ATFAQ117 – Q1 – diffusing lights, Q2 – text-to-speech on iPhone, Q3 – Chrome extensions for Executive Functioning, Q4 – VoiceOver compatible games, Q5 – Descriptive Audio on Roku, Q6 – What tech is collecting dust in your drawers

Play

ATFAQ logo

Panel – Brian Norton, Tracy Castillo, Belva Smith, Josh Anderson – Q1 – diffusing lights, Q2 – text-to-speech on iPhone, Q3 – Chrome extensions for Executive Functioning, Q4 – VoiceOver compatible games, Q5 – Descriptive Audio on Roku, Q6 – What tech is collecting dust in your drawers?

———–Transcript Starts Here———————————

Tracy Castillo:
I have a question.

Brian Norton:
Huh?

Tracy Castillo:
What?

Josh Anderson:
I’ve always wondered.

Belva Smith:
What about?

Tracy Castillo:
Do you know?

Brian Norton:
I have a question.

Josh Anderson:
I’ve always wondered.

Tracy Castillo:
like I have a question.

Brian Norton:
I have a question.

Belva Smith:
Oh, I have a question.

Tracy Castillo:
I have a question.

Josh Anderson:
I have a question.

Brian Norton:
Welcome to ATFAQ. Assisted technology frequently asked questions with your host, Brian Norton, Director of Assistive Technology at Easterseals Crossroads. This is a show where 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 to answer it on our show? Send us a tweet with the #ATFAQ call our listener line at (317) 721-7124 or send us an email tech@eastersealscrossroads.org the world of assistive technology has questions and we have answers and now let’s jump into today’s show.

Brian Norton:
Hello and welcome to ATFAQ episode 117 my name is Brian Norton and I’m the host of the show and we’re so happy that you’ve taken some time to tune in with us this week. We have a great lineup of assistive technology questions for you today. But before we jump in to the questions, I just want to take a moment to go around the room and introduce the folks who are here. Part of the panel with me today. First is Tracy. Tracy is the Indata program manager. Tracy, do you want to say Hey to folks?

Tracy Castillo:
Hey everyone.

Brian Norton:
She oversees our reuse and our demo and loan programs ere at the Indata Project. We also have with us Belva Smith. Belva is our vision team lead with our Clinical Assistive Technology program. Belva you want to say Hey to folks?

Belva Smith:
Hey, Hey, Hey.

Brian Norton:
We also have Josh here. Josh is the popular host of Assistive Technology Update, but also the manager of our Clinical Assistive Technology program too. And so Josh, you want to say hey?

Josh Anderson:
Hi everybody.

Brian Norton:
Perfect. So, Hey, for those folks who are new listeners to our show, just want to take a moment to tell you a little bit about how our show works. Throughout the week we receive feedback and come across the various assistive technology questions and then we go ahead and put those together and try to come up with the show. We have a variety of ways for folks to contribute to our show in a couple of different ways. The first way to contribute is to send us your questions. The second way to contribute is as we go through the show today and we try to answer these questions. If you have any additional information to share about the questions that we try to cover today, give us a call or send us an email or send us a tweet and help us be able to more fully answer those questions.

Brian Norton:
And so you can do that again in a variety of ways. You can call our listener line that’s (317) 721-7124 or you can email us at tech@eastersealscrossroads.org or send us a tweet with the #ATFAQ. That’s where we go ahead and gather those things up and we’ll put the shows together from there. If you’re interested in learning about where to find our show, you probably have already found it because you’re listening. But for those folks [crosstalk 00:02:49] but if you want him to share it with other folks you can find us on itunes@atfaqshow.com is our website. You can go to Stitcher, Google play store, eastersealstech.com and a variety of other places. Really anywhere that you go to typically get your podcasts, you’ll probably find us there.

Brian Norton:
Super excited to be able to be recognized by a couple of different places recently with regard to the popularity of our shows. AT Update Josh, he was that particular show from in the show that he hosts was noted as the number one assistive technology show on the web.

Josh Anderson:
We’re number one.

Brian Norton:
By feedspot.com. The other shows that we have, ATFAQ was rated as the number six show on the web as far as assistive technology is concerned. And then Accessibility Minute was the number nine show. So super excited about that recognition from feedspot.com. And we’d love for you to share the news and to be able to share the show with other folks as well.

Belva Smith:
Hey, have any of you tried to rate a podcast recently from the iTunes?

Brian Norton:
I have not.

Belva Smith:
It’s very tricky to do that.

Josh Anderson:
Belva, I know some people have complained about it.

Belva Smith:
Yeah, it’s very tricky.

Josh Anderson:
[inaudible 00:04:03] it wasn’t easy anymore.

Belva Smith:
But Hey, if you get a chance and you are listening to us through the Apple podcast app, go ahead and tap the logo and when you tap the logo, it should bring up the screen that has the ratings and reviews and we would appreciate a five star rating. But we’ll take what you give us, I guess but it used to be that you could just scroll down to the bottom of the podcast and-

Josh Anderson:
[inaudible 00:04:32].

Belva Smith:
Yeah, I know, they’ve changed it up now.

Brian Norton:
It’s still accessible in the way that it comes across, right?

Belva Smith:
Yeah.

