How we inspire accessibility professionals at Barrierbreak! - Guest column by Shilpi Kapoor, Founder, Barrier Break
December 31, 2018
In the guest column this week, Shilpi Kapoor sheds light on how accessibility is promoted among professionals at her accessibility consulting firm Barrier Break.
As an entrepreneur, one of the three P's of growing an organization is People. BarrierBreak aims to create a limitless future for people with disabilities by using technology as an enabler. Our aim is to assist organizations to make their technology accessible to people with disabilities. You would ask, how do you help organizations to be accessible?
One way that we support organizations is by providing accessibility testing by a team of skilled accessibility testers. This team comprises of disabled testers also! We invest highly in training and mentoring our accessibility testers. I wouldn't even be exaggerating if I said that a large number of the early accessibility professionals in India, have been connected with BarrierBreak, whether being our employees, attending the accessibility training programs or then inspired by what we are doing.
I had hoped that over the course of the years, the number of professionals focusing in this area would increase. But I believe the trend is slow and often that is due to the demand of the IT companies. As Shwetank Dixit, once said to me, "We need to make Accessibility Cool". Everytime I remember this conversation between us, I smile and grin and say "Yes, It is cool! It should be cool!"
But today, in India, the professionals that we find fall in a few buckets:
Catch them Early - Hire freshers, they probably have never even heard of the term and inspire them. Invest in them and provide them the training on accessibility.
We get a lot of CVs which fall in this bracket, how do we convert them to accessibility believers?
For me accessibility has always been go back to the basics whether its HTML, coding or anything. It's a good place to start. If you can inspire them early, then you have a winner! I know we have a lot of people from BarrierBreak, who fall in this bracket! Professionals who have done 1 or 2 projects in their career - We find a lot of these professionals in the industry today who have been on projects where Accessibility was an ask, so they learnt a little and managed to deliver. Its more about the industry requirement. They haven't been convinced on accessibility to make it a part of their DNA. But they have tried something!
Professionals who are inspired - These professionals might have encountered Accessibility maybe in their job but then they bought in to the idea! They believed that Accessibility should be there, it shouldn't be an option. They lobby within their projects and team for accessibility! We are looking these people, don't wait, give us a shout!
Internally, at BarrierBreak, we live and breathe accessibility! It is our primary mantra! From day one, this is what our employees learn, we instill in them the need to take accessibility beyond their work. I smile when I hear some of them share about how they feel about accessibility, how they talk to their family members about it, how even if they left BarrierBreak, they would continue to focus on accessibility.
Accessibility is in their DNA!
Watch in Sign Language
- Goa election officials, NGOs come together to conduct accessibility audit of polling booths
May 20, 2019
- Anuprayaas is making railway stations inclusive & accessible for visually impaired people
May 17, 2019
- Game changing innovations that enable inclusion - Global Accessibility Awareness Day special
May 16, 2019
Read more on Newz Hook
- Accessibility May 16, 2019 Game changing innovations that enable inclusion - Global Accessibility Awareness Day special
- Get-hooked May 17, 2019 Accessibility among 5 areas under focus in 11th edition of NASSCOM Social Innovation Forum
- Get-hooked May 13, 2019 What I want to tell my mother - NewzHook readers share their thoughts
- Get-hooked May 14, 2019 The Relic, a novel by team of 2 disabled writers has many readers hooked
- Events May 14, 2019 Winter School: Fostering Research in Disability
- Get-hooked May 18, 2019 Stay cool this summer, some tips for wheelchair users
- Employment May 17, 2019 La-Monnaie Skills enables disabled youth to flower into resourceful, contributing citizens
- Accessibility May 16, 2019 In a first, people with disabilities attend the famous Thrissur Pooram
- Headlines May 20, 2019 Delhi Police reacts to Kejriwal’s comment on security
- Employment May 19, 2019 At Indore workshop on workplace inclusion, corporates share learnings & inspiring stories
Want to feature your inspiring story or share an event with the disabled community? Write to:
Newz Hook - Accessible News