Mystic Access: You’re Invited to Our Festive Open House, News On Updated Tutorials, Black Friday Deals, and Even More Shopping Opportunities

Dear GTT participants, here is an event you may wish to sit in on.  It promises to offer some good deals, fun and information.  I personally have benefited from a couple of the courses and tutorials this organization sells, and their free offerings are also of tremendous value.

 

You’re Invited to Our Festive Open House, News On Updated Tutorials, Black Friday Deals, and Even More Shopping Opportunities

 

Our best deals of the year are almost here! As usual, we’ll have amazing discounts on almost everything we offer at Mystic Access. Stock up on gifts for yourself and those you love at insane prices. Beginning Friday morning, November 29, through the end of day on Giving Tuesday December 3, 2019, you will automatically receive:

  • 25% off of our audio tutorials, including newer products such as our Chromebooks tutorial, and perennial favorites like our Alexa and Google Suite of Products tutorials
  • 20% off of training, consulting and coaching sessions. All sessions are recorded for your later reference
  • 10% off of hardware, including our Bluetooth speakers, bone conduction headphones, and awesome fully reversible micro USB cables. All of our hardware products are shipped with comprehensive audio tutorials on SD cards, so that you can learn to use your new devices quickly and easily

 

The fun doesn’t end with the deep discounts, either. To celebrate another great year with all of you, we’re throwing an open house on Friday, November 29, from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM eastern time. While we can’t offer you leftovers, we can supply answers to your product questions, talk about the cool tech you’re hoping will land in your stocking this year, and otherwise share in cozy conversation with you. Come sit by our virtual fireside and get to know us better. We’d love for you to visit during our open house event. This was insanely popular last year, so we’re doing it again! It’s a time for all of us to let our hair down and have some fun together! Oh, and did we mention there will be games and prizes this year, too? Please note that this will not be recorded.

 

 

Guest Post: Teleconference Workshop: Braille is Best: Out and About – Everyday Strategies for Advocating for the Use of Braille, Braille Literacy Canada, November 30, 2019

Braille is Best: Out and About —
Everyday Strategies for Advocating for the Use of Braille

Inclusion of braille and braille accessibility is an ongoing challenge for those who read braille. Have you ever encountered a situation when braille was simply overlooked and you were asked if braille copy was really necessary?

Join us for the next teleconference where our knowledgeable panelists will share their experiences advocating for braille in post-secondary education and in everyday life. Whether you’re a braille reader, a parent or a professional in the blindness field the solutions and strategies we’ll discuss will equip you to advocate for braille literacy wherever it’s needed.

Date: Saturday, November 30, 2019

Time: 1:00 – 2:30 PM Eastern (Starting at 10 AM Pacific, 11 AM Mountain, 12 Noon Central/Saskatchewan and 2 PM Atlantic)

Cost: The teleconference is free for BLC members as well as those who are members of organizations that are corporate members of BLC.  Cost for non-members is $20.

To Register: send an email to info@blc-lbc.ca by Thursday, November 28, 2019.

How to Protect Company/Individual Copyright when sharing written/recorded material to GTT Networks

Protecting Copyright when sharing written material to GTT Networks:

 

Hi all.  It recently came to our attention that GTT contributors, including yours truly, aren’t always operating under established strict rules for sharing Copyrighted material from other sources to the GTTSupport list and GTTProgram Blog.  I will attempt to lay out what I think are some of the ways we can all continue to benefit from the sharing of great and notable articles without infringing on the creator’s ownership Rights.

 

It’s not appropriate to copy and paste entire articles even if the link to the original source is provided.  Essentially, online content has the same Copyright protection as any original image, writing, or recording.  This means that “Fair Use” rules apply, which allows you to quote brief excerpts verbatim from Copyrighted content for purposes such as criticism, news reporting, teaching and research.  For online use, the basic rule of thumb is that quoting 2 or 3 paragraphs is acceptable, and that it still needs to be wrapped in original content of your own.

