Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #Potluck – Equal Rights for Blind Americans? Author Says We’re not There Yet 2015 by Donna W. Hill

Welcome to the series  Posts from Your Archives, where bloggers put their trust in me. In this series, I dive into a blogger’s archives and select four posts to share here to my audience.

If you would like to know how it works here is the original post: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/28/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-newseries-pot-luck-and-do-you-trust-me/

This is the final post from Donna W. Hill who has let me loose in her archives and I am sharing Donna’s post from 2015 on the Equal Rights for Blind Americans, and I would be interested to find out how much progress has been made in the last four years.

Equal Rights for Blind Americans? Author Says We’re not There Yet 2015 by Donna W. Hill

As a member of various blindness, advocacy and guide dog organizations, it’s not uncommon to come across a request from a college student to take a survey on blindness, and I’m always happy to participate. Rarely, however, (in fact, never) have I run across one with the depth of thought displayed by Drexel student Nora Goldberg.

One of Nora’s questions is: “Do you feel as though you have the same rights, privileges and freedoms as people who are sighted? Please explain.” This one really pushed my buttons. No one ever asked me that. The answer is no, and the explanation took me all afternoon. So, at the risk of revealing too much about my inner psyche, I thought I’d share my response.

An Author’s Background Vis-à-vis Equal Rights

At 65, I have tried to be a useful member of society, giving of my time and talent, but despite having some accomplishments (such as 3 recordings of original music, many articles on blindness issues, a self-published novel and scores of recommendations for my school programs and writing, I do not feel valued by my community. Even people who seem to enjoy my company do not reach out to me as friends.

Blooming Amarilis with a print copy of The Heart of Applebutter Hill by Donna W. Hill, a fantasy adventure featuring some awesome flowers: photo by Rich Hill.

When I tried to get a publisher/agent for my novel The Heart of Applebutter Hill, I was told that the industry considers my representation of a blind girl as “unrealistic” and further explanations revealed that they are looking for fictional blind characters only in submissive, dependent roles. More unsettling than all of this is the fact that other blind women I know, who have more accomplishments and seem more integrated than I feel, talk about the same things.

When I ask audiences, they have no problems naming successful blind men. When asked to name a successful blind woman, however, the most frequent answer by far is Helen Keller. Ms. Keller died over 50 years ago. In what other minority can you find such a lack of female presence? And, what does that say about the public’s view of blindness?

ADA: Equality Under the Law?

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the federal law purporting to ensure our rights , has been around for a quarter century. Despite advances in technology and the achievements of some blind individuals, blind people are still the minority with the greatest gap between natural abilities (intelligence, talent and willingness to work) on one hand and the common measures of success and inclusion (employment, income, social integration) on the other.

The ADA and other disability laws are “complaint-driven” laws forcing the victims of discrimination to file, investigate and prepare cases. No policeman interviews you, writes up a report and recommends it for prosecution. A fender-bender on the highway may make you lose a few days of work, but a cop’s there in minutes administering breathalyzer tests and checking licenses. Having schools who won’t provide accessible classroom materials, being cold-shouldered by a potential boss who can’t get over the fact that you got to the interview “all by yourself” or having cabs, restaurants and motels refuse you service because you have a guide dog can damage your life for years to come.

ADA Mediation Process: Something Less Than Justice

ADA complaints often end up years later with the business who engaged in the discrimination making a “mediated” settlement in which they don’t even admit to any wrongdoing. Employees at restaurants and motels who refused a guide dog handler access to the business are usually long since gone before an ADA complaint even begins the DOJ filing process.

Abigail & her guide dog Curly Connor at Bargundoom Castle in YA novel, The Heart of Applebutter Hill by Donna W. Hill: photo by Rich Hill.

In 2012, after 42 years of using a guide dog and struggling with access issues, I finally filed a complaint against a motel for throwing us out of a room we had already occupied, because they thought the law gave them the authority to confine us to the “pets only” rooms. The fact that many people don’t understand that this is discrimination and don’t even ask why it’s not acceptable, points to the failure of the “do-it-yourself mandate” the ADA has given us. The mediated settlement doesn’t give me the right to even tell you what motel it was.

Access to Our Digital World Denied to Blind Americans

The other side of this is digital accessibility. The technology for it has been around for years, is a matter of 1s and 0s and works when designers choose to use it. Digital accessibility is to blind people what wheelchair ramps, elevators and accessible bathrooms are to people with physical disabilities. The difference is that there is a review process for brick and mortar structures which ensures that a certain amount of physical access be built in right on the drawing board.

