Andrew Kirkpatrick, director of accessibility at Adobe, wrote a blog post published on Thursdaywhich today is World Accessibility Awareness Day, which highlights some of the latest ways the San Jose-based software company has supported the disability community over the past year by promoting accessibility. accessibility and assistive technologies.
“Each year, we observe this day to recognize over one billion people with disabilities around the world,” Kirkpatrick wrote in the post. “We also want to recognize and highlight the significant progress the industry has made while looking at the next step in breaking down barriers and unlocking inclusive and accessible experiences for all.”
Kirkpatrick highlighted much of what the company does, internally and externally, in the area of accessibility. Among the assorted announcements, Adobe was received the Accessibility Ladder Award for their “large and mature accessibility efforts”. The company has also partnered with the University of Central Florida and Readability issues form The Legibility Consortium, and welcomed Google as a new member. According to Kirkpatrick, the group’s goal is “to make digital reading and reading comprehension more equitable for all people around the world by investing in cognitive research, open source tools, and user testing on a wide range of age groups and ability levels”. And internally, Adobe continues to strongly support its employees with disabilities in multiple ways, including an Access at Adobe roundtable on the importance of embracing neurodiversity in the workplace.
“Celebrating Global Accessibility Awareness Day is something I look forward to every year, as I love hearing inspiring stories from our colleagues and participating in the many events we host across all of our offices. It’s a great reminder of all the amazing work our colleagues are doing, while also raising awareness about accessibility for other teams and how everyone can practice being more inclusive at work,” she said. Kirkpatrick in an interview earlier this week via email. “However, while this day marks an important milestone in raising awareness of accessibility and people with disabilities, we are focused on these efforts throughout the year, keeping accessibility in mind outside of these “significant days”. We regularly organize events and trainings for our teams so that they can be up to date with the latest industry trends and regulations, while offering our employees with disabilities an open space to share their personal experiences and their incredible work alongside. of their colleagues in an inclusive environment.
In the sense of preventing symbolism, Kirkpatrick was keen to emphasize that promoting accessibility awareness is not – and absolutely should not be—relegated to just one day a year at Adobe and elsewhere. Indeed, embracing the disability community is of utmost importance the other 364 days of the year as well. “At Adobe, we work year-round to ensure that all of our employees feel included within the company. We want our employees to reflect society and our customers as a whole so that we can best serve the people who use our products, and employing people with disabilities helps us achieve that goal,” said Kirkpatrick. “One of the most important parts of my role is listening to employees with disabilities and understanding their pain points. Their insights and experiences open up a number of new ways to improve our products and how we work at Adobe.
Kirkpatrick’s comments reflect Adobe’s corporate values.
“Every person, regardless of ability, should have equal access, just like everyone else. At Adobe, we have prioritized inclusion awareness to ensure that our employees and customers with disabilities have equal access in the workplace and to our products. The disability community has long been underserved, and with the shift to a digitally-enabled workplace, it has emphasized how we think about accessibility,” he said. “At Adobe, we have made it a core value to prioritize accessibility and inclusivity in everything we do. Through Adobe for All, we continuously focus on diversity and inclusion efforts internally, valuing the unique work and experience of each of our employees. contribute, while investing to advance our company and the industry in this area.
In sharing today’s blog post, Adobe joins its Silicon Valley colleagues at Apple, Googleand Netflix, among many other industry players, to reaffirm their continued commitment to promoting diversity and inclusion in accessibility and assistive technology.