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Bruce, Caroline

The Truth About Blindtech

Several years ago, a mailing list to discuss technology from a blindness perspective was formed, called Blindtech. Since it got started, the list changed ownership several times, but was always in the hands of moderators who did their best to be fair and unbiased. In September of 2006, the list was passed along to me, but after running it for seven months or so, I decided that I just had too much on my hands to continue running the list. I passed the list on to the person I felt was best suited to run the list.

Since that time, I sincerely believe that the unbiasedness of the Blindtech list has come under severe fire. There is one poster in particular, whom I shall not name, who believes himself to be one of the elite in terms of technical skills and abalities. This gentleman has become a moderator favorite. Though he often speaks on subjects about which he knows little or nothing, has been known many times to give incorrect or misleading advice, he writes with such an air of authority that newer users of adaptive technology tend to take his word as gospel. If Mr. X says it, it must be true.

The moderators, as I have said, have really taken a liking to this person. Though he is embroiled in the middle of about 90% of the arguments that take place on that list, though he is the common denominator in most on-list disputes and disagreements, though his my-way-orit's-the-wrong-way authoritative writing style have irritated many, the moderators consistently choose to side with him and vilify those who would dare question his rightness on all matters related to computers.

This is, I fear, all too common. Just under a year ago, a list member very viciously slandered another list member on-list. The moderators, at the time, chose to come down hard on anyone who dared to defend the slandered list member, insisting that we forgive the slanderer. Because of public outcry on the list, the slanderer was forced to offer an apology which was clearly not sincere. See, said the moderators, everything's fine now.

This sad state of overwhelmingly obvious favoritism and coddling on the parts of the moderators has led me to feel something I thought I'd never feel: grievously sad that I gave up the Blindtech list. I feel I have let the founder of the list, a friend of mine, down. Of course, no one will speak out because they do not wish to deal with the backlash from the moderators, but I felt and feel the truth must be told.

the last time I wrote an opinion piece about strange goings on in the so-called blindness community, my LJ post was posted to the Blindtech list by people claiming to have uncovered it. Well, let me assure you that you have uncovered nothing - that's what public post means.
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