moderated Working with people at disability help desk


Marianne Denning
 

I am totally 100% understanding when I am working with someone who knows nothing about blind people and how best to help us. I have a problem when someone works with a company who provides goods and services to blind people and asks me if there is a sighted person available. I am the market for these companies and their staff must know how to communicate with me in a nonvisual way. If that person can’t do it because they are new to their job they need to refer me to someone who can work with me.

 

From: main@jfw.groups.io <main@jfw.groups.io> On Behalf Of Brian Vogel
Sent: Saturday, March 6, 2021 12:40 PM
To: main@jfw.groups.io
Subject: Re: Need Microsoft Disability phone number!

 

On Sat, Mar 6, 2021 at 12:25 PM, David Diamond wrote:

There has to be a meeting in the middle though.

-
Oh, absolutely!   But that meeting in the middle, when you're the "exotic one" in a given situation, very often entails you educating the helper about certain things as they try to help you.

There was a time when I didn't know diddly-squat about any form of assistive technology.  I learned based on the work I was doing and who I was doing it with.  Had I not needed (or chosen) to do that work with the populations I've worked with I would have absolutely no reason to know anything about it.  Every one of those populations are niche demographics.  The phrase "mainstream support" carries many shadings to the "mainstream" part.  If you are a part of any niche you had better disabuse yourself of the notion of "all things being equal, or even possibly ever being equal" with all possible haste.  And that's not because of malign intent, but because the capitalist system we live under means that businesses exist to make money, and the idea of "spending more than we get back" exists and not wanting to do that is perfectly legitimate.

But even when I didn't know what I know now, I had occasion to work with a couple of folks who happened to be blind, and was able to assist them with technical problems.  I knew I couldn't use visual terms such as, "click on the red X," but I could use the more generic, "Close the window," or, "Exit the program."   I did, and should have been able to expect, that the exact how that was to be done would be known by the person being assisted.  I no sooner knew ALT+F4 than subatomic physics.

Most support techs who want to be in the job will go as far as they possibly can if the other side is willing to meet in the middle.  The relationship between a sighted, but AT clueless support tech, and a blind client need not be adversarial.  When they give a visual instruction, which they will particularly before it sinks in that they can't, saying something like, "What is it that you're hoping will happen?," or, "What is it that you want me to accomplish?," will often get a response back that allows you to instantly know what you must do.

There will always be idiots out there, and I'm not trying to defend them.  But it is every bit as much up to the blind client dealing with someone who does not know AT, and who is not remoted in to their machine so they can see what is going on (which, for obvious reasons, is how we with sight generally work), to help the person trying to help them when it comes to the AT side of things.  It also helps to understand that many of the signt-centric instructions are part of a script.  Far too many companies put the inexperienced on help lines and adamantly insist that they stick with the script, and when they don't know what they're doing, they have to.  It's the people who've been doing this for a while, and like doing it, who often relish being able to "step outside the box" when the opportunity presents itself.  Others, of course, will not, and if it quickly gets ugly then that's when the, "I wish to be put through to your supervisor," step gets taken, as many times as necessary and as many levels as necessary, to lodge a legitimate complaint.
 
--

Brian - Windows 10 Pro, 64-Bit, Version 20H2, Build 19042  

One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time.

           ~ André Gide


 

On Sat, Mar 6, 2021 at 01:40 PM, Marianne Denning wrote:
I am the market for these companies and their staff must know how to communicate with me in a nonvisual way.
-
And they are employed to assist in getting "the fix" in the fastest way possible.

If it would take 30 minutes step-by-stepping through keyboard shortcuts, versus 1 minute if there's a sighted assistant they can use, they're only doing their job by asking if such is available.  

That's the long and the short of it.  Those techs are not there to make you feel good or to do things only the way you would prefer.

Virtually all of them are proficient in communicating in a non-visual way, and do so routinely.  But their job, first and foremost, is to get your issue fixed using any tool at their disposal.  And one of those tools, potentially, could be a sighted assistant.  There should be no insult taken when one is asked whether one might be available.  I doubt that any help desk tech at a company like Freedom Scientific or on the Microsoft Disability help desk thinks that a blind person is incapable in any way.  I also doubt they ask about a sighted assistant for something that can be resolved in a minute or two and with a few well-known keyboard shortcuts.  But they have a job to do and, believe it or not, throughput quotas to meet.
--

Brian - Windows 10 Pro, 64-Bit, Version 20H2, Build 19042  

One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time.

           ~ André Gide


mike mcglashon
 

Mr. brian quoted:

That's the long and the short of it.  Those techs are not there to make you feel good or to do things only the way you would prefer.

Virtually all of them are proficient in communicating in a non-visual way, and do so routinely.  But their job, first and foremost, is to get your issue fixed using any tool at their disposal.  And one of those tools, potentially, could be a sighted assistant.  There should be no insult taken when one is asked whether one might be available.  I doubt that any help desk tech at a company like Freedom Scientific or on the Microsoft Disability help desk thinks that a blind person is incapable in any way.  I also doubt they ask about a sighted assistant for something that can be resolved in a minute or two and with a few well-known keyboard shortcuts.  But they have a job to do and, believe it or not, throughput quotas to meet.

End quote:

We must remember,

Their goal is to assist the most clients in the shortest amount of time;

As then overall,

They can serve more clients.

 

 

Please advise as you like.

 

Mike M.

 

Mike mcglashon

Email: Michael.mcglashon@...

Ph: 618 783 9331

 

From: main@jfw.groups.io <main@jfw.groups.io> On Behalf Of Brian Vogel
Sent: Saturday, March 6, 2021 2:28 PM
To: main@jfw.groups.io
Subject: Re: Working with people at disability help desk

 

On Sat, Mar 6, 2021 at 01:40 PM, Marianne Denning wrote:

I am the market for these companies and their staff must know how to communicate with me in a nonvisual way.

-
And they are employed to assist in getting "the fix" in the fastest way possible.

If it would take 30 minutes step-by-stepping through keyboard shortcuts, versus 1 minute if there's a sighted assistant they can use, they're only doing their job by asking if such is available.  

That's the long and the short of it.  Those techs are not there to make you feel good or to do things only the way you would prefer.

Virtually all of them are proficient in communicating in a non-visual way, and do so routinely.  But their job, first and foremost, is to get your issue fixed using any tool at their disposal.  And one of those tools, potentially, could be a sighted assistant.  There should be no insult taken when one is asked whether one might be available.  I doubt that any help desk tech at a company like Freedom Scientific or on the Microsoft Disability help desk thinks that a blind person is incapable in any way.  I also doubt they ask about a sighted assistant for something that can be resolved in a minute or two and with a few well-known keyboard shortcuts.  But they have a job to do and, believe it or not, throughput quotas to meet.
--

Brian - Windows 10 Pro, 64-Bit, Version 20H2, Build 19042  

One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time.

