So, I am one of those people who don’t necessarily become partial to people in my various circles; whether my children’s accomplishments, friends and their moments of glory, or even my own humble wanderings, but I have not had the chance to discuss someone very near and dear to me who is learning to overcome amazing odds and regain roles of independence and determination that have been long lost in the role of motherhood and personal health challenges along the way.
Lets start with this: Blind Gamer Uses Technology to “Hang” with Friends
This article speaks for itself. And the woman behind the story is the mother to our four-children. Since the discovery of Apple’s product line that seamlessly caters to those with many types of disabilities, but, in particular, wonders those with visual difficulties with the technology known as VoiceOver, a text-to-speech screen reading modality that gives voice cues to virtually every aspect of computers, iPods, iPhones, iPads, and even Apple TV. But there is a lot more to this than meets the eye.
Debbie, often very headstrong in her convictions, is one of those people who lands on something incredible, uses it, finds what’s wrong with it, tears it apart piece-by-piece, and then gives the “pieces” to the developers to chew on. Easy, right? Far from! I can’t count how many nights go by where our sleep patterns cross one another and as I slumber, her diligence takes her to finding out what’s out there and how it can be fixed. And here’s the interesting part…she does this without an inkling of sponsorship or support from the sighted world. However, you would think that someone out there would offer an employment or consultant opportunity; something highly of value in this woman is obviously wasted by the mere fact that, despite her efforts, no one 100% seems to care.
Zynga with Friends’ Bettner brothers, have made the attempt – listening to the suggestions and rantings of this woman who spends HOURS not only playing, but critiquing the in’s and out’s of a game that didn’t start out as a game for the visually impaired, or “intended to be designed for the visually impaired.” However, this new group of gaming enthusiasts, a minority, of course, is being embraced with open arms to an extent. As only ONE of these games is currently in accessibility mode, there are others that could easily begin to make the transition, but are failing to make the mark.
Other developers are IGNORING the fact that their apps, regardless of platform, are far behind the standard of accessibility that needs to be present with such a large group of individuals slowly making their way out of the mainstream and staring into the sun of enlightenment as technology now opens the doors to journeys and opportunities that were never realized or rationalized before.
Apple, let me tell you this. This is the person you NEED in Cupertino, Austin, or wherever life may take her. When a person of this caliber can do Apple Consulting BETTER, FASTER, and MORE EFFICIENTLY than your own employees, that tells me one thing – you’ve got the wrong people selling and training people on this stuff; especially, since NO ONE seems to know or fully understand the technology – the very technology that has opened the doors to those amazing people waiting to embrace it, is blinded immediately by those who can’t even turn it on, let alone tell someone how to get from Point A to Point B on their newfound iToy. So, what’s wrong here?
Again, this isn’t being partial to my spouse – I have written print letters to companies advocating for whomever deserves and demonstrates the need for it. My point here is this – “The Audience is Listening.” We’re waiting for the right song on the right channel to bob our heads to in agreement that what’s being asked for is actually being delivered.