Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Sometimes, we just need to ask

Sometimes to get something, we just need to ask.

The reasoning behind that seemingly simple statement was the experience I had via email this past week with the lead web developer of
The Cove Herald
in my hometown. I initially stated that the new design for the newspaper’s online site wasn’t working for my screen reader. In subsequent dialogue with this man, I was able to identify the probable culprit— the site’s Flash animation – and give a good description of what I was experiencing.

We began our correspondence exchange when I sent my initial email to him late Thursday. The man wrote me back on Friday morning, asking what it was that I was having problems with. I wrote him back on Saturday morning, describing the hang-ups with what I was certain was the Flash animation and told him what was going on as I tried to find the sports section. After the long weekend for labor day, during which this man was appropriately off, he returned my last email and offered suggestions that he might employ on the site and asked if that would help my accessibility. He was right on target on what he offered and I am looking forward to my next visit to the web site.

This was not only self advocacy at work, but is also an open-minded web developer in tune with what his readers need. His insight in understanding that we don't all access information the same way sets the standard that other IT professionals should model. Thanks, Mr. Gietz.

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