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Thread: ♿- Disabled Cacher - handicaching

  1. #1

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    Question ♿- Disabled Cacher - handicaching

    As a disabled geocacher, there are still a lot of caches that are inaccessible to me due to stiles and kissing gates. I would like to see more of these replaced with gates with Radar keys - where the surrounding paths/environment was suitable for mobility scooters, wheelchairs, buggies etc.

    This is something I have enquired about (unofficially) with a member of my local parish council, but was wondering if this would be something that the GAGB would be willing to help with on a nationwide basis?

    I also use the handicaching.com site and would like to encourage more people to use it. I would like to thank all the Cachers who have supported and encouraged me to get out and enjoy caching

    I would also like to thank all the Cache Owners who have supported the handicaching reviews I have done on their caches so far by simply adding the HTML code that I email them, under the 'Long Description' of their cache pages that gives a direct link to the handicaching review Could the GAGB help to promote this?

    Many thanks
    Heather aka Cache on Wheels

  2. #2

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    I'm probably the least qualified person to answer this but I can't see it sat here without a reply - so here goes

    I've tried through various means to gauge the demand for and the usefulness of Handicache ratings to no avail.

    My local friendly reviewer went to great lengths to encourage me that it was a worthwhile exercise and, on the basis that the local friendly reviewer is happy to contribute so much of their own spare time for the benefit of the rest of us, I figured this small repayment was the very least I could do to show my gratitude in return.

    And I've rated a good number of caches to the best of my limited ability on the basis that someone might make use of them - both caches that I have placed and the caches of others that I have found.

    Whenever I've found a really good example of a cache that I've felt would be particularly suitable for and enjoyable to a less able cacher, I've approached the CO and asked them to add the review to their cache page - and most of them, to their credit, did so :socool:

    Admittedly though I haven't done any Handicache reviews for a few months, and I'll tell you why. Never once have I had any feedback that anyone ever has benefited from a single one of those reviews.

    Now I'm not looking for anyone to pledge their undying gratitude - absolutely not. It would be useful though to know that I wasn't compiling / providing information that wasn't being used. Nobody wants to invest time doing something pointless which benefits nobody.

    So I guess what I'm saying is that if more people demanded such information AND fed back on how useful (or indeed how rubbish) it had been - more people might, seeing that their time would be invested usefully, make an extra effort to contribute themselves.

  3. #3

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    I'm probably the best qualified candidate to answer this, due to my work as a member of Team OC UK because we liaise with handicaching in our work and have links to the handicaching site on the OC UK website. Whilst I understand the concerns of this in relation to the people involved, my dad being one of the mobility impaired. I do not think that the GAGB have the power, the legal authority, the training, own enough land thought the membership or possess the level of full understanding to discuss, to even attempt to create or implement such a wide ranging scheme thoughout the country to the extent you have asked. I'm sorry to have to tell you this but I just don't belive its possible.

    Sorry again
    Dominic

  4. #4

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    As my wife has limited mobility I'm aware of the challenge that just a modest countryside excursion can entail, however, she does not use a wheelchair, so appreciate this takes the challenge to a greater level.

    It is clear that stiles and kissing gates present insurmountable obstacles to someone restricted to a wheelchair, so I would support their replacement with regular gates, if they are located on a route that could otherwise be negotiated by wheelchair. The use of locks with Radar keys would be an appropriate measure to ensure that footpaths don't become bridle paths inadvertently.

    However, I would resist measures that would urbanise the countryside, such as putting a solid surface on a footpath, or artificially widening a path through vegetation. An exception to this would be high traffic areas that become quagmires, where appropriate measures should be taken to improve drainage and ensure wheeled passage is manageable.

    I think we should do more as an association, to support our less able members, however, I think we are too small a voice and too marginal an interest group to be able to get commitment from authorities to act on a nationwide basis. To this end, I think GAGB should affiliate itself with the Ramblers Association, which has a much larger and broader membership and is thus much better able to campaign nationally in this regard.

  5. #5

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    What he said

    Thanks
    Dominic

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by sandvika View Post
    As my wife has limited mobility I'm aware of the challenge that just a modest countryside excursion can entail, however, she does not use a wheelchair, so appreciate this takes the challenge to a greater level.

    It is clear that stiles and kissing gates present insurmountable obstacles to someone restricted to a wheelchair, so I would support their replacement with regular gates, if they are located on a route that could otherwise be negotiated by wheelchair. The use of locks with Radar keys would be an appropriate measure to ensure that footpaths don't become bridle paths inadvertently.

    However, I would resist measures that would urbanise the countryside, such as putting a solid surface on a footpath, or artificially widening a path through vegetation. An exception to this would be high traffic areas that become quagmires, where appropriate measures should be taken to improve drainage and ensure wheeled passage is manageable.

    I think we should do more as an association, to support our less able members, however, I think we are too small a voice and too marginal an interest group to be able to get commitment from authorities to act on a nationwide basis. To this end, I think GAGB should affiliate itself with the Ramblers Association, which has a much larger and broader membership and is thus much better able to campaign nationally in this regard.
    I would not wish to seek urbanising the countryside by any means.
    I do not think it is impossible to liaise with the councils to have some gates replaced by radar key gates, it will be something that will take time to work out the best approach and maybe something that would filter into the countryside as maintanence is required by the council.
    .
    I am not meaning we start approaching the councils to replace all of them either, maybe identify some key routes that will be used regularly by many Cachers, that are already suitable for wheelchairs and approaching our local parish council for advice on how we would go about this.

  7. #7

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    I will approach my local parish council about this and seek their advice on any projects or such like that may already be in place or on their agenda of making the countryside more accessible to wheelchair users. After all, if they already have something in place, it could save a lot if time and effort.

    From my knowledge and experience of making parts of my local village accessible via wheelchair / scooter, I know these things usually start at Parish Council level and require their support. Measures have been out in place to make this happen too

    I have searched disabled accessible routes in the countryside but not been very successful so far. I understand that taking this on on a nationwide level would be massive, and that is not what I am asking.

