Mystic Access Podcast-logo

Mystic Access Podcast

Arts & Culture Podcasts

We record podcasts on assistive technology and products and services which we find of interest. We specialize in providing comprehensive tools for people who are blind and visually impaired to become empowered to maximize the use of their access technology while having fun doing it.


Buffalo , NY


We record podcasts on assistive technology and products and services which we find of interest. We specialize in providing comprehensive tools for people who are blind and visually impaired to become empowered to maximize the use of their access technology while having fun doing it.






Goodbye Lightning

We begin this episode by updating you on Kim's progress with her iPhone 14 Pro. Learn how she feels about it after several weeks of constant use, the surprising features she now enjoys, and whether she misses anything about her old iPhone SE. Find out her tricks for conquering Face ID and the home and app switcher gestures. We expand the discussion to talk about the Actions button on the iPhone 15 Pro Max and Chris's thoughts. We're excited to announce that a new front porch edition podcast is in our future. We're returning to NC for part of April/May, and while our location will be different since we've sold our NC home, the fun will remain. Look forward to that episode coming up sometime in May or June. Finally, we return to our Spectrum journey to discuss our experience setting up Spectrum internet, some cool braille finds that we didn't expect, and more. We then dive into a discussion and demo of the Xumo streaming box, what it does and doesn't do, a downside when connecting it to the internet, and our thoughts after a few days of using it to stream TV. Kim discusses the remote and gives a tour of some of the features you'll find as part of the box, and you get to hear what the Voice Guide sounds like as we explore. Thanks, as always, for listening!


Why We Got in Trouble

We begin by thanking those of you who have purchased our newest product since its release. We think this information on how to protect yourself from scams is so important, and we're so happy you're enjoying learning more about this subject. To learn more about this audio documentation please visit this page. Have you ever browsed Ebay for your assistive technology needs? How'd that work out for you? We share a cautionary tale of a recent experience we've had purchasing a braille display from an Ebay seller. We'll share updates in a future episode. Next, we take a stroll down memory lane. we've recently been thinking about our paths to today's assistive technology, specifically braille devices and notetakers. We talk about what our older technology use to do for us, what features it contained, and how it has evolved through the years. We all use braille and braille displays/notetakers differently, but they have always made us more proficient both at work and at home. We're amazed that any NLS patron can now get their own braille display for free. We've come such a long way! We hope you'll enjoy this discussion and think about your own experiences, too. Finally, we talk about our switch to Spectrum, why we did it, our thoughts so far in these very early stages, and the services we've purchased. we also demo the streaming service they offer. They have a box you can get called the Xumo Box, which can be connected to modern TVs. It does not connect via a coax cable. We didn't get one of these. I wanted to link to the 70 or so channel streaming service that we purchased and demo here, but have had a lot of trouble finding good information. It may be best to contact spectrum directly to get additional details about the exact name and channel info. I think it's called Spectrum Stream, but please don't quote me. Reach Spectrum by calling: 1-855-843-0996. We'll share more about our journey, and demo additional Spectrum apps in upcoming episodes. Thanks, as always, for listening.



We're excited to begin this episode by announcing that our first product of the year has been released! Staying Safe from Scams is a three and a half hour overview of the scams you may encounter, tactics scammers use to fool you, and how to prevent yourself from being scammed. We cover email, snail mail, website, phone, text, and romance scams. You'll also learn about web tools and other strategies to help keep you safe. This documentation is specifically designed from a blindness perspective. The documentation also comes with a comprehensive resource list in .docx format to help you continue learning on your own. Learn more and purchase your copy here. This product is currently on sale, so take advantage of the lower price while it's available. We can't wait to share this info with you! Next, we discuss an event we were hoping to attend this spring, and the sad reason we're no longer going. This is a good example of how many folks don't necessarily understand accessibility and usability needs. While we're unhappy, we currently aren't taking any further action, but wanted to share our experience with you. We have a new Lasko space heater to demo for you. This is a link to the product on Target, as we can guarantee it's the one we purchased. We discuss the front touch panel controls, the remote, and more. A highly recommended purchase for those with frigid winters, or even frigid rooms! Finally, we talk about our experience using the UPS pickup service from DoorDash. Maybe this would be a good option for you to try, too. Many thanks, as always, for listening! We appreciate you!


Fancy New Camera

In this episode, we discuss Kim's first empressions of Face ID and having a phone without a home button. We also discuss Uber and Lyft and why we prefer one over the other at this current time.


