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Caffeinated Sloth
Apr 12, 2007



Grimey Drawer

I'm 26 and have been blind since birth due to Retinopathy of Prematurity. I've attended public schools, graduated from college, and currently work in the government sector.

The posters in this thread have quite helpfully provided some starting questions, so here we go.

Oyo posted:

Do you mind if I ask what your social life is like? Have you always been blind? How do you feel about being blind, is it just something you're completely used to and don't give much thought or is it often on your mind?

I'm 26 and have been blind since birth, so I've had a while to get used to the idea. It's more an inconvenience than anything else at this point.

My social life has gone downhill since graduating college. Almost all of the people that I work with are significantly older than I am. It's just a matter of finding other interesting people.

Senethro posted:

If its not rude, can I ask how you're reading this forum Sloth? Do you have text to speech software? A friend? A really powerful screen magnifier?

I'm using a screen-reading program called JAWS. More info here: http://www.freedomscientific.com/fs...ftware_jaws.asp

DearMrSkepparkrans posted:

Do you have to listen to the thing read all text on the site? Does it take forever to get to the last part of a thread? I read the site a bit, but couldn't find it in the FAQ.

I think that all of the currently popular screen readers, of which there are 3 or 4, basically treat web pages as if they were documents. I can read through an entire page from beginning to end, but I almost never do because it would get pretty old constantly listening to the same information. It's also possible to jump to certain elements of a page: headings, tables, lists, anchors, form elements, etc. Each forum post has a Definition List at the top which has the poster's name and registration date. I press "l" (jump to next list) until I get to a definition list, then "down arrow" through the post, and at the end press "l" to skip the Profile, Message, Post History, etc. links. Quoted text is in a Block Quote, so if I realize that I've already read a quotation, I can "down arrow" until I come across "Block Quote End", then continue reading as normal.

If this weren't so easy I'd look into writing a Greasemonkey script to insert heading tags so I could jump from post to post.

ynef posted:

If you want to see what a page looks like to a screen reader, you can download the Firefox extension "Fangs" or "FireVox". Fangs emulates JAWS, and it shows you (in text) what JAWS would read out to you.

Very true.

The Linkster posted:

Sloth, how do you use a computer, how do you know where to move the mouse and where to click on things?

I use the keyboard for everything. Interestingly enough, this desktop lacks a mouse and a monitor. I have a mouse in a drawer somewhere, and I don't have the free desk space for a monitor. Anyway, screen readers provide a method of moving the mouse pointer via the keyboard. I can move by line, word, character, to given pixel coordinates, etc. This is generally only done if I can't accomplish something using a keyboard shortcut. For example it's a lot easier to use ctrl-shft-x in Fire Fox to bring up the No Script menu than it would be to locate the icon and click it.

Hepnotic posted:

Example, i've always wondered what blind people's dreams are like.

It's a little hard to say for sure since it's not like I've experienced someone else's dreams. I don't really see in my dreams if that's what you're asking, but I will have more of an awareness of what's around me and I'll intuitively know whatever I would ordinarily be able to sense. For example if I'm standing next to a building in a dream, I'll know where all the entrances are, how to get to them from my location, the types of doors, if people are around them, etc. but I don't scan the building with my eyes and pick up the information as I go.

Operator posted:

Just how bad does internet speak sound with a speech synthesizer?

In general it's not that bad. Interestingly enough, after a while, you don't actually notice the synthesized speech. If you're talking about p30pl3 th4t try t0 be r34lly c00l (or is that k3wl), you mentally translate between the numbers and letters given enough exposure.

AssCobra posted:

Not only is it interesting to read the perspectives of people who experience the world in an unusual (for most of us) way, it would also represent an opportunity for folks to ask questions they might usually be too embarrassed to ask.

I'd love to know more about what life is like for a blind person. I know sloth can't speak for everyone that's blind, but it's a start.

True on all counts.

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toadee
Aug 16, 2003

North American Turtle Boy Love Association

What type of area do you live in? (urban, suburban, etc) Do you find that there are sufficient resources available to make everyday life as comfortable as can be expected? Do you ever encounter people who are rude to you because of your condition? Do you have any assistance animals?

thrawn86
May 26, 2006

Sure, I got a secret. More than one...

Caffeinated Sloth posted:

I use the keyboard for everything. Interestingly enough, this desktop lacks a mouse and a monitor. I have a mouse in a drawer somewhere, and I don't have the free desk space for a monitor. Anyway, screen readers provide a method of moving the mouse pointer via the keyboard.