    Does anyone know of any maps already available? Some bridle ways are acessible but as one comment pointed out, this can make the tracks very muddy.

    I am happy to work with the gagb committee in feeding back info I recieve from my local parish council ... Perhaps from this, we could work at producing a standard letter, hopefully with the support of the gagb, that we could download from the site and send to our parish council.
    That way, there would be one standard letter that clearly outlines our aim in making the countryside more accessible not just to geocachers by any means, but to all who use a wheelchair or mobility scooter.

    Mainly what I would like to know from the gagb committee, is:
    1- Are you willing to explore this possability and
    2- Are you willing to help promote handicaching or any other means of supporting disabled Cachers? I know handicaching has been around for some time, and despite great efforts of other Cachers, it has not become well used. However, there are always new Cachers joining and knowledge if handicaching will be the important key hopefully making it well known.
    A great start would be having info and a link on the gagb site for all to see.

    One if the hosts from the UK Geocaching Podcast show (Octiber show) did post notes to I think grease monkey? That automatically asks you if you want to do a handicaching review when submitting a cache. Here is the link:
    http://www.ukgcpodcast.com/2012/10/0...-handicaching/
    This would be great if this could be incorporated into GC.com when submitting a cache and even better, logging a cache as found.
    Last edited by Cache on Wheels; 19th November 2012 at 05:35 PM. Reason: Add link and check accuracy on my quote of grease monkey

  8. #8

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    I think GAGB should support specific requests for better access, and if it doesn't help, be prepared to escalate the matter too.

    I've been a parish councillor since 2003 (it's an unpaid elected position) and in my experience, public rights of way are the responsibility of borough or district councils or unitary authorities. The parish council can be supportive of reasonable requests and can also support restoration work, where this is needed.

    (I'm happy to report that the tiny land holding that my parish council has is accessible through gates easily wide enough for a wheel chair, as well as by a vehicular entrance. Our current premises are rented, we hope in due course to have custom-built premises and have already specified that the new council chamber must be accessible by wheelchair.)

  9. #9

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    Smile Wheelchair access

    That's very good advice, thank you do you think I would be better going straight to the rights of way, whom I have a named contact, or thorough] the parish council first by requesting it in the agenda for an upcoming meeting?

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cache on Wheels View Post
    That's very good advice, thank you do you think I would be better going straight to the rights of way, whom I have a named contact, or thorough] the parish council first by requesting it in the agenda for an upcoming meeting?
    If there are specific locations where you would like gates installing, in your parish, then now might be a good time to ask as it's budget setting time for 2013/14. It might be easier to convince your parish council to allocate funds to this than a more remote borough or district council, especially as borough and district council budgets are under pressure and tax increases are limited by law, whereas parish councils don't have the same restrictions, as far as I am aware.

    However, if you have a supportive rights of way officer then by all means ask them too and also let them know you are asking your parish, because they might have costings to hand, saving your parish some work

  11. #11

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    Perhaps it would be useful to have a formal GAGB "Access officer" (who doesn't necessarily need to be a member of the committee) but who could provide information and support for these sort of issues and indeed other access issues such as footpath availability.

    I'm aware that others such as the Ramblers have such a capability and we could potentially join forces with them on many issues.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cache on Wheels View Post
    As a disabled geocacher, there are still a lot of caches that are inaccessible to me due to stiles and kissing gates. I would like to see more of these replaced with gates with Radar keys - where the surrounding paths/environment was suitable for mobility scooters, wheelchairs, buggies etc.

    This is something I have enquired about (unofficially) with a member of my local parish council, but was wondering if this would be something that the GAGB would be willing to help with on a nationwide basis?

    I also use the handicaching.com site and would like to encourage more people to use it. I would like to thank all the Cachers who have supported and encouraged me to get out and enjoy caching

    I would also like to thank all the Cache Owners who have supported the handicaching reviews I have done on their caches so far by simply adding the HTML code that I email them, under the 'Long Description' of their cache pages that gives a direct link to the handicaching review Could the GAGB help to promote this?

    Many thanks
    Heather aka Cache on Wheels
    I would have to admit when it comes to disabled caching i know little to nothing about the problems a person in that position faces . personally i feel that the GAGB needs to be behind/support someone like your self who could be an adviser, and maybe work with other organisations who are trying to highlight the problems faced by disabled people if we could approach other organisations and work together we would have a bigger voice when asking for change.* TOGERTHER WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE*

  13. #13

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    She who must be obeyed cannot walk far either - so my solution has been to put out a small series of "drive by" caches that she can help me with maintenance, It ensure that she stays involved and interested - I think that those of us with limited mobility, or partners etc., who have these problems put out more drive bys and encourage other cache hiders to consider mobility when doing so we would have a better hobby for all concerned :socool:
    Si vis pacem para bellum

  14. #14

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    This is something that I would strenuously support, I believe that the GAGB ought to be the conduit for our players to gain a voice.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by daddyanddude View Post
    I would have to admit when it comes to disabled caching i know little to nothing about the problems a person in that position faces . personally i feel that the GAGB needs to be behind/support someone like your self who could be an adviser, and maybe work with other organisations who are trying to highlight the problems faced by disabled people if we could approach other organisations and work together we would have a bigger voice when asking for change.* TOGERTHER WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE*
    thank you so much for your kind words of support
    I would be happy to be in board as an advisor for this. Like co-opted but not a full committee member - that's if members and the new committee would accept my offer
    Thank you fir your comment

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cache on Wheels View Post
    I would be happy to be in board as an advisor for this. Like co-opted but not a full committee member - that's if members and the new committee would accept my offer
    Absolutely superb idea

    Real feedback from those who benefit directly is the best possible fuel for continued support and improvement :cheers:

    People are generally likely to contribute more in cases where they can actually see positive results arising from their efforts :wub:

  17. #17

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    Post What does disabled accessible mean?

