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Speakeasy Praised for a Job Well Done and Asked to Keep Accessibility Needs in Mind

May 11, 2005 • Darrell Shandrow Hilliker

This afternoon, I wrote the following letter to Speakeasy’s management team praising them for providing high quality Internet service and excellent customer support. I also asked them to address some minor potential accessibility issues. Please feel free to share your thoughts on this approach.

May 11, 2005

Dear Mr. Apgar, Mr. Chatterley, Mr. Hoffman, Mr. Duncan, Ms. Hutchinson and Mr. Hausske,

I am a blind information technology professional, accessibility advocate and publisher of the Blind Access Journal found at
http://www.blindaccessjournal.com.
The purpose of my writing to all of you on the Speakeasy management team is to thank you for the high quality Internet service and customer support provided
by Speakeasy and to encourage you to continue the great work by keeping the needs of all your customers in mind.

My Tech+ OneLink DSL service was installed approximately three weeks ago now, and I haven’t looked back for one second since that time! My Internet service
has been flawless! It has been necessary for me to contact your customer support team either by telephone or online a few times only to obtain answers
to some noncritical technical questions and to ask for an electronic copy of the manual for the Broadxent 8012-V DSL modem provided with the service.
In each and every case, I have received prompt, professional service. My questions were answered intelligently every time.

Recently, I became aware that Speakeasy is in the process of redesigning its online invoices, procedures for delivering these invoices and, perhaps, other
aspects of its web site. I was informed that, for privacy and security reasons, full text copies of invoices would no longer be provided via e-mail.
Instead, a link to the online copy of the invoice would be supplied for access upon valid log on to the Speakeasy account. A link to the redesigned web
based invoice was provided. For the most part, the invoice is reasonably accessible and easy to comprehend. I did note a couple of places where missing
alt text tags and confusing formatting made reading this statement a bit of a challenge for those of us who depend on screen reading software in order
to access our computers. This morning, I decided to create ticket number 843444 concerning this issue. I am asking that full text e-mail copies of invoices
in the old format continue to be made available for blind and visually impaired customers and/or that the minor accessibility issues with the web based
invoices be resolved before final implementation of the new procedures. My ticket was politely answered by Jeffrey Cornish. He thanked me for my feedback,
indicated that the needs of the blind and visually impaired had not previously been on their minds until I brought them to his attention, that it would
be escalated to his lead and that he would make my ticket close automatically pending my reply. I have asked Mr. Cornish to keep the ticket open until
confirmation had been obtained that the accessibility challenges would be resolved.

Blind professionals such as myself absolutely depend on the Internet to participate in critical educational, employment and even home management and leisure
activities. I use the Internet to conduct such wide ranging activities as access my bank account, shop for groceries, perform my on call duties as a technical
support engineer and advocate for greater accessibility for the blind through such vehicles as the Blind Access Journal. Dedicated, reliable Internet
service with top notch customer support is absolutely essential, and Speakeasy meets all my needs in this area! Please keep up the great work! I would
be delighted to discuss the specific potential accessibility challenges at hand, or even to talk about how I may be of assistance to Speakeasy far beyond
my skills and abilities as an accessibility advocate. I appreciate your taking the time to read this letter. I look forward to hearing from one of you
soon.

Sincerely,

Darrell Shandrow

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