Panel – Brian Norton, Josh Anderson, Belva Smith, and Wade Wingler – Q1Hiding default apps in iOS 11 Q2 Windows tablet mode Q3 Braille not working with Windows Narrator Q4 simple apps to help with laying out math equations Q5 low vision, limited dexterity talking watch Q6 chair that allow person to rock without tipping Q7 Side-by-side Seeing AI and Envision AI apps Q8. Wildcard question: food and technology
Transcription starts here:
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 firstname.lastname@example.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 82. My name is Brian Norton and I’m the host of the show. We are so happy that you’ve taken a moment to tune in with us this week. But before we jump into the questions that you’ve sent in, I wanted to take a moment to go around the studio and introduce our panel to you today. First we have Belva Smith, the vision team lead with our clinical assistive technology program here at Easter Seals Crossroads. Belva, you want to say hi to everybody?
BELVA SMITH: Welcome everybody.
BRIAN NORTON: Excellent. Next is Josh Anderson, the manager of clinical assistive technology here at Easter Seals Crossroads. Josh, you want to say hi?
JOSH ANDERSON: Hi everybody.
BRIAN NORTON: And in the next seat we have Wade Wingler, the VP here at Easter Seals Crossroads and also the producer of the AT Update podcast —
WADE WINGLER: Kind of. Actually, the former host of assistive technology update. There is a new guy on that show.
BRIAN NORTON: And I’m looking right at him in the studio.
WADE WINGLER: And you just passed him up. Mr. Josh Anderson, as of 72 hours ago, is formally the host of our flagship show, Assistive Technology Update. Congratulations, Josh.
JOSH ANDERSON: Thank you. Very excited.
BELVA SMITH: Congratulations.
JOSH ANDERSON: They are big shoes to fill for sure.
WADE WINGLER: I didn’t make a big foot joke about you. Come on.
JOSH ANDERSON: I would’ve set a big seat to fill, but that’s a lot worse.
WADE WINGLER: That’s worse. I’ll take that. We are excited that Josh has picked up the reins of that show and run with it after seven or so years. We are super excited about Josh and what he is going to do with it. If you haven’t checked it out, AssistiveTechnologyUpdate.com or wherever you get your podcast. Listen to Josh, our host with the most.
BRIAN NORTON: One does that officially take place?
WADE WINGLER: When the show airs, it will have been the week before. That show comes out on Friday, so as of August 24, Josh is in the drivers seat and the show will be airing on August 27. By the time people are hearing this, it is done.
JOSH ANDERSON: And you might recognize my first guest as the man who was just speaking.
WADE WINGLER: Yeah, we did a transition episode.
BELVA SMITH: That’ll be good.
WADE WINGLER: Basically get out, Wade, run away.
JOSH ANDERSON: I could not get him to stop talking.
BRIAN NORTON: That’s going to be an hour-long show?
WADE WINGLER: You have no idea. Actually, you do know.
BRIAN NORTON: Excellent. I’m looking forward to that change. I’ve known Josh for a long time. He’s awesome, and you guys are really going to enjoy him on AT update. We Mac we are really proud of him.
For folks who are new to our show, I wanted to take a moment and talk about ATFAQ, just to let you know what our show is all about. We received questions and go out and look for questions as well throughout the week, and we kind of compile those into a frequently asked questions show. We also have an email, tech@EasterSealsCrossroads.org. Or we also have twitter set up. We have hashtag ATFAQ that you can send a question to us through there. We love to get your questions. We also love to get your feedback as well. As we go to the question we have today and provide our best answers to that, we know you guys also have lots of experience with lots of different technologies and can also kind of fill in the gaps that we might be wide open as we talk about certain things today. We would love you guys to be able to fill those things in by providing feedback as well.
If you have friends or folks who are interested in the show, you can also tell them all about us. You can find our show through iTunes. We also have a website set up, ATFAQshow.com. You can also go to stitcher, Google play store and a variety of other places to find our podcast and sign up for that. Again, we would love to hear from you. The listener line, the email, and our hashtag. Send us your questions and your feedback and will click those things.
***[5:03] QUESTION 1 – Hiding default apps in iOS 11
BRIAN NORTON: Our first question of the day is, does anyone know how to hide the for apps in the iOS 11.4.1, which is the latest update of iOS, such as the apps like iBooks, Maps, all of those default Apple applications that come with your particular device? The email had said he’s watched a few videos but hasn’t said anything that has worked for him. He said there are all of the apps that cannot be restricted, so these apps aren’t able to be restricted and he’s asking for our advice on that.
BELVA SMITH: I think quite restricted, he means they are the Apple you cannot delete. There is probably someone who has an answer to that question, and I think Apple has him locked away and they’ve lost the key. I did try several different things. I downloaded a couple of different apps that were supposed to allow me to hide specific folders as well as specific apps. Just like the listener, I didn’t have any luck with any of them. I only did two or three and give up because I was just getting frustrated. So I really don’t think, without having a jailbroken device — which I never recommend jailbreaking because you to avoid any kind of warranty or support when you do that — but I think without jailbreaking, I can’t find a good answer.
BRIAN NORTON: You can’t completely get rid of them.
BELVA SMITH: You can put them in a folder and high them on it back paid or something, but to actually password protect them or make them in accessible, I can’t find a way to do it.
BRIAN NORTON: Do you know if we were able to do that in previous versions? I’ve never done that on my phone.
