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These days, there is actually more emphasis on not so much increasing accessibility as just getting rid of the obstacles to access in the first place. It may amount to the same end, but the way we get there can be very different. Perhaps the clearest example of this recently has been in Cordelia McGee Tubb's presentation at Respond 17: The Great Accessibility Bake-Off, which was all about baking in accessibility from the very beginning rather than trying to stuff it in afterwards. Cordelia at Respond 17 Probably the most prominent manifestation of GAAD in Australia is the series of events around the country that run under the banner of A11y Bytes, this year featuring events in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Canberra. I've been fortunate and proud to be involved with A11y Bytes in several ways, including speaking at the Sydney event and also at the A11y Camp workshop, a two-day event this year held in Sydney in September that you should also check out. Last year, GAAD coincided with our Transform conference in Canberra on the digital transformation of government information and services. Web Directions hosted an evening of short talks at Old Parliament House where we were fortunate to have people like Dana Chisnell and Andrew Arch on hand to say a few words, plus some great talks from local accessibility advocates. There's a nifty Wrap summary of Transforming Accessibility you might like to read. But to really celebrate GAAD, we're going to post here again the video of Russ Weakley's presentation at Respond 16, Accessible Web Components Without Tears, a presentation that had a quite deep effect on many of those watching. It also involved the risk of being hit by flying chocolates but that's another story (you can see it in the video). Russ will be giving a lightning talk at the Sydney A11y Bytes tonight, so to warm you up for it, here's the Respond video.   " ["post_title"]=> string(39) "Global Accessibility Awareness Day 2017" ["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) "global-accessibility-awareness-day-2017" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2017-05-18 16:14:47" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-05-18 06:14:47" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(37) "https://www.webdirections.org/?p=7463" ["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)#962 (25) { ["ID"]=> int(7353) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "3" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2017-04-27 13:13:15" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-04-27 02:13:15" ["post_content"]=> string(12400) "accessibilityIt staggers me that we are still - STILL - struggling with making our web and digital products and services universally accessible. In one sense, that is just a reflection of how poorly we understand and implement accessibility in the rest of the world around us. In another sense, it is both devastating and ridiculous that we can invent glorious new digital things that are simply not usable by people who may have one or more disabilities. You could say that the web actually deals with accessibility better than the rest of the world. We, or at least the W3C, have built a set of Web Content Accessibility Guidelines that have evolved from a limited checklist (WCAG 1.0) to a highly detailed set of statements that define both the principles of accessibility and how they can be implemented (WCAG 2.0). Yet that's not enough. We still need speakers at web conferences to address accessibility directly, such as at Respond 17 where several talks are accessibility-specific, and we still have to push web professionals to take accessibility into account in all of their work. It stumps me how in five years or so Responsive Web Design went from being a good idea to so ingrained that we can just about stop using the word "responsive" because all web design simply must be responsive, while accessibility still struggles to be understood let alone implemented as a matter of course. Earlier this year, a working draft was released by the W3C of WCAG 2.1, which aims to take into account recent developments in the web world, and the way people access the web. We asked our Managing Editor, Ricky Onsman - whose work with people with disabilities goes back to the 80s when he managed a purpose-specific information service in Sydney - to prepare an article for Scroll magazine that gives us an idea of what WCAG 2.1 has in store.

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1

By Ricky Onsman

On the last day of February this year, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) released a First Public Working Draft of Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1. Reaction from accessibility advocates was immediate and clear.
WCAG 2.1 — It’s here! After much deliberation and fine-tuning, the highly-anticipated first draft of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 has been released for public comment.”

Intopia: https://medium.com/@intopia/wcag-2-1-its-here-70abeca88b2f

WCAG 2.0 was released in 2008. Since then, much has changed.
“The last time guidelines for accessible web content were published by the World Wide Web Consortium, many of our readers were likely using flip phones or early talking Nokia devices. The next version will address many of the advancements in technology which have been released over the past few years including mobile apps and touch screen devices.”

Blind Bargains: https://www.blindbargains.com/bargains.php?m=16937

The W3C said in a blog post that their Accessibility Guidelines Working Group (AG WG) had been
“Working very hard looking at how to improve WCAG 2.0! To successfully iterate such a broad and deep standard has not been easy. There has been extensive research, discussion and debate within the task forces and the wider working group in order to better understand the interconnectedness and relationships between diverse and sometimes competing user requirements as we develop new success criteria. This extensive work has resulted in the development of around 60 new success criteria, of which 28 are now included in this draft, to be used as measures of conformance to the standard.”

