Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafemuddy

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


Sing Out! vs. the blind

Related threads:
Old Copies of Southern Rag Magazine (3)
British Folk music magazines request (27)
Sing Out Magazine Back Issue HELP (16)
SingOut! 'Best of 2016' CD list (2)
Broadside, Topical Song Magazine-now online (30)
Obit: Emily Friedman, Come For To Sing, 2016 (5)
2006 Obit: Paul Nelson-Little Sandy Review editor (5)
Sing Out Magazine ? (18)
What's Happened to Dirty Linen Magazine? (42)
Seeking Source - Sing Out! 1950s & 1980s (5)
Folk Leads Magazine (20)
Sing Out Magazine - Oldest? (45)
Properganda magazine closes (15)
Pete Seeger wants you to save SingOut (58)
music magazines (17)
'Come for to Sing' Magazine (13)
Help: Properganda Magazine (8)
Living Tradition - asking financial contributions? (19)
New Internationalist Magazine (7)
Irish Music Magazine (7)
What's happening@Living Tradition mag? (66)
new online folklore magazine: Simply Australia (11)
Wanted: Broadside 1960-1965 (10)
Folkways Magazine - new online (3)
Rock 'n' Reel - where can I buy it? (6)
Obit:Former Sing Out! Editor Bob Norman (May 2008) (7)
Sing Out! magazine (8)
Gardyloo - folk music magazine (23)
Dirty Linen #132 (Oct-Nov 2007)? (5)
Help Me Locate Dirty Linen CD Reviews (17)
The Living Tradition (45)
Sing OUT! is looking for a managing editor (10)
Tune Req: Sing Out Back Copies and Scanners (11)
Mudcat / Sing Out Magazine (65)
songbook folk magazine (7)
Help Locating Sheet Music Magazine (3)
Mudcat SingsOut Again! Go Joe and Susan! (8)
Hobnobbin Magazine (2)
New Sing Out! Songfinder - Joe Hickerson (9)
Folklore: Does anyone know Jon Pankake? (7)
More of Living Tradition mag. online (4)
Folk Magazine News - please add2it (5)
Magazines like 'The Old-time Herald' (8)
Sing Out! song midis available on-line (9)
BS: Old copies of Broadside/eBay (4)
What Magazines do you read? (37)
Dirty Linen's Guthrie Family article (19)
60's NYC Broadside tapes to be released (10)
Broadside Collection Radio Interview 4/11 (3)
Help: Where to buy 'Sing Out' Mag in England? (6)
Acoustic Guitar Magazine Subscribers (3)
Roots of Rhythm - Smithsonian Magazine (2)
Best Blues Magazines? (4)
Old-Time Herald Online (5)
Broadside - the magazine (7)
Help: Songsmith magazine Uk (6)
Get Fancy! Magazine (1)
Sing Out! Magazine's 50th anniversary (9)
Great article on CyberFolk- Dirty Linen (2)
Help: Chords in songbooks and magazines (2)
Now Magazine (2)
Mugwumps (Magazine) online (2)
Access Internet Magazine mentions Mudcat (9)
Sing Out! Reprints vols 1-6 (12)
Sing Out Reprints (34)
Music Magazines? (21)


Jack Campin 10 Jun 09 - 03:44 PM
VirginiaTam 10 Jun 09 - 03:52 PM
Wesley S 10 Jun 09 - 04:00 PM
Jack Campin 10 Jun 09 - 04:12 PM
Rifleman (inactive) 10 Jun 09 - 04:39 PM
Maryrrf 10 Jun 09 - 04:48 PM
Wesley S 10 Jun 09 - 04:54 PM
Richard Bridge 10 Jun 09 - 05:32 PM
Susan of DT 10 Jun 09 - 05:42 PM
semi-submersible 10 Jun 09 - 05:59 PM
Tootler 10 Jun 09 - 06:03 PM
Crowhugger 10 Jun 09 - 06:17 PM
wysiwyg 10 Jun 09 - 06:24 PM
semi-submersible 10 Jun 09 - 06:26 PM
Jack Campin 10 Jun 09 - 06:40 PM
Folknacious 10 Jun 09 - 06:49 PM
Art Thieme 10 Jun 09 - 06:49 PM
Jack Campin 10 Jun 09 - 07:01 PM
Art Thieme 10 Jun 09 - 07:14 PM
Folknacious 10 Jun 09 - 07:17 PM
Folknacious 10 Jun 09 - 07:20 PM
artbrooks 10 Jun 09 - 07:29 PM
open mike 10 Jun 09 - 08:33 PM
Wesley S 11 Jun 09 - 09:15 AM
Howard Jones 13 Jun 09 - 05:44 AM
GUEST,.gargoyle 14 Jun 09 - 06:31 AM
DebC 14 Jun 09 - 11:01 AM
Patrick-Costello 14 Jun 09 - 11:21 AM
GUEST,Peter Laban 14 Jun 09 - 11:42 AM
Jeri 14 Jun 09 - 12:50 PM
Howard Jones 14 Jun 09 - 01:01 PM
Patrick-Costello 14 Jun 09 - 02:11 PM
Howard Jones 14 Jun 09 - 03:19 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 14 Jun 09 - 05:47 PM
Jeri 14 Jun 09 - 05:56 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 14 Jun 09 - 07:46 PM
MAG 15 Jun 09 - 02:43 PM
Big Mick 15 Jun 09 - 02:59 PM
artbrooks 15 Jun 09 - 03:29 PM
GUEST,Mark D. Moss, Sing Out! 29 Jun 09 - 02:53 AM
Nigel Parsons 29 Jun 09 - 09:30 AM
EBarnacle 29 Jun 09 - 01:06 PM
Dan Schatz 29 Jun 09 - 01:50 PM
Barry Finn 29 Jun 09 - 02:13 PM
Will Fly 29 Jun 09 - 02:55 PM
dick greenhaus 29 Jun 09 - 04:30 PM
Folknacious 29 Jun 09 - 07:05 PM
artbrooks 29 Jun 09 - 07:58 PM
GUEST,Joe Offer, at the Women's Center 29 Jun 09 - 09:42 PM
SharonA 30 Jun 09 - 02:00 AM
Joe Offer 30 Jun 09 - 02:42 AM
GUEST,Peter Laban 30 Jun 09 - 03:34 AM
Jack Campin 30 Jun 09 - 06:50 AM
SINSULL 30 Jun 09 - 08:25 AM
Jack Campin 30 Jun 09 - 08:37 AM
Joe Offer 01 Jul 09 - 01:45 AM
Jack Campin 01 Jul 09 - 02:58 AM
Acorn4 01 Jul 09 - 03:16 AM
Stefan Wirz 01 Jul 09 - 03:45 AM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:




Subject: Sing Out! vs. the blind
From: Jack Campin
Date: 10 Jun 09 - 03:44 PM

Spotted on rec.music.folk:

Dear Sing Out readers and members:

It is with a sad and heavy heart that I inform you that the members of
the National Association of Blind Musicians at its annual meeting this
past Saturday, June 6, voted to boycott Sing Out! magazine and its
advertisers and to also ask the general membership of both the
National Federation of the Blind and the American Council of the Blind
to join forces in the boycott. This is the first such boycott in the
history of NABM.

The boycott is in protest of the Mark Moss, Executive Director of Sing
Out!, refusal to agree to provide the content of Sing Out! magazine in
a format that blind and visually impaired readers can access with
their own computers, and egregious hostility to the needs and civil
rights of visually impaired Sing Out! members as expressed by Mr. Moss
in email correspondence.

This boycott is scheduled to begin on Sunday, June 21, 2009, with a 1
PM ET press conference and official notification to Sing Out
advertisers. This timing is to support a seperate legal action to be
taken by visually-impaired Sing Out! members. A civil rights
complaint has already been filed with the US Department of Justice.

The members of NABM cordually request the Support of Sing out Members
and urge them to ask Executive Dircotor Mark Moss to reconsider his
position and formally agree to make Sing out! available in a
accessible format.

Sincerely,

Greg Austin
National Executive Secretary
National Association of Blind Musicians

The National Association of Blind Musicians is non-profit organization
dedicated to making music education and educational materials
available to blind and visually impaired students.


Somebody posted a link to the "new improved" Sing Out! site a while back, and I agree entirely with Greg - it was indeed one of the most appallingly ignorant and inconsiderate pieces of web design I've ever seen. Well beyond needing a repair job - the whole thing needs to be thrown away and rewritten from scratch (by a designer with a clue).
    Moderator's Note: Please read the entire thread before making any hasty judgment against Sing out! Magazine. It appears that Mr. Campin's allegations are totally unfounded.
    -Joe Offer, Forum Moderator-

    Singout website: http://singout.org/

    Sing Out! for the visually impaired

    last edit 29 Oct 2009


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sing Out! vs. the blind
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 10 Jun 09 - 03:52 PM

looks like they are covering themselves

The link to the above is on their home page.

Have to agree. It is noit very user friendly even to the casual browser, much less someone with visual impairment.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sing Out! vs. the blind
From: Wesley S
Date: 10 Jun 09 - 04:00 PM

This is from that page. Whats wrong with what they propose?

Can you give us examples of "egregious hostility to the needs and civil rights of visually impaired Sing Out! members as expressed by Mr. Moss in email correspondence." ??

From Sing Out's website:


"For subscribers or members who are visually impaired, we can supply the magazine on disc -- by special request -- in PDF format which we understand can be used with special software to make the magazine more accessible. If you would like to start receiving the magazine in that fashion, please contact our executive director Mark D. Moss via phone (610-865-5366 x203) or e-mail (see below), and he will make the necessary arrangements.
We are also actively researching better alternative ways to make the magazine easily accessible. If you have any contacts within the Blind or Vision Impaired community resources who can help us do that, please send those contacts to us as well!"


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sing Out! vs. the blind
From: Jack Campin
Date: 10 Jun 09 - 04:12 PM

"we understand" = "we haven't even considered actually testing it to find out".

"special software" = "blind users can expect to shell out several hundred dollars for flaky commercial products that only run under a flaky operating system that will cost them a few hundred dollars more".

"actively researching" = "our teenage webmaster might get round to reading a book about accessible design when he finishes college".


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sing Out! vs. the blind
From: Rifleman (inactive)
Date: 10 Jun 09 - 04:39 PM

I think some people (above posting)complain and think negatively just for the sake of it.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sing Out! vs. the blind
From: Maryrrf
Date: 10 Jun 09 - 04:48 PM

It may be that Sing Out is doing what it can to accomodate. I wouldn't imagine that they are swimming in money, and it can get expensive to redesign websites and issue braille editions of the magazine. I noticed that they asked to be referred resources that might be able to help. Their response didn't seem hostile to me. Maybe some exchanges went on that weren't made public.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sing Out! vs. the blind
From: Wesley S
Date: 10 Jun 09 - 04:54 PM

Let's face it. It costs extra to have special needs. As the father of a special needs child I wish it wasn't that way - but that's the reality. I'm going to need a lot more information before I start thinking badly of Singout. But as of now a lot of your response Jack just sounds like spin to me. Sorry. Am I missing something?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sing Out! vs. the blind
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 10 Jun 09 - 05:32 PM

I am not an expert but I think that word files are more readily accesible to voice readers and braille readers than pdf are.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sing Out! vs. the blind
From: Susan of DT
Date: 10 Jun 09 - 05:42 PM

pdf's can be of words or images. If the pdf is of words, the various reading programs "should" be able to handle it, but if it is a pdf of an image, there is nothing for the program to read. I don't know enough about the special reading programs (and I should learn since I have several blind friends and acquaintances who sometimes ask me questions)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sing Out! vs. the blind
From: semi-submersible
Date: 10 Jun 09 - 05:59 PM

Where can one find information on the actual steps the NABM would like Sing Out! to take to make the magazine accessible? (I located the original posting Jack Campin quoted but I'm having trouble finding a NABM website.)

