How I use technology as a blind person! – Molly Burke (CC)


(music) Hello everyone, it’s Molly here again and finally, finally, I am doing a video on my technology. As you can see, I have a whole lot of Apple products lined up here and I constantly get questions, especially on YouTube, about how I use my computer, how I film my videos, how I use an iPhone. So I thought it was about time I just sit down and quickly give you an overview of how myself and lots of other blind people are able to use technology just like anybody else can. I mean, I’m surprised most people don’t figure it out on their own, since it is the twenty-fifth…uhh…twenty-fifth?! It is NOT the twenty-fifth century, Molly! It’s 2015 and it’s the twenty-FIRST century. There we go. So, basically here is my iPhone and all Apple products, it’s an amazing company, they’ve dedicated themselves to making sure that every single product they release is fully accessible to the blind, straight out of the box, no extra costs. So, if you have any of these products here at home, like the Apple Watch, the MacBook, the iPad, the iPhone, or an iPod, or anything else, if you have that at home and you go into your settings, you’ll find GENERAL, ACCESSIBILITY, and then something called VOICE OVER. Don’t turn voice over on, unless you’ve looked up how to turn it off. Although actually, I think now you can do it with Siri. So I think if you have Siri, you can actually say, “Siri, turn on voice over,” or “Siri, turn off voice over,” and it’ll do it for you. So you can kind of, like, play around with it too at home and check out how you can do things, but I’ll just give you a quick show. So of course this is the rose gold and white iPhone 6S- I LOVE it! And so I just have the finger, that’s like the best part (iPhone plays very quiet male voice) it’s already talking…okay, I got it! Alright, so basically this is my home page, I have all my apps and I just (hovers finger over apps and male voice says the app name) So I just move my finger across the screen and it reads me what’s under my finger. So for example, if I wanna go to my phone, I double tap on my screen. (iPhone speaks quietly) and this is why I’m…let’s go to RECENTS and then if I wanna scroll up and down my RECENTS, I put three fingers and I just flick Oops…of course it’s not gonna work now. (iPhone mumbles) Really? There we go! So I just move, and then I can (hovers over names, iPhone reads aloud) …Burke, that’s my mom. Um, and then, yeah (hovers over screen, iPhone speaks). I’ll go to my messages- I need to check those! (iPhone talking) So yeah, it just, goes through. So yeah, it’s pretty simple. And then go to the next page, first page again. It’s honestly such simple technology, You can change the voice, you can change the speed that it talks at, a lot of people find my phone a lot of sighted people find my phone to be very fast, and when I’m, say, reading a text message or checking an email they can’t understand what it’s saying, but in the blind community, I actually have a very slow voice, because unfortunately I’m not one of those super tech-savvy blind people like a lot of them are I’m, like, very basic, I know the bare basics of how to get around my technology and that’s it. And now, here is my iPad, and honestly, basically the iPad is just the jumbo version of the iPhone Obviously I have this cute little monogrammed case, because I’m super basic, and then inside I just have my iPad. And honestly, it’s the exact same, I don’t even have to bother showing you, because it works the exact same as my iPhone does I just move my finger around it and tap. And it’s funny because a lot of my friends say I’m faster at texting on my iPhone than other people And I obviously don’t have to look at the screen, I just kind of memorize the key board. And this is my watch, which is the newest to my Apple collection here This was an amazing gift from a client of mine when I did a speech a few weeks ago It was so unnecessary, but obviously a lovely gift to receive And yeah it’s just (watch, female voice: 7pm) It’s like quiet, it’s at its loudest. That’s all I can really show you I’m trying to look at the camera and not look at it so that I can show you guys that I am doing it without looking at it, because I know I’m gonna get some crazy trolls being like, “you were looking at it, you weren’t really using it with the voice!” ‘Cuz I get that stuff a lot But yeah, it’s fun, I don’t know…I don’t actually know how to make the watch do it, but every now and then, because I have one of the moving backgrounds, I have like a flapping butterfly it’ll actually randomly be like, “Blue and white polka-dot butterfly gently flapping its wings in the wind” And I’m like…”why thank you! Thank you for describing that.” But yeah, it’s fun. And then, I just click that, and it brings me (iPhone voices app names) So I can just go through all the different settings like anybody else can. Yeah, it’s like honestly, it’s so basic Which is why I’ve probably waited this long to do this video Because to me it’s like, so basic and it’s not actually exciting at all. (Apple watch talks) Okay, you calm down. So now I’ll just push these to the side and show you the laptop This is my laptop, I’m sure you guys have seen it in a lot of videos if you are a subscriber of mine, which, if you aren’t, go do that. ‘Cuz I’m cool. But…um…I use this in a lot of my videos, especially tag videos, or Q&A videos, I will usually write the questions on my laptop and have my laptop read them to me, so you have probably seen this before. But basically…okay…so now I’ve turned voice over on I’m weird, I like turn voice