Tech Capabilities: Using the Flashlight on your iPhone and Apple Watch to attract attention

Have you ever wondered how to increase independence through the various apps and devices available for the blind? Blind Vet Tech’s Tech Capabilities offers suggestions to achieve these goals.

The flashlight or torch, for my UK followers, is more than a quick method to drain your device’s battery. Rather the flashlight on your iPhone and Apple Watch may provide life saving assistance to notify or alert another to your presence. If this is the first you have heard about the flashlight feature for your iPhone and Apple Watch, these features utilizes the LED light next to the back facing camera on your iPhone and the Apple Watch’s face. Follow the steps below to activate and change the settings for the flashlight options.

The iPHone’s flashlight option as of iOS 10.11 offers individuals the chance to activate it or choose from one of five brightness levels. Voice Over users will need to do the following:

  • Place Voice Over’s focus in the status bar at the top of the screen
  • Bring up Control Center with a three finger swipe upwards
  • Swipe to the right until you find Flashlight
  • Double tap on flashlight to simply turn it on and off
  • Double tap and hold or perform a 3D Touch on the flashlight toggle to switch between the following flashlight brightness levels
    • Off
    • Medium
    • Bright
    • Brightest
  • Please note that you may need to rotate Voice Over’s rotor to the left to bring up the adjustment option to adjust the brightness levels

Apple Watch OS 4.0 and newer brought forth three flashlight modes to the Apple Watch. Technically there is not integrated LED flashlight on the Apple Watch, rather the flashlight mode turns the face of the watch into a flashlight. Voice Over users may take advantage of the Apple Watch’s flashlight tool by doing the following:

  • Bring up Control Center by preforming a two finger swipe upwards on the watch face screen
  • Swipe to the right until you find the flashlight
  • Double tap on flashlight
  • Your Apple Watch’s screen will now turn into a flashlight
  • Preform a two finger swipe to the left or right to switch between the following modes
    • Flashlight
    • Strobing Flashlight
    • Red Flashlight
  • Press the digital crown to deactivate the flashlight and return to the watch face

Hope you enjoyed learning about how to turn on your iPhone’s and Apple Watch’s flashlight through Blind Vet Tech’s Tech Capabilities.

Assistive Tech Resource List

The Hines Alumni and Blind Not Alone maintain this list of resources for visually impaired Veterans. Please send any corrections or additions to presidentofThehinesalumni@gmail.com or info@blindnotalone.

Conference Calls

Blind Vet Tech Monthly Tech Talk meets the third Thursday of every month at 7PM Central time. To Participate:

Blind Vet Tech Monthly MacOS Talk for all your Apple Mac needs meets the second Thursday of every month at 7PM Central time. To

Hines iOS, GPS conference call meets the first Tuesday of every month, 10 AM Central time, 800-767-1750,44125#. Contact Rick Olson for more info, rwoverna2@gmail.com

Hines computer conference call, meets the first Thursday each month, 10AM Central time, 800-767-1750,44125#. Contact Kevin Jackson for more info, kmjacksonsr@att.net

Blinded Vets & Friends – Homepage http://www.blindedvetsandfriends.org/ Meets every Tuesday at 7PM Central time using TC Conferencing. Contact Jerry Hogan, jerryhogan5@earthlink.net

Coaching Sessions on demand:

Hines Alumni and Blind Vet Tech are proud to offer on-demand coaching sessions. If interested, send an email indicating what you wish to receive coaching on. For Windows, contact presidentofThehinesalumni@gmail.com. For Mac users, contact info@blindnotalone.com.

Teleconferences Being Planned

Blind Vet Tech Monthly Narrator Talk is coming in January. Subscribe to the Blind Vet Tech blog to find out more.

Hines Alumni virtual book discussion group (Under Consideration: This group will meet every other month or as needed) This group will use Zoom service and will begin at 7:00 p.m., Central Standard Time Zone. If you or someone you know would like to get involved as a facilitator or be a group member contact Terry Kebbel by email at terrykebbel@gmail.com .

Hines Alumni Virtual peer support group (Under Consideration: This group will meet every other month or as needed) This group will use a Zoom service and will begin at 7:00 p.m., Central Standard Time Zone. There are many Benefits of Participating in this Support Group: Feeling less lonely and isolated, Gaining a sense of empowerment, self-confidence and control, Talking openly and honestly about your feelings, Developing an understanding of what to expect with your situation, Getting practical advice and useful information, Having the chance to help and support others, Receiving inspiration and motivation from others’ stories.
If you or someone you know would like to get involved as a facilitator or be a group member contact terry kebbel by email at terrykebbel@gmail.com .

