Read Accessible Death – Songs by Joe O’Connor

I’m putting together this play list for my wake and writing about my life while I am able. Time will come when I won’t have the strength. I want to make sure that my daughter Siobhan ( born with severe intellectual disabilities) understands what is happening and that she feels included in the process. I’ve used some songs she will recognize. In this way she’ll hopefully feel included.

I’ll update this post later once I can manage to get my thoughts together so that the words I’d like to say while Joe is still with us are in some kind of order instead of a jumbled mess mixed with grief and swearing.

I’ll try to do it quickly. Hopefully there’s enough time.

If you don’t know who Joe is, he’s one of the original gangsters of WordPress Accessibility.

Through this connection he is someone very dear to me.

Read NORMS OF COMPUTER TRESPASS by Orin S. Kerr (Columbia Law Review)

This Essay develops an approach to interpreting computer trespass laws, such as the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, that ban unauthorized access to a computer. In the last decade, courts have divided sharply on what makes access unauthorized. Some courts have interpreted computer trespass laws broadly to prohibit trivial wrongs such as violating terms of use to a website. Other courts have limited the laws to harmful examples of hacking into a computer. Courts have struggled to interpret authorization because they lack an underlying theory of how to distinguish authorized from unauthorized access.
This Essay argues that authorization to access a computer is contingent on trespass norms—shared understandings of what kind of access invades another person’s private space. Judges are unsure of how to apply computer trespass laws because the Internet is young and its trespass norms are unsettled. In the interim period before norms emerge, courts should identify the best rules to apply as a matter of policy. Judicial decisions in the near term can help shape norms in the long term. The remainder of the Essay articulates an appropriate set of rules using the principle of authentication. Access is unauthorized when the computer owner requires authentication to access the computer and the access is not by the authenticated user or his agent. This principle can resolve the meaning of authorization before computer trespass norms settle and can influence the norms that eventually emerge.

Read Scraping A Public Website Doesn’t Violate the CFAA, Ninth Circuit (Mostly) Holds by Orin S. Kerr (

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has handed down a groundbreaking decision today on the federal computer hacking law,  the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA).  In HiQ Labs v. LinkedIn, the court held that scraping a public website is likely not a CFAA violation.
Under the new decision, violating the CFAA requires “circumvent[ing] a computer’s generally applicable rules regarding access permissions, such as username and password requirements,” that thus “demarcate[]” the information “as private using such an authorization system.”  If the data is available to the general public, the court says, it’s not an unauthorized access to view it—even when the computer owner has sent a cease-and-desist letter to the visitor telling them not to visit the website.
This is a major case that will be of interest to a lot of people and a lot of companies.  But it’s also pretty complicated and easy to misunderstand.   This post will go through it carefully, trying to explain what it says and what it doesn’t say.

This decision is critical to maintaining an open web, at least in the United States.
Read Why I Have a Website and You Should Too by Jamie TannaJamie Tanna

A persuasive look at the many reasons why you should have your own website, and some of the benefits it will bring you.

This post has a lot of takeaways for non-developers and even non-technical people. You don’t need to be a geek to have a website.

Personally, I think it’s vitally important, for example, to use a website to maintain a record of all the free accessibility testing you do as a person with disabilities. While I’d rather that the “f*ck you, pay me” approach be adopted instead of every organization and its brother jumping on mailing lists and social media asking for free work from persons with disabilities, maintaining a record of all the free work you do that can be used later to complete the experience section of your resume is the next best thing.

Read How To Big Up Your Theme With Options for Twenty Seventeen by Claire Brotherton (A Bright Clear Web)

Released mid-2016, the Twenty Seventeen theme is still incredibly popular, with over 1 million sites using it. One downside is that it comes with very limited customizations compared to other themes.

This plugin appears to be an excellent option if you’re using the Twenty-seventeen default theme and don’t have the funds to hire a developer or designer to do customization work.

It never occurred to me to package customizer options for a theme into a plugin. I’m not sure why because I do this for custom post types and other theme-specific code snippets all the time.

The customizer is relatively accessible at this point, so I’ve begun using it more and more on my own sites instead of just leaving all the fun for my clients.

And the idea of packaging customizer options in a custom functionality plugin is one I’m definitely stealing.

Read A New Era for the Genesis Framework: Recapping the Biggest Changes and How to Work with Them by Carrie Dils (Carrie Dils)

It’s been roughly one year since WP Engine acquired StudioPress, the makers of the Genesis Framework. There’s been a lot of forward progress, but it may have left some people feeling unsure about how to work with Genesis or best take advantage of new features.

I’ve always loved the Genesis framework, and I still use it on client sites. While reading this post by Carrie, I began to think that those of us in the Indieweb community may quickly need to embrace blocks.

Yes, I know, that’s basically heresy, but I’m thinking this may need to happen sooner rather than later since Gutenberg development is pretty rapid, the accessibility issues are being fixed pretty quickly, and the end of 2021 will get here before we know it. Post kinds as blocks, for example, would probably be a lot easier to share across themes, as opposed to now, when themes either have to be forked and customized or created from scratch to explicitly support microformats 2.

Granted, you can have indieweb without post kinds, but post kinds is what enables people to truly own all of their content. And right now, there are only a few people doing the heavy lifting with regard to themes. That’s an untennable situation for a ton of reasons.

In order for this to change, it’s going to have to become easier for other designers and developers, (let alone users), to implement this stuff, and there are two ways that can happen. The first is WordPress as a project adopts all the indieweb building blocks. This would be the best solution, but I don’t see it happening anytime soon. The second way is us adopting blocks on the model of something like the Automic Blocks plugin or similar, at least for the post kinds/microformats 2 part.

I suppose there’s a third way, where WordPress adopts things like webmention and the other open standards, and blocks for post kinds is the compromise.

These are all just thoughts, but the Genesis framework has somewhere around 250,000 users, it’s backed by its owning hosting company, and it really does provide an easy way for users to build sites, with some accessibility included. And I think expecting users to do the heavy lifting for themes just isn’t sellable.

There’s a lot of promise contained in Gutenberg and the whole blocks concept, including the up-ending of what is the current raging dumpster fire which is the WordPress theme ecosystem, (with some notable exceptions for some themes). I’m thinking we should go with the flow as best we can.

Read Florida Judge Sanctions Serial Ada Plaintiff Alexander Johnson And Attorney Scott Dinin | JD Supra (JD Supra)

Seyfarth Synopsis: Serious sanctions imposed on a serial ADA Title III plaintiff and his attorney should concern the plaintiffs’ bar.

This appears to have a little something for everyone, including a heaping helping of “you can’t fix stupid”. Emails? Seriously? They emailed each other and were explicit enough in the emails to prove that this was a scheme? I know I’m not really supposed to talk about the people who agree to be plaintiffs of record in these cases, (or at least, it seems, that not many people are willing to bring that part of it up), but yeah, this gravy train appears to be coming to its final stop. At least, I hope it is. Note: If anyone else has posted about this angle of it, influencer or not, get in touch and I’ll be happy to link.
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.

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.
Read How to Use Brand Names on Your WooCommerce Store by Bob Dunn (BobWP – WooCommerce)

Let your customers search your products using the brands that you resell on your WooCommerce online store with lists an widgets.

This site continues to be an excellent resource for user-centered WooCommerce information. wooCommerce is a very powerful, and very complex plugin, and Bob does a great job highlighting extensions and providing instructions for using those extensions as well as the plugin itself in clear, easy-to-read language. Bookmark his site and check back often if you run your own store.