Re: My Note to the Blind Trainers Mailing List Regarding the Need for Training Materials For New or inexperienced Users


Here is the ribbons tutorial. It isn't attached because the list doesn't allow attachments. It appears below my signature.


I'll provide a brief tutorial based on what I wrote years ago of how to work with ribbons.

I've added a little to it here.

I don't know how the organization of Windows has changed in Windows 10 but this description should allow you to look through the Windows ribbons, or any other ribbons, and see how things are organized.

First, I'll discuss a structure found in later versions of Windows that you need to know about-- the split button.
One thing you will see as you look around ribbons and in other places in Windows are split buttons. A split button often allows you to see more options than just the default action. Let's take an example.
Let's say you come across a split button that says shut down Windows. If you press enter on that button, Windows will shut down. That is the default action. Split buttons often show more options if you either right arrow while on the button or down arrow. As an example, if you are on the shut down split button, you can right arrow and a list of options will open. the items in the list include sleep, hibernate, restart, and others. You up or down arrow through the list or use the short cut commands you hear announced as you move through the list. the letter shortcuts often take actions without pressing enter so be careful when using them, just as you are in menus.

So, let's review. You find a split button that says shut down. If you press enter, the computer will shut down. If you right arrow, other options may be displayed. Or if you down arrow, other options may be displayed. A split button won't work with both methods. One method, either right arrowing or down arrowing will do so if it can be done with the button. Try both methods if you don't know which one might work. If you are on a tool bar which extends across the screen from left to right, down arrowing will open additional options. If you think about this, it makes sense. If you are in a menu, down arrowing will move you to the next item in the menu. So you right arrow on the split button to cause it to display more options. In a tool bar that extends across the screen from left to right, right arrowing will move you to the next item in the tool bar. So you down arrow when on the split button to cause it to display more options. But some tool bars run up and down the screen, as menus do. And at times, you may not be sure which way a structure extends on screen. So, as I said, if you are not sure or don't know, try both methods of causing the split button to display more options. Often, one of them will work. If you open the options a split button offers and don't want to work with them, arrow in the opposite direction to move out of them. For example, if you right arrowed to open more options, left arrow.
Some split buttons don't do anything when you right arrow or down arrow. In that case, open them with alt down arrow. Then tab through the additional options. I've almost never worked in this way with split buttons but if you want to close a split button, try alt up arrow if you've used alt down arrow to open it.

Now, to ribbons themselves.

Regarding ribbons, much of the complaining about them is not warranted if you understand how they work and how to use short cut commands effectively and efficiently. and I would strongly recommend against using the JAWS virtual menus, no matter what the JAWS training material says about ribbons being difficult to use. the training material is just plain wrong and using virtual menus, you will be unnecessarily dependent on one screen-reader. There are other disadvantages to using them which I won't go into here.

Try looking at ribbons and doing what is described below in wordpad. Everyone with Windows 7 has Wordpad on their machine. Wordpad provides a good environment to look at and practice working with ribbons.

The essence of working with ribbons is this:
Press alt to move to the upper ribbon.
You will probably be on an item that says home tab. Items on the upper ribbon are announced as tabs such as home tab, view tab, etc.
To see what ribbons are available, right or left arrow repeatedly to move through the ribbons. Move in one
direction to move through all of them, just as you would to move through all the menus.

For this demonstration, just so we are all doing the same thing, move with the right arrow. When you get back to where you started, you can keep right arrowing to move through the items again, if you wish. You can move through all the items as many times as you want. Or you can move with the left arrow whenever you want to move in the opposite direction.

Stop on view. Then start tabbing. You will move through all items in what is called the lower ribbon that are in the view ribbon.

In other words you tab to see the items in a ribbon once you move to it. Tab moves you forward through the items, shift tab moves you backword.
So tab and shift tab are used instead of up and down arrow.

Many items in the lower ribbon are buttons. Use either the space bar or enter to activate the button. You may find a button that opens a menu and if you press enter or the space bar, you will then be in a menu.

Each time you move to an item, you will hear the short cut command to work with that item.
But JAWS has a bug and you often won't. To hear the short cut, use the command JAWS key tab. If you are using the default JAWS key, it is either insert.

