blindness

BarCamp 10

It all begins at BarCamp! I gave my first speech at the unconference in 2012 and just gave another at the tenth anniversary of this defining event.

Back to my Open Source Roots

So much has happened, I hardly know where to begin. I haven’t written any articles in a while and have pretty much stayed off social media, except for an occ...

Can a Blind Person Brew Kombucha?

I love Kombucha! Ever since I first tried it at Whole Foods I had wanted to learn more. When I learned that Inspired Brews would have a brewing class, I deci...

TechGirlz!

This week I volunteered to help teach a class about web accessibility for TechGirlz. This amazing nonprofit organization offers free workshops to help girls ...

The Accessible World and Beyond

I’ve had an amazing few weeks! At the end of April I gave the technology track keynote speech at the Accessible World, a conference about accessibility which...

The Apple Fancast

I just took part in an email interview with the Apple Fancast for their segment the Rounded Rectangle. They asked me a series of questions. They did the same...

I Love my Apple Watch

I finally got around to writing my review of the Apple Watch and its accessibility features. When I first got it, I deliberately held off, figuring that anyo...

EvoHaX and the Accessibility MacGuffin

A few weeks ago I participated in EvoHaX, an accessibility hackathon which happened as part of Philly Tech Week. Ather Sharif of EvoX Labs did a wonderful jo...

On The Pulse for a Second Time

At the end of 2013 I appeared on a radio show called The Pulse, which airs on WHYY. I really enjoyed the experience of broadcasting, and hoped one day to do ...

CocoaLove

Last month I spoke at CocoaLove, a conference about people, not tech. After traveling so much it felt wonderful to speak at a local conference. It had the fe...

TEDx Philadelphia 2014

In late January I received an email inviting me to speak at TEDx Philadelphia, the local version of the famous TED talks. At first I mistook it for spam, but...

EuruCamp 2014

This summer I spoke at EuruCamp. It took place in Potsdam, Germany. I spoke twice, participated on a panel, and made some new friends. Watch the video. I als...

Philly Tech Week 2014

Every year Philadelphia has a week-long celebration of tech events called Philly Tech Week. Last year my friend Sonia and I had a braille street art table. T...

The Pulse on WHYY

As I noted a few weeks ago, I recorded a version of my Ignite Philly talk which would air on WHYY. It aired on friday on a program called the Pulse. It felt ...

Touch Tours in the AP

This summer I trained to become an assistant docent conducting touch tours at the Museum of Archeology and Anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania. Si...

Ignite Philly

I’ve had so much going on, I finally had time to write an article about the speech I gave at Ignite Philly. Adam Teterus, one of the organizers of the event ...

Fear and Loathing in the Nickel City

Recently, I attended the Nickel City Ruby conference, in Buffalo, New York. I went with Alex Kaplan of Neomind Labs. We gave speeches, had Buffalo wings, saw...

Braille Street Art Blasts Off

Braille street art has blasted off. Two things happened last week. On thursday we made the front page of the City Paper. Then, on Saturday we won best visual...

Museum of Consciousness

For the past few weeks I have traveled back in time over 3000 years to ancient Egypt. I have not gained access to a time machine. I have begun training to be...

Motion-Accessibility

I just released my second RubyMotion gem. I call it motion-accessibility. It makes it much easier to make your applications accessible by providing Ruby-like...

Asbury Park Adventure

While speaking at the RubyMotion conference in Belgium I met Bret Morgan, who runs a coworking space in New Jersey called Cowerks. Since we live near each ot...

Join the Ridesharing Revolution

A few weeks ago I attended Open Access Philly. While there, I heard a presentation about a new service called SideCar, which does something called ridesharin...

Braille Street Art at Philly Tech Week

Since publishing my initial article about braille street art, interest has increased. It has taken us by surprise. A friend who does sticker art inspired me ...

The Journey Home

_This concludes my trilogy covering my trip to the #inspect 2013, the first RubyMotion conference. If you haven’t, you should start by reading about the trip...

#inspect 2013

This article makes up the second part in a little trilogy about going to #inspect, the first RubyMotion conference. I expect a few updates as more content co...

An Unexpected Journey

I just spoke at the first RubyMotion conference in the magical city of Brussels, Belgium. RubyMotion allows a developer to write iOS apps in the Ruby program...

RubyMotion and Accessibility

I just gave a great talk at the Philly Cocoaheads group. We met at the life-transforming Indy Hall. I covered basic iOS accessibility, RubyMotion, and how th...

My First Visit to Indy Hall

At long last I have finally come to Indy Hall, a coworking space in Philadelphia. Many people told me I HAVE to check it out, and now I see why. The web site...

Austin’s Accessibility Adventure

This weekend I attended BarCamp Philly. Everyone promised a life-changing time. They spoke the truth. I had a lot of fun, met some great people and even ende...

The Beginner’s GUide to Echolocation

I have some very exciting news. Ever since I started learning about echolocation I wanted a way to get started myself. I made contact with Justin at World Ac...

RubyMotion Rocks!

Ever since I started using an iPhone, I have wanted to learn how to write apps for it. I made several attempts to learn Objective C, but it never worked out....

A Light to Guide You in Dark Places

This article will conclude the series detailing my three-day intensive to learn echolocation. By making a tongue click, a blind person can learn to retrain t...

Welcome to the World of the Sighted

I just had what we jokingly referred to as Echolocation Woodstock. Read that article first if you haven’t, as this one picks up where it leaves off. It discu...

Echolocation Woodstock

About six months ago I started learning about echolocation. With a simple tongue click, a blind person can see their surroundings. The brain learns to interp...

