Dumb post to the Stargardts Facebook group

Tony Baechler tony at baechler.net
Tue Apr 9 10:08:39 EDT 2013

Yes, I should have clarified.  The posts I'm referring to are on blindness 
lists.  Yes, generally the education level seems to be dropping, at least in 
the US.  I see constant errors all the time in the sighted world, but 
they're a different kind of errors.  What I'm talking about are obvious 
misspellings from listening to speech and not knowing how words are formed. 
  I've also seen run-on sentences because speech doesn't usually read out 
the punctuation.  I know of a sighted person who is having eye problems and 
makes lots of little mistakes, but he still ends sentences with a period and 
doesn't make his sentences a paragraph long.  The people who don't know 
Braille don't seem to know when to use upper and lower case either. 
Nowadays, with the rise of Twitter, the language is definitely changing, but 
I can usually tell the difference.  In almost all cases, when I see a blind 
person posting to a blindness list who uses reasonably proper sentence 
structure and grammar, it's because they've learned Braille.

I always proofread everything before I post, so hopefully my posts are 
reasonably free of errors.  Most people don't.  It's amazing how many 
mistakes you can catch with 30 seconds of proofreading.  The problem with 
people who don't know Braille is that they can't visualize in their minds 
what a sentence should look like since speech reads out everything in one 
long stream of words.  They don't read the period at the end of the 
sentence.  Even if they check spelling, they still can't seem to use proper 
punctuation.  I agree with Jason that often it's too bad for them because 
employers do pay attention to such things.  People often complain about the 
high unemployment rate of the blind, but literacy has a lot to do with it. 
I would argue that the illiteracy rate and unemployment rate are related.

On 4/9/2013 4:27 AM, Albert Sten-Clanton wrote:
> Tony, I agree with you on the value of braille.  I use it when I can,
> although I'm not as averse to audio as my wife is.
> Given e-mails and Live Journal entries I've seen from sighted people,
> including well-educated coworkers from the days I had a job, I'd be cautious
> about assuming that misspellings on a list mean a blind author.  My own
> experience suggests that the risk is higher, but it's very far from a clear
> line.

More information about the Speakup mailing list