t12t logo

View this email in your browser

The Accessibility Newsletter

A small seal pup with spotted fur is lying on the beach next to the water.  It's most likely a Pacific harbor seal pup. It has big dark eyes and looks straight into the camera.
It's dark these days and it's getting darker. Winter is coming. Yes, I live in the north. Seal pup doesn't care though. And if you are feeling down looking at seal pups might help. Looking at otter pups and fox pups might also help. In fact looking at any kind of pup probably helps. Pups are good!

Testing is like making coffee

Madalyn Parker is using coffee to explain different ways to test accessibility. It's a nice way of digging into testing. Also, my favorite way of making coffee, the pour-over, is equal to testing manually.
Another article on testing is An opinionated guide to accessibility testing by Iain Bean. If you are just getting started with accessibility and testing this is a great intro.

Digital accessibility during COVID-19

"It's never been more important to think about digital accessibility" is something that's been said in multiple videos and articles this year. Staying at home during a pandemic means we need to do a lot via websites and apps. How does this work for people?
Smashing Magazine has written about some key takeaways from people working with accessibility in different organizations. It's good to get these different perspectives but the last heading in the article, "Covid: More Opportunity Than Challenge", is kind of awful if read without context. After all, disabled people are multiple times more likely to die from this virus. A little bit more on this, with a focus on the UK, can be read in this article from the BBC.

Video by Heydon Pickering: What Is ARIA Even For?

Handikapphajk: Holiday Edition

This is a webinar series in five sessions by STIL (The Founders of Independent Living in Sweden). The webinars take place on Mondays at 7 pm CET with a start on November 30th.
One of the guides of Handikapphajk is Emma Åstrand who has also been a speaker at our t12t meetup. Her talk, in Swedish, "Vad tycker funkofoben?" is on Youtube. Do we need to add English captions?
Anyway, don't forget to sign up for Handikapphajk!

Don't use accessiBe

People have been upset with the company accessiBe for a long time now. They claim to have a product that uses AI to make your website fully ADA & WCAG compliant. Lainey Feingold has written an article about the false claims that they, and other companies like them, make. She has another article about how they are now getting sued by AudioEye. Adrian Roselli has written a long article with the title "#accessiBe Will Get You Sued". Steve Faulkner has written about bolt-on accessibility which uses accessiBe as a bad example. Eric Eggert has made a video about the false claims that “AI” accessibility script vendors, like accessiBe, make.
But accessiBe or not. Is an overlay ever ok? Karl Groves has written about how an ethical overlay might look like and if it's ever ok to use one.
In summary: You can't quickly fix something that's inaccessible. No, not even if you use AI.

Course by Ethan Marcotte: Designing accessible and responsive websites

Your first attempt will be awful

Sheri Byrne-Haber's goal in life is to convince people to make things accessible. She has written about five things to keep in mind when you are just starting out with trying to make things accessible. Great read also for those of you who meet a lot of people who are just starting.

It's not about making things "normal"

This article from the New York Times talks about disabled people and tech innovations. It brings up a lot of great points like not trying to solve problems that don't exist. (Please search for "disability dongle" if you don't know what they mean by this). Other interesting things in the article is "“image poverty”, "adaptive technology" and not using tech to make things seem “normal”.

Updated tool: WAVE 3.1 by WebAIM

ADA 30 in Color

This year marks 30 years since the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The Disability Visibility Project by Alice Wong has published a series of original essays by disabled BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) writers. It uses the hashtag #ADA30InColor and all essays are available both as audio and in a plain-language summary.

The last children of Down Syndrome

Content warning: this article talks about eugenics. Remember that it's ok to stop reading and take care of yourself.
A 54-year old danish school teacher is leading the organization "Landsforeningen Downs Syndrom" which every year gets fewer and fewer members. The reason behind this is that most people chose an abortion if they get a Down syndrome diagnosis. This article is a long read on prenatal testing and how it changes who gets born and who doesn’t. There is a lot of food for thought here.

This is the end of The Seal. 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 photo goes to Ruvim Miksanskiy on Unsplash.

- Ida
Meetup Meetup
Twitter Twitter