LABCast #11: Because of my Blindness, Audio Description in Amazon Prime, Black Box for iPhone, Father’s Day with my daughter Alyssa and more!

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Welcome to episode #11 of the Life After Blindness podcast!
The podcast begins with a “Because of My Blindness” story. In episode #9, I shared the story of how I met Mr. and Mrs. Obama before they became the President and First Lady. I asked you to share your stories that have had a positive or inspirational impact on your life. The catch being that it happened because of your blindness. In other words, it might not have ever happened to you if you were not blind.
Many of you submitted your stories. One of those stories came from Bobby who sent me a voice message using the app Vorail. He tells of how, because of his blindness, he has now met his current fiancé.
Do you have a positive story to tell that might not have happened if you weren’t blind? Please send your stories, written or audio, to tim@lifeafterblindness.com and I might share it on a future episode!

Since the last episode was completely devoted to covering Apple’s WWDC keynote, there is a lot of news that we haven’t been able to cover.
First up this week is the announcement from ACB and Amazon that they will now provide audio description tracks for their original content and like Netflix before them, strive to get audio description whenever possible. I talk with you about my experiences so far using audio description in the Amazon Prime Video app for iPhone as well as on a Kindle Fire.
You can also hear me being interviewed about audio description in Amazon Prime on the RNIB Tech Talk podcast.
In a semi-related story, I tell you about a company named Actiview. They have released an app that will automatically synchronize an audio description track with a movie at the theater. So no more using a clunky device that may or may not work or even be available. They hope that their less expensive approach and use of one’s own device will appeal to movie theaters and blind customers alike.
In a first of its kind law suit, Winn-Dixie was taken to trial. The judge said that their website is so closely tied to its stores, that it must make it accessible per the ADA. This is very important because there are many law suits out there pushing for companies to make their apps and websites accessible with screen readers.
Finally this week, I share a story from England about autonomous pods that are being developed by the Insight Project. With government funding 2.2 million pounds towards the project, the hope is to develop a slow moving, short-range vehicle that can be used in places like airports or small residential areas. These pods are being tested by people who are blind and visually impaired and work very much like any other driverless vehicle. Rather than relying on tracks or rails, these pods use sensory technology inside and out to help it navigate. It also comes with an accessible app for your smart phone that enables you to not only call for the pod but also give you information about your surroundings while you travel.

Next, I demonstrate a new puzzle game for the iPhone called “Black Box: Think Outside the Box‘. This is a mainstream app developed by Ryan McCloud. The developer has made a point to reach out to the blind community to make sure the game is accessible. When playing this game, you do truly need to “think outside the box” and consider all the things that your phone can do. This will help you solve the more than 70 puzzles now available in the game.

The podcast wraps up with an interview with my daughter Alyssa. We talk about how we spent Father’s Day. Then I ask Alyssa about a story out of Miami where children were able to pretend to shave their Dad’s faces. we discuss the different ways these children are able to learn.
Thank you so much for listening to episode #11 of the podcast! Please come back again and join me on this journey so that together, we can truly find that there can be a life after blindness.

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