Blind vs. mainstream distros

Linux for blind general discussion blinux-list at
Sat Apr 29 03:25:16 UTC 2017

Eric Oyen here….

yeah, thats largely how I roll here. Hell, most of the time when I am doing something, I don't really even think about how I am doing it as a blind person. Just that I am doing it. Its the same with getting around town, running my laptop or even conversing on ham radio. And yes, I do end up having to educate a fair number of people. Here is what is real funny, a kid (about 7 or so) came up to me in the store the other day and asked me why I had my cane. His mother tried to shush him and I had to tell her that such questions really do deserve an answer. Hell, I even showed him my eyes (nice prosthetics done in an anime style called Sharingan. He thought that was the neatest thing. Then I showed him how I use a smartphone and basically we went from there.

So, education starts best when people are young. SOme of us adults can get caught up in our own misconceptions of the world.

Its the same way with getting young blind kids into technology. If it's intuitive and easy to use, they will pick it right up. Linux is one of those aspects of technology that can be tailored to meet the needs that we have. Apple made a pretty good try with voiceover (but it still needs a lot of work) and Microsoft just views accessibility as an afterthought to be dispensed with.

Now, as for other secondary OS choices (like BSD, Android, etc) it depends a lot on the developers. SOme get it and others (who have already been named) don't. Educating those that don't can be a fight, especially if they aren't interested in anything other than their own perception of the world. Changing them means a lot of effort and sometimes, they will change.

Anyway, all of this gets wrapped up in other issues like the ACB Vs. the NFB (and others), politics, the general public (and their perception), etc. It's a nice big can of worms and we all have to deal with it at some point.


On Apr 28, 2017, at 7:38 PM, Linux for blind general discussion wrote:

> According to eric oyen:
> # In fact, the sense I get is that we (the blind) aren't really even considered human.
> As long as we continue to consider ourselves to be "the blind" rather than people who happen to be blind or visually impaired, we will continue to be viewed as less than human. I am human. Blindness is a physical characteristic that I happen to possess. My image of myself is human first and foremost, with blindness as a challenge to overcome in whatever way is humanly possible. In projecting this image of myself to the general public, I generally feel less dehumanized than your run-of-the-mill "the blind," because in projecting my self image of human first, I relate to other humans on a human level, and the rest can more easily take care of itself. No, this isn't a matter of political correctness or anything even remotely close. It's a matter of self image and psychology. There is a certain stigma, write or not, attached to "the blind" by the general public at large. Overcoming it is possible, but it means educating the general public, as well as other people challenged by blindness or visual impairment, that our blindness or visual impairment is a physical characteristic, and even a limitation in many cases, but that it is not at all who or what we are as people.
> ~Kyle
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