Accessibility consultant spotlight: Meet Leanna Manning


Headshot of Leanna Manning.

Our talented associates are such a key to our success. Each member of our team brings valuable lived experience as a disabled professional and has subject matter expertise in different facets of accessibility. This month, we’re excited to spotlight Leanna Manning.

Leanna (she/they) is an accessible communications and marketing professional who has helped Untapped clients develop accessible brand standards, trained communication professionals in plain language practices, and guided the development of our social media presence.

Here are a few highlights from our interview.

Tell us about your professional journey. Where has it led you over the years?

My career has been diverse, filled with lots of different experiences. To an outsider, I think my career path might look random and all over the place. That’s my experience too as a neurodivergent person. But I’ve always pursued my interests and passions and they’ve never led me astray. I’ve carved out a career that works for me. 

Initially trained in environmental design, I realized the work culture in many design firms wasn’t a match for me. Then I transitioned through retail roles for 10 years where I gained extensive experience in management, sales, and customer service.  

Since, I’ve helped create content for several marketing agencies and purpose-driven organizations. I now specialize in accessible and inclusive communications.

What’s been your most meaningful accomplishment so far?

A big one for me is having sustained myself as a full-time small business owner for 2 years. I’m really interested in the work I’m doing. It’s very meaningful. 

Part of that meaningfulness is being seen and known for what I do. One of the projects that’s given me the most fulfilling sense of accomplishment is editing the Food Banks BC Accessibility and Equity Guide with Untapped Accessibility. 

It was one of the first projects that not only highlighted my skills, but also whose impact could be experienced by equity-deserving communities across the province.

Why did you choose to work in accessibility?

Accessibility seems to have chosen me, rather than the other way around. My life experiences have led me here, where accessibility is all I can think about.  

Part of this story is related to my identity as a disabled person. Studying plain language and digital accessibility coincided with the discovery of my neurodivergences; my worlds just kind of collided in the best way possible. 

I’ve experienced a lifetime of being different, not understanding why, and not having the vocabulary to express what I was feeling. My journey has given me a profound understanding of the importance of accessibility.

How do your talents, skills, and passions influence and impact your accessibility consultancy work?

In my accessibility consultancy work, creativity and curiosity lead as I take a different approach to the way things are normally done. 

Much of my subject matter expertise comes from self-teaching and my unique lived experience. My background in retail and content marketing has given me perspective on interacting with people from diverse backgrounds and communities. This directly informs my work in communications because I create accessible content for people. 

Encouraging divergence and open communication, I prioritize a person-centric approach in my projects. I highly value connection and community-building. The people I work with are change-makers; they really believe in what they do and I believe in what they do. 

I love that the work I do on a micro scale—for example, writing an accessible social media post or tweaking the language in a document—has ripple effects out into our communities. My skills in digital accessibility, plain language, editing, research, and document design influence my work, ensuring accessibility at every step.

Leanna Manning (she/they) is a writer, editor, and creative who helps businesses make transformative changes in their communities through accessible communication. Learn more about their work at