Podcast transcript: Mosen at Large episode 177, blind people on juries, ACB’s advocacy priorities, an explosive new book about Apple, and part 1 of an extensive look at the Blindshell Classic 2

This transcript is made possible thanks to funding from InternetNZ. You can read the full transcript below, download the transcript in Microsoft Word format, or download the transcript as an accessible PDF file.

 

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Jonathan: I’m Jonathan Mosen. This is Mosen At Large, the show that’s got the blind community talking. This week, jury service when you’re blind and other legislative issues in the United States with Clark Rachfal of ACB. Part one of a series on the Blindshell Classic 2 cellphone and an incredibly positive customer service experience.

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Mosen At Large Podcast.

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Mike Feir: Hey, Jonathan. It’s Mike Feir and just thought I would let all you listeners know that I’ve just finished and published the personal power second edition. It’s taken two years. Been quite the most strange two years, I think, any of us have experienced. This thing helped keep me sane and sound as I pounded away at it. So many changes. There are literally 1,000s from tiny, the grammatical stuff to the larger things like the artificial intelligence in Voiceover Now that really insisted on me updating it.

Of course, lots of apps have changed and all that. There’s tons different, but the basics are the same. I’m still trying to take people from the very beginning of iPhone use all the way up to where they know what’s there, they know the possibilities and they have an understanding on how to do things with voiceover and iOS. I also go into the economics of iPhone Life, that sort of thing, the ecosystem you’re entering. Hopefully, people will be aware and much more aware than I was when I started this journey and have a smoother ride to competence.

Here we are, it’s out there. I’ve sent along the links, so you can put it in the show notes. What I’ve done this time is it’s up on Google Drive and I’ve got direct links now to the various files and another link to the folders. The other thing besides versions of my guide, there is a lecture I did in 2020 called touch screen unseen connecting the dots.

Hopefully, people will enjoy that as well. Their guide is currently available in ePub, also Microsoft Word, PDF, and Markdown. I decided to publish the plain Markdown, the text version. That way people can jump between the headings. They’re indicated by number signs. There’s no table of contents in that, but hopefully, the ePub version will work well for everybody. Anyhow, hope everyone enjoys and as always, looking forward to more great listening from Mosen At Large.

Jonathan: Thank you, Mike. Congratulations on releasing the second edition of this book. It is an incredible labor of love and a really valuable contribution that you are making to the blind community generous as well because if you were to price the 1,000s of hours that you have put into this, it could fetch a pretty good price. That’s a contribution that you can feel very proud of.

While we’re talking about iOS, of course, we are looking forward to WWDC, the Worldwide Developers Conference. Mike will be part of the panel, which will be producing a podcast right after that event concludes on the 6th of June, US time where we will be taking a look at all that has been announced from a blindness perspective. I do have a book recommendation for you. Maybe we need to start at Mosen At Large book club. That would be quite fun actually.

I was reading in the Tech Press about this book that has just been released this week. I thought, “I have to read this book”, and you might like to read it as well. If you do read it, I’m going to be talking about it next week because I’m 57% of the way through the book at the moment and I will have finished it by the time Mosen at large is out next week. I’d really like to know what you think of this book.

It is a fascinating tale. The book is called After Steve and its author is Tripp Mickle. That’s Tripp as in T-R-I-P-P and Mickle is spelt M-I-C-K-L-E. Tripp Mickle is with the Wall Street Journal. It seems like a thorough piece of journalism. The subtitle says it all and the subtitle is How Apple Became a Trillion-Dollar Company and Lost Its Soul.

I’m going to read you the synopsis of this book to see if it tantalizes you enough, wets your appetite, to take a read and then let me know what you think of the book. Whether you agree with the premise, whether you believe that Apple has indeed lost its soul. The synopsis says this, “From the Wall Street Journal’s Tripp Mickle, the dramatic untold story inside Apple after the passing of Steve Jobs by following his top lieutenants, Jony Ive, the chief design officer, and Tim Cook, the COO turned CEO and how the fading of the former and the rise of the latter led to Apple losing its soul.

Steve Jobs’ called Jony Ive, his spiritual partner at Apple. The London-based genius was the second most powerful person at Apple and the creative force who most embodies Jobs’ spirit. The man who designed the products adopted by hundreds of millions of the world over the iPod, iPad, MacBook Air, the iMac G3, and the iPhone.

In the wake of his close collaborator’s death, the chief designer wrestled with grief and initially threw himself into his work designing the new Apple headquarters and the watch before losing his motivation in a company increasingly devoted more to margins than to inspiration.

In many ways Cook was Ive’s opposite, the product of a small Alabama town. He had risen through the ranks from the supply side of the company. His gift was not the creation of new products. Instead, he had invented countless ways to maximize a margin, squeezing some suppliers, persuading others to build factories the size of cities to churn out more units.

He considered inventory evil. He knew how to make subordinates sweat with withering questions. Jobs selected Cook as his successor and Cook oversaw a period of tremendous revenue growth that has lifted Apple’s valuation to $2 trillion.

He built a commanding business in China and rapidly distinguished himself as a master politician who could forge global alliances and send the world’s stock market into free fall with a single sentence.

Author, Tripp Mickle spoke with more than 200 current and former Apple executives as well as figures key to this period of Apple’s history including Trump administration officials and fashion luminaries such as Anna Wintour while writing After Steve. His research shows the company’s success came at a cost. Apple lost its innovative spirit and has not designed a new category of device in years. Ive’s departure in 2019 marked a culmination in Apple’s shift from a company of innovation to one of operational excellence. The price is a company that has lost its soul.

I’ve got to say 57% of the way in it is a riveting read. It’s very hard to put down. If you have an interest in Apple products, I think you will find it the same. Take a read. Let me know what you think. I really would enjoy your thoughts on this one.

Speaker: Be the first to know what’s coming in the next episode of Mosen At Large. Opt into the Mosen media list and receive a brief email on what’s coming so you can get your contribution in ahead of the show. You can stop receiving emails anytime. To join, send a blank email to media-subscribe@mosen.org, that’s media-subscribe@M-O-S-E-N.org. Stay in the know with Mosen At Large.

Jonathan: Blind or sighted, many people perceive jury service to be a disruptive inconvenience and a chore that has to be endured, but being tried by a jury of one’s peers is a fundamental principle of justice. If disabled people aren’t considered to be a part of that peer group, it says a lot about the perception a society has of us.

In the United States, Senator Edward J Markey, Democratic Massachusetts, and Congresswoman Katie Porter of California have introduced the disabled jurors non-discrimination bill. If it’s passed, it will prohibit discrimination on the grounds of disability in federal jury service. To talk with me about this and the implications of this, I’m joined by Clark Rachfal who’s director of advocacy and governmental affairs at the American Council of the Blind. Hi Clark, good to have you here.

Clark: Hey, thank you, Jonathan. Good day to you.

Jonathan: I’m surprised to learn that this is still a thing. Can you give us a state of the union as it were of jury service when it comes to blind people in the United States?

Clark: Absolutely. Again, thank you so much for letting me join you for this conversation. This has been something that in my role as director of advocacy and governmental affairs for the American Council of the Blind I’ve heard often on from our members either being denied jury service, being denied the ability to bring their assistive technology into the courtroom. This is something that impacts folks not only when filling their civic duty, but also professionally as well.

Interestingly enough, in the United States, the Americans with Disabilities Act and Title II of the ADA does cover the courthouses for state and local courts and juries. However, the ADA does not cover the federal judiciary and that’s where we identified the gap in legislation and regulation as it were. As you stated, this bill would place disability as a protected class and not allow discrimination based off disability. If somebody does read Braille or uses sign language, has assistive technology to be able to read exhibits for a courtroom that can’t be the grounds of removing them from a jury pool.

We want the same– opportunity and we have the same right to be inconvenienced and annoyed by federal jury service as our peers.

Jonathan: Absolutely. When this happens, when somebody is selected for jury duty, and they turn up in good faith, and things like assistive technology become an issue, what is the rationale that is put forward for making that an issue?

Clark: That’s a great question. A lot of courtrooms and court security view electronic devices as potential recording devices or snooping devices. Any electronic device can be prohibited from being brought into the courtroom, not only assistive technology, computers, smartphones, things of that nature as well.

What’s lost is that a lot of the technology used by people with disabilities is so that they can function the same way everyone else does without using that technology. Whereas in the courtroom, you may have pieces of paper or photographs provided as exhibits, that could be items that are provided electronically to a juror using assistive technology.

Jonathan: How do you argue against that the trouble is, if that technology is misused, a lot of this technology hasn’t in its capability, it’s really easy, potentially, for somebody to jump on Twitter, or send an email, something like that, and cause a mistrial. There’s an honor system that would have to go on here, right?

Clark: There is an honor system that would have to go on. I believe there are also punitive measures that a court could take, you’re not going to have a jury full of folks using assistive technology. If somebody is hopping on Twitter, I think it would be pretty easy to identify who that individual is right. Also part of it is, like you said, the honor system, but it’s also having faith in the process and knowing that you are performing your civic duty and that you have to do so with the utmost respect for the courts and the process.

Jonathan: When I took this on a long time ago, here in New Zealand, one of the arguments that was offered by very eminent and erudite lawyers who were trying to talk me down was that sight is essential in a jury because sometimes you get photographic evidence, you already referred to that. You need to be able to see that photographic evidence to understand the nuances of the case.

My response to that at the time was just because you can see something, it doesn’t mean that you understand it or that you fully appreciate its significance. That somebody who was an expert in a particular field may well be able to make a very good contribution to a deliberation if the photographs are explained to them. What role do you think visual interpretation services like Aira, in particular, might play and how can that be safely integrated into a courtroom setting?

Clark: Oh wow, I hazard to take a guess because now not only are we using that electronic assistive technology, but we’re using it to bring in a third party as well. I think that could with the proper disclosure in contracted agreements in place, I certainly think that that could be a viable option. I also wouldn’t be opposed to an option where both sides of the dias got to provide a description or explanation of the photo in the exhibit.

Moreover, I think relying too heavily on sight in a courtroom environment could also lead to prejudicial notions and assessments. You will likely be seeing what you want to see. How interesting is it to remove sight in an environment where justice is supposed to be blind anyway? Wouldn’t it be interesting to have jurors who bring a different perspective to the deliberation because they’re not relying on the bias of their vision?

Jonathan: Yes. Well, this is bringing back so many great memories for me. [laughs] One of the arguments that was also offered at the time against changing the law, and we did eventually get it changed was that the facial expressions of the witnesses and the defendant was so critical to be able to understand the case. What’s your response to that?

Clark: I think that in proper jury service, you will use all of the tools that are available to you. I think if you rely too heavily on one to the detriment of the other, you could perceive things that are potentially not there or perceive what you want to see in a facial reaction, a blink, a twitch of the eye, that might be insignificant to the broader conversation. I think all of the information that jurors take in is valuable. It’s up to the jurors to determine of the information that they are receiving, what’s valuable, and what is noise that could clutter their duty to make a proper decision.

Jonathan: It’s important to emphasize that this would not mean if this legislation was to be passed, that every blind person who turned up was going to get on a jury because lawyers have the right to challenge for whatever cause– they can challenge without cause.

Clark: Absolutely. It doesn’t mean that every juror will be blind. We’re not advocating only blind jurors. We’re just advocating for folks to have the same opportunity to be considered for jury selection as their sighted peers.

Jonathan: I take it that you become aware of success stories where in fact, blind people have made really good contributions to juries. I think I’ve read articles from the United States about blind foremen of juries so it does go on. There’ve been very successful occurrences as well as difficulties.

Clark: I think that’s true for the entire legal system and legal process, whether it’s through jury service, serving as legal counsel attorney, witnesses, or judges.

Jonathan: What kind of reaction is this getting? I know there’s a lot going on at the moment. I found this release from Senator Markey because I monitor blindness-related things. I thought, well, that’s really interesting. Is it getting any kind of debate, any traction at this point?

Clark: There hasn’t been much activity on this legislation since it’s been introduced. We are excited to see the breadth of support that it has from Senator Markey’s colleagues in the Senate as well as Representative Porter’s colleagues in the House. Also, the organizations who endorse this legislation. Not only organizations like the American Council of the Blind, the American Foundation for the Blind and National Association of the Deaf, but in association for criminal defense lawyers supports this legislation as well. I think that that’s telling.

Jonathan: Yes, that’s a significant win in that case. What’s the trajectory of this? How long do you think it’s likely to take before it might become law?

Clark: I’ve learned many years ago never to place a prognosis on a bill becoming a law. Some folks say on average, it takes about eight years for legislation to become law in the United States. One thing they think is interesting is that this bill, although a small piece of legislation, certainly a significant piece of legislation, if there is a larger vehicle related to criminal justice reform, I think that it would be considered germane to include this legislation in that vehicle as well. That’s certainly something that will work with Senator Markey and Representative Porter to support as those opportunities become available.

Jonathan: Obviously, you’ve got a bicameral system there. You’ve got a house and a Senate, it’s often feisty, and there’s a lot of division in the United States at the moment. What determines what bubbles up to the top of the list?

Clark: Again, if I knew the answer to that I would likely be doing something else. I’d probably be on a 24-hour news show, a talking head, you and I could have this conversation in a different setting. It’s always interesting what moves and when it moves, right. A few months ago, I would have been very surprised to see the House and the Senate passing any more legislation related to spending and financial authorizations. They say that because of the Infrastructure and Jobs Act that was passed in September that was over a trillion dollars.

Then there was a lot of work and effort put into the Build Back Better Act that eventually did not pass the House and the Senate. It looked like we were going into a time where everyone was going to go back to the blue corner and the red corner and all the posturing would begin for the midterm elections in the fall. Since then, there’s been a crisis occurring with the Russian invasion of Ukraine, as you’re well aware of.

We’ve seen some additional spending packages, a lot of them related to support and relief for Ukraine that have been moving. We’ve also had the nominations hearings and the vote for or a new Supreme court justice. Those are, certainly, things that were urgent and important to be done on a very swift timeline.

When it comes to other pieces of legislation if there’s not the upswell of support or a looming deadline, there are items that can waiver. Take for example the work that many of us did in the United States throughout the COVID-19 pandemic related to accessible voting. There was a lot of movement around voting rights and voting access especially in 2020 because indoor polling places were closing due to the pandemic, and many places were implementing vote by mail, remote accessible vote by mail, and we had a lot of opportunity and we were able to capitalize on that opportunity to make remote voting as accessible as possible.

We’re seeing a lot of the same action now related to the accessibility of COVID testing and COVID vaccine websites. It’s all-important work, but it’s also very urgent and timely work as well.

Jonathan: That begs the question what priority does ACB accord or afford to this legislation because there are a number of very high priority issues that you’re working on and there’s one of you, but of course, there’s also just so much limited bandwidth that you can really expect ACB members to give to advocacy efforts.

Clark: At ACB Jonathan we love all our children equally, just some we love more than others. Yes, this legislation is certainly legislation that we are aware of and legislation that we’re supporting, but it’s also legislation that we are following the lead of our partners in the House and Senate to let us know when a greater groundswell of support will be appropriate for this legislation.

There are other items that we’re working on related to providing amendments to the communications and video accessibility act which everyone knows and loves for placing requirements for audio description here in the United States, and also working to push the Department of Justice to finally promulgate website accessibility regulations. Whether we can do that through the regulative channels, working with the Department of Justice and with the administration, or if that needs to be done through legislation.

Those are some very hefty lifts that we know will only move forward with the voice and a broad coalition of the disability community, so that’s where we’re spending a lot of our time. Since I have the microphone I’ll just add our other two legislative imperatives for this year are two bills that have already been introduced one is the Medical Device Nonvisual Accessibility Act which is HR 4853 in the House of Representatives to provide non-visual access to medical diagnostic and durable medical equipment. Anything that has a digital display must be made accessible for people who are blind, and for people who require non-visual accessibility.

Then also the exercise and fitness for all act, because we don’t want folks to only have access to accessible health and wellness products once they acquire say Type 2 diabetes or a lifelong comorbid condition. We want them to have access to accessible exercise and fitness equipment so that they can independently manage and take back control of their healthcare at the start.

Jonathan: Some very interesting topics there. Can we talk about those regulations for websites which have been expected for a very long time now? What is holding those up? One would think that there might be a little bit of a window potentially here that could be running out to try and move that forward.

Clark: Yes. We are hopeful that there is a window right now, but these are regulations that have been in the works for quite some time. They were started over 10 years ago by the Obama administration, and there was a notice of proposed rulemaking that was issued in 2011, but that was not completed before the end of the Obama administration. Then in 2017 that advanced notice of proposed rulemaking was removed by the Trump administration and the Department of Justice at that time.

We have been organizing the broader disability community and civil rights community here in the United States. Some notable activity on this topic, at the end of February over 180 national state and local disability and civil rights organizations sent a letter to the Department of Justice, to the attorney general urging the completion of website accessibility regulations within the first term of the Biden administration, so we don’t run into the same issue that we ran in in 2016. That’s a possibility with the presidential elections in 2024 if regulations are not completed.

We’ve also been holding meetings with the disability rights section and the office of civil rights at the Department of Justice, and we take it as a really positive sign that on March 18th the Department of Justice issued updated guidance on how the Americans with Disabilities Act applies to websites. This was not new policy. This has been the position of the Department of Justice since the mid-90s, so more than 25 years, but the courts haven’t always seen it the same way. Some courts say that there needs to be a nexus between the online built environment and the physical built environment.

We had a scare by a district court in the 11th Circuit which came out of Florida saying that the ADA doesn’t apply to websites at all. Fortunately, that ruling was overturned by a broader panel of that circuit, but it shows that the courts are not in agreement. That’s why we think that it’s time the Department of Justice provide clear unambiguous regulations that yes the ADA applies to websites and certainly broader than websites, but websites, applications, online services, but there may be aspects of this that Congress needs to clarify.

Certainly by Congress passing legislation, not amending the ADA, but in addition to or supplementing the ADA that would remove the ambiguity for the courts, and we’d be able to extend what is covered. Try to make it as future-proof as possible as new and emerging technologies come along. That accessibility needs to be at a consideration for those technologies as well.

Jonathan: It seems inevitable though that this will end up at the Supreme Court at some point, and that’s quite nerve-wracking I would imagine with the current composition of the court.

Clark: Yes. That is not something that I would like to see happen in the near future. We had some initial scares with that just in the past few months where CVS Pharmacy and then the Los Angeles Community College District were both appealing decisions that they found unfavorable, related to their websites and education learning platform, and they were seeking certification from the Supreme Court to challenge disparate impact. Meaning that although they were in violation of the ADA and they had inaccessible platforms and services, they shouldn’t be held accountable because they didn’t know that they were violating the civil rights of people with disabilities.

That’s really the underpinning of a lot of our disability rights advocacy here in the United States. It’s not that your rights as a person with the disabilities are only violated when somebody explicitly violates your rights, but no, it’s anytime your rights are violated you should have the ability to challenge that.

Jonathan: What will these regulations do that some of this case law pertaining to the ADA, somewhat fickle though it is, hasn’t done.

Clark: One thing it will do is provide a clear national uniform framework for web access standards and enforceable standards as well. There are guidance and international guidelines that exist, but a lot of times we hear from the business community that they don’t know what to do, and they don’t have clear standards from government.

The cynic in me thinks that as soon as we have a proposal for clear enforceable standards they’ll oppose that as well, but it’ll eliminate that arrow from the quiver that there’s no clear roadmap provided by the Department of Justice.

