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    Joe has returned from vacation to join J.J. for one of the final episodes of 2017. The pair discuss some shipping and gift wrapping suggestions, Joe has a Gmail tip for iOS users and a festive treat awaits in the "Last Word". So leave the cookies and the milk out for Santa before you curl up for a long night's winter nap with episode 127.

    In The News:

    Seeing AI version 2.0 released with new features, including handwriting and currency recognition

    That NVDA RC update isn't an RC anymore. Get the latest update by Visiting the NVDA site

    JAWS 2018 updated twice while Joe was away. See the changelog at the Freedom Scientific site to learn more

    ZoomText, And Fusion, moves to 11.7

    Public outcry causes Google to rethink banning powerful accessibility apps

    Chrome Apps are dead, as Google shuts down the Chrome Web Store section

    VoiceView update adds new navigation gestures and more

    iOS Review: MindNode 5, AN Accessible Mind Mapping Tool for Writers

    Discussion Topic: Creative Shipping And Wrapping Of Those Holiday Gifts

    J.J. and Joe pass along some ideas about how to ship your gifts, or how to place them in various containers if you aren't a gift-wrapping expert, for the holiday season. Amazon has lots of options to ship and wrap your gifts. And it may be the right way to send or even bring back the stocking stuffer in your life, if you have to travel a long way to see friends and family. Note that TSA, various airlines and other modes of travel have unique restrictions for carrying items. Therefore, doing some research might save you having to discard a box or bottle of holiday cheer when adventuring through the airport. Remember, you can always look up the nearest UPS Store if you want to avoid that kind of thing at TSA. You can easily track your bundle of joy via the Google Search app, if you use Gmail, to see if you will beat your packages home.

    If you go the gift card route, J.J. suggests choosing an odd amount so that person won't easily forget your gift in a sea of certificates. Joe also says that you may want to pair those cards with a similar gift. I.E. a movie pass with a gift card to an ice cream shop. Omaha Steaks with a Jones Soda complement. It also doesn't hurt to have a few low amount iTunes cards to pass around for those you may have not gotten to, but needed to, on your naughty or nice lists. Tag your gifts with a stylus,, note cards are a big help here, so you remember what goes to whom and why.


    This came about a little late for those who had that nasty iOS11 mail issue, however, you can now add iCloud email accounts to Gmail. This is great for those who wish to switch from Apple to Android. Or, for those who wish to have a foot in either pool, you can now see your email on the rival device. Oh, you can also add Exchange and other Microsoft accounts to Gmail too. Here is an article that goes into the changes recently added to the iOS update for Gmail.

    Sound Off:

    Juan wrote into the show, on Ep 126, about Rich's passing. Nick and Bob, over at TBRN, put together a fitting tribute show, archive can be found at this link, and Joe was honored to be asked to speak at this event.

    As a follow up to the Blindfold Game discussions, the link below shows Apple is cracking down on all sorts of apps and Developers.

    Apple s widened ban on templated apps is wiping small businesses from the App Store

    Here are a couple of tweets to the @blindbargains feed...

    alimoosa191: Is the Matias keyboard similar to Apple s Magic Keyboard with numerik keypad?

    In layout, yes. In features, no. The new Apple Magic Keyboard, which Joe covered on Ep 112, only connects to Apple devices. and one at a time at that. It is a great keyboard but it isn't nearly as feature-laden as the Matias. To hear more, pop back to our Black Friday show.

    DiannaMuircast: This @blindbargains podcast is hilarious!

    We agree and its always a great time when Shelly graces our MP3 streams!

    Last Word:

    From the cruise, Joe has a new song for the holidays
    You may have heard of the Can'tenna, but maybe we'll have the Cane-tenna
    IT STINKS! Onion Truck Ironically Catches Fire Near Frying Pan Road

    One more to go before we say good-bye to the year that was 2017. Safe travels to everyone and Happy Holidays!

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    The month of December used to be a slow month in podcasting circles. That doesn't seem to be the case again with 2017 rolling right along with timely news and events still arriving like they were UPS holiday packages on the BBQ doorstep. Good thing we asked Amanda Rush to come by and talk about Word Press as we shall need a sister site up to contain all these analogies and metaphors we've made about boxes and packages on the show over the last 60 days. J.J. takes some time out to play a game on Echo, Joe has one rejected idea in the "Last Word" and Patrick lets his guard down in a most interesting way. Grab that cup of coffee, cocoa or just a glass of milk... it is BBQ 128.

    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.

    In The News:

    NVDA remote 2.1 debuts with several requested key features
    @tspivey: NVDA Remote 2.1 released. Adds a keystroke to push the clipboard, adds braille input in browse mode, fixes reconnecting to the previous server when machine is being controlled.

    Access World for December looks at more gift ideas, the El Braille and some issues for Diabetes Management

    Popular website Eyes Free Fitness now has an iPhone App

    Facebook's Alt Text for Images is Expanding

    Magic v14 update arrives bringing with it support for the Win 10 Fall Creators Update and more

    Survey of the week!
    AFB is seeking feedback on the Career Connect service and one lucky participant could win an Amazon Echo

    Kickstarter of the week!
    The World's First Smart Screen Protector with Smart Buttons for the iPhone!

    Interview: Amanda Rush And Accessible Word Press

    Amanda rush, of Customer Servant Consultancy, chats with J.J. about the power of Word Press and why you should consider it as your next content platform if you utilize a screen reader. Building websites can get complex really quickly. Amanda has some resources that can lead you through that maze of code. To reach her directly, use her "Let's Talk" contact form, or contact her via Twitter @cswordpress .

    Tip: Match Game 2017

    Fill in the blank during the holidays with your friends, family and old TV or movie stars from the 60s or 70s with this Amazon Echo skill that lets you play the classic game show "Match Game". There are free daily questions, however if you purchase question packs, you can keep playing until you win that year's supply of Rice-a-roni or a room full of ZBrick paneling.

    Sound Off:

    From our article about the Seeing A.I. update comes these two opinions;

    So basically, they've just allowed me to take my OCR folder and replace it with one app? Nice. So far it does seem to work, even the handwriting recognition which, while not perfect, does well enough and is a major door-opener for us. I wish everything coming out of Microsoft was this awesome. I really liked Seeing AI before, and it's even better now. Now Microsoft, if you could just concentrate on real improvements like this in your other products...

    The updates were worth the wait. Cleaned up my home screen by being able to replace a number of apps with this new upgrade. Currency and colour feature works more consistently than other apps. The ability to read hand writing, and therefore Christmas cards sent is a great feature. Keep it coming Microsoft.

    Lydia Alverson, long time listener of BBQ, sent along her Winter Wishes in the most accessible way!

    Dear Blind Bargains team,

    Just to show my appreciation, I wanted to send you a little holiday greeting. I hope you enjoy it.

    Press to hear greeting:


    Lydia Alverson.

    Also, another long-time fan, sends her regards about Ricky and Joe's recent news...

    Hey, fir"st, congrats to Joe and Ricky! I would love a show on cruising, I have never cruised and I would please request that you discuss cruises to nowhere, you don't get off the ship and they are short cruises. They may no longer exist, not sure. If I ever cruise, I want to stay on the ship, that's why I would get on one in the first place! Happy holidays to you guys and looking forward to more great podcasts next year! Beth"

    Last Word:

    Fred sent this first link into Feedback back on June 28th and Joe thought it appropriate if it landed here in the "Last Word".
    Taco Bell just had its first wedding ceremony for a very hungry couple
    And J.J. would like everyone to be aware of this local announcement in his area.
    "The Lowell Police Department's message: "Please do not walk
    out in front of a city snow plow with your shovel challenging
    our drivers not to plow in your driveway. 26,000 pounds of
    metal and salt does not stop on a dime. If the truck doesn't
    crush you and kill you instantly, the blade will dismember your
    body and you'll bleed out before any help arrives." "

    Well that will do it for our third year of the Blind Bargains Qast. Patrick will be back in the feed with the Outtakes show. And the BBQ Crew will begin 2018 with the traditional look back at the previous year's biggest stories. until then, all the best to you and yours in this grand new year!

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    You know that holiday song that has the line: "It's the most wonderful time of the year?". yeah, well, Patrick tends to hum it a lot in December because this is the dedicated show where he has free rein to post all the things that would make us sound silly if left in for an episode's original broadcast.

    Naturally you will hear several flubs from J.J. and Joe. And you might be surprised to hear a couple from Patrick that hit the cutting room floor. Yet as they say on TV, "but that's not all, as many of the BBQ Crew find their way into the Outtakes this year. Listen as Shelly, Scott, Dave, Meka, Chancey and Ricky create some humor with only BBQ Regular Jamie Pauls avoiding the microphone for like the first time... um, ever. So don't miss the train as we start the new year off right by celebrating what we got wrong in 2017.

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    Happy New Year and welcome to the first show of 2018. Traditionally, if you are a long time fan, you know the first show has been reserved for a glance back at the previous year's AT news. However, due to crazy schedules on everyone's part here at BBQ, we'll delay that look over our shoulder and talk about it as the focus for episode 131. This week we will assume the Discussion Topic" format as we cover J.J.'s recent trip to Vegas for the 2018 Consumer Electronic Show and Joe's review of the 12 pound Google Home Smart Speaker. We also have a tip, some quick thoughts in "Sound Off" and our first "Last Word of the year. This one is a little longer than usual because there was just so much to talk about.

    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.

    Also, read more about the Braille Sense Polaris in the January 2018 edition of "Access World"

    Discussion Topic: CES 2018

    This year the big show in Las Vegas sported the ability to filter the more than 4,000 booths by an actual Accessibility track option. J.J. talks about how that worked and how some companies fit under that new banner. He also offers a few suggestions of vendors to be on the lookout for during the year.

    J.J. sat in a bus from Accessible Olly,
    [APH showed off the full-size Graphiti.
    Robotix Learning Solutions are the makers of the TACO Playbits and TACO Robobrix educational learning tools. They also offer the Phiro the robot that teaches kids to learn robotics, coding, computational thinking and problem-solving skills in a fun and easy way.
    are the creators of The world s smartest tape measure

    Vditory! states that their mission is: "Aiding from the low vision to the completely blind users in living an independent and disability-free life"

    Qwertyfree is a gesture-based keyboard for iOS

    XYZ Printing offers a cool-touch 3D pen under $50

    Eyesynth is working on alternative User interface options that involve soundscapes using Aftershokz

    Ultra Haptics are haptics using puffs of air to simulate button presses and gesture based swipes

    beltmap is a wearable vibrating belt that allows you to feel where to go next or detect objects in your path

    Makerbuino is a retro styled Arduino video game console that J.J. thought Joe might want to know about

    Joe, on the outside looking into the fishbowl that J.J. was swimming around in Vegas, thought these mainstream stories were interesting.

    CES 2018: Everything is too complicated

    Apple s Indirect Presence Fades from CES

    All the new HomeKit gear unveiled at CES 2018

    Google takes on Echo Show with four new smart displays

    This Bluetooth Air Filter Will Tell You Just How Filthy Your Air Is

    Netflix hid a fake biotech booth in the middle of CES

    Smart Toilet Kohler announces Konnect, its line of premium smart appliances

    Sennheiser s first soundbar has 13 speakers and sounds amazing

    Amazon s Fire TV OS is a total no-show at CES 2018

    Audio company Klipsch announces two mid-century modern speakers with Google Assistant

    Industry players say self-driving cars are years away

    Hardware Review: Google Home Max

    Joe talks about how his holidays were filled with music. Music that the neighbors could enjoy as the Google Home Max is really loud. J.J. asks Joe about his review and drills down on some of the setup process, what sounded best and just who is this smart speaker best for in what is about to be a very crowded marketplace.


    Thanks to James Teh, now at Firefox, who mentioned this one in a recent tweet. Use Windows plus the letter V to hear those notifications that can pop up in Windows 10 from time to time. Joe shows J.J. that he can read a Dropbox notification by using this handy Windows hotkey.

    Sound Off:

    Rhonda Hornbacher writes in,


    individuals to provide information on cruising as a person who is blind. My husband and I have taken 3 cruises since 2012. We have cruised to Hawaii, Alaska and various islands in the Caribbean..

    On a whim, I decided to request audio description services for our 2012 cruise to Hawaii and I was surprised to receive a describer. Since then I have requested and received describers for both of the other cruises.

    If you would like to know more just let me know.

    I would be interested in your cruise experience too.

    Have an awesome day,
    Rhonda, who also lives in Charlotte:

    Three more of Joe's friends on social media happened to take a cruise since we aired episode 128. It seems to be a trend. We don't have an air date in mind just yet though. so, stay tuned.

    cW, not to be confused by "The CW" TV Network, left us a comment on Joes story regarding the launch of the audio RPG "A Hero's Call".

    "I got the game yesterday. All I can say, without giving anything away, is that it is worth the money. So far, it appears to be the kind of game I like. Most if not all of the problems I had with FPS games in the past is the hand ear thing. Ok, that is not that big of a problem for me. What I really like about this game is that I can think through my actions within battle and be reasonably sure the action I took is the best one. Whereas swamp, I am running away until I have a good plan of attack before I turn and strike. Different styles of play where neither is bad. A Hero's Call basically, for me, is a lay back kind of game where I can ease my way through it with enjoyment while thinking about the clues I have been given via asking about town. Anyway can someone get Liam Erven on talking about his favorite parts of the game. I, personally, would like to see if he can talk about his favorite parts without giving away any hints and or spoilers. I have found that the overall sound scape of the game to be good. Is sound scape the right term here? Anyway, it sounds good so far and the background music is a plus. If anyone asks me, I would say that it is a text adventure put into a first person audio game. That might not describe it well, but that is sort of what it reminds me of. Anyway. Love the game and can t wait for this to be covered in BBQ."

    this game is so, so good. But it might not be for everyone. Be sure to check out BBQ Regular Liam Erven's YouTube demo if you need to get an extended look at the game before you commit to a purchase.

    Last Word:

    Before we begin the links bit, here is a mashup tune Joe had been saving for J.J..
    Amazon is now offering a monthly Oreo Subscription

    The 9 Absolute Weirdest Gadgets We Saw at CES This Year

    We are only two months away from San Diego. That is so hard to believe. Then, if you let your mind drift, we are six months away from the major conventions. yep, that is half the year down already. We like to plan ahead. Still, before we can move ahead, we'll look back at the year that was 2017. have a great week everyone!

    Shopping is a breeze with our Blind Bargains Apps.
    Share: |Twitter orFacebook

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    Here we go, another year, another top 10 list. Join J.J., Joe, Shelly and Chancey as they roll through some of the bigger news that shook the Low Vision and Blindness technology field in the year that was 2017.

    10. The "Year In Braille" takes many forms

    We do not have many of the, now infamous, "combined entries this year. Yet how could we not lump so many good stories into one pile about Braille?
    Braille support comes to Amazon VoiceView, improved Braille support in NVDA, Windows includes Braille support for Narrator, NVDA and contracted braille input. So many good things. But read on, we noted that the year also had a few missteps.

    9. HIMS, the release of the Polaris

    The counterpunch to the Humanware Braille Note Touch came along in a sleek device that also gives a nod back to the owners of HIMS in the name, and use, of the Polaris software.

    8. Baum VarioUltra Shipping Issues and bankruptcy protection

    This story may get more interesting in 2018, but the warning bells sounded last fall.

    7. VFO Acquires Paciello Group

    Brand recognition within the web access community, a pool of talented people and a respected player in the W3c and WCAG communities. What's not to like? Well, for VFO this particular acquisition meant that it was beginning to solidify bigger Enterprise plans beyond that of being a hardware and software maker.

    6. Firefox, Version 57

    A possible big change for the way web browsers work, though 58 is mitigating much of this for NVDA at least, some in our echo chamber shouted: "fire!" when the room began to fill with smoke. Also Jamie Teh joining Mozilla was kind of a big deal for them and NVDA as well.

    5. Apple, iPhone X, iOS11 issues

    Another year of Apple speculation saw the company continuing to release new products, and hit new all-time high revenue targets, despite a bit of tarnish forming on that Rose Gold finish.

    4. Window-Eyes is No More, How We Got to This Point and What's Next

    The group notes that this was not a matter of there being a lot of users, but because Window-Eyes was a poster child for consolidation.

    3. Orbit Reader

    An entry that hits the list two years in a row. They shipped a few of these things apparently, but where is it now? Chancey calls it "story zero" due to the lack of availability.

    2. AIRA explodes on the scene

    Never underestimate the power of good marketing. With a drive to have famous names on the board of Explorers, the beginnings of a network of places to use the service and a major splash at the summer conventions, AIRA sparked a ton of interest amongst our community. And a whole lot of controversy too. "Mobility gamechanger", "Blindness "Privilege" and "transformative Service" are just some of the ideas bandied about in our number two story.

    1. [SeeingAI](]

    A unanimous number 1 for the first time ever in the many years we've been doing this countdown. Not a surprise really as this free app does so much for so many. Congratulations Microsoft!

    We had our say. It is now time for you to have yours. Please send along your thoughts about 2017 to or leave a musing in the Comment Section below.

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    It is always a treat when we can get someone to come on the show and talk about services and new hardware. This week Buddy Brannan joins Joe and Patrick to discuss not only a new Braille Display, a new Braille Embosser and even a new Android phone. He also provides some good insight into the news surrounding service animals and the airline industry. Then, Patrick talks about a new recorder that Joe will probably end up buying before CSUN. It is a jam packed episode of insighful comments and hardware reviews. And we think this will come as a shock to J.J. for sure that his absence from the show this week did not result in a gab fest about videogames or Microsoft.

    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.

    Also, read more about the Braille Sense Polaris in the January 2018 edition of "Access World"

    Discussion Topics: Buddy Has All The Toys!

    Before we started conversations about things that go bleep in the night, Joe thought it would be a good idea to get Buddy's take on the current dilemma that Delta customers with service animals will face starting March 1st.

    Joe and J.J. are not Guide Dog users, however, Buddy is and he has some rather blunt thoughts on the matter. Here are a few statements from others on the situation as further food for thought.

    ACB's Remarks on Delta s Revised Guidelines
    National Federation of the Blind Statement on Delta's New Service Animal Policy
    Delta flies 250,000 service animals a year. Now the rules are changing
    Some Disability Advocates Are Upset With Delta's New Service Animal Requirements
    A woman tried to board a plane with her emotional-support peacock. United wouldn't let it

    We then turned to a discussion about Buddy's new ViewPlus Columbia Embosser. Followed by a peak at his new Inovision Braille Me 20 cell sub $500 Braille Display

    Then Joe had to get Buddy's feelings on record about his use of a Google Pixel 2.
    It is a wild time indeed as Buddy is bullish on all this new tech.

    Hardware Preview: Zoom H1n

    The refreshed model of Zoom's long running H line is starting to emerge from CES and on to store shelves. The Zoom H1 is the entry level device in the H series and you have already heard how good it is if you have listened to any of Joe's convention recordings in the last 7 years. So it was with great interest that we ask the Audio master Patrick perdue if Joe was about to drop $120 on this updated recorder. The short answer is... probably. Patrick takes us on a tour of the controls and gives his first impressions on what he found in his short time using this recently released product. We're sure to have more to say on this one in the future. Stay tuned!
    You can get it now through third-party sellers on Amazon for $119.99

    Last Word:

    We only had time for one link, and it seemed fitting after the Grammies, here is more on why songs sound the same and a great example of the "Golden ratio" in music.
    4 Cords Redux

    Next week, J.J. is back with the first of audio from ATIA 2018. And we may actually get a chance to catch up on some of the long lost and forlorn "In The News" section.

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    J.J. is once again transmitting from a location somewhere in New jersey. Hear his harrowing tale of food delivery throughout this episode. unrelatedly, but still involving hotel travel oddly enough, hear J.J. take a trip around the ATIA host hotel with Larry from APH and Indoor Explorer. News is back, so is "Sound Off" and a very timely tip rounds out the show.

    In The News:

    The American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) and the American Printing House for the Blind (APH) Partner for a Future of No Limits for People Who Are Blind

    Stan Littrell has already ordered his Orbit Reader. Furthermore, he thought our listeners would be interested in this email that came from APH Support.

    "I figured that I would send the following note from APH concerning
    certain problems that they are having with some of the orbit 20
    braille displays that have been sent out and how they are addressing
    the issue. I have a feeling that I will receive my unit today or
    Monday since it was sent out by APH on Tuesday. Dear APH Orbit Reader

    It has just become clear that at least some of the units from a recent
    shipment of Orbit Reader 20s may have an issue with some pins
    sticking in either the up or down position.
    If you received a unit with pins that stick, APH will send you a
    replacement along with a pre-labeled box in which to return the
    faulty unit. You also have the option to receive a full refund.
    Please call customer support at 800-223-1839 to make arrangements.
    APH is working to understand the problem before we ship replacements,
    so we cannot give you an exact timeline for shipping replacement
    models. We will keep you posted as we learn more. We have halted
    future shipments until a complete understanding of the problem and a
    resolution is determined.
    We apologize for this inconvenience. Please be assured we are doing
    everything possible to resolve the situation quickly. Thank you for
    your patience.
    Alan Lovell
    APH Customer Relations"

    Also, for those just now getting their units, nab the January 29th firmware update for the Orbit Reader before you take it for a spin

    A Baum Facebook post was originally in our news lineup. Sadly, shortly after our recording session for this episode, we had to publish the news you will read below in the next linked article.

    Breaking: Baum USA Closing their Doors, Suspending U.S. Repairs of Braille Displays

    Google launches dedicated accessibility support

    From the TalkBack team: Announcing The Official Release Of TalkBack 6.1

    It's Now Possible To Go A Thousand Miles With A Braille Display

    Digging Up The Dirt On News We May Have Missed

    Discussion Topic: ATIA 2018 Highlights

    J.J. recently returned from Orlando where he braved the Exhibit Hall of ATIA 2018. He placed several of his thoughts about ATIA 2018 in this Access World article.
    "Feeling Fireworks" is a phrase not often heard and Joe had to know how that came about. The Mountbatten Smart, metric Caliper from NBP and the Kapsys SmartVision phone were also items for discussion in this portion of the program.

    Demonstration: APH Nearby Explorer Indoor Navigation

    Hear Larry Skutchan and J.J. wander around the convention hotel demonstrating their cane skills. They just so happen to also be demonstrating the new Indoor Explorer mode of APH's Nearby Explorer as they go along as well. There is a lot that goes into making indoor navigation possible. Tags, open maps and an smartphone-enabled app are only part of the process. Larry explains in this demonstration just what it takes to bring this all to your ears. he then goes on to give some insights about the Orbit Reader and math Blaster for an added bonus. This is one you don't want to miss.

    Tip: Always Carry Some Cash On You

    J.J.'s food fiasco happened in real time during the recording of this episode, about 30 minutes was dropped of Joe and Patrick just talking about the weather, but one small mistake in an app had J.J. passing along cash to a very nice driver of a food delivery service. Sometimes it is good to have cash on hand for Bell Hops, bartenders and other service persons for whom it is customary to tip when traveling. A lack of talking ATMs can be daunting, however, many local grocery stores and major drugstore chains will let you debit out cash on purchases. This can be a big help when you visit a new area where you may find yourself in need of paper money.

    Sound Off:

    First up, one very important email from a Mr. J. Pauls. it seems there was a top ten list for 2018 lying around in the Blind Bargains Inbox. Below is his list for the biggest stories of last year.

    1 The demise of Window-eyes
    2 The rise of Microsoft Narrator
    3 Jamie Teh moves to Mozilla
    4 Release of Seeing A.I.
    5 Audio description comes to Amazon videos
    6 Release of BrailleSense Polaris
    7 Continued updates to BrailleNote Touch
    8 Release of ElBraille
    9 Orbit Reader moves closer to release
    10 ACB s Audio Description Project

    As you read above, and think back to episode 131, his list isn't all that far off from what the rest of the panel thought. Minus the Number One story of course. We thank Jamie for sending this in, he was actually the first person to do so and that is why this got lost in the shuffle because the rest of us were late, and we'll make sure that he is included in next year's tabulation for sure! Speaking of the "Year In 2017", here is a remark from the comment section of that episode by Orko.

    "I was just recently turned on to Aira and in the short while that I've had the service it has made a noticeable and positive difference in my day to day life. No more waiting for sighted help to get some things done, what a difference! And then here comes episode 131 and your year in review and how negative you and your guests were towards the Aira service. Since then I have found myself wondering if I wanted to continue subscribing to your podcasts. Sure there are services like Be My Eyes and Be Specular, but while I applaud the work of the volunteers that make those services work, at the end of the day they are untrained volunteers, and there are situations where using an untrained volunteer makes me nervous. Aira assistants, on the other hand, are trained professionals who are under a non disclosure agreement to protect your personal information. I agree that there are some legitimate privacy concerns, but I also believe that it's up to the user, not the service, to use appropriate caution when working with such services when it comes to what you reveal to them. I'd have given episode 131 a thumbs up, but after hearing what you had to say about Aira, it gets a very definite thumbs down."

    There were two AIRA subscribers on the panel and it was stated a few times that we were speaking about the business side of things. There are real concerns moving forward however, none of us were making value judgements about the service. We are fans, watchers and most of all users of Assistive Technology. We aren't rooting for a company to fail. Especially now that so many are falling all around us. At the same time, don't look for this podcast to be one that validates the "fanboy" or "fangirl" gushing sign of approval that everything by Company A or Product B is fantastic. We like to ignite the spark of conversation and that means we sometimes take an unpopular stance on a popular topic. As Joe stated in his response, "Sometimes you have to divorce your feelings about a product or service when talking business... and this is a business". We hope our listeners understand when we are speaking from that sense and when we are providing more of a direct opinion. We can say that we have been very transparent about our opinions and this has gotten us into trouble with our friends in the A.T. field on occasion. yet it is our honest style that allows us the access we have to those same friends and it is how we are able to have much of our fabulous convention coverage over the years. The BBQ Crew pulls few punches and we don't plan on softening this approach in the foreseeable future.

    tchemel left this comment on the Google Access Support story,

    "I'm decidedly unimpressed. I emailed them about not being able to create appointment slots (a longstanding problem) and they assured me that I can now do this using the new calendar, which is patently untrue. I wasted time going round and round with them, and they clearly don't understand the difference between an event and an appointment. Horrible."

    The Orbit Reader release had a few comments. Here's one from Darknexus.

    "There's something just a little odd about this method of doing business. Rather than making enough units to cover all the orders they would receive, it's as if they're trying to force an order rush. I can't think of any sound business reason to do this, especially after so many delays, unless they're trying to offset the cost of something else or are selling the displays far below the cost of manufacture. Either way, something just doesn't click.

    And Debee Armstrong left us this thoughtful remark;

    "Until we hear more about the drawbacks of such an inexpensive Braille display we will not truly know if the tradeoffs are worth it. I think people who never used a Braille display believe it is like reading paper Braille, and that is not true. EveryBraille display has drawbacks, features you tend to dislike. If the Orbit has limitations you can live with, the price is great, but until you know the limitations, you will want to be careful. Fpor example, I personally find it frustrating with the displays I have owned that there are too mamy little buttons all clumped together. It is too easy to accidentally press the wrong one. I also found that 14 or 20 cells is just not enough for me, but 40 is perfect."

    Last Word:

    Both good and bad audio awaits in this week's edition of strangeness from the web.
    Furby Organ is the stuff of nightmares
    Couple mistakenly goes to see Red Hot Chilli Pipers

    Next week we'll have another interview from ATIA and Joe will finally talk about those iPhone chargers.

    Shopping is a breeze with our Blind Bargains Apps.
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    0 0

    This week we bring you a timely interview with David Bradburn, a person who is involved in one of the biggest stories of the year so far. We also have some great comments in the Sound Off" section, a tip and Joe finally talks about those iPhone chargers. The "Last Word" is Furby free. So relax and get ready for an amazing episode.

    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.

    Also, read more about the Braille Sense Polaris in the January 2018 edition of "Access World"

    Farewell to the Zone

    If you haven't heard, the Zone BBS, a website which we started and ran for the past 15 years, was shut down last week. You can go to the home page to see some memories and farewell messages from users. There is also links to a Facebook and Reddit groups and a Twitter account which you can follow for any future developments. It's been a great ride.

    Breaking News - Interview: David Bradburn

    Friend of the show David Bradburn took time to talk with J.J. about the recent news with Baum. David is very candid about what is happening, what the possible path is moving forward and he gives an update about future support for existing customers. David also lets the cat out of the bag about which CSUN booth you can find him at next month. That is if we don't take him on as the new BBQ Food Critic first. Tune in to hear his thoughts on the current market and some real insights on the current trends in Braille Displays. We sincerely would like to thank David for his time and we hope this interview clears up any erroneous information that has been spreading about the company.

    Remember, if you have questions, write Baum directly at and watch the official Baum USA site for further announcements.

    In The Other News:

    News about HR 620 has been falling between our scheduled recording sessions. However, we think everyone should be aware of what it is and why they need to speak with their Government representatives about how it may impact their lives. Below are two articles that explain what the bill is and where it stands as of the time of this recording.

    Confrontation at the Capitol: The Fight to Stop H.R. 620

    NBC News: {The GOP's H.R. 620 will gut the Americans With Disabilities Act, pushing disability rights back to 1989

    If you want to learn more about this, or other access legal matters, you may want to visit Lainey Feingold's site on "Settlements in Structured Negotiation"

    Announcing the Aira Employment Program

    Hardware Review: iPhone 8 and 10 Charging Options

    Joe picked up a Belkin Boost Up wireless charger and the official Apple 29 watt charger with Lightning to USB-C cable to see if rapid and wireless charging was all the rage. He was so impressed by both that it caused him to write this article about both charging options for the site. Joe gives J.J. an idea about the costs and setup of both chargers. And you should really look into one of these options if you have an iPhone 8, 8+ or X on hand.

    Tip: Now Playing History For The Google Pixel 2

    J.J. is really getting into the Pixel 2. He noted that the Google Assistant will listen for music in the area and notify you automatically what song was playing. but that wasn't enough for him. J.J. found this neat little app called Now Playing History that will capture this data and save it for later. You can then play the songs you heard in an Uber, at lunch at that trendy spot or even in the theater later on one of several music streaming sites.

    Sound Off:

    The tremendous feedback from episode 131 continues this week with two emails. First up, Ken Scott.

    "Hi BBQ Team,

    I am late in commenting on BBQ 131. I have no excuse or justification. I did enjoy this episode.

    I am relieved that someone in the AT community Joe in this case does not subscribe to the idea that Window-Eyes lost the screen reader wars. A venture capital company in this case Vector if I heard Joe correctly bought out a successful competitor. I suggest that the members of the blind community that are supporters of Uber and Lyft seriously consider the implications of what Vector did for the screen reader community when it comes to ride share verses taxies for Uber and Lyft.

    I am also relieved that someone beside myself has come to the conclusion that the developers of JAWS are devoted to supporting legacy applications at the expense of keeping up with current standards and practices. I probably am not correctly understanding Joe s comments about JAWS. If I am correctly understanding Joe s comments, JAWS users should realize that even U.S. government agencies and large U.S. corporations eventually update their I.T. infrastructures. JAWS may not be able to respond to these updates when they come along.

    I beg to differ with Joe about economic advantage when it comes to AIRA. He pointed out that poor people not being able to drive and operate motor vehicles as a case of differences not meaning inequality. There is a serious critique within the transportation economic body of study that the current U.S. system of excluding the poor who are otherwise able to operate motor vehicles or providing an effective alternative to owning/operating a motor vehicle create a profound inequality issue given the U.S dependents on individually owned and operated motor vehicles to meet basic transportation needs. This pretty much destroys Joe s argument against inequality by analogy for AIRA.

    I also have to point out that there are extensive studies showing that there are large numbers of unlikeness and uninsured poor drivers using old highly polluting vehicle, because they have no choice: provide for their families or starve.

    I also have to beg to differ with Chancey when it comes to VFO s acquisition of the Paciello Group. She attempted to present as a potential positive the idea that consultancies working with the same corporation that has other service agreements could provide synergies. My reply is Enron and Arthur Anderson. For those who do not know the history, there was strong evident that the consultancy arm of Arthur Anderson encouraged the accounting arm of the same company to fudge the books for Enron. We do not have conclusive proof as Arthur Anderson went bankrupt before a final legal finding. There are other cases that suggest that combining consultancy with other services is a bad idea.

    Best Regards,

    Next, Darrell Hilliker has some fantastic thoughts about AIRA.

    "Hi Blind Bargains Team,

    I just finished listening to episode 131, and, wow!

    Here are my thoughts on Aira as a totally-blind husband and father of a busy toddler.

    Although it is not perfect, Aira has been revolutionary for our family!

    It ultimately comes down to this...

    There seem to be about a million and one tasks that absolutely require some level of sighted assistance: accessing print medical records, fixing the settings on inaccessible electronics, identifying medications, reading the mail, etc. Etc. Etc...

    I am talking about those situations where having sighted help is our only option in order to achieve success.

    Prior to Aira, getting this kind of help required that I schedule a specific time with a specific sighted person, and, in some cases, that I pay a specific amount of money, in order to get the job done.

    Although I could sometimes Facetime a friend or relative, most of these scenarios also required that I invite some stranger into my home.

    In the case of friends and relatives, sometimes, the need for help changed the nature of the relationships.

    All this required extensive juggling and planning, and sometimes higher executive management functions like hiring and firing, in order to just do the thing we wanted to do!

    That's just about all over now that Aira's around...

    Instead of the previous crazy planning, all I need to do whenever I need a bit of sighted help is open the app, get the glasses ready (if necessary) and press what I like to call the Aira button.

    In about 30 seconds, I am connected to someone who can work with me to accomplish the task at my convenience and on my terms.

    I think the value of this capability is simply incalculable!

    Does Aira break accessibility? Heck, yes! Owners of kiosks, websites and other inaccessible tech may decide they no longer have to insure their products and services are accessible to blind people, since we can, after all, use that new-fangled Aira thing to get help.

    On the other hand, ultimately, what it all comes down to is that I just need to get things done!

    If I can do an important task in a few minutes with an Aira agent, that's far more productive than waiting days or weeks to schedule a sighted helper, or potentially months or years to fight a protracted accessibility battle.

    I do realize this is bad in a way, because, ultimately, I will likely forget about some of the accessibility battles that need to be fought, file fewer official complaints, write fewer letters, etc.

    Remember, I've got my hands full!

    Then there's the concern over teaching the use of Aira in blindness training programs.

    If this is done at all, it should be explored near the end of a person's program, when they have largely achieved all their other goals.

    Accessing information using hardcopy Braille, computers and smart phones, managing one's home using alternative blindness techniques and traveling independently using the long white cane should always be emphasized first and foremost in any quality blindness training program long before the introduction of remote sighted assistance technologies like Aira, or even Be My Eyes, Bespecular, Seeing AI, TapTapSee, etc.

    I guess the one positive aspect of Aira in a training center is that we're returning to the old-fashioned skill of learning how to "use a reader." In other words, we're learning when and how to most effectively leverage sighted help to get visual jobs done!"

    Thanks to both ken and Darrell for their comments about episode 131. We really enjoy hearing these views and we'll keep featuring them as they come in as it provides some great contrast to what we said within that portion of the program. Joe noted during this email that there was another deep look at the business aspects of the A.T. Industry that popped up up on the net this week. If you are interested, or if you want to learn more about investment language, you may want to take a gander at this OrCam article and their drive to IPO.

    Lastly, let's get an update on the arrival of the Orbit Reader from Stan...

    "Feb 14 (5 days ago)

    I wanted to keep you informed about my experience with the orbit 20
    reader. Luckily, it has been a case of so far so good with respect to
    sticking pins on my orbit 20 braille display. I received my unit at
    about 4:38 pm yesterday afternoon pacific time. After letting my unit
    charge up I've only had a little time to test the unit. I haven't had
    any pins stick. The only time that I ever had any slight issue is
    when I put my fingers on the display too quickly as the unit was
    refreshing. I really love the feel of the braille because it is so
    crisp and sharp. It is important to be patient with the refresh rate."

    Last Word:

    A new mythical phone and J.J. brings the noise for this week's internet distractions.
    A little NSFW, Introducing The Banana X phone
    Ember Trio - Hip Hop Medley Violin and Cello Cover

    Thanks to Tom dekker for speaking about our show on AMI's "Kelli And Company". Check out AMI's new iOS and Apple TV apps. Here's a look at the new app's features from AMI itself.

    Shopping is a breeze with our Blind Bargains Apps.
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    It happened to be Pancake Day at the time of recording. We aren't sure if having some form of a pancake would be a good accompaniment for the show, however, expect to hear a lot more about pancakes the closer we get to CSUN. That's because Richard Walker's Pancake House is a "must find" in San Diego. Enough about food. This week we finish up our ATIA coverage with an interview with John Taylor from IRIE_AT about a new smartphone option, discuss Video Magnifiers in "Sound Off" and talk about pancakes in the "Last Word". Hey wait, how did that get there? Oh well, grab a pad of butter and slather on the syrup for episode 135 of the delicious BBQ.

    In The News:

    Be my eyes partners with Microsoft to offer free tech support for Blind and Visually Impaired individuals

    Orbet Reader 20 Drivers Now Available for JAWS Screen Reader

    JAWS February Update Simplifies OCR from PDF's, Fixes Numerous Bugs

    ZoomText Fusion and the traditional version of ZoomText 11 saw a recent update as well.

    NVDA has reached another RC milestone. Which means, by the time we talk about it on the show, the newest update can't be far from being released. Be sure to keep reading the NV Access In Process blog for more details.

    BrailleSense Polaris Upgrade Announcement

    The latest EnVision America update to the ID Mate Galaxy shaves precious seconds off the unit's boot time. Visit theID Mate change log site to learn more about product support options.

    Envision AI adds more features, and even more languages, to keep pace with Microsoft's Seeing AI

    APH's Nearby Explorer, as mentioned on episode 133, has released a new version on iOS that is worth a look regardless if you use the free or paid options

    Kickstarter of the week, A Japanese company wants to provide OCR using a Raspberry Pie and a pair of Smart Glasses
    Learn more about the Oton Glass.

    Interview: John Taylor Of IRIE AT And The Smartvision2

    There are some out there who just adore pushing buttons. No, not in a mean way. More like they want to have buttons on their phones but they want those phones to still have some modern conveniences. Hear John Taylor speak about one such option with J.J. as they sit outside the ATIA Exhibit Hall on a sunny day in Orlando. To learn more about the Smartvision2, or other phone options from IRIE AT, visit their phone product page

    Tip: Dark Mode List

    Joe and Shelly have spoken about how great the Smart Invert functions of iOS 11 are getting as more and more developers are starting to rollout support for the feature. Dark Mode, which isn't really tied to any platform or OS, offers the same appearance of Smart Invert and it too has seen greater adoption with services like YouTube and Twitter now offering it under their settings sections. Dark Mode List is a site whose mission is to try and create a database of various services that offer Dark Mode options. It isn't platform specific either So take a look the next time you want to peruse an app without that glare intensive black text on white background distracting you.

    Sound Off:

    Santiago wrote us twice about Apple.

    "Hi guys,
    This is Santiago from California. Great job on the podcast by the way. I always tune in when a new show is released. Regarding Joe's prediction of Apple in 2018, I had a bit of a question. I mainly use Apple products for school and leisure. These include multiple Macs, an iPhone, an Apple Watch, an Apple TV, and AirPods, Obviously I have invested quite a bit of resources in to these products; however, given Apple's recent performance on the stock market, based on recent controversial actions by the company, not to mention sales of iPhones, should I start looking in to replacing at the very least some of my Apple products with those who have more of a stable future? I'm really big in to tech, so I've used Windows and Android devices before. Android would be a difficult switch for me, as I use braille screen input on iOS almost 100 percent of the time, and I don't know of a comparable feature on Android as of now. Thanks guys and keep up the good work!

    And again ...

    "Hi guys,
    It's Santiago again. I did forget to mention something in my previous email. Quite honestly, I have absolutely no problem with the recent changes at Apple. For instance, I've personally been wanting an iPhone without a home button for years. I always thought this would result in less mechanical breakdowns when it comes to not having a home button. Not to mention, the lack of a large bezel on the iPhone X has made typing using braille screen input more accurate for me, since my fingers can be near the edges of the phone as well. As for the throttling dilemma, I will personally leave this on even when iOS 11.3 is released, but I do feel like Apple should have given users the option. It's typical of Apple to make under the hood performance changes to their products though, so that's nothing new. The only reason I ask about trying other products is the fact that I am worried about Apple's future as a company. For all I know, I might be a minority when it comes to approving of Apple's recent moves.

    We've had several emails, tweets and messages about this over the last month or so. BrailleBack quality, and screen input in particular, has come under scrutiny as the likes of Amazon and the Android Braille Notetakers have started to roll their own when it comes to these types of features. We hope that changes in android Oreo at some point. Moreover, we'll continue to ask Google about the status of things as we see them throughout the year at various conventions. Here's hoping that we will have an update about this soon.

    Mike Kilburn writes in with a Video magnification question;

    "hi really enjoy your podcast. bunch of informatio that I ve found helpful.
    has anyone solved the problem with regard to glare using video magnifiers and seeing LCD displays. are you aware of any products available that would resolve this problem.

    Here is a bit of joe's email response to Mike...

    "Sadly the matt finish is something that is rarely seen anymore in the off the shelf technology that most video magnifiers use for their monitors. Its felt by Sony, and other display makers, that the glossy finish shows off color better. You can minimize it some by using a Monitor Hood, using a Monitor Arm to extend out your screen or for some they use an anti glare filter that they can tape over the LCD. None of those solutions are perfect ones and some are downright ugly. You can play with the lighting in your area and try and place it off to the side or use a torch lamp that shines light up towards the sealing."

    Every eye is unique. That means someone will have to experiment with their lighting and positioning a bit to find out what works best. It is also a good low cost solution and some people find that moving their monitor fixes a whole slew of issues. Next, Orko sends along another comment on a previous episode.

    "Hi! I wish to apologize for my previous email regarding your comments about the Aira service. It was harsher than I had intended. The only reason I can give for its harshness is because I was upset by what I perceived as a negative view of a service I value greatly. Like Joe, the devil that took my vision was glaucoma, only I didn't suffer the loss of peripheral vision and a narrowing field of view as is most commonly described as the symptoms of glaucoma. Instead a slowly building fog over my vision was what I saw and it eventually masked out almost everything leaving me with only very limited light perception. This began in 2010, I was declared legally blind in 2012, and started using a white cane in 2013, at that time I was told I only had about 1% of my optic nerves left and that I would eventually go completely blind. So I'm still rather new to blindness and still learning to cope with it. My biggest problem and frustration has been situations where a sighted assistant is really needed. The problem and frustration came from not being able to find a satisfactory solution. I've tried Be My Eyes, but half the time, when I'd be connected to an assistant, the connection would be immediately dropped. Most of the time, even after numerous attempts, the app would time out with no connection to anyone at all. Only ocasionally did I get a usable connection to an assistant. And then there is the problem of the assistants themselves, while I applaud what they are doing, at the end of the day, they are still untrained volunteers with no apparents contracts or agreements in place to protect any information they might learn about you, so I kept my use of it to only those situations that I'd be comfortable talking to a complete stranger on a crowded bus with. Be specular wasn't that much better, and it was limited to those situations where a single photo and the answer to a single question was all that was needed. It too I kept to stranger on a crowded bus situations for the same reasons I limited my use of Be My Eyes. My family is, unfortunately, so broken that family members close enough to be of use are either not available or unwilling to help. Those family members willing to help are more than an hour away, so not really readily available. Then I discovered Aira and signed up in the hopes that it would be the answer I was looking for. While I agree that they could do a better job of defining what they will ultimately do with information about me that they gain from my use of the service, at least the assistants you connect to are trained professionals under a non disclosure agreement intended to protect my information. Maybe not the best solution, but definetly better than nothing, which is pretty much what you get with Be My Eyes and Be Specular. So far my experiences with the service have all been positive. I no longer worry about situations that need a sighted assistant because I now have one, and I don't hesitate to use it when the need arises. The only two cons to the service I can think of are that it isn't available 24 hours a day, but since neither am I, I can live with that. And that to use the glasses involves quite a few separate parts, so I only use them when I absolutely need to be able to use the service hands free. Otherwise, I just use my iPhone's camera. And no, despite what I said about subscribing to the podcast, I am not going anywhere and will continue to listen to it. Of all the accessibility podcasts out there, yours seems to be the only one that doesn't bow down and pay homage to the Apple god. While I do use an iPhone, I am by no means an Apple fanboy, and want to hear about all the other assistive technology available regardless of who makes it. Thanks for a great podcast and best regards."

    No need to apologize and we are glad you stayed with us rather than unsubscribing. We at the BBQ are known for being outspoken. And sometimes that means we get a bit of push back when we talk about matters that strike some to the core. Still, we think it is important to talk about things beyond the press release and that can touch on some uncomfortable and emotional subjects. We also freely admit that we can be wrong about various subjects. This portion of the program was designed to highlight that very thing when people who have more knowledge about a thing speak up to tell us we were a little off base. The same goes for when our listeners have strong opinions that are more rooted in the general use of a product or service over the viewpoint of how it appears to us in the overall A.T. Industry. Don't hesitate to let us know your thoughts regardless if they disagree with ours. There is room on the BBQ for all sides in any debate!

    Finally, some tweets:

    CarrotTop1023: Hi there, I just want to let you guys know, I've subscribed to your podcast via my Victor Reader Stream. I'm enjoying these episodes, keep up the good work!
    h_bosch1: That was an awesome tip for Pixel 2 on BBQ 134.

    Also a shoutout to @DiannaMuircast for her audio clip of an interesting flight simulation.

    Last Word:

    A YouTube clip and something about food? Just another typical week for the last block of the show really.
    QT Star Trek
    Your next flight might just introduce you to Rip Van Waffles

    All bets are off for next week's show. That is because we expect some out there will start to trickle their product release news prior to CSUN 2018. Tune in to hear the delight, panic and eventual acceptance from the team that we only have two more shows to go before our new year of convention coverage begins.

    Shopping is a breeze with our Blind Bargains Apps.
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    Buddy Brannan is back and he is here to show off the new addition to his ever-growing Braille Display collection. We'll then delve into how non Google made Google Home units work. The tip will give you the need for speed, "Sound Off" has a request for Buddy and the "Last Word" will make you forget all about those Furbies from a few weeks ago.

    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.

    Also, read more about the Braille Sense Polaris in the January 2018 edition of "Access World"

    In The News:

    Microsoft Soundscape is a new way to navigate

    This survey might indicate that Microsoft could bring Seeing AI to the Android platform one day

    Inclusive Android recently tweeted the following...
    [A new group is being assembled to provide app developers with access to testers who use Talkback who are interested in helping provide feedback to app developers (e.g. facebook) please join the IA Tester's group

    Ciscovision tweeted:
    [We regret to inform you that CAVI is not currently teaching audio courses at this time. Because of this we have released our current content for free and you can download it here.

    Mystic Access releases a course on the many ways you can use your Google Home

    Discussion Topic: Orbit Reader, Tic Home Mini And Insignia Smart Speaker With Google Assistant

    Note: Buddy learned from the Development Team that some of the qualms he had with the Braille Me will be addressed in an upcoming firmware update. Stay tuned to our conference coverage from CSUN to learn more about the changes coming to this affordable display.
    Buddy is back to talk about his initial impressions about the orbit Braille Reader. He'll talk about it and how it compares to the Braille Me that he spoke about earlier in the year. Joe and Buddy will then talk about third party Google Home alternatives. Buddy has the TicHome Mini

    and Joe has the Insignia Smart Speaker. The best part is that each one of these devices is under $500. Quality vs. price comes up a few times as a result.


    The previous version of Speed Test was dificult to use because this free utility relied on flash. The updated version doesn't and this is a great way to see if that costly internet package is giving you all your packets at the price you pay for them.

    Sound Off:

    Long time listener Rebecca Skipper writes in with her thoughts on HR 620...


    I join Joe in his opposition to HR620, but I want to point out that the ADA is not the end all be all solution.
    Ignorance about people with disabilities will always exist so long as the able-bodied adult exists.
    I m not wishing for anyone to have a disability, of course, but it would help if we remember that even the most healthiest individual can become temporarily disabled.
    Now, here is my complaint about the government at large.
    Not everyone with a disability who works can get any protections under the ADA.
    Freelancers like myself may enjoy the flexibility of being our own boss, but that does not mean that we have the same wage or other federal protections.
    I read a recent article forwarded to me by someone from Accessible World s Tech Talk program.
    The author of this article says that the DOJ has been directed to educate businesses about people with disabilities.

    Well, just educating businesses isn t enough!
    In fact, I recently had a potential employer say You must not be totally blind because if you were totally blind, you couldn t do this job.
    These were his words after I explained to him that I use a keyboard and not the mouse.
    I only disclosed my disability after he said that all potential candidates would go through training, and I, to my regret, felt it necessary to explain that I can t use the mouse.
    I ended up losing the opportunity anyway because I spent almost half my time trying to get Skype to let me share my screen with a sighted trainer the following week!
    In my opinion, there are only two ways forward.
    Don t let HR620 become law if we can avoid it.
    Voting in November isn t enough!

    The only upside to all of this is to consider the efforts of companies like Microsoft, Google, Amazon, and, yes, even Apple despite its recent mishaps.
    Since I ve concluded that we will never stop people from being ignorant, we, as intelligent and diverse individuals with disabilities, should create more businesses and make it a point to advertise that we are inclusive and accessible to fellow human beings with disabilities.

    No, not everyone can or will start their own business, but I ve been self-employed for almost four years.
    Will I continue staying self-employed? I m not sure. But, I can say that we might have to let our wallets send a message by supporting those businesses that show a commitment to providing products and services to individuals with disabilities. We can no longer assume that the government will maintain the ADA as passed in 1991.

    You might not want to share the statement I m about to make.

    I find it ironic that the same Party that passed the ADA is the same party that is weakening it.:

    Next, Cullen Gallagher has a request for Buddy.

    ""Hello BlindBargains Team,
    First, I want to thank you for producing this excellent podcast every week. I always look forward to downloading it each week.
    Last week, i finished listening to podcast 132, and found it extremely interesting. I especially enjoyed the information about the ViewPlus Columbia Embosser. I would love to see Buddy come back on the podcast, and do a demonstration of the embosser, showing what it sounds like, how long it takes to boot up, and hear the voice prompts that it has. If he still has his Juliet, maybe he could do a comparison of the two embossers in action. That would be vary interesting to me. There is not a lot of embosser demos, so this would be interesting. I'm really surprised that viewPlus is letting these go for such a low price, considering how fast of an embosser it is. In looking at there site, I was surprised to see the MBraille embosser, which is quite a bit slower than the Columbia, cost so much more.
    Again, thank you for the excellent podcasts."

    The good news is that Buddy agreed to fill this request. The bad news is that we'll have to wait for April before we can schedule this into the lineup. Buddy will be back with us after our little jaunt to San Diego.

    Last Word:

    A link with a YouTube clip followed by another about food means the end of the show must be nigh.
    High Speed Mechanical Display 60FPS
    Flippy, the robot hamburger chef, goes to work

    One more episode to go before we fly off to the West Coast for CSUN 18. Fun, sun and information is just around the corner. That and a nap afterwards. Have a great week everyone!

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    The last show before we start our pilgrimage to the West coast has us thinking about long flights. J.J. in the spirit of the season, not Spirit Airlines mind you, takes us on a brief tour of an In Flight Entertainment System in this episode. Our Legal Correspondent is back for a listener email in "Sound Off" and we'll check in on one of the subjects from last week's "Last Word". Fold your tray tables and place your seats in the upright position... BBQ 137 is heading towards the runway.

    In The News:

    Dictation Bridge has hit the 1.0 release stage with many new features. Visit the Dictation Bridge site to learn more.

    Further Orbit Reader 20 Shipments Delayed until Summer

    NVDA's First Release of 2018 Improves Firefox 58 Support, Adds More Braille Displays

    PocketBraille is now live in the Google Play store as a beta!

    Real Research, Real Money from the Accessibility User Research Collective

    Comcast Launches New Accessible TV Features Ahead of Paralympic Winter Games 2018

    Google Accessibility added new information about the new support email in this tweet
    Announcing a new support email! Please update your bookmarks to

    BBQ Regular Shelly Brisbin will be with us in San Diego once again this year. However, if you can't wait to hear her wise words, check out the link below...
    "My radio story for @texasstandard about @TSBVI_Outreach and Apple coding class" Blind Students Learn To Code With A Swipe And A Tap

    And check out a review of Shelly's book in this month's Access World.

    Demonstration: Southwest Airlines In Flight Entertainment System

    J.J. has been flying a lot lately to his secret locations in New Jersey. This has given him the uncanny ability to recognize snacks by their sound on the rolling cart as it goes by him. However, on one of the flights for his travels to CES, J.J. decided to forego guessing which bag was peanuts and which was pretzels for something else entirely. Listen as J.J. takes us on a tour of the entertainment offerings on his flight. Or, for the most realistic experience, place the sound of a crying baby in the background as you hear J.J. demonstrate the Southwest offerings.

    Tip: Audio Books From Google Play

    Google Play Books has recently added audio books to their offerings. Now you can listen to a book on iOS, pick up where you left off on Android, maybe skip a chapter in Chrome and even cast it to your Google home or Chromecast. It is a nice multiplatform alternative to have around. And keep an eye on your Inbox as Google has already offered a free audio book as a promotion earlier this year.

    Sound Off:

    Our resident legal corespondent Tim Elder of TRE Legal joins us to answer a legal question that is likely on many people's minds, concerning the extent that employers have to provide accommodations for their employees. Thanks Tim for coming on the show.

    Debbie Armstrong wrote in with an idea for someone out there to start a new website.

    "So, I d like to start using more Windows 10 apps. But I don t want to clog up my PC with loads of inaccessible software.
    Do listeners have recommendations for apps that are particularly accessible, or apps to avoid? I really wish there was a community of blind Windows app users that worked like applevis. I have contributed extensively to the app directory there would also make contributions if such a community existed. "

    KNFB Reader, Team Talk somewhat and even Microsoft's own version of Solitaire work with Narrator or other Screen Readers. But we know that is nowhere near all the Microsoft Store apps that do. Send in your faves to and we'll share them on upcoming episodes.

    mandojanny: Does orbet reader allow for braille input or simply reading?

    We double-checked this with APH, but you can type on the Orbit Reader 20 currently. You can type in braille, but there is no back translation on-board.

    Last Word:

    Music and food but not the way you might think for this portion of the program.
    I Went to a Silent Disco as an Old
    Burger-flipping robot takes four-day break immediately after landing new job

    Just a reminder that our next episode will be the CSUN Wrap Up Show. That means that a bunch of audio from San Diego is going to come down the pike to you before then. Hang on, hold tight, BBQ Convention Coverage 2018 begins soon!

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    The Blind Bargains Crew has put on their track shoes to keep up with all the news that has been generated by Aira in the early portions of 2018. From the announcement of the Aira Employment Program to the ability to use the service in some grocery stores, the team at AIRA is listening to their subscribers and providing solutions to their needs. Greg Stilson, Director of Product Management, joins Joe Steinkamp to discuss in more detail these events and how they tie into the upcoming release of the Horizon version of the product. rolling out in May of this year. Greg also notes what is in store with Aira at CSUN 2018. Learn about how the company will transform the area with Aira City San Diego; Aira Horizon Smart Glasses; introduction to the capabilities of Hey Chloe [TM] Aira s new artificial intelligence (AI) platform; and much more that you can read about from this CSUN blog post.

    We would like to thank Aira and Greg for coming on the program and for being a sponsor of the Blind Bargains Qast. If you have questions about the service, or need more information, you can drop Aira an email at

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    A lot has happened since we first covered the Canute multi-line braille reader in 2015. Ed Rogers, Founder and Managing Director of Bristol Braille Technology and Dave Williams, the Chair of the Braillists community speaks with J.J. about the imminent release of the now 360-cell, 9-line braille display, targeted for release this year, and some of the advantages of a multi-line unit including math equations, tables, and musical scores.
    Blind Bargains audio coverage of CSUN 2018 is generously sponsored by the American Foundation for the Blind.

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    Indoor Navigation is often about the journey, and one company has journeyed far in their quest to make the indoors accessible since we last spoke with them. Shelly speaks with Idan Meir from Right-Hear to learn about the latest updates to their accessible navigational solution including a new beta version coming out this summer and possible features for locations without beacons.
    You can find the free app on Google Play or the iTunes App Store.
    Blind Bargains audio coverage of CSUN 2018 is generously sponsored by the American Foundation for the Blind.

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    The ElBraille Windows braille computer has been getting some updates, and both the 14 and 40-cell models are now available for their respective 4th generation Focus braille displays. J.J. speaks with Adi Kushnir from the Elita Group to learn about the latest developments with the 14 and 40-cell models, available from Freedom Scientific. You can find out more information about the device on ElBraille's home page.
    Blind Bargains audio coverage of CSUN 2018 is generously sponsored by the American Foundation for the Blind.

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    The Buzzclip is a device which can be used to track movement or lack of movement in front of you, now up to 3 meters away.
    J.J. speaks with Arjun Mali of iMerciv about the latest iteration of this wearable which includes enhanced range and a new cane mount.
    Blind Bargains audio coverage of CSUN 2018 is generously sponsored by the American Foundation for the Blind.

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    NuEyes bills themselves as electronic glasses for low vision. The lightweight glasses run Android and include features like bar code scanning and OCR. Shelly speaks with NuEyes Co-founder Justin Moore to learn more about this wearable and what sets it apart from the rest.
    Blind Bargains audio coverage of CSUN 2018 is generously sponsored by the American Foundation for the Blind.

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    The ScripTalk Station from En-Vision America has been identifying medications for over a decade, but soon iOS users will be able to do the same from their phones.
    David Raistrick, Vice President and Chief Technology Officer for En-Vision America, gives J.J. a live demo and talks about what's new in the I.D. Mate in this podcast.
    Blind Bargains audio coverage of CSUN 2018 is generously sponsored by the American Foundation for the Blind.

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    AudioEye is one of many companies doing website and document remediation, but their approach seeks to help millions of sites at once with a focus on content management systems which are used by many website designers. Joe speaks with Todd Bankifeir, Chief Executive Officer of AudioEye to learn more in this podcast.
    Blind Bargains audio coverage of CSUN 2018 is generously sponsored by the American Foundation for the Blind.

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    We've been following the progress of Be My Eyes since they launched in 2015, and now the service boasts over 1,000,000 users and volunteers who speak 182 languages. J.J. speaks with Hans Wiberg, Founder and Christian Erfurt, CEO of Be My Eyes about their recent partnership with Microsoft and other future opportunities for growth, as well as how Be My Eyes fits in the landscape with other paid services.
    Blind Bargains audio coverage of CSUN 2018 is generously sponsored by the American Foundation for the Blind.

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    Altix is a Polish company focused on accessible tactile experiences including games and educational aids including a forthcoming talking and tactile globe. Shelly speaks with Janusz Mirowski, director of Altix to learn more about the globe and the other products on display at their booth.
    Blind Bargains audio coverage of CSUN 2018 is generously sponsored by the American Foundation for the Blind.

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    We present to you a Blind Bargains first, as two of our contributors team up for a special conference interview and a one-of-a-kind special tasting. J.J. and Shelly talk to Lindsay Yazzolino, Tactile Design Consultant for Touch Graphics about a talking tactile map and other tactile innovations, and then try to identify braille chocolates using their tongues.
    Blind Bargains audio coverage of CSUN 2018 is generously sponsored by the American Foundation for the Blind.

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    HIMS announced a new 20-cell BrailleSense Polaris at CSUN and we anted to learn more about it and how it stacks up with its bigger sibling.
    J.J. is joined by Damian Pickering, Vice President of Sales for HIMS in the United States and Jenny Axler of HIMS in Korea to learn more about the Polaris and other recent updates to their products.

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    The InsideOne braille tablet was back at CSUN with updated specs and more accurate braille input. It still runs Windows 10 and includes a 32-cell braille display along with a touchscreen with a built-in braille keyboard.  J.J. speaks with Eric Vioche of [InsideVision]( to learn about and try out the latest iteration of this Windows braille tablet.

    Blind Bargains audio coverage of CSUN 2018 is generously sponsored by the American Foundation for the Blind.

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    QD Laser is working on a vision correction solution they call Retinal Imaging Laser Eyewear or Retissa, which may help people with certain vision conditions. Shelly speaks with Nori Miyauchi, Business Development Manager of QD Laser to learn more in this podcast.
    Blind Bargains audio coverage of CSUN 2018 is generously sponsored by the American Foundation for the Blind.

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    As has often been the case in recent years, Amazon has been quite busy with new features and updates. In this extended interview, Shelly catches up with Peter Korn, Director of Accessibility for Amazon Lab 126 to learn about and hear a live demo of enhancements to Amazon's Fire TV's including a stand-alone model, and forthcoming access to Amazon Locker for package deliveries.
    Blind Bargains audio coverage of CSUN 2018 is generously sponsored by the American Foundation for the Blind.

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    Until Dave Wilkinson came along, the [Ameircan Printing House for the Blind]( never had a Director of Sales. J.J. talks to Dave to learn about his new role and also gets some updates on popular products such as the Orbit Reader 20 and the Graphiti graphical tablet.
    Blind Bargains audio coverage of CSUN 2018 is generously sponsored by the American Foundation for the Blind.

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    Designs for Vision has been in business for 57 years, in other words, they were correcting vision well before almost anyone else. Shelly speaks with Jody Klager, Director of Low-vision Services of Designs for Vision to learn about the company's custom prescription telescopes and microscopes for vision correction and enhancement.
    Blind Bargains audio coverage of CSUN 2018 is generously sponsored by the American Foundation for the Blind.

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    It's been awhile since we've checked in with Logickeyboard, a long-time maker of specialty keyboards including a variety of large print models. Shelly speaks with Alan Malkin of Logickeyboard to learn about the company's latest models for both Mac and PC users in this podcast.
    Blind Bargains audio coverage of CSUN 2018 is generously sponsored by the American Foundation for the Blind.

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    The 2nd generation of the Talking LabQuest from Independence Science has gained a new superpower--creating graphs that can be printed with a ViewPlus braille embosser.
    J.J. speaks with Ashley Neybert, Sales and Curriculum Specialist for Independence Science, to learn how this system can be a useful tool for scientists in the classroom and beyond.
    Blind Bargains audio coverage of CSUN 2018 is generously sponsored by the American Foundation for the Blind.

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    It s springtime, and the Blind Bargains crew is back from CSUN. We settle in for a regularish-format show, with all the segments you love to love. JJ and Joe may sound a little different this week. We blame it on reprocessed airplane air and onion rings; two things found in abundance last week in San Diego.

    Sponsor: HAMS. Because this is a day when many people eat them.

    Breaking News:

    We cover dots, driving, and delicious desserts. So, pretty much like any other episode of Blind Bargains Qast. Be sure to participate in the survey of the week if you qualify.

    Interview: Shelly Shills For Her Book

    Show regular Shelly comes on to justify her ongoing relationship with Apple products. If you re tired of hearing about that book of hers, think how we feel!

    Sponsor: HEMS. Your laundry should look its best. Now there s an app for that.

    Tip: Shower Me With your Phone

    J.J. offers some really practical advice that no one should ignore. Trust us. This tip could save you a lot of money.

    Sponsor: HUMS. Knowing the words to karaoke songs is over-rated. Just get in there and make some sounds that approximate the syllables. No one s actually listening to you anyway.

    Sound Off:

    You must all have been at CSUN, too, because there s only one letter in the mailbag this week. Fortunately, it s chock full of Braille.

    The Last Word:

    Mmm, Oreos. Wait, Who said that? Is there a doctor in the house?
    Disclaimer: This episode was made by most of the usual Blind Bargains crew. It s just that they took on different jobs this week. Don t blame Joe. We gave him the week off. Do blame Shelly, who writes things for a living, sometimes including scripts. Also blame JJ, Shelly and Ricky, who experienced identity crises to varying degrees. And last but not least, blame Patrick for putting it all together, like he does.

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    Modern braille embossers do more than just embossing. ViewPlus has created the Tiger Box, a device that lets you control many of their current and previous models from the web on your computer or phone. Dan Gardner, CEO of ViewPlus tells J.J. how it works and also introduces the new cut-sheet Delta embosser in this podcast.
    Blind Bargains audio coverage of CSUN 2018 is generously sponsored by the American Foundation for the Blind.

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    The IBOS MusicXML Reader is a new free software program that translates MusicXML files into both braille music notation and text, allowing for blind musicians to interpret these files using a computer or braille display. J.J. speaks with Bo Alstrup and Daniel Gartmann from the Danish Institute for The Blind and Visually impaired to learn more and get a live demo in this podcast.
    Blind Bargains audio coverage of CSUN 2018 is generously sponsored by the American Foundation for the Blind.

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    CAPE stands for Creating a Positive Environment, a BBC initiative to provide services and tools to help those working with invisible disabilities, especially those which may be less obvious on the surface. J.J. speaks with BBC's Head of Cognitive Design Sean Gilroy, and Senior UX Designer Leena Haque, to learn about the initiative in this podcast.
    Blind Bargains audio coverage of CSUN 2018 is generously sponsored by the American Foundation for the Blind.

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    Put two gamers on the mic at the same time ans you have a video game lovefest that would go on for days if we had room for it. Joe talks with Ian Hamilton, Ian Hamilton, fresh off his time at co-directing the Gaming Accessibility Conference to talk the latest in accessible gaming including the momentum accessibility is gaining in recent months, and a possible new event for gamers in Europe.
    Blind Bargains audio coverage of CSUN 2018 is generously sponsored by the American Foundation for the Blind.

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    Transcribed by Grecia Ramirez

    Almost live from beautiful San Diego, it s coverage of CSUN 2018, featuring team coverage from across the Exhibit Hall and beyond, brought to you by the American Foundation for the Blind.
    On the American Foundation for the Blind web site, you ll find everything you need to know about blindness and visual impairment. Search our national job bank, discover the history of Helen Keller, read our blog on current issues, find professional resources, and even more. Our site is completely accessible. Check it out at
    Now, here s Shelly Brisbin.
    SHELLY BRISBIN: Welcome back to Blind Bargains coverage of CSUN 2018. I m Shelly, and we re talking with Eric Beauchamp from Humanware.
    Welcome, Eric.
    ERIC BEAUCHAMP: It s nice to be here. Thank you.
    SB: So Eric, you are in charge of low-vision products for Humanware. And we re going to talk about the Prodigi Connect 12 update. The Prodigi Connect 12 has been out for a little while, so why don t you give people an idea of what that product is.
    EB: Absolutely. Well, the Prodigi Connect 12 is a 12-inch tablet that docks into a stand, to have it at the right height for reading material, and also with a distance a wireless distance camera.
    SB: And it s an Android tablet that does all of the things a CCTV device would do, but you also can use it as a full-fledged tablet; right?
    EB: Absolutely. It s an Android device, like you said. It s Android 6.01, Marshmallow version. It has access to TalkBack and all the Play Store applications that a mainstream tablet would have.
    SB: And what s new is the 3.0 version of the Prodigi software, so why don t you tell us what is new. What are the big new features?
    EB: I am very proud of this feature. I call it my paperless CCTV, the world s first paperless CCTV. Why? Because the main feature is that we can import now, the PDF files into Prodigi and have them read out or change the contrast inside the Prodigi software. So that makes a big difference, and also when you import those PDFs, you can edit the PDFs using the handwriting tool. So you can either handwrite on the PDF on any pages in PDF document, you can highlight, or you can even use the keyboard a wireless keyboard and type in text. Kind of, if you want to enter information on a form, a PDF form, which you can do. You can just import into Prodigi and start filling out that form.
    And there s other features. You want me to continue?
    SB: Well, let me ask you so I have a couple quick things about PDFs. So does this work with any PDF, or are you actually OCRing the PDF? Are you counting on the text that might be accessible, it might not be? PDFs are varied, as you know.
    EB: Yeah. That s a very good question, because they are very there s two versions of PDFs. You can have a PDF file which doesn t have text associated to the file. When text is associated to the file, Prodigi just uses that text to show, so there s no that diamond-edged text that we like to call, we use that text that is related in the PDF. If ever the PDF is a scanned picture, then we do run the OCR on it. And if it doesn t run automatically, we have a manual mode OCR run on it.
    SB: So by default, if I use the PDF if I import the PDF, it s going to go ahead and try to figure out whether it needs OCR and then do it. It s not going to ask me, hey. Do you want to OCR it or not beforehand?
    EB: No. It s going to do it all by itself automatically.
    SB: And then, the editing tool -- is that does that this is my Android ignorance, because I m mostly an iOS person -- but is that editing tool part of Android, or is it a tool that you ve included with the Prodigi software?
    EB: It was part of their last release, Prodigi 2.0. It s a tool that was included in Prodigi, so it s all accessible for people to use.
    SB: And is that accessible via TalkBack, or do you have speech, or are you assuming that people who have enough vision to use the Prodigi Connect are going to be able to visually manipulate that software?
    EB: I m assuming that people are going to have a bit enough vision to use the Connect, but we still have speech. You can use speech in Prodigi, and you can also use TalkBack through Prodigi.
    SB: Great. Let s talk about some other features.
    EB: Yes. It has a really nice feature that we added. We added a split screen, meaning that when you connect the distance viewing camera, it will detect that the distance camera is on, so you will see a full view, but you would hit a little button on the left of the screen, and it would split the screen in half horizontally. So you would have the distance application on top and the magnifier application on the bottom. And you can
    SB: That s cool. I like that.
    EB: It s lovely. So now, students or professionals can take notes at the same time as viewing in distance. So you can select either one. You can zoom in, zoom out and select in that application, and also, you can just tap in that application and go directly full-screen with that application. And we added a gesture, just a swipe gesture, from left to right. And that s going to toggle from distance to magnifier full-screen now. So that s a really cool feature.
    SB: Yeah. That sounds like it s just tailor-made for classroom use.
    EB: Not really. Professionals can use this in
    SB: Sure.
    EB: -- boardrooms or meetings to see people in front of them or at a distance and take notes at the same time.
    SB: Great. Tell me about some more.
    EB: We have included also, a Help application. Where we re going with this is I d like people to find their solutions by their own. So this Help application, for now, has two features. It has -- first of all, I am starting to do a lot of web capsules using YouTube. So web capsules are going to be one to two minutes long, explaining a feature in Prodigi and how to use Prodigi, that feature.
    And also, you will have access to webinars, recorded webinars that I have already given. So these webinars are approximately half an hour to an hour, depending on the complexity of the webinars, but that gives you a head s up or a history of what was done previously. And also, there is a survey now that s going to be launched after seven days of use of the current version. And I limit myself to five questions concerning the new features that were added in the new version. Now, when the pop-up pops up, you have an option to say, yes. I want to answer the survey, and no. I don t want to answer the survey. If you do answer it -- not answer the survey, the pop-up will not show again. But you will be able to answer the survey afterwards by going in the Help application. And this is going to help us a lot in developing some more features for you guys to use.
    SB: So the webinars are basically tutorials on Prodigi; is that right?
    EB: Exactly.
    SB: Okay.
    EB: Yup.
    SB: And the survey is aimed at which feature do you use, how do you use it, how do you like it, that kind of thing?
    EB: Exactly.
    SB: Okay. What else is new in 3.0?
    EB: We have a new Android update also. So when you do the update, if you didn t do it off the bat, it s going to be divided into four. So the first update well, the first three updates are going to be for all the features in Prodigi. So that s a quick download, quick install, does it automatically, everything s done for you. And then, the last update is going to be an Android update, which is a bit longer. It s a 1.2 gigabyte file for Android, so that s big, so be sure to be at home and have a couple of minutes of free time. But that Android update, basically, we changed the algorithm for the autofocus. We have a better autofocus algorithm for you guys to use.
    SB: So when you do an Android update, I m guessing that you try to bundle those Android updates with a feature update so that people aren t in the middle of usage, just like, oh. There s a random Android update. Is that right? Or what s your philosophy on that?
    EB: If we do launch an Android update, there s going to be a notification that s going to pop up. And it s -- you can do it now or you can wait for later. That s no problem. It s not going to start downloading automatically.
    SB: But it s not paired with, like, a Prodigi update, you know, necessarily? Like, if because
    EB: Not necessarily.
    SB: Okay. So 3.0 supports Marshmallow. Obviously, there are there s been NNO and Ps announced for this fall. What s your, sort of, road map for additional Android updates? And do you feel like you d need to do every one, or are you just waiting until you re adding additional features for the Prodigi?
    EB: We re going to wait for additional features, but having an Android update going into another version, let s say for Nugget, Android N, that, we have to we re in talks with the hardware company that did this chipset on the tablet. So that s communication and collaboration of a couple companies all together to have that update.
    SB: I see.
    EB: So it s a pretty big update.
    SB: Yeah.
    EB: For now, there s nothing on the road map. The Marshmallow version is doing pretty good. They have a pretty good TalkBack support. I know that Android 8 has a lot of cool features in TalkBack for Android, but it s going to come. It s going to come.
    SB: Yeah. And I we saw an Android preview not long ago, and there are a few cool low-vision features, actually, and some TalkBack updates too. So I guess, at some but it s really a function of the hardware manufacturer and whether that update is appropriate for that device.
    EB: Exactly.
    SB: So you mentioned that people is this a free update for people who already have a Prodigi Connect 12, or what s the process for somebody who wants to update an existing device?
    EB: If you have a Prodigi Connect 12, all the updates are free, and you just down load them and install them.
    SB: Great. And if I buy a Prodigi Connect 12 today, am I going to get 3.0? Is it available now?
    EB: Yes.
    SB: Great. What else is going on with low-vision in Humanware that we should know about?
    EB: Well, I m very proud of my other line of products, which is the Explorer line. We have a 5-inch electronic magnifier and an 8-inch magnifier. And the difference between the two? Well, the screen, the size, of course. And the 8-inch will have distance viewing as well as close-up viewing, and it will be touchscreen also.
    And last summer, we updated to another version, a newer version, which again, improves the autofocuses of the distance and viewing camera. And we bettered the image quality on the device.
    SB: And is that a separate camera or the same camera for distance viewing on the 8-inch?
    EB: On the 8-inch, there s two cameras. So it switches automatically to distance or close-up cameras.
    SB: They re built in. It s not, like, an attachment that you have to
    EB: Absolutely not. They re built in. Yes.
    SB: Okay. Great. Awesome. So, like, more like a selfie camera and a back camera. I mean, in terms of the fact that they re built in, not in terms of the facing different directions.
    EB: Exactly.
    SB: Right. Right. Right.
    EB: Yeah.
    SB: Sorry. Sorry to throw selfies in there when it wasn t necessary.
    So for people who are interested in Humanware low-vision products, how can they get in touch?
    EB: Well, they can call us at Humanware. Our number is 1-800-722-3393. And you can go also at our website,, and you have all the information there.
    SB: Excellent. Eric, thanks so much for being on Blind Bargains.
    EB: Thank you very much for welcoming me.
    For more exclusive audio coverage, visit or download the Blind Bargains app for your iOS or Android device. Blind Bargains audio coverage is presented by the A T Guys, online at
    This has been another Blind Bargains audio podcast. Visit for the latest deals, news, and exclusive content. This podcast may not be retransmitted, sold, or reproduced without the expressed written permission of A T Guys.
    Copyright 2018.
    The Prodigi Connect 12 has been updated with some major new features including PDF reading and editing, a split-screen mode for the distance camera, and improved on-board help. Shelly speaks with Eric Beauchamp, Product Manager for Low Vision Devices for Humanware to learn about the latest features as well as their latest portable video magnifiers in this podcast.
    Blind Bargains audio coverage of CSUN 2018 is generously sponsored by the American Foundation for the Blind.

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    Vital has created a web application that teachers can use to create accesible graphics using vibrations, text-to-speech, and sounds along with a Samsung tablet. J.J. speaks with Corrine Mueller, Cofounder of Vital, to learn more about the company's webapp and service in this podcast.
    Blind Bargains audio coverage of CSUN 2018 is generously sponsored by the American Foundation for the Blind.

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    OrCam has released the MyEye 2.0, a smaller and more portable version of its wearable device which can read text, identify products and currency, and recognize faces. Shelly speaks with OrCam Regional Business Development and Sales Manager Anat Nulman and gets a live demo on this podcast.
    Blind Bargains audio coverage of CSUN 2018 is generously sponsored by the American Foundation for the Blind.

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    From a new afordable atomic watch to a higher-end talking digital voice recorder, LS&S had a lot of new gadgets at this year's conference. J.J. speaks with Jason Neeland, Senior Account Manager for LS&S who does a rapid-fire showcase of some of the cool new affordable gadgets and tools from the company.
    Blind Bargains audio coverage of CSUN 2018 is generously sponsored by the American Foundation for the Blind.

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    The Compact 6 from Optelec is a 6-inch video magnifier which also includes full-page reading and OCR capabilities. Shelly speaks with VFO's Northeast Sales Director Bill Kilroy to learn more about this and other recent magnifiers from the company in this podcast.
    Blind Bargains audio coverage of CSUN 2018 is generously sponsored by the American Foundation for the Blind.

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    5-key Shift is a gesture-based keyboard for iOS which can be used to type letters, numbers, and even emojis using simple swipe gestures. Joe speaks with Peter Tooch, CEO of Qwertyfree to learn how this keyboard works and why he thinks it could be a useful tool for blind users.
    Blind Bargains audio coverage of CSUN 2018 is generously sponsored by the American Foundation for the Blind.

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    It's been a long road to get to this point, but Humanware is ready to ship their new and powerful 14-cell braille display. Joe speaks with Humanware's Andrew Flatters to learn about the 14-cell Brailliant BI along with the latest updates to the BrailleNote Touch in this podcast.
    Blind Bargains audio coverage of CSUN 2018 is generously sponsored by the American Foundation for the Blind.

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    The Patriot ViewPoint is a new wearable that is ideal for people with macular degeneration. To learn more, Shelly speaks with John Palmer, CEO of Patriot Vision in this podcast.
    Blind Bargains audio coverage of CSUN 2018 is generously sponsored by the American Foundation for the Blind.

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    DescribeIt is an NVDA add-on which uses Microsoft's Computer Vision API to identify graphics on web pages. J.J. speaks with Manshul Belani, Project Associate for the Indian Institute of Technology who explains how the add-on works as well as a system for identifying busses being tested in India.
    Blind Bargains audio coverage of CSUN 2018 is generously sponsored by the American Foundation for the Blind.

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    And now the podcast you've been waiting for. For the first time ever, we recorded our CSUN wrap-up show live from the Blind Bargains suite in San Diego. Join Shelly Brisbin, Ricky Enger, Chancey Fleet, Joe Steinkamp, and J.J. Meddaugh as they discuss the conference happenings in rapid-fire. We cover it all in just more than an hour, no really we move fast. Braille, wearables, entertainment, and much more.

    Here's a recap of all of the audio posts from CSUN.:
    Transforming your Horizon with Aira
    Right-Hear, Right Now
    The Canute Braille E-reader Is Just About Ready for Prime Time
    What's the Buzz about Buzzclip Version 2
    The ElBraille, Supersized
    NuEyes Offers a Lightweight Android Wearable
    En-Vision America Flips the Script with New ScrippTalk iOS App
    Altix Takes Us Around the World with a Talking Globe
    A Tongue-tastic Tactile Adventure with Touch Graphics
    An Eye Toward CMS Accessibility with AudioEye
    The InsideOne Braille Tablet is Back and More Flexible
    The BrailleSense Polaris Mini and More from Hims
    Be My Eyes Helps People in 182 Languages, Expands Partnerships
    A New Voice and a New Direction for APH
    Designs for Vision Designing Custom-designed Telescopes and Microscopes
    Amazon Ensures the Blind are Not Locked Out of Packages, Updates TV's and Tablets
    QD Laser Creating Eyeware to Help you See More Clearly
    Feel the Graphs with the Talking LabQuest.
    There's Logic in these Large Print Keyboards
    Blind Bargains Qast 138: Buy My Book Already
    The IBOS MusicXML Reader Translates Music Files into Braille
    Creating a Positive Workplace Environment for All with the BBC
    Control your New ViewPlus Delta Braille Embosser from the Tiger Box
    Grab that Controller: Big Strides Forward for Game Accessibility
    Edit PDF's and View in Split-screen with the Humanware Prodigi 12 Connect's Latest Update
    LS&S is Talking About a Lot of Talking Products and More
    The Smaller, More Portable MyEye 2.0 from OrCam
    Vital Access to Graphics using a Tablet
    A new Gesture-based Keyboard for your iPhone from Qwertyfree
    The Brailliant 14 from Humanware is Now Available
    OCR Comes to the Small Screen on the Optelec Compact 6
    A New ViewPoint in Wearables from Patriot Vision
    A New NVDA Add-on Can Describe Website Images, Plus Accessible Approaching Buses

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    Our first show back in the various studios around the U.S. and we even have a guest joining us for the whole episode. Steve Clower of Desmos joins us to talk about Screen Reader friendly math, equations, graphs and more. He even throws in a tip as well. "Sound Off" and the "Last Word" are back after a long absence during our CSUN audio adventures. So plot the X and the Y as the BBQ Crew has returned.

    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.

    Also, [read more about the recently announced Braille Sense Polaris Mini by visiting the new product page

    In Memorium

    Our condolences this week with the family of Stephen Wack, one of the people killed in the recent Humboldt Broncos bus crash. Stephen was a junior hockey league player and also influenced his brother Justin who is blind and plays blind hockey in Canada and beyond. Our thoughts are with the family and team during this time.

    Program Note:

    Shout out to BBQ Regular Shelly Brisbin for once again being on the Daily Tech News Show to talk about CSUN and the news of the day.

    In The News:

    Some of the minds behind Fleksy are back with a new Voiceover friendly typing aid called FlickType

    Windows 10 Accessibility: What to expect in the year ahead

    To learn more about the Narrator changes, listen to Joe on Main Menu speaking about them with the Narrator and Main Menu teams

    AIRA Coming Soon to the UK, Australia, New Zealand

    Review: You're Writer's toolbox - Scrivener for iOS

    Interview: Steve Clower From Desmos

    Steve states that his days as a student fuels the fire for his desire to make many more forms of math accessible to all. This is why he joined the team at Desmos
    and he gives us some insight on what the company is doing to improve the math experience. The tools mentioned in this segment are free, and depending how you feel about math, enjoyable. They can also be quite musical as you will hear towards the end of this interview.

    Tip: Apple Watch Chargers Are A Traveler's Best Friend

    Steve reminds us that you can charge your Apple Watch on the go pretty cheaply these days. and the wires that come with these chargers feel better than the one Apple packs in the box. While the one Steve spoke about is hard to find on Amazon now, check out this iMore article on their opinions on the best portable Apple Watch chargers out there.

    Sound Off:

    Stan Littrell is fast becoming our field reporter on updates. Here's an example of one he sent in during our California convalescence.

    "A new update is available for the victor reader treck unit. I know
    that it was available as of this morning pacific time."

    He's right. Best we could tell at the time of the episode's recording is the update assists with the downloading of podcasts from redirecting URLs and the like. A recent update also added Audible support.

    Juan Avila writes in with his highlights of our CSUN 2018 coverage.

    "Hello Blind Bargains,

    Really interesting shows this year. I really enjoyed hearing about the different assistive technologies. I am glad that some like the Canute and the windows braille tablet are now ready to sell. I really would have liked to hear how the APH graphiti Tablet is progressing, as I m attending Sacramento State University, and accessing braille graphs is a must. Right now I carry multiple volumes of braille economics books, and I would love to have them in digital braille, on a full page display. And maybe even to have a display at home, and another at school. I understand that the APH Tablet will soon help for this very thing, but I feel they have not mastered to put braille on the device, only tactile print. Please tell me otherwise.

    Also, it was interesting to hear about the braille chocolate, and the different glasses that could help blind and low vision persons . I could tell which ones were Shelly s favorites and which ones weren t, based on the interviews, and how the conversations were going.
    I also got a little chuckle when I heard JJ say that he got there first to the ID Mate booth.
    I really wanted to hear about more software improvements to the braille note takers, and an update to the Dot Watch people, because they had promised a braille tablet.
    Overall, good work you guys!


    Juan Manuel Avila "

    Thanks Juan! If we didn't catch a particular company at the show it was possibly due to a scheduling conflict or they may not have had anything new to say to us about their products yet. or, and as you hear in this episode, it is because we wanted to feature them in an episode all their own. Keep sending in those requests though. It helps us know who to book on the show.

    Roger Behm sends along this feedback from episode 137.

    "Hi Joe and JJ:

    I listened to podcast 137 and the remarks you made about devices only grabbing the first 3 podcasts and that people might miss your many C-Sun reports is incorrect dealing with the victor stream 2 and the vr trek.

    If you would do your homework and not speak fake news or alternative news about these devices they can be set to save the first 10 podcasts the default is set by HumanWare to save the first 3 podcasts. Look at the menus on the devices under podcasts and you might learn something!

    please, please , please do your homework!!!!!


    As J.J. said in his spoken response "We're both right". Roger is right in that you can set this feature to nab more than three episodes of a given podcast. Joe and .J.J. were right in that we are careful to schedule only three at a time because years of doing this has taught us that a number of podcasting apps and players tend to lose or ignore things when we've posted more than three in a row at one time or another. Then Steve gave us a crash course on memory usage and low hardware thresholds. Good stuff to know honestly.

    Tweets from the recent past:

    maria6289: The audio transcripts are great! Even though I don't have a hearing impairment and do listen to the audio, the transcripts add versatility--say, to consume the content with a Braille display on a loud bus. Great addition! Enjoying your coverage! Thanks!
    DeanTopdot: Let me join the chorus of those who appreciate the text transcripts from CSUN. More efficient.
    Grecia2009: Feels super weird not to have pending transcripts to do. I kinda got used to it. LOL. Thanks tons to @blindbargains for allowing me to be a part of your #CSUN2018 team.

