February 2018 Newsletter With Dave’s News and Technology Updates

Picture of receipients of the Foundation of the Roanoke Valley grants for 2018, includes a picture of Executive Director of New Vision Guy Byrd

Updates: In 2017 we placed 62 Amazon Echo’s with seniors in the Roanoke area, in connection with our Assistive Technology for the Elderly Program. If you are interested in attending a workshop and entering the program give us a buzz or to learn more see the brochure link below.

Link to Brochure


New Vision is participating in the Roanoke Valley Gives day on March 14th. You can schedule your donations even now, ahead of time via the link below. This event will allow us to make updates to software we use everyday here such as ZoomText and JAWS. Our students will benefit by having access and using the newest and most robust Assistive Technologies in our Tech Center. See the link below to schedule your donation. http://newvisionroa.org/donate?newsletter

If you’d like to support our f1undraising in other ways we really need your likes and shares on Facebook. You can also use the link below to post a comment in support of New Vision along with a link to our donation page for Roanoke Valley Gives.

New Grant

New Vision is proud to again be the recipient of a grant from the Mary Louise Home Fund of The Foundation for Roanoke Valley. It will be an awesome privilege to serve our local community in using Assistive Technology. For more info stay tuned in via our website and the link below. http://www.foundationforroanokevalley.org/


On the Mac Accessibility Round Table the team discusses a number of products including the Orbit Reader and the new Apple HomePod. The update to iOS 11.3 is also discussed by the team. Check out the link below. http://maccessibility.net/podcast/maccessibility_rt148.mp3

On this episode of Blind Bargains you’ll hear the team review the big new technology of 2017. Their top ten items include the AIrA glasses, Orbit Reader, the Seeing AI App, Windows-Eyes, and VFO acquisitions. See the link below for more. http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/www.blindbargains.com/audio/bbq131.mp3

On Episode 147 of the Mac Accessibility Round Table Josh De Lioncourt talks about one of his primary tools for writing his books. The team also discusses HomeKit and Amazon Prime Video. See the link below. http://maccessibility.net/podcast/maccessibility_rt147.mp3

Check out the first episode of the new year from the Blind Bargains Podcast. The team talks about some of the things they saw at CES and Joe talks about his new 12 pound Google smart speaker. See the link below for more. http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/www.blindbargains.com/audio/bbq130.mp3

iPhone & iPad Apps

Check out the AppleVis’ Unlimited Newsletter for January 2018. See the link below for more. https://applevis.com/applevis-unlimited-whats-new-and-noteworthy-january-2018

Android and Google News

Check out this little note from Google about technical support for those with disabilities using Google products.

Google tweeted “We’re pleased to announce the launch of our first dedicated Google disability support team! Agents are available Monday-Friday, 8am-5pm PST through email and only in English language. Contact the team at disability-support-external@google.com

Echo Tips

Picture of Amazon Echo (1st Generation)

Here are a few things to try. Some practical, some just fun.

  • “Alexa what’s the tallest mountain in New York?”
  • “Alexa, who’s going to win the super bowl?”
  • “Alexa, how many astronauts have been to the moon?”
  • “Alexa, what are the top five mospopulated countries?”
  • “Alexa, when were the Dark Ages?”
  • “Alexa, dont mention the war.”
  • “Alexa, open the pod bay doors.”
  • “Alexa, when is the next blue moon?”
  • ‘Alexa, tell me a dinosaur joke.”
  • “Alexa, when am I going to die?”

Ways to Support New Vision

Kroger Community Rewards

Picture of Kroger Plus Logo

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.

Registration expires each August, and if you did not renew last summer, please do so now.

If you’d like to see how to sign up or renew, see the link below. http://newvisionroa.org/news/use-kroger-plus-card-support-us/

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. http://newvisionroa.org/?p=540&preview=true

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

Amazon Smile Program

Picture of Amazon Smile Logo

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. https://smile.amazon.com/ch/54-1210770

Local News and Events

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 21st of February at 7:00 PM. For more information contact Dianne Decker.

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. http://goo.gl/forms/9WXsbr3jPp

Contact Info

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

Phone: 540.985.8900

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Picture of David Ward

David Ward
Assistive Technology Instructor