Next Ottawa GTT Evening and day time meetings. 

Posted by Kim Kilpatrick 

GTT Coordinator 

Our next evening Ottawa GTT meeting will take place on Monday March 16.  As usual, we will be meeting at CCB national offices 20 James street.  Our meeting time is 6-8 PM. 

We may give an update on income tax preparation and accessibility.  If so, this update will be brief. 

Our topic for the night is internet and cell phone service providers. 

So bring your ideas and experiences. 

Some questions we will ask include: 

How did you pick your service provider? 

Who has the most accessible web sites, apps, ETC? 

How well can you access your billing information? 

How good are they at giving you help and tech support if needed? 

We will have a discussion on this so bring your ideas and suggestions. 

If anyone would like to bring snacks, let Kim know. 

To RSVP, contact Kim at 

613-567-0311 

or 

gttprogram@gmail.com 

Our next day time Ottawa Gtt meeting will take place on Thursday March 19 from 10 AM to noon at CCB offices 20 James street. 

Using microsoft word with I Devices. 

As usual on a Thursday morning, I am reading the latest edition of Top Tech Tidbits.  If you have not subscribed to it, it is a most valuable resource.  Recently, microsoft has made some of their products more accessible for I Devices.  They used to be totally inaccessible.  I have been playing with microsoft outlook and now microsoft word.  You will find the following link helpful especially if you are using word with an ipad and/or bluetooth keyboard.  I have not played with it using a braille display yet but plan to do that. http://support.office.microsoft.com/client/Use-VoiceOver-in-Word-1387428a-5eaf-4eb3-a2a9-230b60462654

Article on a new navigation tool.

Tools that help with navigation.

See below article

Posted by Kim Kilpatrick

GTT coordinator

 

It seems that very regularly thee days, products are tested and developed to help people who are blind or have low vision to get around.

However, sometimes these products are developed without consulting people who are blind to know what they exactly need and would like in a product.

I find this happens most with navigation apps and tools.

What is it we want to know when traveling outside?

How much is too much distraction?

How much information do we need?

What format do we want it in?

This project seems to be testing many people who are blind or have low vision.  This is always a good sign.

They also seem to be testing travelers who use canes, guide dogs, some with less and some with more vision.

Also, they seem to be asking the testers what else they might use the device to do.

This is very interesting reading.

 

See below.

Posted by Kim Kilpatrick 

GTT Coordinator

Putting SUNU to the test
Perkins students, staff take award-winning navigation tool for a spin

Rob, a Perkins student, uses the navigational wristband SUNU to locate 
doorways during a testing session for the device.
December 30, 2014
Byline: Alix Hackett
No one likes waiting in line at the bank, least of all Perkins teacher Kate 
Katulak. Because she is visually impaired, Katulak sometimes has trouble 
keeping tabs on the person in front of her, which can lead to some awkward 
moments.

“With a guide dog you have to constantly ask people, ‘Excuse me, are you 
moving up?’” she explained. “And if I say ‘forward’ to my dog she’s going to 
lead me right around people… so I cut a lot of lines.”

Enter SUNU (formerly known as Ustraap), a wristband that uses an ultrasonic 
sensor to detect obstacles and vibrate as they come closer. Someone wearing 
SUNU while waiting in line can feel the vibrations lessening as the person 
in front of them advances, prompting them to move forward themselves.

Katulak was able to try the product for herself during a recent two-day 
testing session run by SUNU and Perkins Products to gather feedback on the 
wristband, which is still in the prototype phase. Perkins Products staff 
formed a makeshift line, and Katulak practiced moving forward an appropriate 
distance behind them. On the first try, she was able to mirror the movement 
of the person in front of her.

“The band pulsated, and the pulsation kept getting lighter and lighter so I 
moved toward you,” she said. “That’s pretty cool.”

SUNU touts itself primarily as a navigational device, designed to help 
people who are blind avoid low-hanging tree branches or find doorways in a 
room. But during testing, SUNU’s chief strategy officer Fernando Albertorio 
was interested in hearing what other uses people came up with after wearing 
the wristband for the first time.

“To be honest with you, this is a use we hadn’t even thought of,” he said, 
referring to standing in line. “These two days are really about learning as 
much as we can in order to make improvements to the product and inform our 
launch and how we market it.”

SUNU and Perkins have been working together ever since SUNU (then known as 
Ustraap) won the Perkins Technology Sidecar Prize as part of MassChallenge, 
a Boston-based competition for entrepreneurs. Once a prototype of the band 
was developed, Albertorio tapped Perkins Products Director Joe Martini to 
recruit testers for the device who might use it in different ways.

