Share this…TwitterFacebookPinterestLinkedInEmailPrint RelatedATU200 – Wade Wingler is interviewed by Danny Wayne in This Special Celebration of 200 Episodes of Assistive Technology UpdateMarch 27, 2015In “Assistive Technology Update”ATU153 – Vincennes University’s New Academic Certificate (ATCPC) for Assistive Technology, NPR Covers Braille, Top 10 AAC Apps for the iPad, Toca Tea Party appMay 2, 2014In “Assistive Technology Update”ATU204 – Tongue Mapping, Daredevil on Netflix, Free K-12 Android Apps, RESNA early bird registration, ATIA call for papers, Functional Communication System LiteApril 24, 2015In “Assistive Technology Update” Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadYour weekly dose of information that keeps you up to date on the latest developments in the field of technology designed to assist people with disabilities and special needs.Show notes:Researchers Develop Magnifying Smartphone Screen Application for Visually Impaired http://buff.ly/1Z7HEtDDevelopers Forum | RESNA | http://buff.ly/21tduTqApp: Tasker | www.gatfl.org——————————Listen 24/7 at www.AssistiveTechnologyRadio.comIf you have an AT question, leave us a voice mail at: 317-721-7124 or email firstname.lastname@example.orgCheck out our web site: https://www.eastersealstech.comFollow us on Twitter: @INDATAprojectLike us on Facebook: www.Facebook.com/INDATA——-transcript follows ——JOE JORGENSEN: Hi, this is Joe Jorgensen of AccessiByte, and this is your Assistance Technology Update.WADE WINGLER: Hi, this is Wade Wingler with the INDATA Project at Easter Seals crossroads in Indiana with your assistive Technology Update, a weekly dose of information that keeps you up-to-date on the latest developments in the field of technology designed to assist people with disabilities and special needs.Welcome to episode number 258 of Assistive Technology update. It’s scheduled to be released on May 6, 2016.Today I hang out with Joe Jorgensen who is a developer and has created the apps over at AccessiByte, a bunch of games and academic applications for folks who are blind or visually impaired.Also a fascinating story about using Google Glass to look at the magnified image on your smartphone; an opportunity with RESNA to show your AT inventions to smart people to get some feedback; and our App Worth Mentioning segment with the folks from Tools For Life.We hope you’ll check out our website at www.eastersealstech.com, give us a call on our listener line at 317-721-7124, or shoot us note on Twitter at INDATA Project.***Did you ever wish you could listen to Assistive Technology Update on Google Play? Now you can. Google just released podcasts not too long ago and all of our shows here at the INDATA Project are on there: Assistive Technology Update, ATFAQ, and Accessibility Minute. Go over to Google play, search under podcast. You will find us there.***I found a fascinating article from Medical Design Technology Magazine that talks about a research study that happened at Massachusetts Eye and Ear which is part of the Harvard Medical School. What they are doing is they have realized that when you are using screen magnification on a smartphone, it may not be easy to understand exactly the context of what you’re looking at. If you ever used screen magnification technology on a computer or video modifier or a smartphone, you don’t see all of the screen when you are zoomed in. In fact, depending on the level of magnification, you may not see much of the screen at all. You may just be singing a small portion through the magnified view.What they have done at the switchers project is taking the magnified view and projected it onto Google glass which then takes that magnified image and projects it right onto the user’s eyes. The thing is when you’re using a screen magnifier, there is sort of a disconnect between your hand and the magnification image and what you’re seeing. This eliminates one of those steps. What they found out is when people look at the magnified screen of the phone as it is projected through Google Glass, they had about a 20 percent increase in efficiency in using their phone because it took away some of that disconnect between hand eye coordination that needs to happen. Obviously there are some questions about Google Glass and the viability of that as a product right now, and there are lots of questions about how this might be implemented.So this is a research study that seems to be in the beginning stages, but I like the idea of being able to use a head worn device like Google glass or something similar to use screen magnification on your computer, laptop, phone, or those kinds of things. I’m fascinated with the concept and think it is a pretty interesting breakthrough. I’m going to pop a link in the show notes over to Medical Design Technology’s website so you can you read this article and check it out on your own. They have a video there of a subject using the device. Pretty cool stuff. Check our show notes.