ATFAQ118 – Best Of Episode – Q1 – light sensitivity accommodations, Q2 – Alerting systems at night, Q3 – Orcam for computer text, Q4 – One-handed productivity on keyboard, Q5 – 0365 Accessibility Features, Q6 Wildcard: Is it possible to live off grid?

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Panel: Brian Norton, Josh Anderson, Tracy Castillo and Belva Smith,

ATFAQ 118 – Best Of Episode – Q1 – light sensitivity accommodations, Q2 – Alerting systems at night, Q3 – Orcam for computer text, Q4 – One-handed productivity on keyboard, Q5 – 0365 Accessibility Features, Q6 Wildcard: Is it possible to live off grid?

————-Transcript Starts Here——————————-

Speaker 1:
I have a question.

Speaker 2:
huh?

Speaker 3:
Like what?

Speaker 4:
I’ve always wondered.

Speaker 5:
What about?

Speaker 6:
Do you know?

Speaker 7:
I have a question I’ve always wondered.

Speaker 8:
I have a question.

Speaker 9:
I have a question.

Speaker 10:
Oh, I have a question.

Speaker 11:
I have a question.

Speaker 12:
I have a question.

Brian Norton:
Welcome to ATFAQ, Assistive Technology FAQ 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 #ATFAQ. Call our listener line at 317-721-7124 or send us an email at 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:
Alright, so our next question is, are there any accommodations you can think of for light sensitivity, like for computers or other types of things? And I think, that’s a really common issue, light sensitivity. And so there’s some, I think of ergonomics. There’s a lot that goes into dealing with glare and light sensitivity. When you think about ergonomics and I’ll just kind of mention a few things to get us started, but the first thing is I would definitely look at closing drapes, blinds, shades, whatever you have in your home, making sure that that outdoor light isn’t coming in and creating some sort of glare. You could also reduce the interior lighting by removing a few light bulbs around your space.

Belva Smith:
That’s a great idea.

Brian Norton:
A lot of times in workspaces, they have four tubes in one light, take a couple of them out. That’s automatically going to-

Belva Smith:
That’s been a recommendation from-

Josh Anderson:
Many years, many times.

Belva Smith:
Exactly. Or sometimes there’ll be like, three or four lights and you can just have one of them come on. Well, in fact, some guy requested that we have some of the bulbs from my workspace.

Brian Norton:
We have a team room and there’s like five or six lights and they all had all four bulbs in it. It was like walking into sunshine.

Belva Smith:
In my room there’s about eight bulbs.

Brian Norton:
We can take a couple of those out for you if you want.

Belva Smith:
That sounds nice.

Brian Norton:
This was a question by Tracy.

Josh Anderson:
I even had some folks just because of where they work, that wasn’t possible [crosstalk 00:02:27] find somebody else. And [inaudible 00:02:28] used things like we’ve used an umbrella.

Belva Smith:
I was going to say a monitor hood. And in fact, I just recently recommended one of those for a lady who dimming the lights and blocking the windows is not a possibility. She’s a receptionist at the front of a hospital area. It’s extremely bright. So we did a monitor hood.

Brian Norton:
You also did, almost a tent-like thing for somebody, didn’t you at one point? Explain that again.

Belva Smith:
That was many, many years ago.

Brian Norton:
Yeah, I remember this.

Belva Smith:
She actually put her head inside of it. It’s similar to the monitor hood except the monitor hood is just usually three walls. And this one, like literally came back over her head.

Josh Anderson:
Like the old photography thing.

Belva Smith:
Yes, exactly. A photography curtain is what it was like. I would also suggest possibly looking at some of the different BenQ Monitors.

Brian Norton:
Yes. Different monitors especially if you use an old CRT monitor.

Belva Smith:
Absolutely.

Brian Norton:
Those things are archaic. The refresh rate, you can see those, although to the naked eye, but your body’s picking up on that refresh rate and that can cause a lot of sensitivity issues for folks. But you’re right.

Belva Smith:
They have a series of light sensitivity monitors.

Brian Norton:
They call them low flicker or something? [crosstalk 00:03:50]-

Josh Anderson:
Zero flicker, blue light [crosstalk 00:03:53]-

Belva Smith:
Blue light sensitivity [crosstalk 00:03:54]-

Josh Anderson:
Most of them are gaming monitors, but they’re not super expensive with those. But I use them a lot with folks with any sort of eye sensitivity.

Belva Smith:
Me too. And sometimes, I don’t know, maybe having a pair of sunglasses could help. We have [crosstalk 00:04:11]-

Brian Norton:
Or those yellow ones [crosstalk 00:04:12]-

Belva Smith:
We have a couple of different computer glasses that individuals wear, not that they’re improving their vision, they’re just blocking the light.

Josh Anderson:
Those are also helpful for folks if they’re like driving at night because I know even myself, especially getting a little bit older, not that old, but a little bit older, driving at night the headlights coming on, it hurts a heck of a lot more than it used to. And they will block that kind of light out without making it dark outside, so you can still see everything but it really reduces the glare for that. That might even help with those kind of needs as well.

Belva Smith:
I’ve even seen individuals make their own monitor hood. The monitor hoods are not expensive by the way, you can find them on Amazon for [crosstalk 00:04:52]-

Brian Norton:
They are nothing like wow-

Belva Smith:
No, starting at like 25 bucks, but yes, you can literally take three pieces of cardboard and make your own if [crosstalk 00:05:00]-

Josh Anderson:
I’ve made about three monitor boxes before, just because we needed it right away. That’s how the umbrella thing came about too. It’s like, “Well, we don’t have anything today what can we use umbrella.” And they’re like, “Oh, I don’t need anything else that works fine.”

Brian Norton:
Those are some of the Tim, The Tool man Taylor things that we do around here [crosstalk 00:05:13]-

Josh Anderson:
Nobody knows what that is anymore, Brian.

Brian Norton:
Oh, come on.

Josh Anderson:
Oh, everybody knows who Tim is., right?

Brian Norton:
If you don’t, you got to look him up. Tim The Tool man Taylor [crosstalk 00:05:21]. Cool.

Josh Anderson:
I prefer MacGyver at least.

Brian Norton:
MacGayver is cool.

Josh Anderson:
I can’t remember even what they’re called. It’s been so long, but the little privacy curtain thing you can put on a monitor. If you’re talking about the screen monitor, a blackout shade almost, it goes over the screen.

Belva Smith:
Privacy screen.

Josh Anderson:
Privacy screen.

Belva Smith:
That’s exactly what its called.

Josh Anderson:
I’ve got to use those before not so much to keep the information private from other folks, but just because it does dim down the screen a little. I noticed they said light sensitivity. So I think we got to cover everything.

Tracy Castillo:
I was thinking with the new things that are going on with iOS and Chrome, they also have that dark mode so I think that could help.

Brian Norton:
Dark mode would be great. Anytime you can reverse that contrast from-

Tracy Castillo:
Which I use on like everything now.

Tracy Castillo:
Me too.

Belva Smith:
It’s a black text on a white background, move it to white text on a black background it’s going to automatically. You’re right that white background is what really can kind of throw some folks in for a lot of our low vision folks that’s a big thing. A lot of those folks change the color contrast.