W3C blog: https://www.w3.org/blog/2017/02/wcag21-fpwd/

While 28 new Success Criteria have been included in the draft, the Web Accessibility Initiative of the W3C advised that
“This first draft includes 28 new Success Criteria, three of which have been formally accepted by the Working Group and the remainder included as proposals to provide an opportunity for early feedback.”

WAI: https://www.w3.org/WAI/

That feedback had to be submitted by 31 March, after which the Working Draft would undergo more discussion and revision
“In addition to refining the accepted and proposed Success Criteria included in the draft, the Working Group will continue to review additional proposals which could appear formally in a future version. Through the course of the year, the AG WG plans to process the remaining success criteria along with the input we gather from the public. The group will then produce a semi-final version towards the end of this year …“

W3C blog: https://www.w3.org/blog/2017/02/wcag21-fpwd/

The W3C is scheduled to formally adopt WCAG 2.1 as a recommended standard by mid-2018. The work will then be used as a basis to start determining the requirements for Project ‘Silver’ (a codename for the third iteration of accessibility guidelines).

Intopia: https://medium.com/@intopia/wcag-2-1-its-here-70abeca88b2f

“Silver”?
“At the CSUN 2017 conference, Shawn Lauriat of Google and I [ Jeanne Spellman ] presented on the work being done in the W3C WCAG task force working on this next major upgrade of WCAG – still to be named.  Provisionally we are calling it Silver, because Accessibility Guidelines = AG = Ag, the chemical symbol for Silver.”

The Paciello Group: https://www.paciellogroup.com/blog/2017/03/slides-csun17-what-comes-after-wcag-2-1/

So, that’s the process. But why do we need WCAG 2.1? And what are the new Success Criteria?
“The first paragraph of the WCAG 2.1 abstract answers the first question, and it’s very much in line with what has been called for in recent years – a greater inclusion of cognitive-related disability support and specific guidance on a range of devices including the specific naming of mobiles and tablets. To quote the abstract: “Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 covers a wide range of recommendations for making Web content more accessible. Following these guidelines will make content accessible to a wider range of people with disabilities, including blindness and low vision, deafness and hearing loss, learning disabilities, cognitive limitations, limited movement, speech disabilities, photosensitivity, and combinations of these. These guidelines address accessibility of web content on desktops, laptops, tablets, and mobile devices. Following these guidelines will also often make your Web content more usable to users in general. The last point is a particularly good addition.  It’s often argued that accessibility is not just helpful to people with disabilities, but in fact helpful to everyone, and it’s great to see that point made in the draft.”

http://hollier.info/wcag21draft/

That was Dr Scott Hollier, one of Australia’s leading experts on digital accessibility, and he’s right to emphasise that last sentence. It is an increasing – albeit unnecessarily hard-won – understanding that making web content accessible is good for everybody. It’s good to see that in print, even conditionally. Let’s take a look at the three Success Criteria that have already been approved. Note that they can and may still be changed based on feedback and reviews. Dr Hollier again:
“There are currently three SC that have been approved by the AG WG.  They are: 1.4.11 Resize content (Level A): Content can be resized to 400% without loss of content or functionality, and without requiring two-dimensional scrolling except for parts of the content where fixed spatial layout is necessary to use or meaning 1.4.12 Graphics Contrast (Level AA): The visual presentation of graphical objects that are essential for understanding the content or functionality have a contrast ratio of at least 4.5:1 against the adjacent color(s), except for the following:
  • Thicker
  • Sensory
  • Logotypes
  • Essential
2.2.8 Interruptions (minimum) (Level AA): There is an easily available mechanism to postpone and suppress interruptions and changes in content unless they are initiated by the user or involve an emergency. The first of these takes into account a common issue on mobiles whereby making content bigger has a habit of breaking the website as even now there’s an assumption that people are viewing websites on desktops with large screens.  With responsive design not being around much in 2008 it’s great to see an SC highlighting the need to ensure that if text is increased it won’t break things. It also addresses the presence of unwieldy scroll bars which become particularly challenging if you are using screen magnification tools on a mobile device. Graphics contrast is also a great addition, clarifying a long-standing issue with WCAG 2.0 in that the 4.5:1 Level AA contrast is quite clear, but how it specifically relates to graphics is not.  This is now addressed, along with important exceptions such as logos for images that have to have specific colours otherwise content is lost.  My only concern relates to the ‘essential’ point which could be a loophole for people to put anything they like on a website arguing the colours have to be that way, but perhaps this will be further clarified during the review process. The final point is one for which I cheer.  With ARIA support becoming more common and a greater ability for developers to take charge of assistive technologies, there’s a lot of ways the process of assistive technology such as a screen reader can be interrupted.  This SC is a logical progression of existing SC that relate to auto-updates and I hope this remains largely unchanged.”

