When companies fail to use human testers

Greetings and indeed! January is not behaving in any unusual way! Cold,
cold!
Today, I am pleased to share our president’s latest editorial with you and
for this week Donna J. Jodhan talks about what happens when companies fail
to utilize human testers.
I wish you a great weekend.
I’m Scott Savoy

+++++++++++++++

When companies fail to use human testers
By Donna J. Jodhan

This is a problem/challenge that continues to plague us in a big way and I
am afraid that the only way to make a dent in the number of times that
companies do this may probably come down to us persisting in the raising of
our voices about the whole thing.

What am I referring to today? It is this!
Companies continue to use automated tools instead or in addition to the use
of human testers when dealing with the development or maintenance of their
websites. And even when they do use human testers; too often it is sighted
users and not testers with a disability.

Whatever happened to the famous concept of “walk a mile in my shoes?”
Whatever happened to the proven technique that the human touch reaches far
beyond the automated tool’s ability to navigate in the corners whenever
tight spots are encountered?

It is very hard to explain why companies continue to resist using users with
disabilities whenever it comes to testing for usability, accessibility, and
navigability. Some of these companies have even dared to say that it would
cost too much to hire users with disabilities whenever they need or require
to work on accessibility. However the truth and reality is this!

At the end of the day it costs much more to hire users with disabilities
because the use of automated tools has failed to zero in on glaring glitches
that could have been found by human testers to start with. The use of
automated tools definitely has its place in the scheme of things but the use
of human testers with disabilities has an even more important part to play.

It is time for companies to realize this and to start taking action. Too
much money is being spent on correcting errors that can be avoided if human
testers with disabilities are employed to carry out said types of testing.

It is time to stop using the excuse of being too costly or not having the
budget to hire the right type of users. It is time to correct this
situation ad to realize that cost can be avoided by using more human testers
with disabilities.

Just my two cents for today.

I’m Donna J. Jodhan wishing you a terrific weekend.
To reach me, please send an email to info@sterlingcreations.ca

Here is a complete list of where you can view Donna’s blogs and editorials.
Donna Jodhan! Advocating accessibility for all
http://www.donnajodhan.blogspot.com
Weekly features on how to increase your success with your business ventures
http://www.sterlingcreations.com/businessdesk.htm
Weekly articles and editorials on issues about accessibility
http://www.sterlingcreations.ca/blog
Learn more about Author Donna Jodhan and her campaign against bullying at
www.jodhanmysterybook.club
Now you can enjoy Donna’s detective DJ crime crushers Series by visiting
http://www.donnajodhan.com

And now her weekly podcast at www.donnajodhan.com/takeanother5.html
From recipes to apps, and from 5 minutes mysteries to tips for entrepreneurs
and alerts on the latest scams
Available for download from iTunes and Google music play.

You can follow me on twitter @accessibleworld
and chat with me on Skype at habsfan0526.
Like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/authordonnajodhan

Now you can subscribe to my monthly newsletter.
‘Let’s Talk Tips’ is your monthly resource for the most current and reliable
informational tips available in the areas of Technology, Nutrition, Media,
Business, and Advocacy.
http://bit.ly/ADJSubscribe

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Blind juror was almost rejected

Hello there and welcome to our newest segment: Where we highlight important
articles on topics pertaining to advocacy.

We are introducing this segment based on several requests that we have
received from readers.
Please feel free to send us your feedback and if you wish us to publish your
own articles then by all means send it along to info@sterlingcreations.ca

Please take a moment to subscribe to our newest newsletter:
‘Let’s Talk Tips’ is your monthly resource for the most current and reliable
informational tips available in the areas of Technology, Nutrition, Media,
Business, and Advocacy.
http://bit.ly/ADJSubscribe

With best wishes
From the business desk team
Follow us on Twitter @accessibleworld

+++++++++++++++

Blind juror was almost rejected

Disability advocates seek removal of courtroom barriers

Betsy Powell Toronto Star

The Toronto Star Dec. 29, 2018

A recent criminal trial at Toronto’s downtown Superior Court featured what
may be a first in Ontario: a
blind juror.

The fact that is, if not a first, an extremely rare occurrence in Ontario
underscores that much more
needs to be done to remove the barriers to equal treatment in the criminal
justice system, disability
advocates say.

“Certainly this applies to ensuring adequate representation of persons with
disabilities on juries,” says
Luke Reid, a lawyer with ARCH Disability Law Centre in Toronto.

The Criminal Code allows people with vision or hearing disabilities to serve
on juries. However, an
accused may challenge a juror’s service and the Juries Act deems jurors
ineligible if they have “a physical
or mental disability that would seriously impair his or her ability to
discharge the duties of a juror.”

