How to make your hotel lobby more accessible

Hello everyone:
Each month I will be responding to a question; chosen from a pool of some of
the most commonly asked ones that I have been asked over the years and
continue to be asked.
This month, I’d like to answer the following question:
How to make your hotel lobby more accessible.

I guarantee you that following the strategies below will definitely help you
to attract more customers and increase your revenues.

You may be thinking that this is going to be quite a chore for you but
believe me when I tell you that it is not nearly as difficult as you may
think. The trick here is to keep it super simple and all will be well. I
have some tips to get you started.

1. Make sure that it is easy to access your hotel lobby from the outside.
Provide wheelchair ramps and doors that are easy to open. A door that
opens automatically, stays open long enough, and one that wheelchairs can
travel through easily.

2. Make sure that if you have carpets inside the doors that they are
securely fastened down so that no one can trip over them. These carpets
should be void of materials that are slippery. Think of those using canes,
wheelchairs, and walkers.

3. Yourservice/reception desk should either be straight ahead of the door
or very easy to find. In short, as close to the entrance as you can have
it.

4. If you have tiles on your floor then make sure that they are free of
being slippery and that they are in colours that are easy to see.

5. Make sure that hallways are easy to distinguish, and that walls are
painted in colours that enable persons to easily identify them.

6. Make sure that elevators are easy to find and that their doors are also
easily distinguishable.

7. You need to ensure that couches, sofas, and chairs and tables in the
waiting area are also easy to find. Chairs need to be suitable enough for
ease of comfort. Tables need to be at a reasonable height; not too low and
not too high.

This should be a good start for you.

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Procurement is key for accessible ICT in the workplace claims new guide

Hello there and welcome to our weekly feature titled top article of the
week.
Especially chosen for you, these articles will help you to keep up to date
with current trends plus a lot more.
Enjoy!

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

Procurement is key for accessible ICT in the workplace claims new guide
A detailed online resource to help employers purchase effective accessible
technology through their procurement processes has been released.
The guide, called ‘Buy IT!’, has been produced by the US-based
Partnership on Employment & Accessible Technology (PEAT).
The introduction to Buy IT! states that a successful accessible ICT
purchasing strategy means: “doing vendor research, specifying your
requirements, and validating the accessibility of your product choices
prior to accepting and implementing them. Most importantly, it means
approaching ICT procurement with an eye toward accessibility and usability
from the very beginning.”
A detailed step-by-step plan for employers and purchasing staff is then set
out, explaining how to work towards an accessible procurement programme in
three sections: planning, solicitation and ‘post-award’.
The ‘planning’ section explores how employers can gain executive
support for accessible procurement and what to look for when researching
vendors. ‘Solicitation’ gives a thorough grounding in writing an
accessibility-focused procurement solicitation, including requesting
accessibility information from vendors and contractors, and ensuring that
the solicitation documents are fully accessible. As the guide points out,
this last step “is especially useful for attracting vendors that may
employ people with disabilities who may not otherwise be able to access
your solicitation.”
The final section, ‘post-award’, gives a detailed breakdown of steps to
take when employers are ready to make a contract award. The guide
emphasises the importance of ‘testing and validation’ here, to avoid
potentially difficult scenarios in the next stage of the process: “All
too often, customers take vendors at their word when they say a product is
accessible, and then accept it without testing the product and validating
the claim,” the guide says.
The key to avoiding this situation is ‘acceptance testing’, claims the
guide, which helps determine whether a procured product meets the necessary
criteria drawn up in the sales contract. The guide then goes on to outline
models to test for ICT accessibility.
Read the full Buy IT! resource for purchasing accessible technology at the
PEAT website:
http://eab.li/8j
.
Comment on this story now at e-Access Bulletin Live:

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Procurement is key for accessible ICT in the workplace claims new guide

Helpful tips for March 2018

Hello there and welcome to our monthly feature of all kinds of tips.
We at the business desk are pleased to bring you our monthly feature of a
plethora of tips that cover a wide range of topics.
All of our tips are designed to help you save time, cut down on your
research, and help you get ahead.
So go ahead and read on.
This week we bring you our monthly tips.
It’s what we do for a living! We help you to help yourself!
Enjoy!
From the business desk team at http://www.sterlingcreations.com.
Follow us on Twitter @accessibleworld

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

Helpful tips for March 2018

In this issue:

General tips
Articles of the day
From the pages of Donna’s travel diary
_________________________

General tips
Courtesy of the research team at http://www.sterlingcreations.ca

Okay, some important info to know before you take your next dose of cough
medicine!
There are some types that cause your blood pressure to be elevated.
Some that are not good for diabetics because of the sugar content.
Some that make you sleep and some that even make you constipated.

Some differences when cooking rice versus pasta:
In the case of rice, it is a good idea to strain it after it has been cooked
so as to get the starch out of it.
In the case of pasta, no!
Because if you do then you will remove the tastiness of it.

About carrots:
This vegetable normally contains a high level of sugar content.
It is probably better to eat them raw.

Cooking with gas versus cooking with electricty:
Gas cooks faster and tastes better.
Electricity takes longer to cool after cooking is finished.

After you open a bottle of wine:
Iff you know that you are not going to finish it off in the near future,
then do this!
Put it in the fridge to lie down so that the wine can keep the cork moist.

How do you know if beer has gone bad on you?
You know this when you notice that its color has gone dark.

_________________________

Articles of the day
Chosen by the Business Desk team

Contributed by Dan Thompson
5 Ways to Get Rid of Ants Naturally Without Killing Them

Recently we had a large coloney of uninvited ants come a calling. We looked
for natural ways of expressing our dislike of them taking up housekeeping in
our home. The natural ways worked for a while but eventually a more
aggressive professional exterminator was called in. I share with you some
nonharmful methods that can be tried and are quite successful for smaller
colonies.

5 Ways to Get Rid of Ants Naturally Without Killing Them

antsAnts are critical to the environment in too many ways to count, but they
quickly become pests when they invade your home seeking food, shelter, or
both. Nobody wants an ant invasion, and often times will reach for intense
chemicals to eradicate them as quickly as possible. Pest control is one
aspect of daily living in which people accept some of the scariest chemicals
into their homes, numb to warnings stamped on the packaging-“Don’t inhale!”
“Don’t touch!” “Call poison control if you make any direct contact with
this substance!” “Potentially harmful!” “Actually what we mean is it will
kill you!” Well, you get the point. If something needs detailed instructions
plus a hotline number for 24 hour emergency assistance (human or animal) or
chemical emergency assistance, I don’t want it in my house. What you have
to think is-if this is going to obliterate the pests (in this case, ants)
won’t it be harmful to anyone and everything else? Yes. It will. But what
nature brought forth is can also turn away, so read on about how to get rid
of ants naturally.

1. Bust Out The Vinegar, Baby

Ants communicate with each other using sounds, touch, and-the golden ticket
here-pheromones. The pheromones are chemical signals. Scent trails, in
essence. Ants perceive smells with their antennae, and can determine
direction and intensity of scents. If a forager ant finds food, it marks a
trail leading back to the colony, which the other ants than follow to the
source of the food. Each time the trail is traveled, the smell is
intensified. By using white vinegar by all of their entrances and any paths
that you know of, you are disrupting their scent trails and making it
harder for them to creep back to the food source they’ve been invading.

You will need.

– 1 part white vinegar

– 1 part water

– A clean cloth

Directions

Mix together white vinegar and water, and spray/wipe down all of the
entrances you know or suspect they may be getting in by, and spray/wipe
down all counters or surfaces by food sources.

Vinegar Ant Remedy

2. Draw The Line

Have you ever noticed outside in the summer the way ants and sidewalk chalk
just don’t seem to mix? That’s because they don ‘t. Ants that stumble
through chalk get covered in the stuff, while some people suggest minerals
in the chalk (such as talc) actually kill the ants.

You will need.

– A stick of sidewalk chalk

Directions

Draw a thick, heavy line around entrances-repeat as needed. This generally
needs to be used in conjunction with another method of elimination.

Ant Chalk

3. The Ant Honey Pot

How to get rid of ants.are you focusing too much on the “get rid of” part?
Have you done everything you can to exterminate the ants, but it’s just not
working? If eliminating them isn’t doing the trick, try diversion. No, you
don’t want to attract the ants to your house, but if a colony has set up
camp, diversion can sometimes be the way to go. Once they’ve decided the
honey pot you lay out is better than that hard to reach food you’ve locked
up, it’s easier to lay something to deter them from coming back in. After
you’ve got their scent trails cleaned up, food sealed tightly, and some
kind of deterrent by the entrances, they aren’t nearly as apt to coming
marching in again. Even if they try, they’re going to find you’ve made it a
lot harder by then!

You will need.

– A small paper bowl

– A few tablespoons of honey OR a 1-1 mixture of sugar and water

Directions

Place a little paper bowl with the honey outside, a little ways from your
house but not so far that the ants won’t find it. Once they find the
sweet stuff, they will happily go to that, rather than try to battle their
way into your house. You can also mix some sugar and water and spray it on
the ground if you find the honey ineffective. Once they have discovered the
pot, move it a little bit at a time further and further away from the
house, refilling and refreshing it as needed.

Ant Honey Pot

4. Essential Oil Entrance Blocker

Ants don’t like strong smells. They mess up their scent trails and
communication, not to mention it covers their bodies if they literally have
to crawl right through it-which they do, with this essential oil spray. Now
you can really experiment with different oils, or blends of oils, and see
what works best for you and your ants. For me, peppermint or eucalyptus
usually does the trick. Regardless of what method I am using to get rid of
ants, I always whip up a batch of this spray to further ensure success.

You will need.

– 20 drops of peppermint essential oil

– Fresh water

– A spray bottle

Directions

Fill a regular or medium size spray bottle with fresh water and mix in the
peppermint essential oil. Spray liberally around any and all entrances to
the house. Repeat when you deem it necessary (usually when the scent starts
to fade.)

Essential Oil Spray

5. Ant Balls

If you find that spraying a solution of essential oil and water doesn’t
work, it’s time to bust out the ant balls. The cotton balls serve as an
extra barrier to keep the ants out of the home, while the undiluted
essential oil will steer the ants clear at least 90% of the time. Be sure
not to leave these where you think a curious pet or child would find them
an appealing snack. If you don’t have essential oil, you can try using
white vinegar in a pinch.

You will need.

– Cotton balls

– Peppermint essential oil OR undiluted white vinegar

Directions

Liberally douse the cotton balls with undiluted peppermint essential oil. I
usually put the oil in a dish first so I don’t accidently drip it all over
my fingers. Alternatively, soak the ball in undiluted white vinegar,
squeezing out just enough excess that it doesn’t leave a puddle where you
place it. Use one of the cotton balls to wipe down the area by the entrance,
and then stuff another into the crack/hole/almost invisible opening that
they are sneaking in through. Refresh as needed.

Peppermint Oil for Ants

Bonus: 6. When Push Comes to Shove

I don’t like to kill anything-I am the person that will rescue an ant if I
see it floundering about in the water-but sometimes, you have no choice.
For example, if you have a nest of fire ants and a baby crawling
around-there was even been an instance where the venomous stings of a fire
ant colony almost killed a 13 year old boy. In this case, the non-toxic way
to eradicate the ants is with soap and boiling water. It’s unfortunate, but
sometimes there are simply other things you need to protect.

You will need.

– A medium pot’s (or bucket’s) worth of boiling water

– 1 cup of liquid dish soap

Directions

Fill a medium pot with water, leaving enough room at the top that you can
carry it without it sloshing over the edge. Bring it to a vigorous boil,
and quickly stir in the dish soap (use an environmentally friendly dish
soap that is biodegradable.) Put the lid on the pot to retain heat and
minimize the risk of it spilling, and use hot mitts to carry it out to the
nest. Pour the water into the nest, slowly enough so that it doesn’t
overflow. If you are aware of another entrance, and are worried about the
ants going up into the yard, you can place a barrier over one of the
entrances. Repeat the process as needed if you run out of water (really,
once is usually sufficient.)

Dish Soap to Kill Ants

My ant story.

When I was quite small I had a hospital for bugs, with my most common
patients being ants. I would bring the ant into my house and set it under a
heat lamp on some cushy towels where it proceeded, in all reality, to
probably get fried (I didn’t figure this out until just writing that-my
intentions were good-and I did have some make a full recovery!) Now I am not
suggesting you set up a bug hospital and welcome ants into your home, but
the point is, ants will not seize control of your house just because you
didn’t turn to some lethal pesticide (for my house growing up they probably
spread the word to steer clear lest they get cooked!) There really are worse
things than ants to have in your house-like the toxic products you’re using
to kill them-and it’s well worth a bit of extra effort to get rid of ants
naturally.

Tips: Ants seek two primary things in your home-food, and shelter. The first
step in dealing with getting rid of ants is to seal up any and all food, and
seal up any and all crevices that you find them making their way in through.
I know-its more work than just spraying some insecticide around-but it’s
worth it.

– Let me re-emphasize the part about sealing up food. Seal up your food!

– You will, in all likelihood, have to experiment with how to get rid of
ants in a number of ways, and try several combinations (e.g. using the chalk
method in combination with the honey pot and essential oil spray.)

Get rid of ants naturally without the use of chemicals. Keep your pets safe
by not using toxic ant killer.

You may also want to

learn how to get rid of spiders

” How to Keep Spiders Out of Your House with Essential Oils”

How to Keep Spiders Out of Your House with Essential Oils

Source: ” 5 Ways to Get Rid of Ants Naturally Without Killing Them”

By

5 Ways to Get Rid of Ants Naturally Without Killing Them

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

Six TipsHow to Get Rid of Mosquitoes
Mosquitoes, are nasty creatures. They bite,
they’re capable of transmitting terrible
diseases to people and pets and from what I
read, have no redeeming value in the
ecosystem. And if that’s not reason enough
to hate them, they can turn a beautiful
backyard, deck or patio into a nightmare
area not fit for humans during mosquito
season. But it doesn’t have to be that way
provided you are diligent to take control
of your home and property.
1. MOSQUITO TRAP. It’s been more than a
year since our big move and discovering we
would be having a mosquito problem here in
northern Colorado. My research knew no
bounds. Given the size of our property, I
purchased a Dynatrap, about
$130. The trap emits harmless CO2, which
mosquitoes find irresistible (no wonder
they love you so much—you emit CO2, too).
Powered by electricity, a Dynatrap has a
water tray to attract mosquitoes and a fan
that sucks the unsuspecting critters into
the trap. Every few weeks I empty my
mosquito morgue I mean trap. A
full trap is proof positive that this thing
is very effective. Dynatrap is whisper
quiet
and definitely not a bug zapper. No
sizzling noises, odors or other annoyances.
I give Dynatrap two thumbs up and five
stars, too.
2. REPELLANT. It is important to make sure
mosquito repellent is applied to any
exposed skin during mosquito season.
Repellents that contains Deet, picaridin,
oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR3535 are the
most effective at warding off mosquitoes.
Pregnant women especially should choose a
repellent with Deet. Consumer Reports
recommends Sawyer Picaridin, Natrapel 8
Hour and Off! Deep
Woods VIII as being the best at keeping the
bugs at bay.
3. NATURAL HOMEMADE REPELLANT.
Mix 1 part lemon eucalyptus oil for every
10 parts witch hazel. Rub or spray on skin.
4. NIGHT PROTECTION. If you are going to
be spending an evening outdoors, make sure
to have adequate mosquito-repellent candles
and torches (don’t forget fuel). PLANT
LAVENDER. Plant lavender with abandon. It’s
easy to grow, produces a beautiful flower
and smells fantastic! Even better:
mosquitoes hate it and will stay away from
it.
5. STANDING WATER. This is where mosquitoes
breed in the thousands. Bird baths, fish
ponds, puddles, even flower-pot drip trays
and dog dishes are prime breeding grounds.
Empty or drain as much water as possible.
If you can’t drain a water source, try
pouring a couple of tablespoons of
vegetable oil on top to deny access to
mosquitoes and larvae. Note: Do not pour
vegetable oil into fish ponds; it inhibits
oxygen flow and can kill the fish.
6. CLEAN YARD. Keep your yard clean and
your vegetation under control.
Mosquitoes prefer densely vegetated areas
where they are protected from sun, wind,
and rain. Keep your lawn well-trimmed and
clear out piles of brush where moisture can
accumulate. Rake up leaves and dispose of
them when they start accumulating.
Author: Mary Hunt’s Everyday
Cheapskate blog
at www.everydaycheapskate.com

_________________________

From the pages of Donna’s travel diary
All about Trudeau Airport

There are airports and then there are airports. When it comes to
understanding the true meaning of enabling passengers with special needs to
have equal access to their airport facilities, there are airports that know
how to do it just right and then there are airports that simply miss the
entire meaning.

