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Once we knew, we decided to organise a small event to celebrate. There is, of course, a great crossover and overlap between the concepts of government digital service delivery transformation and digital accessibility. The lack of accessibility to people with particular access needs in much of how government makes information available to citizens is precisely the reason a transformation is needed. One of our international keynote Transform speakers, Dana Chisnell, as well as driving change as a Design Researcher (then) at the US Digital Service, had also much experience in analysing and advocating for accessibility for people with disabilities to public facilities such as voting at elections, and agreed to speak. That kicked off an evening that also featured Andrew Arch, a long-time Australian accessibility advocate working within Government and more recently a key recruit for the (then) Digital Transformation Office, as well as local disability and accessibility advocates. Here's how Ricky Onsman and Jacinta Cali reported on it for Wrap magazine.

Transforming Accessibility

Celebrating Global Accessibility Awareness Day

This first Transform conference, which focused on how governments can improve the way they provide online services to all citizens, happened to share its May 19 date with Global Accessibility Awareness Day. So that’s several hundred designers, front end developers, information architects, user experience specialists, content producers and project managers with a focus on digital government information services coming together from around the country on just the day nominated to draw worldwide attention to web accessibility for people with disabilities. In late 2011, US developer Joe Devon floated the idea of day on which web developers across the globe would try to raise awareness and knowhow on making websites accessible. Among other accessibility professionals who expressed support, Jennison Asuncion set to work with Joe to make GAAD a reality. Since 2012, events have been held around the world that have changed the way devs and designers think and act with regard to accessibility, and profiling the many efforts made to make the web accessible to people with disabilities. Many events aim to put accessibility into context for the people who build the web, like trying to use websites blindfolded or without a mouse. In Australia, A11y Bytes has been organising GAAD events first in Sydney, then adding Melbourne and Perth in subsequent years. These have taken the form of public meetups with short talks on accessibility topics, and have definitely helped web professionals rethink their approach to accessibility. For the last few years, the date for GAAD has been set as the third Thursday in May. In 2016, that was 19 May. The day of the Transform conference itself was already packed with activity, and the evening would see many people heading home and others attending organised post-conference events. But the day before the conference was the day on which US usability experts Dana Chisnell and Jared Spool held their Canberra workshop Deconstructing Delight, a Transform event held at the same venue. The Web Directions team recruited the support of the A11y Bytes folks and members of the Digital Transformation Office involved with the conference (who include, rightly, some of the best web accessibility talent in this country) to co-present Transforming Accessibility, “an opportunity to connect with the broader accessibility and digital communities in Canberra, in honour of Global Accessibility Awareness Day.” It was a good turnout for a chilly Canberra evening, with local disability activists and community representatives mixing with accessibility specialists and buzzy and excited workshop attendees. Excellent snacks and drinks helped warm the atmosphere in the former Members Bar and Lounge of Old Parliament House, as Web Directions founder John Allsopp welcomed everyone and introduced four speakers. Transform 16: Transforming Accessibility While Dana Chisnell was at Transform in her role as Design Researcher at the US Digital Service, talking about the transformation of online government services underway in America, and was co-delivering the workshop with Jared (possibly the best credentialled and most polished user experience tag team ever), her professional history also goes back to some extremely significant research into the needs of people with age-related impairments and disabilities that went on to inform the development of the W3C’s Web Accessibility Content Guidelines. A11y cred ++ Dana spoke eloquently and warmly about an understanding of accessibility that is becoming increasingly powerful: that it’s not about adding things on to compensate for inaccessibility - it’s about not building in the obstacles to access in the first place and, where those obstacles have been built in, removing them. This applies as much to the relatively young world of the web as it does to the physical world of bricks and mortar. They are both built environments that should not - and do not need to - exclude people with specific access needs. A focus of Dana’s professional experience (and personal ongoing interest) is the usability of the electoral experience and ensuring that it allows for the participation of all citizens. Her story about personally supporting the participation of people as voters who had always assumed they were excluded from this most basic of citizens’ rights was moving and inspiring, not least for the simplicity of the solution - make it easy for everyone. Transform 16: Transforming Accessibility Dr Andrew Arch is an Australian pioneer of web accessibility, having built Vision Australia’s accessibility training services in the early 2000s, then working in France and the UK with the W3C’s Web Accessibility Initiative, and returning here to work with the Australian Government Information Management Office on making government websites accessible through the National Transition Strategy. He is now Lead, Accessibility, Diversity, Assisted Digital for the game-changing Digital Transformation Office. Andrew spoke of Australia’s strong track record of involvement in web accessibility initiatives over the years, how accessibility intersects with the information needs of so many people in the community and how the DTO is working to make government information online more accessible to the whole community, including people who have disabilities. Australia is part of a global movement that acknowledges government information services have become increasingly complex, and need to be made more accessible. Andrew affirmed that there is much to be done in this area but also that progress is being made, with the critical factor of awareness being assisted by events like GAAD. Transform 16: Transforming Accessibility Robert Altamore is Executive Officer of People with Disabilities ACT, the peak disability advocacy body in the territory. His personal experience of disability, his years of involvement with Blind Citizens Australia and his participation in key advocacy initiatives in Australia have left him well placed to observe and comment on both the positive steps that have been taken and the need for much more to be done. The web represents a brave new world of information sharing, and it is critical that everything is done to ensure that people with disabilities are not only not excluded from it, but are actively empowered by it. Sue Salthouse was until 2012 President of Women with Disabilities Australia, the peak organisation for women with all types of disabilities in Australia. She continues to be an active advocate for women’s rights and the rights of people with disability, and was made Canberra Citizen of the Year in 2015. Like Robert, Sue drew attention to the expected positive impact of the National Disability Insurance Scheme, but reminded us all that there is much work yet to be done before we see the full potential of the NDIS for changing the lives of people with disability. Sue also drew attention to the terrible statistics around violence toward women that are often compounded for women with disabilities. The sum effect of the four speakers was to acknowledge that the web has enormous potential to benefit people with disabilities, but that will only happen if we make sure the web is accessible, particularly in the areas of government services and information so critical for people who require support. It was an inspiring, thought-provoking evening that left the web professionals present with a clearer awareness of what they have the potential to achieve through an accessible web. We asked Jacinta Cali, Director of Website Projects for digital agency Internetrix, what she thought of the evening. Transform 16: Jacinta Cali GAAD is so important Websites, software and mobile apps all have plenty in common: they want to be inclusive, easy to use and inviting. Still, so many of us are releasing new sites into the market with little or no care for digital accessibility. Not everyone who shapes the web knows just how important accessibility is and I believe it’s simply due to lack of awareness. Thankfully, we have Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD) which is an important event aimed at doing just that - raising awareness. On the eve of the first ever Transform conference in Canberra, I attended Transforming Accessibility which celebrated GAAD. GAAD aims to get people talking, thinking and learning about digital accessibility. At Transforming Accessibility, we heard from inspirational speakers who educated us about what is at stake when we talk about accessibility. What I found so great was just how many people there were passionate about creating an inclusive web. What I learned was everyone has a need and a basic right to access the sites we create. Visitors to a website, including those with disabilities, can become excluded from its content in different ways that take just a little thought to remedy. As digital creators, we are responsible for delivering an accessible experience to all users. In 2016, awareness of accessibility in tech is increasing, but not everyone knows how to start or where to find knowledge on accessibility. GAAD aims to provide people in digital with the know-how for creating accessible sites and to educate related communities that influence technology. As digital creators there are some easy ways we can make sites more accessible. Here’s a few things you can do to make your sites better: Don’t disable zoom. Pixel perfect is so 2004. Ultimately it’s really bad for your visitors. Check out the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 section 1.4.4. Avoid bitmapped captcha images. Opt for non-interactive mechanisms to check for spam or other invalid content. Make downloadable files accessible. The files you embed on your website also need to be WCAG 2.0 compliant. Use focus styles. If you find focus {outline: none;} somewhere in your style sheet then remove it. Build a content style that removes jargon, using clear and simple language. Have meaningful Alternative (Alt) Text. Not too short, not a duplicate of the title and not too long (about 8 - 10 words is good). Making these changes gives a wider spread of the community, such as those with disabilities and seniors, the ability to join in with digital life. This is social inclusion in action. GAAD raises awareness for digital shapers to produce sites that are more usable for a wider audience, meeting compliance standards, and improving the quality of life for users so that the hard things in life are a bit easier. For more information on how to make your site accessible check out http://a11yproject.com/resources.html or get in touch with A11Y Bytes.    " ["post_title"]=> string(40) "Transform 16: Transforming Accessibility" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(39) "transform-16-transforming-accessibility" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2017-03-19 15:43:16" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-03-19 04:43:16" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(37) "https://www.webdirections.org/?p=7081" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" ["post_category"]=> string(1) "0" } [1]=> object(WP_Post)#271 (25) { ["ID"]=> int(7077) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "3" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2017-03-22 10:00:30" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-03-21 23:00:30" ["post_content"]=> string(2768) "Kevin YankVideo Ristretto this week brings you Kevin Yank's timely reminder to check the CSS you already know, including whether and how it works, and what's coming soon in terms of both the spec and browser implementation. We asked Kevin, Front End Engineer at Culture Amp and regular contributor to Web Directions events over the years, to revisit CSS Selectors for our Respond conference last year, even though - or, perhaps, because - the use of frameworks and preprocessors has often hidden them from day-to-day use. His talk, CSS Selectors Redux, runs for just under 24 minutes. Watch out for MacGyver.  

