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not a good day

anna364's picture
on February 21, 2013 - 9:17pm

Today, I came to the end of my tolerance quotient. I have tried to listen live to 3 web casts now, and I've missed them all, not because I don't have a computer. My cell phone has no accessability features, and I spent almost three days trying to set up everything so I could listen. Once again, due to the ignorance and deliberate disreguard of certain web designers, developers or other persons who love to make the web more beautiful, forgot that blind people also use the web and need all necessary functions to be made keyboard accessible. I know that this has been a matter of contention between me and FOJG since 2004, and I'm sure some may ask why I still bother to be involved. Now, excuse me if I'm just a little miffed right now, because, if Dorothy, Josh's late Grandmother on his Mom's side knew about this, she'd be seething in her grave right now! It is absolutely beyond me and many other blind people I know how we live in a sighted world, which, were it not for all the technology that's out there, would be terribly inconvenient for anyone to get around. There's just one problem. It is certainly *not* that we have a problem accomodating the sighted world. I get annoyed when people tell me how "amazing" I am that I can do all the things I can do, but I can handle it. Most importantly, I show them that although I can't see, I use all my other senses to do whatever I need or want to to live a fairly comfortable life and get along in the world. Now when it comes to adaptation, this is something we all learn to do. I love teaching people how to use their other senses to get around, especially since it's important to learn how to find your way in your house in complete darkness in case of a fire. (It's actually true that 93 percent of all deaths from fires are due to disorientation followed by smoke inhalation.) That's a pretty impressive amount of people who could learn how to find their way around their house and learn how to get out quickly and confidently to safety. Afterall, you can't see a darn thing in a fire, so it's important to learn these vital skills. So. When it comes to asking the sighted world to help us make the web more accessible, it becomes a nightmare from hell! In the interest of making the web more beautiful, people have forgotten how to be practically minded, not to mention to use common sense! Moreover, whenever I try to assist them in making it easier and cheaper to make things easier for us, it's as if I'm talking to a machine or machines rather than people. Hmmmm: I wonder if that's why Josh wrote that song, you know "Machine"? If people turned on the lights inside a room, they'd see so much better. Likewise, if people suddenly found themselves in total darkness, they wouldn't know what to do unless they had some basic safety skills to help them navigate their environment and get to safer ground. With this thought in mind, why then do people insist on making things so much harder than they have to in order to make the web more accessible to us? I hardly believe that it's a matter of money! Today, more than ever, people are finding it harder and harder to solve simple problems. Why? I'm convinced that, in general, we (and yes, that includes blind people, too), are not being taught to THINK! Problem solving is left to scientists and engineers, while more and more people are simply learning to press buttons and memorize all sorts of functions which were created by developers and engineers whose sole purpose is to create complicated, and sometimes picky machines, tools, graphics and even functions that can only be performed by clicking a mouse! First of all, we don't nor can we use a mouse, and Braille takes up far too much space on a mouse to even be practical. We use screen readers designed to make it easier to navigate around the web and hopefully access information we need to use throughout our lives to live independently, fi that's possible. Now, if you mention this to soe web developer who knows only about graphic design, you'd be hard pressed to make any sense to him/her unless you lay it out on a table in front of them so that the pages are set up in such a way that makes sense. For example, if I want to look up something in the dictionary, I should have no trouble doing so, provided that there's text on the page which my screen reading technology can read for me. Now, picture this: You go to look up something, and you discover a page with only pictures on it, and all the "text" isn't actually text, but rather pictures or imbedded images on the screen. Now, try to explain this to someone who can see and demonstrate to them that you need text that your technology can read, and he might cover his eyes (at least) with his hands and act confused and tell you "Well, I'm not sure I can do that." there you have it! A brick wall in front of both of you which niether of you can get around, because all you see is the brick wall! What's to your left or right is anyone's guess. So who's really blind here? Is it the one who can see, or the one who can't? I'd think we both know the answer to that, and even though I can't physically see, I think I know what some things really look like, now really! I know Josh can relate to this. He should. He had a tremendous respect for Dorothy, his Grandmother, and I could tell he did just by the way he related to me just over eight years ago. Moreover, his Dad did too a year later when I lay in the intensive care unit of St. Joseph's Hospital with 3 liters of fluid and gangrenous tissue inside my belly due to a Meckel's Diverticulum that ruptured, became infected and almost killed me. Jack knew I didn't bring this on myself, and moreover, he also knew that even if I tried to prove I wasn't a failure or that I didn't bring it on myself to certain people, I could never satisfy some who'd love it if I proved them wrong. They'd always find something else to challenge me, and I don't play those kinds of games! Josh and Jack reminded me that life was too precious. I know I'm not alone, either. I only hope that I can get some respect and cooperation from the powers that be in order that I may be able to stay connected to Josh and all the wonderful things he does! That man is a miracle worker to me, and God knew what he was doing when he Blessed Jack and Lindi (or is it y) with him and Chris. That's it for now. TaTa!

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