[bct] Re: Next Steps With NLS

  • From: "Sarah" <kales2@xxxxxxx>
  • To: <blindcooltech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 14 May 2006 22:50:12 -0700

I don't have  a blog up but i plan on geting one started soon on issues of 
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Monica Willyard" <plumlipstick@xxxxxxxxxx>
To: <blindtech@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>; <blindcooltech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Sunday, May 14, 2006 10:19 PM
Subject: [bct] Next Steps With NLS

>I would like to offer an alternate path for resolution of the
>WebBraille issue.  Please give my idea some thought to see if it
>might help us move forward.

> From my vantage point, I think the crux of the issue is that for
> years, NLS has made many decisions about us but without us.  They
> may not even realize they're doing it.  This time it's so obvious
> that no one can really ignore or overlook it.  There is a subtle
> but growing attitude that this is being done for us as opposed to
> being a needs-driven service.  Perhaps that is the nature of
> governmental agencies in general though.

Someone here said that we don't have the right to question what's
going on because NLS is a service and not a right.  However, I
believe that as a tax payer, I do have the right and indeed the
obligation to insure that the service is meeting the actual needs of
those it claims to serve.  In this case, the needs of thousands of
people appear to be sacrificed without explanation.  I believe that
our questions should be asked both clearly and with courtesy, and
should be put in writing so that there is a paper trail of
information regarding this whole thing.  I think it's important to
treat all NLS personnel with the same respect we accord the rest of
our colleagues.

Meanwhile, we have asked for information and still don't have
answers.  So what next?  I think that educating the public about the
existance of and need for WebBraille is a good next step for us
because it will lay a foundation for future advocacy if needed.  Our
lawmakers and their staff do read web sites and blogs sometimes.  If
the issue of book accessibility begins appearing on various forums
and blogs, there will be more visibility if we end up needing to
contact our Congressmen.  This is like gathering wood for a fire so
that it could be lit if the weather turns cold.

If the service is restored shortly as promised, the general public
will have learned some cool things about blind people and how we
read.  If what Chris Gray says is true, and service is delayed, we
will have a base of strength and numbers to work from.  We win either
way.  Isn't that what we all want?

So I ask each of you to write a blog entry, call a friend and tell
him/her about accessible book services, post on a message board
somewhere, or write a feature article for your local newspaper as a
human interest story.  There are a lot of talented people here who
have the skills to do all 3 of these.  Don't just sit back and let
people like Jonathan Mosen  do it because they're experienced
podcasters/bloggers.  Say it in your own words with what you like
about the service and what books you like to read.  The point is to
tell someone about how we access books.  Tell you child, your aunt
Susan, the cab driver, or your dog for practice.  (grin)  Lay a good
foundation, watch for a week or so, and then contact your lawmakers
if there is still no response from NLS.  We can win this one and make
NLS a winner too.  Then nobody loses, and we get to read again.

Visit my blog at: http://plumlipstick.livejournal.com

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