High Contrast Episode 25: It’s All About Byron

Listen to High Contrast Episode 25: It’s All About Byron

The new iPhones are out and Rodney has the biggest one there is with the 6 Plus. We get an idea of how much he likes it, there is some talk about viewing iOS8 and another timely App Review by Joe. Check in with the team to see if the Pop Tart, or Strudel, sized phone is the way to go if you are a low vision iPhone user. And remember, if you want even more Apple coverage from SPN, check out our sister show “Triple-click Home”.

App Review: Doctor Who Legacy

The new 8th series of Doctor Who is in full swing, Joe adores match 3 games and we needed an app review for this month. So, a perfect storm of events, brings Joe out of the TARDIS to discuss Doctor Who Legacy. It’s a match 3 game with so much depth and complexity that joe notes it will be hard to find other games to replace it on his iPad and Android tablet. The game features special attacks, you defeat famous monsters from the Doctor Who universe and you can pick up that green dot and move it over to be with its friends. Rather than only being able to move a dot in four directions one space over. This freedom of movement is the best part about the game in Joe’s opinion. Its free, however, there are some nice In App purchases for those who want to move through the game faster. The game has over 50 hours of gameplay with more content being added constantly. Just be sure to visit the settings section and change the way the dots are displayed if you find that the default dots are hard to see.


Byron notes that the High Contrast Mailable is well behaved when looking at it versus its friends on other SPN shows. And that could be due to a full bag of mail for us to talk about. Like these two emails from John.


This is my first time listening to High Contrast, and I felt compelled to comment.

My story goes back to the dark ages when I was a teenager. I’ll try to be brief. As for my low vision, I have about 20/400 vision with nystagmus.

I had spent 10 years at a school for the blind before going to a public high school my last couple years. At the school for the blind I didn’t learn mobility skills until my last year there. I was given a folding cane, which I carried stuffed in my jeans pocket through my last two years at public school. I always figured I’d pull it out in unfamiliar territory, but I never had the guts to do it because I didn’t want to be identified as blind.

Somehow I made it through my first year of college. It became obvious to me that I needed rehab training. I was in Nebraska then and went to the rehab center, which required I learn under sleepshades. I’m glad I had that training because it’s easier to discern when vision isn’t efficient for a given task. It’s good to know I can use alternative techniques without shame.

Of course, I learned to use a long, white NFB cane, and I’ve used one ever since. By the way, a long , white cane doesn’t glow in the dark or have a red end. When I went back to college for my second year, fresh out of rehab training, a couple of my friends told me I looked much more confident. They said I didn’t look like I was drunk or on drugs. That was a great affirmation.

These days I use a telescoping cane most of the time. I use it in situations where it may not be necessary because I don’t want there to be any question about me being blind. God forbid, if a car hits me on our busy rural highway, I want the driver to know he or she hit a blind person.

However, I do wear glasses with thick lenses, and this may confuse some people. Nonetheless, it’s much easier for me to explain to people that I’m blind with a little usable vision, than it was in the days of my youth when people didn’t know, and I didn’t know what to tell them.

I often get asked how much I can see. I heard a great answer to this, which I sometimes use. I can see more than you think I can, but less than I think I can.


He then wrote us again with this comment…

“Greetings again,

I forgot in my earlier e-mail to tell you a funny incident concerning carrying my long, white cane.

Recently, we were checking into a motel in Cameron, Missouri, on our way to a family reunion. I was standing in a hallway, waiting for our son to come along. A man stopped and asked if I was going to the cattle sale. I simply said that I wasn’t, and he went on his way.

Since this question had been asked of me one other time, I knew what he was referring to. My cane looks like a show stick used in livestock auctions. In fact, later that day at the reunion, one of my sisters commented how my cane looks like a show stick, at which time I told her of the encounter at the motel.

I wonder if other blind folks in rural areas with canes like mine have had this happen.


Our recent talk about sneeze gards brought in this response:

“OMG! the business card dilemma. The person who ordered business cards for us last time did not check with anyone in my office to verify such important things as actual phone numbers. That not withstanding, this person ordered double sided cards, as you see, we have two organizations that we represent.

Great, I put braille on one side and those people interacting with me in my role for Organization A can read and scan the print but Org B can’t.

Then he got the cards on thick glossy stock. The braille business card stamp we have for our office does not work well on heavy, glossy stock. I now have ghost braille on my cards.

This person was sufficiently yelled at by me and others but I have enough of these business cards to last another couple years.

When I got back from conventions this summer, I did a marathon business card scanning session. this was mostly great but there were a few that never did come out right and one that must have had size 2 font as it had so much info on it. Set the scanner resolution high, people.

I also feel for you guys at buffets. I send my husband up for me and he tries but he only has peripheral vision and well, it’s something but he’s not sure what so try it and if it’s good, he’ll try to remember where he got it.

The sneeze guard is an obstacle on the way out too. I once in my partially sighted days had a big old ladle full of lasagna. I was so proud that I’d even gotten it out of the pan. My arm hit the edge of the sneeze guard as I brought it up an rout and I flipped the thing right onto the sneeze guard. Splat! That was my last attempt at buffets solo.

Jenine Stanley”

And here is a great email from long time listener Pam;

“Hello folks,

Excellent topic! Excellent show. Personally, I have just enough vision to get me in trouble. I do carry a cane when crossing the street. I can see traffic lights, however there are enough idiots on the road these days who think their destination is more important than mine, who run them as much as they stop at them. I can think of two instances, both in Tampa Florida that illustrate opposite examples of identification. First let me explain my eye condition is such that is obvious to anyone looking at me. There are those who think I cannot see anything due to the fact I have clouded corneas along with astigmatism in both eyes. I have had subsequent surgery that has rectified the cornea issue to the extent of giving me the vision I have. I also wear cataract lenses due to having had a cataract removed back in the 90s. My first instance allowed me to use the fact that someone did not know what I could see to my benefit. I enrolled my children in preschool, walked back to the bus stop, asked for help across a small street to get to the stoplight; as it was an unfamiliar area. I was wearing a crucifix given to me by my husband as a Christmas gift. The gentleman who walked with me ultimately stole The chain holding that crucifix from me. He mugged me at the bus corner. I was caring a cane, he figured I could see nothing. What he didn’t know is that I had given him a once over when I ask for his help. I was able to give an accurate description to the police therefore allowing the police to find this man through a crack deal he had made selling my chain for $40. It was returned to me by the grace of God. My second instance has to do with being selected for jury duty. I was also caring a cane in that instance it was more inconspicuous. I carry a telescopic collapsible cane that fit nicely across the center zipper of my purse. While in the jury pool, there was a gentleman who I virtually adopted at his consent allowing me to follow him where he went as we were selected for the same pool. In that situation, the judge and both attorneys have a certain amount of excuses they can use without explanation. All that were present knew I could not see well. Ironically the trial on which I served used a video tape as part of the evidence. While in the proceeding, The attorneys pushed it closer to the jury box for me to see. Though I had my cane with me, it was not prominently displayed giving the impression I was totally blind. I have no doubt those who were in charge of picking jurors paid attention to how I acted and my ability to move with a group of people therefore making a judgment on their own as to what I could see. When the whole thing was over, I approached the judge thanking her for allowing me the privilege to serve given the fact she could have excused me without reason. In a normal situation, I use the vision I have as a defense mechanism. I allow someone to know me before I let them know what I can & cannot see. Hope this helps further your topic. Thanks for reading.

Pam Francis”

Thanks everyone for your comments. It keeps the mailbag purring and oh so happy!

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