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

Don H

So do I understand it correctly that posting to this list should be your last option to get help after doing a search for the answer?

On 1/4/2021 4:13 PM, Gene wrote:
There is a reason Brian is a voice in the wilderness and he stated it in his.  He said that as long as people don't let it be known that it is an imposition and annoyance to have people ask questions without searching, nothing will change.
The reason people don't make an issue of this on such lists is because they know and many may have experienced, many of the reasons more blind people don't know how to search.  They have received poor training, they may only have very limited interested in what they want to use their computers for, they may be learning but not to the point of knowing how to use the Internet well, there are all sorts of reasons.
I know Brian is willing to teach people but if all those who want to ask questions and don't know how to teach asked for such teaching, the demand would be enormous.
-----Original Message-----
We've all heard the possibly apocryphal Chinese adage, "Give a man fish and feed him for a day; teach him how to fish and feed him for life."
In many of these "pushback" exchanges, the pusher isn't teaching this person how to fish at all; they're just scolding them and sending them away for being piss-poor fishermen. For the most part, most blind people understand how painful it is to be dependent, especially if they've lost their sight later in life and were fiercely independent while sighted. They feel awful about having to ask simple questions or forgetting information they got before. I always help these folks, many of whom are elderly and will never become as computer-fluent as many of us are. If I know the answer to their question and can write it succinctly, it takes less time than admonishing them about not previously searching online for answers.
Many of our list members are relatively recent computer owners/users, taught an inferior step-by-step by rehab agencies who don't rehabilitate anyone from anything. Their entire world is now a scary place, where they cannot trust their remaining senses and where danger lurks on every corner. They read about online identity theft and viruses, about novice users turning their boxes into bricks, and become hyper-cautious about pressing even one key that hasn't been preapproved in someone's step-by-step instructions.
These lists are not the places to fault these people for losing their sight or for being incorrectly taught by the only agencies available to them. Just once, rather than embarking on one of these interminable threads admonishing people for allegedly not conducting online searches before asking questions, (something impossible to prove anyway), I'd like to see someone post a compassionate response:
"Don't feel bad, but your question is pretty basic and has been answered here and online. How long have you used computers? Can you do X, Y and Z? Have you ever tried to search online? Which browser and screen reader do you use? Can you navigate between search results and activate them? If you want to copy some text from what you read online, can you do that and paste it into a document? Do you have trouble understanding what's being described online (I.E., icons, sliders, dragable elements, animations, etc.)? If so, tell me which issues you're facing and I'll help you."
That's the kid of step-by-step that these folks need: how to navigate search results in a web browser, how to find actual responses on web forums amidst all the posting headers and
shameless ads, how to copy/paste text from the web into documents, how to explore top-level menu bars and ribbon controls, how to listen for keyboard mnemonics, how to configure screen readers to report keyboard mnemonics, etc.
None of us learned to fish by being mocked when we couldn't even hook a line or cast a pole. Yet, because it makes us feel self-righteous and important, especially in a world that so frequently tears us down with impunity, we visit the same suffering upon these hapless souls whose only "infractions" are being blind and knowing next to nothing about modern technologies.
In case some of you think I may preach more than I practice, ask around how many people I've emailed privately to help with their problems, how many times I've talked with them by phone and tandemed into their computers to do hours of configurations that would ultimately facilitate their lives. Ask how many people have gotten detailed explanations from me about Windows controls, settings, web browsers, audio applications, word processors, even registry and group policy settings.


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