Guest Post: Works of art reimagined by Francine Kopun The Toronto Star

Works of art reimagined

OCAD University students rework a selection of AGO paintings into hands-on art the visually impaired can appreciate

 

Francine Kopun

The Toronto Star, Jan. 4, 2019

 

Peter Coppin remembers the discussion with a visually impaired student that helped him understand how much can be misunderstood when a person has to depend on words to understand what someone else can see.

 

They were talking about Italy and the student knew that Italy is shaped like a boot. But when Coppin described it as a boot with a high heel like the Three Muskateers would wear, the student laughed out loud. He had been envisioning Italy as an entirely different kind of boot shape and the idea of Italy as a Muskateer boot was comical to him.

 

It’s these chasms in understanding that Coppin and the Art Gallery of Ontario are trying to bridge with a program that brings multisensory projects, based on works of visual art, to AGO museum tours for people in the blind and low vision community.

 

While in the past museums have relied heavily on audio recordings and guides to bridge that gap, new practices are being brought on board, including multisensory aids designed by graduate students at OCAD University.

 

“Visuals are dominant in our culture. If you are a part of society and you don’t have access to visual items, then you don’t have access to a lot of  stuff about the culture that people who have vision have access to,” says Coppin, associate professor of the inclusive design graduate program and director of the perceptual artifacts lab at OCAD University.

 

In Coppin’s graduate class, students select a work of art at the AGO to interpret for people living with vision loss.

 

This year – the second year of the program – the works included four paintings: Tom Thomson’s The West Wind, Otto Dix’s Portrait of Dr. Heinrich Stadelmann; La Demoiselle de magasin by James Tissot and Jar of Apricots by Jean-Siméon Chardin.

 

In a way, it’s about getting back to the roots of what museums used to be, said Melissa Smith, co-ordinator of the gallery guide, adult education officer and access to art programs for the AGO.

 

Early museums began as private collections, typically belonging to the wealthy, who would share art and artifacts they had purchased or collected on their travels. They were displayed in “wonder rooms.” People were allowed to touch the items as part of the experience.

 

The AGO already offers multisensory tours for people living with vision loss, which include some works that can be touched – including the museum’s large Rodin sculptures – under supervision, but providing 3-D support for works of visual arts offers the possibility of evoking more than just the sense of touch.

 

For months, Coppin’s students grappled with the idea of how to render the terrifying look on Dr. Stadelmann’s face into a tactile experience and how to communicate the cold of the water in The West Wind.

 

“We were totally drawn to this portrait; the eerie atmosphere,” said student Shannon Kupfer, speaking of the Dix portrait. “I was dying to interpret it.”

 

Dix layered paint on the doctor’s eyes – they appear to bulge. He seems haunted. His hands are in fists by his sides. Kupfer and her partner, Tyson Moll, wanted viewers to feel that tension, and also feel the deep wrinkles in his face.

 

They made a 3-D replica of the doctor’s head in polymer clay that felt cold and a bit yielding, but still firm to the touch. The eyes bulge like they do in the painting.

 

They sewed hair onto his head in little batches, to mimic the strokes of the paintbrush in the painting. They made the body boxy and rigid, to communicate the physical tension in the painting. They gave him a rigid collar, backed by cardboard. His fists were made of polymer clay coated in silicone.

 

They also made it out of products that were easy to care for – the clothes are fastened with Velcro to make it easier for curators to remove them and wash them if necessary.

 

They recorded an audio component – a fluent German speaker reading a passage from one of Dr. Stadelmann’s writings, concerning avant-garde art in relation to what was then considered psychiatric wisdom. They included the hissing noise that used to accompany recordings played on records.

 

“It’s not just engaging for the low-sight community, it’s engaging for everyone. It’s such a cool way to get kids – or anyone – more engaged with art,” Kupfer said.

 

The problem of communicating the coldness of the water in Tom Thomson’s piece was solved more simply, with a bag of blue slime. To convey the feeling of wind, the students invested in a $20 miniature fan from Amazon.com.

 

“When you stand in front of this painting you can feel the strong wind because of the shape of the tree and the waves on the lake,” said student Norbert Zhao.

 

John Rae, who lost his eyesight in his 20s and is now blind, has been on the AGO multisensory tours and experienced the works made by this year’s OCAD students. While he liked the Otto Dix sculpture, some things didn’t communicate as planned. For example, without knowing anything about the painting, when Rae touched the sculpture, he thought the doctor was a boxer wearing gloves, because of the way the hands felt. “That comes from me as a sports fan,” said Rae, a retired public servant and a board member of the Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians.

 

Rae liked the multisensory adaptation of Jar of Apricots, by students Nikkie To and Grace Mendez. The painting is a still life that includes a jar of apricots, a glass of wine, bread and a cup of tea.

 

Their model included dried apricots for tasting, jarred scents including a cork soaked in wine and apricot jam with added artificial apricot scent; 3-D printed objects including a tea cup and wine glass to handle, background music from the period and others sounds – touching the wine glass triggered the sound of a liquid being poured.

 

While Rae believes the multisensory aids provide another tool, he thinks museums in general need to consider making more objects available for handling by the blind and vision impaired. He cited as an example ancient pottery – while a museum may have perfect examples on display, it may also have imperfect examples in storage. What would be the harm, asks Rae, in making those available to people with limited eyesight, especially since the tours happen infrequently, involve about six to 12 items, and small numbers of people?

 

“One can learn a fair amount from the expertise that the people who run these tours bring to the table, but there is no substitute for being able to touch,” Rae said.

 

The challenge at the AGO, Smith said, is that in an art gallery the works tend to be flat and one-of-a-kind.

 

“Our conservators and curators do their utmost to ensure the objects, like sculptures, which make the most interesting objects to touch, are cared for and exhibited to support this program,” Smith said.

 

Ian White, president of a local Toronto chapter of the Canadian Council of the Blind called the CCB Toronto Visionaries, said that while AGO tour leaders excel at describing art in a way that triggers the imagination, the multisensory tours are evocative.

 

“It starts a conversation about the piece, about the artist, about the history,” White said.

 

“It really allows people to engage with works that are part of our collective culture.”

 

 

Guest Post: Let’s Talk Tips for Tuesday, January 1st 2019 Volume 4 An Author Donna Jodhan Publication

Let’s Talk Tips for Tuesday, January 1st 2019 – Volume 4 An Author Donna Jodhan Publication About | Let’s Talk Tips is your monthly resource for the most current and reliable informational tips available in the areas of Technology, Nutrition, Media, Business, and Advocacy. Find out more at: http://bit.ly/ADJLTT Web Version | Read this Volume of the Let’s Talk Tips Newsletter on the web at: http://bit.ly/LETSTALKTIPSV4, or at http://www.donnajodhan.com/lets-talk-tips-newsletter-2018/01012019/index.html.

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Subscribe | Subscribe to receive this newsletter at: http://bit.ly/ADJSubscribe.

Dear Reader,

Happy New Year! This month in Let’s Talk Tips:

________________________________________

➜ Technology

________________________________________

1.) Netflix is Testing an Instant Scene-Replay Feature Did that scene in “Black Panther” or “Stranger Things” wow you so much that you wanted to stop everything and instantly rewatch it? A new feature being tested by Netflix could give viewers the ability to do exactly that.

🌐 https://lat.ms/2ReaZbU

2.) SMS to RCS. A New Messaging Standard. What it is and why you might want it.

A lot of people have become bored with SMS messaging, and the tech industry is very aware of it. While services such as Apple’s iMessage, Facebook Messenger, and WhatsApp allow you to add photos, GIFs and videos to your messages, they are not universal solutions.

🌐 http://bit.ly/2rYUgex

3.) The AI boom is happening all over the world, and it’s accelerating quickly.

The second annual AI Index report pulls together data and expert findings on the field’s progress and acceleration.

🌐 http://bit.ly/2GC9W1f

4.) The Worst Passwords of 2018. Is yours on this list?

Making it into the Top 25 for bad passwords this year are “donald,” “princess,” and “sunshine.” If you’re guilty of using one of the offending passwords on SplashData’s 100 Top Worst Passwords List of 2018, it’s time to get more creative.

🌐 http://bit.ly/2QIFkjt

5.) CNET Gives Us The Top Tech Stories of 2018 From Google’s scary Duplex AI to Fortnite mania, this year showed the good, bad and uncomfortable ways that tech is changing our lives.

