Hi! My name's Suzanne and I'm a software engineer based in Edinburgh. Working for Bemo, I help develop applications for a wide range of clients ranging from small companies to major national brands. I work across a variety of languages and frameworks, but at the moment the majority of my frontend work is in React.
Why did I start Up Your A11y?
Through working on a project with a large national brand, my eyes were opened to just how little I understood about web accessibility, despite working with web apps for some time. A few things really struck me:
- Accessible practices had been far from central to my way of approaching development
- There was a lot I took for granted in terms of accessibility having come originally from an Android app development background. It seems there are a lot more things to know and be mindful of in web development
- Almost everyone in my engineering team felt they could learn more about how our apps should perform in terms of keyboard and screen reader usage
I soon fell down a rabbit hole of learning, and found lots of great resources online, many of which you'll find referenced throughout this site. My eyes were gradually opened, and I started collecting notes and examples to more easily refer back to later. These notes became a "lunch and learn" session for my colleagues, and later I decided to write them up into short articles and tutorials. In large part this was for my own learning and reference, but also to share here on Up Your A11y, in the hope that it will help someone else in a similar position to me.
Why the React focus?
Where I found it most difficult to find resources, examples and answers was where the accessibility concern I was trying to address was directly tied to coding Single Page Applications. I found myself lost on route changes, with focus seemingly in random places. I realised I'd taken for granted my nifty component was fit for purpose across different locations in my app without considering the heading level etc. I hadn't properly considered page titles, and so on.
I’ve therefore given Up Your A11y a React bias, partly because it's what I know, but also because it's those React/SPA specific topics that represented the biggest 'Aha!' moments for me. While the React docs are great, I think it's useful to gather those React-specific considerations together alongside more general accessibility principles and tutorials.
I'm by no means an accessibility expert. I'm learning every day, and hope to keep expanding this site with more topics and examples, and I’d really appreciate any engagement from anyone who’s visited the site. You can connect with me using any of the methods highlighted above - I’d really value any feedback, thoughts and ideas. Of course if you spot a bug or something that’s not quite right in any of the articles I’d also love to know!