News & Info

PRCVI Connections

November/December 2016 - Issue 11

Happy Holidays from PRCVI!

Dear colleagues,

It's that season where we can hang up our monoculars and slates and styluses (styli?) for a while and enjoy time with loved ones and friends. Thank you for the dedicated service that you provide to our students and their families. As we move into 2017, please do not hesitate to let us know how PRCVI can support you in your work. From all of us here - best wishes for a warm and joyous holiday season and a very Happy New Year.

Featured Resources

In this section we feature resources from the PRCVI collection that may be helpful to teachers and students.

New Transition Resources at PRCVI

At the PRCVI Advisory Committee we look forward to hearing from our student representatives. At the most recent meeting, our student rep asked if PRCVI could do more in terms of resources to support the transition to post-secondary education. We are pleased to announce two new transition resources: an online resource guide for BC students with visual impairments transitioning into the post-secondary sector (soon to be posted) on the ECC page under Career Education and an updated edition of College Bound has been added to the professional library.

What's New at PRCVI?

Early Braille Writing Project

PRCVI's Early Braille Writing Project (EBWP) is off to a great start! Eight students and their teachers are participating in the project, and several teachers who already had students using a Mountbatten Brailler have joined our webinars. The first webinar covered the basics of using the Mountbatten. The second webinar covered the new MB Mimic app. Special thanks to Steve from Aroga for sharing his expertise with us. We have already heard stories of how the Mountbatten has been a huge benefit to students' developing literary skills, and look forward to further developing this community of practice in the new year.

Assistive Technology BAA Course

We are very pleased to announce that the revised and updated Assistive Technology ECC course has been approved through the North Vancouver School District. We will update with further details regarding course availability in the new year. Work is being done by a committee of vision teachers from across the province to update the braille ECC courses.

Tech Tips

Technology changes fast! This section provides some information about the latest developments so that you can stay up to date.

Google Accessibility Training Materials

Google and AFB held a "Train the Trainer" workshop and have made their training materials and exercises available online. A wide variety of topics are covered, including using Google's operating systems (Android and Chrome) and using Gmail, Calendar, Docs, Sheets, Slides, and other Google tools with NVDA and JAWS.

Braille Music Notator

Braille Music Notator is an online tool for creating braille music scores. It is designed to be accessible to both sighted users and those using screen readers.

Freedom Scientific Webinars

Freedom Scientific has had several recent webinars that have been archived, including using JAWS with Twitter and using JAWS with Google Docs and Sheets.

News and Events

This section summarizes events happening around the province that may be of interest to teachers of the visually impaired or their students and families.

BC Regional Braille Challenge

Applications are being accepted for the 5th annual BC Regional Braille Challenge until January 13, 2017. Contact Adam Wilton for more information and specific details.

UBC Program

The UBC program to train teachers in the field of visual impairment is accepting applications for a new cohort beginning in Summer 2017. If you know of any teachers interested in specializing in our field, please direct them to information about becoming a vision teacher available on PRCVI's website or the UBC program website for more information.

Links and Multimedia

Here are some interesting articles, videos, and podcasts that have comeacross our news feeds recently.

AFB Gift Guides

The latest issue of AFB's AccessWorld includes an article with gift suggestions for recipients with visual impairments, ranging from free to high-tech.

Yes Chef

Is cooking one of the areas of the ECC you plan to focus on in the new year? Yes Chef is a free iOS app that allows hands-free access to recipes using voice alone, and has been designed to be fully accessible with VoiceOver.

What's Happening on Yammer

Some great links have been posted to Yammer over the past several months. Here is just a sample of the great links and resources being shared:

Having trouble logging in to Yammer or not yet signed up? Please contact Jennifer Jesso ( or Ellen Hsieh ( for assistance.

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