Blind Guys chat is a biweekly podcast, produced by three blind guys in Ireland and the Netherlands. The show takes an easy and breezy approach to life, disability, technology, and just about anything else that the blind guys think of!
We'd love to hear from you so get in touch by email to BlindGuysChat@gmail.com and follow BlindGuysChat on Twitter.
#015: The Sky's the Limit!
Hello and welcome back to another episode of your favourite podcast, with three blind guys chatting about crochet... Oh, sorry, that's the other show we produce!
Welcome to Blind Guys Chat. We're ready to bring you episode 15 of our fortnightly show, but it appears that all is not well with the Blind Guys. Stuart seems stressed and anxious and, as we'll hear, he hasn't been eating or sleeping. He ended up going to confession to talk about what's on his mind.
We received an email on our last show to ask if the guys could share some of their funny travel stories. Well, ask and you shall receive, and the trio have a few funny and indeed in the case of Óran, a rather cute experience to recount. Oh, and how do the guys feel about being offered a wheelchair at airports? Do they have any tips for managing what can sometimes be a tricky and exasperating situation?
Last time Clare Whelan introduced a two-part series looking at units of measurement and what has changed in the UEB code. This time she's back to conclude that with Óran O'Neill, her second-favourite Blind Guy.
There's a new kid on the block in the form of the BrailleSense 6, the latest notetaker from Selvas Healthcare in Korea, which was launched at the recent CSUN assistive technology virtual conference. Stuart gives some details and tells us how we can find out more.
Dave Nason is Accessibility Lead at Sky Ireland, and he's also one of the nicest guys you could meet. He's joining the guys to talk about a really exciting development where Sky are introducing some significant accessibility into the Sky Q box. Voice Guidance is an internal Screen Reader which can be activated from the Sky Q menu or working in tandem with Sky Q's Voice Control and existing accessibility features, Voice Guidance will make Sky Q even more accessible. Dave is here to talk about how it works and what you can do currently. If you want to know more, than sit tight, because so do Jan and Stuart. Luckily for us, Óran is a Sky Q customer, and has promised to demo this new and very exciting solution on the next show. When Dave Nason isn't working hard for Sky, he's working hard for Applevis, where he's part of their editorial team. And, he's interviewed one or two interesting people along the way.
On the last show Jan introduced us to 'Who's the Mole?', a Dutch TV show. Well, good news is that we've an update from Jan who confirms that audio description for the show is now available! Stuart has been watching 'Deadwater Fell' on All 4 and gives it a good rating, and Óran is still working through season two of 'For All Mankind'.
Clodagh is back, sounding as great as ever, and ready to read more emails. This week, Robin Christopherson, host of the very popular 'Dot to Dot' podcast, and 'The Echo Show' has been in touch. Watch this space, because Robin will be coming on the show soon. Jan gets the most fan mail of the three guys, and this week he's got another one! And, we have a nice recommendation for a coffee with chocolate and baileys. We think Stuart might test that one out soon.
Remember to keep in touch by email to BlindGuysChat@gmail.com or send us a tweet @BlindGuysChat. And Clodagh is asking our listeners to record messages and send them to us so that we can play them on the show!
#014: Who's the Mole?
Welcome to episode 14 of the Blind Guys Chat podcast. Sit back and enjoy just under 54 minutes of fun, as the Blind Guys, along with Clodagh, Clare and this week's guest Roisín Lenehan keep you entertained.
On our last show we talked about the California State University (CSUN) Assistive Technology Conference, which, for the first time in its history, went virtual this year. The Blind guys, and Jan in particular, through his daily Clubhouse room, did a bit of virtual attendance. So how did it go? Did the guys find it worked well? And, if you attended, let us know how you found it as well. Oh, and speaking of CSUN and virtual conferences in general, Óran has a few thoughts on their future and in particular, how people from different time zones might be accommodated.
If the guys aren't attending virtual conferences, or watching TV, they really need to be getting out and about and taking regular exercise. In fact, over the last year many people with low or no vision have struggled to remain fit during lockdown. Well, Roisín Lenehan, a listener to the show from Mayo has been innovative enough to find a solution and has established a group who meet daily on Zoom and work out with the Body Coach Alexa skill, from Joe Wicks. Stuart caught up with Roisín to learn all about it, and, indeed he's so impressed that he's agreed to try it out and report back on his fitness or lack thereof on the next show. If you'd like to get involved and join Roisín's group, give us a shout by email and we'll happily put you in touch.
