What Scares you about Technology?


NARRATOR: Coming up
on Double Tap TV. ANNOUNCER: This week
on Double Tap, we dive into the scary side of tech. We bring you some
great resources when losing your vision, and
Steven taps his own experience for some helpful
tips and tricks. NARRATOR: The latest tech. DIGITAL VOICE: In second place,
with a total of five points. NARRATOR: Interviews. The most useful product we
can, at lowest possible price. NARRATOR: Accessibility. I’m loving it, and
I’m sticking with it. NARRATOR: This is Double Tap TV. MARC AFLALO: We’re
back on another edition of Double Tap TV. Welcome to it. I am Mark Aflalo, as
always with Steven Scott. Steven, so happy to be
here this Halloween week. It’s so much fun
to talk about tech. I thought your studio would
be a little bit more spooky, kind of I expected to see. STEVEN SCOTT: Oh, am
I not scary enough? MARC AFLALO: You make a
very good point there. I didn’t really
think about that. You know what, I’ll adjust
this in post-production. We can definitely
take care of it. OK, thank you guys,
for being here. The email address
is [email protected] On Twitter, we are
@DoubleTapCanada with the hashtag, ask Double Tap. Thank you guys for sending
us all your emails and all your feedback. It’s so much fun to read
interaction with the audience. Because we do things
here, we have no idea how you’re going to respond to it. So thank you for
getting involved in. I know, Steven,
you tend to a lot of the emails and
the website stuff, so you see a lot of that
interaction with people. Right? STEVEN SCOTT: Yeah, yeah, it
is great to hear feedback– and actually, more importantly,
I think, get questions as well. Let’s start a conversation here. That’s what this show is about. That’s what the
radio show is about. If you want to ask
us any questions just use the hashtag
on Twitter or just drop us an email
at [email protected] Or you’ll also find us on
Twitter @DoubleTapCanada. MARC AFLALO: Now, Steven, you
and I talked before the show. We talk about different
themes and the big things we’re going to talk
about during the show. And when it came to this
show, because it kind of fell in the Halloween week,
we thought about– I guess the question was,
“what scares you about tech?” And there’s so many ways
that you can look at this, but I think the approach
we’re going to take today is to talk about your
story when you started losing your vision
and the things that you were worried about,
the things that scared you, as your vision got
worse and worse, and how those tools and the
various things that you used made your life better and
how you introduced yourself to them. STEVEN SCOTT: Yeah, it is
interesting because, of course, this is a technology
show, right, and the whole point
of the show is to talk about the latest tech. But the difference between
this tech show and probably every other technology
show out there is that this is a
deeply personal thing. Technology is deeply
personal, right. But this technology–
access technology– is deeply personal. Because it comes with it a
huge emotional roller-coaster. Losing vision is a real
challenge for anybody, without a shadow of a doubt. In fact, I think
in recent surveys it’s been said that
losing your sight is this is the one sense
people fear losing most. And, I think, Marc, you’d
probably say that’s true, isn’t it. I mean, of course, you’d be
terrified to lose your sight. I mean there’s nothing
shameful about admitting that. But I think when it comes
to my own experiences, I’ve always had little
vision, but I’m realizing now how much vision I probably had,
compared to what I’ve got now. About three years ago, my
health took a bit of a downturn. I’d put on a lot of weight. I ended up having a heart
attack, and as a result, actually lost more of my vision. I mean, how cruel is that? I have a heart attack, and
I lose vision out of it. And my heart apparently
was fine by the end of it, which was kind of bizarre. But the point is that
I ended up having to face this journey of what I
call “losing my sight again.” I thought I’d kind of get
used to the whole idea of losing vision or having
low vision at least. Now I was in a
position where I was able to get by using my
Windows computer, or my Mac, or my iPhone, fairly
reasonably without any kind of major accessibility
improvements-large text, maybe, magnify, or zoom,
that kind of thing. And on the computer, I was just
making text as big as possible. I was getting by. But when this happened
