Boy am I glad I lost my sight.
Wait a second. Let me rephrase that.
Boy, am I glad I lost my vision when I did.
Huh? Are I serious? Ok. One more time.
With all of the technological advances, especially with assistive technology, boy am I glad I lost my sight when I did!
There! Much better. Right? Well?
I guess what I’m trying to say, is that with all of the advances in modern technology, I couldn’t have picked a better time to become visually impaired. I mean, look at what’s going on out there with all of the Braille advances and book reading advances and pc accessibility and holy cow! It’s a never ending wave of assistive amazement, wrapped around a mobility cane, and it’s just getting under way.
I look at the advancements in just the past four years, and it spins me around in my pc chair. I remember all too well the first time I listened to Steve Sawczyn fire up his laptop in that small office in Augusta back in the summer of 2010. Listening to him go from a Mac platform, to a windows operating system, and back again on the same machine was mind blowing to say the least. And it was talking to him! He amazed myself, my wife, and I would imagine whoever was in the room. What he did, how he did it, and the technology he was using can almost be called prehistoric though, compared to what’s available today, just three and a half short years later. How do they do that? No, really, how on earth do they come up with this stuff? Thank heavens for the dude who figured out what a wheel is, because ever since then, holy crap! Are we for real or what!
I couldn’t even touch type four years ago, and now, look at me. I’m a keypad punching, digital recording, screen reading, blog posting, newsletter editing, email deleting fool!
Now, don’t get me wrong. There’s a lot of folks out there that are more foolish than me. Umm, Uh, I mean, there are a lot of peeps who are so much more in tune with accessibility than I am. I envy those who have seen this amazing technology advance from the ground, up. They’ve seen it all, tried it all, growled at it all, been amazed with it all and helped it all to get to where it all is. I envy you, and admire you, and wonder some times, what makes you tick. I think you’re all wired a little different than most folks. Maybe you stuck your finger in a light socket when you were young, and never looked back? Maybe you really, really liked zeroes and ones? Perhaps you were like me, in that you loved seeing amazing things get even better? Maybe I’ along with a ton of other people will be thanking you forever and a day. Maybe I need some chocolate too, I mean, why not, right?
It’s a digital world we live in, and it’s becoming more and more digitized all the time. I’m waiting for Kelloggs to come out with Digital Corn Flakes that you can eat in a virtual bowl with an open source spoon. Might as well throw some wireless blue tooth sugar on there too, right, I mean, you can never have enough sweets, and you can never stop modern technology.
I admit that some of the newer advancing technology that has proved to be beneficial to the blind community is probably pushing the proven ways of old to the side. There’s those who would rather stick with the traditions, as they prove to be more comfortable, but no matter, the new age of being blind is electronically charged, and I don’t think it’ll ever look back.
New things usually send my anxiety levels to the moon. I am, by nature, a creature of habit. I don’t like change, unless I have both feet in the door, and that can prove to be difficult at times because I take a size sixteen. Always tripping on my feet, or kicking something, or look at that billy goat with the big feet.
Thank you to all of you who have written and tested and worked on modern technology. You people never stop. It’s never good enough. It’s not accessible enough, and there’s always room for improvement, right? You amaze me, inspire me, help me and brighten my world. When my screen reader speaks to me, I think of you. When I tell Siri to set an alarm for noon, I think of you. When I rename and transfer a digital file from my recorder to my pc, I think of you.
Please, keep at it, so I can keep on thinking of you.