Usability Testing and Research with People with Disability

Sarah Pulis & Andrew Arch

9am-5pm, Tue 12 November 2019

Usability testing is the key to understanding the true experience for people with disability. The best experience for any user to successfully use your product needs to be effective, efficient and satisfying, not just technically conformant with WCAG.

This full-day workshop will give you the confidence to do user research and usability testing with people with disability. It is for people with experience in user research and usability testing and will help you include a wider range of participants in your work. It concentrates on the digital world but the principles could be applied to other scenarios.

You will learn about:

  • diverse types of abilities, access needs and technology use
  • who to include in your research and how to recruit the participants
  • the skills and knowledge the researcher needs to conduct a successful session
  • planning and running a usability session for participants with disability
  • reporting on the session outcomes, differentiating between accessibility and general usability

This workshop will be interactive and includes people with disability who will share their experiences.

Cost: $550

Sarah Pulis + Andrew Arch

Andrew is a Principal Consultant with Intopia and has been working in the field of digital accessibility for over 20 years. During this time, he established the digital access team at Vision Australia, worked on ageing and disability at the W3C in Europe and as the senior accessibility and inclusion expert in the Australian Government, including at the Digital Transformation Agency.

Sarah is Director and co-Founder of Intopia and can’t compete with Andrew’s years of experience (9 years isn’t bad though, right?). Sarah founded Intopia 3.5 years ago after working with PwC Australia and Media Access Australia. She is also founder of A11y Bytes and A11Y Camp, which have grown to be Australia’s largest events on digital accessibility and inclusion.

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Introduction to ARIA for Developers

Russ Weakley

9am-5pm, Tue 12 November 2019

This full-day workshop takes a detailed look at WAI ARIA, a way to make web content and web applications more accessible to people with disabilities. This workshop is for anyone who builds or tests complex web applications and includes a wide range of hands-on exercises, so bringing a laptop is important.

The workshop covers:

  • What is WAI ARIA?
  • Why is ARIA needed?
  • How to use ARIA
  • ARIA roles including application, presentation, and all landmark roles
  • ARIA states and properties including aria-describedby, aria-labelledby, aria-label, aria-errormessage, aria-disabled, aria-invalid, aria-hidden, aria-live

… and much more.

Requirements: Laptop with modern browser and some sort of text editor.

Cost: $550

Russ Weakley giving a presentation

Russ Weakley has worked in the design field for over 20 years as a Design System Architect, User Experience professional, Front-end Developer and trainer. He is the producer and presenter of 12 video courses on CSS and Responsive Web Design, and the author of Sams Teach Yourself CSS in 10 Minutes (2005) – and its sequel. His commitment to accessibility is a natural outcome of his adherence to web standards and best practice. You can follow Russ on Twitter: @russmaxdesign.

Thanks for the use of the photo to Web Directions.

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Russ is also delivering a presentation at A11y Camp: Accessible States in Design Systems

How Inclusive is Your Smart City?

James Thurston, G3ict

1pm-5pm, Tue 12 November 2019

Do today’s smart cities work for the more than 1 billion people in the world? Or are the technologies and smart solutions being deployed in cities across Australia and the world making the digital divide worse for persons with disabilities? How can cities be both smarter and more inclusive?

G3ict and its Smart Cities for All global initiative, with support of the Microsoft Corporation, has developed a Digital Inclusion Maturity Model to help cities worldwide assess and benchmark how their technology deployments and digital transformation promote and support ICT accessibility and the digital inclusion of persons with disabilities and older persons.

This half-day workshop will introduce you to:

  • Key performance indicators and metrics to support advancing ICT accessibility and digital inclusion in urban environments and across a broad range of functions that are important to all cities, like strategic planning, procurement, budgeting, technology deployment, developing partnerships, and using standards, etc.
  • Five distinct levels of capability in and commitment to digital inclusion and accessibility across six specific dimensions that are important to all Smart Cities, e.g. Technology, Data, Culture, Vision, and Process.

You will do a self-assessment of how inclusive your city is today using the tool.

Requirements: This workshop will be interactive. To do the self-assessment of your city today, you will need a laptop or mobile phone.

Cost: $250

James Thurston

James Thurston is an international technology policy leader. As G3ict’s Vice President for Global Strategy and Development, he leads the design and implementation of new worldwide advocacy strategies and programs to scale up G3ict’s global impact. He has experience applying both technology and public policy to important social and economic challenges.

James has led efforts ranging from using technology to promote the inclusion and human rights of people with disabilities around the world to using technology to increase the economic competitiveness of aging industrial centers in the United States.

Prior to joining G3ict, he was Director of International Accessibility Policy at Microsoft, where he developed and executed a worldwide strategy to expand the company’s outreach on disability and technology issues to governments and NGOs around the world.

James has also served as a standards leader for an international technology industry association, an economic and technology advisor to a U.S. senator and vice presidential candidate, and a senior manager for a national technology and economic development initiative of the U.S. government.

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James is also delivering a keynote presentation at A11y Camp.

Designing and creating accessible content

Sarah Richards

10am-4pm, Wed 13 November 2019

In this full-day workshop, Sarah will take you through the basic elements of accessible content.

In some organisations, accessibility is seen as a tech problem. Sarah will show you how no amount of tech will save bad content.

You’ll learn how:

  • journey mapping (knowing the steps your audience go through) can help you get the right information at the right time
  • structuring a page for multiple access needs
  • one word can make or break your service

You will leave with a researched, accessible sketch of content that you can use.

You’ll be working on your own content so you will need to come with an idea of what you want to work on. Make it a task like: I want to buy…. I want to apply for… I want to learn about….

You’ll also need to bring:

  • a wifi-enabled laptop
  • paper
  • pen
  • Post-it notes (one pad, preferably 3 colours but not essential)

Cost: $550

Sarah Richards

Founder of the content design movement, Sarah pioneered the standards during her 10-year career with the UK government.

As head of content design for the Government Digital Service (GDS), Sarah created and implemented the content strategy for the GOV.UK website.

After leaving GDS, Sarah took her knowledge and wrote the respected and highly popular Content Design – a book for anyone creating user-centred content.

She also launched Content Design London to provide training and consultation in content strategy and content design for governments, charities and organisations in the UK and worldwide.

Sarah is also a respected and in-demand speaker and shares her expertise to audiences at conferences, meet-ups and events globally.

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Sarah is also delivering a keynote presentation at A11y Camp: Accessibility is usability

Using NVDA Screen Reader

Mick Curran, James Boreham & Quentin Christensen

1.30pm-5pm, Wed 13 November 2019

If you’ve heard anything about accessibility, chances are you’ve heard about screen readers. NVDA is the world-renowned, free screen reader, developed right here in Australia.

This half-day workshop will give you the confidence to do use NVDA screen reader for accessibility testing. It is for people of all levels of experience, beginner to expert, we’re sure you’ll learn something.

What you’ll be learning:

  • Getting Started Using NVDA
  • Navigating the Web with NVDA
    • Links, Buttons and Menus
    • Headings
    • Regions
  • Browsing the Web with NVDA
    • Shortcut Keys
    • Focus mode vs browse mode
    • Elements list
    • Speech view
    • Images
    • Lists
    • Data Tables
    • Forms
  • Hands-on Practice

Requirements: This workshop will be interactive, so you’ll need a Windows laptop with the NVDA Screen Reader installed.

Cost: $250

Mick Curran, Quentin Christensen and James Boreham

As a totally blind person, Michael Curran focuses on software development in the area of accessibility, and also is very passionate about helping the blindness community in several ways.

Michael has been able to merge both of these passions by creating the first and only free and open-source screen reader for the Windows Operating System, which allows blind and vision impaired people to use Windows for no more cost than their sighted peers.

Michael continues to play a leading role in the NVDA screen reader, both as a core developer, and as an Executive Director of NV Access Limited, an Australian-based charity he and others set up to promote and develop this now very well-known screen reader.

Through Michael’s work with NVDA and NV Access, he has gained extensive experience in the field of accessibility, including vast knowledge of key accessibility standards, software APIs and best practices.

He has fostered relationships with companies such as Mozilla, Microsoft, Google and Adobe, and has made key contributions to the accessibility of their respective products and services.

Quentin Christensen first started teaching accessibility and assistive technology with Vision Australia in 2004.  He went on to start his own company, 22 Point, releasing an award-winning accessible game.

Quentin wrote the first book on Windows 10 for low vision users before joining NV Access in 2015.  Quentin has written various training modules on NVDA and Office. Research into the modules has helped improve both NVDA and Microsoft software.

As the training and support manager, Quentin also supports the NVDA community. Finally, he is the wordsmith behind their company blog, In-Process.

James Boreham is an experienced manager with substantial expertise in the not-for-profit, commercial and financial sectors.

He is passionate about combining and applying his commercial expertise with his hands-on not-for-profit management knowledge to support NV Access to achieve its vision and mission.

As General Manager of NV Access, James’ responsibilities include: Governance, Organisational Leadership and Planning, Finance Management, Partnership, Relationship and Revenue development and growth.

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