Walk a mile in my shoes

My perspective
Walk a mile in my shoes

This is usually the tact that I take whenever I feel that someone does not
quite understand my world. Whenever someone challenges me to explain why it
was necessary for me to have sued the Canadian Government over their
inaccessible websites, my response is: Walk a mile in my shoes and see what
it is like.

For the mainstream person, it is easy for them to gain access to information
on the Internet if they have access to a computer and Internet connections.
For us as blind persons, it is not that easy. Several additional components
must be in place in order for things to work for us.

First, we need to have access technology installed on our computers and what
is access technology? The software that enables us to hear what is on the
screen or software that enlarges the text on the screen. Or software that
enables us to communicate with our computer via Braille.

Next, we need to be able to communicate with websites through the use of our
access technology and if websites are not configured so that this
communication can take place, then in a word we are sunk. In short,
websites need to be designed so that we can all read and communicate with
web content, forms, and files.

We are living in a society whereby we depend on information to help us make
decisions, keep up to date on the latest happenings, plus much more. So
here is the question of the day: How would you feel if you were unable to
read information on the Internet? Chances are you would be extremely
unhappy and you would eventually do something about it and this is exactly
what I did.

I’m Donna J. Jodhan your friendly accessibility advocate wishing you a
terrific day and encouraging you to go out there and share my blogs with
others. Visit www.bakerlaw.ca to learn more about why I sued the Canadian
Government over their inaccessible websites.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

What would I want most to see again?

Greetings! I’m Christian Robicheau; assistant editor at
http://www.sterlingcreations.ca and it is the weekend before the holiday
weekend.
Say good bye to June and don’t think that I have ever seen a month like this
with such a mixed bag of good and cold weather.
Today, I am delighted to share our president’s weekly editorial with you and
Donna J. Jodhan focuses her attention on a very personal issue.
I now invite you to read on.
Enjoy your weekend.

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What would I want most to see again?
By Donna J. Jodhan

I guess that for most of us we never really appreciate what we have until it
is suddenly taken away from us. This is the way that I feel now.

In 2004 I lost my functional vision due to a horrific retinal detachment and
I’ll be honest in saying that it took me at least a year to readjust to the
world of almost total blindness. No, I was not angry; just extremely sad
and disappointed.

This however has not stopped me from cherishing my memories and the beauty
of it all is that I can recall these memories at a moment’s notice. The
interesting thing is that my dreams are all filled with vision but in
reality I am almost totally blind.

So to the question of the day: What would I want to see most again? Well,
here goes.

The faces of my loved ones; mom, brother, and other family members.
My beloved flickering candles in a Church and the Manger with Baby Jesus in
the arms of Mary and Joseph.
The bright blue skies, puffy white clouds, a golden sun, the big bold face
of the moon, and silver raindrops running down the panes of windows.

Then fat snowflakes chasing each other to the ground. Ice skaters skating
around on the ice rink. Christmas lights flickering on Christmas trees and
around the ice rink.
My favourite hockey team skating up the ice. figure skaters doing their
flips and jumps. The cool green grass. Flowers swaying in the breeze. Tall
trees with fresh green foliage and I could go on forever.

O yes! The birds flying close by. Stars twinkling on a dark night. Santa
Clause all decked out in his favourite red suit. And then! A wonderful
world!

I’m Donna J. Jodhan wishing you a terrific day and weekend.
You can follow me on twitter @accessibleworld
and chat with me on Skype at habsfan0526.
Like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/authordonnajodhan
To reach me, please send an email to info@sterlingcreations.ca and I would
be delighted to send you an electronic copy of our latest newsletter. Or
you can view all of our newsletters at
http://www.sterlingcreations.ca/newsletter.html

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

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

What would I want most to see again?

Greetings! I’m Christian Robicheau; assistant editor at
http://www.sterlingcreations.ca and it is the weekend before the holiday
weekend.
Say good bye to June and don’t think that I have ever seen a month like this
with such a mixed bag of good and cold weather.
Today, I am delighted to share our president’s weekly editorial with you and
Donna J. Jodhan focuses her attention on a very personal issue.
I now invite you to read on.
Enjoy your weekend.

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

What would I want most to see again?
By Donna J. Jodhan

I guess that for most of us we never really appreciate what we have until it
is suddenly taken away from us. This is the way that I feel now.

In 2004 I lost my functional vision due to a horrific retinal detachment and
I’ll be honest in saying that it took me at least a year to readjust to the
world of almost total blindness. No, I was not angry; just extremely sad
and disappointed.

