ATFAQ091 – Q1 – Kids these days!, Q2 – Star Wars or Star Trek and why, Q3- Can’t buy a road map anymore, Q4 – If everything is wireless, why so many cords and connectors, Q5 – Food and Tech – what’s the impact for persons with disabilities, Q6 – What are you doing with all your old pictures?


Panel: Brian Norton, Belva Smith, Josh Anderson and Wade Wingler – Q1 – Kids these days!, Q2 – Star Wars or Star Trek and why, Q3- Can’t buy a road map anymore, Q4 – If everything is wireless, why so many cords and connectors, Q5 – Food and Tech – what’s the impact for persons with disabilities, Q6 – What are you doing with all your old pictures?

—————————- Transcript 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 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 91. My name is Brian Norton and I’m the host of the show.  We are so happy that you’ve taken some time to tune in with us this week.  Usually for those that are regular listeners, I usually have folks who are in the city with me because some different panelists — usually Belva, Josh, and Wade.  However, I’m all alone today and that is because we are kind of in the middle or towards the end of the holiday season.  It’s just getting ramped backup for the beginning of the year.  So today’s show is going to be a little bit different.  Today show, we are going to be doing and all wildcard show.  For folks who are regular listeners, we tackle it wildcard question that we record.  It’s questions that we haven’t prepared for, but there interesting and insightful and we have a fun time trying to tackle these.  So today’s show is all about wildcard questions.

I do want to make mention as we jump in a, the next episode you here to episode 92, we will be back to our traditional format.  For folks who are listening, maybe for the first time, just a little bit of information about our show and how it works: usually we receive feedback and come across various assistive technology related questions throughout the week.  We have several ways for you to get a hold of us and to provide that to us.  We have a listener line that is 317-721-7124.  We also have an email address that is set up at  Or we also have a hashtag that we follow on Twitter, hashtag ATFAQ.  Again we are always looking for folks to chime in and give us their feedback can send us their questions.  As a group, we try to tackle those questions together.

If you are interested in finding our show, obviously the folks that are listening have found it, but if you want to share with other folks, you can find is really just about anywhere you can download podcasts, through iTunes, stitcher, the Google play store.  We also have a website if you want to send folks to the website where they can either listen online or download it.  That’s  Or through our regular website that is  Without further ado, we’re going to jump into our first wildcard question point I hope you guys enjoy and hope you had a wonderful holiday season.  We look forward to joining you live as a group here in a couple weeks.  Take care.



[3:24] Question 1 – Kids these days!



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

BRIAN NORTON:  Our next question is the wildcard question.  Wade, I will throw it over to you.

WADE WINGLER: Yippee ki-yay. It’s a good day when you can get Brian to do a bullwhip sound effect.  Thank you Brian.  So we’re going to play a new game today.  It’s called who said this quote.  I will tell you now that it’s a trick, but I think it’s interesting anyway.  Here’s the quote and then you can tell me who set it.  The children now love technology and money.  They have bad manners, contempt for authority.  They show disrespect for elders and love Instagram and Twitter in place of exercise.  Who said that?

BELVA SMITH: I don’t know, but that’s true.  Isn’t it?

BRIAN NORTON:  Who said that? Say it again.

WADE WINGLER: The children now love technology and money.  They have bad manners, contempt for authority.  They show disrespect for elders and love Instagram and Twitter in place of exercise.

JOSH ANDERSON:  Abraham Lincoln?


BRIAN NORTON:  Big bird?


BELVA SMITH:  I’m going to say Oprah.

WADE WINGLER:  No.  I changed it just a little bit.  I substituted the word “luxury”, and in its place I put technology and money, and I took out the word “chatter” and put in Instagram and Twitter.  It originally read like this.  The children now love luxury.  They have bad manners, contempt for authority.  They show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise.  It was said by Socrates in 400 BC.

JOSH ANDERSON:  I was closest.

BRIAN NORTON:  I was going to say the Pope, but Big Bird came out first.

BELVA SMITH:  All I could come up with was Oprah.

