How I Discovered Web Accessibility

It took me a while to decide to start my career in technology. I’ve always loved computers but  was unaware growing up that there was jobs where you got to spend all day programming them. So instead I studied science and education majoring in psychology. As well as computers I loved helping people, particularly people who were struggling in some way which is what drew me to educational psychology. To better understand and help the people who need it the most.

I spent two years teaching maths and science in secondary schools in Melbourne before making the decision to learn programming. From here I have not looked back and instead really appreciated the skills I learned as part of my teaching experience and how they influence my programming career. There are some communication aspects such as being confident to give presentations and teach others what I’ve learnt. Other organisational aspects around keeping everyone up to date with what I’m doing and planning meetings and events. Aspects around coming for a professional learner background which meant my ability to learn new languages and situations were quicker then most people with my level of experience.

Then came the term accessibility. I was asked at work to  make one of web applications accessible. The more I learned and the more I programmed the stronger the connection I felt. This combined everything and made so much sense to do, to program web applications so everyone could use them. Yet, the information I found was difficult, sometimes inconsistent, usually quite out of date and generally all over the place. I learnt as much as I could from wherever and whoever I could, sharing what I learnt with all who would listen. Eventually I was able to complete a short course through the University of SA on accessibility which, combined with my practical knowledge of working on an accessibility project at work, was able to smooth out the gaps and confirm which information was correct.

It’s this journey and knowledge I want to share with you now. There isn’t really one place or one blog for accessibility, so this is my attempt to make one. I will share all the knowledge and tips that I have learnt, I plan to provide practical examples and useful, up to date references (I’m aiming to have a similar format to CSS Tricks). So I can share my knowledge and hopefully encourage people to look into accessibility in their own websites and applications.

Feel free to contact me or leave a reply with requests on what topics of web accessibility you would be interested in reading about and I will aim to add it in an upcoming post.

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