Where we develop robust web sites with emphasis on accessibility
I’m glad to see popular voices in the web space reflecting on how the web is seriously broken as a whole with regard to accessibility, but then there’s a part of me that’s screaming “Hey, accessibility advocates have been screaming at the top of our lungs about this for decades.” Not only have we rewarded the wrong things on the web, (aesthetics over everything else and at the expense of everything else, for example), but I think in a lot of ways we’ve rewarded the wrong voices. So many times it’s the not-so-popular voices who have been telling us what we really should be hearing, and because we think it’s too hard or not enough of a priority, (see internationalization and localization, or security, or accessibility, or translation), we put it off until we have something like the recent WebAIM survey of how abysmal the state of accessibility with regard to websites is to publicly shame us into doing the right thing. Maybe one day we’ll learn.Dear fellow screen reader users. If you’re tempted to declare something accessible because you can use it, please keep this in mind before you make said declaration. “Works with my favorite screen reader” or “works with all screen readers” or “works with a particular screen reader as long as you use object navigation or route your Jaws cursor to your PC cursor” are not measurrable accessibility indicators. Accessibility is not just about screen reader users. Accessibility is about all people with disabilities. And the gold standard, inclusive design, is about everyone, including people with disabilities.Happy thirtieth birthday World Wide Web. You may be held together by peanut butter and goblins, but you’ve provided so much joy and prosperity for all of us who have careers thanks to you. I promise to promote your health through the standards that make you great and enjoyable for everyone on this earth, and to encourage everyone who builds things on your foundation to do the same.Good morning, happy Monday, and happy semi-annual manual time offset setting change day to everyone in the WordPress community.The American Foundation for the Blind is using the scenario of the lone, overworked, harried accessibility expert as a marketing prop for its own accessibility consulting service at this year’s AFB Leadership conference, and I have some thoughts. This is maybe a half a level above selling an overlay as a silver bullet for every accessibility problem on the planet, and unless you’ve been living under a rock or are an overlay vendor, you’re probably aware that overlays as a solution are at the absolute bottom of the totem pole. Any company which tasks a single individual with all of the responsibility for accessibility is guaranteed to fail at accessibility, and anyone who’s been in this field for any length of time knows this. To use someone who is guaranteed to constantly be fighting an uphill battle, only to not succede in the end, as a marketing prop for your own accessibility consulting, like you’re the white knight who will come in and save the day, is disgusting, and I’m going to go out on a limb and say you should stay as far away from accessibility consulting as possible. There’s not an accessibility firm worth its salt that would stoop to the level of using someone who is guaranteed to be unable to complete the task they have been given as a ploy to market their own services. Those accessibility teams of one are some of the hardest working, least appreciated people in this field, and when I’ve been in that situation, actual accessibility professionals have given me a hand up, not used me as a selling point in a marketing campaign. Using overworked accessibility teams of one as a sales pitch dehumanizes those accessibility teams and devalues all of their hard work, as well as the work of everyone else toiling in this field.I’m in the process of giving the Customer Servant Consultancy website a fresh coat of paint. I’m planning to replace the current front page with a static front page and then link to the various content kinds in the navigation menu. I’ll also be rebuilding and updating the portfolio and testimonials and contact pages. I’m choosing a theme that still supports all the indieweb goodness while looking pretty different from my personal site. I’ll need to spend some time in the customizer making sure the color scheme has good color contrast, just in case it doesn’t currently.