Tactile writing system for blind and visually impaired people
Hey there! Welcome to Accessibility Minute, your weekly look at Assistive Technology, those clever tools, and devices designed to help people who have difficulties with vision, mobility, hearing, or other special needs! If you're looking for an easy-to-use Braille label maker, check out the 6dot Braille Label Maker from Logan Tech. This portable Braille label […]
Hey it is after Halloween, so it is near enough to Christmas for us... so until Christmas we will be having Christmas topics! Today's Topic: Christmas Music Again, this is the podcast with very little editing done, so you are warned. Christmas Credit: The song is Deck the Halls and it is Christmas Metal No Copyright. I give credit to the composer and here is the link to the video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lmf6UXPVGXg Normal Podcast Intro Music and Warning Credit: Thank you Pepper the Vixen https://twitter.com/PepperTheVixen https://www.twitch.tv/pepperthevixen Knights of the Braille: www.knightsofthebraille.com KOTB Patron(even $1 helps): https://www.patreon.com/knightsofthebraille Contact us: Richard's info Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @brailleknights Jesse's Info: email@example.com Twitter: @thejesseb83
Marc Safman is a Paralegal who worked in anti-money laundering compliance. He's considered "sighted" Deaf Blind. Today he joins the podcast to discuss some of the various access challenges he and many others face in employment, social and advocacy circles. Plus, what's up with the continuous examination of Helen Keller? Subscribe/follow wherever you get podcasts. FB & IG: @ReidMyMindRadio Twitter: @tsreid Transcripts & more: www.reidmymind.com
An episode of Chomp, a Zombie Apocalypse game brought to you by Zombie Dog Games. Intro music: credit given to Karl Casey White Bat Audio. Please go check their work out. https://www.youtube.com/c/WhiteBatAudio Knights of the Braille: www.knightsofthebraille.com KOTB Patron(even $1 helps): https://www.patreon.com/knightsoftheb... Richard: @RichardBean83
Synopsis The world's most popular classical guitar concerto, the “Concierto de Aranjuez” by Joaquin Rodrigo, had its first performance on today's date in 1940, in Barcelona. Joaquin Rodrigo was born in Spain in 1901 and lost his sight at the age of three. He wrote all of his music on a Braille music typewriter. The “Concierto de Aranjuez,” inspired by a small town of that name thirty miles south of Madrid, remains his signature piece, though he wrote a number of other successful works. Rodrigo died on July 6th, 1999, at the age of 97. In 1959, a friend had played a recording of Rodrigo's concerto for the American jazz trumpeter Miles Davis. Miles Davis said, “After listening to it for a couple of weeks, I couldn't get it out of my mind.” So, Miles Davis played it for his friend, jazz composer and arranger Gil Evans, and in short order the two collaborated on their own 16-minute version of Rodrigo's score. Their collaboration was included on their classic 1960 Columbia LP entitled “Sketches of Spain.” At the recording session, Miles paid Rodrigo this compliment: “That melody is so strong that the softer you play it, the stronger it gets…” Music Played in Today's Program Joaquin Rodrigo (1902-1999) Concierto de Aranjuez Manuel Barrueco, guitar; Philharmonic Orchestra; Placido Domingo, conductor. EMI 56175
Show Topics 1. KOTB News 2. Knights of the Braille Library Jesse: The Gray Bastards by Jonathan Lotte Richard: Poop Diaries by Abby Ross 3. Creature Feature Hydroloth 4. Termonology: Clippy 5. At the Physical Table no session last week Podcast Warning and Intro/Outro Credit: Thank You Pepper the Vixen https://twitter.com/PepperTheVixen https://www.twitch.tv/pepperthevixen Knights of the Braille: www.knightsofthebraille.com KOTB Patron(even $1 helps): https://www.patreon.com/knightsofthebraille Contact us: Richard's info Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @brailleknights Jesse's Info: email@example.com Twitter: @thejesseb83
En este nuevo episodio, hablamos de la entrada Braille en pantalla en el iPhone, y vemos los nuevos gestos que han sido introducidos para agilizar el movimiento en un texto utilizando esta modalidad de escritura. Siqueréis poneros en contacto conmigo podéis escribirme a la dirección de correo electrónico firstname.lastname@example.org
Kia ora Mosen At Largers. A reminder that this podcast is indexed by chapter. If you listen with a podcast client that offers chapter support, you can easily skip between segments. We also make transcripts available, thanks to sponsorship by Pneuma Solutions, a global leader in accessible cloud technologies. Visit them on the web at . You can find the transcripts on our website at Here are the topics covered in this episode, and the time in the file for each. Welcome Alabama,0:00.000 My most bizarre Windows experience ever,0:57.518 Audio description,11:28.393 New iPhone setup experience and iOS 16 thoughts,24:31.840 More on VoiceOver being extremely quiet on calls,30:17.070 New iPhone 14 doesn't work with my hearing aids,35:19.106 VoiceOver focus issue affecting recent contacts causes embarrassment,37:34.181 Problem with Braille auto-panning in Apple Books,47:31.240 Treating your battery right can keep it healthy for a long time,49:09.871 Envision Smart Glasses feedback,52:59.521 Flip 4 and Android thoughts,56:49.911 The BlindShellClassic 2 and audiobooks,1:09:24.896 Positive news on a discrimination complaint,1:39:58.697 High Tech hot water bottle,1:42:10.000 Using the word sight when you actually mean blind,1:43:14.657 The Bonnie Bulletin. Should we go back after a discriminatory experience?,1:50:11.610 Closing and contact info,2:00:37.404 Share your thoughts on these topics or any others. Drop me an email in writing or with an audio attachment, Jonathan at MushroomFm.com, or phone the listener line in the United States, +1864-60Mosen, that's +18646066736. Keep up with Mosen At Large between episodes. Follow MosenAtLarge on Twitter where you'll get audio extras, links to interesting news stories, sneak peeks about what's coming up and more. If you'd like to subscribe to our announcements only email list, please send email to And if you like the show, we'd love a positive review and for you to spread the word. Thank you.
Hey it is after Halloween, so it is near enough to Christmas for us... so until Christmas we will be having Christmas topics! Today's Topic: Christmas movies Again, this is the podcast with very little editing done, so you are warned. Christmas Credit: The song is Deck the Halls and it is Christmas Metal No Copyright. I give credit to the composer and here is the link to the video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lmf6UXPVGXg Normal Podcast Intro Music and Warning Credit: Thank you Pepper the Vixen https://twitter.com/PepperTheVixen https://www.twitch.tv/pepperthevixen Knights of the Braille: www.knightsofthebraille.com KOTB Patron(even $1 helps): https://www.patreon.com/knightsofthebraille Contact us: Richard's info Email: email@example.com Twitter: @brailleknights Jesse's Info: firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @thejesseb83
Lisa Yates, who currently works at Mt. San Jacinto College, enhances the lives of all persons she encounters through her work as a disability counselor/disability specialist. Listen to this episode so Lisa can tell you more about her job and how she is helping to educate everyone about improving perspectives concerning what the concept of “disability” is all about. Lisa went back to school after more than 25 years of being a mom and starting a family. She is currently working on her Ph.D. dissertation through the Notre Dame of Maryland University. As you will hear, Lisa and I had a lively and relevant discussion about persons with disabilities. Discussions like ours in this episode are, I think, one of the best ways that we all can grow to understand that persons with disabilities are far from being “disabled”. I look forward to receiving your comments and thoughts about my conversation with Lisa. Also, as always, should you know of anyone who you feel would be a good guest on Unstoppable Mindset, please reach out. Of course, that includes you as a possible guest. About the Guest: Lisa M. Yates Mt. San Jacinto College: Disability Support Counselor/Learning Specialist Notre Dame of Maryland University: Doctoral Candidate 2021 Nancy Kreiter Student Research Day Award recipient (Notre Dame of Maryland University) Lisa currently serves students with dis/abilities as an academic and dis/ability counselor at Mt. San Jacinto College in Southern California. Lisa has previously worked in 5 community colleges, as a Learning Disabilities Specialist, Student Success Counselor, Veterans Counselor, Job Development Counselor, and Autism Specialist. In each position, Lisa has been committed to treating dis/ability as a diversity and equity issue. Lisa earned her Masters Degree in Special Education from California State University, Fullerton, and her Learning Disabilities Specialist certification from Sacramento State University. Lisa is currently in the dissertation phase of Notre Dame of Maryland University's Ph.D. program in Higher Educational Leadership for Changing Populations. Her dissertation research focuses on utilizing experiential learning to explore dis/ability perceptions in non-dis/abled college stakeholders. About the Host: Michael Hingson is a New York Times best-selling author, international lecturer, and Chief Vision Officer for accessiBe. Michael, blind since birth, survived the 9/11 attacks with the help of his guide dog Roselle. This story is the subject of his best-selling book, Thunder Dog. Michael gives over 100 presentations around the world each year speaking to influential groups such as Exxon Mobile, AT&T, Federal Express, Scripps College, Rutgers University, Children's Hospital, and the American Red Cross just to name a few. He is an Ambassador for the National Braille Literacy Campaign for the National Federation of the Blind and also serves as Ambassador for the American Humane Association's 2012 Hero Dog Awards. https://michaelhingson.com https://www.facebook.com/michael.hingson.author.speaker/ https://twitter.com/mhingson https://www.youtube.com/user/mhingson https://www.linkedin.com/in/michaelhingson/ accessiBe Links https://accessibe.com/ https://www.youtube.com/c/accessiBe https://www.linkedin.com/company/accessibe/mycompany/ https://www.facebook.com/accessibe/ Thanks for listening! Thanks so much for listening to our podcast! If you enjoyed this episode and think that others could benefit from listening, please share it using the social media buttons on this page. Do you have some feedback or questions about this episode? Leave a comment in the section below! Subscribe to the podcast If you would like to get automatic updates of new podcast episodes, you can subscribe to the podcast on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher. You can also subscribe in your favorite podcast app. Leave us an Apple Podcasts review Ratings and reviews from our listeners are extremely valuable to us and greatly appreciated. They help our podcast rank higher on Apple Podcasts, which exposes our show to more awesome listeners like you. If you have a minute, please leave an honest review on Apple Podcasts. Transcription Notes Michael Hingson 00:00 Access Cast and accessiBe Initiative presents Unstoppable Mindset. The podcast where inclusion, diversity and the unexpected meet. Hi, I'm Michael Hingson, Chief Vision Officer for accessiBe and the author of the number one New York Times bestselling book, Thunder dog, the story of a blind man, his guide dog and the triumph of trust. Thanks for joining me on my podcast as we explore our own blinding fears of inclusion unacceptance and our resistance to change. We will discover the idea that no matter the situation, or the people we encounter, our own fears, and prejudices often are our strongest barriers to moving forward. The unstoppable mindset podcast is sponsored by accessiBe, that's a c c e s s i capital B e. Visit www.accessibe.com to learn how you can make your website accessible for persons with disabilities. And to help make the internet fully inclusive by the year 2025. Glad you dropped by we're happy to meet you and to have you here with us. Michael Hingson 01:20 Welcome to unstoppable mindset where inclusion, diversity and the unexpected meet unexpected as always fun. Hi, I'm Michael Hingson, your host welcome from wherever you may happen to be. We're glad you're with us and really appreciate you joining us. Lisa Yates is our guest today. And she I could say a lot about you Lisa Yates. Lisa loves the Academy Awards. In fact, we were just listening to a little segment from the 1943 Academy Awards presented in 1944 were Casablanca one for Best Picture that year, one of my favorite movies. But anyway, Lisa has worked at a number of colleges has been very much involved in diversity, inclusion and disabilities and a variety of things like that. We're gonna get into all of that during the course of the next hour. So Lisa, welcome to unstoppable mindset. How are you? Lisa Yates 02:13 Thank you very much for You're welcome. I'm, you know, I'm excited. I'm nervous. I'm overwhelmed by life right now. So I'm excited, though, have this conversation. Michael Hingson 02:29 So what's overwhelming you today? Lisa Yates 02:33 Well, I'm in the what is the experiment phase of my dissertation, in focus on Disability Studies in Higher Education. And I'm collecting participants. And so I'm hoping to get enough and all of the stress that's involved in that. My adviser told me today that this is the fun part. And I said, Are we having fun yet, because I'm not quite having fun. But I think once I get my participants and actually start the, the experiment, it will probably be very fun. And I the Supreme Court decision that came down today and the one yesterday have overwhelmed me as far as concerns about the future of the country. And, and and actually, I'm concerned about what might happen with disability rights in America because the argument that they used for overturning Roe v Wade, was that it was not in keeping with the history and tradition of the interpretation of the Constitution for this country. And, you know, ugly laws were in keeping with the history and tradition of this country. And ugly laws stated that people with disabilities could not be seen in public and yeah, so I'm concerned on a lot of other was Michael Hingson 03:57 also the decision on what was it Tuesday regarding religious freedom and the rights of religious organizations and so on and how is that going to affect the ADEA Lisa Yates 04:10 right, and the gun the gun ruling for New York City after such a horrible shooting and involved in Buffalo that you know, I I just I am concerned about people having guns on their person that are not able that people other people don't know that they have them and I just feel like the country right now is so anxious and stressed and frustrated and polarized and how will carrying guns concealed weapons help that situation? I just I don't know what's happening. I'm just saw an Michael Hingson 04:53 interview this morning with the mayor of New York and Mr. Adams was was talking about that very thing. He said that this is going to make law enforcement a lot more difficult to do. Certainly the concept of Roe v. Wade, and overturning a precedent that had been in place 50 years, especially when some of the Supreme Court justices as they were being considered, during the last administration said, we're not going to overturn precedent. Well, they just did. So that's right. They did. Well, Tony, will tell me a little bit about you in terms of, obviously, you were very much involved in disabilities and so on. I'd love to know more about how you got involved in that and kind of what your early life was about. Lisa Yates 05:41 Okay, well, how far back should I go? Michael Hingson 05:44 Oh, as far as you want a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away. Yeah. Lisa Yates 05:49 Oh, Star Wars reference like it? Well, I, I have done presentations before where I've shared with people that when I was growing up, we never, ever saw people with any kind of disability. We call them handicaps back then I call them predicaments now, but we never saw people because they weren't allowed in restaurants. And they weren't allowed in public places. And they didn't go to our schools. And so that was my upbringing, and exposure with disability. If I did see somebody, it was maybe a disabled veteran who was kind of on the corner with a brown bag and a bottle, you know, because there was just nothing that they could do, or places they could go. I fast forward, had four children was a stay at home mom for 25 years, I had gotten my bachelor's degree in liberal studies like 100 years ago, and then stayed home after I got my bachelor's degree for 25 years. And when it was time to go back to school, I was planning on pursuing a speech. Well, it wasn't time to go back to school, we were about to lose our house in the housing market, fiasco that was 2008. And I couldn't get a job, even though I had a bachelor's degree. And so I decided to go back to school and get a certificate in speech language pathology, where I would work with a speech language pathologist supporting students with autism or speech difficulties. And the the, my professor found that I had a bachelor's degree and she said, Why don't you get a master's in speech language pathology instead of being an assistant? And so I got a scholarship that was actually for women returning to school after an absence, who had a hardship in Riverside County. Michael Hingson 07:51 It was that specific why is that specific or what? Yeah, Lisa Yates 07:55 so I went to Cal State Fullerton based on that scholarship to pursue a master's in speech language pathology. While doing that, I found out that they had 300 applicants a year and they took 28. And that there was a really good chance that I wouldn't get accepted. Even if I had straight A's, which I almost did. One teacher gave me a B plus, I've never forgiven that teacher. But I know I know. And her reason was just ridiculous. But I won't go into that. And so I was concerned that I might not be one of those people picked. I started exploring a master's in special education instead found out that I could, I was guaranteed a spot in that program, got into that knew that I didn't really want to teach kids in K through 12 found out that there was a learning disability certificate program through another University, Sacramento State, and that if I did that I could work in a community college as a learning disability specialist. So while I was completing my Master's at Cal State Fullerton, I did this one year program at Sacramento State on learning disability certification for adults. Did that worked five colleges over the next I don't know, four years, part time got a full time position as a veteran's counselor at Chaffey College, which is a community college in Southern California. And then from there, I got a disability counseling position tenure track at the college that I'm now working in, in Southern California as well. And so I've also worked as an autism specialist at another college, a student success counselor at another college learning disability specialists and, and I've brought all of that into what I do now, which is, I think, serving students with disabilities like the whole person, not just managing or providing accommodations, to help them learn based on on whatever that specific challenges I like to, I really like to help the whole person and support the whole person. So that's what I do. Michael Hingson 10:09 You have certainly been a very busy individual, academically and so on. Yeah, Lisa Yates 10:15 I like learning. Even when I was a stay at home mom, I was very much into my girls. I have four daughters, their education, and just always trying to learn more about how to be a good mom, because there's no manual for that. Michael Hingson 10:30 I mean, I don't do that. They don't give out meals for those. Lisa Yates 10:33 Now, so I'm just trying to learn stuff about and active in the community and trying to figure out how to do things in the community. I've just always been a learner. Yeah, well, Michael Hingson 10:43 So how old are the girls? Lisa Yates 10:46 My youngest is 25. Michael Hingson 10:49 I thought we were. Yeah, it was ages. Oh, yeah. Lisa Yates 10:53 That's why I can do all I'm doing now. Because my girls are gone. My next one is 29. My next one is 32. I think. And then the next one is turning 40. This year, and I have two adorable, well behaved, very intelligent grandchildren. Michael Hingson 11:13 Is that Is there a husband on the scene as well? Yes. Just just checking one out. Have you had the talk with all the daughters saying, now that you're grown up? Of course, you need to recognize that your job is to support mom and dad in the manner they want to become accustomed to? Lisa Yates 11:33 No, in that one. Yeah. No, in fact, it's more like they're having conversations with me about like, are you gonna have you know, be okay, if you have like a stroke one day or? Michael Hingson 11:46 It's pretty negative. Lisa Yates 11:47 No, they don't they don't say those words. But, you know, wanting to make sure that we have a good retirement plan. And we have a will and yeah, they're there. Yeah, it's Michael Hingson 11:59 just tell them that they're welcome to contribute to the retirement plan. You know, you accept contributions. Lisa Yates 12:05 I will I will make sure that I left. Yeah. Michael Hingson 12:08 So let's talk about disabilities in in education and so on you I gather don't have what would be classified as a disability. Lisa Yates 12:18 I do actually I have a permanent so my, you know, there's a lot of disability language out there are people do it differently diversely, abled, uniquely abled. I view it as human predicament. And I got that from Tom Shakespeare who's a disability scholar. Because he people predicaments are common to humankind, right. It's just that when it comes to body or mind predicaments, there's that stigma that's attached to them. So my particular body predicament is Fibromyalgia which is a chronic pain and fatigue kind of predicament. But it also presents with mind predicaments, because it causes foggy thinking, I have chronic insomnia, which causes me to have slow thought processes sometimes. Which is kind of ironic, because I love learning. And I get really frustrated when I don't get things really fast, like I think I should. But I just tell myself what I tell my students that speed doesn't mean smart. You know, it's okay to take time to process information. So Michael Hingson 13:35 forgive me this is interesting way to put it. The problem with the English language, and I think with languages in general is that words tend to change in meanings and are morphed by people in a variety of ways. For example, diversity. Diversity doesn't generally include anyone who is classified as having a disability when we talk about Hollywood, and we talk about so many places, and we hear discussions about diversity. It's all about race, gender, the sex or sexual orientation and so on. And if disabilities are mentioned at all, it's kind of an afterthought. Yes, definitely an afterthought. And that's unfortunate and predicaments is interesting. I would submit and I've said it here before that there is not one single person on the earth who doesn't have a particular disability or what we'll call predicament. And I think that all of you have a predicament that blind people don't have, which is your light dependent. You don't do well when there's not light around. If we use the Americans with Disabilities Act as the model, Thomas Edison invented the electric light so that people with light dependency have a way to deal with the dark. Okay, that's fine. You've covered it up. You do pretty well with it, but don't negate the rest of us because of that. Yes. And yeah. Lisa Yates 14:59 I was just saying I think the reason I like predicament is because when you talk about predicaments divorce is a predicament. Sure, actual troubles are a predicament, you know, we all have predicament so why? And I'll tell you why I think that body mind predicaments in particular are relegated to, you know, the worst possible predicaments is because of Plato, it goes back to Plato's Republic, where they base their whole culture, on the ability, the human reasoning ability, and physical ability, that people who had those higher levels, what they called higher levels of functioning, where leaders and all the slaves and peasants and people were considered less able, cognitively or physically, and, or physically. And I do think that that's a lot of it as far as the language, English is a living language, if it stopped evolving, it would be like Latin, and it would just die. So it's gonna keep evolving, but I think it's important for us, those of us who are in this field, and also in other diverse fields to keep evolving in a positive way. And not, you know, negative, like, dis abled, which implies not abled, or handicapped, or whatever. And I agree, I have a good friend who's blind. And we have an event at my college every year called Beyond the cover living books, which I created, in which students with disabilities share their lived experiences. And my friend, Cameron, who's he's been in two of those events. And he's been blind since he was one and a half, I think he was sitting near someone who was talking about their bipolar because all different disabling predicaments were presented, not all several. And he after when it was over, and we were talking about it, he said he was so surprised that people would be so open about their mental illness, as he called it, which I would call by mind predicament, right? And I said, Well, you have to understand, those of us who are sighted, we have been sad, we've been confused, we've been stressed. So we can imagine what it's like to be bipolar, or to be depressed or to be anxious or to have anxiety. But we are afraid of the dark, we walk through the world with our eyes being our number one sense. And so for us to imagine you walking through the world engaged and functioning and enjoying life without being able to use your eyes to see, it's very confusing to us, because first thing we do is turn on a light when we get in a room, like you said, to enable ourselves to be able to see. So Michael