WCKTM 2016 Stars: An Interview with Sushil Adhikari

Sushil Adhikari is an IT promoter and supporter of accessibility in WordPress. He is visually impaired but that doesn’t lessen his passion for WordPress. An inspiration to all, he has 7 years of experience in teaching computer skills to visually impaired students. He is currently working to raise awareness on issues of disability rights in Nepal and beyond. He believes that technology, if used rightly at right time, can make a meaningful difference in our lives, especially for the visually impaired. He was seen speaking on the necessity of accessibility in WordPress at the recent WordCamp Kathmandu 2016. We had a chance to talk to him at the event.

Sushil Adhikari at WCKTM 2016
Sushil Adhikari at WCKTM 2016

How and when did you get started with WordPress?

I’m actually completely new to WordPress. I started managing websites in wordpress.org in June but I used to write blogs since 2009. Later, I switched my blogging platform into blogspot.

What do you like most about WordCamps?

One of the things I like most about these WordCamps is that it covers various aspects of WordPress. Also, everyone meeting at the same place and sharing their experiences is what I find best about WordCamps.

What do you hope attendees will take away from your talk?

I hope they will realize the importance of the accessibility in WordPress and they will apply some of the tips that I am going to tell them. But my main focus is sharing my knowledge about the importance of accessibility in WordPress.

Are there any challenges you faced that you’d like to share with us?

Yes, the main challenge being my disability. Due to my disability, I am not able to explore so many things that I want to see. But I try to not let that come in my way of success. Another challenge is that Nepali Web Developers are still not aware of different aspects of accessibility in WordPress. So, the websites which are built in Nepal, really don’t seem to be accessible. Because of that, while surfing websites, I fall into many difficulties sometimes.

What do u think about the improvements of Accessibility in WordPress?

I think it’s improving a lot. There are always so many new upgrades of accessibility and plugins in new versions of WordPress. There is a support forum of accessibility in WordPress which is a great thing to have. There is also a separate web platform for all the WordPressers to know about WordPress Accessibility, it’s called “Make WordPress Accessible”.

What are your thoughts on the WordPress community of Nepal?

It’s growing amazingly. It is the place to share our knowledge and experiences with everyone. Everyone here has come to gain more knowledge about WordPress. I am very happy to see our community grow so fast and well.

How have you been contributing or giving back to the community?

I am actively vocal on the importance of Accessibility in WordPress. My talk today is also about that. But as I said, I’m new to WordPress and I haven’t been involved much in the community.

What do you think about female participation in WordPress?

The number of female participants seem relatively lower than males. But, I hope that more female participants will come forward, learn and share their knowledge. This way they will also get to know more about the WordPress community.

How do you stay updated on WordPress?

I have subscribed many WordPress groups in social media platforms. I regularly stay updated through the website of “Make WordPress Accessible”. Attending monthly meetups and WordCamps are also the way I stay updated on WordPress.

What can we find you doing when you’re not WordPressing?

When I’m not WordPressing, I like editing audios, travelling and making new friends. I try to make people aware of different aspects of disability rights and issues through my blogs. Also, I give motivational talks about disability rights and issues. I am the founder of a volunteer-based youth-led venture called Bright Star Society. Through this NGO, we launch many social campaigns and awareness programs.

What advice would you give to a new WordPress user?

I have seen a lot of career opportunities in WordPress for those who want to learn and make their career. It could be a platform to take their career to the next level. The scope of WordPress is limitless, so, I would like to advise a new WordPresser to give it a try and explore WordPress.

WordPress 4.7 is releasing soon. Which feature are you most excited about?

The Accessibility feature is about to be improved in WordPress 4.7. I am very excited for that.

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