accessibility: what's in it for me

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Accessibility in digital media helps everyone. Here are some reasons why we should consider it in all our projects.


  • 1. U.S. General Services AdministrationAccessibility: Whats in Itfor Me?OCSIT Celebrates the UNs InternationalDay of Persons with DisabilitiesAngela M. Hooker1December 3, 2013

2. Accessibility BenefitsJust for You Photograph: A fortune cookie that says, You are in for an enlightening experience.2 3. Youll broaden your skill set.Since the web evolves, learning and usingprinciples of accessibility will help you continueto expand your expertise.Photograph: a fortune cookie that says You are the master of every situation.3 4. Your supervisor will value you more.After all, youre helping theagency: Engage more citizens withagency messages. Influence other agencies. Save money. Obey the law. Avoid lawsuits.Photograph of a fortune cookie that says, Your talents wil be recognized and suitably rewarded.4 5. Youll use your creativity and expertiseto solve problems.Not all accessibility problems have only asingle method to resolve them. You cancreate new, more accessible solutionsespecially as the web continues to evolve.Photograph: A fortune cookie that says, You should be able to undertake and complete anything you desire5 6. Youre getting older and you may need accessibility some day. If we set the expectationfor having accessible technology now, it will become a standardthat you and others will benefit from having in the future.Photograph: A pile of coins with a fortune cookie that says, You wil have many friends when you need them. Panda Express, Panda Inn6 7. Help Others and Youll Reap SocialBenefitsPhotograph: A fortune cookie that says, You wil be cal ed upon to help a friend in trouble.7 8. Youll interact with, and befriend, peoplewhom youd otherwise might not meet.The W3C says: Accessibility supports social inclusion for people withdisabilities as well as others, such as older people, people in rural areas, andpeople in developing countries.So, imagine having an online encounter with Stephen Hawking, StevieWonder, Stephen Fry, or any other Steve with a disability, who uses socialmedia! You might not interact with them without accessibility. Photograph: A fortune cookie that says, Many new friends wil be attracted to your friendly and charming ways.8 9. Youll help others have ordinary, fuller,participatory, and independent lives.Shawn Lawton Henry says, [With accessibility] people with disabilities can doordinary things: Children can learn, teenagers can flirt, adults can make a living,seniors can manage their stock portfolios, and so on.We may take these activities for granted because theyre ordinary, everydayactivities. Yet, without accessibility, people with disabilities arent always able to dothem.Photograph: A fortune cookie saying, Your life wil be peaceful and fulfil ing.9 10. Youll fight discrimination.People with disabilities face discrimination in the forms of exclusion from thegeneral public; segregationin school and workplaces; and unequal or inferiorservices, benefits, or activities. Discrimination can lead to fear toward peoplewho are different in any way, and feelings of isolation and depression in peoplewith disabilities.You can help fight discrimination through using accessible and inclusionarypractices. Photograph of a fortune cookie that says, About time I got out of that cookie.10 11. Above all else, its theright thing to do.We want peopleeven total strangerstotreat us well. Its sensible, then, to do thesame in our work. Photograph of a fortune cookie that says, Ask not what your fortune cookie can do for you, but what you can do for your fort une cookie.11 12. Thank you!Contact me for moreinformation about accessibility,disabilities, Section 508, andWCAG 2.0:Angela Hookerangela.hooker@gsa.govPhotograph of a fortune cookie paper atop a painting of a woman. The paper says, Beware of cookies bearing fortunes.12 13. Photo credits1. Fortunes, by MNicoleM2. Fortune Cookie Tells the Truth, by karlnorling3. Talents, by Jeni Rodger4. Cookie Exudes Confidence, by twelve tens Jim5. A Fortune in Friends, by Jeff Hester6. Fortune Cookie, by ThatGirlPhotoTaker7. Friendly & Charming Ways, by DrJoolz8. Day 324/365, by pheaber9. Fortune Cookie, by bwats210. Ashleys Fortune, Dec. 30, 2007, by mdesive11. Fortune Cookie Today, by zenAll photographs used in accordance with Creative Commons licensing, as ofDecember 2, 2013.13