need help with Google calendar and Jaws

Amy Bower

Hi All: I'm being forced to use Google calendar instead of my beloved Outlook calendar to match the support staff in a new leadership position I'm assuming in my institution. I've invested quite a bit of time learning how to work it with Jaws, and I'm reasonably satisfied except for one thing--notifications and alerts for meetings and other events. Through trial and error, I've learned that the calendar overall works best with the Chrome browser. In Internet Explorer, the shortcut keys don't seem to work (even after turning off the virtual cursor). BTW, I'm using Windows 7 stll - starting to migrate to Windows 10.
In outlook, it was easy to set a calendar event notification to popup some time before an event. When it appeared was chosen by me. When the notification appeared, there was a sound, and a dialogue box appears on the screen, and I have the option to dismiss the reminder, snooze the reminder, etc. I'm trying to duplicate this convenient feature in Google calendar.
OK. so first, in the Google calendar settings, one can choose for notification, Desktop Notification or Alert. Not sure what the difference is - this is my first question. But either way, the option to have a sound go off with the notification is only available for Desktop Notification, so I have chosen that option. I have to have a sound.
I've also chosen a default notification timing, 30 minutes before the event.
OK. Next, when creating an individual event, under notifications, there is the option for it to be a PopUp, or an email. I don't want to clutter my in-box any further, so I choose popup. Not sure exactly what that is, but okay.

The problem: notifications may be popping up on my screen somewhere, but most of the time, there is no sound, so I have no idea that a notification has come up. Furthermore, if I stumble upon the popup, I can't get Jaws to read it using e.g., insert + b.

I'm very nervous I'm going to miss important meetings until I get this figured out!

Here are my specific questions:
1. what is the difference between a desktop notification and alert (in settings)?
2. how do I make sure I hear a sound every time?
3. how do I find and read the notification with Jaws?
4. how do I snooze a notification?

Maybe some of the difficulties are related to using Chrome? Is there a better browser to use that still functions with the shortcut keys? I have to have the latter so I can easily jump to a date in the future (which you can do with the G key (after turning off the virtual cursor).
Also, I know I can display Google calendar events in Outlook, but you can't enter or edit google events from Outlook. The Google bit is required so that the support staff can see my calendar and add/delete events. I know they could do that with Outlook Exchange, but that is not an option.

I already feel like I'm having to give up limited bandwidth in my brain to work the Google calendar, so I hope there are some easy fixes here. Would be happy to hear from anyone with this depth of experience with google calendar, offline if that is preferred,

Note that I also use Google calendar on my iPhone, and presently I'm using that to alert me to meetings so I don't blow it on the first few days in the new position.

Dr. Amy S. Bower
Senior Scientist
Department of Physical Oceanography
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Woods Hole, MA 02543 USA
v: 508-289-2781
f: 508-457-2181
c: 508-564-3663

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