Brian Norton:
Okay, good. That would be them because that would cause a problem. Without further ado, we’ll go ahead and jump into this week’s questions. The first question is, I work in an environment in which my employer has put in overhead led light fixtures. These lights are very bright and they’re making me extremely dizzy and sick. What suggestions do you have to diffuse the light and to try to reduce the intensity of the lights? A dimmer switch is not an option at this point.

Belva Smith:
I’ll jump in. I actually can relate to this question because I used to have an individual office where I just never turned on the lights. But now I’m in a group work space where I have other folks that are typically in there with me. They like the lights on and the overhead lights tend to bother me as well. But I will say that we have added floor lamps. And so whenever I come in, I have my floor lamp only and I have it at the lowest setting. I also have all the blinds closed. But anyway, maybe that’s not an option for you. One of the things that I have actually done for work accommodations before is I have had them remove a couple of the overhead bulbs.

Belva Smith:
So perhaps for example, in our room that we’re in here, we’ve got two overhead lights that both have four bulbs. Perhaps coming in and taking one bulb out of each one or two bulbs out of each one might reduce the light enough that it doesn’t affect you. Another option, I don’t know if it’s just looking at the monitor with the overhead light that’s bothering you. But what I’ve done also for job accommodations is use monitor hoods. And those can be extremely cheap, can even be made out of cardboard. We’ve done that as a temporary fix while we waited on I don’t know, $25 window really come in. But it’s basically just three pieces of material connected together that sits over the top of the monitor and it shields the overhead light from hitting the screen.

Belva Smith:
The last thing that I could suggest is perhaps some yellow tinted glasses. And I was trying to look those up-

Brian Norton:
Like polarized lenses.

Josh Anderson:
Light sensitivity glass or what they’re called. If you look them up, you can usually find them that way.

Belva Smith:
And those are also usually pretty and inexpensive, but I would definitely start by letting your employer know that they overhead lights are affecting you. And see if they can just possibly remove a couple of the bulbs that has worked in more than one situation.

Brian Norton:
And I’ve found him in our home. I went around, I bought a bunch of led bulbs and I thought, “Oh, this is going to be so great.” I went around and I replaced them all. And then my wife and my kids both were like, “What were you thinking?” Because they are really, really bright.

Tracy Castillo:
Yeah, you have to watch what the Kelvin I believe is.

Brian Norton:
Right. Well, you can get soft white led bulbs, which really produced light that’s like every other light bulb. It’s a little bit more yellow in nature, which is going to cause less glare. And so I had to go out and buy a whole new set of light bulbs for those. Belva I’m going to pick up on something that you mentioned. The lamps that we put in the team room here. Those are all torchiere lamps and so they’re uplighting. And so instead of lighting coming down from the ceiling on top of things, it’s actually lighting that’s going up towards the ceiling. Replacing and putting a couple of, I don’t believe those were more than 20, $25.

Belva Smith:
Actually at the job accommodation I was doing today, we’re going to be using one of those and we found one on Amazon for 25 bucks.

Brian Norton:
Yeah, they’re inexpensive, but that uplighting is going to keep that lighting from coming down on top of things, which is going to then produce the glare. It actually shoots it up to the ceiling and provides a lot better lighting situation for you. A couple other low tech fixes that I’ve seen used before as well. If it’s fixtures like we have, we have fluorescent lighting in our building-

Josh Anderson:
Well it’s led but they look like fluorescents.

Brian Norton:
Correct. Yeah. Fluorescent fixtures with led bulbs in them. Anyways, Belva mentioned taking a couple out, which is great. I’ve also seen put people put wax paper or even you can go out and purchase a shower curtain that’s a frosted shower curtain and stick those into the fixture, which is going to then lessen, the light that comes through to dim it a little bit. And so I’ve seen that done. Those are wax papers next to nothing. You can do that pretty easily. And so that’s something else to do. And I think also then you can look at if it’s just floor lamps and other kinds of things, maybe you don’t have a torchiere but look at different shades, different colors of shades. The shades themselves can help dampen that light a little bit as well.

Josh Anderson:
Brian, going right off of the things you said. Yeah. If you have the old fluorescent style, I know there are LEDs, the TA I think they’re called bulbs. They’re long cylindrical ones. There’s light dimming sleeves you can get to just go over them and yeah, you can actually just slide them into them and it will actually dim down the light. There’s also, like you said, a shower curtain, a sheet or something could be hung up there and there’s actually something called cozy shades which are made that you can actually put over them too. They’re kind of a light filters. They come in pink and light blue and some stuff like that so it can just block out some of that brightness.

Brian Norton:
Do you have to go to a lighting store for those or? You can get them anywhere?

Josh Anderson:
You don’t. Actually cozy shades. If you look them up, they’re sold on websites that help people with autism, stuff like that because they’re actually made for more sensory stuff. But it can still filter out some of that light and make it a little bit easier. And then as Belva said, the light sensitivity glasses can be really great too. And you can find those all different ways, but not sunglasses.

Belva Smith:
Yeah, not sunglasses.

Josh Anderson:
Overtime they only cause more issues.

Tracy Castillo:
And forgive me if I’m wrong, but the shades you were talking about, those are called color filters or the filters for the goggles?

