Date   

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

 

On Mon, Oct 19, 2020 at 12:10 PM, Gerald Levy wrote:

And of course, your sighted husband never provided an iota of assistance,right?

 

-
My heavens but you are an utterly nasty person.  Not relevant.

There is virtually no one I know, and particularly if they're living in an assisted living facility, that doesn't have sighted help they can call on upon occasion.  It's certainly more difficult for some than others to get a sighted assistant, but far from impossible for most.  And if it is impossible for someone, that's not something that anyone else can solve.
 
--

Brian - Windows 10 Pro, 64-Bit, Version 2004, Build 19041  

Always remember that computers are just glorified light bulbs - they rarely fail in continuous use and usually go pop when turned off and on.

        ~ Technician with the username Computer Bloke, on Technibble.com


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

 

On Mon, Oct 19, 2020 at 12:01 PM, Carolyn Arnold wrote:
My son has ARMD, and there is a good treatment for it now that slows it way down.
-
Carolyn, you may be able to answer this, as I can't remember clearly.   I seem to remember there being two types of MD, commonly referred to as "wet" and "dry" if memory serves where one was treatable and the other not.  Am I recalling correctly and, if so, which is which?
 
--

Brian - Windows 10 Pro, 64-Bit, Version 2004, Build 19041  

Always remember that computers are just glorified light bulbs - they rarely fail in continuous use and usually go pop when turned off and on.

        ~ Technician with the username Computer Bloke, on Technibble.com


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

 

Gerald,

           You set up a huge number of strawmen that are so fun to knockdown, but too easy.

           But if you're worried about cables, etc., then for heaven's sake order a laptop, where it's all self contained.

           And you don't know what you're talking about in regard to CFB requirements, from their own site: First, we recommend having a friend that will be available to help you. They can help put the equipment together and be a resource when you have questions. This person also will be a contact for us should you encounter problems with the computer.

           Note, it says nothing about "sighted."  And much of what is on their application page is clearly aimed at those who have never had a computer or used a screen reader before.  I'd imagine that's because an awful lot of their clientele is very new to computers, but not all.  I know a number of folks who have ordered from them who were entirely DIY once they got the machine.  There's no restriction that you must be anything but blind (or at least if you have a shred of common decency, I'm sure that there have been those that have committed fraud upon occasion).

            I am sorry if anyone who has never used a computer before has difficulty using it.  During this time of Covid-19, for very good reasons, assistance is limited.  That's no one's fault, and there is no solution for it as yet.  It is useless to try to place blame for a worldwide pandemic, and its attendant messes.  This, too, shall pass.
--

Brian - Windows 10 Pro, 64-Bit, Version 2004, Build 19041  

Always remember that computers are just glorified light bulbs - they rarely fail in continuous use and usually go pop when turned off and on.

        ~ Technician with the username Computer Bloke, on Technibble.com


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

g melconian
 

Would agree with some of you as it relates to apple products.you don’t have to buy the latest and greatest if you don’t need it.buy what you can afford.if the I phone SE 2 or I phone xr or I phone 11 will meet your needs then go ahead and go with that . there are lots of options out there for all to enjoy from differing price points and points of view.

-----Original Message-----
From: main@TechTalk.groups.io <main@TechTalk.groups.io> On Behalf Of Carolyn Arnold
Sent: Monday, October 19, 2020 8:47 AM
To: main@TechTalk.groups.io
Subject: Re: [TechTalk] Amazon: Am I the only one that feels this way?

Actually, I got my 11 brand new for $648. That's not worth disputing, but the SE, a great phone for $399 is arguable, as well as getting, e.g. an XR for less than $400.

-----Original Message-----
From: main@TechTalk.groups.io [mailto:main@TechTalk.groups.io] On Behalf Of chris judge
Sent: Monday, October 19, 2020 8:46 AM
To: main@TechTalk.groups.io
Subject: Re: [TechTalk] Amazon: Am I the only one that feels this way?

