♿️ accessibility

    Only a few people will enjoy it, but I got to be filmed using my 🍏💻 using Elloquence and have a Freedom Scientific JAWS🦈 come up in my Gmail when I opened. Randy’s bag of random brand technology is officially open.

    I Just hacked Sighted People!!!

    For all my kindred spirits in the blind community, I’ve just figured out how to hack sighted people. Next time they forget to provide an accommodation, try saying, “Thank you for paying me the complement of forgetting I am blind. Nevertheless, i am blind.” then tell them what you need. It wakes them up just enough.

    Randy’s Love Languages: An overview of how to be a good friend and/or leader

    My Love Languages

    To Be Included in my users’ manual should it serve me to take the time to right one

    1. Quality time: Essentally, if you don’t have it, can’t give it, won’t share it, please move along. I’m sure you’re a nice person, but we’re just not compatible.
    2. Acts of service: Quality time breeds trust. Once I trust you, I feel comfortable with and demonstrate my appreciation by returning the favor.
    3. Physical touch: I want it; a little goes way.
    4. Gift giving: It only works if the top 3 are firmly established and it’s given because you thought of me, rather than because it’s a certain time of year and you feel obligated toed.
    5. Words of Affirmation: Unless you’re a corporate type and you’re limited by years of conditioning, or HR needs such a statement on record, you can skip this step. By this point, you’re my friefriend. Generally speaking, I don’t need an explanation. CONGRATULATIONs! 🎰

    😎 I’m frustrated with the universe in general; it’s my stasis. Sometimes, I just let loose a big sigh and we all nobody can do anything about it.

    An open letter to Jason Cintron, Discord CEO

    Dear Jason Cintron,

    My name is Randy Reed, and I have had a Discord account since 2017. In 2019, I wrote the first comprehensive guide to using Discord with screen readers. I also spent a fair amount of time providing feedback in the Discord A11y server. I have been a Nitro subscriber since 2020.

    I took advantage of the ability to designate my own user tag and became Changeling#0001. According to my understanding, this should have put me up the line to get the username Changeling. When it was my turn, I found the username had been taken.

    I checked on the account that did get the username, and found it inactive. I sent an email to support back in April, 2022, and never received a response. I also messaged the account that has my username and asked, since they were inactive, if I could get them to switch with me. I did offer to entertain monetary compensation. I never heard back from the account.

    The frustration of not receiving a response aside, there are two main reasons I want Changeling. First and totally self-centric, I am totally blind and neurodivergent; synesthesia is the specific condition. I like the way the name Changeling looks in Braille, which is how i picture words. It’s a little like that special profile pic people love and use everywhere.

    Second and geared toward persons with blindness and visual impairments, my current name is changelingmx; written as Discord processes. when using TTS like a screen reader or similar application, it runs the name together into what is essentially gibberish that takes away from my online brand. If Discord supported camel case, I could do ChangelingMx, which would tell the software to process the username with Changeling Mx, the handle i use when Changeling is taken and the account is being used. If I could have the username Changeling, no changes would need to be made to the way in which Discord. If it is possible to fulfill my request, doing so would be the faster way to resolve my specific issue. However, it would behoove Discord to make this change to make it friendlier to users of text to speech software.

    In closing, I believe letting me have Changeling would give discord a happy customer and not put anyone out. If you go to https;//starshipchangeling.net/about, you’ll see I do have verified web identity under this name. I also feel it is a reasonable ask since I spent a lot of time and effort assisting blind and visually impaired users with using Discord.

    Thank you for your consideration of my request.


    Randy Reed

    Update: May 19, 2024

    No response after 24 hours. Disappointing, but not surprising. The real surprise would actually be getting the username. I’ve never one of these no matter how justified, but I don’t have a right to want it if I won’t try for it.

    On a different note, I’ve decided that I will not be updating the guide until I get it. Call me what you like, but the fact that I can’t such a simple thing from such dedication without compensation is just a bit demoralizing. To be fair, I’ve been extra sensitive to that, even now when things are clearly better for me overall.

    Update May23, 2024

    Still no response. That is all.

