How am I independent at my work place

Most of the organizations would think a lot to hire person with disability in spite of the skill that he/she possess. The reason could be that employer may not aware of the fact that how well they are independent enough in doing their day to day activities. The few examples could be that how does person with visually challenged work on the computer? How does person with visually challenged come from home to office and vice-versa, and so on.. There would be many questions as such in employer mind and there is nothing wrong about this. It is the responsibility of person with disability to prove their confidence level in front of employer. Having said that, some employers hire person with disability but they may not aware of how can we make them productive. The example could be that if the screen reader software is not provided for the person with visually challenged then he/she would not productive at their work place. In other words, he/she is not independent enough in accessing the computer. In my view, the independence is just not only depends upon the employee with disability responsibility but also it depends upon the employer responsibility as well. What I meant is that if the reasonable accommodation for employee with disability is not provided by employer to perform day to day tasks at their work place then they would be not independent/productive. Let us take same example. If the screen reader software is provided for the visually challenged to access the computer then they would be independent in performing their job. This is just a simple example and employer should consider case by case and provide the reasonable accommodation. On the same lines, I would like to share how independent I am at my work place and how well my employer takes care of me to become independent.

You may or may not aware of that I am person with visually challenge and I work for Deque software. My employer provides all the necessary accommodation to make my job independent and they are:


  1. Email conversations: all the emails are accessible. In other words, if there is any picture in the email then it would have text alternatives. As emails are very critical in performing our day to day job, if these emails are not accessible, I would have been excluded in the critical part of the job. Let me explain with the example how my employer takes care of this. We usually have monthly meetings at my work place. As part of this, one or other employee presents the various topics. Employee who presents would send their presentation to the meeting organizer at least one day before. The organizer looks at the presentation in advance and sends accessible version in the email format before the meeting begins if there are any complex slides with graphs/chats/and so on.. Are present. this enables me to understand the intended meaning of the slide during actual presentation. This is how, our employer takes care of us
  2. Internal tools: There are many internal tools like intranet, time entry systems, WS Assure, and so on.. In our organization. All of them are accessible. Imagine if these internal tools are not accessible then I would not have become independent/productive. Let me talk about this with another scenario. One of my known persons is person with visually challenged and he is employed. The time system in his organization is not accessible. It would be very challenging for him to enter the time that he spent on various projects during the day in the time tracking system as it is not accessible. This makes him dependent and as a result, he cannot be satisfied at this job. You can understand now that how important the accessibility is for internal tools.
  3. Internal documents: there are many internal documents like SOWs in our organization. As the scope of each and every project is mentioned in the SOWs and it is critical information about the project, imagine if these documents are not accessible, I would not be independent enough in performing my job. Fortunately, I am blessed as all of the internal documents at our organization are accessible and this makes me independent in performing my job.
  4. Online meeting tools: as part of my job, I would need to attend the status and client calls. I would need to attend most of all these calls in the online as our project managers and clients are in the onsite. If these tools are not accessible then I would not be able to perform all necessary actions. Initially, I had tough time with few inaccessibility tools that our organization is using. Later, when we provided the feedback then organization procured the accessible online meeting tools. With the arrival of accessible online meeting tools at our organization, I am independent enough in accessing these tools.
  5. Online meetings: there are monthly meetings at our organization. Most of the monthly meetings would be held in the online. Live captioning is provided in these online meetings in order to include employees with hearing impaired. it may not be useful for me but I wanted everybody to understand how well our employer cares about
  6. Visual assistance: you might be wondering what is this visual assistance about. As part of my job, I need to perform accessibility audit on the various sites. While auditing the site for accessibility, I may not be able to understand complete page as sites contain inaccessible elements. To help with this, sighted person sits with me and explains the complete page and this we call as visual assistance. The explanation about the page helps us to visualize the page and this would also help us to raise the accurate accessibility issues. This way, I would be confident about the issues that I have reported to the client. Trust me, there are dedicated visual assistance resources at our organization to help us in this regards. Imagine if we do not have this visual assistance help then we cannot be confident about the issues that we have reported and our reports would become incomplete/inaccurate.
  7. Accountability and equal opportunity: some organizations hire person with disability but they are very scared for some reason to give the accountability of the various tasks to employee with disabilities. Time god, it is not the case at least in our organization. At our organization, I am accountable for the project deliveries, quality, and what not.. Along with this accountability, our employer provides equal opportunity in the career growth. It is very cool for us!
  8. External assets: our organization not only takes care of the accessibility of internal tools and documents but also takes care of the accessibility of external assets such as websites, invoices, proposals, and so on.. This itself tells that how well our organization deeply cares about all of us.
  9. Infrastructure accessibility: I have been talking so far about how well digital accessibility helped me in order to complete our job. Let me talk something different now and it is about implementation of carpet on the floor. You might be wondering what this carpet is about. Our organization placed carpet on the floor for employee with visually challenged to navigate the big hall way easier. In my experience, what I understood that When person with visually challenged navigates the big hall way without much reference then it would be high chance that he/she loses his/her way. In order to make the navigation easier on hall way for employee with visually challenged, our organization has taken the step to place the carpet on the floor.
  10. Transportation: last, but not least, our employer provides transportation facility to employee with disabilities. Without transportation facility, being person with visually challenged, commute would become very hassle. Office transportation makes my commute smoother and easier.