over off every time I go to close my computer and I turn it back on every time I open my computer Most blind people, I don’t think, do that. For some reason I do that, it’s just like a weird habit But basically, to turn voice over on I use…I don’t even know the names of keys because I can’t see it written down I just know the placement So I use the key beside the space bar and I count 1…2…3…4…5 (computer talks) So that’s voice over on So to search things, because obviously I can’t use the tracker pad I just use spotlight search and I will search, say for example, Mail, and it will open my mail, and I will start to get emails in I have photos with Santa Clause And we’re not gonna read my emails because that feels a little invasive. I’m gonna shut this down. So basically that’s how I do it. I’ll open something like (computer talks very fast) Okay, calm down (computer continues to talk) I don’t wanna open that. (computer talking) So basically you see I’ve navigated without touching the trackpad at all, I’ve just been using different key commands and if you’re blind and watching this and you’ve been able to hear my voice and figure out what I’ve been doing, you probably know that I suck. I’m literally so bad at voice over. I do, like, the basics on it. So basically now I’m on a blank document or at least I think it’s a blank document And I’ll show you how I can type. So I’m a touch typer, I started learning how to type and taking typing classes when I was very, very young probably 8 years old and they started teaching me because they knew that one day I was probably going to go blind. due to my disease, and so they wanted me to have all the skills that I was going to need like how to read and write in braille, even though I could still read print how to type on a keyboard without looking So I’ve just been able to memorize the keyboard And I’ve been a touch typer for, honestly, as long as I can remember Um, and yeah I’ll just type a sentence out. (computer talks) The big dog was big. Very creative of me. (computer talks) Purple is my favorite color. So basically, yeah, I’m a super fast touch typer. Or at least I think I’m a pretty fast touch typer. And…um…as you could probably tell, I don’t even really listen to what the voice is saying because I know where the keys are so when I’m actually typing a comment on YouTube, for example, I don’t actually generally listen to what I am typing because I just know where the keys are. And then I’ll just tab over, find the comment button or share button or submit button, or whatever button I’m looking for and use the space bar and what’s called the “VO” keys, the voice over keys which are crucial when you use voice over They are what helps you navigate and I click and that’s how you click without using the tracker pad. So usually when I’m using something like FaceBook, Twitter, posting on YouTube, that I’m typically using either my iPad or my iPhone for because I like the control of having my finger around the screen just because I find navigating on an actual computer more dificult but in terms of writing longer documents out or checking emails and replying to emails I tend to do that on my actual laptop itself. So I kind of…that’s really the reason why I have an iPad and a MacBook and a phone because I use them for different uses. And my watch I love, because I love keeping up, I’m very health conscious and I love being able to keep up with my steps and how long I’ve been standing how many kilometers I’ve walked each day and there’s no other fitness tracker on the market that I know of that you can actually track those things as a blind person and have it read it to you. So, that’s one of the reasons why I love this. And I mean, I don’t know what else you guys want to know about my technology I just thought I’d give you a brief overview, show you how I do things So if there’s anything further you want to know about, definitely comment down below or tweet me send me technology-related questions Like I said, I’m not super tech-savvy, I just do the basics I just know how to work my way around the product and get done what I need to get done and that’s all that really matters to me. I am SO grateful to Apple because there is other programs on the market that are out there like JAWS is a big one, typically fully blind people are people who cannot use enlarged print like a program like ZoomText, people will either use JAWS or Voice Over, the most popular. Voice Over is obviously for the Macs and then JAWS tends to be for the PCs. And honestly when I started trying to learn JAWS before Voice Over came out because Voice Over came out about a year after I went blind What took me a year to learn on JAWS took me a weekend to learn on Voice Over. So I personally find Voice Over WAY easier than JAWS. And I am just so thankful that their products exist for the blind that are totally accessible straight out of the box that don’t cost and extra money because PCs don’t come pre-loaded with JAWS, you have to actually buy JAWS the program, which is VERY expensive So yeah, I love my Mac, I love my Apple products I’m so thankful for Voice Over And that is how, as a blind person, I am able to use all of my technology, keep up with you guys on Twitter, on Facebook, which of course are always linked down below. I really hope you enjoyed this video, let me know down below if there is anything else you’re curious about If you are also blind or visually impaired, comment down below and let me know what your favorite apps are that are accessible, what program you use, what you like, and any tips for helping me become more tech savvy. Thanks guys. Bye!

