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How to accessibly and reliably spell check documents on iOS devices with VoiceOver

kevinrenatojones

Although I guess possible on older versions of iOS, until iOS 11, spell checking documents on iOS devices was extremely difficult with the screen reader  Voiceover. Occasionally when browsing around a document if VoiceOver said a word was misspelled you could maybe get suggestions if you happened to be exceptionally lucky. but now with iOS 11, here’s a totally accessible and reproducible process. Previously not being able to reliably spell check documents on iOS was a large frustration for me, and meant that all I could efficiently do on the run was to write rough drafts; having to later correct them on my mac back at home. Experiencing that spell checking was now totally doable on iOS 11, I am more than happy to share what I’ve found. I use the word activate, because there are several ways to progress workflows on iOS devices. Yes, if using only…

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Canadian Council of the Blind, White Cane Week

White Cane Week 2018 from VIRN

On Wednesday, February 07, 2018 at 05:23 PM VIRN Info [mailto:info@virn.ca] said:

 

We Want Choices!

White Cane Week 2018

By Deanna Ng

White Cane Week is celebrated across Canada, this week. It started Sunday, February 4 and goes until Saturday, February 10.

The white cane helps people who have vision impairment get around and be independent, so they are included in everyday things like work, school, errands, appointments, and social gatherings.

 

The trend started in the 1920-1930 time period in France and England with the rise of war veterans and motor vehicle use.

 

VIRN recognizes that people want more choices in what colour cane they use. Yet they respect and know that the white cane remains the symbol of achievements and independence to the community.

 

I use a white cane, travel everywhere in the city independently, and go to many public spaces, gatherings, and events. It would not be possible without the advocacy, support, and education on inclusion out in the community done by VIRN.

 

Throughout the year, we at VIRN provide workshops, events, assistive technology lessons, life skills, peer support and education in the community.

 

Examples of this, is in through educating schools, businesses, organizations, and people of all ages through the “See If You Can” program. We welcome the opportunity to increase awareness in the community on the abilities of people who are vision impaired.

 

Another example is our inclusive curling program, where Vision Impaired (VI) Curlers, their friends, and family, of all levels can learn, compete, socialize, and have fun.

 

Yet another example is inclusive technology through our Tech-Ease program that enables the VI Community to meet and educate each other on new information, technology, features and accessibility of ever changing technology.

 

This is possible due to public awareness, education, and ongoing discussions about inclusion. “The symbol of our Community’s success remains the white cane. No matter the colour, style, make, or model of the cane our Community members use, we understand the independence that it brings.”

 

Vision Impaired Resource Network (VIRN) Inc.

Mailing Address: PO Box 2454, Station Main

Winnipeg, MB R3C 4A7

Office Location: Main Floor – South Tower 320 Sherbrook St Winnipeg

Phone: 204-975-9340

Fax: 1-888-471-1919

Email: info@virn.ca

Website: www.virn.ca

Twitter: @virnca

Facebook: www.facebook.com/virn.ca

 

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Uncategorized

VocalEye Newsletter, February 2018

In this issue:

Happy Valentine’s Dog!

Described Performances and Events:

Feb 11: Forget About Tomorrow at the Belfry

Feb 17: Onegin on tour at the Kay Meek Centre

Feb 18: Jitters at the Arts Club Stanley

Feb 27: Fun Home at the Arts Club Granville Island

Mar 3: Onegin on tour at the Surrey Arts Centre

Mar 17 and 24: Sequence at Presentation House

Community:

• White Cane Week

• Research 

• Save the Rio

Theatre Buddies | Ticket Access | Support | Reminders

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DOG!

This month we celebrate Valentine’s Day, the Year of the Dog and White Cane Week with some sloppy dog kisses, an Open House and lots of exciting described theatre!

