CCB Open Chat Conference Call, April 6, 2020 at 1:00 PM Eastern Time

Canadian Council of the Blind (CCB)

Weekly Open Chat Zoom Conference Call

 

You’re invited to the CCB’s Open Chat Zoom Conference call meeting, where we will focus on the needs of Canadians who are blind or partially sighted as we all adjust to the “Social Distancing” that will keep us safe from COVID-19.  This call will be 90-minutes in duration and will take place during the day at 1:00 PM Eastern Time every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  The call will take place over the accessible Zoom Conference system, which will allow participants to dial in using their landline phones, smart phones or computers.

 

Theme: Open Chat

 

Date: Monday, April 6, 2020

Time: 1:00 PM Eastern Time or 10:00 AM Pacific Time

 

  • Gerry Chevalier and Albert Ruel will host this meeting, and as we have no topic selected you will be encouraged to discuss whatever is on your mind. Bring your questions, nuggets of brilliance or just listen in and learn from others living in the blind and low vision community. 

 

You can participate by phone or internet from wherever you are:

GTT Program is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Accessibuild Indoor Navigation App

Join Zoom Meeting

https://zoom.us/j/9839595688?pwd=N01yeERXQk4rWnhvNCtHTzZwdXcwQT09

 

Meeting ID: 983 959 5688

Password: 320119

 

Toronto One tap mobile for Smart Phones:

+15873281099,,9839595688#

Toronto: +16473744685

Alberta: +1 587 328 1099

BC: +1 778 907 2071 Canada

Manitoba: +1 204 515 1268

Montreal: +1 438 809 7799

 

For more information, contact:

Kim Kilpatrick, GTT East Coordinator

GTTProgram@Gmail.com

1-877-304-0968 Ext 513

 

Albert Ruel, GTT West Coordinator

albert.GTT@CCBNational.net

1-877-304-0968 Ext 550

 

Brian Bibeault, Volunteer Coordinator:

gtt.northbay@gmail.com

 

CCB Backgrounder:

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

 

CCB National Office

100-20 James Street Ottawa ON  K2P 0T6

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

 

 

CCB-GTT National Conference Call Agenda, AccessiBuild Indoor Navigation App, April 8, 2020 at 7:00 PM Eastern Time

Get Together with Technology (GTT)

National Teleconference Call

 

Sponsored by the Canadian Council of the Blind

 

You’re invited to the CCB’s Wednesday, April 8, 2020 GTT National conference call meeting:

Time: 4:00–5:30 PM Pacific Time, 7:00-8:30 PM Eastern Time

 

Theme: AccessiBuild Indoor Navigation App for iOS and Android

*Note: The meeting invitation is changed and is found below.

 

Hour One:

Accessibuild

Jeff Godfrey And Brian Bibeault will give us a presentation on this app, following which we will take your questions.

Accessibuild is a building navigation system intended to empower all visitors (including the visually-impaired) by helping them navigate indoor environments. To accomplish this, we use building information models (BIM), which can be configured to provide custom experiences and flexibility for users with a variety of needs and abilities.

Jeff Godfrey

Software Development

705-493-8110

jeffg@accessibuild.ca

https://www.linkedin.com/in/jeffgodfrey/

www.accessibuild.ca/

 

Hour Two:

If time allows we will discuss anything else technology related that participants may wish to raise, so bring your ideas, concerns and nuggets of brilliance to share with us.

 

You can participate by phone or internet from wherever you are:

GTT Program is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Accessibuild Indoor Navigation App

Join Zoom Meeting

https://zoom.us/j/9839595688?pwd=N01yeERXQk4rWnhvNCtHTzZwdXcwQT09

 

Meeting ID: 983 959 5688

Password: 320119

 

Toronto One tap mobile for Smart Phones:

+15873281099,,9839595688#

Toronto: +16473744685

Alberta: +1 587 328 1099

BC: +1 778 907 2071 Canada

Manitoba: +1 204 515 1268

Montreal: +1 438 809 7799

 

For more information, contact:

Kim Kilpatrick, GTT East Coordinator

GTTProgram@Gmail.com

1-877-304-0968 Ext 513

 

Albert Ruel, GTT West Coordinator

albert.GTT@CCBNational.net

1-877-304-0968 Ext 550

 

CCB Backgrounder:

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

 

CCB National Office

100-20 James Street Ottawa ON  K2P 0T6

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

 

 

GTT Vancouver Meeting Agenda, Getting Comfortable with Zoom, April 4, 2020 via Zoom Conference ID: 983 959 5688

Get Together with Technology (GTT) Vancouver!

