Nine Things Visually Impaired (VI) Pagans Have to Put Up With

Nine Things Visually Impaired (VI) Pagans Have to Put Up With January 14, 2015

Just a list that people might find interesting.

1. There are audio versions of the testaments everywhere, but very few Pagan books.
2. I hate stoves. Accidents always seem to happen no matter what I’m doing. Usually involving hot water. Guess I’m brewing the herbs in the microwave. Or the coffee maker.
3. When the weather sucks, who wants to stand at the bus stop? And begging rides is depending on someone else, which makes us feel like burdens. And gas creates polution. So you don’t get to do anything fun that day.

4. When you need to post a group event for your coven, and Mobile Facebook doesn’t have a create event link for group admins, and neither does Facebook for iPhone. So you have to struggle through the regular Facebook’s bogged-down layout which is not JAWS friendly.
5. You like to draw dream visions, but pen strokes are too thin to make out. Soft led pencils can be hard to find, so you end up drawing everything in chiseled Sharpy, which means you can’t erase and start over. So you waste a lot of paper in screw-ups.
6. Going out in the woods to connect with nature is difficult when your depth perception sucks and you do not like getting nailed by low tree branches.
7. People can be well-meaning, and attempt to accomodate you. And in the flow of ritual, you don’t want to disrupt things. So having to ask them not to touch you without permission can be a mood killer. Ask, don’t assume.
8. Camping is nice, but if you want anything cooked in the fire, it’s going to take two, because it isn’t so easy to aim those stick things.
9. You can’t drive, so you buy ritual supplies online. You need to feel their energy to see if they agree with you, so this is problematic.

Please leave me comments with questions or ideas for posts. Thank you.


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  • Joanne Dunster

    I can solve number 5! http://www.pilotpen.com.au/writing-instruments/frixion-range
    Ta! Da! Erasable pens. I have these and they are awesome.

  • Joanne Dunster

    I can solve number 5! http://www.pilotpen.com.au/writing-instruments/frixion-range
    Ta! Da! Erasable pens. I have these and they are awesome.

  • Hi CJ! Great post. As a Pagan writer I can probably offer some insight into why there are so few Pagan audiobooks. Publishers generally do not see them as good business investments because of the small market. The visually impaired are already a small market compared to those who are not; and Pagans are already a small market as well, especially when you consider how many different Paganisms there are. That being said, I would really like for there to be more Pagan audiobooks, and I would certainly urge my publisher to support any initiative that would bring my book (and any future books) into audiobook format. I will talk to my publisher about the issue.

    It’s more than just the visually impaired who benefit from audiobooks. People who have issues with the use of their hands benefit as well; as did my husband after his car accident. It made me much more aware of the limited audio material out there.

    In the meantime, I believe there are programs available that read text vocally, aren’t there? I don’t know how effective they are, but perhaps you could get a pdf version (most books are published in e-format as well as paper book these days) and have said program read it for you? Probably not as portable as an audiobook but at least it might make the text available. Let me know if I’m way off base here.

    I also have a few friends and acquaintances in Pagan publishing, and I have a couple of ideas to suggest. One is in creating an iTunes account or an Amazon audio account and making audiobooks available on Mp3 without printing a CD at all. This would considerably reduce the production costs of an audiobook, but still make it readily available. I don’t know enough about publishing to know for certain that this would be a viable option, but it’s an idea. I do know that if you want to see this sort of thing from publishers, you have to demand it, because otherwise they won’t know it’s wanted and so they won’t spend money on making it happen.

    • Elysia

      I can say, working for a Pagan publisher, that creating audio books is not a part of our work environment – we don’t have connections with studios, voice talent, etc. So while once in a while we have an author who does it himself or herself (like Christopher Penczak’s CDs – which aren’t audio books but guided meditations that accompany his books), we take care of the cover design, manufacturing and distributing, but nothing else.

      The usual process in our case and probably many other mid-size independents is that the publisher sells audio book rights to other publishers, i.e. the companies that produce, market and sell audio books. So it’s not really up to us to meet the demand, but the audio book companies; and we very rarely have any interest from them. It seems to me that most audio books are just the bestseller list, but I could be wrong.

  • Hi CJ! Great post. As a Pagan writer I can probably offer some insight into why there are so few Pagan audiobooks. Publishers generally do not see them as good business investments because of the small market. The visually impaired are already a small market compared to those who are not; and Pagans are already a small market as well, especially when you consider how many different Paganisms there are. That being said, I would really like for there to be more Pagan audiobooks, and I would certainly urge my publisher to support any initiative that would bring my book (and any future books) into audiobook format. I will talk to my publisher about the issue.

    It’s more than just the visually impaired who benefit from audiobooks. People who have issues with the use of their hands benefit as well; as did my husband after his car accident. It made me much more aware of the limited audio material out there.

    In the meantime, I believe there are programs available that read text vocally, aren’t there? I don’t know how effective they are, but perhaps you could get a pdf version (most books are published in e-format as well as paper book these days) and have said program read it for you? Probably not as portable as an audiobook but at least it might make the text available. Let me know if I’m way off base here.

    I also have a few friends and acquaintances in Pagan publishing, and I have a couple of ideas to suggest. One is in creating an iTunes account or an Amazon audio account and making audiobooks available on Mp3 without printing a CD at all. This would considerably reduce the production costs of an audiobook, but still make it readily available. I don’t know enough about publishing to know for certain that this would be a viable option, but it’s an idea. I do know that if you want to see this sort of thing from publishers, you have to demand it, because otherwise they won’t know it’s wanted and so they won’t spend money on making it happen.

  • Rowan Oakhaven

    My wife is blind and wanted me to pass along a mention of Bookshare.org. They have a surprising number of Pagan books, such as almost everything by Scott Cunningham. You don’t need to be a member to browse their offerings, so you can see if there’s enough there to make it worth the effort and cost of joining. You can get books as audiobooks, text for readers, text with pictures, or BRF format. She is a ravenous reader and has greatly benefited from that site.

    Regarding branches in the woods, she generally wears safety sunglasses just in case there are ones that I miss as I guide her or are just unavoidable to push through. Heck, I wear clear safety glasses in the woods when I’m trekking out at night so that I can push through thick areas if needed and not fear for my eyes.

    As to the flow of a ritual, I have done a couple of rituals for my proto-grove and wrote them to include verbal cues that let her know what is going on. For example, we often begin by kneeling to touch the Earth. Many rituals we hold will just have folks kneeling down because they can see the leader is doing that, but I added in lines such as, “Let us all kneel down to touch the Earth-Mother now.” This has the added benefit of allowing newcomers and participants not familiar with the ADF core order of ritual (which are open to the public) to know what is about to happen instead of feeling like they’re playing a game of monkey-see, monkey-do. In education, the inclusion of accommodations that benefit all students is known as “universal design.” It would be interesting to build an aide or guide for universal design in ritual.

    • Rowan Oakhaven

      I should add that I often don’t guide her in the typical sense in the woods. I walk a little ahead of her, sometimes wearing a bear bell on my pack, and she has a scanning method the uses with her trekking poles instead of her cane.