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The American Foundation for the Blind is using the scenario of the lone, overworked, harried accessibility expert as a marketing prop for its own accessibility consulting service at this year’s AFB Leadership conference, and I have some thoughts. This is maybe a half a level above selling an overlay as a silver bullet for every accessibility problem on the planet, and unless you’ve been living under a rock or are an overlay vendor, you’re probably aware that overlays as a solution are at the absolute bottom of the totem pole. Any company which tasks a single individual with all of the responsibility for accessibility is guaranteed to fail at accessibility, and anyone who’s been in this field for any length of time knows this. To use someone who is guaranteed to constantly be fighting an uphill battle, only to not succede in the end, as a marketing prop for your own accessibility consulting, like you’re the white knight who will come in and save the day, is disgusting, and I’m going to go out on a limb and say you should stay as far away from accessibility consulting as possible. There’s not an accessibility firm worth its salt that would stoop to the level of using someone who is guaranteed to be unable to complete the task they have been given as a ploy to market their own services. Those accessibility teams of one are some of the hardest working, least appreciated people in this field, and when I’ve been in that situation, actual accessibility professionals have given me a hand up, not used me as a selling point in a marketing campaign. Using overworked accessibility teams of one as a sales pitch dehumanizes those accessibility teams and devalues all of their hard work, as well as the work of everyone else toiling in this field.

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