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

  • From: Chris G <chrisg@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: blindcooltech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 03 Feb 2006 10:34:25 -0500

this reminds me of a story.  Marla and I went out to dinner and we were
waiting for a cab to pick us up.  it was a nice night and a car pulls up
and asked us if we had our "blind cup"?  it took me a minute before i 
figured out what he was talking about.  he said, I want to make a

Another time we were having a fish fry, and the server comes up to us
and says, another customer wants to help us with our bill, i told the
server Thanks, but no thanks. she said it was too late they had already
The dinner cost around $4.00 when we went to pay for it.

Chris G <chrisg@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>

On Fri, 3 Feb 2006 09:16:17 -0600
"Neal Ewers" <neal.ewers@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> Slythy, I have to correct one impression I may have erroneously given.
> Most people do not see me as blind and pitiful.  I happen to live in a
> very forward thinking town and most of the people I come in contact with
> see me as a human being first.  However, it's when I go back to the
> holler and visit all the red-necks who live in that part of Virginia
> that you really begin to understand who your friends are.  I was with a
> colleague in Atlanta a few years ago at a conference.  She and I had
> traveled to many such conferences.  We were walking through the hotel
> lobby when she said something like, Neal it seems so strange that people
> look at the two of us together very differently in different parts of
> the country.  I had to admit she was right.  Possum Holler is very close
> to Lynchburg Virginia where my mother and I used to go to shop.  One
> day, I was standing on the street in front of the store waiting for her
> to come out when a person ran up to me, stuck a bag of candy under my
> arm, and left in a hurry.  The candy was nice, but I think that might
> have been the first time I understood that other people saw me as
> different.
> In a former life, like from about 3 years old, I played the piano.  I
> was going to be a concert pianist.  I actually got to the point that I
> was on tour, sometimes alone, and sometimes with a small orchestra.  My
> problem was that every night I played, I got a standing ovation.  Now, I
> was good, but not that good.  It became really hard to tell if people
> really thought it was good, or if they were saying, "Wow! look at what
> that blind man can do.  Isn't he wonderful."  Of course, that was close
> enough to the holler to spawn audiences who just didn't know any better.
> But I have often thought it quite a dichotomy that some people see me as
> pitiful, while others put me on a pedestal because just look what I have
> had to overcome.  Fortunately, my world is filled with friends and
> colleagues who know exactly who I am
> Neal
> -----Original Message-----
> From: blindcooltech-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
> [mailto:blindcooltech-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Slythy_Tove
> Sent: Thursday, February 02, 2006 10:34 PM
> To: blindcooltech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
> Subject: [bct] Re: Podcast on comparing JAWS and Window-Eyes
> Hi Neal,
> The first time I wore hearing aids it was raining.  The window of the
> office was open and I kept telling the audiologist that there must be
> something wrong with the hearing aids.  All I heard was horrible static.
> Then she closed the windows.  It was the sound of tires on wet pavement.
> Who knew that made noise?  Not me.  
> The refrigerator can be my enemy when it rattles to life.  Newspapers?
> No wonder people use to glare at me.  Car motors.  Escalators.  My world
> was a very quiet one before I really got good hearing aids.  Often, when
> it is just Dan and me I take them out so I can hear him instead of the
> clock making noises that convince me there is a leak in the kitchen.  
> When people filter into the classrooms, jabbering away, I take the aid
> OUT.  I periodically ask people how on earth they can deal with all that
> noise - and I only hear part of it.  I deal with he aring loss by
> "speech reading" - watching people talk.  It means refocusing them to
> talk to me rather than to my back or side.  If there is a lot of noise
> either it has to quiet down or I shut down.  Can't deal with it. 
> Mary, no, I don't do better than you in large groups.  I don't go to
> large groups.  I'm totally isolated in large groups.  Dan does better
> than I do in large groups.  I can see to get him around, but he has to
> hear for me.  The noise is overwhelming.  I can't separate anything out.
> At the same time, I remember when Dan got me a birder microphone and for
> the first time I really heard a bird - lord knows which one.  I got a
> real kick out of that.  
> Agreed, the blind are pitied more than the deaf.  The deaf are
> considered inattentive and dummies - the blind are sort of written off
> as pitiful.  Ugh.  
> Yes, Neal, a great deal of communication is non-verbal.  The lift of an
> eyebrow, the tensing of muscles in the face or shoulders.  Batting of
> eyes.  Still, it is not the be all and end all of communication or we
> would not have language to communicate the complexity of our life
> experience - nor music, which nourishes the soul.  
> Possum Holler, I love it.  What an evocative name.  More poetic by far
> than Chicken, Alaska and far easier to pronounce than Egegik or
> Metlakatla.  
> Intriging observation that to most you are another person who can't see.
> I have often stated that I am married to a man - a wonderful man, a
> brilliant man, a kind man - who also happens to be blind.  But that is
> just a small facet of who he is.  I am not married to a blind man.
> People who cannot see others as humans first are missing so very, very
> much.  
> Cross disability access would be tough - the needs of various groups can
> conflict.  Textured crosswalks make it better for the blind and more
> difficult for those who use walkers and wheelchairs.  I sort of
> specialize in making websites with variations on a theme of
> red/gold/blue/white - all colors that can be easily discerned by men
> with the most severe form of color blindness, yet it might trip up
> someone who is partially sighted and for them the only option may be
> setting the browser to display things in a manner best for them.  I
> sometimes despair of the way the web is being developed with flash and
> other programs that are entirely graphical.  If there is any hope at all
> for the blind in that regard it is that Dolphin finally comes up with
> the AI to read the graphics and translate them to text.  
> By the way, I was captivated by your podcast of your moments in the
> well.  It was evocative emotionally and the use of the words themselves
> were powerful and compelling.  You are a natural story teller.  
> Best,
> Slithy


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