Life After Blindness Spotlight Interview with Frank Facio

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Welcome to the Life After Blindness Spotlight. This is the podcast where I interview someone connected to the blind and visually impaired community.
This week, I speak with Frank Facio.
Frank is been an employee of the United States Postal Service for almost 35 years. During his life and career, Frank has faced many difficult transitions. Frank’s positive “roll with the flow” attitude combined with the insight and help of many wonderful people along the way, has helped him stay strong and overcome.
In this interview, Frank talks about how blindness has affected his marriage, career and his passions. Two of these passions are playing Beep Baseball and performing with his band, ‘Steele Horse Country’.
We highlight many of Frank’s personal and professional milestones. Then, we wrap up by discussing Frank’s future plans.
Thank you very much for listening to the Life After Blindness spotlight interview with Frank Facio!

Related Links:
Frank’s emial: bigfaz58@gmail.com
Steelehorse Country on Facebook

LABCast #8: AMC Theater, Space Accessibility and Google AI. Parenting with Holly Bonner. 2 Years of AppleWatch.

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Welcome to episode #8 of the Life After Blindness Podcast! My guest this week is Holly Bonner from blindmotherhood.com.

In this week’s news, AMC Theaters settled a lawsuit which will cause them to provide better services to the blind and visually impaired. Also, The University of Chicago announced a new study where they hope to find better ways of teaching astronomy to blind children. Finally, Google announced a new AI technology that can detect Diabetic Retinopathy early by scanning the retinas.

I then speak with Holly Bonner from blindmotherhood.com. She talks about her experiences with parenting and caring for a household from a blind mother’s point of view.

The podcast wraps up with a discussion about the Apple Watch. It’s been 2 years since the Apple Watch was released. Tim talks about the differences between Series 1 and Series 2. He then gives examples of different uses for the watch.

Thank you for listening to episode #8 of the Life After Blindness Podcast. Please join us again as we find that there can truly be a life after blindness.

Life After Blindness Spotlight Interview with Derek Daniel

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Welcome to the Life After Blindness Spotlight. This is the podcast where I interview someone connected to the blind and visually impaired community.
This week, I speak with Derek Daniel from Life After Sight Loss.
Derek talks about growing up in a small town in southern Indiana after having been adopted at just three weeks old. growing up, Derek discovered he had a passion for the performing arts as well as for helping people. Combined with his interest in technology as well as his experiences through church ministry, Derek is using these talents and interests to help others through his new website and podcast.
Listen as Derek describes losing sight at age 18. And how the love of family and Friends as well as his love for the performing arts, helped him through the transition. Derek also discusses how he manages being a stay at home blind father while producing YouTube videos, blogs and podcasts. He then shares his hopes for the future of Life After Sight Loss before ending with some inspirational thoughts for those who are losing their vision.

Thank you very much for listening to the Life After Blindness Spotlight interview with Derek Daniel.

LABCast #7: AIRA and the Boston Marathon, 3-D Ultrasounds and Movie Reading App with Lauren Hayes

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Tim’s guest this week is Lauren Hayes from AccessibilityOz.
Tim and Lauren begin the podcast by discussing Aira and it’s use in this year’s Boston Marathon. Working closely with Aira, a man completed the marathon using the service. Tim and Lauren discuss how it was used and what could be learned from this test going forward.
Next, Tim talks about a 3-D printing technology used in a hospital in Brazil. A blind couple worked with their doctor in order to have 3-D printed models of their child’s ultrasound in each trimester of pregnancy. This is the first time 3-D printing has been used while built into the ultrasound machine. Lauren and Tim give their opinions on the story as well as the medical and educational possibilities of this technology going forward.
A new app has been released in Australia called Movie Reading. This app enables Aussies to download and sync an audio described track to use with movies at the local cinema. Lauren talks about the current state of audio description in Australian cinemas. She then gives her opinion of the app and discusses it’s accessibility as well as the lacking accessibility of Movie Readings website.
Thank you very much for listening to the Life After Blindness podcast! Please join us again as together we continue our journey to find that there can truly be a life after blindness.

LABCast #6: Latest News About Microsoft, Lyft and Samsung with Shaun Preece. Accommodations for Blind Parents with Derek Daniel and a Review of the Parental Controls of the iPhone.

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Life After Blindness takes a look at being a stay at home blind father. Additionally, we discuss this weeks news as well as review locking down your child’s iPhone.

Tim answers a question from the Life After Blindness Facebook page from Janice. She asks about the best smart phone to get for her son. Tim suggests the iPhone and talks about it’s out of the box accessibility.

As Tim introduces the rest of the lineup for the podcast, he mentions an article posted to the Life After Blindness Blog from Jackie Waters. This article talks about Jackie’s experience when her sister-in-law (who is blind) comes to live with her and her husband. In the article, Jackie outlines some of the methods she used to help her sister-in-law to be more comfortable in the household.

Tim’s first guest is Shaun Preece from the RNIB Tech Talk and Audio Pizza Podcasts. Tim and Shaun discuss the following recent headlines from the blindness community:

Microsoft announces they have added braille support in Narrator for over 35 manufacturers as well as the ability to use Narrator when doing a clean install of Windows.
The National Federation of the Blind and the ride service Lyft have announced a partnership to better accommodate blind and visually impaired customers. This will include initial and ongoing training of drivers and a zero tolerance policy for drivers who refuse service to someone with a guide dog.

In addition to announcing their new lineup of smart phones, Samsung has announced a new virtual assistant named ‘Bixby’. Tim and Shaun talk about how Bixby could compete with other services like Amazon Echo and how this potential competition could be good for the blind.

After the news, Tim demonstrates how a parent can control content on their child’s iPhone. Tim first walks through the process of turning on restrictions and showing what functions and features of the iPhone can be restricted. Tim then demonstrates the Guided Access feature of the iPhone. This feature allows you to not only lock a child into the current app but allows you to set a passcode or even set a time limit for the use of that app.

To conclude the podcast, Tim is joined by Derek Daniel of Life After Sight Loss to discuss his experiences as a stay at home blind father. Derek outlines his daily routine and gives examples of certain tricks he uses around the house. From baby care to cleaning the house to playing games with a toddler, Tim and Derek dive into what accommodations can be made to make things easier on a blind parent.

Thank you for your continued support of the podcast! If you have any questions or comments, please send an email to: tim@lifeafterblindness.com

Please join us again as we demonstrate together that their truly can be a life after blindness.

LABCast #5: News with Derek Daniel, Review of MLB.com At Bat and Rodeo Animals with my daughter

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Welcome to episode #5 of the Life After Blindness Podcast! My guests this week are Derek Daniel and my four-year-old daughter, Alyssa.
Derek and I begin the podcast by discussing the following blindness related news stories:
Blind British man in world’s first operation to deliver modified DNA to his eyes
Microsoft is working on technology to help the visually impaired learn to code

This blind gamer got to play ping-pong with his wife — all thanks to the Nintendo Switch
Summary of Apple’s March 21, 2017 Product Announcements

Next, I review MLB.com At Bat. An accessible app for the iPhone that will help you get scores, news, highlights and so much more throughout the major-league baseball season.

I conclude the podcast by talking with my four-year-old daughter, Alyssa. We discuss a recent story about blind twins who show animals at the local rodeo. Alyssa puts everything in perspective as we talk about living a life with blindness.

Thank you so much for listening to the Life After Blindness podcast! Please come back next time as we continue to find together that there can truly be a life after blindness.

Suggestions to organize your home to accommodate the visually impaired

My name is Jackie Waters. I am a mother of four beautiful and energetic boys. I live with my family on our three-acre hobby farm in Oregon. My goal is to feed our family as much fresh and home-grown food as possible, focusing on sustainability and simplicity.

Recently, my sister-in-law (who has a visual impairment) came to live with us. Before she moved in, we carefully assessed our home and its setup to determine how to make it more accessible for her. She was concerned about being thought of as a burden, but I assured her that this was not the case. The burden would be living in a home that is difficult to navigate through! So she agreed that I was onto something–and we went to work.
Once she was on board, I picked her brain for the best way to organize and declutter the house to make her life easier. Of course, this totally appealed to the organizing fanatic in me!
For people with a visual impairment, consistency and strict organization are crucial. People with low vision or blindness often rely on their memory to navigate through their home, find personal care items, kitchen utensils, and anything else they may need. A home that is cluttered and disorganized makes daily life unnecessarily difficult. Here are a few home organization tips that will help you foster a more functional lifestyle for a loved one with a visual impairment.

Use Storage Baskets and labels
Store loose items in easily accessible storage baskets, crates, or totes and label containers to indicate their contents, making it easier for a person with a visual impairment to locate everyday objects. For instance, you might use Braille labels to mark storage containers that hold keys, wallets, and purses, DVDs, and personal care items such as face wash or shower gel. If a loved one has low vision, but is not completely blind, standard labels with large fonts may be adequate for enabling them to locate the items they need.
This is especially true in the kitchen, as it is one of the most frequently used spaces in the home. Baskets or crates are a great way to organize a variety of tools, utensils, and appliances.

