The Mid-Atlantic Regional Group

Blinded Veterans Association

MARG BVA Technology Program.


 MARG BVA Technology Program

 By Herb Patterson

President, Richmond Chapter BVA

Minutes from the Thursday, 5 Mar 2015

There were 14 Blinded Veterans on the conference call


Frank Genstky asked a question about the Hines BRC providing Blinded Veterans with Apple lap tops that boot up either with the Apple Operating System or the Windows Operating System.  With this, a Blinded Veteran would be able to switch between the two operating systems while the computer is running.

Dean Pederson shared there is one procedure called Boot Camp and he couldn't recall the name of the other way, to load either the Apple or Windows Operating System while booting up.  You would have to press certain keys that would allow this to occur when booting up.  In addition, Dean indicated there is a way to install the Apple Operating System within a virtual window but this will slow the computer down. Dean recommended visiting the Apple web site or visiting to learn and to download the podcast on allowing either system to boot up. Richard Olson shared the Hines BRC has been talking about issuing Apple lap tops to Blinded Veterans but he is not exactly sure if they are doing this currently or not.

Terry Kebbel asked why someone would boot up in the Windows Operating System on an Apple lap top.  Dean Pederson shared this would be very helpful because of running OCR software, which Apple does not support for document interpretation. Kurzwiild for example, is not supported by Apple. Dean is running the Office 365 and this works very well.  Office 365 is designed to work within the Microsoft and Apple architecture.

One of the Blinded Veterans shared he had heard the VA is switching over to all Apple lap tops.  Jerry Hogan shared that he heard the VA is not doing this currently.  

Frank shared how good and convenient Apple Care is on supporting Apple products and its customers.  Jerry Hogan shared the Microsoft Accessibility Desk is very good to work with also.  Their phone number is:  1-800-936-5900

They will be able to remote access your computer to assist you with your difficulties.  One thing they will be looking for is the accessibility software a disabled person would have on their computer.  For example, they would be looking for JAWS, Zoom Text, Windows Eye, NVDA or some other adaptive software.  They provide technical support free of charge to the disabled so they want to ensure they are supporting the right people.

General conversation continued on being able to "tandem" in to a computer. This allows, Microsoft Accessibility Desk or if you are a JAWS User, being able to control someone else's computer. 

Conversation focused on twit tv.  Twit TV stands for this week in tech and is an on line technical assistance web site for computer as well as smart phone users. The web site to access twit tv is: In addition, more information on twit tv can be found at: Jerry Hogan provided a brief demonstration of the live programming as well as pod cast you can download addressing the various technical subject they cover. One consideration to keep in mind is if you have any technical issues that you have difficulty resolving, please contact either Richard Olson at: Or Kevin Jackson at: and they can forward your concerns to the Blinded Veterans that have volunteered to assist other Blinded Veterans with computer issues or your email may be forwarded to one of the computer instructors at the Hines  BRC.

Mike Corcoran is having difficulty with Zoom Text 10.  It is locking up frequently. Is having difficulty with Zoom Text 10 on the internet and gets prompts to update his internet browser but if he does, Zoom Text  10 will not work.

Jerry and Gary indicated the best solution would be to use Magic from Freedom Scientific.  Magic, along with JAWS, also written by Freedom Scientific, work well together. 

Gary is using both Magic and JAWS and indicated learning the new key strokes is definitely worth it as they work well together.

Herb Patterson has provided an attached document on Zoom Text 10 and the improvements.

If you are having any specific Zoom Text related issue and are having difficulty finding answers, please forward your concerns to Richard Olson or Kevin Jackson.  Their email addresses are above.

Jerry Hogan has provided the address to his Blind Vets and Friends Chat Room.  This way, any issues that may come up during the month, if you wish, you may be able to discuss this with Blinded Veterans in the chat room at the time.

Blinded Vets and Friends Blinded Vets E-Mail Jerry E-Mail Contact Phone#:(210)520-9970

Link to the Blinded Vets meeting room on Tuesday 7:30pm Central Standard Time.

Richard Olson has also provided an I bug today newsletter which addresses I O S, Apple issues.