Vision Australia Digital Access launches on-demand accessibility training

Vision Australia

New training offering brings digital accessibility expertise direct to users, targets common digital accessibility mistakes

Industry leading digital accessibility training will be at the fingertips of developers, designers, creatives and other professionals as Vision Australia Digital Access launches a suite of on-demand courses.

Harnessing the expertise of the Digital Access team, which spans 20 years and more than 1000 accessibility consulting projects, the courses will equip people with the skills to avoid many of the common pitfalls that prevent digital materials from being accessible to large parts of the community.

“It’s estimated that one in five Australians live with a disability, but we still find that a large proportion of digital information and services people are expected to interact with, and some cases rely on, aren’t accessible for all users,” Josh Crawford, Vision Australia Digital Access national manager, said.

“This obviously presents barriers to people with a disability from engaging in the digital world like the rest of the community, but it also means that organisations and businesses are cutting themselves off from a large proportion of potential consumers,” Josh said.

“Our research among Australia’s blind and low vision population really highlights this. Just 4.7% of people who are blind or have low vision said they found websites extremely easy to use, while only 5.7% said they found native apps to be easy to use.”

2024 research from WebAIM found low contrast text and missing alt-text are the two most common accessibility issues across the internet. The first two course topics released by Digital Access, Writing Alt-text Masterclass and Making Colour Accessible will help professionals avoid making those mistakes.

“Alt-text and colour contrast are two great examples of how seemingly minor changes can have a huge impact in terms of accessibility and usability,” Josh said.

“Without alt-text, people who are blind or have low vision and others who might use screen-reading technologies miss out on a huge amount information that people expect images to convey, while incorrect colour contrast can make it close to impossible for people to navigate a web page or app, or digest the information a platform might hold.”

Josh said Vision Australia is excited for more people to be able to access the expert advice on offer from the Digital Access team.

“We’ve noticed a strong increase in demand for our in-person training, so we’re really excited to launch the on-demand offering so people are able to access the training in a time and manner that’s convenient for them,” Josh said.

“Each course draws on the expertise of a team that’s delivered more than 1000 accessibility projects across organisations and businesses of all sizes. Each course has been developed with input from people with lived experience of disability and proceeds also go back to funding the work Vision Australia does to support people who are blind or have low vision.”

Along with the Writing Alt-text Masterclass and Making Colour Accessible bundle, Digital Access has also released a free Introduction to Digital Accessibility course to give people a foundational understanding of disability and digital accessibility.

/Public Release.