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The Accessibility Newsletter

This dog is very serious about happiness. As a matter of fact I would like to state that the happiness of this dog is totally goals. Wet furry and a big smile!

GAAD-day is coming!

Now you might be like: GAAD what? That is totally understandable. So GAAD is short for Global Accessibility Awareness Day. It started in 2015 and takes place on the third Thursday in May. In other words the perfect meetup-day! We, the people at t12t, started to pay attention to this day last year. That's when we held our first GAAD-meetup. Of course we are keeping up with the tradition and there will be a new meetup on the 17th of May at Axess Lab in Stockholm. If you are not in Stockholm in May check out the event-page and maybe there is an event close to where you are

Those new emojis

A couple of weeks ago Apple proposed a new set of emojis to the Unicode Consortium that focuses on accessibility. Among others they include a guide dog, hearing aid, a person with white cane and a prosthetic arm and leg. I especially like that they include both a guide dog and a service dog and that there is a distinction between mechanized wheelchair and a manual. Read more about the new emojis over at Emojipedia. If these emojis get approved we might get them on our devices in 2019. I guess I need to be patient cause in my opinion we should have gotten them yesterday.

Generating that alt-text

Describing an image can be hard sometimes and if you feel like you could use some help from computers then you should definitely try out this pen by Sarah that dynamically generates alt text. It's using Azure's Computer Vision API and it's been really good at describing all the images I tried so far. Impressive!

Video-Tip: Cognitive Accessibility - Jamie Knight & Lion

NVDA for newbies

Time for a confession. I have been using a Mac for the last ten years and even though I have made some tests I'm not super familiar with NVDA, the screenreader that works best together with Windows and Firefox. That is why I was very happy to find this guide over at Deque where Matt has a two-part series with focus on Accessibility Testing for Developers. I would say that this video and article works just as well for people who don't identify themselves as developers. It's a great intro that goes through some keyboard shortcuts, the speech viewer, how you can get add-ons etc. 
Before you jump in a word of warning. If you, like me, are on a Mac don't try this on a virtual Windows environment such as VirtualBox. Use a "real" Windows device. There are a fair amount of keyboard configuration that needs to happen in order for this to work on a Mac. But if you are adventurous you can read up on one way of getting this setup with Mac and NVDA to work over at Marco's blog. Good luck with trying things out!

Team Tactile

On a hackathon arranged by Microsoft a group of women started building on a text-to-braille converter. It went well and they won first prize. Right now they work together with Paul, who is blind and uses braille, to improve their product. They go by the name of Team Tactile and their goal is to get something that can fit into your pocket and that costs less than 500 dollars. Once they reach their goal it will help braille readers to not only really braille but any printed text. Like Paul says, then the library will be open to all of us!

Ableism at the heart of opression

If you are oppressed, then you face ableism. It’s that simple. This is how an article about vertical oppression and ableism starts. Do take your time and read this. Yes, I know it's a long article but there are some really interesting thoughts in here.

This is the end of The Dog. 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