October 2017 Newsletter And Dave’s News and Technology Updates

New Vision News

New Vision has had the privilege of visiting Friendship Retirement Community and Our Lady of the Valley in the past few weeks. Workshops were conducted in connection with the Assistive Technology for the Elderly Program. New Vision is proud to be the recipient of a grant, from the Mary Louise Home Fund of the Foundation for Roanoke Valley, to fund this program. There have been over 33 seniors who’ve benefited. To learn more see the link below.

Link to Brochure

Echo News

Amazon’s Fire TV now supports a Zoom component and Braille support. To learn more see the link below.

Amazon’s Echo Line

Amazon on September 27th released a whole new set of Amazon Echos. There’s even new hardware to allow you to make landline telephone calls and much more. Read more at the links below.

CNET’s Article

Verge’s Article

Tom’s Guide


Check out this Main Menu program; as the team interviews Robin Christopherson. He is a user and podcaster who talks all about the Amazon Echo and other Alexa related services. See link below.

NLS BARD and much more on this episode of Main Menu. Peter Korn, from Amazon, is also back talking about the Amazon Fire TV. See the link below.

Many people have received their new iPhones. The 8 and the 8 Plus have already shipped. But what’s new in iOS 11? Listen to the <b aria-label="Mac Accessibility">Maccessibility team talk about it all. See link below.

On Blind Bargains 116, Shelly Brisbin is on to talk iOS 11 and talk all about the new Apple devices. This an much more, in this episode. See link below.

As an additional, note Shelly does great work with her book iOS Access for All. It is the comprehensive guide to everything accessible on the Apple line of products. Shelly’s even given our students discounts in the past. Here’s a link to her latest book and she says she’ll give you the revised iOS 11 edition soon as it comes out. Case in point how do you make a three-way call on an iPhone using VoiceOver or how do you quickly close all your Safari browser tabs. Shelly’s book covers all of that. See the link below.

Podcast Spotlight

I only recently learned about the Dot to Dot podcast by Robin Christopherson. His podcast is nugget size and deals exclusively with Amazon Echo Skills and features. So if you’re wanting to learn about new things you can do on your Echo this is the podcast for it. The podcast can be played on your Echo, by saying:

"Alexa, play Dot to Dot Podcast"

One caution here, Robin, mentions the word Alexa a lot in his episodes. So I’d recommend shutting off the Echo’s microphone while listening to the Dot to Dot Podcast.

In case you want to take a look at all the episodes and topics he’s covered here’s a link. Beware this page will auto-play, so you might want to use FireFox with the built in mute shortcut (CTRL key + the letter M). See the link below.

iPhone & iPad Apps

Check out the AppleVis’ Unlimited Newsletter for September 2017. Topics include new BlindFold Games, the YouTube TV App, and an audiobook app called CAL. The YouTube TV service and App is part of a new YouTube program to bring broadcast TV to the internet. See the link below for more.

If you’re worried about iOS 11 bugs see the link below for a break down.

About a week later there was an update to iOS 11, with some bug fixes. To see what was fixed and what is still broken see the link below.

Echo Tips

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

  • "Alexa, pretend to be a superhero"
  • "Alexa, who’s your favorite super villain?"
  • "Alexa, what’s the status of American Airlines 123?"
  • "Alexa, tell me a friendship story."
  • "Alexa, what are the showtimes for American Made?"
  • "Alexa, what skills have notifications?"
  • "Alexa, teach me something."
  • "Alexa, engage the Star Trek Quiz."

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.

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

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.

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 18th of October 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.

Contact Info

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

Phone: 540.985.8900

Subscribe to Newsletter via Email

Picture of David Ward

David Ward
Assistive Technology Instructor
j j j

February 2017 Technology Newsletter

New Vision News and Updates

Calendars: All of our 2017 Large Print Calendars are either in the mail or already spoken for. We ordered 5,000 Large Print Calendars this year. And roughly 3,500 of them we distributed ourselves, to Virginia Residents. Thanks to our volunteers and staff who made this possible. And a special thanks to our donors who make this program possible!

