What is Accessibility was a question posed at ARK's Sydney Knowledge Transfer & Retention Conference ?
I found this interesting as years ago as a City Councillor I had chaired my local Council's Access Committee for the Disabled. At the time I had a minor disability with restricted use of my right hand, needing lots of assistance to help with my brand new baby. And prior to their passing, both my father and father-in-law had been affected by strokes - each with a range of associated physical restrictions.
I learned so much from the Access Committee members - some in wheel chairs - some amputees & others with vision or hearing impairment. A key feature of the committee was to feed input into Town Planning assessment of development applications from the Access Committee members' perspective.
Why accessibility in Knowledge Management ?
- Equity – make sure everyone has opportunity to contribute and make their knowledge available to others – a range of disabilities - with a strong focus in today's presentation being on vision impairment
- Social inclusion ? Use collaboration tools – websites & pdf’s that are accessible
- Education is 2nd largest state govt dept in NSW after Health - so the numbers of people in Education impacted by various disabilities is significant
- Accessibility can encompass the Digital divide – a more political definition to encourage inclusiveness - but today's focus was on web page & pdf design to be more readable/comprehensible
- Referred to Anti-discrimination & EEO legislation – the work of the Human Rights Commission
- Make online resources available by the widest number of users - there are Web content accessibility guidelines eg Australian Govt information management organization - AGIMO
- Evan spoke of the challenges of pdf's for people with vision impairment & how it could be possible to improve this
- Suggested the use of web accessibility toolbars on Internet Explorer - Firefox
Evan also spoke about being in an organisation which was being restructured and the importance of strategies to prevent key knowledge loss & collapse as an outcome - especially in the Accessibility area
Remember - our vision and hearing deteoriates with age – so ultimately it probably affects all of us