Category Archives: Accessibility

Net Awards: Outstanding Contribution

Molly holding her net awardAs folks who saw my recorded speech at the London event of this year’s Net Awards know, I can’t even say thanks without starting to blubber all over the place. And tears falling on a MacBook Pro do not a happy day make.

To that end, may I just say thank you to all the many named and un-named designers, developers and folks working to build The Web to an ethic and quality that Net Magazine itself has showcased throughout the years.

There are many unsung heroes out there – tens of thousands. Maybe millions? I got lucky getting in so early and being able to work with countless (the list is far more than my poor memory can manage) incredibly influential humans as my mentors and mentresses. I am also a very squeaky wheel and demand attention! Nevertheless, we’re doing this together, and that’s what makes it challenging and ultimately, so truly rewarding.

The real thanks goes to all humans working on the idea that the world can be uplifted, communications improved and our personal and global needs, desires, goals and dreams be clarified and made manifest.

Thank You.
Thank You.
Thank You.


This is the end, this is the end of the insurance

Photo of Molly from June 18 2015June 30th, 2015 will find me without medical insurance at a pivotal point in my health care and recuperation process. By U.S. law I am required to have insurance, yet I fit into a very grey area where I have no income, so I automatically slide into the Arizona Health Care COST CONTAINMENT System (AHCCCS) which does exactly what it says it does – contains cost. How? by denying people like me requiring expensive blood products and medications that co-pay at 2,000 USD a month, naturally.

That’s my lifeline friends, and if it goes away, I will be effectively cost contained as I will cost no more money at all because I’ll be dead! The insurance companies, big pharmaceuticals and the medical industrial complex that so aptly defines my nation’s greed and unconscionable sociopathy let us die off because we can’t afford the damned care. Yet off we send more money to war, to weapons, to armies, to the unrelenting cycle of harming, maiming, killing and heartless oppression of the human spirit. I struggle to understand but I cannot understand that at all. Human callousness is not fascinating. It’s despicable.

“Yet off we send more money to war, to weapons, to armies, to the unrelenting cycle of harming, maiming, killing and heartless oppression of the human spirit. I struggle to understand but I cannot understand that at all. Human callousness is not fascinating. It’s despicable.”

The continued difficulties in my nation regarding access to reasonable healthcare is an abomination against everything decent, and I am, quite frankly, a bit terrified of what’s to come for me and everyone facing similar circumstances in this nation. The Medical Industrial Complex is far too wealthy and powerful. I nearly went insane throwing myself against hospital and doctor office walls in an ultimately successful attempt to get what I needed.

I have been successful (despite some less-than desirable behaviors to achieve what I needed but desperation is what it is) in staying alive in part for these reasons: Privilege, education, highly developed analytical skills, multilingual, multicultural, well-traveled, capable of reading and understanding complex scientific and medical concepts and extrapolating logical results. I am the exception to the rule, and that in some ways makes it even harder to ask, to accept and to utilize the resources with which I have been so richly gifted. What about all the people dead, dying now or suffering irreparable damage from injuries and illnesses left untreated for lack of money, education, skill set and access to resources? There but for all that is Grace and Beauty go I.

“I have been successful in staying alive in part for these reasons: Privilege, education, highly developed analytical skills, multilingual, multicultural, well-traveled, capable of reading and understanding complex scientific and medical concepts and extrapolating logical results.”

Now, many of the resources I’ve managed to find are depleted or drying up. It’s time to for me to figure out a way to maintain my modest lifestyle, have access to normal health care and not have to leave my home, much less the nation in which I was born and which I continue to stubbornly love despite all the ugliness it fosters.

As such, I really, really need help in refreshing #teamMolly and fundraising. To this end, there are several steps I want to take for all things to be open and documented.

In The Works: Public Financial and Medical Disclosure

In the coming month or so I will be releasing all the documentation related to how donations toward the GoFundMe campaign have been spent. You will see screenshots of actual data that I am freely releasing to the public, with certain names of treating individuals, some names of medications and other information redacted to protect other folks’ privacy. All major lab and medication treatments and their costs as they are associated with me will be completely revealed to the world so you know where your generous donations have gone.

I will also be releasing medical documents related to treatment and the arc of the two chemo cocktails I endured, what they did to my blood, and the entire blood scenario as it unfolded over the past two years. This is very easy to understand for the most part and I will provide a key to make it easy. Again, all of this in the general interest of all who want to know not only where donations go, but how they have actually allowed me to dodge death several times and come out, worn and torn but still very much alive, at the other side! TRIUMPH FOR ALL OF US!

Can You Spare a Dime, Time or a Silly Rhyme?

I need assistance to get these things managed so I can continue in my efforts to participate as much as I can with my beloved Webfolk, my truest family, my greatest comfort and keepers of hope.

Comment below if you are interested in helping – this is not about just spreading the word – but adding fundraising giveaways at various events (We are gathering as many books, ebooks, free course offerings from reputable outlets and what-not for raffles. We have some t-shirts, branding and other fun activities. While my own energy issues have proven me unreliable right now for mentoring or maintaining anything continuous, there are some strong-minded, kind folks ready to organize, help with ideas and take this beyond where it is today.





Open Air and Heroes of Accessibility Winners

Yesterday, the wonderful Knowbility – the Accessibility community’s non-profit champions of inclusive technology – held their Open Air competition and announced several major awards related to achievements in the field. This is a quickly gathered list of the honorees, with some personal thoughts to recognize them individually.


