Joe Orozco's Blog

One day I will go into the office because I want to, and not because I need to. This is the story of my journey to that point, along with all the lessons I wish I could have told my younger self to get there a little faster. Comments and guest posts are always welcomed.

A Double Tap to the Touch Screen Devil’s Head

In the battle between touch screens and tactile buttons, the touch screen is quickly becoming the reigning champion. It’s not that I can’t see the advantages of touch screens. Less moving parts means less maintenance and all that, but dammit, it used to be I only had to worry about touch screens where warming food was concerned. Slap a tactile dot here, a Braille label there, and I could conquer the basic operations of a microwave.

My Blindness Philosophy is Better than Yours

Should a blind person use their disability to take advantage of social perks?

I briefly touched on the following story elsewhere in these pages. It has bearing on the current point though, so hang in there for a moment.

Back for a Seeing Eye Dog, One Year Later

What’s it like to use a Seeing Eye dog? Think of it this way:

You close your eyes and take the elbow of a well-known person willing to guide you around tables, chairs, out the door, across the street, down the stairs and along a platform until you find the door to a train car where this traveling companion can be trusted to help you find an open seat. And your trust is absolute because between the ears of this human companion you know there is an intelligent brain capable of negotiating obstacles, anticipating danger and prioritizing safety.

The Monkey Paradigm

Have you read about the scientific experiment involving five monkeys, one ladder, a bunch of bananas, and a water spray? There are competing views on whether or not the experiment was actually ever carried out, but regardless, it makes an illustrative point and goes something like this:

Diversity in Silicon Valley Should Include Disabilities

Everyone's talking about efforts across Silicon Valley to spread diversity in the workforce. Inclusion is a great thing, but one has to wonder why disability is hardly touted as a characteristic worth recruiting.

The Biggest Challenge for the Blind

Not long after the KNFB Reader app, an OCR app, came out, someone posted to a blindness technology forum asking for tips on using the app to read restaurant menus. The post inspired a heated debate about the efficiency of using a scanning app to read menus versus reading the menu in advance or just asking for sighted assistance.

Raising the Bar on Apple Accessibility

In 2009 Apple got a pass on blindness accessibility for mobile products because that's what you do for pioneers who kick open new doors for equality. For a first attempt, they were well ahead of the curve, but no one expects a honeymoon to linger six years after the initial thrill. It's time to hold Apple to a higher standard where accessibility for blind consumers is concerned.

Leaving Verizon FIOS and Signing Up for Comcast Xfinity

One of the perks of buying my first home was learning it came wired with Verizon FIOS. Internet at the speed of light? Yep, I was a victim of their marketing ploy, and over the span of two years I'd say my experience was pleasant. There was never a service outage, and the billing, although a little higher than I would have preferred, was consistent, no surprises.

Then my contract ended.

How Much is that Trivial Costing You?

Last Friday I successfully resisted the urge to visit the Dunkin' Donuts in my office building.

I wish I could tell you it's because I've turned a new leaf on healthy eating.

Umm, have you ever had one of their biscuit sandwiches?

Okay, so maybe I am moving further along in my quest to be more financially responsible.

Seriously, their sausage, egg and cheese biscuit is no joke!

Fine fine. Perhaps I resisted the urge because I had enough food in my lunchbox to ward off fast food temptation.

Mental Rants Before the Dog

My class date at the Seeing Eye was confirmed for May 4. No, I don't plan on devoting pages and pages to my journey with the new dog, whose name shall be Rufus until we learn otherwise, but yes, I do plan on documenting at least part of the experience for the benefit of anyone later interested in learning more about what it's like to train at the Seeing Eye.

For the record, I am changing its name if I get something exceptionally fruity. If I come back and tell you its name is Dallas, you know it was for a good cause.

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