The Pierre Eliott Trudeau Airport, located in Montreal Canada, is one of
those airports that simply knows how to do it just right. In early February
2016 I had the pleasure of spending some time at this marvelous airport; the
last time that I had passed through Trudeau Airport was back in 2013 and my
how they have changed.

This is a truly bilingual airport operating equally in English and French.
The first indication that you are going to receive excellent treatment comes
as soon as the cab driver brings you to the doors of the airport. They help
to find you an airline agent and then from there the agents take over.

They are well trained as to how to provide assistance to a blind person.
Their guiding techniques are above first class. Their communication skills
are second to none and then when you get to security the excellent service
continues.

At security, they ask you whether you speak French or English and your
response determines which language you are going to be communicated in for
the rest of your time at security. Next the security agents escort you
through the area and if your bag needs to be checked by them they tell you
exactly what they are doing. I find this to be very crucial especially so
for someone who is unable to see what is going on.

Then it is off to the gate to await your flight and the agents again escort
you to the doors of the aircraft when it is time for you to board.

I will hasten to add here that the agents in question who escorted me
through Trudeau Airport were Air Canada agents so I am not really sure what
type of services are provided by other agents. Hopefully you’ll have time
to check this out some time soon.

I’m Donna J. Jodhan enjoying my travels.

To learn more about me, visit
http://www.donnajodhan.com

On your next trip you could enrich your down time with some of my audio
mysteries. Take them with you wherever you go!
In the car, on the plane, on the bus or train, at the beach, anywhere!
Affordable, portable, (computer or i device) and you could either purchase
or Subscribe for unlimited access to my library at
www.donnajodhan.com/store.html
and you can now take advantage of our free downloads here.

If you enjoy podcasts then check out my weekly one called take another 5!
From recipes to apps, and from mystery moment to tips for entrepreneur and
scam alerts!
Available for download at www.donnajodhan.com/takeanother5.html

Follow me on Twitter @accessibleworld and at author_jodhan
And like me on Facebook at
www.facebook.com/donnajodhan and at www.facebook.com/authordonnajodhan

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Helpful tips for March 2018

Obtaining Accessible Cable Television: A Frustrating Experience

Hello there and welcome to our weekly =
feature=20
titled top article of the week.
Especially chosen for you, these =
articles will=20
help you to keep up to date with current trends plus a lot more.
Enjoy!
 
