New Editions’ Impact in the Federal Accessibility Arena
By Cindy Ryan, Vice President
New Editions was pleased to honor Alan King at the 7th Annual ICT Testing Symposium in October by sponsoring the Best Paper Award for the conference in his honor. Alan, a former New Editions employee who passed away unexpectedly this year, was a leading expert in the field of digital accessibility. Alan inspired others and encouraged them to give their talents and energy to support the disability community. Alan was well respected for his innovative ideas in the accessibility field. He had a kind and compassionate attitude toward everyone he met and we miss him deeply.
While at the conference, catching up with several past and present New Editions employees, we reflected on how many former New Editions employees at the conference are now working in the Federal government. They have carried their passion for accessible technology and the knowledge they gained at New Editions to the Federal space, where they are able to make an even larger impact on the field of accessibility.
Two previous New Editions employees are at General Services Administration, an agency that provides guidance and information resources on accessibility to the rest of the Federal government. One of these employees is the Director of the GSA Government-wide IT Accessibility Program and he is supported by another recent and exceptional New Editions staff member. Another former member of the New Editions team is leading the Accessibility and Usability program at DHS, which created the widely respected Trusted Tester Web Assessment Process and training (with our assistance), and several previous staff support this large program office. We also have ex-employees providing 508 expertise and leading agency changes at FEMA, DISA, Treasury, TSA, and the Access Board.
It’s bittersweet that they are no longer employees, and while we miss them at New Editions, our goal has always been to increase the awareness and availability of accessible information communication technology (ICT) for people with disabilities. As a contractor, we support the government with setting up accessibility programs, understanding requirements, and increasing awareness and conformance; but with these talented folks leading the way at the Federal government policy and decision-making levels, they are able to have an even greater influence. It is rewarding to see the impact that their passion and expertise are having in elevating accessibility programs, as well as influencing ICT vendor awareness and conformance.