ATFAQ059 – Q1 JAWS won’t read my icons Q2 Where to find a SmartVision 2 phone Q3 Accessible music technology Q4 Contacting JAN Q5 Sip/Puff mouth joystick Q6 Accessible textbooks for kids with dyslexia Q7 What do you use instead of MS Office

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Panel – Brian Norton, Belva Smith, Josh Anderson, Wade Wingler | Q1 JAWS won’t read my icons Q2 Where to find a SmartVision 2 phone Q3 Accessible music technology Q4 Contacting JAN Q5 Sip/Puff mouth joystick Q6 Accessible textbooks for kids with dyslexia Q7 What do you use instead of MS Office

——-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 tech@eastersealscrossroads.org. 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 episode 59. My name is Brian Norton and I’m the host of ATFAQ. Today I’m happy to be in the studio with a few of my friends in college we get a chance to jump into some of the assistive technology questions you have sent in over the past few weeks. Before we do that, I want to make some brief introduction to the folks that are here sitting around the mic with me today. Belva?

BELVA SMITH:  Hey everybody.

WADE WINGLER:  Belva is the team lead for our vision team here at Easter Seals crossroads. I also have in the room with me Josh Anderson.

JOSH ANDERSON:  Welcome back everybody.

BRIAN NORTON:  Josh is the manager of our clinical assistance technology program. I also have Wade Wingler.

WADE WINGLER:  [Sing-song] Hello.