    I know it is difficult as people have such a wide range of conditions, disabilities or illnesses that can affect them differently throughout a day, sometimes changing within minutes like myself. So I understand it is difficult especially for others to know where to start in assessing if a cache would be accessible for people with any type of disabilities or limited mobility.
    All one can do, is provide a more detailed breakdown of access to a cache - the great thing is you do not have to be disabled to rate a cache and anyone can rate a cache that either they own or have found. The great thing about this is it helps us all gain info and educates us on what to think about when assessing a cache for accessibility :
    That is why handicaching.com is so good, to give you an idea, these are the headings you choose one of the options from the drop down list

    1- D/T Rating: Our opinion if what the D/T should be.
    2- distance to cache: this helps enormously when planning if to use my walker, someone's arm, or scooter / wheelchair.
    3- Route Surface.
    4- Route Slope
    5- Route obstructions eg stiles: if a route is relatively short to the GZ, I can be pushed or push my wheelchair as I would my walker, if there is a gate, it is easy for my husband or caching buddy to fold my W/C in order to get it over the style / kissing gate etc
    6- Cache Height: this helps so j know if I can likely retrieve the cache using my helping hand or if I need help to retrieve the cache
    Just to be clear, I am NOT talking about having help to retrieve a cache that is up a tree :lol: I'm talking about a cache that would be within easy reach of a fully able bodied person eg 0-6ft
    7 you can then add info specifically related to the cache in the description section.

    If you would like to see an example of how the link looks in a cache page and what the review looks like, please feel free to have a look at one of my caches.
    Click on the yellow handicaching logo that will take you straight to the handicaching rating. This is think link to one of my caches 'The Square': http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache...6-7c0197f943d6

    You may find some of the wording I have used helpful with your own descriptions on your caches: eg 'depending on how you feel at that moment ...'
    A Handicaching.com can be useful to have on your page, especially when you are unsure if the W/C icon is appropriate to use. You could leave it off but add a link to handicaching.com and write some info on your description part if the cache page

    Please let me know if you find this helpful or give me feedback. I am happy to answer questions via PM or help others to do handicaching reviews or advise when setting out caches.


  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Team Microdot View Post
    Absolutely superb idea

    Real feedback from those who benefit directly is the best possible fuel for continued support and improvement :cheers:

    People are generally likely to contribute more in cases where they can actually see positive results arising from their efforts :wub:
    Thank you I always think anything that can help others and make things easier for them is fantastic I think good communication of sharing information is key here :socool:

  19. #19

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    Speaking personally, as a disabled person who has almost seven and a half years experience of finding and hiding geocaches, I'd say that although it has merit, if the handicaching website was going to catch on, it would have done so by now.

    I would much rather GAGB encourage cache setters to consider using the cache difficulty and terrain rating widget thing for every cache they set, rather than a finger in the wind, approach.

    Also I would like to see setters encouraged to consider in detail obstacles en route to a cache from their suggested parking / approach route. Without giving too much away, it's fairly straightforward to say, x stiles between parking and cache, or thes a kissing gate or whatever the obstacle might be.

    I see the main problem is not unwillingness of geocachers to share this info they simply don't think about it. That's the main reason they won't visit handicaching either.

    I spend my life wanting to be included, by moving accessible information to a separate site it's another separation rather than working for one integrated community.

    Also, this access information is of use to many others, like cyclists, young families etc, none of whom would regard themselves necessarily as disabled and wouldn't likely think to go to handicaching. Geocaching is for all, so lets encourage setters to consider the whole community but not burden them with joining another site that not many people use anyway.

    So I for one would be asking GAGB to raise awareness amongst geocachers of accurate access information on their main cache page.

    Who seriously, when looking up a geocache on a phone or gpsr is going to then log on to another site?

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Wombles View Post
    Perhaps it would be useful to have a formal GAGB "Access officer" (who doesn't necessarily need to be a member of the committee) but who could provide information and support for these sort of issues and indeed other access issues such as footpath availability.

    I'm aware that others such as the Ramblers have such a capability and we could potentially join forces with them on many issues.

    That sounds like a great idea Dave to join forces and pool resources. There are many Cachers and or their family members or friends that maybe work for an agency where their knowledge and experience would be valuable.
    Perhaps like a sub committee of members who are willing to work together on some of these as a project.
    Every little step counts

  21. #21

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    Heather, seriously, have you read what geocaching.com provide on this? The list inspired by Clayjar? Everyone is invited to fill it in, and if they did so, it would make every geocache have good quality access information, not just a few.

    http://www.geocaching.com/hide/rate.aspx

    Answer the following questions based on the most difficult parts of the cache:

    Is an overnight stay likely?
    Will it take more than a day to hike in, find the cache, and hike out again?


    No

    Yes
    What is the length of the hike?
    This is the length of the hike from the most logical parking area to the cache.


    Less than 1/2 mile
    Less than 1 km

    1/2 mile to 2 miles
    About 1 to 3 km

    2 miles to 10 miles
    About 3 to 16 km

    Over 10 miles
    Over 16 km
    What is the trail like?
    How is the the most difficult part of the cache? If the cache is within a few feet of a trail, don't worry about the last few feet.


    Paved pathways
    Asphalt, concrete, or boardwalks.

    Well marked/defined hardpack
    Well packed dirt. You could ride a standard bicycle or push a stroller on this trail without too much effort.

    Other trail types
    Could be gravel, sand, mud, etc. May be an animal trail. If you're riding a bike, it had better be a mountain bike.

    Trail? What trail?
    There is no real trail. Wheels are out. May be following a stream bed or be very rocky.
    Is the path bushy or overgrown?
    Overgrowth refers to any plant or other substance that impedes the path. Keep in mind that conditions change; rate based on your understanding of worst-case conditions.


    Not at all
    There is no overgrowth at all.

    Some light overgrowth
    An adult could step over or around this.

    Yeah, it's pretty overgrown
    It's waist-high or so, or it may be thorny or have poison plants.

    The overgrowth is very heavy
    I can't see the other side! Some type of machete or other cutting device is probably needed. Very likely to have thorns or poison plants.
    What is the terrain elevation like?
    How hard is the steepest part of the cache?


