Building an “accessibility brand”
Meaningful accessibility discussions happen when you are not in the room. Having a personal accessibility brand can help deliver your message in your absence.
Authors note: Because of Medium’s refusal to address its accessibility issues for both authors and readers, I’ve moved my last three years of blogs to Substack. Please sign up there for notices of all new articles. Also, I will be updating older articles (like this one) and the updates will only be published on Substack. Thank you for your continued readership and support.
Branding isn’t just for companies anymore. Post-pandemic, in our almost-completely digital world, a personal brand is no longer an extra; it’s necessary for success. Nowhere is this more true than accessibility, an area of tech that cuts across every part of the software development lifecycle.
Like a corporate brand, a personal brand expresses:
- who you are
- what you stand for
- the values you embrace, and;
- how you express those values.
If your personal accessibility brand is strong enough, people will repeat your accessibility values and stand up on your behalf when you are not part of the conversation but should be. We jokingly refer to this at places I have worked as “channeling your inner Sheri.” It’s impossible to be at every conversation where accessibility should be discussed. Having a strong accessibility brand where others are spreading your message for you is a way around that impossibility. This article shares ten areas to explore in developing a robust personal accessibility brand.
1. You need to develop both an internal and external personal accessibility brand.
You would be surprised how often people I am meeting for the first time at VMware tell me that they’ve previously read my articles or follow me on LinkedIn. That has paved the way for more relaxed internal accessibility conversations. I’ve concluded as a result that a really strong personal brand requires utilizing a combination of internal and external branding techniques, with the…