GTT Edmonton Meeting Notes, Stay Safe Online, November 11, 2019

            Summary Notes

GTT Edmonton Meeting November 11, 2019

 

The most recent meeting of the Get Together with Technology (GTT) Edmonton Chapter was held November11 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.

 

2020 Membership Dues

Thank you to those who paid their CCB 2020 membership. We have a total of 32 paid up members for 2020.

 

November Topic –Stay Safe Online

Lisa Boone from the Athabasca University informed us of many perils we need to be aware of in the online world and she provided recommendations for dealing with those security concerns.

Disclaimer: The opinions and recommendations of Lisa’s are her own and not endorsed by the Canadian Council of the Blind. However, Lisa is an IT  professional and her comments and recommendations are worthy of your consideration as you evaluate how to stay safe online. Following is a summary of her presentation.

 

Internet Browser Address Bar Secure Indications:

For browsers such as Chrome, Edge, Safari, Firefox – consistent across all of them the address bar says httpsfor secure connection, the https means you are communicating with a legitimate web site and the data you send to that site is encrypted. Don’t communicate with sites that show only http instead of https in their address.

Visually, secure sites also show a padlock icon and screen readers will announce that the site is secure. You may need to press Shift+Tab at the address bar to have your screen reader read the secure designation.

 

When it comes to online banking there is an EV certificate, a third party that confirms a safe site (I.e., digicertt). In a browser address bar these EV certificates show a banks name (e.g. TD Bank, then the https and the text are green. Red colour means it is not secure. Chrome now does not indicate this way when an EV certificate is confirmed. Other browsers currently show the EV certificate. Safari shows the certificate by using green text in the address bar

 

Stop using Internet Explorer. Microsoft does not support it if it gets hacked.

 

Using apps or browsers?

Is it more secure to use the web site or app? (e.g. Amazon, eBay, Kijiji, etc.). Safer to use an app on mobile devices then a browser. On a computer, there is no real best way app or browser.

 

Apps leak information. App developers never tell us they leak. Info can be username, password, email address. Apps can send packets of data and malicious people grab those packets.

Android is wide open, and you are not sure an app is encrypting your data you may want to look at the Check out the recon site and download the app to see what network traffic is going out without you knowing.

http://Recon.meddle.mobi   tracks what kind of traffic is going out from your phone so it blocks info going out from phone (android, iOS, windows).

Also, ask the app vendor if the app data they send out from your phone is being encrypted. Less risk with apple developers then other operating systems.

 

Passwords:

Do not use birthdates, names, mother’s maiden name or addresses

Try to make a password at minimum 8 characters

Use sentences, phrases, symbols and numbers in place of letters.

 

Online shopping:

Use a separate credit card with a lower limit or debit visa that is separate from our normal account. That way hackers are not accessing your major credit cards and accounts. Vanilla or prepaid credit cards can be safer because they are not linked to you.

 

Sign up to Take Advantage of a deal:

Anytime you need to create an account just to get a promotion like Spotify, Recipes, etc. use a junk email you’ve created for just such instances and let it receive all the resulting spam that typically follows. Remember the email and password because you may have to verify it from an authentication email.

 

Often email providers require 2 factor authentication. This is encouraged so that the person trying to access your email account, needs to also have your phone number or fingerprint.

 

Email Accounts:

Don’t install Gmail or Outlook on a computer. Use a browser to access emails if accessible. When you open an email that has malware, the browser server gets to deal with it, not your local hard drive. Never open attachments that end in the extension .exe or .bat. Be suspicious of any link that says click here.

 

Phishing Emails:

Most phishing activity is about banking. They want you to click their website and log in to your account. The result is they now have your username and password.

These are scammers trying to get access. Their fishing emails are usually shocking and look accurate. No government, bank or large corporation is going to ask you for private information or money. Check the email address. Big companies will not use outlook, Gmail or Hotmail. Apple or your IT department.

This is the email version of the fake phone calls from Revenue Canada, Microsoft, the bank.

 

Contests:

Scammers do this all day every day. Always be aware. One of the first things to ask them is “what is my name?”. There are social media scams such as if you pay $ you will get a gift card from Costco.

In Canada, the only thing required of someone if you win something is to answer a skill testing question.

Your email may be actually sending the email. Never click on a link in an email when they claim you’ve won something. You can phone your bank or CRA to confirm. Don’t respond. Delete it forever.

 

Fraud Reporting Departments:

Big companies like Amazon often have a fraud reporting department.

 

Snopes.com does investigation of rumors and hoaxes like costco or walmart card. They will tell you if its true or not

 

The Anti Fraud Center, RCMP, and Consumer Affairs Canada  are all good reliable sources to check for information about fraud and scams. Please report fraud.

 

Other Safety Tips:

  • Don’t willingly give codes or personal information. Ensure they confirm your info rather than you divulging it.
  • Debit machines have red tape on them to show the debit machine has not been tampered with.
  • Place daily limits and weekly limits on withdrawals of bank accounts.
  • Use tap as it is safer or Apple Pay on your smart phone with fingerprint confirmation because you are not giving away your pin.
  • Check your statement often. Call the bank.
  • Clear out your internet browser cookies or cache. Be advised you will then need to re-enter passwords on web sites.

 

Privacy Settings:

All computers, smart phones, social media accounts have privacy settings. Turn off location tracking and decide which apps you will allow to use your microphone or web cam. If you have gone away, don’t post your pictures on social media until you get back home.

 

Spoofing Phone Numbers:

In Canada, spoofing phone numbers is legal and the scammer computer grabs any phone number in Canada which then appears on our call displays even though the scammer is likely calling from abroad. The spoofed number may even be an actual number such as CRA or Microsoft. The government is relying on the phone provider to protect us from spoofing and bogus numbers. Again, be smarter than them and let them tell you about yourself rather than the other way around. Even better, don’t answer the phone at all if you are not expecting the organization to call you. They can leave a message.

 

Private Browsing:

Chrome has incognito mode (a private browsing mode) presumably to prevent websites that want to know when you visit their site (airlines, google,) but browsers are smart, and you never really hide from those sites. They still track you.

 

DuckDuckGo.com instead of google search claims to be a private browser that does not store/track search or location info. Set it as your default search engine or use it’s extensions.

Google and Bing try to catch your search data

 

Ad Blockers:

Ad blockers are good to have. But Youtube is rewriting their core and if you have an ad blocker you won’t be able to use YouTube

Unblock is one ad blocker

 

Antivirus Software:

In Windows 10, windows defender is sufficient if you are reasonably cautious. The huge downside of Defender is that it is really slow to scan your system. If you turn your system off every night, you are not giving it enough time to do its job. Let Windows 10 go to sleep and log off your computer rather than completely shutting it down. This allows Defender to do its scan. Keep your Windows 10 up to date to ensure you are closing any loopholes that Microsoft has patched.

 

Legacy Windows7, 8.1,2000

Download windows defender separately. You will also have to download SHA2 algorithm that ensures it is from Microsoft. Those older Windows systems will prompt you to download SHA2 before it will install windows defender.

 

Upgrade to Windows 10?

Likely older hardware will have trouble running on new operating systems. Take your system to a computer store or Geek Squad

 

A special tool – Microsoft Safety Scanner is another double check virus scanner that may be up to date if windows defender virus definitions are not up to date yet. It’s an applet, download it, launch it and it automatically installs. It’s only valid for 10 days.