For slices of real-life served with breathtaking honesty and humour, check out Forget About Tomorrow at the Belfry and Fun Home at the Arts Club Granville Island. Don’t miss your chance to catch Onegin as it tours to West Van and Surrey. And if your belly needs some laughs, Jitters will give it a workout at the Arts Club Stanley.

VocalEye is always thrilled to partner with Realwheels, but especially so on their upcoming production of Sequence, which stars our very own Amy Amantea playing the role of Dr. Guzman, a research professor who is legally blind. Congratulations, Amy! We can’t wait to describe your performance and this exciting production on March 17 and 24 at 8 pm!

Remember, our Ticket Access Program is designed to lower barriers for VocalEye members in financial need by providing a ticket rebate of 50% on a single ticket, or a free companion rate if a companion is needed. This program is offered for described performances in Vancouver and the Lower Mainland while funds last. Please contact Donna for details: buddies@vocaleye.ca

A separate ticket bursary program is being offered by our awesome friends at the Victoria Society for Blind Arts and Culture for described performances at the Belfry. Different rates and guidelines may apply. Please contact Linda Bartram for details: lbartram@telus.net

You may have noticed that we are offering two described performances of more shows than ever. This includes Mamma Mia coming up at the Arts Club Stanley, described on Sunday June 3 at 2 pm and again on Friday June 8 at 8 pm. As with all popular Arts Club productions, $29 tickets are limited and in demand. Please book early for the best seating options and ticket prices, 604-687-1644.

We are working hard to provide more accessible options so more people can experience live described theatre and events. Let us know what you think. I will have more exciting news for you next month.

Warmly,

Steph

DESCRIBED PERFORMANCES AND EVENTS…

FORGET ABOUT TOMORROW

Forget About Tomorrow, described by Rick Waines on Sunday February 11 at 2 pm at the Belfry Theatre, 1291 Gladstone Avenue, Victoria. VocalEye users are eligible for a discount. Please call 250-385-6815 to purchase. This performance will be followed by a Touch Tour.

“Theatre is a gift that can allow an audience an experience far above mere entertainment, offering a way to examine the human condition, with all its challenges and difficulties. Playwright Jill Daum, who for decades has been entertaining generations of theatre goers with the questions and antics of motherhood as one of the co-creators of the Mom’s The Word series, turns her pen to an intimate and personal story—her husband John Mann’s (Spirit of the West) diagnosis of early-onset Alzheimer’s and the resulting changes within their relationship and family.” read more

The play features two songs written by John Mann especially for Jill’s play. John was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s in 2014 at the age of 53.

“I began writing this play before my husband John publicly announced he had Alzheimer’s. I was attending a workshop, led by the Wet Ink Collective, and was secretly writing scenes about the difficult aspects of my life. Constructing a story about a struggling reluctant caregiver became a pain-relieving release for me. Then John got caught up in the idea of creating a piece of theatre while we were processing his diagnosis. It was the first time in our relationship that we collaborated on a script. Working on the music was as cathartic for him as the words in the play were for me. ” -Jill Daum, Playwright

“beautiful, uncompromising theatre” –Janis Lacouvée

ONEGIN, on Tour

Pronounced “oh-NYAY-gun”, this 10-time Jessie award-winning new musical is touring major cities across Canada. Rick Waines described the show in Victoria last October and will describe it twice on Saturday, February 17 at 2 pm and 8 pm at the Kay Meek Centre, 1700 Mathers Avenue, West Vancouver. Tickets are $29 for VocalEye users, while they last. Please call 604-981-6335 to purchase.

Rick will describe the show for the final time when it comes to the Surrey Arts Centre on Saturday, March 3 at 4 pm, 13750 88 Avenue, Surrey. Tickets are $29 for VocalEye users, while they last. Please call 604-501-5566 to purchase. VocalEye’s new Ticket Access Program provides rebates for those in financial need. Please contact buddies@vocaleye.ca for details.