http://hollier.info/wcag21draft/

That gives you a pretty good idea of the kinds of issues being addressed by the new Success Criteria. To sum up, here are a few key points about WCAG 2.1. 1. WCAG 2.1 does not replace WCAG 2.0. 2. There are no changes to existing Success Criteria. 3. WCAG 2.1 extends WCAG 2.0 it by proposing 28 new, additional Success Criteria for feedback and review. 4. Three of the new Success Criteria have been formally approved, but are still subject to change based on feedback and review. 5. The other 25 proposed Success Criteria will be reviewed during the course of 2017, resulting in possible approval and formal adoption by mid-2018. 6. The proposed new Success Criteria better acknowledge accessibility considerations:
  •      + associated with mobile devices, including small screens and touch interfaces
  •      + for people with cognitive or learning disabilities
  •      + for people with low vision
7. There are another 32 new Success Criteria being considered by various Working Group task forces but these do not yet meet requirements for public review. Full details of the W3C First Public Working Draft of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 can be found at https://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG21/.    " ["post_title"]=> string(64) "Will WCAG 2.1 Make Accessibility More Accessible? - Ricky Onsman" ["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(31) "making-accessibility-accessible" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2017-04-27 13:14:08" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-04-27 02:14:08" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(37) "https://www.webdirections.org/?p=7353" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "2" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" ["post_category"]=> string(1) "0" } [2]=> object(WP_Post)#963 (25) { ["ID"]=> int(7303) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "3" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2017-04-21 10:30:46" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-04-20 23:30:46" ["post_content"]=> string(3365) "Russ WeakleyOne of the things we really like about staging conferences like Respond is that we can bring to Australia experts from around the world. Perhaps even better than that is when we can feature locals who are themselves world class in their fields. When it comes to CSS, we're fortunate to have a thinker, practitioner and educator at that level in Russ Weakley. Add to that Russ's understanding and ability to use CSS to build truly accessible web experiences, and his capacity and willingness to share his skill with as many web practitioners as possible, and we're talking not just world class, but world leading. And it doesn't hurt that he can be seriously funny. Here's a tadge under an hour of Russ at Respond 16. Well worth your time.    

Got your ticket for 2017 yet?

For Respond 17, we've put together a truly remarkable two-day program of international and local speakers digging into front end design and development, that we're taking in full to Sydney (4-5 May) and Melbourne (8-9 May), with a special trip to Brisbane as well (11 May). Come and join us!  

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(82) "Video of the Week: 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(79) "video-of-the-week-building-accessible-web-components-without-tears-russ-weakley" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2017-04-21 00:36:38" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-04-20 13:36:38" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(37) "https://www.webdirections.org/?p=7303" ["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)#964 (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" } [4]=> object(WP_Post)#965 (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" } [5]=> object(WP_Post)#966 (25) { ["ID"]=> int(3855) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "7" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2011-11-07 09:18:33" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2011-11-06 23:18:33" ["post_content"]=> string(1786) "

Web Directions South 2011, Sydney, October 14th.

Presentation slides

Session description

WCAG2 is a long series of documents. Gian Wild knows this better than most: she spent six years on the W3C WCAG Working Group writing them. It’s a lot to ask that every developer and project manager read the complete guidelines, including informative content. However there are some very useful — and sometimes hidden — techniques in WCAG2. And some are even at Level AAA. Join Gian to find out what these are.

About Gian Wild

Photo of Gian WildGian has worked in the accessibility industry since 1998 and consulted on the development of the first Level AAA accessible web site in Australia (Disability Information Victoria). She has worked with the Disability Services arm of the Victorian Government for over thirteen years to keep the four iterations of the Disability Services site (Disability Information Victoria, Disability Services, Disability Online and DiVine), Level AAA accessible. She ran the accessibility consultancy PurpleTop from 2000 to 2005 and built the accessibility tool, PurpleCop. Follow Gian on Twitter: @accessibilityoz" ["post_title"]=> string(51) "Gian Wild - WCAG2 accessibility: the hidden nuggets" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(299) "

Photo of Gian WildThere are some very useful — and sometimes hidden — techniques in WCAG2. And some are even at Level AAA. Join Gian to find out what these are.

