Sam’s Journey Into Accessibility Testing and Community Management

Why did you become a Fable Community member?

I became a Fable community member before there was a Fable community.  In fact, I started off as Fable’s first ever screen reader tester.  I’d heard about Fable because our founder and CEO, Alwar, worked with one of my best friends at Rogers.  She reached out to me, and I quickly realized just how important and impactful the vision and goals for the start-up were.  Several weeks thereafter, I was presenting with Abid and Alwar at OCE, Fable’s first ever showcase.  As the Fable community grew, I grew with it, and became Fable’s community manager.

What is your favourite thing about being a Fable Community member?

The impact we can have by advising companies of issues, in a way that they can understand, and work with, so things actually get fixed.

What type of Assistive Technology do you use?

I use screen readers: NVDA, Voiceover, TalkBack, Orca, VoiceView, Jaws, and others.

Outside of accessibility, what are your interests? What do you like to do?

I love reading science fiction and fantasy, with the Harry Potter series as my favourite books of all time; I’ve read them dozens of times at this point.  I also enjoy online gaming, and hanging out on Reddit.

When and how did you first learn about the assistive technology that is available to you that you use that makes it possible to use a computer and search the internet?

I was extremely lucky, in that my father worked for IBM. Not only that, but he is also blind.  So I grew up with accessible technology in my home from day one.  Unfortunately, this is an experience too few people with disabilities (PWD) get to have.

Are you happy with your assistive technology? What improvements would you suggest that would make your assistive technology more suitable for your needs?

I’m happy with my assistive technology.  However, I am both technically adept, and a good self-directed learner.  We (government, the assistive technology industry, and PWD ourselves) need to do more to get those who are not naturally inclined towards technology, or are not good self-directed learners, the expertise that using this technology requires. Only then will everyone have the chance at an equal playing field.

Do you work other than in the Fable Community? If so, what type of work do you do?

No. I work full time for Fable as the community manager. And I love it!