           ~ André Gide


Joseph Hudson
 

Hi Marianne, I also have to work with a website that is supposed to be a company that works for the blind and visually impaired individuals. However, whenever you speak with their customer service, it's almost like talking to somebody who knows nothing about blind people. Anytime I ask them a question it's like what color was the screen or what color are the lines or do you see a orange box? I'm trying to explain to them that I am blind is like talking to a rock.

On Mar 6, 2021, at 12:40 PM, Marianne Denning <marianne@denningweb.com> wrote:

I am totally 100% understanding when I am working with someone who knows nothing about blind people and how best to help us. I have a problem when someone works with a company who provides goods and services to blind people and asks me if there is a sighted person available. I am the market for these companies and their staff must know how to communicate with me in a nonvisual way. If that person can’t do it because they are new to their job they need to refer me to someone who can work with me.

From: main@jfw.groups.io <main@jfw.groups.io> On Behalf Of Brian Vogel
Sent: Saturday, March 6, 2021 12:40 PM
To: main@jfw.groups.io
Subject: Re: Need Microsoft Disability phone number!

On Sat, Mar 6, 2021 at 12:25 PM, David Diamond wrote:
There has to be a meeting in the middle though.
-
Oh, absolutely! But that meeting in the middle, when you're the "exotic one" in a given situation, very often entails you educating the helper about certain things as they try to help you.

There was a time when I didn't know diddly-squat about any form of assistive technology. I learned based on the work I was doing and who I was doing it with. Had I not needed (or chosen) to do that work with the populations I've worked with I would have absolutely no reason to know anything about it. Every one of those populations are niche demographics. The phrase "mainstream support" carries many shadings to the "mainstream" part. If you are a part of any niche you had better disabuse yourself of the notion of "all things being equal, or even possibly ever being equal" with all possible haste. And that's not because of malign intent, but because the capitalist system we live under means that businesses exist to make money, and the idea of "spending more than we get back" exists and not wanting to do that is perfectly legitimate.

But even when I didn't know what I know now, I had occasion to work with a couple of folks who happened to be blind, and was able to assist them with technical problems. I knew I couldn't use visual terms such as, "click on the red X," but I could use the more generic, "Close the window," or, "Exit the program." I did, and should have been able to expect, that the exact how that was to be done would be known by the person being assisted. I no sooner knew ALT+F4 than subatomic physics.

Most support techs who want to be in the job will go as far as they possibly can if the other side is willing to meet in the middle. The relationship between a sighted, but AT clueless support tech, and a blind client need not be adversarial. When they give a visual instruction, which they will particularly before it sinks in that they can't, saying something like, "What is it that you're hoping will happen?," or, "What is it that you want me to accomplish?," will often get a response back that allows you to instantly know what you must do.

There will always be idiots out there, and I'm not trying to defend them. But it is every bit as much up to the blind client dealing with someone who does not know AT, and who is not remoted in to their machine so they can see what is going on (which, for obvious reasons, is how we with sight generally work), to help the person trying to help them when it comes to the AT side of things. It also helps to understand that many of the signt-centric instructions are part of a script. Far too many companies put the inexperienced on help lines and adamantly insist that they stick with the script, and when they don't know what they're doing, they have to. It's the people who've been doing this for a while, and like doing it, who often relish being able to "step outside the box" when the opportunity presents itself. Others, of course, will not, and if it quickly gets ugly then that's when the, "I wish to be put through to your supervisor," step gets taken, as many times as necessary and as many levels as necessary, to lodge a legitimate complaint.

--
Brian - Windows 10 Pro, 64-Bit, Version 20H2, Build 19042
One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time.
~ André Gide


Mich Verrier
 

I have a problem when calling these places and get to some one who can hardly speek English and who lives in indiea or some forin place like that to me if you can’t speek English or hardly can then go back to your oan contrey. Also I am worried when working with ms accessibillidey that they are always going to screw something up when they want to fix your pc remotely. From Mich.

 

From: main@jfw.groups.io <main@jfw.groups.io> On Behalf Of Marianne Denning
Sent: March 6, 2021 1:40 PMi am always worried when working with ms disibillidey desk that they are going to screw up my pc when they ae wanting to remotely access it. From Mich.
To:I have a problem when I call places and get transferd to some one who hardly knows English sorry but if you don’t know English then get another job or move back to your oan contrey. That is just my thoughts on this also as far as working with the Microsoft disibillidey desk I have had no problums with them in the past how ever I am always worried when they start messing around with y pc that they are going to screw something up. From Mich.
Subject: Re: Working with people at disability help desk

 

I am totally 100% understanding when I am working with someone who knows nothing about blind people and how best to help us. I have a problem when someone works with a company who provides goods and services to blind people and asks me if there is a sighted person available. I am the market for these companies and their staff must know how to communicate with me in a nonvisual way. If that person can’t do it because they are new to their job they need to refer me to someone who can work with me.

 

From: main@jfw.groups.io <main@jfw.groups.io> On Behalf Of Brian Vogel
Sent: Saturday, March 6, 2021 12:40 PM
To: main@jfw.groups.io
Subject: Re: Need Microsoft Disability phone number!

 

On Sat, Mar 6, 2021 at 12:25 PM, David Diamond wrote:

There has to be a meeting in the middle though.

-
Oh, absolutely!   But that meeting in the middle, when you're the "exotic one" in a given situation, very often entails you educating the helper about certain things as they try to help you.

There was a time when I didn't know diddly-squat about any form of assistive technology.  I learned based on the work I was doing and who I was doing it with.  Had I not needed (or chosen) to do that work with the populations I've worked with I would have absolutely no reason to know anything about it.  Every one of those populations are niche demographics.  The phrase "mainstream support" carries many shadings to the "mainstream" part.  If you are a part of any niche you had better disabuse yourself of the notion of "all things being equal, or even possibly ever being equal" with all possible haste.  And that's not because of malign intent, but because the capitalist system we live under means that businesses exist to make money, and the idea of "spending more than we get back" exists and not wanting to do that is perfectly legitimate.

But even when I didn't know what I know now, I had occasion to work with a couple of folks who happened to be blind, and was able to assist them with technical problems.  I knew I couldn't use visual terms such as, "click on the red X," but I could use the more generic, "Close the window," or, "Exit the program."   I did, and should have been able to expect, that the exact how that was to be done would be known by the person being assisted.  I no sooner knew ALT+F4 than subatomic physics.

Most support techs who want to be in the job will go as far as they possibly can if the other side is willing to meet in the middle.  The relationship between a sighted, but AT clueless support tech, and a blind client need not be adversarial.  When they give a visual instruction, which they will particularly before it sinks in that they can't, saying something like, "What is it that you're hoping will happen?," or, "What is it that you want me to accomplish?," will often get a response back that allows you to instantly know what you must do.

