Before you Say you Comply with the ADA, You Might Want to Know What a Disability is.

Excuse me while I vent a little. Boy am I ever pissed off. I think this will rival my rabbid rage-fest about Bell. Oh no, that one will win hands down just for length and complete lack of clarity, oh and number of hahahaha’s. Ok, so this post gets one of those now. Let’s go.

I get really good news today, so why does it turn into a piss-fest you say? Well I’ll explain. I got a follow-up call on a job I applied for. I just about jumped through the roof. She’s like ok well I just want you to complete these tests and then we’ll see how you do. I’m like ok, are these tests all text and do they have any time-limits? She said I think they’re all text and there are no time limits. So I run off like a good little potential client services assistant to do my test. I se that she has sent me a full battery of tests, 8 of them. I just about shit myself, but I set off to do them. I open the website and they say that there is no overall time-limit, except that there is a time-limit of a half-hour per question so as not to be discriminatory, and comply with the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act). I just about jump through the roof with happiness. A web-designer that understands people with disabilities might have trouble with a website. That means they probably get the blindness thing. I completed a basic math test, and as far as I can tell, I aced it. I moved on to the next test. About four questions in, I get to a question on interpreting tables. The question reads: “Please compare the following list with the order form below.” There! is! no! order! form! below! If there is, it is in a bloody, fucking, blasted, son of a bitch, motherfucking, cocksucking, everloving, piece of shit picture! I! don’t! do! pictures!

raaaaaar!

Oh that felt good. I’m gonna have to do that again.

Raaaaaaar!

Process that for a while. In order to be compliant with the ADA, I would think you’d have to do some fucking research. And it would not take you very long to come to the conclusion that pictures don’t work, folks. Hey webmasters. Here’s some help. How about starting here That would be a fine start. Then keep going. Ya know? Live up to the commitment of actual compliance with ADA? I don’t give a rat’s ass on most websites if the pictures aren’t labelled super well. As long as I can fight my way through, it’s cool. But if you’re a testing website, whose results may decide someone’s fate when it comes to employment, do it right, folks!

And that would be the place where I usually would stop. But there’s more. In trying to do this test, they mentioned a tech support line and said you could phone it 24 hours a day from Monday to Friday. So I do. I am greeted by a heavily-accented voice that can barely say the name of the company followed by, “howcanihelpyou?” You know the way mumbly accents sound? Like it’s all one word? I tell him that I’m blind, and half of the question is in picture form, so can he please log in and read me the contents of the picture so that I can complete the question if I give him my session ID? He responds with, “Uh…so what is the problem?” Keep in mind that, although I have a half-hour per question, the clock *is* ticking. I explain it again, very…slowly. He tries to deny that it has a picture. I tell him, dude, if my screen-reader isn’t reading it, it’s probably a picture. JAWS doesn’t make a routine out of reading only half the screen. He puts me on hold, and then comes back and says, “Yes. It’s a picture. I can read this question to you, but there will be other ones later on.” I shoot back, “Well then I know where to phone when I run into another question with a picture, don’t I now?” He says, “Well no. Get someone with sight to read it to you.” And that’s when every bloody part of me raises up in absolute rage. Newsflash, asscrap, if you want to be ADA-compliant, that doesn’t mean the blinks have to call over sighties. It means that I can complete the test, and if I can’t, you fuckers deal with the consequences. Oh my oh my oh my oh my I was mad. I told him that this was obviously not compliant with the ADA, as the site stated. He told me I had to tell this to the person who gave me the test. I told him I would have no problem doing that, but I expected that he would tell his superiors as well. He’s like, well maybe I could. Maybe? It’s their damn site! Really, me telling the person who told me to go do this test will do exactly nothing. If he tells the people in charge of the site, something might actually happen. It would be like someone recommending that I try out this new MP3-player, the MP3-player being broken when I bought it, and then when I told the company that it was broken, they would tell me I should really address my concerns to Bill Jones over there who told me to go give their product a try. Wouldn’t that be ridiculous? I couldn’t believe he made me feel like it was primarily my responsibility to deal with this, and that he had no obligation to pass the message along, even when he realized that yes, there were pictures, and no, they wouldn’t work for me.

I hung up the phone, and had to tell this person offering me a job that I couldn’t complete the test because of, gulp, issues between the screen-reader, gulp, the thing that makes my computer, gulp, talk, because I’m, gulp, blind, and pray that didn’t send my resume and cover letter straight to file 13. Of course when I spoke to them, there were no gulps, but I hate telling people who have any sort of control over whether or not I get a chance at something about the whole blindness thing any sooner than I have to, because people hear the word blind and shut down. So thank you very much, Prove it, for perhaps jeopardizing a job opportunity. Thank you ever so much. And now would be a wonderful time to head back to the drawing board on your accessibility plan, fucknuts! Raaaaar!

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