Learn Braille & Tech Skills (Free)

Our friends at the Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library in New York are offering free online assistive technology, braille, and culture workshops.  Check out the list below:

Some of the workshops require registration.

Braille Study Group – Remote 

Saturdays, 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM on Zoom

Tuesdays 7:00 PM- 8:30 PM on Zoom

We welcome learners at all levels! Bring your questions, get support for your learning goals and find out how to learn Braille for free from home. To register, please email ChanceyFleet@nypl.org or call (212) 206-5400, extension 3.

Tech Calendar:

Intro to NVDA: a 12-week Workshop 

Tuesdays beginning April 5, 12:00 –  1:30 PM Eastern

There are several Windows screen readers to choose from. Come discover how this free, open-source option compares. If you know how to type, understand Windows basics, can commit to attending twelve sessions, and would like to become more confident and proficient with the NVDA screen reader, this workshop is for you! Please plan to join us each week for a hands-on lesson and discussion. This workshop also includes a group mailing list where you can post your questions and discoveries for other members of your cohort to read and respond, as well as a weekly recap that is optional attend half an hour before the official start of each class. We’ll cover the basics of customizing NVDA settings, getting around in Windows 10, working with text, managing files and folders and exploring the web.

This workshop will be limited to 30 participants, so please apply to participate soon! This event will take place online.

Register for Exploring NVDA

Exploring Voiceover for Mac- a Twelve-Week Workshop

Tuesdays beginning April 5, 3:00 – 4:30 PM Eastern

If you know how to type,  can commit to attending twelve sessions, and would like to become more confident and proficient with the Voiceover screen reader, this workshop is for you! Please plan to join us each week for a hands-on lesson and discussion. This workshop also includes a group mailing list where you can post your questions and discoveries for other members of your cohort to read and respond, as well as a weekly recap that is optional attend half an hour before the  official start of every class. We’ll cover the basics of customizing Voiceover settings, getting around in the Mac OS, working with text, managing files and folders and exploring the web.

This workshop will be limited to 30 participants, so please apply to participate soon!

This event will take place online.

Register for Exploring Voiceover

Exploring JAWS – a Twelve-Week Workshop

Tuesdays beginning April 5, 5:00 – 6:30 PM Eastern

If you know how to type, can commit to attending twelve sessions, and would like to become more confident and proficient with the JAWS screen reader, this workshop is for you! Please plan to join us each week for a hands-on lesson and discussion. This workshop also includes a group mailing list where you can post your questions and discoveries for other members of your cohort to read and respond, as well as a weekly recap that is optional to attend half an hour before the official start of every class. We’ll cover the basics of customizing JAWS settings, getting around in Windows 10, working with text, managing files and folders and exploring the web.

This workshop will be limited to 30 participants, so please apply to participate soon!

This event will take place online.

Register for Exploring JAWS

iPhone Chat for Voiceover Beginners

First Saturdays (April 2, May 7, June 4), 1:00 – 2:15 PM Eastern

If you’re new to using Voiceover on the iPhone or if you’re still working toward confidence, this discussion group is for you. We’ll spend some time going over the theory of how screen readers work, gestures everyone needs to know, and some strategies for getting help. Then, we’ll open it up for questions and networking.

This event will take place online.

Join the Zoom for Voiceover Beginners

iPhone Chat for Voiceover Users: Beyond the Basics

First Saturdays (April 2, May 7, June 4), 2:30 – 4:00 PM Eastern

Talk about customizing gestures and settings, exploring new apps, choosing accessories, dealing with bugs, and whatever else comes to mind. This is a space for any and all Voiceover topics that go beyond the basics of using common gestures and built-in apps.

This event will take place online.

Join the Zoom for Voiceover: Beyond the Basics

The Zoom about Zoom: What Participants and Hosts Need to know

Friday April 1, 2:00 – 3:30 PM

Get ready to manage microphones, cameras, chat messages, raised hands, polls and breakout rooms with confidence. We’ll show you everything you need to know to bring your best self to virtual gatherings, whether you’re attending or hosting.

This event will take place online.

Register for the Zoom about Zoom

Braille Screen Input for iOS, Android and Kindle Fire

Saturday April 16, 1:30 – 3:00 PM

If you know Braille (even if you don’t know contractions), you can type comfortably and quickly with Braille screen input. In this workshop, we’ll explore how to set it up, gestures you need to know, and what you can do if you’re having trouble with this feature.

This event will take place in person and online. Please RSVP to ChanceyFleet@nypl.org to attend in person, or register to participate online.

Join the Zoom for Braille Screen Input for iOS, Android, and Kindle Fire

Emojication: Know your Emoji

Wednesday April 6, 6:00 – 7:30 PM Eastern

Join us for a lively discussion about emoji: what they mean, how they evolve over time, and how blind and low-vision people can understand and use them with confidence.

This event will take place online.

Join the Zoom for Emojication: Know your Emoji

Using Dictation with Braille Displays on iOS

Wednesday April 13, 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM Eastern

Many of us use built-in dictation as well as various transcription apps. We may do it to save time, transcribe long recordings, work with translation, or make communication more effective when someone has a speech or hearing impairment. In this workshop, we’ll explore the best practices for getting dictation to work well with Braille displays, and highlight the performance of Braille on various dictation and transcription apps.

This event will take place online.

Register for Using Dictation with Braille Displays on iOS

What Does it Meme?: Understanding and Sharing Visual Culture

Monday May 2, 6:00 – 7:30 PM Eastern

Memes are a rich part of Internet culture but, usually, they’re not accessible to blind and low-vision people. Join us as we dive into the meaning and evolution of memes, and explore how concise, evocative description can create equity of access in digital spaces.

This event will take place online.

Join the Zoom for What Does it Meme?

Intro to Facebook with Accessibility in Mind

Thursday May 5, 2:00 – 3:30 PM Eastern

We’ll go over the basics of navigating Facebook with confidence on mobile and the web. Learn how to create posts including links and photos, navigate the News Feed, access important settings, handle messages and more.

This hybrid event will take place online and in person. Please RSVP to chanceyfleet@nypl.org to attend in person, or register for the Zoom:

Register for Intro to Facebook with Accessibility in Mind

Where in the World: Accessible Wayfinding and Mapping for iOS

Wednesday May 18, 3:00 – 4:30 PM Eastern

We’ll explore accessible mainstream apps like Apple and Google Maps, which can give you walking or transit directions and help you discover points of interest in your city. Plus, we’ll explore Microsoft Soundscape and Goodmaps, two apps built to give you precise, accessible guidance.

This event will take place in person and online. To attend in person, please RSVP to ChanceyFleet@nypl.org or register via Zoom to join online.

Register for the Zoom: Mapping and Wayfinding for iOS

Using iOS Shortcuts

Thursday June 9, 2:00 – 3:30 PM Eastern

Shortcuts can be used to automate tasks and save time. Join us to explore examples of effective shortcuts and learn to create your own.

This event will take place in person and online. Email ChanceyFleet@nypl.org to RSVP in person, or register to participate online.

Register for the Zoom for Using iOS Shortcuts

Intro to Google Translate

Wednesday June 15, 2:00 – 3:30 PM Eastern

Take a deep dive into this powerful cross-platform tool for translation. We’ll explore how to translate from speech, text, handwriting and the camera; how to build a list of phrases you use often; and what you need to know about conversational and continuous translation.

This event will take place in person and online. Email ChanceyFleet@nypl.org to attend in person, or register to participate online.

Join the Zoom for Intro to Google Translate