For an informal group discussion, we have a ‘virtual bar’ that meets on SKYPE. The group meets whenever the need arises. Any drinks from coffee to tequila are permitted.

If you are a VA Blind Rehab Services VIST or BROS interested in securing assessment or AT training for a Veteran, contact info@blindnotalone.com, for details about our VA contracting services or additional resources.

Websites to visit

Accessibility Help Desks

Podcasts

  • Blind Vet Tech
  • Freedom Scientific (FS Cast)
  • Apple vis
  • Seminars at Hadley li><
  • Eyes on success

    < If you are using a Victor Reader, Hims Blaze, or any podcasting app, just search the name and add to your play list. Document Conversion Tool
    If you have a PDF that is an image or if you want to create a DAISY book, we have a conversion tool on our website to do this. Simply visit our website: www.hinesalumni.org and go to the E-Footlocker. There you will find the conversion tool. Launch the conversion tool and follow the four easy steps to create your accessible document.

Tech Capabilities: Recognize digital images through Apple’s Voice Over, Microsoft Narrator, and JAWS 2018

Have you ever wondered how to increase independence through the various apps and devices available for the blind? Blind Vet Tech’s Tech Capabilities offers suggestions to achieve these goals.

Did you know that Apple’sVoice Over, Microsoft’sNarrator, and JAWS each possess the ability to recognize images? No longer must we hope a website or an image title in an email contain a alt tag or name that describes what the picture portrays or PDF image states. There is a couple of caveats here. First, the image recognition falls short of Seeing AI’sor Tap Tap See’s service. If there is some text, each will attempt to OCR it, or just call it a sign, poster, or newspaper. JAWS’ image recognition is limited to OCR’ing images and PDF’s. Voice Over will OCR only a portion of a PDF image, based on what is displayed. Here is how to use the image recognition features for each screen reader:

  • Voice Over in iOS
    • Place Voice Over’s focus on an image
    • Preform a three finger single tap
  • Voice Over in MacOS
    • Place Voice Over’s focus on an image
    • Press VO plus Shift plus L
  • Microsoft Narrator
    • Place Narrator’s focus on an image
    • Press Caps Lock plus Shift plus D
  • JAWS 2018
    • Place the JAWS cursor on an image or PDF file in File Explorer
    • Press Insert plus Spacebar, then O, then F
    • Within a document, press Insert plus Spacebar, then O,and then D
    • For a full list of options, press Insert plus Spacebar, then Question Mark

Below you will find some alternative solutions to identify digital images and PDF’s.

  • Use an AIRA agent to describe or read the image
  • Scan an image with your smart phone via Seeing AI or Tap Tap See
  • Facebook recognizes images posted to your feed or page

Hope you enjoyed learning about the different solutions available to describe images through Blind Vet Tech’s Tech Capabilities.

Special Hines Alumni Windows Computer Users Teleconference for November 2nd

The next Hines Alumni Windows Computer Users Conference Call will be held on
Thursday, 2 November 2017.
The conference phone number is:
1-800-767-1750
And the Access Code is:
44125
If you have any difficulties entering the conference room, please dial 0 for
the VA Nationwide Teleconference Systems Operator.
We will have an extended conference call. For our first 1 hour and 10
minutes (from 10:00 a.m. to 11:10 a.m., Central Standard Time Zone), we will
have our regular conference call for all Blinded Veteran Computer Users. We
will take a 15 minute break from 11:10 a.m. to 11:25 a.m.
From 11:25 a.m. to 12:40 p.m., Central Standard Time Zone, Kim O’Connell of
the VISOR Program at the Richmond VA will join us to provide JAWS Users with
information on Secure Messaging in My Healthe Vet.
You are asked to start entering the conference room 5 minutes prior to the
above start time so we can promptly begin at 10:00 a.m. and 11:25 a.m.,
respectively.
We will observe the Roberts Rules of Order. Please direct your question or
answer to the Moderator of the call so the Moderator can properly identify
you for the continuation of your question/answer. You are asked to not
speak over or interrupt a fellow Blinded Veteran who is providing a question
or providing an answer to a question. Participants are asked to limit their
questions to 2 and with time permitting at the end of the conference call,
you may ask additional questions.
If you have any background noises at your location, you are asked to press
*6 to mute your call and you can press *6 once more to unmute your call.
Please share this information with other Blinded Veterans as the information
we share on the conference call can be very helpful.

Tech Capabilities: Review Presentationss on the Go Through iOS

Have you ever wondered how to increase independence through the various apps and devices available for the blind? Blind Vet Tech’s Tech Capabilities offers suggestions to achieve these goals.

