Re: career question

  • From: Alex Midence <alex.midence@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: jfw@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Mon, 16 Nov 2009 15:59:53 -0600

Hello, Jamie,

I have been working in a call center environment for the last 11
years.  I started using Jaws 3.3 with a navigator braille display back
in 1998 and have kept on up through Jaws 10 in conjunction with a
focus 80.    I was promoted from rep to management in the 3 places
I've worked at so, I'm here to tell you that it can be done and done
well.  I'll even go so far as to say that my custoemrs had no clue
that they were talking to a blind person.  I work in finance so,
that's a big deal since people can be pretty paranoid about their
money as it is without all their misconceptions about a blind person
entering the mix.  Jaws works pretty well with many of the apps out
there.  I even used it on a Java platform with the Java Access Bridge
to help make the software accessible.  Instant messaging is doable
too.  I use Lotus Notes every day.  The thing you have to make sure of
is that it plays a sound and that it doesn't override all your windows
and bring itself to the forefront.  If your job's software is web
based, you should be fine since Jaws should work quite well with it.
Whatever the case, I don't recommend you use speech alone especially
if you are going to be talking to people on the phone.  You need
braille since it makes focusing on your caller easier without
eloquence yammering at you in the other ear.  You mentioned a Braille
Note.  I don't know if that can be made to function as a braille
display with jaws or not but you might want to try.  With a braille
display, you can really get a feel for the layout of your screens
which can help you in discussing what is on your screen with coworkers
should the need arise.  Many call centers have a help desk and virtual
ones shouldn't be an exception.  It will help ifyou know where things
are relative to one another on your screen to describe any
business-related issues you may be having and need their help with.
having said that, I have ehard of other blind people doing quite well
with speech alone in call centers.  I understand there's quite a bunch
of them at the IRS call center who do just that.  Good luck in your
new career.  Whatever you do, don't let yourself wonder if it can be
done but rather, how you go about it.  Makes all the difference in the
world to your level of confidence.  This economy is no place for
turning away from careers at our reach.

Have a nice day,


On 11/16/09, Jamie Prater <jdprater@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> Hi, all, I use jaws 10 and did medical transcription until last May.  I had
> to quit this due to hand pain and burnout.  I was given the websites of
> and, both companies that hire from home.  I
> have mixed feelings about working at home and/or the call center setting.  I
> cannot find out if there are people who are blind who work at convergys.  I
> have been told that finding out and giving out that information could
> violate privacy rights.  I'll respect this but I don't think I'm asking too
> much.  I was able to find similar information out when I was starting into
> transcription.  All I know is that I'd possibly have to have two IP
> addresses, need to multitask and use some type of chat software--was not
> specifically told which one, but I would need to multitask and use chat or
> instant messaging.  This will be fine unless they use java and I am unable
> to find this out.  Basically, I want to know the good, bad, and ugly about
> the call center career, particularly as it relates to jaws and/or a
> braillenote before I make a decision one way or another.  I can be reached
> privately at jdprater@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx  Thanks and have a blessed day.
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