This however has not stopped me from cherishing my memories and the beauty
of it all is that I can recall these memories at a moment’s notice. The
interesting thing is that my dreams are all filled with vision but in
reality I am almost totally blind.

So to the question of the day: What would I want to see most again? Well,
here goes.

The faces of my loved ones; mom, brother, and other family members.
My beloved flickering candles in a Church and the Manger with Baby Jesus in
the arms of Mary and Joseph.
The bright blue skies, puffy white clouds, a golden sun, the big bold face
of the moon, and silver raindrops running down the panes of windows.

Then fat snowflakes chasing each other to the ground. Ice skaters skating
around on the ice rink. Christmas lights flickering on Christmas trees and
around the ice rink.
My favourite hockey team skating up the ice. figure skaters doing their
flips and jumps. The cool green grass. Flowers swaying in the breeze. Tall
trees with fresh green foliage and I could go on forever.

O yes! The birds flying close by. Stars twinkling on a dark night. Santa
Clause all decked out in his favourite red suit. And then! A wonderful
world!

I’m Donna J. Jodhan wishing you a terrific day and weekend.
You can follow me on twitter @accessibleworld
and chat with me on Skype at habsfan0526.
Like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/authordonnajodhan
To reach me, please send an email to info@sterlingcreations.ca and I would
be delighted to send you an electronic copy of our latest newsletter. Or
you can view all of our newsletters at
http://www.sterlingcreations.ca/newsletter.html

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

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Meet the slice app

Are you looking for a product or service that can help to make life easier
for you or a family
member or friend? Or maybe you are looking for a story to help motivate a
family member or friend who is struggling to deal with their loss of vision?
Not sure where to look?
Well, we have a nifty piece of info to share with you this week.
Enjoy!
The Sterling Creations team
Follow us on Twitter @accessibleworld

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Meet the Slice app

If you are a person who goes online often enough to do your shopping, then
the Slice app is definitely worth considering.
It is easy to use, has tons of benefits, and makes organizing your life a
lot easier.

The Slice app is A terrific app for those who order online and receive
packages.
It organizes everything you order online.
It interfaces with hundredes of online vendors and you can add your own.

The Slice app works by automatically processing the emails you receive from
merchants such as order and shipping confirmations. To use this app you
must have either a gmail or yahoo email address.
Then you must use this email address with the merchant that you want the
Slice app to track.

Tabs across the bottom include:
Home, updates, history, and settings.
You will need to set up your account in the settings tab the first time you
use the Slice app.
The Home tab gives you a summary of all of the purchases being tracked.
The Updates tab gives you shipping and delivery info.
The History tab gives you a list of all of your past purchases.

So why not go out there and make friends with this little gem?
It is available for free at the App Store which you can reach through your i
device.

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Technology company wins award fo

Each Wednesday, we will be bringing you an article of interest as it
pertains to the topic of accessibility and we hope you can use
it to become more familiar with this particular area.
This has become a rapidly growing and very important area and why?
Because the number of consumers in this market is growing and will continue
to do so for the forseeable future.
Governments, corporations, and individuals are paying more attention.
Please read on.
The Sterling Creations team
Follow us on Twitter @accessibleworld.

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

‘taken from e-access bulletin, a free
monthly email newsletter’, http://www.headstar.com/eab

Technology company wins award for ‘helping kids learn’ across the globe
A UK assistive technology company has been given a prestigious business
award for exporting an e-learning software package for children with
disabilities.
Inclusive Technology – which provides equipment for individuals with
physical disabilities, sensory impairments or learning difficulties –
received a Queen’s Award for Enterprise for its HelpKidzLearn product.
HelpKidzLearn features games, activities and tools designed for young
children with a range of specialist learning needs.
The company was recognised in the ‘International Trade’ category of the
Queen’s Award for Enterprise (an annual event that commends a range UK
business achievements), for signing up over 25,000 paying subscribers to
HelpKidzLearn across 148 countries.
The United States is the largest user of HelpKidzLearn, and the product is
also being used in 14 countries across Europe, in eight different
languages.
The basic HelpKidzLearn package costs £55/$99 for one annual subscription
(the idea is for a teacher or parent to purchase the subscription, and use
the package with a child). Other multiple subscriptions (for use in
schools, with multiple learners) can also be purchased. The package
provides over 80 activities designed to aid learning.
The activities – including games, quizzes, stories and songs – can be
accessed on a range of devices and equipment, such as keyboard switches,
touch-screen, rollerball mouse and eye-tracking technology. A free, basic
version of HelpKidzLearn is also available, featuring ten activities (Read
more at the HelpKidzLearn website:
http://eab.li/o
).
Chairman, CEO and co-founder of Inclusive Technology Martin Littler – who
also founded the British Assistive Technology Association (BATA) – will
collect the award at Buckingham Palace, London, in July. In a statement on
the Inclusive Technology website, Littler said: “I am absolutely
delighted with this brilliant award, which I feel recognises the huge
contribution that the whole British assistive technology industry has made
during the past 40 years. Of course, the award is also a huge pat on the
back for our team of developers, teachers and therapists, all of whom get a
buzz from producing resources which can transform the lives of learners
with special educational needs and disabilities.”
Find out more at the Inclusive Technology website:
http://eab.li/p
.

