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Friday, March 30th for Spring Break

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Access Technology

Tech User Group

Stay tuned for information about our next meeting in April.

For information or questions please contact


Vista Center for the Blind
and Visually Impaired
Hosts the 4th Visually Impaired Persons Technology
Users Conference (VIPTUC)

When: Saturday, September 30th, 2017
Time: 10:00 AM to 3:30 PM
(9:00 AM registration)
Where: Fenwick & West LLP
801 California Street
Mountain View, CA 94043

This FREE conference is for individuals who use smart phones
or those interested in learning about the benefits of smart
phones and applications. Space is limited for the
presentations. Please register before September 22nd to
reserve your space and receive a complimentary lunch. Also,
check out the latest technology at our vendor tables.

 Adaptive Sports Technology for the Blind Athlete
Presented by Walt Raineri, IOS Power User

 There’s an App for That!
Panel discussion given by Vista Center’s Technology Team

 Meet Alexa Your Personal Assistant
Presented by Ernie Molina, SCVBC Access Technology

To Register
Space is limited! Register early by calling Vista Center at
(650) 858-0202 ext. 110 or email
Transportation and Parking
Fenwick and West LLC is accessible by:
 Caltrain (Mountain View station is 3 blocks away)
 VTA Light Rail (Mountain View station is 3 blocks away)
 VTA Buses 22 and 522 (Castro Street Stop on El Camino
Real is 4 blocks away)
 VTA Access Para Transit service is door to door.
Parking is available on the corner of California Street and
Bryant Street (Bryant is parallel to Castro Street).

VIP TUC 2017 Flyer

Assistive Training at Vista Center
A Path to Independence

Do you struggle with using your smartphone?  Is it difficult to read print?  Have you heard the term assistive technology and don’t know what it is and how it can help you?

Vista Center can help answer these questions and more!

What is Assistive Technology? 
Assistive technology is a modification or enhancement to a device that allows people with a visual impairment to perform tasks independently. Learning a new topic or skill can be daunting. Vista Center offers simple step-by-step instructions and a training specialist to guide you in a supportive environment. We offer a variety of solutions to fit your specific needs.

Technology Lab Days (Palo Alto Office Only)
Free one hour session

Explore the newest devices: So many new devices on the market, such as smartphones, tablets and
e-readers, are available with assistive technology installed. Try out the scanning tools that will allow you to either hear what is on your screen or enlarge the text on your screen. 
The Tech Lab is a free one-on-one session designed to demonstrate a variety of devices and help you make decisions about selecting the best option in a supportive setting. 

Individual Assistive Training Sessions
$85.00 per hour

You may prefer a one-on-one training session at our Palo Alto office with our Technology Specialist to learn exactly what you need to know. Topics include using your personal computer with the latest assistive software including ZoomText, Magic, JAWS, MS Office with Assistive Technology and Internet Explorer with Assistive Technology.  Individual instruction on the latest Apple IOS and Android devices is also available.

Group Assistive Training Workshops
$25.00 per session

We offer periodic training workshops designed to teach beginning, intermediate and advanced skills for Android and Apple IOS devices, including iPhone, iTouch, iPad and iPod. Learn in step-by-step format how to get the most out of the built-in assistive technology features.

Concierge Training at Your Home
$175.00 per hour

If you are a busy professional, or prefer individualized instruction in your home, we offer a premier option that will include personalized assessment of your training needs and equipment, one-on-one instruction on your personal computer using assistive technology software, and teaching you how to use other devices effectively. We will help you to select applications that suit your needs and offer training on them. Follow-up services are offered to verify you have mastered the skills you need.

Technology User Group

Are you interested in meeting with others who are learning about current assistive technology options?  Do you enjoy discussing tips and tricks with like-minded people? Then join our free Tech User Group.  Meetings are scheduled once a month in our Palo Alto office. Learn from speakers from assistive tech companies and be in the know about what is new. 

To discuss your needs, schedule training, or to join our Technology User Group, please call our Technology Department at (650) 858-0202 ext. 123. Let the learning begin!


