ATFAQ012 – Q1 Where can I find a grant for a wheelchair

first_imgPodcast: Play in new window | DownloadATFAQ012-08-24-15Show notes:Panel: Brian Norton, Mark Stewart, Belva Smith, and Wade WinglerQ1. Where can I find a grant for a wheelchair accessible van?Q2. Are there learning disability apps that will take picture and read text to me?Q3. Can I make my computer stop playing music while NVDA is reading my screen?Q4. What is the best noise canceling microphone for Dragon Naturally Speaking?Q5. Is there an app that takes pictures of business cards and enters the information into my contacts?Q6. What technology can help a student with low vision read the chalkboard from a distance in the classroom?Q7. What advice would you give a young person wanting to go into assistive technology as a career?Send your questions: 317-721-7124 | [email protected] | Tweet using——-transcript follows ——WADE WINGLER: Welcome to ATFAQ, Assistive Technology Frequently Asked Questions with your host Brian Norton, Manager of Clinical Assistive Technology at Easter Seals Crossroads. This is a show in which we address your questions about assistive technology, the hardware, software, tools and gadgets that help people with disabilities lead more independent and fulfilling lives. Have a question you’d like answered on our show? Send a tweet with the hashtag #ATFAQ, call our listener line at 317-721-7124, or send us an email at [email protected] The world of assistive technology has questions, and we have answers. And now here’s your host, Brian Norton.BRIAN NORTON: Hello, and welcome to ATFAQ episode 12. We’re glad that you’re joining us today. I want to welcome our panel. First in the room over there always is Belva Smith. She’s the team lead for our vision team here at Easter Seals Crossroads. Belva, you want to say hey?BELVA SMITH: Hi, guys.BRIAN NORTON: And next in the room is Mark Stewart. He’s our team lead for the mobility and cognition team here at Easter Seals Crossroads. Mark?MARK STEWART: Hey, everybody.BRIAN NORTON: And lastly, but not least, Wade, the director of our technology program here at Easter Seals crossroads and the host of the popular AT podcast, AT Update. Wade is here.WADE WINGLER: Howdy, everybody.BRIAN NORTON: And I’m your host Brian Norton. I’m the manager of our clinical assistive technology program. We are so glad that you are joining us here today for episode 12.Just for those folks who are new listeners, want to kind of go over some few things for you. Just how the show works, the kind of format for the show, it’s just a question and answer show where we take your assistance technology questions, and we stick them in our memory bank and we try to work out what our answer is for those. If you guys have questions, please send us your questions. We have a listener line set up. That’s 317-721-7124. We have an email, [email protected] Or you can also send us a tweet with the hashtag #ATFAQ. Take some time. If you’ve got some questions, please send them our way and we’ll be sure to get those in our shows to come.Before we go on to the first question of the day, I wanted to first of all do a call back to our wildcard question of the week last week. Each week we get a question that we are not prepared for, and Wade threw one out to us, and we kind of tossed around some ideas, and I think we have some conclusion to that. Wade?WADE WINGLER: So last show, the wildcard question was working with somebody that’s one of our coworkers who is a new adaptive driver. She uses a wheelchair, and she drives a van. She drives from her wheelchair so she drives in a ramp, she pulls up to the steering wheel, locks in the chair, and she drives. The question was, how does she handle her purse? Because when she’s cruising around here in the building, her purse is usually sitting on the footplate up her wheelchair. But when she gets into the van, she has a hard time physically lifting it up and putting it in the passenger seat or somewhere else. So we kicked around the number of ideas that were just suggestions that we had here.Between the time that we recorded the show and were recording the show, I got a chance to spend time with Laura figuring out some of that stuff out. We actually did two solutions that I thought were kind of fun. The first one was dealing with her purse. What we ended up doing was I went to a local big box store and bought a luggage strap, so the kind of big strap you would wrap around the suitcase to keep it from exploding in the bottom of an airplane when you’re out and about. I adjusted that so it was about half of its normal, full circumference, and I put that on the head rest of the passenger seat of the van so that as she was driving into the passenger side of the van on the ramp behind the passenger seat, that strap was a loop hanging there in front of her. And then we got a really big carabiner, it’s probably an 8 inch or a 10 inch carabiner that had a foam rubber piece on the opening part of the carabiner, the little snap. She now drives in, grabs her purse, takes the handle of her purse and pushes that carabiner on the handles, and then when she continues in to the van, she just kind of gives her purse a shove and it hangs out the back of that passenger seat while she did her driving. Then when she comes back out, she’s facing outward going out the door, she does the same thing. It hits are right about her knees or so, she on clips it, and then she said that back where she wanted to go. So it worked out pretty well. The total cost of the solution was $10 or less. It’s working pretty well.The other thing that we did was kind of fun, and I don’t think we talked about on the show. She was having a little bit of a hard time using her key card to get into the employee entrance here in our building. It’s one of those RFID cards we have to wave it within 4 to 6 inches of the entryway to make it happen. She was having a hard time reaching. It was a little bit high for her. We ended up putting the key card on a selfie stick, those little telescoping things that you used to hold your cell phone away from you. We need to put putting her key card on a selfie stick and not taking into the door. I don’t do a lot of job accommodation anymore, so it’s kind of fun for me to get back in the trenches and do some low-tech solution like that.BELVA SMITH: Hey, Wade, I have a question.WADE WINGLER: Yeah.BELVA SMITH: what is a carabiner?WADE WINGLER: A carabiner is a little thing that rock climbers use to attach themselves to ropes, so they are kind of oblong, and you see people use them on the keychain or backpacks and all kinds of stuff. That’s a carabiner.BELVA SMITH: Okay.WADE WINGLER: Mark probably has one. I bet Mark owns a hundred carabiners. If he doesn’t have one with them, I’d be surprised.BRIAN NORTON: That’s a great solution. That’s pretty cool. I’ve done similar things with the key tags to get into parking garages and different kinds of things. One of the things I used before was an electric tape measure. We took a little card sleeve and put it over top of the electric tape measure. What happens if you press a button, and the battery operated tape measure will throw the tape out. Of course it’s pretty thick because if you’re using a battery operated one, you don’t want it to crack in half halfway through whatever you’re measuring. The person I was working with was able to extend that out the window and then just retract it right back in with the same button. That’s pretty cool. It’s a great solution.WADE WINGLER: Not bad. It was fun.BRIAN NORTON: Great.MARK STEWART: Throws the big box store workers for a loop too. They’re great about it, but describe that project again? When you’re working on one of these projects, it’s fun.WADE WINGLER: It’s so funny because I felt compelled when I was buying the selfie stick to say it’s not for me, it’s for a friend, because I don’t want a selfie stick.