BRIAN NORTON:  Excellent.
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 tech@eastersealscrossroads.org. 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 episode 59. My name is Brian Norton and I’m the host of ATFAQ. Today I’m happy to be in the studio with a few of my friends in college we get a chance to jump into some of the assistive technology questions you have sent in over the past few weeks. Before we do that, I want to make some brief introduction to the folks that are here sitting around the mic with me today. Belva?
BELVA SMITH: Hey everybody.
WADE WINGLER: Belva is the team lead for our vision team here at Easter Seals crossroads. I also have in the room with me Josh Anderson.
JOSH ANDERSON: Welcome back everybody.
BRIAN NORTON: Josh is the manager of our clinical assistance technology program. I also have Wade Wingler.
WADE WINGLER: [Sing-song] Hello.
BRIAN NORTON: Excellent.
WADE WINGLER: Nobody jumped on my [Singing] hello, hello.
BELVA SMITH: I did in my head, but trust me you don’t want to hear my stinking voice.
JOSH ANDERSON: We would lose all of our listenership.
WADE WINGLER: You can’t lose all three people.
BRIAN NORTON: Wade is the VP here at Easter Seals crossroads, also the host of assistive technology update, one of our premier shows that we put on, and has been around for a long time.
JOSH ANDERSON: You just called you old.
WADE WINGLER: A long time.
BRIAN NORTON: Very long time.
WADE WINGLER: Old and Premier.
BRIAN NORTON: As we jump in today, I wanted to let new folks know a little bit more about the show, how it works. Throughout the weeks, we receive feedback and come across various assistive technology related questions in a variety of ways. We have a listener line set up that folks can give us a call on. That’s 317-721-7124. If you call and leave us a voicemail, we will play your voicemail on the radio, on the show, if you want. We also have an email address at tech at Easter Seals crossroads.org. We also have a hashtag set up as well so if you like to use twitter you can send a hashtag ATFAQ. We monitor that and look for questions that way as well.
[cellphone rings] WADE WINGLER: There’s that listener line right now.
BRIAN NORTON: The phones are blowing up over here!
WADE WINGLER: We have a life one. Brian has a playlist of those calls. He listens to them in his office. You walk by and he has them on a loop, playing over and over again.
BRIAN NORTON: We are fascinated about how widespread the show is. We get calls from all over the place. I love listening and hearing the different accents of folks that call in. It’s great we have folks that are tuning in in that way. We do encourage you to participate in the show as well. We will cover questions and give our best answers to those questions, but if there are – if you have feedback, want to throw in your two cents as well, we would love to hear from you and learn from you as well.
I also want to throw out there, if you’re wanting to share the show with your friends, you can find us in a variety of different places as well. You can find us at iTunes, ATFAQshow.com, on stitcher, Google play store, and a variety of other places. Without further ado, we’ll jump into our first bit of feedback. Belva, you brought this one up.
BELVA SMITH: We had a caller several weeks back. I hope by chance she might be listening today or will review today’s podcast because she was asking about being able to make phone calls from her Amazon device. We explained that you could do from Echo to Echo and that’s it. Right now I have found out that Google has released the information that, coming soon — what “soon” is I’m not sure, because this information was actually released in May and there is still no exact release date – they are saying that the Google Home will be able to make free calls in the United States and Canada by simply saying, “Dial the number,” or if you have your Google contacts attached to the account, then you will be able to say, “Call Brian,” and it’ll call Brian.
If they follow through – they say the reason they are not leaking any information is because they don’t want to get any false information. Getting it to work, I guess, is quite the challenge. Until it’s actually working, they are trying to keep us on the edge of our seats. But for that particular individual, the Google Home might be a better option than Amazon devices. Brian that I think that’s a great feature for those in home assistance, personal assistant type devices. What a great way for folks who have traditionally hard times using a standard headset like on a traditional phone or even digging around in their pocket or purse trying to find her cell phone to make calls. To be able to say, “Hey Google.” Is it “Hey Google”?
BELVA SMITH: You can say “Okay Google” or “Hey Google.” We have one here in the and data library, and I set it up in my home. I’ve got dueling now. I have my Amazon on one side of the room and the Google on the other side.
WADE WINGLER: They keep each other company?
JOSH ANDERSON: They talk to each other.
BELVA SMITH: Know, but they do conflict a lot. Like the temperature, they never have the exact same temperature. They never have the exact same forecast which I think is very interesting. I’m becoming a huge fan of the Google home because, as we’ve all grown to know and love Google for its wealth of information, the Google Home has got that. I’m also a huge fan of the new show called Live PD. This weekend when I was walking, they mentioned a couple of criminal terms that I wasn’t sure what they were. I went and asked to both devices, and of course my Amazon device didn’t have an answer for me, but Google Home gave me the definition from Wikipedia no problem.
WADE WINGLER: I’ve heard that. For general information, the Google system does a pretty good job.
BELVA SMITH: If you have a student at home or are just curious about things, I think Google Home is awesome.
BRIAN NORTON: I wouldn’t get too concerned in Indiana if you have Google Home and Alexa give you different temperatures and weather forecasts, because every last news station does as well. I’m not sure they know what’s going on here in Indiana.
BELVA SMITH: Exactly. In your lifetime, have you ever had it snowing in one part of your yard and not the others?
JOSH ANDERSON: Yep.
BRIAN NORTON: Oh yeah.
BELVA SMITH: I’ve seen it snow in the front and not in the back.
BRIAN NORTON: You have to give it some grace. That’s funny. Excellent, great news about Google home.
BELVA SMITH: We won’t be the first, but we will definitely come back with the information. Every day I’m asking, hey Google, can you make a call. As soon as I get the information, yes, we will report it.
BRIAN NORTON: Perfect.
***
BRIAN NORTON: We’ll jump into the next part of our feedback today. This was from Brian from Columbus Ohio. Ironically my name is Brian and I’m from Columbus as well, but this was not me. I swear. I think in a previous episode a wild back, we may have talked about a Victor reader Stream device, a new one had come out. I think it’s been around for a while already. They do have a new Victor reader Stream that out. It allows for wireless downloads, much smaller than the older device. This new one has been around –
BELVA SMITH: It’s been around for more than a year.
BRIAN NORTON: Okay. For those folks that are interested in the Victor reader Stream, it’s a book reader for folks were blind or visually impaired. It’s got some interesting features that are useful.
BELVA SMITH: The great thing about that one is for anyone that’s using the older one, if you were downloading your books on the older one, you had to have computer access to get those downloaded and then transfer them to the device. With the introduction of this particular model, you are able to then connect it directly to the Wi-Fi and directly download to the device. It alleviated the necessity of having the computer and doing the transfer.
BRIAN NORTON: I heard that transfer was problematic most of the time.
BELVA SMITH: It could be challenging.
***
BRIAN NORTON: We’re going to go to our first question of the day. I am so very excited because over the past several episodes, I’ve been giving the big shout out to folks to send us a tweet.
JOSH ANDERSON: By several, he means 20.
BRIAN NORTON: Send us a tweet, because we get a lot of our calls on our listener line, 317-721-7124.
WADE WINGLER: Nice job sliding that in there.
BRIAN NORTON: We also have a lot to come through email at tech at Easter Seals crossroads.org.
WADE WINGLER: Keep going.
BRIAN NORTON: But we don’t get very many tweets.
WADE WINGLER: On our hashtag which is –
BRIAN NORTON: Which is ATFAQ. We don’t get a lot of those. One of the things I’ve been promoting, and maybe our users don’t use Twitter much, I’ve been asking folks to send us tweets. We got one!
WADE WINGLER: I think twitter is full these days. You are punching your passport with this one because we love international interactions. You got a double one.
BRIAN NORTON: I’m super excited about this one. This question is, “I’m having issues with my Windows 10 laptop. JAWS just stops reading icons on my desktop. Please help.” This was from Jalome from Nigeria. I’m super excited to get that. I wanted to toss that around the group and see what types of help we might be able to give. I think, Belva, you can answer some of this stuff.
BELVA SMITH: Yeah.
WADE WINGLER: Is this a known issue? Does this happen sometimes?
BELVA SMITH: It happened to him. I don’t know. I’ve not had anyone ask about it. The first thing – and I know this seems very obvious – anytime JAWS isn’t operating the way you feel it should be, sometimes a reboot will fix it. Obviously that’s where I would start, is rebooting the computer. Also make sure that your jaws is up-to-date because if you are not using a newer version of JAWS and you are using Windows 10, that could be problematic.
BRIAN NORTON: For the reboot, just shut down or restart?
BELVA SMITH: A restart is sufficient most of time. Also with the introduction of Windows 10, you have the option to have several virtual desktops. You may or may not have a virtual desktop that has no icons so therefore there would be nothing for JAWS to read. That could be one of the issues. You can check that by pressing your windows key and the right-control with left arrow — and tap your feet three times —
WADE WINGLER: Hold your mouse just right.
BRIAN NORTON: That’s so true.
BELVA SMITH: If none of that works, my next suggestion is to contact Freedom Scientific tech support. They’ve always been very helpful. If this is an issue that they are working on, they will tell you that. If it’s an unknown issue, then that gives them the information to begin working on that. Never hesitate to call them. It’s not a toll-free number, but it is 727-803-8000.
BRIAN NORTON: I’ve always found them to be helpful when I do call tech support. They take their time, are very thorough, and a lot of times can figure it out.
I had no idea Windows 10 did virtual desktops. I live in the Mac world more than I do in the Windows world. I think my Windows PC is still Windows 7. I didn’t realize it did virtual desktops.
BELVA SMITH: I think they did it for the employee-employer so it could look like I’m really working if you walk by, but when you walk away I’ve got my desktop that has my goodies on it. I don’t know what their plan was in doing that, but you can have more than one.
BRIAN NORTON: Mac does that. You can have multiple desktops. I think the reason I’ve seen it used in the Mac world is my stuff for work is on one desktop, but when I go to a presentation, I don’t want people to see what’s on my desktop so I just throw it over to the second desktop and they see nothing but the things I want them to see.
BELVA SMITH: That’s a good reason to have that. A couple of times when I’ve done presentations, I just make a folder and drag everything in it because I don’t want people to see my desktop. I guess that’s a good reason.
WADE WINGLER: I didn’t think of that and I do a lot of presentations. That’s a really good idea.
BRIAN NORTON: Always have a blank desktop you can do demonstrations on. Speaking to what you spoke of, Belva, I used to have five or six folders that said “desktop” or “desktop icons” and I would go and search for my stuff and could never find it because now I have six desktops. I could never find the things I was looking for.
Hopefully that answers your question. If other folks have run into the issue, let us know. If you come up with a solution, let us not as well. We would love to throw that out there. I think that’s a starting point for troubleshooting that type of an issue. I’m interested in the virtual desktop. I’ll have to check that out on Windows 10.
***
BRIAN NORTON: Our next question is from Brian from Columbus. He had some feedback earlier on and this is a question that came along with that feedback. He goes, “Do you know where to find the Smart Vision 2 smartphone for the blind or visually impaired?” I’m a big Buckeye fan, so Brian, if you are a Buckeye fan, I’ll shout you out in “O-H” and wait for your “I-H” to come back over the listener line.
JOSH ANDERSON: You’ll be sitting here waiting.
BRIAN NORTON: I live amongst Hoosiers. I bear with it most of the year. Smart Vision 2 for the blind or vision impaired. Have you heard of this device?
BELVA SMITH: I was going to thank Brian for bringing that to our attention because I had not heard of it, but I did do some research after his question. I found that it’s one of the phones that you can get from Sears and can order it from Amazon. What it looks to me to be like – and I would love to see one for real – it looks like someone has made a layer to lay over the Android home screen. Basically you have the option to sign up for the phone, down for mail, left for text messages, write for photos or something. Basically your home screen has for five different swipes to get you quick access to the main things that you would do on the phone.
