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Allow me to pose a question

on September 20, 2023 at 8:29am |Updated on February 26, 2024 at 1:49pm The Access by Design Website Accessibility Audit Team: Krista (Superpower: Blind, Weapon: JAWs Screen Reader),  Mede (Superpower: Blind, Weapon: JAWs Screen Reader),  Iona (Superpower: Cannot use hands, Weapon: Dragon Dictation),  Sara (Superpower: Neurodivergent, Weapon: Dark Mode), Lleona (Superpower: Blind, Weapon: NVDA Screen Reader),

The answer might be obvious if you think about it

If your genuine aim is to assess the accessibility of your website for individuals with disabilities, does it not make sense to involve individuals with disabilities in the evaluation process?

If your response is yes, then you already possess the initial criterion for selecting a collaborator to enhance your digital accessibility!

My credentials

I have dedicated 15 years to the field of accessible web design. My company accomplished the remarkable feat of creating the first fully accessible, mobile, and tablet-friendly website 12 years ago. However, I must emphasize that I cannot comprehensively evaluate a website's accessibility on my own.

The reason for this limitation is that my own disabilities do not impact my ability to interact with websites in any manner.

Their credentials

Conversely, my team members have disabilities that do affect their online experiences:

  1. Visual Impairment: Some team members rely on screen readers to navigate the web.
  2. Physical Challenges: One team member is unable to use a mouse or keyboard and utilizes dictation software instead.
  3. Cognitive Variability: Another team member faces significant challenges due to extreme ADHD and dyspraxia. This individual encounters difficulties with screen contrast and the language used on websites.

An immersive experience

During our evaluations, they share their screens with me, and I diligently record both their screen interactions and their insightful commentary. This approach provides me with the closest approximation of their lived experiences.

When I share these recorded sessions with our clients, they, too, gain insight into the experiences of individuals with disabilities. These encounters foster a profound understanding of the necessity to enhance their digital accessibility.

My audits not only highlight areas for improvement but also provide actionable recommendations for our clients to enhance accessibility. With my dedicated team, our work makes a tangible difference, and I couldn't be prouder of their contributions.

We embark on this journey, one website at a time.

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