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

In the previous episode, we led with the breaking news that the Canadian General Standards Board has abandoned plans to adopt a federal standard for service dog animals, following a widespread backlash. Jonathan Mosen speaks with Yvonne Peters and Tom Dekker, who played critical roles in this successful advocacy campaign. Even if you’re not directly interested in the issue, the story Tom and Yvonne tell is an example of how effective use of social media for advocacy can make a difference. To review the website set up for coordinating the advocacy around this campaign, visit Hands Off our Harnesses.

This episode also includes a segment from Mushroom FM’s popular technology magazine show, The Daily Fibre, which can be heard every week day at 3 AM and again at 3 PM US Eastern time. Many people now use the accessible Windows app called TapinRadio to record The Daily Fibre if they can’t hear it live. But there’s been a lot of demand for us to include this segment on The Blind Side Podcast. Jonathan demonstrates Alexa Blueprints. Currently available to those with US-based Amazon accounts, it allows anyone to make their own Alexa skills for personal use without knowing how to write a line of code. We demonstrate how easy it is to do.

Our listener feedback section includes comments on whether, or when, a sighted person should give up their seat for a blind person on public transport. We also hear more opinions on people-first language, a listener promotes a discussion about improving Braille reading speed, questions about hearing aids and in particular, using them with Aira.

Speaking of Aira, Jonathan has updated his extensive blog post on the Aira service. You can also watch the TV coverage of Bonnie and Jonathan’s Aira experience.

The Aira trial is ramping up for New Zealand, Australia and the UK. Learn more about the Aira expansion trial.

We welcome your feedback. Send email to TheBlindSide at Mosen dot org, or call the feedback line in the United States on  (719) 270-5114.

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