GTT Campbell River Meeting Invitation, Be My Eyes and Aira Sighted Assistants, October 18, 2018

Canadian Council of the Blind (CCB)

 

Get Together With Technology (GTT) Campbell River

 

You are invited to the October 2018 gathering of the Campbell River GTT group, a group dedicated to the learning and sharing of information about assistive technology useful for those living with low vision, blindness or deaf-blindness.

 

Theme: Be My Eyes vs Aira Smart Glasses for Sighted Assistance

Date: Thursday, October 18, 2018

Time: 1:30-4:30 p.m.

Place: Campbell River Public Library (VIRL)

1240 Shopper’s Row, Campbell River V9W 2C8

 

First Hour:

Albert Ruel will demonstrate the Be My Eyes app for smart phones and tablets, as well as the Aira Smart Glasses for smart Phones.  These two apps provide sighted people at the other end of your device’s camera to guide and assist you in daily tasks and activities.  In the case of Be My Eyes, the assistant is a volunteer, and Aira Agents are paid trained staff who provide the help and guidance the user might request.

Second Hour:

The Duncan FIRL Branch has given GTT a shopping bag full of used audio books on CD they’ve taken off their shelves that we’re to distribute to anyone who wants them.  Come out to see if any of these books are on your reading list and we’ll be happy to donate them to you.  Also, we will follow-up with any access to information questions people have that are related to talking books ETC.  Of course, we will also chat about any other assistive technology participants might bring up.  Tell us about the things you’ve discovered, or the issues you’re having with access to daily living and/or reading needs.

 

For more information:

Kelvin Adams @ 250-895-9835 or Albert Ruel at 250-240-2343

 

CCB Backgrounder:

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

 

CCB National Office

100-20 James Street Ottawa ON  K2P 0T6

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

 

 

GTT Duncan Meeting Invitation, General Discussion about Vision Loss and Adjustment, October 11, 2018

Get Together with Technology (GTT) Duncan

 

An Initiative of the Canadian Council of the Blind,

in Partnership with the

Vancouver Island Regional Library, N. Cowichan Branch

 

Theme: General Discussion about Vision Loss and Adjustment

Date:  October 11, 2018

Time:  4:00 PM to 6:00 PM

Where: Vancouver Island Regional Library, N. Cowichan Branch

2687 James Street Duncan BC

 

First Hour:

David Diamond and Michelle Creedy will lead a discussion about vision loss and how folks are doing in their own journey, and what adjustments they find most difficult to manage.  Bring your questions, suggestions and strategies to share with everyone.

Second Hour:

The Library is still holding several audio books free for the taking, so bring along a shopping bag with which to take books home.  Also, bring those assistive gadgets you’re having trouble with and we’ll see if others in the group can assist in learning how to best use them.

 

For More Information:

Contact Albert Ruel at 250-240-2343, or by email at Albert.GTT@CCBNational.net

 

CCB Backgrounder:

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

GTT Edmonton Meeting Agenda, Blue Sky TV plus iPhone Training, October 15, 2018

 

Get Together With Technology (GTT)

A Chapter of the Canadian Council of the Blind

 

You are invited!  Blind and low vision GTT participants meet monthly to learn about and share their experiences using assistive technologies in their daily lives at home, school, or at work.

 

Agenda for the Next Edmonton GTT Meeting:

  • Date: Monday October 15, 7pm to 9pm.
  • Location: Ascension Lutheran Church 8405 – 83 Street NW, Edmonton. You must enter from the back door. If you arrive late the door may be locked. Please ring the bell to the right of the door.

Note: 84 avenue access from 83 street is blocked. Vehicles should come to the 84 Avenue back door via 81 street from 82 Avenue. ETS riders should stop at 83 street and 86 avenue and then walk south to 84 Avenue and then cross 83 street where there is a pedestrian activated light.

 

Theme: Blue Sky TV plus iPhone Training

  • Russell will discuss his new Shaw Blue Sky digital TV service from Shaw which allows a blind person to independently record TV programs, access a talking TV program directory and even give voice commands to his Shaw remote control to switch to specific channels or find specific programs.
  • We will then have general discussion and offer iPhone training.

 

Who Should Attend?

