[Athen] Your opinions on keeping old AT

Deborah Armstrong armstrongdeborah at fhda.edu
Wed Jul 24 10:24:59 PDT 2019

The idea of putting labels on stuff that isn’t in your office is so obvious and so important; I need to make sure I’m doing it consistently! Had I done this some things I didn’t want tossed would have remained!

I’ve faced the bear and my office is all neat again. Kept lots of commercially produced tactile graphics and modern Daisy players. Tossed all old Braille, in-house produce tactiles, CD-based daisy players, weird cables that no longer fit anything and parts to things that broke a long time ago. I think real hoarders give up and can’t cope, so I must only be a fake hoarder!

From: athen-list <athen-list-bounces at mailman12.u.washington.edu> On Behalf Of Heidi Scher
Sent: Monday, July 22, 2019 8:36 AM
To: Access Technology Higher Education Network <athen-list at u.washington.edu>
Subject: Re: [Athen] Your opinions on keeping old AT

I love reading all the purge stories! I do a similar process to what Robert described. Unfortunately, w can't use the 2-year rule as we often go more like 5 years between students who may need to use documents requiring the PIAF and sometimes even braille. The main items I keep are those big-dollar items - embossers and PIAFs, portable braille displays (as long as they can still connect and work with a computer), portable magnifiers. If it's less than $500 to replace and I haven't used it for 3-5 years, it goes. I do put labels that say "before disposing of this item, please ask Heidi" on things that can't stay in my office.


Heidi Scher, M.S., CRC
Associate Director - AT
she, her, hers
Center for Educational Access at the University of Arkansas
1 University of Arkansas, ARKU 209
Fayetteville, AR 72701
479.575.3104 phone
479.575.7445 fax

On Wed, Jul 17, 2019 at 6:57 PM David Andrews <dandrews920 at comcast.net<mailto:dandrews920 at comcast.net>> wrote:
You might be able to find homes for some stuff.
In Minnesota our Tech Act program, called STAR
recycles obsolete technology, and gives stuff to
people who can use older technology.

There are a number of projects that collect
Braille for African countries, and others.

It is work, but it may ease your conscious.


At 10:21 AM 7/17/2019, you wrote:

>Content-Language: en-US

>Content-Type: multipart/alternative;




>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.

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