April’s Hines Blind Center Alumni’s Tech Teleconferences

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

  • iDevices and GPS Users
  • Tuesday, April 4th

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

  • 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.
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. 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.

March’s Monthly Talk Announcement

This is an announcement for the Blind Vet Tech Monthly Talk for March 16th. March’s talk will focus on office and productivity solutions for home and business usage. The two leading suites include Apple iWork’s, Pages, Numbers, Keynote, and Mail; and Microsoft Office 365, Word, Excel, Power Point, and Outlook.

The amazing part of the Apple iWorks suite stems from the deep integration with all MacOS and iOS devices. iCloud Drive ensures files and format synchronizes seamlessly. This allows you to start drafting a Pages document on your iPad, preform some formatting tweaks on your Mac, do a quick document check on your Windows computer through iCloud.com, and share the document through your iPhone. If you and a partner are both on a MacOS computer, then you can skip sending documents via email and collaborate in realtime, even as a Voice Over or Zoom user.

The only true competitor is Microsoft Office’s 365. Office 365 is a subscription b based office suite. No longer must you wait for updates, since Office 365 pushes all updates to you. Office 365 is the only true cross platform productivity suite, offering a very usable platform for Windows, MacOS, iOS, and Windows mobile devices. So imagine checking your Outlook mail on your iOS devices and receiving a .docx. You can open this up in Word, save it to One Drive, edit it on your Mac or Windows computer with Word, and share it through Outlook on your Surface. All of this is achievable with Voice Over, Zoom, Fusion, NVDA, Narrator, and any other windows based assistive tech software.

This calls participation details are:

  • Thursday, March 16th
  • 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.

Announcement for March's MacOS Talk – Blind Vet Tech

This is an announcement for the Blind Vet Tech Monthly MacOS Talk for March 9th. March’s talk will focus on office and productivity solutions for home and business usage. The two leading suites include Apple iWork’s, Pages, Numbers, Keynote, and Mail; and Microsoft Office 365, Word, Excel, Power Point, and Outlook. Both are fully accessible with Voice Over and Zoom, offering visually impaired individuals true choice.

This calls participation details are:

  • Thursday, March 9th
  • 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: Accessibility and Usability – Blind Vet Tech

Welcome to the first Blind Vet Tech News Update, the podcast presenting news, information, and thoughts related to expansive tech world. In this episode, Terry and I introduce ourselves, review Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, introduce the Web Accessibility Initiative, debate accessibility versus usability, and how these items formed the Information and Communications Technologies Refresh.

Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act established the core accessibility requirements for electronic and digital informational technologies for Federal, state, and similar entities. Originally established in 1986, the regulations received only two updates. The 1998 update established requirements for items like federal and state websites, web-based services, and other items based on the type of technology. The Information and Communications Technologies Refresh redefined web accessibility requirements by adopting the Web Accessibility Initiative’s guidelines and reclassifying technology categories based on their function.

The Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) is a collective of industry leaders, disability advocates, and governmental representatives under the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). The aim is to establish a fluid set of accessibility guidelines for the world wide web and anything interacting with it. This becomes more important as devices, like smart phones, wearables, and VR/AR, change how we interact with not just the world wide web by the greater internet. Without a baseline set of accessibility recommendations, we as disabled consumers would be lost.

Both Section 508 and the WAI struggle in one area, what does accessibility and usability mean. Yes, something may be completely accessible but not usable, demonstrating the objective versus subjective nature of the debate. In the comment fields below, what does accessibility and usability mean to you?

The Information and Communications Technologies Refresh pulls these three items together and redefines Section 508, Section 255 of the communications act, and so much more. The US Access Board overseen this update, presenting the update in January 2017 with an publication date in March 2017. Federal and State entities have until January2018 to release their updated policies and bring their services into compliance.

Thank you for listening to the Blind Vet Tech News Update. The focus on Section 508, WAI, accessibility versus usability, and the ICT Refresh provided an overview of the accessibility menace in the evolving digital 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.

March's Hines Blind Center Alumni Tech Teleconferences – Blind Vet Tech

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

  • iDevices and GPS Users
  • Tuesday, March 7th

  • 1000 AM Central Time
  • (800) 767-1750, ext 44125
  • Windows Computer Users
  • Thursday, March 2nd

  • 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.
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. 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.