AXSChat Podcast

AXSChat Podcast with Beatriz Gonzalez Mellidez, Principal Product Designer at SinnerSchrader.

November 15, 2021 Antonio Santos, Debra Ruh, Neil Milliken talk with Beatriz Gonzalez Mellidez
AXSChat Podcast
AXSChat Podcast with Beatriz Gonzalez Mellidez, Principal Product Designer at SinnerSchrader.
Show Notes Transcript

 Beatriz Gonzalez Mellidez is an inclusive user experience professional based in Germany, Certified Professional in Web Accessibility CPWA (IAAP's WAS+CPACC) and User Requirements Engineer (CPUX-UR). 
Her current role is Principal Product Designer at SinnerSchrader, an Accenture Interactive company. She has worked as a UX consultant across several countries and in five languages. Her passion is problem solving for all, no exceptions. As a member of the German UPA (UXPA) she is mostly active in its accessibility working group, which she leads, contributing to best practice publications and the fronta11y.org article series for GAAD in German. Her interest in accessibility dates back to her teenage years creating websites with plain HTML in Spain. 

Draft transcript

Neil Milliken  0:02  
Hello and welcome to axschat. I'm delighted to welcome Beatriz Gonzalez today Beatriz works for SinnerSchrader in Germany and has been collaborating with a bunch of my colleagues and our friends at IAAP on some of the work to internationalize the certifications around accessibility, amongst other things. So you're doing a load of stuff. So Richard is great to have you with us. Can you tell us a little bit about your background, how you came to work in accessibility? Inside like measurements, all that kind of stuff?

Beatriz Gonzalez Mellidez  0:42  
Well, hi, thanks for having me. First of all. So as Neil mentioned, my name is Beatriz Gonzalez Mellidez. My English speaker friends called me b to make it easier. So I'm a principal product designer at Siena. Schroder in Germany is pronounced Xena shahada, and this is one of Accenture's interactive Creative Studios in Germany. So how I started in accessibility, what kind of it kind of always was a given for me, I started building websites when I was 17. And soon after, there was a possibility to take a sign language class in Spain when I was living in Malaga. And I always love languages. So I thought it was really cool to be able to communicate with your hands. There's something we Spanish people do a lot like Italian, and Portuguese, probably. And I thought it was kind of a sort of secret superpower. So I studied in the states one year as an exchange student, media, new media and interaction design. And my first year of experiences I learned about usability, and work. So I completed an accessibility and usability of web contents program at a university in Madrid. And so back then in Spain, he was a long time ago, I really learned that there is no such thing as usability without accessibility. So I learned this first, this lesson, well, and I did interaction design, accessibility, usability that came user experience, then came universal design, then Design for All Inclusive Design, Design, thinking design, sprints, design, service design, so gamification, Lego, serious play, and all this stuff. And I like to learn new stuff. So right now, the latest thing is sustainable, sustainable UX, which I'm, I always, I also got involved. And all these methodologies and approaches, for me are just one thing, solving problems, providing enjoyable experiences for the widest audience as possible. So when I explained to people who don't know what all these names are, I usually say that I make people happy. And that involves everyone so that there is no frustration and they can achieve their goals with ease.

Neil Milliken  3:07  
Love that making people happy. That's wonderful. You listed so many different methodologies. But ultimately, it comes down to not move on. I mean, at the base level, it's not making people miserable. And it's not excluding them. But but I would hope that really good UX Does, does make people happy. So what prompted you to land in Germany and start working in UX in in Germany, because there's definitely a passion for inclusion in Germany, but it's a very different kind of culture than than in Spain and different, again, from UK and US. And this is something that we're really super interested in on on access chat is, is the cultural differences. And also making sure that that the voices of different countries get included when we're talking about inclusion.

