I started learning about web accessibility in 2016 when I got a ticket at work to do some accessibility testing. I was told to download the Wave chrome extension and make a ticket for every error or alert that we came across. Quite frankly, I was copying and pasting the errors, having no clue what any of them meant. I knew accessibility was important, but I had no idea what any of it meant.
It wasn't until 2016 Tech Lady Hackathon (now Tech Rebalanced) where I challenged myself to speak about accessibility publicly that I forced myself to understand why it's important. I tried to explain it to my former and current self and had many a-ha moments. I was honest in explaining those to my audience and a lot of people came to me afterward telling me how much they connected to it.
I realized how much accessibility combined my love of technology and the web with my passion for diversity and inclusion. Accessibility literally helps people access the web and assures everyone can use your technology. I stopped thinking about it as a purely technical issue and more of an empathy and inclusion issue. After that, my love and desire to teach people about it and how approachable the problem can be has been my desire to create this blog.
My mission is to empower developers to make their Internet, everyone's Internet.
My approach to accessibility focuses more on the human aspect and less on the technical. Don't get me wrong, as a detail-oriented person, we do get into the technical nitty gritty. However, it is my belief that anyone can code, but human empathy is something we are born with. I would rather tap into your empathetic nature to understand why before the how.
I've been passionate about accessibility since 2016, but because I am able-bodied, I never was able to fully relate to anyone with a physical disability.
Back in September of 2017, I dropped a 45lb plate on the tip of my finger while I was at the gym at the squat rack. It turns out I had broken my right middle finger. It wasn't until that day that I realized how much we take our able-bodies for granted. I never realize how important my middle right finger was to my entire day until I was unable to use it. I was unable to use my mouse. I was unable to type in the way that I was used to. I had difficulty chopping veggies. My whole life was impacted for 2 months because the technology and day to day things I use, do not take into account people with a broken finger.
At any given time in our life, we can become temporarily or permanently disabled.
As someone whose specialty is in web accessibility, it was an eye-opening experience for me. It changed how I think about accessibility, how I empathize with my end users, and it also changed my perspective on user experience. My goal is to help others learn about web accessibility by sharing why it's important. Once I learned why my skills as a developer improved tremendously.
I am a self-taught web developer with 4 years of professional experience. When I was starting out, I taught myself by studying for 1 hour before my desk job every single day. I started getting involved with the Drupal Community and that landed me my first job. That is the same drive I am bringing to this blog, and to my business.
While I will be blogging mostly about web accessibility, I will also blog about my adventures in blogging, side hustling, and mental health.