Skip to content Todd Libby

Crystal Preston-Watson


[00:00:00] Todd Libby: Welcome to the Front End Nerdery podcast, a podcast about front end development and design. I'm your host, Todd Libby. My guest today is Senior Digital Accessibility Analyst, content creator, which I'm excited to get into a little bit more later on. Speaker, an improv and sketch comedian and taco lover.
Mutual taco lover. I love tacos too. Crystal Press, Preston-Watson. Crystal, how are you today?
[00:00:33] Crystal Preston-Watson: I am good. Thank you for having me. I'm really glad to be here.
[00:00:37] Todd: Thank you. And you know, thank you for coming on as well. So, would you tell the listeners a little bit more about yourself?
[00:00:44] Crystal: Yeah. so, I won't cover the, my current things as you have and already done.
But I have, you know, I've been in in the tech field, web development field for over 10 years. How much over 10 years. I, I don't really know. I'm just like, but I know it's been over 10 years. I actually started partially, I, I started uh, in the journalism kind of field. I dropped out of college, college multiple times, and one of those times was to go work at a alternative weekly newspaper as a web editor.
And that was a short stint I had. Worked at that paper as a as a freelance writer, you know, you know, those little listings that you see about what's there to do in the city. I was writing those became web editor at a, at that paper for a bit, then moved over to the Rocky Mountain News. And some people might be like, what paper is that?
It was a really old newspaper. It had been around for 149 years, and the year I joined is the last year it was around, and I was an interactive producer there. So, at those two newspapers I was pretty much, you know, in the kind of. You know, internet, web department. And you know, after that I was like, you know what, maybe I should just completely go the, the web and you know, route the development coding route.
And that's how I got into you know, front end development. I mainly, back when I got into it, it was still really, a lot of times you were called still a web designer and there was a really big blur between web designer and front end developer. So, I did that. And then around 2013 I was like, do I wanna still stay in front end develop.
And I decided to do what most people don't do and became a QA and tester and I really took to it, it really lends a lot to you know, that kind of journalistic, you know, you know, like nature in me, of like investigating, you know, issues and things like that, that reporter type element. And so that's what I didn't you know, 2013 and then around 20, about the end of 2015, 2016, I started to get into accessibility.
I worked as a contractor at Aetna doing mobile accessibility testing and then, you know, became fully on their team as an accessibility engineer. And that really led to me ending up at Salesforce first as a quality engineer, and then now as the senior digital accessibility analyst.
[00:03:30] Todd: Awesome. Yeah. That's great. So, usually I ask, you know, the first question I normally ask everybody is, how did you get started in your web journey? But that's, that's great. Is there, you know, is there something, you know, that fed your passion for either getting into the web or accessibility?
[00:03:54] Crystal: So, getting into web, I am really self-taught.
Like I didn't go to school for, for like coding. I didn't go to I did end up going to a coding boot camp, but that was in 2018. So, I had been in the game quite a while. Cause I was like, well this is a, maybe this will be a good way for me to kind of like, you know, just re-up my skills. But I first really got like I became interested in coding in, in one of my stints in college before I got kicked out.
And I didn't go to class. I was a environmental biology major. I ended up getting a, you know, a computer. Like I came from a background we did not have computers. I'm, I am, you know, I'm weird old. I'm in the, I'm a weird old person. And so, I, you know, came from, and then I got into college and got my first computer.
It was a Gateway, the cow box, like iconic. And I became really interested in my computer and I was like, this thing is cool. Like, you know, at school when I was, you know, in high school, I was like, this was, you know, this was the annoying thing that I had to get up early to, you know, barely know how to type on it.
Now I have one and I started like doing things like putting viruses on it so I could learn how to take them off.
[00:05:20] Todd: Yeah.
[00:05:20] Crystal: Bonzi Buddy. Which is that purple like gorilla thing, became very, we became very good friends as I, I am like one of the rare people who sought it out to put onto my computer.
So, I could then learn how to take it off my computer. And so, I started messing around with the computer, doing stuff like that. And then I found GeoCities and I was like, oh, this is cool. You can make your, your mouse, you know, the trail, the cursor trail and do all the stuff.
[00:05:51] Todd: Yeah.
[00:05:51] Crystal: I was at, I was at CU Boulder, and I remember from my residence hall, I made the a webpage for it and the cursor was a buffalo running.
Yeah. So, I was a real, I was really good at, at design, you know, design was my passion.
[00:06:08] Todd: Yeah, yeah.
[00:06:09] Crystal: And then I wanted to do more. And so that's where I really started to get the interest in learning HTML, CSS. CSS wasn’t a really big deal, and, and JavaScript wasn't for me. It was just really kind of digging into that, you know, HTML cuz that's for the most part, if you wanted to do something more than what GeoCities gave you, you just needed to know more HTML.
And the funny thing is, the thing that I would do when I was skipping, skipping class and not going to class ended up being the thing that kind of my career. I didn't think that that was like something I thought, I was like, hey, this is really cool to do. I can do cool things. I can. And, and it just so happened it was like, yeah, maybe I should have been, maybe I should have been a, you know, a computer science major.
But I probably didn't, would just have like, then, you know, started digging more in the mud and being like, now it's like I'm an archeologist when I don't go to class.
[00:07:14] Todd: That. No, that's awesome. Yeah, I, I remember GeoCities was one of my first places where I went, oh, I can, you know, I can type all this stuff in.
I can make things and shift things around and
[00:07:29] Crystal: Yes
[00:07:29] Todd: move stuff and yeah, GeoCities was one of my friends back in the day. Yeah, so, so let's talk about, let's jump right into the accessibility stuff because boy, is there a lot going on today?
[00:07:43] Crystal: Yes
[00:07:44] Todd: And I've been talking about it with a lot of people and we, you know, lately we've had in the news there's been some issues as well.
So that's something I also want to get to in a, in a few minutes. But disability and employment, I am a big proponent of employing people with disabilities to teach me in what I do to mentor me, right? So, I'm a sighted user, I, you know, I know my way a little bit around a screen reader. You know, people that can teach me how to, how they show me how they navigate with a screen reader or some other assistive technology.
Those people, I think are very, very important to have on a team, or even, you know, if it's not tech related, hiring people with disabilities. So, to the thing that we've seen with John Fetterman in the news and the questions the media had around, you know,
[00:09:04] Crystal: Yeah
[00:09:04] Todd: his employability as a US Senator.
[00:09:07] Crystal: Yeah
[00:09:08] Todd: Let's talk about employability, if you will. What are, for the lack of a better term, what are the myths around hiring people with disabilities, if there are any?
[00:09:25] Crystal: I mean, there's a lot of, and mainly it's the biggest myth in the one that really is really, sadly hard to shake, is that having disability means you're less productive. And that's, you know, that you don't even need other ones.
There definitely are, but just the fact that, well, and it doesn't matter what, like, as soon as that, you know, disability or impairment, it's like, oh, they can't, they can, they can't do the work. They, they're not gonna be productive. We're going to have to hold their hands and do you know, this, this, this.
And it's really something that even though there's tons of evidence out there, there are to, there's so many people that you know, who disprove that every single day, every single hour, every single minute. It's just something that is constantly there and it's, you know, you know, that is a, it is a huge, huge misconception. That keeps a lot of people from being able to, to gain employment and gain not just employment, but you know, meaningful employment that pays a living wage.
[00:10:40] Todd: Right? Yeah, exactly. So, for anybody that doesn't know John Fetterman running for senate in Pennsylvania against a doctor, I'll leave it at that. They had an interview with him on a news outlet, which will also remain I’ll, I'll leave it at that for legal reasons.
[00:11:09] Crystal: There you got it.
[00:11:10] Todd: So, he asked, and please correct me if I'm wrong, but he asked for accommodations as far as he needed closed captioning.
[00:11:20] Crystal: Yes. Yes. Yeah.
[00:11:22] Todd: Okay and then after that it was, you know, from what the very little that I read it was they were questioning can he be a leader or, and, and please jump in if you know there's anything else in there.