For digital access to websites, software, controls on household and office equipment, there is no such process. “Education” and the good will of the public were supposed to bring digital access to blind people, but the problem is getting worse, not better.

The November, 2011 issue of the First Monday Journal (University of Illinois, Chicago) features an academic study explaining the issues and recommending solutions.

“Retrofitting accessibility: The legal inequality of after-the-fact online access for persons with disabilities in the United States” by Brian Wentz, Paul T. Jaeger, and Jonathan Lazar http://www.uic.edu/htbin/cgiwrap/bin/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/3666/3077

It concludes that fully 80% of the internet is inaccessible, and it warns that disability laws are creating a “separate but unequal” online environment and a “permanent underclass.”

Snapshot of Accessibility Issues Faced by Blind Author

I am forever writing to websites about access issues that make it impossible for me to independently pursue my career and personal goals. Of the 3 most highly rated security programs (Kaspersky, Bitdefender & Norton), only Norton has any measure of accessibility. The digital webcam which my husband bought so I could do video conferences and interviews has a series of onscreen buttons to turn it on and off, etc. None is accessible. Social media sites like Linked In, Facebook, Twitter and Google+, all of which I use to promote my book, have access issues that make them either more difficult to use or which prevent people like myself who use screen readers from taking advantage of some of their functions

My fellow indie authors at Smashwords, which distributes eBook versions of my novel The Heart of Applebutter Hill, received a free year’s subscription to the online library Scribd, which carries our books. They can read one another’s work, network and advance their writing careers for free for one year. I can’t participate, because when Scribd set up their platform, they didn’t bother using the methods which would have made it accessible. Our US Congressman has an inaccessible online contact form. I could go on and on.

There is a “separate but equal” aspect to the laws applying to people who are blind. This is a “remedy” which as we know was declared unconstitutional in racial discrimination by the Supreme Court decades ago, but it is apparently just fine for people with disabilities.

Are Equal Rights Possible When People are Considered “Fundamentally Different?

Why is all of this true? I suspect the answer lies hidden in an old survey. In the early ’90s, the Louis Harris organization conducted a survey for the National Organization on Disability (NOD) to determine how Americans viewed people with disabilities. I found it in a NOD pamphlet called That All May Worship and referenced it in Unopened Gifts: Tales Out of School my nonfiction booklet for communities of faith seeking to be more welcoming to people with disabilities. The survey summary states, “The public views disabled people as fundamentally different than the rest of the population, feeling admiration and pity most often. Embarrassment, apathy and fear are also common.”

“Fundamentally different.” I don’t think that’s changed much. Too many people – and they can be teachers, potential employers, medical professionals, neighbors and family members – expect that blindness must be an insurmountable barrier to success, independence and happiness. They see us as broken people to be admired for merely existing and as needing them to assume the role of care-giver or decision-maker. They do not see us as needing them to simply expect us to be equal contributors. Unless and until this changes, equality will remain just out of reach for blind Americans.

© Donna W. Hill 2015

I am sure that Donna would love your feedback four years on from the post and I am sure that she will update us too.

About Donna W. Hill

Donna W. Hill is a writer, speaker, animal lover and avid knitter from Pennsylvania’s Endless Mountains. Her first novel, The Heart of Applebutter Hill, is an adventure-mystery with excursions into fantasy for general audiences. Professionals in the fields of education and the arts have endorsed it as a diversity and anti-bullying resource for junior high through college.

A songwriter with three albums, Hill provided educational and motivational programs in the Greater Philadelphia area for fifteen years before moving to the mountains. Her essay, “Satori Green” appears in Richard Singer’s Now, Embracing the Present Moment (2010, O-Books), and her cancer-survivor story is in Dawn Colclasure’s On the Wings of Pink Angels (2012).

From 2009 through 2013, Hill was an online journalist for numerous publications, covering topics ranging from nature, health care and accessibility to music, knitting and chocolate. She is an experienced talk show guest and guest blogger and presents workshops about writing and her novel for school, university, community and business groups.

About The Heart of Applebutter Hill

Imagine you’re 14 and in a strange country with your camera, your best friend, her guitar and her dog. You uncover a secret and are instantly in danger. Join Baggy, Abigail and Curly Connor as they explore Elfin Pond, sneak around Bar Gundoom Castle and row across an underground lake. The powerful Heartstone of Arden-Goth is hidden nearby, and corporate giants unleash a spy to seize it. Compelled to unmask the spy and find the Heartstone, they can’t trust anyone.

