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Friday, October 22, 2010

Introduction to Email and Gmail

Introduction to Email and Gmail



What Is Email?
The term email is short for Electronic Mail.
Early in the life of email as a service, concepts from regular, post office mail were transferred to email.
Therefore, think of email as the paper based system you are already familiar with.
First, when you establish an email account, you will have an email address.
The email address is in two halves.
The first half you choose.
It is a user name that will be unique to you.
The second half is the email provider you use.
Therefore, think of the first half as your address, and the second half as the street.
That said, your address most likely should not be solely a number.
It can be a combination of letters and numbers if you want.
If it is not already taken, it can be anything of your choosing.
For instance, a common example is the last name combined with the first two initials.
For example, Jane Ann Smith may choose her email username as smithja.
If smithja is already taken, she can add her birth month and day.
For example, smithja0312.

What is Gmail?


Gmail is an internet based email provider.
This means, you can access your email using a website, and this gives you access to all your messages from any computer connected to the internet.

Creating a Gmail Account.


First, Begin at the desktop with no other windows, except Jaws running.

Tap the Windows Key.

The Start Menu should open.

Tap on the Down Arrow Key until you reach the All Programs option.

Press Enter.

Tap on the Down Arrow Key until you reach Internet Explorer.

(Note: do not to hold down on the arrow keys, but to gently tap each one).

Press Enter when you reach Internet Explorer.

Quickly, press the Ctrl Key to stop JAWS from reading continuously through the web page.

Now, hold onto the Ctrl Key and press O.
This opens the internet address window in Internet Explorer
Type www.gmail.com.

There will be a pop sound and JAWS will say Username Edit.

This means users who have a gmail account can enter their username in that field.
The username is also the first half of your email address.

To set up a new account, open the Links List.
Hold onto the Insert Key and press F7.
Press C until you hear JAWS say Create an Account.
Press Enter.
You are in a website so press Ctrl to stop JAWS from speaking through it.

Hold onto the Insert key and press F5.
This opens the Forms Fields List.
Forms Fields are spaces to type text.
Down Arrow through each item to become familiar with the fields.

There is a space to type the First Name.
There is a space to type the Last Name.
There is a space to create a Username.
There are two spaces to create a Password.
There is a space to create a Security Question.
There is a space to answer the Security Question.
There is a space to enter a Birth Date.
There is a space to type in characters.

After hearing the options, press the Home Key or 7 on the number pad to go the top of the list.
Tap on the Down Arrow Key until you hear JAWS say First Name.
Press Enter.
There should be a pop sound and JAWS should say First Name Colon Edit Type in Text.
Type the first name.
Hold onto the Insert key and press F5 to return to Forms Mode.
Tab on the Down Arrow key until you hear Jaws say Last Name.
Press Enter.
There should be a pop sound and JAWS should say Last Name Colon Edit Type in Text.
Type the last name.
Hold onto the Insert Key and press F5 to return to Forms Mode.
Down Arrow once until JAWS says Desired Logon Name.
This is the Username and the first half of your email address.
The second half will be the @ symbol and gmail.com.

Usernames should be as simple as possible so that when someone sends an email to the address they are less likely to make mistakes.
Also, it is best that usernames are not provocative.
This means no strange sounding names that may offend or disturb others.
This is especially true for email users who will use their email address on there employment applications.
A common example of a proper username is the last name combined with the first two initials of the email user.
For example, Jane Ann Smith may choose her email as smithja.
If smithja is already taken, she can add her birth month and day
For example, smithja0312.

After a username is chosen, hold onto the Insert Key and press F5 to return to Forms Mode.
Down Arrow twice until JAWS says Choose a Password.
A password should be something you are able to remember that no one else is able to guess.
This is the key to the address.
Gmail will not allow for a password to be less than eight characters.
A password can be a combination of letters and numbers.
Commonly, email users will choose birth months and days of a loved one.
For example, January01.
Or your favourite president.
For example, Lincoln16.
Notice there are no spaces.

As the password is typed, JAWS will say star for each digit.
This represents the symbols on the screen preventing others from seeing your password.

Because this prevents normal proof reading, and due to the password’s importance, users are required to retype it to make sure you typed it correctly the first time.

Hold onto the Insert Key and press F5 to return to Forms Mode.
Down Arrow once and Jaws should say Re-Enter Password.
Press Enter.
Retype the password.
As the password is typed, JAWS will say star for each digit.
If the passwords you typed do not match, Gmail requires users to retype them.

After typing the password twice
Hold onto the Insert Key and press F5 to return to Forms Mode.
Down Arrow until you hear Jaws say Security Question Combo Box.
Press Enter.
Security questions exist in case email users forget their passwords.
Gmail offers several options from which to choose from.
Users who do not want to choose one of the questions Gmail gives them can Down Arrow to the bottom of the list and Gmail will prompt them to create a question.
Questions should be something only the user can answer.
For example, What is your mother’s maiden name?
In the event that users forget their passwords, Gmail will ask them the security question they chose.
After choosing the security question
Hold onto the Insert Key and press F5 to return to Forms Mode.
Down Arrow once and JAWS will say Answer.
Press Enter.
Type the answer to the security question chosen.

Hold onto the Insert Key and press F5 to return to Forms Mode.
Down Arrow several times until Jaws says Birthday.
The birthday should be typed with a two digit day, two digit month and four digit year with slashes separating each.
For example 01/12/1980.

Hold onto the Insert Key and press F5 to return to Forms Mode.
Down Arrow until JAWS says Type the Characters you See or Numbers you Hear.
Below that is an editable field.
Press Enter.
This is in response to a captcha.
A captcha is a series of randomly generated characters displayed in a format that computers are unable to read.
Its purpose is to prevent fraudulent email accounts from being created.
Unfortunately, JAWS is unable to read captchas
Gmail attempts to find a way around this problem by having an audio file read off a series of numbers and letters.
However, even for expert JAWS users, this is not easy.
Therefore, it may be simpler for the volunteer to type the captcha for the user.
If there is no volunteer, assistance is available from the reference desk.
If at home, ask a trusted friend or loved one to type the captcha.

After the captcha is entered
Hold onto the Insert Key and press F5 to return to Forms Mode.
Down Arrow until JAWS says I Accept, Create My Account Button.

If all the required forms fields are filled out, the passwords match and the captcha is entered correctly then users should be taken to a web page congratulating them for signing up with Gmail.

From there, hold onto the Insert Key and press the F7.
This will bring up the links list.
Down Arrow until you hear JAWS say Take me to My Account.
Now users should be in the Inbox.

Please see the next lesson on how to best set up a Gmail account to read email.

Creative Commons License
Introduction to Email and Gmail by Chris Corrigan is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at atthdc.blogspot.com.

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