Beyond Barriers with Shayna

Beyond Barriers - An Accessibility Podcast - With Shayna Brown - Designer and Project Management Lead

In an enlightening episode of the "Beyond Barriers" podcast, we gain insight into the crucial world of digital accessibility through the experiences of guest Shayna Brown. Despite initially not seeing herself as an expert, Brown's journey highlights how anyone can contribute to making digital spaces more inclusive.

Shayna’s Journey

Shayna Brown's path to becoming an accessibility advocate began when she took advantage of educational courses offered by her employer. These courses opened her eyes to common oversights in digital design—like how an empty headline might be overlooked by screen readers, which are tools used by visually impaired individuals to navigate the internet. This realization sparked a strong desire within Brown to ensure digital content is accessible to everyone.

Education and Impact

Brown pursued over 21 certifications in accessibility, covering everything from the basics of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) to multimedia accessibility. These certifications not only enhanced her skills as a freelance designer but also allowed her to make her own digital content more inclusive. She learned the importance of details that many take for granted, such as ensuring that colors contrast well for those with vision impairments and adding captions for videos, which help those who cannot hear the audio.

Implementing Accessibility in Everyday Work

One of Brown's major takeaways was the practical application of accessibility standards in her daily work. She explains how simple actions, like including captions or following a script during presentations, can make a big difference in making information accessible to all. Brown emphasizes that these small steps help create a more inclusive environment and are crucial for reaching a wider audience effectively.

Support and Advocacy

Brown also highlights the support she received from her company. This support was vital in allowing her to implement what she learned and actively improve her company’s digital accessibility. Brown's story illustrates how organizational support can empower employees to advocate for and implement accessibility improvements actively.

Accessibility for All

The podcast discussion broadens to address a common misconception: that accessibility is only for a small portion of the population. Brown clarifies that a significant percentage of the world's population benefits from accessible designs, not just those with disabilities. She stresses that accessibility improvements can enhance the user experience for everyone, not just those who currently face barriers.


Shayna Brown's narrative on "Beyond Barriers" serves as a powerful call to action for anyone involved in digital content creation to consider accessibility from the start. Her journey from novice to advocate underscores the potential for each of us to contribute to more equitable digital environments. For those new to the concept of digital accessibility, Brown’s experience provides both inspiration and practical advice on how to start making changes that benefit everyone. This episode not only educates but also encourages us to think differently about how we design and interact with the digital world.

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