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The Accessibility Newsletter

A green lizard with a small row of spines along it's back and it's head held high. In the background a green blur that could be a jungle.
Grönt är skönt! That's a swedish saying that roughly translates to "green is chill". Fits pretty well with this cool looking lizard chilling out among plants. Yep, some good lizard vibes here.

EAA is approved by the European Parliament

The EAA (the European Accessibility Act) was approved on March 13, 2019. For some people, including me, the different directives and acts coming from the EU might be confusing. Especially when they are translated to other languages. So short explanation. This is a broad act covering both physical and digital things. Everything from e-commerce to ATMs. But some things are not covered like washing machines. I'm not too happy about this but as a member of our Slack-team pointed out: better with several smaller acts than one large that never gets implemented. That resonates with me. Small steps!
You can read a little more about the act on the European Commission website.

Tip: An alt decision tree from WAI

Almost like attending a meetup in London

Did you know that the London Accessibility meetup have a lot of videos on Youtube? Well, now you know! One good talk that I very much recommend is the one given by Oliver Byford on how to build inclusive forms. He also wrote this amazing blog-post to provide more information and context.

How to fail

Slack has been working on improving their accessibility for some time now. It's not perfect but it's better. Here is a story on how one of their frontend engineers failed at building accessible functionality. It also points to common problems within a organization when it comes to dealing with accessibility, i.e. there is one person responsible of everything, and how to improve, i.e. educate everyone ans share responsibility.

Tool: A tactile way to learn programming

An analysis of a million pages

WebAIM have done an evaluation of the start pages for the top 1,000,000 websites using the WAVE API. They presented the result of this in the end of February and since then a lot has been written and debated regarding the current state of the web. A few note worthy responses. Eric Bailey writes about Fighting uphill, Ethan Marcotte can't stop thinking about the web we broke and Michael Schofield about Accessibility’s Observer’s Paradox.

Not a React problem?

When it comes to React and accessibility there seems to be two camps. It's either the people who share this tweet with an image of a bike lane full of trees. People who says that no, it doesn't work at all. But we also have a big group of people who, like this article, says that accessibility is not a React problem. Personally I do think React has a accessibility problem. Not that it's impossible to build something good with it but it's certainly harder. You need to know quite a lot to get things right and it is easier to get it wrong.

Insights, a new tool for Chrome and Windows

Microsoft has created a new tool called Accessibility Insights. It's both an application for Windows and a Chrome extension. I've tried it out in Chrome and found it to be a little tricky to use with zooming. But apart from that and a few other glitches it does a lot. One cool thing is that you can visualize the tab-order. Insights is also on Github so you can post issues and maybe even contribute if you want to.

Tool: Accessible brand colors

Hashtagg #AbledsAreWeird

Many people on Twitter has shared their weird encounters with 'ableds'. And there is a lot of weird things going on. To be perfectly clear there is a lot of harassment and bullying. Call to action: lets educate ourselves and treat each other better!
By the way. Did you notice that the hashtag is in camelCase? That's because screen readers might mash up the words otherwise which can make the hashtag hard to understand. Always camelCase hashtags!

How do browsers and screen readers talk to each other?

Melanie Richards answers this question in her article semantics to screen readers. A really good explanation to why or why not the way you build things affect different kinds of assistive technology. If you build things for the web you need to read this.

Tweet: Tech people are edge cases

Autistic debt

Tegan from Melbourne have shared her story about being diagnosed with High Functioning Autism. It's a brilliant and very honest piece about a topic that is not talked about a lot. Read it!

Empathy reifies disability stigmas

I usually end with a long article but this time I decided that it will be a video. Yay! Bring popcorn and soda!
So what is this video about? Well, it's a talk that Liz Jackson gave at Interaction19. A talk about empathy and design. About how disabled people are often recipients rather than drivers of design. There is a lot of truth in this video.

This is the end of The Lizard. 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 lizard photo goes to Linus Mimietz on Unsplash.

- Ida