Brian Norton:
Yeah, the light filters or something?

Josh Anderson:
Yeah. There’s different kinds. If you do go to a vision specialist, they can really help you find the right kind. But I think you can just go to a vision specialist and try them out. Can’t you Belva or?

Belva Smith:
Well, I know we happen to have them in our lending library.

Tracy Castillo:
I was going to say that.

Belva Smith:
It might be the first place to start is to look for your local AT Act and find out if they happen to have a pair in their library such as we do. We have actually a couple of different versions of them. They’re very inexpensive too. And I’m guessing that you could probably find them on Amazon. I haven’t tried to do an Amazon search form, but I would look if you do decide to look for them on Amazon, I would probably put in light blocking lenses maybe or something like that.

Josh Anderson:
Light sensitivity, light filtering, those kinds of things because they’re made for different kinds of uses and stuff. And really some of that depends on where exactly the light is because if it’s directly over your head it might come in behind the glasses and maybe not do any good either.

Belva Smith:
One of the things I was thinking as you guys were talking about one of the other job accommodations that I did a couple of years ago in a office downtown, they also had came through and put in brand new led bulbs, which were causing a negative for my consumer. But what we found is as we stood in the workspace that she was in, there was one area of the room that wasn’t as brightly lit. And so we just simply ask if she could move her workstation from the area that she was in to that area. And we did that and it seemed to help.

Tracy Castillo:
You guys might not know this about me, but I love led lights and I’ve studied them a lot and I know how to buy them now because and I learned through a full day training that we had. And what I learned from there was the 800 Loomis is about what people use to read at. You probably if you’re a family is complaining, you’ve probably got the 1000 Loomis.

Brian Norton:
It was actually so bright and so white that it changed what our paint looked like on the wall. It looked like a blue instead of the gray that it was.

Tracy Castillo:
That brightness color comes from the Kelvins and the rating scale. So the higher the Kelvins, the more blue, I would say blue light that you get from it, where it fits lower, it’s going to give you that warm yellow light.

Josh Anderson:
It’s only important that you get to change the bulbs.

Brian Norton:
Put something a little dimmer or actually having to put like some dimmer switch on there.

Tracy Castillo:
Yeah, because it’s not like buying your typical light bulb that we back in the day that we’re used to buying. Now you can just really zero in to how bright or yellow or white you want your light.

Belva Smith:
I’m always a dim light person and when Todd and I first got together-

Josh Anderson:
There’s a joke about that Belva.

Belva Smith:
I know right? And when Todd and I-

Tracy Castillo:
Can you tell me it?

Belva Smith:
When Todd and I first got together, he liked the brightest lights. He would have loved your bright lights Brian. He loves the brightest lights possible and we had to have the brightest lights, like three of them on in each room. It drove me nuts. Fortunately now he could care less where the lights are on or off. I went out in the end.

Brian Norton:
Oh my gosh, that’s funny.

Josh Anderson:
Please don’t go against Belva.

Brian Norton:
Awesome. Well, Hey, I just want to open this up to folks who are listening. If you have any more information you’d like to contribute to this question, I’d love to hear from you. You can do that in a variety of ways. The first would be our listener line. That’s (317) 721-7124 where you can give us an email @easterseals. I’m sorry, tech@eastersealscrossroads.org. Let us know what you have on this question. Thanks.

Belva Smith:
Yeah, I’d be happy or excited to hear what she does or he or she, we don’t know if it’s a male or female, but what they’d find that actually works out for them. It would be interesting to know.

Brian Norton:
Yeah, absolutely. All right, so our next question is what’s the best speech to text app for iPhone that you’ve used? I’m currently testing Ava and Otter AI, but wanted to see if there are other good options. And so I don’t know. I’m a sucker for the basics and really I think the text to speech, I’m sorry, the speech to text software that’s built into iOS devices. This particular case, iPhone is really good. It does a tremendous job at doing some of those things. Now I’m assuming that they’re using it for note taking or doing something like that, which it probably wouldn’t be the best for that because I think with the standard basically speech to text engine that they have, it turns itself off periodically and I think they probably are looking for it just to continue to run over a period of time. But again, I would always say built in is pretty good, but if you’re doing something very specific where you need the microphone to stay on for a longer period of time, to be able to capture longer periods of notes probably wouldn’t be the best. But it is pretty good.

Josh Anderson:
Brian, I go with you on what exactly are they using it for? But I mean Ava’s really mostly deaf and hard of hearing communication app.

Tracy Castillo:
That’s where I got confused with his question. Yeah.

Josh Anderson:
It is speech to text but that’s most of what it’s really used for. It’s not like putting it in notes or that kind of thing. So I guess it depends on what you’re using it for. But I’ve used a Microsoft translator a lot too, just because you can start a communication with different people. They can all be on their different devices. You can talk into it and someone else could type into it or however they might need to so that you can easily get one go around the horn, I guess with all the different folks and it’ll have the little name next to it so you know who’s speaking, who’s talking and everything else. It’s free. So it can definitely help with that. Just if you’re doing communication usually it’ll translate. So you do English to Spanish, Spanish to French, all those different kinds of things. You would just do English to English so that you could, or Spanish to Spanish, I guess. Whatever you’re using it for. It will work pretty well.