BRIAN NORTON: I didn’t think of it that way. I remember the Guide software. Guide is an overlay system for your computer. You are right. It’s a simple user interface to help you quickly get things that are most important to you. It doesn’t get you stuck in the weeds with all the apps and other stuff.
BELVA SMITH: It looked pretty cool. It’s very reasonably priced.
JOSH ANDERSON: I couldn’t find it.
BRIAN NORTON: It’s made by a company called Smart Systems by Kapsys. It looks like a possible Australian company. It comes as a scanner system so you can OCR information. You have male or female voices which are run off of Nuance text to speech. It has a physical keyboard so you will have numbers that you can punch in and said of having to use the touchscreen to be able to interface with. It’s a neat looking phone.
JOSH ANDERSON: A lets you dictate into it.
BELVA SMITH: I found it on Amazon.
BRIAN NORTON: How much is it?
JOSH ANDERSON: The cheapest I found it was $1200.
BELVA SMITH: It’s $66 on Amazon.
WADE WINGLER: That’s a big difference.
JOSH ANDERSON: Where I am looking is not an American dollars either.
BRIAN NORTON: It’s in AUD. Does anyone know? Is that Australian dollars?
WADE WINGLER: Yeah, Australian dollars.
JOSH ANDERSON: I don’t know if the exchange rate is that much of a difference. If you do know the exchange rate, you can Tweet Brian. He would love that.
BRIAN NORTON: I’m looking through some of these features. It has a large, clear display for people who are low vision. You can do voice command and voice recognition on it. It has optical character recognition, a touchscreen and keypad. It has a lot of things.
BELVA SMITH: That’s what I said I would like to see it because I’m wondering how customizable that screen is going to be. Will I be able to put on that home screen the things I want to be there? Yeah, it looks to be pretty cool.
BRIAN NORTON: It’s Smart Vision 2, and you can put in the search field of Amazon and be able to find that.
BELVA SMITH: Consumer Cellular which is the phone provider through Sears, that’s where I found it originally. Also their how-to videos and manuals are available online which is cool.
BRIAN NORTON: Excellent. Hopefully that shows you where you can find that. Check out Amazon. What was the cellular?
BELVA SMITH: Consumer Cellular.
BRIAN NORTON: Consumer Cellular through Sears. That’s a tongue twister.
BELVA SMITH: They are the ones that advertise heavily for the older individual who’s not wanting the full features of a smartphone but yet they want a phone that they can use for email and stuff as they are traveling.
BRIAN NORTON: Do you guys remember the phone set to debug?
WADE WINGLER: They are still out there.
BELVA SMITH: They are and Consumer Cellular still carries those as well.
BRIAN NORTON: Hopefully that answers your question. If you have any other answers or know more about the smart vision 2, maybe you’ve had a spirit with it, let us know. Give us a call at 317-721-7124 or send us a tweet with hashtag ATFAQ. We would love to hear from you. We would love to find more information on it, get our hands on it and learn more. Great question and hopefully that steers you in the right direction to find that.
***
BRIAN NORTON: Our next question came over voicemail. It’s from Dan in California.
SPEAKER: This question is for the show ATFAQ. My name is Dan from Garden Grove, California. Many weeks ago, I called in to ask a question about accessibility for music making. I may singer/songwriter/instrumentalist. I’m very interested in accessibility technology for making music. If I have the answer of the next episode or so. I have been following your episodes mostly after my call many weeks ago, but I haven’t heard the answer or any feedback from the call. I appreciate if you can get back with the answer to the question. Thank you very much. I enjoy your show very much. It’s very helpful.
BELVA SMITH: That’s how we keep you listening.
BRIAN NORTON: We get lots of questions and they end up in this big receptacle called my Evernote account. I try to weed through those. That must’ve gotten buried under some questions. I apologize we can get to that quicker. We did do some digging in to composing music, making music, those kinds of things for singers, songwriters. I have some answers for you. Except for maybe Wade, I know personally I don’t make music. You wouldn’t want me to sing a song. I don’t have a lot of experience in this. I know maybe hopefully some of our listeners do. We did come across a few things that we can go out to you.
One thing I didn’t hear in the question was specifically what the need is. I’m assuming blind or visually impaired but I could be wrong. I have a couple of things that are lined up for folks who are doing that who are blind or visually impaired, and hopefully that will answer the question. We will give it a shot. Belva, you want to throw out a couple of things you had?
BELVA SMITH: I’m like you. I didn’t catch exactly what the need was. I assume it’s a visual impairment. You and I shared a consumer many years ago that was majoring in music. You had recommended a program called Dancing Dots for her.
BRIAN NORTON: I remember that.
BELVA SMITH: That was the first time I had any experience with it. That was many years ago so I wasn’t sure if they were still around and what they were doing. DancingDots.com is still out there and they are still producing software. They have cakewalk, and I happen to know there are or used to be for some of the older versions of JAWS specific scripts written to get those to work together. I would suggest checking out that website. I also discovered a program called Lime Aloud. It’s on that same website. It did say that it is compatible with JAWS and Windows 10. That is to help write and produce music for folks that are visually impaired. My best advice is to check out that Dancing Dots website. I noticed they had some podcast on producing music as a visually impaired individual. Hopefully there is some information that will be helpful if vision is the specific need we are trying to address.
WADE WINGLER: I would chime in that Dancing Dots is a great resource. We had Bill McCann on Assistive Technology Update way back in episode number 79. They are a fairly small company made up of people who are blind or visually impaired and are musicians themselves. If dancing dots is not the right answer, I’ll guess they can also help you because they know this part of the industry really well.
BRIAN NORTON: Another program I’ll throw out there, I don’t know if you’ve heard of Sibelius. It supposedly works with and NVDA which is a popular screen reader, JAWS; it can run on a variety of different devices, Microsoft Surface Pro 3 and also iPad and I’m sure full-fledged computers as well. It does a lot for you. They touted as the smartest, fastest, and easiest way to write music at a low cost. I’m looking at what it is. It’s a monthly subscription with upgrade plans. You pay month-to-month for it. It’s about $25 per month. Something to check out. I think it is Avid.com. You can go to their store and find Sibelius. It talks on their website about accessibility as some of the things you can use to make it more accessible for folks who are blind or visually impaired.
Answering this question, if there is another need, let us know you’re using our channels, the listener line, email, or sending us a tweet. We can answer that in a different way if it is a different need. Dancing Dots is a great one. Sibelius is another one that touts some accessibility, not only for you to compose but to write and sing with the music. Hopefully that gets more information out there. Again, I know we probably have a lot of folks who listen and may be singer/songwriter’s and produce music in the way Dan does as well. If you have other options or suggestions, send us our way and we would love to be able to provide that to Dan at a later time as well.
WADE WINGLER: As we are closing this one, there is another resource called the Coalition of Disabled Musicians, Disabled-Musicians.org they tend to have a ton of online resources, everything from equipment for adaptive music playing to some other thing we were talking about. That would be another place to check out.
***
BRIAN NORTON: Our next question is from Joanne. She asked that we not play her voicemail. She is looking for the phone number for JAN. In a previous episode car we had mentioned the Job Accommodation Network, which is a tremendous resource for folks to start wrapping their mind around different types of workplace accommodation. When you think about workplace accommodation, you can extrapolate that two things that might be helpful at home and school and other places as well, based off of certain disabilities. As far as finding it on the Internet, if you look up AskJan.org, that’s going to take you to their site. If you are looking for a phone number, it is 800-526-7234. As we’re talking about JAN, out there are two helpful things they have. Two things on their website I find extremely useful and use a lot, one called A to Z, and another search engine called Soar.
A to Z gives you a list of disabilities to choose from. When you click on a particular type of disability, it brings you into some helpful guides and worksheets and information about types of accommodations that will work well for those individuals, trying to help wrap your mind around – when I’m thinking about a particular need, how can I help them at the workplace and extrapolate to other places as well.
Soar is a searchable online accommodation resource.
WADE WINGLER: It’s S-O-A-R, not S-O-R-E, right?
BRIAN NORTON: Right. Soar like an eagle.
WADE WINGLER: Not sore like your legs are sore because you ran too much.
BRIAN NORTON: That will allow you to download a widget for your website if you need. You can put their Soar website through a widget. It allows you to find lots of useful information based off the disability, diseases got other things that will affect someone’s ability to do different things that work. It’s a great resource.
WADE WINGLER: I think this might have been a call in a response to an interview we did recently. Lou Orsleen is a friend of the show and one of the directors at the Job Accommodation Network. In Assistive Technology Update, we recently interviewed him. Something new they are doing is called MAS, a Mobile Accommodation Solution, which is an app they are developing for employers who are working through the accommodation process. If you are and HR person or in charge of accommodations for employers, it’s an app they are developing to help keep track of that process and point you to resources and documents and stuff like that. It may be that she heard the interview and reached out to them. It’s episode 320 of Assistive Technology Update.
BELVA SMITH: They’ve updated their webpage, or else I haven’t been in a while. It looks very different from what I remember. A to Z is what I’ve used before. It’s a very good resource.
BRIAN NORTON: It’s a grant program through West Virginia University.
BELVA SMITH: That’s what comes up in the address bar. West Virginia University Research Corporation.
BRIAN NORTON: It’s a great resource. Definitely take a look at it. It’s very useful.
***
BRIAN NORTON: Our next question came from Ben. This was through email. He says that he is determined to find and purchase a sip and puff mouth controlled mouse for his computer. There are several different kinds, makes, and models. Just wondering if the team might have any ideas or preferences for devices.
WADE WINGLER: A mouth mouse?
BRIAN NORTON: Sip, puff, mouth-controlled mouse for a computer. That also is trying to say “She sells seashells by the sea shore.”
WADE WINGLER: I went to make a product called the mouth mouse.
BRIAN NORTON: That’s a mouthful.
BELVA SMITH: Is in there one that you can do with your tongue?
BRIAN NORTON: It’s like a retainer.
WADE WINGLER: The tongue keyboard?
BELVA SMITH: Yeah.
BRIAN NORTON: We did digging in and had this question for a while. We tried to figure out what type of sip and puff mouth -controlled mouses are out there car joysticks if you will. There are a few I found. Not many though, not a whole lot. There is the Joust 3. Joust has been around for a long while. They had a couple of iterations.
WADE WINGLER: This would be the third version.
JOSH ANDERSON: Hence the “three.”
BRIAN NORTON: Ironically, there is another one called the Quad Joy 3. There is another one I had not heard of called Tetramouse.
WADE WINGLER: Doesn’t that mean five?
BRIAN NORTON: I don’t know.
WADE WINGLER: I’m striking out with my knowledge.
BELVA SMITH: Where is Google Home?
BRIAN NORTON: Those were the three I found.
WADE WINGLER: Tetra means four. Penta means five.
BRIAN NORTON: The ones I’ve had experience with, Joust 3 and Quad Joy, both of those are good options. As far as usability, I’ve seen folks have better success with Joust than the other, just because it’s a smaller form factor. Both of them are good options. We have the Quad Joy — it may not be the third version, but we have the Quad Joy in our loan library and would be willing to loan that out. If you’re looking for other loan libraries across the country, if you go to www.eastersealstech.com/states, there is a way to figure out what your local assistive technology act project is. A lot of them do have a loan library that you can borrow things. Joust 3, Quad Joy 3, and the Tetramouse are the sip and puff mice that allow you to move around the screen.
