ATFAQ071 – Q1How much RAM for Dragon & AutoCAD Q2 Twist ties Q3 Simple Alert Device Q4 Vision Impairment Demos Q5 Airpod lag with VoiceOver Q6 Wild card: Star Wars or Star Trek


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Panel – Brian Norton, Belva Smith, Josh Anderson, and Wade Wingler | Q1How much RAM for Dragon & AutoCAD Q2 Twist ties Q3 Simple Alert Device Q4 Vision Impairment Demos Q5 Airpod lag with VoiceOver Q6 Wild card: Star Wars or Star Trek

——-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 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 71.  My name is Brian Norton and I’m the host of the show.  We are so happy that you’ve taken the time out of your week to join us.  Before we get ready to jump into the questions that you sent in, I just want to take a moment to go around the room and teachers those who are sitting here in the studio with me.  First person is Belva, the team lead for our vision team here at Easter Seals Crossroads.  Belva, you want to say hey?

BELVA SMITH:  Hello everybody.

BRIAN NORTON:  Excellent.  Next person is Josh, the manager of our clinical assistive technology program.  Josh?

JOSH ANDERSON:  Hey everybody.  Welcome back.

BRIAN NORTON:  Excellent.  And also Wade, the VP of many things here at Easter Seals Crossroads but also the very popular host of Assistive Technology Update.  Wade, you want to say hey?

WADE WINGLER:  Happy spring everybody.  I’m so ready for the warmer weather that is happening in Indiana.

BRIAN NORTON:  Absolutely.

WADE WINGLER:  I’m so excited.

BELVA SMITH:  But I think it’s going to snow Thursday.


JOSH ANDERSON:  Have you been outside today?


JOSH ANDERSON:  It’s not warm outside today.

WADE WINGLER:  I don’t get to go outside.

JOSH ANDERSON:  It’s freezing.

WADE WINGLER:  I just sit in my office and look at budgets and stuff.

BELVA SMITH:  It’s not warm, but for March it feels nice.

WADE WINGLER:  See? We’ll take that.

BRIAN NORTON:  Right, but the issue is it so up and down.  60 degrees earlier in the week and now it’s 30.  I’m just ready for it to even out and make it nice.

WADE WINGLER:  I love doing it whether show.

BELVA SMITH:  Before we know it, it’ll be hot in everybody will be saying it’s so hot.

JOSH ANDERSON:  I’m not saying that this year.

BRIAN NORTON:  We will go ahead and jump in here.  For new listeners, I want to let you know about the show and how it works.  We receive feedback and come across various assistive technology related questions throughout the week.  We have a variety of ways for you to get those things to us.  If you guys have questions of your own or feedback of your own, you can give us a call on our listener line.  That is 317-721-7124.  Or you can email us at  Or send us a tweet with hashtag ATFAQ.  Those are ways that you can get us your questions when they come to mind and provide us some feedback.  And if you guys want to tell friends about the show, you can find our show at iTunes or, our website, or you can also find us on stitcher or the Google play store.  Lots of different places to find the show.

Also want to mention that we are having a webinar. INDATA, which is the Indiana assistive technology act, is doing a webinar for web developers on May 9.  It’s at 11-4 PM Eastern Standard Time.  If you are a web developer, I want you to know that we are often one of those. You can find out more information about that if you go to our website, if you are a web developer, we would love to have you join us for that particular webinar that day.

BELVA SMITH:  Is it about accessibility?

BRIAN NORTON:  It’s about web accessibility.  Really specifically geared towards developer’s.  If you are a novice, it gets really deep into the details.  Definitely more geared towards folks who are really designing and doing some hard-core design of websites.


BRIAN NORTON:  So without further ado, we’re going to jump into some feedback for the show.  The first one is a voicemail message talking about a question that we had an episode 68.  It was question 4 that day.  It’s about accessible Android training.  We are going to play that for you.

SPEAKER:  This is David Ward, and assistive technology instructor for new vision and southwestern Virginia.  I’m just calling to leave a message for the AT frequently asked questions podcast that recently came back from vacation in January and had a show.  I was just leaving a comment about there was an inquiry about Android training in regard to accessibility, particularly from a low vision or blindness perspective, talkback, and things like that.  There actually is a publication entitled “Getting Started with Android” that was released by the National Braille Press.  You can get it on their website in a number of formats.  It’s roughly $24.  The writers of it are Hannah Gaza, who I believe used to be known as Access Hannah, and JJ Meadows, who is the entrepreneur that runs AT Guys and also the Blind Bargains podcast.  Both of them are avid Android users.  It looks like this isn’t — I can find out if it had been updated recently.  But there was a book review back when [Android version was] Marshmallow, and the most current is Oreo.  I would imagine a lot of this is very applicable.  I remember they tried to cure it towards it wasn’t very platform specific, for example, what a Samsung does versus what this does, but try to be more generic and take it the matter which type of Android for you are on.  This would probably be a good training resource.

