Date   

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

chris judge
 

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
Hudson
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
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=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
 

And at the top of the list of people who don't care about these poor people
is that idiot in the white house.

Chris Judge

-----Original Message-----
From: main@TechTalk.groups.io <main@TechTalk.groups.io> On Behalf Of Rob
Hudson
Sent: October 19, 2020 11:34 AM
To: main@TechTalk.groups.io
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" <bwaylimited=verizon.net@groups.io>
To: main@TechTalk.groups.io
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, 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=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?

Ron Canazzi
 

Hi Mitch,

Yeah, but you live in one of those damnable socialist countries that we in the United States are systematically programmed to hate.  I don't know if this is nationwide, but a friend of mine in Ontario says he is entitled (yes entitled) to a new computer every five years as a 'quality of life' enhancement. Perish the thought that that commie idea should ever be enacted in the USA. Why Joe Stalin would be resurrected by Satan the Devil and would rape all the girls and kill all the men; or is it rape all the men and kill all the girls?!


On 10/19/2020 10:33 AM, Mich Verrier wrote:

Hi for peoplelike Gerald and others who say that the I phone is expencive and refuse to use them do to cost or other things there are programs where you can get a re furbished phone or there are programs hear in Canada run through the cnib cald the phone it forward program where people who can’t afforde a new I phone cn still get one that might ot be the newest but it will still be accessible. Maybe those of you in the US should see if the nfb or acb have any kind of aprogram like that to help you get a apple I phone or something. And to those who are saying that I can’t use a I phone with since it is ot a phone with buttens there are also braille and tacktile over lays that you can get tohelp with this as well. So there are still ways to use it if you need that tacktile feedback but I phones are able to be used by blind people quite well with things like voice over etc. just my thoughts. From Mich.

 

From: main@TechTalk.groups.io <main@TechTalk.groups.io> On Behalf Of Ron Canazzi
Sent: October 19, 2020 10:29 AM
To: main@TechTalk.groups.io
Subject: Re: [TechTalk] Amazon: Am I the only one that feels this way?

 

Boy those arguments are slippery slope extremist in nature!

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,

 

 



-- 
They Ask Me If I'm Happy; I say Yes.
They ask: "How Happy are You?"
I Say: "I'm as happy as a stow away chimpanzee on a banana boat!"

-- 
They Ask Me If I'm Happy; I say Yes.
They ask: "How Happy are You?"
I Say: "I'm as happy as a stow away chimpanzee on a banana boat!"


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

Ann Parsons
 

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=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,


--
Ann K. Parsons
Portal Tutoring
EMAIL: akp@...
Author of The Demmies: http://www.dldbooks.com/annparsons/
Portal Tutoring web site: http://www.portaltutoring.info
Skype: Putertutor

"All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost."


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

Mich Verrier
 

Hi Dave you make some verry good poits hear. Also as some one who is blind and who doesn't drive I would like to have a shofer and a car but I am able to get a car that is not a problem finding some one who wantd to drive it might be lol since as you said it is a interesting argument and yes it does suck to not be able to drive but as some one who lives on a fixt income I doubt that I would be able to afforde a shofer not only one who would be avlaible to me 24-7 lol. S far as people knowing that blind people exzist and what we can and can't do yes it does surprise some one that we can move under our oan power never mind playing a computer game or operateing things like apliences. I have always said that if disibillidey was a totem pole that the blind and vi would be right down at the boddem and the other disibillidies like wheelchairs and the deff and those people would be near the top. The kneedle has not moved when it comes to the blind in years when you compare it to those other disibillidey groups. Why do you think we as blind people are still not working and stuff like that. From Mich.

-----Original Message-----
From: main@TechTalk.groups.io <main@TechTalk.groups.io> On Behalf Of Dave
Sent: October 19, 2020 10:22 AM
To: main@TechTalk.groups.io
Subject: Re: [TechTalk] Amazon: Am I the only one that feels this way?