Google is looking for users for a usability study

Information about the study and accompanying Questionnaire

Steve Nakagawa Jersey Dedication

Steve Nakagawa, our former Access Technology Resource Manager, was a dedicated advocate and volunteer at Vista Center for the Blind & Visually Impaired. He was fondly remembered during a presentation of a gift, from former board member David Hoffman, to the Access Technology Department. The gift, a framed Sharks’ jersey with Steve’s name imprinted on the back, will be displayed in the Access Technology lab room in honor of his dedication and loyalty to the two organizations he loved the most, Vista Center and the San Jose Sharks.

LeeAnn Nagawa standing in front of Steve Nagagawa's signed Sharks jersey


February 2015, Tech User Group audio (Interactive presentation on Audio Description, presented by Susan Glass)

January 2015, Tech User Group audio (Cross-cultural, comparative perspectives of visually impaired people working in or studying sciences or other technical fields. Speakers: Kartik Sawhney and Sudha Rajagopalan)

Tech User Group November 2014 meeting notes

Access Technology Lab Day

Are you wondering what types of access technologyVictor reader stream
are available for individuals who have low vision or
are blind?

These questions and many more can be answered on Access
Technology Lab Day! You will have the opportunity to try out theibill reader
latest access technology products in a one-on-one format. See
list below for the products you can try out.

_ Victor Reader Stream - Digital Media device
_ Plextor Pocket Digital Recording/Media device
_ iPad
_ ID Summit - Talking barcode reader
_ Trekker Breeze - Talking Handheld GPS device
_ iBill - Talking US paper money identifier
_ Pen Friend - Talking identification labelerID Summit barcode reader
_ Open Book with Pearl - Talking OCR and document scanning software along with Pearl dedicated digital camera
For more information or to sign up for a time slot, please contact 650-858-0202 extension 123 or

Tech Lab Schedule: First and third Tuesdays of each month

A Tribute to Steve Nakagawa

VIP TUC 2015

Vista Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired hosts the,
3rd Visually Impaired Persons Technology Users Conference (VIP TUC) 

This FREE conference is for individuals who use a Google Android or Apple IOS Smartphone in their daily activities.
Space is limited. Please pre-register. Lunch is provided with pre-registration. Also, check out the latest technology at our vendor tables.


Saturday, May 16th, 2015


10:00 AM to 4:00 PM (9:00 AM registration)


Fenwick & West LLP
801 California Street
Mountain View, CA  94043               

To Register

Space is limited! Register early by calling Vista Center at (650) 858-0202 ext. 123 or email

 Transportation and Parking

Fenwick and West LLC is accessible by:

Underground parking will also be available.

VIPTUC 2015 Flyer

Tips and Tricks for Using Technology to the Max
Presented by Gerry Boyadjieff, Access Technology Specialist

Tips and Tricks (MS Word)

Tips and Tricks (PDF)

Tips and Tricks Phone Numbers and Links

The phone number for Comcast Accessibility is
The link to the Comcast Accessibility page is
The videos on the Comcast web site do a good job of describing how to setup and use Comcast’s new X1 cable box accessibility features.

The phone number for the Braille & Talking Book Library is
The link for the National Library Service for the Blind NLS is

The phone number for Apple Accessibility Support is
The link to Apple Accessibility web page is

Accessible home phomes are available for free from CTAP.
CTAP - California Telephone Access Program
The link to the CTAP page is
Note that there is a CTAP office in San Jose and San Franciso and both are open 2 days a month.



Reading with the iOS (iPad, iPhone, iPod touch)  using Zoom and VoiceOver and Other Accessibility Tools

Jan McKinley

IOS Reading Class flyer (MS Word)



Presentation Video now available on Youtube:

Latest Android Accessibility Features for Smartphones and Tablets A presentation by Charles Chen and Casey Burkhardt, Google Accessibility Team Engineers

A Day in the Life of a Voice Over User Demos of iPhone Apps Using Voice Over presented by Walter Raineri, IOS Power User

Changing the Game (Damian Pickering, Humanware)

Google Android Smartphone and Tablet with Jellybean 4.2 Recap

Presentation (mp3 audio approx 1 hour)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012
5:00-6:30 pm Large Conference room

Charles Chen, Google Inc., Android demonstrationLast evening we were given an excellent review of the latest improvements to the Android OS for the smartphones and tablets that use the latest version of Android Jellybean. Charles Chen, Google, Inc. demonstrated  and answered users questions during the meeting.  

