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  • Writer's pictureMarie Cruz

Announcing my Accessibility Playbook-led Engagement

Updated: Sep 2, 2022

Over the past few years, my passion for Accessibility has inspired me to learn a lot, put that knowledge into practice, and share it with the wider community. Just over two years ago, I published my first blog post about accessibility, Debunking Accessibility Testing Myths and I also remembered doing 30 days of Accessibility Testing and documenting my progress in this blog. In 2020, I also released my first online course, Test Automation for Accessibility, in partnership with Test Automation University.

Fast forward to now, I have done numerous speaking engagements and consulted industry peers in their pursuit to become accessibility champions. My favourite talk, Shifting Accessibility Testing to the Left, that I have shared to various meet-ups and conferences, continues to be my most requested talk which shows that a lot of people are seeing the importance of including accessibility earlier on as part of the product, design, development and testing processes.

Wider Realisation that Accessibility is Important

People around the world are beginning to understand the importance of accessibility. In 2015, NFL's red and green uniforms were described as torture by colourblind fans. Red-green colourblind is one of the most common types of colour deficiency which affects 1 in 12 men and 1 in 200 women. In 2021, when the late Prince Philip died, several rail websites drastically changed their websites to be grayscale to show their respect. However, visually impaired users complained that they could no longer use the website due to the lack of colour contrast.

It’s starting to receive mainstream attention! Last 2019, Beyonce got sued by a blind woman because her website was not accessible through a screen reader. You've also probably heard of the Dominos Accessibility case where a customer sued them because both Dominos' website and mobile app were inaccessible.

If Beyonce, Dominos and other high profile companies can get sued, so can you.

Extending to Other Disabilities or Situational Limitations

Let's also not forget that there are other types of disabilities, both visible and invisible, as well as situational limitations where accessible products can really help.

One of Microsoft’s Inclusive Design principles is to solve for one and extend to many. When we design solutions, we must remember to create not just for ourselves but also to consider the needs of many, including people with disabilities. A perfect example of this is closed captions. Captions were created for people who are hard of hearing, but this is now used universally. If you're in a busy airport or a loud environment such as a pub, having captions to follow along on what's displayed on screens can really help.

Microsoft Inclusive Design Toolkit. There's three kinds of disability - permanent, temporary and situational. For each disability, it has examples according to different senses.
Microsoft Inclusive Design Toolkit

Accessibility Playbook

With all of these accessibility learnings and experiences that I've accumulated throughout the years, I partnered with Augmeta to unlock a playbook-led advisory/tactical engagements on Accessibility engineering.

Therefore, I would like to share with you all my first playbook, Engineering Accessible Digital Products for Better Inclusivity and User Experience.

Social card for the accessibility playbook. The title is "Engineering Accessible Digital Products for Better Inclusivity and User Experience". On the left, there is a photo of Marie with her affiliations.
Engineering Accessible Digital Products for Better Inclusivity and User Experience

With this engagement, you get the following outcomes:

  • my condensed, original, and actionable playbook which is backed by my practical experiences,

  • 1:1 consultation with me,

  • my async support, and

  • additional resources, case studies, industry peer intros, etc.

How is this different from the other content that I've produced so far?

You might ask, "how is this different from your existing content?"

First, this is the first time I took a stab at consolidating all my learnings, recommendations, code, and tactics in a singular and actionable artifact. It’s complete, all-inclusive, and gets the job done. This is evident from my previous roles at Zoopla and News UK. Most contents out there only touch the surface on accessibility. Most of the time, you also need advice on how to get started, how to include accessibility as part of your project planning or how to prioritise accessibility issues.

Secondly, I am also opening up my calendar to advise and consult individuals or teams. I am very excited about the potential to increase adoption for Accessibility-first engineering via these engagements.

Moving forward, I am available to pair with teams and individuals via Augmeta and I’ll welcome any support that can help me to get the word out to all who will benefit from this!

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