Sponsored by the Canadian Council of the Blind

in partnership with

Blind Beginnings

And

Vancouver Community College

 

April 2020 Theme: Getting Comfortable with Zoom Conference

 

GTT Vancouver:

Date and Time: Saturday, April 4, 2020 from 10AM to 12PM Pacific Time

Where: GTT Zoom Conference Number 9839595688

Note: There is now a BC call-in number for those who are more comfortable with landline telephones.

 

Hour One:

As we all transition to staying at home GTT, VCC and Blind Beginnings will endeavour to keep the Saturday morning GTT Vancouver meeting active and informative.  Monty Lilburn, John Ogilvie and Albert Ruel will offer a few tips on how to connect via Zoom Conference with ease and grace.  Join us as we discuss this vital communications tool for connecting with GTT participants and other like-minded people all over the world.

 

Hour Two:

If time permits, we’ll encourage you all to tell us about your newly found tech nuggets, and your questions about the tech in your pocket, or the tech you wish was in your pocket.

 

Connect with the GTT Zoom Conference Room:

https://zoom.us/j/9839595688

One tap mobile BC: +1-778-907-2071,,9839595688#

One tap mobile Toronto: +16475580588,,9839595688#

Dial by your location, Additional Local Numbers for Canada

GTT Program Meeting ID: 983 959 5688

Alberta: +1 587 328 1099

BC: +1 778 907 2071

Montreal: +1 438 809 7799 Canada

Toronto: +1 647 374 4685

Toronto: +1 647 558 0588

 

For more information contact either Shawn Marsolais or Albert Ruel:

shawn@blindbeginnings.ca or 604-434-7243.

Albert.GTT@CCBNational.net or 250-240-2343

 

What is GTT?

 

An opportunity for individuals who are blind or partially sighted to get together and

  • Share how they are using assistive technology for work, school, and in their daily lives
  • Learn from others who are using different assistive technology
  • Request information on new technology
  • Mentor and support each other

 

You’re invited, and encouraged to circulate this invitation widely to your circle of friends, colleagues and family who have an interest in peer support in the area of assistive technology.

 

For more information about GTT contact:

Shawn Marsolais         Albert Ruel

Shawn@BlindBeginnings.ca         Albert.GTT@CCBNational.net

604-434-7243                       1-877-304-0968 Ext. 550

 

 

Tech-Ease GTT Regina Summary Notes, Facebook, Aira, BeMyEyes and Meet Me In The Cloud, February 29, 2020

Tech-Ease/ Get Together with Technology

Regina Drop-In Meeting

Summary Notes

February 29, 2020

 

Sponsored by Vision Impaired Resource Network (VIRN),

Canadian Council of the Blind (CCB)

And the

Regina Public Library

 

Assistive Technology Peer Support by and for people who are blind/low vision

 

Attendance: Barry, Jerome, Wes, Donna, Sarenia, Blaine D, Michelle, Amber, Patti-Lynn (RPL), Doug (via phone), Camille

 

Regrets: Linda, Blaine R, Anna, Jessica

 

Facebook Groups:

  • Explained Facebook in general
  • Types of status updated, checking in, etc.
  • Explained privacy settings generally
  • Explained pages vs. Groups
  • explained different types of groups
  • Explained public groups and private groups
  • Advantages of FB Groups
    • Nice way to make friends you’ll never meet
    • Nice to have like minded friends

 

HOW TO JOIN FB GROUPS INSTRUCTIONS (THANKS TO MICHELLE)

Joining FB group:

 

Find a Facebook group. Interest you. Type into in the search box.

