UP ARROW to read the current line, or PAGE UP, PAGE DOWN, HOME, and END. The mouse pointer will also continue to follow as it always has. The only difference is that the cursor does not move from top to bottom or left to right. Instead, it moves by element the way the developer laid out the app.

While this works in many places, there are still some areas where more work by Freedom Scientific is required. For instance, if you use Office 365, and try to read your Account version information with the JAWS cursor commands, it is still not possible to navigate and read in these places. That work is underway and we plan to have an update for this area in the 2020 version soon. Stay tuned.

Convenient OCR Updated to Use the Latest OmniPage The recognition engine used by the JAWS Convenient OCR feature has been updated to Kofax OmniPage 20, formerly owned by Nuance. This offers greater accuracy when recognizing the text from on-screen images as well as text from images captured with a PEARL camera or scanner.

For users needing to OCR using Hebrew or Arabic, these languages will be included in later public beta builds or by the final release at the latest. Once these languages are working, they will be installed with any English or Western European download of JAWS and Fusion.

Virtual Cursor Toggle Now Tab Specific in Google Chrome Today, there are many web apps where using the Virtual Cursor is not the best approach. An example of this can be seen if you use Gmail in the Chrome Browser. In these cases, it makes sense to toggle the Virtual Cursor off by pressing INSERT+Z and then use this application with the PC cursor. Many users also regularly open multiple tabs (CTRL+T) so they can easily access different sites such as GMail plus one or two other pages by moving between the open tabs using CTRL+TAB. This can become frustrating as you need to constantly press INSERT+Z to get the right cursor in use as you switch between tabs.

Beginning with version 2020, we are introducing an option to help JAWS automatically remember the state of the Virtual Cursor for each tab once you set it. It will also announce whether the Virtual Cursor is on or off as you move between various tabs. Once you close the browser, or restart JAWS, it will default back to its default behavior so you will need to set this each day as you use it.

For the Public Beta, this feature is not turned on by default. It will be enabled by default In later Beta builds. If you would like to try it out in the first Beta, do the following:

  1. Press INSERT+6 to open Settings Center.
  2. Press CTRL+SHIFT+D to load the default file.
  3. Type “Tab” in the search field.
  4. Press DOWN ARROW until you locate “Virtual Cursor On/Off based on Browser Tabs.”
  5. Press the SPACEBAR to enable the option and then select OK.

Note: If you choose to enable this feature in public beta 1, you will hear the announcement of the Virtual Cursor state in certain situations as you navigate. This will be corrected in subsequent builds. Contracted Braille Input Enhancements For ElBraille users as well as those who regularly use a Braille display with their PC, JAWS 2020 offers significant improvements when typing in contracted Braille. In particular:

  • You should now be able to enter and edit text in numbered and bulleted lists in Word, WordPad, Outlook, and Windows Mail.
  • Contracted Braille input is now supported in more applications including PowerPoint and TextPad.
  • Improved Contracted Braille input in WordPad, especially when editing a numbered or bulleted list created in Word and opened in Wordpad. This includes properly handling wrapped items which previously showed the number or bullet on subsequent wrapped lines, rather than indenting the text.
  • Improved Contracted Braille input in Chrome, Google docs, and other online editors which can create bulleted and numbered lists.
  • Typing rapidly using Contracted Braille in Microsoft Office as well as other applications should no longer result in text becoming scrambled.

General Changes in Response to Customer Requests • While browsing the internet, JAWS will no longer announce “Clickable” by default as you move to various content.

  • You should no longer hear the message “Press JAWS Key+ALT+R to hear descriptive text” as you navigate form controls and certain other elements on the web.
  • By default in Word and Outlook, JAWS will no longer announce “Alt SHIFT F10 to adjust Auto Correction” when you move to something that was auto corrected previously.
  • JAWS and Fusion will no longer gather a count of all the objects, misspellings, grammatical errors, and so on when a document is opened in Word. This will enable documents to load much faster, including very large documents containing a lot of these items. You can always press INSERT+F1 for an overview of what the document contains.
  • Improved responsiveness when closing Word after saving a document.
  • The AutoCorrect Detection option, previously only available in the Quick Settings for Word, can now also be changed in the Quick Settings for Outlook (INSERT+V).https://support.freedomscientific.com/Downloads/JAWS/JAWSPublicBeta

Source: JAWS Public Beta

Category: News

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J.J. Meddaugh is an experienced technology writer and computer enthusiast. He is a graduate of Western Michigan University with a major in telecommunications management and a minor in business. When not writing for Blind Bargains, he enjoys travel, playing the keyboard, and meeting new people.