There will always be idiots out there, and I'm not trying to defend them.  But it is every bit as much up to the blind client dealing with someone who does not know AT, and who is not remoted in to their machine so they can see what is going on (which, for obvious reasons, is how we with sight generally work), to help the person trying to help them when it comes to the AT side of things.  It also helps to understand that many of the signt-centric instructions are part of a script.  Far too many companies put the inexperienced on help lines and adamantly insist that they stick with the script, and when they don't know what they're doing, they have to.  It's the people who've been doing this for a while, and like doing it, who often relish being able to "step outside the box" when the opportunity presents itself.  Others, of course, will not, and if it quickly gets ugly then that's when the, "I wish to be put through to your supervisor," step gets taken, as many times as necessary and as many levels as necessary, to lodge a legitimate complaint.
 
--

Brian - Windows 10 Pro, 64-Bit, Version 20H2, Build 19042  

One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time.

           ~ André Gide


Cristóbal
 

go back to your oan contrey” LOL! Also, “someone” is one word. Not two. Next time, if you’re going to show your xenophobia, at least run spell check my dude. Remember, grammar is your friend.

 

Cristóbal

 

From: main@jfw.groups.io <main@jfw.groups.io> On Behalf Of Mich Verrier
Sent: Saturday, March 6, 2021 10:52 AM
To: main@jfw.groups.io
Subject: Re: Working with people at disability help desk

 

I have a problem when calling these places and get to some one who can hardly speek English and who lives in indiea or some forin place like that to me if you can’t speek English or hardly can then go back to your oan contrey. Also I am worried when working with ms accessibillidey that they are always going to screw something up when they want to fix your pc remotely. From Mich.

 

From: main@jfw.groups.io <main@jfw.groups.io> On Behalf Of Marianne Denning
Sent: March 6, 2021 1:40 PMi am always worried when working with ms disibillidey desk that they are going to screw up my pc when they ae wanting to remotely access it. From Mich.
To:I have a problem when I call places and get transferd to some one who hardly knows English sorry but if you don’t know English then get another job or move back to your oan contrey. That is just my thoughts on this also as far as working with the Microsoft disibillidey desk I have had no problums with them in the past how ever I am always worried when they start messing around with y pc that they are going to screw something up. From Mich.
Subject: Re: Working with people at disability help desk

 

I am totally 100% understanding when I am working with someone who knows nothing about blind people and how best to help us. I have a problem when someone works with a company who provides goods and services to blind people and asks me if there is a sighted person available. I am the market for these companies and their staff must know how to communicate with me in a nonvisual way. If that person can’t do it because they are new to their job they need to refer me to someone who can work with me.

 

From: main@jfw.groups.io <main@jfw.groups.io> On Behalf Of Brian Vogel
Sent: Saturday, March 6, 2021 12:40 PM
To: main@jfw.groups.io
Subject: Re: Need Microsoft Disability phone number!

 

On Sat, Mar 6, 2021 at 12:25 PM, David Diamond wrote:

There has to be a meeting in the middle though.

-
Oh, absolutely!   But that meeting in the middle, when you're the "exotic one" in a given situation, very often entails you educating the helper about certain things as they try to help you.

There was a time when I didn't know diddly-squat about any form of assistive technology.  I learned based on the work I was doing and who I was doing it with.  Had I not needed (or chosen) to do that work with the populations I've worked with I would have absolutely no reason to know anything about it.  Every one of those populations are niche demographics.  The phrase "mainstream support" carries many shadings to the "mainstream" part.  If you are a part of any niche you had better disabuse yourself of the notion of "all things being equal, or even possibly ever being equal" with all possible haste.  And that's not because of malign intent, but because the capitalist system we live under means that businesses exist to make money, and the idea of "spending more than we get back" exists and not wanting to do that is perfectly legitimate.

But even when I didn't know what I know now, I had occasion to work with a couple of folks who happened to be blind, and was able to assist them with technical problems.  I knew I couldn't use visual terms such as, "click on the red X," but I could use the more generic, "Close the window," or, "Exit the program."   I did, and should have been able to expect, that the exact how that was to be done would be known by the person being assisted.  I no sooner knew ALT+F4 than subatomic physics.

Most support techs who want to be in the job will go as far as they possibly can if the other side is willing to meet in the middle.  The relationship between a sighted, but AT clueless support tech, and a blind client need not be adversarial.  When they give a visual instruction, which they will particularly before it sinks in that they can't, saying something like, "What is it that you're hoping will happen?," or, "What is it that you want me to accomplish?," will often get a response back that allows you to instantly know what you must do.

There will always be idiots out there, and I'm not trying to defend them.  But it is every bit as much up to the blind client dealing with someone who does not know AT, and who is not remoted in to their machine so they can see what is going on (which, for obvious reasons, is how we with sight generally work), to help the person trying to help them when it comes to the AT side of things.  It also helps to understand that many of the signt-centric instructions are part of a script.  Far too many companies put the inexperienced on help lines and adamantly insist that they stick with the script, and when they don't know what they're doing, they have to.  It's the people who've been doing this for a while, and like doing it, who often relish being able to "step outside the box" when the opportunity presents itself.  Others, of course, will not, and if it quickly gets ugly then that's when the, "I wish to be put through to your supervisor," step gets taken, as many times as necessary and as many levels as necessary, to lodge a legitimate complaint.
 
--

Brian - Windows 10 Pro, 64-Bit, Version 20H2, Build 19042  

One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time.

           ~ André Gide


 

Hi all,

HOW DARE YOU!

P.S. Folks know that I rarely explode in public like this, but given rising prevalence of hate crimes against minorities in some places around the world, I believe responses like this should be brought to your attention. Also, just for the record, I have asked forum mods to do something about this thread.

With sadness,

Joseph

 

From: main@jfw.groups.io <main@jfw.groups.io> On Behalf Of Mich Verrier
Sent: Saturday, March 6, 2021 10:52 AM
To: main@jfw.groups.io
Subject: Re: Working with people at disability help desk

 

I have a problem when calling these places and get to some one who can hardly speek English and who lives in indiea or some forin place like that to me if you can’t speek English or hardly can then go back to your oan contrey. Also I am worried when working with ms accessibillidey that they are always going to screw something up when they want to fix your pc remotely. From Mich.

 

From: main@jfw.groups.io <main@jfw.groups.io> On Behalf Of Marianne Denning
Sent: March 6, 2021 1:40 PMi am always worried when working with ms disibillidey desk that they are going to screw up my pc when they ae wanting to remotely access it. From Mich.
To:I have a problem when I call places and get transferd to some one who hardly knows English sorry but if you don’t know English then get another job or move back to your oan contrey. That is just my thoughts on this also as far as working with the Microsoft disibillidey desk I have had no problums with them in the past how ever I am always worried when they start messing around with y pc that they are going to screw something up. From Mich.
Subject: Re: Working with people at disability help desk

 

I am totally 100% understanding when I am working with someone who knows nothing about blind people and how best to help us. I have a problem when someone works with a company who provides goods and services to blind people and asks me if there is a sighted person available. I am the market for these companies and their staff must know how to communicate with me in a nonvisual way. If that person can’t do it because they are new to their job they need to refer me to someone who can work with me.