Reviewing presentations and office documents while on the go is a must possess skills for professionals, students, or just about anyone involved with any type of board or civic duties. The saying “death by Power Point” truly is an understatement, with individuals spending more time speaking off of a slide rather than from their own intuition. Thanks to our mobile devices, like iOS, blind individuals may follow along with the slides and even figure out those pesky pictures. Here is how to take a presentation you received from an email and review it:

  • Open Mail and find the email with the presentation
  • Double tap on the presentations, which will probably contain the file extension, .PPTX
  • This will download the presentation and pull up a preview version of the presentation
  • Swipe through the presentation, relying on three finger swipes to the left or right to advance or go back in the slides
  • If a picture is detected, place Voice Over’s focus on the picture and preform a single three finger tap
  • Tap on Done in the upper left corner when you finish the slide packet

If you need to edit the slides, do the following:

  • Follow the same steps as above to pull up the presentation
  • Tap on Share in the upper right corner
  • Swipe through the list of options to share until you find Copy to Keynote or Copy to Power Point
  • Tap on the copy to option and allow Keynote or Power Point to open up
  • You will most likely have to acknowledge certain aspects of the presentation needed to be changed due to a variety of reasons
  • Navigate through the presentation and double tap on any of the text boxes you need to edit
  • In keynote, tap on More in the upper left corner and then Export to save the Presentation as a file type other than the default Keynote file type and share it as needed

You can actually preform these same steps with similar types of office documents on iOS. You will just need to change the productivity related app you hope to utilize.

Hope you enjoyed learning how to tackle presentations while on the go through Blind Vet Tech’s Tech Capabilities.

Blind Vet Tech Monthly Tech Talk for October

This is an announcement for the Blind Vet Tech Monthly Tech Talk for October 19th. This month features discussions about the latest updates to all of our favorite operating systems. Microsoft launched the fall update to Windows 10, while Apple released several updates to iOS 11 and MacOS 10.13.

We now use Zoom as our teleconferencing platform, enabling one to connect via apps for desktop computers, mobile devices, or via dialing into the room. Below are the details to connect:

  • Thursday, October 19
  • 1900 Central Time

Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android by clicking here

iPhone users simply tap on the phone number below or dial:

  • (646) 876-9923,,7854091838#
  • or (669) 900-6833,,7854091838#

Zoom enables one to control their participation through a series of hotkeys. The table below lists the possible actions and how to complete it based on your connection method:

Action Zoom for Windows Zoom for MacOS Zoom for iOS Dial into Zoom
Mute Alt A Command Shift A Mute Button on app Star 6
Raise hand to prompt moderator Alt Y Option Y Raise/Lower hand Button on app Star 9

Stay Informed

Stay up to date with the latest news and announcements from the Blind Vet Tech team, by doing one of the following:

If you have any questions, comments, or requests, feel free to send us an email here. All of our podcasts and other information related to Veterans, blindness, acceptance of a disability, and other resources may be found at BlindNotAlone.com

Don’t miss another Blind Vet Tech teleconference, click here to see a list of our teleconferences and others we support.

Tech Capabilities: Coupling AIRA with Blind Square to Create Points of Interest for Navigation

Have you ever wondered how to increase independence through the various apps and devices available for the blind? Blind Vet Tech’s Tech Capabilities offers suggestions to achieve these goals.

Navigating new and unfamiliar areas remains one the last barriers for visually impaired individuals. Yes, we have numerous types of navigational and way finding solutions, like the Victor Reader Trek, Google Maps, and the Seeing Eye GPS. These solutions offers a 90% solution when navigating new areas through their reliance on open sourced and well established points of interest services. However anyone who ever tried to navigate large open spaces on maps, like large parking lots, college campuses, or hiking trails, encounter situations lacking the accuracy of street side addresses offer. Well this is where AIRA coupled with Blind Square will resolve these barriers, and here is how:

  • Start a call with an AIRA agent
  • Let them know you are looking for a particular location, or if you are hiking let them know the trail system you are on and what type of trail you wish to receive directions for
  • Open up Blind Square
  • Tap on Add place, located in the upper left corner of the screen since you will be placing much detail in the location’s title
  • Name the place with detailed information about the location and area, like trail head starting on the left with a paved surface transitioning to a gravel trail
  • For a little extra, ask the AIRA agent for some visual descriptions to include in case you ever need to ask a passerby for a particular spot
  • Toggle the Alert distance to this place to on
  • Set the distance to what you feel comfortable with, just remember the smaller the area the closer you need to be
  • Check theGPS accuracy under Position Information Heading and make sure its 33 feet or less
  • If your accuracy is greater than 33 feet, you may wish to tap the Reset Location button
  • Press Save
  • Do this periodically for different points or intersections along the route
  • end the AIRA call when you finish the route

Hope you enjoyed learning how to utilize AIRA to establish a series of waypoints for a trail in Blind Square through Tech Capabilities on Blind Vet Tech.

