Regine Gilbert is a user experience designer, educator, and international public speaker with over 10 years of experience working in the technology arena. She has a strong belief in making the world a more accessible place—one that starts and ends with the user.
How did you get started in accessibility?
I got into digital accessibility when I began my UX Design career. We were briefly introduced to accessibility and I was interested, as it was not an area of focus for many designers. Looking more into accessibility, I found the A11yNYC Meetup and that was a game changer for me. I was introduced to so many people in different fields and got the opportunity to learn a lot about accessibility through the Meetups. Applying what I learned, I began working on creating internal guidelines related to accessibility for the companies that I worked for and that lead to me speaking and leading workshops. What I love most is that I continue to learn something new everyday.
In 2020, you will be releasing your first book ‘Inclusive Design for a Digital World: Designing with Accessibility in Mind (Design Thinking).’ Who is the intended audience for your book and what are you hoping to convey about the world of inclusive design?
The intended audience for the book are those new to accessibility and have an interest in learning about making more inclusive products. When I wrote the book, I thought of the questions I had when learning about accessibility as well as the questions my students have asked me throughout the years. As an educator, I feel that I can’t teach anything, I can only say what I know and hope it will get others to think and do.
What is an accessibility barrier that you would like to see solved?
I would like to see accessibility built into curriculum for technical careers at an early stage. I have made it a point to incorporate accessibility into my curriculum and many folks go through school without learning about accessibility and often times learn on the job and gain their experience that way. There are programs like Teach Access that brings together academics and industry professionals in technology to advocate for people with disabilities. This program is off to a good start by offering resources and support to faculty who are building accessible curriculum.