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#59 Voice Commands -

One of the best ways to learn what’s available to help deal with low vision is to join a support group. At a support group you can ask others what their experience has been with a specific product you are considering. Do they recommend the product? You can also ask how others perform certain tasks like shopping, cooking, or using a white cane. My first blog (link) was about support groups so you know how strongly I support them.

Because of the COVID epidemic, many support groups are meeting online instead of in-person. This means you can join in on a meeting across the country from your own home. How do you find a support group? I do it with Google. Depending on the wording of your search, different links will come up. Here are some search examples:

  • “low vision support groups online”
  • “macular degeneration (or another eye diagnosis)  support groups”
  • “low vision meetings via zoom”

The peer support offered at meetings can tackle depression head-on. It helps to talk with others who have the same struggles you have.

The last meeting I attended had only audio, no video. Some of the hints I learned were:

  • www.thelowvisionshop.com  lots of items for sale at this site.
  • Sam with the Blind Life on Youtube
  • Sam has several videos on Youtube on various subjects: retractable canes, finding a small item dropped on the floor (like a pill), NuEyes glasses, eSight 4, OrCam, Iris Vision, Acesight VR, and Jordy.
  • Using voice commands with Siri and Google Assistant: Before a command, be sure your icons are showing. Otherwise, a reminder will say, “you need to unlock your phone or tablet first.” Then be sure to press the home button for a few seconds before a command. A straight, colored line will appear across the bottom of the screen. A voice may say, “Go ahead. I’m ready.”

Helpful voice commands

  1. What time is it?
  2. What’s the weather going to be today?
  3. Info from the web. Ask any question.
  4. Texting “send a message to __________________” This means you don’t have to type a message!
  5. Read the last message from ____________” This means you don’t have to read the small print in a message
  6. Read the last text message. That would be from anybody.
  7. Dictate a number to the phone to make a call. No need to find the right buttons to make the call.
  8. Look up a number for ____________ (person or place).
  9. Call that number.
  10. If you know the number, you can dictate it for Siri to call.
  11. If the number you want to call is in your contact list, you can ask Siri to call _____________.
  12. Siri can turn on and off accessible features.
  13. Siri can tell you how much battery time you have left.
  14. Google can “turn on flashlight” or “turn off the flashlight.” (Siri can’t do this.)

Readers: Do you have other commands that you like to use. Do you have other ways of giving commands?


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