Tech Capabilities: Scan and Package a Document in the iOS 11 Notes

Have you ever wondered how to increase independence through the various apps and devices available for the blind? Blind Vet Tech’s Tech Capabilities offers suggestions to achieve these goals.

iOS 11 brought some amazing features for Voice Over users, like a better reading experience and the ability to complete fillable forms. Did you also know that the Notes app received the ability to insert scanned pages? This feature is very similar to Microsoft One Note, and particularly useful for individuals who just need to scan a series of documents and send it off to someone. Yes, Voice Over provides limited feedback through haptics and voice, increasing chances you capture the full document. Here is how you can do this:

  • Open up Microsoft SeeingAI to the Short Text channel and make sure you have the right document
  • Open up the Notes app
  • Tap on the New Notes button in the lower right corner
  • Find the Insert button, if the keyboard popped up then its in the center of the screen otherwise its on the bottom of the screen above the home button
  • Select Scan Documents from the menu that pops up
  • Swipe through the list of settings and tap on anything you wish to change, like changing the filter settings from color to black and white
  • You will hear a beep and the occasional Voice Over guidance
  • If anything, tap the take picture, and tap on keep scan
  • Repeat this action and then tap on the save scan button
  • After you finish feel free to navigate through the note and add a description or share the note with others

Hope you enjoyed learning how to scan documents in iOS 11 Notes app through Tech Capabilities on Blind Vet Tech.

Tech Capabilities: iOS Voice Mail Transcriptions

Have you ever wondered how to increase independence through the various apps and devices available for the blind? Blind Vet Tech’s Tech Capabilities offers suggestions to achieve these goals.

When cellular phones first gained popularity, we never needed to worry about telemarketers hounding us. Things definitely changed as many of us solely rely on smart phones for personal to business functions. This results in telemarketers and other entities calling us. Whenever I receive a call from an unknown number or unlisted number, I quickly dismiss the call and let. It go to voice mail. Unfortunately when the entity leaves a message, I really hesitate to listen to it. Apple added a nice feature that transcribes your voice mail automatically. Yes, Google Talk offered this feature for a number of years, and even sends you an email with the transcribed message, so its nice that Apple caught up. Here is how you can listen to a transcribed voice mail message. Please note , I am using an iPhone 8 running iOS 11.

  • Lock Screen
    • Place Voice Over’s focus on the notification for the voice mail message
    • Swipe downwards with the rotor set to action to More and double tap
    • Voice Over will start reading the message automatically
  • Phone app
    • You first need to listen to the message in the Voice Mail tab
    • Place Voice Over’s focus on the number or caller’s name and swipe right twice
    • Voice will automatically start reading the message

Hope you enjoyed learning how to read a transcribed voice mail message in iOS through Blind Vet Tech’s Tech Capabilities.

Tech Capabilities: Grabbing PDF’s from Mail and Reading in Voice Dream Reader

Have you ever wondered how to increase independence through the various apps and devices available for the blind? Blind Vet Tech’s Tech Capabilities offers suggestions to achieve these goals.

PDF’s functions as the bane for every aspect of our digital lives. Whether you need to read an instructional manual, apply for a job, review research or proposals, or even apply for benefits, you cannot avoid them. Sometimes you just need to be able to grab a PDF and listen to it. Voice Dream Reader accomplishes this goal flawlessly. Even better yet, you can place a PDF in the Loader folder, and it will magically appear on your iPhone’s bookshelf. Here is how.

From your computer, make sure you have iCloud set up

Enable iCloud syncing from the Voice Dream Reader settings on your iOS device

If you do not use iCloud, just save the PDF to a cloud storage solution, like One Drive, Dropbox, or Google Drive, and and use the Add function in Voice Dream Reader

From your computer, save the Pdf into the iCloud, Reader, Loader folder

Open up Voice Dream Reader while connected to the internet and wait a moment for the PDF to download automatically

Open the PDF and enjoy listening to the PDF through your favorite TTS voice and using your headset’s controls to jump in the PDF

FYI, in iOS 11 you can fill out fillable PDF’s you download and open up in Preview, but not Voice Dream Reader

    • Hope you enjoyed learning how transferring PDF’s from your computer to Voice Dream Reader allows easy reading on the go through Blind Vet Tech’s Tech Capabilities.

