ATFAQ087 – Q1- Food delivery options Q2- Reading music w/ Low Vision Q3- Connecting Focus40 Braille Display Q4- Live Transcription Q5- iOS mouse access Q6- Headpointer for Mac OS Q7- Wildcard question: What tech is on your holiday wish list?


Panel – Brian Norton, Josh Anderson, Belva Smith, Wade Wingler, Laaree Drawantz, Chis and Eric. – Q1- Food delivery options Q2- Reading music w/ Low Vision Q3- Connecting Focus40 Braille Display Q4- Live Transcription Q5- iOS mouse access Q6- Headpointer for Mac OS Q7- Wildcard question: What tech is on your holiday wish list?


—————– Transcript Begins 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 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 87. My name is Brian Norton and I’m the host of the show. We are so happy you tuned in this week. We have a great lineup of assistive technology questions for you today, but before we jump into the questions, I want to take a moment to go around and introduce the folks who are sitting in the studio with me, and who are remote. I’ll get to those folks in a minute. Belva is in the studio with me. You want to say hey?

BELVA SMITH: Hey everybody.

BRIAN NORTON: Belva is the team lead for our vision team here at Easter Seals Crossroads. I also have Josh Anderson. Josh?

JOSH ANDERSON: Hi everybody.

BRIAN NORTON: Josh is a manager of the clinical assistive technology program. I have Wade over here as well.

WADE WINGLER: Hello everybody.

BRIAN NORTON: Excellent. I’m going to go ahead and give a shout out. We have our counterparts out in Nevada from the Easter Seals out in Nevada: Laaree, Chris, and Eric. And I’m going to let you guys introduce yourselves in a minute. Go ahead.

LAAREE DRAWANTZ: Hi, I’m LaaRee, and I work at Easter Seals in sunny Las Vegas.

BELVA SMITH: Rubbing it in.


CHRIS JARVIS: I’m Chris Jarvis, assistive technology specialist, just moved out here from Connecticut and enjoy this wonderful, sunny weather.

BRIAN NORTON: Connecticut to Las Vegas? Nice.

WADE WINGLER: Rubbing it in too.


ERIC PESQUIRA: My name is Eric Pesquira. I’m an assistive technologist here at Easter Seals, and we are glad to be here today.

BRIAN NORTON: Perfect. We’ve got a big panel today. We’ve got lots of questions. Before we get too far, we’re going to jump in and get to these questions. One thing I did want to mention, for folks who are new listeners to our show, I just want to mention a little bit of information about how our show works. We receive feedback and come across various assistive technology related questions throughout the week. If you are interested in asking a question, we have a couple of ways for you to get a hold of us and get them to us. Our listener line is 317-721-7124. We also have an email address that is We also have a hashtag, if you are on Twitter and want to send a tweet, we would love to hear from you. That’s hashtag ATFAQ. As we go to the questions this week, I want to mention that it’s great if you also want to provide feedback. We set around and try to answer these questions as best we can, but we know that you guys probably might have some experience with the same type of tools and technologies that we reference. If you have a different experience or opinion, let us know. We would love to hear from you. You can get a hold of us with feedback in those ways too.

Also, if you have friends and they don’t listen to the show but would like to learn or to know where to find us, I want to mention the place to we are. We are on iTunes, see you can look us up on iTunes. You can go to our website at You can find us on stitcher, the Google play store. Lots of places to be able to find us.

Before we jump in, I want to make sure you guys had that type of information, who we are, what we do, and what way to find us.

Without further ado, we don’t have any feedback today, so we are going to jump into our first question.


[3:57] Question 1 – Food delivery options


BRIAN NORTON: The first question came in an email format. The question is, I’ve been hearing a lot about these companies that will deliver just about anything to your door, including fast food, groceries, etc. I think the services are shoot for persons with disabilities. Can you share what you know of the services and if there are any you would recommend? I’ll toss that out to the panel. Have you guys had any experience with these companies that would bring it to you?

BELVA SMITH: When I was off due to my fall, I did take advantage of the Kroger — I don’t know what it is called. I call it click and pick.

WADE WINGLER: Quick click?

BELVA SMITH: I don’t know. But it was simple and easy. The first couple times that I did it, I just it is so that we had to pick it up. I sent my son to pick it up. When you place your order, you do have to have a credit card connected to the account. That’s pretty much true with all of them. You have to have a card connected.

BRIAN NORTON: Some sort of payment source.

BELVA SMITH: Yes. But when you pull up to pick up your groceries, you pull it and call the number that is provided. Within five minutes, they bring the groceries out, and load them into your car. Now, you can have them delivered, and they will go as far as to carry them in and actually place them in your refrigerator or the cabin if you ask for that.


BELVA SMITH: Yes. Some of them, with the smart locks, you can give them a special code and it will unlock your front door even if you’re not home and put your groceries away for you as well.

BRIAN NORTON: Interesting.

BELVA SMITH: I do know that PeaPod has been around here in our area for several years, very accessible with voiceover. I’ve never tried it with JAWS, but I have used it with voiceover and it is very accessible.

BRIAN NORTON: Those are screen readers?

BELVA SMITH: Yes. Vision team lead?

BRIAN NORTON: As a rule of thumb, if it’s accessible with a screen reader, you are probably going to be accessible by most of the things as well, right?


WADE WINGLER: It’s click list, Belva. I looked it up.

BELVA SMITH: Click list.

WADE WINGLER: I googled it really quick. We’ve had some experience in our house with a number of the services. My wife really like to try them, not because we are dealing with a disability but just because she likes to try the new technologies. We’ve tried several of them. The one where it is actually offered by the store where you pick it up, the one where it is a third-party who goes in does your shopping for you —

BELVA SMITH: InstaCart or something like that.

WADE WINGLER: Yeah, those. Right now we are doing one that we are really enjoying called Imperfect Produce. It’s just produce and it’s funny shaped or funny site produce or think that have cosmetic marks on them, but they’re still okay. Like an Apple —

BELVA SMITH: Produce with a little “disability”?

WADE WINGLER: I didn’t even think about that. Me in my pure heart would’ve never thought about something like that. It’s less expensive, so you are not spending a whole lot. And they suggest different things during certain times of the year. Right now, tonight, I’m going to have a delicata squash for dinner because I love delicata squash and they are kind of hard to find but they were suggesting those because they have some at this time of year that are just a little discolored but still perfectly fine.

