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YOUR MONTHLY WEB ACCESSIBILITY UPDATE

October 2020

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Good morning <<First Name>>,

I'm not sure about you, but I think it's time we pack away 2020! While some of the changes this year have brought quality time with our loved ones, it's also distanced us from others, and I am VERY ready for it to be over! However, we have a few months left of this crazy year, so let's make the most of it shall we?

As we reach the end of the year, it's time to consider others with how we give back to the world, those less fortunate than ourselves and reflect on how we've acted. From our point of view, it's a great time to consider how people with disabilities can interact with your business, and therefore, your website.

Get in contact with us today, and reach out to more potential customers!

- Emma Murray

 
This month's author is Karl McCabe. Karl recently graduated with a Bachelor of Design majoring in Graphic Design from Edith Cowan University. As a part of his degree he studied web design and development, which exposed him to the WCAG guidelines and and brought him to Web Key IT as a Website Analyst and our Social Media Guru!

Can PDF's Be Accessible?

11th October 2020, by Karl McCabe

Most of us are familiar with the PDF (Portable Document Format) file format and more than likely encounter them every day, both at work and in our personal lives. However, ask someone what an accessible PDF is and most people will be left scratching their heads.

So, what is an accessible PDF? An accessible PDF is simply a PDF file that can be accessed by people with disabilities via the use of assistive technology. According to Adobe “A document...is considered accessible if it meets certain technical criteria and can be used by people with disabilities”. The technical criteria are covered by the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), which also provides technical criteria for the accessibility of websites and online applications.

For a PDF to be considered accessible it needs to be tagged. A tagged PDF contains meta-information that can be accessed by assistive technology, such as a screen reader. For a vision impaired person, trying to access an untagged PDF is the equivalent of trying read invisible ink. The information may be there but it’s impossible to access.

Tagging a PDF can be a daunting task, a request that can even strike fear into the hearts of experienced designers and content creators and depending on the approach you take, it can be quite difficult. There are two main ways to approach creating a tagged PDF. One way is to tag the PDF in Adobe Acrobat at the final step in the document creation process, once the document has been saved or exported into the PDF format. The other way is to integrate the tagging of the PDF into the document creation process. This is particularly relevant to InDesign users, as Adobe provides some great tools within the program to tag content and have that tagging structure included in the PDF on export.

Depending on the situation, you may not always have a choice in which approach you take. My preferred method is always to integrate the tagging in InDesign during the process of creating the document. Although it can be a little more time consuming initially, it saves a lot more time and even a few tears later on, particularly on a large document. However, most of the time we find ourselves remediating other people's documents, or old documents that need to be brought up to date with accessibility standards. In these cases, the only option is to tag the existing PDF document in Acrobat.

No matter which approach you take to tagging a PDF, it is equally possible to create a document that is accessible to people with disabilities and their assistive technology. However, as always, taking accessibility into consideration from the beginning saves time and ultimately money in the long run. It’s an approach that requires a commitment from all stakeholders, at all points of the documents journey from conception to completion.


  General News

Since our inception Web Key IT has worked with various Government departments and agencies to help them improve their maturity in digital accessibility. That work has led us to apply and successfully become a Preferred Supplier through various panels. We are proud to be a Local Buy Preferred Supplier, sitting on their ICT Solutions & Services panel. We also proudly are a WALGA (Western Australia Local Government Association) preferred supplier, sitting on two of their panels. You can find us on both the Audit & Compliance Services panel and the ICT Products & Services panel.

These pathways for procurement give our clients access to discount services but more importantly and it makes the tendering process easier. By utilising these panels, you can be assured that we along with the other companies within these panels are pre-qualified and vetted appropriately. While preferred supplier type panels are often geared towards Government departments and agencies, we believe successful outcomes for such panels is great evidence of our qualified expertise, our assured longevity and good business practices. 

A quick note about the W3C Australia Western Region Chapter which is proudly hosted by Web Key IT, we are excited to announce the new Chapter website. We have only just begun but will be aiming to add content, events and heaps of resources through this website so be sure to keep on an eye on it. In the meantime if you have content you’d like to see on there, please get in touch and let me know your thoughts and ideas!

Finally, a last reminder about in our 1-day Digital Accessibility 101 course taking place on October 27th . This is a great hands-on workshop full of activities and practical resources. The price for this full day session is $495 +GST which includes lunch, morning and afternoon tea and all training materials. I hope to see you there!

Until next month,

Amanda Mace
General Manager

A Pandemic of Kindness

Looking for something to do in Fremantle, WA?
 
Friends of the Arts Inclusive Resource presents Glen Cowans and Emerging Artists in "Kindness Emerging".
 
The exhibitions runs until the 17th October for Mental Health Week and features local artists who created masterpieces during COVID to create a pandemic of kindness.
 
This exhibition ALSO happens to feature our very own Usability Analyst Melanie Hawkes' incredible artwork as seen below.
 
11am-4pm daily, free entry and wheelchair accessible.
All proceeds to Fremantle Mind Inc for mental health week.
Melanie's Poem & Artwork: "Home is My Sanctuary"
Photo of Melanie and her assistance dog

Upcoming Events  Calendar icon

 

Perth Web Accessibility & Inclusive Design Meetups
20th October 2020
Dome Cafe, Northbridge, WA
7:30-9:00am
Read more about the Accessibility Meetup group

Toronto Accessibility Conference (#aLLyTO)

21st-24th October 2020
Online
More information here

Web Accessibility 101: One Day Course
27th October 2020
ATI Mirage, Hay Street, Perth WA
Email us for more information

Web Directions (Product)
6th-27th November 2020 (every Friday)
Online
More information here

Australian Accessibility Conference (OZeWAI)
9th-11th December 2020
Online
Submissions now open- more information here
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