Often when you think about those types of mice, we also have software that is involved as well. Things like dwell click, switch access, well buddy, dragger, those are basically software for the mouse to emulate the different button clicks. You can navigate with the Joust 3, Quad Joy 3, and the Tetramouse, you can move the cursor around, and you can do sip puffs for certain button functions if you want but can also use software where you don’t even have to do the sip and puff part. You can simply dwell select things. If you leave it in a certain place for a certain time, it will click for you.
If you are interested in a head mouse option beyond just joysticks and things like that, you can use a head mouse. There is the Smart Nav, Head Mouse Extreme. You’re able to then use a sip and puff switch to be able to do the mouse button as well. If you have good enough head movement to move the mouse around the screen, maybe a different head mouse might be helpful for somebody. Then you can activate button clicks and things like that using a sip and puff switch like the Breeze, which is simply a headset that has a sip and puff option to it to be able to activate or click on certain things on your screen.
Some different options as far as that is concerned.
BELVA SMITH: If I buy the Joust 3, if I’m understanding correctly, I still need to buy the software to use that to get it fully functional? Or am I misunderstanding? So if I buy the Joust 3, I’m not actually getting full function of the mouse without having the other software.
BRIAN NORTON: You can. I’m not sure about Tetramouse. I’ve not used that at all.
BELVA SMITH: That’s why I stuck with the Joust 3 because I think we’ve used that one before.
BRIAN NORTON: You can perform a left click, right click, double-click actions with the sip and puff switches that are built into it.
BELVA SMITH: About how expensive is that?
JOSH ANDERSON: They are about $1300.
BRIAN NORTON: $1550 is what it says on EnableMart.com.
BELVA SMITH: Good question, because that sounds really expensive. If you’re going to have to purchase that, it would make sense to look for your local AT Act and see if there is the possibility of one you can try. I think he was specifically asking if we had a preference. I got no experience with that other than the SmartNav. Do you have a preference, Brian? I know you’ve worked with them.
BRIAN NORTON: I’ve done the Head Mouse Extreme the most. It works fairly well. SmartNav is a lot less expensive than the Head Mouse. You do need to buy the software if you are going to use a head mouse to sit alongside it. Either an on-screen keyboard you will have to use to do the keys, or you will need a voice recognition software to actually do input on the computer. As far as getting that mouse to move and the reliability of all that, either will work pretty well. I’ve used mostly the Head Mouse Extreme.
JOSH ANDERSON: What about the sip-puff’s? Which one is your favorite of those?
BRIAN NORTON: It depends on what I’m doing. Obviously sip-puff is built into the Joust 3 and the Quad Joy 3. Quad Joy is the one that’s $1,350. For form factor, for me, what I’ve used with different clients, from what I’ve seen, I’ve seen a lot of folks like the Joust 3. I am looking at the Quad Joy 3 and it does look smaller than it has been. We’ll have to see about getting that into our loan library so we can play around with it more.
***
BRIAN NORTON: If you have additional feedback for that, if you have other suggestions as far as a sip and puff, mouth controlled mouse for the computer, let us know. We would love to hear about those. You can give us a call on our listener line at 317-721-7124, or you can send us an email at tech at Easter Seals crossroads.org.
Our next question is from a lady. She says, “I have a fourth-grader with dyslexia and would like to know how to sign my student up for accessible reading materials in school. Any information on this topic would be helpful.”
WADE WINGLER: The school answer is to go to the special head office or even the child’s teacher of record, and ask to talk to the digital rights manager. Every school system has a digital rights manager, and is there response ability to act on behalf of school to interact with the state’s representative for the NIMAC, with is The National Instructional Materials Accessibility Center. For example, in the state of Indiana there is an organization called PATINS, and they interact with that national database of accessible textbooks. There is a person with an every school system, the digital rights manager, and they are the person can get Daisy format or accessible format books for your students. That would be one place to start.
There are other services I know people are using as well.
BELVA SMITH: Does every school have that? Even the private schools?
WADE WINGLER: Every public school will have that. If you are in a private school got you can talk with the local public school to get that if you are homeschooled or whatever. They can point you in the right direction.
BRIAN NORTON: Especially here in Indiana, they will turn you want to Learning Ally as far as getting those books and resources and other resources like that, maybe bookshare.org. But specifically within the school, the DRM, you ask for that person through your special ed office. Hopefully they will be able to direct you to the right place. You have to start there. I know in Indiana you can’t call PATINS directly to do that. You do need to work do your digital rights manager and they do the work with PATINS to make that happen.
BELVA SMITH: For us in Indiana, it is back to school time. A lot of the schools have gone back already. The rest will be going back anytime. This is a great time for this question; however, this is also a good time to say if this is something that you’re going to need, you want to try to find out, investigate, get as much information as you can as soon as you can. The longer you wait – it’s not the harder it will be copied it takes a while to get this information.
BRIAN NORTON: You want to start that process early because it takes time to get the materials you need. If you are already six weeks in the class, you are already that far behind.
WADE WINGLER: Don’t procrastinate.
***
WADE WINGLER: And now it’s time for the wildcard question.
BRIAN NORTON: This next question is are wildcard question. I’m going to throw the mic to Wade and he’s going to play some fancy music with a whiplash in it.
WADE WINGLER: By the time you say that, we’ve already done it. You need to actually listen to the show once or twice.
BRIAN NORTON: It’s usually me cracking the whip in here.
WADE WINGLER: I say something like, “And now it’s time for the wildcard question” or something silly like that.
BRIAN NORTON: What do you have this day?
WADE WINGLER: People have been dealing with computers for a while. It used to be years ago if you’re going to have a computer, you would have to go out and buy a computer, and then you would have to load software on it. One of the things you always had to contemplate was I need to put Microsoft Office on my computer and is going to cost $350 to buy a CD copy of Microsoft Office. That’s not the case anymore most of the time. You can still do that thing. It just occurred to me that one of the most expensive part of buying a computer several years ago used to be that purchase.
What are you guys using instead? When you get a new computer and somebody needs to do word processing or a spreadsheet or whatever, what kind of options are there in addition to buying an expensive copy of Microsoft Office on CD and installing it?
BRIAN NORTON: What’s interesting to me is to see my daughters grow up. One is in seventh grade, one is a freshman in high school this year. They use Chromebooks in our district. They are all about the online learning management system, using Google Docs. They do nothing outside of Google for everything, getting their assignments, turning in their assignments. Everything is wrapped up in Google Docs. That’s seeming to be becoming a better office replacement where you have spreadsheets, presentations, word processor and all that stuff. We use a lot of Google Docs for storing stuff.
JOSH ANDERSON: My stepdaughter is go to two different schools. And one they don’t use Chromebooks but they do use Google Docs to do everything. The other one uses MacBooks, Pages, Numbers, all those things which are free on the MacBook. I started using Keynote which is their version of PowerPoint. I do still use Excel a whole lot because I spent so long learning how to do so much with it that it’s hard to retrain myself. I have started trying to use Numbers and Pages more on Mac. I do like them. They are pretty useful and are either free or, if you have an older version of Mac, they are $20 per program. It’s nothing compared to the $350 or whatever it cost. Or if you can keep your college email long enough, you can convince them you’re still in school and get it for free. Not that I’ve ever done that.
BRIAN NORTON: Where did you go to school, Josh?
WADE WINGLER: What’s your user ID?
JOSH ANDERSON: Don’t worry about that. If you turn off auto updates, it never asks you.
WADE WINGLER: Hypothetically.
BELVA SMITH: Was this question about what we do personally or what we are doing for our consumer?
WADE WINGLER: All of the above. What’s the state of technology in your perspective on it?
BELVA SMITH: I got an iMac a couple of years ago for Christmas so I haven’t had to worry about it personally. For my consumers, I guess I’m still trying to force the vendors to get me a copy of Microsoft Office, primarily because my consumers are using screen readers. The Google Docs is fairly accessible, I just find it easier to have things –
JOSH ANDERSON: Standardized.
BELVA SMITH: On the computer and know they are going to work in the way we need them to work, and an update is not going to change that. I’m not sure how much longer I’ll be able to do that.
WADE WINGLER: Here at work, we do that. If I need to fire off a letter, I’m firing up Microsoft Word. I’m constantly in Microsoft Excel with a file saved on the server on our local hard disk here because we are constantly crunching numbers about different things around here. There is a convergence.
JOSH ANDERSON: I know Brian and I were in into this the other day working on a project with some folks doing a presentation. We send them our presentation in Keynote, and they had no way to open it. They couldn’t convert it to PowerPoint, couldn’t do anything to get into it.
BELVA SMITH: That’s not supposed to be the case. I thought it was so you can do them back and forth nowadays. I do think Microsoft Office business-wise is still the most widely used. I thought you were supposed to be able to switch off Pages and Numbers.
WADE WINGLER: Mac will read a PowerPoint file, but in order to get a PC to read Keynote, you have to save it as a PowerPoint. That’s been the case since the 80s that a Mac will try to read everything, and in order to go the other way, to go from Apple to Microsoft, you have to save it in Microsoft format.
JOSH ANDERSON: Some of the formatting will change. I don’t know about going between Numbers and Excel if the equations change or anything, because that could definitely cause some major issues.
BELVA SMITH: Brian, you’re right. We talked about this on a previous show. The Chromebooks have become very popular for students. Why would you want a Chromebooks if you’re not going to be using Google Docs?
BRIAN NORTON: Those are inexpensive computers. The Mac that’s why they become so popular. And they are so secure. The security is way better than any of the Windows. Even Mac. The security we’ve had four years with our Macs is not there anymore.
WADE WINGLER: It’s not with K-12 students. I’m a part-time college professor and I have graduate students who get their entire Masters degree on a Chromebooks. It’s different. It’s changing. I think different segments of the market are doing different things as well.
BELVA SMITH: I want to say with the cloud-based – I think this is really important – how many times have we sat down with a consumer and said your computer is crashed, where is your software? I don’t know. Where is your activation code? I don’t know.
BRIAN NORTON: Hundreds of times.
BELVA SMITH: With the downloadable versions, you don’t have to worry about that because that’s already matched up with your PC. If your computer crashes, it doesn’t matter. You set it up, download it, and it is activated. That’s a really good thing.
BRIAN NORTON: With Office 365, but you get the opportunity to load it on five different machines? Is that right?
WADE WINGLER: I forget what the licensing looks like for the consumer, but I think that’s right. You can install it a few times.
BRIAN NORTON: The pricing works. It’s $100 per year and I load on five different machines. I have it on my home computer, my work computer, my wife’s parents’ computer and other places as well.
BELVA SMITH: What that’s done is there is some sort of footprint that is left on your PC secretly. If your computer crashes, you get to play back on without worrying about any kind of activation code. I want to say Kurzweil 1000 is doing that now as well pure it puts a footprint.
WADE WINGLER: It’s interesting because I remember years ago, if you had a Windows-based computer, about every year and a half or two years your system was all junked up and you had to “nuke” it.
BELVA SMITH: You have to reformat it.
WADE WINGLER: You would spend the whole weekend on that. On Friday night you go home and make sure everything is backed up and make sure everything is saved. Saturday morning you do format-space-c-colon-backslash and sit and wait for the drive to reformat. Reinstall Windows and all the drivers for all the devices. They would take all weekend to set up a computer from that process of having to reformat now you go out and buy another $200 computer and restore it. It’s so much better.
BRIAN NORTON: Excellent.
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 www.accessibilitychannel.com.
***Transcript provided by TJ Cortopassi. For requests and inquiries, contact tjcortopassi@gmail.com***

