Beyond Barriers with Tanya

Beyond Barriers - An Accessibility Podcast - with Tanya Saxena, Professional Web Engineer

In our recent podcast, Tanya Saxena, a professional web engineer, shared valuable insights on integrating accessibility into web components and the broader development process. Let's delve into her experience and understand how accessibility evaluation can transform user experiences and why it is crucial for developers to prioritize it.

Accessibility in UI Libraries

Tanya mentioned that while her team has an internal library that isn't exposed to the public, there are several external libraries though, like Material UI, which offer properties to enhance accessibility insights. These libraries include features that make it easier for developers to implement accessible components, ensuring that all users, regardless of their abilities, can interact with their applications effectively.

Accessibility Testing

Accessibility testing is a crucial aspect of the development process. Tanya highlighted that while her team performs basic developer testing, there is also a more rigorous testing phase handled by another team. "As a developer, we do our dev testing, like using the tab button and seeing if all functionalities work as they do with mouse events," she noted. This basic testing ensures that keyboard navigation and other essential accessibility features are functional before the application moves to the next testing phase.

Real-World Impact of Accessibility

One of the most compelling parts of Tanya's discussion was her personal revelation about the importance of accessibility review. Before working on a project in the healthcare sector, she was unaware of the significant challenges faced by people with disabilities. "It's just a very blurry or grayish topic. We don't even think that disabled people might also be facing some issues," she confessed. This project opened her eyes to the real-world impact of accessibility features.

Tanya shared a poignant example of a cafe in Bangalore run entirely by disabled individuals. "They need POS machines and billing applications. How do they interact with those machines? What are the problems that they face?" she pondered. This scenario underscores the importance of designing applications that are not only functional but also accessible to everyone.

Linking Problems to Solutions

Exposure to accessibility compliance issues has significantly influenced Tanya's approach to development. She emphasized how understanding these challenges helps in linking problems with appropriate solutions. "After getting exposed to this, I linked multiple stories with the issue that is underlying in the web community and how we can solve it further," she said. This mindset shift highlights the importance of empathy and problem-solving in creating inclusive web experiences.

Accessibility Challenges

Implementing accessibility features comes with its own set of challenges, especially when scaling these solutions across larger projects. Tanya acknowledged the organizational support required to overcome these hurdles. "Project kicks off, you get your exposure, obviously, some of the organizational wide support," she said. Ensuring that the entire organization is on board with accessibility evaluation goals is essential for successfully integrating these features into all projects.


Tanya Saxena's insights shed light on the critical role of accessibility usability in web development. By leveraging UI libraries with built-in accessibility features, conducting thorough testing, and understanding the real-world impact of our designs, we can create inclusive applications that cater to all users. Embracing accessibility is not just about compliance; it's about fostering an empathetic approach to problem-solving and ensuring that technology serves everyone equally.

The podcast is now available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, YouTube, Amazon Music, Pandora, and Stitcher.