Here is a summary of the Android access highlights.

With Jelly Bean, blind users can use 'Gesture Mode' to reliably navigate the UI using touch and swipe gestures in combination with speech output.

With the new accessibility focus feature, you can move a cursor between controls to maintain a target for the next action or a source for the next navigation event. You can double tap anywhere to launch the current item with accessibility focus.

Charles Chen shows Android features to Tech User Group attendee Text traversal in accessibility now gives you more control – choose to move between pages, paragraphs, lines, words or characters.

TalkBack, a screenreader for Android, now supports gestures to trigger actions, to navigate applications, and traverse text.

Get full support for braille accessibility services. 

Jellyybean version 4.2  

Enable screen magnification to easily zoom or pan the entire screen to get a closer look. Visually impaired users can now enter full-screen magnification with a triple-tap on the screen, and even type and interact with the device while zoomed in. Blind users can use Gesture Mode to reliably navigate the UI using touch and swipe gestures in combination with speech output. 

 Accessibility can be turned on with a simple two finger tap right out of the box.

Speech and Zoom can be used at the same time.

Charles brought the Nexus 7 tablet and the Nexus 4 unlocked smartphone for us to check out.

It was a very informative demonstration and everyone got their questions answered. 
Hope to see you at the next meeting.

Garlyn Serame 650-858-0202 x 121

Tech Tools Available for Demos and Training

Vista Center has a range of technology tools, from high tech to low tech, available for demonstration. To schedule a demo please call 650-858-0202 and enter the extension next to the headings below.

We now have an iMac computer available for individual demonstrations and lessons using Voice Over and Zoom.  We also have an iPad for demonstrations using Voice Over and Zoom.  Please contact Jan McKinley at 650-858-0202 ext. 185 to arrange an appointment for iMac or iPad demos or lessons.



Tech Lab (ext. 123)

Intel Reader, portable docking station Talking camera scanning device
Intel Reader, portable capture station
Camera docking station
Victor Reader Stream Digital book player
Pen Friend Talking label identifier
iBill Talking bill identifier
ID Mate Summit Talking barcode reader
Plextalk PTP 1 Talking digital recorder
Pearl Talking camera uses Openbook
iPad with Voiceover
Kindle Low vision book reader
Trekker Breeze Talking portable GPS
Macintosh Desktop iMac with Voiceover
Magic keyboard Keyboard for use with Magic software

Store (ext. 135)

Pebble portable video magnifier
Eye-C portable video magnifier
Looky Plus portable video magnifier
Aukey portable video magnifier

Low Vision Clinic (ext. 137)

CCTV's: Screen Size
Merlin  24 in
Topaz XL-HD 22 in.
Merlin  22 in
Lifestyle HD 22 in
Lifestyle Non-HD 22 in
Clearview HD 22 in
Clearview non-HD 22 in
Merlin  19 in.
Lifestyle HD 19 in.
Lifestyle non-HD 19 in.
Clearview HD 19 in.
Clearview non-HD 19 in.
Acrobat  19 in.
Merlin  17 in.
Magni Link Zip 17 in.
Portable Video Magnifiers Screen Size
Pebble ** (store) 4.3 in
Eye-C ** (store) 4.3 in
I-LoView (clinic) 4.3 in
Amigo (clinic) 6.5 in
Sapphire (clinic) 7 in.
Speech Reader:  
Intel Reader
Intel Reader dock
Intel Reader + dock

Magnification and other types of Mice (ext 137)

Prisma- Basic 
JB Bliss Low Vision Systems-Software  E-mail, internet, scanning and reading printed text and pictures.
Magnifying mouse Magnification
B/W Max Mouse 15x-28x
Color Max  15x-28x (Box says up to 30x)
optogon mouse up to 20x (on 20'' monitor) up to 70x (digitally) is operated by Bill Huber and is focused on enabling those with vision impairment or blindness to interact much more effectively with the world around them through the use of the Apple iPhone using its VoiceOver feature

New Stream Software and HumanWare Companion Released

HumanWare is pleased to announce a new version 3.4.6 free software upgrade to the Stream as well as a maintenance release version 3.5.6 for the HumanWare Companion. Instructions for updating and the list of new features.