Holidays and Inclement Weather Closings: Should Roanoke County or Roanoke City Schools be closed due to inclement weather we too shall be closed. Additionally, we’ll put a notice on the answering machine here at New Vision. That’s at 540-985-8900.

Braille Calendars: You can order 2017 Braille Calendars by emailing the following Non-Profit your address and request a calendar. calendars@actionfund.org


Are you a screen reader user? If so would you like to make 20 bucks. J.J. over at the Blind Bargains website mentions a survey for screen reader users that pays $20 for those who qualify. See the link below.

Have you ever tried to prepare you own taxes? J.J. over at Blind Bargains mentions several ways to do it and online accessible services and forms. See link below for his article.

Interested in an accessible TV experience. Check out this article that links to a video about a new set-top-box that DISH offers customers. See link below.

Big News

There’s big news. ZoomText 11 was just released at the end of January. This is quite a rebirth of the product visually and functionally. If you’re a screen reader user likely you’re thinking I’ll just skip this section. But there’s one thing you might want to know first, especially if you have friends with failing eyesight. JAWS the screen reader, version 18, and ZoomText 11 are officially compatible. That’s to say if you have a friend who loves ZoomText but might need to start moving over to more screen reader like tools this offers a easier transition, where they can use both. Ok screen reader users you can skip this section now if you want.

So what’s the big deal with ZoomText 11? There is a cosmetic difference but that’s typical of most upgrades. Here’s what might flip you lid. Almost all if in fact not all keyboard commands have changed. Yeah, that’s right it is all different. I’ve been using ZoomText for 17 years, it is all new. So we’re all in the same boat. So you might ask, “Why change the keyboard hot keys?”. A lot of the keyboard shortcuts were really starting to show their age; you might have experience some of the same problems I have in recent years. Conflicts with browsers and Windows 10. Here’s one that constantly got me, I’d be trying to adjust the zoom level using the CTRL Key with the mouse scroll wheel and I was forever changing the Browsers Zoom level seperate from the ZoomText magnification level. And needless to say with Windows 10 there’s a few conflicts as well.

So the new ZoomText Model of keyboard commands uses a modifier key technique similar to JAWS. A modifier key is a key that you use in combination with other keys for a specific application, in this case ZoomText. Now the problem the old ZoomText was running into was the CTRL Key and ALT keys were being used as modifier keys. The conflict came in when Browsers, Web Applications, Microsoft Word, and Windows 10 wanted to start using these keys. So back to an example of a modifier key scheme on JAWS the modifier key is the Insert Key. The Modifier key in ZoomText 11 is the Caps Lock key. Now you might say, the Caps Lock key, are you crazy! I need that key! Well the industry has decided you don’t, get use to using the Shift key for capital letters. No, really you can still use the Caps Lock key but its a bit more of a chore to do so now. But in all seriousness, Google Chromebook laptops have replace the Caps Lock key functionality, NVDA offers an option to use the Caps Lock Key as your primary modifier key, and lastly the Magic Magnifier uses the Caps Lock key as it’s modifier key. Ok, enough about the modifier key and down to what you need to know.

Out of the box ZoomText 11 will not, I say again, will not import you ZoomText 10 settings. So if you love your 8x Magnification with Inverted colors, guess what ZoomText 11 won’t automatically import those settings. Which is to say you start with a default configuration. This starts you off at 2x magnification. Now at this point you’d use your keyboard commands to crank up the magnification but remember, they’ve all changed so the way you use to do that is no longer the new way to do that. So you could get stuck pretty quick, hopefully I can help you avoid that.

So here are a few of the primary keyboard commands you’ll need to get things back to where you need them.

  1. Caps Lock Key + the up arrow key will increase magnification.
  2. Caps Lock Key + the down arrow key will decrease magnification.
  3. Caps Lock Key + the letter C will activate color enhancements or color inversion.
  4. Caps Lock Key + ALT Key + Enter Key will toggle the voice on and off.

Now to turn on ZoomText assuming it isn’t set to start automatically you’ll press Ctrl Key + Alt Key + Shift Key + letter Z key. Now depending on your ZoomText 10 installation this may or may not work out of the box. But you’ll find on Windows 10 especially that CTRL Key + ALT Key shortcuts often can run into conflicts so it seems adding Shift to the mix seems to help avoid this. That’s a long way to say the days of CTRL + ALT then a letter for your shortcut are pretty much gone at least on Windows 10.

