At 12:08 AM 12/31/2020, Sarah k Alawami wrote:
>You might say "click on settings" or "if that doesn't say settings,
>click on the mic icon."
I sure wouldn't especially to my fellow blindies. To the sighted, icons are meant to capture their ocular attention. For us, icons are things to be searched for. If there were no other way to activate an element besides finding an icon, I'd tell a blind person to do a screen search for a specific word and activate the element under which that word appears. This of course assumes that all icons have been labeled with alt text. If not, searching for icons does us absolutely no good.
Contrary to what you obviously believe, even Microsoft's documentation does not exclusively employ icon and mouse-oriented language. If Microsoft has finally come to understand that inclusive language will ultimately help sell more of their product to the blind and otherwise disabled, you, as a blind woman, should have no trouble understanding that the technological vocabulary we've developed is not inferior to the more ubiquitous sighted vocabulary. While being able to translate into pedestrian sightling computerspeak can be a valuable skill, no one will be left behind if they say "activate" rather than "point and click".
Your music teacher sadly internalized a very outmoded thinking about blind assimilation--namely, that we must constantly think and act as though we were sighted, completely denying and denigrating our valid reality. I have read Braille music fluently for forty years. In many ways, I consider Braille notation more efficient and comprehensible than print notation. Yet, I've taught dozens of sighted students to read their staves from scratch because I followed my blind theory teacher's advice to "Learn the staff, Orly. You'll need it someday when you teach." Although I can teach the staff in my sleep, I make no bones about the fact that I never have, and never will, think in terms of the pictorial perspective that staff notation represents.
Orlando Enrique Fiol
Charlotte, North Carolina
Professional Pianist/Keyboardist, Percussionist and Pedagogue
Ph.D. in Music theory
University of Pennsylvania: November, 2018
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