BRIAN NORTON:  The first thing that came to mind was Captain Underpants.

WADE WINGLER:  He’s not ever appearing on the show.  The reason I bring that up is I’ve been in a lot of situations lately where there are younger folks who are looking at their phones and not paying a whole lot of attention. I hear, “Kids these days!” But Socrates was saying 2500 years ago the children now love technology and money.  They have bad manners, contempt for authority, show disrespect for elders, and love chatter, or Instagram and Twitter, in place of exercise.

So, how old are we, and is there some relevant application today to say yeah, this problem we see with young people looking at their phones and smart devices and not talking to each other and getting out in nature, is this just the same old, same old, forever ever?

JOSH ANDERSON:  It’s always been something.  It was TV.  It was video games.  If I say when I was growing up, something was different, then I sound old.  Nevermind. I’ll let you guys do that.

WADE WINGLER:  Says the youngest guy in the room.

BELVA SMITH:  Just Sunday, I said to Todd, it doesn’t even sound like there are any kids in this house.  We had two kids there.  It was just silent.  I walk into the sunroom, in his because he is in that chair with his iPad doing what he is doing and she is over here on the couch with her iPad doing what she’s doing.  But you leave the room and you don’t hear it.  If they didn’t have the iPad in their hand, I can guarantee there is no other toy in the house that would’ve had them being that quiet.  I remember when I was growing up, we read a lot.  The whole living room wall was full of books, children’s books and encyclopedias. We did read a lot.  That’s probably when we were at our quietest.

BRIAN NORTON:  When I was growing up, I didn’t read a lot —

WADE WINGLER:  Because the pterodactyls kept attacking your cave?

JOSH ANDERSON:  There was no light.

BRIAN NORTON:  I would rather go play football or play outside.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen a kid drink from a hose for 30 years.

BELVA SMITH:  It’s not healthy.  It’s not organic.

BRIAN NORTON:  I’m still here kicking.  I think it’s important.  We put time limits on devices.  Maybe I’ve mentioned it on the show before.  We use a thing in our house called Circle.  Circle allow you to control the content coming into your house but also allows you to put limits on devices.  It also allows you to set bedtimes and with a flick of the bun through an app on your phone, you can turn the Internet on or off.  We also don’t let our kids go to bed with their phones.  They come to our room to be able to be charged.  It’s just getting them away from that.  I think you are right.  I find folks are socially unaware, not really paying attention, in meetings doing different things.  Things are passing them by and they need to be engaged and present.  We always talk about it around here, be present. When you are in a meeting, be present.  I think that lacks today.

JOSH ANDERSON:  Belva, you talk about the kids being super quiet.  We had over one of my wife’s friends, and her son came over and played with my stepson. One of them was on the Xbox playing mine craft.  The other one was on their tablet playing mine craft.  But they talk the entire time.  In fact, the other one had their tablet out playing Michael Jackson music.  Maybe not the best example because it’s a bit of a throwback.

BELVA SMITH:  They were overacting while they were playing with the technology.

JOSH ANDERSON:  Yeah.  They were interacting.  I guess it comes down to the problem people have with video games and that stuff.  It all comes down to communicating and being able to talk to kids about that stuff and, like Brian said, making it where you are not completely dependent upon that technology for interaction.

BELVA SMITH:  I think it’s okay, like you are saying Brian, with a limit.  It’s obviously not something that you want them doing all day long.  I think it’s okay here and there.  A tough question or debate that I’m having is should kids be allowed to have their phones with them in school? I’m seeing instances where kids are not paying attention at all because they are on Facebook and texting and whatever.

WADE WINGLER:  How many calls on the show today where somebody needed their assistive technology in school and it was going to be on their phone?

JOSH ANDERSON:  Exactly.  But I think it’s a big difference if it is for safety or for the technology or if you are just sitting there.  It goes back to the one stepson just talking, I had a stepdaughter who cried her eyes out because somebody was mean to her on Instagram. Well, we had about 40 people in our house so she could of been out interacting with real human beings but was more worried about what was happening with fake human beings.

