Thursday, July 1, 2010

At a Slower Pace

Monday is too long ago. On Tuesday, I had trouble getting up, but had a nap at lunchtime which made the afternoon go better. I should have eaten more breakfast, or maybe coffee. After lunch I went to the Help Desk. Terri was there that day and she let me shadow her as she tested a website for accessibility. She used JAWS screen reader to listen to how it was read. On the first page, the logo had alternate text, but the title was also a JPEG image that didn’t have alternate text and I caught that. She went through the login steps testing it. Then she got into a table of information. The screen reader read the table header twice, which wasn’t too bad accessibility-wise but took a long time to listen to. Then she turned off the screen and said we would try doing it just by sound to see what its like. She showed me how to use Ctrl + arrow keys to navigate around the table. Then I tried it myself and it was interesting picturing the table in my head, and moving through the different rows and columns, told only their number and contents. She tested some of the links in the table, they went to fake record PDFs, and she converted them from images to text. Then she had to talk with someone about an accommodation, in North Carolina. They used ZoomText, for low vision. It was nice to learn something new and hopefully we can do more when she comes in next week. Wednesday I was still tired and it was kind of a slow day. I didn’t read my email for awhile and then found I was actually supposed to be doing something, so I went around to the cubicles collecting work station checklists. Luckily the remaining people were mostly there, so I was able to get to Yoga on time. After lunch there was a pile of the same checklists to scan and turn into PDFs. I used the scanner in the Help Desk and listened to conversations. The person temporarily handing out property passes to take laptops home was similarly bored so I found out more about them. Also there is a contest that 7 people, including Help Desk manager, joined to see who can lose the most weight, and there is a prize, so I listened about that and who is doing the best and the last possible moment to weigh in. I would have joined but it is almost over. Then I told everyone about my weekend and going the wrong direction from Foggy Bottom to Virginia and two people gave me directions on how to get around DC. I learned that DC has a diamond shape with a grid of streets across it: first in each section there are the letters A through W, then there are a set of 2-syllable street names, then a set of 3-syllable street names, and last a set of those with names of trees and flowers. To finish, Thursday was more of the same, scanning and talking and listening to people at the Help Desk.

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