My plans for a more accessible 2022

Note: This post is older than two years. It may still be totally valid, but things change and technology moves fast. Code based posts may be especially prone to changes...

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It’s smart to have a plan before making changes and this post is sketching my plans to improve accessibility knowledge and also help others in 2022.

I think planning can sometimes be underestimated, so I decided to dedicate this post to sketching plan for my accessibility efforts in 2022. It’s not new years promises but a collection of realistic goals that I will achieve.

Knowledge is crucial, accessibility is no different

I learn each day, as mentioned in previous post about systematic knowledge building. But that is actually not enough. Knowledge is abundant, don’t get me wrong, but I don’t really find free resources to go beyond basics. It’s OK to start with basics but you can only read about missing alternative text attributes for some time and then it gets a bit boring.

So my plan is to upgrade knowledge with two important things;

  1. Investing into payable courses that have good return of investment,
  2. Getting myself a mentor – veteran accessibility expert.

Payable accessibility courses vary in quality – do your research

I’ve bought some courses in the past and seen that their value varies. I will not go into calling them out but please understand that this era of “everybody want’s to make money from online courses” has it’s downsides as well. Some courses are good and some are not. So it’s wise to do a bit of research before buying a course.

I’ve even bought some courses just to find that they were almost reading from the WCAG quick reference. Marketing can really do wonders, so I decided to do more research before spending money and time on them. On the other side there are some experts sharing their knowledge for free and one can really get a feeling about level of their non-free courses. Luckily market prefers them and then it is crucial to pick the best from the best for a start.

Mentors with decades of experience let you grow better

I’ve never had an actual mentor but I do understand the benefits of mentor-mentee relationships. Somebody that were on same path before can really make a difference. And there is more to it. WCAG and accessibility is quite a wide and deep subject at the same time, so sometimes we need to get the info that is “between the lines”.

I’ve started to follow on GitHub WCAG issues and discussions (opens in new window) and believe me there is a lot more to the finished success criteria than it comes out to the official documentation. So knowing the why and a bit of history helps to achieve deepest understanding, better than just referring to last versions at least.

That’s why I decided to reach out for a mentor. It is not certain I will get one but I will do my best to get one and also contribute to common good after that.

I was actually invited to be a mentor to somebody but I denied as I really want to know more before mentoring. I do some mentoring in my daily job role and I like it but I am honest about my levels and never claim that I am an expert. It takes a lot of time to be an expert and I don’t like being taken as an expert when comparing to real experts. So here you have it – I have a need for a veteran accessibility mentor and I am now in the process of getting one.

Cooperation and giving back is a cornerstone also in accessibility

I get a lot from community and open source projects and I think I should also contribute more and give back when I can. This will make a very tiny impact on the overall situation but hey – a lot of tiny impacts can be a huge impact at some point.

Open source contributions

I’ve done some research and I will pick some projects that seem to need my help and try to help as much as I can and as much as they will allow me. There are millions of open source projects out there and there are hundreds of accessibility oriented as well, so it’s just to pick some that I like or think they have potential and contribute.

If every developer that can use open source would also give a bit back it would make a tremendous difference. But hey, not everybody have the time and qualifications, I get it. I will use some parts of my spare time and try to give back at least a bit.

Pro-bono accessibility auditing and counseling

There are some projects that run automatic tests to measure the level of accessibility and I like their efforts. It would be even better to upgrade them with manual testing and really try to get the realistic insights back.

But only measuring is not doing much for improving. So I think audits should be targeted and besides measuring they should also cure problems and remove barriers.

That’s why I will do some manual testing for some incognito organizations and also give them free council. I will not charge them, I will not call them out publicly but I will try to make them aware about problems and how to solve them. This will be a small effect, I know, but I think it will be an interesting experiment and I will also get some hands on to real accessibility insights – what are the real barriers on the web, not just the ones that can be caught with automatic testing tools.

Improving this blog

I’ve done some posts in the last couple of years, some are getting noticed, some not. I know that the design is extremely text-only at the moment and I know that I did not focus a lot on code examples, so maybe it’s time to fix it this year.

I’ll redesign it, make it more visually appealing and improve accessibility and performance even further and then I am planning to make some more code-oriented posts.

So here you go – not my new years resolution – but my plan with realistic goals.

Author: Bogdan Cerovac

I am IAAP certified Web Accessibility Specialist (from 2020) and was Google certified Mobile Web Specialist.

Work as digital agency co-owner web developer and accessibility lead.

Sole entrepreneur behind IDEA-lab Cerovac (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility lab) after work. Check out my Accessibility Services if you want me to help your with digital accessibility.

Also head of the expert council at Institute for Digital Accessibility A11Y.si (in Slovenian).

Living and working in Norway (🇳🇴), originally from Slovenia (🇸🇮), loves exploring the globe (🌐).

Nurturing the web from 1999, this blog from 2019.

More about me and how to contact me: