Q&A

Digital Inclusion Forum prompted excellent debate

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The FACS NSW Digital Inclusion Forum, in Sydney on 15 June, brought together expert panellists and interested participants from Government, the business sector, NFPs and academia, for a series of valuable discussions on barriers to digital access for people with disability and future developments in digital access and inclusion.

Image of Brendan Fitzgerald, Dr Manisha Amin, Deborah Fullwood, Gerard Goggin

Panel-2 members: Brendan Fitzgerald, Dr Manisha Amin, Deborah Fullwood and Professor Gerard Goggin.


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Governments are toughening up on public sector web accessibility

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State and Federal Governments around the globe are toughening up on public sector web accessibility. The latest case is the Alaskan Juneau School District, which felt the wrath of that state’s Government because of a complaint from the public that their websites aren’t inclusive for all needs.

close up of a man writing on some documents

After receiving the disability discrimination complaint, Alaskan authorities undertook a rigorous investigation and found out that ten other schools, educational groups, and institutions (including the Montana School for the Deaf and blind) also had accessibility issues on their websites.


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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.

Digital media and technology: 

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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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Transcript of: Election websites accessibility report

Philip: I’m speaking with Dr Scott Hollier, the Digital Accessibility Director for Media Access Australia, and author of an investigation into the state of accessibility of websites related to the last federal election in 2013. Well, he’s done it again and has put the major parties, along with the Australian Electoral Commission and the ABC’s Vote Compass, under the accessibility spotlight. Scott, what is the state of play in terms of digital access this time around?


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Election websites accessibility report – improving but still difficult to use

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Media Access Australia’s Director of Digital Accessibility, Dr Scott Hollier, recently tested a number of websites related to the upcoming Federal Election to determine their accessibility. When compared with similar tests he did in 2013, improvements have been made. Yet people with disabilities or impairments still face challenges to determine their voting preferences based on online information, as Dr Hollier explains in an informative article and podcast.

Image of the words: why, where, what, how, when, who, in voice bubbles


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Cognitive Disability podcast with Dr Scott Hollier

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A comprehensive new booklet aims to demystify Cognitive Disability by providing a practical resource for organisational support. The author of the guide, Dr Scott Hollier, is Media Access Australia’s Director of Digital Accessibility, and also wrote the ground-breaking Service Provider’s Accessibility Guide last year. He shares his thoughts on the condition and the new guide in an insightful podcast.

A head and shoulders photo of Dr Scott Hollier


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Highs, challenges, and the road ahead: A podcast with Alex Varley

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Alex Varley was the CEO of Media Access Australia since its inception and has been an active advocate for inclusion in the changing media accessibility landscape over the years. In his final interview just before he left the organisation, Alex shares some of his high points and talks candidly about how web and digital access has changed over time and the challenges that await us just over the horizon.

A head and shoulders photo of Alex Varley

Alex Varley believes that web and digital access is slightly less of a problem than it used to be, but in all too many cases, accessibility is still an afterthought and can be one of the first things to be dropped when organisations try to cut costs.


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Q&A with Sonokids Australia: education through gaming for children with disability

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We spoke with Phia Damsma, co-founder and Creative Director at Sonokids Australia, to learn about the processes involved in creating accessible, educational computer programs for children with disability. Phia tells us about her award-winning projects and motivation to create accessible content for children.

Sonokids Ballyland. Image credit: Sonokids Foundation

Digital media and technology: 

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Audio describing a Lion Dance

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A very popular aspect of traditional Chinese culture is the lion dance. They are performed all over the world as part of festivals and events. Sometimes the dances are performed privately in restaurants or function spaces.

Southern Lion (Style: Fut San) in the Chinese New Year Parade 2014, London. Leicester Square London (Chinatown), UK, Feb 2014. Image credit: Dawning Leung


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