Resource: Stuck at home? Let’s Go Shopping

Stuck at home? Let’s Go Shopping! Attend this online event that brings together small businesses and the customers who need them.

Henderson, NV – Laura Legendary, owner of Elegant Insights Braille Creations, has organized an all-day, online accessible experience for seniors and consumers with disabilities called “Let’s Go Shopping!” On
Saturday, April 4th, from 7 AM PT to 7 PM PT, shoppers will be able to call or connect to the Zoom platform to shop for gifts for Easter,
Passover, Mother’s Day, graduations, or any upcoming gift-giving occasion. With millions of people in self-isolation, getting out to
shop is all but impossible for those with limited mobility.

People with disabilities, seniors, and those in rural areas with limited bandwidth or lack of access to help from their children, in-home health
care provider, or personal assistant may find navigating web sites to go shopping online difficult. “People with print or cognitive disabilities
who would normally have access to assistive technology through their workplace, or a care worker who they rely on to accomplish shopping
tasks may now find themselves cut off, thanks to the need to remain at home. As a result, they may find online shopping to be cognitively
burdensome,” says Legendary. “My goal with the Let’s Go Shopping event was two-fold: Not only to give micro businesses a boost, but to bring a
virtual shopping mall to customers,” says Legendary, who is blind. “Besides, we could all use a little retail therapy about now.”

Attendees will access the live online mall using the Zoom Video
Conferencing platform. Zoom has been a lifesaver for students and
parents who need to connect with teachers and colleagues. Zoom enables
users to sign in using a desktop, laptop, smartphone app, or even their
landline telephone. Brent Harbolt, of The Harbolt Company, one of the participating vendors, has donated the Zoom room for the event. “Let’s Go Shopping is an opportunity for me to reach new customers who are
looking for gadgets to make their life a little easier, provide product descriptions, and directly answer people’s questions in real time,” says
Harbolt.

All of the small business owners participating in the “Let’s Go Shopping” event have a disability. Vendors include A T Guys,
PattiandRicky.com, GuideLights and Gadgets Inc., Elegant Insights
Braille Creations, Hartgen Consultancy, and more. Shoppers will be able
to purchase artisan crafted dolls, home fragrance and beauty products, independent living aids, adaptive apparel and accessories, ceramics, and
braille jewelry.

Elegant Insights Braille Creations is a distinctive, handcrafted collection of jewelry and accessories, made in the USA, and embossed in
braille. Founded in 2011 by Laura Legendary, Elegant Insights jewelry is meaningful, unusual, accessible, and inclusive. We bring out the
beauty of braille.

Hartgen Consultancy’s Presentation is at 9 AM Pacific time, 12 PM US Eastern, 5 PM UK.
In addition to giving lots of information about our company and product demonstrations, there will be plenty of time to ask questions. What’s more, we’ll explain how you can be in with a chance of winning the popular JAWS for Windows screen-reader for one year! So if you don’t have JAWS right now, this is a good chance to get it. Come along and find out how!

The full schedule of all vendors is to follow.

Contact: Laura Legendary, Elegant Insights Braille Creations
702-605-1265
l.legendary@elegantinsightsjewelry.com

To attend, use any of the following Zoom links or appropriate phone
numbers for your area:
Join Zoom Meeting from your computer or mobile device with zoom app
installed. (needs meeting ID.)
Meeting ID: 287 180 525
Join Let’s Go Shopping Mall Here.

One tap join from your mobile device. (does not require meeting ID.)

  • +16699006833,,287180525# US (San Jose)
  • +13462487799,,287180525# US (Houston)

Dial by your location on a land line phone. (needs meeting ID.)
Meeting ID: 287 180 525

  • +1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)
  • +1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)
  • +1 929 436 2866 US (New York)
  • +1 253 215 8782 US
  • +1 301 715 8592 US
  • +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)

This is going to be a fantastic and exciting event. So come along to the mall on Saturday and, Let’s Go Shopping! You’ll be glad you did!

 

 

Upcoming events to help with social distancing from Braille Literacy Canada

Dear parents, teachers, braille users, and friends,

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

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

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

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

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

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

Guest Post: Community Advocacy Training, National Dog Guide Coalition and ARCH CRPD-OP

Hi Everyone

We are doing this last push to invite you all to sign up for this exciting free on-line training through ARCH Disability Law Centre. The course is 4 hours one Saturday a month for four months starting last Sat in March. The National Coalition is one of the partners in developing the training with ARCH. The purpose is to develop advocacy skills and a strong knowledge about how implementing the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities can and will impact you locally. Its also about developing relationships and building a network of people to work with. There are video links below this email that will explain more.  
 
