Time Warner ignores blind customers

Here is something I feel that all blind individuals should be aware of if you are either with Time Warner Cable or thinking of switching to them.

Now TWC has an app that is pretty much accessible except for one part and that would be the guide! Since September 23, 2015 this feature has stopped working.

Now my boyfriend and I are both blind and first contacted TWC about this problem then and they said they would look into it. We even provided them with an audio file of what the issue was so they could see it.

Guess what happened?

Absolutely nothing that’s what! It’s now May 9, 2016 and we are still fighting with this same problem. Every update that TWC releases I go in and check to see if maybe they fixed the guide with no luck.

Every time this situation is brought to their attention they want to know what errors come up and what we were doing when the error occurred.

How many times must we try nd explain that it’s not an error that it is a feature that speech does not read any longer.

On a recent call from TWC we were told that their engineer of developing said that voiceover for IPhones hasn’t worked since the IOS 9.0.1 version.

Now you may think this is just an IPhone issue, but as of today since I had to switch to android for a while the TWCTV app guide portion is just like the IPhone. The guide feature does not work at all. I am still waiting to hear from TWC to see what they say about why it doesn’t work on the android, but from my experience with them regarding the IPhone things don’t look good.

Does Time Warner Cable care at all about their blind customers? There are so many of us complaining about this no longer working, but they still refuse to listen or work with blind customers to fix the problem. I could understand not being able to figure it out if the guide feature never worked and them being stumped, but TWC had it working before September 23, 2015 so why not try backtracking to see what is missing in the code or something?

Is a guide dog still right for you?

Warning, this will be a long post.

Recently a person wrote a blog entry stating why having a guide dog is a terrible idea
and caused quite a stir.

Having a guide dog is not for everyone, but unless the person is a totally idiot to animals I will never tell them that having a dog is a terrible idea. Just for the record there is only *one* person that I would tell that they just aren’t right for a dog and that’s only cause they have some serious growing up to do and I’ve seen how they treated previous dogs, but anyways.

just like choosing a school to get your dog from, the choice of getting one is an individual thing. you should never ever base it on what others say, think or feel. It’s not up to them! Just because a dog works for your best friend and everyone tells you that you should get one, *does not* mean it is what’s right for you! If your friend had a dog before, but it didn’t work out, why? Was it because of their lifestyle, family and friends getting in the way, the school gave them a bad match/ if so, that doesn’t mean that *you* would have the same experience. Choosing to get a dog should be something you research, ask all sorts of questions, figure out if you can afford it, can you handle the responsibility of caring for a dog? Are you strong enough to deal with the public, tis includes your family and friends when it comes to standing up for you and your dog in what’s best?

In the blog entry I directed you to at the top of this post i found their 5 reasons rather interesting about why having a dog is a terrible idea. Here are my thoughts.

1. expensive
Yes, caring for a guide dog can be expensive. I recently had to buy Luna some more heart guard and man that stuff is definitely not cheap! But I know that either every 3 or 6 months depending on how many I choose to buy at the time I know that’s something I know I have to budget for. The only time that I want to cry is when something happens that I didn’t plan for like those unplanned vet visits.
This person also wrote that you must buy better than average dog food and that’s not true. You don’t have to feed your dog what’s outside your range of what you feel like spending. All schools feed either Purina *yuck* Iams, Natural Balance, Science Diet and so on. I choose not to go this route and buy Fromms for Luna. The most expensive bag for her is over 100, but that’s my choice and not something you have to do. You can stick with the food the school already feeds the dog or shop around and see what fits your budget and still keeps your dog healthy.

2. inconvenient
The things mentioned under this section I see as sacrifices. Look at what the dog does for you? They help you travel safely, enhance your mobility or hell for some people their mobility is bette with a dog than it was with a cane.
Yes, it is definitely a pain when sick and you are probably the only one to care for your dog and you wish you could just curl up in a ball and sleep until the world is right again, but unless you’re sick 365 days a year then what’s a little sacrifice?
Inconvenient in finding a trash can. Simple, train your dog to find one and have a party when they do, especially if they happen to poop near one. that’s what I did with Luna. Well, and if that doesn’t work, well there’s probably a washroom around somewhere, right?
The other big thing that new or even some old guide dog handlers are concerned about is time. For me it was never an issue since hell I don’t sleep much anyways so Luna’s schedule is pretty much the same as what it was during guide dog training time at Leader. Except on the weekends. Then I adjust the schedule a few hours. The latest she’ll let me slide is 8AM. after that I definitely have the howling going on. But I know a guide dog user that doesn’t have her dog on a schedule at all. for me that would be more nerve racking because you never know exactly when your dog has to go, but it works for that team. i know another person that for whatever reason their dog can’t hold water and they have to go out like every hour or so. It’s all about finding out what works for you and your dog in the end and what you are willing or not willing to sacrifice.