Any blind or low vision person who is interested in learning how assistive technologies can help them lead more independent lives.

 

For More Information contact:

GTT.Edmonton@gmail.com or 780.990.8448

GTT Edmonton Meeting Invitation, BlueSky TV Plus iPhone Training, October 15, 2018

 

Get Together With Technology (GTT)

A Chapter of the Canadian Council of the Blind

 

You are invited!  Blind and low vision GTT participants meet monthly to learn about and share their experiences using assistive technologies in their daily lives at home, school, or at work.

 

Agenda for the Next Edmonton GTT Meeting:

  • Date: Monday October 15, 7pm to 9pm.
  • Location: Ascension Lutheran Church 8405 – 83 Street NW, Edmonton. You must enter from the back door. If you arrive late the door may be locked. Please ring the bell to the right of the door.

Note: 84 avenue access from 83 street is blocked. Vehicles should come to the 84 Avenue back door via 81 street from 82 Avenue. ETS riders should stop at 83 street and 86 avenue and then walk south to 84 Avenue and then cross 83 street where there is a pedestrian activated light.

 

Theme: Blue Sky TV plus iPhone Training

  • Russell will discuss his new Shaw Blue Sky digital TV service from Shaw which allows a blind person to independently record TV programs, access a talking TV program directory and even give voice commands to his Shaw remote control to switch to specific channels or find specific programs.
  • We will then have general discussion and offer iPhone training.

 

Who Should Attend?

Any blind or low vision person who is interested in learning how assistive technologies can help them lead more independent lives.

 

For More Information contact:

GTT.Edmonton@gmail.com or 780.990.8448

GTT Vancouver and New Westminster Meeting Invitations, TBA, October 13 and 23, 2018

Get Together With Technology (GTT) New Westminster/Vancouver!

Sponsored by the Canadian Council of the Blind

in partnership with

Blind Beginnings

And

Vancouver Community College

 

October 2018 Theme:

During the October 13th and 23rd meetings, which are in gboth cases a week later then expected due to the Thanksgiving Weekend and a schedule conflict respectively, we will present topics yet to be determined.  As soon as we establish said topics we will share through our normal communications channels.

GTT Vancouver:

Date and Time: Saturday, October 13, 2018 from 10AM to 12Noon

*Note: Meetings are usually on the 1st Saturday, however due to the Thanksgiving weekend we’ve moved it back a week. 

Where: Vancouver Community College, Broadway campus – Room 2501 Building A 1155 East Broadway

 

GTT New Westminster:

Date & Time: Wednesday, October 23, 2018

Where: Blind Beginnings Office, 227 6th Street, New Westminster

*Note: Meetings are usually on the third Tuesday, however due to scheduling issues no one will be available to open the room for GTT, so we’ve moved it back a week and a day to the forth Wednesday. 

 

Who Should Attend?

  • People who would like to know what is possible to do with assistive tech;
  • People who want to know how to fully participate in community life with the use of assistive tech;
  • People who want to know how to use the assistive tech they already own;
  • People who want to know how to choose the right piece of tech to accomplish their participation goals;
  • People interested in determining what other accessible devices exist they may not already know about;
  • People who want peer assistance with other assistive technology.

 

Hour one:

The topics for both GTT Vancouver meetings are to be announced, so save the dates and plan to bring us your questions, comments and nuggets to share with the group.

 

Hour two:

The second half of the meeting will include an opportunity to seek tech advice from those with more knowledge.  Please bring the device you want assistance with.

 

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

 

GTT Toronto Meeting Invitation, Smart TVs and a visit from Kim Kilpatrick, October 18, 2018

GTT Toronto Adaptive Technology User Group

October 18, 2018

 

An Initiative of the Canadian Council of the Blind

In Partnership with the CNIB Foundation

 

*Note: 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.

 

Hey Everyone, You’re Invited!

 

Theme: Smart TVs and a visit from Kim Kilpatrick

 

The Date & Time:

Thursday, October 18, 6:30 PM til 8:30 PM

The Place:

CNIB community Hub at 1525 Yonge St.

 

Hey Everyone!