What does that mean to you in your day to day and why is it important for you to consider taking this course?

1) Our Human Rights in Canada are based on us, the individual. Not a charity, not a business, not an agency, just us, the individual, we have standing in Human Rights law. 
2) As a result, everything that is being decided on our behalf by Governments Local, Provincial and Federal, including funding to organizations that provide services on our behalf, fundraise on our behalf and sit at the decision making tables, impact us the individual, every day. 
3) Nothing about us, without us, gets lost in translation when those that are invited to sit at the decision making tables are not us. They usually have no constituency in which to get advice and direction from and make sweeping decisions about us without us.    
3) How involved do we want to be in making decisions that impact ourselves and each other on a daily basis? What knowledge do we need and how do we get it?  Why spend 16 hours of my life over 4 months to take this course? 
4) One example of why this is important, is when a simple process of developing training methods and standards for PTS Dogs for Veterans, was highjacked. 
5) From early 2015 to April of 2017, two years of secret meetings and development by many unelected, non representative groups of people with no connection to us, developed standards that if adopted by the Federal Government, would have taken away our individual rights to choose and decide where we go to get our dogs and create a mandatory National Registry.    
6) This National Registry of us under a certification model included people we don’t know inspecting our homes, going through our financials and taking our dogs away from us to test them. Then they would decide if they would certify our dogs and they would be allowed to work with us in Canada. Thinking back it is as ridiculous sounding as it was almost three years ago. But it happened and the Federal Government funded it. This was the misplaced thinking of people at the decision table secretly deciding what was best for us. .
7) That is when our Coalition began. We said no and through all of your hard fought advocacy, shut it all down by March 2018. 
8) Unfortunately the almost half a million dollars that was spent, failed to produce any training methods and standards for PTS dogs for Veterans. That is what happens when people sit at tables without being responsible back to the people whom decisions impact and move their own agenda’s.    
9) This is brewing to start up again, standards accreditation and certification Federally. The same people who started working on that standards fiasco mess since 2009 and almost pulled it off in 2017, are still committed to having it happen and we are constantly responding to their push to do it all over again.
10) why take this training? Because we need more of us to have the knowledge, capacity and skills to continue to protect our hard earned rights and push back when decisions are being made that are eroding them. The more understanding each of us have, we can catch the game way ahead of 2 years of development and stop it before it starts. That is why many of us worked with ARCH to develop this training and to continue with more.    

As people who have already gone through round one of the standards debacle, I encourage you all to consider learning and preparing for no doubt another round that is coming our way in the next year, not to mention the provincial issues we are already dealing with. Understanding the legal protections of our Rights in the Convention will allow us, individually and together to articulate why these types of ideas are backwards thinking and do not promote a rights based one. We need to be able to argue from a position of strength and knowledge and we all deserve to have that knowledge. 

Thanks everyone. The videos and further information are next with the information in French following.

Yvonne Peters 
Heather Walkus,
National Coalition of People who use Guide and Service Dogs in Canada 
email: info@hooh.ca 
Phone: 250-499-0780     

Hands Off Our Harnesses, Hands Off Our Hounds   H.O.O.H

From: ARCH Staff 1 <archsta1@lao.on.ca>

Hi Heather!
I hope you are doing well.
 
As promised, I’m writing to let you know that we have the course dates confirmed.
 
OP Lab for OP Champions
·        March 28, 12-4 PM (EST)
·        April 25, 12-4 PM (EST)
·        May 30, 12-4 PM (EST)
·        June 27, 12-4 PM (EST)
 
OP Lab for Legal Experts
·        April 21, 2-4 PM (EST)
·        May 19, 2-4 PM (EST)
·        June 16, 2-4 PM (EST)
 
Joint Meeting for OP Champions and OP Legal Experts
·        September 15, 1-2 PM (EST)
 
We will be accepting applications until Friday, February 14, 2020, at 5:00 PM (EST). The information has been updated in our website:www.archdisabilitylaw.ca/initiatives/advancing-the-un-crpd/op-lab
 
Please share this as widely as possible, and as always let me know if you have any questions.
 
Thank you and have a great day,
 
Mariana Versiani
Communications and Outreach Coordinator
OP Lab Project Coordinator
 
416-482-8255, extension 2221
 
http://www.archdisabilitylaw.ca
 
Facebook @ARCHDisabilityLawCentre
Twitter @ARCHDisability
 
Please consider the environment before printing this email.
 