***BRIAN NORTON: Our first question is an email from Mr. Buck.WADE WINGLER: Hey, Brian, how does somebody email us a question or get a question to us?BRIAN NORTON: They can email us at [email protected] Feel free to give us an email. This one came through that method. The question is, I was wondering, can I receive some information on how to apply for a disability grant for an accessible handicap van. I just saw that after the group.MARK STEWART: I think Wade is going to speak to this some. I’ll speak to some things that’ll probably be a little bit of a difference track.First of all, I can’t quite give you the address, but if you literally Google “funding your accessible van with a grant”, there happens to be a site that comes up that I think ultimately is from — it’s a “.com”. I think it’s ultimately from a vendor of vans. But it’s a good read. It speaks to being proactive and talking through a number of tips and tricks having to do with repairing for the process, getting yourself organized, how to advocate for yourself , a little bit of what it’s about, what to expect, generalization with regards to the approach.Before I hand it over to Wade or others, one of the things I’ll say is that if you look at it from the standpoint of wheelchair vendors, we don’t know the exact person asking the question, but perhaps there are more folks out there with wheelchairs or power wheelchairs Then there are with fans, so the vans are much more expensive, so acquiring the van concept might be a little less well-known than for wheelchairs. If you play off of the concept for wheelchairs, I think you’ll have a lot of success with the van. That idea of finding your local resources, your reputable clinicians perhaps at a rehabilitation hospital who run a wheelchair clinic that do complex rehabilitation evaluations, they’re going to be very likely a good clinical resource, not only for the wheelchairs, but then for the vans and other medically necessary tools like that, that often are part of the process that you would drive a wheelchair into. So those folks that know about wheelchair and wheelchair assessments may very well know about accessible vans as well.And I think I take step one, trying to find those clinicians, and if you can find those clinicians, then ask them specifically who a reputable vendor, for-profit vendor is of these vans. If they really identify those good folks that are in the business of selling the vans, now you’re going to be able to go to the vendor and get some really good information. You know you’re going to a vendor who, yes they are making a living doing this, but yes they do this by the rules and everything is on the up and up. Part of their business is helping people procure funding for these things because they need to often secure the funding from government or from grants, because a lot of the times the people that buy these vans can’t afford them themselves. They actually usually have representatives to help you through the process. More than you might expect, again identify the best source from the clinicians, then talk to that ultimate source, and you might be very surprised at how much information they have, not just about different shapes and makes of vans, but about how to go to this whole process. That’s my piece on it.BRIAN NORTON: Thanks, Mark.WADE WINGLER: It’s interesting because this is probably the number one information and referral question that we get here in our program. In fact, Nicole who is on our staff, you guys all know well, she tells me that this is the number one thing that she feels frustrated with because she doesn’t have good answers. The question is always the same, how do I get a grant to buy an accessible vehicle, or more specifically a van. I don’t think there are magic answers to that. It’s not quite that simple. Mark, I think your advice — you didn’t say this, but it’s really follow the money. This figure out who makes their living providing this kind of equipment. They’re going to know where the funding is. That’s true in the world of disability services in general. If you can find a service provider who’s successfully providing a service, and they are an accredited professional kind of group, they’re going to know where the funding sources are and usually be pretty good at helping you find funding for that.To that end, I would say if you’re looking for an accessible van or a mobility dealer, I always recommend the people look at NMEDA, which is the National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association. In our world, they would kind of be the equivalent of RESNA or ATIA. They are the group who does training and they are kind of the industry association. They can help you find accredited dealers and professionals were going to know how to find the local rep.NMEDA also did a contest last year, where I think, and I’m not looking at the sheet right now, where they give away as a contest a van, or funding for a van to do that. What I often find is that wheelchair accessible vans and accessible to petition in general is put together by a blend of funding sources. Sometimes you’ll find that the actual vehicle is paid for by one pot of money, and the modifications are paid for by another pot of money. My experience here in Indiana is that often times the family or the individual will end up taking out a loan on the van themselves and then maybe get some assistance from vocational rehabilitation or the Veterans Administration or another funding source who might do the modifications. Maybe the van’s paid for by one, but the hand controls and the Left or the ramp or those kinds of things I paid for by somebody else.We operate the alternative financing program here in the state of Indiana. Currently we don’t provide loans for vehicles. We don’t have enough — our AFP program isn’t robust enough, isn’t well funded enough to do that. But there are a lot of AFP programs around the United States that do that. In fact, for a lot of those bank loan programs, wheelchair vans is the number one things they do loans on. So that’s a pretty good way to get a loan. It’s