Blind Bargains

Blind Bargains Qast 112: Tesseract Cane Shield

This week's episode is chock full of demos, tips and even an interview. James Boehm stops by to talk about a use for your old canes. Andre Louis also supplies us with an OCR demo for the Mac. Also, hear about the new NVDA and a look at the latest Apple accessory on the market before all that new stuff is announced on September 12th.

Sponsor: HIMS

Braille sense Polaris is shipping! The future is now. Check out the first Google certified futureproof notetaker with no touchscreen required. Visit us on the web at to learn more.

Hurricane Harvey

Long time listeners know that Joe is from the Gulf Coast. While his friends and family made it through safely, others were dramatically impacted by Hurricane Harvey. All of us at the BBQ urge, if you can do so, to contribute to the relief effort. Below are some links for resources to give to those affected by the storm.

The American Red Cross is giving aid to many areas impacted by the Hurricane. To learn more visit their Hurricane Harvey page.
The Houston SPCA is serving as a hub for providing assistance to Animal Shelters who found themselves in the path of Harvey. You can learn more about them at their official website.
The Houston Texans's JJ Whatt started a grass roots movement to help out his adopted Home Town. Learn about his contribution to the "Houston Strong" efforts here.

Interview: James Boehm of Kustom Canes

J.J. spoke with James Boehm, founder of Kustom Canes, to learn more about his journey from detailing cars to detailing something else related to mobility. James has a passion for customization and he gives some pretty amazing descriptions of the canes he has already created. Another passion for James is the need to provide refurbished canes to those in need. The "You Cane Give" project is a program where your gently previously used canes can be repaired for use by others in countries that may not have traditional O&M services available.

If you would like to learn more about customized canes of virtually any style, [visit Kustom Cane on the web.
And to donate canes, Email

Review: Apple Magic Keyboard With Numeric Pad

Joe has this thing about first party hardware. He has several pieces of Microsoft and Apple gear lying around the office. A recent birthday gift of the new Apple Magic keyboard with Number Pad made its way into his collection. Is it worth the $129 asking price? Joe weighs in with his opinion, however, he suggests you search it out before you consider purchasing it yourself.

Demonstration: NVDA With Win OCR

Good grief are those PDF menus for that local food establishment ever annoying. And those people who post text in a pic on the web? Sheesh! It would be really nice to just hit NVDA Modifier R and have that stuff read aloud right? Listen how easy that actually is as J.J. shows us how to use this new feature found in the latest version of NVDA.

Demonstration: VOCR

Andre Louis shows off VOCR, OCR for VoiceOver users on the Mac.

Created by Chi Kim, maker of FlowTools, FLogic and now VOCR, this set of useful macros for Keyboard Maestro brings OCR to VoiceOver users.

Necessary Downloads:

Keyboard Maestro:

VOCR (from GitHub:)

If you need to contact Andre Louis for help:

Twitter: @OnjMusic

Tip: Stay Prepared!

Joe suggests taking some time out to prepare yourself for any manner of emergency. Many of these actions may prove to be life, or time, savers when you are in a situation where you are unable to rely on the technology you have readily available.

  • Protect your valuable documents...
    Grab a slate and stylus, or that old fashioned Brailler, and jot down your important numbers. Insurance policies, medical information, your family's social security numbers and other information you think you might need in order to verify your medical or residential status. Then, after all that is down on hard copy Braille, put it in waterproof bags with Braille labels on them. Keep them somewhere safe, yet easy to get to, that way you have them if you have to leave your home quickly.

  • Check your lighting conditions...
    Use the help of others, or Vision Assistance Apps, to make sure all your indoor and outdoor lighting is working properly. Also, be sure to have a flashlight and fresh batteries on hand. This will help others, including First Responders, help you in dire situations.

  • Food And Crates...
    If you have a Service Animal, or just family pets, be sure to have about a week's worth of food on hand. It may take a while to reach your area if you were to become cut off due to flooding or downed power lines. So making sure those furry friends have enough to eat is paramount. Moreover, if you do have to evacuate, many shelters will not accept pets without them being housed in a crate or cage. You don't want to leave them behind. So be sure they have these things available to them.

  • Battery Packs and Generators...
    Refrigerators, phones and laptops are all important devices in our lives. Until the power goes that is. Then you really find out how much you need them. Making sure you have the resources on hand to run them for longer periods of time, during a power outage, can be one of the most important aspects of managing life off the power grid. Be sure to invest in batteries for radios, and other electronics, as this will allow you to find out news and weather updates for your local area. Homeowners may want to look into the purchase of a portable generator for running the icebox. But those who live in apartments may want to be sure they own an ice chest for keeping food and medical supplies cool.

  • lastly, look into waterproof cases for your electronics. If your phone, laptop or notetaker is your primary form of access... providing the ability to keep it safe from the elements is key when you are forced to travel for whatever reason.

"Sound Off" and "Last Word" are taking a break but will return in episode 114. Next week we'll talk about accessible games and the week after that finds us talking about the many things Apple will want you to buy this holiday season.

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File size: 41.9MB
Length: 50:50

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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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