The much rested and relaxed J.J. and Joe are back from parts unknown to talk about recent news and events. They also bring word of a new project in an interview with Alex Jurgensen.
Plus, there is a very special appearance by Mr. Patrick Perdue on this very audio program. So tune in to hear "Sound Off", "Last Word" and details on a new giveaway from Jet.
Sponsor: Blind Alive, Don't just live, be alive
We'd like to thank this week's sponsor, BlindAlive for providing us the motivation and support needed to create this episode. No matter your level of health or fitness, there is an exercise program out there for you. To learn more about these fitness products, and subscribe to BlindAlive's podcasts, visit their website.
[Learn more about the BackTPack](http://www.blindalive.com/backtpack]
And here is a link to an audio description which answers some frequently asked questions.
And remember "Don't just live, be alive"!
In the News:
Discussion Topic: Voiceover Remote Project with Alex Jurgensen
Earlier this year NVDA saw a successful crowd-funded project race to its goals. Can lightning strike twice in the remote arena for Voiceover users? but wait, there's more! What if you could use a remote service to connect a Windows machine, an iOS device or even ... gasp!... an Android based system to remote into a mac? Now how much would you pay? yep, all this is planned for the new Accessibility Hound Remote if they can reach their funding goals. In this interview J.J. will speak to Alex about the scope of the project and what the team hopes to have ready initially during the crowd-funding portion of the project.
Side note: Alex mentioned a camp for Canadian children. you can learn more about the camp by visiting Camp Bowen's site.
Tip: SAPI Eloquence Meets Jim Kitchen's Games
With the recent release of SAPI Eloquence, you can now pair the popular speech synthesizer with many new programs, such as the late Jim Kitchen's huge collection of games. J.J. demonstrates how this might sound on Golf in this tip.
You can ppurchase SAPI Eloquence for $69 from A T Guys.
Our inbox was brimming with information, and now that J.J. has returned, here are just some of the emails we've picked from the top of the pile. First up, a clarification on Service Animals.
Great show for BBQ 24. I've been enjoying the coverage of Sight Village as well.
Joe, Joe, Joe, you know I wouldn't keep silent on this so here I am to clarify some statement you made regarding service animals versus animals used for emotional support.
First of all, there are two classes under which an animal may accompany someone in public situations.
The first class is service animal as defined under the ADA and other federal and state laws. These animals are, in most cases, restricted to dogs with no breed restrictions. Miniature horses are part of this classification in some but not all circumstances.
the other class of animal is officially called an Emotional Support Animal or ESA. People are allowed to be accompanied by their ESAs under the Air Carrier Access Act and the Fair Housing Act.
Service animals are classified as such by their training. They must be trained to perform specific tasks that are reliable and replicable. A dog might be used to assist someone with PTSD or panic attacks but that dog would have specific behaviors or trained tasks to do so and qualify as a service animal.
America's Vet Dogs, whom you met last year at BVA, has started a very focused, research-based PTSD program in which the focus is on tasks to not support the PTSD as such but move beyond it. These tasks include nightmare interruption by pulling the covers off of the handler who is having a nightmare, "light switch" which commands the dog to go turn on or off a light, Go get which means to get someone to help, various types of retrieval tasks and Vist and Shake for supervised interaction with the public. Other programs have additional tasks that the dog trained to assist with PTSD or panic attacks would perform on command or when noticing certain things about the handler.
We know that there are guide, hearing and service dogs with a wide variety of tasks these days. A few that may not be apparent but are legitimate include diabetic alert where a dog will notice a change in odor from its handler s breath to detect a change in blood sugar levels before the handler may notice symptoms. dogs can also detect other things such as specific odors for chemical sensitivity. Seizure response dogs that have trained behaviors when a person has a seizure are not the same as seizure detection dogs. That s a whole other show though to explain the difference. Both are legitimate under the ADA though.
The other thing that governs service animals under law is behavior. Service animals must be on a leash or tether unless performing a task such as a distance retrieve or getting help, that would require them to not be restrained. If not restrained, the dog must come when called by the handler and be under control.
ESAs must also be under control in public. They may not be disruptive by barking, growling or soliciting attention.
Sadly this is where many businesses fail to exercise their own rights by asking people with disruptive animals, whether officially recognized service animals or not, to leave the business with the animal.
The new DOJ Technical Assistance document does address a few common gripes we face as service animal handlers.
