What does a website be ADA Compliant?

person writing accessibility in the screen and drawing a loading bar

Do you want to know more about what means a website being ADA Compliant? Well, me too. I found some good articles, evaluation tools, checklists and tons of information about the ADA and accessibility in general.

First, what is ADA?

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law on July 26, 1990, by President George H.W. Bush. The ADA is one of America’s most comprehensive pieces of civil rights legislation that prohibits discrimination and guarantees that people with disabilities have the same opportunities as everyone else to participate in the mainstream of American life — to enjoy employment opportunities, to purchase goods and services, and to participate in State and local government programs and services. Modeled after the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin – and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 — the ADA is an “equal opportunity” law for people with disabilities.

Source: The ADA website

W3C – Web Content Accessibility Guidelines

As always, W3C website is a amazing source of information, a must read is the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.1 but give a look at the Accessibility Checklist too, lots of details about accessibility from the designer|developer|tester standpoint.

Web Accessibility evaluation tools

You can find a lot of tools to test and get reports about your website, even for free. I tested this one, WAVE, and it’s super simple, but easy to get the information you need.

I liked this one because it shows what is right too! You can see what I already had done marked as Features and with the green background in the image below.

Results i got running one page of my blog through the Wave Accessibility evaluation tool

What tool should I choose?

The W3C has a great article about how to choose the right evaluation tool for your business/project. It also has a comprehensive list of Web Accessibility Evaluation Tools , but go grab a cup of coffee first, it’s a long list.

References

Be aware

ADA is a civil rights legislation that prohibits discrimination and guarantees that people with disabilities have the same opportunities as everyone else to participate in the mainstream of American life.

Even if you, your company or your clients are not in the United States, most countries already have their own accessibility legislation. You should apply the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines anyway, just because you’re cool AF.

What now?

Well, to start, I’ll make my own blog ADA compliant. I’ll post more details soon.

Fellow Animal Advocates – Peninsula Humane Society (PHS) Dogs Need Your Voice

German Shepherd with the sunset in the background

Hello!

I was a volunteer at PHS for the last four years and the described below happened with two of my shelter friends.
After 4 years volunteering was, still is, painful to me to see that PHS has a lot more flaws than I believed it had. No entity is perfect, but I always jumped in its defense when I heard people talking bad things about it, and I think we can always improve, get better, as human beings or as an organization.

I’m no ingenuous person, of course I know that PHS euthanizes dogs and I agree that in some cases it’s the best option, for the dog or for the community, since the dog could be a treat to someone’s life.

In the light of what happened, I just didn’t feel like I could still be a volunteer at PHS. I’m not the kind of person that will take lightly *do not question* our decisions or that like the *because I said so* kind of answer. I really respect all their work and knowledge, but questioning is normal and healthy, and learning from it makes us better people and better professionals. I couldn’t be in a place where I’d fear asking questions, because they could kick me out.

I understand that it’s a privilege being a volunteer and I could just keep going, for the dogs sake, as I know many people do: head down, mouth shut, broken heart, but If I did that, I’d just be doing more harm than good. Being a volunteer comes with responsibility, and I believe the responsible thing to do when we see wrong is to do something about, if we don’t, we’re merely accomplices.

So I “terminated myself”, and gave them my badge and keys at the end of our meeting with PHS staff and the San Mateo’s county representative.

So, this is our story:

We are a group of long-term PHS volunteers in need of your advice and help. We are writing because I was recently fired from volunteering at PHS when staff came to pull a dog, for immediate euthanasia (due to a medical condition), from a play group a fellow volunteer and I were running. I asked for time to discuss options for this beautiful dog because I volunteer for another organization I was sure would rescue her, despite her medical condition. That request, interpreted as insubordination, got me fired. Sadly, Lola was removed from the yard and led to her death. DESPITE THERE BEING A RESCUE OPTION FOR HER.

I was summarily fired, after 15 years of service, without even so much as a conversation. PHS management didn’t bother to speak to me or my fellow volunteer about our experience. When I elevated this to Ken White, PHS’s president, Ken unequivocally condoned his staff’s mishandling of the situation.

