Blind Bargains

Blind Bargains Qast 51: Waterfalls And Accessible Apps

This week J.J. and Joe bring you two interviews in one information-filled podcast. First up Joe sits down with BBQ Regulars Shelly and Jamie to talk ATIA. Next, J.J. has a chat with the man behind "CAPTCHA Be Gone", Christopher Toth, who gives us a demo of the new service from Accessible Apps. And if that wasn't enough... we have a tip, "Sound Off" and the odd news with the "Last Word".

Breaking News: Dan Weirich Retires

Before our ATIA coverage, we give a nod to Dan Weirich, who announced his retirement from AI Squared on Thursday. Check that link to learn a bit more about his career and listen to some past interviews we have done with him.

Interview: ATIA 2016 With Shelly Brizbin And Jamie Pauls

BB Qast Regulars, Jamie and Shelly, have returned from their Winter adventures in Orlando where they attended the annual ATIA confrence. Joe sat down with them to discuss what the event was like, what technology they saw and if they found any trends that might provide an AT inspired theme for 2016.

Interview: Christopher Toth of Accessible Apps

Accessible Apps, makers of the Chicken Nugget Twitter client and QRead among othres, is expanding their line of Windows Software with Captcha Be Gone, a subscription service designed to solve those inaccessible image tests that often block blind people from accessing websites. Chris joins J.J. to give a demo of the service and talk about what sets Captcha Be Gone apart from other solutions. Also, he lets us know how one lucky person can win a year of the service. IN addition to the websites, you can find Accessible Apps on Twitter at @accessibleapps.

TIP: Cortana Searches Google

Yes, Bing is Microsoft's search baby, but you can use the Windows 10 built-in voice assistant to search Google. J.J. explains how its done in this week's tip.

Sound Off:

This week the comments came directly from emails sent to Here are a few questions from Greg.

"An under reported story from last January is the free currency identifier program that started in January 2015. They have only given out some 3,000 of an expected and planned for 100,000. Is that because there was lack of need or a poor job of spreading the news? Makes it knd of hard to show that paper money not being accessible is a hardship for lots of people.

Another big story from 2015 is that the entire line of samsung smart tvs have fully accessible menus and EPG. Many other mainstream products with wi-fi controls are becoming accessible through their smart phone apps, similar to the iDevices you sell, pressure cookers, some washing machines, coffee makers and so forth. It would be great if there was a clearing house of information about what main stream products are accessible. that's my 2 cents,
greg austin."

We did touch on the money identifier program early on in BBQ's initial run with our debut episode that featured our Top Ten of 2014.
Greg might be right though in suggesting that the program may not be reaching everyone it could. We hope that his mention of it brings it back into conversation with our listeners and others on social media. As for TVs, Samsung is one of the largest makers of HDTVs. They have several product lines and various models on sale at any given time. Moreover, they tend to leave last year's model out in the retail channel. So finding a Smart TV that sports accessible features isn't always a simple task. Especially if you don't have a lot of electronic shops around you. We'll take a look around, however, the new Ultra HDTV sets are about to hit the stores and we don't know if those newer units will have the same access as those mentioned above. next, Nathan has a question that we hope others out there can answer for us. Because our answers were not that good.

"Hello JJ:

I was wondering if you know of an accessible app that will enable me to insert highlights and notes and export these into a Word document? VoiceDream seems ideal, but when combined with a Braille Display, it is impossible to select text only via word, which is laborious, at best. At the moment, I am using a manual Brailler to take notes of important points, but I am curious if any book can be marked up like sighted people do?

Does the Blaze ET from Hims allow the insertion of custom notes? According to Hims, it does not, but am unsure why.

Thanks for your assistance,


If anyone has an answer to Nathan's questions, send it along to us via Twitter, email or drop it in the comments section below these very show notes. Finally, Carol writes in with an auditory opinion.

"JJ & Joe,
I LOVE your podcast! I have been listening since the fall of last year and look forward each week to your entertaining approach to providing news and commentary on assistive technology related to blind & visually impaired users, which I am one (although I'm not a very good one). I am a Teacher of the Blind and Visually imapred as well here in New Mexico. I am writing to ask when a braille display w/ a QWERTY keyboard for iOS devices/Mac OS devices will cme out?
And, JJ sounds like he'd look more like David Bowie & Joe sounds like he'd look ore like Glenn Fry, is this ture? (just kidding:)
Thanks for your hard work and keep up the fantastic job!
Carol Begay Green"

Hmm, both J.J. and Joe whish they were as talented as those guys. Sadly, they missed out on that and their looks. Although joe has seen David Bowie in concert twice and remarks that the Starman was taller than his cohost. Unfortunetly, joe saw Don Henley in the 80s and he wasn't sure about his height in order to verify if he could see the singer eye to eye.

Last Word

Speed, money and food make up the bulk of this week's offerings.
World's fastest mobility scooter hits record 107.6 mph
How much? Super Bowl beer prices go viral - and nobody can quite get over them
Family Guy recently spoke about the stadium consession stand experience

We have a little more than a month to go before the team sets off to the West Coast for CSUN. However we have a bunch of stuff on tap before we head out to San Diego. Over the next few weeks we'll briefly revisit the Xbox One, talk to the Amazon Echo and possibly a surprise or two along the way. Stay tuned!

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Category: News
Displaying 3 comments.
MattFromFlorida Sunday, 14-Feb-2016 11:02 AM ET:

Well. I will commend him for what he is doing to help us have an option for solving captures! This being said: I have to disagree with him on what he is saying is setting him apart from Rumola! To start with Rumola is just as fast and it is cross platform and in fact you can use it on any browser with an internet connection using the bookmark feature. So this makes it easy to use without it being a add on. Also Rumola can be use as add on with certain browsers if you choose to go that way! I prefer the bookmark feature myself. Also the cost ! the cost of his service for the average blind user is out the top of the roof! The cost of 3 bucks month and maybe more is just so un realistic . Yes if you have a business where you could do a tax write off on it possible this might be something to look at! But when you have something like Rumola out there at 99 cent for 50 to 100 captures and it is good for a year. This just makes this not a very good option for most blind users his program CAPTCHA! Especially with most blind users on a very tight budget and possible no job! Now you can still use fire fox and Web Visum with older version of fire fox from version 44 and below as well as the portable version and just stop the updates for Firefox. Especially if all you are doing it for is for solving captures only. It would be different if Fire fox was your main Browser! So while I have to commend him I have to totally disagree with him! JMO! Matt

certdoctor Tuesday, 16-Feb-2016 10:15 AM ET:

Nice job guys as always. Rock on!

Bargain Hound Sunday, 21-Feb-2016 2:34 PM ET:

Hi, guys, great job, as always. Not only have I never had a problem explaining TTS or the screen reader concept to a sighted person, there are also quite a few TV ads featuring Siri or the android equivalent. Here is one hilarious Siri ad. Beth

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Joe Steinkamp is no stranger to the world of technology, having been a user of video magnification and blindness related electronic devices since 1979. Joe has worked in radio, retail management and Vocational Rehabilitation for blind and low vision individuals in Texas. He has been writing about the A.T. Industry for 15 years and podcasting about it for almost a decade.

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