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Thread: Elevator speeches about accessibility

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From: Scott González
Date: Mon, Jun 11 2012 9:03AM
Subject: Elevator speeches about accessibility
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On Mon, Jun 11, 2012 at 10:27 AM, < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > wrote:

> Then I reel off the statistics (one in five Americans have a disability,
> one in 10 have a serious disability, more than 20% of people with
> disabilities live in poverty), and talk about how in the modern world,
> being disenfranchised on the web is the same as being disenfranchised in
> the world.
>

These numbers are higher than I expected and seem like a really good
talking point. Do you have links to credible resources that show these
statistics?

From: Angela French
Date: Mon, Jun 11 2012 9:34AM
Subject: Re: Elevator speeches about accessibility
← Previous message | Next message →

I usually mention the law and liability risk. Unfortunately that gets people attention more that "doing what's right" sometimes.

>-----Original Message-----
>From: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = [mailto:webaim-forum-
> = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ] On Behalf Of Karen Mardahl
>Sent: Monday, June 11, 2012 4:22 AM
>To: WebAIM Discussion List
>Subject: [WebAIM] Elevator speeches about accessibility
>
>Today at work, a colleague and proud dad showed me the website that his 19-
>year-old son had coded for a small business.
>It seemed attractive enough at a visual level, so I promptly replied, oh, nice!
>Then I tried to navigate it.
>The top navigation was not keyboard accessible. The drop-down menu items
>needed a click. On one of them, I managed to drag the mouse outside the
>path so that I lost the path; you had to drag the mouse down and to the right
>to access that menu's sub items.
>
>
>I said you cannot get at these submenu items with a keyboard. That is not
>good. He's a young kid. He should learn about accessibility.
>The proud dad replied that I was the only one who cared about accessibility
>- no one else did. He does sling out many statements in a joking fashion, but I
>wasn't going to be dismissed that easily. I said that knowing accessibility
>would be good for his career. "There's money in it", I said, "and he can lead
>the field". I had hoped those comments would inspire the dad and soften the
>criticism I was giving. Oddly enough, the dad did dislike those types of
>menus, but I don't know why. It didn't seem to be due to accessibility. At
>least not in his mind.
>
>"There's money in it" is a vague generalization, of course. It was the best I
>could reply if my reply was to be snappy and attractive to my audience.
>
>That made me think of writing in here and asking - do you have a stock reply
>for various, shall we call them anti-accessibility conversations - or "meh"
>accessibility conversations?
>
>Snappy, constructive, and educational are the best qualities for such a reply, I
>think. They might also be elevator speeches. I think "making the world a
>better place" is too vague and will be forgotten seconds after as well as
>earning you the label of "loopy" or something similar.
>
>So... how do you reply? (Especially if shock or insults are involved.)
>
>regards, Karen Mardahl
>http://flavors.me/kmdk
>>>messages to = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =

From: Ryan Hemphill
Date: Mon, Jun 11 2012 9:35AM
Subject: Re: Elevator speeches about accessibility
← Previous message | Next message →

I have a thought - you might not like it...but consider it for a moment.

I didn't get into web design to do social work.
I also didn't do it simply because there was money in it. (no designers I
know would ever quote that as a reason.)

So why DID I do it? It can be stressful. It requires me to be
ever-vigilant about new tech and whether or not I ought to learn it, which
would take away free time from other activities in life. It often involves
marketing professionals - also a peeve of most designers - and all the
emails, suggestions and other 'requests' they send my way.

So again - why do it?


The answer is simple - because it is stimulating and fun for me to be
CREATIVE and learn things that allow me to be MORE CREATIVE.

In short:

CREATIVITY = FUN = COMPELLING REASON FOR WEB DESIGN CAREER.



My belief? Forget the altruism. Forget the money. Focus on the
creativity, because at the core of their passion, THAT is why they do web
design. You want to get their attention? Show them how accessibility can
be wicked creative, cool and/or fun to execute.




That's my two...



Ryan




On Mon, Jun 11, 2012 at 11:03 AM, Scott González
< = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >wrote:

> On Mon, Jun 11, 2012 at 10:27 AM, < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > wrote:
>
> > Then I reel off the statistics (one in five Americans have a disability,
> > one in 10 have a serious disability, more than 20% of people with
> > disabilities live in poverty), and talk about how in the modern world,
> > being disenfranchised on the web is the same as being disenfranchised in
> > the world.
> >
>
> These numbers are higher than I expected and seem like a really good
> talking point. Do you have links to credible resources that show these
> statistics?
> > > >



--



Shipping is a Feature...Perhaps the Most Important Feature.

From: Birkir R. Gunnarsson
Date: Mon, Jun 11 2012 10:09AM
Subject: Re: Elevator speeches about accessibility
← Previous message | Next message →

Another reason I try to come up with, as often as I can, is that it is
not hard to make adjustments to inaccessible websites. People simply
have to do things a, b, c and d, and they've fixed a decent percentage
of the website and make it work.
So not only is it desireable, the responsible thing to do, but it's
not that hard.
Of course saying that requires a lot of skill, and a statement like
that really has to be one that you can back it up with quick samples
or work arounds, but it seems to work beautifully when dealing with
mainstream web developers with limited time, increasingly
cost-conscious clients and relying to a larger extent on CMS or
another type of inexpensive way to produce multiple websites
efficiently.
Good discussion, all points are more than welcome.
-B

On 6/11/12, Angela French < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > wrote:
> Like!
>
>>-----Original Message-----
>>From: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = [mailto:webaim-forum-
>> = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ] On Behalf Of Ryan Hemphill
>>Sent: Monday, June 11, 2012 8:35 AM
>>To: WebAIM Discussion List
>>Subject: Re: [WebAIM] Elevator speeches about accessibility
>>
>>I have a thought - you might not like it...but consider it for a moment.
>>
>>I didn't get into web design to do social work.
>>I also didn't do it simply because there was money in it. (no designers I
>> know
>>would ever quote that as a reason.)
>>
>>So why DID I do it? It can be stressful. It requires me to be
>> ever-vigilant
>>about new tech and whether or not I ought to learn it, which would take
>> away
>>free time from other activities in life. It often involves marketing
>>professionals - also a peeve of most designers - and all the emails,
>>suggestions and other 'requests' they send my way.
>>
>>So again - why do it?
>>
>>
>>The answer is simple - because it is stimulating and fun for me to be
>>CREATIVE and learn things that allow me to be MORE CREATIVE.
>>
>>In short:
>>
>>CREATIVITY = FUN = COMPELLING REASON FOR WEB DESIGN CAREER.
>>
>>
>>
>>My belief? Forget the altruism. Forget the money. Focus on the
>> creativity,
>>because at the core of their passion, THAT is why they do web design. You
>>want to get their attention? Show them how accessibility can be wicked
>>creative, cool and/or fun to execute.
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>That's my two...
>>
>>
>>
>>Ryan
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>On Mon, Jun 11, 2012 at 11:03 AM, Scott González
>>< = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >wrote:
>>
>>> On Mon, Jun 11, 2012 at 10:27 AM, < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > wrote:
>>>
>>> > Then I reel off the statistics (one in five Americans have a
>>> > disability, one in 10 have a serious disability, more than 20% of
>>> > people with disabilities live in poverty), and talk about how in the
>>> > modern world, being disenfranchised on the web is the same as being
>>> > disenfranchised in the world.
>>> >
>>>
>>> These numbers are higher than I expected and seem like a really good
>>> talking point. Do you have links to credible resources that show these
>>> statistics?
>>> >>> >>> list messages to = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
>>>
>>
>>
>>
>>--
>>
>>
>>
>>Shipping is a Feature...Perhaps the Most Important Feature.
>>>>>>messages to = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
> > > >

From: Donna Lettow
Date: Tue, Jun 12 2012 12:34PM
Subject: Re: Elevator speeches about accessibility
← Previous message | Next message →

"His company might be okay with blowing off 10% of their potential market, but their competitor might not be."

Donna Lettow
Staff Specialist, Electronic Accessibility & Internal Communication
MD Division of Rehabilitation Services
2301 Argonne Drive
Baltimore, MD 21218
www.dors.state.md.us
410-554-9402
888-554-0334
410-554-9411 (TTY)


IMPORTANT NOTICE: This e-mail may contain confidential or privileged information. If you are not the intended recipient, please notify the sender immediately and destroy this e-mail. Any unauthorized copying, disclosure or distribution of the material in this e-mail is strictly forbidden.