All the above factors make my job independent and help me to lead my professional and personal life with dignity and equality. I would like to take this opportunity to thank our Deque leadership(Preety Kumar, Anik Ganguly, Sujasree Kurapati)  for making the work place inclusive to all. Trust me, it is awesome place to work!


My CSUN 2018 experience

I spoke in the many conferences in the past but for the first time, I spoke on 2 different topics in the single conference and it was really amazing experience! Let me start with my travel. It was really hectic travel with about 32 hours from my home to Hyatt hotel, San Diego. By the way, usually, CSUN conference takes place for about 3 full days on various topics at the Hyatt hotel, San Diego. After the 32 hours travel, we reached to grand Hyatt hotel, San Diego on 19th march evening.

On 21st march, I presented the 2 topics along with my partners. After my 2 presentations, I started attending some of the sessions that interested me. Just for your information, there would be around 450 sessions happen in the different rooms/tracks during these 3 full days(8 hours per day). Some of my friends who are visually impaired felt difficult to navigate between rooms/sessions from one session to other session. Somehow, I(as a visually impaired) did not feel much difficulty while navigating between the rooms once the session was over. The reason was that there were lots of volunteers who were helping me whenever I requested for help. I would agree with one thing is that there is only 20 minutes gap from one session to other session and one needs to reach to their desired session within this time period. This would be bit challenge but it can be manageable. Coming to actual point, one need to plan which session he or she wants to attend among around 450 sessions and trust me, this itself would take bit time to choose the topics that interests us. I have almost taken 4 hours to choose the suitable topics for me. I also have visited lot of stalls/exhibiters. For your information-there were around 150 stalls. Especially while visiting stalls, we would not get tired as we get lot of refreshments like chock lets and all.  I really had good fun while visiting the stalls! Let me talk more about my papers now. The topics that we presented are:

  1. React to A11Y
  2. ARIA 1.1: An in-depth view into the new and shiny

React to a11y

I presented this topic along with my colleague Rajesh Gorijavolu. the session went really well and there were more than 40 participants. It was really well received. In fact, I personally received the positive feedback from others about this topic in the Deque party. By the way, Deque gives the party during the CSUN time and one needs to register to attend this party. Coming to the actual point, I always wanted to present the topic which is trending one in the market. My interest in working on the trending technology driven me to present this topic.

If you are curious to know about the summary of our topic then here it is

Abstract: React to A11Y

React is a JavaScript web development framework with a different approach to rendering. Most of the people use React as VIEW in the MVC. It offers simpler programming model and better performance.

Accessibility is an important element in web and app design. Every individual using the web site or app has the right to access same information on the web and to have a positive and equal experience. Accessible design is about enabling access for every user, regardless of disability and technology.

Does React connect to the Accessibility? In this presentation, you will learn best practices and tips on How React JS helps to make a website or app accessible? There are key notable features “virtual DOM”, “HTML in JS”, “focus management” are made React JS different and make a website or app is more accessible.

After this presentation you and your organization will fully understand how React JS helps in building accessible widgets. We will also demonstrate about how accessible the applications built over React are accessible for persons with different disabilities.

ARIA 1.1: An in-depth view into the new and shiny

I presented this topic along with another colleague Denis Boudreau. We never imagined we would get overwhelming audiences for this session. Yes, the room was full before 4 minutes to the session itself. In fact, there was waiting list too. The session went dam good! There were amazing questions by audiences. I was very excited about this. I was happy to see there were participants who are from aria working group. Overall, this is sensational presentation throughout my career so far. I would thank Manoj Venkata who is our colleague for preparing ARIA 1.1 examples. As I am part of aria working group, it made me to present this topic.

If you are curious to know about the summary of our topic then here it is

Abstract: ARIA 1.1: An in-depth view into the new and shiny

WAI-ARIA 1.1 extends on version 1.0, and provides a number of additional features to continue bridging the gap for accessibility in HTML. Through the addition of new roles, state and properties, WAI-ARIA 1.1 expands the potential of HTML 5.1 even further, and also aims to meet needs identified for more complex widgets, such as tree grids and tables. This presentation will go over some of the most significant attributes added to WAI-ARIA 1.1, changes to existing attributes, deprecations, impacts on both the desktop and mobile experiences, and overall support of these attributes with different assistive technologies. You will leave this presentation with a clear understanding of all the great accessibility improvements WAI-ARIA 1.1 has to offer.


That is all for now and will be back with another topic!