“However, human rights law would demand that this (or any) requirement not
be interpreted in an
overbroad way and that persons with disabilities have the right to the
necessary accommodations,” Reid
wrote in email.

Juror 29743 almost didn’t get picked. While there are likely numerous
reasons preventing people with
impaired vision from sitting on juries, there is still a “very active
debate” around the ability of a “trier of
fact” to see a witness’s demeanour in order to assess credibility, Reid
noted in an email.

“I think courts tend to err on the side of caution where the right of an
accused to a fair trial is potentially
at issue.”

This fall, a day before jury selection in an impaired driving causing death
trial, prosecutor Marnie
Goldenberg told the judge she and defence lawyer Carolyn Kerr had some
concerns about a prospective
juror, who had shown up at the courthouse with a service dog. Goldenberg
told the judge numerous
photos would be introduced during the two-week trial.

Ontario Superior Court Justice Rob Goldstein told the lawyers while it was
entirely appropriate to raise
the issue, he didn’t intend to treat Juror
29743 any differently than other jurors.

“I think it’s something we canvass and we treat her the way we treat any
other juror who has a health
issue,” Goldstein said. The next day, after Juror 29743 entered the
courtroom with her service dog, the
judge asked her how she would “deal” with all the photos in the case.

“It would be through description … I cannot see them,” the woman, who
works in human resources, told
Goldstein.

“OK, all right, so if they are described – you can absorb what’s in them?”
the judge asked. She said yes.

The jury selection process continued in the normal course with two already
selected jurors, designated
as “triers,” deciding whether or not she was an acceptable pick.

Juror 29743 said she had not heard about the case involving a man charged
with impaired driving
causing death on April 23, 2016, near Jane St. and Humberview Blvd. She also
indicated she could
consider the evidence without prejudice or bias after being told the accused
was a visible minority and
Muslim. Nevertheless, the triers immediately rejected her.

Goldstein, however, wasn’t satisfied. He told the triers he was going to
reread their instructions and
asked them to consult each other again. The test to decide is if a juror
would approach jury duty with an
open mind and decide the case based solely on the evidence and his legal
instructions, the judge told
them.

This time, the triers found Juror 29743 acceptable while counsel on both
sides said they were “content”
with the choice. After a few days of deliberations, the jury returned to
court with a guilty verdict. The
Star’s attempts to speak to Juror 29743 were unsuccessful.

Lawyer David Lepofsky, a retired Crown attorney who is blind and was not
involved in the case, said
having a blind juror not only makes the legal system more representative of
society, it makes lawyers
more effective.

There’s a lot of stuff that goes on in a courtroom that is visual and needs
to be explained for the
transcript, or audio recording, so having a blind juror will help ensure
that happens, “so you get a better
record, and it’s better for everybody,” Lepofksy said.

But there are some exceptions where a visually impaired juror might have to
be excluded, he added. If,
for example, the guilt or innocence of an accused is entirely based on
whether a jury believes an accused
looks like an assailant captured in a surveillance video.

Lepofksy, now a visiting professor at York University’s Osgoode Hall law
school, said traditionally, appeal
courts said trial judges were in a superior position to assess the
credibility of witnesses, because they,
unlike appeal judges, can access demeanour.

That view has evolved, and now appeal courts are increasingly warning “it’s
wrong to over emphasize
visual demeanour when assessing credibility.” He uses himself as an example
to explain how everyone
has different ways of doing that.

“Sighted people use eyes. I listen to a voice … and the whole idea of a
jury is it’s a bunch of different
people … pooling their different ways of assessing credibility and then
voting as a group. Well, who’s to
say visual is the only way to do it,” he said.

“Those of us who experience the world non visually, have our own experience
too.”

While jurors don’t have to be statistically representative of society, there
is an expectation that they
bring to the courtroom their own life experience, “drawn from different
parts of the community, and
they pool to form a collective assessment, a very difficult assessment, who
to believe about what
happened.”

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

More human testers needed

Greetings everyone and welcome to the second weekend of January.
Happy to be back with you and for today I am pleased to share our
president’s weekly editorial with you.
For this week, Donna J. Jodhan zooms in on the concern of more human testers
need to be used by companies.
I wish you a great weekend.
I’m Christian Robicheau

+++++++++++++++

More human testers needed

This is probably one of the most difficult challenges facing us today; this
being that we need to work extra hard to convince companies that when it
comes to website testing we need to ensure that live or human testers are
included in the testing process and not just automated tools.

It is all well and good to use these automated tools as they offer a solid
indicator to whether or not websites are navigable, usable, and accessible.
However nothing can really beat the input of the human tester.

Human testers and what I wish to emphasize is that we need to take advantage
of the expertise and skills of testers with disabilities. Using sighted
testers is not an alternative.

