25 Sep 2018
Today was my 3rd day in the office at the Lincoln Center as their new Digital Accessibility Fellow. Last week was all onboarding and getting familiar with the work place and systems around here, so today was my first day to dive into digital accessibility.
Before I thought I new something about web accessibility, but now I am realizing how very little I know about this topic and the very large amount of people working to make technology more accessible. My previous exposure to accessibility was quite tainted by consumerism, I am often asked by clients develop websites with WCAG standards as a means to improve SEO, but these web accessibility guidelines are made with a real intent to help people living with disabilities to connect to the world. And there are a lot of people working to develop tools for this purpose.
I was lucky that the previous fellow, Yidan Zeng, made an incredible list of resources to introduce me to the vast world of accessibility. In 1973 the Supreme Court drafted Section 508 which declares that all federal information communication technology (ICT) must be accessible for people with disabilities and last year they released a revision that must be implemented by January 2018 which clarifies what is ICT.
In addition to Section 508 there is the W3C which standardizes internet languages who push the WAI (Web Accessibility Initiative). They introduced WCAG 2.1 this year, a long needed update to address newer mobile technologies.
I look forward to learning more about how to build accessible products.