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The Accessibility Newsletter

The head of a fuzzy giraffe looking at you with a kind but slightly concerned look in it's eyes
The giraffe is definitely cute but also looks a bit worried. I'm also a little bit worried. Why? Cause I use the p-word in here. Twice. Will the newsletter now be stuck forever in peoples spam-filters because of this? I hope not. Please, let me know if you are able to read this!

Listen to when they swear

This episode of React Podcast called Just use a button with Jen Luker is honestly one of the best podcast-episodes I've ever listened to. The first part of the episode is all about the fiber art circle, knitting and programming and the second part is about accessibility. Actually the first part might be about accessibility too. Depends on your view of things. Both parts are great anyway! Who is swearing? Well listen to the episode and you will find out.

Instead of sharing that photo

A couple of weeks ago a photo of a woman using a cane and a phone was shared a lot on social media. People assumed that the woman was faking her vision impairment. Because only people with perfect eyes uses phones. Right? No. Of course not.
So instead of that photo you should share this blog-post where Veronica writes about how she uses her phone for orientation and mobility. If you prefer to share on Twitter there is a thread too.

Tip: Cloudflares new color tool

What does that monotone shape mean?

Anyone who knows me also knows that I love a good rant. This article titled the ineffectivness of icons is that good rant. It also reminds me of when I was angry at Gmail for using almost the exact same icon for downloading an attachment as for archiving. This article is also angry at Gmail and it's angry about people using lone icons in a confusing way. Stop doing that!

Missing things in the web platform

A deep dive into two problems that could be solved by having better features in browsers. It's about modals and disabling tabindex. Both very problematic to fix in an acceptable way today. Rob is discussing possible solutions in his article building better accessibility primitives. This article is going deep and doesn't offer any easy solutions. Rob promises that he will write a follow up post if there is any progress. I hope that post will come soon.

Busting some myths

There are a lot of misconceptions when it comes to what accessibility is and who benefits from it. Carey writes about five of these accessibility myths. Some good arguments to have at hand when you get questions from people or maybe just to make sure that you got the facts right yourself?

Webinar: How accessibility testing impacts developers

Who should I follow?

You want to learn more about accessibility but prefer to get your news via Twitter, RSS or elsewhere. Are there any great people you can follow?
The A11y Project has made a list of people, companies and meetups on Twitter. It's a good list but maybe a little US centric. I would like to also add Axess Lab and us t12t to that list. I guess I should do a pull request. Hm.
Another list of people comes from Marcus and this list is not only Twitter-handles but also websites and more. Go ahead and follow if you like.

We are colorblind

A new website with a focus on color blindness. The site got information, articles and examples of services that works or doesn't work. I especially like that last thing because they are real life examples. Nothing made up.

Uncanny a11y

I have met a lot of developers who honestly think that accessibility is: “When you use aria, right?”
Well. Maybe? But if that's the only thing you do then things will get weird quickly.
That's why I love the title of this article! Adrian writes about how developers try so hard to make sure something is accessible that the entire experience becomes weird and unusable. There are some great examples in there as well. I did lol at the lang-attribute example. I hope it's not real but I wouldn't be surprised if it was.

Video: How a screen reader user accesses the web

Focus on visually effective pages are no longer sufficient

An article from A list apart about how we must focus on providing access to information for both robots and humans. This article put a great focus on a skill that nowadays has more or less disappeared from developer ads. The skill of crafting well structured HTML. Not being able to do this is not only harmful to people but to robots as well. So hey, I guess if the people-argument doesn't work maybe “Please, do it for the AI” does?

Inspiration porn is damaging

“What’s the most ridiculous thing a non disabled person congratulated/called you ‘inspirational’ for?” This is a question being asked by @HijaDe2Madre on Twitter. Take a moment and read some of the answers. I'll wait.
You read them? Well, then lets go and watch this video on how to treat a person with disabilities. The title of the video is strange to me. It's like it's implying that a person with a disability should be treated differently. The people in the video are good though. And one of them specifically call out inspiration by saying that "If this video is turning into an inspiring video I'm literally going to start some problems".
Lets move on to this article talking about why baby-hears-for-the-first-time-videos aren't inspirational. A great take on stereotypes and misconceptions, and how these so-called "inspirational videos" fuels negative societal perspectives of disability.
The article and the twitter-thread also links to this TED talk by Stella Young. You should watch it if you haven't yet. She talks about inspiration porn and how society is the main contributory factor in disabling people.
Did you made it this far? Twitter-thread, video, article and TED-talk? Great!
Lets think a little extra next time you feel like using people with disabilities to get inspired.

This is the end of The Giraffe. 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 giraffe photo goes to Andreas Dress on Unsplash.

- Ida