I was born and raised in rural Central Florida. I grew up riding horses, picking blackberries and wandering around barefoot. I spent a lot of time near or in the water. Whether at the beach, ponds or lakes – there are bodies of water everywhere down there.
I guess you could say my journey to becoming an accessibility professional began at birth. My poor vision is a result of a congenital birth defect; essentially, my optic nerves didn’t develop correctly. I also have astigmatism, strabismus, nystagmus, severe myopia, glaucoma, and even minor cataracts. When I was in middle school I lost most of the vision in my right eye over a two-year period for reasons that still aren’t entirely clear, doctors at the time said it was due to glaucoma but I’ve heard 2nd, 3rd, and 4th dissenting opinions from other medical professionals since.
It was this sudden loss of vision that sparked my and my family’s interest in accessibility, and is the primary reason I enrolled at the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind. Over the course of my high school years I learned orientation and mobility, including cane use, braille grades 1&2 (a little of 3 but that’s long gone), as well as using a screen reader (remember Window Eyes?), keyboard-only navigation, zoomtext, and a host of other accessibility technologies.
My journey to becoming an accessibility professional began at birth. Kyle Waterworth Accessibility Architect, Charter Communications
Also during these years I discovered my passion for music. I was the guitarist for a school sponsored rock band, “Outta Sight” (I know :P), that played all over the state. I haven’t stopped playing music since. I’m a guitarist, vocalist, drummer and DJ. I am currently the drummer for doom metal sensation Flat Earth, and regularly DJ bars and private events.
After high school I went to college at Florida State University majoring in classical guitar, however, I transferred to the University of Central Florida and graduated with a B.A. in Business and Management in 2014.
I graduated in August of 2014 and got on a plane to Denver three days after my graduation. I worked a series of terrible jobs after arriving to Denver – for example, door knocking sales and telemarketing – before finding a job at Walmart assembling bikes. I quickly climbed the ladder to Assistant Store Manager and learned A LOT about managing people and leading teams. It was while working there that I began moonlighting doing accessibility testing on a contract basis. That experience, plus knowing members of the blind community in Denver, led me to my current position as an Accessibility Architect at Charter Communications/Spectrum. I’ve never been happier at a job in my life.