not a grant. It’s not a give. But it’s a loan you have to pay back.The one place that I know is pretty routinely providing the kind of foundation funding is the Ralph Braun Foundation. We have had the Ralph Braun folks on our show a couple of times, either for a full interview or just a drop in segment. They had a foundation where a few times a year they open up a grant funding cycle, and they’ll pay for a portion of a vehicle. I’m looking at their site right now, and it says that their funding cycles will fund up to 25% of the cost of the actual mobility transportation equipment with a cap of $5,000. So the idea is that people who have kind of accumulated most of the money can go ahead and top it off with this kind of a grant. And then it said if the selected equipment is a wheelchair accessible vehicle, then the grant will cover up to 25% of the vehicle conversion or the wheelchair lift. It sounds like depending on whether you’re paying for the vehicle or you’re paying for the conversion, they have different levels of funding.They run a few funding cycles a year. It says that the current funding cycle is closed, and we’re recording in the middle of August right now, August 2015. It says that their next funding cycle will be open on October 1 through October 31 of 2015. And you just go to the website and you can complete an application. The funding cycle happens a few times of year and is open for about a month. Their website is We will pop a link in the show notes and you can go and apply there. This is one of those tricky things. Finding grants to buy these vehicles is something that there’s just not an easy answer for.BELVA SMITH: Wade, does VR ever cover that?WADE WINGLER: As you know what the answer with any “does VR cover that” question, depends, depends, depends. In my many years, I’ve seen them do it and I’ve seen them not do it.BELVA SMITH: I’ve seen it done once but only once, and that was a couple of years ago, I mean many years ago actually. So I didn’t know if that was something that they kind of backed away from doing.WADE WINGLER: And that varies from state to state and counselor to counselor and case to case. The other funding that sometimes can pitch in there is there are a number of Social Security work incentives and set of side programs that will allow you to take a portion of your earned income and set it up so that it doesn’t count against your disability benefits so that you could take some of your funding, some of your earned income, and try to use it toward a van.BRIAN NORTON: And VR, that’s in regards to vocational rehabilitation for those that may not know. Excellent. That’s great.MARK STEWART: Certainly with VR it’s going to be tied in. It’s important to know because, boy, with a van, there’s so much hope. If you look, you’ll hear the stories about people providing it for VR, but certainly it has to be there at the tied in with an employment goal. That necessity needs to be there.BELVA SMITH: Right.***BRIAN NORTON: Don’t forget to send us your questions. You can send a tweet at with the hashtag #ATFAQ. We’ll get your questions and hopefully work those into a future show. Next question today is, I have a learning disability and I’m looking for apps on the iPad that can assist me with reading and reading comprehension. Specifically I’m interested in apps that will let me read text on my mobile device and also take a picture of an item with text on it and then have that text read to me as well. A couple of different things, just regular old text on the iPad screen, but then also being able to take a picture of something and have it read back to you as well. I’ll just throw that out to the group.MARK STEWART: I’ll start off if that’s all right. Just a little bit of a foundational set up here. Why might these things help? We’re talking about the concept of multisensory approach to learning, auditory learning, kinesthetic learning, visual spatial learning, to include things like what seems to be going on here, an issue with interpretation of two-dimensional symbols and text. Giving the person credit, they seem to be jumping in and saying I think that I need this. Let’s assume that they are exactly right and they have a very good instinct for it. What they are kind of letting us know is that they seem to do better by listening, so that auditory feedback seems to be something that they are much more comfortable with, seems to help more while they tend to have some real struggles when they’re just looking at text on paper traditionally. We’ll start speaking to things that can help with that.From a technical standpoint, let me set a little bit of the foundation, what we’re going to be talking about with whatever app it is, and there are also computer-based programs, we are talking probably across the board about taking advantage of optical character recognition software, OCR software. What that does in general terms is take image type data and turn it into mechanically interpretable text that computer programs can pick up and manipulate. It can manipulate it in different kinds of ways.What we are not talking about here, but just a little bit of an example of another way that OCR software can be used, so now that text can be identified , you can use it in PDF files that are searchable. You can use it so that you can go there and pick letters, pick words, and go through a long document and find what’s there, where a non-searchable PDF is a little more image-based. You may not be able to do that.In this case, what we’re taking advantage of OCR software for is to be able to recognize text, letters, words, sentences, paragraphs and bring in synthesized voices, robotic voices — but they are getting better and better these days, and they are starting to let folks know it’s not a total wonderful same-as-human voice, but it’s human-ish, and that’s one of the trade-offs here. But using synthesized voices, using that OCR software to bring in synthesized voices to essentially read what’s on the document. So you can take something that’s image-based, use OCR, and now have it read back to you. While the human sounding voice — it’s arguable how human sounding it is. One of the things that’s happened in the last five years is that, even on devices like an iPad or an iPhone or Android-based phone with the smaller processor, it’s still pretty darn accurate. You go back before five years, and one of the things was that, well, yes the technology exists, but it’s really not accurate. It’s reading the wrong thing. It’s giving gibberish. If you have a learning disability, that can be really counterintuitive.WADE WINGLER: Yeah.MARK STEWART: Again, I won’t even product names. We don’t directly try to bash certain types of products, but we give our opinion here. Even today, if you were to ask me what I think about those scanning pens that just have a little processor chip in them — because that could be an answer to this question anyway. You take hard copy and you kind of role the scanner pen over the