CCB-GTT Weekly Meetings, November 7 to November 13, 2021 via Zoom

You are invited to the CCB’s GTT Zoom meetings where we focus in on the technology needs and concerns of Canadians who are blind or low vision.  The calls will take place over the accessible Zoom Conference system, which will allow participants to dial in using their landline phones, smart phones, or computers.  You will find the Zoom link and phone numbers below the meeting listings. Please pay special attention to the “(NOTE)” notation after some of the meeting listings. Different zoom platforms are used for different meetings and some require preregistration.


Monday, November 8, 2021, 1:00 PM Eastern/10:00 AM Pacific:

Host: Kim Kilpatrick

Topic: Have a device you feel you are not using as much as you could be?  Have a new device you are excited about?  Having any app or computer issues?  Bring your questions, tips and triumphs to our call.


Tuesday, November 9, 2021, 2:00 PM Eastern/11:00 AM Pacific:

Host: Wayne Antle

Topic: Q and A after our numbers presentation.

Do you use a Mac with voiceover or zoom?  Do you want to know how to make the most out of your Mac and its features? Come join the Mac user’s group.

(If you need additional support and would like to come in early to get assistance, the room is open at 1:30 pm Eastern, 10:30 am Pacific).

(NOTE): Registration required. To register, please e-mail,


Wednesday, November 10, 2021, 1:00 PM Eastern/10:00 AM Pacific:

Host: Kim Kilpatrick

Presenters: CELA staff

Description: Laurie Davidson, Executive Director at CELA, will update the group on what’s happening with CELA’s work, in the area of collections, partnerships and technology. Lindsay Tyler will share information about CELA services, how to join, find out what books and magazines are available, and ways to read them. We’ll also have time for questions.


Wednesday, November 10, 2021, 7:00 PM Eastern/4:00 PM Pacific:

Host: Kim Kilpatrick

Presenter: Neal Ewers


In this presentation I will cover the steps needed to produce an audio book. I will answer such questions as:

  • Does one self-publish or go with a book publisher?
  • How does one find the right narrator, and how much does that cost?
  • What studio is used to record the book? How much does that cost?
  • What is the process of reading the book? Who is involved?
  • What if there are mistakes or parts to be re-read?
  • How do you prepare the finished recording for places like and other companies?
  • What is a DAISY book and why is it used?
  • How is the finished audio book marketed?

Along the way:

  • We will hear professional narrators talk about the ways one brings a book to life, along with some things not to do.
  • We will hear and discuss certain sentences and phrases and how using different vocal intonation can make a very big difference in the way the words are interpreted by the reader.
  • There will also be a demonstration of how books are edited to correct mistakes in the reading, take out or diminish breath sounds, plosives, and other things that may detract from the reading.
  • There will be a time for questions at the end of the presentation.

Some possible questions to ponder:

  • As a reader, do I hear what the author intended, or am I more influenced by the narrator’s interpretation of the book?
  • Are there narrators you like and why do you like them?
  • What equipment is needed to make a high quality recording of a book?
  • Other questions are welcome.

I hope you enjoy the session.

Check out Neal’s work is at


Thursday, November 11, 2021, is Remembrance Day.

Please pay tribute to all our fallen heroes, today, tomorrow and forever.


Friday, November 12, 2021, 1:00 PM Eastern/10:00 AM Pacific:

Hosts: David Greene & Shelley Anne Morris

Not tech, but may be of interest…..


Tuesday, November  9, 2021, 7:00 PM Eastern/4:00 PM Pacific:

Join the Women of CCB zoom gathering this coming Tuesday for open discussion on “Adjusting to vision loss with family and friends.”

(NOTE): If you are not on our contact list to receive the zoom invite please email Leslie at


You can subscribe to the CCB Podcast feed by searching for CCB/Canadian Council of the Blind Podcast on the Victor Reader Stream, or your favourite smart device Pod Catcher. You can use this link to the originating distribution source.


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

You will get an email back from the list asking you to confirm your subscription. Simply reply to that email and you are subscribed. You will then receive a second email welcoming you to the list and describing how to use it. You are then ready to post your technology questions and/or answers to the list.

For more information visit:


This is a Canadian Group for blind, partially sighted and deaf-blind folks to buy,  sell, trade or donate previously enjoyed assistive technology.

To subscribe to the email list, send an empty email to:

Security procedure remains in effect.

When you enter the waiting room before a meeting, please ensure that you give us a recognizable name. If you are calling for the first time or from a land line, please e-mail the CCB’s Receptionist, (Shelley Morris) ahead of time to let us know your name and number so we will let you in. Shelley’s email is:

If you need help doing these things or learning to use zoom, please contact us and we can help you.

