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.

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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.

LABCast #3: Michael Hingson and 2017 CSUN Assistive Technology Conference Discussion

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This week Tim is joined by Shaun Preece from the RNIB Tech Talk and Audio Pizza podcasts and Frank Facio from the band Steelehorse Country. Frank also conducted several interviews for the podcast directly from the exhibit hall in San Diego, California.
Tim, Shaun and Frank open the podcast by discussing the inspirational story of Michael Hingson Who was at the conference representing AIRA. With the help of his guide dog Riselle, Michael Hingson navigated his way out of the World Trade Center on 9/11. Listen as he tells Frank about the emotions of that day. And be sure to read his full story by getting his book Thunder Dog.

The rest of the podcast is spent discussing many of the products and announcements from this year’s convention.
Aira is a portable, on star type Service for the visually impaired. Does it have the right price point?
Braille note takers and tablets are finding a lot of new competition. Thanks to Innovacion and competition, this product category may not be as stale as it once was.
Tech 4 Freedom is offering a couple of different products that offer a variety of usage for the blind and visually impaired. First is the Box one For All whichh can detect temperature, color and tag and identify various objects. TheBeacon is a pocket-size device that connects to up to 10 waypoint begins that can be controlled by you’re iPhone.
Audio Eye is a behind the scenes service that works with companies and their websites to make sure they are instantly accessible!
Taptilo is a product that is not yet released but will offer lessons through games to teach you to read and write braille using a small box and an app on your iPhone.

Be sure to listen to our next podcast as we Spotlight eSight Eye Ware and their new product eSight 3!

Thank you very much for listening to episode #3 of the Life After Blindness podcast! As we journey together, we will find that there can truly be a life after blindness.

Life After Blindness Spotlight on Mel Scott

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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 Mel Scott from Blind Alive. In this spotlight Mel discusses massage therapy, surviving cancer, the future of her Eyes Free Fitness programs and so much more!.

Please join me as we explore her journey with a life after blindness.

LABCast #2: Health and Fitness with mel Scott and Lisa Salinger. Review of My Fitness Pal

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This week on the Life After Blindness Podcast, Tim’s guests are Mel Scott and Lisa Salinger from BlindAlive.com
Tim, Mel and Lisa discuss inspirational athleticism, New Year’s health resolutions, fitness wearables and so much more! Then later in the podcast, Tim demonstrates an app for the iPhone called My Fitness Pal.
Thank you very much for listening to episode #2 of the podcast! As we journey together, we will find that there can truly be a life after blindness.

Life After Blindness Spotlight on Holly Anderson

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Welcome to the Life After Blindness Spotlight. This is the first in a series of podcasts where I will interview someone connected to the blind and visually impaired community.

This week I am joined by Holly Anderson from the Maccessibility Roundtable Podcast. In this spotlight Holly discusses attending mainstream school, cheerleading, music and what got her into podcasting.

Please join me as we explore her journey with a life after blindness.

LABCast #1: Blind Skateboarder, Accessibility at CES 2016, Future of Amazon Echo, AIPoly Review and iPhone impact on the Blind

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This week on episode #1 of the Life After Blindness Podcast, Tim speaks with Shaun Preece from the RNIB Tech Talk and Audio Pizza Podcasts and Holly Anderson from the Maccessibility Roundtable Podcast.
Tim opens the podcast by asking Shaun and Holly about a recent inspirational article from the Detroit Free Press. The article profiles blind skateboarder Nick Mullins who lost his sight after almost losing his life to MRSA.
The conversation then turns to CES 2016. This year’s Consumer Electronics Show seems to feature more accessible products than ever before!
Tim begins the CES discussion by asking Holly and Shaun to describe the BLITAB® and discuss whether they feel it could be a useful and functional replacement for the iPad.
From BLITAB.com:
“”BLITAB® is the World’s first tactile tablet for blind and visually impaired people. BLITAB® is a next curve Braille device for Braille reading and writing that displays one whole page Braille text at once, without any mechanical elements.”

Next, Holly talks about using an app that was featured at CES called Aipoly Vision. This app can identify text, colors, common household objects, currency and more. Tim, Shaun and Holly discuss the accuracy of Aipoly Vision and whether it’s worth the $4.99 a month subscription fee for expanded functionality.
Later in the podcast, Tim demonstrates Aipoly Vision in action.

Another big development in accessible tech at CES this year was a new service called AIRA – Visual interpreter for the blind.
From the AIRA website:
“Aira develops transformative remote assistive technology that connects the blind with a network of certified agents via wearable smart glasses and an augmented reality dashboard that allows agents to see what the blind person sees in real time. Agents, serving as visual interpreters for the blind, help users accomplish a wide range of daily tasks and activities – from navigating busy streets to recognizing faces and literally traveling the world.”
Tim, Holly and Shaun give examples of AIRA in action and debate the possible subscription options for this service.
Rounding out the CES discussion is the implementation of Amazon Echo technology into so many new products. Shaun and Holly talk to Tim about the future of Echo and what it could mean to the blind and visually impaired.
Tim then demonstrates the Aipoly Vision app. You can download it here for free.

In January, Apple celebrated the 10th anniversary of the iPhone. After the anniversary, Tim wrote a blog post about what the iPhone has meant to those who are blind or visually impaired.

The podcast finishes with Tim, Shaun and Holly discussing this article. They each talk about what the iPhone has meant to them and how it has affected their lives.
You can hear more from Shaun Preece by subscribing to the RNIB Tech Talk or Audio Pizza Podcasts.
You can hear more from Holly Anderson by subscribing to the Maccessibility Roundtable Podcast or by following her on Twitter @DHSHolly

Please subscribe to the Life After Blindness Podcast on iTunes and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
Join us again next week for a one-on-one spotlight interview with Holly Anderson. Then be sure to listen in two weeks when we are joined by Mel Scott and Lisa Salinger from Blind Alive and Eyes Free Fitness.
Thank you very much for listening to episode #1 of the podcast! As we journey together, we will find that there can truly be a life after blindness.