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2143 UN Resolution Commits Countries to Eye Care (Oct. 20, 2021)
Many people around the world suffer from vision problems that are readily treatable. A new United Nations resolution aims to address this problem. Hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey talk with Jessica Thompson, Head of Policy and Advocacy at the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) about the resolution and what it hopes to accomplish.
2142 Birdability (Oct. 13, 2021)
Birdability is an organization whose mission is to make birding accessible to all. Hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey talk with Freya McGregor, Birdability Coordinator and Occupational Therapist, and Michael Hurben, avid birder with vision loss, about the organization and how anyone can enjoy birding and the wonderful outdoors even if they can’t leave their own home!
2141 Not Just A Leap Of Faith (Oct. 6, 2021)
People who are visually impaired are no strangers to participating in sports. On the other hand, it is difficult to imagine jumping over a 10 or 12 foot high bar without seeing the bar. Hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey talk with Bradly Rainwater, a competitive blind pole vaulter, and his coach and grandfather Brad Rainwater about how it can be done.
2140 Encore of 1916 The Voice Behind Siri (Sep. 29, 2021)
Meet Susan Bennett whose voice was used to create the original female English language Siri voice. Hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey talk with Susan about her experiences as a voice artist, actress, and musician, what it was like to create the voice for Siri, how she found out that she was the voice behind Siri, and how it changed her career.
2139 Using Reaper with OSARA (Sep. 22, 2021)
Reaper is a powerful multi-track audio production program used by many people with visual impairments. The program is made accessible using a screen reader on both PC’s and Mac’s by the open source OSARA extension for Reaper. Hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey talk with Scott Chesworth who manages the Reaper forums and Jamie Teh, the author of OSARA.
2138 Maxima Computer Algebra System (Sep. 15, 2021)
Maxima is a computer algebra system (CAS) that enables the user to work with complex mathematical expressions. Hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey talk with Robert Dodier, one of the developers of Maxima, about the capabilities of this free, open source program and also demonstrate how it can be used with a screen reader by those who are blind.
2137 Sharing Experiences with Cochlear Implants (Sep. 8, 2021)
Blind individuals rely heavily on their ability to hear in order to compensate for their lack of sight. But what happens when a blind person loses their hearing? Hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey join a conversation between Jim Snowbarger and Greg Green, both of whom are blind and both of whom have cochlear implants, about their experiences with the implants.
2136 Combining Computer Science with Social Sciences (Sep. 1, 2021)
Bhavya Shah grew up in India where blind students were often dissuaded from certain studies and careers and where many textbooks could not be obtained in an accessible format. Hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey talk with Bhavya about how he overcame these challenges and now combines his skills in computer science with his interest in social science to contribute to research projects.
2135 Getting Around as an Entrepreneur (Aug. 25, 2021)
Fernando Albertorio is a blind chemist turned entrepreneur and philanthropist. He is also a co-founder of the Sunu Band, a device worn on the wrist to provide tactile navigation cues to the blind. Hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey talk with Fernando about his journey, philosophy, and how his drive and motivation have opened up opportunities for him.
2134 Navigating Indoors with the Clew App (Aug. 18, 2021)
Most navigation apps rely on GPS and work well outdoors. Unfortunately, such apps are not suitable for indoor use. Hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey talk with Paul Ruvolo about the Clew app he developed which overcomes this limitation by making use of Apple’s AR Kit and the phone’s camera in order to guide users from point to point indoors.
2133 Encore of 1844 Sounds of the Stars (Aug. 11, 2021)
Last week we talked about creating tactile representations of the universe. This week hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey talk with Greg Salvesen, a post-doctoral fellow at UCSB, and Matt Russo, a professor of astronomy at Seneca College about using sonification to transform astronomical data into audio for use by both sighted and vision impaired people.
2132 Making Astronomy Accessible (Aug. 4, 2021)
Astronomy is generally thought to be a very visually oriented field, but with some thought, it can be made accessible to those who are blind. Hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey talk with Noreen Grice, founder and president of You Can Do Astronomy, about how she makes astronomical concepts and features engaging for those who can’t see.
2131 MuseScore Music Scoring Software (Jul. 28, 2021)
MuseScore is a program for creating and sharing musical scores. Despite being open source and free, MuseScore includes many of the features found in commercial programs. Hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey talk with Marc Sabatella, one of the developers, about his work to make MuseScore accessible with a variety of screen readers.
2130 Creating Solutions to Solve Problems (Jul. 21, 2021)
Doug Lee has been blind his entire life. In addition to writing JAWS scripts for Level Access, a firm that develops access solutions for other companies, Doug also freely shares many scripts and tools he has developed to improve access to commonly used programs. Hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey talk with Doug about his life and the tools he shares.