Hingson 18:16 we should be grateful to blind people. Because when we have severe power outages, and blackouts, and so on, the fact that we don't turn on the lights tends to save everyone from themselves because we don't need those lights. So we help with the electricity. Seriously. The the issue, though, is that, I think you're absolutely right, we teach people to be afraid of something that's different than we are Yes. And that's exactly the problem. While we teach people to use their eyes, we don't teach them to use the rest of their senses very well. We don't teach them that you can go through the world without being able to see nowadays we have a lot more technology than we used to do, which should make it easier to accommodate persons who happen to be different than we are. But we still don't. In fact, we use technology to make it worse, for example, it is easy today, electronically, to make documents that are fully accessible for blind persons. Yet, in reality, we want to make them visually aesthetic and available. So we may take a document and take a picture of it and store it as a PDF graphic which makes it inaccessible rather than including the text of it. And the fact of the matter is there is no reason to do that. But we don't teach people that in reality, we need to be more inclusive and all we do and well. You're right disability means lack of ability. I suddenly it, it doesn't need to mean that disability can mean something different that isn't negative. Since we're good at warping words from time to time, we can change that meaning Lisa Yates 20:11 we would have to change the meaning of the root word dis. And of course, that would be weird. Michael Hingson 20:16 We'd have to do it. We would have to do it in that context, though, Lisa Yates 20:20 right? It would it would be it's firmly entrenched in the language, though. Because this, I'm Nick, if you look it up in the dictionary means Sure. Michael Hingson 20:31 So yeah, but but the if you look up, see in the dictionary, S E. People always talk about a being with the eye, but one of the definitions in the dictionary is to perceive, yeah, for sure you can you can separate it out. Or you can say disability as a word has a different meaning than we think it does without interrupting the cons, you know, we don't serve seem to have a problem with the word discourse, right? And so there are a lot of ways that we can change words, Lisa Yates 21:02 I think discourse is used a lot less frequently than disabled. But, Michael Hingson 21:06 but Well, I agree, but but it still has a different meaning for discourse as a word, then the negative context of dis. And so it's all about Lisa Yates 21:17 Well, it's kind of similar, but Well, Michael Hingson 21:21 yeah. But the point is that we can change meanings and we can change attitudes. Lisa Yates 21:27 Yes. And my perspective is, and this is based on my research as a, you know, doctoral student, is that how can I say this? Person, sorry, what's the word predicament is a generic, unbiased term, that can be applied to all humanity. And when I use the word disabled, I use it in reference to how the environment disables a person, not the person's disability. And I do that because I believe that the cognitive, physical, mental, and mobile vision hearing conditions are significant and real, and are predicaments for sure. But it's the environment that further disables the person. And so that's how I use disabled or disability in terms of what we need to address in the environment to make it less. And again, my perspective is based on being in education, and supporting students, whereas yours is based on technology and your lived experience as a blind person. So we're going to come at it differently, Michael Hingson 22:53 somewhat, but I think we end up at the same place. And environment also can very much dictate the severity or seriousness of a or challenge of a predicament to absolutely, absolutely. So with, with people who are classified as having a disability and so on, how do we improve success rate as they get to college? And how do we get more of them into college environments and give them more of the opportunities that they should have the right to have? Lisa Yates 23:30 Yeah, so the state of California, I can only speak about state of California. Yeah, that's where I am, has, you know, mandated equal access to education. And so like in high school, special education counselors have to provide a transition plan for students with disabilities, including an offering them options to go to college. And so that's, that's one thing. And then once they get to college, and also in high school teachers provide modifications to assignments and accommodations, like extra time for testing and things like that. Once they come to college, then if they want to disclose and that's part of the problem, they have to disclose their their challenges their predicament. If they want to disclose that, then they can get accommodations in college like a note taker, to assist them with taking notes because my view is an again, I've worked with students with vision hearing, chronic pain, cancer, pregnancy, learning disabilities, ADHD, depression, anxiety, all schizophrenia, right? All of those and my view as a learning disability specialist, and I would say now I'm more of a learning specialist than I am a learning disability specialist. Is that all challenge? Does all physical body mining segments? Yeah, body mind predicaments in particular impacts students learning efficiency, so not their intellectual ability. And the problem is a lot of teachers think they hear the word disabled, and they think, intellectually disabled, which used to be called mentally retarded, or they think, irrational, erratic, that these, whatever the challenge is, it's going to mean that they can't keep up with the rest of the students, they're not going to succeed. And my, what I've learned is that it's about processing efficiency. So students, whether whatever their challenge is, the brain becomes distracted by whatever their symptoms are. And that interferes with either visual processing, or auditory processing, or both. And in the college environment, the reason the college environment is disabling is because teachers talk very, very fast, they don't use a lot of repetition, they will often, if they're referring to a PowerPoint presentation, say, over here on the right, when somebody may have a vision impairment in class, and not know what they're referring to over on the right, or show their slides very, very quickly, so that somebody who has whose sight is fine, but their visual processing speed is challenged, they don't have the chance to really take it in, right, where they speak very quickly. And in somebody with an auditory processing challenge, they're still thinking about what the teacher said a few minutes ago, and the teachers have moved on to this new topic. And so they're having trouble processing that auditory information. And so what we do is we provide digital recorders, so students can use those in the classroom. And then they can hear the lecture over and over again, no takers, like I said, we have speech to text software where students can have their, where they can speak their words like Dragon or something like that into the computer, or text to speech where they can have their books uploaded to a computer, and the computer can read to them. And those are all accommodations based on the 20th century model of disability support and education. My view is that we need to evolve it to a 21st century model, and stop being reactive, and be more proactive with students in order to increase their success outcomes. Michael Hingson 27:45 And what do you mean by that? Lisa Yates 27:47 I mean, collaborating with instructors, a lot of times, disability professionals tend to keep the knowledge that we have in house, in our department. And we just work with the students. And I think that more and more we need to be leaving our department and educating educators about about intellectual ability and how about this, how disabilities affect learning efficiency and not intelligence. And from what I've been studying, and my experience with intellectual IQ, intellectual quotient, IQ, the way we measure it is wrong. And I think that it's, we need to, like really be examining how we measure intellectual ability, because determining if somebody has a learning disability is based on their IQ, if we measure IQ, wrong, right? If we measure IQ wrong, then how can we determine if there's actually a learning disability? If we're basing it on an inaccurate measurement of IQ, that kind of thing? Well, Michael Hingson 28:59 I, you know, it's interesting, I would add another dimension to some of that, which does go back to the student a little bit. One of the problems well, let me rephrase it, one of the the values of colleges that you're starting to learn to be prepared to live outside of the college and the school environment, much more than high school and elementary school and so on. And that's good. And that's the way it should be. I would say for blind students, and I'm talking about students who simply have a vision impairment, whether it's total or partial. There are some things that really need to not be done that a lot of offices tend to do, like provide notetakers and such. And the reason I say that is one you're right, we all need to work with the professors and the faculty. The students need to be encouraged to have those discussions with the faculty and then be able to you Use the office of students with disabilities as a backup, in case they can't get the support and the cooperation and the opportunity to teach that they should have with a professor. But the other side of it is, when you graduate college, you won't have access to people to take notes for you. And that's why I think it's extremely important. And I understand I'm only dealing it with it from the standpoint of vision impairments. But the problem with providing no takers is it's covering up something that students need to learn, which is to take responsibility and to take charge. And again, if the student can get cooperation from faculty, that's where the office and the rest of the administration come in, which is why your concept and your comment about educating and really moving us into the 21st century is so important. Lisa Yates 30:56 So let me just address a couple of things there. Students come from K through 12, lacking advocacy skills, lacking self advocacy, most part, they've been in IEP meetings with teachers and parents, and the teachers and parents talk over them. So it's actually kind of the reverse of what you said, they need us in the beginning. And my job, my goal, and Michael Hingson 31:23 let me just interrupt, I'm not saying that they don't need you. So 31:26 I'm not I'm not offended, I'm just addressing the timeline of what you said, I'm saying that what I tell parents when they first come for their intake is my goal is to have them get to a point where they don't need the parents, and they don't need me. But at first, they do need me. And especially until they develop the skills of self advocating, as far as the note taker is concerned. And usually, that's what happens. It's a bittersweet kind of thing. Because, you know, after a year or so I suddenly don't see them anymore. And then I see them at graduation. And I'm like, so excited, because I know that they stopped coming to me because they didn't need me anymore. But they develop those skills. Even when they use a note taker, they develop the skills by modeling their notes against no takers, they might use a note taker for the first year, and then not use note takers anymore. So I'm telling you, this is what often happens, they start off using accommodations, and they gradually wean themselves from them. As far as leaving education, unprepared for the world, the purpose of education, and I have this conversation with nursing faculty all the time, because they're like, if they can't do this quickly, they won't be able to do it in the real world. And my point is, no, they're supposed to learn how to do it here, right? Most likely, right? Most of the things that we are able to do on the job, we learn on the job, we don't learn at school, school prepares us with the tools, and then we get to work and we learn we build off of those. So yeah, I kind of disagree. 33:13 Well, no, I'm not disagreeing with you. I'm agreeing with what you're saying. The college is the place to teach those things. And the college is the place because it won't happen earlier, where students learn to become advocates. And what I'm saying is, I think that's the most important thing that your office and similar offices can provide, and should provide, is making sure that students become self advocates. That's the most important thing that you can do it yeah, so So the kinds of things that I see and I hear today, from many students in college still is, oh, we have a test to do. The professor sends it over to the Office for Students with Disabilities. And I go there and I take the test and so on, that doesn't serve a useful purpose, the student, your office, and the professors, and I say your office because oftentimes professors are very stubborn because they haven't been educated by you yet. So the three have to work to get an environment that helps students to understand why they need to work with the professor, to be able to take that test and not have to use the Office for Students with Disabilities. And I see this often. 34:45 Let me explain why it does serve a purpose. So students within again, you're you might be coming from the perspective of somebody who's blind who doesn't need extra time for testing, although, in my experience, most of my blind student and use extra time for testing. The reason it serves a purpose is because there are so many different types of disabilities. 35:09 I agree with that. And I'm when I'm not arguing with the concept, I'm arguing, I am speaking specifically about blindness. I'm not arguing with the overall concept, because every one is different. And that's why in the very beginning, I said, I'm dealing specifically with a person who has a vision impairment and nothing else because anything else is going to change it. 35:31 So with, okay, if we're just going to talk about blind students, which is really hard for me, because I Michael Hingson 35:37 started Oh, students, you and you're in your right, Lisa Yates 35:40 but and I, I mean, I, yeah. If I'm just going to talk about blind students, there is still the fact the issue of distraction, the brain being distracted. So the reason the distraction reduced room and the extra time for testing helps, is because it's really hard for the brain to focus and pull in the information that the that the person has studied into the working memory part of the brain, and do well on the test when the ears are hearing people turning in their test. And the student is only on number 10, or something like that. And so the distraction reduced room allows students to focus and calm. Michael Hingson 36:26 And that doesn't happen to take place for students with eyesight, who are on number 10, while other students are walking up and turning in their tests. Lisa Yates 36:35 No. It's also I just used because we're talking about blind students. Michael Hingson 36:39 Now I know. But my point is that, why is it different for blind people than it is for sighted people with that scenario, Lisa Yates 36:46 I'm just because Michael Hingson 36:49 because I do Cocytus people are going to be distracted when somebody walks up. And I'm not saying necessarily that the test will take place in the classroom. Because there are challenges with doing that. What I'm saying is that the student and the professor need to, collectively, eventually, they have to be the ones to take responsibility to collectively work out the best way for the student to take the test. And to make it fair, and that's what I'm getting at, Lisa Yates 37:17 you didn't have to be ready to do that. And I'm telling you that most of our students, when they come in are not ready to have those sure patients with the instructor. And as far as the distraction part, absolutely. Lots of people are distracted, the brain is distracted, whether you're sighted or not sighted when you're taking a test. But for students who prefer a distraction, reduced room, and they feel that it helps them to do a better to perform better on a test. Because of that lack less distraction, we have to be able to provide that. And I think it's wrong to say we should just put them out there and tell them to go for it and do the best they can. Without that support. Using again, your scenarios coming in Michael Hingson 38:05 using again, your scenario, however, then sighted people who are easily distracted, distracted, should have that same opportunity. Lisa Yates 38:13 I agree. Michael Hingson 38:15 So I'm fine as long as that's something that is done for everyone. But we don't do that. Now. So that means changing the whole system, which may be the way we have to go. Lisa Yates 38:25 Hold on. So the thing about allowing all sighted people who do not have any kind of body mind predicament to use extra time for testing is that it doesn't it doesn't provide an even playing field for students who are distracted and by their symptoms. Michael Hingson 38:45 And that's why I didn't say and that's why I didn't say extra time. I said distraction. Right? So there's a difference. So if you're a fully sighted person who gets distracted, then why shouldn't I be able to go into a room and be allowed only the same hour that anyone else would be but I'm not going to be distracted because I'm in a quiet room. Lisa Yates 39:07 So here is the other thing that I think you don't understand. Accommodations are there for students to use or not use. If a student doesn't feel like they need extra time for testing. They don't use it. Sure. Student doesn't feel like they need and when you began, you didn't say time or distraction. You said going to the students with disabilities department to take their test. And for me, that is extra time and distraction reduced because they're they're coupled together. That's how it comes as an accommodation. Michael Hingson 39:40 I think. Yeah. Lisa Yates 39:43 All of the accommodations that we provide, it's totally up to the students if they want to. We have students who are deaf or hard of hearing, who we don't give extra time to testing for unless it's an audible test, because they don't need extra time for testing for a written test. If the student has a vision impairment. And during the intake intake process, they say, Oh, I don't need extra time for testing, we don't give it to him is totally up to the student if they use them or don't use them. And it's different for every student, Michael Hingson 40:14 I think you will find, and again, I'm dealing with blindness, that blind people who grow up and go to college and graduate and go into the workforce. There are a significant number of those people who will say that the offices tried to force us to do some things that we didn't need, like extra time, I don't need extra time. They say, a lot of times they offer that, but sighted students don't get don't get that. So why should I simply because I'm blind, we don't force students to you know, I understand that, I understand that you're not forcing a student when Lisa Yates 40:51 you that, I don't know where they had that experience, because that all of the accommodations are completely, completely up to the student to use or not use, Nobody forces, anything on any student. There are plenty of students who have disabilities who never sign up with our department, it's your choice. But if a student comes to our department and says, I want to use accommodations, then we say these are the accommodations you can use, whether it's Braille, if you're talking about somebody who's blind, or a magnet, portable magnifier, if you're talking about that, which again, I'm talking about all students with disabilities, but we don't make students use anything that's like, nobody, I can't even believe that anybody would say that they force me to use anything. Michael Hingson 41:39 No, I didn't. Force and and I and I didn't say that. But you did. There is a there is a difference between expectations and, and offering things to people. That may not be although they'll they may or may not take advantage of it. But offering things continuing to say how you're different rather than helping people learn more to compete in the world that we're going to face. And I think that there's a lot that needs to be done in that regard. But let me ask you this. Where do you see the future of support from offices like yours and other offices going is because life and predicament concepts evolved? Lisa Yates 42:30 Well, I think that because we some of the services we offer are mandated by the state. And you know, who knows how things are going to change with this conservative, you know, Supreme Court, I don't know what's going to happen as far as Special Education and Disability Support and education. But here's the thing, accommodations help. Like I've seen so many studies, conducted with students with disabilities who say things like, I don't know where I would have been, if not for the accommodations or from the support of the Disability Support Department, and coupled with disability friendly instructors who modify or are flexible, because I have, again, I'm not just talking about students who are blind. I have students who get hospitalized, I have students who have mental health flare ups, I have students who and teachers refuse to be flexible about deadlines, and there are so many things that I have students who are blind who need for one reason or another, more flexible deadlines to complete the information because of technology issues, or because of you know, whatever. So I think that as far as where we're going, the accommodations are mandated. And I think that yeah, we need to stretch outside of our department to work more closely with instructors. And I think that we have to attack the intersectionality of racism and disablism or ableism in college, because that's a huge area that is has been neglected, especially when you talk about diversity, income, and I've and disability is another huge area that needs to be addressed. ESL and disability is another huge area that needs to be addressed. We're just, you know, we're still under the mandate of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which, although there was an amendment in 2008, it's still pretty much a 20th century. And the I'm, I am motivated personally by the United Nations and the World Health Organization's imperatives to governments, communities and schools to improve the lives of individuals with disabilities. And I'm, for me, it's the school part because people But with disabilities not talking about blind people, I'm talking about disabled people, disabled by the environment, but also by a condition. Those who complete their degree, they're employed at similar rates to people who don't have a disability who have a degree. But people with disabilities who do not have a degree, they're unemployed at a double rate compared to people without disabilities who don't have a degree. So education matters. But it has to be equal. It has to be equitable, more than equal, it has to be equitable. And that's what accommodations do they help to increase the equity, but the teachers in the classroom have to extend that equity as far as their pedagogy and their practices and their policies especially? Michael Hingson 45:52 Well, yeah, um, can I, I have no problem with the concept of accommodations. And I'm mostly on top of everything that we've discussed, pleased about the concept of doing more to educate professors. And I would say the college administration's as a whole, because they're colleges are a reflection of society for the most part. And it really is important to develop, and get implemented more of a program to educate people at the college level, on campus, about this whole issue of disabilities and inclusion. And that's something that Lisa Yates 46:36 we need to do the whole problem with accommodations. So I'm just saying no, I Michael Hingson 46:41 don't have a problem with accommodations, I have a problem with how they're often used. I'm all for and I think you've misread me because I have no problem with the concept of accommodations. But I do have a problem with what I've seen from talking with many students. And again, I deal mostly with blindness, who talk about how the accommodations are used. And I think that there is an issue that probably needs to be addressed. But we're not going to solve that today. But I'm mostly glad that we talk about education, and how we get to have more people understand the needs, that students with disabilities have, and why we have the accommodations, and that we need to educate people about the fact that just because some of us have a predicament different than they, it doesn't mean that we're mentally challenged unnecessarily, or less capable overall than they. And so I think that that's one of the most important things that we we need to figure out ways to do, which is to do more to, to deal with the education of of college, faculty and staff. And then not enough of that probably occurs across the country. Nope. So it's a it's a real challenge and something that we we do have to face. Well, what's your thesis about? Lisa Yates 48:08 Well, I guess the title is very long. It's a dissertation. It's not a thesis. This is for Master's dissertation. Michael Hingson 48:17 Well, what's your what's your dissertation about? What's your PhD research about? Lisa Yates 48:22 So my research question is using interpretive phenomenological analysis to explore the impact of disability awareness event of a specific disability awareness event on the disability perceptions of college stakeholders. And my original question was only looking at the perceptions of non disabled college stakeholders. Because we have this event beyond the cover every year for disability awareness month where students share what their life their experience, their lived experiences, have been going to school and dealing with disability which the reason I started it was because I really want it faculty to understand because because of the disclosure issues, teachers can't ask students questions about their disability, or they believe they can't ask them unless the student brings it up. And so I thought, if we could have this event every year where students just openly shared, you know, with faculty and with other students, and with administrators and with staff, then it would increase awareness and understanding about disabilities. And so originally it was going to be non disabled college stakeholders, because because I really wanted to build off of this study and then do another study with my students with disabilities who have participated in the event, but I've just changed my mind because this whole time I've been working on my dissertation it's really bothered me that I didn't think lewd people with disabilities in the college stakeholders, I believe firmly in Nothing about us without us. But I was worried that if I included somebody with a disability, it would skew the study. And I've just decided to add that because I want to know the inside perspective, like I have some people who have attended the events who also have a disability. And I didn't include them, because my research question was non disabled college stakeholders. But I talked to my advisor today. And I said, I really want to change this. And she said, yeah, you can change it. So I'm excited about that. Basically, at each event, each beyond the cover event, participants who come to learn, so the students with disabilities are considered living books. And when we used to have it on campus, we always had it in the library. And I had these cute little library cards for each living book with, they would have to come up with we have a website where they have their their picture, they have to come up with a title of their book. And they have to write an abstract a couple of paragraphs or a paragraph about their experience. And so my blind friend, who was one of my first living books, his title was sometimes technology sucks, because in him talking to me about his lived experience, and I was writing as he talked, and I do that for a lot of the students because they're like, I don't know what to say. And I say, just tell me about yourself. And so then I Right. At one point, he talked about his math book in high school, and that it took up, it was a braille book, and it took five boxes. I don't know if it was high school, it might have been high school. So I got five boxes. And I said, Oh, my gosh, that must be so much better now with technology. And he said, Yeah, but sometimes technology sucks. Yeah, we decided to go with that title. Because sometimes technology sucks for all of us, right? That's not a blind thing, versus a sighted thing is just a thing. And so he titled his, sometimes technology sucks. And a lot of people wanted to come and talk to him, because they're like, yeah, it does, right. But then when they came to talk to him, we realized he realized how many people didn't understand his life, and that he, you know, watch his movies, and he, you know, has a life and he doesn't just sit in a dark room all day long. And the students with bipolar and schizophrenia and depression, you know, sharing what it's like for them to try to, you know, manage school, and family, and work and their disability. And so people would come and talk to them, and come away. And then at the end of each event, they complete the surveys. And I always ask them, Did you learn something new? And if so, what did you learn? What surprised you? Lisa Yates 53:07 And I don't know the couple other questions, but those are the two questions that I'm using from their surveys for my study. So I'm going to meet with my participants, read what they wrote on their survey, and explore it and expand it to see, first of all what they meant by it, but also to see if in the time since they attended the event, if that learning or that perception has lasted, if they acted on it, if it changed them in any way, especially teachers if it changed how they teach, or how they approach students with disabilities. And then, yeah, my next study is going to be with the living books themselves, to talk about what it was like for them to share their experiences with strangers in a climate where up until recently, people didn't do that. So yeah, that's my study, Michael Hingson 54:05 an interesting topic that you mentioned, which is you're developing theory of the ability spectrum. Tell me about that. That sounds kind of fascinating. Lisa Yates 54:16 Um, I just did a presentation at Disability Conference in Baltimore on this topic, actually. And so like I said, as a learning disability specialist, I was trained to assess IQ, right. And then we use the intelligence or the ability quotient, that the organic kind of supposedly natural abilities, and we compare that to achievement in English, math, different things like that. And then we look for a discrepancy. And that's how we would determine if there's a learning disability. But over the years of doing it, I've met with so many students who I would read their intelligence quotient either that I conducted or somebody else conducted. And it would say that they were in the intellectual disability range, which used to be known as mental retardation. And I would be like, but you're not that person like, this doesn't match with what the paperwork says here. And so I started researching how intelligence tests came about how they're used, how they're whether or not they include people with disabilities when they construct them. And just there's a lot of problems with IQ tests, racial issues, they stem from they stem from I can't think of the word right now, you know, the eugenics eugenics was the father of intelligence test. And the whole purpose was to prove that the white male race might that white males were more intelligent than women more intelligent than people of color. And so I there's, they're flawed from the beginning. And they've definitely gotten better. They include more diverse populations now in their sample size, when they're, when they're norming them, but even the word norming? Yes, yes, that there's a standard that is based on something. And that thing that it's based on is usually that white male standard. And so I have, I just have problems with it. And so my idea, my research is that we can't just look at so intelligence tests look at verbal comprehension, perceptual reasoning, which is visual spatial processing speed, and working memory, those four things determine a person's IQ. And my premise is that there's so many other things that go into IQ, like mindset, like predicaments, you know, if you are being tested for your IQ on this day, and you're hungry, because you haven't eaten in a couple of days, or you're going through a divorce, or your parents are abusing you, like that affects how well you respond on an IQ test, right? If you the school district that you grew up in your K through 12, lacked resources, that's going to show up on your IQ tests, there are so many things. And so my view is that intelligence is not linear with this bell curve of normal in the middle, which is 85 to 115. Intelligence is spectral, and it spirals out like a pinwheel. And all of those spirals kind of overlap each other when we're talking about intelligence. And we can't just say, you know, you, you're at 81. So you're below normal, when they're all these other things that go into your intelligence. Michael Hingson 58:04 Well, you mentioned though, you called it ability spectrum. And that's what was sounded really fascinating. Lisa Yates 58:10 So yeah, the ability and intelligence are kind of used interchangeably doing an intelligence test, you're looking at organic abilities, but you're only looking at those four abilities processing speed working with you now. And so yeah, that's they're kind of interchangeable. Michael Hingson 58:27 So it sounds interestingly, like we need to reevaluate the whole concept of what goes into an IQ test, as it were. Absolutely. Lisa Yates 58:36 And they are, I mean, you know, they're every five years or so they re Vamp the IQ tests, and they try to, for what, for instance, one thing they were having problems with, like between, I'm gonna say the 80s and the 90s. With the I think it was the waist IQ test was they had a picture of an ashtray. And it used to be that everybody identified that has an ashtray. Everybody who was sighted, identified that as an ashtray. Well, as people stopped smoking, all the sudden people were like, scoring low on their perceptual reasoning because nobody knew what the picture was anymore. And a friend of mine who's doing learning disability assessments now. They've just recently moved to a new adaptation of the ways she's finding more and more African Americans are testing in the intellectually disabled category than ever before. Something they did in changing the new test is not working right. It's not accurate, because why do we all of a sudden have so many intellectually disabled African Americans, right, so and then there was one question on there that she told me about that. It was a nun onsens word. And for Latinx people, this nonsense word was a racial slur. But the people who made the test didn't know that. And so, you know, you're trying to test somebody and they're like, I'm not gonna say that word. You know? Michael Hingson 1:00:17 Does this mean that one test shouldn't fit all anymore? Lisa Yates 1:00:22 One test should never have fit all. Never, ever, ever. Michael Hingson 1:00:27 Good for you? Yeah, and that's really the point, right? I mean, it's, there are so many factors that go into it. Yeah, I think I'll deal with and we still go ahead. Lisa Yates 1:00:41 I was just gonna say I think that people will always try to find a way to make other people seem less. Yeah, that's it. And it's not just that we teach them. One of the authors that I cite in my dissertation is Zygmunt Bauman. And he wrote a series of books. He was a World War Two, his family escaped. I can't remember now, his family escaped Poland, I think, right at the beginning of World War Two. And he wrote about, gosh, I can't remember. Not collective unconsciousness. But he talked about people, we have this innate need to be better than other people. Because back in the day, you know, hundreds of years ago, yeah, 1000s of years ago, people looked up at the sky. And they were overwhelmed by their, the, the magnitude of it, and the weather and the stars and the vastness of the universe. And that, because of that they felt little. And so because they felt little, they need to make other people feel a little littler than they Yeah, I can't remember. It's not collective unconsciousness. It's I can't think of the word. But it's a good phrase. It's in my dissertation, but I haven't looked at my dissertation. months. So yeah, it's Well, eventually. Michael Hingson 1:02:21 That's okay. Well, we've been doing this a while. And I will tell you, I have learned a lot. It's been very educational. And I hope it's been fun for you. Yeah, to, to do this. And, and we got to do it again, especially when you get your dissertation closer to being done. Or whenever you want to come back, we'd love to hear more about the study and how all that goes. If people want to reach out to you, and maybe learn more about you or talk with you or whatever, how can they do that? Lisa Yates 1:02:50 Well, I just want to say to that, it was really interesting for me as well, I think I rarely talk to people outside of academia, about disabilities and accommodations and how we support students with disabilities. And so it is really interesting to me to hear your view of accommodations, even though of course, it's coming from the perspective of blind students, but it's, it's, it's gonna give me something to think about. Michael Hingson 1:03:18 But I also do understand what you're talking about in terms of, there's a lot more than blindness in terms of what you have to deal with, concerning accommodations. And that's fine. Lisa Yates 1:03:28 I mean, honestly, blind students are a small percentage of students. Mental health is the fastest growing, it was the fastest growing disability category before the pandemic, and now it's the fastest growing in the country. So when Michael Hingson 1:03:43 if we were going to turn really obnoxious and we'd say much less, what about politicians? How can we ever do anything with them? But that's another story. Yeah, Lisa Yates 1:03:50 no, I'm not gonna go. Michael Hingson 1:03:53 What kind of a test can we get for them? But anyway? Lisa Yates 1:03:57 No, don't don't? Don't have me go there. No, no, it really, um, it's important to hear other people's perspectives. And I just wanted you to understand what we do in terms of supporting and then it is important for students who need it, students who want it to get it at the beginning, because if they don't, they end up a year after coming to us and their grade point average has gone down and they're like, I need help. And it's like, you should have come you know, at the beginning. So, but yeah, I'm, uh, I'm on LinkedIn, Lisa Yates on LinkedIn. I think I have a thing but I don't know what my, My callsign is on LinkedIn. I have an Instagram that I never look at, because I'm just always working, working working. But you can find me on LinkedIn. I'm also on Facebook for sure. And I check that a little more often, but not as much as I used to I'm I work at Mount San Jacinto College, you can look me up there. And, yeah, I'm just really motivated in wanting to do my part to improve the lives of individuals with disabilities. And I do not say that to mean that everybody who has a disability needs their life improved, I do not think that at all. But for those who want to, and those who need to, through education, my goal is to do whatever I can do to help that. Michael Hingson 1:05:34 I will, I will tell you that anytime anyone wants to be involved in help educate and help improve, and help raise awareness. That totally works for me. So I really appreciate what you're doing. And I'm glad you're going to continue to do that. We're, we're excited. And I'm very serious. I'd love to learn more as your study progresses, and so on. And if there's ever a way that we can help you know how to reach me, and I'd love to definitely stay in touch and have you back on when you have one to talk about regarding your dissertation and the study and so on. Lisa Yates 1:06:14 Yeah, I'm, I'm game for that, for sure. I'm excited to see what happens after my study, like, I'm sure that there will be people who will be like, yeah, I forgot everything, you know, the next day after the event. And, you know, that's what science is about. It's getting all perspectives, but I just really believe in this, like, before, people started being more expressive about disabilities. We were doing this and we were saying, we need to be talking about this, we need to not just be hiding it behind closed doors. And I think, you know, if you know somebody who has a challenge, it reduces your, your prejudice and your bias. And you see that people are just people with predicaments. You know, that's what we are, 1:07:10 which is a good way to end it. And I really appreciate you doing that. Well, thank you very much for being here. And I hope everyone has enjoyed this conversation today. It has been a lot of fun. And I hope that you will reach out to Lisa and also reach out to us. And if you have any comments, love to hear them. You can reach me at Michaelhi at accessibe.com or go to www dot Michael hingson.com/podcast or wherever you're listening to this podcast, please give us a five star rating. We appreciate it. Your ratings are invaluable to us and what we do. So we hope that you'll be back with us again next week. And Lisa, once more. Thank you very much for being with us today. Lisa Yates 1:07:56 Thank you, I appreciate it. Michael Hingson 1:08:02 You have been listening to the Unstoppable Mindset podcast. Thanks for dropping by. I hope that you'll join us again next week, and in future weeks for upcoming episodes. To subscribe to our podcast and to learn about upcoming episodes, please visit www dot Michael hingson.com slash podcast. Michael Hingson is spelled m i c h a e l h i n g s o n. While you're on the site., please use the form there to recommend people who we ought to interview in upcoming editions of the show. And also, we ask you and urge you to invite your friends to join us in the future. If you know of any one or any organization needing a speaker for an event, please email me at speaker at Michael hingson.com. I appreciate it very much. To learn more about the concept of blinded by fear, please visit www dot Michael hingson.com forward slash blinded by fear and while you're there, feel free to pick up a copy of my free eBook entitled blinded by fear. The unstoppable mindset podcast is provided by access cast an initiative of accessiBe and is sponsored by accessiBe. Please visit www.accessibe.com. accessiBe is spelled a c c e s s i b e. There you can learn all about how you can make your website inclusive for all persons with disabilities and how you can help make the internet fully inclusive by 2025. Thanks again for listening. Please come back and visit us again next week.
Show Topics 1. KOTB News 2. Knights of the Braille Library Jesse: Scarey Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alan Schwartz Richard: Jester by James Patterson 3. Creature Feature Gnoll and Gnoll Flesh Gnawer 4. Termonology: Background 5. At the Physical Table Podcast Warning and Intro/Outro Credit: Thank You Pepper the Vixen https://twitter.com/PepperTheVixen https://www.twitch.tv/pepperthevixen Knights of the Braille: www.knightsofthebraille.com KOTB Patron(even $1 helps): https://www.patreon.com/knightsofthebraille Contact us: Richard's info Email: email@example.com Twitter: @brailleknights Jesse's Info: firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @thejesseb83
On the show today is a mix of topics, including a discussion on the best microphones to record a podcast with. Following Steven's upgrade to a new USB microphone he wants to tell us about, he and Shaun talk about their microphones of choice. Plus, there are lots of rumours circulating about a new iPad due to be launched in 2023 that will supposedly be 16 inches in size. Does this mean that the Mac OS, at long last, is coming to the iPad? And listener Matthew Horspool stuns us with a demo of some little-known features of the Braille Screen Input feature on iOS. Keep your feedback coming - email us at email@example.com or call 1-877-803-4567 and leave us a voicemail. You can also find us across social media @DoubleTapOnAir.
Rob, Ryan, and Steve get up in the wee hours of the morn to welcome Charlie Harding, Distribution Manger of Bristol Braille to the show to talk about their multi-line braille display the Canute 360 as well as their forthcoming first of its kind gaming console, the Canute Dock! Show Transcript Show Notes Bristol Braille https://bristolbraille.org/ The Canute Dock https://bristolbraille.org/braille-arcade/ AT Banter is brought to you by Canadian Assistive Technology, providing sales and training in Assistive Technology and Accessibility with over 30 years of knowledge and experience. Visit them online at www.canasstech.com or call toll-free 1-844-795-8324. Need repairs on your device? Chaos Technical Services offers service and support on almost any piece of Assistive Technology, while also providing parts and batteries. Visit them online at www.chaostechnicalservices.com or call 778-847-6840.
Episode one hundred and fifty-six of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at “I Was Made to Love Her", the early career of Stevie Wonder, and the Detroit riots of 1967. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. Patreon backers also have a twenty-minute bonus episode available, on "Groovin'" by the Young Rascals. Tilt Araiza has assisted invaluably by doing a first-pass edit, and will hopefully be doing so from now on. Check out Tilt's irregular podcasts at http://www.podnose.com/jaffa-cakes-for-proust and http://sitcomclub.com/ Resources As usual, I've put together a Mixcloud playlist of all the recordings excerpted in this episode. The best value way to get all of Stevie Wonder's early singles is this MP3 collection, which has the original mono single mixes of fifty-five tracks for a very reasonable price. For those who prefer physical media, this is a decent single-CD collection of his early work at a very low price indeed. As well as the general Motown information listed below, I've also referred to Signed, Sealed, and Delivered: The Soulful Journey of Stevie Wonder by Mark Ribowsky, which rather astonishingly is the only full-length biography of Wonder, to Higher Ground: Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Curtis Mayfield, and the Rise and Fall of American Soul by Craig Werner, and to Detroit 67: The Year That Changed Soul by Stuart Cosgrove. For Motown-related information in this and other Motown episodes, I've used the following resources: Where Did Our Love Go? The Rise and Fall of the Motown Sound by Nelson George is an excellent popular history of the various companies that became Motown. To Be Loved by Berry Gordy is Gordy's own, understandably one-sided, but relatively well-written, autobiography. Women of Motown: An Oral History by Susan Whitall is a collection of interviews with women involved in Motown. I Hear a Symphony: Motown and Crossover R&B by J. Andrew Flory is an academic look at Motown. The Motown Encyclopaedia by Graham Betts is an exhaustive look at the people and records involved in Motown's thirty-year history. How Sweet It Is by Lamont Dozier and Scott B. Bomar is Dozier's autobiography, while Come and Get These Memories by Brian and Eddie Holland and Dave Thompson is the Holland brothers'. Standing in the Shadows of Motown: The Life and Music of Legendary Bassist James Jamerson by "Dr Licks" is a mixture of a short biography of the great bass player, and tablature of his most impressive bass parts. And Motown Junkies is an infrequently-updated blog looking at (so far) the first 694 tracks released on Motown singles. Patreon This podcast is brought to you by the generosity of my backers on Patreon. Why not join them? Transcript A quick note before I begin -- this episode deals with disability and racism, and also deals from the very beginning with sex work and domestic violence. It also has some discussion of police violence and sexual assault. As always I will try to deal with those subjects as non-judgementally and sensitively as possible, but if you worry that anything about those subjects might disturb you, please check the transcript. Calvin Judkins was not a good man. Lula Mae Hardaway thought at first he might be, when he took her in, with her infant son whose father had left before the boy was born. He was someone who seemed, when he played the piano, to be deeply sensitive and emotional, and he even did the decent thing and married her when he got her pregnant. She thought she could save him, even though he was a street hustler and not even very good at it, and thirty years older than her -- she was only nineteen, he was nearly fifty. But she soon discovered that he wasn't interested in being saved, and instead he was interested in hurting her. He became physically and financially abusive, and started pimping her out. Lula would eventually realise that Calvin Judkins was no good, but not until she got pregnant again, shortly after the birth of her second son. Her third son was born premature -- different sources give different numbers for how premature, with some saying four months and others six weeks -- and while he apparently went by Stevland Judkins throughout his early childhood, the name on his birth certificate was apparently Stevland Morris, Lula having decided not to give another child the surname of her abuser, though nobody has ever properly explained where she got the surname "Morris" from. Little Stevland was put in an incubator with an oxygen mask, which saved the tiny child's life but destroyed his sight, giving him a condition called retinopathy of prematurity -- a condition which nowadays can be prevented and cured, but in 1951 was just an unavoidable consequence for some portion of premature babies. Shortly after the family moved from Saginaw to Detroit, Lula kicked Calvin out, and he would remain only a peripheral figure in his children's lives, but one thing he did do was notice young Stevland's interest in music, and on his increasingly infrequent visits to his wife and kids -- visits that usually ended with violence -- he would bring along toy instruments for the young child to play, like a harmonica and a set of bongos. Stevie was a real prodigy, and by the time he was nine he had a collection of real musical instruments, because everyone could see that the kid was something special. A neighbour who owned a piano gave it to Stevie when she moved out and couldn't take it with her. A local Lions Club gave him a drum kit at a party they organised for local blind children, and a barber gave him a chromatic harmonica after seeing him play his toy one. Stevie gave his first professional performance when he was eight. His mother had taken him to a picnic in the park, and there was a band playing, and the little boy got as close to the stage as he could and started dancing wildly. The MC of the show asked the child who he was, and he said "My name is Stevie, and I can sing and play drums", so of course they got the cute kid up on stage behind the drum kit while the band played Johnny Ace's "Pledging My Love": [Excerpt: Johnny Ace, "Pledging My Love"] He did well enough that they paid him seventy-five cents -- an enormous amount for a small child at that time -- though he was disappointed afterwards that they hadn't played something faster that would really allow him to show off his drumming skills. After that he would perform semi-regularly at small events, and always ask to be paid in quarters rather than paper money, because he liked the sound of the coins -- one of his party tricks was to be able to tell one coin from another by the sound of them hitting a table. Soon he formed a duo with a neighbourhood friend, John Glover, who was a couple of years older and could play guitar while Stevie sang and played harmonica and bongos. The two were friends, and both accomplished musicians for their age, but that wasn't the only reason Stevie latched on to Glover. Even as young as he was, he knew that Motown was soon going to be the place to be in Detroit if you were a musician, and Glover had an in -- his cousin was Ronnie White of the Miracles. Stevie and John performed as a duo everywhere they could