Want more?

Like to see and read more like this? Be the first to score invitations to our events? Then jump on our once-a-week mailing list to keep up with everything happening at Web Directions. And you'll get a complimentary digital copy of Scroll magazine.
" ["post_title"]=> string(49) "Video Ristretto: Kevin Yank - CSS Selectors Redux" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(46) "video-ristretto-kevin-yank-css-selectors-redux" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2017-03-19 14:34:24" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-03-19 03:34:24" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(37) "https://www.webdirections.org/?p=7077" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" ["post_category"]=> string(1) "0" } [2]=> object(WP_Post)#270 (25) { ["ID"]=> int(7066) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "3" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2017-03-21 10:00:16" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-03-20 23:00:16" ["post_content"]=> string(7908) "Aubrey Blanche is the Global Head of Diversity & Inclusion at Atlassian, the Australian startup that became a global giant. Her talk at our end-of-one-year, start-of-the-next Direction conference in 2016 turned out to be notable for several reasons. Firstly, the full title of this presentation, Scaling Walls: The Barriers to Female Representation and How Atlassian is Eliminating Them, tells you that it fits perfectly the discussions prompted by the recent International Women's Day about women in tech. In fact, much the same discussions happen every year, which makes you wonder if anyone's making any progress. This talk tells you that Atlassian is, by employing some devilishly ordinary common sense. Second, this talk would have had the highest rating of Direction attendees being heard to say afterwards, "We can do this. Why aren't we doing this? Let's do this". And thirdly, it's notable that Aubrey broached this complicated topic without the aid of any slides or other visual aids - yet it was utterly compelling. Here's how Wrap summarised her talk.

Scaling Walls: The Barriers to Female Representation and How Atlassian is Eliminating Them

Aubrey Blanche, Global Head of Diversity & Inclusion, Atlassian

Aubrey Blanche

Key points

Aubrey’s job is to help Atlassian more effectively attract, recruit, retain, and develop people from traditionally under-represented groups. People in the tech industry believe tech is a meritocracy. That is not true. The Paradox of Meritocracy indicates that the more we believe in a meritocracy, the less it actually applies. A Newsweek cover last year showed the titans of Silicon Valley, and every single one of them was a white man. The increase in perspective brought about by diversity in hiring brings direct benefits in efficiency, work quality and higher achievements for all involved. When Aubrey started at Atlassian, there was a supportive attitude to diversity but nothing had been built to support it, which at least meant a clean slate. The process for recruiting a group of Sydney graduates offered a place to start - except that they had not one single application from women. One of the reasons was clearly a confidence gap. When women and men are equally qualified, women are less likely to rate themselves highly. Atlassian went to universities, tech meetups, hosted breakfasts to find out what would make women want to apply to work at Atlassian. Active encouragement to overcome the confidence gap was clearly important. Atlassian also overhauled their public image as a recruiter, changing their messaging to reflect what would appeal to anyone serious about working in tech: less on perks like beer and pizza, more about being a collaborative and flexible work environment that valued all employees equally. Positive steps also included emphasising skills over experience, ensuring imagery was diverse, and changing job ads to be more realistic and less about rock stars, gurus and ninjas.
"We don’t want rock stars. Rock stars come in at 11 and suck at building software."
Direction 16: Aubrey Blanche

Takeways

Why don’t we see women in technology in the same proportions that we see them in the general population? When PCs started being marketed in the mid 1980s, it was men and boys that were targeted, giving them a decade long head start over women and girls - despite some of the original computer scientists being women. We’re still dealing with this. We need to change the way we advertise the tech industry and the way that we brand, so that we paint a broad inclusive picture of who tech is, what tech is, and who it can be. Unconscious bias causes us to evaluate the skills of women in technical roles less, compared to their male counterparts. 10 years into their career in technology, 56% of women opt out. The comparable statistic for men is 17%. When asked, women said they didn’t feel they could thrive in predominant culture. Atlassian rejected ideas of a culture fit as being wracked with various biases, but structured behavioural interviewing for a values fit identified people who would prosper at the company. Atlassian’s methods are working. In two years, the proportion of women on staff has left from under 12% to over 45% and is moving toward equal gender parity. The huge, and often ignored, benefit to building a workforce that is diverse and inclusive is that you start attracting all kinds of employees who want to work with you. What this comes down to is that a tech company recruiting needs to be aware of, practise and hone organisational design.
"This stuff is really hard to talk about, but the more we talk about it, the more we can make progress."
Direction 16: Aubrey Blanche Sketchnotes by @the_patima.

