[AI] Fw: [SayEverything] Products for the Blind are too Expensive

Namita Agarwal namitaagarwal14 at gmail.com
Fri Jun 4 03:54:22 EDT 2010


so true  maybe installment payments can reduce the pinch of the expenditure.
regards namita.


On 6/4/10, Gaurav sharma <gauravsharmamnd at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi friend, u r saying right i m agree with u. With regards gaurav.
>
> On 6/3/10, m.chandrashekar <chandru342 at gmail.com> wrote:
>>
>> ----- Original Message -----
>> From: Trepan Singh
>> To: sayeverything at yahoogroups.co.in ; blindcity at yahoogroups.co.in
>> Sent: Wednesday, June 02, 2010 9:19 AM
>> Subject: [SayEverything] Products for the Blind are too Expensive
>>
>>
>>
>> Products for the Blind are too Expensive
>>
>> Most of us who are blind want to live our own lives. Part of that
>>
>> process is to manage our own homes, take care of ourselves, and do all
>>
>> that is necessary to be as independent as the sighted. The problem
>>
>> that we face is twofold. First of all, many of us who want to be
>>
>> independent have difficulty finding jobs because of our blindness,
>>
>> meaning that we have to remain on a fixed income. As a result of this
>>
>> fixed income, many of us can't afford to be as independent as we'd
>>
>> like to be, because it costs a lot of money to adapt our lives.
>>
>> If you compare products that sighted people use with those adapted
>>
>> for a blind person, you will find that, in almost every case, the
>>
>> blind person's item costs a lot more than a comparable item for the
>>
>> sighted. You might say, "Well, you have to think of the adaptations."
>>
>> I look at this issue in terms of what goes into a product. Take your
>>
>> average calculator, as an example. I'm sure that a lot goes into a
>>
>> calculator that does scientific
>>
>> notation, square roots, exponents, etc., yet a sighted person is able
>>
>> to buy such a calculator for $5. A talking calculator with fewer
>>
>> features than the one I just described would cost a blind person $15.
>>
>> Let's put this into perspective. If you replace software that
>>
>> generates scientific notation and square roots with software that
>>
>> talks, are you increasing the total value of the calculator by ten
>>
>> dollars? It would seem to me that the original software that does all
>>
>> those calculations would cost more than the software which makes a
>>
>> calculator talk. Yet the blind have to spend more money on a
>>
>> calculator which does less than what a sighted person spends on a
>>
>> calculator that does more.
>>
>> Then we have the Braille watch. When you make a Braille watch, all
>>
>> you are really doing is taking the cover off of a regular watch,
>>
>> putting dots on the dial, inserting a pointer, and replacing the cover
>>
>> with one that has a hinge so we can open the watch. I can understand
>>
>> why a Braille watch would cost more than a regular one, but four times
>>
>> more?
>>
>> Let's talk about the talking measuring tape. After all, in order for
>>
>> a blind person to be independent, he may want to measure things in his
>>
>> apartment like everyone else. A sighted person can go to a local
>>
>> discount store and buy a measuring tape for two dollars. Well, I
>>
>> bought a talking measuring tape because I felt it was necessary. It is
>>
>> slightly larger, and looks like a transistor radio. It talks, and
>>
>> converts from the American system to the Metric system. I spent a
>>
>> total of $84 for this device. Now, let's prove the point further by
>>
>> comparing the talking measuring tape to a sighted person's calculator.
>>
>> Do you mean to tell me that the software which makes a measuring tape
>>
>> talk is more complex than the software which makes a sighted person's
>>
>> calculator do scientific notation and square roots? I sincerely doubt
>>
>> it.
>>
>> Allow me to give a more ridiculous example. The average old fashioned
>>
>> Braille machine has no software in it. It's a mechanical device with
>>
>> gears inside, similar to those of a regular typewriter. I am assuming
>>
>> that an old fashioned manual typewriter has more complex machinery
>>
>> than the average Braille machine, for obvious reasons. If manual
>>
>> typewriters were still on the market, how much do you think they would
>>
>> cost? I guess they would be no more than $100. Yet, this relatively
>>
>> simple Braille machine is currently valued at over seven hundred
>>
>> dollars. How did someone reach the conclusion that a brailler needs to
>>
>> be valued this high? What exactly is in that brailler to justify its
>>
>> cost, especially when you compare it to comparable items for the
>>
>> sighted with more features?
>>
>> Last, but certainly not least, allow me to be even more ridiculous
>>
>> when I talk about computer software. There is a product on the market
>>
>> called Dragon Naturally Speaking, which types what you say into a
>>
>> microphone. Dragon Naturally Speaking is common. It is advertised all
>>
>> the time, and it is used by anyone. Jaws, which is a speech software
>>
>> that allows a blind person to hear what's on the computer screen, is
>>
>> similar to Dragon Naturally Speaking, if you think about it. One
>>
>> program sees what is written, while
>>
>> the other program hears what's being said. I am taking an educated
>>
>> guess that you can buy Dragon for under a hundred dollars, but yet a
>>
>> blind person has to spend eleven hundred dollars to adapt his computer
>>
>> with Jaws. I don't think that Jaws is eleven times more complicated
>>
>> than Dragon, do you?
>>
>> The problem here is supply and demand, and as a former student of
>>
>> economics, I fully understand the concept. However, if a company that
>>
>> sells adaptive products for the blind really thinks about its target
>>
>> market, it needs to understand that many people in the blind
>>
>> population can't afford these prices, and perhaps if the companies
>>
>> lower their prices, they will gain more customers. How do these
>>
>> companies, as well as agencies who provide services to the blind,
>>
>> expect the blind to pay these high prices in order to lead independent
>>
>> lives? If I have to buy new speech software today, but can't afford
>>
>> it, do I have to go without a computer? In my case, I would have to
>>
>> shut down my business. Is this fair?
>>
>> I don't know how we can solve the issue of products for the blind
>>
>> costing more than those for the sighted, but I am hoping that
>>
>> companies and agencies realize that it makes life a lot more difficult
>>
>> for us, especially when most of us are not in the work force. If these
>>
>> products are more affordable, we can buy them a lot easier and use
>>
>> them to help us get a job and make more money. Doesn't that help the
>>
>> economy?
>>
>> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
>>
>>
>>
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