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86 minutes | a month ago
The author of the beautiful accessibility book Mismatch, Kat Holmes, comes on to share her own personal journey and how inclusive design can take some of its greatest learnings through examining acts of exclusion.
73 minutes | a month ago
Adrian and the Overlays
Accessibility expert Adrian Roselli comes on the show to share his story, and talk about the questionable implications of the now-popular “accessibility overlay.”
94 minutes | 2 months ago
Colleges and universities are proving grounds for digital and physical accessibility. With disabled students living on their own in many cases for the first time, these institutions need to be fully compliant, ADA literate, and not just accessible, but highly accommodating –– and if they're not, students are left out. With the cost of education on the rise and remote learning now a norm,, many are taking a hard look at college and asking if it's even the right path for them. Therefore, we need our institutions of higher education to be more accessible and inclusive than ever. In this episode, Will and Cordelia sit down with accessibility leaders from the University of California, Harvard and the University of Cincinnati to hear about where they're at in their accessibility journey and what they're doing to make sure everyone can get a good college education.
78 minutes | 2 months ago
Meet The Letterheads: Paul Parravano
Here at 13 Letters, we talk a lot about inclusive design and accessibility – but these terms mean nothing if we don't keep in mind the stories of the listeners who are most affected by bad design and most assisted by good design. That's why we're starting a new feature called "Meet the Letterheads," where we introduce you to a 13 Letters listener whose life is highly impacted by accessibility and everything surrounding it. Paul Parravano is the co-director of Government and Community Relations at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and has been blind since birth. Listen in as he shares stories about everything from growing up in mainstream schools to meeting Andrea Bocelli. And tune in next week for a full new season of 13 Letters!
82 minutes | a year ago
Accessibility Down Under
This week on 13 Letters – we take you to the land down under. Sarah Pulis and Andrew Arch are big names in a vibrant and thriving accessibility scene in Australia. Hailing from Sydney and Melbourne, respectively, the two live and breath accessibility at Intopia, a digital accessibility consultancy that Sarah co-founded. You may have seen Andrew and Sarah giving presentations at CSUN, at A11yBytes meetups frequented by Aussie accessibility enthusiasts, or on the web; they're known informally as the “dynamic duo” of all things WCAG. Ultimately, despite all the hats they wear, Sarah and Andrew consider themselves accessibility practitioners. This episode is a great opportunity to get down and dirty with a11y, also known as digital accessibility, and talk about how our favorite companies (ahem.. Zencastr) can seize the opportunity to make their web presences accessible to everyone.
76 minutes | a year ago
Global Accessibility Action Every Day
Accessibility is for everyone – not just people with disabilities. That’s why Jennison Asuncion and Joe Devon put their heads together almost ten years ago to conceive of an accessibility awareness day that has quickly turned into a global phenomenon. Cordelia and Will sat down with the co-founders of #GAAD this week, on the occasion of the 9th annual day, to talk about how the event got started, their proudest moments as co-founders, what they love (and what they don't love) about #GAAD, and so much more. For full coverage of Be My Eyes’ GAAD 2020 initiatives, visit http://bemyeyes.com/gaad.
63 minutes | a year ago
Going with your gut is easier said than done — but for Sumaira "Sam" Latif, Company Accessibility Leader at P&G, trusting her instincts has made some of the most impactful changes to the world of accessibility. For far too long, blind and low-vision people had to rely on the shape of a product to judge what was in the package. Sam challenged all of this with the simple yet empowering idea to put tactile identification on Herbal Essences shampoo and conditioner bottles – an initiative which is now expanding beyond the brand and beyond P&G. We had the amazing privilege to hear Sam's take on getting P&G hooked on accessibility, on supporting both live events and TV commercials with accessible audio description, on hustling to get senior leadership buy-in to fast-track accessibility at work, and much more.
