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Using accessibility literacy to counter accessibility ignorance, by Devon Persing

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The idea of accessibility literacy (having the right vocabulary, knowing the trustworthy info sources etc) makes sense.

The section on Accessibility ignorance and ableism presents some home truths about organisational attitudes to accessibility that need addressed.

Accessibility ignorance actually goes beyond just a lack of accessibility literacy. Accessibility ignorance is a facet of ableism, since it causes people to make decisions that actively harm disabled people.

  • Accessibility ignorance isn't usually malicious.
  • It's assuming that accessibility is taken care of because your organization has an accessibility specialist on staff, or has accessibility "baked in" to a design system.
  • It's providing accessibility training for only teams that build products and not people that work in support, legal, operations, leadership, or other parts of the organization.
  • It's expecting accessibility work to happen without impacting schedules and roadmaps that didn't originally take accessibility work into account.
  • It's assuming disabled people don't use your product.
  • It's not hiring disabled people.
  • It's hiring disabled people but only to do accessibility work.

The article wraps up with some great advice on cultivating accessibility literacy, and the senior buy-in needed to support it.

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