“Amiel Gladstone and Veda Hille’s contemporary musical, based on Alexander Pushkin’s 19th-century verse novel, does for the dusty Russian love tale what the 1990s Broadway hit Rent did for La Bohème. The Vancouver-based pair draw out the elements of the story that never get old — including the pain of young love, the allure of a bad boy and a lush esthetic. Throw in some rock ’n’ roll, a killer cast and seamless staging, and it’s clear why this production sold out in Vancouver when it premièred last year and swept up a string of Jessie awards.”Times Colonist

“Onegin is one of those rare theatrical moments you do not want to miss. Take advantage of second chances, or go again and fall in yublyu [love] with it all over again”Vancouver Presents

JITTERS

Jitters, a rollicking backstage comedy, described by Eileen Barrett on Sunday February 18 at 2 pm at the Arts Club Stanley, 2750 Granville Street, Vancouver. Tickets are $29 for VocalEye users, while they last. Please call the Box Office to purchase at 604-687-1644. VocalEye’s new Ticket Access Program provides rebates for those in financial need. Please contact buddies@vocaleye.ca for details.

Four actors, a director, a playwright, and one grand dream of Broadway-bound success. Anything from a forgotten line to a faulty wig may just make or break their new Canadian play. Can this motley crew set aside their egos and anxieties in order to make it to the big time? Find out in this raucous comedy that celebrates the ups and downs of life in the theatre.

“Opening night jitters are very real. And in this play, playwright David French has them vibrating at the upper limits of the Richter Scale. Anxiety, desperation, and fear are writ large in this smart and funny play about a group of theatre artists mounting an ill-fated production.

What I like about this comedy is that the characters are wonderfully flawed people—flawed by their insecurities and ego. Yet, they have no sense of entitlement; they are Canadian actors, after all. French makes them dedicated, talented professionals, on the cusp of the ultimate validation: a Broadway run. Of course, what happens next is an actor’s nightmare played out in real time.

We’ve set the play in the year it was first produced, 1979. The fashion lends itself to a level of nostalgia that may not only have you unwittingly longing for corduroy and polyester, but will also remind you of a time when Canadian-made theatre was beginning to flourish. 1979 was, in fact, the year Bill Millerd opened the new Arts Club Theatre on Granville Island, adding a second venue to produce more Canadian content alongside the legendary Seymour Street location.” -David Mackay, director

Ted Roberts’ marvellous set design echoes the old Seymour Street location and the cast of 9 includes many of our favourite Arts Club performers.

“Recommended as an excellent remedy for mid-winter blahs.”Burnaby Now

FUN HOME

Fun Home, described by Eileen Barrett on Tuesday, February 27 at 7:30 pm at the Arts Club Granville Island, 1585 Johnston Street, Vancouver. Tickets are $29 for VocalEye users, while they last. Please call 604-687-1644 to purchase. This performance will be followed by a Talk Back with the cast. VocalEye’s new Ticket Access Program provides rebates for those in financial need. Please contact buddies@vocaleye.ca for details.

Based on the memoir of graphic novelist Alison Bechdel, whose character is portrayed by three performers at different ages: 9, 19 and 43, this new musical stars Sara-Jeanne Hosie, who plays adult Alison. VocalEye users may remember Sara-Jeanne for her practically perfect performance as Mary Poppins, also at the Arts Club.

Alison’s father was many things: a historical preservationist, a funeral home director, a distant parent, and… a closeted gay man. In the struggle to understand her father while also dealing with her own coming out, graphic novelist Alison documents the story of her life in coloured panels. This Tony Award–winning musical memoir is a heartbreaking and fiercely funny journey, punctuated with a refreshing score that frames the curiosity of childhood and the complexities of family.

“A book I wrote has been turned into a musical that’s opening on Broadway. This has been as exciting and as glamorous as you might imagine. But given that my book is about my coming out as a lesbian, my father’s closeted homosexuality, and his likely suicide…there is also a certain dissonance to it.

The “Fun” home of the title is the family funeral home my dad ran. It would be strange enough seeing fictional characters one had created brought to life onstage. But this is my actual family.

