I take a holistic and flexible approach to how I help teams. Every engagement is different and requires a combination of diagnosis, strategy, education and implementation. Before taking on a project I typically have an exploritory conversation to see what the needs and gaps are, if I'm the right person to help and if the team is committed to doing the work necessary to achieve the goals of the collaboration.
"Having the opportunity to work alongside Alex to bring our apps to a place of accessibility compliance has truly been an invaluable experience. Her guidance, knowledge, and empathy are unparalleled and her enthusiasm for anything a11y is infectious. We are a better team and product for having had Alex be a part of it, and I have become a much better engineer for having worked alongside her. If every website, app, and developer had the opportunity to work alongside Alex, the web would truly be a usable, barrier-free place for everyone to enjoy." -Leah McCormick, Front End Software Engineer, Maple
How I Can Help
I do perform WCAG-based auditing, though I do not produce large reports that will go to the end of a backlog to die. The goal of this analysis is to set up the remediation phase where I work with developers to remove the identified barriers in production. I encourage thinking beyond minimum compliance and considering the actual usability of their products and services for disabled people.
I also evaluate new feature concepts and designs to help build accessibility into the plans for new products, flows and feature sets.
I work directly with developers and QA's during remediation, typically with a mix of pair programming and mentorship sessions. My goal during this phase is to educate and enable practitioners so that when they encounter the same issue in the future they know what to do, or even better, they start to develop without introducing barriers.
Typically I do not push a lot of code myself as it's more efficient to pair program with someone who knows the system. They learn more through this process because they are implementing the solutions with support rather than just reviewing my pull requests.
I am always educating when I work, it is a core feature of all of my deliverables. I also offer training engagements such as lunch and learns and workshops.
There are always new features to build and new demands on the business that can swallow up dev time, this is what I call scope wars. In order to see accessibility work through, strategic planning is essential as remediation cannot be treated like technical debt. I work closely with stakeholders and product folks in order to help strategize the roll-out in balance with all the other demands on the business.
Part of this work is focused on identifying process imporvements such as accessibility-focused code reviews, tooling, and integreating accessibility into the product life-cycle from the beginning.
If you're interested in working together, please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org