Ravelry and accessibility: What I'm doing

(Last update was August 4 2020 8:44pm ET.)

I don't want people interested in my patterns to be at risk of harm, so I've done the following:
  • Added a new sales channel, Payhip. This is actually terrific because it allows me to integrate shopping cart functionality right here within my website. So I've gone through and created individual pages on this site for all my self-published patterns and eBooks, as well as patterns which were published by magazines but aren't available for single purchase anywhere, and have no other informational pages anywhere else on the Internet other than Ravelry. You can access all these new pages through the 'Patterns' and 'eBooks' pages in my site navigation. Having cart functionality right on my website also allows me to start selling some patterns individually (previously published by magazines) that I couldn't before, so in the coming months I hope to be able to expand the availability of my pattern range a bit.
    • The first of these newly-available-from-me patterns is now up, it's Juicy Fly, originally published in The Unofficial Harry Potter Knits magazine. I'll keep making more available as I can (but it does take awhile, since for all the rest of them I need to make new samples and take my own photographs).
  • I have deactivated all my patterns on Ravelry and marked them as being unavailable from my Ravelry store. I have also removed Ravelry from the social media icon list I've got near the top of every page on this site. Important things to know:
    • All my patterns are still in the Ravelry database!
    • If you had previously purchased any of my patterns on Ravelry or added any of my free patterns to your library, they should still be in your Ravelry library!
    • There are still links to purchase my paid patterns and download my free patterns from my Ravelry pattern pages! It's just that the links don't go to Ravelry purchasing options anymore.
  • I'll continue to work on including crucial updates on the situation in this blog post.
  • In doing all these changes to my own website, I've been noticing accessibility issues here too. :( I've been fixing these, and will continue to work on it! 
    • All my YouTube videos are now custom-captioned
    • I've added underlining to my idle text links so you can distinguish them from regular text by more than just colour
    • I've removed underlining from both hover and focus states so you can distinguish them from idle links by more than just colour
  • NEW: My "my patterns" board on Pinterest is now free of all Ravelry links!
I do hope I can stop being so Ravelry-avoidant at some point. It's true that the most harmful stuff (animation on the login screen) has been fixed, but there are still lots of problems, e.g. it's now completely unusable by people with screenreaders. Moreover, I'm frankly disgusted by Ravelry's response to the entire situation - it violates their core value of inclusivity, not to mention their 'don't be a jerk' behavioural policy. So until we get better accessibility features on Ravelry and acknowledgement of responsibility and the harm they've done, my site will stay the way it is for now.

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