Letter from the head list representative: reflecting on recent events, let us work on rebuilding respect #AdminNotice


 

Dear Win10 Forum family, screen reader vendors, Microsoft staff and others,

Before I begin the follow-up letter I have promised, let us take some time to remember recent tragedies around the world, especially those who have lost loved ones in recent shootings and other acts of violence. More importantly, let us never forget lives lost due to the ongoing pandemic.

 

The last few days were a time of reflection on my part. I have asked myself repeatedly about my own conduct as your forum administrator, and had discussions with members about my own conduct and direction of the forum cluster. I know that I’m an influencer and try my best to be careful with my words and conduct. At the same time, I do make mistakes and show harshness, and in some cases, make folks perceive me as arrogant. I’m still learning through it as I refine my duties and approach in forum administration, and my apologies if I do sound arrogant and harsh.

 

One lesson recent events taught me and members is that we have to understand differences and try to take in different cultures and perspectives. Specifically, we need to acknowledge that we represent different cultures and expectations. Disability represents specific cultural norms and expectations. Screen reader users and developers may represent different values and perspectives.

 

At the same time, our acknowledgement and willingness to understand and work with folks from different cultures under a unifying theme helps us showcase our community. It was pointed out by a member off-list that sighted screen reader users and vendors should participate here, and I agree with it provided that basic conduct is followed. What the recent events taught us is that we have to understand what and how the larger society and culture thinks about us – although the overwhelming majority of members are blind or visually impaired, we need to welcome folks from other cultures because our unifying theme is Windows 10 ecosystem and screen reader accessibility/usability. Although blindness culture is the dominant culture in this forum cluster, we are a minority in the larger world, thus we need to show willingness to understand and work with others by learning from other cultures and demonstrate our expectations with respect.

 

Speaking of working with folks from different cultures, one way to do so is showing respect. Folks may have strong opinions on things, and conflict is inevitable in an organization like a forum. One way to let your opinions known is posts. Even then, what turns a good opinion into a great opinion is trying to send it in a way that respects other people, because our conduct and respect can persuade people, and our respect helps us work with folks from different cultures.

 

Respect is one thing I think this forum cluster can work on as we share our expertise, respect is what I mean by basic conduct, and respect should be a driving force behind our external reputation in addition to our unity, expertise, and service. The Win10 Forum has a reputation of providing some of the cutting-edge answers on Windows 10 and screen reader accessibility. Many people (including those outside this forum) have benefited from help provided here. Our forum has some of the best screen reader experts who volunteer their time to help people search for things and resolve issues. We have dedicated group of people who are actively testing features on our behalf before they appear on our systems. Most importantly, not only we have representatives of screen reader vendors, but having Microsoft staff who can pitch accessibility ideas to teams inside Microsoft is a huge bonus for not only this forum, but for folks outside. And at least trying to show respect even in the midst of exchanging strong opinions and expectations will have internal and external impact. And folks, let us work on respect as we prepare for upcoming 21H1 and future feature updates, because we do need to show our willingness to work with folks from different cultures.

 

One important thing we need to review: searching for information. I do not expect everyone to become a search expert – it takes time and guidance. Therefore let us show patience. The stance of the leadership team is that searching for info is a recommended skill, but not an outright expectation to join and participate on this forum cluster, especially for people new to the whole concept of Windows as a Service and the ecosystem in general. If folks are having difficulty searching for things, let us take that opportunity to guide people rather than dismiss queries. At the same time, it would be great for people to at least learn to use at least one search engine (Google, Bing, DuckDuckGo, etc.) and try searching for information (and hopefully contribute something if they choose to do so).

 

Dear Win10 Forum family, we can and need to work together. We can and need to learn to understand differences and find common ground given that people represent different cultures. We can and need to show respect. We can and need to find ways to help people navigate the vast Windows 10 ecosystem with screen readers. I know that it will take at least until 22H1 era to do it, but I am confident that we can once again become a helpful resource for screen reader users as folks navigate Windows 10 ecosystem and its features.

 

A few things to note as I close this letter:

  • Do not be afraid to send love letters to forum leadership team if you have comments, complaints, suggestions and such.
  • I have asked Windows Insiders to provide additional guidance. This will become very important in 21H2 era if features being tested by Windows Insiders such as redesigned emoji panel, virtual desktops improvements, modern disk management interface, News and Interests and many others do land in semi-annual channel later this year.
  • Keep the pandemic in mind, and as long as we are going through it, please wear masks in public, wash hands, and follow guidelines from local health officials, including notices on vaccinations. Your health and well-being is the number one priority.

 

Please stay safe and healthy.

Cheers,

Joseph


Allen West
 

Thank you Joseph.
Your email is very inspiring and it makes me proud to be a member of
this group. Going forward, I will try to participate more often.