+++++++++++++++
 
Obtaining Accessible Cable Television: =
A=20
Frustrating Experience
At the AccessWorld Tech Summit in =
March 2017,=20
part of the  American Foundation for the Blind’s annual Leadership=20
Conference , I was so excited while listening to a presentation from the =
Federal=20
Communications Commission  (FCC) about accessible devices including =
cable=20
boxes. I figured I could call my cable company when  I got home and =
get an=20
accessible cable box. I was wrong.
FCC Regulations Summary for Accessible =
Cable=20
Boxes
The FCC conference presenters were =
Suzy Rosen=20
Singleton, Chief, and Will Schell, Attorney-Advisor,  Disability =
Rights=20
Office, Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau. They focused on access =
to=20
video  description.
Mr. Shel told the audience that any =
device that=20
plays video and is made after December 2016 must be  accessible to =
people=20
who are blind or visually impaired. Accessibility includes the ability =
to=20
use  menus, controls, and settings. In addition, the video =
description=20
setting must be easily accessible  with a specific key or =
button.
Accessible set-top boxes must be =
available on=20
request from the TV provider, at no cost. The largest  cable =
companies are=20
required to have the accessible boxes available now.
Spectrum
In 2016, Charter Communications =
acquired Time=20
Warner Cable, which was my cable company before the  merger. So, my =
current=20
cable provider is Spectrum, which is owned by Charter =
Communications. =20
According to a May 2016 CNN report, Charter was the number three =
provider in the=20
US and Time Warner  was number two, with Comcast being number one. =
Charter=20
also purchased Bright House, a smaller cable  company. CNN =
projected that=20
Charter Communications cable service will be in over 18 million =
homes  in=20
the US. Therefore, after the merger, Charter Communications became a =
major=20
player in the cable  industry. I live in New York City, which is a =
major=20
market.
First Contact: Not Encouraging
When I got home from the conference in =
March, I=20
called Spectrum to ask about accessible cable  boxes. I was on the =
phone=20
that night for well over an hour as I got transferred from person =
to =20
person. Most of the people I spoke with had no idea what I was talking =
about.=20
Others thought I  meant closed captioning, not text-to-speech =
output on the=20
cable device. I finally reached someone  who said I already had an=20
accessible cable box. When I explained that there wasn’t any =20
text-to-speech, she said Spectrum does not have a voice-activated =
remote.
After a very long time, I spoke to =
someone who=20
said she knew what to do. She said Spectrum needed  to send me the=20
necessary computer codes. I asked if the codes worked with the Mac and =
she said=20
they  did. Apparently, cable box accessibility was available =
through my=20
computer. Wrong.
She tried to send the codes but that =
did not=20
work. She said I needed a different modem. An  appointment was =
scheduled=20
for a technician to fix the problem. I was still very hopeful.
Spectrum’s First Solution: a =
Laptop
A technician and supervisor came to my =
house=20
twice. Both were extremely nice and tried very hard.  We spent many =
hours=20
on this problem. The end result was that the Mac could not use the=20
Spectrum  codes. Furthermore, I could not use my cable box and my =
old modem=20
was fine. Instead, Spectrum gave  me a large Windows laptop with =
the=20
Spectrum app and NVDA screen reader installed. The only way I  had =
access=20
to the Spectrum guide and descriptive video was through the =
laptop.
This was unacceptable. I could not =
watch TV with=20
my family and still have complete accessibility.  Furthermore, I =
ended up=20
showing the technician and supervisor the best way to teach someone how =
to =20
use the Spectrum app with NVDA.
Blaming Time Warner for Spectrum’s =
Problems with=20
Accessibility
I discovered Spectrum’s accessibility =
website on=20
my own and found that there was an easy way to  turn on =
accessibility=20
features, but I could not get them to work. I called the support number =
on =20
the website, asked to talk to a supervisor, and finally got through =
after being=20
on hold for a very  long time. He asked where I lived. He explained =
that=20
Time Warner did not install the necessary  equipment for =
accessibility=20
prior to the merger with Charter Communications. Therefore, it was =
Time =20
Warner’s fault and not Spectrum’s that I did not have an accessible =
cable=20
box.
Next Move: Involving the FCC
It was time for me to take further =
action. I=20
filed a complaint with the FCC indicating that  Spectrum did not =
provide an=20
accessible cable box. The FCC served my complaint on March 31, 2017. =
On =20
April 18, I received a phone call from Charter Communications. They =
understood=20
my frustration and  assured me that Charter was working to improve=20
accessibility for the visually impaired and training  for =
technicians and=20
customer support staff. In another phone call, they asked if I would =
like to=20
be  part of their Roku trial. The Roku works with the Spectrum app, =
not the=20
cable box. The Roku was to  be a temporary alternative to the =
laptop while=20
they worked on improving accessibility on the cable  box. I agreed =
to=20
participate. Several days later, I received a copy of a letter from=20
Charter  Communications to the FCC. The letter indicated that I =
would be=20
taking part in their Roku trial.
Spectrum’s Next Solution: The =
Roku
On June 2, a technician came to =
install my Roku.=20
After the installation was complete, I had two  questions for him. =
The=20
first was: in the Spectrum app, can you go directly to a specific =
channel =20
with the Roku? The second was: how do you turn on audio description when =
in the=20
Spectrum app? The  technician had never heard of audio description =
and kept=20
thinking I was talking about the cable  guide.
The technician did not know the =
answers to my=20
questions and he had to make several calls. No, you  can’t jump to =
a=20
specific channel with the Spectrum app and Roku. The choices are to move =
with=20
the  arrow keys channel by channel until you find the one you want. =
Another=20
option is to keep scrolling  for a few seconds, see where you are =
in the=20
channel list, and then scroll until you get to the  channel you =
want.
The Spectrum technician and the people =
he called=20
for assistance did not know that although I could  not search for a =

specific channel (since the Roku does not have a number pad), I could =
put=20
my  favorite channels in a group, making them easier to =
locate.

I was told that I could not access =
audio=20
description with the Roku. This was incorrect. The  technician said =
that I=20
would be hearing from someone at Spectrum in about a week to discuss =
my =20
experience.
The Right Answers
I did not hear from Charter for five =
weeks. I=20
received an email from Charter’s Manager of  Accessibility at that =
time,=20
asking if I would complete a survey about my Roku experience. I =
agreed  and=20
added that I want the ability to go directly to a specific channel and I =
want=20
audio description.
He sent me a document showing how to =
access=20
audio description through the Roku. The document also  contained=20
information about the Roku’s layout, using the on-screen program guide, =
creating=20
favorite  channels, features available in the Spectrum app, and =
more. If=20
the technician had this document  when the Roku was installed, he =
would=20
have had the correct answers to my questions and I would have  had =
less=20
aggravation.
Spending Time with the Roku
Spectrum provided a Roku Premier+ =
streaming=20
media player. It is similar to the Apple TV. An HDMI  port on my =
television=20
was used to connect the small Roku box. The box is approximately 5 =
inches =20
long by 5 inches wide by 1 inch high. The Roku remote has a Back button =
on the=20
top left and a Home  button on the top right. Underneath these =
buttons is a=20
center button surrounded by four buttons.  The four buttons are =
used to=20
navigate up, down, left, and right. The center button is for making =
a =20
selection.
Below those buttons are an Instant =
Replay button=20
on the left and a Star button on the right. The  Instant Replay =
button is=20
for rewinding some on-demand content. The Star button is for =
accessing =20
options. Below the Instant Replay and Star buttons are Rewind, Play, and =
Forward=20
buttons. There are  more buttons, but Spectrum recommends not using =

them.

The Roku’s speech output is =
adjustable, but it=20
is nowhere near as good as speech on the Apple TV.  You cannot =
rearrange=20
apps on the home screen as with the Apple TV. I am happy to say that it =
is =20
relatively easy to turn on audio description. Even though Favorite =
channels can=20
be selected, it is  not possible to move directly to a specific=20
channel.
Since I share my TV with sighted =
people, when I=20
start to use the Roku I need to switch TV input  from the cable box =
to=20
Roku.
Although I can use the Roku remote to =
get to the=20
audio guide and get to my favorite channels,  several button =
presses are=20
required. Since my Roku remote does not have a number pad, I =
cannot =20
quickly jump to a channel.
My Roku has locked up several times. =
Either it=20
stopped talking or it didn’t speak or show anything  on the screen. =
Sighted=20
assistance could not get it to work. We needed to turn off the cable box =

or  the TV to fix the problem.