 

For example, in the case of software releases, you should write a summary of your own, include some selected quotes from the article/release, and direct readers to the original source for more information by providing a web link.

 

In researching the “Fair Use” Rules where they pertain to Copyright I came across this article and appreciated how simply it lays out the rules and some of the ways they can be applied.  As the GTTSupport email list and the GTTProgram Blog were established as peer mentoring tools aimed at allowing us to teach and support each other around the use of assistive technology, I believe we fall under the following bullet point, “copying a few paragraphs from a news article for use by a teacher or student in a lesson…”.

 

What Is Fair Use? – Copyright Overview by Rich Stim – Stanford Copyright and Fair Use Center

 

“Commentary and Criticism

If you are commenting upon or critiquing a copyrighted work—for instance, writing a book review—fair use principles allow you to reproduce some of the work to achieve your purposes. Some examples of commentary and criticism include:

  • quoting a few lines from a Bob Dylan song in a music review
  • summarizing and quoting from a medical article on prostate cancer in a news report
  • copying a few paragraphs from a news article for use by a teacher or student in a lesson, or
  • copying a portion of a Sports Illustrated magazine article for use in a related court case.

The underlying rationale of this rule is that the public reaps benefits from your review, which is enhanced by including some of the copyrighted material. Additional examples of commentary or criticism are provided in the examples of fair use cases.”

 

Here is the link to the entire article:

https://fairuse.stanford.edu/overview/fair-use/what-is-fair-use/

 

Sample CCB Reference:

Below is a sample of a properly referenced comment Regarding a News article about CCB.

 

It was great to read in the below article how over 150 people crowded a Vancouver area community center to give the BC Government their views on what should be in a future Accessible BC Act, slated to be tabled in the BC Legislature during the Fall 2020 session.  Here’s how the CCB is being pro-active toward the recognition of our rights as British Columbians with disabilities.

 

British Columbians pack meeting to help develop accessibility law | Vancouver Sun

NICK EAGLAND

 

“Conway said he has visited hotels with elevators which do not have Braille labels on their buttons. Grocery and drug stores have replaced human cashiers with self-checkout machines which have touchscreens he can’t use. Businesses have refused to allow DA Chief to enter, breaking the law.

Strong enforcement is key to making the legislation work, said Conway, who is the 2nd vice-president of the Canadian Council of the Blind’s B.C.-Yukon division.”

 

The entire article will be found here:

https://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/b-c-government-holds-vancouver-community-meeting-on-accessibility-legislation

 

Thx, Albert

 

 

 

Windows From the Keyboard Tips, Windows 10 Accessibility, October 23,2019

Hello. This is Gerry Chevalier from the GTT Edmonton Chapter. This weekly blog provides tips that I find useful as a keyboard user of Windows. The information is for Windows10 and Office 365, although many tips will still apply to older versions.  The tips do not require a screen reader unless specifically noted. Thus, the tips apply whether you are a keyboard user or low vision mouse user. Here is this week’s tip.

 

Windows10 Accessibility

Many people who are experiencing progressive vision loss find it increasingly difficult to see their computer screen and ask what kind of assistive tech software they should buy. The good news is you can improve the accessibility of your computer without buying anything. Windows 10 has built-in accessibility settings for both screen magnification and screen reading with speech.

 

Just hold down the Windows logo key and press U to open the Ease of Access settings. You will find a list of accessibility features such as screen magnification, contrast, and alternative mouse pointers. Try setting these parameters to improve your screen reading experience.

 

Also, within the Windows 10 Ease of Access Centre is a speech screen reader called Narrator that should be explored if your vision loss is significant and you would benefit more by having the contents of your screen spoken to you.

 

That’s it for this tip. Until next Wednesday, happy computing.

 

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

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

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

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

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

Author:

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

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

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

News release

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

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

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

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

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

End of article.

 

 

Tech Article: Apps That Assist Beginners With Learning Voice Over Gestures

Here are some recommendations for apps that might help new iPhone users learn the iPhone gestures.