Allen

On 3/25/21, Joseph Lee <joseph.lee22590@gmail.com> wrote:
Dear Win10 Forum family, screen reader vendors, Microsoft staff and others,

Before I begin the follow-up letter I have promised, let us take some time
to remember recent tragedies around the world, especially those who have
lost loved ones in recent shootings and other acts of violence. More
importantly, let us never forget lives lost due to the ongoing pandemic.



The last few days were a time of reflection on my part. I have asked myself
repeatedly about my own conduct as your forum administrator, and had
discussions with members about my own conduct and direction of the forum
cluster. I know that I'm an influencer and try my best to be careful with
my
words and conduct. At the same time, I do make mistakes and show harshness,
and in some cases, make folks perceive me as arrogant. I'm still learning
through it as I refine my duties and approach in forum administration, and
my apologies if I do sound arrogant and harsh.



One lesson recent events taught me and members is that we have to
understand
differences and try to take in different cultures and perspectives.
Specifically, we need to acknowledge that we represent different cultures
and expectations. Disability represents specific cultural norms and
expectations. Screen reader users and developers may represent different
values and perspectives.



At the same time, our acknowledgement and willingness to understand and
work
with folks from different cultures under a unifying theme helps us showcase
our community. It was pointed out by a member off-list that sighted screen
reader users and vendors should participate here, and I agree with it
provided that basic conduct is followed. What the recent events taught us
is
that we have to understand what and how the larger society and culture
thinks about us - although the overwhelming majority of members are blind
or
visually impaired, we need to welcome folks from other cultures because our
unifying theme is Windows 10 ecosystem and screen reader
accessibility/usability. Although blindness culture is the dominant culture
in this forum cluster, we are a minority in the larger world, thus we need
to show willingness to understand and work with others by learning from
other cultures and demonstrate our expectations with respect.



Speaking of working with folks from different cultures, one way to do so is
showing respect. Folks may have strong opinions on things, and conflict is
inevitable in an organization like a forum. One way to let your opinions
known is posts. Even then, what turns a good opinion into a great opinion
is
trying to send it in a way that respects other people, because our conduct
and respect can persuade people, and our respect helps us work with folks
from different cultures.



Respect is one thing I think this forum cluster can work on as we share our
expertise, respect is what I mean by basic conduct, and respect should be a
driving force behind our external reputation in addition to our unity,
expertise, and service. The Win10 Forum has a reputation of providing some
of the cutting-edge answers on Windows 10 and screen reader accessibility.
Many people (including those outside this forum) have benefited from help
provided here. Our forum has some of the best screen reader experts who
volunteer their time to help people search for things and resolve issues.
We
have dedicated group of people who are actively testing features on our
behalf before they appear on our systems. Most importantly, not only we
have
representatives of screen reader vendors, but having Microsoft staff who
can
pitch accessibility ideas to teams inside Microsoft is a huge bonus for not
only this forum, but for folks outside. And at least trying to show respect
even in the midst of exchanging strong opinions and expectations will have
internal and external impact. And folks, let us work on respect as we
prepare for upcoming 21H1 and future feature updates, because we do need to
show our willingness to work with folks from different cultures.



One important thing we need to review: searching for information. I do not
expect everyone to become a search expert - it takes time and guidance.
Therefore let us show patience. The stance of the leadership team is that
searching for info is a recommended skill, but not an outright expectation
to join and participate on this forum cluster, especially for people new to
the whole concept of Windows as a Service and the ecosystem in general. If
folks are having difficulty searching for things, let us take that
opportunity to guide people rather than dismiss queries. At the same time,
it would be great for people to at least learn to use at least one search
engine (Google, Bing, DuckDuckGo, etc.) and try searching for information
(and hopefully contribute something if they choose to do so).



Dear Win10 Forum family, we can and need to work together. We can and need
to learn to understand differences and find common ground given that people
represent different cultures. We can and need to show respect. We can and
need to find ways to help people navigate the vast Windows 10 ecosystem
with
screen readers. I know that it will take at least until 22H1 era to do it,
but I am confident that we can once again become a helpful resource for
screen reader users as folks navigate Windows 10 ecosystem and its
features.



A few things to note as I close this letter:

* Do not be afraid to send love letters to forum leadership team if
you have comments, complaints, suggestions and such.
* I have asked Windows Insiders to provide additional guidance. This
will become very important in 21H2 era if features being tested by Windows
Insiders such as redesigned emoji panel, virtual desktops improvements,
modern disk management interface, News and Interests and many others do
land
in semi-annual channel later this year.
* Keep the pandemic in mind, and as long as we are going through it,
please wear masks in public, wash hands, and follow guidelines from local
health officials, including notices on vaccinations. Your health and
well-being is the number one priority.



Please stay safe and healthy.

Cheers,

Joseph