Sighted help

Tony Baechler tony at
Thu Aug 20 09:08:42 UTC 2015

I'm sorry, but I have to strongly disagree here.  If you're asking for help 
because you're confused and don't understand something, that's one thing. 
If you're asking for help because there is an image on the screen which you 
can't see, that's understandable, although I would wonder why you don't file 
a bug or write to the developer about it.  Where I have an issue is that I 
should be able to do the same things with my computer and operating system 
as the sighted.  Obviously, I can't see the screen so I need speech, but I 
should not need to ask someone to literally look over my shoulder to install 
an operating system on my computer.  That, to me, is a dignity issue.  How 
many sighted people do you know who would ask someone to do the same?  Not 
many.  They would either give up or complain.  I believe that it is my 
right, whether I'm deaf, blind, sighted or whatever, to install an operating 
system on a machine by myself without help.

Taking another example, how many sighted people do you know who would, if 
the situation is reversed, ask you to read their bank statements, utility 
bills and other paper mail?  Most of them I know would be hugely insulted at 
the prospect of asking someone else to help them do what they should have a 
right to do on their own.  Obviously, if speech isn't working for some 
reason beyond your control, such as a hardware issue, it's understandable to 
ask someone to read an error message on the screen, but it should then be 
your responsibility to sort out the hardware issue and do as much of the 
installation on your own as possible and you should have the ability to do 
that.  Yes, technically you're correct in that if you tell a sighted person 
what to do, you're doing it yourself, but I take it a step further and say 
you should be able to do it yourself without help.

I don't have an issue with asking for help, but I do have an issue with 
asking for help when the sighted person in the equivalent situation would 
not need help.  As an example, my dad is sighted and just installed Ubuntu 
on his machine.  He not once asked me for help with the install and he 
didn't expect me to do it for him or direct him in what to do.  He asks for 
help learning Linux and getting video issues sorted out, but he not only was 
able to do the install entirely on his own, but I wasn't even there when he 
did.  That is the right I should have and I shouldn't be forced to get 
another person involved to accomplish my goal.

On 8/19/2015 4:51 AM, Christopher Chaltain wrote:
> I prefer not to seek sighted assistance either, but getting sighted
> assistance doesn't mean you lose your dignity, and it doesn't mean you
> didn't do something yourself.

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