Making Exercise Accessible

August 2nd, 2016

In this Tech Doctor podcast, Robert and Allison speak with Mel Scott founder of BlindAlive and Eyes-Free Fitness.

Mel explains how she became frustrated with inaccessible exercise videos where the instructor did not provide a verbal explanation of how to perform the exercises. Mel decided to solve the problem by creating her own fully accessible exercise routines. Mel’s verbal instruction is clear and easy to follow. The exercise program is excellent and of course fully accessible.

The
BlindAlive Website
is uncluttered and easy to navigate. It is, however, filled with useful fitness information. There is a blog and podcast as well as a page for purchasing downloadable MP3 recordings of the exercises. Some of the recordings are also available on CD from Amazon. If you have questions or are uncomfortable ordering online, you can call 570-212-9979 and leave a voicemail message and someone from BlindAlive will return your call.

In addition to learning about exercise, Mel told the Tech Doctors about a remarkable backpack called the BackTpack. It is available from BlindAlive as well. There is lots of good information in this podcast.

Thanks Mel.

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Living the Life You Deserve

June 27th, 2016

In this Tech Doctor Podcast, Robert and Allison begin a two part series exploring the ever-increasing role that technology is playing in helping us with our physical and mental health. In this episode, the podcast focuses on anxiety.

Robert and Allison had the pleasure of speaking with Sandra Reich and Georgia Dow. Sandra is a psychotherapist and the
Clinical Director of The Montreal Center for Anxiety & Depression.
Georgia is also a therapist at the Montreal Center for Anxiety & Depression. She specializes in the treatment of anxiety.

Sandra and Georgia have created an online video series helping people to understand what anxiety is, how it works and how to reduce and eventually control it. Robert and Allison suspect that these videos would likely be particularly helpful to blind people who are struggling with anxiety. Georgia and Sandra present the information and treatment in an easy to understand style with lots of natural warmth and compassion. Don’t just take Allison and Robert’s word for it, listen to the podcast and here Sandra and Georgia for yourself. You can learn more about how to purchase and download the videos by visiting the
Anxiety-Videos website.

In addition to their clinical work, both Georgia and Sandra are prolific podcasters. Sandra does a radio show and podcast called
Straight Talk with Sandra Reich.
Georgia is a co-host on several Apple centered podcast on the
iMore network
and she is frequently a guest on other podcasts around the internet.

Allison and Robert appreciate Georgia and Sandra sharing this important information with all of us.

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WWDC 2016

June 15th, 2016

In this podcast, Allison takes us through the information that was presented at the 27th annual Apple World Wide Developer’s conference. Robert and Allison offer their perspective as VoiceOver users.

In this keynote presentation, Apple highlighted the major changes that are coming to its four platforms. These include watchOS, tvOs, macOS and iOS.

While we acknowledge that this is a long podcast, we want you to have detailed information about the foundation that Apple is laying for its products for the next year. The things that you hear about in this podcast will be available in the fall. There are exciting times ahead. Enjoy the podcast.

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Ability Stories: Telling Your Truth About Living with One or More Disabilities

May 30th, 2016

In this Tech Doctor Podcast, Robert and Allison speak with Tara Briggs. Tara is the creator and host of a new podcast called “Ability Stories.”

On her podcast, Tara interviews people who are fully and whole heartedly living their lives. It just so happens that they may have one or more physical disabilities.

Tara’s natural curiosity along with her warm and easy conversational style, offers her guests the safety and freedom to explore the truth about their lives. There is no sensationalism, just authentic human conversation.

The podcast is available in iTunes and in all of the podcast listening apps. Just search for Ability Stories or Click
Here
to go to the Ability Stories web page. Tara welcomes your
Email
comments as well.

Robert and Allison love the approach that Tara takes to exploring life with disabilities. We wish her all the best with this new podcast and encourage you to give Ability Stories a serious listen.

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Vorail: Its All in the Voice

May 9th, 2016

In this Tech Doctor podcast, Robert and Allison speak with a developer and a user of the new social media app called Vorail.

Rather than rely on text or photos, Vorail uses the human voice to communicate with other people. So far, this app has really resonated with people who are blind and visually impaired. Hopefully, lots of sighted people will start catching on to the benefits of Vorail as well. After only being publicly available for about two months, the app is already handling over 40,000 messages a day.

The developers have chosen the human voice over text or pictures because they believe that voices allow people to connect on a deeper human level where one is judged on what they say versus what they look like.

Because it is difficult to describe this community by talking about it, the last third of the podcast is made up of members of the Vorail community speaking for themselves about what Vorail means to them.

Robert and Allison believe that this community has a lot to offer. They appreciate the work that Tom and Mandi are doing and thank them for talking with us on the podcast. They also thank the members of the Vorail community who contributed to this episode as well.

Vorail
is available for free on the iOS app store. You just might want to give it a try.

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iPhone and iOS 9

May 2nd, 2016

In this Tech Doctor episode, Allison and Robert speak with Anna Dresner about her recently released book “Getting Started with the iPhone and iOS 9.”

For several years, Anna has worked with National Braille Press to publish the only hardcopy braille step-by-step guide to using the iPhone for blind users. This latest update, covers all of the basics plus everything that is new in iOS 9. In addition to the book being great for beginners, the book will appeal to people who simply need to be reminded how a particular feature works. Geeks who want to know everything about the new features in iOS 9 will find this book helpful as well.

In addition to hardcopy braille, the book is available in DAISY, Word and Epub formats.

