I'm not sure which is the bigger idiot, the one that's already there? or the one who wants to be?
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The bottom line? they're both acting like idiots.
On 10/19/2020 10:47 AM, chris judge wrote:
And at the top of the list of people who don't care about these poor people
is that idiot in the white house.
From: main@TechTalk.groups.io <main@TechTalk.groups.io> On Behalf Of Rob
Sent: October 19, 2020 11:34 AM
Subject: Re: [TechTalk] Amazon: Am I the only one that feels this way?
Just one side effect of this scamdemic. And nobody cares about these poor
people, at all.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Gerald Levy via groups.io" <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 19 Oct 2020 10:07:56 -0400
Subject: Re: [TechTalk] Amazon: Am I the only one that feels this way?
To amplify my point a littlefurther, I have a blind, technophobicagency.
ladyfriend who lives in an assisted living facility. She has been in
complete lockdown since mid-March because of Covid restrictions.
Visitors are not permitted to enter her tiny studio apartment, except
for facility staff and medical personell who are wearing protective
garb and equipment. She is not allowed to leave her apartment for any
reason. Meals are left outside her door. It's like living in solitary
confinement in a maximum security prison. All this for $8000 a month.
Her ten-year old Windows 7 computeris beginning to show signs of old
age. Who is going to set up a new computer for her if the old one
dies? The management of the facility has already told her that if her
computer, which she is totally dependent on to communicate with the
outside word, finally dies, she will just have to learn to live
without it. Thank goodness, she still has a working land line phone,
because her Jitterbug flip phone has also been giving her trouble. So
getting sighted tech help may be difficult to impossible right now for
many blind computer and cell phone users.
On 10/19/2020 9:37 AM, Gerald Levy via groups.io wrote:
This is not quite true. As a blind person, you are most definitely
entitled to a special car and"chauffeur". It's called paratransit,
and it is a service availabel for reasonable fare in all major
cities includingChicago. Non-disabled residents cannot take
advantage of this service. So what if the car isn't a Rolls Royce?
It will still take you where you want to go. So your argument
isspecious. And by the way, sighted consumers who have dexterity
or other health issues that make using a touchscreen impossible are
just as entitled to accessible smart phones with tactile keypads or
voice command capability as blind consumers. And where do you find
sighted help to set up a smart speaker for you, anyway? My sighted
elderly next-door neighbor wouldn't know a Google Home mini from a
kumquat. Besides, because of the surging pandemic in most parts of
the country, it may be difficult to impossible to find a tech-savvy
sighted person who is willing to visit your home right now. My tech
savvy friend would be happy to set one up for me. Except that he is
currently in lockdown and quarantine for the foreseeable future, and
refuses to use public transit to visit me, because he believes it
would be risky. And good luck trying to get help from a social services
nobody fighting on our behalf for better accessibility.
On 10/19/2020 8:31 AM, Gene wrote:
And I can't afford a chauffeur. Am I entitled, because I'm blind
and can't afford one, to have one provided, on 24 hour call on
accessibility grounds? given the amount of money I have access to
on my fixed income, a new car would be an economic burden and a
used car would be something I wouldn't want to spend money on. Am
I entitled to one or a free state owned car and chauffeur?
And what about all the sighted people who can't afford new or
reasonably afford used cars? Do we, as blind people deserve one on
accessibility grounds while denying cars to everyone else because
they don't have a disability?
At some point, the law stops being able to solve every conceivable
problem, and trying to do so may yield perverse or manifestly
unfair or unjust results.
And what about sighted people who can't or won't use cellular
phones? Should they have an accessibility cause of action in this
case? Accessibility law doesn't and has never said, that every
conceivable disability problem must be addressed. It uses, as the
law so often does the reasonable standard. Accessibility is to be
achieved if it does not place an undue burden on the entity in
question. Sometimes, the disabled person has to find a way to
solve a problem.
If someone sets up a Google Voice, it can be used from then on
accessibly by the blind person. And I believe the question of
using an IPhone out of the box has been discussed on lists I follow
before and blind people can start voiceover out of the box without
On 10/19/2020 6:57 AM, Gerald Levy via groups.io wrote:
An Apple IPhone starts at $700. To me, this is expensive.
Accessible? I understand thatthe the newly released IPhone 12
has no physical home button, so how would a blind consumer turn on
Voice Over without sighted help? Oh yes, I can buy a refurbed
IPhone 7 or
8 online for a few hundred dollars, still expensive by my
standards, that does have a physical home button, but probably not
at an Apple store. And kindly provide the make and model of an
Android smart phone that has physical buttons that can be used to
set up one of these smart speakers. I am a senior who finds
touchscreens difficult to impossible to master for a variety of
reasons, and so like many other blind consumers, prefers a cell
phone witha tactile keypad.
On 10/19/2020 7:02 AM, John Dowling wrote:
I'm going to have to disagree with you there.
It's very easy to set up both an Amazon echo and google home.
There respected apps on both ios and android are very accessible.
May I ask, what smartphones were you referring to when you said
expensive and inaccessible.
Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you'll
start having positive results. -Willie Nelson
On Oct 19, 2020, at 6:46 AM, Gerald Levy via groups.io
The bottom line is that both the Amazon Echo and Google Home
smart speakers were never really designed with accessibility in
mind in the first place. To set up a Google Home device, you
need an expensive smart phone, which, itself may not be all that
accessible. The Amazon Echo can allegedly be set up by
computer, but I have not seen any rports from blind consumers
successfully setting it up this way without sighted help. Large
tech companies seem to be sliding backwards when it comes to
accessibility. For instance, PayPal, which claims that they are
dedicated to making their web site accessible, no longer offers
telephone customer support for disabled customers who encounter
problems with the site. The blindness advocacy organizations
have been uncharacteristically quiet about this issue. Despite
the problems you have described, they have never demonstrated
any inclination to take legal action against these companies to
force them to make their products, apps and customer support
more accessible and blind-friendly. Probably because their
wimpy lawyers are afraid to challenge big bad Amazon and Google
and the likes of Jeff Bezos and Eric Schmidt. They are only
interested in litigation if they see a big payday for
themselves. For instace, years ago when the NFB successfully
sued Target to force them to make their web site more
accessible, they pocketed $250K in punitive damages, and since
then have not bothered to regularly inspect the Target site to
ensure that it remains accessible. In factthe Target site, at
least from my perspective, has become progressively less
accessible since thesettlement. So we blind consumers really have
On 10/19/2020 3:58 AM, Leedy Diane Bomar wrote:
I believe in inclusion. Amazon has improved significantly over
the last ten years in this area. We can now use their hardward
devices, including those with screens. But, they still have a
long way to go as far as their app and web site are concerned.
My issue is a mindset and culture concern. We are still
considered a "special" group. In other words, they still think
that a separate website is what we SHOULD prefer, though very
few use it. I believe that most of you would agree the using
the app and website should be designed correctly so that it is
equally accessible and usable for blind and sighted users.
Separation is never equal.
So, why is it that when one calls the departments that provide
customer service on using their hardware devices, which include
accessible features such as voice view, the reps are not
trained on those modes and want to send us to the Accessibility
Department? Tonight when trying to set up my new Echo Show, the
rep insisted that I could only use it by visually reading the
screen. She was adamant about this fact, though I knew that
wasn't the case. The standard help file they send out has no
reference to using the device non-visually, not even a link!
The Accessibility department is a misnomer, in fact, a rep from
that department referred to it as "search and rescue" which may
be a more apt title. They certainly don't have the tools to
allow them to use their apps with voice on either iOS or
Android! At best they can give descriptions of products and put
them in your cart, which is often useful.
But, am I wrong in believing that the device reps should be
trained in using those devices by a blind person? Shouldn't
they even know that it is possible, and research how to set it up?
I had this issue with my first Kindle Fire, three years ago,
and raised quite a ruckus about it, and hoped it had been resolved.
But, it obiously has not. Tonight, I spoke with a supervisor
who confirmed that the reps are not trained or even told that a
blind person can make the screen be accessible by voice output.
Am I the only one that is bothered by this attitude and its
results? Am I the only one who writes to the Accessibility
development team with complaints and suggestions. Several years
ago, I even wrote to Jeff Bezos, and was contacted by a moron
from their Executive team, who was supposedly in charge of
"accessibility". He said things like: "they were really lucky
to find me." "Why don't you just use the special access site?"
"I used to have a blind friend" and worst of all was going to
hire Freedom Scientific, who he had met at CSUN, to come in and
give JAWS training to a group of developers while blindfolded!
I asked him why they needed to be blindfolded, instead of just
turning off the screen, and his reply was "but then, they could
see the keyboard!" I pointed out that the developers needed
training on coding for accessibility.more than learning JAWS,
but he was a know-it-all. He refused to attend consumer
conventions, saying that he had no time for that. I don't know
if he is still there, but, he caused more problems than fixing
Anyway, I am sorry that this seems like a useless rant, but, I
would like input from others, of how to address this mindset
problem. Is it just me, and an unrealistic belief in full
inclusion, or, is it a problem for others?