BELVA SMITH: You can’t do it.
BRIAN NORTON: It’s always been that way? Interesting. This is a great opportunity to hear from folks. I did take a look at a lot of videos and did a lot of research. I know you did too, Belva, like you said. I didn’t see anything that necessarily was able to completely get rid of them.
BELVA SMITH: People are kind of hoping that Apple will allow us to do that in the future. But I think that’s what it really comes down to, is that Apple just doesn’t want to give us that much control over our own device.
BRIAN NORTON: It’s all their default apps. They want you to use their apps.
JOSH ANDERSON: I’ll throw a challenge out to our audience. I think this is the Kobayashi Maru of iOS. This is a total pop culture question. If you know what Kobayashi Maru means, I want to hear from you. And if you know how to fix this, I want to hear from you. This is totally a Kobayashi Maru of iOS.
BELVA SMITH: I will say I found endless number of apps that will allow you — which I thought was interesting — to password protect or hide photos and videos.
BRIAN NORTON: Those are for all the kids are trying to hide rings from their parents. I got a list of those from my church at one point. They show up as a different application —
WADE WINGLER: Like a calculator.
BRIAN NORTON: A inconspicuous application on the desktop, and it’s hiding videos. How many people in this room know what Kobayashi Maru is?
WADE WINGLER: I love that you guys don’t know.
BRIAN NORTON: In the room, it’s crickets. No hands are being raised.
JOSH ANDERSON: I’m throwing it out to the audience. I want to hear from you guys.
BRIAN NORTON: That’s the first thing I’m going to Google when I get out of here. Sounds like some sort of kangaroo. We met it’s not.
JOSH ANDERSON: It’s not a specialty beef?
WADE WINGLER: No, but it sounds good.
BRIAN NORTON: Kobe beef.
WADE WINGLER: Beef and a basketball player.
BRIAN NORTON: Our next show is going to be all about food. I think we can do a pretty good show about food. Again, we would love to hear from folks about this particular question, help fill in gaps. If you guys know of a technique to be able to hide or restrict those apps, like we said, we did take a pretty thorough look around to see what we could do with those that have been able to find a good way to completely get rid of them. I’ll suggestions would be put them in a folder, move it to the back page, move it to her dock, just someplace to get them off your main screen of apps that you use at this point.
BELVA SMITH: It’s a legitimate question. It would be nice for us to be able to do that. Doing the research, I heard a gentleman mentioned that someone asks to use your phone, and you can them your phone —
WADE WINGLER: That’s a mistake. Hide Apple Pay.
BELVA SMITH: Exactly. You use to do it without thinking much about it, but now when you hand them your phone, at times you are heading them all of your personal information.
WADE WINGLER: Plus $1000 phone.
BELVA SMITH: You should be able to password protect certain files and folders.
BRIAN NORTON: I would think so too. Interesting.
***[10:21] QUESTION 2 – Windows tablet mode
BRIAN NORTON: Our next question is — he says, I have a stupid question so please forgive me if it’s a basic. When a two and one laptop is in tablet mode, can I use the memory, RAM, or whatever computer functionality I might need — when you are in tablet mode, is the rest of the computer still accessible to you?
WADE WINGLER: It’s a great question.
JOSH ANDERSON: There are no stupid questions, just to but answers.
BRIAN NORTON: Exactly.
BELVA SMITH: I was going to say.
WADE WINGLER: We’ve got stupid questions. I can ask those.
BRIAN NORTON: I believe yes, you do have control over all the other things you have on your computer. Essentially what it does is turn your computer into a touchscreen. The tablet mode makes it more in line with it’s just the touchscreen. I don’t know if it totally deactivate your keyboard, which is on the backside of your monitor.
BELVA SMITH: I don’t think it deactivates the keyboard, but it does put the on-screen keyboard — it makes it visible.
BRIAN NORTON: Makes it visible or bring it out from the side, right?
BELVA SMITH: Right. To date, the only thing I’ve ever heard is people questioning how to turn that on-screen keyboard off when they go to tablet mode. Not everybody wants to use that on-screen keyboard. I don’t know the answer to that, but I have heard that it can be turned off so that you can use the physical keyboard. I know the physical keyboard still can be used. As far as I know, that’s the only difference.
BRIAN NORTON: A lot of times you can hide it off to the side, right?
BELVA SMITH: Yeah, but then when you get into an edit place, is going to automatically come back.
BRIAN NORTON: So they just want to keep away all the time?
BELVA SMITH: There is a way to turn it off totally.
JOSH ANDERSON: You might be able to change that. If you go to settings, and I believe you can go straight to tablet mode, and change quite a few of the different questions. You can probably turn that went on and off. But you’re right, it doesn’t really change anything. It changes the appearance, and you get a back button usually where you can go back to what you are working on, and every thing shows up as apps as opposed to programs. Other than that, it really runs about the same.
BELVA SMITH: As far as your processing speed and ability to connect and all that, it still the same.
WADE WINGLER: There are different versions of operating systems. There is Windows and Windows Mobile. Windows mobile does use less power and have less horsepower, but the single tablet changing mode isn’t going to change the operating system. If you the running Windows mobile as a laptop or is going to run regular windows in tablet mode. Because you are not changing operating systems, unless it is going into some sort of power save mode automatically because you are putting it into tablet mode where it intentionally shuts down things that take extra better usage, that’s the only thing I can imagine a doing. I don’t think it’s changing that. I don’t think it is changing the operating system. I don’t think it’s going to make an appreciable difference in your performance.
