ATFAQ029 – Dragon and Office 2016 Standing Desks Occulus Rift

first_imgShare this…TwitterFacebookPinterestLinkedInEmailPrint RelatedATFAQ070 – Q1Amazon Echo reading Kindle books Q2 English to German dictionary Q3 Transcript of church sermons Q4 Mandarin Speech to Text Q5 Hubs for Macs Q6 Themes in Windows 10 Q7 Kids these daysFebruary 26, 2018In “Assistive Technology FAQ (ATFAQ) Podcast”ATFAQ090 – Q1- Using Google Home to answer phone, Q2 – Talking scales, Q3 – smart switch for muting TV and activating Dragon, Q4 – Accessible Event planning what should I consider, Q5 – Moving from Office 2016 to O365 where did all my controls go, Q6 – App Showdown – Kurzweil 300 and ClaroPDF app, Q7 – Wildcard question: What would type of tech would you buy if you were given $10k this holiday season.December 24, 2018In “Assistive Technology FAQ (ATFAQ) Podcast”ATFAQ037 – Q1. Live Captioning Options Q2. Vocalize free cell pone equipment? Q3.Voicmail Transcriptions? Q4. Graphing calculator solutions for folks with dexterity and fine motor control issues? Q5. Hooking up iPad to a large 32” touch screen? Q6. Wildcard Question: How reliant are you on Internet connectivity?September 12, 2016In “Assistive Technology FAQ (ATFAQ) Podcast” Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadATFAQ029-05-09-16Show notes:Panel: Brian Norton, Mark Stewart, Belva Smith, Armando Rodriguez, and Wade WinglerQ1. Are there any accessible bi-lingual dictionaries? Q2. What’s the status of Samsung’s accessible TVs? Q3. Does Dragon 13 work with Office 2016? Q4. I need to change from Zoomtext to a screen reader, what should I consider? Q5. Can I convert my existing desk into a standing workstation? Q6. What does Oculus Rift mean for people with disabilities?——-transcript follows ——WADE WINGLER: Welcome to ATFAQ, Assistive Technology Frequently Asked Questions with your host Brian Norton, Director of Assistive Technology at Easter Seals Crossroads. This is a show in which we address your questions about assistive technology, the hardware, software, tools and gadgets that help people with disabilities lead more independent and fulfilling lives. Have a question you’d like answered on our show? Send a tweet with the hashtag #ATFAQ, call our listener line at 317-721-7124, or send us an email at [email protected] The world of assistive technology has questions, and we have answers. And now here’s your host, Brian Norton.BRIAN NORTON: Hello and welcome to ATFAQ episode 29. I want to welcome the folks in the studio today. Today we have Belva Smith. Belva?BELVA SMITH: Hi guys.BRIAN NORTON: Hey, how are you doing?BELVA SMITH: Good.BRIAN NORTON: We also have Mark Stewart. Mark?MARK STEWART: Hey, gang.BRIAN NORTON: And I also have Wade Wingler. Wade?WADE WINGLER: Hello. It’s me. I’m going to sing Adele at the beginning of the show.BELVA SMITH: And we are in the afternoon instead of in the morning.BRIAN NORTON: That’s right. Last time we recorded at 5 AM. We were a little loopy at five.WADE WINGLER: We are still tired for different reasons.BRIAN NORTON: All three of these folks work here at Easter Seals crossroads with me. Belva does a lot with folks who have vision issues, either are blind or low vision. Mark works on our mobility cognition team, works with folks all over the state of Indiana dealing with those types of issues. Wade –WADE WINGLER: Say it: we don’t know what I do.BRIAN NORTON: We are not really sure what he does, but he shows up and runs that board over there.BELVA SMITH: He is the Wade of all trades.WADE WINGLER: There you go. That’s nice.BRIAN NORTON: He’s the captain of our ship. How about that? No?WADE WINGLER: I don’t know about that.BRIAN NORTON: Of course my name is Brian Norton, Director of assistive technology. I’m really glad that you guys are here and joining us today.For those that are new listeners to our show, I just want to spend a little bit of time telling you about the format of our show. This is a question and answer show where we sit around and we take in questions all about assistive technology. It can be anything, how do you work with a screen magnifier, how do you deal with Dragon, how do you worry about sit/stand desks and things like that. We take in lots of different questions and we sit around in a panel and try to answer those questions for our listeners.I would encourage you guys to become active listeners. We have a very active group of folks who listen to our show, give us a call, email us, send us tweets with different kinds of questions. But also lots of listener feedback. If you guys are looking to do that, we do have a listener line. That listener line is 317-721-7124. You can send us an email at [email protected] Or send us a tweet with the hashtag ATFAQ. That’s how we collect information, feedback, and questions. But you can also tell your friends about our show if you like it. They can find our show on iTunes, is our website. They can find is also on Stitcher. Lots of different ways to find us. And now we are on the Google Play Store. Is that right?WADE WINGLER: The Google Play Store just started including podcasts in general a few weeks ago, and we were there on launch day with all three of our shows, Assistive Technology Update, Accessibility Minute, and this show ATFAQ.BRIAN NORTON: Great. Our first feedback today is from a person, his name is Theodore. He sent me this message. He says, “I am a blind high school student studying French, Italian, and Latin. For school I am required to have access to bilingual dictionaries for each of these languages. The dictionaries must be able to be accessed off-line and should be both comprehensive and thorough as I must learn to use them for school examinations.” He talks about the school “preferring that the dictionaries were from well-known and reputable publishers of dictionaries; however, this is not necessarily a requirement.” I did a lot of digging in for this particular type of question, and I really didn’t find anything that touted accessibility, especially for someone who is probably using a screen reader and needing to get access to it with text to speech. I wanted to take a moment and throw this out to our listeners and see if there is any feedback that folks have had, and experience that folks have had with dictionaries as such, bilingual dictionaries like these. If so, I would love your feedback so that we can pass that on to Theodore.