BRIAN NORTON: I’ve never heard of a delicata squash.

WADE WINGLER: Oh, they’re great. You eat the skin and everything.

JOSH ANDERSON: Making it up.

WADE WINGLER: No, I’m not making it up. They are healthy French fries. You would love them. The reason I mention them is it’s the first time it hasn’t cost more. So when I’ve used these services – and I don’t care which one it is, whether you go to the store or pick it up. It always seems that because of the pricing or service charge or something, it has kept us from doing it because it always seems like it ends up costing a little bit more than if I had done it myself, which is probably a perfect trade-off if you’ve got a disability or dealing with some sort of accessibility need. But I’m a cheapskate. I’ll end up going to the store.

BELVA SMITH: Almost all of them will reel you in, like when I first started doing it with Kroger. The first four or five times, it was free. They didn’t charge me any service charge. After that, they started charging the service charge. What I found is, even when I come back to work, I still didn’t want to go to the grocery store and walk up and down the aisles. I was still using it just because it was easy. What I’ve noticed is, like you mentioned, Wade, if you go into Walmart or Kroger or Meijer, any of the stores around my house that do the delivery, you go in early on a Sunday morning, there are so many people shopping for someone else. They’ve got their big tall carts and are just running around the store, grabbing everything for everybody. A

BRIAN NORTON: I want to make sure I get the folks in Vegas included. I know Kroger — I don’t know if it is a local or national grocery store.

WADE WINGLER: What is the Kroger version out there? I forget.


WADE WINGLER: Do you go.

BRIAN NORTON: Do you guys have grocery stores in your region that are offering the click — pick it — delivery — I don’t know.

BELVA SMITH: That’s why I call them all click and pick.

ERIC PESQUIRA: We do. Albertsons and Vons has the same services here in Nevada —

BRIAN NORTON: Excellent.

ERIC PESQUIRA: — Costco, Sam’s Club, Amazon Fresh.

BELVA SMITH: So if you use one of those services and you want it delivered, then do you get routed to the third-party. Like here, it is Instacart that will, if you use Kroger, it will direct you from the Kroger website to Instacart for the delivery options.

BRIAN NORTON: Have you guys ever used anything like that out there, for personal use?

ERIC PESQUIRA: [Inaudible] so does Smiths and Albertsons and Vons —

BELVA SMITH: That’s nice.

BRIAN NORTON: That’s kind of cool.

WADE WINGLER: Have you found any particular accessibility or disability spins on this whole grocery to your door or grocery convenience thing that you found impressive or good or helpful?

LAAREE DRAWANTZ: That’s been only come from us when we go around the community, teaching them about — we are bombarded with the commercials on TV. We do have a lady here in the office that uses Amazon Prime. Sometimes she’ll order a couple of things, tuna, crackers, and a loaf of bread for lunch and it will be here within a couple of hours. That’s like the only person in the world I really know that really utilizes that service. And Las Vegas, we are all about convenience and service and getting things right away. We are really definitely an instant gratification community. Paying for that convenience is just something that you just have to do, but that’s a small part of having to pay for that convenience, is that service charge.

BRIAN NORTON: Excellent. I was always wondering with the services, like I like to go to the grocery store. You walk to the produce aisle, and you like to squeeze, make sure that what you’re getting is ripe. Squeeze your melons.

WADE WINGLER: Hit the bloopers.

JOSH ANDERSON: Inappropriate.

BRIAN NORTON: I just wonder if someone is doing it for you, are you getting exactly what you want. We met you know what, I can say something about that. I had a friend who tried to be one of those click it, pick it, shoppers —

BELVA SMITH: Shoppers?

WADE WINGLER: Yeah. During their interview or trial run process, they got a question, something like, if you got a thing of strawberries and there was one that was a tiny bit moldy, but the rest of them looked good and — would you pick that for your customer. She was like, I might. So they really do screen people to make sure they are properly trained to really get the good stuff and be very selective about that.

BELVA SMITH: I’ve got to say there is an advantage, for me especially, because I am what you call an impulse buyer.

BRIAN NORTON: I grab six candy bars and the check out.

BELVA SMITH: So when I sit down to do my list, it’s just what do I need, not what looks good or when I’m hungry for. It’s just cut and dry, what do I need.


BRIAN NORTON: That’s right.


BRIAN NORTON: Do they honor coupons and other kinds of things? Or do you have to go to the store?

BELVA SMITH: I’m not a coupon chopper, so I don’t really know.

JOSH ANDERSON: Can you pay them to just put away your stuff? Because I didn’t know they put away your stuff. But I hate that.

BELVA SMITH: I know, right?

WADE WINGLER: Fold your laundry?

JOSH ANDERSON: That was my next question, Wade.

BELVA SMITH: I will say, my advice to this individual that had this question, if there is a store that you particularly like, go to their website and look and see what is all involved with getting your account set up. It took me less than five minutes to get my account set up with Kroger. The service charge was only $4.95. I know, $4.95 is $4.95. But when you just can’t get yourself to the store and get up and down those aisles, $4.95 is not a lot of money.

BRIAN NORTON: Which I think is probably a big thing for folks who have disabilities and are able to get out, are waiting at home health aides to help them with that particular task. They can do more of those tasks if they have the resources to be able to pay for it a little bit quicker and more on their timeline instead of on someone else’s.

JOSH ANDERSON: They also asked, there are tons of fast food ones.

BRIAN NORTON: I’ve been seeing those pop up all the time.

JOSH ANDERSON: Yeah. Uber eats. Total Takeout. GrubHub. Doordash. There are all kinds. Some of them have contracts with certain places and others will just go pick up anything you want.

BRIAN NORTON: Is there a service charge, delivery charge? How much do the up charge for a meal?

JOSH ANDERSON: I don’t know. I live in the country and nothing delivers to my house.

BELVA SMITH: It’s a small fee. I started to do the grub hub and didn’t do it, because I didn’t feel like creating a whole another account. Again, you had to have an account and a card connected. But it’s not very much.

