Blind Bargains

Blind Bargains Qast 84: Curb Cut Equasions


This show has something for everyone. There is educational value as we have Pearson on board to talk about math. J.J. demos the Audio Game Hub for your amusement. Also, A Listener submitted tip, more about Google Home and then the show goes to the dogs in the Last Word". This is possibly one of the more diverse programs we've ever done in 84 episodes.

In The News:

Roku Adds Audio Guide to Streaming Players in Latest Update though Much Remains Inaccessible

advance Copy: Movie Captioning and Audio Description Final Rule

Apple Vis's Alex Hall, the very person who gave our podcast a name, wrote a Review: of the 2016 MacBook Pro with Touch Bar

BBQ Regulars Jamie Pauls and Shelly brisbin have great articles in the latest issue of "Access World"

City Lights App Will Alert you of Upcoming Traffic Lights

Interview: Pearson

A Braille Display, a screen reader and a math equation would be a combination that might strike fear in the hearts of some out there in the listening audience. However, thanks to the efforts of Pearson, the ability to use this combination with greater efficiency has arrived for JavaScript-enabled Windows based web browsers. Dan Brown, Senior Quality Assurance Engineer for Blindness Technologies and Sam Dooley, Senior Software Engineer from Pearson, sit down with J.J. to go over the process of how it all works without using too many numbers to do so along the way. And better yet, if you are numerically inclined, you can try out the Equation Editor yourself by visiting the product's page.

Demonstration: Audio Game Hub

You might remember our earlier coverage about the Audio Game Hub app and their very successful Kickstarter endeavor which by the way is still going on if you wish to preorder some cool audio games.
Or, maybe you saw them mentioned over at Apple Vis.
Either way, this is an app worth checking out as J.J. shows us in this quick demonstration.

Tip: It's Getting Windy Out There

Thanks to Jesse Tregarthen for sending along this week's Siri tip about how the wind blows. Bonus, you can also ask other Voice Assistants, like Google, this same question to get similar results.

Sound Off:

We had several emails stuffed in our Inbox like it was a Turducken at Thanksgiving. Here is the first of three such electronic mails.

"I loved episode 82 particularly the interplay between Joe, JJ, Liam, Google Home and Alexia. I gained an understanding of what the Amazon Echo and Google Home can do and their differences.

My three children had lots of Fisher Price Little people and I enjoyed them because they were so tactile and I could easily put them in vehicles, the farm and play with them.

I deeply believe that advocacy gets results and our lives are richer because NFB and ACB have advocated for accessible voting machines, noise to be made by quiet cars etc.

Individual advocacy works as well. I just successfully requested and persuaded our state Department of Transportation to install audible traffic signals so that I can cross a seven lane street and take the bus to work. I had had to rely on the paratransit once our transit company rerouted the bus near my home. I had advocated with them, and complain that the route change made taking the bus more dangerous but they didn t listen.

While I was advocating with our state Department of Transportation I also persuaded them to modify how they were doing a transit study. I was originally randomly selected for this study which involved using an app on a Smart Phone. The app wasn t accessible and I told the State employee who was the project director that any transit study that tended to exclude people who are blind or visually impaired was unacceptable. They are now interested in using alternative means to do the study and in finding individuals in my area who will beta test an updated version of the app for accessibility. In my email to the Project Director I did happen to mention that I m an attorney, am totally blind and that I work for Ohio s state protection and Advocacy and Client Assistance program.

I am a regular listener to your show and count on the news and tips portion to keep me updated on assistive technology so I can better advocate for my clients.

Happy Thanksgiving and keep up the good work!
Barbara Corner "

thank you so much for the kind words and for the work you do for others. We adore hearing how our listeners are giving back to the community at large!

Next, Gregg Hayes writes in about Google Home.

"Great podcast on the Google home. I wish apple would come out with one since I have apple music and many apple movies etc. Oh well.

Do you know if Google Home or the Amazon Echo has any integration with an IR
blaster so we could voice command TVs, DVD players, Receivers, etc.?

Joe notes that there are a few home automation options that might be used as Google home supports the Samsun Smart Things line up at launch. Between that, and IFTT support, you might be able to roll your own solution. But Joe admits that he would have to investigate more into that to be sure. Plus, it is quite possible that future support is still on the way to the Google Home without having to do so much heavy technical lifting. Joe already has a pretty long, and possibly expensive, wish list of things to still connect and test with the Google home. So stay tuned.

Lastly, for this week, Carla Davis asks us about another device in the ever growing pile of things you can purchase from Best Buy that will talk right out of the box... maybe.

""I was given a Kindle Firestick and the voice-controlled remote for my birthday, but I m wondering if it is accessible for a totally blind person like me. How accessible is it? Have you done any podcasts on the firestick? If so, can you please send me a link to it?

Thanks,"

Believe it or not, but even the BBQ Gadget Guy does not have one of these units. nor do any of our BBQ Regulars own a Fire TV. However, Amazon does have a dedicated page for Voice View for Fire TV and it is the first place we suggest to begin to look.

Also, if you did not hear our CSUN interview with peter Korn from Amazon Accessibility, you can do so by clicking this very link.

Last Word:

Simon says; walk the dog in this week's "last Word.
Our April Fool's joke may be one step closer to reality. All hail an Uber Woof!

And a YouTube clip of Google Home and Alexa conversing

Next week we discuss Apple Watches and Fitbits. The perfect show for those wanting to get a jump on breaking their annual New Year's resolution for exercise is walking on a treadmill towards you.

Listen to the File


File size: 102.5MB
Length: 84:3

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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 for10 years and podcasting about it for nearly 5 years.


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