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

CCB is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Meeting ID: 983 959 5688

Password: 320119

Alberta One tap mobile for Smart Phones:


BC One tap mobile for Smart Phones:


Manitoba One tap mobile for Smart Phones:


Montreal One tap mobile for Smart Phones:


Toronto One tap mobile for Smart Phones:


Direct Dial:

Alberta: +1 587 328 1099

BC: +1 778 907 2071

Manitoba: +1 204 515 1268

Montreal: +1 438 809 7799

Toronto: +1 647 374 4685

For more information, contact:

Kim Kilpatrick, CCB GTT Coordinator

1-877-304-0968 Ext 513

David Greene, CCB GTT Accessibility Trainer

1-877-304-0968 Ext 509

Corry Stuive, CCB National Program Coordinator 

1-877-304-0968 Ext 550

Using CELA Library from the Keyboard Part 1 of 2, Overview and Book Search, August 12, 2020 with a link to the CCB podcast

Get Together with Technology (GTT)

Sponsored by the Canadian Council of the Blind (CCB), the voice of the blind in Canada.

Summary Notes:

August 12, 2020

Theme:  CELA Library Overview and Book Search

Use the above link to play and/or download the CCB podcast.

Presenter: Gerry Chevalier


In this 27 minute first of two presentations, Gerry presents an overview of how to use the CELA Library service from a keyboard user’s perspective. CELA is Canada’s largest nationwide library service for persons unable to read print. It offers materials in alternate print formats such as recorded DAISY audio , digital text, and braille. Gerry explains these formats and service options. Gerry demonstrates how to login to the service and reviews the main page. He shows how to set search preferences, search for a book in Direct to Player format, apply search filters, and browse for books. His explanations describe keyboard navigation  and shortcuts for blind users who cannot use a mouse.

For more information about the GTT Program including one on one tech training contact:

Phone: (613)567-0311 or 1-877-304-0968




GTT National Conference Call Summary Notes, CELA Library Update May 13, 2020 with Link to the CCB Podcast Episode

Get Together with Technology (GTT)

Sponsored by the Canadian Council of the Blind (CCB)

Summary Notes:

May 13, 2020

Theme: CELA Library Update, use this link for the CCB Podcast Episode.

Presenters: Rina Hadziev, Executive Director, CELA Library, assisted by her library service team.

In this regular monthly CCB-GTT National Zoom session guest, Rina Hadziev, provides a brief overview of her background and interests. Rina then gives a talk on the status of the CELA web site and services as of May 13, 2020. Rina explains that the CELA platform will continue to be updated with missing features from the old system such as personal search preferences. She also mentions exciting new functionality that will come soon resulting from the Marrakesh Treaty such as integration of NLS books from the United States into the CELA collection. Also, Rina informed us of another CELA project that will provide the ability to search and obtain books from within Voice Dream, Dolphin EasyReader, and Humanware devices eliminating the need to search for books using a computer or smartphone browser. The podcast comprises a 24 minute presentation by Rina followed by 42 minutes of Q&A.

For more information please contact your GTT Coordinators:

Albert Ruel                   or                        Kim Kilpatrick

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

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™”.

GTT is an exciting initiative of the Canadian Council of the Blind, founded in Ottawa 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.

CCB National Office

100-20 James Street Ottawa ON  K2P 0T6

Toll Free: 1-877-304-0968 Email: URL:


Re-Post: Audible just made hundreds of audiobooks completely free – Radio Times

Free audiobooks include novels narrated by Thandie Newton and Dan Stevens


Dear GTT Followers, I have clarified what is available and how to access it with this post revision. free books.


Here is further clarification for my post on Friday regarding the free books.  They seem to be mostly for kids while school is in recess, however this is the process for accessing some classics as well as kids books.  They appear to be for streaming only and don’t seem to provide any download links.


  1. Go to, Audible just made hundreds of audiobooks completely free
  2. On the page that shows up find the link, and press Enter.
  3. Navigate to the Start Listening Button and press the Space Bar.
  4. From this page you may search for books, or navigate through the categories and lists available. They are available in a few other languages as well as English.  It seems the reading speed can be adjusted once you begin playing a book, and the Navigation Quick Keys screen reader users are accustomed to will work when accessing this from a PC.  Pressing the letter P will take you to the Play/Pause button, the letter E will bring focus to the Search Edit Field and so on.  Links lists with Insert F7 is another good way to navigate to the books you want.  I couldn’t sort out how to minimize the Player once it is activated, however all other controls can be found below the Audio Player, or with Nav Quick Keys.



— Read on


Thx, Albert


GTT Edmonton Meeting Notes, Edmonton Publick Library Accessible Services, March 9, 2020

Summary Notes

GTT Edmonton Meeting March 9, 2020


The most recent meeting of the Get Together with Technology (GTT) Edmonton Chapter was held March 9 at 7pm at Ascension Lutheran Church 8405 83 Street in Edmonton.

15 people attended.

