Guest Post: Must-Have Blindness Related Assistive Tech Podcasts, February 1, 2019

Must-Have Blindness Assistive Tech Podcasts

As Determined by

GTT Participant’s

Revised on February 1, 2019


To stay in touch with the blind world of accessible and assistive technology GTT participants refer frequently to the following list of podcasters.  Some we go to just to hear what’s new, what’s coming, what does or doesn’t work, and some we go to when we want to learn how to do a task, set-up a device or how to use an app.  Either way, these are our collective go-to podcasts for your consideration.  Please don’t think that you have to agree, and if you have others not yet included in this list please share them and they will be included.  The list is alphabetical and not by importance.


Thanks goes out to those GTT participants who helped make this list a little more complete.


  1. Accessibility Moving Forwards Podcast, for interesting interviews and assistive technology presentations.
  2. Airacast with Jonathan Mosen, for interviews, Agent and Explorer features and news about Aira.
  3. AMI Audio Live, for blindness related radio programs on AMI Audio.
  4. AppleVis, for learning how to, and for the news related to all things Apple.
  5. AT Banter Podcast by Canadian Assistive Technology, which consists of interviews with interesting people in the blind and multi-disabled assistive tech worlds.
  6. Audio Pizza, by and for the Blind, audio reviews and tutorials on the things we’re passionate about. Assistive tech from Apple’s Mac & iOS to reviews of the latest bespoke devices.
  7. Blind Abilities, for learning how to, and for the news related to all things assistive tech.
  8. Blind Bargains Audio, for learning how to, and for the news related to all things assistive tech.
  9. CNIB, Blind Wide Open Podcast, for presentations and interviews about blindness. Kim Kilpatrick was featured on January 8, 2019 talking about GTT.
  10. CNIB, Venture Zone Podcast, which seems to be interviews with blind entrepreneurs
  11. Comments On, Blind Vet Tech Quick Guides, for learning how to use all manner of apps and devices.
  12. Cool Blind Tech, it has over 400 episodes available, and appears to not have added anything new since August 2018.
  13. Devon Wilkins operates three podcasts related to blindness, Guide Dogs and our first love, old time radio, and they are called: Insight Peterborough; Spotlight On Assistance Dogs; and Canadians in Old Time Radio.
  14. Double Tap, an AMI Audio Show dedicated to blindness assistive tech interviews.
  15. Eyes on Success, a weekly, half hour radio show / podcast covering a wide variety of topics of interest to the visually impaired.
  16. FS Cast by Freedom Scientific giving you all the news about JAWS, ZoomText and Fusion.
  17. IACast, Making Success Accessible!
  18. iHabilitation by Tom Dekker, which is an iOS training podcast offering paid training sessions along with some free episodes.
  19. InTouch, a BBC interview podcast dealing with blindness and low vision issues.
  20. Kelly and Company, an AMI Audio program that features some assistive tech segments, local reporting and other blindness related interviews.
  21. Main Menu, ACB Radio, for the news related to all things assistive tech and blindness.
  22. Mystic Access, for free tutorials, helpful hints and news about the online and home-study courses they sometimes offer on a fee-for-service basis.
  23. Parallel, Relay FM, an interview podcast featuring many experts and innovators in the blind/tech world by Shelly Brisban. She is the author of the series of books titled, iOS Access for All, and is herself vision impaired.
  24. RNIB Tek Talk, for news on the blind assistive tech world.
  25. Seminars at Hadley, for hour long presentations, discussions and interviews related to assistive tech.
  26. TedTalks, consisting of several separate podcasts related to Education, Health, News and Politics, Society and Culture, and Technology, which all must be searched for and subscribed to individually.
  27. Technology Podcasts, NCBI from Ireland, Working for people with sight loss.
  28. The Canadian Council of the Blind Podcast, just because I have a couple of episodes on there, and the CCB Health and Fitness program has many more than that.
  29. The Tech Doctor Blog and Podcast, which posts new episodes infrequently, and that is very good, all-be-it completely Apple ecosystem based.
  30. Victor Reader Stream Information, which is infrequently updated with new material.
  31. Woodbridge, David, iSee – Using various technologies from a blind person’s perspective, for learning how to use many apps and devices.


