locked Re: Amazon: Am I the only one that feels this way?

Michael Mote

Could someone please tell me what Covid19 has to do with the original subject of this thread? Knock it off guys. Take your political views somewhere else, but not here. Not my list, but this is ridiculous.



From: main@TechTalk.groups.io <main@TechTalk.groups.io> On Behalf Of Gerald Levy via groups.io
Sent: Monday, October 19, 2020 2:28 PM
To: main@TechTalk.groups.io
Subject: Re: [TechTalk] Amazon: Am I the only one that feels this way?



So then you believe the President, who claims that there have been fewer than 10,000 deaths related to the Corona virus?  Where's the evidence for his ridiculous assertion?





On 10/19/2020 2:17 PM, brian wrote:

Yes it is just fake news.

Brian Sackrider

On 10/19/2020 10:51 AM, chris judge wrote:

So do you believe that there haven't been over 8000000 cases in the US, and
over 200000 deaths?
Is this just fake news?

Chris Judge

-----Original Message-----
From: main@TechTalk.groups.io <main@TechTalk.groups.io> On Behalf Of Rob
Sent: October 19, 2020 11:38 AM
To: main@TechTalk.groups.io
Subject: Re: [TechTalk] Amazon: Am I the only one that feels this way?

That's easy. They want to turn covid into the new boogeyman. First it was
terrorism, now it's the big baaaaad virus. Call me a wild eyed conspiracy
theorist if you want, but I think they're are deliberately trying to foster
an atmosphere of fear.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Norman" <lists@...>
To: main@TechTalk.groups.io
Date: Mon, 19 Oct 2020 10:27:29 -0400
Subject: Re: [TechTalk] Amazon: Am I the only one that feels this way?

I'm going to go on a bit of an off topic rant here, appoligies everyone.

  > 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.

This is complete and utter stupidity the way some of these poor old
people are locked up. I saw a headline somewhere a month or so ago
that was talking about the older people in homes dying because of


I believe such talk, i'd be climing the walls if anyone tried that on
me. How can people still justify these living conditions? i could
understand the restrictions this spring but not anymore. I suspect if
you asked the people in homes what there preference would be 90 % of
them would want to take there chances with covid.

Why can't we just lift most of the covid restrictions and go back to a
normal life?


On 10/19/2020 10:07 AM, Gerald Levy via groups.io wrote:

To amplify my point a littlefurther, I have a blind, technophobic
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


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 agency.


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 sighted assistance.


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
<bwaylimited@...> wrote:


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
   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 nobody fighting on our behalf for better accessibility.


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


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


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 anything.

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?


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