Kind of like Santa Claus

Welcome to our final podcast of 2023. How is that even possible? We begin by sharing about Kim's Christmas present from Chris; the Soundcore Frames Bluetooth glasses by Anker. We discuss pairing and connecting, and Kim plays some music and shares how to use the touch controls. You also get to hear the phone call quality when using the glasses. Activate this link to purchase a pair of Soundcore Frames for yourself or someone you love. This is our affiliate link, and we receive a small commission when you purchase via this link. Next, Kim discusses a great Audible alternative, Chirp. This site regularly has sales in which you can purchase books for under $10 each. Kim loves Chirp for its ease of use, variety, and, of course, awesome prices during sales. Learn about the service, go on a tour of the home page, walk through the checkout process with Kim, and discover how to play books from your Chirp library both on a PC and via iOS. And yes, we use the Soundcore Frames during the iOS portion. Visit this link to check out Chirp and their vast selection of books. Our final demo of the year is for this great Amazon Basics shredder. Note that if you purchase from the above link we'll receive a small commission. We thought we needed a second shredder in the house, and while this one isn't quite as powerful as our old one, it doesn't need to be. IT shreds CDs, credit cards, and all that junk mail or those sensitive documents you no longer need. We definitely recommend it. We hope your holidays are happy and filled with lots of love and laughter. Looking forward to sharing 2024 with you! Thanks for being a listener! We appreciate you! Happy Merry everything!


Little Treasures

Looking for that last-minute stocking stuffer or perfect present? In this episode we're making our list and checking it twice. No, we aren't necessarily Santa's helpers, but we discuss several items we've purchased during the past year that we think may make great gifts for your friends, family members, or maybe even for you! Products range from software and electronics to things that can make your holidays the coziest ever. The full list is below. Amazon affiliate links for applicable items are coming soon. Please note that if you order one of the below products from our Amazon link, we'll receive a small commission. We never recommend products or services we haven't used and enjoyed ourselves. Ten Port USB Wall Charger Retractable Multi-Charging Cable House Address Labels Surfshark VPN Gentler Streak App for iOS Ring Glass Break Sensor Winability Software Lux Beauty Essentials Microfiber Hair Towel Sheets Laundry Club Detergent Berkshire Blankets and Throws Sabatier Multi-Tool Shears Qardio Health Apps for iOS and Android Internet Download Manager Software for PC Grove Square Hot Chocolate, Tea, Cider, and Cappuccino Pods Kuephom Portable CD Player with Speaker Wooden Puzzle Boxes for Your Treasures Hope you find something to share or enjoy on our list. Thanks for listening!


A Pretty Good Achievement

Welcome to the 300th episode of the Mystic Access podcast! Wow! We begin by delving into a little of the podcast's history, Kim's involvement, and how excited we are to have hit this very cool milestone. We also thank everyone who attended our day-after-Thanksgiving open house! It was awesome, as always. If you missed this one, we'll be doing it again next year, as well as another open house sometime in late July, 2024. The Majority of this episode contains a discussion of HumanWare's Stellar Trek and our newly-released audio documentation on this innovative GPS device. We're joined in the castle by Mathieu Paquette, who talks about the Stellar Trek, its many features, what's coming in future updates, and more. We also share about how our documentation, which is free to everyone, can help you decide whether the Stellar is the right device for you. We hope you enjoy this fun discussion. Thanks, as always, for listening and spreading the word about our podcast. We appreciate you.