So for more about ZoomText 11 see the heading below named ZoomText 11.


Check out episode 89 of the Blind Bargains Qast. Shelly and the gang talk about the ATIA conference, the ZoomText Digital Certificate problem, NVDA’s new blog, and much more. See the link below.

Blind Bargains Episode 87 is part 1 of a two part break down of the amazing A.T. news from the 2016 year. Topics discussed include the Fire TV Stick, Google Home vs. the Echo Voice Assistant, and much more. See the link below.

Blind Bargains Episode 88 is part 2 of the A.T. news review for the 2016 year. Topics discussed include Object Recognition Apps, the Orbit Reader, Microsoft’s Narrator, and the new even bigger VFO Corporation. See the link below.

On episode 9 of The Parallel podcast Shelly talks to two gurus about Windows 10 and Microsoft. Jeff Bishop and Joe Steinkamp are deeply entrenched in the Microsoft world and the new innovations comming from the Microsoft Accessibility team. I haven’t listened to this one yet but it is on my to do list. See the link below.

To hear more of Shelly’s work on The Parallel Podcast check out the following website. You can navigate by heading to find different episodes. See link below.

ZoomText 11

Here’s some helpful guides and videos about using ZoomText 11.


iPhone & iPad Apps

Check out the AppleVis’ Unlimited Newsletter for January 2017. Read about the new Autour App for recognizing visual surroundings and objects. Or read some neat break downs about games or updates made to AiPoly or other apps. 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 your a paying customer. You’ll likely receive this serial in the mail if you have an active software maintance 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 everytime 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.

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 February at 7:00 PM. 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

David Ward – Assistive Technology Instructor for the Tech Center

j j j

November 2016 Tech Center Newsletter

November 2016 Technology Newsletter

New Vision News and Updates

Large Print 2017 Calendars: We encourage you to get your orders in early while supplies last. The easiest way is to complete the online form. Please, email us for a link to this form. We will also accept requests by using the post card on the back of the old calendar, but please note that the mailing address should be changed to New Vision, 4504 Starkey Rd Suite 120. Roanoke, VA 24018. This year we’re making a special effort to make sure our supply of calendars has the most effective reach to Virginia residents with visual impairments. Our priority will be individual distribution to visually impaired Virginia residents, one calendar per individual, and group distribution only to those agencies or groups who are contributing to support our mission. Agencies or groups who wish to receive calendars should contact us by phone (540-985-8900) to request an allotment. As a benchmark, a donation of $25 can provide large-print calendars to 10 individuals. Donations can be made online at https://www.paypal.me/newvision.

Holidays, Maintenance, and Inclement Weather Closings: As a reminder the Technology Center will be closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day. During the week of Thanksgiving, the 24th, we’ll additionally close on Monday, the 21st, and Tuesday, the 22nd, for installation of new equipment. Should Roanoke County or Roanoke City Schools be closed due to inclement weather we too shall be closed.

Braille Calendars: You can order 2016 Braille Calendars by emailing the following Non-Profit your address and request a calendar.

Events: Our largest fundraising event this year is Talent Challenge for Charity at the Hotel Roanoke, November 12. The event features live painting by world renowned Blind painter John Bramblitt as well as fun entertainment by local “Stars”. Groups and individuals can purchase tickets online at https://www.talentchallengeforcharity.com/talent-challenge-buy-tickets.php.


Check out Scott Davert’s face off between the two voice assistants Alexa, on the Amazon Echo, and Siri, on an Apple iPhone. The Amazon Unlimited service is brand new, while the Apple Music program has been around for a little while. These are amazing services for music lovers. See the link below.

If you’re interested in writing you might find this Episode of Chit Chat Across the Pond interesting. In this episode Allison Sheridan interviews Shelly Brisbin, a legally Blind author and journalist. Shelly discusses her experiences as a writer and especially as a self-publisher. Her current book is “iOS Access for All” a book all about using the accessibility features in your iPhone and iPad. Have a listen at the link below.

