These thoughts are in no particular order.

I agree that tarring an entire group with the same brush is not OK. I also understand the frustrations of everyone who’s been posting using the hashtag #AbledsAreWeird. I read stories every single day from blind people and other people with disabilities, (deaf people, people who are on the autism spectrum, ETC.), expressing frustration and anger at the way they have been treated and are still being treated by people who don’t appear to be disabled in any way, and I think jumping to condemn them for expressing that frustration which is something I see quite often, is also the wrong take. So far I’ve only seen one objector to the #AbledsAreWeird hashtag offer something that would communicate the same message without tarring an entire group with the same brush, and I think that’s telling.

I found out about the #AbledsareWeird hashtag due to the corresponding reactionary outrage on the part of those opposed, and I’m wondering at the irony of the outrage against the outrage.

Several of the people I’ve seen reacting with outrage/disgust/objection to the hashtag and accusing participants of bigotry against abled people are also more than willing to tar, say, undocumented immigrants with the same kind of brush, and I’m thinking that they should take their own advice when it comes to what is essentially tone policing of anyone participating in the AbledsAreWeird hashtag.

Alienating abled people is I think the least convincing of the arguments against the hashtag. By that logic, we shouldn’t fight for web or physical accessibility, because it might piss people off.

More broadly, I think there has to be a balance between offense/outrage and just letting live, but the people who bitch about everyone being offended all the time are just as trigger-happy and contribute to the whole thing. In other words, everybody’s offended all the time, even the people bitching about social justice warriors or whatever, but the grievances depend on who’s speaking. There is, after all, nothing new under the sun.

Screenshot of my Facebook feed with a sponsored post
Well hi there, the Facebook! Thanks for noticing that I posted something about how your efforts to become the central authentication service for everything is not a good thing, and showing your appreciation by showing me an ad for, you guessed it, an ad for passwordless secure authentication. I’ve attached a screenshot for the light slaves, but for the blinks, the relevant text is this:

Suggested Post
Passwordless is possible with modern adaptive authentication defense layers. Download this guide to learn how eliminate passwords while improving security and user experience.
Remove Reliance on Passwords
Learn More
LikeReactCommentShareLike PageFull StoryMoreSponsored

Yet another advantage to owning my own data: I can share the text of screenshots as text. 🙂

I know that for you Facebook-having people, this is no big deal. You have resigned yourself to the idea of Facebook owning your data.


No, we haven’t all resigned ourselves to Facebook owning our data. But too many people have, or don’t understand why owning their data is important. So for the Facebook crowd, one more reason to own your data. Facebook wants to be the “one authentication service to rule them all”, and this is not a good thing because it means that should you choose not to have a Facebook account, you’ll lose access to other completely unrelated services. I’m picking on Facebook, but this would be just as bad if anyone else tried to do it. This is an example of social networks overstepping their bounds, and they wouldn’t be doing this if they didn’t know they have millions of users who will gladly log into whatever with their Facebook account because it’s perceived to be quick and convenient, turning over all their data, (including personal information), to a for-profit company that will gladly sell it to the highest bidder.

Probably time to just say to hell with it and keep a separate Firefox window open with all the Slack and IRC windows in their own tabs and use that Greasemonkey script by the NVDA guys floating around. I will, however, need to figure out how to get Firefox to allow me to log into the same service multiple times without saving the session cookie from the last login, thus keeping me logged in as the other account. Or buy a computer with sixteen GB of RAM and eight cores. This is something I’m going to do, but not just to handle Instantbird and its stupidity.

Still trying to nail down why WordPress isn’t receiving webmentions from Bridgy. I’ve double-checked all configuration options, and according to both the WordPress-specific documentation for Bridgy and the official documentation for Bridgy, everything appears to be set correctly. I’ve tried both hiding and showing syndication links to see if that was the issue, but no dice. I’ve had my default post kind set to note using what is essentially the official post kinds plugin for WordPress for a while, but am switching it back to article and using WordPress’s native status post format to see if this makes a difference. Based on when webmentions from Bridgy apparently stopped coming in, I think the change of the default post kind from article to note may have something to do with the break. We’ll see.

BTW if you’re reading this on Facebook, click the link at the bottom of the status message to visit the original so you can see all the links.

With the exception of the few electronics, (which I am about to tear down in a minute), everything is packed, all the paperwork is gathered, and I will leave for the airport in about thirty minutes to head to Salt Lake City. This is a part of the country I’ve never visited before, and I’m glad I get to add it to my list. I like to travel, just not all the crap you have to do beforehand, like deal with TSA. I didn’t realize how much of a time difference there is between Augusta and Salt Lake City, and so I’m glad I’m traveling today and not tomorrow as I had originally planned, because there’s a full day of workshops plus the speaker’s dinner on Monday, and my brain needs to be rested. There’s an impromptu Superbowl party tomorrow afternoon at a sports bar whose name I can’t remember right now, and so I will get to have the sportsball along with WordPressers. It doesn’t get much better than that

I am still awake because (a) I am finishing up some last minute packing for #loopconf and (b) I can never sleep before flying and (c) that whole “what the hell have I gotten myself into?” thing (otherwise known as imposter syndrome) has kicked in. I will be OK. And I am also excited for this conference, because hanging out with WordPressers, and talking code, and getting out of Disgusta for pretty much a whole week, but also, aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!

