Hello there <<First Name>>!
I am not sure where the time went, but we are just about at the end of another financial year, and for Web Key IT, that is the conclusion of our seventh year in business!
So many changes have happened since we commenced operating July 1, 2011. This year has been an exceptional year for us; we have expanded our staffing levels greatly to accommodate new customers, and opened an office in Kuwait, participated in numerous conferences and public events. We have increased the services we offer, become a Business Agent for W3C, and commenced our Certificate in Digital Accessibility course. One of the things we have been working on for a while is expanding our team of Usability Testers. You can now book to have testing completed by our team of Usability Testers, all of whom have a disability. Usability Testing by people with disabilities complements our technical auditing and when conducted at the same time, is in one report so you can compare the results.
As you can see, this really has been a busy year.
While we are thinking about the start of a new financial year, it is a good time to look at your organisation’s digital accessibility plans. You might like to consider our Accessibility Partnership Plan. This plan allows you to budget your accessibility services across the whole year, with monthly billing. We have three levels, Silver, Gold and Platinum. Each plan provides you with a set number of pages for testing, consultancy hours, training and other benefits, all discounted into a plan. If you take a six or twelve month plan, you can roll any unused hours over to the fifteenth of the following month. Some clients like to use it as a ‘mystery shopper’ program where we drop into the website and test a set number of pages each month – it keeps everyone on their toes. Other customers like to use the plan to test new pages that they want to put on the website, so that their accessibility compliance is not broken. It is up to you how you use the plan.
Our Certificate Program has been popular this year. In the course, participants develop a Business Plan for Digital Accessibility for their organisations and have the opportunity to present their plan to the group. The participants return to their organisations ready to become the Accessibility Champions and lead their teams.
That leads me to another thought – have you assessed the overall digital accessibility maturity of your organisation? In the above course, we use a Digital Accessibility Maturity Model to help participants understand where their organisation currently sits on the continuum from ‘knowing nothing about digital accessibility and therefore having no goals or plans, to fully embracing digital accessibility and incorporating it into all ICT development and maintenance projects.” This is something we can also work on with our clients individually.
You may have heard that W3C have now approved WCAG 2.1, which includes seventeen new Success Criteria, particularly addressing the needs of people with cognitive or learning disabilities, those with low vision and users with disabilities on mobile devices. We will be incorporating the new Success Criteria into our reports, starting as a separate tab so that you can compare the results, and later merging them together as requirements change. You will still be able to request compliance analysis with WCAG 2.0, but we are sure you will be interested to see whether you meet the new 2.1 Criteria. Sites that conform to WCAG 2.1 will still conform to WCAG 2.0, have a look at the New Features in WCAG 2.1
We expect to be offering our five-week Digital Accessibility Certificate course again soon. It runs for one day per week for five weeks. We have a couple of participants waiting for a course, so if you are interested, please contact us. We also have a waiting list for some of our other courses, such as the Creating Accessible Documents. We will run these again as soon as there is sufficient interest.
One thing we have learned is that accessibility is a journey, not a destination. We can always do better, meet the needs of more users, and create more inviting and inclusive digital products. If you would like any information about any of the ideas or services in this newsletter, please contact us
and we will be happy to help you.
Director, Web Key IT Pty Ltd.