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1644 Currency Identification (Oct. 26, 2016)
Hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey speak with Leonard Olijar, director of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing about current features to make US currency easier for visually impaired people to identify it, as well as their plans to make it easier still. We’ll also discuss their smart phone app and free hardware device that can identify US currency for you.
1643 Traveling Solo (Oct. 19, 2016)
Imagine traveling the world alone for months at a time if you were totally blind and partially deaf. This week, hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey talk with Tony Giles who has done exactly that. We’ll learn how he prepares for and manages his trips and also talk to him about some of the adventures recounted in his new book, “Seeing the Americas My Way”.
1642 BrailleNote Touch Tablet (Oct. 12, 2016)
The BrailleNote Touch combines an Android-based tablet with a Braille display and detachable Braille keyboard to form a powerful note taker. Hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey speak with Greg Stilson, Blindness Products Manager from HumanWare about this new device and how it has been enhanced with the KeySoft experience. We’ll also hear a demo of the device in action.
1641 Delivering Independence with White Canes (Oct. 5, 2016)
A simple white cane can be a remarkable gift in some parts of the world. Hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey speak with Beverly Crook about her travels around the world delivering canes to blind people in underserved rural areas, often giving them their first taste of independence. Learn about how the Global Cane Outreach program has grown and some of its successes.
1640 Tips and Tricks for Your Computer or Mobile Device (Sep. 28, 2016)
The “Technical Tips and Tricks” show which aired earlier this year received a lot of positive feedback. So, back by popular demand is another episode dedicated to a variety of tips aimed at making it easier to interact with your smart phone and mobile device. Hosts Peter and Nancy Torpey demo creative ways of interacting with SIRI, controlling Pandora, and more.
1639 Behind the Scenes at TopTechTidbits (Sep. 21, 2016)
Keep up with the latest in technology and other items of interest to the blind and visually impaired by subscribing to “TopTechTidbits”, a free weekly e-mail newsletter. Hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey speak with Dean Martineau, originator and editor of this reliable and helpful resource, about its history and what goes into creating it each week.
1638 Comcast Innovations in Accessible TV (Sep. 14, 2016)
Many visually impaired people have experienced the frustrations of operating cable TV or searching for a movie. If you’re a Comcast customer, however, your problems are solved! Hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey talk with Tom Wlodkowski, Vice President of Accessibility at Comcast, about their solutions that provide the blind with almost complete access to all functions.
1637 Waitressing in the Dark (Sep. 7, 2016)
“Dining in the dark” restaurants have opened in many countries. Hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey speak with Christine Malec, author and massage therapist, about the 2 years she spent as a blind waitress in a totally dark restaurant. She describes the dining and serving experience when the tables are turned and what she learned both about herself and about her customers.
1636 Commitment to Accessibility in Apple products (Aug. 31, 2016)
Apple has been a leader in accessibility with all of its products. This week hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey take a look inside Apple and talk with Sarah Herrlinger, Senior Manager for Global Accessibility Policy, about Apple’s commitment to accessibility and about a number of new and exciting features coming soon that are geared to the visually impaired.
1635 Mushroom FM Radio (Aug. 24, 2016)
Mushroom FM Radio is a globally available internet station completely run by blind individuals. Hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey speak with Jonathan Mosen, founder, director and weekly DJ, about Mushroom FM (“the home of the fun guys”), how this streaming service got started, and how to listen anywhere any time. Also learn how you too can participate.
1634 Microsoft Disability Answer Desk (Aug. 17, 2016)
Microsoft offers a special service by which disabled individuals can obtain free personalized technical help with Microsoft products. Hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey talk with Neil Barnett, leader of the Disability Answer Desk, about that program and other resources and services they offer to the visually impaired using screen readers or other adaptive technologies.
1633 Learning to be an Entrepreneur (Aug. 10, 2016)
There is more to know about running or starting your own business than at first may be apparent. There may also be pitfalls of which you are not aware. Hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey talk with Colleen Wunderlich, Director, Hadley Forsythe Center for Employment and Entrepreneurship about Hadley’s training resources geared to help you become a successful entrepreneur.
1632 Employment Considerations for the Blind (Aug. 3, 2016)
Interested in a job? Then read Bonnie Mosen’s new book, “It’s Off To Work We Go – Tools and Techniques for the Successful Job Hunt”, a guidebook for blind and visually impaired job seekers and job holders. Hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey talk with Bonnie about many aspects of the employment process with a focus on what is special for blind individuals.
1631 Project BLAID Navigation Device (Jul. 27, 2016)
Toyota’s mission is to provide people with mobility solutions that are not limited to cars and trucks. Hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey speak with Douglas Moore, the head developer on the BLAID project within Toyota’s Partner Robot group, about a device under development that uses computer vision to help the visually impaired navigate large indoor spaces.