Keep Everything in a Designated Location
Placing items like keys and important paperwork in inconsistent locations makes it difficult for everyone to find items needed throughout the day. This can be especially difficult for those with low vision or blindness. Imagine trying to find your wallet without being able to visually look around the kitchen–especially when you are in a hurry to be somewhere.
Choose a convenient location for such items. For example, set up a basket placed near the door. Keeping the things you need on a daily basis in a convenient and consistent location will save you and your loved ones a great deal of time and frustration.

Organize Closets Strategically
Getting dressed can be a challenge for people with low vision, blindness, or color blindness if their bedrooms are not well organized. With a bit of savvy closet organization, you can help your loved one overcome these difficulties.
Some people simply rely on others to help them coordinate matching outfits. Because this may not always be possible, color-coded closet organization is a helpful strategy.
You may also consider organizing the closet by pre-coordinated outfits. Do this by grouping pants, shirts, socks and the like together in matched groups. You can categorize clothing sets further by occasion such as work outfits, dinner outfits, and so forth. This makes it easier to get dressed, whether in the morning before work or on your way out for an evening of fun.

Prevent Slips and Falls
People who are visually impaired may be at an increased risk of slipping and falling, because they are unable to see to navigate through dimly lit areas or avoid tripping hazards that aren’t visible in their walking path. You can greatly reduce the risk of accidents by maintaining a clean, clutter-free home, removing hazards such as throw rugs and electrical cords from areas most frequently used as a pass-thru for walking.
Flooring itself can pose a risk of trips and falls, particularly if your home has slick, shiny surfaces like glossy hardwood floors, tile, or laminate flooring. Strategically place non-skid rugs (secured to the floor or lined with non-slip grips) to prevent sliding on smooth surfaces and, if necessary, replace slippery flooring with a matte or less-slick flooring for better traction. This can do wonders to improve safety.

A few simple organizational strategies can dramatically improve functional living for a loved one with a visual impairment. From the kitchen to the closet, to the general living area, some thoughtful actions can go a long way in helping your loved one maintain greater independence.
My sister-in-law has lived with us for about five months now and things seem to be running smoothly. Not only is my home super organized (hooray!) but my sister-in-law appears to be comfortable and happy! She knows where everything is—and so do we! I would say it’s a win-win for everyone.

*****
Jackie Waters is a contributing author to Life After Blindness. You can find out more about her by visiting her website Hyper Tidy.

Life After Blindness Spotlight Interview with Trey McCrory

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This week on the Life After Blindness Spotlight, Tim speaks with Trey McCrory. He is the Graduate Manager for the Northwestern State University men’s basketball team. Trey has been nominated for the 2017 NCAA Most Courageous Award.
Trey talks about growing up blind in a small town in Louisiana and then how he came to be the graduate manager for his favorite college basketball team. He also discusses the importance of family, what he’s learned from his experiences as well as what he wants to do in the future.
Please listen as we explore Trey’s life after blindness.

LABCast #4: Trey McCory, Accessing March Madness and Blindfold Basketball

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Welcome to episode 4 of the Life After Blindness Podcast. This week we are talking about all things basketball and specifically the NCAA men’s basketball tournament also known as March Madness.
Tim begins this weeks episode by talking about Trey McCrory, who is the Graduate Manager for the Northwestern State University basketball team. He is responsible for many of the teams daily functions including travel, meals and equipment. And he is legally blind. Trey has been nominated for the NCAA Most Courageous Award which will be announced during the final four this year. He will also be on next weeks Life After Blindness Spotlight podcast.
Next, Tim reviews an app for the iPhone called March Madness Live. You can use this app to check scores, get team info, follow the tournament brackets, Watch live games and so much more!
Tim then talks about an accessible tournament bracket you can find online at terrillthompson.com
For those who may still be interested in basketball but not in the tournament, Tim then reviews a game for the iPhone called Blindfold Basketball.
Tim finishes up the podcast by discussing an email from Jaume Cunill, the CEO of Tech 4 Freedom. The email is in response to our coverage of their products from our CSUN convention coverage podcast.
Thank you so much for listening to the podcast! Be sure to listen again as we continue our journey together to demonstrate that there truly can be a Life After Blindness.

Life After Blindness Spotlight with David Demers from eSight Eyewear

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Welcome to the Life After Blindness Spotlight. This is the podcast where I interview someone connected to the blind and visually impaired community. This week I am joined by David Demers from eSight Eyewear.

In this special spotlight interview, David talks with me about eSight 3. He explains what it is, who it’s for and how it differs from it’s previous versions.
David also talks a little about his own visual impairment and how he came to work with eSight.

Please join me in finding out more about this amazing product as well as hearing about David’s journey with a life after blindness.