A Day in the Life of Keith Bundy

Aug 3, 2021 01:35 · 10907 words · 52 minute read

ANNA MARIE: Do that. OK, Keith Bundy was born totally blind.

00:13 - He received primarily a mainstream education and earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology, a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and religion, and a master’s degree in college student personnel work.

00:25 - He has worked for over 35 years in a variety of professional positions and is currently a digital accessibility consultant and trainer with Siteimprove Inc. He is a certified professional in accessibility core competencies, and he holds certifications in accessibility, information and technology, JAWS for Windows, and NVDA.

00:46 - He has over 20 years of experience in accessibility.

00:49 - Keith enjoys public speaking, serving as a public address announcer for sports events in his community, and spending time with his wife Peggy and their four grown sons and three grandchildren.

01:01 - So allow me, folks, to introduce to you Keith Bundy.

01:06 - KEITH BUNDY: Thank you, Anna Marie, and it’s a privilege to be on the call today.

01:10 - I’m glad to be able to talk to you guys and share with you a little bit about what it’s like to be blind from my perspective.

01:17 - We’re going to learn how a person who is blind performs many daily tasks today.

01:21 - We’re also going to understand some of the ways technology helps people who are blind.

01:26 - And we’ll understand that a person who is blind is just like anybody else.

01:31 - We’ll also talk a little bit about how a screen reader user browses the web.

01:37 - Feel free if you have questions to post them in the chat.

01:40 - We will have some time for questions and answers afterwards, and so we’ll be glad to answer your questions at that time.

01:48 - So excuse me. My slide just messed up here.

01:52 - Technology is beautiful when it works.

01:58 - There we go. So the biography talked a little bit about who I am.

02:04 - I was born totally blind and raised in Southern Indiana, and I did attend mainstream education.

02:11 - I was one of the early students to be mainstreamed.

02:14 - Back in the day when I was born, it was very common to go to the school for the blind for education.

02:19 - But they had started a mainstreaming program within 20 miles of where I was, so my mother drove me back and forth for nine years, kindergarten through eighth grade, so that I could get a main mainstream education.

02:32 - And then, I went to my own high school in my hometown for my high school education.

02:38 - I am blind because of a congenital malformation of the brain.

02:42 - The vision center of my brain did not form, and so I was not able to see.

02:47 - And I remember being taken to an eye doctor when I was eight years old for a possibility of a cornea transplant.

02:52 - And the doctor looked at my mother and said, why is he here? His eyes are perfect.

02:56 - And so we’re going, well, if his eyes are perfect, why can’t he see? And that’s when we learned that it was a congenital malformation of the brain that caused my blindness.

03:07 - So I did go on and get a university degree– three university degrees, to be exact.

03:12 - But the problem was I couldn’t get a job. This was back before the days of the ADA, and so it was very common for employers to find out you were blind and simply to say, we don’t have a job that a blind person can do.

03:26 - And I remember it took me nine months to land my first job after I got out– well, actually a year after I got my master’s degree to get my first job.

03:34 - Nine months after I got married, I got my first job, but it’s been good ever since.

03:39 - Who am I today? Well, as you heard, I’m a husband to my wife Peggy and a father of four sons.

03:46 - I’m a grandpa to three, and within the next two weeks that’s going to grow to four.

03:50 - And we’re excited about that. I’ve had 40 years of continual employment, and I’ve done a variety of jobs.

03:57 - I’ve been a computer instructor, a counselor, a former pastor, and I’m still an interim pastor at a small church as well as being an accessibility community consultant.

04:08 - And then I’m a public address announcer for Dakota State University.

04:11 - That’s a small NAI university here in South Dakota where I live, and I am a public address announcer for their football and basketball events.

04:20 - I could do volleyball as well, but I figured that’d be too many nights away from home.

04:25 - So I’m just doing football and basketball this year.

04:29 - I’m also a motivational speaker. Basically, I’m just an ordinary guy who happens to be blind.

04:36 - I don’t do all these things in order for people to say, wow, that’s awesome that you can do all those things, you being blind.

04:42 - I do them because I want to do them. Blindness just happens to be a part of the equation.

04:46 - And basically, I’m just an ordinary guy like you.

04:50 - I do consider myself a bit of a blindness evangelist because most people don’t really know someone who’s blind or don’t know them well.

04:59 - And that word blind is an interesting word.

05:01 - It can be lots of things from limited vision all the way to not being able to see it all, like me.

05:09 - Basically, the guideline for using the term blind is if your lack of vision affects your functioning on a daily basis, you can be considered blind.

05:17 - And so there’s all levels of blindness. Some people are considered blind and yet have fairly good vision.

05:24 - Other people are totally blind like myself.

05:27 - And I view it as my mission to teach others about my daily experiences as somebody who’s blind.

05:33 - My philosophy is that people who are blind should be included in all aspects of daily life.

05:39 - And I would say that the thoughts and opinions that we’re talking about in this presentation are totally my own.

05:47 - They’re not the thoughts and opinions of Siteimprove or of other blind people even.

05:51 - There may be other blind people who disagree with what I’m saying.

05:54 - These are my thoughts and my opinions, and so I just want you to know that as we start.

06:00 - I’m often asked a lot of questions. People who are blind have come a long way in the last 100 years.

06:10 - 100 years ago, basically blind people were relegated to sheltered workshops, making furniture, things like that, or special workshops for the blind.

06:20 - Then, it became a way where it was either lawyer or lighthouse, and the lighthouses were often the names given to special facilities for blind employees.

06:28 - And if you were really smart, you could go to college and go to law school and become a lawyer.

06:33 - If you weren’t so smart, you ended up working in a lighthouse.

06:36 - And that was that way for quite some time. But today, life is much more accessible than it used to be.

06:44 - There’s still a long way to go, but now you will find people who are blind in all kinds of occupations ranging from, well, factory work all the way to accessibility consultants, teachers, rehabilitation teachers for other blind people.

07:00 - The scale is just limitless where you can find blind people today doing all different kinds of jobs, and so we’ve come a long way.