[00:11:39] Crystal: Yeah, and mainly if you, you know, he was pretty much if he understood, you know, the, you know, the, what was, you know, pretty much his cognitive abilities, they, they’re questioning.
[00:11:52] Todd: Right.
[00:11:52] Crystal: And the thing is, is that, you know, he had a stroke earlier May of, of this year. One of the common side effects of a stroke is you know, auditory difficulty processing auditory information or auditory overload. And, you know, the thing is, is that that could be, you know, it can be permanent, it can be temporary, but it's also something that, you know, there are ways to you know, live with it, you know, you know, in a temporary manner or permanent.
And one of those ways is by using, you know captions in speech to text because, you know, and the reason why asking for captions is that, you know, needed to not only, you know, take in that, you know, that information, those questions, you know, by, you know, the reporter asking those questions, but needed to, to read those to, you know, really make sure that he fully understood that what was going on.
And that's not saying, you know, you know, it's just a, it's another way to process something when they're, they're, you know, everyone has different learning styles, different kind of informational processing and, you know, there are some people who have, you know, never had a, you know, stroke who have other disabilities and other impairments who do need captions and very much, you know, and very, you know, like that's something that they're, you know, they, they absolutely need.
And anytime they can get captions, they are putting them on. I mean, even, you know, right now I use captions and sometimes I could barely see them. And now it's just captions are on for me, but you know, I do, and a lot of people, and especially a lot of younger people who have grown up with streaming captions are something they're constantly, you know, leaving on, if you're watching a lot of, you know, movies, you have subtitles or movies that have, they, they go between different languages because, you know, you, you need that, you know, even if you may know several different languages, you may not know one very well and you need that caption to be like exactly, you know, what, what is being said.
And so the, the framing of, you know, him using captions for this interview, it, it's, you know, it's saying that, well, if you use assistive technology, you are, yeah, you can't perform the, at the level that you need to, to perform at. And it's just not true. Like if you, you know, and, you know, I don't wanna get more in getting into a lot more kind of medical like, you know, like things, but it's just not true.
And you know, that, you know, and really it's a dangerous, it's a dangerous kind of slope if we're starting the, you know, anytime someone uses a assisted technology that we put that label on of, well, obviously this is, you know, shows that they, they cannot do the task or duties at hand.
[00:14:49] Todd: Yeah. Yeah. It seems like from my experience, there is a stigma behind that, that,
[00:14:57] Crystal: Yeah
[00:14:57] Todd: oh, there must be something very wrong if that person uses captions or you know, needs to read from a transcript.
Yeah, it's we have captions on here at, at our home and you know people in the household need those and they're very important. I do a stream here and there on occasion, on my Twitch channel, and I just put captions on because, I'm in accessibility. People expect it.
[00:15:28] Crystal: Yeah
[00:15:28] Todd: If I'm not doing it well, then I'm not doing my job.
So, it's very important to me that somehow the stigma is broken and, you know, the hiring, you know, of people and like the, the, you know, the reasons you have mentioned the performance reason, reasons is that stigma goes away as well. So, with that, we know in tech that companies need to do a lot better hiring people with disabilities and in general, you know, that I think is, is the same as well.
You know, companies in general need to do a lot better and not for just, oh, well, we have to make sure we, you know, we go, we abide by the ADA and this, that, and the other thing.
[00:16:23] Crystal: Yes
[00:16:24] Todd: Where does a company start as far as the, the first step being, yeah, I'll go hire a person with, or people with disabilities if they are the right candidate for a job.
Where do they go after that? Where, where, you know, what steps are, are necessary for these places to just make this commonplace?
[00:16:55] Crystal: Well, I, yeah, I think the first step is being, you know, saying, hey, you know, we want to make sure that we're hiring the best people out there. And you know, and I am a firm believer that, you know, to say, disabled people are among the best people out there.
And unfortunately, the way, you know, you know, hiring happens, not reaching out to, you know, to you know, that, you know, to the, to the community. And so, making sure that, you know, it's not just about saying it, but also putting action behind it. And really hiring's only that first step because, you know, hiring doesn't mean much if people get to, you know, are starting working in your company and they're finding they have no support. And, you know, and then making sure that not only your hiring, but you are, you're actively supporting your employees with, you know, internal accessibility.
You know, that's something that I, you know, am, you know, tasked with. You know, in my role is that I am the person who you know, it kind of is tasked with external accessibility. So, I am the person investigating, you know, tools and, you know, other platforms to make sure you know any, you know, any and all employees can do their jobs effectively.
And so, if there is something that, you know, they're, you know, have to use of tool for their, for their, you know, for their work, for their project, and they're coming up against accessibility barriers, that's not good. We're preventing them from doing their job effectively. And so, you know, coming in there, you know, and that's, you know, I want to go in there and, you know, tear down those, you know, barriers.
[00:18:37] Todd: Yeah.
[00:18:37] Crystal: And that's something that really needs to happen. It's like you, you know, hire, you know, definitely make sure you're reaching out to different communities, different, you know, areas. You know, and then once you hire, supporting some of the, a lot of that is also doing flex and remote work. There's a lot of work that can be done remotely, that can be done in flex time.
You know, in, in a flexible, you know, arrangement and you know, really, I, you know, it's like I know a lot of people love to be in office. I, I definitely, I definitely get that. But, you know, I, I don't think that is necessary for every single job and, you know, and the, you know, it's a horrible way to find it out.
But the, you know, the middle of like, the quarantine at the start of the pandemic really showed that literally within like two weeks, so many companies went remote. And then, you know, and for years, you know disabled people had been asking, you know, can I do a job at, at work, you know, like at home?
And it was always like, no, you, you know, we, this job has to be done.
[00:19:46] Todd: Yeah.
[00:19:47] Crystal: You know, in the, you know, on site, on, on the premises. And it's like, and you know, within two weeks it's like, oh, hey, you know, you, you working from home now. And it's like, and it's and it's like, there was no good reason other than that, you know, the misconception.
It's like, oh, well, you know, if we allow them, you know, to work at home, they're, they're, again, they're not gonna be productive. And it just showed I'm someone, I was, I was remote before the, you know, before things got shut down with, with quarantine. And I have, I have to say my productivity has skyrocketed since I've, you know, when I work remotely, I'm able to, to focus.
I don't, you know, someone have social anxiety disorder. Being in open, like kind of open format offices really is, is not great for my mental health. And I was constantly, you know, sick constantly. You know, dealing with a lot of anxiety, panic attacks. And then when I was allowed to, to work remote and just focus on, you know, on the work at hand and focus on tasks, I realized I was like, Wow.
I, I just, you know, I was like, I am, I'm not crap at what I do, I've actually good at what I do.
[00:21:10] Todd: Yeah.
[00:21:11] Crystal: It's just the whole thing of like, when there's a bunch of people walking around and there's like, you know, things in your ear, there's, you know, people, you're like, you know, like looking over your, you know, like your shoulder and be like, what are you doing there?
And it's like, I just wanna focus and, you know, but getting, I know I'm getting going off, off, you know, tangent, but it's just like really supporting, you know your employees to work to the best of their ability in the way they need to work.
[00:21:38] Todd: Yeah, definitely, definitely. And, you know, when, when everything went remote, I'm like, hmm, boy, these companies changed their minds real fast
[00:21:50] Crystal: Yes
[00:21:50] Todd: when they said nobody could work remotely. And now everybody is practically remote, and they've changed their tunes. So, you're absolutely, absolutely right. It, it can be done, and people's productivity can be even better than it was before.
[00:22:09] Crystal: Yes
[00:22:09] Todd: So, you know, that's, thank you for sharing that because that, that's, you know, my, you know, I've always thought if people can get the job done, no matter you know who they are, you know, let 'em work from remotely, from home, you know and we've seen over the past two, three years it can be done. So,
[00:22:38] Crystal: Yeah
[00:22:38] Todd: Yeah. So, and I, I've also noticed, you know, we, there's a lot of people with disabilities in the developer community, in tech in general. And that's another thing. It was like, you know, it's, it, it's sometimes challenging enough as it is for, for those people, but why make it more difficult by not letting them work remotely?
