July 2017

Hello <<First Name>>!

Over the coming months, we will be introducing you to some members 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 very own lovely
Amanda Mace.

Photo of Amanda Mace
Amanda is currently working at Web Key IT as Project Manager and Senior Website Analyst. Her work is includes website and document auditing, document remediation and project management. Since joining the Web Key IT team she has undertaken a wide variety of courses all with a focus on website and document accessibility. Amanda has been a presenter at both the OZeWAI conference and the Perth Accessibility Camp, as well as conducting various other presentations. She is passionate about ensuring digital products are inclusive and is a known fan for the correct usage of WAI- ARIA. Amanda is also a member of two W3C working groups, the Accessibility Guidelines Working Group and the Education and Outreach Working Group. This month, she would like to talk to you about ARIA.
ARIA: Accessible Rich Internet Applications
The proper name for ARIA is Web Accessibility Initiative – Accessible Rich Internet Applications. It is a technical specification published by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). In laymen terms, it is code that conveys additional information to assistive technologies, such as screen readers. Utilising ARIA can help to improve the accessibility of web content and applications. It’s important to remember that ARIA doesn’t replace semantic markup, it is however a useful tool.
ARIA can be used to assign roles, states, and properties. Roles can be anything from describing a type of widget to describing structure. ARIA is commonly used to describe the state widgets are in as well as things like disabled buttons. It also allows you to define live regions of a page. Error messages and updates can be presented in an alert box, which you know will be available to all users. It can also ensure the ability to have keyboard navigation to elements where the normal semantic markup might make it difficult.

Figure: Example for role="main" attribute which identifies the main content for the page. This facilitates page semantics and navigation.
I can’t stress enough that too much or unnecessary use of ARIA isn’t the way to go and doesn’t necessarily make your website or application any more accessible. My advice to developers wanting to and having already incorporated ARIA is to think of it as a pyramid of layers. The base is always best practice, clean HTML5. Make it pretty with CSS and make it do cool things with Java Script…the cherry on top is ARIA. The ARIA cherry makes sure everything that came before it works for everyone regardless of their range of abilities. 
Upcoming Events
OZeWAI 2017 Conference will once again be held in Canberra at the end of November.  This is a great time to get together with people from all around Australia interested in digital accessibility.  This is a practitioner-led, rather than an academic conference.  You will have the opportunity to talk with people from around the country who are involved in developing, promoting, user testing and everything else related to digital accessibility.  Come along and be inspired and encouraged by the presentations and networking opportunities.  Perhaps you’d like to present at the conference?  If you’d like more information, please feel free to contact us.
DDD Perth is “an inclusive non-profit event for the Perth software community”.  This year the presentations were submitted anonymously and everyone has an opportunity to vote for the presentations to be included.  The  Voting Page  closes today and you don’t have to register yet, to put in your vote for the 8 presentations you’d most like to see.  There are a number of developer-related submissions as well as ones on accessibility and business.   DDD Perth will be held on Saturday, September 16th at the Perth Convention Centre and the cost for a whole day is just $50.  Registration is open until September 15th.
Stay up-to-date
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 have a Twitter feed too, as well as LinkedIn. Links to these social pipes are always on the right hand side of the newsletter.

Please do remember to take a moment to look at our new website and as always, we look forward to hearing your thoughts, comments and any feedback you may have!

Have an excellent month everyone!

For the diary...

Perth Web Accessibility Meet-up
Dome Cafe
149 James Street, Northbridge
Tuesday 18th July 2017
Click Here

DDD Perth
Perth Convention Centre, Perth
Saturday 16th September 2017
Click Here

OZeWAI Conference 2017

End of November 2017
More details TBA
Click Here

About Web Key IT
We are experts in website accessibility auditing, training and usability testing. Website accessibility requirements are here to stay, but many website owners are unsure of the new requirements in Australia for meeting the new standards. 

Web Key IT Pty Ltd is a business initiative aimed at assisting owners of websites of all sizes to achieve a truly accessible website. We provide a range of personalised website services to assist you in meeting Australian and internationally– recognised accessibility guidelines.

Copyright © 2017 Web Key IT Pty Ltd All rights reserved.

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