07:08 - And a lot of my daily activities involve technology, and so I want to talk to you about 10 of the most common questions I’m asked as a blind person.

07:17 - We’ll give you the questions and the answers, and then we’ll have some time for questions.

07:22 - So question number 10 that I’m asked is this.

07:26 - How do you get ready for work? Well, it’s a simple process.

07:30 - My iPhone provides the alarm. So you see I’m using technology.

07:34 - Being organized is the key to success in life if you’re blind.

07:40 - It’s just the key. You’ve got to know where things are.

07:42 - When I go to bed at night, I know where my clothes are for the next morning.

07:46 - I’m very organized in my own restroom. I know where everything is so that I can get ready to go to work.

07:53 - I also am very organized with where I have my food items to prepare food.

07:59 - I prepare my own breakfast in the mornings, and I know how to do that.

08:03 - I have everything organized beforehand. So it really helps to be organized when you’re blind.

08:09 - Also, determining what to wear can be a matter of organization.

08:14 - You heard me say I have my clothes organized.

08:17 - How do you determine what clothes match? Well, sometimes cited assistance is used, and I’ve gotten a little bit lazy.

08:24 - I’m married and have been for 40 years, and I have my wife help with a lot of these things.

08:29 - But I spent a year, when I first got my job with Siteimprove, living on my own in Minneapolis while my wife stayed in our home in South Dakota.

08:38 - And so I had to remaster some of these skills.

08:41 - And so there are good ways to tell what you’re wearing, and technology can involve that as well.

08:47 - There’s a cool app out there called Be My Eyes.

08:50 - And it’s an app where you can call and you can be hooked up to a sighted volunteer.

08:55 - And anybody can volunteer to help out. And you get a call from a blind person, and you see through their phone’s camera.

09:02 - And they ask you questions, and you can tell them the answers they need to know.

09:05 - So if you want to know if certain pants and shirt match, you ask them, and they will tell you.

09:11 - There’s also an app out there called BeSpecular, and it’s a pretty cool app.

09:15 - You can actually take a picture of something and either text or record a question, and it’ll be sent to various volunteers.

09:22 - And they’ll get back with you with answers to your question.

09:26 - So they’ll either text them back or record them for you to hear.

09:29 - So that’s a pretty cool app as well. TapTapSee is another app that you can use you can take a picture of something.

09:36 - And it sends it off to a server, and it uses a computer database plus crowdsourcing to tell you what you’re looking at.

09:44 - So it can say, white shirt or green shirt. And then there’s a program called Aira that I’m going to talk about a little later, which is similar to Be My Eyes, but it’s kind of Be My Eyes on steroids, if you will.

09:57 - And it allows you to talk to a visual interpreter.

10:00 - And they can tell you exactly what you need to know.

10:03 - So there are all kinds of ways to tell what clothes match and how to get ready for your day with technology.

10:11 - Question number 9, how do you get around? How do you get around? That’s a good question.

10:18 - Blind people are trained in what’s called orientation and mobility.

10:22 - Orientation is knowing where you are, and mobility is knowing how to get from one place to the other.

10:29 - And so most blind people receive training in orientation and mobility so that they can function independently and travel by themselves.

10:37 - Most people use a long white came to find obstacles and to identify themselves as blind.

10:43 - Some people choose to use guide dogs. I used guide dogs for several years, and it’s pretty cool situation if you have a guide dog that will take you around obstacles.

10:54 - And it’ll stop at curbs and stairs and things like that.

10:58 - So it’s pretty cool to use that. My dog is now retired, so I’m now back with the cane.

11:03 - And I’m enjoying that as well. I’ve traveled all over the world using a cane.

11:07 - I’ve traveled to Iceland and Denmark. I’ve traveled to Canada several times all with the use of my cane.

11:15 - And I’ve traveled here around the states quite a bit for my job, and so I have no problem traveling.

11:22 - There are times when blind people use sighted guides.

11:25 - They take the elbow of a person who is sighted and walk a half step behind that sighted person, and that sighted person can let them know when there are drops-offs or stairs or lead them around obstacles.

11:36 - And that’s a perfectly acceptable way to get around as well.

11:40 - And I’ve used that technique as well quite a bit of the time.

11:43 - Getting around is really a matter of personal choice.

11:46 - You’ll find some people who want to use the dog all the time, some people who prefer the white cane.

11:51 - They don’t like dogs for whatever reason, and that’s OK too.

11:54 - And you have other people who just feel more comfortable with sighted guide.

11:58 - I use a combination of all three methods myself to get around.

12:03 - A lot of blind people are using technology in conjunction with their cane or dog today.

12:07 - There’s some cool apps out there. One is called BlindSquare.

12:11 - That provides orientation to you. It tells you what buildings you’re walking past, if they’re registered on Google Maps or Foursquare maps.

12:20 - It’ll tell you what street crossings you’re coming up to.

12:24 - You can use it with Apple Maps or Google Maps, and it’ll help you to map a route and tell you when to turn to go where you’re going.

12:31 - So a lot of people who are blind use technology along with that cane or that guide dog, and that helps as well.

12:40 - Question number 8, how do you know who you’re talking to? Well, that’s a good question.

12:46 - We’ve all faked it, including me. Sometimes, you’re talking to somebody, and you’re thinking, man, I ought to recognize that person, but I don’t.

12:52 - So you just pretend to know who they are and hope they don’t ask you the question, do you know who you’re talking to? You fake it sometimes.

13:00 - I have a very good voice recognition skills.

13:03 - I know people’s voices just like some people know faces, so I’m pretty good at knowing who is talking to me most of the time.

13:13 - My recommendation is if you talk to somebody on a regular basis, they’re probably going to recognize you.

13:19 - If you don’t talk to them on a regular basis, they may not recognize you, so it always helps to say, hey, this is Keith Bundy and just let that blind person know who you are.

13:30 - And that helps them to know for sure who they’re talking to.

13:34 - There is a couple of technology and devices that can help with people recognition.

13:38 - One is called OrCam MyEye. It’s a pair of glasses you wear with a camera built into the glasses.

13:44 - And the glasses take a picture of who you’re seeing, and you can train your little device that you carry with you to recognize that person by name.