      Blind Vet Tech Monthly Tech Talk for September

      This is an announcement for the Blind Vet Tech Monthly Tech Talk for September 21. This month we turn our attention towards our new conferencing platform, Zoom.us and what is new in iOS 11. Zoom is a highly accessible conferencing platform allowing participants to connect via their computers, smart phones, or through a dial in number, see below for how to do this and coming shortcut kets.

      Apple releases iOS 11 on September 19, and we are super excited to share what we know. Voice Over received many updates and tweaks, earning our trust and approval. The couple of updates exciting us include the ability to fill out PDF’s, recognize a bit of text in images through a built into Voice Over OCR, find facial features in Photos, and ability to drag and drop multiple items. Zoom users will enjoy the ability to place your finger on the menu bar and automatically zoom into it without Zoom on, clean up of the Control Center for easier navigation, and the easier to see Dock and app switchers.

      Participate on the call through Zoom by:

      • Thursday, July 20
      • 1900 Central Time

      Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android by clicking here

      iPhone users simply tap on the phone number below or dial:

      • (646) 876-9923,,7854091838#
      • or (669) 900-6833,,7854091838#

      Zoom enables one to control their participation through a series of hotkeys. The table below lists the possible actions and how to complete it based on your connection method:

      Action Zoom for Windows Zoom for MacOS Zoom for iOS Dial into Zoom
      Mute Alt A Command Shift A Mute Button on app Star 6
      Raise hand to prompt moderator Alt Y Option Y Raise/Lower hand Button on app Star 9

      Stay Informed

      Stay up to date with the latest news and announcements from the Blind Vet Tech team, by doing one of the following:

      If you have any questions, comments, or requests, feel free to send us an email here. All of our podcasts and other information related to Veterans, blindness, acceptance of a disability, and other resources may be found at BlindNotAlone.com

      Don’t miss another Blind Vet Tech teleconference, click here to see a list of our teleconferences and others we support.

      Tech Capabilities: Shopping with SeeingAI, Uber, and AIRA Through Your iPhone

      Have you ever wondered how to increase independence through the various apps and devices available for the blind? Blind Vet Tech’s Tech Capabilities offers suggestions to achieve these goals.

      From assembling a shopping list, traveling to the store, and locating each item, shopping poses several barriers for the blind. Combine Microsoft’s SeeingAI, AIRA, Uber, and your iPhone, and you can quickly get on with your day. Here is how.

      • Open Microsoft’s Seeing AI and switch to the product channel
      • Scan the various products you need to purchase, but swipe to share
      • From the share menu, select Notes and add it to your shopping list note (for extra points you can make this a checklist)
      • After compiling your shopping list, either hire an Uber to the store, or call an AIRA agent and let them handle your Uber trip
      • When you are at the store, call an AIRA agent,, and share or inform them about your shopping list to let them guide you around
      • Checkoff items on your Notes’ shopping list, checkout, and hire a Uber home

      Hope you enjoyed learning how shopping becomes easier with Microsoft SeeingAI, Uber, AIRA, and an iPhone through Blind Vet Tech’s Tech Capabilities.

      Blind Vet Tech Monthly MacOS Announcement for September

      This is an announcement for the Blind Vet Tech Monthly MacOS Talk for September 14. This call enables individuals to learn more about MacOS and how integrated features like Voice Over and Zoom may be applied to achieve computing goals. The session will be open for participants’ questions and encourages open exchanges.

      This call will discuss any of the publicly available information related to the MacOS High Sierra update along with how to use Zoom.US. Zoom.us is a conferencing platform that is very accessible and easy to use. It offers participants the chance to call in by phone, computer, or smart phone apps.
      This calls participation details are:

      • Thursday, September 14
      • 1900 Central Time
      • (866) 820-9940

      Stay Informed

      Stay up to date with the latest news and announcements from the Blind Vet Tech team, by doing one of the following:

      If you have any questions, comments, or requests, feel free to send us an email here. All of our podcasts and other information related to Veterans, blindness, acceptance of a disability, and other resources may be found at BlindNotAlone.com

      Don’t miss another Blind Vet Tech teleconference, click here to see a list of our teleconferences and others we support.

      Tech Capabilities: Using Seeing AI, QR Reader, and Safari to Redeem Movies

      Have you ever wondered what is possible through the various devices and apps available? Blind Vet Tech Tech Capabilities demonstrates how to fulfill a task through tech solutions. This inaugural post will list how one may redeem a movie code for iTunes only using an iPhone running iOS 11.

