Starting with Accessibility

Every time I’ve talked with someone about accessibility, I hear the same worry lurking under our conversation – how the hell do I do this?

Sometimes they’re completely new to accessibility and have no idea where to start. Sometimes they know just enough to feel overwhelmed. Sometimes they’re somewhere in the middle. But wherever they are, it’s very familiar to me. 

As a recovering perfectionist, I know all too well how something new – whether you’re learning, implementing, or taking a next step – can just throw you right into panic mode. Personally, I tend towards sticking my head in the sand like the proverbial ostrich and ignoring the problem! It never solves the problem, of course, but it’s still really tempting. 

A brown ostrich screaming, since ostriches actually don’t bury their heads in the sand – it’s a myth! by Krzysztof Niewolny on Unsplash

Wherever you are in your accessibility journey, I want you to remember one thing – when you’re in your business space, you are your own expert. It’s so tempting to downplay our knowledge, even to ourselves, so we tend to forget this. We think that, just because we know it, everyone must know it. Just because it seems obvious, it must be obvious. 

This just isn’t true! We learn so much as we build our expertise that, by the time you built the confidence to start your business, I’d bet that you knew more about your niche than the average person ever will. Things feel easy and obvious to you because you are an expert!

Of course, running a successful business isn’t just about being an expert in our work, no matter how much we might want it to be. It’s also about learning how to run the actual business – including how to make your business accessible – and that can definitely feel a little overwhelming. But, as we start talking about accessibility, I want you to remember – you are an expert. You have already learned so much about your business, just to get here. You can do this!

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