Caveats

The culture in tech is not geared to be female-friendly - but culture is malleable and can be changed. The idea that addressing issues of diversity and inclusion is expensive is false. It’s about being smart. Interviewing is hard, and we’re not very good at using interviews to determine whether people are good at something. If your company remains committed to recruiting according to a culture fit, ask what that really means.
"Men were a third more likely than women to get an interview for a coding position. And we submitted the same code for both."
Direction 16: Aubrey Blanche

Resources

@adblanche website The Paradox of Meritocracy (article) Textio Work Rules! (book, by Laszlo Bock)

Tweets

Direction 16: Aubrey Blanche Direction 16: Aubrey Blanche Direction 16: Aubrey Blanche Direction 16: Aubrey Blanche Direction 16: Aubrey Blanche Direction 16: Aubrey Blanche " ["post_title"]=> string(44) "Direction 16: Scaling Walls - Aubrey Blanche" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(41) "direction-16-scaling-walls-aubrey-blanche" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2017-03-21 10:08:57" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-03-20 23:08:57" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(37) "https://www.webdirections.org/?p=7066" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" ["post_category"]=> string(1) "0" } [3]=> object(WP_Post)#269 (25) { ["ID"]=> int(7061) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "3" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2017-03-20 10:00:33" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-03-19 23:00:33" ["post_content"]=> string(4144) "The speaker lineup for our Transform 17 Conference in Canberra from 29-30 March is complete. We've added not one, not two but three more sessions - this is going to be a seriously full day, and seriously good value! Please note our Workshop day with Dan Sheldon and Sarah Atkinson has already sold out, and it is very likely we'll have a full house for the conference, too.

Who's been added to the program?

Catherine Thompson, Transform 17 Conference Catherine Thompson Head of Digital Marketplace, DTA What's now, and What's next for the Digital Marketplace Hear what's new, and coming next for the Digital Marketplace, whether you're a buyer or seller of services. Stewart Hay, Transform 17 Conference Stewart Hay Intopia Digital accessibility in a post truth world Why are agencies still producing digital services that do not conform to the agreed Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG)? Belinda Kellar, Transform 17 Conference Belinda Kellar Director, CX, DSITI Personalised and proactive service delivery for seniors The Queensland Government has been working with older people to improve access to concessions and the support they need to stay healthy and active.

Who else is speaking?

Ben Holliday, UK DWP Dan Sheldon, UK GDS Ariel Kennan, NYC Mayor's Office Sarah Atkinson, Pragmateam Jenny Hunter, Head of Digital, BOM Brian Dargan & Luke Hymers, Mentally Friendly

Why should I be at Transform 17 Conference?

As Australia’s premier conference on digital service delivery in government, you will have access to practitioners and thought-leaders working in digital transformation from around the globe. Our first Transform conference last year was a huge success, allowing us to compare progress in the UK, the US, New Zealand and Australia. Things have moved on since then (see my brief article Transforming Policy and Delivery) and Transform has grown, too. If you work in this area, the Transform 17 conference is a major avenue of professional development for you. You'll find detailed descriptions of the schedule, the speakers and their presentations at the Transform website. Register Now & Pay Later" ["post_title"]=> string(47) "Three Sessions Added to Transform 17 Conference" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(38) "sessions-added-transform-17-conference" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2017-03-19 10:06:43" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-03-18 23:06:43" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(37) "https://www.webdirections.org/?p=7061" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" ["post_category"]=> string(1) "0" } [4]=> object(WP_Post)#268 (25) { ["ID"]=> int(7054) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "3" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2017-03-17 14:05:35" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-03-17 03:05:35" ["post_content"]=> string(2414) "Web Directions, and the Progessive Web Apps Sydney meetup are really excited to present an evening with Jake Archibald and Alex Russell. RSVP here, or at the SydPWA meetup site. Join two of the most influential people shaping the future of Web technologies, for an evening focussed on all things progressive web apps. Alex Russell Alex Russell invented the term and the key concepts associated with Progressive Web Apps. He works at Google on the Chrome Browser team, and among many other significant contributions to the Web he is on the W3C's Technical Architecture Group, the committee which steers the overall technical direction of the W3C, and TC39, the committee that standardises ECMAScript (AKA JavaScript). Jake Archibald Jake Archibald is well known around the world for his advocacy of, and contribution to emerging Web Standards like fetch (a much simpler API for doing what we've done forever with XMLHTTPRequest, AKA Ajax) and of course Service Worker. Alex and Jake will each talk about aspects of Progressive Web Apps from concepts to technologies, best practices to case studies. There'll be a drink or two and refreshments as well: 6:00 Doors open 6:30 Alex Russell 7:00 Jake Archibald 7:30 Networking 8:00 Time to go home, it's a school night. RSVP here, or at the SydPWA meetup site. " ["post_title"]=> string(36) "A very progressive (web app) evening" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(27) "progressive-web-app-evening" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2017-03-17 14:32:19" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-03-17 03:32:19" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(37) "https://www.webdirections.org/?p=7054" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" ["post_category"]=> string(1) "0" } [5]=> object(WP_Post)#267 (25) { ["ID"]=> int(7038) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "3" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2017-03-17 13:30:00" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-03-17 02:30:00" ["post_content"]=> string(1810) "Less than two weeks to go until Transform 17, which makes it a good time for Video of the Week to revisit the closing keynote address from last year's Transform. Jared Spool is pretty much a legend in the world of user experience and usability. Writer, researcher, consultant, speaker and educator, Jared's talks, workshops, books, articles and courses have had a huge influence on a generation of designers, developers and well ... all of us. We could not have asked for a more relevant, pointed and inspirational closer for Transform 16 than Jared's talk, even though - at a conference focused on the digital transformation of government services - his talk ranged far and wide in search of the tipping point where UX is embedded in an organisation's culture. Set aside an hour or so, and enjoy a master at work.   Like to watch and read more like this? Be the first to score invitations to our events? Then jump on our once a week mailing list where we round up the week's best reading and watching on all things Web. And you'll get a complimentary digital copy of Scroll magazine.
" ["post_title"]=> string(51) "Video of the Week – Jared Spool at Transform 2016" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(37) "video-week-jared-spool-transform-2016" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2017-03-17 13:47:36" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-03-17 02:47:36" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(37) "https://www.webdirections.org/?p=7038" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" ["post_category"]=> string(1) "0" } [6]=> object(WP_Post)#266 (25) { ["ID"]=> int(7041) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "3" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2017-03-16 10:00:17" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-03-15 23:00:17" ["post_content"]=> string(7106) "As the excitement builds for our Respond 17 conference (Early Bird closes 24 March), we have another Wrap magazine summary of a presentation from Respond 16. And not just any presentation. Russ Weakley is one of those Australians who has built an enviable global reputation as someone who not only has a comprehensive and detailed understanding of CSS and its role in delivering superior web experiences, he can also convey that understanding to others - which he's done in books, articles and video courses accessed by thousands of people. A particular focus of Russ's work is accessibility, a topic that strikes fear into the hearts of many but which Russ insists can be achieved without tears. This Wrap summary gives you a good idea of the clarity and directness with which Russ approaches the topic.

