Ever thought about the history of things like audio books? “Reading by Ear” is a doc I produced for CBC Spark about the history of alternative reading formats like Talking Books for the blind.
I speak with Mara Mills, a professor from NYU who is doing research on the history of Talking Books and Shefeka Hashash who used Talking Books as she was growing up.
Talking Books have had a fascinating and forgotten history, especially in terms of how its related to the development of sound production technologies. Effects like Auto-Tune for example relates to the history of Talking Books.
I produced a segment for CBC Spark called “The Line Between Accessory and Assistive Technology“.
This segment explores how objects like glasses have transitioned from being associated with vision impairment to accessory for many people. And yet, other assistive technologies, like canes or hearing aids, haven’t made a similar transition.
I examined how how labelling certain devices as assistive technologies, shapes our assumptions and treatment of the people who use them.