Dumb post to the Stargardts Facebook group

Don Raikes don.raikes at oracle.com
Tue Apr 9 12:07:58 EDT 2013

Hi again,

Actually my wife is a proofreader/editor by training, and she sees sites all over the internet and many printed materials that have the same issues with being poorly written.  

We attribute this not to the lack of sight or not having English as a primary language, but more the breakdown in the school systems and the lack of teaching of proper grammer and punctuation.  Also it seems like even those publications that have an "editor" don't have one who knows what he is doing, so the simplest mistakes get through to the printed page or website.

-----Original Message-----
From: Jason White [mailto:jason at jasonjgw.net] 
Sent: Tuesday, April 09, 2013 2:45 AM
To: speakup at braille.uwo.ca
Subject: Re: Dumb post to the Stargardts Facebook group

Tony Baechler  <speakup at linux-speakup.org> wrote:
>very disappointing to me how many people don't know Braille and rely 
>entirely on speech.  I don't read Braille regularly and prefer audio 
>when possible, but knowing how to read Braille helps me to form proper 
>sentences and helped me to learn to spell when in school.  I've always 
>been good at spelling.  I am sorry to say this, but I can often tell 
>when a blind person posts to various lists because they can't spell and 
>don't know how to use punctuation.  What's so disappointing to me is 
>that they don't know how badly they look to the sighted world and it's 
>usually too late to do much about it.  In other words, they either can't or don't want to learn Braille.

The Speakup list, along with several other Linux-related lists, is an exception to the above, perhaps because using Linux proficiently requires a certain level of literacy. On several other lists, however, I have noticed precisely the phenomenon that you describe, and it is not attributable to the posters' being non-native speakers of English, as many of them evidently have English as a first language. What worries me most is that the people to whom it looks terrible may include prospective employers. (Searching for posts written by job applicants, whether justified or not, is becoming an increasingly common practice. Even in the absence of active searching, employers want evidence of a potential employee's literacy skills; anyone who falls short in this respect will find his or her opportunities somewhat

Linux-related work certainly offers accessible and potentially rewarding career paths. It's encouraging to learn via this list that there are at least some efforts to educate people who are blind in this area of computing, for which purposes Speakup is a valuable tool (recall recent certification-related discussions for example). Competent administration requires access to the system from the boot phase onward, and Speakup, like BRLTTY, is an important component in addressing this need.

For the record, I use braille extensively, mostly nowadays via a refreshable display rather than in paper form. I am sure that writing and editing my Ph.D.
thesis in braille contributed greatly to the typographical accuracy of the final text, which I carefully proofread before submission. The examiners only found a handful of errors, and the lack of typographical mistakes was remarked upon in one of their reports.

With apologies to Kirk et al., for continuing an off-topic thread...

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