1630 Cardiologist Turned Into Low Vision Specialist (Jul. 20, 2016)
Dr. Joe Fontenot was a practicing cardiologist when his vision began to fail. Now he is the Medical Director of Community Services for Vision Rehabilitation in Mobile, Alabama which he founded. Hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey talk with him about his remarkable journey and how he not only overcame personal challenges but also went on to help many others.
1629 Accessibility Initiatives at IBM (Jul. 13, 2016)
IBM shares its accessibility expertise with the wider community in order to improve accessibility for all. Hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey talk with Erich Manser and Drew LaHart of IBM’s accessibility team about their Quick Guide for developers, their plan for making many of their tools and resources open source, and their commitment to accessibility.
1628 Listening to and Recording Audio (Jul. 6, 2016)
Audio plays an important role in how visually impaired people perceive and interpret the surrounding world. Hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey speak with Neal Ewers, founder and head of Ravenswood Productions, about what makes a quality audio recording. Hear recommendations of tools and techniques for recording, producing, and appreciating audio material.
1627 Apple Watch for Blind Users (Jun. 29, 2016)
This week hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey talk with Matthew Carello, a trainer with Fedora Outlier LLC, about the Apple Watch and how it can be used by people who are blind. We’ll learn about the basic functions of the watch, hear it in action, and see how it might become part of your daily routine. We’ll also learn about the services offered by Fedora Outlier LLC.
1626 Services from the AFB (Jun. 22, 2016)
The American Foundation for the Blind offers a broad range of services and resources aimed at helping people with vision loss in the areas of education, employment, daily living, and much more. Hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey talk with George Abbott, director of the AFB’s Press and Professional Development Department, about some of these useful programs.
1625 KNFB Reader App Update (Jun. 15, 2016)
The KNFB Reader app running on your smart phone can be easily used to snap pictures of printed material such as books, letters, menus, etc. and have them instantly read back to you. Hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey talk with Joel Zimba, Reading Innovation Project Manager at the National Federation of the Blind, about the app and some of its functionality.
1624 Computer Camp for Blind Youth (Jun. 8, 2016)
Computers are very accessible to the visually impaired. Moreover, those with a knowledge of computers and computer programming are highly desired in today’s work force. Hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey talk with Cheryl Cumings and Rich Caloggero about a computer camp for blind youth they are organizing to motivate students and introduce them to these skills.
1623 Reflections on the College Experience (Jun. 1, 2016)
Rebecca is a visually impaired student who has shared her educational journey with our listeners in several previous episodes. She first talked with us as a junior in high school. Now hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey talk with her about how she views her college experience in retrospect and considerations for attending graduate school and obtaining a PhD.
1622 Improved Accessibility of Amazon Products (May 25, 2016)
New features being introduced into Amazon’s Kindle readers and Fire tablets will now make these devices readily accessible to the visually impaired. Hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey talk with Peter Korn, accessibility architect at Amazon, about the work that went into developing an enhanced user interface and how it has improved accessibility of these products.
1621 Evolution of Screen Readers (May 18, 2016)
This week, hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey talk with Peter Korn who traces the evolution of screen reader technology from the early text-based systems to today’s modern graphical interfaces. Korn, who has been a major contributor to the development of screen readers for many years, describes how a screen reader works and what challenges had to be overcome.
1620 The Vision-quest Experience (May 11, 2016)
Maribel Steel is an Australian writer and motivational speaker who is also blind. She designed the Vision-quest program which pairs blind and sighted people in a day of shared exploration to experience sites in their community. Hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey talk with her about Vision-quest and her role as an international peer advisor for AFB’s VisionAware.
1619 AudioScreen for NVDA (May 4, 2016)
The AudioScreen add-on for NVDA is based on concepts from the vOICe technology discussed in last week’s show. This week hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey talk with Mick Curran, co-lead developer of the NVDA screen reader, about how this add-on that he developed can be used to help the blind “see” maps, colors, and more. Mick also demos AudioScreen in action.
1618 The vOICe - Seeing With Sound (Apr. 27, 2016)
The vOICe technology is a general approach for “seeing with sound”. It uses visual input from a web cam or PC display that is converted to audio output. Hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey speak with Pranav Lal about the technology and how it can be used to visualize data and provide the blind with a representation of the world around them.
1617 Blind Marathoner and Celebrity Guide (Apr. 20, 2016)
Hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey speak with Erich Manser, a blind accessibility engineer at IBM, and Peter Sagal, host of NPR’s “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me” about their experiences running the Boston Marathon together. They talk about how they got together, the special trust required to run as partners, and what happens when things don’t go quite as planned.
1616 Tandem Bicycle Racing (Apr. 13, 2016)
This week hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey talk with Matt King about the thrill and excitement of competitive racing on a tandem bicycle. Matt set a world speed record, participated in three Paralympics, and underwent an intense training regimen. He describes these experiences and what it feels like to be going over 45 MPH around turns banked at more than 45 degrees!