13:55 - You can tell it the person’s name, and then the next time those glasses see that person, it’ll say that person’s name.

14:01 - So my glasses that I had and was using, they would say Peggy when she walked by me.

14:09 - And they would say Kevin when he walked by me, and so I would know who the people were.

14:14 - That’s a pretty expensive piece of device. Seeing AI is another app that Microsoft has come out with.

14:21 - It’s free of charge, and it is very good at telling you who people are.

14:25 - You can train it to recognize people. And when your phone’s camera sees them and you’re on the channel for persons, it will recognize and it’ll tell you who’s passing by.

14:34 - It’s also kind of fun to play with because if it doesn’t know the person, it’ll take a guess at their age.

14:40 - So it might say a 25-year-old lady with brown hair and blue eyes is smiling.

14:46 - And sometimes, that can be really good. Sometimes, it can be really crazy.

14:50 - I had it call me an 80-year-old man once, and I’m not even close to 80.

14:54 - So it’s not perfect, but it does work. And then there’s some other apps as well.

14:59 - There’s one called Supersense that I think will do similar things.

15:02 - But the bottom line is if you’re not sure if a person is going to recognize who you are, feel free to tell them who you are.

15:12 - And I never get offended if somebody tells me who they are, even if I recognize them and know who they are.

15:20 - Question number 7, what about money? What about money? Well, that’s a question for everybody, isn’t it? What about money? Well, coins are easy to identify by the feel of the edges and by their size.

15:33 - So I can identify coins with no problems. Bills are another story.

15:38 - The United States is the only major country in the world with inaccessible currency.

15:43 - If you’re blind, you cannot tell what kind of currency you’re being given.

15:47 - Now, in Canada, they have Braille on their currency, and you can tell the currency by looking at the dot formations.

15:54 - In some countries, they have different-sized bills.

15:57 - I did some mission work in Nicaragua a couple of years.

16:01 - And when I was in Nicaragua, you could recognize their money by the feel– by the size of the bill.

16:07 - And they had different sizes for bills, and so you could tell what the currency was.

16:13 - Now, in the US, technology– there has been there was a lawsuit filed by the American Council of the Blind, and so the Treasury Department is supposed to be developing accessible currency supposedly by 2026.

16:28 - We’ll have to see if that really happens. So how do we recognize the bills that were given today? Well, technology can help.

16:36 - There’s a couple of cool programs out there.

16:39 - One is called EyeNote provided by the Department of Treasury.

16:43 - Another one is called LookTel Money Reader.

16:46 - Another one the Seeing AI that I talked about earlier, manufactured by Microsoft, which is a free program.

16:52 - Actually, it can identify currency now. You take a picture of the currency, and it identifies it just like EyeNote and LookTel Money Reader.

17:03 - So there is technology out there that can identify the currency that you have.

17:07 - Most people who are blind have a folding system.

17:10 - I have a folding system. If it’s a one, I keep it straight in my wallet.

17:14 - If it’s a five, I fold it once. Tens, I fold twice.

17:18 - Twenties, I fold three times over. Fifties, I fold the opposite direction.

17:23 - And hundreds, which I never have it seems like, I fold double in the opposite direction from the tens so I can tell the difference.

17:31 - So there are ways to find out what kind of money you have.

17:34 - Sometimes, you have to trust people. If you don’t have one of these apps on your phone, you have to trust people that they’re giving you the right amount of change back.

17:42 - Fortunately, I can tell you that I’ve been blessed.

17:44 - I’ve only been ripped off once in all of my years of independence.

17:48 - I’ve been independent since 1974, and I’ve only been ripped off once.

17:52 - And so that’s a pretty good track record. Question number 6, how do you read print? You know, even with technology, the printed material is not going to go away.

18:06 - So how do you read print? Well, again, there are several ways to do that, several pieces of technology that can scan print and read it to you either auditorily or in Braille.

18:17 - OrCam MyEye is one example. You can point your glasses at the picture, at the printed document, and take a picture of it.

18:25 - And it will read back to you in your ear what the printed document says.

18:30 - There’s all kinds of OCR apps on our phones now.

18:34 - Voice Dream Reader has a program called Voice Dream Scanner.

18:38 - And you can take your phone and scan a page of printed material, and it’ll read it back to you in a matter of seconds.

18:45 - KNFB Reader is also a good app for scanning materials.

18:49 - Seeing AI works. It also has a channel where you can scan documents.

18:54 - It even has a channel where you can scan handwriting.

18:57 - It’s in the experimental phases, but it’s out there.

19:01 - Envision is another app that enables you to scan.

19:03 - And of course, you can always get sighted assistance or call Aira or Be My Eyes if you want something read to you as well.

19:10 - So there are ways to read print. We just got to remember there’s no perfect OCR program, that mistakes can be made, and so you just have to be aware of that and find the program that works best for you and use that to read your printed material.

19:27 - Question 5, how do I know if someone who is blind needs help? Well, the simple answer to that is ask.

19:35 - Ask if a person needs help. Most of the time, people who are blind don’t need help.

19:41 - They don’t need it, and they don’t want it.

19:42 - They’re perfectly capable of navigating themselves in their situation or doing what they’re attempting to do without help.

19:50 - But there are times when everybody needs a little help.

19:53 - And so what I usually tell people is if it looks like the person is struggling and needs assistance, just ask, do you need assistance or can I help you? And generally, people who are blind will nicely tell you if they don’t need assistance.

20:07 - And if they do need assistance, they’ll thank you and they’ll take advantage of your assistance.

20:13 - Just ask. If the blind person doesn’t look like they’re having a problem, don’t worry about it.

20:17 - Let them do things on their own because most of us who are blind want to be completely independent, and we can do most things completely on our own.

20:26 - I like to talk about what I call Bundy’s law.

20:28 - And that is if you don’t need help, there’s always three or four people there who ask if they can assist you.

20:34 - If you do need help, there’s nobody within a half mile to help you.

20:38 - And that just seems to be the way it goes sometimes.

20:41 - So, again, if you think somebody looks like they need a little assistance just ask.

