Accessibility

How can I use Siri to put a call on hold?

Ed from Las Vegas, NV

Episode 1508

Ed is blind and uses a plantronics bluetooth connection for his iPhone. But when he gets an incoming call while he's on a call, he can't do anything without cutting off his call. Leo says that call waiting is an imperfect technology and he doesn't use it. Leo says that you can tell Siri what to do, and if you can tell Siri to put it on hold, and take the other one, that would be great. Talk to an Apple Genius at the Apple Store. They may know something.

How can I read the TWiT Chatroom if I'm blind?

Episode 1500

Rachel from Springfield, IL
IRC

Rachel is blind and needs help with the TWIT chatroom. It's not very accessible. Leo says that TWiT has a chat moderator who can work with the blind to set up their screen readers so that she can keep track of the conversation. It uses IRC and she'll need a fully accessible IRC client to do it. TWiT's moderators can help with that.

Image By Capaccio [CC BY-SA 3.0 ], from Wikimedia Commons

How can I use my phone if I'm losing my hearing?

Episode 1482

Jan from Bakersfield, CA
Earbuds

Jan is starting to lose her hearing, and wants to know what she can do to still hear people when she's talking on the phone. Leo says he has smart hearing aids that connect to his phone via Bluetooth and he can hear his phone great. If she can't afford those, then she can get headphones or earbuds that will use the phone's headphone jack. Jan has been using Google Fi, so in getting a new phone, she'll need to either get a Motorola Moto phone or a Google Pixel. Those are the only two phones that will work on Google Fi.

How can a disabled person use a computer?

Episode 1474

Irwin from Bronx, NY
Windows 10

Irwin's wife is disabled and wants to be able to use her computer. How can she? Leo says to check out an Independent Resource Center near her to get assistance using her computer. Leo also says that Windows 10 's Cortana will open up and voice dictate. There's other accessibility features in Windows 10 as well. She should just press the Windows Key and type "accessibility" or "Ease of access." She'll get a complete list of accessibility features. That can help a lot.

How can I get visual voicemail?

Episode 1471

Cynthia from Hemet, CA
Google Voice

Cynthia has an iPhone and loves the visual voicemail feature, but her deaf friend doesn't have it and could use it. Leo says she should check with her carrier and see if they offer visual voicemail as an extra charge. The other option is to sign her up for Google Voice. It's free and it will give her transcriptions of voicemails. It won't be perfect, but it will be close enough to get the point.

What's the best computer for an elderly person?

Episode 1469

Bruce from Anaheim, CA
ASUS Chromebook Flip

Bruce just moved into a retirement home and most of the people there aren't very tech savvy. He's trying to find computers for them that will be easy to use and affordable. Leo says that a Chromebook is a great idea. Chromebooks are ideal for email and surfing the web. They're very secure too. They will also work with any web-based email system as well. Leo recommends Gmail for that.

How can I keep my Echo from crashing?

Episode 1454

Brian from Indio, CA
Amazon Echo

Brian's Amazon Echo has been misbehaving since the New Year. It keeps failing and restarting. Leo says that indicates a faulty device. It may be overheating or is worn out. Amazon really doesn't have a good suggestion either, so Leo recommends contacting them about an RMA return. There is a reset button, though, so he could try that first. It's a little hole at the base of the device. He'll need to use a paperclip to press it in, and he'll have to hold that button down for a few seconds to reset it.