ATU214 – Access Sport America with Nate Berry 11 Stupid Backup Strategies

first_imgPodcast: Play in new window | DownloadYour weekly dose of information that keeps you up to date on the latest developments in the field of technology designed to assist people with disabilities and special needs.Show Notes:Access Sport America with Nate Berry www.AccesSportAmerica.orgThe Real-Life Dangers of Augmented Reality’s Braille and Talking Book Library brought home a national award from Library of Congress‘It’s a beautiful, simple, little project:’ Brightly coloured wooden ramps coming to Calgary businesses prepping technical report on mobile accessibility Stupid Backup Strategies FEMA——————————Listen 24/7 at www.AssistiveTechnologyRadio.comIf you have an AT question, leave us a voice mail at: 317-721-7124 or email [email protected] out our web site: https://www.eastersealstech.comFollow us on Twitter: @INDATAprojectLike us on Facebook:——-transcript follows ——NATE BERRY: Hi, this is Nate Berry, and I’m the program director of Access Sport America, and this is your assistive technology update.WADE WINGLER: Hi, this is Wade Wingler with the INDATA Project at Easter Seals Crossroads in Indiana with your Assistive Technology Update, a weekly dose of information that keeps you up-to-date on the latest developments in the field of technology designed to assist people with disabilities and special needs.Welcome to episode number 214 of Assistive Technology Update. It’s scheduled to be released on July 3 of 2015.My interview today is with Nate Berry who was with Access Sport America. It’s summertime and we’re going to talk about some interesting sports for folks with disabilities.We’ve got an article about the real-life dangers of augmented reality; a place in Calgary, Canada, where they are putting simple, beautiful little colored wooden ramps to help folks in wheelchairs get into businesses; plus eleven stupid backup strategies.We hope you’ll check out our website at, call our listener line at 317-721-7124, or shoot us a note on Twitter @INDATAproject.***Augmented reality is a term that’s starting to show up more often. I know that we talk about it here on a fairly regular basis. The idea is when you are dealing with things like Google Glass or Sony Smartglass or Microsoft HoloLens, you’re kind of looking through a computer interface into the world and getting your perspective on reality enhanced by computer-based information. Well, there’s a researcher at Kaiser Permanente named Eric Sable man who’s done a fascinating article called “The real-life dangers of augmented to reality.” They talk in this article about the fact that there isn’t a lot of rigorous studies that have been done on the effects of vision and mobility when using these devices, but they have talked about the fact that there are some dangers that could happen. For example, people who are using this technology can misjudge the speed of oncoming cars or underestimate reaction time or unintentionally ignore hazards while they’re navigating the world. They talk about the fact that heads up displays, which are some of the earliest augmented reality systems, were designed for fighter pilots who really do have to focus and pay attention. In this article, they break down some of the differences between a heads up display that has minimal information for a fighter pilot and things like Microsoft HoloLens that are designed to be an immersive experience.It’s a fascinating article. It’s kind of a longer article that will take a little time to read, but I think worth it. It’s published in the IEEE Spectrum magazine. I’m going to pop a link in the show notes and encourage you to think about how augmented reality shows up in your world and how some of the hazards that might be associated with that might be important to you. I’ll pop a link in the show notes. Check out the article.***Congratulations to our neighbors to the north. The Michigan Braille and Talking Book Library won an award recently. The 11th Annual Network library of the Year award from the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped was awarded to the folks up in Michigan. Apparently they’ve done a lot of good work. They have been serving over 11,000 patrons. The circulate over 2,000 books a day on average. Thy’ve got over 51,000 titles available in audio format and almost 12,000 titles available in braille. The library manager said, “It was an amazing level of work to pull this off and it’s a perfect year for us to be winners of this award.I think the talking book and braille library in general are some of the unsung heroes of the assistive technology and accessibility world. I love when some of those folks get some recognition. I’ll pop a link in the show notes over to a Michigan website which is, and you can learn more about the story behind Michigan’s Braille and Talking Book Library winning this national award. Congratulations, folks.