 

Next Meeting (Monday December 9 at 7pm)

  • Topic will be our annual presentation and tech demo by Steve Barclay, CEO of Canadian Assistive Technology. Steve has over 30 years’ experience consulting and selling assistive technology across Canada and always has interesting tech to show us. He is also glad to answer questions about your needs. We recommend you come and see what is new and exciting in tech and take advantage of Steve’s vast experience. It’s the Christmas season so if anyone wants to bring any Christmas baking or treats that would help make the evening more festive.

 

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.

[End]

GTT Toronto Summary Notes, iOS 13 Features and Issues, October 17, 2019

Summary Notes

 

GTT Toronto Adaptive Technology User Group

October 17, 2019

 

An Initiative of the Canadian Council of the Blind

In Partnership with the CNIB Foundation

 

The most recent meeting of the Get Together with Technology (GTT) Toronto Group was held on Thursday, October 17 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.

 

Theme: iOS 13 Features and Issues

 

GTT Toronto Meeting Summary Notes can be found at this link:

 

Ian White (Facilatator, GTT)

 

Ian opened the meeting. We usually start the meeting with a round table of questions and tips.

Ian said that he’s having trouble deleting a contact from his contact list. A member said that you have to have the contact open. Tap on the edit button, and then you’ll find the delete button at the bottom. A 4-finger single tap near the bottom of the screen will take your focus directly to the bottom of the content. A 4-finger single tap near the top will do the reverse. Accidentally doing a 4-finger double tap will bring up a help menu.

Albert with GTT in BC, said that they’ve been recording and editing their meetings, then posting them as podcasts. You can search for the Canadian Council of the Blind podcast in your favourite podcast ap.

 

Ian then introduced Dug Poirier, Assistive Technology Instructor and Information Services Coordinator at BALANCE for Blind Adults. He’s been teaching assistive tech for, a long time. He’ll run us through IOS13.

  • iOS13 was rushed out, and many, not only assistive tech users, had trouble at first. Now it’s relatively stable. Apple doesn’t necessarily mention the differences you’ll find as a Voiceover user. You often have to learn by using it. Ian raised the point that we should talk about trouble shooting, so we know what to do when something goes wrong or doesn’t work the way we expect.
  • One change in the mail ap is regarding threads. You can flick down to expand. It’s fairly intuitive to use.
  • One big change, that’s very welcome, is taking accessibility settings out of the general category, and putting it in its own category under settings There are a lot of tools in here.
  • There are some new Voiceover settings and haptics, which you have to enable. You can use haptics for system settings as well. You’ll find that under settings, accessibility, Voiceover, audio settings, sounds. You can choose sounds, haptics, or both. It makes the interface feel very new. It seems to offer faster feedback and functionality.
  • There are new rotor settings. Show context menu, replaces the old 3D touch menu. The 3D touch menu was an option to tap then tap and hold, which brought up other functions. 3D touch didn’t take off with ap developers, so was morphed into the context menu.
  • The vertical scroll bar appears when you’re in lists, for example a list of books. It’s down the right side. Every flick down moves down by 10%. It’s an excellent tool. It’s the same as the table index that’s found in the contacts list.
  • Any phone below a 6S won’t support IOS13, and you won’t be prompted to update.
  • You can now customize touch gestures. You can add or change what gestures do. Keyboard shortcuts, hand writing, and braille screen input can all be customized now. You can access it under Voiceover settings, then commands. It sounds more complicated than it is.
  • There’s a new slide-to-type feature. It seems daunting, but can actually work well if you spend time with it. It does take some getting used to. You can add a rotor setting to toggle it on or off. It’s a form of predictive typing. You start by placing your finger on the first letter of the word you want, and holding it there till you hear a sound. Then, slide your finger to the subsequent letters of the word. Using your finger position and predictive algorithm’s, the word will be filled in. If it comes up with the word you want part way through, lifting your finger will insert that word into your text. A member contributed that in auto complete settings, you can define two or 3 character shortcuts that will, if followed by the space bar, insert what ever text you’ve defined. For example, you could set up a two letter shortcut for your email address.
  • The, add punctuation group is another nice new feature. You can access it through, Voiceover, verbosity. It allows you to define which punctuation is spoken, which can be very helpful if you’re editing. You can create your own punctuation group setting.
  • Under Voiceover settings, is something new called, activities. This allows you to set parameters for specific aps, that is, how the phone functions or speaks to you depending on what ap you’re in. A member pointed out that the Applevis podcast has some really good examples of this.
  • A lot of stuff in the email ap has been changed with regard to Voiceover. Most of it is good. The delete button is more prominently placed, and in order to reply or do other things, you have to find the, more, button. You can now delete multiple emails and email folders all at once.
  • If you open a message with a lot of emails within it, as in, there’s been a lot of replies back and forth, you can open it, then flick left or right to move through individual messages within the thread, and delete particular ones if you want. Remember to close the message though, otherwise you could get confused about what view you’re in.
  • The best resource for learning is Applevis; Their site has great blogs and podcasts. There’s a cast called Double Tap, on AMI audio. Apple.com/accessibility can be helpful. Jeff Thomson at BlindAbilities has good content. A member said she’s part of a Facebook group called iPhone and iPad Aps for the Visually Impaired, that’s quite good.
  • Change can be tiring, but the best way to adjust is to make yourself use the new thing. Also remember that updates are about security as well, so refusing them can be risky. Apple is especially energetic at cutting off support to previous versions.
  • A member said she’s having trouble with dictating texts. If she uses Siri, and tries to add to what she’s already dictated, only the addition is shown in the body of the text. It’s intermittent. Others agreed they’ve seen this too. A member suggested a work-around where you create the message in the notes ap, then paste it into your text message.
  • A visual user said that she sometimes has a problem of her screen rotating 90 degrees if she moves while using her phone. Dug recommended locking this feature. You can do this from control centre. Locate the status bar, then swipe up with 3 fingers to open control centre. In there is an option to lock orientation.
  • A member asked how to find out what version of IOS they’re on. Dug said go to settings, general, then software updates.. If you tap on, about, it will show you what you’re running currently. Once you’ve upgraded, you can’t go back. If you haven’t upgraded from the initial version of 13, you should. 13.1.3 is the current version. Apple generally releases an update every month or so.
  • A member pointed out that resistance to change, is also a desire to cling to productivity. The truth is that an upgrade like this can cost you a week of optimal productivity.
  • A member raised the topic of Voice Controller. Dug said that it’s a huge feature worthy of its own session. It’s a way to make the phone activate gestures by voice, swipe left, swipe right ext. It’s meant particularly for people with limited hand mobility. It takes a lot of work up front.
  • A member raised the question of whether IOS13 drains your battery more quickly. Dug said he hasn’t noticed any difference. He commented that batteries do naturally run down, and that it’s recommended to fully drain your battery once a month or so in order to maximize its life. A new battery is around $90 installed. You need to take it somewhere to have it changed. There are cheaper solutions than going to an Apple store, but they come with risks of losing functionality.

 

Ian closed the meeting by thanking Dug, and by saying that if you have ideas for future meetings, or knowledge on something you’d like to present on, please get in touch.

 

Upcoming Meetings:

  • Next Meeting: Thursday, October 17, 2019 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.Blog/

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

 

 

 

GTT Nat Con Call Summary Notes, iOS 13, the Good and the Bad, 2019Oct09

GTT National Conference Call.