As summer heats up, their troubled friend Christopher is viciously bullied and an armed stranger terrorizes Abigail and Baggy. The friends disagree about the spy’s identity, but are convinced it’s a teacher. When a desperate Christopher shows up one night with a terrified cat, the truth is revealed. Soon, police are involved.

One of the over 50 reviews for the book

This is a book about a blind girl without being a book about a blind girl….which is exactly the point. The main character, Abby, doesn’t trumpet her disability around the world as if it were her defining characteristic. She doesn’t have a sense of entitlement. The reader is never tempted to pity her, even for a moment. She is a driven, bright, gregarious yet measured girl who just happens to be blind.

Through her experiences we are exposed to a world that depends on the other senses, we find new ways to connect to the world around us. Mrs. Hill paints Abby’s thrill ride with her companion dog (Curly Connor) and best friend (Baggy Brichaz) in such a manner that the reader leaves the book better equipped to understand visual impairments without hitting them over the head with it. It took me a while to realize this because at first I was just writing this review on the merits of good vs. bad Young Adult fiction (and it is good, trust me). The feather in the cap of this book is that it stands as a great story that actually teaches you something, leaves you pondering your own disabilities vs. those of others.

I am a middle school reading teacher and I review and teach a lot of YA fiction. What separates the wheat from the chaff for me is well-developed characters that show humanness and overcome in spite of failures. You get the feeling that each of the characters in this book could very well survive on their own but the adventure is exponentially heightened because of the relationships they garner with each other. Mrs. Hill does a brilliant job of showing weaknesses, strengths and diversity as just a starting point to the basics of character interaction. By the end of this book, I felt like Abby, Baggy and Curly were my next-door neighbors and I still find myself looking out my window, waiting for the Cloud Scooper to swing by….

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Heart-Applebutter-Hill-Donna-W-ebook/dp/B00CNG6DDM

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Heart-Applebutter-Hill-Donna-W-ebook/dp/B00CNG6DDM

Read more reviews and follow Donna on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7126655.Donna_W_Hill

Connect to Donna.

Website:  https://donnawhill.com/about-the-author/
Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/Donna-W.-Hill/e/B00CNTTUK2
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/dewhill
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/dwh99
FaceBook: http://www.facebook.com/donna.w.hill
GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7126655.Donna_W_Hill

My thanks to Donna for permitting me access to her archives to share and I hope you will head over to explore more yourself. thanks Sally.

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57 thoughts on “Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #Potluck – Equal Rights for Blind Americans? Author Says We’re not There Yet 2015 by Donna W. Hill

  1. First of all, this is a wonderful post.
    I am totally glad to see it here.
    I must say that in many ways, we have come along way in four years. We have many more accessibility rights for flying, service dogs, more acceptance in public, more jobs are being made available to us, and the strides in technology are huge! I’ve very rarely come across a website that is in accessible to me now that I use Google Chrome as my browser, and a updated version of my JFW screen reading software, I find Microsoft products are wonderfully accessible, I find it Apple has made a wonderful Leap in their smart device technology and accessibility, and I find people are wonderfully receptive when I write to them and ask them to work with the screenwriting companies to make their website accessible.
    There is a company now, that is devoted to doing nothing but assisting website and businesses with making their website accessible.
    There is a newsletter that comes out each week called flying blind tech tidbits, and it is wonderfully packed with new accessibility information.
    As far as public reception goes, I have never had much problem.
    I think it’s all in approach.
    Of course there is still discrimination, and they’re probably always will be. But I think it’s all in how we take it. Of course these are just my opinions.
    Again, I am very glad to see this post here.

    Liked by 2 people

      • The things that I can do technologically now, versus just a year ago, or amazing. If, for example, a year ago, I had tried to run a Facebook event, with just my iPhone, there’s no way I could have managed it. Since that time, more free classes have become available to me, and a technology has improved such that, now, even though my computer is in the shop, I am running a Facebook event. There are still things that I cannot do, but it is not because they are not accessible, it is simply do not have the knowledge as to how to do it, or I don’t have the proper equipment.

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    • Hi Patty, thanks for reblogging this on Campbell’s World and for your comments on the improvements in technology. We have legislation pending to force pharmacies to make the information on prescriptions accessible – Not sure how it will work – and to make some of the technology you speak of more affordable to blind people, who still have much lower employment and income than other minorities. .

