Some time ago on a listserv (I think it was WebAIM), a developer commented that arguments for equality, compliance, etc. were never going to get people outside of the accessibility community interested in accessibility. His argument was that accessibility had to be cool. I've thought about this a lot since, especially as I do accessibilty workshops, work on my dissertation, and the like. What is it that gets me excited about accessibility? How can I can convey that excitement and cool to other scholars and teachers?
As a writing teacher, one aspect of accessibility that is really motivating for me is how well accessibility links to multimodality, a connection Allison mentioned in her intro post. As we work to provide content in multiple formats for accessibility, I think we have some amazing opportunities to understand the affordances of various modes. One of my favorite illustrations of this is from the online exhibit of Sight Unseen, a collection of images from photographers who are blind and low vision. When you go to the Gallery, each image in the collection is accompanied by an audio description of that image. Audio description is a key component of accessibility for people who are blind and low vision, but with its mix of objective description and poetic language it provides an incredible way to understand how visual information can be translated into text and vice versa. (and if you're a rhetoric nerd, audio description is an interesting modern iteration of ekphrasis). For, me accessibility is cool because it reveals the multiplicity of representation, how the same information can be conveyed through sound, image, text, and more.
So, for those of you who are involved in accessibility, what makes it cool? How do you persuade others to get involved in accessibility?