An Initiative of the Canadian Council of the Blind

 

Summary Notes

October 9, 2019

 

Theme: Apple’s iOS 13 update, the good, the bad and the ugly.

 

On October 9, 2019 the GTT National Conference Call discussed the above topic with the help of the below presenters, which was followed by a number of spirited questions from the floor.  The presenters were asked to talk about 3 of the things they like and don’t like about the version being used on that date, namely iOS 13.1.2.  Since then additional updates have been released so depending on the date you read these Summary Notes your experience may be different.

 

To learn more about iOS 13 visit this Apple Website:

 

To access many fantastic iOS 13 AppleVis Podcasts follow this link:

 

Presenters: Michael Feir, Elmer Thiesen, Tom Dekker, Kim Kilpatrick, Brian Bibeault and David Green.

 

Please check out the presentation on the CCB Podcast below for more details.

10 GTT National Conference Call, iOS 13, the Good and the Bad, October 9, 2019

 

Michael Feir:

  • Michael expressed frustration over the hang-up bug, and suggested that in iOS 13.1.2 users can use triple click on the home button three times to turn off Voice Over, which always resolves the freeze being experienced.
  • To set the triple tap on the Home or Side buttons to Voice Over do the following: Go to Settings, Accessibility and select the Accessibility Shortcut to launch Voice Over.
  • Be careful not to accidently click the button five times in a row without sufficient pause or you can activate the SOS call to 911.
  • Custom Controls Can Be used to limit or expand the haptic feedback and sounds given off by iOS 13 devices. The user can also re-define existing gestures, and define undefined gestures to functions that are difficult to manage, like the turning of the Rotor dial.
  • The Reminders app is another area where iOS 13 has made great strides. It is far more customizable and configurable to the needs of the end user. It now boasts some project management features that make it really good to use.

 

Elmer Thiesen:

  • Elmer indicated that for him the ability to customize gestures is a really big deal, and the first one he changed was the Rotor gesture to use two fingers sliding across the screen left or right to turn it in those directions.
  • He also expressed that the Vertical Scroll Bar is a great addition to iOS 13. It allows the user to scroll pages of information far more easily and efficiently.
  • Elmer likes the ability to establish Activities with desired features like, having a specific voice read emails with no punctuation, and another voice work on word processing apps with all punctuation turned on. These can now be customized to the user’s preference.
  • One of the bugs Elmer has struggled with is that Siri would get lost in what she was asked to access and keep repeating the same irrelevant thing over and over again until he re-set the Network Settings. Apple Support assisted in getting this sorted out.

 

Tom Dekker:

  • Screen Recording is the thing Tom likes most about the upgrade to iOS 13. it never quite worked well before iOS 13, and now works very well with good quality sound.
  • Commands and the ability to customize them is another of Tom’s favourite things about iOS 13.
  • On Screen Braille keyboard is better than ever. He can now type more quickly and with more accuracy than before.
  • Tom thinks that a weird thing is the iPhone User Guide downloaded to the iOS Books app. It only reads the first line or two of each paragraph. It doesn’t track anything correctly. Older Guides work well, but not this one.

 

Kim Kilpatrick:

  • Kim agreed that the iOS 13 User Guide doesn’t work well.
  • As for the hang-up bug, her experience seems to be that it only happens when she uses the microphone button on the wired earbuds. She also indicated that this bug didn’t come up during the beta testing phase, which she has been on since the beginning.
  • Kim expressed that a great feature of iOS 13 is that Accessibility is not buried in General and that it has its own spot in Settings.
  • Kim has heard that Low Vision users are liking the Dark Mode offered in iOS 13.
  • She indicated that there are some good things added to Braille support that allows Voice Over to have more things read back to the user as they type, however a bug seems to have been introduced that creates a disconnect when back spacing to delete errors. Kim also agrees that Braille Screen Input has improved dramatically.
  • Voice Control is another item Kim appreciates about iOS 13. Although it isn’t a Voice Over specific feature, it never-the-less works well with it, and it will really help those with limited hand function to access even more functions of their iOS devices. Voice Over users must use earbuds when accessing Voice Controls otherwise the Voice Over speech will interfere. The strong point about using Voice Control when dictating in an edit field is that Voice Over will read back what is being dictated periodically. It functions more like Dragon Naturally Speaking in that regard. this should only be used in quiet places otherwise it makes many errors.
  • Kim told the group that in Activities you can also adjust punctuation for different apps and activities according to your personal preferences, the voice, rate and punctuation can all be set for different apps and tasks.

 

David Green:

  • David told the assembled that when inserting passwords and code numbers for voicemail iOS 13 seems to be far faster in echoing the touch screen presses, which leads to increased accuracy in typing those characters. This is especially noticeable in voicemail entry codes.
  • One bug David noticed is in the Native Mail app. When he tries to move from one account to another focus seems to go into Edit Mode instead of activating the new account. It will also do this in the Messages app sometimes.

 

  • David found that after the upgrade to iOS 13 the speaking voice was changed from his favourite American voice to a British one. The only way to fix this was to set the Location to America in order to get those voices back.
  • Slide to Type is one feature that David will have to practice a lot before it will become comfortable, if it ever does.
  • Many of the new features and functions of iOS 13 are not of interest to David, so he will likely give them a pass.

 

Brian Bibeault:

  • Brian wasn’t going to upgrade yet, however having forgotten to shut off his phone one evening he woke up to an upgraded iPhone. Since this event he has worked at trying to learn its new features and is getting comfortable with them. The first day was a nightmare, but he recommended that anyone intending to make the move go to AppleVis and listen to the many Thomas Domville podcasts about iOS 13. He provides a great set of tutorials and guides to the important features and upgrades.
  • One glitch Brian found is when using the Bluetooth Keyboard, the focus jumps all over the place unexpectedly.
  • Brian suggested that if one is going to use Voice Control, turn it off after using it, otherwise it’ll drive you nuts if you answer a phone call with it still turned on. It’ll keep repeating text not relevant to the conversation.
  • He found that his recent move to Bell Fib Cablevision has improved since iOS 13, whereas the app was not accessible with iOS 12.4.

 

Question Period:

Participants had a range of questions to ask the presenters, for which some found answers and some are yet to be resolved.  To access the remainder of the session please find the complete Podcast recording on the Canadian Council of the Blind Podcast channel.

 

For more information please contact your GTT Coordinators:

 

Albert Ruel                   or                               Kim Kilpatrick

1-877-304-0968,550                           1-877-304-0968,513

albert.GTT@CCBNational.net                      GTTProgram@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: www.ccbnational.net

 

 

GTT New Westminster Summary Notes, Reader View on PC, Mac and iOS Browsers, September 25, 2019

Get Together with Technology (GTT)

New Westminster Meeting

 

A Chapter of the Canadian Council of the Blind

in partnership with

Blind Beginnings

Vancouver Community College

And

Canadian Assistive Technology

Summary Notes

 

September 25, 2019

How to use Reader View on the Mac, PC, iOS and Android Browsers

What is Reader/Simplified View, and why does anyone want to explore it?  Here’s an article that might explain it, followed by a link to the CCB Podcast and text instructions on how to use it in your favourite, or soon to be favourite browser.

