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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.

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Accessibility: What's in It for Me

  1. 1. U.S. General Services Administration Accessibility: What’s in It for Me? OCSIT Celebrates the UN’s International Day of Persons with Disabilities Angela M. Hooker 1 December 3, 2013
  2. 2. Accessibility Benefits—Just for You … Photograph: A fortune cookie that says, “You are in for an enlightening experience. 2
  3. 3. You’ll broaden your skill set. Since the web evolves, learning and using principles of accessibility will help you continue to expand your expertise. Photograph: a fortune cookie that says “You are the master of every situation. 3
  4. 4. Your supervisor will value you more. After all, you’re helping the agency: • Engage more citizens with agency 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. 5. You’ll use your creativity and expertise to solve problems. Not all accessibility problems have only a single method to resolve them. You can create new, more accessible solutions— especially as the web continues to evolve. Photograph: A fortune cookie that says, “You should be able to undertake and complete anything you desire” 5
  6. 6. You’re getting older and … … you may need accessibility some day. If we set the expectation for having accessible technology now, it will become a standard that 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 Inn” 6
  7. 7. Help Others and You’ll Reap Social Benefits Photograph: A fortune cookie that says, “You wil be cal ed upon to help a friend in trouble.” 7
  8. 8. You’ll interact with, and befriend, people whom you’d otherwise might not meet. The W3C says: “Accessibility supports social inclusion for people with disabilities as well as others, such as older people, people in rural areas, and people in developing countries.” So, imagine having an online encounter with Stephen Hawking, Stevie Wonder, Stephen Fry, or any other “Steve” with a disability, who uses social media! 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. 9. You’ll help others have “ordinary,” fuller, participatory, and independent lives. Shawn Lawton Henry says, “[With accessibility] … people with disabilities can do ordinary 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 they’re … ordinary, everyday activities. Yet, without accessibility, people with disabilities aren’t always able to do them.Photograph: A fortune cookie saying, “Your life wil be peaceful and fulfil ing.” 9
  10. 10. You’ll fight discrimination. People with disabilities face discrimination in the forms of exclusion from the general public; segregation—in school and workplaces; and unequal or inferior services, benefits, or activities. Discrimination can lead to fear toward people who are different in any way, and feelings of isolation and depression in people with disabilities. You can help fight discrimination through using accessible and inclusionary practices. Photograph of a fortune cookie that says, “About time I got out of that cookie.” 10
  11. 11. Above all else, it’s the right thing to do. We want people—even total strangers—to treat us well. It’s sensible, then, to do the same 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. 12. Thank you! Contact me for more information about accessibility, disabilities, Section 508, and WCAG 2.0: Angela Hooker angela.hooker@gsa.gov Photograph of a fortune cookie paper atop a painting of a woman. The paper says, “Beware of cookies bearing fortunes.” 12
  13. 13. Photo credits 1. “Fortunes,” by MNicoleM 2. “Fortune Cookie Tells the Truth,” by karlnorling 3. “Talents,” by Jeni Rodger 4. “Cookie Exudes Confidence,” by twelve tens Jim 5. “A Fortune in Friends,” by Jeff Hester 6. “Fortune Cookie,” by ThatGirlPhotoTaker 7. “Friendly & Charming Ways,” by DrJoolz 8. “Day 324/365,” by pheaber 9. “Fortune Cookie,” by bwats2 10. “Ashley’s Fortune, Dec. 30, 2007,” by mdesive 11. “Fortune Cookie Today,” by zen All photographs used in accordance with Creative Commons licensing, as of December 2, 2013. 13

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