***BRIAN NORTON: The second piece of feedback that we got was a message. We are going to go ahead and play that for you now.SPEAKER: Wade, good morning, good morning to all of the team there at ATFAQ. You guys bring so many good memories. I’m a Perdue University graduate. My name is Charlie Alvarez. So is my older brother and sister, so we made it into a family affair. The people of Indiana were always so good to us. I have great memories of my four and a half years of living there in West Lafayette.Anyway, folks, I have a question, and it is related to specifically for Wade but I guess any other members of the team, Brian, or Belva, or Mark can answer. A lot was made a great deal on blogs and social networks about the accessibility of Samsung television sets. I think it was on the 14th, the program on the 14th that we discussed something about remote controls with accessibility. You guys had a little bit into the accessible TVs. Samsung apparently received in the Consumer Electronics Show this year, 2016, the big one that takes place in Las Vegas which includes everything from dishwashers to everything that’s been invented or will be coming out soon. They got the best of innovation award for assistive technology. This was given to Samsung for this television set. Now, they have expanded. There used to be only one of them that had accessibility, menus were read to you, had text to speech engines and so on. Now it looks like they have expanded this to four or five or six different models. I’ve been looking for one, not in the 50 inch television size but a little bit smaller, maybe in the 32, 36 inch. But I wonder if you guys had any information or if you knew about any of these television sets. Wade, I will be sending you an email with information, specifically with a page that talks about the award that Samsung got and the specific model. Also, the American Foundation for the Blind had an article, I think it was in August 2014, in their Access World publication where they talk about this one, first model that came with accessible menus and so on. I understood also from reading before that last year, by January 2016, according FCC rules, all television sets were supposed to be accessible. They had to have some kind of accessibility. I wonder where that went. If I’m not mistaken, maybe Laura Metcalf has information on that as well. I listen to her as well –BRIAN NORTON: I really think the root of his question was, I guess first off –WADE WINGLER: First off, thanks for being such an amazing listener who knows all of our folks on our shows.BRIAN NORTON: All of our names and all of our shows.WADE WINGLER: I don’t remember all of our names that well. Thank you so much for being a listener.BRIAN NORTON: I think his question, the root of it was have you heard anything about the accessible lineups of Samsung TVs, specifically because it won a pretty big award at the CES, the Consumer Electronics Show, one of the big shows for computer electronics. Kind of won the best of innovation award for accessibility in 2016. I looked up a list of those, and let me jump back over here. There seems to be quite a bit of accessibility available. So the first thing that comes out is there is now a voice guide which enables the television to read on-screen text back to you and provide verbal feedback about the selected volume, the current channel, and also program information. There is also audio descriptions now, so audio description is a service provided with, I guess a lot of UK television programs whereby an additional audio track is podcast which provides verbal description of the scene to aid in understanding. Also menu transparency, I think in a lot of television sets these days when you get a menu that pops up, you can typically see the show in the background, so the menu is actually transparent and there are things moving in and around. You can imagine how difficult that would be for someone who has low vision trying to be able to see something. Now I think they are more solid in their state, so you can’t see back through to the thing. Also high contrast modes for the TV helps to display all the information with really high contrast, so white text on a black background and color universals, those kinds of things. I also believe you can enlarge things to be able to see it better. There is also now a way to learn your remote control whereby the TV enters a teaching mode to help you get the most out of your viewing experience, kind of walks you through a lot of those things on that particular remote, specifically very helpful for folks who are blind or visually impaired, where they can quickly learn the location and operation of all the different buttons on the remote control, so on and so forth. So quite a bit of accessibility that is built into these TVs.WADE WINGLER: As I do research on this, I’m finding that the UK seems to be a little bit ahead of the products I am sitting here in the US. Big companies like Samsung and Toshiba and whatnot have UK versions of products and the US versions of products that might be similar but have some differences. As I look on the Samsung website, under the UK side of it, they have a really robust section on accessibility where they declare their vision and their principles as they relate to accessibility, spanning across all their products, not just TV but their phones and tablets and wearable devices. They even get into photocopiers and home appliances like refrigerators and things that they do to make drawers easier to slide out when it comes to refrigerators. They talk about things that make photocopiers a little bit easier to use. They even talk about their web accessibility. They have some stories and case studies of people with disabilities who are using their products. They do spend a lot of time talking specifically about the vision, hearing, and sort of general accessibility of their television products.Quite frankly, I’m someone who uses a Samsung TV. I have a big one on my wall at home that we watch – we watch mostly toddler programs on it. I’m not saying a lot of the accessibility I thought I was going to. The Twenty-first Century Telecommunications Act started in 2010. It first talked about the need for accessible hardware and the fact that set-top boxes and televisions and those kinds of hardware equipment needed to be made more accessible. The second title of the CVAA said that video programming would have more describe the videos. First the hardware, just the set-top boxes and TVs being more accessible, and then slowly rolling out more described video. There is clearly more to the Twenty-first Century Telecommunications Act than that, those of the two things that are relevant here.I know that they are rolling out over time. We are only five or six years into this, but I am seeing things like Apple TV, seeing pretty good accessibility, and the Comcast stuff we talked about a time or two I am seeing a lot of accessibility there. I was fortunate enough to spend some time at Comcast world headquarters not too long ago being introduced to their current accessibility initiatives and think they’re looking at in the future. I am seeing a whole lot of it there, but I haven’t found any of the Samsung TV that I have having that kind of accessibility built in. Now I’m not looking at them for that. I’m a consumer in that role. On the evaluating