      • Open up Microsoft’s Seeing AI and set the channel to Short Text.
      • Scan the various pieces of paper inside the movie case until you find the insert with the redemption code.
      • In iOS 11, open up the camera app and scan the page. You do not need to take a picture, just wait for Voice Over to announce that a QR code was located
      • Swipe to the left or go to the top of the Camera app to find the redirection link, and tap on it.
      • After Safari opens up the page, select the appropriate streaming service, i.e. iTunes, Google Play, etc…, to obtain a digital copy.
      • If the QR code cannot be located, change Seeing AI’s channel to document. Recognize the page and follow the instructions.

      Hope you enjoyed learning about your Tech Capabilities to redeem the digital copy of a movie through your iOS device using Seeing AI, Camera app (or other QR reader), Safari, and iTunes.

      Blind Vet Tech Monthly MacOS Announcement for August

      This is an announcement for the Blind Vet Tech Monthly MacOS Talk for August 10. This call enables individuals to learn more about MacOS and how integrated features like Voice Over and Zoom may be applied to achieve computing goals. The session will be open for participants’ questions and encourages open exchanges.

      This calls participation details are:

      • Thursday, August 10
      • 1900 Central Time
      • (866) 820-9940

      Stay Informed

      Stay up to date with the latest news and announcements from the Blind Vet Tech team, by doing one of the following:

      If you have any questions, comments, or requests, feel free to send us an email here. All of our podcasts and other information related to Veterans, blindness, acceptance of a disability, and other resources may be found at BlindNotAlone.com

      Don’t miss another Blind Vet Tech teleconference, click here to see a list of our teleconferences and others we support.

      Blind Vet Tech Monthly Tech Talk for July 20

      This is an announcement for the Blind Vet Tech Monthly Talk for July 20. We are focusing on recognition devices and apps. The call will start off with a review from Percy who uses both the Orcam and AIRA. This will be a great chance to learn what the difference truly is and which may achieve your goals. Terry will then cover other recognition apps, with a focus on Microsoft’s Seeing AI. We covered Seeing AI in our latest Blind Vet Tech podcast.

      This calls participation details are:

      • Thursday, July 20
      • 1900 Central Time
      • (866) 820-9940

      Stay Informed

      Stay up to date with the latest news and announcements from the Blind Vet Tech team, by doing one of the following:

      If you have any questions, comments, or requests, feel free to send us an email here. All of our podcasts and other information related to Veterans, blindness, acceptance of a disability, and other resources may be found at BlindNotAlone.com

      Don’t miss another Blind Vet Tech teleconference, click here to see a list of our teleconferences and others we support.

      Blind Vet Tech Monthly MacOS Talk Announcement for July

      This is an announcement for the Blind Vet Tech Monthly MacOS Talk for July13. This call enables individuals to learn more about MacOS and how integrated features like Voice Over and Zoom may be applied to achieve computing goals. The session will be open for participants’ questions and encourages open exchanges.

      This calls participation details are:

      • Thursday, July 13
      • 1900 Central Time
      • (866) 820-9940

      Stay Informed

      Stay up to date with the latest news and announcements from the Blind Vet Tech team, by doing one of the following:

      If you have any questions, comments, or requests, feel free to send us an email here. All of our podcasts and other information related to Veterans, blindness, acceptance of a disability, and other resources may be found at BlindNotAlone.com

      Don’t miss another Blind Vet Tech teleconference, click here to see a list of our teleconferences and others we support.

      Hines Alumni Tech Teleconferences for July

      This is an announcement for the Hines Alumni tech teleconferences for July. These are open forum discussions for Veterans with visual impairments to learn more and share their experiences related to tech. The Hines Alumni tech teleconferences will occur:

      • iDevices and GPS Users
      • Tuesday, July 4

      • 1000 AM Central Time
      • (800) 767-1750, ext 44125
      • Windows Computer Users
      • Thursday, July 6

      • 1000 AM Central Time
      • (800) 767-1750, ext 44125

      If you have any difficulties entering the conference room, please dial 0 for the Operator.
      The conference call will begin promptly at 1000 (10:00 a.m., and you are asked to start entering the conference room at 0950 (9:50 a.m.). The conference call will conclude at 1120 (11:20 a.m.). This is Central Standard Time.

      Please direct your questions or answers to the Moderator of the call so the Moderator can properly identify you for the continuation of your questions/answers. You are asked to not speak over or interrupt a fellow Blinded Veteran who is providing a question or providing an answer to a question. Participants are asked to limit their questions to 2 and with time permitting at the end of the conference call, you may ask additional questions. You are also asked to do a star 6 to mute out any and all background noise, then if you have a question star 6 again and give your name to the recognized moderator.

