Two Good Things About The Jays So Far

I didn’t win the Blue Jays charity 50/50 draw today, but I still feel like a winner. I haven’t been to any of the games this weekend, but I was able to enter the draw because they’ve started selling tickets online. I love buying in when I’m there (no, I’ve never won), so this is pretty cool. I hope they keep it up. If they do, the place to get your tickets is

No matter what happens today (we’re tied 3-3 in the 11th), I have to say I’m impressed with the team on the field so far. The offense isn’t exactly firing on all cylinders just yet, but my god, the pitching. If we get anything close to what we’ve had out of the starters through the first four games fairly consistently, we might just be alright. I’m especially impressed by Trent Thornton today. Dude struck out eight guys with 75 pitches in five innings. Oh, and it was his major league debut. That’s a record. Not too shabby.

Carin Is Presenting At CSUN!

She ran out of time to mention it herself or maybe she’s just shy, so I’ll do it.

As I type, Carin is on her way to the CSUN conference. Her work sends her most years, which is pretty cool.

“Carin, please let us fly you to better weather and pay you to hang out with smart people and play with all sorts of new technology.”

Yeah, she’s not turning that down.

But this year she’s going to do more than just take it all in. She’ll actually be presenting!

“Don’t Make Me Do This!” A Ninja Screen Reader User Implores Web Developers

Session ID
Date & Time
Thursday, March 14, 2019 – 9:00 AM PST
Grand GH

This session will present a nuanced view of web accessibility and demonstrate how users with diverse expertise levels perceive web accessibility differently.
• Sambhavi Chandrashekar
OCAD University
• Carin Headrick
D2L Corporation

I’ve seen bits of this presentation. If you have a website and wonder why people don’t seem to like it very much or you’re about to build one and want to maybe not have that problem, it’s one you should check out.

And say hi to Carin if you see her around. She’ll be somewhere or other conference-related from later today until sometime Friday. She’s fun to talk to, and you’ll even get to meet the Shmans!

Jerry Howarth Is Coming To Kitchener To Sign Books And Talk About Baseball

I’m plugging this event for two reasons:

  1. It sounds like a fun night and I think I may want to go.
  2. Because whoever is in charge of making these decisions needs to know of my desire for an audio version of this book. One read by Jerry, provided his voice can handle it.

Join us at THEMUSEUM for Hello Friends! An Evening & Book Signing with Jerry Howarth, Voice of the Toronto Blue Jays, in conversation with Mike Farwell on Tuesday, April 9, 2019. Jerry will share stories from his life and his time with Blue Jays Baseball!
Tuesday, April 9, 2019 | Doors: 6:00pm | Event: 6:45pm-9:30pm
THEMUSEUM, 10 King St West, Downtown Kitchener
$35 +tax (includes moderated talk with Jerry Howarth and Mike Farwell)
$55 +tax (includes moderated talk with Jerry Howarth and Mike Farwell, and a copy of Hello Friends! Stories from my Life and Blue Jays Baseball by Jerry Howarth, and Jerry will sign at the event)

Limited VIP tickets available for $200 which include dinner with Jerry Howarth before the event, a signed copy of his book, premium seating, and a donation to THEMUSEUM.

Anybody want to spot me that 200 bucks? I’ll be sure to drop your name around Jerry because I’m cool like that. You can get more info and buy tickets here.

Help Our Friend Barb Win This Year’s Holman Prize

Our friend Barb MacDougall is a very talented musician, and she wants to share her love of music and the benefits of it with as many people as she can. So to help herself reach that goal, she has submitted an application for this year’s Holman Prize.

What is that? It’s this.

In 2017, LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired in San Francisco launched the Holman Prize to support the emerging adventurousness and can-do spirit of blind and low vision people worldwide. This endeavor celebrates people who want to shape their own future instead of having it laid out for them.
Created specifically for legally blind individuals with a penchant for exploration of all types, the Prize provides financial backing – up to $25,000 – for three individuals to explore the world and push their limits.
The ideal candidate is someone who is willing to probe their environment and eager to savor the richness of a world that is so often thought of as inaccessible to the blind. This exploration may involve travel, community organizing, athletics, creating art and more.
The Prize begins with a challenge: blind applicants must submit a first-round pitch, in the form of a 90-second YouTube video. Later, a select group of semifinalists will submit in-depth written proposals, and an even smaller group of finalists will be interviewed by LightHouse staff.

This is Barb’s first-round pitch.

Give it a watch and share it with anyone who might be interested.

We’re totally pulling for you, Barb!

Can You Help My Friend Make Her House More Accessible For Her Kids?

I don’t think I ever wrote about Katie, someone I went to university with. It’s a shame. I guess most of the time I would have had occasion to write about her, there wasn’t a blog, or I wasn’t writing for it. But now she is needing a little help raising some money to install some accessibility equipment so her kids can move around their house independently. So, I wanted to tell you a little bit about her so you might think about giving her a hand because of how cool a person she is.

I met Katie for a few reasons. She would help me get to class sometimes, and she also worked the desk at the residence where I lived. I always had so much fun with her. She was very good at cracking me up. Sometimes we would leave strange messages on each other’s answering machines, and this was back in the day when people shared answering machines. Sorry, former room-mates of Katie. This little song will always make me think of her.

I only knew it as far as “The apple of my eye”, but that’s it. That was her voicemail greeting for a while.

We went to movies, hung out and had fun, at least I did. Sometimes she would tell me about this camp where she would volunteer and all the kids she would work with. I eventually figured out that this was a camp for kids with various disabilities, but she never made a big deal about their disabilities, they were just kids who were part of her summer. When she got married, there were a ton of kids from that camp who came to her wedding.

As the fund-raiser explains, she and her husband went on to adopt two kids with special needs. Now those kids have gotten bigger and are having trouble moving around on their own. So she wants to install an elevator called a telecab in their house. That will cost $40000. It looks like she’s well on her way. So far, she has raised nearly $6000 and this fund-raiser was just created a few days ago.

I know many of you probably don’t know Katie, but she is an amazing person who would do anything for these kids. I hope you can help her out by either donating or sharing her story.

NVDA Future Improvements Survey

I use NVDA every day and while there are issues here and there using it with some specific programs, I don’t have a lot to add to this survey. But if you do, have at it.

It doesn’t look like it should take very long to fill out, especially if you know how Github works (it’s not a requirement that you know how Github works). They just want to hear about your two biggest issues with the software and a few very basic things about your general usage of it.

NV Access would like to work with the community to identify the most important bugs and feature requests for NVDA. With over 2000 open issues on Github, it can be difficult for us to understand which issues are the most hard hitting for the greatest amount of people. By filling in this short survey, you can help us better prioritize our future work.
As always, we make no promise that creating an issue or filling in this survey will mean that your particular issues are addressed in a timely manner, however we will look very carefully at this data, and prioritize our work to ensure we provide positive impact to the greatest number of users.
Your answers are annonymous. No identifying information will be asked for in this survey. However, by filling in this survey you are agreeing that NV Access may make this data public for all to see.
Thank you for your help in improving NVDA.

Make A Password, Help A Charity

This just landed in my inbox.

Hey Steve,

We’ve recently built a Secure Password Generator Tool which promotes cyber security and the benefits of having a secure password.

So we can really make a difference, for each use of the tool, we are donating 1 cent to charitable causes (EFF and One Laptop Per Child).

Is this something you could get behind?

Sure is. Those are both good causes (even though OLPC has had its share of problems), as is the mission to get as many people as possible using passwords that aren’t easily crackable.

So if you need a new password, head over to the BitsFromBytes Password Generator and make one while simultaneously helping to make a difference. You can also read more about what each of those charities does if you’re not familiar with them.

La Luna Restaurant

Gill has a restaurant recommendation today. If you’re looking for somewhere to eat this weekend and you’re in the area, perhaps this is your place.

If you’ve ever wanted to have delicious high end food with out the snobbery this is the perfect place. About three blocks from my house is La Luna Lebanese Restaurant. You go order and pay, and they bring your selection out to you. I had fatier which is a pastry with spinach and some other items in it. They also brought over some falafles to try, I’ve had falafles before, but these ones were quite delicious. If unsure what a falafle is it’s a ball of deep fried chickpeas and spices rolled in doe. I admit that they weren’t lying when they said they had the best Lebanese food in Hamilton.

A Guide To WordPress With A Screen-Reader: An Interesting Idea

Here’s something neat that I can get behind.

Amanda Rush has started what could be a super useful project. It will be a behemoth, but what a useful behemoth! She is trying to build a comprehensive guide to WordPress with a screen-reader. What’s more, she is going to try to keep it current. You go, girl!

Man, wouldn’t it be nice, if you’re trying to solve a complicated problem, to not have to decode the instructions that are written up with visual descriptions and screenshots. Sometimes, you can get by because they have added enough description that you can find the links and buttons to which they refer, but there’s nothing more infuriating than getting super helpful instructions, only to bump into a sentence like “You will get to a screen that looks like this. {screenshot goes here}.” Or “Now, drag the icon to…” Baaaaa!

But because it’s a time-consuming, ever-evolving affair, she is trying to get enough money to keep it going. So go to the page linked above and have a look at what she has already done. If you think this could be helpful, send her some dough to help keep it going.

(Updated With Watch Links) Brad Is On Menu Match-Up!

I don’t know whether somebody on AMI’s website team was a hide and seek champion in a previous life or what, but for reasons known only to them, all of the below episode links are broken. This is at least the second time this has happened. The first time I (Steve) was unimpressed, but I went through and fixed them all. This time I am even more unimpressed, and I don’t know if I’m going to bother fixing them again because I’m certain this won’t be the last time this happens. But because it would be nice if a post that promises watch links actually has them and because my little brother is in it, I’ll send you to what is, for now anyway, the full season page. Enjoy the show…while you can.

Original post:
Brad, brother of Steve, baker of many things and keeper of Trixie, is going to be on TV! He’s part of a cooking show series called Menu Match-up which is airing for the next 8 Tuesdays at 8:30 on the Accessible Media Inc (AMI) channel.
Check out the promo. I would love to embed it, but the beautiful player does not seem to have share or embed capabilities.

You can watch his episode on December 12 at 8:30, or multiple times after that. I would love to link to a page showing them all, but that is proving difficult to do. Also, the episode will be available online on AMI’s website after it airs. I’m sure we will get our hands on it. The only little thing is the episodes are geoblocked, so folks outside Canada will have to get creative if they want to watch them.

As much as I love AMI, I kind of need to get a little bit annoyed with them about the media kit PDF file they sent with all the show info in it. It is almost accessible, in fact it was even tagged. But someone forgot to do a little touching up of the reading order, and thus for a screen-reader user, the result looks, well, a little something like this. Seriously. Can you click on the video trailer? Can you make heads or tails of which channel number goes with which network? Can you figure out which show title goes with which show description? Are there any sections so you can skim at all? No? I didn’t think so. I hope they can fix it up, just so they can give an example of what a good PDF looks like.

Here are the episode descriptions. I will attempt to match the titles, but it’s going to take a bit of work because I couldn’t tell what goes with what. I also had to reorder these, because they displayed out of order for me, as you can see from the text file.

Beet Me to It

Episode 101
Airs: October 24 at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT
Home cook Orly and Chef Suzanne Barr go up against home cook Yolanda and Chef Toben Kochman. It’s a tight race to the finish as both teams whip up wonders from a crate of secret ingredients.
Judges: Lauren Mozer, Abbey Sharp, Sean Earnshaw

A Quail of a Time

Episode 102
Airs: October 31 at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT
Home cook Ramya and Chef Missy Hui go head to head with home cook Mary and Chef Deji Oduwole. It’s down to the wire; but who comes in first, the chicken or the egg?
Judges: Sang Kim, LeeAnne Wright, Suzanne Caskie

Squash the Competition

Episode 103
Airs: November 7 at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT
Home cook Alicia and Chef John Cirillo take on home cook Sharon and Chef Anthony Ramundi. Things get “chili”in the kitchen as both teams get creative with canned goods and crackers.
Judges:Matt Dean Pettit, Michelle Jobin, Julie Miguel

Pasta Wars

Episode 104
Airs: November 14 at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT
Home cook Dan and Chef Jonny O’Callaghan battle it out with home cook Sylvia and Chef Joe Friday. The knives and noodles come out as both teams slice and dice their way to pasta perfection.
Judges: Missy Hui, Hubert Leung, Deji Oduwole

Choreographed Chaos

Episode 105
Airs: November 21 at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT
Home cook Chris and Chef Domenic Chiaromonte face off with home cook Michelle and Chef Sebastian Gallucci. Things go from mild to wild as everything is thrown in except for the kitchen sink.
Judges: Suzanne Caskie, Ryan Hinkson, Russell Auckbaraullee

Blender Blunder

Episode 106
Airs: November 28 at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT
Home cook Jean Lydia and Chef Stephanie Tucci compete against home cook Kristina and Chef Russell Auckbaraullee. It’s crunch time as both teams go nuts to bring their best dish forward.
Judges: Kyla Zanardi, Murray Gregga, Afrim Pristine

Pinwheels and Poppers and Pastry, oh my!

Episode 107
Airs: December 5 at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT
Home cook Shaunelle and Chef Tallis Voakes go head to head with home cook Karen and Chef Warren Ford. The kitchen heats up as both teams create the best recipe to make or bake a winning dish.
Judges: Joshna Maharaj, Anthony Ramundi, Matthew Ravenscroft

The Pits

Episode 108
Airs: December 12 at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT
Home cook Brad and Chef Lauren Mozer team up against home cook Beverley and Chef Christian Pritchard. Peppered with jokes and puns, the teams compete to see who does sweet and savoury best.
Judges: Toben Kochman, Craig Wong, Rob Rossi

Heheh of course Brad’s episode would be full of puns.

Now, if the PDF had been done right, I wouldn’t have to have done all that work, and perhaps I wouldn’t have made mistakes. I think I got it right but who knows?

Anyway, check out the show. There’s another friend on there too, I think he’s in the fifth episode if I got it all right. It should be kinda neat!