Beatriz Gonzalez Mellidez  4:14  
So I actually came in a sabbatical year. And for me doing nothing was too boring. So I thought learning German was hard enough, I did four months of German, I was not enough super intensive course, five days a week, five hours a day. So I decided to stay a bit longer. I finish up the C one level. And after that, I thought that going back to Spain, it would be a loss of my last year of time there in German. So I decided to look for a job in Germany. So I was looking for something on the sort of usability and user experience, even if it was not a name back then. And the only thing I found was either developer or graphic designer. So and there was more Money web development. And I went away to dark path. And I always got a bit of like web development plus usability Plus user experience. So I was not doing 100% development. I guess, in my, in my career, I am a bit of a mixed heart level person. So I was a front end developer, but I didn't really feel like a developer. I've been a designer, and I never really felt like a designer. And right now I'm pivoting towards more accessibility. And I also don't feel like I am entitled to talk about the topic. Because there's so many people out there who knows much more, I have more live experiences than I do. So yeah, I came to learn German, I decided to stay that was 11 years ago, it was hard to go out of development role, because apparently, I was a good front end developer. And people didn't think that if you're a good developer, you can be a good UX person, are you a good designer. So I found an American company who gave me a chance as a senior user experience architect. That's bigger systems. And I work as a consultant with them across Europe. And I also work with some countries in the States and Australia and across Southeast Asia. And I worked, I think, in four different languages and across more than 10 countries in my years there. And then I moved to Siena for other sin Ashada. And I my role there is a principal. So we are like a calm profile. So we know in in what with certainty for topics, and then we go in depth in several areas. So our senior usually goes in one topic in depth. But a principle can do more than one. And I guess my topics would be accessibility, inclusive design and cross cultural design.

Neil Milliken  6:53  
I think you might be on mute.

Debra Ruh  6:54  
Yeah, I'm not hopefully I'm not on mute. But welcome. Welcome to the program. Beatriz I think that what's so interesting about your work is how, in people like you were the reasons why so much change is happening. So I like that you're giving back to make sure that we can all be successful with accessibility. So but I am curious how somebody starts down the path that you started down? I mean, why was this important to you? It's, you know, it's, it's really amazing all that you're doing. But, you know, I was just wondering if you'd explore that a little bit.

Beatriz Gonzalez Mellidez  7:35  
So, like I said, I learned usability and user experience together with accessibility. So I always if even if that was not part of their requirements with my customers on my projects, I always baked it in. Well, and sometimes I tried to sell it. And if I found some resistance, I did it anyhow, it was part of the package you got with me.

Debra Ruh  7:59  
And give you a hard time doing that, though, because I have found, I've had comments. Like, well, your website isn't accessible. It's not well, you can get on it anytime. No, it's accessibility. And but then they'll say, Oh, well, oh, if you want to include people with disabilities will let you do it for free. This like, what? No, what? Who are Yeah, so I, it's interesting that you said, well, we'll do it anyway, because it's the right thing to do as a designer, because I don't see everybody doing that. And of course, sometimes you can't do it. For example, I, I'm not going to gonmention a company, but I trained a very large telecommunications company, and in the United States, and we were training the creators, the designers, the programmers, for example, the content people, and they all sometimes seem to know a lot about accessibility. And so I asked on break, I said, you'll know this, in some cases, they knew ARIA better than I do, because, you know, but it was, they said, because our company doesn't appreciate it, when we just do it. They don't want you to take those extra steps. So they actually would get in trouble if they did what you did. Which is ridiculous, because it's making it a better product. So I was just curious, as you're showing, which we really appreciate this leadership, you know, how were people reacting or maybe they were reacting, like, that's great if I don't have to pay for it.

Beatriz Gonzalez Mellidez  9:35  
I think the second approach was like iffy for free, you can you can give it to me. The What you mean is like, you know, the burnt out of the accessibility expert and efficient. So I guess that there's a point to that. And so what I've done to that to relieve a bit of bit of the friction there. So I've tried to network within the company and try to find for stakeholders who would support it? So the example within within CNS rather and the bigger company, Accenture worldwide, I started a team's group. And I call it the digital disability initiative. And I just Google in our intranet, looking for the key word accessibility, inclusion, inclusive design and things like that I started inviting people over, it's like, hey, chatting over teams, what do you say? Would you be interested? I didn't find almost anybody there. So I went to LinkedIn. And then I did another search with all those keywords. And I was just pinging people from the internal teams chat, saying, Hey, I saw you're interested in these I saw your LinkedIn, would you be interested? I think we're all very isolated. And sometimes we feel very, very lonely. So we need some type of push and connection and to see that we are not alone. Because that's a very important thing I would say, as I started all these during the pandemic, because I realized, like, all my colleagues, we have a skill group within Siemens rather we Franzen's, since I joined some calls started a couple of months before he joined. And people were a bit not desperate, but like a bit a, you know, it's like, whoa, what are we doing nobody appreciate what we do and things like that. So I was like, Okay, let's make this bigger. And then so I got enough people across like, I think it was along this first six months, we were more than 200 people, from states to New Zealand. And with all this data, I also did some surveys, trying to find out the project's accessibilities state. So I sent it to all the project leaders and within my company, to find out the state of their projects on the customers if they had some accessibility contacted as requirements in which countries they work for, which are there the customers type, like if they were for government, or if they were for telecommunications, or what type of things they had included. And with these results, I went to our C level and say, Hey, we have this is our data, we have this holes, let's fix it and change a bit of our methodology to to move forward. There's also a hole in training. So I got I asked for budget to buy some DQ licenses. So people could learn on their at their own pace. And they didn't have to interfere too much with their daily work, because everyone was very, very stressed out with with regular work. And I asked for a certain budget, and they gave me more than I asked for. So that was a great feedback.

