The OZeWAI conference 2015 draft program has a great range or speakers talking about the latest developments and presenting on relevant accessibility projects. Register now and subscribe to the mailing list for the latest program news.

We are still finalising the program and have a bit of flexibility, so if you are interested in presenting at this year's conference, please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or read about the proposed speakers and panel members topics for further information.

Wednesday 25th NovemberThursday 26th November Friday 27th November

Wednesday 25th November - OZeWAI Conference Draft Program

8.30am Break Registration, tea and coffee.
9.00am 1

Opening Session (90 mins)

Welcome (10 mins): Liddy Nevile @ozewai

Logistics (10 mins): Brigitta Norton @algazelAdelpi Digital

Keynote (30 mins): Sarah Pulis @sarahtpPwC: "Evangelising accessibility for mainstream adoption" - 

Presentation 1: Likhasinh Sayasane Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP): "One of the ways DIBP is making accessibility BAU" 

Download Likhasinh's presentation [PPTX]

Download Likhasinh's presentation [PDF]

Post NTS: November 2015. One of the key activities in making accessibility business as usual (BAU) is through education and training of staff responsible for creating a website or web application.  In this session, Likhasinh reflects on the progress DIBP has made in making accessibility BAU and showcases the eLearning module “Creating Accessible Word and PDF Documents” as one of the products for role-based training.

Likhasinh Sayasane joined DIBP 3 years ago tasked with setting the UI design guidelines and to ensure that they are contain accessibility considerations. At the time, she did not know much about WCAG 2.0, thinking - It’s just another acronym and how is it pronounced anyway?  In 2013, she formally wedded Design to Accessibility (perhaps an unpopular choice at the time), presenting at World Usability Day with “Aligning Design and Accessibility”. Ironically; today she knows more about WCAG 2.0 than design and is committed to inclusive design and universal usability.  Outside of work she practices her Les Mills Body Combat moves whenever and wherever she can.

Discussion (10 mins)

10.30am Break Tea and coffee break
11.00am 2

Session 2 (90 mins) – Accessibility and self-assessment

Presentation 1: Jason Kiss @jkiss, New Zealand Government: "New Zealand Government Web Accessibility Self-Assessments"

NZ Govt 2014 Web Standards Self-Assessment Report

Download Jason's presentation [PPTX]

Download Jason's presentation [PDF]

Jason works for the New Zealand Government as Senior Advisor in Digital Engagement at the Department of Internal Affairs. He advises on web accessibility, the NZ Government Web Standards, and domain name issues. He is currently the W3C Advisory Committee representative for the NZ Government, and contributing editor on the HTML Accessibility API Mappings specification.

Presentation 2: Lisa Herrod @scenariogirl, DTO: "Agile Accessibility: Ninja Tactics for DoD Dominance"

The very design of accessibility guidelines makes them a perfect tool for flexible delivery; this makes them agile by nature. Introduce them to an Agile team, framework or environment, though, and you’re on the highway to Agile Accessibility. User Research is of course the perfect addition to this scenario, so we’ll look at where that fits in too. This presentation will draw on a variety of client projects and practitioner workshops as well as stakeholder research, to provide real life examples of how accessibility is being incorporated into agile environments right now.

Discussion (10 mins)

12.30 pm Break Lunch
2.00pm 3

Session 3 (90 mins) - Practical accessibility concerns in a real world context

Presentation 1: Roger Hudson @rogerhudson, Web Usabililty: "Accessibility is not a black or white issue"

When it comes to web accessibility today, can you have too much of a good thing? Roger will discuss balancing the demands of clients with the needs of AT users. Telling clients or developers something either passes of fails WCAG is no longer enough.

Presentation 2: Andrew Downie, DET: "The good, the bad and the uneducated"

Andrew will discuss the diversity of expertise among web developers. While some have encyclopaedic-like knowledge and extraordinary skills, some seem not to have heard about standards.  Scope for continuing development of both skills and knowledge will be suggested.  The dangers of not understanding the underlying technologies will be outlined. Andrew will also raise the issue of technological developments outstripping expertise of AT users.

Presentation 3: Russ Weakley @russmaxdesign, Max Design: "Front End Frameworks - are they accessible out of the box?"

Today, many front-end developers rely on Frameworks such as Bootstrap to build websites and web applications. There is often a mistaken assumption that these Frameworks will deliver accessible web content and functionality. Russ will discuss the dangers of these assumptions - highlighting a range of Bootstrap examples such as modals, button groups, popovers and more.

