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#MyFriendAlexa - Is Your Blog For Everyone?

A Bit of Introduction 

Is Your Blog For Everyone - Vibhu & Me
Two months back, I joined a new company as a software project manager. And with this, I also shifted to a new city. I could not write much during this shifting time, as there were many other things that needed my attention on priority. With a new job, new city and a new house, I faced challenges of finding a new school for my kid, a new market where I can buy staple items and a new setup for my family which was in habit of living a comfortable life in Delhi. #MyFriendAlexa I took as an opportunity to proffer life back to my blog which was the most neglected entity of my world during this movement and adjustment span. My target is to write 8 posts for #MyFriendAlexa campaign in which 4 will make you a bit more compassionate person, and remaining 4 will make you more informed.

The First Post Of #MyFriendAlexa 

Coming back to the title of this post, I know you might be awed to read it. Of course, there is no discrimination who can read the blog and who not. Our blogs are available on WWW and anyone with internet access can read them. However, I would like to change your perspective about Everyone with this post. Read on..

I was informed, in advance, what sort of work I am supposed to do in the new office. A project manager is supposed to manage the team, that I was already doing for the last 3-4 years. Nevertheless, the area in which my new team works (or I should say, I was going to work) really made me open-eyed upon first interaction. My new team works on the domain of Accessibility. Have you ever heard this term before? If no, then I am sure my post will give you a good understanding of accessibility and what is its significance in our life.

Why Accessibility is needed - Vibhu & Me
Credit to the owner
When I joined the new office, I got to know about the team and team members. The whole team is very big and I am supposed to handle the development sub-team of the whole project setup. But for induction and introduction, I was given details of the complete team. I was very astounded to know that the team also has 15 differently-abled people (people with disabilities). Some of them are blind, a few have low vision and some have another different type of disability. The moment I got to know that these 15 special people also work for the company, a thought struck my mind "What stuff they are doing? What can a blind person do?" But when I finally got the answers to my questions, I was both happy and sentimental. As a common person, I also judged those special people the same way. I questioned their abilities. However, thank God, I joined this work that is making me a better person, who can see all specially-abled people equal and adequate. Now I work in the Accessibility area in which we are making the lives of many specially-abled people better.

Accessibility means making things accessible. And when this term is used in the context of specially-abled people, this term becomes much more heartfelt. Accessibility is about making things around us usable for specially-abled people. Our transport system, schools, hospitals, and markets are not safe and usable for specially-abled people. For the tiniest thing, these people put mammoth of effort. Crossing the road, reaching the classroom, buying things from the market, look simple to us but for these special people, they need tons of effort. Accessibility says to make our surroundings accessible for Everyone and every one means people of all abilities and disabilities. And fortunately, now I work for Digital Accessibility.

Digital Accessibility

You guessed it right. Digital Accessibility aims to make every digital information accessible for disabled people. Most of the digital information we consume through websites, mobile apps, and digital documents. Digital Accessibility is an area wherein we are making web world accessible for people of disabilities including elderly people as well. My company has made a team of such specially-able people who are our SMEs ie, Subject Matter Experts. This is because they only can tell us what type of challenges they face when they use any website or app. They are our guide and mentor, who work to check if any website/document/app is accessible (usable for them) or not. These SMEs take part in daily work discussions. they lead tasks and even code (software coding, you see) as well. Isn't it amazing? They are like us.

digital-accessibility-need- Vibhu & Me
Credit to the owner of the image
A confession I want to make here, because I know like me, you might be having the same query. When I first heard that a blind person of my team uses the internet, I was nabbed. I thought when he can't see,  how would he be using the computer! Later I got to know so much about different disabilities and how people with disabilities grow up in this world which is mostly designed for people with zero disability. Such special people go to even special schools and there they learn to use different assistive technologies. These assistive technologies and tools help them to compete with people with zero disability. With time, they skill those assistive tools and then they use the computer, mobile phone, internet and digital documents just like us. Digital Accessibility is still a low importance matter in our country but many other countries have given a great attention to the need for digital accessibility. This is a step towards making world equal for Everyone. Accessibility empowers disable people and they can do what they like to do.

