By Jeff Thompson
Writing and posting tidbits and sound-bites of my interests and experiences through social networking is what I found fills some kind of part of me with a gratification that I never thought I would really experience. I mean, it’s Twitter, right? And, it has become a window to a part of me that wants to be a part of something. Something that seems to be a wave of experiences drifting about an ocean of tweets, tweeters, and yes, some twits. LOL.
When I found the accessible program, The Cube, I found a quick and easy way to read, compose and view tweets on my PC. I hope that Apple users will be able to use something as well thought out as the program I use to do most of my tweeting. Sure, Twitter on the iPhone is pretty dang good and if dictation keeps progressing the way it has been well, who knows maybe we all will be fully mobile social networking fanatics. I mean that in the most positive way. Sure, it is surely nice to find something that works well for what you want to do and that is what accessible software and programs do.
They enhance and give opportunity to those who would not necessarily be offered the same opportunities as those who may not need accessibility features such as a Screen Reader, VoiceOver from Apple, or Magnification. I never found computers to be a necessary tool in life until 1998 came and went leaving me with central blindness due to a disease called Angioid Streaks. With a screen reader and some training I was soon able to explore libraries, newspapers, information nearly at my fingertips. Sure, back then books on tape were the bomb and Braille books were being discovered through my newly acquired 43 words per minute reading ability. Yes, 43 words, and I was proud of it. Today, those same books are a click away, a downloadable digital book coming into use within minutes.
And now comes Twitter. A vast horizon filled arena where 140 characters can concisely express a moments notice, a day’s agenda, and a happening thing from anywhere in this world. Do I really know my followers like I mean, really know them? Heck no. But, I do know their generalities and area of concern thus what we have in common may just be enough and the noise of my screen reader blabbing away sometimes has bits and pieces of interesting tidbits that make me listen and read on further if I so desire. The Twitterverse is a cluster of stars that you can travel at broadband speed through and grasp the shooting stars that catch your interests. Seems like light-years have zoomed through this technical world of accessible gadgets, gizmos and computers and yet like anybody waiting for their first iPhone, iPad, or Screen Reader, tomorrow just may have that one door opening accessible tool that opens the entire galaxy of stars to observers itching to get a glimpse. I want a peek of tomorrow, today.
I especially want to thank all of those of you out there working on accessibility and fighting on the front lines for equal access. Mostly you speak way over my head with the lingo but I owe you geeks and advocates a huge amount of thanks. And, some thanks in advance for what you are working on right now.
You can find Jeff Thompson on Twitter @KnownAsJeff