and suddenly I was faced with the reality of
my sight getting less, and less, and less, and my useful vision
becoming useless vision, I suppose, I got to the
point of thinking I’ve got to do something about this. And it scared me. It did scare me. Because I thought,
what about my job? What am I going to do, if I
can’t use computers anymore? Computers are my life. I mean, how would we do
this show without computers. How would I do a
technology program if I can’t use technology? And that was what I
had to learn that I had to start embracing
new ideas and realizing that I could use technology. I just would use it
in a different way from a slighted person
or someone who’s got reasonable partial vision. And that’s what I did. I started using JAWS
on my work computer, and I realized that the
screen reader was actually very difficult to learn. And it was a challenge
and a bit of a nightmare. But I thought I have
to learn to use this. I’ve got to do it. Because if I don’t, I’m
going to face problems. And what I realized was–
all within a few weeks, albeit a very difficult couple
of weeks, don’t get me wrong. It was a difficult
couple of weeks. But I learned was
that I could do it and actually in some ways I
could use the computer faster and more efficiently than
my sighted colleagues. I could browse through emails. It was amazing. I was getting through emails
no problem at all racing through stuff. And then I learned to edit
using no screen as well. And that was an interesting
challenge, but I did it. And each step, I realized
that I was on this new journey where every single step
was going to teach me something new that I could do,
something new that would lead me to something else, and
that every step forward was just another step forward
to something else even better. And it would mean
that I could use all the things I wanted to use. I could use my iPhone
with voiceover. I learned that-again,
a challenge, for sure. But just taking the time. And I guess my
top tip to anybody out there who’s
in this position. You might be sitting
there thinking-you might be feeling the same way. My word to you is try
and talk to somebody. Try and get involved in
your local organizations, like CNIB who do amazing
work, and especially around technology. Get in touch with those guys,
because they can help you. Don’t sit alone at home and
think you’re on your own. Trust me, you’re not. There are lots of us out there. And that’s why I do
this show, because I want to tell you about
all the technology that I’ve learned about that
can make our lives better. MARC AFLALO: Steven,
how aware were you of those organizations–
and not only the organizations, but the tools at your
disposal, that could make your life that much better. Were you aware that they existed
to the extent that you are now? STEVEN SCOTT: I suppose,
I was in a good position, because I worked in the
field of vision loss. So I worked with
a national charity in the UK called out RNIB, as
I still do to this day as well. I still have a job there. And I do this, and I am
aware of what’s going on. I’m aware of the
technology, but it’s very different to
knowing how to use it. And it’s very difficult
to find resources. This is another big problem–
again, why I wanted to do this. It’s very difficult
to find resources that a stupid person
like me can understand. There’s lots out there and
hundreds of books and 100 page books and all this, but nothing
that just gives you a YouTube video on how to use JAWS. So that’s something
that I want to do here and something I want to
encourage people to try. These things are
all challenging. Of course they are. But think back to the days
when you couldn’t even use a computer. That didn’t stop you. You still had to learn
to use the computer. Well, all you’re doing
is using it differently. And I would encourage
anybody actually just to try a narrator
on their Windows PC or Voiceover on
their Mac, and just realize what living with
eyes free is, essentially– eyes free, no screens, nothing. It is a very different
way of working, but it’s brilliant once
you get used to it. It does take time. And it does take
a lot of patience. But in the end, it does pay off. MARC AFLALO: Now you
embrace technology, and you’ve always
been a technology fan for a majority of your life,
but there are people out there who aren’t, who are scared of
technology almost as scared as they are of
losing their vision. So to have to tackle not only
vision loss, but also now embracing technology in a way
