Round-up of accessibility in WA

Friday, 15 July 2011 10:13am

To celebrate Media Access Australia’s first year in Western Australia, let’s take a look at the state of accessibility in WA and some of the events coming up.

“WA has seen some huge leaps in technology and policy in the past twelve months,” said Dr Scott Hollier from the WA office. “But we’ve also seen the accessible web community begin to thrive.”

WA government commits to web accessibility

One of the biggest WA news stories in accessibility has been the state government’s commitment to implement the W3C Web Contents Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 to either an ‘A’ or ‘AA’ level by the end of 2013.

“WA has provided a strong commitment to web accessibility by setting a timeline for reaching W3C standards and we’re hoping that others follow suit,” said Dr Hollier.

This will significantly improve how people with disabilities access state government resources from large state-based events to local government libraries. Media Access Australia supports this initiative and looks forward to seeing online information continue to improve in accessibility.

Captioned and audio described cinema

Hoyts Carousel and Bunbury Grand cinemas both provide a number of movie sessions that include captions to assist people who are Deaf or hearing impaired, and audio description to assist people who are blind or vision impaired. 

This move by Hoyts is significant because it shows how accessibility can be applied in both city and regional settings.

For session times, check out www.yourlocalcinema.com.au

CAP THAT! goes west

CAP THAT! promotes the simple concept of turning on captions on DVDs, TV shows and online videos used in the classroom for improved literacy and learning benefits for all students. While CAP THAT! is a national initiative, 30 visiting teachers attended a presentation in Cottesloe with Ally Woodford to find out how they can encourage the use of captions in WA schools. 

“WA can feel a little isolated and to have someone come out and show people what mainstream schools can achieve was immensely positive,” said Dr Hollier.

Upcoming events

Two big events on the accessibility calendar are due to happen in WA in the coming months:

  • Edge of the Web is a conference for web developers on 28-29 July. It will feature an accessibility stream including Dr Scott Hollier from MAA as one of the presenters.
  • Tech Outlook is a technology expo that will be hosted by the Association for the Blind on 26-27 August.

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