*Note: Due to the fact that the CNIB Braille conference is happening on Thursday, October 18, we are pushing the start time of the GTT meeting back by a half hour. This will give people who are coming to the meeting after the conference enough time to get to the hub. The meeting will now run from 6:30 to 8:30.

 

Our next GTT Toronto Meeting will be Thursday October 18 starting at 6:30 pm at the CNIB Community Hub, 1525 Yonge Street, just north of St Clair.

 

This month, our topic is accessing television and our featured presentation is on ‘Smart TVs’ with Debbie Gillespie.  And we have a special surprise for you: Kim Kilpatrick, the founder of the Get Together with Technology program across Canada, will be dropping by to share her thoughts on the program’s growth and what some of the other GTT groups are up to!  So don’t miss this one!

 

Light refreshments will be served.

 

So bring your adaptive tech!  Bring your questions!  Bring your curiosity to GTT Toronto and get connected!

 

Please book WheelTrans pick-ups for no later than 8:30 pm.  Or, if your ride is not coming until after 8:30 pm, please book your return ride from the Midtown Gastro Hub, 1535 Yonge Street.  The Gastro Hub is right next door to the CNIB Hub and welcomes you to sit and enjoy a beverage while waiting for your WheelTrans pick up.

 

As usual, light refreshments will be served.

And don’t forget, you can get the notes from our past meetings at

https://www.gtt-toronto.ca/

 

To visit GTT Toronto’s web page for meeting announcements and summary notes visit this link.

 

GTT Toronto Adaptive Technology User Group Overview:

  • GTT Toronto is a chapter of the Canadian Council of the Blind (CCB).
  • GTT Toronto promotes a self-help learning experience by holding monthly meetings to assist participants with assistive technology.
  • Each meeting consists of a feature technology topic, questions and answers about technology, and one-on-one training where possible.
  • Participants are encouraged to come to each meeting even if they are not interested in the feature topic because questions on any technology are welcome. The more participants the better able we will be equipped with the talent and experience to help each other.
  • There are GTT groups across Canada as well as a national GTT monthly toll free teleconference. You may subscribe to the National GTT blog to get email notices of teleconferences and notes from other GTT chapters. Visit:

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

There is a form at the bottom of that web page to enter your email.

 

GTT National Conference Call Agenda, CNIB FDN’s Phone It Forward Program, October 10, 2018

Get Together with Technology (GTT)

National Teleconference Call

 

Sponsored by the Canadian Council of the Blind

 

You’re invited to the CCB’s October 10, 2018 GTT National conference call meeting:

Theme: CNIB’s Phone It Forward Program

 

CNIB Foundation’s Rob Hindley, VP Marketing and Social Enterprise will provide a brief presentation on this “Game-changing program” that will provide refurbished smartphones to people with sight loss.  Following Rob’s presentation, we will open the phone lines for questions about the program and how people may participate as donors and recipients.

 

Also, following the National Conference Call session Rob has generously agreed to participate for a 24-hour period on the GTTSupport Email Discussion List to answer questions about the CNIB Foundation’s Phone It Forward program.  If you’re not already subscribed to GTTSupport you can do so by sending a blank email message with the word Subscribe in the Subject Line to the following address:

 

GTTSupport+Subscribe@Groups.io

 

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 from wherever you are.

 

Date: October 10, 2018

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

 

The call-in info is:

Toll Free: 1-866-740-1260

Passcode: 5670311#

 

To mute your phone while on the call please use Star 6, and to unmute use Star 7.

 

iPhone Users can copy and paste the below number and code into their Contacts list and dial directly:

 

1-866-740-1260, 5670311#

 

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.net

 

 

NOVI/GTT Nanaimo Meeting Invitation, Richard Harlow Accessible and Touchable Art, October 2, 2018

You’re Invited

NOVI Nanaimo

 

Please share this invitation widely to anyone you think will benefit from our collective skills and knowledge.

 

Theme: Presentation by Richard Harlow – Accessible and Touchable Art

 

When:  Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Time:  1:30 until 3:30 PM

Where:  The 710 Club, 285 Prideaux Street, Nanaimo

 

Agenda:

  1. Presentation by Richard Harlow – Accessible Art

 

ALL BLIND AND VISION IMPAIRED PEOPLE WELCOME!

 

Richard creates tactile art that can be experienced via touch as well as sight!

