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Here's what I believe

Many businesses will use "that's not our customer" as an excuse. They think people with disabilities aren't their audience. If their website works for them, then that's good enough. They think that ticking all the boxes in the WCAG makes their website accessible and usable by people with disabilities.

They think the accessibility statement is where the work ends.

I believe this is where the work begins!

The problem is we turned a list of guidelines into a set of prescriptive rules. We stopped thinking about who our website is for and started thinking about how to check the boxes. As if seeing all those checkmarks will ensure the website works for the average user.

There is no average, normal user! People don't have special needs. They just have needs. I believe being accessible means being responsive to the differences in people and their abilities.

I believe an integrated approach is far superior to the build it, audit it, remediate it method. But we have to start somehwere and more often than not, we've already built something when we realise we haven't considered all our users.

Accessibility is a catalyst. For appealing to a broader market, for increasing your brand reputation, and for making the web better. It's not something we can afford to ignore and it's not something best dealt with in crisis mode, because waiting for a crisis is expensive and risky. We don't have to fix everything all at once. But we need to start somewhere. And the sooner, the better.

This isn't someone else's job! Everyone on our team is responsible for making sure the website works for everyone. It takes a whole team to build accessible software.

It takes all of us to build a web that empowers more people with disabilities to live fulfilling lives.

I'm not kidding myself that I can do everything and change the world. I just try my hardest to help others change it by showing up every day and giving it my all. I try to do one thing and do it really well. I help teams build accessible websites. That's it. I share everything I know and learn with others. I make a bunch of email courses, PDFs and open source tools that I give away free of charge.

There is no magic formula, secret framework or automated process behind building accessible websites. It takes hard work and discomfort to build a website that provides equal access to everyone. But there's a great deal of satisfaction to be had from changing even one mind a day. It makes all the hard work worth all the effort.

My mission is to ensure user interfaces are accessible to people with disabilities.

I do this through 3 core values:

1. Better every day. To make every day better, I need to be better every day. Keep learning and sharing what I learn openly so that others might grow faster than me. I believe progress beats perfection and that we can all learn from each other. I share everything I know with others, for free. This is the only way to learn, get better and contribute to solving common problems.

2. Break down boundaries. To make connections, I need to recognise I am biased and that people have different worldviews than my own. In all my work, I try to be open and kind, to embrace and value different perspectives. We're not born all-knowing. Accessibility isn't something you either know or don't. We're here to make things better, together. Sometimes we forget everything we say and do affects those around us in some way. So I strive to be first of all human, authentic, welcoming and kind.

3. Be all in. To make a difference, I need do one thing that really matters and do it really really well. Be all in, show up every day and give it everything I've got. If something is worth doing, it's worth doing right. And I feel it in my bones that this is something worth doing.

Did I strike a chord?

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