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


March Topic –EPL Accessibility

Our guest was Vicky Varga, manager of the Castle Downs Branch of the Edmonton Public Library (EPL). Vicky presented on the topic of Edmonton Public Library accessible services and kindly provided the following extensive notes on these services. If you have any questions not answered in her notes, she is more than willing to get back to you. You can email her at:


Accessible materials at EPL

Large Print Books, including hardcover and lightweight softcover books. These are available at all Library locations.

DAISY Books are digital talking books used by blind and visually impaired customers and played on a special player. They are different from audiobooks in that the discs are large format and contain an entire book on one disc versus multiple discs as well as a hierarchical structure with marked up text to make navigation easier. Anyone with a library card can request DAISY books online or via a library staff member at any branch.

Descriptive Videos/DVDs (DVS) are movies which describe the visual elements for people who are blind or have low vision. They can be played on any DVD or Blu-ray player. Nowadays, most (if not all) DVDs released in Canada provide this as part of their options. Because of this, we don’t catalogue items separately anymore. The best way to confirm if an item has described video is to go to epl2you and scroll down to where there’s a catalogue link to described video OR search our catalogue for the following: “audio description available”

Assistive technology at EPL

Victor Stratus devices read DAISY disks. The device can also be used to play regular audio books and CDS. Large buttons with high contrast colours.

Victor Stream can have materials (audiobooks, audio magazines, etc.) loaded on to it OR, if connected to the internet, have items pushed directly to it by CELA. The Streams also have internet radio and can have any audio file loaded to them.

EPL has a few of each that can be loaned to customers to provide an opportunity to test the devices to determine if they would be a good fit and to fill the gap while customers acquire their own. If they qualify, CNIB can provide support and grants for purchasing VICTOR devices that will subsidize almost the entire cost.

Home Service:

EPL has provided home delivery since the 1970s!

If you’re unable to come to us at the library for three months or longer, we’ll come to you. We can deliver to your home, extended care facility or seniors’ lodge.

Staff will work with you to select the types of books, movies and/or CDSs you like so we can meet your needs OR you can select what you would like yourself on our website.

You can have a friend or family member pick up materials for you at the library OR we will match you with a carefully screened and trained volunteer who will deliver your items directly to you.




Extended Loans

For customers who can come in, but not too often (i.e. Depend on rides/DATS/weather and/or health often keeps them home)

Loan period is extended to 6 weeks for print items (DVDs remain at 3 weeks).

Talk to a library staff member if you’re interested in extended loans or home service


The Centre for Equitable Library Access (CELA) is a national organization that supports public libraries in delivering equitable library service for their patrons with print disabilities.

CELA provides local library access to Canada’s largest collection of alternative format books and online resources for people who have difficulty reading print due to a visual, physical or learning disability.

CELA offers a collection of more than 500,000 books and more for people who have trouble reading print due to a learning, physical or visual disability. The collection includes:

  • Accessible books, magazines, and newspapers
  • Choose preferred format: audio, accessible e-text or braille
  • Full range of subjects, genres, best sellers and award winners for all ages

Access to the CELA collection is restricted to people with print disabilities living in Canada.

A print disability is a learning, physical or visual disability that prevents a person from reading conventional print.

More specifically, a print disability can be a:

  • Learning disability: An impairment relating to comprehension
  • Physical disability: The inability to hold or manipulate a book
  • Visual disability: Severe or total impairment of sight or the inability to focus or move one’s eyes

This definition of print disability is from the Canadian Copyright Act because it is this Act that lets CELA reproduce published materials in alternative formats for its collection. The term used in the Act is “perceptual disability”.

How to read CELA material

Download books to your mobile device and read with an accessible reading app like Dolphin EasyReader. Dolphin EasyReader is a FREE accessible reading app designed for readers with dyslexia, low vision or blindness. It’s what is recommended by CELA, but there are other apps that can be used including some paid apps.

Download or have books downloaded direct to a DAISY player over a wireless connection. Books can be chosen on the CELA website and downloaded to DAISY players, but CELA can  also push books directly to DAISY or Victor Stream devices if they’re connected to the internet.


Receive audio (DAISY) or braille by mail. DAISY disks and braille books can also be mailed via Canada Post directly to customers. Braille books and DAISY magazines and newspapers are theirs to keep, but books have a return mail label included and must be shipped back.

Bookshare via CELA

Bookshare is a US-based accessible online library for people with print disabilities. Bookshare offers more than 500,000 titles, including books for all ages, best sellers, and more. The books are available in e-text and e-braille. Audio versions are in synthetic speech.

Bookshare creates its accessible books by automatically converting book files provided by publishers. This automatic process makes large numbers of books available quickly and in a wide variety of accessible formats. However, because humans do not check the books, you may find errors in the synthetic audio or computer-generated braille. In addition, books which rely heavily on illustrations, charts, and graphs may not be usable because this material is generally presented by the publishers as images which cannot be converted automatically.