BELVA SMITH:  That’s very true.

JOSH ANDERSON:  There is my old man, shaking my cane and get off my lawn.  As long as you can teach them the importance that what is on the Internet isn’t real.  You can be anything you want when you can hide behind a keyboard and a screen.

WADE WINGLER:  Or microphone like a podcast.

JOSH ANDERSON:  We are not even in the same room.

WADE WINGLER:  We aren’t real.

BRIAN NORTON:  As far as school is concerned, at my daughter’s school, it’s a safety thing for me to know where they are at all times.  I’m pretty sure the school has limits on when you can and cannot be using those things.  From Circle —

BELVA SMITH:  You can control that while they are at school?

BRIAN NORTON:  No.  But I can set time periods.

WADE WINGLER:  But they think you can.

BELVA SMITH:  As long as they’re not listening.

JOSH ANDERSON:  Just in case they find that tile in their backpack, you can still use find my iPhone.

BRIAN NORTON:  I want to say it’s called secure limits through AT&T, which is our provider, where you can then set periods of the day when you cannot use your phone.  You cut the data off, cut that stuff off.

BELVA SMITH:  But that isn’t going to help then if there is a dire emergency and they need to get a hold of you because their data has been cut off.

JOSH ANDERSON:  But they can call.

BRIAN NORTON:  They can still use cellular.  They can’t do data.

JOSH ANDERSON:  I forgot what the question was.

WADE WINGLER:  Is this new? Socrates was talking about kids doing the exact same thing.  Is it a period of history has changed, or is it as people mature, they become more frustrated than how they were? It seems like this is something that has happened since time immemorial.


WADE WINGLER:  That’s probably true.

BELVA SMITH:  You heard Josh saying this is the old man in me.




[12:43] Question 2 – Star Wars or Star Trek and why



BRIAN NORTON: So this one was one of my favorites. Check it out.

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

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

WADE WINGLER:  Brian is doing yoga.

JOSH ANDERSON:  I think he’s asleep.

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

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


BRIAN NORTON:  Yeah, it’s classic.  And there is good versus evil.  Star Trek is all over the place for me. That’s kind of where I’m at.

JOSH ANDERSON:  Which Star Trek?

WADE WINGLER:  That’s the sub question.

BRIAN NORTON:  Deep Space 9?

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

BRIAN NORTON: Is that the one with Data.

JOSH ANDERSON:  Yes. And Jordy.

WADE WINGLER:  Gates McFadden as Doctor Crusher.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

JOSH ANDERSON:  I used to watch firefly?

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

BELVA SMITH:  That’s a Kurzweil thing right?

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

JOSH ANDERSON:  They made a movie.

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

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

WADE WINGLER: Phineas and Pherb?

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

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

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

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

BELVA SMITH:  None of the above.


BRIAN NORTON: Steel Magnolias?

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

BRIAN NORTON:  That hurts.

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

BELVA SMITH:  Exactly.

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

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

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

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

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

WADE WINGLER:  That’s funny.

BRIAN NORTON:  Great question Wade.

WADE WINGLER:  It was important.

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

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

BRIAN NORTON:  Please chime in on that.  We would love to hear from you.




[18:44] Question 3 – Can’t buy a road map anymore



BRIAN NORTON: Okay, here’s another one!

WADE WINGLER:  Last weekend, my family and I went on a thing called The Great Race, which is a local road trip, scavenger hunt kind of thing.  A bunch of people in their cars showed up at a park, and the guy who was leading the thing gives is an envelope.  That on envelope has clues and cues and we go to the next place and get more cues.  Throughout the day we keep getting these envelopes.  We did all kinds of fun stuff.  We hiked and saw historical monuments and spent a lot of great time with my kids in the car.  It was a great family day.  We love to do that kind of stuff.