Gerald. You really ot to get at least some of your facts straight. Not only does the new iPhone 12, “soon to be released” not have a physical home button, but the 11 and 10 also don’t have physical home buttons. Turning on voice over with a phone lacking a home button is as simple as triple pressing the right side button, and voice over has gestures to replace those previously requiring the home button.

Also, the new SE 2020 sells for far less than $700, and does have a physical home button. You can’t use the excuse that you’re a senior. I teach many seniors how to use the iPhone, some pick it up and some do not. Unless you have some physical reason why you can’t interact with a touch screen, with the correct attitude, Attitude being the optimum word here, anyone can learn it. I’ve taught young and middle aged people with the same results, some pick it up and some don’t. Using the excuse that you’re a senior is just a whole lot of who shot Johnny.

Chris Judge

<http://www.freedomscientific.com/Certification>



From: main@TechTalk.groups.io <main@TechTalk.groups.io> On Behalf Of Gerald Levy via groups.io
Sent: October 19, 2020 8:58 AM
To: main@TechTalk.groups.io
Subject: Re: [TechTalk] Amazon: Am I the only one that feels this way?





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.



Gerald





On 10/19/2020 7:02 AM, John Dowling wrote:

Gerald,

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.

Thanks,

John.

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=verizon.net@groups.io> <mailto:bwaylimited=verizon.net@groups.io> 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 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 nobody fighting on our behalf for better accessibility.



Gerald





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 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?



Thanks,


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

Gerald Levy
 


And of course, your sighted husband never provided an iota of assistance,right?


Gerald



On 10/19/2020 11:53 AM, Carolyn Arnold wrote:
Well, all I can tell you is that at 82, at the time I got my
11, I had no problem with the thing. 

-----Original Message-----
From: main@TechTalk.groups.io
[mailto:main@TechTalk.groups.io] On Behalf Of Rob Hudson
Sent: Monday, October 19, 2020 10:33 AM
To: main@TechTalk.groups.io
Subject: Re: [TechTalk] Amazon: Am I the only one that feels
this way?

Not entirely true. It has been scientifically demonstrated
that learning becomes more difficult as the brain ages.
Should I dig up some nice medical articles for perusal?

----- Original Message -----
From: "Brian Vogel" <britechguy@...>
To: main@TechTalk.groups.io
Date: Mon, 19 Oct 2020 07:01:23 -0700
Subject: Re: [TechTalk] Amazon: Am I the only one that feels
this way?

On Mon, Oct 19, 2020 at 07:57 AM, Gerald Levy wrote:

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.
-
Difficult is not "impossible."

The argument that something the vast majority can use, and
I include blind individuals in that vast majority, means
it's accessible.  Most smartphones have not had hard home
buttons for years now, nor have tablets, etc.
And the "I'm a senior" bit holds absolutely, positively no
water.  You can teach an old dog new tricks if said dog is
willing to learn them.
--

Brian - Windows 10 Pro, 64-Bit, Version 2004, Build 19041

*Always remember that computers are just glorified light
bulbs - they 
rarely fail in continuous use and usually go pop when
turned off and 
on.*

~ Technician with the username Computer Bloke, on
Technibble.com

















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

Gerald Levy
 


As usual, you don't know what you are talking about. I have ordered three computers from them, so I know what I'm talking about, including the Windows 7 desktop on which I am composing this message.   Read CFB's policy very carefully.  When you order a computer from them, you must pledge that you have a sighted helper on hand to help you set it up.  They assume that most blind consumers lack the expertise and tetechnical skills to do it all by themselves.  I had my techie friend visit me and help me set it up long before the pandemic started.  Do you happen to live in one of those red zones upstate in Rochester, which means even tougher lockdown restrictions?  My ladyfriend happens to live in a red zone through no fault of her own.  So here's my challenge to you.  If I have my tech-averse ladyfriend contact you by phone, and she goes ahead and orders a computer from CFB, and she is even allowed to have it delivered to her apartment,which may not even be possible, would you be able to patiently explain over the phone how to connect all those cables without sight and get it up and running with JAWS? Never mind that MS may automatically start installing Windows 10 feature update 2004 as soon as she plugs it in, leaving her without speech for God knows how long, and no way for someone to view the monitor screen to tell her what's going on, or encounter a myriad of other unforeseen problems which would leave her with a computer that is unusable.  Would you be able to help her set it up using telepathy?  I think not.  BTW. how is your Smart Vision phone working out?  Does it still work?  Too bad you can't buy one any longer. 

