From the CEO and Founder, Albert J. Rizzi
2019 marks My Blind Spot’s 10th year of being champions for true inclusion and digital equity for all, ensuring Ability is included alongside Race, Gender, Orientation and Religion in both our social and corporate cultures. As we look forward to the year ahead, I wanted to share some of our successes, our partnerships, and highlight how the MBS AccessAbility team has become a formidable force for change in the industry.
Last year, we made significant progress toward realizing our mission and vision of digital equity for people of all abilities in the 21st century. At My Blind Spot, we believe team stands for "Together Everyone Achieves More". And while we still have much more to achieve together in the year ahead, here are some of our most notable achievements from 2018!
- Four more members of the MBS AccessAbility team are internationally certified subject matter experts, earning their Certified Professional in Accessibility Core Competencies (CPACC) credentials as determined by the International Association of Accessibility Professionals (IAAP). We are half way to our goal of having 50% of our team certified and credentialed as subject matter experts. Congratulations to Jonathan Buonaspina, Tanner Gers, Chris Zomp and Tommy Rhatigan for jobs well done.
- In partnership with the New York State Preferred Source Program for the Blind (NYSPSP), and as an affiliate member of the NYSPSP, MBS will be delivering digital accessibility and usability testing and remediation supports and services in the state of New York. This is a historic accomplishment given these services will be provided by stakeholders in the outcomes, advancing the NYSPSP’s focus on creating employment opportunities for people with a print disability, especially people who are blind or visually impaired. Including the internationally certified subject matter expertise of the MBS AccessAbility team as Preferred Source Vendors will allow us to advance a digitally equitable state for all New York residents.
- We are proud to announce our partnership with the Kessler Family and the Kessler Foundation to advance inclusive work environments for individuals who happen to have a disability. This partnership crescendoed at the 2018 International Day of Persons with Disabilities at the United Nations held on December 3rd here in New York. While this year’s event surpassed all others in my opinion, next year the Kessler family, the Kessler Foundation, My Blind Spot and the United Nations will continue to work in collaboration together to ensure authentic inclusion and digital equity for the 1.4 billion people around the world with a disability.
- Our growth in 2018 allowed us to expand the MBS AccessAbility team, hire new project managers and usability testers here in the United States and abroad. My Blind Spot is incredibly grateful to be active participants in decreasing the global unemployment and underemployment rate for people with disabilities. Our internal goal for 2019 is to hire an additional five team members and help other organizations hire and retain 100 people with a print disability.
- We extended our longstanding partnership with Intuit and are working on introducing more functionality and usability into QuickBooks 2019. Sales continue to increase for QuickBooks through our website, reflecting the increases in small businesses employing bookkeepers with blindness or a visual impairment across the United States.
- We continue to build our stable of long-term strategic partnerships across industries, including travel, healthcare, financial, academic institutions and many others. We have added new partners such as Bill.com, JP Morgan Chase, Aira, SUNY, Canon USA and 98Point6 to name a few.
- We established a strategic partnership with User 1st, an internationally recognized organization focused on authentic inclusion and digital equity for people with disabilities. We are already excited about what we’ve achieved together in 2018 and will continue working together across industries and multiple projects this year.
- Our voice for the inclusion of Ability within corporate America has afforded us many opportunities to participate in international events promoting digital equity and inclusion for people of all abilities. From roundtable discussions, industry events, podcasts and interviews, with organizations like Sparks and Honey, Studio Analogous, Smart Cities for All and Jennifer Brown’s podcast the Will to Change, we are using our voices for global awareness and appreciation for digital equity and authentic inclusion for everyone.
It would have been impossible to realize any of these achievements without your continued support. Thank you for being here and advocating with us to help eliminate the barriers prohibiting digital equity and true inclusion for people of all abilities. Through your generous gifts, time, talents, and attention, MBS will continue infusing Ability into the DNA of our corporate and social cultures. Together Everyone Achieves More. Together we can be the change we want to see today, in 2019, and beyond. Thank you. Peace and most certainly, to be continued…