[00:23:13] Crystal: Yeah
[00:23:14] Todd: It was always the question I had. So, it's good to see the shift even though it took something really bad.
[00:23:24] Crystal: Yep
[00:23:26] Todd: To enact that change. So, what, what do you wanna tell people who are maybe listening and watching this about speaking up at their company and getting more people with disabilities possibly hired and I guess supporting action like that at their company?
[00:23:50] Crystal: I, I think just literally just speaking, you know, kind of speaking up and making a known, I, I know sometimes people say, well, you know, announcing that you, you know, you have a disability. If you're comfortable with that. I, I say that that is great. Not everyone is, not everyone should have to. I'm someone who's very open about like one, you know, my one disability.
I, you, you can definitely tell, you know, right away. It's like you only got one functional eye that's like, yep. But, you know, another one that's very, you know, has very significant is my social anxiety. And that's been, you know, over, you know, ebb and flow of how detrimental it's been to, you know, my personal life, but also my career.
And now I'm at the point where I am very, you know, vocal and I talk about it, not just, you know not just on Twitter and on social media, but also at work. And I, I think that if someone does feel, you know, good about doing that, definitely do. But I don't want people to feel pressured that they have to, and they shouldn't have to.
You know, it really is, you know, it also comes from a, a, a consumer standpoint of, you know, of people just making it known as by you know, dollars, you know, like the wallet, you know, the wallet talks, money talks. And, and the thing is, is that, you know, making it known, you know, especially like, hey, I, I hear that you, you know, you hire, you hire people with, you know, disabilities, like, and you, and yeah.
Like, hey, I wanna support that product. I know some people are like, oh, you know, it's like, I don't wanna, you know, capitalism. And it's like, well, I'm sorry, but that's, I'm like, I, I, like, I, it's, I, you know, it gives, I, I just thought of the Tim Curry, you know, it's like the only place where capitalism, you know, isn't, you know, doesn't exist. You know,
[00:25:52] Todd: Yeah
[00:25:52] Crystal: we don't live in space.
[00:25:54] Todd: Yeah
[00:25:55] Crystal: We live in the United States of America on Earth. And so really, you know, as an employee, you know, kind of, you know, those, you know, speaking to you people who might be, you know, you know, in positions that are higher, you know, that are, you know, that are above you talking, you know just, you know, saying about, about hiring people with disabilities you know, definitely recommending people for jobs.
Because I think that's also, if someone ha, you know, disabled people don't feel like if they, you know, won't apply. There's a lot of people who are like, okay, well I'm not gonna apply because they're just not gonna hire me. And so, you know, being that person that's like, hey, you have, you know, it's like, you know, you have, you know, I, there's, they're hiring for a job here and, you know, I think you would be a very good, you know, a, a very good fit and like putting that out because that's also something that, you know, is like not you know, again, that outreach is not, you know, is it, it needs to happen.
So, it, it's, it's something that needs to be tackled on multiple facets of, and it shouldn't just, you know, and that's the thing of why I'm like, it can't, it can't just come from the, you know the bottom up.
Unfortunately, it's something that, you know, it does need to have buy-in from leadership and executives, and that's why I'm saying as a consumer, and as you know, as you know, advocates of really kind of making that known as well because, you know, it, it's hard to be where you're like, I'm trying to do my, my job, but also do all this advocating it and, you know, you're, you know, and it becomes a huge burden if you're the only one or very few people who are trying to do all that.
So, and it feels like there's, you know, you're not getting that support or, you know, you're not maybe able to reach the right people within the company as well.
[00:27:56] Todd: Right. Yeah, that's, yeah, yeah. I don't have anything to say about that. You nailed it right there on point. So, shifting the conversation now to something that I've been thinking a lot lately, and that's assistive technology. And you know, as I said before, I'm a sighted, you know, dude, you know, and I am an, an accessibility engineer and I do audits, but I feel incomplete when I do an audit because I'm like, what am I missing here when I'm using a screen reader?
[00:28:39] Crystal: Yeah
[00:28:39] Todd: But I'm sighted, you know in that I have picked up a lot from, from people like yourself and Léonie Watson and other people that as far as accessibility in general goes, especially Léonie Watson with, with screen reader usage and you know, learning every day it seems. So, when we talk about, you know, assistive technology, right?
We talk most people, oh, screen reader, you know?
[00:29:17] Crystal: Yeah
[00:29:17] Todd: And maybe, you know, software like Dragon Naturally.
[00:29:22] Crystal: Yeah
[00:29:23] Todd: But there are, I mean, endless, it seems like there's endless, you know, different types of technology out there. So, what are some of the things that are out there that people may not know about and anything, you know, that people can research and, you know, educate themselves about?
[00:29:48] Crystal: Yeah, like, so, absolutely. And that's something that I really you know, I, I really try to keep up on with, when it comes to assistive technology is because there is, as you said, you know, kind of the immediate thought that a lot of people go to you is screen readers. And that's just because, you know depending, you know, especially if you're, you know, based in like North America, the UK or, or Australia and like, and you know, Latin Macs are very, you know, widespread usage and you have voiceover, voiceover comes on, on a Mac.
So, people, you know, even indirectly, you know, can, like, a lot of times they'll, you know, turn it on, but you know, by mistake. And then, you know, they have had an experience with voiceover, probably not the greatest, depending if they, because there's a lot of Google questions of like, how do I turn it off?
[00:30:42] Todd: Yeah
[00:30:43] Crystal: But you know, and it's, the thing is, is that, you know, when it comes to assist, there, there, there are so many, you know, there are so many different you know devices out there. But also knowing that, you know, it's not just about things that are, that have computer chips, or you know, that have, you know, that can be plugged in or battery run.
You know, one of the most, you know, like widely used, like assistive technologies or like for people who use computers are, are mouth sticks. So if you have mobility issues and you know, and where you can, you know, you have control of, of your, of your, of your, your head and your mouth muscles and you need to type that's, you know, people, you use mouth, you know, mouth sticks.
And that's the thing of being aware. That's why it's, it's, it's not just enough to understand accessibility from a technical or design or test, you know, angle, really understanding disability. Because when you understand disability, you understand the, the, you, you begin to understand the needs of, of, of, you know, of people, of what they need of, of like, and how they need to gain, get access.
And so, you know, so you have things like mouth sticks, you have eye tracking software. You have you know, you have, you know, adaptive keyboards, you have you know, switches that for, you know, you know, like that looks like, you know, like a huge button.
But, you know, and that, and, and that's why you were telling people about, you know, keyboard, keyboard testing and, you know, and being very aware about keyboard navigation because many, you know, not only do screen readers use keyboard or either emulate keyboard inputs or use keyboard inputs, a variety of other assistive technology will use, you know, will use those as, as well.
And so, yes, it's not, you know, it's very expensive to try to buy, you know, you know, all the leading, you know, assistive technology out there. I, you know, am trying to teach, you know, self to use switch. Again, I don't have mobility issues, so it's really not, you know, my testing really is very, very limited because I'm trying to test as someone who does have, who doesn't have mobility issues.
And, you know, and again, that's, you know, it's, it's, so I'm, you know, that also the cost, like the, you know, the, the, the Jelly Bean switch cost. I think, you know, along with the adapter and the actual switch, it was close to $200. So, it's, you know, and that's, and that is not a small price for, you know, you know, especially if you're like a, you know, a small business trying to do accessibility testing on your, you know, things.
So, you know, and that's, you know, and that's why going back of hiring, you know people with disabilities, because you know, you know, one of the things, you know, if you want to make sure you're actually doing thorough testing on, with assistive technology. Hire the people who definitely understand that assistive technology and use it every day and use it not just for testing cases, because that, that is going to, that's a very limited, it's very controlled.
And when you're using a, you know, a, a, you know, when you're using a product, you, it's not controlled. It's not, you know, there's not a series of steps in some tests, you know management system, it's, it's very, it's anything and everything. They're, they're cats. There's, you know, there's all the stuff that, that, that happens.
So, I know I'm kind of all over the place. So, when it comes to assistive technology, just know, like, you know, really, I think the best thing to know is to, to really start learning about disability and learning about different kinds of disabilities and how that might affect you know, that the access someone needs to, to your platform, to your application.
And then from there, start really looking into the assistive technology. And that will take you, that will take you to where you need to, to go.
[00:35:24] Todd: Right? Yeah. Are we in, in the way of assistive tech? Are we advancing in the technologies, do you think?
[00:35:38] Crystal: I, I think, I think it's some, I think, I think in some ways we are.
I, I think, I think some of, in some ways we are in just that when, sadly, a lot of times when things are beneficial for disabled people. It is, it comes out of, well, you know, it's like we see real use of this for people who are not disabled. And, you know, and then, you know, where it's less of, of, you know, thinking about, well, how can we make sure that, you know, people with disabilities have access and this is really cool.
Like, you know, it's like, this will help me shorten my, my, you know, my checks checklist off.
[00:36:28] Todd: Yeah
[00:36:28] Crystal: And so, I, I do, you know, and that's why you see a lot of that kind of the technology of like, oh, I'm going to make a robot like a robotic, seeing, seeing eye dog. And, you know, it's like, and it's like, okay, like, and then, you know, I'm gonna test it by put a blindfold on me.
I'm not gonna test it with anybody, you know, anybody who's actually blind in low vision, I'm just gonna throw a blindfold on me and test this really cool dog. Now I, you know, I don't know if that person who made that dog listens to this. I listen, I, I think it's a cool robotic dog. But you need to go, you need to consult with some people who actually have seeing eye dogs and understand why that a robotic seeing eye dog is not going to work.
[00:37:24] Todd: Yeah, yeah.
[00:37:26] Crystal: And so that's kind of, I, I feel that there are some advancements happening. I, you know, I, I, I'm, I'm not pessimistic, but I'm, I, you know, I'm more real. I, I'm realistic. I can't be, I, you know, I, I need to be more optimistic, but I, I feel that the ableism a lot that really is, you know, ingrained in technology, really keeps it from being as, as kind of like at highly, you know you know, you know the progression of advancement as it could, it could be.
[00:38:00] Todd: Yeah, yeah. And I'm gonna, for the people that are listening to the podcast. I'm going to hold up my shirt for a minute because I mean, there's something here
[00:38:13] Crystal: Yep
[00:38:13] Todd: that, and my shirt says accessiBS.
[00:38:18] Crystal: Yes
[00:38:19] Todd: If you know anything about the shirt, you've seen me wear it in the video version. Check out the video version on YouTube.
We have a little, I have a big problem as well as a lot of other people we know, you know, Crystal and I know with some technologies having a lot of marketing behind it.
[00:38:41] Crystal: Yeah
[00:38:42] Todd: And, yeah, more barriers than they remove.
[00:38:49] Crystal: Yeah. I mean, again, money talks. Like, I think that's something that a lot of people in accessibility need to really, I, I, I, not every, not everyone cares. Like,
[00:39:00] Todd: Yep
[00:39:00] Crystal: and you know, it's, you know, where it's like, oh, people should be doing things because of the, it's the right thing to do. It's the good thing to do. And some people don't. They don't give, I'm not gonna swear, but they don't give an F about that. It is about the, at the end of the day, it is about the money.
[00:39:21] Todd: Yep
[00:39:21] Crystal: And so, when you have like, you know, something like this that has like, like it's gonna win out. And so, a lot of people are like, well, why are these, you know, companies, you know, using these overlays because the marketing is out there. And one thing I would like to, you know, say is that, instead of being very kind of like aggressive at some of these smaller companies, they're, a lot of these companies are not building these sites themselves.
They are going to, you know, different agencies or you know, like, you know, development firms to build these out. They, you know, then they'll ask about like, oh, I've heard I should be made, need to be made accessible. And then you have this overlay and they're like, well, this overlay will make it accessible. And they're like, great, cuz they figured they're doing a good, you know, deal.
And then, you know, they find out sometimes probably not in the greatest of way when they're like, you know, it's like how, you know, someone's like, how dare you? You're like, this is, you know, you're horrible. And they're like, what? We were just trying to, you know, make sure everyone, they don't know about the overlays.
And, and so, I think one with like having an understanding of that money, that marketing really makes them, you know, front and center and you know, where a lot of people think, well that's obviously a good solution. It's, it's making things accessible.
Also, when it comes to the, there a lot of them don't realize that if the, the lot I, I've just seen so many of these smaller companies, but in smaller like businesses who have overlays and they just don't need, they just don't need them. And it's like, what? Like you got one page, you know, you don’t even got forms on it. Why, why? Like, I was like, who built this thing and why did they put this on here?
Like, it's like, oh, do you want dark mode? Do you want all this stuff? And I'm like, one my screen, like, you know, cuz I use talk back. And so
[00:41:24] Todd: Yeah
[00:41:24] Crystal: usually what happens sometimes, especially cuz a lot of times these overlays are, they're, they're implemented wrong for the overlays. Talk my, like when I'm using Talk back, talk back will be like, oops, well I'm gonna stop.
Like, I'm gonna stop working. And so, then I'm like, okay, I will, I guess I'm not going on that site. And then, you know, once, you know, because the, my eye, you know, my eyesight’s change, so I'll like my, you know, when I have my eyesight’s in a better, you know, kind of place. I'll go and look at these sites and some of, I'm just like, you don't need a overlay.
I like, I even if you're only paying $5 a year, you don't, you like you. And it's like, you don't need to be, you don't need this overlay. So, I've definitely, you know, I've definitely messaged companies and I'm just, you know, like, and I've said you need to ask the people who built your site why they did that?
[00:42:23] Todd: Right
[00:42:23] Crystal: Because you have something that is definitely, if they just built this, this site and it's not something not even super complicated.
It's a, it's a, it's a restaurant with a, with a menu. And it's like if they had just built this right, like, and with, you know, using good, you know, semantic accessible, you know, development practices. It would be accessible without this need. So, I don't, you know, I, you know, so whatever they charged you, you should be telling them like, I'm gonna take out whatever you paid for this overlay with.
[00:43:03] Todd: Yeah
[00:43:03] Crystal: But yeah, that's my feeling on overlays is that they are, you know, the money they put in works and that's something, you know, that and, and a lot of smaller companies fall in that trap because they really just are trying to do, you know, especially a lot of the kind of, you know like mom and pop types, they're, they're, a lot of times it's just like, I'm just trying to do good.
And it's like, but you know, they entrust someone else to build their sites and they're telling them like, hey, you're, you're doing good. And then all of a sudden, they get somebody, you know, yelling at them. And I'm like, so if you're someone who doesn't like overlays and you see these smaller sites go in with just being civil and just let them know.
It'll like, you know, offer to like, you know, it's like offer to have, you know, introduce them to a development company that does accessible practice.
[00:43:57] Todd: Yep
[00:43:57] Crystal: So that's my, that's why we could talk about that for a while.
[00:44:03] Todd: Oh yeah. Oh yeah. No, I've, I've also emailed companies as well, and yeah, it's, it's a battle. It's an uphill battle it seems a lot. So, I wanted to talk about something that I think myself I should talk about, and I think that I, I definitely know other people that have, that have asked me before need to hear, and I hope they're listening.
It's acceptable, right, to use the term disabled, disability.
[00:44:35] Crystal: Yeah.
[00:44:35] Todd: Disabled person, person with disability. What do you say to the people that are hesitant on using disability or those, you know, disabled, disabled person, person with disability?
[00:44:50] Crystal: I think a lot of times it's just letting them know it is okay. I think sometimes there are cultural differences. Like I've run this with you know, with people from other, you know, other countries where, you know, they, they, you know, the words, you know, they, disability is seen, you know, the actual word is seen as, you know, not correct or, you know, demeaning.
