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The Blind Side Podcast 83, federal hands are off Canadian harnesses, write Alexa skills without knowing a line of code using Amazon Blueprints

In the previous episode, we led with the breaking news that the Canadian General Standards Board has abandoned plans to adopt a federal standard for service dog animals, following a widespread backlash. Jonathan Mosen speaks with Yvonne Peters and Tom Dekker, who played critical roles in this successful advocacy campaign. Even if you’re not directly …

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The Blind Side Podcast 82, victory for Canadian guide dog handlers, Braille readers give their testimonies, should the sighted give up their seats for us, and Pam MacNeill from Disability Responsiveness New Zealand

We lead with the breaking news that the Canadian General Standards Board has abandoned its proposed service dogs standards, covered extensively in episode 43 of this podcast. Many listeners emailed or called with feedback about the difference Braille has made to their lives. We include a selection of the comments. We learn about new legislation …

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The Blind Side Podcast 81, En-Vision America, deleting Facebook, and long live Braille

Jonathan has a couple of new gadgets. A new Samsung wireless charger that allows the iPhone X to be upright which helps with Face ID, and a Bluetooth transmitter dongle that he hopes will help him and Bonnie to use Aira at the same time. He describes both cool new toys. To subscribe to the …

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I’m deleting Facebook. It’s a matter of conscience

Introduction If you’re leaving a room full of people you’ve been talking with, I think it’s polite to say goodbye. So it was out of courtesy that I let my Facebook friends know that I am about to delete my account. Of course, whether they see that post or not depends on the degree to …

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The Blind Side Podcast 80, Microsoft Research brings Virtual reality to the blind with Canetroller, and are we blind people, or people who are blind?

Microsoft has delivered some innovative new products to blind people in recent times. We’ve talked about Seeing AI and Soundscape on the podcast before. Now, Microsoft researchers are considering how virtual reality, a technology many of us think of as inherently visual, might be put to use in a blindness context. The Canetroller just might …

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A review of Aira. What it is, how it works, and the ways it has changed my life

Author’s note. Due to the amount of interest in this post, I’ll be updating it from time-to-time with additional information and experiences. This post was last updated on 23 April 2018 with information on the Aira trial for New Zealand, Australia and the UK, a link to the NewsHub coverage of the ways Bonnie and …

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The Blind Side Podcast 79, comprehensive summary of Apple’s Let’s Take a field trip event, CSUN observations, Aira revolutionising our lives

We’re pleased to unveil our new listener line for The Blind Side Podcast. Want to have your say? Call us any time and leave a message, on (719) 270-5114 We begin with information, hot off the press at time of publication, about all that Apple has announced today at its education-focused event in Chicago. Jonathan …

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The Blind Side Podcast 78, Rica report on inaccessible gym equipment, Andrew Kranichfeld hopes to set up a dating service for disabled people

Based in the UK, Rica is an organisation conducting research with a focus on the needs of disabled people and seniors. They’ve produced a report thanks to the sponsorship of the Thomas Pocklington Trust on the inaccessibility of gym equipment to blind people. If you’ve splashed out on that membership and turned up ready to …

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The Blind Side Podcast 77, Podcast chapters make navigating the podcast a breeze, why Amit Patel puts a camera on his guide dog’s harness, New Zealand Green MP Chlöe Swarbrick’s Election Access Fund Bill

Podcast chapters are a cool and convenient way to skip between sections of a podcast, making it easier to hear the portions of a podcast that interest you. We’ve now implemented podcast chapter support for The Blind Side Podcast. Jonathan Mosen demonstrates how they work using his favourite podcast app, Overcast for iOS. There are …

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The Blind Side Podcast 76, New Mexico students talk with the space station, New Zealand census problems and reflections on the power of self-advocacy in the digital age

In news briefs, we hear about a beeping Easter egg hunt being organised by the Corpus Christi Police Department’s bomb squad. Nice one! A blind woman has filed a class action lawsuit against McDonalds, alleging that their drive-throughs discriminate against blind people at times when no other option is available. Microsoft has released yet another …

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