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!


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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

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


j j j

December 2016 Tech Center Newsletter

New Vision News and Updates

Your Financial Support is Appreciated

Community support has been vital in achieving our mission. As a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, it has only been with our donor’s generosity that we are able to provide our necessary services. Your support is desperately needed more than ever so that we might continue to fulfill our critical mission for those with visual impairments.

A donation of:

  • $25 can provide large-print calendars to 12 individuals with significant vision loss.
  • $50 can provide special frequency radios to 2 listeners of the Radio Reading Service.
  • $100 can provide 5 hours of audio information via the Dial-In News Service.
  • $500 can provide more than 15 hours of individualized instruction at the New Vision Adaptive Technology Center.

No donation is too small! We welcome your contribution in any amount, and it is tax deductible! For your benefit and to help us finish the year well, please consider donating by December 31.

By Mail: New Vision, 4504 Starkey Rd Ste 120, Roanoke VA 24018
Online: https://www.paypal.me/newvision

Holidays and Inclement Weather Closings: The Tech Center will be closed on Monday December 26th and Monday January 2nd. These days follow the Christmas and New Year’s Holidays. Should Roanoke County or Roanoke City Schools be closed due to inclement weather we too shall be closed.

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


Here’s a recent Press Release from the NFB on the new regulations governing nearly silent hybrid cars. See the link below for the full article.


Have you heard of the Google Home Appliance? Its brand new and a direct competitor to the Amazon Echo. So the Google Home operates as a Virtual Voice Assistant and sports many features comparable to the Amazon Echo. On this Blind Bargains Episode, number 82, you’ll hear J.J. and Joe talk about its features. See the link below.

Joe Steinkamp was also interviewed on ACB Radio’s Main Menu Program about the Google Home. Check out the team from Main Menu as they put the Google Home through its paces. See the link below.

Check out Main Menu’s program where they inteview Dr. Robert Carter from “The Tech Doctor” podcast. Dr. Carter takes the crew through his experiences over the years with Macs, iPhone, Windows, DOS, and JAWS. Have a listen at the link below.

This Blind Bargains episode, number 80, has Jeff Bishop on to discuss his recent trip to the Microsoft Campus. On this episode you’ll also hear J.J. and Joe talk about JAWS 18, the new MacBook Pro, and the Microsoft Surface Event. See the link below for this and much more.

In this Mac Accessibility Roundtable Podcast hear the team talk about the new MacBook Pro, Paypal, Siri, and the future of the Apple laptop. See the link below for episode 121.

In episode 120 of the Mac Accessibility Roundtable hear the team talk all about the Apple Press Event. The event started off by discussing accessibility and hear the team breakdown the topic. See the link below.

Shelly Brisbin is a blind author and journalist. Her most recent work is the iOS Access for All Book. She recently was a pundit on the Daily Tech News Show. Listen to her talk about accessibility in a mainstream setting with Tom Merrit. The youtube link below jumps you part way into the episode where Tom turns to Shelly to ask some questions but after the conclusion of the episode Shelly and Tom continue to have an awesome discussion. Have a listen at the link below.

New Vision Interview

Picture of John Netzel. Wearing Suit.
We recently had the opportunity to record a 30 minute interview with WRVL – “The Journey” which broadcasts throughout the Roanoke and Lynchburg region. The interview aired this past Saturday at 6 AM, December 3rd. See the links below, where the interview was broken out into three segments.

Interview Segment 1


Interview Segment 2


Interview Segment 3


Student Spotlight

The following article is soon to be published in a Veteran’s Affairs publication, about one of our students, Leonard Hubbard. See the article below.

A Veteran’s Personal Journey: Horsemanship And Therapeutic Riding

Picture of Leonard Hubbard on horseback. Next to fence outside with two other people.
Leonard Hubbard, 57, a consumer of the HUD VASH Program since 2012, has been challenged by the “ups and downs” of addiction throughout his life, including homelessness and impaired sight. Now enjoying the rewards of sustained sobriety which include stable housing, improved health and consistent family support, he sought what he describes as “something to fulfill my idle mind.”

Machele Huff, a Salem VAMC Social Worker and a Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International Certified Riding Instructor, responded to the Veteran’s interest in riding a horse. According to Hubbard, “I was raised on a farm and I had never ridden a horse before. Just a mule.” Sparked by the Veteran’s request, Ms. Huff connected the veteran with a Paint Thoroughbred mare nick named ‘Tay Tay’ who had recently retired from competing as a show hunter With this mare, he learned how to safely groom and lead a horse. “I fell in love with ‘Tay Tay.’ I learned how to lead and take care of her. She was the first horse I had ever been around,” Hubbard describes.

Subsequently, Ms. Huff and the Veteran’s HUD VASH case manager, Katie Poulos, brought to the Veteran’s attention the Ride with Pride Therapeutic Riding Center in Staunton, Virginia which had a Veterans Riding Program. Hubbard then independently completed his referral packet and secured his medical clearance to ride. “ I received a scholarship to attend the program during the summer and the fall sessions.” Hubbard’s sessions began in June 2016. “Since being in the program I have learned how to care about things other than myself. I have learned how to care about people more through caring about the horse. It helps me with my sobriety and when I have nothing to do, I can think about the horse. Now I have something to look forward to it in the week and now next spring,” according to Hubbard.

For Hubbard, the most difficult aspect of participating in therapeutic riding was “making up my mind to do this because of my mental health issue. Some people think you can’t do certain things when you get older and that’s not true. When I put my mind to something I can do it. The most rewarding thing is the reaction I get from the horse, case workers and my riding instructors when I can control myself and accomplish something I want to do.”

Since his sixteen week participation in the Ride With Pride Program, Hubbard has now learned how to ride various gaits on the different horses that are assigned to him. “I have learned how to maneuver the horses through cones, change directions in the arena and ride a figure eight.” He also participates in trail riding on the center’s grounds as part of his riding lesson.

Each week, Hubbard prepares for his next riding lesson by reviewing videos taken on his phone. With the assistance of adaptive equipment provided by the Salem VA’s Visually Impaired Services Team, he is able to review his weekly riding progress at home.

Recently, he was invited to compete in Ride With Pride’s Therapeutic Fall In-House Show. According to Hubbard, “it is gratifying to actually engage with something you have never been around before. I think it’s amazing when you can care for something and the horse lets you know that they realize you are caring for them.”

The Ride With Pride Veteran’s Riding Program is made possible by various Veteran Service Organization donations in the Staunton, Virginia area.

Respectfully Submitted,
Machele Huff, LCSW

iPhone & iPad Apps

Check out the AppleVis’ Unlimited Newsletter for November 2016. Are you an adventurer? Then you might enjoy playing a game as Edward Blake, a Blind Knight, in medieval times; Or perhaps a Gladiator in Roman times. These games and much more are discussed in this months AppleVis Newsletter. Object Recognition Apps and the new MacBook Pro are also discussed. See the link below.

Local News and Events

Reoccurring Events:
“The Roanoke Alliance for the Visually Enabled (RAVE) will hold its annual Christmas banquet on Wednesday, December 21, 2016 at the clubhouse of the Cave Spring Lions Club, located at 4801 Merriman Rd., SW, Roanoke. The evening will be catered by Adell’s of Rocky Mount, with music by the 3-D Trio. Reservations required by December 14, 2016. For information, directions or reservations please contact Dianne Decker at rdeckerjr2@cox.net” from 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

David Ward – Assistive Technology Instructor for the Tech Center

j j j

October 2016 Tech Center Newsletter

October 2016 Technology Newsletter

New Vision News and Updates

Large Print 2017 Calendars: You can start requesting your 2017 large print 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 Ste 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.

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

Additional Braille News: A local library in Roanoke had several encyclopedia volumes donated and their looking for a home for them. If you’d be interested please touch base with us here and we can give you the library’s contact info.

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.

Volunteer Spotlight

In this new feature we’ll endeavor to give you a little behind the scenes view into the hard work our volunteers put forth for our various programs. In the photo below you’ll see Ken Wright, a GE retiree. He and Les Brown, also a GE retiree, help with our Radio repairs.

The GE retirement program is assisting Virginia Voice, in Richmond, with repairing some of their radios and told them about New Vision, in Roanoke. Les Brown reached out to us. We are so thankful for their time and willingness to help us. And we thank our other volutneers for their industrious efforts as well. Picture of Volunteer Ken Wright working on a radio


Buddy Brannan recently wrote up on his blog about his experience with an accessible Samsung TV. That’s right, a TV where the menu’s are read out too you audibly. See his blog entry about it below. https://t.co/83TrfmTfZ9

If you’d like to hear his little audio walk-through see the link below. http://buddy.brannan.name/blog/wp-content/uploads/Samsung-TV-Demo.mp3

If your interested in finding out more about iOS 10 and the new iPhones you might check out the link below. It takes you to the show notes for Blind Bargains Episode 73. Joe Steinkamp includes a lot of helpful links to various sources. See link below. http://www.blindbargains.com/bargains.php?m=15880


In this Mac Accessibility Round Table the knights discuss iOS 10, Apple TV updates, and Watch OS. See the link below. http://maccessibility.net/podcast/maccessibility_rt117.mp3

Check out Blind Bargains Episode 74. Humanware’s Victor Reader updates are discussed, NVDA’s new tutorial on Microsoft Word, and a controversial subject about Screen Reader detection. This and much more at the link below. http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/www.blindbargains.com/audio/bbq074.mp3

Check out this AppleVis podcast about the new featues in iOS 10 for iPhones and iPads. See link below. http://www.applevis.com/sites/default/files/podcasts/AppleVisPodcast1004_0.mp3

In this Blind Bargains Episode learn more about the Orbit Braille display, the new NVDA release, JAWS 18, and iOS 10 features. This and much more from J.J. and Joe at the link below. http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/www.blindbargains.com/audio/bbq073.mp3

iOS Update for iPhones

The newest version of iOS is out. That’s the software that runs on iPhones and iPads. This new version is version 10. It can be installed on devices as old as the iPhone 5 and 5c. Two new features include the ability to turn off the automatic speakerphone feature that sometimes comes on while making a call. That always drove me crazy by the way. Secondly, and wait for it.. wait for it.. that’s right we now get a new pronunciation dictionary! That’s right! You can now tell it how to properly pronounce your friends names or other commonly misprounced terms. There’s much more, so be sure to see the link below for a in-depth listing of iOS 10 features and bugs. http://www.applevis.com/blog/apple-braille-ios-news/what-s-new-ios-10-accessibility-blind-low-vision-and-deaf-blind-users

Here’s a series of podcasts from Cool Blind Tech that speaks more on specific points connected with iOS 10. This update affects iPhones, iPads, iPod Touches, and Apple TV devices. See the show titles below that double as links to the episodes.

iOS 10: A Swipe Through the Major New Features

Signed, Sealed, Delivered: Mail Has Amazing New Features In iOS 10

Don’t Touch That Remote! I’m Watching Apple TV

This Browser Has Teeth: Exploring Safari On iOS 10

iOS 10 What’s new: Emergency Bypass

Raise To Wake In iOS 10: It’s Alive

New Voices In iOS10: The Voices In My Head Saturday, September 17, 2016 8:40 AM

iOS 10 What’s new: Rock Your Clock

Don’t Take The Long Way Home: Disable Press Home To Unlock On iOS 10

iOS 10 What’s new: It’s Time To Move It!

iOS 10 what’s new: Big Changes In The Messages App

iOS 10 What’s new: Braille Screen Input Catching Up Thursday

The above was an amazing amount of content put out by the team over at Cool Blind Tech. But there’s more so feel free to check out there website below or the RSS Feed. http://www.coolblindtech.com

iPhone & iPad Apps

Check out the AppleVis’ Unlimited Newsletter for September 2016. See the link below for the full listing of Apps and products being discussed this month. http://www.applevis.com/applevis-unlimited-whats-new-accessible-apps-september-2016

Student Spotlight

In this new feature we’ll seek to occasionaly mention some local experiences from our Tech Center.

Recently, a former student was able to complete an adoption of a child. And on the other end of the spectrum another former student was able to get some accessible training materials so she could enter the state run training classes for those interested in adopting a child or serving as foster parents. We’re thrilled to see the success and continued achievements of our students.

Did you know?

Did you know? That Podcasts are syndicated on-demand audio recordings that can be automatically downloaded. Podcasts are an extension of RSS (Real Simple Syndication) feeds. In short say you love a 15 minute daily news summary from NPR or you love to listen to the Blind Bargains Podcast every week. These are all available as Podcasts via the Google Play and Apple iTunes Stores. Meaning if you subscribe to the free Podcast feed your device will automatically download the newest episode so you can listen at your conveince and always have the newest content at your finger tips. Podcasts are even available on the Victor Reader and Amazon Echo. If you’d like to know more feel free to contact us.

Windows 10 Bugs

We’re not sure if this is a bug. But it most certainly seems to affect users of ZoomText on Windows 10. Especially, if you depend on the reader functionality. I’ve heard several students say that ZoomText isn’t giving them the level of audio feedback they were accustom too. Now I suspect the new ZoomText Fusion doesn’t have this problem but that’s just a guess. However, a free solution is to combine your use of ZoomText with one of the following screen readers: NVDA, Windows-Eyes (for Office), or Narrator. We’ve been trying NVDA with ZoomText with two students in the Tech Center with good results. It seems to result in more detailed descriptions of content, espically if the user is using the mouse a lot.

Tech Center Workshops

We’re entertaining ideas about having more workshops now that we’re in our new space. What technology topics, with an accessibility twist, might interest you?

Let us know what you think either at the Tech Center when you attend classes or via the link below. Or feel free to respond to this email.

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 19th of October 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 (SouthPark Office Building)

Phone: 540.985.8900

David Ward – Assistive Technology Instructor for the Tech Center

j j j

May 2016 Technology Newsletter

May 2016 Technology Newsletter

New Vision News and Updates

Picture of SouthPark Office Complex

News: New Vision is moving! New Vision will be moving to our new location during the month of May. Our new location will be at 4504 Starkey Rd. Suite 120, Roanoke, VA 24018 (SouthPark Office Building). This location is accessible via RADAR Bus, whether you’re located in the City of Roanoke or in Roanoke County. Our Office suite is located in a complex beside the Carilion Wellness Center, formerly Roanoke Athletic Center (RAC). Our offices are located on the ground floor, in the front eastern section. Since some of the adjoining suites are under renovation it will be most prudent to enter from the side entrance. This is located on the eastern side of the complex or the side opposite of the Carilion Wellness Center. When entering the grounds on a RADAR bus you’ll pull into the parking lot servicing the Carilion Wellness Center; hang a left and you’ll find the complex on the right. The Address 4504 is located in large letters beside the front entrance but you’ll need to continue around the edge of the building to the side entrance. Some photos are shown below of the new facility which we hope to serve us for many years to come.

Picture of SouthPark Office Building and arrow pointing to the Eastern Portion of the bulding as a temporary entrance

]2 SouthPark Office Building

Important Note to Students: The Tech Center at our Melrose Avenue location will be closed Thursday May 19th, and the following Monday and Tuesday (23rd & 24th). So you’ll want to cancel you RADAR appointments. You’ll also want to cancel your recurring RADAR pick-ups and specify a new schedule for our new address. If you are a student with an afternoon classes please be sure to setup you arrival time for 1:30pm and not 1 o’clock as might have previously been the case. We plan to reopen at the new location on Thursday the 26th. If for some reason we are unable to open the Tech Center that day and have to postpone til the next week. we’ll be sure to let our students know.

Additional News: New Vision will be participating in the First Friday event. We’ll have volunteers from New Vision helping out and we’ll be a beneficiary from the event. First Friday’s has expanded to include the first and third Friday of the month, during the summer season. We’ll be participating on May 20 and August 5. Stay tuned via our Facebook page or Twitter to learn more. Below is a link to to the events webpage. http://firstfridaysroanoke.com/not-for-profit-organization-va/

Assistive Technology News

The CSUN conference ushers in what has been called the “The Year of Braille”. Check out Shelly Brisbin’s coverage of this event. See the link below. http://www.afb.org/afbpress/pub.asp?DocID=aw170402

Interesting rumor that Apple’s going to display and sell a limited number of accessibility accessories that can be used with their products. Read the article at the link below. http://appleinsider.com/articles/15/12/20/apple-stores-to-feature-accessibility-products-in-early-2016-report-says

Do you sometimes find Microsoft Word a challenge? Or do you fell like you could be more productive but not sure how. Check out this write-up by Jamie Pauls about the MLWordTips App. This App is designed to help Microsoft Word users who use screen-readers to be more productive. Learn more at the link below. https://www.afb.org/afbpress/pub.asp?DocID=aw170403

Check out this interview with David Woodbridge. Mr. Woodbridge is known internationally for his podcasting and tutorials about iOS devices. If you want to know about a new apple product or feature that affects VoiceOver users there is a good chance Mr. Woodbridge has recorded a tutorial about it. See the link below for more. < http://www.afb.org/afbpress/pub.asp?DocID=aw170407>


In Blind Bargains Qast episode 59 learn about Mystic Access and NVDA. This episode contains an interview with the Mystic Access team who puts together audio tutorials on various products, such as the Amazon echo. This episode also discusses the new iPhone SE. See the link below for more. http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/www.blindbargains.com/audio/bbq059.mp3

In Blind Bargains Qast 58, learn about updates to Microsoft Window’s Narrator, Facebooks automatic labelling technology for photos, Talkback 4.5, and a voice assistant app. See the link below. http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/www.blindbargains.com/audio/bbq058.mp3

On this April 22nd Main Menu program hear an interview with David Raistrick and Amanda Tolson, from En-Vision America. They’ll be talking about the ID Mate Galaxy, a sophisticated bar scanner, and about Scriptalk for medication bottles. Also in this episode you’ll learn about an amazing deal the American Printing House for the Blind has setup for students wanting to get JAWS. See the link below. http://mainmenu.acbradio.org/file.php?method=download&episode=2016-04-22

In the April 8th episode of Main Menu learn about The Voice Dream Reader updates and the Amazon Fire Tablet. See link below. http://mainmenu.acbradio.org/file.php?method=download&episode=2016-04-08

I’ve never mentioned this podcast before. Check out the Maccessibility Roundtable Podcast. In this episode Josh discusses his iPhone 7 theory, hear a discussion of what to expect at WWDC Conference, and a interesting discussion about User Interfaces and Apple. See the link below. http://maccessibility.net/podcast/maccessibility_rt107.mp3

In Episode 106 of The Maccessibility Roundtable Podcast, team discuss the Amazon Fire Tablet. See link below. http://maccessibility.net/podcast/maccessibility_rt106.mp3

Tech Center Experiments

At the Tech Center we recently got a Amazon Fire Tablet. The Fire Tablet has a built in screen-reader called VoiceView and a built in Zoom. These features seem to work pretty well with the pre-installed Apps especially the Kindle bookstore. All of this for an amazing $39.

The following tablets are listed as supporting these new accessibility tools and are part of the Amazon Product line.

  • Fire HD 6 (4th Generation)
  • Fire HD 7 (4th Generation)
  • Fire HDX 8.9 (4th Generation)
  • Fire (5th Generation)
  • Fire HD 8 (5th Generation)
  • Fire HD 10 (5th Generation)

To read more about accessibility on the Fire Tablet line see the link below. https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=201829320

We’ll be testing more of the Fire’s features in the classroom feel free to come by and have a look.

iPhone & iPad Apps

Check out the April 2016 AppleVis Unlimited newsletter. Several video games are mentioned along with a famous Password Manager App. A NetFlix App update and Stop Watch among many more things are mentioned in this edition. See the link below. http://www.applevis.com/blog/advocacy-gaming-ios-apps-iphone-news-opinion/applevis-unlimited-whats-new-accessible-apps-april

Did you know?

