Re: Medical Disabilty/Contracting/Jobs

Subject: Re: Medical Disabilty/Contracting/Jobs
From: "Pro TechWriter" <pro -dot- techwriter -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: "Al Geist" <al -dot- geist -at- geistassociates -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 8 Jun 2007 17:23:08 -0400

Hey Al:

Knowing you, I am sure you did not intend to hurt anyone's feelings or be
insensitive at all. Most people don't understand the terminology for
blindness (or deafness either) unless they know someone who has this issue,
or unless they have been educated about it.

Having worked for the Texas Rehabilitation Commission years ago, I learned
some things that a lot of people don't know about disabilities. Well, it's
also my experience, but I'll get to that in a minute.

One misconception is that "legally blind" means "can't see at all." This is
usually not true.

Without vision correction, I am classified as legally blind, because I have
a vision range of about 6' from the end of my nose without glasses or
contacts. "Legally blind" starts at about 20/200 vision. My vision is 20/450
in one eye, and 20/475 in the other--uncorrected. With contact lense
correction, it is about 20/40 or so. I do, however, work at my computer
without my vision correction sometimes, but I sit close to the monitor :-)

Some relatives in my family have macular degeneration, a form of blindness.
They can see directly in front of them (as if in a tunnel) but do not have
any peripheral vision. They can work at a computer very well, but cannot
drive a car.

It's a matter of degree, I suppose. I think there are assistive devices that
will allow people with "low vision" to do documentation quite well, using
magnification and voice recognition technology, or even dictation that
someone else transcribes. I would think that a talented technical writer
could work around vision issues.

Anyway, I hope the explanation helps someone.


On 6/8/07, Al Geist <al -dot- geist -at- geistassociates -dot- com> wrote:
> I was just informed off-list that my response to Jodie Gilmore was
> "incredibly insensitive." It wasn't meant to be. I really wanted to
> understand how someone who is legally blind can be a technical writer, and
> I
> asked that question from ignorance. If I offended Jodie, or anyone else
> with
> a disability, I apologize. I asked the question because technical writing
> requires information gathering and for most of us, we use all of our
> senses.
> I find it both interesting and inspiring that Jodie has been able to
> overcome that and achieve success in our industry. More importantly, if we
> gain and understanding of how Jodie has been able to overcome this
> disability, then we will all be better co-workers, managers and employers.
> --
> PT
> pro -dot- techwriter -at- gmail -dot- com
> I'm a Technical Technical Writer!

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FWD: Medical Disabilty/Contracting/Jobs: From: TECHWR-L Administrator
RE: Medical Disabilty/Contracting/Jobs: From: Jodie Gilmore
RE: Medical Disabilty/Contracting/Jobs: From: Al Geist
RE: Medical Disabilty/Contracting/Jobs: From: Al Geist

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