      Blind Tech Assistance For Veterans

      Hines Alumni and Blind Not Alone compile and maintain this list of tech and assistive tech resources for visually impaired Veterans. Please send any corrections or additions through the Contact Us page.

      Conference Calls

      • Blind Vet Tech Monthly Tech Talk meets the third Thursday of each month at 1900 Central Time
      • Blind Vet Tech Monthly MacOS Talk meets the second Thursday of the month at 1900 Central Time
      • Blind Vet Tech Monthly Narrator Talk is coming soon
      • Hines iOS, GPS conference call meets the first Tuesday of every month, 10 AM Central time
        • Join by calling (800) 767-1750,44125#
        • Contact Rick Olson for more info at rwoverna2@gmail.com
      • Hines computer conference call, meets the first Thursday each month, 10AM Central time
        • Join by calling (800) 767-1750,44125#
        • Contact Kevin Jackson for more info at kmjacksonsr@att.net
      • Blinded Vets & Friends – Homepage meets every Tuesday at 7PM Central time using TC Conferencing. Contact Jerry Hogan at Jerry Hogan jerryhogan5gearthlink.net

      One on One Coaching

      Hines Alumni and Blind Vet Tech are proud to offer on demand coaching sessions. If interested, send an email indicating what you wish to receive coaching on, your computer’s set up, and available times to presidentofThehinesalumni@gmail.com or info@blindnotalone.com. Both provide coaching and mentoring for using iPhones and iPads, while the Hines Alumni focus on Windows based computers and Blind Vet Tech on Apple MacOS computers.

      If you are a VA Blind Rehab Services VIST or BROS interested in securing assessment or AT training for a Veteran, contact info@blindnotalone.com, for details about our VA contracting services or additional resources.

      For an informal group discussion, we have a ‘virtual bar’ that meets on SKYPE. The group meets whenever the need arises. Any drinks from coffee to tequila are permitted.

      Websites to visit

      Help Desks

      • Microsoft Accessibility Desk, (800) 936-5900
      • Apple Accessibility Desk, (877)204-3930
      • Amazon Accessibility Desk, (888) 283-1678
      • VFO Accessibility Desk (727) 803-8600

      Podcasts

      If you are using a Victor Reader, Hims Blaze, or any podcasting app, just search the name and add to your play list.

      Youtube

      Blind Vet Tech Monthly Tech Talk for June 15

      This is an announcement for the Blind Vet Tech Monthly Talk for June 15. June’s call will start off with a presentation and question and answer session with Amy from AIRA. AIRA, the visual interpreter for the blind, is a novel method to do anything from reading documents to walking around your community. AIRA consists of a headword camera with a earphone that enables a professional human assistant to guide you throughout your requested task. I have heard of Veterans using this for shopping, navigating convention settings, reading documents, and computer troubleshooting whenever JAWS fails. The second part of the call will feature a discussion about social networking and and any questions participants may have about safely diving into a social networking platform.

      This calls participation details are:

      • Thursday, June 15
      • 1900 Central Time
      • (866) 820-9940

      Stay Informed

      Stay up to date with the latest news and announcements from the Blind Vet Tech team, by doing one of the following:

      If you have any questions, comments, or requests, feel free to send us an email here. All of our podcasts and other information related to Veterans, blindness, acceptance of a disability, and other resources may be found at BlindNotAlone.com

      Don’t miss another Blind Vet Tech teleconference, click here to see a list of our teleconferences and others we support.

      Blind Vet Tech News Update: Rise of the Accessible Microsoft Machines

      Welcome to this installment of the Blind Vet Tech News Update. In this episode, Terry and I discuss the evolving accessibility culture filtering through Microsoft, our thoughts on Narrator as a stand alone screen reader, the accessibility and usability of One Note and other Microsoft Office products, and why machine learning to recognize objects and text excites us. The combination of these items truly demonstrates what happens when a company, like Microsoft, takes the stance to integrate universal design within its core beliefs.

      For those skeptical about Microsoft’s commitment to accessibility, watch this Youtube video. It outlines exactly how accessibility is no longer a buzz word where Microsoft passes the responsibilities to fix inaccessible platforms onto third party solutions. Rather Microsoft takes the lead with integrated accessibility tools, accessibility checkers in Office products, and even promoting universal design amongst its partners.

      Visit these links if you wish to learn more about how to use the Microsoft integrated accessibility tools or produce completely accessible Office documents.

      Regarding Narrator, we both agree its a wonderful screen reader to use. Placing our screen readers where our mouth is, we both have made the commitment to adopt Narrator as our primary screen reader on Windows in the upcoming year. Currently a lack of end user guides exist, but Microsoft released a terrific user guide for those willing to take part in our challenge. Its from this guide we have started to produce the Blind Vet Tech Quick Guides and Tutorials Narrator series.

