Gerard K. Cohen

I am officially no longer the Engineering Manager for the Accessibility Experience Team at Twitter. I have words. ๐Ÿงต

Along with me, my entire engineering team has been let go. Before I get into my own thoughts, I want to honor them. If you are looking to hire some brilliant accessibility engineers, keep reading.

Wifey always knew when I was talking to @BrettLewisJudo due to my non-stop laughter. He is responsible for bringing the ALT badge to the web. While he worked on the web client, he is not limited to web technologies. Expert screen reader user, one of the best.

On Android, I had @RichardEKnowles. He is an endless resource of positivity and support, always willing to lend a hand to anyone that needed help. There is nothing on Android that he can't do. In fact, look for him being featured in a Google Dev blog coming soon.

Holding it down on iOS, I had @timmytwits always coming up big in the clutch. Disasters have been averted with his quick thinking. He contributed heavily to the captions display on Spaces, and in general taught all of us how to provide better captions.

Last, but actually first on the team, was @arhayward. He started all this. He always brought a different perspective to everything we did and helped make us better. He is responsible for the image description reminder on the web. Just a great, accessibility-forward web engineer.

In addition to the great engineers I got to lead, I also got to work with some amazing people on the Design side. ๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿฝ

Starting with @AmberAntoi, hands down one of the best Content Designers I have ever worked with. Extremely thoughtful, caring, and brave! She was responsible for the voice and tone of the team and those monthly updates on @TwitterA11y that everyone loved.

On Research and Design, we were lucky to have @Lauren_Race, who always made sure we worked WITH other disabled people and not just for other disabled people.

We also were kept very well organized and energized by @deer and @dc_at_work as TPM's. I desperately needed them, and they always came through.

We also got to work with @QualityIsKing taking care of us as our tester. Peter was extremely thorough and his reports were beautiful.

So, the Accessibility Experience Team at Twitter is no longer. We had so much more to do, but we worked hard! There aren't very many people that have had the opportunity to make such an important global platform like Twitter accessible, but we understood the mission.

And we were not alone, there were a lot of people across the company that helped out. As hard as things were they would have been impossible without our beloved Nightingales, accessibility champions that helped expand our reach.

Please, show them some grace. We heard & listened to all of you, good & bad, & we felt it all genuinely.

I hate the way this ended, but I'm so very proud of everything we were able to accomplish together.

Now I have other places to help make accessible ๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿฝ

Fri Nov 04 17:30:29 +0000 2022