Building the Woke Web: Accessibility and Social Justice in Software Development

Episode 458 · May 13th, 2019 · 10 mins 58 secs

About this Episode

When we talk about accessibility on the Web, we often talk about can someone who is visually or dextrously impaired, but that's not the only bit of it. While meeting these legal accessibility requirements is important, we can't forget that the Web has systematically left groups of people behind, including the elderly, LGBTQ+, women, people still unconnected, and more — basically those that aren't the cis white men most commonly building and running the tech industry. In short, the most vulnerable people are kept from the potential of the Web.

This is what we talked about and more when The New Stack Makers podcast spoke to BBC Software Engineer Olu Niyi-Awosusi leading up to her talk at this year's Afrotech Fest.

First, the day job. Niyi-Awosusi's work at BBC — which aims to be the most accessible news website in the world — comes with two roles. She builds article webpages using React, and she is an accessibility champion. The latter is a voluntary but official role, probably unique to the BBC, tasked with keeping accessibility at the front of colleagues' minds.