Adventures in Accessibility: How Embracing Accessibility Made Me a Better Storyteller

Talk by Alicia St Rose

I relate my own experience, as a WordPress developer, as I begin this adventure into accessibility. It “seems” overwhelming, but there are empowering gifts along the journey, namely, I become more knowledgable and more sensitive to my clients’ needs and the needs of their audience. I am seeing the online world in a whole new and exciting way. I hope by the end of this talk you will be inspired to embrace accessibility in your own projects and personal websites. 

View Alicia’s Presentation


Joe Simpson, Jr.: Greetings and a warm good evening from Southern California. My name is Joe Simpson, Jr. I’m the volunteer wrangler for WordPress Accessibility Day.

I’m also a WordCamp, WordPress meetup, WordCamp organizer, community and accessibility advocate. At my second WordCamp Los Angeles, I saw this fiery ball of energy and artistic-ness up on stage, presenting and commanding the stage, and I thought, “I think I wanna do that. I wanna get up on stage and speak.”

All these years later, it is my sincere pleasure to introduce her to you.

Okay, Alicia St. Rose began her adventure with WordPress when a UX friend offhandedly suggested using the CMS for a mutual friend’s website.

That was over ten years ago and the adventure has turned into a torrid love affair. Now she’s a freelance developer, exclusively powered by WordPress, and has yet to find a limitation in her magical–in this magical piece of software.

She is the owner, principal designer, and developer at WP with Heart, a small agency that employs one, so far. In addition to creating for WordPress, she provides an online one-on-one coaching for DIY website creators.

She’s also a creativity and mind shift mentor, empowering people to bust through their own limitations in order to radically express their authentic and creative ideas and selves. I’d love to introduce to you, presenting “Adventures in Accessibility: How Embracing Accessibility Made Me a Better Storyteller,” Alicia St. Rose. Take it away.

Alicia St. Rose: Hello. Hello, everyone. Thank you so much for that introduction.

I’m just really touched. Wow.

So, I wanna make sure that all the technical aspects are set up here. I’m getting ready to share my screen, and I want the thumbs-up that you can actually see it, okay?

So, I don’t want any–anything to thwart our experience. So, let me– Can everyone see the slide in– for the slideshow?

I can’t actually see any thumbs-up, unfortunately, because now I just see my slideshow, so I’m gonna assume, no one’s told me it’s not up, so here we go. So, “Adventures in Accessibility: How Embracing Accessibility Made Me a Better Storyteller.”

So, every story starts with “once upon a time,” and so the story has to start with that as well, and I’m going to go back to the not-so-distant past with my story. I’m going to go back to January 1, 2020, when I woke up on that day excited about what this year was going to bring.

It was gonna be different, I could feel it, but I had no idea how different it was going to be. And so, in March, things drastically changed around the world.

I mean, they were certainly changing unbeknownst to a lot of us on this Western Hemisphere, and then they changed drastically for the entire world. And in that time, within that time, technology seems to have had a renaissance and a bursting forth into some expansiveness that I’ve not seen in my lifetime.

And with that I–it brought some limitations that were always there on the web and in technological areas, but they became increasingly obvious. So, I will tell you a little bit about me before we get into the accessibility adventure.

So, I started my web development career by wanting to make my blogger website look better when I moved over to WordPress, and so I spent an entire night trying to find out what a hashtag and three Cs meant when there was a hashtag and six Cs, and I couldn’t make it work. And I didn’t understand it, and so I ended up going to a bookstore at 6–you know, I stayed up till 6 a.m. , and I rushed off to a bookstore as soon as it opened in the morning, and I came out with a book called “The Headfirst Guide to HTML and CSS.”

It jump-started my career as a web developer. I had no idea that I would be into that, that I would turn into a geek.

I actually was a fine artist up until that moment, and my drawing table got dusty as I realized that part–the other part of my mind really wanted to learn something every single day. And every single day I did when I was doing web development, especially as I was learning, so I was self-taught.