On episode 78 of the Blind Bargains Podcast listen as J.J. and Ricky talk about the Instant Pot Cooking appliance. Also hear a comment from a listener about using Learning Ally’s accessible book service. This and much more at the link below.

On episode 120 of the Maccessibility Roundtable Podcast, the team discusses the October 27th announcement by Apple about their new products. Listen via the link below.

In episode 77 of the Blind Bargains Podcast you’ll learn about the Orbit Reader, the Windows Action Center, and a Bluetooth Keyboard that Joe is trying out. Other topics discussed include the BlindSquared App, the new Learning Ally Apps, and the October Edition of Access World. Have a listen at the link below.

On episode 119 of the Maccessibility Roundtable Podcast the team discusses the new iPhone 7, the delayed AirPods, and iOS 10. Learn more by the link below.

In Episode 118 of the The Maccessibility Roundtable Podcast, the knights discuss the new iPhones and Mac OS Sierra. See the link below.

In Episode 76 of the Blind Bargains Podcast hear J.J. and Joe discuss the Google announcements. Google announced new smartphones and a Home Assistant appliance designed to rival the Amazon Echo. Check out this episode and learn much more at the link below.


Picture of iPhone
If you’re an iPhone or iPad user you might want to check out some of the Amazing podcasts and audio tutorials available at the AppleVis website. Here’s a link to the Podcast feed. Simply navigate down by links. The Audio or MP3 link often follows the Subject Title and ends with .mp3.

If you are trying to find an accessible App for your iPhone or iPad why not search the AppleVis website. See the link below.

If you are an Android user you might find the following resources useful. There’s a new book entitled, “Getting Started with Android” by Ana Garza and J.J. Meddaugh.

You might also find the following site useful if you are an Android user. See the link below.

iOS Update for iPhones

Have you updated you iPHone to iOS 10? No? Yes? Not sure? Here’s what you need to know. First, devices as old as the iPhone 5 or 5c can be updated. Second, if your lock screen says “Press Home to unlock” then congratulations you’ve already installed iOS 10. If you instead hear “Unlock Button” below your time and date stamp you’re on the older software. So what does iOS 10 offer? What’s new? To find out more see the link below, this will direct you to last month’s newsletter. It contains a list of links and podcasts addressing iOS 10.

It’s not a bug it’s a Feature

Here’s a feature that might bug you if you’re a VoiceOver user. This new feature is called “Raise to Wake”. The idea is you can pick you phone up and it senses the motion and turns the screen on, so a sighted person can glance at the clock and notifications. The result for a VoiceOver user is that often bumping the phone or picking it up results in the screen waking and VoiceOver Reading you the time. This feature can be disabled by going to Settings then Display and Brightness then turn off Raise to Wake. We’ll bring out new features and options in the months to come.

Now in the feature arena there is an awesome new option. Ever been annoyed by your phone automatically going to speakerphone when you pull it away from your head. This is a VoiceOver feature; but it can drive you crazy. Additionally, when in speakerphone mode you can’t use the Power/Lock button to end a call. Instead, you have to use a two-finger double tap. So to disable this feature you’ll need to go the VoiceOver Settings. Find the Audio Button and double tap. This will take you into the Audio Settings page. Turn off the feature labeled “Auto Select Speaker in Call”. Done. No more speakerphone automatically coming on in the middle of your phone calls. Here’s an added tip if you still want to place a call on speakerphone you can always direct Siri with a command like this: “Call John Doe on Speakerphone”.

iPhone & iPad Apps

Check out the AppleVis’ Unlimited Newsletter for October 2016. In this issue you’ll learn of a few more new games from the BlindFold Games crew. A new choose your own adventure game and quiz game are also discussed. There’s much more take a look at the online newsletter below. You can navigate by headings using your screen reader of choice.

Did you know?

Did you know that the Amazon Echo Dot is now $49? That’s right! The Amazon Echo Dot is the little brother of the original Amazon Echo. It has all the same functionality but doesn’t have a large speaker. It has a small speaker similar to a cellphone’s speakerphone. On the plus side, it has an audio out jack so you can plug it into a stereo speaker. I’ve order one for my personal use but I’ll be sure to bring it to the Tech Center for everyone to see.