From: deborah.kaplan@suberic.net
Date: Mon, Jun 11 2012 8:27AM
Subject: Re: Elevator speeches about accessibility
← Previous message | Next message →

I usually have a list I can reel off of successful lawsuits (Target) and settlements, not to mention government regulations, and talk about have companies are switching more and more to only hiring web developers who understand accessibility. (I know and you know that that "more and more" is a drop in the ocean, but I don't go into that detail.)

Then I reel off the statistics (one in five Americans have a disability, one in 10 have a serious disability, more than 20% of people with disabilities live in poverty), and talk about how in the modern world, being disenfranchised on the web is the same as being disenfranchised in the world.

My hope is usually that the first point will hit them in their selfishness, and the second will hit them in their selflessness, and hopefully one of them will take.

-Deborah

From: deborah.kaplan@suberic.net
Date: Mon, Jun 11 2012 10:07AM
Subject: Re: Elevator speeches about accessibility
← Previous message | Next message →

On Mon, 11 Jun 2012, Scott González wrote:
> Do you have links to credible resources that show these statistics?

Yep, the U.S.Census. http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/disability/disability.html

To summarize the confusing plethora of links below, the numbers you get a percentage of the population with a disability (1) are always limited to the noninstitutionalized population and (2) depend on which of the three major government instruments you are looking at between 2000-2010, and the numbers range from 9.9% to 19.3%, roughly 10-20%, depending on data collection instrument you decide to trust. The poverty statistics, however, are consistent: 20% of the population below poverty level, 65% of the population is unemployed (versus 28% unemployed for the non-disabled population).

Obviously the employment numbers are not going to reflect the last couple of terrible years, but historically at risk populations are the first to suffer in downturns, so it wouldn't be surprised if they only got worse.

Anyway, specific links:

So it's 12% of the non-institutionalized population identified as having a disability: http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ACS_10_3YR_S1810&;prodType=table

20% of the non-institutionalized population below the poverty level, vs. 11% for the non-dsabled population: http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ACS_10_3YR_S1811&;prodType=table

(And that same table shows that another 14% of the noninstitutionalized population of people with disabilities lives within 150% of the poverty level, compared to 7% of the noninstitutionalized population of people without disabilities.)

The 20% number comes from the 2000 census: http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/disability/disabstat2k.html -- technically it's 19.3%. I actually can't find numbers that high in the more recent ACS, so I'm wondering if they changed their counting methodology or if it's reporting a different number. Both show the noninstitutionalized population (of course the numbers will be much higher for the institutionalized population, I assume). Ah, yes: <http://disabilitystatistics.org/faq.cfm#Q1dash>; The 2009 American Community Survey, which asked different questions and therefore identifies and overlapping but different population, finds 9.9 percent of the civilian noninstitutionalized population age 16 to 64 had a disability. http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/american_community_survey_acs/cb10-cn78.html

The link above also references that about 34.7 percent of people with disabilities were employed compared with 71.9 percent of people without a disability.

Disabilitystatistics.org, a Cornell website which crunches US statistics numbers, shows that around 8% of the population reports work limitations. Sorry, they don't appear to have direct links to the generated charts, but the site is easy use and is at http://disabilitystatistics.org/


-Deborah

From: Jesse Hausler
Date: Mon, Jun 11 2012 5:03PM
Subject: Re: Elevator speeches about accessibility
← Previous message | Next message →

I work in a corporate environment so keep that in mind with this answer.

I try not to focus on accessibility, but speak of the same things in terms of universal design. Universal design focuses on products that are people-centric, device agnostic, future friendly, as well as accessible.

When it comes to semantics, I ask people to consider how tools like Apple's Siri and future generations of Siri would interact with a webpage. If you wanted it to read a table, it would need to be a <table>. How would you ask it to start reading values under a given heading, or from a particular section of a page without headings. Search Engine Optimization also scores points in the semantic world with <title> and <h1> being the most important items for SEO.

How will the site breakdown when viewed on a mobile device, etc..

For keyboard access, I do mention people that have disabilities, but also mention that some people expect a user experience that responds to both mouse and keyboard commands. Many folks who don't have a disability use mouse and keyboard together without even realizing it. Webpage logins are one example. Username + Tab + Password + mouse click on Login.

