Three years at Yahoo!

My journey at Yahoo! came to an end last week as part of layoffs. So I thought, let me pen few of memories for three years.

Honestly, it was an amazing, fun filled and encouraging experience for me. Thanks to Sandeep Datar, who found me on LinkedIn and offered me a challenging assignment to build Yahoo!’s second Accessibility lab in their Bangalore office. It took about three months for me get the lab ready to be inaugurated and I have used that chance to not just coordinate to bring up the accessibility lab, but to educate several personnel about what are the kind of products they are procuring and what this lab is all about. It was nice to see the smile and excitment on their faces and they were in fact, so happy that they get to know about several unique products.

Just before the launch of the accessibility lab, we have organized a trip to a few non profit organizations for employees to enable them to understand the world of disability and how they could as well be part of main stream world.

Further, the busy life has started in terms of training engineers and QA teams about accessibility and evaluation of the products for accessibility. Some times, it was not so easy to get attention of product owners towards accessibility, but many times, we got a very encouraging support. All that I believe, no engineer or product owners would intend to build inaccessible products, it’s just they need to know why they should care about accessibility and as accessibility advocates, it’s our responsibility to create that awareness. What I have realized is that, no matter, how much you speak and provider lecture, folks could only understand, when you give the simulations of experiences. What I liked at Yahoo! India office in particular is the support and encouragement we receive from the management. I never got a nagative response to organize any event related to accessibility.

While I was at Yahoo!, I have also got an opportunity to be part of the Disability Working Committee of the NASSCOM Foundation and the National Advisory Board of The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) India. With these partnerships, we have also organized a workshop on Web accessibility in association with W3C India and Yahoo! Thanks to Victor Tsaran, who was the keynote speaker and all others who were part of it.

Other few memories are been able to play a good show at Techshare India 2010 and happy to see Yahoo! winning the NCPEDP MphasiS Universal Design Award.

It was amazing to partner with teams in South East Asia and China and particularly happy for the association we had to make Yahoo! Messenger accessible. Hope the good work continues…

Thanks to Sandeep Datar and all who supported me to win the Yahoo! Ratna Award, the highest recognition at Yahoo! India. Not to forget the great support I have received from Victor Tsaran (Hey Victor, I will continue to call you at late at nights!).

It was also nice to get opportunities to present at prestigious conferences like Techshare India and CSUN. also, it was nice to see that during accessibility at Yahoo! has grown to a large extent including launch of Yahoo! Accessibility Blog and other social channels.

Wish Yahoo! continue the good work on Accessibility.

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