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 16th of November at 7:00 PM. 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

David Ward – Assistive Technology Instructor for the Tech Center

j j j

April 2016 Technology Newsletter

April 2016 Technology Newsletter

New Vision News and Updates

News: New Vision had a very successful event on April the 1st called “Music to Remember”. We appreciate the communities support and that of the Miss Virginia Family.


Editors Note: There’s a number of podcasts featuring interviews and product highlights from the recent CSUN conference. These are listed below under the heading, “CSUN 2016 Podcasts”.

Check out this Blind Bargains Podcast 57 episode. This episode has a wrap-up of various ‪‎CSUN 2016‬ observations; especially concerning Braille devices, portable Magnifiers, and Apple’s new iPad Pro. See link Below. http://www.podtrac.com/…/www.blindbargains…/audio/bbq057.mp3

Ever wondered what was happening in that Disney movie your kids or Grand-kids were watching? On this Blind Bargains episode Patrick demonstrates an amazing audio description App from Disney. J.J. also demos his new Samsung Galaxy S7 smarthphone and Joe gives us a tip of the week for Windows 10’s Start Menu. See the link below. http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/www.blindbargains.com/audio/bbq056.mp3

Do you have more questions about the Amazon Echo or the new versions that were just released? If so, you might find them answered by Liam, the Gadget Guy, in episode 55 of the Blind Bargains Podcast. See the link below. http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/www.blindbargains.com/audio/bbq055.mp3

Check out this Main Menu episode, released April 1st. CSUN 2016, TapTapSee, and Uber are all discussed. See link below. http://mainmenu.acbradio.org/file.php?method=download&episode=2016-04-01

On this Main Menu episode Jenine Stanley discusses several different iOS Scanning Apps. If you’re interested in OCR and Object recognition this episode is for your. See the link below. http://mainmenu.acbradio.org/file.php?method=download&episode=2016-03-25

On this Main Menu learn more about Shelly’s new book IOS Access for All. You’ll also find a smack down between, three voice assistants; SIRI, Google Now, and Hound App. See the link below. http://mainmenu.acbradio.org/file.php?method=download&episode=2016-03-11

On Assistive Technology Update episode 254 you’ll learn a little about Cybathlon, with Dr Robert Riener. Also you’ll learn about Facebook’s new initiative to uses artificial intelligence to label photos for those using screen readers. Additionally learn about Twitter’s initiate to add ALT tags, See link below. http://traffic.libsyn.com/atupdate/ATU040816.mp3

Interested in Fashion and Technology. Check out episode 253 of Assistive Technology Update. Has an interview with Emily Davison from FashionEyesta.com. See the link below. http://traffic.libsyn.com/atupdate/ATU040116.mp3

On AT Frequently Asked Questions episode 26 you’ll hear feedback on the following questions. Are there Apps on Android that would mimic the iOS Speak Selection and Speak Screen commands? Various questions about accessible appliances Q3. And finally, “How do I reset my Windows 10 computer?”. For this an much more see the link below. http://traffic.libsyn.com/atfaq/ATFAQ026.mp3

On AT Frequently Asked Questions episode 25 you’ll hear feedback on the following questions. Are there audio tutorials for the NVDA screen reader? Are there any suggestions for an accessible password manager? Do you know of any accessible travel websites? How different is Windows 10 from Windows 7? These questions and many more will be featured on this episode of AT-FAQ, see the link below. http://traffic.libsyn.com/atfaq/ATFAQ025.mp3

Do you enjoy Trivia Games? If so Quizoid might be the App for you. Listen to this brief description on Accessibility Minute Podcast; see the link below. http://traffic.libsyn.com/accessibilityminute/AM177.mp3

CSUN 2016 Podcasts

A $49 tablet that is accessible with a built in screen reader or via a screen magnifier, does such a thing exist? Listen to J.J. as he interviews Peter Korn, Accessibility Architect at Amazon, about the Amazon Fire Tablet. I think you’ll be surprised. See the link below. http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/www.blindbargains.com/audio/160324_Amazon.mp3