***Sometimes the simplest ideas are the most effective. In Calgary, Canada, there’s a new project they’re called Ramp It Up. What they’re trying to do is provide free, simple, colorful ramps to businesses that are currently inaccessible. A woman named Hwa Kim is a university student and heading up the program. I’m going to play little excerpt or two from a video that I found that kind of talks about the project. It’s cool; listen in.HWA KIM: Our project is to promote awareness of accessibility, just so that people are aware of the difficulties that people may face every day. The project name is Ramp It Up. What we do is basically develop a custom ramp at no cost for businesses. So the width of it will be 36 inches. That will be centered. The length depends on how high your storefront is. You can choose four colors, so there’ll be red, yellow, green, and accessible blue which is the color for accessible housing. So it is like a sandwich board. You put it out in the morning when you’re open and bring it back when you’re closed. We’re hoping to build the first ten in the month of July, if not, by early August at the latest.WADE WINGLER: So I love these grassroots kinds of projects. The video is interesting because it shows the ramps and how they’re being used and how they’re very simple but seem to be very effective too in what seems to be a trendy retail area of Calgary. So anyway, cool stuff. I’ll pop a link in the show notes over to the Calgary Herald where you can read about this and also check out the video and get a little more detail about this ramp it up project.***If you’re listening to this show right now, I’m going to guess that you at least have a passing interest in web accessibility. If you are interested in web accessibility, you might have given some thought about how web content works on mobile devices for people who use assistive technology. I think about that and I’m fascinated with that because I find more and more people are using smartphones and other mobile technology to access the web. If it’s not designed in a way that’s accessible, it’s just not accessible to users of assistive technology.So the W3C is working on a technical report that talks about mobile accessibility. I’m looking at an article here in Fierce Mobile Government, and it’s written by Molly Bernhardt Walker. She is talking about Judy Brewer who is the Director of Web Accessibility over at the W3C, the World Wide Web Consortium, and they’re talking about the fact that there probably aren’t going to publish a standard on web accessibility specifically related to mobile technology. But what they’re going to do is make some changes and some tweaks to WCAG 2.0, that’s the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. Basically the gist of this article says that WCAG, the current standards that are out there, pretty much apply to mobile technology just like they apply to other, more traditional web browsing technology. So they aren’t going to at least at this point redo standards or make a new set of standards related to mobile, but they are going to make some changes to better explain how the current standards apply to mobile platforms that are out there. I’ll pop a link in the show notes over to this article at Fierce Mobile Government, and you can read more about what the W3C is saying about accessibility on mobile platforms.***My three-year-old will be one of the first to tell you that is it’s nice to call people stupid. However, I’m looking at the headline from TidBITS which is a great website for Apple information. The headline reads “11 Stupid Backup Strategies.” It’s written by someone there named Joe Kissel. Joe talks about the fact that recently he and some colleagues attended the Apple Specialist Marketing Corporation Conference in San Francisco. They spent some time at the drive savers facility learning about how they do things there. The interesting thing about that is they came up with 11 ways that you should not have a backup strategy. I’m going to run down to some of them quickly because I think it’s important to talk about backups and to make sure that when you’re using computers and phones and even cloud-based services that you need to have them backed up.The number one stupid backup strategy is having no backups at all. Number two is depending on data recovery apps or services. Number three is wishful thinking. Number four is doing manual backups, having to rely on yourself to remember to do a backup. In the Mac world, using only Time Machine is number five. While Time Machine here is claimed as a good backup strategy, it doesn’t stand on its own. They talk about the problems of using only clone drives or not having off-site backups or having only online backups. It’s a really fascinating article, and although it’s Apple-centric, it really does apply to almost any kind of backup strategy you’re talking about. I’m going to pop a link in the show notes over to where you can read about these 11 stupid backup strategies.***Each week, one of our partners tells us what’s happening in the ever-changing world of apps, so here’s an app Worth Mentioning.AMY BARRY: This is Amy Barry with BridgingApps, and this is an App Worth Mentioning. This week I’m sharing the FEMA app. There is no argument that it is important to be prepared in case a disaster strikes. Knowing we should be prepared doesn’t necessarily mean we actually accomplish the disaster preparation task. So the Federal Emergency Management Agency, FEMA, has come up with an interesting and very helpful way for families to be safe when disaster strikes by providing tools and resources presented in the form of a mobile device app to assist with preparation before, during, and even after a disaster event.There are extra layers of necessary preparation critical for families who have loved ones with special needs, disabilities, or who are medically involved. The FEMA app serves all families by providing guidance to organize and centralize many pieces of information and to create family disaster action and communication plans.The FEMA app is organized into four main areas. That Prepare session is a critical area providing specific information on what to do before, during, and after 16 different actual types of disasters including earthquakes, winter storms, home fires, and flooding. This section also provides an interactive checklist with recommended items to include when building a basic emergency supply kit. An option to create a customizable list for family-specific situations allows for flexibility for individual needs.The Weather Alert section is a feature that enables users to receive immediate weather alerts from NOAA’s National Weather Service and up to five locations across the country. This section takes only a couple of minutes to set up and is highlighted on the app with the use of a red tap.A Disaster Resources section hones in on how to receive assistance following a disaster. A user is directed to where, by entering an address, it can be determined if the area located in a zone has been declared eligible for individual assistance. A very impressive feature in the resource section is a list of available shelters by geographical location. The locations of current and local disaster recovery centers and mobile offices for FEMA information and other disaster assessment programs are included with maps and hours of operation.The FEMA app is free in the iTunes, Google Play, and Blackberry stores, and it’s compatible with iOS, Android, and Blackberry devices. For more information on this app and others like it, visit***WADE WINGLER: Here in the US, it’s summertime, and I think almost everybody’s trying to spend at least a little more time outside. While everybody else is windsurfing, canoeing, kayaking, standup paddling, playing tennis, and cycling, people with disabilities are, well, they’re windsurfing, canoeing, kayaking, standup paddling, playing tennis, and cycling. Today we’re going to talk with Nate Berry who is the program director over at Access Sport America, and we’re going to look into some pretty interesting ways that folks with disabilities are participating in high challenge sports. So this is new to me and I’m excited to learn about this today. Joining me via the Internet is Nate Berry. Nate, how are you?NATE BERRY: Wonderful; yourself?WADE WINGLER: You know, I’m doing well. I’m excited to learn about high challenge sports. I’m not a sports guy so probably all sports are going to be a high challenge for me. But I’m interested in learning how you got into this issue of people with disabilities and high challenge sports, how you became involved with high access sport, and maybe even a little bit of history about Access Sport.NATE BERRY: Sure thing. It started really early on for me. I grew up in a congregational church where Ross Lilley was the minister. He actually started Access Sport America. He has a son with cerebral palsy who I started helping out in Sunday School when I was in the third grade. So he was probably in the first grade and we have been fast friends ever since. I started volunteering and working summers when I was in college, and then had the chance to go full-time when I graduated college in 2005. I couldn’t turn it down. I guess I see myself as sort of a professional athlete. I really enjoy the chance to get to do sports and work with people for a living.So Access Sport America started as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit officially in 1995, but Ross Lilley has been adapting windsurfing for people with disabilities since the early ’80s, started on his premise of radical inclusion, and windsurfing itself was an exclusive sport, so there was a very steep learning curve and it was tough for people to break into the sport. Ross always thought that it’s not worth taking the ride if not everybody can go a long, so he started adapting windsurfing in making it accessible for everyone of all ability and it sort of grew from there. Access Sport America went full-time in 2000, and we’ve been growing ever since.WADE WINGLER: That’s kind of an exciting story. I find people who work in the world of assistive technology or accessibility often have that personal connection, and I think it’s maybe a little more meaningful when it starts out that way. I love it when it grows.NATE BERRY: Yes, absolutely.WADE WINGLER: I think a lot of folks in my audience might have an understanding of this, but spell it out for me. Tell me a little bit about why access to high challenge sports is an issue for folks with disabilities.NATE BERRY: I guess I should back up a little bit. We started on the promise of adaptive sports and high challenge sports, and we want to use them as a way for people to see themselves differently to get people to train for life. If you get excited about windsurfing and you see yourself as a windsurfer, then you have a reason to go into the gym and work out during those colder, snowier winter months and to get healthier in general. It’s the carrot on the end of the string that inspires you as you’ thinking about summer.The idea of training for life is that you or I, the “average” individual, is supposed to go out 4 to 5 times a week, if not even more, your heart rate up for 45 minutes to an hour, and then you have this whole other population that is a lot more sedentary, in wheelchairs, or have other mobility issues, and how do you get their heart healthy, how do you get them moving. It’s also a preventative measure. If you can get people healthier, you’re keeping them out of the hospital and they’re living longer and they’re more independent and life is easier for them. So we are always building and the premise of training for life.WADE WINGLER: That makes a ton of sense. It’s not just a disability issue, obviously. We’ve used words like windsurfing and canoeing and kayaking. You even said wheelchair and stuff. But tell me, are there other kinds of disabilities that are more common among the participants?NATE BERRY: We use program partners a lot, so it sort of depends on our site. But we see a wide variety of disabilities and pride ourselves on being able to accommodate anybody of any disability. One of our big keys as well is that nobody just gets a ride. Whether it’s windsurfing or Hawaiian outrigger canoeing, standup paddling, or kayaking, everybody has some way to contribute and they will all be paddling or holding a windsurfing sail or controlling the windsurfing sail or whatever the activity is.So depending on the site we are at — Spalding Rehab Hospital in Charlestown is our biggest site. There you will see a lot of strokes and traumatic brain injuries as well as spinal cord injuries. But that can also run the gamut. You can see many other disabilities as well. And then we also work closely with the Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation which is all young people living on the Autism spectrum. Camp Harborview is a boys and girls club camp on Long Island in the Boston Harbor. We’re taking kids from Boston Public Schools special education classrooms and have helped integrate the camps over the year. So that’s a wide variety of disabilities as well.WADE WINGLER: I’m not a sports guy, but I am from Indiana, and we are all about basketball here. You’re from the Boston area so you might be aware that we have a football team here in Indianapolis as well. I want to talk a little bit about high challenge sports. Because I think about team sports and some of the spectator sports, but let’s go a little bit deeper into what makes a sport high challenge and more examples of those.NATE BERRY: High challenge sports, I guess, are your nontraditional sports. Windsurfing is the biggest one that we do, but we also have a Hawaiian outrigger canoeing and standup paddling and kayaking would be our biggest high challenge sports. Everybody going into them has no expectations or very little expectations. You might hear windsurfing and say, wow, I could never do that, but we’re able to make people successful at these high challenge sports very quickly and change the way they think about themselves and see themselves as athletes. I think that’s intentionally why we’ve chosen these unique sports.WADE WINGLER: That creates unique opportunities for people as well. You talk about the identity of somebody thinking about an athlete. Again, I’m from Indiana. Everybody plays a little bit of basketball. But to say I’m into windsurfing or outrigging or standup paddling, I think you’re right; that’s a little bit of a differentiator and probably adds to that mystique and that identity piece that you’re talking about.NATE BERRY: Yeah. You see them sort of as more extreme sports. It adds an element of excitement in it. When somebody feels themselves gliding across the water, pulled by the wind, just the excitement is inherent in the sport.WADE WINGLER: That’s great. Let’s talk about some of the nitty-gritty modifications. Tell me about some of the technology piece of the equipment and what you guys are modifying. And then are there any fundamental changes in the activities when you change them up?NATE BERRY: We try and keep these sports as — traditional is not the right word there — but it’s close to the original as possible. I don’t actually think there are really any fundamental changes in sports. But when it comes to windsurfing, we have a whole slew of adaptations starting with catamaran-style boards, so a lot bigger boards where the balance isn’t anywhere near as challenging and you can put chairs on them. You can put chairs on the windsurfing board with side supports and head supports for people who have balance issues. You also have two sales on these boards so there’s a smaller sail with the athlete in the beginning and two instructors either assisting the athlete depending on someone’s ability. You can also put a standing bar on them, so somebody who can stand but has balance issues can work on standing and have the bar to lean on as well so they don’t have to think quite as much about it. Hopefully the athlete grows over time and need less and less assistance as their sessions to go on as they get more and more into the sport.With Hawaiian outrigger canoeing, we also have chairs we can put in the boats or different forms of back supports. Cushions are an obvious one for people who have sitting issues or issues sitting for too long. And then we have all sorts of paddle adaptations. We have a one-handed paddle for somebody who is a hemiplegic. It’s a paddle on a whip that’s attached to the side of the boat, so somebody who has use of only their left or the right side can paddle with power on that side. We also have a bench paddle which allows somebody who’s hemiplegic but has some mobility in their weaker side to grip the paddle. You grip the paddle up by the T, and then it’s bent across the boat so you don’t have to worry about lifting your weaker shoulder up so high, but you’re still involving both arms. We’ve done pedals for amputees before where we strap a paddle around one shoulder, and they sort of just have the blade and they’re reaching for the water. We sort of pride ourselves on getting to know the individual and coming up with an adaptation specifically for that person. We’ve been very successful with that over the years.WADE WINGLER: It sound like you have to be creative and think outside the box a little bit to get this all to come together.NATE BERRY: Yeah.WADE WINGLER: Nate, is this all recreational or is there also a competitive aspect to some of this?NATE BERRY: We are a Paralympic training site for single outrigger canoes and rowing. What I have found that mostly — and maybe it’s just the populations that we are seeing — but it’s mostly recreational. But back to that training for life aspect where they may not be competing on a team, but they’re looking to get themselves in better shape, so they will find a sport and stick to that throughout the year and use that as their motivation.WADE WINGLER: So maybe competition emerges even if it’s just self-competition?NATE BERRY: Yes, especially in the Hawaiian outrigger canoes we have four to eight people in each boat who are always doing races and keeping score throughout the whole session and pushing each other to get ourselves to our very best. It’s challenging for our trainers or our “able-bodied” population as well. So if I’m in a canoe with a mixture of abilities, I’m still pushing myself to my peak performance and everybody is pushing themselves to the limit. Nobody’s holding themselves back because you’re participating in a sport with a mixed range of abilities.WADE WINGLER: I know you’re in the Boston area, but we have listeners from all around the US and all around the world. Talk to me a little bit about the geography of Access Sport. Where does this stuff happen?NATE BERRY: Access Sport all takes place in and around the city of Boston. The program at the Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Charleston is open to anybody from the general public with any sort of disability. We have had people come from around the country and if not the world to do one or two sessions, if not more. Maybe they’re around for the whole summer, whatever it may be. But most of our problem is done in and around Boston.WADE WINGLER: And if somebody’s listening today and this strikes a cord with them and they say, wow, I didn’t think that windsurfing or stand up paddling would be an option for me, if they wanted to get involved, what will be their first steps?NATE BERRY: I would say that you have to go to our website,, or even simpler is, and then you can reach out to myself, Nate Berry, or our administrator, Betty Miller. You can email us or call us and we can give you direction in terms of which program would be best for you.WADE WINGLER: Nate Berry is a program director and a trainer over at Access Sport America. Nate, thank you so much for sharing your message with us today.NATE BERRY: Thank you. It was wonderful.WADE WINGLER: Do you have a question about assistive technology? Do you have a suggestion for someone we should interview on Assistive Technology Update? Call our listener line at 317-721-7124. Looking for show notes from today’s show? Head on over to Shoot us a note on Twitter @INDATAProject, or check us out on Facebook. That was your Assistance Technology Update. I’m Wade Wingler with the INDATA Project at Easter Seals Crossroads in Indiana.Share this…TwitterFacebookPinterestLinkedInEmailPrint RelatedATU192 – Assistive Technology Lending Libraries (John Effinger), Tattos that Measure Blood Glucose, Microsoft’s HaloLens for People with Disabilities, Super Bowl Accessibility, Smartphones Helping or Hurting Deaf CultureJanuary 30, 2015In “Assistive Technology Update”ATU188 – Wheel Life & The Bally Foundation, Look at Me app for Autism, Applevis’ Golden Apple Awards, Birdhouse for AutismJanuary 2, 2015In “Assistive Technology Update”ATU223 – AQUA App QUality Alliance, PlayStation 4 Accesibility, CSUN Call for Papers, iFocus Seminars from HadleySeptember 4, 2015In “Assistive Technology Update”last_img

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