#13: July 2021

You don't need a reason to care

One of the most common questions I get when people want to talk to me about accessibility is how I became an advocate. Most of the time I feel like people are expecting some Marvel-like origin story where either I had a personal experience or that I know someone who has a serious vision or hearing disability.

To be clear, my origin story is boring and very similar to a lot of marketers: I learned about accessibility best practices for marketing completely by accident and just decided that more people needed to know about this stuff.

Much like you don’t need to know a woman to care about the Me Too movement or have a Black friend to care about police brutality against Black citizens, you don’t need to be disabled or know someone who is to care about creating accessible digital content. You should just care.

Alexa


The Good Stuff from June

Netflix Gets Creative With Captions

I’ve said it several times before: creating accessible content does not mean the death of creativity, and this short video from Netflix proves it. The open captions are clear and humorous.

Disney Adds Diversity

Have you seen Luca yet? Not only is the movie absoluely adorable and beautifully animated, but it also features a character with a limb difference. Massimo Marcovaldo even makes a point of joking about his physical difference when another character is noticeably curious about it.

Maritime Museum Encourages Participation

I love that more brands and organizations are being transparent about their accessibility practices and doing it in an educational manner. The Maritime Museum of British Columbia did this nicely when they recently encouraged their followers to write alt text for an image they posted.

Twitter Making SRT File Upload Easier

Right now, if you want to upload an SRT captions file with a video on Twitter, you can manage that through Twitter’s Media Studio. Thankfully, it looks like the bird app will be making an update soon that will allow you to upload an SRT file with your video directly from the Tweet Composer window.

Meme Formatting Done the Accessible Way

How you format the written part of your posts can impact how accessible your content ends up being. The handshake meme is super popular, but doesn’t always make sense depending on how it’s formatted. An easy fix for this is screenshotting the meme, uploading it to your post as an image, and writing alt text for it. This tweet from the technology company Own Up is a great example of doing it well and it’s even branded!

Domino’s Web Accessibility Saga Continues

The pizza franchise Domino’s has been tied up in a legal battle over the inaccessibility of their website since 2019. On June 23, the U.S. federal district court in California ruled for Guillermo Robles, the blind person who filed the case. This is a huge win for digital accessibility.

Gamers Start Petition to Diversify The Sims

If you know me, you know I love playing The Sims, the popular simulation game that allows you to play with life. Simmer Fernando Koziel has started a petition to hopefully persuade EA to diversify the game more by adding Sims with disabilities. I’ve signed it, and I hope you will too!

Meryl Evans Educates Others on Captioning

You should just get used to seeing my friend Meryl in this newsletter. She is always sharing great information on how to make your videos more accessible and best etiquette for captioning.

Twitter avatar for @merylkevansMeryl Evans speaks at @A11yNYC and #WCSCV @merylkevans
Leading the Charge to Caption the Internet:
buff.ly/3gpZ1re Thanks @InclusHub for the interview! Too generous -- I wouldn't say I'm leading it ... #ItTakesADAVillage So many people support and educate on captions. Thanks to all of them! #Accessibility #A11yMeryl Evans Is Leading the Charge to Caption the InternetWhen it comes to providing descriptions of visual content, quality is key, says one of the leading proponents of improved captioning.buff.ly

The Bad Stuff from June

Make Your Statements Accessible

If you have something important to say, make sure you say it in a way that all of your followers can access the information. This tweet from the NYC Board of Election isn’t accessible for anyone using a screen reader. The text isn’t readable and there’s no alt text attached to the image. I’ve written quite extensively about how to avoid the mistake of flattened copy.

Overlays Continue to Cause Problems

When you launch a website, accessibility should be built into its code and the entire structure of the site, not something you lay over the top of it or fix with a widget. Web overlay services like AccessiBe impede accessibility and cause major issues for users with disabilities.

When Abled Good Intentions Go Too Far

What’s that quote from Jurassic Park? “Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn​'t stop to think if they should.” Yeah, that one really applies here.

Conservatorships and Disabled People

My heart absolutely breaks for what Britney Spears is going through and has been going through for years now. Her story and experience is part of a much larger conversation we should be having about conservatorships and how they impact the lives of disabled people.

Twitter Slacking With Verifying Disabled Activists

There are so many brilliant disabled activists, advocates, and allies on Twitter you should be following, and the platform could make it much easier to find them if it verified their accounts. Sadly, it appears to be taking the bird app longer than necessary to do just that.


Have you recently spotted a major digital accessibility win or fail on social media? Send it to me! I might just feature it in my next newsletter. Feel free to email me at hello@therealalexa.com or you can DM me on Twitter. My inbox is always open!


Excellent Resources

I find some of the best tips and resources on Twitter from other creators and advocates, and I want to share them with you, too!

Twitter avatar for @merylkevansMeryl Evans speaks at @A11yNYC and #WCSCV @merylkevans
Self-Defined: A modern dictionary about us. We define our words, but they don't define us.
buff.ly/39mUnay What a fantastic resource from @SelfDefinedApp! It identifies ableist, sexist, racist, and other terms so we can get better. #Inclusion #DisabilityTwitterHome «A modern dictionary about us. We define our words, but they don’t define us.buff.ly

Scroll Stoppers

These bits of wisdom and insightful reads made me immediately stop scrolling. Hopefully, they get your brain fired up as well.


Mark Your Calendar

  • July 6: I’ll be joining Express Writers for their weekly #ContentWritingChat to answer questions about digital accessibilty. If you have time, join!

  • July 13–15: I’m excited to be a featured speaker for this year’s #PSEWeb conference alongside some other outstanding individuals.

  • July 20: The HighEdWeb Accessibility Summit is one of the best conferences for higher education professionals who want to learn more about accessibilty, and I’m thrilled to speak at this year’s event!


One Last Chuckle

I laugh every time I look at this meme now. And yes, it has alt text attached to it.


Secrets, secrets are no fun unless you share with everyone! This logic also applies to newsletters and your Netflix login.

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