Passing of Joseph O’Connor

I’m deeply saddened to hear that Joseph O’Connor, tremendous accessibility advocate, recently died. His passing was announced on his personal website; please read Remembering Joseph O’Connor (1953 – 2020). Joseph was highly loved and respected in the accessibility community and will be sorely missed.

Joseph suffered from chronic illness and experienced serious pain especially over the last years of his life. One-and-a-half years ago, he wrote about a profound conference proposal Accessible Death in which planned his own inclusive funeral (the proposal was not accepted).

Head shot of Joseph and Linda O'Connor
Joseph and his wife. Photo credit: black telephone website

Joseph was a big contributor to the accessibility of WordPress and was a guest on Web Axe Podcast 100: Joe & Joseph on WordPress Accessibility (Sep. 2014). I presented with Joseph on Accessibility of Twitter at CSUN back in 2010 which was a terrific experience.

Below are some touching tweets about his passing. Rest in peace, my friend.

Addendum

Tweets about Joseph O’Connor

https://twitter.com/mak_en/status/1214732865335750656

Digital Accessibility Jobs, November 2019

Many more tremendous opportunities in the field of digital accessibility.

As always, watch out for more job listings on Twitter via @a11yJobs, @EasyChirp, @LyndonDunbar, and me @WebAxe.

Accessibility Toronto Conference 2019 Summary

The third annual Accessibility Toronto Conference was held recently at TELUS in downtown Toronto, Ontario, Canada. On Twitter, the hash tag is #a11yTO and the account is @a11yTO.

Accessibility Toronto Conference logo

And for the first time, both an Accessibility In Real Life conference (#a11yIRL) and a conference dedicated to accessible gaming (#a11yTOGaming). They were run the day before and after the main conference. All events were a big success!

The week even included a few social events in the evening including an entertaining karaoke party hosted by Shopify and a Tweetup hosted by Slack.

A theme which seemed to emerge from the conferences collectively was: Design *with* people with disabilities, not *for* people with disabilities.

large room with many people seating; a few people on stage in front; there is a monitor on right and live captions on left

Other notables from the conference were the adjustable desk on stage and a video puppet which reminded attendees when the sessions are about to start!

See below for a list of available presentation resources (from the a11yTO conference), selected tweets, and a few excellent conference reviews. See you there next year?

Presentation Resources (partial)

Tweets

https://twitter.com/ShellELittle/status/1187368065933234179

Other Reviews

U.S. Supreme Court Favors Digital Accessibility in Domino’s Case

A favorable decision was made yesterday (October 7, 2019) in the United States regarding digital accessibility and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA).

The U.S. Supreme Court denied to hear Domino’s Pizza appeal of the Ninth Circuit federal appeals court decision which allowed the case to be heard. So the Ninth Circuit decision for Domino’s v. Robles stands, hooray! Digital products which are a public accommodation must be accessible or will be subject to a lawsuit (and probably lose).

The accessibility community is dumbfounded and outraged as to why Domino’s, a national pizza chain in the U.S., would spend so much money and effort into fighting digital equality rather than making their digital services accessible to all, which would greatly increase their potential customer base (and avoid bad publicity!)

Here’s Domino’s statement about the Supreme Court’s decision. Domino’s doesn’t admit that besides convenience, inclusiveness, and equality, ordering online provides other perks that cannot be received in another way, such as discounts, coupons, and rewards points. Although their call for DOJ regulation has some merit, it’s more of an unwarranted excuse. Regulations aren’t completely necessary; if passed, they would likely still be WCAG 2.0 AA, and digital products would still be subject to lawsuits.

For lots of legalese, here is the the Domino’s case (PDF) and the Domino’s ruling (PDF). See below for a list of related articles and tweets.

Domino's Pizza logo with line thru it

Articles

Tweets

https://twitter.com/accessibility20/status/1181228718439780352

Digital Accessibility Jobs, August 2019

Many more great opportunities in digital accessibility! Please leave comment more.

For more job listings on Twitter, follow me, @a11yJobs, @EasyChirp and @LyndonDunbar.

Jobs written on newspaper with magnifying glass