and honed their act, performing particularly at the talent shows which were such an incubator of Black musical talent at the time, and they also at this point seem to have got the attention of Clarence Paul, but it was White who brought the duo to Motown. Stevie and John first played for White and Bobby Rodgers, another of the Miracles, then when they were impressed they took them through the several layers of Motown people who would have to sign off on signing a new act. First they were taken to see Brian Holland, who was a rising star within Motown as "Please Mr. Postman" was just entering the charts. They impressed him with a performance of the Miracles song "Bad Girl": [Excerpt: The Miracles, "Bad Girl"] After that, Stevie and John went to see Mickey Stevenson, who was at first sceptical, thinking that a kid so young -- Stevie was only eleven at the time -- must be some kind of novelty act rather than a serious musician. He said later "It was like, what's next, the singing mouse?" But Stevenson was won over by the child's talent. Normally, Stevenson had the power to sign whoever he liked to the label, but given the extra legal complications involved in signing someone under-age, he had to get Berry Gordy's permission. Gordy didn't even like signing teenagers because of all the extra paperwork that would be involved, and he certainly wasn't interested in signing pre-teens. But he came down to the studio to see what Stevie could do, and was amazed, not by his singing -- Gordy didn't think much of that -- but by his instrumental ability. First Stevie played harmonica and bongos as proficiently as an adult professional, and then he made his way around the studio playing on every other instrument in the place -- often only a few notes, but competent on them all. Gordy decided to sign the duo -- and the initial contract was for an act named "Steve and John" -- but it was soon decided to separate them. Glover would be allowed to hang around Motown while he was finishing school, and there would be a place for him when he finished -- he later became a staff songwriter, working on tracks for the Four Tops and the Miracles among others, and he would even later write a number one hit, "You Don't Have to be a Star (to be in My Show)" for Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr -- but they were going to make Stevie a star right now. The man put in charge of that was Clarence Paul. Paul, under his birth name of Clarence Pauling, had started his career in the "5" Royales, a vocal group he formed with his brother Lowman Pauling that had been signed to Apollo Records by Ralph Bass, and later to King Records. Paul seems to have been on at least some of the earliest recordings by the group, so is likely on their first single, "Give Me One More Chance": [Excerpt: The "5" Royales, "Give Me One More Chance"] But Paul was drafted to go and fight in the Korean War, and so wasn't part of the group's string of hit singles, mostly written by his brother Lowman, like "Think", which later became better known in James Brown's cover version, or "Dedicated to the One I Love", later covered by the Shirelles, but in its original version dominated by Lowman's stinging guitar playing: [Excerpt: The "5" Royales, "Dedicated to the One I Love"] After being discharged, Clarence had shortened his name to Clarence Paul, and had started recording for all the usual R&B labels like Roulette and Federal, with little success: [Excerpt: Clarence Paul, "I'm Gonna Love You, Love You Til I Die"] He'd also co-written "I Need Your Lovin'", which had been an R&B hit for Roy Hamilton: [Excerpt: Roy Hamilton, "I Need Your Lovin'"] Paul had recently come to work for Motown – one of the things Berry Gordy did to try to make his label more attractive was to hire the relatives of R&B stars on other labels, in the hopes of getting them to switch to Motown – and he was the new man on the team, not given any of the important work to do. He was working with acts like Henry Lumpkin and the Valladiers, and had also been the producer of "Mind Over Matter", the single the Temptations had released as The Pirates in a desperate attempt to get a hit: [Excerpt: The Pirates, "Mind Over Matter"] Paul was the person you turned to when no-one else was interested, and who would come up with bizarre ideas. A year or so after the time period we're talking about, it was him who produced an album of country music for the Supremes, before they'd had a hit, and came up with "The Man With the Rock and Roll Banjo Band" for them: [Excerpt: The Supremes, "The Man With The Rock and Roll Banjo Band"] So, Paul was the perfect person to give a child -- by this time twelve years old -- who had the triple novelties of being a multi-instrumentalist, a child, and blind. Stevie started spending all his time around the Motown studios, partly because he was eager to learn everything about making records and partly because his home life wasn't particularly great and he wanted to be somewhere else. He earned the affection and irritation, in equal measure, of people at Motown both for his habit of wandering into the middle of sessions because he couldn't see the light that showed that the studio was in use, and for his practical joking. He was a great mimic, and would do things like phoning one of the engineers and imitating Berry Gordy's voice, telling the engineer that Stevie would be coming down, and to give him studio equipment to take home. He'd also astonish women by complimenting them, in detail, on their dresses, having been told in advance what they looked like by an accomplice. But other "jokes" were less welcome -- he would regularly sexually assault women working at Motown, grabbing their breasts or buttocks and then claiming it was an accident because he couldn't see what he was doing. Most of the women he molested still speak of him fondly, and say everybody loved him, and this may even be the case -- and certainly I don't think any of us should be judged too harshly for what we did when we were twelve -- but this kind of thing led to a certain amount of pressure to make Stevie's career worth the extra effort he was causing everyone at Motown. Because Berry Gordy was not impressed with Stevie's vocals, the decision was made to promote him as a jazz instrumentalist, and so Clarence Paul insisted that his first release be an album, rather than doing what everyone would normally do and only put out an album after a hit single. Paul reasoned that there was no way on Earth they were going to be able to get a hit single with a jazz instrumental by a twelve-year-old kid, and eventually persuaded Gordy of the wisdom of this idea. So they started work on The Jazz Soul of Little Stevie, released under his new stagename of Little Stevie Wonder, supposedly a name given to him after Berry Gordy said "That kid's a wonder!", though Mickey Stevenson always said that the name came from a brainstorming session between him and Clarence Paul. The album featured Stevie on harmonica, piano, and organ on different tracks, but on the opening track, "Fingertips", he's playing the bongos that give the track its name: [Excerpt: Little Stevie Wonder, "Fingertips (studio version)"] The composition of that track is credited to Paul and the arranger Hank Cosby, but Beans Bowles, who played flute on the track, always claimed that he came up with the melody, and it seems quite likely to me that most of the tracks on the album were created more or less as jam sessions -- though Wonder's contributions were all overdubbed later. The album sat in the can for several months -- Berry Gordy was not at all sure of its commercial potential. Instead, he told Paul to go in another direction -- focusing on Wonder's blindness, he decided that what they needed to do was create an association in listeners' minds with Ray Charles, who at this point was at the peak of his commercial power. So back into the studio went Wonder and Paul, to record an album made up almost entirely of Ray Charles covers, titled Tribute to Uncle Ray. (Some sources have the Ray Charles tribute album recorded first -- and given Motown's lax record-keeping at this time it may be impossible to know for sure -- but this is the way round that Mark Ribowsky's biography of Wonder has it). But at Motown's regular quality control meeting it was decided that there wasn't a single on the album, and you didn't release an album like that without having a hit single first. By this point, Clarence Paul was convinced that Berry Gordy was just looking for excuses not to do anything with Wonder -- and there may have been a grain of truth to that. There's some evidence that Gordy was worried that the kid wouldn't be able to sing once his voice broke, and was scared of having another Frankie Lymon on his hands. But the decision was made that rather than put out either of those albums, they would put out a single. The A-side was a song called "I Call it Pretty Music But the Old People Call it the Blues, Part 1", which very much played on Wonder's image as a loveable naive kid: [Excerpt: Little Stevie Wonder, "I Call it Pretty Music But the Old People Call it the Blues, Part 1"] The B-side, meanwhile, was part two -- a slowed-down, near instrumental, version of the song, reframed as an actual blues, and as a showcase for Wonder's harmonica playing rather than his vocals. The single wasn't a hit, but it made number 101 on the Billboard charts, just missing the Hot One Hundred, which for the debut single of a new artist wasn't too bad, especially for Motown at this point in time, when most of its releases were flopping. That was good enough that Gordy authorised the release of the two albums that they had in the can. The next single, "Little Water Boy", was a rather baffling duet with Clarence Paul, which did nothing at all on the charts. [Excerpt: Clarence Paul and Little Stevie Wonder, "Little Water Boy"] After this came another flop single, written by Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier, and Janie Bradford, before the record that finally broke Little Stevie Wonder out into the mainstream in a big way. While Wonder hadn't had a hit yet, he was sent out on the first Motortown Revue tour, along with almost every other act on the label. Because he hadn't had a hit, he was supposed to only play one song per show, but nobody had told him how long that song should be. He had quickly become a great live performer, and the audiences were excited to watch him, so when he went into extended harmonica solos rather than quickly finishing the song, the audience would be with him. Clarence Paul, who came along on the tour, would have to motion to the onstage bandleader to stop the music, but the bandleader would know that the audiences were with Stevie, and so would just keep the song going as long as Stevie was playing. Often Paul would have to go on to the stage and shout in Wonder's ear to stop playing -- and often Wonder would ignore him, and have to be physically dragged off stage by Paul, still playing, causing the audience to boo Paul for stopping him from playing. Wonder would complain off-stage that the audience had been enjoying it, and didn't seem to get it into his head that he wasn't the star of the show, that the audiences *were* enjoying him, but were *there* to see the Miracles and Mary Wells and the Marvelettes and Marvin Gaye. This made all the acts who had to go on after him, and who were running late as a result, furious at him -- especially since one aspect of Wonder's blindness was that his circadian rhythms weren't regulated by sunlight in the same way that the sighted members of the tour's were. He would often wake up the entire tour bus by playing his harmonica at two or three in the morning, while they were all trying to sleep. Soon Berry Gordy insisted that Clarence Paul be on stage with Wonder throughout his performance, ready to drag him off stage, so that he wouldn't have to come out onto the stage to do it. But one of the first times he had done this had been on one of the very first Motortown Revue shows, before any of his records had come out. There he'd done a performance of "Fingertips", playing the flute part on harmonica rather than only playing bongos throughout as he had on the studio version -- leaving the percussion to Marvin Gaye, who was playing drums for Wonder's set: [Excerpt: Little Stevie Wonder, "Fingertips (Parts 1 & 2)"] But he'd extended the song with a little bit of call-and-response vocalising: [Excerpt: Little Stevie Wonder, "Fingertips (Parts 1 & 2)"] After the long performance ended, Clarence Paul dragged Wonder off-stage and the MC asked the audience to give him a round of applause -- but then Stevie came running back on and carried on playing: [Excerpt: Little Stevie Wonder, "Fingertips (Parts 1 & 2)"] By this point, though, the musicians had started to change over -- Mary Wells, who was on after Wonder, was using different musicians from his, and some of her players were already on stage. You can hear Joe Swift, who was playing bass for Wells, asking what key he was meant to be playing in: [Excerpt: Little Stevie Wonder, "Fingertips (Parts 1 & 2)"] Eventually, after six and a half minutes, they got Wonder off stage, but that performance became the two sides of Wonder's next single, with "Fingertips Part 2", the part with the ad lib singing and the false ending, rather than the instrumental part one, being labelled as the side the DJs should play. When it was released, the song started a slow climb up the charts, and by August 1963, three months after it came out, it was at number one -- only the second ever Motown number one, and the first ever live single to get there. Not only that, but Motown released a live album -- Recorded Live, the Twelve-Year-Old Genius (though as many people point out he was thirteen when it was released -- he was twelve when it was recorded though) and that made number one on the albums chart, becoming the first Motown album ever to do so. They followed up "Fingertips" with a similar sounding track, "Workout, Stevie, Workout", which made number thirty-three. After that, his albums -- though not yet his singles -- started to be released as by "Stevie Wonder" with no "Little" -- he'd had a bit of a growth spurt and his voice was breaking, and so marketing him as a child prodigy was not going to work much longer and they needed to transition him into a star with adult potential. In the Motown of 1963 that meant cutting an album of standards, because the belief at the time in Motown was that the future for their entertainers was doing show tunes at the Copacabana. But for some reason the audience who had wanted an R&B harmonica instrumental with call-and-response improvised gospel-influenced yelling was not in the mood for a thirteen year old singing "Put on a Happy Face" and "When You Wish Upon a Star", and especially not when the instrumental tracks were recorded in a key that suited him at age twelve but not thirteen, so he was clearly straining. "Fingertips" being a massive hit also meant Stevie was now near the top of the bill on the Motortown Revue when it went on its second tour. But this actually put him in a precarious position. When he had been down at the bottom of the bill and unknown, nobody expected anything from him, and he was following other minor acts, so when he was surprisingly good the audiences went wild. Now, near the top of the bill, he had to go on after Marvin Gaye, and he was not nearly so impressive in that context. The audiences were polite enough, but not in the raptures he was used to. Although Stevie could still beat Gaye in some circumstances. At Motown staff parties, Berry Gordy would always have a contest where he'd pit two artists against each other to see who could win the crowd over, something he thought instilled a fun and useful competitive spirit in his artists. They'd alternate songs, two songs each, and Gordy would decide on the winner based on audience response. For the 1963 Motown Christmas party, it was Stevie versus Marvin. Wonder went first, with "Workout, Stevie, Workout", and was apparently impressive, but then Gaye topped him with a version of "Hitch-Hike". So Stevie had to top that, and apparently did, with a hugely extended version of "I Call it Pretty Music", reworked in the Ray Charles style he'd used for "Fingertips". So Marvin Gaye had to top that with the final song of the contest, and he did, performing "Stubborn Kind of Fellow": [Excerpt: Marvin Gaye, "Stubborn Kind of Fellow"] And he was great. So great, it turned the crowd against him. They started booing, and someone in the audience shouted "Marvin, you should be ashamed of yourself, taking advantage of a little blind kid!" The crowd got so hostile Berry Gordy had to stop the performance and end the party early. He never had another contest like that again. There were other problems, as well. Wonder had been assigned a tutor, a young man named Ted Hull, who began to take serious control over his life. Hull was legally blind, so could teach Wonder using Braille, but unlike Wonder had some sight -- enough that he was even able to get a drivers' license and a co-pilot license for planes. Hull was put in loco parentis on most of Stevie's tours, and soon became basically inseparable from him, but this caused a lot of problems, not least because Hull was a conservative white man, while almost everyone else at Motown was Black, and Stevie was socially liberal and on the side of the civil rights and anti-Vietnam movements. Hull started to collaborate on songwriting with Wonder, which most people at Motown were OK with but which now seems like a serious conflict of interest, and he also started calling himself Stevie's "manager" -- which did *not* impress the people at Motown, who had their own conflict of interest because with Stevie, like with all their artists, they were his management company and agents as well as his record label and publishers. Motown grudgingly tolerated Hull, though, mostly because he was someone they could pass Lula Mae Hardaway to to deal with her complaints. Stevie's mother was not very impressed with the way that Motown were handling her son, and would make her opinion known to anyone who would listen. Hull and Hardaway did not get on at all, but he could be relied on to save the Gordy family members from having to deal with her. Wonder was sent over to Europe for Christmas 1963, to perform shows at the Paris Olympia and do some British media appearances. But both his mother and Hull had come along, and their clear dislike for each other was making him stressed. He started to get pains in his throat whenever he sang -- pains which everyone assumed were a stress reaction to the unhealthy atmosphere that happened whenever Hull and his mother were in the same room together, but which later turned out to be throat nodules that required surgery. Because of this, his singing was generally not up to standard, which meant he was moved to a less prominent place on the bill, which in turn led to his mother accusing the Gordy family of being against him and trying to stop him becoming a star. Wonder started to take her side and believe that Motown were conspiring against him, and at one point he even "accidentally" dropped a bottle of wine on Ted Hull's foot, breaking one of his toes, because he saw Hull as part of the enemy that was Motown. Before leaving for those shows, he had recorded the album he later considered the worst of his career. While he was now just plain Stevie on albums, he wasn't for his single releases, or in his first film appearance, where he was still Little Stevie Wonder. Berry Gordy was already trying to get a foot in the door in Hollywood -- by the end of the decade Motown would be moving from Detroit to LA -- and his first real connections there were with American International Pictures, the low-budget film-makers who have come up a lot in connection with the LA scene. AIP were the producers of the successful low-budget series of beach party films, which combined appearances by teen heartthrobs Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello in swimsuits with cameo appearances by old film stars fallen on hard times, and with musical performances by bands like the Bobby Fuller Four. There would be a couple of Motown connections to these films -- most notably, the Supremes would do the theme tune for Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine -- but Muscle Beach Party was to be the first. Most of the music for Muscle Beach Party was written by Brian Wilson, Roger Christian, and Gary Usher, as one might expect for a film about surfing, and was performed by Dick Dale and the Del-Tones, the film's major musical guests, with Annette, Frankie, and Donna Loren [pron Lorren] adding vocals, on songs like "Muscle Bustle": [Excerpt: Donna Loren with Dick Dale and the Del-Tones, "Muscle Bustle"] The film followed the formula in every way -- it also had a cameo appearance by Peter Lorre, his last film appearance before his death, and it featured Little Stevie Wonder playing one of the few songs not written by the surf and car writers, a piece of nothing called "Happy Street". Stevie also featured in the follow-up, Bikini Beach, which came out a little under four months later, again doing a single number, "Happy Feelin'". To cash in on his appearances in these films, and having tried releasing albums of Little Stevie as jazz multi-instrumentalist, Ray Charles tribute act, live soulman and Andy Williams-style crooner, they now decided to see if they could sell him as a surf singer. Or at least, as Motown's idea of a surf singer, which meant a lot of songs about the beach and the sea -- mostly old standards like "Red Sails in the Sunset" and "Ebb Tide" -- backed by rather schlocky Wrecking Crew arrangements. And this is as good a place as any to take on one of the bits of disinformation that goes around about Motown. I've addressed this before, but it's worth repeating here in slightly more detail. Carol Kaye, one of the go-to Wrecking Crew bass players, is a known credit thief, and claims to have played on hundreds of records she didn't -- claims which too many people take seriously because she is a genuine pioneer and was for a long time undercredited on many records she *did* play on. In particular, she claims to have played on almost all the classic Motown hits that James Jamerson of the Funk Brothers played on, like the title track for this episode, and she claims this despite evidence including notarised statements from everyone involved in the records, the release of session recordings that show producers talking to the Funk Brothers, and most importantly the evidence of the recordings themselves, which have all the characteristics of the Detroit studio and sound like the Funk Brothers playing, and have absolutely nothing in common, sonically, with the records the Wrecking Crew played on at Gold Star, Western, and other LA studios. The Wrecking Crew *did* play on a lot of Motown records, but with a handful of exceptions, mostly by Brenda Holloway, the records they played on were quickie knock-off album tracks and potboiler albums made to tie in with film or TV work -- soundtracks to TV specials the acts did, and that kind of thing. And in this case, the Wrecking Crew played on the entire Stevie at the Beach album, including the last single to be released as by "Little Stevie Wonder", "Castles in the Sand", which was arranged by Jack Nitzsche: [Excerpt: Little Stevie Wonder, "Castles in the Sand"] Apparently the idea of surfin' Stevie didn't catch on any more than that of swingin' Stevie had earlier. Indeed, throughout 1964 and 65 Motown seem to have had less than no idea what they were doing with Stevie Wonder, and he himself refers to all his recordings from this period as an embarrassment, saving particular scorn for the second single from Stevie at the Beach, "Hey Harmonica Man", possibly because that, unlike most of his other singles around this point, was a minor hit, reaching number twenty-nine on the charts. Motown were still pushing Wonder hard -- he even got an appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show in May 1964, only the second Motown act to appear on it after the Marvelettes -- but Wonder was getting more and more unhappy with the decisions they were making. He loathed the Stevie at the Beach album -- the records he'd made earlier, while patchy and not things he'd chosen, were at least in some way related to his musical interests. He *did* love jazz, and he *did* love Ray Charles, and he *did* love old standards, and the records were made by his friend Clarence Paul and with the studio musicians he'd grown to know in Detroit. But Stevie at the Beach was something that was imposed on Clarence Paul from above, it was cut with unfamiliar musicians, Stevie thought the films he was appearing in were embarrassing, and he wasn't even having much commercial success, which was the whole point of these compromises. He started to get more rebellious against Paul in the studio, though many of these decisions weren't made by Paul, and he would complain to anyone who would listen that if he was just allowed to do the music he wanted to sing, the way he wanted to sing it, he would have more hits. But for nine months he did basically no singing other than that Ed Sullivan Show appearance -- he had to recover from the operation to remove the throat nodules. When he did return to the studio, the first single he cut remained unreleased, and while some stuff from the archives was released between the start of 1964 and March 1965, the first single he recorded and released after the throat nodules, "Kiss Me Baby", which came out in March, was a complete flop. That single was released to coincide with the first Motown tour of Europe, which we looked at in the episode on "Stop! In the Name of Love", and which was mostly set up to promote the Supremes, but which also featured Martha and the Vandellas, the Miracles, and the Temptations. Even though Stevie had not had a major hit in eighteen months by this point, he was still brought along on the tour, the only solo artist to be included -- at this point Gordy thought that solo artists looked outdated compared to vocal groups, in a world dominated by bands, and so other solo artists like Marvin Gaye weren't invited. This was a sign that Gordy was happier with Stevie than his recent lack of chart success might suggest. One of the main reasons that Gordy had been in two minds about him was that he'd had no idea if Wonder would still be able to sing well after his voice broke. But now, as he was about to turn fifteen, his adult voice