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A11Y Project
Episode 2831st May 2021 • Tech Talk with Amit & Rinat • Amit Sarkar & Rinat Malik
00:00:00 01:13:00

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In current times we are so accustomed to using the internet that we take it for granted. No matter what information you want to find, the internet has your answers. But does the internet work for everyone in the world? Does it work for people with disabilities, mental or physical or cognitive? How do we make the internet user friendly for all types of users?

In this week's talk, Amit and Rinat talk with Eric Bailey, one of the active maintainers on the A11Y project - a community-driven effort to make digital accessibility easier, about accessibility, why is it important, how can people make their websites accessible, and a lot more!

Eric Bailey's Website - https://ericwbailey.design/

Eric Bailey's Twitter - https://twitter.com/ericwbailey

Eric Bailey's Github - https://github.com/ericwbailey

Eric Bailey's LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/in/ericwbailey

A11Y Project - https://www.a11yproject.com/

A11Y Project's Checklist - https://www.a11yproject.com/checklist/

Transcripts

Rinat Malik:

Hi everyone, welcome back to our podcast Tech Talk where we talk about various technology related topics and do a deep dive into one of the topics of our choice in every week.

Rinat Malik:

This week is a very special episode as well because we have a guest Eric Bailey here with us and we're here to talk about the A11Y project.

Rinat Malik:

Eric is a designer who works for an agency in Massachusetts. He also writes about usability and accessibility for publications such as CSS tricks and Smashing magazine.

Rinat Malik:

He is also one of the active maintainers of A11Y project, and today we're pleased to talk to him about the project itself.

Rinat Malik:

Thank you Eric for joining us today. Will you please say you could talk about your project. We are very excited. I think it's really meaningful and powerful project. A11Y project.

Rinat Malik:

So tell us a little bit about the project and how you got involved with it and your journey.

Eric Bailey:

Sure, thank you for having me. I'm really excited to be here today and also kind of fun at the time of this recording.

Eric Bailey:

It's actually global Accessibility Awareness Day, so we've.

Eric Bailey:

Got kind of a.

Amit Sarkar:

Didn't know that.

Eric Bailey:

There's a bit of a 2 for going on.

Eric Bailey:

So the A11Y project is, as you mentioned, it's a project I help maintain and it is a open source resource for anybody who is interested in building accessible websites or web apps or apps.

Eric Bailey:

And what it does is it provides blog posts, resources and a checklist that anyone can read for free. And you know, kind of find information that they may need on how to best make an experience work for assistive technology.

Eric Bailey:

And the reason this is so important is basically there are different ways to access digital content, including apps and websites.

Eric Bailey:

And part of that is making sure that you know the same way I as somebody who has, you know who cited and can read things on the screen with my eyes making that available the same way to somebody who has low or no vision and may need to read aloud by a digital voice via a screen reader or some other form of assistive tech.

Rinat Malik:

Wow that is

Rinat Malik:

I mean to be honest, I didn't know about the project before Amit introduced it to me and I thought this is this is such an amazing project and this is quite necessary in current world as well. I mean, I've come across

Rinat Malik:

various accessibility options. When I buy a new phone, I usually go through all the settings to set it up for for everything and actually go through the accessibility options and I thought you know what?

Rinat Malik:

There are so many things that are also helpful for. For so many options there are which are also helpful for even me and I can imagine that would be, you know, quite helpful for people who need that kind of options and.

Rinat Malik:

It is it.

Rinat Malik:

There are a lot of things being done, but I also see that.

Rinat Malik:

It's it's not the end of the journey at all. There is so much more that can be done and should be done in this way.

Eric Bailey:

Yeah, I'm I'm just like you like the first time you know the first thing I do when I get a new app or a new phone or new piece of software is immediately go into the settings and be like alright where are all those features that you're not telling me I have that are going to change my life.

Eric Bailey:

But yeah, you you raise a really good point. Which is, you know, accessibility features are designed specifically to help disabled people use technology, but many of them are usable by all so, you know I'm of the belief that accessible design is good design, so presenting these options.

Eric Bailey:

to everyone and kind of not making distinctions around who can use them is a way to, you know, make technology work best for the person that need.

Eric Bailey:

Personally, I use a few accessibility features, probably the one that jumps to mind is like a reduced motion experience on iOS.

Eric Bailey:

And.

Amit Sarkar:

Okay, we both are Android users.

Eric Bailey:

OK I hope this isn't weird.

Amit Sarkar:

No way

Amit Sarkar:

Okay, so I wanted to understand. I mean, I think a lot of people there they are hearing about accessibility as well as A11Y.

Amit Sarkar:

So can you just tell us what is it? What is A11Y? For the benefit of all for all our viewers and listeners?

Eric Bailey:

Sure, um, so if you haven't heard it before A11Y is what's known as a numeronym, which is basically a fancy sounding word for acronym.

Eric Bailey:

And it represents the 11 characters in between the letter A, which is the beginning of the word accessibility and Y, which is the last letter in the word accessibility.

Eric Bailey:

Um historically it kind of bubbled up from Twitter where there used to be a shorter kind of character length, so people would use A11Y as a way to save space when tweeting.

Eric Bailey:

And now it's been kind of codified as a way to talk specifically about digital accessibility.

Eric Bailey:

And the interesting part about this is in English, accessibility has a few different meanings, so there can be the accessibility of information, which is, like you know, is it.

Eric Bailey:

Is it behind a paywall or is it like you know, in an academic journal and really dense? That's not exactly what the A11Y Project deals with.

Eric Bailey:

So when you use that acronym, it's a way to say like. I'm talking specifically about digital accessibility. I'm talking about like.

Eric Bailey:

How to use HTML in a way that works best with a screen reader or like how to make my CSS work in Windows High contrast mode?

Eric Bailey:

So it's a really good way to like cut through a lot of generic Google search results. If you're looking for information.

Amit Sarkar:

Okay. Yeah, go ahead.

Rinat Malik:

No, I was thinking of the distinction digital accessibility, and you know well if I want if I want to talk about the other side of accessibility the physical accessibility. And I used to work for

Rinat Malik:

London Underground here in here in UK and whenever whenever we made any change in in the station. So we have to think about the disability Discrimination Act and all the things that we had to take into consideration when we were designing any kind of solution.

Rinat Malik:

And yeah, of course that is also an accessibility and you know there is a lot of things to consider when you're doing something when you're doing physical design. But nowadays, obviously, especially after the pandemic, more of our lifestyle.

Rinat Malik:

Has become digital.

Rinat Malik:

And it was. It was happening slowly any way. Now with the pandemic we we had a super boost on digital lifestyle and we have to absolutely have to think about everyone you know as an inclusive culture as as we go more and more digital, we have to think about how everyone can be inclusive in our digital

Rinat Malik:

life, and that's where I think it's so much powerful this project that you know that you're maintaining and helping so many people to be inclusive and you know the so basically, that's that's what my understanding is that even physical accessibility is one thing, but now it's ever more important to have the digital accessibility.

Eric Bailey:

Yeah, exactly what you said and how you said it 1000%?

Eric Bailey:

Yeah, so it it it is sorry.

Eric Bailey:

It's interesting times right now, not only because of the global pandemic, but right before. As you mentioned. You know physical protections for like things like building codes have existed for access for a while now, and that's due to a lot of work by activists in the disability space.

Eric Bailey:

But kind of right before the pandemic hit.

Eric Bailey:

You know there were some landmark legal cases, at least in the United States, which set precedent for digital experiences being considered.

Eric Bailey:

Kind of the same as physical in terms of these are services that you need kind of.

Eric Bailey:

And if access is restricted, that is a problem and at least in the United States, that's a civil rights problem, as their protections the same way you know race or gender or religion are. So like you said, you know pandemic, the pandemic has thrown a lot of this into

Eric Bailey:

you know very real taking taking it out of the abstract and making it very real. The thing that pops immediately into my mind are vaccination scheduling and coordinating websites that are unusable by assistive technology. And so that's not like

Eric Bailey:

well, I can't look at Facebook. It's it's. This is preventing me from accessing something that will save my life conceivably, and that is incredibly important. So yeah

Amit Sarkar:

Okay, so I mean, yes, I mean, I've built a website and Rinat also has built a website and we do this small test from Google, which is the lighthouse report.

Amit Sarkar:

And Google has now started ranking websites based on how accessible they are and whether they are mobile friendly or not and in those accessible test they conduct they give you a score and the score could be anywhere from zero to hundred, hundred being the best and I think A11Y project what you say compliments it.

Amit Sarkar:

I'm guessing because from what I've read your checklist, it tells you how to structure a particular HTML page, what to write in the tags, and what to think and what not to use in, say, the CSS code because that that will mean that the assistive technology, say screen readers and maybe a people.

Amit Sarkar:

A technologies that transcribe the voice they can then and maybe video ads as well so those things can be actually handled by these assistive technologies and bring it accessible to more people.

Amit Sarkar:

So can you talk a bit about that? Like how is actually A11Y project complementing the Google Lighthouse report?

Eric Bailey:

Um, yes, although we don't have any full association with lighthouse, but I will say that I think it's very smart of Google to include accessibility scores in lighthouse the same way performance and you know SEO and all these other concerns are as a lot of them are

Eric Bailey:

Intertwined. Accessible websites tend to be performant websites, which is an interesting thing that we can definitely dive into.

Eric Bailey:

Um, but our checklist is community built so um, the the things that you look at as you go down the list to check your site against a lot of them reflect the internal rules that lighthouse will use for its automated checks.

Eric Bailey:

So it's one of those things where you can kind of be reactive, so you can use lighthouse and see what it flags.

Eric Bailey:

And then go chase down the errors and fix them. Or you can potentially be proactive which is

Eric Bailey:

to look at the checklist and see if you're doing anything there and then after you've reviewed the checklist, run it through Lighthouse.

Eric Bailey:

The other thing that I think is a real value for the checklist and for the A11Y Project as an open source project is it's free and it's open and it's transparent.

Eric Bailey:

By which I mean that the rule set isn't hidden behind, you know an extension. It's something that anyone can reference.

Eric Bailey:

It's something that anyone can open an issue against. It's something that anyone can improve. So basically we want to make sure that this is open and available to everyone.

Eric Bailey:

If they are so inclined.

Amit Sarkar:

Make sense makes sense and I think yeah, it's it's important that it's transparent, because as you rightly said, Google tells you about those things.

Amit Sarkar:

But once you tested once you submit your website. But A11Y Project tells you up front like, Okay, these are the standards that you need to follow, and if you follow this, your website will be more accessible.

Amit Sarkar:

So, so I mean, we keep talking about these assistive technologies, and I'm sure that we might be limited in the way of our own experiences.

Amit Sarkar:

So can you tell us a bit more about these assistive technologies across sight, hearing? And then maybe speech? And what are the kind of assistive technologies that are currently available to people.

Eric Bailey:

Sure, there are a ton.

Eric Bailey:

My favourite little gets you thinking example is I'm wearing glasses and technically that's assistive technology.

Eric Bailey:

So.

::

Yes, yes.

Eric Bailey:

Traditionally, though, more in accessibility, there is the notion of POUR, which is perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust. And those are the four kind of main categories of how to think about disability. So perceivable would be if you can see something, or if you can't and what you can do about it.

Eric Bailey:

So examples of assistive technology here would be screen readers, which is, I think, kind of the example that most people are familiar with, which is a piece of software that will read through the document object model via something called the Accessibility Tree, which is like the DOM but for your entire computer and it will read out information.

Eric Bailey:

So if you have a button that says you know save preferences.

Eric Bailey:

So long as you're using a button element, it will go - Ah! Button, save preferences and then you can say you know. Click.

Eric Bailey:

Save preferences and it will do it, and that's really cool.

Eric Bailey:

There's also for perceivable. If you have low vision, there are screen magnifiers as well as browsers have the ability to bump kind of globally all the text on any webpage ever, so that's something to definitely be aware of as we age and our eyesight starts to go and we find ourselves bumping up the font size to little bit and a little bit more. Maybe a little bit more.

Eric Bailey:

I unfortunately I read Hacker News and I've blown their text size up real big coz it's teeny tiny.

Eric Bailey:

Um.

Eric Bailey:

For understandable.

Eric Bailey:

This is a little bit of a tricky one in that it deals with cognition and kind of digital literacy. So for here you want to kind of.

Eric Bailey:

Make sure that somebody doesn't have to use assistive technology, which is a bit of a wrinkle, which is like.

Eric Bailey:

If you make something for a global audience to consume, making sure that it's as direct and as straight forward as possible, so if you're using metaphors, make sure that they are, you know they work across different cultures. If you are using kind of imagery, make sure that makes sense.

Eric Bailey:

You want to have cultural considerations. You know. Red may mean bad in certain cultures, but it may be good in certain cultures so that that kind of thing.

Eric Bailey:

And then kind of, just by virtue of using HTML like a lot of cognition stuff can be addressed in that you can copy a word, you can look it up.

Eric Bailey:

You know you don't use jargon. Save somebody the effort of having to look up that target maybe.

Eric Bailey:

Operable. I'm getting my POUR mixed up. Operable is kind of what I talked about a little bit before where you want to give things accessible names by using semantic markup, so for this.

Eric Bailey:

A really cool example of assistive technology here would be voice control such as Dragon or Mac OS actually has a voice command software built in. So if I if I'm paralysed if I don't have the use of my limbs, I can actually use my voice to operate a digital interface. It's a lot of fun actually too. If you haven't tried it, before.