BRIAN NORTON:  All right.  Thanks David.  I appreciate that feedback.  Excellent resources for folks.  Belva, you also mentioned you had something about Android come up?

BELVA SMITH:  I just did a tech tip today about the Synaptic software that’s been developed for the Android tablets, specifically the Samsung.  Because we recently at ATIA, the conference we went to at the first of the year, we saw these low vision tablets that are Android tablets.  There is an overlay on the Android tablet itself which magnifies it also speaks and simplifies all of the menu access.  I did a tech tip on that this morning.  It comes in three, we will call it flavors.  It comes in the 10 inch Samsung tablet with the software installed for $999.  Or you can get the seven inch tablet with the software installed for $849. That’s kind of expensive because, if you think about it, the Samsung tablets are, I want say cheap, but are lower in price.

BRIAN NORTON:  Lower-cost for sure.

BELVA SMITH:  The good news is if you do already have a Samsung tablet, and maybe it’s a family tablet but grandma and grandpa would like to be able to use it, for only $399 you can purchase the software and install it on your tablet.  It’s very simple.  You can access the web, keep your contacts, calendar, do Skype phone calls, use a calculator, all kinds of things.  You can access all of the Android apps, assuming that they are accessible.

BRIAN NORTON:  I think that’s the big thing about the software.  That simplify something that can be really overwhelming for a lot of folks, especially older folks.  There are so many different controls the you have to navigate to get around a typical smart phone.  It really does make it simple.

BELVA SMITH:  That’s right.  The same folk also make this app for a particular Android phone.

BRIAN NORTON:  What? A phone?

BELVA SMITH:  Yeah.  I’m not sure the pricing on that, but you can get more information on the software if you go to

BRIAN NORTON:  We just recently purchased two of the tablets for our loan library here at INDATA.  If you are one of our Indian listeners and are interested in buying that, getting her have been up a little while, you can contact us.  Our phone number is 888-466-1314.  Talk to Justin Amber.  He is in charge of our loan library and you can set up a 30 day loan of that device if you want to try it out for a well.  It’s remarkable.  It’s really good.

BELVA SMITH:  It really is. It takes away all the fear of using the touchscreen, the fear of using the tablet, because it guides you as you are going along as well.

WADE WINGLER: Belva, you said “Guide.” I have to ask, is it sort of like Guide has been on the PC for a while?

BELVA SMITH:  It is sort of, because it tells you if you want to add a contact, do this.

BRIAN NORTON:  For folks that aren’t familiar, Guide is made by EVAS. It’s dolphin guide, is that right?

BELVA SMITH:  That’s correct.

BRIAN NORTON:  It simplifies your PC interface and make that a lot more simple so that you don’t have the confusion of what a desktop is or taskbar or start menu.  It just makes it a simple task list. What do you want to do on the computer? It gives you a few options.

BELVA SMITH:  That’s definitely an option for someone who is wanting to use Android.


BRIAN NORTON:  Our next bit of feedback this week was regarding a question we had a few weeks ago about English to German dictionaries and finding one that is accessible for folks who are using a screen reader.  We had Claire who actually works as a translator.  She emailed in and says, “I work as a translator and have asked around for advice on accessing English to German dictionaries.  My friend suggested using a couple of different websites.”  The first one was Another one was, P-O-N-S dot C-O-M. as a software option, she has also had people suggest the word finder dictionary or the built in ones that come with Kurzweil 1000.  I had not known that Kurzweil had one of those dictionaries that could do that.  Kurzweil 1000 is a scan and read system for folks who are blind or visually impaired.  It sounds like it might have something as well.  Essentially was hoping that that might help the listener that called in.  Thank you, Claire, for emailing those suggestions.  I’m sure they will come in handy for the caller.

We also got a bit of feedback from Wayne.  He had emailed us about the question about whether Alexa could read books, Amazon Echo devices could read books.  He had some interesting comments.  You mentioned that there are two ways to request a book to be read.  One is to give Alexa the command to read and to state the book title, and then to download the desired book using the Kindle app and then to tell Alexa to read the book.  Once Alexa will read, Alexa will read the most recently accessed a book.  You can then tell Alexa to pause reading and follow-up with continued reading.  Alexa will continue to read the most recently downloaded book from the point where it was left.  It sounds like we had discussed a little bit, Amazon Echo does have some possibilities with being able to read those books.

WADE WINGLER:  And you said that we enough time for everybody is going nuts.

BELVA SMITH:  Everybody’s is trying to read right now.  He goes on to mention that you can actually read the Kindle books using the Fire Stick in the back of your TV.  Todd has been doing that recently.


BELVA SMITH:  I found myself the other night just to listen.  I was getting into a story.

BRIAN NORTON:  That’s pretty cool.

WADE WINGLER:  Alexa, add some fruits and vegetables to the shopping list.  I’m just trying to help our listeners be more healthy.

