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The Accessibility Newsletter

A deer standing in a forest full of soft snow. The deer got it's eyes closed and it looks like it's smiling.
It's already December and that means the year is drawing to an end. This deer is not worried though. It's just chilling in the forest being mindful, savoring the moment and all that. Let's join the deer and relax a bit.

Electronic curb cuts

Have you heard this expression? To be honest I never heard about it before I listened to this episode about curb cuts from the podcast 99% Invisible. It's a great episode including things like sledgehammers, a modified wheelchair and some very interesting history around the the disability rights movement. And the expression? Well, check out the episode and you will know!
On the same topic there is this great article around accessibility and innovation written by Mischa Andrews. Truly inspiring and it clearly shows how accessibility is bringing innovation into all kinds of areas.

Advent of a11y

One of my favorite thing in the December is the daily article from 24 Accessibility. So far there has been some truly great ones about things like icons, ableism, calendars and much more. And don't worry if you don't have the time to read them every day, they are perfect to save for a later read. 

The Gutenberg thing

Wordpress 5.0 and their new editor Gutenberg was released the other day. The editor has been criticized for not being accessible even though Wordpress clearly states that all new code must conform to accessibility guidelines. A lot of good articles have been written about this. To be honest there are enough to fill several newsletters alone. I'm not going to do that. But worth mentioning is Gutenberg accessibility clarificationsthoughts on the Gutenberg controversy  and what can be learned from the Gutenberg accessibility situation?
I have also really tried to understand what happened. As far as I can tell some people involved in the work of Gutenberg thought they were doing a good job in terms of accessibility. Others have been frustrated for a long time. This really sad post from Rian who resigned as accessibility team lead tells a story of accessibility being done by volunteers from the sideline. At WordCamp Portland the creator of Wordpress, Matt said that he doesn't know if it makes sense to have accessibility as a separate kind of process from the core development. Because it really needs to be integrated at every single stage. Yes, it absolutely needs to be. Why wasn't it?

Event: How to measure digital accessibility

The inclusive panda

Per Axbom has created a worksheet to encourage ethical, sustainable and inclusive design. It's called the inclusive panda and it's just great. If you haven't heard about it I encourage you to read up on it. And if you work with designing services for people I also think you should incorporate it into your work.

A statement generator

In Sweden, where I live, there has been quite some talk about the EU web accessibility directive. I'm guessing it's the same in other countries within the EU. Part of the directive states that you need to provide a  statement about accessibility and also make sure users are able to provide feedback. To help with this WAI has created a statement generator. I think this might be a good way to show your users that you care about accessibility. What do you think?

A few finallys!

We are many who have been trying to urge Tweetbot into adding alt text for uploaded images. A while ago they did add it for users of the desktop app. Now they have finally taken a step forward and also added it to their iOS app. 
Another finally is Instagram. Yes, you can now either add alternative text to your photos yourself or you can get some help from an AI. And you know what? You can also go back and edit previous images. Finally! 

Alexa can't understand you

Have you seen the commercial from supermarket chain Rema 1000 about the guy who fails at using voice commands after visiting the dentist? This article about people with speech disabilities being left out is about that. Better personalisation might help in the future but right now it doesn't work well enough for a lot of people. 

Blog Tips: Accessibility Blogs

The #ffffff privilege

Do you think you are able to design for someone you know nothing about just because human beings are fundamentally the same? Regardless of your answer to this question you should:

  1. Check your privilege!
  2. Read this article about the hidden privilege in design 

To whom does the burden fall

When is it the responsibility of someone with a disability to use unnamed tools to somehow make your content accessible? When is it okay to assume that our users are experts at being disabled and don’t need our help, compassion, or humanity?
These questions are discussed in the article to whom does the burden fall. It's a great read!

This is the end of The Deer. 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