Eric Bailey:

Or so you can actually say, click save preferences.

Eric Bailey:

And.

Rinat Malik:

I have actually seen I have actually seen the voice command. You know where you I was saying, how could it?

Rinat Malik:

I mean, it could become quite complex and how could you, you know, have commands for each of the different variation of operations that you can do on screen?

Rinat Malik:

But then I was actually really impressed because the way it was done is like you have a screen grid. You bring up the grid and then you tell oh click on, you know.

Rinat Malik:

B7, or you know that's how you kind of locate each place in the grid, and I thought that was that was amazing and a lot of the times I mean when smart home devices like Siri or Alexa came about.

Rinat Malik:

I thought, OK, this probably not. This is probably not going to be very popular because you know there are much faster way of doing things rather than saying it out loud. But actually now I have one at home and it is. It is quite convenient and you start to think about you.

Rinat Malik:

Know these these voice controlled devices can be so much powerful cause I now control all my light, my heating everything with with with the smart home device and it has benefit for everyone. You know improving this kind of technology.

Eric Bailey:

Yeah yeah, I also have smart lights and it was a game changer. But yeah, these kinds of smart home automation solutions are definitely very useful in the disability community, and you know, barring any weird bugs, very well received. As I understand it.

Eric Bailey:

Um, another interesting thing about voice control is.

Eric Bailey:

If you ever kind of want to have your mind blown.

Eric Bailey:

Look up a video of somebody who uses voice control software as a daily user.

Eric Bailey:

Use it. You know, when we do it. It's kind of a novelty. And we're doing it to explore a new piece of tech, but when it's their daily driver, the same way we don't think about typing and then somebody comes in and watches us type at 60 words a minute.

Eric Bailey:

It's it's pretty incredible. Um, I would also say I know there are hands free developers out there who use voice control and.

Eric Bailey:

It's really cool to watch and it makes me think I don't know as much about programming as I should because

Eric Bailey:

the grammar and the lexicon that they use, and meanwhile I'm like, I think an open bracket goes here. I'm not sure.

Rinat Malik:

Wow!! That is amazing, I wouldn’t have

Rinat Malik:

thought that straight away because yes such complex syntax when you're coding and a lot of the times I spent hours because I forgot a comma somewhere

Rinat Malik:

And yeah, I would like to see that actually. I'll definitely YouTube it Google it or YouTube it after.

Eric Bailey:

Yeah.

Amit Sarkar:

So, So what are the other ones? R E, I think you're talking about the POUR.

Rinat Malik:

No, I think.

Eric Bailey:

Yeah, last last is I got my order a little bit wrong but last is robust.

Eric Bailey:

And robust is one of my favourites, which is basically make it not brittle and not fragile.

Eric Bailey:

So you strip away this CSS from a website. You still have something that works.

Eric Bailey:

You load something on mobile and it looks good on mobile. You load it on a tablet. It looks good on a tablet. You use reader mode. You can read it. So making this technology interoperable and fault tolerant.

Eric Bailey:

And you know, we don't think of that necessarily as assistive technology a lot of the times. But responsive design, so the ability for design to work on your phone the same way it works on that tablet is huge, because if I'm zooming my screen in, I don't have a separate experience, it just works.

Eric Bailey:

If I am using a low quality feature phone.

Eric Bailey:

It will just work. I don't have to have a fancy Apple laptop that costs thousands of dollars. If I'm on a PlayStation for whatever reason and using their browser, it just works.

Eric Bailey:

You know, maybe I want to order some pizza and I need to, you know, I can't be bothered to get my laptop out.

Eric Bailey:

So we don't make distinctions around how somebody is using or why? Because we largely can't know and robust

Eric Bailey:

kind of handles that. So it's not assistive technology per se, but it's a mindset that makes things very friendly towards assistive tech.

Amit Sarkar:

OK

Rinat Malik:

That's absolutely.

Rinat Malik:

Sorry, that's quite fascinating because I love. I love standardisation and you know.

Rinat Malik:

To be able to have a list of different aspects and of things to think about when you're designing

Rinat Malik:

stuff is actually really helpful for for, you know, for any designer or architect or engineer or coder, because then they can sort of go go by the list and you know have a standardised things to sort of check check off which is which is very helpful when you're designing.

Rinat Malik:

Um, so going back to you know, you know you were saying, you know wearing glasses is a form of assistive technology?

Rinat Malik:

And I think that is actually quite a powerful statement, because a lot of the times we don't actually think about how we are being assisted of different things and.

Rinat Malik:

Anther thing I know of an analogy of which I think is actually quite powerful to sort of describe disability, because a lot of the times we, I mean if you if you were to ask what's the definition of disability that could actually have a lot of grey area?

Rinat Malik:

But I sort of came across this analogy, which I think is is amazing in describing what disability is and that basically is imagine you know we woke up one day or say tomorrow and suddenly everyone can fly.

Rinat Malik:

All humans can fly, but for some reason I can't and you know everyone is going to the library going to work, and obviously because everyone can fly there. Just, you know, flying to everywhere wherever they want

Rinat Malik:

to go. But I don't have a problem with not being able to fly because I can drive to work.

Rinat Malik:

I can I, can, you know, because all the infrastructure are at the same I don't have any problem yesterday going around and I don't have any problem today because I have all the things I need to live my life as I was living yesterday.

Rinat Malik:

It's just everyone else started.

Rinat Malik:

To be able to fly.

Rinat Malik:

Now you know things are going totally fine and you know I'm living my life normally without any problem.

Rinat Malik:

But then a new building is being built and the architect because now everyone can fly.

Rinat Malik:

Forgot to put stairs in the building, because no one else needs it.

Rinat Malik:

Now I'm be I've become disabled. I wasn't disabled before the building was built. Only because this architect, without thinking of the design for everyone, forgot to build stairs for

Rinat Malik:

Me, today I've become disabled. I didn't become disabled the day everyone started flying because I had no problem living my life.

Rinat Malik:

It's the time when other people didn't take my needs into consideration, and I thought that was a really powerful analogy in describing what disability is.

Eric Bailey:

Yeah, I like that, um, in the disability community.

Eric Bailey:

There's the notion of the social model, which is.

Eric Bailey:

Uh, basically exactly what you described, which is disability is a mass is a mismatch between kind of capability and environment.

Eric Bailey:

So it's less a problem to be fixed for the individual and more.

Eric Bailey:

How do we as a society?

Eric Bailey:

You know, adjust to address these kind of failings for access, which is to say that exactly like you said, you know the same way you forget to build stairs in a society where everyone can fly.

Eric Bailey:

The same way, why aren't buildings built with access ramps? If we know that wheelchairs are present?

Rinat Malik:

Yes, absolutely. I mean when we now think back, we're thinking though, it's it's an additional cost or additional, you know, waste of resource.

Rinat Malik:

You know, a lot of people might think that oh! building this ramp or building, but you know if

Rinat Malik:

I mean, if you think back. You know when you're thinking back, it feels like that. But if you were to think one step further, like if everyone could fly and you couldn't, then you know building stairs in a building is is quite, you know quite a necessity anyone would think, but you know it, it's the same way. I mean, building ramp is a necessity because of this.

Eric Bailey:

Yeah, yeah, and one of my friends has a talk called selfish accessibility that I quite like which is

Eric Bailey:

if you can't be motivated by these notions, you understand that one day they may apply to you. So if you're making stuff up, make it so that you could your future self could use it, so like.

Eric Bailey:

You know, if everyone can fly and then one day?

Eric Bailey:

You know it turns out anybody over the age of 40 can't fly or.

Eric Bailey:

You know somebody hands you a really heavy load to transport for your job and you can't get off the ground like you're going to need those stairs.

Rinat Malik:

Yes, absolutely.

Amit Sarkar:

Absolutely yeah, I think Rinat that was a very interesting analogy and when we when we think about disability and there is a lot of talk about diversity and inclusion specially in the UK. It's quite prominent the government is quite keen on having all their digital services.

Amit Sarkar:

Because UK's quite. I'm not sure about the US market, but in UK the government is quite active and upfront about having accessibility, especially when giving digital services to its citizens, and one of the key things that keep keeps coming up is diversity and inclusion. We have the have people from all different types of background and religious backgrounds, social backgrounds and different preferences, etcetera, and then inclusion including everyone.

Amit Sarkar:

So does accessibility fit into that? Is it part of that inclusiveness, or do we have to have a separate?

Amit Sarkar:

Concept for that so that people who are disabled can be included as part of that, because I think when we talk about diversity and inclusion in an organisation, no one's thinking about, I'm guessing no one is thinking about the disabled people. What do you think about that?

Eric Bailey:

Yeah, um, personally I think that you know diversity equity inclusion work is very vital and it's also very intersectional, so it deals with identity and how you.

Eric Bailey:

Identify both in private and as a public persona, and I think disability.

Eric Bailey:

Is a core part of that the same way, age or gender or religion is in the States its little different.

Eric Bailey:

Anything that the government produces needs to be accessible.

Eric Bailey:

That includes procurement for physical goods and services as well as digital content, and that's by way of the Section 508 act.

Eric Bailey:

And then, as I mentioned earlier.

Eric Bailey:

Private industries there was a lot of kind of.

Eric Bailey:

Wiggle room for digital experiences. You know if you are a restaurant and you are building a building for your restaurant, you know the Americans with Disabilities Act, which is ties into civil rights mandates that you're building does need to be accessible.

Eric Bailey:

But now.

Eric Bailey:

As more stuff goes online, the question of what accommodation is gets blurry.

Eric Bailey:

Because do you need to use a digital service to access a physical, physical location? If you're ordering groceries, yes. So now there's precedence.

Eric Bailey:

Um?

Eric Bailey:

In terms of how that wraps into diversity inclusion work, I think.

Eric Bailey:

It's worth considering disability. Sometimes it's left out. I've seen a lot of positive movement on this front and I'm happy to see more and more private industries.

Eric Bailey:

Adopting D&I Councils and considering it part of how they conduct business, so I'm pretty optimistic on this front.

Amit Sarkar:

Interesting because I mean we both are software consultants, right? So we work on a lot of software projects and whenever we work in organisations they normally don't think about accessibility as a major feature that needs to be tested for.

Amit Sarkar:

I mean, forget about requirements. No one even wants to test. I come from a testing background and I'm like Okay, so now we're talking non functional testing. We talk about performance and security but no one talks about accessibility.

Amit Sarkar:

And and if someone talks about it, they say, okay, let's see if you meet the certain criterias and that should be good. But I think it's quite important to have that mindset right from the beginning, like right from the requirement itself have the notion that this product is one day going to be used by someone with some disability. And will they be able to use it? I think that's that notion is quite important and one of the reasons I reached out to you was, I heard a talk from Scott Davis. I'm not sure if you've heard he's he works with ThoughtWorks.

Amit Sarkar:

And he has written plenty about accessibility.

Amit Sarkar:

And one of the key things that he mentions about accessibility is that mean if we want to make people think who think more in terms of capitalism, is that think about this.

Amit Sarkar:

There are a lot of people in the world who cannot access the Internet and they have money and if they can access the Internet, then that money is in your pocket. So how do you make the Internet more accessible?

Amit Sarkar:

So I think that's a very interesting concept because a lot of times when we think about the Internet, its just people with proper limbs, proper eyesight, proper hearing, and but there are a lot of peoples who don't have a limb who don't who are paralysed, who don't have good eyesight, who have hearing problems, and they are not included.

Amit Sarkar:

And if we include them, then it means there are more customers for your business. There are more services that you can offer to more people.

Amit Sarkar:

And I think that's a very powerful concept. What do you think about that?

Eric Bailey:

I wish more people thought that way.

Eric Bailey:

Um, no. I'm optimistic this is the 10th anniversary of Global Accessibility Awareness Day and I'm seeing more companies adopting.

Eric Bailey:

Um.

Eric Bailey:

Policies that are in line with this as well as at least even being aware of the issue, which is great.

Eric Bailey:

Microsoft has gone through a huge transformation in the accessibility and inclusive design space and they are threading it into.

Eric Bailey:

Basically every layer as far as I can tell of how they conceive and build and maintain projects, so if they can do it.

Eric Bailey:

You know you can do it.

Amit Sarkar:

Yeah, yeah, I've seen this Microsoft. I think there is a document. I think we'll share that along with the video as well that they have put like why do you need to consider accessibility and they put a nice diagram about the different aspects in which a person needs to access a digital product or service and how they access it and what could be the possible scenarios where a disabled person comes.

Amit Sarkar:

And and then uses it. So I think that's a nice diagram. And you're right, Microsoft doing huge in terms of promoting this features to the general population.

::

And they are also making a lot of money doing it.

Amit Sarkar:

I think I think it has to be in a balance. If people are not making enough money, people will not push out for those features. So and I think that's where organisations are now

Amit Sarkar:

thinking that, okay, this we have already reached the mass. Everyone is able to access, but then there's still a lot of other people that who cannot access the Internet, and these digital services.

Amit Sarkar:

How do we make? How do we reach them? I think moving on. Let's let's again focus on some other topics around A11Y project and why its relevant specially in the age of JavaScript.

Amit Sarkar:

Now these days every other project, every other website is built on using some form of JavaScript and what that means is that there is very less HTML used being used to create a website.

Amit Sarkar:

So how does accessibility or even A11Y Project fit into that space where people are building using cutting edge web technologies, react, angular and those kind of frameworks and then?

Amit Sarkar:

A11Y Project applies only to HTML and CSS? That's what that's what I'm aware of. I'm not sure if it applies to JavaScript as well. So what should these websites be doing in order to make these websites more accessible?

Eric Bailey:

Sure we have a post on this on the A11Y Project.

Amit Sarkar:

Okay.

Eric Bailey:

So there is a myth that JavaScript does not affect accessibility, it does.

Eric Bailey:

And the good news is modern website building techniques such as single page applications.

Eric Bailey:

Um.

Eric Bailey:

Can be made accessible.

Eric Bailey:

And the kind of the thing I'd like to stress is, um, you know they may serve HTML in a different way, but it's more about what HTML they're serving and why.

Eric Bailey:

So if you find yourself writing a div to contain the main content of your page, use the main element instead, and then somebody who.

Eric Bailey:

Is using assistive technology can hop to it and say, ah, this is the main content of the page. I know what it is now.

Eric Bailey:

And that’s important if you have motor control issues, that means it's a lot less work to get where you're going. If you can't see the screen.

Eric Bailey:

It means you can quickly identify it without having the ability to visually parse the page and see what's in the centre column with 16 point texts.

Eric Bailey:

JavaScript is actually really good for accessibility.

Eric Bailey:

I may live to regret saying this, but there is a suite of attributes for HTML called ARIA.

Eric Bailey:

And since you have a testing background. I think you'll actually appreciate this. ARIA is a way to programmatically communicate state. So if you have an accordion.

Eric Bailey:

And it's in its collapsed state. You can use JavaScript to toggle an attribute to say you are collapsed and when you are clicked.

Eric Bailey:

You're toggled into an expanded state.

Eric Bailey:

And the same way you can build testing harness to say like is this expanded or collapsed tests are failing oh no.

Eric Bailey:

That state manipulation via JavaScript can be communicated to assistive technology, so a screen reader could.

Eric Bailey:

Encounter this and say ah accordion collapsed.

Eric Bailey:

And no, okay, not only is there an accordion here.

Eric Bailey:

But it's in a collapsed and if its collapsed, that means I can expand it if I expand it, I can move it back to a collapsed state.

Eric Bailey:

That's huge. That's really cool, and that's important because that means the experience between different, you know, modes of navigating the web are closer, which means that they are enjoying kind of the same level of experience across the board.

Rinat Malik:

I think I think the shortcut of saying this is sort of follow the best practise.

Rinat Malik:

Yeah, follow the rules that that are already there. Like you know whatever it is you know we in HTML or well, whatever is classed as the main object.

Rinat Malik:

You know, put that in there so it's all well identified and labelled. It is kind of good coding practise to begin with. So yeah, it's just be a good coach.

Eric Bailey:

If you're looking for a really easy way to get started, the tab key.

Eric Bailey:

Is your best friend, so whatever you're working on just.

Eric Bailey:

mash the tab key bunch. See if visual focus so little ring around.

Eric Bailey:

Interactive elements your links in your buttons, see if it will move to your links into your buttons and if it does, you can use space or return on your keyboard to activate them to either do a thing or go place.

Eric Bailey:

If they don't take a look at the markup under the hood and change it, but just doing that you know, not even for your whole web experience, just whatever ticket you have right now for whatever feature just encapsulated in that. Like that goes huge distance towards making things interoperable and therefore accessible.

Amit Sarkar:

That's that's kind of interesting, because I mean me and a couple of friends we were actually trying to build a website and we tried to use tab and one of the tabs went from one tab.

Amit Sarkar:

It didn't go in sequence. Basically it just went somewhere else and I was like, okay, so if a person with proper hands and proper I'm able to use my keyboard and mouse and if I'm struggling with that, imagine how would assistive technology struggle with that same aspect.

Amit Sarkar:

Off Okay, I want to go to the next one, but I don't know where to go or where am I going and it's it's yeah it's interesting problem so.

Amit Sarkar:

Also, I mean when we're talking about A11Y Project, we're mostly talking about websites on different devices. Are we talking about desktop applications as well? And what about mobile application? Because the challenges are.

Amit Sarkar:

Different in different devices just because of the form factor and you mentioned that in accessibility, the assistive technology. Sorry it has to have be robust, so it should be.

Amit Sarkar:

I mean, no matter what platform you use, you should still be able to use it like the responsive websites. But what about applications?

Amit Sarkar:

Not websites, but applications. Applications which are in built to the platform. Windows Applications, desktop applications, mobile Android apps, iOS apps. What about those? Does A11Y Project work across those I mean.

Amit Sarkar:

Applications as well.

Eric Bailey:

Yeah, um.

Eric Bailey:

Is the Short, a lot of native.

Eric Bailey:

A lot of native applications, so you know mail or kind of like basic text editing.

Eric Bailey:

Utilize basically, frameworks that the operating system has to construct interfaces and are.

Eric Bailey:

If not amazingly accessible, good enough to be operable.

Eric Bailey:

It gets a little blurry, so like Microsoft produces the office suite, which is not a core part of the operating system, but is also as I understand it.

Eric Bailey:

Very accessible compared to some other solutions.

Eric Bailey:

Um.

Eric Bailey:

And then extending that. Depending on how you build your app, either on a desktop, laptop or on a mobile device such as a phone or a tablet.

Eric Bailey:

Can be as well. Um, depending on if you are using kind of these native features.

Eric Bailey:

You get a little bit more built in and then if you go kind of off roading and build your own there are attributes that you can include to make sure that they you know describe themselves.

Eric Bailey:

So like you can you know if you if you have UI kit, you can drag a button into your view and it'll be like, okay, this is a button the same way you can drop an image in if you want fancy custom looking button.

Eric Bailey:

You can describe it as such that it will be announced as a button, so it'll take a little bit of extra work, but it is definitely possible, and I'd say it's incredibly important as well because.

Eric Bailey:

As you mentioned.

Eric Bailey:

Phones are very popular and only becoming even more popular in emerging markets. Populations that have never been online before, or populations that have.

Eric Bailey:

Historically not had the income to access the Internet.

Eric Bailey:

Are getting it.

Eric Bailey:

And this is foreign countries as well as I should point out, native populations in the UK and US where there is a lot of poverty.

Eric Bailey:

And apps are king.

Eric Bailey:

Apps are usually a lot friendlier towards bandwidth, so if you're on a metre data plan.

Eric Bailey:

And, um.

Eric Bailey:

There they come stock a lot of them so it never occurs to you to kind of go off and find an app. So I'd say it's very important and it's a slightly different

Eric Bailey:

way of building compared to the web.

Eric Bailey:

But it is definitely very doable, and I'd say.

Eric Bailey:

A little bit more manageable in that with an app you typically have an idea of a little bit more of your hardware requirements and your kind of your screen requirements.

Amit Sarkar:

Sure, okay, that's that's good to know, because as you said the developing economies they have now, I mean so many mobile phones are now entering into people’s houses and everyone is getting online and mobile first is now the current thing and Google is now

Amit Sarkar:

ranking websites based on that as well. They've changed their search algorithm. If you don't have a mobile site then your ranking goes down. So

Amit Sarkar:

I think yeah that's quite an important feature. So so moving on from that I mean A11Y Project checklist.

Amit Sarkar:

Everything is there et cetera. But which part of the economy doesn't impact the most? Does it help the government organisations because they have to provide critical services to a lot of people? Does it help

Amit Sarkar:

a lot of open source developers?

Amit Sarkar:

Does it help a lot of organisations? So I mean as a maintainer, what are the trends that you normally see with the adoption of the A11Y Project and the checklist that you have published?

Amit Sarkar:

Do you see a trend where the governments are adopting these standards more frequently now? Or do you see that there are more organisations that are adopting? So what kind of trends are you seeing across that space?

Eric Bailey:

Yeah, um, I'm seeing more private companies adopting it, which is great.

Amit Sarkar:

Okay, interesting.

Eric Bailey:

And I'm seeing a lot of industry leaders. A drop adopt it proactively.

Eric Bailey:

As a way to develop software design and develop software as opposed to a punitive model, which is, we have been sued, and so we must change.

Eric Bailey:

And I do want to say that.

Eric Bailey:

You know, if you do get sued.

Eric Bailey:

It sucks, but that person is well within their rights to do it. Accessibility

Eric Bailey:

is about protecting the rights of an individual to access materials and services the same way anyone else can, and it's important to keep that in mind.

Eric Bailey:

So if we want to talk a little bit more about inclusive design, which includes accessibility, but is more proactive, I feel I think that's great. Which is you're coming into this mindset of. Yes, there is the whole world, that's our audience.

Eric Bailey:

You know how can we proactively accommodate them, not what decisions can we make earlier on in the process to ensure that anyone can use this?

Eric Bailey:

That's what I'm starting to see with a lot of the trendier start ups and kind of the larger companies.

Eric Bailey:

Google just had its latest

Eric Bailey:

keynote and access was kind of top level billing. Compare that to 10 years ago where it was kind of a more of a niche topic. Apple just rolled out.

Eric Bailey:

Its newest, you know accessibility considerations for the watch. I'm blanking on the feature names but again that's using. They're using that as a marketing vehicle.

Eric Bailey:

Not kind of a footnote in a release note on a webpage no one will read, and that's huge.

Rinat Malik:

That is amazing. Yeah, I mean it is. It is like fascinating to think that where we've come from from what it was 10 or 20 years ago, this is, this is now, you know if part of mainstream media or marketing of these big tech companies and that makes huge difference because a lot of the times when they start a lot of lot of other smaller companies follow and it becomes norm. And that's that's what we want. We want this to be a normal.

Rinat Malik:

A norm an expected situation rather than an additional situation.

Rinat Malik:

So yeah, I mean that is. But yeah, I mean we have to remember that the the journey is not finished.

Rinat Malik:

I mean, we're nowhere close to, you know, being fully inclusive yet, and when everyone you know automatically thinks of all of these accessibility scenarios by default, then we can. We can sort of think that we've reached our goal, but that's that's far, far.

Rinat Malik:

Away.

Amit Sarkar:

Rinat sorry, I just wanted to have a question because I was thinking about the standards that you mentioned, right? If everything is a standard then it becomes easy if developers follow the standards then

Amit Sarkar:

it's more accessible the whole Internet, but we also have this. WCAG was just Googling about it when researching a bit more about A11Y Project so? Web content accessibility guidelines so.

Amit Sarkar:

If you already have a guideline, how does A11Y Project compliment that, and are those guidelines similar to what A11Y Project is doing? Or are they different?

Eric Bailey:

Yeah, that's a great question.

Eric Bailey:

So kind of the first part is accessibility is a process.

Eric Bailey:

I'm constantly learning about it. I will

Eric Bailey:

have gotten it wrong, will get it wrong, and one thing you can definitely feel, especially when reviewing the checklist or the web content accessibility guidelines.

Eric Bailey:

Is that this is huge?

Eric Bailey:

And the mindset that

Eric Bailey:

I keep that I think is very healthy is.

Eric Bailey:

Every little bit helps, so there's no perfect accessibility. There's only incremental change in a positive direction. The community is actually very understanding and very appreciative of accessibility work, so you know it's one of those things when you start to do it, people start to notice, and one of my favourite things is when?

Eric Bailey:

You're not even like actively paying attention, and somebody kind of casually mentions it, and it's like, Oh yeah, that's that's amazing. I love it.

Eric Bailey:

Cause it means it's working.

Eric Bailey:

So for the checklists and for the WCAG, which is how I pronounce the web content accessibility guidelines, there's a lot of debate about how to pronounce it.

Eric Bailey:

The checklist serves as a gateway to the WCAG, so the checklist items map back to.

Eric Bailey:

WCAG criteria and the criteria are basically a numbered list

Eric Bailey:

of rules which dictate access. And I say rules because they're kind of higher level than like. Here's how to implement this, it's more.

Eric Bailey:

If you have a kiosk, if you have a website. If you have like an ATM.

Eric Bailey:

Anything that has a digital interface abides by these rules.

Eric Bailey:

It's actually an ISO standard, so it predates a lot of web tech.

Eric Bailey:

It's also, um, kind of. If you map back government policy, it maps back to the WCAG as a legal standard.

Eric Bailey:

So if you really get into the reads of this, or you get a really tenacious lawyer, it's eventually going to go back to the WCAG.

Eric Bailey:

Um, as a way to determine if something is or is not accessible.

Eric Bailey:

The problem with the WCAG is it is very dense.

Eric Bailey:

Take any technical manual you've ever read and then multiply it.

Eric Bailey:

By 10 and that's the WCAG so it's not what I would say easy to parse as a beginner.

Eric Bailey:

And so first work is being done. By the WCAG to address this, it is going through a major revision right now taking it from version two to version three, and I'm very excited about that.

Eric Bailey:

And then second again the checklist we tried to take some of the most common, some of the most like critical.

Eric Bailey:

Issues and then put them out in a more plain language. Easy to understand format and so like certain ones, will map directly back to one rule. Certain kind of cover two or three.

Eric Bailey:

But it's more just like this is something I can hit to like triage. The biggest problems you might fix or you might encounter.

Amit Sarkar:

Nice nice so I mean yeah, that kind of give me a better idea because I keep hearing about WCAG. If I use your pronunciation.

Amit Sarkar:

But and A11Y Project just came into my Google search and then I was like, okay, this is this is kind of interesting and there are I think a lot of projects which are doing a lot of work in the accessibility space so.

Amit Sarkar:

If someone like me or someone like say Rinat and we want to contribute to the A11Y Project, how do we begin?

Amit Sarkar:

Where do we start? What can we do actually? I mean if you guys have done such an amazing work, what else is there left to contribute?

Eric Bailey:

Oh so much. We will take any and all help anyone is willing to give. We're open source, so if you are comfortable using GIT and code.

Eric Bailey:

We have an issue tracker on GitHub with some open issues. We have basically a list of kind of posts. We'd like to have written.

Eric Bailey:

Um, if you are not comfortable using git or code, we also have work flows for writing new articles or making content changes, including you know different ways to contact us and work through submissions.

Eric Bailey:

We post articles that are written by the community and we pay, which is a new development which I'm very excited about. So it's $75 per article which allows us to be a little bit competitive with other publishing sources while also.

Eric Bailey:

You know?

Eric Bailey:

Maintaining us as a volunteer led effort.

Eric Bailey:

We have resources, so if you have ever found a resource that you think is really valuable for your workflow, that's something you can kind of you can submit.

Eric Bailey:

Um we have a newsletter. If you'd like to participate passively just by you know kind of reading what we put out, and that's a roll up of what we tweet out via Twitter throughout the week. And that's.

Eric Bailey:

Kind of a hodgepodge of articles that deal with programming and accessibility, disability, culture, kind of news in the industry, just kind of.

Eric Bailey:

A little bit of everything to kind of get a better idea of what's going on.

Eric Bailey:

So you can also follow us on Twitter or LinkedIn. We have an organisation there as well.

Eric Bailey:

Um and yeah, I we try to make the project itself.

Eric Bailey:

You know

Eric Bailey:

Inclusive and welcoming and easy to approach as well. You have contribution guidelines that kind of outline.

Eric Bailey:

You know how the best work with us. We have content style guide for how to write your content.

Eric Bailey:

We also have a code of conduct which I think is important for an inclusive community that outlines you know behavioural norms and what we tolerate, and we don't and why.

Eric Bailey:

Which is all to say we would love. We would love any and all help.

Rinat Malik:

All right, I mean, that's marvellous because there's so many ways to be involved and contribute, and hopefully the audience, listeners and viewers who are.

Rinat Malik:

Tuning into this podcast there, there will be many who would you know would like to be involved or contribute in anyway?

Rinat Malik:

So yes, audience, I urge you guys to sort of checkout the project, checkout the website and if it does interest to you or if you think you can contribute in anyway, all of these different ways that Eric just mentioned you know in anyway.

Rinat Malik:

Any help would would help the project go further, so definitely check it out and see if there are anything you can do.

Rinat Malik:

So what's what are some of the future projects or future things that you have plans for the project?

Eric Bailey:

Oh, that's a good question.

Eric Bailey:

We just went through a major redesign which I'm very happy with and recently have just kind of been fixing some of the kinks that have shaken out from that.

Eric Bailey:

Um.

Eric Bailey:

I'm happiest when the site is.

Eric Bailey:

Not doing much, um.

Eric Bailey:

Which sounds a little weird like.

Eric Bailey:

But

Eric Bailey:

It's it's been around for, I think 14 years, which is forever in Internet time.

Eric Bailey:

It's got pretty good SEO placement, and it's built on a stack that's pretty resilient. It's Eleventy Node.

Eric Bailey:

Markdown, SAAS, nunjucks.

Eric Bailey:

Which is kind of one step above vanilla HTML, CSS and JavaScript.

Eric Bailey:

And what I like.

Eric Bailey:

Like I think it's working best, like it's it's killer feature is that it shows up in search results.

Eric Bailey:

Um, I like it when people get just enough information.

Eric Bailey:

To get to answer the question that they have, maybe entice them to learn a little bit more, but put it down and get back to doing what they're doing and hopefully making it a little bit more accessible. After reading our content.

Rinat Malik:

Awesome, that is that is just so so much eye opening and insightful to know all of this information and I'm actually feeling quite.

Rinat Malik:

Quite.

Rinat Malik:

Well if I wanna say privileged to know about this because yeah, I actually wasn't aware of the project at all but now coming to know about it and finding out more. It is just amazing and hopefully our audience will feel the

Rinat Malik:

Same way and they would wanna be involved in anyway they can.

Amit Sarkar:

I was just thinking about some other aspects of disability, I mean, and this is coming from your profile on A11Y Project and you mentioned about cognitive.

Amit Sarkar:

Uh

Amit Sarkar:

Emotional, practical and physical needs. So I think we covered physical needs and maybe practicality. But how about cognitive and emotional needs? How does A11Y Project help with that? Or even accessibility?

Amit Sarkar:

I mean, it's just for the benefit of all our viewers and listeners because I think when we think about disability, we're thinking only about physical disabilities.

Amit Sarkar:

But there are some other types of disabilities as well that can impact the way people interact with a digital product or service.

Eric Bailey:

Sure, cognitive accessibility is huge.

Eric Bailey:

The WHO World Health Organisation did a survey of disability globally few years back and.

Eric Bailey:

And I'd say the overwhelming majority of disability is cognitive, like something like 70%. So of the entire worlds population that's experiencing disability.

Eric Bailey:

The majority of that is cognitive, and then there's an interesting twist to that as well, in that a lot of people that are experiencing cognitive disability may not identify as disabled.

Eric Bailey:

So I think that the number is even bigger.

Eric Bailey:

Which is to say, cognitive accessibility concerns are also tied to emotional disability concerns, depression being one of the larger.

Eric Bailey:

Disability conditions which.

Eric Bailey:

Affects your ability to operate in your environment, which is to say, the depression will actually affect your ability to process and act on information which is both depressing and fascinating to think about which is.

Eric Bailey:

This is, you know, not only a condition.

Eric Bailey:

You can experience.

Eric Bailey:

Um?

Eric Bailey:

Permanently, as something that is just part of how your brain works. It can also be brought onto you environmentally. So stress from work, say a global pandemic without end.

Eric Bailey:

So environmentally it can be triggered, but.

Eric Bailey:

What that translates to is.

Eric Bailey:

Your ability to operate in the world and part of operating in the world is utilising technology.

Eric Bailey:

And like a good example of that, just kind where the point home is like if you've ever been stressed at a deadline at work.

Eric Bailey:

And you're just trying to get something to compile, and it won't. And you scream and you give up.

Eric Bailey:

And you come back to it the next day. Feeling a little bit better and Oh my God, it it was right in front of you this entire time.

Rinat Malik:

Yeah, I mean a lot of the times. Yeah your brain doesn't work at its full full full efficiency when you are you under stress or under depression.

Rinat Malik:

Yeah, absolutely. I mean, I think during the pandemic the the rate or the statistics of of people in depression or other mental health condition has increased quite significantly.

Rinat Malik:

And it is something to be wary of and you know, be you know people you know. Be take it. It's good to take actions based on these based on these information and we should think about what we can do to help this as well, because this is, you know.

Rinat Malik:

I mean, our lives have permanently changed in many aspects. Yeah, maybe we will go back to some sort of normality, but it will never be exactly how it used

Rinat Malik:

To be like before and that could have various effects to. You know, for many people and it is important to be vigilant and aware of this and take actions to to help that.

Eric Bailey:

Yeah yeah, I also I think like talking about it is good like destigmatising it like depression does exist. It doesn impact people. It especially impacts people in the pandemic.

Eric Bailey:

You know it kind of on the cognitive there. Then there are other concerns that come with that, and I'd say another huge one. And this is in the intersection of development and design is digital literacy.

Eric Bailey:

So there's a bit of a fallacy here that smart people are computer literate.

Eric Bailey:

And not smart people are computer illiterate. I've met smart people that are computer illiterate and I've met not smart people that are computer illiterate.

Eric Bailey:

And then I also question the definition of what computer literate is, which is like, can you use an entire operating system and all of its features?

Eric Bailey:

Do you know just enough to use the software that your job mandates that you use can you use it well? And then

Eric Bailey:

What kinds of interfaces are those pieces of software using so? Like if you've ever seen a cryptic button and you don't know what it does and you're afraid to touch it because you don't know if it'll like, drop a database or not.

Eric Bailey:

That's an example of kind of cognitive accessibility concerns, which is you don't have the mental framework that the person constructing the interface did to understand and take action on it with confidence.

Eric Bailey:

And that's not necessarily a combination of you. Um, that's more of the person who built it, so making making sure that if you do have a cryptic button like that, you do label it, and then potentially even add like some warnings there was like, Are you sure you want to do this? And maybe tell me why they don't want to do it?

Rinat Malik:

Yeah, yeah, a lot of the times I do come across softwares. Or you know dialogue boxes where it's. It's not clear at all and I am here confused thinking what what do I where do I go from here and then you know having to go back to Google and describe the situation?

Rinat Malik:

It it's not. It's not good design. And yeah, absolutely designers have to think about so many of these things and this reminds me of another thing that happened during the pandemic. Actually the Robin Hood the app.

Rinat Malik:

I think it became quite popular in in US for stock trading.

Rinat Malik:

And the way they showed the balance of one’s you know on one’s account. Sometimes the balance is not cleared or the the money has left the account, but it still shows.

Rinat Malik:

And it wasn't a good design and a person I think took his own life, thinking that they have lost a large sum of money, but they actually didn't. It's because of the design that they misunderstood their

Rinat Malik:

Account balance and this is how serious implications.

Rinat Malik:

There can be with with bad design.

Rinat Malik:

And absolutely I mean designers have this massive responsibility to actually look at all kinds of perspective and think about what is a good design and so so so you know people are not confused. And actually you know, being able to do what they are there to do.

Eric Bailey:

Yeah, I remember that event as well, and it's it's tragic and I think it's also illustrative.

Eric Bailey:

Of the point of.

Eric Bailey:

More stuff is going digital and this is real. This is important.

Rinat Malik:

Yes.

Eric Bailey:

I know we like to harp on developers for not making things accessible, but.

Eric Bailey:

Most of it is design. It's the design layer.

Rinat Malik:

Yes, yes.

Amit Sarkar:

Design and requirements. I mean, I was. I was working on a government project quite recently.

Amit Sarkar:

And because as a tester I was just trying to give them feedback about how

Amit Sarkar:

The user journey should be like have they thought about this button? They missed out a delete button and then how do you cancel and come out and is it prominent?

Amit Sarkar:

Can I read it clearly? Is it like high contrast? I think that those kind of things are quite important, specially from a for a government service.

Amit Sarkar:

And here in UK they have guidelines which is really good, but I see the relevance that yeah it's not developers fault that they built a system because they have to look at the design and they have to look at the requirements.

Amit Sarkar:

They build what is asked of them, they don't. They're not building something creatively until atleast, it's their own project. So yeah, we should not blame developers for everything.

Eric Bailey:

Yeah, yeah, it's it's a shared concern and.

Eric Bailey:

Yeah, I I wish I had more QA testers like you.

Eric Bailey:

As a designer.

Amit Sarkar:

Yeah, I think I mean I was just talking to someone just today and we were discussing about QA as a gatekeeper or quality as a shared responsibility.

Amit Sarkar:

And I think people are now slowly moving away from the concept that OK, QA is a gatekeeper. No, it's a shared responsibility and it starts right from the top level the CEO. How do they see their product?

Amit Sarkar:

How do they see their service and how are they enabling the organisation to deliver a good quality product or the processes there are the people enabled?

Amit Sarkar:

Are the people making the right decisions, writing the right requirements, design, development, testing. So I think it's a shared responsibility.

Eric Bailey:

Yeah yeah, I agree. My favourite way to work is collaboratively. So, like in the before times sitting right next to the developer and chatting with them as opposed to like throwing it over the wall.

Eric Bailey:

Um, I think you touch on that really interesting thing about accessibility here where it is.

Eric Bailey:

A.

Eric Bailey:

Shared concern in that you know designers can be making accessible design decisions the same way developers can be making accessible development decisions the same way QA can be testing using assistive technology or using that tab key. It just has to get socialised into these work flows, which is the.

Eric Bailey:

The trick.

Rinat Malik:

Yeah, absolutely. I mean this. This was a very insightful conversation. I think our audience will benefit greatly from all this. All the things that we talked about.

Rinat Malik:

Is there anything? I mean we we have kind of gone over an hour so I'm just thinking is there. Is there anything else you would like to mention Eric?

Amit Sarkar:

Oops, I think

Rinat Malik:

to our audiences.

Eric Bailey:

accessibility is beneficial too.

Eric Bailey:

All um and required for many it.

Eric Bailey:

Does not to have to be an overwhelming process where you have to get everything right. It is a journey and every little bit change. Every little change compounds and makes things better for everyone.

Eric Bailey:

And it's a very friendly and welcoming community. The A11Y hash tag is a great way if you do Twitter to kind of poke around and see what's going on.

Eric Bailey:

Don't be afraid to ask questions. Don't be afraid to reach out and email somebody if they put that information out there and just thank you for listening and for considering it.

Rinat Malik:

Thank you, thank you very much, very coming this. This was actually very eye opening for me as well and. Hopefully our audience will you know, checkout the project and be involved in one way or another.