HumanWare announced a new product at the CSUN show, the newest BrailleNote running Android and with a touch screen interface. Listen to J.J.’s extensive interview about this product with a 32-cell and 18-cell Braille Display. See the link below. http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/www.blindbargains.com/audio/160329_humanware.mp3

A Braille Electronic Book Reader with a $700 price point, is it possible? In this interview, J.J. speaks with Ed Rogers and Dave Williams about the progress of development on the Canute. Bristol Braille Technology Canute reader has eight-lines of 32-cell Braille. See the link below. http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/www.blindbargains.com/audio/160322_Bristol_Braille.mp3

In this interview, J.J. talks with three representatives from Google about TalkBack an other accessibility features of Android. Other Google services are also discussed. See the link below. http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/www.blindbargains.com/audio/160329_google.mp3

J.J. speaks with Larry Skutchan, of the American Printing House for the Blind about the new Orbit Reader 20 Braille display which should sell for around $500. See the link below. http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/www.blindbargains.com/audio/160327_aph.mp3

About 75% of the students who attend classes at the Tech Center use Ambutech canes. Listen to Joe’s discussion with Ambutech about their canes and new tips. See the link below. http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/www.blindbargains.com/audio/160324_Ambutech.mp3

Joe sits down with Brian and Louise Hartgen to talk about updates of Leasey a productivity suite designed to work with JAWS. See the link below for more. http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/www.blindbargains.com/audio/160324_Hartgen_Consultancy.mp3

J.J. examines a prototype of a Braille smart watch, by Dot Incorporated. Listen to his interview with Eric Kim. See the link below. http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/www.blindbargains.com/audio/160324_dot.mp3

Check out Joe’s conversation with Ian Hamilton and Adriane Kuzminski about audio games. See the link below. http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/www.blindbargains.com/audio/160327_Audio_Games_with_Ian_Hamilton.mp3

Danel Novak, from BlindShell, is interviewed about a new Android Phone his company has produced with accessibility in mind. See the link below for the interview. http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/www.blindbargains.com/audio/160328_blindshell.mp3

Can smartphones help the upcoming generation learn Braille? Listen to this interview with Han Kim, of Ohfatech, about their new product that claims to do just that. Even allowing sighted parents who might not know Braille to be in a position to help their Blind child as she or he learns Braille. See the link below. http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/www.blindbargains.com/audio/160324_Ohfatech.mp3

What happens when you combine a Windows 10 tablet with a 32-cell Braille display? You’ve got a new product from Inside Vision. Learn more via the interview below. http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/www.blindbargains.com/audio/160328_insidevision.mp3

In this interview with Tony Han, of NeoAccess, J.J. asks about the new Neobraille, a 32-cell Braille display that runs on Android 5.1 system. Hear the interview at the link below. http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/www.blindbargains.com/audio/160329_neobraille.mp3

Shelly speaks with James McCarthy, President of HIMS Inc., about the company’s new GoVision video magnifier. See the link below. http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/www.blindbargains.com/audio/160328_HIMS_low_vision.mp3

Several of our Students at the Tech Center have Ruby handheld magnifiers. Check out this interview with Freedom Scientific about the new Ruby 7inch unit and their other low-vision products. See the link below. http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/www.blindbargains.com/audio/160328_freedom_low_vision.mp3

Shelly Brisbin talks with Jeff Bazer, of Dolphin Computer Access, about the exciting enhancements to SuperNova Software Magnifier. See the link below. http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/www.blindbargains.com/audio/160324_Dolphin.mp3

Listen to Erik Bondemark, the CEO of Low Vision International, as he’s interviewed by Shelly Brisbin about the new MagniLink S and MagniLink Pro magnifiers, with built in OCR. See the link below. http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/www.blindbargains.com/audio/160327_LVI.mp3

J.J. interviews Bjorn Lefstedt, of Index Braille, about the newest offerings and the V5 embosser which includes new text-to-speech support, printing from a USB flash drives, and a way to print from mobile devices. See the link below. http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/www.blindbargains.com/audio/160328_index.mp3

