Saturday, December 20, 2014

On the tube last night

 someone gave a speech of some sort and next to the speech maker was someone interpreting in into American Sign Language which I find to be a joke as the program had the closed caption option.

I'm not here to comment on the useful or uselessness of ASL, I just thought it was a duplication of efforts when the program had an option for closed captioning.

A friend of mine with a deaf aunt once told me about some guy that got hired by a network to provide ASL-type captioning that didn't even know the language. He just got up and made everything up as he went along and got away with it for months until someone finally figured him out. I'm not surprised to hear that.

When the guy told the story to several of us, most of us said they'd never be able to keep a straight face and pull something like that off. When I pointed out what the television people were likely paying him they decided they likely COULD keep a straight face.

I think it's funny as I love a good hoax or imposter story. 

I have always been a supporter of helping the handicapped become more independent but tend to draw the line when the point of diminishing returns has been met.

For example, at a bank or ATM the various buttons are marked in Braille. That is a pretty inexpensive and practical thing to do. In enables the blind to do some of their banking without anyone else's help.

However, I think that putting Braille on the drive-up is a little bit too much. It's not too likely that someone blind is going to drive up in the family Chevy to make a deposit on payday. Detroit has not built a car that allows the blind to zip around town in yet. They may eventually but it's going to be a while so until then Braille at a drive-up is just a joke.

My IC-7200 ham rig has a sound option on it, presumably to aid the blind, however I have never used it because I prefer to simply look at the screen while I spin the dials. However, I do have a part of it turned on so as to remind me when I go out of band.

I think that before we set something up at great expense for the handicapped we ought to stop and think for a minute and ask if it is really useful or not. We also have to ask if it is fair to everyone else. 

We also have to realize that there are a few things where it is not practical to allow handicapped access. One example is visiting a submarine. No matter what you do within reason, a submarine isn't going to become wheelchair accessible.

A few years back I hauled a crippled kid through a submarine on my back. He had a great time and I look back on it as one of the few decent things I have done in my life. He was a pretty good kid and he and his mom was damned grateful.

The kid had enough sense to know that a submarine couldn't be made wheelchair accessible and wasn't resentful, though. He was smart enough to know his limitations. He also was willing to accept the fact that he was likely going to pick up a bruise or two because I do not have eyes in the back of my head. He was also warned I'd likely have to park him on top of a torpedo or bunk from time to time.

In short, he was probably going to have to pay in a few lumps for the tour. He knew it and so did his mom and as a result the two of us had a pretty good tour. I imagine he took a bump or two but he never said a word.

Still, that was an exception.

Incidentally I daresay that most handicapped people recognize their limitations and take it for what it is. I'd bet most of the ballyhoo we hear comes from social workers and the like creating a ruckus where one is not needed. Call it job security. 

There are places where a wheelchair accessible ramp can be easily installed and places where it would take millions to install a ramp. Let's be reasonable. For example, in some instances one could more easily tear down and rebuild an entire house than install wheelchair accessibility. The solution is for a handicapped person to live somewhere else.

I just wish common sense would dictate.

Still, I do have to admit that I laugh when I see Braille at the bank drive through. 

Which reminds me. I ought to get out the white cane and sunglasses I used to wear when I walked my old cat, Tokie. Then when I go to pay my Visa bill I could stick the cane out the window and wave it around as I enter the drive through. Then I could fumble with the Braille markings on the buttons a little and pull a little Inspector Clouseau act. The look on the drive through teller's face would be priceless.

With my luck, some dumbass social worker type would capture the moment on camera and use it to justify their stupidity.

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY

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