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ATFAQ151 – Q1. Grants for Vehicle Modifications Q2. Low vision migrating to sharepoint, Q3. iOS or PC based live captioning tool, Q4. Visitor touchscreen kiosk access, Q5. Windows 11 preparedness

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Panelists: Brian Norton, Josh Anderson, Belva Smith, Tracy Castillo, Nikol Prieto

ATFAQ151 – Q1. Grants for Vehicle Modifications Q2. Low vision migrating to SharePoint, Q3. iOS or PC-based live captioning tool, Q4. Visitor touchscreen kiosk access, Q5. Wildcard: Windows 11 preparedness

 

—– Transcript Starts Here —–

Brian Norton:
Welcome to ATFAQ, Assistive 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 answered on our show, send us a tweet with the #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:
Hello and welcome to ATFAQ episode 151. 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’ve got a great lineup of Assistive Technology questions for you today. But before we jump in, just want to take a moment to go around the room and introduce the folks who are here with me. First is Belva. Belva is our vision team lead with our clinical Assistive Technology team. Belva, do you want to say hi?

Belva Smith:
Hello, everybody.

Brian Norton:
Excellent. And then the next is Nikol. Nikol is a guest on our show today to be able to answer a one very specific question. Nikol is the community outreach coordinator for the end data project here in Indiana. And so, Nikol, would you like to say hi?

Nikol Prieto:
Oh, hi everybody. Thanks for having me.

Brian Norton:
Excellent. And then the next is Tracy. Tracy Castillo is the end data program manager. And so, Tracy, do you want to say hi?

Tracy Castillo:
Hey, everyone. Thanks for listening.

Brian Norton:
Excellent. And then we’ve got Josh. Josh is the manager of our clinical assistive technology program and also the popular host of our flagship podcast, AT Update, here at Easterseals Crossroads. And with the end data project, Josh, would you like to say hi?

Josh Anderson:
Hi, everybody.

Brian Norton:
Excellent. So I want to just take a moment before we jump into the questions and just talk to folks a little bit about how the show works. So for those that are new or are fairly new to the show, we come across feedback and various Assistive Technology-related questions throughout the week. We have a variety of ways for you to provide feedback and those questions to get those to us. You can call us on our listener line. That’s (317) 721-7124. Email us at tech@eastersealscrossroads.org or send us a tweet with the #ATFAQ. Those are three ways for you to be able to get us that feedback. Give us your questions. Always looking for questions. So if you have one, send it to us.

Brian Norton:
The feedback comes in that as we go through our questions today, we hope you’re paying close attention to those. And if we miss anything and maybe you’ve got some experience in a particular area that you think would be helpful or beneficial in answering a question for one of those folks we’ve called in and provided those to us, please let us know, provide that feedback again on that listener line through the email and through Twitter. That’s great ways to be able to help us provide well-rounded answers to the folks who do have those questions that they’re sending in.

Brian Norton:
If you’re looking to find our show or would like to share it with other folks, you can go to a couple of different places. Pretty much anywhere you can find a podcast, you can typically find our show. We’re on iTunes. We’re on Stitcher. You can go to the Google Play store. You can find us on Spotify. We’ve got a website set up, if you want to look specifically at the website and visit all the different shows that we’ve done over the years. That’s atfaqshow.com. If you do go to places like iTunes, Stitcher or the Google Play store, we would love if you’re really liking our show. Give us a like, put a comment down. That helps us with our status within those particular platforms. And so we’d love to be able to continue to kind of grow our audience as we produce this show.

Brian Norton:
So without further ado, we’re going to jump into our feedback for today. And so the first is just a little bit of perspective on a question that we had during our last show. So episode 149. I mean, it’s question four, and this question is, “Hi, I’m an OT student, and I wanted to chime in on the discussion and add smile mouse from perceptive devices as a possible AT solution the student described in question four of your 149 episode.” If we remember, and we jumped back, that question was about an incoming freshman with limited use of his hands who had significant speech impairment, also a profound hearing loss due to cerebral palsy. And they were looking for ways that this person could independently type papers that oftentimes was relying on a scribe or mom to be able to go in and type papers for him because he would fatigue very quickly.

Brian Norton:
And so what this person has to go on to say in her feedback is she says, “I know head mouses were suggested at some point during this discussion. The smile mouse is supposed to be a very good and versatile, adaptable, customizable all-in-one head mouse, clicker and switch. Demonstrations of the device are available online. And you can also try out the device for two weeks for free through the company and through that distributor.” So thank you. I hope this helps. And so I just want to say thank you for chiming in and providing us that information. Smile mouse is a good option. We’ve seen that at several trade shows as a unique way to be able to operate the computer from kind of a mouse switch is kind of how that works. Is that right? Or smile mouse is the one where it’s using facial recognition, right?

Josh Anderson:
Yeah. It’s kind of you smiled to click, and you can do other kinds of facial expressions. And it’s pretty customizable, if I remember correctly.

Tracy Castillo:
Oh, wow.

Josh Anderson:
So if you don’t have a ton of facial expression or a ton of facial movement, you can still… For a lot of those, you use blinks and things like that. But for some folks, depending on their disability, that might not be a real controlled muscle movement. Plus, I mean, if you think how many times have you blinked today? You know that. You just kind of do it in voluntarily. So you might actually click on the wrong thing. But no, I’ve used it with a few folks. I know Craig on our teams used it with a few, and it is a really good accommodation. Yeah, if you can try it out or maybe even go to your local tech, they might have something you can try out too, but it is a really good accommodation. I can’t believe we forgot that. Look at that. We don’t know everything no matter what Belva says.

