Hadley Presents

A Conversation with the Experts

Listen in as we get the inside scoop from experts on a wide range of topics unique to vision loss. We will ask the questions that get to the heart of the matter for you… And have some fun along the way.

Episode 18
Becoming Socially Confident After Vision Loss

Author of "When You Can't Believe Your Eyes," Hannah Fairbairn, chats with us about how to communicate in everyday situations when you can't rely on visual cues. Hear Hannah's own story about losing vision, her practical tips on adjusting to vision loss, and advice she has on regaining confidence in social situations.

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Episode 17
COVID-19 and Vision Loss Part 2

In this episode, we continue the conversation on living during the COVID-19 pandemic with a visual impairment. Listen in as we share some experiences, tips, and strategies for coping during these difficult times.

Episode 16
COVID-19 and Vision Loss

The COVID-19 crisis has brought a wave of change and uncertainty to our everyday lives. Listen in as we share personal experiences, resources and some helpful tips...all from a blind or low vision perspective.

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Smartphone Apps:


Episode 15
A Review of BlindShell, Mobile Phone for the Visually Impaired

Assistive technology experts Ricky Enger and Steve Kelley review BlindShell, a mobile phone built for those with visual impairment. They discuss the basic features, how it differs from a traditional smartphone, and how to decide if it's right for you.

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Episode 14
From Diagnosis to Support

This week we sit down with Dan Roberts, author of "The First Year-Age-Related Macular Degeneration: An Essential Guide for the Newly Diagnosed" and founder of MDSupport website and support group. Hear Dan's own story about being diagnosed with macular degeneration and what prompted him to reach out to others facing similar circumstances.

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For more information, visit the MDSupport website. If you are looking for a telephone support group, or one that meets in person, check out this article on the International Low Vision Support Group. Additionally, you can contact Dan Roberts at 888-866-6148. You can also contact Marc by email at marc@hadley.edu, or call him at 847-784-2775.

Episode 13
Nuts, Bolts and Hand Tools

Listen in as we explore the basics of using hand tools with a visual impairment. Gil Johnson, a visually impaired home repair expert, shares tips on everything from measuring, to leveling to hammering.

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Episode 12
Voting with a Visual Impairment

Elections are right around the corner. So we gathered a panel to talk about options for voting no matter your level of vision. Listen in as we explore everything you need to know, from registering to vote to the many ways you can cast your ballot.

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  • Headcount.org allows you to verify that you are registered to vote, and gives you information on your polling place.
  • Vote.gov is another site that allows you to verify your voter registration status, or to complete voter registration.
  • Check out "Voting on election day" for a comprehensive look at everything you need to know in order to successfully cast your ballot.
  • If you're unsure about your state's voting process, visit Ballotpedia to get information specific to your state of residence.

If you have questions or feedback for our panelists, send an email to podcast@hadley.edu and let us know what you think.

Episode 11
Android Phones and Visual Impairment

Ricky sits down with Android Accessibility Product Manager Brian Kemler to discuss what is available on Android phones for those with visual impairment. From adjusting font size and color, or opting to listen with TalkBack instead, the commitment to making these powerful tools more useful to a wider audience is clear.

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Episode 10
Nuts and Bolts of Home Repair

In this episode, Learning Expert Jennifer Ottowitz sits down with Gil Johnson, an experienced home repair and woodworking enthusiast, to chat about things to consider when undertaking home repair with blindness or low vision.

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  • Gil's Guide to Home Repair on VisionAware
  • Woodworking for the Blind provides free MP3 recordings of current woodworking publications exclusively for the use of blind and visually impaired woodworkers. Their library contains over 2,100 recordings with over 600 hours of content for members.


These books are available in audio format from NLS (the Talking Book program).

  • Jackson, Albert. Popular Mechanics Complete Home How-to. DB 59731 (May be available only for download).
  • Jones, Peter. Indoor Home Repairs Made Easy. DB 14420.
  • Kennedy, Terry. Fix it Before it Breaks: Seasonal Checklist Guide to Home Maintenance. DB 59610 (May be available only for download).
  • Lipinski, Edward R. The New York Times Home Repair Almanac: A Season-by-Season Guide for Maintaining Your Home. DB 54745.
  • Vandervort, Donald W. The Home Problem Solver: The Essential Homeowner's Repair And Maintenance Manual. DB 52518

If you have questions for Jennifer or Gil, you may contact Jennifer at jennifer@hadley.edu and she will be happy to relay your questions to Gil.

Episode 9
Traveling with a Visual Impairment, Part 2

Hadley's Debbie Good sits down to continue a conversation with author and visually impaired world traveler Dr. Wendy David. Together they explore a wide variety of helpful hints covering train, plane, and cruise travel as well as practical information on traveling internationally and navigating hotels.

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Wendy's book is no longer in publication with National Braille Press, but can be downloaded free from BARD or Bookshare. If you'd like to send questions or comments about this episode, you can email Wendy at dr.wendydavid@gmail.com or contact Debbie Good at good@hadley.edu.

Episode 8
Behind the Scenes of SEE from Apple TV+

In this episode, Ricky Enger chats with Joe Strechay, associate producer on the Apple TV+ series SEE. The show takes place in a future where, after a viral apocalypse, all humans are blind. Joe takes us behind the scenes of the show and his work to help build an inclusive set for the cast and crew, including those with low to no vision. From casting to costumes, scripting to scenery, hear how Joe helped create a science fiction world that strives to be authentic to life with vision loss.

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See is available with audio description on Apple TV Plus, where the first episode can be watched free, and viewers can subscribe for $4.99 a month to watch the remaining season as well as a wealth of other content. Joe Strechay welcomes questions and comments at jstrechay@gmail.com. You can also find him on YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram.

Episode 7
Sites Unseen: Traveling the World Without Sight

Hadley's Debbie Good sits down with travel author Dr. Wendy David in this latest episode. In part one of this two-part interview, Debbie and Wendy discuss tips for traveling with confidence as a blind or low vision person, advice on picking destinations, considerations for traveling alone and in a group, and more!

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Wendy's book, written in 2010, can be downloaded free from Bookshare or BARD. Wendy welcomes questions by email at dr.wendydavid@gmail.com, and Debbie Good would love to be contacted at good@hadley.edu. And don't forget to join Debbie and others for Travel Talk, where you can discuss traveling in greater detail.

Episode 6
Mindfulness and Vision Loss

Ricky Enger is joined by Hadley's Debbie Worman and mindfulness expert Tiffany Guske in this latest episode. Debbie and Tiffany talk about what mindfulness is and the specific benefits that mindfulness can offer for those living with vision loss. Tiffany then walks listeners through a short mindfulness exercise.

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  • Peace Is Every Step - Thich Nhat Hanh
  • Wherever You Go, There You Are - Jon Kabat-Zinn
  • The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment - Eckhart Tolle
  • The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself - Michael A. Singer
  • Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind: Informal Talks on Zen Meditation and Practice - Shunryu Suzuki


Contact the guests:

For more information, you can visit Tiffany's website. Debbie Worman welcomes questions as well, and can be contacted at worman@hadley.edu.

Episode 5
NYT Columnist Frank Bruni on Vision Loss and Life in Perspective

In this episode, Ricky Enger speaks with New York Times columnist Frank Bruni, who shares the story of his sudden vision loss from NAION. Bruni speaks candidly on his adjustment to the change, maintaining a realistic attitude towards his vision loss, and the failure of medical professionals to provide resources after diagnosis.

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In this episode, New York Times columnist Frank Bruni shares the story of his sudden vision loss from NAION.

To read more of Frank's work, visit his New York Times page, follow him on Twitter and check out his previously published books.

Episode 4
Helpful Hints on Handwriting

Listen in as we share practical tips on how to keep your handwriting readable. This resource-packed episode includes many useful techniques and solutions to common handwriting challenges. Hadley Learning Expert Jennifer Ottowitz chats with Sue Dalton, Certified Vision Rehabilitation Therapist.

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This show covered:

  • Making the most of one's vision to see what is being written.
  • Provide good lighting and comfortable seating, avoid glare, use reading stand or stack of books to move paper closer, utilize contrasting colors on writing surface.
  • Adaptations:
    • Writing implements - gel pens, felt tip markers, avoid ones that may bleed through paper. Try out several to determine what works best.
    • Paper - dark lined paper, soft color paper (yellow, pink) to reduce glare, raised line paper.
    • Writing guides - signature guide, envelope guide, check writing guide, full page templates, flexible line guides.
  • Alternatives to handwriting: digital recorders, Braille, keyboard or audio input apps.

Where to find products mentioned:

Contact the guests:

Sue Dalton welcomes comments, feedback and questions and she can be reached at Dalton.transvision@gmail.com.

Jennifer Ottowitz is happy to engage with learners on this topic, and she can be reached at jennifer@hadley.edu.

Episode 3
A Guide to Vision Rehab

In this episode, Hadley's Steve Kelley speaks with Kendra Farrow, from the National Research and Training Center on Blindness and Low Vision, located at Mississippi State. The episode serves as a guide for those new to vision rehabilitation, including determining who is eligible for services, key differences between the medical and social services models, and how to locate services in each state.

Episode 2
Ease of Access in Windows 10

In this episode, Ricky Enger chats with Microsoft's Jeremy Curry, a Senior Program Manager with the Windows Accessibility team. New vision accessibility features are now available in Windows 10 for low vision and screen reader users.

Episode 1
A Conversation with Aira

In the inaugural episode of Hadley Presents, Ricky Enger and Jonathan Mosen of Aira chat about the ways in which a visual interpreter service, such as Aira, can be used to gain valuable visual information and enhance travel and leisure activities for blind and low vision users.

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Learn more about Jonathan: Jonathan Mosen serves as Vice President, Australasia, and Explorer Communications for Aira. He has worked in leadership positions at several assistive technology companies including HumanWare and Freedom Scientific. He founded ACB Radio in 1999 and is a prolific Internet radio broadcaster and podcaster. He joined the team at Aira in October 2018.

You can follow Jonathan on Twitter to keep up with his latest happenings, and you can also contact him by email at jonathan.mosen@aira.io.

Meet your host
Ricky Enger

Ricky Enger loves to learn through conversation. She enjoys talking and learning about a wide range of topics, from demonstrating the latest apps and gadgets, to discussing books, movies and strange food.

Her relaxed interviewing style allows guests to forget about the microphone and get down to the important business of sharing their knowledge and expertise. Listen in and learn as she does!

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