W3C column

Seven years ago, the CEO of Media Access Australia asked me to consider the potential of creating a new direction in terms of our news content. In particular, there was a plan to provide a regular in-depth column that explored accessibility issues deeper than could be done in a standard news piece. As a result, this column was born and it’s been my privilege to provide monthly updates ever since.
It’s a ritual in my home that every Monday night my wife and I get our weekly news and current affairs fix on the ABC by watching Four Corners and then Media Watch. One of the things I really enjoy about Media Watch is that it looks at some of the misinformation that turns up in the media and its likely impact on how people understand important issues. So it was with some irony that a few weeks ago Media Watch had a segment about the failings of Media Watch itself when it came to the provision of closed captions on the ABC iview catch-up TV service.
While lots of people are passionate about the digital access cause, Shadi Abou-Zahra, the W3C Accessibility Strategy and Technology Specialist, is one of the hardest-working and dedicated people I’ve ever met in the field, and a great bloke too. It was my pleasure to welcome Shadi back to the column for an interview on the topic of accessibility and the Web of Things.
2017 is already well underway and looks set to be a very exciting year in web accessibility. With updates to WCAG 2.0 in the W3C WAI pipeline and the eagerly-anticipated W4A2017 conference coming to my home city of Perth in just a couple of months, this year has lots to look forward to and I’m looking forward to continuing the accessibility conversation as it goes along.
For me, 2016 has been a remarkable year and a year of great change both professionally and personally. Yet with great changes there are also great opportunities, and in my opinion the developments in accessibility throughout 2016 are reflective of some notable changes and the start of some great things to come.
If you’re a U.S. citizen reading this then you are stuck with the Trump wins result of the Presidential election vote on Tuesday 8 November. Yet it’s fair to say that most Australians are watching what happens in the aftermath of the U.S. election very closely, as it is likely to have major ramifications for international policy and trade, along with the provision of technology access to people with disabilities.
Pokémon Go offers a gaming experience unlike any other, for most players. However, as an accessibility specialist, my first interest in the game wasn’t so much in terms of how good it was as a game, but whether or not people with disabilities would actually be able to play it.
It’s a story we’re all too familiar with. On Tuesday 9 August, millions of Australians logged onto the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Census website to embark on what was a truly ground-breaking event – the ability to fill out the Census form online for the very first time. Log-in codes were posted to households ahead of the big day, and the anticipation began to rise. Most Australians chose to complete the Census online and a naturally convenient time for many who opted to go online was in the evening.
I love the Cloud. Yes, it may seem like a strange thing to declare at the start of a column piece, but it’s true. Whether it’s knowing my files are safe even if my house burnt to the ground, my e-mails being instantly there when I set up a new tablet, or my accessibility preferences being updated instantly between my various Windows 10 computers, the upshot of it is that it makes my life much easier, both as a consumer and as a person with a disability.
The idea of a webinar is a good one. If you’re a business, the fact that you can present important information to people across the globe without the need for expensive travel is very appealing, especially if you include the real-time chat capabilities and session recording. For participants, webinars also offer tremendous benefits if you can’t get away from the office but still want to participate in industry-related developments in real-time, or catch up with the recording when time permits. All in all, it’s a great thing…except for its accessibility.
In September 2013 I wrote an article in this column entitled ‘How inaccessible websites could affect your vote’. At the time I was looking at whether or not people with disabilities were at risk of casting a vote that was not reflective of their political views due to an inaccessible website, and it turned out that it was indeed a possibility. With an election in Australia just weeks away, I thought it would be a good time to review this topic and see if there have been any improvements to the way in which people with disabilities can consider all viewpoints and make an informed choice on the day.
Following his attendance of the13th annual Web for All (W4A) conference in Montreal, Dr Scott Hollier discusses recent developments in access, alongside benefits and issues associated with automated accessibility processes.
Dr Scott Hollier discusses the importance of the Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines (ATAG) when building an accessible Learning Management System (LMS), covering issues around the upgrade cycle, ATAG 2.0 for developers, the role of content producers and practical implementation of policies in the process.
In his latest W3C Column, Dr Scott Hollier discusses how to 'escape the web accessibility island', the advantages of train-the-trainer approaches, and a reminder that WCAG is not just limited to website creators themselves.
In his first W3C Column for 2016, Dr Scott Hollier interviews James Thurston, Vice President for Global Strategy and Development in the Global Initiative for Inclusive Information and Communication Technologies (G3ict).
2015 in Review: The five most read W3C columns published on Access iQ in 2015.
  • Author: Chris Pycroft
  • Date: 18 Dec 2015
In his last W3C column for 2015, Dr Scott Hollier reflects on the progress of web accessibility as many web standards begin to make their mark.
Seven years after the second version of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines became a recommendation, Dr Scott Hollier analyses whether the relevance of Level AAA guidelines have changed and what potentially could come next.
In this month’s W3C column, Dr Scott Hollier highlights the increasing importance of ATAG 2.0 for people working towards achieving accessibility compliance.
In this month's W3C column, Dr Scott Hollier highlights the experiences of some assistive technology users, as well as developers, on the release of a new operating system.