 

 

 

Thx, Albert

 

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This blind woman says self-checkouts lower the bar(code) for accessibility | CBC News

If you have a visual impairment, the self-checkout phenomenon can make shopping a difficult and frustrating process.
— Read on www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/self-checkouts-accessibility-concerns-1.5243720

BlindShell, Simple, intuitive and accessible phones for visually impaired

BlindShell, Simple, intuitive and accessible phones for visually impaired
Date Saved: 7/5/19, 1:50 PM
Source: https://www.blindshell.com/
Note: Check above and below links for videos about this device.

New BlindShell Classic
Over the past few years, we have sold phones for the visually impaired to thousands of customers across 20 countries. We have worked to create a phone that would be durable, stylish, and most importantly, easy to use for the blind and visually impaired. Based on the feedback and input from our users, we introduced the BlindShell Classic last year. This phone encompasses the best of what the world of mobile phones for the blind offers.
• Carefully designed keypad with comfortable buttons.
• Voice Control or tactile keypad for the simplest to use phone yet.
• Optimized shape, which perfectly fits your hand.
• Lifetime updates and fantastic support.

Blindshell Classic
• Single button quick dial
• SOS emergency button
• Quick menu navigation by shortcuts
• FM radio
• Calendar
• E-mail
• Voice control
• Text dictation
• Object tagging

BLINDSHELL 2 BAROQU
• Voice control
• Text dictation
• Object tagging
• Color recognition
• Mp3 and audio-book player
• GPS position
• Games
• WhatsApp
• Facebook Messenger

WHAT SEPARATES BLINDSHELL FROM THE REST?
First and foremost, it’s been designed to be helpful. No frills. We’ve listened to our customers and honed its features to be simple. The BlindShell Classic caters to the actual needs of visually impaired users. The physical keypad and large assortment of applications are designed and chosen specifically for the blind user’s needs.
It is truly intuitive to use. You can either use the keypad or control your phone by voice. And yes, you’ll figure out how to operate it in less than 30 minutes.
Lastly, we wanted to develop a phone which will last. That’s why we carefully chose the BlindShell Classic design to be practical, sturdy, and easy to use. The lifelong free updates give peace of mind that you will be happy with your purchase for years to come.

Demonstration Video Re-posted from Carrie Morales, Live Accessible:
Hey Everyone,
The BlindShell Classic Phone is coming out to the US and it’s a phone that’s specifically designed for the blind and visually impaired. It’s a great option for someone looking for a phone that has physical buttons, very easy to use, and totally accessible. Here’s a review I did of the phone if anyone is interested! https://youtu.be/XSE8grhy_8g

Carrie Morales
Website: LiveAccessible.Com
YouTube: Live Accessible
Instagram: @LiveAccessible
Twitter: @LiveAccessible
Email: carrie@liveaccessible.com

*Picture Description: Text reads Live accessible: blindness or Low Vision does not define or limit you on a blue background

iPadOS 13 Features: What’s New for iPad, iPad Pro and iPad Air by Khamosh Pathak

iPadOS 13 Features: What’s New for iPad, iPad Pro and iPad Air

Author: Khamosh Pathak

Date Written: Jun 3, 2019 at 5:00 PM

Date Saved: 6/4/19, 9:32 AM

Source: http://www.iphonehacks.com/2019/06/ipados-13-features-whats-new.html

 

Apple is finally taking the iPad seriously. And their way of showing it is a whole new OS specially designed for the iPad. And they’re calling it iPadOS. While iPadOS shares a lot of features with iOS 13, it adds many iPad specific features for enhances multitasking, file management, Apple Pencil use, and pro app usage. Here are all the new iPadOS 13 features you should care about.

iPadOS 13 Features: Everything That’s New 1. Dark Mode

 

iOS 13’s new Dark Mode is also available on iPadOS 13. It is system-wide. It extends from the Lock screen, Home screen, to stock apps. Apple has even integrated dynamic wallpapers that change when you switch to dark mode.

