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YOUR MONTHLY WEB ACCESSIBILITY UPDATE

January 2021

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Good morning <<First Name>>,

We made it!

Breathing in that fresh air of 2021, full of hope and promise...

From all of us at Web Key IT, we hope you had a wonderful break over the last few weeks with friends and family. If you want to look over our past e-newsletters, they are always available on our website here.

In the meantime, we hope you are well-rested and ready for a fresh start. Hope you enjoy this month's jam-packed e-newsletter!

- Emma Murray

 
This month's author is Christie Woods. Christie is our Senior Website Analyst. Having worked with Web Key for over three years, she has a wealth of knowledge and a passion for all things accessibility. She has three young children and is also a volunteer firefighter.

OzeWAI Online!

13th of January, 2021 by Christina Woods

What a year 2020 was! But, despite all of its trials and tribulations, OZeWAI 2020 was not to be stopped. Through the hard work of the OZeWAI committee, Bri Norton, John Allsopp and many others the conference was moved online. This allowed people, not only in Australia, but around the world to come together virtually and listen, laugh, learn and share our knowledge and experiences regarding digital accessibility.

After being welcomed to the conference by Liddy Neville we were then welcomed to Country by Ngunnawal elder, Aunty Violet Sheridan who explained the importance of the ceremony and the many facets to which it applies.

John Allsopp provided a fantastic keynote titled “A11y Driving Innovation” which focused on the innovations to websites and digital media that are coming about as developers and designers strive to make their products accessible to all. Proving that when you make things accessible to people with disabilities, you improve the user experience for all.

The rest of the first day was filled with just as much passion and with Pauline Wright driving home the importance of having a defined bill of human rights to protect the vulnerable in society, Ashlea McKay brought awareness to how workplaces can meet unique and individual the needs of autistic employees.

Dr Manisha Amin and Gerry Neustatl thoroughly impressed with their demonstration of the audio description now available on some ABC programmes which was an exciting glimpse into the future of accessible television. While Doug Schepers and Andrew Downie gave informative presentations on making visual data and mathematics accessible in the digital world. Bell Omuboye finished the day off with a comprehensive look at how to educate people about accessibility in a sustainable way.

We began Day 2 with Jenny Laye-Flurrie giving us all a look into Microsoft’s Australian Accessibility Portal before Liddy Neville returned, this time with Julie Philips to discuss the very real issue of inaccessible products, how discriminatory it can be and what people who are affected can do about it. Ron Au then gave us some food for thought when he discussed how we can make digital accessibility inaccessible through different road blocks and how accessibility can be looked at as “Enhancability”.

Yuma Decaux returned to give everyone an update on his amazing Astreos app which makes the wonders of astronomy accessible to those with visual impairments. I have been eagerly awaiting this app since I heard about it at the last OZeWAI conference so to have Yuma come back was very exciting. Andrew Arch and Neil King informed everyone about the AS EN 301 549 procurement standard and how to best use it while Greg Alchin followed that up with a talk on the Accessible Procurement of ICT.

The minefield that is animations on the web was addressed by Julie Grundy who gave some excellent examples and methods of ensuring all animations are accessible and under user control. Following Julie, Leonie Watson delivered the keynote presentation for Day 2 on voice technology, its development and the coding behind the Amazon voice technology used today.

The final day of the conference began with a look at the Solomon Islands and how their ICT programmes are helping the communities there, especially when it comes to education and communication, before Scott Nixon gave everyone the opportunity to understand how a screen reader works on mobile devices.

Brooke Jamieson shone some much-needed light on the need for inclusive workspaces, and simple ways to achieve it in your own workplace while Dax Castro addressed the importance of document accessibility. After lunch we were treated to Andrew Arch and Sarah Pulis giving some excellent pointers on designing for people with cognitive disabilities before our own Amanda Mace gave us a rundown on what to expect from WCAG 3.0 which she has been working on as part of the W3C initiative.

Daniel Montalvo gave some invaluable information and resources in his talk on building your own courses using the WAI Curricula before Shadi Abou-Zahra closed the conference by giving a thorough explanation of Accessibility Conformance Testing, what is involved in it, how it came about and how to integrate it and what resources are available.

While we were not able to all catch up in person, the chat was alive with conversation as we all excitedly caught up with one another and shared our passion for Accessibility with one another as we would if it were any other OZeWAI conference and I can assure you that I left this conference excited for the next.

Below is the introduction to OZeWAI video, but you can view the entire playlist on YouTube here.
Welcome to OZeWAI December 2020 by Liddy Nevile


  General News

Happy New Year all! As we show 2020 the door, not a moment too soon might I add, here at Web Key IT we have once again locked in two training courses for early March.

