Working for Shaw Trust Accessibility Services, firstly as a volunteer and now as an employee, has opened my eyes in terms of digital accessibility.

I feel that digital accessibility is very important, as accessible technology is being used more and more by people with disabilities. Therefore, it is vital that organisations do all they can to make sure their websites are as inclusive as possible and provide a good experience for users.

The Role of an Accessibility Assessor: Non-Mouse User

So, what does that look like when you’re doing it as part of your role every day, as I am?

Firstly, let’s look at my job title. “Accessibility Assessor: Non-Mouse”. What is this, I hear you ask?

Well, it is as it says on the tin. It’s someone who can’t use the mouse to navigate the operation of a computer/website. According to the web accessibility initiative website, it states that: 

“All functionality must be usable with the keyboard. That is, users can access and move between links, buttons, forms, and other controls using the Tab key and other keystrokes. Websites should not require a mouse; for example, pop-up calendars should also let users type in a date.”

Who Are Non-Mouse Users?

Now, let’s look at who depends on this feature:

  • People with physical disabilities who cannot use a mouse.

  • People who are blind and/or visually impaired, and those of us who struggle to see a mouse pointer on a screen.

  • People with chronic conditions, such as repetitive strain injury (RSI), who should limit or avoid the use of a mouse.

As you can see, digital accessibility in terms of a keyboard-only method is essential for some of us, but it is useful for us all.

Working for the Shaw Trust Accessibility Services Team

My role within the Accessibility Services team sees me testing websites using a keyboard-only method. However, I will say that I never realised, until I started working with the Accessibility Services team at Shaw Trust, how much I could do without the use of a mouse. I will admit when you first start working with just a keyboard, it can be hard to remember all the keystrokes, but when you have done it for as long as I have it will become second nature to you.

I feel privileged to be a part of such a diverse and talented team. We may be employees of an organisation, but I feel we are all friends as well as colleagues in the Accessibility Services team.

The service is going from strength to strength, but it can only go the extra mile with the help of new blood. So, if you are thinking about a career in digital accessibility, look no further; come and join the Shaw Trust Accessibility Services team today. I can assure you; it will be the best move you will ever make, and you definitely will not regret it.

Interested in Applying for the Accessibility Assessor: Non Mouse User role?

Finding out more about this fantastic role:

Questions and Queries Regarding the Role

If you want to know more, please email accessibility.services@shaw-trust.org.uk with your CV, quoting (Accessibility Assessor – keyboard only). Please note, we are happy to have an informal chat, so you can learn more before completing a formal application.