text, and it uses OCR software to try to quickly interpret it and give you a little bit of some auditory feedback. There is a real accuracy issue. That’s not the case typically with a number of these apps, and certainly PC-based seem to be working very well. So there is some foundation.BRIAN NORTON: Absolutely. A couple of things that go along with that and would actually read that text to you, the first one I use a lot on my iPad is something that I think we may have talked about in the last couple of shows. There are two features, there’s Speech Selection, which is just built right into my iPad, and is also Speak Screen, which is built in there as well. Both of those really do a great job of, if you have content on the screen, of getting down to and reading it back to the person. Speak Selection has a couple of features where you have to preset those back in the menu system under settings, but Speak Screen actually will bring up a little menu bar for you where you can actually speed up the speech, slow it down, you can jump back or forward through different content, but you can pause it, those kinds of things, and that’s a really useful tool. I use that quite a bit for longer messages or any kind of webpage that I’m trying to read down through and trying to be busy doing other things. I use those quite a bit. Another app that works very similar to that, I’ve long loved the app called — now I’m forgetting that app.BELVA SMITH: That’s all right. While you think of that, I’ve got one. We don’t know the age group for this person, and this is primarily for someone who is a little bit younger. But I have used this app, and it’s pretty good for free. Reading Comprehension by Peekaboo. Very good app.WADE WINGLER: I didn’t know that one.BELVA SMITH: Did you think of yours yet?BRIAN NORTON: Prismo is the app I was thinking of. I had the P in my mind. I could just not pull up the word Prismo. That’s a great app for the secondary thing where you actually take a picture of something, it can then scan it, OCR it, and you can then load it into any a variety of different apps that will do a lot of the reading for you, or it’ll read it internally in the app itself, but you can send it to other apps that do a better job of getting that multisensory approach that you were talking about earlier.MARK STEWART: Prismo is a good one. Our colleague David Fry has been pushing that forward and really working with it on a couple of recent cases. He’s been talking about it and I think has been really pleased.I can keep rolling here little bit too. I don’t think it’s a sin to do the step-by-step approach here, use two items that are dedicated to their task, the Cam Scanner app, I really like a lot, works really well, works really efficiently. You can scan to PDF. Now you have a PDF, now you bring in a real favorite with regards to this auditory feedback and more, the Voice Dream app. So now you just pick up a PDF with Voice Dream, and a Voice Dream is getting better and better, and I think it’s one of the most highly rated ones out there and is one that I work with and really like. You can also get highlighting along with that. We are expanding off of this person’s question, but again the multisensory approach to learning concept. Possibly this person would also like to get a little bit of highlighting focus with it so they can attend to a little bit better while they are listening to it.BELVA SMITH: Is that both Android and iOS? Do we know?BRIAN NORTON: I believe Voice Dream —MARK STEWART: I want to say it’s both. I know it’s iOS.WADE WINGLER: Both.BELVA SMITH: Good.MARK STEWART: By the way, expanding again, but Voice Dream just came out with a Voice Dream Writer. They’re not the only one to have it, but they have a program — if we were throwing darts here, we would guess that this could help this person a little bit. If they were working on writing, now they get the auditory feedback during the writing process and have a little bit of word prediction.BELVA SMITH: They’ve got a three pack going on right now.MARK STEWART: Today?BELVA SMITH: You get three different apps for $19.99 or something like that.MARK STEWART: There’s also Learning Ally and Book Share. The concept, those are both sites, nonprofits, that you can sign up with. You need to qualify, he need to have a qualifying disability, a significant problem with text interpretation, which would include blindness certainly. and I would prefer this person to those sites. They are both really robust sites that have been around a while. They are really legit.Learning Ally — I’m going to minimize all the good things they do, but one thing about Learning Ally is they very often use volunteers to read books, so it is a human the voice, and they have a lot of textbooks as well as other books. Book Share has a lot of books, and they take advantage of synthesized voices, and you can do the highlighting and what have you as well, but did you have to have a qualifying disability. I think Book Share in the United States is free if you qualify, and Learning Ally, I believe, is about $120 a year. They both have apps, so that directly applies to this question as well.WADE WINGLER: I don’t know if it was on your list, but we had a guest on Assistive Technology Update, and I called her an assistive technology mom-trepreneur. Her name was Kris Parmalee, and she’s here in Indianapolis, and she created an app because her son has a disability and had a hard time with spot reading, just quickly snapping a picture and having it read out loud and getting a dictionary definition of it. That app is called Lectio, and it’s about $4 or $5. I’ve been playing around with it and have not only had good experience with it myself but have any it past a few of my colleagues who are more expert in this area than I am. I’m hearing good stuff about it as well.MARK STEWART: ClaroRead has apps now for iOS and Android.BRIAN NORTON: There is ClaroRead and then there’s ClaroPDF, which I think ClaroPDF is a lot like Voice Dream and that you can use one of those traditional scanner apps that you can use to take a picture, turn it into a PDF, and then you can load it up into ClaroPDF and have it read. It does the highlighting and allows you to annotate whatever is on the screen as well, much like Voice Dream does as well. Those are both two of my very favorite apps in this area.BELVA SMITH: I think that’s both iOS and Android isn’t it? I’m pretty sure.BRIAN NORTON: I’m pretty sure.MARK STEWART: Claro is for both.