 

The page will show up and if you keep swiping to the right or scroll down. There will be a “joined group” button where you can press after that is pressed the Box will turn to ” cancel join request”

 

some groups will automatically pop up two or three questions pertaining to the group that they want you to answer before your request is accepted.

Also, on that page you can look at how many posts in a day are put up on that page or how many people are in that page or how many of your friends or in the group. who the moderators or group administrators are.

 

Facebook should notify you when your request to join has been accepted by the group moderator.

 

If you want to leave the group at any time go to the group page the top right-hand corner has will be visual three dots beside the ” search” option. Is a “member tools button”

 

You will be presented with options like following options “share. ”

“Following.” “Notifications.” “Favourites. ”

“Add to home screen.” and “report” just keep swiping to the right until you hear.

” leave group button.” You will be asked if you are sure you want to leave group.

 

When you are approved to a group The General etiquette is to write a short post introducing yourself and the reason why you wanted to join the group in the first place…

 

Once you have joined the group. If you click on the title of the group name you will be presented with the group rules that are always good to read.

 

This will present you with additional information like how long the group has been running. how many members in the group how active the group is how many posts per day.

You can also see options like the group history and whether the group is private, secret, or public.

A public group means everybody can see posts in that group whether you’re a member of the group or not.

 

Private means people can find the group but only members in the group can see individuals’ posts.

 

Secret groups are groups that only members know about the group or know how to find it. Basically, with this group you have to be added by somebody already in the secret group in order to know about it.

 

Every time privacy settings are changed in a group generally group members will be given a notification sound in your regular Facebook notifications.

Members also have the opportunity to add their friends to groups. some groups have the ability for members to approve other members some it’s the moderators only that do the approving.

 

Typically, one of the rules is asking your friends before adding them to groups but interest you to make sure they are interested as well…

That’s just common sense but I thought I’d write it anyways.

 

Here’s how to find all the groups that you’re involved in…

 

Across the top of Facebook, you have “news feed”

“memories” “dating” “notifications” and then the far right-hand side of the screen there is “menu” option.

When you click on that you will have the first option is to view your personal profile. Then if you keep swiping to the right or scroll down you will have options

“Groups”

” memories”

“friends”

“Marketplace” “videos on events”

“Events”

“saved ”

“Nearby friends” “dating”

” gaming”

 

If you click on group you have an option for your groups.

If you are a moderator for any of the groups. They will show up first.

Under group you manage. Then under that will be “other groups.” and then the rest of your groups will show up in a list form.

you can also change these click on “the sort your other groups” button right next to other group button. on the right-hand side to show in alphabetical order. For most recent that you’ve posted to.

Etc. if that makes finding a specific group easier.

 

Moderators also along with you have the ability to shut commenting off on a post if the comments get to negative.

 

You click on your individual post and you have an option for turn commenting off.

 

If you would like to edit your post go to the right-hand side of your original post.

 

The right hand of your post is

” post menu”.

There you can see options like “copy link “ or “edit post”

If you edit the post more than once you can see the edit history which is a recent update with Facebook.

This is also where you can turn commenting off.

there are many different groups depending on your interest there are lots of groups for visually impaired or disability in general.  especially support groups. There are even groups like instant pot users or gardening. Funko Pop figurine groups.  Etc.

 

Aira Updates:

  • Aira equipment includes glasses (2nd generation), tether, controller (which is an Android phone w/ nothing else on it but Aira),  or you can use your phone,  and you can use a Bluetooth headphones
  • You can buddy full plans with Aira and now there’s is a 5 minute free call you can use unlimited
  • Plans: 30 min for $30 USD, 120 minutes for $99 USD, 300 minutes for $299 USD, they got rid of unlimited plan (it was downgraded to 700 minutes plan but only people grandfathered into it retina it)
  • You can fluctuate between the other plans as needs dictate, you can switch in the middle of the month and pay more or less if you go up or down in plans for remainder of the month
  • There are a lot of incentives to the plans – if you are looking for a job they will help you with job related job search tasks for 30 minutes for free added to account
  • If you are a JAWS user and a license holder of it and you call in they will help you with (or team viewer) they don’t charge for this help
  • They will help with quick books if it’s not reading well as well
  • The 5 minutes plan, someone can give someone else a referral code, which is 7 days unlimited access to play with it, the person referring gets 30 free minutes plus bonus minutes if the person buys a plan (referrer gets equal to what referee gets for free)
  • The Aira controller which is the android phone, there is a voice assistant named Chloe, she can help call an agent, check battery, she can check minutes available, etc.
  • Glasses have a connection port on them, in the middle of the glasses on the front is the camera, the camera has a 120 degree or so camera, they have frameless glasses as well if you wear glasses regularly
  • The glasses/controller are an add on for people with more than 30 minutes plans ($600 one time for the glasses/controller or $25 a month)
  • There are no controls on the glasses, only on the phone
  • Cord is a female to female cable connection
  • Glasses can see 5 feet more to each side than with phone camera, also can see further into the distance as it has a good quality camera
  • We did a demo with an agent, he said help with cooking directions, checking mail, described renaissance fair for someone, describe Super Bowl to someone, lots of different things, can call an Uber for you as well
    • Not allowed to help with anything involving nudity
    • Not allowed to comment on specific safety, can give visual info like when walking light is on, but it is up to someone to choose to cross the street

 

AIRA UPDATE (THANKS TO BLAINE & MICHELLE)

Aira discontinuing Horizon glasses and phone end of March 2020..

” Dear Horizon User,

 

The current Horizon Android smartphone no longer accommodates regular Horizon application updates. The current Horizon Android smartphone no longer accommodates regular Horizon application updates so that means our Aira tech team does not have much control to improve the experience. The model of smartphone that supports the Horizon system has been discontinued by Samsung so we must move on and find a new option.

 

As smartphones, like the latest iPhone, have transitioned away from physical buttons, finding a device to support a one-button access interface is a significant challenge. So what does that mean? It means that Aira’s smart glasses hardware solution is not meeting the Aira standard today and furthermore the Explorer experience with Horizon will continue to decline. Simply put, we need to find a new solution that better meets the demands of our Explorer community. With that, and after considerable analysis, I have decided that beginning on April 1, Aira will no longer support calls made from Horizon smart glasses. This change will allow our technical team to refocus on improving the core service. Below is a FAQ section if you want to learn more.

 

So the next question is naturally: If Horizon doesn’t meet the Aira standard, what will? We are aligning our hardware strategy with the mainstream devices that you all already use such as an iPhone, Android Smartphone and some new and emerging platforms. We would appreciate your help by sharing your thoughts on new devices and platforms, products and technologies that we should consider integrating into the Aira Explorer experience. Send them to support@aira.io and Customer Care will gather a list of potential smart glasses or other devices to utilize in our future.

 

Aira was founded on the idea of both creating and leveraging leading technology to bring you the Explorer a modern, useful and one-of-a-kind experience. Our passion for creating the leading experience has never been stronger.

 

Thank you for your continued support of Aira. Aira agents look forward to connecting with you soon.

 

We wouldn’t be here without you,

Troy

CEO of Aira”

 

Be My Eyes:

  • Specialized partners – Companies that can answer questions through the Be My Eyes app specific to their products:
    • Google, Microsoft, ClearBlue, Herbal Essence, P&G, Pantene, National Federation of the Blind, as well as some banks, but as none are Canadian I am not listing them

 

Next Meeting:

March 28 @ 2 pm

Topics: Windows 10 – the good, the bad and the ugly

 

 

ZOOM MEETING INSTRUCTIONS TO JOIN MARCH MEETING IN LIGHT OF COVID-19 PRECAUTIONS:

 

Tech-Ease Drop In/GTT is a go! We are temporarily changing the format, to accommodate social distancing and civic service closures. Below is the information regarding tech-ease for this month, so you can join us from home!

 

Q: What if I don’t have zoom on my cell phone or computer?

A: Just follow the dial in information provided below.

