Blind Abilities
Blind Abilities
Blind Abilities Team
The most comprehensive resource for Assistive Technology, success Stories, College and Career Pathways and all with a Blindness Perspective.
Wellness Wednesday: Words Matter, So Does Tone of Voice and Etiquette When We Interact with Others and Ourselves
In this 25th  episode of Wellness Wednesday, Beth Gustin, LPC, Robin Ennis, LCSW, CPC, express the importance of words, tone of voice and etiquette when interacting with others. How we adjust, correct and acknowledge others verbal communication. How do we interpret tone and how do we interact with ourselves.   Check out all the Wellness Wednesday episodes.   Show Hosts:             Robin Ennis on the web at www.robinennislcsw.com             Beth Gustin, LPC, NCC, EMDRIA Approved Consultant, CAGCS, PLGS             Www.transitioningthroughchange.com   You can message Beth and Robin by calling 612-367-6093 or by email. They are looking forward to hearing from you! Read More
Dec 20, 2023
10 min
Envision Endless Possibilities with the Envision Smartphone App and Smart Glasses. 15% off holiday sale sitewide! Welcome Back Envision CTO and Co-founder Karthik Kannan.
Since 2016, Envision has been providing products and services to enhance and empower blind and visually impaired people to live full and independent lives throughout the world. Join Blind Abilities podcast host Simon Bonenfant as he speaks with Envision co-founder Karthik Kannan, as they discuss many groundbreaking additions to the AI powered smart glasses and smartphone app.   Notable Updates include: ·      Reduce cost by choosing from one of three editions of glasses to have instant and direct access to only the features deemed most important to the user. ·      New payment plan allows for unlimited access to smart glasses for only $150 per month. ·      New AI integrated Chat GPT functionality on both glasses and app offers greater independence and autonomy for the end user.   Additionally, Karthik is pleased to announce that from now until December 31, 2023, Envision will be offering a 15% off holiday sale sitewide. To learn more and find out what Envision can do for you, visit the Envision Website here.   To contact Envision directly, visit their Contact Form. Follow them on: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube. Read More
Dec 19, 2023
20 min
BlindShellUSA And Envision America Announces ScripTalk Talking labels App is Now Part of the BlindShell Family of Apps on the BlindShell Classic 2 Accessible Cell Phone!
our guests in this episode Come to us from BlindShell USA and Envision America and are here to talk about the latest addition to the BlindShell Accessible Cell Phone Classic 2 family of apps. BlindShell's President and CEO, Bari Azman, , and Diane Ducharme, Senior Program Director, and Jenna Reed Marketing Director at Envision America, join Jeff and Pete to announce that ScripTalk Talking Labels is now available on the BlindShell Classic 2 accessible cell phone. Join Jeff and Pete as they discuss a variety of topics with Bari, Diane, and Jenna as they talk about the new release of the ScripTalk App on the BlindShell Classic 2 Accessible Cell Phone. All the features of Talking labels in the palm of your hand. The BlindShell Classic 2 Accessible Phone is a hybrid blend of modern smart phone capabilities and tactile buttons, and could be an appealing alternative to a standard Apple or Android smart phone for both a newly blind and existing user who just isn’t interested in the flat screen device. Bari and Diane are not content with the status quo and intend to continually add new features to the BlindShel Classic 2  and it's capabilities.  And now, with the addition of ScripTalk, the BlindShell experience is proving to be the accessible phone we have been looking for! Read More
Dec 14, 2023
19 min
Wellness Wednesday: Navigating Friendships and Family During the Holidays and All Year Round
In this 24th  episode of Wellness Wednesday, Beth Gustin, LPC, Robin Ennis, LCSW, CPC, respond to a letter from a listener regarding friendships and navigating frendships during the holiday season. Not only navigating friends but navigating family as well. They also glide into some of the trappings of having a disability and when to say no to the 20 questions thrown your way.   Check out all the Wellness Wednesday episodes.   Show Hosts:             Robin Ennis on the web at www.robinennislcsw.com             Beth Gustin, LPC, NCC, EMDRIA Approved Consultant, CAGCS, PLGS             Www.transitioningthroughchange.com   You can message Beth and Robin by calling 612-367-6093 or by email. They are looking forward to hearing from you!
