Re: Admin's Notes Re List Conduct, Please Read #adminnotice

Chris Smart

Orlando, I wish I had read this when I was 13, not now, in my 40's.

It sure would have saved me a lot of ruminating and other unpleasant mental states. Then again, would i have been ready to hear the truth at 13? Probably not.

On 2021-01-04 3:17 p.m., Orlando Enrique Fiol via wrote:
At 01:10 PM 1/4/2021, Gene wrote:
No, I'm not just wrong.  I'm saying that left behind depends on who
you are. the person who uses the computer for purposes such as I've discussed won't be left behind.  A lot of blind people use computers for browsing, e-mail, streaming, and other such purposes.  They will not be left behind, they use programs for which there is plenty of material for blind people to learn from created for blind people.  If you use a computer for other purposes, then you may be left behind and it is important to know how to translate mouse instructions and how to review the screen in the ways your screen-reader provides.  the general statement you will be left behind assumes a certain kind of user and is so general that it is meaningless. If you are going to make such statements, you need to define who you are talking about.

Bravo! What does being "left behind" actually mean? I haven't been able to find even a vaguely music-related job since finishing my Ph.D. Am I left behind? If I want to use a certain audio plugins with no standard controls or text labels in its interface, am I being left behind? What if I just want to use my computer to read email, browse the web and open documents? Am I being left behind by preferring keyboard-oriented technical materials?
As these random examples demonstrate, some over-educated fools like me end up getting left behind no matter how much we bust our brains and humps trying to excel. The game is rigged against us because we can't see; plain and simple.
For others, our requirements and expectations are not stratospheric. We're so close to the bottom that being left behind doesn't feel abnormal.
If being left behind means I can't get a job even with a Ph.D., there's not much I can do in my end to fix that. I took all the steps I was supposed to take. If being left behind means an old lady runs out of hard drive space because she has never cleaned out her recycle bin or attachments, someone teaches her how to do these things, or she buys a bigger drive and presto! not left behind anymore.
Many of you know the most famous lines of the Serenity Prayer, the rest of which was not blessed winch similar inspiration: "Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference."
The most important part is "the wisdom to know the difference". Many blind people out here think their lot will improve if they talk exclusively about pointing and clicking icons, or don't use canes, or only use Iphones, or only use guide dogs. They think there's a magic formula that, when perfectly applied, will make sightlings forget we're blind and treat us like one of them. Sorry to tell you, ain't gonna happen. No matter how brilliant you are in any subject, no matter how sighted-acting you learn to be, even if you never touch your food, never walk with a cane, never read Braille, never connect your smartphone to a blue tooth keyboard, never pay attention to sonic traffic lights, never buy a caller ID device, in short, never involve yourself in anything construable as adaptive accessibility, you're still blind. That's right. You're still blind. To them, you're still marked. You'll never be one of them. No matter how color coordinated your wardrobe is, no matter how much public transportation you take, even if you can grocery shop independently, do your own laundry, clean your own house, bear and raise your own children, you're still blind. To them, you're still not in the club. And, as long as you ain't in the club, they'll reject you on any technicality they can find within the law.
So, since no assimilation into the sighted world will ever be enough to transform our blindness into complete equality, I say screw it! Assimilate what works for us and ditch what don't. After all, we should know by now that we ain't gonna get no prize for being the best assimilator. No matter how sighted we try to make ourselves, we're still blind.


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