Here at Simply Accessible, while most of the Western Hemisphere team is asleep, the accessibility boat keeps cruising forward thanks to our cheerful Australian Accessibility Consultant, Julie Grundy.
Why does Julie Grundy do what she does?
Because she loves making the digital world better. We chatted via Google hangout, with a surprisingly good connection that had me feeling like Julie was in the next room, certainly not 11,273 miles away. “At the end of a project, when we compare where we started with where we ended up, so many more people can use this because of what we’ve done. It’s rewarding.”
Julie’s approach to accessibility is simple: Why not make the internet better for everyone? The way she sees it, the internet is a great source of information that has also democratized publishing. This means anyone can contribute anything. The idea of accessibility means more people with disabilities, people who are usually excluded from this kind of participation, can contribute on their own terms. Julie loves that her work is her way of issuing the invitation: “Come on in! More internet for everyone!”
There’s accessible—and there’s accessible
Before joining the Simply Accessible team, Julie worked as a front-end developer in the e-learning industry. When a national client asked for a project to be made accessible, Julie didn’t even know what that meant.
Undaunted, she jumped into the task with curiosity and willingness.
It wasn’t long before Julie’s sharp attention to detail revealed to her the difference between technically accessible and truly accessible. She saw the large gap that existed between meeting a checklist of solutions that were “technically” correct, and actually making a site that was usable, and even fun, for everyone. It goes without saying she delivered an exemplary end product for that client. So much so, in fact, that she soon attracted the attention of Perth’s accessibility community. For Julie, the opportunity also solidified her belief in the power of accessibility.
Knowledge is power, and the internet makes it all available. You can’t just lock people out of it. —Julie Grundy
Eagle-eyed and empathetic
After her accessibility awakening, Julie soon found that not only did she love helping make things better, she also loved the people she was surrounded by. People who wanted to create a better experience for everyone, not because it would make them rich or famous, but because it’s the right thing to do. These people, Julie among them, truly make up the front lines of the accessibility movement.
Julie works well beyond the traditional view of assessment being the place where “bugs” are “fixed.” Indeed, she is a living, breathing reminder of just how valuable the unsung heroes of the accessibility world are. Assessment consultants, testers, people doing quality assurance, all of them have their eye on the same prize: to make sites and apps better for everyone. Day in and day out, Julie and her global peers are all-in, finding opportunities for client teams to improve their accessibility practices and start creating accessible sites from the ground up.
Julie brings eagle eyes and a passion for detail to her role as Accessibility Consultant at SA. She works hard for our clients, tracking down accessibility issues and guiding them towards the best practices that make their sites usable for everybody. She’s known for her ability to work independently and she will admit it, she enjoys the detail work and the rabbit holes it takes her down.
Although when Julie is off work you’re likely to find her at the dog park with her two whippets, Rory and Biscuit, she is a true people-first thinker, and a cheerful delight on the Simply Accessible team. People like Julie are making the digital world brighter, better, and a lot more fun for everyone!