“It hadn’t been tested with people who use guide dogs, individuals with low 
vision, or people who are deafblind,” said Martini.

During testing, each user donned a SUNU band and practiced using the 
vibration feedback to gauge distances, avoid obstacles and locate doorways. 
In one exercise, Albertorio held a plastic tree branch out at eye level, and 
asked testers to stop before walking into it. Perkins Products technology 
specialist Joann Becker, who uses a cane to navigate, said walking into 
stray branches is one of her biggest pet peeves. During the test, she strode 
quickly toward the branch, but stopped just inches away from it.

“Wow,” she said. “I could feel that it was there all of a sudden. I knew if 
I kept going, I would hit it.”

Perkins trainer Milissa Garside, another tester, wasn’t as worried about 
hitting things at eye level. “I’m short, so I don’t run into a lot of that,” 
she said, but like most people who tried SUNU, she had ideas for other uses.

“I would love to use this to locate a (traffic) light pole when I want to 
press the ‘walk’ button,” she said. “This would be so helpful, you have no 
idea.”

KNFB reader app reduced in price from December 23 to 25.

Hello everyone.

I found out that the KNFB reader app is reduced in price from $99 to $74 from December 23 to 25.

So, go to the app store and search for it.

We had a demonstration of it last week in Ottawa.

It is a very good app for reading documents.

I

It can read business cards at times and read some boxes and cans but not as well..

Most blind people agree that this is an excellent app and also reads pdf’s well.

Happy holidays.

Kim

National Conference Call Tonight.

Just a reminder that our conference call tonight will feature a brand new digital talking book player.

This product is made by Hims and is just coming on the market.

Join us and Steve from Aroga as he features this new product and tells us all about it.

There are still spaces.

The call in info is below.

If you have not already done so, please let Kim know if you will be participating.

You can e-mail her at 

gttprogram@rogers.com

Call in time: 8 Pm Eastern, 5 PM Pacific.

Call in number:

1-866-351-5099

As soon as the voice answers, press pound 135.

Ottawa yoga program continuing in January of 2015.

This fall, we held a very successful blind yoga program at the CCB national office on 20 James Street in Ottawa.

This program will begin again on  Saturday January 10 of 2015.

The yoga class takes place from 10 AM to 11 AM.

Since we need to open the door for participants, we ask that you arrive no later than 9:50 each Saturday.

Bring your yoga mat (you can store the mat at CCB so you only need to carry it once).

Cost: $10 per session (paid in cash to our instructor)

To find out more,  contact Kim Kilpatrick

GTT Coordinator

(613) 567-0311

 

gttprogram@rogers.com

New dance program happening in Ottawa in the winter of 2015.

Feel The Movement – Ballroom Dancing

 

CCB, GTT  and CNIB in partnership would like to invite you to come out and have some fun, learn about movement, build some confidence, get in shape and learn a dance or two with dance instructor Murray Carter. 

 

When:Thursday, January 8, 2015

Where:CCB – 20 James St.

Time:5:30 pm – 7:00 pm

Duration:Every Thursday for 6 weeks 

Cost:$75.00 per person for the 6 weeks

Who:Singles or Couples

 

What To Wear:

Flat footware, smooth bottom (dress-shoe type) Clothing: comfortable and casual (nonrestrictive)

 

Registration:Richard Marsolais,  CNIB

Tel: 563-4021 x5029 ● Email: Richard.marsolais@cnib.ca

Nanaimo GTT meeting December 6 2014.

Get Together with Technology Program

 

Where:  The 710 Club, 285 Prideaux Street, Nanaimo BC

 

When:  Saturday, December 6, 2014

 

Time:  1:30 until 3:30 PM

 

 

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

 

During the December GTT meeting we’ll try to have some technology fun.  The theme will be “Games People Play”, and we want you to bring your non-electronic, and electronic games/gadgets along and explain to the group what games you find interesting and fun, whether it’s on the computer, a mobile phone or a stand-alone device.  We also want you to bring along a small Christmas treat to share.  Know that only dark Christmas Cake is real and that the white stuff isn’t yet finished.  Just saying.  

 

The second hour will be devoted to general discussion about assistive technology as it pertains to its use by people who are blind or partially sighted.  

 

To RSVP, please call Albert Ruel at 250-240-2343 email at AlbertRuel@gmail.com, or Donna Hudon at 250-618-0010 email at IamDonnaHudon@gmail.com.  

 

The Get Together with Technology (GTT) program is an exciting program which helps people who are blind or have low vision to explore low vision and blindness related access technology.  You can learn from and discuss assistive technology with others walking the same path of discovery.  

 

The group 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.  The GTT group meets monthly to share their passions for assistive technology and to learn what others can offer from their individual perspectives.