Global Accessibility Awareness Day 2020

Apple’s Accessibility home page says that the true value of a technology is not measured by how powerful it is, but by how much it empowers the user, and every Apple product contains amazing and empowering accessibility features right out of the box.

May 21 is Global Accessibility Awareness Day (third Thursday in May), accessibility is a popular user group meeting topic. From being able to take a perfect group selfie, write a text, or email without being able to see the screen; to VoiceOver to describe what is happening on any Apple device, display accommodations that can even assist with color blindness, Live Listen, closed captioning that displays far more than text, FaceTime and health tracking, LED iPhone notifications, Switch Control, customized gestures, AssistiveTouch, Guided Access, typing feedback, text-to-speech, fitness algorithms for wheelchair users, AirPods, and so much more, there are features to make every user’s tasks easier – truly empowering each user.

Want to make accessibility your group’s next meeting topic? Apple’s Accessibility Website, 17 YouTube videos on Apple Support’s Channel, and Today at Apple can make your next meeting a great one:

Apple Support’s YouTube Channel: Accessibility

Apple Accessibility Website

Today at Apple Accessibility Sessions

 

Meeting Idea: Apple Books for Authors

Are your members interested in writing, publishing, marketing, and selling their own ebooks or audiobooks? Apple offers clear and targeted resources that can guide your members through the process, from structuring their stories, to packaging their digital books, selling them on Apple’s Book Store, and using analytics to increase readership. Apple Bookstore: Yep, the same place that readers find the books they love, join Oprah’s new Book Club, publish and market ebooks or audiobooks, keep track of what they have read, and listen to enthralling audiobooks. 

Help your members learn about Apple Books for Authors at your next meeting: opportunities for readers to discover your members’ works without file delivery fees, preferential product placement fees, or third-party ads.

https://authors.apple.com/

 

 

Pyers Presents: Finding Guest Presenters

auo-logo-full-steel-greyGroups are always looking for a great presentation and this month Nicholas Pyers of AppleUsers.org offers valuable insights into ways to find guest presenters. His recent article, the fifth installment in his “Working with Presenters” series can help you reconceptualize the process and increase your ability to organize great meetings. Want to know more? Check out all five articles in the series.

Thanks as always to Nicholas for these wonderful resources! 

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Apple World User Group University: First Meeting Report by Tom Piper

Apple World User Group University: First Meeting Report

By Tom Piper, AWUGU Coordinator

 

Apple User Group Leaders:

Our kickoff AWUGU online gathering of Apple user group leaders was held at 8:00pm CST, on April 20, 2020, via the Cisco Webex Meeting app. We had 25 participants who joined for the topic of “Online User Group Meetings”. The full hour and a half video can be viewed at:

https://uguonline.my.webex.com/recordingservice/sites/uguonline.my/recording/playback/20ac887171cd406983cf3ad6407341c3 (use password: Ve3VTAwn).

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April’s Featured Vendor: Matias

Matias has quite a following in the Mac User Group community because of their reputation for high quality products and for rescuing lost or abandoned technologies. Matias has been making some of the best wired and wireless keyboards for the Mac community for over 20 years, including their popular Silver Matias Keyboard. They are also known for their Dvorak Pro keyboard, Half Keyboard for one handed typing, and Half-qwerty Keyboards, not to mention their iRizer and iFold portable ergonomic laptop stands. While they have been producing award-winning Matias products for over 30 years, they still offer the same level of truly personal and truly excellent customer service. Best of all, they are offering a generous limited-time user group discount for Apple User Group officers and members on their Silver Matias Keyboard in this month’s Bulletin and Blog.

Visit Matias.

https://matias.ca/

News to Use: Apple’s COVID-19 Website and Apple COVID-19 App

With so much misinformation and partial information regarding COVID 19, Apple has two new offerings that you can trust. Apple, in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the White House-led coronavirus task force, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, developed a useful and trustworthy COVID-19 app and website that can help you identify best practices and personally-tailored next steps during this difficult time.

The app and website provides a series of questions around risk factors, recent exposure, and symptoms for the user or their loved ones. Once the questions are completed, the user will receive clear and practical CDC recommendations, including guidance on social distancing and self-isolating, how to closely monitor symptoms, whether or not a test is recommended at this time, and when to contact a medical provider. This is not a COVID 19 test – it is a pair of wonderful resources that can help users access trustworthy information, decrease anxiety, increase safety, and identify next steps, all personally tailored to each user’s answers and experience. 

Check these resources out today:

Apple’s COVID-19 website, available on any platform via your preferred browser.

https://www.apple.com/covid19/

Apple’s Apple COVID-19 App – currently #1 in Health and Fitness on the App Store:

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/id1504132184

Thanks to Apple Engineer Dave Marra and OMUG President Steve Welsh for this great tip!

Meeting Ideas: Today at Apple – At Home

It can be hard to find a meeting topic when members are doing their part to flatten the curve. Have you heard about the new offerings from Today at Apple? Today at Apple – At Home offers great sessions that your members will enjoy. From drawing playful portraits with iPad, to capturing striking photography with iPhone, and shooting photos full of personality with iPhone, the tutorials are fun and easy.

Learn a new skill today.

https://www.apple.com/today/feature/today-at-home/

Meeting Topic: Pages, Numbers, and Keynote for iOS, iPadOS, and macOS

Your members enjoy the iWork suite, and the just-released updates can make for a great meeting topic. The good news is that ASW has the information you need. Collaboration is easier than ever, with support for iCloud Drive folder sharing and offline editing of shared documents. Smart Annotation, innovative spreadsheet templates and interactive sliders, animated objects, Instant Alpha, and more make for a feature-packed update with easy to use features. In addition, there are beautiful new templates and themes. Your members can even use Presenter Mode and Pages to turn their iPhones or iPads into a virtual teleprompter.

To help you out, Pages, Numbers, and Keynote—First Look (L589382A-en_US) pdf on ASW has some quick and easy demo ideas as well as a description of the updates.

Apple Ambassadors, April is a great month to check out Apple Today and ASW.

 

 

Meeting Topics: How to clean your Apple products

Need a timely meeting topic?

Your members may be newly interested in ways to clean their devices, and Apple has the answer. Be sure to check out Apple Support’s How to clean your Apple products page. From using safe products to the right techniques, your members can learn how to clean and disinfect notebooks, desktops, iOS devices, peripherals, accessories, cases, and more.

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204172

Ambassadors, March is a great time to use Apple Support articles.

Guidance for Working From Home: Another Reason to Love Take Control Books

This letter came from Joe Kissell, publisher of Take Control Books, long-time user group supporter, and all around wonderful person. He has given us permission to print his offer on our blog to reach folk who may be adjusting to working from home or want to be better at it.

Take Control Books is offering a free, no-strings-attached, copy of their new Take Control of Working from Home Temporarily

https://www.takecontrolbooks.com/working-from-home/

by popular author Glenn Fleishman

Joe writes: “Glenn Fleishman generously volunteered his time to write Take Control of Working from Home Temporarily, which also features advice from numerous other Take Control authors and other people with extensive experience with remote work. As a small gesture to help out in this uncertain time, we’re offering the book for free.

The book’s contributors, who collectively have centuries of experience working from home, offer advice in areas such as setting up a workspace (obtaining, moving, or repurposing furniture and hardware, for example); communicating with coworkers via text, audio, video and other collaboration tools; maintaining healthy physical and psychological boundaries between work and non-work activities; adapting to the presence of family members and roommates in or near your work area; and adjusting your schedule and habits to best balance productivity and sanity. There’s also a chapter for parents of school-age kids on how to juggle family obligations when working from home.

This new book is free. To obtain it, follow these steps: (more…)