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Web Directions South 2011, Sydney, October 14th.

Session description

HTML5 Video has been a hot topic for the last couple of years — but with new additions to the specification, we can now extend it beyond all recognition. In this session we’ll look at basic timed data, closed captioning and more — and as we adventure into more sophisticated uses of the technology, we’ll explore what additional value timed data can provide to your video, with attention paid to how you can implement it today. The key focuses of this session will be accessibility, searchable media, and enriching existing multimedia experiences with timed data, all with a liberal application of flashy eye-candy. And of course we’re using the freshly minted Timed Text Track specification, soon appearing in a browser near you!

About Christopher Giffard

Photo of Christopher GiffardChristopher Giffard is a full stack web developer at the Department of Education, Employment, and Workplace Relations in Canberra. He’s somewhat new to the government, having a career background as a web guy in graphic design and advertising agencies — but hopes to bring a slice of that mad, informal world to the Australian public service. He gets a kick out of solving problems everybody else avoids, has a soft spot for architecture and design, is particularly interested in electronic music, and the algorithmic generation thereof. His current secret project involves natural language processing… and sarcasm detection. Follow Christopher on Twitter: @cgiffard" ["post_title"]=> string(65) "Christopher Giffard - HTML5 Video, Captioning, and Timed Metadata" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(470) "

Photo of Christopher GiffardThe key focuses of this session will be accessibility, searchable media, and enriching existing multimedia experiences with timed data, all with a liberal application of flashy eye-candy. And of course we’re using the freshly minted Timed Text Track specification, soon appearing in a browser near you!

" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(61) "christopher-giffard-html5-video-captioning-and-timed-metadata" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2011-11-07 09:15:46" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2011-11-06 23:15:46" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(36) "http://www.webdirections.org/?p=3869" ["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)#968 (25) { ["ID"]=> int(3844) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "7" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2011-11-06 09:32:18" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2011-11-05 23:32:18" ["post_content"]=> string(3117) "

Web Directions South 2011, Sydney, October 14th.

Presentation slides

Session description

The application of web accessibility guidelines in a holistic manner across all roles of a web team continues to encounter resistance. This is often due to a lack of resources and knowledge, or no sense of relevancy in certain web roles. While there is solid support of the guidelines by accessibility activists and many front-end developers, a large percentage of other web practitioners in non-technical roles do not know how to integrate accessible design practices into their daily work, despite wanting to. By re-categorising accessibility guidelines into role-based groupings, such as visual design, content writing and information architecture, guidelines become more accessible to inexperienced web practitioners across a broad range of web roles. The application of accessibility guidelines then becomes more integrated and holistic, thereby reducing project timelines and costs while increasing the overall accessibility of a site from initial design stages. This method enables practitioners to apply skills specific to their role to a narrow range of accessibility guidelines particular to their area of expertise. For example, the visual designer would create a design and evaluate colour contrast before submitting the design to the development team. Likewise, an interaction designer would consult with the Javascript specialist to ensure the menu design satisfies relevant accessibility guidelines.

About Lisa Herrod

Photo of Lisa HerrodLisa is the Director and Principal Consultant at Scenario Seven, an Inclusive Design Consultancy based in Sydney. With 15 years experience on the web, the past 10 years of her work has centred on design research, usability, accessibility and inclusive strategies. Lisa is best known for her role based approach to web accessibility, which has seen the re-categorisation of WCAG checkpoints into a user-centred, practitioner-focused grouping for content developers, visual designers, developers and user experience professionals. Scenario Seven specialises in creating accessible, inclusive design strategies that integrate holistically with traditional user research practices. This includes anything from requirements gathering to the review of design documentation (functional specs, wireframes & visual designs), user research and WCAG compliance. We design for diversity. Follow Lisa on Twitter: @scenariogirl" ["post_title"]=> string(92) "Lisa Herrod - Accessibility for web teams: Recategorising WCAG 2 using a role-based approach" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(314) "

Photo of Lisa HerrodThis method enables practitioners to apply skills specific to their role to a narrow range of accessibility guidelines particular to their area of expertise.

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Web Directions Unplugged 2011, Seattle, May 12th 2:40pm.

Presentation slides

Coming soon.