    Let My Changeling Go! A memoir of Championing Discord in the Blindness Community

    I want to take a minute to express my displeasure (growing whenever I think on it) with Discord. To some of you, it will seem like not a big deal. For those of you who have experienced something like this, you’ll understand. I’m not actually trying to get something done, I’m just talking about it to talk about it.


    I wrote my guide for using Discord with screen readers. I expanded and maintained it until 2022 when I became too ill to keep up with the changes, give participation to feedback in Discord’s accessibility server, or write 300 words a week to correct terminology and descriptions for UI changes that were minor, but could potentially cause screen readers to behave unpredictably. For my time and dedication and work to convince as many members of the blindness community as possible to embrace Discord, I received a T-shirt with their logo just before they changed said logo.


    I was also a Nitro subscriber and had been for a few years when Discord changed their policy concerning usernames. Prior to, I was Changeling#0001. I checked in preparation for the change, I researched and found that the accounts with changeling in their names, the one where the name was just changeling and no other words were inactive. When it came time for me to choose, I found one of the inactive accounts had gotten my preferred username, Changeling.

    No Reply

    I contacted support and explained. I then politely requested a change be made so I could have my username. I sent that email back in April of 2022; no response has come. I even tried DMing the account owner and asking if they’d mind switching since they weren’t using the account.

    Turning Point

    This is when I decided ed that no longer would I offering my services as an accessibilitye consultant for free. Compensation needn’t be monetary, but it needs to go beyond the proverbial Coke® and a smile. See my about page for ways get in touch.

    Your Turn

    Has this ever happened to youou? Share in the replies.

    If you don't like topics like sexuality and gender, sit in the corner and hum a hymn as you fondle the symbol of your faith with one hand and stroke your Good Book with the other, why don't you.

    🐲 It’s also worth mentioning I’ve largely exited the Asexual community because they are generally younger, angry and not yet tired enough by life to keep them from making your online life a nightmare if you fuck up. The result is even when I was having a nice time in those communities, I always felt on edge. In their attempt to make a safe space for everyone, they wound up having the reverse effect on me. I can tell myself it might say bad things about me as a person all I want, but it never managed to curb the feeling. It’s also why it took me so long to accept that I was nonbinary. I didn’t want to adopt a role that would require me to make others feel bad. So I privately classify myself as gender unimportant so I can just start living already without neglecting a big piece of my personality pie. 🏳️‍🌈

    What We Worry About: A Repost of someone who is exercising their right to be disgusted

    I don’t necessarily agree with the tone of this post, but I do the sentiment. Also, this is my way of reminding you living blind is not a case of God bless us, and we don’t all sit around eagerly awaiting some afterlife where we get back what we never had. This is what we worry about. Sit with that on your next long commute that takes significantly longer by bus, why don’t you. You should.


    Something You Didn't Know About me 05/16/2024

    Something you didn’t know about me…

    The first experience I had that showed me I shouldn’t have to fight for accommodation was not actually by anyone in my office or in the field of blindness and low vision. It actually came from the LGBTQIA2S+ community. I used to be a mod for the Discord server for of Sounds Fake But Okay. Before that happened, though, I had occasion to request that they add alt text to their photos. Not only did they not argue, they added descriptions on every social media as well as their online store so I could support them by purchasing their products and know exactly what I was born. Regardless of where we all end up, it was a thing that happened, and will never unhappen.

    People who dismiss Gen Z just for being Gen Z need to get off my lawn.

    📗 Yes And

    📗 Yes And


    Pronunciation: Yes. AND!

    Derived from the shorthand of the first rule of improv.

    No questions. Always respond with Yes and… Before adding more detail to said improv.

    Simplification for expression of the often complex state in which two conclusions are true at one time and are technically thought of and are not necessarily exclusively separate from each other, meaning these two conclusions can always be true at the same time, but many people cannot function in a way that allows for true validity of both conclusions, usually for reason of bias, inexperience, or yes and. Depending on the situation, there can be more than two valid conclusions. Bias, inexperience, pride, self-preservation, yes and.