      The final segment quickly reviews machine learning and how its recognizing the world around us. As blindness tech advocates, these complex systems needs to be promoted by our community. Its up to us to share how machine learning to recognize objects works, what type of descriptions would benefit us, and dispel myths about computers rising up against us to take over the world.

      Stay Informed

      Stay up to date with the latest news and announcements from the Blind Vet Tech team, by doing one of the following:

      If you have any questions, comments, or requests, feel free to send us an email here. All of our podcasts and other information related to Veterans, blindness, acceptance of a disability, and other resources may be found at BlindNotAlone.com

      Don’t miss another Blind Vet Tech teleconference, click here to see a list of our teleconferences and others we support.

      Blind Vet Tech Monthly MacOS Talk for June 8

      This is an announcement for the Blind Vet Tech Monthly MacOS Talk for June 8. This call enables individuals to learn more about MacOS and how integrated features like Voice Over and Zoom may be applied to achieve computing goals. The session will be open for participants’ questions and encourages open exchanges.

      This calls participation details are:

      • Thursday, June 8
      • 1900 Central Time
      • (866) 820-9940

      Stay Informed

      Stay up to date with the latest news and announcements from the Blind Vet Tech team, by doing one of the following:

      If you have any questions, comments, or requests, feel free to send us an email here. All of our podcasts and other information related to Veterans, blindness, acceptance of a disability, and other resources may be found at BlindNotAlone.com

      Don’t miss another Blind Vet Tech teleconference, click here to see a list of our teleconferences and others we support.

      Monthly Tech Talk Announcement for May

      This is an announcement for the Blind Vet Tech Monthly Talk for May 18th. May’s call will start off with a discussion about Global Accessibility Awareness Day. The purpose of GAAD is to raise awareness about accessibility of our digital lives. Apple establishes a special segment in its app stores to highlight the best apps for individuals with disabilities. The second focus of our call will review the different ways one digital records meetings to quick notes. Fortunately one needs to only reach into their pocket and pull our their iOS device, Hims Blaze, or Victor Reader to capture the audio, so the possibilities on how, why, and what one uses is endless.

      This calls participation details are:

      • Thursday, May 18
      • 1900 Central Time
      • (866) 820-9940

      Stay Informed

      Stay up to date with the latest news and announcements from the Blind Vet Tech team, by doing one of the following:

      If you have any questions, comments, or requests, feel free to send us an email here. All of our podcasts and other information related to Veterans, blindness, acceptance of a disability, and other resources may be found at BlindNotAlone.com

      Don’t miss another Blind Vet Tech teleconference, click here to see a list of our teleconferences and others we support.

      MacOS Talk Announcement for May 11

      This is an announcement for the Blind Vet Tech Monthly MacOS Talk for May 11. This call will enable participants the chance to discuss anything related to MacOS. Participation just requires one to use the below details.

      • Thursday, May 11
      • 1900 Central Time
      • (866) 820-9940

      Stay Informed

      Stay up to date with the latest news and announcements from the Blind Vet Tech team, by doing one of the following:

      If you have any questions, comments, or requests, feel free to send us an email here. All of our podcasts and other information related to Veterans, blindness, acceptance of a disability, and other resources may be found at BlindNotAlone.com

      Don’t miss another Blind Vet Tech teleconference, click here to see a list of our teleconferences and others we support.

      Blind Vet Tech’s April 20th Monthly Tech Talk Announcement

      This is an announcement for the Blind Vet Tech Monthly Talk for April 20. April’s call will focus on the different devices, apps, and other solutions to read digital documents. The VA’s blind rehab services often issue Veterans devices like the Victor Reader or Hims Blaze as one of the first stand alone blindness devices. These products enables one to listen to selections from NLS BARD, Bookshare, podcasts, and streaming internet radio. However, your iOS and Android possess these same capabilities through apps, like Voice Dream Reader, NLS BARD Mobile, TuneIn Radio, and Podcasts.

      This calls participation details are:

      • Thursday, April 20
      • 1900 Central Time
      • (866) 820-9940

      Stay Informed

      Stay up to date with the latest news and announcements from the Blind Vet Tech team, by doing one of the following:

      If you have any questions, comments, or requests, feel free to send us an email here. All of our podcasts and other information related to Veterans, blindness, acceptance of a disability, and other resources may be found at BlindNotAlone.com

      Don’t miss another Blind Vet Tech teleconference, click here to see a list of our teleconferences and others we support.