Session description

Many web designers and developers are motivated to create accessible sites because more people can use the site, more people can find the site, and more devices can access the site. As we migrate to HTML5 and CSS to develop applications, we further the opportunity to create far more inclusive results, no matter the preferences of your audience and no matter why they have those preferences: are they driving? riding in a bumpy bus? accessing content in the sun? or might they be blind? In this session, Wendy Chisholm, co-editor of WCAG 1.0, author of Universal Design for Web Applications, and one of the leading experts in accessibility and universal access helps you understand the challenges to and solutions for creating accessible apps with web technologies. Wendy will cover WAI-ARIA (Accessible Rich Internet Applications), accessibility and HTML5, as well as some common accessibility pitfalls when designing and developing applications, particularly on mobile and tablet devices.

About the presneters

Wendy Chrisholm
Photo of Wendy ChisholmIn this session, Wendy Chisholm, co-editor of WCAG 1.0, author of Universal Design for Web Applications, and one of the leading experts in accessibility and universal access helps you understand the challenges to and solutions for creating accessible apps with web technologies. Wendy will cover WAI-ARIA (Accessible Rich Internet Applications), accessibility and HTML5, as well as some common accessibility pitfalls when designing and developing applications, particularly on mobile and tablet devices.Wendy Chisholm is an author, activist and developer. She co-wrote “Universal Design for Web Applications” with Matt May (O’Reilly, 2008), and before that co-edited Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0 and 2.0–the basis of most web accessibility policies. She has focused on inclusive web design since 1995. Being both a developer (B.S. in Computer Science) and a Human Factors Engineer (M.S. in Industrial Engineering/Human Factors), Wendy bridges communication between developers and designers. As a staff for the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) for 6 years, she helped synchronize work on the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines with developments in internationalization and mobile design.

She is currently a Senior Strategist at Microsoft, where she works to make all web-related applications throughout the company accessible.

Her personal mission is to find elegant solutions that remove barriers that prevent everyone from participating fully in society. "I am an advocate for people with disabilities, people who are injured (especially vets) and people who are aging (i.e., all of us). I want to make inclusion a reality–both online and off".

Wendy's photo is courtesy of Matt.

Follow Wendy on Twitter: @wendyabc
Charles Pritchard
Photo of Charles PritchardCharles Pritchard has founded several startups during his fifteen years as a web developer. A web standards advocate and an early adoptee of HTML5, he has produced several canvas implementations enabling web applications to run on a wide variety of virtual machines. His current focus is on creating and maintaining accessible applications as a critical component of software quality.
" ["post_title"]=> string(75) "Wendy Chisholm & Charles Pritchard - Universal Access: now for apps as well" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(645) "

Photo of Wendy ChisholmPhoto of Charles PritchardIn this session, Wendy Chisholm will help you understand the challenges to and solutions for creating accessible apps with web technologies. Wendy will cover WAI-ARIA, accessibility and HTML5, as well as some common accessibility pitfalls when designing and developing applications, particularly on mobile and tablet devices.

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Web Directions Unplugged 2011, Seattle, May 13th 2:25pm.

Presentation slides

Session description

The web platform has already taken a center role in our desktop and mobile computing lives. The next space for the web platform to take over is the biggest screen in your house — the TV in your living room. However, designing for television has its own set of demands, different than designing for desktop and mobile implementations. This talk outlines the most important best practices to keep in mind when designing web applications for TV. We’ll cover issues like directional pad navigation, user interface design for TV, color issues, and zooming, as well as discussing some unique opportunities for TV applications.

About Daniels Lee(tm)

Photo of Daniels Lee™Daniels is a Developer Programs Engineer who’s had the pleasure of working with several developer communities since he joined the team in 2006. After starting with iGoogle gadgets, he worked closely with advertisers and agencies via Gadget Ads, then onto Geo APIs focusing on V2 to V3 migration, and now Google TV. He’s not afraid to publicly confess his love for JavaScript and recognizes its profound ability to make the web more interactive. With a growing love for HTML5 technology, sky’s the limit. On his off time, he enjoys cultivating authentic relationships while always pursuing a greater sense of self and awareness. Follow Daniels on Twitter: @dannon81 string(47) "Daniels Lee(tm) - Designing for the 10 foot UI " ["post_excerpt"]=> string(444) "

Photo of Daniels Lee™This talk outlines the most important best practices to keep in mind when designing web applications for TV. We’ll cover issues like directional pad navigation, user interface design for TV, color issues, and zooming, as well as discussing some unique opportunities for TV applications.

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Web Directions South 2010, Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre, October 15 11.45am.

