Wed 25 Feb 2009
Ever tried to explain to a software vendor why making their products accessible is important? I often get that privilege. In fact, some of the brightest moments in my work are when I have the opportunity to open a person’s mind to the intrinsic value of accessibility.
Taking a person from “Why would blind people ever want/need to buy tickets online to a sporting event?” to that same person becoming an evangelist for the cause…is….inspiring.
I often have the luxury of introducing real people with disabilities into the equation. I’ll bring in a student or a faculty member with a disability into the conversation with the vendor, and all of a sudden, disability and the need for accessibility has a face. They can no longer say, “I don’t know anyone who would benefit from accessibility.”
Yes…I know, there are numerous other ways to explain the business case for accessibility, I use them too. From SEO to avoiding lawsuits, to doing the right thing. But for me, it is key…to connect the concepts of accessibility to real people.
A colleague of mine, Leslie Jensen-Inman, who teaches at the University of Tennessee, can’t always get a person with disabilities to come to her class. So how does she get her students to understand?
These are the videos I show in class and after watching these the students get accessibility and never ask why again.
It’s the next best thing to actually having someone in the classroom, which is not always possible.
For me, the video that knocks me off my feet is A Pivotal Role in the Household. Even after being in the accessibility business for 9+ years, I can still be blown away by the impact our work can have on individuals.
And yes, I had a battle with myself about posting these links, because none of these videos have captions. But, I wanted to share them immediately and I don’t have time to caption them myself.
So, over to you, now. How do you help turn a person from a non-believer into an accessibility evangelist?