Sighted help

Christopher Chaltain chaltain at
Thu Aug 20 09:29:21 UTC 2015

Then I guess we'll have to strongly disagree. I agree a blind person 
should not need sighted help to accomplish a task that a sighted person 
could do without asking for help, but if I ask someone to take a peek at 
my screen to see why the install process has stopped talking to me then 
I in no way lose my dignity. I'd only lose my dignity if I gave up and 
never tried anything because I wasn't willing to take advantage of the 
options available to me to get the job done.

In high school, college and graduate school, I hired someone to read 
some texts to me that I couldn't get any other way. I did not lose my 
dignity in doing this. I would have lost more if I had stayed home and 
never gotten a graduate degree.

I've taken advantage of sighted help to get Windows installed, changed 
my BIOS configuration, installed ChromeVox and so on. In general, I've 
known way more about my system then the person helping me, and they've 
just explained to me what was on the system and then helped perform what 
I needed to do. Again, there was no loss of dignity here, and I still 
accomplished the task myself. With a few minutes of sighted help, I can 
now use my computer, install Linux on it, work with Google Docs and so 
on. In no way should I not take advantage of my computer entirely 
because I need a few minutes of sighted help from time to time.

I've installed Ubuntu without sighted help numerous times. When I run 
into trouble, and the install seems to stop for me, if it's available, 
I'll get sighted help to tell me what's going on. In these cases, I work 
with the Vinux or Ubuntu accessibility team to help resolve the problem 
because I shouldn't need sighted assistance. I'm not going to refuse 
sighted assistance if it's going to help resolve an issue and make 
Ubuntu more accessible for myself and others in the future.

Sighted assistance is another tool available to me, and by taking 
advantage of it, I'm ore independent and not less.

On 08/20/2015 04:08 AM, Tony Baechler wrote:
> 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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Christopher (CJ)
chaltain at Gmail

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