Year: 2019

Would You Like a Candy Bar?

we’ve reached the end of 2019, and are saying good-bye to the year by discussing two interesting devices. The first is the BlindShell candy bar-style cell phone. The phone includes intuitive button controls, voice prompts, and a simple-to-use interface. Chris takes us on a tour. We’re excited to be sharing this great little phone with you!

We also talk about the pros and cons of the Amazon Echo flex. If you want a tiny Echo to use, learn why the Flex may, or may not, be the right fit for you.

Thanks for being part of our 2019 — we appreciate you! Have a safe, happy and wonderful New Year!

A Magical Kingdom

We begin this episode with a little maintenance, in the form of some holiday shipping reminders. We also let you know when we close for business for the holidays, and remind you of some timely presents if you’re pressed for something to get a loved one.

Our main topic for today is a discussion of the new Disney+ service. Download the app for iOS and Android. What do we love, and what are we unhappy about? Find out in our candid conversation. Note that Disney+ requires a paid subscription.

Thanks as always for listening!

The Lisa Gets Mouthy Edition

Welcome to our over-sized annual food edition, where first, Lisa has returned, and she and Kim endeavor to make you hungry with a couple of festive holiday treats.

Lisa’s Cream Cheese Mints

  • 8 oz package cream cheese, full fat, softened (You want the block, not the whipped cream cheese in the tub)
  • 1/4 cup (or 1 half stick) butter, softened
  • 2 lbs powdered sugar
  • 1 – 2 tsp mint extract
  • gel food coloring (optional)
  • Granulated sugar for rolling.

When I made these, I left the candies white and used green sugar.

  1. Let butter and cream cheese get to room temperature. Mix these, along with the peppermint or whatever extract you would like to use, in a large bowl. Gradually add the powdered sugar. You may find you don’t use it all. I did, but then added an extra third package of cream cheese. This recipe is fairly foolproof, so relax. I’ve seen some that do not include the butter.
  2. Mix all ingredients except food coloring and granulated sugar until smooth and well-blended. If you’re going to make candies of different colors, divide it into separate containers before adding the coloring.
  3. If you like, you can then roll these in small balls, pressing down on them with the tines of a fork.
  4. If using silicone molds, roll each ball in sugar before pressing into the mold. Doing this will allow them to unmold easily.
  5. Let them dry for about half an hour on waxed paper before refrigerating. Lay them in single layers of waxed paper so they don’t stick together.

Kim’s Beer Bread

I chose to link to a website for this recipe, as, while it differs very slightly from mine (I always use butter), it gives a lot of cool alternatives and ways to dress this bread up. Any way you choose to eat it, it’s so tasty! Click here for the recipe.

We also discuss something shocking about Amazon prior to our recipes that you’ll find, well, interesting.

If that’s not enough, we’re then joined by Kesel Wilson, editor and programs manager with National Braille Press, to run down a plethora of new and upcoming releases from NBP. She shares so many terrific books that you’re sure to find something to gift to someone you love, including you! Click here to visit National Braille Press.

We hope you enjoy this jam-packed episode!

Mystic Access Gratitude Edition

We begin this episode by sharing about our November free event, our last actual class of 2019. We hope you’ll join us to learn about how you can support small business owners, artists and artisans by learning about a few of our favorite things… in this case, a few of our favorite sites. If you miss the live class, which is always announced on our free events mailing list, it will be archived in a week or two on our free downloads page for your listening pleasure.

Keep listening to learn about our Black Friday discounts, and important info about shipping costs and the ability to purchase digital gifts for your loved ones. We also discuss a very special four-hour virtual open house that we’re holding on November 29, Black Friday. It’s free to attend, and we know a grand time will be had by participants. We’ll be playing games, giving out prizes, and sharing a lot of laughter and fun. This event will be very casual and informal, and will not be recorded.

Have you ever wished you could order Thanksgiving dinner online, either to cut down on your prep time, because there are only a couple of you, or due to the convenience factor? You may have several other reasons for wanting to do this, and this article shares multiple sites from which you can purchase the Thanksgiving meal.

Other fun elements of today’s episode include a great seasonal food app demo from Lisa, a serious moment of gratitude from Chris and Kim, and a very special guest who you won’t want to miss! Enjoy!

Allergic to Computers

In this episode Chris and Kim start out with two announcements.