Proof of Disability: If you wish to access the Bookshare collection, you must provide a proof of disability, as required by Bookshare’s agreements with publishers. CELA manages the proof of disability process and ensures the privacy of your personal information. If you prefer not to submit a proof of disability, you will still have access to the CELA collection.

Signing up for CELA

Visit CELA Registration Page or contact the library for assistance.

What students/individuals need to register:

  • EPL library card
  • You must have a print disability to use CELA services, but proof of disability is not required

CELA Educator Access

If you’re an educator supporting a student with a print disability, receive free access to CELA’s entire collection including Bookshare!

How do you register? Get a free library card from Edmonton Public Library then complete the online Educator Access Program Registration Form:

CELA’s Client Access Support 

CELA’s Client Access Support program is designed for professionals who require access to CELA’s collection in order to assist individuals with print disabilities.

For example, if you work with students (being privately tutored), CNIB clients, residents of seniors’ residences or long-term care facilities, or those whose physical disabilities prevent them from manipulating a traditional book you could be eligible to access CELA’s alternate format collection on behalf of those you support.


What does CELA Client Access Support include?

The Client Access Support program provides access to CELA’s physical format collection including books on CD, braille books, descriptive video; our online formats such as downloadable DAISY audio or text; and electronic braille files available at

Bookshare? No… Access to Bookshare is limited to educational institutions and to individuals with print disabilities who are registered for CELA. If you are working with individuals with print disabilities who want access to Bookshare’s online resources, you can assist them in adding the Bookshare membership to their CELA account.

Client Access Support accounts are valid until October 1 of the next year. Accounts approved on or after October 1 will expire on Oct 15 of the following year. CELA will send you a renewal notice.

National Network for Equitable Library Access (NNELS)

NNELS is funded by 8 separate provincial governments and is sustained and run by public libraries. Their goals are:

  1. accessible public library service for everyone;
  2. accessible publishing and distribution so that separate collections like ours are no longer required for access to books and reading.

NNELS is an online public library of 10,000+ titles in accessible formats. The most common formats are DAISY, PDF and e-text.

NNELS not only provides access to existing accessible books, but it also supports the creation of accessible versions of titles.

NNELS is unique in that it works closely with publishers and distributors to promote accessible formats, but it also supports the creation of accessible versions of titles as needed. Sometimes this means supporting local libraries in creating their own accessible versions – Lac La Biche just finished recording an audio version of a local collection of stories. Many Indigenous and locally-written material is not available in an accessible format and NNELS is working to combat this issue

Signing up for NNELS

To register for NNELS, individuals only need to contact the library. Library staff will change their membership to include NNELS.

Your library card number and PIN can then be used to access the NNELS catalogue on their website:


Next Meeting (Monday April 13 at 7pm)

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


Additional Resources

Telephone Support

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

Kim: 877-304-0968 Ext. 513


Albert: 877-304-0968 Ext. 550



GTT Blog and Monthly Teleconference

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

GTT Email Support List

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


GTT Edmonton Overview

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


GTT Edmonton Summary Notes, General Tech, September 9, 2019

            Summary Notes

GTT Edmonton Meeting September 9, 2019


The most recent meeting of the Get Together with Technology (GTT) Edmonton Chapter was held September9 at 7pm at Ascension Lutheran Church 8405 83 Street in Edmonton.

14 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. Also, read the last section of this document for information on GTT resources including the National monthly teleconference, support email list, and telephone support.


September Topic –General Tech


2020 Membership Dues

Thank you to those who paid their CCB 2020 membership. 9 members renewed and we had 3 new members. Membership of $10 will continue to be collected in the October and November meetings. We would appreciate if new or existing members can pay in the next 2 meetings.


General Tech Discussion

We had several subgroups discussing general technology issues.

  • One small group discussed how to upgrade to a new computer including what hardware configuration should be considered and what are the steps to set it up and transfer data from the old computer to the new computer. Often the computer store especially the smaller non chain stores may be willing to do some of the set up for you. This may be worth it even for a small fee. For example, the store could set up your email, set up an Office 365 Home subscription, and even install JAWS or Zoomtext. Also, it was stressed that purchasing an Office 365 subscription instead of purchasing the Office program is the more viable and economical way to use Office today. You should subscribe to Office 365 Home edition not the business edition. An Office 365 subscription does not mean you have to use the cloud. The Office programs (Word, Excel, Outlook, Power Point) can still be installed on your computer and your documents can reside on your computer. With an Office 365 subscription, your Office programs will always be updated automatically with the current versions of those programs.
  • Another group discussed how to listen to podcasts on an iPhone.
  • There were others discussing iPhone edit mode which allows you to move and group icons on your home screen.

Another person was curious about how to move from an older DAISY CD player to Victor Reader Stream and convert their CELA service from CD books to Direct to Player books.


Next Meeting (Thursday October 17 at 7pm)

Because the second Monday of October is Thanksgiving , we will meet the second Thursday October 17.

  • Topic is TBA.
  • 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.


National Teleconference, Email Support List, Telephone Support

  • GTT sponsors a national GTT monthly teleconference. You may subscribe to the National GTT blog to get email notices of teleconferences and notes from other GTT chapters. Visit:

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

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

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

Kim: 877-304-0968 Ext. 513


Albert: 877-304-0968 Ext. 550



[End of Document]



CCB Tech Articles, Donna’s Low Tech Tips, Voice Dream Reader, July 29, 2019

July 29, 2019

Meet the Voice Dream Reader, a text to speech app


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

Today, I’d like to talk about the Voice Dream text to speech app.

Let’s meet this product.


Meet the Voice dream text to speech app


Well, I think you should take a long hard look at the article below and see what you think.  I have this app on my iPhone and I find it extremely helpful.  Enjoy!


Voice Dream Reader: Text To Speech iOS App – Release 2.8: Create Your Own Reading Experience


I’m delighted to introduce Voice Dream Reader version 2.8. The new release brings capabilities more advanced than any voice reader on any platform or at any price. The result is a whole new level of flexibility to create your own reading experience.


Pronunciation Dictionary


Personal Pronunciation Dictionary


Don’t like how a voice pronounces a word? Want to skip repeating header text in a PDF document? Release 2.8 introduces a powerful personal pronunciation dictionary. You can tell the speech engine to pronounce a word as if it’s a different word. For example, “lol” can be pronounced as “laughing out loud,” or “MAD” as “M.A.D”, spelling out the acronym rather than saying it as a word. And you can skip any text so they’re not spoken at all.


For technically sophisticated users, I offer you Regular Expression or RegEx, a way to express any pattern in text. For example, to skip the chapter-verse numbers in the Bible, you would define a rule to skip RegEx “[0-9]+:[0-9]+”. What you can do with RegEx is limitless.


Each language has its own dictionary, and the pronunciation rules work regardless which voice you use, whether the voice is from Acapela or NeoSpeech. If you use TTS more than a few minutes a day, you’ll be very glad to have this feature.


Configurable Navigation


The other major feature is Configurable Navigation. Version 2.8 introduces a concept called “Navigation Unit,” which can be set to Sentence, Paragraph, Page, Chapter, Bookmark, Highlight, 15, 30, or 60 seconds – basically all important markers in text. In the previous version, the rewind and fast forward buttons go backward or forward by 30 seconds. In the new version, they move the speech cursor backward or forward by any Navigation Unit you set. For example, you can go to the next page in a PDF document or DAISY eBook. Or, go through all your highlighted text one by one. And you can set Navigation Unit on the fly by tapping on the rewind or fast forward button and hold.


If you assign rewind and fast forward to the remote control buttons on your headset, you can move around the text without touching your device. Or, you can swipe left or right with two finger and they’re the same as rewind and fast forward. How cool is that!


Speaking of gestures, I added a gesture that VoiceOver users have long enjoyed: Double-finger double tap, which is the same as the Play-Pause button. Now you can Play or Pause without exiting full screen.


Customers asked to be able to customize their reading experience by setting different speech rates easily: You might want to listen to a book in your native language faster than in a foreign language, and a scientific paper should be read more slowly than a popular novel. In the new release, you can set a default speech rate for each voice, and you can override defaults by setting a speech rate for each article or book. You can adjust the pitch and volume for each voice, too!


Better Support for Visual Reading


Voice Dream Reader has always supported both visual reading and voice reading and mixing them in a natural and fluid way. The features I mentioned thus far help create a better voice reading experience, but I haven’t forgotten about visual readers. I added a Scroll by Page mode (as opposed to free scrolling), increased the maximum font size to 80, added the option to turn off Word or Line highlighting. And it’ll remember the visual location where you left off in addition to the speech location, so when you open it next time it’ll go right to the text you were looking at before.


Here’re the rest of the new features in this release:


*        Footer to indicate and set page, percent, chapter, and Navigation Unit.

*        Sort by Date, Title, Author and Size for each folder.

*        New Chinese and Japanese voices from NeoSpeech.


And as always, existing customers get these new features for free.


In a little more than a year, Voice Dream Reader has come a long way from the early days of being a simple text “player” with one voice. With your support and encouragement, Voice Dream Reader will continue to get better.  Please email me with your comments and ideas for improvements. I love to hear from you.


Contact Us:





Press Contact:



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 –

Audio mysteries for all ages –

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.


To contact me, send me an email at and I’ll be happy to respond.

Have yourselves a great day and see you next week.



GTT National Conference Call Summary Notes, CELA Library Update, May 8, 2019

GTT National Conference Call.


An Initiative of the Canadian Council of the Blind


Summary Notes


May  8, 2019


Theme: CELA Library Update


Michael Ciccone who is the executive director of CELA joined us to provide updates and answers to our questions.

Note: CELA is updating the web site continually so these notes may be out of date if you are reading them after May 2019.

