Copy
View this email in your browser

July 2018

Hello <<First Name>>!

We hope you’ve had a lovely start to the new financial year! It’s always a busy time, but it brings new beginnings, business opportunities and a chance to dust off the “marketing wings” as I like to call them and try out some new strategies to attract customers for the coming year. We are busy here at Web Key IT preparing for our 7th Birthday function, which should be a great event to celebrate seven years of business with many new employees this year- keep an eye out on our social media pages and website for photos from the event!
 
This month we will be introducing you to another member of our team at Web Key IT, and giving them the opportunity to share some of their thoughts, interests and experience in the world of website accessibility.
 
This month, we'd like you to meet our Ahmad Albahar, from our Kuwait Team.
 
Photo of Ahmad Albahar in front of a banner in arabic that says "National Framework for Digital Accessibility"Ahmad Albahar is an assistive technology specialist at Green Technology, who are the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) representatives for Web Key IT Pty Ltd. Ahmad works in the Web Key IT Office with the Manager, Muhammad Saleem. 

Ahmad graduated from Gulf University for Science and Technology (Gust). He majored in radio and TV production. Ahmad wasn’t hindered by his disability. He did his best to challenge his disability by participating in different events. Ahmad won the third place in the Microsoft Imagine Cup Conference in Kuwait for designing a system that helps people with disabilities in their education. He was also awarded by His Highness the Emir of Kuwait for his educational achievement. Ahmad is a twice achiever for the Gust Dean’s List award. He has participated in conferences in Kuwait and abroad. Ahmad was selected along with 99 participants to participate in the young Arab media leaders conference in the UAE. He also participated in the International Government Communication Forum in the UAE. Ahmad is a disability rights advocate. His vision is to improve the lives of people with disabilities by helping them depend on themselves in order for them to contribute to their society.

 

My journey with assistive technology

 
My name is Ahmad Albahar and I’m from Kuwait. I’m an assistive technology specialist at Green Technology, who are the Web Key IT agents for the GCC region.

I’ll be talking about my journey with assistive technology but before I start, let’s get back in time for you to know how it did all begin. I was born as a premature baby. As a result, they had to put me in the incubator. However, that didn’t go well at all because the amount of oxygen that they used was more than the required amount. My retina was detached and that’s how I became blind. My parents did their best to teach me to depend on myself since I was young. After a few years, I entered school and learned braille at the age of 7.

My experience with assistive technology started with JAWS for Windows in 2006. I continued to experiment with other programs later such as NVDA and Ibsar. On the mobile side, I started with Nuance Talks on the Symbian Operating System then I switched to Voiceover on the iPhone. I benefited the most from assistive technology after I joined university. Apps such as Voicedream on the iPhone as well as Dropbox allowed me to read and access my files on the go.

After I realized the power of assistive technology and how it can help blind individuals like me, I decided to join the Microsoft Imagine Cup in 2017. Microsoft Imagine Cup is an annual competition that motivates students to develop applications that would benefit the society. My partner and I designed a system that helps the blind take notes in class. The system that we designed won the third place in the competition. In that same year I went on a summer scholarship to the US and I experienced what it means for a blind person to be independent. Apps such as ‘Be My Eyes’, Microsoft’s seeing AI and look tell money reader helped me depend on myself.

After I came back to Kuwait, I decided to do my best to help my fellow blind peers learn how to depend on themselves and get the most out of using assistive technology. However, we can’t do everything on our own. We face many problems when it comes to assistive technology in Kuwait and one of them is web accessibility. Many of the websites here in Kuwait are inaccessible. The reason is that the developers don’t follow the WCAG 2.0 standards to develop their websites. Furthermore, blind people won’t be able to navigate the website.  Moreover, it’ll make it somewhat impossible for them to get the information that they need which will impact their performance. However, this issue will be solved in the future. The Kuwaiti government has introduced the web accessibility framework in association with W3C, Green Technology and Web Key IT. This framework follows the WCAG 2.0 standards and it requires the website to meet level AA compliance.

In conclusion, I advise my blind peers to make use of assistive technology and if you have an issue that hinders the use of such technology, talk about it and make your voice heard. If you do that and many blind people decide to follow suit, you’ll be able to create change in society.

Recent News icon of a newspaper

Certificate in Digital Accessibility Course

Our Digital Accessibility Certificate course is running again in August!

This certificate level program covers all major aspects of Digital Accessibility. It was held in both March and May already this year and deemed fantastic successes! During the course, participants will prepare a Digital Accessibility Action Plan for their organisation and conduct an initial high level review of the organisation’s digital resources under the guidance and support of Web Key IT’s accessibility experts. The sessions include training in website accessibility, digital documents such as MS Word and PDF, a look at mobiles/tablets and looking at the business case for digital accessibility. As an extra bonus if you are an ACS member, you can also gain professional development hours.
 
Things you need to know:
Where: ATI-Mirage Training & Business Solutions
Cost: $3250 per person (excluding GST) covering all learning materials, equipment, lunch and morning/afternoon tea.
When: Each Thursday in August 9am-4pm
Note: All 5 sessions can be taken by one individual or split between team members, or of course, more than one person from an organisation can enroll and take the course together. 
 
For more information or if you would like to enroll, please email training@webkeyit.com

The AIIA iAwards

The Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) is celebrating 25 years of iAwards when they hold their PitchFest & Innovation Showcase as well as the National iAwards Gala Dinner & Awards Ceremony in Melbourne on August 30th, 2018. The iAwards are Australia's longest running and a broadly scoped innovation recognition program, promoting excellence in the Australian digital ecosystem.

For more information and to purchase tickets, head to https://www.aiia.com.au/iawards
 

WCAG 2.1 Training

This past June the W3C released the extended Web Content Accessibility Guidelines otherwise known as WCAG 2.1. These 17 new success criteria focus on improving accessibility for users with cognitive disabilities, low vision and users who browse websites on mobile devices. We are now offering training in these additional criteria. Understand what they are, who they affect and some tips and tricks or testing them.

For more information on this and all our training courses send us an email at training@webkeyit.com

Upcoming Events Green Calendar Icon Graphic

Perth Web Accessibility & Inclusive Design Meetup
21st of August, 2018
Dome Cafe, 149 James Street, Northbridge.
Read more about the Accessibility Meetup group
Or see the new A11y website here!

ACS WA Dennis Moore Oration Dinner 2018
10th of October, 2018
UWA, Crawley, WA
Registrations for the Oration Dinner here
TPAC 2018
22-26th of October, 2018
Lyon, France
Registrations for TPAC are here
OZeWAI 2018
21-23rd of November, 2018
ABC Studios, Sydney
Register for OZeWAI here

Are we friends yet? Friend Icon

If you haven't already, take a look at our Facebook page for daily updates and some excellent accessibility articles and resources, there really is a lot on there. We also have a Twitter feed, as well as LinkedIn. All these links are below for future reference, so have a click around, and share this with your friends.

Please do remember to take a moment to look at our website and as always, we look forward to hearing your thoughts, comments and any feedback you may have!
Share
Tweet
Forward
Share
Facebook
Facebook
Twitter
Twitter
LinkedIn
LinkedIn
Website
Website
Copyright © 2018 Web Key IT Pty Ltd, All rights reserved.


Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp