Several months ago I took on a new role at Mozilla, product manager for Firefox browser accessibility. I couldn’t be more excited about this. It’s an area I’ve been interested in for nearly my entire career at Mozilla.
It was way back in 2000, after talking with Aaron Leventhal at a Netscape/Mozilla developer event, that I first started thinking about accessibility in Mozilla products and how well the idea of inclusivity fit with some my personal reasons for working on the Mozilla project. If I remember correctly, Aaron was working on a braille reader or similar assistive technologies and he was concerned that the new Mozilla browser, which used a custom UI framework, wasn’t accessible to that assistive technology. Aaron persisted and Mozilla browser technologies became some of the most accessible available.
Thanks in big part to Aaron’s advocacy, hacking, and other efforts over many years, accessibility became “table stakes” for Mozilla applications. The browsers we shipped over the years were always designed for everyone and “accessible to all” came to the Mozilla Mission.
Our mission is to ensure the Internet is a global public resource, open and accessible to all. An Internet that truly puts people first, where individuals can shape their own experience and are empowered, safe and independent.
I’m excited to be working on something so directly tied to Mozilla’s core values. I’m also super-excited to be working with so many great Firefox teams, and in particular the Firefox Accessibility Engineering team, who have been doing amazing work on Firefox’s accessibility features for many years.
I’m still just getting my feet wet, and I’ve got a lot more to learn. Stay tuned to this space for the occasional post around my new role with a focus on our efforts to ensure that Firefox is the best experience possible for people with disabilities. I expect to write at least monthly updates as we prioritize, fix, test and ship improvements to our core accessibility features like keyboard navigation, screen reader support, high contrast mode, narration, and the accessibility inspector and auditors, etc.