Wendy Chisholm

Stairs make the building inaccessible, not the wheelchair. Co-author of Universal Design for Web Applications. Strategist for Microsoft. @wendyabc at twitter.

about

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I am an author, strategist and project manager. I co-wrote “Universal Design for Web Applications” with Matt May (O’Reilly, 2008) and edited Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0 and 2.0.  I have appeared as Wonder Woman in a web comic with the other HTML5 Super Friends and as myself at Ignite Seattle. In 2014, I gave a short keynote at OSCON, “Introvert? Extrovert? Klingon? We’ve got you covered.”

I’ve focused on inclusive web design since 1995.  Being both a developer (B.S. in Computer Science) and a Human Factors Engineer (M.S. in Industrial Engineering/Human Factors), I bridge communication between developers and designers. As a staff for the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), I helped synchronize work on the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines with developments in internationalization and mobile design.

As a Senior Strategist at Microsoft, I help make Visual Studio Team Services accessible. Previously, I’ve worked on the University of Washington’s AccessComputing project–helping to increase the number of people with disabilities in computing fields; contributed to the development of WebAnywhere–a screen reader on the go; independently consulted for companies including Microsoft, Google, and Adobe to integrate universal design into their products and as a consultant for the American Foundation for the Blind.

My personal mission is to find elegant solutions that empower everyone to participate fully in society. I’m currently focused on tools and processes that make it cheap and easy to make every product and service accessible at the alpha release.

Written by wendy

November 22nd, 2007 at 1:14 am

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6 Responses to 'about'

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  1. Hi Wendy,

    Thanks for this book. I’m enjoying the read.

    I’ve a question, however. On page 101, you write: “If you can live with UDM4’s licensing regime, it’s a good product and can save you a lot of time. But […] So we wrote an open source menu script of our own, which you can download at http://ud4wa.com.”

    I’ve looked for this menu script both on ud4wa.com and the book’s O’Reilly site but to no avail.

    Can you please point me to where this script can be downloaded

    Thanks a lot
    Bill

    Bill Shackleton

    8 May 09 at 8:10 pm

  2. Bill,

    I’m glad you’re enjoying the book.

    I just published Open source menus and code on the ud4wa site. This gives pointers to the YUI and Dojo libraries–which are far more comprehensive than anything we could write on our own.

    Thank you,
    –wendy

    wendy

    11 May 09 at 8:41 pm

  3. Hi,

    Heard your interview on KUOW on 7-25-09 and it was good to hear this topic being discussed. Regarding your book, I was wondering if, along with the Universal Design topics, do you cover the area of information management? One thing I’ve noticed with our aging population is the difficulty of finding things on their computers. They may be able to navigate a site just fine, but when it comes to information retrieval and organization, this becomes a serious issue (perhaps memory loss, etc.). Setting up mnemonic assistants or similar seems it would be part of a good accessibility design.

    Your thoughts appreciated,
    Rob

    Rob

    25 Jul 09 at 9:28 pm

  4. Rob: Sorry it took me so long to comment.

    I’m glad you like the interview. We don’t specifically cover information retrieval and organization in the book, except that using principles of universal design usually makes information easier to find with search engines.

    Mnemonic assistants are likely to help everyone and in that case are good universal design. This is what I like about universal design, oftentimes when you design to make something easier to use or easier to understand for a particular population, it often makes it easier to use or understand for everyone.

    So, if you end up using some mnemonic devices on your site, let me know. It would be interesting to see if more people find it easier to use.

    wendy

    1 Sep 09 at 4:15 am

  5. […] A bit more about her: she co-authored the O’Reilly book “Universal Design for Web Applications” and I worked at the W3C for 6 years. She currently splits her time between the UW and consulting. For even more, including a link to her stint as Wonder Woman: http://sp1ral.com/about/ […]

  6. […] Wendy Chisholm is a developer and author of “Universal Design for Web […]

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