[bct] Re: Podcast on comparing JAWS and Window-Eyes

  • From: "Neal Ewers" <neal.ewers@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <blindcooltech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 2 Feb 2006 10:42:04 -0600

And all our talk about microphones and what they will do pales when
compared to what you have to do to hear normal sounds.  I have talked
with so many people who have gone to hearing aid specialists and have
been sold a bill of goods that don't come close to working for them.  I
just had my hearing tested the other day.  I do it often just to make
sure I am in good health.  They really only test for speech which is, of
course, important.  But what about all the other sounds that people
might like to hear.

You said, "were I legally blind, I could get tons of services and
products like Dan does.  As a HOH person I have to fight for every
little thing I need because the agency for the HOH/Deaf gets a tiny
fraction of the funding for the blind."

OK, I'm going to get on the soap box now.  I'm afraid I will have to
agree with you.  For some reasons, some of which I know, the blindness
community has in many ways cornered the market on getting attention from
legislators both state and federal.  Take, for example, the "Randolph
Shepherd Act" that gives people who are blind preferential treatment
when working in vending stands.  Of course, now some of those vending
stands have grown to immense proportions and are located in many of the
rest stops along the freeways of our country.  And what gives a person
who is blind any better ability to work in food service than someone who
is in a chair or who is hard of hearing?  Not one thing other than lobby
groups for people who are blind and some very antiquated laws.

I know, those will perhaps be fighting words for some on this list, but
when you come right down to it, people who are blind have it better in
many ways with regard to what they can claim legally.  Who decided that
a person who is blind should get an extra exemption on their income tax?
Who decided that because you are blind, you can stop work and start
drawing social security disability just because you are blind.  No one
else can do this simply based on their disability.  Do I take advantage
of all these things?  Yes I do, because they are available to me by law.
However, I constantly fight to give others those same rights.  So, I'm
not saying that people who are blind don't deserve special attention in
some areas.  I am, however, saying that other persons who are disabled
should have the same rights.
Just my 2 cents.
-----Original Message-----
From: blindcooltech-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
[mailto:blindcooltech-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Slythy_Tove
Sent: Thursday, February 02, 2006 10:21 AM
To: blindcooltech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [bct] Re: Podcast on comparing JAWS and Window-Eyes


As a hard of hearing (HOH) person, we don't have it much better.  The
state will contract with only specific vendors for specific products and
you may end up with a hearing aid that does not really fit your needs so
they get a better deal.  I need intense computerized programming of my
aid to enable me to flip between three sound levels and microphone focus
settings.  I ditched the telphone coil (which would allow me to use the
phone and the hearing aid at the same time) just to get the extra
flexibility in "live" settings. 

In order to get a portable FM system I had to go to a person 20 minutes
away who didn't know dinkum about my hearing aid and "fitted" me with
something she knew little about.  So I now end up going to my hearing
specialist to get the unit worked on and she gets stuck with the work
for a unit she made nothing off of.  At the same time, she does get my
regular business for ear molds and stuff so I hope that offs ets it a
bit for them.  Now, get this - since that happened, they sent 2 people
to my audiologist for the FM system who have to drive 20 minutes or more
to get there - so the people from Wakefield can't go to the local gal,
they go to mine, whilest I am forced to go to Wakefield.  Is that
whacked or what? 

What is frustrates the heck out of me is that were I legally blind, I
could get tons of services and products like Dan does.  As a HOH person
I have to fight for every little thing I need because the agency for the
HOH/Deaf gets a tiny fraction of the funding for the blind.  I don't
espouse cutting funding for the blind or partially sighted, I espouse
giving equal funding for the HOH/Deaf as it is an equally profound

Helen Keller once opined that she missed her hearing more than her
sight.  I was, at the time, surprised to hear that because I am so
dependent upon sight due to my hearing problems.  As we get older all of
us who c an see will be faced with a diminution of sight and all of us
who can hear will be faced with a diminution of hearing.  Not making
resources availalble to deal with both issues is exceptionally
short-sighted on the part of the government. 

My new hero is a visually impaired, HOH attorney in a wheelchair who is
also an ordained minister and has two adopted children who are also in
wheelchairs.  I figure if Carrie can do it, I can do it.  Maybe I should
tell her she's my hero someday, eh?


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