Welcome to your accessibility journey

Welcome. I’m so glad you’re here.

If we haven’t met yet, I’m CJ.

I fell in love with the internet because of what I found there: an endless world where everyone could find their space, their home, a place where they could feel welcome and seen. There’s a kind of magic in that, I think, and it’s captured my heart since the very beginning.

CJ, a white genderqueer person with glasses, smiles at the camera
CJ Buys

As I dug deeper, though, I learned one vital truth – our spaces are only as welcoming as we make them. The internet we use today was made with some huge oversights that exclude people, and most of us never learned that those oversights were there, let alone how to work around them. We’ve been creating inaccessible spaces online, shutting people out, and, if you’re anything like I was, that’s not an intentional choice you’ve made or want to make. I know it made me feel sick to my stomach when I found out.


But accessibility feels like a can of worms. But the guidelines are long and complicated and very technical, and sometimes it feels like you’d have to get a degree just to understand what they’re talking about. But it’s hard to do it perfect, and it can feel really intimidating and scary to think about failing, so we would rather just not start.

I’ve got another but for you: but I’m here to help.

When I started this journey, I had no idea that these online spaces I loved so much weren’t accessible, let alone how to fix that. And, as I learned more and more, I felt the same way that you might right now – overwhelmed, intimidated, and like I was better off just not starting, because clearly I was going to mess up. I wanted to stick my head in the sand and, if I’m honest, I did…for a while.

My perspective changed when I became disabled, both from a genetic condition and from COVID. Suddenly, accessibility became something I needed, because I was struggling to focus, to read really small text, to listen to audio without transcripts. And, as I started using the tools that made the internet more accessible to me, I realized something that blew my mind – these tools weren’t just for the current, disabled version of me. They were for all versions of me.

And they’re for all versions of the people around me, too.

I spent my life feeling like every roadblock I’ve run into, from too-bright screens to too-small text, were my personal problems. Clearly, everyone around me was doing fine, after all, so I must be the only one struggling, I told myself. But we’re all struggling. We’re all finding ways around parts of life that are hard for us, struggling up mountains like we’re the only ones that have ever run into them…while someone else is right next to us, going through the same thing.

So let’s admit that we’re not alone. Sometimes, things are hard and we need help. Sometimes, things are hard for someone else and, just by making the world a little more accessible, we can help. Every step towards accessibility is a step towards making the online world we dream of a reality, because it can only be the welcoming space we want it to be if we make sure that everyone is included, and that’s a group effort.

And I’m here to help, to make accessibility accessible to you. Because we all deserve to find our home online.

So, are you ready to get started?

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