WCAG

Chris Mikul’s captioning legacy

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Chris Mikul was the Project Manager of Media Access Australia since its inception and has been an active advocate for better captioning, audio description (AD) and inclusion for nearly three decades. In his final interview before leaving the organisation, Chris shares some of his high points and talks openly about the challenges and issues that still remain, in order to improve the quality of captions and make AD much more available in Australia.

Head and shoulders photo of Chris Mikul

Aside for fighting for better captioning on traditional TV, TV streaming and in the online world, he believes that organisations should keep accessibility front and centre in their mind before embarking on any digital communications project or website build.

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5 simple ways you can dramatically improve your blog’s accessibility

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Blogging encourages freedom of personal expression so it should be a right for anyone, regardless of disabilities or requirements, to have access to this vast pool of knowledge and community.  But what simple things can you do as a blogger, or a budding blogger, to make sure that your blog is accessible?  There are 5 simple ways that you can dramatically improve your blog’s accessibility.

Woman typing on her laptop, sitting on her bed

It’s fair to say that the blogging world has boomed in recent years, with more and more people starting a blog or reading a blog on a regular basis. You only have to whisper the world ‘Zoella’ to a tween and they know exactly who they are and get all starry-eyed. 


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Political websites offer a lesson in access

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Election campaigns… The drudgery of all those politicians, political parties and media outlets all vying for your attention. Trying to get the latest news, funding promise, budget saving, tax cut, baby kissing, high-visibility vest, hard-hat-wearing politician video to us in real time. Well some of us…

A hand clicking a computer mouse with a keyboard and PC in the background

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PCWA online course aims to promote accessibility

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Inclusion and accessibility are hot topics that impact on the daily lives of around 25% of the population who have a disability or impairment. And now web professionals can improve their levels of expertise in web and digital accessibility to make a positive difference by enrolling in Australia’s only university-accredited online access course.

Three students using a tablet computer

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How the blind experience the internet

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What is the internet like when you have a vision impairment? Chris Moury, who has rapidly declining vision, speaks about this topic on Control Z, a new ABC podcast by Yasmin Parry and Will Ockenden.

Laptop sitting open on a table next to a smartphone and notepad


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Snapchat adds closed captioning support for Discover videos

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Social messaging app Snapchat has added closed captioning support for videos shared within its Discover section, allowing major publishers to share accessible video content with broad communities of smartphone users without access to audio content.

Right hand holding an iPhone 6 with Snapchat Discover displayed on screen. Image credit: Snapchat


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Facebook introduces automatic alternative text feature to iOS app

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Facebook has launched a feature based on image recognition to provide Automatic Alternative Text (AAT) for photos uploaded to the social media service.

Hands holding an iPhone with Facebook app displayed. On screen is an image of trees in a forest. Image credit: Automatic Alternative Text by Facebook Accessibility

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Twitter supports alternative text for images sent via app

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Twitter has announced that images tweeted from its iOS and Android apps can now include alternative text, ensuring that users of assistive technologies such as screen readers can understand the nature of the visual content.

Two screen shots of the composer for Twitter on iOS. The first showing the new "Add description" button overlayed on an image thumbnail in the composer, and the second showing the composition of alt text for an image. Image credit: Twitter


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Consultation on communications access

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The inclusion of accessibility features in many mainstream smartphones and tablets is a potential game changer in the delivery of special services for Deaf and hearing impaired people, according to the Department of Communications.

Woman using a smartphone

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Social media for those with a disability gets 2016 update

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The ground-breaking 2012 ‘SociAbility’ review into social media for those with a disability has had a much anticipated update. The Media Access Australia website now includes important new information on the varying accessibility challenges and practical fixes across all popular social channels. Project leader Dr Scott Hollier believes that it is destined to be the go-to resource on social media for people with a disability and those who provide care, support and advice.

Social media icons with a magnifying glass on the words ‘social media’


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