Josh Anderson:
But Otter AI does work pretty well to it. It really good transcription. I’ve had really great luck with it. And it’s free for 600 minutes a month something like that?

Brian Norton:
Yeah. The first 600 minutes is free and then you can pay for it. They’ve got a premium version, which I believe is 999 per month. Or you can pay 100 bucks for the year and that gives you up to about 6,000 minutes of transcription.

Josh Anderson:
The one thing I do like about Otter, again, totally depends on what you’re using it for is you can go back and search those transcriptions. So it’s real easy to find the part of the conversation or the part of the speech detects you’re looking for. So that’s a really cool feature that I haven’t really seen anywhere else.

Tracy Castillo:
I found out about Ava about a year ago. After I found out about it, you told me about just using the notes app and turning on dictation.

Josh Anderson:
And I’ve done that just to talk back and forth with folks before kind of in a pension. It works pretty well.

Tracy Castillo:
Right, because one time I have the Ava app on my phone but I don’t use it that often. So waiting for it to download and resetting it, signing back in and everything took a long time. If you’re in a pinch, I would say just using the standard notes app.

Brian Norton:
I love the standard one. It’s the only issue with it is the microphone turns off. It’ll cut off after 20 seconds or something like that.

Belva Smith:
Only in silence. As long as there’s conversation it stays on, correct?

Brian Norton:
No, I think it actually will shut off as well.

Josh Anderson:
Sometimes it just shuts off-

Brian Norton:
when I’m trying to dictate an email, it turns itself off-

Tracy Castillo:
Oh, wow. It’s like you’re done. That’s enough.

Brian Norton:
It gets boards with my voice or something like that and just-

Josh Anderson:
[inaudible 00:18:12] turning off too.

Brian Norton:
That’s right. I will throw out two other ones. I’ve had some success with Otter AI as my favorite at this point because it really transcribes very quickly. It doesn’t take very long for it to actually do the transcription piece.

Josh Anderson:
Imagine a little Otter sitting there.

Brian Norton:
Yeah. And the little cute sea animals, what’s wrong with the sea animal? The other ones Live Caption app.

Tracy Castillo:
I just want to [inaudible 00:18:37].

Brian Norton:
The Live Caption app is also a great app. It’s available. It’s mainly for maybe one-on-one communication. It has the limitation of the microphone because it uses the built-in dictation feature. And so the microphone on it will shut off as well. But I’ve used it for periods of time. It’s pretty good. Another one I’ll mention is Just Press Record is an app.

Belva Smith:
That’s a good one. It’s great for the watch as well.

Brian Norton:
Yeah.

Josh Anderson:
Really? I’ve never used that one.

Brian Norton:
It’s 499, you have to pay for it. Otter AI is free up to 600 minutes. Just Press Record is 499 for the app. It works really well. It works very similar to what Otter AI. How it works, what I’ve recognized with it, it’s a little slower with the transcription piece of it. But it does transcribe it and saves off little snippets for you. Just press record and Belva, I think you said there’s Apple watch.

Belva Smith:
Yeah. It works on the Apple watch. Yeah.

Brian Norton:
So really cool with that one. The other one, if you were looking for a more professional type of app, there’s one called Transcribe and that’s really where, it is machine learning. But it’s going to cost you a lot more. You get 15 minutes of free right up front and then it’s 499 an hour after that. But you’re getting transcription continually and you can use as many minutes as you want. But again, it’s going to get expensive if you use it very often. And it’s going to continue to cost you because it’s 499 an hour, not 499 total for just purchasing the app.

Brian Norton:
But those were maybe just a couple of suggestions for folks. Thinking about the built-in stuff, Otter AI is great. I’ve had lots of success with it. Live Caption, Just Press Record and then look up Transcribe app that’s another pretty good speech to text app for iPhone as well. We’d love to open it up for folks. If anybody has some suggestions, maybe there’s an app that you use that is not one of the ones that we mentioned. I’d love to hear about it. I’d love to know what your experience with it is. You can give us a call on our listener line that’s (317) 721-7124. Or send us an email tech@eastersealscrossroads.org. Love to hear from you. Thanks.

Brian Norton:
All right, so our next question is what are some Chrome apps or extensions to help with executive functioning? All right, for folks that don’t know what executive functioning all entails, I thought I gave you just the short definition of it. It’s a broad topic. There’s lots of things that fall under executive functioning. Maybe in a nutshell, it’s about how you might be able to organize or prepare yourself or manage things that are happening in your life, whether you’re planning a trip, working on a research project, maybe a paper for school, those types of things. It’s how you keep yourself organized. It’s how you stay on task, it’s about self-regulation, those types of things. And that’s all falling under executive functioning, again as a short definition of what that would look like.

Brian Norton:
And we can go online a lot longer about that particular topic, but again, looking for Chrome apps or extensions to help with those types of things. And so, any thoughts?

Tracy Castillo:
Hey, Brian.

Brian Norton:
Yeah.

