Over the past several years, we’ve been transitioning toward a more explicit focus on accessibility, inclusion, and justice on the web. Last year, we invested in growing our team, expanding our partnerships, and strengthening our operational foundation to support that transition. We’re excited to share some highlights with you as we prepare for the year ahead!
Growing Our Team
We added three Senior Engineers (Howard, Casey, and Alex), a Technical Project Manager (Rich), an Accessibility Tester (Louis), a Strategic Comms Manager (Lazarus), and an Operations Manager (Ashley) to our team! Marie made an exciting move from Technical Project Manager to Infra Manager, and we hired two Product Managers to join us in 2022. Keep an eye on our Careers page – and our revamped job descriptions – for open positions as we continue to grow!
Operationalizing our Mission & Values
This year, we doubled down on our efforts to better align our business practices, processes, and projects with our mission and values.
We collectively finalized a Project Selection Criteria (more on this soon!), which helps us vet incoming projects for consistency with our mission and values. Because our criteria includes identifying opportunities to co-design with those most impacted by the work, we invested in building out our practices for engaging and compensating co-designers. We look forward to improving upon and codifying these practices in 2022.
We also formed a committee to facilitate our transition toward cooperative ownership, which we feel best accords with the direction of our company. The committee has completed its initial research project, including external interviews, and is in the process of identifying a community partner to guide us through the cooperatization process. We’ll keep you updated as we go!
In keeping with our commitments to the movement for Black Lives, we updated our internal Project Lifecycle and Code of Conduct to more explicitly incorporate antidotes to white supremacy culture, and continued ongoing full-team training on dismantling white supremacy culture and inclusive facilitation. We held time for ongoing Black Lives Matter days of action, and once again donated 50% of our profit from the year to anti-racist and abolitionist organizations.
Advancing Our Partnerships
It was an exciting year in project work. Over the past several months we:
- Co-designed a prototype for algorithmic harms reporting with Algorithmic Justice League and a community of advocacy and legal aid organizations.
- Built an ecosystem around ARIA-AT, a new project to test screen reader interoperability, automate assistive technology testing, and create new tools for designing for accessibility.
- Implemented onboarding tools for a Consumer Reports program that empowers individuals to exercise their rights under the California Consumer Protection Act (CCPA).
- Managed a redesign of the ARIA Authoring Practices Guide for easier navigation and use of the critical accessibility resource.
- Continued to provide strategic partnership to the Scratch Foundation as they build out their standalone entity and align their vision and values with their day-to-day practices.
- Worked on web platform infrastructure that ensures more people can access the web consistently via rendering pipeline interoperability.
- Continued our work maintaining and improving the Test262 suite, engaging with community pull requests, and developing documentation and summary reports.
- Launched a temporary tool for contesting evictions in partnership with the Debt Collective, Los Angeles Tenants Union, and Anti-Eviction Mapping Project.
- Increased test coverage and uncovered specification issues to enable interoperable implementations of COOP and COEP reporting in all browser engines and increase reliability for web developers looking to transition to cross-origin isolation.
- Worked with the Google Chrome team to develop the latest version of the Web Audio DevTools Inspector, a Chrome extension that visualizes the audio graph in a web page for inspection and debugging web audio implementations.
- Began a planning project to support automation of The We’s Match’s algorithmic matching program.
Onwards and Upwards
We did a lot this year. But importantly, we also made space for rest. It’s been a universally difficult time, and as we ride another wave in a still-raging global pandemic, we recognize that we are individually and collectively exhausted. We’ll continue making tradeoffs in 2022 to prioritize rest and recovery over constant production. Here’s to a healthier, more restorative year for all.