Presentation slides

Session description

Inclusive design. It might sound like a rebranding exercise from the Web Accessibility Marketing Team, but it isn’t. For years inclusive design and research practices have been applied to a wide variety of disciplines from industrial design to the arts, the built environment and more. What can we learn from this? And how can we apply it to the digital environment in which we work? Social innovation, service design and even augmented reality are now presenting real and interesting opportunities for us as traditional web practitioners. Combined with inclusive design practices, this opens up a fantastic world of change for both us and the people for whom we design. So starting with the web, we’ll reinvigorate our passion for diversity and inclusion. Let’s declare this The Age of Awareness!

About Lisa Herrod

Lisa Herrod PortraitLisa is the Principal User Experience consultant at Scenario Seven with over ten years of hands-on experience on the web. She has a background in standards based design and development with the last 7 years focusing on design research, usability, accessibility and user experience strategy. Lisa believes in an inclusive, holistic approach to user experience design that permeates every layer of a site and every role on a team. Her clients range from small, non-profit organisations through to large multinationals such as Macquarie Bank, Microsoft, Sydney Opera House, Qantas and the Brooklyn Museum NYC. Lisa is an experienced lecturer and conference presenter having spoken at conferences both locally and abroad in the UK, NZ and the US. She's a sporadic blogger and a crazy lover of whippets, with two little ones of her own... Follow Lisa on Twitter: @scenariogirl
" ["post_title"]=> string(34) "Lisa Herrod - The Age of Awareness" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(453) "

Lisa Herrod PortraitSocial innovation, service design and even augmented reality are now presenting real and interesting opportunities for us as traditional web practitioners. Combined with inclusive design practices, this opens up a fantastic world of change for both us and the people for whom we design.

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Web Directions South 2010, Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre, October 14 1.40pm.

Presentation slides

Session description

Libraries contain masses of beautifully structured data collected over many years. But these records may have their flaws and might now want to be used in ways, such as location based services, that weren't imagined 30 years ago. How can we use existing API's and web services to enrich this data to enable it to be used in a variety of ways. This data also needs to be exposed for others to use and build upon. With the recent release of the Government response to the Web 2.0 taskforce, how can institutions comply with these recommendations by providing their data in usable forms for the public. What's involved in building an API into our resources and how can our data be given more meaning through semantic linkages like RDFa?

About Paul Hagon

Paul Hagon PortraitPaul is the Senior Web Designer at the National Library of Australia and has been working on the web in cultural institutions since 1999. His job entails a mix of design, coding, and accessibility. He is a thinker and "ideas" man. He finds cultural institutions fascinating because of what they bring to society, they are rich resources of information and provide vast potential for exploring hidden treasures. Paul enjoys making these items available and telling their stories in ways that may not be the most obvious. He likes to use technology in a relevant way to enrich the way we can interact with these resources. In 2010 Paul was named a "Mover and Shaker" of the library world by Library Journal. Follow Paul on Twitter: @paulhagon
" ["post_title"]=> string(38) "Paul Hagon - Enriching large data sets" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(897) "

Paul Hagon PortraitLibraries contain masses of beautifully structured data collected over many years. But these records may have their flaws and might now want to be used in ways, such as location based services, that weren't imagined 30 years ago. How can we use existing API's and web services to enrich this data to enable it to be used in a variety of ways. This data also needs to be exposed for others to use and build upon. With the recent release of the Government response to the Web 2.0 taskforce, how can institutions comply with these recommendations by providing their data in usable forms for the public. What's involved in building an API into our resources and how can our data be given more meaning through semantic linkages like RDFa?

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Web Directions @media 2010, Southbank Centre London, June 11 10.45am.

Presentation slides

Session description

Inclusive Design is currently the domain of people who design physical things, like product designers and architects, but Sandi Wassmer is firm in her belief that Inclusive Design applied in the online environment just makes sense. The principles of Inclusive Design encompass so many of the practices, principles and guidelines that web designers are already using – Accessibility, Usability, User Centric Design, Progressive Enhancement and User Experience – but unlike each of these discrete practices, Inclusive Design gives designers the ability to offer choice, as a single design solution will never accommodate all users. Sandi will talk about how the principles of Inclusive Design can be easily adopted by web designers right now. By the end of the session you’ll have the framework for becoming an inclusion activist!