WADE WINGLER: I haven’t used the services, but I was looking at Uber eats recently. I think it’s based on how far you are from the restaurant. I’ve got a McDonald’s within a few blocks of my house, and it was like $1.50 to have them deliver McDonald’s to my house. But a restaurant that’s a few miles away on the other side of our little town is four or five dollars. It just depends on how far you are from the restaurant, what the delivery charge would be.

JOSH ANDERSON: During the winter, that might be really nice. There would be snow — snow is the white stuff that falls from the sky, for you in Nevada. It’s like sand, a cold.

WADE WINGLER: I was there when it snowed. Everything stopped.

BRIAN NORTON: It does snow? I thought there were just lots of scorpions crawling on the ground.


BRIAN NORTON: A couple of the places I found in searching around for more of these national ones. I think green bean delivery is more of a regional/national one. Instacart, Pea Pod, Amazon Fresh, Walmart. There is one called Shipt, which is S-H-I-P-T. you mentioned, Belva, some of these local places then send you out to those places —

BELVA SMITH: I was getting ready to say. Instacart is actually the delivery person for a lot of the different ones. You may be shopping at Meijer, but when you want the delivery, you will be going through Instacart.

BRIAN NORTON: And Uber eats, are these Uber drivers out there waiting for either a ride or a meal?

BELVA SMITH: Yes. My friend who drives for Uber, yes. At lunchtime, she doesn’t do any rides. She just delivers lunch.

BRIAN NORTON: I want my lunch delivered everyday.


[15:04] Question 2 – Reading music with Low Vision


BRIAN NORTON: Our next question is, hello, I’ve recently had a significant vision loss and I’m unable to play the trombone anymore because I can’t see music. Is there anything that I can do to help me see music again?

This is a common question we’ve had, I believe, before. I think it’s really common. We have a lot of musicians, folks who play in the orchestra or different kinds of bands. There are many ways to have vision loss, age related or other ways. Thoughts on ways to help folks be able to see the music again and continue to play? Any thoughts?

BELVA SMITH: There are lots of different technologies out there that could be suitable for this individual. First of all, a significant vision loss, I don’t know really what that means because that could mean so many different things. It’s hard to identify what may or may not be appropriate.

BRIAN NORTON: I think on this particular individual, he has a low vision. He can still see but he needs it blown up significantly.

BELVA SMITH: Okay. So my suggestion for him or her would be to look for their local assistive technology act and start trying to either have them come into their home and do a demo of some different products, or maybe go to their location and take a look. Because there are so many different vision and has been devices available, but it’s really hard to pinpoint what one may or may not be appropriate. Also, are they doing this as a job, or are they doing this as leisure? If it is job-related, then they should look into possibly getting a vocational rehab case opened so that they can get some assistance. Unfortunately, none of these things are actually cheap. I should say none of them, because there could be a cheap solution. Again, it’s one of these things where you really have to try it out before you can make a decision as to what is going to work. It could be something as simple as — I think you suggested it, Brian — is an iPad. Have the sheet music behind the iPad, iPad on a stand, and blow it up. Without trying it, it’s just going to be hard to identify.

WADE WINGLER: I guess I would add on and say I think the iPad is something to look at, because there are several new apps designed to make sheet music more convenient for people, regardless of their level of vision. Some of the ones I found that come highly recommended are FourScore and Pia Score and Symphony Pro. They all have different bells and whistles and features. The iPad Pro are getting pretty big these days, so even without magnification, you may be able to get a beacon of version. And then there are Android tablets that are bigger than that. There may be options without using AT, just one of the mainstream benefits of having a tablet, a large-format tablet with one of these sheet music programs. They are pretty inexpensive, the apps. They all ran between five dollars and $20 for the app. Then you probably have to pay for the sheet music. I would definitely be looking into that.

BELVA SMITH: A couple of years ago, I did a job site assessment for a gentleman who needed sheet music, and he needed to be hands-free. He was a little low vision. It wasn’t a whole lot. This was when the iPad was still fairly new. We were able to get his sheet music onto the iPad so that he could be hands-free. We used a switch so that he could flip through the sheet music as he was playing. That’s been quite a while ago, but I do remember that we did that and it worked out beautifully for him.

BRIAN NORTON: That’s really cool.

LAAREE DRAWANTZ: We thought about the E-Sight mission glasses if he has some vision along with the NuEyes. And then there are lots of different vision glasses out there, as you know. It’s one of the latest and hottest AT going on in the market right now. We’ve had a lot of success with individuals with the E-Sight. And then come a long way, and they are now $10,000 compared to the $15,000 they were a few years ago. Their features and functionality has changed tremendously. If he was a professional musician, I would definitely recommend going to some kind of vision eyewear to be able to perform.

BRIAN NORTON: All those, NuEyes, E-Sight, and even some of the Iris vision, those out there, those are the newest, latest, greatest magnifying head worn magnifiers. Obviously to be able to have your hands-free to be able to play the instrument, whether it’s a wind instrument or more of a brass instrument — I don’t even know what I’m talking about.

WADE WINGLER: Trumpet, French horn, trombone, euphonium, baritone — those are all your brass instruments. Brass versus wind versus percussion. I used to play the trombone. That made me a little bit happy.

BRIAN NORTON: This particular individual, I talked to him on the phone. He has a piccolo trombone. Have you heard of those? Teeny tiny little guy. Interesting.

There’s another device out there that I’ve run across before called Lime Lighter from Dancing Dots. They can provide you with a 20 inch or 24 inch or even a 30 inch touchscreen computer. What happens is you can actually take sheet music, which is often the medium by which people get the music, scan it into the computer. Lime Lighter software will bring it up onto the computer and display it in a large-format. What you scan it, you can tell the computer where the lines of music are. So you have to mark those as it scans so he gets those lines of music actually displayed for you. Then you use a switch pedal that has a reverse, forward, and play if you just wanted to start scrolling that music across that larger display. I’ve seen it in videos —

BELVA SMITH: They were here and did a demo.

BRIAN NORTON: And I’ve seen it in person as well. We had a vendor who brought it in. I don’t think it was the company, but a vendor brought it in and demonstrated it. Really great opportunity to be able to see your music. With the foot pedal, you are using your hands to play the instrument and you have the foot pedal to that allow you to move through the music or jump back if you need to. The other option with Lime Lighter is it lets you edit the music or add to it. You can put notes directly on the touch and using a stylus or your finger to be able to add notes or annotate the music so that you’ve got your notes for you as well. Very cool device. It’s expensive. I think it’s a couple thousand dollars for the base version and goes up as a get bigger screens and different types of options that go with it.

LAAREE DRAWANTZ: My concern with that particular device is it was quite heavy. Is that it weighs 6.2 pounds.


LAAREE DRAWANTZ: That’s pretty heavy nowadays for a computer.

BRIAN NORTON: It’s like one of those all in ones, which is I think why. I would agree. And to have that stationed in front of you while you are trying to play your music. If you’re trying to move around —

WADE WINGLER: And if you are in an orchestra setting, sitting next to the other trombonists, that’s going to be a bit of a challenge is that all that in. There’s going to be a lot of situational stuff to figure out.

BELVA SMITH: That’s why this individual really needs to try to borrow some different devices and find that was going to be appropriate.

BRIAN NORTON: I had read an article not too long ago of a lady who was in the Chicago orchestra who had a sudden vision loss. She spent months trying to figure out — she wasn’t able to do what was her passion anymore. She ended up settling in on something like Lime Lighter. I don’t think it was exactly that, but a lot of her to get back into music and get back into the orchestra. I could just understand what a challenging situation that is, if that’s your passion and you aren’t able to do it anymore, whether it is a hobby or something you do for a job.


[22:40] Question 3 – Connecting Focus40 Braille Display


BRIAN NORTON: Our next question is from an individual who left us a voicemail. If you are interested in doing that, our listener line is 317-721-7124. He loved us a voicemail, and is having trouble connecting his Focus40 Braille Display to the computer. Let’s take a listen to his voicemail.

SPEAKER: Hi, I have a problem connecting the Focus40 Braille Display via Bluetooth to the computer. Thank you.

BRIAN NORTON: Again, trying to connect the Focus40 Braille Display to the computer. That’s on any of that?

BELVA SMITH: The first thing he needs to do is make sure that both devices — meaning the computer and the Focus40 — have the Bluetooth activated. Then you want to go to the control panel and go to Bluetooth and display the Bluetooth devices that the computer is seeing. One of those will hopefully be the Focus40. If not, double check to make sure you do have it turned on. It’ll find anything that is Bluetooth around it. Than just arrow down to the Focus40. You can press enter to open it up and go into pairing mode. Then you are going to be asked to enter a code. I believe you’re going to enter the code onto the computer. Because it is a Focus40, that code happens to be zero zero zero zero.

JOSH ANDERSON: That’s my password.

BRIAN NORTON: That’s complicated.

WADE WINGLER: It’s my date of birth.

BELVA SMITH: Once you have entered the four zero’s into the edit field, then all you have to do is tab to the “next” button, and within a few seconds you should be connected. Now, each braille display has a different code. I just happen to know the Focus40 because I’ve connected enough of them that I’ve memorized it.

BRIAN NORTON: So if I brought a brilliant —

BELVA SMITH: It would be a different code. That’s correct.

WADE WINGLER: One, One, One, One.

BELVA SMITH: Probably. If you are doing a different one and you try “zero zero zero zero” and find that it doesn’t work, then definitely try does whatever it is, it’s probably going to be four of the same numbers.

JOSH ANDERSON: An issue I’ve run into, if you can’t find it when you’re looking for your Bluetooth devices, sometimes there is a driver you need from freedom. Because I’ve had that happen a few times where it will recognize it, want find it. Put a driver in and suddenly it works.

BELVA SMITH: I will agree with you on that, Josh, especially if you are not running Windows 10 and you are not running a newer version of JAWS. I want to say that, hopefully this goes without saying, but you do have to have your screen reader running for it to be able to communicate. I just recently had a consumer that called and said, my Focus40 isn’t working anymore. Well, because somebody turned her JAWS off and she didn’t realize her JAWS was off because she was not listening for it. I was like, turn JAWS back on and it will work just fine.

BRIAN NORTON: It’s surprising to me that, like the Bluetooth piece — I’m old school. I haven’t done a lot. I do JAWS scripting and things like that, but I usually don’t get into the braille stuff a lot other than trying to route the braille JAWS cursor to the PC cursor, those kinds of things. That’s usually done through some scripting pieces. I’m interested in that you said you had to go to the computer Bluetooth settings to be able to find the display. In the past, it was always JAWS or the screen reader itself running the braille display. You would go into it settings to pick off what braille display you have.

BELVA SMITH: You still have to do that. You still have to let JAWS know which braille display you are using, but not until after you’ve already got the connection made between the two of them. Then you’re going to go to JAWS and say you want to add a braille display. I want to say that if you don’t have to use Bluetooth, because Bluetooth kind of stinks —

BRIAN NORTON: It smells?

BELVA SMITH: Yeah. No, with the communication, you’re going to get a better, faster response if you can just use your USB cable. That’s just my opinion.

BRIAN NORTON: I wonder if it’s the same with other braille displays as well. There are lots of different wireless Bluetooth displays these days.

BELVA SMITH: Bluetooth stinks. There is a hesitation.

BRIAN NORTON: Have you guys had experience out in Vegas with Bluetooth braille panels and other kinds of things?

LAAREE DRAWANTZ: Unfortunately, we’ve only had maybe two clients over the last eight years that used braille.

BELVA SMITH: Really? That’s interesting.

LAAREE DRAWANTZ: I know around here that we don’t seem to teach braille anymore, or there are not many braille — I can count the ones I know on my one hand.

BELVA SMITH: That’s sad.


BRIAN NORTON: Interesting.

JOSH ANDERSON: Another thing, Belva, I know you talked about JAWS. If they are using NVDA or even narrator, they can do a lot of the same exact steps and get that to work. Narrator doesn’t work with all braille displays but it does work with the Focus40, as long as you are running Windows 10.

BELVA SMITH: If you think about it, when you connect a braille display to your smart phone, it’s the same thing. You are going into the settings, Bluetooth settings for the phone to make that connection.

BRIAN NORTON: I’m just so used to JAWS, going in and saying select your braille display, and hitting okay and reboot. There it is, it’s automatically working. Belva, you mentioned Bluetooth stinks. I’ve never personally smelled it. Anyway, it stinks. Often times, you mentioned that it’s challenging with the Bluetooth. I know that the Focus40 also comes with a six foot USB cable. See you can connect it.