***So I haven’t talked about this on the show before, but I’m a huge fan of the TV show Shark Tank. I love it when entrepreneurs are coming to get feedback and solicit funding from these really rich people who give them ideas. That’s what I thought about when I saw this headline from RESNA. They are going to have a developer forum. Now this isn’t a fundraising thing, but it is an opportunity for people who are developing assistive technology to get some really valuable feedback. In Crystal City, Virginia, in the Washington DC area, on July 12 which is a Tuesday, from 6:30 to 8:30 PM, they are doing a thing called the Developers Forum. It is going to be part of the RESNA NCRT conference. It will be a situation where you can get feedback on your ideas from rehab technologists, assistive technology specialists, engineers, therapists, consumers, everybody who knows a lot about the field of assistive technology. They describe a situation where participations participants will have it with experience and have people who know a lot about assistive technology sort of walk around going from table to table and explaining and giving feedback on your product ideas. They describe it as a mini exhibit hall sort of environment.It’s available to people who are registered to attend the RESNA conference, and it is sponsored by the Center for Translation of Rehab Engineering Advances in Technology. Recall that the TREAT Center. So if you are interested in taking your AT invention and getting some feedback from people who really do know their stuff, I’m going to suggest you check this out. I’m going to pop a link in the show notes over to RESNA’s website. The page I will take you to has specific information about the Developers Forum and also has a bunch of people you can contact that will give you more information about this cool event. Check our show notes if you’re looking for that kind of opportunity.***Before we jump into our App Worth Mentioning segment this week, you might have noticed or heard a new voice last week when we talked about our apps. That’s because we have some new contributors to the show. In addition to our friends over at BridgingApps and our friends over at AppleVis, our friends at Tools For Life out of Georgia Tech are going to start contributing app segments as well. Ben Jacobs is someone who has a lot of experience with apps. Over on their website at Tools For Life, they have a pretty good listing of apps as well. You’re going to hear Ben talk about an app called Tasker today and we hope to have him on the show for future App Worth Mentioning segment. Welcome, Ben. Thanks for Tools For Life for participating.Each week, one of our partners tells us what’s happening in the ever-changing world of apps, so here’s an app worth mentioning.BEN JACOBS: Hello, this is Ben Jacobs with Tools For Life, and this is an app worth mentioning. This week’s app is called Tasker. Tasker is an android app for automating tasks on your phone or tablet. We recommend this app for all users with an android phone.Tasker allows you to create profiles and tasks. A profile is something that happens in your phone. Some examples of the profiles are when something is plugged into the headphone jack; when it is a certain time of day; when you’re in a specific location; or when you receive a text message. Tasks are action that you want your phone to take when your profile is activated. Some examples of tasks include opening an app, turning Wi-Fi on or off, sending a text, silencing your phone, or taking a picture. These are just a few of the myriad examples of profiles and tasks. When profiles and tasks are combined, your phone can be programmed to run in many helpful actions automatically. Some examples include announcing a caller’s name when the phone is ringing, muting the ringer during the quiet hours; or turning Wi-Fi on and off depending on your location. Tasker is a powerful tool for any user that is will you take the time to learn how to use it. The possibilities of what you can do automatically on your phone with Tasker are endless. Tasker is available on the android play store for $2.99. To learn more about Tasker and other great apps, visit the Tools For Life website at www.GATFL.org.***WADE WINGLER: I don’t know that I can go an entire day without using some of the critical apps on my smartphone. They just sort of become part of getting through the day. Whether I’m learning things organizing the life or even just sort of having some recreation, I don’t know, I find myself dealing with little screens on a pretty regular basis. So to that end, I’m pretty excited today to have Joe Jorgensen who is a developer of AccessiByte to talk about some interesting apps he has developed and a career he has created here dealing with some apps. Before we jump into all that, Joe, are you still on the line?JOE JORGENSEN: I am.WADE WINGLER: Thank you so much for taking time out of your day to hang out with us a little bit.JOE JORGENSEN: Thanks for having me. I really appreciate it.WADE WINGLER: Talk to us a little bit about you and your background and how you ended up where you’re dealing with this thing called AccessiByte. Tell us about you, and about the company a little bit.JOE JORGENSEN: My background is kind of all over the place really. During my undergrad years, I studied English of all things. I ended up finding out about the blind rehab program out at NIU from a friend of mine who did IT work there. I ended up joining and finding out that the blind rehab field is really where I belonged. Prior to that, I didn’t really know a lot about it. Even considering I have a visually impaired relative, still it was just off my radar. Then once I started in the field, I just meandered into access technology which really suited my interest. I’ve always been a computer guy, a bit of a nerd. And a lot of my different skills came together in creating this software. I always dabbled with creating music, drawing comic strips, coming up with little computer programs, just kind of generally random creative stuff that didn’t