Building accessible web components without tears

Russ Weakley, Web Designer, Max Design

Russ Weakley

Key points

Many web applications these days are built on top of pre-existing frameworks or code bases and there is little thought to how well these components will work for different assistive devices. A range of common application components can be made accessible - quickly and easily - for all users, including forms, modal windows, drop-down menus, in-page tabs and other commonly used web components. A simple way for a web developer to understand accessibility is to try to navigate a site using only a keyboard. If they cannot perform all tasks without issues, tell which element is in focus at any time or tab around the page in a logical order, then that site has accessibility issues. Fluency or even dependence on libraries and frameworks can lead to developers forgetting core web principles: basic HTML, CSS, accessibility and progressive enhancement. If we want to make our sites available to the widest possible audience, we have to include people with various types of disability, many of whom use assistive devices for input (keyboards, trackpads, head wands, puffers, switches, touch screens, voice activated software) and output (text browsers, screen readers, magnifiers, Braille devices).
"The best time to focus on accessibility is right at the beginning of the development process, when creating the individual components in your pattern library."
Respond 16: Russ Weakley

Takeways

Screen readers often dominate discussion of assistive devices but in fact keyboard only users constitute a bigger group of users (because it includes screen readers), and all types of AT should be considered. WAI-ARIA defines a way to make websites more accessible, especially JavaScript components. We can use specific HTML attributes to define roles, state and properties for HTML elements, and thereby make those elements more meaningful for assistive technology. Dynamic content presents some specific accessibility issues. For example, content that tells a user something in response to a user action may not be conveyed by a screen reader because it has already buffered the page and can’t re-read it, or because it can only focus on one part of the screen and thus doesn’t pick up the added content. The aria-live attribute can be applied to any HTML element to tell screen readers about changed content, with different levels of urgency. Aria-relevant, with its values of additions, removals and text, gives an idea of the type of content that has changed, while role=alert can also help to define how and when the user is alerted. If a screen reader is in “forms” mode (as opposed to “read” mode), it may not announce content that is near but not directly atached to the form controls. Because of this, many users will switch between read and forms mode to make sure they get all the info they need to complete the form. Form validation can present problems for screen readers as error messages may appear after a form control has lost focus. The screen reader may have to go back over the form to find the error message. There are various ways to let assistive technology tell users about form errors. Familiarise yourself with them and use them. Modals can also present problems for AT. A user may find that they can tab outside the modal window while the modal is active, but a screen reader can’t always tell a blind user that a modal has been triggered, let alone whether the user is in or out of the modal window. We can programmatically tell the screen reader how to treat the modal and tell the user what’s going on. In-page tabs and panels also need some work to make sure a user of assistive technology understands what’s going on, what they can do, what they should do and what will happen as a result of their actions. ARIA gives us the programmatic language to do this. Note that the steps you take to achieve this will tend to be useful to all users.
"Web accessibility begins with semantic markup."
Respond 16: Russ Weakley

Caveats

As aria-live=”assertive” is not well supported by browsers, it may be preferable to stick with aria-live=”polite”. Whatever you do, make sure you test: using keyboard only yourself will tell you a lot, use accessibility checking tools, test with screen readers, and conduct formal accessibility audits when needed. It’s important to note that it may not be necessary to do all that is described here. Aim for quick wins that deliver the most accessibility to users of assistive technology. Solve the problems that prevent users from completing actions first and then aim for making things progressively easier. Respond 16: Russ Weakley

Resources

@russmaxdesign website slides

Tweets

Respond 16: Russ Weakley tweets Respond 16: Russ Weakley tweets " ["post_title"]=> string(75) "Respond 16: Building Accessible Web Components Without Tears - Russ Weakley" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(72) "respond-16-building-accessible-web-components-without-tears-russ-weakley" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2017-03-17 13:48:03" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-03-17 02:48:03" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(37) "https://www.webdirections.org/?p=7041" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" ["post_category"]=> string(1) "0" } [7]=> object(WP_Post)#265 (25) { ["ID"]=> int(7024) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "3" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2017-03-15 11:30:27" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-03-15 00:30:27" ["post_content"]=> string(2906) "Wayne ThompsonWith the full program for Respond 17 now out, this week's Video Ristretto reprises the talk given by Wayne Thompson at our Direction conference in November last year, as he is again on the schedule for Respond. Once you see this talk, you'll quickly see why we wanted to get Wayne back, this time in front of an audience of front end designers. The subtitle of his Direction talk is "everything you always wanted to know about fonts* But were too afraid to ask", which is a pretty fair summary, I think you'll agree. Note that Wayne has lined up another fascinating talk for Respond, a case study of how he met the challenge of creating a font family to represent Australia's national public broadcaster, the ABC. But for now, enjoy Wayne presenting "Beyond Helvetica".  

Want more?

Like to see and read more like this? Be the first to score invitations to our events? Then jump on our once-a-week mailing list to keep up with everything happening at Web Directions. And you'll get a complimentary digital copy of Scroll magazine.
" ["post_title"]=> string(50) "Video Ristretto: Wayne Thompson - Beyond Helvetica" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(47) "video-ristretto-wayne-thompson-beyond-helvetica" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2017-03-14 12:05:45" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-03-14 01:05:45" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(37) "https://www.webdirections.org/?p=7024" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" ["post_category"]=> string(1) "0" } [8]=> object(WP_Post)#264 (25) { ["ID"]=> int(7008) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "3" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2017-03-15 10:00:00" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-03-14 23:00:00" ["post_content"]=> string(2107) "Closeup on Sausages “Laws,” says that illustrious rhymer, Mr. John Godfrey Saxe, “like sausages, cease to inspire respect in proportion as we know how they are made.” I've written a fair bit about how we spend a lot of effort curating the programs for our conferences. But even then, themes often emerge organically that we never really considered. When we first imagined the conference that became Transform, about 18 months ago, we had been taking note of the rise of a "second wave" of government digital service delivery. The UK's Government Digital Service had kicked off this human centred, design and research led approach, which was adopted increasingly around the world, including in Australia with the DTO (now DTA). Our focus for Transform was originally very much "the last mile" – delivering (as, for the most part, has been the focus of GDS, and DTA and the US Digital Service) the design, development and delivery of services. But this year, in particular, as I've been chatting with speakers both international and local about the event, time and again the conversation has turned to the importance of policy. No matter how good service delivery is, poorly developed policies, or policies that - even with the best possible motivation - are created in a vacuum, will not deliver ideal outcomes. More than one speaker has talked about the need for an 'agile' approach to policy development, and the sense I get as an outsider is that policy is still very much made in a 'waterfall' manner. This issue has come up with almost every speaker, more or less spontaneously, and I feel (and hope) it is an issue that may gain momentum in the coming months. I'm sure it will get a lot of attention at Transform, in Canberra March 30th." ["post_title"]=> string(32) "Transforming Policy and Delivery" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(372) "Agile, human centred, research driven government service delivery is increasingly at the heart of the development of government digital services. But these services exist to implement policies. And yet how are these policies made, and isn't it time the development of policy became more agile, human centred, and research driven? This will be a key theme for Transform 17." ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(28) "transforming-policy-delivery" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2017-03-17 13:47:12" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-03-17 02:47:12" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(37) "https://www.webdirections.org/?p=7008" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" ["post_category"]=> string(1) "0" } [9]=> object(WP_Post)#263 (25) { ["ID"]=> int(7023) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "3" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2017-03-14 10:30:00" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-03-13 23:30:00" ["post_content"]=> string(3084) "The Crowd at Web Directions 2014 Over the years, we've come to Brisbane a number of times – several times with our free "What Do You Know?" series (we aim to return this year), and with workshops by the likes of Andy Clarke. But we've never quite managed to bring a full conference up there. That is all about to change this year. In 2017, we're bringing not one, but two of our conferences to Brisbane: Respond, our front end design conference on 12 May, and Code, our front end engineering conference on 4 August. Each will be a one-day version of the two-day conference (we just couldn't fit three two-day conferences in three cities within two weeks, this first time out). What that means is, we've super condensed an already full-on two-day experience into a single day. Hope you're up for it. You'll see three of our international keynote speakers - Rachel Nabors, Mina Markham and Vitaly Friedman - as well as great local speakers like Wayne Thompson on the OneABC typeface he designed for the ABC, Rebecca Hendry looking in detail at Westpac's Global Experience Language, and much more. A look at the full schedule is sure to get you excited. Masterclass workshops are a hallmark of Web Directions events, and we don't want Brisbane to miss out, so we're also bringing Vitaly Friedman's fantastic full day masterclass "Smart Responsive UX Design Patterns". Vitaly is one of the world's great educators when it comes to web design and development, and this really is a very rare chance to learn from him. Early Bird tickets for Respond and Code are available until 24 March, with prices for the conference starting at $599.

