I’m back from this year’s OZeWAI conference, held at La Trobe University in Melbourne. The focus of the conference is accessibility and adaptability of the web. The program included a range of speakers from various backgrounds, including (but not limited to):
- Andrew Arch from Vision Australia
- Paul Bohman and Shane Anderson from WebAIM in USA
- Helle BjarnÃ¸ from Videncenter for Synshandicap in Denmark
- Shawn Henry from the World Wide Web Consortium in USA
- Charles McCathieNevile from Opera in Norway
- Russ Weakley and Roger Hudson from Web Standards Group
Some of the key topics that stuck in my mind included adaptability (about adapting the web to the user rather than having the user adapt to the web), the different types of disabilities and accessibility testing. There were many more topics covered during the conference as can be seen by the program.
Vision impairment is one of the most talked about areas of accessibility, but it is important to keep in mind that there are other disabilities that we, as web designers, must design for. In regards to the other types of disabilities, cognitive disabilities are an area that still requires a lot more work. It can be one of the harder areas of disabilities to design for, due to lack of knowledge within this area, and also the diversity that’s within the “cognitive” category.
One of the best things about this conference is getting to meet other people who are also interested in this area of accessibility, and whom many are heavily involved in moving accessibility forward.
Many thanks to Liddy Nevile and her team for organising this conference. Thanks very much to Shane Anderson, his lovely wife, Rachelle and their gorgeous baby Ella, and Paul Bohman who, despite it being very out of their way, rescued me when I was stranded at the wrong Safeway in Melbourne (who would have thought that there were three Safeways in a row! And why is it called Safeway instead of Woolworths?). Despite all that hassle, we enjoyed a delicious dinner at Namaste Indian Restaurant.
My OZeWAI Flickr photos are now available. Here’s a quick preview: