Introducing Access iQ: helping create a web without limits

Thursday, 19 July 2012 13:03pm

Access iQ is Media Access Australia's new initiative. Launched today, the website is a hub for anyone who wants to learn how to make websites and applications accessible to users of all abilities. Disability Discrimination Commissioner Graeme Innes joined Media Access Australia CEO Alex Varley in unveiling the project in front of media, industry leaders and disability advocates.

The Access iQ website provides resources aimed at equipping web professionals with knowledge to build websites which meet international accessibility guidelines. These resources are written by Access iQ’s own accessibility experts and a number of external contributors at the top of the development, design and usability fields.

"People with disabilities just want to access websites and have digital experiences like everybody else," said Varley. "Access iQ will help web professionals solve the problems which are currently creating access barriers on their sites. Access iQ will form not only a hub for information but a portal for a vibrant and growing community.”

The following is an excerpt from Mr Innes’ speech:

When people consider accessibility, good things happen. Imagine being able to do the grocery shopping without assistance for the first time in your life. I don't have to imagine - I did it.  Briefly, this opportunity was there, until Woolworths updated their app and rendered it inaccessible.

As a web professional, equipping yourself with accessibility knowledge means increased independence for people with disability world-wide. It means that what you create online has longevity and the power to reach the biggest audience possible. It means that, over time, Australia will become a more inclusive place, one that treats people with equality and dignity online.

As members of a forward-thinking society, this is something everyone should adopt. But to do this, we need to work together. It's not about you as a developer, or a designer, or a manager. It's about the user. And there's an increasing likelihood that that the user will be a person with a disability.

I'd like to congratulate Media Access Australia for stepping up and providing the missing piece of the puzzle. With Access iQ, we're one step closer to a world that fully includes people of all abilities. I'm proud to launch this initiative.

AccessiQ.org is now live. You can also get involved with the Access iQ community on Twitter and Facebook.


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