they never did before-that must be a challenge as well. STEVEN SCOTT: Yeah, it is. It’s interesting. I hear this a lot from
people who’ll say, well, I just don’t use smart phones. Or blind people say this to me,
no, I don’t use smart phones. I’m not interested in that. I want to use specialist
technology Instead. My view is that if you
were out in the street, and you were constantly
falling over things, and you were
bumping into things, and you were realizing that
actually getting around was becoming a real challenge. And that the only way
you could get around was by using something
like a white cane, I think you would probably
come to the realization very quickly– you’ve got to use a white cane. And you do. We all have to
take responsibility for our own lives. And I’m a big
believer in everybody out there embracing
this technology, because it’s the future. It’s not going
away anytime soon. But the most important
thing is this technology is now made with
blind people in mind. It isn’t like 10 or 15 years ago
when you couldn’t buy a new– I remember I had a Sony
Ericsson P800, which was the coolest phone ever. And it was the worst
phone in the world, because I couldn’t even see
it, nevermind much else. It had a touch screen. It was almost iPhone-like. But trying to be like an iPhone,
like a PDA back in those days. And yeah, that was great
technology, but none of it was accessible. We could not have done
the show in those days. That’s changed. So it’s up to all of
us to try and embrace. I know the challenges. I understand, and I’m one of
those people who sat there– I’ve thrown my
phone at that wall more times than you
could imagine because of the difficulties
and challenges that come with learning this stuff. But you’ve got to do it. At least, try, and if
it doesn’t work for you, there are other
options out there. Like if it’s a smart phone,
you’ve got Synapptic. If it’s a computer, you’ve got
the PC with Dolphin software with Easy Guide. All of those things
are out there. There are ways to get
started, but my suggestion would be get in touch with
an organization like CNIB, to start with and. Start your tech journey with us. And we’ll help you. Ask Double Tap, and we’ll
answer your questions. MARC AFLALO: So let’s
flashback to your younger years when you started
embracing technology in a way that was
helping your life. We’ll take a quick break
and come back, and talk about your journey, and
give people some tips that you learned along the
way that will help them along their journey as well. It is Double Tap TV. He is Steven Scott. I am Marc Aflalo. Again, [email protected] is the
email address. @DoubleTapCanada on Twitter, And use that
hashtag, AskDoubleTap. We’ll be back in a moment. NARRATOR: Love Double Tap TV? Listen to AMI Audio for Double
Tap Canada every Thursday at 8:00 PM eastern for news
and reviews on everything tech. [music playing] This is Double Tap TV. MARC AFLALO: We’re
back on Double Tap TV. Marc Aflalo and
Steven Scott with you. I will keep reminding
you of that email address and our Twitter handle. It is @DoubleTapCanada, use
that hashtag AskDoubleTap. And, of course, our email
address [email protected] Steven, before
the break, we were talking about your
experience, and your journey, and the tools that are
available to people, and the resources–
for example, this show is a great resource
for people who are learning about accessibility. But where does one start? If I find out today that my
vision is slowly degrading, what are the things I
should be thinking about? Because I guarantee
you I’m not going to be in the right frame
of mind to really know even where to start. STEVEN SCOTT: When I think
back about what I said earlier, I stand by all of it. But I would say
that, you’re right. When you learn that
you’re losing your sight, you’re not thinking about,
oh, how do I use an iPhone? It’s probably not the
first thought in your mind. It’s loved ones’ faces,
it’s a whole host of things that are running
through your mind, right. But at the same
token, I think there are some things you can do. And I think, ultimately, it
all goes back to organizations like CNIB, blind charities
that are there to support– and you know,
Canada is very lucky to have the CNIB, a
brilliant organization. It has got an amazing
array of services. And I think it’s a
good place to start. Get in touch with the
societies, because they can help you to find
out what is on offer in your part of Canada, to
know what’s going on there. And also what that does is