 

From: main@jfw.groups.io <main@jfw.groups.io> On Behalf Of Brian Vogel
Sent: Saturday, March 6, 2021 12:40 PM
To: main@jfw.groups.io
Subject: Re: Need Microsoft Disability phone number!

 

On Sat, Mar 6, 2021 at 12:25 PM, David Diamond wrote:

There has to be a meeting in the middle though.

-
Oh, absolutely!   But that meeting in the middle, when you're the "exotic one" in a given situation, very often entails you educating the helper about certain things as they try to help you.

There was a time when I didn't know diddly-squat about any form of assistive technology.  I learned based on the work I was doing and who I was doing it with.  Had I not needed (or chosen) to do that work with the populations I've worked with I would have absolutely no reason to know anything about it.  Every one of those populations are niche demographics.  The phrase "mainstream support" carries many shadings to the "mainstream" part.  If you are a part of any niche you had better disabuse yourself of the notion of "all things being equal, or even possibly ever being equal" with all possible haste.  And that's not because of malign intent, but because the capitalist system we live under means that businesses exist to make money, and the idea of "spending more than we get back" exists and not wanting to do that is perfectly legitimate.

But even when I didn't know what I know now, I had occasion to work with a couple of folks who happened to be blind, and was able to assist them with technical problems.  I knew I couldn't use visual terms such as, "click on the red X," but I could use the more generic, "Close the window," or, "Exit the program."   I did, and should have been able to expect, that the exact how that was to be done would be known by the person being assisted.  I no sooner knew ALT+F4 than subatomic physics.

Most support techs who want to be in the job will go as far as they possibly can if the other side is willing to meet in the middle.  The relationship between a sighted, but AT clueless support tech, and a blind client need not be adversarial.  When they give a visual instruction, which they will particularly before it sinks in that they can't, saying something like, "What is it that you're hoping will happen?," or, "What is it that you want me to accomplish?," will often get a response back that allows you to instantly know what you must do.

There will always be idiots out there, and I'm not trying to defend them.  But it is every bit as much up to the blind client dealing with someone who does not know AT, and who is not remoted in to their machine so they can see what is going on (which, for obvious reasons, is how we with sight generally work), to help the person trying to help them when it comes to the AT side of things.  It also helps to understand that many of the signt-centric instructions are part of a script.  Far too many companies put the inexperienced on help lines and adamantly insist that they stick with the script, and when they don't know what they're doing, they have to.  It's the people who've been doing this for a while, and like doing it, who often relish being able to "step outside the box" when the opportunity presents itself.  Others, of course, will not, and if it quickly gets ugly then that's when the, "I wish to be put through to your supervisor," step gets taken, as many times as necessary and as many levels as necessary, to lodge a legitimate complaint.
 
--

Brian - Windows 10 Pro, 64-Bit, Version 20H2, Build 19042  

One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time.

           ~ André Gide


Shirley Tracy
 

I’ll put my 2 cents in just once here. Give them a break. Some people are partially sighted and the people helping don’t know who can see what. And they may ask to determine if you can see at all or if they need to describe differently. Also, I think people in general don’t think. Even my own friends forget I’m totally blind. They’ll tell me something is in the green bin or such and I have to say, “And which one is green?” It’s automatic for them.

I try not to embarrass them and just make a joke of it. But I do speak truth and often we have a good laugh. One time I got angry with a CSR rep on a website and I did say, “What about totally blind don’t you understand?” The woman apologized and I said, “It’s okay. You can still help me if you describe what you’re talking about.”

 

We do get too sensitive about things. And we need to be more up front with others. I don’t wave my blindness like a flag, but when they need to know, I tell them.

 

Shirley Tracy

 

From: Joseph Hudson
Sent: Saturday, March 6, 2021 2:44 PM
To: main@jfw.groups.io
Subject: Re: Working with people at disability help desk

 

Hi Marianne, I also have to work with a website that is supposed to be a company that works for the blind and visually impaired individuals. However, whenever you speak with their customer service, it's almost like talking to somebody who knows nothing about blind people. Anytime I ask them a question it's like what color was the screen or what color are the lines or do you see a orange box? I'm trying to explain to them that I am blind is like talking to a rock.

> On Mar 6, 2021, at 12:40 PM, Marianne Denning <marianne@...> wrote:

>

> I am totally 100% understanding when I am working with someone who knows nothing about blind people and how best to help us. I have a problem when someone works with a company who provides goods and services to blind people and asks me if there is a sighted person available. I am the market for these companies and their staff must know how to communicate with me in a nonvisual way. If that person can’t do it because they are new to their job they need to refer me to someone who can work with me.

> From: main@jfw.groups.io <main@jfw.groups.io> On Behalf Of Brian Vogel

> Sent: Saturday, March 6, 2021 12:40 PM

> To: main@jfw.groups.io

> Subject: Re: Need Microsoft Disability phone number!

> On Sat, Mar 6, 2021 at 12:25 PM, David Diamond wrote:

> There has to be a meeting in the middle though.

> -

> Oh, absolutely!   But that meeting in the middle, when you're the "exotic one" in a given situation, very often entails you educating the helper about certain things as they try to help you.

>

> There was a time when I didn't know diddly-squat about any form of assistive technology.  I learned based on the work I was doing and who I was doing it with.  Had I not needed (or chosen) to do that work with the populations I've worked with I would have absolutely no reason to know anything about it.  Every one of those populations are niche demographics.  The phrase "mainstream support" carries many shadings to the "mainstream" part.  If you are a part of any niche you had better disabuse yourself of the notion of "all things being equal, or even possibly ever being equal" with all possible haste.  And that's not because of malign intent, but because the capitalist system we live under means that businesses exist to make money, and the idea of "spending more than we get back" exists and not wanting to do that is perfectly legitimate.

>

> But even when I didn't know what I know now, I had occasion to work with a couple of folks who happened to be blind, and was able to assist them with technical problems.  I knew I couldn't use visual terms such as, "click on the red X," but I could use the more generic, "Close the window," or, "Exit the program."   I did, and should have been able to expect, that the exact how that was to be done would be known by the person being assisted.  I no sooner knew ALT+F4 than subatomic physics.

>

> Most support techs who want to be in the job will go as far as they possibly can if the other side is willing to meet in the middle.  The relationship between a sighted, but AT clueless support tech, and a blind client need not be adversarial.  When they give a visual instruction, which they will particularly before it sinks in that they can't, saying something like, "What is it that you're hoping will happen?," or, "What is it that you want me to accomplish?," will often get a response back that allows you to instantly know what you must do.

