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We're in the same boat

2 minutes read

Following up from my recent email about building culture, a constant question that comes up is "how do we get leadership on board."

I always thought that sounded weird. Getting "them" on board just implies we're in the boat and they are not.

Are we not all in the same boat, rowing in the same direction? Do we really want different things? Is it that we care about people with disabilities and "they" don't? Perhaps we think it's up to us to make them see the light, to convince them that having more customers, a more inclusive brand and a lower risk of law suits are all good things.

It's because of "them" that we don't reach customers with disabilities, that we're seen as inaccessible and that because we're ignoring accessibility requirements, we're at risk of getting sued.

At the end of the day, throwing the blame on "them" is a defense against our own responsibility.

Instead, we should ask ourselves what our role was in creating the current situation, and how we can change ourselves before trying to change the world around us.

Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • Do you really need permission to make sure what you do works for everyone?
  • Can you actually call a feature complete when it only works for some people?
  • Do you think "they" will object to having more customers?
  • Do you think "they" know better than you?

Isn't all this actually your job?

All this talk of "us" and "them" is your belief that someone else is vital to change that you are ultimately responsible for.

Maybe, just maybe, it's time to stop worrying about asking for permission and just do the work. Change rarely starts at the top.

Did you enjoy this bite-sized message?

I send out short emails like this every day to help you gain a fresh perspective on accessibility and understand it without the jargon, so you can build more robust products that everyone can use, including people with disabilities.

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