 

These are four apps I think are helpful in learning the VoiceOver gestures of the iPhone.  They are all free, I think.

 

The Blindfold Bop one is free, however limited in how many times you can use it, so I purchased it for about $6 which allows me unlimited use of the app.

 

Below I have provided a link to the entire list of iFocus MP3 files in my Dropbox folder.  It is a Zipped file that you can download to your computer.

 

  1. VO Starter, is an app that is text based and explains the VO gestures well in a well organized fashion.  It’s a great manual for learning what’s possible.
  2. Blindfold Bop, is a game based tutorial that gets you to practice gestures with ever increasing speeds and complexity.
  3. VO Tutorial, is an app that works the user through several games requiring that gestures be performed in order to work through the game.  It’s great for beginners.
  4. VO Lab, I found this one less helpful as it gets the user to turn off VO and use a self-voicing voice.  It might be too confusing for beginners.  I don’t like it, and it’s possible that others will learn from it so I included it.

 

Of course, VO Calendar is a great way to use the Calendar with an accessible and usable overlay on the native on board Calendar app.

 

iFocus MP3 Zipped File (nearly 3GB):

https://www.dropbox.com/s/nytxnwzs544p4on/ifocus%20MP3%20Files.zip?dl=1

 

Thx, Albert

 

Get Together with Technology (GTT) on Twitter and Facebook

GTT on Twitter and Facebook

 

Get Together with Technology (GTT)

Sponsored by the Canadian Council of the Blind (CCB)

 

GTT is an exciting initiative of the Canadian Council of the Blind, founded in 2011 by Kim Kilpatrick and Ellen Goodman.  GTT aims to help people who are blind or have low vision in their exploration of low vision and blindness related access technology.  Through involvement with GTT participants can learn from and discuss assistive technology with others walking the same path of discovery.

 

GTT is made up of blindness related assistive technology users, and those who have an interest in using assistive technology designed to help blind and vision impaired people level the playing field.  GTT groups interact through social media, and periodically meet in-person or by teleconference to share their passions for assistive technology and to learn what others can offer from their individual perspectives.

 

To follow, and join in on the discussions undertaken my members of the Get Together with Technology initiative of the Canadian Council of the Blind, please find us on Twitter and Facebook.

 

GTT Program on Twitter:

To stay in touch with GTT on Twitter please follow the three Twitter Feeds listed below:

 

@GTTProgram @GTTWest @CCBNational

 

GTTProgram on Facebook:

To follow GTT on Facebook like and share the following FB Pages:

 

CCBNational GTTProgram

 

Or join the General and Youth GTTProgram Facebook Groups;

 

Join the GTTProgram Group for blindness related assistive technology discussions.  This group welcomes participants of all ages.  For more information contact Kim or Albert at GTTProgram@Gmail.com or Albert.GTT@CCBNational.net.

 

Join the GTTYouth for lively discussion on matters related to blindness assistive technology.  Canadian Youth aged 18 to 25 are encouraged to join this group.  For more information contact Rebecca.GTT@CCBNational.net.

 

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

 

CCB-GTT Victoria Summary Notes, Year in Review and Stuff, June 7, 2017

Get together with Technology (GTT) Victoria

A Chapter of the Canadian Council of the Blind

Summary Notes
Wednesday, June 7, 2017
GVPL Main branch, Community Meeting Room

The meeting was called to order at 1:05 pm by chair Albert Ruel

Attendance: 23 people.

Albert welcomed everyone to the meeting, After a one month absence (where we took the meeting to Shaw last month) it was good to be back at the GVPL, for our final meeting before the 2 month summer break. Seeing as this is our last meeting for awhile, no formal agenda was presented, rather a “year in review” and “open discussion” were encouraged.

BlueSky TV:
The meeting started with some discussion about The BlueSky offering from Shaw. Partisipants were asked if they enjoyed the demo and if any members did elect to subscribe to the service. At least 4 participants said they had signed up for BlueSky.