You can get the same voices that you use with JAWS with NVDA. NVDA is a free screen-reader, designed by a non-profit in Australia. Below is a reseller of the Eloquence and Vocalizer voice packages for NVDA. See the link below. http://www.atguys.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=20&products_id=231&zenid=9891f6d282c44ee9f2d6cd8b71fb83e6

Additionally, Windows-Eyes allows for free use of their screen-reader if your a Microsoft Office user. If you own a copy of Microsoft Office 2010 or newer you can get a free license. See the link below. http://www.windoweyesforoffice.com/


Microsoft isn’t standing still with its release of Windows 10. Windows 10 is constantly getting updates. But what might be surprising is its also getting updates to the assistive technology built in. A recent update included updates to the built in screen-reader called Narrator. You can read more about these updates as they come out on the official Microsoft Blog listed below. See the link. https://t.co/vBLfh60rhE

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 May 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 3435 Melrose Avenue Roanoke, VA 24017

Phone: 540–985–8900

David Ward – Assistive Technology Instructor for the Tech Center

j j j

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


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.


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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2nd Workshop

Tech Center Workshop Update

iPhone & iPad Basics

Picture of iPhone

Our workshop on September 30th was very popular and registrations for attendance surpassed expectations. Hence, will be repeating the workshop for those who didn’t get a chance to attend the first one. This second workshop will be held on October 21st, a Wednesday, at 1:30 PM to 3:30 PM. The format will be primarily the same but with more transitional information for those who’ve never owned a smartphone, since we know they’ll be several in attendance who’ve never own such a device. If you’ve already spoke to our instructor, David Ward, about attending this workshop no additional registration is required. However, if you were registered and scheduled to attend, and couldn’t make it, please fill out the registration again as outlined below.

You can fill out the registration by using the link below, or send an email with the appropriate information (as outlined below), or call the office (540.985.8900). Bear in mind if you’re using local transit such as RADAR or CORTRAN plan accordingly. Perhaps scheduling to be their earlier than 1:30 and later than 3:30, so you don’t miss any of the program or the opportunity to ask your questions. Valley Metro Bus service passes our 3435 Melrose Avenue Address at about 30 minutes past the hour (Bus 91). Our full address is at the end of this email and is the location for this workshop. If your planning to ride Valley Metro to attend please let us know so we can keep an eye out for you; at times they drop folks off on the far end of our parking lot an it can be disorienting if you’ve never been to the New Vision facilities before. There will be a brief intermission during the workshop for everybody to take a break and stretch. If you have any special needs that might affect your ability to benefit from a classroom style environment feel free to contact us with your concerns or questions.

Link to Registration.

Or give us a call to register. We’ll need the following registration information. 1. Your Full Name. 2. The best way to contact you should something unexpected force the workshop to be rescheduled. Phone number or Email would be sufficient assuming your not already registered for New Vision services an we have that info on file.

So as a reminder what are some of the topics that will be discussed during this workshop? Topics will include the following.

  • Basic Gestures for those using the built in screen reader, called VoiceOver.
  • Basic Gestures for those needing a screen magnifier solution, up to 16x Magnification.
  • Tactile Screenshots for iPad and iOS 8 will be available.
  • Basics of using a On-Screen Keyboard or Telephone Dial Pad.
  • A discussion of some Basic Built in Applications or Apps.

We’ll also have a short Q&A and a hands-on section with some Apple devices. Additionally, almost all the subject material will apply to those who own or are interested in purchasing an iPhone, iPad, or an iPod Touch manufactured in the past 3 years.

Do you know others who might be interested?

If you know someone else who might be interested in these workshops feel free to forward them a link to this webpage. The more the merrier. Alternatively, you can have them give us a buzz or send us an email here at New Vision.

Staying Informed

If you’d like to stay informed about future workshops and receive the newsletter, please sign up at the link below.

Sign Up for Newsletter & Future Notices about Workshops

Contact Info

New Vision 3435 Melrose Avenue Roanoke, VA 24017

Phone: 540–985–8900

David Ward – Adaptive Technology Instructor

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