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Adobe Announces Accessibility Principles

October 4, 2023
Source: Forbes

In a blog post published on Tuesday, San Jose-based Adobe announced its so-called “new accessibility principles” and the formation of the Adobe Accessibility Board. The post, written by vice president of global policy, government relations, and ethical innovations Jace Johnson, coincides with the venerable software maker’s Adobe For All Days.

Adobe For All Days is the company-wide annual event intended to bring heightened awareness to and highlight the uniqueness of Adobe’s products and the diverse collective of people who build them.

“Our Adobe For All vision is about constantly striving to move the needle forward toward a more diverse and inclusive world. We are developing technologies ethically and thinking about how we can make a positive impact on society,” Johnson wrote in part in introducing Adobe’s announcements. “Today during Adobe for All Days, our annual company-wide event where we come together to celebrate the uniqueness of Adobe’s people, product and purpose, we are reaffirming our long-time commitment to accessibility with the launch of new Adobe Accessibility Principles. These principles align with our core values and form the foundation for what we believe—everyone should be able to create, interact, and engage with digital experiences. These three principles will serve as our guideposts as we build thoughtful and inclusive technology that makes a difference in people’s lives. Our new Accessibility Principles are Partnership, Transparency, and Innovation.”

In the announcement, Adobe describes partnership as “co-creating with the community of people with disabilities to enable them to fully engage in the art, culture, and commerce of modern life.” Transparency is described as being open with customers and the community about the company’s “philosophy, goals, and progress” regarding accessibility. Lastly, Adobe describes innovation as their investment in the invention of “new inclusive technologies and collaborate with communities dedicated to digital equity to deliver outstanding experiences.”

Complementary to the principles is the advent of the company’s accessibility board. Johnson, who is co-chair, said its modus operandi is to “set the strategy, review progress and oversee our commitment to supporting people with disabilities.” Both the principles and the board reflect Adobe’s commitment to “building solutions that support the needs of people and communities who are often overlooked.”

“I’m excited to be a co-chair for this board that includes Adobe leaders from diverse functional backgrounds, and roles—with their perspectives and insights, we will drive important initiatives to better prepare Adobe for the future,” Johnson said about serving on Adobe’s newly-minted accessibility board. “Representation from different parts of the business is vital to identifying opportunities we may have missed before.”

In addition to the principles and accessibility board, Adobe shared details about a breakout session during Adobe For All Days intended to foster more inclusive practices. According to the company, the session will include “a discussion with our superstar panelists who are living with disabilities [who] will discuss what imagination means to them, their creative process, features and tech they use most often and what barriers they face.” The panel features Baltimore-based, Afro-Latina designer Jen White-Johnson, Tom Babb, and Manish Agrawal.

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