Conclusion
Although the Roku is a work-around for =
Spectrum,=20
there is a lot of room for improvement. It is  unacceptable that =
Spectrum=20
is the second largest cable company in the country yet they are =
unable  to=20
provide accessibility through their cable boxes for (former) Time Warner =
Cable=20
subscribers.  According to Spectrum, Time Warner didn’t do their =
part in=20
making the necessary equipment available  for users, but Spectrum =
knew this=20
merger was coming in advance; it didn’t happen overnight.  Customer =
support=20
and technicians need considerable training to learn about the=20
accessibility  features and how to use and install them. Meanwhile, =
Comcast=20
and Verizon FIOS have accessible cable  boxes where no extra =
equipment is=20
required.
Related Recommendation: iOS TV Guide =
App
TV Guide has a  free app for =
iOS  that=20
has good accessibility and is useful if you don’t have easy access to =
the guide=20
on your cable  box. The app works with iOS 8 and above and there is =
a=20
watchOS app as well.
The first time you use the app it is =
necessary=20
to enter information including your name, provider,  and =
email.
There are five tabs at the bottom of =
the screen:=20
Listings, Watch List, Discover, Videos, and More.  At the top of =
the screen=20
is a Search Box where you can search by channel or program.
Selecting Channels
There is a complete list of which =
channels you=20
receive through your provider. There are several  options including =
All=20
Channels or Only Favorite channels. Select a favorite channel by =
double =20
tapping on the channel number in the channel list. Near the top of the =
next=20
screen, there will be a  button to add the channel to your =
Favorites=20
list.
When going through the listings, the =
channel=20
name will be followed by which program is currently  on. Double =
tapping on=20
a program will load a new page with program details, an option to add =
the =20
program to your watch list, and an option to set an alert for that =
program. When=20
done, activate the  Back button in the upper left corner.
The Discover tab has program =
recommendations.=20
The Videos tab has video recommendations. The More  tab has =
information=20
including your watch list, listings, and settings.
I frequently use this app and find it =
to be a=20
quick way to find out what is on.
 
Author:  Janet Ingber
 
 
 
Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Obtaining Accessible Cable Television: A Frustrating Experience

A review of the Keg Restaurant

A review of the Keg Restaurant
By Donna J. Jodhan
 
Introduction:
My most recent visit to the Keg =
Restaurant at=20
Markham and Ellesmere in Scarborough in March 2017 was one that I truly =
enjoyed=20
and I am most delighted to write this review.
I have been to several Keg restaurants =
across=20
Toronto but this particular one is probably my favorite Keg =
Restaurant.
 
So how would I rate their =
services?  With 1=20
being the lowest and 5 being the highest, here are my ratings.
Service desk assistance – 5
Assistance for guests with special =
needs -=20
5
Assistance at restaurant – 5
 
Remarks :
Access to the restaurant was extremely =
user=20
friendly for a vision impaired person and navigating to tables and among =
tables=20
was very easy for me.
 
About staff:
The waitresses that I met were top =
notch! =20
Pleasant, willing to assist, and went way beyond the call of duty!
They took time to read the menu to my =
friend and=20
me and never hesitated to provide additional descriptions of meals as =
requested=20
by us.
 
My meal:
I had a delicious medium cooked steak =
garnished=20
with mushrooms, onions, and seasoned with pepper corns.
My appetizer was a sumptuous caesar =
salad which=20
was just the right size.
 
Any suggestions?
I really cannot think of any except to =
say that=20
I’ll be back very soon.
 
Contact info:
The Keg Restaurant
Located at Markham and Ellesmere in =
Scarborough=20
Ontario
Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on A review of the Keg Restaurant

Top article of the week – New Tool for Deaf-Blind TV Viewers

Hello there and welcome to our weekly =
feature=20
titled top article of the week.
Especially chosen for you, these =
articles will=20
help you to keep up to date with current trends plus a lot more.
Enjoy!
 
+++++++++++++++
 
New Tool for Deaf-Blind TV =
Viewers
 
For more information, read the article =
below or=20
visit
https://www.rt.com/news/389254-deaf-blind-te=
levision-app/.
 
 
An innovative new tool has made it =
easier for=20
deaf-blind people to enjoy television. The technology compiles subtitles =
and=20
quickly transmits it to braille via an app. The software, PervasiveSUB, =
gathers=20
subtitles from television programs and sends them to a central server. =
From=20
there, the subtitles are forwarded to smartphones or tablets. Once the =
subtitles=20
are received by a device, they are transmitted to the deaf-blind person =
in=20
braille with the help of an app called GoAll. This device was presented =
at=20
Spain=E2=80=99s Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M). The =
demonstration included=20
deaf-blind people, who showed how the technology works.
 
The tool was developed by researchers =
at the=20
university=E2=80=99s Pedro Juan de Lastanosa Institute of Technological =
Development and=20
Promotion of Innovation and financed by Spanish telecommunications =
company,=20
Telefonica. The technology has already been introduced on all national =
Digital=20
Terrestrial Television (DTT) channels and regional DTT channels in =
Madrid, and=20
will soon be available in other regions of Spain.
 
