Blind Bargains

Yahoo! Layoffs hit Three Members of Accessibility Department

We have learned of three layoffs in the Yahoo! Accessibility department: Accessibility Engineer Ted Drake, Media and Outreach Manager Nate Ebrahimoon, and Senior Inclusive Design Manager Srinivasu Chakravarthula. The department oversees accessibility initiatives for the company's brands and mobile apps and also performs research on a variety of accessibility concerns and maintains several online resources. Drake and Ebrahimoon were a part of a recent Blind Bargains podcast at CSUN 2012. Yahoo! announced 2,000 layoffs companywide, or about 14 percent of its workforce.

"Yahoo! is one of the companies who take accessibility in much serious way and engineers across put in their best efforts to make the products accessible," said Chakravarthula. "Good thing is that Engineers listen to the accessibility advocates. It has been great pleasure to be part of Yahoo! Though, I am sad I got laid off but I am more sad that Yahoo! decided to stop accessibility operations in Bangalore, India (I hope this is for sometime only) with my move. I with support of leaders and colleagues like Victor Tsaran, brought up the whole lab in Bangalore and it's sad to see my baby would sleep now."

Drake added, "I've only got good things to say about Yahoo and the Accessibility Lab. I don't think the layoff was personal, it's just that I ended up on the wrong side of an accounting sheet. However, I see this as an opportunity to join a new company and make their products more accessible. Yahoo's tend to do that, we've been creating a growing web of accessibility awareness around the Valley. It's been a tremendous opportunity working with Victor and the Accessibility Team and I'm looking forward to the next step."

Finally, Ebrahimoon commented, "While I am not taking the layoff personally, the effect of the layoff within the products I managed (Yahoo! Accessibility Social Media) are unfortunate. The Yahoo! Accessibility social media channels (Blog, Facebook, Twitter) were a massive success with entirely too much potential ahead. I feel for our loyal social media audience, who will no longer receive the quality and unique content they are used to receiving.

As for Yahoo! Accessibility, I am too thankful for the knowledge, growth, opportunity, happiness, and friendship that were provided during my employment. I’m looking forward to taking the social media management skills I’ve gained at Yahoo! to a new place."

We reached out to Yahoo! Accessibility but they declined to comment further. We will provide more information as we learn of it.

Category: Miscellaneous

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J.J. Meddaugh is an experienced technology writer and computer enthusiast. He is a graduate of Western Michigan University with a major in telecommunications management and a minor in business. When not writing for Blind Bargains, he enjoys travel, playing the keyboard, and meeting new people.

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