Q: What if I have zoom on my computer?

A: select the link for the meeting posted below, and it will take you to the meeting.

Q: are there a list of shortcuts for zoom on the computer?

A: yes, these instructions will be sent in a following email with subject line of: “Zoom Computer shortcuts”

Q: What is one touch dialing:

A: this allows you to select the phone number and is supposed to automatically dial you into the call on your IOS device to the conference line without the need to enter ID numbers. I am unsure how this works otherwise.

 

Time: Mar 28, 2020 02:00 PM Saskatchewan

Join Zoom Meeting

https://zoom.us/j/2049759341

Meeting ID: 204 975 9341

One tap mobile

Please select one of the following Canadian phone numbers for one tap mobile access

+17789072071,,2049759341#

+14388097799,,2049759341#

Dial by your location

Please select one of the Canadian phone numbers below. Please note, Saskatchewan does not have their designated line. 1(587) is an alberta phone number if you choose to join through these numbers.

+1 778 907 2071 Canada

+1 438 809 7799 Canada

+1 587 328 1099 Canada

+1 647 374 4685 Canada

+1 647 558 0588 Canada

Meeting ID: 204 975 9341

Find your local number: https://zoom.us/u/acqVIt5V1L

 

 

BASIC ZOOM MEETING SHORTCUTS:

Some shortcuts that would be helpful for the Zoom Tech Meetings if you are joining the meeting with your computer and using a keyboard.

 

Alt+V: Start/Stop Video

Alt+A: Mute/unmute audio

Alt+Y: Raise/lower hand

Ctrl+Alt+Shift+H: Show/Hide floating meeting controls

 

 

MORE IN DEPTH ZOOM MEETING INFO CAN BE FOUND AT LINK AT END:

Meet Me Accessibly is a three-hour audiobook, written and narrated by Jonathan Mosen. It takes you from the basics of attending your first Zoom meeting, all the way to content sharing of your video and audio from a computer or iDevice.

 

Just some of the things Jonathan shows you in Meet Me Accessibly include:

 

Attending your first Zoom meeting

 

Working with and configuring the Windows client

 

Working with and configuring the iOS client

 

Creating compelling and effective online meetings of up to 100 participants for discussions or webinars

 

Using Zoom to have a sighted person take control of your computer, even a Mac user can control a Windows PC and vice versa

 

Running visually attractive presentations using PowerPoint, or by sharing the output of any application on your computer

 

Using the high-quality, low-latency audio capabilities of Zoom for one-on-one conversations

 

Holding global Internet and telephone conferences

 

Taking advantage of the exceptional audio for use in a podcast, including creating separate audio files for every participant for use in a multitrack editor such as Amadeus Pro or Reaper

 

Recording meetings and podcast interviews on your iPhone, thanks to the Zoom cloud recording capability

 

Recording top-quality tech demonstrations thanks to the easy-to-use ability for Zoom to capture your computer’s sound

 

Sharing the screen and audio from apps on your iDevice

 

Enabling stereo audio

 

Turning off Zoom’s audio processing for pure, top-quality sound

 

Scheduling meetings

 

Holding instant meetings

 

Using your personal meeting ID

 

As you can see, there’s so much that Zoom can do, you’ll wonder how you lived without it.

 

In Meet Me Accessibly, Jonathan uses JAWS for Windows, the world’s most used screen reader when working with Windows. When discussing Zoom’s mobile offerings, he uses an iPhone running VoiceOver, the screen reader built into all iOS products. But the user interface of Zoom adheres closely to accessibility standards, so even if you use a different platform or screen reader, you should still be able to glean much from the demonstrations and descriptions.

 

Download Meet Me Accessibly free

 

To help any blind person who may need to telecommute during the COVID-19 outbreak, we have made Meet Me Accessibly free to download. You may distribute it for download anywhere, as long as the files are not modified in any way.

 

When you download, you get a zip file with the book divided into 19 MP3 files to make it easy to get to the sections you want. An included M3U playlist allows you to easily play the book from beginning to end. We’ve taken care to number the files sequentially, so the book imports beautifully into Voice Dream Reader on an iDevice.

