Accessibility Advocate Speaks at Wellington Usability Lunch

Julius speaking at the Wellington Usability Lunch

I spoke at the Wellington Usability Lunch today. It was one of the best experiences I had during my stay in New Zealand. The Usability Lunch was held at Provoke Solutions in Wellington, New Zealand. This event is a semi-regular meeting where professionals talk about issues, problems, and research focused on usability.

I began my presentation by discussing the relationships between usability and accessibility. For the past few months, I’ve been reading about usability and its principles and it deeply interests me. Being an advocate of accessibility myself, this was a good opportunity for me to share information regarding the principles of accessibility which are also important to usability.

I talked about how descriptive link texts, readable and understandable content, and the proper use of headings can all make a web site both usable to non-disabled people and accessible to persons with disabilities as well.

Then I did a demonstration of how a blind person (me) accesses the Internet. I used a screen reader called JAWS (Job Access With Speech(. A screen reader is a software that speaks the highlighted text displayed on the screen.

I was planning to use certain web sites for the demonstration, but I asked the group if they can suggest web sites for me to browse. I was happy to take their suggestions, which included New Zealand web sites such as MyAddress.co.nz and KiwiBank.co.nz.

From the demonstration, the group had an open discussion on the issues that affect the usability and accessibility of the web sites. I was glad to provide opinions from the perspective of persons who are blind and who use screen readers.

During the event, I was happy to meet again a few friends like Jason Kiss, owner of accessibleculture.org. I am thankful to the Usability Group for letting me speak in this month’s Usability Lunch, and I am also very thankful to our friends from Provoke Solutions for helping me a lot in setting up my computer before the presentation.

This has been a very good experience, and I will certainly do several accessibility presentations like this when I go back to the Philippines in September.

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One Response to “Accessibility Advocate Speaks at Wellington Usability Lunch”

  1. Bye For Now, Beautiful City of Wellington « The Accessibility Ally Says:

    […] the web accessibility presentation in the Wellington Web Design Meetup last August. Next was the presentation during the Wellington Usability Lunch, and finally, the presentation in the usability meeting at Bank of New […]

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