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July 2022

Good morning <<First Name>>,

I hope you have all had a fantastic month and are enjoying the winter weather!

This month's article is written by Simonette Carter, from our Website Analyst team.

See you next issue!

Karl McCabe

Lived Experience in Accessible Design

10th of July, by Simonette Carter (Website Analyst)

Lived experience is defined as people’s experiences, and how people live through and respond to their individual experiences. Lived experience encompasses interpersonal interactions, sensory perceptions of the world, and an individual’s internal responses to these happenings in their lives. The understanding and acknowledgement of lived experience is vital to successful accessible design and the implementation of inclusive digital products and services.

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) are based on and derived from the lived experience of people with disabilities. The specific experiences and needs relating to various disabilities (auditory, cognitive, physical, vision and neurological) are reflected in the guiding principles of WCAG. POUR stands for perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust. These principles put people and their lived experiences at the centre of the process of accessible design.

The importance of lived experience in accessibility design and testing cannot be underestimated. Disregarding lived experience has its effects for brands and organisations when their websites and products are released into the market. If companies and organisations disregard the feedback of users with disabilities and their lived experience, the potential for damage to their brand reputation is not to be underestimated.

So, what happens when lived experience is not taken into account in accessible design? We know from the feedback of users with disabilities that they often experience problems that are repeated across different websites and digital products. Accessibility issues that are encountered and not rectified during the testing phase will present real life difficulties for users when they go live. Users can feel frustrated at being unable to use the full functionality of a website or will simply abandon their attempt to interact with the site.

At ADWebKey, we are proud be able to offer accessibility services and advice that is the direct result of our Usability Analyst teams’ cumulative lived experiences. Our Usability Testing team is comprised of individuals with disabilities who are specialists in the use of their respective assistive technology. Their knowledge and expertise, coupled with their unique perceptions of the world, allows us to offer our thorough and comprehensive digital accessibility services.

How to Turn On Mac Accessibility Features

A Mac has several Accessibility preferences that can be useful for people with visual difficulties. Here’s how to access most of them:

  1. Open the Apple menu and click System Preferences.
  2. Select Accessibility.
  3. Choose from one of the features under Vision, namely VoiceOverZoomDisplaySpoken Content, or Descriptions.

From the VP

Amanda Mace (Vice President)

PDF/UA is a term hardly heard spoken in Australia and that is something the team here are keen to change. PDF/UA is the standard for accessible PDFs and literally stands for Portable Document Format Universal Accessibility.

PDFs are a part of every website and are even imbedded in mobile apps. When they are not accessible, it can have a major impact on the experience of a person trying to absorb and utilise that content. This specification ensures that the structure, context and content of the PDF is available to assistive technology (AT), which in-turn means it’s available to people with disabilities who rely on AT.

The benefits of PDF/UA extend beyond people with disabilities. With support for PDF/UA, reader software is able to do things like reflow into a single column for mobile screens, allow for better navigation and plenty of other great benefits.

PDF/UA complements WCAG and there is a great post on AbleBlogs, which I highly recommend called Dispelling Accessibility Myths: PDF/UA Vs. WCAG that gives some fantastic insight into the two standards.

PDFs are here to stay, they are not going to go anywhere so the importance of ensuring the accessibility of these documents is imperative. Frankly, an accessible site full of inaccessible PDFs is not really an accessible website. If you like to know more about PDF/UA, be sure to get in touch. We’d love the opportunity to chat to about this or any of your digital accessibility needs.

See you next month!

Icon of a cup of tea How Footy 4 Life is changing the game for football fans living with a disability

Originally published on the ABC News website by Ryan Liddle. Original article can be found here (opens in new window).

For Caleb Namatjira-McMillan, football is life. The 19-year-old, who uses a wheelchair, heads down to his local oval every week to kick the footy with his mates.
He has category one cerebral palsy and needs help with most tasks.

But his legal guardian, Anne-Marie Temple, says Caleb won't be held back from getting involved and having fun.

"The friends that he's made down here he classes as his best mates and these people are now fundamental to his life," Temple said.

"It allows him to have friends, to have mentors, to learn skills like footy kicking and hanging out."