Josh Anderson:
Especially if you think about working in Word or something, that is a lot of white space and [inaudible 00:06:23] any kind of light sensitivity, that’s a lot of light coming out at you.

Brian Norton:
There’s several different settings within the computer that you can really adjust as well. So obviously brightness is one of those, dark mode, different color contrast would be one. You can change the text size of things so you can see those a little bit better at times.

Brian Norton:
I think on some monitors, depending on your video card, you can actually change the color temperature and that’s the blue light stuff, make it a little bit more sensitive and I guess not such a stark brightness to the different colors that are on there. And so you can go in and look under the display properties under settings and be able to adjust some of those things depending again, on the video card that you have and how adjustable your work or home computer can be. But those are some settings I would look at too.

Brian Norton:
The other thing I’ll mention too again going back to ergonomics. I work in a lot of workplaces and there aren’t curtains, there aren’t shades, there aren’t things to block external light, but that’s not the end of it. You could also reposition your computer screen so the windows are either to the side or really should be to the side of the computer, not in front or not in back because that’s when that light is going to hit you in the eyes, whether it’s coming through and overtop of the monitor or coming from behind and shining onto the screen. Just move those windows to the side, to keep them out of your way. And then as far as lighting is concerned, I know in a lot of workplaces, they use fluorescent lighting. But if there’s any opportunity to use lower intensity, light bulbs or tubes, things that are called full spectrum fluorescent lighting, basically that’s going to make it more comfortable. It’s less stark, it’s less yellow and it’s going to give you a better lighting in your workspace.

Brian Norton:
So I would love to hear more from other folks if there’s anything that you guys have done with light sensitivity in the workspace or on the computer. Love to hear from you. Tell us your stories, let us know what you’ve done in that area, so that we can share that with the caller. You can do that in a variety of ways. You can do that through our listener line that’s 317-721-7124 or you can send us a tweet with #ATFAQ or send us an email at tech@eastersealscrossroads.org. Love to hear from you to be able to provide more to this particular caller. All right…

Brian Norton:
So our next question is from Mary and this is also a voicemail, so let’s go ahead and take a listen.

Marisol Harper:
Hi, this is Marisol Harper. I’m an Assistive Technology Consultant in Bullitt County, Kentucky and I have a question for ATFAQ. I have a student who has muscular dystrophy and at night he uses as I see pad [inaudible 00:09:17]. He lives with his grandparents and sometimes at night he can’t alert them when he needs help. And they are looking for some type of monitor where they can see and look in on him and see how he’s doing. But also they need him to be able to somehow alert them if he needs help. Usually they’re in a room close by, but sometimes they fall asleep in the evening in a different room where it’s hard for them to hear him. I was looking at different kinds of baby monitors and things like that, but I wasn’t sure which would be the best to try for him, especially with that function where he could alert them on their phone. He is only able to use his voice. Thank you for all that you do. I’ve learned so much from you all. Appreciate it. Bye-bye.

Brian Norton:
Oh my goodness, I can’t believe I just did that. By the way, listeners, I got to just let you know.

Belva Smith:
He’s got a confession.

Brian Norton:
I’ve got a confession. We’ve been talking for about 15 minutes now and provided probably the best answer we provided ever on the show. However [crosstalk 00:10:31]. I had us muted the whole time, so I apologize Mary for that.

Josh Anderson:
So if you notice today’s show’s a little quiet. [crosstalk 00:10:44]-

Belva Smith:
Okay so, Mary.

Brian Norton:
I’m sorry, Mary, we’re going to try to reanswer that question. We’ll go ahead and jump in here.

Belva Smith:
So one of the things that I have in my home is, I have a Wyze camera, which is W-Y-Z-E. They can be purchased from Amazon. The cheapest version is like $29. The more expensive one I think goes up to $39. It does connect via WiFi, very simple to set up. I had mine set up and monitoring within probably two or three minutes. And it does allow for SD card recording. The cheap version, which is what I have, it does not offer for cloud storage. But I can set it up to a monitor, so that basically it would let me know if there’s motion or movement in a particular area, or I can log into the camera. So like right now I could turn the camera on from my phone and see my puppy dog sleeping in his crate or move about and pretty much see throughout my whole house to see what’s going on.

Belva Smith:
If I had it set up for notifications, if someone were to be moving in that particular area, then it would give me a notification on my phone that, “Hey, there’s motion within the house.” You can also have a two way conversation. I’ve actually tested that just by turning it on and saying, “Hey, who’s home?” just to see who comes to the kitchen to say, “Hey, I’m home. What are you doing? What are you at?” So that’s one option, a very inexpensive option.

Belva Smith:
I think we also were discussing having one of the assistants such as the Echo Spot or the Google Hub. Is that what it’s called? [crosstalk 00:12:22]. And either one of those includes a camera and does allow for two way conversation back and forth. But the problem is if you wanted to just drop in and check on your child to make sure that he’s sleeping comfortably, you wouldn’t be able to do that without him responding to say, “Yes, it’s okay.” So with the assistant, he’s going to have to communicate back and forth with you with the camera, you can drop in whenever you want.

Josh Anderson:
Belva I’ve got a question. So let’s say that I have an Echo Spot in my kitchen? And I want to check in on my Wyze Cam in the bedroom. Can I do that from the Spot?

Belva Smith:
The Wyze is not compatible with the Echo.

Josh Anderson:
I was just kind of wondering.

Belva Smith:
However, in Brian’s case, the way he’s set up, you would be able to, because the Nest, I know is-

Brian Norton:
Yeah, we have Nest Cameras in our house. And so, Nest Cameras work very much the same way. They send notifications to your phone, but they are Amazon/Echo enabled if you will. You can set up a skill within your Echo device, the Echo Spot in this particular instance, and you can just say, “Hey, show me kitchen camera. Show me bedroom camera.” And it’ll go ahead and just open that up and you’ll be able to see what that camera is looking at on your device on the Echo Spot or the Echo Show or the Google Home Hub, those kinds of things to be able to do that.

Brian Norton:
But then you can also have two way conversation with them. And again, it’s smart enough to know if someone’s moving in the room, it’s going to say, “Hey, I think I see a person in your room, or I think I heard a dog barking or a person talking in your room.” And so it’ll go ahead and send me notifications, vibrate my phone, flashing alerts if I’ve got that turned on, my phone ringing, auditory rings, those kinds of things. It’ll let me know what’s going on in that particular room and then I can just pop in and look at and see them and talk with them through the app. It’s pretty easy.

Belva Smith:
So, Brian, you just made me think about something too. On my Echo I can say, “Show me the front door,” which then shows me, because I have a ring doorbell, which then shows me the front porch. And I would be able to hear that conversation as well. So I think I was incorrect when I said, if they did the personal assistant, he would have to respond for them to see it. I don’t think he would have to respond. [crosstalk 00:14:43]

Brian Norton:
No, they would just be able to pop in.

Belva Smith:
They would be able to say, “Just show me… ”

Josh Anderson:
Now if you’re trying to look through the Spot, then I think they do have to respond,

Belva Smith:
I think you’re right. I feel like you’re right. [crosstalk 00:14:53].

