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What triggered my journey into online accessibility

The tweet that rocked my world

Thinking back, I still don’t know why this particular tweet hit home so hard. It still does. Probably because I value my autonomy so much that I can turn into a real dragon when I feel someone or something is hindering that on one hand. And me picturing myself in that man’s shoes, on the other hand.

Today, my dad cried over the phone, he wanted one week where he could use his computer without my help.

He’s blind.

Each inaccessible webpage tells him, “you aren’t welcome in this world.”

If you don’t know whether your website or app is accessible: it’s not.

Start learning.

That life-changing tweet from @LareneLg about her blind dad

Until I followed an introductory webinar given by Rian Rietveld from the A11Y Collective, I never realized my knowledge about accessibility was poor. I mainly knew about color contrast basics, heading order and not to use very funky fonts. That bit of knowledge covered only a relatively small percentage of all there is to learn and implement. In the webinar, I learned how to use the built-in screen reader on my Mac. And when I tried it on my own website back then, shame made me want to hide under my desk.

The more I learned about the “why”, the easier it became to grasp the “how”. And the more I grasped the “how” the more I understood that making a website accessible is not rocket science.

In that process, I realized that the online world needs accessibility made accessible to the people who, directly or indirectly, can make it happen. Which is about everyone who has anything to do with creating and publishing something online.

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