Real-world accessibility insight: Why you should read the Hassell Inclusion blog
Today sees the official launch of the v1.0 website for my new business, Hassell Inclusion.
For those of you who don’t already know me, I’m a 40-something Londoner who has been privileged to become an expert on how to make digital technologies work for everyone, whatever their abilities or disabilities. I’ve the BBC to thank for that, where I worked from 2002 making things like iPlayer, the BBC News site and Homepage, mobile services and Red Button usable and accessible (see my linked-in CV for more). The opportunity came from the BBC, but the interest and the passion for inclusion came from listening to users talk about their experiences with technology. The possibilities are huge, but often we have to fit ourselves around the technology, if we can, rather than it fitting into our lives. And that’s just not good enough.
Having left the BBC at the end of July after 9 years, I’m genuinely excited about the opportunity to share the huge amount of experience I was honoured to pick up there more freely than I’ve been able to in the past. I’m now able to devote more of my time to working directly with many of the organisations that I’ve been trying to help around my commitments to the BBC.
On the Hassell Inclusion website you can find the vision for the business and the services that we provide. If you are interested in inclusion (and I guess you are if you’re reading this blog) then I hope you may find something to help you here…
Part of that vision is in continuing the blogging I started at the BBC, concentrating mostly on:
- thought-leadership in accessibility and inclusion: identifying challenges and opportunities posed by emerging digital technologies to the inclusion of all members of society
- how to embed accessibility into organisations’ business as usual: providing real-world case studies of how organisations are using the BS8878 web accessibility code of practice to improve the accessibility of their products
- innovations in accessible products, tools, technologies and services: sharing stories on new technologies which should make it easier for disabled and elderly people to get the most from digital technologies, or make it easier or cheaper for organisations producing products to make them more accessible and inclusive
That’s what is on my mind at the moment, from having listened to questions from hundreds of people after my conference presentations, in the comments to my BBC blogs, questions on linked-in, and from public comments of drafts of BS8878.
I’m planning some series where I tie together some of the issues facing people who care about accessibility into something bigger – think of these as the chapters in a free eBook which I’d like you to comment on as I write them.
And I’m hoping to persuade some of the many accessibility experts I’ve learnt from over the years to guest blog on Hassell Inclusion, to contribute their thoughts on some key issues and enrich the conversation.
So that’s where my blog will begin.
Where it takes us is down to you readers. All my best ideas of what’s needed to take accessibility and inclusion to a new level have come from listening to people talk about the joys and frustrations of using digital technologies, so I’d like to hear your ideas here too. Please leave me a comment on what perplexes you about accessibility and I’ll try to make a space where together we can share insights of how to make things better.
Expect to see one or two blogs a week – I’ll try and keep that consistent, and the quality level up. I’ll try and keep things useful, actionable, and as brief as I can. And I’ll try not to repeat other people or myself. You already have enough to read.
So, tomorrow I’ll start of the first of those series: how BS8878 helped me create this website.
I hope the blog inspires and challenges you, and moves the inclusion conversation on.
Thanks for reading.