      More blind authors are breaking through the barriers to traditional publishing, and that IMO is huge. More are also going the indie route.

      I have recently had two very nice experiences with websites for writers where I had some trouble. In one case, they actually fixed the problem. In the other, they helped by getting me past the problem through their admin interface. Unfortunately, another site, also for writers, where I have my book, does not respond to issues, and I am not able – even with Google Chrome – to participate in their offerings. Still, I can’t do everything; there’s only so much time in the day. I have more than enough that I can do.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hi, write me privately about the website that you are having accessibility issue with. I’ll talk to you more about it. Also, I love what you say here, about there being so much more that we can do. And having so much that we can do, but there isn’t time to do it all LOL. I love that. That’s so cool.

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  2. This is a very interesting post, Sally and Donna. Donna is the only blind American blogger/writer I have come across which is interesting in itself. I was telling my son, Greg, the other day that I follow a number of blind poets/bloggers and I have just realised that all four of them are British. I have not got the impression from their posts and writing that they face the same issues, Donna has. In fact, I have had the impression that they have had a lot of support from the government and society and that they are happy and fulfilled people. Of course, Britain is a socialistic society and the US is capitalistic. It is a thought to reflect on and I wonder if my impressions are correct or not. Not that I am implying Donna is not happy and fulfilled. What I meant is that they enjoy a feeling of societal equality and acceptance.

    Liked by 4 people

      • I too, I am a blind blogger, author, business owner. As I have previously stated, for the most part, I have good experience online, and with other resources. I also, read blind blogger from other countries. I have seen their positive post, I have also seen several of these bloggers right about accessibility issues that they face every day. Both within their countries, and on websites.

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        Liked by 2 people

      • Websites today tend to be global so will have an impact across the board, but I think it is specific sites that claim to be inclusive and are not that seem to be falling down on the job. Especially when like Google, WordPress, Twitter and Facebook make frequent upgrades and changes to their operating systems.

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      • I think you hit the nail on the head. Sometimes, the problem is, that the updates come more quickly than the accessibility updates. Also, as I have previously stated, sometimes the problem is with ability, and equipment, and software. However, I would like to add here, though I don’t think the author of this post is saying that she is unhappy, or not for filled. I think she is simply saying that there are still miles to go before we sleep where accessibility is concerned. Keep in mind, this post is four years old. And many things have changed since its original writing. I would also like to say, that countries around the world, how blind person to face accessibility in many different ways. And, some of them, simply don’t talk about them. Everybody’s experience is going to be different. I for the most part have wonderful experiences online. While some of my peers do not. That doesn’t mean I’m any smarter, or more capable, then the next person. It just means my view is different. I struggle. And sometimes I vent about those struggles. But for the most part, blogging is a wonderful experience, which I could not do without. I came late to the game with computers. Because of income restriction etc. I did not get a computer until 2007. When I was given a computer, the door was open to me in a world tour which I never knew existed. After that, my entire life changed. That, is where I choose to put my focus. But not everyone sees the glass half full. 🙂 And, I am using Apple dictation for this post, because my computer is currently at the shop, and I spilled something sticky into my Bluetooth keyboard, so please excuse typos. Dictation does not appreciate my very very pronounced southern accent. LOL. Anyway, I think this was and is a wonderful post. I think that the biggest thing here is to raise awareness. And that seems to be happening.

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      • Thanks Patty and that is why I shared it. Because we need to be aware of our readers across the board and we as bloggers have to make sure that we do all we can to make our work accessible wherever we can… I did point out that it was four years old and that I would be interested to see what improvements have been made in those years and you have done a great job of updating us… hugsx

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      • Yes, I know you pointed that out. And I am glad to see you share this.

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      • Hi
        Roberta, you raise some interesting points. I think there have always been some blind people who have had the experience of being included socially, which starts in the family. For an American writer who grew up blind during WWII, I recommend Phyllis Campbell’s “Friendships in the Dark,” her nonfiction. At least to me, it reads as a person who felt loved and included. For the perspective of a blind person who had diabetes and didn’t lose her sight till she was in college, and had struggles with being marginalized, try Amy Krout-Horn’s “My Father’s Blood.” Phyllis is older than I am and Amy younger.

        As for the difference in nations, … It was the Brits who came out a couple of years ago with the study that showed that blind and visually impaired children were being bullied more frequently than others. In our capitalist society, an emphasis is placed on overcoming all obstacles pretty much by yourself. All you need to do is believe in yourself and have the proper attitude. This kind of talk makes me cringe, whether it’s about blind people or not. It almost justifies the negative experiences people have and downplays the importance of family and community in the raising of healthy citizens. BTW, I don’t think I took anything the wrong way in your post. I’m a happy, fun-loving grump, and everyone knows it. Hugs 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Patty. I am pleased to read your positive comments. Everything in life is designed for people that operate in a certain way. I have experienced that with education with both my children. They do not easily tolerate children with special needs of any type within their systems. Sort of a round peg and square hole scenario.

        Liked by 2 people

    • I have added your next comment in to this Robbie… I am in awe of all the sight impaired bloggers and authors that I follow.. where we would brush off a broken link or poorly constructed website it must be frustrating and annoying.. I do try to keep my links refreshed but sometimes at the other end of the link changes have been made. It is clear that there is a way to go to bring parity.

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      • Thank you, Sally. I also follow a large number and have read many of their books. I think that when one sense is impaired in some way, the other senses are strengthened and I see this in their sensitive and beautiful work.

        Liked by 1 person

      • As a multiple disabled woman, I understand square peg in around hole. I am that person. Having gone to both schools for the blind, and public school, I have a broader range of experience. I had good and bad experience in both settings. Having participated in things such as conventions set up and designed it totally for blind and disabled, and also for those which are open to simply the general public, again I have had a broad range of experience. I do not let my blindness or my other disabilities define me. They are simply a portion of who I am as a whole. I also find, that lots of the issues I have online, with apps, etc. many people who are considered “normal “have. So I’m not sure how much is in accessibility, and how much is simply the company is creating too many things without fixing the bugs in what We already have. For example, I am dictating this comment on my iPhone. Using Apple voiceover, and dictation. While the Apple voiceover, and dictation features are accessibility features, they’re also used by the general public. I’ve had to go back and correct several things in this, because the dictation does not write what I tell it correctly. This is not an accessibility issue this is an issue that Apple needs to improve its dictation. On the other hand, there are things that the voiceover will not read, and so it turns into an in accessibility issue. The two merged.

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      • I always feel relieved, when someone who is not sight impaired and writes me and says they are having the same trouble as am I. Not because I am glad others are having trouble, just because I feel more included. LOL.

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  3. Hi Sally, thank you so much for providing this opportunity to interact with your friends. They are always so welcoming, and we have such stimulating conversations.

    I want to clarify something from the original article. When it says that 80% of the internet is inaccessible to people using screen readers, it does not mean that we can’t get anywhere at all on 80% of the websites out there. The study looked at interactive functions like links, buttons, edit fields, checkboxes, that sort of thing. A lot of this is mistakes – a link that opens the wrong page, a button that wasn’t properly coded to interact with screen readers, a form that won’t submit. The WC3 has had free accessibility guidelines since before my post, as has Adobe and the National Federation of the Blind has an Access Technology Center which works with sites and certifies them as accessible.

    Part of the problem has been that there have been too many companies who claim to be able to test your site using Jaws and other text-to-speech software, but they are using sighted people who are not blindfolded. They pick up cues that blind people don’t.

    The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which covers the northwestern US where many of the tech giants are based, has been reluctant to recognize digital accessibility as the equivalent of physical access. When
    the NFB went after Scribd, for instance, they had to find someone who had not actually signed up to their site. The reason is hidden in the terms that you need to agree to when you sign up. Any disputes with the company must be handled through the jurisdiction of the company’s headquarters – the 9th Circuit.

    Also, I know too many parents who still have to struggle mightily to get their blind and legally blind kids the materials they need at the same time as their peers. Bullying is still an issue as well, though I have seen some stories where kids are experiencing more inclusion.

    So, to sum it up, we’re getting there, but we’re not there yet.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi, yes, this is true. You can sometimes be on a website, moving along nicely, and then suddenly boom! You are in a part which you cannot navigate through. There is a new business group however, that is specializing in working with businesses, and websites, to make their sites accessible. And, in 2017, there was a bill that went into affect as a law, that made it illegal for a website to be in accessible, and gives information to which you can report any websites that are not accessible. When I am back on my computer, I can provide this information. But I don’t have it available to me on my phone.

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    • Thank you for providing this further clarity, Donna. It is the same in many areas of disability including mental disorders like obsessive compulsive disorder and post traumatic stress disorder. As I said in response to Patty’s comment, the world still largely works on a one size fits all theory which is rarely the case. I am so glad I have an opportunity to discover more about other peoples challenges and successes through blogging. It opens up your mind to the issues people face and helps you facilitate them in some small ways.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I think the best part of all of this, is the open and honest conversation happening between everyone. Asking questions, sharing opinions, sharing information. This is what really drew me to blogging in the first place. So glad to be a part of it.

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        Liked by 3 people

      • Hi Robbie, You make a good point. On the one hand, they tell us how we are all unique and no one else has our exact vantage point to view the world. On the other hand, they insist that we fit into that one size fits all theory for purposes of education, employment and social interaction. I think people are trying to change that, but it’s generally a here and there thing, not a top-down solution.

        Liked by 2 people

      • It’s why I, even though I don’t have a computer, I choose to either dictate post, or record them and share them in dropbox links. I have gotten some good result with that. Blogging allows us expression and ways that is not available in any other platform. I must say however I will be very glad when my computer is sent back to me.

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  4. Fantastic post from Donna here. Sadly, we all have to fight for everything that is right anymore. Sadly, I don’t believe the US is too concerned with Donna’s concerns at this time as it appears their cup is full with woe. And I will add that social media is difficult enough with 2 functioning eyes, especially because every week it seems they alter their platforms, so I totally get what Donna is saying. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Debby, thanks for your comments. My hubby is always reminding me that sighted users are having unpleasant experiences as well. He can’t figure out how they stay in business, when they make things so difficult for their customers. And, as for our government, the current administration couldn’t care less and would only speak out, if he saw a donation at the end of the day. This isn’t all that new. Federal sites were mandated to be accessible years ago, but there have been problems. Starting with Clinton and as recent as OBama, Presidents have decried the situation and threatened action that was never taken. Maybe I should try to relocat my source from the Federal government and see if he’ll talk to me again.

      The problem with the laws we have now, as I understand it, is that they are still working on the “retrofitting” principle. When a public building goes up, the architect has to present drawings that include ramps, accessible bathrooms and elevators. Not a brick is laid till the physical access issues that impact people in wheelchairs are clearly addressed in the plans. For websites, the companies are allowed to build them with no oversight. If a person complains, the site is likely to have re done its structure before the case is resolved. Even if it hasn’t, retrofitting accessibility is far more difficult and expensive than planning for it to begin with.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Wow Donna, seems there isn’t much oversight for business ethics in cyber world, in the same way the giants like Amazon, Google, Facebook get away with murder. The citizens are on the back-burner while the rich get richer and laws don’t affect them. This is the world of greed we’re living in right now. Let us hope once we get through this rocky period of governments gone wild that normalcy can be restored and things that matter will be on the table. There are so many issues of neglect right now, and sadly, I don’t believe at this time the people ‘in charge’ are really concerned with proper cyber aid for the blind, especially when they can’t even control the rampant hackers and trolls working hard to push against American values. And you well know, no laws to better anything in the US will be passed until the Democracy take back the senate. Until then, don’t expect anything to change for the good.:(

        Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Sharon, Thanks for your comments. We haven’t even gotten into the accessibility of appliances. Round, raised dials with little tactile arrows, that we could make accessible with a tiny dot to point at, have given way to touch screens, which are fine for some, but difficult for others, myself included, whose dexterity and steadiness has fallen away over the years.

      The attitude of the public, as I see in posts in groups of blind people, is summed up in a few common responses. “Don’t you have someone to do that for you?” “Isn’t that what the blind department is for?” Since the Great Recession, there have been cut-backs in services for blind people, especially on the state level where the work of education and rehabilitation happens.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Weekly Round Up – Children’s books, Crooners, Cravings and Cartoons. | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

  6. Debby, Well, you have hit the nail on the head. It’s been that way for decades in the US, probably since the Reagan administration. The multinational corporations own the government. They are so short-sighted that they don’t even go after problems that are cutting into their bottom line. For instance, the homeless population and street gangs certainly don’t promote an atmosphere where people want to shop. But, I guess they’re herding us all to online markets. I think you have more hope than I do about a turn around. Trump will probably get another four years because of the economy, even though they lie to us about inflation. People just want to believe, and their math skills are so bad they have no idea how badly they’re being screwed. If they do, they think they have no power to change it, which without a mass uprising, is pretty close to true. My apologies for the rant. Hugs

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