Constructing an accessibility elevator pitch

Everyone in accessibility needs an accessibility elevator pitch

Sheri Byrne-Haber, CPACC

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Bank of elevator buttons G, M, 2–6 with braille, 6th floor is lit up
Photo by Arisa Chattasa on Unsplash

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.

Accessibility elevator pitches are essential for two reasons:

  1. Introducing yourself and explaining what you do.
  2. Immediate, pre-programmed come-backs to people who express disinterest in accessibility.

What is an accessibility elevator pitch?

An accessibility elevator pitch is a quick summary of who you are and what you want the person you are speaking with to engage in with respect to accessibility. Like a regular elevator pitch, it should be shorter than the amount of time it takes to ride an elevator which makes it roughly 30 -45 seconds or 75–90 words.

Why are elevator pitches important?

Elevator pitches are amazing ways to start a conversation with anyone, anywhere. You can use them at the airport, at a conference, at an interview and with strangers or friends. An accessibility elevator pitch can quickly help new contacts understand why they should connect with you or care about accessibility. I’ve even used them at Starbucks.

How to construct a compelling accessibility elevator pitch

Your accessibility elevator pitch answers the following questions:

  • Who are you?
  • What do you do with respect to accessibility?
  • What do you want?

Start by introducing yourself

As you approach a stranger to pitch to for any reason, you need to begin at the beginning. Provide your full name, do whatever the socially accepted greeting is. In the days of Coronavirus, I am currently using the Spock Vulcan greeting “live long and prosper”…

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Sheri Byrne-Haber, CPACC

LinkedIn Top Voice for Social Impact 2022. UX Collective Author of the Year 2020. Disability Inclusion SME. Sr Staff Accessibility Architect @ VMware.