Dark Mode can be enabled from the Brightness slider and it can be scheduled to automatically turn on after sunset.

  1. Multiple Apps in Slide Over

 

iPadOS 13 features a bit multitasking overhaul. And it starts with Slide Over. Now, you can have multiple apps in the same window in Slide Over. Once you’ve got one floating window, you can drag in an app from the Dock to add more windows to it. Once more than one app is added to Split View, you’ll see an iPhone style Home bar at the bottom. Swipe horizontally on it to switch between apps just in the Slide Over panel. Swipe up to see all apps in Slide Over.

  1. Same App in Multiple Spaces

The next big thing is the fact that you can have multiple instances of the same app in multiple spaces. This means that you can pair Safari with Google Docs on one Space, Safari and Safari in another space and have Safari and Twitter open in yet another space.

And this works using drag and drop. You can just pick a Safari tab from the toolbar and drag it to the right edge of the screen to create another instance of the app.

  1. App Expose Comes to iPad

App Expose on iPad answers the question, how do you keep track of the same app across multiple spaces? Just tap on the app icon that’s already open and it will open App Expose. It will list all instances of the open app. You can tap on a space to switch to it or swipe up to quit the space.

  1. New Tighter App Grid on Home Screen

Apple has also tweaked the iPad Home screen grid so that you now have a row of 6 icons on the 11 inch iPad Pro.

  1. Pin Today Widgets on Home Screen

If you swipe in from the left edge of the Home screen, you’ll find that the Today View widgets will be docked to the left edge. And you can see and use all your widgets easily. But you can also pit it so that it’s always available (from the Edit menu).

  1. Favorite Widgets for Home Screen

You can also pin your favorite widgets to the top so that they are always accessible.

  1. 30% Faster Face ID Unlocking

The new iPad Pros with Face ID now unlock up to 30% faster when running iPadOS 13.

  1. New Reminders App

The new Reminders app is also available on the iPad and it looks gorgeous. The sidebar has the four filters at the top, and your lists below. You can quickly tap on a list, see all reminders and create new ones. New reminders can be created using natural language input.

  1. Real Automation in Shortcuts App

There’s a new Automations tab that brings real-world automation to the iPad. Shortcuts can now be triggered automatically based on time, location and even by using NFC tags.

  1. Improved Photos App

Photos app brings an improved browsing experience. There’s a new Photos tab that is a list of all your photos. You can pinch in and out to zoom. From the top, you can switch to the Days tab to only show the best photos from a given day. The same goes for the Months tab as well.

  1. New Photo Editor

There’s a new photo editor in the Photos app. Just tap on the Edit button to access it. The new UI is much more visual and easier to use. All the standard tools are available, along with new tools for editing Brilliance, Highlights, Shadows, Saturation and more. There’s also a very good auto-enhance mode.

  1. New Video Editor

The new Video editor is also quite good. You can quickly crop videos, change the aspect ratio, rotate videos and more..

  1. Access Apple Pencil Tool Palette Anywhere Apple is integrating the Apple Pencil deeply into iPadOS. The new Pencil Tool Pallete will be available in more apps. And it can be minimized and moved around easily.
  2. Reduced Apple Pencil Latency

Apple Pencil is even faster with iOS 13. The latency has been reduced from 20ms to just 9ms.

  1. Full Page Markup Anywhere

You can swipe in from the bottom corner of the screen using the Apple Pencil to take a screenshot and to start annotating it. You’ll also see an option to take full page screenshot in the right side.

  1. Scroll Bar Scrubbing

You can grab the scroll bar from the right in any app and quickly move it up or down to jump to the particular part.

  1. Use your iPad As Second Mac Display

Apple’s new Sidecar feature will let you use the iPad as a secondary display for a Mac that’s running macOS Catalina. It will work both wirelessly and using a wired connection. It’s quite fast and there’s no latency.

  1. Use Your iPad As a Mac Tablet with Apple Pencil If you have an Apple Pencil, you can use the attached iPad as a drawing tablet for your Mac.
  2. Easily Move The Cursor Around

Apple is also taking text selection seriously. You can now just tap and hold on the cursor to pick it up and instantly move it around.

  1. Quickly Select Block of Text

Text selection is way easier now. Just tap on a word and instantly swipe to where you want to select, like the end of the paragraph. iPadOS will select all the text in between the two points.

  1. New Gestures for Copy, Paste, and Undo Once the text is selected, you can use gestures to copy it. Just pinch in with three fingers to copy, pinch out with three fingers to paste and swipe back with three fingers to undo typing or action.
  2. Peek Controls

There’s no 3D Touch on iPad looks like there’s no need for it. You can tap and hold on app icons and links to see the preview and actionable items. This works very well in apps like Safari.

  1. New Compact Floating Keyboard

You can detach the keyboard in iPadOS 13. It turns into a floating window, with a compact view that can be moved around anywhere.

  1. Gesture-Based Typing on the Compact Keyboard You can type on the iPad’s software keyboard using gestures. Just glide your finger on the keys instead of typing on them. It’s similar to SwiftKey.
  2. New Start Page and UI for Safari

Safari gets a slightly refreshed UI and a more feature-rich Start page. You’ll now see Siri suggestions for websites and pages in the bottom half. Plus, there’s a new settings screen where you can increase or decrease the font size of the text (without zooming into the page itself).

  1. Desktop Class Browsing in Safari

Safari automatically presents a website’s desktop version for iPad. Touch input maps correctly when a website expects mouse or trackpad input. Website scaling takes advantage of the large iPad screen, so you’ll see websites at their optimal size. And scrolling within web pages is faster and more fluid.

  1. Full Safari Toolbar in Split View

Now, even when you’re in Split View, you’ll see the full tab toolbar. This makes it easier to switch between tabs and perform actions.

  1. Open Three Safari Web Pages At The Same Time Thanks to the new multitasking features, you can basically have three Safari tabs open together at the same time. First, take a tab and put it into Split View. Next, take a tab and put it in Slide Over!
  2. Safari Gets a Full Fledged Download Manager Safari gets a download manager on both the iPhone and iPad. When you visit a link that can be downloaded, you’ll see a popup asking if you want to Download the file. Then, a new Download icon will appear in the toolbar. Tap on it to monitor all your downloads.

Once the download is finished, you’ll find it in the Downloads folder in the Files app, It will be stored locally.

  1. New Super-Charged Share Sheet

Share sheet gets quite a bit overhaul. On the top is a new smart sharing option with AirDrop and contact suggestions. The whole actions section has been redesigned and it’s now a vertical list of actions. All available actions for the app are listed here in a long list. There’s no need to enable or disable action anymore.

  1. Create Memoji on Any iPad

You can now create multiple Memojis on any iPad with an A9 processor and higher. Memoji creation is also much better now.

  1. Share Memoji Stickers From iPad

Once you create a Memoji, Apple will automatically create a sticker pack for you. It will be accessed in the iMessages app and in the native keyboard so you can share the sticker using any messaging app.

  1. Desktop Class Text Formatting Tools for Mail App Mail app has a new formatting bar. You can change the font, font size, indentation and lot more.
  2. New Gallery View in Notes App

Notes has a new Gallery view which shows all photos, documents and attachments at a glance.

  1. Audio Sharing with AirPods

When two AirPods are active, you can now send a single stream of audio to both of them.

  1. Manage Fonts Easily on iPad

iPadOS 13 will let you download and install fonts from the App Store. And you’ll be able to manage them from Settings. Once added, a font will be available across all supported apps.

  1. A New Detailed Column View for Files App Files app has a new detailed column view, similar to the Finder app. It will help users quickly drill down into a complex nested folder structure.
  2. Quick Actions

When you’re in the column view and you select a file, you’ll see quick actions for it right there below the preview. You can convert an image to a PDF, unzip files and more.

  1. New Downloads Folder

There’s finally a designated Downloads folder in the Files app. Safari and Mail apps use this for now. But I hope third-party apps will be able to use it as well.