Belva Smith:
I was going with. I remember that show completely. And I was going with whatever you said, Josh. Yeah.

Josh Anderson:
Well, I think that was last show. So that makes sense that we remember it.

Belva Smith:
Thanks. Oh, nice. Nice. Hold on, there’s my reminder going off.

Brian Norton:
There you go. Well, yeah, I want to just say thank you again for that feedback. Really appreciate it. And thanks for sharing. Second bit of feedback that we have was a voicemail that was left for us. And I’m going to go ahead and play that for folks.

Tom:
Hi, this is Tom from Long Island, New York. I’m calling in response to the person that’s having joint issues while using her cane. It might come down to just technique, and maybe her cane needs a tune-up. If she was taught the tap method and she’s constantly picking up the cane and tapping it down and picking it up and tapping it down, that’s going to cause stress on her wrist. And maybe she should try using the type swipe message method, easy for me to say, that you have constant contact with the ground. This way, you’re not picking it up.

Tom:
Also, what happens when you’re using the cane, you get grit inside that tip. And it doesn’t roll as good as it should be, and you’re going to get extra resistance. While listening to your podcast, yours of course, she twisted the tip of the cane and pulls. A lot of times you can just dislodge any grit that’s in there, and it’ll roll a lot smoother and put less stress on your joint. You could also probably try using some canned air to disperse the grit that’s in the tip of the cane. Hope that helps you. Take care. Bye.

Brian Norton:
So thank you, Tom, for that bit of feedback. Yeah.

Tracy Castillo:
Wow.

Brian Norton:
Good suggestions.

Tracy Castillo:
That was some really good feedback.

Belva Smith:
Yeah. Tom’s a regular listener, and he usually does have some good information. But I do got to say, it sounds like that information is coming from someone who’s got some experience. So I’m not sure if he’s a cane user or maybe he’s an O&M instructor, but that’s all good stuff that I wouldn’t even have thought of. So I’m so glad that he listens and shares.

Brian Norton:
Yeah.

Josh Anderson:
And I totally agree. Yeah, because that’s definitely some O&M stuff that, yeah, we just don’t really know. But great information. So hopefully, the person who asked the question was listening so they can get that good information. And thank you, Tom.

Tracy Castillo:
Thanks, Tom.

Brian Norton:
Absolutely. So without further ado, we’re going to jump into our first question today. And this question is about grants. And so the question is I’m looking for a grant to purchase an accessible vehicle. Do you know where I can find one? And so again, I’ve invited Nikol on our show. Nikol is our community outreach coordinator, but she also oversees the end data alternative financing program. And so she gets this question a lot or actually it comes to us in a general mailbox, and then I forward them off to her. And she gets to try to answer those almost on a daily basis. And so, Nikol, feedback that you might have for a question like this.

Nikol Prieto:
Sure, absolutely. Well, we are a grant-funded project. We’re one of 56 throughout the U.S. And we do have a low-interest bank run program. A lot of people are a little bit confused when we say we’re a grant project. And then they learned that it’s actually a traditional kind of bank loan program. We are grant funded, and we do cover the purchase of processing those loans. And we’re able to provide low interest extended term loans to anyone who live in the state of Indiana and have a documented disability or even has a dependent with a documented disability. This loan can be used to purchase all types of Assistive Technology, including an accessible vehicle and also adapting a vehicle. The interest rate is, like I said, a low interest. It floats right around that 3% mark. The last one we did was about 2.74%. You can borrow a minimum of $500 with a maximum of $35,000. We currently partner with Star Financial to provide those loans.

Nikol Prieto:
One thing about our loans that is really great is we can be forgiving with credit. A lot of folks that come to us may have had some credit issues with past medical bills or what have you. And we can be forgiving with those low credit scores. It could be denied for debt to income ratio, and the reasoning behind that is you got to have enough money coming in each month to make that payment. And we do try to extend the term of the loans to make those monthly payments a little more affordable for folks. So if you’re interested in information about that program, we can drop my contact information in the show notes. So that’s a little overview about our program.

Nikol Prieto:
A lot of folks will then say to me, “Well, I’m not sure that that fits in my monthly budget. Where should I go from that point?” And unfortunately, there’s not a lot of great answers, but I did want to provide a few things that that folks can check into. Sometimes you can look at your disability-focused organizations. So for your specific type of disability, such as the ALS Association or the Muscular Dystrophy Association, and see if they have any funding through them to help you with that purchase. If you’re working or plan to work and you are part of vocation rehabilitation or willing to go and talk with them and see if they provide services that you are interested in, they help folks remove barriers to accessing job, maintaining their employment or returning back to employment or obtaining employment. Once you are a client of BR, there may be some options for them to fund vehicles and vehicle accommodations.

Nikol Prieto:
And both those programs are state programs, but all states throughout the United States should have similar vocation rehabilitation or an AFP program like ours. To find the AFP programs in your area, if you’re not a listener from Indiana, you can go to our website at eastersealstech.com/states, and you’ll find the AT project for your area.

Nikol Prieto:
I’d also mentioned that most major vehicle manufacturers offer rebates on adaptive equipment, usually up to about a $1,000, provided you purchase a vehicle that’s less than a year old. And you can just ask a local dealer to find that information for you. There is a Facebook group called the Disability Trading Zone. That’s a good place to find equipment and vehicles and things. It’s a really large group. People who are looking to buy, sell, trade, giveaway, Assistive Technology vehicles, you name it. And I’d also mentioned that some states waived the sales tax for adaptive devices and adaptive vehicles, if you have a doctor’s prescription. And also that the cost of adapting your vehicle can be tax deductible. So that’s something to consider to save money. So those are the resources that I’m aware of in our area, and I’m happy to take any other questions if folks want to email me after the show.

