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May 2023

Celebrating Global Access Awareness Day


Message from Chandra - May 2023
Kia ora
A photo of Chandra smiling, with short brown hair. Wearing a white shirt and a black necklace.
It is amazing how quickly time has flown since our last Newsletter. But as you'll see, we've been very busy updating our website, sponsoring and participating in the Deafblind seminar, participating in a joint session for Selwyn District Council and continuing our training and panel work as well as all the other awesome mahi the team deliver. There is also a blog post around assistive technology you might find interesting.

For this issue we'd like to wish everyone a very happy Global Accessibility Awareness Day GAAD happens on Thursday 18 May this year and for 12 years GAAD has helped raise awareness of digital accessibility around the world. This year, we're working with Be. Lab and Digital Boost to deliver a webinar and the Hapai Card team and Plains FM to bring some GAAD joy. Check the newsletter for details.

Finally, on behalf of Access Advisors, I would like to whole heartedly extend a huge congratulations to Prudence Walker who has just been appointed the new Disability Rights Commissioner. We are sure she will be amazing in the role and look forward to seeing what awesome mahi she will achieve. Her departure from DPA leaves some big shoes to fill. But if you are up for the challenge DPA now have a vacancy for Chief Executive.

Have a fabulous GAAD, whatever you are doing.

From Chandra and the team at Access Advisors
www icon with pointer

Have you visited our new website?

We've updated our website with branding that more accurately reflects our personality, with a bit of fun and lots of vibrancy. Let us know what you think of Access Advisors' new website.
Global Accessibility Awareness day logo. GAAD in a circle with and computer keyboard icon on the right bottom quadrant
                                 18th May 2023

Free Webinar

Access Advisors and Be. Lab are working with Digital Boost to present a training session for GAAD. The two hour, free session, will cover the basics of making social media more digitally accessible. This online training will be via zoom and we would love you to join us at 10am on Thursday for Making social media better for everyone.
Digital Boost Logo
Plains FM logo

Hapai Days Radio Interview

Jordan from the Hāpai Foundation interviewed our very own Dr Chandra Harrison for Global Accessibility Awareness Day. Hāpai Days is a monthly show featuring interviews with people with various disabilities, also business leaders, politicians and NGO's. Hāpai Days aims to bring people together, share their stories and dream of a nation that is accessible and inclusive for all. Tune into Plains FM on Wednesday at 4.30pm for a discussion on digital accessibility, or if you miss it you can check out Hapai Days back catalogue.
Deafblind seminar room. Desks set up around the room and 4 black guide dogs are lying on the floor at the end of desks resting while their people enjoyed the speakers.

Be Seen, Be Heard, be Connected

The second biannual Deafblind Association seminar was held on the 23rd -25th of January 2023. 
The programme included attendances by Patron Ruth Dyson, Minister for Disability Issues Poto Williams, Chief Executive Whaikaha – Ministry of Disabled People Paula Tesoriero and various representatives from Blind Low Vision NZ as well as people from around New Zealand and the world working in areas of interest to people with dual sensory loss. There were up to 10 guide dogs attending and assisting their people over the 3 days. 
The discussion panel of Erin, Angela, Chandra, Phil and Ashleigh standing together in from of the Learn, Earn, Grow Selwyn banner

Selwyn District Council - Learn, Earn, Grow series.

Discussion on helping employers recruit more disabled people. Run by Kirstin Dingwall-Okoy from Selwyn District Council. The panel included Angela Desmarais from the Disabled Persons Assembly, Phil Turner from the New Zealand Disability Employers Network, Erin Rapley from Be Lab and Ashleigh Fechney from Ashleigh the Advocate and Chandra Harrison from Access Advisors. Chandra has written a list of what digital assistive technology is available.
Formal photo of Julius Serrano in a black suit jacket with a pink shirt underneath

Screen Reader Training with Julius Serrano

Experience how Julius, a native screen reader user, navigates the digital world. Access Advisors can tailor a training session for your team so they get a true understanding of the types of issues that can be faced when using assistive technology. Email us for more information on our training options.
3 panel members working on an in person project

Access Advisors' Research Panel

Is your website really inclusive? 

You've done all the work, now to test it with people who have real life access needs. Contact us to find out how we can help
The word blog spelt out in blue on keyboard tiles

Recent Blog posts from the Team

Digital Assistive Tech by Dr. Chandra Harrison

Assistive Technology plays a huge part in supporting disabled people’s presence, participation, and achievement in many different ways. Understanding the different types of assistive technology can help designers and developers create interfaces that suit a variety of needs. We have a list of some of the different types of assistive technology available. It is not exhaustive but it covers the main types used to interact with technology.
Kev's Top Tip - Capital B for Braille
A Braille cell. 2 vertical lines each with 3 dots with the word Braille underneath
BANZAT announces an update regarding capitalisation of the word Braille.
The Braille Authority of New Zealand Aotearoa Trust (BANZAT) is pleased to announce the results of a nationwide survey within the Braille user community regarding formatting of the word Braille in New Zealand English. A clear majority expressed a desire for the word Braille to be capitalised in all situations, regardless of whether it is being used as a proper noun or not.
In respecting the wishes of those for whom Braille is their literacy medium, BANZAT recommends that this practice be adopted in all documents or instances where the word Braille occurs.
Any further questions from the press may be directed to

Kevin Prince - Senior Accessibility Consultant
Please visit our website to meet the team, for more news and blog posts and details of all our services. You can contact us by calling 0800 300 099 or email us at You can also contact us through the form on our website to ask a question or request our help.