Tracy Castillo:
In my area I deal with a lot of consumers that do have autism and some of those autism things that we see coming through is that deficit and what is it? Executive functioning. And what I’ve noticed and I’ve talked to autism department and they’ve told me it’s like the what’s next is missing. In reality what I’ll see is a lot of tasks that get done well but it stops right there-

Brian Norton:
That’s a good point. Yeah. That’s a great…

Tracy Castillo:
Oh, I think it was last summer Wade brought up a To-Do List. Is that the name of it To-Do List?

Brian Norton:
Yup.

Tracy Castillo:
Yeah. I thought that would be really great because you can set those reminders and timers and I think also that you could actually have someone add things to your To-Do List.

Brian Norton:
Multiple users. If you’re a caretaker or the person who’s there to help that individual stay on task, you can add things to a list. What I love about To-Do is, it’s cross platform. You can use it on windows, Mac web based on traditional computers you can use it anywhere. That’s a great tool. I was going to mention just a couple of things. One of the things if you think about staying on task is I think we all have lots of things to get done during the day. And one of the challenges is you might get working on something and it takes you all day to get done and you haven’t really done anything else and you were supposed to. Using timers and other types of things, there’s an app or an extension called Click It. I’m sorry, not click it a One Click Timer would be it. And that’s just a little app.

Brian Norton:
It brings up a timer looking device and it tells you not only can you set how much time you want on the timer. But it also gives you how much time is remaining on that timer. For folks who want to be able to kind of quickly set a timer for 30 minutes to be able to work on a specific task before I need to move onto the next one. That would be an interesting one to bring up. Look up One Click Timer. That’s a great one.

Josh Anderson:
Another couple and nothing completely set in stone because there’s different ones. But mind mapping is a really helpful thing, especially for trying to keep you the working memory, trying to be able to plan out and prioritize goals. Mind mapping lets you start with the big thing, the big idea and then break it down into smaller pieces. And really there’s a couple of different ones. The different tools that you can use. Some are online tools, some of them I think are actually Chrome extensions that you can kind of do. But really if you just look up mind mapping Chrome extensions, it gives you two or three free ones. And they all have different features and different bells and whistles. So really it’s important to try them out and see which one works better. But that’s really great especially for that planning and prioritizing the big stuff. Such as, I think you mentioned papers and stuff like that, that you might have to do.

Brian Norton:
Absolutely. I’ll throw out a couple other ones too. Adblock Plus is a Chrome extension to block ads on websites. It keeps all those annoying distractions that come up when you go to a particular website. It’ll keep those and minimize their effect on what you’re looking at.

Josh Anderson:
[inaudible 00:25:19]?

Tracy Castillo:
When you try to learn about weather and like, “Oh, no, Kardashian.”

Brian Norton:
I don’t know if it does all of them, but it does quite a bit. It does get rid of those ads. Another one is Tabs News, Taps News is a great one as well. Essentially what that does, it helps you just keep up with your productivity and basically helps you stay on top of everything that you’re doing in your browser. And so take a look at that one. It’s pretty good as well. So you can snooze tabs if you’d like. Another couple that I’ll just mention. Momentum is a great one. Momentum is actually a Chrome extension. What it does, what I love is it turns your new tab page. When you open up Chrome, it brings you to the new tab intellectually. Basically bring it up and it replaces it with a personal dashboard of things that you have to do today.

Brian Norton:
So to-do lists provides you the weather for the day. It gives you an inspirational quote. And you can go in and mark the things off that you get done during that day. But it basically changes that new tab page into a productivity or a dashboard for you for whatever you might have that day. And then another one is Moovit. One of the other things that can get challenging for folks is you just get busy on a task and you don’t think about exercise. You don’t think about getting up and moving around and stretching and clearing your mind. And when you come back to the task you’re working on be able to be more focused. And so Moovit is an exercise app. And so as it’s running in the background, it’ll tell you, “Hey you’re spending such and such amount of time searching the internet, get up, why don’t you get moved, be active.” Do those kinds of things.

Brian Norton:
It’ll send you reminders periodically and you can set the interval and set what those notifications look like to be able to have it then remind you to, “Hey, get up. Get up from your chair, move around, do something different.” Those types of things. I think that’s can be really helpful. And then as we mentioned, all of these different extensions, I think organization becomes really challenging. I don’t know if you’ve loaded up a bunch of extensions in Chrome before, but they all show up one after the other on your toolbar and eventually it’s dot, dot, dot. Because you’ve got so many things running there. There’s an extension called Extensity. And basically that helps organize all of your extensions.

Brian Norton:
And what the cool thing about this one is that there are other ones, there’s tablets and a couple of other ones that are out there as well. What I love about Extensity is you can turn your extensions on or off directly from the tool bar or the menu that pops up. And so it gives you a list of all of them. But then as you click on them, it’ll turn them on or off for you. And so it helps you basically better manage or organize all of those different extensions that you have. So something to think about as well. And just one other one I’ll throw out there too is Google countdown timer. That’s not a plugin. It’s not an extension. It’s built. You just put countdown timer in the search bar and it’s going to bring up a countdown timer that you can maximize and it gives you, again another timing app for folks.

Brian Norton:
I would love to hear from other folks about what you guys might use as maybe apps to help with executive functioning. And so if you could give me a cal on the listener line, love to hear from you. It’s (317) 721-7124 or send us an email at tech@eastersealscrossroads.org. Thanks so much.