Access Unlimited

I just appeared on the excellent show Access Unlimited, an award-winning show on KPFK in Las Angeles. I talked about my first experiences with computers, the...

The First Philadelphia VoiceOver Event

The Philadelphia regional chapter of thePennsylvania Council of the Blind partnered with Apple to put on the first VoiceOver event in this area. The event to...

Aftershokz!

I feel very excited to review the Aftershokz bone conducting headphones. These new headphones use bone conduction to deliver sound, leaving your ears open to...

What Apple TV Means to Me

I have recently gotten AirPlay working to prepare for a move. As I wrote, I got an Airport Express and an Apple TV. At the time of writing I had to wait t...

My New Cane

I have begun a dialog with World Access for the Blind. They teach a skill called echolocation, where a blind person can train their brain to synthesize image...

My First Karate Demo

On Sunday I participated in a demonstration of karate put on by Empty Hands Karate and the West Chester YMCA. It went well. I feel proud to announce that ...

Karate Demo

In late June, I completed an adaptive eight-week self defense course. I concluded the piece with the sentences: So even though I didn’t get a belt, I did ...

The Death of Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs has died at age 56. Family said he passed peacefully in his sleep. This has sent shockwaves around the net, and I thought I’d throw in my own litt...

Scrivener

I have discovered an awesome writing tool for the Mac called Scrivener. They also make a version for Windows, but I cannot use Windows for psychological reas...

Karate Adult

Some time ago, I wrote about Loretta’s adaptive sports expo. I saw a karate demonstration which really inspired me. Because of the interest shown by all invo...

What Hath Goddess Wrought!

I have loved radios as long as I can remember. This caused me to become interested in amateur radio, which caused me to learn morse code. Recently, I thought...

The Quest for my iPad 2

I have it! I have my iPad 2. Getting it proved one of the strangest experiences in recent days. Listen if you will to my tale.

Let there be Light Detectors

I feel glad to report that we can now add light probes to the list of blind technology now made obsolete by the iPhone. Recently, I received an email from a ...

A Trip to the Mac App Store

Today, Apple released Mac OS 10.6.6, which adds the Mac App Store. I wanted to give a sneak peak, especially from an accessibility point of view. I also want...

Green or Gone

I thought I’d start the new year off with a little humor. In a blog post, Jason Scott said that for him, the combination of green text on a black background ...

MobileMe or Die!

Firstly, let me say that I write this using an awesome program called Mac Journal. It lets me work directly with my blog. I hope this works. Now, onto busine...

On CBC’s Spark!

A few weeks ago, Dan Misener from the CBC contacted me, asking if I would like to do an interview for their weekly technology radio show Spark. Of course, I ...

Let’s Go Skywatching!

For years I have sought ways for me as a blind person to relate to the night sky, especially since sighted people cannot seem to describe it. “Oh no. It’s al...

Hearing Emoticons

As a programmer, it always amazes me when a simple feature makes a profound difference. Any programmer will know what I mean. In this case, I refer to VoiceO...

My First Week with the iPhone

Last Wednesday, my life changed forever. I got an iPhone. I consider it the greatest thing to happen to the blind for a very long time, possibly ever. It off...

Blind Skiing for the First Time

Last year, my family began doing something called Secret Santa, where everyone has to buy a random person a gift. This year, my brother got me an adaptive sk...

A Token Gesture to the Blind

Last week, a friend called to tell me that he had just seen a commercial for the commemorative Louis Braille silver dollar coins. Immediately, I saw it as a ...

Summer Shines in the Winter

I have done it! I have gotten Linux installed on my Netbook. Specifically, I used Arch Linux for the Blind. Coming from Slackware, it made a good choice, sin...

More mysteries of the EeePC 1000HE

Like a woman, a netbook has many layers and mysteries. I have solved two more I felt worthy of documenting as I freely write from my armchair in the living r...

Netbooks: the end of Notetaker Fascism

the blind have had notetakers for years. i remember first purchasing a braille ‘n speak, a wonderful beloved device about the size of a vhs tape. it used a b...

Some basic tips for the EeePC 1000HE

I finally got a text version of the manual for the 1000HE. It doesn’t look pretty, but it works! I wanted to share a few tips to help get acquainted.

My first post from my Netbook

During my Summer Solstice Lord of the Rings party and ritual, I dubbed this the Summer of the Netbook. Shortly thereafter, I ordered one, an Asus EeePC 1000H...

Starting a Chess Course

I’ve wanted to become good at chess for a while. It seems like something I should do well in – I program, I meditate, I love music, all the traits one hears ...

The Genuardi’s Experience

I detailed the problems shopping while blind in the previous post, and won’t rehash that. After our harrowing experience with Acme, we decided to give Genuar...

The Acme Experience

Shopping while blind presents several obstacles. The idiot dorks at independent living centers tell blind people that they must behave like sighted people at...

Panasonic TG9332T

I have gone through several cordless phones since they became popular. At first, I didn’t use them, then got one, then realized their convenience, and now I ...

My New Old Braille Labeler!

Today, Mom came over with a surprise. While cleaning out a drawer, she found an old labeler. For sighted people who don’t know, they have handheld devices wh...

The FiOS Chronicles

I will chronicle my experience with FiOS. I just got it installed yesterday. Verizon FiOS provides a fiber optic line right to the house. The technology has ...

A Question of Liability

I posted this after the event in question. I repost it now because of the referenced bout with godaddy, who I can now tell to SUCK IT!

An Open Letter to Tori Amos

I will repost a series of articles I wrote for my old blog, as well as on my blog at breakthematrix. I will start with this classic. Unfortunately, no longe...