had more or less stabilised, and Gordy knew that he was capable of having a long career, if they just gave him the proper material. But for now his job on the tour was to do his couple of hits, smile, and be on the lower rungs of the ladder. But even that was still a prominent place to be given the scaled-down nature of this bill compared to the Motortown Revues. While the tour was in England, for example, Dusty Springfield presented a TV special focusing on all the acts on the tour, and while the Supremes were the main stars, Stevie got to do two songs, and also took part in the finale, a version of "Mickey's Monkey" led by Smokey Robinson but with all the performers joining in, with Wonder getting a harmonica solo: [Excerpt: Smokey Robinson and the Motown acts, "Mickey's Monkey"] Sadly, there was one aspect of the trip to the UK that was extremely upsetting for Wonder. Almost all the media attention he got -- which was relatively little, as he wasn't a Supreme -- was about his blindness, and one reporter in particular convinced him that there was an operation he could have to restore his sight, but that Motown were preventing him from finding out about it in order to keep his gimmick going. He was devastated about this, and then further devastated when Ted Hull finally convinced him that it wasn't true, and that he'd been lied to. Meanwhile other newspapers were reporting that he *could* see, and that he was just feigning blindness to boost his record sales. After the tour, a live recording of Wonder singing the blues standard "High Heeled Sneakers" was released as a single, and barely made the R&B top thirty, and didn't hit the top forty on the pop charts. Stevie's initial contract with Motown was going to expire in the middle of 1966, so there was a year to get him back to a point where he was having the kind of hits that other Motown acts were regularly getting at this point. Otherwise, it looked like his career might end by the time he was sixteen. The B-side to "High Heeled Sneakers" was another duet with Clarence Paul, who dominates the vocal sound for much of it -- a version of Willie Nelson's country classic "Funny How Time Slips Away": [Excerpt: Stevie Wonder and Clarence Paul, "Funny How Time Slips Away"] There are a few of these duet records scattered through Wonder's early career -- we'll hear another one a little later -- and they're mostly dismissed as Paul trying to muscle his way into a revival of his own recording career as an artist, and there may be some truth in that. But they're also a natural extension of the way the two of them worked in the studio. Motown didn't have the facilities to give Wonder Braille lyric sheets, and Paul didn't trust him to be able to remember the lyrics, so often when they made a record, Paul would be just off-mic, reciting the lyrics to Wonder fractionally ahead of him singing them. So it was more or less natural that this dynamic would leak out onto records, but not everyone saw it that way. But at the same time, there has been some suggestion that Paul was among those manoeuvring to get rid of Wonder from Motown as soon as his contract was finished -- despite the fact that Wonder was the only act Paul had worked on any big hits for. Either way, Paul and Wonder were starting to chafe at working with each other in the studio, and while Paul remained his on-stage musical director, the opportunity to work on Wonder's singles for what would surely be his last few months at Motown was given to Hank Cosby and Sylvia Moy. Cosby was a saxophone player and staff songwriter who had been working with Wonder and Paul for years -- he'd co-written "Fingertips" and several other tracks -- while Moy was a staff songwriter who was working as an apprentice to Cosby. Basically, at this point, nobody else wanted the job of writing for Wonder, and as Moy was having no luck getting songs cut by any other artists and her career was looking about as dead as Wonder's, they started working together. Wonder was, at this point, full of musical ideas but with absolutely no discipline. He's said in interviews that at this point he was writing a hundred and fifty songs a month, but these were often not full songs -- they were fragments, hooks, or a single verse, or a few lines, which he would pass on to Moy, who would turn his ideas into structured songs that fit the Motown hit template, usually with the assistance of Cosby. Then Cosby would come up with an arrangement, and would co-produce with Mickey Stevenson. The first song they came up with in this manner was a sign of how Wonder was looking outside the world of Motown to the rock music that was starting to dominate the US charts -- but which was itself inspired by Motown music. We heard in the last episode on the Rolling Stones how "Nowhere to Run" by the Vandellas: [Excerpt: Martha and the Vandellas, "Nowhere to Run"] had inspired the Stones' "Satisfaction": [Excerpt: The Rolling Stones, "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction"] And Wonder in turn was inspired by "Satisfaction" to come up with his own song -- though again, much of the work making it into an actual finished song was done by Sylvia Moy. They took the four-on-the-floor beat and basic melody of "Satisfaction" and brought it back to Motown, where those things had originated -- though they hadn't originated with Stevie, and this was his first record to sound like a Motown record in the way we think of those things. As a sign of how, despite the way these stories are usually told, the histories of rock and soul were completely and complexly intertwined, that four-on-the-floor beat itself was a conscious attempt by Holland, Dozier, and Holland to appeal to white listeners -- on the grounds that while Black people generally clapped on the backbeat, white people didn't, and so having a four-on-the-floor beat wouldn't throw them off. So Cosby, Moy, and Wonder, in trying to come up with a "Satisfaction" soundalike were Black Motown writers trying to copy a white rock band trying to copy Black Motown writers trying to appeal to a white rock audience. Wonder came up with the basic chorus hook, which was based around a lot of current slang terms he was fond of: [Excerpt: Stevie Wonder, "Uptight"] Then Moy, with some assistance from Cosby, filled it out into a full song. Lyrically, it was as close to social comment as Motown had come at this point -- Wonder was, like many of his peers in soul music, interested in the power of popular music to make political statements, and he would become a much more political artist in the next few years, but at this point it's still couched in the acceptable boy-meets-girl romantic love song that Motown specialised in. But in 1965 a story about a boy from the wrong side of the tracks dating a rich girl inevitably raised the idea that the boy and girl might be of different races -- a subject that was very, very, controversial in the mid-sixties. [Excerpt: Stevie Wonder, "Uptight"] "Uptight" made number three on the pop charts and number one on the R&B charts, and saved Stevie Wonder's career. And this is where, for all that I've criticised Motown in this episode, their strategy paid off. Mickey Stevenson talked a lot about how in the early sixties Motown didn't give up on artists -- if someone had potential but was not yet having hits or finding the right approach, they would keep putting out singles in a holding pattern, trying different things and seeing what would work, rather than toss them aside. It had already worked for the Temptations and the Supremes, and now it had worked for Stevie Wonder. He would be the last beneficiary of this policy -- soon things would change, and Motown would become increasingly focused on trying to get the maximum returns out of a small number of stars, rather than building careers for a range of artists -- but it paid off brilliantly for Wonder. "Uptight" was such a reinvention of Wonder's career, sound, and image that many of his fans consider it the real start of his career -- everything before it only counting as prologue. The follow-up, "Nothing's Too Good For My Baby", was an "Uptight" soundalike, and as with Motown soundalike follow-ups in general, it didn't do quite as well, but it still made the top twenty on the pop chart and got to number four on the R&B chart. Stevie Wonder was now safe at Motown, and so he was going to do something no other Motown act had ever done before -- he was going to record a protest song and release it as a single. For about a year he'd been ending his shows with a version of Bob Dylan's "Blowin' in the Wind", sung as a duet with Clarence Paul, who was still his on stage bandleader even though the two weren't working together in the studio as much. Wonder brought that into the studio, and recorded it with Paul back as the producer, and as his duet partner. Berry Gordy wasn't happy with the choice of single, but Wonder pushed, and Gordy knew that Wonder was on a winning streak and gave in, and so "Blowin' in the Wind" became Stevie Wonder's next single: [Excerpt: Stevie Wonder and Clarence Paul, "Blowin' in the Wind"] "Blowin' in the Wind" made the top ten, and number one on the R&B charts, and convinced Gordy that there was some commercial potential in going after the socially aware market, and over the next few years Motown would start putting out more and more political records. Because Motown convention was to have the producer of a hit record produce the next hit for that artist, and keep doing so until they had a flop, Paul was given the opportunity to produce the next single. "A Place in the Sun" was another ambiguously socially-aware song, co-written by the only white writer on Motown staff, Ron Miller, who happened to live in the same building as Stevie's tutor-cum-manager Ted Hull. "A Place in the Sun" was a pleasant enough song, inspired by "A Change is Gonna Come", but with a more watered-down, generic, message of hope, but the record was lifted by Stevie's voice, and again made the top ten. This meant that Paul and Miller, and Miller's writing partner Bryan Mills, got to work on his next two singles -- his 1966 Christmas song "Someday at Christmas", which made number twenty-four, and the ballad "Travellin' Man" which made thirty-two. The downward trajectory with Paul meant that Wonder was soon working with other producers again. Harvey Fuqua and Johnny Bristol cut another Miller and Mills song with him, "Yester-Me, Yester-You, Yesterday": [Excerpt: Stevie Wonder, "Yester-Me, Yester-You, Yesterday"] But that was left in the can, as not good enough to release, and Stevie was soon back working with Cosby. The two of them had come up with an instrumental together in late 1966, but had not been able to come up with any words for it, so they played it for Smokey Robinson, who said their instrumental sounded like circus music, and wrote lyrics about a clown: [Excerpt: The Miracles, "The Tears of a Clown"] The Miracles cut that as album filler, but it was released three years later as a single and became the Miracles' only number one hit with Smokey Robinson as lead singer. So Wonder and Cosby definitely still had their commercial touch, even if their renewed collaboration with Moy, who they started working with again, took a while to find a hit. To start with, Wonder returned to the idea of taking inspiration from a hit by a white British group, as he had with "Uptight". This time it was the Beatles, and the track "Michelle", from the Rubber Soul album: [Excerpt: The Beatles, "Michelle"] Wonder took the idea of a song with some French lyrics, and a melody with some similarities to the Beatles song, and came up with "My Cherie Amour", which Cosby and Moy finished off. [Excerpt: Stevie Wonder, "My Cherie Amour"] Gordy wouldn't allow that to be released, saying it was too close to "Michelle" and people would think it was a rip-off, and it stayed in the vaults for several years. Cosby also produced a version of a song Ron Miller had written with Orlando Murden, "For Once in My Life", which pretty much every other Motown act was recording versions of -- the Four Tops, the Temptations, Billy Eckstine, Martha and the Vandellas and Barbra McNair all cut versions of it in 1967, and Gordy wouldn't let Wonder's version be put out either. So they had to return to the drawing board. But in truth, Stevie Wonder was not the biggest thing worrying Berry Gordy at this point. He was dealing with problems in the Supremes, which we'll look at in a future episode -- they were about to get rid of Florence Ballard, and thus possibly destroy one of the biggest acts in the world, but Gordy thought that if they *didn't* get rid of her they would be destroying themselves even more certainly. Not only that, but Gordy was in the midst of a secret affair with Diana Ross, Holland, Dozier, and Holland were getting restless about their contracts, and his producers kept bringing him unlistenable garbage that would never be a hit. Like Norman Whitfield, insisting that this track he'd cut with Marvin Gaye, "I Heard it Through the Grapevine", should be a single. Gordy had put his foot down about that one too, just like he had about "My Cherie Amour", and wouldn't allow it to be released. Meanwhile, many of the smaller acts on the label were starting to feel like they were being ignored by Gordy, and had formed what amounted to a union, having regular meetings at Clarence Paul's house to discuss how they could pressure the label to put the same effort into their careers as into those of the big stars. And the Funk Brothers, the musicians who played on all of Motown's hits, were also getting restless -- they contributed to the arrangements, and they did more for the sound of the records than half the credited producers; why weren't they getting production credits and royalties? Harvey Fuqua had divorced Gordy's sister Gwen, and so became persona non grata at the label and was in the process of leaving Motown, and so was Mickey Stevenson, Gordy's second in command, because Gordy wouldn't give him any stock in the company. And Detroit itself was on edge. The crime rate in the city had started to go up, but even worse, the *perception* of crime was going up. The Detroit News had been running a campaign to whip up fear, which it called its Secret Witness campaign, and running constant headlines about rapes, murders, and muggings. These in turn had led to increased calls for more funds for the police, calls which inevitably contained a strong racial element and at least implicitly linked the perceived rise in crime to the ongoing Civil Rights movement. At this point the police in Detroit were ninety-three percent white, even though Detroit's population was over thirty percent Black. The Mayor and Police Commissioner were trying to bring in some modest reforms, but they weren't going anywhere near fast enough for the Black population who felt harassed and attacked by the police, but were still going too fast for the white people who were being whipped up into a state of terror about supposedly soft-on-crime policies, and for the police who felt under siege and betrayed by the politicians. And this wasn't the only problem affecting the city, and especially affecting Black people. Redlining and underfunded housing projects meant that the large Black population was being crammed into smaller and smaller spaces with fewer local amenities. A few Black people who were lucky enough to become rich -- many of them associated with Motown -- were able to move into majority-white areas, but that was just leading to white flight, and to an increase in racial tensions. The police were on edge after the murder of George Overman Jr, the son of a policeman, and though they arrested the killers that was just another sign that they weren't being shown enough respect. They started organising "blu flu"s -- the police weren't allowed to strike, so they'd claim en masse that they were off sick, as a protest against the supposed soft-on-crime administration. Meanwhile John Sinclair was organising "love-ins", gatherings of hippies at which new bands like the MC5 played, which were being invaded by gangs of bikers who were there to beat up the hippies. And the Detroit auto industry was on its knees -- working conditions had got bad enough that the mostly Black workforce organised a series of wildcat strikes. All in all, Detroit was looking less and less like somewhere that Berry Gordy wanted to stay, and the small LA subsidiary of Motown was rapidly becoming, in his head if nowhere else, the more important part of the company, and its future. He was starting to think that maybe he should leave all these ungrateful people behind in their dangerous city, and move the parts of the operation that actually mattered out to Hollywood. Stevie Wonder was, of course, one of the parts that mattered, but the pressure was on in 1967 to come up with a hit as big as his records from 1965 and early 66, before he'd been sidetracked down the ballad route. The song that was eventually released was one on which Stevie's mother, Lula Mae Hardaway, had a co-writing credit: [Excerpt: Stevie Wonder, "I Was Made to Love Her"] "I Was Made to Love Her" was inspired by Wonder's first love, a girl from the same housing projects as him, and he talked about the song being special to him because it was true, saying it "kind of speaks of my first love to a girl named Angie, who was a very beautiful woman... Actually, she was my third girlfriend but my first love. I used to call Angie up and, like, we would talk and say, 'I love you, I love you,' and we'd talk and we'd both go to sleep on the phone. And this was like from Detroit to California, right? You know, mother said, 'Boy, what you doing - get off the phone!' Boy, I tell you, it was ridiculous." But while it was inspired by her, like with many of the songs from this period, much of the lyric came from Moy -- her mother grew up in Arkansas, and that's why the lyric started "I was born in Little Rock", as *her* inspiration came from stories told by her parents. But truth be told, the lyrics weren't particularly detailed or impressive, just a standard story of young love. Rather what mattered in the record was the music. The song was structured differently from many Motown records, including most of Wonder's earlier ones. Most Motown records had a huge amount of dynamic variation, and a clear demarcation between verse and chorus. Even a record like "Dancing in the Street", which took most of its power from the tension and release caused by spending most of the track on one chord, had the release that came with the line "All we need is music", and could be clearly subdivided into different sections. "I Was Made to Love Her" wasn't like that. There was a tiny section which functioned as a middle eight -- and which cover versions like the one by the Beach Boys later that year tend to cut out, because it disrupts the song's flow: [Excerpt: Stevie Wonder, "I Was Made to Love Her"] But other than that, the song has no verse or chorus, no distinct sections, it's just a series of lyrical couplets over the same four chords, repeating over and over, an incessant groove that could really go on indefinitely: [Excerpt: Stevie Wonder, "I Was Made to Love Her"] This is as close as Motown had come at this point to the new genre of funk, of records that were just staying with one groove throughout. It wasn't a funk record, not yet -- it was still a pop-soul record, But what made it extraordinary was the bass line, and this is why I had to emphasise earlier that this was a record by the Funk Brothers, not the Wrecking Crew, no matter how much some Crew members may claim otherwise. As on most of Cosby's sessions, James Jamerson was given free reign to come up with his own part with little guidance, and what he came up with is extraordinary. This was at a time when rock and pop basslines were becoming a little more mobile, thanks to the influence of Jamerson in Detroit, Brian Wilson in LA, and Paul McCartney in London. But for the most part, even those bass parts had been fairly straightforward technically -- often inventive, but usually just crotchets and quavers, still keeping rhythm along with the drums rather than in dialogue with them, roaming free rhythmically. Jamerson had started to change his approach, inspired by the change in studio equipment. Motown had upgraded to eight-track recording in 1965, and once he'd become aware of the possibilities, and of the greater prominence that his bass parts could have if they were recorded on their own track, Jamerson had become a much busier player. Jamerson was a jazz musician by inclination, and so would have been very aware of John Coltrane's legendary "sheets of sound", in which Coltrane would play fast arpeggios and scales, in clusters of five and seven notes, usually in semiquaver runs (though sometimes in even smaller fractions -- his solo in Miles Davis' "Straight, No Chaser" is mostly semiquavers but has a short passage in hemidemisemiquavers): [Excerpt: Miles Davis, "Straight, No Chaser"] Jamerson started to adapt the "sheets of sound" style to bass playing, treating the bass almost as a jazz solo instrument -- though unlike Coltrane he was also very, very concerned with creating something that people could tap their feet to. Much like James Brown, Jamerson was taking jazz techniques and repurposing them for dance music. The most notable example of that up to this point had been in the Four Tops' "Bernadette", where there are a few scuffling semiquaver runs thrown in, and which is a much more fluid part than most of his playing previously: [Excerpt: The Four Tops, "Bernadette"] But on "Bernadette", Jamerson had been limited by Holland, Dozier, and Holland, who liked him to improvise but around a framework they created. Cosby, on the other hand, because he had been a Funk Brother himself, was much more aware of the musicians' improvisational abilities, and would largely give them a free hand. This led to a truly remarkable bass part on "I Was Made to Love Her", which is somewhat buried in the single mix, but Marcus Miller did an isolated recreation of the part for the accompanying CD to a book on Jamerson, Standing in the Shadows of Motown, and listening to that you can hear just how inventive it is: [Excerpt: Marcus Miller, "I Was Made to Love Her"] This was exciting stuff -- though much less so for the touring musicians who went on the road with the Motown revues while Jamerson largely stayed in Detroit recording. Jamerson's family would later talk about him coming home grumbling because complaints from the touring musicians had been brought to him, and he'd been asked to play less difficult parts so they'd find it easier to replicate them on stage. "I Was Made to Love Her" wouldn't exist without Stevie Wonder, Hank Cosby, Sylvia Moy, or Lula Mae Hardaway, but it's James Jamerson's record through and through: [Excerpt: Stevie Wonder, "I Was Made to Love Her"] It went to number two on the charts, sat between "Light My Fire" at number one, and "All You Need is Love" at number three, with the Beatles song soon to overtake it and make number one itself. But within a few weeks of "I Was Made to Love Her" reaching its chart peak, things in Detroit would change irrevocably. On the 23rd of July, the police busted an illegal drinking den. They thought they were only going to get about twenty-five people there, but there turned out to be a big party on. They tried to arrest seventy-four people, but their wagon wouldn't fit them all in so they had to call reinforcements and make the arrestees wait around til more wagons arrived. A crowd of hundreds gathered while they were waiting. Someone threw a brick at a squad car window, a rumour went round that the police had bayonetted someone, and soon the city was in flames. Riots lasted for days, with people burning down and looting businesses, but what really made the situation bad was the police's overreaction. They basically started shooting at young Black men, using them as target practice, and later claiming they were snipers, arsonists, and looters -- but there were cases like the Algiers Motel incident, where the police raided a motel where several Black men, including the members of the soul group The Dramatics, were hiding out along with a few white women. The police sexually assaulted the women, and then killed three of the men for associating with white women, in what was described as a "lynching with bullets". The policemen in question were later acquitted of all charges. The National Guard were called in, as were Federal troops -- the 82nd Airborne Division, and the 101st Airborne from Clarksville, the division in which Jimi Hendrix had recently served. After four days of rioting, one of the bloodiest riots in US history was at an end, with forty-three people dead (of whom thirty-three were Black and only one was a policeman). Official counts had 1,189 people injured, and over 7,200 arrests, almost all of them of Black people. A lot of the histories written later say that Black-owned businesses were spared during the riots, but that wasn't really the case. For example, Joe's Record Shop, owned by Joe Von Battle, who had put out the first records by C.L. Franklin and his daughter Aretha, was burned down, destroying not only the stock of records for sale but the master tapes of hundreds of recordings of Black artists, many of them unreleased and so now lost forever. John Lee Hooker, one of the artists whose music Von Battle had released, soon put out a song, "The Motor City is Burning", about the events: [Excerpt: John Lee Hooker, "The Motor City is Burning"] But one business that did remain unburned was Motown, with the Hitsville studio going untouched by flames and unlooted. Motown legend has this being down to the rioters showing respect for the studio that had done so much for Detroit, but it seems likely to have just been luck. Although Motown wasn't completely unscathed -- a National Guard tank fired a shell through the building, leaving a gigantic hole, which Berry Gordy saw as soon as he got back from a business trip he'd been on during the rioting. That was what made Berry Gordy decide once and for all that things needed to change. Motown owned a whole row of houses near the studio, which they used as additional office space and for everything other than the core business of making records. Gordy immediately started to sell them, and move the admin work into temporary rented space. He hadn't announced it yet, and it would be a few years before the move was complete, but from that moment on, the die was cast. Motown was going to leave Detroit and move to Hollywood.
Bradley Akubuiro's parents raised him to have a deep and strong work ethic. His father came to the United States from Nigeria at the age of 17 and worked to put himself through school. As Bradley describes, both about his father as well as about many people in extremely impoverished parts of the world, such individuals develop a strong resilience and wonderful spirit. Bradley has led media relations and/or public affairs for Fortune 50 companies including Boeing as it returned the grounded 737 MAX to service and United Technologies through a series of mergers that resulted in the creation of Raytheon Technologies. He also served as an advisor to Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. and to the Republic of Liberia post-civil war. Today Bradley is a partner at Bully Pulpit Interactive, an advisory firm founded by leaders of the Obama-Biden campaign. As you will see, Bradley is a wonderful and engaging storyteller. He weaves into his stories for us lessons about leadership and good corporate communications. His spirit is refreshing in our world today where we see so much controversy and unnecessary bickering. I look forward to your comments on this episode. About the Guest: Bradley is a partner at Bully Pulpit Interactive, an advisory firm founded by leaders of the Obama-Biden campaign. He focuses on corporate reputation, executive communications, and high visibility crisis management and media relations efforts, as well as equity, diversity, and inclusion matters for clients. Bradley has led media relations and/or public affairs for Fortune 50 companies including Boeing as it returned the grounded 737 MAX to service and United Technologies through a series of mergers that resulted in the creation of Raytheon Technologies and has also served as an advisor to Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. and to the Republic of Liberia post-civil war. A nationally recognized expert in his field, Bradley has been quoted by outlets such as The Wall Street Journal, CNBC, and The Washington Post, and his columns have been featured in Business Insider, Forbes, and Inc. Magazine, where he is a regular contributor. Bradley is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, where he currently sits on the Board of Advisers and serves as an adjunct member of the faculty. About the Host: Michael Hingson is a New York Times best-selling author, international lecturer, and Chief Vision Officer for accessiBe. Michael, blind since birth, survived the 9/11 attacks with the help of his guide dog Roselle. This story is the subject of his best-selling book, Thunder Dog. Michael gives over 100 presentations around the world each year speaking to influential groups such as Exxon Mobile, AT&T, Federal Express, Scripps College, Rutgers University, Children's Hospital, and the American Red Cross just to name a few. He is Ambassador for the National Braille Literacy Campaign for the National Federation of the Blind and also serves as Ambassador for the American Humane Association's 2012 Hero Dog Awards. https://michaelhingson.com https://www.facebook.com/michael.hingson.author.speaker/ https://twitter.com/mhingson https://www.youtube.com/user/mhingson https://www.linkedin.com/in/michaelhingson/ accessiBe Links https://accessibe.com/ https://www.youtube.com/c/accessiBe https://www.linkedin.com/company/accessibe/mycompany/ https://www.facebook.com/accessibe/ Thanks for listening! Thanks so much for listening to our podcast! If you enjoyed this episode and think that others could benefit from listening, please share it using the social media buttons on this page. Do you have some feedback or questions about this episode? Leave a comment in the section below! Subscribe to the podcast If you would like to get automatic updates of new podcast episodes, you can subscribe to the podcast on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher. You can also subscribe in your favorite podcast app. Leave us an Apple Podcasts review Ratings and reviews from our listeners are extremely valuable to us and greatly appreciated. They help our podcast rank higher on Apple Podcasts, which exposes our show to more awesome listeners like you. If you have a minute, please leave an honest review on Apple Podcasts. Transcription Notes Michael Hingson 00:00 Access Cast and accessiBe Initiative presents Unstoppable Mindset. The podcast where inclusion, diversity and the unexpected meet. Hi, I'm Michael Hingson, Chief Vision Officer for accessiBe and the author of the number one New York Times bestselling book, Thunder dog, the story of a blind man, his guide dog and the triumph of trust. Thanks for joining me on my podcast as we explore our own blinding fears of inclusion unacceptance and our resistance to change. We will discover the idea that no matter the situation, or the people we encounter, our own fears, and prejudices often are our strongest barriers to moving forward. The unstoppable mindset podcast is sponsored by accessiBe, that's a c c e s s i capital B e. Visit www.accessibe.com to learn how you can make your website accessible for persons with disabilities. And to help make the internet fully inclusive by the year 2025. Glad you dropped by we're happy to meet you and to have you here with us. Michael Hingson 01:21 Well, hi, everybody. Thank you for joining us on unstoppable mindset today, we have Bradley Akubuiro with us. Bradley is a partner in bully pulpit International. He'll tell us about that. But he's been involved in a variety of things dealing with corporate communications, and has had a lot of adventures. He deals with diversity, equity and inclusion. But most of all, before we started this, he had one question for me. And that is, how much fun are we going to have on this podcast? Well, that really is up to Bradley. So Bradley has some fun. Bradley Akubuiro 01:56 Michael, thank you so much for having me is is going to be a ton of fun. I'm really excited. Thanks for having me Michael Hingson 02:01 on. Well, you're you're absolutely welcome. And we're glad that you're here had a chance to learn about you. And we've had a chance to chat some. So why don't we start as often and Lewis Carroll would say at the beginning, and maybe tell me about you growing up and those kinds of things. Bradley Akubuiro 02:18 Yeah, I'd be happy to do that. And, you know, I think it would be remiss if I didn't start off talking about my parents a little bit before I talked about myself. My dad grew up in the Biafran war in Nigeria, Civil War, Nigeria. And you know, while he was going through school, they were bombing schools, and it wasn't safe for adults to be out. And so, you know, he was the guy in his family at six years old, who was taking crops from their plantation. They grew up maybe about six hours outside of Lagos, Nigeria, and was moving, you know, some of these crops two miles away, to sell in the marketplace. And you know, at a very early age was learning responsibility, not just for himself, but for the family. Michael Hingson 03:02 Wow. Which is something that more people should do. So what what all did he do? Or how did all that work out? Bradley Akubuiro 03:09 Yeah. Well, you know, this was a really interesting time in Nigeria's History, where you had a lot of folks who were in this circumstance, and my dad was a really hard worker, his parents were hard workers before him, his father was a pastor. And so he had a certain level of discipline and support in his household. But, you know, he knew that he had this kind of onus on him. So grew up at a time then where not only do you have this responsibility, but a big family, brothers and sisters to take care of. He was the guy who was chosen later, you know, flash forward a few years, to come to the United States, to be able to find an opportunity here in this country, and to be able to always hopefully, give back to his family. Michael Hingson 03:59 So he came, and How old was he? When he came here? Bradley Akubuiro 04:03 When he got to the States, he was about 17. So came to New York City, not a lot going on there. And, you know, he had to put himself through Michael Hingson 04:15 school. Did he know anyone? Or Was anyone sponsoring him? Or how did all that work? He had a little Bradley Akubuiro 04:20 bit of family here, but he had to find his own way, get a full time job at a gas station, and work to figure out what this country was all about, but also how to be successful here. Michael Hingson 04:32 Where did he stay when he got here then Bradley Akubuiro 04:36 got a little apartment up on the kind of Washington Heights Harlem area of New York, little hole in the wall and, you know, continue to work to pay that off while he was trying to pay off school. So not easy, but at the same time, you know, a really, really great opportunity for him to kind of start fresh and create some opportunity for himself and family. Michael Hingson 04:58 So did he tell him at least With a little bit of money, how did all that work? It's funny, he Bradley Akubuiro 05:04 asked that question. He did come with some, but it wasn't a lot. Let's start off there. But you know, what's interesting about that is, you know, he put himself through undergrad, put himself through a master's program, you know, and was doing a PhD program over at University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. And at Penn, he blew through his entire life savings and one semester. And so, you know, was on a great path. You studying engineering, and, you know, a semester and he's like, Oh, what am I going to do ended up going across the street to Drexel, where they were able to bring him in and give him a scholarship, as long as he was one a TA, which he really enjoyed doing. And he was able to put himself through the PhD. Michael Hingson 05:50 Wow. So he started there as a freshman then Bradley Akubuiro 05:55 started, so he went to several different schools started in New York. Yep, sorry, started in New York at Hunter College, did a master's program at Clark Atlanta University in Atlanta, and then came up to do his PhD at Penn. And then went to Drexel, and went to Drexel. Michael Hingson 06:12 He moved around how, how come? What, what took him to Atlanta, for example? Do you know? Bradley Akubuiro 06:18 Yeah, well, it was the opportunity. You know, one of the things that he had learned and had been instilled in him growing up, which he's passed on to me is, you follow the opportunity where it's and as long as you're not afraid to take that risk and take a chance on yourself and your future that will ultimately more often than not pay off in the end. And so he followed scholarship dollars, he followed the programs that would have an opportunity for him. And he went exactly where it took, Michael Hingson 06:45 and what were his degrees in. Bradley Akubuiro 06:47 So his master's degree was in chemistry, his PhD was chemical engineering. Wow. Yeah. What did he What did he do with that? So well, you know, the world was his oyster, I suppose, in some ways, but you know, he ended up you know, going into a couple of different companies started with Calgon, carbon and Pittsburgh, and spent a number of years there and on later on to Lucent Technologies, and fiber optics. And so, you know, he's moved on to a number of different companies, engineering roles, eventually got his MBA and has been, you know, employed a number of different places and continued over his career to work in a number of different geographies as well, whether it's like going to Pittsburgh, New Jersey, Atlanta, Massachusetts. They're now living in Rochester, New York, which I've never lived in. But it's a very charming place. It's, yeah. Michael Hingson 07:44 It is. It is a nice place. I've been there many times. Yeah. And for customers and so on, it's a fun place to go. Well, he obviously learned in a lot of ways, some might say the hard way, but he learned to value what was going on with him, because it was the only way he was going to be successful. So nothing was handed to him at all, was Bradley Akubuiro 08:10 it? That's right. He had a very strong family foundation. And he definitely learned a lot from his parents and from his family, and they were very close. So I think that he would say that's what was handed to him, but he certainly didn't give any get any leg up. Michael Hingson 08:26 Right. Well, that's a good thing to have handed to you, I guess. Well, how did he meet somebody from Gary, Indiana, which is a whole different culture. Bradley Akubuiro 08:36 Well, this becomes a love story pretty quickly. That's an article. Michael Hingson 08:42 You can embellish how you want. Bradley Akubuiro 08:46 Oh, my parents actually met somewhat serendipitously. They were at two different schools. My mom was going to school in Alabama, Alabama a&m. My dad was going to school at the time and Clark, Atlanta and Atlanta. So about four hours apart, Huntsville, Atlanta. My mom's roommate was dating my dad's roommate. And so my mom agreed to come with her roommate to go and visit her boyfriend at the time. She happened to meet this strapping young Nigerian man in Atlanta, and they ended up hitting it off and as fate would have it, the other two their respective movements didn't make the distance but they had a budding romance that ended up lasting now at this point several decades. Michael Hingson 09:37 Wow. So they're, they're still with us. Bradley Akubuiro 09:41 They're both still with us Michael Hingson 09:42 both going strong. That is, that is really cool. So what do you think you learn from them? Bradley Akubuiro 09:48 I learned a number of things. You know, I learned first of all, and you heard my father's story, resilience. He has learned to take whatever is thrown at been thrown at him. Be able to not only take it in stride, which I think is good, but more importantly, to turn it around and channel it and to use it to his advantage, no matter what that might be. And he's instilled that in me and my two sisters, two sisters, ones, older ones younger. And that's, that's really been important. You know, when it comes to my two parents, the things that they value a ton are education, family. And when you think about the world around you, how are you leaving it in a better place than you found it. And if you can really focus on those handful of things, then you are going to have a very fulfilling and successful life. And that's how he measured success. I've taken that away from them. Michael Hingson 10:41 He doesn't get better than that. And if you can, if you can say that I want to make a difference. And that I hope I've made at least a little difference. It doesn't get better than that does it? Bradley Akubuiro 10:53 That's exactly right. So then Michael Hingson 10:55 you came along. And we won't we won't put any value judgment on that. Bradley Akubuiro 11:02 Thank you for that we Michael Hingson 11:03 could have for Yeah, exactly. But actually, before I go to that, have they been back to visit Nigeria at all? Bradley Akubuiro 11:11 Yeah, absolutely. And unfortunately, the most recent time that my parents took a trip back was the passing of my grandmother, a handful of years ago. And so that brought them back. But, you know, one of the things that I'm hoping to do, and I haven't done it yet, is just spend some real time out there. I've got plenty of family that's still there. So go in and spend a little time in Nigeria that's longer than a quick in and out trip. I spent some time and we've talked about this before Michael, but in West Africa, generally in Liberia. And that was a great experience. But there's not quite like going back to where it all began with your family. Michael Hingson 11:49 No, it's still not home. Right. Well, so you you came along. And so what was it like growing up in that household and going to high school and all that? Bradley Akubuiro 12:03 Well, there's a couple ways to answer that. Go ahead. Well, let's put it this way, I we have a very close family bond. And so you know, when you think about the folks who have finished your senses, who laugh at your jokes, because they think it's funny, and if you hadn't told that joke, first, they probably would have told that joke, the kind of family we have. It's a great, great dynamic. And so I was very fortunate to have grown up in that household with parents who truly, truly embraced that that side. You know, it was also a tough household. You know, my parents were very strict, my father, especially coming from this immigrant mindset, and this Nigerian culture, I mentioned the value of education. What I didn't mention quite, but might have been a little bit implied, and I'll say it more explicitly is anything less than an A was entirely unacceptable. There were a number of times where I found myself on the wrong side of that. And, you know, we grew up in different times, as my parents were trying to provide the best life they could for us, and a number of different urban settings. And, you know, one, one period of life for me was particularly studying in high school, where, you know, the school district of Springfield, Massachusetts at a time graduated about 54% of the students that went through that system. And so you're thinking about one in two kids who don't make it out of high school, much less make it the college, much less have a successful and fulfilling career in life. And my father, especially, but of course, both my parents want us to do absolutely everything in their power to ensure that those would not be our statistics that we would be my sisters, and I would be able to have every tool at our disposal to be successful. And they work hard at that, despite the circumstances. Michael Hingson 14:08 So how were they when I'm sure it happened? It was discovered that maybe you had some gifts, but there were some things that you weren't necessarily as strong as other things. How did that work out for you? Bradley Akubuiro 14:21 I want to be very clear, the list of things that I wasn't quite as good at, especially in those days, was long enough to stun you. So you know, it we we work through it together, right? I think one of the things that I admire most about my parents now that I maybe didn't appreciate enough growing up was just the amount that they leaned in, and we're willing to be hands on and helping with our education. And so my father would give us times tables when we were in elementary school and make sure that we worked through them. And if we didn't get them quite right, we would do them again, and we do them again, and we do them again. And And I remember a time when I was in the fifth grade where my father had me up until 1am, doing math problems. And, you know, I was thinking to myself, I cannot imagine doing this with my kids, when I was at that age, and then I swore at that time that I never would, I'll tell you what my blood now I swear that I definitely will maybe not till 1am, I think there's probably a more reasonable time. But to be able to invest that level of effort into making sure that your kid has everything they need to be successful. I just have I admire the heck out of it. Michael Hingson 15:36 I remember a couple of times, I think one when I was oh seven or eight, when we were living in California, and going back to visit relatives in Chicago, or driving somewhere. And my dad said to me, and my brother who was two years older, you guys have to learn the times tables. And we spent time driving, just going through the times tables. And it took me a little while. And a couple of times, I tried a shortcut that messed me up. But eventually I got it all figured out. And he said, when you say the times tables correctly, we'll give you 50 cents. And they did when I got the time two times tables, right? They did. And also, I was learning algebra from him. My dad was an electronics engineer. And so he really worked because I didn't have books in braille early on until I was in the fourth grade, I had to study with them to a large degree. So he taught me a lot more than the schools were teaching little kids as it were. So I learned algebra early, and I learned to do it in my head, and still do. And in high school, it got me in trouble in my freshman year, because my math teacher said, Now whenever you're doing things, you have to show your work. Well, you know, I kept trying to tell her that, for me, showing my work in Braille isn't going to do you any good. I can tell you what I do and how I do it. And she wouldn't accept that and she was going to fail me literally fail me in math. Until one day I wrote out, I think one of the problems and I think just in case she took it and went somewhere where she could find somebody to read Braille. I wrote it out correctly. But I got to see an algebra one because of that one thing. By the way, after that, I never got below an A in math. She was insistent that you had to show your work, and wasn't flexible enough to recognize that there are a lot of ways to show your work. Oh, Bradley Akubuiro 17:35 yeah. Well, that's part of the challenge, and not to make this an entire commentary on our education system. But there are so many different ways to your point to get to the right answer. And I don't think there's nearly enough flexibility in our system in many cases, except for those who really, truly tried to find it and create that environment for their students. But at a at a you know, broader look, there isn't nearly enough flexibility to appreciate that we're going to have many different ways to get these answers. Michael Hingson 18:04 I think that really good teachers, and there are a lot of good teachers. But I think the really good teachers make that leap and allow for flexibility in what they do. Because they recognize everyone learns differently. But the big issue is, can you learn and can you demonstrate that you learned? Bradley Akubuiro 18:24 Yeah, well, that's what we're all striving for. Michael Hingson 18:27 It is I was pretty blessed going through school, especially in high school, a lot of the times, I would stay after school and extra period to study in the library because again, not everything was available so that we actually had people who would read material to me or give me information that was written on boards that I didn't get any other way. And usually, the teachers would come in, we would set up days and they would come in and give me tests. And what was fun about that was we would go through the tests fairly quickly and spend most of the hour chatting and I got to know a number of my teachers that way and that was so valuable for me. One of them especially Dick herbal Shimer, I still know and you know, he's going to be what 85 I think it is this year, and he will be at five I think August 28. We still keep in touch, he came to our wedding. And he tells me that I'm getting to be closer in age to him and I point out that I'll never be as old as he is. And he tries to convince me that mathematically I'm getting closer and I say 13 years is still 13 years. Bradley Akubuiro 19:35 Hmm, yeah, don't let them don't let them try to get you. That's Michael Hingson 19:39 right. It's not gonna work. Bradley Akubuiro 19:42 was gonna ask you if you had a favorite teacher because I feel like teachers, if you put together this for many years have such an incredible impact on you and how you see yourself. Michael Hingson 19:52 I remember a lot of things from a number of my teachers and I can tell you the names of most all of my teachers. I remember in my freshman year English, our teacher was a Mr. Wilson has actually Woodrow Wilson was his name was an older gentleman. And one day we were sitting in class and he was just talking about philosophy. And he's talking about people's ethics. And he said, and I remember it that, you know, a good example is, if you need to borrow a quarter from somebody, be sure you pay that quarterback, where does that come in English? But nevertheless, those are the kinds of things that he said, and other teachers said various things, and they stick with you. Bradley Akubuiro 20:36 Yeah, no, it's so true. I mean, for me, my favorite teacher was Darlene Kaffee. She was my fourth grade teacher, taught all kinds of, I mean, touch everything you learned in fourth grade. But the most important thing for me was, she gave me confidence in my writing ability. You know, I had always enjoyed writing, but I never really thought of myself as someone who could potentially be a writer. And she was the first person who sat me down and said, Hey, look, you submitted this assignment. And it's really good. You could be a writer one day, and you know, she had me write poems, you had me write a number of different things that weren't class assignments. But there were things that she was like, Hey, if you want to do this, then you got to practice it. And I learned so much from her. But the most important thing I took away was that confidence in my ability to do these things. Michael Hingson 21:27 Yeah, yeah. And that's one of the most important things that good teachers can bring to us and not tear you down, because you don't necessarily do something exactly the way they do or want. But if you can demonstrate you learn that is so cool. Bradley Akubuiro 21:42 Yeah, it is. Yeah, it is. So, Michael Hingson 21:47 as I said, I keep in touch with declarable Shimer won his 80th birthday, I flew to Nebraska where they live and surprise him for his birthday, which was nice. That's awesome. Yeah, it was a lot of fun. And hopefully, we'll get back there one of these days soon. Meanwhile, I'll just give him a hard time on the phone. Bradley Akubuiro 22:08 Cathy's out here listening when I'm not going to surprise you don't listen to Michael. But if I show up, then I'll have a cake or something. Michael Hingson 22:17 Yeah, exactly. Well, so. So what was high school like for you? I think you said there were some things that happened in high school. Bradley Akubuiro 22:26 Yeah, high school was a I mean, when you think about formative man, this was a formative experience for me. So it was between my sophomore and junior year of high school, when one of my very best friends a guy who I consider to be like an older brother to me, was shot and killed in the drive by shooting. It was devastating. You know, I had a period over a few months, where not only was he killed, and I found out about it, 45 minutes after I'd left town to take my older sister, with my family to college and 22 hours away. So this wasn't something he did every night. And I likely had been with him had we not been on that trip. But you know, he unfortunately passed that night with a 45 caliber bullet hole in his heart. You know, my experience with school with with life that I mean, it really took a turn at that point. Because not only had I lost somebody who was very close to me, but the police didn't catch the guy who did it. In fact, they caught a guy who was a friend of ours that had absolutely nothing to do with it, and put him through absolute hell, only to find out that he wasn't responsible for this, any of us could have told you that right up front. You know, that was a terrible time. You know, a couple of months later, Michael, we had another one of our close friends who was shot and killed. And the girl who was with her at the time was shot in the leg trying to get away. And you know, and another month and a half after that another one of our good friends was you know, shot in his own driveway trying to get into his car and head to the grocery store. And it wasn't safe for us. And it was a really, really challenging time, just to exist, much less to try to focus on school and to focus on other things that are going on. How could you do that? When you didn't know if when you left in the morning, you were going to be able to make it home at night? Michael Hingson 24:32 Why was there so much crime? Well, that's Bradley Akubuiro 24:36 a million dollar question. You know, there's so many factors that go into it. And since then, I've spent a lot of time thinking more about the kind of, you know, macro factors, but it's a very specific on the ground situation at that time was there was a gang war between two rival gangs, street gangs in the city. And my engineer who I just referred to lived right in the heart of Eastern Avenue, which is the home of the app and Springfield became there. And across State Street was Sycamore and a number of different folks and rivalries had kind of established then. And so, you know, this was not that there's ever, you know, really sensical reasons that, you know, these things happen. But this was as nonsensical as it could be, you know, people who are killing each other and dying for reasons that if you were to ask those who survived now, why they would ever pull a trigger and situation like this, they probably couldn't really tell you or maybe even remember. Michael Hingson 25:38 So it wasn't race or anything like that. It was just the whole gang environment, mostly. Bradley Akubuiro 25:45 Yeah, that's right. And at the time, you know, you think about the economic factors that go into this. And I talked about this in the context of Chicago all the time, because that's where I live now. And the situation is just as salient here. But if you were to be on the west side of Chicago, Northwestern most neighborhood within the city limits of Austin, you would be in one of the poorest and one of the most dangerous zip codes in the industrialized world. If you were to go two miles over to Oak Park, one of the suburbs just outside of the city. It's one of the wealthiest in the region, and it is an amazing neighborhood, and the infrastructure across the board when it comes to the education system, and the amount of money per pupil. If you were to look at the crime statistics, if you were to look at the policing, if you were to look at any measure of quality of life, it is night and day different, but it's separated by a couple of streets. And that to me is unfathomable. Michael Hingson 26:52 It is crazy. Chris, you also have some really serious gangs back in Chicago. You know, the notorious was the cubs in the Sox, for example. Bradley Akubuiro 27:03 That's right. And you know what the competition? beaters? You don't get in the middle of those two sets of fans? Michael Hingson 27:09 Ah, no way. and never the twain shall meet, period. That's right. That's very many people who will say they're fans of both. Bradley Akubuiro 27:20 I don't think that's legal, actually. Ah, Michael Hingson 27:23 that would explain it. I'll tell you sports fans are really tough. I remember when I lived in Winthrop, mass right outside of Boston. And every year, I would on opening day, I'd be somewhere in Boston. And if the Red Sox lost immediately, basically everybody on the news and everyone else just said wait till next year. Yeah, they were done. It was no faith at all. It was amazing. And and I remember living back there when Steve Grogan was booed off out of the Patriots game one year and just I'll tell you, they're, they're amazing. Bradley Akubuiro 28:04 Well look at the dynasties they've gotten now. Unbelievable. Although, you know, I live with a die hard. Tom Brady fan. My fiance has been a Patriots fan since the beginning. And it's been a complete complete nightmare trying to figure out are we watching the Patriots? Are we are we watching the Buccaneers? And are we Tom Brady fans are Patriots fans? You know, it's a little bit of everything in that house. But I can't ever say that I'm not happy. I am a fully dedicated supporter of all things. Somebody in SNAP, otherwise, I'm in a Michael Hingson 28:39 lot of trouble. It is safer that way. Well, I have gained a lot of respect for Tom Brady, especially after he left the Patriots. And not because I disliked the Patriots, but because of all the scandals and the deflated footballs and all that sort of stuff. But he came back and he proved Hey, you know, it's not what you think at all. I really am good. And he continues to be good. Bradley Akubuiro 29:03 Yeah, it's 100%. Right. Well, and that to make this, you know, given a broader topic about Tom Brady, he gets plenty of press. But you know, the fact that he was able to say, All right, you have decided that I'm done in this sport. You've decided I'm too old to play this sport, but I have not run to the end of my capability. And in fact, I've got a lot more to offer this game. And he went and he took it with someone who would respect that and the Buccaneers and he won another championship. I mean, you can't you can't make this up. Michael Hingson 29:38 No, absolutely. You can't. And so we'll see what the Rams do this year. I liked the