For consideration is our 1-day "“Digital Accessibility 101” Course which offers a great introduction to gain insight into what digital accessibility is, what the standards are, how it affects people and some simple tests for conducting a novice evaluation on web pages. This will be held on March 10th at ATI Mirage.

Secondly, we are also offering our 1-day “Accessible Documents” session which covers digital documents such as PDF and Microsoft Word, as well as touching on HTML documents and ePub3. With lots of practical individual exercises such as creating defined structure, alternative text and accessible data tables, there is plenty to learn. This will be held on March 11th, again at ATI Mirage.

Each course is $450 and includes morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea. If you book in both days you also get the discounted price of $810! Due to COVID-19 restrictions, we can only have 12 people per session so will run this a second time in March if the places are booked. You can view more information on both these courses here.

As always, our courses include hands-on practice and group discussions to help reinforce the content learnt in the theory sections. If you are interested in either the 1-day “Accessible Documents” session or the 2 days covering both web and digital documents, please get in touch with us.

Need something more advanced? What about having us in to run a customised session for you and your staff? From InDesign and Adobe Acrobat Pro training to accessibility for mobiles and social media, whatever your training needs in digital accessibility, we have you covered!

Finally, as a proud member of the Perth Web Accessibility Camp (PWAC) planning committee, I am pleased to announce we have a date for this year’s Camp. On February 23, 2021, once again hosted by VisAbility, PWAC will go ahead both as an in-person day and virtually so our friends from over East and around the world can join in. This year the W3C Australia - Western Region Chapter, which is proudly host by Web Key IT is also proud to be co-locating and presenting a couple of fantastic W3C speakers as part of the PWAC day. Details will be updated on our website and social media channels as soon as tickets are available. I hope to see you all there!  

Amanda Mace
General Manager

TikTok Accessibility

A short TikTok video on how to add Text to Speech to videos on TikTok

TikTok has added a text-to-speech feature that will read out words users put on their videos. The popular social media app included the new option as an accessibility feature for those with impaired vision, a growing trend for platforms integrating voice technology.

TikTok Talk

As can be seen in the video up top, the feature is pretty straightforward. A user types the text into a video as normal, then selects it taps on the text-to-speech option, and a default AI voice will read it out to anyone watching the video. Text-to-voice is the second accessibility feature TikTok has added in recent weeks. The platform also offers a way to protect people with photosensitive epilepsy from accidentally triggering an episode from videos they come across. It also adds an element of voice technology on top of the voice commands available through the Alexa Skill TikTok launched in August. The skill, built on Alexa for Apps, enables voice commands, hands-free recording, and voice search for viewers. The skill is limited to mobile platforms because Echo smart displays can’t stream TikTok videos. The text-to-speech ability appears to have been created in-house by TikTok, a testament to how widespread basic voice AI has become.

Access Memes

TikTok’s interest in making the app more accessible using voice tech makes sense for business and comes as voice AI’s ability to help people with disabilities is becoming ever clearer. Using the tech for the benefit of the blind and vision-impaired is proliferating in particular. The resulting features include the Show and Tell feature for Echo smart displays and the Lookout feature for Android devices, both of which can identify labels on food containers. Google Maps also now offers voice cues for Google Maps to guide people with limited sight. Accessibility tools with voice tech encompass more than just those with limited eyesight. They include Google’s Look to Speak gaze-based mobile device control, the Alexa Care Hub that helps people keep track of their loved ones, and the partnership between Israeli voice tech startup Voiceitt and Alexa, letting people with atypical and impaired speech use the voice assistant. There are plenty more likely to emerge, possibly for TikTok as the threatened banning of the app by the U.S. government seems to have faded.

Article sourced from here

Upcoming Events  Calendar icon

 

Perth Website Accessibility Camp (PWAC)

23rd February, 2021

Perth, WA

Details released shortly


CSUN Assistive Technology Conference

8th-14th March , 2021

Online

Pre-Conference Workshops are available here

Register Here for CSUN before March 2nd. 


Perth Web Accessibility & Inclusive Design Meetup

16th March, 2021

Dome Cafe, Northbridge, WA

7:30-9:00am

Read more about the Accessibility Meetup group


The Web Conference

19th-23rd April, 2021

Ljubljana, Slovenia (and Online)

More information here


W4A 2021

19th-20th April, 2021

Online

Call for Papers for W4A 2021 Open Here


The Accessibility Conference

26th-27th May, 2021

University of Guelph, Canada (and online)

More information here

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