BELVA SMITH:  Don’t order that.

JOSH ANDERSON:  If I’m listening to a podcast through my Echo, and somebody does that, it shuts off the podcast?

WADE WINGLER:  No.  It’s only if they are listening to it on something else.


BELVA SMITH:  I’ve been listening to the podcast on the TV before, and someone will say the name, and she does light up to respond.

BRIAN NORTON:  I changed my Echo to have “Echo” as the word, because I say Alexa a lot more often than I thought I would.

BELVA SMITH:  You can only choose “Alexa,” “Echo,” or “Computer.”

BRIAN NORTON:  Now that these devices are out there more often, I say that name more often.  Now I just changed it to Echo.

JOSH ANDERSON:  So if you are listening to this at home, yours is going to go off a bunch?

BRIAN NORTON:  I have a Google home in my home.  When I say Alexa, Google Home will automatically pop up and say, hey that’s not me, something like that.

WADE WINGLER:  That’s snarky.

BRIAN NORTON:  It did that to me over the weekend.

BELVA SMITH:  Mind you have to say okay Google.  I set it that way purposefully so I can say the “G-word.”

BRIAN NORTON:  I didn’t even wake it up.  I said Alexa, and it came up and said hey, that’s not my name.

BELVA SMITH:  Asked them if they like each other.

BRIAN NORTON:  What do they say?

BELVA SMITH:  Sometimes they will say yes.  They like all AI’s. But sometimes you’ll get a response like I think the blue ring is funny.

WADE WINGLER:  Interesting.  Okay Google, play happy by Pharell.

BELVA SMITH:  There we go.

BRIAN NORTON:  Sorry everybody.  Just having fun on the show.


BRIAN NORTON: Don’t forget, if you guys have any feedback regarding the question we are about to jump into today, you can get a hold of us on our listener line at 317-721-7124.  Or send us anymore at  We would love to hear from you.  Without further ado, we’ll jump into the first question.

This question is how much RAM does a computer require when using Dragon with an Auto Cad program? So I did a little bit of digging with Dragon and Nuance, the company that makes Dragon.  Dragon requires its base RAM — I don’t know.  I’ve used Dragon for 20 plus years now.  I know even the basic stuff isn’t good enough to run it well.  Minimum specs for Dragon is two gigabytes for a 32-bit system and four gigabytes for a 64 bit system.  I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t touch it less than six gigabytes of RAM on my computer the matter what.

JOSH ANDERSON:  I usually stick with around eight.

BELVA SMITH:  It seems like eight is becoming standard.

BRIAN NORTON:  You need that to be able to power Dragon because it is doing a lot of thinking and processing.

BELVA SMITH:  Even Windows nowadays, Windows is requiring more RAM to do what it is doing.  I would say at least eight.

BRIAN NORTON:  And if you think you are going to add an auto cad program to it, a lot of auto CAD programs minimally require it all by themselves.  I’m suggesting that folks look at adding 16 gigabytes of RAM to make sure it’s a pretty hot box, is the way I like to refer to those as a really souped-up machine to be able to run that.  Also, not just internally to the computer having 16 gigabytes, make sure your graphics card has a built-in room as well.  You can get 128, 256, and upwards built into the actual graphics card.  That’s what the auto CAD program is doing, is tapping into what’s on the video card to be able to run some of those graphics.  I think it will soften some of the processing speed it may require from the hardware.

BELVA SMITH:  So then if you’re going to 16 gigabytes of RAM, don’t you need to also be focusing on your processor to make sure that your processor is going to be able to handle all of that? Or not?

BRIAN NORTON:  I don’t recommend anything under i5. For this particular situation, I would be doing and i7 processor, something that can process quickly.  I don’t know how to better say that, process weekly.

WADE WINGLER:  More faster better processing.  Is it because I’m on a Mac all the time that I don’t pay attention to that stuff anymore? Or is the amount of RAM just not a big issue in the world of picking out computers anymore? I don’t know if I’ve changed, or the industry has gotten better, but that you to be critical all the time.

BELVA SMITH:  It did.  I don’t feel like it is anymore because even the base Windows computers are coming with 6 to 8 gigabytes of RAM, which in most cases going to do what you need it to do.  Now when you’re going to do specialized stuff like the auto CAD, then that’s when you have to be more concerned with it.  As far as getting a Windows computer to put ZoomText or JAWS or anything like that, your base computer is going to be okay more than likely.

JOSH ANDERSON:  Pretty much.  Not one on QVC for $200. That one still has four gigabytes of RAM and the single core processor.  As long as you’re not doing a Black Friday deal, most of them do have a gigabytes of RAM and at least an i3 processor.  It might not run some of the things we use, but a lot better than it used to be.

BELVA SMITH:  I agree with you, Brian.  I try to look for the i7.

BRIAN NORTON:  Minimally on an i7, you’re going to get a pretty good processor.  Obviously it’s an i7. You are also going to get quite a bit of RAM with those computers.