>

> There will always be idiots out there, and I'm not trying to defend them.  But it is every bit as much up to the blind client dealing with someone who does not know AT, and who is not remoted in to their machine so they can see what is going on (which, for obvious reasons, is how we with sight generally work), to help the person trying to help them when it comes to the AT side of things.  It also helps to understand that many of the signt-centric instructions are part of a script.  Far too many companies put the inexperienced on help lines and adamantly insist that they stick with the script, and when they don't know what they're doing, they have to.  It's the people who've been doing this for a while, and like doing it, who often relish being able to "step outside the box" when the opportunity presents itself.  Others, of course, will not, and if it quickly gets ugly then that's when the, "I wish to be put through to your supervisor," step gets taken, as many times as necessary and as many levels as necessary, to lodge a legitimate complaint.

> --

> Brian - Windows 10 Pro, 64-Bit, Version 20H2, Build 19042

> One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time.

>            ~ André Gide

>

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

On Sat, Mar 6, 2021 at 02:52 PM, Joseph Lee wrote:
HOW DARE YOU!
-
I'm sorry, Joseph, but the complaint is not entirely without merit.

I have nothing against non-US-technical support, but regardless of what offshore tech support is being used by a company, there needs to be some very careful vetting with regard to proficiency with the language of the country being supported.  That has been, on more than one occasion, sadly lacking.  And that is a problem, whether you care for anyone to express it or not.  And there's nothing anti-anything about noting that fact.  People put in a position to do a given job should be able to do it for the target audience.  Those who can't are often pushed there through no fault of their own, but that doesn't matter one whit to the person on the other end of the phone.

There is a reason that some companies are now using, in my case, "US Based Support," as a selling point.  And it's precisely because of the issues I've identified above, and that may have been inelegantly expressed earlier by Mich.

I don't think it's necessarily xenophobic, as much as pure frustration, at the root of these sorts of complaints.  I also imagine they occur in any country you can name where offshore technical support is in wide use.  I've had plenty of calls with T-Mobile support where the person assisting me was perfectly lovely and polite, but where it was clear they did not understand clearly what I as asking and I did not understand clearly what they were saying.  I'm not being xenophobic (as I have no idea of exactly where these individuals are operating from, and I have no problem with immigrants, period) but I am frustrated when that occurs.  And that's the fault of the company, not the tech.
--

Brian - Windows 10 Pro, 64-Bit, Version 20H2, Build 19042  

One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time.

           ~ André Gide


 

On Sat, Mar 6, 2021 at 03:02 PM, Shirley Tracy wrote:
Some people are partially sighted and the people helping don’t know who can see what. And they may ask to determine if you can see at all or if they need to describe differently.
-
When I was doing a lot of freelance tutoring for the Virginia Department for the Blind and Visually Impaired, I learned very quicky that the information I was provided about the clients I was going to meet for the first time was often woefully incomplete.

After several years doing this work, I started starting my first sessions, after customary pleasantries, with the question, "So, how blind are you?," and that generally got a chuckle, regardless of visual status.  I'd follow that immediately with it really helps me to help you if I know whether you have any residual vision or not, and if you do, what is the nature of that vision.  People "got" what I was getting at, and why.

When you're tutoring or assisting someone with visual impairment through total blindness, it's really helpful to know what you (the tutor/assistant) have to work with as far as what the client still has, as far as vision.  It's also helpful to know whether they are adventitiously blind or have been blind since birth.  I never use color descriptors with someone who's been blind since birth, since they're nothing more than a pure abstraction.  But if I'm working with someone who can, or could, recognize color there are times when giving visual descriptions and including color in them allows them to paint whatever sort of mental picture they can.

It's an attempt to meet that individual where they are, as who they are, with some idea of how they got to be both.
--

Brian - Windows 10 Pro, 64-Bit, Version 20H2, Build 19042  

One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time.

           ~ André Gide


Gerald Levy
 


The bottom line is that these large companies only care about the ,well, bottom line, and don't give a bleep about customer service and so farm it out to offshore boiler rooms who pay their workers coolie wages.  I have heard that in some countries, workers are crammed into bunkers shoulder to shoulder with total and reckless disregard for the pandemic.  And some major companies like EBay and PayPal have done away with custopmer service altogether and no longer offer telephone or email support of any kind,which is especially problematic for blind customers.

 

Gerald



On 3/6/2021 3:24 PM, Brian Vogel wrote:
On Sat, Mar 6, 2021 at 02:52 PM, Joseph Lee wrote:
HOW DARE YOU!
-
I'm sorry, Joseph, but the complaint is not entirely without merit.

I have nothing against non-US-technical support, but regardless of what offshore tech support is being used by a company, there needs to be some very careful vetting with regard to proficiency with the language of the country being supported.  That has been, on more than one occasion, sadly lacking.  And that is a problem, whether you care for anyone to express it or not.  And there's nothing anti-anything about noting that fact.  People put in a position to do a given job should be able to do it for the target audience.  Those who can't are often pushed there through no fault of their own, but that doesn't matter one whit to the person on the other end of the phone.

There is a reason that some companies are now using, in my case, "US Based Support," as a selling point.  And it's precisely because of the issues I've identified above, and that may have been inelegantly expressed earlier by Mich.

I don't think it's necessarily xenophobic, as much as pure frustration, at the root of these sorts of complaints.  I also imagine they occur in any country you can name where offshore technical support is in wide use.  I've had plenty of calls with T-Mobile support where the person assisting me was perfectly lovely and polite, but where it was clear they did not understand clearly what I as asking and I did not understand clearly what they were saying.  I'm not being xenophobic (as I have no idea of exactly where these individuals are operating from, and I have no problem with immigrants, period) but I am frustrated when that occurs.  And that's the fault of the company, not the tech.
--

Brian - Windows 10 Pro, 64-Bit, Version 20H2, Build 19042  

One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time.

           ~ André Gide


 

On Sat, Mar 6, 2021 at 04:15 PM, Gerald Levy wrote:
And some major companies like EBay and PayPal have done away with custopmer service altogether and no longer offer telephone or email support of any kind,which is especially problematic for blind customers.
-
You can cut out the "blind" and, possibly, the "especially," and your observation still holds true.

There's really not much worse, from a customer perspective, than having abolutely no viable channel to communicate with a company when issues arise.
 
--

Brian - Windows 10 Pro, 64-Bit, Version 20H2, Build 19042  

One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time.

           ~ André Gide


Cristóbal
 

Just a correction, eBay does still have telephonic and email support. The wife and I sell on this platform and have had to use it from time to time. Same with Amazon. You may need to jump through an extra hoop or two to get support, but it’s there.

 

From: main@jfw.groups.io <main@jfw.groups.io> On Behalf Of Brian Vogel
Sent: Saturday, March 6, 2021 1:28 PM
To: main@jfw.groups.io
Subject: Re: Working with people at disability help desk

 

On Sat, Mar 6, 2021 at 04:15 PM, Gerald Levy wrote:

And some major companies like EBay and PayPal have done away with custopmer service altogether and no longer offer telephone or email support of any kind,which is especially problematic for blind customers.