3. time consuming
Hmm, this one I just don’t see as a reason for not getting a dog. Hell if I don’t want to go out, we don’t. simple as that. I take my dog out to do her thing and we come back in and do whatever in the house. As much as she loves to work, play time is just as important in having a guide dog. They need the down time and love and attention just as much as they need the work. Here is when it’s very important you let the school know what your lifestyle is like. If you’re a person that just doesn’t like to get out much, then let them know. There’s dogs out there that are trained to just be easy going and walk with you from the corner store and back home. Then there’s ones like mine that has to go go go like I do! Time, effort and energy is top of the list for things you should consider when thing of getting a dog.

4. unwelcome attention
Another one where I don’t thing the wording fits, but that’s just me. It’s no more unwelcome attention than having people stare at you cause you’re going sighted guide or cruising down the street with your cane and people run over and grab your arm insisting they must help you cross the street that you really didn’t want to cross in the first place. The sighted public is a problem no matter if you have a dog or not!
Dog hair. Well, you’ll have that anyways if you have family and friends that have dogs, so what’s the difference? Sadly there’s nothing you can do about this problem if you choose to get a dog. Grooming your dog daily will keep down on the hair, but some will still magically show up on your clothes. I think lab hair is the worse, lol. My suggestion for this is invest in great grooming tools like the zoom groom or do what I did with my last dog and drag out the vacuum, hahahah.
Time for that sense of humour because your dog will get noticed way more than you will. He or she will be the star of the show and 9 times out of 10 will be spoken to before you. If you’re the serious type then all you do is say hello to the person like they spoke to you and keep on going about your day.

5. dirty work
Ha, now this section was my favourite. It most certainly is dirty work. Nothing like cleaning up after your dog. For those of you that have kids like I do it may not be a big deal. We had to change diapers, right? No different. Just grab a bag, hope it doesn’t have a hole in it *gags* and there you go! Now for those hard to clean up times one guide dog user said they have a water bottle with them and they just dump the water over it and washes it away best they can. Hmm, not a bad idea. Luckily Luna hasn’t had this problem in a while, but definitely something I’ll keep in mind.

These reasons aren’t so bad after all right? It’s all in how a person voices them and their reason behind saying why a guide dog is terrible. Just something you need to keep in mind when making that decision. Do you want a dog? Do you want to go through all this again if you’ve had a dog before? Hmm, maybe consider a different school?

Luna is my best friend and having a dog is part of me. A choice I have never regretted since dog number 1!

despite being blind

I don’t think I have ever seen a blind or visually impaired person ever write this line until now. That being me of course, lol.

*Despite being blind or visually impaired*

So to you sighted ones out there, do you ever stop to think how this sounds or how it makes us feel? Did you ever stop and think that maybe you’re also putting people down by saying “despite being blind” they can do this, why can’t you? How about those that do things that don’t have a disability?

Have some examples:
1. Despite being blind I went skydiving! Man it was a total rush. Nothing like jumping out of a perfectly good airplane.
Oh crap! That 99 year old guy just jumped out of an airplane right after me! Now that is freaken impressive. I always say that I can’t see the ground coming at me so what do I care. That makes the jump loads more thrilling, but whew jumping at 99, I don’t know! I think I’d have a heart attack before reaching the ground. The 99 year old guy didn’t of course and just like me he wanted to jump again, lol. Go figure!

2. Despite being blind I got married and had kids.
Oh wait, so did my deaf cousin and she has 1 more kid than I do. Now how fair is that? I mean I can’t get my third no matter how hard I try. It’s a conspiracy! Well and that marriage…well, I probably should have stayed away from that too, but then I wouldn’t have my adorable princess. Ah well, can’t win them all.

3. Despite being blind I’m going to school to make something of myself. Well, sadly I’m going to school cause I really have no choice. Everybody and their uncle wants things on paper these days. Just FYI, books smarts is no where close to personal experience in some cases.
Also, I’m no better than the person in a wheel chair that was a roommate of mine that is going to school to become a lawyer. Whew, more power to her! I don’t think i can take that much of school without wanting to pull my hair out.

4. Despite being blind joe from California started his own business to support his family. Seriously, what does his blindness have to do with him starting his own business?
A sighted person from the UK, deaf person from Canada or an one armed person from Alaska could do the same thing. Maybe the specialty is blind/low vision related and therefore Joe is better in this particular field, but anyone can start up their own business in the field they love and have plenty of knowledge in.