BRIAN NORTON: I think you’re right.
WADE WINGLER: I like it when you think I’m right.
BRIAN NORTON: I think you’re right, Wade. I think of many times, if I am running in that tablet mode, sometimes I’m going to want access to my CD-ROM or flash drives, to bring up a PowerPoint presentation, other things. That’s a feature I would certainly want to be able to have those peripheral pieces.
BELVA SMITH: Best advantage of having the two-in-one, because if you just have a tablet, you don’t have access to a CD-ROM. But with it two-in-one, you do.
BRIAN NORTON: Anyone in the room have a two-in-one?
BELVA SMITH: I don’t.
BRIAN NORTON: I don’t either. I use a Mac. You have Windows, right?
BELVA SMITH: I use Windows, Mac.
JOSH ANDERSON: I’m all Apple.
JOSH ANDERSON: Same here.
BRIAN NORTON: I did find myself earlier in the week, I was trying to swipe to the left or right on my Mac laptop. I think that would be a nice feature. I’ve been using my iPad a lot recently, some trying to the show, I can’t do that.
WADE WINGLER: My kids to the all the time. They think they can touch any screen.
BELVA SMITH: That’s what Zoe did. She walked up to the TV because you to puts the previews of the next show. She walks up and is touching it and looking at it like, why aren’t you going to the next?
WADE WINGLER: Maybe it’s broke.
BRIAN NORTON: I don’t know if Apple will ever do it does I hope they do. I think it would make sense.
BELVA SMITH: Do a touchscreen?
BRIAN NORTON: On their computers.
BELVA SMITH: I don’t think they well.
BRIAN NORTON: You don’t think we
BELVA SMITH: No.
WADE WINGLER: It’s a big cultural ship. I saw a video that was a couple of years ago of somebody taking a toddler and putting a magazine in front of them, and they were trying to swipe the magazine and touch the magazine to make it — it was just a paper magazine. We’ve set the bar different for kids.
BELVA SMITH: I don’t think they will because I think Apple has fallen back on doing anything with their laptops. They haven’t changed anything in forever except for adding that touch bar that everybody hates.
WADE WINGLER: That’s not been a great thing. They make them faster though.
JOSH ANDERSON: It is pretty fast. I’ll give them that.
BRIAN NORTON: And they are lightweight. I love those. But I digress.
***[15:50] QUESTION 3 – Braille not working with Windows Narrator
BRIAN NORTON: So our next question is, okay, I am trying to get braille working in Windows 10 narrator. I have followed the instructions for Microsoft on the web. I’ve downloaded and installed braille, and enabled braille, chose my display and braille table and language. I’ve turned off the mass stored on my HIMS BrailleSense U2 — and that’s an important piece because that’s the particular display they are trying to connect. That he still doesn’t have braille. Any suggestions? Much appreciated.
WADE WINGLER: He totally missed an opportunity to say I’ve turned off the mass storage on my BrailleSense U2 and I still haven’t found what I’m looking for. Total missed opportunity.
BELVA SMITH: Braille with narrator is still in beta, so I think that’s probably going to be where he is running into his biggest problem. But what I would recommend is if, he hasn’t already, to contact the Microsoft accessibility support team. Hopefully they can give him some information. But even if they can’t give him some, he can share some with them which will hopefully help them be able to resolve this. Let’s face it, if they can get the braille to work properly with narrator, that’s going to be a huge deal as far as being comparable to Apple because we know the braille displays work fine with voiceover. When those really does have to push to make it work with narrator the same.
BRIAN NORTON: I did go to their website, Microsoft’s website, and the BrailleSense U2 is listed as a compatible braille display.
JOSH ANDERSON: There is a tricky part in it where you change the braille display driver, where you put in your device. You don’t put HIMS BrailleSense U2. It’ll say narrator, something something, HIMS BrailleSense U2. If you don’t do that, then it still connected to NVDA or JAWS or whatever else you are using.
BRIAN NORTON: I think the story goes if you are using your braille display for another screen reader, it’s good to have a different driver. You need to change the driver to have the one that has narrator in the title.
JOSH ANDERSON: Which it sounds like they did every thing else, already downloaded everything. Make sure it is plugged in because I know it can’t use Bluetooth. It has to be —
BRIAN NORTON: USB. Or there is a Bluetooth serial port or a USB that you can connect with it. It should work on a both of those.
JOSH ANDERSON: But then if it doesn’t, I would say do exactly what Belva said.
BELVA SMITH: They do have a long list of expected to be compatible displays, which I was surprised by that. It’s not three or four, it’s a pretty long list. You can bring that list just by going to the Microsoft accessibility website and looking it up. If you want, Brian, I’ve got the phone number here for the Microsoft accessibility phone number. It’s 1-503-427-1234. I’ve actually had to use this on two occasions and I’ve had very good luck. For me, in my experience, it wasn’t a long wait time and they were as accommodating as they could possibly be. We were able to fix one of my situations and not fix the other one, but it was of no fault of them that we didn’t get it fixed. It’s just the way it was.
BRIAN NORTON: And for folks, keep that number handy. They are very helpful. I’ve called them before with clients as well. They do provide some pretty good assistance with their particular products.