Get a season pass to both conferences

Wait, we're not done yet. This is for Brisbane, so we have something extra special. Get a season pass to both Brisbane conferences for just $999. That's a Silver ticket, which includes conference videos for all of the sessions for Respond and Code (yes, all - including presentations not featuring in Brisbane). At regular prices, these two events at Silver rates would set you back usually $1398. With a Brisbane season pass it'll cost you just $999. We've been working on bringing our events to Brisbane for a long time, and this year it has finally come together. We aim to make your city a regular stop on the Web Directions circuit, and we need your active support to make that happen. We hope you're as excited about Respond 17 Brisbane and Code 17 Brisbane as we are. Love to see you there." ["post_title"]=> string(37) "Bringing Respond and Code to Brisbane" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(179) "This year we're bringing not one, but two of our conferences, Respond and Code to Brisbane. We're excited to be heading there, and hope the good folks north of the border are too!" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(16) "respond-brisbane" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2017-03-14 12:05:27" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-03-14 01:05:27" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(37) "https://www.webdirections.org/?p=7023" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" ["post_category"]=> string(1) "0" } [10]=> object(WP_Post)#262 (25) { ["ID"]=> int(7010) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "3" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2017-03-13 12:57:50" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-03-13 01:57:50" ["post_content"]=> string(4428) "As we get closer to Transform 17, one of the things we can say we were especially pleased about with our first Transform conference in Canberra last year was the variety of perspectives presented. We had speakers from the USA, the UK, Australia national, New South Wales, South Australia, Northern Territory - and our close international neighbour New Zealand. Darryl Carpenter from the New Zealand Department of Internal Affairs' Better Public Services Programme gave an overview of how the NZ digital transformation was proceeding, with some significant points of similarity and difference to approaches used in Australia and elsewhere.

Better Public Services for New Zealand

Darryl Carpenter: DIA, NZ

Darryl Carpenter

Key points

The New Zealand government committed to a program called Better Public Services that included meeting 10 specific targets across five result areas. Result 10, in the area of “Improving interaction with government”, is “New Zealanders can complete their transactions with government easily in a digital environment”. In addition, the government also committed to a large scale ICT review, providing the opportunity to take advantage of new technologies. The ICT Review in turn brought together all the top departmental and agency executives, who could then also consider the BPS objectives in context. The stability of a long term federal government was important in undertaking transformation.
"Life is about events in people’s lives, not the agencies they interact with."
Transform 16: Darryl Carpenter

Takeways

The number of government agencies with which people have to interact causes great frustration. That frustration is worsened when people’s information changes, as it does through life, and they have to repeat the changed information to every agency with which they deal. A centrally led but collaboratively delivered approach may or may not be better than a centrally led, centrally delivered approach to transformation. In the rush to be agile, attention should be paid to the structure and formalisation that goes with being a government agency. He aha te mea nui, he tangata, he tangata, he tangata (Maori for “And the most important thing is the people, the people, the people”).
"Surround yourself with brilliance, and get out of the way."
Transform 16: Darryl Carpenter

Caveats

Political will was required to make this want to happen, and cross-agency support was needed to implement it. The challenge remains to broaden the scope of Result 10. Government leaders and managers may drive a transformation process that changes their own jobs, and that can be a challenge. Funding remains an issue. Transform 16: Darryl Carpenter