  1. Create Local Storage Folders

One of the biggest annoyances of the Files app has been fixed. You can now create folders for the local storage on the iPad. There’s no need to use iCloud Drive every time. Apps will be able to use these folders as well.

  1. Zip and Unzip Files

Files app will help you quickly unzip and zip files.

  1. Easily Share iCloud Drive Folder With Anyone You can easily share iCloud Drive folder with any user from the Files app. This will ease the collaboration process for iPad Pro users.
  2. Add File Servers to Files App

You can also add remote file servers to the Files app.

  1. Connect External Hard Drive, SD Card Reader or USB Drive to iPad You can finally connect any USB external drive to the iPad Pro using the USB-C port. And now it will show up as a USB drive in the sidebar. It will work just how it works on the Mac. You’ll be able to access all files, copy files over, move files and even save files from apps directly to the external drive.
  2. Mouse Support Using Accessibility

There’s official support for an external mouse on the iPad. But it’s accessibility support. Basically, the cursor is imitating a touch point. You can add a Bluetooth mouse from settings. A wired USB-C mouse will work as well.

  1. Unintrusive Volume HUD

Volume HUD now shows up at the top status bar, in a small pill-shaped slider.

  1. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Selection from Control Center If you tap and hold the Wi-Fi or Bluetooth toggle you’ll be able to switch between networks right from Control Center now.
  2. iOS 13 Features in iPadOS 13

There’s a lot more to iPadOS 13. The smaller features from iOS 13 have been carried over to the iPadOS as well. Features like:

  • Improved Siri voice
  • Voice Control
  • Newer Accessibility options
  • Low Data mode for Wi-Fi networks

We’ve outlined these features in detail in our iOS 13 roundup so take a look at that list to learn more.

Your Favorite iPadOS 13 Features?

What are some of your favorite new features in iPadOS 13? What did we miss out featuring on this list? Share with us in the comments below.

 

 

Yes, Alexa, Siri, and Google are listening — 6 ways to stop devices from recording you by Janet Perez, Komando.com

Yes, Alexa, Siri, and Google are listening — 6 ways to stop devices from recording you

komando.com

 

Yes, Alexa, Siri, and Google are listening — 6 ways to stop devices from recording you

Janet Perez, Komando.com

Full text of the article follows this URL:

 

Seems like we owe the tinfoil hat club a big apology. Yes, there are eyes and ears everywhere in just about any large city in the world. Here in the good,

old U-S-of-A, our smartphones, tablets, computers, cars, voice assistants and cameras are watching and listening to you.

 

We don’t know what is more troubling — that these devices keep track of us or that we shrug our shoulders and say, “Oh well?” That attitude of surrender

may stem from an overwhelming sense of helplessness. ”

Technology is everywhere.

Why fight it?”

 

Truth is, it’s not a fight. It’s a series of tap-or-click settings, which we’ll walk you through.

 

You can take control of what your devices hear and record, and it’s not that hard. We have 6 ways to help you turn off and tune out Alexa, Siri, and Google,

as well as smartphones, third-party apps, tablets, and computers.

 

How to stop Alexa from listening to you

 

Weeks after the public discovered that Alexa, and by extension Echo devices

are always listening,

Amazon announced a

new Alexa feature that’s already available.

It allows you to command the voice assistant to delete recent commands. Just say, “Alexa, delete everything I said today.”

 

Sounds great, but there’s still the problems of Alexa always listening and your old recordings. Let’s tackle the old recordings first. Unless the delete

command is expanded to include all recordings, you still have to remove old files manually. Here’s what to do:

 

list of 4 items

  1. Open the Alexa app and go into the “Settings” section.
  2. Select “History” and you’ll see a list of all the entries.
  3. Select an entry and tap the Delete button.
  4. If you want to delete all the recordings with a single click, you must visit the “Manage Your Content and Devices” page at amazon.com/mycd.

list end

 

As for Alexa and Echo devices always listening, well you could turn off each of the devices, but then what’s the point of having them? The real issue is

that we discovered Amazon employees around the world are listening to us and making transcriptions.