it puts you in connection with other blind people. That’s the key. That’s what did it for me. I met a guy called John. I’ll never forget him. I met a guy called
John who told me how to use an iPhone in five
minutes on a lunch break. MARC AFLALO: Wow. STEVEN SCOTT: He just explained
it to me really simply. It’s just like, you got
a grid on the screen. You touch the screen. What you can see, or
what someone can see, can be and will be
read back to you. And that just seemed
to make sense to me. So I just touch the screen,
and nothing will happen? No, no, no, nothing will happen. The only way you can action
something is by double-tapping. If you’ve ever wondered
why the show is called Double Tap, well, that’s why. Because double-tap is an action. It’s something that
makes something happen. And that is how you use
this kind of technology. Now if it’s a computer,
yes, it is a bit different. There’s a lot more to it. Again, that’s where
classes come in. But I think, what I would
say to you is be prepared. No, not everyone can be lucky
enough to be in this position. But if you are in
a position where you are able to begin learning
about this new technology– JAWS, a screen reader,
or using the Mac, or using an iPhone with
Voiceover, or large text, or high contrast, or whatever
is it you think you might need, start learning about it now. And I would say this
to you Marc as well. I mean, I know you’re
not losing your vision. And God, I hope that
never happens for you. But the thing is
if you were aware of the accessibility
options that are actually in your phone– Go into your phone. Go to Settings. Go to Accessibility. And under there, you’ve got
a whole, wide range of tools that you can access-voiceover,
zoom, magnifier, large text. You might even
find you might want to put the large text on just
to make the phone a bit easier to see for you. That’s a tool you can use. It’s not like you have to have
your special disabled password to get into it. It’s just there. It’s for anybody. Accessibility is for all,
not just for blind people, or for people with disabilities. So that’s a really
important thing– get to know these tools. Because if a situation were to
arise for you or for someone in your family, you
would be able to say to them, with some
authority, actually, you know what, I know
how this works. You don’t have to worry about
not being able to use that phone anymore, or accessing
your favourite apps, or doing your shopping online,
or playing a game perhaps, even watching Netflix. You can still do all that stuff. But you just got to
do it a different way. And this is how you do it. So it’s about
preparedness as well. Download JAWS. You can go and get a demo
right now from the website. Try NVDA, a free screen reader. Just press down the
Command button and press F5 on your Mac. That turns on
Voiceover, which is the screen reader on the Mac. It will walk you
through a full tutorial on how to use the screen
reader on the Mac. So all of this is there. That’s the brilliant thing. And that’s why I’m so keen, as
I said earlier, to do the show, to tell you these
options are there. Because if you know
it’s there, then it means you know that if
the situation were ever to arise that you felt
you needed to use it, you know where it is. And that’s such
a powerful thing. The tools are incredible
nowadays in every device. So I think preparedness
is really important. And do you know what? There’s something else
I want to say as well, Marc, about young people,
especially kids, who are blind or partially sighted,
or for moms or dads who are watching this, and
thinking my kid’s blind. I’d kind of like to get them
into the world of technology, but where do I start. I mean, what would I buy them? Well, don’t look any further. Get in touch with the CNIB. And I’ll mention it a lot
this episode, but I do think– MARC AFLALO: But I
know where you’re going with this because you’re
going to talk about some of the programs they have,
because, yes, they’re a great resource, but they
have incredible programs like this one you’re
about to mention. STEVEN SCOTT: Yeah,
Fall It Forward, which is a program where
people are donating their old smartphones– I’m gathering mine
up right now to send, because I’m not using them. I mean, Marc, how many smart
phones have you probably got lying in a
cupboard somewhere? [laughter] MARC AFLALO: I call it
the cell phone museum. [laughter] STEVEN SCOTT: Yeah, exactly. Well don’t let them languish. If you’ve got an iPhone 4, or
