Mentors in Digital Accessibility
This is an initiative of the Digital Accessibility Eldering Project. It grew from a conversation between Wendy Chisholm, Lainey Feingold, and Sharron Rush at the 2018 AccessU conference - Honoring Wisdom Embracing Change. The intent of the Mentoring Initiative of this Project is to connect newcomers to the field of digital accessibility to the community of practitioners by fostering mentoring relationships. We are committed to foster mentoring relationships that encourage people in underrepresented communities, including disabled people, Black and indigenous people, and other people of color to become involved in digital accessibility. This is a volunteer, unsponsored, self-organized initiative.
We are building process and structure and welcome broad community participation.
Mentoring is a relationship in which a more experienced or more knowledgeable person (the mentor) supports and guides someone with less experience (the mentee) in a specific field or area of study. The mentor may be older or younger than the person being mentored, but must have a certain area of expertise and a willingness to support the mentee and share experiences, resources or knowledge. It is a learning and development partnership between someone with experience and someone who wants to learn. Mentors of course can (and should) also learn from those they mentor.
Mentorship experience and relationship structure may include social support, career guidance, role modeling, and communication. In this case of mentoring within the field of digital accessibility, it is also a way to be introduced to and understand the relationships and interactions of the companies and individuals who have helped to create the community of practice.
Current and Upcoming Projects
- Open Now Digital Accessibility Mentoring Survey
- As a follow-on to the survey, we will be setting up a series of focus group discussions for those who indicated they would like to learn more and/or participate in accessibility mentoring.
- Code of Conduct for Mentoring Best Practices in the Digital Accessibility Space
- Conference presentations about the Mentors in Digital Accessibility Initiative
- Presentation called "Care & Feeding of Accessibility Professionals", scheduled for the #ID24 conference on September 17, 2020 with Natalie Tucker and Lori Samuels
- Develop a structure for identifying and matching mentors and mentees
As an organizer
- To actively participate in shaping this initiative, join WAI-Engage the community group that oversees this project.
- Joining a community group requires a (free) W3C account. if you do not have one, you can Request free W3C account
To find a mentor/mentee
- Need content here