I also talk about how in the age of webapps, we're really just simulating software applications, but we do it poorly. I frame UD as a matter of building high quality UI. UI that not only looks and clicks like software, but truly acts like the software we are emulating from an experience standpoint. It appeals to our QA team.. Sometimes :)

Jesse


On 6/11/12 2:28 PM, "Karen Mardahl" < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > wrote:

Hi Ryan

I think your answer is great! In this particular case, I was speaking to a
person who does not make web sites, and I was talking about his son. Would
what I said get passed on to his son or would he feel insulted by my not
uttering 100% positive comments about what I was experiencing. He is very
proud to see the success of his young son - naturally. Your answer would
suit the bill for this scenario very well.

I could say - ah, but coding accessibility is fun. It provides fun
challenges that let clever people demonstrate their skills.

That kind of answer might have gotten him interested enough to tell his son
about it. His son *is* clever and likes challenges.

It's manipulative, but that's OK for folks agitating for accessibility.
(She writes with a wicked smile.)

The other answers coming in are great. Different occasions call for
different responses. Some will freeze when a 6-syllable word is tossed
their way. Others will debate. Like Birkir wrote, "Good discussion, all
points are more than welcome."

Regards, Karen Mardahl

On Mon, Jun 11, 2012 at 5:35 PM, Ryan Hemphill < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
> wrote:

> I have a thought - you might not like it...but consider it for a moment.
>
> I didn't get into web design to do social work.
> I also didn't do it simply because there was money in it. (no designers I
> know would ever quote that as a reason.)
>
> So why DID I do it? It can be stressful. It requires me to be
> ever-vigilant about new tech and whether or not I ought to learn it, which
> would take away free time from other activities in life. It often involves
> marketing professionals - also a peeve of most designers - and all the
> emails, suggestions and other 'requests' they send my way.
>
> So again - why do it?
>
>
> The answer is simple - because it is stimulating and fun for me to be
> CREATIVE and learn things that allow me to be MORE CREATIVE.
>
> In short:
>
> CREATIVITY = FUN = COMPELLING REASON FOR WEB DESIGN CAREER.
>
>
>
> My belief? Forget the altruism. Forget the money. Focus on the
> creativity, because at the core of their passion, THAT is why they do web
> design. You want to get their attention? Show them how accessibility can
> be wicked creative, cool and/or fun to execute.
>
> <snip>

From: Angela French
Date: Mon, Jun 11 2012 9:39AM
Subject: Re: Elevator speeches about accessibility
← Previous message | Next message →

Like!

>-----Original Message-----
>From: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = [mailto:webaim-forum-
> = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ] On Behalf Of Ryan Hemphill
>Sent: Monday, June 11, 2012 8:35 AM
>To: WebAIM Discussion List
>Subject: Re: [WebAIM] Elevator speeches about accessibility
>
>I have a thought - you might not like it...but consider it for a moment.
>
>I didn't get into web design to do social work.
>I also didn't do it simply because there was money in it. (no designers I know
>would ever quote that as a reason.)
>
>So why DID I do it? It can be stressful. It requires me to be ever-vigilant
>about new tech and whether or not I ought to learn it, which would take away
>free time from other activities in life. It often involves marketing
>professionals - also a peeve of most designers - and all the emails,
>suggestions and other 'requests' they send my way.
>
>So again - why do it?
>
>
>The answer is simple - because it is stimulating and fun for me to be
>CREATIVE and learn things that allow me to be MORE CREATIVE.
>
>In short:
>
>CREATIVITY = FUN = COMPELLING REASON FOR WEB DESIGN CAREER.
>
>
>
>My belief? Forget the altruism. Forget the money. Focus on the creativity,
>because at the core of their passion, THAT is why they do web design. You
>want to get their attention? Show them how accessibility can be wicked
>creative, cool and/or fun to execute.
>
>
>
>
>That's my two...
>
>
>
>Ryan
>
>
>
>
>On Mon, Jun 11, 2012 at 11:03 AM, Scott González
>< = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >wrote:
>
>> On Mon, Jun 11, 2012 at 10:27 AM, < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > wrote:
>>
>> > Then I reel off the statistics (one in five Americans have a
>> > disability, one in 10 have a serious disability, more than 20% of
>> > people with disabilities live in poverty), and talk about how in the
>> > modern world, being disenfranchised on the web is the same as being
>> > disenfranchised in the world.
>> >
>>
>> These numbers are higher than I expected and seem like a really good
>> talking point. Do you have links to credible resources that show these
>> statistics?
>> >> >> list messages to = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
>>
>
>
>
>--
>
>
>
>Shipping is a Feature...Perhaps the Most Important Feature.
>>>messages to = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =

From: Karen Mardahl
Date: Mon, Jun 11 2012 5:21AM
Subject: Re: Elevator speeches about accessibility
← Previous message | Next message →

Today at work, a colleague and proud dad showed me the website that his
19-year-old son had coded for a small business.
It seemed attractive enough at a visual level, so I promptly replied, oh,
nice!
Then I tried to navigate it.
The top navigation was not keyboard accessible. The drop-down menu items
needed a click. On one of them, I managed to drag the mouse outside the
path so that I lost the path; you had to drag the mouse down and to the
right to access that menu's sub items.

I said you cannot get at these submenu items with a keyboard. That is not
good. He's a young kid. He should learn about accessibility.
The proud dad replied that I was the only one who cared about accessibility
- no one else did. He does sling out many statements in a joking fashion,
but I wasn't going to be dismissed that easily. I said that knowing
accessibility would be good for his career. "There's money in it", I said,
"and he can lead the field". I had hoped those comments would inspire the
dad and soften the criticism I was giving. Oddly enough, the dad did
dislike those types of menus, but I don't know why. It didn't seem to be
due to accessibility. At least not in his mind.

"There's money in it" is a vague generalization, of course. It was the best
I could reply if my reply was to be snappy and attractive to my audience.

That made me think of writing in here and asking - do you have a stock
reply for various, shall we call them anti-accessibility conversations - or
"meh" accessibility conversations?

Snappy, constructive, and educational are the best qualities for such a
reply, I think. They might also be elevator speeches. I think "making the
world a better place" is too vague and will be forgotten seconds after as
well as earning you the label of "loopy" or something similar.

So... how do you reply? (Especially if shock or insults are involved.)

regards, Karen Mardahl
http://flavors.me/kmdk

From: Karen Mardahl
Date: Mon, Jun 11 2012 3:28PM
Subject: Re: Elevator speeches about accessibility
← Previous message | No next message

Hi Ryan

I think your answer is great! In this particular case, I was speaking to a
person who does not make web sites, and I was talking about his son. Would
what I said get passed on to his son or would he feel insulted by my not
uttering 100% positive comments about what I was experiencing. He is very
proud to see the success of his young son - naturally. Your answer would
suit the bill for this scenario very well.

I could say - ah, but coding accessibility is fun. It provides fun
challenges that let clever people demonstrate their skills.

That kind of answer might have gotten him interested enough to tell his son
about it. His son *is* clever and likes challenges.

It's manipulative, but that's OK for folks agitating for accessibility.
(She writes with a wicked smile.)

The other answers coming in are great. Different occasions call for
different responses. Some will freeze when a 6-syllable word is tossed
their way. Others will debate. Like Birkir wrote, "Good discussion, all
points are more than welcome."

Regards, Karen Mardahl

On Mon, Jun 11, 2012 at 5:35 PM, Ryan Hemphill < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
> wrote:

> I have a thought - you might not like it...but consider it for a moment.
>
> I didn't get into web design to do social work.
> I also didn't do it simply because there was money in it. (no designers I
> know would ever quote that as a reason.)
>
> So why DID I do it? It can be stressful. It requires me to be
> ever-vigilant about new tech and whether or not I ought to learn it, which
> would take away free time from other activities in life. It often involves
> marketing professionals - also a peeve of most designers - and all the
> emails, suggestions and other 'requests' they send my way.
>
> So again - why do it?
>
>
> The answer is simple - because it is stimulating and fun for me to be
> CREATIVE and learn things that allow me to be MORE CREATIVE.
>
> In short:
>
> CREATIVITY = FUN = COMPELLING REASON FOR WEB DESIGN CAREER.
>
>
>
> My belief? Forget the altruism. Forget the money. Focus on the
> creativity, because at the core of their passion, THAT is why they do web
> design. You want to get their attention? Show them how accessibility can
> be wicked creative, cool and/or fun to execute.
>
> <snip>