Mina Markham is the best person to implement accessibility on Beyoncé’s site
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When it comes to accessibility, many engineers and designers don’t think about how to make websites accessible. Great experiences and design should be inclusive. And it's clear that when a website is accessible, it benefits all people, regardless of their background, intersection or physical impairment.
It has come to light recently that Beyoncé is being sued by a New York woman who claims that Beyonce.com is not accessible. And rightly so, because people of all intersections love both Beyoncé and the internet and should be able to access the glorious combination of both, regardless of impairment.
You can read more about the suit and the situation here: Gizmodo: Beyonce.com Lawsuit Reminds Us How Shitty the Web Is for Users With Visual Impairment
The Americans with Disabilities Act is a civil rights law that “...prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools, transportation, and all public and private places that are open to the general public.” This includes websites!
You can read more about this here: ADA National Network: What is the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)?
Did you know this has happened before? There was a lawsuit brought forth by The National Federation of the Blind against Target Corporation. The National Federation of the Blind stated that Target’s website was inaccessible, violated The Americans with Disabilities Act, and eventually won the suit. It led to Target’s entire site being reformatted so that it is 100% accessible. If you try navigating target.com with a screen reader, you’ll find you have a much better experience than, say, navigating The New York Times or Change.org (~*~cue Alanis Morissette~*~).
You can read more about the suit here: Wikipedia: National Federation of the Blind v. Target Corp.
“Umm, how can blind people use the internet?!?!111”
Lol. That “lol” is deeply critical and pities anyone who says this because blind people absolutely use the internet.
~*~puts on teacher hat~*~
In fact, people of varying abilities use a plethora of tools and devices to access the internet! Examples include screen readers, braille keyboards, text-to-speech, voice recognition, magnification, custom colors, captions, eye tracking and more. That’s just a small list of the tools these individuals use...and those tools can also be helpful to you, should you end up in a position where you are of limited ability or need assistance. Accessible tools help all of us, but not if the web is inherently inaccessible. There may be a day when your eyesight diminishes, or your encounter another change in routine and mobility and an accessible web will be useful to you, too.
You can learn more about how people use the web here: W3C Web Accessibility Initiative: How People with Disabilities Use the Web
I want to join the chorus of voices not only advocating for Beyoncé's website to be made more accessible, but also for the right person for the job: Mina Markham.
Mina Markham is a gifted, Black woman developer who is well-versed in accessible web standards–just ask the 2016 Hillary Clinton Presidential team. In addition to making Clinton’s site accessible for all, Mina created the first design system for a presidential candidate ever–Pantsuit. Mina is now honing her skills building amazing products for Slack, but...most importantly, Markham is a true Beyoncé stan, combining her deep love for Queen Bey and code/web development.
Mina cares deeply about Beyoncé and about the progression of the web being a space that all people can have access to, no matter their ability. Mina Markham is the perfect person to help Beyoncé channel some powerful #blackgirlmagic and make Beyonce.com more accessible. ✊✨
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