    Basically flat
    Only slight elevation changes. Easy to do in a wheelchair, stroller, bike, etc.

    Some elevation changes
    Changes are slight enough that someone could ride a bike up such a slope.

    Steep elevation changes
    Change is steep. Probably could not ride a bike up this slope, but could push it up.

    Severe elevation changes
    The only way up the slope is to use your hands. Going down may require the use of your backside.
    How easy is it to find the cache?
    Please consider visibility, accessibility, and relative signal strength due to tree cover or other obstructions when answering this question.


    Cache is in plain sight or location is fairly obvious.

    Cache could be in one of several locations. Hunter may have to look for a while.

    Cache may be very well hidden, may be multi-leg, or may use clues to location.

    Cache likely requires special skills, knowledge, or in-depth preparation to find. May require multiple days or trips to find.

    Finding this cache requires very specialized knowledge, skills, or equipment. This is a serious mental or physical challenge.
    |





    Quote Originally Posted by Cache on Wheels View Post
    I know it is difficult as people have such a wide range of conditions, disabilities or illnesses that can affect them differently throughout a day, sometimes changing within minutes like myself. So I understand it is difficult especially for others to know where to start in assessing if a cache would be accessible for people with any type of disabilities or limited mobility.
    All one can do, is provide a more detailed breakdown of access to a cache - the great thing is you do not have to be disabled to rate a cache and anyone can rate a cache that either they own or have found. The great thing about this is it helps us all gain info and educates us on what to think about when assessing a cache for accessibility :
    That is why handicaching.com is so good, to give you an idea, these are the headings you choose one of the options from the drop down list

    1- D/T Rating: Our opinion if what the D/T should be.
    2- distance to cache: this helps enormously when planning if to use my walker, someone's arm, or scooter / wheelchair.
    3- Route Surface.
    4- Route Slope
    5- Route obstructions eg stiles: if a route is relatively short to the GZ, I can be pushed or push my wheelchair as I would my walker, if there is a gate, it is easy for my husband or caching buddy to fold my W/C in order to get it over the style / kissing gate etc
    6- Cache Height: this helps so j know if I can likely retrieve the cache using my helping hand or if I need help to retrieve the cache
    Just to be clear, I am NOT talking about having help to retrieve a cache that is up a tree :lol: I'm talking about a cache that would be within easy reach of a fully able bodied person eg 0-6ft
    7 you can then add info specifically related to the cache in the description section.

    If you would like to see an example of how the link looks in a cache page and what the review looks like, please feel free to have a look at one of my caches.
    Click on the yellow handicaching logo that will take you straight to the handicaching rating. This is think link to one of my caches 'The Square': http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache...6-7c0197f943d6

    You may find some of the wording I have used helpful with your own descriptions on your caches: eg 'depending on how you feel at that moment ...'
    A Handicaching.com can be useful to have on your page, especially when you are unsure if the W/C icon is appropriate to use. You could leave it off but add a link to handicaching.com and write some info on your description part if the cache page

    Please let me know if you find this helpful or give me feedback. I am happy to answer questions via PM or help others to do handicaching reviews or advise when setting out caches.


  22. #22

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    The main problems with relying on the D/T rating on the cache page are:

    1. People often inflate them to make the cache seem more exciting
    2. People often manipulate them to make them appeal to grid fillers*
    3. Lots of people aren't even aware of the Clayjar originated criteria - and so guess
    4. The D/T rating is decided once - by one person - taking a single route to the cache

    *I'm a grid filler myself - it's one of the games I like to play - this is not a criticism of grid fillers

    At least a Handicache rating allows each and every rater to provide THEIR view of the D/T and, as those people are taking the time to put together a handicache review, I'm inclined to imagine they will take the time to consider the D/T more fully.

    I've actually suggested an additional alternative rating mechanism in the past, but this would require listing site integration.

    My idea is this...

    A cacher's ability level is a comparatively fixed thing - so they rate their own ability once.

    Every time they log a cache, their ability level is recorded against that cache.

    Over time these automatic ratings build and form the basis of statistical data clearly demonstrating which ability levels have been able to successfully complete that cache.

    So those people who do not typically actively rate caches in this way end up doing so automatically

    Those who do typically rate caches in terms of ability could continue to add further text guidance to supplement the automatic rating.

    Sounds simple to me
    Last edited by Team Microdot; 21st November 2012 at 08:49 AM.

  23. #23

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    I am one of a handful of people who maintain the public rights of access in Lincolnshire on a voluntary basis. I offered my services due to the amount of time spent on them!

    While I have no experience of caching with someone whose mobility is impaired I have built up a relationship with the RoA team on Lincs council and regardless of whether I am elected or not I am happy to get in touch and find out the processes required to perhaps start that change.

  24. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by Team Microdot View Post

    At least a Handicache rating allows each and every rater to provide THEIR view of the D/T and, as those people are taking the time to put together a handicache review, I'm inclined to imagine they will take the time to consider the D/T more fully.

    I totally agree and that is the main difference. If Groundspeak had something in place that allowed us to do the same, all well and good, but on the other hand, as handicaching is already there and very simple to use, then why not use it? It's down to individuals if they will take the time eg 2-3 mins to do a handicaching rating on a cache they feel would be great and suitable for people with disabilities etc


    I've actually suggested an additional alternative rating mechanism in the past, but this would require listing site integration.

    My idea is this...

    A cacher's ability level is a comparatively fixed thing - so they rate their own ability once.

    some great ideas here thank you
    the only problem with this I could see with this for eg is ones condition / ability can vary so much. Not talking 'good day' or 'bad day' type of thing. Sometimes for many, it can change drastically within minutes.
    So whilst that is a good idea, I'm not sure how it could work.


    Every time they log a cache, their ability level is recorded against that cache.
    How awesome would that be though if you could do that?

    Over time these automatic ratings build and form the basis of statistical data clearly demonstrating which ability levels have been able to successfully complete that cache.