Self-Driving Car Test: Steve Mahan

Santa Clara Valley Blind Center's Executive Director, Steve Mahan tests Google's self driving vehicle

 Accessible Prescription Label Program Now Free For Blind Americans

Normal, IL  3/15/11 – En-Vision America, Inc. has announced a new program to aid the blind and visually impaired in obtaining accessible prescriptions. Under their Pharmacy Freedom Program, eligible individuals may obtain a free ScripTalk Station patient reader that will allow them to access their prescription label information. Participating pharmacies attach a small RFID label to each prescription, containing all printed information. This provides a safe, private and independent way for the blind and visually impaired to manage their medication regimen, as well as helping pharmacies to comply with ADA regulations in serving their patients. Interested individuals may contact En-Vision America to get their free reader and provide pharmacy details. Pharmacies concerned with meeting the needs of their special needs patients may also contact the company for more information about the program.
ScripTalk Station is a cutting-edge technological solution for prescription medication information access. It has been adopted by the Veteran’s Administration for use in their facilities across the country. ScripTalk utilizes RFID (radio-frequency identification) and TTS (text-to-speech) technologies to allow those that cannot read their prescription labels a way to access the information. It is the only product on the market to provide full label information in a manner that meets ADA, FDCA and HIPAA regulations.
David Raistrick, Vice-President, says “We are pleased to be able to offer this new program to sight impaired folks in the U.S.  Now safety and peace of mind are free for patients when taking potentially dangerous medications!”
En-Vision America, Inc. is a company providing high-tech products aimed at solving problems for those with visual or print impairments. Located in Normal, Illinois, En-Vision America has successfully introduced several voice-enabled products such as i.d. mate Summit, the talking bar code reader, and ScripTalk, the talking pharmaceutical reader. Originally founded by Philip C. and David B. Raistrick in 1996, the cornerstone of the company was based upon one single premise: To provide customers with greater independence through technology.
For additional information contact:
Anna McClure
En-Vision America
1845 Hovey Ave.
Normal, IL 61761
Fax: 309-452-3643


Android Resource Site

This is an introduction to using Android phones for people with low vision or no vision, who want their phone to speak.

This site goes through the process of choosing a phone and turning on accessibility. There are useful accessible apps and tips and tricks using Android. There is a link to the eyes-free YouTube tutorials channel, TV Raman's blog on using Android, and a mailing list that all eyes-free users are encouraged to sign up on.


Visually Impaired Person Technology User Conference (VIP TUC)

VIPTUC 2010 was a well-attended, information-packed, event. Audio files from the event are below for those who may be interested in listening to them.

Saturday, May, 22, 2010

The Conference Center at Fenwick &West LLP
801 California Street
Mountain View, CA 94041

Audio files from conference

Conference Introduction - Walt Raineri (MP3)

VIP TUC Google Presentation, Charles Chen (MP3)

VIP TUC Samsung Presentation, Martin Tannerfors (MP3)

VIP TUC 2010 Keynote (MP3)

Vista Center was proud to sponsor a free conference for those interested in learning about cutting edge technologies being incorporated in the latest smart phones, and how that technology is being made accessible to the those who are blind or visually impaired. The conference featured presentations on the latest touch screen, smart phone technologies, including those used in: the Apple iPhone, Google Nexus One, and Nokia N97 smart phones. The keynote presentation and panel discussion on The Future of Smart Phone Technologies were presented by Mike May, CEO of the Sendero Group, and Peter Cantisani, Technology Consultant. Additional presentations were given by representatives of smart phone manufacturers and wireless service providers. The VIP TUC also featured break out user group sessions on the following topics:

Screen Readers for Smart Phones

Navigation Applications for Smart Phones

Book and Text Readers for Smart Phones

Smart Phone Technology from Apple, Google, and Nokia.

Schedule of Events (MS Word)


For information or feedback relating to this past event please contact