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t12t - The Accessibility Newsletter

So much have happened since I sent out the last newsletter. I can't possibly squeeze in everything into this tiny email. I need a bigger email. Or more time and energy. But never mind. Just look at this otter. Look closely. How chill is this otter? Exactly!

#GAAD happened and it was awesome!

You might wonder about the hashtag. And what is really up with accessibility people and all their weird abbreviations, acronyms and numeronyms? Yes, I know. Or actually I don't. What is wrong with us?
GAAD means Global Accessibility Awareness Day and it happens every year on the third Thursday of May. In Stockholm, where I'm located, we celebrated this day by having a t12t meetup together with the great people at Axess Lab. I did a little talk about accessible components, why they are needed and how you can find them. It was a great evening with some really good discussions.
Some other people celebrated GAAD as well. Among them Tim Cook who sat down and talked to a couple of people. It is quite a lot of Apple commercial in the videos here but if you manage to not think too much about that and instead focus on how different people use different devices it's cool.

Accessibility at CSSConf and JSConf

About three weeks ago I had the privilege of being in Berlin attending CSSConf and JSConf. I was really impressed about the thought that had gone into creating two really inclusive events. Among other things they offered free childcare at the venue and on every talk there was real-time transcription. Super-cool! Also, while I'm at it, shout-out to all the good food that I got to eat! It was absolutely delicious and I think it was a great idea to focus on vegan and vegetarian dishes. 
Both conferences has started to release videos (with closed captions!) of the talks. This is the list of videos available from JSConf right now and here are the videos for CSSConf.
One of the talks that really got stuck in my head is The Ethics of the Internet of Things by Emily Gorcenski. It's a talk about where to draw the line and how important it is for us to know where our own line is. We do have a responsibility for the things that we build. If you never thought about ethics before I urge you to watch this talk.
Another talk that was really great was by Laura Carvajal and the topic was: YES, your site too can (and should) be accessible. Laura is working on The Financial Times and she talked about the journey they went through trying to become more accessible. Really interesting and I think a lot of other companies can learn from this journey. 

Video screenshot of Laura Carvajal with her talk YES, your site too can (and should) be accessible
Accessibility at The Financial Times

Components on the web

They are coming. When we talk about components we all mean different things. Some might mean small parts in a design, others JavaScript modules in React or on Npm and someone else might immediately think of Web Components. Regardless it's of course important to take accessibility into account when you do build a component. On the Paciello site there is this great list of things that you might need to consider when creating a custom component. I also made an attempt at making the components that are accessible a bit more visible through my repo a11y components on Github. May accessible components grow and prosper!

30 days of accessibility testing

The Dojo, a site with a lot of resources for testers, created a testing challenge of 30 days. The focus is solely on accessibility in this challenge and there is a new thing to test every day. I feel a bit bad for not keeping up with this more. But good news. There are still a few days left on this challenge and you are totally allowed to do a fresh start on the first of June! 

Quick learning: should you use closed captions?

Announcements and talks at Google I/O

Google I/O is an annual developer conference in San Francisco. Its a huge event and the keynote is watched by a massive amount of people. There are also a lot of talks by a lot of smart people. Among others there were two talks that deals with accessibility.
First one is by Rob Dodson on Pragmatic Accessibility: A How-To Guide for Teams. Great talk especially if you are bit unsure on how you would work with accessibility in a project. Rob also mention the Accessibility section in Googles Web Fundamentals. Some good and basic things over there.
The other talk was on Android and it seems like they are really trying to put in some effort in making Android a lot more accessible. For years I've been thinking that iPhones and iOS are on top when it comes to accessibility on phones but this got me interested in testing out Android, especially the new Android O

Lighthouse in Chrome

Chrome Lighthouse is an open-source, automated tool for improving the quality of web pages. They got some really nice tests for Progressive Web Apps, Performance, Best practices and Accessibility (yay!). Lighthouse is available in developer tools in Chrome Canary and you can also install it as an extension in Chrome. The "best practice" is a little weird in my opinion but I'm guessing they, the people at Google, had a lot of things that didn't fit under any of the other labels so they had to come up with something? 
When it comes to accessibility Lighthouse is powered by aXe-core and it tests for color contrast, correct element attributes, ARIA etc. I think it can offer a pretty good help when it comes to getting started with a11y testing.

Hex Naw and Matrixes

Hex Naw is a color contrast tool built by some people frustrated when they couldn't find a tool that fitted their needs. I love when people instead of complaining not only create something but also share it for free. So many thumbs up. The cool thing with Hex Naw is that you can see how accessible your entire color systems are. Not only the diff between two colours which is usually the case in other common tools. 
Another really cool tool is Accessible color palette builder where you can input six different colors and view the contrast between all the combinations of these six colors. 

Browser Add-on tip: aXe Developer Tools for Firefox

How to do SVG the right way

I found a nice article on 7 solutions for accessible SVG. Good thing about this article is that it points out specific problems in different browsers and screenreaders. The thing I don't like is the 7 solutions-list. The division between things are quite off and some things in the list are not even solutions but problems. Anyway if you are doing things with SVG on the web this is absolutely worth reading. Sitepoint also published an article on Tips for Creating Accessible SVG by Léonie Watson.
Right now the only thing I'm missing is some good examples on real implementations. Any of you got some? 

Windows Eyes dies

Windows Eyes is or uhm, was one of the commercial screenreaders available for Windows. But they have now announced that they will stop selling the screenreader and that all existing users can get a version of JAWS 18 instead. I guess this means that JAWS will get some more customers. Talking about JAWS, I'm still waiting for an easy way for developers to test with this screenreader. Paciello group, who are part of the company developing JAWS, I am looking at you!

Simple #a11y tip: Adrian Roselli on Twitter

Dear Web Developers: You’re Out Of Excuses

If you are a web developer and you feel a bit hurt from the tone in this title I am not sorry. I think we should get hurt and upset that we are not doing more. Like the article states: ignorance is not a justifiable defence anymore!
Please take some time and read this article from a user frustrated by the lack of accessible websites.

This is the end of The Otter. 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