I loved this-


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?



This one had me busting out laughing this morning. Very Good post Gene.

It is refreshing to hear someone with a bit of reason addressing those
who Scream for Equality when they have no idea what it is they are
demanding.


After saying that, I do wish that manufacturers would spend a bit more
money developing more in the way of Accessibility for the Blind, whether
it be for Software, Web Sites, or Wash Machines and Stoves.

I would love it if KORG would make some of the upper end Keyboards
Accessible. Hell, I would even pay more for a Module to plug in that
made the normal Keyboard accessible.

But, as far as I know, to operate one of their machines is still an
acrobatic act and lots of memorization.

I know when I worked for a Software Development Company, the Boss was
always attempting to get the most out of the Development Staff as these
folks were the highest paid employees in the Company.

Several times, I had the chance to put in a request that alterations be
done to make the software more accessible. And almost always, the Boss
would ask me, Dave, How many customers do you think are effected by our
program having less in the way of accessibility?

And I would have to say, probably about 50 to 100. And even then, I was
Padding my numbers. Knowing that the Boss wasn't going to do anything
until those numbers were approaching 1000 or more.

The blind, while a minority Group, is rather small when it comes to the
numbers of those who would be customers of any Company.

I use Amazon fairly often, and I have learned how to navigate their
normal web site, and I did have some learning trials, but once I figured
out their way of doing things, I have little problem now, other than
wading through the volumes of information found on just about every screen.


I find that when it comes to the Blind, it is just about impossible to
make them all Happy. Some catch on very quickly, and others never do.
And those who don't will be the ones that will cry for better
accessibility laws and someone ought to do something for us poor blind
etc. etc. And then in the same breath, they will tell me they are just
as productive as any Sighted person, and that they are independent and
can do anything they wish to do Bla Bla Bla!


Guess the question is when to draw the line when it comes to
accessibility. How much is enough, and what about those who need even
more assistance?

eventually, someone has to make a decision, and usually it is made by
figuring in the Cost in both time and money.

I Dream of the day when Development Staff all know there are Blind
people in the World and some might want to use the products they are
creating.

Some are stunned to find out a Blind person might want to use a phone,
or a Microwave, or a Computer Game! Not Kidding.

Not sure just what level of Hell these folks place the Blind, but few
ever think of Accessibility. They are just trying to meet the Deadline
the Boss has put down for the program to be done, which is targeted for
the General public, where most are sighted.

Grumpy Dave


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

Ron Canazzi
 

Why can't we lift most of the restrictions?

Oh, I don't know, because we lead the world in Covid-19 deaths and infections.  Yeah, I know some media outlets and followers of a certain politician believe it's all a grand commie conspiracy; pay no attention to the body bags leaving your local hospitals!

Just a few reasons.


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,



-- 
They Ask Me If I'm Happy; I say Yes.
They ask: "How Happy are You?"
I Say: "I'm as happy as a stow away chimpanzee on a banana boat!"


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

brian
 

What will happen when many of the baby boomers start loosing their sight?  We will not be just asmall minority they are not getting prepeared for this.

Brian Sackriderm

On 10/19/2020 10:21 AM, Dave wrote:
I loved this-


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?



This one had me busting out laughing this morning.  Very Good post Gene.

It is refreshing to hear someone with a bit of reason addressing those
who Scream for Equality when they have no idea what it is they are
demanding.


After saying that, I do wish that manufacturers would spend a bit more
money developing more in the way of Accessibility for the Blind, whether
it be for Software, Web Sites, or Wash Machines and Stoves.

I would love it if KORG would make some of the upper end Keyboards
Accessible.  Hell, I would even pay more for a Module to plug in that
made the normal Keyboard accessible.

But, as far as I know, to operate one of their machines is still an
acrobatic act and lots of memorization.

I know when I worked for a Software Development Company, the Boss was
always attempting to get the most out of the Development Staff as these
folks were the highest paid employees in the Company.

Several times, I had the chance to put in a request that alterations be
done to make the software more accessible.  And almost always, the Boss
would ask me, Dave, How many customers do you think are effected by our
program having less in the way of accessibility?

And I would have to say, probably about 50 to 100.  And even then, I was
Padding my numbers.   Knowing that the Boss wasn't going to do anything
until those numbers were  approaching 1000 or more.

The blind, while a minority Group, is rather small when it comes to the
numbers of those who would be customers of any Company.

I use Amazon fairly often, and I have learned how to navigate their
normal web site, and I did have some learning trials, but once I figured
out their way of doing things, I have little problem now, other than
wading through the volumes of information found on just about every screen.


I find that when it comes to the Blind, it is just about impossible to
make them all Happy.  Some catch on very quickly, and others never do.
And those who don't will be the ones that will cry for better
accessibility laws and someone ought to do something for us poor blind
etc. etc.  And then in the same breath, they will tell me they are just
as productive as any Sighted person, and that they are independent and
can do anything they wish to do Bla Bla Bla!


Guess the question is when to draw the line when it comes to
accessibility.  How much is enough, and what about those who need even
more assistance?

eventually, someone has to make a decision, and usually it is made by
figuring in the Cost in both time and money.

I Dream of the day when Development Staff all know there are Blind
people in the World and some might want to use the products they are
creating.

Some are stunned to find out a Blind person might want to use a phone,
or a Microwave, or a Computer Game!  Not Kidding.

Not sure just what level of Hell these folks place the Blind, but few
ever think of Accessibility.  They are just trying to meet the Deadline
the Boss has put down for the program to be done, which is targeted for
the General public, where most are sighted.

Grumpy Dave





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

 

On Mon, Oct 19, 2020 at 10:35 AM, Rob Hudson wrote:
Just one side effect of this scamdemic.
-
Plonk!
 
--

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 10:33 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?

Rob Hudson
 

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 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=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?

Rob Hudson
 

Just one side effect of this scamdemic. And nobody cares about these poor people, at all.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Gerald Levy via groups.io" <bwaylimited=verizon.net@groups.io>
To: main@TechTalk.groups.io
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, 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=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, you are lucky that you have access to taxis and ride-hailing services.  In NYC, taxis and ride-hailing services do not serve many low-income neighborhoods.  This has been the case even before the pandemic.  And to be fair, paratransit has also been problematic.  And yes, you do have to book trips in advance.  It is just too screwed up right now to rely on.  Besides, taxis and ride-hailing services have now been relegated under city orders to delivering millions of meals every day to homebound residents who are afraid or otherwise unable to shop in person at a supermarket.  Some private car services have even shut down because they simply do not have enough customers to keep running.  And soon, public transit may become aserious problem for both blind and sighted residents alike because of huge pandemic-related defecits that will force the local transit agency to drastically reduce or even eliminate bus, subway and commuter rail service unless financial aid is forthcoming from Washington, which does not seem likely. 


Gerald


 

On 10/19/2020 10:01 AM, chris judge wrote:
And can you call and book a ride on a whim, or do you have to plan your trips in advance. Here we have the access-a-bus, but you have to book your trips days in advance, so when I travel I use the same system my sighted counterparts use, it's called taxi, or, hopefully in the not too distant future, uber or lift.


Chris Judge


-----Original Message-----
From: main@TechTalk.groups.io <main@TechTalk.groups.io> On Behalf Of Gene
Sent: October 19, 2020 10:46 AM
To: main@TechTalk.groups.io
Subject: Re: [TechTalk] Amazon: Am I the only one that feels this way?

But it is often inefficient and is not remotely equivalent to having your own private car and chauffeur, available to take you anywhere, any time.  If you have to wait twenty minutes or half an hour to be picked up, and twenty minutes or half an hour to be picked up to return home, that is hardly reasonable access to travel.

Where can you find help?  The law can't solve everyone's problems.  {Perhaps a local computer club would help.  Perhaps an amateur radio club would help. 
Perhaps a reader would help.  All these ways are assuming you don't have a friend who could or would help.

Gene
-----Original Message-----
From: Gerald Levy via groups.io
Sent: Monday, October 19, 2020 8:37 AM
To: main@TechTalk.groups.io
Subject: Re: [TechTalk] Amazon: Am I the only one that feels this way?






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 
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?

Mich Verrier
 

Hi for peoplelike Gerald and others who say that the I phone is expencive and refuse to use them do to cost or other things there are programs where you can get a re furbished phone or there are programs hear in Canada run through the cnib cald the phone it forward program where people who can’t afforde a new I phone cn still get one that might ot be the newest but it will still be accessible. Maybe those of you in the US should see if the nfb or acb have any kind of aprogram like that to help you get a apple I phone or something. And to those who are saying that I can’t use a I phone with since it is ot a phone with buttens there are also braille and tacktile over lays that you can get tohelp with this as well. So there are still ways to use it if you need that tacktile feedback but I phones are able to be used by blind people quite well with things like voice over etc. just my thoughts. From Mich.

 

From: main@TechTalk.groups.io <main@TechTalk.groups.io> On Behalf Of Ron Canazzi
Sent: October 19, 2020 10:29 AM
To: main@TechTalk.groups.io
Subject: Re: [TechTalk] Amazon: Am I the only one that feels this way?

 

Boy those arguments are slippery slope extremist in nature!

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,

 

 



-- 
They Ask Me If I'm Happy; I say Yes.
They ask: "How Happy are You?"
I Say: "I'm as happy as a stow away chimpanzee on a banana boat!"


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

Rob Hudson
 

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?

Ron Canazzi
 

Boy those arguments are slippery slope extremist in nature!


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,



-- 
They Ask Me If I'm Happy; I say Yes.
They ask: "How Happy are You?"
I Say: "I'm as happy as a stow away chimpanzee on a banana boat!"


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

Mich Verrier
 

Hi you turne on voice over on the I phones that don’t hve a home butten by pressing the side butten 3 times. From Mich.

 

From: main@TechTalk.groups.io <main@TechTalk.groups.io> On Behalf Of Ron Canazzi
Sent: October 19, 2020 10:27 AM
To: main@TechTalk.groups.io
Subject: Re: [TechTalk] Amazon: Am I the only one that feels this way?

 

Hi Gerald,

The iPhone SE Second generation costs $400 brand new and does have a home button. It is similar to the iPhone 8 in many ways.

On 10/19/2020 7:57 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,

 

 



-- 
They Ask Me If I'm Happy; I say Yes.
They ask: "How Happy are You?"
I Say: "I'm as happy as a stow away chimpanzee on a banana boat!"


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

Norman
 

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,



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

Ron Canazzi
 

Hi Gerald,

The iPhone SE Second generation costs $400 brand new and does have a home button. It is similar to the iPhone 8 in many ways.


On 10/19/2020 7:57 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,



-- 
They Ask Me If I'm Happy; I say Yes.
They ask: "How Happy are You?"
I Say: "I'm as happy as a stow away chimpanzee on a banana boat!"


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

Dave
 

I loved this-


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?



This one had me busting out laughing this morning.  Very Good post Gene.

It is refreshing to hear someone with a bit of reason addressing those
who Scream for Equality when they have no idea what it is they are
demanding.


After saying that, I do wish that manufacturers would spend a bit more
money developing more in the way of Accessibility for the Blind, whether
it be for Software, Web Sites, or Wash Machines and Stoves.

I would love it if KORG would make some of the upper end Keyboards
Accessible.  Hell, I would even pay more for a Module to plug in that
made the normal Keyboard accessible.

But, as far as I know, to operate one of their machines is still an
acrobatic act and lots of memorization.

I know when I worked for a Software Development Company, the Boss was
always attempting to get the most out of the Development Staff as these
folks were the highest paid employees in the Company.