On the main page of the CELA web site

you will find the latest updates, service alerts, and what they are working on now.

Michael thanked everyone for their patience and acknowledges that this has not been the smooth transition they would have wished for.

CELA continues to work on improving the searching feature.  At the time of the call, searching resulted in receiving way too many search results.  Michael assured us that by May 9, 2019 the searching feature would be greatly improved.  This was the case when Kim Kilpatrick tested it on Thursday May 9, 2019.  Fewer results came up and it was more accurate.

Michael is aware that the searching needs to improve and will include key words and other ways of searching as well.

People can now download books in daisy zip format and for the most part direct to player.  Some people are still having trouble with direct to player.

Cd’s and single use braille are being sent out as well.

People have access now to all CELA and bookshare titles for the most part.  New titles are being added.

Recently, the focus has been on improving the search functionality which they have heard a lot of complaints about.  Michael brought in someone to assist with this.  In order to fix the search issues, they had to re-index the entire collection which did take time.  Search filters and advanced search still needs to be implemented.

After the search is working well, the focus will be on improving the patron account information.  Implementing the history, the setting of preferences, manage holds lists and update account information.

Another priority is getting the daisy text magazines back.  They must build additional programming to do this.

CELA is hoping to have most of the site up and running by the summer.  However, many of the issues they have encountered have been issues they did not foresee.

There is a known issue with getting direct to player books on the plextalk players.  This is an issue with the company who makes plextalk.  Plextalk has done nothing about it.  Both CNIB and optilec have stopped selling their players for this reason.  Nevertheless, they are hoping to get a resolution for this issue.

CELA has been contacting the patrons they know use plextalk and giving them some alternatives.

There was an issue with voiceover (the screen reader for IOS) that has been resolved.

Some of the bookshare titles that appeared are titles we should not have access to in Canada.  And, another bookshare issue where duplicate titles are appearing.  This means that the bookshare title might not be able to be downloaded successfully.  Bookshare is working on this from their side too.  Once everything is fixed, this will be a great and very accessible system.

This system will give CELA room to grow and allow them to add other library systems as they become available.

Bookshare is already working with other blindness libraries to improve their product and interaction.  Michael is hoping that we continue to be patient (that is so appreciated) and continue to reach out and let CELA know our thoughts and ideas.  The pace at which issues are being fixed has picked up over the past few weeks.

People expressed their appreciation for the update progress e-mails that we have been getting regularly.

Someone liked that the site is easier to use on smart phones.

All formats being in one record are appreciated.

The mobile site works well.

The New titles section will be restored when CELA is able to add the filter for new titles.  That should happen within the next few weeks.

Michael will update us on this and any other major updates as they happen.

Michael will also investigate answers for the questions below and provide answers as he gets them.

Kim and Albert will share to the GTT list and blog.

  1. Will the bookshare new titles be updated as well as the cela titles?
  2. Michael will check.  We may have an option for filtering the new titles lists.

Comment. the dialogue box that comes up after you press get it for the book does not always pop up.

Michael has made this a high priority.

Sometimes bookshare has several versions of a book.  If you cannot download one, try downloading another one.


Comment. When you download a book into direct to player, there is no book description on the victor stream.

Michael will investigate.

Comment. There are some issues with bookshare download saying service error.  Bookshare was contacted and this seems to be a humanware issue.  There should be a victor stream software update in June which will correct this.

Michael suggested trying to download the bookshare books through CELA and see if this works better.

Publishers sign agreements with bookshare and they either say they will let international patrons have their books or not.  About 90 percent of publishers in bookshare let us have them.  May 8 Marrakesh treaty has passed so there may be an increase in books available.

Comment. The notification on the iPhone that says go to your downloads section, does not always show up or is not read automatically.  Someone suggested that this is a voiceover and screen reader focus issue on all platforms.

Comment Someone is having a problem with downloads not showing up in the download section.  Some people have also seen books that are much older in their list of holds or books on their shelf.

Michael wondered if It might be that the history feature once implemented will fix this.  This seems to happen with direct to player books in dolphin reader.

Comment.  Someone had an issue where CELA kept logging them out even when they were signed in.

Michael said that sometimes it is a personal account issue and you might have to call CELA help to fix your actual account.

Comment. Some people ended up downloading the same book 3 or 4 times because they did not get the notification.  The new system is a bit of a learning curve as there is one extra step to download a book.  Suggestion. Indicate all the known problems on the CELA front page?

Michael said that now, it would take a long time to get through the list of issues.  It was further suggested that any major issues be put on the front page.

Suggestion. Make a download sound for when a book is downloading like NVDA does when it is downloading a software update.

Comment Several people have not been able to download books from CELA onto their stream direct to player.

Michael will check if this is a known issue.

There will be filters for recently added and publication date.  Michael is waiting to see if both can be added for filters.