Shelly Brisbin talks with Wendy Greenwood, of Reinecker U.S., about the Mezzo Vario, a compact CCTV device. Learn more via the link below. http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/www.blindbargains.com/audio/160329_Reinecker.mp3

Check out J.J.’s interview with the folks over at AiSquared as they talk about the new ZoomText Fusion. It combines a screen reader with a screen magnifier. See the link below. http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/www.blindbargains.com/audio/160324_ai_squared.mp3

To see more coverage from CSUn 2016 go to Blind Bargains via the link below. http://blindbargains.com/search.php?kw=%23CSUN16

iPhone & iPad Info Nugget

In a recent iOS software update, version 9.3, several new features were released. First off-line dictation is now available. As an example, you can have an iPad that’s not on WiFi and still dictate to any typing input field. And to be clear this feature is not synonymous with SIRI; SIRI still requires an internet connection. A second feature that may be useful to low-vision users involves blue light filtering for night time usage. Several studies show that exposure to blue light at night can affect people’s ability to get a good nights rest. Now on iOS you can set the display to automatically reduce blue light at night time. Unfortunately this feature is disabled for those who use “Inverted Colors” or other color filtering for low-vision needs.

SIRI Info Nugget

Have you ever wondered if SIRI would do or could do something? Here’s an awesome list of voice commands assembled over at AppleVis and recently mentioned on ATU Episode 253. See the link below for the list. http://www.applevis.com/guides/ios/ios-7-siri-command-list?utm_content=buffer37541&utm_medium=social&utm_source=plus.google.com&utm_campaign=buffer

Did you know?

On most laptops you have a built in microphone. Combine this fact with Windows 10 and you have a powerful voice assistant called Cortana. To launch Cortana press the Windows Key + the letter C. Listen to for the tone and speak your question or command after the tone. Additionally, know that when you first run Cortana you may be prompted to agree to the Privacy Policy. Enjoy!

App News

Do to the coverage CSUN has taken up in this months newsletter will simply refer you to the AppleVis Unlimited Newsletter. See the link below. http://www.applevis.com/applevis-unlimited-whats-new-accessible-apps-february-2016

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 20th of April at 7:00 PM. 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. http://goo.gl/forms/9WXsbr3jPp

Contact Info

New Vision 3435 Melrose Avenue Roanoke, VA 24017

Phone: 540–985–8900

David Ward – Assistive Technology Instructor for the Tech Center

UNSUBSCRIBING: If you desire to unsubscribe to this mailing list simply reply with “unsubscribe” in the title and/or body of the email.

j j j

Tech Center Newsletter for November 2015

November 2015 Technology Newsletter

New Vision News and Updates

We’ve had an exciting time since the last newsletter. The Tech Center’s second workshop was well attended on October 21st. It focused on Apple Mobile Devices. Points from that workshop will be shared in the months to come, in this newsletter. So stay tuned in.

Former Attendees: Those who were able to attend one of the previous workshops were presented with two special offers. As a reminder Ms. Brisbin made her eBook available at a 25% discount to attendees. And Fedora Outlier has made their 12 step guide to using the iPhone available free of charge. The link to Ms. Brisbin’s discounted book is below and if you’d like the free eBook from Fedorra Outlier just send me an email. http://bit.ly/shellysbook

For more about Fedora Outlier’s training programs for iOS see the below link. https://www.fedoraoutlier.com/

WFXR and WSLS Interviews: WFXR and WSLS recently had several interviews with New Vision’s staff including our Executive Director John Netzel and David Ward. Additionally an interview with Lila Dickerson, President of the New Vision Board was conducted. Interviews with Dr. Joe Blackstock and Savannah Lane (Miss Virginia) were also conducted in connection with our upcoming charity event. This special event is coming up Saturday, November 14, 2015. It’s entitled the Talent Challenge for Charity. See more at link below. https://www.talentchallengeforcharity.com/

The video links to the WFXR and WSLS websites are listed below. This first video focuses on our Technology Center and includes an interview with New Vision’s A.T. Instructor David Ward.

Direct Link to the Website.

This second video highlights our Talent Challenge for Charity event. And has a interview with Miss Virginia 2015, Savannah Lane.

Direct Link to the Website.