Brian Norton:
That’s device to device.

Josh Anderson:
Which I think it’s kind of important to maybe use a mix of them all.

Belva Smith:
I do too.

Josh Anderson:
Because I guess with the Nest, if you made a noise, you could have it set up to where noise would set it off. But if you just, I need a glass of water you’d say, “Amazon Device, I need a glass of water,” and it would sit there and you’d have it alert however many you had in the house or whatever room you’re in. Whereas the others you’d always have to have your phone with you, which most of us do. But if I leave it in the living room and I’m in the kitchen cooking, I might not hear that go off. So I might not know whenever they ask for something.

Belva Smith:
I think you’re right Josh though. I think this is going to be one of those situations where one device is not going to be the answer. You’re probably going to want to do a combination of a couple of different things. Again, the Wyze Cameras are very inexpensive, the Nest Cameras, I think they’re like what 150 [crosstalk 00:15:43]-

Josh Anderson:
You can always go to Lowe’s, Home Depot, any of those places now and they got a whole aisle of this stuff.

Belva Smith:
Also if you watch Amazon you’ll see that they run deals. Like back at Christmas time, you could get the Dot for-

Brian Norton:
The Dot’s $29.99 right? [crosstalk 00:15:59] blue one. On special at Amazon. After the recording of this show.

Belva Smith:
I know baby monitors too have come a long way.

Josh Anderson:
They’re usually a little more expensive is the only thing. And sometimes you can pick some little pieces off this other technology and come up with something a little better that’s cheaper.

Belva Smith:
If you were considering a baby monitor though, perhaps one that would have like two walkie talkies is what I would call them, so that he could have one, but then it’s not going to fail. He’s going to be in a different area of the room when he needs it and not have it [crosstalk 00:16:35]. Yeah, and not have it by his hand. I think if you have, like us here in Indiana, a Assistive Technology Act that has a lending library you might check with them and see what devices they have available for you to set up and try. We actually, here in our library do have a couple of the Echo devices, a couple of the Google devices. I don’t think we have any baby monitors. But we probably do have some cameras. Do we have baby monitors?

Brian Norton:
We do not have baby monitors [crosstalk 00:17:09]-

Josh Anderson:
Borrow those [crosstalk 00:17:12]-

Brian Norton:
We do have different types of cameras, mostly Nest Cameras. We have those available and we can do a demonstration of those. We usually don’t loan those out, but we can do demos of those.

Belva Smith:
I will say too, that it is very important to keep in mind everything that we’ve identified in this conversation does require home WiFi.

Josh Anderson:
Yes. So if you don’t have that, then maybe a baby monitor device might be your best because it’s probably going to send it just device to device without having to be connected to the [crosstalk 00:17:42]-

Brian Norton:
They do have camera enable and they’d sense for motion, they sense for all those different things and so you could do the same thing with the baby monitors that are out there these days. And Belva, you mentioned is it Wyze W-Y-Z-E?

Belva Smith:
Wyze W-Y-Z-E.

Brian Norton:
Okay. Because I’m looking on Amazon right now and they do have a version of that is $25-

Belva Smith:
Mm-hmm (affirmative). That’s what I have. [crosstalk 00:18:03].

Brian Norton:
And it says it works with Alexa.

Belva Smith:
Oh, does it?

Brian Norton:
Yeah. [crosstalk 00:18:05]-

Belva Smith:
I didn’t even know that when I got mine, it didn’t do the Alexa. Maybe that wasn’t in one of my updates.

Josh Anderson:
Maybe that should have been in one of your frequently asked questions as well.

Brian Norton:
It sounds like they do work with the Alexa.

Belva Smith:
I do got to say that they-

Brian Norton:
Lot cheaper too.

Belva Smith:
I do got to say they work really well.

Josh Anderson:
She showed me the picture on her camera and it looks as good as any other camera I have seen.

Belva Smith:
I’ve been all the way in Evansville and brought it… In fact, that’s when I tested the conversation, I’ve been all the way in Evansville, which is a 100 something miles from home and brought the camera up and had a conversation and I was very impressed.

Brian Norton:
That’s great, yeah.

Belva Smith:
Oh, even when we were in California I was bringing the camera up just randomly just to look, to see what’s going on.

Brian Norton:
Mm-hmm (affirmative). And I would guess even with Echo devices and things like that, you could set up a routine, that could make a phone call or do something like that. I’m sure you can set up a routine where anytime you say, “Alexa, I need help” and it’s going to go ahead and notify [crosstalk 00:19:02]-

Josh Anderson:
Make a phone call go off on all the devices in the house [crosstalk 00:19:04] all at once.

Belva Smith:
That’s your emergency contact, that can absolutely be done. And it wouldn’t have to be that it calls out to five people. Maybe it just calls out Nana or just calls out Papa to say, “Hey, come see me.”

Brian Norton:
Call their cell phone or something like that [crosstalk 00:19:21]-

Belva Smith:
It’ll send them a text saying call ’em.

Brian Norton:
So there’s a lot there with what’s going on with the internet of things, what smart cameras and notifications and alerts, what can be done with those these days. So, love to hear from other folks as well. If you guys maybe have an answer to this particular issue, maybe something that you guys have tried in the past would love to hear from you. You can give us a call on our listener line that’s 317-721-7124 or you can send us a tweet with #ATFAQ. Love to hear from you. And as we ask and jump into the next question, I promise to hit record.

Brian Norton:
Alright, so our next question is, can the OrCam work to read text on a computer screen or is it only for printed materials that are not handwritten? And I guess maybe for folks who don’t know what the OrCam is, maybe we can talk about what it is and then answer the question for folks.

Josh Anderson:
The OrCam is a wearable device. It’s a small camera, it’s what, probably two inches long? [crosstalk 00:20:28]. Attaches to your glasses. It can read to you, so you can point a text, you can tap the device and it will actually read printed text back to you. It can also recognize faces, barcodes, identify some objects I believe. There’s new kind of features coming out for it all the time.

Josh Anderson:
Go into the question. It can read text on a computer screen. Now what’s important to remember here, just because I’ve had folks ask me this question as well. It’s going to tell you what’s on the screen, it ain’t going to help you access it.

Brian Norton:
Which is huge.

Josh Anderson:
It’s not going to tell you where the mouse, it’s not going to tell you where your cursor is, it’s not going to tell you what you’re on. I’ve had people ask me before, “I need to have to access a computer, I need OrCam to access the paper materials. Can I use this to access the computer as well? And the answer is really no. You still need a screen reader, magnification software, something else to be able to access it. Where it becomes really helpful is, if you need to maybe just quickly look at something on your phone without using voiceover or something like that, or if you need to look at someone else’s computer screen, “Hey, Brian, come over here and look at this on my screen” then you could easily access it without having to have them send it to you so you could use your adaptive technology on your computer. And Belva’s over here shaking her head at me so I don’t know-

Belva Smith:
Ditto. I mean, everything you just said, Josh, that’s exactly right. [crosstalk 00:21:48]-

Brian Norton:
Josh is going to get thrown under the bus here [crosstalk 00:21:50]

Belva Smith:
No, I’ve actually had that exact question is, if the person has the OrCam glasses, does that then mean that they don’t need ZoomText or that they don’t need JAWS? No, absolutely not. But can they read the screen text? Absolutely.

Brian Norton:
Yup.

Belva Smith:
Yup.

Josh Anderson:
Yup

Brian Norton:
A lot of times we think it’s one device for all to do everything. There’s no magic bullet, those kinds of things that are going to solve all these issues. Certainly the OrCam is an amazing product, can do a whole lot for you, but getting access to the computer and using the computer is completely different than just reading the text also.

Belva Smith:
I’ll use this as an example for one of the individuals that I have recommended the OrCam for. He is a traveler, very low vision and he uses the OrCam to read the-

Brian Norton:
Signage.

Belva Smith:
The flight information on-

Josh Anderson:
Yeah, arrivals, departures [crosstalk 00:22:56]-

Belva Smith:
Yeah, and [inaudible 00:22:57] a computer screen and that’s text and it works very well for that situation for him, as well as being able to read the signage throughout the airport, read the restroom signs. When we tried it out for him, that’s one of the things we did, is walked around our hallway here. Just identifying room numbers and different information that was posted throughout the floor.

Brian Norton:
Excellent. If you maybe have experience using the OrCam, would love to hear from you guys. Maybe if there are specific situations with computer screens and what not that you’ve found useful with it, we’d love to hear from you. You can give us a call on our listener line that’s 317-721-7124 or send us an email @techateastersealscrossroads.org.

Brian Norton:
All right, so our next question is, “I have someone who shattered their right elbow,” Ouch, let me just say ouch. Shattered, just is a word that makes me cringe a little bit, “and was looking for ways to keep their productivity up on their keyboard. Do you have any technology suggestions?” I’m guessing from this, if they’ve shattered their right elbow, they’re still able to type fine with their left elbow, that there’s no issues with dexterity, fine motor control. That’s kind of my assumptions at this point but-

Josh Anderson:
Who types with their elbow? [crosstalk 00:24:24]-

Brian Norton:
It’s just going to be the range of motion is affected [crosstalk 00:24:29] if you think about it. Obviously the first thing I turn to would be different types of keyboards, different types of mice, ones that don’t require range of motion, as much range of motion or any kind of dexterity, fine motor control. You’re going to want to keep those pretty stable so you’re not moving your elbow around or doing much with that. I would wonder how big is the cast? Like how far does it go down? Does it go down through your forearm or is it even in a cast? Can you use it at all? Those kinds of things.

Josh Anderson:
A lot of times, depending on how they broke their elbow, they keep the hand completely stable too, almost in an upright position because you don’t want to move your wrist and move those [crosstalk 00:25:09]-

Belva Smith:
You can’t even use your fingers because using your fingers whether you realize it or not, it’s doing stuff to your elbow. So because my first [crosstalk 00:25:15]-

Brian Norton:
Using one-handed keyboard. [inaudible 00:25:17]

Belva Smith:
So my first thought was the wearable, I can’t think of the name of-

Josh Anderson:
The Tap?

Brian Norton:
Tap keyboard?

Belva Smith:
The tap, yeah. But no that would be a very bad idea.

Josh Anderson:
You can put in on your left hand.

Belva Smith:
But it’s only going to give you-

Josh Anderson:
[inaudible 00:25:28] You only need one because it gives you all the letters [crosstalk 00:25:30]-

Belva Smith:
Yeah, the tap keyboard would be a good option I guess then.

Brian Norton:
Although if you’re out six weeks, it’s probably going to take you about six weeks to get comfortable.

Belva Smith:
To get good at it.

Brian Norton:
To get comfortable. [crosstalk 00:25:43]-

Belva Smith:
That’s what I was going to say [crosstalk 00:25:44]

Josh Anderson:
You’re shuttered though, it maybe a while.

Brian Norton:
That could be.

Josh Anderson:
The space saver keyboards are also another really good option. They call them space savers, but they also call them one-handed keyboards. Basically they have all the keys in the same location. They’re just like half the size. That could be an option using dictation wherever possible. If you’re using, for example, Windows 10, maybe you get good at using Cortana to open and close things for you. If you’re using Office, perhaps you’ve got the newer copy of Office, which I just today was practicing with the word dictation.

Brian Norton:
It’s pretty good, right?

Josh Anderson:
It’s pretty good.

Belva Smith:
It’s pretty good. Yeah, I don’t know what version of Office you’re using, but I wouldn’t think that this would be something where you would want to go out and invest in and take the time to learn Dragon. I just found that just using the dictation in Word was pretty good and easy. I mean just immediately turn the microphone on and go to town and then using Cortana to control things as you can. Of course, if you’re using Mac, you still have all those options as well. You might also, again depending upon how serious of a situation this is going to be, I have seen and have had clients that actually use one of the space saver keyboards on a mount with a mouth stick to where they’re really just using their head to do all their typing. That could be an option.

Brian Norton:
I read the situation and I think of what probably the thing that helps me provide a lot of scope to the answer I would give would be just, what is the longevity? How long are you going to be out? Because there’s a lot of things that could be really useful. When we do a lot of evaluations and other kinds of things for individuals, these are things that, they’re permanent disability, right? It’s not something that we’re going to be able to medically or through rehab and those kinds of things get past. We’re looking for technology that can step in and help people be more productive. In this situation, if they’re out six weeks, eight weeks or even a couple of months, it’s still only a couple of months. What do we need for the interim while they get better to help them be productive. It may be something like you were mentioning Belva, maybe you don’t want to spend $180, $200, $300, whatever Dragon is these days to be able to purchase Dragon, maybe you can get by with some of the built-in stuff and there is good built-in stuff these days.

Brian Norton:
The other thing I always look at when I think about keyboarding is Abbreviation Expansion and things like PhraseExpander or WordExpander or whatever it’s called these days. There’s a free Shareware program out there. It used to be WordExpander I think they’ve renamed it something different. You type in an abbreviation and it auto extends it out into a phrase or a paragraph of text. I use that a lot for things that are redundant in nature. So like email responses that may be redundant, email addresses, things that are hard to type out that require lots of different characters and symbols and other kinds of things, passwords would be something that you could do. Abbreviation Expansion can help you with some of that stuff and make you a little bit more productive. Also again, looking at voice recognition, the Office 365 stuff is really good.

Josh Anderson:
It really is and talking about just some of like the built-in stuff. Sticky Keys is a really great thing, been around for a long time and that’s just because hitting those modifier keys can be really hard. So shift this or control that can be really difficult, but once you turn that on, you just tap it twice and it locks that key in place.

Brian Norton:
That’s something that I think we often overlook the things that are already there [crosstalk 00:29:27]-

Josh Anderson:
Sticky keys, I know.

Brian Norton:
Sticky Keys, there’s now auto-lock. A lot of times I think if you’re looking for a mouse option that doesn’t require the range of motion, that doesn’t require a lot of dexterity or fine motor control, you’re thinking about track balls, and other kinds of things because you’re not moving something around your desktop, it’s pretty stationary, you can most of the time operate it with just your fingers. There’s now the auto-lock feature, you can just roll the cursor over something, click the auto-lock, hold your button down for about a second and you can adjust the timing with that. It locks it to the cursor itself and then you drag it across the screen and drop it where you want. That’s options but there’s a lot built into the ease of access centers for that particular purpose.

