Greater Than Code

Greater Than Code

257: Putting Accessibility Into Action with Dr. Michele A. Williams

November 03, 2021

01:03 - Not Giving Into Peer Pressure

02:31 - Reaching Outside of the Accessibility World (Demystifying Accessibility)

Everyday Accessibility by Dr. Michele A. Williams
Thinking About Disability Until It’s Everyone’s Normal Way of Thinking
Power Structures and Erasing Innovation
Recognizing Specialty

Cormac Russell: Four Modes of Change: To, For, With, By

12:37 - The Real Work of Accessibility: Organizational Change

Taking a Stance and Celebrating Innovation

17:52 - Avoiding Dysfunctional Ways of Working

The 5 Principles of Human Performance: A contemporary update of the building blocks of Human Performance for the new view of safety by Todd E. Conklin PhD

Context Drives Behavior
How Leaders Respond Matters

Set Up The System So The Right Thing Is Easy

26:46 - Moral Obligations and Social Norms: Top Down

PAPod 36 - Martha Acosta Returns - The 4 Things Leaders Control

Processes and Practices

31:20 - Personas: Translating Ideas and Principles Into Action

Software Security: Building Security In by Gary McGraw

37:04 - Putting Accessibility Into Action

Knowledge Building: Iterate
Giving Access
“Appreciate the bunt.”
Clearer Consequences
Greater Than Code Episode 162: Glue Work with Denise Yu

51:06 - “Disability Dongles” – Liz Jackson

The Lows of High Tech – 99% Invisible
Infrastructure Disables Blind Navigation
The Models of Disability
The Pretty One: On Life, Pop Culture, Disability, and Other Reasons to Fall in Love with Me by Keah Brown


Michele: Finding room for everyone to provide their perspective.

John: The real solutions are infrastructural.

Rein: Accessibility has to be built-in throughout the process of building and designing software.

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REIN: Hello and welcome to Episode 257 of Greater Than Code. I'm your co-host, Rein Henrichs, and I'm here with my friend, John Sawers.

JOHN: Thank you, Rein, and I'm here with our guest, Michele A. Williams.

She's the owner of M.A.W. Consulting (Making Accessibility Work). Her 16 years of experience include influencing top tech companies as a Senior User Experience Researcher and Accessibility Consultant, and obtaining a PhD in Human-Centered Computing focused on accessibility. A W3C-WAI Invited Expert, international speaker, published academic author, and patented inventor, she is passionate about educating and advising on technology that does not exclude disabled users.

Welcome to the show, Michele.

MICHELE: Thank you so much, John and Rein. Thanks for having me.

JOHN: You are very welcome and we'll start the show as we always do by asking our standard question, which is what is your superpower and how did you acquire it?

MICHELE: I don't think I have the most creative answer to this. [laughs] I kind of hate those, “Oh, tell us something fun about yourself.” But the thing I thought about that came to mind was my ability to not give into peer pressure. [chuckles] And some ways that manifests for instance, I have a technology background and yet I'm almost the least technical person like I was probably one of the last people to get a smartphone. I love my flip phone and you couldn't take it from me.

So this idea that everyone's doing this social media, all of that, I just joined Twitter last year. So I do things dagnabbit; when I need it, not necessarily just because there's groundswell. So I would say that's pretty good superpower.

JOHN: All right. So you gave some examples there in your personal life with technology and social media. I assume that that's