 

Gerald


on

 10/19/2020 10:46 AM, Ann Parsons wrote:

Hi all,

Ah Eeyore, the glass is always half empty isn't it?

Advise her to contact Computers For The Blind in TX.  "Please call our Customer Service number at 214-340-6328 to see how we can help you."

http://www.computersfortheblind.org

These people put all the software you need and set the computer up, so all you need to do is plug it in.  They're currently shipping win10, but learning that isn't a problem.   She'll get the boxes, unpack them and just put everything together.  I'm sure an aide is up to that task.

Yes, they are refurbished,  but they have an excellent reputation.  She can pay about $200.00 and be off and running again.

Anyone who's paying $8,000.00 a month can afford computer training via phone.  I wouldn't be surprised if one of her aides isn't savvy enough to set up her email for her.   Comes with Jaws for a year, LibreOffice and some other stuff, probably Thunderbird.

Ann P.

Original message:


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.


Gerald



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 agency.



Gerald



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.



Gene

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.


Gerald



On 10/19/2020 7:02 AM, John Dowling wrote:


Gerald,
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.
Thanks,
John.


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@...> <mailto: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 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 nobody fighting on our behalf for better accessibility.

Gerald



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 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?

Thanks,






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

Carolyn Arnold
 

My son has ARMD, and there is a good treatment for it now that slows it way down. My neighbor has been taking the same med for eight years, still can drive and sew. She's 84, but my son is only 61. I hope they come up with a stopper for it soon.

-----Original Message-----
From: main@TechTalk.groups.io [mailto:main@TechTalk.groups.io] On Behalf Of Gerald Levy via groups.io
Sent: Monday, October 19, 2020 11:45 AM
To: main@TechTalk.groups.io
Subject: Re: [TechTalk] Amazon: Am I the only one that feels this way?




Wrong. The leading cause of vision loss in seniors is age-related macular degeneration,which is largely untreatable, not cataracts, which are treatable. So yes, there will certainly be a surge in baby boomers who experience sight loss in the coming years and need help to remain independent.





Gerald








On 10/19/2020 10:58 AM, Brian Vogel wrote:


On Mon, Oct 19, 2020 at 10:40 AM, brian wrote:


We will not be just asmall minority they are not getting prepeared for this.

-
Yes, you will. The prevalence of blindness may increase (and, given treatments for cataracts these days, even that's unlikely, since that's the "primary acquired blindness of aging") it will still be a very small minority of the population as a whole that is blind or visually impaired.

--


Brian - Windows 10 Pro, 64-Bit, Version 2004, Build 19041

Always remember that computers are just glorified light bulbs - they rarely fail in continuous use and usually go pop when turned off and on.

~ Technician with the username Computer Bloke, on Technibble.com


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

 

On Mon, Oct 19, 2020 at 11:44 AM, Gerald Levy wrote:
So yes, there will certainly be a surge in baby boomers who experience sight loss in the coming years and need help to remain independent. 
-
But that's not what the central assertion was.  Even with a surge, the proportion of the population at large, including among the baby boomers, who are blind or visually impaired will still remain a small minority.

It may be a larger small minority, but it will still be a small minority.

And I'll happily stand corrected on macular degeneration being the leading cause of vision loss among seniors.  It's probably assumed that position since cataracts have become almost, though not entirely, completely treatable making their effects reversible.  I know that's not true of MD, at least not now/yet.
 
--

Brian - Windows 10 Pro, 64-Bit, Version 2004, Build 19041  

Always remember that computers are just glorified light bulbs - they rarely fail in continuous use and usually go pop when turned off and on.

        ~ Technician with the username Computer Bloke, on Technibble.com


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

Carolyn Arnold
 

Well, all I can tell you is that at 82, at the time I got my
11, I had no problem with the thing.

