So, a little math. In 3 years, ive done 51 accessibility audits. At an average of 5 hours work each, plus approximately 1-2 hours per audit on communication alone --and that's not including the work i do to upgrade the audit template, to research trends in access, to learn about and integrate technologies & services, update my access blog with new audits (which i'm sadly running behind on, ahem), as well as updating existing audits with new info and so on-- that makes around 331.5 hours since starting them in 2009. At least a hundred hours per year. With all that other stuff i've not included, add another 30 or so hours/year. And i'm not even going to try to calculate how many dozens of hours i've spent subtitling 86 videos lol. Perhaps that's a future math project!
Even though there's frustratingly little in the way of monetary or trade payback, and even though it can be hard on my body, i really love doing these things. Aside from satiating my strange need to fill out forms, the info is important to me personally, and to folks i care about and folks i don't even know, so that we can more freely get into and enjoy the fabulous spaces so many other folks have such easy access to. And there's so much to learn about this stuff! Every time i do one, by myself or with other folks, i learn some new piece to add or point to change; and it also helps me to open myself up more to sharing my needs with folks who aren't gimps, which can be really exposing; or folks who are gimped in different ways than i am. It keeps me up on my shit too -- there are so many things i dont know, havent thought of, wouldn't even have considered.
So when people tell me accessibility is as simple as putting a ramp in (don't get me wrong, ramps are great! i need em and love em!), i'd love to hand them one of these nearly 400-point audits and then chat about it over coffee --and sometimes that happens :) maybe i'll share a post on that sometime -- because we all have work to do, things to learn, we all make awesome contributions, and we all make a difference simply by doing the things we love and sharing them.