ATFAQ036 – Q1 DualChannel Headset for phone and pc access Q2 IFTTT

first_imgShare this…TwitterFacebookPinterest1LinkedInEmailPrint RelatedATFAQ037 – Q1. Live Captioning Options Q2. Vocalize free cell pone equipment? Q3.Voicmail Transcriptions? Q4. Graphing calculator solutions for folks with dexterity and fine motor control issues? Q5. Hooking up iPad to a large 32” touch screen? Q6. Wildcard Question: How reliant are you on Internet connectivity?September 12, 2016In “Assistive Technology FAQ (ATFAQ) Podcast”ATFAQ007 – Q1. Specific computer monitors to avoid seizures Q2. Apps to read aloud for Dyslexia Q3. AT low interest loan requirements Q4. Blocking bad web content for children Q5. Who are Cook & Hussey? Q6. Open source AT hardware.June 8, 2015In “Assistive Technology FAQ (ATFAQ) Podcast”ATFAQ074 – Q1 Mac accessibility keystrokes Q2 USBc adapters Q3 Picture-based timers Q4 Listen to Pocket articles on Amazon Echo Q5 Talking multi-meter Q6 High tech vs mid tech vs low tech Q7 Do we even need a mouse anymoreApril 23, 2018In “Assistive Technology FAQ (ATFAQ) Podcast” Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadATFAQ036-08-15-16Show notes:Panel: Brian Norton, Mark Stewart, Belva Smith, and Wade WinglerQ1. Dual-Channel Headset for phone and pc access Q2. IFTTT control of electrical outlets Q3. Magnification options for computer’s with small monitors. Q4. Accessible creative writing software (Scrivener) Q5. wearables, smart watches and accessibility——-transcript follows ——WADE WINGLER: Welcome to ATFAQ, Assistive Technology Frequently Asked Questions with your host Brian Norton, Director of Assistive Technology at Easter Seals Crossroads. This is a show in which we address your questions about assistive technology, the hardware, software, tools and gadgets that help people with disabilities lead more independent and fulfilling lives. Have a question you’d like answered on our show? Send a tweet with the hashtag #ATFAQ, call our listener line at 317-721-7124, or send us an email at [email protected] The world of assistive technology has questions, and we have answers. And now here’s your host, Brian Norton.BRIAN NORTON: Hello and welcome to ATFAQ, but episode 36. My name is Brian Norton. I’m the host of our show. I’m gathered in studio today with three of my close friends and colleagues, Belva Smith. Belva Smith is with us. She knows –BELVA SMITH: A little bit.BRIAN NORTON: A little bit about a lot. Belva Smith is team lead on our vision and sensory team. Belva, you want to say hey to everybody?BELVA SMITH: Hi everybody.BRIAN NORTON: I’ll set Mark Stewart here. He’s on our mobility and cognition team. You want to say hey?MARK STEWART: Hey.BRIAN NORTON: I also have Wade Wingler. Wade?WADE WINGLER: He’s back.BRIAN NORTON: For those who listen to our last show, Wade was out.WADE WINGLER: I was sick. I was in the hospital, like at death’s door. No exaggeration. It was scary stuff. I have to say that because you guys record without me, when I came back into the studio, it was my job to edit and make input the show together so it would go out. It was almost like listening to your own funeral a little bit. It was sort of creepy to hear you guys talking – not a lot of that made on two to show, but there like Wade is in here, it’s weird. I thought the show was great last week. In fact, I vote that you guys do it by yourself of time and I’ll just —BELVA SMITH: No, no, no.BRIAN NORTON: Let’s go ahead and cut his mic. Let’s move forward.BELVA SMITH: We got through it but it wasn’t easy.BRIAN NORTON: Don’t do that to us again.WADE WINGLER: Good to be back.BRIAN NORTON: We’re going to cut your pay one week. For new listeners to our show, I just want to give a brief understanding of what we do here. The way our show works is we receive questions throughout the week about various assistive technology related topics, and we set around in a panel and we discussed those and try to answer those to the best of our ability. We also encourage our listener to send us feedback so that we can include their feedback, because I’m sure there are things we think of here or you guys think of out there that we haven’t thought in here. We try to give everybody the best answer as possible, so we want to provide everyone’s feedback to folks as well. We want the best information going back to those folks that are asking us questions.There are a couple of different ways for you to ask questions. If you’re thinking of one or maybe you’ve had one in the back of your mind for a while, a couple ways to ask questions would be, one, our listener line. That number is 317-721-7124. You can also email us at [email protected] Or you can send us a tweet with the hashtag ATFAQ. We monitor all of those different ways for you to be able to give us your questions and give us your feedback. Hopefully your questions will make it and we can discuss those things. Also, in addition to that, if you want to tell people about our shows, you can find our show on iTunes. You can search assistance technology and we will show up in the list of shows about assistive technology. You can go to our website, it’s You can also find us on stitcher or just go to our website,, click on the on air button, and it would take you to a list of our podcast we do here at Easter Seals crossroads.WADE WINGLER: It’s not in the notes, but if you go to, that’s a page that has all of our podcast, our YouTube videos, our blog. We put out a ton of content here on a weekly basis, and accessibility is a great place to go and find the stuff if you haven’t checked out our YouTube and those kinds of things.BELVA SMITH: Also, if you put ATFAQ in your Google search, the first thing that comes up is assistive technology FAQ podcast.WADE WINGLER: That’s good.BRIAN NORTON: So if you are wanting to listen to us or tell folks, check out those way to be able to find our show.***BRIAN NORTON: Today I just want to begin our show with a couple of feedbacks, some instances the feedback that we’ve gone from one listener who is a regular listener. She’s responded to a couple of different times and given some great feedback to the folks at avast the questions on our show. The first one is in regards to a question from last week show about a waterproof watch for a person who is blind. We were discussing on the show last week that there doesn’t seem to be a good waterproof watch. There are some water resistant ones and some things you can do, but there isn’t one that is necessarily waterproof. Here’s what she wrote. She says, I had an idea – keep in mind, this isn’t ideal. She said if you slit the left and right sides of at least two sandwich bags, or however many are necessary for the size of the wrist, while leaving the bottom intact, theoretically you should be able to tape the bags together, Bag A’s right side to Bag B’s left side, so that you end up with a resealable plastic tube that could be put around the watch you are wearing and remove when you’re done swimming. Like I said, this an ideal but it should at least add some waterproofing to those water resistant to watch as you talked about. There are also several supposedly waterproof Apple Watch cases, but I haven’t tested any and I’m unsure if they would fulfill his needs. Comments on the feedback from Kelsey?BELVA SMITH: I haven’t heard anything about the Apple Watch case. That would be interesting. I think he specifically said that he had tried the Apple Watch.BRIAN NORTON: I do believe there are some – again, supposedly waterproof. We had a couple of Apple Watch is in our library that we played around with and have used, but we haven’t gone through the testing of waterproofing it.WADE WINGLER: I wasn’t here for the original question. The Apple Watch is water resistant. They don’t suggest swimming with it because submerging it is where the problem comes. One of the things about the Apple Watch that’s interesting is you could pop the bands off of it and put it into a waterproof box because there are all kinds of clear waterproof boxes that you can take a carabiner or something and strap it to your some suit or your scuba gear. Just pop the watch in the box. Their motion activated so you just shake the box a little bit and it will come to life and do its thing. That’s what I would look at. Kelsey, I would probably be afraid about the sandwich back idea little bit. I’m sure it would offer a little bit of water resistance, but I think you are playing with an expensive watch and maybe sandwich bags might not be the best idea. I think there are probably some good options. We certainly appreciate the feedback and creativity. I think it’s a very creative solution.BRIAN NORTON: Perfect. Second instance of feedback we had with regards to the virtual-reality question we had a couple of episodes again. Kelsey again was giving us some information and feedback on that. She said you briefly mention the Google cardboard in your recent ATFAQ. I thought you’d be interested in an app I found for it called nearsighted VR augmented aid. I have yet to try it out since I have an iPhone and this is for android, but I have seen some reviews comparing it to the e-sight. The view is actually preferred this app. Here’s the link to the app on the Google store. We’ll try to include that in our show notes. For those that aren’t aware, what e-sight is, is it’s essentially a video magnifier. It allows you to have some high definition glasses and be able to see things using the camera that’s mounted to those high definition glasses and be able to increase or decrease ratification to be able to see what’s in front of you. There are actually several different glasses like that that are out there. I think new eyes also has a pair of glasses that are like that. e-Sight as well. I haven’t seen that but did want to pass it on to our listeners as well.WADE WINGLER: It’s got some pretty good reviews in the Google play store. It might be worth checking out.BRIAN NORTON: I also heard of a virtual-reality app that’s also interesting. It’s for the oculus rift and other system that out there. It’s called notes on blindness. I’ve been meaning to download it to our oculus rift here, but my understanding is there was a person – I think he was in the UK – who is blind but would take meticulous notes. If he would go to the park, he would take meticulous notes on what he heard. This app similarly helps you experience and see partially what he heard through his notes. I’m interested and anxious to be able to get it on to ours to be able to give people may be a feel of what it’s like to be blind, to be able to hear these noises and be able to somewhat see it but maybe not necessarily see it all. It’s interesting. It’s called notes on blindness and it’s a virtual-reality app for some of the more mainstream, high-powered we virtual-reality goggles that are out there. A couple of different instances where I think virtual-reality can really be an interesting experience for folks.***BRIAN NORTON: Our first question of the day is, can anyone give me a recommendation for a dual channel headset? I’m working with individual who will be a customer service representative using JAWS on his computer in a standalone phone. Do you know of any dual channel headset that would work for them?WADE WINGLER: It’s been a long time since I’ve messed with those but I know there are some pretty decent ones out there.BELVA SMITH: Plantronics has a lot of great headsets. You can find a wide variety of them at the Brian, I think you mentioned Maxi aids. I will look there for them, but I’m sure they probably do have some.BRIAN NORTON: If you go to Maxi aids, which is a wholesaler of assistive technology for folks were blind or visually impaired, deaf or hard of hearing, you can type in visually impaired headset into their search tool and it will come up with that Plantronics headset. It’s specifically designed for that particular need. What it is, is it’s actually a two-sided headset, so you have an earpiece on both side of your head. One has a wire that will go out to your phone and allow you to connect to a phone. The other one has a wire that will go into the audio output from a computer. So you are here in the computer in one ear and your hearing the phone in your other ear. That way you can carry on conversation. I know I have an, Belva, I’m sure you have as well, many situations where you have someone who uses software that speaks to them and they need the ability to listen to the customer on the phone. They can do that quite easily with that particular headset.BELVA SMITH: I have also worked with individuals that will just use a standard earpiece – what do you call it? Earplug for the computer, and just use the phone in the other ear.BRIAN NORTON: There are all sorts of meditations. I’ve seen people with two headsets where they overlap them, so they’ve got two monaural headsets. They just have one ear piece on one side and the other is a strap that goes to the other side. So they are wearing two different headset and overlapping them in being able to hear that way as well.BELVA SMITH: I think a lot of it has to do with the type of phone that they are using. I think that plays a big role in it.MARK STEWART: Another reason they are a manufactured out there is they are used for training purposes in telecom sometimes where the training was to listen in.BRIAN NORTON: That’s interesting.WADE WINGLER: How does USB figure into this? In the past, it’s always been a physical phone jack and a 3/8 inch Mike Jack kind of walking style situation. But I’m seeing so many USB headsets and I haven’t done this kind of job accommodation all the time. Are you bumping into those situations? Are all bits off at that point?BRIAN NORTON: Software applications like you’re talking about where the phone is actually on the computer, you don’t have a physical phone on your computer anymore. I’ve only run across that situation once. I believe we were able to use just one headset. We had both the sound from the computer and the sound from the soft phone running. I don’t know if it was a special soundcard they had, but they could both be heard through the headset. It wasn’t separate and that’s what’s nice about this other headset, where they are actually separate sounds coming through. One sound is through one ear, and one is to the other ear, the computer and phone, whereas on the soft phone it was all coming through a once it was confusing to a certain extent because you are getting all of the audio at the same time.WADE WINGLER: You can get dual channel soundcard where I can process two different sources of sound at the same time. Then you are right; it gets to the point where it’s a software. Can you tell the phone software to go to one ear and the screen reader to go to the other? I’m not sure that basic soundcard settings are going to do that. You might have to have a soundcard that has mixer software. It gets complicated.MARK STEWART: I apologize for not having the model. I worked a case a couple of months ago where I was coordinating with the IT department at a large telemarketing facility. They were all over the actual product but I had to do some initial research of configuration. Yeah, Plantronics actually has a USB version. You are right; the soundcard is in this adapter. That’s how it’s handled.WADE WINGLER: While we are doing audio production here, sometimes we need to separate sound sources like that. We use plug in a USB sound cards for example. The one we use on the Mac platform is called iMic where you plug it into USB and it actually shows up as a soundcard, so you can then tell one program on the computer to go to the computer soundcard and then select the iMic as the soundcard for the second piece of software. Then you can get them separated and can start doing whatever you want with getting it in different ears.BELVA SMITH: That’s all interesting for me.WADE WINGLER: This is an interesting show, Belva.BELVA SMITH: I’m wondering if you could do that with JAWS and Dragon instead of having to use —BRIAN NORTON: So the challenge, one thing we’ve done over the years with JAWS which is a screen reader – it’s speech output versus Dragon, which is speech and put into the computer. A lot of times we use switches. So there is something called ACT switch which is simply a button where you can use the same headset for the phone and for the computer, but you press a button to be able to switch it from being able to speak into the computer and/or be able to speak on the phone. That the switch where you can only do one at a time. The other ones we’ve run into are now these more sophisticated phones. The one I’ve used is called Savi, Savi 700 series. That allows you to be able to not only connect it to your phone – I’m sorry, to the best phone you have, but also to your computer, your cell phone, and some other inputs if you want. That allows you just to have a little base station that your headset connected to and charges from, but also has buttons on top to be able to change which input you want. I’ve seen in call-center applications where a person only needed to be able to hear what folks are saying and talk on the phone or hear from the computer, but also then switch it to the computer for voice input. Is that where you’re going with that?BELVA SMITH: That’s interesting. I’ve not had a set up like that.WADE WINGLER: You know what’s funny? I’ve been doing this for a long time. This has always been fiddley stuff. Back when it was all hardwired, whether or not you’re using hardware, software, the computer system, you always had to fiddle around with the stuff. There were so many variables, the phone system in the call center, the computer, but make of the computer, the make of the soundcard, the firmware of the soundcard, the physical nature of the microphones and earphones you’re talking about. It’s always been fiddley stuff.MARK STEWART: Now if you go wireless, playing off what Brian was saying. Yes, you need to fiddle. Wait, I got a Bluetooth headset on my head, but I got my smartphone in my pocket and now I need to connect to that.WADE WINGLER: Do we have an answer? Did it depend?BRIAN NORTON: I think for a dual channel headset, if you’re looking for a reliable, Plantronics is a really reliable one that can be used with JAWS and hear the computer at the very same time. I believe the product number for that is, if you look up Plantronics SMH1783-11, that is the very specific Plantronics headset that will work that way, where it has a court coming off one ear piece that goes into the computer, under the court on the other piece that will go into your phone. Then if you’re looking for these USB once, I’ve played with the Savi headsets, and it’s a really nice USB headset for using soft phone or other types of applications on the computer, but then also being able to connect to a this phone, your cell phone, and what not.***BRIAN NORTON: Our next question is from Matt. Matt’s question is, my mom has dementia, and for safety, do you know they cut off switch for an electrical socket when I’m away from the house? I looked at the question was trying to figure that out. I started googling different things and trying to figure out about cut off switch is. I didn’t necessarily see a way to say you can’t use that electrical socket per se, turn it off like a switch. I guess you could make it a switch outlet and be able to cut off from being used. But I didn’t seen anything necessarily that would allow it to be cut off. I don’t know if anyone was able to find stuff like that.WADE WINGLER: Like a vacation timeer situation where it says off from the hours of eight to five?BRIAN NORTON: Maybe.BELVA SMITH: I found some wireless remote control outlets that have an on and off. What it is, is you plug it into the outlet but then he can use a remote control to turn the outlet off.WADE WINGLER: Like an X 10 kind of thing?BELVA SMITH: It’s sort of like that. And there was one that was not remote-controlled. These are very inoffensive by the way. It’s not remote-controlled but it does have a switch. The problem is it’s a right on top – like you are plugging this adapter into the wall, and the switch to turn it on and off is right on top. If mom – if you got it plugged off and mom plug something into it, it’s not going to work, but if she flips the switch, she would be turning it back on. I couldn’t find anything that actually shuts –BRIAN NORTON: Electricity off to socket. That’s what I was looking at.BELVA SMITH: My question would be, would it be possible to maybe go – if refuse back is as easy to get to, and if your power outlets are on the same one, then maybe you can go trigger that on and off. That’s the only way I think you’re going to be assured that you’re really cutting the power to that outlet off.MARK STEWART: That’s the way I’m picturing it. I think that’s the way they want. Going back to the issue with the child sticking something into the sockets, and the socket is active and she gets electrocuted. That means if you cut off – have it off at the switch on the wall, that’s what they’re wanting because now she’s not going to be electrocuted. Placement of the switch in the house or a lockbox on the switches or, again, I think maybe it’s an electrician idea where maybe a little bit of expanded wiring or different configuration, but something that does go to the circuit box.BELVA SMITH: Mark, what you just said maybe think of something else. I have seen in situations where they don’t want folks to mess with the thermostat. They’ll put those clear boxes over them that have a lock.WADE WINGLER: Like in a conference room or school?BELVA SMITH: You might be able to do something like that we just cut out and around and said that in the wall. But you’re going to have to take it off when you use it.MARK STEWART: I think it’s an electrician call.WADE WINGLER: I know Brian is going to talk about WeMo here and if this than that, right? There is a pretty good solution in there as well.BRIAN NORTON: Belva, you mentioned X 10 controllers, something where you plug a module into the outlet, and you have a keychain little thing where you can click it on or off. X 10 modules had management boxes we can control lots of things. They’re not doing anything to the electricity in the outlet. They are just controlling that box, whether electricity goes from the outlet through to the three prong or two prong outlet on that particular model. You’re really just controlling the module. I kept looking for ways. I kind of like the electrician option to bring in an electrician, put a switch on that, like that switch down. That would be a good idea as well. Other options would be, there are a lot of Internet connected modules now. X 10 modules were old radiofrequency modules to control things in your home. Internet-based one like WeMo and Insteon. You can find many different manufacturers of these types of modules. Now they allow you to do wireless control of those, so you can control them from your phone as long as you’re connected to a cellular tower or through wireless. You can control lots of different things. It doesn’t cut the electricity off to the outlet itself like a switch would, but it would allow you to wirelessly from wherever you are turn off that particular module. The other thing I would like to throw in there, IFTTT stands for If This Than That. Those are different recipes that people can do. When you walk through that statement, if this – so if Matt leaves the house or is someplace that is phone can tell where he is through the GPS, then turned the controller off, would be a recipe you could create because of the way that software website works. You can create your own set of recipes. Wade, I know you’ve mastered that a lot.WADE WINGLER: That’s exactly what I’m doing in the situation. A Belkin we most which is about $30. You put that switch, plug it into the existing switch, and you set up If This Than That, or just IF these days. You set IF with a geo-fence. You can say here’s my location. If my smartphone, presumably Matt. If Matt and his smartphone are more than two miles away from the house, then shut off that particular switch so that when he’s coming home the cast and he gets within a couple of miles, it will turn on. When he goes to work, it will turn off. I don’t know how big or small you can make that geo-fence where they can make it 50 yards or 20 yards. If it works close to home, that might be a problem. You can do that and those things are aware. You can do things with IF and say, if it’s a rainy day, shut out the outlet, or if the Colts win the game, shut off the outlet. There are a bunch of environmental based Internet variables that you can do that. I also know that IF is triggered on the automatic car monitoring system. I got it set up so when I parked my car, it emails me my GPS signal to Evernote where I know where my car is. You can even say that, if my car is in the driveway, then turn that switch back on. Or if my car moves at all, shut that off or whatever. I think between a WeMo outlet and IF in his smartphone, there are a lot of different recipes you can create.BELVA SMITH: But does that actually turn the power off to the outlet? Or is that just controlling what plugged into the outlet? I think he’s trying to protect mom from maybe getting electrocuted.BRIAN NORTON: It doesn’t cut off electricity to the outlet itself. It’s going back to what you mentioned before. It’s cutting off electricity to the module. It’s turning that module off which is not giving her outlet access at that particular time. It’s just messing with the module pick is not messing with the module itself.WADE WINGLER: There is another product, and I haven’t messed with this, called MFI outlets, which are actual outlets that are recessed, plugged into the wall just like your regular power outlet that does the same kind of thing. I don’t know if these work with IF or not, but it’s the same thing except is not a box on the wall plugged into the outlet, it’s the actual outlet.BRIAN NORTON: How do you spell that?WADE WINGLER: It’s on the ubiquity network series of products.BRIAN NORTON: The other thing that someone may want to look at is home monitoring systems. There’s actually a company here in Indiana called create ability concepts. They do a lot of home monitoring systems for folks who have dementia, if they leave the water running, they have a home monitoring system that will – something that sits with your faucet and can tell that the water has been running for a period of time and then can alert somebody to the fact that something’s been running for more than what it should be. Did you leave the lights on when he left the door previously the water running in the kitchen? Did you leave a door open in the house? Did you leave a window open in the house? Those kinds of things, they do lots of customization and special setups for folks who need to be able to monitor different things in different folks’ environments to be able to say and alert folks when something isn’t as it should be.WADE WINGLER: I was also going to say, another local group we work with out of Chicago is Sage technology. They mess with the stuff all the time as well.BELVA SMITH: I think the best, safest answer for this particular’s listener is to start with an electrician and see what they recommend. They’re going to have the best answer for what you might be able to do. I think it’s probably more than one outlet he’s trying to protect her from.WADE WINGLER: Spoken like a true mom.MARK STEWART: There are child safety products that might be enough.BRIAN NORTON: Very cool.***BRIAN NORTON: Our next question is from Greg. Greg emailed us a question at [email protected] His question was I have a low vision client that works at Walmart. They have a lot of computer training. I was looking for some sort of portable magnify that he could attach to the 15 inch monitor that Walmart uses so that he can better see the idea or have a better idea of the products that come across as register. I did a little bit of digging. He sent some pictures with this. The first thing I started thinking of was one of the handheld magnifier, and things like that. But with the picture he had given me, he wants to make with the person sees on the 15 inch monitor bigger. He’s looking for more of what I would refer to as a screen overlay magnifier, something that sits on top of a person’s going to make it bigger.BELVA SMITH: I’ve never had good luck with those.BRIAN NORTON: Tell us why.BELVA SMITH: Because they don’t do much. They make it a tiny bit bigger, but in my case is it’s never been enough to really suffice – I don’t want to cut you off.BRIAN NORTON: No, go ahead.BELVA SMITH: I’ve actually had several different cases in several different department stores where we’ve gotten the same barrier to overcome. One of the things I’ve been able to do is just have a bigger monitor. When I read this, I thought that he was basically referring to the testing areas. I know Meijer requires two or three different tests that their employees are required to take every month, so they have computers set up in the testing room, is what they call it. I have a low vision client that couldn’t see the standard 15 inch monitor, and so we were able to – and we couldn’t get magnifying software on there, but we are able to get them to dedicate one computer, putting a larger monitor on there, and were able to use the ease of access tools to make things bigger for him and set his contrast. And also there is a little note above it that says the settings on the computer can’t be changed, so if other employees to use it, they know that they can’t go in and change anything. Am I missing anything?BRIAN NORTON: I had a couple of additional questions like that. I’m assuming he’s talking about an overlay system for the monitor, only because as I was thinking of it, if you get out there on the line of cash registers and things like that, I’m sure from day to day they are going to want him to work on different systems and different workstations. So making a bigger monitor – we’ve done that many times at different employers. When people are using cash registers, a large screen monitor is very inexpensive, and most of those monitors are VGA compatible that they use out there. Just simply swapping those out, the bigger the monetary the bigger the information is on the screen automatically, and then working with the particular store or their IT department to be up to load a screen magnifier software, whether that’s the built-in stuff like he mentioned in Windows control panel under ease of access, the Windows magnifier can make things bigger. Or using Zoom text or magic or dolphin, whatever it takes to make things bigger for them to be able to see it better. I’m just wondering, those were just a couple of the questions. I’m assuming if they had to stick with the 15 inch monitor, what can we do with that.BELVA SMITH: What could we do with just the 10 inch monitor? As I said, I’ve had several consumers at many different stores in the area. Most of the time, though, they may expect everyone to be able to access any computer at any time. We have been able to work it out to where we can put a larger monitor in one position – actually maybe a couple of them. We’ve done one at the main computer at customer service and then we’ve done one back in the testing area. I found that most of the department stores have that testing room, where they have their employees take their test. Another option – again, I don’t like making five by my pants suggestions, but another option might be the OrCam glasses, because that will read the information on the computer screen, so that’s something that’s portable that would be on his body as he moves around the store two different computers.BRIAN NORTON: Probably depending on what you have to do with the information. For those that haven’t heard, OrCam is a pair of glasses with a camera on it. It just simply allows you to take pictures of whatever is in front of you and will convert that to speech and you can have it either spoken out loud from the device itself or have an earpiece and to tell you what’s on the screen. Again, knowing what to do with the information and how to navigate that information once it’s been read to you may become a challenge, but it would certainly be interesting.WADE WINGLER: A quick Google search tells me that Walmart uses a Linux-based point-of-sale system which takes away some of those Windows options were thinking about. Depending on what flavor of Linux, it may or may not have a built-in magnifier. And I think they are using them in a super customized way, right? Buttons, images –BELVA SMITH: But that’s for their sales, right? That’s for the sales on the floor.WADE WINGLER: At the cash register. That’s what we are talking about, right? The Mac I don’t think we are. I think we are talking about how he’s accessing the computers in the back room to take his test and how he’s getting his emails in the back room. That’s what I think we are accessing.WADE WINGLER: That, we don’t know, so that’s obviously a point of clarification. I was going to say, if it’s a point-of-sale system, if it’s a cash register, there are so many visual elements upfront that you need to be able to deal with. It has a funky keyboard with all kinds of nonstandard buttons on it. You’re constantly dealing with the product and price tags and that kind of information coming across. There is so much of the scan bag, scan bag. I’m going to suggest, Belva, that you are probably right, more of a portable hand magnifier situation might be the right solution if we’re talking about a cashier. But if it’s a regular computer access –BELVA SMITH: He says they have a lot of computer training. That’s where I’m directing it. Friday I just did a similar situation for Walmart, and that was what we did, is we added a larger monitor in the testing room.WADE WINGLER: I guess I’m a newbie to job accommodation. Before I solve problems, I should make sure I know what the problem is I’m solving. Great solution, wrong problem.MARK STEWART: It sounds like he’s trying to keep the option open. He tried to tell us not just one computer. Two thoughts, two pieces of input. The first is, someone is going to be thinking about not just handheld magnifier but how about just magnifying glasses? There have to be magnifying glasses, like a headset or something. Can you speak to that? Not that I’m saying you like it, but I know one of you guys can speak to that better than me.BRIAN NORTON: There used to be devices that is a headmounted video magnifier. You would be able to look at a screen, a computer screen, and the refresh rate would sink themselves so you wouldn’t get that running line up and down that would cause a bunch of visual distraction when you’re trying to look at stuff. There are new products like NuEyes, Eyeware, eyesight, those are really expected technology. Jordy is no longer available; it’s not being manufactured at this point; is no longer supported. That was a lot more affordable than some of the newer technology that is out there. I’m not sure the new technology – Belva, maybe you can speak to this a little bit better. Some of the new technology, I don’t believe they do as good a job as some of the older technology did when you look at a computer screen.BELVA SMITH: No, I don’t think they do. I think they’re boasting on the multiple things that they can do rather than just give you a live shot of whatever is in front of you. Also, the thing with the glasses, I’m learning it’s a very particular who they work for and who they don’t. It might be an option, but I certainly wouldn’t suggest that you run out and get them. Maybe you could borrow them from whatever —BRIAN NORTON: Local assistive technology act project loan library.BELVA SMITH: It might be worth doing. Again, we are probably looking at trying to add a larger monitor and use whatever is available on the computer. If it is moving from register to register rather than possibly just computer stations, then that could be a whole different — like you are saying with the whole point of sale, that could be really complicated.MARK STEWART: I’ll just point out, this is an answer like you guys are giving — our listener audience as far as we know it abroad mixed. It could be employers, consumers, clients, therapists. We get questions from different types of folks. Allow me to interpret this question as from a very well-meaning immediate supervisor or the employer, and they are not the assistive technology guru but they know a little bit about technology. They identify this need, they take a shot at it, and that’s where the assistive technology professionals come in and, in a non-condescending way and understanding they are doing their best, now we are here to help say yeah, maybe not so much. Let’s go do a roundabout, but we can solve the problem. Things like that. A lot of education, right?WADE WINGLER: Sure. And lots of variation with the kind of vision loss we’re talking about. We didn’t even get into glare and fatigue and all those other things that go along with it.BELVA SMITH: Right.***BRIAN NORTON: Our next question is from Jewel. The question is, I do freelance writing, and my fiancé wants to buy me some creative writing software. I really want Scrivner I know it’s accessible with voiceover, but what about Jaws? I have a laptop running Windows 7, and JAWS 15. If it is accessible, where can I go to learn the keyboard commands? If not accessible, is there a way to ask freedom scientific to make it accessible.WADE WINGLER: I’ll jump in first and say I love Scrivner. I use it for a lot of the bigger things that I put together. I just quickly fired up Scrivner on my Mac and tried to use voiceover with it. I ran into all kinds of keyboard mapping issues so that navigating it became fairly well impossible. I’m going to said I would agree that basic screen reading is there but it was a ton of issues with the keyboard and the way it was mapped out. Had a lot of trouble with it.BELVA SMITH: I’ll jump in and say that all of the research I did said that JAWS is not compatible with it. You may find similar to what Wade just described where you can do some of the basic things with it, but I think the whole point in using the software is to be able to do some of the fancier formatting and that kind of stuff. So I would have to say that no, JAWS at this time is not compatible with it. Freedom scientific does work hard to make JAWS as compatible with as many different programs as they possibly can, and I’m sure that you wouldn’t be the first person to have contacted them, because I know you can’t be the only blind freelance writer. But I would definitely recommend giving them a call and letting them know that you are planning on buying this particular software and asked them if there are any scripts that might be available. Without going too deep into this, Brian, remember there used to be a guy who wrote scripts for free and posted them for JAWS to do all sorts of things? I want to say his name was snow or something like that. Do you remember that?BRIAN NORTON: I don’t. I thought you were going to say I would do it for free. I know how to do some JAWS scripting.BELVA SMITH: No. That’s a good point, because yeah, there are JAWS scripters that could be hired to do the scripts you might need for that particular program, but I would just suggest getting a hold of freedom scientific and letting them know that. Just throwing this out here as well, I also researched whether or not NVDA or window eyes would be compatible. I didn’t find anything for either one of them either. I do know that there are blogs for some of the blind freelance writers, so to be trying to search for some of those in getting involved to find out. One person I know personally that is a freelance writer, but I don’t know if they are using a particular program or not. I know she’s using both JAWS and window eyes, because there are some things you can do with JAWS and other things she can do with Windows eyes.BRIAN NORTON: Let me also are out there, I also use Scrivner several times a month for bigger projects that I have as well where I’m trying to pull in sources from lots of different places and pull it all together in an overall document. I’ll say, just with the user interface, scripting I’m sure could be done to make it more accessible depending on where it’s at right now, and I don’t think it would take a whole lot to make it more accessible.BELVA SMITH: That’s good news.BRIAN NORTON: I really don’t think it would take over like to make it more accessible.BELVA SMITH: I would probably also suggest to this particular listener that you get the latest version of JAWS. I think she said version 15, and version 18 is going to be coming out any day now. It will be out within the next 60 days probably. That’s putting you several versions behind, so I would definitely recommend getting your JAWS updated and possible your windows as well.***WADE WINGLER: And now it’s time for the wildcard question.BRIAN NORTON: So our next question is the wildcard question.WADE WINGLER: Yea, the wildcard question. I miss doing this last time and you guys chickened out. No one had a wildcard question?BELVA SMITH: Brian was like, we will do it. So we got to the last question and it was like, what’s the wildcard? We are not doing it.BRIAN NORTON: If I had time to prepare one.MARK STEWART: Still licking our wounds.WADE WINGLER: because of the hard question? Okay, guys, here’s what I’m thinking today. In the 80s, I had a Casio calculator wristwatch which was what all the cool nerds had because you could multiply, add, subtract, divide right there on your list. A year or two ago, all of a sudden we started seeing smart watch a start to hit the market. The Pebble was one that sort of came out kind of early on and everybody talked about it. And then we started seeing fit bits come out. Fit bit were all the rage, and I’m still seeing lots of different kinds of fit bit. Some are the simple ones and some are more like smart watches. And then two years ago, the Apple Watch came out and we were all terribly excited. It would cost anywhere from expensive to obscenely expensive. We see the Apple Watch sort of die away. I’m not seeing a whole lot of it. I also know the Apple Watch 2 is getting ready to come out. They are suspecting it may come out in September and it’s going to be better and faster. Here’s the thing: I am wearing an Apple Watch, and I have been since I got sick a couple of weeks ago. Not to go too deep into my situation, but I have diabetes, and one of the reasons I was in the hospital was related to my diabetes. No, I didn’t mess up and eat a bunch of Twinkies. It was a medication interaction that caused me to have a bit of trouble. Coming out of that, I started looking for apps that are specific to track and things like blood sugar levels and insulin use and food and all that kind of stuff. I found a really good app that I like called my next diary. Reminds me on the Apple Watch to check my blood sugar and how many glasses of water are you drinking. It’s a really good diabetes management thing. My question is, why are smart watches sort of catching on the car going away? Why arts they really here to stay and thinking? I think I’m interested in it because it’s been a really specific application that works for me to solve a specific problem. What’s the deal with smart watches? Why are they coming and going, and why are fit bits doing well and smart watches not? Obviously the underlying question is always, and what does this mean for people with disabilities? If we are talking about uses of assistive technology, where do smart watches fit in with those folks?MARK STEWART: I’m thinking from the perspective of all things physical access as well as efficiency and functionality. From the level of normal access, whatever that might mean, typical access — let’s say for some reason the way the technology developed was the only option for a time was smart technology, a smartphone as it were, with that kind of functionality that had to be on your wrist. It would be a boom. Maybe people wouldn’t like it as much as an iPhone or smartphone, but they wouldn’t really know why and they would go crazy about it because of all the technology that could be on your wrist. In other words, you have the smartphone technology which is the overriding positive thing here, what you can do with the technology and the intellectual aspects of access wherever that is, whether it’s on a laptop, an iPad, a smartphone. But that’s not the case. Of course, we have laptops, iPads, smartphones, phones that are almost the size of a tablet.WADE WINGLER: Every size and option?MARK STEWART: And we are actually already use to them and love the access, and because they are a little bit bigger, you can get more efficiency and functionality out of them. Now, okay, we also have the option of having some conductivity or some of that technology on your wrist, so we really scrutinize — one, we spent a lot of money on the original product. We now have the luxury of thinking about things like redundancy. Physical access? To start with that foundation of normal, typical, average use, you have a lot of – I hate the word – able-bodied folks with full dexterity, can pull out the smartphone, have a much larger screen, be able to do a lot more things more readily. While you are holding it in your hand, it’s possibly the perfect size where you can both hold it, look at it, and text or do things with your fingers with the same hand. From the Darwinian perspective of the opposable thumb and how awesome the opposable thumb happens to be. If you hold a smartphone in your hand – I’m just making this up, but do you actually literally have an opposable thumb, for example, to use on the smartphone where, if you look at a watch, we are used to a watch, we think it should be cool because that’s where we are used to checking our time. But you have to bring your other hand over to use it. Now you can’t be driving, you can’t be – as if you look at a smartphone while you’re driving. You can’t do other things with your other hand. So there’s just really an efficiency issue there. I think folks who are in a whole another profession, they are not taking biomechanics and physical functionality, they don’t know exactly why but they just don’t really catch on to it and don’t take to it. Those might be some of the reasons. I think there are other examples of that, but that some of it. Now, if you’re talking about dexterity challenges in varying degrees of disability, that could totally be flipped on its head, where a smartphone just didn’t hit the mark, but the watch works perfectly for one reason or another.BRIAN NORTON: I was just going to say, I think a little bit of what Mark said was very accurate. I think the reason they haven’t totally gone gangbusters as far as what that technology is concerned is because it’s dependent on other devices. In order for it to work, you have to have a smartphone. You are dependent upon having something to do it at all times to really give it the information you are seeking and asking for. I think if they could become a device that is in and of itself the entire device, then it becomes much more something that people wanted.WADE WINGLER: Brian, I know you tried one for a week or two and you ended up putting it away, right? We were playing around with them here.BRIAN NORTON: Yeah. It was cute, interesting, but I found it for myself – and again, this is very specifically for me, pulling my phone out of my pocket was just as easy as turning my wrist over and looking at it. And once I have my phone in my hand, I’ve got access to all of my other apps, all of my other information, rather than the three or four things that I was using the watch for. It was an interesting piece of technology. I do think it has some real disability related benefits. I think for the average user, the reason it hasn’t gone gangbusters is just because it’s got to be tied to something else.MARK STEWART: I think for some reason we touched on this in another show. It’s really specific to the need. People are busy, have jobs. We heard the perspective I covered. Here’s a situation that’s not disability related, plays off what Brian was saying, where I had a subcontractor come out to my house and worked his tail off all day, sweating all day. Here’s this shiny Apple Watch on his wrist.WADE WINGLER: What’s up with that?MARK STEWART: Thank you, what’s up with that? He said, I’m always two-hands-on, and I get calls about new business all the time, and I can just look and see the phone number. So it just simply fit the bill for his need.BELVA SMITH: I agree with everything that’s been said, except you heard me go, “Hmm” when Brian said that he felt like it had a huge benefit –BRIAN NORTON: She does that often by the way.BELVA SMITH: That it had a huge benefit for folks with different disabilities. When it first came out, the Apple Watch is what I’m referring to — and I do think that sales for the Apple Watch have really dropped way off. It was not near the wonder that Apple had hoped it would be.WADE WINGLER: We actually don’t know because Apple won’t release those numbers. They are quite yet about it.BELVA SMITH: I think that’s why they’re being quiet yet about it. That’s my opinion though. It is very expensive and it does require that I have my phone. It’s like Brian was saying: it’s not just the one device that can do everything. I was seriously so excited and wanted it to be an amazing tool because I just thought it would be, oh, wow, how great for my folks that are visually impaired. Haven’t found that yet. I heard a lady standing at the Apple Store a couple of months ago talking to another person. I was just kind of eavesdropping. She was talking about how much she just loved her Apple Watch, and I was like why? So I’m listening closer to find out why. It was something similar to what you had just said, Mark, because she could just look at her arm and see. But she can’t call the person back from looking at her arm. She just got to remember. I don’t know that it’s really that different to getting to the phone later and seeing who called. However, another in your situation, Wade, it makes perfect sense. I noticed when we sat down today that you are wearing it. I wondered where you using some sort of an app.WADE WINGLER: That’s the thing for me. I, like Brian, I tried one when we got them here when they first came out, just to see what it was and wore it for a couple of days and put it away, because I thought it wasn’t necessary. My expense right now is, it’s a killer app sort of situation. You find the one app that makes the technology worth it, and that’s where I am. It’s this diabetes track. It reminds me and helps me track and I can at a glance see how my diabetes is doing at this moment. The thing is that is putting out into other things. Now I’m starting to use it more for text messaging, quick responses. My daughter said, hey, dad, can I do something or another? Without getting my phone out — I was in a meeting — I twisted my wrist, I saw the message, I click reply and hit okay because it gives you some preprogrammed quick responses, and I was done with that. I find myself occasionally receiving a phone call on it. My phone rings in my pocket, I’m driving, I look at my wrist, it’s my wife, and attach it and talk through the wrist and do the phone call that way. I’m starting to now run the CNN app. Every once in a while in the elevator or whatever, I’m looking at my wrist and add a couple of different CNN headlines that see what is going on. I found my killer app that I think makes it work for me. Now I find myself using it more often, which I think is kind of interesting. Would I have paid the $300 or whatever just for that one app? Probably not. I took advantage of our lending library here because I’m staff. I can try and Apple Watch. I realize that, yeah, this particular app is making it in a difference and I’m probably going to buy myself one. I’m probably going to wait till the new ones come out.BELVA SMITH: Can you use the app without the without the watch?WADE WINGLER: You can. It will do a lot of the same stuff. In this case, the app is a limited set of functions that you can do on the phone. You can do more on the phone then you can on the watch. I’m in a lot of meetings and I don’t need to pull my phone out because of time to see I got to eat a snack or I have to check my sugar or I need to —BELVA SMITH: Because it’s more obvious when you’re in the meeting and you pull your phone out.WADE WINGLER: I can say, we’re going to take a bathroom break in 10 minutes anyway. I just glanced at my watch and not pull up the phone and deal with that at that point.MARK STEWART: You know you are speaking to a combination of strategies and levels of independence and things like that. That’s interesting.BRIAN NORTON: All right. What a great show. Thanks, everybody here in the city with me. I appreciate you guys. Belva, you have anything to say to our listeners?BELVA SMITH: Keep listening and send us your questions and your comments. It was great to have Wade back and have a wildcard to talk about at the end.BRIAN NORTON: Perfect. Mark?MARK STEWART: It was a blast, everybody. I love the wildcard question. Seriously, Wade, welcome back.BRIAN NORTON: Excellent. Wade?WADE WINGLER: So good to be back. Thanks for doing the show in my absence and doing a great show. Listeners can’t do this for me. Go on iTunes and leave us some stars or leave us some reviews. If you guys leave comments in iTunes or the Google Play Store, what that does is allows us to sort up or filter up in the search results. If you go and leave us some feedback, you’ll actually help other people who were interested in assistive technology find the show. Help us out; give us some feedback.MARK STEWART: As Brian said earlier on, this is a community thing. Even behind the scenes, we really enjoy and find it in reaching when you send in questions and comments and all that kind of stuff.BRIAN NORTON: If you do have questions, any feedback of the questions we try to answer today, give us a call on our listener line at 317-721-7124. Send us a tweet with the hashtag ATFAQ. Or email us at [email protected] We certainly want your questions. We would love your feedback. Have a great week and we will see you back here in a couple of weeks.WADE WINGLER: Information provided on Assistive Technology Frequently Asked Questions does not constitute a product endorsement. Our comments are not intended as recommendations, nor is our show evaluative in nature. Assistive Technology FAQ is hosted by Brian Norton; gets editorial support from Mark Stewart and Belva Smith; is produced by me, Wade Wingler; and receives support from Easter Seals Crossroads and the INDATA project. ATFAQ is a proud member of the Accessibility Channel. Find more of our shows at

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