Discussion (30 mins)

During this discussion, panel members and the audience will share experiences in meeting the demands of web accessibility in today’s rapidly evolving web environment. 

3.30pm Break Tea and coffee break
4.00pm 4

Session 4 (30 mins) - Coding with accessibility in mind

Panel and audience discussion (30 mins)

5.00pm - 7.00pm Break OZeWAI Drinks (sponsored by Adelphi Digital) at Manuka Oval
7.00pm - 9.00pm   Dinner at Manuka Oval

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Thursday 26th November - OZeWAI Conference Program

8.30am Break Registration, tea and coffee
9.00am 5

Session 5 (90 mins) – Aspects of accessibility

Presentation 1: Gian Wild @accessibilityozAccessibilityOz: "Why web accessibility is so important"

Presentation 2: Ross Mullen @mrrosco78, SSC: "Accessible UX"

There is still confusion and assumptions regarding which frameworks Federal Government web applications run on.  Ross will discuss the IT procurement policy in practice and how it shapes the choices for web application development in Government, why developers use third-party controls and the impact those controls have on making web applications inaccessible and approaches to consider when using third-party controls.

Panel and audience discussion (30 mins): Accessibility buy-in: challenges and successes convincing organisations

10.30am Break Tea and coffee break
11.00am 6

Session 6 (90 mins) – Digital inclusion

Presentation 1: Brendan Fitzgerald @infoxchange, InfoXchange: "GoDigi and other digital inclusion activities"

Brendan will be talking, from a digital inclusion perspective, about how accessibility plays a role along with affordability and digital literacy. This would highlight in particular the user perspective or situation for people who are disadvantaged such as those living in Public and social housing and those at risk of homelessness. He will also talk to the challenges of Go Digi especially thinking about how to build web resources for people who have never used the web.

Presentation 2: Andrew Normand @Andrew_Normand, Melbourne University: "Accessibility in Universities"

Justice Graeme Innes once observed that "the quality of life of a community is improved by the inclusion of all persons in that community." Considerations of university website accessibility are often limited to their publicly accessible web content. Day to day services for students and staff are hidden away from scrutiny behind portals and firewalls. These services include: course information, enrolment, re-enrolment, fee payment, timetables, learning management systems, email, careers, event registration, enquiries, policies and procedures, library resources, assignment submission, lecture capture, examination timetables, research approvals, finance and HR systems.

This presentation will examine the overall accessibility of web services within university communities, and identify the barriers and opportunities for change

Presentation 3: Meera Pankhania @meera404, PWC: "A holistic approach to web accessibility"

BS8878 is a British standard and code of practice that focuses on putting policies and procedures in place within an organisation to make websites and other ‘web products’ accessible by considering accessibility at all stages of the development life-cycle. 

This talk will introduce you to the standard and understand how it can help you meet the obligations of the Australian Government Digital Services Standard in building inclusive digital services. This presentation is for anyone who creates or shapes online content, web production teams and for those that are responsible for creating policies. 

Meera Pankhania has over ten years of experience spread across client-side, digital agencies and consultancies and has acquired expertise in the different disciplines required to create and advocate inclusive user experience. She is the former Head of Accessibility and Usability at AbilityNet, a pan disability charity in the UK, who were a member of the working group that co-authored British Standard 8878; and has hands-on experience in providing consultancy on embedding web accessibility into organisations.

Discussion (10 mins)

1.00pm Break Lunch
2.00pm 7

Session 7a (50 mins) – The future of government reporting

Presentation 1: Vivienne Conway, Web Key IT: "Accessible annual reports"

Vivienne will be discussing the pros and cons of the different approaches being used to publish digital versions of annual reports.

  • Online with printable PDF and HTML version show sections with links
  • Making the digital version look the same as the printed version but accessible
  • Having an accessible MS Word alternative that is stripped of graphics and using tables instead of graphs

Presentation 2: Ian Laslett, Adelpi Digital: "Responsive and accessible interactive annual reports"

Session 7b (40 mins) – Demonstration is the new standard

Presentation 3: Jacqui van Teulingen @Jacquivt, DTO: "UX/Accessibility aspects of the Digital Service Standard and how it is being applied"

3.30pm Break Tea and coffee break
4.00pm 8

Session 8 (90 mins) – Accessibility testing tools and tips for websites and applications

Presentation 2: Tim Connell, Quantum: "A review of the use of PDFs in the Blindness and Low Vision Sections (Australia and NZ)"

In this session Tim will present an analysis of the PDF content on the websites of all major blindness and low vision agencies in Australia and New Zealand. It will include a wider discussion on the use of PDFs across the web and a presentation of the Commonlook tools for accessible document creation.