One of my questions were already answered, but this blows my mind. I mean, I realize you obviously have no use for a monitor... but still. I guess I just have a hard time figuring out how you know where your mouse is on the screen?

Do you tend to stay away from really long discussion threads/can it sometimes be a chore to read (er, listen to) things that interest you?

onceling
Dec 31, 2006


Do you have above average other senses? If so, which ones?

TShields
Mar 29, 2007

We can rule them like gods! ...Angry gods.


This is probably the dumbest possible question someone could ask, but since you can't see, what do you "see"? Is it just like us if we closed our eyes, as in simply blackness, or... what? I guess its always confused me a bit... Having sight makes it hard for me to imagine not having sight, if that makes sense at all.

Also, how do you get around? Do you have a dedicated friend who takes you to the grocery store or something?

Destro
Dec 29, 2003

time to wake up


Have you ever had a major physical injury due to blindness? I imagine navigating an environment is difficult without sight.

Drei
Feb 23, 2006

she's incredible math

How do you get around, cane, dog, or some other method?

Also, what sort of accommodations were made for you at college? There's a kid in my English class who has a seeing eye dog, and I was wondering what he did when we were shown a 3 hour silent film.

mrmcgoogle
Sep 6, 2006

red x of death


Would you rather be blind or deaf?

Query
Mar 17, 2007

by Eris Is Goddess


How do you know when your butt is clean after you make a poop, since you can't see if there's anything left on the toilet paper?

Is it enjoyable to watch ANY show on television without the visuals?

Have you read John Varley's story "The Persistence of Vision"?

Who picks out your clothing, for purchase and to wear each day?

Xeras
Oct 11, 2004

Only a few find the way, some don't recognize it when they do - some... don't ever want to.

What do you do in regards to clothes shopping? Do you have your wardrobe set up to differentiate colors or something along those lines or do you have clothes that are mostly the same? Does any of that even matter to you?(Not trying to be rude) Also, do you have any pets not for assisting you with day to day living, just because you like that animal?

tirinal
Feb 5, 2007


What do you do for a living?

For lack of a better word, can you "visualize" color? Not with any degree of accuracy, obviously, but can your mind process anything aside from greyscale?

Any particularly acute ability to echolocate?

How fast can you read/process Braille? I've always wondered if it's possible to just run a cupped hand over the page and absorb material (or data, at least) far faster than it would take somebody reading sequential text.

tirinal fucked around with this message at Apr 20, 2007 around 05:37

RubberDucky
Jan 6, 2004

Sick My Duck

What attracts you to the opposite sex? I often wonder about the rolls of pheromones, perfumes, and voice.

935
Jul 28, 2006

abcdefghijk
ELLAMENNO-P


Have any friends played really cruel jokes, like rearranging furnature or some poo poo?

and also, how big is your music collection?

lastly, I'm gonna try and make the voice reader make funny sounds on the next line, feel free to skip.

aaaaaaaaaaabababababababababababababagugugugugugugugu

935 fucked around with this message at Apr 20, 2007 around 05:39

Tendai
Mar 16, 2007

"When the eagles are silent, the parrots begin to jabber."



How difficult is Braille reading? I see it and run my fingertips over it, but my fingertips aren't sensitive enough to pick up much of a difference. I know that with various physical situations, there's often compensation in other areas - I imagine that to someone who can't see, feeling is more of a focus. So is it as difficult to read Braille as it seems to me? Do you prefer audiobooks?

I'm a dwarf, so there are a number of things I can't do because of my lack of height. I have a number of small things (like being able to stand at a counter without a stool, et cetera) that are my "I wish I could do that just once!" things. Do you have anything like that in regards to seeing? "I wish I could see ____" at least once, or anything of that variety.

I've read a lot about deaf culture, is there a similar movement among blind people, or is that something you're really aware of?

AlbertGator
Nov 16, 2004

Alligator for Hire

Do you ever worry that you'll be kidnapped by rogue philosophers who are frustrated with theorizing about Molyneux's Problem?

Literacy Is Dead
Apr 3, 2007

Phonics? Overrated.

You mentioned working in the "government sector". What do you do exactly? What were your past jobs? I can only assume that blindness limits what you can do career-wise. How do employers and coworkers react to it?

Are there any rumors or stereotypes you'd like to dispel? What should we know about being blind and interacting with blind people?

