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21 October 2019

One of the things that I find exciting working in the digital access space is to see large government departments working hard to make their digital content and processes accessible.  Recently I had the privilege to work with the Department of Human Services (DHS) in Adelaide who are in the process of growing internal accessibility knowledge.

are likely best known to Australians for their Centrelink online presence, but
the Federal government department undertakes a lot of work across many different
areas. My involvement has been to support staff that are working hard to
incorporate accessibility into their work practices.

A core
part of the initial work was to deliver two presentations to approximately 150
staff providing a broad overview of digital access, from the personal journey
of a blind user through to the use of assistive technologies. There was also
information provided on the importance of the Web Content Accessibility
Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 standard and future technological developments in which
accessibility needs to be considered.

focus of the work was the delivery of a digital access workshop to
approximately 20 staff which provided more specific guidance on interacting
directly with web content and documents. The workshop provided an opportunity
for attendees to experience the use of assistive technologies for themselves
and assess web content using automated tools. The workshop also provided
opportunities for discussion of the issues and put strategies in place to
continue the conversation.

Given the
fact that DHS interacts with millions of Australians with disability on a
regular basis, it’s exciting to see access issues being identified and
addressed as the processes internally and externally continue to improve. Many
thanks to the management and staff for the opportunity to meet your digital
access needs.

The Centre for Accessibility is a joint project by Media on Mars, DADAA and Dr Scott Hollier and is funded by the Department of Communities, Disability Services.

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