As a reminder, here’s the promotional information for the project:
 
1.   All information about ARCH’s initiative on the CRPD, and the OP Lab: https://archdisabilitylaw.ca/initiatives/advancing-the-un-crpd/op-lab/
 
2.   People who want to participate in the OP Lab will need to submit anapplication here: https://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/5281955/OP-LAB-Application-Form
 
3.   See attached a one-pager about the OP Lab, in English and in French.
 
4.   Primer video about the CRPD, the Optional Protocol and the OP Lab: www.youtube.com/channel/UCBwozUKpvREOrGGzpMHTXCw
 
5.   Factsheet about the CRPD and the Optional Protocol:https://archdisabilitylaw.ca/resource/factsheet-the-crpd-and-the-optional-protocol/
 
6.   ARCH Alert article about the OP Lab: https://archdisabilitylaw.ca/resources/arch-alerts/
 
All of these were shared through ARCH’s social media:
·        Facebook@ARCHdisabilityLawCentre
·        Twitter @archdisabilitylaw
·        OP LAB activities, including networking, will be encouraged on social media through #OPlab.
 
Here are the links in French:
·        Website/application form:https://archdisabilitylaw.ca/fr/la-mise-en-oeuvre-de-la-cdph-des-nations-unies/op-lab-apprendre-partager-agir/
·        Youtube video primer:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kQSU5WwWZdU&t=12s
·        Factsheet:https://archdisabilitylaw.ca/fr/resource/fiche-dinformation-la-cdph-et-le-protocole-facultatif/
·        ARCH Alert article:https://archdisabilitylaw.ca/arch_alert/arch-alert-volume-20-issue-4/#lancement-op-lab
 
Thank you again,
 
Mariana Versiani
Communications and Outreach Coordinator
OP Lab Project Coordinator
 
416-482-8255, extension 2221
 
http://www.archdisabilitylaw.ca
 
Facebook @ARCHDisabilityLawCentre
Twitter @ARCHDisability
 
Please consider the environment before printing this email.
 
Demain nous lancerons l’OP Lab: apprendre, partager, agir!, dans le cadre des célébrations de la Journée internationale des personnes handicapées.
 
Aidez-nous à promouvoir ce projet dans vos réseaux et médias sociaux!
 
Le lancement comprendra :
·        un courriel que nous enverrons demain avec des informations sur l’OP Lab
·        une vidéo sur la CDPH, le Protocole facultatif et l’OP Lab dans la chaîne YouTube d’ARCH :www.youtube.com/channel/UCBwozUKpvREOrGGzpMHTXCw
·        un article sur l’OP Lab dans l’ARCH Alerte du 3 décembre : https://archdisabilitylaw.ca/resources/arch-alerts/
·        une Fiche d’information sur la CDPH et le Protocole facultatif :https://archdisabilitylaw.ca/fr/resource/fiche-dinformation-la-cdph-et-le-protocole-facultatif/
 
Ceux-ci seront tous partagés demain via les médias sociaux d’ARCH :
·        Facebook @ARCHdisabilityLawCentre
·        Twitter @archdisabilitylaw
 
Toutes les activités d’OP Lab, notamment le réseautage, seront encouragées sur les médias sociaux à travers#OPlab.
 
Les personnes souhaitant participer à l’OP LAB doivent s’inscrire et nous souhaitons encourager autant de personnes que possible à s’inscrire. Vous trouverez le lien vers le formulaire d’inscription sur le site Web d’ARCH: www.archdisabilitylaw.ca/fr  
 
Cordialement,
 
 
Mariana Versiani
Communications and Outreach Coordinator
 
<image001.png>
1. ARCH Disability Law Centre
http://www.archdisabilitylaw.ca
 
55 University Avenue, 15th floor
Toronto, ON, M5J 2H7
 
Tel:   416-482-8255 or 1-866-482-2724 (extension 2221)
TTY: 416-482-1254 or 1-866-482-2728
Fax:  416-482-2981 or 1-866-881-2723
 
Facebook @ARCHDisabilityLawCentre
Twitter @ARCHDisability
 
ARCH’s office is physically accessible.  ARCH is a scent-free environment. We try our best to keep our office and events free of scents and fragrances.  These may cause health problems for staff and visitors. We ask for your cooperation by not wearing perfumes, aftershave, lotions or any other scented products when visiting us.
 
The information contained in this email may be legally privileged and confidential.  If you are not the intended recipient, any disclosure, copying or distribution of this material is strictly prohibited.  If you have received this email in error, please immediately destroy this message and kindly notify our office. 
 
Please consider the environment before printing this email.
 

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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