Friday, June 17, 2011

Optic Nerve Call for Submissions

Since losing my eyesight as a teen, I have been jumping over obstacles continuously. A major difficulty has been with technology. I admit I am not the most tech savvy person out there, but adaptive technology is often unable to keep up with the ever changing advancements which sighted folks take for granted. By the time third party software such as screen readers catch up to an advancement, program and site developers have long since moved on to other new inventions. Frequently, such programs, equipment, or sites are inaccessible for a time. This is one of the reasons when friends kept insisting I join the social networking sites such as MySpace, Facebook, and Twitter, I could not. I wanted to, but everything I read online from other blind and visually impaired computer users stated that these sites were inaccessible for screen readers. Eventually, mobile version of these sites proved to be accessible, but I have never liked them since I feel I am missing out on the enriched experience of the regular site even though the use of Flash on them makes it difficult for my screen reader to keep up with the regular site. After years of resisting, I purchased an Apple Mac a few years ago after plenty of research showed that by using a Mac, I would no longer have to spend $1,000 to $2,000 semi annually on third party screen reader software to use a PC. Plus, a similar amount when needing to buy upgrades. As of 2005, Apple computers came with screen reader software built-in for free. All upgrades were also free. Eventually, this was the case for their MP3 players, phones, and all other Apple products. Maybe ninety percent of the world still uses PC and so many more tech experts in the field of adaptive technology were PC people, but Apple products would enable me to use a blog, Facebook, and Twitter. I created this blog with a PC, but I struggled to navigate the site to post regularly. When I switched, I discovered I was able to access my account with much more ease. I also created my Facebook and Twitter accounts using my PC. I had some early success, but discovered even greater success upon making the switch to a Mac. Every so often, I will find a couple of tasks to be a bit more difficult on a Mac and would prefer a PC, but for the most part, I find I am able to be a part of the online world with greater ease nowadays. Being able to have more access to social networking sites has enabled me to reconnect with so many friends. Many of them have found me and I am shocked they still remember me. I find it most curious to hear what many of my friends especially those from grade school think of me now as finding me and seeing my pictures on Facebook is the first time they are seeing me since losing my sight. One of my grade school friends is a talented beautiful young woman with whom I reconnected over the last year. She is one of those friends from junior high who was always so amazing and I often wondered where and how she was since we lost contact so it has been a great thrill to touch base with her again. She now works at the Museum Of Contemporary Art, North Miami. The museum has put out a call for submission for their 2011 Optic Nerve. In previous years, they have accepted submissions only from artists in the Miami and Florida area, but this year, they have expanded their search to include artists from all over the country. So if you are a filmmaker who is interested in submitting your film for consideration as part of this year's Optic Nerve, please check out the guidelines and download and application at the site listed below. Early deadline is June 26 and final deadline is July 10.

For more information on Optic Nerve, please visit:

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