Published: 16th May 2023
In today's world, technology is the primary means for accessing information, communicating with others, and accomplishing daily tasks. However, for individuals with visual, auditory, physical, and cognitive disabilities, as well as individuals with temporary disabilities, using technology can pose significant challenges, making it vital to prioritise digital accessibility. For this reason, 18 May marks the annual Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD).
The Access and Inclusion Team is facilitating several activities on Global Accessibility Awareness Day to help you learn more about digital accessibility, including:
- An Accessible Tech Cafe at the Murdoch markets. Visit the drop-in stall between 10am-12pm.
- A Launchpad event between 12-12:30pm demonstrating useful, accessible technology.
- A silent movie in The Den from 11am-12pm.
Accessibility of Murdoch sites
Our website and myMurdoch Student Portal are designed to meet the standard accessibility requirements (WCAG AA compliance), whether that be for people with vision loss, colour blindness, or physical and learning disabilities. If you want to learn more about digital accessibility, we recommend these free LinkedIn Learning courses:
Join the GAA’DAY Australia Challenge
We encourage you to participate in the GAA’DAY challenges adapted from the Australian Disability Clearinghouse on Education and Training (ADCET). These challenges will give you an insight into how people with specific disabilities experience and engage with technology.
Challenge 1: No mouse in the house (keyboard challenge)
Some people find the use of a mouse to be problematic (unable to hold or control). For this reason, we challenge you to try using your computer with only your keyboard as a means of navigating and operating the system. That means putting your mouse aside, or better still unplug it if you can. See if you can last 30 minutes without reaching for the mouse.
Keyboard shortcuts will be the ‘key’, (pun intended) to this challenge.
Note: for Mac users, substitute the ALT key for your Option key in the below list.
Some key shortcuts you will need:
- To swap between running programs use ALT+TAB to cycle forwards, and ALT+SHIFT+TAB to go backwards.
- Inside many programs (such as Word or Outlook) you can press the ALT to show you other keyboard shortcuts that will be available. The TAB key will move you around different areas of the application.
- Arrow/Cursor keys will allow you to navigate within menus or select the appropriate highlighted letter.
- ENTER/RETURN key will select the option you have selected.
If you are unfamiliar with keyboard shortcuts the Goodwill Community Foundation website has a good introduction on 'What are keyboard shortcuts?'.
Challenge 2: No sound to be found (no audio challenge)
There are some students and staff who may be Deaf or find listening to videos/online meetings difficult (unable to clearly hear what is said). For this reason, we challenge you to try watching a video with the audio turned off or muted and rely on the closed captions or live transcription. You can try this:
- At home, when watching the news, try turning on the subtitles and muting the volume.
- Watch an online video such as ‘Three essentials in the move online’.
- Attend an online meeting where everyone relies on the automatic captioning only:
Challenge 3: No peeking, just listening (no video challenge)
Some people have low vision impairments, so they cannot see the visual information in an online video. Audio Descriptions help make videos accessible by providing narrated details of what is happening on screen. Check out ‘The Interviewer – Captions and Audio Description’ to experience audio descriptions for yourself:
- Try closing your eyes and listening to the video.
- Does the audio description relay all the relevant information?
The ABC website has an Audio Description Schedule, which highlights upcoming shows across the ABC network that are audio described.
Further information and examples can be found at Audio Description in Australia.