Beyond Barriers with Kavitha

Beyond Barriers - An Accessibility Podcast - with Kavitha Seetharaman, UX Writer and Content Accessibility Specialist

Accessibility is vital for creating inclusive digital environments, ensuring everyone can navigate and benefit from online content. Kavitha, a passionate UX writer and content accessibility specialist, shares her journey and perspectives on integrating accessibility into digital experiences.

The Beginning of the Journey

Kavitha's journey into accessibility began in 2015 while working with publishers in the education industry. "One of our major clients decided to get serious about accessibility, and that was my introduction to the field," she recalls. Initially relying on inbuilt checkers like Microsoft's accessibility tool, she quickly realized that true accessibility required much more. "There is a lot more to accessibility than just passing a check. We understood that some documents couldn't be used by certain customers, prompting us to delve deeper into accessibility," Kavitha explains.

The Role of UX Writing in Accessibility

Kavitha's transition from an editor to a UX writer highlighted the importance of clear, concise, and accessible content. "All the text you see on screens, I ensure it's in line with the design and that users can navigate without confusion," she explains. Good UX writing is short, simple, and easily comprehensible, ensuring users don't get stuck during their journey. "Whether it's creating a profile or navigating an e-commerce site, the content must guide the user effortlessly," Kavitha emphasizes.

Overcoming Accessibility Challenges

One significant challenge Kavitha faced was client buy-in. "Clients often want their products to be accessible but may not understand the depth required. Some are just looking to meet legal requirements, while others genuinely want to enhance user experience," she notes. Educating clients about the importance of accessibility evaluation and its impact on all users is crucial.

Kavitha also faced challenges in balancing design aesthetics with accessibility needs. "Designers often prefer certain font sizes or colors that look good but aren't accessible to everyone. It's about finding a balance that works for all users," she explains. Additionally, ensuring that error messages and navigation paths are clear and accessible requires meticulous attention to detail.

Leveraging Technology and Tools

Kavitha uses various tools to ensure accessibility, including JAWS and NVDA for screen reading and automated alt text generators. However, she points out the limitations of these tools. "AI-generated alt text and live captions are helpful but not always accurate. They often miss context and can confuse users," she says. Despite these limitations, Kavitha is optimistic about the future. "AI and NLP are improving, and I'm excited to see how these technologies will enhance accessibility," she adds.

The Importance of Usability Testing

Usability testing plays a crucial role in Kavitha's work. "Usability testing reveals issues we might not have anticipated. Users' feedback helps us understand where they get stuck and how we can improve," she explains. This testing is vital for identifying and addressing accessibility audit gaps, ensuring a seamless user experience.


Kavitha's journey highlights the importance of integrating web accessibility into digital experiences. Her work demonstrates that with the right tools, client education, and a commitment to usability, we can create inclusive environments that benefit everyone. "Accessibility isn't just a technical requirement; it's a responsibility to ensure everyone can use and benefit from digital platforms," she concludes. Kavitha's insights provide valuable guidance for organizations striving to enhance accessibility in their products.

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