For me, accessibility has been a very important topic for quite a while. Accessibility is an important topic because it allows people with disabilities to have equal access to the same information, products, and services as those without disabilities. This includes access to the internet, transportation, buildings, and other public accommodations. By making sure that websites, documents, and other materials are accessible to people with disabilities, we can help to create a more inclusive society where everyone has the opportunity to participate fully. Accessibility can also benefit people who do not have disabilities, such as those who are elderly, who may have temporary injuries or impairments, or who may be using a device or software that is not fully compatible with a particular website or document.
Therefore, I was very excited and also happy, when in both 2021 and 2022, was asked to participate as an organizer for Morgan Stanley’s Accessibility Design Day. It is being organized as part of the disAbility Awareness Month, together with the Americas Culture of Inclusion Committee, and it is a global all-day event for teams to innovate and to challenge themselves to think in a new way to improve UX and interaction patterns across many types of applications. In 2021, 44, and in 2022, 54 engineers and technologists participated, working in teams of 2-8, collaborating on innovative ideas to make our applications and technologies more accessible to clients and employees with vision, hearing or cognitive impairment. The 10 teams dispersed across the world worked together on the day on a demo ready proof of concept which was presented to an esteemed panel of internal and external judges, who are advocates of the accessibility community. Solutions ranged from enhanced support responses from our chatbots, one- and two-way voice interfaces, captions and transcripts, immersive screen readers, accessible augmented reality solutions and custom data visualizations.
(Yes, I am wearing my http://finos.org hoody :D)