WADE WINGLER:  Nobody jumped on my [Singing] hello, hello.

BELVA SMITH:  I did in my head, but trust me you don’t want to hear my stinking voice.

JOSH ANDERSON:  We would lose all of our listenership.

WADE WINGLER:  You can’t lose all three people.

BRIAN NORTON:  Wade is the VP here at Easter Seals crossroads, also the host of assistive technology update, one of our premier shows that we put on, and has been around for a long time.

JOSH ANDERSON:  You just called you old.

WADE WINGLER:  A long time.

BRIAN NORTON:  Very long time.

WADE WINGLER:  Old and Premier.

BRIAN NORTON:  As we jump in today, I wanted to let new folks know a little bit more about the show, how it works. Throughout the weeks, we receive feedback and come across various assistive technology related questions in a variety of ways. We have a listener line set up that folks can give us a call on. That’s 317-721-7124. If you call and leave us a voicemail, we will play your voicemail on the radio, on the show, if you want. We also have an email address at tech at Easter Seals crossroads.org. We also have a hashtag set up as well so if you like to use twitter you can send a hashtag ATFAQ. We monitor that and look for questions that way as well.

[cellphone rings]

WADE WINGLER:  There’s that listener line right now.

BRIAN NORTON:  The phones are blowing up over here!

WADE WINGLER:  We have a life one. Brian has a playlist of those calls. He listens to them in his office. You walk by and he has them on a loop, playing over and over again.

BRIAN NORTON:  We are fascinated about how widespread the show is. We get calls from all over the place. I love listening and hearing the different accents of folks that call in. It’s great we have folks that are tuning in in that way. We do encourage you to participate in the show as well. We will cover questions and give our best answers to those questions, but if there are – if you have feedback, want to throw in your two cents as well, we would love to hear from you and learn from you as well.

I also want to throw out there, if you’re wanting to share the show with your friends, you can find us in a variety of different places as well. You can find us at iTunes, ATFAQshow.com, on stitcher, Google play store, and a variety of other places. Without further ado, we’ll jump into our first bit of feedback. Belva, you brought this one up.

BELVA SMITH:  We had a caller several weeks back. I hope by chance she might be listening today or will review today’s podcast because she was asking about being able to make phone calls from her Amazon device. We explained that you could do from Echo to Echo and that’s it. Right now I have found out that Google has released the information that, coming soon — what “soon” is I’m not sure, because this information was actually released in May and there is still no exact release date – they are saying that the Google Home will be able to make free calls in the United States and Canada by simply saying, “Dial the number,” or if you have your Google contacts attached to the account, then you will be able to say, “Call Brian,” and it’ll call Brian.

If they follow through – they say the reason they are not leaking any information is because they don’t want to get any false information. Getting it to work, I guess, is quite the challenge. Until it’s actually working, they are trying to keep us on the edge of our seats. But for that particular individual, the Google Home might be a better option than Amazon devices. Brian that I think that’s a great feature for those in home assistance, personal assistant type devices. What a great way for folks who have traditionally hard times using a standard headset like on a traditional phone or even digging around in their pocket or purse trying to find her cell phone to make calls. To be able to say, “Hey Google.” Is it “Hey Google”?

BELVA SMITH:  You can say “Okay Google” or “Hey Google.” We have one here in the and data library, and I set it up in my home. I’ve got dueling now. I have my Amazon on one side of the room and the Google on the other side.

WADE WINGLER:  They keep each other company?

JOSH ANDERSON:  They talk to each other.

BELVA SMITH:  Know, but they do conflict a lot. Like the temperature, they never have the exact same temperature. They never have the exact same forecast which I think is very interesting. I’m becoming a huge fan of the Google home because, as we’ve all grown to know and love Google for its wealth of information, the Google Home has got that. I’m also a huge fan of the new show called Live PD. This weekend when I was walking, they mentioned a couple of criminal terms that I wasn’t sure what they were. I went and asked to both devices, and of course my Amazon device didn’t have an answer for me, but Google Home gave me the definition from Wikipedia no problem.

WADE WINGLER:  I’ve heard that. For general information, the Google system does a pretty good job.

BELVA SMITH:  If you have a student at home or are just curious about things, I think Google Home is awesome.

BRIAN NORTON:  I wouldn’t get too concerned in Indiana if you have Google Home and Alexa give you different temperatures and weather forecasts, because every last news station does as well. I’m not sure they know what’s going on here in Indiana.

BELVA SMITH:  Exactly. In your lifetime, have you ever had it snowing in one part of your yard and not the others?

JOSH ANDERSON:  Yep.

BRIAN NORTON:  Oh yeah.

BELVA SMITH:  I’ve seen it snow in the front and not in the back.

BRIAN NORTON:  You have to give it some grace. That’s funny. Excellent, great news about Google home.

BELVA SMITH:  We won’t be the first, but we will definitely come back with the information. Every day I’m asking, hey Google, can you make a call. As soon as I get the information, yes, we will report it.

BRIAN NORTON:  Perfect.

***

BRIAN NORTON:  We’ll jump into the next part of our feedback today. This was from Brian from Columbus Ohio. Ironically my name is Brian and I’m from Columbus as well, but this was not me. I swear. I think in a previous episode a wild back, we may have talked about a Victor reader Stream device, a new one had come out. I think it’s been around for a while already. They do have a new Victor reader Stream that out. It allows for wireless downloads, much smaller than the older device. This new one has been around –

BELVA SMITH:  It’s been around for more than a year.

BRIAN NORTON:  Okay. For those folks that are interested in the Victor reader Stream, it’s a book reader for folks were blind or visually impaired. It’s got some interesting features that are useful.

BELVA SMITH:  The great thing about that one is for anyone that’s using the older one, if you were downloading your books on the older one, you had to have computer access to get those downloaded and then transfer them to the device. With the introduction of this particular model, you are able to then connect it directly to the Wi-Fi and directly download to the device. It alleviated the necessity of having the computer and doing the transfer.

BRIAN NORTON:  I heard that transfer was problematic most of the time.

BELVA SMITH:  It could be challenging.

***

BRIAN NORTON:  We’re going to go to our first question of the day. I am so very excited because over the past several episodes, I’ve been giving the big shout out to folks to send us a tweet.

JOSH ANDERSON:  By several, he means 20.

BRIAN NORTON:  Send us a tweet, because we get a lot of our calls on our listener line, 317-721-7124.

WADE WINGLER:  Nice job sliding that in there.

BRIAN NORTON:  We also have a lot to come through email at tech at Easter Seals crossroads.org.

WADE WINGLER:  Keep going.

BRIAN NORTON:  But we don’t get very many tweets.

WADE WINGLER:  On our hashtag which is –

BRIAN NORTON:  Which is ATFAQ. We don’t get a lot of those. One of the things I’ve been promoting, and maybe our users don’t use Twitter much, I’ve been asking folks to send us tweets. We got one!

WADE WINGLER:  I think twitter is full these days. You are punching your passport with this one because we love international interactions. You got a double one.

BRIAN NORTON:  I’m super excited about this one. This question is, “I’m having issues with my Windows 10 laptop. JAWS just stops reading icons on my desktop. Please help.” This was from Jalome from Nigeria. I’m super excited to get that. I wanted to toss that around the group and see what types of help we might be able to give. I think, Belva, you can answer some of this stuff.

BELVA SMITH:  Yeah.

WADE WINGLER:  Is this a known issue?  Does this happen sometimes?

BELVA SMITH:  It happened to him. I don’t know. I’ve not had anyone ask about it. The first thing – and I know this seems very obvious – anytime JAWS isn’t operating the way you feel it should be, sometimes a reboot will fix it. Obviously that’s where I would start, is rebooting the computer. Also make sure that your jaws is up-to-date because if you are not using a newer version of JAWS and you are using Windows 10, that could be problematic.

BRIAN NORTON:  For the reboot, just shut down or restart?

BELVA SMITH:  A restart is sufficient most of time. Also with the introduction of Windows 10, you have the option to have several virtual desktops. You may or may not have a virtual desktop that has no icons so therefore there would be nothing for JAWS to read. That could be one of the issues. You can check that by pressing your windows key and the right-control with left arrow — and tap your feet three times —

WADE WINGLER:  Hold your mouse just right.

BRIAN NORTON:  That’s so true.

BELVA SMITH:  If none of that works, my next suggestion is to contact Freedom Scientific tech support. They’ve always been very helpful. If this is an issue that they are working on, they will tell you that. If it’s an unknown issue, then that gives them the information to begin working on that. Never hesitate to call them. It’s not a toll-free number, but it is 727-803-8000.

BRIAN NORTON:  I’ve always found them to be helpful when I do call tech support. They take their time, are very thorough, and a lot of times can figure it out.

I had no idea Windows 10 did virtual desktops. I live in the Mac world more than I do in the Windows world. I think my Windows PC is still Windows 7. I didn’t realize it did virtual desktops.

BELVA SMITH:  I think they did it for the employee-employer so it could look like I’m really working if you walk by, but when you walk away I’ve got my desktop that has my goodies on it. I don’t know what their plan was in doing that, but you can have more than one.

BRIAN NORTON:  Mac does that. You can have multiple desktops. I think the reason I’ve seen it used in the Mac world is my stuff for work is on one desktop, but when I go to a presentation, I don’t want people to see what’s on my desktop so I just throw it over to the second desktop and they see nothing but the things I want them to see.

BELVA SMITH:  That’s a good reason to have that. A couple of times when I’ve done presentations, I just make a folder and drag everything in it because I don’t want people to see my desktop. I guess that’s a good reason.

WADE WINGLER:  I didn’t think of that and I do a lot of presentations. That’s a really good idea.

BRIAN NORTON:  Always have a blank desktop you can do demonstrations on. Speaking to what you spoke of, Belva, I used to have five or six folders that said “desktop” or “desktop icons” and I would go and search for my stuff and could never find it because now I have six desktops. I could never find the things I was looking for.

Hopefully that answers your question. If other folks have run into the issue, let us know. If you come up with a solution, let us not as well. We would love to throw that out there. I think that’s a starting point for troubleshooting that type of an issue. I’m interested in the virtual desktop. I’ll have to check that out on Windows 10.

***

BRIAN NORTON:  Our next question is from Brian from Columbus. He had some feedback earlier on and this is a question that came along with that feedback. He goes, “Do you know where to find the Smart Vision 2 smartphone for the blind or visually impaired?”  I’m a big Buckeye fan, so Brian, if you are a Buckeye fan, I’ll shout you out in “O-H” and wait for your “I-H” to come back over the listener line.

JOSH ANDERSON:  You’ll be sitting here waiting.

BRIAN NORTON:  I live amongst Hoosiers. I bear with it most of the year. Smart Vision 2 for the blind or vision impaired. Have you heard of this device?

BELVA SMITH:  I was going to thank Brian for bringing that to our attention because I had not heard of it, but I did do some research after his question. I found that it’s one of the phones that you can get from Sears and can order it from Amazon. What it looks to me to be like – and I would love to see one for real – it looks like someone has made a layer to lay over the Android home screen. Basically you have the option to sign up for the phone, down for mail, left for text messages, write for photos or something. Basically your home screen has for five different swipes to get you quick access to the main things that you would do on the phone.

BRIAN NORTON:  I didn’t think of it that way. I remember the Guide software. Guide is an overlay system for your computer. You are right. It’s a simple user interface to help you quickly get things that are most important to you. It doesn’t get you stuck in the weeds with all the apps and other stuff.

BELVA SMITH:  It looked pretty cool. It’s very reasonably priced.

JOSH ANDERSON:  I couldn’t find it.

BRIAN NORTON:  It’s made by a company called Smart Systems by Kapsys. It looks like a possible Australian company. It comes as a scanner system so you can OCR information. You have male or female voices which are run off of Nuance text to speech. It has a physical keyboard so you will have numbers that you can punch in and said of having to use the touchscreen to be able to interface with. It’s a neat looking phone.

JOSH ANDERSON:  A lets you dictate into it.

BELVA SMITH:  I found it on Amazon.

BRIAN NORTON:  How much is it?

JOSH ANDERSON:  The cheapest I found it was $1200.

BELVA SMITH:  It’s $66 on Amazon.

WADE WINGLER:  That’s a big difference.

JOSH ANDERSON:  Where I am looking is not an American dollars either.

BRIAN NORTON:  It’s in AUD. Does anyone know? Is that Australian dollars?

WADE WINGLER:  Yeah, Australian dollars.

JOSH ANDERSON:  I don’t know if the exchange rate is that much of a difference. If you do know the exchange rate, you can Tweet Brian. He would love that.

BRIAN NORTON:  I’m looking through some of these features. It has a large, clear display for people who are low vision. You can do voice command and voice recognition on it. It has optical character recognition, a touchscreen and keypad. It has a lot of things.

BELVA SMITH:  That’s what I said I would like to see it because I’m wondering how customizable that screen is going to be. Will I be able to put on that home screen the things I want to be there?  Yeah, it looks to be pretty cool.

BRIAN NORTON: It’s Smart Vision 2, and you can put in the search field of Amazon and be able to find that.

BELVA SMITH:  Consumer Cellular which is the phone provider through Sears, that’s where I found it originally. Also their how-to videos and manuals are available online which is cool.

BRIAN NORTON:  Excellent. Hopefully that shows you where you can find that. Check out Amazon. What was the cellular?

BELVA SMITH:  Consumer Cellular.

BRIAN NORTON:  Consumer Cellular through Sears. That’s a tongue twister.

BELVA SMITH:  They are the ones that advertise heavily for the older individual who’s not wanting the full features of a smartphone but yet they want a phone that they can use for email and stuff as they are traveling.

BRIAN NORTON:  Do you guys remember the phone set to debug?

WADE WINGLER:  They are still out there.

BELVA SMITH:  They are and Consumer Cellular still carries those as well.

BRIAN NORTON:  Hopefully that answers your question. If you have any other answers or know more about the smart vision 2, maybe you’ve had a spirit with it, let us know. Give us a call at 317-721-7124 or send us a tweet with hashtag ATFAQ. We would love to hear from you. We would love to find more information on it, get our hands on it and learn more. Great question and hopefully that steers you in the right direction to find that.

***

BRIAN NORTON:  Our next question came over voicemail. It’s from Dan in California.

SPEAKER:  This question is for the show ATFAQ. My name is Dan from Garden Grove, California. Many weeks ago, I called in to ask a question about accessibility for music making. I may singer/songwriter/instrumentalist. I’m very interested in accessibility technology for making music. If I have the answer of the next episode or so. I have been following your episodes mostly after my call many weeks ago, but I haven’t heard the answer or any feedback from the call. I appreciate if you can get back with the answer to the question. Thank you very much. I enjoy your show very much. It’s very helpful.

BELVA SMITH:  That’s how we keep you listening.

BRIAN NORTON:  We get lots of questions and they end up in this big receptacle called my Evernote account. I try to weed through those. That must’ve gotten buried under some questions. I apologize we can get to that quicker. We did do some digging in to composing music, making music, those kinds of things for singers, songwriters. I have some answers for you. Except for maybe Wade, I know personally I don’t make music. You wouldn’t want me to sing a song. I don’t have a lot of experience in this. I know maybe hopefully some of our listeners do. We did come across a few things that we can go out to you.

One thing I didn’t hear in the question was specifically what the need is. I’m assuming blind or visually impaired but I could be wrong. I have a couple of things that are lined up for folks who are doing that who are blind or visually impaired, and hopefully that will answer the question. We will give it a shot. Belva, you want to throw out a couple of things you had?

BELVA SMITH:  I’m like you. I didn’t catch exactly what the need was. I assume it’s a visual impairment. You and I shared a consumer many years ago that was majoring in music. You had recommended a program called Dancing Dots for her.

BRIAN NORTON:  I remember that.

BELVA SMITH:  That was the first time I had any experience with it. That was many years ago so I wasn’t sure if they were still around and what they were doing. DancingDots.com is still out there and they are still producing software. They have cakewalk, and I happen to know there are or used to be for some of the older versions of JAWS specific scripts written to get those to work together. I would suggest checking out that website. I also discovered a program called Lime Aloud. It’s on that same website. It did say that it is compatible with JAWS and Windows 10. That is to help write and produce music for folks that are visually impaired. My best advice is to check out that Dancing Dots website. I noticed they had some podcast on producing music as a visually impaired individual. Hopefully there is some information that will be helpful if vision is the specific need we are trying to address.

WADE WINGLER:  I would chime in that Dancing Dots is a great resource. We had Bill McCann on Assistive Technology Update way back in episode number 79. They are a fairly small company made up of people who are blind or visually impaired and are musicians themselves. If dancing dots is not the right answer, I’ll guess they can also help you because they know this part of the industry really well.

