Topics

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


Leedy Diane Bomar
 

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,



Gerald Levy
 


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,



Gene
 

More attacks on blindness advocacy organizations, making unfounded accusations and generalizations. You benefit from the work of these organizations daily, whether you know it or not.

Also, your claim about requiring a Smart phone to set up Google Home has nothing to do with accessibility. If it is required of everyone, it is not a question of accessibility if the app is accessible. We already know smart phones are.

Accessibility was never intended to set a standard limiting how things are done as you imply it should. What about all the sighted people who find it difficult to afford a smart phone or don't want one?

Gene

-----Original Message-----
From: Gerald Levy via groups.io
Sent: Monday, October 19, 2020 5:46 AM
To: main@TechTalk.groups.io
Subject: Re: [TechTalk] Amazon: Am I the only one that feels this way?






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,


John Dowling
 

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,



Gene
 

Also, I didn't point out in my last message that once Google Home is set up, the blind person can use it. So the blind person, as perhaps large numbers of sighted people, may ask someone they know to set it up, then use it accessibly after that.

Gene

-----Original Message-----
From: John Dowling
Sent: Monday, October 19, 2020 6:02 AM
To: main@techtalk.groups.io
Subject: Re: [TechTalk] Amazon: Am I the only one that feels this way?

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,


Ann Parsons
 

Hi all,

Amazon presentations have figured prominently in both NFB and ACB conventions. Why don't you contact ACB main office and see if you can get a hold of the people who made the presentations this past summer. The name Peter Korn comes to mind, but he may be the one from Microsoft or Apple I disremember.

Ann P.

--
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."


Gerald Levy
 


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,



Hope Williamson
 

Maybe it's just me, but I use the Amazon site just fine, on a regular
basis. Yep, the regular site. Although I don't use it that frequently.
I've used it for two purchases in the last two months. I primarily used
NVDA and Brave.


Hope Williamson
 

Large tech companies seem to be sliding backwards

Yes, they tend to do that anyway, it's just a consequence of time.
They're sliding backward overall, when it comes to many things.


Gene
 

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,



chris judge
 

Furthermore, you should remove the word illegibly out of the statement that an amazon echo can be set up using a PC by a blind person. I’m totally blind and have set them up using the PC on more than one occasion.

 

Chris Judge

 

From: main@TechTalk.groups.io <main@TechTalk.groups.io> On Behalf Of John Dowling
Sent: October 19, 2020 8:03 AM
To: main@techtalk.groups.io
Subject: Re: [TechTalk] Amazon: Am I the only one that feels this way?

 

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,

 

 


chris judge
 

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

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

Chris Judge

 

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

 

 

An Apple IPhone starts at $700.  To me, this is expensive.  Accessible?  I understand thatthe the newly released IPhone 12  has no physical home button, so how would a blind consumer turn on Voice Over without sighted help? Oh yes, I can buy a refurbed IPhone 7 or 8 online for a few hundred dollars, still expensive by my standards, that does have a physical home button, but probably not at an Apple store.  And kindly provide the make and model of an Android smart phone that has physical buttons that can be used to set up one of these smart speakers.  I am a senior who finds touchscreens difficult to impossible to master for a variety of reasons, and so like many other blind consumers, prefers a cell phone witha tactile keypad.

 

Gerald

 

 

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

Gerald,

I'm going to have to disagree with you there.

It's very easy to set up both an Amazon echo and google home. There respected apps on both ios and android are very accessible.

May I ask, what smartphones were you referring to when you said expensive and inaccessible.

Thanks,

John.

Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones,  you'll start having positive results. -Willie Nelson



On Oct 19, 2020, at 6:46 AM, Gerald Levy via groups.io <bwaylimited@...> 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,

 

 


Loy
 


Actually they start as low as $399 for the new SE.

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Monday, October 19, 2020 7:57 AM
Subject: Re: [TechTalk] Amazon: Am I the only one that feels this way?


An Apple IPhone starts at $700.  To me, this is expensive.  Accessible?  I understand thatthe the newly released IPhone 12  has no physical home button, so how would a blind consumer turn on Voice Over without sighted help? Oh yes, I can buy a refurbed IPhone 7 or 8 online for a few hundred dollars, still expensive by my standards, that does have a physical home button, but probably not at an Apple store.  And kindly provide the make and model of an Android smart phone that has physical buttons that can be used to set up one of these smart speakers.  I am a senior who finds touchscreens difficult to impossible to master for a variety of reasons, and so like many other blind consumers, prefers a cell phone witha tactile keypad.


Gerald



On 10/19/2020 7:02 AM, John Dowling wrote:
Gerald,
I'm going to have to disagree with you there.
It's very easy to set up both an Amazon echo and google home. There respected apps on both ios and android are very accessible.
May I ask, what smartphones were you referring to when you said expensive and inaccessible.
Thanks,
John.

Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones,  you'll start having positive results. -Willie Nelson

On Oct 19, 2020, at 6:46 AM, Gerald Levy via groups.io <bwaylimited@...> 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,



Gerald Levy
 


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,



Gene
 

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=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,


Brian Vogel <britechguy@...>
 

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


chris judge
 

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=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,


Gerald Levy
 


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,



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


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!"