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Techniques of banking

Just my two cents worth
Techniques of banking

I can only speak for myself when it comes to how I do my banking and I
encourage you to talk to other blind persons to see how they do it. The
first thing for me as a blind person is to ensure that at all times, my
confidentiality and privacy are protected.

So, I pay my bills using the phone system of my banking institution. I also
check my account balances and transfer funds if I need to. It is a great
phone system and affords me total privacy. If I run into any difficulty
then I can get immediate help from a customer service rep on the phone and I
have never had any difficulty with this service.

If I need to have any banking forms completed, then I go to my bank branch
and they are always ready and willing to help me. For everything else, I go
to them as well. The trick of the trade for me is to retain and maintain my
confidentiality and privacy. I do not engage in any sort of online banking
because I am not comfortable. Nor do I do any online purchasing because of
not being comfortable entering my credit card information.

I’m Donna J. Jodhan your friendly accessibility advocate wishing you a
terrific day and inviting you to go out there and share my blogs with
others.
Visit www.nfb.org to learn more.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Dealing with stress

Greetings! I’m Scott Savoy; managing editor at
http://www.sterlingcreations.ca and another fine weekend shaping up for the
month of June.
Today, I am delighted to share our president’s weekly editorial with you and
for this one Donna J. Jodhan talks about dealing with stress.
I wish you a great weekend.

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Dealing with stress
By Donna J. Jodhan

I’ll open my editorial by asking the question of the day: Is there any true
and hard way to affectively deal with stress? What works and what does not?
What really causes stress and how do we overcome it all?

It appears that I have lots of questions today but truth be told I too like
many others am looking for some proven answers. There may not be any proven
answers and there may not be any for quite some time to come. Suffice it to
say that I can only give you answers that have worked for me.

I have been an entrepreneur since 1994 and I can tell you that my stress
levels have spiralled out of control more times than I care to admit but
within the last two years I have certainly learned how to lessen the number
of stress spirals in my life.

To say that my life is a very busy one would just be the tip of the iceberg
but I am very sure that there are many with lives that are even more
cluttered than mine.

Not only am I an active entrepreneur; I am also a very busy advocate, third
law year student, and I pursue hobbies such as ice skating, knitting,
pottery, and blind tennis. In addition to all of this, I am a prolific
audio mystery writer who is also engaged in an anti bullying campaign.

So how do I deal with all of this? Where do I get the time to breathe? I
do it by making sure that everything is scheduled. All of my tasks are
ordered in sequence. I prioritize heavily and I make sure to stick to my
schedule.

If I find myself multi tasking then I make very sure not to overload my
plate with too many tasks. My motto is usually one thing at a time.
Sometimes it is hard to stick to this motto but I find that the more I can
do it the less stress I have.

Then in the midst of it all I find time to spend quiet moments at home and
go shopping with my mom and make time for her. I believe that my suite of
activities and tasks allow me to lead a balanced but hectic life. One that
I enjoy tremendously.

I humbly believe that the secret to my success lies in finding that much
sought after balance while at the same time enjoying every aspect of my day.

I’m Donna J. Jodhan wishing you a terrific day and weekend.
You can follow me on twitter @accessibleworld
and chat with me on Skype at habsfan0526.
Like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/authordonnajodhan
To reach me, please send an email to info@sterlingcreations.ca and I would
be delighted to send you an electronic copy of our latest newsletter. Or
you can view all of our newsletters at
http://www.sterlingcreations.ca/newsletter.html

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

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Meet the Gate Guru app

Are you looking for a product or service that can help to make life easier
for you or a family
member or friend? Or maybe you are looking for a story to help motivate a
family member or friend who is struggling to deal with their loss of vision?
Not sure where to look?
Well, we have a nifty piece of info to share with you this week.
Enjoy!
The Sterling Creations team
Follow us on Twitter @accessibleworld

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

Meet the Gate Guru app

If you spend a lot of time sitting in airports then the Gate Guru app may
just be what the Doctor has ordered. I am sure that many of us would love
to know where to find certain places in our airport so please read on.

