Samantha is one of my favorite people. She greeted me with her thousand-watt smile as I walked into the exam location to give my Certified Professional in Accessibility Core Competencies (CPACC) exam. I immediately felt at ease. Over the course of the 2 years since I met Samantha, I have reached out to her a few times for her guidance on Accessibility related topics. She has always been very gracious with her time, leaving me with many things to think about. The most profound experience was during our last conversation a few months ago. I had this newfound passion for Accessibility that had ignited in me the desire to do more. But I wasn’t sure how to go about it. Should I pursue a full-time role? keep consulting? how do I stay current on the latest technology?..I had a lot of questions. If there are three things that stand out about Samantha, they are the following:
- She is very approachable and easy to talk to. So you feel at ease right from the get-g
- She is a very patient listener. So expect that she will ask questions and ask you to clarify so she understands what you are saying.
- She is a great connector. She will connect you to people, resources, ideas with such ease that you will think she is some kind of a magician.
Here are some things she said that I loved –
“I take at least 2-3 hours every week to learn something new. I call it “brain candy”.. to give myself something to focus on that isn’t work-related”
“If all of us could take on a little bit of education and learning that we are interested in, that we are passionate about, and if we can pass that on to one or two or three more people, that’s going to be amazing.”
“I read somewhere that ‘You need lots of voices and lots of perspectives’. I think to be self aware on any journey you have to investigate your own personal biases, be aware of whatever you bring to the table and figure out how to counter those first.”
It was a great pleasure to engage with Samantha in a conversation about her journey on Accessibility. She shared many stories from her early days, her views of Accessibility, her approach to her work, and of course her love for Star Wars.
Here is the video of our conversation:
More about Samantha below: