December 2017 Newsletter With Dave’s News and Technology Updates

Picture of snowman.

Updates: Our next workshop for the Assistive Technology for the Elderly will be conducted on Wednesday, December 13th. If you are interested in coming give us a buzz or to learn more see the brochure link below.

[Link to Brochure][1]

Volunteers: A big thanks to our volunteers from Delta Gamma, and students, including Hazel and Michelle, who’ve been helping out with our calendars. We’ve sent more than 1500 already!

Holidays and Inclement Weather Closings: We’ll be closed Monday December 25th, for Christmas, and Monday January 1st, for New Year’s Day. Additionally, should Roanoke County or Roanoke City Schools be closed due to inclement weather, we too will 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 2018 Braille Calendars by emailing the following Non-Profit your address and request a calendar


Way back we talked about the talking laundry machine module, here’s a discussion from the Main Menu team about the unit. See link below.

Trying to get some bargains and do some shopping this time of year? Looking for equipmnet and tools that are blind or low-vision friendly? If so check out this episode of Blind Bargains. See link below.

Interested in gaming or augmented reality? Check out this Main Menu episode. See the link below.

Check out the BBQ team as they talk to Marty Schultz, of Kid Friendly Software and Blindfold Games. Marty had some real struggles recently with his development process but hear him discuss his companies future.

How can modern technology make shopping and chores easier? Check out this episode of Bling Bargains as the team discusses shopping, iPhone 10, and much more. See link below.

iPhone & iPad Apps

Check out the AppleVis’ Unlimited Newsletter for November 2017. See the link below for more.


Starting November 20th new or upgrading Sprint customers can get the KNFB Reader App for free. See the article below. I also have some directions from Scott White at the NFB if that will help, just let me know. The KNFB Reader App is usually $99.

Check out this holiday buying guide from the folks at Access World. See the link below.

Interested in getting those really good online shopping deals? Need a guide? Need some advice? See this article from the Access World team. See the link below.

Check out Jamie Pauls’ article, on Access World, about the iOS 11 Book by Jonathan Mosen. See link below.

Android News

Check out this article about the new Be My Eyes App on Android. See the link below.

Android O or Oreo has some new accessibility features. Listen to this episode of the Cool Blind Tech Podcast that breaks down some of these new features. See link below. [][2]

New Echo Feature

The Amazon Echo’s calendar now allows you to verbally add and delete events. So here’s a sample conversation to add and delete an event. By the way, the word appointment will also work.

Add Event

  • “Alexa, create an appointmnet”
  • “What day and time?”
  • “Today, 6pm”
  • “What’s the name of the event?”
  • “Dinner”
  • “That’s Dinner at 6pm Today, right?”
  • “Right”

Delete an Event

  • “Alexa, delete an appointment”
  • “Which event would you like to delete?”
  • “Dinner at 6 pm”
  • “Delete, Dinner at 6 pm, right?”
  • “Right”

Echo Tips

Here are a few things to try. Some practical, some just fun. By the way, we post a lot of these on our Facebook page almost daily.

  • “Alexa, who’s hosting Saturday Night Live this week?”
  • “Alexa, are there basketball games tomorrow?”
  • “Alexa, read Little Women from Audible.”
  • “Alexa, tell me a vegetable joke.”
  • “Alexa, how do I add a second user profile?”
  • “Alexa, what’s your mission?”
  • “Alexa, talk to Best Buy.”
  • “Alexa, when is the next Rockets game?”
  • “Alexa, tell me about Stranger Things.”
  • “Alexa, sing me a love song.”
  • “Alexa, what are the most popular books this week?”
  • “Alexa, how do I set up calling and messaging?”
  • “Alexa, what’s the longest word in the dictionary?”
  • “Alexa, how old is the universe?”
  • “Alexa, what’s the 7-day forecast?”
  • “Alexa, how do I play music everywhere?”
  • “Alexa, play the song that goes ‘true love won’t desert you.'”

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.

Registration expires each August, and if you did not renew last summer, please do so now.

If you’d like to see how to sign up or renew, 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: Here’s a note fromR.A.V.E.’s flyer,

“R.A.V.E.’s annual Christmas Banquet will again be held at the Cave Spring Lions’ Clubhouse at 4801 Merriman Rd., SW, Roanoke, VA 24018 (See the following driving directions) The Banquet is on Wednesday, December 20, 2017. Dinner will begin at 7:00 PM, so arrive a few minutes early if possible. The meal is again catered by Adell’s of Rocky Mount, and the cost is $15 for all attendees, except for special guests, Lions drivers and the 3-D Trio.

RESERVATIONS REQUIRED by Friday, December 8th. Call Dianne Decker at 540/562-0455 for reservations…”

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

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David Ward
Assistive Technology Instructor