I believe we need to shift the way we think and talk about disability and accessibility. We need more holistic conversations about what it means to be disability-friendly. Focusing on just a building, just a website, just an email, just an event, or just an accommodation – well, it is just not enough. We live our lives moving between these spaces. I believe our discussion of accessibility needs to do so as well.

I founded Accessible Community to address this and we are committed to nurturing disability-friendly communities through ethical technology. Unlike many functional needs mappings, the tools we are building require a mapping that includes facilities, events, websites, social media, and accommodations. 

The taxonomy has to be detailed enough that we can map accessibility requirements to functional needs but clear and usable enough that a wide audience of people with disabilities could use it successfully. We have used a multi-level approach to meet these often conflicting needs.

This work resulted in useable, a multi-level disability needs taxonomy. To celebrate disability pride month and to encourage more disability-centered tools, we shared our mapping in an open source GitHub repository. There is currently a JSON structure that can be incorporated into various tools by simply downloading it.

Useable is a work in progress. We encourage anyone interested to review and comment on it. We will incorporate comments and feedback monthly. Our goal is that useable will aid in worldwide tool development of disability-centered applications. Please help us shift the conversation.

Why members of the disability community must support each other

I am arranging sign language interpreters for mutua11y’s upcoming workshops. I am surprised by how many of of the interpreting companies’ websites (100% so far) are inaccessible. Some even use overlays. I am often also surprised by videos on accessibility that are not captioned or interpreted so the situation is a two way street.

It has been my experience, both as an individual with a disability and an accessibility professional, that the disability community lives in silos.

As an overarching community of people with disabilities, caretakers, allies, and advocates we need to do better in supporting each other. We need to put in the work to make our products, websites, content, etc. accessible. It is not enough to say, I need this accommodation. We must say, “I need this accommodation and recognize that you need a different accommodation.” We need to work together to demonstrate disability inclusion. Anything less undermines the overall message of inclusion and accessibility.

It is also not helpful to assume that someone with one disability knows how to support someone else’s needs. Attacking each other when we don’t get it right also undermines our message and goal. I believe inaccessibility must be approached first as opportunities for education, inside and outside the disability community.

Finally, I want to acknowledge that this is not easy. Real accessibility takes effort and engagement. It takes working together and thinking ahead. It also takes changing attitudes and shifting the focus from the work needed to the benefits gained.

So what can you do about this?

  • Commit to broad accessibility. Learn about the diversity within the disability community. Follow disability advocates and educators on social media. Respectfully ask questions when you don’t know.
  • If you lead an organization, one resource is Accessible Community’s tip of the week. This gives you one recommended action you can complete in a week to improve accessibility.
  • Stand up for your needs and those of others. I prefer to do so with an education-based approach and with compassion but find what works for you.

WCAG 2.2 Updated Candidate Recommendation (Take 2)

In response to concerns raised with the Focus Appearance and Target Size success criteria in the most recent Candidate Recommendation (CR), the working group has decided to publish another CR. This allows review and implementation of the substantive changes proposed to address these concerns, along with fallback options (known as “at risk”) if the solutions raise new concerns.

The group felt that keeping these success criteria is important and that the changes were valuable enough to delay the final Recommendation. Restarting CR starts a new 90-day patent review clock, so we are looking at finalizing the Recommendation in Q3 of this year.

The following changes have been made since the last CR:

  • Focus Appearance has been simplified, made slightly more rigorous to reflect new research, and moved to AAA. Several notes were also adjusted to support these changes.
  • Focus Visible will not be moved to A and will remain at AA
  • Two exceptions in Target size have been modified:
    • The phrase “ or is in a bulleted or numbered list” has been removed from the Inline exception. This has no effect on the intent to provide an exception for text links in body. The phrase was too narrow and was causing confusion. Additional explanation about inline lists will be included within the understanding documents.
    • The spacing exception was reworded to use a 24 CSS pixel diameter circle centered on the bounding box instead of a target offset.

You can read the revised editor’s draft.

As always, you can learn more from What’s New in WCAG 2.2

CSUN Talk: WCAG 3 Update

I had a chance to talk at CSUN today about WCAG 3. The slides were fresh off the presses to make sure they included the work that the AGWG did on Monday. They also are information dense so I wish we’d had two hours to really dive into them. The slides are attached for anyone interested.

We were full up and had to turn a number of folks away. CSUN is unable to support a second session (I asked) so I will try to record a virtual version and post it here in a week or two.

To all those who could attend – Thank you.

Room full of accessibility professionals

WCAG 2.2 Updated Candidate Recommendation

During the first Candidate Review period several issues were raised that the Accessibility Guidelines Working Group (AG) felt needed to be addressed before publication. As a result, the AG made changes and has published an updated Candidate Recommendation (CR) of WCAG 2.2

The changes included:

  • 2.5.8 Target Size (Minimum): Changed to the exceptions for spacing and incline targets and a new note on interpreting line height.
  • 3.2.6 Consistent Help: Changed to the first note.
  • 3.3.8 Accessible Authentication:  Changed the first note.
  • 3.3.9 Accessible Authentication (No Exception): Renamed to Accessible Authentication (Enhanced)
  • 4.1.1 Parsing: Removed

The new Candidate Review period began on January 25th. Based on this, the AG expects to finalize WCAG 2.2 as a W3C Recommendation in mid-April. 2.4.11 Focus Appearance remains at risk. 

As always, you can learn more from What’s New in WCAG 2.2

WCAG 2.2 Update

WCAG 2.2 is still in the candidate recommendation stage. During this stage we are testing websites that implement the new Success Criteria (SC) to make sure the SC are feasible. We are also processing recent comments. Based on where we are in that process and the upcoming holidays, we now expect the release to occur in early 2023.

You can learn more at What’s New in WCAG 2.2.

WCAG 2.2 Moving to CR

WCAG 2.2 has become a W3C candidate recommendation (CR). We have marked one new success criteria, Focus Appearance, at risk due to concerns about its complexity. 

The draft now goes through implementation testing to demonstrate the standards are achievable and a final review period before publication. 

We are still on track to publish this year, but if concerns are raised during the CR review period, we may slip to early next year. You can learn more at What’s New in WCAG 2.2.

5 Books for Improving Leadership Skills


About 6 month ago, I decided to work on improving my leadership skills. I lead Accessible Community and co-lead the Accessibility Guidelines Working Group. I care deeply about the missions and participants in both so want to be as effective as possible in these roles. I owe that to the talented and passionate people who dedicate their time and energy to making the world better for people with disabilities.

My approach, likely based on my background in libraries, was to create a reading list of books related to leadership. I searched for recommendations from others and have now read (or read and rejected) most of them. I have compiled a list of the five books I found most helpful in case you too want to improve your leadership skills and want a short, succinct list.

I’ve linked to Amazon here, but these are likely available at your local library.

Dare to Lead by Brene Brown

If you want to improve your leadership and can only read one book, this is the one I’d recommend. It combines leadership advice with practical recommendations on how to deal with conflict and constantly improve yourself and teams.

Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…and Others Don’t by Jim Collins

This book presents strategies and behaviors to transform an organization into a place that produces great results and where people thrive. It also goes through developing skills and approaches to being an effective leader in these types of organizations. This book is helpful for mid-level leaders who want to move up, but priceless for someone in charge of a business or organization.

The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership by John C. Maxwell

This book presents the skills you need to be a good leader and ways to assess yourself one each skill. It compliments Dare to Lead and Good to Great. These three books together provide a great roadmap for leading an organization.

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

This book is more generic and focuses on interpersonal skills. It is an older book but its a classic for a reason. It provides the basic skills needed to work well with others.

The Greatest Salesman in the World by Og Mandino

This is also an older book and may not seem an obvious choice for this list but I’ve found it invaluable for becoming a better leader of a non-profit. While written for salesmen, it really is about how to lead a joy-filled and productive life. Several of the Laws of Leadership from Maxwell include being productive and modeling the actions and values you want others to embrace – this book helps you improve yourself to do this.

Note: The book includes a fictional story of a salesman placed within the bible but if you find that part offensive instead of fun, you can read only chapter 8-17. The book is intended to be read over 300 days, with each chapter read 3 times a day for 30 days (they are short). You can adjust this however you wish but I did commit to this a few years ago and found the process really useful. I revisited the book again while reviewing leadership books and felt it still has great value on this list.