Another dissonant thing about the musical has been trying to understand my relationship to it. It’s not mine. I didn’t make it. But it’s my life. The playwright Lisa Kron and the composer Jeanine Tesori worked for years before I saw the script or heard any of the songs.

I guess I had been expecting that a musical version of the book would be a bit artificial – a lighter, arm’s length take on my childhood. I was not prepared for the opposite impact. Here was my distant repressed family brought close. I listened to the score over and over again.

It seemed to get to the emotional heart of things more directly than my book had. And certainly more directly than my parents and I ever had in real life. If you can get some brilliant artists to make a musical about your childhood, I highly recommend it. It’s very cathartic.

My parents met in a play, in college. Mom acted in summer stock and dad was on the theatre’s board of directors. They made regular pilgrimages to Broadway.

I can’t help wondering what they would make of seeing themselves turned into characters on the stage. But of course, if my parents could see the play, there would be no play.

For the occasion, flickering moment, though, I’m able to see past this paradox and imagine them in the audience. They scan the crowd. The house lights go down. My mother and father are rapt, excited to be in the theatre. My impossible wish is that the play can heal them, too.” Alison Bechdel Draws a Fun Home Coda

Fun Fact: the “Bechdel Test” originated as one of Alison’s comic strips titled “The Rule” where one woman explains to another that she only goes to a movie if it satisfies the following requirements:

1 The movie has to have at least two women in it,

2 who talk to each other,

3 about something besides a man.

These criteria have since been hailed by the mainstream as “the standard by which feminist critics judge television, movies, books, and other media”. 

SEQUENCE

Sequence, described by Eileen Barrett twice: on Saturday March 17 at 8 pm and Saturday March 24 at 8 pm at Presentation House, 333 Chesterfield Avenue, North Vancouver. Tickets are priced at $20 for VocalEye users with Promo Code SEQ2018. Please call 604-990-3474 to purchase. VocalEye’s new Ticket Access Program provides rebates for those in financial need. Please contact buddies@vocaleye.ca for details.

This award-winning thriller written by Canadian playwright (and eye surgeon) Arun Larka, explores the interplay between logic and metaphysics, science and faith, luck and probability, determinism and free will through two narratives that intertwine like a fragment of DNA.

A professor confronts a student who has defied probability by taking a multiple-choice exam, only to get every answer – 150 of them – wrong. Meanwhile, the “Luckiest Man Alive” – his status cemented by his uncanny ability to predict the winner of the Super Bowl coin toss for 20 years running – is confronted by a young woman who claims to know his secret.

Starring VocalEye Vice-Chair and The Blind Beader, Amy Amantea as Professor Guzman!

COMMUNITY…

WHITE CANE WEEK OPEN HOUSE

The first week in February is White Cane Week in Canada. White Cane Week was started by the Canadian Council of the Blind (CCB) in 1946. It’s a time when various groups make efforts to raise awareness of resources available to people living with any degree of sight loss as well as provide education to the community.

Celebrate White Cane Week and join us at this free Open House:

Thursday, February 8 from 10 am to 2:30 pm

Park Royal South, Centre Court

Check out the latest technology, assistive devices and resources available to people of all ages who are blind and partially sighted; service providers; peer support; arts, culture and entertainment; braille services; social clubs: recreation opportunities; guide dogs; and gift items. Connect with others living with sight loss, enjoy complimentary snacks and receive a free entry to win a $100 Park Royal gift card.

Stop by the VocalEye table and say hello!

Fellow exhibitors include:

Accessible Media Inc.

BC & Alberta Guide Dogs

BC Blind Sports

The Blind Beader

Blind Beginnings

Camp Bowen Society for the Visually Impaired

Canadian Assistive Technology

Canadian Braille Services

Capilano K9 Collars

CCB BC-Yukon Division

CNIB British Columbia

Leash of Hope Assistance Dogs

North Vancouver District Public Library

Quest Foods

VCC Program for the Visually Impaired and more!