In making a uniform framework as well, I think that would avoid some potential conflicts or confusion if, say, the Department of Education created their own regulations for websites and applications. Then the department of transportation created their own and then Department of Health and Human Services and Veterans Affairs and on and on. Without the department of justice, promulgating, overarching regulations, we could have a patchwork of regulations that are created that could potentially create a lot of confusion.

Jonathan: Is the advent of these accessibility overlay companies who are claiming a magic fix with a couple of lines of code complicating this issue for you as you do advocacy on this?

Clark: Our membership last year passed a resolution that acknowledged the difficulty of web overlays. A lot of it being in the marketing of these products as well as the functionality of these products. The biggest concern for me is, and for ACB is that a lot of these web overlay services offer themselves to be a panacea for all the accessibility items that ail you, but it’s not that simple. In just putting a veneer or a facade of accessibility over a website or an application isn’t going to fix the fundamental flaws that exist.

In a lot of times, they really don’t work that well to begin with. It’s like the conversation about auto speech recognition, to have autogenerated captions. I’m sure everyone would love autogenerated captions and auto speech recognition if it worked well. Currently, they do not, they are not meeting the needs of people who want to use them and that’s the big issue.

Jonathan: Do you think that we will actually see these regulations in the near future?

Clark: Call me an optimist, but I believe we will see regulations for website and application accessibility in the near future. I’m taking the guidance that was issued by the Department of Justice as a nod to the disability community. Their way of saying, “We hear you, we are going to put out this updated guidance right now because we are working on this. We don’t have an updated notice of proposed rule-making that we can publish at this time, but we can try to bridge this gap by issuing updated guidance so that the broader community is aware that this is a priority for the Department of Justice.” We are strongly encouraging them to take that next step and issue the notice of proposed rule-making for the regulations as well.

Jonathan: We’ll watch the space with interest. I did want to come back to the comments you made about health equipment. It’s a very timely comment because I received an email from a listener who was frustrated because we ran a piece that was contributed by a member of our community who had got some technology that allowed him to check his blood sugar levels. It was iPhone-based and you wear this sensor and it gives you quite a lot of detailed information.

The point that our listener was making was, well, that’s all well and good, but most blind people don’t have iPhones. Diabetes is prevalent in our community, it’s one of the leading causes in fact of blindness in the first place. A lot of people just don’t have this technology and nor should they have to that this technology is so critical to someone’s health, that it just should be accessible. This is an incredible, dire, urgent need that is being met potentially with this legislation.

Clark: Absolutely. This has been something that the American Council of the Blind, as well as our affiliate ACB Diabetics in Action, have been working on for many years and exploring this issue in every way possible as well, whether it’s legislation, regulation, legal advocacy, we are excited to be supporting this medical device non-Visual accessibility Act. In particular for folks with diabetes and diabetic related vision loss, as you mentioned, it’s the leading cause of blindness for working-aged adults in the United States, disproportionately impacting our friends and colleagues, and family members in the African American, Hispanic, Native American, and Asian Pacific Islander demographics.

Also a disease that disproportionately impacts people who are lower income. To the point of your caller, when you have a continuous glucose monitor that provides accessibility but only if you also own and use a smartphone, that’s a phenomenal technological advancement for the people for whom it works well.

There’s a reader that comes with the continuous glucose monitor, a piece of hardware with buttons, and a screen that is not accessible. We don’t feel that you should have to have and use and be comfortable with a smartphone to have access to accessibility. Whether it’s for continuous glucose monitors, insulin pumps, home chemotherapy units, pulse oximeters, or any other medical devices that one might be using all of them need to provide accessibility to people who are blind, people who are low vision, deaf-blind.

Also, this is an issue that is really important for our members who live in rural parts of the United States. Places where they don’t have easy access to public transportation, paratransit, rideshare services, and any other mode of transportation. If it’s a matter of traveling for several hours to go visit a doctor in person to take one test or do one blood draw, but that’s something that through accessible technology, someone would be able to perform privately and independently at home. This really gets to the larger issue of wanting to make sure that our population and our members are able to age in place and remain active and engaged members of their local communities as well.

Jonathan: Companies in this industry have very deep pockets, but unfortunately it seems that a lot of those pockets are being drawn from to fight initiatives like this, rather than get around the table and find innovative solutions that are inclusive. Is that moving at all? Do you feel like the industry’s coming to the table?

Clark: I do not. Part of the reason I think that the companies are not coming to the table is because legally they don’t feel the obligation that they need to come to the table. That’s one of the reasons that we’re excited about this legislation, again, in the house of representatives, HR 4853. We’re also excited that there’s nearly 50 co-sponsors of this legislation, 45 Democrats and two Republicans.

We are creating bipartisan support for this initiative as well. I think that will get the attention of these medical device manufacturers and not only the device manufacturers, but companies providing electronic medical records, telehealth portals. Certainly, the pandemic is creating a greater awareness of how important accessibility is in the healthcare space. Also, add kiosks. Certainly when you go to a medical lab or a hospital, a doctor’s office, and you have to use a kiosk service to register, to check-in, to provide your personal information. Certainly, that aspect of the medical system must be accessible as well.

Jonathan: Again, in terms of where this sits on the legislative agenda for Congress, is it making any progress at all, or are we not at the point yet where you can say you expect this to come to a vote and a debate anytime soon?

Clark: This bill, in particular, I’m very optimistic about. Not only on behalf of ACB but this is also a legislative imperative of the National Federation of the Blind. We realize both ACB and NFB that this is not a single organizational issue, but this impacts all of our members and indeed the broader community as well. This legislation was introduced for the first time last year just last summer. We are excited that the legislation is continuing to build support even here in 2022 and we think that that will continue.

We’re pursuing options to have the introduction of a Senate companion bill as well. Hopefully, we’ll have some news to share on that front in the coming months. All of these are necessary steps to raise the profile of this issue, to reach the next level of having a hearing and a vote. As much attention as we can garner for this legislation, as much support as we can build will only show the importance. Also to go back to the pandemic, there is also a lot being done right now on the accessibility of COVID testing.

I think that having multiple areas of emphasis as it relates to healthcare and health and wellness really helps all of these issues move forward because it creates an awareness and an awakening from members of Congress and those in the administration about all of the access barriers that exist within our healthcare system.

Jonathan: Do you think that we will soon have accessible rapid antigen tests and how will they actually work in practice?

Clark: Those are the questions that we’re all trying to figure out. I can share that the National Institutes of Health held a listening session with members of the disability community. There are 27 different institutes within the National Institutes of Health. One of them is focused on the rapid deployment of healthcare technology and testing devices. They are looking into this issue. We can’t turn back time, but we really wish accessibility was part of the conversation earlier.

We are glad to now have their attention and their focus on what can be done in the short, medium, and long term to make, not only the rapid antigen testing accessible, but how can we improve accessibility for all forms of at-home testing, whether it’s COVID, pregnancy tests, colon cancer tests, all of these at-home tests that are available? Some have been available for decades and not much has been done. How can we move the needle forward to improve accessibility across the board for at-home testing?

Jonathan: Yes. I know that the RNIB in the UK have done some very interesting work in the pregnancy test area. That’s a template that I guess we can draw from.

Jonathan: That is a very helpful prototype that RNIB has developed. The base of these at-home tests they’re basically chemistry tests and they rely on, unfortunately only visual instructions, visual application, and visual reading of results. How can we introduce multisensory, multi-modality ways to receive the information and interface with these devices to make them more accessible, to a broader segment of the population?

Jonathan: This conversation has taken me back to when I was doing this work. It reminds me that you’re never short of things to do and there are so many important issues. How can people keep up with the work that you and your team are doing at ACB and just get progress updates on some of these and other initiatives?

Clark: Absolutely. Well, everyone should visit the website for the American Council of the Blind acb.org. Of course, you can follow us on social media as well. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram. We also have the ACB media network and you can visit acbmedia.org to access the internet radio streams, our community events. Certainly, we have geez, thousands of community events, roughly 90 to 100 a week organized of, for, and by our broad ACB community on a wide range of topics.

If you’re looking for specific news related to advocacy acb.org, the website, as well as subscribing for the ACB Dots in Dashes newsletter, and then wherever you listen to podcasts, searching for the ACB Advocacy Update Podcast.

Jonathan: Brilliant. Well, it’s been a fun wide-ranging discussion, and I really appreciate you coming on the show. I hope we can keep in touch in future as some of these issues develop. Thank you so much.

Clark: Jonathan, thank you for all the advocacy work that you have done and continue to do. It’s a pleasure being a guest on your show.

Speaker: What’s on your mind? Send an email with a recording of your voice, or just write it down. Jonathan@mushroomfm.com. That’s J-O-N-A-T-H-A-N@mushroomfm.com or phone our listener line. The number in the United States is 864-60Mosen. That’s 864-606-6736

Stan: Greetings Mosen at largers. This is Stan Warren Latrell. You ask about whether any of us have served on juries. Well, I almost served on a jury, and this probably been 14, 15 years ago. I had the opportunity to almost serving a jury. I was basically disallowed. Of course, in the United States, if we serve on a jury, we can be disallowed for any reason whatsoever. In fact, they don’t even have to have a reason. They are just given so many preemptive challenges.

Now, in my case, the case involved some videos that, of course, I couldn’t see, and there’s no way that I could, so I can readily understand because if someone were to even say what the video is, that is going to be based on their subjective knowledge of what they think I should think. That would be a little bit on the difficult side.

The interesting thing was a year later, I was given another jury summons, but they don’t like to have someone serve two years in a row. That is the last time that I’ve ever received any jury summons to serve on a Jury because I would love to have been able to serve on a jury. I’m proud to serve on a jury. There are a lot of people who do not want to serve on a jury at all. Well, I’m one of those people that would love to serve on a jury. Of course, they asked certain kinds of questions, but anyway, I was disallowed and that is certainly the way it goes.

Jonathan: Yes, that’s how it works in New Zealand and I think many other countries as well Stan is that any lawyer can challenge without cause that’s how we refer to it here. It could just be because they don’t like the look of you. They could think you’re the wrong demographic and you won’t be sympathetic to their client or whatever. They do have a certain number of challenges and they don’t have to tell you why they’ve challenged. Obviously, we will never know the degree to which blindness plays a part in those challenges.

Of course, in a situation where there’s a lot of photographic or video evidence, it may well do. I don’t have a particular problem with that, but if they’re preventing you from serving because they don’t think any blind person should ever serve at any time or they’re not allowing you to use the assistive technology, the alternative techniques that we as blind people use to get stuff done, then it becomes a critical discussion point.

This next email on this topic says, “Hello Jonathan, this is Scott in Montana. 15 or 16 years ago, I did serve on a Jury. This was in King Superior Court in Seattle, Washington. It was a fascinating experience and went much better than I thought it might. At the time, I had a BrailleNote MPower and after being asked a couple of questions about how it worked, I was allowed to use it to take notes with. During the trial I can remember only one thing that came up as a result of me being blind. The defense attorney was making some point about the handcuffs and asked the judge if he could show them to me. The judge agreed and the attorney handed them to me to examine.

When we were deliberating, I had a question about a piece of evidence and the jury foreman provided the description I asked for without any fuss or bother. For me, the experience was about as good as you could ask for. One other time during jury selection, I made it into the Jury box. About the same instant that my butt hit the chair, the defense dismissed me.

Each attorney had a certain number of people they could dismiss without cause and I was one of those. Since she was not required to provide a reason, I have no way of knowing if it was because I was blind or as a result of a question I answered earlier.”

Brenda Bush writes, “Dear Jonathan, I live in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. At the time, about seven years ago, I was working for the government of Canada when I was summoned to the provincial courthouse as a possible juror. As I recollect the case was an armed robbery of a convenience store. I took the bus downtown to the provincial courthouse with my guide dog, Leo. I was dressed for work because I didn’t think they’d consider me so I expected to continue to work. I was wrong.

I sat in a big courtroom with say 80 other people. The judge called upon us one at a time to come up and answer questions from the lawyers. A good number of citizens were dismissed because of childcare or because of their employment situation. I worked for the federal government, so would get paid if I served. Finally, my name was called and Leo and I went up to the judge. He had no intention of dismissing me because of visual impairment. There was some private discussion between the judge and defense lawyer.

The judge asked me if there was any way I could see or understand the video. I couldn’t think of a single accommodation on the spot and said, “No, I didn’t think so.” Hence, the defense lawyer rejected me because I wouldn’t be able to watch security camera video from the scene. Before stepping down, I told the judge I was surprised that they would consider a blind person. He said to me in a respectful but clear voice that everybody must come for jury duty when called everyone is included.”

Audrey says, “Hi, Jonathan. I was a teenager when I was diagnosed with RP. I’d never heard the term “legally blind” and questioned the doctor when he told me I was. I thought blind means that one could see nothing and I could still see. When he suggested I get a cup and some pencils because after all, that’s all a blind woman would be able to do for a livelihood, I was convinced he didn’t know what he was talking about.

Fortunately, I failed to follow his advice and decided to continue my education. Despite all the obstacles before me back then, I earned my degree and worked my way up the corporate ladder of a local hospital, where I worked until it was no longer safe for me to do so.

I retired my first guide dog after eight years together and was matched with my second guide, Jesse back in 2010. Shortly thereafter, I received a summons to report for jury duty in General Sessions Court. When we arrived at the courthouse that day, I asked the closest person to me to put their hands in their pockets and please give me directions as to where I needed to go. He immediately ordered me out of the door I entered into and insisted I come inside through the “handicapped” door. Dutifully I did as instructed though admittedly, I was quite puzzled as to why that was necessary.

Upon my reentering, that same person met me and proudly announced that I should go see the man in the blue suit standing near the gray wall. At that point, I simply used the little bit of sense I had left and followed the sounds of people going through what I suspected to be a metal detector. From there, I followed the crowd to a large room where Jesse found me a chair. We waited there for some time before the clerk told us all that we could take a break. I seized that opportunity to relieve my dog. We walked quite a bit before finding a grassy area and we both really enjoyed the peace and quiet.

When I returned to the building, no handicapped door this time, I made the mistake of asking one of the deputies in uniform to direct me to room number 4. He said he was going that way and I could walk with him after I had to ask him not to take my harness handle. Well, we walked down an unfamiliar outdoor corridor and into a noisy room filled with people and the aroma of food coming. When I inquired if he was sure we were going into jury room number 4, he sounded quite perplexed and he growled, “No, this is the snack bar. This is where you need to be. We have a blind man who works in this room. You want to see him, don’t you?”

After all that I wasn’t even selected to serve on any of the juries for that day. However, a couple of years later, I got yet another summons to appear for grand jury duty at the same courthouse. Our paratransit service is known for a lot of things but being dependable or punctual are not included in their description. When I called the clerk of court to advise her of this dilemma, she arranged to have a deputy pick me up from my home and returned me when we were finished. Fortunately, the deputy was a dog lover and listened to my instructions of how he could simply pet his leg and I’d have Jesse follow him.

We sailed through the parking lot and security checks and right up to where the grand jury would be selected. We were each issued a number and if our numbers were called, we should move forward to the front of the room where the final selection would be made. The clerk began to draw numbers and mine was the last to be called. I’d been chosen to serve on Charleston County Grand Jury, which I found out later met the first Monday and Tuesday of every month and my term would be for six months unless I was selected to be an alternate. In that case, I’d serve another six months. Yes, you guessed it. I was chosen and ended up serving a full year.

We were then escorted to the grand jury room where we immediately began to hear our first case. For those unfamiliar with the procedure, the law enforcement officials of the local area police departments appear behind us with their arrest cases for the preceding month. They describe each case and we have before us affidavits with corresponding information on them. Their information must match with ours for a true bill of indictment.

On our first break, I approached the clerk and asked to speak with the judge. When she asked why I informed her that I’d need either affidavits with much larger fonts or a video magnifier to participate. Somewhat puzzled, she reluctantly led me to the judge. I explained my condition to the judge and told him what I would need. He simply looked at me and harshly said, “Then you can’t read.” I told him that I could indeed read, I just couldn’t see the writing on those affidavits. They would have to be larger or I would need to bring my video magnifier if I were to actively participate.

The judge then told me that we could not bring any electrical devices into the courtroom but to tell his secretary what I would need. The next day I gave his secretary a list of various magnifiers and their vendors. The following month, sitting there on the end of the table where I sat was a beautiful 40-inch magnifier with a camera on it so I could focus on the police officer as well as the affidavit.

I’m not sure how many if any other legally blind folks have served but I do know that I was the first to serve on the Charleston County Grand Jury. Jesse made quite an impression on those deputies. In fact, long after his retirement, the deputies still ask about him. Thanks, Jonathan, for all you do to advocate for all of us.”

What an amazing couple of stories there, Audrey, that really epitomize the fact that the experience we have is so variable and can depend so much on the willingness, the common sense, the cooperation of people that we encounter along the way.

Mara: Hello, Jonathan. This is Mara Kelland the host of Mara’s Musical Tapestry on Mushroom FM Sunday 8:00 AM Eastern time. Anyway, I called to talk about jury duty. Jury service was an interesting experience for me because here in New Zealand, I had to get permission to get a cab to the court.

It started that I had to get permission to get a cab to the court and they reimbursed my cab fares to get to and from the court. The court was in a dangerous part of town here in Auckland. I got to the court and I went in the courtroom, in the jury room rather in the selection room. Then I sat there for a bit and then the clerk came up to me before they started and she said, “Oh, I think you should go home because you can’t do it and you should get a permanent exemption from jury service.” I said, “But I’m only blind.” She goes, “Yes, but they have visual evidence. You should get a permanent exemption for jury service.” I was allowed to go straight home and if I come up again, I’m not sure if I will ask for the exemption but anyway, that’s my experience of jury service, and hope it helps some people.

Jonathan: Well, Mara, that really saddens me after all we went through to get the law clarified and changed in the 1990s. That person is just flat out wrong. It is certainly true that had you stayed you could have been challenged if any of the lawyers in the case felt that there was so much visual evidence that, for whatever reason, they didn’t want you on the jury. You can ever prove why somebody challenges you without cause. To say that just because of your blindness, you should get a blanket exemption is just not what the law says and that is so unfortunate to hear that.

Let’s go back to Canada. Anne Musgrave says. “Dear Jonathan, I live in Canada, and I’m totally blind with a guide dog. In March 2018, I received a jury summons for the 1st of May and because I had an overseas trip planned, I requested and received a later date in September to attend. When I arrived at the downtown court building to report for service, the lady took my paperwork, looked it over, and said, “Okay, I have canceled your service.” At which point I handed it back to her and said, “But I don’t want to cancel. I wish to be considered.” There was a pause and then a little befuddled she replied, “Oh, well, okay, I will redo this.” She handed me back my completed form.

One of the people on duty that day offered me assistance and wanted to know what sort of accommodation I might require. Did I wish someone with me through the process? I thought for a minute and then asked, may I request help when I need it? They said yes, I was delighted, thus I was seated with a group of others also waiting to participate in selection, they turned out to be a wonderful group of diverse backgrounds.

I had been able to view online earlier an audio-described video of what to expect so I felt reasonably prepared. I cannot remember now how many times we were called to a courtroom for consideration from Monday to Thursday, but I know on one occasion I was rejected by the judge because of my blindness.

On Thursday, we were called and I was selected to come forward to be considered. The judge asked me how I would deal with visual content during the trial. I responded that I would need the legal counsels to describe anything in the way of visuals. In my jurisdiction, the two previously exempted jury members are the first to accept or reject the next presented candidate. I was well along in the selection process and the two previous ones at first turned me down. Interestingly, the judge intervened, looked at them, rephrased the question, and made it clear they had better have a good reason to say no. They changed their minds. Both legal counsels accepted me and I joined the jury with my guide dog.

Our jury constable was a very fine woman who did her best to ensure that I was accommodated through the process. He rearranged our order on the jury bench so that my dog and I were at the end, making a little more room for him. I took Braille notes and listened harder than I had for a while on every detail. There were a lot. As with most juries, we were marshaled a good deal to protect our confidentiality and the integrity of the process. In a way, once the trial begins, I believe that a blind person melds very well into this kind of group. It is small and protected.

In the jury room where we met, no one was allowed to discuss any trial matter unless everyone was present so while we had notes, we relied a lot on verbal discussion and respectful sharing. Our deliberations lasted past the first day and so we were all sequestered overnight in hotel rooms with no communications, no phones, TVs, et cetera. In all of this, my dog’s needs were carefully considered. As I reflect back on that experience, I am very grateful to have engaged in it and was allowed to fully participate. It was incredibly enlightening.

I came away with a much richer understanding of how intricate and complex the legal system is and the lengths that are gone to to maintain the integrity of the process. I could also see all along the way where someone with a visual impairment could find themselves cut out of it. From the first notification to a request for a deferral, to the arrival at the courthouse, to the treatment by fellow jurors, the presence or lack of accommodation, attitude by the presiding judge, attitude by other jurors and legal counsel, and then treatment by jury constable and fellow jurors, anywhere along the path can make it a good or difficult time. I felt fortunate to be able to participate so fully.

Like most people, blind people have a varied attitude about whether they wish to be on a jury. I believe that our democracies actually make very few demands on us as responsible citizens. Jury duty is one of those occasions when we can step up and participate in a meaningful way. It can be hard. The issues at stake may involve someone’s freedom or a jail term. It is still very worthwhile. Thank you so much, Anne. I couldn’t agree with you more. If we want the rights of citizenship, then we must also step up to the responsibilities of citizenship. That’s why I’ve always believed that jury service is critical and that blind people have a right and an obligation to be a part of it.

Speaker: Hi, Jonathan. Always loved your show. Wanted to share my experience with jury duty. I always went for jury duty in New York City about every two years. After I lost my eyesight around 2005 and was again called, I decided I should go because after all, justice is depicted as being blind although I suspect that she peaks through her blindfold. Anyway, I went down to the jury service center at the courts in Manhattan, and I said I would serve. The jury person sent me over to the head of the jury pool. When she saw that I was mostly blind, she said, “Oh,” she said, “I can help you with this. We have a new courtroom that can help you out. Come with me.”

I followed the head of the jury pool to a special courtroom where they had monitors where the testimony was broadcast in PC for the deaf. I pointed out to her that I wasn’t deaf, but I couldn’t see and I couldn’t read the letters on the television screen. “Oh my God,” she said, “Oh, you’re blind, not deaf. Oh, yes, I get it.” She sent me back with a note to the original room, needless to say, I was not put on a jury. After that experience, I had myself removed from the jury service registry. Thank you for your show. I hope others have had better experiences with this than I’ve had. [chuckles]

Speaker: It’s good that you can laugh about it. It is such a lottery, isn’t it? Just as Anne has said in her contribution, it’s just so random who you get. Anything could stop you from participating at any time even when you are willing.

Speaker: Mosen At Large Podcast.

Adrian: Hello, Jonathan. Hello for your listeners. I was just to mention a few things about the delivery apps. I use Deliveroo in UK here, and I use also JustEat. Those two apps I use. Normally, I use JustEat for just a few restaurants which are available only there. Mostly Deliveroo I use to order all sorts of groceries. On Deliveroo, I’ve got a subscription. JustEat I pay for the delivery because Deliveroo is often used ordering every few days fresh stuff and grocery and bread and whatever, milk, from the store, a local store sends their waiters around here. I prefer to pay the subscription and have to have a free delivery instead of paying each time a flat fee for delivery.

Deliveroo what I don’t like is they haven’t got a phone number where to call if you have any issues with the order. Of course, like probably anybody else, I had a number of issues in the past. A couple of times they send me somebody else’s stuff, not mine. Also, sometime some things were missing from my order. Again, if it’s happening something like that, they have a help button next to the order what you need and you have to go and chat to explain what’s happened. They resend the stuff or they do a refund or whatever they decide to make. Sometime I prefer to have a phone number to ring instead of using that chat facility what they’ve got there.

Funny, when is about the chat, I use actually that chat a few times, but if I’m not typing quick enough when they answer, they quit the chat quite quickly. The other hand, if I hold for their answer, the chat is not closing. It’s, again, very weird that chat. A part of that, I remember once I was so furious I was nearly to close down the subscription on Deliveroo because I did two orders in a row and both were wrong. I had a couple of times in that day to deal with the chat. When I finished the second chat, I said going to order something else. When I was on the point to make the third attempt, I actually was too late. The shops which I was looking for, they were closed.

So frustrating on that particular day, but part of that is convenient. Instead of going to the supermarket for my weekly shopping, I prefer to do in Deliveroo. It’s getting cheaper. I avoid going in shops, asking for assistance and paying taxes, go and return, and such and such. It’s way convenient to use Deliveroo, at least for grocery. JustEat, as I told, I use for a number of restaurants, including a Romanian one which I’ve got in this area here. I enjoy to have time to time [chuckles] my childhood courses or Romanian courses, which are traditional for us. I’d never used Uber Eats. When I had an attempt to do that a few years ago, my bank account was hacked. I avoided Uber Eats from that time.

I started to use now for a while Uber Rides. I hope one day to give try to Uber Eats again. For that reason, I was mainly reserved to jump on Uber Eats, all good and nice. Altogether, things are convenient, but the other hand are the downsides. We eat more, we wait, not necessarily the best food when we order from these delivery services. Mainly, why to not say it frankly, most of us, we order junk food and it’s expensive. I prefer a few days in a week to cook myself a meal instead of all running– They’ve got minimum orders, £10, £12. Sometime I can get with a meal cheaper than that.

Jonathan: We have been talking on the podcast lately about delivery apps and our experiences with them in terms of reliability. Also, of course, because we look at things through a blindness lens, accessibility. When this came up, I did a bit of a rant, really, about a terrible experience I had with an app called Menulog, which is available I think only in New Zealand and Australia. It is 100% accessible, at least for choosing your restaurants, perusing the menu, and placing an order. A great experience on iOS actually.

I mentioned that after we had that terrible experience, suddenly the field of view of this Menulog app from where we were narrowed considerably, and a lot of the restaurants that we liked to get food from suddenly weren’t available to us anymore. I’m wondering now whether that was a consequence of the Omicron outbreak that we had here. We kept COVID at bay for a long time, but we’ve lost that battle now. We had a significant Omicron outbreak and there was an impact on service. It could just be that there weren’t enough drivers and so they narrowed the field for a while. It’s back again.

The thing about Menulog is when it works, it works really well. I mentioned that they had a phone number that you could call. Every time you called it if you ran into any issues with Menulog, they said, “We can’t take your call right now due to unprecedented demand,” or something. Now they’ve fessed up and when you call, they say, “We don’t take calls from delivery customers anymore. We only take calls from restaurant partners.” Most of the time, I would say 9 times out of 10, Menulog does what it’s meant to do. It’s reliable and very accessible. The only trouble is it’s that 10th time. I want to come back to this, but it’s actually not to have a rant, it’s to tell you about some outstanding customer service.

If you run a business or you’re involved in any decision-making role in a business, and I’m in that category myself, this is a salutary lesson on how to do things right. It is good to be able to tell this story because it’s just so positive. It turned what could have been a pretty miserable experience into a great one. Let me tell you what happened. Last Thursday, Bonnie and I decided that we would treat ourselves to a meal from a place called the Adzuki Bean Cafe. If you happen to be listening in Wellington, the capital of New Zealand, I will spell this for you because I want to give them lots of publicity. It’s A-D-Z-U-K-I, and then Bean. Adzuki Bean Cafe.

The quality of the food there is absolutely superb. They’ve got a great menu. Check them out of here in this part of the world. We eat there from time to time via Menulog who delivers them to us. We placed our order. There’s a little status update thing where you can check what’s happening with your food. First, it says order accepted, so that’s a good sign. Then it says driver assigned, they’ve been told about your order and they’re on it. These words will be forever engraved in my brain. They then give you an estimated delivery time. That was set to 5:30. We eat quite early here, by the way, because we go to sleep early.

I’m up by 5:00 AM at the latest rocking the treadmill and stuff. You know what they say, right? Early to rise and likewise to bed makes a man healthy, but socially dead. Anyway, so we got our 5:30 delivery, and then eventually it changed to 5:48. That’s not unusual. Sometimes there’s a bit of slippage for whatever reason. It could be that the restaurant is busy or the driver is busy whatever. It was still stuck on this driver assigned, they’ve been told about your order and they’re on it. 5:48 actually came and went and it was still stuck on this message. Then we got to six o’clock and 6:18.

For me, 6:18 was the magic point. I said to myself, “I’m going to give this a half an hour after the scheduled delivery time. If the status hasn’t changed at that point, then I really need to try and find out what’s going on.” I called the Menulog number and was this time told even though the number is in the app still under the help section, that they don’t take calls from mere mortals like me anymore and go away and to use the online chat thing. I have used, as you will know if you’ve been listening to this podcast, the online chat function before. I mentioned that Menulog was accessible. I seem to recall there was an accessibility issue with the chat.

The food ordering process and the verification and everything was great, but I think I had an issue with the chat process on iOS. I got my ThinkPad out, went on the web, and decided to contact them that way, but I couldn’t find the chat open anywhere. Couldn’t get anybody to talk to. By this stage, by the time I’d been ferreting around on the website, it was probably about 6:30 or 6:35, and we still didn’t have our food. I decided the only thing I could do is to track down the phone number of the restaurant itself, the Adzuki Bean Cafe, and phone them and find out if they knew anything.

