This copy of the talk is from Tech Omaha 2019, and is captioned so that everyone can benefit from it.Dear fellow developers: If you’re one of those developers who makes it impossible to press the tab key to move through a screen, hand in your dev creds now and put down your IDE until you learn to do better. I should not have to get help from a sighted person to add FTP users to a server. This is becoming a serious problem. Learn HTML damn it! Learn HTML as if I am going to find out where you live.
These days, as the giant social networks behave more and more reprehensibly, many people are looking back to the “good old days” of the web, when self-published blogs were the primary means of sharing one’s thoughts.
Brian Warren has taken this enthusiasm, and combined it with his nostalgia for another classic resource: the links page.This one is devoted to all things Mack and iOS that allow you to consume and create content for the open web. I don’t have a Mack, and have not gone through all the iOS apps yet, so you’ll have to test the accessibility of some or all of these apps for yourself. Indieweb developers are very open to accessibility feedback though, and this includes implementing things for the sake of accessibility, so this is sort of the one place where productive conversations about accessibility which don’t involve accessibility folks talking to each other are still possible.
When people talk about "accessible" PDF files, they are usually referring to "tagged" PDF files. PDF tags provide a hidden, structured representation of the PDF content that is presented to screen readers. They exist for accessibility purposes only and have no visible effect on the PDF file. There is more to an accessible PDF file than tags, but an untagged PDF would not be considered "accessible".Dear accessibility practitioners, please don’t use @medium as your primary publishing platform. Syndicate there if you must, but Medium doesn’t support alt text for images, and has given no indication that it plans to. Its last comment on the subject of alt text was made several years ago and amounts to “Sorry not sorry”. So, avoid Medium as your primary publishing platform, and go with a website of your own that you can control instead. Then, syndicate to Medium.
Cool front-end developers are always pushing the envelope, jumping out of their seat to use the latest and greatest and shiniest of UI frameworks and libraries. However, there is another kind of front-end developer, the boring front-end developer. Here is an ode to the boring front-end developer, BFED if you will.I’m not saying that a framework or design style is automatically rendered inaccessible simply by virtue of its becoming trendy. It’s worth pointing out though that, if there were less emphasis on using the hottest thing and more on all the very unsexy parts of front-end development, (semantic HTML, properly written CSS, designing with things like color contrast in mind), the web would be a lot less problematic from an inclusive design standpoint.
How we built a Slack Command to pull WooCommerce revenue numbers into our own Slack workspace.Demand letters are the single most ineffective tool for creating meaningful improvements with regard to web accessibility, and are the quickest way to torpido the cultural and policy changes which allow technical fixes to be anything more than temporary, surface-level progress. Demand letters serve only to turn accessibility advocates into ambulance chasers. This is a hill I will absolutely die on and anyone who disagrees with me is more than welcome to bring it on.
WordPress 3.7 was released on October 24, 2013 and introduced an automatic update mechanism to ensure security fixes would be automatically deployed on all WordPress sites, in an effort to prevent recently-patched vulnerabilities from being massively exploited in the wild. This is widely regarded by security experts as a good idea.
However, the WordPress automatic update feature had one glaring Achilles' heel: If a criminal or nation state were to hack into the WordPress update server, they could trigger a fake automatic update to infect WordPress sites with malware.
This isn't just a theoretical concern, it could have happened if not for WordFence's security researchers finding and disclosing an easy attack vector into their infrastructure.
WordPress 5.2 was released on May 7, 2019 and provides the first real layer of defense against a compromised update infrastructures: offline digital signatures.Everybody is swooning over Google’s upcoming automated captions, except zero of the people who actually need them. I have to wondere how it is that as an industry we manage to convince ourselves that we’ve collaborated with people with disabilities on all this amazing new accessibility tech that helps us avoid the obvious solution: Do it right in the first place. I’m sure there were messages across email lists, or surveys, or whatever, with asks for testers, ETC. But the deaf community has been saying for years that automated captions aren’t an optimal solution, and it seems arrogant to me at worst and well-meaningly naive at best that all that advice about automated captions would be ignored for the sake of Google’s business goals. We know what accessibility advancements look like, because people with disabilities have been telling us what they need, for years. Maybe one day as an industry we’ll actually start listening. I’m not holding my breath for the foreseeable future though.
This essay closely examines the effect on free-expression rights when platforms such as Facebook or YouTube silence their users’ speech. The first part describes the often messy blend of government and private power behind many content removals, and discusses how the combination undermines users’ rights to challenge state action. The second part explores the legal minefield for users—or potentially, legislators—claiming a right to speak on major platforms. The essay contends that questions of state and private power are deeply intertwined. To understand and protect internet users’ rights, we must understand and engage with both.This essay from the Hoover Institute is worth a read for anyone discussing either online speech in general or the embarrassingly wrong pieces on Sec. 230 which have appeared in both Vox and the Washington Post in the last few days. Click here to read the full version in as accessible a format as possible without having to download the document yourself and tag it.
A senior Facebook executive has privately admitted Mark Zuckerberg “doesn’t care” about publishers and warned that if they did not work with the social media giant, “I’ll be holding your hands with your dying business like in a hospice”.
In extraordinary comments, Campbell Brown, Facebook’s global head of news partnerships, indicated to publishers and broadcasters in a four-hour meeting last week that despite Mr Zuckerberg’s view, she would help publishers build sustainable business models through Facebook.This doesn’t just apply to news organizations. Anyone who publishes to Facebook is deemed a publisher by them. And anyone who has worked in the accessibility space for two seconds knows that if you don’t have stakeholder buy-in, efforts to remedy a situation like this are doomed to fail. So don’t hold your breath on Facebook’s global head of news partnerships being able to hault Zuck’s advancements toward publishing dominance.