I imagine public pressure asking Sing Out! for specific actions would be more useful than general outrage.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sing Out! vs. the blind
From: Tootler
Date: 10 Jun 09 - 06:03 PM

I have sent a word file to a blind friend and he was able to read it with his speech synthesiser OK.

Don't know what OS he uses, but I think the reference to a flaky OS is a red herring.

Geoff


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sing Out! vs. the blind
From: Crowhugger
Date: 10 Jun 09 - 06:17 PM

It seems to me there is much too much information missing to make an informed choice about this.

I use a walker and every time I go anywhere there is at least one annoying or infuriating or just plain dangerous occurrence; I'm not surprised it has come to this. And it won't solve anything. Sooner or later they'll have come to the same table and work together to make Sing Out! accessible to visually impaired people.

Exactly how will negative behaviour help to create a positive result?

~CH~


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sing Out! vs. the blind
From: wysiwyg
Date: 10 Jun 09 - 06:24 PM

Exactly how will negative behaviour help to create a positive result?

Well, the boycott certainly will give the mag and the NABM each an opportunity, in appearing to oppose each other, to do some fundraising for the necessary paid resourcing to "correct this injustice." Not every non-profit is above setting up a mutually-beneficial PR program.... a boycott, hm, "it gets so much publicity....."

~S~


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sing Out! vs. the blind
From: semi-submersible
Date: 10 Jun 09 - 06:26 PM

Tootler, text, especially black on white, works for everyone who can read English (or has a text-reader to make it audible). But there are too many web pages around using fancy layouts that don't work with old computers like mine, nor presumably with text readers and other accessibility tools.

It's very frustrating, especially since it's hardly rocket science to put text captions on graphics, and make the text visible (and readable).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sing Out! vs. the blind
From: Jack Campin
Date: 10 Jun 09 - 06:40 PM

There is no shortage of information about making websites accessible - just using ALT tags for every image, providing HTML text links as an alternative to Javascript mouseovers, and providing alternate MP3 links for music currrently provided as Flash video would solve a lot of the Sing Out! site's problems.

None of that costs anything. A freeware text editor and knowing what you're doing.

What I suspect may have happened: they used a website creation package which doesn't encourage looking at, evaluating and modifying the source you produce. (The homepage source references something called AllWebMenus, which I've never heard of).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sing Out! vs. the blind
From: Folknacious
Date: 10 Jun 09 - 06:49 PM

Legal actions, civil rights complaints? Well, that'll be great if a tiny minority of unhappy people (even though no doubt completely justified in their disgruntlement) manage to put Sing Out! out of business. I'm sure that if Sing Out! - another non-profit organisation - could afford to do what's asked of them in the current financial climate, they would. If Sing Out! goes under, that'll be nearly sixty years of hard work and a massively valuable resource for mankind down the drain then. Hope they'll feel just great about doing that.

Sorry for sounding harsh, callous, uncaring and thoroughly non-PC, but expressions involving dogs & mangers do come to mind in this instance. They're willing to say "We can't have Sing Out! so we'll take it away from all of you."

I'm also inclined to say "only in America".


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sing Out! vs. the blind
From: Art Thieme
Date: 10 Jun 09 - 06:49 PM

From what I can discern, Sing Out! is, as are many of us, just about at their wits end dealing with repercussions of this depression we are enduring. I think it is a time for cooler heads to try understanding life's realities, and not a moment to act out your frustrations without seeing how this kind of pressure just could push this important magazine over a precipice. Actually, I have no idea of the facts of this sad situation. But simply hanging out in the folk music world certainly gives some of us insights (even if they are only informed vibes we are experiencing) indicating how the economic winds are blowing. -- Of course, you have the law on your side---and also the moral high-ground which you are placing yourself upon. With that duly noted, please back off until it can be known what the hell this is all about. Litigation is not the proper road to take from where I sit.

Respectfully,

Art Thieme


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sing Out! vs. the blind
From: Jack Campin
Date: 10 Jun 09 - 07:01 PM

My guess is that compliance with accessibility guidelines may well save them a lot of money. The case nearest to this I can think of was of a folk music organization that squandered a huge proportion of its funds on a revamp of its visual imagery after being conned into it by a graphic design firm.

The result was they got only minimal improvement in their image, had the accessibility of their information fucked up to an extent they still haven't recovered from, they lost sponsorship funding from institutions that undertandably didn't like seeing their dosh thrown down the toilet, and they came close to having the whole organization go bust. And that was before the economic crash.

Has Sing Out! published their accounts? What did they pay for that shitty design job? Do they realize how much cheaper a good one would have been?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sing Out! vs. the blind
From: Art Thieme
Date: 10 Jun 09 - 07:14 PM

Jack, You are escalating this for no reason at all. I'm out of here.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sing Out! vs. the blind
From: Folknacious
Date: 10 Jun 09 - 07:17 PM

Has Sing Out! published their accounts? What did they pay for that shitty design job? Do they realize how much cheaper a good one would have been?