Brian Norton:
Yeah, I think it’s interesting. So as an Assistive Technology Act program, Nikol, you mentioned just our alternative financing program. I think that’s really a great option for a lot of folks. And really every state and every territory offers something to that effect. It may look a little different from state to state. The amount you can borrow might be a little bit different. So you’ll probably need to contact your state AT program to find out more about the specifics of what their program looks like.

Brian Norton:
And I’m not sure if you’ve mentioned it already, but if you go to eastersealstech.com/states, you can kind of look up your local AT Act project. The question that we get is, are there grants? There’s really not that we know of. I mean, you will have to probably pay back the money. You might be able to find some free money here and there. But by and large, what we find is it’s really hard to find grants specifically to be able to purchase those vehicles unless you started GoFundMe, unless you start contacting those disability specific organizations you mentioned as well.

Nikol Prieto:
And I will mention, Brian, that we’ve put a funding document together so we can drop that in the show notes as well to kind of give some ideas, like I had mentioned the disability-focused organizations. Sometimes if you’re involved in your church, you can reach out to folks there to see if there’s any fundraising opportunities to your church, different things like that. So we can also make sure we get that in the show notes as well.

Brian Norton:
Yeah. In fact, I think if you go to our resources page under other, so if you go to eastersealstech.com, you can go to resources, you can go to other. And you’re going to find information about there’s a low interest bank loan page there. If you click on there, you’ll have a link directly to that funding document that we have. And some additional resources, as Nikol mentioned, are listed there. So again, if you go to eastersealstech.com, go to resources, go to other. And then under bank loan, you’ll find that funding document that we put together. That could be really helpful and being able to provide a really useful service. I know we’ve facilitated lots of accommodations over the years with several of our consumers. And to see the excitement that they have, to be able to kind of be more active in their community, getting to places when they want to go, not relying on public transportation, I mean, it’s super important. It’s a greater sense of independence, and just allows folks to be able to, again, be more independent in and around their community.

Tracy Castillo:
Hey, Nikol, while we got you on here, hey, welcome to our show. But also, what are some other things that people can buy with that loan?

Nikol Prieto:
Anything that is considered Assistive Technology. If you have a documented disability and you live in the state of Indiana, that could be all kinds of types of things. If it’s helping you with a task and just making you more independent. So it could be hearing aids, it could be a CCTV for those who have low vision, you name it.

Tracy Castillo:
Cool.

Brian Norton:
Excellent. Wait, I would just like to open this up to our listeners. If you guys are familiar with other resources, we’d love to hear from you. If 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 more about the resources that you’re familiar with. And so that we can be able to spread that word to the folks who are listening here to our podcast. And so thank you so much.

Brian Norton:
So our next question is from email, and it comes and it says, “I’m among a few people with visual impairments who have had their work migrated to Microsoft SharePoint in a browser. The contrast isn’t great, especially for the HTML tables that structure the lists. Is there a way within a browser, Edge or Chrome, to override styles or a setting or an extension for Edge or Chrome that can present elements in a higher contrast manner?” So I’ll just open this up to the group.

Belva Smith:
So I was being hesitant on this because I’ve got it looked like somebody had already put some information in there. So I was going to be quiet and let somebody else take the run with it. But yeah, Chrome has definitely got some extensions that can be added for the high contrast settings. And I’ve got to feel like Edge is going to have some settings that can be adjusted. Which ones you’re going to adjust? I don’t know. It’s probably going to be one of those things where you’re going to spend a half hour, an hour playing with the different settings to see what really works best for you.

Belva Smith:
But one suggestion that I would like to share with you is perhaps it’s not the program or the browser as much as it might be the monitor. If you’re using one of the older monitors, and by older, I’m saying five, 10 years old, it could be a whole different visual experience if you were to have a newer monitor. And that might be something that’s possible and maybe it’s not, I don’t know. But what I usually recommend for my low vision consumers are the BenQ Eye technology monitors. They’re not super duper expensive. They’re not obviously the cheapest ones on the market. But I think around $200 or $300, you can get a good size one that’s got great contrast. It’s got deep blacks, which that’s one of the things that I know is usually, when a person’s looking for high contrast, that’s something that they’re really looking for.

Belva Smith:
So that’s where I would start is, first, just see if it is possible to maybe get a new monitor. It does not have to be giant size. I’m a firm believer that 27, 32 tops. There’s no point in being any larger than 32. I know people go bigger than that, but I think that causes more eye strain than anything else. So I don’t even know where you go because I’m not a Chrome user. If you guys use Chrome, so I know you can guide them. But I would definitely go to the accessibility settings for Edge and see what can be adjusted as far as the contrast.

Brian Norton:
Yeah. I know for just a couple of extensions. So I’m a big Chrome user, and they have a couple of extensions that could answer your question. So there’s one called color enhancer, and there’s another one called high contrast. What color enhancer does, not necessarily sure with visual impairments, but I’m sure it could help in a little bit, basically what it does is it can apply a customizable filter to your webpage to improve your color perception. So if you’re having difficulty seeing certain colors, they can provide an overlay. So it’ll color the background, provide some different contrast between the background and the foreground. So you can see things a little bit easier. That’s a free extension in the Chrome web store.