5. Despite being blind you know how to cook?
Um yeah cause if I don’t I’ll either go broke from ordering out all the time or die from food poisoning if I let James anywhere near the stove even to boil water and he’s blind too! I don’t think our insurance covers him setting the place on fire from trying to cook. Too bad!

So see, not *all* blind/visually impaired people are the same. We aren’t all dare devils, we don’t have goals of owning our own business, we don’t all know how to cook and hell we aren’t all helpless either, but just like the non-disabled we do what has to be done to enjoy life! So how about trying some other line for a change besides “despite being blind or visually impaired” when you’re writing about us. I’m sure there’s plenty out there!

But wait, maybe there is something we can teach you sighted dog handlers!

6. Despite being blind you clean up after your dog?
Well duh! I mean I know I don’t want to have to accidentally step in it the next time I take my dog out *gross* Nothing like getting dog crap all over your shoes when you’re running late for work or school or who knows what. Or even worse, finding that lovely surprise without any shoes on! What a way to make your day, right?

The Day My Life Changed

This is one of those rare moments that I take the time to write something very personal about me. So hold on to your hats!

I get asked a lot about how I lost my sight and the group it has the most impact on are young school aged children. This is not a story to engender pity, but to educate, to drive home that tragedy/accidents can happen anywhere.

As a child we always think nothing bad can happen to us. We go through life thinking that anything bad will happen to everyone else and that there are no consequences to our actions.

I remember the age of when my life changed forever! I was 12 years old when my world was turned upside down. A teenage boy was dared by another teenager to push me off the top of a slide. One of the very tall twisty ones. During this time slides were on concrete and not soft sand. There was no where for me to go. I heard the dare, flying through the air and then waking up in the hospital.

I woke up strapped down in a hospital bed and everything was black. I panicked! I called out and no one answered for at least 5 minutes. When they finally did I was told what happened, that I had patches on my eyes and was strapped down so that I wouldn’t try and take the patches off. Of course this just made me more upset and I panicked even harder.

For a long time after that event I was severely depressed. I had no idea how I would cope. For me my life was over! Thanks to 2 very good friends of mine I was made to see that I could still do all the things I loved. I just had to find another way of doing them!

As you can see my story was not an accident, but done on purpose. Maybe that boy didn’t know how bad things would turn out, but he had to know what he was doing was wrong somewhere. All the times adults say “don’t rough house in the playground” is for a good reason.

Tragedy/accidents can happen anywhere!

Stealing from a blind person make you feel great?

Did you need money that bad that you just had to have that laptop? Or maybe it was you just couldn’t afford to get your own so just steal one from a blind person? What the hell were you thinking? Scratch that you weren’t. just “oo look something I want, so I’ll just help myself.”

Who ever you are, black, white, blind, sighted I hope whatever you do with that laptop comes back to bite you in the ass. That you are caught and made to pay. Wishful thinking I know, but anything is possible. People like you make me absolutely sick.

Today I learned that a friend of mine had his laptop stolen from within his apartment. A secured apartment at that. Where you needs keys pretty much to go to the wash room around there. They did not steal anything else, just this laptop. What the fuck! He just moves into this place recently and is already a target of some idiot that has the brain of a flee.

To hear his account of what happened, please go listen to jerry

Cat

My school journey

Whew, lets catch everyone up on my school journey. It has once again taken another turn, but hey this time I think it’s finally for the best and will help me in the long run rather than hurt me. There’s lots of post regarding my school journey this year so have a look around so that you can get caught up. It starts with one school, moves to another, fighting with an organization, back to the first school and then, hey guess what? A new school has been introduced to the picture. So, here’s the latest.

In January I was suppose to be starting at Algonquin College in the Early Childhood Education program, but earlier this month I met with my disability worker and 2 members of the ECE program and they gave me some bad news. They came to the conclusion that the ECE program was not the right program for me. They had strong concerns about me being able to successfully complete one of the courses, “observation”. I don’t discount their worry because it is valid, but what was hard to get through to them is that it’s hard to describe how a blind person as myself can observe children when not actually in the situation, the environment. For me how I observe things around me depends on what is all around me, who is around me, what activities are being done and so on. For them it’s just a chance they didn’t want to take and things not work out.

During the first part of this meeting this was hard news to take indeed. I mean it hurt so much that I doubted myself for the first time in regards to the career goal that I’ve been going after since I lost my sight, working with children with disabilities. I started thinking that I’d have to give up the goal I want and settle for my backup massage therapy, which of course I wasn’t too happy about and was ready to just curl up and cry.

luckily as I said this was just the first part of the meeting. As the meeting went on things started looking a little better. The more we all spoke the more they helped me see that Child Studies at Carleton University would be a much better fit for my goal of working with children with disabilities. I could more focus on the theory and not have to worry about practical courses since I get that now with my association with Ottawa Children Treatment Center So you guessed it, I will now be going to Carleton for school, but this won’t be until the summer.

