August 2017

Hello <<First Name>>!

Over the coming months, we will be introducing you to some 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
Dr. Jan Ring.
 photo of Jan Ring smiling
Jan is currently working at Web Key IT as the Learning and Development Manager. Jan has over 40 years’ experience in education and information technology and has worked with online learning at tertiary and corporate levels, developing learning programmes and coaching online. Her experience includes two years in the corporate world of Singapore where she was a Director at an international eLearning company which focused on developing and delivering bespoke eLearning programmes for Fortune 500 companies. She is particularly interested in how people successfully interact with computers and the creation of accessible user environments.
The Value of Alternative Feedback
I picked up my grandson from school and he couldn’t wait to get back to my place and get on to the new maths homework program his teacher had organised for the class.  He had the URL and his password and was soon set up on my laptop at the kitchen table.
I left him to it while I started to get tea, at 10 years old he was a very competent computer user.
After a while he called me over.
‘Nanna, it doesn’t tell me if I’m right or wrong.’
I came over and watched as he did the sums getting them mostly correct and occasionally one wrong.  But he was right, there was no feedback.  No score accumulating, no big ticks, nothing!  Very odd.  I searched around the page, trying to see if there was a button we were missing that would turn on feedback.
While we were puzzling over this anomaly my daughter arrived and asked what we were doing so we explained the problem to her.  She sat down and had a go.
‘Oh!’ she said.  ‘It makes a happy sound when you get it right and a sad sound when you get it wrong’.  We looked at her blankly. ‘You guys can’t hear that can you?’ she asked.
My grandson and I are both hard of hearing and we both wear hearing aids and no, we could not hear ‘that’.  With the sound up as high as it would go, I could hear it but my grandson’s hearing threshold is much lower than mine and he still couldn’t hear it all.
Grandson sighed and closed the lid of the laptop. He was not happy.  This was yet another example of where his hearing set him apart from his peers and made him ‘different’ – something no child wants to be.
This situation should not have happened and it could so easily have been avoided with a sensitive and inclusive approach to the programming of an application that would be used by children.  It is not acceptable or realistic to assume that children do not have disabilities that affect their sight, hearing or mobility.
Had the programmer been aware of the WCAG 2.0 Accessibility Guidelines, and the laws that apply in Australia, the program would have been developed with alternative means of feedback of the kind we were looking for earlier.
The WCAG 2.0 criterion that applies in this situation is covered in 1.2.1 Audio-only and video-only (Pre-recorded) which requires that anything that is provided aurally must also be provided in an alternative method that gives the same information.  For example, the maths program could provide the information visually and in a format that could be accessed via screen reader technology.
It didn’t require a great deal of extra programming, it just needed awareness.
Stay up-to-date
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 have a Twitter feed too, as well as LinkedIn. Links to these social pipes are always on the right hand side of the newsletter.

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

Have an excellent month everyone!

For the diary...

Networking & Future of ICT Careers
Thursday 31st August, 2:30pm
Murdoch University
90 South Street, Faculty of Business Building
Room 513.005
Murdoch WA
Register for Networking here

ACS Women (WA)
"How You Can Publish A Book to Build Your Personal Brand" presented by LinkedIn Expert Jo Saunders
Tuesday 5th September 2017, 5:30pm -7:30pm
Microsoft Building
Level 3 100 St Georges Terrace
Perth, WA
Register for ACS Women Here

DDD Perth
Saturday 16th September 2017
Perth Convention Centre
Perth, WA
Register for DDD Perth Here

Monthly Accessibility Meetup
Tuesday September 19th 2017, 7:30am
Dome Cafe
149 James Street
Northbridge, WA
Register for the Meetup Here

ACS WA September Branch Forum
Tuesday 19th September 2017, 5:30pm - 7:30pm
Adina Apartment Hotel
33 Mounts Bay Road
Perth, WA
Register for the Forum Here

OZeWAI 2017
20th – 22nd November 2017
Canberra, ACT
Register for OzeWAI Here
Keynote Speaker: Mike Paciello (founder of The Paciello Group)
Presentation proposals now being accepted.

About Web Key IT
We are experts in website accessibility auditing, training and usability testing. Website accessibility requirements are here to stay, but many website owners are unsure of the new requirements in Australia for meeting the new standards. 

Web Key IT Pty Ltd is a business initiative aimed at assisting owners of websites of all sizes to achieve a truly accessible website. We provide a range of personalised website services to assist you in meeting Australian and internationally– recognised accessibility guidelines.

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