September 9th Apple Event

September 12th, 2014

In this Tech Doctor podcast, Allison and Robert discuss the September 9th Apple event where the new
Apple Pay
Apple Watch
were presented for the first time.

Just in case you can’t tell from listening, Robert and Allison are very excited about these new products.


Painting the Back of the Apple Accessibility Fence with Rene Ritchie

August 12th, 2014

In this podcast, Allison and Robert speak with Rene Ritchie; writer, podcaster and creative force behind the very successful
website. In June of 2014, Rene wrote an article entitled
Apple and Accessibility: Pushing back against unacceptable realities.

In the podcast, we learn how Rene became interested in accessibility. He explains how Apple’s focus on accessibility is resulting in better products for everyone and not just benefiting people who have a disability. Rene explains the importance of Apple’s commitment to accessibility coming from the top down. This is a major factor in Apple having become the world leader in designing and producing devices that are useable by everyone.

We discuss the future of accessibility and Rene emphasizes the idea that we can all do more for accessibility. To this end, Rene has created a
Disability Hub
at We encourage everyone to go there and participate. By helping each other, we can make Apple accessibility even better.

Thanks Rene for your commitment to accessibility and for providing a place where stimulating and important discussions can take place. If we bring our experience and expertise to the iMore disability discussions, we can improve Apple accessibility for everybody.


Mastering the Macintosh

August 5th, 2014

How many times have you heard the following statement? “The Mac is great for working with email, web browsing and basic word processing. If, however, you want to get real work done, you will have to use Microsoft Office and a Windows Screen Reader.”

In his new book, Mastering the Macintosh with VoiceOver, Tim Sniffen teaches VoiceOver users how to work with Apple’s Pages and Numbers software to accomplish the same advanced word processing and spreadsheet tasks that most people think can only be done using a windows screen reader.

As Allison and Robert discuss this book with Tim, it becomes apparent that Tim’s years of experience and his passion for teaching access technology has enabled him to write a book demonstrating that a skilled VoiceOver user can indeed reach the same level of productivity on the Mac that can be achieved by an accomplished user of windows screen reading technology.

In addition to building on what most Mac users already know as a result of having used an iOS device, Tim makes extensive use of such important Mac and VoiceOver features as the item chooser, custom keyboard shortcuts and custom trackpad gestures to accomplish such things as table creation and the building of sophisticated spreadsheets.

Robert and Allison believe that Tim’s book is the perfect follow-up to Janet Ingber’s National Braille Press book called
Learning the Mac with VoiceOver.
Mastering the Macintosh with VoiceOver is for anyone who wants to move beyond the basics and explore just how much can actually be done with VoiceOver on the Mac.

Tim’s book is available free of charge in the
iBook Store.
We recommend that you read the book on your iOS device while practicing what is being taught on your Mac.

Thanks Tim for a great podcast and congratulations on the fabulous job that you did on this book. Keep pushing the access technology envelope.


Learning the Mac and discussing Podcasting Apps

July 29th, 2014

In this Tech Doctor episode, Allison and Robert speak with Janet Ingber about her new book. The book is called “Learning the Mac with VoiceOver: A Step-byStep Guide.” The book is available in hardcopy Braille as well as several electronic formats from the
National Braille Press

Robert and Allison share the opinion that this is an excellent book for anyone who wants to learn to use the Mac with VoiceOver. The book certainly can be read cover to cover but is also, thanks to its step-by-step approach an excellent reference resource. The book begins with how to select a Mac and takes the reader through setting up the computer and teaches one how to get around the Mac as well as how to use several very popular built-in applications.

Robert and Allison next discuss the new podcasting app called
They recommend giving Overcast a try especially if you are in to speed listening. They also point out, however, that
is still an excellent app for podcast listening. It offers some advantages not currently available in Overcast. We have found substantial reasons to keep both apps on our devices.


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.

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