***BRIAN NORTON: Don’t forget to send us your questions. You can give us a call on our listener line. That’s 317-721-7124. Give us a call and let us know if you have any assistive technology questions. Our next question that we are going to handle today says, Hi, Brian — so I’ll say hi back to this person — I have someone who is totally blind asking me about NVDA. Whenever he plays music or video on his computer, which has NVDA installed, both NVDA and the music will play at the same time. This becomes challenging. Is there some way to keep this from happening? I guess I’ll jump in —BELVA SMITH: No, no, no.MARK STEWART: You gave the answer at lunch.BELVA SMITH: We discussed this at lunch. Brian’s answer was all complicated. Mine is simple. Just disable the NVDA while you’re listening to music, and then turn it back on.BRIAN NORTON: Or vice a versa.BELVA SMITH: Do control-alt-whatever you’ve got it set in, and turn it off and then turn it back on, because the real solution could be complicated. I’ll let you go into detail about what you were going to say.BRIAN NORTON: I give people the benefit of the doubt that they love to dig deep into their computer. I believe if you go into your soundcard settings, you can actually do some things to configure the soundcard settings to keep those things from playing simultaneously and using the same resources. I had a couple of conversations with one of our techs here on our team, and he was explaining that to me, that you can dig down deep and do some changes to your soundcard. But I think the easy solution, and what really kind of makes sense. Nobody is going to want to play both things at once. You really don’t need to do that. You can simply, with a keystroke, turn it off. Either turn off your music and do NVDA, or turn off your NVDA and do your music. That really can solve the problem.WADE WINGLER: I would argue that there are times, and this isn’t —BELVA SMITH: That you need both.WADE WINGLER: — that you do. Because you’re writing a term paper and you want to have some nice Mozart very softly in the background. I can see a time where you would want both. But I think it’s pretty easy to get control over it.BRIAN NORTON: Great.***BRIAN NORTON: Next question is an email from Megan. Her question was, what is your favorite noise-canceling headset for Dragon. I’m kind of looking over here out of the corner of my eye to Mark Stewart who is our Dragon expert and microphone expert. I know he’s got some select choices for this probably.WADE WINGLER: Dragon tamer or dragonslayer?MARK STEWART: Slayer, please. When everybody is essentially as good as you are better at something, but you get to hang onto a title like that, it’s pretty cool.Number one, Plantronics Voyager UC. It’s my favorite. Bluetooth, and specifically the UC, standing for unified communication. It’s going to be a couple hundred bucks or a little less.BRIAN NORTON: Okay.MARK STEWART: Triple noise cancelling. Noise canceling is a big part of this, and it does really well with that. Also I could just say from experience it’s by far my favorite Bluetooth headset. A lot of the Bluetooth headsets I’ll avoid because, even if I want to go wireless, with regards to the person’s situation, I’ll go back to wired. But with this Bluetooth headset, it really does a nice job for most everyone. The UC has a little USB dongle, so it has its own Bluetooth drivers. It can get a little glitchy, just connecting kind of any Bluetooth headset directly to the computer, but that dongle really helps.BRIAN NORTON: I like that dongle. It’s much like a micro USB dongle which doesn’t stick out very far from your computer, usually you can leave it in a laptop and it just —MARK STEWART: Not to get technical about it, it is really helps with the connectivity quite a bit.Second, I would go VXI Blueparrott b350XT. Even better noise canceling, and just does an outstanding job as well.BELVA SMITH: How come it’s number two then?WADE WINGLER: Bigger.MARK STEWART: It’s just bigger. It may be shouldn’t be. Was Megan the actual client or just asking the question? It’s going to depend. One of the reasons I like the Plantronics, for a lot of folks, people with learning disabilities will use Dragon, in some cases people with physical disabilities will you Dragon. If you’re kind of thinking along the lines of physical disabilities, maybe they can get a headset on themselves, but there’s a little bit of a challenge to it, they’re going to be moving around a lot, they don’t want it to be too big and noticeable, but it can’t be small and flimsy and ready to fall off, the Plantronics headset really works for those folks. It is a little bigger than most Bluetooth headsets, but it goes behind the ear. It stays on really well. It is pretty darn comfortable. It has a lot of extended battery life. It just really gets a thumbs up from my consumers a lot of times as far as them saying this Bluetooth headset is different. I’ve tried Bluetooth headsets before and they keep falling out, I just can’t get it to work. This one really stays on and what have you.The Blueparrott is monaural, it’s going to be over one year and then go over the top of your head with a wire. Yeah, actually, that would stay on even better, but it’s more cumbersome for some folks and maybe a little harder to get on and off and what have you. I think if it wasn’t for the UC in the Plantronics Voyager Legend, I think I might’ve had the Blueparrott as number one anyway, but when you bring in that it is dongle, it really makes the connectivity much more user-friendly.BRIAN NORTON: I love the form factor of the Voyager over the Blueparrott. The Blueparrott is just bigger. It’s an over the head headset thing. It doesn’t take away from how quality the voice recognition can be with that particular microphone. It’s pretty darn incredible. In fact, if you want to tell listeners, Mark, how you ran across that, I thought that was just fun and interesting.MARK STEWART: I think we touched on this in a much earlier show. With the truck driver concept, it ends up that if it works for a truck driver, a long haul truck driver is out there needing to communicate well with wind noise and ending noise and all those sort of things, and you’re talking about a savvy road warrior professional, no-nonsense kind of person as well, sure enough, get the Bluetooth headsets that they use.So the Blueparrott is actually made for them. If you go to their website, that’s the foundation of that, cutting out all that noise and getting the signal quality. Whatever works, because you go into the truck stop, and the Plantronics Voyager legend that isn’t made for them at all, it’s made for cityfolk, it works great, and because of that, you’ve got these over the head. You think that does look like a clunky trucker looking Bluetooth headset. And then you’ve got this sweet little Plantronics headset there. Why? Because it rocks when you’re talking about functionality.BRIAN NORTON: That’s great.