Friday, September 9, 2011

Pay It Back

One thing I like about living in the United States is the attitude that paying back to your community or any community is a good thing.

Volunteering for work which benefits society is not considered something strange. For myself I like to help tutor students. It is fun and a wonderful way to use the knowledge which I gained while gaining my degree. While at Community College I took a course in tutoring and the various methods of helping students learn. At the time I used the cash which I earned to pay for my studies and offset the cost of textbooks.

Having graduated I missed the interaction with students and so went back to tutor voluntarily at my alma mater and also to help adult Spanish speakers to improve their English language skills at my local library.

From my experience of going blind I have seen my self esteem suffer at times. It is easy to let ones disability become ones sole preoccupation. One says how one cannot do something because I am blind.

The truth is doing something for and with others does you good.
It need not be something like tutoring, you may have skills in any area. Joining in is the main thing and if it is something which pays back to society in general that is no bad thing.

Consider what you can do for others and pay it back, with a good heart, show people that the disabled can do something that sets an example to others.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Intel Reader

Well, I have just put in an order for an Intel Reader. Given that it is Labor Day and such I don't really expect the clock to start ticking as to dispatch and delivery. The company promise an approximate 2 day dispatch so we'll be looking at Thursday, for that.

I also opted for UPS ground delivery, at over $50 for two day and $190 for overnight, I reckon I waited a few months for this item I can wait a week or so for ground delivery.

If I had been in more of a hurry then the additional cost may have been reasonable.

I also ordered an additional battery for the reader and the reader station to enable capturing of larger volumes of documents. 

Still with all the additional items the reader is coming in at just a shade under $1,400.

Saving me about $100 on most of the competition.

I will keep you updated as to the customer service of the supplier and also my learning experience and feelings about the reader itself when it arrives.
Obviously at the moment I am not a little nervous as to the cost and whether this reader can live up to expectations. My hopes are very high but I have made mistakes in the past too.

I have no connection with the manufacturers of the Intel Reader nor the supplying company. This is not a paid review, nor am I receiving any product in exchange foor a review.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

What is it with sighted people?

I don't know what it is. Whether they think they are being comforting or something. But at times sighted people seem to jump with both feet in their mouths and sound condescending and simplistic.

Today as I was leaving church, someone came up to me and started talking about things in general, asked me how things were going. Then put both feet in their mouth.
"I am sure if you pray, God will give you back your sight in heaven."

What! If I pray hard enough God will reward me in Heaven. Do they think, I do not pray enough, has God singled me out for some grievous sin that needs to be punished with blindness. Yes I am sure God has better things to do than punish me so much because He really does love me.

It so angers me that people can be so thoughtless. Plus having sat for an hour listening to a sermon which preached God's love for everyone and how He cares for everyone. Should we add a codecil saying God loves everyone, except the person in that wheelchair, the blind guy three rows back. Oh yes let's make sure we shout so the deaf bass guitarist can hear he is excluded too.

I am perfectly willing to accept that God might have sent me a challenge of blindness in order to make me stronger. You know I can live with that. But to say that God singles out people for punishment because they don't pray often enough or that they need to think of reward in heaven is to my mind ridiculous.

It is un-Christian to make such claims and to be honest I feel it insults my intelligence.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Intel Reader Assistive Technology for Dyslexia, Low Vision and Blindness

A week or so ago, I was suffering insomnia and was up at four am and turned on CNN.

I was interested to see a nice looking gadget, developed by a Dyslexic Law Graduate. I was impressed by the look and function of the machine.

Basically a portable computer, looking about the same size as a first generation Kindle Reader. You photograph any text with a built in camera, the computer then generates a speech file which it uses to read that text.

The real bonus for me looks like it comes in at less than $1,000 for the basic unit. That is around $500 less than the competition, many of which are not portable, but tied to a desktop computer. Many of the items such as stands for copying large amounts of text such as in books are available for additional charges and so it is expandable to quite a large system, which will make it comparable in cost to those other computer/desk top systems in cost and function.

An interesting feature for me was that it can save speech files to MP3 files so it will store textbooks or any kind of book to an iPod, or MP3 player for easy listening later.

I am seriously looking at purchasing the product. As I am about to embark on a Masters degree, so I can see it getting a lot of use.

I do not currently own this product, nor do I endorse it. I have not received payment nor do I have any connection to the product manufacturer or its supplier linked here.

I will write a fuller review of the product after I have purchased it. This post is for information and is not an endorsement of the product nor the supplier company.

Intel Reader Assistive Technology for Dyslexia, Low Vision and Blindness