Fred’s Head from APH, a Blindness Blog

Fred’s Head, offered by the American Printing House for the Blind, contains tips, techniques, tutorials, in-depth articles, and resources for and by blind or visually impaired people. Our blog is named after the legendary Fred Gissoni, renowned for answering a seemingly infinite variety of questions on every aspect of blindness.

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Thursday, October 06, 2011

Steve Jobs 1955 - 2011

The following was blogged by Sandi Wassmer.

There is seldom a day that goes by without my uttering the name Steve Jobs at least once. When the announcement was made in August that he was stepping down as Apple's CEO, I got a chill down my spine. Apple was his baby. He was not a man who worked for a living or even a man who lived for work, but a man who simply did what he loved. He was a rarity - a man with vision, talent, passion and tenacity, who effected change around the world.

And today will be a day when his name will be uttered by many. In his far too short 56 years, he did more with his life than most can ever dream of. I did not know him personally and from what I have heard from folk at Apple, he was a relentless perfectionist. His vision was absolute and he knew how he wanted it executed in fine detail. He was difficult and temperamental, sure, but that's what made him so brilliant.

Steve Jobs put his house in order before he passed; the legacy he leaves, however, is not about the products or even the company he created, but the generation of designers and developers who understand how to design great technology. When the first PC, the IBM 5150, launched in 1981, it was "Look what this technology can do for you". Steve Jobs changed all of that. Now it's "Look what you can do with this technology". And if that is not enough for one life, he paved the way for a generation of geeks to believe that anything is possible and that belief is what inspires greatness. Few people follow their dreams; it takes pioneers like Steve Jobs to awaken our spirits and allow us to think, "I can".

Steve Jobs' 2005 Stanford Commencement Address

Because of Steve

I'm not really one to be interested in the goings-on of celebrities. However there is one person whom most would consider a "celeb" that changed my life. When the smartphone craze started happening, I was largely left out due to my increasing hearing loss. I canceled my contract with Verizon in 2006, because I was no longer able to use the phone. From that period until 2009, I didn't have one. For most people, a cell phone is a nice thing to have. However for a deafblind person it's a necessity.

I got my first iPhone in 2009. I was able to place relay calls, use GPS, text, and use many other apps right from my phone. For a person who can see and hear, this isn't probably such a big deal. You can read street signs, use a pay phone, if you had to, or read the ingredients on a box of crackers. I can do all of these things with my iPhone. It has literally opened up an entirely new world for me, and many other deafblind people. It levels the communication playing field and gives us equal access to information which is something we have never experienced. My life-changing ability to have this device which supports braille displays and third-party applications is a large result of the work of Steve Jobs. No matter what you may think of Apple, or its products, or of Mr. Jobs personally, it cannot be disputed that he has changed lives. He has changed my life.

The Dog House

Steve Jobs The Crazy Ones

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