Ever since my visit to San Diego where I gave a TEDx talk at UCSD, I’ve been involved with Aira, a start-up that uses smart glasses to connect blind and low vision users to live human agents for visual and navigational assistance. The above YouTube video shows me using Aira technology for the first time last year. Like the pace of most successful technology companies, Aira has grown immensely and exponentially every year since I first met Sumon the CEO in 2015. Now, Aira has partnered with AT&T for the
This video shows Sady, a woman with cerebral palsy, using Apple technology to edit videos. What’s mind-blowing is the video was actually edited by Sady herself using the very same assistive technology. Yesterday, Apple announced the launch of their redesigned Apple accessibility website, which now includes videos showing how people of all ability levels use Apple technology to achieve vocational goals and do everyday tasks. These videos not only empower people living with disabilities, they also challenge everyone to rethink what a person can and cannot do regardless of abilities.
October is both National Disability Employment and World Blindness Awareness Month. This year’s NDEA theme is #InclusionWorks, which refers to how an inclusive workplace can be more productive than a less diverse one. In honor of this awareness month, I helped co-develop an online course entitled Introduction to Inclusive Talent Acquisition with Perkins School for the Blind for Harvard University’s Extension School, EdX. Intro to Inclusive Talent Acquisition is for hiring managers and anyone interested in diversifying their company by recruiting, interviewing, hiring, and on-boarding employees with disabilities. Today, the
On August 23rd, the #HowEyeSeeIt campaign launched, challenging those with vision to attempt a task or activity they enjoy while blindfolded. “https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Nc1aC4cGz8” target=”_blank”I shot a video with Chef Tim Love doing the blindfold challenge at his restaurant, “http://www.lonesomedoveknoxville.com” target=”_blank”Lonesome Dove, in Knoxville. I must say he was actually pretty good at cooking blind. The #HowEyeSeeIt is a campaign raising money to fight retinal diseases causing blindness on behalf of Foundation Fighting Blindness. The campaign runs until October 13th. Visit the #HowEyeSeeIt page to see how you can get involved, or
In my last post about how Apple TV makes television entertainment accessible for the Blind, I mentioned how I’ve been on a Netflix binge. Netflix has come such a long way since its baby years back when it was a DVD rental-by-mail concept. Now it’s a powerhouse putting out acclaimed original programming. I personally love “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmitt”, “Grace and Frankie”, “BoJack Horseman”, and “Master of None”. Now that you’ve judged my taste in television, I’ll tell you why I shower praises upon Netflix. In 2015, Netflix responded to a
Summer’s nearly over, so all that television binging is about to come to an end. But fall also marks the time for season premieres, so if you’re a true American, you’re right back on the couch, just like the potato you were a month ago. I’ve been on a Netflix binge lately (more on this later). And the awesome thing that allows me to watch (and I say “watch” in all hilarity) Netflix is my Apple TV. The hubs ordered the latest fourth generation Apple TV when it came out
It’s the dog days of summer for sure, and the one thing I wholly depend on in the midst of this heat is my Nest. We’ve been the proud owners of a Nest device for a few years now. Our version is the first-generation, and Nest is now on their third. The reason I love our Nest is because, as a blind user, it helps me regulate the home climate control system myself. Before we had a Nest, I used to FaceTime the hubs or a friend on my iPhone
Last April, I was invited to teach a cooking workshop at the W Ross MacDonald School in Brantford, Ontario, Canada. A little background on WRMS: founded in 1872, the school teaches blind and blind-deaf students from grades K through 12. There are currently around 200 enrolled students. With a grant received from the Ministry of Education in Ontario, WRMS created a Healthier Eating Program with the purpose of teaching students the importance of health and nutrition. As part of the program, I was asked to lead a one-day workshop and
When the hubs first told me he bought the Amazon Echo during pre-sale, I rolled my eyes and thought it would just be another gimmicky gadget that would eventually collect a layer of dust in the corner of our home. Then Alexa (the name Echo came with) was delivered on our doorstep, and as soon as the hubs plugged her in, she became an irreplaceable part of our family. Okay, I can practically feel the breeze of your eyes rolling, but I have to say, Echo is a life changer.
This post is geared towards the vision impaired and their travel companions, but it could also be useful for the sighted. Use your cane or service dog. When I first lost my vision, I didn’t like to pull out my cane because I didn’t want to be viewed as disabled or treated differently. I left my cane folded up in my bag, took the arm of my travel companion, and then bumped into people left and right, probably collecting dirty looks along the way. Nobody dodged me—obviously, nobody knew I