Our third video is an interview, conducted with Dr. Joe Blackstock, about the Talent Challenge for Charity Event.

Direct Link to the Website.

We also had WSLS Channel 10 come by and conduct some interviews about our services and charity event. Watch that video below via the direct link to the WSLS site.

Link to Main WSLS Site

Large Print 2016 Calendars: You can request your 2016 large print calendars and if you’re still waiting on yours don’t worry you’ll be getting it shortly. If you still need to request one you can use the card on the back of the Calendar. Simply fill it out and then mail it in; to request the upcoming 2016 Calendar.

Braille Calendars: You can order 2016 Braille Calendars by emailing the following Non-Profit your address and request a calendar. calendars@actionfund.org

In Other News

Want to make $250 for a days work? Check out this info, from Virginia Tech, directed to the Blind and Low-Vision communities. The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) is seeking individuals who:

  1. Are 18 years of age or older
  2. Are legally blind

-Total participation time: one day at VTTI in Blacksburg, VA (up to 8 hours)
-Consisting of questionnaires, a hearing test, a 2.5 hour experiment session; lunch will be provided, then another 2.5 hour test session
-This project pays $250 for full participation
-Your data will be kept strictly confidential

If you are interested in learning more, Please contact us at: 540.231.1277 or email, ahall@vtti.vt.edu

Reference “the CROSSING Study” in your message. All inquiries welcome!

In other news NFB is accepting applications for College scholarships. Thirty applicants will be winnners and the scholarships range in value from $3000 to $12,000. See link below for more info. http://www.blindbargains.com/bargains.php?m=13687

Freedom Scientific’s JAWS 17 beta program is over. JAWS 17 is officially available now. What’s new? Should I upgrade? Check out the link below for a listing of new features you’ll find in JAWS 17. http://www.freedomscientific.com/Downloads/jaws/JAWSWhatsNew

Are you interested in downloading JAWS 17? Check out the link below, which includes more info about JAWS 17 and Windows 10 support. http://www.freedomscientific.com/Downloads/JAWS


Do you love games. Check out this cool audio demo of several games you can get on your iDevices. The audio production on this podcast really makes it worth a listen. See link below, to this Blind Bargains episode. http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/www.blindbargains.com/audio/bbq038.mp3

Here’s a recent Blind Bargains Episode, post Halloween. Topics that are discussed include the new Audio Chromecast, JAWS 17, and Eloquence and Vocalizer voices for NVDA. Enjoy! See the link below. http://www.blindbargains.com/bargains.php?m=13703

Apps for your Apple Devices

Check out the most reacent AppleVis Unlimited Newsletter for October 2015. See the link below. http://www.applevis.com/applevis-unlimited-whats-new-accessible-apps-october-2015

iDevices Info Nugget

Here’s a little snippet from our workshop about iPhones, iPads, and iPod Touches. If you’re using VoiceOver, the built in screen-reader, you can double-tap four fingers to turn on the gesture help feature. This is synonymsis with the JAWS help feature (INSERT + Number 1 Key) except for finger gestures.

Accessible Technology Tip for the Month

Before running a Windows 10 upgrade be sure to run Freedom Scientific’s special compatibility tool for JAWS users. You’ll also want to have a copy of the newest JAWS just in case. The compatibility tool is called FSPrepareWin10_enu.exe. You can download the file and find Windows 10 upgrade directions for JAWS users at the link below. https://www.freedomscientific.com/Support/TechnicalSupport/Windows10Upgrade

Did you know?

Macintosh computers out of the box have a Zoom application similar to ZoomText and a full screen-reader similar to JAWS. Additionally, you can purchase ZoomText for a Mac at roughly $200 less than the PC Version.

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, November 18, 2015 from 7:00-8:30 pm. This is at the usual location. As always, whenever possible the Lions clubs of the Roanoke Valley will provide rides for those who are visually impaired and have no other means of transportation. For more information contact Dianne Decker at 540/562-0455 or 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. http://goo.gl/forms/9WXsbr3jPp

Contact Info

New Vision 3435 Melrose Avenue Roanoke, VA 24017

Phone: 540–985–8900

David Ward – Adaptive Technology Instructor for the Tech Center

j j j