Fix the Web May update

Hello Dear Webfixers!

And welcome if you are new - I see an astonishing 1088 signed up reporters! That's brilliant. Please do send in your reports of all forms of web accessibility issues- they are what this campaign is all about!

We are getting a fair amount of reports about unfair practice on websites, despite having changed the submission process so it keeps reminding reporters that this is about web accessibility for disabled people.
My suspicion is that some of these reports about scamming sites are actually a form of spam in themselves. Volunteers please close them as "other" (or "spam" if you strongly suspect it to be that). We will close down reporter accounts that keep sending in inappropriate reports. We just can't be the police for the whole of the internet and that isn't the idea of the campaign either.

I'm currently working with my colleague Ben on bug issues and developing the site. We have some PHP coders willing to work pro bono to implement changes - many of these have been a long time coming because I have sought funding (and not succeeded so far though I keep trying!). I should think things will be in place by the end of the summer.

OK, keep this one quiet! :-) we have had some research done on the outputs from the site by Middlesex University (huge thanks folks!) which is not yet published, so I won't be doing the PR around this yet. I do feel you need to know this because I know it gets some of you down. One astonishing figure is that 45% of reports go IGNORED by website owners. Now some of that may be that we get removed by a spam filter and part of our development programme is to address that, but I'm sure beyond that, this shows a trend.

When people campaign for change, the first thing that happens is you get ignored, then you get fobbed off, then you hear that you are right, but there are loads of reasons why things can't get changed. Then finally things get changed!! I know it feels disheartening to send reports off into "thin air" but I really believe we have to do this to create culture change. Which is why I think volume is so important and why we tried to make the process as swift as possible for all involved. When the report is published we will do press releases which help in a different way to fight for an accessible web.

I'll try to send more regular newsletters (at least quarterly) so you know we are still here and how things are progressing (this site is run without any proper resources at the moment and we have to do other paid contracts). We are determined to press on as best we can. "Courage" everyone!

Best wishes
Gail