I learned from books, and I’m very detail-oriented, so every time something came up, I would do a little Google search. We all went to Google U to do this.

That’s what we do now, and there’s nothing–there’s no shame in that, by the way. So, I, over the years, I became better and better at the web development thing, and then I found out about WordCamps.

And had no idea these existed and went to my first one in Orange County, 2014, and I found my people. And it was an amazing experience.

And I’m the type of person that wants to inspire, to empower, and teach, and when I realized there was two days of that, that people could show up and just talk about WordPress and how it inspired them and how they could, like, impart that information to others and kinda grow the community, and I was hooked. And so then I went from the WordCamps to meetups, so I had my own meetup here in Santa Barbara.

I have it currently, and it’s the South Central Coast WordPress Adventure Group. Found out that the Central Coast all–goes all the way to Santa Cruz, and I was not willing to drive that far, so it’s South Central.

So now, you see I am detail-oriented, to that point that I can’t even geographically mix. So, in one of my meetups very recently, within this year of 2020, a woman showed up, and her name is Sumner Davenport.

And you will–you’ll meet her later, very shortly, if you haven’t met her already. And she showed up at one of my meetups, and she just discussed something about accessibility.

And I had heard about it, and I thought, “Yeah, I know what that is. It means that, you know, people should be able to, you know, read whatever is on the web and not have it hidden from them, that in my vague–my vague idea of it is that they just need to get the information. And that’s vitally important.”

I didn’t think their experience had to be the same.

That night, when she showed up to my WordPress meetup, she informed me but–that the experience being the same is actually essential because it really isn’t fair that someone can’t enjoy the same experience. Not only that, it was violating civil rights, and I was like, “Whoa!”

I was totally like, “Whoa!” And at the–as she was talking, I literally went to a client’s website and took off what is called an overlay that I had thought I was so crafty putting on his site to protect him, but I’d actually done the opposite.

And in that moment I realized, A, I had a goldmine at my WordPress meetup, I was just like, “Oh, wow. I just totally fell into the right company with this one.”

And then, from that moment on I realized that there was a lot more to this web thing that I didn’t know, and then I started to feel really, really kind of heavy about it. And I thought, “Shoot. This is more work than I thought, and I’m like feeling a little bit overwhelmed about this. I don’t know if I’m gonna be able to pull this off.”

And it just became this–now it seemed where I was very, very detail-oriented and very careful about what I did with web, that now I had gone back several meters to the starting line of, “Oh, my gosh. There’s all this accessibility stuff that I don’t know. And I’m gonna have to catch up with that. And I’m in the midst of a project right now, and I know right now that some of the stuff that I’m doing even on that site is not accessible. And I haven’t even launched that yet, and I’m just about ready to do it.”

So, I had to actually let that soak in.

I had to realize that, at some point, is gotta put the big-girl panties on, and I had to realize that this is a part of what a website entails. It can’t actually be an afterthought.

It can’t actually be something that you can put in later or maybe someone won’t notice, and so I decided, “I’m just gonna have to embrace it. Take a deep breath and just learn what you can, and the people will fall in line. They will show up to help.”

And Sumner kept coming to my meetup, which was awesome. I started going to her meetup. Then wonderful, wonderful presentations by people.

Some of them you’ve seen already today, Meryl and several other, like, amazing presentations put on by the San Fernando Valley Meetup, which is accessibility-based. And I realized this was actually gonna be fun, and that there were so many people on board and so passionate about helping other people get access to the Internet, especially in a time right now where they’re inside, quarantined in some cases, and in a lot of cases–because some people who are diff-abled, or disabled, if they would wanna be called that, have health issues that they don’t actually wanna be exposed to other viruses, so they were really–there’s a lot of people who are really depending on the Internet to be their window to the world.

And when I found out that only 2% of that could actually facilitate that experience for them, I was even more disappointed and even deeply was disappointed because I realized that if it was 2%, they were probably only the government websites. And that’s not gonna be–I know you wanna get information for–you know, during a pandemic, but sometimes you wanna be entertained, and you wanna go shopping, and you wanna buy food, and you wanna do all these things.

And so, I realized, “Wow, I don’t wanna be a part of that. I wanna be a part of bringing joy to someone who is surfing the web, and they’ve gone through site after site, and then they land on the one that I’ve made for somebody.”

And my clients are benefiting too because now everyone can have access. And so, I decided–after I decided that I was gonna embrace this, I realized that there were some gifts in this and that they improved my actual–my value and the way that I tell stories for my clients, because building a website is not–it’s not some, what’s the word?

It’s not a basic or vanilla task, okay? You are telling someone’s story when you put a website up for them.

It’s not, “I’m gonna go drag something around and make it look pretty for you.” It is how are they–you expressing their inner motivations and passion to the audience that they want to receive that, and so it is like storytelling for them, or even movie scripting, or whatever it is.

It’s not a basic tech task. There’s a lot of humanity in making a website, and so this aspect of adding accessibility even brings more humanity to it, because it’s actually a–I don’t know the word I’m looking for.

It’s an honorable thing to do, to bring access to those who do not have it at the moment. So, one of the things that I did learn on my adventure to this storytelling is that the sensitivity to others’ needs is actually in the forefront of every decision that I make when I’m building the website.

Oh, my goodness. Let me cancel that. Now I can see myself. Okay, so, I’m sorry. Some wild thing just happened on my screen, and it took me aback. A bunch of things just opened up, and I’m gonna close this.

Okay, so I’m back. So, the sensitivity to others’ needs became the permeating intention to everything that I did on the site.

And it wasn’t just the sensitivity to the visitors’ needs, which has always been the thing that was more important to me. I did not ignore the clients’ needs.

They always had these specific things that they wanted. They always had these design or aesthetic ideas that they needed to have on the website.

It was kinda like one of those cooking shows where they give you some Chiclets, a bagel, and a Pop-Tart, and you got to make up a five-course meal out of that, you know what I’m saying? Like, sometimes that happens, and you get Comic Sans and you get fuchsia, and you’re like, “I got to work this out somehow,” and so that’s where the creativity comes from.

Your creativity comes from, like, what you would sometimes call a limitation, but it’s not. It’s a parameter which you work in, and it actually creates–it makes you more creative, so my sensitivity to others’ needs was something I learned, and it became, actually, this fun way of dealing with content and layout.

It’s like, “So, if someone needed to tab through this, what do we have to do?” And then, to make sure that you’re happy with having this kind of cool hero image with only–we can do this.

We can merge the two. We can make it work, so the sensitivity to others’ needs was really, really important.

Also, as–whoops. As I got deeper and deeper into the accessibility–oops.

I skipped a slide. There it is.

Okay. I have a delay.

Okay, as I got better–as I got more and more into the accessibility and getting more information, my education of even web development became–got better, and then improving skills. And every time I learned something and I imparted it to my clients, it was–the fun part was actually explaining this stuff to my clients and explaining how important it was.

And then, in my experience, the people I’ve told have felt the levity and the importance of this. They realize that it’s to be taken seriously, and they actually feel honored that they could be a part of making the web better, so–and actually relieved that I care about it too.

So, there are clients out there who really want people to help them with this kind of stuff, and so–and if they do run into developers or people who think it’s not important, part of the client’s kinda like feeling a little uneasy about that, because it’s their job and their business that’s on the line. So, you won’t get–I don’t really get a negative response when I bring up the accessibility stuff.

I get surprise because they didn’t realize how important it has gotten, but I do not get any kind of negatives. So, there was the education and skills.

Of course, it’s something that makes you more valuable as a web developer. Also, it became–I became a better observer of my world because now it was a user experience not in the tech sense but just in a sense that was more global or universal.

You talk about the journey of the client through your website. Now you have to think about the journey of someone who, let’s just put it this way, broke both their wrists and can’t use the keyboard.

It’s not necessarily someone who is paralyzed and can never walk again or use their arms. Some of these things are temporary and there might be very, very–a very serious or important need to get to a website in those six months or four months that you have two casts on your arms.

So, when they say a percentage of people using the web who have accessibility issues, I’m not sure they even count the temporary people that are flowing in and out of that at any given time, so you have to–so, you became–not only did I become a better observer of the world in that way, but also the information and content that my client was putting on the website. I had one client who, he is an artist, a veneer artist, and he had a lot of art pieces, and he was using these prime symbols for inches and feet.

And I had to go investigate whether the screen reader, all of them, would pick that up, and it didn’t seem likely the way we were designing everything, so I actually revamped that whole thing to say “inches” and “feet,” they’re actually spelled out–and centimeters. And in the course of that, I also discovered a lot about his veneer work and what he was doing.

And also in the content, there were things that were alphabetized, like common names of wood, that are never to be alphabetized, and a screen reader would have taken that as, “Oh, we’re talking about a proper noun called Pine. Maybe it’s a city or something.”

But you can’t do that, so we learned–I learned things like that. I was able to explain it to the client, was able to explain to ’em that a genus and a species, you only alphabetize the genus.

So, I learned all these things by being attentive to accessibility, and so it’s not really dry. It’s really–it’s almost kinda fun.

It’s like having a lesson in life or what your client does at all times, and when your client feels like you’re that invested or you’re that knowledgeable about what they do, they actually value you more too and they feel very safe with you working with them because they know that you care about their business, sometimes almost as much as they care about it themselves, or sometimes more. So, that was one of the things, became a better observer of the world.

And, finally, of course, this is what this is called. I became a better storyteller.

Like, I could tell their story better, and I could–accessibility helped me–carved a way for–it carved a path for me to follow. It was–it almost kinda reined everything in.

So, sometimes when there’s content, it’s like, “What do I say and how do I say it? ” But when you’re thinking, “Well, how do I say it so everyone will get access?” it almost makes it easier to create the content, so I became a better storyteller for what my client was trying to do. And that’s what everyone is trying to do on the Internet.

They’re trying to tell their own story, and so you wanna be that person to facilitate that for them, not necessarily just give them a website. That’s not what we do.

You developers out there, we just don’t give people websites. It’s an experience.

It really is, and so–and it’s their story. And–every story has–there’s an end.

There is an end to a story, but the end is just the beginning in this one because you are never going to stop learning this stuff. There’s always gonna be something new, some new technology coming along.

It was like that before even accessibilities became a big thing. If you thought you were gonna stop learning because you were doing, you know, web stuff, that there was one point where you were gonna Google your last code snippet, that time was never coming.

There was always an opportunity to learn, and right now, anyone who’s been watching any of these sessions and getting any of this information that’s been dispensed throughout the day–valuable, valuable information–you’re learning some really amazing, amazing tools. That you are ready to go out to the world and make it a better place for other people to get to the web and also to bring more value to clients, so this is just the beginning of everything, and just the beginning for me because, to be honest, I have not taken any certification courses.

All of this is from meetups and working on websites. And every, you know, step that I take, I do a little bit of a search and go, “Hmm. Is that appropriate? ” and then I learn that way.

So, what I wanted to instill in people who felt overwhelmed–because even during some of the sessions, I saw some chat information. I saw some very informative chat about people–you know who you are too.

We joked about it. Wanted to give up their career because this looked too overwhelming, and I know exactly how the person felt because that’s how I felt in the beginning too, but it’s not really like that.

It’s like–it’s more like, “Oh, my god. Look at this horizon just opened up for you to help people.”

And all of these people, talented people, who are jumping on board and sharing their knowledge and really taking it seriously, and right now is just the beginning of that. And if 2% of the web is accessible, that means 98% of it is just flapping out there in the wind, low-hanging fruit ready for you to just go and grab it.