Ever since I am working in the Digital Accessibility domain, I am thinking about the digital reading experience of specially-abled people. I now know, for sure, that they love to read and they spend time on the computer to gather information. So, my question to all writer fraternity "Is Your Blog For Everyone?"
  • Can a blind person read what you wrote after spending months of time with giving attention to every single line? 
  • Can an old person, going in his 80s, can read your post comfortably? 
  • Can a person with color disability understand what you have written in red/blue/green?
  • Can a person with a motor disability (people who can't use a mouse) reach to his favorite topic/section at your blog? 
Think about it. In coming posts, I will give more information about making a blog accessible and how you can test it yourself. Believe me, you don't need to learn any technology for making your blog accessible. Accessibility is a shift in perception, not a checklist. Let us all help in building this digital world for Everyone.

'I am taking my Alexa rank to the next level with Blogchatter'

Comments

  1. Most multinationals are sensitive to disabled access in the physical premises but I must admit I never gave much thought to disabled access on www. Informative.

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  2. Wow, That's something I never knew that even Blind people can have that digital accessibility and what a wonderful opportunity you gt. I would really love to know more about this. I need to ponder on the questions you have posed for blog reading.

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  3. I read your post first thing in the morning and I am astounded by the depth. I hope the world was as compassionate as people from your company. Buy I am glued to know more about accessibility.

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  4. This is the first time I am thinking from the perspective of accessibility. Looking forward to your tips on this .

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  5. You have written a fabulous post and I am curious to hear more. Have shared your post on twitter. Tried to find an email sign up but couldn't see any.

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  6. A very relevant and well-written article. You are right, accessibility to disabled people is not the first thing we think of while writing. Thanks to screen readers, bling people can actually hear things written on a screen. As a travel blogger I am often verbose in describing things in that can already be seen in pictures, something that takes up lot of my time and I have been trying to cut down on. After reading this post I think I will not. Because un-conciously, whether they read it or not, I'm making my blog more accessible.

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  7. An inclusive environment in all spheres is a dream that we must work towards. I wasn't aware of digital accessibility until now.
    Thanks for sharing and for your attempt to make this a more sensitive space. Will look forward to reading more on this.

    Love & best wishes.

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  8. Very relevant subject, dealt with nicely. In England I found that the differently abled persons are more confident and can use almost all facilities, in buses there are platforms extended for used by people on wheel chairs. We need to develop such facilities in every field, including digital one, as you dealt with.

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  9. This post is really different from others , would love to know more about it

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  10. This is something to ponder upon. I have seen great accessible roads and public places in Europe but digital accessibility is something I have not come across or thought upon! Very relevant post!

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  11. I had always wondered till we are not rendered physically incompatible we never realize the problems that disabled persons face in world. It is so true that most public places are not disable friendly. On the other hand it genuinely pleases me to read that your organisation has taken a step forward and are working for the betterment of the lesser privileged society.

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  12. Digital accessibility would provide them independence in life and that would be a game changer. For example, a blind person can run a small business from his/her home and handle financial transactions online. They wouldn't have to lean on someone else to do their banking etc. This is a very informative post indeed, Shipra. Hope you've shared this to your LinkedIn as well.

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  13. One of my closest friends is visually disabled, yet I never considered how she would be able to access my blog. She does use a mobile phone with text-to-voice converter, but I admit I never really thought about what I as a blogger can do to make my writing more accessible to her or anyone else. Looking forward to the next post here.
    P.S. All the best for your new role, new city life and the challenge too :)

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  14. This is damn interesting, Shipra. So glad that you have chosen this subject to write upon and with it we all can make our blogs accessible to each and every one! Please do tag me on twitter when you post a new article on it.

    https://www.rohankachalia.com/2018/09/payback-part-1/

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  15. First of all let me congratulate you for new job and all the best for settling down soon.
    Glad you wrote about this topic. We recently were having a discussion with a friend about how a blind person is able to manage his job well in her office. I am looking forward to your next posts to know more.

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  16. This is a first time I am hearing about digital accessibility. I am hearing about this topic for the first time and I am glad you found your way to work with them. I have worked with a couple of blind students before and was amazed to learn how they use technology. I was amazed, but I had no idea how to help them further. This is an eye opener and thanks for this wonderful post. And congratulations on your new job! Cheers to more learning and making this world a better place.

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  17. This is really interesting. I know museums & several art exhibitors around the world are trying to make their exhibits more sensory to offer an experience to the differently-abled, but I hadn't thought of it in a digital setting.

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  18. This was surely an eye opener of sorts... Never thought about disability in terms of digital accessibility. Very informative. Thanks for sharing.