JOSH ANDERSON: It’s also good for them because if it is a problem they are not aware of, even if they can’t get it fixed, they can get working on it so that they can figure out a good solution to that.
BELVA SMITH: That’s why I highly recommend that this person try to contact them if they haven’t already, because it may be that they are having an issue that they are just not aware of. Once they are made aware of it, it’s put on their to do list, then hopefully they can get it resolved.
BRIAN NORTON: Excellent.
WADE WINGLER: Microsoft really seems to be something up their accessibility game.
BELVA SMITH: Absolutely.
WADE WINGLER: We’ve had them on the other podcast quite a lot lately, and they really seem to be doing a lot in that area. I’m glad to see that.
BRIAN NORTON: Getting into apps, seeing AI we’ve talked about before on our podcast. There is a lot of good stuff. I love how they are starting to connect things. You always have had narrator. Now connecting braille to it and allow you to have some braille access to that gives you not quite what I would consider a full blown screen reader, but some speech access.
BELVA SMITH: It’s more than just some.
JOSH ANDERSON: It’s a full blown screen reader.
BRIAN NORTON: It’s gotten better.
BELVA SMITH: If they get the braille working with it, then yeah, people may be buying their Windows computers and not buying a third-party screen reader just like they do their Apple computers.
BRIAN NORTON: That’s interesting. Don’t forget, if you have a question, or if you have any feedback over the past couple of questions that we’ve talked about, please let us know. You can give us a call at 317-721-7124, or send us an email at tech@EasterSealsCrossroads.org, or send us a tweet with the hashtag ATFAQ.
WADE WINGLER: Has anyone tweeted you lately, Brian?
BRIAN NORTON: Nobody has tweeted me.
BELVA SMITH: Nobody tweets anymore.
JOSH ANDERSON: Everybody stopped tweeting?
WADE WINGLER: Brian goes through twitter withdrawal if you don’t tweet him on a pretty regular basis.
BRIAN NORTON: I do like to get a tweet every once in a while.
WADE WINGLER: He gets all twittery. His hearts a-Twitter. Even if you don’t have a question, just tweet with the hashtag ATFAQ and say hi, Brian.
JOSH ANDERSON: You can troll him, that’s fine, just as long as you tweet him.
***[21:57] QUESTION 4 – simple apps to help with laying out math equations
BRIAN NORTON: Our next question is, I’m after suggestion for iPad-based math and numeracy based applications that assist with the layout of the questions in a simple, uncluttered way. There are lot of game like ones, but we need something that is clear and undistracted. Are there any worksheet application that allow math problems to be set out for the student with fillable fields and drop-down menus if possible? Thanks in anticipation.
I wanted to throw out a couple of different ones. These are apps we talked about before on the show. The first one is EquatIO. This one is a pretty good — is not an iPad-based math or numeracy app. It’s a chrome extension. It does allow you to create equations, formulas, and also put together different types of questions. It puts it in a way that you can organize your columns, your rose, and makes the math look good. EquatIO would be something I would turn some folks on toward.
A couple of other ones. Gmath is also a chrome extension. You can put equations, graphs, stats, also develop some math quizzes. You can put those directly into Google docs or sheets or slides. Also Mod Math. That is an iPad app. It’s good for students who have dysgraphia and/or dyslexia. It provides graph paper to allow whoever is using it to create legible math work and allow them to be able to put them in the proper columns and rows and submit that through email or upload it, and copy it to different types of worksheets as well. Mod math would be another one. I know that’s one I’ve used the most with the iPad. It seems to be pretty simple and easy to use.
WADE WINGLER: Those are great suggestions. I think that’s very where there is going to be a lot more development in the future and there is definitely a need. I think that’s great.
BRIAN NORTON: If you guys have different apps or other kinds of things, let us know. Those are just a few we throw out there, but if you guys have other suggestions, we would love to hear from you. 317-721-7124, or throw us an email at tech@EasterSealsCrossroads.org. We would love to hear from you.
***[24:17] QUESTION 5 – low vision, limited dexterity talking watch
BRIAN NORTON: Our next question is about a large button, talking watch. The question is, I have a client who has post stroke who has limited dexterity and limited vision. I’m looking for a talking watch, but he cannot press small buttons. Any ideas?
WADE WINGLER: If you are sitting near anybody, you can double them and say what time is it?
JOSH ANDERSON: They might lie.
WADE WINGLER: Accuracy not guaranteed.
BELVA SMITH: There you go.
WADE WINGLER: But it uses artificial intelligence.
BELVA SMITH: I do have a couple of suggestions. I think they were both from MaxiAids. One of them is just the talking keychain because it has a big a button than just the watch and you can keep in your pocket or clip it on your belt loop, whatever. It’s got a good-sized button. You pick it up and push the button, and it’s going to tell you what time it is. It’s very inexpensive.
Also MaxiAids carries the Reizen talking atomic watch. I understand that it’s got the three buttons, but once the watch has been set up — and I’ve done this for some of the older veterans I work with, once it is set up, it just announces the time every hour. If you want to know every half hour or 15 minutes, then you are hung without pushing the buttons. But just to hear hour upon hour, that will do it.
BRIAN NORTON: That’s R-E-I-Z-E-N?
BELVA SMITH: Yes. On other thing, I don’t know if they’re looking for this to be on the go or just looking — maybe the person is in a room and has access to Wi-Fi. In that case, one of the personal assistants would be a good suggestion.
BRIAN NORTON: Like Echo —
BELVA SMITH: Don’t activate the A lady.
BRIAN NORTON: Google home or those kinds of things.
JOSH ANDERSON: And if they’re looking for something at home, there are tons of big button clocks that will talk to you. Depending on if they want a watch, something they can wear, kind of what Belva has said is a good thing. But on Amazon, it’s called Cirbic, C-I-R-B-I-C, extra-large talking but a clock. It’s a big button, and you push it, and it tells you the time. You push it twice, and it tells you the date. If they have a hard time with targeting or pressing, it doesn’t take a whole lot to hit. It would probably fit in your pocket and you could just slap your pocket and tell you what time it is.
BELVA SMITH: How much is that?
JOSH ANDERSON: $30. And there are other brands that do the same thing. They are all between 20 and $30.
BELVA SMITH: That’s awesome. The clock must be underneath that button somewhere?
JOSH ANDERSON: It’s just built in. It’s got a button on the back that has it where you put the pin in it to set it. You can turn it high or low, and it is all battery-powered. It’s just a big button. You could have it at home or take it with you on the go and always know what time it is.
BELVA SMITH: How big would you say it is? Is it half-dollar size?
JOSH ANDERSON: A little bigger than that. I think it’s three inches. Probably fit in the palm of your hand.
BRIAN NORTON: Probably like the Amazon Echo Dot.
JOSH ANDERSON: It looks just a little smaller than that with a large button. As long as you had pants with the larger pockets. And then you can also — I don’t know if the individual has a cell phone, but you could enable “Hey Siri” or “Okay Google” and whoever has that on their phone, I just activated it.
WADE WINGLER: Hey, Siri, what time is it?
SIRI: It’s 2:54 p.m.
WADE WINGLER: We had better hurry.
JOSH ANDERSON: We started at noon.
BRIAN NORTON: I would say maybe the only challenge with that is a lot of folks that are post stroke may have aphasia, word finding, being able to communicate and get that out to the phone may be a challenge. That may be why they’re looking for a button type of press.
WADE WINGLER: What is that button thing you’ve been using for phone activations?
BRIAN NORTON: There is a new IoT, internet of things, they call it the first IoT button. It’s called Flic, F-L-I-C. You attach it to your phone or anywhere, it could be on the dash of the car, and where you want to put it. You just push the button and it’s going to do an If This Then That type of feature where you could have it tell you the time or the date.
BELVA SMITH: You originally set that up on a tablet or computer?
BRIAN NORTON: It’s an app on your phone. Once you get it set up in the app, then you just have to press that button anywhere.
BELVA SMITH: Could you set it up for grandma, and you go home and leave the button with grandma and it still works for her?
BRIAN NORTON: I think you need to have the phone with it. It’s paired your phone.
BELVA SMITH: So it’s not an independent device?
BRIAN NORTON: No.
BELVA SMITH: Okay.
WADE WINGLER: We’ve ordered some to play with.
BRIAN NORTON: We have an Internet of things full day training that we are doing. I bought three of them to play with. I’ve been messing around with those for the last couple of days. They seem to do a pretty good job once you get it set up. They don’t work with a whole lot at this point. They are getting more compatible with some of the of the smart devices. It has the capability of doing what we wanted to do here.
BELVA SMITH: I know we mentioned that one of those personal assistants might be a good solution for this individual or situation. Recently, Amazon has developed the blueprint skills. That’s the type of thing where I know you are same individual might have trouble remember and all those specific commands. You could basically use the blueprint to set up a good morning, which would then give them the current time and whether and all that stuff, so they wouldn’t have to remember a whole list of commands. It’s pretty simple to set those blueprint skills.
BRIAN NORTON: I was impressed with that. I had not seen that before you show it to me this morning. It’s actually, Alexa has its own set of If This Then That kind of features that you can set up for a variety of things.
BELVA SMITH: And you don’t have to feel geeky to do it because it walks you through step-by-step, asking specific questions, and you give specific answer that you want it to have. You don’t have to feel geeky.
BRIAN NORTON: What is that under? What’s the website? Amazon.blueprint.com?
BELVA SMITH: I think so. Give me a second. Amazon.com/blueprint.
BRIAN NORTON: Excellent. Definitely check that out. That was interesting and simple to be able to set up for those types of things.
***[31:25] QUESTION 6 – chair that allow person to rock without tipping
BRIAN NORTON: Our next question is, I have a request for a chair that allows a individual to rock without tipping or hopefully without breaking things as well. She has been successful in breaking a couple of office chairs. I’ve researched this option, and the best I’ve come up with is a Rifton chair. Does anyone have an option on this chair or other sedation. Thanks for your time.
The Rifton chair they’re talking about is one of their activity chairs. One of the features is a spring option that essentially allows that seat to go back and forth, front to back, and allow you to move that with a spring type action. Rifton.com is where you’ll find that particular activity chair.
Other suggestions for this question?