This app is for the enterior of airports.
It tells you where different facilities and services in the airport are
located.
When first launched it asks you if you want airports closest to your
location or you can enter a specific airport in another city.

The Gate Guru app is good for if you have a lay over or are stuck in an
airport.
You need to set up an account with gateway guru before you use the checkin
option.
Tabs include terminals, checkpoints, reviews and tips.

At the top of the terminals tab are the food, shop, services, and all
buttons.

I strongly recommend giving this app a try and you can find it on your i
device at the app store.

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Evaluating the Accessibility of Jet, a New Online Shopping Site

Each Wednesday, we will be bringing you an article of interest as it
pertains to the topic of accessibility and we hope you can use
it to become more familiar with this particular area.
This has become a rapidly growing and very important area and why?
Because the number of consumers in this market is growing and will continue
to do so for the forseeable future.
Governments, corporations, and individuals are paying more attention.
Please read on.
The Sterling Creations team
Follow us on Twitter @accessibleworld.

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

Contributed by Dan thompson
Evaluating the Accessibility of Jet, a New Online Shopping Site
Bill Holton
http://www.afb.org/afbpress/pub.asp?DocID=aw170107
If you’re like me, you are doing more and more of your shopping online. It’s
far more convenient than trekking down to the store. You don’t need sighted
help to find what you’re
looking for, the selection is larger, and best of all, purchases are
delivered straight to your front door.
Currently, Amazon is the king of online retailers, but recently a new player
entered the online shopping arena. It’s called
Jet
, and their model is a bit different than Amazon’s.
https://jet.com/
The Jet model factors in the location of the warehouse that stocks your
desired purchases. It also factors in quantity. Since their shipping charges
will be roughly the same whether
you order a single item or a dozen, Jet increases your discount as you add
more items to your cart. They also feature Smart Cart items, which are
popular items available from the
shipping depot nearest you. You can additionally add a few cents savings to
each item by opting out of their free returns. Smart Cart items arrive in
two days; the others take three to
four days. Shipping is free with a $35 minimum order. Initially, Jet charged
a $50 annual membership fee, but recently they removed this charge;
membership is now free for all.
Accessibility of the Jet Site and Mobile Apps
Jet offers website shopping, along with both
iOS
and
Android
mobile apps.
I recently placed three orders, one on the web and the other two with the
mobile apps. Here’s what I found.
Shopping Online
Creating a Jet account was as simple as entering an e-mail address, zip
code, and password. The site included a “Show password” option, which made
things even easier. From
here you can search for items and add them to your cart. Shipping and
billing information is not required until the first time you check out. At
the time of this writing, Jet offered 15
percent off your first purchase of $35 or more (this offer appears to be
available until February 1, 2016).
The Jet site has not been optimized at all for accessibility. There is no
use of headings or other quick navigation keys. I found the best way to
quickly move to the search results was
to do a text search for “sort by” which places the cursor just above the
first entry. Above the cursor position are several search and filter
options. Searching for soap, for example, I
could filter the results by category, such as health and beauty, family
size, brand, color, and specialty soaps, such as alcohol-free,
hypoallergenic, and aroma therapy. I could also
filter to view only those results that were available to me via two-day
delivery.
Unfortunately, once you have clicked on an item, navigation is still not
particularly easy. You must either Tab repeatedly or use your screen
reader’s search hotkey to find the product
description and the Add to Cart link. The increase and decrease quantity
controls are also unlabeled links located to either side of the current
quantity ordered. Pressing either of
these only refreshes the quantity number, however, the page does not refresh
and cause you to lose your place.
As mentioned, as your order size increases, the price decreases. At the time
of this writing a 15.5 pound bag of Beneful Original Dog Food costs $13.36.
Order two bags and the
total decreases by $.66; the discount for three bags is $1.35. Of course you
may not wish to order three bags of dog food in a single order, but adding
other items to your cart also
increases your total savings, which is accessibly displayed near the top of
the cart page. When you want to access your shopping cart directly from a
page, look for the number of
items in your cart, which displays near the top of the page just beneath
your zip code–this is the actual cart link.
Returns are free for any reason. Jet even pays shipping. If you are willing
to forego the free return option, you can save just a tiny bit more. This
amount seems to be based on how
likely you are to return an item. I am not likely to suffer buyer’s remorse
over a bag of dog food. Consequently, foregoing free returns only saves me a
penny per bag. A stainless
steel canister set costing $33 offers a $.41 savings for no returns. A $518
Acer touch screen laptop offers $11.40. Note: Items that arrive damaged can
always be returned.
The site turns over merchandise quickly. A few items I had added to my cart
displayed as no longer available when I logged into my saved items a day
after I added them. Within a
day, however, they were again available.
I was able to accessibly enter my shipping and payment information and
complete my purchase. During one instance when I tried to enter a promotion
coupon I could not get it to
stick. Jet offers phone support, however, and this turned out to be a known
issue; the representative, known as a Jet Head, activated the discount.
Most of my items arrived in the allotted time. A few arrived late, but only
by a day or two. Items were exceptionally well packed, bottles and jars
arrived inside plastic seal bags with jar
lids wrapped in tape. My only objection to the shipping packaging was the
company’s tendency to pack items in the new, no fun here, unpoppable bubble
wrap.
Mobile Apps
The iOS and Android apps were simultaneously easier to use and considerably
more difficult. Running the iOS app with VoiceOver, the app had a tendency
to crash when I scrolled
rapidly, or when I neared the end of a results list that was 10 or more
pages long. My saved items were still in the cart when I reopened the app,
however. I did not experience these
crashes running the Android app.
Both apps have a number of unlabeled buttons. Most notably, the iOS app’s
search button appears unlabeled just beneath the Categories heading, the
actual “Categories” button just
above. Once found it was easy to keep track of from that point on. Category
and product searches are the best way to shop using the iOS app. VoiceOver
could not access the home
screen featured items; Android had no trouble with these controls. The
Android app did not display the remove item from cart controls, however.
Basically, at this point shopping Jet using either the iOS or Mobile app is
problematic at best. I did enjoy using the apps for browsing. Since they do
not have affiliate stores, the
selection is not as daunting as a typical Amazon “We found 3,145 results for
your search.” I also found the iOS app the easiest to use for editing the
cart and making the purchase.
Android users may wish to switch to the website for completing an order.
Tracking numbers were included in the shipped notification e-mails, so it
was easy to add these shipments to my Shiprack package tracking app so I
would know when to expect
what.
Conclusion
Finally, it would seem, Amazon has some viable competition. This can only
enhance service and help keep prices at their lowest. A few business
analysts have opined that Jet is
currently selling many items below their costs. Indeed, I do have to wonder
how long free shipping will be available on a 20-pound box of cat litter.
But as I recall, for years Amazon
sold below their costs to build market share, so in the long run, sometimes
this sort of model does succeed.
For me Jet is most useful for purchasing bulk items, or heavy items I don’t
want to carry home, such as paper towels, cat food and litter, trash bags
and the like. If I were making a
large purchase, such as a new TV or laptop, I would also use Jet as one of
my price comparison sites.
Despite some serious accessibility issues, I am giving Jet a tentative
recommendation. The apps are free, and if they don’t work for you, there is
always the web interface to fall back
on for a test purchase or two.
Hopefully, the company is aware of their accessibility failings and is
working hard to address them. If you’d care to give them a friendly nudge,
here are a few places to get started.
Company Contact Information
Website:
Jet
https://jet.com/
Phone: 1 (855) 538-4323
Email:
help@jet.com

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

At the buffet with mom

Reflecting
At the buffet with mom

In my humble opinion, this is what I think should happen for a blind or
partially sighted person whenever they go to a buffet table. It is the way
that mom and I do it and it has worked perfectly for me.

Mom waits until there are not too many persons at the buffet. Next I take
her arm and we walk to the beginning end of the table. She hands me my
plate and then proceeds to tell me what each dish is. I tell her what I
want if I am familiar with the dish and if I do not know what it is, or she
does not know what it is, she describes it to me as best as she can.

Mom carefully arranges my food on my plate and I pay attention to where she
is placing it. She never overloads my plate so as not to cause too much
clutter. By doing this, I am comfortable with what is on my plate and how
to navigate it. This means however, that I would need to go to the buffet
more than once. So here is how we do it.

First, we visit the cold stuff and choose our food. We may include soup in
this trip if either of us wants it. When we are finished we tackle the hot
food in two stages. She only describes what we are going to take. That is,
she breaks it up into manageable portions for us both; only describing a few
at a time until my plate is manageable.

Finally, the dessert. In the case of this, mom describes the entire dessert
table to me and then I choose. We never go more than once to the dessert
table.

I’m Donna J. Jodhan your friendly accessibility advocate wishing you a
terrific day and encouraging you to share my words with others. Visit
www.nfb.org to learn more.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment