SeroTalk Podcast 103: You Don’t Realize You Have An Opinion

Listen to SeroTalk Podcast 103: You Don’t Realize You Have An Opinion

April Fools Day

This week, Jamie Pauls, Ricky Enger and Joe Steinkamp return with the top news stories of the week which include:

Introducing Gmail Tap

The Amazing Race to CSUN

The Biggest Note Taker Just Got Larger

Last year’s original G.T.O. Announcement

LSocial Media

Twitter gets an A+ in kindergarten classroom

3 Twitter Rumors and What They Could Mean for Brands

Twitter and Facebook degrade humanity, says Skype


Steve Jobs movie starring Ashton Kutcher is not a joke

Apple should dump the iPod Touch

New iPad ranked top tablet by Consumer Reports

6 Tips to Improve Typing on the iPad


Effects Of Gesture Patents On Accessible Devices.

iTunes Hotkeys

Download the Braille version of the iPhone user guide here

Zello Brings Real-Time Group Chat to Your iOS Device

Say Zello To The World!                                                           

Hadley School for the Blind podcasts

Assistive Technology Movie Review – The Hunger Games

American Cancer Society Continues Information Accessibility Initiative

General Tech

Windows XP won’t give up top spot without a fight

Google Nexus tablet images leaked?

Dropbox doubles referral rewards, offers up to 32GB for those dripping in charisma


Hi Jamie et al. Just wanted to write in and say awesome job on Shows 100 and 101. I’ve been pretty busy and had some computer issues but I think those are all sorted out. It was great to re-live some of Serotalk’s early days. The podcasts have certainly changed quite a bit, and I thoroughly enjoy them all. I also want to tell you that I actually met Fred Rogers and got to sit in his lap. He was indeed a fantastic man with a very good way of speaking to children and families. He is certainly missed by all. Anyway, I look forward to many more of your excellent shows. I think SPN Radio is truly wonderful. Keep up the nice work!


Kind regards,

Jake Joehl, Illinois


Hi all,


I finally got into the 20th century and started listening to podcasts and one of the first was your 101st broadcast. Great job.


I first wanted to address the article you all mentioned about the boy getting a guide dog as he loses his sight.


I can’t talk directly about the GDB program to allow this to happen, but I do work for a guide dog school, Guide Dog Foundation, and I can say generally that all of the schools are looking for ways to expand their services because, let’s face it, funding is hard to find these days and whatever works, works. You can argue that this could, and I say could, not will, hurt the average blind guide dog handler, but whether it’s veterans, service dogs, dogs for kids with autism or whatever the program is, if it brings in money to support the entire program, that’s good. Believe it or not, some of these additional programs do benefit the average handler in that instructors learn new skills that can make guide dog use a better experience for all of us. That’s not just the company line either as GDF does have a program, America’s VetDogs, that trains service dogs and from that we’ve learned a lot about how to help people who are encountering additional disabilities to blindness.


All that said, is this idea of giving blind children dogs, either as pets or as guides, a good idea? I won’t professionally berate my colleagues at GDB, but honestly, no, it’s not, as guides anyway. Pets are a great idea, but why not just a pet dog? Pilot dogs did an experiment in the 1970’s with blind children getting dogs at age 11. The kids raised a litter of puppies donated by someone who demanded that the dogs be given to kids. The dogs were then matched, not necessarily with the kids who raised them, and all were trained to use them as guides. This worked only in a few cases where the parents were supportive. Only 2 of the kids, and I want to say there were around 6 kids involved, remained guide dog handlers after the first dog retired.


Any time you have people under age receiving guide dogs, you have that third factor of parents and other family members, not that this doesn’t happen with legal adults too, but we’re talking legal control with parents.


GDF does accept people who are 16 and in rare cases we make exceptions to that, but those applicants have to be mature and able to direct the dog. And yes, guys, you really do need to have the orientation part of O&M down before getting a dog because, and I wish I knew who said this, “You can get lost faster with a dog than with a cane.”


Enough about dogs. As you see I can go on and on forever about that subject.



Thanks for the tip about changing categories of people on Facebook. It is somewhat accessible but as with so many things on facebook, it’s clunky and not accessible from the mobile site. I did relegate many of those unfortunately chosen “friends” to “acquaintances” and make my viewing of Facebook much more pleasant. So giant thanks for that tip.


Love the podcast!

Jenine Stanley



Thanks guys and gals for that wonderful piece of comedy.  I always enjoy the content that comes from your company.  Keep up the great work!


Steven Whiteker


Comments on “The Biggest Note Taker Just Got Larger” ‹ SeroTalk — WordPress

Sue Ward

Wow have we come a long way in speech synthesizers. When I heard that how in the world could you understand that? It reminded me of keynote gold, and that old computer in the background with the loud fan, sounds like the kind of system I worked with in school in the 80s back in the days of MS dos. Windows is so much better along with NVDA and Window Eyes, along with the other screen readers that are out in the market, glad we have choices.


John Herzog


I purchased a GTO last year, and I love it! It is the best computer I’ve ever used. What’s most  impressive is that when it broke two days after I ordered it, Serotek was able to return the unit to me in an impressively short ten month time frame. I love the highly customized parts that cannot  be replaced anywhere else other than Serotek’s top secret headquarters. These last two months have been the most productive of my life. I owe it to Rusty Metals and Hew Morris who convinced me last year to purchase this product. I cannot wait to purchase the S.U.C.K.E.r, and I am pleased Serotek 

is continuing to innovate with the government money spent on this gadget. Now my only question is, when are you selling the speech upgrade you demonstrated as the GTO read its press release?


I’m familiar with various discussions you’ve had regarding braille in previous podcasts but haven’t had availability to respond.  I would argue that with the advancement of computer technology and the improvements in accessibility braille is more important than ever and cheaper to obtain long-term with the advent of electronic braille displays.  As I’m constructing this email I’m able to focus in on conversation without being distracted by speech because of my ability to read braille and make use of a display.  In a business meeting I can see many scenarios where braille will allow me to multitask more efficiently because I will be able to contribute to conversations while reading power points, checking emails, and performing other essential tasks as it relates to my occupation. 

It will be far less expensive to provide textbooks in braille as electronic displays are slowly becoming compatible with more devices. 

Finally, there are some real social advantages to making use of braille.  Students are becoming more mobile and completing their studies with multiple devices in varies places.  I think it would be fantastic if students were able to use a braille display as an avenue to keep up with their peers while in social situations like when watching televisions or movies in a non-intrusive way.

These are just my thoughts.



Greg Rogers


10 Things Kids Today Never Have To Worry About


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One Response to SeroTalk Podcast 103: You Don’t Realize You Have An Opinion

  1. Billy Joe Jim Bob says:

    Hello Jamie, Joe, and Ricky.

    I discovered IBlink radio about a month ago, and your podcasts are becoming a regular thing. I look forward to Fridays when I can hear the new podcast. Your good humor and wisdom really come through. Your personable style makes it seem as if I’m listening to friends of mine on this podcast. Hmmm…
    I enjoyed going down memory lane with you this week regarding your article on what kids no longer have to worry about these days. I can certainly relate with the whole Braille books and cassettes that Joe mentioned. I also remember the smell and feel of opening a new Braille book or magazine. Pen pals? Absolutely! I used to write letters in Braille and/or type them on my old electric typewriter.
    I remember sending tapes to friends I made, not just through pen pal sections in magazines, but also through friends I made in summer school. My friends and I used to make memory tapes where we’d get one another’s addresses and phone numbers for those future tapes and letters. Did any of you do or remember doing that back in the day? I guess these days, blind kids could simply use IPhone’s Voice Recorder and get email addresses or skype user names and send an instant message to their friends. Too bad. It was fun making the tapes or brailling the letters. It took time and effort and creativity.

    Jamie, I totally get what you said about the fact that you should have kept some of the old tapes you received, especially coming from those who meant something to you. Some of thoes tapes were more than letters. Some of those tapes, such as those memory tapes of which I spoke, were like audio photo albums. Did anyone keep tapes from back in their youth?

    I’m also glad to know I’m not the only curmudgeon regarding text and short-hand. Ricky, I jst wnt u 2 know I shr ur vu! How was that?
    Seriously though, I still find myself having to text in complete sentences and using proper grammar and correctly spelled words. I’ve been a writer all of my life, and I am not about to throw away the English language just to save space. My texts have actually been known to be more like mini-emails.
    And…the sad thing is that my mom and her husband are better at texting and the short-hand than I am. Go figure!

    I wonder if kids even have to worry about long distance phone calls any more and how cool it was to make such calls to friends. I especially remember starting college and rather than make tapes or write one of my friends letters, I’d make long distance calls and talked with her that way. What a breakthrough back then.

    Even though time sure flies, and some things have changed greatly, it’s good to know that some things and people remain pretty much the same.

    I look forward to hearing more podcasts and antics, along with tech news, next week.
    Billy Joe Jim Bob

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