Blind people on the Facebook posting pro-DeVoss crap and I am done. I suppose you think it’s OK to have a secretary of education who has indicated that she is not willing to enforce IDEA, which is the federal law that guaranteed all of you the right to a public education with the resources you needed to succeed. If you needed resources in braille or other alternative formats, you got them because of IDEA. If you needed a notetaker, (human or tech), you got it because of IDEA. If you needed a mobility instructor to work with so you could learn your way around the school before you started classes, you got that because of IDEA. But hell, we already made it through the system, and we got what we wanted, so who cares, right? Screw future generations of kids with disabilities. We already got ours. Screw accessibility professionals who have kids with disabilities, because the only thing that matters is that we get stuff that works with our screen readers, and who cares if they and their kids have to suffer and do tons of extra advocacy. As long as they keep fighting for our rights, we don’t give a damn if they get thrown under the bus. Dropping out of snark mode, those accessibility professionals who have kids with disabilities work day in and day out to champion a civil right, an undisputed civil right to an education without being segregated away from your non-disabled peers, that you are apparently perfectly willing to deny to others. They do it without complaint, and often without so much as a thank-you. And, (assuming DeVoss is confirmed), they will continue to do it after they and their kids are thrown under the bus, with your help apparently. So yeah, if you’re pro-DeVoss, I do not ever want to see a complaint about how you can’t get an accessible book, or about how some app or website is inaccessible, or how some kid with disabilities in Texas is being denied an education again. Ever, ever again. Because I do not give a fuck about how shitty your life is as an adult with disabilities if you are willing to risk visiting that same shitwizardry on the lives of kids with disabilities and their parents.

Dear the Facebook. I hate your algorithum so much right now. I’m trying to find something I commented on, so I can add a further comment, and you are disappearing it on me and failing and just put the news feed back the way it originally was. Nobody cares about your ability to curate stuff for us. You suck at this. Nobody cares about what you want to promote. You suck at this too. It is literally the fault of algorithums like this that fake news, (and I mean actual fake news, not news one side or the other doesn’t like), is a problem. So knock it off already.

That time you ask yourself why the hell the screen reader is so loud, and then you remember that you have the headphones plugged into the big speakers that you migrated to the desk, and the volume is still turned all the way up because you were listening to music earlier.

Last night, the president announced his Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch. I won’t post the entire fact sheet, but you can download the Neil Gorsuch fact sheet, (pdf) and read for yourself. Below is the section on students with disabilities, including references to cases and opinions. Granted, the left isn’t exactly a paragon of disability rights. However, depriving students with disabilities of their rights under either IDEA or the ADA is just screwed up, and makes a Gorsuch appointment just about as bad as appointing Betsy DeVoss, except that Gorsuch will stay on the Supreme Court for decades. From the fact sheet:

Gorsuch would not protect the rights of disabled students

Contrary to an earlier decision by an impartial hearing officer, Judge Gorsuch held that a
student with autism did not have a right under the federal Individuals with Disabilities
Education Act (IDEA) to an education that would provide a chance to achieve intellectual
and social skills outside the classroom. This, even though Congress made clear that
?prepar[ing] [students] to lead productive and independent adult lives, to the maximum
extent possible” is a major goal of the IDEA. See Thompson R2-J Sch. Dist. v. Luke P., ex
rel. Jeff P., 540 F.3d 1143 (10th Cir. 2008).

Over a vigorous dissent, Judge Gorsuch authored the majority opinion in A.F. ex rel
Christine B. v. Española Pub. Sch., 801 F.3d 1245 (10th Cir. 2015), which held that a student
cannot, for technical reasons, assert a claim for violations of the Americans with Disabilities
Act if she had earlier settled with a school district for violations of the IDEA even though, as
Congress made clear, students have distinct rights under both laws.
Judge Gorsuch authored the majority opinion in Garcia v. Board of Education of
Albuquerque Public Schools, 520 F.3d 1116 (10th Cir. 2008), holding that even when a
school violates a student’s rights under the IDEA, the student may still be entitled to no
remedy for an IDEA violation if the student leaves the school out of frustration with the
school‘s continuous failure to follow the IDEA.

Supreme Court justices are confirmed by the senate. So, if you care about the rights of people with disabilities, (especially students), then if you’re not already ringing your congresscriters’ phones off the hook over some of these other nominees, now would be a good time to start.

That time you’re extremely happy with yourself because you’ve managed to completely move into your new phone, and then you remember that you are subscribed to a ton of podcasts using Downcast, and you check to make sure everything ported over correctly, and it did. Smooth iPhone migration for the win.

I am totally cool with friends who want to unfollow because they want to read different posts other than politics. I get it. I have friends whose tweets I don’t pay attention to for various other reasons for example, and I don’t take it personally when they don’t want to pay attention to mine. But “I don’t wanna get political” is how we got into this mess in the first place, and that applies no matter which side of the political divide you’re on. Elected officials need to be held accountable, and everything going on will have an impact on your life, whether you know about it or not. “Not getting political” won’t stop that, and you can’t make an informed decision when it’s time to vote if you don’t pay attention to what’s going on, before and after the campaigning. That also applies regardless of how you vote. None of us, (liberal or conservative), can afford to be single-issue or uninformed voters. My posts have gotten more political of late because I believe that what’s going on now is bad for all of us, not just liberals. Our president is doing everything the wait-and-see crowd reassured us he wouldn’t do, with a vengeance. And everybody who’s cheering this on is going to get a very rude awakening when their grocery bills get more expensive, because terriffs. So no, I’m not a fan of moving the country backward. But “I don’t wanna get political” is a form of sticking your head in the sand, and is the quickest way to not get what you want from your elected officials. And none of us can afford to stick our heads in the sand just because we want things to be positive or pleasant or whatever other means we use to avoid conflict and argument.