20:45 - And, again, they’ll let you know yes or no.

20:47 - But most of the time people who are blind are pretty independent and can accomplish whatever they want to accomplish without your assistance.

20:56 - Question 4, are your other senses better since you’re blind? Well, the short answer to that is no.

21:04 - Biologically, there’s no evidence that other senses are better when a sense is lost such as vision.

21:11 - However, what does happen is we use our other senses more.

21:15 - I use my hearing more than you do. I’m more aware of what I hear.

21:19 - So what ends up happening is those senses become more developed than a sighted person’s senses.

21:26 - I will hear things that you don’t hear, and you will not recognize what I do when I’m hearing.

21:33 - I will feel things you don’t feel. I can read Braille.

21:36 - You probably would not have the finger sensitivity to read Braille unless you’re blind.

21:41 - Your other senses become more developed with use.

21:44 - And so that makes it appear that a person who’s blind has other senses that are better than the senses of the sighted cohorts, but that’s just not the case.

21:54 - Usually, they are just more developed. Question number 3, what frustrates you the most about being blind? Well, despite how good life is– and my life is really good– there are some frustrations.

22:08 - One of them is the ignorance of others. People still don’t know how to deal with a person who is blind, how to include them in their daily lives.

22:17 - People don’t know because they don’t know blind people.

22:20 - They don’t have someone that they can ask questions of.

22:23 - And they still don’t know. And a lot of people have no idea what it’s like to be blind or how we accomplish things as blind people and what we can do as people who are blind.

22:34 - I like to say we can do anything except drive legally and safely.

22:39 - And that’s something that may change as autonomous vehicles develop.

22:43 - Hopefully, they will consider people who are blind as people who would consume those kinds of vehicles.

22:48 - And I’m hoping to be able to drive legally and safely before I call it quits on this Earth.

22:54 - So the ignorance of others is one frustration.

22:57 - Being unable to drive legally and safely, as I said, is another frustration.

23:02 - Having to ask for assistance when my peers don’t need assistance– so, for example, having to ask somebody what a room looks like because I need to orient myself to that room, and other people don’t have to ask for that information, that is a frustration.

23:18 - And I do it because I have to in order to function smoothly, but it is a frustration.

23:24 - Public restrooms are my other big frustration.

23:27 - I kid my wife and tell her I’m going to run for Congress so that I can introduce the Accessible Blind Bathrooms Act.

23:34 - And she tells me if I run for Congress, I’ll be living in D. C. by myself.

23:38 - Public restrooms are all different.

23:44 - They’re all different. Stalls are all in a different location.

23:47 - The urinals are in different locations. The sinks are in different locations.

23:51 - And for heaven’s sake, the paper towels are always in different locations.

23:56 - So it’s very hard to find your way around a public restroom.

23:59 - And so hopefully, you can find help. You can’t use Aira or Be My Eyes in a public restroom because obviously nobody wants you to be running a camera while you’re in the bathroom.

24:10 - So that’s a big frustration is that the lack of uniformity in public bathrooms and how you have to grope around and feel around on the wall for the paper towels and soap dispensers and things like that.

24:22 - And then my biggest frustration is not being able to see my wife or my boys or my grandchildren.

24:28 - That is a frustration. You deal with it.

24:30 - You get used to it, and you deal with it. But it is a frustration.

24:34 - You know, I would love to be able to go down and look at that new baby that’s going to be born in the next couple of weeks.

24:40 - But that’s just not going to happen. I’ll be able to hold her, but I won’t be able to look at her.

24:44 - And you just learn to get used to it and adjust to that.

24:49 - Part of life is dealing with frustration. Question number 2, what can I do to include someone who is blind? How can I include someone who’s blind in my daily activities? Well, first of all, talk to them just like you talk to people who can see.

25:04 - We’re just ordinary people. We just can’t see.

25:07 - So we have the same interests you have. I’ll be watching the All-Star game tonight just like some of you will be.

25:14 - I’m a baseball fan. I follow the Chicago Cubs.

25:17 - This year, that’s a very hard task to do, but I follow them anyway even when they’re losing.

25:23 - I also follow the Minnesota Twins, and they’re not doing very well either.

25:27 - So this year I’m having a tough year of it.

25:29 - But I follow sports. I have interests that you have.

25:32 - I’m interested in the news. I’m interested in family issues.

25:36 - I’m interested in local event, local issues.

25:39 - I’m a member of our local school board here in Madison, South Dakota.

25:43 - So I’m very interested in the same things you are.

25:45 - And so I’m interested in talking to you. Don’t worry about using terms like see and look and watch.

25:51 - I use them as well. I tell people I’m going to watch the All-Star game tonight.

25:56 - Well, I’m not going to see it with my eyes, but I’m going to see it with my ears.

26:00 - And if we watch it on TV, my wife may tell me some additional details of the game that I might not pick up from the announcers.

26:07 - Or I may choose to watch it by listening on the radio.

26:10 - So don’t be afraid to use those terms. It’s not a bad thing.

26:15 - Be mindful of areas where assistance may be needed.

26:19 - For example, if you’re with a blind person and you’re at a buffet, ask if you can assist them.

26:24 - Some blind people will use their own skills and get food from the buffet.

26:28 - Most blind people that I know will appreciate assistance with a buffet, and it’ll make things go much smoother if you can assist them.

26:37 - So be mindful of those situations where assistance is needed and ask if they need help.

26:44 - And if they do, feel free to assist. If someone refuses assistance, let them fall down.

26:49 - Let them make mistakes. You learn by making mistakes in life, and so you can do that.

26:55 - But most of all, just be mindful of the person who is blind.

26:59 - Be aware that they’re a person just like you are.

27:02 - They just have one sense that doesn’t work properly.

27:05 - And incorporate them in your discussions, incorporate them in your daily life, in your daily routines.

27:12 - They may not be able to play ping pong with you, but they can sure talk about things that are going on in the world or at work or whatever.

27:19 - And there are some adaptive sports that they can teach you some lessons in.

27:24 - I used to play baseball when I was younger and in better shape, and we would play sighted teams from the area.

