[Athen] Your opinions on keeping old AT

Deborah Armstrong armstrongdeborah at fhda.edu
Wed Jul 17 08:21:55 PDT 2019

Curious about others' opinions here.

Over the years I've had a variety of deans, supervisors, bosses. Each time we switch to new management priorities change.

One boss will want us to spend money when we have it and buy as much equipment as possible. Another boss wants to clean out and throw away everything we haven't used in a few years. One boss worries about accommodating every student while another boss only worries if a student complains.

The current management is on a massive cleanup canpaign so everything I don't want to see thrown away has migrated to my office. I have piles of stuff we "might need" someday but haven't used in a while. Before I could stop it a thirteen-volume Braille textbook was thrown away that was only used one quarter. Last year they nearly threw away my PIAF machine because nobody had seen me using it - but I resurrected it in time.

So when the cleanup started I grabbed stuff. Now I can hardly move I'm so - 'er' stuffed with stuff in my office!

But maybe like some previous bosses, I myself am a hoarder. Maybe I need to just say goodbye and move on.

I email other departments asking if they want some wacky thing, like a Braille atlas of the world or an ancient but still working CCTV and get no response.

I surplused three perfectly working Braille embossers a few years ago simply because I no longer had convenient parallel or serial ports. I couldn't take it home because that would have been stealing but it was probably broken up for scrap metal. And just yesterday I threw away all our CD-based Daisy players because nobody has requested one in at least four years.

I do tend to hoard because it has served me well before. One of my friends still uses a large-print French-English dictionary, a massive thing I found at a flea market for a dollar. No doubt some school surplused it.

When I lost my job at TeleSensory, they were literally throwing Braille displays and Optacons in the dumpster. My husband and I snuck back after dark and loaded them in to our car. I gave away the Optacons to very grateful users and still use those displays today.
But I was young and poorer then; I'm not going to grab stuff that doesn't belong to me, yet I hate to see it thrown out.

Do you others tend to hang on to obsolete technology in case it might be needed? Or do you toss it out because after all you don't have space and don't want to hoard.

And how do you make decisions about what to keep?


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