Faces of Accessibility – Ted Drake

It took me a few months to get face to face time with Ted. I finally got to meet him at the CSUN Assistive Tech conference in 2018. I spent about an hour with him and at the end of the hour, my head was bursting with ideas. Before I approached him in the hallway, I was so overwhelmed by everything I had learned about Accessibility. I had access to a lot of information but I was looking for insights. Ted is very easy to talk to (once you manage to get this attention). He broke it down for us into simple, bite-sized insights and advise. My team and I were so thrilled to get his guidance.
I was excited to kick off this series of conversations to showcase the ‘Faces of Accessibility”. The series was my way of saying thank you to the people who have helped me on my Accessibility journey with their guidance and support. In this chat, we talked about a lot of things. You will hear from Ted, stories from his early days as an engineer, his views on Accessibility and his approach to his work, how he stays in the learning mindset, and much more.
Here are a few things Ted said that I loved,

“Our goal was to put ourselves out of business and basically teach everybody else about Accessibility”

“We have to recognize that amazing people come from environments that are non-standard.”

“You can teach engineering but you cant teach curiosity”

Watch our conversation here.

Ted’s Checklist of A11Y Resources:

Accessibility Related Podcasts:

  • 13 letters
  • AT Banter
  • Blind Abilities
  • Blind Bargains
  • Disability After Dark – LBGTQ+ Accessibility
  • Disability Visability
  • ExcelAbility
  • Freedom Scientific FSCast
  • Ouch BBC
  • The World According to Sound

Podcasts related to Inclusion and Design

  • 99% Invisible
  • Gravy
  • Showcase by Radiotopia: Season 5 The Great God of Depression
  • The Fix with Michelle King
  • This American Negro with Marquise Richards
  • The Fall Line – explores missing persons from under-represented communities

Ted sent me the following note after the chat, “During the conversation, I mentioned old school leaders that made an impression on me. I think I only mentioned men, but I immediately regretted not mentioning Molly Holzschlag, Leonie Watson, and Nicole Sullivan.”

More about Ted Drake below –

Ted’s LinkedIn Profile

Coaching and Celebrating Accessibility Champions