I am a sinner, it is far more fun than being good 😉. So let's see how we can use the 7 deadly sins to our advantage when it comes to accessibility.
Inspired by https://levelup.gitconnected.com/7-capital-sins-of-a-software-developer-7cb66f6abeca, but I thought being on the side of evil would be more fun!
So let's jump in and see how being a sinner can be a good thing (oh and as this is one of my rants (sort of), be aware that any anger etc. is just for fun!)
If you are deeply religious you may find some things offensive in this article and I would suggest you leave now. Additionally there are some dark jokes and sexuality related content, just in case you are sensitive to that. Finally there is a link to a website that uses a lot of profanity at the end of the "Wrath" section, although there is no swearing in the article itself be careful of that link (it has a warning on it!) It is all safe for work, but just a heads up!
Trigger warnings, click to expand
This article is a humorous take on Christianity, evil and the seven deadly sins.
If you are deeply religious you may find some things offensive in this article and I would suggest you leave now.
Additionally there are some dark jokes and sexuality related content, just in case you are sensitive to that.
Finally there is a link to a website that uses a lot of profanity at the end of the "Wrath" section, although there is no swearing in the article itself be careful of that link (it has a warning on it!)
It is all safe for work, but just a heads up!
Ah, pride, we should be humble and practice humility as accessibility experts surely?
Building accessible products and services takes thought and a little bit of extra effort.
So when you have built something that is accessible, boast about it, be proud!
Tell the world how you built something that is better than that built by other "developers" (as how can you call yourself a developer and build things that don't work for everyone?!).
I mean God's own website (the Vatican official website) has 1157 detectable accessibility errors in Axe DevTools - that must be some kind of record!
So as pride is considered the greatest of all the sins, I am happy to say "I am proud that I did not build the Vatican website".
I want a big house and a nice car, I like material possessions.
Building an accessible website (and business) means that more people can access it, and spend money there!
As 1 in 6 people have a disability and 1 in 10 people have a disability that affects the way they interact with your website it is a massive market that is being ignored!
The Click-Away Pound report estimates that UK businesses lose over £17 billion a year to their more accessible competitors (notice I say more accessible, nobody is getting it right it is just some sites have fewer barriers!).
Imagine if just one site was fully accessible, that site could become a power house and grab all of that money!
So be greedy! Build a product that is better than everyone else's and have thousands of people with disabilities flock to your site as they move away from your inaccessible competition!
Watch your bank balance grow and your material wealth increase.
According to the heavenly virtues, we should be charitable not greedy. Well Christian Aid's website has 40 accessibility errors, so I choose greed and 0 accessibility errors every day of the week!
Get angry when you see inaccessible websites.
I recently had a rant about the #WeThe15 website as it is a campaign about including people with disabilities, that had a completely inaccessible website. (It has improved a little after some guidance from a certain sinner who sent an angry email and how to fix things, but it still not great!)
We are meant to be kind apparently.
Well what has kindness brought?
Over 25 years of little progress in the UK towards equality (over 30 years in the USA with the ADA).
97.4% of website have accessibility issues that are detectable automatically...it seems that asking nicely and being forgiving and kind to people's ignorance and the barriers it creates is not the answer.
So let out your inner rage monster and call out these inaccessible websites!
Saying that, if the Disability Rights UK website can't get it right, what hope is there...
I choose the side of the sinners, as the sinners are winning!
I am envious. Envious of companies who have managed to convince people that they are helping with crap products.
AccessiBe is one of those companies, telling people that their accessible overlay will fix all of their problems (it makes things worse!).
I am envious that I cannot get the reach they have in order to educate people that a website needs to be built with accessibility in mind, that it should be part of your Minimal Viable Product (MVP).
I am envious that they can persuade people that they are helping, when they are actually making things worse.
These overlays are so bad for accessibility that the disabled community created a plugin that blocks AccessiBe and other overlays as they cause so many issues!
I use my envy as a source of power, unlocking the secrets these companies use to get the positive coverage they do not deserve.
Then I can spin their techniques for my evil ways of actually building things that are accessible! 😱
Apparently I am meant to be patient rather than envious, pfff.
I will not be patient any longer, I want to make change happen quickly!
I mean, if I told you I built accessible websites, and had 405 accessibility errors on my home page, would you listen? (that is how many AccessiBe's homepage has!)
Well disability just isn't sexy enough for lust right?
I mean, I am sure many people would give their right arm for a woman like that. (and yes, that was a dark joke, I am evil remember?)
But when it comes to lust and accessibility I am talking about a lust for power.
This obviously links back to the greed and money part in some ways, but power is different.
Imagine how much power you could wield if you had the backing of the 1 billion disabled people around the world.
I want that backing, I lust after the power that brings, the power to shape the direction humanity is taking. The power to persuade politicians and business owners to listen.
I want to use that power to force websites to be accessible or take them offline (imagine how quickly you would fix accessibility issues if that was a possibility...and if you build websites in the UK then you may want to start preparing...I am serious, I have something quite scary lined up!).
I want to use that power to give the legal requirements (that already exists for websites to be accessible) some teeth, to force barriers to be removed in society!
Yes, I am a monster, I lust after power and I lust after influence to make change happen.
So I encourage you to also lust after influence, so that you can change people's thought process on accessibility.
Be a glutton!
Over-consume accessibility articles and everything related to accessibility and disability.
The more you consume on the subject the better your development practices will become.
You will start thinking about people with Vestibular Disorders (e.g. sensitivity to movement), mobility impairments (e.g. accuracy issues with a mouse so they use a keyboard), people who use Eye Gaze technology, people who use dual or single switches to navigate your site, screen readers and people who use braille.
Along the way you will learn about WAI-ARIA, semantic HTML etc.
This will help you build sites that are SEO friendly (as you will structure things correctly), fast (as you will stop using bloated libraries, frameworks etc. that get in the way of accessibility) and more.
So over-indulge, eat up all the accessible content you can!
If you want a big juicy article to sink your teeth into to get you started, how does a 16,500 word listicle sound?:
It is good to be lazy!
Accessibility is centred around using semantic elements and simplifying things to make the User Experience (UX) better (for everyone!).
If you use native and semantic elements your life becomes 100 times easier as a developer, someone else has done all the hard work for you.
Instead of hundreds of lines of code to build an accordion, use
<details>, they have all the functionality baked in and fall back gracefully in the few browsers that don't support them!
For buttons, instead of using a
<div> and having to add
tabindex="0", handlers for keyboard interactions etc., just use a
Thousands of developers have done most of the hard work for you.
So engage the principles of sloth, be lazy, use what others have done before you so you have to work less!
The only time you should be diligent (the opposite of sloth!) is ensuring that you apply accessibility principles consistently, but there are checklists for that sort of thing to make life easy so you don't have to exert too much effort!
This was a silly article (and I really had to stretch on a couple of the sins!), but with a serious message.
You can make accessibility work for you.
Remember that making things that are accessible benefits you as much as it does everyone else, you can do it for selfish reasons and still do some good!
So go on, be a devil, put accessibility as your top priority and make it part of your MVP today!
let evilWin = true;