New job always equals sick for me, and apparently an internet job is no exception

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…

Anyway.

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

15 Comments

Filed under accessibility, accomplishment, assistive technologies, Audio books, coffeeholic, gratitude, Jaws, NaBloPoMo 2009, proud geek, quirky words, screen reader, sicky sick, silly girl, Voiceover

15 Responses to New job always equals sick for me, and apparently an internet job is no exception

  1. L^2

    Yay, Congratulations again on the new job! That’s so awesome!

    Also, hope you feel better soon.

  2. R

    Thanks!

    You know you’re sick when you won’t even sit at the computer longer than it takes to reply to email and comments.

    I forgot to mention too, that I am skipping the tech conference tomorrow, which I’m really bummed about. But, as soon as B was sick last week I somehow knew I’d be too sick for the conference.

    Stupid sick 🙂

  3. Congrats on the job. What’s the list that you’re on. I think I would like to join.

  4. R

    Its at webaim.org.

    They are the ones who did the screen reader survey I posted about a bit ago. Its really interesting stuff, though a lot of it I don’t understand. They’ll talk about CSS mark ups and hovering menus and legal guidelines and all kinds of stuff. Its not often that something comes up that I know anything about to participate in lol!

  5. Holy hell on wheels that rocks my socks off! A whole windows machine with JAWS? And Window Eyes? Kickass! This woman sounds awesome! Hmmm…herm her rumph. I think I have some basic training daisy books for JAWS hangin’ around here somewhere. Maybe I could zip ’em up and send you a link. Shite. You don’t have a victor yet. Do you have anything that plays Daisy?

    Yeah. I’ve been thinking about stalking you…erm…joining that list too.

    Holy mother of god that is awesome news. I wanna spin and dance like Trix!

    And hey, I’m sure the conference will be back. There will be other conferences, and ya wanna show up to one of ’em with a whole drawer of spoons.

  6. Congrats on the job – that sounds great! Hope you get feeling better soon.

  7. R

    Thanks everyone! Its so exciting. Lots of work to do, but oh so exciting.

    Karen, I don’t have a Daisy player. I’d actually like just some websites where I can go, so that when I have the Windows machine, I can just use the Apple to teach myself. I wonder if Alex will put up a fight? Don’t worry Alex, you’re my true love.

    I wanted to do a Trixie dance too, but I’m too sick haha! I’m definitely glad Dave said no to going today, I feel worse this morning than I have so far with this bug.

    Sam is realizing just how much those pesky readers are. I think it gave her a big gulp lol. We’re looking into ways we can get our hands on it a little cheaper. Unfortunately, no help from the governement.

    I also posted to the list about how easy it is to switch between readers on one machine, if its possible without a sighty’s help.

    I asked her if I shouldn’t “go public” on the list and she said she’s proud to work with me, so go public lol! I didn’t know if I should, because I didn’t want people thinking the list was a place for employment opportunities lol! Thought webaim might not appreciate that.

  8. You really know how to make me scratch my head.

    I have a quickstart guide and a keystrokes file I could send you. Let me know if you want ’em. You could also drop by http://www.freedomscientific.com and go under training I think and there might be some things you could scarf up for free. I don’t know what GW Micro has with regards to Window Eyes. They’re for jaws 10 because, woe is me, I need to buy another software maintenance agreement. Alex: What’s a software maintenance agreement? Eloquence Glen: Well, every three upgrades you have to pay again. Alex: Whaaat?

    Window Eyes has a payment plan I’m pretty sure, so that might help with that, and it is a little cheaper than JAWS.

    Yes you can switch between readers relatively easily I think. Just give them each a shortcut key you can press and then close the other one. JAWS has an unload keystroke that you can hit from anywhere so you could load up window eyes and kill JAWS pretty easily. I don’t know what Window Eyes has for quick unloading. In the old days, JAWS and Window Eyes used to have a knockdown dragout battle if you installed them on the same machine, but now they’ve kissed and at least will regard each other civilly.

    And again, go you!

  9. Oh, I forgot to say doing O and M sucks when you’re dizzy. It throws everything off. Get better soon.

  10. R

    Yeah I’m gonna want any info I can find. Man, dinding info for Voiceover to teach myself was easy. Are you telling me manuals and such for Jaws actually cost??

    Alex is is in the corner laughing his ass off btw.

  11. Ah crap I think I did the link wrong. go here for JAWS training stuff. Can mac do zip files?

    I don’t think you have to pay for the stuff, but I’ve never downloaded JAWS help without already having JAWS.

  12. I’m with Carin on this one,
    “Holy hell on wheels that rocks my socks off!”
    I couldn’t have said it better myself! lol
    Congrats R, and keep on keeping on. You’re going places and nothing’s going to stop you.
    Hope you feel better, and now B gets to wait on you, hand and foot! Woohoo!
    Maybe missing the conference was for a reason?!?! We may never know but it’s all good!*smile*

    Get Well!!!
    jnoi

  13. R

    Yeah I think I know the reason. I probably would have been tempted to buy something I can’t afford 😉

    also, had to take care of all that insurance crap, by today, and I had no luck yesterday. So I definitely know why I had to miss the conference. Now, if I could just feel better, I’d be happy 😉

  14. Cool about the job well done.
    You might be interested at
    http://www.digitaldarragh.com

  15. R

    Oooh it took about 20 seconds of reading to add a bookmark. I think I like that guy!! Thanks!!!!

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