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The personal site of Jamie Knight, an autistic web developer, speaker and mountain biker who is never seen far from his plush sidekick Lion. View the Archive

Topics: Autism Development

Letting go as an accessibility specialist.

I really love what i do. My job is to basically float around the BBC and help teams to make things more accessible. Just this week i helped the media player team make our video player better for keyboard only users, and more friendly to older users.

However, the hardest part of the job, the bit which drives me away and challeges my resolve is learning to let go.

The role of my team is to recommend and support, we dont take product decisions. Therefore, from our perspective we see teams “get it wrong” and can feel ignored.

When this happens, we all feel for the users as we know that something could be better.

Learning to accept that our role comes to an end and teams stand and fall by thier choices is extremely hard.

I find it even harder when it comes to decisions which will exclude autistic people. It lands so close to home that i have a really hard time keeping my passion and emotions out of the discussion.

Thats about all for this post really. I think its someting everyone goes through. Often change is achieved by looking at the wider context and not obsessing over individual battles.

I have to focus on the good we do and trust that given time things will come together and improve. Bad decisions will be reviewed and excluded users will be included once the mistake it understood.

At a time when so much in my life is a struggle (speech, housing, travel) it just adds an extra layer of complexity and means that i need to police my actions extra strongly in order to ensure i build bridges and work constructively with others.

Published: 19 March 2016 | Categories: Permalink


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