Calorie Free

Welcome to our annual food edition! Our friend and former co-host Lisa Salinger joins us to share in all things delicious. Get ready for fun, laughter, and easy recipes to love both during the holiday season and throughout the year. All recipes can be found below. First, though, a couple quick event-related announcements. Our phone comparison event is being made available as a download rather than a live event. Registrations were very low, so we made the decision to just put this up as a free download as soon as possible. I'll send an announcement to our free Events mailing list as soon as the audio is available. If you had hoped or intended to join us live, and you had questions, please send them to us via email and we'll do our best to answer in the audio. And speaking of events, we will be holding our annual open house on Friday, November 24, between 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM eastern time. You must register to join us at the event. To do so, please visit: This is an annual event, and is always so much fun. Feel free to come for 20 minutes or stay for the entire time, it's all up to you. And no, you don't need to talk if you'd rather not. This event is never recorded, and we look forward to it every year. To make this episode even better, Kesel Wilson, editorial director with National Braille Press comes by the castle to talk about 2023 holiday picks. Is there much better to celebrate all things festive than books and food? We think not! Hope the start to your holiday festivities is simply wonderful! Now, on to the recipes! Citrus Rainbow Carrots (Excerpted from: Makes 6 servings Prep/Total Time: 25 min. Ingredients 2 pounds medium rainbow or regular carrots, diagonally sliced 3 tablespoons butter 2 tablespoons sugar 1-1/2 teaspoons grated orange zest 2 tablespoons orange juice 3/4 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon pepper 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves Directions 1. Place carrots and enough water to cover in a large saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cook, uncovered, until tender, 8-10 minutes. Drain; return to pan. 2. Add remaining ingredients. Cook over medium-high heat until carrots are glazed, 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Test Kitchen Tips Rainbow carrots can be deep burgundy, golden yellow, jeweled orange or creamy white in color. Be careful to only zest the outer layer of orange peel. The white part underneath is bitter. One medium orange will yield about 4 teaspoons grated orange zest. Nutrition Facts 2/3 cup: 132 calories, 6g fat (4g saturated fat), 15mg cholesterol, 445mg sodium, 19g carbohydrate (12g sugars, 4g fiber), 2g protein. Lemony rice One and 3/4 cups chicken broth or 1 3/4 cups of water and two bouillon cubes or the equivalent 1/4 cup lemon juice 1 cup white rice, not instant or minute rice. Bring the broth and lemon juice to a boil in a saucepan. Add the rice, turn to low, cover and cook for about 18 minutes. If you normally cook your rice for 22 minutes, cook it for 20 instead. The acid in the lemon juice breaks down the rice a bit, and if you cook it for the normal amount of time, it will be too mushy. Applesauce Sweet Potatoes (Excerpted from: Makes 8 servings Prep: 15 min. Cook: 4 hours Ingredients 3 pounds sweet potatoes (about 5 medium), peeled and sliced 1-1/2 cups unsweetened applesauce 2/3 cup packed brown sugar 3 tablespoons butter, melted 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/2 cup glazed pecans, chopped, optional Directions 1. Place sweet potatoes in a 4-qt. slow cooker. In a small bowl, mix applesauce, brown sugar, melted butter and cinnamon; pour over potatoes. 2. Cook, covered, on low 4-5 hours or until potatoes are tender. If desired, sprinkle with pecans before serving. Serve with a slotted spoon. Nutrition Facts 3/4 cup (calculated without pecans): 303 calories,


When Everything Goes Wrong

Happy Halloween, everyone. To finish off the spooky season, we reminisce about favorite costumes from our pasts, fond Halloween memories, and Halloween mishaps. We bet this segment brings back fun memories for you, too. If you enjoyed our discussion of the Kapsys smart Vision 3 phone last week, don't forget we're having a free event comparing multiple accessible cell phone options. It's on November 16, and you must register to attend. Please paste the following link into your favorite browser to get started: We think we may have provided the wrong impression to you in the past, and we hope to change that with a story. Our technology can have epic failures, and not all our outings are fun or stress-free, either. Learn more in this episode. What should you do when technology goes wrong? Thanks, as always, for listening! Talk to you in November!


A Twix Girl

In today's episode we begin by sharing our spooky finds for the Halloween season, including coffee mugs and animated friends. All our new goodies are from Target's Hide and Eek Boutique Collection. Have you done or purchased anything for enjoying spooky season? We also demo the Smart Vision 3 cell phone from Kapsys. How does it differ from other popular cell phones with speech? What cool features does it offer? While you'll hear a lot about it in today's episode, we're also happy to invite you to a free event in November where we'll do further comparisons and answer your questions about the phone. If you're part of our Events newsletter, you'll receive joining info soon. Thanks, as always, for listening.


Couples Rules

In this episode we share about our trip to the Apple store. While we went there to help out a family member, we ended up coming home with goodies for ourselves, too. We talk about our impressions of the experience, the items we purchased, and Kim shares some vocal thoughts on Watch OS 10. Speaking of Apple watch, we have a sad and sudden announcement about our Apple Watch audio tutorial. Stay tuned for more news on that topic in the new year. We also provide a few demos from our new Apple HomePod mini for your enjoyment. As always, thanks for listening! Happy October!


Over the Moon

We have two demos in this episode that we hope will be useful and fun for you. First, Chris explains why he bought a pair of Bluetooth glasses and demos how they work with both the Stellar Trek from HumanWare and his iPhone 14 Pro. We show how they sound by a busy street, on a phone call, and more. To check out the WGP Smart Audio Glasses with Anti-Blue Light and Open Ear Speakers with Bluetooth Connectivity, please visit our Amazon affiliate link. We receive a small commission if you choose to order via this link. Next, Kim has a super exciting update to share about the Philo streaming service. Not only does it offer about 70 channels for $25 monthly, but it also now includes audio description on some of its live channels. Visit Philo at this link. To learn more about the audio description Philo offers and how it works, visit this page in their Help center. What content would you like us to cover in future episodes of the podcast? What do you want to hear more or less of? We'll soon be offering polls on our site so you can share your thoughts. Our first one should be ready by our next episode and we'll share a link in the show notes. In the meantime, thanks as always for listening and spreading the word. We appreciate you.


