The Podcast And You

By Timothy Hornik

Do you enjoy listening to audio books from the National Library Service’s Braille and Audio Reading Download (BARD) program? Would you like to listen to the latest news or learn the latest information about medical research through short, on-demand episodes? If so, you may wish to investigate your favorite topics via a podcast.

Podcast refers to any media type (audio and video, for example), consumable through computing devices (personal computers and digital audio book readers). In 2004, Ben Hammersley of the British Broadcasting Company brought about the podcast by merging the extremely popular Apple iPod with on-demand broadcasting programs. ​

Today, podcasts claim one of the top spots for individuals, organizations, and many of your favorite broadcast programs to engage with their audiences. No other media genre allows one to hear news from around the world, then learn a new science fact, and then pick up a new language by simply pressing the next selection button.

Believe it or not, you already possess the necessary devices and knowledge to be a consumer of podcasts. There are three main methods: digital audio book player, Smartphone, or web browser. The Hims Blaze and Victor Reader Stream contain a menu option for podcasts. Both devices offer an assortment of podcasts that Hims and Freedom Scientific believe are appealing to the visually impaired community.

Podcasts allow the user to expand or remove the preloaded titles and search for new channels. Secondly, the Apple Podcast app, Overcast, and TuneIn feature an almost limitless number of podcasts for your Smartphones, tablets, and streaming media devices such as the Apple TV Fourth Generation. Finally, many of your favorite TV channels for news and radio shows utilize podcasts to release recordings of supplemental material. Give any of these a try through a search for “Blind Veteran” in any of these options’ search fields.

Even the Blinded Veterans Association recently stepped into the podcasting arena through a committee formed following last August’s national convention. Our goal is to promote news and information about BVA through podcasts and other digital communication methods. This process starts with the newly constructed BVA Podcast website and we will soon start publishing legislative news updates, current activities at VA, information about our membership, and BVA’s Public Service Announcements.

If you enjoy learning and sharing information about technology, consider participating in one of several teleconferences for and by blinded veterans. The Hines Blind Center Alumni and Blind Vet Tech teleconferences are open to everyone. A schedule of teleconferences may be found at

You can also stay up-to-date with the latest news and announcements from the Blind Vet Tech team by subscribing to the Blind Vet Tech News and Announcements podcast on iTunes and/or subscribing to the Blind Vet Tech Quick Guides and Tutorials on iTunes.

Audio Version Of The Podcast and You