Join us to innovate digital inclusion at your organization!
For the past 20 years, AFB has been a leader in accessibility consulting and helping organizations meet their immediate goals for digital inclusion. Through the AFB Talent Lab, we continue to offer the same exceptional level of consulting services while also providing hands-on accessibility training for future tech workers. Think of it like a teaching hospital—but for tech.
AFB Talent Lab works with:
- College students in computer science, design, and engineering programs
- Adults with disabilities looking for careers in product testing and management
- Organizations that have goals for digital inclusion
Along with foundational coursework on digital inclusion and mentorship, the AFB Talent Lab provides our interns and apprentices with the unique opportunity to collaborate with accessibility experts on real-world client projects. This, in turn, benefits our clients by increasing our consulting capacity and preparing new talent to support the industry’s future accessibility needs.
Ultimately, the collaboration between our clients, participants, and accessibility experts benefits consumers with disabilities, bringing us closer to achieving our mission to create a world with no limits.
To learn more about the participant experience, please visit one of the following pages:
Our Focus on Usability
User experience is at the center of everything we do.
Many accessibility solutions are positioned around automated testing tools that offer a push-button approach to accessibility testing. Those solutions are inexpensive and easy to implement. However, even the best automated tools on the market can only test for about 15% of potential accessibility issues.
AFB Talent Lab, instead, leverages manual code inspection, manual operability testing, manual assistive-technology-based testing, and, most importantly, user-based testing by individuals with disabilities to identify issues.
Evaluating accessibility and usability using a screen reader, the premier assistive technology tool for people who cannot see, catches most compliance and usability issues because it encompasses most of the complexities encountered by users of various disabilities, not only blindness.
For example, a screen reader user is also a keyboard-only user. When we test for the screen reader use case, we will find the majority of usability problems on a particular workflow, testing for the rest through additional manual checks. Effective screen reader implementation will lead to a good experience for people with motor impairments and cognitive disabilities in addition to people who are blind.
Become an AFB Talent Lab Client
Our team works closely with our clients to create a tailored list of key user workflows, ensuring our collaboration is practical and achievable from the start. Then, authentic users with disabilities test those flows through live sessions with a screen reader. With that core feedback, the engineers then provide solutions for how to solve each of these prioritized issues. Members of the Talent Lab team can also engage with our clients’ development teams through immersive training and integrations into the product’s current development sprints.
If your organization is ready to work towards a more inclusive future, we’re here to help! Here’s an overview of how to begin the process:
Step 1: Submit a Client Project Application
Each new client partnership begins with the Client Project Application. This guided worksheet will help you describe your accessibility needs, identify project goals, and outline the specific workflows and processes you’re focused on. We’ll use this information to determine the best path forward for your project.
COMING SOON: The Client Project Application will be available to download and submit in late spring 2022.
Step 2: Project Evaluation & Initial Meeting
The AFB Talent Lab team will review your new project request as soon as possible. If we think we can help, we’ll contact you to set up a video or phone meeting to discuss your project and accessibility goals in greater detail. The clearer your focus and goals, the better able we’ll be to help you and your organization.
Step 3: Project Proposal & contract
Following the initial meeting, the AFB Talent Lab team will develop a proposal based on all of the information collected on the project so far. The amount of time needed to create the proposal will depend on the scope of the project, the staff and resources currently available to review the project, and the volume of other requests currently in process. The proposal will include details on the work to be completed, the timeline for completion, and the cost of the services provided.
If our proposal meets your needs, we’ll prepare a contract formalizing the project. Once the contract is approved, we’ll place the project in our queue and begin working as soon as we can.
Step 4: Completion of Consulting Services
The AFB Talent Lab employs a teaching hospital model, allowing our interns and apprentices to apply their new knowledge and gain hands-on experience by working on client projects. All participant work is completed under the supervision of AFB’s team of accessibility and usability experts, meaning the work we deliver to our clients reflects the exceptional standard of quality for which the AFB is known.
Ready to Get Started?
Begin the process by downloading and completing the Client Project Application from this page. When you’re ready, submit your completed packet to us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
COMING SOON: The AFB Talent Lab plans to begin accepting requests for new projects in late spring 2022! Please continue to check this website for further updates.