🌐 https://cnet.co/2Reb2EC

________________________________________

➜ Nutrition

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1.) Arjun Kapoor’s Weight Loss Diet Plan & Workout Routine. Before & After Pics Bollywood actor Arjun Kapoor’s incredible weight loss story is indeed an inspiration for many people struggling to get fit. Read on to learn his diet plan and workout routine.

🌐 http://bit.ly/2PVVjFl

2.) How to Lose Belly Fat and Build Muscle Fast. 5 Workout and Diet Secrets Every Man Should Know Building muscle is tricky in itself, doing that while losing the unwanted belly fat is perhaps, trickier. Here are some things that you need to incorporate in your workout routines to meet your goals.

🌐 http://bit.ly/2QItHJ7

3.) What is the Fast Metabolism Diet and How Does it Help with Weight Loss?

Essentially, the Fast Metabolism Diet is a 28-day eating plan that aims to speed up your metabolism by consuming specific foods in a certain time, resulting in weight loss. The diet, developed by a celebrity nutritionist and wellness consultant Haylie Pomroy, claims that eating the certain foods at the right time can ‘trick’ your metabolism into speeding up, helping you lose up to up to 20 pounds (9 kilos) in just 28 days.

🌐 http://bit.ly/2CsB7aN

4.) Why Relaxing is More Important for Weight Loss Than You Think. And How Often You Need to Chill Out More and more gyms are investing in relaxation areas and luxury saunas, but you can reap the same benefits at home.

🌐 http://bit.ly/2V6sKcn

5.) 7 Tips for Exactly How to Eat Before and After a Workout Nutrition pros break down the guidelines for pre and post workout eating, so you can maximize the benefits of your sweat session.

🌐 http://bit.ly/2PUZNfi

________________________________________

➜ Media

________________________________________

1.) All of Facebook’s Ad Targeting Options in One Infographic Facebook’s Ad Targeting Options got you dizzy? Well you’re not alone. Check out this awesome infographic for a complete visual represenation of your options, fully categorized and illustrated.

🌐 http://bit.ly/2Lwa8y2

2.) The Verge Gives Us 22 Predictions for Social Media in 2019 What to expect from Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and more.

🌐 http://bit.ly/2EJ2nUQ

3.) For the first year ever, Pew Research Study reveals more people now turn to social media for news than actual newspapers.

It’s a sign of the times. Pew also found that other sources of news, including television, radio and news websites still outrank social media. You can take a look at Pew’s data distribution here.

🌐 https://cnet.co/2CthNu4

4.) Why businesses are relying on Facebook Groups to build engaged audiences.

At the beginning of 2018, Facebook switched up its algorithm in an attempt to “fix” the News Feed by promoting more posts from family and friends and demoting content from businesses, brands and media. The move actively distanced brands from their followers on the platform by limiting exposure to organic content posted by businesses. At first glance, the only solution for brands was to invest more in their Facebook ad campaigns, but some businesses have found an alternative to connect with their audience by building vibrant Facebook Group communities.

ic https://mklnd.com/2QJB1nS

5.) Instagram Strips Out Fake ‘Likes’ Tied to 3rd-Party Apps Instagram has begun to remove inauthentic engagement with accounts that used third-party apps to grow their follower count and engagement on the platform — a practice that violates the app’s community guidelines and terms of use.

🌐 https://mklnd.com/2Cs5mym

________________________________________

➜ Business

________________________________________

1.) Barriers to Working Longer are Coming Down Whether by choice or necessity, more adults are working past retirement age.

🌐 https://dpo.st/2BEA2uG

2.) Long Term Care and Nursing Home Information Systems Market Report The Long Term Care and Nursing Home Information Systems Market Report provides an overview of the Long Term Care and Nursing Home Information Systems Industry, including industry characteristics, manufacturing technology, industry chain analysis and the latest market trends & dynamics.

🌐 http://bit.ly/2LtlaUJ

3.) Hunger Among Senior Citizens is Serious Problem The period of life known as “the golden years” is often more bleak than bright for a lot of senior citizens in the United States. Nearly 5 million seniors citizens currently deal with hunger in the U.S., according to Feeding America, a nonprofit organization that focuses its efforts on hunger relief.

🌐 http://bit.ly/2BDkZlg

4.) Perennials, Not Millennials, Will Trigger the Next Wave of Talent Retention Efforts Headlines in recent years have trumpeted workplace changes demanded by millennials, from nap pods to flexible scheduling to student-loan repayment. But there is another fundamental shift in workforce demographics. Older workers — or “perennials,” as this cohort has sometimes been called — are now the fastest-growing population of workers, with twice as many seniors as teenagers currently employed in the US.

🌐 http://bit.ly/2rQznln

5.) LinkedIn’s 50 Big Ideas for 2019: What to Watch in the Year Ahead The business leaders, authors, journalists and academics who gave us their 2019 predictions foresee a shaky economy, a troubled world order and continued anxiety — but also a renewed focus on caring for ourselves, for each other and for doing the right thing. Here’s our annual look at the year ahead.

🌐 http://bit.ly/2CtFS3C

________________________________________

➜ Advocacy

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1.) Accessibility at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Japan Tokyo, Japan is hosting the 2020 Summer Olympics. As usual, the Paralympics will follow. It is expected that forty million people will travel to Japan to watch the Olympics and Paralympics. As a result, Japan is examining accessibility at the 2020 Summer Olympics. While Japan is accessible in some places already, the country will be making improvements between now and 2020.

🌐 http://bit.ly/2V1XFWW

2.) People With Disabilities Face Significant Barriers in Education System, Commission Finds Ontario’s education system needs to modernize its approach to supporting disabled students at every age level and do more to eliminate persistent barriers they face in school, the province’s human rights commission said in a statement.

🌐 http://bit.ly/2EEjWoc

3.) Research Shows 1 in 5 Museums Do Not Provide Online Access Information and are Inadvertently Contributing to a “Disability Engagement Gap”

Museum websites are key tools for providing visitor access information, and the absence of this contributes to the ‘disability engagement gap’; where people with a disability are less likely to be regular or frequent visitors of museums than those who are not disabled.

🌐 http://bit.ly/2Sd3D5y

4.) Equal Access in Air Travel for the Blind. Raising Expectations from the United States Department of Transportation Air travel and the treatment of blind passengers by the airlines are not new topics for the NFB and in the Braille Monitor. But recent events have the topics squarely on the NFB Agenda as you will read in this article.

🌐 http://bit.ly/2rOYpkU

5.) What would a truly disabled-accessible city look like?

Most cities are utterly unfriendly to people with disabilities, but with almost one billion estimated to be urban-dwellers by 2050, a few cities are undergoing a remarkable shift.

🌐 http://bit.ly/2PVpNYi

________________________________________

➜ Subscription Information:

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ABOUT:

The Let’s Talk Tips Newsletter is an Author Donna Jodhan Publication. Author Donna Jodhan is a blind author, advocate, blogger, podcast commentator, and accessibility specialist. The Let’s Talk Tips Newsletter is your monthly resource for the most current and reliable informational tips available in the areas of Technology, Nutrition, Media, Business, and Advocacy. The Let’s Talk Tips Newsletter is sent out by email and Facebook on the 1st Monday of every month at 6:00 AM EST.

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CONTENT CONTRIBUTORS:

Each month we aggregate all of the very best tips we can find in the areas of Technology, Nutrition, Media, Business, and Advocacy. If you are a writer, author, blogger or podcaster of informational tips in any of these areas, and you would like for your content to be considered for publication within this newsletter, you may send any information for future issues to our editor, Donna Jodhan, at: LetsTalkTips@DonnaJodhan.com ✉.

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CCB Tech Articles, Donna’s Low Tech Tips, Scams and Scammers, December 31, 2018

December 31 2018

 

Happy holidays everyone!

Hi there!  It’s Donna and thank you for allowing me to come into your inbox.

Today, I am going to do something a bit different and as we get ready to welcome in 2019 I am going to give you some great pointers for avoiding scams and scammers.

I have gathered these through investigations, hard core experiences, and input from others.

 

Here goes.

You need to remember that scams come in the following formats:

As emails, as phone calls both recorded and via a live caller, and o yes!  It can even show up at your door and in your mailbox.

And now they are targeting us through texts being sent to our cell phones.

 

Do not respond to emails that look strange to you.

Do not download attachments from unknown senders.

