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From myth-busting to "but/and"-ing: Persuading people to do accessibility work

28a7165396905ffabc4d1f45609efc39?s=47 Steve Barnett
May 20, 2021
2

From myth-busting to "but/and"-ing: Persuading people to do accessibility work

One of the hardest parts of accessibility work is convincing other people to do the work, or help us to do the work. In this little talk, we’ll see how I went from myth-busting (telling people their assumptions were wrong) to “but/and”-ing (agreeing with them, and going from there), what they said / what I said, and what effect it had on the awareness, knowledge, and interest of a11y at the place I was working.

This talk was given as part of A11y Bytes 2021 https://a11ybytes.org/bytes-2021/ . Closed caption YouTube video of the talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lioeqgOopa0

28a7165396905ffabc4d1f45609efc39?s=128

Steve Barnett

May 20, 2021
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Transcript

  1. From myth-busting to “but/and” -ing: persuading people to do a11y

    work ! 1
  2. Homework ! When persuading people to do a11y work: agree

    with the objections and work from there 2
  3. Agenda: some typical objections 1. Accessibility is boring 2. Accessibility

    is difficult 3. Accessibility is time-consuming 3
  4. Who am I? ! Steve Barnett FED & UX person,

    since 2005-ish Accessibility at Totara Learning 4
  5. The clumsy conjunction “but/and” Use "but/and" to join phrases and

    ideas that need a turn or a twist 5
  6. The clumsy conjunction “but/and” For example: "Giving a talk is

    kinda scary, but/and it's a lot of fun" 6
  7. Why "but/and"? ! Previous tactics included: taking the moral high

    ground; myth-busting. 7
  8. Why "but/and"? ! Use inclusiveness, empathy, perspective, like we do

    for our users Being shamed or punished doesn't promote behaviour change 8
  9. 1. Accessibility is boring Doing it just for compliance is

    boring Not shiny or glamorous work 9
  10. Accessibility is boring but/and it's worth doing, even though it's

    boring 10
  11. Other boring things we do: Maintenance work Security updates Writing

    tests 11
  12. 2. Accessibility is difficult It's easy to get ARIA wrong

    and end up making it worse Some frameworks make it easier to do the wrong thing 12
  13. Accessibility is difficult but/and it's worth doing, even though it's

    difficult 13
  14. Other difficult things we do: Learning new things almost every

    day: we work in a very fast-paced industry 14
  15. 3. Accessibility is time-consuming Designing and developing and testing code

    can be time-consuming Especially if it feels boring or difficult (or both!) 15
  16. Accessibility is time-consuming but/and it's worth doing, even though it's

    time-consuming 16
  17. Other time-consuming things we do Cross-browser (and device and tech)

    testing 17
  18. Accessibility is boring / difficult / time-consuming but/and it's worth

    doing, like the other boring / difficult / time-consuming things we do 18
  19. Homework ! When persuading people to do a11y work: agree

    with the objections and work from there 19
  20. Thanks! ! 20