The Technology Struggle Bus

What’s the biggest challenge that blindness brings you?

It’s hard to isolate one specific challenge, but here is the winner.

TECHNOLOGY

Nothing is simple, concise, and all inclusive for someone who is blind. I can’t do everything, and it sucks. Some websites aren’t accessible with screen readers, which are software programs on computers that make them useable for people who are blind. I’m not a technology person, so I have no idea why they don’t work, they just don’t. My computer just doesn’t read the appropriate content for some websites.

Maybe there’s a great solution for this problem that I just haven’t found yet, but my college textbooks are all Microsoft word files. Can you imagine reading a book as a word document? It sucks! I can’t skim through pages, or even find page numbers. I sometimes hit buttons and completely lose my place in the book. A table of contents is useless. It is not fun. I’d much rather a simpler way to read books, or a physical book.

Everything I do talks. I can’t work on homework with friends and have important conversations, because I have to wear earbuds and listen to things my computer says while also listening to my friend.

I can’t use programs to notate and arrange music, because none of them are even close to being fully accessible for people who are blind.

Here’s something that bothers me more than it should: I can’t see clocks. When I’m in class, I can’t see how many minutes are left. When I’m in a music therapy session, I can’t see the time to end my session. Sure, I can check my phone, but there’s nothing discrete about listening to your phone in the middle of class.

My final technological frustration, I have to listen to my phone to use it. It’s so hard to hear and respond to texts and messages when I’m in a loud space like a concert or party, or to quietly reply back while in the movie theater. In a loud space, I can’t hear. In a quiet space, everyone else can.

The blind struggle bus is moving at full speed though, so I can’t hop off quite yet.

Almost every day in October, I will be posting about topics related to blindness. I will be answering all the questions I have received soon, and there is always room for more.

You can do it!!

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