Do not share your username and password to your online banking and any other online payments facilities with anyone.

Do not give out any banking or personal details on the phone to unknown callers.

Do not pay any attention to threats from automated phone recordings or from live persons with regard to your credit card or that you owe money to any revenue agency.

Do not entertain any offers either via email or by phone from senders and callers offering incredible service packages as they may pertain to cable and tv services, prizes that you have won, or any sort of any type of service package.

Do not answer the door to unknown callers.

Take extra caution to make sure that the details of your credit cards and debit cards are fully protected when you make payments at restaurants or at stores, pharmacies, and elsewhere.

Do not enter your password for Facebook or Twitter in response to a text request on your cell phone.

The same if you are asked for your Apple ID.

Do not fall prey to a text message telling you that your banking details have been compromised online.

 

That’s it from me for this week.

If you would like to become a member of  my CCB Mysteries chapter you can do so for the price of $10 annually and in return you will receive unlimited access to either of the following libraries.

Recipes –

http://www.donnajodhan.com/library-recipes.html

Audio mysteries for all ages –

http://www.donnajodhan.com/library-audio-mysteries.html

Or you can subscribe to both for the price of $20 annually.

Now you  can subscribe to “‘Let’s Talk Tips”‘ which is my monthly resource for the most current and reliable

informational tips available in the areas of Technology, Nutrition, Media,

Business, and Advocacy.

http://bit.ly/ADJSubscribe

 

To contact me, send me an email at info@sterlingcreations.ca and I’d be happy to respond.

Have yourselves a great day and see you next week.

Donna

 

 

 

 

CCB Tech Articles, Donna’s Low Tech Tips, Raised Line Drawing Board, December 24, 2018

December 24 2018

Meet the raised line drawing board

 

Happy holidays everyone!

Hi there!  It’s Donna and thank you for allowing me to come into your inbox.

Today, I’d like to talk about the raised line drawing board.

 

Meet the raised line drawing board

 

I got introduced to this gem a few months ago and it is a perfect goodie for those kids who are interested in drawing their very own pictures.  It is a perfect way for anyone who is blind to use their imagination to put pen to paper so to speak.

 

How does this goodie work?  Well, it is just an 8 and a half by 11 board.  Place your sheet of paper on this board and then use any ball point pen to do the rest.  When you draw you can then feel how it comes out on the sheet of paper.  It comes out in raised format for you to feel.

 

Quite a very interesting goodie; good for all ages.  So go out there and make friends with the raised line drawing board.

 

 

That’s it from me for this week.

If you would like to become a member of  my CCB Mysteries chapter you can do so for the price of $10 annually and in return you will receive unlimited access to either of the following libraries.

Recipes –

http://www.donnajodhan.com/library-recipes.html

Audio mysteries for all ages –

http://www.donnajodhan.com/library-audio-mysteries.html

Or you can subscribe to both for the price of $20 annually.

Now you  can subscribe to “‘Let’s Talk Tips”‘ which is my monthly resource for the most current and reliable

informational tips available in the areas of Technology, Nutrition, Media,

Business, and Advocacy.

http://bit.ly/ADJSubscribe

 

To contact me, send me an email at info@sterlingcreations.ca and I’d be happy to respond.

Have yourselves a great day and see you next week.

Donna

 

 

 

 

Guest Post: Switching From JAWS To NVDA nvaccess/nvda-community Wiki · GitHub

Switching From JAWS To NVDA

To visit the website where this article is posted please access the above link.

 

Introduction

 

The purpose of this guide is to assist users of JAWS (Job Access With Speech), a commercial screen reader by Freedom Scientific to switch to the open source screen reader NVDA (NonVisual Desktop Access) with ease. It assumes prior knowledge of JAWS and that you are proficient in its use.

 

It is not intended to be a replacement of the included user guide, rather as a means to make NVDA seem less daunting.

 

Strengths And Weaknesses

 

The intent of this guide is not to be a comparison of JAWS and NVDA, but it is necessary to mention some things that NVDA doesn’t currently support or that needs improving so you can make an informed choice.

 

Support for advanced features of the Microsoft office suite is a fairly recent addition, so you may not find it as polished an experience as JAWS. However, this has been improved significantly in recent versions, and is constantly being worked on.

 

With that said, you’ll find that – in most daily situations, NVDA works just as well as JAWS, if not better in some cases.

 

A Quick Note about NVDA’s Laptop Keyboard Layout

 

Selecting the laptop keyboard layout does not automatically set the CapsLock key to act as the NVDA modifier key. However, a check box is provided next to the Keyboard Layout combo box to toggle this setting.

 

Note On The Insert Key.

 

As you may be aware, both JAWS and NVDA can use the insert key for its modifier key. Both screen readers treat it slightly differently, which could lead to some confusion if you are used to one or the other.

 

With JAWS loaded, the insert key is solely for its use. This means that, in order to use the original function assigned to it (such as switching between insert and overwrite modes in a text editor or word processor), you first have to activate JAWS’s pass key through command.

 

NVDA on the other hand allows you to carry out the insert key’s original function by pressing it twice quickly. Keep this in mind the next time you’re editing text while using NVDA and find yourself erasing what you’ve already written by typing over it.

 

Alternatives to eSpeak

 

eSpeak NG is the speech synthesizer that is included with NVDA. Like NVDA itself, it is also free and open source, which is one of the reasons for its inclusion. Another being the shear amount of languages it can speak.

 

However, you may find that, for whatever reason, it is not for you. If this is the case you will be glad to know that there are alternatives, which will be discussed in the following sections.

 

Eloquence

 

One of the most asked questions concerns the use of the Eloquence synthesizer with NVDA. Until recently, it was illegal to do so, as explained by a developer.  However, Code Factory has released a version of eloquence as an NVDA add-on which can be purchased from this link.

 

A license to use Nuance’s Vocalizer synthesizer is also included in the price.

 

See the section entitled “Scripts” for information about NVDA add-ons.

 

Windows OneCore voices

 

If you are on Windows 10 and are running NVDA version 2017.3 or later, you have yet another alternative in the shape of Windows OneCore voices. These voices are developed by Microsoft and are included free of charge with windows 10.

 

There are quite a few available in various languages and dialects; some of which will already be installed. However, these will vary depending on the language packs you have on your system. The only way at present to get new voices is to install other language packs in Settings. Once done, you can then download the voices for that language. At which point, you can remove the language pack. This will not effect the voices you have just installed. hopefully this will be made more simpler in the future.

 

If you find that Windows OneCore voices do not speak fast enough, even when NVDA’s speech rate is at its highest, adjust the speech rate in windows settings as well.

 

Their slight complications aside, these voices offer a viable alternative to eSpeak NG as they are responsive and quite natural sounding.

 

Even more voices

 

If you still cannot find the perfect voice for you, This page lists several other speech synthesizers (both free and paid you can use instead.

 

Terminology

 

Most of the time, both NVDA and JAWS share a lot of the same terminology to describe controls e.g. radio buttons, combo boxes, check boxes etc.

 

One notable difference is that NVDA differentiates between single and multi-line edit fields, and will also tell you if a field is “protected” (anything you type will be replaced by asterisks). It will also alert you if text is selected in a field when you tab over to it. If so, typing will replace the highlighted text.

 

NVDA refers to the different languages a speech synthesizer can speak as voices, and the different voices supported by your synthesizer as variants.

 

Cursors

 

NVDA has various cursors to aid in navigating Windows and applications, similar to JAWS. The terminology is slightly different as described below.

 

The PC cursor in NVDA’s documentation is referred to as the system focus and system caret.

 

The equivalent to the JAWS cursor is a combination of object navigation, the review cursor and the various review modes; such as Document review, object review and Screen Review. The Screen Review function is the one perhaps most similar to the JAWS cursor, however it is beneficial to become familiar with all of these. You will find thorough, easy to understand instructions in the user guide.

 

Unlike JAWS, you don’t have to switch between the PC and JAWS cursor equivalents as the numpad is reserved exclusively for working with the JAWS cursor like functions.

 

It is worth noting that when you use object navigation or the review cursor, the mouse does not move in sync. You have to press a command to move the mouse to the location of the review cursor, which is similar to how JAWS’ “invisible cursor” works. There are also commands to simulate clicking or locking both

mouse buttons.

 

However, if you simply want to activate the current object you are focused on when using object navigation, there is a command to do this without having to move the mouse cursor to it first.

