Originally created 08/28/99

Says stations ignore dilemma for blind



(Editor's note: The writer is the president of the Augusta Chapter of Georgia Council of the Blind.)

I am writing about a problem that we who are blind or vision impaired have and I feel certain the sighted would understand. This concerns the TV weather warnings that are shown on our screens from time to time. They are usually preceded by bells or chimes, etc. and shown on the bottom of our screens.

I am sure you can understand our dilemma. We cannot read it. If the warning is worth giving, then surely it is worth receiving by all. Yet, what do we do every time we hear bells or chimes? Hide in the closet or crawl under the bed?

Over a month ago, I wrote to three TV stations about this problem. As I write this letter, I have received no reply from any of the stations. This amazes me. Did they all get together and decide not to answer my letter? It looks that way. Do they care? It would seem not. Are they sensitive to our needs? It appears not. I explained our position or dilemma and asked for their comments which were not forthcoming.

About two weeks after my letter I called two weathermen, left my name and phone number and asked that they return my call. Only WRDW's (Channel 12) Bob Smith returned my call. He explained that it was not in his hands and did indicate an understanding of our problem. He said he would give my name and number to the station manager and ask him to call. I am still waiting for his call.

My experience with TV stations answering their mail or returning calls is rather poor.

... There are more than 10,000 blind or vision impaired (people) in the Central Savannah River Area. This could be resolved if the TV stations wanted to address it. ...

Jack Eckert, Augusta