Happy (?) belated new year
I know, I'm late for my 2023 blog post. But somehow, stacking the usual end-of-year-stress on top of the self-made urge to write up a retrospecitive post does not really work. Also, I have my fair share of retrospectives at the end of the year traditionally, with New Year's and resolutions but also a birthday that is close to christmas and gives you "one year older - how was the last one" vibes. That's why it took some days into the new year to fire up my text editor and write something up.
Business-wise, 2023 was a good year. I concentrated on web accessibility auditing (specifically, auditing against the harmonized European Standard 301 549 [PDF], which includes WCAG) and some consulting work. Stuff I did in the past, run-of-the-mill web developement was put on the back-burner purely out of timing and energy reasons. But I feel that I mustn't fall out of the loop and lose touch with current developments (just look at the pace of CSS's development alone! Awesome and frightening).
I managed to do some community work with dear colleague Maja in "reviving" the Accessibility Meetup Berlin and it is very cool to give at least a little bit back, regarding it is both an important, exciting topic and a big city that does deserve a meetup like this.
The European Accessibility Act is casting its shadows, and they're getting bigger and bigger. As a consequence, I try to specialize in the not so small "e-commerce" part of the new and coming legizlation. So I'm creating a text-based, self-paced learning course gathering all of my knowledge on how to make an online shop accessible for quite some time now. The German version will start in 2024 and will be some kind of "Minimum Viable Product". If it works, I will possibly create an English-language version also, but as of now I concentrate on the first (German) version and plan to evolve this course. So, if anyone is interestedm, impatient and knows German, head over to https://e-commerce-barrierefrei.de/ and sign up to the mailing list to be informed about the launch.
Usually, I'm not that navel-gazing and self-centered, but I feel I passed a treshold which caused me to disclose something: as I said in an Mastodon status message, starting around now, it makes no sense to me not to be open about my chronic illness. Quote of said toot:
Short, and somehow navel-gazing note on myself: It feels that there's no sense in denying anymore that I have a chronic illness, namely Multiple Sclerosis. Diagnosed 17 years ago, but getting worse and apparent only in the last 20-ish months -people who saw me "walking" in that time surely noticed. As of right now, walking short distances is fine but there's a point from which on I start visibly limping and a mechanical fatigue of a leg muscle enters the stage.
Over the last year, my way of walking rapidly decreased in quality and I still have to come to terms with this (I was blessed with ~15 years of more or less standstill when it comes to this illness, so I'm privileged in more than one way) and see how I can adapt mentally and physically. All in all, I want to apologize if I behaved strangely in the last around one and a half years.
This listing, work and health stuff, more or less sums the last two months up. I feel that I need to regain energy, adapt to the situation and maybe buy a fancy cane (any recommendations?). Here's hope that this will work in 2024!