    So those people who do not typically actively rate caches in this way end up doing so automatically

    with every handicaching review that is done, it averages out the score rating for the cache so you will see individual reviews and an average too.

    Those who do typically rate caches in terms of ability could continue to add further text guidance to supplement the automatic rating.

    [COLOR="purple"]it would be great for Cachers to add more text in their description to supplement the auto rating.
    It has amazed me on occasions where a cacher actually write not wheelchair / scooter friendly on the cache page - I made sure I let them know when I logged it that I was able to easily access the route via my scooter.
    I'm having trouble getting my words out and explaining what I mean today, please bear with me, accept my apologies if I have not worded something correctly [/COLOR

    Sounds simple to me
    ]

  25. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by bobo frett View Post
    I am one of a handful of people who maintain the public rights of access in Lincolnshire on a voluntary basis. I offered my services due to the amount of time spent on them!

    While I have no experience of caching with someone whose mobility is impaired I have built up a relationship with the RoA team on Lincs council and regardless of whether I am elected or not I am happy to get in touch and find out the processes required to perhaps start that change.
    Thank you for your comment
    it is fantastic that you have built up such a great relationship with the RoA team on Lincs council :socool: well done on the work you are doing too, it makes a huge difference it is great to read that prople are so positive about moving forward, establishing and building on existing relationships with Agencies and exploring ideas in a positive way to make a difference :cheers:

  26. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cache on Wheels View Post
    I'm having trouble getting my words out and explaining what I mean today, please bear with me, accept my apologies if I have not worded something correctly
    You're doing just fine

    With regard to the ability of some cacher's changing from moment to moment I expect there will be cachers with conditions in which this happens.

    With the best will in the world no rating system can be a perfect fit in all situations.

    I think every rating has to come with an on a good day I can or an on an average day I can clause.

    Also - as it is automated - the vast majority of the auto-ratings would I expect be coming from fully able cachers - so it might be argued that the only useful data from my suggested mechanism would be the upper and lower ability limits - which is fair as that's exactly what it measures.

    The idea was mainly to gather useful data even from those who don't actively Handicache rate their hides and finds.

    Its usefulness for less able cachers will depend on those less able cachers getting out there, finding the caches and driving the data

  27. #27

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    Like I said before, if the handicaching website was going to work, it would have done so looooooong before now.

    I still think it is better to have the information included on the cache page, taking people to anotherr site to make a rating is a big ask when they're not even putting it on cache pages now, and secondly it is not inclusive having people who need access information going to another site.

    The game has diversified, and so have the types of individual who geocache, it is high time people understood the changing demographic of the community and adjusted geocache pages accordingly, and an awareness campaign for cache setters to understand the importance of this.

    Also the information needs to be standalone insofar as it shouldn't matter if someone is having a good or bad day, if the information is complete, they can make their decision accordingly.

  28. #28

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    I'd like to take that, from a slightly different perspective, and tip it on its head for a moment - if you'll permit me?

    Over the past few days I've become familiar with the term listing site agnostic - more to do with people's apparent fear of handing control to any particular listing site as far as I can tell. Not something which worries me personally I have to say.

    Listing site agnostic does seem to be a popular idea though.

    Yet you seem to be voting for Handicache style ratings which are listing site specific?

    Would the inclusion of Handicache style ratings by a listing site encourage you to favour that listing site over one which didn't include them?



    Quote Originally Posted by Dorsetgal View Post
    Like I said before, if the handicaching website was going to work, it would have done so looooooong before now.

    I still think it is better to have the information included on the cache page, taking people to anotherr site to make a rating is a big ask when they're not even putting it on cache pages now, and secondly it is not inclusive having people who need access information going to another site.

    The game has diversified, and so have the types of individual who geocache, it is high time people understood the changing demographic of the community and adjusted geocache pages accordingly, and an awareness campaign for cache setters to understand the importance of this.

    Also the information needs to be standalone insofar as it shouldn't matter if someone is having a good or bad day, if the information is complete, they can make their decision accordingly.

  29. #29

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    I speak of geocaching.com because that is all i know and do.

    Anything which takes the geocacher away from the main geocaching page will not work in my opinion.

    Especially now we have so much more access to the cache pages via mobile devices etc.

    I tend to open the geocaching app and read the cache page there, if there's not information about access there, however comprehensive it may be elsewhere, it is no good to me. Also, when loading the gpsr, it doesn't include information from other sites, so again, no matter how comprehensive it may be, I am not going to access it.

    For the record, I do have a significant impairment, I do geocache using a range of different mobility aids, I often geocache alone, and although there was a time when I saw handicaching as the way to go, I no longer feel that way and haven't done so for at least six years.

    It is no secret, I dislike the site name intensely. It stems from the American accepted term handicapped, which is nowadays seen as derogatory in the UK.

    Because it is separate, it underlines the difference of cachers requiring access information rather than including them into the main game, which is divisive, and not really within the social model of disability.

    I prefer to play an integrated game and not focus on disability but more a can do sense, hence although I will mention it when necessary, some people who read my logs have no idea I have a mobility impairment.

    Separate, special and all those kinds of terms are now passé, the disability community has moved on, integration is the key, not separating people out.

    Access information such as stiles, kissing gates, narrow bridges, gullies etc is useful to more than this who have mobility impairments or would self label as disabled, it is useful to those with temporary impairments, those who decide to take their grandparents with them, those with small children, buggies and the like.

    Integration is the key in my mind, not further separation.

    Access information should be on the shoulders of the whole community not just one person whose experience might be limited.

    I would like to see GAGB promote awareness of good access information on geocache pages and encourage integration. When it is a separate entity people will always see it as someone else's responsibility, when in reality it is the responsibility of every geocache setter.

  30. #30

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    OK - good

    Here's some things I struggle with - and would value your input on

    I struggle with the concept that the group I refer to as less able - well I even struggle with that to be completely honest - just the term - am I at risk of upsetting anyone by using that term as a frame to convey that the information I'm providing is specifically for a specific group of people?

