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Visually impairment and the new Upwork team

filiptg
Active

Hi,
I have an issue with the Upwork team that can't be resolved, at least not in the near future.
I have a visual impairment that makes me unable to read a text on my computer screen without a screen reader. How big are the letters doesn't matter because i had a brain injury that makes me unable to see the shape of the letters. So, I read, write, communicate, work and applying to jobs on Upwork with a screen reader called Jaws, a product from Friedom Scientific.
The issue would be that the new version of Upwork Team is not supported by my screen reader (Jaws) at all. I cannot start the time tracking, select my project and other things.
When I started to work on Odesk, june 2014) there was a fully accesible team. The Odesk Team is supported by all screen readers, including Jaws.
Now, when we have to upgrade it to the newer version, i don't know what to do. If I will not upgrade it, Upwork will not be able to help me with any issue (in case I will have one). If I will upgrade it, I will not be able to work with this new version, at least not on my own.
I'm writing this message so other people in a similar situation can read it, but most important, I hope that it will be seen by someone from the Upwork Team development team/department. I think that can't be solved in a short time, but I hope that when they will make an upgrade will try to make it accesible. Selecting a project, start/stop the team and the accesibility of the worked time section would be the 3 most important things.
Working online as a freelancer is the future of work, not only for "healthy" people, but also for those that have an impairment.

8 REPLIES 8
garnorm
Community Guru

Filip,

We'll raise this with our team. We appreciate the circumstances with which you're using the platform and we'll do our best to continue supporting your use of the site and its features.

kaelyn6
Active

Hey Upwork staff/Filip:

Just wondering if there are any plans to do something about this? Upwork has been fantastic for me as a writer, but I'm basically limited to fixed price projects since I can access your app on neither windows nor mac. I do understand there is manual time entry but of course there can be ramifications with this type of data entry when it comes to payment.

Along with myself, there are a number of blind or low vision freelancers who would be interested in using your services if the app could work for us. These individuals are in the fields of programming and web development where hourly projects may be crutial to their success.

Personally I believe that the app could be developed for screen reader access on one platform or another. I also feel that making such adjustments would be a win-win situation for the freelancers and for Upwork as a company. While upwork would receive new freelancers and therefore more money, the blind freelancers would in turn get imployment, which can be difficult to come by for some of us.

If you would like to discuss any of this further feel free to contact. I among others would be glad to assist however possible in making this tech accessible.

Kaelyn

Hi Kaelyn,

 

Unfortunately, I am not aware of any updates in this regard. Let me follow up with the team and see if there are any plans to make the Team App accessible for screen readers.

 

We appreciate your patience.

~ Valeria
Upwork

Thanks for the response

If not being updated for support, do you know if it's possible to download the old Odesk app? I'm honestly willing to sacrifice the ability to receive tech support/issue resolution for the ability to take hourly contracts.

Hi Kaelyn,

 

I sent you a private message here in the Community. You can find it in the upper left corner under the envelope icon.

~ Valeria
Upwork

Many thanks! I appreciate you and the team's helpfulness as well as willingness to listen. Upwork is a great service and responsive staff makes it even better in my view. Anyway, I'd appreciate any updates on the accessibility front if/as they do come in. I'd also be willing to test things if need be.

Best.

Kaelyn

navdeepkaur45
Active

I  recently joined Up Work. I am freshers. I belong to country in which people are not aware about web accessibility guidelines. I completed my thesis project in web accessibility .My guide and teachers were not able to help me.I want to aware people about web accessibility rules in my country.This kind of online work websites make people ,specially differently abled and women  self dependent .In my country some people do not allow their  women   to work outside. The websites like upwork which are globally used should be made more accessible.

Hi Navdeep,

 

We agree that it is very important for Upwork to be accessible for people with disabilities and provide a way for them to make a decent living. Our engineers are currently working to update the Team App and make it accessible for visually impaired users. We'll post an update on this thread as soon as possible.

~ Valeria
Upwork
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