Debra Ruh  12:36  
Yeah, that shows what one person can do. One person can do to change a company, as you know, an organization is biggest. Accenture, who has been very committed to our community. So we appreciate what Accenture has done. Back to you, Neil or Antonio, I, I might want to turn the microphone over to you when you're ready.

Antonio Vieira  12:57  
So get this Germany he is one of the countries in Europe with one of the oldest population. So it's, it's quite a problem in Germany. And at the same time, you were mentioning the fact that the idea of accessibility, you know, it's something that sometimes people struggle to understand as working in. What type of changes have you observed in the last in this post pandemic area that can be we can consider positive in terms of awareness of the of the positive impact of creating products, or designing websites, or designing products that are more accessible?

Beatriz Gonzalez Mellidez  13:47  
I actually can give you an example before the pandemic. So, my company we have several automotive customers. And when I brought the topic, Hey, we should be doing accessibility. The the reply from the customer and my colleagues was like, hey, blind people don't drive cars. So I prepared a workshop talking about design thinking, you know, sometimes if they hear accessibility, they just block. But if you talk about design thinking or some other keywords, this bank, bingo buzzwords that are fancy at the moment, they will be more ready to listen. So I did a workshop talking about designing for the extremes. So I also did a talk at the accessibility club in Munich, and I'm gonna repeat this several years after the Open University in December. And so what I presented was a person who commutes daily. He was a white guy driving a very expensive car, you know, like to make it representative. And that's the point where people would listen and He was driving how his whole day working from one customer to the other one, he was getting emails, he was getting information he was in the car. So the only way to access this information was by using Siri or Google or some type of voice assistance, and to get the screen reader to read it out loud, so he could get all his emails read out loud. And he could serve and find his next amazing, most expensive car in the line by telling his phone which which was connected to the cursus audio system to find what was the next new thing within this brand. So I tried to you know, like adapters locate, you say blind people don't drive car here, you have an example. This is one of your users. He's blind, not just that he's also has dexterity issues, because his hands has to be on the wheel has got attention, span, reduce, because he needs to be paying attention to the cars to the traffic, and to everything else. So he didn't have his full attention. And so I was trying to bring down all the possible disabilities that I could join in just one person that they knew as a person that was their customer. And they just got defenseless. I was like, Okay, now you get our attention. Let's talk more about this. And that was one of the tricks, dirty tricks that I used.

Neil Milliken  16:19  
We like dirty tricks. So that's fantastic. And by the way, certainly, I have a friend, lady called Sandy Wiseman. She does buy cars, she's blind. And the point is that actually, they're certainly in the UK, there are allowances, mobility allowances. So if you don't make your website accessible for people who are blind, they're not going to use their mobility allowance to buy your car.

Beatriz Gonzalez Mellidez  16:50  
That's the same in Spain. So I got one of my colleagues in Accenture. He my foot he is blind. And he says his whole family buys cars through him, because he gets this money from the government. And of course, he doesn't drive it himself. But he likes his car. Even if he's sitting in another seat, not in the driving wheel. He likes his car to have certain qualities. So he's the one who finds the car. He wants to drive.

Neil Milliken  17:14  
Yeah. No, absolutely. And to say that.

Beatriz Gonzalez Mellidez  17:20  
He wants to be driven sorry.