 

Download Meet Me Accessibly free.

 

https://mosen.org/zoom/

 

Connect with Tech-Ease Regina:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GTTTechEaseRegina/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/techeasesk

Tech-Ease YQR YXE (@techeasesk) | Twitter

twitter.com

The latest Tweets from Tech-Ease YQR YXE (@techeasesk). Are you Visually impaired, Related to someone visually impaired, or an educator of someone visually impaired …

 

Resource: CCB 3-Times Weekly Open House Chat Zoom Calls Expanding to 3-Days Per Week

Canadian Council of the Blind (CCB)

 

CCB Weekly Open House Chat Zoom Calls Expanding!

 

The COVID-19 pandemic means that we all must observe ‘social distancing’ in order to ‘flatten the curve’ and stem the spread of the Coronavirus.  Whether you are distancing or in isolation, there is no need to feel isolated.  Now more than ever, technology allows us to be more ‘connected’ even when we have to spend time apart.

 

CCB 3-Times Weekly Open House Chat :

Building Community among Canada’s blind and low vision population

Starting on March 27, 2020 for 90 minutes each Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM (Eastern), CCB staff and/or volunteers will host a vision loss and blindness related Zoom call to discuss all manner of adjustment to blindness issues that are on your mind.  All calls will be facilitated.

 

These Open Chat format calls are free of charge and will address a variety of needs.  Connect with us through your landline telephone, iDevice, Android device or computer as best suits your interests and abilities.  Here’s how to get connected:

Join the CCB Weekly Open House Chat Zoom Meeting

https://zoom.us/j/9839595688

Meeting ID: 983 959 5688

Toronto One tap mobile for Smart Phones:

+15873281099,,9839595688#

Toronto: +16473744685

Alberta: +1 587 328 1099

BC: +1 778 907 2071 Canada

Manitoba: +1 204 515 1268

Montreal: +1 438 809 7799

 

Contact CCB Staff:

Toll Free: +1-877-304-0968

Kim Kilpatrick, GTT Coordinator, Extension 513 GTTProgram@Gmail.com

Albert Ruel, GTT Coordinator, Extension 550, Albert.GTT@CCBNational.net

David Greene, GTT Trainer, Extension 509 AccessibilityTraining7@Gmail.com

Brian Bibeault, Volunteer Trainer:

GTT.NorthBay@Gmail.com

 

CCB and GTT on Social Media:

GTT Blog: https://GTTProgram.Blog/

CCB National Office: http://CCBNational.net/fresco/

CCB Facebook: https://www.Facebook.com/CCBNational

GTT Facebook Group: https://m.facebook.com/groups/414313508657159?refid=27

GTT Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/GTTatCCB/

Twitter: @GTTWest @GTTProgram @CCBNational

 

 

Announcement from Braille Literacy Canada of upcoming first BLC Braille zoomers call on April 4 2020.

Become a Braille Zoomer: Free Virtual Get-Together
for Adult Braille Learners, Starting April 4th!
Braille Literacy Canada is launching the Braille Zoomers group – a monthly virtual get-together for adult and older adult braille learners. Whether you are in the process of learning braille now or you learned it as an adult at some time in the past, come join us!

Each virtual get-together will be an informal opportunity to share resources, support and ideas for adult braille learners. While there will be a general theme each month, members will determine the direction of the discussion so that we can best support your braille learning journey. If you have specific braille learning or braille usage questions you’d like us to address, you can write to us at info@blc-lbc.ca.

Our first virtual gathering will take place on Saturday, April 4th at 1 PM Eastern (10am Pacific, 11am Mountain/Saskatchewan, 12pm Central, 2pm Atlantic).

To participate, write to info@blc-lbc.ca by Wednesday, April 1st and we will add you to the list. The details on how to join will be sent to you after you register.

We hope to have you there – let’s get the virtual braille fun started!