So, and so, I, I think a lot of this is kind of giving that, you know, information out. I think it's also not just, you know, you know, you know, kind of teaching and like giving that information, but also being understanding that, you know, sometimes, you know, you know where I, I know some people where they'll say, they'll still say handicap and they, and you know, and because they think they're act, they, they're using the correct term.
The, the, the, the, the, that it's not something that's seen as bad. And then, you know, letting them know that. And then if they do, because it's really, it, you know, language, you know, you can tell someone something, but that doesn't mean, and they, and they may take it to heart, but that doesn't mean then and there it's like they're never going to, because the brain , the brain sometimes does what the brain does and it's like, hey, we've been using this word for years.
[00:46:17] Todd: Yes.
[00:46:18] Crystal: So yes, I understand this is the correct word, but I'm going to slip back and now I'm not, you know, like there's probably a slippery slope cuz people are like, what about other words? Like, I'm like, I, you know, it's just in this context. Yeah, it's really just about, you know, being, understanding and also letting people know, because people, there's generally people who just do not know, and the ones who don't care, it's, you can't spend your energy on.
[00:46:47] Todd: Yeah.
[00:46:47] Crystal: But I think for the majority of people I've come into, like talked to you and things, they do care. They do. They just didn't understand. And, you know, because there are co you know, you know, there are cultural differences. There are, you know, not everyone lit is American, even though a lot of Americans don't want to admit that.
It's like, not everyone lives in the United States.
[00:47:09] Todd: Yes.
[00:47:09] Crystal: Not everyone knows the same, you know, language. It has the same, you know, have the same upbringing, you know, under, you know, it's. So there, it's, it's really being understanding, you know, you know, letting people know and that, you know, what, what these words mean, and, and, and why they have that meaning,
[00:47:34] Todd: Right. Yeah. The, so the majority of the people I know, okay, it's that, oh, I've been using that term for so long, you know, I'm used to it. Or I mean, even myself included up until, you know, a few years ago was still saying handicapped, and now I don't, that is not in my vocabulary anymore. I have, you know, listened and I have, you know, learned and that, you know, definitely not in my vocabulary.
A matter of fact, I heard that word the other day and I kinda, you know, I cringed and it's for, you know, for the people that are as older, as old as me or if not older, oh, we're used to using that term and, you know. But yeah, I'll, it's just like you said, understanding and, and you know, more I've had to with some people that I, I know, you know, personally, it's been more education based as far as, you know, here's an alternative to using that, that is much more empathetic.
[00:48:51] Crystal: Yes. I, I mean, and I know this touches up, but you know, kind of the Beyonce, Lizzo with, you know, words that, you know, the words that use and a lot of people are like, well, they should know. And the words that they, you know, used, I used it as when I was younger, like, I would refer to myself as that I had no, I did not know.
And they're like, how did they not know? Because it's very easy. Like I don't, you know, and this gets into, that touches into a lot of social economic you know, issues of like, well, how could you not know? There's, yeah, like where it's like, cuz you know over, you know, where some people are, like even here in the United States and it's like, well, United States is very huge.
And it really does depend on, you know, when your whole world, you know, growing up is only a, you know, quite a few blocks
[00:49:48] Todd: Yeah.
[00:49:49] Crystal: For one part of the city. And there's a whole different, like term, you know, terms and languages and you know, and especially also age as well, because it's like, you know me at, you know, in my forties and what, you know, and versus someone who is, you know, in their, you know, in their twenties and stuff like that.
And it's like, yeah, this word used like this in this, like, you know, I didn't, the only, you know, the only stuff I watched from the UK in Britain was you know, it was a, a Monty Python.
[00:50:26] Todd: Right.
[00:50:27] Crystal: And then so, unless I, you know, I didn't watch the, you know, the news and I, I never heard that word. So, you know, I didn't know I, And you know, it's not like today where you have like, well yeah, you have the internet and all this information's right at your, your fingertips and like BBC America and you know, it's all this where you get to see that type of like, And so it was only, I really only about maybe a decade ago under, you know, learned about the, the, the history of that word outside of, you know, you know, southern Illinois, St. Louis area.
Like, you know, that's, you know, and so that's the thing of, and I know some people are going to really get up, get upset about this, but I'm like, that's, you know, I, you know, again, like they, you know, I, I don't think, you know, they, you know, it's like, not that I'm like here, I'm like, you know, I need to step here and be like, you know, capping for like Beyonce and Lizzo.
But I don't think these were said in like, yes, I'm saying we are saying these, you know, words because, and we know exactly what they mean to, you know, someone from the, you know, UK they, or rather that this is how I use the word growing up and how everyone around us used the word and you know, and I'm putting in the song because that's what I know.
[00:51:53] Todd: Right.
[00:51:53] Crystal: And you know, and yeah. So, I know I'll probably get some stuff. I'm like, I'm gonna get some, some people come out, I'm gonna be canceled on Twitter, my day, my 15 seconds have come. Ready so I can leave.
[00:52:15] Todd: Oh, I've been waiting for that for a decade. My cancellation. Oh, that's, yeah, yeah. It's, you know, as, as a young lad growing up in rural New England for, you know, 18 years of my life, it was always the, you know, yeah, the terminology that was always used at the time, and it was hard to stop using it entirely because it was hurtful to somebody or a group of people or so, you know, but, you know, I'm, I'm as stubborn as they come, but I learned to stop using it when I saw the impact on other people. And,
[00:53:02] Crystal: Yeah
[00:53:02] Todd: and so yeah, that's yeah, the terminology behind that has always been something that I always, you know, was like, you know, boy, you know, how, how could I go that long with saying that? But I, you know, I didn't know at the time. Not as that that's an excuse or anything, but you know, being educated by people in the accessibility community was important.
[00:53:31] Crystal: Yeah
[00:53:31] Todd: So, I would like to move on to what I'm looking at here is your YouTube videos because they are absolutely phenomenal. I just wanna say that. So, first of all, I wanted to tell the listeners and the people watching that you need to go over to Crystal Preston-Watson's YouTube page, and you need to subscribe now, okay?
Because these accessibility videos are absolutely phenomenal. So, the earth, wind, and fire shorts, I just finished those. I'm a chef's kiss on those. I haven't, I haven't done the newest one yet, but the other ones I, some of my favorites.
I'm just gonna rattle off some of my favorites here. Your, Don't Email Me, I’m Scared, Anxiety in the workplace. I mean, I learned a lot from that video. The, the boondocks parody was, that was great.
[00:54:32] Crystal: I wish I could do voices cuz I would do like I, because it's silent and I'm just like, I'm so bad at voices.
[00:54:42] Todd: The, the attack on Titan parody, again, great. The American Psycho video. I mean, that's, that's definitely one of my favorites. Now it's a minute and 34 seconds long but let me tell you how I just had a smile on my face for I don't know how long after I watch Teenage Mutant accessibility audit remediation.
[00:55:08] Crystal: Yes
[00:55:09] Todd: That was just,
[00:55:11] Crystal: I think I made that right after doing, I was right in the middle of an audit and so I needed to get that frustration out. So, I was like, and, and so I love, I love video games as well, and that particular for, because the video is, is a parody of the, the water level of the NES Teenage Ninja Turtle games.
Just me saying that, if you know, you know.
[00:55:38] Todd: Yes, yes, definitely. Definitely. So, I encourage people to go subscribe now and like those videos, they are excellent. So, here's my question. What started you on the path to making those videos?
[00:55:55] Crystal: Mainly because I, one with, you know, again, with the, with the pandemic, not being able to, I, because I, you know, I, I did improv and sketch comedy and with everything being closed and I'm like improv is one of those things with social anxiety.
Like it's one of the ways I, I, I feel it allows me, cuz the whole thing with improv, it's like, yes. And you're not supposed to, to overthink when you're, you're doing when you're in a scene.
And for me it's, it, it's helped so much and for me to get out of it because with social anxiety, that's all you do. You're so in and you're thinking about all these things that could happen and you know, will happen. And, you know, a lot of really won't happen because it's, you're, you know, you're, the anxiety is, is messing with you.
