INACCESSIBILITY — AN UNFILTERED RANT

I am here for a quick moment, not with a pre-planned, edited post, all nice and filtered to give me a better chance at being listened to. I am not here to offer any deep thoughts or new ideas or suggestions to be a better ally.

I am here to ask one question, and one question alone.

IS IT TOO MUCH TO ASK TO MAKE YOUR WEBSITE ACCESSIBLE IN 2022?

I HAVE planned to do a full, detailed post on one particular organization’s 1: lack of accessibility, and 2: inability to use disabled characters as anything other than inspiration symbols or pity figures, but this is not that post. It DOES however, deal with this organization, and their updated app/website experience.

It’s set to launch on July 18, 2022, but as an exclusive member, I’ve been granted early access. And while I’ve watched all other members loving and raving about the new update, I’ve been up late, almost in tears with my husband over the simple fact that I can’t access it. Their website probably looks great… visually. But it is utter h*ll for blind users, navigating it with a screenreader. Its features are probably so helpful and more detailed to give a better insight into the content… but I wouldn’t know.

I can’t access it.

And after the many months they’ve spent promoting the upcoming, updated experience, I’ve been wondering, “will it be accessible?”

I think I have my answer. I’m remaining slightly hopeful that the official launch will bring about some remnant of accessibility, but since I’ve had access [no pun intended] to the early preview, I highly doubt it.

It infuriates me. It makes me sad. It makes me want to scream, and cry, and wonder how, in 2022, they can produce content that uses disabled people for their inspiration and pity tropes, and not even consider accessibility so that their real-life, flesh-and-blood disabled fans can access that very content.

Are we not worth it?

Okay, I think that was two questions. And I will end with a third, one that I don’t have an answer to at the moment, but maybe someone will share their perspective with me. Here goes:

At what point does someone stop supporting a beloved cause to stand up for their belief and passion in equality and accessibility?

2 Comments

  1. I totally echo your thought, a lot of my energy throughout the day goes in dealing with inaccessible applications and websites. I so want to use this technology independantly but due to ignorance on accessibility and WCAG of application/ web developers it becomes an uphill battle. I have even gone to the extent of reaching them through mail, social media and networking on LinkedIN but they are so thick skinned that they reply using their support team that they received the request and will ensure a better experience in the next update; when that will happen I will never know, not sure if it will happen in my lifetime. I keep the faith and keep fighting this digital divide like John Connor in Terminator 1 – it’s still a war against the machines

  2. The most simplistic answer to your last question may be when you can’t even access their website. The logic (or lack of it) of the website makers is almost unforgivable. Again you are in the middle of your fight and struggle just to engage with the world, your world. At this point of history of information sharing, this detail could be/ should be routine.

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