Mike Carpenter gave a complete description and overview of the service. He personally is delighted with BlueSky. Several members had questions pertaining to just how accessible is the service, and it was agreed that it does have it’s limitations in regards to presenting the program grid and/or external app content. Rather then calling it an accessible product, it might better be described as an inclusive product, developed for mainstream consumption that is usable by the blind .

There does not seam to be a lot of print, or even web information available about the service, however Albert has gathered some YouTube videos from the States that describe the ComCast service (same service as blueSky) that he will make available via the blog.

Must remember takeaways, you must have Shaw150 speed internet. Button A on remote turns voice guidance on/off . Shaw FreeRange app works great with Voiceover on iPhone and iPads.

Capital and Nanaimo Region BC Transit Stop Announcement Updates:
Albert reported that plans for a fully accessible transit “stop announcement” and external audible bus identifier system is moving forward. Nanaimo will be one of the first BC Transit cities to realise the Service. They should be fully installed in all 7 announced BC Transit service centers by the end of next year.

Victoria Bicycle Lane Update:
The new Downtown bike lanes were discussed, Linda reported that there were several issues including bus stops located on islands. Major concern for VI transit users whereas the must cross the two way bike lanes to get to and from the transit stop. Also location transit stop not identified on main sidewalk. Linda encouraged everyone with issues in this regard to be vocal, report your concerns, experiences and issues with the city of Victoria.

Music Writing Apps for the computer:
Some general discussion about music writing software like MusScore and Lime took place. Jaws 18 and the issue of upgrading was talked about and Albert spoke about how to create accessible MS Word tables (Albert will share info with those interested).

Access Technology Institute Accessible Textbooks:
Accessible textbooks by CathyAnn Murtha, one of which is called An Immersion Into Word2013-JFW, were discussed by Albert, although expensive they are in his opinion the best out there and worth the money. You will find information on all their textbooks and training sessions at Access Technology Institute (ATI)GTT Blog, Facebook and Email Engagement Streams:
Albert encouraged everyone to sign up for our GTT blog for updates, and to join our facebook group and email discussion list. More information will be distributed to all currently on the GTT Victoria mailing list.

the new GTT FaceBook group for youth was announced and for anyone interested more info is available from the CCB National office or on the Blog. Addressing the tech needs of blind youth was viewed by the group as being an extremely worthwhile and forward thinking initiative.

Eyes-free academy by iHabilitation:
Tom Decker informed the group of a new inclusive learning project that is now available via iHabilitation Canada. It’s called the Eyes-free academy. The first course is being offered free of charge as a beta. For more info visit http://www.ihabilitationcanada.com. Tom is eager to receive feedback on the project and looking forward to offering many more courses. Stay tuned.

iOS Updates Coming to an iDevice Near You:
A brief discussion took place about the new offerings that will be a part of iOS11 (to be released later this fall). many new and exciting changes that will be discussed when the group gathers again in September and beyond.

Special Thanks to Karen and the GVPL for Hosting GTT Victoria for the Past Year:
A special “thank you” went out to Karen for her help and participation in CCB GTT Victoria. The Greater Victoria Public Library has been a strong supporter of the program. Our thanks go out to everyone at the library, we are proud and honoured to call the GVPL our home base for GTT Victoria. Karen informed the group that Scott Minroe, GVPL staff might be joining us in the fall, with Karen dropping in from time to time.

Meeting was adjourned at 3:10pm. HAVE A GREAT SUMMER !!!!!

Next meeting, Wednesday September 6, 2017

Minutes prepared and Submitted by Corry Stuive

 

CCB-GTT Edmonton Summary Notes, Accessible Library Apps and Bluetooth Devices, June 12, 2017

Summary Notes
GTT Edmonton Meeting June 12, 2017

The most recent meeting of the Get Together with Technology (GTT) Edmonton Chapter was held June 12 at 7pm at Ascension Lutheran Church 8405 83 Street in Edmonton.
21 people attended.
Note: this was the final meeting before summer break. Our next meeting will be September 11, 2017.