Panel and audience discussion (30 mins): Accessible testing and best practice

Mat Mirabella - NVDA demonstration

5.00pm - 7.00pm Break OZeWAI Drinks at Rydges
7.00pm - 9.00pm   Dinner Dinner at CIT (1, K Block, Canberra Institute of Technology, 37 Constitution Ave, Reid ACT 2612)


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Friday 27th November - OZeWAI Conference Program

8.30am Break Registration, tea and coffee
9.00am 9

Session 9 (90 mins) – W3C and other standards

Presentation 1: Andrew Arch @amja, DTO: "WAI updates 2015" 

Andrew participates on the W3C Web Accessibility Initiative's Education and Outreach Working Group and will talk about the work of WAI over the last 12 months highlighting some key outputs and forthcoming releases.

Presentation 2: Charles Nevile @chaals: "W3C activity updates"

Presentation 3: Liddy Nevile: IOS Standard

10.30am Break Tea and coffee break
11.00am 10

Session 10 (90 mins) – Accessibility learnings

Presentation 1: Leona Zumba @visionaustralia #VisionAusDAT, Vision Australia: "Document Accessibility Toolbar for Word" 

With the support of the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN), Digital Access at Vision Australia has created a Document Accessibility Toolbar (DAT) to support the creation and validation of accessible Microsoft Word documents. 

Free to download, the DAT is a dedicated accessibility ribbon for Microsoft Word that makes it quicker and easier to implement accessibility techniques. A resource for everyone, the DAT guides users through accessible document production, drives accessibility awareness, and helps organisations create an inclusive environment for their staff and customers. The DAT paves the way for a revolutionary new strategic approach to accessibility where everyone contributes from the ground up.

Presentation 2: Gian Wild @accessibilityozAccessibilityOz: "Creating accessible videos"

Presentation 2: Andrew Arch @amja, DTO: "Reaching diverse audiences under a Digital Service Standard

Andrew participates on the W3C Web Accessibility Initiative's Education and Outreach Working Group and will talk about the work of WAI over the last 12 months highlighting some key outputs and forthcoming releases.

The Australian Government Digital Service Standard outlines 14 principles for Government in meeting its’ digital delivery goals. While there is a strong emphasis on meeting the needs of users, can we better define what this means from the perspective of people with diverse needs including disability and ageing? This session will present some thoughts and then engage the conference participants to help tease out what some specific principles might be and what evidence or artifacts might be relevant at the different development stages to demonstrate that people's needs are being considered and met.

Presentation 3: Charles Nevile @chaals  "Chaals has been working on making accessible SVG and fixing user interaction.  What is this and where is it going?"

Chaals works in the CTO group of Russian internet giant, having been head of standards for the Opera browser and a staff member of WAI, and helping with OzeWAI since last century. He is co-chair of the W3C Web Platform group, responsible for lots of APIs as well as HTML, co-coordinator of the HTML accessibility task force, and the longest-serving member of the elected W3C advisory board. He has a broad range of interests in accessibility and web technology.

Discussion (10 mins)

1.00pm Break Lunch
2.00pm 11

Session 11 (90 mins) – Accessibility - latest developments

Presentation 1: Richard Ing @readspeaker, Readspeaker: "When websites talk, who is listening"

Richard will be talking about the role of audio in online content.

Presentation 2: Adem Cifcioglu, RecreateWeb: "Accessibility in Modern Web Applications"

Presentation 3: Sean Curtis @seancurtis, Atlassian: "Iterate on accessibility by using Web Components"

Sean will talk about using Web Components (mainly custom elements) and how they can allow us to iterate on the accessibility of components in an agile way.

Presentation 4: Tim Connell, Quantum - BrowseAloud: "Making a business case for digital inclusion"

Understanding how the digital divide impacts individuals is the first step an organisation needs to take in developing an Accessibility Strategy. However, convincing an organisation to invest in accessibility requires a business case, with defined benefits and returns. This session will demonstrate how to build a business case around Browsealoud, a subscription based software service for adding accessibility tools to websites.

Discussion (10 mins)

3.30pm Break Tea and coffee break
4.00pm 12

Session 12 (40 mins)

OZeWAI Annual General Meeting (30 mins)

AGM including election of office bearers for 2016

Closing session (10 mins):

4.45pm - 6.00pm Break OZeWAI Closing Drinks


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