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  19. What you say is so true. Compassion is needed for accessibility and digital accessibility goes one step further to better the lives of people with disabilities. Kudos on a well written post!
    #DeepTiesReads #MyFriendAlexa

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  20. This is something that I didn't know. What would be better than making digital accessibility available to everyone especially those who cannot see. Differently-abled people are very much like us, who crave for knowledge but are shunned most of the times. I think this is great ... would love to learn more about this.

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  21. We think we know everything and then ZAP...I am zapped with this knowledge of Accessibility. Commendable it is for sure. #Myfriendalexa #wordsmithkaurreads

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  22. I am super surprised to know all these things. I will surely want to make my blog accessible to every group of people. And now I have your expertise to learn about them. Very thankful to #MyFriendAlexa challenge that I am getting to gain knowledge about so many new things ☺️

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  23. I don't know why it is showing me as unknown commentor. Btw I am Maya Bhat since I don't find any details to fill in below. ☺️ Sharing this on Twitter

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  24. My curiosity is piqued i never thought about it before this post. How does a blind person surf internet? Through Alexa.. i mean google one

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  25. I remember when I came across a blogger who was blind and maintaining her blog. I found it really strange. I feel they equally able like us. Looking forward to read your next posts.
    #msarorasays

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  26. Congrats for the new job. I never thought about this situation. Eye-opener post. Looking forward to read all such posts :)
    #vigorousreads #MyFriendAlexa

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  27. That was a very informative and thought provoking post. Haven't really considered how people with disability work and access computers before. Looking forward to learn how to make our blogs more accessible

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  28. While reading this post, I recalled my working days in Noida. I was working with an IT firm into HR. To my surprise, there were 3 blind and handicapped persons at the Xerox counter. I was amazed to see how efficiently they were performing all the tasks assigned to them, be it receiving calls, or assisting the staff in printing or taking xerox or even issuing the stationery. They were just perfect in everything. It feels really good to see companies hiring such special people. I dont call them disabled as they are equally abled people. I would love to know more about this and looking forward to your posts in the series. #vartikasdiaryreading #myfriendalexa

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  29. This is such a timely post. Yesterday, I was reading an article about a group comprising of disabled individuals of Pakistan is demanding for mandatory wheelchair ramps for every institutional buildings. Digital accessibility for disabled is surely another side of the same coin.

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  30. Congratulations on your new job, and taking the decision to participate in myfriendalexa.
    I am so grateful for companies who are compassionate enough to include differently abled people and also for working on issues like accessibility.

    A couple of years back I was either immobile or was unable to do normal tasks like climb stairs, bend...

    I was so hurt at the attitude of people towards someone who cannot do things. Very few if any cared. They pushed you around on roads, were impatient or looked at you as if you were odd.

    A major airline refused a wheelchair, and when they did finally, it was the worst one for someone in pain.

    I suddenly realised that public toilets had a step which made it impossible to access. Many buildings including my office had no rails on steps.

    A new world opens up and things which you took for granted are no longer accessible.

    Things need to change and kudos for sharing this.

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  31. Your article is really interesting as you have shared my experience which really us experienced by everyoms but you described digital support very well. #myfriendalexa

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  32. The post is an eye opener and extremely interesting. It is informative and will encourage others to see how efficiently the blind can perform. Looking forward to more posts from you. Cheers!

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  33. This is so interesting. I never gave a thought about digital accessibility. would like to know more. congratulations on your new job, city and opportunities.

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  34. Congrats on your new job, Shipra. Digital accessibility is a noble line of work and need of the day. I was familiar with the concept earlier, as I had explored features of my mobile and then Netflix is digitally accessible - I hope I used the right word - but that's it. I would love to know more so that I enable my blog to everyone. Eager to learn more.

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  35. First of all congrats for your new job in the city i grew up in. Enjoy Delhi, and what a lovely post on accessibility, you completely changed the we look at things as i was not much aware about digital accessibility. Very informative. #PraGunReads

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  36. I am definitely waiting for another post of yours...haven't come across something so much in detail on digital accessibility.

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  37. Your last Para was eye opening. I never thought on these lines. Will be hooked to your upcoming posts on this topic now.

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  38. This is indeed the most amazing thing I've read so far. Digital accessibility for the blind. You are right how people don't take into account the different people who may be reading their blogs. I look forward to more such amazing posts from you!

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  39. I totally agree with you. We categorise them in a box and forget that they are as human as we are.

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  40. It was an eye opener for me. I had never thought about making my site differently ablef friendly. I will like to know about it. Thanks for sharing.

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  41. Your post is best read of today's ...I'm speechless as filled with some emotions

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  42. It was really an eye opener for me and its well written one too.

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  43. First of all, many congratulations for your new job and lots of best wishes for a new life at a new place. Now coming to the post, I was dumbfounded with the information you shared about accessibility. I had never given a thought about this in my entire life. Yes, we are writing for everyone still a large chunk of our population just can not access it. I am eagerly waiting to read your next post. It was really an eye opener.

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  44. loved reading this , nice post
    #simireads
    #MyFriendAlexa

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  45. We hardly think from that point of view whether blog is everyone and this is such a great piece of information.

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  46. Very interesting post! Thanks for opening my eyes to an entirely new angle...

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  47. Its heartening to know that efforts are being made to include the specially abled people in the main stream, rather they are being made the topic or matter experts!
    Is my blog for everyone? Honestly, no as of now. But now you have got me thinking. Thanks for opening up my eyes to the new world, new horizons.

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  48. This is a totally different aspect. Looking forward to your coming posts and learn how to make my post accessible to everybody.

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  49. Wow! Shipra, you are working on a great project. This post is very informative and gave knowledge about lot of things. I wish and pray that you will get success in this project of making digital world accessible for differently able people. All the best.

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  50. A very interesting and informative post. I didn't know about this but good to know that MNCs also have differently abled working for them and getting good opportunities.

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  51. WOW!!! ITS JUST BEAUTIFUL. I liked everything about it. Its such a different topic. I have never thought of it. Congrats for your New Job and a new avenue for learning new things. God Bless You :)

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  52. nice one, never knew about these sides of accessibility. something new must say

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  53. Interesting to know about digital accessibility. Will follow your series. All the best for #MyFriendAlexa

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  54. This is a very good post to start the campaign and share your story with us. I didn't know, about Digital Accessibility for the Special Needs people..Excited to hear more from you.!

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  55. I never thought in this direction. Thanks for sharing and making us think.

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  56. Glad you found your mojo back Shipra and congrats on the big move. I worked in the Disability Forum in my previous organisation where we used to sponsor the Graduation of 5 differently abled kids , we provide them mentoring, an internship stint after completion of 1st year and 2nd year B com and if they are promising we hire them as freshers. I worked very closely with one batch of 5 kids and I was amazed at what they could do and at the same time, at the same how they struggled with things we took for granted. #MyFriendAlexa #AksReflects

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  57. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  58. Good to see that your company hires specially-abled people as SMEs. Not every company showcases these insights. You must be proud of your workplace:)
    And congratulations on your rocking come back:)

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  59. Excellent post Shipra. Really thought provoking. You immediately got me thinking of how closed our minds are when it comes to accessibility. Keep the good work going.
    #MyFriendAlexa #ContemplationOfaJoker #Jokerophilia

    Do visit www.manasmukul.wordpress.com and share your experience.

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  60. Its amazing how one goes through life without sparing a thought for the deprived. I clicked on your post expecting it to be a typical post on blogging basics. However, you have introduced me to a whole new aspect of blogging. Would love to read more on exactly how to go about making a blog disable friendly. Do share tips, tricks and links. Keep writing. Looking forward to reading more posts from you. #MyFriendAlexa #MayuraReads

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  61. what an amazing thing to write about!! I know tid bits about how the visually impaired can "read" our blogs but i will wait for you to unveil the information for us all.

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  62. Digital World for all ... is the demand of Today's Generation. Kudos to your organization for projecting Accessibility for Specially abled people. Please let us know , how we can make our blog accessible to all irrespective of any disability. Waiting for your next post.

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  63. It was an interesting read and you have written it beautifully. Congrats on your new job !

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  64. Wow this is incredible I wasn't knowing this also happens in multinational companies. I am so happy to know disabled people are living as equal and beautiful life as we are... so much compatible and skillful lives.

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  65. This is very useful information and I would definitely like to understand how I can make my blogs accessible to 'everyone'

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  66. Get to know about new meaning of accessibility. Thanks for introducing this. #MyfriendAlexa #Dewreads

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  67. thank you this post has got an idea to get mine readible for thode who cant see ..thank you for awesome post #BoomzReads #MyFriendAlexa

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