Brian Norton:
And another one is the high contrast, basically extension that’s what it’s called. But what that allows you to do is either apply some preset contrast settings or you can actually customize those to something that makes it easier for you to see. And what I love about this is SharePoint’s a part of Office 365. And you probably have SharePoint, which is where your documents, and some things are happening background for collaboration and other types of things. Then you’ve got all of your office applications as well, and those are opened up on different tabs. Well, for the different tabs within your Chrome browser, you can set up whatever contrast you want individually in amongst those tabs. And so I think it can really provide some customization for you.

Brian Norton:
The other thing is not something that I would recommend all the time. If you are a really good programmer, maybe, but I wouldn’t mess around too much with it. There are ways to make permanent changes to webpages on the local machine, not necessarily you’re not going out and changing anybody’s designed webpage from a company or anything, but for you, as you look at these webpages, you can create local changes to those and those are by using Chrome’s dev tools. And so there’s some manual overrides for those.

Brian Norton:
I’m not going to go through all the settings and the things to click and all those kinds of things because it gets pretty complicated pretty quickly. And again, I would shy away from that because I don’t want you to click something and regret it and not get it back to the way it used to look. But if you’re interested, look up Chrome overrides/dev tools. Those are ways to be able to kind of make permanent changes on your side of things to be able to look at certain webpages, Microsoft SharePoint would be one of those. So just a couple of options for folks. And then again, look at the accessibility settings within both of those programs. I think that would be helpful.

Belva Smith:
Yeah. And I’ve just seen that SharePoint itself has accessibility mode. Now, from what I’m quickly learning here, it sounds like this is intended to make some of the screen friendlier for a screen reader, but it’s definitely worth trying to turn it on just to see what it does for you visually. And it says you could just open any SharePoint webpage and you’ll press the tab key until you find Turn On More Accessible Mode. It’s actually a link. It does not tell me where it’s located. If it’s going to be on the top left top right, I’m not sure. But just follow their instructions and tab around until you see that Turn on More Accessible link. And it does go on to say that it makes it friendlier for the screen reader. But again, it might, by doing that, help remove some clutter, which would make it visually easier to see. But I think that’s not this person’s concern as much as it is, just getting the right contrast setting, which is why my best advice still goes back to possibly having a new monitor.

Brian Norton:
Exactly. One thing to be careful of too with the settings you’ll find within SharePoint, your company’s IT folks may lock some of those things down. And so you may have to have a conversation. If you’re not tabbing and finding what Belva had mentioned before, you may want to contact your IT department and ask them about that tool to make sure that, that settings available to end users because, I think, I’m looking at ours and I actually don’t see that on our SharePoint. And so I’m thinking maybe it’s just a feature they may have disabled, and they just have to check a box and enable it for folks to get to. But great, great point about SharePoint.

Brian Norton:
Well, hey, I’ll just open this up to our listeners. Just if you have any feedback or any questions that come from what we’ve already talked about, love to be able to hear from you guys. If you’re a SharePoint user and you’ve messed around or whether in Chrome or within Edge and have messed around with accessibility settings in there, let us know the tools that you use to be able to produce higher contrast, specifically for certain elements on the pages. You can give us a call on our listener line. That’s (317) 721-7124 or send us an email at tech@eastersealscrossroads.org. Thank you.

Brian Norton:
All right. So our next question is, “Can anyone suggest a good iOS app or PC-based tool for live captioning in an in-person meeting? A school administrator asks me for a recommendation, and this is outside my knowledge base. So I’ll just kind of open that up to the group.

Tracy Castillo:
I will. You asked the right people. I think we’ve mentioned a few of these already during our show today, including Otter.ai. And Ava was one I’ve seen used as well.

Josh Anderson:
Yeah. There’s Verbit. And I guess for in-person, you’re going to have a little bit different kind of things. But all of those, I believe, can be used from a computer, an app or different things. Almost all of them have some sort of either free trial or free version. So you should be able to kind of try them out and maybe see what kind of works best in the meeting and for your needs. And then most of them have some sort of subscription base kind of thing. So just however much you might need it. But yeah, there’s not only a lot of them out there. There’s probably more than there used to be. When you say, Brian, with the pandemic and everything else, probably more and more kind of coming out and getting a little bit bigger. Rev, I think does it. In-person might be a little bit different, but I know all of those do online meetings. I think most of them can work for in-person as well. [crosstalk 00:27:54].

Belva Smith:
I’m sorry, doesn’t Google Chrome also have a built-in free live captioning?

Brian Norton:
That Android does. They have live transcribe. It’s built into it. I’m not sure about Chrome.

Belva Smith:
I’m pretty sure Chrome does. I think Anna did a tech tip on that.

Brian Norton:
Hmm. That’s cool if it does. I will mention a lot of the technology is built on artificial intelligence. So basically, your device is listening and sending it out to the internet or doing some internal stuff, but it’s using artificial intelligence to be able to figure out what’s being said and to be able to do the transcription. So there’s not someone who’s live listening in and doing that. That’s real-time transcription happening for you. These are all using artificial intelligence. And so recognition is going to be so, so. It’s actually pretty good from what I’ve seen, especially if you’ve got a person who can communicate well, they don’t have a heavy accent and those types of things. That’s going to do pretty well in an in-person meeting to be able to transcribe it or at least give that person an idea of what’s being said and be able to follow along a little bit better. Josh, I think you also mentioned maybe in just the previous question, Verbit, is that another one?

Josh Anderson:
Mm-hmm (affirmative). Verbit is another one. And I haven’t used it, and I don’t remember if it can be used in-person or not do a transcription in. And one thing that I know they do, and I’m not sure how exactly this works, they say it’s 99% accurate because they actually use AI with a real transcriptionist kind of there as well.

