True accessibility is a partnership between technology vendors and their customers. Based on my experience, some technology vendors are not owning their role in making sure people with disabilities are included in the digital world.
When I first started advocating for web accessibility in design and development projects I was drawn to the argument that accessibility wasn’t about people with disabilities, but rather about people, and that designing to meet the needs of people with disabilities would improve things for everyone.
A landscape with green pasture in the foreground, a flock of grazing sheep, a pale green crop field, a swath of forest in full fall colors, and hills patch-worked with crop fields. Thick clouds hug the horizon and blanket the sky overhead, with a band of cloudless sky in between.
What can we learn from healthcare quality initiatives that will help us make progress in improving the quality of the technology we rely on for our health and well-being, focusing specifically on measures related to accessibility for people with disabilities?
In the past years I’ve often found myself in the role of change agent — someone responsible for advancing new ways of doing things. It’s the most challenging role I’ve ever held, and I’ve reflected quite a bit on what works and what doesn’t.
It’s been a year since I made the leap from higher education to a job in accessibility at The Paciello Group, or TPG as we are more commonly known. Here in my anniversary post I reflect on some of the good stuff that’s happened this past year.
I started learning about web accessibility in the early 2000s when I was asked to speak on the topic at a conference. Since that time I have had opportunities to develop my knowledge and expertise, but always as an adjunct to my day job.
Back in May of 2011 I wrote an article about a new book project, Universal Design for Web Accessibility. Since then my co-author, Whitney Quesenbery, and I have been plugging away, stealing writing time in between moves, job changes, elections, violent weather, and the many other disruptions that come with living a full life.
For me, accessibility was a game changer in thinking about the purpose of design.
I’m just gearing up to start work on a new book. The book is called Universal Design for Web Accessibility. Whitney Quesenbery is my co-author, and Rosenfeld Media is the publisher.