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t12t - The Accessibility Newsletter

I'm really excited to send out the very first newsletter and so happy to have you as a reader. Thank you!
I call this The Arctic Fox Edition. Instead of having a number or a date I choose to feature a specific animal in each newsletter. Why? Because animals. Arguments not supporting this are naturally invalid.
Lets get started!

An open letter to a lonely developer

Last week Simply Accessible published an open letter to answer a question they received from a developer. This person wanted to make things accessible with no support from their company. Does this sounds familiar? It certainly does to me. The great thing with this article is that it's filled with tips on how to improve the situation. Most importantly I think is to seek out other people, join local accessibility meetups, discuss on Twitter, start an accessibility channel on the Slack-team where you hang out. Start talking about it! 

Accessible chatbots, do they exist?

This is not the title of the chatbot article but to me this is what the article is about. The conclusion is not really interesting and the discussion about what different people might have to do to get chatbots accessible is a bit off. No, I do not thing we need some kind of "tag" to present text. I think reason that the chat bot is not working is because the people who built it didn't really considered screenreaders or accessibility. Please correct me if you think I'm wrong.
So why do I feature this article? Because of the videos! Do take a few minutes and look at the videos here. This is what happens when things go wrong. Watch and and take notice.

Chrome Accessibility Developer Tools

If you use Google Chrome and haven't yet installed Accessibility Developer Tools you should do this. Once installed you will find it under Audits in the Developer Tools. To use it you select the Accessibility audit, and click Run. You will then get a result with things that is either severe, a warning or all good. If you want to dig deeper there is a video on Youtube explaining things more (and this is the combobox that the video-author is so confused about).

Tip of the week: A11y-casts, a video cast by Raúl Montejo

How to use VoiceOver or Thor

Sue Lockwood on Bocoup has written a really cool guide on VoiceOver, or Thor as she like to call it or uhm him? or? Anyway. 
While this guide is excellent for newbies I think it's really good for people, like me, who knows a little as well. All the common keyboard commands are listed and explained and it features a lot of little tips and tricks. Save this article for future reference!

Web Accessibility within the EU

There have been some talk lately about the new web accessibility directive affecting countries within the European Union. This is an official article from the European Commission with further links on the topic. In short this affects the public sector and member states need to make sure they have national laws that comply with the directive by 23 September 2018. I wish it did affect both private and public sector so to be honest I'm a bit disappointed. But it's better than nothing. And hopefully this can help to raise some awareness. 

Are things getting worse?

This week an analysis of the Alexa Top 100 web site home pages was published. It does paints a pretty bleak image of the top sites and while some sites have improved the number of errors found has increased 60% over the last 5 years. Yikes! Now of course we ask why. And there are probably several reasons but personally I think the use of not fully accessible frameworks and libraries in combination with a lack of understanding of basic HTML is part of the answer. The author of the article, Jared Smith, believe that awareness of web accessibility has increased. I don't share this belief. I think we have a lot to of work to do here. But you reading this newsletter is one thing that makes me optimistic. Let's fight!

This is the end of The Arctic Fox. If you liked this consider sending the subscription-link to your friends and colleagues. If you have suggestions or feedback you can email me or find me on Twitter as @t12t or @kolombiken.

- Ida