[bct] Re: Next Steps With NLS

  • From: "Karen Delzer" <catwacky@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <blindcooltech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 15 May 2006 10:13:21 -0700

I would in no way consider a petition an hysterical response to this
problem.  Some of the comments stated by signers of the petition go much
farther than I consider prudent or necessary at this present time, however,
the writers live in a country where free speech is still law, and they have
every right to express their opinions, whatever they may be.  Just what we
may or may not be "owed" by the NLS is certainly open for debate, and, I am
certain, will spark much spirited discourse over the months to come.

Karen Delzer

-----Original Message-----
From: blindcooltech-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
[mailto:blindcooltech-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx]On Behalf Of Chris Skarstad
Sent: Monday, May 15, 2006 9:47 AM
To: blindcooltech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [bct] Re: Next Steps With NLS

I think the point people are trying to make here Walt, is that many
people, including myself, find Mr. Cylke's response to be
inadequate.  What troubles me more is that the man himself said that
if people tried to get the service re-instated faster than he wanted,
then he would keep the service down, possibly as long as a whole
year.  That. is. wrong!
   People have come to rely on this service as a means of gaining
access to information.  Yes there are other mechanisms for making
statements like the petition makes, but when you're dealing with
politics, what should take a day to resolve, sometimes takes much
longer.  People want this service back, and they want it back ASAP,
not when Mr. Cylke takes his own sweet time. The response he is
giving is quite snotty IMHO.
I signed the petition, and I'd encourage anyone else to do it as
well.  ACB Radio has also produced a promo to restore the web braille
service, and I will run it until something happens and the service is

At 11:22 AM 5/15/2006, you wrote:
>There has been a user advisory panel for NLS for many years with members
>from both national organizations of the blind and that is the appropriate
>mechanism for making input to the service. Since Mr. Cylke has already
>stated; and his statement has been quoted here; that the service will
>shortly, I think that any further activity with regard to this situation is
>totally unnecessary and overblown, as most of the response has been
>The simple fact is that whether we like it or not, NLS does not owe us any
>explanations for the sudden nature of this occurrence. If they determined,
>as they obviously did based on their own message, that there were security
>issues, they would have been derelict in their duty and responsibility of
>they had _not_ acted immediately. Under the circumstances, they were
>completely within their rights to act as they did without any consultation,
>advice, or consent from anyone. Their brief is to manage the service and if
>there are complaints about how they have done so, mechanisms already exist
>by which to address them without hysterical responses involving petitions,
>letters to congress, etc. Some persons, desiring to pose as advocates for
>"the blind" while at the same time inflating their own egos, have attempted
>to manipulate what is, at bottom a temporary situation into some kind of
>national scandal and that, I submit, is both irresponsible and
>in the extreme.
>----- Original Message -----
>From: "Monica Willyard" <plumlipstick@xxxxxxxxxx>
>To: <blindtech@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>; <blindcooltech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
>Sent: Monday, May 15, 2006 1:19 AM
>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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