Josh Anderson:
Also, your local ATAC especially if it’s something that’s only going to be 30 days, maybe that you need that accommodation or something and that could even be a good microphone to be able to use dictation a little better, a different kind of mouse. I know we’re talking about keyboards right now, but something else if you’re right handed, you’re used to using the mouse in the right hand, maybe you need a different kind of mouse to be able to use it left-handed and kind of keep that productivity up. There’s a lot of different things out there just kind of depends on what you need. Dictation may not be an option, maybe you work in an office with a lot of Social Security Numbers, things that you can’t give out so maybe that’s something you can’t do. If you’re looking to try to keyboard one-handed, there’s some different things online, just search One-handed Typing and there’s little [crosstalk 00:30:56]-

Brian Norton:
Tutorials.

Josh Anderson:
Manuals tutorials that teach you how to just put that one hand in the middle of the keyboard and reach all the keys with it.

Belva Smith:
As I was looking through here, the auto correct feature within Word might be helpful where you just type one or two letters and it fills out a sentence for you or whatever.

Brian Norton:
That is so true. There’s just a lot of different options there for folks who would be in a situation like that. And it’s a pretty common situation for sure. People have issues with typing and if you break a finger, it could be the same thing where you’re going to want different types of accommodations. So keep an eye out for those. Josh, I liked your suggestion about reaching out to the ATAC. Something that I would consider when I call them, is seeing if they might be able to come out and demo some different things for you, give you a sense of what is needed.

Brian Norton:
If you are working for an employer, it’s possibly having more of a clinical AT evaluation that could be done to be able to look and see what might be helpful in those situations because a lot of times it really kind of depends on what you’re doing with the computer. Is it a database? Is it something proprietary? If you’re in Word, great, the built-in voice dictation is going to work great but if it’s something proprietary that you have to access and you access that a lot each day, looking at Dragon might be a better option at this point thinking about some of those different situations.

Josh Anderson:
I thought about one more that we really didn’t mention. There’s one called Lightkey. It works in the Windows environment. I don’t think it works on Mac if you’re doing that, but basically it has predictive typing. It sits there and uses AI to try to figure out what you might be trying to say, so you think of the-

Brian Norton:
Kind of like texting on your iPhone or whatever.

Josh Anderson:
Yup, kind of like that. The basic edition’s free, but then the professional edition is $4 a month. If it’s something you only need for a few months, then maybe you could even go professional and have that. It would give you a little more… If you think about spell check on Word, sometimes it auto corrects for you other times, it just underlines then you have to go back up click on it and get it to change it or kind of access it and stuff whereas this, would just automatically change some of those for you so might make it a little bit easier. Like I said, there’s a free version and then the professional version is just I believe $4 a month. There’s a $6 a month one, but again, if you only need it for a few months just to accommodate that person, that’s a pretty cheap accommodation that could really probably help them keep up that productivity.

Brian Norton:
Right. Absolutely. Excellent. Yeah. I would love to be able to open it up to folks who are listening, if you have anything to add to what we’ve already mentioned you can give us a call on our listener line that’s 317-721-7124, or send us an email at tech@eastersealscrossroads.org or send us a tweet with #ATFAQ, we’d love to hear from you. Sounds good.

Brian Norton:
So our next question is from Lindsay, this came in through email. “Are you aware of any tools or features on Windows 7 and or Windows 10 that are helpful for people who are hard of hearing or deaf? My understanding is that many of the tools available are more through an audiologist, but I’m specifically curious about tools that do not involve using hearing aids, cochlear implants, etcetera.

Belva Smith:
Go ahead, Josh.

Brian Norton:
Everybody’s chomping at the [crosstalk 00:34:05]-

Josh Anderson:
Because I got one.

Belva Smith:
I want more. I want to know what.

Josh Anderson:
Windows 10, I’m not sure, but I know Windows 7 because I’ve used it before and I’m sure it’s probably still there. In the Ease of Access Center, there is a way to replace sounds with visual cues. If you have like a little ding [crosstalk 00:34:22]-

Brian Norton:
Sound Sentry is what I think it’s called.

Josh Anderson:
Something like that, I know it’s in Ease of Access Center. You can find it in there. If there’s normally like a ding or something pops up, your screen will actually flash, to let you know that you do have that alert. I haven’t tried it on Windows 10, but I assume that Notification Center usually it actually pops up and shows you the notification, but it goes away. I’m sure you can probably turn that flash on as well. As far as in Windows, Belva’s got better answers than me I can tell.

Belva Smith:
No, really I don’t, but I’m like wondering what are we looking to do? Because the first thing I thought of is, if we’re not talking about hearing aids or cochlear implants, do we just need the sound to be louder? Because some of the things that I’ve done is use an external bluetooth speaker. The Bose Bluetooth Speaker is amazing.

Josh Anderson:
Yes, they’re amazing.

Belva Smith:
I’ve used that with many of my consumers that have a hearing impairment. Another option might be just a set of headphones. Again, where the sound is closed into the ears and where the volume can be controlled more easily than the standard PC will allow, I guess. That’s really all I got, is making the sounds louder. Yes, Windows 10 does have the ability to be able to do the visual alerts, but I’m not sure how well that is, because like you said Josh, Windows 10 has those little pop-up visual alerts anyway when you get a new message or when you need to restart. So I’m not sure what more you would need.

Josh Anderson:
My worry is you have six programs open and they’re all dinging that’s great, but I don’t know which one’s which, or which one I really do need to go to. This isn’t in windows 10 or Windows 7, but a lot of things do have closed captioning now. [crosstalk 00:36:21]-

Belva Smith:
Windows 10 does have closed captioning and that’s what I was [crosstalk 00:36:25]-

Brian Norton:
If they are available, is that right? It will display it?

Belva Smith:
If you have a YouTube video that has sound, you could turn on the closed captioning within windows 10 and it’ll produce the closed captioning. There’s actual… Let’s see where did I find that? There’s tutorials on how to turn the closed captioning on within Windows 10 and that’s for YouTube videos or even movies that you may be watching through your computer.

Brian Norton:
I was just looking over Windows, their accessibility page on hearing. They tell you to explore the audio settings within the computer, because you can turn on mono audio. If you’re hard of hearing in one ear and you have better hearing in another, you can actually turn on mono hearing so you hear everything through that one side so that’s definitely something to look at. It does mention customized closed captioning. So if whatever you’re watching has it available, it has to have it available for you to see it. But once it does, you can adjust the color, the size, the background, transparency, whatever it does to fit your needs. So it does have some customizable closed caption settings for you. They also say you can adjust the notification settings to make those notifications stay up longer.

Belva Smith:
That’s what we were saying, yeah.

Brian Norton:
If you get an email instead of the typical three or four seconds set up pops up, you can have it stay up for 10 or so seconds. The other one is the visual cue stuff. I believe it’s called Sound Sentry, but they’re basically visual alternatives for notifications that are typically sent over sound. So the bing, if there’s an error or the keystroke wasn’t recognized that would be those visual alternatives for folks. Those are the main ones that they mentioned there.