This is what I call the walk a mile in my shoes strategy. There is no way
that a sighted user can be used to simulate the expertise and skills of a
tester with a disability.

Too many companies continue to use automated tools and sighted users to
carry out their testing process. Too many companies use the above as part
of their simulation testing and I am often left at a loss to offer a
plausible explanation as to why they continue to disregard the expertise of
users with disabilities.

There is one piece of advice that I would like to offer and it is this: If
companies are using automated tools and in house sighted testers in order to
keep costs down by not hiring testers with disabilities it is not a good
strategy and why? Because in the long run these companies will only be
forced to pay more when they realize that at the end of the day their
websites are not as usable, navigable, and accessible as they should be.

Just my two cents for today.

I’m Donna J. Jodhan wishing you a terrific weekend.
To reach me, please send an email to info@sterlingcreations.ca

Here is a complete list of where you can view Donna’s blogs and editorials.
Donna Jodhan! Advocating accessibility for all
http://www.donnajodhan.blogspot.com
Weekly features on how to increase your success with your business ventures
http://www.sterlingcreations.com/businessdesk.htm
Weekly articles and editorials on issues about accessibility
http://www.sterlingcreations.ca/blog
Learn more about Author Donna Jodhan and her campaign against bullying at
www.jodhanmysterybook.club
Now you can enjoy Donna’s detective DJ crime crushers Series by visiting
http://www.donnajodhan.com

And now her weekly podcast at www.donnajodhan.com/takeanother5.html
From recipes to apps, and from 5 minutes mysteries to tips for entrepreneurs
and alerts on the latest scams
Available for download from iTunes and Google music play.

You can follow me on twitter @accessibleworld
and chat with me on Skype at habsfan0526.
Like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/authordonnajodhan

Now you can subscribe to my monthly newsletter.
‘Let’s Talk Tips’ is your monthly resource for the most current and reliable
informational tips available in the areas of Technology, Nutrition, Media,
Business, and Advocacy.
http://bit.ly/ADJSubscribe

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

CRTC Mandates Standards for TTY, IP Relay Accessibility Messaging Services

Hello there and welcome to our newest segment: Where we highlight important
articles on topics pertaining to advocacy.

We are introducing this segment based on several requests that we have
received from readers.
Please feel free to send us your feedback and if you wish us to publish your
own articles then by all means send it along to info@sterlingcreations.ca

Please take a moment to subscribe to our newest newsletter:
‘Let’s Talk Tips’ is your monthly resource for the most current and reliable
informational tips available in the areas of Technology, Nutrition, Media,
Business, and Advocacy.
http://bit.ly/ADJSubscribe

With best wishes
From the business desk team
Follow us on Twitter @accessibleworld

+++++++++++++++

CRTC Mandates Standards for TTY, IP Relay Accessibility Messaging Services

Individuals who are deaf, hard-of-hearing or deafblind will soon have access
to faster, better message
relay services By Sameer Chhabra

Dec 14, 2018

Canada’s telecommunications watchdog has
issued a decision mandating standards for
message relay services.

According to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications
Commission’s (CRTC) December
14th, 2018 decision, groups that provide text-based message relay services
(MRS) like teletypewriter
relay (TTY) and internet protocol relay (IP relay) will be required to
implement quality of service
standards, as well as a standard for call answer time and typing speed.

As per the CRTC’s latest telecom decision, 80 percent of all calls each
months will need to be responded
to by a live MRS operator within 20 seconds.

The CRTC will raise the standard to 85 percent and 10 seconds in 12 months.

“MRS providers that engage a third-party service provider must ensure that
the provider meets these
requirements,” reads an excerpt from the CRTC’s December 14th decision.

In addition to setting a standard for call answer time, the Commission
determined that every MRS
operator will need to achieve a typing speed of 45 words-per-minute, with a
95 percent transcription
accurate rate.

“MRS providers must monitor the typing speeds of the MRS operators and may
measure typing speeds
once a year using a statistically random sample of MRS operators,” reads
another excerpt.

“Alternatively, MRS providers that engage a third-party service provider
must ensure that the provider
meets these requirements.”

Wireless service providers across Canada have also been ordered to “make
enhanced functionality
available to IP relay users.”

“The Commission also directs Bell Canada et al., Cogeco, Eastlink, RCCI,
SaskTel, Shaw, TCI, and
Videotron to consult accessibility groups to determine how the minimum
functionality requirements will
be achieved for IP relay service, and to file a report with the Commission,
within six months of the date
of this decision, that describes the outcomes of discussions and that lists
the accessibility groups that
were consulted,” the CRTC wrote.