This matters because Lola did not need to die in the shelter and PHS dogs rely on volunteers as their primary respite from the highly stressful environment. Despite PHS’s claim to have 1400 volunteers, there are at best 20-25 dog volunteers at the Coyote Point shelter showing up off and on throughout the week, which houses roughly 100-120 dogs at any given time. Dogs are regularly euthanized at Coyote Point for shelter/stress induced behavior. Getting them out of the kennels to play isn’t only the humane thing to do, it is the best mechanism for ensuring they make it out of PHS alive.

PHS has punitively retaliated against other Coyote Point volunteers who had nothing to do with this incident – suddenly holding them to tight schedules, limiting the number of days they can be at the shelter, limiting the dogs they can now work with, and requiring *new* weekly reports on their activities with the dogs. The timing of these “policy changes” is lost on NO ONE.

We filed a complaint with the county (the county holds PHS’s contract, which expires in 2020) and were heartened that the county took our complaint seriously, and, agreeing we should at least be heard, convened a meeting between all parties. That meeting revealed several misunderstandings and breakdowns in communication, in spite of which, Ken White and his staff remain adamant they did everything right, even though they failed to follow their own investigative protocol.

If any of the above concerns you, we both welcome your advice and your voice.

Please consider any/all of the following actions, or other ideas you may have:
* Forward this post via your social media outlets to alert the community to Lola’s fate and PHS’s mishandling of the situation
* Email the county (mcallagy@smcgov.org) thanking them for reassurance that in 2020 the Animal Care & Control contract will be opened to competition ensuring PHS is no longer entitled to this role and will have to compete
* Email Ken White (KWhite@phs-spca.org) asking these or other questions you may have:
– Why didn’t PHS have the courtesy and respect to at least talk to the volunteers before firing one, and completely disregarding the other?
– What rule did the volunteer break by asking for time to discuss options for Lola now that she was on the euthanasia list? Isn’t there a law that requires shelters to release dogs if a rescue is willing to take them?
– If PHS has 1400 volunteers, why are there so few at Coyote Point where the majority of dogs are?
– Why is PHS still euthanizing dogs for shelter induced behaviors when volunteers report those behaviors don’t manifest outside of the shelter?
– Why is PHS retaliating against volunteers who were in no way involved in this incident making a bad situation worse for the dogs?

To be clear fostering and/or adopting from PHS is still the greatest thing you can do for the dogs! But we know many of you are already at your dog-capacity. You can still use your voice to hold PHS accountable for Lola’s death, the poor treatment of its volunteers and most importantly, the quality of care for the dogs at Coyote Point.

Thank you for any support you are willing to provide.

Contacts: Kit O’Doherty, (650) 274-5236 c, kitodoherty@gmail.com; Beth Kabala, chuckkabala@gmail.com; Ana Carolina Comandulli, (650) 739-9804 c, carolcomandulli@gmail.com; Pam Manuel, (650) 455-3103 c, kennet015@aol.com

Cheers, Grandma!

A toast with beer, ice cream and empadão.

Today was a special day. It’d be my grandma’s 93th birthday. She passed away last November. I was thinking about a way to remember her, but in a happier way, no crying, no flowers.  She always said that the world could end in pot pie (Empadão, a Brazilian kind of pot pie with chicken or palm heart stuffing), ice cream and beer. So I decided cooking would be the best way to celebrate her.  I was drinking beer while cooking and had another one when we’re eating. Woo-ha! The ice cream will be eaten later today, no worries. She’s too important to me to make this a sad day. Her life wasn’t easy and her last years were rough. But she’s kind, polite and geez, I loved seeing her smiling with her bluish loving eyes.  She lives in my memory. Cheers, Grandma!

Hello forty!

my birthday card

I think that birthdays are kind of meh. Nothing compared to when I was a kid, that they’re amazing! Party, family, friends, gifts and cake guaranteed for the entire week. But turning forty is something like a milestone, right?!