27:32 - And we would blindfold them, and it’d be amazing.

27:35 - We beat those sighted guys 23 to 2 and 24 to 3 and things like that because they didn’t do very well playing with blindfolds on.

27:44 - And it didn’t bother us, so we would just beat them.

27:46 - So you know, just include people who are blind in what you’re doing.

27:50 - They will thank you for it. Number one question, how do you use the computer? How do you use the computer? Well, I use screen reading technology daily.

28:02 - There are several screen readers out on the market.

28:05 - JAWS for Windows as the screen reader that I use most of the time with both speech and a Braille display.

28:11 - For example, when I’m doing this presentation, I have the speech turned off and I’m just using a Braille display.

28:17 - Most of the time, I use it with a combination of speech and Braille.

28:21 - Screen readers read to you what is on the screen of your computer.

28:25 - They read in synthetic speech and/or Braille.

28:28 - And so we screen readers to operate the computer.

28:32 - I’m on the web a lot of times and spend a lot of time on the web.

28:37 - I have a screen reader on my iPhone. Every iPhone comes with a screen reader, whether you need it or not, called Voiceover.

28:44 - And so I use that to operate my iPhone on a daily basis.

28:48 - And so I use a screen reader with voice and Braille output in both ways.

28:55 - And so I use the computer quite a bit, and I’m online a lot.

28:59 - And that’s how I use the computer. Now, let’s talk about a bonus question.

29:05 - What technology is most helpful for you? Well, I’m going to talk about several pieces.

29:11 - First of all, screen reading technology makes computer use possible.

29:16 - And we all know how the computer has revolutionized all of our lives.

29:20 - And so I use a screen reader, as I mentioned earlier, on the web and in my day-to-day functioning with the computer and with the iPhone constantly.

29:30 - I like to browse the web. Screen reader users browse the web in a variety of ways.

29:35 - They will browse the web by browsing headings on the page to get an idea of the outline of the page.

29:42 - They will bring up lists of links, so they know where they’re going to go.

29:45 - They will bring up– sometimes read line by line, or sometimes they’ll tab from element to element.

29:51 - Those are all ways that technology has helped us to get a handle on life.

29:57 - The accessible iPhone has changed the world for many people who are blind.

30:01 - Aira and Be My Eyes are awesome apps. They’re opening doors for people who are blind that were previously closed.

30:08 - They provide visual assistance as needed. Be My Eyes– as I mentioned earlier, you work with volunteers.

30:15 - Any of you who would like to volunteer, you can download the app and volunteer to be a person that could get a call from someone who is blind.

30:22 - The blind person opens the app and calls and asks for assistance.

30:26 - And then, they– I don’t know. Somehow, their database decides who they’re going to call, and they call you.

30:32 - And the blind person doesn’t have your phone number or name or anything, but they will ask you for help.

30:38 - And you can tell them what the computer– what you are seeing through the phone’s camera.

30:43 - Aira is a little different. As I said earlier, I consider it Be My Eyes on steroids.

30:48 - It’s basically serves the same purpose, but you pay for the service.

30:52 - Be My Eyes is free. Aira you pay for because they train people that they call agents to help with visual interpretation.

31:00 - They give these people excellent training to work with people who are blind, to know how to describe things professionally.

31:07 - They’re also vetted for confidentiality. So if I need to call them about– if I need to have something read to me that’s confidential, I will call them.

31:15 - I use Aira instead of Be My Eyes. You pay for a monthly subscription, and that money goes to help fund the program.

31:24 - And, again, they use your phone camera to see what you’re seeing.

31:28 - One of the coolest experiences I have is traveling through airports with Aira.

31:33 - I remember the first time I did this, I landed in Minneapolis on July 4 a couple of years ago.

31:39 - And I had to get from one gate to another for a flight, and there was no meet and assist there at the gate to meet me.

31:46 - And so I decided, well, we’re going to give Aira a try and see if it’s as good as everybody says it is.

31:52 - So I called Aira, and I told them where I needed to go.

31:55 - So the gentleman that I was working with had my phone screen– what he was– I misquoted that.

32:02 - He had my phone’s camera on one screen, so he could see what I was seeing.

32:07 - And then, he had a map of the airport on the other screen.

32:10 - It so happened that we had to go from one corner of the airport to the other.

32:14 - It was the longest possible distance you have to go in the Minneapolis Airport, and we had to do it.

32:19 - But you know what? I used Aira. He was able to tell me when to move to the right or left to avoid people.

32:25 - And with the use of Aira and my white cane, I made it in plenty of time to catch my flight, even got to stop and grab something to eat along the way.

32:33 - And Aira did a beautiful job helping me to find my way to the gate where I needed to be.

32:39 - And I made it in plenty of time for my flight.

32:41 - So Aira is just a real door opener, as is Be My Eyes.

32:45 - I tend to use Aira more because a lot of things I do, I do for work purposes, such as when I have a PowerPoint I like to have it checked to make sure it looks visually consistent, and so I’ll use Aira for that.

32:58 - I’ll use it if I want to go in the meat market and buy some meat.

33:03 - They will help me find the counter and tell me when it’s my turn to talk, when the waiter’s talking to me or if the waiter’s talking to somebody else.

33:13 - So it’s just a great service. I use it for plenty of other things as well.

33:16 - It’s one of the most revolutionary services that’s out there.

33:20 - There’s a lot of other technologies. I’ve mentioned Seeing AI several times.

33:25 - Envision– WeWALK, which is a smart cane which has the navigation program built into the cane itself.

33:32 - And a lot of people like to use it, and the cane vibrates when you get near obstacles.

33:37 - You don’t have to hit them to know that they’re there.

33:39 - It vibrates. I do not have one yet, but I am thinking about getting one.

33:45 - Soundscape is another cool program that people use.

33:48 - It actually makes sounds that are part of your landscape.

33:55 - You can set beacons so that you can know when you’re approaching a certain building, and it’ll make a certain sound in your headphones.

34:02 - It makes a certain sound when you get to a street crossing.

34:05 - I haven’t used it a lot, but I’ve heard good things about it.

34:08 - And it’s a great program to implement. It really is all about attitude as a person who’s blind.

34:16 - A person who’s blind needs to develop a “can do” attitude.

34:20 - I stop saying things can’t be done. Instead, I like to think about something and say, how can this be accomplished? My public address announcing experience is a good example of this.

34:32 - I showed up one night at an American Legion baseball game that my son was umpiring about 20 years ago.

34:39 - And the lead umpire came up and said our PA announcer didn’t show up.

34:43 - Would you like to try? And I said, you bet.

34:46 - I’d always listen to PA announcers on the radio in the background when I was listening to ballgames.

34:51 - And so I got up there, and my wife read the lineups to me and was able to tell me which batter was coming to the plate.

34:57 - And I announced the game. Well, since then, I started thinking, how can I do this better? And so I’ve now gotten it where– for example, when I announce for Dakota State football and basketball, I copy the rosters for the Trojans, which is our team.

35:13 - I copy the roster for the visiting team from the internet so that I have both rosters.

35:17 - I have a spotter who can tell me if they’re going down the basketball court.

35:22 - They’ll tell me number 4 makes a basket. And then I’ll go, basket good by number 4, Brady Van Holland.

35:29 - And that’s how I do it. There’s always a way to get things done.

35:34 - You just have to figure out how to do. Those with vision need to work toward an attitude of acceptance and inclusion for blind people because remember people who are blind are just like you, just one of their senses doesn’t work because yours does.

35:49 - Expect those who are blind to function as others function in life, using alternatives where necessary.

35:56 - Low expectations are really the biggest danger, the biggest handicap, blind people face.

36:01 - Expect blind people to do a lot and to function properly.

36:05 - I have a job with a lot of high expectations on me, and I think that’s great.

36:10 - I think it’s great. My people– my company doesn’t keep me around because I’m the token blind guy.

36:16 - They expect for me to do my job. They’ve hired other blind people since I was hired.

36:20 - And they expect me to do a certain job, and I get it done because they expect a lot out of me.

36:25 - And so you always want to make sure that you don’t minimize your expectations of someone who is blind.

36:31 - They are a very, very capable individual. I think in the interest of time, there’s a slide up here talking about browsing the screen reader– with a screen reader.

36:44 - I’ve already talked about that, so I think we’ll skip that.

36:47 - And by the way, if you want this PowerPoint, you can feel free to email me, and I’ll be glad to send it to you.

36:53 - I think we’ll spend the rest of our time answering questions.

36:56 - If you have questions about blindness or about my life, I’ll be glad to address those.

37:01 - So maybe we have some questions already in chat.

37:03 - Anna Marie, what do we have? ANNA MARIE: I don’t see anything yet for you.

37:11 - We did have one question from somebody sent to me directly about the recording for this presentation.

37:21 - We will have this posted when it’s ready on the website.

37:24 - And I will go ahead and paste a link in the chat just so you can know where to look for that.

37:32 - So go ahead. Yeah, anyone have any questions? Please put them in the chat at this time.

37:43 - Keith is really happy to answer the questions.

37:45 - SPEAKER 3: It looks there is one question in chat there, Anna Marie.

38:03 - ANNA MARIE: So what is an app that you wish existed but didn’t? KEITH BUNDY: Oh, that’s a good question.

38:14 - That is a very good question– an app that I wish existed but didn’t.

38:20 - Well, I wish there was an app that would give you visual interpretation even better than Seeing AI and Envision do.

38:29 - I wish there was an app that you could ask specific questions and it would just, through AI, give you that information.

38:36 - I know Aira is looking into using a little bit more.

38:40 - But I would like to see an app do that. That was a very good question.

38:48 - ANNA MARIE: And I am curious about your experience with public transportation.

38:53 - Are there designs of stations that makes that experience better or worse? KEITH BUNDY: Well, the thing that I found is consistency.

39:02 - I like a station where you can go into the door and you can go straight across the station to where the gates are for the different buses or trains or whatever.

39:13 - And then you know exactly which door leads to which one.

39:19 - And I’m thinking particularly about a bus station that I often travel through when I go to Minneapolis for work.

39:26 - And it has gates A, B, and C. It’s small.

39:30 - But it has gates A, B, and C. And you just know that the far left door is A, the center door is B, and the far right door is C.

39:38 - Truthfully, I haven’t used very many huge public transit terminals.

39:43 - Most of my work has been done in small towns, and so I haven’t had to use a lot of public transit in large areas.

39:51 - But I think consistency and a logical layout would be what I would say would be best for public transit.

39:57 - ANNA MARIE: OK, the next question is, how does Braille show up when you use a screen reader? KEITH BUNDY: Well, the screen reader communicates with the Braille display.

40:10 - And the Braille display has little pins underneath each cell.

40:15 - On my display, there’s 40 cells and eight pins underneath each cell.

40:20 - And the screen reader has a translator, and so it translates what’s on the screen into Braille and operates those pins to where they can show up with exactly the dots that need to be there for me to read.

40:33 - And so I can just– there’s a panning button on the front of my display, and I get one line at a time.

40:40 - And so I will read one line, and then I’ll pan the button.

40:43 - And automatically, the Braille changes and becomes what’s on the next line of text, and I can read it that way.

40:48 - It works very, very well. What we’re all hoping for– and there is one in the design phase right now– is a multiline display.

40:58 - I think they’re working on one that can read like nine lines at a time.

41:02 - And that will enhance reading speed, and it’ll be very convenient when they do that.

41:07 - That display is also going to be able to read graphics as well as regular Braille, so we’re looking forward to that app making it ANNA MARIE: OK, are there movies or television shows that you enjoy? KEITH BUNDY: Oh, yeah.

41:26 - Oh, yeah. My wife and I are binge watching a show called Heartland right now I’m an NCIS fan, a Big Bang fan, MASH fan for those who go back that far, Andy Griffith fan.

41:42 - There’s a lot of shows I enjoy watching. Now, one thing– some shows actually have audio description where they have a professional narrator describing the scenes in between the dialogue.

41:53 - So that’s always cool when you get a show with audio description.