It wouldn't be a regular episode of Blind Guys Chat without our TV Corner slot, and this week, Jan has been watching a Dutch programme called 'Who's the Mole'. The concept is fascinating and we think you'll agree. Stuart has been watching 'The One', which recently landed on Netflix, but he's been somewhat upset with the choice of audio describer. Óran has a similar view, and this leads to an interesting discussion on choosing an appropriate voice to match the type of programme that's being described. What do you think?
The way in which units of measurement are represented in UEB, for example, metres, millimetres, kilometres, etc, has changed from the Standard English Braille equivalents. Clare Whelan joins Óran for the first in a two-part series of what's changed and how the new syntax is used.
After all that Braille learning it’s time for us to catch up on what you are lovely listeners have been saying. Clodagh is back to read the mail, but before that, Stuart has a quick Buymie update and Clodagh broke up with the service last week!
This week's email contributions include a recipe for Irish coffee, use of Braille and audio books, and a request for the Blind Guys to share some of their travel experiences and embarrassing stories. Watch this space for more of that on the next show.
Remember to keep in touch on Twitter @BlindGuysChat or by email to BlindGuysChat@gmail.com
#013: It's all about the money!
Welcome back, lovely listeners, to 57 minutes of madness, that is episode 13 of the Blind Guys Chat podcast.
The boys are in flying form and we're delighted you can join us for another show.
If you remember on the last episode, Clodagh introduced the Blind Guys to Clubhouse, an audio-only social network. Well, the blind guys tried it out for themselves. So how did it go? And, would you like to join a Blind Guys Chat room on Clubhouse? If so, get in touch with us and keep an eye on our Twitter feed for more info.
There have been some changes in UEB relating to the use of the percent sign and some currency symbols. Clare Whelan is along for this week's braille Bite to tell us all.
The 35th CSUN Assistive Technology conference, hosted by the California State University takes place this year, as a virtual event for the first time. Virtual events definitely have some advantages, especially for people who may be restricted by travel costs, and the guys have info on how you can get free access to the virtual exhibit area.
Holly Tuke is the person behind the hugely successful Life of a Blind Girl blog and she joins the guys for a chat. If you have always wanted to set up a blog, then listen in, because Holly has some top tips to get you started!
Clodagh is here with more of your emails and, amongst the correspondence this week - what's the best way to make an Irish coffee, which apparently is Stuart's best hangover cure; a top tip from Óran on the BorrowBox library service, and an email from Roisin Lenehan, who will be joining us on the next episode of the show.
Remember, we love to hear your feedback so get in touch by email to BlindGuysChat@gmail.com or on twitter to @BlindGuysChat
#012: The Professor, and Clubhouse
Welcome to episode 12! Last time we mentioned that the Blind Guys were recording in their thermal underwear, but this time they’re in shorts and t-shirts and Jan is reporting a 25°C increase in temperature in the Netherlands. Oh, and if you wondered about the strange voice opening the show, Óran is auditioning for a new identity. We think we like it better than his own one!
We’re getting used to what is becoming the BuyMie saga and Stuart has yet a further update on the long road to accessibility for this home shopping app.
In the last two episodes of the show, Clare Whelan was explaining how Italics and Bold Braille signs have been implemented in UEB, and this week she’s back to conclude this miniseries, by talking about the Underline symbol.
We’ve expanded the popular TV corner segment to also cover books. Stuart has binge-watched the entire series of ‘Behind her Eyes’ on Netflix and Óran is thoroughly enjoying season 2 of ‘For All Mankind’ on Apple TV. Óran is also trying to find four of the remaining books in the Jack Reacher series. We discuss a couple of resources including your local public library and the Calibre Audio Library service in the UK, which is free to join. Jan and Stuart have interesting observations on reading Braille books as opposed to audio, and when one might be used over the other. What do you think? Let us know - BlindGuysChat@gmail.com.
This week’s guest needs virtually no introduction within Ireland anyhow. Luke O’Neill is professor of biochemistry at the School of Biochemistry and Immunology in Trinity College Dublin, and has become a household name over the last year with his regular media commentary on the Covid-19 virus and the hope that vaccines are bringing to us all. Luke joins the guys for a chat and Clodagh is here to read some emails we received for Luke. Oh, and just in case you are wondering, Luke likes the Blind Guys vaccination programme! We're extremely grateful to Luke for his time and reassurance, and we hear that perhaps Jan might be in Dublin buying Luke a pint next year!
When Stuart was a young pup in school, the clubhouse was the name of the little shop where everyone bought their chocolate and all those things that we really shouldn’t be eating before our dinner, but Clubhouse means something very different now, and Clodagh is here to introduce this brand new audio-only social network. What do the Blind Guys think, and, would you join a Blind Guys Chat room on Clubhouse?
