One accessibility specialist for every thousand tech positions estimated

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Firefox sigh outside the Mozilla HQ in San FranciscoGlobal Accessibility Awareness Day’s Bay Area Accessibility meetup was hosted by Mozilla Foundation in San Francisco. The events are usually over-subscribed and this was no exception.

Mike Shebanek was keynote presenter. He’s currently Senior Director of Accessibility at Yahoo and previously worked on Voiceover at Apple when it was first created.

He made a couple of very important points:-

  • The current ratio of accessibility experts to other tech position is ridiculously low; estimated at “4 : 4000 across technology companies”.
  • When joining Yahoo, every single employee spends time in their accessibility lab. However, since there is virtually no accessibility training provided at university undergraduate courses or many other organizations this is often an employee’s first experience of accessibility.

This results in application user interfaces that are unusable by people who use screen readers, keyboards and other input devices that require software to use accessibility standards.

He now has a mission to train more people on accessibility awareness to address the problem of limited knowhow across the industry; find out more at teachaccess.org

Mike Shebanek presents the 4:4000 ratio estimation; accessibility experts to other tech professionals
Mike Shebanek presents the 4:4000 ratio estimation; accessibility experts to other tech professionals

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