Neil Milliken  17:21  
Yeah, exactly. But I mean, but is it but essentially is quite interesting. I was, I was friends with the chairman of the RNIB, which is the British Prime charity. And I picked him up from various different points around for meetings and so on. And he would always comment on the car. Without, you know, you'd go new car, you know, not seeing it, but just being able to smell the interior, the touch the fields, the sounds, and everything else. So, so aesthetics go beyond just vision on these things. So So I think that what you did in distilling down all those disabilities into one customers was great, but but actually, yeah, they do actually still have that they don't understand that they have customers that with disabilities too, and that there are these scenarios where, where they are actually losing direct revenue, as well as indirect revenue. So So that's great. I know you're, you know, we touched on it already about linguistics, and so on, you're super interested in, in this area, you've contributed to the localization of standards, etc. We're interested in this too. But I mean, what what are the gaps that you see and the thing that we need to address as a sort of accessibility community? Because it's very English centric, you know, the UK and the US think we know everything. So what are the things that from outside of our little bubble that you see that you think we could learn and what what also needs translated?

Beatriz Gonzalez Mellidez  19:09  
So I'm the typical user of hell for this use case. So I have a German physical laptop with a German keyboard that I have configured to the Spanish keyboard with the Spanish keyboard I can do all the German letters, specials and all the English ones. And I have English software, US American software and the dates so I come from Spain with we do dates we do day, so DD slash, M M month is last year. In Germany, they do dots instead of slashes. And you know, in the States, they do first month slash then the first the month slash day is last year. And I know because of some friends in in Japan, they do year, month and day. So one thing I always pay very much attention is to forums to make sure that they are flexible enough, so that the user does have to hold cognitive load to try to figure out what damn format the thing needs, on that sense of not just for input. So I always pay a lot of attention that has to do with link with accessibility, that it would be, for example, the input types. So if you have an input type date, or if you have an input type email, if you have an input type, telephone number, or numbers, percentages, and all those types of inputs, types in HTML that you have available out of the box, and you don't have to program all this stuff with JavaScript, because also, when you're on a mobile device, or if you're using some type of other interface, the keyboard adapts, and you have better access to the information. And the drop downs, for example, one thing that bugs me a lot is the choose your country drop down. That's a no go for me because I come from Spain. So Spain is written with ES Espanol, some, some places the browser translate to your own language to the browser languages, sometimes to the interface languages. And it's a bit of a pain. And the same happens with Germany. So sometimes it comes as Deutschland. Sometimes it comes as Germany. And if I happen to be in a Spanish website, booking something, then somebody comes along Manya, which starts with A, so I start moving my fingers up and down most if you're mobile, and it's like, okay, which letters should I search? So I would, in this case, I always recommend to like to do you know, type something and let people search for whatever they need? Because this is a no clue.

Neil Milliken  21:37  
I feel your pain, because I'm in the United Kingdom, and the scroll wheel, and it goes one way. So I'm doing this for five minutes before I can get.

Beatriz Gonzalez Mellidez  21:47  
And you could sort of be right. Your fingers anymore.

Neil Milliken  21:52  
It's horrible. You know. And, you know, obviously, there's a bias because although, you know, both Deborah's, and my native countries begin with a you

Antonio Vieira  22:04  
did resist at the top.

Neil Milliken  22:07  
They rule

Debra Ruh  22:08  
should be as it should be. And we're number one on the telephone list where Oh, one needs to remember.

Beatriz Gonzalez Mellidez  22:17  
That's another one. Sometimes, you have to enter the number of your country effects. Sometimes it allows to type in some is like, what do you want? I just want to put my phone number do everything on the backend? Why should I try to figure out what you your back end system is maybe 20 years old, wants me to write instead of you doing the work? Yeah,

Neil Milliken  22:39  
no, I know, we should take away the work from the users. I'm just I was smoking when you were talking about the form of the dates, because we, we have all used to have a terrible Excel form within our organization, that would be really horribly inflexible. So you could only put in the date with day days, slash month, month, slash year. And in the thoughts, if you put in that date with dots, it would refuse it, it would just go invalid. Right? Once you press enter, it would then save the form as de de dot dot you.

Beatriz Gonzalez Mellidez  23:28  
I had a requirements

Neil Milliken  23:29  
as to how

Beatriz Gonzalez Mellidez  23:34  
you want it but you didn't know you had to struggle with this, right? Well, no,

Neil Milliken  23:37  
because Because essentially, but they want the form to save in the format that you naturally would put it in, but they're refusing to allow you to enter it in that format, it converts it to that format, after they force you to use a different one. Though, yeah. He thought of that.

Beatriz Gonzalez Mellidez  23:57  
I actually had working with with pega, we were doing a new insurance product. And I was interviewing all the people in the call centers. And that way, we figure out that they have hard requirements to enter the dates without dots. Because like, if you see the German keyboard, the number, the numpad. So you have a coma because our decimals go with commerce. And you don't have the dot for the date. So in order to use the to do a date with a dot, they have to do the keyboard of numbers with one hand and use the other hand to put the dots so it was disrupting their work. So we had to figure out a form so that they put the format without just de de m m, and then a year year year, so then it would turn and put the dots afterwards because they said if you don't give us this, we're not gonna buy your software. I was like, great. Now we know. That was good that we found that at the beginning and not at the end. That was a really good win for our team. And is it They didn't talk about disability. They didn't talk about any special needs or anything like that. He said, This is how it is. Everyone does it like that. But it's also an accessibility requirement for them. Even if they didn't know about that accessibility or anything like that.

Neil Milliken  25:17  
Yeah, I mean, you're removing the likelihood that they're going to get some kind of errors, not just errors, but actually injures injuries. The more keyboard movements you're making, the more difficult you're making it for people to, to enter that stuff. And let's face it, the kind of people in call centers or doing really repetitive work, you're likely to end up with work, work related to the strain injuries to your hands, and handle and all those kinds of stuff. So, so there are there are actually, you know, physical injuries that are caused by poor design, even in the digital world.

Debra Ruh  26:01  
No, carpal tunnel is a great example.

Unknown Speaker  26:04  
 Yeah, yes, disability saves lives.

Debra Ruh  26:07  
Yes, it was, and it includes lives. Ever. How would you like to be excluded? Whoever you are right now is? How would you like to be excluded? How would you like to get in an accident, and now you're in a wheelchair. And first thing you got to deal with is how inaccessible society is. So we need heroes like you Beatrix,

Beatriz Gonzalez Mellidez  26:30  
you remind me of Microsoft, including design guidelines. I always use that because it's so obvious that you have permanent temporary institutional scenarios. Like even if you're not disabled, today, you're only permanently you're only temporarily abled. Because you can be disabled by your environment, at one point or another. You're traveling with your suitcase, and the elevator and escalator doesn't work. And you have to drag all your stuff around when you're going to a conference or you're holding a baby or a big beer, you know, if you don't like babies, so there's always something like that, except for

Neil Milliken  27:09  
many bids, you might end up with more babies, you never know.

Beatriz Gonzalez Mellidez  27:12  
Oh, yeah, Oktoberfest that is the number one baby boom in Germany, I would say.

Neil Milliken  27:23  
Thinking of those alternative use cases, and when we've got a good use alternative situation or disability use case for speech recognition, where it's being used in nuclear facilities, because you can't type with a hazmat suit on. So we've been deploying speech recognition inside of reactors. Wow. So yeah, I'm hoping that we'll get to do a proper case study on that. Because I think it'd be it's a really nice one. It's like, yeah, so you're situationally disabled? Because, you know, what would be irradiated? Should you wish to take so

Antonio Vieira  28:07  
you're talking, you're bringing a topic that that's well, when what we're talking about culture language. If you are English speaking person, you benefit from all the tools work in terms of speech, to text and text to speech. They work very well in English. Yes, they work very poorly in any other language. And if we're talking about minority language, they don't work at all.

Neil Milliken  28:36  
No, I agreed. I think that it's maybe that'll be talk about this because you will be trying it out in Spanish and German and so on. I would have thought that that Spanish has had at least some love from the speech recognition.