And so, I was like, I just really want to, one, do something that's creative and learn how to, you know, edit videos. Also just getting, you know, information about accessibility out there. To, you know, people learn in different ways and there are a lot of people where it's like, yeah, you can do like a you know, a workshop or, or a you know, a online or virtual session, but, you know, sometimes, you know, just, you know, 30 seconds, a minute, you know, five minutes, you know.
To really kind of spark things like, and be like, hey, maybe I should look more into that. So that's kind of where it's like I, you know, and hopefully and I'm trying to work on doing some more kind of, you know, long form videos that are really in, you know, informative just as a way to get people information about this if they don't have to pay.
You know, it's like, I'm not looking to, you know, again, this is, that's not my day job. I'm not looking to, I'm not gonna be like, hey, I'm gonna become a YouTube influencer on accessibility. Because one, if I really thought that I could be making out into some Mr. Beast money, maybe I can was like, oh, you know, it's like we all win. I get billions of dollars. We get accessibility.
[00:58:06] Todd: Yeah. Right.
[00:58:08] Crystal: But I don't think that, but you know, it's like, I just want, you know, it's like, honestly, that's, how I, I, I've learned so much just by people making content. So, when I want to find something out, I find, you know, people making really cool, interesting content and I kind of just wanted to maybe if, if just a few people find my videos and be like, huh, that would be something to look into. I have done my job.
[00:58:33] Todd: Right. Yeah. And I think, you know, I think that's an excellent vessel for, for people to learn about accessibility is through what you've been doing here. I, I know that I've the one that I shared in a, in a space that I belonged to was the, the accessibility savvy semantic HTML and accessibility one.
[00:58:59] Crystal: Yeah.
[00:59:00] Todd: I mean, As well as the shorts as well. The ones that are like a minute and a half longer, you know, the, you know, I love 'em. Those, I think it's, it's great that there's somebody doing that, that there's some, see, so I know there are a couple of people I believe that are on TikTok. I don't do TikTok because TikTok is like, it, that's a different, that's a, that's a different episode for me to complain about.
Because of the whole well, lately it's been people with disabilities there, TikTok’s have been taken down because of the Fetterman thing. So, the, I don't, I don't like that.
[00:59:42] Crystal: Yeah.
[00:59:42] Todd: That forum. This is something, you know, not just because I have a podcast on there, but you know, I think it's great that it's on there.
It's, it's, it's accessible, you know? It's free. People can easily find it. And it's there for them to learn.
[00:59:59] Crystal: I do have a TikTok. I just started and I put the Earth Wind and Fire videos, it's keyboard trap. That is, that is my TikTok name. I, I started putting my, it, it, oh God. Is there some accessibility issues?
Like, especially color contrast. Like, there's certain videos. I'm like, I can't see anything. Like where do I go? I, I can't because I don’t know, like, it's a good thing. It's like all I have to do is just swipe to scroll. But if I want to like, or like, like read comments, it's like, especially if there's a back, the person has a white background
[01:00:36] Todd: Yeah
[01:00:36] Crystal: and their icons are what, and I'm like, well, this is just, well this is.
But I am on, you know, on TikTok, because I, I, you know, it's like now I'm like, I am, you know, I, I am older and I like, and trying to, I like it. I, I, I, I love, you know, TikTok, but I'm like, I don't know if I'm be, you know, there's so many awesome people where I'm like, I was like, maybe, and I was like, I don't know if I'm gonna be good at making accessibility content.
You know, maybe I can just some straight comedy content. But I am on a TikTok. I am trying to, because I'm like, you know, I do wanna reach younger people.
[01:01:15] Todd: Right
[01:01:15] Crystal: Because that's something very, very important. If we really want, you know, accessibility, digital accessibility to grow and to be something that, you know, everyone's taking, you know, you know, that really becomes ingrained.
We need to make sure younger people are under, you know, understand it or are concerned about it as well. So, I'm like, well, I guess I'm on TikTok now. There, people have looked, I have gotten zero likes. People have looked at maybe one, one of my videos. So, I, I'm a, you know, it's like whatever, I'm gonna be on there.
[01:01:54] Todd: Yeah. Yeah. So, I'm gonna, I'm gonna say if you're on TikTok and you're listening to this or watching this, go and follow Crystal on TikTok. I'm not on there, but God, that, you know, I, I was, I will say this about this and, and I'll try to keep this short. I was on there once. And the, the content I was fed was white dudes like me with beards, and they thought they were Vikings, and they were sitting in their pickups, and they had their, their red hats on.
And I was like, why am I seeing all this stuff? So, I get off of the platform entirely. I think,
[01:02:42] Crystal: The funny thing is, is that I don't get, I, I don't get fed that, but sometimes on YouTube because I am, you know, I, I, I, I watch a lot of documentaries on ancient Rome and, and like, you know, medieval , you know, a medieval of Europe, like I was very close to.
Had I got into my school of choice as a teenager, my major was going to be medieval studies, so that's a, so I did, and so it's very interesting
[01:03:17] Todd: Yeah
[01:03:17] Crystal: when the, the, the algorithm is like, oh, what like, so sometimes I'm like, I get, you know, I'm like, oh, oh, you, you like Western civilization? And I'm like, oh, no,
It's like, you, you like western civilization. These people like Western civilization. And I'm like, oh, we do not like 'em in the same way.
[01:03:38] Todd: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, it's, it's very rare that I would go on another platform and the algorithm worked for me.
[01:03:50] Crystal: Yeah.
[01:03:52] Todd: So, yeah.
[01:03:52] Crystal: And that's why I mixed it up and I'm like, okay, well I got to now go watch some, you know, clip clips of New Jack City and some nineties black television sitcoms.
[01:04:03] Todd: Right, yeah.
[01:04:04] Crystal: I gotta keep the algorithm on its toes. I'm like, I need to let you know, just because I'm a nerd doesn't mean I'm not connected with my culture.
[01:04:17] Todd: Yeah, yeah, yeah. So, another question here before I get to the final three questions, and that is, let's discuss tacos.
[01:04:25] Crystal: Yes
[01:04:26] Todd: I think we need to discuss tacos. I am in the land of, so I'm in, in, in the Phoenix area now.
[01:04:33] Crystal: Yes
[01:04:33] Todd: And I am surrounded by so many places. I can't even make a straight decision on which one to go to.
[01:04:44] Crystal: I mean, that is, that is lucky. I've, I'm in you know, I'm in in Denver and we have some very good, you know, areas. There's some, you can definitely find the more kind of like Tex Mex style and the more like, oh, these are tacos, but you know, they're not, you know, really. But then, you know, if you go, like, especially along here at Denver, like Federal, like Boulevard, some really good taquerias, you know, around that are make amazing, you know, like, you know, little like taco trucks and stuff.
I love tacos. You know, I did watch the, you know, the great British Bakeoff Mexico episode where they just, again, several, several violations against the Geneva Convention with the tops that were, that were made, you know, the, you know, the hard ass like avocado, sorry. But it was real hard. And then you, like, when you got, you got a air knife out, you know, you're just doing all kinds wrong.
Like, it was, you know, it's like I wanted to cry because one, I did not have tacos. And then to see these tacos I didn't get were just, they were so, they were so bad. I'm like, this is, I'm just,
[01:06:05] Todd: Yeah, so.
[01:06:06] Crystal: It hurts me.
[01:06:08] Todd: Yeah. I, I, I don't watch that show, but I, I heard a lot of cringy stuff about that, about that episode.
[01:06:23] Crystal: That was someone that were, was like, literally they were peeling the avocado. And I'm like, In, it’s like.
[01:06:32] Todd: Wow.
[01:06:38] Crystal: I'm like, why? Sorry, it's, this is how upset I am.
[01:06:44] Todd: Yeah. that would, yeah. That, that would upset me. So that, that's, so basically you know, everybody knows that I have this a addiction to Lobster.
[01:06:54] Crystal: Oh yes.