Brian Norton:
Oh, interesting.

Josh Anderson:
But I’m not 100% sure. You have to really kind look. Now that’s for media production and things like that for captions. As far as real time, just on the fly, I’m not positive if it actually does kind of in-person thing. That might be a little bit different. But Brian, you and I both use Otter before, and it does a pretty good job of kind of getting it. So it just kind of depends on, I guess, what you might need.

Brian Norton:
Yeah. I love Otter.ai, just simply because you get 600 minutes free per month. So if that does the job for you, it’s a great free application. But not only does it do the transcription, but when it converts it, it’ll convert it to text for you that you can copy and paste someplace. If you need to move it over to a different program or put it someplace where you keep all of your notes. Then also within Otter.ai, the app itself it’ll do keywords too. So as someone is speaking, once it’s generated the text, that also goes through that text and looks for keywords, words that were used over and over again. It’ll give you a list of those. And then you can kind of skip through that conversation to be able to click on the different points in which maybe an important term was used during the lecture or during the meeting. And so you can then skip down and find things more quickly than you would otherwise.

Josh Anderson:
Yeah. And most of these places, like I said, even if they don’t have a free one, you can reach out to them, and they’re going to tell you what they can do. And then it’s just figuring out which one’s more cost-effective and which one’s going to work best for the most of your people, but there are some different options out there.

Belva Smith:
So I did a quick search. I think I’m confused. What Chrome offers is live caption. So if you’re playing a video, then it will transcribe that for you. But I’m not sure that it’s like transcribing the presentation itself.

Brian Norton:
Gotcha.

Belva Smith:
It’s in the settings under advanced in Chrome.

Brian Norton:
Interesting. Yeah. But I will also mention, with Otter.ai, that might be a good starting point for folks. Since in the question, it talks about looking for an iOS app and a PC-based tool. Otter.ai, what I love about it, it’s cross-platform. And so you can use it on your Android device. You can use it on your iOS device. You can use it on your Mac. You can use it on your windows computer through Chrome or a web browser setting as well. So it’s cross platform. You can use it really anywhere.

Brian Norton:
So I would love to just open this up to folks. If you guys have a captioning tool that you like to use for in-person meetings, please let us know. 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. Thanks.

Brian Norton:
All right. So our next question is, “Hello. My school purchased the large touchscreen TV in the lobby of one of our buildings, and it’s being used for an information screen that guests and visitors to campus can use. The top of the screen is close to six feet tall, making it impossible for someone in a wheelchair to access. What do you recommend we have for individuals who use a wheelchair or have dexterity impairments. We have discussed including a keyboard with a track pad. Is there anything else that we should be thinking about?”

Belva Smith:
Well, I was going to let all you jump in on that first part of that question, but then my question to that is what about for the folks that are visually impaired? The screen could be 25 feet tall. But if it doesn’t talk to me or speak to me, I can’t gather the information from it. So I’m just wondering if they’ve thought about that at all.

Brian Norton:
That’s a really good question about visual impairments, whether you’re low vision or blind, How they’re going to get access to that.

Belva Smith:
Right.

Brian Norton:
The initial part of that question, I think, we did talk about this or something similar to this. And we were talking, I think, about a question in a previous episode where schools were using smartboards and they wanted to make sure that students with disabilities had access to those smartboards. And one of the things that we mentioned with that question was extendable retractable stylus so that it can extend out to a few feet, letting them be able to touch the different corners of the screen. And so you might think about looking at an extendable or retractable stylus for them to be able to use. However, I think it’s important that we still live in the midst of COVID. And so you might want to, because this is a public workstation in a public space, what are you going to do to make sure that that remains sanitary? I don’t know what that would look like, but certainly something to consider as well.

Brian Norton:
I do appreciate the ability to put a keyboard and touch pad out there. I guess, one of my things would be is what are they going to use it for? Yes, it provides them information, but are they going to be navigating through like PowerPoint where they’re just being presented with information? Are they going to have to fill out forms? Those types of things. So if you’re going to fill out forms, having a keyboard and a touch pad would be really great. But again, you’ll need to think about it’s a public space, it’s a public workstation, what are you going to do about the sanitary use of that particular device? And so I do like the keyboard and touch pad, maybe also consider an extendable/retractable stylus in some instances.

Josh Anderson:
Yeah. And I guess, Brian, it all really comes down to what kind of information is there. I mean, I think about we have screens here that just kind of show information, but they’re not touchscreen. It’s just a slide comes up and more information comes up and more information comes up. I assume with this, it’s something where maybe today’s menu or something and you click on it and it tells you, or today’s events, maybe you click on it and it kind of tells you, which, Belva, kind of brings us to your kind of part if it could voice that information, that would be great. If I touched a button and said today’s menu, touch again to access, then that’s pretty easy for me to do and then it just reads that information to me. And Brian, yeah, you bring up a good point, but I mean, at the same time, it’s a touch screen. So if you’re going to worry about people grabbing a stick, you got to worry about everybody touches that screen too.

Belva Smith:
Yeah, exactly.

Josh Anderson:
So if you’re doing one, it’s not hard to do the other. If you’re not doing at all, then you can’t do that at all either.

Brian Norton:
Yeah. That’s true.

