November 11th, 2019 · UncategorizedComments Off on 11/11 – Don’t mention the war
I’ve just spent the 2-minute silence contemplating my late father’s involvement in the Second World War, how proud I am of him, and what he thought of the Britain in which he passed away just two weeks ago.
Dad always told me that he “fought in World War II for Europe”. He fought for peace, he was pro-Europe, and had many European friends. Heck, even our family’s ancestors came to Britain from Germany centuries ago.
On this day, please don’t use the First or Second World War as justification for Brexit, or make the wars about patriotism and national pride. While we should be glad and thankful that the Allied forces united and won those wars, those who “fought for their country” really fought for freedom and democracy for all people, mustered by the rhetoric of patriotism and national pride. They fought against fascism, signs of which we are sadly seeing increase worldwide.
The wars were awful and millions of people died, so let’s not allow wartime to be humanity’s heyday.
When I’m auditing sites for accessibility issues, I find that WAI-ARIA has been used in an attempt to improve the accessibility of the content. And that’s exactly why WAI-ARIA exists, but so many implementations misunderstand how the tools provided by WAI-ARIA should work together.
In my experience, it’s not that there is a lack of willingness by web developers to incorporate accessibility, but rather that there is much confusion and misunderstanding of how accessibility technically works and what is expected of them.
I’ve known Nic for a long time, so it was great to chat with him about my journey to a career in accessibility, from growing up in a guest house in Devon, through a degree in Electronic Engineering, music technology, working with Drake Music, starting my own web development business, moderating Accessify Forum (now defunct) and learning from people like Steve Faulkner, Patrick Lauke, Gez Lemon, Tommy Olsson et al, through to cofounding Dig Inclusion.
I hope you enjoy listening.
A11y Rules podcast, episode 25 – Interview with Jon Gibbins, part 1
The first part of the interview, where we discuss how I got started in web accessibility and how I connect with disability, the work I currently do, how organisations can use build a culture of accessibility in their teams, and the cost of accessibility. There’s a full transcript of part 1 on the podcast website.
A11y Rules podcast, episode 26 – Interview with Jon Gibbins, part 2
The second and final part of the interview, that centres around discussing lack of awareness around accessibility, and the misunderstandings and misconceptions that arise from poor understanding of people with disabilities and the technologies they use to interact with the digital world. There’s a full transcript of part 2 on the podcast website.
Hello, friends! It’s been so long, I thought it was about time I updated you on what I’ve been doing.
Do you remember that roller coaster ride I referred to when I joined OmniTI? Well, it just kept on going! And after a year of doing the transatlantic telecommute, I felt the need for solid ground. I left OmniTI in September.
I worked on some great projects while I was there, with big brands and alongside wonderfully talented people. I learned a lot, made some new friends, and had quite a bit of fun thrown in, too! Thank you to those who shared their knowledge and humour with me.
R and R
To recharge my batteries a bit, I decided to take a little time away from the Web and computer keyboards. I visited a few friends around the UK, spent a relaxing couple of days on Lundy Island, and got myself to Accessibility 2.0 and PHPNW ’09. I may have also made it to a gig or two along the way!
In the background, interesting discussions were afoot, and a fantastic opportunity presented itself. Which brings me to…
For the last couple of months, I’ve been setting up a new web design and development co-operative with some friends of mine: Alan, Andrei, Chris and Jon. In December, we launched Analog.
They say working with friends or family is a bad idea. The way I see it, I want many of the same things out of my working relationships as I do out of my friendships. I like to be around friends because they’re people I’m happy in the company of. I trust them, and respect their opinions. A healthy work relationship will have many of these same traits: fun, mutual respect, honesty and openness.
When we got together as a group in September, Chris summarised his work aspirations as, “Good people. Good work.” And that was it in a nutshell for me. I have huge respect for the people I work with at Analog. They were work colleagues, and even clients, before they became my friends. I know I can work with them, and build great things. If you don’t know them, let me introduce you quickly:
Alan Colville is a talented experience designer who worked with Jon Tan and I at Grow Collective. When he’s not inspiring me with his insights into user behaviours, he’s amazing me by running up mountains and biking down them!
I’ve been working with Jon Tan for several years now, at Grow and OmniTI. He’s a fab designer, and passionate about his craft. Not only have we made a good team, we’ve also become good friends. With many a tale of travel and type, you’re never bored around Jon.
I usually write about accessibility on this blog. The analog.coop holding page has a few talking points I could cover, not least the improved semantics of HTML5, and the accessibility features of ARIA. I’ll write more about these soon. For now, I hope that one page shows that accessibility doesn’t have to come at the cost of beautiful design.
Thank you, Carolyn Wood for being absolutely stellar, and helping us put our vision into words for our web site. Incidentally, the holding page scores pretty well on readability tests, which makes me happy!
Ta very much, HTML5doctor.com, for being a great place to get practical help with HTML5. Special thanks to Bruce Lawson who’s a super chap for helping me out with one particular HTML5 peculiarity.
I’m a digital accessibility consultant helping organisations to make their websites and mobile apps accessible to people with disabilities by establishing sustainable approaches to digital accessibility and inclusion.