    BostonPackerFan: This episode was hilarious, thanks for the April 1st laugh! I think JJ has earned a new nickname, the Parrott!
    ms_denverqueen: While listening to the latest @blindbargains cast, I had to wonder if @rangerstation had gotten changed to a girl, and so did JJ. Oh no! What a big joke! lol That was hilarious!
    SnowspriteGirl: Best Easter episode ever!
    jeninems: Priceless! Oh, and buy @Shelly s book. Please!

    Last Word:

    Old Windows tools and an old travel ban makes up our return to the odder parts of the internet.
    Relive the 1990s on Windows 10 with the newly open sourced File Manager

    Next week is still a bit of a blur. But follow us on Twitter to learn just what we have coming around the corner.

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    Episode 140 contained an interview about math. so, it seemed only fair that BBQ 141 balanced the scales with a discussion about words. Okay, typing words with FlickType. There are also not one, but two, handy tips this week. "Last Word" features one of the normal subjects you have become accustomed to expecting at the end of the show.

    In The News:

    United Airlines adds Audio Description and more to their free In Flight Entertainment options

    Envision AI looks to sponsorships for adoption of their services

    BrailleBack public beta sports Orbit Reader support and other surprises

    Google updates their Android Accessibility Scanner app for those looking for suggestions on how to improve their app experiences

    Braille Neue is a universal typeface out to change the way we feel and view text

    Related, This Experimental Typeface Cleverly Combines Braille With the Latin Alphabet

    Interview: Kosta Eleftheriou Of FlickType

    Fleksy was one of the earliest iOS app success stories for our community. Heck, it was our number one story for "This Year In A.T. 2012". So what happened to the app and how is it related to the current buzz building on the internet about alternative keyboards? Kosta Eleftheriou, cofounder, takes us on a short history lesson of how the foundations of that early Fleksy VO work were used to bring FlickType to life. He then gives us a demo of how the new app works and what he envisions for the future once the app moves past the public beta stage.

    Tip: Trash Bags Make Great Rain Shields

    Lifehacker reminds us that having a trash bag on hand could save your laptop from the rain when traveling. And this prompted Joe to mention the flooding tips from episode 112.

    Sound Off:

    Stan Littrell took Joe's comment about being our field reporter for updates to heart. Just look at what he sent in this week.

    "The following email was sent out early this morning by the folks at
    Orbit Research. Hello,
    Orbit Research announces the release of its latest software version
    v01.01.48 for Orbit Reader 20 which is available for download at
    There is an update in the localization package Orbit Reader 20 -
    Localization v1.16 which contains necessary files and user guide for
    the localization feature and is available for download at
    What s new in v01.01.48:
    Now more number of entries are allowed in the localization table.
    We have fixed the Issue of bookmark getting skipped, after deleting a
    bookmark in bookmark navigation .
    There are stability and maintenance updates in the latest version.
    Please check the release notes for more information."

    And then, after we recorded this episode, he passed this information along...

    "Some people have experienced a bug in the latest release of the orbit
    reader 20 firmware whereby the unit didn't turn on. I received this
    email a while ago. Hello,
    We have been investigating the behaviour reported by folks on this
    list relating to the Orbit Reader unit not turning on, and have found
    an issue in the latest release (01.01.48) which is causing this
    behaviour. We will provide an update with a fix within the next two to
    three days and regret the inconvenience caused due to this issue.
    Orbit support team "

    Thanks Stan for those reports. And thanks to Mike Hartwig for this episode's second tip regarding the Victor Reader podcast email from our previous show's "Sound Off" section.

    "Hello Blind Bargains,

    The following solution is a helpful hint when podcasters release
    numerous pieces of audio during the different conventions that they
    may attend throughout the year.

    This is for stream users, but may also apply to whatever player you
    may own. You will need to consult your player s manual.

    Go to the online bookshelf menu, and select downloaded podcast
    episodes to keep, and set it to manual. After doing this you will have
    to check all of your subscribed podcast feeds for new content. Then
    you can download as many as you want and they will not be deleted with
    newer material. After a particular convention is over, you can go back
    and set this setting to whatever it was set at before you changed it."

    Fred Wurtzel writes in with his thoughts on our CSUN Wrap Up audio.


    I am loving listening to your wrap-up show. It is so much more than a mere feature report on various products. It is a wonderful perspective from veteran blind and low vision folks having a great interplay from individual perspectives. This is wonderful. I think our training centers ought to use this at the beginning of any technology training classes.

    Thank you Blind Bargains!"

    Speaking about that show, Juan asked a question that several of you have asked us in social media and email about a product not listed in the show notes for that episode.

    "Hi all,

    I was listening to your wrap up show of CSUN 2018, and heard about the new slate that is coming out. I was wondering if you could link it on the show notes, or on the news section. I googled the item, but only found web sites that want donations to fund the product, but I was wondering if it was being sold yet.


    Sadly no it isn't. Here is the Korean page for AT Overflow that does shed some light on the product. Oh, and the device Ricky and Joe mentioned was called the TactiPad Drawing Tablet and is available from IRIE A.T..

    Last Word:

    We didn't plan it this way, however, here is a pair of stories about burghers and cows.
    The impossible slider
    This 'Fitbit for Cows' Could Help Farmers Improve Milk Production

    Shout out to the Main Menu team for having Shelly and Joe on the program to talk CSUN Low Vision tech. You can hear the [Main Menu archive of the show at this link. Also, Shelly and J.J.'s joint coverage of CSUN for Access World is now online for your reading pleasure. Lastly, J.J. was on AMI's "Double Tap" program talking about that CSUN event. Catch all the goings on with "Double Tap" and "Tech Talk" by visiting their page.

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    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:

    ZoomText and ZoomText Fusion 2018 updates roll out for Windows 10 Spring Update

    And there was a JAWS 2018 update released for Windows 10 as well

    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: Delete your old copy before unzipping the new one.

    Free FlickType Keyboard App is Now Available on the App Store

    Be My Eyes, Audio Game Hub among Google Play Award Nominees for 2018

    ELIA the world s most intuitive tactile reading system by Andrew Chepaitis

    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 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.

    Sound Off:

    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.""

    :Screen reader plus keyboard helps blind, low-vision users browse modern webpages | UW News

    Last Word:

    Joe brings the YouTube clip and J.J. brought the food link. Patterns are beautiful things you know

    Why does 4k gaming look better on a 1080p TV?

    Grubs up: Carrefour offers Spanish shoppers insect-based snacks

    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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    Joe is off teaching some unsuspecting students about technology in Mississippi so Shelly Brisbin, who this week is actually playing the part of herself, steps in. And since we have an Apple expert on the show, J.J. thought it would be a good week to talk all about the latest updates to Narrator. We've got iOS fans covered with a handy tip, and talk about food in both the Last Word and Sound Off.

    In the News

    Microsoft: What's New In Narrator for the Windows 10 Spring Update
    Pinterest Just redesigned its app for blind people
    You missed it now, but Aira Horizon Registration was Live for 24 Hours
    Teach Access Offering $100K in Grants for Faculty to Include Accessibility Principles in their Courses
    Build an Accessible Multimeter and Learn Arduino with a Series of Two Free Workshops

    Feature: Narrator Improvements in the Windows Spring Update

    Narrator is quickly acquiring many of the features that one would expect from a well-rounded screen reader. In the latest update, you can now move Narator to a sound device of your choice, hear phonetic letters as you navigate, and experience more organized settings screens. We throw in a bonus dictation demonstration as well. All of this and more is waiting for you in the Spring Creators Update which you can download now.

    Tip: Rotor Reorder

    The iOS VoiceOver Rotor feature can make navigation a breeze, and some simple settings can increase its power.
    Many more iPhone tips like this one can be found in Shelly's Book, iOS Access for All

    Sound Off

    Some recent tweets for us this week:

    mehgcap: I'm going to a larger city in my state Saturday. While there, I'm getting lunch. I just realized this will be the first time in my life I'll be at a sit-down restaurant alone. How do other blind people handle paying the check? Exiting the building? @BlindBargains, any thoughts?
    We give a lot of ideas here including sitting at the counter, reading the menu ahead of time, and just not overthinking the situation. Servers want your business and tips so they'll generally do what they can to assist where needed.

    On FlickType,

    angelgirl1976: Oh, it's so much better than the regular qwerty keyboard! I mean, that's what it uses, but in just about every case, the list of words to select from when you get a word wrong almost always has the word you intend to type.

    Last Word

    Just one, and yes it's food.
    This Kevin O'Leary backed 28-year-old brings in 6 figures a year selling potatoes through the mail

    Thanks Shelly for coming on this week. J.J. is off to Mountain View for Google IO so Joe will man the ship while he is away. But if we're lucky, or unlucky, he may have a report from the left coast. We'll see you next week with episode 12 squared.

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    Blind Bargains Qast 144: Oreo Praline Puff Pastry

    Joe is back from MSU and he could not wait to talk to a BBQ Crew member with the letter J in his name. Since J.J. was at Google I/O this week, Joe reached out to Jamie Pauls for assistance in the unpacking of both Microsoft and Google Keynotes. J.J. pops in with a short live report from the bird-filled Google Keynote amphitheater, we have a tip plus an Android name themed Last Word . This one has a ton of info. So you may want to hit pause and pace yourselves accordingly.

    Sponsor: Aira

    Aira is a service which connects a low vision or blind user with a highly trained live agent to provide real time access to any visual information, when and where it is needed.

    The demonstration, herd in this episode, explains a useful feature of the Aira service, which enables an agent to take a picture of anything the Aira Explorer asks for, and label that picture with a written description that appears directly in the Aira app. These descriptions can be as short as tagging a receipt for expense reporting or as long as copying content from a white board or slide deck in a classroom or meeting. Those descriptions will be read immediately upon the user tapping on the photo in their Aira app.

    For more information please visit

    In The News:

    KNFB Reader v3.0 for iOS brings ePub support, landscape scanning, removal of the batch scan limit and much more

    ID Mate Database adds Right Way stores along with data submitted from users

    The latest Access World is now online

    Xbox One adds independent volume controls for Narrator along with other access features

    Discussion Topic: Microsoft and Google Keynotes

    Jamie and Joe condense 4 hours of Developer Keynotes into a much shorter timeframe. Here is some of the content covered in this look into what Microsoft and Google had to offer this week.


    Microsoft Build: AI for Accessibility [AUDIO DESCRIPTION]

    [Learn more about the 25 million dollar pledge from Microsoft at the official page for AI For Accessibility

    The six biggest announcements from Microsoft Build 2018

    Microsoft's AI cone recognizes faces and voices during meetings

    Microsoft calls desktops/laptops a second screen for phones


    Lookout: an app to help blind and visually impaired people learn about their surroundings

    Be My Eyes takes home the Best Accessibility app from the 2018 Google Play Awards

    Google I/O 2018 keynote in 14 minutes

    The 10 biggest announcements from Google I/O 2018

    The 5 most important Android P updates

    What is Google Duplex? The world's most lifelike chatbot explained

    Google s Duplex Assistant phone call blew my mind!

    Google Duplex might look cool, but don t believe the hype

    Tip: You Can Now Set Your Android Phone s Assistant Default to Use Alexa Instead of Google Assistant

    Microsoft opened up the door to allow Cortana to take over from the Google Assistant if you so desire. However, what if you are more of an Alexa fan? Well, the steps for having her take over are the same as you can tell from this article. Just wander into your Android settings, head to the Voice Assistant area and select Alexa. You must have the Alexa app installed in order for this choice to be visible though.

    Sound Off:

    Jim Denham sends this in about how important the recent changes to Windows 10 are for him when it comes to computer setup tasks.

    After listening to JJ and Shelly's discussion in episode 143 of new

    accessibility features in Windows 10, I wanted to briefly comment on
    the Windows 10 out of box experience. This is the experience of buying
    a new computer and turning it on for the first time. As an AT
    Specialist, I have to set up new computers for my clients on a regular
    basis. In the past couple versions of Windows 10, I have noticed that
    this out of box experience is becoming really good. Between Cortana
    accepting spoken input and using Windows Narrator for tasks like
    selecting a WiFi network, the whole process is totally accessible and
    very intuitive. I would add my kudos to the Microsoft Accessibility
    Team for making this once daunting task very accessible and kind of
    Keep up the great podcasts.

    Last Word:

    Android is known for food-related names. This section is known for food. What a perfect combination!
    Behold the Oreo Cookies and Kreme Doughnut

    Next week, J.J. is back with audio from the big Google event. Be on the Lookout for that and more in episode 145.

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