an iPhone 5 lying in a drawer. You’re never going
to use it again. You can send it into the
CNIB, and they will format at. They will erase
everything off it for you. They’ll make sure
it’s all clean, so that basically it
can go to a blind child. I think that’s a
fantastic thing. Because it teaches
those kids really young how to use this technology. It’s a program I wholeheartedly
applaud as well as support. MARC AFLALO: And
you’re just scraping the surface in terms
of the programs that they and other
organizations, local organizations, offer. And just, you know, Google
search “blind organizations in your area.” And I promise you’re going
to find a lot of resources, and a lot of tools
at your disposal. It’s so funny, because
we do this tech show, and we talk about all
these cool things. But as technology
evolves, you look at things like those
Amazon smart glasses– that yes, they were
a, gimmick, and they were announced for fun. But these are tools
that will eventually fit some kind of lifestyle
and fit some kind of need, whether you’re
disabled or you’re not. So I can just see
how technology is going to evolve and make
these things even better for your life. STEVEN SCOTT: You know, I
started going to the gym recently. I’ve got a personal trainer, and
she said to me the other day. I was talking a lot
about Netflix shows. And she said, can
I ask a question. She said, how do you
watch Netflix programs? How do you know what’s going on? And I said, well, there’s this
thing called audio description. So I get my phone out. I said, check it. I turn on audio description,
and I let her hear some of it. And she was blown away. She said, I didn’t think– I thought if you
lost your sight, you just wouldn’t
watch TV again. Now that’s just one
person I’ve spoken to. But she’s going to tell
other people about that. And that message is
going to get out there that actually being blind
is not the end of the world. In fact, it’s just
a different way of navigating the world
we’ll have to get used to it. MARC AFLALO: This is Double
Tap TV, he is Steven Scott. I am Mark Aflalo. Steven, let’s take
a quick break, and let’s get to some
of those communications from our wonderful audience. Again, it’s [email protected],
and on Twitter, it is @ DoubleTapCanada, with
the hashtag AskDoubleTap. Back in a moment. NARRATOR: For more great
Double Tap TV content, visit ami.ca/doubletap. [music playing] This is Double Tap TV. MARC AFLALO: We’re
back on Double Tap TV. Marc Aflalo and Stephen
Scott with you– [email protected],
@DoubleTapCanada on Twitter, with the hashtag AskDoubleTap. Steven, again, next year we have
to focus on a little bit more of a spooky garb. STEVEN SCOTT: OK. MARC AFLALO: I know that
your mask is still on there– I mean, your face. [laughter] STEVEN SCOTT: Oh, thank you. MARC AFLALO: We’ll try
to get some spiders– oh, look at that. A spider just crossed
my screen there. Thank you guys for being here. We’re talking about not being
too scared of technology or letting technology, I
guess, scare you in life. And we’ve got a really
fitting email here from Polly, which says, my
son was whispering something to me the other day and
Alexa whispered back to us. What on earth was that? It scared the out of me. [vocalizing] Steven, you and I were talking
about this off the air. That’s Whisper Mode on the Echo. STEVEN SCOTT: Yeah, it’s
not long-arrived actually. And it is it creepy, but it’s
a brilliant little feature. So you know what it’s like. In the middle of the
night, you wake up and you wonder what time it is. And if you are like me, and
you’re married, and you say, Lady A– I’m not going to say her name,
because she’s just behind me here, and she’ll get set off. So if I say, Lady
A, what’s the time. She’ll say, it’s 4:31. And then the whole
house wakes up. MARC AFLALO: Yeah, at full
volume, and wake up everybody– STEVEN SCOTT: Exactly,
so that’s no good. (WHISPERING) However,
can now whisper to her, what’s the time? And she’ll whisper it back. Which is brilliant. Except for the fact, the
first time I tried it, my wife had actually
woken up, and she was terrified at what she had had. She thought someone
was in the house. It is a bit creepy
if I’m honest. MARC AFLALO: Yeah, it i is. It’s a little bit creepy. So, Polly, That’s what
your son experienced. And it’s funny,
because it leads me into a conversation
about Halloween. Because I actually use a
lot of my smart home devices in my favour. And a perfect example is
I’ve got the Ring video doorbell on my home. And one of the features
