Sighted help

Tony Baechler tony at
Fri Aug 21 08:57:45 UTC 2015

On 8/20/2015 1:54 PM, Sam Hartman wrote:
>>>>>> "Anders" == Anders Holmberg <anders at> writes:
>      >> 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'm all for making OSes easier to install for the blind.
> However, after the number of hours I've spent helping sighted folks
> install Windows, Mac, Linux, you name it, if I need to go ask someone
> for a bit of help on a OS install, well, I've earned it.

Yes, but the issue I have is why are you asking for help?  Or, in your case, 
why are they asking you for help?  Are they asking you for help with the 
install because they are unable to do it themselves due to the lack of 
accessibility?  As I already stated, if you don't understand a question the 
installer is asking you, it's reasonable to ask for help.  If you must click 
a mouse to continue as in John's case or if you can't see an image, although 
I don't like it and I think it's up to us to complain to the developers to 
address the lack of accessibility, it's understandable to ask for help.  I 
don't even have a problem with asking for someone to take a quick look at 
the screen.

Where I have the problem, as mentioned, is not being able to do most of the 
install yourself due to the lack of accessibility.  If you have speech and 
the computer locks up, again, it's understandable to ask for help, but that 
is not an installer or accessibility issue in many cases.  Part of why I 
have taken this attitude is because I usually don't have the luxury of 
getting sighted help when I want it.  Even when I do get it, they usually 
only want to read the screen for about a minute or two; certainly not long 
enough to do a full operating system install.  I can either wait for hours 
or days until someone feels like reading the screen for an extended period 
of time, install to a virtual machine and hope I can get reliable speech or 
move onto an accessible operating system such as Debian or Ubuntu.  I have 
chosen the last option.  If you have sighted help available and that works 
for you, that's great.  I wish I had the same availability of such help, but 
I don't.  Besides, I can't tell you how many times they don't read 
everything on the screen, so I end up having to redo some part of the 
install after the fact even with help.

With at least one sighted person, John's example of "just letting the 
sighted guy do it" fits perfectly.  I'm specifically referring to Windows 
here.  He would rather install Windows for me and not read the screen while 
I try to do it.  He almost always tells me to move out of the way so he can 
click the mouse and do the install for me.  Yes, I have told him that I want 
to do the install and asked him to just read the screen, but one has to be 
careful lest one loses the sighted help, thus leaving one on their own and 
defeating the purpose of asking in the first place.

Perhaps dignity is the wrong word to use.  My point is simply that I should 
have the same rights and opportunities to install the same software and use 
the same apps as the sighted world.  That is obviously not yet a reality, 
but it should be the ultimate goal.

More information about the Blinux-list mailing list