Forming a new Accessibility Team at PayPal -- Welcome Victor Tsaran & Srinivasu Chakravarthula!

I am excited to share that we are formalizing the already ongoing effort at PayPal in Accessibility by forming an official Accessibility team.

And to kick things off right, I am thrilled to announce that Victor Tsaran will be joining PayPal on Monday 9/10 to lead this team. Many of you know that for the past 7+ years Victor has been the face of Accessibility at Yahoo (along with the excellent Alan Brightman) And if you were reading my blog back in 2005 you will also know that I wrote a piece about Victor's impact on my views about accessibility. I was just 2 months into my career at Yahoo! Here is a snippet from that article:

Ok, I'll start with a confession.

I think accessibility issues have always been an > abstract concept to me.

It usually was an afterthought, something that the usability folks dinged us for. You know the text wasn't dark enough or the font was too small. It seemed to me that every experience I had with accessibility was from the negative perspective.

You see, I love rich interfaces. I love visualizations. I enjoy pushing the envelope. Somehow in my mind I just saw accessibility and richness as mutually exclusive.

This all changed over the last two weeks. It happened almost the first time I met Victor Tsaran, Yahoo!'s Accessibility Evangelist/Manager. Victor is an incredibly bright engineer who happens to be non-sighted. If ever there was an evangelist and champion for accessibility, Victor is the man.

Victor does not come at accessibility from the negative aspect. Not at all. He approaches it with an enthusiasm, a sense of humor, and a challenge to create rich interfaces that are richly accessible.

My thinking hasn't changed. That's why when I started thinking about forming this team there was only one person in my mind -- Victor.

Here is a great intro to Victor and his work at Yahoo!

In addition, I want to call out an equally incredible hire by our QA team in Chennai, India -- Srinivasu Chakravarthula. Vasu was the Senior Manager, Inclusive Design at Yahoo! Bangalore. Vasu is well known in the industry (like Victor). You can follow Vasu on twitter @vasutweets.

We are stoked to have these two great advocates for accessibility on the PayPal team. We look forward to bringing Inclusive Design to the fore on all of PayPal's products & services.

They will join together with the excellent work that Cathy O'Connor, Dennis Lembree and Nawaz Khan have been doing to bring accessibility to the fore at PayPal to form this multi-disciplinary team (design, engineering & QA).

Welcome Victor & Vasu!