Resources

website slides

Tweets

Transform 16: Darryl Carpenter Transform 16: Darryl Carpenter Transform 16: Darryl Carpenter" ["post_title"]=> string(71) "Transform 16: Better Public Services for New Zealand - Darryl Carpenter" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(68) "transform-16-better-public-services-for-new-zealand-darryl-carpenter" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2017-03-14 12:05:02" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-03-14 01:05:02" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(37) "https://www.webdirections.org/?p=7010" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" ["post_category"]=> string(1) "0" } [11]=> object(WP_Post)#261 (25) { ["ID"]=> int(6998) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "3" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2017-03-10 09:00:54" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-03-09 22:00:54" ["post_content"]=> string(4150) "Round up your front end design team – your CX, UX and UI folks, your user researchers, along with your front end devs - UI engineers, web developers, whatever your team calls them - and get them along to not just the best front end design conference in Australia, but among the very best anywhere: Respond And this year, Respond isn't just visiting Sydney and Melbourne, we're coming to Brisbane, too, with a single day 'highlights' edition (there's simply no way we could do two two-day conferences in two cities in the same week). Read on for all the details, or visit the Respond site. Way back in 2014, we launched Respond, a "popup" single day conference focusing on the challenges of what was, then still in its relative infancy, Responsive Web Design. In the years since, we've changed a lot about the event, and indeed all our events. Where once Web Directions was all about the main, end-of-year, multi-track Web Directions South - a big top under which we strove to bring all the family working on web-based apps and sites - we've moved on to a model of smaller, more focused events that we bring to multiple cities. As the conference formerly known as Web Directions morphed into Direction, and focused on the big picture at the intersection of Design, Technology and Strategy, Respond has grown from an event largely focused on implementation details for front end designers and developers in a multi form factor world, to encompass the whole range of front end design and user experience challenges. This year, we are genuinely excited to have brought together a program of extraordinary speakers, covering a broad range of topics of direct and ongoing relevance to your entire front end team. As always, and in keeping with our curatorial approach, a great deal of thought has gone into what we'll cover (and who should cover it). One key challenge in putting together programs is to find the "Goldilocks Zone" of content – not something the audience knows too well, and not something too far out across the horizon. Not chasing fads, yet not limited to the mundane. With that in mind, some of the key topics Respond will cover include * design languages and systems (including a keynote from the renowned Mina Markham, who developed the design language for the Hillary for America campaign, 'Pantsuit', and an intensive look at the work of the Westpac CX team and their Global Experience Language, and SEEK's use of design systems to help improve communication between design and development teams) * conversational and "chat" (or natural language) interfaces, with perspectives from Elizabeth Allen at Shopify, and local experts. Is there a "there" there? Is it hype, or reality? Let's find out * accessibility, with Cordelia McGee-Tubbs from Dropbox looking at how they make such a complex web application accessible, along with local accessibility hero Adem Cifcioglu * animation and motion design, with Rachel Nabors and locals showing the way toward an animated web * typefaces and typography, the way text is used in digital experiences, by the people who make them There's always room the underlying technologies of HTML, CSS and SVG, though as always, our approach is not about a laundry list of features, but rather the outcomes you can achieve using these technologies – including better typography, and more engaging experiences through animation. Overall, we've put together a program that addresses design issues we'll all be dealing with in the coming year, or years. These aren't just "hot topics", these are the challenges we're facing now and going forwards, and Respond has pulled together speakers who are showing the way forward in resolving them and advancing front end design. Respond really is for your whole front end team." ["post_title"]=> string(56) "Announcing Respond 2017, our front end design conference" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(55) "announcing-respond-2017-our-front-end-design-conference" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2017-03-10 09:06:59" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-03-09 22:06:59" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(37) "https://www.webdirections.org/?p=6998" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" ["post_category"]=> string(1) "0" } [12]=> object(WP_Post)#260 (25) { ["ID"]=> int(6992) ["post_author"]=> string(2) "17" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2017-03-08 16:56:32" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-03-08 05:56:32" ["post_content"]=> string(3198) "Today, March 8, is International Women’s Day. Not coincidentally, today we are launching our Respond 17 conference. The theme for IWD 2017 is Women in the Changing World of Work, which includes consideration of the gendered digital divide (particularly in developing nations) and also the opportunities for women provided by technological development. This is particularly relevant to our industry. Since the very first conference Web Directions produced, diversity of the speakers on the stage at our events has been a core value of our business. This isn’t just talk. We work hard to ensure representation from a range of speakers from underrepresented groups on our stage. It is therefore, with great pride that today, on International Women’s Day, we launch the line-up for Respond 17, our Front End Design conference, in which 44% of the speakers on the program, and 80% of the international speakers, are women. As a result, just a touch under 50% of the total stage presence at Respond will be women. Fair and equal representation doesn’t just happen by accident, it takes intent and effort to ensure a diverse line-up. For years, Web Directions has invested in the local ecosystem, through speaker development training and other workshops, to encourage new and developing speakers onto our stage. We also have a track record of surfacing international speakers - many with limited profiles - and bringing them to Australia to speak. In 2016, 40% of speakers across all of our conferences (Transform, Code, Respond and Direction) were women. This compares very favourably with other conferences in the tech industry (and we don’t use panels to boost this percentage). Representation also includes our audience. In 2016, working with groups such as Women Who Code and Geek Girls, Web Directions facilitated a number of women focused events, including Public Speaking Training and a session called ‘Be Your Confident Self” that we developed in conjunction with Public Speaking for Life, aimed at assisting women to advocate for their own professional development. These initiatives played a part in the tangible outcome of greater participation rates of women attending our events, with female representation increasing by 5% in 2016 compared with 2015. We recognise that Diversity encompasses more than just gender, but today, on International Women’s Day, we can acknowledge the efforts we have made to ensure that our stage and events reflect both our company and personal commitment to gender diversity and the equal representation of women in our industry. We look forward to welcoming you to all our events, and we hope that you will join your peers in supporting the equal participation of women in our industry by giving preference to events like Respond 17. " ["post_title"]=> string(50) "Recognising International Women's Day - Respond 17" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(47) "recognising-international-womens-day-respond-17" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2017-03-08 16:56:32" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-03-08 05:56:32" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(37) "https://www.webdirections.org/?p=6992" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" ["post_category"]=> string(1) "0" } [13]=> object(WP_Post)#259 (25) { ["ID"]=> int(6987) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "3" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2017-03-08 10:00:06" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-03-07 23:00:06" ["post_content"]=> string(2547) "Fiona ChanOur Video Ristretto this week features Fiona Chan, who many CSS loving Sydneysiders will know as one of the hosts of the CSS Sydney meetup, and our conference attendees will know as a regular volunteer at our events, helping to ensure everything runs smoothly. But Fiona is also a fine speaker in her own right, and at Code 16 gave a tremendously useful talk on how to review your code to make sure everything is shipshape - something all of us could probably pay more attention to. And no, linting is not enough. See for yourself.    

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" ["post_title"]=> string(56) "Video Ristretto: Fiona Chan - CSS: Code Smell Sanitation" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(54) "video-ristretto-fiona-chan-css-code-smell-sanitation-2" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2017-03-07 21:40:55" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-03-07 10:40:55" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(37) "https://www.webdirections.org/?p=6987" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" ["post_category"]=> string(1) "0" } [14]=> object(WP_Post)#1255 (25) { ["ID"]=> int(6977) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "3" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2017-03-07 10:00:39" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-03-06 23:00:39" ["post_content"]=> string(25148) "We know that no matter how excited you are to attend Transform 17, it can be a terrifying task to ask your boss to pay for your ticket. You and I both know that attending this conference is a valuable investment to your professional and personal development … but how do we get your boss on board? Let us help you with this. We’ve thought of all the questions, concerns and the ‘buts’ your boss might have about you attending, and so here are some answers and resources that show the value you and your boss will get from your attendance at Transform 17. Q. How will attending Transform 17 help the company? A. As Australia’s premier conference on digital service delivery in government, Transform 17 will give you access to practitioners and thought leaders working in digital transformation from around the globe, so there will be tons of content to support your company’s digital transformation goals, whatever they may be. This year, our main speakers come from the UK, USA and Australia, and are themselves practitioners engaged in the same process of digital transformation, and so the topics you will hear about are not only relevant but also rich in practical, real-world advice that you can implement straightaway. Q. What will you learn at Transform 17 that you can’t learn somewhere else? A. You will hear the about the latest trends, insights and ‘what not to do’ in government service delivery from people working in some of the world’s largest government departments – where else can you learn from people that have worked in the NYC Mayor’s office and Gov.UK? Transform 2017 also features a full-day workshop in two parts that will let you get a little more hands-on. Dan Sheldon will lead you through A survival guide for digital government, taking an “honest look at the way government works" and then Sarah Atkinson takes over for Real World Transformation: “tools and techniques which form the foundation of affecting transformation.” Q. How will Transform help you professionally? A. Part of our mission at Web Directions is to help people move up in their careers and so we’ve ensured that Transform 17 delivers great content that both equips you with the actionable knowledge you need to do your job better, and the inspiration to return to the office with a new sense of energy. Networking plays a huge part in all our events, and at Transform 17 there will be opportunities across the two days to make organic connections with your industry peers which is great to way to start new partnerships, promote your company and build your personal brand. Tip: When asking, don’t dance – just ask Often, people nervously bring up the subject of the conference with their bosses and rarely ask them directly to attend. Instead, they ask what the boss thinks about it first and then it doesn’t get mentioned again. Don’t let this happen with Transform 17. Tell your boss you want to attend and ask whether they’ll foot the bill. They may say yes or no, but at least you know exactly where you stand.  
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We've gone a step further and created a simple email template you can use to ease the pressure off convincing your boss. Enter your details below and we'll email it straight to you.

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  Transform 17 " ["post_title"]=> string(54) "How to Convince the Boss You Should Go to Transform 17" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(29) "convince-boss-go-transform-17" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2017-03-07 19:38:37" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-03-07 08:38:37" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(37) "https://www.webdirections.org/?p=6977" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" ["post_category"]=> string(1) "0" } } ["post_count"]=> int(15) ["current_post"]=> int(-1) ["in_the_loop"]=> bool(false) ["post"]=> object(WP_Post)#272 (25) { ["ID"]=> int(7081) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "3" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2017-03-23 10:00:50" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-03-22 23:00:50" ["post_content"]=> string(14211) "When we held our inaugural Transform conference in Canberra last year from 18-19 May, we didn't realise it would coincide with Global Accessibility Awareness Day on 19 May. Once we knew, we decided to organise a small event to celebrate. There is, of course, a great crossover and overlap between the concepts of government digital service delivery transformation and digital accessibility. The lack of accessibility to people with particular access needs in much of how government makes information available to citizens is precisely the reason a transformation is needed. One of our international keynote Transform speakers, Dana Chisnell, as well as driving change as a Design Researcher (then) at the US Digital Service, had also much experience in analysing and advocating for accessibility for people with disabilities to public facilities such as voting at elections, and agreed to speak. That kicked off an evening that also featured Andrew Arch, a long-time Australian accessibility advocate working within Government and more recently a key recruit for the (then) Digital Transformation Office, as well as local disability and accessibility advocates. Here's how Ricky Onsman and Jacinta Cali reported on it for Wrap magazine.