Question. Will CELA be added as a service under voicedream reader.

Michael would like to be able to do this.

Question Will we also be able to search more easily in voicedream reader and in dolphin easy reader?  This will hopefully happen, but it is not top of the list.  Michael will follow up on the voicedream search and adding as a service for voicedream.  This would cut out some steps and would make it easier for people.

After the search, putting the magazines back is a very high priority.  The magazines are ingested into bookshare and then they come back to CELA.

Suggestion Occasionally when you remove books from dolphin, it does not clear from site.  Can you have a button on the new site to clear books?

Michael believes this is planned but will follow up.  The staff from CELA are wanting to make sure we can do more ourselves.

Question Is easy reader good on android?

Maybe not as straight forward as on IOS but still works.

Question. Can we search for just bookshare books or just cela books?  Could that be a filter? Will it be described as a bookshare book if you search for just direct to player?  Nice to be able to tell within the record if it is direct to player bookshare or CELA.

Michael will investigate this.  It was pointed out that Daisy text is pretty much always bookshare.  Daisy audio is cela.

It was pointed out that Using the victor stream to search for bookshare books will go away once bookshare is integrated with CELA.  Is that right?  Bookshare is willing to let us stay with bookshare accounts until all is sorted out.

Once everything is working, can we still do a search through our victor stream?  Michael will check if this is on the development list.

It was suggested that we change the filter searches from check boxes to radio buttons.

Hopefully, in future when searching you can just type in a name, term, author, and the search will be smart and provide the most relevant results.

Michael will investigate what will be included in our preferences.  Now, each new search clears all preferences.

Suggestion when using screen readers and Screen navigation, raise the level of the heading for the search.  Make the search heading level 1 and the filters heading level 2.  Michael will pass this along.  Suggestion Will cela be in touch with humanware for people to search just on the stream because people find this a very easy way to search.  Now every search on the stream is now very streamlined and similar.  Michael will check on this as well.

Suggestion. Build an API with CELA to allow people to search on the stream.  Will CELA work with humanware to build an API for searching CELA with the stream?  Michael will check into this.

A similar API or the same one could work to add CELA to voicedream reader.

There are people who do not use their computer at all but just search on the stream.  That is a very important service to have.

CELA is Encouraging people to not get hard CD’s but to change to direct to player and downloading onto your stream and onto your easy reader app.  CELA can also designate someone or add a designate to help you load your shelf.  If it is all legal, that is okay.  If CELA has a designate name, then CELA can contact the designate if there is any issue.


GTT National Conference Call Overview

  • GTT National Conference Call is a monthly discussion group of the Canadian Council of the Blind (CCB).
  • GTT National Conference Calls promote a self-help learning experience by holding monthly meetings to present and discuss new and emerging assistive technology.
  • Each meeting consists of a feature technology topic, along with questions and answers about assistive technology.
  • Participants are encouraged to attend each meeting even if they are not interested in the feature topic because questions on any technology are welcome. The more participants the better able we will be equipped with the talent and experience to help each other.
  • There are GTT groups across Canada as well as an email distribution list where assistive technology questions are provided by participants. You may also subscribe to the National GTT blog to get email notices of teleconferences and notes from other GTT chapters. Visit:


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


National GTT Email Support List

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


[End of Document]


Resource: Audible App, Deleting books on iPhone 6 Running iOS 11-4-1

Deleting books in the Audible App on iPhone 6 in iOS 11-4-1

  1. With the My Library Tab at the bottom left corner of the main Audible Player screen selected, and Device selected near the top of the screen the iPhone will list the books on the device.
    2. Flick right several times from the top of the page to find the Delete Button icon and one-finger double tap it. Now, each book in the list will have something appear just before the title labelled, Delete from Device.
    3. Flick with one finger through the list to find the book title to be deleted and flick once to the left to access the Delete From Device Button pertaining to that book. One-finger double tap that button to start the deletion process.
    4. Focus will remain on the Delete From Device icon just activated, and above it will be found another button with the same label. Flick once to the left to locate that one and one-finger double tap it to finalize the deletion of the book.
    5. If there are multiple books to delete repeat steps 3 and 4.
    6. To turn off the Deletion process go back to the top of the page then flick right to locate the Delete Button and one-finger double tap it. The list of books wil return to its original state.


NNELS/SDPP-D Federal Grant Updates, November 14, 2018

SDPP-D Federal Grant Updates – November 2018


Wednesday, November 14, 2018


*Note: This is a text version of the Federal Grant Updates page on the NNELS website, which can be accessed by activating this link.  We thank CCB staff and all the other partners who worked on this project, as well as those who will work on the next stage.  #AccessibilityMatters.