I called and I was really polite and apologetic. I said, “I realized that this isn’t your fault based on what the app is telling me that a driver has been assigned, but it looks like the driver hasn’t turned up, but do you know anything?” She said, “We’ve been told that there is a considerable delay, but that’s all that they’ve told us.” I said, “I guess that’s more than they’ve told me.” She said, “Where do you live?” I told her, “It turns out they’re actually quite some distance from us.” Not a super distance, but far from being around the corner, but this didn’t seem to daunt her at all.

She said, “I’m going to see if I can get one of the kitchen staff to bring you the food so that you are not waiting for it any longer than you should be.” I said, “That’s incredibly generous of you because you didn’t cause this problem.” She said, “No, that’s fine. We just want to make sure you get your food and that you’re happy.” She gave me her cell phone number and she said, “Text me your address and I’ll get one of the kitchen staff to bring it over.” I texted her the address and she texted back and said, “Thanks, it’s coming.” There it was, it turned up at the doorstep probably about 20 minutes later because, as I say, it is some distance from here.

I was super grateful. I thought, “I’m just going to tell everybody about this,” but there is actually more to the story, but wait, there’s more. We had our food and it was delicious. The next morning I was checking my email and what do I see? An email from Menulog refunding our money because as far as they were concerned, the food hadn’t been delivered because the cafe came to the rescue when Menulog dropped the ball. I thought about this and I thought, “Oh, man, that means that the restaurant, the Adzuki Bean Cafe, is out of pocket. I’m not having that because I know what it’s like to run a small business.”

I called them up and I said, “Listen, I see I’ve just got a refund from Menulog. That means you haven’t been paid. Tell me your bank account number or if you are able, let me give you my credit card number, and I can make sure that you get paid for the food and also for the inconvenience caused by having one of your staff leave the kitchen and bring this to us.” She said, “We know that you’re regulars, you were inconvenienced last night, it’s on the house. It’s a gift from us.” That is just wonderful customer service. They made it right for the customer even though none of this was their fault.

They could have just shrugged their shoulders and made all the right apologetic noises and said, “We’re so sorry, Menulog’s dropped the ball. There’s nothing we can do,” but they made it right. They just cared about what the customer was experiencing. That is pretty rare these days, pretty rare. Although it cost them a bit that time, it has made us very loyal customers. We love the food anyway, but boy, do we love that service. In fact, we did treat ourselves to another meal from there last night. Let that be a bit of a parable for all of us involved in running businesses and doing customer service.

[music]

Speaker: Jonathan Mosen, Mosen At Large Podcast.

Jonathan: Joe Norton is back and he says, “Hi, Jonathan, I don’t have a recording to contribute this time as I was using a microphone borrowed from my wife and the crazy thing has a loose wire-” Your wife or your microphone? [chuckles] “-which makes the USB connection drop in and out. I hate devices whose USB cables are soldered in,” says Joe. “Maybe it’s cheap wiring, but I’ve faired better with devices where I can replace the cables myself.” My wife is actually quite similar. Hopefully, she’s not listening. She goes through a lot of microphone headsets. I try and buy her really good quality ones because she uses her little HP Specter laptop to do voice tracking on Mushroom FM.

I try and buy her mic headsets that sound all right. She really does go through them, and I have no idea what she does to them. No idea. “Anyway,” says Joe, “I’m glad to hear the concert went so well. Just for fun, I had my Victor Stream recorded, but it gave up the ghost after nine hours and one minute.” I wonder if there’s some sort of limitation, “But I see I can listen to the rest on demand.” You sure can, Joe, at http://mushroomfm.com/BlindWithU Anyway, I do have an interesting website that is almost accessible which may be of interest to anyone who enjoyed the discussion relating to time services.

Someone out there has written a WWV/WWVH simulator in JavaScript. It’s not perfect, but it doesn’t sound half bad. The only thing not exactly accessible is the play button. However, in JAWS at least, you can narrow down past the item which says 50%. It’ll sound like you’re on a blank line, and you can press enter, and the program will run. If you go down and hit enter on the two radio buttons, five WWV or WWVH, the simulator will change to simulate the respective station.

It’ll even run on an iPhone. I even used our Samsung Smart TV and it ran on that thing, though not quite as well. I couldn’t get voice-over on the Mac to access the play button. If anyone knows anything about how to make the play button accessible, the programmer has the source code on a GitHub repository, which anyone can access. I even downloaded the source code, installed my own copy of the Apache web server, and accessed my own copy of the program through my machine.

I tried modifying the code with an ALT tag, but that didn’t work. Of course, I was totally shooting in the dark. I would welcome any suggestions if there are any programmers familiar with JavaScript who are listening. Oh, yes, we should definitely try and get this going, Joe. We should definitely try. The website if you would like to try the simulator is wwv.mcodes.org. A fairly simple website to remember. That’s wwv.mcodes, that’s the letter M and the word codes all joined together, .org.

Jim: Hey, Jonathan, this is Jim from Sunny, Florida. Hope things are going well with you. I wanted to ask if you or any other listeners have used the website or the app Eventbrite. It’s something that I have found more and more is even being used by nonprofit organizations to sell tickets or make reservations. One of the PBS stations that had a guest speaker had an online Zoom event, and you had to sign up to get the codes and stuff through Eventbrite some time ago. I just wondered if you’d had any conversations or used if that was an accessible. I’ve had some challenges with it. I don’t know if it’s just me or what your thoughts are. Tell me what you think about Eventbright,

Jonathan: Lovely to hear from you, Jim. Yes, I have used Eventbrite. It’s been a while since I have, and with websites and apps, knowledge can quickly be outdated. What I can say is that so far, I have been able to complete everything that I’ve needed to complete without issue. That doesn’t mean that I didn’t find it complicated or whatever. I don’t have a strong recollection. I just remember that on a couple of occasions, maybe in the last year or two, I found this site, I’ve been sent to it. I had to buy tickets. You’re right. It’s often for webinar-type nonprofit events that I’ve had to buy them for.

I was able to complete the purchase and get what I wanted, but let’s open it up and see what others think. If you have any specific issues with it, perhaps you could let us know what they are, and we can try and be helpful. Micheal Pantellidis has a question. He says, “Hi, Jonathan. Hope you are well.” I’m very well. Thank you for your question, Michael. That was an easy one. Oh, hang on. There’s a second question. I thought that was too easy. He says, “Over the last week, while on YouTube on my iPhone. when I play a video, I have lost the like, dislike, and share buttons. If I delete the app and reinstall it, they come back. I’m running the latest versions of the software both iOS and YouTube. Any thoughts?”

No, Michael, I’m pretty sure I’ve seen the like buttons on YouTube videos that I’ve watched over the last week. I may not have, I don’t consciously remember liking anything recently. Has anyone else seen this, and more importantly, got a workaround? Get in touch. Let us know. We can share the info. 86460 Mosen is my number in the United States, 864-606-6736. You can leave a voice message there. You can also email a voice message or write something down by email. Send it in to jonathan@mushroomfm.com. That’s J-O-N-A-T-H-A-N @mushroomfm.com.

Rose: Hey, Jonathan. My name is Rose, and I am a fan of yours. I love listening to your podcast. I am impressed by all you are doing for the blind community. I myself am blind. I really enjoy what you’re doing. I have a question for you since I have been looking for it. I listened to a podcast some time ago when I was at ICRE-Wood School for the Blind in Chicago. We listened to a podcast where you did an interview with someone that was recruiting for people that are wanting to work, or I guess Freedom Scientific is looking for people to work for them, blind people. I would like to find that podcast again. I’m wondering if you could someway let me know what the podcast number or some way lead me to that.

Jonathan: It’s good to hear from you, Rose. Thanks for listening to the podcast and also for calling in. First of all, I’ll give you the answer, and then I’ll talk about how I found the answer. This is episode 170, 1-7-0, you were looking for with the interview there with Glen Gordon from Vispero talking about the recruitment that they are doing, or at least that they were doing at the time of the publication of that podcast, which wasn’t that long ago. There are several ways that you can find this. The interview with Glen was not part of the title of the podcast, so it was in the podcast show notes. You can search the show notes in many podcast apps.

What you could also do is search the mosen.org, that’s M-O-S-E-N .org website. There is a search feature built into mosen.org, but you can also use Google to search a specific website. This is an incredibly handy feature, and just one of the little tips and tricks that I include in my audio tutorial, which is still available because it’s still valid, and it’s called The Secret Source Of Savvy Search. You can get that in the Mosen Consulting Store at mosen.org.

What you can do, if you’re searching for something on a specific website, into the Google Search field, you can type what you’re looking for. In this case, it would be, say, Vispero, and then type a space, type the word site as in S-I-T-E, colon, and the name of the site. I actually found this by typing in Vispero site:mosen.org, and eventually, I found the reference that you were seeking. I hope you enjoy episode 170, Rose, and that that information is helpful for the future.

Speaker: Like the show, then why not like it on Facebook too? Get upcoming show announcements, useful links, and a bit of conversation. Head on over now to facebook.com/mosenatlarge, that’s facebook.com/ M-O-S-E-N at large, to stay connected between episodes.

Chris: Hi there, Jonathan and listeners of Mosen At Large. This is Chris Gray, hailing to you from the beautiful city of San Francisco, almost Downtown. Glad to be here. I’m coming on today to share information about the Blind Shell Classic 2 phone, demonstrate many of its features. This may be a two-part demonstration, I’m not sure yet, but hopefully, you’ll enjoy it. I’m certainly enjoying doing it, so let’s go. First a word about perspective, which may or may not be helpful, but I think I need to share that. By way of discussion from my own perspective, I have never gotten totally comfortable with touch screens.

I do use them. I have a Samsung S22 I keep up to date on Android, et cetera, et cetera, but over the years I have used a phone called Claria, a French project which failed, but was wonderful. I loved it, and I have used it right along until we came to the 5G mess [chuckles] and that phone doesn’t work anymore. I moved to T-Mobile and adopted the BlindShell 2. I was very interested in the first line BlindShell Classic but felt that it really did not hold up in terms of hardware and abandoned my plans to revive Bay Area Digital, my previous company, to market that phone. The product I had was defective. It was pretty cheaply made, I hate to say, but that’s just the truth.

Then BlindShell 2 came along. BlindShell 2 is far sturdier, more robust in terms of its manufacturing and in terms of its software also. I ended up getting a BlindShell 2, I have used it now for about three or four weeks. I’m not an expert, but I think I do know it pretty well. I thought we’d begin today with a description of the phone and reviewing the main menu of the phone. We’ll begin by turning on the phone.

I do that by holding down what’s called the slash key of the phone. I’ve done that now, we’re waiting for it to boot up. Give you a sense of its responsiveness and response time, and how that all works. Give it a moment. It doesn’t take that long, but it does take a moment or two to get this done. It’s an old-fashioned response, you’ll recognize that. There we are, some taps. Anytime the phone will–

[phone rings]

Chris: Now-

BlindShell: 3:08 PM.

Chris: -we’re turned on. 3:08 PM, it said. Let me begin by describing the top surface of the phone. We have on the very top and for the majority of the phone a visual screen. Below that are a series of six buttons. There’s a dot on the far left, it’s called action button one. On the far right is action button two. Between those two is an up arrow. Next row on the far left is an okay execute button. On the right is a slash button, which I’ll describe in detail. In the center is the down arrow navigation key.

We turned on the phone by pressing and holding the slash button. In other areas, it functions as a back button. We’ll go back to the action buttons later on down the road but that gives you a sense of the top surface of the phone. On the top edge of the phone is an earphone connector which I’m using to record this phone. On the bottom edge is the power connector. Left-hand side has a volume up and down.

BlindShell: Right action button 3 of 4, volume 10.

Chris: I have the volume, as you can see, at a pretty high level. On the right is a key that can invoke a menu of things you put on there, special things you want to be able to get to quickly on that menu. If you hold it, it will allow you to speak into the phone at various times that we’ll demonstrate. Moving now to the software of the phone, let’s begin by reviewing the main menu to give you a very brief overview of the phone overall. Starting off, we have-

BlindShell: Call, one of seven.

Chris: -call. We use that to make phone calls and various things I’ll describe soon.

BlindShell: Messages, two of seven.

Chris: Messages, text messaging.

BlindShell: Contacts, three of seven.

Chris: Your contact list.

BlindShell: Applications, four of seven.

Chris: Applications. Fantastic area, exciting area of the phone that you need to know a lot about. We may not get to that in this demonstration but we’ll do it next time.

BlindShell: Settings, five of seven.

Chris: Settings, all your phone settings, ringtones, and everything else.

[background conversation]

BlindShell: Manual, six of seven.

Chris: Manual is the user manual and I’m sure you can identify what that is.

BlindShell: Turn off the phone, seven of seven.

Chris: Turn off the phone. A whole menu item [chuckles] devoted to turning off the phone but there you go.

BlindShell: Call, one of seven.

Chris: The first item in the phone’s menu is the call item so let me begin by demonstrating how to make a call and what’s in the call menu. I’ll press the raised round left-hand okay button.

BlindShell: Dial contact, one of five. Dial number, two of five.

Chris: That doesn’t go to your contact list, you have to enter the whole number there.

BlindShell: Call history, three of five.

Chris: That’s your call history. You can find a call there or find out did I really call that person or not and so forth. What you would expect a history to do.

BlindShell: Call statistics, four of five.

Chris: Call statistics gives you how many incoming, outgoing calls, things like that. Frankly, I don’t find it very useful but is there.

BlindShell: Blocked numbers, five of five.

Chris: Blocked numbers. I do find that useful. [chuckles] You can block and unblock numbers. When you do block a number, you can go in and access the list and see what they are and unblock one if you want, et cetera, et cetera.

BlindShell: Dial contact, one of five.

Chris: We’ll dial a contact.

BlindShell: 411 and more. 1 of 1369.

Chris: Now I’m in my contact list. I go to that far right-hand button, press it, and hold it.

BlindShell: I listen after a beep.

[beep]

Chris: Amtrak. [silence] Man, did it get in correct? It doesn’t tell me. [silence] Now we’re a little bit lost.

BlindShell: 411 and more.

Chris: We’re a little bit lost.

BlindShell: 1 of 1369. I listen after a beep.

[beep]

Chris: Amtrak. Got it that time. It’s not telling me that I got it.

BlindShell: Send message, Amtrak, call. Amtrack, one or two.

Chris: If I go down, I can go back up. I could have sent in a message but now I’m going to go ahead and just give it a call. There you see something that happens fairly often. It gets my speech about 50% of the time, maybe even less.

BlindShell: Dialing, Amtrak. [silence]

Speaker: Thank you for calling Amtrak. While Amtrak passengers and employees are no longer required to wear masks while on board trains or in stations,-

Chris: Here’s something very interesting. If I press the enter button here, I get a new menu.

Speaker: -masks are welcome and remain an important preventive measure-

BlindShell: Turn on speakerphone.

Speaker: -against COVID-19.

BlindShell: Start recording call.

Speaker: Anyone needing or choosing to wear one-

BlindShell: Mute microphone.

Speaker: -is encouraged to do so.

BlindShell: Turn on speakerphone.

Speaker: All travelers are required to fill out a short brief [crosstalk] check within–

[beep]

BlindShell: 411 and more, 1 of 1369. Dial contact, one of five.

Chris: A very useful set of features. You can record part of a call, you can turn on speakerphone, and mute your microphone on the phone. The speakerphone and recording you have no control over the volume, which is a feature I do not like. It’s a very loud speakerphone and the recording. Seriously loud. One more comment here. You may have noticed when I started the call, and I wanted to specify calling Amtrak, it gave me this message about it would listen to me after a beep. I find that really irritating. [chuckles] It isn’t consistent either. Sometimes they do that message, sometimes they don’t. You just have to be aware and listen for the beep and hope you can get it all figured out. Another issue–

BlindShell: Dial contact, one of five. Dial number, two of five. Dial contact. Call. One of seven.

Chris: I’m getting out of that menu.

BlindShell: Messages. Contacts. Message. Calls. One of seven.

Chris: Oops, I went too far.

BlindShell: Dial contact, one of five. Dail number, call history, three of five.

Chris: In the call history, I want to show you something that I also find irritating. It’s not a showstopper, but it is weird.

BlindShell: All calls, one of five.

Chris: I can choose all calls or-

BlindShell: Outgoing calls.

Chris: -outgoing.

BlindShell: Incoming calls, missed calls, four of five. Rejected calls, five of five. All calls, one of five. Incoming calls-

Chris: Press Enter.

BlindShell: -Amtrak, 2 minutes ago, 1 of 437.

Chris: It lists Amtrak as an incoming call. Obviously, it was not an incoming call, was an outgoing call. That’s just software glitch at the moment, needs to be fixed. Again, not a showstopper, just an annoyance. Now I’ve backed out of the layers of the call menu back to the main menu, the next item in the main menu is–

BlindShell: Messages, two of seven.

Chris: Here we have messages, text messages.

BlindShell: Write SMS to contact, one of six.

Chris: That’s number one.

BlindShell: Write SMS to number, two of six. Write SMS to multiple recipients, three of six. Conversations, four of six.

Chris: Conversations is a list of all the conversations you’ve had with a contact that the phone still has in its memory. Can be handy.

BlindShell: Drafts, five of six

Chris: Drafts if you have to message and then have to go do something else, you can save it as a draft.

BlindShell: Messaging settings, six of six.

Chris: Then you have your settings. There’s just a few settings. We won’t go through those right now.

BlindShell: Write SMS to contact. 1 of 6. 411 and more. 1 of 1368.

Chris: I pressed enter and here I am back in my contacts list. I’ll say–

BlindShell: I listen after a beep.

Chris: Chris. I’m hitting up and down. I hear nothing.

BlindShell: 411 and more. 1 of 1368. I listen after a beep.

[beep]

Chris: Chris, I had to kind of speak up to it.

BlindShell: Call Chris friend. Two, call Chris Horley, 1 of 40.

Chris: It didn’t find me. Let’s see.

Chris: Where am I?

BlindShell: Call Chris Cook. Call Chris Horley. Call Chris Prentice. Call Chris Park. Call Chris Fickle. Call Chris Cole. Call Chris Custer. Call Chris Mendel. Call Christoph. Call Chris. 12 of 40.

Chris: Here I am.

BlindShell: Dialing, Chris.

Speaker: Please enter your password, then press pound.

Chris: Okay.

[beep]

BlindShell: Write SMS to contact, write SMS to number, two of six.

Chris: Now I can enter just a phone number and enter the phone number itself. It is true that often it does not hear you say a contact and I wish it did, but that is another irritation of the phone. Again, not a show stopper, but what is this? The third irritation [chuckles] that I have told you about, but there you go.

BlindShell: Messages, two of seven,

Chris: Let’s go to contacts.

BlindShell: Contacts, three of seven. Contacts list, one of six.

Chris: Here’s your list of contacts.

BlindShell: Add new contact, two of six.

Chris: Pretty obvious.

BlindShell: Single button dialing, three of six.

Chris: You can assign a button to a contact, a single button for your most important contacts.

BlindShell: Important contacts from file, four of six.

Chris: I haven’t done that, but I think it’s obvious what it does do.

BlindShell: Backup contacts to file, five of six.

Chris: That I have done. [chuckles] You go into a menu, you specify a file name, and backup your contact.

BlindShell: Contact settings, six of six.

Chris: Here are your settings, just two or three settings. How you alphabetize them is the main point there.

BlindShell: Contacts list, one of six.

Chris: I’m going to go into the contacts list because I want to show you something.

BlindShell: 411 and more.