Josh Anderson:
So I guess you got to kind of look at it that way. But we do see this a lot. I mean, not this question a lot, but I mean you start seeing this more and more kind of in different places. But I think both of those are good things. One thing just to think of, if you are going to use a keyboard and a and a track pad is that there needs to be some sort of mouse pointer and you’re going to need to make that big just because on a six foot screen, if it just pops up as your normal kind of windows mouse pointer, even if you’ve got 20/20 vision, you’re not seeing that thing.

Tracy Castillo:
Where is it at? Where’s the mouse at? And they have a lot of tech calls. One thing I saw this brought to mind, I saw it at the gas station. And at the gas station, I used to have to get gas for one of my individuals who was in a wheelchair. But this gas station had this little screen off to the side with little buttons that kind of highlighted to show where the access points were on the little screen that’s a little above. You know how like when you go to the gas station near at the pump, there’s like a little screen that’s in the middle that’s kind of high. If you were in the chair, you wouldn’t be able to reach it. So off to the side, they had a little keypads that was lower, that would highlight where the access points were. If you were going to hit the top or left-hand corner, it would be identifying that you want to pay in credit. I wonder if there’s some way to use something like that for the touchscreen.

Belva Smith:
There probably is some sort of a keypad that could be used so that you could press one for information about this on campus or three for information about that on campus.

Tracy Castillo:
Or something that says, “Hey, read the screen to me.”

Belva Smith:
Right. Well, and that’s what I was going to say. If they do attach a keyboard, it’s not as though they would have to necessarily add additional software assuming that it’s running off of windows, which more than likely it is, it’s going to have the built-in windows screen reader that could be [crosstalk 00:38:21].

Tracy Castillo:
Narrator.

Belva Smith:
Yeah. That could be activated with a keystroke. Most folks that are using a screen reader would know how to activate that, but they would need to be informed that they need to activate that, I guess. But it definitely is something that should be considered is getting that information out to everyone. And Brian, I think you brought up a good point as far as… So we’ve made a right turn in this COVID situation, I don’t think we’re all ready to go back to these touch surfaces so quickly and freely. So sanitation is going to definitely be something that needs to be considered.

Brian Norton:
Yeah. I’m thinking too, Belva. When I think about low vision access to something like that or someone who’s blind getting access to something like that, I’m kind of looking at a 60-inch iPad so that when voiceovers running, I’m just moving my finger across and it’s reading everything that’s underneath my finger. But again, even in that situation, not only are you worried about the screen being sanitary, but, I mean, I would assume if it’s speaking to you, you’re not going to want that to be speaking to you in a public place. So you’re probably going to have to think about headphones or something that’s connected or maybe it’s like the bank teller machine where you’re plugging in your phone, you bring your own set and you plug those in. Maybe that’s the best way to address that when you go to the ATM.

Brian Norton:
But yeah, you’re right. We took a right turn with COVID, and I don’t think we’re going back. I think people may relax a little bit, but I think from a public standpoint or from a provider standpoint, like a university or other places, we have to be cognizant of that and provide people options.

Tracy Castillo:
I’m still okay with not shaking anybody’s hands.

Brian Norton:
Fist bumps around. All right.

Tracy Castillo:
No, just a shoulder shrug will be okay.

Belva Smith:
Yeah. And I’m just saying, I just went to see my doctor this morning. You can’t walk in the doctor’s office without wearing your mask and nobody’s shaking your hand.

Brian Norton:
Right. Exactly. Well, hey, I would love to open this up to folks, our listeners. If you guys have any feedback about a public workstation and giving folks access to it, this is again a big touchscreen application and making sure that folks with either physical or folks who are blind or low vision have access to it as well, we’d love to hear your thoughts. Please let us know. You can give us a call on our listener line. That’s (317) 721-7124 or you can send us an email at tech@eastersealscrossroads.org. We’d love to hear from you. Thanks.

Speaker 2:
And now it’s time for the wild card question.

Brian Norton:
All right. So our next question is the wild card question. And this is where Belva has a question for us that we’ve had no time to prepare for. And so Belva, what do you got for us?

Belva Smith:
Windows 11.

Brian Norton:
Don’t say that.

Tracy Castillo:
Oh no.

Brian Norton:
Yeah. What do you got?

Belva Smith:
Are you guys all aware of the release date?

Brian Norton:
We are not. I’m not.

Tracy Castillo:
No, is it this year, next year, next week?

Josh Anderson:
I’m not.

Belva Smith:
October the 11th, 2021.

Tracy Castillo:
Stop it. Seriously?

Josh Anderson:
Great. What year is it right now?

Tracy Castillo:
It’s 2021.

Josh Anderson:
Holy crap, that’s in a few months.

Belva Smith:
I know.

Josh Anderson:
That’s like in a month.

Belva Smith:
And that’s why it got my attention, Josh, because when we first heard about it, as much as I wanted to sweep it under the rug and not think about it, I decided to do some looking. And now it’s questionable as to whether or not they’re going to actually meet that actual release date. In my opinion, I don’t know how they can possibly be ready to release it that quickly because you have to be part of the Microsoft insider program to even have seen Windows 11 at this point. But that was going to be my wildcard question is how prepared are you for windows 11? Tracy, you had mentioned at the beginning of the show when we were just doing our chatting that a lot of computers are probably not going to be compatible. Just like with windows 10, they aren’t going to have the PC health check app program where you can check to see if your computer is going to be compatible. I was actually going to try to run it during this last question, but then I thought probably not do that.

Josh Anderson:
Really bad idea.

Belva Smith:
I might disappear on the show and no one would know where I was.

Tracy Castillo:
I don’t really think that’s available just yet. It says coming soon for the check your compatibility. If you go to the [crosstalk 00:43:13].

