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The Borovkoff Blog

Neo-Pagan Modern Thoughts On Society

So what is Accessibility and why is it so important?

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An image of a stack of hard back books.It is 2010 and we have not really made much progress in the world of accessibility. Yes, Apple has started to lead the pack and show the golden road towards accessibility in documents for everyone.

So what is Accessibility and why is it so important?

Accessibility is the art of creating a document, book, magazine, article, publication, electronic media, web page or other source of readable material in a way that can reach the greatest audience. Not everyone reads the same way. Not everyone has the top notch level of super-duper assistive technological advances in electronics or home gadgets. Many people struggle reading simple, everyday materials due to one or more several factors: a direct physical disability, an aquired disability (like my ever fading vision!), a learning disability that makes it difficult to read through complex terminology or long sentences, an attention disability that makes it difficult to focus on long drawn out subjects, various levels of visual disabilities including color blindness, or countless other factors.

Accessibility is making your materials readable to as many people as possible. The gift of reading is a treasured thing and we all deserve the chance to read everything we can possibly get our hands on. We all should encourage reading and aid others in their ability to read, and that includes creating the greatest accessible materials we can create. A world that reads more is a better educated world that has better opportunity for advancement, socialization and success. Reading can end many of the planet’s human made problems including: poverty, starvation, disease and war. To quote a partial line for “Steele Magnolia’s”, next to ‘accessorizing’ – reading is the next best thing that separates us from the animals.

One day in the near future, I am sure my vision will fade away and the scariest thing about that is the fact that I would not be able to read because technology will have not taken this need as seriously as it should. That thought terrorizes me day and night, and so I labor to spread the world of “accessibility” while I can still use my vision and have the access to great assistive technology, and salivate over the coming generations of accessible adventurous ideas and designs.

My day to day work is ensuring that publications are created, edited and formatted in a way that allows them to be the most accessible to the widest audience as possible. I take that job role seriously and I cannot comprehend the individual who takes short cuts “just because their document looks better this way.” That makes no sense to me and actually irritates me greatly.

Let’s learn about accessibility together. In the next couple of blog posts I am going to share with you my wisdom on this matter. I will lend you my hand and hopefully get you to understand why things like complex language, Powerpoint presentations, bullets, badly names titles, and poorly converted PDFs are the things of the past. Ebooks, audio conversions without robotic dull voices, ergonomic accessible presentations, and dynamism of an inclusive future are our destiny. I look forward to this oportunity!

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