It was interesting because they said in preparation for this, you need to bring a few things like a basketball and a bed pillow in different stuff.  One of the things I was supposed to bring was a roadmap of the state of Indiana.  My wife said do you have a roadmap? I said, no, I don’t.  I’ll just run into the gas station and grab one.  That way will have one.  I figure two or three dollars and we are done.  I went to the gas station a few blocks away and said, hey, where do you keep your roadmaps? They looked at me like there was something wrong with me.  They said we don’t have those.  I said okay, so I went to the next gas station.  I walked in and said where do you guys keep your roadmaps? And they looked at me like something was wrong again.  They said we use to have those on the magazine rack back when we had magazines.  But nobody uses the stuff anymore.  I went to seven stores in the little town where I live, and never found a roadmap of the state of Indiana.  I finally did find one at Walmart the next day and paid $10 for a laminated one.  The clerk said something to me that really struck me.  He said we used to have them on the magazine rack, when we had magazines.  It’s all digital now.

Twenty or 30 years ago, we would’ve been crazy about how awesome it would be if all of these things were digital because we would have GPS and digital magazines and stuff like that.  Now you can’t buy a roadmap, and I’m having a hard time finding magazines in print format.  The question is do you know where to buy a roadmap? Is this a good thing or a bad thing for accessibility? Is this just the end of an era? You can’t get roadmaps anymore, that we all rely on GPS.  Is this good or bad?

JOSH ANDERSON:  That’s major-league two questions.  No, I don’t know where to buy a roadmap.  I do still have an atlas in my car, but it is at least 15 years old so it’s probably not very up to date and get you lost a few times.  Is it a good thing? I don’t know.  But you asked is it a good thing for accessibility? I would have to say yes.

BRIAN NORTON:  Absolutely.

JOSH ANDERSON:  If I have a visual impairment, looking at a map isn’t going to be the easiest thing in the world, whereas my phone can’t tell me turn by turn exactly how to get places.

BRIAN NORTON:  Go beyond that.  If I have a physical disability, holding a map and folding it out to the four by 10 pages.

JOSH ANDERSON:  I don’t even have a physical disability.  I can’t refold a map to save my life.

BRIAN NORTON:  Maps are a little bit like math.  It’s not a linear type of stuff.  There is context to it.  You can think of the word I’m looking for but there is a little bit more to it.  When you try to read a math equation, you can’t do it if it is a paper form.  You can scan or read it.  Having something that is digital and you can zoom in, and it does it for you.  When it gives you the step-by-step or road by road direction to stuff, I think it is helpful and inherently useful for folks with disabilities.  A lot of things on your phone with voiceover are going to read those things to you as you come to the turn by turn.  I got my watch that buses me when I get close to a particular turn and it is tell me that stuff.  I think with accessibility, it is much more accessible.

JOSH ANDERSON:  To take that a different way, whenever we just think of access.  You can buy a whole lot of maps and magazines for the price of a cell phone.  Your cell phone per month cost about 25 to 30 magazine subscriptions and two maps?

WADE WINGLER:  Probably.

JOSH ANDERSON:  If you look at access financially, if I don’t have any money, I’m not going to be able to afford a cell phone iPad to even access this stuff.  How do I access those? That’s playing devil’s advocate.

BRIAN NORTON:  Or I’ll play devil’s advocate to your devil’s advocate.

JOSH ANDERSON:  It’s getting hot in here.

BRIAN NORTON:  As they at a new subdivision, as they add roads, you’re going to buy a whole new set of maps.  You are going to make your cost back.

JOSH ANDERSON:  But if I’m getting a $30 atlas every year, or paying $100 cell phone bill on a $600 iPhone, that’s a lot of maps.  I could insulate my house with those maps that are not using and still come out ahead.  At the same time, like you said, with the physical impairment, sensory impairment, things like that, it does open up a whole world of access to get to those.  At the same time, cost -wise, it’s a big difference.

BRIAN NORTON:  Is there a reason you needed a real map?

WADE WINGLER:  Turns out we didn’t.

BRIAN NORTON:  You just needed your GPS?

WADE WINGLER:  We didn’t really use the map.

BRIAN NORTON:  Did you go back to Walgreens and turn it back in?