-
You can cut out the "blind" and, possibly, the "especially," and your observation still holds true.

There's really not much worse, from a customer perspective, than having abolutely no viable channel to communicate with a company when issues arise.
 
--

Brian - Windows 10 Pro, 64-Bit, Version 20H2, Build 19042  

One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time.

           ~ André Gide


 

Cristóbal,

            If you actually have those numbers and know they're current, would you mind sharing (or if you have URLs for the appropriate pages at their support areas)?  eBay in particular is the 20th circle of hell as far as getting any sort of live support in my experience.  It never hurts to have those phone numbers in one's back pocket in case of need.
--

Brian - Windows 10 Pro, 64-Bit, Version 20H2, Build 19042  

One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time.

           ~ André Gide


E.M. Kirtley
 

I think what Mr. Lee was objecting to was the wording about going back to their own country,.  That was uncalled for. Not only that, most of the time the call is made to them in their country.   

 

Ms. E. Kirtley

 

 

 

From: Shirley Tracy
Sent: Saturday, March 6, 2021 12:02 PM
To: main@jfw.groups.io
Subject: Re: Working with people at disability help desk

 

I’ll put my 2 cents in just once here. Give them a break. Some people are partially sighted and the people helping don’t know who can see what. And they may ask to determine if you can see at all or if they need to describe differently. Also, I think people in general don’t think. Even my own friends forget I’m totally blind. They’ll tell me something is in the green bin or such and I have to say, “And which one is green?” It’s automatic for them.

I try not to embarrass them and just make a joke of it. But I do speak truth and often we have a good laugh. One time I got angry with a CSR rep on a website and I did say, “What about totally blind don’t you understand?” The woman apologized and I said, “It’s okay. You can still help me if you describe what you’re talking about.”

 

We do get too sensitive about things. And we need to be more up front with others. I don’t wave my blindness like a flag, but when they need to know, I tell them.

 

Shirley Tracy

 

From: Joseph Hudson
Sent: Saturday, March 6, 2021 2:44 PM
To: main@jfw.groups.io
Subject: Re: Working with people at disability help desk

 

Hi Marianne, I also have to work with a website that is supposed to be a company that works for the blind and visually impaired individuals. However, whenever you speak with their customer service, it's almost like talking to somebody who knows nothing about blind people. Anytime I ask them a question it's like what color was the screen or what color are the lines or do you see a orange box? I'm trying to explain to them that I am blind is like talking to a rock.

> On Mar 6, 2021, at 12:40 PM, Marianne Denning <marianne@...> wrote:

>

> I am totally 100% understanding when I am working with someone who knows nothing about blind people and how best to help us. I have a problem when someone works with a company who provides goods and services to blind people and asks me if there is a sighted person available. I am the market for these companies and their staff must know how to communicate with me in a nonvisual way. If that person can’t do it because they are new to their job they need to refer me to someone who can work with me.

> From: main@jfw.groups.io <main@jfw.groups.io> On Behalf Of Brian Vogel

> Sent: Saturday, March 6, 2021 12:40 PM

> To: main@jfw.groups.io

> Subject: Re: Need Microsoft Disability phone number!

> On Sat, Mar 6, 2021 at 12:25 PM, David Diamond wrote:

> There has to be a meeting in the middle though.

> -

> Oh, absolutely!   But that meeting in the middle, when you're the "exotic one" in a given situation, very often entails you educating the helper about certain things as they try to help you.

>

> There was a time when I didn't know diddly-squat about any form of assistive technology.  I learned based on the work I was doing and who I was doing it with.  Had I not needed (or chosen) to do that work with the populations I've worked with I would have absolutely no reason to know anything about it.  Every one of those populations are niche demographics.  The phrase "mainstream support" carries many shadings to the "mainstream" part.  If you are a part of any niche you had better disabuse yourself of the notion of "all things being equal, or even possibly ever being equal" with all possible haste.  And that's not because of malign intent, but because the capitalist system we live under means that businesses exist to make money, and the idea of "spending more than we get back" exists and not wanting to do that is perfectly legitimate.

>

> But even when I didn't know what I know now, I had occasion to work with a couple of folks who happened to be blind, and was able to assist them with technical problems.  I knew I couldn't use visual terms such as, "click on the red X," but I could use the more generic, "Close the window," or, "Exit the program."   I did, and should have been able to expect, that the exact how that was to be done would be known by the person being assisted.  I no sooner knew ALT+F4 than subatomic physics.

>

> Most support techs who want to be in the job will go as far as they possibly can if the other side is willing to meet in the middle.  The relationship between a sighted, but AT clueless support tech, and a blind client need not be adversarial.  When they give a visual instruction, which they will particularly before it sinks in that they can't, saying something like, "What is it that you're hoping will happen?," or, "What is it that you want me to accomplish?," will often get a response back that allows you to instantly know what you must do.

>

> There will always be idiots out there, and I'm not trying to defend them.  But it is every bit as much up to the blind client dealing with someone who does not know AT, and who is not remoted in to their machine so they can see what is going on (which, for obvious reasons, is how we with sight generally work), to help the person trying to help them when it comes to the AT side of things.  It also helps to understand that many of the signt-centric instructions are part of a script.  Far too many companies put the inexperienced on help lines and adamantly insist that they stick with the script, and when they don't know what they're doing, they have to.  It's the people who've been doing this for a while, and like doing it, who often relish being able to "step outside the box" when the opportunity presents itself.  Others, of course, will not, and if it quickly gets ugly then that's when the, "I wish to be put through to your supervisor," step gets taken, as many times as necessary and as many levels as necessary, to lodge a legitimate complaint.

> --

> Brian - Windows 10 Pro, 64-Bit, Version 20H2, Build 19042

> One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time.

>            ~ André Gide

>

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

On Sat, Mar 6, 2021 at 05:10 PM, E.M. Kirtley wrote:
I think what Mr. Lee was objecting to was the wording about going back to their own country
-
Which was beyond the pale.  But it also seemed to be the only thing that was being laser focused on.

These complaints are not rare, and are most often, in my experience, not made by anyone who would be willing to be, literally, that xenophobic.

My only point is that the core of the complaint, not how it was stated, is not without merit.  And I thought I articulated that clearly.
--

Brian - Windows 10 Pro, 64-Bit, Version 20H2, Build 19042  

One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time.

           ~ André Gide


Tyler Wood
 

Hi,

My $.02.

Part of my job involves meeting with customers and showing them, via my screen and audio, how my screen reader interacts with various content be it a website, an application, or something in between.