 

Here’s how to stop that:

 

list of 7 items

  1. Open the Alexa app on your phone.
  2. Tap the menu button on the top left of the screen.
  3. Select “Settings” then “Alexa Account.”
  4. Choose “Alexa Privacy.”
  5. Select “Manage how your data improves Alexa.”
  6. Turn off the toggle next to “Help Develop New Features.”
  7. Turn off the toggle next to your name under “Use Messages to Improve Transcriptions.”

list end

 

For extra privacy, there’s also a way to mute the Echo’s mics. To turn the Echo’s mic off, press the microphone’s off/on button at the top of the device.

Whenever this button is red, the mic is off. To reactivate it, just press the button again and it will turn blue.

 

How to stop Siri from recording what you say

 

Alexa isn’t the only nosey assistant. Don’t forget the ones on your iPhones and Androids. On your iPhone,

“Hey Siri” is always on

waiting to receive your command to call someone or send a text message, etc. Apple says your iPhone’s mic is always on as it waits for the “Hey Siri”

command, but swears it is not recording.

 

If it still makes you nervous, you don’t have to disable Siri completely to stop the “Hey Siri” feature. On your iPhone, go to Settings >> Siri & Search >>

toggle off “Listen for Hey Siri.”

 

Note: “Hey Siri” only works for iPhone 6s or later. iPhone 6 or earlier has to be plugged in for the “Hey Siri” wake phrase to work.

 

How to delete your recordings from Google Assistant

 

Google Assistant has the

“OK Google” wake-up call,

but the company introduced the My Account tool that lets you access your recordings and delete them if you want. You can also tell Google to stop recording

your voice for good.

 

Here’s how to turn off the “OK Google” wake phrase: On Android, go to Settings >> Google >> Search & Now >> Voice and turn “Ok Google” detection off.

 

How to control third-party apps that record you

 

Even if you do all these steps for your Apple and Android devices, third-party apps you download could have their own listening feature. Case in point:

Facebook (although it denies it. But it’s still a good practice to check to see if third-party apps are listening).

 

Here’s how to stop Facebook from listening to you:

 

If you are an iPhone user, go to Settings >> Facebook >> slide the toggle next to Microphone to the left so it turns from green to white.

 

Or, you can go to Settings >> Privacy >> Microphone >> look for Facebook and slide the toggle next to it to the left to turn off the mic. You can toggle

the mic on and off for other apps this way, too.

 

For Android users go to Settings >> Applications >> Application Manager >> look for Facebook >> Permissions >> turn off the mic.

 

Tricks to disable screen recorders on tablets

 

Certain Apple iPads have the phone’s “Hey Siri” wake-up command feature. They are the 2nd-gen 12.9-inch iPad Pro and the 9.7-inch iPad Pro. Other iPad

and iPad Touch models have to be plugged in for the “Hey Siri” wake phrase to work.

 

The bad news for privacy seekers is that iPads come with a screen recording feature that also records audio.  It may pose issues in terms of both privacy

and security.

 

You can disable the screen recording feature through another feature, “Screen Time”:

 

list of 4 items

  1. Open the Settings app, and then tap Screen Time. On the Screen Time panel, tap “Content & Privacy Settings.”
  2. Tap “Content Restrictions.” If you don’t see this option, turn on the switch next to “Content & Privacy Restrictions” to unhide it.
  3. Under “Game Center,” tap “Screen Recording.”
  4. Tap “Don’t Allow” and then exit the Settings app. The screen recording control should no longer work, even if it is enabled within the Control Center.

list end

 

Screen Time is available in iOS 12 and above. If you are still using iOS 11 or iOS 10 on your iPhone or iPad, the above steps can be found under Settings

>> General >> Restrictions.

 

Android tablets also can record video and audio. However, you have to use a third-party app to disable the camera.

 

On your Android device, go to the Play Store, then download and install the app called “Cameraless.”

 

list of 5 items

  1. Once installed, launch the app from your app drawer.
  2. On the app’s main menu, tap the option for “Camera Manager On/Off.” By default, the camera manager is set to “Off,” so you need to enable the app first

as one of your device administrators before you can switch it “On.”