Sighted guides are available to escort those with sight loss from the Park Royal bus stop to the open house space and back (south mall, centre court). Please contact Amy Amantea 604-763-2695 for guides and inquiries.

RESEARCH 

Our colleagues are seeking participants for the following projects:

1) Seeking focus group participants: we are interested in hearing from anyone who has something to say about being blind, vision impaired, low vision, partially blind, partially sighted, etc, and wanting to be part of higher education/academia (as student, faculty, staff, etc). The purpose of the study is to explore your perspective regarding the inclusion of blind people in academia. In particular, we are interested in learning about how blind people build a sense of belonging in academic/higher education environments. Contact Laura Bulk, LBulk@mail.ubc.ca

2) The World Blind Union and the American Council of the Blind (WBU and ACB) are eager to learn more about the use of audio description by people who are blind or have low vision in its member nations, including some of the barriers to its use.

The survey takes 5 minutes to complete and is provided in four languages:

(English) https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/6FNQGJ7

(Spanish) https://es.surveymonkey.com/r/6F8BXX2

(French) https://fr.surveymonkey.com/r/6FS2N8M

(Portuguese) https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/6F25PP5

Your participation will assist the WBU and the ACB in better understanding the scope of audio description availability around the world.

SAVE THE RIO

The Rio is a fabulous 90 year-old art deco theatre at Broadway and Commercial that’s become a vibrant part of Vancouver’s cultural scene, showcasing first-run feature films, indie films, classic films, local & international films, hosting numerous International Film Festivals as well as a prime venue for live entertainment ranging from top class concerts, burlesque, comedy, improv, spoken word, variety shows and much more.

The building is up for sale, which, in this town, means demolition and redevelopment. The operators are trying to save it and have an online petition going. Deadline to sign is Feb 6. 

VOCALEYE THEATRE BUDDIES…

Theatre Buddies are available to guide VocalEye Members, 18 years of age and up, from a designated meet up location to and from selected theatres. To reserve a Buddy in Vancouver, please contact buddies@vocaleye.ca

In Victoria, contact Linda Bartram at 250-595-5888. Buddies must be arranged 3 days in advance.

VOCALEYE TICKET ACCESS…

VocalEye strives to lower barriers for members in financial need by providing rebates to reduce the price of admission to described shows. Members in Vancouver and the lower mainland can apply for assistance by contacting buddies@vocaleye.ca.

In Victoria, please contact lbartram@telus.net

SUPPORT…

VocalEye is now a registered charity (#80166 6702 RR0001) and able to issue tax deductible receipts for donations of any size. VocalEye’s season supporters are gratefully acknowledged on our website.

 

DONATE HERE

REMINDERS…

• VocalEye’s complete season of described performances can be found on our website

• Tickets and headsets must be reserved by calling the theatre, unless instructed otherwise. 

• Be sure to mention VocalEye when booking your tickets to receive any discounts offered and indicate whether you have partial vision, a guide dog or other seating preferences. Seating options may be limited.

• Arrive early to pick up your equipment so you can be seated in time for a sound check and to listen to our pre-show introduction that includes brief descriptions of the set, characters and costumes. These begin 10 minutes before curtain.

• Our handheld receivers come with a single earpiece that can be worn on the left or right ear, or you can use your own earbuds or headphones. The audio signal is mono, so it will come through on only one side.

• VocalEye Memberships are FREE for people with vision loss.

• VocalEye Members are eligible for Theatre Buddy assistance, ticket discounts and equipment pickup without a deposit. 

• VocalEye newsletters are available in your choice of formats: Plain Text or HTML with images. Both include a link at the top to a simple Word Doc format. 

• Help us spread the word about described performances and arts access for people with vision loss by sharing this newsletter with those in your network.

• VocalEye respects your right to privacy. We will not rent, sell or trade our list. Our mailings are intended to inform you of our events, programs, services and fundraising activities. You may unsubscribe at any time.

Thank you for reading through. See you at the theatre!

Images: Boaz Joseph/Surrey Leader, The Belfry (David Cooper), The Arts Club (David Cooper), Shutterstock and the interwebs

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Canadian Council of the Blind, Independence, Media Release

Inclusion? There’s An App For That! Attend our Indoor Wayfinding Interactive Session on February 9, 2018 in Vancouver BC

Media Release: 

 

Inclusion – There’s an App for That!

New Technology Improves Interior Navigation for Everyone

 

Vancouver, BC, February 9, 2018.  CCB White Cane Week is February 4 to February 10, 2018 – click here for link to CCB website.  As part of CCB White Cane Week and in collaboration with the Vancouver Central Library, Right-Hear Accessible Solutions from Israel and Canadian Assistive Technology, the Canadian Council of the Blind (CCB) and Gateway Navigation CCC Limited are pleased to present the first indoor audio navigation experience of its kind in Canada. Corry Stuive, representing the Executive Director of the CCB and advisor for the Beacon Navigation Project, explains, “Accessibility and inclusion is not just about putting braille on signs, but giving the blind the equal opportunity to hear the information in the same way a sighted person can read them.  This technology creates real inclusion and independence.”

 

Steve Barclay, President, Canadian Assistive Technology, describes how the BLE (Bluetooth low energy) beacon was deployed at the Vancouver Central Library, “We placed nine of these beacons at decision-making points such as entrances, stairs and elevators around the Vancouver Central Library.  This created nine accessibility zones that provide orientation information. The technology builds an audio road map that any individual with a smartphone and the free Right-Hear app can use to orientate themselves to their immediate surroundings and assist them in navigating the indoor venue independently.  The service can be accessed in multiple languages.” Right-Hear Media Kit: https://app.xtensio.com/folio/46do8nfq

 

Jim Taggart, Director of Gateway and advocate for social sustainability within the architectural profession, summarizes the Project’s focus, “We are dedicated to improving the accessibility of interior spaces for members of the blind and visually impaired community in Canada. Just as smart phone-based GPS has made exterior navigation easier for everyone, so Gateway imagines a wireless, technology-based network that will make complex buildings, such as airports, transit hubs, shopping malls and public buildings accessible to all those who cannot read signage or interpret other wayfinding cues.”

 

Mike May, recently appointed Executive Director at Envision, Inc., will be adding his vast experience and knowledge to the panel to discuss the importance of creating accessible and inclusive smart cities. The American Foundation for the Blind recognizes Mike’s past and current contributions as a pioneer and leader in the accessible technology sector.  Mike describes one of his current projects at Envision, Inc., “One of the many exciting projects being undertaken by Envision is using proximity beacons to create smart and accessible bus stops. This will help to connect people with real-time digital technology supported by location based services that will assist all commuters, including blind or visually impaired to travel safely and independently.”

 

David Brun, Founder Gateway Navigation CCC Limited, reflects, “Working in banking for twenty-years and a life time adjusting to sight loss has reinforced to me the importance of accessibility, inclusion, training and employment so that visually impaired people can fully engage in our society.  That has become both Gateway’s mission and its passion.  Over the last several years, Gateway has participated in discussions with many individuals and organizations to implement the proximity beacon technology into public buildings and spaces in Canada.  We are extremely excited to be launching the Beacon Navigation Project in Vancouver and are committed to promoting accessibility, inclusion, training and employment for blind and disabled people.” For more information visit www.gnc3.com

 

Contacts:

Beacon Navigation Project

Email: partners@gnc3.com

Website: www.gnc3.com

 

Albert Ruel

Canadian Council of the Blind

Toll Free Tel: 1-877-304-0968 Ext. 550

 

David Brun

Gateway Navigation CCC Limited

Tel: 604-499-4818.

 

 

 

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