BELVA SMITH: Absolutely. That’s what I recommend. I think Bluetooth is okay if you’re trying to do it with your smart phone or tablet or whatever. I’m assuming if you are connecting it to your computer, you’re going to be using that computer like a were course, so you want your braille display to keep up with your screen reader. You don’t want that lag. With a computer, I would highly recommend using the USB. But if you want to use Bluetooth, then you got the Bluetooth option. Is important to remember, not all computers have Bluetooth capability.

BRIAN NORTON: Say what? I didn’t realize that.

BELVA SMITH: So you have to make sure you have the Bluetooth capability and that it is turned on, and then you are good to go.

BRIAN NORTON: If you are going to connect it with the USB — what is it, the left side of the back, towards the back? You’re going to find the power button as you move from the front of the device to the back. You’re going to find a power toggle switch, but then there is also a micro USB port. That’s where the USB will plug in. If you are looking for that and want to direct connect it, which seems to be more reliable, a lot faster, more efficient, keeping up with your screen reader, you may go ahead and pull out the six foot USB cable. It’s going to have a smaller and that will plug into the device and a larger and that will plug into the computer itself into one of the USB ports. Definitely check those things out. Hopefully that answers your questions.

BELVA SMITH: Wait a minute. If you are connecting it with the USB, then you don’t have to go into the control panel into the code.

BRIAN NORTON: You can just go through JAWS.

BELVA SMITH: You go through JAWS and say I’m adding a braille display, and it all happens as a miracle.

BRIAN NORTON: It’s a miracle. It’s just beautiful. At this time, during the holidays.

If you guys have questions, don’t hesitate to give us a call. You can give us a call on our listener line at 317-721-7124. Or you can send us an email at Or send us a tweet with hashtag ATFAQ. I’m always excited when I get a tweet. I don’t get many of those, but I always get tweet happy. I get really excited.

WADE WINGLER: Just tweet him.

BRIAN NORTON: Just tweet me, please, please, please.


[30:42] Question 4 – Live Transcription


BRIAN NORTON: Our next question is from an email. They said, I’m working with a student, and she is not able to take notes in class and would like for the professors to use speech to text that would appear on her personal device in real time. She currently has an iPad and laptop. Is there a software program that will allow her to do this? I’ll open it up to the folks on the panel.

BELVA SMITH: I’m pointing to Josh.

JOSH ANDERSON: She always does that. You know the people at home can see you do that? What I’ve used before is Microsoft translator.

BELVA SMITH: I knew that was going to be your answer.

JOSH ANDERSON: I know. It’s not as good as an actual CART person, transcriptionist, whatever you call that. But there are a few different ways you can do it. You could either have an external microphone that goes to the persons iPhone, iPad, or something like that. Or most professors are going to have their computer open with a PowerPoint on it. Translator is built into the PowerPoint, so they can just turn it on and hopefully have a little bit better microphone than the one on their laptop. That will actually pick it up. The student just has to either scan a QR code with their device or type in the few digits. Open that Microsoft translator, and everything they say will show up as captioned on the computer or tablet or iPhone.

BELVA SMITH: Real-time?

JOSH ANDERSON: It’s real time. It’s pretty good. You have to make sure you do it English to English, German to German. You can do it English to Klingon, but that’s not going to help.

BRIAN NORTON: Unless you speak Klingon.


WADE WINGLER: [Speaks Klingon].

JOSH ANDERSON: I knew you would have something. Smith but I want to understand this because this is something I don’t do, but I want to understand it.

JOSH ANDERSON: It’s magic. It’s all you need to know.

BELVA SMITH: So the professor has their computer? Let’s say it’s Microsoft word. It’s not PowerPoint. It’s Microsoft Word or Excel. But another one of those programs, any of the might of the programs, they can open translator?

BRIAN NORTON: Not all of them, I don’t think.

JOSH ANDERSON: Not all of them. In certain ones. I know you can use it in PowerPoint. That’s the one I’ve seen a lot more. That way, if I’m presenting in this room and each of us speaks a different language, I could be sitting here talking and you could have a coming up on your device, captioned in a different language.

BELVA SMITH: So you have a microphone you are speaking into, but it is coming up on my computer just because I have the same program open with translator open as well?


BELVA SMITH: So then will that then come to my iPad?

JOSH ANDERSON: Yes. Or your iPhone, Android device, MacBook. It will work on all those. Now it is artificial intelligence, so it’s not perfect. If you think of the transcribed voicemails on your iPhone that don’t always quite get everything, it’s kind of like that. But I would say it’s a little bit better than that.

BRIAN NORTON: When I say “oops” on my phone, it changes it to poops. It just does.

JOSH ANDERSON: What happens when you say poop?

BRIAN NORTON: I don’t know.

BELVA SMITH: It changes it to “oops.”

BRIAN NORTON: Maybe I ought to start trying that.

BELVA SMITH: So in the end, I then have what? An audio file or a text file?

JOSH ANDERSON: Text file. You will end up with a long text file that I believe you can say. I haven’t tried that, but I’ve used this with a few folks I work with who are hearing impaired who, either CART wasn’t supported or wasn’t available. Or as a backup, because sometimes that system can go down and they just use as a backup. Or for communication, sitting in a group and things like that. What’s nice is sitting in a group — and it’s getting off the topic. But if all of us have it on our phone, we are all talking to our phone, it will pop up as word bubbles so I can tell who was talking.

BELVA SMITH: That’s nice. My answer was going to be one that I’ve used many time, just a simple recorder. That’s just giving me the audio file, not the text file. A text file is much more valuable.

BRIAN NORTON: Do you need a certain version of office?

JOSH ANDERSON: To have a built-in, I think so. But you could just open it up online. That’s what a lot of folks have done. I think it’s on the new version —



BELVA SMITH: I think it’s on 2016 as well.

BRIAN NORTON: Okay, interesting.

JOSH ANDERSON: Even just open it up on either an app on the phone, or I just go to — I want to say, but I don’t think that’s right.

BELVA SMITH: It’s probably Microsoft — because it is a Microsoft program.

JOSH ANDERSON: Even just look at Microsoft translator and it will get you there.

BRIAN NORTON: And all college situations, I just want to make mention of disability services, or I’ve heard them called adaptive education services, those kinds of things. I would be sure to connect. If you’re having struggles in any class and you have a documented disability, I was certainly connect with them, because they can put a lot of these things in place for you. Thing to put a life notetaker in the classroom where they will take notes for you and provide you a transcript. They will also work with you maybe to put real-time transcription in there, which is CART services. Basically if you are not able to take notes, you have some comprehension issues, you may be able to get the school to pay for a service like that. So if you need something very specifically to be able to help you with that real-time transcription go where there is actually someone — there is a microphone in the class, someone out there online is listening to you and transcribing it in real-time back to your computer three program using the Internet. I’ve seen that done before. It’s very expensive, but again, if you have a reason for it, and they can somehow justify it as part of your disability and a need that they need to step up and provide, then it might be something that they might do for you as well.

BELVA SMITH: By the way, it looks like From what I’m reading, Josh, it will even work on my iOS device?

JOSH ANDERSON: Yeah. There is even an app you can put on there.

LAAREE DRAWANTZ: We had looked at the Sonocent. It records live but doesn’t really have transcription services with it. The live notetaker, we are not — it’s a great service but it doesn’t support any kind of independence. You have to rely on the translator or the live notetaker. Sometimes that can be a hindrance to getting your notes back. Using Dragon for the teacher to be — speech recognition — go to text entry a file for it. We are not really thinking that would be the greatest idea either because we think that in the end, you would just end up with a bunch of gibberish burning on forever. We looked at the real-time transcription and found that is one dollar per minute. That would be quite costly every single day. Then we also looked at Kurzweil, which doesn’t record either, but you can download and dissect your audio file. That’s what we came up with. We are interested in Microsoft translator. I think we are all three looking it over as we’re talking.

JOSH ANDERSON: It’s pretty cool. I’ve been using it for a while, and it’s one of those things that a really has improved a lot, being artificial intelligence. It just continually gets a lot better. I’ve used it with some of my consumers. We’ll practice, because I’ll just go into the other room and we will sit there and have a whole conversation, them typing on their phone and me talking to mine. We can have a pretty good conversation.

BRIAN NORTON: And it’s free.


BRIAN NORTON: You can’t beat that.

BELVA SMITH: I don’t want to leave this question without mentioning the Echo smart pen, whatever it is called nowadays. I don’t get to use that very often with my consumers just because you have to have enough vision to be able to work with the paper. However, that is, to me, a great way for anybody to take their notes in the classroom. Again, you’re not — this person is actually looking for the text. You’re not going to get that.

BRIAN NORTON: Real-time, which is challenging.

LAAREE DRAWANTZ: I mentioned audio note 2. Have you look at that particular app?

BRIAN NORTON: That’s a good one. If you are interested in the live scribe pain, audio note allows you to do the same kind of stuff with an iPad. I always tell people, I’m a lot faster taper than I am a writer. I can keep up in the class a lot faster using audio note — which is available on lots of platforms. You can use on your computer, your Windows computer, your iPad, Android device, lots of platforms it’s available on. I can have very quickly and provide really quick notes to myself if I need to, along with the audio.

JOSH ANDERSON: Going back to something we talked about earlier, Sonocent, you can do transcription, but you have to have Dragon as well and integrate the two. It doesn’t do it in real time. You record all your audio, then you have to export it was in the software, and that it can do transcription. But like anything with Dragon, if it hasn’t learn from that user, it’s not great.

BRIAN NORTON: If you have a heavy accent, it’s not going to do very well.

JOSH ANDERSON: And like you guys mentioned, the run-on. There are no periods or commas. It’s just one continuous hour and a half sentence.

BRIAN NORTON: You really have to take a deep breath before you start. I do want to open this up to our listening audience. If you guys have any information. Maybe you’ve run across this situation before. Or maybe it’s been a situation that happened to you. We would love to hear what your experience was, what sort of tools you might have used to be able to address the situation for yourself or for others. Feel free to let us know. You can give us a call on our listener line which is 317-721-7124. You can also send us email at We would love to hear from you.


[40:20] Q5- iOS mouse access


BRIAN NORTON: Our next question is, I was wondering if anyone knows if an iOS device will allow traditional mouse access.




JOSH ANDERSON: Next question.

BELVA SMITH: Around the table, no.

BRIAN NORTON: Mouse access is not available on iOS devices.

ERIC PESQUIRA: That’s debatable.

BRIAN NORTON: Debatable?


BELVA SMITH: Then you tell us what you know.

CHRIS JARVIS: I have not personally use this, but I have heard of people needing a lightning to USB connector and then plug in their mouse into the USB lightning connector, and the iPad will recognize it and put a mouse icon on the screen.

BRIAN NORTON: Are you serious?

JOSH ANDERSON: Really? Trying it.

BELVA SMITH: Through the charging port? That’s interesting. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of anyone doing that. But my question is, why do they need a mouse? Because if they have a Bluetooth keyboard, can’t they emulate everything that they would do with a mouse? As far as using your arrow key and enter key?

JOSH ANDERSON: It depends on what your range of motion is.

WADE WINGLER: It could be they have a limited range of motion and are trying to use a tiny mouse or a trackball under their chin.

WADE WINGLER: Why wouldn’t you go to switch access?

BELVA SMITH: Switch access is what I would be looking at. Or I would get rid of the iPad and get myself a cheap Android tablet that has USB ports. Then you can connect your mouse.

JOSH ANDERSON: That’s the first time I’ve heard you say I would get rid of my iPad.

BRIAN NORTON: That’s really interesting. I had never heard of a lightning to USB cable allow you to do that. That is something I’m going to jump on after the show and check out. It’s pretty cool. Josh, you mentioned switch control in that you can turn point mode on within switch control. I think it either brings up a sonar looking thing that goes across your screen and allows you to do and x/y axis to get to a particular point where you want to click. That might be something. It’s not exactly what they’re asking for because it’s not a traditional mouse. But it might give some folks some access with regard to that just by using a switch.

