A deck of accessibility issues

Cross-posted from The Interconnected

Back in February, I wrote about the events that brought about the Alphabet of Accessibility post on The Pastry Box, and I hinted I might have a deck of cards to accompany it soon.

I opened the mail today and discovered that my prototype deck arrived. The Alphabet of Accessibility Deck is a real thing you can purchase with actual money from over at The Gamecrafter.

A box for the accessibility deck, with the deck, with letter z on top

I’m a little overwhelmed. When I wrote the original alphabet back in 2014, I certainly didn’t expect it would ever become a talk, much less a talk, a deck of cards, and a half-formed workshop.

But here we are, dragging the world forward kicking and screaming into the Century of the Anchovy, as Terry Pratchett would put it. And you can buy the deck and share it with your teams or your organizations or whatever you’d like.

Many thanks to Dylan Wilbanks, Jeff Eaton, Sarah Hoffman, Elaine Nelson, and Greg Dunlap (as well as many others!) for encouragement, sanity checks, and pointing me to The Gamecrafter. And all of my friends and family, who will continue to remain nameless, for their love, support, and well-earned right to complain about the things we still don’t get right when we design.

Now on The Interconnected: Cans of Shit and Salt Speakers

My June 2 post on The Interconnected came from a conversation at work about how some “hot” new design projects were really just a way to suck money out of people… and how it reminded me a lot of modern art which was intended to shock and cost money, but not really add anything valuable to anyone’s lives.

It also touches on some accessibility elements — like the fact that many As Seen on TV products are actually products that solve problems for people with disabilities that the rest of us benefit from.

Read Cans of Shit and Salt Speakers at The Interconnected.

Now on The Colin McEnroe Show: An Assessment of Accessibility

The Colin McEnroe Show, a radio program on WNPR (Connecticut’s NPR affiliate) invited me to join their other guests to talk about accessibility issues on January 19, 2017. The episode is An Assessment of Accessibility and it runs about 49 minutes.

Major props to the show for simulcasting American Sign Language signers from Source Interpreting to translate today’s show! When radio was first invented, the opportunity for the Deaf and hearing-impaired communities to access the content were obviously limited, but in our current age of Internet Video Everything, there’s no longer a reason to assume that people who can’t hear your broadcast can’t enjoy it in a different medium. It’s a great example of where today’s technology can provide access to stuff that was impossible to access in the past.

This is the first time I’ve done a radio appearance and these kinds of things are generally done unscripted, but as far as I can tell I didn’t say anything too stupid and I had a great time.

If you have an opportunity to work with host Colin McEnroe, producer Jonathan McNicol, and the staff of the show, I recommend it!

 

Accessibility, Recovery, and Posters

It’s been a bit crazy around here.

On February 3rd, my scheduled article for The Pastry Box, Recovery, went up. That was, as usual, exciting for me. This month’s post was about being kind to yourself, because you can. People seem to like it a lot.

So my phone was already buzzing with twitter notifications as different folks found and commented on that post, which made me pretty happy.

Then about mid-morning, A List Apart posted Reframing Accessibility for the Web, a piece I wrote about ableism, accessibility, and testing strategies that move accessibility into technology. That’s when my phone started vibrating off my desk.

The article, which has been read and tweeted about more times than I can count, has been very well-received. The most an author can accomplish is to get people thinking — anything beyond that is a bonus. Based on the comments and feedback I’ve gotten, I’ve gotten people thinking, and that makes me very satisfied indeed.

It’s also gotten me remembering the requests I’d received for a printable version of An Alphabet of Accessibility Issues back in July.

So here it is, better late than never, an Alphabet of Accessibility Issues PDF that you can download and print onto whatever size paper you happen to have available. Hang it around the office, in the lobby, or wherever you work on your design and development stuff. Update: thanks to the fine folks at Emerge Interactive the PDF is now tagged for better accessibility!

As for me, I’m thinking of something more oriented toward design heuristics for my next piece. It’ll be fun.