WADE WINGLER:  My wife said she was going to take it back.  I don’t know if she actually did it or not.  She thought it would be helpful to keep it and have it in the house.  What if the GPS satellites disappear or there is no power? Is not a bad idea to have a physical backup map.

BRIAN NORTON:  We have an atlas in my car.  We used it with the girls.  You should use it with your kids.  As you travel, it keeps them occupied because they keep looking for the next town and the next town and the next town.  I think it’s an important skill to read a map because they are not always going to have a GPS.  I feel like I’ve lost something that I used to have when I would try to find the place.  I could go there once I get there every last time because I was paying attention to the landmarks around me.  Nowadays, I can’t do that because I listen to the stupid lady in my device.  She’s just telling me in 500 feet, turn left.  I’m not even looking around and noticing what’s around me.  I’m just waiting for the lady to tell me turn now.

WADE WINGLER:  You are part of the problem.

JOSH ANDERSON:  Recalculating.

BRIAN NORTON:  There’s that.

WADE WINGLER:  It’s tricky.  I thought it would be no big deal to go out and buy a roadmap.  I figured they would still have them at the gas stations, but they didn’t.  I think it’s the end of an era.

JOSH ANDERSON:  Before that, when was the last time you bought a roadmap?

WADE WINGLER:  I have no idea.

JOSH ANDERSON:  I can’t think of it besides a 15-year-old atlas.

BRIAN NORTON:  I’m chuckling in my head because if Belva were here, she still uses MapQuest.

JOSH ANDERSON:  She finally stopped using MapQuest.  She finally gave it up.  Her daughter-in-law was my wife and my realtor, and she went to the wrong town.  Right address, around town, by using MapQuest.  I wasn’t mad because I could make fun of her and Belva for using MapQuest.  I believe Belva has finally gotten away from MapQuest.

WADE WINGLER:  We miss you, Belva.  Come back.

BRIAN NORTON:  Please do.



[26:06] Question 4 – If everything is wireless, why so many cords and connectors



BRIAN NORTON:  Here we go again!

WADE WINGLER:  This morning, I went out to speak to a local high school football team.  Local people will know Center Grove is kind of a rock star high school football program.  They are doing some volunteering with one of our camps.  It’s really great.  Our football team, the Center Grove football team is going to be taking some of our young people who are in wheelchairs out for a field day.  It’s a really cool thing.

The reason I talk about that was I wanted to show a YouTube video to them.  As I was going through my backpack to try to figure out how to connect my new MacBook Pro with the USB C into their VGA projector, but also they had an HDMI adapter, and then a three point five millimeter jack — or 3M, as you called it Belva. I’ve never heard it called it before but I like it — 3M jack this morning to just play a YouTube video.  Then I got out my Bluetooth speaker and connected it to my Mac because I needed some audio in the room.  Guys, I thought we were in a world that was going wireless.  We have wireless connections, wireless charging, wireless everything.  Why do I have so many wires and adapters in my backpack to be able to get through my life?

My real question is for you guys, what do you have to carry in your briefcase or backpack in this quote-unquote wireless world to survive? I probably carry more than the average bear, and so does Brian.  I was away this weekend and I had to have some cords and cables with me to charge my phone, and my watch requires a wire now.  Why are we not really wireless when everything says it is wireless? That’s the first thing. Two, which wires do you have to have in your life to get through the day? Let’s say you’re going on a trip or something.  Just to get your workday.

BELVA SMITH:  I can’t get through the day without my phone charging cord.  That’s for sure.  My watch, I can get through the day fine, today’s really, but my phone has got to have its core wherever I go.  It’s funny that this is our question because I was just the other day thinking about ATIA.  Nicole was trying to get all that video captured, and she was having to drag along this big camera and all this stuff with her.  What I want to know is why couldn’t you have used your phone with just a special microphone? You were wanting to show —

WADE WINGLER:  I was giving a presentation and needed to hook it up to a projector in their meeting room.

BELVA SMITH:  I don’t know.

WADE WINGLER:  But we are supposed to be wireless now.

JOSH ANDERSON:  Wireless is expensive.  When you have $185 worth of tiny connectors, that makes them more money.  It’s more like three or $400 worth when I think about it.

BELVA SMITH:  Getting all those cables is expensive.

WADE WINGLER:  And they don’t last forever.  They wear out.

BELVA SMITH:  No matter how prepared you are, there is going to be something that you can’t do is not going to fit.

JOSH ANDERSON:  I even found some projectors aren’t Mac compatible matter what you connect into them.  I’ve run into that before.  The phone charger is definitely a must, need to be in the car, one with me probably at all times.  I have a universal adapter for my MacBook that plugs into both the USB C’s and has HDMI, USB, and some of the connections.  That makes it work for most of things.  I think I have an HDMI to VGA so I can daisychain three connections together in order to get it to work on some things.  Then a Bluetooth speaker if I’m going to do a presentation, because I don’t know if there will be sound.  What’s really funny is a — and Brian can probably attest to this — other people have used my Bluetooth speaker more than I have.  I’ll get emails or something, hey, you just presented and the sound of all the work for me.  Can I use your Bluetooth speaker?

WADE WINGLER:  Let me ask a question.  You have a Bluetooth speaker.  Do you also have a wired adapter to go with it?

JOSH ANDERSON:  I do have a connector, a 3M connector, as Belva would call it.  That doesn’t connect to my phone anymore because my phone no longer has that Jack.  It’s pretty well useless if I want to use it with a phone.

BELVA SMITH:  I don’t have any cables from a Bluetooth speaker.  It has to do it or I don’t use it.

JOSH ANDERSON:  I do have that, and I don’t know that I’ve ever used it.  But I know some of the folks who borrowed it have used it with their computer and things.  My only guess is wireless is less expensive.  You can’t charge for every little piece.

WADE WINGLER:  It’s like razors and blades.

JOSH ANDERSON:  Most definitely.  As Belva said, USB C, why does it have that? I’ve noticed more and more cell phones are starting to have those.  That will only be the norm and so the next thing comes along.

BELVA SMITH:  Let’s face it, with a wired, it’s going to work.  With wireless, it may or may not work.

BRIAN NORTON:  I have a couple of comments, as I always do.  First, I did you get it to work this morning?

WADE WINGLER:  Yes.  I did.  Then they came back and said someone can unlock this laptop and you can use our laptop, and it was fine.

BRIAN NORTON:  Second thing is, I think the challenge for wireless is if you buy your own technology and you want it to be wireless, you can totally make it wireless.  But that’s only on your own stuff.  When you go out to different places, we are all using different things.  Some of it is older technology, of it is newer.  Reasonably I can’t just assume that when I go someplace, we are going to be wireless.  I’m going to have to have these cords and cables to be able to hook myself up wherever I go.  Wade, you mentioned earlier you and I, we carry every cable.  I do that because I want to be the person in the room who has a cable.  I want to be the person who says look, when so-and-so gets here they don’t have something, I can pull it out of my bag and be the savior for the day, which makes me feel really good about myself.  I think it’s hard to just assume or expect — what we want is a wireless world, but we all have different types of technologies and we have to get them to work together.  Belva, you mentioned it’s going to work, wired technology works.  That’s probably the best way to go if you can make that happen.

BELVA SMITH:  I said to my consumers all the time who have a wireless computer and want to use it wirelessly, that’s fine, but let’s go ahead and hardwire it as well.  Even in my own home, sometimes I can get to the wireless printer and sometimes I can’t.

BRIAN NORTON:  Oh for the day when there aren’t any cords.

WADE WINGLER:  Maybe someday.

BELVA SMITH:  No cords, no paper.  Right?

BRIAN NORTON:  I don’t believe in that.

WADE WINGLER:  Get off my lawn.  Your music is too loud.

BRIAN NORTON:  That’s exactly right. Excellent.




[33:15] Question 5 – Food and Tech – what’s the impact for persons with disabilities



BRIAN NORTON: Okay, so this question is food and technology: what’s the impact for persons with disabilities.

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 —


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.


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.



[41:27] Question 6 – What are you doing with all your old pictures?