Even if the answers are "no", "too much" and "no", would you like to see them shut down as a punishment? That would be a really big grudge. Come on now, sense of proportion . . . sometimes acting for piranhas'r'us isn't always appropriate.

As I said, "only in America" (I assume you're American by your "realize"?)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sing Out! vs. the blind
From: Folknacious
Date: 10 Jun 09 - 07:20 PM

I'm out of here

Yes, moi aussi.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sing Out! vs. the blind
From: artbrooks
Date: 10 Jun 09 - 07:29 PM

Please note that the issue which the National Association of Blind Musicians, a unit of the National Federation of the Blind, has with Sing-Out involves the magazine itself, which is available on request on a disc in a pdf version. No information has been provided regarding what problems NABM has with this offer. There is no indication in their press release that they have any interest at all in Sing-Out's website (which is not as bad a cludge as many others out there).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sing Out! vs. the blind
From: open mike
Date: 10 Jun 09 - 08:33 PM

no published magazine should HAVE to make all their content available for free on line...they need subscribers to make the finances work.

I am glad that the blind musicians are organized to improve thier condition, but i feel that Sing Out magazine is not a proper target
for them to focus on. there must be other culprits. I hope this is
averted, and that all parties come away satisfied.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sing Out! vs. the blind
From: Wesley S
Date: 11 Jun 09 - 09:15 AM

I still suspect that we're not getting the whole story. Someone's got their nose out of joint and right now it's looking like Singout is the victim. But I'm looking forward to hearing more of the facts.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sing Out! vs. the blind
From: Howard Jones
Date: 13 Jun 09 - 05:44 AM

There appears to be some history which hasn't been made public. Whatever the background, without takeing sides it does appear that Sing Out is at least now making some effort to improve accessibility, whereas I can find no mention of this on the National Federation of the Blind's website (of which NABM is part), let alone an explanation of why they are taking legal action.

It seems to me that NABM are attacking the wrong target. They should be going for Zinio, who publish digital editions of many magazines, not just Sing Out. If there is a legal duty to make these accessible to the visually-impaired, then the NABM or NFB should be pressing Zinio to improve access to all their titles. If there is no such duty, then I don't understand why NABM think they have a case against Sing Out.

The easiest way for Sing Out to provide equality of access would be to stop publishing the digital edition. The most likely result of this action is not improved access for visually impaired but poorer access for everyone. At worst, there won't be a magazine at all, in any format.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sing Out! vs. the blind
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 14 Jun 09 - 06:31 AM

RE: SING OUT

What a strange way to publish - high bandwidth JPG's.

All Java Script

Except for the "Membership Subscription" which is easy text.

My guess is ... they do not want easy cut and paste copying ... and it is a sure way to "foil the bots."

It appears from "view page source" that a great deal of text is used to identify the JPG....

****************

HOWEVER, for a Boycott - they certainly do not seem to be getting the word out....There is NO MENTION of this on the National Federation of the Blind" website. ... National Federation of the Blind

National Association of Blind Musicians (NABM), the music division of the National Federation of the Blind..."Greg Austin" does not appear on or in their site.

MUSIC TALK is the e-mail list of the National Association of Blind Musicians (NABM), the music division of the National Federation of the Blind. MUSICTLK offers a forum for the discussion of topics. They have NOTHING about this...National Association of Blind Musicians in their JUNE 2009 archive.

2009 ANNUAL CONVENTION DETROIT, MICHIGAN
JULY 3 to JULY 8, 2009

TUESDAY JULY 8th 7:00 - 8:30 pm-BLIND MUSICIANS GROUP BUSINESS MEETING Duluth B Room, Level 5 Linda Mentink, Chairperson

I smell something fishy - don't you ?

Sincerely,
Gargoyle

Perhaps, an invitation to NABM to clarrify this thread is in order.

It does appear that someone has their knickers in a knot - and is using the Google-USE-GROUP Forum to grind a grudge.

The real National Convention in July has a GREAT program - all sorts of things - I like the training group - "Reading Braille Music for Dummies"

Sincerely,
Gargoyle


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sing Out! vs. the blind
From: DebC
Date: 14 Jun 09 - 11:01 AM

I have been avoiding poking my nose into this, but will. I am a subscriber to Sing Out! and was a wee bit alarmed when I saw the post on rec.music.folk, which is the same that Jack Campin was referring to.

I will add that the poster's email was familiar to me, but I couldn't place it. After searching the archives of another newsgroup that I read (RMMGA or rec.music.makers.guitar.acoustic), I found out why: a couple of years ago he had verbally attacked a couple of regular posters in this other newsgroup. The behaviour was totally unwarranted and puzzling as the recipients of the abuse had done nothing to provoke this guy.

If the poster is Greg Austin, who had signed the post, he has no credibility as far as I am concerned. I also did a search for the organisation and all I turned up was a list of acronyms.

Rather than an invite to NAMB, I'd suggest an invite to Mark Moss. Mark is always very up front about what is happening with Sing Out! as well as other issues that are important in the folk music world. Over the years he has earned my respect with his contributions to many of the forums and listservs that discuss folk music.

Debra Cowan


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sing Out! vs. the blind
From: Patrick-Costello
Date: 14 Jun 09 - 11:21 AM

This is so funny I just can't stop laughing.

As a handicapped folk musician (I am nearly deaf) I work hard to make folk music accessible to everybody. I even worked up a banjo tab format that works with a screen reader at the request of one of my banjo students - and converted my books and workshops to that format.

http://tangiersound.wordpress.com/braille-friendly-banjo-tab/

All Sing Out! has to do is offer the magazine in a plain text format or make copies of the printed magazine available to folkies willing to read the text aloud.