For those who cannot experience art through sight, they can now feel the beauty of accessible art.

 

Much of his art can be experienced from a seated position – so someone in a wheelchair would have a great view.

 

Need more info?

You can email us novi-group@shaw.ca

Call us: 250-586-6285

OR visit our facebook page and message us there.

https://www.facebook.com/NOVI.Group

 

  1. Coffee and other goodies will be on offer.
  2. Bring your 2019 Membership Dues as they’re due by January 1, 2018.

 

To RSVP, please call Henk Pauelson at 250-586-6285 or Henkie@Shaw.ca or Albert Ruel at 250-240-2343, or email at albert.GTT@CCBNational.net.

 

Backgrounder

 

NOVI Social and Recreational Organization, and the Get Together with Technology group come together to serve the peer mentoring, assistive technology and daily living skills development needs of Nanaimo and area residents.

 

Since 2001 the Nanaimo Organization of the Vision Impaired (NOVI) has served the social and recreational needs of Nanaimo residents, and recently this group altered its name to better reflect the dynamic nature of their brand of mutual support and forward thinking ideas and activities.  It is now known as “No Obstacles for the Vision Impaired” (NOVI), and meets on the first Tuesday of each month at the 710 Club from 1:30 until 3:30 PM.

 

Since 2013 Get Together with Technology (GTT), a program of the Canadian Council of the Blind, has been meeting monthly in Nanaimo to provide opportunities for blind and partially sighted residents to learn more about the assistive technology so prevalent in our lives as we attempt to level the playing field in education, social interaction, recreation and independent living.

 

These two groups have embarked on an amalgamation of their efforts while expanding their support to the blind, deaf-blind and partially sighted residents of the Nanaimo and Parksville areas.  In order to facilitate this collaboration GTT has moved its meetings to align with the Tuesday NOVI gatherings so the two organizations can consolidate their human resources that more and better support may be delivered.

 

  • 1st Tuesday from 1:30 until 3:30 PM, NOVI Social/recreational gathering in Nanaimo lead by Henk Pauelsen.

 

Forth Saturday from 10:00 AM until 12 Noon, GTT Nanaimo and NOVI members will meet at the Vancouver Island Regional Library, Nanaimo Downtown Branch, 90 Commercial Street to discuss access to information issues, assistive technology and anything pertaining to living with, and adjusting to vision loss.  VIRL staff also participate in these Saturday morning meetings to provide information about services and supports available through the Public Library system.

 

NOVI and GTT will retain their independent organizational structures and membership dues, however will work in collaboration on local social activities, learning independence skills and peer mentoring endeavours.

 

For more information please contact:

 

NOVI:

Henk Pauelsen at 250-586-6285 or NOVI-Group@Shaw.ca

Living Without Looking/Independent Living Skills:

Donna Hudon at 250-618-0010 or IAmDonnaHudon@Gmail.com

GTT:

Albert Ruel at 250-240-2343 or albert.GTT@CCBNational.nett

 

GTT Victoria Meeting Agenda, Braille Display, Accessible Voting and Aira Demo, October 3, 2018

Get Together with Technology (GTT) Victoria

 

A Chapter of the Canadian Council of the Blind

in Partnership with

The Greater Victoria Public Library

 

Theme: Accessible Braille Display, Aira Demo and Voting in the Fall

 

Date: October 3, 2018

Time: 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM

Where: Community Room, GVPL, Main Branch 735 Broughton St

 

First Hour:

Tom Dekker will demo a new low-cost Braille display, Albert will demo the Aira and Be My Eyes apps for sighted assistance, and we’ll talk about how voting will take place this fall, both in the Referendum and the Civic Elections.

Second Hour:

During the second hour Corry Stuive, Albert Ruel and Tom Dekker will lead the group in discussion on any other assistive tech topic participants want to raise.  Please bring to the meeting all your other assistive technology questions, nuggets and frustrations for discussion with the group.

 

For More Information:

Contact Albert Ruel at 250-240-2343, or email us at GTT.Victoria@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

 

GTT Toronto Summary Notes, Music Apps, September 20, 2018

Summary Notes

 

GTT Toronto Adaptive Technology User Group

September 20, 2018

 

An Initiative of the Canadian Council of the Blind

In Partnership with the CNIB

 

The most recent meeting of the Get Together with Technology (GTT) Toronto Group was held on Thursday, September 20 at the CNIB Community Hub.

