Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Unexpected Interesting Times

Hello everyone. Yesterday proved to be more interesting than I expected. Hence, another blog entry for your reading pleasure. I ended up spending the afternoon out of my apartment despite the rain. That's because I was still indoors. I went to see Sandy for the first time in a while. He's doing about as well as he ever is. His worker from the CNIB has done some excellent stuff with helping him start to remember the keyboard. He ran into some trouble with Microsoft Word though and hasn't been able to practice typing the words she's recorded onto tape for him. I've hopefully managed to solve the immediate crisis but I believe it's time to start thinking about getting him and I in line for an ADP assenssment and equipment update. It's been a very long time since I've had any involvement with them. Although my situation isn't nearly as acute as his, that's only because I was in the economic position to purchase new equipment and keep up my screen reader's SMA. Those days are now definitely behind me.

I went back up from the second floor to my apartment on the seventh only to realise that I hadn't gotten my mail yet and could have just gone down to the ground floor first. Deciding to actually go down and get it proved to be a very fortuitous decision. In the lobby were a number of people just shooting the breeze. I hadn't encountnered anything like that for ages here. The building just doesn't seem to be condusive to that. There are only a couple of chairs in the lobby but a cane makes a good third leg on such occasions. I must have spent most of an hour standing there chatting with mail in one hand and cane in the other. It's good to know that people actually do, once in a while, have time to talk to each other around here. I feel like I've moved at least a little closer to the kind of sociallly connected state of being I eventually hope to achieve. It felt damned good.

After the group of us went our separate ways, I returned to the apartment and finally got around to visiting the Blio site. I was thrilled to discover that it had actually launched this time and was available for download. I did this immediately, installed it, and that's where the good times ended. I quickly discovered that it wasn't going to be the accessibility experience of the decade as the previous demonstrations and marketting had suggested. It was actually pretty close to completely inaccessible with NVDA and System Access. I finally managed to get the manual to start reading out loud but couldn't pick and choose what parts to read. I decided to simply let it read through completely while I ate my dinner on the off chance that I'd missed some obvious setting which would fix things. No such luck. I at last got around to checking my Twitter updates and found I wasn't the only one thunderously disappointed in this latest turn of events. What can I say? It just doesn't look good when you're promised a revolutionary accessible reading experience by a company known for such things and they release software which proves inaccessible in the extreme in favour of dazzle for sighted folk who already have numerous options for affordable e-book reading. Apparently, I missed a comment on their download page stating that a screenreader-friendly version of the Blio software will be released some time in October. Had this been the first hiccup on this journey of anticipation, it still would have been a noteworthy one. Obviously, sighted powers that be went for rapid release to the sighted population and didn't consider the exceptionally bad optics of the decision for us blinks. Ultimately though, they'll be forgiven for it. When they release the accessible version, it'll likely be damned near flaweless. I'm certainly not going to forego that kind of book affordability and selection based on initial disappointment. I doubt many others will either. As soon as I'm actually able to, I'll gladly sign up my credit card and start looking for good additions to my library. They have me over a barrel. I've witnessed accessible game developers get burned out of business for missing half the promised release deadlines as these folks have. Games are one thing. What these folks are apparently going to offer us in a matter of weeks is a vital step forward in making printed material accessible and affordable to us. I for one can hold my breath a little longer.

Goodness! I've just found out via my Twitter client that I've been on Twitter for at least 485 days. Imagine that! Me! The digital dinosaur and diehard blogger on twitter for well over a year! I suppose I should try and be a more worthy leader for my followers and tweet more. I just feel so much more able to express myself in these blog postings. One thing I find myself slowly doing more of is responding to tweets from others. I guess that's something.

It's early afternoon now. I just got back from an outing with my father to Symposium Cafe. It's martini day on wednesdays and those things taste absolutely splendid. Symposium burgers are enormous so I don't believe I'll need to bother with dinner later on other than perhaps a salad. It was good to catch up with dad and hear more about their recent expedition to a fare with Ava and Amia. Sounds like they had themselves a splendid if rather pricy time of it. He's keenly anticipating his Golf getaway which he leaves on later this week.

And now, it's late afternoon. I went down to meet with Sandy's worker and make certain things went smoothly with Jarte. They certainly did. She's made some excellent progress with Sandy teaching him to type. That's the one area where I felt shakey of my ability to teach him. Looks like she's covering that aspect of things very nicely indeed. She'll also be putting in our referral forms for ADP assessments.

It's certainly been a nicely busy day. Weird or What is on at ten tonight. That ought to be good as it has been these past weeks. Perhaps, I'll do some online chatting this evening. We'll see how it goes. My membership with vipconduit has expired and I don't believe I'll pay for another subscription. I want to direct my disposeable income towards offline happenings. Oh. How interesting! I just checked my email and found an update from CBC Documentaries. One of them was based on a book which I've just pounced on with glee in the CNIB library. It's called Acquainted With The Night; Excursions Through The World After Dark. The author is Christopher Dewdney. Looks like I'm in for a fascinating read this time around. Yet again, I'm ever so glad I checked my email. A very fitting way to spend the early evening hours.

1 comment:

Heather said...

Three posts in rapid fire? Good heavens! (yes, I'm smiling)

Glad you're having some good days. You certainly deserve them.