BRIAN NORTON: This next wildcard question is something I’m sure we all struggle with. And that is, what do you do with all of those old photos? So let’s take a listen.

WADE WINGLER:  This is a question I sort of recall we might have answered in part once before.  It’s one of those questions you can answer —


WADE WINGLER:  I’m trying to create a frequently asked question.  I’m going to ask the same wildcard question every show.

BRIAN NORTON:  I like that.

WADE WINGLER:  I got a thing in the mail this week from a cousin of mine.  She had been going through an old box of photos, and she found a whole bunch of precious photos of my parents and me when I was a kid at family gatherings and stuff like that.  She goes, hey, we are just sorting through all this stuff because going to my mom’s things.  Without you would like to have these.  It was really nice and great.  It reminded me that I got about four five of those boxes in stores that I need to go through and all that kind of stuff.  My kids, who are five and seven, were completely fascinated with these actual photographs of times gone by for them.  It occurred to me that they aren’t going to have that experience of old photos or boxes of photos.  It’s all digital photography.  I can’t tell you the last time I took a photograph and it ended up on a piece of paper.

What are you guys using for your digital photography in your storage of those pictures? Right now, for me, I’m a Facebook user.  I get the Facebook memories that pop up, and I was like oh that’s a good memory from four years ago and I have a little heart moment and move on.  I realized that that is entirely dependent upon Facebook surviving and continued to do that.  What are you guys doing about digital photo so that whatever future equivalent of the box in the garage of all the old pictures is going to be preserved? Or is that just going away? Is that a thing of the past? Are we not going to have digital photos that we do have? We all try that and think we are going to do it, but are we really doing it? What are you doing?

BELVA SMITH:  My fear is what is going to let us view those digital pictures in the future? I’m using — we’ve talked about this before — the iExpand Base, so when I get home every day, first thing I do is plug in my phone in.  It backs up all my notes, my contacts, and my pictures.  So I have them on an ST card.  Now I can take the ST card and go to Meijer, Walmart, or computer and print a picture if I choose to.  But my fear is, because 15 to 20 years ago when my kids were little, I had the big — I’m saying 20 years.  I’m going to say more like — we want to but that.  I had the big camera that I carried around at all the football and baseball games to record them.  Now, I don’t even have a VHS player in my house.


BELVA SMITH:  My fear is what is going to happen to all these digital? Are we going to have a device that will allow us to access them in the future? Just to go off of what you said, Wade, I remember as a little girl sitting on my great grandmother’s house.  She had little baskets of photos.  Even though I didn’t know who have the people were, I just loved sitting for hours and going through all those photos.  I do think photos are important, and I don’t think we are printing them like we used to.  But I love digital photography because it allows us to capture so many more memories.  I’m just not sure what we are going to do if we can’t access them in the future.

BRIAN NORTON:  I use my phone to take pictures, and they stay on my phone.  That’s where they live.

BELVA SMITH:  You don’t have them backed up anywhere?

BRIAN NORTON:  I don’t.  We talk about it and talk about it.  One of these days, we are going to get those backed up.

BELVA SMITH:  Are you an Amazon prime number? I also have mine backed up at Amazon prime.  That’s free.

BRIAN NORTON:  We are on Amazon prime.

BELVA SMITH:  You can use their backup.

BRIAN NORTON:  We just never get around to it.  We talk about how important it is and we really want to do it, but do we ever do it? No. I don’t know.  I will say, we do print periodically I pictures.  We still go to Cosco or a story around here and we will print those out, the ones we really want, especially if we are going to share them with folks or want to fill some picture frames a home.  But yeah, it’s a problem at our house.  We had lots of people taking pictures and they are not backed up.  They are either on the Instagram Story, Instagram feed, or Facebook feed is where most of our pictures live if we are ever going to go back to them.

I think it’s gone too easy.  We all snap features of 150 things a day.  75 of them, you never want anymore.  I think this is going to be really important.

WADE WINGLER:  But once you post them to MySpace, they’ll be there forever, right?

BRIAN NORTON:  That’s right.

