I have several concerns with the Aira service specifically, and prefer to use Be My Eyes instead, But, taken together, both Aira and Be My Eyes are doing something for the blind community that I couldn’t be more thrilled to see, and that thing is democratizing skills attainment and thereby helping blind people to be as self-reliant as possible. I hope to see the day when democratization of skills attainment for blind people is at the same level democratization of publishing is. at: decentralized and as open as possible. The blind community is at its best when we’re sharing skills hacks and other hacks with each other freely, and I think services like Be My Eyes and Aira will help to escalate that free sharing. There are, in the US, rehab counsellors and other professionals who are great at their jobs, and there will be a lot of situations where those professionals are necessary for a long time to come. But I think the rehab system as a whole has at least contributed to what I think is a multi-generational problem within the blind community of dependence on others for basic skills learning, and there are a ton of people who fall through the cracks and don’t even have the professionals on which to depend, which is a huge disservice to them. And the consumer organizations are just a different flavor of the same problem. I suppose all of this is incredibly radical, but so be it. I think that, in order to fix a lot of the problems we have as a community, we’re going to need to do the fixing ourselves. We can’t afford to wait for the professionals to catch up eventually. I am totally cool with watching from the sidelines as the professionals and the consumer organizations fight each other to the death, and while they destroy themselves the rest of us can not only take control of our technological destinies, we can take control of our entire destinies. In other words, fuck the establishment, all of it, and burn the whole thing to the ground once it outlives its usefulness, and do our best to make sure the day it outlives its usefulness gets here as quickly as possible. Oh, and spice that up with making sure the entire establishment, all of it, the consumer organizations and the professionals, know damn good and well they’re close to outliving their usefulness and that those of us who have chosen to not be caught in the middle of their whose-junk-is-bigger contest are looking forward to the day when its grave becomes a communal partying spot complete with bonfire and liquor.
Read What Tumblr Taught Me About Accessibility by Nic Chan

As someone who was a teenager during its peak, Tumblr has had an undeniable influence on my life. Like many people my age, my first exposure to the concepts of ‘accessibility’ and ‘ableism’ was through Tumblr. In sharp contrast to the web accessibility community, where we often focus on technical details, meeting clear criterion and legal compliance, Tumblr’s disability community focused on more human facets of accessibility by practicing accessibility in a variety of creative ways. Even when presented with access barriers created by the inaccessibility of Tumblr as a platform, Tumblr as a community has found unique ways to support disabled users. As developers, we need to learn from our mistakes by finding out where our users compensate for our deficiencies, and learn from how disabled communities support themselves.

#a11yWin Summit 2019 was captioned for the first time this year. I would like to point out that this conference has a $5 ticket price as well as the ability to stream it for free if you can’t attend in person, and yet they still managed to caption their talks and committees. I don’t have any data on attendance numbers but I’d be surprised if attendance is above 500, and I’m being very liberal with that. If a bunch of homebrew hackers and hobbyists can figure this stuff out, there’s no reason anyone else can’t. The only thing left is excuses and those become flimsier by the day.
Read Domino’s asks the Supreme Court to shut down a lawsuit requiring its website be accessible to blind people by Nick Statt (The Verge)

Domino’s is arguing the requirements would be inconsistent and costly

One more time for the folks in the back. Accessibility guidelines and a metric ton of supporting documents with examples along with easily findable mailing lists with every accessibility practitioner on the planet providing help and advice on accessibility for free every single day have been around now for twenty something years. There’s also Twitter, where those same practitioners have been providing free help for something like ten years every day. This isn’t hard. And a multi-million-dollar company to complain about paying $38,000 to fix their website so that it’s accessible to everyone is crap. Dominos wouldn’t be charged $38,000 to fix things if they had, wait for it, built accessibility in from the ground up. Stuff like this is why people with disabilities are practically in “sue them all and let God sort it out” mode. We shouldn’t have to keep asking politely that large corporations not violate our civil rights. “Please Sir, may I use your site?” I’m not sure if this will make it to the Supreme Court, it can decline to hear this case. I’m not even sure if the court ruling in favor of the plaintiff in this case is likely. But if it has to come to this, then so be it.