***BRIAN NORTON: just as a reminder, if you do want to send us your question, you can email us at [email protected] We’ll keep an eye out for your questions that come across there and stick them in our upcoming shows.Next question for today is an email from Josh. Josh had a question, a consumer question to pass along, so this isn’t Josh himself but a consumer of his. What is a good app to take a photo of a business card and import it directly to your contacts? I’m just wondering if anyone had a favorite app for this purpose. The consumer uses Android. Thanks for the input. They are looking for in app to be able to scan business cards.I’ll jump in there a little bit. I went and looked at a few. I obviously use iOS. We’ve talked about that in past shows. I know there are some cross-platform apps out there, one being Evernote Hello as a really great one that’s an Evernote at in where you can simply take a picture, and it does some cool things. It kind of interacts with your location and what type of meetings you’re in and things like that and will add some context to those business cards as you take pictures of them and scan them in.MARK STEWART: You totally have this. I’ll hand it right back to you, but I took a peek at this question. If somebody else saw otherwise and knows what I’m talking about but thinks that I saw it wrong, let me know. Evernote Hello, I think, has being discontinued. Evernote itself, Evernote proper is picking up this functionality.WADE WINGLER: The other thing that goes along with that, so we just totally stomped on Brian’s question here. They made some really quick changes in the last few months on this. Originally you had to use Evernote Hello and it drops it into Evernote. Now they’ve added on, you can either use Evernote, or my recommendation is to use the Scannable app which is also from Evernote. It’s a free app that you don’t even have to tell it it’s a business card. All you do is hold this app over any piece of paper, it’ll automatically scan it in, determine whether or not it’s a business card or a note or an invoice or a receipt or whatever, upload it into Evernote, and also if you have it set to do so, drop it right into your contacts on iCloud or Outlook or whatever. This is not a personal testimony, but I use that app every day, all day, for all of my business cards and receipts and stuff and it’s amazing because it drops it right in.BRIAN NORTON: What is it called again?WADE WINGLER: It’s called Scannable.MARK STEWART: Through Evernote? Is this part of that?WADE WINGLER: It is in Evernote product. I think what happened on the business side was I think this is a company that Evernote probably bought and added to their portfolio. It’s really good and it works cross platform. It ties into Evernote, either the free version or the paid version. It’s a really good app for that. You don’t have to only use it with Evernote. You can also tell it to default to sending it via email or the saving it as a PDF. I think you can tell it to pop it in to Dropbox or whatever. But that’s really become my go to scanning app in general. It really handles business cards well. It even takes funky business cards and can figure out the name and the title and the email address and drop them into the field appropriately. It is a really great job.BRIAN NORTON: Really cool. Thanks for adding that layer of knowledge to my answer. That’s great. I’ve had some experience with that other one, but I’m going to take a look at that Scannable app. That sounds really interesting to me. Another one that I have had to create with his Cam Card.BELVA SMITH: That’s the one I was going to say.BRIAN NORTON: Came Card is a pretty interesting business card scanner and reader. Essentially you can scan it in, it comes with some other add-ons as well, like you can do batch scanning, some QR code scanning. You can have what you scanned in exported to Excel and all that kind of stuff. It’s got a lot of added features in there. It’s a $.99 app. Fairly inexpensive.MARK STEWART: I haven’t started using one myself or had a consumer who’s needed one as part of the case. Wade, I know you’re both speaking highly about these, but I’ll ask the question again specifically. It’s kind of hard to believe. So you have a strangely formatted business card, and you’re saying that the technology is there to drop that into all the various fields and pick it up from different parts of cards and do a good job with that?WADE WINGLER: Nothing is bulletproof, but I’ve been surprised and astonished when I see those cards you go, oh, wow, interesting card. What does it say? This app does a pretty good job of figuring that out.BRIAN NORTON: I’ve been amazed recently in just how much you really don’t see business cards anymore. People are using business cards less and less, and they shoot you a contact with their phone or other kinds of things. It’s more about driving people to websites then it is maybe necessarily getting a business card from somebody.BELVA SMITH: I’ve not used this one, but I have had folks that are using it, the ABBYY business card. I don’t know, but I think it used to be $9.99. I think it does work on both iOS and Android. It’ll drop it right in to your contacts.BRIAN NORTON: The ABBYY Finereader technology, which is a really great OCR program to be able to grab that text and change it.***BRIAN NORTON: So if you want to send in your questions, please send those in. You can send us a tweet with the hashtag #ATFAQ. We’d love to have your questions and we’ll get them on our show.WADE WINGLER: Did you see the listener line information in the show?BRIAN NORTON: Yes.WADE WINGLER: Because I love it when people call. I love to have people’s voices on here.BRIAN NORTON: If you are a listener, you can call 317-721-7124.WADE WINGLER: If you’re not a listener, you didn’t hear that.BRIAN NORTON: Exactly.Anyway, next question is an email from Dustin. That email is, what type of device is appropriate for an individual with low vision needing to read a board, chalk or whiteboard is what he’s specifically talking about, from a distance. I would assume this is maybe a student in a class and you are needing to sit in class and see what’s happening in front of the room. I’ll throw that out.BELVA SMITH: My initial thought is, what? This person probably needs to have an assessment or an evaluation. There are lots of different devices or CCTV’s that can be used to do distance viewing. The Acrobat is one that comes to mind. I have not had the opportunity to use this other device that I’m about to mention, but it looks very similar to one that we used to do a lot of recommendations of. It’s called the Liberty Scholar 2. It has its own little screen, and then the three-way camera so it could do desktop, self, or distant viewing. There’s more information that’s necessary to really answer this question. For example, are we using a computer, or are we trying to do this without a computer? Because that would make a difference as to what type of CCTV we would be wanting to look at.BRIAN NORTON: There are lots of different types of CCTV’s that do that type of distance/close viewing for classroom type settings or other types of meetings. One that we’ve had some pretty good experience with, we have one here at our AT lab, is the e-Bot. That is an interesting one. It connects to your laptop, so you use your laptop screen of the viewing screen, but then you have this motorized camera that can not only zoom up so you can see things way out in front of you up at the chalkboard, blackboard, SmartBoard, whatever you use in front of your classroom or your meeting room, but you can also flip it back around to look at things that are very close to you. It’s a really interesting camera type of device. And then there are other CCTV’s that keep everything, it’s all in one unit. You’re not using a supercomputer or anything like that. CCTV’s like the da Vinci or the Acrobat. There are any numbers of them. Most CCTV manufacturers have a style of CCTV that would meet that particular need.BELVA SMITH: The two that I had mentions were independent units. I’ve had feedback from my clients who say, look, if I had to take the CCTV with me, I really don’t want to have to take a laptop. I only have so much room on my desk and I don’t have room to get out my laptop, get out the camera, and set it all up. If I could just have one unit, that would be great. Which is taking me to my next suggestion, which possibly an iPad could be the only tool that’s necessary. Even using just what the iPad has, just take a picture of it and display it on your iPad. Or you can get more advanced by using lots of different apps that are available for doing just that.BRIAN NORTON: The newer iPads with the more megapixel camera, I think they come with eight megapixel cameras now, are really good. I think before they may have been using a five megapixel camera, but when you zoom in on something that was out in front of you, it would still be grainy. You get a little bit better image now with that high-resolution camera.BELVA SMITH: You can always capture it while you’re in the classroom, and then when you get home, connect it using your Apple TV into a larger screen so that you can see it more. It’s really important to keep it simple when we are doing these accommodations for the kids at school and try to make them not stand out.MARK STEWART: Can you talk about form factor little bit, because there’s some cool stuff going on there.BRIAN NORTON: Back in the day, you used to get these big CRT monitors with big back ends, and they used to be heavy and bulky. You just weren’t able to transport them very well. With the new LED monitors, HD monitors and things like that, we just get such a crisp, clear image when you’re looking at something. It really helps with clarity for folks. But then also the form factor completely changes when you’re using something so thin to be able to display it on that. That was the real heavy piece of it, when you had a picture tube and other kinds of things back and the back end of your CCTV. Now you’ve got these very thin CCTV monitors that are just regular computer monitors that have cameras attached to them. They take that image and they display such a crisp, clean image. It’s really helpful for so many folks, saves a lot of space at the desktop. When you go into the classroom, it doesn’t take a lot of room. It’s going to take more on the little student type desks that they put out in front of you most the time, but for a lot of situations it’s going to work just great because they are small form factor types of devices.***WADE WINGLER: And now it’s time for your wildcard question.BRIAN NORTON: If you do have questions, take your time and call our listener line. That’s 317-721-7124. Or send us a tweet at hashtag #ATFAQ. As for right now, this is the time that we have the wildcard question of the week. I’m going to throw the mic over to Wade. We’re going to have him throw us a question that we haven’t gotten to see. Go ahead.WADE WINGLER: This is my favorite part of the show because everybody’s been prepped for the questions until now. This is where I throw one at the group to see what happens. This is not a new question for you. It’s a question you probably all have been asked many times. I’m not sure we talked about how we answer this question when we get it.Let’s imagine, if you will, that you just gave a talk at a conference, or you were standing at a booth at an assistive technology event, or you were just a speaker at a high school transition there. We all do some public appearances. A 17-year-old walks up to you and says, this may surprise you, but I want to do what you do for a living. What do you tell that 17-year-old kid when they say I want to work in assistive technology. I want to do what you do. What should I do? What’s your advice?BRIAN NORTON: I would just say, first of all, do a little soul-searching. Is this really the field you want to get into? A lot of people hear the word technology, and they assume you’re making three figures and those kinds of things. A lot of the assistive technology world you’re working in, and this is primarily what we do, we are working in a not-for-profit setting, doing human services per se, and not out there doing product development and other kinds of things, which are different areas in assistive technology that you could get into that may be more lucrative for you. I would say everybody on our team has a real passion for the people that are behind the technology and not just clearly the technology itself. I know they go hand-in-hand, but wanting to go that your motivation is altruistic in that it’s the person first and not the technology first.And then as you think about what you want to do for a living, that’s what I want to do, I just love the field. It really takes a creative mind to be able to do some things. You’ve got to be creative in how you approach certain situations. Looking for opportunities to learn about the field, you can do job shadows with us here to kind of figure out what this is all about, spend time researching different books. You can go to college and there are certain college classes at different universities that you can take some credit hours in the field of assistive technology. There’s just lots of different places to go to learn and to grow with your knowledge. I would say the baseline for me is step back, think about it. Is this really altruistically what you want to do in your living? What about you guys?BELVA SMITH: You’re right. I get this question all the time. I hear it all the time. Oh, that’s what I want to do. I want to be a trainer. I think the first thing that I would tell someone who’s thinking about doing this is the things that you need to bring to the table, are you a problem solver or are you the kind of person that just, I don’t know why, just move on. You really do have a lot of problems that you have to solve, not only how am I going to help this person do this task that right now they are not able to do, but why is it that my screen reader is talking when my music is trying to play. You’ve got to solve those person barriers as well as the technology barriers.You also have to have a wide interest. You can’t just — and this is what I thought I was going to do some 13 years ago when I started. You can’t just come into this industry thinking I am going to work with any one particular piece of technology. For me, it was screen readers. I thought that was the only thing I was ever going to do. That’s not going to be