There was nothing Jerry Jones taught to get you started, okay? I’m serious, you could tell your clients how to put their content in correctly, and that’ll save almost two-thirds of their issues of any kind of accessibility, you know, red flags.

So, it’s just the beginning, it’s awesome, and so what I wanted to do now–first of all, that’s my last slide. That is my name.

“St. ” is not a middle name. My last name is St. Rose, so it causes a lot of problems with computers and fields and stuff.

I’m often called “Strose,” but that’s not it. You can find me on Twitter with IntrepidRealist, and my website is, and what I do there is I do–I coach people one on one how to put their websites up, but we don’t even start building a website for a while, ’cause no one should until they know what they’re doing and why they’re doing it. So, you can find me there, but what I wanted to do was I wanted to demonstrate a few things that I’ve done since that fateful meeting in that meetup, and one of ’em is actually quite recent, so let’s see.

I’m gonna escape here, and we’re gonna move this over. I don’t know what’s on the screen.

Okay, so, I don’t think you guys need to see the Slack here. I’ll close that.

Let me close that. One of the things that happened– and this is fairly recent.

So, there was a discussion. I can’t remember.

Sorry, I was–I should look this up. There was a wonderful presentation by a woman from Florida.

She was a UX designer, and she talked about designing the UX with accessibility in mind. Like, before even a designer comes in, she’s laying out, you know, the content, those whole things.

Oh, my god, I can’t remember what they were called. Anyway, like, the main content, the sidebar, and the footer, and all that stuff, all that’s planned ahead of time, so going in and trying to drag something around without having that planning is really not the best way to go about it.

So, one of the things that just popped out for me from that talk and what I’m trying to instill here is that if you’re a developer and you think this is a whole bunch of stuff you have to learn, just take one piece at a time and implement it. So, what she told me–it’s during–in a shopping site–that it’s better to have the product image on the right because as someone comes through the page, they’re going to hit the content, the text first as a screen reader.

It’s vital–more important to hit that first than the picture, which is just an illustration of what’s gonna probably be described over here, and so I managed to do that with WooCommerce. And not only does this picture show up on the site, but it’s actually the third thing that shows up on the page.

And I was able to use what’s called Flexbox and flex order to actually swap the order of the picture. So, I moved it to its–the third position, where it would have been at the bottom of the page here, by swap–just changing the order in CSS to make it show up second.

But when a screen reader goes through, a screen reader will come through the title, all this information, and hit even this before the picture, is something that they hit with a screen reader. So, that was really, really, really awesome to be able to do that, and it’s that one piece of information.

And so, it wasn’t like I was overwhelmed about, “Oh, my god. I–this whole WooCommerce thing and accessibility.” I’m like, “I’m just gonna take that piece. ” Today, I learned something.

This is a white background and that’s black, so I’m gonna gray that up. So, I’m just gonna go through the–with the CSS, and I’m going to make the font a little grayer instead of black on white because I just learned that, in one of the sessions today, that people with certain disabilities, the font will start moving around, so I’m like, “Got it.”

It’s not like I have to, like, learn everything at once and then go off and build. And another one that–this one happened, actually, quite a while ago, at the beginning, with–when I first found out about accessibility.

This is the one I was talking about with the veneer artist, and here’s what I’ve ended up doing with height and diameter. Before, it was just this string of numbers with primes and double prime or whatever, and you really didn’t even know which one was height or length.

And whoever did the content in, the three people, I think, over the years who put the content in, mixed those two up anyway, and so what I ended up doing for him is–this is another thing too, you can actually corral the client into being accessible by providing information on the back end. I’m using something called advanced custom fields, and it may sound like some kinda geeky thing if you’ve never heard of it, but once you get it under your belt there’s plenty of documentation on it.