Belva Smith:
Oh does it?

Tracy Castillo:
Yeah.

Belva Smith:
Okay. It might depend on where you’re at, because I wouldn’t be able to get to the website for it. But now I will tell you, I can already tell you from looking at what it’s suggesting as the hardware. My computer is probably not going to be compatible because my computer was actually running Windows 7 and we updated it to windows 10. So I don’t think it’s not going to have the hardware.

Tracy Castillo:
Well, what I’m seeing on the Windows 11 website is they’re just a one gigahertz or faster with two or more cores for your processor. They’re saying they can run with only four gigabytes of RAM, and you only need 64 gigabytes to store it. Some of the individuals I spoke to say, it doesn’t have much to do with that, but as the graphics card and the graphics outputs, according to the website, it says DirectX 12 compatible graphics or WDDM 2.X. That’s a little bit out of my realm of understanding, but that’s what it says. And I’m just thinking the first few of them, I’ve got that.

Belva Smith:
Well. And when you said the DirectX 12, that’s kind of outside of my knowledge base as well. I just remember DirectX 11 being a real pain in the butt with compatibility issues. So I don’t know, but what I do know is, even if they do release on October the 11th, it’s not like we’re going to have to all put away windows 10 and never use it. We’ll still have that [crosstalk 00:45:06].

Tracy Castillo:
That little grace period.

Belva Smith:
They’ll give us that grace period before we have to get rid of Windows 10. Another thing that I’m hearing, and this is what I’m asking you all is what are you hearing? But one of the things I’m hearing is that you must be connected to the internet to set Windows 11 up.

Tracy Castillo:
Oh okay.

Belva Smith:
Yeah. You will not be able [crosstalk 00:45:27].

Josh Anderson:
Oh, really?

Belva Smith:
Yeah.

Tracy Castillo:
Those people on data plans are going to have a hard time.

Belva Smith:
Well, and for us, we have a lot of consumers that are out in the middle of nowhere. Sometimes have internet. Sometimes they don’t. And sometimes it’s so weak. Is that weak internet connection going to be enough to allow us to even get it set up?

Josh Anderson:
Yeah, like those students, I have to help on my hotspot.

Belva Smith:
I have to use my hotspot quite frequently, too.

Josh Anderson:
But it’s one of those things when Windows 10 first came, I mean, what, people still use 7 for two years pretty productively. And everything still worked just fine.

Belva Smith:
I think that’s what a lot of people will do, Josh.

Tracy Castillo:
Has anybody went to their website and checked it out? I know I just did.

Josh Anderson:
Well, I just looked and my computer will not run it.

Belva Smith:
You ran the test.

Josh Anderson:
No, I use a Mac. So I’m just assuming.

Tracy Castillo:
That’s a good one. That’s a very good.

Belva Smith:
You’re so funny, Josh.

Tracy Castillo:
Oh my gosh. I have a Mac too, and I didn’t even catch that. But you know what, it kind of gives me a little bit of the feels of they’ve got like a widgets bar, kind of like the home menu on an iPhone where they have like the weather and your calendar and all your events for the day. It looks like they’re going to have that going on. It seems like trying to… Nevermind, I’m not going to say [crosstalk 00:46:50].

Belva Smith:
Here’s my thought.

Tracy Castillo:
What’s that?

Belva Smith:
I’m thinking about borrowing a computer from this lending library that I know, joining the Microsoft insider and trying to put Windows 11 on. We’re going to have to. We got to get our feet wet with it, right?

Tracy Castillo:
You have to. It’s not if, it’s when. That’s how it is.

Belva Smith:
I mean, I remember saying that exact thing with my consumers when we went from 7 to 10. Microsoft’s not going backwards. They’re only going forward.

Tracy Castillo:
They’re only going forward, at least we hope so. We hope so because this gives me a little feels of that 8, 8.1.

Belva Smith:
Yeah. And I disagree with you, Josh. I think there’s a very, very strong possibility that this might be something that we see for a minute and then it’s totally redone.

Josh Anderson:
Well, I mean, we think of it as a consumer base, the individuals we serve. If I serve somebody this month and they get a brand-new computer with Windows 10, when does 11 comes out, next month, is it useless? Is it going to serve them four years of college? Is it going to be actually helpful? But think about businesses that just upgraded 400 computers to Windows 10 and then finds out they can’t upgrade them to Windows 11. Now what do they do, I mean, besides donate their computers to the end data depot? That’s a great thing for them to do when they get new ones.

Tracy Castillo:
Of course, it is.

Josh Anderson:
But I just think of it in that kind of way. And again and I I’ve kind of said this before and, again, it’ll probably eventually people are just going to move to Mac because you have to buy a new one about every 10 to 15 years.

Tracy Castillo:
Yeah. I don’t know, I mean, it looks good that the new Windows 11 looks good. Like you said, Belva, maybe we will just pull out a computer and hook it up and see what happens when we go to Windows 11. We’ll eventually have to learn it. Most of our computers now are all windows 10, and the ones that we have in our library, that Windows 7, are no longer updating. So I know that we had moved a lot of those over to Windows 10. And at that time, Belva, remember this, at that time, it was like, no, don’t make them all Windows 10. They’re still going to be somebody that’s going to want Windows 7. Well, I should’ve did it then because now I’m doing it.

