[personal profile] accessibilityreportcard
I quit doing this for a few months because quite frankly it is incredibly
depressing, like a daily dose of ramming my head into a brick wall, over and
over and over and over.

Because if there's anything these score cards make apparent, it's that the
"feminist" blogosphere does not care about people with disabilities.
Shakesville's Melissa McEwan might make a big deal about how she identifies
as "disabled" because of mental illness when it suits her, but she can't be
bothered to make her own blog content accessible to people with
disabilities. Feministe has had its inaccessibility brought up on many
occasions, and there too the writers just do not give a damn. There is NO
feminist site I have found in the "big names" that actually does the minor
work to make itself inclusive of people who need alt tags, captioned or
transcripted videos, who can't handle animated blinky flashy ads, the list
could go on. I mean, if I'm wrong, let me know and I will issue a personal
apology to whatever site it is I've just maligned, but I'm not wrong.
Believe me, I'm not.

I don't know what to do about any of this. Attempts have been made to make
the feminist/progressive community aware of the fact that they are shutting
out people with disabilities, and been met with huge waves of apathy. I
don't flatter myself that I will make a difference, I don't even flatter
myself that Jill at Feministe or Melissa McEwan at Shakesville even know
about this site, let along give so much as a smidge of a flying fuck about
the story it tells: you claim to be concerned about women, you claim to be
concerned about justice, but what you mean is that you are concerned about
justice for women whose bodies work just like yours do, and the rest of us
don't matter.

After much thought, what I've decided to do is just pick one or two or three
blogs a day to score. I was doing too many of them and it was just too
much, like drowning in a sea of microaggressions every single day, hostile
acts directed at me by people who would like us all to believe that they are
great warriors for justice rather than that they are callous contributors to
the erasure, exclusion, and othering of people with disabilities. Let none
of us with disabilities be fooled. These people don't want us, they don't
care about us, and they will not help us.

Accordingly, I will also no longer be inserting the little blurb about where
to find WAVE and Vischeck, because it's blatantly obvious that typing these
things out (or copying and pasting them) is just a waste of my time.

Moving on.

Shakesville
9/20 posts on the front page contain inaccessible content.
Melissa
McEwan used ambiguous link text ("cash bonus").

Melissa
McEwan used ambiguous link text ("ironic").

Melissa
McEwan posted an image with a totally inadequate alt tag that does not
explain all the "in joke" signs -- maybe if you can't see pictures, you are
not welcome as part of Melissa's little club?

Paul
the Spud posted an image with a useless alt tag ("Photobucket") and an
equally useless description ("Chase & Sanborn instant coffee") which does
not adequately describe the image.

Paul
the Spud posted an image with a useless alt tag ("Photobucket") and an
equally useless description ("hippos") which does not adequately describe
the image.

Melissa
McEwan posted a photograph with no alt tag, title text, or description.

Melissa
McEwan used ambiguous link text ("on 9.11.09") yet again. Because she
doesn't care about making life easier for people accessing the web via
screen readers.

Deeky
posted a photograph with no alt tag, title text, or description.

Deeky
posted a photograph with no alt tag, title text, or description.

Score: 45%

Forty. Five. Percent. Fewer than half of the posts on Shakesville's front
page are accessible. And yet, I see people linking to Shakesville all the
time as an example of a great feminist website, and every time I see it, I
want to scream. Really, this is what a great feminist website should look
like? It should exclude women on the basis of disability? Is that how we
want it to be?

That's not how I want it to be. Let me steal a phrase from McEwan: I expect
more. I expect people who claim to work for social justice to make their
websites accessible, and not just the "important" posts but ALL the posts.
The open thread posts, the silly posts, every single one. Because
participation in those threads is often part of belonging to the community,
so if you are shut out from participation in them the message is clear: we
don't want your kind here.

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accessibilityreportcard

January 2012

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