Fast Food Caper
Oct 27, 2005



Do you currently have a girlfriend/boyfriend? In the past do you normally date people who can see or other blind people? Do you have other friends who are also blind?

Redbeard
May 12, 2005

by Fragmaster


AlbertGator posted:

Do you ever worry that you'll be kidnapped by rogue philosophers who are frustrated with theorizing about Molyneux's Problem?

Hah, the thought of rogue philosophers gave me this mornings first chuckle. For the unaware:

William Molyneux posted:

Dublin July. 7 88

A Problem Proposed to the Author of the Essai Philosophique concernant L'Entendement

A Man, being born blind, and having a Globe and a Cube, nigh of the same bignes, Committed into his Hands, and being taught or Told, which is Called the Globe, and which the Cube, so as easily to distinguish them by his Touch or Feeling; Then both being taken from Him, and Laid on a Table, Let us Suppose his Sight Restored to Him; Whether he Could, by his Sight, and before he touch them, know which is the Globe and which the Cube? Or Whether he Could know by his Sight, before he stretch'd out his Hand, whether he Could not Reach them, tho they were Removed 20 or 1000 feet from Him?

If the Learned and Ingenious Author of the Forementiond Treatise think this Problem Worth his Consideration and Answer, He may at any time Direct it to One that Much Esteems him, and is,

His Humble Servant
William Molyneux
High Ormonds Gate in Dublin. Ireland

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/molyneux-problem/

Wouldn't proprioception answer this (the sense of knowing where your limbs are)? I'd probably say 'yes' to both questions.

OP, three questions:

I guess you use a printer that creates Braille writing, but is there any way for you to write by hand?

I guess it is inevitable that blind or deaf people have certain careers and activities naturally prohibited to them, but have you at any time felt truly malignantly discriminated against?

Can you easily recognize a person by his sound signature - the way he breathes, walking rhythm, keyboard tap frequency - and thereby determine which known persons surround you? Are you easily distracted by noisy surroundings?

drat, that was four questions.

A fifth one: do you think we should label...unsavoury texts, like extracts from "Agony in pink" (unless you already know, do not look for this) "not work safe for the blind unless the volume is turned down"?

Xynobia
Mar 17, 2007


What's the first thing you notice about the opposite or preferred sex? Scent, sound of voice, height (based on projection), etc?

Edit: beaten, kind of.

Xynobia fucked around with this message at Apr 20, 2007 around 07:12

mrs. crow
Feb 26, 2002

10.27.03
NEVER FORGET


Every time someone quotes something, does that program have to repeat it again? Can you skip large blocks of text if you want to?

Would you give up two legs to be able to see? Or rather, how important is the idea of sight to you still?

Hamclam
Jan 19, 2005

I got in one little fight and my mom got scared she said "You're movin' with your auntie and uncle in Bel Air!"


If it were possible, would you get an operation that would give you sight, or is blindness something you identify yourself with.

Have you ever gotten lost somewhere? like in a city?

Pixelante
Mar 15, 2006

You people will by God act like a team, or at least like people who know each other, or I'll incinerate the bunch of you here and now.


There had better be some answers by the time I get up, or I'm gonna be irked. I'm especially curious about how you can quantify attraction when you can't see.

Edited and revised question; do you have a seeing-eye dog? Do you have pets of any kind?

Pixelante fucked around with this message at Apr 20, 2007 around 08:42

Lead Pineapple
Mar 2, 2007
A tasty treat indeed!

What would you say is the biggest thing that society falls short in when it comes to accomodating the blind? Basically, is there anything that makes you scream "Argh! Not everyone in this world can see!"

Roloc
Apr 6, 2005


I have built sites for the state of California for the past 5-6 years. I am considered an "accessibility" expert for Web sites. I have talked with a few impaired people about this, but how do you feel about accessibility on the Web? Are we anywhere near where we need to be in your opinion?

I have used JAWS before in testing. I actually turn my monitor off and try to navigate like you do, which almost always has me saying "Well it will do, but man there has to be something better"

Ninja Edit: Are you ever disappointed that you miss out on all the whimsical wicked cool avatars considering absolutely none of them have alt tags?

Roloc fucked around with this message at Apr 20, 2007 around 16:12

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

Let your word be "Yes, Yes" or "No, No"; anything more than this comes from the evil one.

Do you find that your enjoyment of SA and integration into the community is lessened by the fact that a portion of the humour revolves around image memes?

andre patton
Jul 20, 2003
softly...as if I played piano in the dark

Xeras posted:

What do you do in regards to clothes shopping? Do you have your wardrobe set up to differentiate colors or something along those lines or do you have clothes that are mostly the same? Does any of that even matter to you?(Not trying to be rude) Also, do you have any pets not for assisting you with day to day living, just because you like that animal?

I have a friend who is terribly colorblind. I set up a pretty easy system for him to follow.

He only wears 2 types of pants...jeans and khakis. Thankfully for a guy almost any kind of shirt looks OK with jeans but he normally only wears polo shirts so that makes it easier. I took his shirts that look OK with khakis and put them on a different shelf.

That way, if he's wearing jeans, he can pick any shirt. If he's wearing khakis, he goes for the separate shelf.

Edit: Here's a question for the OP. How was it explained to you that you were blind? Seems like a pretty hard concept for a kid to grasp.

Rocky Top Hennessy
Mar 29, 2007

And the football descended like a dove upon him, and a voice came from the Great Romo which said, "You are my beloved Tight End; in you I am well pleased."

Do you/Have you ever played a muscial instrument of any sort?

Simulated
Sep 28, 2001
Lowtax giveth, and Lowtax taketh away.

College Slice

Redbeard posted:

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/molyneux-problem/

Wouldn't proprioception answer this (the sense of knowing where your limbs are)? I'd probably say 'yes' to both questions.


Actually no; without visual input during the early childhood years the brain never develops the ability to really decode visual information, determine spatial relationships, etc.

Know all those visual tricks where two squares are the same color but look different? Optical illusions? Most of these things are due to your brain trying to interpret all the spatial cues that tell you how far things are away and what shape they are.


There is a movie that was loosely based on real life (IIRC) dealing with a man who was blind but had his sight restored (temporarily; the condition recurred and made him blind again). I just remember one scene in the movie where he couldn't tell the difference between a picture of a taxi and a real taxi, because the picture was up close making them appear to be the same size.

He simply had no pathways in his brain able to recognize the visual cues and process the binocular vision necessary to make his sight useful.


All those electronic eye devices under development? They're only useful for people who used to see but are now blind... (or kids who have them implanted early in life, eventually when the devices get better). People who are 20 and have never seen will not benefit from them.

Ireland Sucks
May 16, 2004



Tell us about your dreams

Edit: Im retarded. I was sure that wasnt in the op

Better question then, you said you would have written some script to make things easy, but isnt writing code pretty difficult when blind? Debugging and code tracing can be a pretty visual thing, and i would be suprised if you accessibility software was much help with all the various windows. Much respect for that.

Ill add to the dumb redundancy of my post by saying guide dogs are really cool

Oh and ffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff

Ireland Sucks fucked around with this message at Apr 20, 2007 around 20:00

Kiri koli
Jun 20, 2005
Also, I can kill you with my brain.



Ender.uNF posted:

There is a movie that was loosely based on real life (IIRC) dealing with a man who was blind but had his sight restored (temporarily; the condition recurred and made him blind again). I just remember one scene in the movie where he couldn't tell the difference between a picture of a taxi and a real taxi, because the picture was up close making them appear to be the same size.

He simply had no pathways in his brain able to recognize the visual cues and process the binocular vision necessary to make his sight useful.


Are you talking about At First Sight with Val Kilmer? I haven't seen that movie in years, but I remember liking it. I don't remember a lot of details, but at one point he walked into and shattered a glass wall because he couldn't resolve it visually or spatially.

I'd like to second the "how were you told you were blind?" question. Also, do people ever try to describe colors to you? Do you differentiate somehow when you hear blue or green or is it just something you don't think about?

Big Wreck
Feb 8, 2004



Rcneet sdtueis hvae shwon taht the hmaun bairn wlil ittlnnsay rgoceizne eervy wrod in tihs stnecnee if the fsirt and lsat wrod rmaien csitsneont.

Can you raed taht?

Hinge
May 3, 2006

Top Dog.


Slave posted:

Tell us about your dreams

That's the OP already.

I don't really have anything to add, apart from to say that this is an excellent thread.

jonawesome
May 8, 2004
I was just looking for my kitten!

Hey OP, I'm assuming you're a male.

How are your standards for women different from a regular guys? I mean, for most guys, looks are a significant factor when they are pursuing women, so how are yours different? You probably base a lot of your attraction on personality, and maybe voice timbre, but outside of that, do you get your friends to check out the girls, and tell you if they're hot or not? Or do you maybe pull a Ray Charles and try to feel their arms or wrists to see if they're fattys?

