[macvoiceover] Re: MAC with Voiceover mentoring?

Hey John, It's Keith and I am answering from Mrs. Mac's machine. My thoughts are really pretty simple as far as mentoring someone, or helping them to learn to use the Mac more efficiently and effectively. There are honestly some people who want to move from Windows for many of the same reasons that you did and that I did and that others on this list did. Those are the people that I really want to help. Too many times I've seen someone on a list address a question from a new Mac user assuming that they knew all of the commands needed to perform a given function. It's small things like explaining that control option shift down arrow interacts with text. I've seen more than one new Mac user sell their Mac and go back to Windows simplly because they couldn't get good information from blind Mac users. A group of mentors would be nothing more than a few or maybe many blind Mac users who are really interested in moving away from Windows and moving to the Mac platfrom. I frankly don't want to go after Windows users who have no interest at all in the Mac. I want to help new Mac users who want to get out a Windows as badly as I did. Voiceover is the most installed screenreader in the world. You can walk into a growing number of kiosks, malls, classrooms, libraries and the list goes on and just sit down and access a Mac and find what you need. This kind of thing is a dream come true for me. I can actually walk into a growing number of public places around this world and use a computer to check the news or check the weather or check my e-mail, just like my sighted counterparts. I am completely sold on the Mac. It has changed the way I do nearly everything, or nearly everything. I still drink coffee the same way. And I want to share my enthusiasm and what little knowledge I have with those who are interested in breaking through the gates. I'm glad to hear that you are willing to be a part of whatever group, large or small, is started. You involvement may be nothing more than pointing a new user to the right documents, explaining how something works, suggesting and application, etcetera. The Mack to me is not a crusade. It's just a doggone good way to compute. You asked how a group like this would be started. First of all, a group of dedicated blind Mac users need to step forward and say OK, I want on the list of mentors. I want to help. The next thing is to make it known that we will make ourselves available to new Mac users who really have a desire to learn the Mac and Voiceover. When a new Mac user contacts one of the mentors group, someone can then be assigned to help the new user by e-mail, phone, chat Skype or whatever they choose to be workable to help them to overcome whatever problem they are having with Voiceover. When you get right down to it, that's really the kind of thing we are doing with this list, but I'm very much afraid that people on this list and other lists are not asking the questions, even the simplest questions, especially the simplest questions, because they are afraid that some of the Mac users will look down on them because of their lack of knowledge. We must first of all help them to know that there is no such thing as a dumb question, especially if you don't know the answer. If I rambled, forgive me. Soapbox over. Thanks for the note.

Keith
On Aug 30, 2006, at 7:36 PM, John W. Hess wrote:

Keith, my first question is: who would be interested? This is not a sarcastic response but a legitimate response that requires sincere consideration. Expanding on this thought: Have you been approached by individuals who have asked for this type of service? Do you know of individuals who perhaps have gotten frustrated enough with Windows who desire to try something different? Are you aware of people who perhaps because of the lack of affordable assistive technology would be interested in paying one price for everything and getting there work done?
Now, in answer to your question yes! this is an excellent idea but I believe there has to be a group of interested people to get it started. Windows is a challenging foe and changing peoples minds is not easy. I did a presentation with an associate for a conference attended by a variety of professionals in the field of visual impairment including individuals from an organization I work with and they weren't convinced that access via screen reader was a viable alternative. One of the questions I was asked was how do you do certain things such as moving through a dialog? When I suggest moving through a dialog box with the voiceover curser the question is why not tab? when I answer that the Vo Curser reads more there is this sorta under lying grumbling why should we have to do that when in windows you just tab? Trust me, I try to share the benefits of the Mac with everyone I meet. So having offered my thoughts, how would you propose to start such a program and how would you recruit perspective beneficiaries? After seeing the Jobs presentation I was extremely encouraged that Apple didn't leave us in the dust. That all the things I was told about voiceover being taken seriously were true. I believe that one of the things that moved Apple along on this was the amount of feedback people left. It shoed apple that the product was actually being used and how it was being used. I think they realize the opportunity and will do some great things. Let us not forget, half of the accessibility solution also falls on the application developers following the standards apple has laid out. It's a partnership and rightfully so. I look forward to your thoughts and would be pleased to be on whatever team you assemble.
----- Original Message ----- From: "Keith Reedy" <WA9DRO@xxxxxxxxx>
To: <macvoiceover@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Wednesday, August 30, 2006 3:44 PM
Subject: [macvoiceover] MAC with Voiceover mentoring?



Hello every one,

I have been thinking about starting a MAC with Voiceover mentoring program, where some one would take some one new to the MAC and Voiceover and get them up and running.
1, Is this a good idea?
2, Do you have some thoughts on how this mite work?


I just want to start from scratch with these folks.


Thanks.
Keith Reedy
WA9DRO@xxxxxxxxx
God gives his best to those who leave the choice with him--J. Hudson Taylor




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