[01:06:55] Todd: I watched Hell's Kitchen last night and they were picking apart lobster, and I'm like, oh, no, no, no, no. People. That’s
[01:07:06] Crystal: Oh, how, how do you feel like, because I mean, you're, you're now, you know, being in the, like Arizona so far away from, you know, Maine and all those, you know, really good.
[01:07:19] Todd: I know, and I know that, but so somebody's looking out over me because there is a place in Scottsdale that does lobster rolls, and they are just like getting them in Maine.
And that couldn't have come at a better time. I'm very fortunate and grateful for that place.
[01:07:44] Crystal: I mean, I am, so, I'm allergic to like Crustacean, so.
[01:07:49] Todd: Gotcha.
[01:07:49] Crystal: The funny thing is, is that you know, I did live in New England for a bit.
[01:07:54] Todd: Okay.
[01:07:54] Crystal: And so, my, my allergy didn't start all at once. And I used to love, love, love lobster, and we did go and have some lobster rolls.
And I remember when we would get like Chinese, there was this lobster sauce that I would just go crazy over. And I'd be like, Ah. And then and it just, you know, so I slow slowly where it's like, I didn't like shrimp because my mouth would go numb, and I didn't. And then all of a sudden then it was like, no, every day, you know, if I have some lobster, it goes numb.
And then they were like, yeah, because you are allergic. And so, it's like where, you know, I'm not, you know, so allergic where, you know, it's like a little bit we close up, but yeah. You know, I, I, if I ate enough, I, it would not be a good time. And I don't care about, I don't care about shrimp, but I do miss the lobster rolls I had as a kid
[01:08:51] Todd: Yeah
[01:08:51] Crystal: and that lobster sauce. It's, so,
[01:08:54] Todd: Yeah
[01:08:54] Crystal: I, if I, if I wasn't allergic, I would, I would, I would be there with, you know, like, I'd be like, let's go get some lobster rolls.
[01:09:03] Todd: Absolutely, yeah. And believe me, if I had, so somebody asked me if I had a superpower, what it would be, and I would, I, I said I literal, this is, it was almost immediate. I said I would make everybody not allergic to shellfish so that they could have a lobster roll.
Cause that is an experience. But I'm glad you had that experience. So, I went to a place, so the last time I was in Denver was in 2019 before the pandemic. And I went to a place, and I don't remember the name of it. I wish I could, I have the map up here of Denver downtown, but I don't see, nothing's really clicking here.
But there was a place I went to that had really good tacos and I wish I could remember it. It was right downtown, but.
[01:09:51] Crystal: like Union Station area?
[01:09:54] Todd: No, it wasn't the Union Station area. It was I, boy, I wish we could remember. Oh, it was it was by the Weston. So, we were at the Western, I believe it was the Weston, or it might have been the Renaissance, but anyways, in, in that area.
For an event apart in 2019. And myself and a couple other people went to this, this restaurant right around the corner practically, and they were really, really good. And I just, around here, it's just a different experience, so I mean,
[01:10:45] Crystal: Yeah.
[01:10:45] Todd: If you're ever in the area, we can do tacos though.
[01:10:47] Crystal: I, I will take you up on that.
[01:10:51] Todd: All right. All right. So, I want to get to the final three questions here. So, are you ready?
[01:10:57] Crystal: Yes
[01:10:57] Todd: This is the hot seat. This is the hot seat. So here we go. Here's the first one. So, what about the web these days excites you and keeps you excited in what you do?
[01:11:07] Crystal: Oh. You know, honestly, just, I'm finding that that kind of energy that was around in the early two thousands where you had a lot of, like, especially when it comes to like gaming is starting to creep back in.
So even though Flash is, you know, it was Flash, you had a lot around like, you know, creating like content around like with Flash, so it be it like, you know, actual, like animation games and things like that. And just, you know, and not just Flash, but overall, there was a lot of like independent spirit that kind of, that popped around like that was written if you were around on the Internets in the early two thousands.
And I'm starting to see a lot of that energy come back. I think, and so that makes me excited. Like I, I, there are some really, you know, I, I know a lot of like, it's like cool to be, you know, if you're of a certain age to be like Gen Z and like those, you know, darn Gen Z’ers and stuff. And I really am like, I, I'm really kind of, I'm really excited by a lot of the younger people who are coming up and the things that they're doing and trying and, and building.
So that makes me, it's like when it's like, I'm like, you know, there is, you know, even though I'm like, I am a staunch, like realist, I'm like, you know, that, that, that, that little ping of hope it's coming. And I'm like, maybe things won't be so bad because there are some people, there are some, you know, there is that spirit that is still there.
But yeah, that, that makes, you know, kind of happy and, and excited. I, I think overall that more people are really understanding accessibility and thinking about accessibility and really getting how, you know, you know, even with, I know I did talk about how a lot of things that, you know, you know, like especially kind of platform and tool wise are, you know, making traction because they appeal to people without disabilities.
But the thing is, is that, you know, like, but you know, I think with that there are a lot of people who understand, it's like it's not bad to need accessibility. And you know, accessibility is not a weakness. It's just me doing what you need to do. And it's like just, you know, it's like I need to do this.
So that came, I'm starting to, you know, to see a lot of that sphere. So yeah, those are kind of things that, that excite me and gonna make me happy.
[01:13:41] Todd: Yeah. Yeah. So, if there were one thing you could change about the web that we know today, what would that be?
[01:13:46] Crystal: Definitely social media and how it is. Like, I'm fine.
Like I just, you know, it's like I, like I, I, I do like, you know, like I like sometimes being on Twitter and sharing with people. I've gotten to meet a lot of good people. You, for instance, like, you know, you know, we have not, you know, would not have, you know, ever connected without, you know, social media. But I also like, you know, being able to go like, people that you know, you know, you know, close to, you know, I'm close to, and, and just talk in a group with them.
Like, and it's really hard to do that. Like, you know, face, Facebook, and wait. It has changed, you know, where it's like, it's the push of, always, you know, you have to share everything. You have to be, you have to feel like you have a stake in everything that's being shared. And you need to, and if you're not, you know, if you're not at like, like just, you know, volume, you know, 10 in your concern and your, in your, your awareness, then,
[01:14:56] Todd: Yeah
[01:14:56] Crystal: you are not really, you're not really there.
You're not, you know, you're, it's like, are you? It's like, are you really existing if you're not, you know, on just high alert. And that's kind of what I would wanna change. It's like, yeah, it's fine. I, I do like, you know, I do want to connect with people. It's really awesome, but I don't wanna do it all the time.
So, if things were a bit more modular in how you could craft your experience when it comes to you connecting with people and that, you know, some people want to, that's, that's all they want. Some people want kind of a good division. That's one thing I would want to change.
[01:15:30] Todd: Right. Yeah. And let me be the first to say that I was one of those people that are like, that upsets me. I gotta let my, my feelings be known. I've gotta always throw, and you know, there's this thing with guys that look like me, I guess, that we always have to let our opinions be known. And so social media everywhere. And I was, I was one of those guys and now it's like, you know what I've learned, you know, nobody wants to hear from me all the time.
I can sit back and relax and watch the conversation unfold.
[01:16:10] Crystal: Yeah. I mean, I don't sometimes wanna hear from myself. And I like, and I've been doing, I've been better at that, where I'm just like, I'll start typing. I was like, I don't even wanna say this. Like, why am I even writing this? And I'd just be like, delete.
There's so many deleted, where I'm just like, nah, I, I'm like, because it's like, do I need to say that? Is that gonna advance anything? You know, it's like, is it gonna be funny? And it's like, it's like, it's like maybe for me and it's like I don't need to say it. I'm like, I'm tired. I should probably be doing something that's a little bit, you know, worthwhile.
Even if that's just watching paint dry. So.
[01:16:50] Todd: Exactly. Exactly. Yeah. Boy, it, it, it's a, it was, it, it was like a great weight was lifted off my shoulders when I said, Todd, just stop doing this.
[01:17:01] Crystal: Yeah.
[01:17:01] Todd: You know?
[01:17:01] Crystal: Yeah. It's just like, it's like, what's this? You know? It's, when you get that mentality, it's, you know, it, it's good, but it, but it also, that's what I find, what's, you know, the, the thing that is a little distressing.
There's so many people, younger people who don't really have the, the kind of knowledge and experience of, you know, being, you know, you know, being older and being like, this doesn't matter because this is, that's all they know. And it becomes, you know, and again, that is a, that's a huge concern. A lot of people are, you know, I see sometimes and they're like, well, they, you know, they just need to, you know, not do this.
And why do they care so much? And it's like, do you not understand this is what, this has been their whole world. This is how there's, you know, this is the only way they have the means of connecting. Just think about any, you know you know, a kid that really started to really kind of like started to interact like at the start of like 2020.
[01:17:59] Todd: Yeah.
[01:18:00] Crystal: And like, you know, you start in kindergarten it's, it's a whole, you know, so that's kind of what I, I, I just really wish, like, I really wish that, you know, social media, was this something that we, you know, the, the, the user had more control over?
[01:18:18] Todd: Yeah.
[01:18:18] Crystal: And not the other way around.
[01:18:21] Todd: Right? Yeah, definitely agree with you there.
So last question is your favorite part of front-end development, design, accessibility that you really like the most, that you nerd out over?
[01:18:32] Crystal: You know what I, it's funny because I'm actually gonna take on a project. Starting a project is that kind of starting of a project of like all the possibilities and none of the heartache of when stuff stops working and you don't know.
And you know, and also that, you know, that thing of like, I know what I've wanna build and I've, you know, for me, I actually I actually do pencil sketches of like, I actually do like wire frames and stuff, and I'm like, this is what I'm going to build. And then I, you know, I, you know, pull up VS code, and I'm like, you know, I'm like, yes, it's, you know, it begins and I crack my knuckles and I'm like, and I start, and it's that, you know, that, that thrill of like, oh, this is gonna be awesome now, three hours from now, I'm being like, yeah, well this JavaScript is not working.
And I'm like, I'm, I don't know what's going on and I'm trying to debug it. And, but that, that initial of like, I'm starting a project. There's so, you know, there's, you know, there's so much, you know, happening yours that, that first kind of groove, and then there's also that feeling of when you've worked on that hard problem, like, it's like, oh, and you get, and it works and it's just like
[01:19:51] Todd: Yes
[01:19:51] Crystal: feels good. I've also woken up, like I had a problem that was so bad that I, I remember that I woke up, I had a dream and I solved it in my dream, and I woke up and I went to my computer, I was like, I was like, did I somehow dream this? And it worked, it worked. I wish that was an actual, I wish that was my superpower.
And that never happened again. But I was, so, and then I realized how bad that was. I was like, I was really sleep deprived.
[01:20:27] Todd: Yeah.
[01:20:28] Crystal: And I woke up to, to, to go. But yeah, that, that kind of, the possibilities of when you're starting on a, on a project that you're really excited about, and then a, a project that you've had a lot of trouble with, when you finally, finally get over that, that, that, that heartache of it not working.
And that first time when you, you just, you run it and it's like green, it comes up and you're like, hell yeah.
[01:20:58] Todd: Yeah, definitely.
[01:20:59] Crystal: It's like, I'm gonna sleep and I'm, but I'm, I'm gonna do a shot before it comes.
[01:21:05] Todd: Right? Yeah, yeah, yeah. No, I, I totally get that. Like, you know, I working on this problem and something's going on and it's not working, and then I'm like, okay, step away.
Let's, or you know, it's time to go to bed, it's late, whatever, and then wake up and you're back at it. Five minutes later it's done. Like you said, everything turns green, Boom, it's running.
[01:21:33] Crystal: Yes
[01:21:33] Todd: And it's like, oh, yes, that. I definitely understand that. So, we're at the end of the podcast and I would like to take the time to, when I close out the podcast, to let my guests know let the listeners know what they currently have going on and where people can find you.
So, the floor is yours.
[01:21:56] Crystal: Well, as always, I'm, you know, I'm on Twitter @ScopicEngineer you know, YouTube I don't know, my, the actual, just look Crystal Preston-Watson. I was like, oh, I don't know the actual URL of my YouTube just look my name up on YouTube and in also my website,
That has, you know, links to my, my blog and other things. You know other like presentations and, and, and talks I've given. Next up is really you know, honestly, I'm working on a couple, like longer form videos that, you know, I'm really trying to get into to make a more cohesive series. Now that I actually have some bandwidth so I can kind of do that.
Yeah, that's really, you know, other than that, that's, that's what I'm doing. You know, going, you know, doing work doing my day job,
[01:22:51] Todd: Yep
[01:22:51] Crystal: cause, cause that's how I'm able to do all this other stuff. I'm just lucky that, you know, my day job really corresponds to things that I actually like to do.
[01:23:01] Todd: Right.
[01:23:01] Crystal: Yeah. So that is me like, yeah, just, you know, if you, I'm always like, if you have questions about accessibility, you know, I'm always happy to answer them. Especially, you know, you know, at me on, on, you know, on Twitter, like I'm always happy to, you know, talk about, you know, accessibility also by how, my road to accessibility and how, you know, especially for those who are new to the field, new to tech.
And cuz I, I know that I'm someone that had not the most traditional way
[01:23:34] Todd: Right.
[01:23:34] Crystal: getting into tech, and I know there's a lot of people who are in that same place. And so, if I can save them the headache that I had I want to do so, so yeah, I'm more than happy to ask answer questions and things like that.
[01:23:48] Todd: Awesome. Yeah. And we'll have links for everything in, in our show, in the show notes for the podcast cause this is an accessible podcast, so
[01:23:58] Crystal: Yes
[01:23:58] Todd: links to, you know, in the show notes, captions, and transcripts. So, I gotta, you know, I gotta do my job on this end as well. So, or else, you know, I shouldn't be what I, doing what I'm doing, yeah,
[01:24:19] Crystal: It's good though. I'm glad that you do it. It's really so, I mean, and I know like, you know, getting those captions, getting, getting those transcripts, it's, it's, it's not, it's not always easy getting, pulling all that stuff together.
[01:24:33] Todd: Yeah.
[01:24:33] Crystal: So, I commend you and thank you so much for doing that.
[01:24:37] Todd: Well, thank you. And, and kudos goes out to my other half, my better half cuz she does the, the transcripts in the captions. So,
[01:24:47] Crystal: Wow
[01:24:47] Todd: she does, she does the bulk of the work for me, and I wouldn't be able to do this without her. So, I gotta definitely tip my cap. to my other half.
[01:24:57] Crystal: Yes. Yes.
[01:24:59] Todd: Definitely. If I want dinner at night.
[01:25:04] Crystal: She's gonna start withholding
[01:25:06] Todd: Exactly
[01:25:07] Crystal: the lobster rolls. Like no.
[01:25:10] Todd: Yes.
[01:25:10] Crystal: Lobster roll for closers. Like closers of accessibility, only.
[01:25:16] Todd: Exactly, exactly. Yes. Yes. So, Crystal, again, thank you so much. This was wonderful. I had a great time talking accessibility with you. Thank you also for coming on, spending part of your day with me and it again, it was great. It was great talking to you finally. And then yeah, I hope to do this again some other time.
[01:25:37] Crystal: Yeah, definitely. Yay. Thank you so much for having me on here.
[01:25:41] Todd: You're welcome and thank you listeners for tuning into the Front End Nerdery Podcast. I'll be back next time with a new guest, new conversation about front end design development and other topics.
And a matter of fact, this is the last interview episode for season two as I go into season three with some changes that are going on. But that'll be in the next the, the next episode. But for now, if you would please rate this podcast on your podcast device of choice, like, subscribe and watch on the Front End Nerdery YouTube channel, and go to Crystal's YouTube channel and do the same thing.
Links again to transcripts and show notes will be on the podcast channel as well. I'm Todd Libby, and this has been the Front End Nerdery podcast. Thanks, and we'll see you next time.