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The Accessibility Newsletter

A Scottish Fold kitten with yellow eyes and gray fur with dark stripes is sticking out its head from underneath a thick woolly blanket
First newsletter of the year! And finally a cat is featured. What took me so long? No idea. But this cat is very much ready to get cozy, read some great articles, watch some videos and test out new tools. 

Have you tried to dab some coconut oil on your spine?

Hampus, my friend and one of the organizers of the t12t meetup, gave a really nice talk at Accessibility Scotland last year where he shared five tips on designing accessible interfaces. I especially liked how he pushed for people above checking off a list of guidelines. It also relates to this recent tweet about gaslighting. You can find the video and the transcript along with the rest of the talks at

Accessibility in React

A huge amount of the web is built with React. Unfortunately a lot of it isn't very accessible. Just getting html right seems to be tricky. This article will help you get started with getting things right in React. There is also a few UI component libraries dedicated to creating accessible components. Among others Tenon-UI: Tenon's accessible React components library and Reach UI. Lets get things in React better!

Playing Guns N' Roses for puppies

A great article with loads of cute photos about how guide dogs are bred and raised. Really, it's worth checking out at just because of the photos. And yes, they really do play Guns N' Roses for the puppies. Find out why in the article. Also the puppies a super cute!
Next t12t meetup: February 6 in Stockholm

A personal journey to learn

Amy has committed to learn as much about accessibility as she can during a 100 days. She is sharing what she is learning on her blog 100 Days of A11y. If you are looking into learning more you should follow along. If you don't have the time to read every day maybe you can read every weekend?

Getting drag and drop right

Often drag and drop interactions are exclusively for mouse or touch interaction. But there are some better ones out there. Atlassian wrote about rethinking drag and drop where they also link to their react plugin called react-beautiful-dnd. I have tried it out and to be honest there are still a few things lacking. Working with the keyboard is not very intuitive although if you are using a screen reader you get some extra info on which keys to use. I also did try out Dragon Drop. There you can use both enter and space to activate and deactivate an item. If you want to read more about Dragon Drop there is an article on Smashing Magazine. I also think it's about time to add some best practices for drag and drop in the WAI-ARIA Authoring Practices. Right?

Beyoncé’s website is inaccessible

The website violates the Americans With Disabilities Act by failing to accommodate visually impaired users. Parkwood Entertainment, who is behind the website, is now being sued. I think the site is hard to use for a lot more users than visually impaired though. Keyboard navigation, for example, is really hard. Also why are there so many pictures with alt text "MY LIFE"?
Anyway, the good news is that a lot of people are now saying that they want to fix this. There is even a petition online for Mina Markham to implement accessibility on Beyoncé’s site. Hopefully everything is better soon.

The best thing related to accessibility

Derek Featherstone started an awesome thread on Twitter where he asked what’s the best thing related to accessibility you wrote or created this year that didn’t get the attention/eyeballs you had hoped for?
If you, like me, like to go down the rabbit hole and just dig in and read about a lot of awesome things you can go and start scrolling that thread right now.
New tool for Testing: ANDI

Making Alexa responding to sign language

Home assistants such as Alexa or Google Home is hard or impossible to use for people with speech disabilities. Abhishek thought about this and built a quite impressive demo where he uses a webcam and Tensorflow to get Alexa to respond to sign language. If you are not interested in the technical details you can just check out the video. But why haven't Google or Amazon built something like this already?
Video: Blind Apple fanboy switches to Android

An accessible design system is not enough

A well written piece on design systems, where they help and where they fall short. I'm personally a strong believer in accessible design systems but since being accessible is also about content and how it's composed a good system is of course not enough. It's a good step in the right direction though.

Wow. Best read yet this year.

The heading refer to what Per Axbom said on Twitter about this article called Laziness does not exist. And I agree with Per, it's one of the better pieces I've read this year. After reading it I find myself think about it in a lot of everyday situations when a person is not behaving like I expected.

This is the end of The Cat. 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