Create Accessibility began as an idea born out of personal frustration over the inaccessibility of videos that contain inaccurate captions or lack them entirely. As someone with a moderate-severe bilateral mixed hearing loss, I know how inaccessible media negatively affects learning. This idea of improving accessibility became my #COL16 Google Innovator Academy vision. The project has evolved slightly but has remained true to a single core belief: creators, no matter their age, can choose to create accessibility by making accessible design choices during the creation process.
CreateAccessibility.com is designed to provide information and resources for educators who wish to incorporate a create accessibility mindset into both their own digital workflow and teach their students to do the same. During the past year, I've had many opportunities to increase accessibility awareness through presentations and conversations. I cherish the 1:1 interactions with people in person or online who seek to understand a different perspective and take action. It makes the need for accessibility more tangible. It provides me hope that captioning will become as pervasive as curb cuts in education and I will no longer feel compelled to document the instances of captioning displayed at EdTech Events because they are so few and far between. I cling to the moonshot idea that the next generation of designers, business owners, and developers, currently reside in our classrooms. And if we explicitly teach how to design for accessibility, we can create a vastly different future for everyone.
I don't claim to have all the answers but I am committed to continuous learning through site updates and blog posts at createaccessibility.blogspot.com. I'd love to connect for feedback, questions, or further learning.
Original #COL16 Google Innovator Vision Deck & Video
Melissa currently serves as Coordinator of Instructional Technology for K-12 district in the Sacramento Area. She began her career in education in 2000 as a 2nd grade teacher in Baltimore City Public Schools. After teaching for five years in general education environments, Melissa transitioned to special education in 2005 to better manage her disability. In this capacity, she served students with a wide variety of disabilities within the continuum of supports.
Melissa collects degrees and badges. A habit that can be traced to her high school guidance counselor who predicted she wouldn't make it at the university level. She has bachelor's from University of CA, Davis and master's degrees from University of Washington and Johns Hopkins University. Melissa is a National Board Certified Teacher in Exceptional Needs. Upon completing the requirements (and payments) to clear her administrative credential, Melissa plans to pursue an assistive technology certificate. She currently holds all 5 Google Badges: Google Educator Level 1 and 2, Google for Education Trainer and Innovator, and is a Google Certified Administrator.
When not pursuing learning, Melissa is obsessed with her cat and enjoys exploring different artistic mediums and has committed to creating every day in 2017!