JOSH ANDERSON:  Kind of like what Belva does, but most of mine are on a hard drive at home, most of my old ones.  Newer ones are on the computer and on the phone.  But we do print out a decent amount of them for little stuff.  We use Shutterfly to make neat little stuff. Printing is a lot easier because you can — we use Walgreens.  It’s super easy.  You can upload your photos and keeper photos on their server if you want to and just print them out whenever you want.  It’s nice.  I do still have all my grandmother’s photo albums.

BELVA SMITH:  You have them? That’s awesome.

BRIAN NORTON:  I have all our old stuff.

BELVA SMITH:  That’s awesome because, a story like yours, Wade.  About three years ago, my cousin context to me and said I was going to mom’s photos, and I found a picture of you when you were little.  I have no pictures from my childhood, none, not a one.  They sent me that picture and it meant everything to me because that’s the only photo I have of myself.  Funny thing is I remember it because I always sat on my great grandmother’s table.

WADE WINGLER:  You have to bring it here.  I want to see a picture of two-year-old Belva.

BELVA SMITH:  I think I have it on my phone.

BRIAN NORTON:  Wade, what do you do with yours?

WADE WINGLER:  We are backing them up to dropbox.  I have a thing set up so that they are going to dropbox.  I’ve also set up a shared dropbox so that me, myself, my sister — I have only one sibling — all have access to the same shared photos.  We are dividing up — and we started this process and stopped when the weather got nice.  She’ll take a box of pictures, I’ll take a box of pictures, and we both use an app.  I forget what it’s called.  It does a nice job of rapid the scanning them in from your picture to the phone straight into dropbox.  I’ve been scanning and she’s been sorting them into things like family gatherings and folders with the names of the people who are in them.  It’s the same thing that you said, Brian.  We had this process, something in place, but we haven’t really gotten around to doing it.  We’ve done may be a couple of hundred photos and there are thousands of photos that need to be scanned.

BELVA SMITH:  I think the Google photos, you can search.  You can say pull up all the pictures of Brian or all the pictures of my dog.

BRIAN NORTON:  I get a little nervous.  I have a work phone, and sometimes I’m out with a client, I have to take is that picture of something.  I don’t want something like an If This Then That, and throws it out onto Google drive or dropbox.  I want to have some sort of way to control that.  I had to work on it.  Like I said 100 other times, I have to work on the process.

WADE WINGLER:  The app I’m using is Pic Scanner Gold. I want to say it was a six dollar app.  There is the picture of a two-year-old Belva! That’s precious.

BRIAN NORTON:  You look like Madeleine.


WADE WINGLER:  That’s awesome.  This app is cool because I can take five or six photographs, put them on the kitchen table, hold the camera over it once.  It will take a picture of all of the photographs and then sort them out and allow me to crop each one so I can do five pictures and then crop them and put them in.  It really does speed up the process of taking all those old pictures and getting them digitized.

BELVA SMITH:  So Brian, you are not the only one who is just thinking about it and not doing it.  I am not ‘joshing’, about four years ago I bought one of those VHS to digital thing so I could transfer all those VHS tapes to a city.  I’ve never opened it, but it’s sitting on top of my tub —

WADE WINGLER:  That’s exactly what mine. My VHS to DVD converter is sitting on top of the box of VHS’s.

BELVA SMITH:  I’m going to do that someday.

BRIAN NORTON:  I still have my combo, my DVD-VCR combo. I’m just hoping that lasts forever.

WADE WINGLER:  It’s how you watch Little Mermaid, on VHS.

BRIAN NORTON:  That’s our show for today.  I want to say thanks for listening, and I hope you guys all had a great holiday.  We look forward to jumping in a couple of weeks back to our normal format where we will have everybody in the studio.  But I did want to make mention for folks, if you have questions, as we ramp up for the new year and start putting out some more of our shows together, if you have any assistive technology related questions, maybe some feedback regarding some of the wildcard questions we ask today or talked about today, we would love to hear from you.  I hope you had a great near and we will talk to you guys in a couple weeks.  Take care.

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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