Belva Smith:
Well, I think for people and part of the reason why I ask this question is because I want our listeners, if they’re feeling nervous or feeling a little anxious about this whole Windows 11, I think it’s okay to relax right now because I do think, number one, I don’t feel confident that they’re going to come out with it October. We’re talking like less than six weeks. I don’t think it’s going to get released that quick. And then when they do release it, they will allow us, especially because of, like you just said, Josh, the businesses, they’re going to allow us probably two, two and a half years to continue to use Windows 10 because their hope is that, when we get Windows 11, we’re just going to go buy a new computer because they’re going to do [crosstalk 00:50:13].

Tracy Castillo:
Did they tell you that? That’s rude.

Belva Smith:
No, listen, they’re doing a free just like they did with Windows 10. You’re running windows 10, you can free upgrade to Windows 11. That doesn’t put any money in their pocket. But when you rush out and buy a brand new computer with Windows 11, that puts money in their pocket.

Tracy Castillo:
With that being said, I will put out this little warning. I had taken one of the computers from the library to upgrade it to Windows 10, and it was doing marvelously. Well, it was taking a long time. I used the CD. I was going through all the steps. Did not know that the computer had a bad battery in it, and so I was trying to reorganize and put it near another computer. I unplugged it, everything shut down. When I plugged it back in, it says, “Hey, we’re rolling back all these changes.” And then as it was doing that, the hard drive crashed. So if you are an individual author thinking about, oh, let me do this, make sure you have a stable internet connection, a stable power connection because the worst thing you want to have to do is try to update your computer. And then you might be at the Best Buy or Amazon or Walmart buying a new computer because you just crashed yours or corrected your hard drive.

Belva Smith:
And Tracy, I know you did a whole lot more 7 to 10 updates than what I did because, honestly, my personal computer at home that was standard was not going to be compatible with 10. So I didn’t get to upgrade it. And for my consumers, I pretty much advised everybody to just get a new computer. Now, my work computer, we did the upgrade. And I actually think I did it, as I recall. I think, Josh, you got me what I needed, and I just did it. And it went smooth. It went beautiful.

Tracy Castillo:
Yeah. Oh, I remember that. Yes.

Belva Smith:
Yeah. It went very smooth, and it’s ran beautifully. But that’s part of the reason why I don’t feel confident thinking that it’s going to do that upgrade.

Tracy Castillo:
You didn’t have any problems. If someone’s trying to update a computer that may have an older hard drive in it, might have the old manual hard drive in it and not an SSD or an NBDA. And it might be a little bit worn out, and it might take a little extra. And it may not get the time it needs to do it such as [crosstalk 00:52:50].

Belva Smith:
So Windows 11 is going to be a lot more secure. So businesses will probably like that.

Josh Anderson:
Well, and from what I see, that’s the number one reason that it’s coming out is security.

Tracy Castillo:
Security.

Josh Anderson:
Because of all the issues that they’ve kind of had.

Belva Smith:
And when they [crosstalk 00:53:06].

Tracy Castillo:
It’s false, there’s no issues.

Belva Smith:
And when they first started talking about it, they mentioned absolutely nothing about the accessibility features. Well, now they have flooded the web with, hey, we’re going to be accessible. Don’t worry all you folks. Accessibility is one of our number one priorities. But they haven’t really mentioned any specific improvements or upgrades or whatever, just basic same accessibility features will be available.

Tracy Castillo:
Yeah.

Brian Norton:
I just want to open this up to our listeners. If you guys have any feedback, comments on windows 11, sounds like it’s just around the corner these days. And so with the new release date, just let us know what your comments or feedback would be. It is going to be different. It’s just a sign of the times. They’re coming out with new products, and obviously, consumers are going to have to adjust and they’re bringing it out for good reasons, safety and security, those types of things. And so we’ll see where we go with this particular upgrade. And so, yeah, just want to open it up to folks. If you guys have any feedback, give us a call on our listener line. That’s (317) 721-7124 or send us an email at tech@eastersealscrossroads.org. Want to give folks here on the show today just an opportunity to say goodbye. So I’ll just start with Josh. He’s in the top left-hand corner of my Zoom window. Josh, do you want to say goodbye?

Josh Anderson:
Bye, everybody. Can’t wait to see you here next time.

Brian Norton:
Excellent. And then Belva. Belva, do you want to say goodbye?

Belva Smith:
Yep. Talk to you guys next time.

Brian Norton:
And Tracy?

Tracy Castillo:
Bye guys. Don’t forget to send in your questions so we can answer them on air.

Belva Smith:
Yeah, and keep listening.

Tracy Castillo:
Please do.

Brian Norton:
Please do. And yeah, please do send us your feedback. Without your questions and your feedback, we really don’t have a show. So take the time and let us know again. That listener line is (317) 721-7124 or send us an email at tech@eastersealscrossroads.org. I was going to let Nikol say goodbye, but she’s already skedaddled out of here. So she’s not here with us. But have a great week, and we will talk to you later. Thanks so much.

Speaker 2:
And it seems like every week we have at least one blooper. So here you go.

Brian Norton:
Man, I look at that. [crosstalk 00:55:17].

Josh Anderson:
I like that. One executive with a broken beer bottle and [crosstalk 00:55:21].

Belva Smith:
I’m going to say the long thing.

Tracy Castillo:
Josh has already said it.

Josh Anderson:
Well, you guys just wake me up [inaudible 00:55:27].

Speaker 2:
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 from Josh Anderson, Belva Smith and Tracy Castillo, received support from Easterseals Crossroads in the end data of project. The show transcript is sponsored by InTRAC, the Indiana Telephone Relay Access Corporation. To learn more about InTRAC, go to indianarelay.com. Assistive Technology FAQ is also a proud member of the accessibility channel. To find more of our shows, go to accessibilitychannel.com.

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