accessibility or even investigating that, but I’m just not seeing a lot of that. I wondered if you guys have seen anything.BELVA SMITH: I actually have four Samsung TVs in the house, the smallest one being a 26 inch. The largest one is 58 inch. I don’t think that they are doing the accessible features in the smaller version. I don’t think – I know that that is one of the things the listener was mentioning, that he didn’t necessarily want the 50 inch. But I do think that the accessible features are more than likely going to be found in the larger, because of the extra expense or cost I guess to get those things included. Though they are Samsung Smart TVs, none of mine have the accessible features. We are getting our accessibility features through the Comcast remote. But for those who might be fortunate enough to have one of the Samsung’s that has the accessibility features, I just wanted to throw out there that the shortcut on that smart remote to bring up those accessible features is to just hold your mute button for three seconds. If you think but maybe don’t know how to get to them, if you think you might have them and you have the smart remote, try holding your mute button for three seconds and see if that doesn’t bring up the accessible menu.MARK STEWART: I don’t have something new to add, but was the caller talking about 2016 CSON?BELVA SMITH: More than likely.BRIAN NORTON: He was actually talking about, there is a CES which is Consumer Electronic show. It is a really large for mainstream video games, TVs, electronics. It’s a general electronics show.MARK STEWART: So is this one that was at that show but isn’t on consumer floors?WADE WINGLER: Maybe that’s it. Maybe it’s just about to happen. Charlie, you may be ahead of us when it comes to your insight into this technology, which wouldn’t be the first time.BRIAN NORTON: It is pretty amazing what they are doing with those. He was talking about that lineup. Belva, you hinted on that. I looked all over about Samsung TVs in this lineup of TVs that are out there. Access World did an article about a very specific TV. I think you mentioned that in his voicemail. That’s a 50 inch TV that’s going to cost a lot. As far as the smaller TVs, I didn’t see anything that listed out the accessible features as a look at a whole line about different Samsung TVs. I couldn’t find a lineup that was referenced, but it sounds like hopefully they can they get into all their TVs down the road.BELVA SMITH: I know when we bought our last one, the salesman at H.H. Gregg was excited to tell us about the voice recognition features and stuff like that that were available in the much larger, more expensive version of the TV thankwe what we were getting.WADE WINGLER: Samsung is clearly, at least on their website, dedicated to this stuff. Hopefully they will be rolling it out. This is probably one of those situations where one of our listeners is jumping up and down saying, you guys didn’t realize. I would encourage other listeners who have more insight into this particular situation, give us a call, let us know. We’d love to hear what you guys know about this.***BRIAN NORTON: So our next question is from Lindsay. Lindsay’s question is, I have a customer who will be using Dragon 13 Premium on a laptop. It’s a 64-bit system with an i5 processor and four gig of RAM. I would prefer it upgraded to a gig of RAM and are wondering if using a USB memory stick for the RAM is as effective as the installed RAM. Any thoughts?I think the answer is pretty much no. The memory stick is more of a storage device and doesn’t substitute for the RAM on your computer. Even if you store the user profile on the USB drive, you’re not using that as RAM. It’s just as a storage device. you are storing that as your user profile over there. I think the answer is no, that a memory stick would not substitute for RAM in your computer.WADE WINGLER: been on Mac for a long time, but there used to be some Windows trick where you could install USB flash-based RAM and trick Windows basically into using that as memory. But I never found it caught on or develop, because I think it was so slow, the RAM was an onboard, so I haven’t found that to be an accessible or effective solution. It may be technically, but I don’t think it would work so well.BRIAN NORTON: I guess for me that begs another question: how much memory would we recommend? What kind of processor for Dragon if you’re using it on a laptop?BELVA SMITH: That seems to be a good topic of conversation lately. We used to do so much with our computers with so little RAM. Now it’s like 8 to 16 gigs of RAM. Why? Are the programs that much more robust right now that they are begging?BRIAN NORTON: I think they are getting smarter and are thinking a lot more, becoming more intuitive. That’s causing it to use more processes.BELVA SMITH: It seemed like a standard computer nowadays is four gigs of RAM. then everything is wants eight gigs or more.BRIAN NORTON: If I were buying a computer, I wouldn’t go less than four.BELVA SMITH: I think eight. I feel like eight is where you have to start nowadays. Is that right, Mark?MARK STEWART: Of course you guys are right. My two cents is – of course this is all relative, right? I’m at no lower than six, would really like to have eight from the overall “usually everything considered cost effectiveness” standpoint. With Dragon, this is going to be from this field experience standpoint, not four any more. I want six as that general – not the basic specifications, minimal specifications, but what do I recommend from a practical standpoint from this “will perform at least adequately” standpoint. I’m at six. Again, that’s coming from not being frivolous standpoint. How many years – we’ve done Dragon at two gigs, at four for many years. Yeah, I think the speech engines in version 13 are much better, and I think that takes a lot more processing power. So they are saying, we have good technology now, but it’s going to take more RAM and a better processor. Sorry, we had to push you guys out there as the consumers to do your part so that our software will run better. Core i3, but the latest generation of Core i3. I really would like a fourth generation or higher Core i5 processor. In summary, more current Core i5, six or eight gigs of RAM are going to run Dragon 13 really well. We’ve had a lot of success with Dragon 13.I’ll slip in there, take a look at Nuance’s website. There actually is a form of what you otherwise would call Dragon 14 out there with regard to the speech engines. Dragon NaturallySpeaking Professional Individual. It is around $300 now. It has speech engines that are beyond the level 13, they are still selling – if you want just the features that are in typically the Premium or Standard, they are still selling Dragon NaturallySpeaking version 13 for those models. But if you really want to push the limit on speech engine quality, for example if there is a speech impediment or you are a power user for any particular reason, you probably want the Dragon NaturallySpeaking Professional Individual.BRIAN NORTON: I’ll also throw out there, obviously performance on your computer is really important for Dragon and any adaptive piece of software these days. We are working with more sophisticated types of software out there. Zoom Text Fusion, we just had a rep from the company talked to our group today. That has a lot of things going on in the back and for the program to work correctly and requires more RAM. Just as a kind of rule of thumb, some of the things you can do to your computer to really increase its performance from a practical standpoint. You can go in and disable a lot of startup processes that are running, so unnecessary startup processes. Be careful when you do that because you don’t want to turn on the wrong ones, so definitely Google when you get in there and go to MS Config you run that, make sure that you are choosing processes that aren’t system critical for your system to run correctly. You can also work with the display themes as well, changing it from the default arrow theme back to kind of that Windows classic display. That will help increase the speed and performance of your computer. Now, in the control panel, you have things under power options to really choose the high-performance where it will use more resources, allow you to tap into more RAM cost for RAM memory, all those kinds of things. It will drain your battery a little bit quicker, but it will provide higher performance for your computer and. And then I always tell people, just don’t your computer fall asleep. Shut it down occasionally. Let’s clear it out, start over periodically to make sure it’s clean once in a while.BELVA SMITH: It’s like the old technician advice of reinstall Windows. Shut it down and reboot it. It really needs to be done at least every other day.MARK STEWART: Brian, you’re reminded me of something. This is almost where folks kind of take our word for it because Dragon does some strange things as far as not performing well. Dragon version 13 that we were just speaking about probably would basically run on two gigs of RAM, four gigs of RAM. It’s not just an all or nothing – a lot of times when something doesn’t run, it was run some and then stop, run some then stop. That kind of thing can happen with Dragon. Sure it will happen with two gigs of RAM given even though it could basically perform. Here’s my point: there is a more confusing phenomenon going on there. Actually when it doesn’t have plenty of RAM and processing hard to work with, it just sort of mysteriously has the voice recognition accuracy dropped off in percentage. It just isn’t as accurate. It just throws the wrong words. I think you could dial, come up with a digital analysis of that. It takes longer to process, probably after a certain amount of time will make a choice. It didn’t process as well so the choices aren’t as good as they would’ve been if it had had more promising processing power. It runs but it just isn’t as accurate.WADE WINGLER: I haven’t thought about that before but it makes you wonder if they adjust their accuracy threshold. I’ve been looking at artificial intelligence systems that do picture recognition stuff, and even weather apps will send an accuracy threshold. How sure glad to be of this guess that I’m making before I will go ahead and pop it out there? I wonder if, in order to recognize we are running out of cycles, running out of processing power, running out of memory, maybe we do over the accuracy rest threshold and let more check out than they would otherwise when we have more time to process it.MARK STEWART: That is part of how it works. You can actually change that threshold.WADE WINGLER: I didn’t realize.BRIAN NORTON: It’s like a little slider, right?MARK STEWART: Mhm.BRIAN NORTON: Most accurate, accurate, less accurate.WADE WINGLER: Backing down the accuracy threshold to conserve power.BRIAN NORTON: I never thought of that either.MARK STEWART: Of course, this problem, I didn’t learn about it – I knew about it from the beginning and I never wasted any time with it. I never sat in front – I never sat with four or five or six consumers for hours until I finally figured this out. Fortunately that is kind of how I learned about it over the years.BELVA SMITH: I know our light is red, but I wanted to touch on the listener’s question about, could she or he use the USB drive as RAM. It can be done. It is virtual RAM. The reason that people would choose to do something like that is maybe they don’t have any open slots. Maybe they don’t have the money to do the upgrade. But is it going to help – to do it is a pretty simple process: it is four steps. But is it going to help the improvement of your performance with Dragon? Probably not. Again, it is virtual RAM. It is not real. I wouldn’t recommend it. It’s not something that we and our world would ever do. It’s more of a geeky, techie thing that a person would do on their own.MARK STEWART: There are two possibilities here. One that might’ve been a very techie thought here, of course there is the wrong question or answer. It might’ve been a very techie creative thought or might’ve been a little bit of a confusion of hard drive space versus RAM. If it is the latter, a little bit of confusion, let me see this – we won’t go into this here, but get the right kind of RAM. Do you want to mention Crucial and Kingston? It is something that consumer can tell, but there is a little bit to learn about it. You want to get the right kind of RAM that goes with the computer.BRIAN NORTON: There are a couple of websites, is another great website where they can break it down where you put in the model – it’s a Dell, it’s an Acer, it’s an IBM, Lenovo – you can break it down to model number. It gets really specific about the exact kind of RAM you need for your very specific computer. You don’t want to screw that up because you can fry your motherboard if you put the wrong kind in.BELVA SMITH: And if you don’t know what you’re doing, you don’t want to attempt to put it in.BRIAN NORTON: You don’t want to crack something.BELVA SMITH: It’s better to take it and let a technician do it for you to make sure he gets installed properly.