Several times, I had the chance to put in a request that alterations be
done to make the software more accessible.  And almost always, the Boss
would ask me, Dave, How many customers do you think are effected by our
program having less in the way of accessibility?

And I would have to say, probably about 50 to 100.  And even then, I was
Padding my numbers.   Knowing that the Boss wasn't going to do anything
until those numbers were  approaching 1000 or more.

The blind, while a minority Group, is rather small when it comes to the
numbers of those who would be customers of any Company.

I use Amazon fairly often, and I have learned how to navigate their
normal web site, and I did have some learning trials, but once I figured
out their way of doing things, I have little problem now, other than
wading through the volumes of information found on just about every screen.


I find that when it comes to the Blind, it is just about impossible to
make them all Happy.  Some catch on very quickly, and others never do. 
And those who don't will be the ones that will cry for better
accessibility laws and someone ought to do something for us poor blind
etc. etc.  And then in the same breath, they will tell me they are just
as productive as any Sighted person, and that they are independent and
can do anything they wish to do Bla Bla Bla!


Guess the question is when to draw the line when it comes to
accessibility.  How much is enough, and what about those who need even
more assistance?

eventually, someone has to make a decision, and usually it is made by
figuring in the Cost in both time and money.

I Dream of the day when Development Staff all know there are Blind
people in the World and some might want to use the products they are
creating.

Some are stunned to find out a Blind person might want to use a phone,
or a Microwave, or a Computer Game!  Not Kidding.

Not sure just what level of Hell these folks place the Blind, but few
ever think of Accessibility.  They are just trying to meet the Deadline
the Boss has put down for the program to be done, which is targeted for
the General public, where most are sighted.

Grumpy Dave


Re: NVDA is improved!

Ron Canazzi
 

Hi Quenton,

I use Excel and Access for databases to a degree.  I have to use a lot of the screen review keystrokes and maneuvers to get to buttons and menus to initiate functions.
Maybe this is Office related, but that's what I experience.


On 10/19/2020 3:47 AM, Quentin Christensen wrote:
Thanks everyone for your lovely comments.

Ron, out of curiosity, what does NVDA not work well with in Office?  There are a couple of isolated issues in PowerPoint and I'm not sure about Access, but otherwise, most of the issues in Office are issues with Office itself.

Enes,

Most times, when an issue takes a long time to be resolved, it is either because it is hard to reproduce, or hard to fix.  In some cases, problems only occur on particular hardware, or with certain other software (or versions of software) installed.  Unless an NVDA developer has that particular setup, it can sometimes be hard to diagnose.

NVDA does a number of things differently to other screenreaders.  In some cases, the end user wouldn't notice a difference .  In some cases, it has given NVDA an advantage - NVDA worked well with Windows 10 and the original Microsoft Edge, long before any other screenreader for instance.  In some cases, it goes the other way.  Something which a user might complain "just works" with another screenreader, simply can't be done in NVDA without a large amount of work.

In any case, I'm glad to hear it has improved in NVDA 2020.3!

Kind regards

Quentin.

On Mon, Oct 19, 2020 at 5:55 AM enes sarıbaş <enes.saribas@...> wrote:
Ok what I am about to say  might make some folks angry but. Why did it
take so long  to fix NVDA and microsoft word lag issues? This has been
an issue ever since  I used Microsoft office,  with NVDA, and my tickets
that I opened about it, I was told it was just my computer and not the
fault of NVDA. Do I need a xeon or threadripper processor to run
microsoft word with NVDA?
On 10/18/2020 6:31 AM, Ann Parsons wrote:
> Hi all,
>
> NVDA works great in Zoom, announces all the buttons and menus and so on.
>
> Ann P.
>







--
Quentin Christensen
Training and Support Manager


-- 
They Ask Me If I'm Happy; I say Yes.
They ask: "How Happy are You?"
I Say: "I'm as happy as a stow away chimpanzee on a banana boat!"