People don’t generally encounter blind or visually impaired individuals. Demanding that someone immediately cater to your needs without attempting to educate that person is worse than the person trying to help using visual landmarks. We are the minority. We must help educate, even if we want an issue fixed right away. You can do a great deal to broaden someone’s understanding of what you’re dealing with by attempting to explain where you are on the screen, what your screen reader is speaking, what you expect to happen and what is actually happening. Demanding that you want to speak to someone who can talk to you in nonvisual lingo isn’t helping anyone, least of all yourself, because that person will not be able to help the next person who comes along and does not get educated about how to go about conducting themselves with someone who can’t see. It’s a missed opportunity on both sides. You’d be surprised what doesn’t cross someone’s mind and they take for granted.

Is it frustrating? You bet it is. It’s also empowering to help someone understand alternate views on certain aspects of life in general, the issues faced with regards to accessibility and the methods in which they can be alleviated. Hint: yelling, screaming and demanding fixes nothing, apart from making companies less apt to work with us.

I think several also forget that, just because you’re calling the disability support line, doesn’t mean your disability is the only one out there. There are tons of others that are equally misrepresented or unaccounted for.

 

From: main@jfw.groups.io <main@jfw.groups.io> On Behalf Of E.M. Kirtley
Sent: Saturday, March 6, 2021 4:11 PM
To: main@jfw.groups.io
Subject: Re: Working with people at disability help desk

 

I think what Mr. Lee was objecting to was the wording about going back to their own country,.  That was uncalled for. Not only that, most of the time the call is made to them in their country.   

 

Ms. E. Kirtley

 

 

 

From: Shirley Tracy
Sent: Saturday, March 6, 2021 12:02 PM
To: main@jfw.groups.io
Subject: Re: Working with people at disability help desk

 

I’ll put my 2 cents in just once here. Give them a break. Some people are partially sighted and the people helping don’t know who can see what. And they may ask to determine if you can see at all or if they need to describe differently. Also, I think people in general don’t think. Even my own friends forget I’m totally blind. They’ll tell me something is in the green bin or such and I have to say, “And which one is green?” It’s automatic for them.

I try not to embarrass them and just make a joke of it. But I do speak truth and often we have a good laugh. One time I got angry with a CSR rep on a website and I did say, “What about totally blind don’t you understand?” The woman apologized and I said, “It’s okay. You can still help me if you describe what you’re talking about.”

 

We do get too sensitive about things. And we need to be more up front with others. I don’t wave my blindness like a flag, but when they need to know, I tell them.

 

Shirley Tracy

 

From: Joseph Hudson
Sent: Saturday, March 6, 2021 2:44 PM
To: main@jfw.groups.io
Subject: Re: Working with people at disability help desk

 

Hi Marianne, I also have to work with a website that is supposed to be a company that works for the blind and visually impaired individuals. However, whenever you speak with their customer service, it's almost like talking to somebody who knows nothing about blind people. Anytime I ask them a question it's like what color was the screen or what color are the lines or do you see a orange box? I'm trying to explain to them that I am blind is like talking to a rock.

> On Mar 6, 2021, at 12:40 PM, Marianne Denning <marianne@...> wrote:

>

> I am totally 100% understanding when I am working with someone who knows nothing about blind people and how best to help us. I have a problem when someone works with a company who provides goods and services to blind people and asks me if there is a sighted person available. I am the market for these companies and their staff must know how to communicate with me in a nonvisual way. If that person can’t do it because they are new to their job they need to refer me to someone who can work with me.

> From: main@jfw.groups.io <main@jfw.groups.io> On Behalf Of Brian Vogel

> Sent: Saturday, March 6, 2021 12:40 PM

> To: main@jfw.groups.io

> Subject: Re: Need Microsoft Disability phone number!

> On Sat, Mar 6, 2021 at 12:25 PM, David Diamond wrote:

> There has to be a meeting in the middle though.

> -

> Oh, absolutely!   But that meeting in the middle, when you're the "exotic one" in a given situation, very often entails you educating the helper about certain things as they try to help you.

>

> There was a time when I didn't know diddly-squat about any form of assistive technology.  I learned based on the work I was doing and who I was doing it with.  Had I not needed (or chosen) to do that work with the populations I've worked with I would have absolutely no reason to know anything about it.  Every one of those populations are niche demographics.  The phrase "mainstream support" carries many shadings to the "mainstream" part.  If you are a part of any niche you had better disabuse yourself of the notion of "all things being equal, or even possibly ever being equal" with all possible haste.  And that's not because of malign intent, but because the capitalist system we live under means that businesses exist to make money, and the idea of "spending more than we get back" exists and not wanting to do that is perfectly legitimate.

>

> But even when I didn't know what I know now, I had occasion to work with a couple of folks who happened to be blind, and was able to assist them with technical problems.  I knew I couldn't use visual terms such as, "click on the red X," but I could use the more generic, "Close the window," or, "Exit the program."   I did, and should have been able to expect, that the exact how that was to be done would be known by the person being assisted.  I no sooner knew ALT+F4 than subatomic physics.

>

> Most support techs who want to be in the job will go as far as they possibly can if the other side is willing to meet in the middle.  The relationship between a sighted, but AT clueless support tech, and a blind client need not be adversarial.  When they give a visual instruction, which they will particularly before it sinks in that they can't, saying something like, "What is it that you're hoping will happen?," or, "What is it that you want me to accomplish?," will often get a response back that allows you to instantly know what you must do.

>

> There will always be idiots out there, and I'm not trying to defend them.  But it is every bit as much up to the blind client dealing with someone who does not know AT, and who is not remoted in to their machine so they can see what is going on (which, for obvious reasons, is how we with sight generally work), to help the person trying to help them when it comes to the AT side of things.  It also helps to understand that many of the signt-centric instructions are part of a script.  Far too many companies put the inexperienced on help lines and adamantly insist that they stick with the script, and when they don't know what they're doing, they have to.  It's the people who've been doing this for a while, and like doing it, who often relish being able to "step outside the box" when the opportunity presents itself.  Others, of course, will not, and if it quickly gets ugly then that's when the, "I wish to be put through to your supervisor," step gets taken, as many times as necessary and as many levels as necessary, to lodge a legitimate complaint.

> --

> Brian - Windows 10 Pro, 64-Bit, Version 20H2, Build 19042

> One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time.

>            ~ André Gide

>

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Cristóbal
 

In all fairness, it’s my wife who reaches out to these companies wen we have an issue and as a seller not as a  buyer. So that may make a difference. I’ll ask her.

As far as Amazon… www.amazon.com/hz/contact-us/accessibility

I recall once even calling their disability line to ask for help on the description for a treadmill I was interested in buying. With the help from the agent who took my call, I determined that it wasn’t the machine that I was looking for.

 

From: main@jfw.groups.io <main@jfw.groups.io> On Behalf Of Brian Vogel
Sent: Saturday, March 6, 2021 1:40 PM
To: main@jfw.groups.io
Subject: Re: Working with people at disability help desk

 

Cristóbal,

            If you actually have those numbers and know they're current, would you mind sharing (or if you have URLs for the appropriate pages at their support areas)?  eBay in particular is the 20th circle of hell as far as getting any sort of live support in my experience.  It never hurts to have those phone numbers in one's back pocket in case of need.
--

Brian - Windows 10 Pro, 64-Bit, Version 20H2, Build 19042  

One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time.