To locate the book, a reference card and other materials, go to
The National Braille Press
website and type “iPhone” in the search box.

Thanks Anna. The Tech Doctors appreciate all of the care and detail that you always put into this book. It is an excellent resource.

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Happy Birthday Apple

April 9th, 2016

This is a very special episode of the Tech Doctor podcast. Robert and Allison celebrate Apple’s 40th birthday with a panel of Apple accessibility rock stars.

We were fortunate to have author and Mac journalist, Shelly Brisbin join us. Shelly started using the Mac in 1986. She brought us a very unique perspective as a technical writer, publisher and low-vision Mac user.

In recent times, Shelly has thoroughly explored and written about iOS accessibility. Her current book entitled: iOS Access for All is a comprehensive guide to all of the iOS accessibility features. To purchase and/or learn more about the book, go to the book’s
Web Page

Shelly has a new podcast called
The Parallel
which she refers to as a “Tech podcast with accessibility sprinkles.”

Finally, you can keep in touch with Shelly by following her on Twitter. Shelly’s twitter name is @Shelly.

With around 400 instructional podcasts under his belt, David Woodbridge is arguably the most prolific Apple accessibility podcaster. We all learn from the excellent podcasts that David produces. Go
Here
to find all of David’s podcasts.

David has a free book available in iTunes where he helps blind people get started with Apple products. To find the book, search for “iSee” in the iTunes store.

David does a weekly radio show on Vision Australia Radio about accessibility. The show is also available as a podcast. To access the show notes, go to
This Website

You can follow David on Twitter. David’s Twitter name is @dwoodbridge.

Larry Skutchan harnessed the power of the Apple II in 1983 when he wrote one of the first fully accessible talking word processors. We introduce this podcast by playing a sample of the Echo II speech synthesizer which Larry’s word processor used to speak the text that was on the Apple’s screen. Larry went on to write a very popular terminal program for the Apple II. ProTerm enabled us to access such popular online services as GEnie, CompuServe and hundreds of BBS systems. Larry went on to write a very popular screen reader for DOS called ASAP.

At present, Larry is the Director of Technology Product Research at the
American Printing House for the Blind
He and his team, along with several other companies, are developing the first inexpensive refreshable Braille reading and note taking device. Go to the
Transforming Braille Website
to find out more information.

Larry told us that his team at APH will soon be seeking beta testers for a new GPS app called Nearby Explorer for iOS which will be released later this year. To sign up to be considered as a possible beta tester, go
Here

APH will be releasing an iOS version of their famous Talking Typer software later this year as well. At present, APH has two apps available in the iOS app store. They are Virtual Brailler” and “Math Robot.”

Allison and Robert were honored to celebrate Apple’s birthday with this outstanding panel. We want to thank them for all that they do for Apple Accessibility. We loved hearing your stories and we learned from your unique perspectives. Thanks for spending time with us. If you are at all interested in the history of Apple Accessibility, give this podcast a listen.

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Apple March 2016 Event

March 24th, 2016

In this Tech Doctor episode, Allison and Robert summarize the March 2016 Apple Event that was held on Monday, March21st. This will likely be the last event to be held on the current Apple campus. This is also happening very close to Apple’s 40th birthday.

Allison and Robert hope you enjoy hearing how Apple continues to move forward not only with the development of new products but in the area of health care research and environmental initiatives. It is refreshing to see this hugely successful company show its human side.

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Examining Sonos

February 29th, 2016

In this podcast, the Tech Doctors examine the speakers and other offerings from the Sonos company. Robert and Allison speak with a Tech Doctor listener and Sonos fan named David Lepofsky.

Before diving into Sonos, however, David talks with us about the disability advocacy work that he does in Canada. To learn more about the Ontario disability advocacy campaign go
here.
David has a
Lecture Series
on the fight to strengthen accessibility legislation in Canada. If you would like to receive email updates on the progress of the accessibility campaign, send a request
To

David and Allison are both users of the Sonos products. Allison uses Sonos speakers and David connects to Sonos using his existing stereo equipment. A good discussion of the accessibility of the Sonos app follows their explanation of their individual Sonos setup.

For more information about Sonos, go to their
Website
or call them toll free at
1.800.680.2345.
You can contact David on twitter @davidlepofsky
The Tech Doctors can be reached via
Email
do not hesitate to write if you have any comments or suggestions for Allison and Robert.

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Apple Accessories Error 53 and New Mac Software

February 15th, 2016

In this Tech Doctor Podcast, Robert begins by describing some new Apple accessories. He discusses the
iPhone Lightning Dock,
Apple Watch Dock,
Milanese Loop
and
Beats Pill Speakers.

Allison discusses the
Sonos Speakers.

Robert describes the new Trekz Titanium headphones from
Aftershokz

Robert and Allison discuss the controversy surrounding “Error 53.”

Finally, Robert and Allison talk about some new Mac software.
Loopback from Rogue Amoeba
and a piece of software, available in the Mac App Store, called
Podcast Chapters.

Robert used the Podcast Chapters software to divide this podcast into chapters. If your podcasting client supports this type of markup, try jumping around to different sections of the podcast and let us know what you think.

To learn more about using Podcast Chapters, check out these two excellent Applevis podcasts.
Podcast Chapters for OS X: Separate Podcasts into Chapters for Easier Listening and Navigation
and
Quick Tip: How to Navigate Podcasts by Chapter Using Downcast and Overcast for iOS
To understand just how easy it is to use Loopback with VoiceOver, Robert and Allison recommend this excellent
iBlind Tech Demo Podcast.

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