    What is the correct or preferred or culturally appropriate term to use for a human being who is not operating at the physical / mental optimum?

    I'll leave it at that one question for now

    Incidentally - I only use geocaching.com myself too - never felt the need to use anything else as it does everything I need

    EDIT TO ADD: I realise I might be grasping a nettle here - but I've been caching that long I've grown somewhat immune to nettle stings :lol:

  31. #31

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    I dont have an answer to making all caches more accessible, I wish I did, but what I would like to do is bring the information on what little things can make a huge dfference into the mainstream.

    I agree with Dorsetgal, if handicaching was the way forward it would have taken off my now, its got some great stuff on there, but its seperate from the main listing sites.

    Having recently tried to make a recent event fully accessible (a Halloween event in the dark) and spent alot more time ensuring that all areas involved were wheelchair/buggy friendly, I was then scuppered by a week of heavy rain that turned everything into thick mud (even on the stone paths), so I've a new appreciation of how just a couple of extra lines in the description can make all the difference (in my case mentioning that they aren't easily accessible if there has been heavy rain).

    So I'd like to increase the amount of easily available information out there, whether its in the form of articles in the Seeker, downloadable leaflets, fully accessible events and/or the best practice guidelines.

    I dont know if that will increase the number of fully accessible caches being placed, but if it gets cachers providing more information on the gates/stiles/paths in the cache description then at least cachers can make a more informed choice.
    Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better. - Samuel Beckett

  32. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by JackieC View Post
    I dont know if that will increase the number of fully accessible caches being placed, but if it gets cachers providing more information on the gates/stiles/paths in the cache description then at least cachers can make a more informed choice.
    Agreed :cheers:

    And the difficulty in doing that - sometimes - is in predicting the route a cacher is most likely to take to get to a particular cache

    The last think I would want to do is try to help by rating a cache, only to find that I've inadvertently and unintentionally led them up the garden path (metaphorically and perhaps literally) because they took a completely different route to get there

  33. #33

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    For the record, I appreciate when caches are made wheelchair accessible, however, I use a range of mobility aids, a manual wheelchair, a manual wheelchair with power trike attached, an electric wheelchair and an all singing all dancing all terrain buggy which frankly can get where some of those who regard themselves as able bodied cannot walk - too bloomin' big to negotiate stiles etc and as I do not drive can only use it within a certain radius of my home co-ords, so in short, I can and do attempt geocaches which aren't wheelchair accessible if they have accurate information on the cache page and I feel it's worth a try.

    Also, and this is something to consider, in the woods I can get off my buggy and stagger / crawl or whatever, if say, I started doing that on London Bridge either an ambulance, white van or the police might be called :lol:

    There really are so many variables in the life of even one disabled Cacher that is why I consider accurate information is the key, and the place to put it should be on the geocache page.

  34. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dorsetgal View Post
    There really are so many variables in the life of even one disabled Cacher that is why I consider accurate information is the key, and the place to put it should be on the geocache page.
    OK - so I'm going to assume that disabled cacher is an acceptable description that we can use going forward?

  35. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by Team Microdot View Post
    OK - so I'm going to assume that disabled cacher is an acceptable description that we can use going forward?
    Yes, disabled Cacher is fine, however, "the disabled" wouldn't be fine. Disabled people would also be fine.

    Referring to a disability, when asking me would result in an answer like a stile or a river ... people have impairments and are disabled by the environment :socool:

    I know this can seem pedantic, but really it isn't. Disabled people have campaigned long and hard for inclusion, that's why for example, there's no reference to disability in my geocaching name, I am a person first and foremost, impairment is part of me as a person, but I am not that impairment.


    (For those who might not be aware, I have a track record in advising in the field of disability access, from 2006-2009 at the Dept for Transport advising the govt on transport issues that affect / impact upon disabled people, from 2007-2012 LOCOG on the specific requirements of those partnered with assistance dogs and 2011 to date as a member of the Metropolitan Police Disability Independent Advisory Group, which most recently included advising officers involved with the Torch Security Team, but usually includes all aspects of policy, public order, access etc that might impact on disabled people).

  36. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dorsetgal View Post
    (For those who might not be aware, I have a track record in advising in the field of disability access, from 2006-2009 at the Dept for Transport advising the govt on transport issues that affect / impact upon disabled people, from 2007-2012 LOCOG on the specific requirements of those partnered with assistance dogs and 2011 to date as a member of the Metropolitan Police Disability Independent Advisory Group, which most recently included advising officers involved with the Torch Security Team, but usually includes all aspects of policy, public order, access etc that might impact on disabled people).
    Have you ever approached Groundspeak about opportunities for the inclusion of extra features / information useful to disabled cachers in their website / apps / other offerings?

    And if you have, what sort of response(s) did you get?

    (Just for the purposes of background information / context for this discussion)

  37. #37

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    I have had some contact with Groundspeak inclusing Jeremy, over the years, both in person and by email.

    I have always felt them very approachable.

    I have for at least six years felt that enlightening cache setters was the way to go rather than take people elsewhere though.

  38. #38

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    Question

    Groundspeak would love to incorporate a Handicaching.com style Terrain rating into the site, even if that was to incorporate the site it's self.

    But that involves Bandwidth and Developer Time. And whilst they did post about Handicaching.com in the weekly news letter, currently the whole project has a very low priority!

    Part of that is because of the apathy within the whole community towards them doing such a project.

    The solution, is as a community to campaign directly to Groundspeak over this. If people will not get of their backsides and support a campaign, then it is Never going to happen.

    Personally I've campaigned directly to Groundspeak over this, I've even put up 2 of only 30 Gold Deceangi Geocoins (the 30 were gifted to me, and I have given each one away, from my heart) in a effort to try and drive up ratings of UK caches on Handicaching.com.

    I've shouted myself to a standstill, only to have those within the community cut me off at the knee's, and refuse to support things.

    Wendy I understand* where your coming from re the name, and the fact it is a external site. But look at it this way .

    Why should Groundspeak put such a project towards the top of the priority list, when the community will not even get behind the project! When there are other projects, a majority of the community are clamouring for. Look at the fact they bought and incorporated a independent Stats site. Because the community showed by a saturation level of usage, that was what they wanted.

    So the question is, can you and others put aside their personal bias, and help drive up to a Saturation Level, ratings on Handicaching.com. And cause Groundspeak to move the issue, towards the top of the priority list, and not as it currently appears at the bottom.

    Get Groundspeak on-board, and the other Listing Sites, will be given a huge push to produce something similar on their Sites.

    If people do not pull their fingers out, it is never going to happen.

    One or two shouting and pushing for it to happen, are drowned out b y the voices of bigger wish groups. So lets make this a big wish group, and really move things forward, so that it is incorporated within Listing Sites.

    Handicaching.com rattings, whatever name is used, are more than just for usage by those in Wheelchairs, they are for those of the whole spectrum range of Disabilities. And we should be actively incorporating all of them, into our Hobby!

    And that is something the GAGB should behind, if it wishes to represent the Geocaching Community in the UK. And not just ABLE Bodied Community Members.

    So the question has to be, are those standing for election, intending to support all members of the community, whatever their abilities?

    Or will those with Disabilities, be put to the bottom of the totem pole for support?

    If you think I'm being Bolshie over this, well I've been Bolshie with Groundspeak as well over this!

    Dave
    Mancunian Pyrocacher
    Deceangi Volunteer UK Reviewer-Groundspeak
    *Full Time 24/7/365 Carer to MY Spouse and 2 Adult Children, so I have a very good understanding of issues faced by those with Disabilities of spectrum
    My post is my personal opinion and as such you do not have my permission to quote me outside of these forums!

    Dave
    Brenin Tegeingl
    Formerly known as Mancunian Pyrocacher on GC

  39. #39

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    It's more than the name Dave - it is about the separation.

    It's also about terminology you used "in wheelchairs" which is a particular bugbear, people use wheelchairs ... Access is about so much more than wheelchair users, and many of the people who need that access advice would not readily self identify as disabled, it is for that reason, that i steadfastly will not touch handicaching again. That doesn't mean I am less experienced or my opinions are less valid, it's highly probable that I have found more caches using a wheelchair than anyone else in this thread ...


    Really, people should appreciate the difficulty with the site and push to have integration. All this talk of separation makes my toes curl.

  40. #40

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    Dave raises many valid points that are worth following through.

    But I think that part of the problem may lie in the lack of real understanding that those of us not disabled have of the issues facing those who are. Of course, we all realise that you can't get a wheelchair over a stile, and when I 'Terrain rate' any of my caches, I use a system I understand, even if no one actually know about it. But it means that I'm consistent, although I'm conscious of the fact that it's a purely arbitrary thing, and probably not much better than useless.

    If, however, I had clear guidance on how to rate a cache for less abled people, I'd more than happily revise all my caches on that basis.
    Isn't it amazing what you don't see, when you don't know what you're looking for?
    The past is history; the future is a story yet to be told; write it well.

  41. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dorsetgal View Post
    It's more than the name Dave - it is about the separation.

    It's also about terminology you used "in wheelchairs" which is a particular bugbear, people use wheelchairs ... Access is about so much more than wheelchair users, and many of the people who need that access advice would not readily self identify as disabled, it is for that reason, that i steadfastly will not touch handicaching again. That doesn't mean I am less experienced or my opinions are less valid, it's highly probable that I have found more caches using a wheelchair than anyone else in this thread ...


    Really, people should appreciate the difficulty with the site and push to have integration. All this talk of separation makes my toes curl.

    Grasping the nettle again - sadly I have to say that trying to engage in a useful dialogue where every single word / term / definition is subjected to microscopic scrutiny makes my toes curl

    I appreciate how it would be important that the finished product be useful and respectful but I think it would slow discussion if people have to spend more time choosing precise wording than they do actually conveying their thoughts in the early stages - at least those of us who don't have the benefit of your insight and experience to date.

    Can we push past that if it helps to get things moving in the right direction?

  42. #42

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    Exclamation

    Wendy my Spouse on the few occasions she goes out nowdays, and then it's usually just for DR appointments or Tribunal Hearings. Spends her time being propelled around in a wheelchair. She does not have a issue with being said to be "In" a Wheelchair, so sorry not all have issues with that.

    And if you actually took the time to fully read my post, I was championing those of all abilities!

    I've seen a Wheelchair user access places where those with sticks or frames could not. I've seen Prestatyn have the Pavements revamped recently, so taking out choke points on corners, and a horrendous slope at one part, which was torturous for wheelchair users to traverse, because the slope from the buildings to the edge of the pavement and the parked cars there. Was forcing the wheelchair downwards towards those parked cars. In fact I actually damaged my back, keeping my spouse straight on that section, after a ejit tried walking thru her!

    The point being, please stop arguing semantics over terms being used. Because that alone drives people away from the issue.

    Please remember your not dealing with a Government Committee, but a community who for the most part do not have a clue, and sadly from the personal experience of the last number of years. Do not as a whole community give a damn.

    Lets stop arguing terms, and reach out to the community as a whole, and teach them. Lets use anyway possible to move the Priority from the bottom to the top.

    Terry try rating a cache on Handicaching.com, you do not need knowledge of peoples abilities, you just answer a series of simple multiple answer questions. The site then produces a rating which when decoded, gives the user Multiple levels of information on what to expect. and so Empowering the user to make a informed decision.

    Bickering over terms, does not empower anyone. Just like in the US they do not have a issue with Handicapped, and it is considered discriminatory here in the UK. If your going to argue semantics over the name of the site, and terms used to reference people of restricted abilities. Then your not concentrating on what you should be. That is getting a suitable Terrain rating system active on "All" Listing Sites. I've personally been Championing that for GC directly with Groundspeak for over 6 years, and yet the priority is still a low one. If I have to fight over "Terms" used, then I'm not fighting for the actual issue. And instead I'm just :wacko:

    My Spouse does not give a ^$%£ about what terms are used, just like many others do not, they are more concerned about getting the Priority moved up and implemented.

