[bct] Re: Jake's wonderful e-mail about blindness

  • From: The Scarlet Wombat <coconut@xxxxxxx>
  • To: blindcooltech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 27 Jan 2006 21:20:14 -0500

Angie, I agree with much of what you say. Technology has been a two edged sword for the blind. On the one hand, we have unprecedented access to computers due to speech technology. On the other hand, we have stoves, washers, microwaves and cable boxes that are either totally or mostly inaccessible. You are right that, to an extent, past technology was more accessible. An old fashioned stove with all non-electronic controls could be made to work for the blind with a few tactile dots in place, same for a washer and dryer. However, having been sighted in the past, I can tell you truly that we do miss a great deal and it is more, for me anyway, than inconvenient.

We live in a sighted world. That was brought home to me clearly after I lost my vision 16 years ago. It was never perfect, I was a high partial. But, I did learn to use my vision for a lot of things. Understanding the shape and size of objects you cannot touch, like a skyscraper or mountain and seeing the stars are things that are difficult to wrap the mind around if you have never seen. Understanding these things is not critical to a good life, but having once seen, it would be a lie to say that I did not miss them a great deal, especially the stars.


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