Chris: There’s my 411 and more that you’ve heard about 10 times now. What if I want a person’s name? I can’t choose a whole name. One letter is all you get. Let’s just say that I know that I want to contact somebody whose name, and I have mine sorted by first name. The last name begins with a B, so I’ll press two twice to get to B.

BlindShell: B, Barbara Lemo, 92 of 1368.

Chris: Not too bad, but what if I want somebody whose name begins with say V as in Victor. I go back here–

BlindShell: Contacts list, 1 of 6. 411 and more. 1 of 1358.

Chris: Now I press the eight key three times.

BlindShell: B.

Chris: We have to wait a while. Just so you’re aware, my contacts list is long. I’ve got over 1,500 contacts in my list.

BlindShell: Valerie May, 1307 of 1368. Veronica Elsie, 1308 of 1368.

Chris: There you go. That’s the Vs. As you can see, it takes a while to get there. I do wish that you could enter more than one letter. I absolutely wish the search [chuckles] was far quicker than it is. One thing I do want to say though, and I learned this in the process of doing this demonstration, if you want a full search and you press the up arrow one time from the main list, it does go to a search and you can search by more than one letter. I didn’t realize that until now. Very good to know, and a feature which I’ll probably use fairly often.

If you’re in the middle of a list somewhere, that’s going to be a problem, but at least it’s a mitigating factor here. One thing about messaging that I should say is there’s a very irritating way this tone operates. You go down to the messaging menu, you choose to message someone, and then you’re on call not message. That to me is just sloppy, but again, like many other things, not the end of the world.

BlindShell: Messages, two of seven.

Chris: Here we are in messages.

BlindShell: Write SMS to contact, one of six.

Chris: Write SMS to contact.

BlindShell: 411 and more, 1 of 1369.

Chris: I go into my contacts list.

BlindShell: I listen after a beep.

[beep]

Chris: Vince new cell.

[beep]

Chris: Okay, got him in there. I’m going to press the down arrow one time.

BlindShell: Send message. Vince new cell, two of two.

Chris: Send is two of two.

BlindShell: Call Vince new cell. One of two.

Chris: Call is one of two. Why when I went into messages would call be the first item on the list? Here’s call–

BlindShell: Send message. Vince new cell.

Chris: Here’s send.

BlindShell: Two of two. Call, Vince new cell. One of two.

Chris: Call is one of two. That to me is inexcusable. I’m already in messages and the first item is call. Sorry, that just doesn’t work for me. Let’s go back to the main menu now.

BlindShell: Contacts list. Your contacts? Three of seven.

Chris: Okay.

BlindShell: Applications, four of seven.

Chris: Applications is very interesting. We’ll probably save that for next time, but let me go now to something I know everybody loves and wants to know as a basic, a fundamental of the phone, and that is your settings.

BlindShell: Settings, 5 of 7. Sounds, 1 of 10.

Chris: Sounds are what you would think–

BlindShell: Profiles, one of seven.

Chris: Profile is different groups you can put together.

BlindShell: Ring tone and vibration selected, one of five. Vibration only not selected, two of five. Ringtone without vibrations not selected. Silent without vibrations not selected. Airplane mode not selected. Five of five.

Chris: Okay, that’s your profile.

BlindShell: Profiles, one of seven. volume, two of seven.

Chris: Volume, I think it’s pretty obvious.

BlindShell: Melodies, three of seven.

Chris: Melodies are your ring tones. There’s quite a few of them, maybe something close to 100. Let’s see.

BlindShell: Ringtone sound, one of three. Notification sound, two of three. Alarm sound, three of three.

Chris: Those are three different kinds of sounds.

BlindShell: Ringtone sound, no phone selected. 7 of 101.

Chris: 101 there.

[phone rings]

Chris: That’s its sound, which did not come through the earphones, the headphone jack to be plugged in directly, but I’m sure you could hear it from my phone itself.

BlindShell: Notification sound.

Chris: Notification sound.

BlindShell: Miro selected, 47 of 81.

Chris: 81 there.

[beep]

Chris: That did come through the mixer, so there you go.

BlindShell: Notification sound, alarm sound, three of three. Cesium selected, 11 of 27.

[alarm sound]

Chris: Just 27 there.

BlindShell: Alarm sound, [crosstalk].

Chris: Can you believe that noise wakes me up? I’m telling you, hard to believe.

BlindShell: Melodies, 3 of 7. Sounds, 1 of 10.

Chris: We are back to the sounds. We had to go back out the level of menus.

BlindShell: Keyboard, 2 of 10.

Chris: Keyboard.

BlindShell: Keypad lock, one of five.

Chris: You can lock your keypad if you wish.

BlindShell: Reading during deleting characters, two of five. Repeating during writing characters, three of five. Capital letter signaling, four of five. Dictation mode, five of five.

Chris: Choose that.

BlindShell: To use online speech recognition when network available selected, one of two. Always use offline speech recognition not selected, two of two.

Chris: Those are interesting. The others are so obvious, I didn’t go into those menus.

BlindShell: Dictation mode, five of five.

Chris: We’ll go back out of there.

BlindShell: Keyboard, 2 of 10. Display, 3 of 10. Brightness setting, 1 of 5. Screen time out, 2 of 5. Color scheme, 3 of 5. Main menu style, 4 of 5.

Chris: What is that?

Speaker: Icons and text selected, one of three. Only text not selected, two of three. Icons only not selected, three of three. Main menu style, four text size. Five of five.

Chris: I think that’s pretty obvious, so there we are there.

Speaker: Display, 3 of 10. Networks, 4 of 10.

Chris: Network is your WiFi or your hotel WiFi or whatever.

BlindShell: Favorite applications, 5 of 10.

Chris: Favorite applications. That’s interesting, so let’s go there.

BlindShell: Color indicator, one of four. WhatsApp, two of four. Facebook messenger, three of four. Add favorite application, four of four.

Chris: Now I can add a favorite application here and then invoke it with the right-hand key on the right edge of the phone. Later on, I use that same key but hold it longer to talk. You can have whatever you want to on that key. It can be a very handy feature.

BlindShell: Screen reader, 6 of 10. List item announcement, one of two. Grid item announcement, two of two.

Chris: To be honest, I don’t know anything about the screen reader. I have not researched it yet. I haven’t used it yet, but I’m showing it to you just because it’s there.

Chris: Date, time, and time zone. 7 of 10.

Chris: Okay, that’s pretty obvious.

BlindShell: Language, 8 of 10. English selected, 2 of 19. Arabic not selected, 1 of 19.

Chris: I better not choose that, had I? [laughs] Anyway, you’ve got all your languages– A bunch of languages. Maybe you want to hear them.

Speaker: Czech not selected. 3 of 19. Danish not selected, 4 of 19. German not selected, 5 of 19. Spanish not selected, 6 of 19. Estonia not selected, 7 of 19. Finnish not selected, 8 of 19. French not selected. Hungarian not selected. Italian not selected. Norwegian [unintelligible 01:50:59] not select– Dutch not selected. Polish not selected. Portuguese not selected. Russian not selected. 16 of 19, Slovak not selected. Swedish not selected. Ukrainian not selected. 19 of 19.

Chris: There you have a lot of languages. This phone was developed in Hungary so it stands to reason that you’ve got that European complexion, not to mention a lot of Eastern European languages in there.

BlindShell: System update, 9 of 10.

Chris: System update. A very good thing about this phone that I want to tell you is that they update stuff all the time. Not always the system, but all the applications. Shoot, the other morning I received 15 updates. A few days before that 8 updates. Since I had a choice, I did not do the system update knowing I could demonstrate it for this particular recording.

BlindShell: Check for updates. One of one, new version 5.0.8.1 is available to download. One of three. Show history of changes. Two of three.

Chris: We will see what they did.

BlindShell: Fix a problem with the network speed test. Volume control has more levels during a call and when headphones are connected. Fixed pronunciation of letter W in Hungarian. Added missing letters in Spanish keyboard, version 5.0.8.1. One of one.

Chris: Not huge, but I’m sure very important.

BlindShell: Show history of changes. New version 5.0.8.1 is available to download.

Chris: Let’s go get it.

BlindShell: One of three. New version 5.0.8.1 is available to download. One of three, show history of changes. Two of three, download now. Three of three, downloading. 4% downloaded, 11% downloaded.

Chris: I’m not going to make you sit through all those percentages. You get the idea of the time. Let’s just do a little reaper editing here and move on.

BlindShell: 98%. Download completed. Do you want to install the update? The installation can take a few minutes. Your phone will be restarted. One of one.

Chris: I’ll say yes. Again, let’s get rid of some of these intervening spaces that we don’t need to hear. Turn it back on now.

BlindShell: Updating BlindShell, please be patient. Progress, 16%.

Chris: Interesting. [laughs] A different voice.

BlindShell: Progress 33%, progress 50%, progress 57%.

Chris: Not on the headphones either.

BlindShell: Progress 84%. BlindShell successfully updated.

[phone vibrating]

Chris: Vibrated again. Now I assume it’s going through a restart procedure.

[phone rings]

Chris: Jonathan, what do you say we wind up this first demonstration of the BlindShell Classic 2. This has been a fairly rudimentary treatment in certain ways, showing you a lot of things that are fairly obvious, but that people want to know about and want to hear about. In part two, I’ll go into some of the more interesting, and in many cases, very notable aspects of the phone. You got to analyze with a couple of them on a few of the lists, but we’ll go into more detail next time. There are lots and lots and lots of features left over to tell you about. Thank you for listening. Jonathan, thank you for broadcasting, assuming that you do. [chuckles] We’ll talk soon again.

[music]

Jonathan: I love to hear from you. If you have any comments you want to contribute to the show, drop me an email written down or with an audio attachment to Jonathan, J-O-N-A-T-H-A-N, @mushroomfm.com. If you’d rather call in, use the listener line number in the United States, 864-606-6736.

Speaker: Mosen At Large Podcast.

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