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.
https://www.amazon.com/p/feature/ter2a57g6htm6mr

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

Podcasts

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.
http://mainmenu.acbradio.org/file.php?method=download&episode=2017-09-15

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.
http://mainmenu.acbradio.org/file.php?method=download&episode=2017-09-01

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.
http://maccessibility.net/podcast/maccessibility_rt141.mp3

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.
http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/www.blindbargains.com/audio/bbq116.mp3

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.
http://www.iosaccessbook.com/

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.
https://tunein.com/radio/Dot-to-Dot-p961547/

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.
https://www.applevis.com/applevis-unlimited-whats-new-and-noteworthy-september-2017

If you’re worried about iOS 11 bugs see the link below for a break down.
https://www.applevis.com/applevis-unlimited-whats-new-and-noteworthy-september-2017

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.
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 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.
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

Subscribe to Newsletter via Email

Picture of David Ward

David Ward
Assistive Technology Instructor
david.ward@newvisionroa.org
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July 2017 New Vision Newsletter And Dave’s News and Technology Updates

News

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.

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

We’ll be having a silent auction at the event. If you’ve got a quality item and you’d like to donate it to the cause give us a buzz and let us know. Or email Courtney at the link below.
courtney.bass@newvisionroa.org

Another way you can show your support is simply by sharing about our Dinner in the Dark Event on Facebook. See the share link below.

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 American Council of the Blind (abbreviated ACB) and National Federation of the Blind (abbreviated NFB) Conventions are both taking place around now. So there’s lots of info coming out about products, services, and all sorts of A.T. related goodness. For more about the conventions see the links below.

NFB Convention
NFB Twitter Coverage by Hashtag
ACB Convention
ACB Twitter Coverage by Hashtag

Echo News

The orginal Amazon Echo, that’s right, the Pringle’s can shaped one, can now support Bluetooth external speakers and headphones. That means you can get a Bluetooth headphones and wonder outside or a set of Bluetooth speakers you can take outside on the porch and still enjoy all your music or podcasts without moving your Echo!

Podcasts

In this episode of Main Menu the team talks to folks from Amazon about the Fire TV and Fire Tablet. Additionally, there’s a demo of them using the Amazon Echo to control your DISH satellite box. See the link below.
http://mainmenu.acbradio.org/file.php?method=stream&episode=2017-06-30

Check out episode 135 of the Mac Accessibility Round Table, entitled “Most of Us Are Chickens”. Where your’s truly chips in a few thoughts on Twitter that the team discusses. AirPods, new Macs, and what’s coming in the new iPhone are all discussed. See the link below.
http://maccessibility.net/podcast/maccessibility_rt135.mp3

On this episode of A.T. Frequently Asked Questions the team tackles a few doozies. There’s a discussion about voice commands on a smartphone, durable headphones, and A.T. equipment for college. See the link below.
http://traffic.libsyn.com/atfaq/ATFAQ056.mp3

In episode 106 of Blind Bargains J.J. demonstrates a new product his company A.T. Guys is selling. It is a fully accessible voice recorder, with audio directions much like your NLS player. We often have students asking about a good voice recorder and I think this might be the one. So have a listen and hear the other Blindness related Tech News on this episode of Blind Bargains. See link below.
http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/www.blindbargains.com/audio/bbq106.mp3

As stated earlier there’s a lot of convention related news. So here’s a quick list of several onsite interviews and other related news.