 

Reader View

First posted on July 12, 2018 by Rob Tomlinson

“Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s dictum that “Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away” can be re-deployed most helpfully when discussing Reader View, a topic that touches on web page design and browser behaviour.”…

 

Find the CCB Podcast of this event at the link below:

09 GTT New Westminster, Reader View in iOS, Nac and PC Browsers, September 25, 2019:

 

PC Browsers:

 

Simplified View for Google Chrome on the PC:

Google Chrome Download Page;

  1. type this into a new tab in Google Chrome

chrome://flags/#enable-reader-mode

press enter.

  1. A Chrome settings page comes up that you can navigate using headings.
  2. Press the letter H until you get to reading mode.
  3. There is a combo box that shows that reader mode is disabled.
  4. Press enter to go into forms mode if using Jaws.
  5. Press the down arrow to get to enabled and press enter.
  6. Go to the bottom of the page with control end and there is a restart chrome button, and Press enter.
  7. Now visit a page that has news stories such as this article from the Victoria Times Colonist,
  8. You can try down arrowing through the page and see all the links, controls and advertisements on the page.
  9. Press the Alt Key to bring up a menu and either up or down arrow to “Toggle distilled page contents” and press enter.
  10. you will hear your screen reader say, “Simplified View”.
  11. Now what you have is the news article in its entirety without the ads and other controls.
  12. To get the page back to normal view, repeat step 11 and press Enter.
  13. Press the Escape Key to close the menu.

 

Reader View for Firefox on the PC:

Reader View is a Firefox feature that strips away clutter like buttons, ads and background images, and changes the page’s text size, contrast and layout for better readability.

Mozilla Firefox Download Page;

  1. Open Firefox and enter the address of the page you want to visit, let’s use the Victoria Times Colonist article again.
  2. Examine the page with down and up arrow keys to see that it is cluttered with links, controls and advertisements.
  3. Press the f9 key to enable reader view.
  4. If nothing happens then reader view is not available for the current page.
  5. If reader view is available, the page loads and is clutter free.

 

Mac Browsers:

 

Reader View for Safari on the Mac:

Safari Browser for the Mac Download Page;

To display an article in Reader on the Mac, do the following:

  1. Click the Safari icon on the Dock or Launchpad.
  2. Type in the URL for the website you want to visit.

For example, you might visit The New Yorker at www.newyorker.com.

  1. Click the article you want to read. You see the article with various advertisements, banners, photos, links, and so on.
  2. Click the Reader button, or press Command+Shift+R.
  3. If the article runs over several pages, Reader displays it as one continuous page so you need only scroll down, not click from one page to the next.
  4. If you need to adjust the size of the text, click the type buttons (the two A’s) in the upper-left corner.
  5. To exit Reader, click the Reader button, or press the Esc key to exit Reader and return to the normal Safari view of the article. Click the Back button to return to the original site.
  6. In both Reader and normal Safari view, press ⌘+= or ⌘+– to zoom in or out on the text. If you have a Magic Mouse or Trackpad or a MacBook that recognizes multi-touch gestures, you can also pinch in or out to zoom.

 

iOS 12.4 Browsers:

Sadly, we could find nothing to say there is a Reader or Simplified View for the Google Chrome Browser for iOS.

 

Reader View for Safari Browser on iOS:

How to enable Reader View in Safari in iOS 12.4:

  1. Launch Safarifrom your Home screen.
  2. Navigate to the website you’d like to read.
  3. Tap the Reader button on the left of the address bar. It looks like a series of stacked lines.
  4. If the Reader button doesn’t appear it means the page isn’t able to be simplified.

 

Reader View for Mozilla Firefox Browser in iOS 12.4:

Mozilla Firefox Download Page on the App Store for iPad and iPhone;

How to enable Reader View in Firefox on iOS:

  1. Launch Firefox from your Home screen.
  2. Navigate to the website you’d like to read.
  3. Tap the Reader button on the right of the address bar. It looks like a series of stacked lines.
  4. Double Tap it again to turn it off when you want access to more of the page.
  5. If the Reader button doesn’t appear it means the page isn’t able to be simplified.

 

Reader View for Microsoft Edge in iOS 12.4:

Microsoft Edge Download for iPad and iPhone;

How to enable Reader View in Microsoft Edge on iOS:

  1. Launch Edge from your Home screen.
  2. Navigate to the website you’d like to read.
  3. Tap the Reader Mode button on the right of the address bar. It looks like a book that is open.
  4. Double Tap the Done button to turn it off when you want access to more of the page.
  5. If the Reader Mode button doesn’t appear it means the page isn’t able to be simplified.

 

Android Browsers:

Simplified View for Google Chrome on Android:

Google Chrome Browser Download from the Google Play Store;

How to Enable Reader Mode in Chrome for Android?

  1. Open Chromeon your Android smartphone or tablet and type

chrome://flags

in the address/search bar and hit enter. The Chrome Flags page will open up.

  1. Hit the three dot button inthe top right corner and tap “Find in page “.
  2. Once enabled, you will see a “Make page mobile-friendly” button at the end of the webpage.

 

For more information please contact your GTT Coordinators:

 

Albert Ruel                   or                        Kim Kilpatrick

1-877-304-0968,550                               1-877-304-0968,513

albert.GTT@CCBNational.net                GTTProgram@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: www.ccbnational.net

 

 

 

GTT New Westminster Summary Notes, Web Browsing with PC Screen Readers, June 26, 2019

Get Together with Technology (GTT)

New Westminster Meeting

 

A Chapter of the Canadian Council of the Blind

in partnership with

Blind Beginnings

And

Vancouver Community College

 

Summary Notes

June 26, 2019

 

Find the CCB Podcast of this event at the link below:

04 GTT New Westminster, Web Browsing with PC Screen Readers, June 26, 2019:

 

Windows 10 Shortcut Keys:

 

JAWS Keyboard Commands:

 

NVDA Keyboard Commands:

 

Narrator Keyboard Commands:

 

Google Chrome Shortcut Keys:

 

Firefox Shortcut Keys:

 

General Windows, Mac, MS Office Shortcut Keys:

 

On June 26, 2019 Ryan Fleury and Albert Ruel presented some favourite shortcut keys to the GTT New Westminster group based on the below list.

Ryan’s frequently used Windows keyboard commands:

Insert W application hot keys

Insert h jaws hot key info for application

Windows x works like a mini start menu

Windows I quickly jump to windows settings

Windows r opens the run dialogue

Insert spacebar h brings up jaws speech history

Windows E opens windows/file explorer

Windows D to go to desktop

 

 

Albert’s frequently used Windows keyboard commands:

Insert T, Task Bar

Insert F, Font attributes in JAWS

Insert B, read the pop up window

Control Z, undo

Insert number row 1, keyboard help toggle

Control X, C and V, Cut, copy and paste

Control B, U and I, bold, underline and italic

Windows B, System Tray

 

For more information please contact your GTT Coordinators:

 

Albert Ruel                   or                       Kim Kilpatrick

1-877-304-0968,550                               1-877-304-0968,513

albert.GTT@CCBNational.net                GTTProgram@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: www.ccbnational.net

 

 

 

GTT National Conference Call Summary Notes, Lucia Accessible Cell Phone, June 12, 2019

GTT National Conference Call.

 

An Initiative of the Canadian Council of the Blind

 

Summary Notes

June 12, 2019

 

Find the CCB Podcast of this event at the link below:

02 GTT National Conference Call, Lucia Accessible Cell Phone, June 12, 2019:

Robert Felgar, CEO, Raz Mobility  attended the GTT National Conference Call to tell us all about the Lucia talking cell phone that is now available for sale to Canadians.

  • Lucia is an Accessible mobile phone for individuals who are visually impaired, blind, hard of hearing or seniors.
  • Lucia is a user-friendly cell phone that allows persons who are disabled to remain independent.
  • Advanced features such as accessible buttons in different colors and shapes, voice guide to transform the phone into a talking companion, ergonomic design, combined with long battery life, make this high-quality, Swiss-made phone the perfect mobile phone for users who are disabled.
  • Lucia has a powerful battery and can operate for more than one week before requiring a charge (up to 7 days standby time and 10 hours of talking time).
  • Lucia allows users who are blind to enter their own contacts and move through the contact list to hear the contact names read out loud.
  • Low vision users benefit from extra large characters and can choose between various color schemes such as white on black or black on white display.
  • For emergencies, the phone has a dedicated SOS button on its back.
  • Easy to navigate menus with large and highly tactile buttons. The control buttons are different colors and shapes so that the user always presses the correct button.
  • Speech interface guides the user while using the phone. It speaks everything that is on the screen, speaks the keys that are pressed and even prompts the user to perform certain functions. Caller ID, amount of remaining battery power, contacts, list of missed calls and text messages are read out loud by Lucia. The user can select between more than 10 different voices.
  • Lucia is 100 percent accessible to individuals who are blind. Its features make it the perfect phone for individuals who are visually impaired, blind, hard of hearing or seniors.
  • To assist people who are hard of hearing, the phone has a “sound boost” function that provides additional volume during phine calls with the press of a button. Lucia has premium speakers to maximize clarity and sound experience.

 

For more information please contact your GTT Coordinators:

 

Albert Ruel                   or                        Kim Kilpatrick

1-877-304-0968,550                               1-877-304-0968,513

albert.GTT@CCBNational.net                GTTProgram@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: www.ccbnational.net

 

 

 

GTT Beginners National Conference Call Summary Notes, Navigating Websites Using Screen Readers with a PC, May 28, 2019

GTT Beginners National Conference Call.

 

An Initiative of the Canadian Council of the Blind

 

Summary Notes

May 28, 2019

 

Find the Podcast of this event at the link below:

01 GTT Beginners National Conference Call, Navigating Websites Using Screen Readers with a PC, May 28, 2019:

 

Navigating Websites Using Screen Readers with a PC

 

Kim Kilpatrick, Brian Bibeault and Albert Ruel demonstrated the use of Navigation Quick Keys and other strategies for effectively and efficiently accessing information from the websites we visit using the screen readers available in the Windows environment.

 

The pages visited were the Get Together with Technology (GTT) Blog and CELA Library pages.

 

Navigation Quick Keys for JAWS

 

NVDA command key quick reference

 

Narrator keyboard commands and touch gestures

 

For more information please contact your GTT Coordinators:

 

Albert Ruel                   or                       Kim Kilpatrick

1-877-304-0968,550                               1-877-304-0968,513

albert.GTT@CCBNational.net                GTTProgram@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: www.ccbnational.net

 

 

 

GTT Beginners National Conference Call Summary Notes, Using the Web on iOS with Voiceover, June 25, 2019

GTT Beginners National Conference Call.

 

An Initiative of the Canadian Council of the Blind

 

Summary Notes

 

June 25, 2019

 

Theme: Using the Web on iOS with Voiceover

 

On June 25, 2019 Albert Ruel demonstrated the use of the Rotor with Voice Over for effectively and efficiently accessing information from websites using iOS devices.  A discussion of the Reader View available in the Safari Browser was also undertaken with a view to accessing just the text of articles rather than pages of advertising, links and other navigation controls.

Web Browsing using the Rotor with Safari:

  • Using both touch gestures on the iOS screen and the Logitech Bluetooth keyboard K380.
  • Voice Over and Safari on iOS, iPod iPad and iPhone with the latest version of iOS 12.
  • The rotor was used when web browsing to access Headings, Links, Form Fields, Edit Options, Text Selection, Characters, Words, Lines, Buttons and Tables.
  • To turn the Rotor to the above movement units move two fingers across the screen in opposite directions, or use the thumb and forefinger to mimic the turning of a knob. To do this on a Bluetooth keyboard press both the left and up arrow buttons to turn the Rotor to the left and use the right and up arrow buttons to move it to the right.
  • Once a movement unit is selected, a one-finger flick up will move to the previous item and a one-finger flick down will move to the next item. To do that with a Bluetooth keyboard press the up and down arrow buttons respectively.

 

Reader View Button in the Safari Browser:

  • The Reader View button is located at the very top of Safari on the left-hand side of the page and looks like a button with squiggly lines.

To access it perform a four-finger single tap near the top of the screen to bring focus to the top, or hold down the Control key and press the up arrow button.

  • To activate and de-activate the Reader View button one-finger double tap it, or press the up and down arrow buttons together. When the Reader View button is activated it strips out most links, advertisements and other junk from a webpage.
  • Voice Over will announce that Reader View is available once a web page is loaded.
  • Reader View in Safari can be activated when accessing any website where it is available, or it can be programmed to automatically activate when all web pages are accessed, or just specific websites. To access the Automatic Reader View Menu, from the Reader View button perform a one-finger swipe up or press the up arrow, then one-finger double tap or press the up and down arrow buttons to activate the Menu.  Use a one-finger swipe to the right or the right arrow button to examine the menu and one-finger double tap or press the up and down arrow buttons together to activate your desired option.
  • Low vision configuration is available once Reader View is activated by one-finger double tapping or pressing the up and down arrow buttons on the keyboard on the Reader Appearance Options button to the right of the Address Bar. Swipe to the right or use the right arrow button to examine the list of options and one-finger double tap or press the up and down arrow buttons together to select desired items.

 

General Touch Screen Gestures:

 

  • On all web pages, a one-finger swipe to the right, or pressing the Write arrow button will move focus to the next item, and a swipe to the left, or pressing the left arrow button will move to the previous item.
  • To have Voice Over read from the top of the page perform a two-finger swipe up, or hold down the VO key and press the letter A. To have Voice Over read from the current position perform a two-finger swipe down or hold down the VO key and press the letter B.
  • To pause and resume Voice Over’s reading of any document, email or web page perform a 2-finger single tap, or press and release the Control key. Both of the above gestures will toggle the reading functions on and off.
  • Access Heading Navigation by turning to it with the Rotor, or holding down the VO key on a Bluetooth keyboard and typing the letter Q. VO + the letter Q will toggle it off again.
  • Navigating by headings is the most important means of examining a web page, and once the desired section is found swiping to the right or pressing the right arrow buttons will move focus to the next item. Using Heading Navigation will avoid much of the junk at the top of web pages.
  • Headings are like the chapter markers in a book. They are organized in a hierarchical numbering system with Level 1 Headings above Level 2 and so on.  With VO + Q turned on pressing numbers 1 through 6 will move to those respective Level Headings.
  • Every time a Google search is conducted in Safari there should be a Level 1 Heading titled: Search Results. Turn the Rotor to Headings then use a one-finger swipe down or press the down arrow button to locate the Search Results area, and eventually each of the results listed on the page.
  • forefinger double tap on the iPhone screen will turn on keyboard help, this will enable you to test out key commands on the keyboard or swipes on the phone to hear descriptions of what that action will do when outside of keyboard help.
  • To access the Status Bar at the top of the screen in any iOS device using a Bluetooth Keyboard hold down the Control key and the CapsLock key plus the letter M, then perform the same key command again to get out of the status bar.