BELVA SMITH:  Maybe that’s why the RAM doesn’t seem to be an issue as much, began focusing on the processor.

BRIAN NORTON:  A lot of times you can upgrade that RAM. You can start out low and maybe possibly upgrade it down the road. On a laptop, that becomes a challenge but as most of them you have to pop the keyboard off and did down to get to the RAM.  It’s upgradable to quite a bit of RAM if you wanted to.

Talking about Mac, I think RAM is less of an issue these days because it seems like a lot of this voice dictation stuff is now going to the web.  We all use our phones.  On a Mac, the base way you use Mac a dictation is it is going to the web and doing the recognition and sending it back to your computer.  I know you can go in and change that so that it does it locally so you don’t have to be online, but it is not much of an issue on a Mac.  Again, with PC, I’ve always been told and think it is true that you’re going to need a little bit more hardware processing power than you do on a Mac.  I think it’s important to keep in mind as you look at it.  Definitely go out there and see what your software requires, what’s the minimum, and bump that up a little bit to give a good experience with it.


BRIAN NORTON:  Our next question is, I have uncontrolled arm movements and work in a food preparation job where I have to put small ties on the goods and bags. Is there any fast and effective way to do this task? Time is a factor.

WADE WINGLER:  Twisty ties?

BRIAN NORTON:  Twisty ties.

WADE WINGLER:  Like the things on a bread sack?

BRIAN NORTON:  Exactly.  I just started thinking about that.  To just put a twisty tie, there is a lot of fine motor, a lot of dexterity that goes into that.  That’s not an easy task when you start to think about it.  I think I can look at it as pretty simple, just run in and do it.  But if I have uncontrolled arm movements or maybe I am one-handed.

BELVA SMITH:  I find it unknowing to tie or untie.

JOSH ANDERSON:  Because you never know which way is right.

BRIAN NORTON:  Especially if it is tight and you’re trying to get it off the back.  No, I made it worse.

WADE WINGLER:  I use a clothespin.

BELVA SMITH:  I use those metal things we get at OfficeMax.

BRIAN NORTON:  A lot of bright bags come with the plastic clip.  They are not the ties.

JOSH ANDERSON:  All those are good way to get around it, but they do make automatic bread tying machines.


JOSH ANDERSON:  Automatic twist tie machines. They make handheld models and tabletop models.

WADE WINGLER:  I suppose if you are in a food prep job, you don’t want to twist those things all day.

JOSH ANDERSON:  I guess if you were at a factory perhaps that made bread or things like that.  If you had something that could tie 50 bags in a minute, that really cuts down on production costs quite a bit, which is good because they went about $1500.

BRIAN NORTON:  But they are so cool.

JOSH ANDERSON:  They are pretty darn cool.  Still want if it makes the difference between doing the job and not.

JOSH ANDERSON:  Exactly.  Especially of time is a factor.  Having those productivity numbers up there.  They are made by a company called Tach-it, T-A-C-H dash I-T. they have all different kinds, some that plug in and sit on the table top so you just bring the back over to it, push it in, ties the tie.  They also make handheld models so you can have batteries.  It just looks like a gun.  Put it up to it and it will wrap it up.  They even make some for agriculture.  Paying beans to polls and stuff like that.  It does it a little looser so you won’t harm the produce.

BRIAN NORTON:  I sat there and watched the video of this thing doing its job.  It’s pretty amazing what it does from a roll of twisty ties to be able to wrap up anything you want.  It does it was in a second.

JOSH ANDERSON:  The handheld model will auto adjust. It can go anywhere from an eighth of an inch to over an inch, inch and half.  It knows just by feeling the bag or whatever it is how much he needs to tie.  Pretty cool.

BRIAN NORTON:  What I would love to do with that, and I’ve done it with other things —

WADE WINGLER:  Put it in your sister’s hair?

BRIAN NORTON:  Yes.  That may be another good idea.  I like that.  I’ve actually worked with the company before two switch adapted things like that for folks, so folks who don’t have any arm movement, maybe they can just blink their eye, wiggle their big toe, or move their head side-by-side.  They can be able to do that in a workshop environment or something like that.  That might be something that can be done as a job task.

JOSH ANDERSON:  Like I said on the table top model, all you have to do is bring it over to it.  It slides in and automatically puts it on.  You could have very limited motion.

BRIAN NORTON:  You don’t even have to hit a trigger? As soon as it hits the back in of where he needs to go, just zips it?

JOSH ANDERSON:  Yes.  It just depends on where the person is working and what their skills and abilities are. If they need to be mobile, they probably need the handheld model, which does take more motor control, but not the fine motor control of sitting there and hold the bag, twist a tie around it anything else.

BRIAN NORTON:  It reminds me of one of these devices that are obviously designed to help with production and lower production cost and make things faster and easier, but for folks with disabilities, you put it into the world and it makes a job possible.  That’s pretty cool.

JOSH ANDERSON:  I guess you could think of it as assistive technology.  It assists someone without a disability to do their job faster and more efficiently. It makes that job complete be possible for somebody with a disability.

BRIAN NORTON:  What’s the company that makes it?

JOSH ANDERSON: Tach-it, T-A-C-H dash I-T. I believe most of their stuff is there.  You can buy some of those devices on Amazon and other places.

BRIAN NORTON:  What is the cost?

JOSH ANDERSON:  I want to say the handheld model is $1400, and they all run somewhere around there.  They are industrial machines, so they should last you quite a long time.  I think they are meant to be use around the clock.

BRIAN NORTON:  You just purchased a spool of twisty ties material? Very cool.


BRIAN NORTON:  Our next question is, I am looking for an alerting device that can go off at a certain time and on certain days with minimal buns and minimal ways for the person to modify the settings.  The person currently uses a watch minder that has been used, but the user becomes nervous and start pushing the buttons and the alerts become messed up.  He changes the time or it is no longer effective because he has changed something about those particular alarms.  Looking for an alerting device that can go off at certain times and on certain days with minimal buns and minimal ways for the person to be able to modify in the settings.

BELVA SMITH:  What is the environment the person is in?

BRIAN NORTON:  I believe it is a worksite.  It’s to stop working at the end of the day.  They want the person to be able to know that it is time to stop.

BELVA SMITH:  That’s it?

BRIAN NORTON:  That’s it, I believe.

BELVA SMITH:  There used to be buzzers. Remember when we were in high school? Ding ding, this class is over, everybody gets up and walks out. Some sort of a 3:30 buzzer should be able to do that.  My first thought would be may be a simple alarm clock, not something that he is wearing but a simple alarm clock that can go up every day at 3:30. Or possibly using something like the Echo Dot.  The timer goes off and it just keeps going off until you tell it to stop.  You don’t have to touch it.  That would require power and Wi-Fi for that to work.  But an alarm clock would also require power.  There has to be a buzzer.

WADE WINGLER:  This is interesting that it’s a simple thing but we are running into some roadblocks.  It’s all about having reminders happen, but then the user can change them.  We are talking about maybe a smart phone where you can do multiple reminders.  You can have it in your pocket.  But then we have to be able to set it so that the user can stop the reminder or snooze the reminder but not change it.

JOSH ANDERSON:  Not change the time, not alter those things.

BELVA SMITH:  I think a smart phone, just like a watch, is too much.

BRIAN NORTON:  Guided access is on most iPhones and iPod touches. With guided access, you can lock them into a certain application and have only certain access to controls within the application.  You can basically make it so that they can operate it at all.  Then they would have to know the password to be able to get out of that app or to make any of those buttons work on the phone or the iPod.  That’s maybe one.  There is also a device — and I’m really struggling to remember what the name is — it looks like a handheld pager, but it allows you to record five voice memos that go off at preprogram times.  I believe those buttons, you actually have to get a pen in there and poke into the whole to be able to change anything.  I just cannot remember what the device is.  Maybe I’ll be able to mention it on the next show.

BELVA SMITH:  Do we have electricity?

JOSH ANDERSON:  Probably if it is a worksite.

BELVA SMITH:  What about an alarm clock —

BRIAN NORTON:  Like reminder Rosie?

BELVA SMITH:  An alarm clock that is plugged into a lamp.  We’ve got the flashing of the lamp going off as well as the beep on the alarm.  My alarms at home have a remote.  The remote might be too much, I don’t know, because I guess we have to figure out how it would stop the alert.  That seems cheaper, easier than any kind of smart device.

JOSH ANDERSON:  I think especially with them saying if they become nervous and starts pushing buns, the smart device, even being locked out, it might cause problems, especially in a work environment.  Belva, I like your idea.  If you think about alarm clocks, you have a large snooze button.  All the other buttons are small.  If you find a way to cover those up or make sure there wasn’t access.

BELVA SMITH:  Make a cardboard template to put over the top of it so the snooze button is the only button accessible.

JOSH ANDERSON:  That way they can’t turn the alarm company off.  They can just use it and 9 minutes later be where they are supposed to be.

BRIAN NORTON:  You could take thermoplastic and melt it around, make a show casing.  I just want to say the word thermoplastic.

BELVA SMITH:  We have a 3-D printer.

JOSH ANDERSON:  Why don’t we print something that would work for them? It would be nice if the watch had a lockdown feature or something like that where you could not — something else I looked at was a watch for the blind, just because changing the settings on those isn’t really easy, especially the atomic ones.  It kind of walks you through, but at the same time you can have a vibrating or sound alarm.  It can tell you the alarm and things like that.  They are not that expensive.  If you go basic, they are not super expensive.  That might be an option.

BELVA SMITH:  That’s something that the individual has to remember, I have to either put this in my pocket every day when I go to work, or I have to put it on my wrist every day when I go to work.  Whereas if you could just do a permanent —

JOSH ANDERSON:  Something that is there.

