[Athen] BeeLine Reader

Jennifer Sutton jsuttondc at gmail.com
Thu May 7 18:33:47 PDT 2015

Actually, Ron, you were pretty clearly, at least to me, assuming that
their target audience was people with print disabilities.
That is not, in fact, what the staff member told me.

Maybe it'd be more productive to channel your extensive experience
(of which I'm entirely aware) into contacting the company and asking
for the data (or even offering some *positive* suggestions for
improvement if you can find any), instead of our spending time on
this list speculating about what they've found, done, or whatever.
I'm somehow doubtful they built this just for kicks and grins. But who knows?

I am naive enough, I suppose, to think they must have *some* kind of
audience/evidence of a need (or even data <gasp>!), or they'd already
be out of business.

Look, folks, I've been in this business a long time -- I daresay at
*least* as long as you have, Ron. So, I'm not some naive newby who
promotes every new product that comes down the pipeline. I do have a
ticket for this particular "clue bus."

While I can't see to judge the product, I know a good deal about the
variation in what different people's reading needs may be, regardless
of print reading disability.

Something that *might* help some people track from line to line --
heck, I thought some on the list might be interested, or know
students who like to tinker with these things.

In *my* extensive experience, it's this kind of altogether skeptical
response and pre-judgment of people's thinking and products that are
trying to help which I have never found to help the cause. Sure, ask
questions, but don't assume that it's *always* the same old story.
Sometimes, just *some*times, history doesn't repeat.

You think I've not seen my fair share of ill-conceived products
designed to help "the poor blind to see?" [That'd be based on my
personal opinion/judgment of what *I* might think blind people would
find valuable.]

You bet I have -- probably see at least one a month, come to think of it.

You know what? When I do, I assume that people are *trying* to fill
a need, and I have, often, gently advised conducting user research to
get info from real users.

Now, much to all of our relief, I'm done with this product and
discussion, and I'll sure think twice before sharing info on here
about other potentially interesting products.

Lest anyone wonders, I've ZERO skin in this game -- just met a nice
person who had what I *thought* might be something of interest to a
few in this group.

Thank you, Gaeir, for your tact and curiosity. The vendor seemed very
interested in learning more about the community of people with
reading/print disabilities, so perhaps some of you will reach out to educate.

I've done my share for them, even (maybe a very bad idea based on
Ron's responses) going so far as to suggest they try connecting with
the VoiceDream Reader guy to see if there'd be a match there.

And hey, a thought:
Could be a cool student research project to work with the company to
conduct research about who it helps and who not.

Sorry I wasted all of our time, but Ron, the negative responses
really push my buttons. Note that if I *do* post about a product
again, and I see responses like this time 'round, I'll be sure to
ignore them and try not to feel like a "shot messenger" who is having
her credibility/judgment questioned.

Back to posting articles, only. Just "da factss . . ."

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