The document states that service animals may not be placed in shopping carts. This a far too common site, even for legitimate service dogs who are small enough to ride there. Such dogs are to be carried in body pouches or other devices or held by the handler if not able to do their work while walking beside the handler.
Service animals are also not allowed on furniture or to eat from plates at a table. They are to be on the floor and controlled. This is another giant pet peeve for many of us, the person who claims their pocket pet is a service animal while feeding it from their plates or allowing it to roam around. Again, even if it is a dog with a trained task, it is still not allowed on seats, tables or to eat from said places. Yay! Finally verification of this situation and the correct, or acceptable, behavior of a service animal.
There are some controversial things too about this document. It states that service animals may not be left unattended such as in hotel rooms. I understand this in part but honestly, in practice, many of us with reliably behaved service animals will give them a rest in the room alone, especially at a convention. If the animal does begin to bark or otherwise is disruptive, then yes, we should be held accountable but if the dog simply lies down and sleeps or is restrained within a travel crate or with a tie down device, and is quiet, I m not sure I see an issue.
Otherwise this document is extremely helpful in many ways.
Basically though if someone can t recite a task to you that their dog does reliably and replicable, when asked the second of the Big Two Questions, What does the dog do to assist with your disability? then it probably is just a pet or ESA.
In many situations, if the animal is quiet and under good control, appropriately placed on the floor, it s not worth the extra effort of parsing out whether it s a real service animal. If the person says it is, and it s acting like it is supposed to act, then chances are it is.
Yes, there is a fine line between ESA and service animal but that line still does exist and can be invoked through the courts if necessary.
OK, end of lecture. I do hope you were taking notes. This will be on the Final.
Thanks for that awesome email Jenine! Next up, Jeff gives us some thoughts on several of our past episodes...
In no particular order, here are a few thoughts on the cast;
- I hate flash!
- I love my Apple Watch sport, I use it mainly for the fitness and workout apps and monitoring. I am in a long-term push to lose weight. I monitor my active calories every day. Attempting to achieve 3500 or 1lbs worth each week. I Bluetooth the watch to my big Jambox speaker during workouts so I can hear my stats loud enough to compete with my tunes on the stereo. I use the weather app to plan outdoor happenings. I call people from my desk while the iPhone is in the next room at my charging station. I get notice of incoming calls or msgs throughout the day. I keep the iPhone clipped to my belt and don't have to be able to hear it to know I have msg/calls/mail. I am hoping that there will be a version of Blind Square for the watch after watch os/2 release. I hope to convert to paying with the watch whenever I get my info into the app and get used to places where it is useful.
- I renewed my version of Jaws and bought an SMA just before I heard about the price at the show. Goodbye paycheck!
- How painful is it that I have been using Intuit's TurboTax for years and it still isn't accessible. I pay a sighted person to sit down and read and fill out the questions as we go and have them copy and paste my numbers from Excel spreadsheets that I have prepared for the occasion. Really just sad.
- Cost of Accessibility; I bought a program from AI Squared called visibility and as the computers got faster, Ai2 stopped supporting my $500 purchase. I had the disk but could not use the program. I'll never purchase from the company again because it felt like a scam. And, what is worse, a program like that would still be useful for partially sighted people today. It basically scanned an image of a page or document and held it in memory for manipulation, enlarging like a CCTV, and even typing into blanks on forms you could then print out. Excellent product, why discontinue it? Why stick me with such a cost for something that had no further use and a short life.
- The RNIB computers are older tech and if one had purchased Jaws at the show for $75 and purchased a quad-core desktop without the 19 monitor, one would have a pretty reasonably priced little system. Remember that the dollar is trading fairly above the pound and even the Euro last time I looked, the 800 pounds would be about 1200 or more in U.S. dollars?
- Larry over at APH is a super cool guy and as a former programmer, I am usually proud of all they turn out over there. I bought a BookPort plus a ways back and then they supposedly enabled wireless connectivity on the next round of software updates. I could never get the thing to connect to any network with security turned on. I still use it but only after physically connecting it to my desktop and transferring files that way. Again, I feel that without the wireless component, the unit didn't keep up with the times and is now being forgotten? At least it is by me.