Rams. I grew up with the Rams, Chris, I'm really prejudiced when it comes to sports and probably a number of things because we've been blessed out here in California with great sports announcers. I mean, of course, Vin Scully, the best of all time in baseball, and I will argue that with anyone But then Dick Enberg did a lot of football and he did the rams and he did the angels. And of course we had Chick Hearn who did the Lakers, their descriptions and the way they did it, especially Vinnie just drew you in. And I've listened and listened to announcers all over the country and never got the kinds of pictures and announced me announcing and announcements that I got by listening to people in California, so I'm a little prejudiced that way. Bradley Akubuiro 30:31 Well, and you shouldn't be you absolutely should be. And I will say this, the power of storytelling that these folks that you just described are able to wield is phenomenal. And it's a skill that I actually wish more folks had and more different industries. Because if you can tell a strong compelling story, you can make it visual, you can bring people and like that the power it has to bring people together, and to motivate them to act is just unbelievable. Michael Hingson 31:01 Johnny most was a was a good announcer a pretty great announcer in basketball, but not really so much into the storytelling, but he had a personality that drew you in as well. Well, that counts for a lot. It does. I remember living back there when the Celts were playing the rockets for the championship. And the Celtics lost the first two games. And Johnny most was having a field day picking on the rockets and so on. But Moses Malone, Malone was criticizing the Celtics and said, You know, I can go get for high school people. And we could beat these guys. Wrong thing to say, because then the Celts came back and won the next for Johnny most really had a field day with that. That's what happens. Yeah, you don't open your mouth. Alright, so you went to Northwestern, that's a whole different environment. Bradley Akubuiro 31:59 Totally different environment. And, you know, I gotta tell you, I owe a ton to Northwestern. The exposure, it gave me two more global mindsets, people come to that university from all over the world, all kinds of different socioeconomic backgrounds, and looking to do so many different things, the academic rigor of the institution, and the resources that were at our disposal, were so incredible that it completely changed my experience. And frankly, the outlook I had for my own self and career. How so? Well, I'll put his way I went to school, for example, at the same time, as you know, students who had some similar backgrounds to the one I did, to being in school at the same time, as you know, Howard Buffett is the grandson of Warren Buffett, and you know, Bill polti, you know, whose grandson of, you know, the polti, you know, the namesake of Pulte Homes, and you know, literally billionaire families. And so you start to realize, if you can sit in a classroom with folks like this, and with all of the opportunities that they've had, the education, they've had private schools, things along those lines, and these are good friends, by the way, you know, when you can do that, and then realize, hey, you know what, I can keep up, I can do this. And then you know, you are receiving, you know, grades professors who support you opportunities, in terms of internships, all of these things, and realms that you never even considered possible even just a year or two earlier. It truly broadens your horizons in ways that I don't even think I could have appreciated before I was into it. Michael Hingson 33:44 Wow. And that makes a lot of sense, though. We're all we're all people. And we all have our own gifts. And the fact that you could compete is probably not necessarily the best word because it implies that there are things that we don't need to have, but you are all able to work together and that you can all succeed. That's as good as it gets. Bradley Akubuiro 34:05 That's exactly right. And I do find compared to a lot of places, Northwestern have a very collaborative culture. I found that, you know, from faculty, the staff to students, everybody was very interested in seeing everybody succeed. And you know, we believed truthfully, that all of us could there's enough room on the boat for all of us. Michael Hingson 34:29 What was your major journalism? No surprise being Northwestern? Bradley Akubuiro 34:36 Yeah, I was I was a big, big, big proponent of the journalism school and actually still remain affiliated. I'm on the faculty over there and sit on the board of the journalism school and have loved every second of my time, wearing the purple t shirt. Michael Hingson 34:52 There you go. Is my recollection. Correct? Wasn't Charlton Heston, a graduate of Northwestern? Bradley Akubuiro 34:57 You know, I don't know the answer to that but I will wouldn't be surprised if it really seems, Michael Hingson 35:02 it seems to me, I heard that he was doing something where he was he was doing something for Northwestern, as I recall. But that just strikes my memory. Bradley Akubuiro 35:12 Yeah, there's some very remarkable graduates from that organization. Michael Hingson 35:16 So you were involved, as I recall, in our conversations about and about such things in dealing with minority enrollment, and so on, and you met some pretty interesting people during your time there. Tell me about that, if you would? Bradley Akubuiro 35:32 Yeah, no, absolutely. So my freshman year, we will actually, this was my sophomore year, we actually only brought in 81 black freshmen. And that was the lowest number in terms of black enrollment in a given year at Northwestern since the 1960s. And so, you know, the university was looking around and trying to figure out what what is it that we're doing? And where are we missing the mark? And how do we not only attract black applicants, because we were able to get folks to apply? The challenge was to actually get them to choose to matriculate. And where are we losing folks in the process. And so, you know, I had been really, really interested in participating in some of the work around minority recruitment enrollment, from the time that Northwestern had recruited me, because I recognized my background wasn't necessarily what you would consider to be orthodox for the folks that got into schools like this. But they took a real hard look at me and said, We think this guy can be successful here. And I wanted to encourage others who might not necessarily think of Northwestern as an option that was attainable to them, and I don't even know about it, to really start to understand the opportunities that could be available to them. And so I was, you know, flying to different schools, not only in the Chicago area, but back in places that looked a lot like where I grew up, and telling, you know, folks, Northwestern wants you, and you should really give it a shot. And so that was a fascinating time for me, and my own development, that space. Michael Hingson 37:11 So what did you do for the school and dealing with the whole issue of minorities in that time? Bradley Akubuiro 37:19 Yeah, there were a handful of things. You know, there's there's one was how do you create programs that channel some of the frustration that a lot of students who look like me had, and so a number of folks, actually, this is the spirit of college students, gotten together, you know, put up signs and decided to kind of protest. And so instead of going through, and just kind of registering our anger, what I did was work with the admissions office. And I did actually formally work as a work study student and worked on some of the stuff, it wasn't just volunteer, but take this energy that the students had, and create programs like a pen pal program, like a fly in programs, some volunteer initiatives that we can have, that would allow students who are upset about the outcomes, to help change those outcomes by direct engagement with those who might come to Northwestern, and really improve our metrics for the following year. And we were able to do that, both in the African American and Latino communities. What did Michael Hingson 38:23 you discover? Or what did the university discover about why people might apply, but then didn't matriculate. And then how did you turn that around? Bradley Akubuiro 38:32 Yeah, there were a couple of things. So one was, for students who are getting into places like Northwestern, very commonly, we saw that they were getting into places like University of Pennsylvania, Stanford, Harvard, a number of other universities at the same time, particularly if you were to think about the minority students who are applying and getting in, and what those schools had, that Northwestern didn't quite have, was full need blind admissions processes, which Northwestern did adopt. But the short version of this is, if you got into one of those schools, you are probably going to be able to get if this if your circumstances required a full ride. And so, you know, the economic opportunity was really significant. And you were at a disadvantage. If you were a student who was interested in going to Northwestern, or any of these other schools that was really good, but couldn't you couldn't afford to go and you're gonna go to the place that you could afford to go and maybe that's your local school, or maybe that's one of these other schools, but we had to really do something to create the funding to ensure that these folks could go to the school and do it at a at a rate that wasn't going to break the bag. Michael Hingson 39:49 And you found ways to do that. Well, I Bradley Akubuiro 39:52 certainly didn't do it alone, but the university 39:55 there see University found ways to do that. Yes, that's right. 40:00 We started up a commission. So a number of students, myself included, foreign petition at the time, Marty Shapiro, who was the President of University took this issue very seriously as a economic scholar, and genuinely his background is in the economics of higher education. And he started at the school as president, while I was in again, my sophomore year, as a lot of these things were kind of taking shape and taking hold. And as one of the most successful leaders that I've met, invited us in students, the leaders in the university who are focused on this, and we had asked for a taskforce to focus on this. And he set one up, and he chaired it. And it was focused on how do we create opportunities for access, particularly for this community that had need, but wanted to be here. And, you know, one of the things that he did pretty early on in his tenure, was to establish a fund that was going to be dedicated to programs to financial need to a number of different things that would directly address this community. And we built on it from there. 41:14 Wow, that's, it's great that you had a strong champion who was willing to be farsighted enough to help with that, isn't it? Bradley Akubuiro 41:22 Absolutely. It would not have been possible without that. Michael Hingson 41:25 So you met as I recall you saying Jesse Jackson, somewhere along the way? in that arena, especially since you're in the Chicago area? That makes a lot of sense. Bradley Akubuiro 41:35 Yeah, you know what I'm starting to put together thanks to you hear that this was a pretty big year for me. Michael Hingson 41:41 To see, I'm getting impressed. So I did about yourself. Bradley Akubuiro 41:50 You know, it's funny. But yeah, there was a convergence of things. And so in this particular year, I did meet Reverend Jesse Jackson. And this started a relationship that's been incredible and life changing that remains to this day. But the way that it happened, Michael, is that there was a woman Roxana Saberi, who had been taken political prisoner by Iran, and she worked for the BBC. She had been a former Northwestern middle student. So a number of us who are part of the journalism program, Adele had decided that we were going to get together and as college students are wanting to do, we decided to protest and hopes that we would, on our campus in Evanston, get the State Department to pay more attention to this particular issue. And hopefully, it takes negotiating for her really seriously. And while I have no idea whether, at the time Secretary Clinton saw anything we were doing, my guess, is probably not Reverend Jackson, who to your point was just on the other side of Chicago did. And the connection there is Roxanne's buried, did her first interview with the BBC as a professional reporter with Reverend Jesse Jackson. And he was committed to advocating for her release. And so he actually reached out to us, via the university asked a few of us to come down and join a press conference with him, where he intended to go and negotiate for her release on humanitarian grounds. And I participated in that with another student. And it was absolutely phenomenal and led to so many doors being opened for me. Michael Hingson 43:35 Wow, what your were you in school at the time? Bradley Akubuiro 43:38 So this was my sophomore year. Great, great. Again, still part of the great sophomore year. Yeah, and I continue to work with Reverend Jackson, throughout the remainder of my time in college and for some period after college. But there were a number of things, but it all tied back together, because the issue that Reverend Jackson was advocating for at the time that spoke most deeply to me, was this issue of college affordability and access, and you have this program called reduce the rate, which was all about reducing the interest rate on student education loans, because we had bailed out banks. And you know, the autos and so many others, rates of zero to 1% and said, Hey, you're in trouble pass back when you're ready. We'll make it cheap and affordable for you to do that. But we never granted that level of grace to students who are supposed to be our future. And instead, we were breaking their backs was, you know, interest rates of six to in some cases, as high as 18%. Without any, you know, kind of recourse you get stuck with these things for life. Michael Hingson 44:47 And people wonder why we keep talking about eliminating the loans today or lowering the interest rate and the reality is, as you said, students are our future and we should be doing all we can to say point that that's absolutely Bradley Akubuiro 45:01 right. I still firmly believe that and, you know, our loan system, and frankly, the cost of education is just crippling. It's, it's, it's crazy. And this is for multiple generations. And I'm sad for what the future will look like if we can't figure this situation out. Michael Hingson 45:23 Yeah, we've got to do something different than we're doing. And it's just kind of crazy the way it is. It's extremely unfortunate. Well, so you got a bachelor's? Did you go get any advanced degree or? Bradley Akubuiro 45:36 Well, I did actually attend Northwestern. For a good portion, I masters that integrated the integrated marketing communications program over there. And that dovetails really well into where my career ultimately went and where it currently resides. But you know, Northwestern was the educator of choice for me. Michael Hingson 45:57 So, career wise, so what did you then go off and do? Since you opened the door? Yeah. Bradley Akubuiro 46:03 So you know, it's been a number of different things. And this will sound disparate, but it all comes together. I went, after working with Reverend Jackson to Liberia, and I spent time in Liberia working for the president of Liberia on postwar kind of reestablishment of a democracy, which was a big thing. And frankly, way above my paygrade, I got an opportunity to work on it, because I had spent time working with Reverend Jesse Jackson, and that will come back in a second. But there was a student who was doing his PhD program at Northwestern, who had been who is I should say, the grandson of a former president of Liberia, who had been killed in a coup in October. And I had been friends with him, I knew that I wanted to get to West Africa to do some work, particularly around education and social programs. And he connected me with his mother who had been deputy minister of education. And I had been fortunate enough to create an arrangement that I was really excited about to go to Monrovia, and Liberia, the capital city, and to spend some time working on programs out there. And when she found out that I worked with Reverend Jesse Jackson, she called the president and said, This could be a great opportunity. And they cooked up a program where I would actually champion and work on establishing a program and policy around leadership development, and capacity building for the country post Civil War, which was, again, an absolutely amazing and life changing experience, really hard. Michael Hingson 47:45 What was the world like over there? And what was it like for you being from a completely different culture as it were than over in Liberia? Bradley Akubuiro 47:53 Well, the first thing I'll say is, if you live in the United States, and you believe, you know, poverty, you ain't seen nothing yet. Because, you know, one of the things that you will find in countries like Liberia, and some of the places and post war, Eastern Europe and the 90s, and different kinds of places is, there is a level of resilience and a level of spirit that is built into society that comes almost entirely from experience with incredible hardship, just absolutely incredible hardship. And Liberia at the time that I was over there was amongst the, you know, five poorest countries in the world, after what had been 14 years of concrete civil war and 30 years of civil unrest. But the people that I met could not have been better spirited, and just nicer, more optimistic and incredible people. Michael Hingson 48:52 So how long were you over there? 48:54 I was over there for less than a year and spent some time doing consulting, even after I came back to DC, but was on the ground for less than a year. 49:03 And when you came back from Liberia, what did you go off and do? 49:07 When I came back from Liberia and I want to, you know, couch this and my rationale, I had worked for Reverend Jesse Jackson on these big kind of global programs that that presidents and heads of state and you know, business leaders and all these different folks went over to Liberia and got this chance to work on, you know, kind of reinstituting a democracy and meaningful ways with the president who later on became a Nobel Prize, Peace Prize Laureate. And you know, what I came to realize, Michael, was that my opportunities were quickly outpacing my experience. And so what I said is, let's now try to find a place where I can get some of the fundamentals some of the framework for a lot of the work that I had the opportunity to do. And the place that I chose to go is Booz Allen Hamilton is a management consulting firm and you One of the largest public sector practices in the world. And so I went in with the intention of really being able to shore up my skills. And what happened? Well, hopefully they'll tell you that I was successful. Michael Hingson 50:11 Okay, good. Bradley Akubuiro 50:16 It was a really fascinating time to be there. You know, Booz Allen, had a lot of significant contracts. This was the time of the Affordable Care Act's passage. And so, you know, at the time that I went over, I got to work almost exclusively on ACA, and a lot is talked about in terms of the legislative kind of process to get that accomplished. But what is talked a lot less about is the actual opera operationalization of it, and what that looks like to stand up state health exchanges, and different states to actually entice somebody coming from, you know, a psychiatry program at top medical school, that choose to put on a uniform and go to a base at, you know, an Air Force base or an army base, and provide clinical care for those who are returning from war in Iraq and Afghanistan. And all of these were provisions of the bill. But actually implementing those things, was a very tall order. And so I got an opportunity to really kind of roll up my sleeves and work on a lot of that work. And that was incredibly formative work. Michael Hingson 51:22 So it was a real challenge, of course, to get the Affordable Care Act passed. I remember in 2009, I was speaking at a an event for a companies whose hospital boards and leaders of the staffs of the hospitals in the network, were getting together and I went to, to speak, and talk about some of my experiences and talk about disabilities and so on. The person right before me, was a medical expert. He was, it was a person who talked about the whole concept of how we needed to change our whole idea and environment of medical care, and what we really needed to do as a country and so on. And he had been involved in every president's investigation of how to change the medical synth system. Ever since I think he went this was 2009, I think he went back to Nixon, Oh, wow. He, he said it all came down to the same thing. And he said The best example is, he was doing this as part of the team for Bill Clinton. And they talked about what needed to be done, how to change the medical system, and everybody bought into it, and so on, until it got down to specifics of saying what it was going to cost. And that they needed to deal with some of the provisions that eventually went into the Affordable Care Act. And he said, As soon as the politicians got a hold of it, and said, This is a horrible thing, you're gonna cause too much controversy, the President's would all run. And that's why no one ever got anything accomplished. And he also said that Obama was probably going to get something passed. And he actually predicted almost to a tee, if you will, what was going to pass. And that's exactly what passed and what didn't pass. And he said, later, we'll actually start to worry about the cost of, of medical coverage in this country, but they're not really willing to face that issue yet. And he predicted we would be able to do something by 2015. Well, that hasn't really happened yet, either. And now we're maybe making a little bit of a dent. But it was very fascinating to listen to him predict, based on so many years of expertise, what was going to happen. Bradley Akubuiro 53:46 Yeah, I mean, that's incredible. And I will say, a lot of times the policy takes a backseat to the politics on these things. And it takes so much, you know, Will and kind of moral fortitude to get in there and drive these things, particularly when there's interests on the other side of it. But you know, I'm with you. We're not quite where I think you predicted we'd be in 2015. But driving towards it now. And hopefully we'll make more progress. Michael Hingson 54:16 Yeah, we're slowly getting there. So what did you do after Booz Allen Hamilton? Bradley Akubuiro 54:21 Yeah, so the things that I really love the most about that work during that time that the the change in a lot of that kind of management strategy was the change communications aspects of it. And so I knew that I wanted to get more fully into communications. And so the next few jobs for me, were discretely corporate communications, if you will. And so I got an opportunity to follow a mentor to a company called Pratt and Whitney jet engine company, you know, builds jet engines from from fighter jets to, you know, the big commercial airplanes that we fly in, and love that experience. It's moved to kind of the corporate side of that company to United Technologies in time and worked on a number of different mergers and acquisitions, including the spin offs of Otis, the big Elevator Company to carry air conditioning both of these which spun off into fortune 200 publicly traded companies their own, to ultimately what became you know, the merger with Raytheon. Raytheon? Yeah. Yeah, exactly. It most recently produced Raytheon technologies. And so a really, really fascinating set of experiences for me there. And then Michael Hingson 55:35 you along the way, also, I guess, we're part of the formation of bully pulpit international with the Obama Biden administration. Bradley Akubuiro 55:44 You know, I wasn't part of the founding, this all kind of happened in parallel with folks who I have a ton of respect for who I now work with bully pulpit, interact was formed in 2009, with a number of folks who came out of that Obama campaign, and then White House. And it started in the kind of digital marketing, digital persuasion space, and all of the kind of, you know, really amazing tactics and strategies that they learned on that campaign, particularly, as social media was starting to become more popularized and more mass adopted, they said, how do we start to apply some of that stuff, as you think about not only other campaigns, but to foundations and advocacy groups into corporations? And you know, you flash forward 1213 years now, and this is a fully operational 250 person agency, where we're focused on, you know, how do you help organizations of all types, you know, really express their values and find their voices on these really key important issues. But also, how do leaders make really tough decisions on things like, you know, Roe v. Wade, and what that means for their employee base, and what they're going to do policy wise, and how they're going to communicate around that afterwards? On through gun reform, and what folks do if you know, you are operating, and buffalo or in Texas, when you know, some of the massacres that happened earlier this year happen. And this has been, you know, really fascinating. And I came over here after being chief spokesperson for Boeing. And it's been really fun to reunite with some old friends and folks who have been doing this kind of work for a really long time now. Michael Hingson 57:37 So Boeing, so when did you leave Boeing Bradley Akubuiro 57:41 left Boeing, a year, just shy of a year and a half go Michael Hingson 57:45 around during the whole 737 Max thing? Bradley Akubuiro 57:49 Well, you know, interestingly, you bring this up, I was brought over to Boeing, in response to the 737. Max, you know, I was asked to come over and to really think about what does a world class Media Relations organization look like? That is going to be transparent, accountable, and 24/7? Around the globe? And more than anything, after you've had, you know, two accidents on the scale that they had, you know, how do we really become more human and how we interact with all of our stakeholders, internal and external on a lot of this stuff? And that was a really, really, really challenging, but rewarding process to be part of and to help lead? Michael Hingson 58:33 How do you advise people? Or what do you advise people in those kinds of situations, you had a major crisis? And clearly, there's an issue? What do you what do you tell corporate executives to do? And how hard was it to get them to do it? Bradley Akubuiro 58:49 Yeah. So on the first part of that question, it really comes down to being human, you got to put yourself in the shoes of the people that you're trying to communicate with, and to, if you are a person who lost a loved one, on a plane that went down outside of, you know, Addis Ababa, and Ethiopia, if you if you were, you know, one of the people who lost your, your spouse or your kid, you know, the last thing you want to hear from a company is, you know, we did things right, from an engineering standpoint, what you want to hear from that company, is, we are so sorry that this happened. And we're going to do absolutely everything in our power to ensure it can never happen again. And here are the steps we're taking and here's what we're going to do to try to make things right and you can never completely make things right. In that circumstance. You can at least be understanding. Michael Hingson 59:48 I remember 1982 When we had the Tylenol cyanide incident, you know about that. Yeah. And if For us, and what was the most impressive thing about that was within two days, the president of company was out in front of it. And as you said, being human, that's a corporate lesson that more people really should learn. Bradley Akubuiro 1:00:18 Yeah, it's a difficult thing to do. Because I think, and this isn't just lawyers, but it's easy to blame it on lawyers, the natural reaction is to immediately think, well, what's my liability going to be? What are people going to think if they think that I actually did make this mistake? And how do I cover it up? And how do I try to diffuse responsibility? And that is exactly the opposite of what you should do. And this isn't just good communications. This is good leadership. Michael Hingson 1:00:44 Good leadership. Yeah, Bradley Akubuiro 1:00:45 that's right. And we need more people to really understand that to your point. Michael Hingson 1:00:50 Well, and with with Boeing, it sounds like if I recall, all of the stuff that least that we saw on the news, which may or may not have been totally accurate, there were some issues. And it took a while to deal with some of that to get people to, to face what occurred that necessarily things weren't going exactly the way they really should have in terms of what people were communicating and what people knew and didn't know. Bradley Akubuiro 1:01:15 Yeah, well, then you ask the question, how difficult was it to get the senior executives to get on board with the new approach. And what I would say is, and this goes back to some of we were talking about earlier, the top down kind of approach to this, and what's happening and the most senior role matters the most. And the CEO who came in this was after the former CEO was was like, you know, the chief legal officer, the head of that business, and a number of different executives, you keep going on, had exited the company, the new CEO, who came in they've Calhoun, currently is still the CEO, they're brought in this new wave, this refreshing new approach and culture, and was all about how do we ensure that we are being accountable, and that we're being transparent, because that is what matters in this circumstance. And so with that license to operate, it was a lot easier to come in and convince folks Well, this is how we should approach this from a media perspective, from a communications staff perspective, and across the board, with our customers with regulators, cetera, et cetera, et cetera. Because everybody was on board that this is what we needed to do. And frankly, it's the only way to not only repair our reputation, because this is 100 year old company has been at the first of so many different things historically, from an aviation standpoint, and helped truly invent modern flight. So how do you create a reputation that people expect coming out of that, but also to respect again, those who trusted the company, because when you step on a fly, you know, you know, as Michael, when you stop on a flight, you don't want to think about whether it's gonna make it to the other side or not. You want to trust that it's gonna make it to the other side and focus on what you got to do when you get there and everything else in your life. And people had for a brief period of time lost that faith. And that is what we were really trying to restore. Michael Hingson 1:03:15 Do you think you were pretty successful at getting faith and confidence restored, Bradley Akubuiro 1:03:20 I think we've made a good start at bone still remains a client. And I would say that the work that is ongoing is going to take time, because it takes five seconds to lose your reputation. It takes a long time to rebuild it and to regain trust. And I think the company is committed to what it needs to do to do that. But it is a journey. Michael Hingson 1:03:44 What do you advise people today you do a lot of consulting, and you're in
It's another big conversation about Braille today on the show, with Steven Scott and Shaun Preece meeting a developer who talks candidly about the app-making process and how machine learning is making it possible to do some really cool things. Aaron Stephenson joins the guys to talk about his app, called Braille Scanner App, an application that aims to make it possible for someone to read Braille despite not being able to understand the code. It uses the camera on your smartphone to identify the Braille code and audibly read it back. Plus, there's more of your feedback and questions. Keep them coming by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 1-877-803-4567 and leaving us a voicemail. You can also find us across social media @DoubleTapOnAir.
Show Topics 1. KOTB News 2. Knights of the Braille Library Jesse: My Heart is a Chainsaw Stephen Graham Jones Richard: Infinite Dusk: Cowboy Necromancer Book 1 Harmon Cooper Narrator- Macleod Andrews 4. Creature Feature Flind 4. Termonology: A Team 5. At the Physical Table Podcast Warning and Intro/Outro Credit: Thank You Pepper the Vixen https://twitter.com/PepperTheVixen https://www.twitch.tv/pepperthevixen Knights of the Braille: www.knightsofthebraille.com KOTB Patron(even $1 helps): https://www.patreon.com/knightsofthebraille Contact us: Richard's info Email: email@example.com Twitter: @brailleknights Jesse's Info: firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @thejesseb83
Michael Myers, Halloween Ends, and other topics come up. The ambience for this Halloween episode belongs to Michael Ghelfi, check out his channel at the following link: Gates of Hell https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pdDJdfeY_xQ Podcast Intro Music and Warning Credit: Thank you Pepper the Vixen https://twitter.com/PepperTheVixen https://www.twitch.tv/pepperthevixen Knights of the Braille: www.knightsofthebraille.com KOTB Patron(even $1 helps): https://www.patreon.com/knightsofthebraille Contact us: Richard's info Email: email@example.com Twitter: @brailleknights Jesse's Info: firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @thejesseb83
This is a session of Chomp, a zombie survival apocalypse TTRPG. The ambience(s) belong to Michael Ghelfi and he has graciously allowed us to use them for our streams. Please check out and support his work at the following locations: Youtube- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ut0atQH89VQ Patreon- http://bit.ly/Patreon-MG Knights of the Braille: www.knightsofthebraille.com KOTB Patron(even $1 helps): https://www.patreon.com/knightsofthebraille Twitter: @brailleknights email@example.com
En este nuevo episodio entrevistamos a los miembros de la Comisión Braille Española para hablar de ella, y del Consejo Iberoamericano del Braille. Si queréis poneros en contacto conmigo podéis escribirme a la dirección de correo electrónico firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr Paul Jarman contacted us following our coverage of what changes had occurred since the RNIB took over the National Library for the Blind. He noted something that we had not mentioned. He believes there has been a seismic shift toward students and tutors like him, no longer being able to access as many serious books as once before. He lays out his concerns in this area and explains why he believes braille books should be regarded as heritage items. Our reporter in Washington, Gary O'Donoghue talks us through a new partnership between access tech companies Aira and Envision. Together, they have created 'smart glasses' that enable you to be put in contact with a sighted agent, completely hands-free. Gary demonstrates how they can be used to assist with daily tasks and navigation. Presenter: Peter White Producer: Beth Hemmings Production Coordinator: Paul Holloway Website image description: Peter White sits smiling in the centre of the image. He is wearing a dark green jumper with the collar of a check shirt peeking at the top. Above Peter's head is the BBC logo, Across Peter's chest reads "In Touch" and beneath that is the Radio 4 logo. The background is a series of squares that are different shades of blue.
Show Topics KOTB News 1. Upcoming Dice Heads Christmas One Shot recording @thediceheads on Twitter 2. Knights of the Braille Library Jesse: The Rising Brian Kene Richard: Black Tide Rising by John Ringo 3. Creature Feature Elder Brain Podcast Warning and Intro/Outro Credit: Thank You Pepper the Vixen https://twitter.com/PepperTheVixen https://www.twitch.tv/pepperthevixen Knights of the Braille: www.knightsofthebraille.com KOTB Patron(even $1 helps): https://www.patreon.com/knightsofthebraille Contact us: Richard's info Email: email@example.com Twitter: @brailleknights Jesse's Info: firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @thejesseb83
Live Shows:Hanover, NH (free!): 10/22, 5:00 PM at Dartmouth University — Herbert Faulkner West Auditorium in Carpenter Hall. With Carole Hooven!:https://govt.dartmouth.edu/events/event?event=68549#.Y0rnPXbMJD8Boston, 10/24: https://wl.seetickets.us/event/Blocked-andReportedPodcast-800pm/506613?afflky=LaughBostonArlington, Virginia (late), 10/29: https://www.arlingtondrafthouse.com/shows/188752Show notes:Carrie Jade Williams has had a lot of tough breaks, but perhaps none tougher than the time a French family sued her for being disabled, demanding, as recompense for the discomfort of having slept under her roof, an utterly unreasonable number of weighted blankets. This is definitely a real lawsuit that actually happened, but if it wasn't, wouldn't that raise certain questions about Williams? And might those questions lead some interesting places? HMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM.Links:Keffals, ContinuedNBC's (highly biased) coverage of the Keffals affairhttps://www.nbcnews.com/tech/internet/cloudflare-kiwi-farms-keffals-anti-trans-rcna44834BAR's (far superior) true and honest coverage of the caseThe shitpost heard around the worldIf any of you are complete nerds with way too much time, the first three images were sent to Jesse, and they're followed by the original 4chan postCarrie Jade WilliamsIndy100 article claims Williams was told to refund Airbnb guests who didn't like her disabled doorbellhttps://www.indy100.com/viral/airbnb-disabled-host-doorbell-tiktokWilliams claims former guests, now backed by an unnamed lobbying group, are suing her for a “life-changing amount” in emotional damagesPetition: “Help me show a Judge that disabled people aren't scary”https://www.change.org/p/help-me-show-a-judge-that-disabled-people-aren-t-scaryWilliams: “it's a ‘cancel culture' situation”https://apartmentsapart.com/disabled-airbnb-host-sued-by-guests-traumatized-by-her-disability/Williams' award-winning piece on her conditionhttps://www.ft.com/content/d4190c20-38a8-4179-8857-4b0d084d64af2022: She describes utilizing Braille and creating her own assistive tech to regain functionality after losing her ability to readhttps://www.radiokerry.ie/podcasts/kerry-today/carrie-jade-williams-how-a-terrible-diagnosis-inspired-me-to-live-my-best-life-march-8th-2022-2732602021: She demonstrates her legendary “hands-free Braille” technique2011: Liquid Jade avoids prison after stealing a couple's life savings through an absurdly long and detailed conhttps://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/news/9325489.victims-surrogate-con-voice-anger-culprit-avoids-prison/Samantha Jade CookesCarrie Jade WilliamsWilliams: “anyone suggesting we are the same individual will face the full force of the law”https://www.1820things.com/statementImage: “Empty hospital patient room - stock photo” via Getty This is a public episode. If you'd like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit www.blockedandreported.org/subscribe
We discuss our favorite Halloween or Horror movie. The ambience for this Halloween episode belongs to Michael Ghelfi, check out his channel and this specific ambience at the following link: Haunted Castle https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ZelokMWpCk Podcast Intro Music and Warning Credit: Thank you Pepper the Vixen https://twitter.com/PepperTheVixen https://www.twitch.tv/pepperthevixen Knights of the Braille: www.knightsofthebraille.com KOTB Patron(even $1 helps): https://www.patreon.com/knightsofthebraille Contact us: Richard's info Email: email@example.com Twitter: @brailleknights Jesse's Info: firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @thejesseb83
Kevin Chao joins Jeff Thompson in the Blind Abilities Studio to share with us his experience with the Envision Glasses from LetsEnvision.com plus the Aira App experience on the envision glasses. Kevin also gives us a peak at the Dot Pad, a tactile pad that connects to voice over and conveys tactile representations that one can explore. Along with 20 cells of Braille this tool gives Kevin an understanding that he could not receive before. Learn how Kevin uses the Envision Glasses, employs the Aira service through the Aira App installed on the envision Glasses and how the Dot Pad is giving Kevin a bigger picture of understanding through tactile imagery. You can find out more about the products here: Envision Glasses at LetsEnvision.com Aira on the web at Aira.io Dot Pad from Dot we would love to hear from you! Send us an email at info@BlindAbilities.com or give us a call and leave us some feedback at 612-367-6093
RNIB supporter, Paralympian and double world cycling champion Lora Fachie reads children's book The Secret Code in Braille. The book introduces Braille to young readers through the characters Oscar and Lucy. This is the first CBeebies Bedtime Story read in braille and the first time the illustrations have been audio described. And RNIB Transcriptions team provided the Braille transcription. Lora told Robert Kirkwood all about it. TX date is Thursday the 14th of October at 6.50pm, but don't worry if you've missed it as it will be available on iPlayer
It is National Braille Week in the UK and a charity is celebrating by launching a new online and on-demand Braille course.The Braillists Foundation was set up to help people learn how Braille could be useful in many forms, including reading, but also labelling and learning how to read signage when out and about.Steven and Shaun are joined by Ben Mustile-Rose and Melanie Pritchard from the organization to tell us about the work they do and why they have launched this new course. You can learn more about the organization by visiting the website https://www.braillists.orgAnd don't forget to send us your feedback. Email email@example.com or call 1-877-803-4567 and leave us a voicemail. You can also find us across social media @DoubleTapOnAir.
This week on Definition The Profit brings us Part 1 of The UPROCK Take-Over. On this episode we take a journey across the past 11 years of the UPROCK Hip-Hop Summit hosted by Krosswerdz and get the highlight moments from the 11 UPROCK Compilations. To get your copy of any (or all) compilations head over to krosswerdz.bandcamp.com and don't forget to vote for your favourite track at definitionradio.com Tracklist: Awake by Raging Moses ft Datin Power Struggle by Oakbridge & Izzy (UPROCK Vol.1) Holster by JustMe ft DJ Promote (UPROCK Vol.2) The Way of Hand and Foot by Rezadent (UPROCK Vol.3) Time Machine - Fresh Kils Remix by Rel McCoy (UPROCK Vol.4) Dear City by Unison (UPROCK Vol.5) What's Your Story by Sounds Like Dsipl (UPROCK Vol.6) Lion by Unkle, RAGE and Wes-Lee ft. Izzy n The Profit (UPROCK Vol.7) Na Gode by Rymboxx ft. Stain (UPROCK Vol.8) Forgive me by Izzy ft Zyrel (UPROCK Vol.9) The Knowing Remix by Izzy n The Profit, Braille and Kris-Bo (UPROCK Vol.10) The Root Cause by Resident, Cas Metah, Ill Clinton & Reckoncyle (UPROCK Vol.10) Come Callin' by Cas Metah, Junyah, D4C & Rel McCoy (UPROCK Vol.11) Vote on the playlist at www.definitionradio.com/show/821 Leave your requests/shout-outs on our socials www.facebook.com/DefinitionRadio www.instagram.com/DefinitionHH www.twitter.com/DefinitionHH www.krosswerdz.com
A Chat About the ARX Vision Headset Being Reviewed by the Vision Australia Vision Store Hardware Bone conduction head set, on left sound cheek pad contains the volume up/down buttons, and right cheek pad is moulded in to the rectangular camera unit containing 3 clearly shaped buttons. From the bottom of the camera module is the fixed UsBC cable. Microphone is also in the camera housing. Software ARX Android only app at the moment used to power the head set, enabling both local and online processing of scene detection, specific object detection, short OCr text, document OCR scanning, face recognition, and QR code scanning. Onboarding on device when first using it, training mode to remind user how to position camera, and Help mode to remind users on how to use the 3 buttons. ARX head set can be used via the buttons or controlled from simple voice commands. Note - ARX head set connected via a UsBC cable to the Android phone. Benefits All processing is done via the smart phone/cloud, head set there to to provide audio output, mic input, and image processing via the camera. Having a wired connection leads to faster data transfer between the head set and the phone. Scene detection works extremely well, as does Object specific recognition, Document scanning, and face detection. Short text recognition perhaps not as fast as Seeing AI app on iOS, but certainly usable. Audio processing sound is heard to let user know that the ARX head set is active in a mode, and no sound when the unit is put in to idle mode. A lot more cost effective than other similar products on the market. Braille companion getting started guide included. Points To Consider The screen reader Talkback running on the Android phone is very soft volume wise compared to the self voicing of the ARX head set. The maximum volume of the self voicing on the ARX head set is distorted at the maximum volume. The camera unit which gently touch's the side of the face does get quite warm, not hot, but very noticeable. Aira not yet supported on the ARX head set but coming soon. iPhone compatibility being worked on. Blind Shell Classic 2 app being worked on. Moving forward, most functions will bee via the cloud for getter processing of images etc requiring cellular data on the phone, works well on Wifi at home. Excellent product under development. For more info: https://arx.vision As a bit of a result of a chat outcome from Tech Friday last week (my weekly tech chat Zoom meeting), thinking of doing a “smack down” chat concerning the ARX, Orcam, and Envision in January 2023. Resetting Goals on your Apple Watch Due to my Karate journey, I've had to up my goals on my Apple Watch and surprisingly I couldn't remember where to do this. In a nut shell, it's in the Activity app on the Apple Watch, and you need to scroll down wright to the bottom of the screen to find the change goals button. https://www.cultofmac.com/671532/how-to-set-apple-watch-move-goal/ Accessibility Assistant for Apple Watch, iPhone, and Mac This is a shortcut you can run which allows you to pop in your general disability, and any sub-disabilities as it were, and then get recommendations in notes for accessibility settings. Note - as the Apple Watch does not have an actual notes app, you run the Apple Watch short cut on your iPhone, iPad or Mac along with the other two for iOS or Mac. Is Siri Falling Behind with Natural Language Processing Last week I wanted to remind myself how to count to 10 in Japanese as part of my Shotokan Karate training. When I asked Alexa, I got the answer in counting to 10. However, when I asked Siri, she translated “how do I count to 10 in Japanese” as a direct translation sigh. Alexa and Google are still forging ahead, and can't help feeling Siri is falling more and more behind.Support this Vision Australia Radio program: https://www.visionaustralia.org/donate?src=radio&type=0&_ga=2.182040610.46191917.1644183916-1718358749.1627963141See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Diann Floyd Boehm has lived in various parts of the world. She brings her international life knowledge to the children's books and, so far, one adult book she has written. As you will find in this episode, Diann puts an incredible of amount of research and thought to everything she creates. Diann gives a number of suggestions to anyone who might wish to write and get published. She encourages all of us to write down our stories even if we don't seek a writing career. I hope you enjoy our talk with Diann. Who knows, you might become inspired to write and possibly even seek to get your creations published. About the Guest: Diann Floyd Boehm is an award-winning international author. Diann writes children's books and young adult books. In addition, Diann writes books to inspire kids to be kind, like themselves, and to "Embrace Imagination”. You can find all her books on Amazon. Diann's Story Garden YouTube Channel gives children the opportunity to hear different children's authors read their stories. Diann is the co-host with Dr. Jacalyn on USA Global TV. Diann continues to be involved in various humanitarian projects with multiple organizations. Diann was born to the parents of George and Mabel Floyd in Tulsa, Oklahoma, but grew up in Texas with five brothers. She has traveled extensively to many parts of the world and has lived in the Philippines and Dubai. Keep in touch with Diann by joining her newsletter: www.Diannfloydboehm.com. About the Host: Michael Hingson is a New York Times best-selling author, international lecturer, and Chief Vision Officer for accessiBe. Michael, blind since birth, survived the 9/11 attacks with the help of his guide dog Roselle. This story is the subject of his best-selling book, Thunder Dog. Michael gives over 100 presentations around the world each year speaking to influential groups such as Exxon Mobile, AT&T, Federal Express, Scripps College, Rutgers University, Children's Hospital, and the American Red Cross just to name a few. He is an Ambassador for the National Braille Literacy Campaign for the National Federation of the Blind and also serves as Ambassador for the American Humane Association's 2012 Hero Dog Awards. https://michaelhingson.com https://www.facebook.com/michael.hingson.author.speaker/ https://twitter.com/mhingson https://www.youtube.com/user/mhingson https://www.linkedin.com/in/michaelhingson/ accessiBe Links https://accessibe.com/ https://www.youtube.com/c/accessiBe https://www.linkedin.com/company/accessibe/mycompany/ https://www.facebook.com/accessibe/ Thanks for listening! Thanks so much for listening to our podcast! If you enjoyed this episode and think that others could benefit from listening, please share it using the social media buttons on this page. Do you have some feedback or questions about this episode? Leave a comment in the section below! Subscribe to the podcast If you would like to get automatic updates of new podcast episodes, you can subscribe to the podcast on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher. You can also subscribe in your favorite podcast app. Leave us an Apple Podcasts review Ratings and reviews from our listeners are extremely valuable to us and greatly appreciated. They help our podcast rank higher on Apple Podcasts, which exposes our show to more awesome listeners like you. If you have a minute, please leave an honest review on Apple Podcasts. Transcription Notes Michael Hingson 00:00 Access Cast and accessiBe Initiative presents Unstoppable Mindset. The podcast where inclusion, diversity and the unexpected meet. Hi, I'm Michael Hingson, Chief Vision Officer for accessiBe and the author of the number one New York Times bestselling book, Thunder dog, the story of a blind man, his guide dog and the triumph of trust. Thanks for joining me on my podcast as we explore our own blinding fears of inclusion unacceptance and our resistance to change. We will discover the idea that no matter the situation, or the people we encounter, our own fears, and prejudices often are our strongest barriers to moving forward. The unstoppable mindset podcast is sponsored by accessiBe, that's a c c e s s i capital B e. Visit www.accessibe.com to learn how you can make your website accessible for persons with disabilities. And to help make the internet fully inclusive by the year 2025. Glad you dropped by we're happy to meet you and to have you here with us. Michael Hingson 01:20 Welcome once again to yes that's right, unstoppable mindset where inclusion diversity in the unexpected meet. Today we get to meet and talk with an award winning international author. I don't know whether she writes about internationals, whatever they are, but we'll find out. Anyway, Diann Floyd Boehm, welcome to unstoppable mindset. How are you? Diann Floyd Boehm 01:45 Very well, thank you. International, because I've lived in several countries. And I've traveled a lot and and so the books are sold in different different countries. And I'm really proud of that. Michael Hingson 01:57 Oh, cool. Do you publish them yourself? Or do you have a publisher? Diann Floyd Boehm 02:02 Actually, I'm very blessed. I have two publishers see publish Shane Atacand. Canada and Texas sister press, obviously out of Texas. So How lucky is that? It took a lot to get here. Michael Hingson 02:15 That is as good as it gets. Do the publishers war with each other? Do they care? Diann Floyd Boehm 02:19 They are very kind to one another? So good. Yeah, that's Michael Hingson 02:25 what was that is that is plus? How many books have you written? Diann Floyd Boehm 02:28 I have nine books. And I have two more coming out one in the August late fall. Late summer, I should say sorry. And then in October, the second book? Oh, cool. Michael Hingson 02:41 Well, we'll get to more of that. But why don't we start with the usual things that it's fun to hear about? And that is you growing up and so on. So where did you grow up? And do you have siblings or anything like that, or any of that sort of stuff that you'd like to tell us? Diann Floyd Boehm 02:55 Sure. I love talking about my family. So I was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma. But as the saying goes, we got to Texas as fast as we could. Actually Oklahoma was a lovely state. And But Mom and Daddy, job wise daddy ended up in Houston. And so we moved to Texas, and I grew up in Deer Park, Texas. And later on I became Mr. Park 77 and so is a wonderful, wonderful city to grew up in. And I have five siblings, which gives me lots of insight to having five brothers and having a feel for what boys might say, especially when they were dating. And what else mama and daddy, best parents ever one could ask for hard working. I mean, we didn't get everything we wanted because you know they've six mouths to feed. But that's how you learn to appreciate life. You know, you start babysitting, if you want something or, you know you get a job at 16 so that you learn the value of the dollar. And I really appreciated all that. So how does one growing up? Michael Hingson 04:10 So how did you get to be Miss Deer Park? How did that work out? Diann Floyd Boehm 04:15 It was It wasn't like I was trying to do those things, meaning contests. But a neighbor that I used to babysit for Mrs. Bedford. She said she was going to be starting to Miss San Jacinto, which is a college out here are out there because I moved and what I like to be in it and I was like, no, because I'm not pretty. And then when she said, Well, they're gonna have a talent show and you can win scholarships for college, and then my ears perked up. I wanted to go to college. And when I found out that you would develop interview skills and things that can help you for the future. I latched on to that and tried to enter as many college based contests that I could, and I won a few. And I lost them even more. But that's how you learn, you need to lose. So you learn, and then improve. And developing those interview skills has helped me all through my life so far, and hence, look where I'm Michael Hingson 05:26 at. There you go. Where do you live? Now, by the way, you said you moved? Yes. Diann Floyd Boehm 05:31 So I mean, I've lived in a lot of places, but we've raised our children in Austin, Texas. Ah, okay. I'm in the hill country. And I love it. Michael Hingson 05:42 So are you in Austin? Yes. Well, Diann Floyd Boehm 05:45 I'm in the hills section in Travis County, where the hills START to begin. So it's the beginning of the hill country. So it's really, really pretty. Michael Hingson 05:54 I haven't been in touch for a couple of years. But have you ever eaten at a restaurant in Austin called the blind goat? Diann Floyd Boehm 06:00 If you know people are talking about that one, and I have not, but I am going to make a point to do that. Michael Hingson 06:07 Christine ha who started that restaurant was the winner on master chefs. In I think 2011, she is blind. She's the only blind person to my knowledge, who has ever won that she beat out, I think something like 18,000 people to do it. Wow. And, and so I haven't corresponded with her for a while. But if you get a chance, I'd love to hear what you think of it. Since you're closer than we are. Diann Floyd Boehm 06:36 I will make a point to do that. Thank you for telling me and, and kudos for her, as she must be an excellent chef. But to beat out that many people is extraordinary. And it shows you that when you want something, you don't let anything stop you. Michael Hingson 06:55 Exactly right. So one girl and five brothers, that must have been a lot of fun. Diann Floyd Boehm 07:02 It was a blast. And, you know, I feel very grateful to grown up in the time period that I did. I had two older brothers, and then three younger, so I had, you know, siblings that I got to change their diapers and stuff, because they're much younger than me. So they were my dollies. But it's a great learning experience. And it also made sure that I wasn't boy crazy, because I really know what boys were all about. Michael Hingson 07:29 And I'll bet they kind of monitored you to the older ones. Especially. Diann Floyd Boehm 07:34 Oh my gosh, do I have stories for you? About I didn't really date that much, especially in high school. And I always thought it was because I was so ugly, because my brothers would always be telling me I was fat and ugly. And of course, I believed them because they were family. Right? And, and I was one of these girls that you know, just like people said that then it must be true. So then my brother Danny told me about four years ago, he said, you know, Diane, you know how you didn't really date that much in high school? And I said, Yeah, and he goes, Well, I have a confession to make. I told the boys if they even looked at you, that I would punch him. So there you go. Michael Hingson 08:22 elzear Er, and so your your, your husband had a gauntlet to go through? Hmm. Diann Floyd Boehm 08:29 Oh, well, that is a funny story too. Because all my brothers were fantastic at sports. And some of them became coaches in the neighborhood and so forth. And our else they were also a coach for schools. And so along comes my husband