For your convenience, all Reader’s Forum submissions are separated by the ## symbol.
Editor’s note: Thank you to everyone who wrote in or called to give the new number for the Tell Me service. We’re truly a community that sticks together and helps one another out. For those of you curious about the new number, please refer to Romeo’s article “Reaching Out” in this week’s magazine.
In response to Feature Writer Lynne Tatum – Fond Memories of a Playful Past, Abby wrote:
I had a see and say when I was little, but it did not have a string or a pointer. It had visual buttons, but we put Braille on them. I know there are different types of see and say’s, and mine taught about countries. As embarrassing as it is, I still have a number of dolls from when I was little. I have a bitty baby, a cabbage patch baby named Molly, and a newborn nursery baby named Bailey. I know. It’s very embarrassing. I also had a baby alive sip and slurp and a chew chew baby, but I have no idea where those two went, and I’m sad.
In response to Feature Writer Steven Famiglietti – A Review of “Getting Started with the iPhone and iOS 5 for Blind Users” Wesley wrote:
For those who aren’t aware, Apple has an Accessible Tech Support line at (877) 204-3930. Of course, you need to have a support contract or your device needs to be within the original support period provided at the time of purchase, which was 90 days for the iPad I bought. While I found this support line to be far more knowledgeable than the main tech support number, there were still some serious gaps in the support persons abilities, such as they were not aware of screen curtain (tap four times), and had no idea how to have the player continuously read an iBook (tap once on the text then swipe down with two fingers). I subsequently found these answers on blogs, or in the manual.
In response to Feature Writer Steven Famiglietti – A Review of “Getting Started with the iPhone and iOS 5 for Blind Users” John wrote:
I’m totally blind and I have been in all 4 Apple Store’s in Denver. Not all agents working in the store are accessible trained people. If you call the Apple Store before you go and make an appointment with their trained access personal I guarantee you will not walk out of the store without having all your questions answered. If they don’t know the answer they will find out and let you know. There isn’t a finer company in satisfying the customer.
In response to Feature Writer John Christie – iCanConnect: Promoting Deaf-Blind Access to Technology, Tammy wrote:
I have at least a 50% hearing loss or a little more. With budgets being cutback more and more I wonder how financial assistance will be possible. In many cases states will only pay for access technology if you get a job or go to college. I wonder if there are any countries that help pay for or buy assistive technology for the handicapped. What about Canada?
I also am wondering how a blind person can record a program. I think it would be neat if a box that is made like a VCR that is digital but can talk that can be hooked up to your TV. I hear the DVR is complex and these companies charge about $10 extra a month for the use of it. My talking VCR is 14 years old and blank VHS tapes are becoming obsolete.
In response to Op Ed with Bob Branco – How Can Job Fairs Better Serve Blind Applicants? Cheryl wrote:
Responding to a recent op ed piece by Bob Branco about job fairs for people who are blind, I would like to know more about what Mr. Branco wants.
I am a newly graduated rehabilitation counselor and my philosophy is that people with disabilities should be on the “regular” track through life as much as possible. That means it’s great to have events designed specifically for people who are blind but, for the most part, it’s more likely that we will be in the mainstream.
Mr. Branco said attending a job fair for the public at large is a difficult task. Why is that so? Whether you are blind or not, you need to look at the job fair materials, look online at the companies that interest you, prepare your resumes and other materials and visit the booths that interest you. The only thing that might be more difficult for a person who is blind is to find the booths for the exhibitors you want to meet. Just like anywhere else, you have to ask your way around, and risk being ignored or misdirected sometimes.
So, Mr. Branco, I truly would like to know why this situation proved difficult for you. Is there something I’m missing? I want to be the best counselor I can be, and I need your thoughts in order to be that person.
In response to Op Ed with Bob Branco – The Perceived Purpose of Commissions for the Blind, Charlotte wrote:
I would also like to make people aware of the fact that if you haven’t gone through the system like attending a Rehab program, the Commission for the Blind won’t help you purchase equipment or do much else for you. I attended a school for the blind where I was taught to be independent and learned how to cook, take care of a home and take care of myself. Because of this, I didn’t need to do it again through the Commission and so they wouldn’t help me. I saw them helping many other people with screen readers and all sorts of other equipment, but they informed me I was out of luck because I didn’t go through the system. I don’t believe this should be one of the requirements for assistance.