WADE WINGLER: It kind of depends and what they’re trying to accomplish. If they’re looking for a chair that is designed to rock like a rocking chair but not to tip, and there are a couple of different options. Or if you’re just trying to keep somebody from tipping their chair backwards and falling over and busting their head, like they used to warn me about in second grade. They would say four on the floor, and two of your own, because they wanted all my feet on there. If you’re just looking for a chair that will allow you to wobble but not fall over, I would suggest the Kore design wobble chair. It’s K-O-R-E. they are typically sold for public areas like libraries. They are around $50, or you can get bigger ones for up to $120. It has a pedestal with a round bottom. They are made out of plastic, they look like they are pretty durable. But they are specifically designed for people who are sort of fidgety. They talk about ADD, ADHD, those kinds of things. It’s as they are made with antimicrobial plastic, so they are thinking about safety and health and those kinds of things. If you’re looking for some that rots but doesn’t fall over, I would suggest looking at the core design wobble chair.
If you just want somebody to quit tipping their chair backward, there are a couple of things to consider. There is a thing called a Kaboost, K-A-B-O-O-S-T. That’s designed to boost up a chair but sort of widens the base and makes it harder to turn over or tip backwards. That’s the Kaboost, and those are around $40-$50. I’m seeing anything that looks homemade but pretty cool, called the Yeti Chair Guardian. It’s designed to basically attach to the bottom of a chair, made out of wood, and it just makes the base lighter and fighter, sort of like for paddles where the legs would normally just be posts. It makes it a lot harder to take that over.
The last thing I have is if you are looking for something more rehab and you have about $400to $500, there is a thing called the Baily anti-tipping adjustable classroom chair. It looks more institutional. It’s made out of wood and steel pipe and has some leather or plastic stuff on it. It’s highly adaptable, designed specifically for therapeutic classroom use. Include stuff like a lap board and a place to do activities and stuff like that. It kind of depends on exhibit what they’re trying to accomplish. Those are some of the options for things I found.
BRIAN NORTON: Excellent. I was just thinking, a couple of the ones we have in our lab, something caught the Vidget [phonetic]. Which is more of a kid seat but doesn’t rock forward and backward. It will rock side to side. It has a beveled base so you can rock side-to-side on it. It does have some tactile and sensory types of things, grips in it so that if the person does need some sensory types of applications, they have some things to be able to help with giving them some sensory activity to be able to increase their attention and focus.
There is also the REST, which is the Relaxation Equine something-something.
WADE WINGLER: The horsey thing.
BRIAN NORTON: Yeah. It’s a seat you can set on, and moves you around like you are writing a horse. It’s to help with improved attention and focus in the classroom and stuff like that. It depends on where you’re wanting to apply this. If it is at a work setting, and a manufacturing setting, in the classroom, you might have some different solutions for that.
BELVA SMITH: I think it’s interesting that those Yeti chair guardians, that’s the thermos people.
WADE WINGLER: Is it?
BELVA SMITH: Yeah.
WADE WINGLER: I didn’t realize it was made by those folks.
BELVA SMITH: It’s spelled the same way so I think it is.
BRIAN NORTON: Keep your beverages cold and set up straight. Don’t tip herself over. If you are listeners have suggestions with chairs or seating options that match up with what we are looking for, let us know. We would love to hear from you. You can send us an email at tech@EasterSealsCrossroads.org or send us a tweet with hashtag ATFAQ. We would love to hear from you.
***[36:29] QUESTION 7 – Side-by-side Seeing AI and Envision AI apps
BRIAN NORTON: Our next question came in through email. It says, not too long ago you had Belva on the show — I think that was on an AT update show — talking about seeing AI by Microsoft. The question is, they want us to take a look at the app below, which is Envision AI, which is a very similar app. They wanted to see a side-by-side comparison of the two and what we thought amongst those.
I know, Belva, you spent a lot of time with seeing AI. You’ve taken a look at Envision AI. Josh, you’ve had some experience or at least no pricing and things like that, some of the differences. I wanted to have a little bit of a talk about those two particular apps, what they do, and what may be different.
BELVA SMITH: I think we had dropped a suggestion into the bucket of possibilities to do sometime in the future. There are several — just like anything else, there are several different versions of this app available. More and more keep coming out. There is Microsoft Lens —
WADE WINGLER: Office Lens?
BELVA SMITH: Yeah. I was in love with that when I first saw it. I personally have only use the Envision app two or three times because anyone who has listened to previous show knows that I’m all about free, and that one is not free. In comparison to the seeing AI app, is my understanding that they are going to do the same type of thing. It’s just that you’re going to be paying, which is my biggest fear. When we did this on the podcast, I said I’m afraid the Microsoft is going to let everyone fall in love with seeing AI and then there are going to start charging for it. We could go on with what makes one better than the other one. The most important thing is going to be your lighting and camera. Seeing AI is only available on your iPhone. It’s not available on Android. I believe the envision is available on both. Is that correct?
WADE WINGLER: Mhmm.
BELVA SMITH: That’s one of the biggest things you had to figure out is which phone do you have, and that will help you determine which one of the apps you’re going to use.
JOSH ANDERSON: I don’t have a whole lot of experience using envision, but I know from things I’ve read and heard that it’s better at reading some weird fonts. Not the crazy ones, but if the font is a little off or weird, I think it’s supposed to do a little bit better job. Seeing AI will tell you what the edges of your paper are so that you can line it up. And vision doesn’t do that right now. That might change. I don’t believe it has a barcode reader. I think those are the main —
BELVA SMITH: What about the handwriting?
