Archive for the ‘Screen Readers’ Category

Reid My Mind Radio: In the Lab with Chris Maury

Wednesday, April 6th, 2016
Chris Maury

Chris Maury Founder, Conversant Labs

Chris Maury is a founder of Conversant Labs, a technology company in Pittsburgh creating and promoting the Conversational User interface (CUI). We talk about Say Shopping an iOS app, and how this app and method for interacting with technology can aid those with vision loss – from low vision to totally blind.

 

Hear how Conversant Labs is much more than an entrepreneurial endeavor for Chris.

 

Resources:

Conversant Labs

Say Shopping

Chris Maury on Twitter

 

I Want To Believe

Wednesday, January 27th, 2016

I was planning to write a post on the return of one of my favorite shows, the X-Files. My idea was to either write a post or record an episode of Reid My Mind Radio on the experience. As the days moved closer to this past Sunday January 24 which was the premiere of the new revival, I reflected on how I used to enjoy this television show through most of its time on the air.

When the 6 episode series was announced I was excited but automatically reserved my excitement until I could determine if audio description would be included enabling me to fully enjoy and understand the story line. X-files like other shows rely a lot on scenery, facial expressions, visual clues and more. While my wife and I enjoy watching this together as we did years ago, I prefer not to rely on her or anyone for the descriptive information. Well, anyone other than the narrator providing the professionally produced audio description. It’s not that I don’t appreciate the effort; I just don’t want to feel as though I am stopping anyone from fully enjoying their own experience.

Once I confirmed that Fox would include audio description I allowed my excitement to take over. I have watched other   broadcasts of audio described content on my home television. Most recently my family and I watched the live performance of the Wiz in December on NBC.

After waiting for the NFC Championship game coverage to finally wrap up, my wife and I were extremely disappointed when it was clear that the audio described track was not being transmitted via my local cable provider.

My original assumption was that the Fox affiliate, FOX-56 WOLF – Hazleton, PA, carried by Blue Ridge Cable, my provider, was not in the top 60 markets. As per the regulation stated by the Federal Communications Commission:

“FCC rules require local TV station affiliates of ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC located in the top 60 TV markets (see list below) to provide 50 hours per calendar quarter (about 4 hours per week) of video-described prime time and/or children’s programming. “

Any thought as to who ranks 55? Yep, Hazleton, PA which means FOX 56-WOLF is required to pass the audio description track via SAP.

I contacted Blue Ridge to determine what can be done to resolve the problem. My issue has been elevated to the next level support and I am waiting for a response. My hope is that they will be able to resolve the issue. Otherwise I may have to contact WOLF – and let’s hope this one isn’t big or bad!

The title of this post, “I want to believe,” is borrowed from the X-Files. While this refers to UFO’s and other paranormal activity, I simply want to believe that a time will come when I don’t have to always be concerned about accessibility. In this case it’s access to the non-spoken content of a television show. Last week the accessibility challenge presented itself in a work related application requiring a CAPTCHA – the graphic that contains a picture of some letters that had to be entered in order to continue with a specific process.

I want to believe that tomorrow, I will just have access! And next week I will enjoy the X-Files with audio description.

**UPDATE*

I received a call from the support representative – there was a technical issue with a receiver… the problem seems to be resolved. I’ll report back after next Monday’s episode!

Reid My Mind Radio – I Do It My Way

Thursday, June 25th, 2015

“Now usually I don’t do this, but…”

Today, I’m taking you on an audio tour of my production process. This is not a tutorial, just a look at how I produce non visually! A Picture of my desk with audio equipment including mixer, midi keyboard, turntable...

Shout out to my daughter Raven for the photo, her cameo in this piece and her featured clarinet playing!

Since the idea for this piece came from a suggestion, I thought I would invite more… If there’s anything that you want to know about or think would make for a good story topic go ahead and suggest it in the comments. If you’re interested I could even include you in the piece! For those who are shy, no worries, you can say no to that with no hard feelings.

Now on to the show…

Don’t Call it a Podcast

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

Continuing with audio, I decided to run or maybe just jog a bit with this concept of Reid My Mind Radio! The idea is to create a place where I can share various things I produce. My goal is simply to improve and have fun doing it. Getting something picked up and aired would be cool too! In fact… I recently produced a story for Gatewave Radio – a reading service for those who are print impaired. This includes people with vision loss and other disabilities. They broadcast on the internet and through special radios that receive a transmission available in specific locations 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Volunteers read over 100 periodicals and the station broadcasts to the NYC tri state area as well as the patient bedside of more than 60 hospitals and skilled nursing facilities, in assisted living facilities and to listeners in 28 states through more than 50 affiliated stations.  

Read My Mind Radio Presents…

 

 

Audio – Rapping Screen Readers

Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

 

I always had a love and appreciation for music. I never formerly learned how to play an instrument outside of the recorder. (Maybe one day I’ll record my very soulful interpretation of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star!)

 

I previously wrote about my use of audio as a way to capture memories ever since losing my sight.

 

Back in high school, I used to take multiple cassette players to create my own multi track recording. I knew nothing about 4 Track Recorders nor could I afford them at that time. I knew about sampling machines, but once again, no dinero!

 

In 2005 I began playing with an accessible sound editor called Gold Wave. This was a lot of fun, but made me long for access to a multi-track digital audio workstation (DAW). I think I was longing for that feeling of creating a finished product from an idea like when I was young.

 

I heard of some blind musicians using a program called Cakewalk and some customized scripts that provided access to the program.

 

I couldn’t really justify the cost of the program for something that was not even a hobby. Along comes the Reaper! No, not that guy dressed in a hooded black robe waiting to take me to the afterlife. I’m talking about Reaper – an affordable multi track digital audio workstation that thanks to a developer featured an accessibility component for screen reader users.

 

I’ve been playing with this program to do various productions including TAG (Talking Advocacy & Government), and even a fun song with my daughters. (Big thanks to my girls for giving me permission to post this song – OMG, what a fun time!)

 

One of the most difficult things about producing for me is finding the right voice for the job. As my experience tells me, it’s often best to use whatever you have at your disposal.

 

The inspiration for this latest project was literally at my fingertips.

 

So here it is, check out the Screen Reader Rap.