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Accessibility Matters: Making Your Products Available to Everyone

Being a person with a disability means that you are a member of the largest minority group in the world, and this group doesn’t discriminate. Anyone can become a member at any time for varying amounts of time.

The World Health Organization currently estimates that globally, 1 billion people have at least one disability, and people with disabilities have $8 trillion in disposable income worldwide. Yet they are the group with the highest unemployment (over 60%). And they are the group most ignored by mainstream content developers.

As technical communicators, our job is to make sure that everyone can understand the content we create. And for the most part, we are successful—except when it comes to people with disabilities. (Or people using devices and websites in ways that we didn’t plan on, such as a traveler trying to view a restaurant’s website when hungry.)

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Accessibility Matters: Making Your Products Available to Everyone

  1. 1. 1 Accessibility Matters: Making Your Products Available to Everyone Lecture (with Demonstrations) Char James-Tanny Technical Publications
  2. 2. 2 Why Accessibility Matters > Largest minority group in the world (20% of population, approximately 1 billion people) > Everyone joins at some point, even temporarily > Not acknowledging accessibility means: > People can’t use your product > People can’t read, understand, or navigate your content > People can’t buy your product > People won’t buy your product > “People with disabilities don’t use our product” isn’t always true. Unless they complain, you don’t actually know.
  3. 3. 3 What You’ll Learn • What happens when people with disabilities try to use inaccessible documentation / websites • How to use a quick checklist to verify what is and isn’t accessible • Where to find WCAG 2.0 Success Criteria and how they apply to documentation and websites • How to prioritize what you can do now and what can be done later
  4. 4. 4 Char James-Tanny > Currently working in Technical Publications at Schneider Electric > Accessibility Advocate > Technical Communicator (writer and editor)