Brian Norton:
Our next question is, I need some suggestions for games to play on my iPhone that are compatible with voiceover and my braille display. He mentioned or this person mentions, I already played dice world trivia crack in trivia crack kingdoms. And to be honest with you, I don’t have a lot of experience with the different types of games. What we do a lot here is we work with employment situations and other types of things. And so getting into gaming isn’t something that we’re jumping into all the time.

Brian Norton:
And so I don’t have a real good answer for this, but I would say if you’re interested in learning more about games, AppleVisis a great place. A-P-P-L-E-V-I-s.com. If you go to applevis.com they have a lot discussion forums where people talk about the accessibility for different types of things. One of those would be gaming. I know I was there just recently in preparation for this particular question. There’s all sorts of things. There’s different discussion groups about accessible voiceover games or they talk about land of Livia mind sight, word rescue, Huboodle, H-U-B-O-O-D-L-E. Then a whole bunch of the blindfold games. I think I was talking to Belva a little bit about blindfold games.

Belva Smith:
Yeah. But what I said is apparently not true. I know there was a point when there was a disagreement between Apple and the blindfold creator and they had parted ways, but I just put blindfold in the app store and got a whole list of his games.

Brian Norton:
They got all sorts of games under… it’s not just one game, its multiple games.

Belva Smith:
Yeah. Right here there’s actually a group of games that you can buy, which is called Blindfold Game. And I think it has several different games in it, but there’s also individuals, I’m looking at racer bowling, color crush, solitaire-

Tracy Castillo:
Look at this. They have Chess.

Belva Smith:
-basket ball, hockey. There’s all kinds just by putting blindfold in the search.

Brian Norton:
That’s great. Yeah. If you go to AppleVis go under their forums and then type in iOS and iPadOS gaming, and there’ll be a whole bunch of things that’ll come up with regard to what might be accessible for folks. I think that’s probably the best place to look.

Belva Smith:
That’s going to be your best resource.

Brian Norton:
And probably it’s going to give you better information instead of reading whoever designed the app, you’re going to get people who use it and what they think of the apps in those forums a little bit and you can ask questions. Ask your own questions with regard to accessibility and what you might want and what type of game you’re looking for and you’ll be able to get those types of answers. I hope that does a good enough job of trying to answer that question as best we could. What I would love to do is open it up. Maybe if you’re listening and you play games on your iOS device love to hear from you what you use specifically for blind or visually impaired. Let us know things that you might use that are compatible with voiceover and let us know what your experience is. All right, thanks so much.

Brian Norton:
All right, so our next question is, does anyone know how to turn on descriptive audio on the Roku? I’m trying to watch a movie with my son from Amazon Prime. That is supposed to be audio described but can’t find the setting to turn on the description.

Josh Anderson:
This one is actually a pretty easy one just because what they’re trying to do and turning on the audio description isn’t actually on the Roku it’s in the prime app itself. This is going to be different for any app that you’re using on a Roku, a Firestick, Apple TV, whatever kind of device you have. But on Amazon Prime, if you’re watching a movie that’s supposed to be audio described and you can actually go to Amazon Prime and find out what all movies they have that are audio described. You just go ahead and start the movie as you normally would. And then you go to, it’s either going to be called audio closed caption, something of that sort depending on which one you’re using, depending on what it’s kind of set.

Josh Anderson:
But really, and it may say languages as well, this is where you’d go to change it to Spanish or anything like that. But one of those audio tracks should say audio description next to it. So it should say English audio description or Spanish audio description. Click on that. And you should have the audio descriptions from then on. And that should work on anything on Amazon Prime video that has the audio descriptions available. Of course, that’d be different for if it’s Disney Plus, if it’s a Netflix, all of them have this kind of capability, but it has to be a show that has the audio descriptions available. And like I said, it’ll be different for each app, but most of them should be in that audio languages area that you get to.

Belva Smith:
Yeah. We’ve actually been using the audio description since we got the Apple TV Plus subscription for free. We’re not paying for it and I don’t know if I will, but I have a year to decide. But anyway, we have been using the audio description where available. And I truly do enjoy it. But I have also found out that if you have Comcast Xfinity you can actually talk to the remote and tell the remote to bring up audio description and it will bring up a list of the movies that are available on Netflix with audio description. Instead of searching through all of the movies, you’re just looking for the ones that do have the audio description.

Belva Smith:
And Josh, you are correct. It is something that is provided by the producer of the show or the movie. We started out watching the series Silicon Valley, the first one had audio description and we were all excited, but it was the only one that had it.

Tracy Castillo:
Well that’s so nice.

Belva Smith:
I know. But Apple is really saying that their goal is to make as much of their product audio described. Netflix is huge on it. I’m haring Disney Plus also.

Josh Anderson:
Disney has been doing it for a while. As far as if you bought a Disney movie, most of the time it would have the audio descriptions built-in where you could turn them on. And I know that they’re trying to get that in Disney Plus too.

Belva Smith:
Yeah. It is show specific and also device specific I guess. But hopefully you got Netflix and you can just ask it to show you the things that are audio described.

Josh Anderson:
But really important to remember that settings not in your actual device. It’s in the app, whichever one you have open and are using.