We have time for two quick emails, and we’re delighted to share a link about audio description on YouTube which might help Cian - one of our listeners.
Remember, the Blind Guys always love your feedback, so get in touch by email to BlindGuysChat@Gmail.com or by tweeting @BlindGuysChat. Looking forward to chatting again in two weeks time.
#011: Don't be everyone's darling!
Welcome to episode 11 of the Blind Guys Chat podcast!
The weather outside is frightful, and, while snow falls in Ireland and the Netherlands, the blind guys put on their thermal underwear to bring you this packed edition of our regular fortnightly show. Speaking of snow, Jan has plenty of it in the Netherlands and even gives us a quick weather report!
Stuart is continuing his advocacy work with the BuyMie online shopping service, and we have a positive update on changes coming soon to their mobile app.
Ever wondered about showing bolded text in UEB? Well, wonder no more, because Clare Whelan is back with another Braille bite to tackle this very issue.
Apple recently released the latest update to their mobile operating system. iOS 14.4 however, has introduced a couple of problems for users of the latest Humanware Braille devices. We know that Humanware and Apple are working as hard as they can to fix these issues, but nevertheless, there's been quite a bit of discontent amongst the blind community. So what do the blind guys think of all this wrangling?
We're beyond thrilled to welcome this episode's special guest. Sabriye Tenberken is a co-founder of Braille Without Borders, and now co-directs the Kanthari International Institute for Social Change. The Institute in Kerala, South India, fosters participants from all over the world, who have a passion to make the world a better place and have the strength to be forces of good rather than victims of circumstance.
We always love to hear from our listeners, and your email is the high point of the show. But email needs a reader and there's none better than our Clodagh. This week, we're talking about challenges with home shopping delivery drivers, audio description and how it impacts sighted viewers, and a recommendation from a listener for a show called 'Death to 2020' on Netflix. Speaking of recommendations, Stuart has been watching 'it’s a Sin' on All Four. It’s an incredibly thought-provoking drama series, and, while its not an easy watch, it is worth every minute you'll spend viewing it.
Finally, the blind guys have a very special guest on the next show. If you want to know who that is, you'll have to stay listening to the very end!
Please make sure to get in touch by email to BlindGuysChat@gmail.com or on Twitter @BlindGuysChat
#010: Jenny from the block
Welcome lovely listener, to episode 10 of the Blind Guys Chat podcast!
We're in double digits, so you'd expect the podcast, and more particularly the podcast hosts to be growing up, but fear not, the guys are just the same as ever!
We've had some interesting feedback to our vaccine question from episode 9, and many people agree that Blind Guys should be bumped up the queue. The Guys have also been preparing their own self-vaccination routines, and Jan in particular has been practicing with an orange! Stuart is offering vaccinations at €7.50 per shot, and you even get a free lunch while you wait!
If you've watched the news in the last few days you'll know that the Netherlands have introduced a nightly curfew to try to curve the spread of Covid-19. Jan tells us a bit about what's going on, and, we ask if Jan driving his tractor qualifies as an essential worker?
We've talked previously about the BuyMie app on the show, and the significant accessibility and usability problems that the app presents. Stuart has been in touch with the app designers and there may be some hope for future updates. If you have challenges using the BuyMie app, please get in touch with us and we'll pass on the feedback.
One of the big changes in Unified English Braille (UEB) has been the introduction of additional formatting marks to represent bold and underline, as well as italics, which already existed in SEB. In the first of a three-part slot, Stuart talks to Clare Whelan about new rules to govern the use of italics.
Our guest this week is the wonderful Jenny Axler, living and working in the city of Daejeon in South Korea. Jenny moved from the US seven years ago. We ask her what's life like living in Korea when you're blind? And, who can win Jenny's true or false quiz?
As always, with not much else to do in the evenings, the Blind Guys have taken to watching TV. Stuart is watching season 2 of Servant on the Apple TV platform. Speaking of Apple TV, if you're enjoying one of their free subscriptions at present, that subscription is likely to be extended at no additional cost. Óran has been enjoying a show called Goliath on Amazon Prime.
Clodagh is back to read more emails and we're talking electric vehicles, online and curb-side shopping services in the US, and, the availability of long canes from Svárovskký, in the Czech Republic. If you'd like to find out more about these canes, which all three Blind Guys love, you can email info@Svarovskky.cz
Don't forget to keep in touch with us, either on twitter by tagging @BlindGuysChat or by email to BlindGuysChat@gmail.com