Canada isn't just a great place to get maple syrup and poutine, no fellow listeners, it turns out it is a wonderful place where accessibility is on the rise in new and exciting ways. This week Joe sits down with David lepofsky to talk about many Canadian things that are not hockey or that 55 yard line thing they have for football. J.J. has a virtual tip, "Last Word" gets crunchy and "Sound Off" features an email that could have been in the news section.
In The News:
Here's a tweet from Mystic Access that should make those with a Braille Note Touch very happy
New updates to the BrailleNote Touch tutorial! We demonstrate exciting version 5.0 features such as full QWERTY keyboard support and much more. Download yours from: https://mystacc.co/BrailleNoteTouchTutorial Delete your old copy before unzipping the new one.
Swamp Audio Game recently tweeted the following:
Attention everyone! Swamp is being updated once more, and version 3.7 has been released! Aprone has also added one free month to all Kaldobsky accounts, so right now, anyone can come online and play!
Speaking of games, Tau Station has also become fully operational
Like science fiction MMORPG with an epic story? Tau Station is an accessible, F2P, browser game. Experience this space adventure using your PC, smartphone, tablet, or laptop. Let's shape a fantastic universe together!
Want to join? Here's your shuttle
Interview: David lepofsky
David offered to give us his hands on review of the Humanware Victor Reader Trek and how he felt it shaped up to the previous models of both the Victor Reader and the Trekker. Then, because David is a man of many talents, Joe could not let him leave our microphones without talking about the progress and the process Canada is taking with the implementation of their version of the ADA. Oh, as a bonus, David also gave his impressions of the Orbit Reader. There is a lot to unpack in this one let us tell you.
Moreover, after we completed the interview, David passed this along for our show notes.
"The trek is the only blind gps product I know of that lets you do an off-road bread crumbed route, like a university campus. I have not yet tested it o out fully, but I know tthat it is a huge advantage. I understand that O&M instructors used to walk a route on a university campus to create the trekker route on the breeze, and then teach a blind student the route, using the trekker. They could use the victor reader trek the same way."
The Bluetooth speaker David mentioned was the Polk Bit Boom and it can be found at Amazon.
Visit aodA alliance on Twitter or visit the official website to stay up to date on the advancements in access David spoke about in this interview. You can also join the mailing list by making a request to firstname.lastname@example.org and mention you wish to receive their newsletter.
David also noted that our deep dive into the Trek helped him learn the device. If you haven't heard that interview, click here to listen to the Victor Reader Trek special.
Tip: Virtual Desktops With JAWS 2018
This tip comes to us thanks to Leonie Watson on Twitter.. You can navigate through virtual desktops on your Windows 10 system with some easy to memorize hotkeys. Use Windows plus Control and D to create a desktop. Then use the left or the right arrow keys with Windows plus Control to navigate in between the various virtual desktops with JAWS 2018. Listen to J.J.s demonstration to learn more on how to do this fantastic time saver.
Rebecca Skipper sent this along after hearing comments about Envision AI made on episode 140.
A new update to the Orbit Reader 20 has been released, 01.01.49, that corrects a serious bug preventing the Orbit Reader 20 from starting when pressing the power button in some cases.
I understand why some marketing tactics used by companies trying to assist the visually impaired can be offensive and have often become frustrated myself.
However, we must acknowledge the high unemployment rate, and I see no problem with a company inviting a family member or a loved one to purchase a gift subscription for a visually impaired family member.
This is certainly better than the Save the Children fund tone!
In addition, we should also keep in mind that bad marketing practices can happen to individuals with all types of disabilities.
I once decided not to attend a local concert because the organizers made it a point to focus on the musician s hearing impairment and how amazing his accomplishments were in the last thirty years.
I m not quoting directly but I m sure you get the idea.
It would be great if there was something like Universal marketing, however, that just isn't the case since companies need to attract audiences outside their prime markets for a whole host of reasons. Mainstream news outlets face the same uphill climb and that is why we see "inspirration porn" based articles when it comes to talking about disability. But then, as you can read in this Lifehacker article, there are times where you have to shake your head and wonder.
JKM x sends along this interesting link about screen readers.
"Hello. Check out this article. It is very interesting. Take care.""
Joe brings the YouTube clip and J.J. brought the food link. Patterns are beautiful things you know
Joe will be on the road for episode 143 and J.J. will be out on episode 144. That means some very nice people will have to step into the booth to help us record some shows. Tune in to hear who from the BBQ Crew comes along to talk about the week's happenings!
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I'm back! This time with an update on my experiences with Aira. I have just canceled my subscription with them and will be going back to Be My Eyes and Be Specular. The reason is because of a number of problems that ultimately Aira didn't seem inclined to correct, which I felt was unacceptable for a paid service. The first problem was the equipment they sent me, from day one it was always reporting a poor signal, but never identified which signal was the problem, which makes it difficult to troubleshoot since three wireless devices are involved. Nothing I did ever resolved the poor signal reports. Then when I tried using the glasses and the MyFi in a call to Aira, the agent reported that the video kept cutting in and out making it unusable, and eventually the connection with the agent was lost. All during this call I kept getting messages about the connection being lost, then reacquired, then lost again, and so on. When I complained about this to Aira, they blamed AT&T and promissed to send me a MyFi that used Verizon instead. That MyFi never appeared and I don't believe it was ever sent. More to the point, AT&T is the cell phone carrier I use and when I tried calling Aira using just my phone from the same location where their equipment failed, the call worked without a problem prooving to me that AT&T wasn't the problem. I continued to complain about the non functional equipment, and this time was told that I would be put on a priority list to be one of the first to get the new Horizon glasses. That wasn't followed through either, just like the promissed replacement MyFis. As you know they just released a small quantity of the Horizon glasses to the first 200 explorers to respond, I responded figuring that if I was actually going to be given priority as they had stated, that I'd be one of the 200 to get the new glasses in June. Nope! No subsequent email indicating that I had qualified, so obviously, just like the replacement MyFi, being given priority because of the equipment problems was yet another deception or promis that wasn't followed through. Then, two weeks ago I notice that the app is showing that I used way more minutes than I have actually used, it also shows that I appear to not be the only one using my account, which shouldn't be the case. When I inquired about this, I was first told that they would look into it and call me back, they never did. In fact a number of calls to customer service I have placed when nobody answered were never returned. So I inquired again, and this time I was told that it was a known bug in the app. I wonder, is it really a bug or just an underhanded trick to get people to sign up for plans with more minutes than they really need? They sure don't seem to worried about fixing this bug either way. At the end of it all I simply decided that all of these problems, especially the apparent deceptions, and the calls not being returned, were simply not acceptable in a paid service, so I have canceled my subscription. In six months time or a year, I will reconsider signing up with them again, but for now, they have some problems that need addressing before I'll spend any more money on them. It's too bad, I really liked the service.
Orko Thursday, 03-May-2018 12:17 PM ET:
David, thanks a bunch for your remarks about the Polk Audio Bit Boom speaker, I had been looking for something just like it for use with my own Trek and this little gadget is perfect! Thumbs up to you and the Blind Bargains group for this tip.
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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.