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

  • From: "Rick Harmon" <rickharmon@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <blindcooltech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 2 Feb 2006 11:47:35 -0500

MessageHi Neal,

I agree with you 100%  I am blind and I think we all get the short end of the 
stick.  All disabled deserve the same rights and privileges.



My darkness has been filled with the light of intelligence, and behold, the 
outer day-lit world was stumbling and groping in social blindness.
Helen Keller

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Neal Ewers 
  To: blindcooltech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx 
  Sent: Thursday, February 02, 2006 11:42 AM
  Subject: [bct] Re: Podcast on comparing JAWS and Window-Eyes

  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 

  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 problem. 

    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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