Tag Archives: iPhone

Technology has come such a long way!

Recently I got a thermometer that is called a smart thermometer that basically connect Bluetooth to your phone and allows me to read my temperature as it’s processed. It’s so amazing how far we’ve come and technology. I’ve never actually had a talking thermometer but recently I’ve struggled with some health issues and I’m trying to pinpoint if my body temperature is fluctuating so I wanted to get something that would allow me to do so. Basically with my iPhone when I take my temperature and then automatically puts it in the Health app where I can manage and look over my data for the last few days. It’s so funny on the reviews for the product it’s one complaint is it doesn’t have a screen on the thermometer so cited people can see their temperature it’s a little payback all these years for not having a talking one for me. We got in a little discussion about how far technology has come for blind people in general and it really is amazing! Even from when I was a kid I would never have thought that I could go to the same store and get the phone that everyone else wants and be able to use it right out of the box. Does voiceover and Apple have some faults sure but nothings perfect! We are blessed to be in this position that were in today I know this is an upbeat post from usual but it is at times a good thing to look back on the flexion and do things in a positive light.
I will make a post later about my birthday I’m dictating so I’m sure there are several mistakes sorry. I just wanted to show that I was updating still and I will try to be more frequent. I will make a post about my birthday that should be appear tomorrow. I hope you guys are all well talk to you soon. One more thing actually we celebrated the two-year mark on this website where we just had amazing numbers even when I don’t update regularly. So I’m glad to find that you found it entertaining and I’ve come back to check in overtime thank you for that!

Where’s my wallet?

Today I had two blind moments I haven’t had in a while. Especially the first one. I haven’t felt well all day today maybe it’s the cloudy weather or something so for dinner I decided to make soup. I thought I organized my soups so I knew what was where. Before the Iphone life really was a free for all I had no system in place to determine what soup was what. Barcode scanners were around but to get one that was voice active cost 1200, and I never felt it was worth it. When the iPhone came out and a barscanner cost 30 I jumped at it. Anyway I thought I was grabbing a tomato soup but it turned out when I opened it it was new England clam chowder! As soon as I opened the can I knew I picked wrong and my tomato soup dreams would have to wait. It just reminded me how far technology has come. Older blind people used to give me advice like separate them while at the checkout, but I just never found time to do things like that. I was managing my cane catching the bus and of course paying I just didn’t feel like asking a store clerk to bag things smaller. Not to mention taking things home on the bus was difficult I wanted as few of bags as possible. So tonight I relived my college days it’s a great reminder.
The second thing happens more than I’d like. I put my wallet on the table when I got home from playing the guitar downtown today. I was looking for it later on and couldn’t find it. I started brushing the counter and going over the entire table. Literally when I pulled out my chair to eat my soup I sat on it. I spent a good 8 minutes searching, and when I didn’t want the damn thing anymore I sit on it. I haven’t been posting many blind observations lately, so I thought those who like those would enjoy.

My letter to Tim Cook

This is a rough draft but pretty much about what I’m going to send. Dear Mr. Cook,

I went to college at Ball State University, and the year I graduated you released Voiceover on the Mac and IPhone. I applied for a job with Apple, and was hired. I remember being real excited, because this was going to be my first job. I couldn’t sleep the night before I went to work, and I caught the bus to go out to the facility. On my way in a mile from work actually my phone rang, and I was told the job I’d applied for wouldn’t be accessible with Voiceover. I was told to not even bother going to training, since nothing would work for me. I had to call and get a ride home while others were checking in to go to work.

I remember feeling defeated, and this was the first experience I really had outside Ball State of working. What really upset me was I’m totally blind I had been in contact with programmers and my Supervisor for a week before letting them know what accommodations I would need. This means they had at least a week before to know if things would be accessible why wait until the morning that I’m to report.

I’m not asking you to do anything about my situation I’ve moved on, and have a job of my own now. My concern is for blind and visually impaired people that would be hiring in today. I hope Voiceover now works with your systems, and that working with Apple would be achievable now. I just wanted to bring my story to your attention. Even though my experience wasn’t good with going to work with Apple it prepared me for the future. No one ever in my life had a conversation with me about how difficult the job market is, and it’s not often reported. I was going through life like anyone else just looking for a job to support myself, and then that happened and it toughened me up a little. Again I’m not excusing what happened, but things worked out.

I bought my first IPhone in 2009, and haven’t looked back. As you know Apple really was the first company to actually bring accessibility to a mainstream device, and a touch screen to boot. The device has changed my life in so many ways, and it’s hard for me to remember before I had it. I can play games with family members, identify my money, access my network drive from the go, and use GPS while out walking. My first day in college before handheld GPS I used to carry one that had cables all down my body, and I’m sure I looked like a space man, so it’s unbelievable that one device can do so much.

I now have an iPhone, IPad, Apple TV, Mac Air, and Time capsule. Man I didn’t know how many products I had until I just read them wow. Voiceover and Safari it seems is the buggiest part of the new IOS. It’s still useable, but is frustrating, and you have to do a lot of refreshes. Sometimes the phone just crashes and you have to hit the power button 6 times to do a soft reboot. A few months ago I was pretty upset to read one of the National Federation for the Blinds NFB resolutions was to put a lawsuit together to try and make every app accessible. While I would dream of a world where this could be the case logically I don’t get it. Plus why not make the same resolution towards Microsoft and Google don’t they not make phones as well? They upset me only doing things for money not the end result of betterment for blind people I could bring up numerous examples, but I digress.

Recently for home use I bought a MacBook Air. I love it. I don’t know why I waited so long actually I do. I bought a Mac Minnie in 2012, and thought I would love it. Tim it is a box that is so small, but the drawback to it is without a screen Voiceover doesn’t work well. It comes across with a busy message. It was disappointing that I had to by a screen with it, because I just wanted small and simple. I am glad I tried again because my air is amazing. I live in Louisville and my parents live near Fort Wayne Indiana so on Christmas I facetimed them from my Mac. I answer messages on it, take calls from it, and actually get work done as well in fact this message I’m composing on pages. I know you may get a lot of these, but I’ve been meaning to say thank you. There are some bugs, but overall I love my experience and not having to pay thousands of dollars for less technology like we had to do in the older days from things not being accessible. When I went to school for a simple word processer that kept losing my files it cost $1500. I would carry it in my backpack to school when I was in the first grade. To think a kid these days could receive an IPad and do way more with it than I had access to its mind-blowing. I also hope now a blind person could work at an Apple support center and it is accessible today. I would love to work at Apple one day, and I hope this finds you well!

Joe

Adaptive technology on a daily basis

My last post leads me to a question I get a lot. The question is doing a lot of your devices talk? Truthfully the answer to this is no. My microwave is something the apartment through in, and I have little bump dots on it marking the buttons I press frequently. Mine looks like a t sort of. I have a dot on the 2 5 8 0 start clear and add 30 seconds. My oven is the same I have a dot on plus or minus bake start and stop. Basically the temperature is done off memory. I know it starts at 350 and goes up or down by 10. I use my IPad for a timer actually, and my finger to check if something is done. Depending on what it is I can use a fork or feel the texture as well. Meat is a good example of this.

I use my phone and IPad a lot for clocks, because they’re always on me. I hate those talking clocks. The most annoying/funny thing is when you’re at a blind convention, and 20 watches go off at different times. I don’t know who invented such a dumb idea as a talking watch, but they make it so intrusive. I wonder what the time is loud ding the time is 1:35 P.M… Now everyone in your meeting or class knows you’re bored. I loved the braille watches, but if you weren’t careful the hands would move under your fingers messing up the time.

I use a color identifier sometimes which you put I’ll call it the eye of the unit on a piece of clothing it will give you the color in voice. One thing funny I remember about this product was at my old job there was a girl named Nikki who I worked with. She wanted me to see if it would say her skin was black, but it said pale pink. That provided about a weeks’ worth of comedy. The device isn’t 100% accurate, but with picking out matching outfits it at least gets you in the ball park.

As far as my TV goes I have Uverse. It is the only service I’ve used that allows for me to control the dvr with my IPhone and is accessible. Time Warner has an app, but for my area the dvr feature isn’t usable. I wish I could have a talking dvr, or that I had the ability to change settings in my TV, but for now it still remains a dream. The Apple TV is also accessible. I love it, and I enjoy it reading menus to me.

Overall the things I use on a daily basis are normal products which I make usable rather than the other way around. The IPhone has really made me less dependent on blindness only products like a bill reader. There are actually a lot of hard feelings between blind people and some of the venders, because they made tons of money off of us over the years. For example as late as 2004 a braille computer would cost $6000 and not even have a gig of storage. You could use SD cards, but for 6 grand probably should have had better specifications. The thought is that basically these companies would make a product pocketing a lot of the cost. While a braille display probably costs a grand or two there really isn’t much cost outside of that. Also it was uncovered a few years ago they’d charge us $200 to send the unit back to do a battery change. One guy opened the back of the computer and it was 6 AA batteries’s taped together. Seriously a $6000 product and you’re using AA batteries and charging people a few hundred for changing it.