I get asked the question, “Can I go to beta without being accessible?” frequently. This question usually comes outside of my employment situation, most often from companies that either sell software or use websites to provide software, services, or information.
Typically, the question gets asked happens because the project owners did not take the proactive steps to make something accessible out of the gate.
I spend a lot of time at various disability/diversity/design/tech/HR inclusion events repeating my story about my career shift from tech law to digital accessibility that was spurred not by my own disabilities but by my daughter’s congenital hearing loss.
Here are some of my thoughts about what my now 30-year journey in this role has been like.
Parenting a child with a disability requires that you:
I just updated my CV last month. Disclaimer: because I got a promotion, not because I’m looking for a job — lots of my coworkers and my boss read my articles, so I felt the need to add this detail :-)
I’ve worked in tech and the legal profession for more than 35 years at this point, at a total of eleven jobs at companies ranging from 50 employees to hundreds of thousands. …
Ever since the Internet was invented, training and communications trends have centered around getting those materials focused, more compact, shorter, and more effective.
Micro-coaching is exactly what you might think it is. Coaching, but in a much smaller, bite-sized chunk.
Micro-coaching is the practice of engaging in frequent, brief, targeted, in-workflow coaching conversations. The hallmarks of micro-coaching sessions are that:
Dinin is an attorney, Johnson is the d/Deaf plaintiff. Together, they filed 26 ADA cases in the Southern District of Florida, all against gas station owners located throughout Miami-Dade and Broward counties over the lack of captions at gas station pumps that played video.
The court of appeals found that the “overriding purpose of these disability lawsuits was to collect payments in an unethical fee-sharing arrangement between the litigant and the lawyer who represented him.”
Specifically the court found that:
In June of 2020, I wrote about Twitter’s attempt to rely entirely on volunteers for accessibility testing, culmunating in a public outcry over the release of an inaccessible voice tweets feature which couldn’t be used by people with hearing loss.
Since then, Twitter built an accessibility team, and even scored 100 % on the Disability:IN Disability Equality Index survey, though it is unclear to me how they achieved this score with no accessibility team for more than half of 2020. Despite these achievements, Twitter recently rescinded an update over complaints from users of headaches and eyestrain.
Here’s how your organization…
In an earlier article, I wrote about how mental health conditions have to be accommodated like any other disability.
Immediately my inbox was flooded with people telling me their stories, with most of the stories falling into one of three categories:
Here are my personal thoughts…
This article will start with a general discussion on accommodations and then move on to the specifics of a mental health condition.
Unless one of the following extremely narrow conditions applies, employers must “engage in the interactive process,” which means talk to the employee when an accommodations request is made.
All employers with fifteen or more employees have a duty to provide reasonable accommodations such as assistance or changes to a position or workplace that will enable an employee to do their job despite having a disability. If you have less than 15 employees, you are exempt from the requirement…
I read a lot of articles about accessibility. Some of them (and not just the ones I write) are very, very good. Others are cringe-worthy. These are the signs that I use to determine which to read to the end and which to close the browser tab on partway through.
It’s never enough to “comply” with whatever WCAG standard you have chosen to follow. People who work in accessibility who want to be good at it must understand how people with disabilities process interactions flows and data to make it usable.
Example: If slide text announces in a training deck…
Testers are individuals who have no intention of ever buying the product or visiting the location the website revolves around.
Testers only visit websites or physical locations to determine whether or not they are compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act or a soft target for a demand letter or lawsuit. They then pass their test results along to their associated law firm, which generates the official paperwork identifying the tester as the potential plaintiff.
A less nice term for “ADA tester” is “serial plaintiff” — some of these individuals are listed as plaintiffs on hundreds of lawsuits, with dozens…