[nvda] Re: Just sharing a feel good experience with NVDA

  • From: "ron nuttall" <rron_ron@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <nvda@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 29 Oct 2009 21:03:49 -0000

Hi Dave

Just incase you think no ones listening, it was good to hear your feel good 
factor story, as i myself have been suffering a lot of feel bad factors of late 
trying to use my computer.

Having read some of your messages, i'd like to make what i hope you'll take as 
a well ment sugestion.

you sound to me as though you're an experenced computer user, but not too happy 
about using keyboard commands, prefering instead to use the mouse because its 
what you're familia with and ofcourse you can still see the pointer on the 

Depending on the rate of your sight loss, there may come a time when you may 
need to use the keyboard - so why not practice using keyboard commands while 
you can still see the effect they have on the screen.

This well ment sugestion is born of my own experence.

I started computing two years ago this month at the landmark age of 50, and as 
a totally blind person, one of the biggest frustrations was the constant 
floundering about in no mans land, due to not knowing what was happening on 

As is often the case with these things, i slowly eeked my way up the very steap 
learning curve - i think i might have got off the bottom rung by now, but only 
just, at least thats how it feels at times.

Still, we keep going, and i'm still hanging on in their, giving it my best shot.

As far as i'm concerned, keep thoughs feel good factors comming.

Good luck and best wishes - Ron

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Dave Mack 
  To: nvda@xxxxxxxxxxxxx 
  Sent: Thursday, October 29, 2009 7:55 PM
  Subject: [nvda] Just sharing a feel good experience with NVDA

  Hi, again, folks, Grandpa Dave in California, here -
  I have hesitated sharing   a recent experience I had using NVDA because I 
know this list is primarily for purposes of reporting bugs and fixes using 
NVDA. However, since this is the first community of blind and visually-impaired 
users I have joined since losing my ability to read the screen visually, I have 
decided to go ahead and share this feel-good experience where my vision loss 
has turned out to be an asset for a group of sighted folks.  A while ago, a 
list  member shared their experience helping a sighted friend  whose monitor 
had gone blank by fixing the problem using NVDA on a pen drive so I decided to 
go ahead and share this experience as well - though not involving a pen drive 
but most definitely involving my NVDA screenreader.  Well, I just had a great 
experience using NVDA to help some sighted folks where I used to work and where 
I retired from ten years ago.   I got a phone call from the current president 
of the local Federal labor union I belonged to and she explained that the new 
union treasurer was having a problem updating their large membership database 
with changes in the union's payroll deductions that they needed to forward to 
the agency's central payroll for processing.  She said they had been working 
off-and-on for almost three  weeks and no one could resolve the problem even 
though they were following the payroll change instructions I had left on the 
computer back in the days I had written their database as an amateur 
programmer.  I was shocked to hear they were still using my membership database 
program as I had written it almost three decades ago!  I told her I didn't 
remember much abouthe dBase programming language but I asked her to email me 
the original instructions I had left on the computer and a copy of the input 
commands they were keying into the computer.  I told her I was now visually 
impaired, but was learning to use the NVDA screen reader and would do my best 
to help.  She said even several of the Agency's  programmers were stumped but 
they did not know the dBase program language. A half hour later I received two 
email attachments, one containing my thirty-year-old instructions and another 
containing the commands they were manually keying into their old pre-Windows  
computer, still being used by the union's treasurer once-a-month for payroll 
deduction purposes.  Well, as soon as  I brought up the two documents and 
listened to a comparison using NVDA, I heard a difference between what they 
were entering and what my instructions had been.  They were leaving out some 
"dots, or periods, which should be included in their input strings into the 
computer.  I called the Union's current president  back within minutes of 
receiving the email.  Everyone was shocked and said they could not  see the 
dots or periods.  I told them to remember they were probably still using a 
thirty-year-old low resolution computer monitor and old dot-matrix printer 
which were making the dots or periods appear to be part of letters they were 
situated between.  
  Later in the day  I got a called back from the Local President saying I had  
definitely identified  the problem and thanking me profusely and said she was  
telling everyone I had found  the cause of the problem by listening to errors 
non of the sighted folks had been able to  see .  And, yes, they were going to 
upgrade their computer system now after all these many years. (laughing)   I 
told her to remember this experience the next time anyone makes a wisecrack 
about folks with so-called impairments.  She said it was a good lesson for all. 
Then she admitted that the reason they had not contacted me sooner was that 
they had heard through the grapevine that I was now legally blind and everyone 
assumed I would not be able to be of assistance.  What a a mistake and waste of 
time that ignorant assumption was, she confessed.   Well, that's my feel good 
story, but, then, it's probably old hat for many of you.  I just wanted to 
share it as it was my first experience teaching a little lesson to sighted 
people in my own small way. with the help of NVDA. - Grandpa Dave in California

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