I went to my local post office this morning and this is what I saw (click image to enlarge):
THE TOP MAIL SLOT HAS BEEN ELIMINATED TO MAKE THE BROOKLINE POST OFFICE COMPLIANT WITH THE ADA DISABILITIES ACT THE SLOT HAS BEEN DEEMED TO HIGH PLEASE USE THE SLOT BELOW FOR ALL MAIL.
(All CAPS and the underline are their text, not mine.)
So, some observations from someone who has spent most of his life in a combination of writing, marketing, product management, or disability advocacy roles.
1. (UX / Design) – Why didn’t they just block the top slot? The bottom slot says “ALL MAIL”. The “ALL MAIL” sign was new. The old signs used to say “Brookline Only” and “Out of Town.”
1a. (UX / Design) – If they were worried that people might have been confused, they could have put a small sign where the old, too-high slot used to be that said “Please put all mail, both local and out-of-town, into the slot below.”
2. (Language and Marketing) “The slot has been deemed to high…” By whom? Lovely use of passive voice. By the postmaster? By that “pain in the ass” customer who couldn’t reach that slot from a wheelchair? By that socialist Barack Hussein Obama?
2a. (Language and Marketing) If indeed the local postmaster wanted to make some statement about ADA compliance, perhaps it could have been more customer centric and friendly. For example, “We have removed the top mail slot for the convenience of some of our customers that use wheelchairs or who had challenges reaching the top slot. Now, you don’t have to sort local versus out-of-town mail and you can place all letters in the slot below.”
3. (Disability) OK, this one is opinion and interpretation and I’ll grant that it may have a little bit of a “chip on the shoulder” sort of attitude. But doesn’t it seem like the person who put up this monstrous sign and duct tape was kind of angry? Words like “eliminated” and the redundant use of “ADA” and “Disabilities Act?” The color of the sign? (It is basically the most colorful thing in the entire lobby and you can see it right when you open the post office door.) Doesn’t it seem like a post office worker is pissed that they will now have to sort local and out-of-town letters now instead of having the customer do it? And doesn’t the ALL CAPS message seem a little loud (not that the bright red would tone down the words)?
I for one am glad that our post office overlords have made it possible for elderly, short, and wheelchair using citizens to mail letters. I am sorry that it inconvenienced someone at the post office.
(See my other blog and book project at http://www.dadsofdisability.com )