This is an incredibly glib response to the issue of why people or products haven’t jumped on the Gutenberg bandwagon.
I’m sure I’ve already raised several objections to this strawman explanation but I’ll continue to do so every time it gets raised by Matt.
Speaking for myself, I’ve been using computers since before there were true screen readers. I’ve adapted with every single change to that piece of software alone, to say nothing of operating system changes and application changes and even WordPress changes since 2005. I promise you, this is not about being afraid of change. And I seriously doubt “afraid of change” is the case for even half of the rest who haaven’t aadopted Gutenberg.
As of June 9, 2021, Gutenberg is still an efficiency and useability nightmare, despite the technical accessibility improvements that have happened over the last two years or so. I see this every day with my own usage, John’s own usage, (and he’s got just as much or even slightly more experience with computer usage than I do), with clients who use assistive technology of any kind, and even with clients without any disability who don’t spend all their time living in their WordPress dashboards.
I have a single client who truly does enjoy Gutenberg, and that’s because their only familiarity with using WordPress was through visual composer.
I’m not saying, and I’ve never said, that WordPress should never change. I get that WordPress needs to adapt, I get that it needs to modernize, and I have no problem with any of this.
What I have a problem with is that adaptation being poorly thought through and poorly managed, the complete disregard for tons of completely avoidable problems having been created during almost the entire development cycle of Gutenberg, the prioritization of dreams at the expense of technical realities, (see that whole discussion on GitHub about how Gutenberg is never going to be Microsoft Word on the web no matter how much that’s wanted by product designers), and then the pretense that none of this has happened and that everything is just peachy and it’s all about people just being afraid to change.
If this were really about being afraid of change or unwillingness to evolve, I would have quit using computers cerca 1995 around the time of quite literally a seismic shift in the way screen readers work under the hood and the way they present information to users. Or that other seismic shift in 1998/9 or so when MSAA became a thing. Or that other one in 2006 when Web 2.0 became a thing.
But I didn’t. And that should tell you something.
$100 says this attempt at a new ghetto for people with disabilities is merely an aggregator for sites loading their script.
“For too many people, using popular search engines is a frustrating and fruitless experience,” Shir Ekerling, CEO of accessiBe, said in the press release.
“With the understanding of the web accessibility gap, the decision to put our resources into accessFind was an easy one. With accessFind, internet users
with disabilities finally have a search engine that provides them with results of readily accessible websites, working to bridge the existing digital divide.”
Another $100 says that, if they actually approached any people with disabilities to inquire about any problems we might have with using search engines, the Chief Vision Officer is the only person with a disability they asked.
I suppose it’s easy to say you’ll make the web accessible by 2025 when you can just build yourself a safe space and then pretend it’s the web. But AccessiBe’s self-constructed safe space isn’t the web any more than Facebook is.
I’ll stick with the open web, thanks.
No really, I promise, we’re not just “stirred by thought leaders”. I can state with complete confidence that neither Karl Groves nor Adrian Roselli have gotten in touch with me in any manner to offer beers in exchange for negative comments about AccessiBe. 😛 And really, that’s all it would take, that is, if we must mix in some stirring by thought leaders.
In an email, Ekerling said people who criticize the company online are largely stirred by “thought leaders” who are rallying blind people in a “huge campaign”
against the company with few specific critiques.
“Almost no one gives any specifics to actual websites that really don’t work for them,” Ekerling wrote in an email. “This is because they don’t really
test us, nor have really used us. At most, they went on a website out of anger and didn’t even try to understand.”
I could be this easily bribed to slam AccessiBe because the product doesn’t solve even half the problems it claims to solve, hell will freeze over before they manage to make the entire web accessible, and Ekerling, at least, is a lying liar who lies.
There. I said it. Publicly. The AccessiBe hashtag on Twitter is overflowing with examples of websites that don’t work, complete with videos of users experiencing them not working. Ekerling knows this. So we’re well past ignorance and well into lying territory.
Update on #AccessiBe’s insistence that its screen reader mode alert is no longer on by default.
As of Friday 30 April 2021 at 09:25 Eastern, it is in fact still there and still as annoying as ever. I’m logged into Namecheap on a computer accessing a network that doesn’t have AccessiBe’s domains blocked.
So if this hasn’t been added already, add another outright AccessiBe lie to the list. Man, you guys are really racking these up.