have too much direction. And then it just kind of struck me that there were some tools that I wanted to create for my own day-to-day, and then they kind of grew a little bit from there because of the people got interested in using those same tools. Before you knew it, I had decided this thing had legs and turned it into AccessiByte as it is today.WADE WINGLER: Talk to us about AccessiByte. What does a company do? What do you offer? Those kinds of things.JOE JORGENSEN: AccessiByte’s tagline is “A simple approach to accessible technology.” That’s kind of the guiding principle to everything I do. There are a ton of great access technology is out there, a lot of good stuff. I just want to make some real simple stuff that was also really powerful, kind of filling some gaps I saw in the field. All the programs, they are made from the ground up with not only the student with visual impairments but the teacher of the student in mind. I teach assistive technology daily. It takes all those factors into account but also doesn’t just slap on visual or audible elements to existing concepts. Everything, even from the menu navigation to the way these programs operate is thought of from the perspective of someone who has a visual impairments. Easy stuff. The thing I always say is I want it to be as easy to use as it is to teach.WADE WINGLER: I know that you have a number of apps. I look at your website and look at them a little bit. Let’s do the run down. Talk about the different apps and what they are.JOE JORGENSEN: There’s Typio, which is and accessible typing tutor; Quick Cards, which is a flash card and testis and program; AccessiByte Arcade, which is a collection of games; and then there’s WordWav, which is a utility tool for converting text and audio files. So to go into each one a little more specifically: Typio is the flagship product for AccessiByte. It offers typing instruction through three different modes. There is progress, practice and free type mode. Each mode provides a different angle to how you would teach typing. Progress mode is a primary mode of the program. Within that mode, students are guided through their keyboard training with 45 lessons. Each lesson introduces a new key or two. Each lesson starts with a tutorial phase which tells the students which fingers to use to find the key. They then can ask for the keyboard to ensure they know where the key is that. Once they have proven they found the key, a lesson begins that centers around that key. For example, if the next lesson is going to be the letter H, the lesson may start off by saying this lesson is going to be about the letter H. Move your right index finger from the J, left one key to the H. Go ahead and find it. Once you find it, it will say audibly that you hit the H key. Then it will say, hit JHJH. So it has you do that movement again to solidify it a little bit. Then it will say press H a few more times and we will start the lesson. Pretty straightforward. Now once a lesson starts, visually you can have all sorts of different modifications: different color contrasts, fonts, font sizes the screen is divided in half. On the top half of the screen you will have the promise that needs to be typed, and on the bottom half is your progress. All of this is fully audible as well so you will hear a voicing of everything that’s required as you go. At the end of a lesson in progress mode, you are given your stats, words per minute, accuracy, and a key comment which is a fun score of how many keys you got correct in a row without getting a typo. So you’re given your stats and your total if you make it to the next lesson or not. You make it to the next lesson if you meet your words per minute and accuracy goals. That can be fine-tuned to meet each student’s needs. That’s kind of the meat and potatoes of progress mode right there. Again, all of the settings are stored for each student, so they all can have their own goals that they need to maintain, their own voicing schemes, their own sound effects — there are a lot of different, fun sound effects in the program — and also their own visual accessibility as well.Practice mode operates much like progress mode except it doesn’t follow the same structure. Instead it lets you jump around and practice lessons as the name implies. So you can go to a past lesson and loaded up and go through it again to improve your score. You are so given the same statistics as you would in progress mode. The really nothing to practice mode is you can also create your own typing lessons really easily. All you do is throw a text file into the Typio folder in My Documents, and then Typio does the rest. So you can just have a list of words, perhaps an existing typing curriculum. You can copy and paste an article on the Internet and it will break it up into a typing lesson for you and presented in a logical structure and then share the statistics on how the student did.Free type mode is an open typing environment where students can type without prompting. See you can have them type either what you dictate or whatever they want. At the end they are given their statistics just the same as the other notes. It’s very important because you are learning how to type, we really type from a prompt. We just type freely when you are doing an email or an essay, whatever it may be. So it’s good to get your statistics on a real world example such as that.All these statistics that are given can be called back up within the program, or you can automatically export it out