BRIAN NORTON:  Another program I’ll throw out there, I don’t know if you’ve heard of Sibelius. It supposedly works with and NVDA which is a popular screen reader, JAWS; it can run on a variety of different devices, Microsoft Surface Pro 3 and also iPad and I’m sure full-fledged computers as well. It does a lot for you. They touted as the smartest, fastest, and easiest way to write music at a low cost. I’m looking at what it is. It’s a monthly subscription with upgrade plans. You pay month-to-month for it. It’s about $25 per month. Something to check out. I think it is Avid.com. You can go to their store and find Sibelius. It talks on their website about accessibility as some of the things you can use to make it more accessible for folks who are blind or visually impaired.

Answering this question, if there is another need, let us know you’re using our channels, the listener line, email, or sending us a tweet. We can answer that in a different way if it is a different need. Dancing Dots is a great one. Sibelius is another one that touts some accessibility, not only for you to compose but to write and sing with the music. Hopefully that gets more information out there. Again, I know we probably have a lot of folks who listen and may be singer/songwriter’s and produce music in the way Dan does as well. If you have other options or suggestions, send us our way and we would love to be able to provide that to Dan at a later time as well.

WADE WINGLER:  As we are closing this one, there is another resource called the Coalition of Disabled Musicians, Disabled-Musicians.org they tend to have a ton of online resources, everything from equipment for adaptive music playing to some other thing we were talking about. That would be another place to check out.

***

BRIAN NORTON:  Our next question is from Joanne. She asked that we not play her voicemail. She is looking for the phone number for JAN. In a previous episode car we had mentioned the Job Accommodation Network, which is a tremendous resource for folks to start wrapping their mind around different types of workplace accommodation. When you think about workplace accommodation, you can extrapolate that two things that might be helpful at home and school and other places as well, based off of certain disabilities. As far as finding it on the Internet, if you look up AskJan.org, that’s going to take you to their site. If you are looking for a phone number, it is 800-526-7234. As we’re talking about JAN, out there are two helpful things they have. Two things on their website I find extremely useful and use a lot, one called A to Z, and another search engine called Soar.

A to Z gives you a list of disabilities to choose from. When you click on a particular type of disability, it brings you into some helpful guides and worksheets and information about types of accommodations that will work well for those individuals, trying to help wrap your mind around – when I’m thinking about a particular need, how can I help them at the workplace and extrapolate to other places as well.

Soar is a searchable online accommodation resource.

WADE WINGLER:  It’s S-O-A-R, not S-O-R-E, right?

BRIAN NORTON:  Right. Soar like an eagle.

WADE WINGLER:  Not sore like your legs are sore because you ran too much.

BRIAN NORTON:  That will allow you to download a widget for your website if you need. You can put their Soar website through a widget. It allows you to find lots of useful information based off the disability, diseases got other things that will affect someone’s ability to do different things that work. It’s a great resource.

WADE WINGLER:  I think this might have been a call in a response to an interview we did recently. Lou Orsleen is a friend of the show and one of the directors at the Job Accommodation Network. In Assistive Technology Update, we recently interviewed him. Something new they are doing is called MAS, a Mobile Accommodation Solution, which is an app they are developing for employers who are working through the accommodation process. If you are and HR person or in charge of accommodations for employers, it’s an app they are developing to help keep track of that process and point you to resources and documents and stuff like that. It may be that she heard the interview and reached out to them. It’s episode 320 of Assistive Technology Update.

BELVA SMITH:  They’ve updated their webpage, or else I haven’t been in a while. It looks very different from what I remember. A to Z is what I’ve used before. It’s a very good resource.

BRIAN NORTON:  It’s a grant program through West Virginia University.

BELVA SMITH:  That’s what comes up in the address bar. West Virginia University Research Corporation.

BRIAN NORTON:  It’s a great resource. Definitely take a look at it. It’s very useful.

***

BRIAN NORTON:  Our next question came from Ben. This was through email. He says that he is determined to find and purchase a sip and puff mouth controlled mouse for his computer. There are several different kinds, makes, and models. Just wondering if the team might have any ideas or preferences for devices.

WADE WINGLER:  A mouth mouse?

BRIAN NORTON: Sip, puff, mouth-controlled mouse for a computer. That also is trying to say “She sells seashells by the sea shore.”

WADE WINGLER:  I went to make a product called the mouth mouse.

BRIAN NORTON:  That’s a mouthful.

BELVA SMITH:  Is in there one that you can do with your tongue?

BRIAN NORTON:  It’s like a retainer.

WADE WINGLER:  The tongue keyboard?

BELVA SMITH:  Yeah.

BRIAN NORTON:  We did digging in and had this question for a while. We tried to figure out what type of sip and puff mouth -controlled mouses are out there car joysticks if you will. There are a few I found. Not many though, not a whole lot. There is the Joust 3. Joust has been around for a long while. They had a couple of iterations.

WADE WINGLER:  This would be the third version.

JOSH ANDERSON:  Hence the “three.”

BRIAN NORTON:  Ironically, there is another one called the Quad Joy 3. There is another one I had not heard of called Tetramouse.

WADE WINGLER:  Doesn’t that mean five?

BRIAN NORTON:  I don’t know.

WADE WINGLER:  I’m striking out with my knowledge.

BELVA SMITH:  Where is Google Home?

BRIAN NORTON:  Those were the three I found.

WADE WINGLER:  Tetra means four. Penta means five.

BRIAN NORTON:  The ones I’ve had experience with, Joust 3 and Quad Joy, both of those are good options. As far as usability, I’ve seen folks have better success with Joust than the other, just because it’s a smaller form factor. Both of them are good options. We have the Quad Joy — it may not be the third version, but we have the Quad Joy in our loan library and would be willing to loan that out. If you’re looking for other loan libraries across the country, if you go to www.eastersealstech.com/states, there is a way to figure out what your local assistive technology act project is. A lot of them do have a loan library that you can borrow things. Joust 3, Quad Joy 3, and the Tetramouse are the sip and puff mice that allow you to move around the screen.

Often when you think about those types of mice, we also have software that is involved as well. Things like dwell click, switch access, well buddy, dragger, those are basically software for the mouse to emulate the different button clicks. You can navigate with the Joust 3, Quad Joy 3, and the Tetramouse, you can move the cursor around, and you can do sip puffs for certain button functions if you want but can also use software where you don’t even have to do the sip and puff part. You can simply dwell select things. If you leave it in a certain place for a certain time, it will click for you.

If you are interested in a head mouse option beyond just joysticks and things like that, you can use a head mouse. There is the Smart Nav, Head Mouse Extreme. You’re able to then use a sip and puff switch to be able to do the mouse button as well. If you have good enough head movement to move the mouse around the screen, maybe a different head mouse might be helpful for somebody. Then you can activate button clicks and things like that using a sip and puff switch like the Breeze, which is simply a headset that has a sip and puff option to it to be able to activate or click on certain things on your screen.

Some different options as far as that is concerned.

BELVA SMITH:  If I buy the Joust 3, if I’m understanding correctly, I still need to buy the software to use that to get it fully functional?  Or am I misunderstanding?  So if I buy the Joust 3, I’m not actually getting full function of the mouse without having the other software.

BRIAN NORTON:  You can. I’m not sure about Tetramouse. I’ve not used that at all.

BELVA SMITH:  That’s why I stuck with the Joust 3 because I think we’ve used that one before.

BRIAN NORTON:  You can perform a left click, right click, double-click actions with the sip and puff switches that are built into it.

BELVA SMITH:  About how expensive is that?

JOSH ANDERSON:  They are about $1300.

BRIAN NORTON:  $1550 is what it says on EnableMart.com.

BELVA SMITH:  Good question, because that sounds really expensive. If you’re going to have to purchase that, it would make sense to look for your local AT Act and see if there is the possibility of one you can try. I think he was specifically asking if we had a preference. I got no experience with that other than the SmartNav. Do you have a preference, Brian?  I know you’ve worked with them.

BRIAN NORTON:  I’ve done the Head Mouse Extreme the most. It works fairly well. SmartNav is a lot less expensive than the Head Mouse. You do need to buy the software if you are going to use a head mouse to sit alongside it. Either an on-screen keyboard you will have to use to do the keys, or you will need a voice recognition software to actually do input on the computer. As far as getting that mouse to move and the reliability of all that, either will work pretty well. I’ve used mostly the Head Mouse Extreme.

JOSH ANDERSON:  What about the sip-puff’s?  Which one is your favorite of those?

BRIAN NORTON:  It depends on what I’m doing. Obviously sip-puff is built into the Joust 3 and the Quad Joy 3. Quad Joy is the one that’s $1,350. For form factor, for me, what I’ve used with different clients, from what I’ve seen, I’ve seen a lot of folks like the Joust 3. I am looking at the Quad Joy 3 and it does look smaller than it has been. We’ll have to see about getting that into our loan library so we can play around with it more.