           ~ André Gide


leonard morris
 

Well, just for the record many of these call centers employees are already in their own country already so they have no need to go anywhere. I am an American here in the Philippines and there are several call centers in this country. In fact one of them is about a mile from my home. Basically, they work the graveyard shift because they service the states since it is daytime in America. If you are going to blame somebody, blame stateside companies relying on overseas call centers for cheap labor which puts Americans out of work. 

Every country has an identity, history, custom, and culture. It’s a unique landscape in determining how its people Live, work, and play.

On Mar 7, 2021, at 3:52 AM, Joseph Lee <joseph.lee22590@...> wrote:



Hi all,

HOW DARE YOU!

P.S. Folks know that I rarely explode in public like this, but given rising prevalence of hate crimes against minorities in some places around the world, I believe responses like this should be brought to your attention. Also, just for the record, I have asked forum mods to do something about this thread.

With sadness,

Joseph

 

From: main@jfw.groups.io <main@jfw.groups.io> On Behalf Of Mich Verrier
Sent: Saturday, March 6, 2021 10:52 AM
To: main@jfw.groups.io
Subject: Re: Working with people at disability help desk

 

I have a problem when calling these places and get to some one who can hardly speek English and who lives in indiea or some forin place like that to me if you can’t speek English or hardly can then go back to your oan contrey. Also I am worried when working with ms accessibillidey that they are always going to screw something up when they want to fix your pc remotely. From Mich.

 

From: main@jfw.groups.io <main@jfw.groups.io> On Behalf Of Marianne Denning
Sent: March 6, 2021 1:40 PMi am always worried when working with ms disibillidey desk that they are going to screw up my pc when they ae wanting to remotely access it. From Mich.
To:I have a problem when I call places and get transferd to some one who hardly knows English sorry but if you don’t know English then get another job or move back to your oan contrey. That is just my thoughts on this also as far as working with the Microsoft disibillidey desk I have had no problums with them in the past how ever I am always worried when they start messing around with y pc that they are going to screw something up. From Mich.
Subject: Re: Working with people at disability help desk

 

I am totally 100% understanding when I am working with someone who knows nothing about blind people and how best to help us. I have a problem when someone works with a company who provides goods and services to blind people and asks me if there is a sighted person available. I am the market for these companies and their staff must know how to communicate with me in a nonvisual way. If that person can’t do it because they are new to their job they need to refer me to someone who can work with me.

 

From: main@jfw.groups.io <main@jfw.groups.io> On Behalf Of Brian Vogel
Sent: Saturday, March 6, 2021 12:40 PM
To: main@jfw.groups.io
Subject: Re: Need Microsoft Disability phone number!

 

On Sat, Mar 6, 2021 at 12:25 PM, David Diamond wrote:

There has to be a meeting in the middle though.

-
Oh, absolutely!   But that meeting in the middle, when you're the "exotic one" in a given situation, very often entails you educating the helper about certain things as they try to help you.

There was a time when I didn't know diddly-squat about any form of assistive technology.  I learned based on the work I was doing and who I was doing it with.  Had I not needed (or chosen) to do that work with the populations I've worked with I would have absolutely no reason to know anything about it.  Every one of those populations are niche demographics.  The phrase "mainstream support" carries many shadings to the "mainstream" part.  If you are a part of any niche you had better disabuse yourself of the notion of "all things being equal, or even possibly ever being equal" with all possible haste.  And that's not because of malign intent, but because the capitalist system we live under means that businesses exist to make money, and the idea of "spending more than we get back" exists and not wanting to do that is perfectly legitimate.

But even when I didn't know what I know now, I had occasion to work with a couple of folks who happened to be blind, and was able to assist them with technical problems.  I knew I couldn't use visual terms such as, "click on the red X," but I could use the more generic, "Close the window," or, "Exit the program."   I did, and should have been able to expect, that the exact how that was to be done would be known by the person being assisted.  I no sooner knew ALT+F4 than subatomic physics.

Most support techs who want to be in the job will go as far as they possibly can if the other side is willing to meet in the middle.  The relationship between a sighted, but AT clueless support tech, and a blind client need not be adversarial.  When they give a visual instruction, which they will particularly before it sinks in that they can't, saying something like, "What is it that you're hoping will happen?," or, "What is it that you want me to accomplish?," will often get a response back that allows you to instantly know what you must do.

There will always be idiots out there, and I'm not trying to defend them.  But it is every bit as much up to the blind client dealing with someone who does not know AT, and who is not remoted in to their machine so they can see what is going on (which, for obvious reasons, is how we with sight generally work), to help the person trying to help them when it comes to the AT side of things.  It also helps to understand that many of the signt-centric instructions are part of a script.  Far too many companies put the inexperienced on help lines and adamantly insist that they stick with the script, and when they don't know what they're doing, they have to.  It's the people who've been doing this for a while, and like doing it, who often relish being able to "step outside the box" when the opportunity presents itself.  Others, of course, will not, and if it quickly gets ugly then that's when the, "I wish to be put through to your supervisor," step gets taken, as many times as necessary and as many levels as necessary, to lodge a legitimate complaint.
 
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Brian - Windows 10 Pro, 64-Bit, Version 20H2, Build 19042  

One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time.

           ~ André Gide


Gerald Levy
 


Not true.  I just called the EBay customer support helpline at 866-540-3229 and got a long winded recorded spiel referring customers back to their web site for help. The pandemic notwithstanding, there is no reason why they can't have service agents work from home like other major companies, including Amazon. And if you email them at support@..., you will simply receive a message thanking you for your feedback and again referring you back to their web site for help, but you will not receive an response to your specific inquiry. The same is true of PayPal.   


     Gerald



On 3/6/2021 4:34 PM, Cristóbal wrote:

Just a correction, eBay does still have telephonic and email support. The wife and I sell on this platform and have had to use it from time to time. Same with Amazon. You may need to jump through an extra hoop or two to get support, but it’s there.

 

From: main@jfw.groups.io <main@jfw.groups.io> On Behalf Of Brian Vogel
Sent: Saturday, March 6, 2021 1:28 PM
To: main@jfw.groups.io
Subject: Re: Working with people at disability help desk

 

On Sat, Mar 6, 2021 at 04:15 PM, Gerald Levy wrote:

And some major companies like EBay and PayPal have done away with custopmer service altogether and no longer offer telephone or email support of any kind,which is especially problematic for blind customers.

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You can cut out the "blind" and, possibly, the "especially," and your observation still holds true.

There's really not much worse, from a customer perspective, than having abolutely no viable channel to communicate with a company when issues arise.
 
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Brian - Windows 10 Pro, 64-Bit, Version 20H2, Build 19042  

One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time.

           ~ André Gide