April 2017 Tech Center Newsletter

New Vision News and Updates

The Tech Center will be closed Thursday April 20th through the 27th. The instructor will be on vacation, classes and the ATE program activities will resume the first week of May.

New Vision raised $2,385 from 25 donors through Roanoke Valley Gives Big Day, on March 15th, an event sponsored by the Foundation for Roanoke Valley. Thank you, to all our donors and volunteers!

Dinner in the Dark

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Thursday, the 17th of August, New Vision will be having another Dinner in the Dark event at the Hotel Roanoke. Stay tuned in for more!

Newsline Upgrade

New Vision, in partnership with the NFB and the Roanoke Times, has helped facilitate a huge upgrade to the newsline services to the Blind in Southwest Virginia. As a result of this upgrade, the old newsline number and service will be discontinued on April 30th. Active newsline subscribers will receive information about how to login to the new service. For more information please contact us.


The California State University, at Northridge (also know as CSUN), hosts a huge Assistive Technology Conference every year, where vendors show off their newest gadgets and software. There will be a lot of podcasts under the heading CSUN news dealing with this latest conference.

Cox Cable recently responded to a tweet I sent them about an accessible cable box. To learn more check out the link below. Additionally, this page talks about video descriptions or what is sometimes called audio described (AD) content. There’s even a link about Braille and large print statements. See link below.


Here’s a listing of Blind Bargains coverage of the CSUN conference. See the link below.

Here’s just a few cool audio interviews from CSUN. Our first is an interview with the KNFB Reader team about the KNFB Reader App coming to Windows 10. KNFB Reader is a premier OCR App for scanning documents. The App has been on Apple Devices and Android for a while; but now is available on Windows 10 computers. Even at a $99 price tag it’s a far cry cheaper than OpenBook, from Freedom Scientific, which is around $600. Have a listen, and by the way we have this app in the Tech Center in case you ever want to try it out.

Learn about a wearable keyboard with Buddy Brannan. See link below.


Check out this Blind Bargains episode where the team does a roundup of all the CSUN coverage. They discuss the BrailleSense, Amazon’s expanding use of VoiceView, and Ambutech’s new cane tips. See the link below.

In Blind Bargains Episode 92 the team talks about an Android App for of all things finding Android Apps that are accessible. Additionally, there’s an interview with the team developing the ElBraille. There’s even a discussion of an Ohio State University survey seeking to learn more about Race perceptions amongst the Blind. This and much more at the link below.

I doubt we’ve mentioned this podcast before but here’s a link to its main webpage. It’s called Accessible Minute, from the guys at the InDATA Project out of Indiana. It is full of little gems and as the name implies its short and sweet. Here’s the link toe the main webpage with various shows searchable by heading. http://www.eastersealstech.com/category/accessibility-minute/

Here’s two samples from the Accessible Minute Podcast.

The GoodRX App helps folks find which Pharmacy has the cheapest prices on their medications. Have a listen.

Want to get that item now! Need something in two hours instead of two days by Amazon Prime. Check out this little explanation of Amazon Prime Now, which allows you to order things and get them right now! See link below to have a listen. http://traffic.libsyn.com/accessibilityminute/AM225.mp3

iPhone & iPad Apps

Check out the AppleVis’ Unlimited Newsletter for March 2017. For the newest info about accessible games and Apps.

Did You Know?

You can add things to your Rotor on iOS Devices using VoiceOver. Here’s a cool one a student found. But first how do get to the option. Ask Siri to open VoiceOver Settings and flick right until you get to the Rotor option. Double-Tap and now you’re in the Rotor settings page. If you add as an example “punctuation” to your Rotor, you’ll get the ability to toggle whether VoiceOver reads punctuation back to you. This is handy for situations where you’re trying to proof read a document or a message. Enjoy! And let us know if you find any other useful Rotor options.

Possible Workshop

There’s been some interest expressed in a product known as MyEye by OrCam. This is a small camera device that clips to a pair of glasses. It allows for object recognition and OCR of documents you might see out and about. The theory is that it can even recognize locations and faces of folks that might enter the camera view. See the video below.

Video Demo Interview from InDATA Project: Click here

Audio Demo Interview from InDATA Project:

So if you are interested in attending a workshop on this system please let us know. Just email, call, or let me know next time you are in the Tech Center.

Ways to Support New Vision

Kroger Community Rewards

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Your Kroger Plus Card can be a powerful tool for supporting local organizations in your community. New Vision recently registered to be a beneficiary of the Kroger Community Rewards Program. Kroger will in turn donate toward our mission every time you, as a registered user, make purchases at their stores on hundreds of items.

If you’d like to see how to sign up, see the link below.

If you are a screen reader user then follow the link below for directions. These directions should apply whether you’re using NVDA or JAWS.

If you need additional help feel free to phone us here at the office.

Amazon Smile Program

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If you want Amazon to make a donation to New Vision every time you make a purchase you can use the link below to sign up for the Amazon Smile Program. Follow the step by step directions. Sorry, we haven’t had a chance to put together step-by-step directions for screen reader users yet. See link below.

Local News and Events

Lions at the Lake: Will be June 17 from 11am to 2pm at Claytor Lake State Park; shelter number 3 (near where it was last year). Park fees are waved for participants. Anyone with a visual impairment of any age is welcome with family or friends as well as any Lions who might help out. People who have questions can call Dr. Suzanne Ament. Email at seament@radford.edu.

Reoccurring Events: Roanoke Alliance for the Visually Enabled (RAVE) meets the third Wednesday of each month. The next meeting of the Roanoke Alliance for the Visually Enabled (RAVE) will be on Wednesday the 17th of May at 7:00 PM. The guest speaker will be Mr. David Ward, of New Vision, talking about the new ATE Program involving the Amazon Echo for seniors in the Roanoke Valley. For more information contact Dianne Decker at rdeckerjr2@cox.net.

Your Thoughts

If you have any thoughts about what could be mentioned in an upcoming newsletter or comments on this newsletter feel free to reply or fill out the following form. See the following link.

Contact Info

New Vision 4504 Starkey Rd. Suite 120, Roanoke, VA 24018 (South Park Office Building)

Phone: 540.985.8900## March 2017 Technology Newsletter

David Ward – Assistive Technology Instructor for the Tech Center