June 2017 New Vision Newsletter And Dave’s News and Technology Updates

Tickets for Dinner in the Dark on August 17th can now be purchased. This event will be held at Hotel Roanoke. See the link below to buy tickets. Please like us or post about our event on Facebook via the button below!


Eventbrite - Vistar Eye Center presents Dinner in the Dark to benefit New Vision
Facebook Event Logo of Dinner in the Dark

The Tech Center will be closed for general classes during the week of July 10th through the 14th. Classes will resume Monday July 17th.

If you know of someone that could benefit from New Vision services feel free to send them our way. Our new Assistive Technology for the Elderly Program is very popular. To learn more see one of the links below.
Program Brochure
General Description of the Program and other New Vision Services

Assistive Technology News

The VFO Group that now owns the screen reader Windows Eyes has announced the termination of the product. If you’re interested in moving to JAWS and are presently in a Software Maintenance Agreement (SMA) for Windows Eyes you’ll want to contact VFO about discounts they’re offering for switching over.

Echo News

The Amazon Echo line of products now supports two new alert features. Here’s the lineup as of now.

  • Alarms (Only apply to a 24 hour window)
  • Timers
  • Repeating Alarms (These could be set for any day of the week.)
  • Reminders (New Feature!)
  • Timers with Labels (New Feature!)

The new reminders feature allows you to have an alarm with a label. So say you set a reminder for a doctor’s appointment on Friday. Not only will the alarm go off but the Echo will read aloud the name of the reminder. Here’s an example of how you’d set this up.

Me: Alexa, create a reminder.
Alexa: What’s the reminder for?
Me: Doctor’s Appointment
Alexa: When should I remind you?
Me: 9am Friday

The other new alert feature gives you Timers with labels. This allows you to set a timer and get a similar spoken label reminding you what the timer is for. Here’s an example, of the dialog you might use.

Me: Alexa, create a timer called check the meatloaf
Alexa: For how long?
Me: 45 minutes

Enjoy your new Echo features they’re pretty awesome!

Podcasts

Dave Williams interviews Greg Stilson, from Humanware, about their new 14 cell Braille display. Joe takes us back into the kitchen and uses his Google Home. This an much more on the 100th episode of the Blind Bargains Podcast. See the link below.
http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/www.blindbargains.com/audio/bbq100.mp3

In Episode 101 Dave Wiliams returns to Blind Bargains to discuss Braille Displays with J.J. and Joe. The screen reader Windows Eyes and Uber are also discussed. See the link below.
http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/www.blindbargains.com/audio/bbq101.mp3

Here’s two discussions about Apple’s World Wide Developers Conference (a.k.a. WWDC). A new iPad was released along with a competing product to the Amazon Echo. Have a listen at the links below.

Blind Bargains Episode 104

Mac Accessibility Round Table Episode 103

And for those of you who are wondering what might come next with the Google Home listen to Joe and J.J.’s take on this Blind Bargains breakdown of the Google I/O conference. See the link below.
http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/www.blindbargains.com/audio/bbq102.mp3

Echo Tip

Along with the various alert features mentioned earlier there is also the ability to have access to your calendar. You can have your Echo use your Google, Microsoft, or Apple calendar. The Apple Calendar is a brand new option. Once you’ve got your calendar connected to your Amazon Echo you can use a combination of Alarms and Reminders to give you audible notification for important events on your calendar. At present, calendar events don’t give you any sort of audible notification.

Additionally, you can connect these same calendars to your smart-phone. This way you have your calendar where ever you go. Changes made at home on your Echo or on your phone while on the road are synchronized in real-time.

iPhone & iPad Apps

Check out the AppleVis’ Unlimited Newsletter for May 2017. See the link below.
https://www.applevis.com/blog/advocacy-apple-applevis-assistive-technology-braille-ios-ios-apps-news-opinion/applevis

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 everytime 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.
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 June. It is time for the annual picnic. 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 4504 Starkey Rd. Suite 120, Roanoke, VA 24018 (South Park Office Building)

Phone: 540.985.8900##

Picture of David Ward

David Ward Assistive Technology Instructor

david.ward@newvisionroa.org

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May 2017 New Vision Newsletter And Dave’s News and Technology Updates

New Vision News

Stay tuned for further updates about upcoming events, such as Dinner in the Dark on August 17th. The event will be held at Hotel Roanoke.

Logo of Dinner in the Dark

If you know of someone that could benefit from New Vision services feel free to send them our way. Our new Assistive Technology for the Elderly Program is very popular. To learn more see one of the links below. Program Brochure
General Description of the Program and other New Vision Services

Dial-in News Service

There has been a huge upgrade to the dial-in newsline. As of May 1st, the old newsline number has been discontinued. In collaboration with the National Federation of the Blind the Roanoke Times has been brought into the NFB Newsline system. This upgraded service is available twenty-four/seven, and provides local, national, and world news from a variety of sources. This includes over 300 magazines and newspapers. Listeners to the, now retired, New Vision newsline are being migrated over to the new service. If you have any further questions, or would like to use the new service, please contact Courtney Bass courtney.bass@newvisionroa.org via email or call the office.