Try tabbing to an item in a Wordpad ribbon and using the command insert tab. You will hear some extraneous information. The last thing you will hear is the short cut sequence. You can repeat the information by repeating the command as often as you want.

Let's look at an item which is usually called the application menu. Return to the main program window in wordpad by closing the ribbons. You can either press escape repeatedly, if necessary, or you can press alt once. Now, open the ribbons again with alt.
Start right arrowing until you get to the application menu.
You will hear application menu and then something like button drop down grid. Never mind drop down grid. It's a description you don't have to worry about. The important things are that you are on a button and at the application menu. Press enter or the space bar to activate the button. Activating the button opens the menu. Start down arrowing. you will hear all the short cut commands necessary to open an item or take an action. When you got to the menu item, you heard alt f. When you open the menu and move through it, you will hear all the letters announced. for example, if you down arrow to save as, you will hear alt f a. that means that, when you are in the main program window, you open the menu as you always did, alt f, then type a. Alt f opens the menau and a then opens save as. Ribbon programs have one menu and you should look through it. Many important and common commands and interfaces such as options may be there. By options, I mean the kind of options interface you used to find in the tools menu.

Now the we have seen the menu, let's look at the ribbons structure some more.
To review, and add more information, as you have seen, you can move to the ribbon interface with alt. Then right and left arrow, just as you would move from menu to menu.
You can also move to a ribbon using alt and a letter. So, alt h takes you to the home ribbon. Alt v takes you to the view ribbon, etc. Once you are on the ribbon you want to work with, tab to move forward through the items in a ribbon. Shift tab to move back through the items. So tab and shift tab are used instead of up and down arrow.
Ribbons are divided into categories which you will hear announced as you tab. for example, in an e-mail program, a ribbon may have a category named respond. You may hear this announced as respond tool bar. As you tab, you will hear commands such as reply and forward in the respond category. When you hear a category announced, don't tab until you hear everything spoken. You will miss the first command in the category if you do. I'm talking about working with an unfamiliar ribbon.
there are often many more commands and items in a ribbon than in a menu. So memorize command sequences for items you know you will use regularly.
As I said, there are different categories in ribbons to help organize items. You can quickly jump from category to category in a ribbon to help you see if there is a category you want to look through.
Move to a ribbon in Wordpad. For example, alt h for hhome or alt v for view.
Then repeatedly issue the command control right arrow to move forward from category to category and control left arrow to move back. When you get to a category you want to hear the items in, start tabbing. Of course, you can shift tab to move back.

Open a ribbon in Wordpad and tab through it to see how it is organized by moving through it.
Then use control right arrow to move by category and tab to see what is in a category.

Commands such as control o, control n, control s, control r, etc. are mostly retained in programs
that use ribbons, though you won't hear them announced. If you don't already know them, you'll have to find them in ways such as by looking at a list of keyboard commands for the program. Such lists are often available in the help for the program. If you already know the commands from having used an older version of the program, most or perhaps even all of the commands you know will work.

-----Original Message-----
From: Gene via
Sent: Wednesday, June 10, 2020 5:25 AM
Subject: Re: [TechTalk] My Note to the Blind Trainers Mailing List Regarding the Need for Training Materials For New or inexperienced Users

I did a short tutorial many years ago for those moving from Xp to Windows 7.
I don't use Windows 10, at least not yet, so I don't know enough about it to
write one for the transition to Windows 10 but it appears to me that the
principles are more or less the same, that while Windows 10 offers new
features and capabilities, those who are making a transition can still use
Windows 10 very similarly to Windows 7 if they aren't using Windows 10 apps,
if they are using applications. If that is true, preparing a tutorial that
explains how to work with Windows 10 apps but that also demonstrates that
using very similar ways of working can be done if using the applications
people have been using before Windows 10.

Also, including a section on working with ribbons would be important. I
wrote a short tutorial explaining working with ribbons and anyone who wishes
may include part or all of it in whatever they are creating. I'll send it
in another message.

I'll also send my Windows 7 tutorial in another message for those who want
to see what I did and apply the same method or framework if they wish.

I think that, if it is correct that Windows 10 can be used in a very similar
manner to earlier versions of Windows, that that is very important for those
making the transition to know, whatever they may want to learn in addition
and over time.

-----Original Message-----
From: john s
Sent: Wednesday, June 10, 2020 4:55 AM
Subject: Re: [TechTalk] My Note to the Blind Trainers Mailing List Regarding
the Need for Training Materials For New or inexperienced Users

Dave, what I would like to see is a tutorial for someone migrating to
Windows Ten.

At 09:02 PM 6/9/2020, David Goldfield, wrote:
One of the mailing lists to which I'm subscribed is for trainers who provide technology training to the visually impaired. Truth be told I haven't done regular formal training in over four years but I do provide training and assistance to friends and I regularly help out on various lists and other forums where I can. Anyway, I posted the following message to that list regarding what I think is a real need for good, comprehensive training products for users who are either new or inexperienced with Windows. There is a surprisingly small amount of such products and I feel that it's time for that to change. Please consider reading the below message and let me know what you honestly think, even if you feel that there really isn't the need for this sort of material. Here is what I posted.

Hello. I am working with a couple of friends who are new or at least inexperienced in using Windows 10 with a screen reader. One user has not used a Windows computer in quite some time and so she would need a tutorial to guide her not only with introducing her to a screen reader but to the Windows operating system itself. In the early days of Windows 3.1 and the Windows 95/98 era there were a few such products in existence. I am honestly amazed at how few of these tutorials are actually available today covering the use of Windows 10 from the perspective of a very new visually impaired user. I realize that there is no shortage of competent trainers but some users may not be able to afford the services of one on one training. However, they might be willing to purchase a prepackaged tutorial. I realize that there are perhaps many challenges to a one size fits all approach and some might very correctly argue that having customized one on one training is ultimately better for the user since the trainer can more easily adapt to the needs and learning style of the user. This is certainly a valid point and one which I would not debate. However, I have fond memories of some very good training materials from some very talented trainers. The "Speaking Of" series from Krista Earl comes to mind and I had the opportunity to meet Krista about four years ago and I wasted no time in telling her that this new generation of computer users needs her talents. Braille tutorials would also be nice and would be very inclusive for those who are deaf-blind. I'd love to produce one myself but I not only detest the sound of my own voice but I'm a bit of a newcomer myself when it comes to audio production.

I guess that I'll finish up with two questions. First, what tutorials are currently available covering Windows 10 from the perspective of a total novice? Second, have any of you considered producing one? I can almost guarantee that you'd find that many people would gladly purchase it. I realize the irony of the catch 22 situation where promoting such a product on the Web might not actually reach the very people being targeted since many of them aren't savvy when it comes to Web navigation. To that objection I offer the following responses for your consideration.

First, if your tutorial or tutorials are thorough many people who are already online might still purchase them if they feel that they will be able to learn even more or to perhaps fill in any missing gaps in their knowledge. For that matter I'd likely purchase it myself if I knew it would be comprehensive even though I've been using Windows competently since the Windows 3.1 days as there are always new things I know I could learn or perhaps more efficient methods of performing certain tasks that I already perform. I acknowledge that I'm good at what I do but I also acknowledge that I don't know everything.

Second, people like me or others in the assistive technology field would surely be happy to promote anyone's product if it's good, presented well and if it's comprehensive and user friendly.

Third, you could always advertise in periodicals such as the Braille Forum or the Braille Monitor which reaches a very wide and diverse audience. You could ask an organization like Computers for the Blind to mention you as a potential resource by including your information along with every computer they sell. In fact, you could create a mini tutorial for free and ask if they'd be willing to distribute it with their computers and the tutorial could mention a more complete package with your company's contact information.

I'd welcome your input on this topic. I think there is a real need for good, comprehensive training materials either in Braille, in an audio format or, ideally, both. I will likely attempt to do this myself but in my case it's likely going to take a bit of time.

David Goldfield,
Blindness Assistive Technology Specialist
JAWS Certified, 2019


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