While heading down to your local oval or sporting complex to play sport — or to simply take part in some exercise — is a luxury that most Australians can take for granted, that does not apply to all members of society for a multitude of reasons.

However, a unique program out of the Northern Territory is catering for everyone and anyone who simply wants to get involved.

Tommy Dutton is the Remote Development Manager of the AFL Northern Territory's Alice Springs office and the founder of the Footy 4 Life Wellbeing Wednesday program.

"I just wanted to have a program for the community and what we found was lots of the clientele that were coming through were mainly coming through the National Disability Insurance Scheme or people living with a disability, sort of looking at a program to be a part of, rather than a spectator," Dutton said.

That is a sentiment that struck a chord with Temple, who recalls when she and Caleb first met with Dutton.

"I didn't really know what the outcome was going to be, but one thing was sure, Caleb had enough of always being left on the sidelines and excluded," she said.
"Tommy said to leave it to him."

Fast forward to now and this program has been virtually tailored to fit Namatjira-McMillan and others with mixed abilities.

"Everyone that comes down is 100 per cent there by choice, whether helping out or participating. Encouragement and engagement is so important to feeling validated," Temple said.

Since May of last year, Dutton's team has been inviting local members of the community down to Anzac Oval to take part in the program, which utilises the sport of Australian Rules Football to improve physical and mental health.

Dutton says the initiative is about reconnecting disengaged members of the community who are often overlooked or forgotten in the sporting and exercise space.

"Every Wednesday we have a wellbeing program which is really aimed at people living with a disability, to feel a part of the program, to feel a part of that social connectedness that footy brings as well as having a kick, having a laugh, hitting the tackle bag and just providing a safe and fun place for everyone," Dutton said. 

Wellbeing Wednesdays are run with the help and support of several other organisations, including the Alice Springs Town Council, which facilitates venue hire, the No More anti-domestic violence initiative, which provides support and healthy meals, as well as Veritable and not-for-profit community-based program provider Life Without Barriers, who have incorporated the session into their day program.

Life Without Barriers provides family and disability support, out of home and aged care and services that assist refugee and asylum seekers.

Day program team leader Devine Mizha said it is all about footy, making friends and, of course, fun.

"We all love footy," Mizha said. "So we're all here with our day program clients".
Mizha said that his clients who take part every week come from a diverse range of the community who have mixed abilities.

"Some of them they are physical, psychological, you name it, intellectual, so we're just always there to support them to have normal lifestyles, especially the lifestyle support," Mizha said. 

"That is what the day program is mainly about ... and we love it here."

Day program attendee Isaac Trew plays a starring role at Wellbeing Wednesdays and is known for his rousing pep-talks.

"Football's good, football's nice, I like to hang around the people and meet friends," Trew said.

"Football is my favourite sport. It is good, so I love it, so yeah, I'm liking it."
For Dutton, having a positive, empowering activity once a week provides a great benefit socially, mentally and physically as well as an opportunity to check in with members of the community.

Beyond that, watching the participants grow every week makes the job that extra bit worthwhile.

"Just to be part of a football program that puts a smile on their face, gets them involved and keeps them socially connected, it's unreal mate, it's my favourite day of the week to be fair," Dutton said. 

Temple, who has cared for Namatjira-McMillan since he was six months old, said Wednesdays are one of his favourite days of the week.

"Caleb really looks forward it. Him and many of the other participants often suffer from different levels of social anxiety, but since they've started coming they've been cool and calm and thoroughly enjoy it," she said.

"People pull them over to chat about it in the street and that all helps improving wellbeing, it's great."

After an initial six-week trial that began in 2021 the program now runs 26 weeks of the year.

It is open to all and completely free.
Tommy Dutton leads a drill during the Footy 4 Life program's 'Wellbeing Wednesdays'.(ABC News: Ryan Liddle)

Upcoming Events

Perth Web Accessibility & Inclusive Design Meetups
Monthly event
Forklore, West Perth
Read more about the Accessibility Meetup group

M-Enabling Summit
October 24th - 26th
Washington DC
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Wordpress Accessibility Day
November 2nd - 3rd
Virtual attendance
Get more information on the event website (opens in new window)

Accessing Higher Ground
November 14th - 18th
Denver, Colarado
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