New Drupal Theme Honors Rachel Olivero
Rachel Olivero (1982-2019) was a dedicated member and leader of the nation’s blind, a well-known accessibility expert, and a friend to many. She tirelessly devoted herself to her role as head of the organizational technology group at the National Federation of the Blind, a position from which she leveraged her passion to change the understanding of accessibility everywhere she could by raising the competency of her peers, and challenging companies and organizations to stop making excuses and start building accessible from the beginning.
As we reflect on the one-year anniversary of her passing, we are reminded of her many contributions both to our organization and to the accessibility community at large. Because of her leadership, knowledge, and collaborative spirit, her impact on modern accessibility best practices cannot be overstated.
In October 2019, the Drupal Community, which maintains the open-sourced platform the NFB uses for its websites, honored her lasting legacy by naming its new default front-end theme “Olivero.”
“She was committed to making technology accessible to all people,” a Drupal expert said in the announcement, which was made at DrupalCon 2019. “We chose the name Olivero not just because we have made accessibility a top priority, but also because we aspire to develop this new theme in our community in a manner that is consistent with the qualities that Rachel embodied, including patience, generosity, and inclusivity.”
“In the National Federation of the Blind, individual blind people come together to focus their efforts into collective action that raises expectations in society and transforms dreams into reality. In a lifetime that was far too short, Rachel Olivero used her own lived experience as a blind person as the basis for advancing the position of the blind in society. As her friends in the organized blind movement, we remember her daily,” said Mark Riccobono, President of the National Federation of the Blind. “As her colleagues carrying the march for equality of the blind forward, we celebrate the Drupal community for recognizing Rachel’s commitment to equality and skillful advancement of accessibility. The naming of the Olivero theme is more than simply a nice memory, it represents a commitment by the Drupal community that accessibility will be baked into the websites of the future so that all may have access to the knowledge of the worldwide web. That is a legacy worthy of our friend Rachel Olivero, the mission of the National Federation of the Blind, and the core values of the Drupal community. As we cross the one-year anniversary of losing Rachel’s leadership on our behalf, our hearts are filled with joy that accessibility in her name continues to spread around the world.”
Read more about Rachel Olivero in President Riccobono’s tribute to her life and work, “From Member to Memorable: Rachel Olivero’s Legacy of Love,” in the April 2019 Braille Monitor.