An innovative new tool has made it =
easier for=20
deaf-blind people to enjoy television. The  technology compiles =
subtitles=20
and quickly transmits it to Braille via an app eliminating the =
need  for an=20
intermediary.
The software, PervasiveSUB, gathers =
subtitles=20
from television programs and sends them to a central  server. From =
there,=20
the subtitles are forwarded to smartphones or tablets.
Once the subtitles are received by a =
device,=20
they are transmitted to the deaf-blind person in  Braille with the =
help of=20
an app called GoAll.
The device was  presented  =
at Spain’s=20
Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M), according to a Thursday press =
release=20
from the  university. The demonstration included deaf-blind persons =
who=20
demonstrated how the technology works.
Read more
Live it! Blind and deaf Brazilian fan =
feels=20
World Cup match through friend=E2=80=99s hands (VIDEO)
https://www.rt.com/news/167632-deaf-blind-br=
azil-match/
 
The new tool has been hailed by those =
who have=20
tried it, according to the statement from the  university.
“All the people who have tried it =
highlight the=20
advantage of being able to access information they  previously =
could not,=20
in real time and without intermediaries, and they have also praised =
its =20
ability to transmit to Braille lines and the ability to adjust the =
reading and=20
viewing speed,” it  states.
The tool was developed by researchers =
at the=20
university’s Pedro Juan de Lastanosa Institute of  Technological=20
Development and Promotion of Innovation and financed by Spanish=20
telecommunications  company, Telefonica.
The leader of the research group that =
developed=20
the software, Garcia Crespo, said the technology is  very needed as =

deaf-blind people are often overlooked. “One of the big problems =
deaf-blind=20
persons  face is the scant attention they receive, which is =
demonstrated by=20
the fact that they weren’t  recognized by the European Parliament =
until=20
2004,” he said.

The technology has already been =
introduced on=20
all national Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT)  channels and =
regional=20
DTT channels in Madrid.
“It will soon be available in the =
other=20
autonomous regions of Spain,” the release states, noting  that the =
research=20
team is providing the service for free to anyone who needs it.
Deaf-blindness is defined as having =
little or no=20
useful sight or hearing. While those suffering  from the condition=20
typically must use an intermediary to explain what is happening on=20
television  screens, PervasiveSUB eliminates that need.
 
 
 
 
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Is there an ideal workplace?

Is there an ideal workplace?
By Donna J. Jodhan
 
This is something that has occupied my =
mind for=20
many years now and at the end of the day I would have to humbly submit =
that=20
indeed; there is no ideal workplace for the blind employee.  There =
is none=20
for the sighted employee so why should I expect that there would be one =
for the=20
blind worker?
 
If I were given a wish list as to what =
an almost=20
ideal workplace could be, then what would I wish for?  Well, here =
is my=20
wish list and let us see how I do.
Before I proffer my wishes, I’ll define =
what I=20
mean by the workplace.  I’ll say that it would include the facets =
and=20
dimensions of a physical layout plus a virtual environment so here =
goes.
 
With regard to the physical =
environment, I’d wish=20
for:
Elevators that are easy to find – =
buttons that=20
are easy to access, adequate lighting, buttons that light up, and a nice =
to have=20
would be a talking elevator.  In addition, elevator doors that are =
brightly=20
painted for easy identification. 
 
Work stations, offices, washrooms, =
conference=20
rooms, and cafeterias that are easy to locate and navigate. 
 
With regard to the virtual =
environment: =20
Intranets that are accessible and navigable for blind persons, =
documentation in=20
alternate formats, and access software that can interact efficiently =
with=20
mainstream software within the work environment. 
 
I shall add to this list that it is =
always=20
helpful whenever fellow employees, management, and supporting staff can =
be=20
sensitized to the requirements of their fellow blind colleague.  =
This can=20
certainly help to break down many of those artificial barriers.
I’m Donna J. Jodhan your free lance =
writer and=20
roving reporter wishing you a terrific day.
You can follow me on twitter =
@accessibleworld and=20
@author_jodhan
and chat with me on Skype at =
habsfan0526.
Like us on Facebook at=20
www.facebook.com/author.jodhan
 
For more of my blogs, please =
visit:
http://www.sterlingcreations.ca/blog,

http://www.sterlingcreations.com/businessdesk=
.htm=20
and
www.donnajodhan.blogspot.com.
For my audio mysteries:  Visit http://www.donnajodhan.com.
Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Is there an ideal workplace?

top article of the week -Sending Attachments With ‘Mail Drop’

Hello there and welcome to our weekly =
feature=20
titled top article of the week.
Especially chosen for you, these =
articles will=20
help you to keep up to date with current trends plus a lot more.
Enjoy!
 
+++++++++++++++
 
Sending Attachments With ‘Mail =
Drop’
Rita’s iDevice Advice for July 31, =
2017: =20
If you have ever tried to mail a video =
clip on=20
your iPhone to a friend, but the Mail app said the file was too big and =
you=20
should try sending it with ‘Mail Drop.  Mail Drop is a feature that =
works=20
with the Mail app on many iOS devices, Mac computers and through a web =
browser=20
pointed to iCloud.com.  The email account you are using must also =
support=20
the IMAP standard.  Mail Drop temporarily uses iCloud server space, =
instead=20
of the mail provider’s servers to store file attachments up to five =
gigabytes in=20
size.  When you get a message that an attachment is too large to =
send=20
normally and you select Mail Drop as an alternative, the Mail app =
uploads the=20
file to iCloud, and then provides your mail recipient with a link or =
icon to=20
download it there.  This way, the shared file does not actually go =
through=20
the regular mail servers as an attachment.  The Mail Drop =
attachments=20
expire after 30 days and do not count against the storage limits for =
your iCloud=20
account; basic iCloud accounts include a free five gigabytes and you can =
buy=20
more if needed.  You can store up to a terabyte of Mail Drop=20
attachments.  Apple is not the only company that offers this type =
of=20
workaround.  Google has a similar tool that lets Gmail users stash =
large=20
files to be shared on the Google Drive connected to their =
accounts. =20
Microsoft’s OneDrive service likewise helps Outlook.com users share =
videos and=20
other big attachments with email correspondents.  If you do not =
have a mail=20
service with a built-in option for handling hefty attachments, try a=20
file-sharing service like Dropbox or Box.  With this approach, you =
upload=20
the file to your account and then send a private link to the content by=20
email.  Dropbox can also work directly with Yahoo Mail and Gmail, =
as can=20
other some services.
 
 
 
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How to make knitting classes more accessible

Hello everyone:
Each month I will be responding to a question; chosen from a pool of some of
the most commonly asked ones that I have been asked over the years and
continue to be asked.
This month, I’d like to answer the following question:
How to make knitting classes more accessible
By Donna J. Jodhan

It appears that knitting is fast becoming a favorite hobby for many; both
male and female alike. This hobby has been around for a very long time and
if you believe that a blind person may not be able to participate in this
activity then think again.

I want to reassure you that for a blind person knitting is probably one of
the most enjoyable pastimes and if you keep this in mind then you’ll soon
see how it could be made enjoyable for everyone. Here are some hints to
help you make knitting more accessible for your blind students.

1. Start with the attitude that knitting is for everyone.
2. You need to understand that a blind knitter is going to use their sense
of touch to help them do their work.
3. Let your student feel the various sized needles and explain to them the
types of things that they can knit with each size.
4. Go slowly and show them how to do such things as casting on, casting off,
tying off, and how to fix some of the more common errors.
5. Start with small and simple projects so as to keep encouraging them.

The trick to all of this is to continually show them through the use of
touch and also remember to explain the various types of yarn to them.

This should be a good start for you. Happy knitting!

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Top article of the week – File sharing sites

Hello there and welcome to our weekly feature titled top article of the
week.
Especially chosen for you, these articles will help you to keep up to date
with current trends plus a lot more.
Enjoy!

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

File sharing sites
I recognize this is not all the free file sharing sites. But here are a
few. If anyone aware of others, please share them with me and I will resend
out a nother list with those additions.
Also all of these require pay to use when requiring larger than the free
amount of space is used.

1. Box
is more cloud service that lets you keep and share files online. The free
account can host up to 10GB of data. The maximum size of an uploaded file
should not exceed 250MB. For those who’d like to upload full HD videos,
there is a personal account with 100GB of space and 5GB max file size for
only $10 per month.
Box also offers a solution for business. There are three plans that you can
choose from:
Starter will cost you $5/month/user. It is perfect for small teams with up
to 10 people. This plan provides 100GB of free space and the size of one
file is limited to 2GB.
Business plan costs $15/month/user. It offers unlimited storage, but the
size of one file should not be higher than 5GB.
Enterprise plan is available on demand.
https://www.box.com/

2. 1-drive
is familiar to all Windows 10 users. It goes pre-installed with an option to
save pictures and documents automatically. However, if you don’t want to
upgrade to Win 10, you can easily create a separate account. The free one
will give you 5GB of storage. Basic plan will offer you 50GB for $1.99 per
month.
OneDrive also offers business plans that come together with Office 365
applications like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint for your PC, Mac, or iPad.
https://www.google.com/drive/

3. Google-drive
Google Drive is no less popular than Dropbox. With all the same options, it
lets users store up to 15GB of files with a free account. If it’s not
enough for you, choose a 100GB plan for $1.99 per month or a 1TB plan for
$9.99 per month. Apart from the file storing, Google Drive makes it possible
to create Excel, Word and PowerPoint documents online, edit them and keep
for as long as you wish. The service has free mobile apps, so you can keep
all the necessary stuff always with you. You don’t have to create a
separate account to use Google Drive, it is accessed with your Gmail
account.
https://myaccount.google.com/intro/preferences

4. Dropbox
Dropbox is widely used by Internet users. It lets you keep and share all
possible files: audio, video, ebooks , images and many more. The service
has apps for all modern operating systems. Thus, your files sync between
all devices and you can access them from any place with the Internet
connection. The basic Dropbox account is free and gives you 2GB of storage.
If you reach this limit, you’ll have to either delete some files or upgrade
to Pro account. It’ll cost you $9.99/month for 1TB of space. Moreover, you’ll
have additional sharing options such as link password protection, and remote
wipe for lost devices.
By the way, Dropbox offers a referral program. If you invite your friends to
join Dropbox, you’ll get extra 500MB of space for each friend who’s joined
Dropbox.
https://www.dropbox.com/

5. ICloud
is a service for users of Apple devices. It lets you backup pictures,
contacts, mail, calendar, notes and other apps from your iPhone, Pad or
iPod Touch. By default, iCloud gives you 5GB of free space. Since iPhone
has a great camera that can be even better with special photo apps , 5GB
are usually not enough. When you reach the limit, upgrade to one of the
following plans:
50GB for $0.99/month
200GB for $2.99/month
1TB for $9.99/month
The prices differ from region to region. To learn current plan prices, check
this link .
https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201238

6. SendSpace
https://www.sendspace.com/

7. The Pirate Bay – The galaxy’s most resilient bittorrent site
https://thepiratebay.org/search/Windows%207%20Loader%20eXtreme%20Edition%20v3.502-NAPALUM~DIBYA/0/99/0
You will need (uTorrent) installed to extract the files automatically.
Visit this link to find this file.
http://www.utorrent.com/

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Top article of the week – File sharing sites