The following article is a modified version of a letter I wrote to someone in response to a recent unfortunate incident involving the demands we sometimes receive from others with respect to providing assistance. Though we all wish we could, we are just not able to do everything right now, on demand in exactly the time frames wanted by others in the blind community. I would be interested in any comments from the readership.
We have day jobs, family obligations and many other items on our plates that constrain our abilities to help everyone in the blind community
as much as we might like. Though we are certainly willing to do our best to help everyone who asks, we are not obligated. All our efforts in the blind community are voluntary. We are not paid to do accessibility advocacy, broadcast on ACB Radio, run our blogs and podcasts or provide anyone with technical support assistance. In fact, our volunteer participation in the blind community is a money loser for us. Audio production equipment, computers, Internet connectivity, software, web hosting and all the other things that go into our volunteer work cost money that is almost never recovered. Even more importantly, our volunteer efforts cost time we could otherwise be spending with our families or in paid consulting work. Though we are willing to help if we can, it is inappropriate and rude for anyone to demand that we do so in any particular case. Further, we are not the only resources at your disposal. Please feel free to subscribe to BlindTech and other relevant mailing lists to ask your questions in a more appropriate tone that will encourage your blind brothers and sisters to help you.