    Being able to function in a state of yes and is an indicator of emotional maturity if not good or gradually improving mental health.

    Other examples not given as many yes and situations involve socially polarized statements and ideas typically found allover the place.

    Sonos: Pride cometh before the customer experience.

    📅 It’s time for Google IO2024!!! 🎰

    The actual event doesn’t start until 13:00 Eastern for me, but watch this post as I’ll be replying to it with my impressions. You can also interact in real time if you’re registered on the Fediverse.

    The ultimate Intro Post

    Welcome :)

    Imagine a social media experience where you log into one place and get all your content from across the Internet. Imagine a social media experience where you can follow people who post about interesting things, but also repost a lot of nonsense, and you can enjoy the best of them without putting yourself or the other person out. Imagine a social media experience where the reactions are hidden and what you’re left with are people who take the time to have meaningful discussion with you about your content. This is The Starship Changeling.

    My experience is The Starship Changeling. The developer of micro.blog doesn’t describe his content management system as social media, but he’s got one of the most accessible forms of the future of social media, I feel, so I switched.

    My Name is Randy

    My name is Randy and I often go by Changeling. If you’re wondering why a government name and fun name are being used at the same time, here’s what happened.I used to be an Assistive Technology instructor for people with visual impairments, CATIS certified and all. For reasons way beyond the scope of an introduction post, I am now an accessibility and inclusion specialist for the organization I used to teach for. At the same time I was an instructor, I began interacting with more online communities.

    In these communities, I went and still go by Changeling. Wonderful, right? Nice separation of casual and official life, but here’s the deal. Because I’m blind and it is one of those disabilities that has wide-ranging impacts both subtle and explicit, there’s no way for me to get away from my circumstances by adopting a digital life like many people can and do. Ready Player one? I look forward to it. Player two, I dream about it. Rogue AI god aside.

    Because of this, I still had to advocate to get my needs met. I began doing accessibility testing and checking for people, reviewing their social media posts, online stores, websites and, in one instance, a consultation about image descriptions for an envelope-book via Twitter DM. I always did this without asking for compensation. I wanted in those spaces, and I was the one who knew what I needed to be functional in them, so charging felt wrong to me.

    Furthermore, I didn’t often have the opportunity to teach special topics I thought were awesome. I started writing guides for using online platforms. The ones I’m most known for are Changeling’s Guide to Mastodon and Discord for screen readers. (Note: If you’re wondering about the whereabouts of said guides, I am currently in the process of updating them and reworking them to reflect requests from people who found it useful and saw ways to make it more user friendly.) I was building an extensive though untraditional resume under this name. The Discord guide even made it into an issue of Top Tech Tidbits.

    Then I became an accessibility and inclusion specialist as a day job, and I saw a personal choice for myself. I could do my job based on my traditional credentials alone, collecting credentials more specific to this role as I go, abandoning a resume of experience I came by honestly and fairly and honestly and that directly benefits my knowledge reputation in my day job, or I could spruce up my home on the Internet and turn it into a tool that displays valid though unorthodox credentials. For the record, I think it’s going to be a yes and situation, meaning both methods are going to be used, said method to be determined by the situation.

    About Surface Me

    I love roller coasters, horror novels and music. I am also the human partner in crime to a cat named Alex.


    Here are the things I talk about. You can also find this information on the the Archive or feeds pages.

    • Accessibility
    • Blindness-related topics
    • Tech
    • Games
    • Music
    • Books
    • Movies
    • TV
    • Observations and humor
    • Events I attend
    • And anything else I want.

    You can also use the Feeds page and an RSS reader of your choice to subscribe to those topics that are of interest to you. Finally, visit the nurture your inner alien page to subscribe to the email newsletter. Be aware, however, this is only set to deliver a weekly digest of all posts. As you may be realizing, this email would be quite large.

    If you are a screen reader user, your best bet for consistent navigation around pages is to use the landmarks or regions feature. There are three main areas.

    • Navigation: Lists all pages for the site.
    • main: The area that displays the most recent posts.
    • Footer: Has links to my other corners of the Internet.

    You can also use the articles feature of your screen reader to quickly move between posts in the main area.