 

Quick Navigation Keys:

  • to turn quick navigation keys on/off use left and right arrow Keys at the same time.
  • when typing into an edit field quick navigation keys are off.
  • Having quick navigation keys On enables one to use the Rotor to access headings, Characters, Words, Lines and many other navigation elements.
  • when the focus is on the address bar and it is clicked on you can assume that the text is selected and if using quick navigation it will turn off automatically so you can begin to type. Typing will replace the highlighted text.
  • The Rotor elements called Vertical Navigation and Rows will allow you to move up and down columns when in a table rather than swiping right and left to go horizontally across the screen then wrapping around to the next line or row. This is useful on bank statements as an example.

 

 

Additional Resources:

AppleVis is the main place to find out information regarding voiceover iOS apps on all 4 of the iOS family devices. 

 

 

Bluetooth Keyboard Commands are listed here:

 

Logitech Bluetooth Keyboard K380:

 

 

GTT National Conference Call Overview

  • GTT National Conference Call is a monthly discussion group of the Canadian Council of the Blind (CCB).
  • GTT National Conference Calls promote a self-help learning experience by holding monthly meetings to present and discuss new and emerging assistive technology.
  • Each meeting consists of a feature technology topic, along with questions and answers about assistive technology.
  • Participants are encouraged to attend 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 an email distribution list where assistive technology questions are provided by participants. You may also subscribe to the National GTT blog to get email notices of teleconferences and notes from other GTT chapters. Visit:

http://www.GTTProgram.Blog/

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

 

National GTT Email Support List

CCB 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

 

[End of Document]

 

GTT-TechEase Regina Summary Notes, Uber, Transit Stop Announcements, Food Delivery, May 25, 2019

Tech-Ease/ Get Together with Technology

Regina Drop-In Meeting

Summary Notes

May 25, 2019

 

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

 

Uber:

  • Uber and guide dog users – It is in the bylaws for city of Regina and City of Saskatoon that the Uber/cab company can be charged under bylaws and either the driver or the company can be charged if a handler is denied access due to their guide dog. The Bylaws are to protect guide dog users.
  • If the driver says they have allergies they have to have a letter on file with dispatch and they have to wait with you until new cab comes to complete your trip
  • Most handlers find it is easier to declare your guide dog ahead of time to avoid denied trips or delays while another cab/Uber is summoned
  • Many blind and partially sighted people choose to tell the cab company or Uber driver about their needs ahead of time so they get the best service. i.e. “I am legally blind so the cab driver will have to come inside to get me or lead me to my door when he takes me home”.
  • Capital Cabs has proven to be the best in Regina for helping people with all disabilities

Steps to access an Uber or Lyft

  • Download the app and put in your personal info including credit card info
  • Lyft takes $1 from credit card when it is first added to verify the card, it is not refunded
  • Once you have the app you type in where you want to go and the app gives you an estimate of both the amount you will pay and the time it will take to get the driver to you
  • There are different levels of Uber, one for individuals, one for groups (XL), one for special needs (Assist) and one for elite (Black) we do not have black or the one for special needs in Regina yet
  • We discussed safety features like you and/or the driver changing screen colour on their mobile and holding it up so you know you are going to the right car, adding notes to the driver notifying them of your needs, the app showing drivers face and make/model of car so you know you are choosing the right car
  • There is a “follow me” option in the Uber app that you can send to a friend so they can track your progress and know you got home safely
  • The apps take both PayPal & credit card
  • Driver use their own vehicles, they are not company cars
  • There is no conflict of interest policies so drivers can drive for many companies (Lyft in day, Uber at night) discussed this as possibly a safety hazard as drivers could become fatigued
  • You can rate the experience and the driver upon the completion of your trip, so you can also only choose to accept rides from 5 star drivers
  • Most handlers choose not to allow their guide dogs on the seats of any transportation (except their own) out of respect for the owner/company who may have to clean the vehicle after

 

Audibles on transit:

  • We encourage people to report transit issues, because if people aren’t reporting the city isn’t made aware and change/repairs won’t happen
  • If you have enough sight to tell on the buses the GPS panel is black if its not working and lit up if it is
  • Ask the driver to turn the audible on when your get on, If it isn’t working the bus is supposed to be put out of service so you can say you will call to have that done if its off, oftentimes if a driver is choosing to keep it off they will turn it on when you mention this

 

Skip the Dishes/UberEats

  • Discussed the process for ordering, choose a restaurant, choose your food, add them to your order, confirm your order, click checkout and wait for driver to arrive, app shows driver’s progress
  • You can pay with credit card or cash if it’s under $50 but the driver will not have change so you have to exact amount
  • When calculating at checkout the tip is included for in the price, the amount you add on is a tip for the driver not the restaurant

 

Parcel Pal/Postmates:

  • A service like Skip the Dishes or UberEats but they bring you things from stores or take things to places for you (mail to the post office, drycleaning to cleaners, etc.)
  • We have Parcel Pal in some parts Canada
  • They have Postmates in the USA but it is coming to Canada eventually

 

Luggage Dongle:

  • Tile is the brand
  • You can send a tone to it from your smartphone you can add it to anything you want, keys, luggage, etc. You turn off the noise from the phone once you have located the item you have attached the Tile to
  • You can tap on the tile and it can send a signal to your phone from it so you can find your phone with it as well
  • $44 each with taxes etc. at London Drugs
  • Radius is listed at 300 feet
  • You can have multiple Tiles hooked up to one app
  • They come in 2 levels, the other one is cheaper than $44 but the cheaper one is not that loud and the area is not as big
  • They only come in black
  • There is a premium app feature that notifies you when you get too far from your phone

 

VIRN and the future of GTT/Tech Ease:

  • Discussed option to hold digital meetings through zoom, they are already doing in Manitoba
  • Also discussed idea of doing YouTube during or after Tech Ease meetings

 

Topics for next time:

Recap of the year

 

Connect with us:

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 …

 

 

GTT Toronto Summary Notes, Microsoft Soundscape, September 19, 2019

Summary Notes

 

GTT Toronto Adaptive Technology User Group

September 19, 2019

 

An Initiative of the Canadian Council of the Blind

In Partnership with the CNIB Foundation

 

The most recent meeting of the Get Together with Technology (GTT) Toronto Group was held on Thursday, September 19 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.

 

Theme: Microsoft Soundscape

 

GTT Toronto Meeting Summary Notes can be found at this link:

 

Ian White (Facilatator, GTT)

 

Jason opened the meeting by welcoming the two guest speakers from Microsoft, who joined via Zoom. They talked about Microsoft Soundscape.

Amos Miller introduced himself. He started off in the UK, and introduced Melanie.

Melanie Maxwell said that they are both calling in from Redmond Washington, and are both part of the Soundscape team. Amos explained that the team is spread out over the U.S. and the UK.

Amos began by describing how Soundscape differs from other GPS aps. We wanted to explore how we could use technology to enrich peoples’ awareness of their surroundings. How could we have a greater understanding of what’s around us, and where it is in relation to where we are, to aid with orientation, way-finding, and our experience out doors. The way we achieve that is through the use of 3D audio, or spatial audio. This means,  sound that you can hear, that sounds like it’s in space around you, not between your ears. You can imagine that if you were standing on a street corner, and there was a Starbucks across the road and to the right in front of you, you would hear the word, “Starbucks,” coming from that direction. Instead of Soundscape telling you there’s a Starbucks 200 metres in front of you and to the right, it will just say the word, “Starbucks,” and you will hear that it’s 200 metres in front of you and to the right, just from the nature of the way you hear it through the headphones. For the best experience, it does require stereo headphones, and we can have a long conversation about that; that’s definitely unusual, especially for our community when you’re out doors, and trying to hear the ambient sounds as well. There are very good solutions for that, so there is a lot of reasons why Soundscape persisted to advance the thinking and the experience. When you walk down the street, you will hear those call-outs in 3D around you, giving you that P.O.I. information. We’ll also talk about how you can navigate to your destination using what Soundscape refers to as the audio beacon.

Before I dive into that though, I’ll give some background to the project. I’m the Product Manager for Soundscape in Microsoft Research in Redmond. This work started out 4 or 5 years ago when I was still in the UK. I was involved with the local guide dog organization there, and working with them to try and figure out how technology can integrate into our own independence and mobility when we’re out and about, but in a way that enhances that experience. Some people from Microsoft started working with mobility instructors, and guide dog and cane users. We explored a range of ideas long before we figured out how to solve the problem. We landed on this notion of how important it is to enhance the awareness, but not tell the person what to do in that space. A lot of what orientation and mobility trainers will do with us is to work on a specific route, but especially how to perceive the environment, how we read the cues that the environment is giving us from a sound perspective, echo location, traffic noise, direction of the wind, the tactile feeling of the ground: all of the signals we can get from the environment in order to orient, and make good navigational decisions. The work that we did with Guide Dogs in the early days of Soundscape was really to see how we can build on that. The idea of sound playing a big role in the perception of the space, was really how this idea evolved. Soundscape as an ap, is the first incarnation of that idea.

The ap is free, and available from the Ap Store. It does rely on map data, and so it does need to be able to access that data. For the most part, it will download the necessary data from the environment that you’re in, and from that point forward it’s not using data. So it’s not constantly drawing on your data plan, but it does require one. We’ve tried to optimize it so that the data usage is minimal, and in certain situations, it will also work in areas where there is no data.

Bose frames are a very good way to get the stereo effect. Bone conducting headphones are another good way. EarPods or standard headphones will work, but they will block your ears to ambient sound. Putting it in one ear to keep the other ear free won’t be effective because you won’t get the signature 3D effect. Amos said that he personally likes EarPods because of their sound quality, and it’s possible to insert them lightly into the ear and still have ambient sound. Some sports headphones are a good solution too, Plantronics for example. This type of headphone rests around the back of your neck, and clips over the ear. They sit in front of the ear canal without blocking it. They’re used commonly by runners and cyclists.

Melanie then took over. She began by running through some of the core features. The demo she provides will be limited because it can’t be presented in proper 3D audio.

“I’m going to walk us through the home screen first. Our goal with anything we design is that we want it to be really simple to use, and accessible. One thing you’ll notice is that we don’t have a lot on the home screen. I’m going to walk us through the home screen. The, set audio beacon, is one of the largest buttons on the screen. There are also buttons for, my location, nearby markers, around me, and, ahead of me. There are two parts of Soundscape; there are automatic components, where you can put your phone in your pocket and hear things, and there’s an active component, which are the buttons on the home screen. For example, if you want to know more about your current location, you can tap the, your location, button. Tapping on it gives you information about nearby intersections, what direction you’re facing, and then what intersection is closest to you. If you’re inside, you might here that you’re inside. The callout will change depending on where you are. When your phone is in your pocket and you’re moving, Soundscape relies on directionality of movement from the phone itself.

Another callout we have is, what’s around me. You’ll get location names and distances of places around where you are. You can change a setting between metric and imperial. You have choices for the Soundscape voice as well, including a French Canadian voice. Soundscape uses GPS, so it will only work inside buildings if map data is available. Either way, accuracy inside a building isn’t going to be as good. We have had users make audio beacons inside buildings. This can work reasonably well in a very large building, but we’re not at a place of very good accuracy in buildings.

There are two ways of finding a building. One way is to create your own marker. This relies on the accuracy of GPS. We recommend that if you want to create a marker, walk around the location a bit, as in, walk back and forth in front of it, to allow the phone to get as pinpointed a location as possible. This should get your marker accuracy to within a few metres. You won’t get 1 metre accuracy. Don’t try to create the marker when you exit a building, because the phone won’t be pinpointed enough yet with GPS.

There is a more complicated way as well. Soundscape uses Open Street Maps, which is an open-source ap that anyone can update. A lot of the buildings in Open Street Maps have their entrances marked. If Soundscape can find a building entrance on Open Street Maps, it will default to using that. Adding something to Open Street Maps isn’t an accessible process unfortunately, because it’s visual map-based. If there’s a building entrance that’s particularly important to you, you could try to have someone go into Open Street Maps and enter it for you, and it will show up in Soundscape. Open Street Maps update themselves once per week, but it might take two weeks for it to show up in Soundscape. Markers that you create yourself with Soundscape show up immediately.

To create a marker at your current location, from the home screen, find the, mark current location, button, located near the top of the screen. Double tap that. If you start in a tutorial screen, you can dismiss it. A name will be automatically assigned, but you can edit it. Pressing done, means the marker will exist as a custom P.O.I. There’s another whole page of controls where you can edit and manipulate your markers.

This moves us on to a unique feature of Soundscape, beacons. Beacons are one way of navigating to a specific place. Instead of giving you step by step instructions for you to follow in order to find your destination, Soundscape creates a sound that emanates from the destination you’ve set, and you navigate from that. This is done by using a marker, and turning it into a beacon, then activating it.

Start by double tapping on the button on the home screen called, set audio beacon. On the next page, you have a few options. You can set an audio beacon on a marker you’ve already created, or you can enter an address that you want to find. You can also browse nearby places and choose one to place a beacon on. You can also filter nearby places by category, restaurants etc.

 

To set a beacon on an existing marker, from this page, double tap on the, browse your markers, button. Here, you can browse your existing markers. Double tapping on a marker will set it as a beacon.”

Jason added that he and Chris Chamberlin are producing a tech podcast, and one of their recent episodes was on Soundscape. In it, they do a stereo demonstration of setting and following a beacon. Listening to this episode with headphones will give a very accurate experience of using Soundscape.

Amos then opened it up for questions. One member reported that some of the stores Soundscape announced for her in real time, were closed. The response was that the ap is getting its data from Open Street Map, so if their data isn’t up-to-date, Soundscape won’t be getting accurate information. Amos made the point that there will always be a question mark between you and the technology. “In Soundscape, we try to stay on the right side of not pretending that we can do more than what we think we can. We’ll never give you an impression of greater accuracy than what we can actually give you with the technology. A great example of that is, if you’re navigating to somewhere and you get close, Soundscape will tell you you’re close, then turn off the beacon, leaving the specific locating of an entrance to you. There will always be cases where there’s a dissonance between the technology and your experience. We give you all the information we can, but you’ll always have to make sense of it based on your own senses. We had an early incarnation of the ap that tried to follow a road. Sometimes the data would be wrong, but testers would follow the beacon out into the middle of an intersection, even though all of their awareness of their surroundings tells them it’s not a good idea. All GPS aps will tell you to use your best judgment, and then they’ll give you instructions that are pretty difficult to ignore. We’ve always been very careful in the design of Soundscape, not to give the impression that it knows better than you about the space you’re in.”