JOSH ANDERSON: Envision does have handwriting. Just like seeing AI, it is in beta. It’s still being worked on. From what I’ve heard got much like seeing AI, it does a pretty good job with being legible. The worst the handwriting gets, the worse it understands. Belva, you’re right, the biggest difference is seeing AI is free, whereas envision is five dollars a month. The price goes down if you pay by the year, and if you want unlimited without paying a monthly fee, it’s about $200.
BRIAN NORTON: Then you have a lifetime license.
BELVA SMITH: How much is the lifetime license?
JOSH ANDERSON: That’s the $200.
BELVA SMITH: $200 is a lot of money, but if I’m going to be able to use it for a lifetime, what is a lifetime? Is it like my TiVo? Is it the lifetime of my device? Or is in my lifetime? I found that out with TiVo. When you buy a lifetime membership, when that device breaks, your membership is over and you have to buy a new one.
BRIAN NORTON: Don’t quote me on this, but I’m pretty sure, because you signed up, you register —
BELVA SMITH: So it’s your lifetime.
BRIAN NORTON: I’m pretty sure it is your lifetime that you would be paying for because that apps to just be able to transition to the next phone you get. I don’t know if you are switching from Apple to Android — because you might have to buy the Apple app and you might have to buy the Android app — I don’t know what that looks like.
JOSH ANDERSON: I’m pretty sure it is a link to an account so you would probably still be okay. That something you would want to talk to them about because I’m not sure. Since you have to log in, I would almost imagine that it’s linked more to the account than to the actual app itself.
BELVA SMITH: I do know with some of the other apps, since you’ve had it for your I device and then bought an Android device, you had to repurchase it. It wouldn’t go from one to the other.
BRIAN NORTON: I’ve been in both apps and I like both of them very much. I will say I did like more how Envision was organized, but I don’t know if I would pay for the organization right up front. I think are probably get by with what I want from it through seeing AI. I was impressed by the envision AI and how it was organized.
JOSH ANDERSON: When you say how it was organized, is that as a sighted individual or a blind individual?
BELVA SMITH: As a flicker?
JOSH ANDERSON: Yeah, as a flicker, or as someone who is just touching the screen and moving things that way?
BRIAN NORTON: From the touching the screen 10 point. But I could see how they separated out the features into two different levels. It seemed like the OCR stuff was in one area. They had the seeing stuff where you had to take a picture to recognize people and all those kinds of things, they were in a different area. I liked how they were split. It was up on — it’s hard to explain visually to folks.
BELVA SMITH: I can describe seeing AI. To me, in front of you, simple. You are just swiping to the right to find your different actions. I find that to be very easy. The fact that the screen itself is not over polluted. It’s been a while since I’ve used the other apps so I would have to refresh my use it with it. There’s like four or five buttons on the seeing AI app. To me that just makes it really simple to use.
JOSH ANDERSON: There was one feature of envision I did like where you can identify options, as far as this is my wallet, these are my keys. So that whenever you hold it over and take a picture, it will say your wallet, your keys.
BELVA SMITH: How does it know it’s yours and not mine?
JOSH ANDERSON: Because you taught it. My wallet looks totally different than your wallet.
BRIAN NORTON: I did like that. That’s object recognition.
JOSH ANDERSON: With both of them, it is one of those have to continue to look at. They are both adding new features constantly.
BELVA SMITH: It would be interesting to have them both side-by-side and find out which one requires better lighting or is more forgiving with lower light.
BRIAN NORTON: Excellent.
***[43:46] WILDCARD QUESTION – Wildcard Question: food and technology
WADE WINGLER: And now it’s time for the wildcard question.
BRIAN NORTON: So our next question is the wildcard question. This is where we throw the microphone over to Wade, hopefully not hit him. He asks a question that we haven’t prepared for one bit. Which is pretty much what we’ve done all day.
JOSH ANDERSON: Which is totally different from all the rest.
BELVA SMITH: Don’t tell our listeners that. We met we are just smart all the time.
BRIAN NORTON: What have you got for us today?
WADE WINGLER: I didn’t know we were going to talk so much about food today, but we’ve been talking about food throughout the show a lot. I’m kind of hungry today. Here’s my question. What role does technology play in your day-to-day interaction with food? The faces are saying, what? Probably not. But then I got to thinking about me in my life. Full disclosure: my wife and I are doing Weight Watchers together right now. We have been for a while. That means throughout the day, I’m checking points on Weight Watchers. My doctor said you are not drinking enough water, so I got an app that’s tracking my water throughout the day. I’m constantly looking up recipes on my phone. We tell Alexa to put things on our shopping list, so we have a grocery list that has an app. I have been known to order some food, either groceries through one of the grocery store apps, or Amazon. I’ve been toying around the city with Uber eats, which is a thing that will bring you food to your door from the restaurant. I have shopping, restaurant, loyalty cards. I have a Starbucks card. I look at yelp. There is a thing called no wait they meet you don’t have to wait at the restaurant. Is it me, or can anybody come up with a dozen ways now that we use technology to interact with food? And then always the AT spin, what does that mean for people with disabilities?
BELVA SMITH: I will say for us, we always look at the menu online before we go into a restaurant. As most of our old listeners know, maybe the new ones don’t. My boyfriend is visually impaired and can’t read the restaurant menu. If we haven’t looked at the menu before we go, that means I’m reading it to him and then reading it again for myself to make sure I don’t miss what I want or miss what he wants. We always look up our menus before we go. In fact, we made the decision to not go to certain restaurants because we can’t find the menu online. That’s just been for certain situations. That’s one of the things we do.
