I don’t know where to even start with this post. I’ve been blind for 27 years. Cancer took my eye sight when I was about a year old, so I remember nothing. In my life time technology has made leaps and bounds, but yet on most things were stuck in the past. I don’t dream to one day have sight, because my optic nerve is gone, so for me the realization is that I’ll probably never have sight, and that is okay with me. Most things I read about dealing with blind people isn’t a story on things they overcome or focus on what is possible it’s usually some feel good peace, or about how someone received there sight back. These stories don’t continue on or actually focus on the fact they get a limited amount of it back its just they’re saved from being blind. It’s actually varied insulting. I feel the way that blindness is portrayed is that without sight your somehow less. I wrote Tim Cook recently; because blind people in general do things that I can’t understand at times. I’m not saying Apple shouldn’t have some critics, but here is a story that happened to me recently and maybe it will bring my point home.
Every week I have to call in to a service and book my rides for the week to and from work. I decided I would check in to a subscription which is basically a set in stone ride. I talked with the lady who sets these up and she says I will mail you a form you have to sign and return. I said well I live alone am there any other way? I do have an app that will read my mail, but signing is another story. I could just draw all over it and send it back. She said there was no other way to do this. I know I could just conform and bring the paper in to Mel, and she’d show me where to sign, but seriously? This again is a company that works and deals with people strictly with disabilities, and you have no web form or even a record and I say yes on the phone method? Even if you want to mail me find paperclip a signature guide to the paper and maybe that would work. I just don’t get it honestly. We all don’t have a sighted person at our disposal all the time.
As a group we are so excited about the new technology and focus more on what could be rather than where we actually are. Case and point the car that drives itself. Even if this thing happens with in the next 10 to 20 years I don’t believe instantaneously a blind person will be handed a set of keys. Guns have been a big debate in the news with blind people, and whether or not we should be able to even own one. You have people like former CNN host Pierce Morgan laughing about it. I think having a blind driver sparks a whole different debate. Furthermore being independent I just want to be able to sign a document I could care less at this point about actually driving. I feel are focus is so far out of the realm of reality, but no one talks about it. Here have these car keys, oh wait you’ll have to sign for them.
I hate asking sighted people for things. I was raised to be a man and take care of things. I know it’s silly to think like this, but the point of life is to remain independent, and this notion we have to run and find someone to assist me with signing documents is crazy. Not to mention touchscreens in restaurants that have no accessibility which just make you feel awkward waiting around for help. These things will become more prevalent in the future because they can cut down on staff. Yet were focused on what could be rather than what is. You see this lot of times at universities or in some restaurants where I encountered one.
I was reading the ACB’s fight against accessible currency, and it’s amazing how much the government and treasury fought back against denying blind people the ability to feel the different bills. I’ll post the link to a blog that goes over the battle they’ve had. The funny thing to me is by 2020 if corporations would just allow NFC to take over rather than try to all get a piece of the pie by developing their own systems cash will be irrelevant anyway. If you look at Europe and Australia NFC is quickly taking over. If a hacker had the right set just walking with your credit card in your pocket would be enough for someone to get your information.
I remember buying my house was a bit nerve-racking because not all the documents were readable. People at work mainly my committee checked over the papers and found errors that otherwise I probably wouldn’t have been able to see. My family lives 5 1/2 hours away and have their own lives and I’m just irritated by this notion that we do have all this excess ability and technology available but most of society fights against it. At least for me when I date someone who can see I don’t want to bother them with having to read things and clean up things I can’t do if that makes sense? They have their own things going on I don’t know I’m just frustrated. tomorrow for Valentine’s Day my friend Kevin who struggle with cancer and is having a pretty rough time I’m meeting him and going to the Kentucky game. Our friendship is pretty cool he’s in a wheelchair and we relate on so many different levels. We talked on the phone a few months ago and he hasn’t had a great history of Valentines days either. he joke with me when it’s hard to go to the bathroom on your own it’s pretty difficult to impress a lady. I’m going to get some sleep and prepare to greyhound to Lexington. I’m not trying to be negative on the progress it just makes me scratch my head sometimes when things aren’t accessible or it’s difficult to make them.