Sighted help

Karen Lewellen klewellen at
Fri Aug 21 13:53:40 UTC 2015

Actually, dignity is exactly  the correct word for such situations. 
Dignity, the sense that your wishes are being honored, your privacy 
respected in the case of bills etc.  Your individual uniqueness as well, 
i. e. my uncle George could not use a computer, or only uses jaws, so...
Dignity is so important a word, that in many countries   not providing 
this basic respect is a violation of human rights laws.
It not only refers to your personal definition of that dignity, but 
includes the fact these definitions differ from person to person.  Only 
providing one format is a violation for example.  Not asking for your 
preference etc.
In many ways this is an international standard, honestly because things 
like the ADA  and American consumer organizations work in the exact 
opposite direction.
The NFB with their good blind person standard, or groups who define 
intellectual disabilities by iq score not environment.
Still, as I said it is individual.  You may feel asking for help is asking 
for help.  Others may feel their extra hands or eyes are an extension of 
their  dignity.  i. e. other people have administrative assistants so why 
not use mine this way.
It is individual, and dignity is a very individual thing.
frankly and speaking only for myself, each time I read something like 
Andrew's statement  I makes things work for "the blind," as if "the blind" 
exists as a composite  group for which you can plug & play technology, I 
feel  the dignity argument suffers.
One cannot have it both ways.  Either you seek and deserve what works for 
your particular and special manifestation of a situation, allowing others 
to do the same,  or you cannot complain if some developer downloaded a 30 
minute demo, did a quick check and declared something is accessible.
Just my thoughts,


On Fri, 21 Aug 2015, Tony Baechler wrote:

> 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.
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