Not because of that old saying that life begins at forty, but because it’s another decade that I’m here, joyful and lively, on Earth.

memories are forever

In 2006 I lost a close friend I had known since I was a kid. We studied together and then we grew up together. We lived on the same street, we shared experiences, laughter and friends. His family was normal compared to mine, and as a bonus I had three brothers and a dog. He was the oldest of the three boys and would also turn 40 this year. He was killed in a robbery in January 2006.

Every year that passes, I think it’s one more year without him and I wonder what he would be doing if he was still here, what would be his appearance and I even imagine that he would be very anxious to see in the cinema the new version of Power Rangers!

And in those dark days that eventually happen,  I think that at least I’m living here and I feel it’s kinda my duty to live my life and enjoy every ray of sunshine, every wind blowing, every new landscape that I have the privilege to see, because he is not here to do these things.

This year also had a lump in the throat extra: first time I have a birthday without my grandma around. The feeling is very strange, like a little piece of the puzzle that has been lost and never will be back back.

me and my grandma
me and my grandma

So

I even thought: ugh! 40 years already! But then I remembered that not everyone I loved came so far, so I swallowed the mimimi, put on my Wonder Woman clothes and got ready for another year.

Me and my sister
me and my little sister

“To deny your age is to deny you’ve survived.”  – Nikki Giovani

p.s.: The card was gift from my friend Carol, and of course, I loved it! 😀

me

I needed to write a short bio about myself. I wrote this. Can’t use this, but I liked anyway. It’s good update from the original.

3349861757_30a7b34e46

My name is Ana Carolina, but I prefer just Caroll. I was born in 77. I’m a feminist. I’m a single mother (I was 17 when my son was born). I have asthma. I’m an Atheist. I love the sea, but I’m learning to love the mountains too. I love tattoos, I have nine, but a lot more to go. I was born in Curitiba, irony, I don’t like to feel cold. I love coffee and chocolate. I love dogs. I volunteer in an animal shelter. I procrastinate. I read a lot. I’m still a big Harry Potter fan. I love cinema. I like kettlecorn. I collect penguins. I miss my grandma a lot. I love wine and beer. I enjoy cooking once in awhile. I love to drive. I’m an introvert and a high empath, somedays are harder than others. I prefer fiction. I have blue hair, but it was purple before. I’m a PMJ fan. I love bacon. I miss my friends. I hate makeup. My patronus is a white mare. I like comfy clothes. I hate writing about myself.

WordCamp US 2016

wcus2016

I’m super excited to be attending my first WordCamp US in a couple of weeks. Besides all the cool stuff to watch and people to meet, they accepted me as a volunteer! So I’ll be working and helping the organization for a few hours everyday. I bought my tickets about 3 months ago and will have time to be participate in all the volunteer training and sessions. Yay!

The good part is that the conference will be live streaming! So if you can’t make to Philly, watch it on the web, from your couch. 🙂

I hope there are many Wapuus in there!

I’ll send updates and take pictures, and of course, try some Philly food! \o/

 

 

 

Puppy vitamin

me and Rain, the pitbull puppy
me and Rain, the pitbull puppy

Some days are just harder than others.

Most of the days I go to the animal shelter because I want to help the dogs. Some other days I need them to help me, like today. I just needed some puppy love, cuddles, pit smiles and some company. Thank you.

My adventure this week

chihuahua puppy

Last Monday there was a post on Nextdoor where a woman was selling puppies for $25 each. The picture wasn’t very good, but I could count at least 5 puppies and there seemed really young to be sold. A lot of people tried convince her to surrender them to a shelter or let any of us get all them together to surrender, I said I could pick them up. She said that her father wanted money and he needed to get rid of the puppies until next day.

At some point, a neighbor (Ninette, that I had never met before) contacted me privately and told me that she called the woman and she agreed to sell all them to Ninette, for $300. Ninette said she didn’t have all this money, but that she could pay $150 and they agreed. Ninette text me to check if I could hold the puppies for one day and if I could go with her to take the puppies, we’re both afraid to go alone.

