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Karen’s Response to Podsafe for Peace Controversy

December 13, 2005 • Darrell Shandrow Hilliker

It appears that Karen’s excellent message below won’t see the light of day now, but I’m just glad the Podsafe for Peace topic has now been killed, hopefully once and for all, over on the blindcasting list. Thanks, Karen, for coming to my defense. Nobody is perfect. That certainly includes me. All the same, I also know what is right and will continue pressing forward.

To all Blindcast Members;

Most of you do not know who I am. I am Darrell Shandrow’s Fiancé & the silent partner on the blind Access journal. Occasionally, I can be heard on a
podcast. Some of you know who I am from other blind mailing lists or may have read articles I have posted on the blog.

Yet, the majority of you do not know me at all. This message is for all blindcasters and for anyone else sighted or not who reads this. WE all know,
even if people are not subscribed to a list, a podcast, there are times that messages & alike will eventually bee seen in one format or another by billions
of people around the world. Even if, a person may intend to send a private message to one individual or a few people & then, soon, discover, that his/her
message was posted elsewhere for all to see!

This was exactly the case with a message that Darrell had written Saturday night to Slah. He did not write to the blind casters list or anyone else’s
list or display it on his blog. He wrote a personal e-mail to Jerry himself.

Then, On Sunday, Jerry, decided to post Darrell’s response to him on the blind cast list. So, there is nothing that will remain private if it is written
to a public mailing list. The only way it will remain private, if it is a dialogue between friends or between individuals whom respect & support another!

However, if anyone whom happens to disagree with you, not accept your beliefs, differences, whom does not understand another’s experiences, attitudes or
support another’s approach, style of discussing & approaching a subject, then, one can find his or her messages & name plastered allover the internet as
well as judging their character simply because he/she does not like someone or what they have read about a person or a subject. This is not right! Anything
that is discussed in private should remain private, unless the person has permission to post it publically.

WE need to respect each other & one another’s ideas, opinions & method of approaching life
Furthermore, We are all human & noone, none of us is perfect. WE all have flaws, good & bad qualities. We all base our opinions & beliefs based on
our life experiences. None of us perceives the world in the same way. We need to understand another’s perspective without immediately being critical
& patronizing another.

Moreover, I know, you are asking what does any of this have to do with anything or the PMN issues ? Everything! It does not matter what the issue is,
we all need to listen & try & understand a fellow member, anyone who we come in contact with .
Not only, have many of you judge Darrell for what he believes & some of the things he has said regarding the PMN issue, but, I am sure, many of
you will criticize me, for what I believe & just for the fact that I am associated with Darrell. I know this & am ready for all the critical & judgmental
comments you will send in my direction.

Yet, is this productive? What will we all gain from judging another, someone we really do not know? It is counterproductive to sit & judge another!
If we all utilized resources & we were united on many of these issues of accessibility * & other blindness issues* then, a great deal more would
be accomplished, much more would be achieved. I believe, we would have gain more access to print & other products that are still inaccessible to those
of us whom are blind.

In addition, the sighted public would also be more aware of the obstacles we face on a daily basis & what it truly is like to be blind. Too many
people are caught up in their own corner of the world, too concerned about themselves, their problems & do not give a second thought about those outside
their circle! We are all guilty of this, including myself!

We all need to LEAD, lead the way, to do what we can to improve the world around us. We all need to make some kind of difference & contribute to society.
We all need to LEAD! I am not just talking about leading, being a leader. This is an acronym that we use at my place of work, in the Hospitality
industry & can certainly be applied here!

LEAD;: Look, & Listen* E for
Evaluate explore options* A , ACT, Accommodate*Delight Deliver!
First, we all need to look, pay attention & observe our environment. We need to also listen, not just with our ears but with our hearts. If, we can
take the time to look & listen, to another, to find one positive trait or two about another person, then we will be much more likely to be supportive
of that person.

Next, we need to evaluate the situation. We also need to evaluate ourselves, are we doing our best, our we being true to ourselves, respectful
of others, doing anything & everything to make a difference? Our we doing all that we can to change, improve our world, not just for ourselves &
those close to us, but for all?

WE need to explore, take chances, take risks & do what is right. If you see that nothing is being done about an issue for example, then, speak out
do what you can to help!

Third, Act & accommodate. Take action, get involved , be proactive. We cannot do this alone, it takes each & everyone of us to truly “ change what it
means to be blind”
If you recognize there are things that are hindering us, limiting us & from participating equally to the sighted, don’t sit back & turn a blind
eye! Do not assume that someone else will do the job, because, that person or group of individuals,, is waiting for you, others to take the responsibility
to make the changes. One needs to realize that, most people are followers & not a leader! Most conform!

The issues we have as blind people are not just lack of access to information but the inability to be involved, to participate on an equal level
with the sighted. The fact that we are blind should not affect our quality of life! This is a global issue & one needs to look at the world macroscopically.

Furthermore, issues such as PMN being inaccessible isn’t just a technical & financial issue , but like everything, it is a social one.!
AS a minority most of these issues of access are also social problems!
Yes, they are Social problems! If, we do not have access to printed information & all products that are designed for the sighted , then, this
affects us, the blind, profoundly! We do not have access to print, we cannot intelligently make decisions & be aware of current Events. Also,
it effects our daily life if products are not user friendly for the blind & we have to “ depend” & “ wait for a sighted person” to get assistance”.
Why, should we accept this?
These, are just some of the issues that Darrell is concerned about.
Just because, something may not effect another directly, we as a blind community, still need to be concerned on how these issues effect us as
a whole.

I think, most of you do not understand Darrell & is concerns. Most of you donot agree with his approach. Even I , do not always agree with the
way in which he does things. However I fully support him & what he is attempting to achieve!
As they say, appearances can & are often deceiving.
Most of you do not even realize that Darrell was all excited about this project , all for it! He loved the song & couldn’t wait to download it! He even
wanted to play it on his podcast.

So, if you are all upset because, you think Darrell is heartless & doesn’t care about anyone else except himself, then, you are way off base.! He
truly cares about the blind & very passionate about making a significant difference in the blind community.
Yet, he cannot do this alone! He has spend countless ours outside of his work, doing anything &e everything he can to enable us the blind, to have
access to web sites, to improve the screen readers, to PMN & alike!
Never the less, many, in the blind community, have criticized his methods & efforts to make this world abettor place for us all.
So, instead of being critical of him or anyone else, stop, get your facts straight first!
Darrell was very supportive of this project, until Jerry asked Jeff bishop to remove the link on his web site that made it possible for us, as blind
people to also gain access to the song!
Jeff put a great deal of time & effort on his day off to make it possible for us all to have the access to this song. He made it possible for us to
be involved & to participate in the Podsafe for Peace project.
Then, when, we no longer had access & were left behind, locked out, then, Darrell was upset & had no interest in the project. He was also upset
at Jerry because he did not do what was needed to make sure that we had access, equal access to the music!

For those of you, who believe, that, the PMN issues are not significant nor that it is not “ your problem”? It is, anything that limits us,
that diminishes the quality of our lives, just because we are blind, because, we lack the ability to use our eyes, is something that we all need to
be involved in. It is all our problems, not just your neighbors!
So, instead of spending time assuming that someone does not care or has a bad attitude, or that someone else will take responsibility, think, act,
and be a LEADER!

Last, before you send another message or have another conversation with anyone, keep in mind, that someone may take it, post it somewhere for all
to hear. Someone, may twist your words, , be critical you & not know anything about you!
For those of you, who do not subscribe to Darrell’s podcast or view his blog, yet, judge him, think twice! You may want to subscribe & look & listen!
Perhaps, then, you will understand, another fellow human being & their method of madness! Darrell is a LEADER & takes risks! He is doing what he
can & is making a difference in the community. Are you? Let’s all LEAD the way, for if we do, we can truly make a difference. Someone said,
one must sit down to failure before one can dine on success” “ & “ if you say, you can’t , you won’t!
This is just food for thought as you all enjoy your Holiday.

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