Beatriz Gonzalez Mellidez  28:56  
I always thought I have an echo at home on Alexa and I have siri turn off because it bothers me a lot. I need to try again and give it another shot. But my Alexa, if I try to make it play a song in Spanish, I need to pronounce this or if I weren't spoken in Germany, or like if I'm if I haven't said to Germany I need to move my mouth in a weird form to pronounce the foreign speaking languages like if it was in the other language it's like come on. If I set you up in English you understand the English words if I set you up in German you understand the German words if I set you I've been I don't know if it's Spanish already. I think it's like since last year Amazon Alexa is an echo are available in Spanish and it understand Spanish but if you get the mix, then you have the problem. Like it goes wild and it doesn't know where to get the data from. I have the AutoCorrect and so this typical hashtag dummy autocorrect when I have the sometimes German keywords on the Spanish keyboard and I type in any language depending on who I talk to and WhatsApp iMessage whatever and I get some amazingly funny auto corrections because it makes over languages. And it's like come on, you should be able to intelligent find out if I'm talking in one language or another, there's like certain cues that after the four words, the fourth word that I'm typing down, you should be able to recognize that it's one language or another. I mean, it doesn't work. We're not there yet.

Neil Milliken  30:21  
No, no. So So likewise, I mean, I have seen a vast improvement in minority language recognition, it's got a lot better because my waste time. And so you know, that's not a language that would have had a lot of investment over, certainly compared to English or Spanish in terms of speech recognition. But now she uses speech recognition all the time in time. But Siri hates her in English. Because she's not a native speaker. And, and it doesn't cope very well with non native accents. So it's, they've this there's still definitely work to do there. And I know, Google have been working on with things like Project folia, and looking at sort of speech impediments as well. So it will get better. But yeah, for sure, it's not there yet. And to take on your point about the language stuff. I work really closely with a German colleague located in France. And we quite often collaborate on documents. And we've got that same thing going on, where you've got a mixture of keyboard languages and local languages and everything else. And I just actually, I rely on spellcheck, every time that she logs in, and start using the PowerPoint that I've created, it switches the language and suddenly everything has the squiggly red line on it. So So essentially, you disable spellcheck for everybody, once you start sharing internationally, because it becomes

Beatriz Gonzalez Mellidez  31:54  
useless. You have to put it every time I I edit a certain paragraph, I need to go to the tools and change the language. So now you're talking about that it's funny, you know, my name is not that English friendly. So my iPhone right now translate. When I type we are three, Beatrice with a Zed or Z in the US at the end, it changes it with an X. So it says Beatrix, and I think that's the Dutch version. So I always have a lot of struggles with my name. I have two family names, the first of my father first Gonzalez, and the first of my mother's second that is me that my leaders. And when I tried to fill a form, sometimes they only accept one surname, and no spaces. So I don't have a dash I don't have any other they're not together. They are one surname space, I say concerning. And it doesn't accept my language. I reading Twitter. So there was there were some threads about cultural aggression. Like there was one person who was called Joe. Yay. Oh, that's it. And it's like, no, you can't your name is not allowed. You need to input at least three characters. It's like come on. And then there was some I don't remember the name right now. I think it was a very common Chinese familiar name like him spin it would be Gonzalez or in Sweden could be Johan Hassan. So it was like a very, very common, and it was not allowed. So there's also some names that if you translate it to English, they can sound like curse words. So they're also not allowed. I was like, come on, that is my name. How Who are you to say my name is not allowed. So when I when I fly, I usually I never know what name I input. So my name has, we call it tinnitus. I think in English we call it accent. So it has little line on the top of the A on the on the eye in millions. So both of them have one of those. Those symbols are not allowed. And then sometimes I put it without the tinnitus. I guess Antonia is laughing because I guess the silly this a deal in Portuguese could be probably the same. And, you know, sometimes I put it to no space, I put Gonzalez married together, sometimes without accents, then it tells me nobody's too long, you're not allowed to enter such a name so long. So then I have to care go for Gonzalez. And uh, you know, I have to try out until the system allows me to enter my name in the way they like it. It's like,

Debra Ruh  34:18  
why your parents should have given you a better name that worked with the system. Yes.