We got there, was a house in East Palo Alto, the mama dog came to the gate and the woman’s father came to see us. He said there were 6 puppies, that the male dog was a chihuahua too and that they belonged to a neighbor that suffered an accident (lost a leg, and few days after back home had an accident with something full of hot water, weird story…) and the person couldn’t take care of herself anymore, so the family got rid of the dogs, giving them to this guy, that was selling them as fast as he could, like a bag of potatoes.

As soon as he opened the gate, the mama dog came directly to me, very calm and happy, wagging her tail. Ninette went inside to take the puppies, paid the guy and we left with all the 7 dogs, yep, all seven!

I called my coordinator at PHS&SPCA (I’m a volunteer there) to ask for help, but she said they had a puppy with parvo and she is worried about our tiny puppies getting sick, being too young to be vaccinated or to survive at. They were running low on fosters too, but she said she would try to find but that we should try to find someone too. I contacted Copper’s Dream Rescue, Pound Puppy Rescue and Rocket Dog Rescue too. Until today just PPR answered, but they couldn’t take our little family, they have lots of puppies too.

Many neighbors that were in the NextDoor thread said they want to help with donations and even help to find good homes for the puppies and the spay surgery for the mama, when the time comes.

I had them for two nights and we found a foster family. They live in a city near here (like 1 hour distance) and will keep them for a couple of weeks, after that we already have 2 other foster homes. We got donations: pee pads, kibble, can food, a bed, water/food bowls, a blanket and Ninette is organizing a gofundme page because our neighbor want to help with donations too.

Yes, they will grow healthy, find lovely homes and thrive and this because of all support we got from our neighborhood.

Our puppies and mama Feisty are great and the cutest little furry things, as you can see here, but I need to say that all this situation could have been avoided with responsible ownership. I understand that people don’t always have a lot of money but they have a pet, I get it, they make our lives brighter and full, but please, spay and neuter your pets. If you already find difficult to take care of one pet, can you imagine having a litter of puppies/kittens/bunnies to take care of? They need good food, vet care, vaccines, attention, love, exercise, you can’t just throw them away like garbage or give them to your neighbor sell them on NextDoor or craiglist. This guy took advantage of the situation, but he is not the problem, the problem is who don’t spay/neuter their pets with so many pets dying every day in all the crowded shelters.

You don’t neutered you dog because that “macho” bullshit? You are the problem. You don’t spayed/neutered your dog because you want sell puppies and have an extra income? You are the problem.

We have lots of options around the Bay Area if you don’t have money to go to the vet and get your pet fixed. Many organizations have low cost clinics (for vaccines too) and even free spay/neuter for people that can’t afford it at all.

Free and/or low cost spay/neuter clinics:

There is no excuse.

Saudade

Grandma
sau·da·de
souˈdädə/
noun
  1. a feeling of longing, melancholy, or nostalgia that is supposedly characteristic of the Portuguese or Brazilian temperament.

One thing that I miss the most in these days is to call to my grandma and talk to her. No, she is still alive but in no condition to talk as we used to. I think if she could choose live like that or be star stuff, I have no doubts that she would be star stuff, but this is another complex subject…

I used to call her almost everyday, you know, for chit chat. Sometimes I wanted to tell her something that have happened to me, or something funny that I knew she would laugh a lot or sometimes I was feeling sad and just talking to her would lift my mood instantly.

Frequently now I have this urge to get the phone and call her and have just some chit chat, hear her voice, hear her laughing and tell her how much I miss her and how much difference she made in my life. But you know, sometimes our brains are douche-bags, I just feel that “I’ll call Grandma” and one second after I remember that I can’t do it anymore.

 

I’m not lost

not lost

I stopped telling myself that I’m lost.

I’m not.

I’m on a road with no destination, I’m just driving with hope that I’ll find a place that I like and I’ll stay there.

I’m not lost, I’m on my way.
(Anonymous)