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February 2019

Hello <<First Name>>!

Welcome to this month's newsletter! This month, you'll be hearing from Christie O'Brien, one of our talented Website Analysts.
 

The Business of Accessibility

 
All businesses have the same ultimate goal, whether they be small businesses or multi-national corporations, they all want to be successful and profitable. Whether it’s a family run store that wants to provide a living for themselves, a charity trying to make money to help others or a global bank that has shareholders to answer to, in the end, it comes down to brass tax.

Why would it make sense then for businesses to exclude sections of the population from accessing their goods or services? For a simple example, imagine building a large department store and not providing an accessible alternative to a staircase, such as a lift, to get from floor to floor? Not only would it make it impossible for people with disabilities to use your store, but it would also make it an unpleasant and difficult shopping experience for people such as the elderly, the frail, the temporarily injured, the mother with a pram, the shopaholics and the people like myself who are put off by even the slightest hint of exercise.

Not only is this poor business sense but it is also illegal, Australia has its own Standards of Design for Access and Mobility – AS 1428.1. It provides the minimum design requirements for all new building work, ensuring that there is adequate access for people with disabilities such as ramps, lifts, markings on controls, disabled toilets, door widths, hearing augmentation listening systems etc.

If your buildings do not comply, they are not built. It’s not just the right thing to do, it’s good business sense. More people can more often than not mean more money. Why then are we treating websites as exempt? All online content is held to a legal standard (WCAG 2.1) just like physical buildings but website accessibility is seen as an optional extra, a nice-to-have, why? Most businesses have websites now that you can access their goods and services from, there are a plethora of online shops, banks now allow you to your banking online from your computer or phone. The world is now online. So with all of this technological progress, why are we going backwards in our thinking? We wouldn’t dream of building a shopping centre without a lift or ramps, so why would design a website that is not keyboard accessible? Or ensuring all buttons and important signs have brail and are clearly labelled but then having a website with empty labels for input fields and broken links. The principle is the same, we are excluding significant groups of people from accessing our goods and services and that, in the end, is not conducive to building and maintaining a profitable business.

Is it not then time to acknowledge that a successful business is an accessible business, whether it be physical or online?

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PWAC2019 Wrap-Up

Perth Web Accessibility Camp 2019 was held on the 12th of February at VisAbility, and was a great success! It was wonderful to see so many of you there this year! The Keynote was Professor Denise Wood from Central Queensland University with the topic titled ‘Designing Culturally Responsive and Inclusive Online Learning Environments: An Evidence-Based Approach’. It was incredibly eye-opening and discussed how people with disability engage with learning tools and some of the challenges they may face. Scott Hollier did a beautiful job of summarising the event on his website here. We hope to see you all next year as well!
Have you considered taking one of our courses in Digital Accessibility?  Leah Napier, Reader Services Librarian for the Spearwood/Cockburn Libraries said of her experience in the Certificate in Digital Accessibility,

“This is probably the only certificate from a work training course that I actually want to have displayed somewhere at my desk!”

Register your interest in an upcoming course by contacting us at training@webkeyit.com.

Upcoming Events Green Calendar Icon Graphic

W3C & ANU Future of the Web Roadshow

22nd February, 2019
Canberra, ACT
Register Here

For more event information, click here

34th CSUN Assistive Technology Conference

11-15th March, 2019
Anaheim, USA

More information about CSUN here

2019 Print Disability Round Table Conference

4th-7th of May, 2019
South Brisbane, QLD

This conference provides three full days of technical research, presentations and practical workshops on issues related to accessibility. There are also many opportunities for networking and socialising with key speakers, presenters and attendees.

More information about this event here

16th International Web for All Conference

13-15th of May, 2019
San Francisco, USA

This year’s theme is "Personalization – Personalizing the Web".

Submissions for papers for the conference are due 27th of January, 2019. All topics related to web accessibility are welcome as are papers dealing with wider aspects of digital accessibility and universal access.

More information about W4A here

W4A is co-located with the 27th International World Wide Web Conference (WWW’19)

More information about WWW'19 here

Disability at Work Conference

20th-21st of June, 2019
Adelaide, SA

Two-day national conference will examine innovative ways to inspire and engage people with disability in employment opportunities.

More information about this event here

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If you haven't already, take a look at our Facebook page for daily updates and some excellent accessibility articles and resources, there really is a lot on there. We also have a Twitter feed, as well as LinkedIn. All these links are below for future reference, so have a click around, and share this with your friends.

Please do remember to take a moment to look at our website and as always, we look forward to hearing your thoughts, comments and any feedback you may have!
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