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Spotlight: Gertrude Nyenyeshi

What is your day job?

I am a Frontend Engineer with 7 years of industry experience, my professional focus is on the design and development of user interfaces for web applications. I specialize in web accessibility, which means I am dedicated to ensuring that the interfaces we build are inclusive and accessible by all users.

I am also the Founder of Accessibility Africa, an initiative deeply committed to the advancement of digital accessibility in the African continent. I spend my time there creating and sharing content, training and giving talks to equip developers, designers and other professionals with the knowledge and skills needed to create accessible products.

How has learning about accessibility impacted what you do?

Learning about accessibility has helped me understand the importance of diverse perspectives and made me more aware of the importance of inclusive design. It has also enabled me to develop a deeper empathy and understanding of the different needs and challenges that different people face.

What’s one thing you’d want someone to know about doing accessibility work?

That it is normal to not know everything about it.

Accessibility is a learning process and the important thing is to start somewhere and take small steps. For example, starting with small changes such as providing proper heading structures or adding alternative texts to images. Focusing on one area at a time can help make the process feel less daunting.

It’s also important to remember that accessibility is a team effort. Everyone who is involved in the process of designing, development and maintaining of the product should have an understanding of accessibility. Having conversations and sessions with team members can help with knowledge sharing and the collective growth of the team.

In short, accessibility is a learning process, it is ongoing and can be overwhelming but with small steps and team effort we can make digital products accessible for all.

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