- As far as being pointed out or identified as being blind, it depends on the circumstances. I don t trust the Amazon.com opening screen that says there is a specially made site with similar content. Why wouldn't they just make their site in such a way as to follow conventions of coding a site properly and then it would be accessible and no special site would be needed. The point, I always thought, was to give us the same access as others. I ride a regular bus home, it takes only 15 minutes to get home from work. My friend takes a metro mobility a special vehicle that goes door to door but handles multiple people in the same run so it takes him 2 hours each way to get home from not much further out. I hear other friends who are blind complain about this time waste all the time. This is a perfect example of us having our own, special version of things. If he was just aware that the city bus is very accessible and tried it out, maybe he could gain a few hours of life every day. I don't think that there is anything wrong with identifying ourselves as blind if it lets various businesses and service providers know that we need accessibility built into their services or sites or whatever. I am going off in all directions here but it is much like the decision to carry a cane. When I had usable vision, I was told that I should carry a cane to identify myself to others so they would look out for me or even help me. The first time I carried a cane in public, I was bullied and threatened because the bullies knew I was blind and couldn't identify or chase them. That experience made me want to think twice before identifying my vulnerability to someone else. I did not carry a cane for nearly 20 years until I lost my vision and actually had to. It's really no different with banks or other businesses. I told my chiropractor that I was blind. This was in the first visit. We talked for a few minutes, about my participation in blind sporting events. When he sent me into the next room to get x-rays, the x-ray tech commented, Doctor says you were in the special Olympics. . Well, not exactly. And, I had to explain the difference to him. Just a response I hadn't counted on. I guess that shows that even in a large metro area, there are people who have no idea about various disabilities and what they mean to the person with those disabilities. Being special ain't always what it is cracked up to be."
Heather sent in a short mail about how she listens to our audio;
I used the web player on your site to listen to an audio presentation from the NFB convention. I love the player. I especially loved the speed controls. I was able to speed up the presentation considerably. It was really great to be able to slow it down for sections and then speed it up again during audience noise etc.
So, thank so much for such a great web player.
Lastly, Kevin sent in this note...
In your most recent BB Cast you gentlemen spoke of Window-eyes 9.2
upgrade and it costing $50. Not exactly.
If you have at least one SMA count the upgrade is free which means it does
not, repeat, does not reduce your SMA count. If, however, you are on the
paid version i.e. not Window-Eyes for Office, and do not have any remaining
SMAs left; you are going to have to pay $50 to upgrade to 9.2.
In my opinion this only makes sense. After all, this is a large update
offering, among other things, compatibility with Windows 10. And, if you are
out of SMAs then you are not entitled to any more free upgrades.
As for the one host's comments about wanting a full number release
instead of a mere point upgrade; well, something so stupid should hardly be
uttered never mind recorded.
So, please get your facts straight. GW has been quite clear about this
And, I do not have any connection with AI Squared except as a longtime user
Joe was vague during that discussion on purpose as there were multiple conditions to which users were able to update for free and which ones would have to pay or use an ESA. Ai Squared used a chart after all and the panel suggested that users venture to the Ai Squared site to be sure. Not to mention that a link to the post by the company was placed in the show notes. However, great point about the point number upgrade. Now if we can just convince Microsoft to do the math when it comes to putting numbers on products.
We recently [mentioned a new way of online shopping through Jet. And now two of our listeners will have a chance to experience the service themselves through a one year membership, a $50 value, just by posting a comment in BB Qast 27's comment section! Two commenters will be chosen and we'll announce the winners at the end of August 2015. You can pass along your thoughts on any of our shows, maybe comment with a good recipe or just say "Hi". Any comments are welcome and you need only comment once to be considered for the giveaway. Happy typing and good luck! Comments must be submitted by Friday, August 21 and be posted to this particular episode to be eligible.
Thunderstorms are powerful forces of nature. They can bring about a lot of noise, and this week, they can also silence one of our crew. Patrick steps in when Joe loses electricity to help J.J. discuss these stories.
Pumpkin Spice Peeps Have Arrived. Here's How They Taste.
Sign of the times? $100,000 cruise nearly sells out in a day
That will do it for this week. Remember to leave your comment below to be entered into our Jet competition. Have a great week everyone!
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Hey guys, I don't want to be entered in the drawing; but I want to comment on the banter about candy corn near the end of the show when Patrick filled in for Joe. You haven't lived until you've mixed a bag of candy corn with a jar of peanuts in a large bowl. Try it. It's to die for. You can't stay out of it. I'm not kidding.
Louis D Saturday, 15-Aug-2015 7:07 PM ET:
It's interesting to me that APH is halting development of the Braille Plus and that braille notetakers are going through a time of turbulence. Although I hate the expensive price of notetakers as much as anyone else, and the trend of mainstream tech being accessible out of the box is great, there is an efficiency of a braille notetaker that an iPad or other tablet paired with a braille display can’t reach. Sometimes I just need to jot down a quick note, or read a file of personal information quickly. I suppose displays like the Braille Edge and Vario Ultra can allow for that, but I personally have gotten accustomed to having braille and speech in a small mobile package. It would be awesome if a simple notetaker with 20 braille cells and speech with basic apps that people have become familiar with was released by one of the major AT companies. Leave out the Bookshare download and the internet features to cut down the price, and I think something neat can be created to fill a void between the braille displays without speech capabilities and traditionally expensive notetakers. I’m sure lots of folks would disagree, but my productive needs and opinions are just as valid as theirs are. I’m frankly tired of the condemnation of folks who might prefer a traditional notetaker for basic tasks rather than trusting completely to a mainstreamed device. And lastly as an aside, Mike Calvo of Serotek fame was someone who railed against traditional notetakers for being out of date technologies and belonging in a blind ghetto. However, in a recent podcast on the Serotalk network, he mentioned that he is a user of the Braille Sense U2 Mini. Take that bit of info as you will.
Russ Sunday, 16-Aug-2015 10:35 AM ET:
I just wished someone would develop the Jim Kitchen games for ios!
kach2tobs Sunday, 16-Aug-2015 6:02 PM ET:
I downloaded your app for the Iphone and love listening to BBQ on it. I know that free screen readers are a great boon for the blind community but I have concerns about the employment future. My office uses a document management program that is not accessible without JAWS scripts. As far as I know many similar document management programs and call center programs are not created with accessibility in mind. Without the ability to write scripts for JAWS I would have a great deal of trouble doing my job. I've had other technical challenges as well with excel spread sheets that are extremely complex, PDF documents that are searchable but not accessible etc. I worry about Freedom Scientific and other developers not being able to put enough money into R &D to make their screen readers flexible enough for scripts having a negative impact on employment. As far as notetakers go, I miss my Braile 'n Speak 640 as the mainstream devices I've been using (netbooks, laptops, Iphone) dont' have the instant on and off I had with the BNS. They aren't to puling out a pad of paper and jotting down a note.
j1armstrong Monday, 17-Aug-2015 02:07 AM ET:
Clarification: I use Intuit's Ttax deluxe to do my business taxes, I don't think this is available as an online experience. It uses graphical representations of the forms to fill out. I haven't been able to do much more than get a few lines off any screen which may contain a dozen, If this content is available online, I will be on it this year. Thanks.
Changeling Tuesday, 18-Aug-2015 09:14 AM ET:
I was listening to this episode yesterday, and got to the part where everyone gives out their Twitter handles. It got me wondering, Where did Joe's handle, RangerStation, come from?
esbowden Tuesday, 18-Aug-2015 1:41 PM ET:
Hello My name is Elizabeth Bowden. I first want to say that your podcasts have allowed me to stay in touch with much of the ever changing world of assistive technology. I like the variety. I also have a tip. When completing entries in iOS such as contacts, I have heard many trainers provide instructions to enter information in to a field, then use swiping to locate the next field in the form. Alternatively, you can press return to get to the next field requiring text entry. This works until you encounter a button for adding something such as a phone #. Thanks, and have an excellent weekend!
mcikeyc Friday, 21-Aug-2015 08:44 AM ET:
Hi. This is a good post. I enjoy them when I have the time to listen. I appreciate what you do for our community.
Lisasali Friday, 21-Aug-2015 11:56 PM ET:
I'm thinking it is only a matter of time before you cover the iArm, the must have appendage for the blind person who must have every new watch to hit the market. Just remember where you heard the prediction first, and keep the great shows coming!
Ibrahim23 Sunday, 23-Aug-2015 12:04 PM ET:
Hey first of all I want to say that this is one of my favorite podcasts to catch up on new AT I also really loved your interview with Alex . I hope they can meet their funding goal . Finally Joe since you mentioned candy on this show . I suggest you check out peanut butter and MandMs sandwiches Thanks and keep up the awesome work. Best Ibrahim
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Joe Steinkamp is no stranger to the world of technology, having been a user of video magnification and blindness related electronic devices since 1979. Joe has worked in radio, retail management and Vocational Rehabilitation for blind and low vision individuals in Texas. He has been writing about the A.T. Industry for 15 years and podcasting about it for almost a decade.