 

*Note: 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.

 

September 2018 Topic: Music Apps and Services

 

GTT Toronto September 20, 2018 Meeting Summary Notes can be found at this link:

 

Thanks again to Chris Malec for taking these awesome notes! People may not realize it, but she writes these in real time!

 

Ian opened the meeting.

Next month’s meeting will be on accessible TVs, and we’ll be joined by Kim Kilpatrick, the founder of GTT.

Jason took over to give some updates. It’s possible that next month, we’ll also be joined by a representative from Rogers, to demonstrate their new accessible cable box. It’s called Rogers Ignite TV. It’s based off of the U.S. system from Comcast, which is largely accessible as a set-top box.

CNIB just announced a new program called Phone It Forward, this week. People or corporations can donate used cell phones, and CNIB will be distributing them to clients who need them. The phones will be stripped, then loaded with accessibility aps. It’s meant to be a no-cost deal for the client. We don’t know what the cut-off is for the age of donated phones. A tax receipt will be issued for any donated phone, but an employee said they’ll only be using iPhone 5 or higher. At this point there’s nothing in place about data plans, but they’re trying to work that out. The push right now is to get donations of phones. The phones will be unlocked.

Jason raised the topic of rearranging the structure of our meetings. We want to encourage discussion back and forth about whatever topics people want to share information about. This will comprise the first part of meetings, and a presentation will be the second part. The idea is to bring problems or something you’d like more information about, and draw on resources from the group. Also, bring any new information or tips that you’ve discovered.

 

Tips that arose from discussion

When using a touch pad, curl all your other fingers inward to avoid accidentally activating something you didn’t intend.

Turning off the Reading Pain in Outlook will prevent or avoid many annoying problems. Do this by pressing Alt V, P, N, arrow down to Off, and hit enter there. The Thunderbird keystroke is F8.

Talking Tuner is an ap for tuning instruments or your voice. It’s accessible and voice-activated.

For success with the Seeing AI ap bar code reader, try laying the object on a table for stability, then hold the phone 8 inches or so away. Bar codes on boxes are often on an edge or the bottom. Light levels can matter too. It will use the flash, but it might help to have a light on. Try rotating the object slowly and incrementally, not continually. On cans and jars, the code is often at the seem of labels. Cans are more challenging, so if you’re learning, try starting with angular boxes.

Tap Tap See and KNFB Reader have both been updated recently.

The Identify ap is an alternative if you’re not fond of Seeing AI. Both aps are free. There’s an ap called Envision AI that has a small cost associated with it, that’s available on iPhone and Android.

The advantage of having the Microsoft Office subscription version is that it gets updated very often. There have been issues around instability with Excel. The problems come and go, but having the subscription version is the best way to keep current with updates that solve problems. Microsoft has a Disability Answer Desk, at 1-800-936-5900. They know about screen readers, and are a great resource. If they can’t answer your question, they will escalate it.

Apple also has an accessibility desk. 1-877-204-3930.

The topic of Libre Office was raised. It’s the free version of Microsoft, and is the descendant of Open Office. It doesn’t use the ribbon structure, but it seems to have some accessibility issues. It works better with NVDA. It can be used with files created in conventional Microsoft products.

A risk in continuing to use old versions of mainstream software like MS 2007, is that, as you update your screen reader, things might become incompatible, because the AT companies aren’t making their products with older mainstream software in mind. If it works, keep using it. Also, if you have files sent to you from other people who are using newer versions of mainstream software, you might have trouble reading them. For example, if you receive a document created in pre-2007, and it has tables, Jaws won’t read them. You have to save them in the new format.

For anyone using tables and a screen reader, one piece of advice is to make your heading titles short, as the screen reader will have to read the whole thing each time you move within the table.

For advice using Jaws with very specific software like SPSS, stats management, the best advice is to contact Freedom Scientific. SPSS may have their own accessibility team.

The ap called, Transit, was recently updated, and works well. Their release notes are thorough and amusing.

The Triplynx ap is also very good.

