The contents of this column reflect the letters we had received by the time we went to press, Aug. 15, 2006. Letters are limited to 300 words or fewer. All submissions must include the author's name and location. Opinions expressed are those of the authors.
Thanks for Article on Volunteers!
What a great article on recruitment and retention of volunteers by Ed and Toni Eames in the July-August issue of "The Braille Forum." They really hit the mark, and I totally agree with their approaches and strategies. It was a wonderful "how-to" piece and ought to be taught to all blind folks who use (and often abuse) volunteers. In fact, I think it ought to be part of the adjustment training given to all newly blind persons by state rehab agencies.
I also think that ACB ought to consider holding a special workshop on this very important subject at its convention next year. Perhaps Toni and Ed would be willing to lead it.
I often read comments and questions on this subject from readers in other braille magazines, clearly indicating that many blind people don't know how to effectively deal with the business of recruiting, selecting, training and retaining volunteers. When things don't work out the way they thought, they blame the volunteers instead of re-examining what they did or didn't do.
Being blind all of my life, I have consistently relied on sighted volunteers (and admit to having made many mistakes along the way). And just because one may have sighted members in their family, as I do, does not mean that we have got it knocked. Even family members need and deserve consideration, recognition and a break from us from time to time.
Again, congrats to Toni and Ed for a fine article.
Regarding Talking VCRs
I am writing about a letter that has appeared in other blindness magazines about the talking VCR. Zenith tried selling them to the general public but there wasn't enough demand for them. I also heard it advertised on the radio several months after I got mine. The reality is that the VCR is becoming the dinosaur of entertainment equipment. I think it would be best for us to demand that DVRs, TiVo and on-demand programming be made blind- user friendly.
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