Dispatches From The Internets


Thoughts on the proposed Websites and Software Applications Accessibility Act

A photograph of a sledgehammer leaning against a pile of bricks and rubble.

Last month, Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) and Representative John P. Sarbanes (D-Md.) introduced the Websites and Software Applications Accessibility Act—I’m gonna call it the WS3A for short—simultaneously in the U.S. Senate (S. 4998) and House of Representatives (H.R. 9021) to explicitly bring websites—and other forms of digital media that didn’t exist when the ADA was signed into law—into the purview of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). I am definitely in favor of this effort as it removes the ambiguity that currently exists in U.S. law as to whether websites are governed by the ADA. The WS3A is a reasonable framework, but there is still a lot of work to be done when it (hopefully) passes.



Spellcheckers exfiltrating PII… not so fast

Photograph of a cute robot taking an apple from a pile of apples.

A recent post from the Otto JS research team highlighted how spellcheck services can inadvertently exfiltrate sensitive user data, including passwords, from your site. To be honest, I found the post a tad alarmist and lacking when it came to recommending solid protections. Consider this your no-nonsense guide to protecting your users’ sensitive information.



Bring Focus to the First Form Field with an Error

In a green field filled with only yellow flowers, a cute robot has found a single red flower, digital art

While filling out a long form the other day, I couldn’t figure out why it wasn’t submitting. Turns out I’d forgotten to fill in a field, but I didn’t know that because it had scrolled out of the viewport. This is a common problem on the web, but easily remedied with a little bit of JavaScript.



Equality vs. Equity

Pencil and watercolor illustration of an Indian man stepping off a city bus with a bag of groceries

Over the last few years, I’ve been quietly leading training efforts within Microsoft focused on leveling up folks’ allyship skills. There are a ton of really important lessons to be learned form the curriculum my team and I developed, but one folks ofter struggle with is the concept of “equality” as compared to “equity.”