 

Main Presentation

Jason took over to talk about music aps. Spotify, Apple Music, and Google Play Music are the main three. Most of these services have a free and a paid version. They’re all about $10 to $12 per month for an individual membership, and $15 or so for a family membership. These are streaming services. Spotify’s free version will let you search for an artist. It will then put together a playlist of artists including that one, plus others. You can’t play an entire album, and it will advertise at you. Go to Spotify.com and download the free trial. It can run on most playing services. It has a program that you can install on your PC that works well. The client looks like a regular web page with search functions. Spotify is known for discovering new music, which is a great feature of most music services. It generates a playlist each week based on what you’ve chosen recently. This is a great way to find out about music you’ll probably like, based on your tastes. The iPhone ap works well, and so does the Android ap. You can connect your Amazon Echo or Google Home, to your Spotify account, and play music on your device. You can download music, but can’t take it out of the Spotify ap. The free version has a time restriction, a certain amount of play per day. If you load the ap on your Apple device, there’s an option to pay using your iTunes account. There may be a small fee associated with doing this.

Jason loaded the ap on his phone and demonstrated what the screen looks like. It doesn’t integrate with Siri. It’s the most versatile of the services. The artist gets $0.001 per play.

Apple Music is exclusive to Apple, but there is an Apple Music ap for Android. It’s new within the past three years, and around the same price. The great thing about it is that it’s integrated into Siri. The Spotify trial is 30 days, but the Apple Music trial is 3 months. Apple Music has a “for you” tab, which is its way of introducing you to new music it thinks you’ll like. All three of these streaming aps have radio stations based on genres. These aren’t the way to access generalized regular or internet radio stations, you’d need TuneIn or your smart speaker to do that. Apple Music allows you to upload your personal music collection of MP3 songs into your ap using iTunes. It will also replace poor quality versions of songs with a better quality version if it has one. One caution here is that improperly named or tagged files will give you trouble in playback.

Google Play Music isn’t particularly differentiated from the other two, it’s really more about which devices you’re using. Apple and Google both allow you to download music and play it from other aps. All three aps are accessible. Google Play offers a 30 day trial.

Other smaller services exist, like Amazon Music, but their collections tend to be smaller. Tidal is a service for streaming high quality music. It’s around $20 per month, but the quality matters to some people. The interface can be tricky. The files are much bigger, so keep that in mind regarding data use. They don’t tend to have as big a selection. HD Tracks is a service where you pay by track, rather than a flat subscription fee.

Spotify allows you to set the quality that you get, and you can choose to get lower quality when you’re using data verses y-fi.

YouTube is another source for free music. YouTube Music is a new service. It’s a downloadable ap. It’s got an enormous selection. The auto-play feature will essentially make a playlist. Playing it through the Apple TV gives you a lot less ads. Creating actual playlists with YouTube and Voiceover is quite difficult.

The Sonos ap will perform a search on all the services you’re subscribed to.

If you’re subscribed to more than one service, you can specify to your smart speaker, which service you want to search on.

Apple Music gets updated whenever you do an IOS update. Spotify updates every few weeks. Accessibility glitches usually get addressed pretty promptly.

 

Upcoming Meetings:

  • Next Meeting: Thursday, October 18 at 6pm
  • Location: CNIB Community Hub space at 1525 Yonge Street, just 1 block north of St Clair on the east side of Yonge, just south of Heath.
  • Meetings are held on the third Thursday of the month at 6pm.

 

GTT Toronto Adaptive Technology User Group Overview:

  • GTT Toronto is a chapter of the Canadian Council of the Blind (CCB).
  • GTT Toronto promotes a self-help learning experience by holding monthly meetings to assist participants with assistive technology.
  • Each meeting consists of a feature technology topic, questions and answers about technology, and one-on-one training where possible.
  • Participants are encouraged to come to each meeting even if they are not interested in the feature topic because questions on any technology are welcome. The more participants the better able we will be equipped with the talent and experience to help each other.
  • There are GTT groups across Canada as well as a national GTT monthly toll free teleconference. You may subscribe to the National GTT blog to get email notices of teleconferences and notes from other GTT chapters. Visit:

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

There is a form at the bottom of that web page to enter your email.