In a cruel bit of irony, our industry’s approach to accessibility has long faced its own barriers. Companies, if they have even broached the subject of accessibility at all, restricted discussion of the practice to addressing their legal exposure. While this work has been critical for removing barriers for people with disabilities and has kept a good many of us gainfully employed finding and fixing bugs, it can also be frustrating and sometimes demoralizing work.
Thankfully, that’s beginning to change. Many companies, governments, and non-profits are beginning to see the value in and transformative capacity of accessibility. This is leading to more opportunities to flex our skills beyond bug bashing and translating success criteria into code. It’s creating space for us to participate in the early stages of product development and apply our knowledge in new and creative ways. It’s generating more opportunities for co-design with disability communities. And most of all, it’s fostering a future that is far more vibrant and inclusive.
In this keynote, I discuss the future of accessibility and your place in it. I also share a number of ways accessibility devs and related practitioners are putting their skills to work, beyond code compliance.