2129 On the Road Again After Covid (Jul. 14 2021)
Video calls with a 3 and 5 year old just don’t cut it. So hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey decided to take their first big road trip after Covid to see the grandkids in person. Hear about their journey from Colorado to Michigan through the cornfields of Nebraska and Iowa, some of the unusual sights they saw along the way, and more.
2128 Tools for Blind Scientists (Jul. 7, 2021)
The more tools one has in one’s toolbox the better one will be prepared to take on new tasks and address new problems. Hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey talk with Mona Minkara, Assistant Professor of Bioengineering at Northeastern University about the extensive set of tools she has collected and used over the years to compensate for her blindness.
2127 Missy Mouse Books (Jun. 30, 2021)
How can a parent describe blindness to children who might not have experienced it? What makes some people different and how might they deal with those differences? Hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey talk with Lois Strachan, author of the “Missy Mouse” series featuring a young blind protagonist aimed at helping children understand blindness.
2126 Encore of 1351 Regaining Vision After Decades of Blindness (Jun. 23, 2021)
Hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey speak with Mike May, the subject of “Crashing Through”, a bestselling book about his experiences regaining partial vision through a stem cell transfer and corneal transplant. Having lost his vision initially at age 3, his visual cortex was only partially developed. He had to learn some things he never knew and how to use what new vision he got.
2125 GoodMaps Indoor Navigation Aid (Jun. 16, 2021)
GPS technologies and apps are a great asset in helping the blind navigate and become more mobile. Unfortunately, GPS is only effective in navigating outdoors. Hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey talk with Mike May about the new GoodMaps app and how it has overcome technical challenges faced by other approaches to indoor navigation in the past.
2124 White Cane and Guide Dog Mobility Differences (Jun. 9, 2021)
Is a guide dog for you or would you prefer to navigate using a white cane? What are the trade-offs? If I decide to get a dog, what is the process? Hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey talk with Jake Koch, Community Outreach Specialist at Guide Dogs for the Blind about the answers to these questions and the services offered by Guide Dogs for the Blind.
2123 The Great Outdoors (Jun. 2, 2021)
Lawrence Gunther is host of the podcast “Outdoors with Lawrence Gunther”. The podcast is a mix of interesting facts about our environment and outdoor activities and includes interviews with blind people who enjoy the outdoors. Hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey talk with Lawrence, who is blind himself, about the podcast as well as about his own adventures in nature.
2122 Life and Career of Larry Skutchan (May 26, 2021)
Larry Skutchan has been a key contributor and driver behind many of the access technologies that are familiar names to us these days. This includes the Studio Recorder audio editing program, the Bookport Reader, the Mantis braille display, and much more. Hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey talk with Larry about his life and career now that he is newly retired.
2121 Louie Voice Control (May 19, 2021)
Imagine being able to fully control popular smartphone apps and functionality with just voice commands! That is what the Louie Voice Control system enables. Hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey talk with Pramit Bhargava whose own vision loss inspired the concept and led to its development. Hear the system in action and how it can be used to perform everyday tasks.
2120 APH ConnectCenter (May 12, 2021)
The American Printing House (APH) ConnectCenter manages resources aimed at helping people of all ages and includes VisionAware, FamilyConnect, CareerConnect, ConnectCalendar, and an Information and Referral Line. Hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey talk with director Olaya Landa-Vialard and digital content specialist Kathryn Botsford about these services.
2119 Accessible Cloud Technologies (May 5, 2021)
Pneuma Solutions offers a suite of accessible cloud services geared to the needs of the visually impaired. Hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey talk with co-founders Mike Calvo (CEO) and Matt Campbell (CTO) about Sero as well as how Scribe for Meetings and Scribe for Education transform documents to make them accessible in a variety of formats for web events and personal use.
2118 From Technologist to Accessibility Evangelist (Apr. 28, 2021)
Dean Hudson’s vision began deteriorating as a child but he never let that stop him. Developing an interest in computers as a youth, Dean went on to have a long and rewarding career in technology. Hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey talk with Dean, who is now Apple’s Accessibility Evangelist, about his journey and positive outlook on life.
2117 Designing a Profession (Apr. 21, 2021)
“Who Wants to Hire a Blind Interior Designer?” was the subject of an introductory email we received from John Robert Wiltgen’s publicist. So we decided to find out! Hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey talk with John about his very successful career, how he worked around his impaired vision, and about some of the other challenges he had to overcome.
2116 Super Lidar App (Apr. 14, 2021)
Developers are beginning to make use of LiDAR technology in some smart phones to assist those with impaired vision. Hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey talk with Shane Lowe from Supersense about their new Super Lidar app and how it makes use of LiDAR to analyze the distance and warn about obstacles that might pose a danger to blind and low vision users.
2115 Coping with Vision Loss (Apr. 7, 2021)
Paul Wallis is a low vision optometrist whose treatment relies on dealing with the psychological adjustment to vision loss before engaging patients in the use of adaptive aids. Hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey talk with him about types of vision loss, his methods, as well as about his book “Macular Degeneration: A guide to help someone you love”.
2114 Traveling Through Southern Africa (Mar. 31, 2021)
Tony Giles, also known as “Tony The Traveller”, joins host Nancy and Peter Torpey once again to talk about his latest book entitled “Seeing a Slice of Southern Africa My Way”. Tony’s stories as a solo traveler who is totally blind and partially deaf are filled with fun and adventure, including white water rafting, bungee jumping and sky diving.
2113 Understanding Your Body (Mar. 24, 2021)
Krishna Washburn is a professional ballet dancer and instructor who runs Dark Room Ballet. She believes that visually impaired people could benefit from having a better understanding of how their bodies and body parts work. Hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey talk with her about her instructional methods as well as how her on-line classes work.
2112 Steering the Course to a Career In Science (Mar. 17, 2021)
Hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey first interviewed Rebecca Alford in 2011 when she was in high school. Despite being visually impaired she went on to win the Intel Science competition and we’ve been following her progress ever since. Now with a Ph.D. in chemical and biomechanical engineering, having started her first job, she shares her experiences with us.
2111 Using Tech Skills for Work and Pleasure (Mar. 10, 2021)
In a previous episode, hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey talked with Pranav Lal about the vOICe system that he has been using that enables the blind to “see” the environment around them by using sound. This week they talk with him about his career as a cybersecurity consultant and how he continues to make use of the vOICe system in daily life.
2110 Some Favorite Tips of the Week (Mar. 3, 2020)
Every episode of Eyes On Success starts with a “Tip of the Week”. These tips offer suggestions from people we interview about anything from the benefits of participating in sports to the importance of learning blindness skills. This week hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey share some of their favorite tips from the past 10 years with our listeners.
2109 NaviLens School Kits (Feb. 24, 2021)
Tim Fahlberg is a math and computer science teacher at the Wisconsin School for The Blind. Inspired by a previous episode of Eyes On Success about the NaviLens system for creating accessible signage, Tim gathered some students to expand on the idea. Hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey talk with them about the NaviLens School Kit they produced and how it is used.
2108 NaviLens Update (Feb. 17, 2021)
NaviLens uses an app on your smart phone to find and identify customized signs and tags from as far away as 60 feet. Hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey talk with Javier Pita, founder and CEO of NaviLens, about how the system is being used in transportation and other venues to provide location, direction, and other dynamic data to the visually impaired.
2107 Holman Prize (Feb. 10, 2021)
The Holman Prize was designed to support the growth of adventurous spirits, entrepreneurship and leadership within the blind community. Hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey talk with Caitlin O’Malior, a communications associate at San Francisco’s LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired that sponsors the prize, about this unique award and how it works.
2106 Smart Phones Get Even Smarter (Feb. 3, 2021)
Today’s Apple devices make use of advanced AI technologies to provide new features that can be particularly useful to people with vision loss. Hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey talk with Apple’s Accessibility Evangelist Dean Hudson about some of these new and innovative features, how they work, and how you might benefit from using them.
2105 Eric Damery and the Changing Field of Assistive Technology (Jan. 27, 2021)
Hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey continue their conversation from last week with Eric Damery, VP of Software Product Management at Freedom Scientific, a Vispero company. This week they discuss how the marketing and distribution of assistive technologies for people with vision loss have evolved over his long career in the field.
2104 Eric Damery and His Career (Jan. 20, 2021)
Eric Damery has had a long career in the field of assistive technology and is currently VP of Software Product Management at Freedom Scientific, a Vispero company. Hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey talk with Eric about how he got started in the field and how he worked to bring these technologies to people with vision loss around the world.
2103 Supersense (Jan. 13, 2021)
Making use of advanced artificial intelligence algorithms, Supersense is a powerful and versatile scanning app that can be used to explore your environment, find specific objects, scan text, and much more. Hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey talk with Shane Lowe of the Supersense team about the capabilities of this app and what makes it unique.
2102 Access Technology Reminiscences (Jan. 6, 2021)
David Bradburn, Vice-President Global Sales at Humanware, has been involved in the access technology field for over 35 years. A lot has changed over that time. Listen in on a conversation between David as a salesman and host Peter Torpey as a user as they reminisce about the evolution of access technology equipment since the early days.
2101 Inspirational Stories of the Visually Challenged (Dec. 30, 2020)
In her recent book, “Inspirational Stories of the Visually Challenged Plus Resources”, Margaret Barnhart tells the stories of a number of visually impaired people she has known over the years. Hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey talk with Margaret about what inspired her to write the book, some of the people depicted in the book, and their journey with vision loss.
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