If you make a piece of software, and people are required to use that piece of software in order to, say, pay for their housing or groceries or pay back a loan, you are on the hook to make sure that software works for _every single person_ who needs to use it.

All of them.

Every screen reader user. Every person with muscle issues who can't use a mouse. Everyone who doesn't speak English. Everyone with three first names, or no last name. Everyone who is Irish or Jewish and has a ' in their name. Everyone with slow internet.

EVERY person.

"Oh we don't have the resources to do that!" Great. Then you don't have the resources to make and sell that kind of software. Pack up and go home.

@✨Nora Tindall So much this! And also it has to work on every system/OS/web browser that you can think of.

@tindall We really should have laws that enforce this. And we do to some extent in certain jurisdictions but definitely not enough. And it must cover interoperability… I mean, heck, there are certain things you can only do today if you have a device running a Google or Apple OS.

@Aral Balkan @✨Nora Tindall Exactly! My grandma of 93 can no longer take the bus because they require a proprietary "app" to pay for the ride. And in Norway accepting cash is actually mandatory by law, but a law that's sadly not enforced.

@harald @aral @tindall
That is actually quite bad...
I have not yet encountered such things here, but I guess it will come one day... :(

My 89 year old Granny with visual impairment was told to report problems with her boiler "via the app" as they don't run a staffed phone line with COVID. Sure, we helped her but the boiler keeps going wrong and they just reset it for it to go wrong again and she has to report via the app each time! She says she's getting used to the cold showers but it's not acceptable.
@aral @tindall

@Deadly Headshot

as they don't run a staffed phone line with COVID

Because routing telephone calls is not possible, right? sigh
Companies should be fined hard for behaving like this.

@aral @tindall the >99% marketshare of Dumbdroid and iTrash is probably both a cause and an effect of this

nobody bothers with developing alternative OSes because nobody uses those

nobody bothers with using alternative OSes because they have no apps

@aral @tindall There will be one enforcing accessibility in Europe in 2025 (or later). Here’s what I’ve compiled at work:

The law directive (

- Effective starting 28/6/2025 at best.

- There’s an e-commerce category.

- “The obligations of this Directive should apply equally to economic operators from the public and private sectors.”

- The directive is pretty clear on the general principles/requirements regarding UI accessibility (Annexe I, section I.2)


@aral @tindall


- Extra requirements for categories listed in (Annexe I, Section IV), including e-commerce (point (g)): basically everything related to payment, auth & security must be “perceivable, operable, understandable and robust”.

- The directive is sort of saying “let’s not be too hard on small companies (SMEs, defined in chapter 1, article 3.25), let’s consider the existence of disproportionate economic burden (e.g. small ets. who can’t afford compliance)“.

To prevent this, it seems that AMGAF sell their services to governments, with the recommendation that interoperability is achieved best using _only_ their software.

What do you mean sell? Even if you just have enough for housing and food, the software shouldn't be another tax on top of that.

@wmd presumably they sell it to the landlord or bank.

Ah yes, those two (problematic) institutions do have a responsibility there though. While people are forced to use those, they need to be accessible to all (they're bot ofcourse, no such thing as a free bank account)

@tindall @wmd i almost said "or government" in reply to this but pretty much every time i've seen a govt agency contract out it's significantly worse than whatever they had previously been doing in-house

I'd say the onus is on the people *requiring* others to use the software, rather than directly on the software developers. It's the requirers who ought to ensure there are developers who have the resources and incentive to make it work for everyone.

@TMakarios agreed, but the bottleneck of resources is usually between the business selling the software and the devs they pay to make it; the business is the one not prioritizing features, not the customers.

@tindall I'm not saying you're wrong, but this sounds like only large corporations should be allowed to make software?

@Gerrit Niezen @✨Nora Tindall Or that software is made to be interoperable, based on standards. This way software for a given purpose can be made by anyone. Not all implementaetions need to cover every need, but people and organizations are free to choose the implementations that cover their needs.

Open standards and Free Software are the tools for this to work.

@gendor no, it means that people shouldn't be required to use proprietary software to access vital things. There always needs to be a cash, phone, and/or in-person way to handle necessary life stuff.

@tindall @gendor Ah, so that's the "and people are required to use that piece of software" condition.

So software can be built and deployed in an incremental fashion, but it's the people pushing it on other people, the people who ultimately make the decisions, who need to make sure nobody is left behind.

@tindall You know: I notice my government's tax department doesn't <label> their webforms...

@tindall Translation in german: „Wenn Sie eine Software herstellen und die Menschen diese Software verwenden müssen, um beispielsweise ihre Wohnung oder Lebensmittel zu bezahlen oder einen Kredit zurückzuzahlen, müssen Sie dafür sorgen, dass diese Software für _jede einzelne Person_ funktioniert, die sie verwenden muss.

Für alle.

Jeder Benutzer eines Bildschirmlesegeräts. Jede Person mit Muskelproblemen, die keine Maus benutzen kann. Jeder, der kein Englisch spricht. Jeder, der drei Vornamen oder keinen Nachnamen hat. Alle, die irisch oder jüdisch sind und ein ' in ihrem Namen haben. Jeder, der langsames Internet hat.

JEDE Person.

"Oh, dafür haben wir nicht die Mittel!" Na toll. Dann haben Sie auch nicht die Mittel, um diese Art von Software herzustellen und zu verkaufen. Packen Sie ein und gehen Sie nach Hause“

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