Superman is on The Sub

This action-packed episode begins with some updates. Chris shares an exciting announcement about AB Commander, a really cool file manager/explorer replacement that we discussed in our last episode. Kim also shares that the course-buying site she talked about last time, Udemy, regularly holds big sales where you can learn about topics of interest at amazing prices. So if you're interested, stay tuned to their app or site. We devote most of the episode to discussing our vacation and all the amazing local discoveries we made. We discuss how we planned ahead to receive assistance at the places we visited, how that worked, transportation to/from, and most importantly, all the cool experiences we had and people we met along the journey. If you want to learn more, especially if you're in/hope to visit Western NY, here are links to the places we visited, all of which we definitely highly recommend for education and fun! Buffalo Naval Park Buffalo River History Tours Liberty Hound (restaurant) Buffalo History Museum Buffalo History Museum Podcast Buffalo Museum of Science The Naval Park and Museum of Science both have YouTube channels, as well, which you may enjoy. There's also a really cool virtual tour on the Naval Park site that may be interesting to ship lovers in general. Fascinating stuff. We took the tour before we went and found them incredibly educational about the vessels we were going to see. Happy September, everyone, and thanks for listening and spreading the word about us. We appreciate you.


I Can Learn to Bake a Pie

What can you learn from this podcast episode? Well, quite a lot, actually. Chris introduces you to three handy pieces of software; a file manager, a file encrypting utility, and a neat folder manager that can also temporarily make your files disappear from prying eyes. Activate this link to visit the Winability site to learn more, enjoy free trials, and purchase licenses. You may be hearing more about this company from us soon, because they have some very cool software! Speaking of learning, Kim demonstrates Udemy, a site that offers thousands of video courses on any topic under the sun. We tour the iOS version of the Udemy app, check out a couple of course pages, preview content, and more. Learn more about Udemy by activating this link. Thanks for listening and learning with us.


bonus episode HumanWare and Mystic Access Stream 3 tutorial announcement

In this bonus episode Chris, Kim, and Mathieu from HumanWare hold a webinar on the newly released Stream 3 audio tutorial. We also take listener questions. This webinar was held on August 10, 2023.


Pull the Curtain Back

We begin this episode by sharing some exciting news about our Stream 3 audio documentation. It will be released on Thursday, August 10. You'll be able to download it at either (and then go to the Stream 3 page), or in the HumanWare category. You may download in DAISY and/or MP3. The documentation is twelve and a half hours in duration. We're also holding a webinar about the new audio at 8:00 PM ET on August 10. Register for free to join us on this page. We'll be joined by Mathieu Paquette of HumanWare, and will look forward to answering your questions. Our main topic for this time is receiving accommodations when traveling to places such as museums, parks, etc. How do you receive assistance? What steps should you take in advance? We talk about some upcoming destinations we hope to visit in the next few weeks and how we're working with those places to make sure we have fun visits while not frustrating the staff. There are ways to have a great visit while making sure both you and your assistant(s) have a smooth experience. Thanks, as always, for listening. If you know others whom you think will enjoy the podcast, please pass on the recommendation with our appreciation.


Back to Boston

In this episode we announce why the previous episode was late in more details. Next we demonstrate the Expedia app on iOS. We then discuss the Accessible power bank from AT Guys. Finally we take a look at the menus for all app. Thanks so much for being a podcast listener.


Remote Wars

In this episode we first discuss why the podcast is a little late this time. Next we discuss our new Roku TV and it's accessibility. Finally we talk about the Qardio products. Thanks for being a podcast listener and enjoy the episode.


Book Browsing

In this episode Kim and Chris first talk about an update to the Stream 3 tutorial. Next we talk about convention sales at Mystic Acces with two updates. We spend most of the episode in the castle speaking with Kesel Wilson of National Braille Press about their summer pics.


Super Cool

In this episode of the podcast we start with our free event that is being held on Thursday June 15. The event is how to stay safe from scammers. Activate this link For more information and register. Next we demonstrate the Call Annie app for iOS. We then open and learn about the CONBOLA Portable Tower Fan, Bladeless Desk 16 Inch 10000mAh Battery Operated Rechargeable Fan Oscillating Standing Fan with 3 Speeds TimerLED Light, Small Personal Quiet Table Fans for Bedroom, Gray. This fan is portable and battery powered and works well. This is an Amazon affiliate link. If you purchase this product we may receive a small commission. Finally we demonstrate the Day One journal app. This is a very accessible app to keep a jurnal or multiple jurnals for your life. Thank you for being a podcast listener.