Blind Bargains

Blind Bargains Qast 99: Surface LapBookTop

You might think that May would be a slow month for news. Well, for the second year in a row, that doesn't seem to be true. We have new hardware news, merger talk and Microsoft held an Education event this past week. Toss in a tip, "Sound Off" and the "Last Word" in the mix for even more audio goodness. Who knew that 99 meant the number of minutes rather than an episode number!

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In The News:

Breaking: Humanware Posts Product Page for Brailliant 14 Portable Braille Display

Breaking: Brailliant Sync App Hints at New Humanware 14-cell Braille Display

We'll have more on the Brailliant 14 on podcast 100.

VFO Expands Again with Acquisition of The Paciello Group

SSB BART Group Receives $40 Million Strategic Growth Investment from JMI Equity

TalkBack 5.2 for Android, with Verbosity Controls and New Earcons, is Official

Google Announces Two Accessibility Sessions for I/O Conference

A Blind Legend, Eye-D Among Google Play Award Nominees for Accessibility

St. Louis, Rochester to Host Upcoming ACB National Conventions

Another reason to follow us on Twitter, as this has expired, Get $5 for a Quick Assistive Technology Survey and More if you Use Lots of Devices

Discussion: Microsoft Education Event:

Microsoft held an event in New York, New York, to highlight new software and hardware. We sit down and go over the announcements and give some insight as to what might impact the Community in these new product releases. Here are some of the articles that fueled our conversation in this segment.

Microsoft Education: Empowering students and teachers of today to create the world of tomorrow

Microsoft Learning Tools

What is Windows 10 S?

Windows 10 S: The Inside Story

Microsoft readies June preview of its full featured Office apps coming to its Windows, Education Stores

Is This The End of Microsoft Office as We Know It?

Microsoft Teams: New Features Released at General Availability

'Minecraft Education Edition' will let kids build with code

Microsoft helps you see mixed reality with only a webcam

Microsoft unveils $999 Surface Laptop running Windows 10 S

Microsoft Surface Laptop: Price, specs, availability

Microsoft's Surface Laptop doesn't need gimmicks to be special

Surface Laptop: The Fine Print

The TravelMate Spin B1 is Acer's first Windows 10 S laptop

Microsoft's lie-flat Surface Arc mouse is a new take on an old formula


J.J. demonstrates SharpKeys, a free Windows utility which can let you remap keyboard keys, for instance, for a laptop missing the Application key.

Sound Off:

Ron Kolesar is a frequent contributor to the "Sound Off" section. However, this week, Ron wanted to share some important information about a subset of one type of Blindness.

"Hello to the both of you J.J. and Joe.
Just wanted to say thanks for reading my letter out on the show.
I finally got to listen to it last night thanks to Mr. Victor Reader Stream.
I actually called my bank.
And I also called the manager of my branch of the bank and both said they d look into having the info on the debit and credit cards in braille.
Yes, I got the thought from the article that you did in last weeks show for the passport with braille info on it.
Will keep you in the loop on that.
But I have a huge favor to ask.
I ve been asking everyone I know and don t know to spread the word about the following.
For we who have retinitis PIGMENTOSA for the cause of our blindness.
We have a new version of R.P. that no one wants to have.
That new version is called NARP, which is short for

Neuropathy, ataxia, and retinitis PIGMENTOSA.

Let s just say for myself, roughly the last two years I ve been in a wheelchair.

From a young child like we all learn how to do, We learn to pull ourselves up onto our feet then we learn to stand then we learn to walk.

Then working with a cane for ten years then working with two leader dogs for roughly a total of the last twenty years.

Let s just say I am frustrated.

There s no way a blind person can have independent mobility if they have to use a wheelchair.


Because, you have to have vision to steer the chair.

Because it takes your independent mobility away from you.

If a blind person doesn t have independent mobility, we have no independence.

So please.

Have everyone who has R.P. contact the Cleveland Clinic Cole Eye institute at


Or they can be e-mailed at

Or you can call the Cleveland Clinic s tole-free number at


Then simply ask for the Cole eye institute.

Tell them that you have R.P. and that you d like to have a NARP DNA test package sent to you.

Then simply follow the instructions on the test kit and also take it up to your local lab where you have your blood drawn at and have them draw a blood sample and you re all set."

Thank you for sending that along, Ron. Remember, if you have something like the above you would like to share with our listeners, send an email to

Last Word:

Food and music. Yep, it is the last word alright. These first two links are related to a story Joe tells on the show. The third is something both J.J. and Joe are curious to find at their local Golden Arches.
Persona 5: Last Surprise
Last Snooprise
Introducing the FRORK: Local McDonald's giving away viral fry-fork hybrid on Friday

Next week, triple digits! Oh, and Dave Williams is back with an interview with Humanware about that shiny new 14 cell display they just announced in Europe.

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File size: 91.7MB
Length: 80:9

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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.

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