Experts gather for Web Accessibility Camp

The 2022 Perth Web Accessibility and Inclusive Design Camp is one of the biggest accessibility events in the Southern Hemisphere and this year, VisAbility is proud to host and sponsor it.

It’s an opportunity for professionals, developers and designers and anyone interested in inclusive design, to learn about new initiatives to make digital platforms more accessible.

Virtual reality scene showing two people and screenshare of VisAbility website

Web accessibility under the spotlight

VisAbility Accessibility Specialist David Vosnacos will take to the podium to discuss virtual reality (VR) accessibility in a joint presentation. His co-presenter is Accessibility Adviser, Thomas Logan from Equal Access in Japan.

Virtual reality replaces the real world with a virtual environment. Computer technology enables individuals to create a simulated experience of what’s around them.

David’s presentation will focus on the benefits of using spatial sound in online meetings, so it offers greater accessibility to people who are blind or vision impaired.

“COVID-19 has led us to change the way we work because we’re all moving towards online meetings. At the moment, we have two-dimensional meetings in terms of vision and sound,” David explains.

“But what if we could have a 3D virtual reality, where meetings take place in a generated environment? There would be no physical barriers. The 3D sound coming from different dimensions would create a better perspective of your environment. Furthermore, just imagine the possibilities for people who are blind or are vision impaired!”

The future of audio description

The Perth Web and Design Accessibility Camp also includes a keynote talk by Dr. Mariana Lopez from the University of York (link opens in new window) in England. entitled ‘Accessibility through Sound Design: an introduction to Enhanced Audio Description.’

An audio description is a form of narration, providing information about what’s happening on screen. It gives details about visual elements to people with low or no vision, so they can understand what’s taking place.

Mariana has secured funding to explore ways to enhance audio description to improve the experience for people with vision impairment. For example, improved spatialised audio could minimise the need for audio description.

“Through my research in 2016, I know that 78% of people who are vision impaired use audio description at home. However, 34% wouldn’t bother to see a movie at the cinema because of a lack of accessibility. It’s something I want to change.”

Dr. Mariana Lopez

David and Vithya stand in front of screen showing virtual reality spaceThe Perth Web and Design Accessibility Camp will also incorporate the latest information about the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). Recognised standards exist to make web content accessible, so a  people with a range of disabilities can enjoy what’s online. The World Wide Web Consortium develops these guidelines – a community of member organisations creating a web that everyone can enjoy.

We also offer a number of software accessibility training courses for businesses including How to create accessible Word documents.

Sign up to the event

Currently, people adhere to WCAG 2.1 guidelines with an updated version – WCAG 3, due soon.

Why not find out more about the speakers at the 2022 Web Accessibility and Design Camp (link opens in new window)?

The event takes place on 22 February at VisAbility in Victoria Park. Furthermore, you can attend in person or online for just $50 – click to purchase your ticket (link opens in new window).

Our Accessible Information Services provide transcription, practical information and consultancy so that material can be easily understood. Whether you’d like a website checked for accessibility, a document converted into Braille or Easy English or something else, why not contact us today?

We also offer Assistive Technology to help someone who has low or no vision to communicate and read, so they can live with greater independence.