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AFBAmerican Foundation®
for the Blind

Expanding possibilities for people with vision loss


Hey guys,

I wanted to ask, what is the biggest challenge you guys are facing right now?

For example, my challenge is staying consistent with a task.
I have the best intentions in the world, however, after a week, I am over

I finding new ways to deal with it. For example, I try to get all the important things done before work, so that I don't have to worry about it when I dead

Let me know

Low Vision Guy

There are currently 6 replies

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Mike -
You never cease to amaze me. More later. Tam


Hi all; happy Sunday. Get ready, another long one!
Tam you raise an interesting question. I don't know if blind/VI people are a minority in general population, compared to other physical disabilities, but given the unemployment rate among blind/VI people last I checked was approaching 70%, we're definitely a minority in the workforce. I think places of employment are from where a lot of the accommodations migrate to the public. So that may be why we don't see as many accommodations readily available to blind people.
It's not only prevalent in the accommodations, but speech as well. I work in Problem Management, so most of what I do is noting patterns, investigating the how's and why's of why a production incident occurred, and developing solutions to keep them from recurring. So I notice things. My job bleeds into my behavior outside of work which is good sometimes, but sometimes makes my girlfriend crazy. When I notice things, I ask questions, and sometimes she feels like i'm giving her the 3rd degree, but I'm really not. It's just what I do. I'm naturally inquisitive, and now I have a job that pays me to ask questions; so those two things combined don't always go well together in romantic relations. So, I have to constantly remind myself to back off so I don't piss her off. I can totally see how someon asking a lot of questions could be perceived as mistrust, so I am working on it. Because in reality, I trust her with my heart and life.
Anyway, like I said, I notice things. During many of these triage sessions I've heard phrases like "flying blind"; "blind leading the blind"; ETC. I've never heard anyone say "hiking crippled" or "listening with a deaf ear" or anything like that when some hardware/software component is broken. Honestly, I don't give a rat's furry butt, because language is just language. I.E. 700 years ago the f--- were that now curves your spine and sets people ablaze with fear meant nothing more than to plow unbroken ground for farming.
Somewhere along the line someone said it was a horrible word and and is only used by social pariah. Who knows, in 700 years from now words like bounce or stir may be added to that list if someone decides to label them as evil. So I don't get upset by words, especially these I've mentioned. They are used to describe conditions, not the person who happens to have the condition in his/her physical repertoire.
Maybe it's because the people who are out there and seeing most of this kind of stuff are working 60 hours a week like me and don't have time to pester the Gov to eat their own dog food so everyone else will. And maybe the people who have time to pester the Gov think it's acceptable to stay at home and take advantage of social programs. I'm afraid I don't rightly know, achieving success is hard, but even harder without sight; could also be why the unemployment rate is so high amongst blind people.
I make a good living now, but for 15 years, i struggled, and fought and clawed my way through and over stereotypes to get what I wanted. There are many like me, some of whom I've met on this site, but we need more. The second company I worked for gave me a conditional offer because I blew them away during the interview process. The condition was, if we could get JAWS to work with their mainframe emulator (3270 screens) so I could take phonecalls. (this was back in 99) I spent two weeks 2 to 3 hours a day working with their LAN team just to make that happen. I got paid for none of it, it was just to get my foot in the door. 2-3 hours a day doesn't sound like much, until you consider at that time I had a 40 hours a week job with another bank, and i was going to college part time to get a second degree; and oh by the way, had a child on the way. He was really the driving force at that time besides I was tired of being broke all the time. I wanted more money and better benefits for him.
In the end, I got the job, and a $9K pay raise moving from one bank to another. My point is, there's ways to get around a lot of things in case some are scared to stick their necks out. You might have to bust your stones for a while, and swallow a whooooooooole lot of pride, but you will get there.
and, if more people did that, then the accommodations of which I speak would migrate more quickly to the public forum, because when blind people start making some real money as a population segment, and federating that money back into the economy; then people will start caring. Because the more access we have, the more money we'll spend; it's a vicious circle that is financially driven.
Sadly, I think that's what it really comes down to. There aren't enough blind people spending money in public at the same rate as other population segments to justify the cost/benefit of putting some of these accommodations out there.
Hopefully I haven't put y'all to sleep.
Have a blessed week all.


Wow Mike! You bring up some excellent points! Things I’ve never thought of because I still have some sight (though not much) left. My biggest complaints right now are low lighting issues, people leaving chairs out when they leave the lunch room tables, websites using small and light blue writing on a white background (I’ve even found several ‘services for the blind’ websites that do this’), etc.

On this quest to save energy, most stores are dimming their lights. Or maybe they’re trying to improve ambiance or something. When I first started working at where I work, there would be huge sections of the building that turned off all the lights because most people liked it better that way. It was a freaking nightmare for me. Fortunately, a few years ago, they did some major remodeling on the building and redid the lighting and now they have to stay on at all times. I think I’m the only employee that was happy about it. LOL!