BELVA SMITH:  Alarm that will work.  Mine is programmable to go off whatever time I tell it to, five days a week, seven days a week, whatever.

JOSH ANDERSON:  So you can set it to go off just Monday, Tuesday, Friday, or things like that?

BELVA SMITH:  Exactly.

JOSH ANDERSON:  So only the shifts that person works, as long as they stay the same shift, on that that you could go off at that time.  Smith now that I am using my Echo show as my alarm, I’m that using my alarm clock anymore.  This person could actually try my alarm clock if they want.

JOSH ANDERSON:  Look at that folks. Not just get your question answered but you also get Belva’s [Inaudible]

BRIAN NORTON:  Please provide us your name and address and we will ship it first class mail.

JOSH ANDERSON:  ATFAQ and hand-me-downs.

BRIAN NORTON:  I’m sure this was looked into on this particular job site.  I used to be a job coach years ago.  One of the things I would always look at first and foremost before jumping into the technology right away would be looking for natural supports in the workplace.  If you’re working your somebody or they have a manager or someone like that who was there, it might be just as well to be able to ask the person at that particular time or check in with the supervisor to let that person know that it’s time to stop working.  That way they have no technology to rely on.  It’s just simply a person who is informing them that it is time to stop.

BELVA SMITH:  I’m wondering if it is something that might require a five minute warning before.  Do they need to stop —

JOSH ANDERSON:  Clean up their area.

BELVA SMITH:  Clock out or whatever.

BRIAN NORTON:  Help prepare them for stopping the work.

JOSH ANDERSON:  Brian, you know this from doing a job coach, and I came from that world as well.  That works great depending on the job.  If you have the one with heavy turnover, that supervisor was really excellent until they were promoted to district manager and left and went somewhere else. You get a new guy who isn’t willing to do it or just wasn’t told and doesn’t have any idea why this person is asking him about time of day.

BRIAN NORTON:  Gets annoyed probably after a while.  I didn’t realize I needed to do that.

JOSH ANDERSON:  Yep and with him talking about nervousness, there would be that nervousness with new folks anyway.  Having something you can rely on would help with that.


BRIAN NORTON:  Our next question is, are there tools for demonstrating what certain visual impairments might look like so sighted persons can better understand what a person with vision loss sees? This is an interesting — we had a bit of a discussion earlier today.  Belva and I talked about this today.  There are obviously lots of tools out there.  There are different types of vision simulators that are through websites like,, is another one., which is a web accessibility tool, has one as well.  There are many others.  There are devices.  We all may have been in trainings where you want to help people experience it a little bit to get a better understanding of the folks they are looking with.  So there are goggles, glasses.  Josh, you are mentioning blindfolds.  Or simulation card this.  I’ve been to the ophthalmologist, and they give these cards that you hold up in front of your I to be able to experience that a little bit.  There are also a couple of browser add-ons called no coffee vision simulator. These are chrome extensions. NoCoffee is all one word, N-O-C-O-F-F-E-E Vision Simulator, and chrome lens is there as well. Lots of different tools for that type of stuff.

The question is, and I think we talked about this today, is the point of that and what you are really using that.  I think primarily, it is not — these types of tools do not give you accurately and don’t speak accurately for what a person really does see.  It’s going to be individualized.  But it does give you a general sense of what a certain type of visual impairment does to your vision.

BELVA SMITH:  When we were talking earlier, you said it was a great way to give a sighted individual an idea of what a person may or may not be seeing.  I know often times when I go into do a job site evaluation, the person I am with will tell me, my supervisor got me this enormous monitor.  Bigger isn’t always better.  And those types of training environments, to give a sighted individual an indication of what an individual may or may not be actually able to see, it would probably be good, but I think it is important, as you said earlier, these are not to be used like an evaluation tool at all.

BRIAN NORTON:  It’s to understand the differences between MD and RP.

JOSH ANDERSON:  For sure.  Do you have peripheral or are you missing the center vision.  Like Belva said, which is really important because I think we’ve all gone into that jobsite, hey, I was having trouble seeing my monitor so they got me these gigantic monitors which I have no peripheral vision, so now my neck hurts because I’m looking back and forth constantly.  It does give you an idea.  Belva, both of you guys set it right.  It’s very important on an individual basis to talk to the folks and figure out what it is they can see.  You can meet five people with RP and it will affect each of them differently.

BRIAN NORTON:  I think it’s nice to have a tool like that.  I think of folks who are designing websites, so that’s why I think you will find chrome extensions.  If you are designing something and you want to emphasize certain things on the screen and make sure that folks that naturally gravitate towards a particular area, it is helpful to be able to throw up different things like what vision looks like for a certain individual to see can I really see that, is it really accessible, is it usable for folks who have this particular type of vision.