Beatriz Gonzalez Mellidez  34:22  
All my parents for right, it's always goes back to the mother, the mother's fault,

Debra Ruh  34:27  
right? And it's always it's insulting to the latin community as well. It's that you're not the only community that uses different names, but it's it's such a very important thing that I haven't thought about in the way you're presenting it. I mean, as soon as you as you're saying it, I'm like, Oh, yeah. But it shows the just the nuance of the problems. It's really nuanced. That it's a huge problem. If you think about I, we were we were, you know, teasing before we got online but but it was I think we did it to about on line where we were talking about how America's number one, whichever be knows that just getting I was talking to somebody from Canada the other day and I said, Well, you're an American. And she's like, Oh, no, no, no, I'm Canadian. I said, Well, you're actually part of North America. But we just hijacked the American name. But, but it's just interesting, because there's so many moving parts to this, and it really dives into identity. Is it? You know, because I now that I've been doing this what we've been doing this eight years now, my view, yes, in our eighth year, and I've learned so much as an American doing this talk, because there are things like I remember the first time I heard somebody complain about the United States being the first in the line. I've never thought about it. It's I always said it's very mine. Right is right there. And, and let me tell you, we complain, because there's so many that aren't doing that now, because it's stupid. But regardless, we're like, Oh, my God, I actually am going to have to go down the list is, but the first person that, you know, complained to me about it or making fun of us about it was a gentleman I think, from Spain, of course, because they're so smart, too. And he was like you Americans are so and I had never thought about it. Because it's just something we always knew. And I've heard Antonio and Neil make comments about technology companies in the United States. A lot of the social media companies are in the United States and the preference that they show Americans. And I was like, at first when they set it, I was like, Oh, that's not that. Oh, oh, oh, oh, okay, you're right, that is happening. And now that I know it, I can't unknow it. And I really want to call BS on all Americans, because we are one country, part of a beautiful world. And we need to join it, including honoring your entire name.

Beatriz Gonzalez Mellidez  36:59  
That's not to say I'm going to tell you an example in Germany, that happened to me a couple of months ago. So my cranky cousin, my social insurance, my Social Security. I'm, I'm I've been a member for the last 10 years, I've been paying regularly. So they got my money, there was no problem on that. And I changed my phone. So I needed to identify myself in the app to make sure that my health data was protected and stuff. So I tried to get recognized. I've done it over the computer several times with different systems in Germany, like there's like post identification, and then you get to a post person, they make a video, you show them your ID and it works. In this way. My my, my, my company for insurance, they had bought a system and they only gave the system the possibility to identify with a German ID, or with an official German ID for people who are not German. The thing is, I am European. I don't need any of those documents. I have my Spanish ID, I have my passport. It didn't allow me to register with my passport. It didn't allow me to register with my Spanish ID. So they told me after several months back and forth, Twitter shitstorm. And more questions, and they told me the middle of the pandemic, now you have to come to one of our locations, and show your face so that we can identify it issue. Oh my god. So that was last year? I haven't done it yet. Yeah, it's like the company who sold them. This identification system said, we accept passports, we accept Spanish IDs and all sorts of IDs. It's just the customer who hasn't required there. So the problem is not us or German is like if you have teams that are not inclusive, you don't have people with different backgrounds, different abilities, different experiences. You don't see that. And if you don't do a proper research with including people who know what they're talking about, it's not people who fake that they know what they're talking about people who actually not because they experienced themselves, then you don't know. You only know what you know.

Debra Ruh  39:04  
Right? Right. Your work is amazing. I'm so impressed with where you've taken the work because this is the end. You know what I know that we never thought that at this chat was going to we were going to work ourselves out of a volunteer job since we volunteer for this, but because how many times how many topics can you do on this? Well, oh my gosh, it just the way you brought up during this interview. It was it was brilliant, because it just continues to show us the problems. And thank goodness we have people like you when eating the way meal always seems to find the smartest people I'm like, wow. I'm impressed. Yeah, the

Beatriz Gonzalez Mellidez  39:46  
answer is a system. We're all linked. We all belong to the same thing. And it's not just accessibility isolated. It's not silos. There's always a connection.

Debra Ruh  39:54  
Yes, I agree.

Neil Milliken  39:56  
That's what we're trying to do. We're trying to break down the silos Make those connections. We've overrun, there's a surprise. It's so great, great chat today. I need to thank our supporters, Barclays Access Microlink, My Clear Text for keeping us on air captioned and fed and watered the electric on. So thank you all for being supporters over goodness knows how many years and retreats. Thank you. We'll look forward to you joining us on Twitter on Tuesday.

Beatriz Gonzalez Mellidez  40:31  
Look forward to it.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai