Wow. I really wanted to feel excited when I wrote the post about my new job but I’m feeling so horrible that I’m just taking a break from my Janet Ivonovich book to write this.
Karen, this is for you since you accused me of being suspenseful all the time 😉
So about 2 weeks ago or so, I got an email from a woman asking if I’d be interested in doing some web accessibility testing, for pay of course.
What? Seriously? Really?
She’s a member of an email list I’m a meber of. Its all about web accessibility, and its primarily web developers with a sprinkling of screen reader users. I found the material interesting, so I joined.
Every so often a developer would ask screen reader users what we thought of something, so I’d go check it out for fun, and tell them how Voiceover handled whatever it was. I never really thought my opinions mattered much, because I was a new screen reader user, and I didn’t use Jaws.
But every so often, a developer would contact me off list and say they appreciate my fresh perspective, especially as someone who had recently gone blind, who was new to using a screen reader. A lot of testing gets done by veteran screen reader users, so stuff a novice user might have trouble with isn’t really mentioned.
But when I would test a site, I would point out really simple things that didn’t make sense to me, before I knew my reader better.
So this woman has been watching my posts since I joined! She said she was paranoid about contacting me off list, because she was afraid I’d think she was a quack, and well, quite honestly, I had my reservations.
I told her I had to check her out and she gave me her references. She gave me the beta site for her company, as well as the working site. I Googled her, I emailed the owner of the accessibility list and he checked the archives and this woman is for real.
Wow! I found a few issues on the beta site and didn’t know if I should include them in my email to her, but I figured thats what she wants to pay me for, so I told her. She was like, wait! I want to pay you to test that site!
so we began emailing, talking details, and she called yesterday from the UK. Now, I love British accents. In fact, I am such a dor, when I listen to audio books narrated y someone British, I start using their words. Thats where “fab” came from. Its my new word. From a book I listened to a month ago. So I really had to work hard on the phone with her when she’d say like, “Does that sound good to you?” for me not to go “oh dear that sounds so fab!” or “that sounds bloody brilliant!”
And you know how refined they sound? How almost anyone from over there sound refined and intelligent? I almost felt like I couldn’t joke with her like I do in email and then she’d crack a joke or laugh and it was so cool!
This is really making me realized how freakin American and non-cultured I am, that the phone call with a woman from the UK is taking up more space on this entry then the fab new job…
So I’ll be testing sites, mostly sites based in the UK to start, but her company is branching out. She laughed when I told her I have a list going of bad sites. But, eventually that will be my own revenue boost.
The company has been around for years, but its only been in the last few that they’ve started focusing on web accessibility, and she’s got a tester who uses a head mouse, and one other blind tester.
I wanted to make sure she knew I only have an Apple. She knew.
Wanna know the best part?
She’s setting me up with a Windows machine, with Jaws and Window Eyes! So I’ll be teaching myself those. This won’t happen right away, as she is just now realizing how bloddy expensive it is. See, oops, already doing it…
So, this thing will start off very slowly, and eventually grow. She has total faith that this will become something truly remarkable.
And, it all started because I complained about safeway.com, months ago.
She told me on the phone that she really noticed me then, and jotted me down as a prospective tester. I had asked the list about safeway.com and a bunch of the developers all moaned too and told me it has always been a problem. I must have said something positive too, because she said that whenever I write on the list, even when I’m complaining, I list the positives too, which is important to her, because her clients don’t want to just hear the negative.
So this is just huge. This is just seriously huge. When I was doing some more re-labeling, I ran across blog posts where I said “I would love a career in web accessibility”. And now look…
I’m really excited, and can’t wait to test my first site! And I can’t wait to teach myself 2 new readers, and really compare Jaws to Voiceover.
Anyone got any good sites I can use to teach myself Jaws and Window Eyes?
K, must edit, and then back to coffee and book and putting sweatshirt on and taking it off and putting it on and taking it off and sniffing and groaning =D