We’d like to give a big thank you, to the volunteers who’ve helped so much over the years with our newsline service. Your tireless efforts brought the Roanoke Times and other materials to newsline subscirbers day in and day out. Thank you!

The Basics of the NFB Newsline

Since the NFB Newsline service may be new to many of our clients a large portion of this newsletter will focus on features and resources for learning the ins and outs of this new service.

Like our older system the newsline is a phone number you can call to listen to your local news. But it includes much more! As mentioned weather, job listings, magazines, blogs, and newspapers. And as mentioned, we’re very excited that the Roanoke Times is now available through this nationwide service.

Key Differences

  • The NFB Newsline uses computer synthesized speech, instead of human readers. These are adjustable and the automation allows for articles to be available instantly.
  • You still have to have a PIN code but you won’t be required to put it in after your first successful login. In subsequent sessions, the NFB Newsline will remember what number you called from and not require a PIN code.
  • There are smartphone Apps and a website where you can read the same information.
  • You can have articles emailed to you at anytime

    So those are just a few of the major bullet points that jumped out at me and I felt folks would be interested in.

    How Do I Use NFB Newsline

    Here’s a link to an online discussion of some basic NFB Newsline commands.
    https://nfb.org/nfb-newsline-instructions

    Here’s a listing of all the avaialbe documentation. This includes applications, instructions, and even audio tutorials. See the link below.
    https://nfb.org/newsline-downloads

    Below are links to the audio tutorials.

An Introduction to the service for new users – 13 minutes

Audio Instructions

Track 1 – Main Menu
Track 2 – Reading Publications
Track 3 – Your Favorites and My Newspaper
Track 4 – Subscribers Control Panel
Track 5 – Spell Mode
Track 6 – Search Mode
Track 7 – Global Search
Track 8 – Email Delivery
Track 9 – Emergency Weather Alerts
Track 10 – TV listings
Track 11 – Job Listings

Here’s a list of publications you can get on the NFB Newsline.
https://nfb.org/participating-newspapers

Did You Know?

You can use the NFB Newsline and never pick up the telephone. That’s right! You can have magazines and articles sent to your email inbox. You can also setup a program so you download the files so they can be played back on you NLS Digital Talking Book Player from the library!

Alexa Tip

Here’s a way to get a free audiobook on your Echo. Give it a try! Just say, “Alexa, what’s free from Audible?”.

Podcasts

Interested in a $200 laptop with accessibility tools built in? Listen to the Blind Bargains Podcast, episode 99. Here Joe and J.J. talk about the Microsoft Announcement and much more. See link below.
http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/www.blindbargains.com/audio/bbq099.mp3

In this episode of the Blind Bargains Podcast listen to Joe interview a professional movie critic. And yes! He’s blind. See the link below.
http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/www.blindbargains.com/audio/bbq098.mp3

Echo News

Two new Amazon Echo products have just come to the market. One is called the Amazon Echo Look and the other the Amazon Echo Show. One has the ability to take a photo of you and give you styling advise aobut your clothing. The other the ability to have an interactive screen with video conferencing built in. If you want to know more take a look at the link below.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00X4WHP5E

iPhone & iPad Apps

Check out the AppleVis’ Unlimited Newsletter for April 2017. See the link below.
https://www.applevis.com/blog/applevis-braille-ios-apps-mac-apps-macos-news-opinion/applevis-unlimited-whats-new-and

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 everytime 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.
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

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:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/atupdate/ATU030416.mp3

Local News and Events

Lion’s 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 or 540-381-0963.

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.
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## March 2017 Technology Newsletter

Picture of David Ward

David Ward
Assistive Technology Instructor
david.ward@newvisionroa.org
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New Vision Awarded ATE Grant

NV_David_Receiving_Check_ATE_Program

It is a Privilege!

New Vision is proud to 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. To learn more about the Assistive Technology for the Elderly grant see the link below. Below is also a statement from the Foundation for Roanoke Valley about the grant that was awarded.

More info about ATE Grant

Press Release

The Statement below is from the Foundation for Roanoke Valley. “New Vision was awarded $21,000 to provide equipment and training in the use of voice-activated virtual assistants. This equipment, used by its elderly clients, can report weather, read audiobooks, play music, communicate with caregivers, and more.”

1: Picture of David Ward, of New Vision, receiving a large check on behalf of New Vision. Other recipients shown also receiving the large group check.

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