Chris Ashton

week11y issue 1

week11y is a weekly newsletter dedicated to all things accessibility, curated by developer @ChrisBAshton. Each resource is summarised as a TLDR, in case you don’t have time to read the actual article. Readers are encouraged to read the linked articles and form their own conclusions.

  • U.S. Supreme Court Passes on Domino’s Case: Commenters Misunderstand
    • Disability rights lawyer Lainey Feingold discusses the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s decision not to hear the appeal case from Domino’s accessibility lawsuit ruling. She predicts Domino’s next step will be to argue that providing a phone line to customers fulfills its ADA obligations. She goes on to dismiss some kneejerk reactions to the ruling; for example, someone’s suggestion that “[next they’ll sue Domino’s for] not hiring blind delivery drivers” would, ironically, contravene the ADA for being a “direct threat to the health or safety of others”.
    • Background: Blind person in the USA sues Domino’s after being unable to order a custom pizza from its website or app. The Ninth Circuit Court ruled that the “alleged inaccessibility [of the website and app] impedes access to the goods and services of its physical pizza franchises” and thus violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Domino’s petitioned to the Supreme Court, who on the 7th October declined to hear the case, leaving the ruling in place. Domino’s now intends to present their case to the trial court.
  • Making GOV.UK Pay more accessible
    • The GOV.UK Pay team upgraded to the latest version of GOV.UK Frontend to be fully compliant with the WCAG 2.1 AA standards, which includes a new accessible colour scheme.
  • P&G’s Herbal Essences unveils Alexa skill for vision-impaired people
    • Herbal Essences have built a voice-powered Alexa app that can help people find product recommendations for their hair type. Even more impressive is their funding of in-house experts to the Be My Eyes app; a free service that connects vision-impaired people with sighted volunteers through a live video call, to receive guidance while shopping or grooming. Finally, thanks to Herbal Essences‘ accessibility leader Sumaira Latif, tactile packaging will be introduced from January 2020 to help vision-impaired people distinguish between shampoos and conditioners.
  • Designing accessible color systems
    • Engineers at Stripe examine the WCAG 2.0 minimum contrast ratio for text and how they arrived at their new accessible colour palette. It goes into great detail on how colour is represented on computer screens and how humans perceive colour, before describing the tool they’ve built to visualise perceptual contrast to help them to arrive at the right choice. Unfortunately there’s no link to the tool itself, nor to its code.
  • Better Link Labels: 4Ss for Encouraging Clicks
    • Avoid vague links like ‘Learn more’. Users scan pages and will often read links without the surrounding context. Links must set expectations that can be instantly met, and ideally should be terse in nature. They should be Specific, Sincere, Substantial and Succinct.

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