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YOUR MONTHLY WEB ACCESSIBILITY UPDATE

January 2020

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Good morning <<First Name>>,

We hope the Christmas Break and New Year festivities gave you time to unwind, relax and spend quality time with friends and family. We thought it might be time for a bit of a "refresh" on our e-newsletter, and hope you enjoy the new format as much as we do. If you encounter any accessibility issues, please let us know, as we want everyone to have access to the valuable information in these monthly emails.

How Accessibility Benefits Everyone

13th January 2020 by Anjali Vasikaran

“What if none of my users have a disability?”
 
It’s a common reason for not spending time, effort and money making your website accessible. But it’s not a good reason. Here are 5 ways that everyone, not just people with disabilities, benefits from accessibility.

1. Accessibility drives technology.

John Brownlee puts it this way: “Every time you talk to Siri, or let YouTube caption a video for you, or search for a picture of your dog in Google Photos by typing in “puppy,” you’re using an accessibility feature…Every time you switch your iPhone to night mode, dictate an email while you’re driving a car, or ride a hover board”

2. Accessibility drives aesthetics and good design.

Accessible websites have a clear, simple design, and are therefore easier for everyone to use. They are more intuitive to navigate, which aids all users in finding what they are looking for. There are fewer pop-ups or flashing animations, which annoy or distract most users.
Accessible websites are properly categorised and structured, which is a big win for search engine optimisation (SEO). For example, having transcripts and captions allows audio and video content to be searchable. Using alt text, anchors, and language tags properly also aids SEO.

3. Accessible websites are usable by a wider variety of technology.

Accessible websites have text alternatives for images. This benefits people who use text-based browsers and those who disable graphics due to limited internet speed (e.g. in rural locations) or to limit their internet use (e.g. mobile data users).
Accessible websites have alternatives to video and audio content (such as captions or transcripts). This benefits people whose sound hardware is inadequate or outdated.
Accessible websites use CSS rather than HTML to define layout, and relative rather than absolute units of measurement. This benefits people using smaller screens (e.g. mobile) or screens with unorthodox dimensions or display settings.

4. You might have a disability one day.

Just because you don’t have a disability now, doesn’t mean you never will. You might develop a disability later in life, or your abilities might decrease due to old age (e.g. vision impairment, hearing loss, dementia). You could have a temporary disability or injury for a couple of months, or even have days when your cognitive ability is affected by fatigue, stress, anxiety or medication.

5. Your capacity might be reduced in some situations

Again, if you’re on a device with a small screen (e.g. mobile), you would benefit from an accessible and well-designed website. If you’re outside trying to use a device in bright sunlight, you would benefit from a website with good colour contrast. If you’re trying to watch a video in a noisy environment, or forgot your headphones, you would benefit from closed captioning or transcripts.

Talk to us today about how you can include everyone in your website.
 
Smiling photo of Anjali
Anjali has worked in website accessibility for Web Key IT as a Website Analyst for the past 18 months, earning herself the Employee of the Year Award in 2019. She has taken a change of course now working as our Administration Assistant and managing our social media pages while continuing to explore the world of Information Technology. She has a beautiful dog named Waffles, volunteers with youth camps and is a talented musician as well.

Recent News Newspaper icon

 

Human Rights Commission Discussion Paper

3rd January, 2020

The Australian Human Rights Commission has now released their Discussion Paper on Human Rights and Technology, to which Web Key IT was a responder. They are welcoming comments and input if you'd like to get involved in a worthy project. A noteworthy finding was a need for more accessible technology for people with disabilities, which is very encouraging! View the paper here.
 

Certificate in Digital Accessibility


We are looking at running our next certificate course in May. It is held at ATI Mirage in Perth from 9:00am – 4:00pm. This certificate level program covers all major aspects of Digital Accessibility over five one-day sessions on consecutive weeks. An organisation that fills all five days qualifies for an organisational certificate.  An individual who takes all five days qualifies for a personal certificate and, if they are an ACS member, they also gain professional development hours. More information on this course is on this page on our website.

If you are interested, please email us at Web Key IT.

 

From the Director's Chair Director chair icon

 

We have been really busy over the last couple of months working on W3C’s Introduction to Accessibility Course.  Web Key IT is developing the module on Business Case and Benefits, and we just finished recording a four-part video that will be part of this free course.  You can find out more information about the free five-module W3C course at this link.
 
On January 16th, Vivienne and Zel Iscel will be travelling to Kuwait for the Accessibility Conference and will present at the conference as well as various other venues. Zel will be giving numerous presentations including demonstrating the techniques she uses to navigate the Web using assistive technology.  One of the presentations from Zel will be for blind users on advanced techniques in NVDA and JAWS.  It looks like it will be a really exciting time and we will report back on our return.
 
As you will have seen, the Australian Accessibility Camp is coming up quickly (February in Perth) and we encourage you all to register.  This year it will include both the Perth Web Accessibility Camp and OZeWAI, so will be a very full conference and I’m sure that you will all benefit from attending (see the link under Upcoming Events).
 
As you are all aware, many have suffered terribly in the recent bushfires around the country.  We hope that you will join with Web Key IT in making a donation to one or more of the various bushfire relief organisations listed below.

- Dr. Vivienne Conway
 

Australian Fires- How you can help

 

Accommodation

Offers of emergency accommodation for people displaced by the East Gippsland bushfires are being managed by the local council. Those able to help should email feedback@egipps.vic.gov.au, with details of location, bedrooms available, facilities and return contact details.

Those needing assistance or wanting to list their home can do so here (New South Wales) or here (Victoria).
 

 

Monetary Donations

Wildlife

State Fire Services

Fallen Firefighter's Families

The NSW RFS has established official funds for the young families of Samuel McPaul, Geoffrey Keaton and Andrew O'Dwyer, who lost their lives battling fires this season. Donations can be made via Support firefighter families on the NSWRFS site.

Upcoming Events  Calendar icon

 

Australian Accessibility Conference (OZeWAI and PWAC)
11th-13th February 2020
Perth, WA
More information on AAC here

CSUN Assistive Technology Conference
9th-13th March 2020
Anaheim, California, USA
More information on CSUN here

Monthly Perth Web Accessibility & Inclusive Design Meetup
(On Break)
17th of March, 2020
Dome Cafe
149 James Street, Northbridge WA
Read more about the Accessibility Meetup group

Web4All (W4A) 2020 Conference
20th-21st April 2020
Taipei, Taiwan
More information on W4A2020 here

The Web Conference (WWW)
20th-24th April 2020
Taipei, Taiwan
More information on TWC here
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