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December 2017

We hope you've been enjoying meeting some of the members of our team at Web Key IT, and giving them the opportunity to share some of their thoughts, interests and experience in the world of website accessibility.
 
This month, we'd like you to meet our very own... oh wait! It's me!
 

Emma Murray is the Administrator for Web Key IT and has been here Image of Emmasince the company formed in 2011. She manages the Accounts, Payroll, Human Resources, Marketing, Website, Newsletters and is the Personal Assistant to Vivienne (yes, that is a LOT of work!). She comes from an administrative background, working in this field for the past ten years. She assists with all the day-to-day running of Web Key IT and keeping us all in check! If you contact Web Key IT for any reason there is a good chance you’ll speak to her.
 

Accessibility by a Lay-woman 

As the Administrator for Web Key IT, I know that I have a very limited knowledge of the more complex details of creating websites and how to make them accessible. So today I have the unusual job of writing an article on it… but here goes!

Recently I was watching an episode of my current favourite TV Series, Parks and Recreation, where the exuberant Leslie Knope (played by Amy Poehler) is running for the local city council, and trying to get the senior citizens (who are the only ones who vote for local elections) on her side by promising to install wheelchair ramps on every city building in Pawnee, Indiana. As Leslie says “Not enough ramps" is the number three complaint among Pawnee seniors, right behind "Everything hurts" and "I'm dying.”.

I’m not going to lie, it was a pretty great episode. But her point is quite true- why are not all buildings in our cities wheelchair accessible? Not just for the elderly, but for the people with disabilities as well. As a mother of a 1-year old girl, even I could really use a ramp instead of stairs for me to trip over after yet another sleep-deprived night!

Having ramps in place means that people with ALL abilities, are welcome. By having a ramp there, you, as a business owner, are saying that YOU have thought of everyone, and that you care. And as an added bonus, you get more customers through the door, and more business!

This is how I see website accessibility. By editing your website, and making it just that little bit easier for people with disabilities to come and use it, you are telling them that they have been considered, that you care about them, and that you aren’t excluding them from your business, store, department or even your blog. They have the right to access everything that people without disabilities are able to.

Take for example, a blind person. Don’t they have the right to use the local council website to pay their rates, or register a dog, without having to go into the council, just like you or I do? Or what about the deaf person who wants to watch a video comparing the different health insurance options, don’t they deserve the right to have captions so they can laugh at Sergei too? Or what about a person with epilepsy- surely you don’t want your flashing lights and screens to give them a seizure. It’s really just common sense. But, I will admit, it does mean some compromise on your part. You may not be able to have the neon flashing signs, the automated slideshows or the colour combinations that you’d like. You will need to go to the effort of providing alt-text on images and a visual indication of current focus. You will need to include descriptive text for hyperlinks, use proper header tags and embed accessible documents. It may be a hassle, it may be inconvenient, but it’s the smart thing to do, and it’s the right thing to do, and finally, it’s the legal thing to do.

Don’t just put stairs out the front and expect everyone to be able to use them, build a ramp!
 
 As Leslie Knope says “Stairs is a young man's game”.

W4A 2018 Call for Papers W4A Logo

Save the date for the 15th International Web for All Conference (W4A’18, which is to convene in Lyon, France, April 23-25th (http://www.w4a.info) Co-located with The Web Conference 2018 (www2018).

The conference focuses on all aspect of web accessibility. Areas of general interest include, but are not limited to the following: age, cognition, culture, education, emotions, dexterity, disability, diversity, health, hearing, income, infrastructure, language, learning, literacy, mobility, situation, society, and vision.

Submit 10-page technical or 4-page communication papers detailing engineering solutions and scientific insights into Web and Mobile technologies addressing diverse user needs. Submit 2-page extended abstracts to enter the The Paciello Group Web Accessibility Challenge or for consideration for inclusion in the Google Doctoral Consortium. All submissions will be published in the ACM Digital Library.

The 2018 theme is “Internet of Accessible Things”. In addition to work in the traditional core areas of W4A, we are also interested in work that explores the use, potential, and perils of the Internet of Things phenomenon for accessibility. Click here for more information.

What's new on the website? Website icon (green globe)

Have you ever wondered out how to use a crowd of experts to solve a difficult technical problem?  Check out the latest article on our website to see how we used crowd-sourcing to solve a problem with ARIA that confused all the experts.  We all learned some valuable lessons, not least of all, the benefit of getting together with like-minded people.  Read the article “Crowd-sourcing the Web Key IT Way" on our website by Amanda Mace.

Also have a look to see the most recent news from the ACS Digital Disruptors Awards and the ACS Annual Diversity Dinner WA on our "News" page on the website. You can also see our past issues of the newsletter there.

Christmas/New Year Period Christmas Tree Icon

From all of us at Web Key IT, we wish you a Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah and a wonderful New Year!
 
Please note that we will be available for projects over the Christmas/New Year period as not all of our staff celebrate Christmas and some staff have elected not to take holidays at this time. It is a great time to get a project started, so that when you come back from your own holidays, results of your audit would be available.  As most websites won’t be undergoing much change over this period due to unavailability of your own staff, we will have a stable website to audit with minimal disruption to you. If you’d like to avail yourself of this opportunity, please contact us for the next opening.
Graphic saying Merry Christmas and happy new year in black and white.

Upcoming Events Green Calendar Icon Graphic


Perth Web Accessibility Camp
15th of February 2018
Perth, WA
Contact Vivienne here if you’d like to be involved in the planning

Monthly Perth Web Accessibility Meetup
20th of February 2017
Perth, WA
Read more about the Accessibility Meetup group here


ACS CIO Breakfast
28th of March 2018
Perth, WA
Contact Alexandra Mollo here for details and registration
 
W4A 2018
22nd-24th of April 2018
Lyon, France
Click here for information on W4A & registration

The WEB Conference 2018
(previously known as WWW Conference)
23rd-27th of April 2018
Lyon, France
Click here for information on The WEB & registration

 

Are we friends yet? Friend Icon

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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