The Covid-19 pandemic has forced many of us to spend more time at home. Some of us are now working from home. Some of us may be staying home to stay safe. Others may be at home in order to self-isolate or quarantine. Even before all of this began there have been many opportunities for online training using meeting platforms such as Zoom. Now that more of us are forced to stay in our homes the opportunities for remote training and assistance will likely increase.
A couple of weeks ago I attended my first Ibug conference where participants are encouraged to ask questions and to provide support for one another with their iOS devices. I really liked the format of the conference but I wanted to see a similar opportunity covering topics from a Windows perspective.
I decided that I’d like to host such a conference and this will likely be the first in a series of free, online tech workshops, assuming there is enough interest in such a project.
The first of these workshops is titled, “JAWS, Just Because” and is scheduled for Friday, March 20 at 8:00 PM Eastern time. This conference will allow users of the JAWS screen reader to both ask questions as well as to provide answers to those who use the JAWS screen reader. No question is too basic or too esoteric and it should be stressed that there is no such thing as a stupid question.
For this conference I’m looking for two types of participants. First, anyone with a question regarding JAWS is, of course, welcome. Second, I’m hoping that those who are knowledgeable in the use of JAWS will also consider participating to share knowledge. Due to time constraints we won’t have time to provide lengthy support or to tandem into a user’s machine. Questions which require this type of intervention would best be addressed by Vispero’s technical support.
In order to keep the conference running smoothly I am going to adopt a similar policy which has been successfully used by iBug. Users who wish to ask a question or to provide a response should say their name, as in, “This is John.” At that point please wait to be acknowledged by the host, as in, “Go ahead, John.”
I have some other ideas for similar workshops but would like to hear some of yours so that I can determine the needs that you have as well as the level of interest. With many of us working from home are there specific applications or programs that you might want some assistance with? Programs that come to mind are Slack, Teams, etc. Would there be interest in similar workshops for NVDA users?
I would also like to invite other assistive technology trainers to write to me privately if you’re interested in assisting with any of these workshops. Many of you may have some ideas which I haven’t thought of and you surely have expertise with topics which I do not. I am unable to provide any type of compensation for any assistance you may choose to provide but the point of these workshops is to provide free assistance to those who may be spending more time at home doing work or completing other tasks. This can be a stressful time for many of us. Many kind and patient people assisted me when I was first learning about assistive technology and I just want to pay it forward and give something back to the blindness community, particularly during this time when the need for some tech help may be even greater
Here is the relevant information about the upcoming conference.
Topic: JAWS, Just Because
Join our Zoom Meeting via the following link.
Meeting ID: 356 585 7579
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Meeting ID: 356 585 7579
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