Monday, August 06, 2007

Seeing is Believing

Sometimes, in the middle of the night, when visiting the smallest room in the house, I trip over the cat. Occasionally, I grab the wrong shade of eyeshadow from my collection. More often, I've dropped an earring and need Nate to help me find it.

The worst indignity is when I set the glasses down on the bed for a moment, and can't find them, because I can't see them. I need glasses to help me find my glasses.

However, as annoying as it is that Nate, with his perfect vision, and I can't share a pair of opera glasses at the ballet (too much back and forth on adjusting the specs), I don't claim that the world is against me or anything. Sure I have myopia and astigmatism and I've had to wear bifocals since I was fifteen, but does that really merit writing letters to companies claiming they're discriminating against my poor vision capabilities?

Apparently, if you're a baby boomer, your failing eyesight (due to the inevitable aging process) is ample reason for such a claim.

Every day thousands of the nation’s 77 million baby boomers turn 50, an age when reading glasses are perched with some permanence on middle-age noses.

Cellphones can be a particular problem. On most mobile phones, the text on the screen is not merely small; it is set against a busy background with a dull contrast.

“My guess is they’re thinking about teenagers who buy these things and use them a lot more than we do,” said Paul Nini, a professor of visual communication design at Ohio State University who studies typefaces. “Marketing considerations tend to outweigh user considerations.”

This week, the American Foundation for the Blind filed complaints with the Federal Communications Commission against Motorola, LG, Samsung, Sanyo and Sprint, asserting among other things that their phones lacked screens that could be read easily by people with vision loss.

Tons of people wear glasses and deal with vision loss. I got my first pair of glasses at age 9. And think of all the people who choose to wear contacts. Surely they're not all baby boomers. Articles like this one annoy me because it's yet another pitch from the boomer set saying "me, me, me!" I hate to tell the boomers this, but they're going to keep getting older, and their bodies will eventually fail and they will actually have to die.

And then maybe we can stop all this navel gazing and get on with things, like reducing poverty, stopping genocide in Darfur, and leave the rest of the world to fight its own civil wars.

1 responses:

Vanessa said...

I hate it when I can't find my glasses because I'm blind without them!

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