BBQ Episode: #ACB17 Audio: Be Seen And Be Heard With Elegant Insights Jewelry
BBQ Episode: What’s All The Buzz About With Triumph Technology?
BBQ Episode: Accessible Television Beams Down To DirecTV And U-Verse
BBQ Episode: Is Something Going On At Speed Dots

To see the rest of the Blind Bargains convention coverage from ACB see the link below.
https://www.blindbargains.com/audio/

Info Nugget

Several students have asked about podcasts as of late. “So what is a podcast?” you might ask. It is on-demand audio or radio content. If you’ve ever heard a program on NPR Radio that might be a easy way to help you wrap your brain around what we’re talking about. All those shows are pre-recorded and edited and then broadcast at affiliate stations whenever they want. But what if you want to listen to it when you want to listen to it. You can! Its call a podcast. There are huge databases at Apple, Google, and TuneIn that aggregate these lists of podcasts. As a result a Victor Reader, an iPod, an iPhone, an Amazon Echo, and any smartphone can download an play this content when you want to hear it. Typically, once you find a show you enjoy you’d subscribe to that podcast so your device automatically downloads the most current episode when it is made available. If you have more questions just swing by or call the Tech Center here at New Vision.

Echo Tip

Want to get side effect info about popular medications? What about signs of a heart attack or stroke? Check out the new Web M.D. skill on the Amazon Echo. To turn on the skill simply say, “Alexa, enable Web MD skill”. After that you can just open the skill by saying, “Alexa, open Web MD!” Enjoy!

iPhone & iPad Apps

Check out the AppleVis’ Unlimited Newsletter for June 2017. See the link below.
https://www.applevis.com/blog/accessories-advocacy-apple-apple-tv-apple-watch-gaming-ios-ios-apps-mac-apps-macos-news-opinion

I also stumbled across this nugget. Microsoft just released a free App for the Blind called Seeing A.I. , A.I. as in Artificial Intelligence. It seems to be a meld of OCR and Object Recognition. Like a blend of KNFB Reader and TapTapSee. We haven’t tried it out in the Tech Center yet but if it is the same App they demonstrated about a year ago it looked pretty cool. And best of all it is free! See link below for a article about it or the following link to get it on your iOS device.
Verge Article
Get it on the App Store

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 18th of July 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
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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Feedback about Workshops – iPhone & iPad (Part 1)

How Did We Do?

We’ve had wonderful feedback about our two recent workshops. We’d like to share some photos and notes from them.

Our workshops focused on the accessibility features found in iPHones and iPads. With a special focus on VoiceOver, SIRI, and Zoom. These tools make the iPhone functional for Low-Vision users and those who have total vision loss.

Pictured is Instructor David Ward standing beside a projector screen.

Workshop Notes

Zoom

Apple devices allow for color modifications and Zoom up to 16x. This makes the iOS platform a wonderful mobile solution for the Low-Vision community. This feature can be combined with VoiceOver.

How does Zoom work?

Here’s some gestures you will need to know.

  1. To Turn it on you Use a Three-Finger Double-Tap. This is after the Zoom option has been enabled in accessibility settings.
  2. How to change Zoom Magnification Level. Use a Three-Finger Double-Tap-Hold and Drag. On the second tap hold your three fingers on the glass an drag up to magnify or down to zoom out.
  3. How to Navigate. Use three fingers to slide the magnification window around the screen to view different objects on you home screen or in an App.
  4. Inversion of colors, Fonts Sizes, Button Layout, and Several other features can affect readability. These can also be adjusted under accessibility settings.

Resources

Here’s some other places you can look to learn more.

  1. AppleVis.com – Has Newsletter, campaigns, and reviews of iOS Apps and Updates.
  2. Contact Apple > Email: accessibility@apple.com > Apple Support: 1-877-204-3930 > Website: www.apple.com/support/accessibility/
  3. iHabilation.ca – Has free training videos and the tactile screenshots of iPad screen layouts with Braille descriptions.
  4. Book “iOS Access for All” * By Shelly Brisbin * 25% Discount * Website: http://bit.ly/shellysbook 5. Book “The Old Hat Guide To iPhone Accessibility, iOS 7 Edition “ > By Fedora Outlier

Stay tuned for our next post about VoiceOver.

Assistive Technology Instructor, David Ward, demonstrates iOS Gestures on an iPad to two students.

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