View as Webpage

New Vision Logo

New Vision Newsletter
January 2024

Welcome to your January New Vision Newsletter. New Vision at Goodwill seeks to promote independence and equality for people who are blind and visually impaired. We educate, inform, and provide resources, so people with visual impairments can live their fullest lives. We hope you find this newsletter useful, and we would love your feedback through the link shared at the end of this newsletter.

Virtual Training

Personal electronic devices can enhance the lives of people who are blind and visually impaired. New Vision offers free instruction on how to use the latest technology and devices to connect to the world and increase independence. Instruction can be provided, in many cases, virtually via telephone, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, FaceTime, and in-person by appointment. Please contact us to find out more.

Echo Tips Podcast

New Echo Tips Podcast episodes are released every Wednesday. They are available on your Echo or computer. The podcast features New Vision's instructor, David Ward. These episodes contain micro-sized tutorials on various Amazon Echo features. The newest episodes are available below.

A special thank you to our sponsor, the Virginia Board for the Blind and Vision Impaired, for supporting New Vision's diverse programming!

Latest Episodes

Episode 279 Alexa AI Beta Hallucinates
Episode 280 Is Alexa Spying On Me! Privacy Facts Not Fiction
Episode 281 Alexa Beta Introduces Character AI
Episode 282 Using AI to Make Music With Splash Music
Episode 283 The NEW Character AI Skill

So how can I get it on my Echo? You can ask your Echo the following:

This will play the previous episode since the podcast is sorted from newest to oldest.

If you have an Apple device such as an iPhone or iPad, you can also ask Siri to play the most recent episode. Simply say: "Siri, play the Echo Tips Podcast."

Alternatively, you can play the podcast via the website below, which is screen reader compatible. You can navigate the episode title via heading number 2. Simply press the space bar or otherwise activate the link to start that episode.

Large Print Calendars

The Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired has a limited quanity of 2024 Large Print Calendars for visually impaired Virginia residents. If you or a family member would like one feel free to give your local DBVI regional office a call or the Richmond DVBI office at this phone number: (804) 371-3140.


On this episode of the Double Tap show, Steven and Shaun discuss the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) held annually in Las Vegas. They also cover the latest news from Apple, including the announcement of the new Vision Pro launch date of February 2. As CES gets into full swing, they share the latest innovations in AI-driven tech, new televisions, and robots that can clean up after us. Regular contributor Michael Babcock also joins them to discuss the news that Be My AI is coming to the Blindshell Classic 2 soon. Additionally, podcast host, broadcaster, and author Shelly Brisbin shares her take on the latest Apple news. Check out the link below.

iPhone & iPad Apps

Here's the AppleVis' Unlimited Newsletter for December 2023. AppleVis is a premier website for reviewing Apple-related devices and Apps from a visual impairment perspective. This edition features noteworthy app entries include EchoVis Street, a simple audio game simulating visual disabilities, and Voice of the Ancients, an adventure game that rekindles the power of imagination, often stifled by the graphical grandeur of modern video games. Additionally, Wipr is a new app that blocks all ads, trackers, cryptocurrency miners, EU cookie and GDPR notices, and other annoyances, so you can focus on the content that matters to you. Check out the newsletter for more information on these and other exciting updates from the AppleVis community!

Echo Things to Try

Picture of Amazon Echo 1st Generation

Here are a few things to try with your Echo. Some practical, some just fun.

For more about what's new with Alexa check out the official blog by clicking the following link: Alexa Blog.

Your Thoughts

If you have any thoughts about what could be mentioned in an upcoming newsletter or comments on this newsletter feel free to reply or fill out the following form. See the following link: New Vision Feedback Form.

Newsletter Sign Up

To sign up and receive the New Vision Newsletter, complete this form.

Contact Info

Picture of David Ward
David Ward
Assistive Technology Instructor,
New Vision at Goodwill
Phone: 540.985.8900
Office: 3601 Thirlane Rd. NW, Suite 5,
Roanoke, VA 24019
New Vision at Goodwill