moderated Re: Working with people at disability help desk

Marianne Denning

I must disagree with you in some areas. My husband says that when he sees something about 10 hidden tips for IOS it usually tells you to go to accessibility. Many people who are not disabled like the features that are available when a certain disability feature is turned on. I will give another example but this is not related to blindness or technology. People were all upset about putting curb cuts in for people with mobility impairments. Then, many people learned how helpful they are when pushing a stroller, moving things on a cart…. People never know how helpful something may be until it is available.


From: <> On Behalf Of Richard B. McDonald
Sent: Sunday, March 7, 2021 12:18 PM
Subject: Re: Working with people at disability help desk




From: <> On Behalf Of Brian Vogel
Sent: Sunday, March 07, 2021 9:11 AM
Subject: Re: Working with people at disability help desk


On Sun, Mar 7, 2021 at 02:02 AM, David Diamond wrote:

implying the blind have a chip on their shoulder

Some do.  Note, I said some, but it becomes pretty obvious, pretty quickly, who falls into that demographic.  In my opinion, Mr. Spivey doesn't.

I have no compunction about saying that there are plenty of chips out there, and most are because the world is not exactly as they want it, and not only that, can't ever be as they want it.

There's a difference between trying to explain why things are the way they are, stating that further change is needed and can be made, but that the fantasy world that's being sought will never occur and saying, "Shut up and be happy with what you've got."

There really is a Grand Scheme of Things, and when you're part of a minority (mine happens to be being gay) you should learn very quickly that the world is never going to cater precisely as you might like to "your tribe" because "your tribe" is a very tiny part of the whole.  

It also helps to realize when "your tribe" has outsized influence relative to numbers.  And when it comes to the world of computing, accessibility, and the blind, the community's influence is hugely outsized compared to your actual numbers.  I've said before, and I'll say again, accessibility is not a money maker, at least not directly.  But the public relations benefits (and, lets admit this too, the penalties that would be incurred for saying "screw you, blind people" if you're a major in the business) for developing an accessibility focus and having dedicated support is huge.  Worth it's weight in gold in places where it can matter a lot, which is not with the general public, really, as prior comments in this topic clearly indicate.

That doesn't mean things are perfect, or cannot use a lot of improvement.  It does mean plaints about being ignored, no one caring about making things better, and the like are pure, unadulterated BS.  I lived through the periods in computing where accessibility wasn't even thought of, where it became grudgingly thought about as an after thought (at best) and badly reverse-engineered, became thought about at design (but infrequently), to the point where it is now taught as part of computer science programs and is built-in to most large scale newly developed software.  That's an absolutely tectonic shift.

Brian - Windows 10 Pro, 64-Bit, Version 20H2, Build 19042  

To think is to differ.
      ~ Clarence Darrow

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