enough to keep you going. You’ve got to have experience and willingness to continually educate yourself on the technology. You’ve got to have the interest in technology. Just know that every day is going to be a new day. You can’t say, well, this is what this person needed last week who was low vision, so I know it must be what I need this week.BRIAN NORTON: You can’t just clock in and clock out with this particular job. It takes a lot.BELVA SMITH: You have to do a lot of handholding, and not just with your clients, but across the board. Yeah, there’s just a lot. When you hear the word technology, like you were saying, Brian, I think people think — it’s different than what it really is.BRIAN NORTON: Right.MARK STEWART: I would say, just figure out what area of assistive technology. I think they need to understand just the broad — what a broad term that really is, because there are many different flavors of assistive technology that go all the way through the rehabilitation field, if you will, from adapting cars to computer access and job accommodations, which is what we do, to augmentative communication where you are using dedicated speech devices for people that can’t talk, seating and positioning is another area. It’s a huge field. To hone in on exactly what you would want to do within the field would be another next important step for them if they really do decide that this is something they want to do and what do you want to do with it.BELVA SMITH: And if you’re an individual that needs quick gratification like, oh, I can quickly get this from A to B by doing this, this probably isn’t going to be the job that you’re going to want to spend the rest of your life doing either. Sometimes it takes a long time to get from A to B.BRIAN NORTON: Right.MARK STEWART: That was great. I’m really serious. After Wade asked the question, I really started thinking hard, and then I start listening to Brian talk. I just want to say that was perfect. I have nothing. That was really good. I’m left with analogies.They need to know it’s not a burgeoning profession. It’s new, it’s establishing itself. If it was the NFL, or the saying, hey, I want to be a football player. Is it because they think it’s today’s NFL? I think they need to ask themselves would they really have had a passion for and wanted to and had no regrets playing for the NFL in 1930? Love the sport, love the game, have a passion for it, the smell of the grass, being in the stadium, the teammates, the camaraderie, but best job out there? Best money out there? All the prestige? All the current day kind of modern NFL sort of stuff? No. That’s not typically what we’re talking about here with assistive technology. There’s a beauty to it. It’s incredibly fast-paced. Who knows where it’s going to go. It’s taking off. But it’s really establishing itself. There are some other professions within IT, purely, or within, for example, Allied Health, purely, that are more established. There is a larger community. That possibly is something that they’re looking for. What you guys said was wonderful.WADE WINGLER: One of the things that I think of what this question, and I set it up so that it was a 17-year-old. I think part of the question is I’m going to finish high school soon. If I want to do assistive technology, then what are my next steps academically or in terms of career?BELVA SMITH: Oh, I didn’t get that.WADE WINGLER: That’s okay. It was just assumed in the question. One of the things that I think about when I talked to these kids is there aren’t a lot of straight assistive technology jobs where all you do is assistive technology. Most of the time when I see people who are working in the field, it’s because their discipline is somewhere else and they’ve added assistive technology onto it. They’re a physical therapist or an occupational therapist. They’re an educator. They’re an IT person or maybe a rehab counselor or something like that, and they’ve added assistive technology onto it.Because it’s still new, I’m not sure that I consider assistive technology a discipline on its own yet. Maybe, I think there are pieces to that, but I think it still part of another discipline and it’s a specialty within that. I see that changing. You can get degrees in assistive technology now. Brian and I teach in programs like that where you can get a degree in assistive technology. One of the pieces of advice that I usually give is I ask what motivates them about assistive technology, what specifically is it that they like about it, and then see are they really describing a special ed teacher with a flair for assistive technology, or are they really describing a teacher of the blind and visually impaired focused on assistive technology. I try to drill down a little bit more and say, what is your underlying motivator, and then where does AT fit into that.***BRIAN NORTON: Thanks, everyone. Again, here’s how to find our show. You can search assistive technology questions on iTunes. You can look for us on Stitcher or visit Also, send us your questions by calling our listener line at 317-721-5124, or send us a tweet at hashtag #ATFAQ, or if you love email, you can send us an email as well. It’s [email protected] We definitely want your questions. In fact, without your questions, we don’t have a show. Be a part of the show and send us those as quickly as you can think of them. Have a great week.BELVA SMITH: Keep sending us your questions.MARK STEWART: Have a great weeks, folks.WADE WINGLER: Thanks, everybody.WADE WINGLER: Information provided on assistive technology frequently asked questions does not constitute a product endorsement. Our comments are not intended as recommendations, nor is our show evaluative in nature. Assistive Technology FAQ is hosted by Brian Norton; gets editorial support from mark steward and Belva Smith; is produced by me, Wade Wingler; and receives support from Easter Seals Crossroads and the INDATA project. ATFAQ is a proud member of the Accessibility Channel. Find more of our shows at this…TwitterFacebookPinterestLinkedInEmailPrint RelatedATFAQ055 – Q1 How subscribe via RSS Q2 Phone plans for emergency communication Q3 Reading building directories with an app Q4 Dragon “move to body” email question Q5 What AT to use in a presentation for educators Q6 What tech do you take on vacationJune 12, 2017In “Assistive Technology FAQ (ATFAQ) Podcast”ATFAQ039 – Q1. Braille production Q2. Portable Ramps Q3. Document Stands for Mobile Devices Q4. Magnification Apps for Android Q5. What is OCR? Q6 Handheld GPS Devices Q7. Wildcard Question: NestCam and Home Monitoring systems.October 10, 2016In “Assistive Technology FAQ (ATFAQ) Podcast”ATFAQ047 – Q1 Seeking an iPad app to read text and complete forms. Q2 Making movies with limited fine motor skills. Q3 Earphones for individuals with vision and hearing limitations Q4 Pillboxie with VoiceOver Q6 What will drones mean for people with disabilities?February 13, 2017In “Assistive Technology FAQ (ATFAQ) Podcast”last_img read more