[Athen] BeeLine Reader

Ron ronrstewart at gmail.com
Thu May 7 18:53:24 PDT 2015

You are entitled to your conclusions and taking offense were none was
intended. As I typically do I will continue to watch this product in the

Have a nice day.

On Thursday, May 7, 2015, Jennifer Sutton <jsuttondc at gmail.com> wrote:

> 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 . . ."

> Jennifer


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