 

Touch cursor

 

In JAWS 15 or later, you can use numpad keys to navigate apps using a tree-like structure, similar to how users of smartphone screen readers such as VoiceOver would navigate touchscreens. in NVDA, object navigation and object mode touch commands can be used for this purpose

 

Virtual Cursor

 

The virtual cursor in NVDA is known as browse mode. It functions in much the same way as JAWS, giving you access to navigation quick keys, or in NVDA speak, single letter navigation.

 

Following are some common issues you may encounter when browsing the web with NVDA for the first time, and how to address them.

 

Why Is Everything On One Line?

 

In case you are unaware, JAWS has two modes for displaying webpages or other documents using the virtual cursor; simple layout and screen layout. Simple layout is the default, which displays content in a linear fashion – putting each link or control on its own line. Screen layout formats the content similar to how it’s displayed on screen.

 

The default in NVDA is screen layout, but you can easily switch to its version of simple layout by pressing NVDA+V while in browse mode. This will turn Screen layout off. Be sure to save your configuration after making this change with NVDA+CTRL+c.

 

It Keeps Saying Clickable Clickable Clickable.

 

While reading webpages, you might notice sometimes that NVDA says “clickable”, even multiple times on the same link or control.

 

As of version 2018.4 and later, NvDA will now only say clickable once, so if you experience this issue, please upgrade your copy.

 

You can also turn off the announcement of clickable elements entirely by going to document formatting in settings and unchecking “clickable” in the elements group.

 

Find doesn’t work on the web.

 

While JAWS is loaded, pressing ctrl+f in Internet Explorer or Firefox brings up the JAWS Find dialogue rather than activating the browser’s built-in find command. This is to allow you to search for text using the virtual cursor. The regular find command will search for the next occurrence of the entered text, but will not move the virtual cursor to that location. This is due to how screen readers interact with web pages.

 

NVDA has its own find command to search in browse mode, but it has not been tied to CTRL+F, so pressing that shortcut key calls up the browser’s find command, hence find not working as expected.

 

To bring up NVDA’s find dialogue, press ctrl+NVDA+F. Type in what you wish to find then press enter.

 

No commands to view forms and headings?

 

In JAWS, you can press JAWS+F5 to list forms, JAWS+F6 to list headings and JAWS+F7 to list links. In NVDA, the latter two have been combined into an elements list dialog, and you can access it by pressing NVDA+F7.

 

Forms Mode

 

The equivalent of forms mode in NVDA is focus mode, and it behaves very similar to JAWS, Even switching modes automatically when navigating through a webpage.

It will play a sound alerting you to which mode you are in.

 

Details about Focus Mode can be found in the user guide.

 

NVDA talks too much.

 

Sometimes you may find that NVDA can seem overly verbose, particularly in some list views. This is because as far as NVDA is concerned, list views are tables. NVDA is configured by default to announce each column or row header.

 

To turn that option off, uncheck “Report table row/column headers” in the “Document Formatting” dialogue.

 

Solving unexpected Speech Dictionary behaviour.

 

NVDA has always included a function to edit “Speech Dictionaries”, which are similar to JAWS’ dictionary manager files. However, until recently, the result of adding a word to them might not be what you had expected. If you added a word you wanted to change the pronunciation of to a dictionary , such as “mono”, any word that started with or included the word mono would be affected. Whereas in JAWS, only the text entered into the “actual word” field would be affected, unless you appended an asterisk (*). So as in this example, mono would be seen as a route word.

 

There was a work around, but this involved regular expressions, which aren’t at all obvious to the average user. However, as of 2014.4 or later, you will now find a group of radio buttons in the Add/edit dictionary entry labelled type, which determines how the text in the pattern, (NVDA speak for actual word), box will be treated.

 

list of 3 items

  • anywhere, which is the default behavior.
  • Whole word, which is how JAWS handles dictionary entries.
  • Regular Expression, which is complicated. You will also find a case sensitive check box.

list end

 

If you previously found NVDA’s speech dictionaries frustrating, be sure to take another look.

 

Scripts

 

Like JAWS, scripts can be added to NVDA to provide support for other applications or to add new features that can be accessed from anywhere. These script packages are called NVDA Add-ons. You can find several add-ons here:

http://addons.nvda-project.org/

 

These include a few that emulate JAWS features not currently present in NVDA such as a system tray list, virtualise window function and ability to append text to clipboard. Scripts for popular applications such as GoldWave are also available. The user guide has details on installing add-ons, and you can read help documentation that comes with each add-on to learn more about how to use the add-on.

 

The following link is to the developer guide with information on how to create ad-ons.

http://community.nvda-project.org/documentation/developerGuide.html

 

Remote access

 

In 2015, Christopher Toth and Tyler Spivey released a free add-on to allow NVDA users to provide remote support, similar to JAWS Tandem. To learn more about this add-on, go to

http://www.nvdaremote.com

 

Application-specific settings

 

Until recently, NVDA’s settings were global (applied everywhere). Starting with NVDA 2013.3, it is possible to configure certain settings to be applied when using a program. This is done by creating an app-specific configuration profile. To create an app-specific profile, open the Configuration Profiles dialogue while using the app in question. To open the dialogue, hit NVDA, N, to bring up the NVDA menu. arrow down until you hear configuration profiles.

 

When the dialogue opens, select New, and select “current application” when asked when to use this profile.

 

Alternate say all

 

In recent versions of JAWS, you can configure a different speech synthesizer to be used when say all is active. You can do this in NVDA by creating a say all profile in the configuration profiles menu.

 

Here are the steps.

 

list of 3 items

  1. Open the configurations profile from the main NVDA menu. Press NVDA, N, then arrow down to configuration profiles.
  2. Create a new profile by tabbing to the new button or press alt, N.
  3. After you name your profile, tab to the profile usage radio butttons. arrow down untill you hear say all. Hit OK

list end

 

while this profile is active, you need to complete the process by configuring the synthesizer while the say all profile is active.

 

© 2018 GitHub, Inc.

 

Guest Post: iHabilitation.ca Offers Online Training for Voice Over on iOS Devices

One of the GTT Victoria members and periodic contributors, Tom Dekker wants you to know about his paid online training service now available.

 

Are you ready to gain greater command of your iPhone? Are you willing and able to work at it? iHabilitation Canada is very happy to announce a new iPhone instructional opportunity that will help you do just that. At the same time, you will gain experience with the latest in inclusively designed meeting and webinar platforms – a skill that offers ever-increasing educational and employment potential.

 

We also offer the opportunity to engage in a Structured Discovery approach to what we like to think of as touch screen O&M. That’s right! Orientation and Mobility, “on scree” as with “on land”! This means that you gradually learn the location of everything you may need on an app’s screens before making serious use of the app. Familiarity reduces frustration.

 

This is very different from the kind of iPhone Voiceover instruction where learners are simply taught a “flick-and-tap route”. They flick and tap through the steps of a task without learning much about other on-screen clues and landmarks that would otherwise provide a broader picture of the virtual environment.

 

Imagine the fun and benefit of transforming that sometimes seemingly endless bead flicking experience to a full-screen Mind’s Eye view, independent of physical vision. Imagine whizzing around the screen with your finger just as you would with a mouse as if you could see to use one.

 

Find out more about iPhone Structured Discovery coaching and online multi-media learning possibilities available via Zoom Cloud Meetings! For more information, visit ihabilitation.ca/coaching.

 

To learn more about our methodology and some of the apps and possibilities for increasing personal iPhone-based productivity in general, check out our workshop document from the 2018 CNIB National Braille and Technology conference. Ihabilitation.ca/bc2018

 

Sincerely,

iHabilitation partners

Tom Dekker and Ken Sudhues

 

GTT Edmonton Summary Notes, Technology Exhibit, December 10, 2018

            Summary Notes

GTT Edmonton Meeting December 10, 2018

 

The most recent meeting of the Get Together with Technology (GTT) Edmonton Chapter was held December 10, at 7pm at Ascension Lutheran Church 8405 83 Street in Edmonton.

22 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.

