While I work on writing out more blog posts of technical details for the Ember A11y series, I’ve been thinking a bit about “why should I care?” and how to make the answer to that more relatable for 10x coder engineers who can quite easily prove my n00bness at any given point in time.
Let’s examine an idea. If someone says “web accessibility”, who do you immediately relate that to? If you’re like everyone else (and you are), you probably said, “a blind user”. Or maybe you thought about that very incredible Apple commercial. In either instance, the disability was severe.
While making a website accessible is essential for a user who is blind, let’s take a few minutes to discuss other types of users that could help you personalize this a bit more accurately.
Here are some personas that might help you personalize it:
- A sibling that has ADD/ADHD
- A friend who loves to speed around a website and uses the crap out of keyboard shortcuts.
- A parent who is color-blind
- A cousin with carpel tunnel syndrome
- A grandparent with mild dementia
What about temporary disability?
- a person holding a baby (human, cat, dog, etc) who can only use one arm for things.
- a roommate who tried cooking a grilled cheese sandwich and ended up with a burned finger instead.
- someone whose glasses broke and they need to get to the eye doctor and get a new pair.
A disability isn’t necessarily bad. Sometimes it is- and we need to be able to call the thing by the word (more about this in a different blog post). But other times, maybe it more refers to a state (temporary or otherwise) of partial ability, or differently-abled.
Maybe next time, instead of saying, “why should I care though?” try to think of the people who need us to think beyond the scope of our own immediate lives, our own abilities. After all, those personas could be talking about us, some day. Maybe the answer to “Why care?” is, “Because. People.”
Just some food for thought.