Transforming Accessibility

Celebrating Global Accessibility Awareness Day

This first Transform conference, which focused on how governments can improve the way they provide online services to all citizens, happened to share its May 19 date with Global Accessibility Awareness Day. So that’s several hundred designers, front end developers, information architects, user experience specialists, content producers and project managers with a focus on digital government information services coming together from around the country on just the day nominated to draw worldwide attention to web accessibility for people with disabilities. In late 2011, US developer Joe Devon floated the idea of day on which web developers across the globe would try to raise awareness and knowhow on making websites accessible. Among other accessibility professionals who expressed support, Jennison Asuncion set to work with Joe to make GAAD a reality. Since 2012, events have been held around the world that have changed the way devs and designers think and act with regard to accessibility, and profiling the many efforts made to make the web accessible to people with disabilities. Many events aim to put accessibility into context for the people who build the web, like trying to use websites blindfolded or without a mouse. In Australia, A11y Bytes has been organising GAAD events first in Sydney, then adding Melbourne and Perth in subsequent years. These have taken the form of public meetups with short talks on accessibility topics, and have definitely helped web professionals rethink their approach to accessibility. For the last few years, the date for GAAD has been set as the third Thursday in May. In 2016, that was 19 May. The day of the Transform conference itself was already packed with activity, and the evening would see many people heading home and others attending organised post-conference events. But the day before the conference was the day on which US usability experts Dana Chisnell and Jared Spool held their Canberra workshop Deconstructing Delight, a Transform event held at the same venue. The Web Directions team recruited the support of the A11y Bytes folks and members of the Digital Transformation Office involved with the conference (who include, rightly, some of the best web accessibility talent in this country) to co-present Transforming Accessibility, “an opportunity to connect with the broader accessibility and digital communities in Canberra, in honour of Global Accessibility Awareness Day.” It was a good turnout for a chilly Canberra evening, with local disability activists and community representatives mixing with accessibility specialists and buzzy and excited workshop attendees. Excellent snacks and drinks helped warm the atmosphere in the former Members Bar and Lounge of Old Parliament House, as Web Directions founder John Allsopp welcomed everyone and introduced four speakers. Transform 16: Transforming Accessibility While Dana Chisnell was at Transform in her role as Design Researcher at the US Digital Service, talking about the transformation of online government services underway in America, and was co-delivering the workshop with Jared (possibly the best credentialled and most polished user experience tag team ever), her professional history also goes back to some extremely significant research into the needs of people with age-related impairments and disabilities that went on to inform the development of the W3C’s Web Accessibility Content Guidelines. A11y cred ++ Dana spoke eloquently and warmly about an understanding of accessibility that is becoming increasingly powerful: that it’s not about adding things on to compensate for inaccessibility - it’s about not building in the obstacles to access in the first place and, where those obstacles have been built in, removing them. This applies as much to the relatively young world of the web as it does to the physical world of bricks and mortar. They are both built environments that should not - and do not need to - exclude people with specific access needs. A focus of Dana’s professional experience (and personal ongoing interest) is the usability of the electoral experience and ensuring that it allows for the participation of all citizens. Her story about personally supporting the participation of people as voters who had always assumed they were excluded from this most basic of citizens’ rights was moving and inspiring, not least for the simplicity of the solution - make it easy for everyone. Transform 16: Transforming Accessibility Dr Andrew Arch is an Australian pioneer of web accessibility, having built Vision Australia’s accessibility training services in the early 2000s, then working in France and the UK with the W3C’s Web Accessibility Initiative, and returning here to work with the Australian Government Information Management Office on making government websites accessible through the National Transition Strategy. He is now Lead, Accessibility, Diversity, Assisted Digital for the game-changing Digital Transformation Office. Andrew spoke of Australia’s strong track record of involvement in web accessibility initiatives over the years, how accessibility intersects with the information needs of so many people in the community and how the DTO is working to make government information online more accessible to the whole community, including people who have disabilities. Australia is part of a global movement that acknowledges government information services have become increasingly complex, and need to be made more accessible. Andrew affirmed that there is much to be done in this area but also that progress is being made, with the critical factor of awareness being assisted by events like GAAD. Transform 16: Transforming Accessibility Robert Altamore is Executive Officer of People with Disabilities ACT, the peak disability advocacy body in the territory. His personal experience of disability, his years of involvement with Blind Citizens Australia and his participation in key advocacy initiatives in Australia have left him well placed to observe and comment on both the positive steps that have been taken and the need for much more to be done. The web represents a brave new world of information sharing, and it is critical that everything is done to ensure that people with disabilities are not only not excluded from it, but are actively empowered by it. Sue Salthouse was until 2012 President of Women with Disabilities Australia, the peak organisation for women with all types of disabilities in Australia. She continues to be an active advocate for women’s rights and the rights of people with disability, and was made Canberra Citizen of the Year in 2015. Like Robert, Sue drew attention to the expected positive impact of the National Disability Insurance Scheme, but reminded us all that there is much work yet to be done before we see the full potential of the NDIS for changing the lives of people with disability. Sue also drew attention to the terrible statistics around violence toward women that are often compounded for women with disabilities. The sum effect of the four speakers was to acknowledge that the web has enormous potential to benefit people with disabilities, but that will only happen if we make sure the web is accessible, particularly in the areas of government services and information so critical for people who require support. It was an inspiring, thought-provoking evening that left the web professionals present with a clearer awareness of what they have the potential to achieve through an accessible web. We asked Jacinta Cali, Director of Website Projects for digital agency Internetrix, what she thought of the evening. Transform 16: Jacinta Cali GAAD is so important Websites, software and mobile apps all have plenty in common: they want to be inclusive, easy to use and inviting. Still, so many of us are releasing new sites into the market with little or no care for digital accessibility. Not everyone who shapes the web knows just how important accessibility is and I believe it’s simply due to lack of awareness. Thankfully, we have Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD) which is an important event aimed at doing just that - raising awareness. On the eve of the first ever Transform conference in Canberra, I attended Transforming Accessibility which celebrated GAAD. GAAD aims to get people talking, thinking and learning about digital accessibility. At Transforming Accessibility, we heard from inspirational speakers who educated us about what is at stake when we talk about accessibility. What I found so great was just how many people there were passionate about creating an inclusive web. What I learned was everyone has a need and a basic right to access the sites we create. Visitors to a website, including those with disabilities, can become excluded from its content in different ways that take just a little thought to remedy. As digital creators, we are responsible for delivering an accessible experience to all users. In 2016, awareness of accessibility in tech is increasing, but not everyone knows how to start or where to find knowledge on accessibility. GAAD aims to provide people in digital with the know-how for creating accessible sites and to educate related communities that influence technology. As digital creators there are some easy ways we can make sites more accessible. Here’s a few things you can do to make your sites better: Don’t disable zoom. Pixel perfect is so 2004. Ultimately it’s really bad for your visitors. Check out the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 section 1.4.4. Avoid bitmapped captcha images. Opt for non-interactive mechanisms to check for spam or other invalid content. Make downloadable files accessible. The files you embed on your website also need to be WCAG 2.0 compliant. Use focus styles. If you find focus {outline: none;} somewhere in your style sheet then remove it. Build a content style that removes jargon, using clear and simple language. Have meaningful Alternative (Alt) Text. Not too short, not a duplicate of the title and not too long (about 8 - 10 words is good). Making these changes gives a wider spread of the community, such as those with disabilities and seniors, the ability to join in with digital life. This is social inclusion in action. GAAD raises awareness for digital shapers to produce sites that are more usable for a wider audience, meeting compliance standards, and improving the quality of life for users so that the hard things in life are a bit easier. For more information on how to make your site accessible check out http://a11yproject.com/resources.html or get in touch with A11Y Bytes.    " ["post_title"]=> string(40) "Transform 16: Transforming Accessibility" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(39) "transform-16-transforming-accessibility" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2017-03-19 15:43:16" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-03-19 04:43:16" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(37) "https://www.webdirections.org/?p=7081" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" ["post_category"]=> string(1) "0" } ["comment_count"]=> int(0) ["current_comment"]=> int(-1) ["found_posts"]=> string(3) "793" ["max_num_pages"]=> float(53) ["max_num_comment_pages"]=> int(0) ["is_single"]=> bool(false) ["is_preview"]=> bool(false) ["is_page"]=> bool(false) ["is_archive"]=> bool(true) ["is_date"]=> bool(false) ["is_year"]=> bool(false) ["is_month"]=> bool(false) ["is_day"]=> bool(false) ["is_time"]=> bool(false) ["is_author"]=> bool(false) ["is_category"]=> bool(true) ["is_tag"]=> bool(false) ["is_tax"]=> bool(false) ["is_search"]=> bool(false) ["is_feed"]=> bool(false) ["is_comment_feed"]=> bool(false) ["is_trackback"]=> bool(false) ["is_home"]=> bool(false) ["is_404"]=> bool(false) ["is_embed"]=> bool(false) ["is_paged"]=> bool(false) ["is_admin"]=> bool(false) ["is_attachment"]=> bool(false) ["is_singular"]=> bool(false) ["is_robots"]=> bool(false) ["is_posts_page"]=> bool(false) ["is_post_type_archive"]=> bool(false) ["query_vars_hash":"WP_Query":private]=> string(32) "cd15f7c06249973e2ffe0fd408452899" ["query_vars_changed":"WP_Query":private]=> bool(false) ["thumbnails_cached"]=> bool(false) ["stopwords":"WP_Query":private]=> NULL ["compat_fields":"WP_Query":private]=> array(2) { [0]=> string(15) "query_vars_hash" [1]=> string(18) "query_vars_changed" } ["compat_methods":"WP_Query":private]=> array(2) { [0]=> string(16) "init_query_flags" [1]=> string(15) "parse_tax_query" } }

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Transform 16: Transforming Accessibility

When we held our inaugural Transform conference in Canberra last year from 18-19 May, we didn’t realise it would coincide with Global Accessibility Awareness Day on 19 May. Once we knew, we decided to organise a small event to celebrate.

There is, of course, a great crossover and overlap between the … Read more »

Video Ristretto: Kevin Yank – CSS Selectors Redux

Kevin YankVideo Ristretto this week brings you Kevin Yank’s timely reminder to check the CSS you already know, including whether and how it works, and what’s coming soon in terms of both the spec and browser implementation.

We asked Kevin, Front … Read more »

Direction 16: Scaling Walls – Aubrey Blanche

Aubrey Blanche is the Global Head of Diversity & Inclusion at Atlassian, the Australian startup that became a global giant. Her talk at our end-of-one-year, start-of-the-next Direction conference in 2016 turned out to be notable for several reasons.

Firstly, the full title of this presentation, Scaling Walls: The Barriers to … Read more »

Three Sessions Added to Transform 17 Conference

The speaker lineup for our Transform 17 Conference in Canberra from 29-30 March is complete.

We’ve added not one, not two but three more sessions – this is going to be a seriously full day, and seriously good value!

Please note our Workshop day with Dan Sheldon and Sarah … Read more »

A very progressive (web app) evening

Web Directions, and the Progessive Web Apps Sydney meetup are really excited to present an evening with Jake Archibald and Alex Russell.

RSVP here, or at the SydPWA meetup site.

Join two of the most influential people shaping the future of Web technologies, for an … Read more »

Video of the Week – Jared Spool at Transform 2016

Less than two weeks to go until Transform 17, which makes it a good time for Video of the Week to revisit the closing keynote address from last year’s Transform.

Jared Spool is pretty much a legend in the world of user experience and usability. Writer, researcher, consultant, speaker and … Read more »

Respond 16: Building Accessible Web Components Without Tears – Russ Weakley

As the excitement builds for our Respond 17 conference (Early Bird closes 24 March), we have another Wrap magazine summary of a presentation from Respond 16.

And not just any presentation. Russ Weakley is one of those Australians who has built an enviable global reputation as someone who not … Read more »

Video Ristretto: Wayne Thompson – Beyond Helvetica

Wayne ThompsonWith the full program for Respond 17 now out, this week’s Video Ristretto reprises the talk given by Wayne Thompson at our Direction conference in November last year, as he is again on the schedule for Respond.

Once … Read more »

Transforming Policy and Delivery

Agile, human centred, research driven government service delivery is increasingly at the heart of the development of government digital services. But these services exist to implement policies. And yet how are these policies made, and isn’t it time the development of policy became more agile, human centred, and research driven? … Read more »

Bringing Respond and Code to Brisbane

This year we’re bringing not one, but two of our conferences, Respond and Code to Brisbane. We’re excited to be heading there, and hope the good folks north of the border are too!

Transform 16: Better Public Services for New Zealand – Darryl Carpenter

As we get closer to Transform 17, one of the things we can say we were especially pleased about with our first Transform conference in Canberra last year was the variety of perspectives presented. We had speakers from the USA, the UK, Australia national, New South Wales, South … Read more »

Announcing Respond 2017, our front end design conference

Round up your front end design team – your CX, UX and UI folks, your user researchers, along with your front end devs – UI engineers, web developers, whatever your team calls them – and get them along to not just the best front end design conference in Australia, but … Read more »

Recognising International Women’s Day – Respond 17

Today, March 8, is International Women’s Day.

Not coincidentally, today we are launching our Respond 17 conference.

The theme for IWD 2017 is Women in the Changing World of Work, which includes consideration of the gendered digital divide (particularly in developing nations) and also the opportunities for women provided … Read more »

Video Ristretto: Fiona Chan – CSS: Code Smell Sanitation

Fiona ChanOur Video Ristretto this week features Fiona Chan, who many CSS loving Sydneysiders will know as one of the hosts of the CSS Sydney meetup, and our conference attendees will know as a regular volunteer at our events, helping to … Read more »

How to Convince the Boss You Should Go to Transform 17

We know that no matter how excited you are to attend Transform 17, it can be a terrifying task to ask your boss to pay for your ticket. You and I both know that attending this conference is a valuable investment to your professional and personal development … but … Read more »