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Re: Advice for those interested in accessibility


From: Murphy, Sean
Date: Jan 21, 2020 5:51PM

Responding to the PWD component of the question.
Specifically for a PWD (being a PWD myself) is confidence in yourself. If you cannot demonstrate this or have it. Then it is going to be difficult to land the job. Skills are all secondary as I mention before. They are a necessary requirement to have when you are starting. Accessibility is a wide area from building all the way to digital. Focusing on one area is important. Digital accessibility:
- html
- basic JavaScript - Native I would suggest
- CSS is a nice to have
- mobile development technology understanding at a high level
Understanding programming terminology at a high level
Understanding the accessibility API on OS and Browsers at a high level is nice to have. Helps with technical components.
- High level understanding of the standards.
Understanding assistive tech
Good communication skills.
UX knowledge is helpful.
Testing knowledge is helpful
Legal knowledge is important, international legal knowledge is nice to have.
Understanding your assistive technology in depth is a must.
Understanding other assistive technology from other PWD groups and within your own is a must
Understanding how other's with PWD use their technology is a nice to have. Indicates in my mind you are thinking in other people shoes.
UX Testing with people is a nice to have.

I mention communication skills. I would extend this beyond the standard understanding of this skill. Having good social skills is a must. Being able to network, tell the story, get people to believe in yourself is really important. I only mention this as some PWD have challenges in this area due to multiple reasons.

Standard other basic soft skills for any job role is a must.

I hope this helps.


-----Original Message-----
From: WebAIM-Forum < <EMAIL REMOVED> > On Behalf Of Michael Ausbun
Sent: Wednesday, 22 January 2020 2:27 AM
To: WebAIM Discussion List < <EMAIL REMOVED> >
Subject: [WebAIM] Advice for those interested in accessibility

[External Email] This email was sent from outside the organisation – be cautious, particularly with links and attachments.

If you had someone, or a series of someones, interested in a career in accessibility, what advice might you give them to prepare or to ease their gaining, maintaining, or advancing a career in accessibility?

* College/university degrees in computer science, software development, instructional design or educational technology?
* Bootcamps designed around web development?
* Just read the specifications!
* I.A.A.P. is a good place to start!
* Education around, and exposure to, training disabled people in the use of their technology?
* A combination of these?
* None of these!
* Something else?
I know a lot of disabled people who are unemployed or under employed, interested in a career in accessibility. Time and time again though, they are turned away from the table and provided little to no feedback in what specifically they can do to be better prepared to get a place at the table.
I thought it might be a good idea to have others thoughts what it would take, so when I give advice to my network I can do so confident in the collective knowledge of experts who have, collectively, been around improving access for generations.
Thanks for any thoughts!