I don’t know about the lightning to USB, but there is a company that has made an assistive mouse adapter. I don’t know if it is quite ready for real time, but I have seen videos of people using it. It’s called Amaneo, A-M-A-N-E-O, all one word. You can go look it up. There is a video on Facebook of someone using it. It allows you to be able to get a mouse on the iPad, from what I’ve seen. That’s really interesting. To answer your question, Belva, as far as axis is concerned. We are in a graphical user interface world with computers and stuff like that. If people traditionally like to use a mouse to be able to point and click and get two things faster instead of messing with the screen and the interface that they have by pointing and touching, I don’t know. I’ve always wanted to have mouse access to the iPad.

BELVA SMITH: Than the iPad isn’t a device that is appropriate. If you look at even Apple website, AppleVis, the iPad is a touch device, a screen touch device. That’s all I’m saying. I know when I said keyboard, in my mind I was envisioning a small keyboard where I just had my four arrow keys and enter right there. I’m not talking about a whole lot of keyboard motion, just a couple of fingers.

BRIAN NORTON: I look at the competitors. You think of the surface Pro and those kinds of things. Those all give you mouse access. The bigger iPads, the iPad Pro’s, are supposed to your computer replacement.

JOSH ANDERSON: But there is still no mouse access.

BELVA SMITH: And they are going to be. Just watch. By 2020, there won’t be any of those things.

BRIAN NORTON: What things?

JOSH ANDERSON: What things? No one can see you point.

BELVA SMITH: What Wade is sitting there typing on right now.


BELVA SMITH: IPad Pro. I think Apple is going to say goodbye to all of their computers.

BRIAN NORTON: I think you would have a hard time selling someone — again, like you said, they are not made for that yet. If they are going to go that way like surface Pro, the hook a keyboard up and hook a mouse up and it just provide you mouse access. Having mouse access eventually is pretty important have on an iOS device. I would love to have a mouse so I could then use it more as a traditional computer.

BELVA SMITH: I did look. You can get that connector he was talking about, the lightning to USB, four $30 on Amazon. There is even one that’s only $10.

BRIAN NORTON: Have you not been able to work with that before?

CHRIS JARVIS: I haven’t had the opportunity to work with that yet. It was just something that was discussed and people have that success using that.

BRIAN NORTON: I’m really interested in that.

BELVA SMITH: What do you call me? I had to see it to believe it.

BRIAN NORTON: She is doubting Thomas. For folks who are listening, we would love to hear your experience on that. Maybe it’s a need that you wanted on an iOS device before. I would love to know what your reasoning behind it would be, if you’ve been wanting that and you have a reason for that. Let us know.

BELVA SMITH: I think Wade is probably right. It could be they need a trackball or they need to use their mouse under their chin or something like that. I can get that. And maybe they want the iPad because there are so many appropriate apps on the iPad that would be available on perhaps one of the Android devices. I get that.

BRIAN NORTON: She’s changed her mind.

BELVA SMITH: I see the need now.

BRIAN NORTON: We’ve shown her the light. Excellent. Definitely let us know what your experience has been. If you’ve had a need for that, what that was, or maybe you have been successful in making that work. We would love to hear other people’s opinion on I was mouse access. That would be great. To do so, you can give us a call on our listener line at 317-721-7124. Or send us a tweet with the hashtag ATFAQ.


[46:36] Question 6 – Headpointer for Mac OS


BRIAN NORTON: Our next question is, is anyone aware of a program for Mac that allows use of a camera-based had pointer? Or in other words, a program that will allow the individual to use a camera as a head mouse? This is for an individual with a head movement only, no use of arms, legs, fingers. Again, a head mouse for the Mac. Any thoughts?

BELVA SMITH: [laughs]

JOSH ANDERSON: I was going to let Vegas go first.

WADE WINGLER: I’m done thinking for the day.

BRIAN NORTON: Do you guys want to jump in on that?

LAAREE DRAWANTZ: We looked up the head mouse from as an alternative, and then the Neuro Node, which is very expensive, but it can also be put on to your forehead and be using your eyebrows because it operates on your motions.

BRIAN NORTON: I’ve never played with the Neuro Node. That does provide computer access and things like that?

LAAREE DRAWANTZ: Yes. It was at ATIA last year. I don’t know if you saw the booth. It was when you first came down the hallway. It was a very interesting device and has been improved by insurance, I believe as of last week.

BRIAN NORTON: I did see them at ATIA. For folks who don’t know, ATIA is the assistive technology industry Association. They put on a large conference usually at the end of January, beginning of February down in Orlando Florida, where you could to see and talk to lots of vendors and lots of different sessions that you can be a part of as well. I saw their booth, but I thought it was more of a medical device.

BELVA SMITH: That’s what I was thinking.

BRIAN NORTON: Tracking your health. I didn’t realize you could use it for computer access.

BELVA SMITH: It is Mac compatible?


BELVA SMITH: That’s awesome.

LAAREE DRAWANTZ: We make sure it was Mac compatible before we recommended it.


JOSH ANDERSON: I’m with them. I’ve used the head mouse with Mac before, it works just as well. At first I was very confused by the question because I thought they wanted to use the camera on the MacBook as far as the built in. I couldn’t find anything that would do that. The head mouse, I’ve used on Mac and Windows and it works about the same and pretty well.

BRIAN NORTON: I’ve also heard of Eye Tracker. I’ve not had any personal experience with that, but eye tracker is potentially an option for folks. It’s a similar to the head mouse. Glassouse is not exactly the same, where you are using head movement. I guess it is using head movement but it’s basically a pair of glasses that has a thing that will come into your mouth. It has something you can chew or bike to be able to do your mouse click and things like that. It’s not exactly the same but is pretty similar. There are different options for had pointing devices.

JOSH ANDERSON: I have to go with Belva on try to borrow some of these devices. Just because you think I have a little bit of head movement, maybe you had pointer is correct. Trying to dwell on things and stay in the right spot might not be the easiest. It might be very hard for the person. You can always go back to different switches that can be mounted to head rests and things like that to control the computer that may or may not be easier. Try out a few different systems to see what might actually work best for you.

BRIAN NORTON: If you’re looking for your local AT act, you can go to our website You can plug in your state and find your local AT act to get in touch with folks who will implement their demo and alone library. That’s where you can get your hands on that equipment.

