Check-in w/ Natalie Patrice Tucker

August 09, 2013

Natalie Patrice Tucker is a queer femme geek who is committed to a web that works for everyone. She spends her days (and far too many nights and weekends, she adds) serving as a subject matter expert in the area of web accessibility and training an army of developers and stakeholders to carry the charge.

What is web accessibility?

Simply put, web accessibility involves creating web sites, web applications, and electronic documents that allow the widest possible variety of folks to interpret, interact with, and contribute to those media.

I know you love your work. Why do you love it so?

I love what I do because I get my life out of being of service and I know my livelihood makes a difference. I’m of the opinion that access to information is as much a human right as access to food is.

How does web accessibility connect to social justice?

It’s all about social justice! I got into doing what I do because, if I had my say, the kids in the slums of Kinshasa will have access to the same information that the Silicone Valley tech millionaires do. Information is the great leveler. Everything is possible when you know how. The internet used to be such an incredible deep resource overflowing with free information, and it still is in many ways, but I’m not willing to do nothing while some of the most important information is unavailable to broad swaths of folks. This is sort my tiny revolution.

A few things people should keep in mind when striving to make websites and apps more accessible?

Web standards are your friend. Fall in love with the W3C specs. The earlier you consider accessibility the easier and less expensive it is to achieve it.

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