Friday, August 27, 2010

Don't Give Up

This morning as I walked to work my iPod (in shuffle mode) played a Peter Gabriel song, “Don’t Give Up.” Its title seemed the perfect follow up message to our Lighthouse seminar ”iPad, iPhone, I Vote“ on Wednesday evening.

We focused on the universal accessibility in New York City’s new voting machines and in two of Apple’s most popular products. The turnout was impressive and the crowd was interested and enthused. I did however come to the realization that my own mostly joyous perspective on these technological developments was not shared by all.

I do understand those feelings, I’ve experienced them myself many times in relation to some of the assistive technology products I have encountered that I found extremely disappointing and obscenely expensive.

There is something so lovely and so inclusive about going to my local polling place and being able to cast my vote privately and independently. There is something glorious about texting from my iPhone and searching the web on my iPad – just like everyone else. The positives far outweigh the negatives, removing barriers vision impairment can create.

Of course there will be a poll worker who doesn’t know how to plug in the headphones. Don’t give up! There will be someone at the Apple Store who does not know that you can get One to One Training for the iPhone and iPad without the purchase of a Mac. Don’t give up. You would be surprised how you can turn a “no” into a “yes” – if you keep asking. Don’t give up.

Universal access is empowerment and the more we use it the better it will get. Don’t give up!

For more information on the seminar and links to some very useful references, click here.


  1. I guess "Don't Give up' is a very important message. I am also legally blind and can appreciate the significance of this message.

    Dorrie, I understand that you are a great supporter of accessible technology. I also believe that assistive technolgy is not within the reach of everyone, it is mostly very expensive and not very easy to use. That is why through out my life I have relied on my own creativity to find out new ways of using things around meand making them useful for my personal needs. Would you believe that right now I am using a PC with Windows Xp without anything like Zoomtext or other software and I am very much capable to use computer without spending a single penny on assistive technology. As a legally blind person with my central vision totally gone, I have no problem using a standrad PC with some accessibility settings. How I do it, I can share this info with anyone who may be interested.


    Azhar Karim

  2. Agree! Although my kids both have great memories of going to the poll with mom and reading to me, glad that now I am able to do so bymyself.


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