The costs of public speaking

I often present about accessibility at tech conferences. I do it because I believe in sharing the expertise I have gained over two decades of working in that field. I also talk at conferences because I want to see a more inclusive web. But there are costs involved in doing that. I heard something recently that indicate some people don’t understand the impact, financial and otherwise, on the speaker and their families.

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CAPTCHA question triggers PTSD events

In a constant effort to fight spam, a lot of sites rely on some sort of CAPTCHAs. I recently came across a CAPTCHA on Twitter that asked a question that could trigger severe reactions from torture or abuse victims. This reminded me that I’d been meaning to explain how this particular question is an accessibility issue. Warning: This post may trigger bad reaction for torture or abuse victims.

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Patreon and accessibility

Patreon has significant accessibility issues. People with a variety of impairments will have difficulty using it, at best. Some people are simply unable to access the platform, either to support projects, or create projects themselves. Over the last 10 months I’ve offered my assistance to help with accessibility and advocated for it. Then, I noticed a tweet from Patreon about “Hang Time” with their CEO. But it’s on a platform that isn’t accessible!

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Excluded from Confoo speaker dinner – what happened and how it made me feel.

I was an invited speaker at the Confoo YVR conference in December 2017. I gave two talks, both on accessibility. I was the only speaker presenting accessibility-related topics. There was a dinner organized for all the speakers. I was precluded from attending that dinner because the organizers selected a venue on the second floor, with no elevators. There was no way for a wheelchair user to access the venue. I felt embarrassed, and angry.

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