***

BRIAN NORTON:  If you have additional feedback for that, if you have other suggestions as far as a sip and puff, mouth controlled mouse for the computer, let us know. We would love to hear about those. You can give us a call on our listener line at 317-721-7124, or you can send us an email at tech at Easter Seals crossroads.org.

Our next question is from a lady. She says, “I have a fourth-grader with dyslexia and would like to know how to sign my student up for accessible reading materials in school. Any information on this topic would be helpful.”

WADE WINGLER:  The school answer is to go to the special head office or even the child’s teacher of record, and ask to talk to the digital rights manager. Every school system has a digital rights manager, and is there response ability to act on behalf of school to interact with the state’s representative for the NIMAC, with is The National Instructional Materials Accessibility Center. For example, in the state of Indiana there is an organization called PATINS, and they interact with that national database of accessible textbooks. There is a person with an every school system, the digital rights manager, and they are the person can get Daisy format or accessible format books for your students. That would be one place to start.

There are other services I know people are using as well.

BELVA SMITH:  Does every school have that?  Even the private schools?

WADE WINGLER:  Every public school will have that. If you are in a private school got you can talk with the local public school to get that if you are homeschooled or whatever. They can point you in the right direction.

BRIAN NORTON:  Especially here in Indiana, they will turn you want to Learning Ally as far as getting those books and resources and other resources like that, maybe bookshare.org. But specifically within the school, the DRM, you ask for that person through your special ed office. Hopefully they will be able to direct you to the right place. You have to start there. I know in Indiana you can’t call PATINS directly to do that. You do need to work do your digital rights manager and they do the work with PATINS to make that happen.

BELVA SMITH:  For us in Indiana, it is back to school time. A lot of the schools have gone back already. The rest will be going back anytime. This is a great time for this question; however, this is also a good time to say if this is something that you’re going to need, you want to try to find out, investigate, get as much information as you can as soon as you can. The longer you wait – it’s not the harder it will be copied it takes a while to get this information.

BRIAN NORTON:  You want to start that process early because it takes time to get the materials you need. If you are already six weeks in the class, you are already that far behind.

WADE WINGLER:  Don’t procrastinate.

***

WADE WINGLER:  And now it’s time for the wildcard question.

BRIAN NORTON:  This next question is are wildcard question. I’m going to throw the mic to Wade and he’s going to play some fancy music with a whiplash in it.

WADE WINGLER:  By the time you say that, we’ve already done it. You need to actually listen to the show once or twice.

BRIAN NORTON:  It’s usually me cracking the whip in here.

WADE WINGLER:  I say something like, “And now it’s time for the wildcard question” or something silly like that.

BRIAN NORTON:  What do you have this day?

WADE WINGLER:  People have been dealing with computers for a while. It used to be years ago if you’re going to have a computer, you would have to go out and buy a computer, and then you would have to load software on it. One of the things you always had to contemplate was I need to put Microsoft Office on my computer and is going to cost $350 to buy a CD copy of Microsoft Office. That’s not the case anymore most of the time. You can still do that thing. It just occurred to me that one of the most expensive part of buying a computer several years ago used to be that purchase.

What are you guys using instead?  When you get a new computer and somebody needs to do word processing or a spreadsheet or whatever, what kind of options are there in addition to buying an expensive copy of Microsoft Office on CD and installing it?

BRIAN NORTON:  What’s interesting to me is to see my daughters grow up. One is in seventh grade, one is a freshman in high school this year. They use Chromebooks in our district. They are all about the online learning management system, using Google Docs. They do nothing outside of Google for everything, getting their assignments, turning in their assignments. Everything is wrapped up in Google Docs. That’s seeming to be becoming a better office replacement where you have spreadsheets, presentations, word processor and all that stuff. We use a lot of Google Docs for storing stuff.

JOSH ANDERSON:  My stepdaughter is go to two different schools. And one they don’t use Chromebooks but they do use Google Docs to do everything. The other one uses MacBooks, Pages, Numbers, all those things which are free on the MacBook. I started using Keynote which is their version of PowerPoint. I do still use Excel a whole lot because I spent so long learning how to do so much with it that it’s hard to retrain myself. I have started trying to use Numbers and Pages more on Mac. I do like them. They are pretty useful and are either free or, if you have an older version of Mac, they are $20 per program. It’s nothing compared to the $350 or whatever it cost. Or if you can keep your college email long enough, you can convince them you’re still in school and get it for free. Not that I’ve ever done that.

BRIAN NORTON:  Where did you go to school, Josh?

WADE WINGLER:  What’s your user ID?

JOSH ANDERSON:  Don’t worry about that. If you turn off auto updates, it never asks you.

WADE WINGLER:  Hypothetically.

BELVA SMITH:  Was this question about what we do personally or what we are doing for our consumer?

WADE WINGLER:  All of the above. What’s the state of technology in your perspective on it?

BELVA SMITH:  I got an iMac a couple of years ago for Christmas so I haven’t had to worry about it personally. For my consumers, I guess I’m still trying to force the vendors to get me a copy of Microsoft Office, primarily because my consumers are using screen readers. The Google Docs is fairly accessible, I just find it easier to have things –

JOSH ANDERSON:  Standardized.

BELVA SMITH:  On the computer and know they are going to work in the way we need them to work, and an update is not going to change that. I’m not sure how much longer I’ll be able to do that.

WADE WINGLER:  Here at work, we do that. If I need to fire off a letter, I’m firing up Microsoft Word. I’m constantly in Microsoft Excel with a file saved on the server on our local hard disk here because we are constantly crunching numbers about different things around here. There is a convergence.

JOSH ANDERSON:  I know Brian and I were in into this the other day working on a project with some folks doing a presentation. We send them our presentation in Keynote, and they had no way to open it. They couldn’t convert it to PowerPoint, couldn’t do anything to get into it.

BELVA SMITH:  That’s not supposed to be the case. I thought it was so you can do them back and forth nowadays. I do think Microsoft Office business-wise is still the most widely used. I thought you were supposed to be able to switch off Pages and Numbers.

WADE WINGLER:  Mac will read a PowerPoint file, but in order to get a PC to read Keynote, you have to save it as a PowerPoint. That’s been the case since the 80s that a Mac will try to read everything, and in order to go the other way, to go from Apple to Microsoft, you have to save it in Microsoft format.

JOSH ANDERSON:  Some of the formatting will change. I don’t know about going between Numbers and Excel if the equations change or anything, because that could definitely cause some major issues.

BELVA SMITH:  Brian, you’re right. We talked about this on a previous show. The Chromebooks have become very popular for students. Why would you want a Chromebooks if you’re not going to be using Google Docs?

BRIAN NORTON:  Those are inexpensive computers. The Mac that’s why they become so popular. And they are so secure. The security is way better than any of the Windows. Even Mac. The security we’ve had four years with our Macs is not there anymore.

WADE WINGLER:  It’s not with K-12 students. I’m a part-time college professor and I have graduate students who get their entire Masters degree on a Chromebooks. It’s different. It’s changing. I think different segments of the market are doing different things as well.

BELVA SMITH:  I want to say with the cloud-based – I think this is really important – how many times have we sat down with a consumer and said your computer is crashed, where is your software?  I don’t know. Where is your activation code?  I don’t know.

BRIAN NORTON:  Hundreds of times.

BELVA SMITH:  With the downloadable versions, you don’t have to worry about that because that’s already matched up with your PC.  If your computer crashes, it doesn’t matter. You set it up, download it, and it is activated.  That’s a really good thing.

BRIAN NORTON:  With Office 365, but you get the opportunity to load it on five different machines?  Is that right?

WADE WINGLER:  I forget what the licensing looks like for the consumer, but I think that’s right. You can install it a few times.

BRIAN NORTON:  The pricing works. It’s $100 per year and I load on five different machines. I have it on my home computer, my work computer, my wife’s parents’ computer and other places as well.

BELVA SMITH:  What that’s done is there is some sort of footprint that is left on your PC secretly.  If your computer crashes, you get to play back on without worrying about any kind of activation code. I want to say Kurzweil 1000 is doing that now as well pure it puts a footprint.

WADE WINGLER:  It’s interesting because I remember years ago, if you had a Windows-based computer, about every year and a half or two years your system was all junked up and you had to “nuke” it.

BELVA SMITH:  You have to reformat it.

WADE WINGLER:  You would spend the whole weekend on that. On Friday night you go home and make sure everything is backed up and make sure everything is saved. Saturday morning you do format-space-c-colon-backslash and sit and wait for the drive to reformat. Reinstall Windows and all the drivers for all the devices.  They would take all weekend to set up a computer from that process of having to reformat now you go out and buy another $200 computer and restore it. It’s so much better.

BRIAN NORTON:  Excellent.

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 www.accessibilitychannel.com.

***Transcript provided by TJ Cortopassi.  For requests and inquiries, contact tjcortopassi@gmail.com***