[nfbmi-talk] DO YOURSELF A FAVOR!!!

Fred Wurtzel f.wurtzel at comcast.net
Tue Aug 25 14:55:59 CDT 2009

Hi Fred,

By the way did anyone tell you what a great name you have (smile)

I whole-heartedly agree.  Certainly if we are quiet, nothing will happen and
our history shows that, together, we have made vast improvements for blind
people.  I also have an LG Verizon phone.  I will call them after I press
the send button for this email.

Your piece here is very well written.  Your book-writing is showing.  Good

Warmest Regards,


-----Original Message-----
From: nfbmi-talk-bounces at nfbnet.org [mailto:nfbmi-talk-bounces at nfbnet.org]
On Behalf Of fred olver
Sent: Monday, August 24, 2009 5:30 PM
To: Fred Olver; Blindad at babel-fish.us; NFB of Missouri Mailing List;
nfbmi-talk at nfbnet.org; NFB Chapter Presidents discussion list; John Glass
Cc: msb-alumni at googlegroups.com; Happy Ruth
Subject: [nfbmi-talk] DO YOURSELF A FAVOR!!!

When I was 12, I won a set of encyclopedias for asking a question, of course
they were in print. 

When I was in college I had to endure the readings of older women on boring
subjects on reels of tape which I could speed up to twice the original
recorded speed and still absorb the information. 

By the time I was 31, I was working for one of the first companies to
develop talking software, and if you didn't mind the electronic voice of the
Echo II synthesizer, you could actually create and make use of printed

By the time I was 41, Windows was a reality, and although I didn't care much
for the idea, I eventually made the switch. By the time I was 51, portable
terminals with either speech output or Braille output were a reality and
although the operating systems were different than my desktop or laptop
computer, there was access of portable devices which I carried to meetings
and and appointments. 

Now I am 56, and in my mind there is no plausable excuse for inaccessability
of just about anything you'd care to name. There are $1,500.00 camera phones
which will read to you menus in restaurants or newspapers, there are
$1,000.00 speech programs which will open up the internet and many other
software programs for our use, yet, TV stations can't seem or rather,
producers of infomercials can't seem, to vocalize a phone number at the end
of infomercials and one phone producer can't seem to go beyond the first
level of most of their menus on their phones in order to make them
accessible for blind folks when making use of speech, or should I say unless
they want to, say in their contacts area. 

News-letters by a satellite radio provider have links with random letters
and numbers rather than text-links and although one, that's right, one,
might complain it doesn't seem to make a difference, so I was wondering,
what if ten, or 50 or 100 people went up to some of these sites, or called
their 800 numbers and complained what their reaction would be? So, I'm going
to give each of you that opportunity, to make a difference, or to send a
message of need, to providers of services or items which we might use better
if we had access.

LG phones are most prevelant in the market, my last three phones which I
have purchased each had the capability of speaking the first level of menus.
I called them last week to ask them why their phones were not accessible,
say to set the alarm, or to do other things beyond reading a phone number or
tell me the name of a menu, only to tap the OK key and have the menu beep at
me when I tried to move up or down through it. 

LG Electronics MobileComm U.S.A, Inc. Corporate Headquarters
10101 Old Grove Road 
San Diego, CA 92131 
Contact by Telephone Toll Free: 1 (800) 793-8896

This is their customer service number, however they are supposed to get back
in touch with you in 24-48 hours.

Do you have an XM or SIRIUS receiver, do you subscribe to their
news-letters? Can you read the links? I can't, and so I'm giving you another
chance if you are a SIRIUS listener/user to make a difference. If we remain
complacent we will get no where. I have made it my goal, each time I get a
news-letter from them where the links are not readable to call them and ask
why or let them know that they need to consider making these links
accessible and you can too. 

Here is the contact information for SIRIUS.

1221 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10020
SIRIUS Customer Care: 1-888-539-SIRIUS 

Do you watch infomercials, well I do, and some of them sound like fun.
Sometimes I do searches on the internet, and yesterday I called the hotel
where a seminar was to be held as well as the TV station where the
information was coming from. This morning the TV station called me back and
gave me the number I wanted and I called them to make my reservation, but
what if it's a cable channel and there is no place to be called, what then?
We can only hope, but if we do nothing, make no attempt to stem the tide of
video placement and no audio then nothing will change. So I urge you, if
there is an infomercial on a local channel call the TV station at that
moment or the next day to get the information you want, then if the company
who is doing the infomercial has a website, go to it and to to the "contact
us" link and send them a note or call them on the phone. IF we do nothing we
are doomed to fail. If we do something and enough of us do the very same
thing we might just succeed.

It doesn't matter whether you are in the NFB, the ACB or the BVA, or the A S
P C A, the fact is doing these things can make a difference for everyone,
besides, it only takes five minutes to make a phone call.

Fred Olver  goodfolks at charter.net

P.S., the more people we get to do this, the more of a chance it will get
done so pass it on, to your affiliate, to your chapter members, to your
friends and why not your relatives. If we do not raise the awareness of
those around us we have no one to blame for what we don't have access to.
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