WADE WINGLER:  I think it’s great to have increased awareness. Just don’t use that to oversimplify what the situation really is.

BRIAN NORTON:  Just like with all disabilities, a disability for one person may look completely different even though they have the same diagnosis.  It looks completely different for the other individual.  It affects people to for the all over the place.


BRIAN NORTON:  If you guys have feedback, maybe there is a particular vision simulator that you guys find really useful other than the ones that may have mentioned already, let us know about that.  We would love to hear about that.  You can give us a call on our listener line.  That’s 317-721-7124.  Or you can send us a tweet with hashtag ATFAQ if you are on twitter.  You would love to hear from you in that way.

Our next question is, I have recently bought a pair of AirPods for my iPhone and there is a noticeable lag when using the on-screen keyboard and voiceover.  Has anyone experienced this problem?

To be honest, I don’t have AirPods.  I don’t even have Bluetooth headset to be honest.  I still use the lightning cable.  I’m sitting here and wondering about Bluetooth.  I’m wondering if it’s maybe the nature of Bluetooth. I don’t know if I’ve ever experienced that when I have a Bluetooth headset.  Maybe there is that lag between what’s happening on the phone and the Bluetooth headset.  Is a possibility?

JOSH ANDERSON:  It depends on how much lag.  I use a Bluetooth speaker at home, and if I’m listening to music, I don’t notice it, but if I pull up and text somebody back, there is an visible live from the time my finger hits the key tell it pops up on the speaker.

BELVA SMITH:  I think there is a noticeable delay with Bluetooth when you’re using voiceover and a keyboard.  Like you were saying, when you are listening to the music, you don’t notice it.  It’s when you are trying to do that and put with voiceover that you will notice it.  I think that’s probably all it is.  I don’t think it can be corrected.

WADE WINGLER:  If you Google around, if you search for AirPods latency and voiceover, you’re going to find the people are complaining about that.  I guess it makes sense.  There is some buffering happening.  If you’re just listening to a song while you are exercising, half second for one second or two second delay isn’t going to be too bad because it is continuous.  But when it is something that is interactive as using voiceover, that latency is a big issue.

BELVA SMITH:  It makes me think of watching TV when the sound is off with the lips.

BRIAN NORTON:  Love that.

WADE WINGLER:  It boils down to the underlying with this issue as the problem.

BRIAN NORTON:  I’m just wondering.  It made be something different, the processing power on your phone or your device.  Maybe having a sighted person type on the keyboard with voiceover off and see if there is a lag between when the letter is pressed and when it shows up on the screen.  Maybe there is a processing issue behind the scenes.

BELVA SMITH:  I don’t think if you’re going to notice it when the voiceover is off.  It’s all about —

BRIAN NORTON:  I’m just talking about visually, if you press a key, and it takes a second for it to pop up in your edit field, then there is a lag.  There will be some latency as well.  I don’t know.  That’s a tough one.

BELVA SMITH:  I think it we are going to chalk it up as it is Bluetooth.


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

BRIAN NORTON:  So if you guys have other questions, listeners, if you have anything to chime in on that particular question, if you have a pair of Bluetooth headsets, maybe it’s the AirPods, and maybe you’re having some latency issues and have found a resolution to that, we would love to hear about that.  Or maybe you even have a Bluetooth headset that would work better than the AirPods.  Let us know about that as well.  We would love to hear from you.

Our next question is the wildcard question.  This is where I throw the mic at Wade.


BRIAN NORTON:  I really don’t throw it.  I just wing it.

WADE WINGLER:  They are fastened to these arms.

BRIAN NORTON:  They do swing left and right.

WADE WINGLER:  And they squeak sometimes.

BRIAN NORTON:  What have you got for us today?

WADE WINGLER:  Today’s wildcard question I’ve given it a lot of thought about.  It may not be the most technical question I ever asked, but it probably is the most important question I’ve ever asked.

BELVA SMITH:  Set up straight, buckle up.  It’s the most important question.

WADE WINGLER:  Brian is doing yoga.

JOSH ANDERSON:  I think he’s asleep.

WADE WINGLER:  Here’s the question.  Star Wars or Star Trek, and why? Or what other sci-fi?

BRIAN NORTON:  That is a very important question.  I prefer Star Wars because it is Star Wars. I like the old stuff a little bit better.  I think that stuff with Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Chewie and Han Solo in those folks, I love that stuff. I love the old stuff.  Even though it is not as spectacular with all of the special effects, just like it.


BRIAN NORTON:  Yeah, it’s classic.  And there is good versus evil.  Star Trek is all over the place for me.

JOSH ANDERSON:  Which is Star Trek?

WADE WINGLER:  That’s the sub question.

BRIAN NORTON:  Deep Space 9?

JOSH ANDERSON:  I can elaborate? I would have to go Star Trek Next Generation, then Star Wars, then the rest of Star Trek, if I had to put them in actual order.  I did love the next generation and still do.  I think that’s a great show.  I love Star Wars.  Mac is that the one with data and Jordy?