You just create fields in the post that they’re custom for–that you want for your client, and then they’re custom to whatever they’re doing, and so what I ended up was making these different–you can just add the information here. And I explained to him how to do it, how to write, and all he has to do is come in–and anyone who’s working.

There’s no mistaking this unless they just don’t read directions, okay? So that’s, like, you can do these things to help keep the content accessible because that’s what’s gonna happen.

You’re gonna let the site go, and then you’ll come back maybe a few weeks later, and it’s not really working out because the client wasn’t educated on headings and things like that. And this is not–what’s going on here too is–that clearly it does not look like the Gutenberg editor.

It is not. It is actually–this is a custom post type that I created for his projects, and that’s another geek-level thing and not–that is not even difficult to learn, either.

There’s been some wonderful presentations on that in other–in meetups and other WordCamps. And so, a lot of times–does classic editor, so those people who are still on the wire, you can still have some familiarity with that.

So, it’s all these fields that he needed specifically for what he does. And then, the page looks like this.

So, that is the end of my talk, and I guess we can go for questions now. And I got to figure out what to do here.

Stop the share. Is that what I’m doing?

I think so. I just stopped the share.

Okay. So, I can take questions now.

Joe: All right, Alicia. Great job.

The funny thing is, like, I was–you know, I didn’t know–you know, I saw your finishing slide, and then you said, “But it’s not the end. ” And I was like, “Oh.” Then you started–then you–so, you caught me off guard.

Alicia: Like that– you know when people clap when they’re at that last bit?

And you’re like, “Oh, oh, there was more, oops.”

Joe: Yeah, I apologize.

One of the great things for the audience to know about Alicia is part of the inspiration and rebirth that she described. I went through the same thing with our next speaker, but the three of us, we got together a few weeks ago to promote this event because we were so into accessibility.

And all three of our meetups did a joint meetup on–it was called “WordPress Meetup Accessibility Day,” so it’s kinda cool to see everyone doing it. So, let’s jump to the questions here.

Let me refresh the page. And again, thanks, everyone, for–thanks everyone for chiming in and being part of the conversation here.

All right. The first question is, “How does art shape how you develop?”

Alicia: Oh, how does art shape how I develop? That’s why I do it.

Okay, honestly, I was a fine artist for 15 years, and there is a website up. And, please, that person doesn’t exist who put that up.

It was an ex-boyfriend, and it’s literally the worst site you will ever see on the website, on the web. And its, like, technical aspects–it’s

It’s an old HTML site that’s literally–like, you know the ones that just kinda like suck themselves into the corner?

It’s like it wasn’t even–it’s bad, but my pictures are on there. So, I was a fine artist, and then I would go on the Internet, and I’m like, “I don’t see a reason why the Internet has to look like this.”

And so then, I just said, “I’m gonna be a web designer. I’m gonna make things beautiful. That’s what I really wanna do.”

And so, I was really, like, close–I was really concerned about the craft and textures and things like that, so art is a huge part of what I do.

And I think coding is an art form too.

Joe: Oh, that leads into our next question perfectly.

We’ve got that synergy going. “What caused a shift towards accessibility and where do you see this shaping your development work?”

Alicia: Oh, god, the shift was definitely that meeting that–the meetup when Sumner showed up. I mean, I was already, kind of, into the headings thing and all that stuff and, like, “Don’t use all caps. It’s screaming,” and, you know, things like that, but it was more leaning toward SEO. But then, when I found out that it violated civil rights–it was separate but not equal to put an overlay, and I had one on something that–and I–took me five minutes.

I took it off. I was really–I came back.

I was like, “I just–” I was like, “Excuse me. I gotta go do something.” And I came back, and I told her. And I was like, “Thank god I got that off.”

He’s well-known in the community too, and so, and I see right now there’s no way it’s gonna go back. It’s just gonna keep expanding because at this point, the Internet’s become quite–it’s a resource and it’s a lifeline, so–and it’s for everyone.

And not only that, like I–and on–is that I was also on a team called BRCvr. We were one of the–highly successful bringing Burning Man to virtual reality, and they’re even bringing captions into virtual reality, and I had this fun– See, what is happening, too, is because of the exposure to people, like the people who are doing the sessions here, like Meryl and then Sumner, I was in a beta testing in this–on one of these platforms, virtual reality.

And I asked, “Is there anyone in here who’s deaf? ” And there wasn’t, so I had to tell ’em, “This test probably isn’t gonna be effective. You know, you have to have someone who’s actually deaf to do these things,” so.

Joe: Awesome, all right, our next question, “Having had an active design business before learning accessibility, how do you deal with communicating with clients when telling them that something you did for them doesn’t meet accessibility standards?”

Alicia: Oh, that’s easy, guys. Don’t worry about that one.

The technology marches on, I’m sorry. It’s like we gotta get with the program.

I mean, even–a website–okay, have you ever googled lifespan of a website? I googled it last year, and it said five to seven years.

I googled it yesterday. It said three to five, or three to two.

The lifespan of the current design of a website is, like, three years. They should be thinking about getting a new website, even if it’s accessible or not, so this is–a website’s not something, like, you purchase.

Like, it’s, like, a cheap thing you get at Kmart, and you think it’s gonna work for you to make you a whole bunch of money. It is a serious thing, and people have to understand it’s an investment involved, and so I really want that to get imparted too.

And it’s an evolving thing. It’s not something that just you make it and it sits there and works.

A website’s never finished. It’s never finished.

It’s like an evolving thing, and the content’s always changing. You always have to be kind of like–it’s like gardening.

Do you ever finish your garden? You don’t–garden’s done, or do you–every season you’re kinda like, “I’m gonna grow these bulbs bigger.

Or I’m gonna try something else over there”? That’s exactly what a website’s like, and you shouldn’t–your garden shouldn’t be more important than the website that’s supposed to be your livelihood.

Joe: All right, so we got time for one more quick question, and it’s sorta tied into one of the earlier questions. “How has your thinking changed in terms of your development process or your mentoring business since you’ve been impacted by accessibility?”

Alicia: Oh, man; so accessibility is often–is always on the forefront of my mind. It’s whenever I’m doing anything, almost every day I have some–a conversation or a little bit of an exchange with somebody about something.

Just recently, there was a theme that–you know, there was–they weren’t underlining the links in the admin because they wanted the experience to be the same as the front of the site. And my links are underlined, but they were the same color as the content, so the response was, “Well, most people have different colors, so.”

I was like, “No, no, you gotta keep the underline. The underline has got to stay in the admin, I mean–” And then, I got a piece of code, and it took away all of the styling of the front-end stuff, and so I explained, “That experience is not the same experience that everyone’s getting because I wanna be–because I want it to be accessible.

So, you have to have–the experience has to be the same for everybody, so the underline should just show up. ” And so, like, there’s just things like that, so–and so–and I’m always, like, explaining to people a little bit at a time, especially clients.

You don’t wanna overwhelm them because then it looks like it’s too much work and really not.

Joe: Awesome.

Well, thanks again, Alicia. How can people get you–find you on Twitter?

Alicia: Oh, okay, I put it at the end of this–on the slides, but it’s IntrepidRealist on Twitter.

Joe: Awesome; well, thanks again and thanks, everyone, for attending this session with Alicia and myself.

You can continue the conversation on Twitter at WordPress Accessibility Day, #WPAccessibilityDay, #WPAD2020, or @WPAccessibility. Don’t forget to attend our next talk, “The Profitability of Accessibility” with Sumner Davenport at 4 p.m. , at 4 o’clock UTC, here on this same channel.

See you right after a brief break.

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Questions on “Adventures in Accessibility: How Embracing Accessibility Made Me a Better Storyteller

  1. Having had an active design business before learning a11y, how do you deal with communicating with clients when telling them that something you did for them doesn’t meet accessibility standards?