    As mentioned before, my starship is now completely free of likes, reposts and followers counts. I’m not saying you can’t do those things, but I will remain unaware of them. Let’s look at how we can effectively interact with each other.

    • Fediverse: If you’re on Mastodon or any other service that support ActivityPub and The Fediverse, you can hit the reply button, compose your response and send it.
    • micro.blog: If you are following me with your account, the reply link follows each post, as does a link to view an entire conversation.
    • Reply by email: I renamed this link to “send an intergalactic transmission’. Click this, and your default email program prefilled with my email address and the post title or excerpt as the subject line. Compose your email, hit send and I’ll have your message.
    • I’ll respond to you via the method you choose.

    More info

    See the about page for more information.

    Thank you, and enjoy your ride on the Starship Changeling!🎢🎢🎢

    In the world of Non-24, there are no late starts, just unconventional ones. Ditto early mornings, late nights, typical days, etc.

    Swimming or Whatever


    I’m live in the blind community, and one of the things that comes up is trouble accessing physical activity. Reasons for this include but are not limited to access to transportation, accessing the gym, following visual cues in group classes, etc. This means that any time a blind person appears to be getting regular exercise, other blind people want details. That’s why I’m posting this. It’s not an exercise video, just a blog post by someone stuck on the idea that even written casual information needs some structure.

    Disclosure I Hope Makes Me less Intimidating

    I’m not particularly fitness oriented. I call any sporting event Sportsball, and some of my highlights in this portion of human existence include:

    • Throwing a bowling ball backwards, not in the Nintendo Wii game.
    • At the same bowling alley, I took out the bumper and got a gutter ball. We called it getting a gutter ball in a lane with no gutters.
    • Tagging the barbecue grill in a game of horseshoes.

    I’m also the one ordering the supersized order of fries This is why anyone who knows me is saying, An exercise routine? You? It’s also why this is not a training material

    The fact of the matter is endorphins help manage my chronic pain and are cheap, comparatively speaking. Exercise is also good for helping to manage circadian rhythm disorders, from my own research to deal with my stuff. The existence of necessity combined with my general contempt for gym memberships, exercise videos, etc. (a completely different story) allow me to go into this with the understanding that I have no reason to be attempting physical activity. I don’t care what I look like. I’m there to meet a need. I have, however, included a screenshot of a recent tracking session(https://starshipchangeling.net/uploads/2024/image.jpg) recorded by my Apple watch to show the results for myself.

    I bring this up to tell you that if you are a blind person and if you want to be successful at something like this, you’ll have to get comfortable with the idea that, when it comes to your exercise, you’ll tell someone what their opinion is when you want it as long as you’re not in any danger. You may even need to say so out loud. If you can get comfortable with that, you can own your exercise and are more likely to stick with it/return to it following a break. This is an underlying principle of fitness in general, I believe. The turning the not worrying about what I look like long enough to do the exercise is my personal struggle as a congenitally blind, fitness disoriented person.


    I live in Florida. My pool is outdoors, useable most of the year and appears to be open 24/7, though the earliest I have been out there is 7 in the morning. I based these adaptations on my own comfort and needs.

    • Start and end in the same spot: I usually have my smartphone playing music and I set it on the corner of the pool. The distance of the sound tells me where I am. I also use markers along the length of the pool such as jets, steps and ladders for orientation. Finally, if the sun is out, I can use its position on my face to keep me on track.
    • Empty Pool: I’m introverted and blind, making me an object of curiosity to people (another topic, etc., etc., etc.). My favorite thing about the pool in my apartment is I can hit the pool at 7 in the morning and be finished long before the children are out of school. This also makes it less of a problem if I veer.
    • The same place for my things every time: My place is just inside the door against the fence. I know how far the pool is from there and I’m most comfortable starting from that spot. I also know how to get from the steps when I get out to my things.

    The Routine

    Before we begin, one final disclosure. The names of the moves are what I call them in my head. That’s all. I didn’t invent the moves, and please don’t spend your energy replying to me with corrections. I really had to do some personal rewiring to get here, so on my starship, I call the moves what I call them. If you’re reading this and yelling, “That’s not what that’s called!” At your computer, please relax. You can call these exercises whatever you like in your house of no imagination.