Dec 6, 2023
14 min
Read the Word of God Your Way: Lutheran Braille Workers Provides Religious Texts in Braille and Large Print at No Cost! Meet Rachel Potts, Director of Strategic Ministries and Partner Relations
Ever wanted to read a specialized religious book in braille or large print but it wasn’t available? Lutheran Braille Workers are here to help! With over 120 braille production centers and content in over 42 different languages, Lutheran Braille Workers is sure to have something for you! Their catalogue includes an extensive number of Bibles, Newsletters, Devotions, and books of religious commentary from many denominations.   Rachel describes the creation of the organization, the mission, and the processes of translating the texts into Braille, all accomplished by volunteers. To browse the catalogue, order materials, or donate to further their work, visit lbwloveworks.org To contact Rachel directly, send her an email at: rachel@lbwloveworks.org Read More
Dec 1, 2023
11 min
Enhance the Visual World Around You with Products from Enhanced Vision. Meet Ed Martin, Product Sales Representative at Enhanced Vision
While attending the 2023 NFB of PA state convention, Blind Abilities podcast host Simon Bonenfant sat down with Ed Martin, Product Sales Representative at Enhanced Vision, one of the leading magnification companies in the world. Ed gives listeners an overview of the many product offerings the company provides, and demonstrates one of the leading OCR solutions, the Smart Reader.   From the Enhanced Vision Website: “The Smart Reader HD is a lightweight, portable reader/scanner with large built-in user-friendly tactile control buttons. A fully integrated solution, the Smart Reader HD offers the advantage of a built-in HD camera and OCR (optical character recognition). Smart Reader HD enables individuals with low vision to retain the pleasure of reading by listening along or by attaching a monitor to view the text. Users are able to view in color, enhanced high-contrast positive or negative modes, allowing for higher contrasts and easier viewing. With easy-to-use buttons and dials, customers can enlarge or reduce the text in seconds and change viewing options for easier visibility.”   Visit the Smart Reader Product Page to learn more and order today! To browse the full line of products, visit enhancedvision.com To contact Ed directly, give him a call at: 267-372-0116. Or send him an email at: enhancedvisionpa@gmail.com Read More
Nov 29, 2023
15 min
Screen Readers Simplified: Introducing the SRT Screen Reader Training Website - Meet Co-creators Allison Mello and Max Avendano, Assistive Technology Specialists at the California School for the Blind
Mastering a new screen reader can be a daunting task: with a plethora of screen readers to choose from, and the learning curve of new commands it’s easy to become overwhelmed. Thankfully, there’s a new website to help you along your screen-reader journey!   Blind Abilities podcast host Simon Bonenfant joined Assistive Technology Specialists Allison Mello and Max Avendano in the virtual studio to discuss everything you need to know about the new SRT Screen Reader training website.   You can access the site by visiting this link. The site offers full-length tutorials of some of the most popular Screen Readers such as Voiceover, Jaws, Kromevox, and NVDA.   Interested in practicing the information you learned? Take a look at the Game Portal, where you can find fun ways to develop your skills.   In addition to discussing the features of the website, Allison and Max give an overview of their work at the California School for the Blind, and how they used their lived experiences to compile the site. Don’t forget to check back often, as they plan to provide updates as new information becomes available.   To contact the California School for the Blind, visit Their Website To contact the SRT development team directly, visit their Contact Page.   Read More
Nov 27, 2023
22 min
Wellness Wednesday: The Intersection of Gratitude and Grieving During the Holiday Season