In the lunchroom, people will get up from the table and leave their chairs out instead of pushing them back in to the table. Another nightmare for me as I have no peripheral vision. I know that a majority of people don’t think about those kinds of things, but on this one, I think it’s kind of lazy of them.

When I start to get worked up about all this, I stop myself and remind myself that I’m probably one out of how many people in my place of work or one of how many people that shop in that store; so why would they make any changes to accommodate me, or the two or three of us in any given place?

Question for thought, and I’m just throwing this out there because I don’t really know. Of the disabled, or challenged, or whatever you want to call us, are blind/visually impaired the minority of them all (minus those rare, one in a million cases, of course)? It seems like there are lots of laws and accommodations for physically handicapped with ramps, extra large bathrooms, grab bars in the bathrooms, dips at the curbs for wheelchairs, automatic doors, elevators, wheelchair carts at the grocery stores, special parking spaces, etc, etc.

For the hearing impaired, there is a whole host of accommodations for them too but I don’t want to go into all the details as this is getting long enough. I don’t know, that’s just the way it seems to me. Or perhaps it’s easier to make accommodations for the others than it is for VI/blind? Thoughts, comments?


Good morning.
Yes, with my job at the bank, i've supported several post-production efforts regarding IPay and SamsungPay, so I'm quite familiar with how it works. Aword of caution, the tokenization used to tie to your credit and debit card numbers have their short-comings. While a bit safer in terms of they can't be scanned with a mag-strip or chip reader, they can be compormised. Anyone who keeps his/her data settings turned on, uses location finder (supports GPS functions, maps, ETC) and/or keeps the active search for wi-fi setting on is basically broadcasting the location of their phone. The cyber criminals are smart enough to use these and copy the tokenization even though it's more complex. The main benefits of these types of digital wallets are convenience for the Customer, and bank's don't have to issue a new credit card number everytime someone is hacked. They simply delete your old token ID and create a new one. Cuts down on plastics production and related expense required, and data warehousing/tracking of all the old account numbers.
Also, last I checked, only about 15% of the merchants in this country are set up for it. The chain stores are mostly the ones using it.
My whole point with what I was saying is that where possible, we should have the same choice as sighted people. I know it will never be 100%, but it should be as close as technology and reasonable expense will allow. Until we have enforced consideration, it'll never happen. I work in technology, and I'm aware of many options for different everyday conveniences, and things sighted people just take for granted. My gut tells me, with what's available, we're probably closer to 10% of where we could be vs. being close to 100%. Mind you, I have no impirical data to support this; just my feeling.

Sure I'd love to help you out. I'm not real choosy about anything you want to discuss; would only ask for advanced notice in case it's something I need to prep for.
Have a good one.


love the rants bro, I learn something everyday bro.

I have met some people who are doing their groceries online now because they were having a hard time at the store. shop online and pick it up!

I know that iPhone and samsung have their own payment option now. I set it up on my phone and the only way it works is by my own fingerprint and you just scan your phone. you can give it to the cashier and they will scan it. No need to worries, they can't see any numbers on your card. you need to put in once and its secure. they are saying that this is a bit safer now, because people are hacking the credit card machines now.

Dude, I love your stuff, I would love one of your rants on my blog. do you have a topic that you would like to talk about man? would you be up for it bro?


hey dude.
personally, I'd say it's keeping focused on my weight training, and balancing it with work/life demands; oh, and this weekend i'm ripping out a bath tub in my home to be replaced with a shower surround. Should prove interesting. All the DYI videos i have found have guys who show how to do it, but don't describe in enough detail what they are doing for someone who can't see. ie. hit the tile with a hammer to break it. but he doesn't say what kind of tile, whether to start middle, corner, ETC.
Publically, and something we should all be concerned with, is the rapid spread of touch screens for every day use.
Fountain drink machines in the local fastfood places, all kinds of retail stores, ATM machines, Sandwhich selections at convenience stores... it's annoying that i have to ask someone which is coke vs. rootbeer, or have someone select my sandwich, or even the pieces of chicken i want at the Royal Farms store.
and I refuse to use my debit card where retail stores have made the switch to touch screens. I will not compromise my PIN. Maybe someone smarter than me can explain how these kinds of things are ADA compliant, and why the government allows it to continue when talking the talk of diversity and inclusion, but not walking it. Hell the governments own online tax form tool is noncompliant
I know the ATM's have earphone jacks that will allow for alternative use, but who the hell wants to have to carry headphones with them everywhere they go?
there is no work-around for the other things i've mentioned.
just a funny side note: Louis Braille invented a communication system for blind people, and it took sighted sighted society 175 years to use it in public. Their big contribution? elevators and bathrooms. I am thankful for the progress in technology that helps me support my family, however, I'd think we'd managed to put it on money, or grocery items, or have figured out some sort of method to promote full independence by now. The ADA was signed into law about 25 years ago, and still it is not a routine consideration; Not even close.
sorry for the rant.


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