Welcome to another episode of the SeroTalk Podcast where Jamie Pauls, Ricky Enger and Joe Steinkamp discuss the top news stories of the week. After the news, Jamie Pauls and Stuart Lawler discuss the current state of accessibility with regard to Blackberry phones. Stories covered in this week’s podcast include:
I hope you’re all well. Just wanted to tell you about a meeting I had the opportunity to attend on Friday at the National Council for the Blind of Ireland. Greg Fields, the Senior Project Manager from Research In Motion’s Accessibility Team discussed and presented the new Blackberry screen-reader.
I must admit to entering the presentation with a skeptical mind, but to my surprise I was actually quite impressed.
Firstly, Greg very much gave the impression that there is now a genuine commitment to accessibility within RIM, that it is now part of the culture from the top down. If this is the case, it can only be good for us. The screen-reader is currently available for four handsets I believe, but there is a commitment to making it available for all future handsets.
The current handsets are operated using the hardware keyboard only, but he envisages, probably after the release of Blackberry 10, that it will also work on touch screen handsets too, and that it could come pre-loaded.
Given the expected disappearance of Symbian phones, and the fact that many people do not like touch only devices like the iPhone, I think that Blackberry could well offer people a great option. I had a chance to play with it for a few minutes, and although I prefer touch screens myself (and love my iPhone), I could definitely see the potential of this software. It seemes intuitive and functional. I personally struggle to type on a small hardware QWERTY keyboard, but those who like them such as Joe might find Blackberry a great option.
He didn’t tell us a huge amount about Blackberry 10, but what he did say sounded promising. As well as the native apps, it seems that they are going to make it as easy as possible for third party developers to make there apps accessible. Many apps may though also be just accessible by accident due to the way the OS works. I won’t be surprised if this refresh does mean that there is room in the market for Blackberry going forward. If it is successful in the mainstream, it could be something the blind community adopt too.
Some useful links are:
and Stuart Lawler of the NCBI has recorded some demos. His website is:
Keep up the good work.
I just bought the aftershokz with mike (the kind you speak into.) I had already decided I’d like to try them and Dennis directed me to your podcast which was good in that it confirmed the utility and safety for use with my IPhone.
But, I did have a strange thought while listening:
What would happen if the wearer placed his/her head against that of another person? Damn, a new way to transfer data, depending I suppose on amount of hair, location and amount of head areas making contact.?
I just finished listening to your last podcast, (110) . One of the small things mentioned on the show was about the ‘universal off remote . You said you wanted that, and I thought — so do I. So I went looking for one, and found this website. I think I’ll get one! They are cheap and small. They look like they are key chains.
Have fun, thanks for the podcast!
hi, i appreciate your podcasts very much. As you mentioned Blindsquare, here is my favorite iPhone navi app: MyWay Classic. It’s much like the popular Loadstone app for Symbian but even better.
Throughout OSM import, you can have offline access to POI, intersections and streets. For more details see also http://gps.sbv-fsa.ch, the developers support site.
best regards Pierre-Yves