of the Ring video doorbell is that it can sense motion. So as someone
walks up my stairs, I can use that motion
sensor to trigger sounds. So I make it start to belt
out spooky Halloween sounds and music. [laughter] I’m trying to think
of ways that I can get a smoke machine going,
and I think I can do it. I’m going to try for
this year, making it turn on a smart plug
for maybe 30 seconds, so the smoke starts. Anything that you
use yours for you? Do you have any clever ways to
use technology to spook people out as they come to your door? STEVEN SCOTT: Well, again, I
can just open my front door. I don’t need
technology for that. I’ll scare away the
neighbours no problem at all. No, actually I use Ring
video door bell actually for a similar purpose. But what we do is you can change
the ring so when they press the button, you
know, you could have a scary sound, such as a loud [laughs menacingly] You know, brilliant. Love that stuff. The kids love it. You know, everyone loves it. It’s great. Although I tend not to answer
the door too much, because then I have to give away candy. I’m not keen on that. MARC AFLALO: You’ve got to
do what I do, Steven, which is you buy candy for yourself. STEVEN SCOTT: True, yes. MARC AFLALO: I’m doing
quotey fingers now– for yourself, and
candies for the kids. So you choose who gets more, and
who gets which of the favourite candies. STEVEN SCOTT: They
get the rubbish ones, and I get all great ones, yeah. I’ll be honest. I also like to listen to
some of the ghost stories. I love doing that. I get my Victory
Reader Stream out. I’d download a couple of
books onto the SD card, and my wife and I
listen to those. Or alternatively,
we’ll shove on Netflix and get some good
audio-described horror going. And I have to tell
you, there’s nothing more scary in the world than
a movie, which is a horror, with audio description. Because that voice will just
come out of nowhere at you. And it can be pretty terrifying. MARC AFLALO: Any favourite
Halloween movies? I know my wife is really big
into the Peanuts Halloween– and then, it’s not Scooby Doo. I always forget– STEVEN SCOTT: Scooby Doo? it can’t be Scooby Doo. MARC AFLALO: No, no
there’s the pumpkin one. The Great Pumpkin, Charlie
Brown’s Great Pumpkin. STEVEN SCOTT: I see. I was just thinking– MARC AFLALO: You know,
Snoopy, Scooby Doo, it’s to mix those two up, right. STEVEN SCOTT: I must admit. I’m a bit of a horror fan. I like things like Saw. And I love Halloween,
the movie, of course. Halloween is just a classic. In fact, the 25th or
30th anniversary one came out recently, as
terrifying as that is. But yeah, just
some amazing movies that you can get at
this time of year. And yeah, I love it. MARC AFLALO: Well,
you know, guys let us know exactly what
you do at your home. There’s so many
ways that people– I remember when I worked
at a radio station about 20 years ago,
our engineer-and this was back in the days before
computers and smart home devices. Our engineer would
sit there with solder and would create
these inventions that when motion was detected,
when something would pop out of a tree, confetti would fly. Music would go. There’d be thunder. There’d be lightning. So there’s lots of creative
ways that people use technology to their advantage. And I think the more and
more that automation and home automation gets
popular, people are putting them to use in
very, very different ways. So if you happen to encounter
one when trick or treating with your kids, or you
happen to be planning one, please do let us know. It is [email protected] And again, on Twitter,
we are @DoubleTapCanada, with the hashtag
AskDoubleTap Steven, thank you for being here. Happy Halloween. STEVEN SCOTT: And you. MARC AFLALO: And don’t
eat all that candy, OK? STEVEN SCOTT: I will, I will. MARC AFLALO: You will
absolutely eat it. Thank you guys for being here. We will see you on
the next episode. NARRATOR: For more great
Double Tap TV content, visit ami.ca/doubletap. MARC AFLALO: Hosted by Marc
Aflalo and Steven Scott. Editing and graphics, Marc
Aflalo and Will Attar, production assistance,
Wendy Kaufman. Integrated Described Video
specialist, Ron Rickford. Coordinating producer,
Jennifer Johnson. Director, production, Cara Nye. Director of Programing, Brian
Purdue, VP, Programming, and Production, John Melville. President and CEO,
David Errington. Copyright 2019,
Accessible Media Inc. [music playing]

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