The Commission also ordered any group that provides mobile wireless voice
services to provide IP relay
to their customers within six months of the December 14th decision.

“WSPs will be responsible for recovering their costs and may use their own
discretion to determine how
to do so,” said the CRTC.

“The Commission does not expect that a separate fee for IP relay service
would be identified on
subscribers’ bills, but rather that the cost of offering IP relay service
would be included in the cost of
providing the subscribers’ telecommunications services.”

Canada’s larger carriers have until the end of 2019 to provide the CRTC with
plans to support relay
service based on real-time text, “which can be transmitted over modern
wireless networks.”

“IP relay service will continue to be offered to all home phone subscribers
and will also be offered to all
cell phone subscribers,” reads an excerpt from a December 14th, 2018 CRTC
media release.

“Any cell phone subscriber who wishes to access IP relay service will not be
required to subscribe to a
home phone service.”

The CRTC added that its latest decision doesn’t affect video relay services.

MobileSyrup has reached out to the Deaf Wireless Canada Committee (DWCC) for
comment. This story
will be updated with a response.

“Our group believes in providing all telecommunications options possible,
unfortunately, the CRTC
decided to focus on only one of the options IP-browser web-based relay
services and did not mandate
IP-Relay apps because they would rather wait until Real Time Text becomes
available.

Once again, we are left to wait until everything becomes accessible, again
we are left behind in
stagnation and waiting to catch up with others in Canadian society.”

https://mobilesyrup.com/2018/12/14/crtc-decision-accessibility-mrs-tty-ip-relay-services/

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Full digital banking by 2020

Greetings and a very happy 2019 to everyone.
We are pleased to be back with you and we want to thank all of our customers
for their continuing support and words of encouragement.
Today I am delighted to share our president’s weekly editorial with you and
for this week Donna J. Jodhan focuses her attention on digital banking by
2020.
Enjoy your first January weekend.
I’m Scott Savoy.

+++++++++++++++

Full digital banking by 2020
By Donna J. Jodhan

The topic of full digital banking continues to be a hotly debated topic in
Canada but this subject not only affects Canadians, it affects all customers
doing business with banks around the Globe.

On the one hand, we have banks that strongly submit that digital banking is
the way to go and that in the medium to long run it is going to benefit all
customers; even if they are blind and vision impaired. However, on the
other hand we have blind and vision impaired customers who strongly argue
that they are being left out.

No matter who is right; only time will tell but we need to keep in mind that
to no one’s surprise, technology continues to set the pace and tone of the
landscape.

True rumours
In late 2017, it was rumoured that Canadian banks had set a deadline for
going entirely digital and this was somewhat confirmed shortly after these
rumours started circulating. At first, Canadian banks were hesitant to
confirm this date but as time marches on we believe that this date may
indeed be true. However, as it goes; Banks often wear their caustious
costume until they feel that it is the right time to disclose.

In a recent interview with one official of the Royal Bank of Canada, they
offered up this quote:
“I see many benefits for customers who are blind and low vision. New
technology like voice and AI are already opening the doors for independence
and inclusion in a lot of ways. So, I think the
biggest advantage for customers who are blind and low vision is that new
technology will continue to equalize the playing field, and accelerate their
entry into mainstream banking.”

Present Canadian environment
Despite the push to full digital banking in Canada by 2020, it is hoped that
banks would recognize that there are a few important pieces to this picture
that need to be addressed and if these missing pieces are not addressed and
dealt with in an efficient manner, then equal digital banking may be
extremely difficult to accomplish.

Most banks are still working to make their websites usable and accessible to
persons who are blind and vision impaired. Forms are still a challenge for
said groups of persons to complete independently and as a result blind and
vision impaired persons have major concerns about their privacy.

There are many sighted persons who continue to complain that online banking
is a challenge for them so what should we think it would be for blind and
vision impaired persons?

In addition, banks are not providing adequate customer service to assist
blind and vision impaired persons to learn and understand how to take
advantage of digital banking.

Ramifications and benefits
There are arguably two sides to this; the ramifications and the benefits.

The ramifications could be that not only would blind and vision impaired
persons be left behind; seniors and those who did not grow up in the
technology era would also be affected.

Why would this be so for blind and vision impaired persons? Let’s just say
that access technology is not known for keeping up with technological
evolution so why now would this be different? In short, access technology
is continually having to catch up with technological changes and the gap
continues to widen.

The argument for benefits would be that blind and vision impaired persons
would now be able to conduct their online banking more freely and
independently without having to depend on sighted assistance and that their
privacy would be guaranteed.

Peaking into the future
The future of digital banking as seen through the lenses of blind and vision
impaired persons could be described as an upcoming nightmare that will
become reality before they know it. There does not seem to be any way to
stop this nightmare except to make their voices heard but we are left to
wonder what could be done in order to soften the blow?

Banks will argue that the consumer market made up of blind and vision
impaired persons is not large enough to be a concern to them but blind and
vision impaired persons could counter argue that it is their right to have
their privacy and confidentiality protected no matter what.

Conclusion
If banks really want to ensure that the playing field is equal for all of
their customers, they will need to address the following:
* Ensure that their online banking facilities are usable and navigable.
* Ensure that access technology is fully capable of interacting with their
facilities.
* Carry out meaningful testing to ensure the above; this means partnering
with users who are blind and vision impaired.
* Work with manufacturers of access technology to develop mobile apps,
computer programs, and phone applications.

Just my two cents for today.

I’m Donna J. Jodhan wishing you a terrific weekend.
To reach me, please send an email to info@sterlingcreations.ca

Here is a complete list of where you can view Donna’s blogs and editorials.
Donna Jodhan! Advocating accessibility for all
http://www.donnajodhan.blogspot.com
Weekly features on how to increase your success with your business ventures
http://www.sterlingcreations.com/businessdesk.htm
Weekly articles and editorials on issues about accessibility
http://www.sterlingcreations.ca/blog
Learn more about Author Donna Jodhan and her campaign against bullying at
www.jodhanmysterybook.club
Now you can enjoy Donna’s detective DJ crime crushers Series by visiting
http://www.donnajodhan.com

And now her weekly podcast at www.donnajodhan.com/takeanother5.html
From recipes to apps, and from 5 minutes mysteries to tips for entrepreneurs
and alerts on the latest scams
Available for download from iTunes and Google music play.

You can follow me on twitter @accessibleworld
and chat with me on Skype at habsfan0526.
Like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/authordonnajodhan

Now you can subscribe to my monthly newsletter.
‘Let’s Talk Tips’ is your monthly resource for the most current and reliable

informational tips available in the areas of Technology, Nutrition, Media,
Business, and Advocacy.
http://bit.ly/ADJSubscribe

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

In every journey 2018

Dear readers: As we approach the end of another year, I wanted to drop by
and share my thoughts with you and for this year I’d like to use some words
of wisdom that were sent to me by a very special lady; Denise Sanders and
she did this when I was president of the Alliance for Equality of Blind
Canadians.
Here goes:
“In every journey there is meaning.
In every conflict, there is growth.
In every action, there is purpose.
In every moment of doubt,
Remember to believe!”

Very strong words sent to me by a very powerful lady and these are ones that
I shall treasure always.

I can easily say that 2018 was a year where my patience, perseverance,
commitment and beliefs were put to the test and it is with great relief that
I can say that I managed to stick to them all.

It was a year where I continued to listen, learn, share, and appreciate and
I felt that I did a good job when it came to sharing my love on more than
Christmas Day. In the words of the late Michael Jackson in one of his songs
where he asks us to “give love on Christmas day”, I did my best to do much
more than this.

I continued to believe that in another song that says “let there be peace on
earth and let it begin with me,” and I witnessed true perseverance when on
June 20 Minister Duncan rose in the Canadian House of Commons to introduce
the Accessible Canada Act.

This was the third attempt at trying to accomplish this magnanimous task and
I am not embarrassed to share that as I sat at my computer thousands of
miles away in the Caribbean and watched as Anthony and Thomas sent me emails
telling me that Minister Duncan had risen to introduce Bill C81, I could not
help but shed tears of joy!

Their emails arrived within minutes of this momentous occasion and as I sat
there with tears rolling down my cheeks my one and only thought was that
finally! We had done it but the work has only just begun.

I am extremely grateful to call Canada my home! A country with an abundance
of resources and generosity and a country that has opened its doors to
thousands of migrants and refugees!

Each time I have a glass of clean drinking water, sit down to eat a hot
meal, receive free medical treatment, and much more; I thank God for where I
live and can only hope that for 2019 more persons who live in war torn areas
or economically distressed countries would somehow be able to start enjoying
some of what I presently can.

There is so much that so many of us take for granted and I can only share
that each time I think of complaining I stop and remember that there are
millions of others living outside of Canada who can only dream of enjoying
what I do.

I strongly believe that we need to do more when it comes to protecting our
future. This being the lives of those poor innocent kids whose only request
of us is that we find ways to better protect them from war, hardships, and
incidents of crime and violence.

Each time a kid is killed or dies of starvation or sickness, it means that a
tiny light of hope has been taken away from us and that a wee part of our
future is now in jeopardy because we selfishly snuffed it out. Each time we
commit acts of bullying or crime in their presence it means that we are only
teaching them bad manners and bad habits.
Each time we allow our kids to fall prey to war, suffering, and violence, it
means that we are failing them but most of all we are failing ourselves!