Belva Smith:
Yep. And just because you turn it on in Netflix don’t mean that it will be on it.

Josh Anderson:
Well or even just because you turn it on the movie you’re currently watching doesn’t mean that it will automatically be on in the next time that you decide to watch it even if it’s in the same app. Even if they both have audio descriptions, you might have to go in and turn that on every time.

Belva Smith:
Yep.

Brian Norton:
Interesting. So again, just so I know if I’ve got a Roku, it’s not in the Roku settings, it would be in like I use Hulu, it would be in a Hulu settings.

Josh Anderson:
So [inaudible 00:36:04] movie in Hulu then you’d go to languages or audio language settings-

Brian Norton:
And find it there.

Josh Anderson:
Yep.

Brian Norton:
Okay. That’s interesting. Very cool. And Belva, you said you were liking this.

Belva Smith:
I’m really liking it. As I was saying earlier off-air to you guys, I’m terrible at remembering character’s names-

Josh Anderson:
And of co-workers names.

Belva Smith:
Oh, yeah. And of course Todd’s always asking me who said that? Was that John or was that Josh and I’m like, I don’t know.

Josh Anderson:
Do you describe them to him? Just like you say a tall guy?

Belva Smith:
Yeah with the audio description, it’s helping me to better remember the characters names and just know what’s going on. And it’s funny because I really thought that I would find it disruptive. And so did Todd, when I first asked him to turn it on, he was like, “Nah, I don’t want that on.” But we both have come to like it and when we don’t have it, we miss it.

Brian Norton:
Cool. Interesting. Awesome. Well, Hey, I would love to hear from folks if you’ve used audio descriptions before, what your experience is. Give us a call on our listener line that’s (317) 721-7124 or send us an email at techateastersealscrossroads.org. Again, we’d love to hear from you. Thanks

Brian Norton:
Now its time for the wildcard question. All right, so our next question is the wildcard question. And so Belva, this is where Belva has a question.

Belva Smith:
And this time he’s not making me tell him what it is. It’s really coming out to a surprise. My question to you all is, what’s in your drawers?

Tracy Castillo:
Okay, hold on for a second.

Brian Norton:
I’m a really bit concerned. Is there a further explanation to that question?

Tracy Castillo:
What drawers are we speaking about?

Belva Smith:
Those drawers that we all have where we have purchased something that we thought was going to be great or maybe it was great.

Tracy Castillo:
I’ve got a Kindle in a drawer.

Belva Smith:
There you go. That’s what I’m talking about.

Brian Norton:
I actually have Kindle Paperwhite, I also have SiriusXM.

Tracy Castillo:
That’s what I have too Brian.

Brian Norton:
I have every stinking accessory that you can think of to my SiriusXM little… Because I used to travel a lot. And you guys still do travel quite a bit and I wanted just radio, I wanted it all time radio, get all the different shows I wanted and I paid the subscription. But I’ve got every little gadget that can-

Belva Smith:
And 100 sort of wire that it took to get to connect it?

Brian Norton:
Yes.

Belva Smith:
Yes. That’s one of the things in my drawers too.

Tracy Castillo:
Wow, you know nowadays they have an app for that.

Brian Norton:
Yeah exactly. But back in the day that was the deal.

Tracy Castillo:
That was the deal. Because if you were traveling, your radio station would go out. I’m sorry Josh.

Belva Smith:
Yeah, absolutely. So, yeah, that’s one of the things I have. But what’s something else that you have that you bought because at the time it was the most cool thing and now it’s like-

Brian Norton:
You know another one I’ve got? I’ve got a Garmin GPS, I don’t use the GPS anymore. Standalone GPS, I always use my phone. That’s all I ever use.

Josh Anderson:
I used to have one of those but I don’t know where the heck it is. Now I do have in my garage this bag of cords that occasionally is useful, but I think-

Belva Smith:
Every man has that bag of cords.

Josh Anderson:
But I think I’m finally to the point where I’ve to get everything useful out of it and it’s nothing but maybe a few pieces of ripped up co hacks and then the little three prong AV cords they don’t go to anything anymore. And phone wires, which I have no phones at all in my house or anything that connects to it.

Tracy Castillo:
I have this cool little thing. It’s blue and it has a headphone Jack. It’s the iPod.

Brian Norton:
I remember that.

Belva Smith:
That’s one of the things in my drawer.

Tracy Castillo:
I think it’s still loaded with music too.

Belva Smith:
Yeah. And that was really the thing when they first were new, the iPod, Oh my gosh. You could carry you music everywhere you went or books. That’s what I put on mine was books.

Tracy Castillo:
The same year my daughter received an iPhone from her one grandma, her other grandma gave her an iPod shuffle. You can imagine what happened?

Josh Anderson:
For sure. Now I do keep, like I think I have a Samsung Galaxy S III that I just connect to wifi, download music to, and I use it as a music player. I don’t always have to use my phone and I can actually have stuff offline on there without using up all the memory on my phone. It doesn’t get used real often. So it mostly just sits in that drawer.

Belva Smith:
So another thing that I have is a WDTV and I was surprised and preparing for this show. I actually went to Amazon to look it up. They do still sell the WDTV.

Tracy Castillo:
I’m not sure what you’re speaking of.

Belva Smith:
It’s a little box about the size of an Apple TV and you plug any USB drive into it that’s got movies on it and you can watch your movies from anywhere, anytime, but they got to be on that USB drive. What we did, is we recorded a whole bunch of TV shows and put them on a USB drive, older TV shows so that we could watch them whenever we wanted. Of course this was before what we have on our TVs now that records everything for us.

Brian Norton:
DVRs.

Belva Smith:
DVRs. Yeah, exactly. That’s about 10 years old. I still have it.

Tracy Castillo:
I still have blank DVDs in my drawer as well.

Brian Norton:
I have some of those too. I actually have this old ScanDisk. Do you remember what those were called? The bigger 250 megabyte disks that you used to put in there?

Tracy Castillo:
The zip file ones?

Brian Norton:
Yeah, they were big old discs.

Belva Smith:
The floppies?

Brian Norton:
Not the floppies. I need to think about what those were called but-

Tracy Castillo:
I wanted to start the name-

Brian Norton:
Zip drives.

Belva Smith:
Yeah, that’s what I was thinking about. The Zip drives.

Brian Norton:
I got those big disks. The other one I found the other day, I was going through some old stuff, is back when iPods were still leading the market, I decided to buy a Microsoft Zune.

Belva Smith:
Oh my gosh. Todd had a Zune when I met him and I was like, “Dude, you got to get an iPod.” Because getting music on that was hard.

Brian Norton:
I still have a video cam recorder that takes a little DVDs instead of you putting things on SD cards. Now I had the DVDs that I had to put in there.

Josh Anderson:
Really?

Brian Norton:
Rewriteable DVDs. I got that. That’s probably 13 years ago.

Belva Smith:
So I still have my VHS recorder. That’s like the size of a house that you put up on your shoulder and you put the full size VHS tape to record.

Josh Anderson:
They looked so cool though. That’s the thing.

Belva Smith:
Yeah, I was really rocking that thing when we got it and I can’t get rid of it because if I ever want to watch any of those VHS, I got to have-

Josh Anderson:
You’d have to have that.

Belva Smith:
Yes.

Tracy Castillo:
Now I had someone donate some VHS or some, what are they called? I’m so sorry.

Belva Smith:
The VHS?

Tracy Castillo:
Yeah. I have a couple of them just donated. You can come and get them.

Brian Norton:
Absolutely.

Belva Smith:
It’s just interesting how technology changes over the years and how when we get our little devices, we feel like it’s the greatest and sometimes it is and sometimes it’s not because we’ve all bought those things that we thought were going to be much better than they turned out to be. Most recently, I purchased the knockoff PenFriend, can’t think of what it’s called. We actually have one in the library. And I bought it because it was $89 versus the PenFriend, which is like $150, should have spent the $150.

Josh Anderson:
It stopped working?

Belva Smith:
Yeah, three times. It’s pretty frustrating. But yeah, so that’s one of those situations where I think you get what you pay for sometimes. But anyway.

Tracy Castillo:
That’s why I love the lending library.

Belva Smith:
Yes.

Tracy Castillo:
You could request an item. We can have it. You can try it. If it works, great. And if it doesn’t, you didn’t waste your money on it.

Belva Smith:
Exactly.

Brian Norton:
Good question, Belva. That was excellent.

Belva Smith:
Yeah, keep the drawers clean, we’ll probably have that question again.

Tracy Castillo:
You might get hit by a bus.

Brian Norton:
Keep your drawers clean. If there’s one thing we’re asking our listeners to do is, keep your drawers clean. Hey, so excellent. I want to thank the folks here in the room that are with me today, and give them an opportunity to say goodbye. Tracy.

Tracy Castillo:
I never want to say bye. I’m so sorry about this.

Brian Norton:
You just want us to live here in the studio.

Tracy Castillo:
Exactly I don’t have to do dishes in here. Okay bye.

Brian Norton:
Excellent. Then Belva?

Belva Smith:
I’ll just say till next time.

Brian Norton:
Cool. And then Josh.

Josh Anderson:
So long.

Brian Norton:
Excellent. Yeah. And also just to let you guys know, if you guys have questions or feedback from today’s show, let us know. You can give us a call on our listener line. That’s (317) 721-7124 send us a tweet with the #ATFAQ or email us at tech@eastersealscrossroads.org. Would love to hear from you love to get your questions or your feedback, be part of the show. Thanks so much, have a great weekend. It seems like every week we have at least one blooper. So here you go.

Belva Smith:
My client tells me why don’t you just go ahead and go home for the rest of the day? And I was like, “Okay Thank you.”

Brian Norton:
It’s consumer choice, right?

Belva Smith:
No.

Josh Anderson:
Is this too close?

Belva Smith:
I think so.

Brian Norton:
Okay. I used to sing a song, halitosis gingivitis, that’s what people in my house have.

Josh Anderson:
I was quite comfortable come on. [inaudible 00:45:35] on that thing, man.

Brian Norton:
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 and produced by Brian Norton, gets editorial help by Josh Anderson and Belva Smith and received support from Easterseals Crossroads and the Indata Project. ATFAQ is a proud member of the Accessibility Channel. Find more of our shows at www.accessibilitychannel.com.