Thursday, June 4, 2009

Week 1: ... and that's all

This week has been spent waiting. Like a couple of others, the machine has yet to declare me safe for work in a federal office. Once I am granted security clearance (which, according to my supervisor, can take up to 21 days ) I will likely be helping the Accessible Technology Office of the Department of Homeland Security test out various applications to see how well they comply with standards laid out by Section 508. The DHS is an umbrella organization covering various specific government offices (such as Customs and Border Patrol), and so if anyone wants to use a particular product (software, photocopier, etc) it should comply with those accessibility standards. (Of course, if it doesn't but it's the only product which can satisfactorily do the job, it is chosen anyway, not without a few pleas to the developer to improve accessibility). This week I've done one or more of the following:

- Signed what will hopefully be the last form at the DHS offices. Got to meet one of the people I've been corresponding with over email in person for the first time.

- Turned what was supposed to be a visit to the American History Museum (I forget it's formal name) with a friend into a bagel and nice conversation thanks to bad timing.

- Consumed two boxes of Nature Valley granola bars, along with other junk laying around the house.

Exciting, no?

I will say that it's been a lot of fun getting to know my fellow interns. Learning how all of us deal with our disabilities in the real-world has been both an eye-opening and humbling experience for me - it's too easy to focus on yourself and forget that all humans (disabled or no) have their own limitations and talents. Looking forward to revolutionizing outside the box and letting you all know about it.


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