1615 Accessibility of Facebook Products (Apr. 6, 2016)
Do you struggle using Facebook with a screen reader? Matt King, a member of the Accessibility Engineering Team at Facebook, describes many tips and hotkeys for using Facebook more efficiently. Hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey also talk with him about an exciting new feature launching this week to help make photos more accessible to people with vision loss.
1614 Research on Sonification (Mar. 30, 2016)
Sonification can be used to provide auditory feedback to help the visually impaired explore data, meters, diagrams and more. This week hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey talk with Tony Stockman, Senior Lecturer at Queen Mary College of the University of London and President of the International Community for Auditory Display about his research in sonification techniques.
1613 Blind Active Duty Police Officer – part 2 (Mar. 23, 2016)
Last week hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey talked with Marlon Parieaho about losing his vision while working as a policeman. We heard how he successfully navigated this transition and how it affected his relationship with his colleagues. This week we’ll hear more about Marlon’s thoughts on blindness and why being blind doesn’t mean it is the end of the world.
1612 Blind Active Duty Police Officer – part 1 (Mar. 16, 2016)
Marlon Parieaho was working as a policeman when he lost his vision. Hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey talk with him about how he successfully navigated the transition, learned to accommodate to his new situation, and how it impacted his relationship with his colleagues. Next week we’ll hear his thoughts about blindness and what being blind means to him.
1611 Cataract Surgery in Developing Countries (Mar. 9, 2016)
Untreated cataracts are by far the leading cause of blindness throughout the world. Yet this is a treatable condition. This week, hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey talk with Jacob Mohan Thazhathu, President and CEO of Help Me See, about how this problem can be solved with a low-cost and high-quality solution aimed at restoring sight to millions of people.
1610 NFB-Newsline Mobile App for iOS Devices (Mar. 2, 2016)
Have ready access to local and national newspapers, magazines, weather alerts, retail ads, TV listings and more with the NFB-Newsline Mobile app. Hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey talk with Scott White, director of sponsored technology programs for the National Federation of the Blind, about what is new in this recently updated app and how it can be used.
1609 Services for Preparing Your Taxes (Feb. 24, 2016)
Did you know that there are organizations that will help you prepare your tax return at no cost and that the IRS has accessible forms and publications if you want to prepare your own return? This week hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey talk with Darryl Eaton of the IRS about these and other services that can assist the visually impaired, and demonstrate the IRS2Go app.
1608 The Blind Cook (Feb. 17, 2016)
Christine Ha, who calls herself “The Blind Cook”, developed her cooking skills after her vision failed. She is a winner of MasterChef, author of a NY Times bestselling cookbook and host of 4-Senses on AMI. Hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey speak with her about cooking blind and her pointers for success and safety for blind home cooks.
1607 Matching Blind Runners and Sighted Guides (Feb. 10, 2016)
If you enjoy running outdoors but your vision loss makes it unsafe to do so alone, now there’s an easy way you can find somebody to guide you. Hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey speak with Kyle Robidoux from United In Stride which maintains an on-line database of blind or visually impaired runners and volunteer sighted guides all over North America.
1606 Audio Exercise Programs (Feb. 3, 2016)
Keeping fit is important for both mental and physical health. This week hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey talk with Mel Scott and Lisa Salinger from BlindAlive about their audio exercise programs geared specifically to those who are visually impaired. With described exercise programs ranging from beginner to advance, BlindAlive offers something for everyone.
1605 Technical Tips and Tricks (Jan. 27, 2016)
This week hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey share some helpful hints they use to perform common tasks. You’ll hear some surprising things SIRI can do. You’ll also learn how to more easily control the playback of audio on YouTube with some handy keyboard shortcuts, automatically download audio from YouTube for later playback, how to make on-line shopping easier and more!
1604 Research about the Blind Shopping Experience (Jan. 20, 2016)
Hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey speak with Alex Cohen, a graduate student in the business school at Drexel University, who is studying how people with various disabilities interact with the on-line marketplace. He’s hoping to convince vendors that it is to their and their customers’ advantage to have their sites easier to use for everybody.
1603 Blindfold Games (Jan. 13, 2016)
You can play a wide variety of games on your iOS device including popular board games, card games, logic games and physical games like skeeball, bowling or air hockey. Hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey talk with the developer, Marty Schultz, about the games and why they are so popular with members of the blind community. Also hear a demo of “Blind Bowling”!
1602 Rendering Art with 3D Printers (Jan. 6, 2016)
If you can’t see great paintings, now there’s a new way you can experience them. Hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey speak with Marc Dillon who runs the Unseen Art project. By converting 2-D artworks into 3-dimensional renditions including textures to represent shading and other features these works are made accessible to the blind.
1601 F123’s Impact on Accessibility (Dec. 30, 2015)
After experiencing the impact of access technology on his own ability to succeed, Fernando Botelho has developed free tools to improve accessibility to web sites for all. Hosts Peter and Nancy Torpey speak with him about his experiences growing up in South America, traveling the world, and the F123 project he founded to improve access to information around the world.
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