Needless to say I’m nervous about making this jump. I’m like extremely use to the small college type setting, small classes and all that, but I’m about to take the plunge! I did some research and have made some contacts with Carleton and for the first time in 3 years and several programs I finally found people that actually listened to what my goal was and what I was after and my current disability worker and those staff in the ECE program have been helpful in my school direction. Well, minus the one part where they had me doubting myself, *smiles*

Another good thing is a few days after my meeting I had a chance to be in a group type setting where I got to observe many little rug rats and guess what? I was able to do it after all! I picked up things that the actually room monitors missed. So being able to see does not mean you are better than someone that can’t. You can still miss things. Yes, being able to see is definitely good to have, but I and any other smart person with a visual impairment would not put themselves in the situation where they are the only person in a room or outing with loads of little ones running around. I mean come on. That’s common sense.

So, my school journey has come to an end. In January I will be going to Algonquin, but back in the General Studies program and then come the summer I will be a Carleton student. Wish me luck!

Cat

Top 10 reasons why it’s great to be blind

The number 1 reason is definitely my favorite.

10 We can read in the Dark.

9 We are believed when we say, “We read Playboy for the Articles”.

8 You have an iron clad excuse when walking arm and arm with an Attractive
Member of the Opposite sex.

7 We don’t have any acrimonious discussions with our Spouse about what
color to paint the Kitchen.

6 And mostly for men, we never have to answer that Delicate Question?

“Dear, does this outfit make me look fat?”

5 During a Blackout, we can still mix a mighty good Martini.

4 We don’t have to look into the mirror in the morning and discover all
those new wrinkles which popped up overnight.

3 We don’t have to look at just one more photo of Paris Hilton or Britney
Spears.

2 We play Poker with a Marked Deck.

And the NUMBER ONE greatest thing about being blind . . . .

We never have to be the Designated Driver.

Cat

Everest College did not give its all

Wow, it’s been a long long time since I updated my blog. So lets start up again and I’ll try my best to keep everyone up to date after this, *smiles*

Lets start with my lovely school journey. Everyone knows that this summer I have been fighting hard to get into Everest College for the Early Childcare Assistant, (ECA) program and I had fight after fight with people from National Association of Career Colleges

If you don’t remember how this all started, then please go back to the beginning and have a refresher.

Well, everything looked like it was going well, fine great, super I’ll get to start this fall. I was so excited! Finally I can start on the path of the career I’ve been wanting for years.

*growls in frustration*

Here it is September and I am not and will not be attending Everest College because they weren’t accommodating, they didn’t try like they claim they were doing, they waited until 2, count them, 2 days before class was to start to finally tell me, “sorry wee just couldn’t find you any placements. We call 122 different places and they all said no.” I’m sorry I call bull shit on that one! I fed them a placement that would be great for me and they claimed they called them everyday and left tuns of messages. Again I call bull shit. My contact people never heard a word after the initial first call from Everest. Everest told me that the place I recommended also doesn’t do infant and toddler, for the third time, sorry, bull shit!

I waisted months and months dealing with this mess and I’m extremely disappointed in Everest College. They did not put all their effort into getting me into the program. I’m sorry to say that I would not recommend Everest College to a person with a visual disability to attend this college.

Luckily with my contacts that I have from Ottawa Children’s Treatment Centre all is not lost with the world. I will actually be returning back to Algonquin College in January for their Early Childhood Education program. That place that Everest says that doesn’t have infant and toddler placement or that they couldn’t reach, yeah, they will be my placements with Algonquin College.

So this time finally I can really say I’m on my way and this time from the looks of things it should go much better with Algonquin than it has in the past due to changes. So onward and upwards I go!

Cat

NACC, the Conclusion of Chapter 1

Wow, the moment I’ve been waiting for has arrived!

On June 4, 2013 I received the email from Serge A. Buy the CEO of National Association of Career Colleges stating that they were letting Everest College know it was now ok to enroll me in the Early Childcare Assistant (ECA) program.

I’m not going to rip NACC apart in this post in regards to the emails they sent me last because in the end I got the result I was waiting for, the “right” result!

I will state however that I do not appreciate the fact that NACC tried to make themselves look good and me the bad person in the final emails. I am keeping everything that happened over the last couple of months until I have completed the program and I am certified.

On June 5, 2013 I received an email from Mike Lacroix asking if we could set up a day to meet and get things rolling for the ECA program. I was extremely excited to see that email and a bit confused because some steps had to be repeated, but hey it was a step in the direction that got me going in the direction I want!

So on June 11, 2013 I met with Mike Lacroix, Melissa Kingston, kate whom sorry I forgot what her title is and Natalie the instructor for the ECA program. The meeting with all parties went very very well and I can now look forward to my start date.

Hey, does anyone know when that is yet? Hmm, well August 26th or sometime in October.

The bad news is I have to be up at 5:30, yes I said, 5:30 in the morning! I mean not that I sleep much or at all most times, but that’s besides the point. 5:30 in the morning is just not right!

So I will now happily close chapter 1 with NACC and hope that I do not have to start another chapter. I would like to thank all the parties involved that helped me during this time and who stood by me and told me not to give up while I fought for what I wanted.

I hope that if another person that wishes to attend Everest College for the ECA program who is visually impaired or legally blind does not have to jump through these hoops. I hope I have at least been able to open that door for you.

Cat

NACC finally responds

Finally, the Serge A. Buy the CEO of NACC decided to get in touch with me. It only took them 2 months to do so! But sadly they didn’t have anything good to tell me.

Lets go over the recent contact shall we?

1. Based on discussions we’ve had with several parties, we may be looking at a solution for you. The solution would be to look at adapting some parts of the program for you and also trying to find innovative solutions during the delivery of the program itself.

I would like to know where was I during these conversations? How can you adapt something for a person without speaking with them as well and seeing what adaptations work for them? How come Everest College wasn’t also included in this conversation? I mean it is Everest College giving me the education after all, not NACC.

2. There are three conditions however.

I can’t believe they had the nerve to ask for these!

Condition 1. We need to be able to confirm that you would be able to graduate the program. This protects you as you pay for your education. While we are willing to attempt the accommodation, there’s no way for us to confirm that you would be able to graduate. You would need to sign a waiver stating that you are aware that you may or may not be able to graduate and, should the college and NACC make efforts to accommodate your needs, your relieve them of any responsibility should you not be able to graduate.

Would you ask a sighted person to sign anything stating they won’t hold the school or you responsible if they don’t graduate? No one knows for certain they will be able to successfully complete a program.

NACC everyone keep in mind is only the organization that provides me with the certification after I complete the program at Everest. It is between Everest and myself on discussing the education side of things. Everest has not asked me for any letter. If I don’t successfully complete a program due to any reason besides adaptations for me being refused or something is on me. Why would I hold anyone else responsible except myself?

Condition 2. We will need confirmation and agreement from the Ministry of Training Colleges and Universities that they agree with any changes that we will make to the program.

Sorry I don’t even agree with this. Again you have not spoken with me to see what adaptations I need or how I learn. How can you adapt something for someone you’ve never sat down and spoken with? Again NACC you’re stepping out of your role. Everest and I already have adaptations for me in place for the ECA (early child care assistant) program. This is something I gathered over a month ago. A job you were suppose to be looking into but never did.

The problem with this is you could pick adaptations that are way out in left field. They might help someone, but they won’t help me. Why would anyone in their right mind say yes to something like this and leave themselves in a bad spot if the adaptations don’t meet their needs? I mean last I checked not all students learn the same. One adaptations work for one person may not work for another.

Condition 3. The College and the instructor need to be ready to work with you and accommodate your needs.

Hmm, how many times must I repeat this one? Lets see, Everest and i have been in communication since day one about adapting programs for me and how best the staff can be of help. Everest College and I have already come up with adaptations for me for the ECA program that are satisfactory for all parties. NACC you have nothing, absolutely nothing to do with the education side of this issue! Any problems on that side are delt with between myself and Everest College, not you!

NACC’s closing remark:
We’re sincerely trying our best to help you succeed in this project.

Um, they are? Am I missing something then, because I definitely don’t see them being helpful right now.

This that I’ve gone over today is the letter I received yesterday after my advocates finally reached NACC. I also forwarded this letter over to them since they were somehow left out of the communication.

My advocates called me after receiving this letter and my response back to NACC so we could touch base. According to them Serge A. Buy is concerned that I will sue NACC if I can’t complete the program.

Great, have them worried, but they are worried for the wrong reason.

I will only sue them if I am not allowed to take the program or complete the program if accomidations aren’t made. This is the only reason this has come to the attention of anyone.

My advocates and I are going to wait until June 1st to see if they respond to my recent letter back to them before discussing the next step.

For anyone that needs to catch up on this thread, then a great place to start is right over here

Thanks for reading.

Cat