We cannot and must not ignore their cries for and of help. We must do our
part to ensure that our future and their future are secure and ensured.

I will close in thanking my family, friends, and associates for the love and
support that they continue to give to me and I hope that 2019 is a good year
for everyone.

With very best wishes
Donna

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Fighting for our future – we have no choice

Greetings everyone and do you feel what I feel?
It’s the weekend before the big day and we want to wish every one the very
best for this festive season!
We are going to be taking a wee break ourselves but in the meantime we want
to share our president’s final editorial with you for this year and for
today Donna J. Jodhan focuses on fighting for our future.
Happy holidays! Merry Christmas!
I’m Scott Savoy

+++++++++++++++

Fighting for our future
By Donna J. Jodhan

As I sit here contemplating the past year, it occurs to me that yes! Much
more needs to be done when it comes to fighting for our future. We have
done much in this area but now we need to encourage our under 50s folks to
put more effort in to committing, engaging, collaborating, and
communicating.

True it is that things have changed markedly especially so over the last
decade but this does not mean that the fight should end here. Today’s
generation is blessed with much more than those who are over 50 years. They
must not forget that their blessings are a direct result of the hard work
that those before them worked so very hard for.

Today’s generation needs to fully understand that things did not happen by
magic. They materialized as a result of commitment, engagement,
collaboration, and communication. They materialized because those before
them fought for them and fought the good fight.

It happened in the same way that our brave young men and women fought for
our future when they served in Wars gone by. As I often say to younger
ones; when you wake up each morning and reach for your iDevice, just
remember that this came to you courtesy of yesterday Generation’s
technological innovations and visions. Especially so to Steve Jobs and his
foresights.

Just my two cents for today.

I’m Donna J. Jodhan wishing you a terrific weekend.
To reach me, please send an email to info@sterlingcreations.ca

Here is a complete list of where you can view Donna’s blogs and editorials.
Donna Jodhan! Advocating accessibility for all
http://www.donnajodhan.blogspot.com
Weekly features on how to increase your success with your business ventures
http://www.sterlingcreations.com/businessdesk.htm
Weekly articles and editorials on issues about accessibility
http://www.sterlingcreations.ca/blog
Learn more about Author Donna Jodhan and her campaign against bullying at
www.jodhanmysterybook.club
Now you can enjoy Donna’s detective DJ crime crushers Series by visiting
http://www.donnajodhan.com

And now her weekly podcast at www.donnajodhan.com/takeanother5.html
From recipes to apps, and from 5 minutes mysteries to tips for entrepreneurs
and alerts on the latest scams
Available for download from iTunes and Google music play.

You can follow me on twitter @accessibleworld
and chat with me on Skype at habsfan0526.
Like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/authordonnajodhan

Now you can subscribe to my monthly newsletter.
‘Let’s Talk Tips’ is your monthly resource for the most current and reliable

informational tips available in the areas of Technology, Nutrition, Media,
Business, and Advocacy.
http://bit.ly/ADJSubscribe

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Top advocacy news of the week – Public libraries face barriers lending ebooks, audiobooks

Hello there and welcome to our newest segment: Where we highlight important
articles on topics pertaining to advocacy.

We are introducing this segment based on several requests that we have
received from readers.
Please feel free to send us your feedback and if you wish us to publish your
own articles then by all means send it along to info@sterlingcreations.ca

Please take a moment to subscribe to our newest newsletter:
‘Let’s Talk Tips’ is your monthly resource for the most current and reliable

informational tips available in the areas of Technology, Nutrition, Media,
Business, and Advocacy.
http://bit.ly/ADJSubscribe

With best wishes
From the business desk team
Follow us on Twitter @accessibleworld

+++++++++++++++

Public libraries face barriers lending ebooks, audiobooks

The Canadian Press

The Toronto Star Dec. 18, 2018

EDMONTON – If your holiday plans include downloading an audiobook of
Margaret Atwood’s A
Handmaid’s Tale from a public library collection, or unwinding with an
electronic copy of Justin
Trudeau’s Common Ground, you could be out of luck.

Libraries across Canada are running into barriers in accessing both ebooks
and digital audiobooks for
their patrons.

Sharon Day, who chairs an e-content working group for the Canadian Urban
Library Council, says major
ebook publishers are charging unfair prices and Audible – the company that
owns the rights to many
digital audiobooks – is declining to share them at all.

“Some of the material just isn’t available at all,” Day said, noting that’s
especially true for audiobooks.

In the case of ebooks, there are restrictive library licensing models in
place that are set by the
publishers, she said.

