Accessibility and Kobe

Two topics that you might not think go together. But they do.

Large domed building with large white letters in front that say “Be Kobe”
Photo by Weichao Tang on Unsplash

Work Ethic

Even people who didn’t like him or competed against him commented on Kobe’s basketball and business work ethic.

  • Left it all out on the floor
  • When he had a bad game, he would come even earlier the next day and work harder
  • Every opportunity to talk about accessibility, anywhere, is time well spent. I once taught a Starbucks barrista how to use voice over in between making frappucinos as an example of “career options without having finished college to make decent money other than making coffee ”
  • Every new grad that wants to be mentored, you find a way to help them even if it is just encouraging them and pointing them to a couple of books and talks or promising to have a coffee with them if you are ever in the same city.
  • When a development decision doesn’t go your way, you have to go back and re-double your efforts. Eventually the cracks will start to show in the wall, and you wedge your way in.
  1. not getting wrapped up in disgust or anger when people you interact through words, actions, or inactions express their opinion that people with disabilities aren’t entitled to equal access.

Leave the world a better place than when you found it

Kobe (and his daughter, and seven other people — let’s not forget them) died on their way to her basketball event. I cherish the moments I spent with my now thirty-something daughter when she was 13, taking her to competitive hockey and figure skating events. Even driving the team bus in Anchorage with 15 teenage girls and all their smelly hockey gear in it. Those experiences helped form who both of us are today. It is difficult to describe in words how important that is.

Don’t let setbacks slow you down

The one thing I do know about Kobe Bryant is that he tore his Achilles in April of 2013. It was during one of the few basketball games I watched that year, because he was playing my hometown Warriors back when I was still working for a company that was a Warriors sponsor. Watching some of these games was essential for successful water-cooler chats where I then worked.

  1. how much rehab is required to get even remotely close to back to what passes for normal for you.

Blogger, disability advocate, nerd. Bringing the fire on ableism. A11y Architect @ VMware. Wheelchair user w/ a deaf daughter. CS, Law, and Business background

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