The best part is that every single nominee in each category is a true champion, and you can read more about them, links to nominee and honoree Web sites and social media presence, other awards granted, and Knowbility as an organization via the original nomination announcement.

Individual Achievement Award: Steve Faulkner

I first met Steve in a little pub in England on a Saturday meetup. We began to chat and in very short order it became clear that Steve is not only an extremely bright and accomplished man, but he is profoundly dedicated to excellence in all aspects of Web technologies.

His work on HTML5 must especially be highlighted, and his ongoing work with W3C emerging tech such as Web Components to ensure that these technologies are as inclusive out of the gate as humanly possible – that is an impact that must be acknowledged for what it is.

Steve Faulkner is, in essence, taking on one of the most mission-critical jobs in our industry: Ensuring that the inherently accessible nature of the Web is maintained.

On a personal level, Steve has always been helpful, encouraging and willing to answer some of my most ridiculous questions with kindness and real value.

Thank You, Steve Faulkner!

Educational Achievement Award: Jared Smith, WebAim

If you don’t know Jared’s name and work in Web development and design, chances are you know his contributions – most especially WebAim – a long-running and significant educational force providing a range of online and F2F events, tutorials and tools.

I had been using WebAim materials for many years before I ever had the pleasure of getting to know Jared, which mostly happened over a series of years at the CSUN conference and social events. A friendly, compassionate human with a seemingly endless, generous heart, this is a long, long earned honor.

Thank you, Jared Smith!

Institutional Achievement Award: BBC

Many of us in the industry have had the pleasure of visiting the BBC, and in some cases even providing training and education. Having the BBC in my life has always been a major thrill – yes, we U.S. Americans can be very silly anglophiles at times – but there it is!

To win this award was no small achievement. Battling the ever-changing nature of large organizations, the BBC’s developers have long been under pressure to continually adapt to some of the world’s most demanding Web site needs. In fact, my first exposure to the BBC wasn’t through Accessibility, rather Internationalization – another area of our craft that is often swept under the rug or not even considered!

Yet with BBC News published in so many languages for so many cultures, the challenge becomes more clear. Add to that the enormous range of Web sites within and related to the BBC and the massive amount of data in constant movement to manage and it becomes evident that to accomplish not only a level of standards, but a level of excellence in overall production and integrity is an achievement worthy of awe.

So many, many people have been involved in the BBC’s continual striving for excellence – Ian Forrester, Henny Swan – other names that read like a who’s who of known genius – and of course the many wonderful people who manage that beast day-to-day. Much of this is down to the drive of Gareth Ford William’s leadership in Accessibility and UX.

I have so much respect for this organization, and so much love for all the people with whom I’ve had the great, great fortune to work with and learn from over the years. It comes as no surprise to me that they are the honorees for this category. It is so very well deserved.

To the BBC: Thank You!

Emerging Leader: Sina Bahram

We turn toward the deep thinkers and business leaders with Sina Bahram, now working on his Ph.D. examining multi-modal approaches for eyes-free exploration of spatial information. Yep, go on, read that sentence again. Then think about what kind of impact Bahram’s research will have on not only adaptive technology – but any eyes-free application of tech and you end up with endless possibilities for humanity! What comes to mind most immediately for me is research into our inner and outer worlds that are not visible, or difficult to see such as in medicine and space exploration.

In business, Bahram has worked via his Accessibility firm, PAC, providing consulting to all levels of business, education and museums and most importantly, the countless individuals who are empowered by his contributions. Recognized in 2012 as one of President Barack Obama’s “Champions of Change” for his work, it seems small in comparison but it comes from a truly grateful heart: Thank You Sina Bahram!

Volunteers of the Year Award: Denis Boudreau and Elle Waters

At this point I’m just a puddle of emotional goo. Denis and Elle are very dear to me and all I want to do right now is just gush a bit. When the crap hits the old fan, both of these individuals are people I am enormously happy to have in my life. Denis has not only been an extremely hard-working and productive member of the Web development community at large for many years, but has with quiet humor and a truly kind heart been a friend. And I know it’s not just to me – but to all the people with whom he interacts. An exceptional human in every way, Thank you, Denis Boudreau!

If you have ever thought of me as a force of nature and not met Elle – you really should! Funny, strong, creative and focused, Elle is a formidable woman with whom to work, I speak from experience. She not only knows her stuff, but is able to cut through layers of complicated issues and problem solve with a finesse in the immediate now I’ve only seen bested in the industry by Eric Meyer. And when I say “Bested” that’s only because he has a few years experience ahead of Elle – so lookout world! A warm, wonderful, delightful woman I am proud to know and grateful to have as a role model, Thank you, Elle Waters!

Errors and Omissions: Me

All errors, omissions, lack of links, and other various mishaps are all mine and mine alone. Please correct and/or complain in the comments below. :)

Gratitude: Also Me

Without Knowbility and the wonderful people who keep it vibrant and alive, my own life would be so limited. Knowbility’s kindness and generosity not only reaches the world, but has empowered me personally by providing me purpose at a time I felt I had none, a community of caring people during a time where I turned so toxic I was almost impossible to deal with, and never, ever once failing to achieve the very core of their commitment: The empowerment of humanity.

Thank you, Knowbility. You are Knowledge. You are Ability. You are so very Noble.