  1. Once your camera manager is “On,” just tap the option for “Disable camera” then wait until the notice disappears on your screen.
  2. Once you’re done, just close the app then go to your tablet’s camera icon.
  3. If successfully disabled, you’ll immediately get a notice that your device camera has been disabled due to security policy violations. This is the notice

that you’ll get from the “Cameraless” app. If you click “OK” you’ll be taken back to your home screen.

list end

 

Desktop and laptops are watching and listening too

Computer monitor and keyboard

 

We’ve been warned for years about hackers taking control of cameras on your computer screen. No need for elaborate instructions on disabling and enabling

the camera. Just slap a sticker on it and only remove it if you have to use Skype. Sometimes the best solutions are the simplest ones.

 

Unfortunately, you do have to root around your computer a bit to turn off mics.

 

For PCs running Windows 10, the process is actually quite painless. Right-click on the “Start Button” and open “Device Manager.” In the “Device Manager”

window, expand the audio inputs and outputs section and you will see your microphone listed as one of the interfaces. Right-click on “Microphone” and select

“Disable.” You’re done.

 

For Macs, there are two methods depending on how old your operating system is. For Macs with newer operating systems:

 

list of 5 items

  1. Launch “System Preferences” from the Apple menu in the upper left corner.
  2. Click on the “Sound” preference panel.
  3. Click on the “Input” tab.
  4. Drag the “Input volume” slider all the way to the left so it can’t pick up any sound.
  5. Close “System Preferences.”

list end

 

If you have an older operating system, use this method:

 

list of 5 items

  1. Launch the “System Preferences.”
  2. Click on “Sound.”
  3. Click on the “Input” tab.
  4. Select “Line-in.”
  5. Close System Preferences

list end

 

Now you know how to take control of your devices and how they listen and record you. It’s a pretty simple way to get your privacy back, at least some of

it.

 

Stop Facebook’s targeted advertising by changing your account settings

 

Let me be frank: I only keep a Facebook account to engage with listeners of my national radio show. I don’t use my personal account. I stepped away from

the social media platform, and I never looked back.

 

Click here to read more about Facebook advertising.

 

Please share this information with everyone. Just click on any of the social media buttons on the side.

 

list of 14 items

  • Fraud/Security/Privacy
  • Alexa
  • Amazon
  • Android
  • Apple
  • Echo
  • Facebook
  • Google
  • iPad
  • Mac
  • PC
  • Privacy
  • Security
  • Siri

list end

 

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Government of Canada investing in teaching digital skills to Canadians who need them most, CNIB Foundation

*Note: This program is only available to British Columbia and Nova Scotia residents.

Government of Canada investing in teaching digital skills to Canadians who need them most

Author:

Date Written: May 20, 2019 at 5:00 PM

Date Saved: 5/28/19, 2:19 PM

Source: https://www.canada.ca/en/innovation-science-economic-development/news/2019/05/government-of-canada-investing-in-teaching-digital-skills-to-canadians-who-need-them-most0.html

News release

Canadians needing fundamental digital skills training to benefit from this investment Digital skills widen Canadians’ access to a world of possibilities. All Canadians should have the necessary skills to get online by using computers, mobile devices and the Internet safely and effectively. That is why the Government is putting in place initiatives to ensure no one is left behind as the world transitions to a digital economy.

Today, the Honourable Joyce Murray, President of the Treasury Board and Minister of Digital Government, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, announced an investment of $1.3 million in the Canadian National Institute for the Blind’s (CNIB) Connecting with Technology initiative. This initiative will deliver fundamental digital literacy skills training to participants in British Columbia and across the country.

CNIB’s Connecting with Technology initiative will be targeted at seniors who are blind or partially sighted. This initiative will reach about 750 participants, providing them with training in digital literacy and offering required assistive technologies.

This investment is being provided through the Digital Literacy Exchange program, a $29.5-million program that supports digital skills training for those known to be most at risk of being left behind by the rapid pace of digital technology adoption: seniors, people with disabilities, newcomers to Canada, Indigenous peoples, low-income Canadians, and individuals living in northern and rural communities.

The program aligns with the Government’s Innovation and Skills Plan, a multi-year strategy to create good jobs and ensure Canadians have the skills to succeed.

End of article.