Despite losing her eyesight, Léonie Watson has carved out a successful career in web design, and is on a mission to make the web meet the needs of everyone - able-bodied or disabled. But that needn't mean sacrificing aesthetics, she stresses, in an exclusive video interview you can watch on the Creative Bloq video channel.
"Absolutely not. Acessibility is a creative challenge, not a challenge to creativity," she retorts. "We've come a long way since the late '90s and early 2000s, when the concept of an accessible website was probably a text-only site. There are lots of companies making beautiful, creative and engaging websites that are completely usable by all sorts of people: people with and without disabilities, and people using different technologies.
"To anybody now who thinks accessibility has to cramp their style, I suggest, 'Take another look at it'," adds Watson, who spent many years as director of accessibility at Nomensa, as is now working with The Paciello Group (TPG). "Put the talent you have as designers and developers to finding accessible solutions to the creative stuff rather than constraining creative stuff to make it accessible."
You can learn more about how Watson approaches accessibility by watching the full interview here (or by reading a transcript of the best bits here). And if you'd like to see her talk in more depth on the subject, then you'll be pleased to hear she's one of the keynote speakers at our upcoming conference, Generate.
Watson will be joined at our amazing event, held at the Grand Connaught Rooms in London, by 18 top-flight speakers from the design community including Mark Boulton, Mike Kus, Oliver Reichenstein and Stephen Hay.
With sessions and keynote presentations from the very best in the industry, the day - hosted with Creative Bloq in association with .net magazine - will be a unique opportunity to learn new skills, participate in one-on-one conversations, and network with the world's best designers.
What's more, if you visit the Generate website today you can use the discount code LW15 to get 15 per cent off your ticket! So what are you waiting for?