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

Resource: CCB’s GTT “Zooming” Forward through the current Social Distancing Situation

Canadian Council of the Blind (CCB)

Get Together with Technology (GTT)

 

  GTT Zooming Forward through the current Social Distancing Situation

 

The COVID-19 pandemic means that we all must observe ‘social distancing’ in order to ‘flatten the curve’ and stem the spread of the Coronavirus.  Whether you are distancing or in isolation, there is no need to feel isolated.  Now more than ever, technology allows us to be more ‘connected’ even when we have to spend time apart.

Blindness and low vision sometimes causes the need for additional supports like sighted guides and visual assistance in our homes and communities, which is greatly impacted by the need to “Socially Distance” ourselves.  In such instances it isn’t just the virus that is isolating us, it’s blindness or low vision that is intensifying the situation.

The CCB’s GTT program is making plans to support Canadians who are blind and partially sighted. We will help you to learn how to stay connected while you ensure your personal safety.  If you need assistance with your technology, this will now be provided through one-on-one telephone training sessions and with weekly 90-minute open chat calls, and through the already-available GTTSupport email distribution list, WhatsApp Group, GTTProgram.Blog site and on Facebook. One-on-one telephone coaching sessions can also be facilitated should people need to learn how to download audiobooks from Canada’s accessible Libraries, or to learn how to get sighted assistance through BeMyEyes and Aira services using smart phones and tablets.  See below for booking information.

 Zoom Conferencing One-On-One Tutorial Sessions:

Starting on March 18, 2020 GTT staff and volunteers will be available for one-on-one telephone sessions aimed at assisting those who want to learn how to install and use the very accessible Zoom Conferencing system on iOS devices, Android devices, or PC and Mac computers.  For one-on-one training sessions contact GTT staff and volunteers as per below.

In the meantime, download the app for your device by following the below links to download the Zoom Cloud Meeting app for:

Zoom For Windows Computers;

Zoom for Mac Computers;

Zoom for iOS from the AppStore;

Zoom for Android from the Google Play Store.

 GTT Weekly Open Chat:  Building Community among Canada’s blind and low vision population

Starting on March 18, 2020 for 90 minutes each Wednesday from 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM (Eastern), GTT staff and/or volunteers will host a GTT Zoom call to discuss all manner of assistive technology and adjustment to blindness issues that are on your mind.  These calls are free of charge, and the topics are open, and will address a variety of needs.  Connect with us through your landline telephone, iDevice, Android device or computer as best suits your interests and abilities.  Here’s how to get connected:

Join the GTT Weekly Open Chat Zoom Meeting

https://zoom.us/j/9839595688

Meeting ID: 983 959 5688

Toronto One tap mobile for Smart Phones:

+15873281099,,9839595688#

Toronto: +16473744685

Alberta: +1 587 328 1099

BC: +1 778 907 2071 Canada

Manitoba: +1 204 515 1268

Montreal: +1 438 809 7799

 

 GTT Audiobook Download Tutorial Sessions:

While in-person book clubs may have been cancelled and libraries may have closed, staying at home means that you have more time to catch up on your reading.  Are you struggling to download audiobooks from your favourite Library; has the volunteer who usually does this for you had to self-isolate?  GTT staff and volunteers can help you learn how to download the audiobooks you need into the listening device you own.

 BeMyEyes and Aira for Sighted Assistance:

If you can’t have visits with people in your community and/or your family supports you count on to get those important things done around home or beyond on a daily basis, and if you have a smart phone or tablet, let GTT show you how to connect with sighted volunteers and staff of these two services so they can help.  Contact GTT staff and volunteers for your one-on-one session to learn how to utilize the free BeMyEyes and subscription based Aira services.

Online Shopping:

If you need to do more online grocery and other types of shopping, and your access to such apps and websites is a struggle, contact GTT staff and volunteers and book a time for someone to coach you to learn the app or website that best meets your shopping needs.  Please be sure to let us know the specific store(s) where you want to shop so the right person can be assigned to coach you.

 Podcasts and Streaming:

Are you finding yourself with more time on your hands these days?  Would you like to learn how to stream movies, podcasts and other forms of entertainment?  GTT may be able to help, so contact us and book a time for a telephone or Zoom coaching session.

 

GTTProgram.Blog Site, for all GTT Events and Activities:

On the GTT Program Blog site you will find postings of all the upcoming events and activities we have planned, as well as some useful resources that might help you to stay connected.  Register your email address on this site and all that gets posted there will land seamlessly in your Inbox in an easy to read format.  If you’re not successful at the below steps, ask Albert Ruel to add you by email at:

Albert.GTT@CCBNational.net

To get started, go to:

https://gttprogram.wordpress.com/

Near the bottom of the page find and click on the Follow Link, type your email address and click on the Submit Button.  That will prompt the system to send you a Confirmation email message, and once you have clicked on the Confirm Button within that message you’ll be registered.  Welcome aboard. 

 Book Your One-On-One GTT Training Session Today:

Toll Free: +1-877-304-0968

Kim Kilpatrick, GTT Coordinator, Extension 513 GTTProgram@Gmail.com

Albert Ruel, GTT Coordinator, Extension 550, Albert.GTT@CCBNational.net

David Greene, GTT Trainer, Extension 509 AccessibilityTraining7@Gmail.com

 CCB and GTT on Social Media:

GTT Blog: https://GTTProgram.Blog/

URL: http://CCBNational.net/fresco/

CCB Facebook: https://www.Facebook.com/CCBNational

GTT Facebook Group: https://m.facebook.com/groups/414313508657159?refid=27

GTT Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/GTTatCCB/

Twitter: @GTTWest @GTTProgram @CCBNational

 

 

Canadian Vision Impaired Curling Championship, and White Cane Week 2020

Happy White Cane Week 2020

From

The Canadian Council of the Blind

Get Together with Technology Program

 

February 2 – 8, 2020 marks the week when Canadians celebrate the independence, Courage and community participation afforded by mobility tools like white canes and dog guides.  Please join us in acknowledging the power of independence these mobility devices, strategies and techniques provide.

 

Also, let’s send up a collective cheer to the Vision Impaired Curlers taking to the ice in Ottawa for the 2020 Canadian Vision Impaired Curling Championship.  As Red Green is heard to say, “Keep Your Broom on the Ice”.

 

 

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

Summary Notes

GTT Edmonton Meeting January 13, 2020

 

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

17 people attended.

Reading Tip: These summary notes apply HTML headings to help navigate the document. With screen readers, you may press the H key to jump forward or Shift H to jump backward from heading to heading. Read the Additional Resources section following the meeting notes to learn about our one on one telephone support, the National monthly teleconference, and the support email list.

 

January Topic –Independent Living Skills

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

 

 how to get the bus:

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

 

How to shop:

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

 

How to Cook:

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

 

How to do Laundry:

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

 

Travel:

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

 

House Cleaning:

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

General

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

 

Next Meeting (Monday February 10 at 7pm)

  • Topic is to be announced.
  • As always, for help with technology bring your devices and/or questions to the meeting.

 

Additional Resources

Telephone Support

Contact our GTT coordinators, Kim Kilpatrick in the East or Albert Ruel in the West to book one on one telephone support.

Kim: 877-304-0968 Ext. 513

Email: GTTProgram@Gmail.com

Albert: 877-304-0968 Ext. 550

Email: albert.GTT@CCBNational.net

 

GTT Blog and Monthly Teleconference

CCB sponsors a national GTT monthly teleconference. You may subscribe to the GTT blog to get email notices of teleconferences, meeting notes from GTT chapters, and other information. To subscribe, activate the Follow link at the bottom of the blog web page to enter your email.

GTT Email Support List

CCB also sponsors a GTT email support list to provide help and support with technology for blind and low vision Canadians.  To subscribe to the email list, send an empty email to:

GTTsupport+subscribe@groups.io

 

GTT Edmonton Overview

  • GTT Edmonton is a chapter of the Canadian Council of the Blind (CCB).
  • GTT Edmonton promotes a self-help learning experience by holding monthly meetings to assist participants with assistive technology.
  • Each 2 hour meeting consists of a feature technology topic in the first hour and a general tech discussion in the second hour.

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