41:57 - But my wife– we’ve been married 40 years, and she is a very good audio describer, so I don’t feel like I’m missing out on very much because I have a good audio describer right with me.

42:08 - I probably watch too much TV. ANNA MARIE: Are you aware of any free services or applications for training sighted folks to become better at using descriptive language for non-sighted folks? KEITH BUNDY: That’s a good question.

42:25 - And I am not aware of any, but that is a good question.

42:29 - The big thing is just practice. Find a person who’s blind who’s willing to work with you and just start practicing.

42:35 - And they will tell you, hey, can you be a little more descriptive or hey, you’re doing great.

42:40 - Most people that I know who are blind– and there are exceptions.

42:46 - But most people whom I know that are blind would be glad to help you get better at describing things.

42:52 - They’d be glad to do that for you. ANNA MARIE: Are there any apps for the blind that translate colors into different temperatures? KEITH BUNDY: No, no.

43:04 - There are apps that will tell you in speech what color something is but not translate them into any kind of symbols or temperatures or anything like that.

43:13 - But there are apps out there, color identifiers, that will tell you what color something is.

43:18 - Seeing AI will do that. They have a color channel.

43:21 - And you can point your camera at something, and it’ll tell you what color it is too.

43:26 - Color recognition’s pretty hard. There’s no exact– no perfect color identifier out there, but there are apps that are working on it.

43:36 - ANNA MARIE: You say you spend a lot of time on the web.

43:42 - Are there any websites you recommend we look at for their excellent accessibility? KEITH BUNDY: I will tell you two of them that are very good.

43:50 - One is our company’s website siteimprove. com.

43:54 - Another one is out of Canada. It’s cbc. ca.

43:57 - I know the accessibility guy there, and he has done a great job making that page accessible.

44:05 - And it is one of the best pages that I have ever seen, and so it’s very good.

44:11 - So those are a couple of pages that just jump out at me.

44:15 - I know your site’s pretty good too with accessibility, your University of Washington site, so I recommend it as well.

44:24 - ANNA MARIE: Can you tell us your experience with alt text to describe images? How much detail do you want– clothes, hair, race, gender, background? KEITH BUNDY: I’m one of those guys that the more detail I get, the better.

44:38 - But a lot of people don’t want that much detail.

44:43 - They want the detail that’s relevant. So if you’re talking to me about three people sitting under a tree studying, I don’t need to know that one’s white, one is African-American, and one is Chinese.

44:55 - I don’t need to know that. In my own personal sense, I would like to know that, but it’s not necessary.

45:01 - All I need to know to get an idea of why that image is there is that there are three students studying underneath a tree.

45:07 - And so usually, you want to just give the best description you can to convey the purpose of the image in as few characters as possible.

45:16 - The general rule of thumb is 140 characters or less.

45:20 - ANNA MARIE: When you know you were going to go somewhere, do you research the location on the web ahead of time? Where do you expect that info to be on a website, and what kind of info is helpful to know ahead of time? KEITH BUNDY: Most of the time, I will do some research.

45:40 - A lot of my travel involves some conferences, and so the conference websites are usually good at describing some of the things in the area.

45:48 - Sometimes if I’m traveling for other things, to visit a company or something, I will do a little search to find out what kind of food establishments are near the hotel where I’m staying.

45:59 - I use a lot of Lyft rides. I ride Lyft a lot when I’m traveling for the company.

46:05 - And so I do do some research on the web. And I just– I don’t know if I’ve ever thought of any particular place where it would be– what I’d really like to see is hotel websites that would have links of places that were near them, near restaurants that were nearby.

46:22 - And sometimes, you can find that in a hotel site.

46:25 - Sometimes, you have to do a little digging for it.

46:27 - ANNA MARIE: What are your greatest frustrations when it comes to accessing information online? KEITH BUNDY: Well, my greatest frustrations are that sometimes sites are not accessible.

46:42 - You read this page, and you look at it in the search engine.

46:45 - It looks like it’s going to be a great page.

46:48 - You open the page, and you can’t read the material.

46:50 - It’s not accessible. There are no headings on the page.

46:54 - Sometimes, the material is in an inaccessible PDF.

46:58 - Sometimes, it’s just not readable with a screen reader.

47:02 - And those are very frustrating things for me to try to find information and then find that for various reasons it’s not readable.

47:11 - The other thing that frustrates me is how quickly websites change.

47:14 - And I know that’s a necessary evil in our country, in our society.

47:19 - But what happens is a lot of times when websites change, accessibility is not thought of, and accessibility gets broken.

47:26 - And so if your site’s recently been updated and accessibility hasn’t been thought of, there may be graphics there that don’t have alt text.

47:36 - It may be very difficult to find the piece of information that I want to find.

47:41 - ANNA MARIE: We have a comment. Such an interesting presentation– thank you so much for sharing your experience with us.

47:51 - KEITH BUNDY: Well, thank you for the comment.

47:53 - And I’m always glad to share my experiences.

47:55 - Like I say, they’re my experiences alone. Other people may feel differently, but this is life from my perspective.

48:03 - ANNA MARIE: And we have a plus one on that comment too.

48:11 - KEITH BUNDY: Awesome. ANNA MARIE: Do you feel like web accessibility has improved over the years, or is it getting worse? KEITH BUNDY: That is a really good question.

48:21 - I would answer yes to both. It has improved.

48:26 - And when people are accessibility minded, things are much better.

48:31 - But there’s still a lot of companies out there that do not consider accessibility at all and still are creating inaccessible sites.

48:39 - So in the grand scheme of things, in some ways, it’s worse.

48:43 - In some ways, it’s better. I think all in all it’s better than it was a few years ago, but we still have a long way to go.

48:52 - ANNA MARIE: And we have a few more comments for you.

48:54 - Agreed, it was a great presentation, and I learned a lot.

48:58 - KEITH BUNDY: Awesome ANNA MARIE: Thanks, Keith.

49:00 - This has been very inspirational. KEITH BUNDY: Thank you.

49:04 - ANNA MARIE: Agreed, this has been so informative.

49:06 - Thank you. KEITH BUNDY: Well, thank you.

49:09 - ANNA MARIE: We have a few more minutes.

49:14 - Does anyone have any questions or comments you’d like to add? KEITH BUNDY: If not, I can tell one of my driving stories.

49:29 - ANNA MARIE: Let’s hear your driving story. You’ve piqued my curiosity.

49:33 - KEITH BUNDY: This story is true. And what happened was I passed through a church in Indiana back in the 80s before I moved to South Dakota.

49:43 - And I went back there to hold a week of special services for them.

49:47 - On Friday night, I was just kidding the guy that was driving me to church, and I said, tomorrow night, I should drive to church.

49:54 - Well, I should have known these people would do something like what happened.

50:00 - We got to within about a half mile of the church that night.

50:02 - And he said, OK, Keith, it’s your turn to drive.

50:05 - So I wasn’t going to let him talk me out of it.

50:07 - I climbed right in behind the wheel. This was out in the country, and there was basically no traffic on the road.

50:13 - So there was very little chance of a problem.

50:15 - So I started driving, and I drove about a half a mile to the church.

50:19 - And as I’m pulling up, they tell me to touch the brake because you’re at the stop sign by the church.

50:24 - So I hit the brake, and we stopped. And the lady in the back seat said, oh, no, Keith.

50:29 - I said, what? She said, oh, no. Here come the police.

50:33 - Well, I am sitting there just about to have a heart attack because I’m thinking I could be fired from my church for this.

50:40 - My wife will be really upset if I end up costing us a bunch of money we don’t have or get thrown into jail.

50:46 - And about that time I hear this siren behind me.

50:49 - And it stops, and I realize that this cop is coming up to the car.

50:53 - And he comes up, and he says, may I see your license please? And I remember– you know, when you’re caught red handed, you do dumb stuff.

51:00 - I remember looking through my wallet like I’m looking for a driver’s license.

51:04 - And finally, I kept thinking if I do this long enough, maybe he’ll go away.

51:08 - And then reality hit, and I realized he wasn’t going away.

51:12 - So I said, I’m sorry, sir. I don’t have a license.

51:16 - He said, you don’t have a license? No, sir.

51:19 - Step out of the car, please. And I stepped out of the car.

51:22 - And just as I stepped out of the car, I recognized something in his voice.

51:26 - Those good people at the church had had one of the guys in the church change his voice, get a siren on a stereo tape deck, and stop me.

51:34 - And they tape recorded the whole thing to show at the church that night.

51:38 - So that was my first experience– well, my second or third experience driving, but the definitely one of the most memorable.

51:51 - The other one was that I drove a semi one time.

51:54 - I had a friend who drove a semi truck, and he came over one Saturday night and said, I want you to take a look at my new truck.

52:02 - And so I got out and got in the truck with him.

52:04 - And we drove down to the middle of town. He turns the truck around, and he says, now you’re going to drive back.

52:11 - And I said, you’re kidding. He said, no, you’re going to drive back.

52:14 - And so I never walk away from a challenge. And so I got behind the wheel and started driving down the street in the semi.

52:22 - He would touch the wheel a couple of occasions and keep us from hitting things.

52:25 - But basically, I drove that semi about a mile and a half.

52:29 - And then, he said, hit the air brakes. Well, my wife– and she knew this was going to happen.

52:33 - I did not, but she was sitting on the bed of the sleeper taking a video of this whole thing.

52:39 - And so he said, OK, now hit the brake. And my thought was, I’m going to make these air brakes go off.

52:44 - I’ll never get this chance again in my life.

52:47 - And I didn’t realize what it would do to my wife.

52:49 - I stomped on that air brake. And the truck jerked, and it threw my wife off the bed of the sleeper.

52:56 - She hit her head on the divider between the sleeper in the cab and just slumped over in the corner in the video just went black.

53:03 - And she was dingy for three days, and all I could think of was, how am I going to tell her mother that I brain damaged her daughter? How did you do that, Keith? Driving a semi.

53:11 - So those are both true stories. The statute of limitations has expired.

53:18 - I can’t get in trouble for those anymore. ANNA MARIE: Those are great stories, Keith.

53:24 - We have a couple more comments. People with disabilities are the largest minority group.

53:29 - Great presentation, Keith. KEITH BUNDY: And that is very true, and most people don’t realize that.

53:35 - But that is exactly right. We are the largest minority in the country.

53:40 - ANNA MARIE: Ha-ha, amazing story. Wow, did you laugh? So that was after your first story.

53:46 - KEITH BUNDY: Oh, yeah, I laughed. I thought it was great.

53:49 - It was– I still got that video somewhere. I should get it out and show it.

53:55 - ANNA MARIE: That was a great belly laugh. I have to agree with that.

53:58 - Great story. You are beloved.

54:05 - Somebody said, uh-oh. KEITH BUNDY: Thank you.

54:08 - ANNA MARIE: Many thanks for sharing your knowledge and stories with us, Keith.

54:12 - I appreciate it. KEITH BUNDY: Well, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it, guys.

54:17 - ANNA MARIE: Thanks so much for presenting today.

54:25 - KEITH BUNDY: You are welcome. ANNA MARIE: OK, my clock says 12:59, so we’re right about at the top of the hour.

54:39 - We have time for maybe another comment or so.

54:42 - Thank you so much for your time today, Keith.

54:49 - Oh, one more comment– thanks so much for presenting today.

54:52 - Have a wonderful evening. KEITH BUNDY: All right.

54:55 - ANNA MARIE: Yeah, thank you so much for joining us today, Keith.

54:59 - I’m sure I’m not the only one who found this very entertaining today.

55:04 - Those stories were great. KEITH BUNDY: Well, thank you, Anna Marie.

55:09 - Thank you for the opportunity, and I want to thank everybody who’s attended.

55:12 - It’s just been a privilege to do this today.

55:15 - ANNA MARIE: And we’ll be putting the video– I had posted the link in the chat earlier.

55:20 - We’ll be posting the recording on the website along with the PowerPoint presentation, so you can look for it there.

55:34 - I think it’s taking a week or two for the captions to come back.

55:37 - I’m not sure. .