Diversity and Inclusion Means Nothing Without Accessibility
When it comes to diversity and inclusion, unfortunately, people with disabilities are often overlooked, despite being the world’s largest minority.
There are over 1.85 billion people with disabilities worldwide which is larger than the combined populations of China and EU! Disabled people control over $1.9 trillion in annual disposable income. Their families, friends, and colleagues add another 3.4 billion potential consumers. Together those groups control over $13 trillion in annual disposable income!
That’s why accessibility is so important.
Accessibility is not just a necessity for people with disabilities. It also benefits many other people and increases the audience and ROI for your business. To ensure that everyone is included and on an equal footing with others, your products, services, and events need to be accessible.
That’s where I come in. For over 10 years, I have been providing customized consulting and training to corporations, media producers, business owners, event organizers, and educational institutions to ensure that they are disability-friendly.
My goal is to help businesses become more proactive in accessibility and make it second nature for their web, media, and events.
My unique combination of professional expertise in accessibility and lived experience with deafness allows clients to have a greater understanding of why accessibility is critical.
I hold an MS degree in Internet Technology and have over 20 years of professional experience in design, technology, and accessibility.
As a deaf person, I have had to use various alternative solutions to effectively navigate communication and information barriers.
For example, I had no captioning access on TV when growing up until I was around 15 years old. I had to navigate most of education in regular schools as the only deaf student without formal communication access services.
In addition being deaf, I’m also female and foreign born. I had to master English as a third language after moving to the USA. It was not an easy feat, especially for a deaf person regularly dealing with barriers to aural information not only in my native Russian, but also English and other spoken languages.
Many people think that deafness is a weakness, but I prove otherwise through my consulting and speaking.
My services include:
- corporate training and workshops,
- accessibility strategy consulting,
- public speaking and teaching.
Since 2008, I’ve been a speaker at events and conferences where I present on the importance of accessibility in various industries, including but not limited to: design, technology, user experience, media, business, education, and many others.
Ready to work with me? Contact me – I look forward to hearing from you!