About Us

This blog is about how the world is viewed by the visual and the visually impaired. The intent of this blog is to bring the two worlds together. It is administered by two fabulous sisters, Toni, who is sighted and Robin, who became visually impaired in 2002 at the age of 18 due to misdiagnosis.

Friday, April 17, 2009


The other day Robin was working on a project for one of her classes. She had done the preliminary work in excel because her screen reader would not read the SPSS program (predictive analytical software). I was amazed at how she maneuvered through the program with ease. I am a financial analyst and use excel daily. Thinking that since I was proficient in excel I could maneuver through excel like Robin. I closed my eyes and tried to use excel using the screen reader; I became frustrated immediately. I don’t know how she does it. Since her screen reader could not read the SPSS program, I told her I would help her. After a few moments of trying to understand the program, Robin became frustrated with me and told me never mind. She said it was too difficult to explain to me and that she would ask the blind tech guy at her schools’ disabilities office. First I was taken back a little by Robin saying it was too difficult to explain to me…like I’m an idiot LOL! I later laid my pride aside and thought how amazing it is that although someone is blind they can still maneuver through complex computer programs. Since Robin became blind I have learned a lot about being visually impaired and have realized there are a lot of misconceptions. With the experience of Robin and her computer program I wondered if some of the misconceptions hinder the visually impaired with employment. For instance Robin fully understood her task and could complete it on her own; however, the program required was unreadable by the screen reader so she could not complete it until she had the disabilities’ office fix it. Would it be perceived that she was incompetent because she didn’t have the tools to complete the task? Do companies invest in aides for the visually impaired in order for them to fully utilize their skills; or are the visually impaired looked over for certain jobs because it’s assumed that they are incapable? What happens to those who do not have access to the tools needed to fully function in a job, in school or just in daily life?

1 comment:

  1. What a great post. As a screen reader user myself, I can tell you that trying to explain things to non-screen readers users can be difficult. And yes, I think that often the blind are overlooked for jobs because employers don't understand how we'll use their software, or they figure our assistive technology won't work with their company software. I am unemployed myself, and I am sure that I've left interviews where I've clearly explained how I get around challenges, and the employer still doesn't understand.