***BRIAN NORTON: So our next question is along that very same line, this is a Dragon question as well. Have you tried Dragon 13 with Microsoft Office 2016, which is the new version of office out there? If so, how does it work? Does it work well? Any concerns? I’ll throw that out to the group.WADE WINGLER: We are looking at you, Mark.BRIAN NORTON: With that question, obviously Office 2016 is fairly new. I think we’re finding that assistive technology takes a little bit of time to work out the kinks when something so new comes out. We always deal with that. From what I have heard with Office 2016, that you’re going to find that some commands – I guess most commands seem to work fairly well; however, some of those commands that have been around for a long time like new sentence or new, all those kinds of things, may not work as well. I think it is a little glitchy; however, we usually tend to find that those things tend to work themselves out with incremental updates and other kinds of things. That just seems to be the way assistive technology roles when something new comes out from the productivity side like Microsoft Office or other kinds of things. It usually takes that adaptive software some time to catch up. Although there may be some concerns, some things that may or may not work as well, I’m sure that those things will be remedied very soon.BELVA SMITH: I think for us it seems like we may be quick to get the new releases of specific assistive technology, but a little bit slower to get access to the productivity software or the operating systems. I don’t know why, but maybe it’s because we do kind of wait for them to work out the bugs. I know that the adaptive software that I’m working with, they are all saying it’s accessible to 2016, but I personally haven’t had much interaction with it. I’m assuming it is the same thing with you and Dragon, Mark. You probably haven’t had the opportunity to really use Dragon with office 2016.MARK STEWART: I just have a few times recently. I actually wanted to make sure the question right, so thanks for going first, guys. I’ve had a little bit of an issue with it along the same lines, learning curve stuff. I know there is the Dragon add-in so everything is supposed to be certified to work together, but frankly it just doesn’t work as well for me as 2013. I’ve had accuracy issues. Just this last week, I had to do a workaround with someone who is an experienced Dragon user. DragonPad worked so much better that we are using that and copying and pasting it into word. We are going to keep working on it and keep investigating because it would be much better to go directly into word. But I think right along the lines of what you guys are talking about, I think the waters are still kind of rough in the marriage between the two programs.BRIAN NORTON: I would encourage anyone in our listening community, if you have had experience with Dragon or Office 2016 together in some way shape or form, then let us know what your experience has been so that we can pass that along to folks.WADE WINGLER: The only thing I would add isn’t based on knowledge but more supposition. I just wonder if we are seeing a change in the industry where people are using Microsoft Office and similar products less. I spend more and more of my time on the web and in emails and things like Word Press and dealing with creating material not in a traditional office environment. It makes me wonder if manufacturers of AT are more focused on making it work well with the web browser and those web-based Pro tools as opposed to working at Microsoft. Even Microsoft with Office 365 is moving into more web-based stuff. I just wonder if we are starting to see that overall move toward software as a service and web-based stuff as opposed to the traditional office software.MARK STEWART: Sorry for the non-tech comment, but I would agree with that by saying this: the experience I was referring to last week was kind of just like – there was too much going on with the software. It had too many hands into many pots and it just wasn’t focused on Dragon well enough. It was just having trouble with it.***BRIAN NORTON: Don’t forget, if you have a question, you can give us a call on our listener line at 317-721-7124. Our next question is, I am a long time Zoom Text user but recently experienced a drop in vision and should really move to a screen reader. Do you have any suggestions for me? I’ve heard about Zoom Text Fusion and am considering the option since I’m very familiar with the Zoom text. But should I also consider NVDA or JAWS or some other screen reader?BELVA SMITH: Yes.BRIAN NORTON: Yes to what?BELVA SMITH: Don’t rush to make a decision. Make sure that you consider all of your options, possibly try all of your options. The three that you just mentioned are all available in a trial version, so I would highly recommend trying it before you make your decision. Also I wonder, so you are an experienced Zoom Text user. Are you using this at home, at work, because that could make a big difference as to what you might want to do, because you have to make sure if you are using it in a work environment that it’s going to be compatible with any third-party programs that you might be using. You also need to consider the power of your computer, back to what we were talking about earlier. You may find that you can use, for example, NVDA or JAWS or Window Eyes — because you can still get Window Eyes, right? You may find that you can use any one of those with less needed resource. May be if it is home use that you are using this and your computer may not be brand-new, maybe a couple of years old, it may not have eight gigs of RAM. It might be a better solution to use a standalone screen reader. Just don’t make an uneducated decision. Try them all out. First check out what their requirements are, compared to what you have.WADE WINGLER: I also think it is important to talk about your comfort level with new technology. Are you the kind of person who always wants to try the newest, latest, greatest thing, learning a whole new set of keystrokes or commands doesn’t intimidate you? Or are you someone who is really more focused on the task and not the tool and don’t want to mess around with those big changes? If that’s the case, you might want to look at a product where the change is going to be minimal to how you use it? If you’ve been using Zoom text, then something like Zoom text fusion might make a big difference. The other thing I would like to suggest is, what are your friends and neighbors using? Do you have other people who are assistive technology users in your life? What are they using? Because if everyone is using ask and you decide to use Z, then you will be a little bit more alone in terms of that support in the informal stuff. Those personal factors I think matter a lot. Plus costs. Some of these are free options in some of these are $1000 or so.BELVA SMITH: I will say, and goodness all of the screen readers have pretty much gone together and the keystrokes are pretty much going to be the same from one to the other. It use to be a drastic change to go from one to the other. It’s just not the case anymore. So that’s good news. You probably as a Zoom text user haven’t really learned a lot of keystrokes. You’ve probably been a point and click her. Learning the new approach is going to be the same for you probably either way. Or whatever program you choose.BRIAN NORTON: I would also encourage folks, you mentioned try those things out, find your local tech act project, assistive technology act project. Use their loan library. A lot of them had a loan library where you can borrow equipment. I know here in Indiana, we have a loan library. We have software loaded on computers so you can borrow a computer to try out the software. See what you like, touch it, experience it, get to know what a little bit before you make the purchasing decision that will make a big difference for you and your satisfaction overall with a particular product.BELVA SMITH: One last thing you should consider, especially if you are using it in a work environment: NVDA cup because it is free, it is also open source. That could make a big difference if you’re using it in a work environment with your third-party software and you need tech support and that kind of stuff. You are going to find that you will have much better tech support with one of the prepackaged software then an open source.WADE WINGLER: Yeah, because a lot of time that relies on volunteers or paid consultants.***BRIAN NORTON: Our next question is, is there a way to make the desk I currently use into a sit/stand workstation? I’ve look at options from Ergotron and Human Scale. But I would really like to simply raise my current desk to the appropriate height. Again, is there a way to make the desk I currently use into a sit/stand up workstation? Obviously we don’t know what kind of desk they are at, so knowing a little bit about that desk would maybe make our decisions a little bit easier. You have big executive desks; you have desks that have a lot of clear space underneath. I think we can talk a little bit about that.WADE WINGLER: I have to say I love my Ergotron desk. I have been using an Ergotron sit/stand add-on to my desk for a couple of years now. I don’t sit down at all. I get what the caller is getting at in wanting to raise the current desk to the appropriate height. But I love that Ergotron desk that I stand at all the time.BELVA SMITH: The two that I looked at were just basically converters. it really doesn’t matter what kind of desk the caller is using because they just attached to the top of the desk and then you can pick it up. They were cheap, way cheaper than what I thought. The uplift converter is only $219, and the high-rise converter from Amazon is $279. You can even get it to support dual monitors. it is yours dual monitor, Wade?WADE WINGLER: It is.BELVA SMITH: Because I know a lot of people do need that in a work environment. I was much surprised. I thought it would be much expensive than that.BRIAN NORTON: I’ve seen yours, Wade. We actually have one in our lab that is exactly the same thing. I worked with the company – and I knew we use them quite a bit for height adjustable desks. It is called populace furniture. Several years ago, I was working on a job accommodation. The lady I was working with did nails. What do you call that when you get your nails done?BELVA SMITH: Manicure.BRIAN NORTON: You can tell – I’m a guy. I don’t know what that is. and manicure table. She needed to be able to stand and sit periodically throughout the day. I worked with this company, and they actually sent me these custom legs. So they just bought onto the bottom of the desk. They are hydraulic lift legs. It is not purchasing the whole table. you can attach it –BELVA SMITH: That may be what he’s looking for.BRIAN NORTON: You can attach it to really any table or desk and it will raise it up or down. So there are four straight metal like that have four boats that built into the bottom of your desk. As long as you have enough service space and enough room underneath her desk to be able to bolt those underneath there, it will pick up the whole desk and move it up or down for you in a really easy, smooth fashion.BELVA SMITH: Wow.BRIAN NORTON: Populace is a great company. You have lots of questions about desks, they will get on the phone with you and help you figure out what they can do. They will recommend their own furniture and they will modify their own furniture, but they do have high levels of customer service and really try to make that custom fit for somebody.MARK STEWART: I’ve gotten some custom stuff with them as well. Things that would go on top of the desk, for sit to stand, there is the Varidesk which is lever-activated, non-power, pretty wide, pretty popular, fairly stable. The Taskmate that Wade talked about is a good concept. The Taskmate 6100 is a large power device that we’ve had a lot of success with that you can get a dual monitor extension arm. So you have two articulating monitor arms for wide angle monitors. That’s an interesting type because it can raise up to the appropriate standing height but then also, when you are sitting, if it needs to be lower than the desk – and a lot of time standard desks are too high for most folks – the keyboard and mouse tray coming down over the edge of the desk. That articulates see you can get that in the optimum position from an ergonomic standpoint or biomechanical standpoint. Kangaroo makes good products. I don’t think they have one – caller, check me on this if I am wrong. I don’t think theirs come down below the desk so you can optimize the positioning in sitting. Classic trade-offs for on the sit to stand units, usually they are a little less then a full power elevated desk, those price points are changing. Even if you buy a new desk – I know that’s not what this color is talking about – but picture the whole worksurface going up and down by the push of a button. It used to be those would be the real expensive – wouldn’t it be great to have all your stuff go up and down at any height you want, sitting to standing, but they are superexpensive, so I need to go to and on the desktop version. Those price points are coming together. While some of the on the desk versions have kind of gotten fancier with the whole movement towards sit to stand, the full table versions have been coming down in price, so if you’re talking about a new desk, you may want to consider the whole desk.WADE WINGLER: I’m looking at the autonomous line. I don’t know if you’ve had any spirits with those. They are entry-level, motorized, sit/stand table desk: $299.MARK STEWART: There are a couple reasons – and these aren’t absolutes. But there are a couple of reasons to consider that conceptually – Wade, your experience is what it is. I’m glad that’s working great for you and you are standing a lot. But textbook answers to this, when you put something now though she had one nice flat worksurface and you put this other device on top of it, only certain things go up like maybe the keyboard and the mouse. As the keyboard tray wide enough for an ergonomic keyboard? With many of these, it is really hard – one of the things the candor does well is a put a little – when it comes to the higher level, you can put a brace underneath the keyboard so that your keyboard doesn’t move much. It is not about the keyboard moving. It causes the monitors to shimmy. That can drive you crazy especially if there is a visual type of issue. Again, you lose a lot of your worksurface – or let’s say you’re doing it because you have a really particular back problem or something. Now you have to reach down for things. There are trade-offs.WADE WINGLER: I was in the only reason that moving to a full time standing worksurface has worked for me because it did two things at the same time: I went to a dual monitor setup and I also went to a paperless office. I don’t deal with paper and my keyboard and my mouth at the same time. I’ve got a scanner on my desk. I thought whatever document it is in my scanner or take a picture of it and it is on my secondary monitor. Because I’m not handling paper anymore, it works a lot better. When you do have a paper intensive activity like I need to sit down and look at budgets or a book or something, I’m moving away from my desk and going to sit at a table somewhere where regular chair environment.MARK STEWART: You guys know I’ve been doing lots of seating and positioning type access lately. I’ll roll with us a little bit more. There is another – back to the person’s question in particular. Again, we don’t know whether it is an executive desk or kind of more of a simple table. If it is more of the table thing, refer to what Brian said that is excellent. I love the company as well. Sometimes I’ve used – again, this is with always be safe double check. Bed risers. We’ve used bed risers to put under like sometimes. That gets it up a little higher. That is not the sit to stand. They did say they want both options. With wood, sometimes you can get an executive desktop. Well, if you raise the whole desk up to the work from standing position, now you can do – we don’t know the weight of this person and things like that, but another concept I do a lot is fixed height at the high level but now come in with a chair stool. Leading to a number of ergonomic chairs, Steelcase does it, ErgoGenesis, Bodybuilt does it and some others do it where you can – surprisingly it’s not a stool; it’s the full ergonomic chair, but on an extra tall cylinder with a foot ring. When you’re sitting, you can set high and then you just push the chair out and now you stand and the desk state at a higher height. That could be a trick that they might be interested in as well.BRIAN NORTON: Excellent. I think those are all really good options.***WADE WINGLER: And now it’s time for the about card question.BRIAN NORTON: So it’s time for our wildcard question. We do something a little unique today. We actually recorded the question first in our show. The reason we did that you will hear in a minute. Let’s go ahead and ask our wildcard question.WADE WINGLER: So for today’s wildcard question, I wanted to catch you guys while you were still fresh because we just do something just before stepping into the studio that I think is kind of cool. Late last week, we had preordered and got delivered our first Oculus Rift. We now have in our lab Oculus Rift and we’ve been doing demos and playing around with it a little bit. Today’s wildcard question is simply this: how cool was your experience just moments ago with Oculus Rift, and what is is going to mean for people with disabilities? Belva, you are the one saying “Oh, my gosh!” Tell me what just happened with this Oculus Rift deal.BELVA SMITH: I think it was amazing. First of all, the first one was Brian had me step out to the edge of this cliff and look down. Behind me were these big tall buildings and all around me. I was actually trying to reach and touch things because – did I feel it shake me at some point? Or was that my imagination?BRIAN NORTON: That’s your imagination. Belva and then there was this huge dinosaur that came walking up to me. I ducked because he walked over my head and I really – that’s what I felt like I was being shaken when he stopped behind me. Wow. I don’t know. I said can my visually impaired folks see this? Brian said no. I don’t know how it’s going to help us or what it’s going to do.WADE WINGLER: So if you are listening and are not familiar Oculus Rift is one of the first commercially available, eye and virtual-reality headsets. It’s a set of goggles that goes over your face and it fits tightly so it sort of blocks out all of the light in the room. Then it has these two high-definition audio earphones that slide down over your ears so that you have an immersive experience. You did the demo where you are standing on a skyscraper in this post-apocalyptic kind of world. Mark, you did a demo too, right?MARK STEWART: Yeah.WADE WINGLER: How was it?MARK STEWART: I did skyscraper and also the dinosaur.WADE WINGLER: Tell me about the dinosaur demo.MARK STEWART: The dinosaur demo was fantastic, but I put it in the category of being really fun and just I can’t believe how cool this technology is. I’m going to go to the skyscraper one because that was the first one I did. I thought I was in this category or I would like to be in the category of, I can control my emotions. I used to play sports and I can control my pain and this doesn’t really hurt. I can separate those sorts of things. Brian said step to the edge of the skyscraper – at least during that demo, I could not step four. I absolutely did not want to step forward. I was totally immersed. The whole time I was doing it, looking around, I was trying not to fall. But if you were going back and forth. I was concerned – I could have sworn I felt wind. It totally had me.BELVA SMITH: And you knew you weren’t going to fall, you you felt like you are going to fall.MARK STEWART: Yeah, I wasn’t trying it for 30 minutes and my goal wasn’t just can I step four. But while I was doing it for five minutes, I was like, I should step forward to see if – I didn’t. I was scared up there.BELVA SMITH: You felt the wind, and I felt the ground vibrating when the dinosaur was coming up. That’s crazy, isn’t it?MARK STEWART: I’m really surprised how immersive that was.BRIAN NORTON: I kind of look at it, because I’ve done both of those. I’ve done them all because I helped set it up this past week. I just think what an incredible opportunity for folks who have disabilities to be able to immerse themselves in an express they would otherwise be able to experience.BELVA SMITH: I of course immediately go for the visual impairments, but I have worked with clients who are either stuck or tethered to their bed or their wheelchair. So being able to put something like that on and maybe take a tour of a museum or take a tour of some sort of live sports event or something would be amazing, absolutely amazing.BRIAN NORTON: You guys didn’t get the footprints yet because there are other ones in there too. There is the virtual reality of the human body. Being able to better understand anatomy and physiology and all those kinds of things, it takes you through your lungs, it takes you through your brain and show you this real time, 3D, virtual-reality world of what’s really going on inside the body and how it works and red blood cells, white blood cells, things like that. I just wonder, just from a learning standpoints what a more subversive expense that can be for folks.BELVA SMITH: Are they using these things in school settings?WADE WINGLER: It’s so new that there not a whole lot of this particular virtual-reality headset being used yet like that. It’s still so new.MARK STEWART: Talk about visual-spatial. We all play off of multisensory approach to learning and multimodal learning. Sometimes it’s this, sometimes it’s that, sometimes it’s these two things. But as you’ve heard us say in other shows, and not a time for a lot of folks, just sort of the overlap itself really helps. Talk about taking something to another level. Isn’t that what we are all trying to do? Let’s do a little auditory, let’s do a little more visual. That’s the ultimate example.WADE WINGLER: Let’s sit under an oak tree with pictures and have a picnic well my penguin unicycles by.MARK STEWART: Exactly.BRIAN NORTON: It’s really an amazing experience.MARK STEWART: It’s unbelievable.WADE WINGLER: I’m sort of fascinated with what kind of opportunities might be for folks who have sensory issues or folks on the autism spectrum. If you want to learn to practice social interactions or learn to ignore distractions during conversation, what could you do for speech therapy where you are trying to recite stuff or learn to speak over a crowd or learn to deal with visual distractions during communication or social interaction? I think there is a whole bunch of stuff that you can do from the behavioral side of things. I’m fascinated with that.MARK STEWART: Immersive, we already said that word. But you are exactly right, Wade. We are here in the work building on Monday with all of our meetings and stuff like that. Brian takes me down to do this thing kind of as a surprise. Talk about my mind, everything is being off my mind in a flash. Totally immersive.BELVA SMITH: So you said this is one of the higher-end. How much is it?WADE WINGLER: I was impressed, we preordered this right at the release, so this one was ordered the last couple of weeks of April or so. The unit we bought, we just went to Amazon and bought a package that included an Alienware computer, the Oculus Rift, and all the accessories you needed to get it up and running including it’s got Xbox hand controllers, video game controllers, and stuff like that. It was just slightly under $2000 for the whole package, which I thought was remarkably inexpensive compared to what I was expecting. I was pleased. A couple of thousand dollars got the computer and everything.BELVA SMITH: Awesome.BRIAN NORTON: And for cost comparison, Google has done some things where you can take your phone, a six inch phone, and be able to stick it into a cardboard box looking thing and build to hold it up to your eyes and get yourself somewhat of a 3-D virtual reality subversive environment like that.BELVA SMITH: Tht sounded really help for me though. That sound is what really put me in the moment.BRIAN NORTON: Right.WADE WINGLER: The first time I experienced it, I didn’t have the earbuds or the earphones down correctly. Brian saw me messing with it, and he walked up and just didn’t say a word, just slid them down over my ears. I felt like he had put me into the world. It changed dramatically from having those earbuds slightly off to right over my ears.MARK STEWART: It was Star Trek holodeck stuff. You can look all around and it pans with you in real time and that’s just absolutely amazing. Is it full holodeck? No, in the sense that I can’t walk forward. Or if I put my hands out, I don’t see my hands. Otherwise –WADE WINGLER: That stuff comes though.The other thing I heard on public radio a week or so ago was the developers of Second Life, that virtual world that’s been around for years, are now working on how to take this new hardware and create – it’s called high fidelity, I think, which is a new version of Second Life based on not HoloLens but Oculus Rift kind of virtual glasses. Just imagine if two people sitting on opposite sides of the world can have this totally immersive experience. Mark and I could be in different hemispheres and sit in the park and played a game of chess using these sorts of things. I think about the other technology that is out there. We had that leave controller in our lab that you can hover your hands over and it will follow your hands around to allow you to play a game of chess or to control things in a virtual world. The marrying above this technology, I’ve messed with all the components I think that are required to give you this virtual world experience. They are all sorted out there individually. Marrying those up into a solution is the next step. Remarkable.BELVA SMITH: Wow.BRIAN NORTON: Excellent.MARK STEWART: Awesome.BRIAN NORTON: Thanks everyone. I appreciate you guys today. Thank you, Wade. Thank you, Belva. Thank you, Mark. But you are a little bit hesitant there.WADE WINGLER: You want to get out of here. But I have to get out of here. Thank you everyone. I appreciate it. I wanted to again tell folks how to find our show. You can find it by searching assisted technology questions on iTunes. You can look for us on stitcher, find us on our website at Also please don’t forget the question we had at the beginning of the show where we talked about if you guys know of an accessible bilingual dictionary for someone who is blind or visually impaired. I love to be able to pass information along to the folks that send that question in to us. Have any other feedback about the other question we ask today, we appreciate you sending that in today as well. You can get your questions to us, your feedback to us by calling our listener line at 317-721-7124. You can send us a tweet at the hashtag #ATFAQ. Or send us an email at [email protected] Again without your questions, we don’t have a show, so please send those in. We appreciate it. Take care and we will talk to you guys in a couple of weeks.BELVA SMITH: Thanks, guys.MARK STEWART: See you.WADE WINGLER: See you later.WADE WINGLER: Information provided on Assistive Technology Frequently Asked Questions does not constitute a product endorsement. Our comments are not intended as recommendations, nor is our show evaluative in nature. Assistive Technology FAQ is hosted by Brian Norton; gets editorial support from mark steward and Belva Smith; is produced by me, Wade Wingler; and receives support from Easter Seals Crossroads and the INDATA project. ATFAQ is a proud member of the Accessibility Channel. Find more of our shows at