[Nfbv-historic-fredericksburg] Crier May 20

rtbyrne at aol.com rtbyrne at aol.com
Tue May 21 17:16:48 UTC 2019


The meeting of the Historic Fredericksburg  Chapter of the NFB was called to order by thepresident, Holly Frisch.  Members inattendance included Chris, Jodi, Traci, Dick and Sue.  Minutes of the previous meeting were includedin the Crier.  Dick gave a treasurer’sreport indicating a balance of $5,032.00 in the checking account.  Because Holly needed to leave early, we movedright on to the day’s program.

Technology overview –There is a large and growing number ofold and new tech devices, programs, and websites available for the BVIcommunity. I mentioned a few at the meeting. The descriptions below are shortso if you have questions, please contact me. I will share whatever I know.

    COMPUTERS – I usesome Apple  but I never had Mac. I amWindows based. I started using Zoomtext at work 15 years ago and still do. Inever learned JAWS. The company that produced Zoomtext merged with FreedomScientific the maker of JAWS. The programs have been combined into a newproduct called FUSION.I have not tried it.

     The other mainsoftware I use is Microsoft Office, Excel and Word.

     Websites includebasics like Amazon, AOL mail, and banking sites. If you get audiobooks throughthe Library of Virginia and the Library of Congress, you might greatly preferdownloading via LOC.com and BARD. Much easier to use.

     After talking computers, we moved tosmartphones. Apple has long led the way in accessibility. Others are improvingbut the iPhone leads the way in the BVI community. I have an iPhone 7.Depending on where you buy a phone and the carrier, a 7 or 8 might be less than$400. Even a 10R could be close to that. If you get a phone, get at least 32GB.

     Next we talkedAPPs. I started with the BeMyEyes app. It is a free APP with over 2 millionvolunteers to help a person see when needed. I used the APP and a ladyanswered. I said it was a demo and she gladly helped. A totally free APP. Thisapp can also be used to contact major companies like Microsoft, Google, and Ibelieve Apple, with other companies possibly joining.  They will use your camera to look at yourcomputer problem and help you fix it.  Ihave not tried this but it could be very useful.

     Other APPs arefor banking, shopping, and a whole lot more. Podcasts and BlindAbilities alsohave APPs along with NFB Newsline. I cannot forget the BARD APP. This is fromthe Library of Congreess. It allows you to download books a magazines to yourphone or iPad.

     Finally, AmazonECHO devices. If you have the internet andWiFi, you can have an Echo.dot andEcho.plus. They can play radio stations from far away or music or podcasts. Oneexample would be to say – Alexa enable BlindAbilities. Then you could play anyof their Podcasts from their most recent to their first.

      Brittany hassome productivity APPs that we can share at a later date. Remember contact meif I can help you with what I know.

Holly mentioned that several chapters in the state had hadsome problems with their bank accounts and procedures for using them.  At the next state convention there will be amandatory training program for chapter treasurers.  By doing this we hope to eliminate errorsmade accidentally or because of lack of information.


Dick Byrne

rtbyrne at aol.com

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