By Donna J. Jodhan
Whenever change occurs, there is always something that isbound to go wrong for the first while but when this pertains to the environmentfor a blind person, it is even more challenging. In the case of the workplace, this oftenleads to high levels of frustration for everyone involved. Especially so for the blind employee.
Think of it like this. One morning, the blind employee comes into work and is told that theirsystem is going to be upgraded and as a result, it would mean that their accesstechnology and computer hardware will also have to be upgraded in order thatthey can work with the system wide upgrade.
The blind employee knows only too well what is going to comenext. As soon as the system wide upgradeis completed, certain challenges will need to be overcome. They are not looking forward to thisoccurrence because they know only too well that for the next few weeks atleast, their production and frustration levels are going to rise appreciably.
They seek to gently remind their superiors of this but thelatter reassures them that all will be well and that their fears are probably notgoing to be realized. However, the blindemployee knows better and all that they can do is to wait for the shoe to dropso to speak. It turns out that moreoften than not, the blind employee’s fears are realized. Here is what happens.
- The version of the software that the blind employee has beenusing up until the system wide upgrade no longer functions adequately to allowthem to be productive.
- The new hardware that has been installed is unable to workproperly with the existing access technology software.
- The blind employee is unable to navigate new screens in ameaningful way.
- Certain parts of the system are now inaccessible.
- The blind employee is unable to obtain adequatedocumentation in order to be able to learn the new features of the system wideupgrade.
- Sighted employees are also frustrated because they areunable to help their blind coworkers.
- The blind employee is told by access technology vendors thatthey will not be able to obtain upgrades for their access technology to be ableto work with the system wide upgrades in their workplace.
Other challenges abound.
These are all variables for all involved to be aware ofwhenever technological environments are about to be changed. If these variables are kept in mind, thenmuch can be done to minimize the frustration levels on all sides. Chances are that not all of the challengeswould be able to be dealt with; the challenge of the unavailability of upgradesto enable access technology to work with new system wide upgrades is just oneexample.
I’m Donna J. Jodhan your freelance writer and reporterwishing you a terrific day.If you’d like to learn more about me, then you can visitsome of my blog spots at:
(Donna Jodhan! Advocating accessibility for all) http://www.donnajodhan.blogspot.com
(Weekly Saturday postings on issues of accessibility) http://www.sterlingcreations.ca/blog
(Weekly features on how to increase your success with yourbusiness ventures) http://www.sterlingcreations.com/businessdesk.htm