I am joining Slack next month as the Accessibility Product Manager. Having seen the incredible demand for accessibility (a11y) support I am very excited for the opportunity to do something about it and help build accessible experiences at Slack.
I am joining Slack for 3 simple but significant reasons:
- Accessibility is a product. It is not considered only in engineering or design or testing, it’s in all of them and it starts in Product. It is given more weight as it is positioned at the same level as other products at Slack .
- People. During my interview I asked Paul & April (and others) why they positioned accessibility in the product team. Their answers were identical, because this is the best way to set it up for success. Great answer and of course, I agree. Also, it helps that Slack & Stewart consider empathy a core quality they look for in people. Because empathy is much needed to build accessible products.
- The interview was not easy. I thought I would have to make the case for a11y, get people to buy into it and do all that good work we often do as accessibility advocates. It turned out the interviewers already did some a11y work and they were all advocates. The interview started at a different level and I felt progressively more challenged… And I loved it! It made it clear to me how serious they are about a11y. And frankly, I doubt I would have considered joining otherwise.
I am very excited to join Slack and help make it more inclusive — both the product & the company. The feedback from the accessibility community has helped raise the profile & importance for accessibility. Please keep it coming, all feedback is being considered.
Joining a new team means that I have to say goodbye to my current team — TELUS Digital. I’m very proud of the accessibility work we’ve done and I am very excited for what you’ll build next.