Each of Canada’s “Big 5” publishers – Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins,
Macmillan, Penguin Random
House and Simon & Schuster – subscribe to the so-called “one copy, one user”
model that mirrors a
physical lending model.

That means the ebook “copy” can only be downloaded on one device at a time.

Some of those publishers also have more restrictions. For example, each copy
of a Macmillan ebook
expires after 52 circulations or two years, whichever comes first, Day said.

However, the problem isn’t necessarily the model but the price, she said.

While a physical book might cost $22, it can cost the library $100 for a
copy of the electronic version.

“We face excessively high prices and restrictive models for these ebooks,”
she said.

The price continues to rise when libraries purchase multiple copies of an
ebook in an effort to shorten
wait lists.

“It’s not a sustainable model. We’re having trouble making sure we have all
the content for our
customers that they want to see,” Day said.

Neither Audible nor the Big 5 publishers could immediately be reached for
comment.

Day said libraries aren’t looking for a handout; just a more fair deal that
balances the importance of
compensating authors with providing democratic access to the content.

“It’s our core mandate to provide universal access to information for
everyone in a society,” she said.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Your calendar and your clock

Greetings! Do you know what I know?
Yes indeed! It is the holidays and Christmas bells are ringing!
The most lovliest time of the year! and for today I am pleased to share our
president’s weekly editorial with you!
For this week, Donna J. Jodhan zooms in on your calendar and your clock and
she has some comments to share.
Happy shopping to all!
I’m Christian Robicheau!

+++++++++++++++

Your calendar and your clock
By Donna J. Jodhan

I can only say that it appears to me that more of us seem to be making less
use of our calendar and our clock. Up until about 10 years ago, we seemed
to be very conscious of time and dates but alas! This tradition seems to be
slipping away from us.

Whenever someone tells me that they forgot to put an appointment into their
calendar my immediate thought is why is this and whenever someone is more
than 15 minutes late; then I ask myself if they were not checking their
clocks or watches?

True it is that last minute emergencies will always play a role in this but
then my response to this is that one should have the courtesy to give
notification.

Sure, phone calls sometimes run over the time limit and then there are the
traffic snarls to deal with but my response to this is that we need to be
more conscientious with our time management.

I have little or no sympathy for someone who tells me that a certain date
and time are good for them and then when I phone at the appointed time they
are not there and then I only hear from them a day later.

Please, save your breath. I only take this to mean that it was not
important enough to you in the first place.

Just my two cents for today.

I’m Donna J. Jodhan wishing you a terrific weekend.
To reach me, please send an email to info@sterlingcreations.ca

Here is a complete list of where you can view Donna’s blogs and editorials.
Donna Jodhan! Advocating accessibility for all
http://www.donnajodhan.blogspot.com
Weekly features on how to increase your success with your business ventures
http://www.sterlingcreations.com/businessdesk.htm
Weekly articles and editorials on issues about accessibility
http://www.sterlingcreations.ca/blog
Learn more about Author Donna Jodhan and her campaign against bullying at
www.jodhanmysterybook.club
Now you can enjoy Donna’s detective DJ crime crushers Series by visiting
http://www.donnajodhan.com

And now her weekly podcast at www.donnajodhan.com/takeanother5.html
From recipes to apps, and from 5 minutes mysteries to tips for entrepreneurs
and alerts on the latest scams
Available for download from iTunes and Google music play.

You can follow me on twitter @accessibleworld
and chat with me on Skype at habsfan0526.
Like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/authordonnajodhan

Now you can subscribe to my monthly newsletter.
‘Let’s Talk Tips’ is your monthly resource for the most current and reliable

informational tips available in the areas of Technology, Nutrition, Media,
Business, and Advocacy.
http://bit.ly/ADJSubscribe

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

harnessing the power of AI to help people with disabilities

Hello there and welcome to our newest segment: Where we highlight important
articles on topics pertaining to advocacy.

We are introducing this segment based on several requests that we have
received from readers.
Please feel free to send us your feedback and if you wish us to publish your
own articles then by all means send it along to info@sterlingcreations.ca

Please take a moment to subscribe to our newest newsletter:
‘Let’s Talk Tips’ is your monthly resource for the most current and reliable

informational tips available in the areas of Technology, Nutrition, Media,
Business, and Advocacy.
http://bit.ly/ADJSubscribe

With best wishes
From the business desk team
Follow us on Twitter @accessibleworld

+++++++++++++++

harnessing the power of AI to help people with disabilities;
New assistive technology helps our aging population cope with wide range of
challenges

Danica Kirka The Associated Press

The Toronto Star
Sept. 15, 2018

Hadeel Ayoub slips a black glove onto her hand before beginning the swish of
sign language that is meaningless to the untrained observer. Then she pushes
a button on her wrist, and a small speaker relays the message drawn in the
air: “Let’s Dance!”

