Thursday, May 20, 2010

Three Friends with Three Things in Common

By Erica Lawrence ’11

Albano Berberi ’13, Katherine Moss ’13, and Karl Belanger ’10 are three friends who, as Albano says, have become the terror of the blind community.

They have a great sense of humor. But they also share a visual disability and a love for technology. These three things bind these friends together. “All three of us are extreme techies,” says Karl.

They love to play computer games together, some of which are specifically audio based for the blind. “One thing you’ll notice—and I’ve noticed—about blind people in general,” says Albano, “is that we get amused at strange noises that people usually wouldn’t [be amused by].” Sometimes they like to pit video game fighters against each other on computer mode just to listen to the punches and blows of each character.

As much as they love fun sounds and playing video games, technology frustrates them as well. Katherine, who calls herself “a closet computer scientist” has so many computer problems that she’s afraid she has bothered Karl with them so much that he won’t want to come back to visit after he graduates. Karl says that he actually thinks the sheer volume of computer problems she has is amusing. She seems to attract computer issues—like a magnet attracts iron filings.

They agree that sometimes PDF writers and website authors are lazy when it comes to making their sites/documents accessible for the blind. Karl says that in most cases it would only take five more minutes of programming to make their sites accessible, but sadly many don’t. As Katherine says, most things “...work with screen readers, but it’s just a pain.”

Although these three have only known each other for one school year, they have become very close friends. Karl and Albano are even roommates and enjoy playing around with the ever-entertaining Quasar, Karl’s dog that he says is so funny he could write a book, titling it, “The Amusing Antics of Quasar.” Katherine and Albano, two freshman, say they will miss Karl and what they’d really like to do is kidnap Karl for another three years. They have loved having dinners together, going to Gordon basketball games, talking about technology, and playing video games, and really soaked up the last few months as a trio before Karl graduated in May.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I will miss you Karl. You always put a smile on my face :)