UTM – University of Toronto Mississauga
It began here. Somewhere around that building.
Lets back track a little bit. Lets go back to June 2015. My graduation ceremony at York University. I received a neat little degree, Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, previously worked on campus in our student union Access Centre where students with disabilities can use the space as quiet time, check out our software which included Kurzweil, Dragon and Zoomtext and learn more about academic accommodation. So I walked away with a degree and experience in Accessibility. So I set my goals on working to implement AODA (Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act) in Ontario.
Unfortunately. After four months of searching and applying I remained unemployed. Believe me. I applied everywhere.
Finally, a lovely little agency called Career Edge (I recommend it to all recent graduates), found me a position with the City of Mississauga as an Accessibility Specialist working with the Accessibility Coordinator. It was a contract from September to January. I spent my time reading AODA legislation, researching available accessible devices in our community centres, attending Accessibility Committee meetings, conferences, learning about accessible communication and was sent to an Accessible Document training class. It was an invaluable experience that I can transfer to any company or role. I learned that accessibility is not only for people with disabilities. When a store adds a ramp to their front door they also help a mom with a stroller, delivery person with a trolley or a little child that can’t take big enough steps. When you make your PDF more friendly for screen reading software you also make your PDF available for people to listen to while doing another task. So really, accessibility not only helps people with disabilities but it makes your space, service or product universal. Universal for everyone.
After my time at the City of Mississauga I again applied for jobs. I hoped that with my increased experience I would be a more desirable candidate. Nope. So I decided to be realistic with myself and just accept that the field of accessibility is a small one. So I changed gears! When I worked at the City of Mississauga, I had a .. employee-crush if you will. She was in the Communications Department and worked with the Accessibility Department. She was lively, current and had great style! She produced videos about accessibility, reached out to followers on social media and wrote content for the city. I wanted to be her and I wanted her role.
So I applied to Sheridan for PR and Corporate Communications 🙂 But it wasn’t enough for me. I wanted to be current and learn about whats trending. So I researched and listened to my brothers recommendation (grudgingly..right?). I chose to do a Certificate in Digital Marketing Management at UTM. I wanted to learn SEO (search engine optimization), SEM (search engine marketing), analytics, what software to use to optimize social media, content and whatever other cool stuff a 20-something year old marketer is tweeting on Twitter (was that redundant?). One of my assignments was to create a blog. This is the blog. Which is why it begins here.
I am going to share with you all what I learn in school and I’ll add my thoughts about how to make it accessible or rather..UNIVERSAL. The goal is to help you reach those extra few followers, readers or increase your conversion rates. So stick around..
You actually read this entire thing? I’m genuinely flattered. Chat with me! Tell me your thoughts in the comments section (scroll up to the top of this post and click leave a comment). I promise I’ll respond. Haha!!