Right now I am incredibly grateful and thankful for the extensive accessibility improvements to the WordPress widgets screen, because today I learned that there is at least one developer on this planet who actually worked to not support accessibility mode.

Is there a legitimate reason to do this other than pure unadulterated ableism? That’s not a rhetorical question.

If it weren’t for all the accessibility improvements to the main widgets screen, I would quite literally be prevented from completing this project.

So whoever did all this work, (and it was probably done in very large part by Andria Fercia), thank you so much, I owe you a ton right now. If it wasn’t all Andria, or if it was completely someone else, please get in touch so I can edit this post to ensure that you are publicly thanked by name or names.

I would be totally screwed right now if it weren’t for all your hard work.

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.
#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.
#IndieWeb Yes! Thanks to the very hard work of @dshanske @whiskeydragon1 now has working indieauth. I will get him added to the wiki later on today but I think this is the official welcome to the IndieWeb. Post kinds are already present and his personal site also supports webmention and most of the other building blocks. Good start to a Monday.
I’m pleasantly surprised to find that Vimeo now has a much more accessible player. I plan to check out #PostPublish after I’m done with my next meeting. I will announce if it’s captioned. If you’re not already a PostStatus member you should be. Best WordPress newsletter around.
Friendly public service announcement to all corporations: Sponsorship of the #NFB19 convention is not a shortcut to the accessibility of your websites or apps. That sponsorship money would be much better spent on doing the actual work of making your websites and apps accessible to everyone.
I think I’ve figured out a solution to my Twitter difficulties, specifically trying to manage two accounts. I have EasyChirp open in the browser for my personal account, and Open Tween open on the desktop for my work account. I suppose I could just use a private window in the browser as well for the other account, but as far as I can tell, you can’t respond to direct messages using EasyChirp, so I need a way to respond to those along with viewing two accounts at the same time. I have no idea what I’m going to do about managing the other accounts I have access to/manage. Open Tween will handle multiple accounts, but I’m still trying to figure out how you tell which one you’re sending from. Standard tweets are still easier from my websites. I already have the tabs open and it’s just easier to send from there. No character limit, plus all the other Indieweb advantages, while reading/retweeting from Open Tween/EasyChirp. Yeah, this is really complicated and hacky, but I think it’ll work.
I’m not one to throw around the “not-a-real-accessibility-advocate” label, but if someone exhibits a pattern of excuse-making for inaccessibility on behalf of themselves or others or both, they need to hand in their A card. Same if that extends to encouraging fellow people with disabilities to accept excuse-making for inaccessibility. If you do all three then you probably need to be taken to the proverbial woodshed because excuse-making for inaccessibility is never, ever acceptable. Either you believe it’s OK to discriminate or you don’t. It’s that simple. Signed: Someone who was once rightfully taken to the woodshed.
Shoutout to all the automatticians currently slogging through the VIP Go outage, from the people on the front lines dealing with customers to the people behind the scenes in the proverbial basement who are usually never noticed until something goes wrong. Support and server maintenance are often thankless jobs, but without people like you this stuff doesn’t run. I don’t work with y’all, and I’m not a customer, but I see no reason why we can’t support each other from afar.
I’m helping a screen reader who has been recently introduced to WordPress configure their new site, and noticed that they were becoming frustrated with the clutter of their WordPress administration menu thanks to plugins arbitrarily adding things to their top-level menus and inserting their own top-level menus in between the out-of-the-box ones. I had them install Menu Humility by Mark Jaquith. Despite the plugin not being updated in over a year, it still works exactly as it is intended, and I install it on every new site I build and every site I rebuild. I’ve mentioned this plugin before on this site, but wanted to mention it again because I find it so useful in my quest to minimize the trashfire that can result when plugin and theme authors clutter the dashboard in order to fulfill their own hopes or desires for more downloads or upgrades with no regard for the users actually using WordPress. If you’re running the latest version of WordPress, (and you really should be), upon viewing the plugin in the plugins/add-new screen, you’ll get a notice that says “untested with your version of WordPress.” In this case, ignore that notice, because this still works, thanks to WordPress’s commitment to backwards compatibility. This isn’t so much an accessibility issue as it is a “get off my lawn, stop cluttering my dashboard with your crap, my dashboard isn’t your playground” kind of scenario. Menu Humility isn’t the only plugin that can help with dashboard clutter, but it’s the first step to making it a saner place which induces less rage. Go get it if you haven’t already.