To inspire accessibility for people of ALL abilities.
To provide outreach, advocacy, education and services by promoting an inclusive culture and accessible digital infrastructure to ensure equal access to employment, education, recreation, and independent living opportunities for people with disabilities.
My Blind Spot believes that all individuals are entitled to acceptance, encouragement, and respect – as well as freedom from discrimination, labeling, and stereotyping, regardless of their challenges in life.
We believe that every person, at every age and level of ability, has the potential for growth. We believe that access to the right tools, including technologies, promotes ability and restores infinite possibilities.
Outreach – Promote awareness among leaders in business, education, and government about the critical importance of making their digital content, software, and technologies accessible and usable to the disability community.
Advocacy – Expand employment and business entrepreneurship opportunities for people who are blind, visually impaired, or print disabled. Foster independence and full societal participation for people with disabilities by eliminating technical, physical, and perceptual barriers to inclusion.
Education – Expand understanding of the business advantages to accessible infrastructures for customers and employees. Educate organizations on the process for integrating accessibility to enhance customer experiences, talent acquisition, productivity, and overall morale.
Services – Provide customized roadmaps for organizations to integrate accessibility into their culture, processes and technical infrastructures. Deliver accessibility services as a way to advance organizational success while providing employment opportunities for persons with disabilities.
Albert Rizzi was Executive Director of a thriving preschool and afterschool program in the South Bronx. He had made a successful career change from marketing to early childhood education. Now his sights were set on starting a charter school where he would continue working on behalf of the underserved, under-resourced children and families to whom he had dedicated his life.
An unexpected development stopped this plan in its tracks. Albert was hospitalized, suffering from a dangerous strain of fungal meningitis that attacked his optic nerve. In January 2006, he woke up completely blind.
Faced with this new way of seeing, Albert drew on the qualities he had brought to his work in education—persistence, optimism, energy, drive, and an irrepressible urge to reach out and bring others into a world of hope and opportunity. Coming back from death’s door, he made remarkable progress at breakneck speed.
Nevertheless, being blind and learning to operate in the sighted world often was challenging, frustrating, and disturbing. Particularly distressing was the discomfort that other people seemed to feel in his presence. He became increasingly committed to dispelling fears and misconceptions about blindness and building awareness that loss of sight brings the opportunity to experience the world in new and different ways and to call upon the best in oneself and others.
Albert also became acutely aware of the limitations imposed upon him and his peers from the disability community due to the failure of governments and organizations to use current and cutting edge technologies, ignoring legislation designed to ensure that computer-based communication and information systems are accessible to people who are blind or print disabled. Despite the existence of ever-advancing technologies, Albert daily and repeatedly encountered, and continues to encounter, websites, mobile apps, software programs and digital media that continue to be “disabled” to people who cannot effectively read print because of a visual, physical, perceptual, developmental, cognitive, or learning disability.
My Blind Spot is becoming a leader in the global quest to ensure that people with disabilities can take their place alongside their nondisabled peers as valued, productive, contributing citizens.
Albert has dedicated himself to shifting perspectives nationally. He talks vehemently and repeatedly, to anyone who is willing to listen. He has touched, and continues to touch, the lives of thousands of people of all ages through his national outreach. He is often seen on local, national, and international media, spreading his message of hope and a vision of a world that sees the disability community as capable, contributing participants in all aspects of society.
To advance his goals, Albert founded My Blind Spot, a nonprofit organization dedicated to accessibility, education, and advocacy. His entrepreneurial abilities and outgoing disposition and positive outlook helped him garner support and assemble a team notable for its diversity and commitment. An educational program was developed and a website established. My Blind Spot began working with governmental agencies, organizations, and schools to achieve the high degree of accessibility that is possible through technology and mandated by law, yet all too seldom realized in practice.
Some recent major initiatives include the following.
My Blind Spot partnered with Intuit, Inc. to make QuickBooks, Intuit’s widely used accounting software, accessible to people who are blind or print disabled for the first time. For well over 20 years, people who are blind and print disabled wanted access to the premier accounting program, QuickBooks, equal to that enjoyed by their nondisabled peers. Now, thanks to the tireless efforts of My Blind Spot, people of all abilities can use QuickBooks to manage the finances of their own small businesses or to compete equally for careers in financial management.
- My Blind Spot has partnered with agencies and national organizations providing accessibility governance, incorporating WCAG 2.1 AA standards and compliance with federal regulations. Presently, My Blind Spot has worked with state and local agencies to introduce and maintain compliant websites and digital offerings as required by law. In addition to working with the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife on the west coast, My Blind Spot has worked with the County of Suffolk in New York and guided the County Legislature in crafting IR 1300 which required the county’s adherence to state and federal regulations governing virtual access. Additionally My Blind Spot worked with the county to deliver its very first accessible website.
- Cablevision, a leading cable and communications provider, has partnered with My Blind Spot to make their website, mobile apps and product offerings accessible and will position them to provide accessible programming for consumers of all abilities. My Blind Spot has also partnered with Morgan Stanley, a global investment giant, to ensure the services provided through its website and mobile apps can be used by people who are blind and print disabled. Additionally, My Blind Spot is a founding member of the International Association of Accessibility Professionals, working alongside renowned global giants like IBM, Microsoft, Adobe, Disney, Barclay’s Bank and many other leaders in the accessibility industry.
Our focus on accessibility does not stop with “just” developing employment opportunities, or working with governmental agencies, or introducing organizations to programmatic solutions around virtual access, or partnering with organizations to ensure that people can independently manage their finances. My Blind Spot considers educating and advocating for virtual accessibility as a nonnegotiable, and works tirelessly to infuse accessibility into the DNA and corporate culture of our clients. We foster appreciation for the ability of people who are blind and print disabled while raising the bar of expectation and opportunity.