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Highlights from the Perth Web Accessibility Camp 2019

The Perth Web Accessibility camp was held on February 12 at VisAbility. With over 100 in attendance, it's a great chance to learn and better understand how disabled people engage with the web and apps, and catch up with other accessibility champions.

What is Accessibility & Inclusive Design?

Many people understand that accessibility means making the web work for people like the 20% of Australians with a disability. But the truth is that accessible and inclusive experiences benefit all users, not just those with disabilities. Responsive sites? That's accessibility. Captions on videos so you can watch without sound on the bus? That's accessibility. Forms you can tab through? That's accessibility.

All these examples help people with disabilities access the web, but help non-disabled users just as much. For an idea, below is an image from Microsoft's Inclusive Design guidelines that show different type of limitations across a spectrum of permanent, temporary and situational disabilities:

Limitation spectrum

Microsoft get it.

At the end of the day, accessibility is nothing fancier than the best-practice way to design and build something so that everyone, everywhere can use it.

Personal Highlights

Here comes WCAG 2.1!

Amanda Mace (Web Key IT) and Julie Grundy (Intopia) gave an overview of some of the new success criteria for the 17 new Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.1) released in 2018 and some techniques to achieve them.

Amanda Mace (Web Key IT) and Julie Grundy (Intopia)

The Dynamic Duo

W3C advice on inaccessible CAPTCHA

Dr Scott Hollier (writer, speaker and World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Web Accessibility Initiative WAI member) reviewed the current situation on accessible CAPTCHA, and it seems there have been steps forward in usability but these have been at the cost of accessibility. Dr Hollier shared some alternatives and best practices.

CAPTCHA still inaccessible

Scott Hollier: CAPTCHA still inaccessible

The black art of marketing accessibility

In my favourite talk of the day, Stewart Hay (co-founder of Intopia) likened current methods of selling accessibility to business like trying to drag a horse to water. He argues we need to make it easy, show the value of accessibility by tailoring the approach, and ensuring that your voice is not the only voice talking about accessibility.

The black art of marketing accessibility

I think Stuart wants us to repeat...

A Day In The Life Of Sinead

Sinead Bryant (VisAbility), who is vision impaired, showed how she uses technology to navigate the everyday – getting ready to go to work, catching public transport, at work, in the evening and on weekends. I find talks like Sinead's really important to create empathy and help designers and developers understand the real-world impact their decisions have.

Posted by: Michael Bollig, Senior consultant, Digital and Experience Design | 26 March 2019

Tags: Accessibility, Design, Inclusive Design, UI, UX

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