👋🏻 Hi! I am Lindsey! I am so glad you're here!
I am a self-taught web developer with ADHD. I never really considered myself cognitively disabled, despite how much I struggled to teach myself to code. When I was starting out, I taught myself by studying for 1 hour before my desk job every single day. That's more time than a lot of people have, but it took me 18 months to get my first developer job in May 2014. Even then, I felt behind. I felt like I didn't understand "simple" things.
Then in 2016, I learned about web accessibility. 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 didn't have any concept of how to fix any of them.
That's when I started really diving in and learning why it was meaningful. Once I did that, the errors became so much easier to decipher.
Learning about Ableism
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 I centered around my own abled body experience. I was unable to use my mouse. I was incapable of typing 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.
I was selfish.
This story made me think, EVERYONE will require accessibility at some point. I have previously used the phrase "Accessibility is for everyone." Sure, it does benefit everyone. But I have learned so much in the past year about my own ableism. This perspective centers around me, a physically abled person, not around the people I ultimately want to make space for in this Internet space.
As someone whose specialty is in web accessibility, it was an eye-opening experience for me to realize how much I had framed accessibility. How I hadn't really reflected upon my own ableism. 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 crucial. Once I learned why my skills as a developer improved tremendously.
I'm on my journey to becoming an anti-ableist.
I'd love to have you join me.
Why I created this blog
I want people to confront their own ableism and use their tech skills to make the web more accessible. Accessibility literally helps a marginalized group of people access the Internet and assures they aren't excluded from using your technology. I stopped thinking about it as a purely technical issue and more of an inclusion and trust 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, an inclusive 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 learn to code, but human trust and compassion is something we are born with. I want to tap into your empathetic nature to understand why, before how.
A Bit More About Me
Currently, I am a Senior UI Engineer, Accessibility lead at Medallia. Specifically, I work on Alchemy, Medallia's design system. At the day job, I play around a lot with React, TypeScript, and styled-components. Creating accessible interactive components is one of my major passions in coding, and a lot of what I work on at my day job inspires my blog posts. My day job also inspires a lot of my Egghead videos.