 

December Topic – Technology Exhibit

We were treated to a technology exhibit from Canadian Assistive Technologies, a company with over 30 years’ experience providing assistive technology to blind and low vision Canadians. Company owner, Steve Barclay, exhibited some of the latest tech available including:

  • Jordi head worn color Video magnifier with adjustable magnification, auto focus, HDMI input.
  • IrisVision is another head worn video magnifier with industry leading 70-degree field of view and OCR capability to come soon.
  • DaVinci Pro desktop high definition video magnifier with OCR and text-to-speech.
  • Acrobat HD Mini Ultra is a desktop video magnifier that is highly portable and computer compatible with up to 65x magnification.
  • Pebble Mini pocket-size low-cost video magnifier with magnification from 2x to 10x.
  • Eschenbach Visolux Digital XL FHD is a portable video magnifier with 12 inch touch screen with scrolling capability and desktop stand.
  • HIMS Braillesense Polaris 32 cell touch enabled braille display with Perkins style keyboard plus Control, ALT, and 4 Function keys to enable use of Google apps. 18-hour battery with wireless charging.
  • QBraille XL 40 cell braille display with Perkins style keypad as well as QWERTY function keys.
  • HumanWare Brailliant 32, 40, or 80 cell braille display.

 

Steve also has some good deals at the Canadian Assistive Technologies gently used marketplace which is worth checking out.

For more information on these or any other Canadian Assistive Technologies products, you may contact Steve at:

(844) 795-8324

Or  sales@canasstech.com

 

Steve’s team also produces a weekly assistive technology podcast which is called AT Banter.

Next Meeting (Monday January 14, 2019 at 7pm)

First hour topic is to be announced.

In the second hour we will do side sessions on the iPhone and Victor Reader Stream

  • 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.
  • 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 more talent and experience we will have to help each other.
  • There are GTT groups across Canada as well as a national GTT monthly toll free teleconference. You may subscribe to the National GTT blog to get email notices of teleconferences and notes from other GTT chapters. Visit:

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

To subscribe, activate the “Follow “link 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]

 

 

CCB Tech Articles, Donna’s Low Tech Tips, A scam alert, December 17, 20187

December 17 2018

A scam alert

 

Happy holidays everyone!

Hi there!  It’s Donna and thank you for allowing me to come into your inbox.

Today, I’d like to introduce you to my scam alert.

 

A scam alert

Better not to answer your door to the unknown person

 

These types of scammers come in all age groups and with limitless types of requests.  Now it is up to you to use your judgement and go with your gut instinct.

 

They could be anyone from the youngest to the oldest.

They could be selling small appliances and electronics.

They could be insurance sales persons.

They could be someone offering to do your taxes.

 

Just remember!  These types of scammers do not have a specific age.  Adults often use children to help them carry out their unhealthy deeds.

 

What’s the risk of opening your door to an unknown caller?

You take your future and your life into your hands.

 

Until next week then!

 

 

That’s it from me for this week.

If you would like to become a member of  my CCB Mysteries chapter you can do so for the price of $10 annually and in return you will receive unlimited access to either of the following libraries.

Recipes –

http://www.donnajodhan.com/library-recipes.html

Audio mysteries for all ages –

http://www.donnajodhan.com/library-audio-mysteries.html

Or you can subscribe to both for the price of $20 annually.

Now you  can subscribe to “‘Let’s Talk Tips”‘ which is my monthly resource for the most current and reliable

informational tips available in the areas of Technology, Nutrition, Media,

Business, and Advocacy.

http://bit.ly/ADJSubscribe

 

To contact me, send me an email at info@sterlingcreations.ca and I’d be happy to respond.

Have yourselves a great day and see you next week.

Donna

 

 

 

Canadian Council of the Blind/GTT $10/Annual Membership Dues for the Year 2019 Are Now Due

December 12, 2018

 

Attention GTT-CCB Participants and Members in Western Canada:

 

Subject: Canadian Council of the Blind $10/Annual Membership Dues for the Year 2019 Are Now Due

 

Dear GTT Participants and Members.  The end of 2018 is fast approaching and a New Year is just around the corner, so I am tasked with the duty of collecting as many membership dues as I can for the GTT Vancouver, Victoria a Nanaimo Chapters.  This call to action is also directed at those who participate in other GTT activities and events like GTTSupport Email List, GTT National Conference Call and the GTTProgram Blog.  If you belong to any other CCB Chapter and have paid your dues through your Chapter as is best done, we thank you for that.

 

As the Get Together with Technology program (GTT) is an initiative of the Canadian Council of the Blind, that is the organization to which we submit our annual dues.  So, if you have participated in any of the above noted Chapters, events or activities and wish to re-new, or to establish your CCB membership for the first time please check in with me directly.  You can E-Transfer or Interac $10 to my work email address, or I can be reached at that address and will be happy to make arrangements as best suit you.  Please call or email if you have any questions.

 

Albert Ruel, GTT Coordinator

iPhone: +1-250-240-2343 (call or text:

Albert.GTT@CCBNational.net

 

In order to complete your membership, especially if it’s your first time I’ll need the following information;

 

Name:

Phone Number:

Email Address:

Mailing Address:

Degree of Vision Loss:

Date of Birth:

 

Thx, Albert

 

***

 

Albert A. Ruel

From an Island in The Pacific

Parksville BC, Canada

Albert.GTT@CCBNational.net

iPhone: +1-250-240-2343

 

Life is a journey not a destination, enjoy the trip.

 

 

 

CCB National Newsletter, Visions, December 2018

VISIONS December 2018 | Canadian Council of the Blind

For the full HTML experience follow the below link, or for a quick read of the newsletter access the text following the link.

http://ccbnational.net/fresco/visions-december-2018/

 

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Bell offers the Doro 824C and 824. These smartphones are designed with accessibility in mind. With your purchase of a Doro mobile device, you’ll also receive

a free pair of AfterShokz Trekz Titanium headphones.

 

Click this message to learn more.

 

Canadian Council of the Blind Newsletter

December 2018

“A lack of sight is not a lack of vision”

President’s Message++

 

As many of us have experienced winter rather early this year it seems today happens to be a bright, sunny and slightly warmer day more typical of the season. I hope that this continues for everyone so that we can enjoy a bit of family time as we prepare for the holiday season.

 

We continue to be very busy in many areas with a variety of CCB programs. GTT has been posting a lot of great information to assist in mobility, new apps and some simple ideas to make life easier for those living with vision loss. Thank you to all the leaders working with GTT to continue to make it a successful program.

 

This has been a busy month with the Accessible Canada Act which has now moved through the third reading unanimously and on to the Senate for consideration and hopefully approval. We have sent in a written submission to the Standing Committee as did many other organizations of persons with disabilities. The Act, as it stands now does not give time lines and some other concerns expressed by varying organizations, for a fully accessible Canada by a specific date but what it has is standards for regulations for federally run agencies which will have to comply with the Act. You can check out on the “HUMA” website many of the submissions and the progress of Bill C-81.

http://www.ourcommons.ca/Committees/en/HUMA/StudyActivity?studyActivityId=10268658

 

The Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) is busy making changes to regulations for air, rail and ferry services under federal jurisdiction. For those who have computer access you can go on their website to follow what is transpiring. This is also taking place with CRTC as well for communications. The changes are being made to comply with the anticipated Accessible Canada Act. CCB has been involved in providing input and submissions to both agencies. Thank you to Kim Kilpatrick and Shelly Morris on their work with CRTC. Several CCB members have been working with rail, air and ferry services and thank you all for your input.

 

We have recently completed a submission to Canadian Agency on Drugs and Technology (CADTH) for a new treatment (eye drops) for Glaucoma. It is the first of its kind also there has not been any new drops in many years. What is CADTH? CADTH is an independent, not-for-profit organization responsible for providing Canada’s health care decision-makers with objective evidence to help make informed decisions about the optimal use of drugs and medical devices in our health care system. Created in 1989 by Canada’s federal, provincial, and territorial governments, CADTH was born from the idea that Canada needs a coordinated approach to assessing health technologies. The result was an organization that harnesses Canadian expertise from every region and produces evidence-informed solutions that benefit patients in jurisdictions across the country.

 

CCB continues to work with Best Medicines Coalition, FFB, CNIB, and others to ensure that Canadians get the best care possible not only eye care but other disease processes that many of our members may be dealing with in their lives health promotion and illness prevention.

 

The Mobile Eye Clinic continues to check children in the Ottawa region schools. Results still show that approximately twenty five percent of children attending have previous undetected eye concerns needing further follow-up.

 

All our committees have been very active over the fall. It takes a lot of time and important work to complete items as we make our way through to ensure everything meets requirements that are set for compliance. Thank you for the work of the committee members for their great work and time commitment.

 

It is now time to enjoy holiday festivities with families and friends. As our country is made up of a vast number of nationalities I would like to wish everyone a time of enjoyment, relaxation, spending time with fellow workers or neighbours as we will soon will be moving into a new year with lots of hope for continued strength and growth.

 

Best wishes for the holidays and Happy New Year to all.

 

Louise Gillis, National President

 

‘EXPERIENCE’ EXPO 2019++:

 

Ad for Experience Expo 2019 Saturday February 2 10am to 4pm, at the Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre 750 Spadina Ave. Toronto, ON.  For more information please visit http://www.ccbtorontovisionaries.ca

 

An Experience Expo Special Event

 

Your special invitation to attend a forum on assistive technology.

 

Check your calendar and RSVP now!

 

Saturday, February 2 at 4:00 pm.  Miles Nadel Jewish Community Centre, 750 Spadina Ave, Toronto ON.

 

Your chance to participate in a panel discussion dedicatedt o brindging technology for Canadians who are blind or partially sighted and designed to achieve

inclusive, progressive accessibility.  Followed by a question and answer session.

 

Panel will include Louise Gillis, National President, CCB, Chelsea Mohler, M. SC. Community Engagement Specialist at Balance for Blind Adults and a assistive

technology educator and Alvert Ruel, CCB’s GTT Program Coordinator, Western Canada.

 

Space is limited to the first 75 reservations.  Please direct your RSVP to CCB toronto Visionaries Voice Mail Line: 1-416-760-2163 or by email:  info@ccbtorontovisionaries.ca

 

Thank-you!++

 

CCB would like to acknowledge and thank Ken Christie, from the Windsor Low Vision Chapter in Ontario for his many years of support and activity within

the Council. Ken joined CCB in 2005, after having volunteered with CNIB for over 25 years. He was already quite active in the blind bowling community,

and decided to bring his enthusiasm for bowling and community engagement to CCB. Ken pulled together the communities of Sarnia, Chatham and Windsor to

bowl, and each May, he would organize a tournament followed by a banquet. He worked closely with the local Lions Club, who ended up cosponsoring the bowling

tournament. Ken and the Windsor chapter could also always count on lots of support from his wife, Catherine, who volunteered to drive members to meetings

and help organize fundraising activities. Ken will be turning 89 years old in January, and he has decided it’s time to take a step back from his active

role in the chapter and reflect on the wonderful times he spent with the chapter members in CCB.

 

Jim Tokos adds:

 

Ken was a mentor to me, as when I first joined the Ontario Board, Ken, along with Don Grant, Theresa Dupuis, Doug Ayers, to name a few, always encouraged

me to move forward, and how can you not be motivated to succeed when you are surrounded by such wonderful and devoted persons.”

 

I have also been fortunate enough to know Ken quite well over the past and upon request from Ken have spoken to the Windsor Low Vision Chapter on many

occasions.  Ken will certainly be missed as he touched a lot of hearts, and Ken and Kay, what more can the Council say but Thank You for your outstanding

service to the CCB.

 

CCB Toronto Ski Hawks Ski Club Chapter at the Toronto Ski and Snowboard show.++:

 

In late October the Ski Hawks had an exhibit at the Ski and Snowboard show. This was the first time in many years that we have been at the show.

 

Over the course of the 4 day show the booth was staffed, in rotating shifts, by 9 of our blind skiers and several volunteer ski guides. Many of the visitors

to our booth were truly amazed that blind people actually ski downhill.

 

Of particular interest was our short video that describes how we ski with a guide. At the very least it definitely raised awareness that people with low

vision or no vision can be skiers.

 

One of our goals at the show was to recruit volunteers to be trained as guides and this was indeed a success! The other was to get some form of sponsorship

from the ski industry, we are currently pursuing some leads from the show.

 

The highlight of the show for our blind skiers was when they had a visit with Kelsey Serwa winner of the gold medal in ladies ski cross at the 2018 winter

Olympics in Pyeongchang. Not only did they have the opportunity to ask her questions but also got to hold her gold medal and discovered that the edge was

inscribed in Braille.

 

Submitted by Chris Wyvill

 

The Situation of Blind and Partially Sighted Persons in Accessing their Human Rights – from the World Blind Union

 

Persistent cultural, social, legal, physical and institutional barriers pose restrictions to the full inclusion of visually impaired persons in society

in all areas of private and public life, including education; employment; health care; cultural, recreational, sporting and leisure activities; and political

participation.  They face huge barriers to personal mobility owing to lack of accessibility.  Poor access to justice limits their access to communications

and compounds their isolation and exclusion.  Unemployment of persons with visual disabilities is a significant challenge and they remain the poorest of

the poor, unable to compete with the labour market.  Therefore, disaggregation of data by disability, sex and age is fundamental for understanding the

situation of blind and partially sighted persons and informing policies to ensure their effective inclusion and the full realization of their human rights.

 

While significant progress has been made towards the inclusion of bind and partially sighted persons in the international human rights and development

frameworks, concerted advocacy efforts are still needed to ensure that these commitments are translated into an enabling environment that mobilizes stakeholders,

enhances participation of organizations of persons with disabilities and strengthen political will and the capacity of governments to implement to 2030

Agenda in line with all the UN International human rights instruments, together with the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD).

This requires constant attention to ensure that human rights mechanisms uphold the highest CRPD standards and facilitating interconnections and consistency

of these mechanisms with normative development frameworks.

 

We further celebrate the adoption and ratification of the Marrakesh Treaty that calls upon researchers, publishers, and the academia in line with the intellectual

property rights to ensure that persons with visual disabilities receive and access information in accessible formats of braille, large print, audio and

electronic formats.  We celebrate this achievement, but we call upon states to ratify this instrument and domesticate it into their legal framework to

ensure that the obligations spelt under the treaty are met.  However, this is still a big challenge by many states, as this goal has not been adequately

implemented.  This poses a barrier to our participation as blind and partially sighted persons on an equal basis with others.

 

We advocate for the availability of resources to accommodate the different needs for blind and partially sighted persons.  We appeal to governments and

international agencies to provide consistent statistical data for persons with visual disabilities to provide evidence during planning, budgeting, programming,

policy development and implementation.

 

We further request governments and development partners to promote the full and effective participation of persons with visual disabilities by ensuring

that their organizations and their representatives are permanently consulted on contentious issues and rights affecting them during development processes.

 

Canada accedes to the Optional Protocol to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

 

From:

Employment and Social Development Canada

 

News release

 

December 3, 2018         Ottawa, Ontario

 

Employment and Social Development Canada

 

The Government of Canada is working to create a truly accessible Canada. Today, as part of these efforts, the Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of

Public Services and Procurement and Accessibility, along with the ministers of Justice, Foreign Affairs and Canadian Heritage, announced that, with the

support of all provinces and territories, Canada has acceded to the Optional Protocol to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

 

Accession to the Optional Protocol means that Canadians will have additional recourse to make a complaint to the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons

with Disabilities, if they believe their rights under the Convention have been violated.

 

Along with the proposed Accessible Canada Act, which was recently adopted by the House of Commons and is now before the Senate, today’s announcement shows

that the Government of Canada is taking another step towards creating a barrier-free Canada.

 

Recently released data from Statistics Canada reinforce the importance of a more inclusive and accessible Canada. The 2017 Canadian Survey on Disabilities

shows that the prevalence of disabilities among Canadians is greater than many realize, with 22% of Canadians identifying as having a disability. The new

data will be used by the federal government to help build a more inclusive society that benefits all people in Canada – especially persons with disabilities

– through the realization of a Canada without barriers.

 

Quick facts

list of 4 items

  • The United Nations (UN) Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (the Convention) is an international human rights instrument that requires

State Parties to the Convention to promote, protect and ensure the rights of persons with disabilities. Canada ratified the Convention in 2010.

  • The Optional Protocol establishes two procedures. The first is a complaint procedure that allows individuals and groups to take complaints to the UN

Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in the case of an alleged violation of their rights under the Convention. The second is an inquiry

procedure that allows the Committee to inquire into allegations of grave or systematic violations of the Convention by a State Party.

  • The UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is a body of independent experts that monitors the implementation of the Convention by States

Parties.

list end

 

4The members of the UN CRPD Committee

 

list of 4 items

  • As of November 2018, there are 177 States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, with 93 States Parties to the Optional

Protocol to the Convention.

  • Under Bill C-81, approximately $290 million over six years would serve to further the objectives of the proposed legislation.
  • One in five people—22 percent of the Canadian population aged 15 years and over, or about 6.2 million individuals—had one or more disabilities, according

to the 2017 Canadian Survey on Disabilities.

  • The survey also reports that people with severe disabilities aged 25 to 64 years are more likely to be living in poverty than their counterparts without

disabilities (17 percent) or with milder disabilities (23 percent).

list end

 

Donna’s Low Tech Tips++

Meet the Talking First Aid Kit

 

Carl Augusto of the American Foundation for the Blind Blog posted the following about this great product.

 

I think it’s always important to keep safety in mind, so I thought I’d let you know about a new product from Intelligent First Aid, the First Aid “talking”

Kit. The Kit includes nine injury-specific packs to help treat common injuries, including Bleeding, Head & Spine Injury, and Shock. The packs are individually

labeled and color-coded, which I love because it would help someone with low vision easily distinguish the packs. The best part, though, is that with the

press of a button, the audio component attached to each card provides step-by-step instructions to manage the wound. Situations often become chaotic when

a loved one, an acquaintance, or even you, experiences a minor injury.

 

With this tool, people with low vision can remain calm and have an idea of how to handle things without worrying about reading any print.

 

Check out the Intelligent First Aid website to purchase the product or get more information:

 

http://www.intelligentfirstaid.com/index.php

 

The site even allows you to listen to a sample of the audio component of the kit.

 

To contact Donna, send her an email at

info@sterlingcreations.ca

 

Disability Advocates Criticize Lack of Teeth in New Manitoba Accessibility Regulations++

 

A new law is now in force for Manitoba businesses, but don’t expect a bylaw officer to show up at your door any time soon.

 

As of Nov 1, businesses and organizations in Manitoba should be following the letter of the law when it comes to providing accessibility for Manitobans

with disabilities.

 

The Customer Service Standard Regulation is the first of five areas to come into force under the Accessibility for Manitobans Act, which passed in December

2013, but at this point, officials are more interested in educating the public than imposing penalties on businesses.

 

“We would take concerns and educate and support those organizations into complying with legislation. Turning to the stiffer penalties would be more of

a last resort for us,” said Jay Rodgers, deputy minister for the Department of Families.

 

‘Never a ramp’

 

That means that it could be a while before Megan Clarke can roll into one of her favourite restaurants in Winnipeg’s Exchange District.

 

When the restaurant first showed up a few years ago, she was excited about trying it out, only to find that a small lip in the sidewalk created a barrier

for her wheelchair. Clarke waited outside while her friend went into the restaurant to order and bring the matter to the owner’s attention.

 

“[The owner] said ‘We’ll get a ramp made,’ so for the course of the summer, we went back and there was never a ramp, never a ramp, and then one day my

friend went in to talk to him and his response was, ‘Well, we don’t have the ramp made yet, but she can have free dessert any time she comes,’ and I was

like, well, that’s the last time I’m going to come to your place,” said Clarke.

 

Under the Customer Service Standard Regulation, any business or organization with one or more employees in Manitoba must provide its goods and services

in a barrier-free way.

 

The regulations cover everything from training staff to the built environment, but don’t prescribe specific measures, such as the installation of ramps

at doors with raised entryways.

 

“Our expectation, I think, would be that if the building is physically inaccessible that there might be other ways of offering the service to the customer,

whether it means coming out and meeting someone at the front or doing business over the phone. Our point would be that the alternative ways of accessing

the service need to be communicated broadly to the public,” said Rodgers.

 

Documentation required

 

The regulations also require every business with 20 or more employees to document customer service policies and procedures, and either post them publicly

or provide them on request, so those living with disabilities understand how the business is working toward eliminating barriers.

 

However, there are no clear guidelines for enforcing the standards, so businesses will be unlikely to comply, advocates say.

 

“Without effective enforcement, a law is a voluntary law, and a voluntary law is really not very much of a law at all,” said David Lepofsky, a lawyer and

disability rights advocate who was highly influential in the creation of Ontario’s accessibility laws.

 

Legislators in Manitoba looked at the Ontarians with Disabilities Act while creating Manitoba’s legislation, but Lepofsky warns poor enforcement means

Ontario’s law has failed in many areas.

 

“We revealed through Freedom of Information Act applications and otherwise that [officials] were aware of rampant violations and yet deployed a paltry

number of enforcement staff and a paltry number of audits and therefore did a really ineffective job of enforcing [the act],” Lepofsky said.

 

Slow rollout

 

Manitoba is considering using its existing bylaw enforcement officers, such as those operating under Workplace Safety and Health, to enforce the act, Rodgers

said.

 

It’s a step above what Ontario is doing, Lepofsky said, but he is critical of the lack of a solid plan for enforcement.

 

“This law was passed half a decade ago in Manitoba and half a decade is more than enough time to plan to get something like this set up,” he said.  “The

Manitoba government has had ample opportunity to contact Ontario, find out what they’ve learned, get this designed, get it up and running. They shouldn’t

just be looking at it now.”

 

Complaints and concerns

 

Bringing businesses into compliance with the act will take time, despite the November 1 deadline, Rodgers said.  Complaints and concerns about business

compliance should be directed to the Disabilities Issues Office, he said. It is up to him as director to determine whether a complaint is reasonable or

not.

 

Despite the slow rollout, Clarke remains optimistic about what the act could mean for her.  Already she is seeing small changes in her neighbourhood, such

as the addition of accessible buttons on an automatic door at her local Starbucks.

 

“Whether it’s coffee or groceries or clothing or getting my hair cut, whatever service I’m going to, I’m going to be able to just go in and live my life.

That’s what it’s all about. It’s just access,” she said.

 

By Kim Kaschor, CBC

 

Guide Dog Users, Inc. Publishes Handbook to Help People Who Are Blind Decide if the Guide Dog Lifestyle is Right for them++

 

Guide Dog Users, Inc. (GDUI), the largest membership and advocacy organization representing guide dog handlers in the United States, is pleased to announce

the recent publication of a revised handbook for perspective guide dog users which shares comprehensive information about acquiring and using a guide dog

for safe and independent travel.

 

The guide, 90 pages in length, and available in e-book and print formats, “A Handbook for the Prospective Guide Dog Handler,” 4th Edition, updates a GDUI

publication, called “Making Impressions,” which GDUI members wrote and published a quarter of a century ago. The original manual assisted countless guide

dog users with applying for training with and adjusting to working with guide dogs. Many of those original readers are now working successfully with a

third or fourth or even an eighth, or tenth guide dog. Realizing how well their original publication had served guide dog users all over the country and

beyond, GDUI has spent the past several years updating the manual to reflect changes in guide dog training methodologies, growth in the community of guide

dog users, changes in the number of schools now available to provide training and dogs, and evolving attitudes among the public concerning acceptance of

guide dogs as reliable and respected aids for blind and visually impaired people who choose dogs for independent travel.

 

The informative handbook answers questions not only for the prospective guide dog team, but also for families of people who are blind, blindness rehabilitation

professionals and educators, and the general public.

 

Part One, Section One sets the stage with heartfelt accounts from many guide dog users who can speak with authority about the guide dog lifestyle which

pairs humans and canines in a relationship, unlike few others, that involves a 24-hour daily bond between dogs and their owners.

 

Then the handbook covers the whole process of deciding whether a guide dog is the right choice for mobility and safety, choosing and applying to a training

program, learning to become a guide dog handler, returning home, and spending the next several years bonding with a dog who is likely to become an indispensable

assistant and treasured companion.

 

The manual outlines the indispensable support that an organization like GDUI can provide to guide dog users during times when their partnership can pose

uniquely stressful challenges, for example, when a guide dog team experiences denial of transit in a taxicab, or exclusion from a restaurant or other public

venue, when a treasured guide dog becomes ill or passes away, or when family or friends don’t understand how the team functions safely and independently.

 

GDUI encourages readers and members to share the handbook with family, friends, colleagues, blindness and disability advocacy organizations, and other

guide and service dog handlers. “A Handbook for the Prospective Guide Dog Handler” is available as an e-book and in print from Amazon.com, Smashwords,

and other online sellers. Visit this link for further information and to explore options for purchase:

 

http://www.dldbooks.com/GDUIHandbook/.

 

I live with Alexa, Google Assistant and Siri. Here’s which one you should pick++

 

Sure, you could chose a smart speaker based on sound or price. The go-to gadget gift of the season is available from Amazon, Apple and Google with better

acoustics, new touch screens and deep holiday discounts.