“My dream is to give a voice to those who can’t speak,” says the 36-year-old
inventor who is developing her BrightSign glove while working toward a Ph.D.
in assistive technology at Goldsmiths, University of London.

Ayoub’s glove is just one example of a bigger trend as entrepreneurs,
startups and companies like Microsoft and Google try to harness the power of
artificial intelligence to make life easier for people with disabilities.
The initiatives come as the World Health Organization estimates that the
number of people needing assistive devices ranging from wheelchairs to
communication technologies will double to 2 billion by 2050.

Improvements in artificial intelligence, combined with the decreasing cost
of hardware, are making it possible for inventors to develop new products
without the need for the deep pockets of governments or corporations. With
the help of 3D printers and the increased processing power of home
computers, they are creating devices designed for people with motor, vision,
hearing and cognitive impairments.

Microsoft and Google are trying to spur work in this area, offering a total
of $45 million in grants to developers of assistive technologies. Microsoft
says it hopes to identify promising projects that can eventually be
incorporated into widely available services.

“We’re certainly seeing an explosion of new technology that is looking to
support people with disabilities,” said Zvika Krieger, head of technology
policy and partnerships at the World Economic Forum. “There are a lot of
innovators out there … who are looking to move beyond maybe a dating app
or a social networking app and are looking to do something that really helps
the disadvantaged.”

While Ayoub hopes her efforts pay off financially, she says she is driven by
a desire to create a world where disabilities become meaningless. She is
trying to raise 1 million pounds ($1.7 million) to bring BrightSign to the
market, estimating her gloves will cost “a few hundred dollars” each,

compared with $2,000 or more for existing technology.

“My dream for BrightSign is to be the extension of the senses for the people
… who want to voice their feelings and opinions without having to always
look for someone to help them out – to give them the independence that they
need and control over their own communication,” she said.

The need for such products is only going to increase as the world’s
population ages, increasing the number of people with physical, cognitive,
vision and hearing problems, according to a WHO report published this year.
The challenge is to develop new technologies while also increasing the
availability of simple devices like spectacles and wheelchairs that many
people can’t afford.

Companies are starting to recognize the financial potential of the market,
as these innovations can improve products sold more widely, said Hector
Minto, who has the unusual title of “accessibility evangelist” at Microsoft.

For example, Microsoft last year launched its free Seeing AI app, which
turns a smart phone into a “talking camera” that helps visually impaired
people do things like scan and read aloud text, recognize faces and identify
products bar codes. Similar technology goes into the company’s text
Translator service, which costs businesses $10 to $45,000 a month, depending
on the number of transactions.

“Absolutely I think there’s a unique business case on its own, but
definitely there’s a much larger business case for Microsoft in that the
tools of the future quite often will come through a disability lens,” he
said.

It’s important to remember that all of us have impairments at times, says
Robin Christopherson, head of digital inclusion at the British charity
AbilityNet, which helps older people and the disabled use computers.

He explains it like this: a person with perfect sight might have a visual
impairment when trying to read a smart phone in bright sunlight, or a person
with perfect hearing can struggle to understand a phone call when on the
street outside. As a result, technology that helps people with permanent
vision or hearing problems also makes products better for everyone. In the
past five years, AbilityNet’s team of experts who test products to ensure
they work well for the disabled has grown from six people to 22.

Innovation has not yet produced products good enough to offer complete
freedom for the impaired, said Tom Kamber, executive director of
Brooklyn-based Older Adults Technology Services, a non-profit that helps the
elderly use technology. But there is reason for optimism because investors
are actively looking for the next big thing in technology, he said.

“There’s no shortage of people in Silicon Valley that will take your call,”
Kamber said. “The sector has advanced to the point that a lot of money is
going to be made.”

The Holy Grail is for such technology to be integrated into off-the-shelf
products, so people with disabilities can get the help they need without
extra cost, said Christopherson of AbilityNet. Christopherson, who is blind,
cited the iPhone, which allowed him to swap a backpack full of equipment and
cables for one device.

And then there’s the opportunity for technology to help people with
impairments experience the world in completely different ways.

Ford Motor Co. worked with the Aedo Project, an Italian startup, to create a
device that helps blind people “feel the view” outside a car window by
turning light into vibrations that, when combined with audio description,
convey a sense of the scenery passing by.

While the technology is only in the prototype stage, one blind man who
worked on the project described his amazement when he tried out the device
for the first time.

“My first sensation when my finger went from the mountain to the sky felt
like I had ended up in cream, something milky, something soft,” Antonio
Bruni said. “They told me: These were clouds.”

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment