Ian Lloyd asks when did I start considering accessibility. I am not a designer, so ironically it is easier for me to answer. My entry into Web programming was quite late, and one of the things I did when I started was to visit other sites. Loads of site, and try to apply my understanding to try and find faults with it. Whether it is the visual design, the information design and architecture, the programming or the performance.
However, what made me think about accessibility is something core that I learned in programming – think about the user, not me. Logically, one of the first things to consider in the design is to let the user reach the data. And then use it. For me this and everything else that affects it is accessibility. I have been thinking about it every time I have design an interface – whether it is the Web and desktop GUI, the API or the ABI – only the factors have been different. This can be the reason that accessibility for me includes elements such as content priority. Content that is not given the right priority might turn out to be accessible is what I believe, though this has been termed frivolous sometimes. I also think that accessibility for machines is in fact about accessibility for users, because machines end up serving users somewhere down the line, at least today.
Feel free to tear my beliefs apart, but I will not let them go without a handy debate. I cannot call myself an expert, but I do believe that I understand benefits of accessibility and to some extent what impacts it. I advise every single programmer to think about it to be a better one.