Thx, Albert



Useful resource for everyone all about labelling on the GTT national call last week.

All about labeling, and identification. 

November 11, 2015. 

There were 20 participants on this very lively and useful conference call.

I am always amazed and really enjoy all of these calls with all of the wonderful information that comes to us from all across the country.

Sometimes the blind/low vision community seems small and scattered but it feels larger and much more unified when we all Get Together.

I want to thank everyone for all of your participation and ideas.

Wherever you have a GTT, (Whether in person or on a call) thank you for all you give and share with others.

A huge thank you to Lorne from the Edmonton GTT group.

He provided me with many e-mail resources on this call which I include in the notes below.

Lorne Weber is blind. He is the accessibility specialist for Norquest College and a volunteer on the GTT Edmonton team.

Also Donna Jodhan sent along a blog post about locator dots which I have incorporated into these notes as well as it is very relevant to this topic.

Once again, thank you all for your sharing and generosity.



Albert talk about the Orcam. 

OrCam optical character recognition, face recognition head mounted device. 

The web site is

Camera is on the right arm of the glasses.  Behind it is a bone conducting speaker. Just around your right ear. There is a processing unit 6 inches long, a inch wide. 4 hours of continuous use.  One trigger button, up and down volume and power. 

Can set up menus with trigger plus volume. 

Face recognition.  Pretty accurate with face recognition. It was tested with the same person wearing and then not wearing glasses and it still picked them up.

It cannot pick people up from a distance. 

It is Light dependent and people have to be within 5 or 6 feet of the person in order for it to recognize them.  It cannot recognize them as they come into a room or across the room and your face/orcam would need to be pointing directly at them.

  If there is a certain  product you want to identify regularly,  take picture of it and every time that product is there, it will identify it. You can hold a book or piece of paper in front of you and it reads. Albert did a demonstration.  Can read books.  Cannot save the file and read later.  If want to read part of a sheet, hold your finger near your face point it at the sheet it will hopefully read.  

It was able to Read text of buttons  on a washing machine. 

Can it pick up text on a screen. Yes it does and on the iphone screen.  

Does KNFB reader work on a screen? Yes. 

how does the weight feel?  The weight is not heavy but the cable coming off the back is bothersome. 

There was talk about Google glass and possible similar products.

Google glass was banned for privacy reasons because people did not like others taking pictures of them without their knowing it.

It is interesting to think about this in relation to people who are blind and needing to take pictures of things in order to identify them.


Google glass has a head phone jack. 

We talked about how expensive iphones are and talked about people being able to now use ipod touches for almost everything.

The new ipod touch which came out in the summer has a camera which is as good as the iphone 6.  Also the processor is as good as the iphone 6 as well.

This means that for much less cost, you can now use an ipod touch for almost everything and you don’t need to incur the monthly fees of a cell phone.

Wherever there is a wifi connection you can use the ipod touch.

Use it for everything except making calls or GPS.

Fongo gives you a phone number for Ipod touch.

It is voice over internet calling service.

You can make free calls as long as you are within range of your wifi.

You can also use it for text messaging if you pay a small fee.

You can have a voicemail box too and it gives you a phone number.

Note: Kim signed up for fongo.  The app itself is accessible but the sign up process is not very accessible.  There are captias that are not accessible and also a few check boxes that were not readable with voiceover on the I device.

Kim is contacting the company to point this out to them.

The new ipod touch also reads well with KNFB reader but KNFB reader costs over 100 dollars.


Voice is a free alternative to KNFB reader. 

fopydo provides a fairly inexpensive stand to use with your phone or device for scanning pages and products. 

My fitness pal app for iphone is not necessarily designed to read bar codes but it does a good job for bar code reading.

Crowdvis is a new IOS app that is similar to bemyeyes in that it puts you in touch with people who can give you descriptions of things.

It is an app that is similar to a facetime or skype call in that you  are using your video camera and hearing audio of the other person who is helping you.


Pen friend is used for many purposes by many people on the call.

They include:


Labeling Seed packets and also labeling the markers for what is growing in your garden.