    1. Start the motor: Skip the stairs, take the plunge. My body deals with the shock of the cold all at the same time and I can get down to business. This is especially helpful on mornings are in the low ‘50’s.

    2. Warm-up; Move my legs and arms like Gymnast Barbie for the verse and chorus of a song. I like to move everything at the same time so my body doesn’t feel like it has a lot of extra parts coming out of it that I don’t know what to do with, but there are a few ways to go about warming up. Also, to move like Gymnast Barbie, get to a place in the pool that is shallow enough that I can touch if I need to, but deep enough so I don’t stub my toes. Then, move my arms and legs in a dog-paddle motion. I know when my body’s ready to go, another benefit of regular activity.

    3. Free-style: I prefer to dog-paddle. I do this for a song and a half, or five plus however many laps I can take before I get tired if it’s raining and my phone is safe and dry in my apartment. My pool’s a rectangle with an elbow for the stairs. I estimate it at about four yards long.

    4. The Big five: I do five of each of the following.

      a. Ghost arm: Move around the pool using both legs and one arm in a forward motion. The total number of laps is 10. I alternate arms for a more comfortable workout, or use each arm 5 times consecutively for a more challenging session. My ghost arm, arm I’m not using, can either stay curled against my torso, or it can be used as a makeshift feeler to find walls.

      b. T-Rex: Propel myself forward around the pool using only my arms. It gives my legs a chance to rest before the next set of exercises. If I’m not feeling it, I put my feet out behind me and just keep them stationary and remind myself I’m longer than normal when I make the turns. If I want to work my belly muscles (reminder: Not fitness oriented), I point my feet straight down and lift my legs in shallow areas. Another advantage here is my legs aren’t completely stationary durning the time it takes me to do this exercise.

      c. I forgot my kick board!: Fold my hands in front of me and use only my legs to go around the pool in a forward motion. Easier for me to write than to do.

      d. Bizarro-cycle: Pretend I’m sitting upright on a bicycle, facing my feet out in front of me and use just them to move myself around the pool in a backward motion. If I’m having a hard day, I pretend I’m on an exercise bike and use my arms to help me move. If my back starts to spasm, the bicycle becomes a manually operated crotch rocket that also goes in reverse.

      e. Flying chair: Sit in an upright position with my feet in front of me so my toes point up, and my soles are facing out. Then, move my arms in concentric circles to move around the pool in a forward motion. I use this one when my legs have giving up their grumbling about having to go through this routine agin in favor of an outcry to please stop what I’m doing. The extra challenge is to maintain the upright position. If my legs only grumble, this exercise usually stays on the bench as it is very time consuming.

    5. Cool-down: Return to Gymnast barbie position until my body doesn’t feel like a coiled spring, then a shower.


    When I first sat down to write this, I hadn’t intended for it to be a long-form post. I also hadn’t intended for it to be all about me. However, as I was reviewing the first draft, the part about not being fitness oriented, it hit me that the only way to write this in a way appropriate to my station was to make it personal. I’m not an exercise instructor, but a troubleshooter. In this case, the thing I needed to fix was my own personal attitudes toward exercise.

    I’ve enjoyed the water since forever, so I’ve figured out ways to enjoy pools independently. There’s also just something about the smell of a swimming pool, the mix of chlorine and sun lotion, that I find invigorating. Combine that with changing what I was doing according to how my body felt before, during and after, and that’s how I found what worked for me. And the music, of course. That works for me more than trying to keep time.

    All I wanted was a link I could give people that ask what I’m doing so I don’t have to keep repeating myself. I need a way to count words because based on the length of this, I’m the only one who read it. :P

    This is an accessibility nightmare. How would you feel if you ivested thousands of dollars into an ecosystem and it suddenly became unuseable and maybe locked you out?

    It appears Sonos is about to become less useable by screen reader users. The CEO should stop it now, but here’s how to protect your investment if he doesn’t mosen.org/sonos2024

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