Accessibility Book Club

In December last year, I was invited join a new LinkedIn group, Accessibility Book Club.

My invitation probably came about because of my TPGi blog post in November last year about Digital Accessibility BooksOZeWAI website.

Maybe that post even helped inspire the creation of the Club, I don’t know. Anyway, it clearly (and correctly) pegged me as a bookworm!

The Book Club describes itself as:

This is a group for accessibility professionals, developers and designers. The purpose of this group is to connect as a community through knowledge sharing professional development. We will read and discuss one book a month for the twelve months of 2024.”

Driven by Crystal Scott and Jon Farrell, group nominations for an initial list were narrowed down to:

  • Jan: Accessibility Agile Handbook, by Dylan Barrell
  • Feb: A11Y Unraveled, by Dimitris Georgaka
  • Mar: The Coaching Habit<, by Michael Bungay Stanier
  • Apr: Being Heumann
  • May: AI-Powered Developer, by Nathan Crocker
  • Jun: Against Technoableism, by Ashley Shew
  • Jul: Beyond Accessibility Compliance, by Sukriti Chadha
  • Aug: Giving a Damn About Accessibility, by Sheri Byrne-Haber
  • Sep: Web Accessibility Cookbook, by Manuel Matuzovic
  • Oct: No Need for Sight When You Have a Vision, by Lex Gillette
  • Nov: Mismatch, by Kat Holmes
  • Dec: Inclusive Components, by Heydon Pickering

You can see that they’re not all focused on accessibility, let alone the digital side of things, but they should all be of interest to people working in or with digital accessibility. You can < ahref="">read more about the list, with links to how to get them.

Fortunately for me, I’ve read several of these already but, in any case, there’s no expectation that everyone must buy, read and comment on every book. It’s much more relaxed than that.

I’d heard of the June selection, Against Technoableism, so this was a great prompt for me to tackle it. I’m so glad I did. Ashley Shew doesn’t hold back.

This was my mini-review:

I’ve just finished the book and really look forward to this meeting. Wow! Ashley does not pull her punches. I learned so much from her book. The difference between neurodiversity and neurodivergence. How Nazism targeted disability. Why disabled people might make better astronauts. Why Autism Speaks is, at best, misguided and, at worst, deeply iniquitous. What actually goes into an amputee acquring a prosthetic limb. Why the future will feature more disabled people and more disability, not less, regardless of what technologists claim. How so-called therapies for autism get it so wrong. And how on earth did we let the word “upstanding” become a measure of moral character?! I’ve no doubt much of this book will – and should – make some people uncomfortable, but I found it realistic, pragmatic, and ultimately positive.

You might wonder what I mean by “this meeting”. Well, the Book Club is going up a level, and holding an online meeting on Wednesday, June 26 from 7:30am-8:30am AEST. We’ll not just be talking about the book, but we’ll be joined by Ashley Shew, the author, to answer questions!

Even though it’s an early start for us here in the antipodes, I’ll be there with bells on! Or, at least, coffee in hand.

After 6 months, the Book Club now has 559 members, and continues to grow.

I encourage anyone with a LinkedIn account who’s interested in books about accessibility to join up and get as involved as they’d like to be.

Message me on LinkedIn and I’ll invite you.