Jim Thatcher, Accessibility Giant, Dies at 83

In 2008 I heard that Jim Thatcher was coming to Berkeley as part of his role as the expert in the Target web accessibility case. I had been working in the digital accessibility legal space for ten years. Of course I had heard of Jim, but we had never met. I called and asked if he would be willing to get together. Luckily for me, he said yes.

After that dinner in Berkeley, Jim Thatcher became my friend, my digital accessibility teacher, my accessibility sounding board. His death on December 7, 2019, leaves a huge hole in the accessibility community and in the hearts of his countless friends, colleagues, admirers.

How did Jim Thatcher help my work as a disability rights lawyer? He answered any question with kindness, no matter how obvious the answer was to him. He consulted on some cases, helping explain accessibility barriers and solutions to me, so I could in turn better explain them to the companies we negotiated with.

The Structured Negotiation initiatives with Charles Schwab, Denny’s, WellPoint (Anthem Blue Cross), Weight Watchers, and Major League Baseball all benefitted from Jim’s behind-the-scenes expertise and support.

And there was more. Jim and his wife, potter Diana Seidel, welcomed [...]

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