What about popularity? Popular girls will likely be attractive.


Edit: gently caress, sort of beaten already like 3 times.

Zombie Dave
Mar 4, 2007

by Eris Is Goddess


Do you ever have anyone in the room while you are reading things on these forums or on other questionable websites? I imagine the words "making GBS threads dicknipples" would be quite embarrassing when blurted out over a speaker when there is company around.

Also do you enjoy movies or TV? Can you listen to them and enjoy the plot without the visual element? If so what are your favourite TV programs/movies?

Rickets
Jul 21, 2006

Them's my dancin' knees!

Big Wreck posted:

Rcneet sdtueis hvae shwon taht the hmaun bairn wlil ittlnnsay rgoceizne eervy wrod in tihs stnecnee if the fsirt and lsat wrod rmaien csitsneont.

Can you raed taht?

First and last letters, you mean.

ZhaoRi
Oct 24, 2005

"You can't live on hopes and dreams alone."

Is one of the reasons you joined the something awful forums because it's one of the few forums out there that does not tolerate lovely AOL talk? Is it even possible to decipher other forums that are full of people who can't spell?

badson
Jul 1, 2005
"I saw the Bound 2 video on Ellen. First time I've ever heard a Kanye West song. "

Ahahahahahaha NEEEEEEEEERRRRRRRRRRRRRDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD


I wonder about the attractions as well. Our society is inundated with the image of thin being attractive. I always wondered if this was natural or if it was just how we are brainwashed after years of media exposure. What is your basis for attraction without having a visual image of a person? Is thin a basis for your attraction?

How do you clean your house? Do you have a service that handles this?

As a kid, was Daredevil your favorite superhero?

Do you get angry when people treat you differently, or as if you were a child\crippled when they meet you? Does this happen? Do you turn down offers for "help" such as someone leading you to a bathroom or across a street because you need to be self-reliant?

Do you enjoy movies? Do you have a favorite actor or movie, and if so, why this particular actor or movie? I think it would be interesting to know this as your decision is based on sound only.

What exactly is the cause of your blindness? Is something missing in the eyes or is it something in the part of the brain that processes information from the eyes?

What kind of hobbies do you have? How do you spend your free time?

Pardon me if these questions seem ignorant or offensive, but I've never actually known a blind person and this is great to be able to learn more.

Cockmaster
Feb 24, 2002


Ender.uNF posted:

All those electronic eye devices under development? They're only useful for people who used to see but are now blind... (or kids who have them implanted early in life, eventually when the devices get better). People who are 20 and have never seen will not benefit from them.

I've often wondered what it would take to cure those people. Might it be possible to somehow stimulate the proper region of the brain into forming the necessary new connections? Would it be necessary to add new neurons via stem cell therapy? Or cybernetically link the brain to a symbiotic AI which would decode visual data?

Infinite Karma
Oct 23, 2004
Good as dead

When you say that you are blind, do you have literally no visual ability? Or do you have some ability to sense light and dark, but not enough to see with?

I'd also like to know how you pick what clothes to wear? Or even accomplish hygiene issues like shaving? How long does it take you to get ready for work in the morning?

When you go somewhere new, how do you process the unfamiliar space in your mind? Do you avoid going to unfamiliar places because you don't know what's around you, or is it just something you are used to?

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Raskolnikov2089
Nov 3, 2006
Schizzy to the matic

Wow. Great thread. I was hoping someone would post one like this.

If this is too personal, feel free to say, "I don't want to answer" but it's something I've been trying to figure out.

What do you fantasize about when you're uh, relieving pressure? I mean like, okay straight guys probably think of breasts or nice legs, etc, but as a blind person, I'm assuming you don't have that much of a visual concept of what a breast looks like, so what about the opposite (or same) sex tends to get your motor going?


**Edit Also, whats your stance on people helping you get around. I walked by a blind guy trying to cross a busy street, and at first I kept walking b/c I assumed he wanted to be independent, but then I went back and asked if he needed help and he was totally lost. He was going to cross the street going west thinking he was going north. I felt really guilty about not helping right away because that must be absolutely terrifying to be that lost. Like, do you want people to ask if you need help? If you do need help, do you prefer people take your arm or just walk beside you and tell you what to expect?

Raskolnikov2089 fucked around with this message at Apr 20, 2007 around 21:39

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