 

But you’re not just buying a talking jukebox. Alexa, Siri and Google Assistant also want to adjust the thermostat, fill your picture frame or even microwave

your popcorn. Each artificial intelligence assistant has its own ways of running a home. You’re choosing which tribe is yours.

 

I call it a tribe because each has a distinct culture — and demands loyalty. This decision will shape how you get information, what appliances you purchase,

where you shop and how you protect your privacy. One in 10 Americans plan to buy a smart speaker this year, according to the Consumer Technology Association.

And Amazon says its Echo Dot is the bestselling speaker, ever.

 

The last time we had to choose a tech tribe like this was when smartphones arrived. Did you go iPhone, Android, or cling to a BlackBerry? A decade later,

it’s increasingly hard to fathom switching between iPhone and Android. (A recent Match.com survey found iPhone and Android people don’t even like dating

one another.)

 

Now imagine how hard it will be to change when you’ve literally wired stuff into your walls.

 

In my test lab — I mean, living room — an Amazon Echo, Google Home and Apple HomePod sit side by side, and the voice AIs battle it out to run my home like

genies in high-tech bottles. Here’s the shorthand I’ve learned: Alexa is for accessibility. Google Assistant is for brainpower. And Siri is for security.

 

Amazon’s aggressive expansion makes Alexa the one I recommend, and use, the most. Google’s Assistant is coming from behind, matching feature by feature

— and Siri, the original voice assistant, feels held back by Apple’s focus on privacy and its software shortcomings. (Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos owns The Washington

Post, but I review all tech with the same critical eye.)

 

Smart speakers are building the smart home that you never knew you needed. Inside the audio equipment, they’re home hub computers that work alongside smartphone

apps to connect and control disparate devices and services. Now with a speaker and the right connected gizmo, you can walk into a room and turn on the

lights without touching a button. Or control the TV without a remote. Amazon even sells an Alexa-operated microwave that cooks, tracks and reorders popcorn.

 

But home assistants can also be Trojan horses for a specific set of devices and services that favour one company over another.

 

My buddy Matt recently asked me to help him pick speakers and appliances for a big remodel. He loves the Google Assistant on his Android phone, so selecting

his tribe should be easy, right? Hardly: He wanted to put Sonos speakers all around the house, but they take voice commands directly via Alexa. (Sonos

says Google Assistant support is coming, though it’s been promising that for a year.)

 

Figuring out which connected doodads are compatible can be like solving a 10,000-piece puzzle. The best smart home gadgets (like Lutron Caseta and Philips

Hue lights) work across all three tribes, but sometimes alliances and technical concerns make appliance makers take sides.

 

Each AI has its limitations. They’re not all equally skilled at understanding accents — Southerners are misunderstood more with Google and Midwesterners

with Alexa. The price of ownership with some is letting a company surveil what goes on in your house. You can try, like me, to live with more than one,

but you’re left with a patchwork that won’t win you any favours with family.

 

How do you find your AI tribe? Here’s how I differentiate them.

 

Alexa

 

Supported smart home devices: Over 20,000.

 

Who loves it: Families who buy lots through Amazon and experiment with new gizmos.

 

The good: Alexa knows how to operate the most stuff, thanks to Amazon’s superior deal making. The only connected things it can’t run in my house are the

app-operated garage door and some facets of my TV. Amazon also has been successful at spawning new connected gadgets: Alexa’s voice and microphone are

built into more than 100 non-Amazon devices. And Amazon recently announced plans to offer appliance makers a chip that lets Alexa users voice command inexpensive

everyday things, from wall plugs to fans.

 

Alexa has also mastered some of the little details of home life. It will confirm a request to turn off the lights without repeating your command — super

helpful when someone nearby is napping.

 

The bad: Alexa grows smarter by the week, but it can be a stickler about using specific syntax. It also has the weakest relationship with your phone, the

most important piece of technology for most people today. Amazon has bolstered a companion Alexa app for phones, making it better for communicating and

setting up smart home routines, but I still find it the most confusing of the lot.

 

Amazon doesn’t always show the highest concern for our privacy. This spring, when Alexa inadvertently recorded a family’s private conversations and sent

it to a contact, Amazon’s response boiled down to ‘whoopsie.’ And it records and keeps every conversation you have with the AI — including every bag of

popcorn it microwaves. (Amazon says it doesn’t use our queries to sell us stuff beyond making recommendations based on song and product searches).

 

Some love Alexa’s ability to order products by voice. But as long as Alexa runs your house, you’ll always be stuck buying those goods from Amazon. (That

microwave will only ever order popcorn from Amazon.) The coming generation of appliances built with the Alexa chip inside could similarly trap you forever

into Amazon-land.

 

Google Assistant

 

Supported smart home devices: Over 10,000.

 

Who loves it: People who are deep into Google’s services.

 

The good: Google Assistant comes the closest to having a conversation with an actual human helper. You don’t have to use exact language to make things

happen or get useful answers. Its intelligence can also be delightfully personal: It’s pretty good at differentiating the voices of family members. And

on the new Home Hub device with a screen, Assistant curates a highlights-only show from your Google Photos collection.

 

While Android phone owners are more likely to use lots of Assistant-friendly Google services, the Assistant doesn’t particularly care what kind of phone

you use — its simple companion apps work on iOS and Android.

 

And Google is neck and neck with Alexa on many of the nuances: Night mode reduces the volume of answers at night, and it can even require Junior to say

“pretty please.”

 

The bad: As a relative newcomer to the smart home, Google has been catching up fast. But in my house, it still can’t fully control my Ring doorbell or

send music to my Sonos speakers. And I’m not convinced that Google has Amazon’s negotiating sway, or the influence to bring the next generation of connected

things online.

 

The bigger problem is privacy. Google’s endgame is always getting you to spend more time with its services, so it can gather more data to target ads at

you. Like Alexa, Google Assistant keeps a recording of all your queries — every time you ask it to turn off the lights. Google treats this kind of like

your Web search history, and uses it to target ads elsewhere. (Thankfully, It still keeps data from its Nest thermostat and home security division separate.)

 

The potential upside is that when Google discovers your habits in all that data, it might be able to better automate your home — like what time all the

lights should be off.

 

Siri

 

Supported smart home devices: Hundreds.

 

Who loves it: Privacy buffs and all-Apple households.

 

The good: Apple means business on security and privacy. Any device that wants to connect to HomeKit, its smart home software that works with Siri on the

HomePod and iPhone, requires special encryption.

 

What’s more, your data is not attached to a personal profile, which aside from protecting your privacy also means that Apple is not using your home activity

to sell or advertise things. (While other smart speakers keep recordings and transcriptions of what you say, Siri controls devices by making a request

to its system through a random identifier, which cannot be tied to a specific user.)

 

And Apple is pretty good at keeping the smart home simple. Setting up a smart home device is mostly just scanning a special code. Even creating routines,

in which multiple accessories work in combination with a single command, is easier in the Siri’s companion Home app than with competitors.

 

The bad: You have to live in an all-Apple device world to reap these benefits. Siri’s a pretty good DJ, but only if you subscribe to Apple Music. You’re

stuck with the HomePod as the one-size-fits-all smart speaker, and Siri still isn’t as competent as her AI competitors.

 

And Apple’s security-first approach has kept too many appliance makers from joining its ecosystem. Sure, it’s quality not quantity, but Siri still can’t

interact with my Nest thermostat or Ring doorbell, just to name two. Apple did recently loosen up a tad: starting with Belkin Wemo’s Mini Smart Plug and

Dimmer, it no longer requires special hardware for authentication — that can now happen via software. The move should make it simpler to make new products

 

Siri compatible, and allow it access to existing ones.

 

By Geoffrey A. Fowler, The Washington Post

 

DON’T FORGET DONATIONS!++

 

Donations Received in the office in 2018 are the only ones that can be receipted for 2018.  Remember to send those donations now if you want receipts for

the current year.

 

Membership Madness++

 

Hi Everyone!  Becky from the office here.  All chapters should have received their membership packages. The rebate time has passed, but there is still

time to get your chapters membership in for 2019!

 

All 2019 Memberships Due – December 28, 2018

 

WCW Orders and Insurance Requests Due – January 4, 2019

 

http://www.ccbnational.net

1-877-304-0968

 

ccb@ccbnational.net