Brian Norton:
I always encourage folks if you’re hard of hearing, definitely don’t disregard. And I know in this situation, she’s probably explored these different things from the audiologist perspective. I think it’s always important for folks who are hard of hearing or just have significant hearing loss to talk to their audiologists and let them know what they’re doing. A lot of times you’re going to go and they’re going to help you with your hearing. If you’ve mentioned things like, “In my job, I use the phone, and in my job, I use the computer or in my job, I’m in lots of meetings and I need to hear folks in those meetings,” that helps them go a little bit further with you, with looking at some of the add-ons or the peripheral types of devices that can connect directly to those hearing aids.

Brian Norton:
A lot of hearing aids are Bluetooth compatible nowadays, and they come with little FM systems. There’s something called the Roger Pen for a phone hack hearing aid, which is just the size of a pen, put that out on the table in front of you, and it picks up the sound that’s happening around the table and feeds it directly to your hearing aids to allow you to be able to hear the conversation a little bit better.

Josh Anderson:
A lot of times, even with the new hearing aids, you can use your smartphone for the same [crosstalk 00:39:38] bluetooth kind.

Belva Smith:
I’m going to reel you guys back in there because she specifically-

Josh Anderson:
Asked for Windows 7 and Windows 10.

Belva Smith:
… specifically said not involving hearing aids.

Brian Norton:
I don’t want people to just let that go because I think there are some things that you can do with that.

Belva Smith:
There absolutely is. I would say to Lindsay as well, if we didn’t hit your question on the head, give us more information and we can try to be a little more specific with your question.

Josh Anderson:
Something else that you can use in Windows 10 especially for presentations and things like that, you could turn on translator. Open up Word with translator if someone’s doing a presentation and as long as you could pick up their voice, it would actually sit there and transcribe everything for you. It’d be like instant closed captioning [crosstalk 00:40:35]-

Belva Smith:
There’s lots of apps for that.

Josh Anderson:
For sure but this is just Windows and it’s free, it works in all those different kinds of programs. I think you can just access it online as well and use that but that might be something… Depending, if you’re using this in a work kind of setting that might be helpful to be able to use on your computer in a meeting or presentation way.

Brian Norton:
Because your right. That’s available free and a lot of the new… It’s in OneNote, right?

Josh Anderson:
I’m pretty sure it’s all [crosstalk 00:41:04]. Office things and then available online too maybe not Excel because that’d be weird.

Belva Smith:
I’m thinking not Excel and then I’m not sure about Publisher either but Word-

Josh Anderson:
Word, PowerPoint, OneNote, all of those.

Brian Norton:
The main ones that you would use for those types of things. That’s interesting. Very cool. If other folks have some other feedback, maybe there are other helpful tools in Windows 7 or Windows 10 that you have had some experience with, we’d love to be able to pass that on to Lindsay, you can get a hold of us through email that’s tech@eastersealscrossroads.org. You can send us a voicemail at 317-721-7124 or you can send us a tweet with #ATFAQ we’d love to hear from you. And we’d love to pass that on to Lindsay. So thanks.

Brian Norton:
Alright. So our next question also came in through email it is, “Thank you all for the great work that you do. My work is upgrading our Pro-ducks-tivity software.” I almost couldn’t get that out.

Josh Anderson:
Pro-ducks-tivity, not amateur ducks. Pro-ducks.

Brian Norton:
“Productivity software to Office 365. Will you take some time to discuss some of the more prominent accessibility features built into the new O365 environment?” Well, that’s ironic because we recently just upgraded ourselves to O365 and this migrated-

Josh Anderson:
Are you just tired of hearing the word O365? Just making sure, because I noticed Belva and I got real quiet. [crosstalk 00:42:29]-

Brian Norton:
Office 365. So yeah, we just recently went through that upgrade and it went pretty well for us. There wasn’t a lot of hiccups. I know for other departments, it was a little bit more hiccupy, I guess it depends on how technical you can be and how flexible you can be in using new products. Thoughts on that guys?

Josh Anderson:
I’d say the Immersive Reader is probably the biggest one that’s pretty cool and available in a lot of this stuff. It’s been available for quite a while in OneNote and I’ve used it in there. I think you can actually use it in Word now. Immersive Reader’s just for folks with different kinds of print disabilities, it can read everything back to you, you can split things up by syllable, you can change the way that the text is shown, you can have it highlight as it reads so that you can actually read along. So really helps with attention, with focus and really getting access to those kinds of things.

Josh Anderson:
Another one is the Dictate that’s built-in. I think you have to get an add-in if you don’t have 365, but I know that it works in Word. I’ve used it in Word and I think you can actually use it in Powerpoint and maybe even Outlook now. It’s a pretty good dictation program. It’s not quite as good as Dragon or something like that, but it’s free. All you have to do is just enable it.

Josh Anderson:
One thing that I think is pretty cool about it is if you change one setting, it will actually put the punctuation in for you. A lot of folks with dictation it’s very hard to say, “Oh, it’s really great to see you, Belva!” And throw all those in. It will actually try to throw those in for you. It’s a bit wonky the way that that part works just because, if you talk like any normal human being, you pause a lot and it throws a period in there. It can be a little bit weird, but both those are pretty cool features that are in there. Some of those have been available in Office before, but I think this is the first time they’re available in a little more kind of programs. So pretty cool.

Belva Smith:
I think most importantly with Office 365 is if you are using a screen reader, it’s important that you not only have access to Office 365 online apps, those apps, for example, Word, Outlook, those need to be installed directly onto the computer. And they can be. It’s a whole mess of how it has to happen, but it can be done because what you’re going to find, if you try to use, for example, Word with the online version, only when you’re trying to use a screen reader, you’re going to find things just aren’t working the way that they should. Outlook example, you can’t use the key command to bring up a list of folders so if you need to get from your inbox to your sent folder, it’s impossible at this point. It’s very important if you are a screen reader user that those applications be installed directly, not just accessible through the online version. Office 365 applications usually, I think all of them have the Tell Me Assistant which-

Brian Norton:
I like that feature. That’s pretty neat.

Belva Smith:
You can also be reminded to check accessibility for any of your documents or spreadsheets that you’re creating. I know we’re putting together a presentation for a couple of weeks out and I did actually use the accessibility checker to make sure that the presentation that I put together in PowerPoint was accessible. It was very helpful because I found out that it wasn’t, and it gave me the advice as to what I needed to do to fix it so that was very helpful. I don’t know what specifically this individual is looking to know more about, but I would advise that you go to the Microsoft Accessibility website and look at all that they’re boasting about. It’s full of accessibility features. It really is.

Belva Smith:
They really have tried to accommodate pretty much everybody in some way or some fashion. I would definitely go there and see what all they’re offering. Also I would recommend that if you have a need that you aren’t finding that they’ve addressed, I would encourage you to contact the Microsoft Accessibility Helpline and let them know that, “Hey, I’m a person who has this issue and I can’t find any kind of an accommodation for this.” Just so that they’re aware because it may be something that they haven’t considered that could be addressed in a future release of the software.

Josh Anderson:
I’d say another one that’s pretty cool is Microsoft Translator. I think you can use it in a lot more of the programs now. If you’re giving a PowerPoint presentation and let’s say maybe you don’t have an interpreter, you don’t have a person for transcriptions, with just a simple microphone and turning that on, you can actually go ahead and have captions kind of show up. Now they’re not going to replace a cartographer, they’re not going to replace an interpreter, but in a pinch, it can give you something that you can definitely use.

Josh Anderson:
What else is cool is if you have people in your audience who speak different languages, maybe English isn’t their first language, they’re having a little bit of a hard time kind of following along, they can download that app on their phone or open it up on their computer and have everything translated into their native language pretty much right away. [crosstalk 00:48:09]. If you make your PowerPoint available, they can actually just click one button and your entire PowerPoint can change languages. So it’s pretty cool. It’s pretty neat. It happens really quickly and it really helps, especially, if you happen to work somewhere or be working with individuals who have English as a second language, or don’t speak the same language as you have been able to translate that quickly, it’s pretty helpful.

Belva Smith:
You also have the inclusion of the Office Lens, which allows you to take print to text and turn it into digital content so that it can be read aloud. As long as you’ve got a computer, that’s got a camera on it, which almost all laptops do. I don’t think you can buy a laptop nowadays that don’t.

Brian Norton:
Right. I’ve also found like dictation, Josh had you mentioned that earlier? Dictation. [crosstalk 00:48:56]. Maybe. What I’m finding is that they’re all just, especially on those online versions, there are a lot of the tools are right there on your menu bars. They’re easy to find. I’m just so impressed with where they’re going with some of this stuff. Again, they got some things to work out. They got some bugs for folks who use screen readers and other types of things to be able to use some of those online tools. Like you mentioned, Belva, you need to have the installed versions a lot of times to make those work well for somebody. [crosstalk 00:49:25].

Belva Smith:
I don’t think that’s ever going to change. I mean, that’s the world of screen reader and the internet.

Josh Anderson:
Software on the computer works well with the screen reader, things on the internet. It’s been that way with almost everything the entire time that I’ve been doing this, which isn’t as long as I know you guys have, but I know it’s always been things on the internet are always a little iffy.

Belva Smith:
I would also like to encourage any of our listeners that are using any type of assistive technology, if you consider yourself to be tech savvy, you’re very good with your technology and you’re very good with the Windows environment, I would encourage you to consider becoming one of the Office Insiders. I don’t know if you’ve heard of that, but those are individuals that get access to things before the rest of us get it to test it and try it. For example, if you’re a screen reader user, and you’re pretty good at your screen reader, and you’re pretty good with your Windows environment, then contacting Microsoft and volunteering to become one of their insiders would give them-

Josh Anderson:
Valuable information because you’re going to notice things that they would never think of, or they’ve never tried to access. And it’ll make a big difference when the big version comes out.

Belva Smith:
It helps the releases be less likely to be bug-infested, I guess. They could be bug free.

Brian Norton:
Belva, I know a couple of weeks ago we passed out the accessibility. Maybe it was even last week when we were talking about Microsoft versus accessibility with other products, they have an accessibility line. Is that right?

Belva Smith:
That is correct. Depending upon, one of the first questions I’ll ask you is, what type of assistive technology are you using? So are you using a screen reader or you using a screen magnifier and then they will make sure to accommodate through whatever type of technology that you’re using. I know you’re going to ask me to give you that number again. I’m trying to find it here really quick. I’ve got it in my contacts. I’ve actually had to use it on a couple of occasions and I’ve had very good response with them. It’s the Microsoft disability support line and that is +1-503-427-1234. And again, when you first contact them, they’ll ask you what type of assistive technology you’re using, what Office program or Windows program are you trying to use and what kind of problems are you having? They’re there to understand your problem and hopefully resolve it quickly. It’s worked good for me every time I’ve had to use it.

Brian Norton:
Excellent. Perfect. Now it’s time for the Wild Card question. Our next question is the Wild Card question. This is where Belva has a question for the group here, and then we get to hear it for the first time and then try to answer it as best we can. So Belva, what you got for us today?

Belva Smith:
What I had for you, you already covered in one of the questions in the show. [crosstalk 00:52:35]. I’m going to come up with a different one. First of all, have you given any thought recently to how many different ways your information is accessible on any given day? Do you think that it’s possible to live-

Tracy Castillo:
Off the grid?

Belva Smith:
… off the grid so to speak to to where-

Brian Norton:
No.

Belva Smith:
I remember… I don’t mind saying I’m 58 years old. I got my Social Security Number when I was 13, because that’s when I got my first job.

Josh Anderson:
It’s number four. I’m just kidding.

Belva Smith:
I remember being told, do not share your Social Security Number with nobody. That’s like your big secret. You only get one in your lifetime and it’s up to you to keep it safe and secure. Then when my oldest son went to Ball State, he actually had to use a Social Security Number to get into the dorm. It’s like a card with his Social Security Number that he swiped, it let him get in the dorm. I’m like, “Well, how safe is that?” Because I’m still in the old school thinking, no, that’s your really private information. Now, I just wonder do people… What do you think? Can you possibly live where your information isn’t in every computer system throughout the world?

Josh Anderson:
If you do your own healthcare at home, live in the middle of nowhere and not go outside-

Belva Smith:
And don’t have bank.

Josh Anderson:
And don’t have a cell phone and don’t have a bank, then maybe. Your healthcare information is always out there. Right now Google is working to help get all that into the cloud so they’ll have that information on you. No, unless you’re willing to really make some sacrifices-

Belva Smith:
To isolate yourself essentially from the outside world.

Josh Anderson:
You have to completely and totally isolate yourself. You can’t have a cell phone at all.

Belva Smith:
This is like a mobile tracker too. [crosstalk 00:54:44]-

Josh Anderson:
It listens to every word that you say, it sees everything around you. It knows all those different… I read a great article on, if you went back to like even 1994 and said, “Hey, we can give you this device it’ll answer any question you ever have, but it’ll always know where you are, what you’re doing, what you’re saying and all these other things.” Most people would have said, “No, I don’t want that.”

Brian Norton:
It’s nearly impossible unless you’re willing to make a lifestyle change and ready to be completely isolated from the outside world because people don’t even realize just how much information is out there.

Belva Smith:
And how often it’s accessed on a daily basis. Everything is connected.

Josh Anderson:
If you walk in downtown Indianapolis, you walk two blocks, I’d say 20, 25 cameras caught your face.

Belva Smith:
If you walk down my street, you’re probably going to be caught by at least 10 different home cameras [crosstalk 00:55:45]-

Josh Anderson:
And things like that. With facial recognition and other stuff, I mean, they could pinpoint where you are really at any time. [crosstalk 00:55:50]-

Tracy Castillo:
I’m sorry.

Brian Norton:
No go ahead.