JOSH ANDERSON: Or call Brian on his cell phone at —


BELVA SMITH: If you can get health insurance to cover that —

BRIAN NORTON: That’s awesome.

BELVA SMITH: That’s definitely where I would be looking at first right away.


[50:13] Wildcard question – What tech is on your holiday wish list?


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

BRIAN NORTON: So our next question is the wildcard question. This is where you have Wade, who has been pontificating or a question —

BELVA SMITH: Oh, my gosh.


BRIAN NORTON: He’s been thinking about this question for a little while. We don’t know what it is and he’s going to surprise us as we talk.

WADE WINGLER: I think this should be a pretty easy one. I’m excited to have our friends and colleagues from Vegas because we can all answer this one as well. At the time we are recording this show, it’s not quite yet the holiday season. But by the time it comes out, I believe that it’ll be the last show before the official holiday season begins with black Friday and the day after Thanksgiving. We are getting into that time of year — Belva is shaking her head like, oh my gosh, I can’t believe it. Time is flying.

BELVA SMITH: I can’t believe it.

JOSH ANDERSON: Christmas stuff has been out since July. Brian has had his decorations up.

WADE WINGLER: My question for you guys is, what’s on your holiday technology wish list? What kind of things are you guys wanting for technology when it comes to the holidays this year?

BRIAN NORTON: I don’t know if anyone can see couple Belva just got a big smile on her face. She started shaking and getting all excited.

WADE WINGLER: She kicked her feet a little bit. It happened in Vegas. Those guys are smiling. I’ll go first and then I’ll get out of the way. I want a Ring doorbell or something — a Nest doorbell, actually, because we have all the Nest stuff in our house and my wife decided that we really want to stare at people when they come to our front porch and mess with them. We want a smart doorbell.

BELVA SMITH: I think you want to get the Ring

WADE WINGLER: No, I want the Nest because I have all nest stuff.


BRIAN NORTON: Help out in Vegas? What are you guys thinking?

CHRIS JARVIS: That new iPad. I want that new iPad, the new MacBook Pro.

BRIAN NORTON: Very cool.

LAAREE DRAWANTZ: I agree with the ring doorbell. It is on my wish list. But the other thing that we’ve been looking for around here is the self leveling spoons.

BRIAN NORTON: From Liftware?

LAAREE DRAWANTZ: Yes. That’s one thing we are ordering with our tech act money, is the two spoons that self level.

JOSH ANDERSON: Those things are so cool.

BRIAN NORTON: Perfect. Those are awesome. We have a couple, and they are fun to put on your hand and watch it to you can never get it to the over. Belva, you are getting all excited over there. I don’t want to take away your excitement.

JOSH ANDERSON: She’s still looking.

BELVA SMITH: I’m still looking.

JOSH ANDERSON: Do they make an automatic diaper changer? They don’t.

BRIAN NORTON: They make an automatic diaper incinerator.

JOSH ANDERSON: Do they really?

BRIAN NORTON: It’s called your fireplace. But it stinks.

JOSH ANDERSON: That sounds terrible. We have a diaper genie, but I’ve rubbed that thing every day and still, no wishes. It’s kind of weird. I don’t know how it works. I haven’t really looked at or thought about Christmas that much. I do think one thing we will definitely need is some sort of baby monitor. Wade, I know you use nest cam’s and things like that. I have found a lot online that don’t actually go over Wi-Fi. A lot of people are scared that people will get in there Wi-Fi and stuff. It just saves everything to an SD card and you connect it pretty much straight to your phone. How that works, I don’t know, but they are very inexpensive so I think that’s probably the technology I would want. Or a 65 inch TV, because I just think that’s really cool.

Belva has 10 answers.

BELVA SMITH: Josh is going to get this baby girl in his arms, and he’s going to get a camera on top of her, and he’s going to be just like Derek. That things not coming off until she’s 18 and.

What I want is not for me but is for my grandkids, because they are going to think this is amazing. It’s a virtual T-shirt. It’s an educational, augmented reality T-shirt.

JOSH ANDERSON: You said educational. They are not going to like it.

BELVA SMITH: Yeah they are. The app is free. The teacher is $24 from Amazon. You put the shirt on your body, open the app on your device and point the camera yourself, and you get to see inside your body. You get to see inside, all of your organs.

WADE WINGLER: Look! My pancreas!

BELVA SMITH: I think you can place a finger on the camera and it will take your heartbeat. You can dig in and get deep. I think they are going to think that’s amazing. It’s $24 from Amazon.

JOSH ANDERSON: That’s pretty sweet.

BRIAN NORTON: That’s crazy. It’s like the real x-ray vision.

JOSH ANDERSON: I lied. I want what she has.

WADE WINGLER: That reminds me that what I want for my kids are these coloring books that augmented reality. Have you seen these? You get these coloring books, and you color them and put an app over them, and then they make a colored picture raises up off the page and you can turn it and rotate it. There are some that are just really cool drawings, but then there are some that are scientific things like a molecule or consolation.

BELVA SMITH: Is it on Amazon?

WADE WINGLER: I gotta look up the names of them, but they are pretty cool.

BRIAN NORTON: That is pretty cool. Something I want is I have been wearing around an Apple watch, the new one, because we got some for our loan library and I’ve been trying to get used to it so that I can demonstrate it and stuff like that. I want to replace it with my own so I can keep it.

BELVA SMITH: I wore one for three days, and I went out and got my own. I did a trade in. News for everyone listening, if you have an older watch and you want to get the new one, take it to the Apple Store and they’ll buy it back from you —

BRIAN NORTON: For a pretty good price.

BELVA SMITH: I got a very reasonable price. I got $175 — and my watch was two years old — off of buying the new one, which was $300.

BRIAN NORTON: That’s pretty good. I want to get it. It has a lot of really cool features like the fall feature, where it detects if you have a fall, a lot more health related fitness tracking types of options with the watch. I’m super excited and want to be able to do that.

I believe that is our show for the day. I want to make sure that folks know that you can give us a call on our listener line at 317-721-7124. You can send us a tweet with hashtag ATFAQ. Or email us at Send us your questions, your feedback. We would love to hear from you. We definitely want those. In fact, without your questions, we really don’t have a show.

Thanks everybody.

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

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