The first is the topic and date of the November free class. This class will be on Thursday November 21, rather than the usual final Thursday of the month. The last Thursday is Thanksgiving in the United States. Listen for all the details of our exciting class topic. You can join us by subscribing to our events mailing list. Just fill out the form on our home page if you are not already subscribed. The Zoom information will be sent out the Monday before the class.

The next announcement discusses updated physical shipping rates from Mystic Access to select countries outside the US. The shipping announcement also includes important shipping info for our US customers.

If you’ve ever wanted a behind-the-scenes look at our shipping processes, you’ll enjoy this podcast. Chris demonstrates the method he uses to ship out a package, since we have had questions about how we do it with assistive technology.

Finally, we enter the Mystic Access Magic Castle and talk to Mary Jo Barry, the US Marketing Manager from Dolphin Computer Access. We talk about Dolphin products and focus on a new product from Dolphin called GuideConnect. GuideConnect is a talking digital assistant that can provide you with online entertainment, the ability to browse websites with ease, and which can bring you closer to family and friends with an easy to use interface.

Thanks so much for being a podcast listener.

Virtual Text To Speech People

This episode is not only informative, it’s spooky, too! Check out all the sounds Chris interspersed throughout for Halloween.

We begin by discussing Your Choice of Voice, our free event for October, 2019. If you want to learn about the various text to speech voices available for your favorite platform (PC, Mac or mobile, we’ll be sharing many of the available options (with demos, of course) where you can get them, and how you can configure them to sound just the way you want. We hope you’ll join us, either live at the event, or via the recording when we put it up on our Free Downloads page. Make sure you’re on our Events mailing list to get all the joining details.

Our recent event on using Microsoft Word efficiently has been DAISYed and is now available to everyone. You can download this 90-minute audio in DAISY and MP3 formats. Your purchase also includes an extensive written resources list to help increase your confidence with Word no matter your platform. We had a great response to this when it was a live event, and hope anyone frustrated with Word will check it out.

After a fun discussion of our favorite Halloween candy and a related story by Chris, we’re thinking that, like us, you may end up regretting some of your Halloween gluttony. Fortunately, we have two great exercise tools to help you burn off some of those candy calories. Chris discusses his [amazon text=under the desk eliptical&asin=B074F1S194], and Kim shares about her easily portable [amazon text=twist stepper.&asin=B009QXP5C0] Please note that these are Mystic Access Amazon affiliate links, so if you purchase from these links, we’ll receive a small commission and our gratitude. We only recommend items we’ve joyfully and successfully used ourselves, or which have been recommended to us by deeply trusted sources.

Kim wants to tempt you with a couple final Halloween treats, so if you’re into brownies in particular, she can highly recommend the delights found at Fat Witch Bakery. Try one of their cauldrons for a yummy sampler of their products. And here’s an article on a dozen delicious treats you can also buy online.

After a discussion of the Audible books we’re currently reading, we end by revisiting a segment Kim put in a podcast several years ago about a now old helpful electronic friend that’s still going strong today. Check out this amazing little [amazon text=Lasko space heater.&asin=7300019196] Please note that this is an Mystic Access Amazon affiliate link, so if you purchase from this link, we’ll receive a small commission and our gratitude. We only recommend items we’ve joyfully and successfully used ourselves, or which have been recommended to us by deeply trusted sources.

Thanks for listening, Happy Halloween, and stay safe and cozy!

She is a Very Glamorous Witch

Welcome to this episode of the podcast. We begin with a couple timely announcements. The first regards our event on becoming more efficient and confident using Microsoft Word. This event takes place on Thursday, October 10. Whether you primarily use word on your PC, mac, or a mobile device, we’re providing tips, strategies and a plethora of keystrokes to help you maximize your use of the program. Tired of feeling overwhelmed or totally lost when trying to format or edit that document? We’re here to help! The event will be recorded if you’re unable to attend live. Register at the link above, or give us a call during business hours at (716) 543-3323, and we’ll be happy to place your order via phone.

Next, we address a couple site related items that are important for you to understand. Listen carefully as we discuss Mystic Access website accounts, how they work and when you create an account. We also discuss reward points which you receive when you place orders with us and which can be redeemed to save you money. Our points software has changed, so now you receive more clarification on how many points you have, and how many points you can earn on each product you purchase.

You won’t need to redeem any reward points to attend our free October event, Your Choice of Voice, on Thursday, October 24. In this event, we’re going to have a lot of fun discussing and demonstrating various text to speech voices, companies which provide text to speech, platforms where you can use voices from various companies, and configuring voices to meet your specific requirements. If you enjoy learning about the various voices you can use to make your computer or mobile device your own, you’ll love this event! To receive the joining info, make sure you’re part of our Events mailing list, which you can sign up for on all pages of We’d love to have you with us live!

Amazon recently had an event where several new Alexa-related devices were announced. We share our thoughts on the new devices, and reminisce on just how far the Echo has come since its initial release, as demonstrated by this podcast we did when it first came out.

October is here, there’s finally a chill in the air, the leaves are turning, and there’s a very important event at the end of this month — Halloween! while Chris and I are getting excited about all that, we decided to take a little stroll down memory lane to discuss some of our favorite Halloween costumes of yesteryear. We also share the very fun website, where you can listen to five different Halloween themed radio stations. Apps are also available for iOS and Android, and we take a tour of the iOS app and play you some spooky soundscapes and terrifying tunes.

Thanks as always for listening!

I’d Like To Be Rescued

We begin this episode by discussing our just completed Android course which is now available for pre-order, and which will be released on October 1. We’re so happy with how this turned out and are really looking forward to sharing it with more of you.

On Thursday, October 10, we’ll be presenting an event about fast and efficient ways to use Microsoft Word, particularly the huge variety of key commands available. We’re trying out a new system for joining our events which we hope will make it more convenient for people and agencies to purchase multiple seats… this system calls them tickets. To learn more and reserve your ticket, please click here. You can also check out upcoming events from the Upcoming Events heading on the site homepage.

Speaking of events, our free event for September is coming up on the 26th, and will discuss some highlights and bugs introduced in the just-released iOS 13. We discuss our opinions on a few iOS changes, and we hope you can join us at our event to learn even more about this eagerly anticipated version of iOS. Join our Events mailing list to receive all joining info, and remember that the event will be recorded and available on our free downloads page if you can’t attend live, or would like to listen later.

You know how often when there’s an app or software update, those of us who use access technology groan and worry about what may happen in terms of accessibility? Well, sometimes, just the opposite occurs. We share a few apps in which VoiceOver accessibility has taken leaps forward in the last few months, and Kim gives a brief tour of the Haus of Gloi app, which was just recently released for Android and iOS. If you’re into clean beauty and amazing bath and body products, check out this great company.

Finally, Chris reminds you that his terrific Chromebook tutorial is available for purchase. He also shares an experience he had while in the midst of its creation, in which a friendly Aira agent saved him from a very sticky situation. Fortunately, while you may get a laugh out of it, you’ll see that it all works out in the end.

Thanks as always for listening!

The Tip Of The Iceberg

We begin by sharing about our free September event which is coming up on September 26, 2019 — Lisa Salinger will be joining us to talk about the plethora of changes you’ll find in iOS 13. Don’t worry, you’ll like them! If you’re an iOS user, or would like to learn more about the power of iOS devices, we’d love to have you join us. To get all the joining information, please make sure you’re subscribed to our Events mailing list. You can subscribe from any page of our website.

Are you sad that you missed the live version of our acquainting Yourself with Android event? Don’t worry. It’s now available for pre-order from the link above. The DAISYed product will be released on October 1. We’re so excited to bring you this information as a fully navigable product.

Speaking of pre-orders, just a friendly reminder that our Chromebooks audio documentation is also available for pre-order now. Chris is hard at work getting this ready for you, and we know it’ll be crammed with excellent information. This will be released on Monday, September 16.

We next share a scary experience we had when I was remotely accessing Chris’s computer. Listen to hear about our frightening encounter, and learn what never to do during a remote access session.

Remember how we focused last time on the concept of “what’s old is new again?” Well, this time we’re sharing about how to access some beloved old media in a very comprehensive way. Enjoy learning about the fabulous OTR website

We end by sharing about another of our new Bluetooth speakers, which will be available for pre-order soon. I’ll put a link here in the show notes when it’s available for purchase. This speaker is water resistant, plays via Bluetooth, aux and micro SD card, and provides amazing sound for its size. You can also pair two together for exceptional stereo sound. We can’t wait to share it with you! OH, and speaking of sharing, this speaker charges via micro USB, as many of your items probably do. If you’ve ever been frustrated when trying to plug in those micro cables that only go in one way, these amazing micro USB cables will solve that issue for you. We’re selling them in packs of three, so you’ll find multiple lengths to meet all your charging needs. Activate the link above to learn all about them and to order yours.

Thanks as always for listening! We appreciate you!