Your Digital Accessibility Questions Answered! | TTC Global

Your Digital Accessibility Questions Answered

Here's what you asked us about accessibility in the 2023 Australian Network on Disability (AND) Conference!

Sam Dancey
  • Samantha Dancey, Beau Vass, Ben Crompton
  • 27 June 2023

TTC is a proud accessibility partner of the Australian Network on Disability (AND) conference over the last two years. Our digital accessibility support for the conference has involved reviewing identified platforms for accessibility barriers. Supporting with how to fix this, if possible, and in supporting with the creation of any communications required to enable a better user experience.

Top Tip: consider accessibility in relation to your conference platform when organising your next large event.

During TTC’s presentation at the AND conference we shared that, in the spirit of learning from each other, we would write a blog about all the questions we were asked across the day! So here are your questions, and the answers we shared with delegates!

What You asked us!

What is Digital Accessibility?

Digital accessibility is the inclusive practice of ensuring there are no barriers that prevent interaction with, or access to, apps, platforms, or websites by people with disability.

By integrating accessibility practices into your teams’ processes, you will be able to ensure that the digital environments you design and develop are accessible to everyone! Because when we design with accessibility in mind, we all benefit!

How do you structure content for everyone?

There are several key considerations that your teams can embed into the creation of content to ensure it is accessible and usable by people with disability, and everyone.

Key considerations include:

  • Headings – assists in structuring content allowing people to easily navigate content
  • Paragraphs - assists in structuring content allowing people to easily navigate content
  • Colour contrast – all text and background require a level of colour contrast to ensure it is perceivable
  • Text alternatives – ensuring visuals have a text description
  • Clarity and conciseness – ensure the message you are trying to express is clear

Note: whilst the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) has criteria to support in the design of accessible content, feedback, and insights from people with disability is also important and may not directly relate to a criterion in the WCAG.

Integrated resources based on your organisations focus areas for content can support teams to understand what they need to factor in when writing and designing content.

Why is it important for organisations to have external digital accessibility organisations assess their websites, rather than internal staff only?

A periodical review of your website by an external provider is good practice (such as an annual review).

Having a third party audit your site means that you have an independent third party verifying the accessibility of your website. It will either validate your internal team’s testing, or potentially find additional issues to consider.

Having an independent digital accessibility practice also brings a level of experience and expertise that may not yet be present in the team. Digital accessibility practices are working with a variety of stakeholders and organisations and therefore have exposure to many different types of digital environments and their respective issues. This experience is then overlayed into your audit.

In addition, digital accessibility practices solely focus on digital accessibility, therefore they are more likely to keep up to date with changes in standards, what is happening globally and attend conferences and knowledge sharing forums to bring best practice back to their clients.

Is there anything to consider in relation to Chat GPT?

There is a lot of potential for AI and automation to assist people with disabilities, both now and especially in the future as the technology develops and evolves. The use cases and reliability of AI and automation technologies are continuing to be explored every day and people are finding all kinds of ways to utilise Chat GPT in ways that work for them, and it has the same potential to help people with a disability do so as it does any other person.

It is important to note that the technology is still in its infancy and information provided or produced by AI is not always accurate or reliable, and that these technologies have often been found to include (and sometimes enhance) the same biases that may be present in the information it is learning from.

What does ‘shifting left’ mean?

‘Shifting left’ means factoring digital accessibility earlier into the software development lifecycle. Rather than waiting until the environment is designed and developed before testing for accessibility, you factor it in earlier.

Considering accessibility from the design phase is important. Designing with accessibility in mind means that there will be less issues with accessibility when handed to the developers. The developers would then also factor in accessibility into their work and can test for accessibility as they go. This means that there will be less effort required at the end in testing for accessibility and in fixing any defects.

Ideally, accessibility will be shifted all the way left to the procurement phase. This means that any digital environment or tool that is procured for your organisation has had accessibility factored into the decision-making process.

Top 3 Tips:

TTC spoke at the AND conference about digital accessibility and the importance of the following top 3 tips:

  1. Shift accessibility left – all the way left to procurement
  2. It’s more than audits! Embedding practices, where possible, is key
  3. Accessibility is an ongoing commitment

About us

TTC’s goal within our Digital Accessibility Practice is to support teams to embed accessibility into the way that they work. Ultimately meaning that those teams have integrated accessibility as part of their development lifecycle and ‘business as usual’ activities and do not need to rely on a third party to manage accessibility on their behalf. We want to raise awareness within the community about digital accessibility and to continue to do good work that will create a more inclusive world for all.

TTC started its Digital Accessibility Practice with lived experience in mind, and it has been important from the beginning to bring the voice of people with lived experience of disability into the conversation. Our practice offers tailored consulting services and coaching, training, tooling solutions and accessibility audits. At TTC, we believe the digital world will become more accessible and usable.

Get in touch

If you are planning your next large event, or if you have any question at all relating to digital accessibility, please do reach out to Samantha Dancey, Global Accessibility Practice Lead,