side of the program seeking copy and paste them, print, email them, put them into your own documentation. This makes it really easy to have measurable goals put in there for you automatically.WADE WINGLER: Is this a self voicing program or do you need a screen reader to go with that? What is going on there?JOE JORGENSEN: I’m really glad you mentioned that because I should clarify that. It is self voicing. Same with all of the visual elements to it, it’s all contained within the program so you don’t need outside accessibility. That was in a purpose just so and a computer can run this stuff. So if you’re in a computer lab that may not have another program installed for screen reading or modification, or if students at home who just don’t have all those options. It’s all contained within the program. If you fire up the program with a screen reader or magnification program running, you’ll be brought to a screen that says just that, that you don’t need to have a program running and it gives you the option of temporarily disabling it until you’re done with the program, and then it will launch it again for you.WADE WINGLER: The next [app] I saw on your website was Quick Cards. Can we talk about that one a little bit?JOE JORGENSEN: Quick Cards is a really useful program. Essentially it is a flash card program that’s fully accessible with the addition of providing students with multiple choice tests. So the weight it works is, either within the program or using an outside word processor, if that’s what you’re more comfortable with because of different software as you may be using, you create a deck, a flash card deck. You could create one about the presidents if you want. Then you add any number of cards to that deck, each with a Side A and a Side B. So you could have Side A, John F. Kennedy, and Side B would say they in this president ever be elected, and you would continue on like that adding different cards to that deck. Then in practice mode, you look up a deck and it will present Side A, again in a highly visual and audible way. So it may say, “John F. Kennedy.” At that point the student can think about that card to try to come up with the answer. They hit the end it will present that Side B. So when the student hits space, it will say they in this president ever elected. And you just hit enter to move on to the next card. You keep doing that throughout the whole deck. It will loop at the end if you wanted to. You had escaped when you’re done to get out. So it is a really easy way to study that material. What student doesn’t need flash cards? Then test mode takes it a step further. It uses the exact same decks, so you don’t have to create separate ones for testimony. But what it does is to create multiple choice tests. So a student will be presented with Side A of a card. They then can arrow down two different options to try to find out which one fits that side. So for the John F. Kennedy, and they would be looking for the answer about his being the youngest president ever elected. Where do these other answers come from? They either come from the other Side B’s within that deck — so all the other cards kind of get scrambled in. And you set the limit of answers so maybe four, because you wouldn’t want to have the entire deck’s worth of answers to choose from. So it just scrambles the correct answer and with a bunch of random cards. Or, when you’re creating the deck, you can quickly and easily add purposefully wrong answers associated with an individual card. In that way you can make a very methodical, multiple-choice test. At the end of each test got the students are given the score, how many they got right out of how many total, a percentage, and then they are also given which cards they got incorrect. Now, the incorrect cards are automatically added to a study deck without any work on your end. So you could then go look up the study deck in either practice or test modes and focus only on those cards you got wrong on your most recent test. Additionally, your statistics can be printed, saved, emailed, copy and paste it, however you may need just to make those documentation needs of your own easy to obtain. And it’s got all the same accessibility as Typio and the other programs, so you can choose font size, style, coloring, voice pitch, rates, whatever voicing options you may have. You can also minimize the card order if you would like or decide you run up the other side first. So that is Quick Cards in a nutshell. It’s a pretty useful program.WADE WINGLER: It sounds like it. Clearly after you studied all of that time, you’re going to want to relax, right? You will want to play some games? How’s that for a segue?JOE JORGENSEN: That is such a good segue. You are a pro at your craft.WADE WINGLER: Why don’t we talk about Accessibility Arcade, and just a quick description of each one because we are running a little short on time.JOE JORGENSEN: Accessibility Arcade in a nutshell is a collection currently of six games. I think currently as a little hint to a future update. Each game is built from the ground up like all these programs are with a visually impaired user in mind. So is not just a voice and magnification shoehorned into an existing program. There is the canteen which is a summer camp simulator. Basically you have a little canteen stand and you have 30 days for camp and you decide on any given day if you want to open shop and sell some items or you want to stock up on items for the following days. There are different types of they