About us

OZeWAI started with a couple of presentations to interested participants in the early Web. At that time, many people were learning to make webpages using HTML and the Sunrise Research Laboratory provided a course online for free. It was designed to teach good principles and to help ensure that Web pages were accessible.

This work grew into a set of activities including what was called a 'hyperlecture' because it was an hour long lecture that had so many hyperlinks it could form the base for a semester's work on accessibility. This was especially useful as a teacher could provide students with work even if she herself did not yet know much about accessibility.

The Sunrise Research Laboratory also published a CD that was designed for schools. Then, most schools did not yet have access to Internet and many were worried about what children might access if they did. The OZeWAI CD was full of 'safe' sites and had, in fact, 192,000 items from the Web. These resources were all sourced with permission and form an interesting archive of the Web at that time. It waas knonw as the OZeKIDS CD - hence the name of OZeWAI :-) The CD has been lodged in the National Library of Australia.

W3C, the World Wide Web Consortium worked on how to ensure the Web was able to be accessible to all, and Sunrise people were involved in this work. Charles Nevile later went to W3C and worked specifically on accessibility in the WAI Team before moving on to other W3C activities.

Since the early days, the Sunrise team have convened an annual get-together of people interested in accessibility. This is known as the OZeWAI Conference and has been held at the end of each year almost exclusively at La Trobe University. It has been attended by a keen bunch of participants and each year there have been interesting contributions from international players in the field of accessibility.

OZeWAI is growing up, now has a formal structure, and will continue its work under the guidance of a committee and members working according to the new constitution.


Additional information