I don't got the problem . . . maybe Mark Moss will explain himself.

Oh, and .PDF is not accessible. You can use tags to make it sorta-kinda work, but it is not an acceptable solution to the problem. The fact that Mark would try to tout that makes me wonder about his qualifications and motivations.

-Patrick


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sing Out! vs. the blind
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 14 Jun 09 - 11:42 AM

'Oh, and .PDF is not accessible. You can use tags to make it sorta-kinda work, but it is not an acceptable solution to the problem. The fact that Mark would try to tout that makes me wonder about his qualifications and motivations.'

PDF reader has a 'Read out loud' feature that will read out text. Works surprisingly well (I tried it once out of sheer curiosity and just checked for good measure) for regular articles etc. It can get confused by columns of text though if you don't pre-select the text to be read out first.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sing Out! vs. the blind
From: Jeri
Date: 14 Jun 09 - 12:50 PM

Can anyone find a website or any reference to the 'National Association of Blind Musicians'?

At least I can FIND Sing Out!'s. This seems an awful lot like one guy with a grudge trying to organize a campaign to 'GET 'EM!' by fabricating an issue AND a support group.

If this is what's going on and Mark Moss has failed to bite the bait, he's got my respect. If this is a real issue with a real 'National Association of Blind Musicians', then it looks pretty weak to get the general public involved in what should be a private or a legal matter.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sing Out! vs. the blind
From: Howard Jones
Date: 14 Jun 09 - 01:01 PM

"The fact that Mark would try to tout that makes me wonder about his qualifications and motivations."

A number of people have commented how easy it is to make things accessible with a bit of know-how. However, although it may come as a surprise to those with some technical knowledge, many people don't have that know-how.

Within my office I am considered something of an IT expert, since I am fairly confident with computers and capable of looking at a help file or googling if I have a problem. However I was completely baffled by Jack Campin's references to ALT and HTML tags earlier in the thread. Many people who are perfectly capable of using a computer to do certain things are completely lost when it comes to technical matters.

I have created a couple of simple websites using the software provided by my ISP. Are they accessible? I have no idea, and no idea how to go about making them accessible if they're not.

I suspect that Mark has no "qualifications" in this field, and his "motivation" was simply to keep up with the times by publishing an on-line version of his print magazine, using the same software as many other titles. If you look at Zinio's website you will see that they publish a great many titles in a wide range of fields. So if Sing Out are at fault, they are not alone.

I'm not trying to belittle the importance of access for the visually impaired. However (assuming the boycott is genuine, which seems to be in doubt) I suspect that Sing Out will think twice about any future online enhancements if this is the result.   

My personal view is that these facsimile online versions of printed magazines are virtually unreadable on a screen, so I'm not sure the visually-impaired are in much worse a position than the rest of us :)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sing Out! vs. the blind
From: Patrick-Costello
Date: 14 Jun 09 - 02:11 PM

Howard, I'm not exactly a technical person. I'm just a folk musician - and because of that I am constantly faced with situations where I have to adapt and improvise in order to accomplish my goals. I came up with an accessible braille format simply because somebody asked me for help (more on that here) and it took me less than an hour. With the resources available to Sing Out! I don't think it is too much to expect for Mark Moss to do something in this situation other than tossing out a format that is infamous for being hard to use.

This could have been a great opportunity for the magazine and the folk community, but Mark and the Sing Out! staff blew it.

It is pretty funny in one respect with the whole discriminatory folkies angle - but it is also kind of sad. It was a good magazine back in the pre-glossy days.

-Patrick


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sing Out! vs. the blind
From: Howard Jones
Date: 14 Jun 09 - 03:19 PM

I don't know what resources are available to Sing Out. I'd be surprised if a folk music magazine were a huge moneyspinner, but perhaps I'm wrong.

I don't disagree that they blew it, but all they did was publish an on-line version using the same technology as Business Week, The Economist, PC World and Penthouse, to name just a few. It's hard to blame them for following what appears to be the industry standard. They then publish an alternative version in pdf, which Adobe claims is full of features to improve accessibility, but it seems that isn't adequate.

To me, it sounds like a small business trying to keep up with technology and getting caught out. Big business and even governments have also been caught out by technology which promises much but delivers little, usually at great cost.

What I would like to know is what took place to provoke the alleged boycott (if it is in fact genuine). The tone of the original statement purporting to come from the NABM seems fairly aggressive, and I wonder what has happened to provoke such a reaction.

Assuming the statement is genuine, I'm wondering what it expects to achieve by the boycott and legal action. Sing Out will be faced with legal costs in defending the action. They may not be able to withdraw the on-line version if they have signed a long-term contract with Zinio. They may have to invest resources in developing an accessible version, which perhaps they can't afford - the appeals for help on their website suggests they're out of their depth with this. It seems to me that a possible outcome is not that the visually impaired will get an accessible version but that the whole magazine will go bust.

I'm left wondering why the NABM or its parent organisation aren't taking action against Zinio or the bigger titles which perhaps do have the resources to resolve the problem. Perhaps its because they also have the resources to fight it effectively.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sing Out! vs. the blind
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 14 Jun 09 - 05:47 PM

RE: Can anyone find a website or any reference to the 'National Association of Blind Musicians'?
From: Jeri- 14 Jun 09 - 12:50 PM

YES - It is a VERY real organization.

PLEASE Follow the BLUE CLICKY links in my posting up above.

OR - to this list ofNAB - Music Resources

Sincerely,
Gargoyle


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sing Out! vs. the blind
From: Jeri
Date: 14 Jun 09 - 05:56 PM

So there's a "National Federation of the Blind", or NFB.

The NFB is not NABM,and it's hard to believe that Mr Austin didn't know what organization he's the 'National Executive Secretary' of.

For all the web presence they have, NABM could be two guys (or one guy plus sock puppet) in a bar in Muncie Indiana. I've looked for evidence that I'm wrong, but so far have found none.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sing Out! vs. the blind
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 14 Jun 09 - 07:46 PM

PLEASE Read my links

There IS an NABM - and it is part of the larger NFB - and they do have a very REAL organization - with very real people - who do wonderful things.

If you had read the link above - AT THE TOP - Before the List of resources:
"The ability to read and write music...
A blind student needs to have that ability just as much as his sighted peers."

David Goldstein, Director
National Resource Center for Blind Musicians

If you had read the link above - IN THE MIDDLE -
National Federation of the Blind Musicians Listserv
http://www.nfbnet.org/mailman/listinfo/musictlk

Sincerely,
Gargoyle

I believe there will be clarity soon.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sing Out! vs. the blind
From: MAG
Date: 15 Jun 09 - 02:43 PM

What Jeri said.

This sounds like somebody with a grudge out to sink Sing Out!

When someone comes up with a board of directors for this group and can vet their unbiased credentials, I'll think they have a case.

Yes, and if they are serious, why not go after some much bigger magazines that have a much bigger readership?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sing Out! vs. the blind
From: Big Mick
Date: 15 Jun 09 - 02:59 PM

folks, I am a supporter of this fine publication. If there is a problem, we should not be afraid of it just because we are readers. Sacred cows are still cows. You continue to act as though there is a question of legitimacy of the organization. Have you followed Garg's links? I have no axe to grind with Sing Out. I collect them andcrecognize how important they are. If there is a problem, let's help straighten it out, not bury our collective heads in the sand. As preservers and purveyors of the music, we have every bit as much of aduty to be loyal to blind brothers and sister musicians as we do to this beloved and invaluable magazine.

Mick


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sing Out! vs. the blind
From: artbrooks
Date: 15 Jun 09 - 03:29 PM

It was said early on (post #3?) that there was insufficient information regarding the basic issue to decide if Sing Out or the Blind Musicians Association was right or wrong. No additional information has been provided by Mr. Moss, Mr. Austin, or anyone claiming to speak for either of them. Until someone does, we are all sitting in a deep hole trading hats back and forth.

Not, of course, that hat trading isn't a venerable and honorable pastime on Mudcat.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sing Out! vs. the blind
From: GUEST,Mark D. Moss, Sing Out!
Date: 29 Jun 09 - 02:53 AM

I'll make this as brief as possible ... I want to be thorough without needing to follow and get embroiled in yet another Internet BBS back and forth.

Several folks told me about this thread during the Old Songs Festival this weekend, I'm not a regular visitor to these pages. Please don't read anything into that, it's simply that there are too many resources and discussions out there on the Internet, and I figure that Sing Out! is plenty visible and available to anyone who wants direct and informed information about us.

The facts here are relatively simple: Greg Austin's *first* contact with us on this issue was an attempted posting to our YahooGroups listserv, wherein he accused us of intentionally ignoring his "repeated attempts" to ask us about the accessibility of the Zinio edition of Sing Out! Because this was THE VERY FIRST contact from him, I replied to him, off list, to explain that we had no contact with him prior to that message, and suggesting that he contact us directly about any issues or concerns he had. He replied, accusing me of hostility, an attempt to hide our disinterest in his concerns, and stated his intent to elicit the support of the National Federation for the Blind and the Department of Justice to take legal action if we didn't comply with his demands.

I replied, again, explaining that I was happy to try and help, but that I would not continue *any* discussion under threat. I explained that we were *already* attempting to find a way of making Sing Out! accessible, asked for constructive assistance, and reiterated that I was *not* trying to be argumentative, but that I wouldn't continue any discussion under threat. Austin ratcheted up his accusations, so I stopped responding.

I *did* however continue talking, researching and investigating with a wide range of people, INCLUDING folks at the NFB (mostly the president of the Philadelphia Chapter, Paul Anatacci, and the primary contact person in their PR department, Donna Hill). I also spoke with folks at Adobe's accessibility division, the department of Justice, The Hadley School for the Blind, American Scientific (creators of JAWS software), as well as, at least, a dozen other folks at schools and resources I could find on the web. With one exception -- Linn Sorge at the Hadley School -- NONE of these folks were able to provide me with any assistance in understanding what was needed to make the material we have available accessible ... unless we had the resources to hire someone to either create an "audio" file for each issue or to pay to translate the magazine into braille. (Unfortunately, Sing Out! is a folk music non-profit of meager means, struggling to stay alive. We simply don't have the financial resources to take hiring a studio or to pay for translation of the magazine.)

Linn helped us to, first, confirm that the pre-press PDF files we send to the printer (and to Zinio for the creation of that edition) *were* functionally usable with basic screen reader tools (in conjunction with Adobe's utilities) ... though all attempts to get information about how to properly tag the file to make it fully functional went unanswered (for Linn, for me, and for several other folks Linn asked to intervene on our behalf). At that time (mid-May ... some weeks before Mr. Austin continued forward with his boycott announcement), with advice and input from Linn, we added links to our accessibility page from our main home page, from the magazine info page, and from the Zinio edition info page.

About a month ago, Linn found a contact in her search who was willing to convert the PDF into a simpler RTF file, which we have been told would make the file easier and more universal to use. Once we had that new file (mid-June) and had it tested by several folks (including Linn) we updated the accessibility page and policy. At that time, we *also* submitted the file to the tech folks at the NFB's national headquarters (with direction from Paul A.), and are coordinating improvements to the file with the team that will be creating the accessible files going forward.

I'll close with two additional points:

I don't know Greg Austin, and can't speak for his issues or agenda ... but I can tell you that I have been assured by representatives at the NFB (at both the Philadelphia and the national headquarters) that they do not know Greg Austin, and have *never* had any discussions or intent to call for a boycott of Sing Out!, and that the National Association for Blind Musicians was a *defunct* sub-group that *had been* affiliated with the NFB, but to the best of their knowledge it was defunct. This past weekend, I *also* received several e-mails from the Chairperson of the Blind Musicians Group of the National Federation of the Blind (Linda Methinks) who specifically explained that that the NABM was defunct (except for a listserv titled "MusicTalk," and (I quote from her email) "Years ago, when we were a division, Greg accused me of abusing my power as president. I have no idea how he determined that, and believe that he just wanted to cause trouble. He eventually left the list, I think, or he was banned by the NFB list owner; I'm not sure which." She continued: "NABM no longer exists, and Greg is not the executive secretary, unless there is a group by that name in the ACB. He did not contact me, or anyone else in the NFB, as far as I know, and we do not support him in this endeavor." You don't need to take my word for any of this. The NFB has a web site with email contact info and phone numbers.

If ANYONE has ANY concerns that anything I write here is untrue, I only ask that you check it out for yourself before continuing to make suppositions or smear Sing Out! on this list. I *do* understand how this kind of thing can happen ... but it sure seems pretty pathetic to spew the kind of vitriol based purely on unsubstantiated assumptions, accusations and ignorance. (I'm betting that the guilty are too foolish to get that ... but this forum should be ashamed to have them in your midst. There's a HUGE difference between posing legitimate questions and making grand pronouncements about my work and intentions without bothering to even take a swipe at trying to find the full story ... and it saddens me to see that some folks who I considered friends participating in the discussion without coming to the horse's mouth, so to speak. Do you *routinely* let trolls malign and smear other folks and organizations here? Folks and organizations who are part of our community and have devoted decades to our music? I can certainly understand and respect folks not appreciating or liking the work I've done -- different strokes for different folks -- but a number of the posts here just make me feel ill. Maybe someone can explain to me why the accusations earn immediate credibility, with such a carefree assumption that Sing Out! is/was in the wrong without any benefit of the doubt?)

That said, if anyone reading this message has anything *constructive* to add to our efforts to make Sing Out! more fully accessible (or has ANY other questions about the sequence of events or our efforts thus far), I would welcome it if you would contact me directly at mark@singout.org. Sorry, given the overall tone, I'm not interested in participating here beyond trying to make sure that the lies and smears go completely unchallenged in your permanent archive. (Apologies in advance, but you will need to complete the challenge/response from Spamarrest. Though I *will* look for comments in my spam bucket to manually approve you! )

Mark D. Moss
Editor/Executive Director
Sing Out!
www.singout.org
mark@singout.org


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sing Out! vs. the blind
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 29 Jun 09 - 09:30 AM

A nice, thorough rebuttal from Mark Moss on behalf of Sing Out.
Hopefully we can put this one to bed now!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sing Out! vs. the blind
From: EBarnacle
Date: 29 Jun 09 - 01:06 PM

I was one of the people who approached Mark about what was going on. It is usually worthwhile to get both sides of a story before going ballistic.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sing Out! vs. the blind
From: Dan Schatz
Date: 29 Jun 09 - 01:50 PM

Mark, I owe you an apology. I followed this thread and thought about e-mailing you to call your attention to it a whole lot sooner, but came up with reasons not to (I don't know you all that well, I figured you must be aware of the thread already, blah blah blah.) I should have written you so that this didn't get as far as it did.

I had an inkling that the conflict as presented here didn't smell quite right. And I say that as the husband of a visually impaired person. I, for one, am grateful for all you've done and are doing.

On the internet, one person with a worthy sounding cause and a computer can do a great deal of damage. I hope the damage to Sing Out! has not been too great.

Warmly,
Dan


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sing Out! vs. the blind
From: Barry Finn
Date: 29 Jun 09 - 02:13 PM

Thanks to your response to this thread that was not worth posting to from the start & that never had merit to begin with. Decades worth of responsible journalism & support of folk music does not deserve the abuse taken here.

Barry


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sing Out! vs. the blind
From: Will Fly
Date: 29 Jun 09 - 02:55 PM

Any response from the OP of this thread?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sing Out! vs. the blind
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 29 Jun 09 - 04:30 PM

It's hard to maintain an Op side to a factual statement. Unless you're in politics.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sing Out! vs. the blind
From: Folknacious
Date: 29 Jun 09 - 07:05 PM

Do you *routinely* let trolls malign and smear other folks and organizations here?

Are there any bears called Pope? That's normal everyday behaviour on Mudcat, unfortunately.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sing Out! vs. the blind
From: artbrooks
Date: 29 Jun 09 - 07:58 PM

Mr. Moss, thank you for the input and explanation. It is indeed unfortunate when someone sees fit to copy a comment from elsewhere and post it here, and then people who really ought to know better jump on it as though it were factual.

Art Brooks (a Sing Out subscriber)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sing Out! vs. the blind
From: GUEST,Joe Offer, at the Women's Center
Date: 29 Jun 09 - 09:42 PM

I suppose somebody should have responded long ago to the allegations from Jack Campin about the production of the magazine in PDF format causing problems with accessibility.

Click here for information about accessibility of PDF files. Sounds to me like they're accessible. So, what's the complaint?

