January 2018 Newsletter With Dave’s News and Technology Updates

Picture of snowman.

Updates: In 2017 we successfully conducted 11 workshops, in connection with our Amazon Echo training for seniors in the Roanoke Valley. At present, We don’t have a date scheduled for our next workshop. If you are interested in attending one and entering the program give us a buzz or to learn more see the brochure link below.

Link to Brochure

Large Print Calendars: All our large print Calendars are gone! And as always they are super popular. Thanks, to our donors and volunteers that make this possible. Big thanks to our volunteers from Delta Gamma, and students, including Hazel and Michelle, who’ve been helping out with our calendars.

Braille Calendars: You can order 2018 Braille Calendars by emailing the following Non-Profit your address and request a calendar calendars@actionfund.org.

Podcasts

Maccessibility episode 146 brings the podcast into the new year 2018. Hear Shelly talk about her recent commentary on the iPhone and the team talk about the Seeing AI App’s latest updates. See link below. http://maccessibility.net/podcast/maccessibility_rt146.mp3

Listen to these funny outtakes from 2017, on the Blind Bargains Podcast. See link below. http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/www.blindbargains.com/audio/bbq129.mp3

Amazon Echo Info

Here’s a powerful resource for info about your Amazon Echo. It the official Facebook page. See the link below. https://www.facebook.com/AmazonEcho/

One of the really cool resources I found on this Facebook page, are help videos about things you can do with your Amazon Echo. Here are some direct links to a few of these.

iPhone & iPad Apps

Check out the AppleVis’ Unlimited Newsletter for November 2017. Learn about an update to Dolphin EasyReader, Seeing Eye GPS, and a huge update to the Seeing AI App. Also, learn about the 2017 Golden Apple award winners. See the link below for more. https://applevis.com/applevis-unlimited-whats-new-and-noteworthy-december-2017

Android News

There is a bit of drama going on surrounding supposed abuses of the Android Accessibility API’s. That makes it possible for apps like TalkBack to do what they do. Google has recently changed their position on the topic, read more below. http://www.androidpolice.com/2017/12/07/google-pauses-accessibility-app-ban-considers-responsible-innovative-uses-accessibility-services/

Here’s an interesting resource for you Android users. It is a similar site to AppleVis but for Android Apps. See link below. http://www.androidaccess.net/

New Echo Feature

Amazon has added a repeating reminder feature. Reminders give you an audible alarm combined with a label that is read aloud. Additionally, if you have the Alexa App installed on your smart-phone you’ll receive a notification.

Here’s how to invoke this new feature. * “Alexa, create a repeating reminder”

Echo Tips

Picture of Amazon Echo (1st Generation)

Someone recently asked about calling 911 on their Amazon Echo or Google Home. Is it possible? See below for the answers and break down.

Amazon Echo

  • Can the Amazon Echo call 911? No.
  • Can the Amazon Echo, with a $35 Amazon Connect and Landline, call 911? Yes.
  • Are there Services to contact relatives in a Pseudo-Emergency? Yes. Click here for more.

From Website:

“With Alexa calling and messaging, you can call most phone numbers in the US, Mexico, and Canada, either by saying your contact’s name (“Call Dad”) or voice-dialing a number (“Call 222-555-0126″)—emergency services such as 911 are not supported. You can also call or send messages to anyone who has a supported Echo device or the Alexa App on their phone. Learn more. With Echo Connect and a home phone line, you can turn your Echo into a voice-controlled speakerphone to make and receive calls from anyone. You can also call emergency numbers like 911, premium rate, and international numbers (additional carrier charges may apply).”

Google Home

From Website:

“Emergency calls – Calls to emergency services aren’t currently supported with your Assistant on Google Home.”

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. 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 17th of January 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
j j j

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 calendars@actionfund.org.

Podcasts

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. http://mainmenu.acbradio.org/podcast/2017-11-10.mp3

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. http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/www.blindbargains.com/audio/bbq124.mp3

Interested in gaming or augmented reality? Check out this Main Menu episode. See the link below. http://mainmenu.acbradio.org/podcast/2017-11-24.mp3

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. http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/www.blindbargains.com/audio/bbq123.mp3

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. http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/www.blindbargains.com/audio/bbq122.mp3

iPhone & iPad Apps

Check out the AppleVis’ Unlimited Newsletter for November 2017. See the link below for more. https://applevis.com/applevis-unlimited-whats-new-and-noteworthy-november-2017

News

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. http://newsroom.sprint.com/sprint-accessibility-offers-free-app-to-customers-who-are-blind-or-have-low-vision.htm

Check out this holiday buying guide from the folks at Access World. See the link below. http://www.afb.org/afbpress/pubnew.asp?DocID=aw181102

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. http://www.afb.org/afbpress/pubnew.asp?DocID=aw181103

Check out Jamie Pauls’ article, on Access World, about the iOS 11 Book by Jonathan Mosen. See link below. http://www.afb.org/afbpress/pubnew.asp?DocID=aw181108

Android News

Check out this article about the new Be My Eyes App on Android. See the link below. http://www.afb.org/afbpress/pubnew.asp?DocID=aw181104

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. [https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/traffic.libsyn.com/coolblindtech/Android_O-_New_Accessibility_Features_in_TalkBack_6.0.0.mp3][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. 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: 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. 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
j j j