June Topic – Library Apps and Blue Tooth Devices

Hoopla App
Lorne demoed the free Hoopla app on his iPhone, also available as a website, which allows members of the Edmonton public library, (and other libraries from across the world), to get access to movies, music, audio, and eBooks. The app is very VoiceOver accessible, and get’s it’s audio books from the same professional publishers as places like Audible, etc. You loan out your book for 21 days, and then it automatically returns if you don’t return it manually. When listening to an audio book, you have controls for skipping forward and back by 30 seconds, 5 minutes, or the standard scrub controls for going 10% at a time. You can also set bookmarks, and there’s a sleep timer.
You can find out more information here:
Edmonton Public Library Hoopla Resource

and here is the link to download the app from iTunes:
iTunes Hoopla App

and here is a list of all the amazing free online resources like Hoopla that you get access to with an Edmonton Public Library card:
Edmonton Public Library Resources

as well as a list of the Edmonton Public Library Assistive Services for clients with disabilities:
Edmonton Public Library Assistive Services

New Dolphin EasyReader App for CELA Library Books
Russell gave a brief introduction to the new Dolphin app, EasyReader on his iPhone. He played a book he downloaded through the CELA library, but explained that it may be several weeks before CELA books are available for everyone to use through the EasyReader app. He encouraged people to go ahead and download the app now as Bookshare materials are available through the same EasyReader app providing you have a Bookshare membership.

Find out more about the EasyReader app at…
Dolphin EasyReader App

Use Blue Tooth to Extend Life of Older Stereo/TV Equipment
Carrie demonstrated two inexpensive Blue Tooth devices to enhance her older TV and stereo systems. Below is Carrie’s summary of how she uses them:
To make my old tech wireless I purchased 2 pieces of Bluetooth equipment.
First an OT Adapt Bluetooth Receiver which I plug my old computer speakers or headphones into and they become wireless.
And second, the Indigo 2 in 1 Bluetooth Transmitter/Receiver which converts my old picture tube television or stereo into a Bluetooth audio sending device. In the end, the combination of these two devices allows me to play music from my old stereo component to my old computer speakers on the deck. Or, listen to the old picture tube TV in private via headphones while I’m in the kitchen making dinner. The OT Adapt receiver by itself can receive audio from a Bluetooth enabled device like my iPhone to listen to audiobooks or if connected to my stereo auxiliary input it can pipe my electric piano through the home speaker system. Both devices plug into the standard 3.5mm audio jack or a digital audio jack and make the devices wireless. This saved me having to buy Bluetooth headphones, Bluetooth speaker system, Bluetooth enabled stereo components or a Smart TV with Bluetooth. Approximately $125 for both from London Drugs. Now I notice they are available on Amazon. You do not need both so if shopping around, have a good idea of what you want to make wireless. A good salesperson will help you out. Remember one device must transmit and one must receive. Most Smartphones, laptops and Smart TVs already transmit a Bluetooth audio signal, it just must be turned on in the device settings.

Next Meeting (Monday September 11 at 7pm)
• As usual, we will provide one-on-one training especially iPhone and DAISY players. If you have other training requests email your interests to us so we can try to accommodate you.
• As always, for help with technology bring your devices and/or questions to the meeting.

Meeting Location and Logistics
• Ascension Lutheran Church 8405 – 83 Street NW, Edmonton.
• We meet in the basement hall. There is elevator access.
• Enter the church from the back door. There is parking at the back and drop off space for taxis, DATS.
• Meetings are every second Monday of the month at 7pm.
• If you have someone helping you your assistant is welcome to remain for the meeting.

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 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 in Ottawa, Toronto, Kingston, Northern Ontario, Pembroke, Halifax, Sydney, Regina, Calgary, Edmonton, Grande Prairie, Victoria, Nanaimo, Vancouver, and more to come.
• There is also 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.
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