Use pen friend also for labelling food items.

Put a label on the top of a spice jar and keep the lid each time you replace the spice.

PUt Put the label on a card before putting it on something in your freezer.

Put a label on a magnet before sticking on a can.

For clothes Can buy water proof ones last up to 70 washes. 

Pen friend labeller can also label chords, label cd’s, and anything around the house, also labelling medications.

Possibly use double sided tape to stick braille labels on plastic bottles such as medications.


We talked about locator dots.

Futureaids has a pack of locator dots that come in all different shapes and sizes.

Donna Jodhan told us that she has used them for many purposes.

CNIB sells them. and look for the shop.

Futureaids has them very inexpensively and seems to have more variety.

 What do people  use the different shaped ones for?

One option is for marking stoves or appliances where there are arrows.

Use the triangular ones to mark the up and down arrows.

If you are at the gym or other place where you would regularly need to place locator dots on a machine that others use, (examples washers/dryers in  an apartment building, equipment at a fitness facility, etc, you might be able to create or have someone with sight create a sheet of plastic built with locator dots  so that you could put it over the panel. 

We talked about colour identifyers and colour identification apps.

The Colorino Color identeifyer unit has also a light detector and some said it is very good and easy to use and has lasted a long time.

Another person had the Colour reader by cobalt. 

There are a few apps that can work well but are not fool proof.

Aid colors is the one Kim uses.

She also uses the app called light detector for determining whether or not lights are on.

We talked about labelling clothes as colour identifier apps and systems do not always work well.

One good way of labelling clothes is to use Brass safety pins. They have to be Good quality. 

We talked about labelling stove tops and how some of the flat stove tops are not as accessible.

Someone suggested using a template to put over the stove top.

Solid state stove top is easier to feel. 

WE talked about the speed dots screen protectors for I devices.  No one on the call was using these.  Some people like them and others not so much.

Here are the excellent resources from Lorne Weber.

Additional Resources

GTT National Conference Call

November 11, 2015


iPhone technology that will puff out tactile buttons on the screen of your phone and then will flatten out again once the keyboard disappears is from a company called Tactus Technology,

they’re offering it in the form of a case you put your phone into (currently sold out), and it’s called Phorm (spelled with the PH). you can find out more

information if you go to the following website and go to the 4th heading down from the top where they have a frequently asked questions section:


A free app you can get that will give you a free local inbound and outbound Canadian phone number + voicemail, and will let you make unlimited long

distance calls across Canada is called Fongo, you can download the app here:


However be warned, if you sign up using the app on the phone there is a CAPTCHA. if you opt to sign up for the free pc or Mac option, then you can fill

out all the information on your computer using Jaws, etc., so you could use Firefox and the Web Vism plugin for solving CAPTCHAS.


Another app I suggested as a free alternative to the KNFB Reader app is called Voice – Take Pictures & Have Them Read/Spoken In Many

Languages with Fast OCR, and it can be found here:


and here is Applevis’s excellent page describing it:


and there is even a demonstration of it from Applevis:


We discussed the Six Dot Braille Labeller, a  new cheaper alternative to a full Braille Embosser for making braille labels, this is it:


it seems the PenFriend Labeller is quite popular with GTT groups.  CNIB is selling it for $199 here:


And here are some demos of it:



During the call we tried to remember the name of the cheaper alternative to the PenFriend labeller that Aroga sells. It’s called the AnyBook Reader, made by Franklin

Electronics, for $40, more info is here:

My appologies to the people at applevis and singing their praises.

It was brought to my attention by someone on the team at applevis, that we published an article of theirs on this blog which did not give them credit for its creation or mention their web site.

I have taken the article down.

I try to be very conscious to always give authors and publishers credit for their articles and resources and will continue to do so.

I think the people at applevis for bringing this to my attention and also for all of the great work they do.

Their content is ever expanding with user guides, podcasts, apps, and much more.

I suggest you check their site and content regularly at

If  you are new to mac or IOs, they have wonderful guides and resources to get you started.

Thank you applevis.  You are an amazing resource and I check what is new on your site on a regular basis.