Amber Hinds is the CEO of Equalize Digital, Inc., a Certified B Corp specializing in WordPress accessibility, maker of the Accessibility Checker plugin, lead organizer of the WordPress Accessibility Meetup, and co-lead organizer of the WordPress Accessibility Day conference. Through her work at Equalize Digital, Amber is striving to create a world where all people have equal access to information and tools on the internet, regardless of ability. Since 2010, she has led teams building websites and web applications for nonprofits, K-12 and higher education institutions, government agencies, and businesses of all sizes, and has become a passionate accessibility advocate.
What do you enjoy most about working in WordPress?
Hands down, the community is the best part about working in WordPress. I started as a freelancer building websites for friends and learned much of what I knew in the early days from tutorials and blogs of people who freely shared their knowledge online. It was a lot of trial and error (and occasional freak outs when I missed a semicolon while editing functions.php in the WP editor!).
In 2014, I moved to Fort Collins, Colorado and discovered my first WordPress meetup. There were developers, marketers, and agency owners at that meetup who exposed me to so much more than I could learn online. Things that I learned at that meetup were foundational to what my business is today and the quality work that we deliver.
I’m not sure that many other software tools have communities that are as giving when it comes to sharing knowledge and helping people we might otherwise consider “competitors” grow their businesses.
What do you love most about your Post Status membership?
Post Status is the first place I go when I want to get advice from other business owners – whether agencies serving enterprise customers or WordPress product owners.
Since I joined Post Status a few years ago, I have been able to significantly broaden my professional network within the WordPress community. There are great conversations that happen in the marketing and business channels, and if something “breaking” is announced related to WordPress, Post Status is the place to be if you want to get an insider’s take on what the implications might be.
What business/web/WordPress advice do you have for others in our industry?
It wouldn’t be a profile of me without at least some mention of accessibility. 😊 The thing that I would most like to communicate to my fellow web professionals is that we should think about web accessibility in the same way that we think about mobile responsiveness. I’d love to inspire more of us at Post Status and in the WordPress community as a whole to prioritize accessibility in our design and development practices – whether we’re building for clients or products we sell.
It’s not advice, per se, but I do think that accessibility can be a differentiator that allows you to take on bigger web projects or sell your products to the government, for example. Accessibility is a good indicator of quality overall and it makes the web better. It’s a matter of time before accessibility is a ranking factor or a lack of accessibility will hold your business back, so get ahead of it now.