How do I use the Friends of Guide Dogs online community

This document will take you through the basics of using the Friends of Guide Dogs online community with the most common screen readers including JAWS, NVDA and Window-Eyes. If you have any questions or problems about the document or about using the community, please ask in the community itself, or email friends@guidedogs.org.uk

Each section of this document contains a navigational heading, to jump to the beginning of the section please type +, into the ‘find’ function.

If you’d like to go to each section in turn you can simply by typing + in the find field and tabbing through. This will take you to the beginning of each section in the contents in order.

The Friends of Guide Dogs online community, which is hosted by Yammer, is a tool for you to communicate with others in the network. It's similar to using Facebook or Linked In, but it's only open to those who've joined Friends of Guide Dogs. We've tested it in all major screen readers and magnifiers - and it's also available as an app for your iPhone, iPad, Android, and Windows Phone. It’s a way to post information, have discussions and get opinions from others. For many people it will become the first port of call for information, ideas and sharing experiences.

  • You can have discussions on the community to avoid lengthy email threads
  • Groups can be set up to discuss particular topics
  • Break down barriers – get involved in any discussion that interests you

+ Registering for the first time

  1. Follow the link in the invitation email to 'Accept invitation'
  2. Create your profile by filling in your name and creating a password
  3. You don't need to fill in the job title, but you'll need to check the box to agree to the usage policy
  4. Click 'Next'
  5. You can now join groups which are of interest – you can also join these later
  6. Click 'Next'
  7. To add a profile picture, choose one from your computer by clicking 'Browse', then 'Save & continue'. You don't have to add a profile picture now – in which case just click 'Skip', and you can always add one later
  8. You'll be asked if you want to download Yammer Notifier for Desktop, if you don't want to, just click close or press the 'esc' button
  9. That's it – you're in and you'll have a message in your inbox welcoming you to the network. If you have any questions, get in touch on the community or by emailing friends@guidedogs.org.uk

+ Logging on after registering

  1. Go to www.yammer.com/friendsofguidedogs
  2. Enter the same email address we sent your invitation to, and the password you created

+ What’s in the online community?

We’re using a very popular social media site called Yammer for the online community. When it opens, it shows the Home screen, which contains:

  • A list of three items - Home, Inbox and notifications - which dictate what else appears in the main region of the screen. This is the first list on the page.
  • A search area which allows you to find people, groups or conversations. The search area is the first edit on the page.
  • A list of the groups you belong to, and the ability to browse for or create groups. One way to reach this area is to go to the top of the page and then move by heading until you reach "groups heading level 2 ", then arrow down.

Tip: most screen readers allow you to use the letter H to move by heading.

  • On the Home screen, the main region contains your news feed of messages from people and groups you follow. One way to get to the news feed from the top of the page is to downarrow to the "skip to main content" link and press it, then move by heading until you get to the Feed Selector. From here, each heading level 3 is the start of a message in your news feed.
  • The Home screen also contains three buttons that allow you to post an update, launch a poll or praise a colleague. Press the "skip to main content" link near the top of the page, and then arrow down to these buttons.
  • On the Inbox screen, the main region contains messages sent direct to you. One way to get to the messages is to use the "skip to main content" link, then press downarrow.
  • A notifications button menu adds a pop-up area to the screen showing  recent notifications about e.g. new followers or other discussions. There are two ways to close the pop-area; the first is to use the "see all notifications" link which closes the pop-up and places a list of all notifications in the main region. The second is to return to the notifications button menu and press it a second time.
  • The last heading on the screen is the Online Now pane. This is an instant messenger facility. Tab through a list of people, each of whom will be described as "on device" or "offline". People can only be messaged if they are "on device".

+ Respond to a post

You can respond to a post in a variety of ways using the links immediately underneath the post:

  • Choose "Like" if you just want them to know you appreciate their post.
  • Choose "Reply" if you want to write a response to the group. The reply link beneath the post sends focus to the edit area a bit further down the screen, so choosing the link is the same as going to the edit box yourself. Once you've written your response, tab to the Post button and press it to send your message.
  • Choose "Share" to send the message to specific people. Choosing this option opens a pop-up which you can tab around. Once you get to the "notify specific people", DownArrow to move through a list of possible names.

Tip: To select a name from this list with JAWS, you have to use the virtual cursor - press Insert + NumPad Minus to route the mouse pointer to the name, and then press NumPad slash to click the name. If you wish to choose a second name, you must first Shift + Tab to the "say something about this conversation" edit and then Tab forward to the "notify specific people" area again, otherwise the list of available people does not appear.

Tip: to select a name from this list with NVDA, arrow through the list. NVDA will say "blank" for each item, but if you wait a second, it will then read the item correctly. Press Enter to choose the name. If you wish to choose a second name, you must first Shift + Tab to the "say something about this conversation" edit and then Tab forward to the "notify specific people" area again, otherwise the list of available people does not appear.

Tip: To select a name from this list with Window-Eyes, you have to use the pointer. Press Insert + NumPad Plus to route the pointer to the cursor, then press NumPad DownArrow to read the list, and press NumPad slash to click a name. It does not seem possible to scroll the list past the first half dozen names, nor to choose a second name.

  • Use the Share button to send your message.
  • Choose the "More" message options button to open a list of further options such as to follow the person, view conversation etc. Press Escape to close the list without choosing one.
  • When replying or sharing, it is possible to attach items to your response by using the "add files" button.

+ Create a post

  1. Select the group to which you want to send the post.
  2. Choose the "share something with this group" link.
  3. Type your message.
  4. Tab to other options, to add people to notify, add topics and add files
  5. Choose the "Post" button to send your message.

If you start typing into the edit area and then lose focus and want to return to it, note that it will now be an edit labelled "message body".

The Post button is only available if there is some text in the message body or a file has been added.

+ Edit your profile

  1. Press Enter on the "More" button near the top of the screen to open a menu.
  2. DownArrow to "Settings" and press Enter to open a new screen.
  3. The main region on this screen shows your profile, including your name, email, photo, job details and social media links.
  4. Tab through these details and change them where necessary
  5. Choose the "Save" button near the bottom of the screen to save your changes.

Immediately before the main region is a list of seven links which you can use to replace the information shown in the main region. For instance, the Account Activity link shows a table of your activity.

The list of seven links is preceded by a "Back Home" link which can be used to return to the Home screen. Alternatively, use the Home or Inbox links near the top of the page.

Tip: If your focus is lost when using a page, and pressing Tab takes you to the address bar, press Ctrl + F6 twice to return to near the top of the page.

+ Set your email notifications in Yammer

  1. Press Enter on the "More" button near the top of the screen to open a menu.
  2. DownArrow to "Settings" and press Enter to open a new screen.
  3. Choose the "Notifications" link to change the main region to show the relevant information.
  4. Arrow through the controls on the main region, setting the preferences as you wish.
  5. Use the "Save" button to confirm your preferences.

Tip: Use the "Back Home" button, or the "Home" or "Inbox" links to move away from a page without saving your changes.

+ Joining a group

  1. Choose the "Browse groups" link to open a pop-up window listing groups that may interest you.

Tip: Focus often appears at the bottom of this window; press Ctrl + Home to move to the top of the window and then DownArrow through it.

  1. Join a group by pressing ‘Enter’ on its name.
  2. Use the "View more groups" link to close the pop-up window and return to the Yammer screen with the main region showing three tabs - "Suggested Groups", "My Groups" and "All Groups". One of the tabs will be selected, and below the tabs the relevant information will be shown.
  3. On the Suggested Groups tab, under each group is a "Join" button, which you can press to join that group.
  4. On the All Groups tab, the groups are shown in a table. Column 1 contains the name of the group, column 2 has the number of members, and column 3 has a button that is either "Join" for a group you can join, or "Joined" for a group you are already a member of. Press the button in column 3 to change the setting. You will need to confirm if you wish to leave a group.

+ Creating a group

  1. Choose the Create Group link to open a pop-up window.
  2. Give the group a name.
  3. UpArrow twice to find out if the name is already in use. If it is, you will need to choose another.
  4. Tab to the next area, in which you can type the names of people you want to add to the group, or down arrow through a list of available people.

Tip: To select a name from this list, you have to use the JAWS virtual cursor - press Insert + NumPad Minus to route the mouse pointer to the name, and then press NumPad slash to click the name. If you wish to choose a second name, you must first Shift + Tab to the "group name" edit and then Tab forward again, otherwise the list of available people does not appear.

  1. Choose whether the content is to be public or private by checking the relevant radio button.
  2. Choose the Create Group button to confirm your new group.

+ Polls and surveys

Creating a poll:

  1. Select the group to which you would like to post your poll.
  2. Choose the "Poll tab" button to open a pop-up window.
  3. Tab past the "Praise tab" button to the "What's your question" edit and type it in.
  4. Tab to the next few edits and type one possible answer in each. By default there are three, but more are added as required.
  5. Use the "Post" button to send your poll to the group.

Responding to a Poll:

  1. The poll is read as a series of unchecked radio buttons. Arrow up and down to find the one you want to select, and press Space to choose it.
  2. Tab to the "Vote" button and press Enter to choose it.
  3. The poll now appears as a list, with your focus at the top of it. Arrow down to find out the current result.
  4. Below the current result will be the number of people who have voted.
  5. There is also the option to change your vote. This appears below the number of people who have voted. It is called "Change Vote" and is a link, although your screen reader may report it as text. Press Enter on it to change the list of results back into radio buttons.

Tip: You may lose your focus when you choose the Change Vote link, and have to navigate from the top of the main region back to your poll. If you remember the name of the poll or one of the possible responses, you may use your screen reader's Find feature to get back to it quickly.

For any help and advice email friends@guidedogs.org.uk.




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Find out how to use the Friends of Guide Dogs online community by viewing our how to document here.


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