A member asked whether they are considering adding functionality that would allow Soundscape users to update information in Open Street Map, using a Soundscape interface.

Melanie replied, “That isn’t something that’s on our immediate road map, but it is something we’ve discussed. There is a, send feedback, button in Soundscape where we welcome information. We can’t necessarily respond to every report by updating Open Street Maps, but we definitely do add our own updates routinely, so it’s worth reporting this way if you want to. Open Street Map is open source with a strong community, and we’ve found that if we flag a particular area as being poorly represented, the community will often step up to fill in the gaps. It may be useful for the visually impaired community in Toronto, to make contact with the Open Street Map community in Toronto to see if the two groups could work together.

Another member said that she finds it hard to operate the phone and work her dog. Is there another way to interface with the ap?

Amos responded that most of the information you need will be announced even with your phone locked and in your pocket. If you have the kind of headphones that have play/pause and fast-forward/rewind buttons on them, the play and pause button has a few functions. One press will mute or unmute Soundscape. A double press of that button will activate the, where am I, feature, and a triple press will repeat the last call-out. Bose Frames, Aftershocks and EarPods all have this functionality, and have good sound. We have worked hard for as much of a hands/free experience as possible. It’s a background or ambient experience for some users. Some people keep it on in the background while riding the bus and checking email. It’s a companion that you should be able to get used to without having to give it a lot of attention. Work on ignoring Soundscape

Soundscape does not work on Android phones. Jason and another member contributed that functionality on Android is important, because accessibility should mean being available on as many devices as possible. A member contributed that AMI research has shown that Android use among young people in the visually impaired community is higher, and rising. In general, iPhone use outstrips Android use in the visually impaired community in North America, but that’s definitely not true in other parts of the world.

Another member asked if there’s any consideration of using voice commands to run Soundscape. Amos replied that there are. IOS provides some even easier ways to do that now, with Siri shortcuts and so on. There are two reasons why we haven’t really got there. The first is that when you’re out doors in noisy environments, that’s not going to work so well, especially if your microphone isn’t quite where it needs to be, which can lead to frustration. Secondly, the direction of trying to minimize your need to even give Soundscape commands, is the goal as we try to optimize. There are certain situations, such as choosing a beacon, which is a handful when you’re on the go, and voice commands could simplify that. We look a lot at the telemetry of which buttons are being pressed and so on. When people are on the go largely, you don’t really need most of them. You don’t really need to pull the phone out and press buttons, especially with the headset buttons, but we do look at voice commands. It’s always good to hear people’s experiences and preferences in that regard.

A member asked if the ap will work with IOS13? Amos replied that it will, but be warned … There are a lot of warnings out there about IOS13 having a lot of its own accessibility issues. The recommendation is to wait a few days till IOS13.1 comes out.

A member said that she uses Bluetooth hearing aids, and that she was very impressed with how well Soundscape functioned with them.

Amos said, “We are both delighted to hear, we’re both smiling here.”

A member said he wasn’t clear how close or far you could be to a destination to use Soundscape, as it doesn’t give turn-by-turn directions. Should we be using it in conjunction with another ap?

Melanie replied that they have received similar feedback in the past. The current recommendation is that Soundscape can be used alongside other navigation tools. If you’re in a location that you’re not familiar with and you want a lot of detail about how to get there, Google Maps might provide really great turn-by-turn directions. You might then also use Soundscape to help you understand what’s around you as you move from point A to point B. When you’re in a space you feel more familiar with, you might know the general layout but you don’t know exactly where the building is. In that case you might set a beacon on the building and start making the necessary turns.

Amos added that you can do long walks with Soundscape, but that it’s really optimal around 400 to 150 metres. It’s often very good when you go somewhere using Google Maps and it tells you you’ve arrived, but you still don’t know where the building is. In that case, Soundscape can be very helpful. We do get the question of adding turn-by-turn directions to Soundscape, and we’re not ignoring that.

For the past year, we started to explore uses of Soundscape outside the area of city navigation and mobility. We started to explore, for example, the idea of using Soundscape for kayaking. You can use a beacon to keep oriented on a lake; you can hear where the shore is, or where you took off from. We’ve played around with trails and recreational experiences. We’re having a lot of interest and traction on that front. Personally, I think that the experiences people get in recreation are mind blowing. They’re just wonderful because of the level of independence it gives you. So if any of you are so inclined, I highly recommend for you to try it. We are doing some work with the local adaptive sports organization. We’ve set up a trial that enables them to curate a route which would then surface on Soundscape. They’re going to run their first adaptive sports kayaking program next week with Soundscape as a test. It’s something that’s different, and that we felt was very rewarding for participants.

A member contributed that the active tandem cycling and sailing groups in Toronto might want to connect with Amos.

A member asked what Microsoft is working on for the future of Soundscape.

Amos replied that the recreational aspect is something they’re really excited about, and also the Bose Frames. We have talked about a hands-free experience, and sensors built into the device that track your head movement, enabling us to improve the audio experience. Amos invited Jason, who has had the opportunity to try this type of Bose Frames, to describe the experience.

Jason explained that the newest Bose Frames will have a gyro/accelerometer in them. What it will allow you to do, is set a beacon in Soundscape, then locate it just by turning your head, and it’s really quite cool.

Amos added that it has some very interesting applications for what Soundscape can offer.

Jason asked how people can give feedback.

Amos answered that they can email soundscapefeed@microsoft.com and that comes to our team. There is also a feedback button in the ap itself.

Amos and Melanie signed off.

Jason then went through a few points.

All of the meeting notes are now up on the GTT website. He then demonstrated something that has been added to the website. Do not try this with Internet Explorer, you must use a modern browser. One of the links at the top of the page is for meeting notes. Jason opened the notes for May, 2019. Arrowing down from the main heading, you’ll come to a line that says, listen to this article, with a play button. This is a new feature, that will read you the article in the new Amazon Newscaster voice. If you would prefer a voice other than Jaws, or if you’re a large print user, this is an option. Jason did a demo of the high-quality voice. Any of the meeting notes you call up, will offer this option.

IOS13 was released today. If you have an iPhone6S or better, you  can run it. It’s probably a good idea to hold off on installing it. IOS13.1 should be out in 4 days or so. They released IOS13 a bit before it was ready, in order to align with the new iPhone release. IOS13 offers a lot of cool things. One of the coolest is that you can change all of your VoiceOver gestures. An example of why you might want to do this is, there are people who have a really hard time with the rotor gesture. You could change that to a different gesture. Also, if you have anything newer than an iPhone 8, you can turn the VoiceOver sounds into vibrations. There are several vibration patterns to choose from. We’re hoping to have a presentation on IOS13 next month.

Jason also announced a new tech podcast that he and Chris Chamberlin are doing. It’s through the CNIB Podcast Network, and it’s called the CNIB Smartlife Tech cast. It’s on most popular podcast platforms.

 

Upcoming Meetings:

  • Next Meeting: Thursday, October 17, 2019 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.Blog/

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