Tracy Castillo:
The crazy thing is my husband got an email from Credit Karma that said, “Your email was breached.” And he’s sitting on the bed, he’s trying to figure out how to fix this because how do you fix your Google Account? If someone breaches your information on a Google Account, how much information do they get? He just asked me so many questions that I had no answer for it. Change your password-

Brian Norton:
That’s all you can do.

Belva Smith:
That’s all you can really do.

Tracy Castillo:
And he said, well, what information do they get?

Belva Smith:
They don’t know.

Josh Anderson:
You have no idea.

Belva Smith:
You have no idea. The same thing with these people… Marriott had that big breach not too long ago. We actually went through a breach here with our insurance, you don’t know what all information they got. You can assume that they got your name, your address, all the obvious stuff, but you really don’t know.

Josh Anderson:
I did this thing during one of my presentations. I talk about there’s this whole internet of things presentation that we do. And we talk about how in 2008, really the world changed quite drastically, in the fact that in 2008 more devices were connected to the internet than there were people in the world. Every day, we create as a population with our mobile devices and things like that, 2.5 quintillion bytes of information-

Belva Smith:
Can you imagine?

Josh Anderson:
… going to the cloud. If you put 2.5 quintillion pennies side by side, that covers the world six times over, every day it goes into this cloud. People ask me about security all the time because we’re talking about the internet of things, and there’s all this stuff about Amazon and about Google, and are they listening to us or smart TVs or smart phones? What do we do to protect ourselves? Quite frankly, I tell folks you have to weigh the pros and the cons. What’s it allowing you to do that you weren’t able to do before and is that worth it to you?

Josh Anderson:
Because really, quite frankly, if someone wants your information, they’re going to get it. We’ve got companies, Equifax would be the one that I pull out most often. Equifax, they spend millions of dollars, I’m sure on security, trying to keep your data secure. They have professionals probably working on that night and day and yet they’re hacked. I do tell people there are things you can do.

Belva Smith:
Obviously the best thing you can do is use a strong password. Just recently, this past week, there was a news article or a news story about the mom who worked third shift and put the Amazon or the Ring camera in her daughter’s room so that she could check in periodically, throughout the evening to check on her. And it got hacked. Her eight year old daughter was in her room when tippy toe through the whatever song came on. Then a man’s voice came across and said, “Hello, I’m Santa Claus.” Freaked the little girl out.

Belva Smith:
Of course the news story is all about how the ring camera got hacked. Well, mom set the camera up and used the generic came with password. You never ever want to do that. You always want to choose a password, not a re-used password, but a password that is unique to that website. That’s why password protectors or savers, whatever you call them, have become so popular. I myself use one. If you ask me my password to my Ring camera, I don’t know because I let it make it up for me. It’s 25, 26 different letters and characters, and I have no clue, but I feel safer that way.

Brian Norton:
I just wanted to throw this out as a resource for folks. This is a pretty good resource, Google roadshow. Google does an internet safety roadshow. There’s like five or six videos that they’re short, they’re quick. They provide you really good information about what to do to protect yourself as you’re looking at email, being positive on the internet, web addresses and other types of things, security passwords. There’s five or six different videos, and I’ve done presentations on it before as well. It really does a good job of helping people just think through, go to the right places on the internet, set real secure passwords. It gives you examples of what those might be and how to create those types of things. Check that out. It’s called Google Online Safety Roadshow. It’s a great resource for folks.

Belva Smith:
I think the short answer to my question is, no. If you really truly want to exist in this world, your information’s going to be somewhere.

Josh Anderson:
There’s a real reason for that. For a lot of years, oil was the most valuable commodity. Three years ago, it became data. It bypassed oil. So we’re not just consumers, we are the commodity. Your data is more valuable than any other thing.

Belva Smith:
Everybody’s looking to sell that data too. Or give it away for whatever. Example again, Google just gave away-

Josh Anderson:
Google, Facebook. They make money off the things you freely give them. They want it, they need it. I mean, Google bought Fitbit. They didn’t buy it for money, they want to know how you work out, how much you run what kind of shape you’re in and those kinds of things.

Belva Smith:
Exactly why Amazon bought Ring.

Brian Norton:
Anyways, were you going to say something?

Tracy Castillo:
No. I’m just listening. I’m sorry.

Brian Norton:
You’re scared now.

Tracy Castillo:
I’m scared.

Belva Smith:
I think we all should have a little bit of fear. I really do. I tell people all the time be cautious. But if you don’t have fear, you’re not going to be cautious in my opinion. I tell people all the time, is there really somebody, some hacker, somewhere sitting there going, let’s get Tracy’s information. Probably not.

Tracy Castillo:
Oh my gosh.

Belva Smith:
No, no. Probably not.

Tracy Castillo:
I am not that interesting.

Belva Smith:
Exactly, that’s my thought. But are the chances of it happening out there? Yes, there are, and it’s because you exist every day. That’s what I was just thinking about, is how many times in a day is my information accessed without me even really knowing it but it’s out there.

Brian Norton:
Excellent. Would love to hear from folks what your thoughts are on that, about living off the grid. Probably if you’re listening to our podcast [crosstalk 01:02:29]-

Josh Anderson:
You’re not doing a very good job.

Belva Smith:
If you’re not using a password manager, you really should consider using a password manager. We’ve talked about it in the past, but maybe next time we can talk [crosstalk 01:02:38]-

Tracy Castillo:
I think that it’s a good idea [crosstalk 01:02:39]-

Josh Anderson:
[inaudible 01:02:40] to cheat my office. Probably not the best password?

Brian Norton:
No [crosstalk 01:02:42]-

Tracy Castillo:
I keep losing my Post-it Notes.

Brian Norton:
Stop it. Excellent. We definitely want to open that up to you guys. Get your comments on that particular question, you can give us a call on our listener line that’s 317-721-7124 or send us an email at tech@eastersealscrossroads.org. Love to hear from you. Wanted to just wrap it up by going around the room and saying thank you to the folks that are here. Giving them an opportunity to say goodbye to you. Tracy.

Tracy Castillo:
Wow. It’s already over.

Brian Norton:
It’s already over.

Tracy Castillo:
Oh my goodness. Thank you. Goodbye.

Brian Norton:
And then Belva.

Belva Smith:
Excited to see what 2020 brings in the world of assistive technology. See you guys soon.

Brian Norton:
And Josh.

Josh Anderson:
Can’t wait to see you next time.

Brian Norton:
Perfect. Happy new year, everybody. And we look forward to spending the year together and jumping into your assistive technology questions and just getting to answer some of those for you. Have a great new year and we’ll see you guys next time. It seems like every week we have at least one blooper. So here you go.

Speaker 8:
My client told 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?

Speaker 10:
No

Speaker 9:
Yeah no, no.

Speaker 10:
No.

Speaker 9:
Yeah no, no.

Speaker 11:
Is is too close?

Speaker 12:
I think so.

Speaker 14:
Okay. I used to sing a song, halitosis, gingivitis that’s what people in my house had.

Speaker 12:
Was it comfortable? Come on. [inaudible 01:04:09].

Brian Norton:
Put some oil on that thing, man.

Speaker 15:
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 receives support from Easterseals Crossroads and the in-data project. ATFAQ is a proud member of the accessibility channel. Find more of our shows at www.accessibilitychannel.com.