March 2017 Tech Center Newsletter


The CSUN Assistive Technology conference was being held in California the last week of February. And there’s bound to be a lot of news and interviews coming out of that event. To read more about the annual conference see the link below.

New Vision News and Updates

New Vision is proud to partner with Roanoke Valley Gives, our region’s awesome 24-hour online giving challenge. This exciting event is organized by the Foundation for Roanoke Valley and is set to start at 12 A.M. on March 15, 2017.

What is Roanoke Valley Gives?

It is a day of community giving! One of the primary goals is to empower those who love the community to easily support their favorite causes or charitable organizations.

Foundation for Roanoke Valley has teamed up with Click & Pledge for this annual event to allow you to give directly to participating nonprofit organizations that positively impact our community every day.

So, mark your calendars and “give where you live”!

What You Can Do!

Our goal is to raise $5,000 during this 24 hours of local giving. Please help us by rallying your friends and family to support New Vision. Here are some easy ways in which YOU can help:

  1. Like the New Vision Facebook and Twitter pages and share the New Vision page on your personal account.

  2. Post your support of New Vision’s participation in Roanoke Valley Gives on your Facebook and Twitter accounts.

New Vision Facebook New Vision Twitter

  1. Add the Roanoke Valley Gives logo and link to your emails. Logo for your email is shown below along with the link.

Roanoke Valley Gives Logo for March 15th 2017

Donate Now

  1. Get a set number of people at your office, church, neighborhood, school to give $5.

  2. Recruit 5 people to help spread the word. Whether by phone, email, social media or word of mouth. Ask 5 people to tell others about New Vision.

Our Donate button on is now linked to the Roanoke Valley Gives portal for March 15th!


Check out the 20,000 hertz podcast. This is a delight to listen to and really enlightened me about audio description. This is a separate audio track added to movies and TV shows that fills in the gaps about what is happening on screen. They interview a Blind Movie critic, from YouTube. Have a listen.

On Blind Bargains 90 J.J. and Joe talk about ride sharing services. Shelly also has a pre-recorded interview with an executive from the VFO group about ZoomText 11. Also there’s a discussion about a new piece of DISH Satellite TV equipment that is accessible. See the link below.

On Episode 91 of the Blind Bargains Podcast you’ll hear about the history of audio books, the next update to NVDA, and much more. Other topics include the release of Magic 14, the new ChromeVox screen reader, and the Fire TV. See the link below.

iPhone & iPad Apps

Check out the AppleVis’ Unlimited Newsletter for February 2017.

ZoomText 11 the Saga Continues

That’s right another blurb about ZoomText 11. Since our last newsletter there has been some additional materials that have come out. This includes six videos from VFO/AiSquared team. Here’s a link to the main listing of videos on YouTube.

Here’s a breakdown of each of the videos subject by subject.

Here’s an additional article explaining the transition you might experience going from ZoomText 10 to 10. See the link below.

Did You Know?

If you are a ZoomText user and you are moving to 11 you’ll likely need a new serial code. The serial code unlocks the software and tells the company you’re a paying customer. You’ll likely receive this serial in the mail if you have an active software maintenance agreement. Otherwise you can run the software for 60 days in demo mode.

Amazon Smile Program

Picture of Amazon Smile Logo

If you’d 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. A more complete set of directions, for screen reader users, will be included in the next newsletter and on our website. See link below.

More New Vision News

Picture of John Netzel

Our esteemed colleague and Executive Director John Netzel has taken a new position elsewhere and we here at New Vision wish him well in his future endeavors. Guy Byrd is taking over for John, as our new Executive Director effective, March 1st 2017. We welcome Mr. Byrd to New Vision and look forward to achieving great things.

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 15th of March at 7:00 PM. For more information contact Dianne Decker at

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