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The Accessibility Newsletter

A large brown sea turtle with a cool look in its' black eyes is swimming under water in a very blue sea.
It's April which means pollen allergy season in northern Europe. So yes, instead of sneezing, crying and being tired I would like to flow through a blue ocean like this turtle. Maybe follow a current to a seagrass meadow where I could hang out with some friendly fishes. Nice!

Apple and Accessibility events

What's going on here? Well, Apple released a thing called Accessibility Events on both macOS and iOS and they describe it as something that "allow websites to customize their behavior for assistive technologies". A lot of people, including me, are upset about this mainly because it's turned on by default and people don't like their AT to be tracked.
My friend Hampus wrote an article about the events and why it's not a good idea. Mat wrote another piece on the events and how he sees them as a web developer. The weirdest thing of all is that these events are deprecated in the AOM spec as Alice points out on Twitter. Why implement something deprecated? We still need more answers here Apple!

Reviews of tools, services and platforms

Have you ever thought about the accessibility of the tools you use to publish content, collect user input or to have a video conference? If you are like me you always like to use the best tool for the job. The good news is that there is now a web site with reviews and conclusions about a number of tools. The URL is which I think is an awesome URL!
Worth keeping an eye on and remember to check whenever you or your company would like to know more about what to use and what not to use.

AccessU Online: A one-day, virtual training conference

Accessibility for vestibular disorders

In an article on A list apart Facundo shares his personal experience with vertigo. This is something that I would guess many of us don't think about that often so it's really great that it's brought up. A good take away from the article is to look into the CSS media feature prefers-reduced-motion and to try to make sure that you adjust your website accordingly. Tom at Google also wrote a longer piece on this media feature and how you can use it.

The most accessible grocery shopping app in the UK

I loved how Justin in this article about building an accessible shopping app tears down the argument that we need buy-in before starting to make something accessible. We don't! I mean sure, buy-in is good but we can also just try to build good stuff without asking for permission. Lets do that!

Podcast: Disability Visibility with Alice Wong

The magic tap on iOS

A magic tap is a two-finger double-tap that performs the often-used or most-intended action quickly. If you are developing for iOS you should probably look into it and this blog-post about the accessibility feature might be a good start. But do think about how you implement this cause if not done correctly it might not be so magical.

Challenges in web apps

Anyone developing web with the help of a JavaScript-framework? Yes? Then you should read this article by Marcus on some common challenges when it comes to accessibility and web apps. It brings up the most common issues such as click targets, focus and routing. Speaking of routing Dave also has a great article out on how to do navigation in a SPA-app. Worth a read!

List of links: How and where to report accessibility bugs

Resources to get colors and contrast right

Stéphanie has written about not only contrast but also color blindness in color accessibility: tools and resources to help you design inclusive products. She shares an impressive amount of links to not only articles but also tools and books. A good resource to forward to a person you know who works with colors!

Everyone has a role to play

A fairly common misconception is that only developers and designers need to think about accessibility. In reality, everyone involved with building something needs to contribute. The site Accessibility for teams created by the US General Services Administration is a great resource aimed at creating better government sites but can surely be used by everyone working in a team. It's also one of the few resources I have found that is specific about what a product manager needs to know.

An accessibility statement from Gatsby

Gatsby is a free and open source framework based on React and used to build websites an apps. They also have an accessibility statement that I think is really good. Yes, I know other projects also have statements and this not something brand new. But it certainly wouldn't hurt if it was more common. What I like with the Gatsby one is that it's not only committed to follow a specific version of WCAG but also to make everyone feel welcome. I also like how they are being very specific about how to give them feedback. Yes, you can even email them directly. Nice!

Twitter thread: Why "disability simulation" exercises are misguided

Equal mode in games

The background here is a controversy around the game Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice and the difficulty level of that game. Making games accessible is often confused with making an easy mode for people with disabilities. An equal mode is what's actually needed as Steve points out in this excellent article. In another article, Cherry makes a similar argument and also shares her personal story about navigating the world in permanent Hard Mode. And I think we can all agree with Ryan on Twitter saying that not everyone is meant to like a game. But EVERYONE should have the opportunity to PLAY a game.

The circle of inclusion

In a video from Brainstorm Design 2019 in Singapore Kat Holmes talks about inclusive design. The talk is around 13 minutes and there are some great thoughts in it. My favorite quote? That it's not about creating one thing for all but a diversity of ways where people can participate and a shared sense of belonging. Exactly!

This is the end of The Turtle. 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. Credit for the turtle photo goes to Kris Mikael Krister on Unsplash.

- Ida