-Joe-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sing Out! vs. the blind
From: SharonA
Date: 30 Jun 09 - 02:00 AM

Here is the discussion on rec.music.folk to which Jack Campin refers.

You'll see that the discussion consists of three entries:
1) Greg Austin's caustic message, complete with typos and apparently bogus credentials;
2) Mark Moss's erudite response which includes the statement that "representatives from the NFB and the NABM have explicitly stated that Austin does *not* represent either organization, isn't even a member, and that they *never* had any intention or interest in calling for this boycott"; and
3) Jack Campin's whinging about the Sing Out! website, along with a meritless assumption that "Greg's right" based solely on Jack's impression of the website design, which has nothing to do with Greg's complaint!

Mr. Moss is the only one who's making sense here. To paraphrase his advice given earlier in this thread, double-check and verify the information given in hate-speech posts before jumping on the vitriol bandwagon.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sing Out! vs. the blind
From: Joe Offer
Date: 30 Jun 09 - 02:42 AM

Click here to see the PDF newsletters of the women's center where I volunteer. My Adobe Reader is version 9, the latest edition (and it's free). If you go to "View" on the menu bar, you'll find a "read out loud" option. Try it - you'll find it works very well.

On Control Panel in Windows Vista, there's an "Ease of Access Center" which allows you to activate Microsoft Narrator, which will read what's on your screen out loud.

-Joe-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sing Out! vs. the blind
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 30 Jun 09 - 03:34 AM

'I suppose somebody should have responded long ago to the allegations from Jack Campin about the production of the magazine in PDF format causing problems with accessibility.'

And I did Joe. I pointed out the 'Read Out Loud' feature (which in my opinion works quite well) early in this thread.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sing Out! vs. the blind
From: Jack Campin
Date: 30 Jun 09 - 06:50 AM

The accessibility statement on the Sing Out! site now mentions RTF, not PDF. There is quite a difference. PDF is a "container" format - it is quite possible to create a PDF file which contains only an embedded graphic, which no screen reader has a prayer of working with (and I've seen that done by folk festival publicity agents).

RTF is better, but can still be screwed up so a screen reader can't handle it - it's not an open standard so there can be all sorts of incompatibilities. You can only know if you've got it right by actually testing it, which from the accessibility statement on the Sing Out! site, it seems they have not done.

I haven't seen the magazine for a long time. I'm inferring Sing Out!'s attitude to the blind from what I see on their website, which is about as inaccessible as it possible to get. Greg may well have a bug up his ass, but that website represents a determined effort to prove him right.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sing Out! vs. the blind
From: SINSULL
Date: 30 Jun 09 - 08:25 AM

Jack,
Have you made it your mission to "out" every website on the internet that is not "accessible" to the blind or anyone else? I can point you to hundreds. Why "Sing Out" only?
Why not admit that you fell for "Greg's" flaming and let it go?
Mary


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sing Out! vs. the blind
From: Jack Campin
Date: 30 Jun 09 - 08:37 AM

The crappiness of Sing Out!'s website had been mentioned here before. Greg's post simply reminded me to back and look at it again to see if they'd responded to the criticisms they got then. They hadn't.

I have tried to get something done about several other sites that were coded with similar arrogance and inconsiderateness. It's not in the least difficult to make a site accessible if you actually WANT to do it.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sing Out! vs. the blind
From: Joe Offer
Date: 01 Jul 09 - 01:45 AM

Well, now I'm interested. I learned how to use Adobe reader to read PDF files out loud, but what's the process for reading *.rtf and *.doc files? I turned on Microsoft Narrator and got it to read the links and tabs and buttons on my page, but I haven't figurted out how to get it (or somehting else) to read text out loud.
What could a blind person use to read The Sing Out! Website?

And Jack, what is it that makes said Website "crappy," and what could normal people do to make it better and more accessible, without spending huge sums of money?
-Joe-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sing Out! vs. the blind
From: Jack Campin
Date: 01 Jul 09 - 02:58 AM

You can read RTF using Microsoft Word or anything more-or-less compatible with it - OpenOffice, AppleWorks, whatever. The Apple stuff has built-in text-to-speech and the Windows stuff interworks with good, if expensive, text-to-speech add-ons. Usually. Microsoft change the RTF spec every so often and you can get bitten by version incompatibilities. Greg has now posted on Usenet saying he's happy with the RTF form of the magazine, so it looks like that's sorted.

An RTF reader doesn't help a lot with websites.

The Sing Out! website navigation is all done by Javascript mouseovers. If you can't see what your cursor is pointing at, you don't have any idea where clicking will take you.

Ordinary HTML links, either from speakable text items or from images with ALT tags describing their content, can be created with any text editor, including any freeware one. I use BBEdit Lite (freeware for MacOS 9), which has some extra utilities to help with this (like the Mudcat blickifier but easier and more wide-ranging), but you don't actually need that much for such a small site as Sing Out!.

What I think has happened is that whoever did Sing Out!'s pages is using a website-creation package that only does Javascript navigation, and that's all the web"master" knows how to use. The "master" probably can't read the code the package has created, let alone edit it.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sing Out! vs. the blind
From: Acorn4
Date: 01 Jul 09 - 03:16 AM

The British Computer Association of the Blind have done quite a lot of work on this. Might be worth getting in touch:-

British Computer Association of the Blind


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sing Out! vs. the blind
From: Stefan Wirz
Date: 01 Jul 09 - 03:45 AM

Oh Glory, how happy I am ...
... only using good old html to build my discographies (and one tiny little javascript to automatically load the navigation frame at the top)
Is there anything I can do to further improve my pages for the blind ?
Stefan


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 25 February 5:44 PM EST

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.