100 thoughts on “How I use technology as a blind person! – Molly Burke (CC)

  1. Smart TVs do that too it’s pretty dope how much technology accommodates all people. What we need are more toys for blind children tho. And question does it read it back to you to make sure you don’t have grammar mistakes

  2. This is a good explainer – except for the music, which is distracting from voiceover, which I think a lot of people would really like hearing more. Our son just turned 22, and is a senior in college. He navigates all travel, and aces all of his classes using only his iPhone. He uses a Braille Sense and laptop with JAWS voiceover for serious work, but he loves tech, and it's definitely a playing field leveler for people who are blind or vi!

  3. I don’t know if andriod have this because I’ve only seen Apple has this function I once accidentally turn it on thinking what it was

  4. I'm not blind but watching your videos has definitely made me realise how grateful I am that I have my sight still and I will never take my sight for granted ever again. After watching this video I tried out voice over and found it very difficult but interesting to try out, thank you for showing us!

  5. its so cool we live in a world where we can all communicate on the internet together regardless of disability

  6. That noise and voice is actually quite annoying. I also can’t understand what it is saying.
    I love you 😘

  7. Hi! I subscribed to your channel last week! I’m 29, totally blind, have cirible palsy, and in a wheelchair. I also use voice over on my phone and I pad! I am also Canadian!
    I recently became a YouTubeer! One of my favourite hobbies is collecting interactive baby dolls! My channel’s called Shasta toys if you’d like to check it out! I only have one video so far, but I’ll soon make more videos. I’m thinking of starting another YouTube channel about my other hobbies, but I wanna get this first channel booming first before I start another.
    My brother in law helps me film my videos! I told my mom I wanted to become a you tuber so she bought me a very nice camera! My friends and family are very happy for me! I also collect other interactive toys like hatchimals and I also have a Furby connect! My collection will continue to grow on my channel!
    Love your videos! I think it’s cool that I’m not the only blind person on YouTube!

  8. Please get rid of the background music because it makes it difficult to hear what you’re saying and it’s distracting as all get out. I have some brain damage caused by complications from my many spinal/brain surgeries and a life threatening infection that spread to my blood, spinal fluid and brain along with other areas of the body. Plus the radiation treatments and chemo treatments for breast cancer and endometrial cancer really do a number on your body in ways not visible to the naked eye. In my case it affects my vision, hearing, attention span, memory and the ability to focus and process information quickly. It can take years for the side effects to go away if they go away at all. Sometimes they are permanent changes. So trying to listen to you and follow visibly what you’re doing from a distance is not possible. At one point you were talking, loud music and the computer is talking. I tried it with the sound off and captions turned on but that didn’t work either because you have to read the captions and can’t see what you’re doing. So please consider the challenges your viewers might have when filming and when your editor is creating the video. Zooming in would help us see better too. Love learning from you, but frustrated when it is impossible to watch or listen.

  9. This video is fascinating! I’m aware of screen-readers and voiceover (a little), but I didn’t know some of the smaller details of technology. Thanks!

  10. Samsung phones also have a voice assistant. I accidentally turned it on once and I didn't have the faintest clue how to turn it off. It took me some tedious google searching to finally turn it off. The Samsung one has the same idea but you only have to use two fingers to scroll. I learned a lot about those during my mini adventure with my phone that talked a lot. As soon as you turn it on, it gives you a walkthrough, but I skipped it so i had to learn a lot of it on my own.

  11. I just watched this after 3 years of it being out and noticed that molly still had has her touch from everything. Love you molly

  12. Molly I am a trend blind girl I have gone my entire life with low vision to none no my cataracts caused a lot of problems where I had to have my lenses removed when I was a baby and as I grew up I develop glaucoma which my side is getting even worse ever since the iPhone came out I’ve done a lot of things on it and I find a voiceover a godsend because I don’t know what I would do without it and I did try jars when I had a computer and it was the most frustrating annoying piece of software that I ever found there are tons of apps I mean you do you name it you could probably find an app out there for anything including House items including a walk app that you can keep track of your walking and all through your iPhone as well as I can’t name all of them but there are tons of apps and the nice thing is you can actually also set up on your phone a website if you find it and you go into it on your phone and you can then save it which is on the bottom of the screen to where you can have a website link right on your screen of your iPhone or iPad or even on your laptop which I am jealous of you for having one I want one so I can do better with my own videos on YouTube

  13. Hey I am actually visually impaired been like that since I was born and there’s a lot of apps that I enjoy but I get a little frustrated when there’s apps that like are not accessible for the blind which is really annoying. But obviously like the basic iMessage FaceTime all the apps that really come with the iPhone and even like most of the downloadable ones that are accessible like Facebook and Twitter. But the ones that are not as accessible to me or Instagram and Snapchat. Snapchat is actually very hard to use with voiceover.

  14. I hope you read this
    You are an inspiration to everyone here on earth
    Keep going and being who you are !

  15. I have to use voice over technology in order to ensure accessibility on websites and the voice drives me up the wall sometimes lol 😂

  16. As silly as this may sound. First off I enjoy watching because you're cute and funny! Anyway I just happened to have watched this video. I am not a big Apple user. But my 4 year old just so happened to have turned on the voice over on the ipad. lol Had I not watched this video I don't think I would have honestly known what he had done!! Like I said as Silly as it sounds thank you for educating us all.

  17. I just tried the voice over on my iPhone wow it’s really cool, looks like it takes s but of getting used to but how cool!

  18. A blind man at my school had a really cool braille converter pad hooked up to his laptop. It looked like one of those arm rests but you could tell he was reading from it. Super cool

  19. Molly, you should open your videos for us to help caption all of them! i’m not sure how to do it but i saw corridor crew did it and linked it like this:
    https://www.youtube.com/timedtext_cs_panel?tab=2&c=UCSpFnDQr88xCZ80N-X7t0nQ
    (and we can even help putting translated caption options for people all around the world to be able to read/hear your stories!)

  20. Thanks for your vids, they help. I'm not sure if I'll go 100% blind, but my vision has been fading since I was little. I litterally need a stronger prescription every year. It's at the point were my eye doctor classified me as legally blind without my glasses. So it's comforting knowing if I end up blind in the future my life as I know it isn't over.

  21. Maybe it’s just because I’ve had to deal with technology in certain ways and have had to have a lot of things be different for me that it’s just kinda like. Self explanatory?

  22. This may be basic, but I had absolutly no idea that this was possible! I am so super :O what!? This is sooo cool!! 😀 thank you for this very informative video and putting up with people like me who are just… really unaware of how cool of a world we live in!

  23. I truly cannot believe that she is blind. There is no possible fucking way. Why the hell would she comment on the color of her phone?
    Don't reply to this. I don't want your dumbass notification.

  24. I’ve been watching your videos for a long time but I found out that my eyes are so bad that I could possibly go blind one day so I’m really scared and preparing early. I already have blackouts sometimes

  25. I looked up this video because I have a friend I met online who is completely blind, and I was so curious as to how she manages to respond so flawlessly to my messages and even comment on my posts. Thanks a lot for making this video and showing us how you do it so well!

  26. https://youtu.be/TiP7aantnvE?t=384 not to be rude or anything but I'm just curious how you knew those were photos of Santa Claus.

  27. Omg I’m sitting here and trying to find out what the voice on her computer is saying but it is WAAAAAAAY TOO FAST. How can she understand it?!

  28. No extra cost for iPhone ? Can someone tell her in braille that the extra cost is already included in the iPhone price ?

  29. Why are your device's backlights so bright? You could save a lot of battery by turning them completely down to nothing

  30. I think sighted people can type without looking. At least most can. Although you're probably better at it;))😛

  31. Idk if it's just me but the laptop voice over nearly sounds like Shane Dawson in one of his video s ifu watch Shane's video s u know wat I'm talking about

  32. I am sighted and I love your videos because I am learning many new things. Your videos are very fun and entertaining and educational as well. Thank you for being awesome!

  33. There's an application ”Be my eyes”, people help to a blind person by a call. It's a good idea, there are more volunteers than blind persons in the aplicattion.

  34. I recently discovered your channel and I really enjoy your videos…. thanks good you change editors. The background music in the old videos drive me crazy. I can’t want a full video

  35. Wow she is such a strong and smart woman! I think I would struggle mentally not being able to see but you make it look like such an easy lifestyle which is amazing! Keep being inspiring because it’s definitely helping lots of people with many things.

  36. I actually just ran into a picture on facebook of a blind woman, she has a cane, and she is staring at her phone. It says "Say got it when you see what's wrong with this picture" I said there is nothing wrong with this picture and I'm not amused, then I posted this video of Molly in the comments! People with sight are blind to the fact that blind people can do anything we can do it's just more challenging for them. Just because a blind person is looking down at their phone doesn't mean they can see the phone, it means they are aware of what they are doing and it's just natural to be generally looking in that direction whether you can see or not. Just like if a blind person heard a sound they will shift their head in the direction the sound came from. Some people are so ignorant!

    On another note I have a condition called Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension. I'm starting to lose my peripheral and I can go blind without any warning. The thought scares me so bad because I know how hard it will be to adapt to something like that. I commend you for being the amazing soul that you are Molly!

  37. Decided to turn on voiceover without googling how to turn it off at 1 am . Had a panic attack . Woke up my sister . Got my sister mad . Went to bed . Woke up . Had another panic attack . Finally turned it off .

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