Back when I was unable to drive, I was using the technology to get my groceries ordered and get groceries into the house. I looked at the Uber eats and said I was going to do it because almost everyone locally around us says you can get your food for a low-cost, but we never did do it, primarily because it was setting up a whole new account and I just didn’t feel like doing it. I’m kind of lazy like that.
I too did Weight Watchers for a while. I was on the phone constantly because you are tracking everything. You are tracking water you drink, every coffee you get, looking to see can I eat this or not. It will talk you out of eating that chocolate donut really quickly when you see how many points is going to be.
WADE WINGLER: All the points.
BELVA SMITH: And looking up recipes. I do that frequently. I’ll open the cabin and see I’ve got rice and chicken broth and what can I do with it. I’ll ask Alexa to help me find a recipe, and she does. That’s how I use it. Again, for your second part of the question, is how does that help people with different abilities. I think being able to look at your menu before you go to the restaurant, for people who are visually impaired, is huge. I think the ability to have your groceries ordered online and delivered to you is also great for everybody, especially when you can’t drive.
JOSH ANDERSON: I completely agree with you. I’ll go with the second part of the question first. Having groceries delivered for folks who can’t get out, can strive, can’t make it to the store and carry their own stuff, that’s an amazing accommodation. Then your meal is delivered. Anything, any restaurant you want, that stuff. Also if you have dietary restrictions, being able to track those a little bit easier without having a caregiver looking over your shoulder, making sure everything you eat, being able to do that to foster independence is a good thing.
I don’t hardly use any technology when it comes to food unless you count the stove or the grill.
WADE WINGLER: The microwave.
JOSH ANDERSON: Sometimes I make a list on my phone of things I need to buy in a look at it when I get home and realize I forgot stuff. I’m not good at checking it when I get there. I use my credit card. I guess I have some points cards for a couple of places. Occasionally I will look up recipes. I’m a big fan of looking up about three different recipes and trying to pick and choose from each want to see what’s going to taste good. If you do look up recipes, I recommend go to the very bottom and look at all the comments. People make their own spends on things and it usually turns out 10 times better than if you just do the recipe.
BELVA SMITH: You brought up an interesting topic, money, people funny. Zoe, my two-year-old granddaughter, what’s paper money? It’s just paper, right?
BRIAN NORTON: I think about the whole process of purchasing food. You can’t purchase or cook food without technology. I went and got Subway today —
JOSH ANDERSON: Fire.
WADE WINGLER: Fire technology.
BRIAN NORTON: How are you going to get the food unless you raise your own food?
WADE WINGLER: Are you saying that fire is technology?
BRIAN NORTON: But then you have to buy the feed for the food. You’re going to have to buy something at some point.
JOSH ANDERSON: True.
BRIAN NORTON: I use my credit card all the time to do that, cash to do that. You can’t cook without a stove. You can’t get around technology. I will say I love what you guys have commented on it, is just the ability for folks to know — there are so many different services out there to be able to order something from the restaurant, order something from the grocery store, and have things delivered to your house. Amazon does that. It’s called the Amazon Alexa Wand. You hang it on the side of her fridge. Every time something runs out, you just scan the barcode and adds it to your shopping list on Amazon. There are so many great things like that these days that weren’t there before. Great business opportunity. People are taking advantage of it and it is making the lives of people with disabilities a lot simpler.
JOSH ANDERSON: I have a question for you guys. Do you ever use that kiosk at the fast food places where you order your food?
BELVA SMITH: I have at McDonald’s?
JOSH ANDERSON: Have you? I always go to the human being.
BELVA SMITH: You know why I did, is because a human being walked me over to the kiosk and said let me show you how to place your order. Have you seen them?
WADE WINGLER: Yeah, at airports.
BELVA SMITH: They are a lot at the Love’s and places like that. The person actually walked me over to it and showed me how to place my order. I was like, okay, I guess so. I would rather talk to you but okay.
WADE WINGLER: I think there is a transition period. I didn’t use to use the check your self out lanes at the grocery store. I used to be like I’m not going to do that. Somebody is getting paid to do that. I don’t want to back my own groceries. I don’t want to bring up my own groceries. People are getting paid to do that. Why do I want to? Now, years later, it’s like I’ll just go to that thing.
JOSH ANDERSON: I do if I one or two things. If I’ve any more than that, I’ll let someone else.
BRIAN NORTON: I started going there because the lady always brought 13 items and set of 11.
WADE WINGLER: Norton is on the warpath.
BRIAN NORTON: That’s our show for today. I want to thank everybody for sending in your questions and your feedback as well. Don’t hesitate to give us a call on our listener line at 317-721-7124. Or send as a tweet with hashtag ATFAQ. Or email us at tech@EasterSealsCrossroads.org. We certainly want your questions. In fact, without your questions, we really don’t have a show, so be a part of it.
I want to thank the panel today, give them an opportunity to say goodbye to everybody as well. Belva?
BELVA SMITH: Goodbye everybody.
BRIAN NORTON: And Josh?
JOSH ANDERSON: We will see you next time.
BRIAN NORTON: And Wade.
WADE WINGLER: Have a good week everybody.
BRIAN NORTON: Take care and we will see you guys in a couple weeks.
WADE WINGLER: Information provided on Assistive Technology FAQ 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 www.accessibilitychannel.com.
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