January 2017 Tech Center 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.

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


The “Cisco Academy for the Vision Impaired: More Than an Education” is a indepth article by Jamie Pauls. He looks into and describes the CAVI school that covers everything from becoming a computer technician, routers, NVDA, VoiceOver on a Mac, Microsoft Office and much more. Some of these classes are free and some have a small cost. There’s even a set of classes for becoming an Audio Editing guru. In case you didn’t know it the Blind Bargains Podcast, SeroTek Podcasts, and Main Menu all have blind Audio Engineers; an they sound fantastic. Anywho, check out Jamie’s awesome article at the link below. https://www.afb.org/afbpress/pub.asp?DocID=aw171104

Check out Shelly Brisbin’s article about the Nearby Explorer App that recently came to the Apple App Store. This is a App produced by the American Printing House for the Blind. See the link below. https://www.afb.org/afbpress/pub.asp?DocID=aw171105

Big news all you audiobook fans!! There’s a new App for your computer that works with the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped’s system. This online downloading system is well known to most of you as BARD. Students in our Tech Center, here at New Vision, have been downloading books forever using this online service. Typically, students would use a browser of their choice, login, download, and use an App like Humanware to sync their book over to a USB Drive. This new Application called, BARD Express, simplifies the whole process. In short it eliminates the need to use the browser, put in your password evry time, and to use Humanware; It can all be done in the new BARD Express App. To read more about the BARD Express App see the link below. https://nlsbardpractice.loc.gov/LOC_02/BARDExpress.html

More about the new BARD Express App will be found below, under the heading “Did You Know?”.


Check out Blind Bargains episode 85. J.J. and Joe talk about Microsoft’s new Accessibility roadmap, for Windows 10. Topics include Braille support for Narrator. Additionaly, the team talks about NVDA’s newest release 2016.4. Lisa and Ricky have an interesting discussion about fitness trackers. This and much more at the link below. http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/www.blindbargains.com/audio/bbq085.mp3

This Main Menu Episode has Jeff Bishop talking with Neva Fairchild, at The American Foundation for the Blind Center for Low Vision, out of Dallas Texas. They discuss the centers model home with various tools and simple design choices that make it easier for Low-Vision or Blind residents. See the link below. http://mainmenu.acbradio.org/file.php?method=download&episode=2016-12-16

The Roku Audio Guide, the Audio Game Hub, Google Home Assistant, and a math equation tool for Braille users. This and much more on Episode 84 of the Blind Bargains Podcast. See the link below. http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/www.blindbargains.com/audio/bbq084.mp3

Randy in this episode of Main Menu discussed his new Amazon Echo Dot and some handy tips and tricks. On the later half of this episode Jenine discusses her Buzz Clip and AI App. See the link below. http://mainmenu.acbradio.org/file.php?method=download&episode=2016-11-11

Join Jonathan Mosen on FSCast 135, this episode marks 10 years of episodes. This is a pretty cool episode with a lot of clips from professionals around the world that use JAWS. I found this a very touching episode. See the link below. http://podcast.freedomscientific.com/FSCast/episodes/FSCast135-Celebrating_10_years_of_FSCast,Karen_and_Andrew_Zeman,Ryan_Jones.mp3

Have you ever backed up your JAWS Settings? If not you might want too. In this FSCast Episode you are walked through the process. See the link below. http://podcast.freedomscientific.com/FSCast/episodes/FSCast134-Trelle_Dandridge,Christine_Chaikin.mp3

iPhone & iPad Apps

Check out the AppleVis’ Unlimited Newsletter for December 2016. Topics include several new BlindFold games, by Kid Friendly Software; such as a Monopoly like game and a Trivia Game. See the link below for more. http://www.applevis.com/blog/apple-applevis-braille-gaming-ios-ios-apps-news-opinion-reviews/applevis-unlimited-whats-new

Did You Know?

So the BARD Express Application is brand new; that means nobody has used it yet, so we’re all in the same boat figuring out how it works. But I think you’ll find it much easier than that older way of doing things described earlier in the News section. We’re going to install this new application on all workstations in the Tech Center, so you can come in and get some practical hands on experience. As mentioned above it pretty much takes care of everything; no need to go to the website or use Humanware Companion for file transfers. Below are some links to some Youtube videos talking about BARD Express.

An Introduction to BARD Express

BARD Express: Browsing the BARD Collection

BARD Express: Setting & Changing Preferences

BARD Express: Managing Devices

BARD Express: Transferring Materials to a Cartridge

BARD Express: Tips & Tricks

There are a total of 9 How-To videos; for a full listing see the link below. https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLpAGnumt6iV5ycDQt9YGoQnd9uIXNU0pa

Is BARD Express the only way to get your BARD Books? No, you can still use the old way as outlined before. However, the BARD Express application gives you better feedback about downloads in progress and much more. Additionally, if you’re a NVDA user you might have found Humanware Companion a little buggy; it appears from preliminary testing you won’t have this problem with BARD Express. Oh, I almost forgot, there is also the BARD Mobile App. This is an App you can install on your Apple Device, Android Device, or Amazon Fire Tablet. This App has been around a while but I thought I’d mention it just in case some hadn’t heard of it yet. Anyhow, I hope that gives you an idea of its feature set; see the link below to download the application. The application is designed to run on computers running Windows XP all the way up to Windows 10. https://nlsbard.loc.gov/bmm/BARDExpressInstaller1229.exe

Kroger Community Rewards

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.

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 January at 7:00 PM. For more information contact Dianne Decker at rdeckerjr2@cox.net.

An additional thought from Dianne, “Please note that on January 18, 2017, Ms. Julie Akers with Humanware will be the speaker at the Roanoke Alliance for the Visually Enabled (RAVE) to demonstrate some exciting new visual aids. The meeting is from 7:00-8:30 p.m. at the Lions Sight Foundation Building/Eyeglass Recycling Center at 501 Elm Ave., SW, Roanoke.”

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

David Ward – Assistive Technology Instructor for the Tech Center

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