[access-uk] Re: Sales and support staff's knowledage of braille

Jackie
It is great that you support the employment of blind people. I was forced out of my job in 1993 before the DDA. Reason, I became a MRSA carrier but this was only there when I was in the environment of sick people. When I was at home I was totally clear. However, the Health Authority (or my Boss at least) was not going to go on paying for me to sit around at home when tests showed that I was carrying the MRSA. Once at home, it would clear and return when I went back to work. I was not sick or anything like that. After treatment for Cancer at the same hospital, my MRSA was found to be a particular strain to that hospital alone. Then what happened, oh yes, all my MRSA tests results went missing!!! Yes missing! once I was being forced to leave my job and I began asking questions. I had even gone to staff lectures in the hospital where this issue of MRSA was at a critical level with the hospital actually opening special MRSA wards and I was sent on to these wards to treat the patients as they said 'well, I was a carrier and they did not wish to put another staff member in a position of becoming a carrier'. This is indeed all true. One person asked in the critical lecture, what if someone sued the hospital. The response from the Microbiology department was that the Health Authority were very luckey that nobody had but if they did, then the person would have a case. As I say all my test results went missing!!!! Then I tried to raise questions. I was told that I would have to prove that on a certain day at a certain time the MRSA organism entered my body. Well I did not stand a chance. Then the hospital/Health Authority tried to make me Redundant. No chance, I was not having that. I went through all sorts with my Union etc but my union rep. was a young girl of about 21 years!!!! She might have been interested in the job but she was of no help to me. I think she would have needed to be a more mature person but there you are, not wishing to insult any 21 year olds on the list. I fought long and hard for 6 months, there was no DDA and I did not stand a chance. In the end in dispair, I went in to work one morning and said I would accept ill health early retirement. At least this way I would have a pension etc. I never saw people work so fast in all my life. ~Within one hour it was all organised, paperwork etc. A total disgrace. Since leaving my work, I have kept myself busy on numerous educational projects etc but I have not been back in employment. Now with regard your comments re S&S surely even though you were an employeek, you still cannot speak for the Company once you have now left it. I believe the Director has the right to reorganise his staff etc. Do tell me though, why are you being so adament about employees needing to be able to read Grade 2 Braille? You do come across to me at least as being very angry with the company. I know I was very angry when I left my job too and tried doing everything I could. I was even foolish enough to think if I wrote to David Blunkett, a blind person, shadow Minister at the time for Education, he might be able to assist me. He just wrote back saying he had passed my letter on to someone else and I never heard another word. However, as that was 1993 I must say that with the advancement of technology, this has been a great help to me over the past 13 years but in terms of me using Braille embossors, Braille note takers etc, I really do not mind whether the person showwing me how they work can read Braille or not. Interestingly though, I have not had a lot of training in the use of screen readers as training is pjrohibitively expensive for me as an individual so I just learn as I go along, hence this list. I do feel though that to have someone training me who is blind and totally dependent on a screen reader would indeed be an excellent rainer and would have an afinity with me. When I learned Braille all those years ago between 10 and 12 years then my teacher was blind and again I felt that was appropriate but once I had mastered the skill, I did not need a blind person to show me how to use the equipment. There are lots of things I cannot do on my computer, like purchase on-line. I cand get people to show me and I guess they might take time and patience but I firmly believe the only person who could teach me and whom I would have total trust in is a blind person because I would be confident that that person really knew what they were doing. ----- Original Message ----- From: "Jackie Cairns" <jackie.cairnsplace@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: <access-uk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Sunday, November 07, 2010 10:16 AM
Subject: [access-uk] Re: Sales and support staff's knowledage of braille


Hi Derek

Like Paul, I feel that there is such a minority of working blind people
that, where companies in the access technology areana have the opportunity
to fill or bridge that gap, they should do so wherever possible.  I didn't
give a month's notice when I left S and S, I gave three, partly because I
was keen to see a successor join the staff and become familiar with the
Braille portfolio. It didn't happen, Mr Tookey chose the line he has taken, and that's the end of it as far as I'm concerned. I just felt at the time,
and still do, that advertising and a fair recruitment process to replace a
blind person with another who has a visual impairment would have been in
order. To me, this says a lot about companies earning a lot of money on the
backs of those of us who have disabilities, and don't take our input or
skills seriously enough to employ us.

That's my stance, it always has been, and it always will be, please or
offend.

And, for what it's worth, Humanware have three working Braillists there, one
of whom is totally blind and the other two fully sighted.  Sight and Sound
had nobody but me to read Braille sufficiently, and now only have the
replacement who is called in on an ad hoc basis as and when he is required.
Well, that's their call, but I don't believe there isn't anyone else out
there who would love a full-time job, could do it well, and have the
affinity one needs as a blind person to have the understanding of others in
a similar situation when it comes to sales and training.

Anyway, it isn't an issue for me any more, thankfully.


Kind Regards,

Jackie Cairns
J&M Work-Ability

jandm@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
www.work-ability.co.uk
-----Original Message-----
From: access-uk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:access-uk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of
Derek Hornby
Sent: 05 November 2010 16:19
To: access-uk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [access-uk] Sales and support staff's knowledage of braille

Hi Jackie
I have changed subject line a I think there is room for a wider Debate on
some issues here.
I understand all you are saying and I was surprised nobody can read Grade
2  Braille.  But then just a  sec, maybe not surprised!

Few   weeks ago  I had  a demonstration  by Humanware  of a new
Package  aimed at the deafblind. They call is  DBC  I think Stands for
deafblind communicator.
Anyway the lady  that gave me the  demonstration  didn't seem to know
Braille! And this caused some  confusion!

So after that  failed demonstration  Alan  Davis  came to me, Not too sure
if he knows Braille,  but he certainly  was far better At  explaining what
he was  showing me.

I am  now told  the trainer  will  be  a guy called Martin  (I forget his
surname)  works for  Humanware in UK.

A don't think a sighted driver would be happy for a car Salesman to be
a non  driver,  so  to a point I agree There is  a  need for  those that
sell  Braille displays,  to know Both  grade 1  and 2 Braille.

I do not accept the person must be blind, because there are Many sighted
people out there that  know Braille  very well.
Regards,  Derek

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