seems like sunny days, rainy days, book clubs, where different items sell better than others. So the goal is just to see how much money you can make at the end of the 30 days. I have a lot of fun playing it. It was fun to make and fun to play. A special shout out to my good pal Tyler Long who helped program that game and a few others for Accessibility Arcade. Next is Crazy Phrase, which is very similar to some of the games that are out there where you choose a type of work and you list them all off. So you may be asked to provide a verb, a noun, an adjective, and at the end they all get put into a story which is right off. So you are asked to provide this information before you know the story is so it begins a crazy phrase as it is named. The nice thing about that game is you can make your own custom stories very easily and then they will be presented within the program. See you can make your own custom stories for your students. Lastly there is samurai which is built around patience and reflects. Each round of the game you hear and anticipation sound effect or music, sometimes a heartbeat or the wind blowing. Then you hear the samurai shot and you had any key on the keyboard to strike. If you strike quick enough, you win. If you go too soon before you hear that samurai shot, then you lose. With each successive round, that timeframe gets tighter and tighter. With that program, and echo, there are different difficulties at play here. Easy through hard cover a good range for different players. Easy has no challenge. It is just fun. But by the time you get to the heart mode, it is pretty difficult, so an advanced player can still have a challenge. Then there is endless extreme which gets hard enough to the point where you won’t win the game. You just try to see how far you can go. There are a few extra games that will be coming soon but I don’t like to speak to think before they happen. Accessibility Arcade is currently the one to watch.WADE WINGLER: Good. Talk to me little bit about Word Wav, and then I want to hear more about what they cost and what platforms they work on and those kinds of things.JOE JORGENSEN: Word Wav is a utility program for teachers or anybody where basically you can convert text files into audible documents very quickly, very easily. You can just throw in instructions for a classroom or a set of notes. One user converted a book they had written for their visually impaired friends just by copying and pasting a 150 page book into Word Wav, hitting convert, and a minute later they had a file they put onto a CD and mailed out to people. So it is a really simple but powerful tool for making audible notes for whoever may need to listen to them.WADE WINGLER: That’s great, just like you said at the beginning, simple but effective stuff. Talk to me a little bit about pressing on these apps and what platforms they were gone.JOE JORGENSEN: Currently everything is running on Windows. With all of its built-in accessibility, the visual and audible stuff is built into the programs. All you need is a Windows computer and the software. Typio, Quick Cards, and Accessibility Arcade are currently $100 each on our promotional pricing. That will be changing soon enough. But I wanted to give people a chance to get in early, check out the programs and see how they like them. Word Wav is $55 currently on the promotional pricing scheme. All of these programs have a two-week demo that you can download from AccessiByte.com because I know very well for my day today then a program may sound or look great but it is not until you and your clients or students your hands on those programs that you know that they work for you. I wanted to give everyone a nice, fair chance to check it out for themselves.WADE WINGLER: Then made a lot of sense. I love it when you can get a demo of something to be sure before you make the investment. If people were interested in downloading, learning more, reaching out to you, what kind of contact information would you recommend?JOE JORGENSEN: First and foremost, I would say go to AccessiByte.com and check out the website. I highly recommend signing up for the mailing list. I sent one email today. I got another one set up for the end of spring that will talk about those updates to Arcade and a few other exciting things that are going to be happening with AccessiByte. Feel free to sign up for that mailing list. No, you are not going to be spammed. It’s just for useful info. Lastly, Facebook/AccessiByte. Go ahead and add us there and you will be up-to-date with program updates, what’s new, what’s coming out and maybe if I have something funny to say.WADE WINGLER: Joe Jorgensen is a developer and an AT professional and the person who has created AccessiByte and all these amazing apps. Joe, thank you so much for being with us today pureJOE JORGENSEN: Thank you, Wade. I very much appreciate it.WADE WINGLER: Do you have a question about assistive technology? Do you have a suggestion for someone we should interview on Assistive Technology Update? Call our listener line at 317-721-7124, shoot us a note on Twitter @INDATAProject, or check us out on Facebook. Looking for a transcript or show notes from today’s show? Head on over to www.EasterSealstech.com. Assistive Technology Update is a proud member of the Accessibility Channel. Find more shows like this plus much more over at AccessibilityChannel.com. That was your Assistance Technology Update. I’m Wade Wingler with the INDATA Project at Easter Seals Crossroads in Indiana.