WADE WINGLER:  Gates McFadden asked Doctor crusher.

BRIAN NORTON:  The dilithium crystals are about to blow! I’ve been wanting to say that.

BELVA SMITH:  This is what the show is about, allowing Brian to say all the things that he’s just been dying to say.

JOSH ANDERSON:  The things his daughters won’t let him stay at home.

WADE WINGLER:  Josh, I have to say I’m with you.  I’m a next generation guy.  I respect the original Star Trek, but I was in college when next generation came out.  We actually stayed up and watched next-generation every time they came out.  That was a thing.  I was a big Star Wars fan when I was a kid.  When they first came out in the seventies, I was really into that.  But I have since fallen back in with Star Trek and watch it.  I’m on Voyager right now.  I have started watching every episode of every Star Trek series, and I’m through the originals and next generation and Deep Space 9.  Now I’m on Voyager.

BRIAN NORTON:  Answer your first question, why Star Trek over Star Wars?

WADE WINGLER:  Because of the nerdy technical stuff.  I like the science behind Star Trek.  In Star Wars, there is very seldom explanation about why and how things work.  In Star Trek, there is a whole lot of explanation about the science and technology behind it.  In Star Wars, they blow stuff up and it’s more like a Western and there are gunfights and action and stuff like that.

BRIAN NORTON:  They started to get behind some of that stuff now.  In some of the newer movies, they talk about the crystals and they are what power the swords and stuff like that.

WADE WINGLER:  With Star Trek, I own the technical manuals that explain how the things work.  I really nerd out on that.  That being said, and I’m sorry Belva I jumped in ahead of you.  I’m excited to hear about what you say.  Anybody do Firefly?

JOSH ANDERSON:  I used to watch firefly?

WADE WINGLER:  Firefly probably would’ve been my favorite if they kept going.

BELVA SMITH:  That’s a Kurzweil thing right?

BRIAN NORTON:  I have no idea what they are talking about.

JOSH ANDERSON:  They made a movie.

WADE WINGLER:  It was more of a Western, a cross between if you take the technical versus the Western.  Kind of in between Star Wars and Star Trek.  Only one season though.

BRIAN NORTON:  If you really want science stuff now, your real question should of been Phineas and Pherb or Star Trek and Star Wars.

WADE WINGLER: Phineas and Pherb?

BRIAN NORTON:  You guys don’t know Phineas and Pherb?

WADE WINGLER:  I know what that is cop but I don’t consider it science fiction.

BRIAN NORTON:  They are all about science.  They make all this wild, crazy stuff.  They are super smart kids.  They are looking for something to do during the summer.

WADE WINGLER:  We could put Mister Wizard in there too. All right Belva, Star Trek or Star Wars?

BELVA SMITH:  None of the above.

WADE WINGLER:  Come on! From extra magnolias?

BELVA SMITH:  I watched more Star Trek than I have Star Wars.  Recently Oliver has become very interested in Star Wars, so for that reason I’m getting a little more interested in it to kind of be his Star Wars buddy.  But really neither one.

BRIAN NORTON:  That hurts.

JOSH ANDERSON:  There is no real cop’s version of Star Trek or Star Wars.

BELVA SMITH:  Exactly.

JOSH ANDERSON:  If you had that, like real storm troopers.

WADE WINGLER:  Do you realize how many nerd hearts you just broke in our audience? I know.

WADE WINGLER:  Belva doesn’t like Star Wars or Star Trek.

BRIAN NORTON:  You will be standing in the kitchen one day, and they are going to be crying because you don’t like the shows they like.

BELVA SMITH:  They might not let me in their kitchen.

WADE WINGLER:  That’s funny.

BRIAN NORTON:  Great question Wade.

WADE WINGLER:  It was important.

BRIAN NORTON:  That’s important information.  We need to hear from our listeners.  What do you like?

WADE WINGLER:  We could do a bloopers up and where people are just talking about Star Wars, Star Trek.  Were just at the end of the show, we could tag some of those on.

BRIAN NORTON:  Please chime in on that.  We would love to hear from you.  We have three ways to do it.  You can give us a call on our listener line.  That’s 317-721-7124.  You can give us a tweet with hashtag ATFAQ.  Or you can email us at  We certainly want to hear from you.  In fact, without your questions we really don’t have a show.  So be a part of it.  I want to think these wonderful folks in the city with me and let them have an opportunity to say goodbye to everybody.  Belva?

BELVA SMITH:  Goodbye everybody.


JOSH ANDERSON:  By everybody.


WADE WINGLER:  Live long and prosper.  I had to do it.

BRIAN NORTON:  Take care guys. Have a good one.

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 Josh Anderson and Belva Smith; is produced by me, Wade Wingler; and receives support from Easter Seals Crossroads and the INDATA project.  ATFAQ is a proud member of the Accessibility Channel.  Find more of our shows at

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