-----Original Message-----
From: main@TechTalk.groups.io
[mailto:main@TechTalk.groups.io] On Behalf Of Rob Hudson
Sent: Monday, October 19, 2020 10:33 AM
To: main@TechTalk.groups.io
Subject: Re: [TechTalk] Amazon: Am I the only one that feels
this way?

Not entirely true. It has been scientifically demonstrated
that learning becomes more difficult as the brain ages.
Should I dig up some nice medical articles for perusal?

----- Original Message -----
From: "Brian Vogel" <@britechguy>
To: main@TechTalk.groups.io
Date: Mon, 19 Oct 2020 07:01:23 -0700
Subject: Re: [TechTalk] Amazon: Am I the only one that feels
this way?

On Mon, Oct 19, 2020 at 07:57 AM, Gerald Levy wrote:


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.
-
Difficult is not "impossible."

The argument that something the vast majority can use, and
I include blind individuals in that vast majority, means
it's accessible.  Most smartphones have not had hard home
buttons for years now, nor have tablets, etc.

And the "I'm a senior" bit holds absolutely, positively no
water.  You can teach an old dog new tricks if said dog is
willing to learn them.

--

Brian - Windows 10 Pro, 64-Bit, Version 2004, Build 19041

*Always remember that computers are just glorified light
bulbs - they
rarely fail in continuous use and usually go pop when
turned off and
on.*

~ Technician with the username Computer Bloke, on
Technibble.com







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

Carolyn Arnold
 

I never looked back, when my phone had no Home Button, just read and reread instructions on an Apple list. I wish everything in life had been as easy as going to the iPhone with no Home Button, but then, I'd be incapable of coping for lack of problem experience.

-----Original Message-----
From: main@TechTalk.groups.io [mailto:main@TechTalk.groups.io] On Behalf Of Brian Vogel
Sent: Monday, October 19, 2020 10:01 AM
To: main@TechTalk.groups.io
Subject: Re: [TechTalk] Amazon: Am I the only one that feels this way?

On Mon, Oct 19, 2020 at 07:57 AM, Gerald Levy wrote:


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.

-
Difficult is not "impossible."

The argument that something the vast majority can use, and I include blind individuals in that vast majority, means it's accessible. Most smartphones have not had hard home buttons for years now, nor have tablets, etc.

And the "I'm a senior" bit holds absolutely, positively no water. You can teach an old dog new tricks if said dog is willing to learn them.

--


Brian - Windows 10 Pro, 64-Bit, Version 2004, Build 19041

Always remember that computers are just glorified light bulbs - they rarely fail in continuous use and usually go pop when turned off and on.

~ Technician with the username Computer Bloke, on Technibble.com


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

Carolyn Arnold
 

Plus, the 11 works just fine without a Home Button.

-----Original Message-----
From: main@TechTalk.groups.io [mailto:main@TechTalk.groups.io] On Behalf Of Loy
Sent: Monday, October 19, 2020 8:53 AM
To: main@TechTalk.groups.io
Subject: Re: [TechTalk] Amazon: Am I the only one that feels this way?

Actually they start as low as $399 for the new SE.
----- Original Message -----
From: Gerald Levy via groups.io <mailto:bwaylimited=verizon.net@groups.io>
To: main@TechTalk.groups.io <mailto:main@TechTalk.groups.io>
Sent: Monday, October 19, 2020 7:57 AM
Subject: Re: [TechTalk] Amazon: Am I the only one that feels this way?





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.




Gerald








On 10/19/2020 7:02 AM, John Dowling wrote:


Gerald,
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.
Thanks,
John.


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=verizon.net@groups.io> <mailto:bwaylimited=verizon.net@groups.io> 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 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 nobody fighting on our behalf for better accessibility.



Gerald








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 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?

Thanks,


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

Carolyn Arnold
 

Actually, I got my 11 brand new for $648. That's not worth disputing, but the SE, a great phone for $399 is arguable, as well as getting, e.g. an XR for less than $400.

-----Original Message-----
From: main@TechTalk.groups.io [mailto:main@TechTalk.groups.io] On Behalf Of chris judge
Sent: Monday, October 19, 2020 8:46 AM
To: main@TechTalk.groups.io
Subject: Re: [TechTalk] Amazon: Am I the only one that feels this way?

Gerald. You really ot to get at least some of your facts straight. Not only does the new iPhone 12, “soon to be released” not have a physical home button, but the 11 and 10 also don’t have physical home buttons. Turning on voice over with a phone lacking a home button is as simple as triple pressing the right side button, and voice over has gestures to replace those previously requiring the home button.

Also, the new SE 2020 sells for far less than $700, and does have a physical home button. You can’t use the excuse that you’re a senior. I teach many seniors how to use the iPhone, some pick it up and some do not. Unless you have some physical reason why you can’t interact with a touch screen, with the correct attitude, Attitude being the optimum word here, anyone can learn it. I’ve taught young and middle aged people with the same results, some pick it up and some don’t. Using the excuse that you’re a senior is just a whole lot of who shot Johnny.

Chris Judge

<http://www.freedomscientific.com/Certification>



From: main@TechTalk.groups.io <main@TechTalk.groups.io> On Behalf Of Gerald Levy via groups.io
Sent: October 19, 2020 8:58 AM
To: main@TechTalk.groups.io
Subject: Re: [TechTalk] Amazon: Am I the only one that feels this way?





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.



Gerald





On 10/19/2020 7:02 AM, John Dowling wrote:

Gerald,

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.

Thanks,

John.

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=verizon.net@groups.io> <mailto:bwaylimited=verizon.net@groups.io> 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 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 nobody fighting on our behalf for better accessibility.



Gerald





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 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?



Thanks,


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

chris judge
 

I Understand that believe me. I work with blind people all the time and know many who have little or no supports. I was simply stating that it was his negative attitude that held him back, not his inability to learn.

Chris Judge

 

From: main@TechTalk.groups.io <main@TechTalk.groups.io> On Behalf Of Gerald Levy via groups.io
Sent: October 19, 2020 12:36 PM
To: main@TechTalk.groups.io
Subject: Re: [TechTalk] Amazon: Am I the only one that feels this way?

 

 

Well, your brother is lucky to have a tech savvy sibling like you who is available to help him.  Not all of us are so fortunate.

 

Gerald

 

 

On 10/19/2020 10:55 AM, chris judge wrote:

And if you approach something with the attitude that you won’t be able to learn it, chances are you won’t.

My brother, who is 2 years younger than me avoided the iPhone for years, until one day I slapped him upside the head, sat him down, gave him my old iPhone 6 and taught him how to use it. He loves it now and regrets waiting so long. Amusingly enough, the gesture he found the most difficult to master was the magic tap to answer and hang up phone calls.

 

Chris Judge

 

From: main@TechTalk.groups.io <main@TechTalk.groups.io> On Behalf Of Brian Vogel
Sent: October 19, 2020 11:40 AM
To: main@TechTalk.groups.io
Subject: Re: [TechTalk] Amazon: Am I the only one that feels this way?

 

On Mon, Oct 19, 2020 at 10:33 AM, Rob Hudson wrote:

Not entirely true.

-
Yes, entirely true.   I didn't say, "It's just as easy as it ever was."  It isn't as easy for me as it was when I was in my youth, but it is mighty far from impossible.

I get that different things are more or less difficult for different people.  I also know that accessibility across the spectrum has improved, radically, over the last 30 years.

None of us get our personal choice of what hardware, software, or interfaces (physical versus virtual buttons, as but one example), are available.  And there are times when certain changes will make it more difficult for a given individual, not less so, but that cannot be escaped as a general thing with change, no matter what the direction.

To quote the Rolling Stones, "You can't always get what you want, but you get what you need."  (And "getting what you want" has been awfully common in accessibiity, too, in recent years).  Sometimes, though, it's you that has to do the adjusting whether you like it or not.
 
--

Brian - Windows 10 Pro, 64-Bit, Version 2004, Build 19041  

Always remember that computers are just glorified light bulbs - they rarely fail in continuous use and usually go pop when turned off and on.

        ~ Technician with the username Computer Bloke, on Technibble.com


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

Gerald Levy
 


Wrong.  The leading cause of vision loss in seniors is age-related macular degeneration,which is largely untreatable, not cataracts, which are treatable.  So yes, there will certainly be a surge in baby boomers who experience sight loss in the coming years and need help to remain independent. 


Gerald



On 10/19/2020 10:58 AM, Brian Vogel wrote:
On Mon, Oct 19, 2020 at 10:40 AM, brian wrote:
We will not be just asmall minority they are not getting prepeared for this.
-
Yes, you will.  The prevalence of blindness may increase (and, given treatments for cataracts these days, even that's unlikely, since that's the "primary acquired blindness of aging") it will still be a very small minority of the population as a whole that is blind or visually impaired.
 
--

Brian - Windows 10 Pro, 64-Bit, Version 2004, Build 19041  

Always remember that computers are just glorified light bulbs - they rarely fail in continuous use and usually go pop when turned off and on.

        ~ Technician with the username Computer Bloke, on Technibble.com


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

Carolyn Arnold
 

Gerald, please allow me to bring you up to date on smart phone prices.

. You can get a brand new iPhone SE for $399 and other iPhones that are a couple of years old for less. You can get some Android phones for $100 to $150, new. The ZTE comes to mind.

-----Original Message-----
From: main@TechTalk.groups.io [mailto:main@TechTalk.groups.io] On Behalf Of Gerald Levy via groups.io
Sent: Monday, October 19, 2020 7:58 AM
To: main@TechTalk.groups.io
Subject: Re: [TechTalk] Amazon: Am I the only one that feels this way?




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.




Gerald








On 10/19/2020 7:02 AM, John Dowling wrote:


Gerald,
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.
Thanks,
John.


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=verizon.net@groups.io> <mailto:bwaylimited=verizon.net@groups.io> 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 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 nobody fighting on our behalf for better accessibility.



Gerald








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 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?

Thanks,


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

Gerald Levy
 


Well, your brother is lucky to have a tech savvy sibling like you who is available to help him.  Not all of us are so fortunate.


Gerald



On 10/19/2020 10:55 AM, chris judge wrote:

And if you approach something with the attitude that you won’t be able to learn it, chances are you won’t.

My brother, who is 2 years younger than me avoided the iPhone for years, until one day I slapped him upside the head, sat him down, gave him my old iPhone 6 and taught him how to use it. He loves it now and regrets waiting so long. Amusingly enough, the gesture he found the most difficult to master was the magic tap to answer and hang up phone calls.

 

Chris Judge

 

From: main@TechTalk.groups.io <main@TechTalk.groups.io> On Behalf Of Brian Vogel
Sent: October 19, 2020 11:40 AM
To: main@TechTalk.groups.io
Subject: Re: [TechTalk] Amazon: Am I the only one that feels this way?

 

On Mon, Oct 19, 2020 at 10:33 AM, Rob Hudson wrote:

Not entirely true.

-
Yes, entirely true.   I didn't say, "It's just as easy as it ever was."  It isn't as easy for me as it was when I was in my youth, but it is mighty far from impossible.

I get that different things are more or less difficult for different people.  I also know that accessibility across the spectrum has improved, radically, over the last 30 years.

None of us get our personal choice of what hardware, software, or interfaces (physical versus virtual buttons, as but one example), are available.  And there are times when certain changes will make it more difficult for a given individual, not less so, but that cannot be escaped as a general thing with change, no matter what the direction.

To quote the Rolling Stones, "You can't always get what you want, but you get what you need."  (And "getting what you want" has been awfully common in accessibiity, too, in recent years).  Sometimes, though, it's you that has to do the adjusting whether you like it or not.
 
--

Brian - Windows 10 Pro, 64-Bit, Version 2004, Build 19041  

Always remember that computers are just glorified light bulbs - they rarely fail in continuous use and usually go pop when turned off and on.

        ~ Technician with the username Computer Bloke, on Technibble.com


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

 

On Mon, Oct 19, 2020 at 10:55 AM, Gerald Levy wrote:
Sorry, but it [Coronavirus and the steps needed to minimize its spread] is not stupidity.  It is a matter of public safety. 
-
Indeed.  But if I've learned one thing in life, it's the truth of the following observation:

It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into.

        ~ Jonathan Swift (1667-1745)

Barring a "Road to Damascus"-type conversion to the world of logic and reason as guiding principles, those who insist on belief without evidence as a primary guide to the world will remain in the darkness of ignorance.

--

Brian - Windows 10 Pro, 64-Bit, Version 2004, Build 19041  

Always remember that computers are just glorified light bulbs - they rarely fail in continuous use and usually go pop when turned off and on.

        ~ Technician with the username Computer Bloke, on Technibble.com


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

 

On Mon, Oct 19, 2020 at 10:55 AM, chris judge wrote:
And if you approach something with the attitude that you won’t be able to learn it, chances are you won’t.
-
Yup.  One of my dearest friends is a lady who is my mother's age (83) and who's been blind since birth.  She's as tech savvy as they come, and virtually all of it is self taught.

I just handed her a Samsung Galaxy S7 I was no longer using because she really needs to get a new cell phone and I wanted her to have a modern smartphone (though it does still have a hard home button) to play with and figure out Talkback in advance of having that be her primary interface to a mobile phone.  It's just another screen reader on another device to her.  That doesn't mean that it's dirt simple, but just another of the mountains she's had to climb, each of which has generally been easier since she has practice with other ones of a similar nature.

It's that or get stuck.  The choice is yours (any you).  Nothing changes so frequently and fast as computer technology, and smartphones are microcomputers with a phone feature baked in.  And once you've forced yourself to deal with any touch device and a screen reader, which is "fresh hell" when you do, transitioning to others becomes a far less daunting task.
 
--

Brian - Windows 10 Pro, 64-Bit, Version 2004, Build 19041  

Always remember that computers are just glorified light bulbs - they rarely fail in continuous use and usually go pop when turned off and on.

        ~ Technician with the username Computer Bloke, on Technibble.com


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

 

On Mon, Oct 19, 2020 at 10:40 AM, brian wrote:
We will not be just asmall minority they are not getting prepeared for this.
-
Yes, you will.  The prevalence of blindness may increase (and, given treatments for cataracts these days, even that's unlikely, since that's the "primary acquired blindness of aging") it will still be a very small minority of the population as a whole that is blind or visually impaired.
 
--

Brian - Windows 10 Pro, 64-Bit, Version 2004, Build 19041  

Always remember that computers are just glorified light bulbs - they rarely fail in continuous use and usually go pop when turned off and on.

        ~ Technician with the username Computer Bloke, on Technibble.com


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

Gerald Levy
 


Sorry, but it is not stupidity.  It is a matter of public safety.  Contrary to the assertions of the sitting President, the Corona virus is not "going away".  On the contrary, it is surging in many parts of the country.  Dr. Fauci said so last night on 60 Minutes. He refuses to be beholden to the President who has publicly made it clear that he does not care how many people die from the pandemic as long as the economy is reopened.   Long-term care facilities have to impose such drastic restrictions based on  the advice and knowledge of medical experts and local government leaders to keep their residents safe, notthe the unsubstantiated rantings and lies emanating from the White House.  For the record, my ladyfriend is not some old doddering geezer who is on her last legs.  She is 72, but has a lot of medical issues besides blindness that make living independently impossible. So she is stuck between a rock and a hard place.  


Gerald



On 10/19/2020 10:27 AM, Norman wrote:

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 loneliness. 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?


JMT.





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.

  

Gerald


 

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 agency. 


Gerald



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. 


Gene

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.


Gerald



On 10/19/2020 7:02 AM, John Dowling wrote:
Gerald,
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.
Thanks,
John.

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 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 nobody fighting on our behalf for better accessibility.

 

Gerald



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 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?

Thanks,