    Dave
    My post is my personal opinion and as such you do not have my permission to quote me outside of these forums!

    Dave
    Brenin Tegeingl
    Formerly known as Mancunian Pyrocacher on GC

  43. #43

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    I am not arguing semantics, but it seems that if people don't wish to move forward in a progressive and inclusive style then there's no point discussing the issue.

    As always those who shout loudest will have their way and will turn people, with extremely pertinent experience away because of this.

    Example: I pointed out which terms many find unacceptable and best not used and am accused of bickering ... same old GAGB eh?

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    The last time I looked Dave either speaks for himself or if he signs Deci as a reviewer.

    He does not speak on behalf of the GAGB.

    I ill not use handicaching for similar reasons and would prefer to see a integrated system.

    The GAGB if it gets its act together could be a vehicle through which people could apply a pressure of change to the listing sites (there are more than groundspeak).

    It's always going to be a hot potato and we need to look at outcomes not words

  45. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dorsetgal View Post
    I am not arguing semantics, but it seems that if people don't wish to move forward in a progressive and inclusive style then there's no point discussing the issue.

    As always those who shout loudest will have their way and will turn people, with extremely pertinent experience away because of this.

    Example: I pointed out which terms many find unacceptable and best not used and am accused of bickering ... same old GAGB eh?
    Sorry you feel that way - I thought we were having a frank discussion with a view to making some progress.

    I'll step back and let someone better qualified take up the mantle

  46. #46

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    Quote Originally Posted by Team Microdot View Post
    Sorry you feel that way - I thought we were having a frank discussion with a view to making some progress.

    I'll step back and let someone better qualified take up the mantle
    I too thought it was a worthwhile discussion until Mancunian said this

    "Bickering over terms, does not empower anyone. Just like in the US they do not have a issue with Handicapped, and it is considered discriminatory here in the UK. If your going to argue semantics over the name of the site, and terms used to reference people of restricted abilities. Then your not concentrating on what you should be. That is getting a suitable Terrain rating system active on "All" Listing Sites. I've personally been Championing that for GC directly with Groundspeak for over 6 years, and yet the priority is still a low one. If I have to fight over "Terms" used, then I'm not fighting for the actual issue."

    Enough to stifle any creative and progressive discussion.

    If people really want to know why the handicaching website isn't popular and what we as a community could do to improve awareness of access issues among cache setters, they could well listen rather than dismiss heartfelt feelings by trivialising them as bickering.

  47. #47

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    Sorry - I don't think that is entirely fair.

    Dialogue involves both parties listening.

    I listened to your thoughts and feelings - or at least tried to yet when I tried to articulate my own things seemed to go downhill

    As I said - it looks like I'm the wrong man for the job here, which makes me sad, but I'd rather back off and hopefully allow the thread to continue in a positive way than make a hash of things through lack of experience and ability.

    Mancunian has a big heart, speaks plainly, and fights for things and people he believes in - which gets my vote.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dorsetgal View Post
    I too thought it was a worthwhile discussion until Mancunian said this

    "Bickering over terms, does not empower anyone. Just like in the US they do not have a issue with Handicapped, and it is considered discriminatory here in the UK. If your going to argue semantics over the name of the site, and terms used to reference people of restricted abilities. Then your not concentrating on what you should be. That is getting a suitable Terrain rating system active on "All" Listing Sites. I've personally been Championing that for GC directly with Groundspeak for over 6 years, and yet the priority is still a low one. If I have to fight over "Terms" used, then I'm not fighting for the actual issue."

    Enough to stifle any creative and progressive discussion.

    If people really want to know why the handicaching website isn't popular and what we as a community could do to improve awareness of access issues among cache setters, they could well listen rather than dismiss heartfelt feelings by trivialising them as bickering.
    Last edited by Team Microdot; 21st November 2012 at 04:01 PM. Reason: Correct typo

  48. #48

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    Quote Originally Posted by Team Microdot View Post
    Sorry - I don't think that is entirely fair.

    Dialogue involves both parties listening.

    I listened to your thoughts and feelings - or at least tried to yet when I tried to articulate my own things seemed to go downhill

    As I said - it looks like I'm the wrong man for the job here, which makes me sad, but I'd rather back off and hopefully allow the thread to continue in a positive way than make a hash of things through lack of experience and ability. <snip>
    I think you might have misunderstood.

    Actually, I thought you were asking pertinent questions, and I was happy to listen and answer them, it certainly wasn't your thoughts or feeling that I took umbridge at. I was actually relieved that someone was taking the trouble to understand and I thank you for that.

    Please keep asking

    However, others have stated they don't think it is about semantics, in many ways it isn't , but in some ways it is ... a word can convey powerful meaning and if words used, with the best will in the world are archaic or not acceptable to those they are directed at, then people will turn away. For others to dismiss my feelings as bickering is really not understanding nor trying to understand.

  49. #49

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dorsetgal View Post
    I think you might have misunderstood.

    Actually, I thought you were asking pertinent questions, and I was happy to listen and answer them, it certainly wasn't your thoughts or feeling that I took umbridge at. I was actually relieved that someone was taking the trouble to understand and I thank you for that.

    Please keep asking

    However, others have stated they don't think it is about semantics, in many ways it isn't , but in some ways it is ... a word can convey powerful meaning and if words used, with the best will in the world are archaic or not acceptable to those they are directed at, then people will turn away. For others to dismiss my feelings as bickering is really not understanding nor trying to understand.
    Separated by a common language eh? :lol:

    I have fond memories once of a slogan t-shirt on Blackpool Prom which read - If you don't burp - I won't fart

    So maybe we could bumble along together, metaphorically speaking of course, on that basis?

  50. #50

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    So - next question(s) then.

    Your preference seems center on encouraging individual cachers to include more information on their cache pages which is useful to disabled geocachers rather than incorporating specific additional features into the interface of the listing site itself?

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