In this 23rd  episode of Wellness Wednesday, Beth Gustin, LPC, Robin Ennis, LCSW, CPC, and Jeff Thompson of Blind Abilities,  address the intersection of gratitude and grieving during the holiday season.   Check out all the Wellness Wednesday episodes.   Show Hosts:             Robin Ennis on the web at www.robinennislcsw.com             Beth Gustin, LPC, NCC, EMDRIA Approved Consultant, CAGCS, PLGS             Www.transitioningthroughchange.com   You can message Beth and Robin by calling 612-367-6093 or by email. They are looking forward to hearing from you! Contact: You can follow us on Twitter @BlindAbilities On the web at www.BlindAbilities.com Send us an email and give us a call at 612-367-6093, we would love to hear from you! Get the Free Blind Abilities App on the App Storeand Google Play Store. Give us a call and leave us some feedback at 612-367-6093 we would love to hear from you! Check out the Blind Abilities Community on Facebook, the Blind Abilities Page, and the Career Resources for the Blind and Visually Impaired   
Nov 22, 2023
20 min
From Braille Notetakers to Book Players. An Assistive Technology Journey Spanning Through the Decades. Meet Gilles Pepin, Founder and Chairman of the Board at Humanware
While attending the 2023 NFB Convention Banquet in Houston Texas, Blind Abilities podcast host Simon Bonenfant had the opportunity to connect with Gilles Pepin, Chairman of the Board at Humanware. During the Banquet, Mr. Pepin received the prestigious Kenneth Jernigan award. Mr. Pepin joined Simon in the virtual studio to discuss his incredible tenure as Former CEO of Humanware for 35 years.   From the Humanware Website: “Founded in 1988, HumanWare is a Canadian-based company part of the EssilorLuxottica group since 2013. Recognized as an industry leader, our mission is to develop solutions enabling people living with visual impairment and vision loss to develop their potential and maintain their autonomy. Through the dedication of our employees and partners in North America, the United Kingdom, Australia and a worldwide distribution network, we improve the quality of life for our customers by promoting literacy, inclusion, and accessibility.”   During the interview, Mr. Pepin discusses his personal story of how he came to work in the Assistive Technology field, and his dedication to the development of products that help the blind and visually impaired “See Differently.” Mr. Pepin also discusses the history and evolution of the ever-popular product lines developed by Humanware such as the braille note, Trek GPS System, Victor Reader book player, OCR, and Magnification devices.   Mr. Pepin outlines some of the challenges faced by him and his team when developing new products and innovations. He credits the dedication and passion of all the employees at Humanware for making the company what it is today. Mr. Pepin also credits the feedback of blind and visually impaired users and testers as playing a critical role in the success of the Humanware product lines as well.   To learn more about the extensive product offerings from Humanware, visit their Website To contact Humanware, visit their Contact Page   read More
Nov 6, 2023
40 min
Wellness Wednesday: Being Perfect, Don't Make mistakes, and Proving Yourself is exhausting - A General Look at Blindness Awareness, Interdependence, Grieving and Rebuilding
In this 22nd  episode of Wellness Wednesday, Beth Gustin, LPC and Robin Ennis, LCSW, CPC, have a general discussion about blindness awareness. October has a variety of Blindness related awareness campaigns bringing about awareness to the public with White Cane Day, Disability Employment and Blindness Awareness Month all happening in the month of October. Beth and robin talk about the exhaustion of constantly feeling the need to advocate, prove and being the perfect ambassador for the entire community all the time. How the battle of grieving and rebuilding can play out on one's journey and why asking for help can be  a form of independence.   Check out all the Wellness Wednesday episodes.   Show Hosts:             Robin Ennis on the web at www.robinennislcsw.com             Beth Gustin, LPC, NCC, EMDRIA Approved Consultant, CAGCS, PLGS             Www.transitioningthroughchange.com   You can message Beth and Robin by calling 612-367-6093 or by email. They are looking forward to hearing from you!   Read More
Oct 25, 2023
17 min
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