Web Accessibility vs Life Accessibility

After lacking the motivation to write a post for almost a year, I was finally able to admit that I don’t care about web accessibility as much as I thought I did. If you are looking for good, current information on web accessibility issues there is a long list of people who you should follow before Curb Cut.

That said, I care very much about disability issues. Curb Cut has been an accessibility blog written primarily for readers already interested in accessibility issues. However, depending on your past experience you may or may not give a crap about disability issues.

My interest in web accessibility originated from my relationships with two of my brothers who were born with Down syndrome. Like a good brother should, I wanted to make the web a friendlier place for them. Well, it turns out that Patrick has no use for the Internet. Dallin Paul is a heavy Internet user, but thus far has been able to find every America’s Funniest Home Video People Getting Hurt Collection and Power Ranger video on YouTube without any problem. If my goal is really to make the world a better place for them then it is time to refocus my efforts. There is little I could to for the Internet that would make it more useful to Patrick or Dallin Paul, but consider the following:

  • Patrick has worked for over 10 years at a University food court. He works hard, is dependable and well-liked by colleagues and customers. Nevertheless, there is very little chance that he will be offered a full-time position or any kind of benefits.
  • Dallin Paul still has a fear of attending church with my family because of some very unfortunate experiences he had with Sunday school teachers growing up. When he does attend, he is welcomed by some, tolerated by others and ignored by everyone else.

I have spent a number of years as a teacher in special ed classrooms, traveling with Special Olympics teams and volunteering with various disability organizations. You wouldn’t know any of that from reading Curb Cut in the past. My disability experience is the only real value I have to offer and I purposefully kept it out of my writing on web accessibility. Shame on me.

Here’s to a more authentic Curb Cut.

3 comments

  1. Brian

    With that statement I look forward to future postings! Good reminder for me as well as to what motivated my study of disability in the first place. The work stuff is something that I think about a lot.

  2. Emily Ann

    You have alot to offer from your past experiences. Can’t wait to read more about them.