Get to know Ryan, Lead Accessibility Consultant

What is the best thing about being an Accessibility Consultant?
Knowing that the work we do reaches literally millions of people. That’s empowering.

What is the hardest thing about being an Accessibility Consultant?
People not realizing just how easy accessibility is, so they are daunted by it. If I had a nickel for every time I had to reassure people that accessibility was easy, I’d be up to $3.85 by now.

What was the most exciting thing that happened this month?
I am working on a project to give greater in-store shopping access to people who are blind and visually impaired. The fact that I have the freedom to work on this is incredible. I appreciate the ability to be able to pursue passion projects alongside my other work.

What should every designer be reading right now?
Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson (but just because it’s an amazing book, even though it has nothing to do with design or accessibility).

What’s your greatest accomplishment in your career at Target so far?
Speaking at SXSW about the importance of creating a culture of accessibility. That was amazing, and we heard from a lot of people who wanted their companies to emulate us.

What is your favorite thing about working at Target?
All the friendly people who are excited to push the envelope. Accessibility isn’t something we do. It’s who we are.

What did you want to be when you grew up?
A guitar player in a local band who got to play weekend gigs at the Silver Bullet (The Silver Bullet closed decades ago).

Best career advice that you’ve received?
Meet people where they are, but still invite them to your party.

Dogs or cats?
Cats until I can spend more time at home. Then both.

What is your superpower/unicorn flavor?
My superpower is a D10 in public speaking, and my unicorn flavor definitely contains curry.

Anything else you want to say?
People with disabilities are just people. I don’t want to be treated differently or handled with care. I just want to have the same opportunities and live the same life as everyone else.


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