Teaching Excellence

July 21st, 2014

In this podcast, Allison and Robert have the pleasure of talking with VaShaun Jones the creator of a company called Fedora Outlier. This company is all about teaching you to get the most from your Apple devices.

VaShaun was one of the people who helped Apple make the iPhone accessible in 2009. He realized that accessible Apple technology had the potential to change the lives of blind people. For this to happen, however, people need a systematic and organized way to learn to use this innovative technology. Fedora Outlier is committed to teaching people everything that they need to know to become highly efficient Apple users.

Check out the
for full details on books and materials, one on one teaching, online courses and a lot more. Whether you are just getting started or an experienced Apple user, there will be something for you at Fedora Outlier.


Recovering From a Corrupted Backup

July 16th, 2014

In this podcast, Robert apologizes for failing to slow down the speech synthesizer during the LaunchBar demonstration.

Robert And Allison share their opinion that using the iOS auto-update feature is worth the risk of having an app become less accessible after an update.

Finally, Robert describes how he recovered from a situation where his iOS backups became corrupted and he needed to manually setup his devices as if they were new.

We love receiving your comments and questions. Keep that


Introducing LaunchBar

June 12th, 2014

Allison begins this Tech Doctor episode by responding to some questions that we received via email. Feel free to
Email Us
your comments and questions as well.

Robert then describes two excellent books that have just been published. The first book, written by Shelly Brisbin, is called iOS Access For All. Shelly has done an excellent job covering all that apple has to offer with regard to iOS accessibility. Go
to learn more and purchase this expertly done book.

The second book is a very good beginners guide for anyone wanting to “Learn to Use the Mac with VoiceOver.” Janet Ingber provides step by step instructions for learning to work with the most popular built-in Mac applications. This book is available in several formats from the National Braille Press.
Click here
for more information.

Robert next introduces and demonstrates some of the features of the popular Mac app called LaunchBar. He recommends that anyone who is serious about learning LaunchBar get a copy of
Take Control of LaunchBar
which is one of the excellent take control books from TidBITS Publishing Inc.

To learn more, start a free trial or to purchase LaunchBar, visit the
LaunchBar website.

We thank you for listening and hope you enjoy the podcast.


WWDC 2014 Keynote

June 3rd, 2014

In this very special podcast, Allison and Robert summarize and react to the things that Apple announced during its 2014 World Wide Developers Conference keynote presentation.

This was an extremely exciting keynote filled with surprises. We can’t wait to start enjoying the new software.


Macro Maestro

May 19th, 2014

Robert and Allison have the pleasure of spending this Tech Doctor episode with Keith Watson. Keith is a creative and talented Apple power user who has taught himself to write sophisticated macros using Apple’s built-in scripting language called Apple Script. Recently, Keith began integrating his apple script macros into an extremely feature-rich Mac utility called
Keyboard Maestro.
With the touch of a key, Keith’s macros can do such things as speak the current weather, announce free disk space and check the state of an otherwise inaccessible application called Caffeine.

Keith is making these macros available to anyone who has Keyboard Maestro installed. You can get more information and download the macros at
Keith’s Website.

In addition to thanking Keith for his work, Robert and Allison want to express our appreciation to Peter, the developer of Keyboard Maestro, who has worked hard to improve support for VoiceOver. In this
Blog Post
Peter even offers some sample code to show developers how he has improved VoiceOver access in Keyboard Maestro.

This is an excellent example of how the Apple Community works together to improve accessibility.


New Dog, New Podcasting Equipment and New Bone Conduction Headphones

May 7th, 2014

Allison begins this episode by telling us about the first few days of being back home with her new guide dog.

Robert next describes his new podcasting equipment. He explains his reasoning for getting a
Mackie ProFX8 mixer.
Robert then discusses his decision to switch from a condenser to a dynamic
Heil PR 40
broadcast microphone. (If you listen carefully, you will hear the old condenser microphone make a brief appearance during the podcast.) Robert discovered that he needed more volume on his recordings so he added a
preamp between the Mackie mixer and the Heil microphone.

Robert would like to sincerely thank Adam, Neal, Deb, Patrick and Davis for their excellent consultation and advice regarding the new equipment.

Robert then describes the problem that blind podcasters have when attempting to record both VoiceOver and a microphone during a Skype call. He describes a brilliant workaround from Keith Watson where one uses Sound Flower and the Mac’s audio midi setup utility to create some profiles that can be hijacked by Audio Hijack Pro allowing VoiceOver and the microphone to be recorded simultaneously. This approach is particularly nice because everyone on the Skype call can hear VoiceOver.

Robert then discusses an extremely powerful keyboard macro application for the Mac called
Keyboard Maestro.
Robert then refers the Tech Doctor listeners to an
podcast by Keith Watson and Scott Howell where Keyboard Maestro is described and demonstrated. Robert then shows and explains some of the excellent macros that Keith Watson has created.

Robert and Allison complete the podcast with a discussion of the new
AfterShokz Bluez 2
bone conduction headphones.

We want your feedback. Send comments and questions to


Global Perspective

April 19th, 2014

In this podcast, Allison and Robert have the pleasure of speaking with Jean Parker.

While in elementary school at the Perkins school for the blind, Jean was introduced to a number of international students and faculty. She realized that she wanted to travel the world and visit the places that she was learning about. As a radio journalist, educator, activist, researcher and Ph.D. candidate, Jean has lived and worked all over the world.

In this podcast, Jean shares some fascinating experiences and tells us about her doctoral research which is designed to help people in India prepare for and recover from the many natural disasters such as floods, earthquakes and tsunamis which unfortunately occur far to frequently in Asia.

Jean creatively uses technology to accomplish her goals. She prefers devices that can do multiple things. The iPhone and Book Port Plus are examples of such technology. The eleven inch MacBook Air has turned out to be the only computer that Jean caries with her. She tell us about how she is creatively using a combination of community radio and mobile phone technology in her transformative doctoral research.

We are confident that you will learn as much from listening to our conversation with Jean as we did. After all, learning something new is what the Tech Doctor podcast is all about.

We invite you to
us at the Tech Doctor podcast with any comments and suggestions.


Comparing iOS Devices and Notetakers

April 6th, 2014

Allison begins this episode by introducing her very special new friend to the Tech Doctor podcast.

We spend the remainder of the show reviewing an excellent
Applevis blog post
Comparing iOS devices with specialized notetakers built by companies who create products specifically for people who are blind.

We are excited about this most interesting and worthwhile topic and appreciate the perspective that is presented in this blog post.


CSUN 2014

March 23rd, 2014

In this Tech Doctor podcast, Allison and Robert begin with a discussion of their experience at the
“29th Annual International Technology and Persons with Disabilities Conference”

Allison and Robert do not discuss new products but encourage everyone to listen to the vendor interviews done by
Blind Bargains.

While in San Diego, Robert and Allison had the pleasure of spending time with three of their favorite Apple Podcasters. Shelly Brisbin from
Shelly’s Podcast
Adam Christianson from
The Mac Cast
and Allison and Steve Sheridan from
They then play a portion of their CSUN presentation entitled: “Creating Podcasts That People Want to Hear.” Following is a description and a link for each piece of software that is used in the creation and publication of the Tech Doctor podcast.

To record the Tech Doctor podcast over Skype, we use
Audio Hijack Pro

To edit the recording, we use
Sound Studio

To make sure that each podcast participant is speaking at the same volume, we use

To convert the podcast audio file from AIFF to MP3, we use

To upload the podcast audio file to the Tech Doctor website, we use an FTP client called

To edit and upload the Tech Doctor show notes, we use


Music By Ear

March 11th, 2014

When thinking of all that is most pleasurable in life, the Tech Doctors believe that the making of music is very near the top of the list.

Everyone is familiar with a handful of famous blind musicians, but how do the rest of us learn to play an instrument?

In this podcast, we talk with Bill Brown who teaches people to play music by ear. Bill’s online music lessons work equally well for both sighted and blind students.

is screen reader friendly and all of the lessons are available as a download. The prices are very reasonable and the quality of the instruction is excellent.

While Bill did not develop his “Music By Ear” lessons originally for people who are blind, he has added introductory courses where he teaches blind people what they need to know to get started with a particular instrument.

The number of different instruments and the variety of songs that Bill teaches is nothing short of amazing. There is something there for everybody.

Finally, if you live in the United States, Canada or the United Kingdom, and you are eligible for services from your country’s library for the blind, Bill’s lessons are available through your national library service.

Listen to this podcast and take Bill Brown up on the special offer that he made to Tech Doctor listeners. There is nothing more satisfying than learning to play a musical instrument.