Press Release from Employment and Social Development Canada: /Government

funds library network service expansion to make more published works

available in formats accessible for Canadians with print disabilities




From January to June 2018, NNELS worked on a series of special projects to enhance the production and availability of accessible-format material in Canada. The project was funded in large part by a grant from the Government of Canada’s Social Development Partnerships Program – Disability Component (SDPP-D). In September 2018, the BC Libraries Cooperative received an additional $1 million to carry out a series of new special projects to build on the momentum created from the previous grant work. New projects focus on three main areas: accessible publishing, accessible reading, and braille availability.


Summaries of these projects follow, and this page will be updated as the projects are carried out. For answers to your questions please write to



  1. Accessible Publishing


NNELS continues to work with partners to support publishers in creating born accessible material.



  1. a) Accessible Publishing Summit


This invitation-only summit will be held in Toronto on January 28th and 29th, 2019, and will include stakeholders in the ebook production, distribution, and reading chain. We will create and distribute a set of best practices for accessible EPUB relevant to  communities along that chain; related documentation will be publicly available online. We are working with Laura Brady <; to organize this event.



  1. b) Accessible Publishing Workshops


In February, Lisa Snider of Access Changes Everything will host ten, two-day accessible publishing workshops across Canada. We have invited publishers and publishers’ associations to contact us if they would like to host a workshop in their city. The two-day workshops will allow the first day to offer a theoretical grounding for hands-on, practical experience on the second day.



  1. c) EPUB Accessibility Reports/Audits


We will be working with Lisa Snider, Farrah Little, and our stellar team of accessibility testers to create accessibility reports for 60 EPUB files from 30 Canadian publishers. In the first week of November, we sent an invitation to publishers and have received a great response, especially from Ontario publishers. We hope to have all 60 files by December 1st. Publishers can sign up here.



  1. d) DAISY Consortium Partnership


We are funding the DAISY Consortium to develop and enhance their open-source, user-friendly version of the Ace by DAISY. To date, Ace by DAISY has been a command-line tool, but the new release has a graphical user interface. DAISY is also preparing the Accessible Publishing Knowledge Base

<; and

<; website for language localization,

And translating both Ace by DAISY and into French.


On November 6th, we were invited by DAISY to a conference call to review their latest version of a test book used at to test different reading applications. One of our accessibility testers was able to attend and wrote afterward, “It was so much fun to just talk our lingo for an hour with them. I learned a lot, too. I’m able to present more refined recommendations to cover images in my reports now, and I’ve finally figured out how page navigation is supposed to work! I couldn’t believe it when people started signing off. I almost said, “Hey wait a minute, this was supposed to last an hour,” then I checked the time and was astonished to see that it indeed had.”


DAISY is actively including our team in their work: we are learning so much from them and so grateful for this opportunity!


  1. e) Plugins for Publishers


Publishers have asked for plugins they can use with their ebook editing software to automate repetitive tasks and improve accessibility. We posted an RFP for a plugin developer which closed on November 2nd, and we are working on next steps.


  1. Accessible Reading



  1. a) Purchasing


We have approached eBOUND to inquire about purchasing titles published since our last round of funding, and to invite participation from publishers who did not work with us in the spring. We also sent an invitation through Canadian publishers’ associations to purchase their material directly from them or through their distributors.


We have agreements in place with two major digital audiobook vendors to purchase jointly with CELA/CNIB. Purchasing is beginning mid-November. We have budgeted a total of $100,000 for new content.



  1. b) Testing Library Reading Apps


Our team of accessibility testers are exploring the accessibility of library reading applications, with input from DAISY and CELA. The purpose of this project is to give vendors specific feedback about their reading apps so that audiobooks and accessible ebooks are available to all readers through those platforms. The team is currently testing the OverDrive app on a variety of platforms. NNELS will share the results with the vendors and the Canadian public library community.


  1. c) Partnership with Camp Bowen Society for the Visually Impaired


We are thrilled to continue working with the Camp Bowen Society for the Visually Impaired <; to further develop the beta version of their Production Tool, a tool that automates and streamlines the EPUB remediation process. As part of this process, Camp Bowen will create 18 accessible-format titles for the NNELS repository.



  1. d) National Requests


We are once again accepting nation-wide requests to produce books that are not currently available in accessible formats. A link to submit requests will be distributed and posted here soon.




  1. Braille Availability



  1. a) Print-Braille Childrens’ Books


In partnership with the Vision Impaired Resource Network (VIRN) in Manitoba, we are producing 5 titles in French to be distributed through every provincial and territorial Public Library Authority. Special thank you to staff at BAnQ for helping us select titles! This project builds on previous work done with VIRN to expand the Canadian print-braille collection.



  1. b) Hardcopy and Electronic Braille Pilot Project


Our Saskatchewan-based Braille Production Coordinator, Riane LaPaire, is coordinating the production of 50 hardcopy and 50 electronic braille titles for distribution through NNELS and Canadian public libraries. This pilot project will inform future decisions on choosing braille producers, braille quality, and distribution methods. This project is based on recommendations from the “Improving Braille Availability in Canadian Public Library.