In accordance with the Australian Human Rights Disability Discrimination Act 1992 there is a corporate social and legal responsibility for businesses and organisations to produce accessible online experiences. In December 2006 the United Nations adopted the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD, hereinafter referred to as “the Convention”). The Convention asserts a range of fundamental rights and freedoms that people with a disability enjoy as members of society. Article (4)(1)(g) of the Convention calls on parties to “Promote access for persons with disabilities to new information and communications technologies and systems, including the Internet”.
Media Access Australia is excited about the opportunity to support the Australian Computer Society and its members by raising their awareness and understanding of not only their obligation to comply, but also the significant value and outcomes to be gained from embedding digital accessibility into their organisation. We seek to do this by providing periodic articles which will inform, engage and add value to the ACS member and in turn assist them to build their own business case for weaving digital accessibility into their core business process.
Examples of some of the motivations that organisations have for adopting accessibility and how those can be integrated into a customized business case are provided below:
- A corporation might emphasise:
- financial gains and cost savings from increased web use due to increased potential market share, search engine optimization (SEO), and increased usability
- reducing risk of legal action, high legal expenses, and negative image
- public relations benefits of demonstrating corporate social responsibility (CSR)
- benefits of an inclusive workplace that supports employees with disabilities
- increased productivity from supporting and retaining older employees and their experience
- A government department or agency might emphasise:
- laws and policies that require public services are available to all, such as anti-discrimination legislation or information and communications technology (ICT) policy
- demonstration of social responsibility and provision of information and services that are accessible to all citizens
- savings from improved server performance and decreased site maintenance
- benefits from enabling people with disabilities and older users to interact with them online instead of more costly ways
- An educational institution might emphasise:
- number of students, faculty, or staff with disabilities in educational settings as a social responsibility consideration
- benefits of Web accessibility to students with different learning styles, older computer equipment, or low bandwidth Internet connections
- benefits to older employees who may be experiencing age-related impairments, an increasing percentage of employees as the workforce ages
- legal or policy requirements
After considering the important role ACS plays as the peak body for the Australian ICT sector and the strong focus on professional development we would like to include in our communication to ACS members an invitation to enrol in Australia's only tertiary-backed web accessibility course.
Media Access Australia, in conjunction with the University of South Australia, offers the Professional Certificate in Web Accessibility
This six-week online course is delivered fully online and has a weekly commitment of only three hours. It is co-lectured by Media Access Australia’s international web accessibility expert, Dr Scott Hollier, who sits on the Advisory Committee of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).
This professional development course teaches ways to apply the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0) - the global standard for ensuring websites are accessible.
The course is suited to roles including:
- web managers
- content editors and producers
- web developers
- business analysts
- software engineers and testers
- UX and web designers
Offering a formally recognised qualification, past students have included employees from federal, state and local government departments, universities, creative agencies, and leading IT enterprises and financial institutions.
Read our alumni spotlight series to find out from past students how the course has influenced their work.
What ACS members will get from the course:
- Learn how to implement accessibility solutions on your websites and other online applications
- Find out how to audit, test and resolve online accessibility issues
- Develop skills specific to your job role and apply them as you study
- Acquire a sound understanding of the WCAG 2.0 for application on websites as well as authoring tools and software such as apps
- Experience valuable networking and knowledge sharing opportunities
- Gain hands-on experience through graded assessments
The next course runs from Monday 13 April — Friday 22 May 2015. The cost is $2,288 (incl. GST).
As an exclusive offer to each ACS member who enrols in the course Media Access Australia will provide at no additional cost a 12 month subscription to our Complete Guide to Web Accessibility valued at $799.99 (incl. GST).
The Complete Guide to Web Accessibility is a practical resource for ongoing reference which supports the knowledge gained from the course when members are applying this within their working role.
The comprehensive guide focuses on three core roles:
With almost forty different topics covered, virtually everything your members need to know is right here. Written specifically for people who produce content for the web, and for those who develop or design websites.
The Complete Guide to Web Accessibility offers advice on everything members need to consider when implementing accessibility best practice. Additional techniques for emerging technologies are included, as well as examples of how to ensure their everyday work meets accessibility requirements. Our accessibility specialists have done all the hard work and research, so your members can just get on with the job.
Each subscription includes:
- A year of regular updates to the guide - to ensure you’re getting the best, most current information
- Access to Q&A - See the questions and answers submitted by other premium subscribers, so you remain up-to-date on the accessibility challenges faced by others in the industry.