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Scaling accessibility within GitHub and beyond

GitHub celebrates Global Accessibility Awareness Day by launching another installment of the Coding Accessibility series and sharing how we scale accessibility within GitHub and beyond.

Scaling accessibility within GitHub and beyond

A popular mantra within the disability community is, “Nothing about us without us.” That mantra embodies the strongly held belief that people with disabilities must actively participate in the decisions that impact their lives. Given that technology is an integral part of how all of humanity lives, works, learns, and plays, it is absolutely essential that those of us with disabilities have the opportunity to contribute to and lead, the development of technology.

In the latest installment of the Coding Accessibility series, you’ll learn how blind developers Jamie Teh and Michael “Mick” Curran are living the mantra. They have built thriving communities that are organized by the blind, for the blind. The open source software maintained by these communities is used by hundreds of thousands of blind people globally.

GitHub is honored to provide a home for Jamie, Mick, and their communities of blind developers, contributors, and users. We know that the best way to increase the accessibility of technology is to empower people with disabilities to build it. In this post, you’ll learn how we’re doing that by building a culture that scales accessibility internally within GitHub and beyond.

Required company-wide training

Our culture of accessibility starts with company-wide training that is required for every single Hubber. During the training, Hubbers learn about types of disabilities, assistive technologies that are used by people with disabilities, disability etiquette, and why accessibility is so important for GitHub. That body of knowledge is the foundation for our company-wide accessibility program, and every Hubber has an important role to play as we build a more inclusive GitHub.

Engineering fundamentals

The GitHub Engineering Fundamentals program is another important part of our accessibility culture. Indeed, the Engineering Fundamentals program serves as the foundation for accessibility governance at GitHub. The program was created with the goal of defining, measuring, and sustaining engineering excellence across the GitHub platform. The program includes three pillars, which are accessibility, availability, and security, and uses scorecards to continuously monitor how services meet the expectations defined by each of the three pillars. For example, the accessibility pillar includes two scorecards that measure services against the expectations for accessibility at GitHub. If a service fails to meet those expectations, service owners can easily identify the action items that must be completed.

Learn more about the Engineering Fundamentals program at GitHub.

Accessibility Design Bootcamp

Great accessibility starts with great design. And, we know that the most cost-effective way to prevent and remove accessibility barriers is during design. That’s why we created our Accessibility Design Bootcamp. The bootcamp is a live educational program that consists of exercises, discussions, and knowledge shares to raise awareness of web accessibility best practices, the role designers play in creating accessible products, and how to advocate for accessibility with cross-functional partners. Since its inception in March 2023, four cohorts of designers representing 50% of our design team have completed the bootcamp.

Learn more about the Accessibility Design Bootcamp at GitHub.

Accessibility Champions program

While our Accessibility Design Bootcamp has helped shift accessibility left within our development process, our Accessibility Champions program has empowered Hubbers to lead accessibility within their teams. The program started with a cohort of 17 engineering champions. Those participants gained practical experience creating inclusive digital experiences through hands-on exercises and interactive discussions. Their feedback drove improvements that included more interactive experiences and community engagement, such as monthly Champions Connect meetings, which provide a platform for champions to come together, exchange ideas, and foster a sense of camaraderie. We also organized bug bashes and collaborative events where champions worked together to identify and address accessibility issues in real time. Today, there are 52 accessibility champions at GitHub and we plan to expand the program to include at least 100 champions by the end of the year.

Learn more about the Accessibility Champions program at GitHub.


The open source Primer design system is a set of guidelines, principles, and patterns for designing and building UI at GitHub. It provides a shared language and standardized approach to delivering cohesive experiences across the GitHub platform. The building blocks of those experiences are Primer components. The Primer team includes accessibility and feedback from users with disabilities throughout their development process. As a result, Primer is our most powerful lever for implementing accessibility at scale.

Learn how we build accessible Primer components and how we improved Primer’s color system to be more inclusive.


Peter Drucker said, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” We’ve internalized that wisdom and, as a result, we are working to build a culture of accessibility within GitHub. We know that a strong culture of accessibility is the best way to scale accessibility across the organization. As of this moment, our accessibility culture is built on company-wide training for every Hubber, our Engineering Fundamentals program, our Accessibility Design Bootcamp, our Accessibility Champions program, and the Primer design system. However, we also know that accessibility is never done. GitHub is continually growing and evolving to meet the needs of developers. Our accessibility program must grow with it. Stay tuned to the GitHub blog and for the latest news on GitHub accessibility. And, as always, please share feedback on our accessibility community discussion page.

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