39 minutes | a year ago
First to the Party
It ain’t always easy being first – that’s why we have brilliant folks like Victor Tsaran to do it for us. Victor was the first blind employee on the Yahoo campus, and has a whole bunch of other “firsts” under his belt from a 20 year accessibility career that starts with the first Ukrainian screen reader and involves, most recently, the first screen reader by Google. Victor chatted with us from Mountain View this week to talk about everything from the state of accessibility in Southeast Asia to our best bets for the accessible future.
16 minutes | a year ago
270 CEOs Can't Be Wrong
What’s it like to hide your blindness from the world? Caroline Casey did it for years. Her parents never told her she was “blind,” and, when she got into the working world, she hid it from everyone else. Holding down a high-powered job as a consultant at Accenture for several years while still “in the closet,” Caroline finally came to the realization that it wasn’t worth it anymore – and that’s when her life really started. Caroline chatted with us for the new episode of the Be My Eyes Podcast, about her childhood, her work, and her new initiative to get 500 of the world’s most powerful CEOs to sign a commitment to include disability in their business agenda. This week's episode is from The Be My Eyes Podcast – interviews with the world's most interesting and dynamic blind people. Subscribe to The Be My Eyes Podcast for more.
70 minutes | a year ago
We don’t always decide what we hear or how we hear it – but that’s changing. KR Liu, the new head of brand accessibility at Google, has a mission to bring accessibility to the masses and she’s not going to stop until everyone’s listening. A pioneer in the hard of hearing community, a sales powerhouse, a policy wonk and a creative technologist in her own rite, KR’s interests and ambitions are as vast as her experience. In her new role at Google, KR has a big task: to craft approaches, policies, and campaigns to promote and enhance what “accessibility” means at the company and by extension, for the world of information. We chatted with KR about growing up hard of hearing, reading peoples’ body language and how to stitch accessibility into mainstream consciousness.
89 minutes | a year ago
Will VR Be Accessible?
Larry Goldberg wants every piece of media to be “born accessible.” 40 years ago there was no captioning, no audio description, no secondary audio channels on TV sets for blind viewers or people who speak foreign languages. And for the last thirty years, Larry has presided over great changes in media accessibility that have blazed the trail for our entertainment and education to be more inclusive and accessible regardless of disability. Now working as head of accessibility at Verizon Media, Larry is overseeing the cultural ambassadorship that their accessibility team is so well known for, pushing innovative awareness and mentorship programs, and looking ahead to exciting new developments in virtual reality, augmented reality and other new media – to make sure those formats will be accessible, too.
57 minutes | a year ago
The Deaf-blind Lawyer
'Fearless' is a word many would use to describe Haben Girma, the first deafblind graduate of Harvard Law School. A disability rights lawyer, memoir author, and public speaker, Haben has certainly pushed the boundaries of how society regards deafblind citizens. Even with her many achievements, Haben would not consider herself fearless, but rather acknowledge fear as something critical in guiding one's life. She's met German Chancellor Angela Merkel, former U.S. President Barack Obama, and now we're lucky enough to sit down and talk with Haben on this week's episode of 13 Letters. On it, we'll discuss how politics affect the disabled, the importance of dance, and why a little bit of fear can push us in the right direction.
36 minutes | a year ago
Right at Home
There was once a time when traveling with a disability was a daunting prospect. Srin Madipalli co-founded Accomable to create a database for disabled individuals to find and book the most accessible accommodation for their trips. Airbnb acquired Accomable in 2017, and Srin went on to work as Airbnb's product manager for in-home accessibility while holding accessibility workshops for hosts across the globe. Airbnb has since increased its focus on improving the accessibility of its products and working to address the problem of uninformed hosts. We sat down with Srin to talk about how an accessibility startup gets acquired, what his dream is at Airbnb and plotting the “accessible super city” of the future.
74 minutes | a year ago
How (Not) to Get Sued
You don’t mess with Lainey Feingold. That’s probably why, after a 25 year career in accessibility and 75 successful, precedent-setting agreements with behemoth companies, Lainey has only had to sue someone once. (Can you guess who??). Based out of a small spare bedroom law practice in Berkeley, CA, Lainey has brought the corporate world to the table, over and over, to commit to accessibility in a process she calls the “structured negotiation.” Rather than the shark stereotype that most lawyers have to deal with and sometimes even ascribe to, Lainey prefers to think of herself using another metaphor: a dolphin. Have your doubts? It worked for Bank of America, every team in Major League Baseball, and many, many more. In this episode Lainey talks about her career as a non-litigious attorney, her successes in public speaking, and what’s really up with the CSUN AT conference.
56 minutes | a year ago
The Mad Blogger
Sheri Byrne-Haber self-identifies as a “no excuses type of gal.” The head of accessibility at VMware, public speaker and accessibility expert with degrees in law, business and computer science, Sheri is most well known for her outspoken accessibility writing on her personal blog. Publishing at a steady clip and always raising the bar to outdo her own personal best, Sheri churns out accessibility content covering principles, best practices and simple, actionable tips for those working the field. In this episode, Sheri talks about her blog, her current role at the biggest tech company most people have never heard of, and previous work overseeing accessibility for McDonald’s and others. Also discussed: miniature horses, peacocks, duck eggs, and self-driving wheelchairs.
74 minutes | a year ago
Can Disabled Americans Vote?
When Whitney Quesenbery talks about elections, she uses phrases like “design tragedy” and “unintended consequences.” Though the number of disabled voters has gone up over the last few decades, the numbers are still scary – and the gap between disabled and non-disabled voters still means millions of uncast votes. A usability and UX leader known for her book “A Web For Everyone,” Quesenbery co-founded the Center for Civic Design to apply UX best practices to promote civic participation. Designing good products by focusing on real human personas and rigorous usability testing in the field, Quesenbery is determined to ensure that not only will voters get a chance to vote but to reduce the chances that a tiny design flaw will cause voters to accidentally vote for the wrong presidential candidate.
52 minutes | a year ago
Accessibility Should Be Free
PART TWO: Mike Shebanek made Apple products work for everyone. He wasn’t always an accessibility maven, though. Mike worked his way up to become the product manager for some of Apple’s most famous and influential products – from the original iMac to the first-ever iPad. And when he found himself pushing for the failing consumer electronics company to develop and deploy a free, built-in screen reader for what was then considered a niche community of blind students, many might have called him crazy. What followed was not only Apple’s rise as both a mainstream company and an accessibility leader, but a ripple effect which changed the whole industry and motivated our world’s largest companies to show that they, too, could develop technology that works for everyone. Part 1 includes discussion of Mike’s early days at Apple, and the events leading up to the creation of VoiceOver. Part 2 includes discussion of Apple from 2004-2013 and Mike’s ensuing work at Yahoo/Verizon, where he created a model for accessibility departments that has been recreated all over Silicon Valley.
54 minutes | a year ago
Who Invented VoiceOver?
PART ONE: Mike Shebanek made Apple products work for everyone. He wasn’t always an accessibility maven, though. Mike worked his way up to become the product manager for some of Apple’s most famous and influential products – from the original iMac to the first-ever iPad. And when he found himself pushing for the failing consumer electronics company to develop and deploy a free, built-in screen reader for what was then considered a niche community of blind students, many might have called him crazy. What followed was not only Apple’s rise as both a mainstream company and an accessibility leader, but a ripple effect which changed the whole industry and motivated our world’s largest companies to show that they, too, could develop technology that works for everyone. Part 1 includes discussion of Mike’s early days at Apple, and the events leading up to the creation of VoiceOver. Part 2 includes discussion of Apple from 2004-2013 and Mike’s ensuing work at Yahoo/Verizon, where he created a model for accessibility departments that has been recreated all over Silicon Valley.
19 minutes | a year ago
Introducing 13 Letters: The Accessibility Podcast
Accessibility is, ironically, not the most “accessible” concept. An intricate mix of best practices, regulations and creative approaches, accessibility really just means making things work for everybody. On this new podcast from Be My Eyes, Will Butler and Cordelia McGee-Tubb interview some of the world’s leading experts on accessibility to talk about how the field has evolved, and how esoteric things like WCAG, universal design and usability tests affect the lives of billions of people in big ways.
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