About Sandi Wassmer

Sandi Wassmer PortraitSandi Wassmer is a Human Rights Internet Marketer. Yes, it is a made up term, but that is the way she sees it. As Managing Director of digital agency, Copious, she is healthily obsessed with creating great internet experiences for all and building beautiful, accessible and usable websites When Sandi is not trying to make the Internet a better place, she writes, tweets, blogs and advocates about a whole range of issues from disability rights to accessibility and social inclusion. Follow Sandi on Twitter: @SandiWassmer

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Sandi Wassmer PortraitInclusive Design is currently the domain of people who design physical things, like product designers and architects, but Sandi Wassmer is firm in her belief that Inclusive Design applied in the online environment just makes sense.

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Web Directions South 2009, Sydney Convention Centre, October 8 11.45am.

Presentation slides

Session description

Over 4 million people in Australia have a disability. As a result they may use the web in a different way to you: a keyboard instead of a mouse; a screen reader instead of a screen. Accessibility is the way that you can tap into this large and growing audience. In this session, Damien will look at why accessibility matters - not just because it is the right thing to do, or a legal requirement. He will discuss how accessibility leads to more robust, maintainable, searchable and usable websites that meet everyone’s needs. Damien will also explore the opportunities accessibility offers for mobile web design, and provide some practical advice about how to include accessibility in your next project.

About Damien McCormack

Damien McCormack PortraitDamien McCormack is an accessibility expert and manager of Vision Australia’s web accessibility services. Seven years experience working with people who are blind or have low vision has evolved into a passion and drive to make the world more accessible. In this time, Damien has worked with a large number of government departments, commercial organisations and educational institutions promoting accessibility and providing business and technical advice across all aspects of a project. Damien is also responsible for developing the culture of accessibility within Vision Australia and experiences the challenges of delivering accessible outcomes daily.

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Damien McCormack PortraitOver 4 million people in Australia have a disability. As a result they may use the web in a different way to you: a keyboard instead of a mouse; a screen reader instead of a screen. Accessibility is the way that you can tap into this large and growing audience.

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Web Directions South 2009, Sydney Convention Centre, October 8 1.40pm.

Presentation slides

Session description

This talk focuses on the efforts engaged by W3C and its members to promote and improve web standards and in particular HTML 5 with mechanisms to allow people with disabilities to access multimedia content, including audio and video. Scott will present the current user experiences of accessibility and the challenges of getting uptake in government. This would include the take-up of W3C access standards within government, use of WCAG and ATAG by developers, the technical challenges of video-specific implementations of captioning and audio description, and ways in which such challenges can be better addressed through the involvement of Internet users.

About Scott Hollier

Scott Hollier PortraitDr Scott Hollier is the Project Manager, New Media for Media Access Australia (MAA), a not-for-profit, public benevolent institution. Scott’s work focuses on making computers and Internet-related technologies accessible to people with disabilities. Scott represents MAA on the Advisory Committee of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), and is a member of several Web Access Initiative (WAI) working groups. Scott has completed a PhD titled ‘The Disability Divide: an examination into the needs of computing and Internet-related technologies on people who are blind or vision impaired’. Scott is legally blind and as such understands the importance of access at a personal level. Photo credit: Gary Barber.

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Scott Hollier PortraitThis talk focuses on the efforts engaged by W3C and its members to promote and improve web standards and in particular HTML 5 with mechanisms to allow people with disabilities to access multimedia content, including audio and video.

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These days, there is actually more emphasis on not so much increasing accessibility as just getting rid of the obstacles to access in the first place. It may amount to the same end, but the way we get there can be very different. Perhaps the clearest example of this recently has been in Cordelia McGee Tubb's presentation at Respond 17: The Great Accessibility Bake-Off, which was all about baking in accessibility from the very beginning rather than trying to stuff it in afterwards. Cordelia at Respond 17 Probably the most prominent manifestation of GAAD in Australia is the series of events around the country that run under the banner of A11y Bytes, this year featuring events in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Canberra. I've been fortunate and proud to be involved with A11y Bytes in several ways, including speaking at the Sydney event and also at the A11y Camp workshop, a two-day event this year held in Sydney in September that you should also check out. Last year, GAAD coincided with our Transform conference in Canberra on the digital transformation of government information and services. Web Directions hosted an evening of short talks at Old Parliament House where we were fortunate to have people like Dana Chisnell and Andrew Arch on hand to say a few words, plus some great talks from local accessibility advocates. There's a nifty Wrap summary of Transforming Accessibility you might like to read. But to really celebrate GAAD, we're going to post here again the video of Russ Weakley's presentation at Respond 16, Accessible Web Components Without Tears, a presentation that had a quite deep effect on many of those watching. It also involved the risk of being hit by flying chocolates but that's another story (you can see it in the video). 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Presentations about accessibility

Podcasts, slides, videos and more

Global Accessibility Awareness Day 2017

Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD), which takes place every year on 18 May, is now in its sixth year, and is growing every year as more people join in what is both a celebration of accessibility for people with disabilities and a confirmation that much work … Read more »

Will WCAG 2.1 Make Accessibility More Accessible? – Ricky Onsman

accessibilityIt staggers me that we are still – STILL – struggling with making our web and digital products and services universally accessible.

In one sense, that is just a reflection of how poorly we understand and implement accessibility in the rest of … Read more »

Video of the Week: Building Accessible Web Components Without Tears – Russ Weakley

Russ WeakleyOne of the things we really like about staging conferences like Respond is that we can bring to Australia experts from around the world.

Perhaps even better than that is when we can feature locals who are themselves world class in … Read more »

Transform 16: Transforming Accessibility

  • In: Blog
  • By:
  • March 23, 2017
  • Comments Off on 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 »

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

  • In: Blog
  • By:
  • March 16, 2017
  • Comments Off on 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 »

Gian Wild – WCAG2 accessibility: the hidden nuggets

Photo of Gian WildThere are some very useful — and sometimes hidden — techniques in WCAG2. And some are even at Level AAA. Join Gian to find out what these are.

See the slides and hear the podcast »

Christopher Giffard – HTML5 Video, Captioning, and Timed Metadata

Photo of Christopher GiffardThe key focuses of this session will be accessibility, searchable media, and enriching existing multimedia experiences with timed data, all with a liberal application of flashy eye-candy. And of course we’re using the freshly minted Timed Text Track specification, soon appearing in a browser near you!

See the slides and hear the podcast »

Lisa Herrod – Accessibility for web teams: Recategorising WCAG 2 using a role-based approach

Photo of Lisa HerrodThis method enables practitioners to apply skills specific to their role to a narrow range of accessibility guidelines particular to their area of expertise.

See the slides and hear the podcast »

Wendy Chisholm & Charles Pritchard – Universal Access: now for apps as well

Photo of Wendy ChisholmPhoto of Charles PritchardIn this session, Wendy Chisholm will help you understand the challenges to and solutions for creating accessible apps with web technologies. Wendy will cover WAI-ARIA, accessibility and HTML5, as well as some common accessibility pitfalls when designing and developing applications, particularly on mobile and tablet devices.

See the slides and hear the podcast »

Daniels Lee(tm) – Designing for the 10 foot UI

Photo of Daniels Lee™This talk outlines the most important best practices to keep in mind when designing web applications for TV. We’ll cover issues like directional pad navigation, user interface design for TV, color issues, and zooming, as well as discussing some unique opportunities for TV applications.

See the slides and hear the podcast »

Lisa Herrod – The Age of Awareness

Lisa Herrod PortraitSocial innovation, service design and even augmented reality are now presenting real and interesting opportunities for us as traditional web practitioners. Combined with inclusive design practices, this opens up a fantastic world of change for both us and the people for whom we design.

See the slides and hear the podcast »

Paul Hagon – Enriching large data sets

Paul Hagon PortraitLibraries contain masses of beautifully structured data collected over many years. But these records may have their flaws and might now want to be used in ways, such as location based services, that weren’t imagined 30 years ago. How can we use existing API’s and web services to enrich this data to enable it to be used in a variety of ways. This data also needs to be exposed for others to use and build upon. With the recent release of the Government response to the Web 2.0 taskforce, how can institutions comply with these recommendations by providing their data in usable forms for the public. What’s involved in building an API into our resources and how can our data be given more meaning through semantic linkages like RDFa?

See the slides and hear the podcast »

Sandi Wassmer – Inclusive design is for everyone

Sandi Wassmer PortraitInclusive Design is currently the domain of people who design physical things, like product designers and architects, but Sandi Wassmer is firm in her belief that Inclusive Design applied in the online environment just makes sense.

See the slides and hear the podcast »

Damien McCormack – Accessibility means business

Damien McCormack PortraitOver 4 million people in Australia have a disability. As a result they may use the web in a different way to you: a keyboard instead of a mouse; a screen reader instead of a screen. Accessibility is the way that you can tap into this large and growing audience.

See the slides and hear the podcast »

Scott Hollier – Boosting new media accessibility

Scott Hollier PortraitThis talk focuses on the efforts engaged by W3C and its members to promote and improve web standards and in particular HTML 5 with mechanisms to allow people with disabilities to access multimedia content, including audio and video.

See the slides and hear the podcast »