Posts Tagged ‘blind’

Yeah we’ll help you, NOT

October 15, 2011

Ok, I’m going off the beaten path this time. I’m not going to talk about technology in this post at all. Sorry to disappoint but, recently my fiancé and I have come against some obstacles in school that have made her want to stop and me want to press on. Her decision is her own and I have accepted and admire her for that. Getting back to the purpose of this article however, for the past few months we’ve been having issues with our english professor being very rude and personal towards us. Telling us that we need to take better notes (which we have been doing all along) and that if we have questions after that we need to listen (which we do) how in the world do you expect us to do anything different? Oh, and the other day my fiancé got told that it would be easier fi she could use a mouse. Hello wake up she can’t she’s B L I N D. The substitute teacher in this case last Thursday didn’t know how to help so she just didn’t. She made a comment to her basically stating that she didn’t know how she was going to do her work if she couldn’t use a mouse and just left her alone. I’m sorry but this is unacceptable. We pay money to you to get an education and we are being thrown under the bus.
Do you know about the “disability center”? Do you know what there job is? Well, if you don’t let me give you a run down. The so called disability center is a place were you “should” get help with any problems you are having during the semester. The “job” of the disability center is to provide solutions to problems that arise and to provide an equal playing field to all people with disabilities. I’ve found out that they don’t categorize “blindness” as a separate disability. Let me tell you something it is. Blindness doesn’t need to be grouped into low vision or legal blindness. Although I could argue that legal blindness and total blindness are almost the same but, let’s not get into that right now. The point I’m trying to make is that the people at the disability centers say they’ll help however, when it comes down to it they won’t. My fiancé and I both got told that our disability director mind you “was not going to get in the middle.” Well, sorry to bust your bubble Mr. Disability director it’s your freaking JOB. And another thing are some people just idiots when it comes to blindness? Do they not care? Or is it that people who are “trained”don’t give a rats butt? So, here is what’s going to happen and thank God for organizations for the blind. If you haven’t guessed by now, that’s what we are going to do. We are going to get the NFB involved. I must say that I had concerns about doing this. As of now, personally I want the NFB to get involved. If you look at why “blind” and I’m talking legal and total drop out of college, it’s because they don’t have the support of the organizations that fund them and that the disability centers don’t care. Sure, they’ll fight tooth and nail if you have somebody with you to help. But, take the help away and leave a blind person to their own defenses or, in our case leave an engaged blind couple to their defenses and by bye help.
I’m not trying to discourage anybody from going to school. I’m just warning you that your going to face people being idiots and not wanting to help. Your going to have to demand and in some cases threaten with legal and the NFB or your favorite blindness organization to get stuff done. It can be done and my mission is to make the people who are making it even harder see that a blind person can succeed in pursuing a higher level or learning.


Mainstream and Specialized Technology

May 3, 2011

Life has gotten in the way. While life has been getting in the way I’ve had some time to thing about what my next blog psot was going to be about. Well, I’ve got the next thing. You will see from the title what it’s going to be about apparently. So, here it goes. Adaptive technology has been around for a long time. Before the first pda for sighted users came out blind people got there hands on a braille n” speak. I did get this and used it for a long time. The reason why this was a big deal was because a tradional braille writer was heavy, bulky, and LOUD. Very Very Very LOUD. So, when this device came out a lot of people flocked to it. I didn’t have to have a lot of braille paper with notes for school in different folders and then have those folders labeled. This little device cleared all that up. No more paper to sort through just files. I loved it. At this time I was learning to use a computer and loved that as well. But, there was nothing as powerful to me as having a note taker in my hand that was small and I was able to listen to what the teacher had tos ay and also take notes at the same time without having to apologize for my braille writer being loud. Technology has advanced over the years I’ve gotten smarter. Well at least I think I have… and adaptive technology has gotten better. No longer do you need a laptop to do all your word processing on you can have a specialized noe taker. The only disadvantage is that agencies for the blind have to buy them why?? They are expensive the braillenote Apex which is one of the if not the leading note takers for the blind costs $7,000. That’s right that much. The reason? Blind people are a small part of this world. Apple wasn’t ever popular when I was growing up. I only knew windows. Now, that I’m older and a young adult apple has entered the blindness playing field as we’ll call it. Offering everyday devices for the blind. The iphone and the ipad along with their line of laptop and desktop computers. You see, in the windows side of things a list of folders that a sighted person would see is called a “tree view” in the blindness community. So, when you are trying to talk to someone who is sighted about windows your terminology is different espically if you’ve been blind since birth. Apple has since changed that, I’m not saying that apple doesn’t have it’s faults nor am I saying that windows is better. All I’m saying is that we now have choice. Apple can improve in this writers opinion in order to keep up with the screen readers of today like JAWS the leading screen reader and window eyes. But, they do have a shot. Apple has leveled the playing field by providing a solution where sighted and blind mac, iphone, ipad, and ipod touch users can talk about the platform and get things done. A source list in OS X or OS 10 for the blind is also known as a source list to the sighted apple user as well. I see mainstream taking over adaptive. I don’t say this lightly, adaptive equipment does do some things that mainstream will never be able to duplicate but with the prices being compeditive there’s no denying that mainstream will catch up. Adaptive tech will always have it’s own community of people and place in the tech industry, and yes some people will use a mix of adaptive and mainstream devices like myself. But, mainstream is getting better and faster and blowing adaptive tech out of the water.

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