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October 2023

Welcome to our October Newsletter


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Welcome to our October panui (newsletter)

A photo of Chandra smiling, with short brown hair. Wearing a white shirt and a black necklace.
We've had a busy couple of months, both in work and events and with school holiday trips. Ross and I have been delivering training and workshops across the motu, and Julius continues to wow clients with his screen reader demos.
In recent weeks, I've also attended the M-Enabling Summit in Washington DC. There are more details about this later in the newsletter.
Also from an events perspective, the pre-conference workshop prior to the NZDEN conference held back in August was well received by those who attended. We've posted a summary from the event, Business Case Workshop Key Themes. Videos will follow soon.
Here is hoping that spring has sprung where you are and that the temperature is warming up. We are certainly enjoying some lovely spring days in Ōtautahi Christchurch. Have a fabulous November.

Chandra and the team at Access Advisors

ADHD Awareness Month

October is ADHD awareness month and a topic particularly close to our heart with Chandra receiving a diagnosis earlier this year. 
To raise awareness, we'd like to quickly highlight a couple of top tips to help neurodivergent thinkers use your websites.

  1. Keep designs simple and uncluttered. This helps reduce overloading or overwhelming people with too much information all at once. For example, make important information visible but provide links to less vital information.
  2. Provide clear signposting of content. This helps people scan content quickly to find what they need rather than having to read lots of content. For example, use clear headings and sub headings that follow the correct hierarchy.
  3. Avoid lots of movement or autoplaying video content. At the very least provide a way for people to pause, stop or hide any movement. This helps avoid distraction from the task. For example, provide controls for carousels.
  4. Clearly group related information and controls. This helps clearly indicate what elements are related and reduces the chances of distraction. For example, group the types of information you are gathering in a form (e.g. contact details).
  5. Be consistent with placement and design of interactive elements. This helps reduce the cognitive load of working out what and where things are. For example, buttons and links should look different than each other, and should be consistent.

Hopefully these tips will help you consider your neurodivergent friends and colleagues when designing interfaces.
Chandra has written a personal perspective blog that might resonate with some of you about ADHD burnout

For more information about ADHD and how it effects people head to ADHD New Zealand's website.


Access Advisors' Access Panel - Panelist Profile

Access Advisors is honoured to work alongside a variety of wonderful people on our Access Panel. Our panelists help with client facing research, usability testing, demo days and being the voice of lived experience. We introduce one of our panel community in each newsletter to acknowledge the need for collaborative design. This time we'd like to introduce Dr Sally Britnell.

Sally is smiling broadly and wearing glasses, a red jacket and black shirt.
Dr Sally Britnell
Sally is a Senior Lecturer at Auckland University of Technology (AUT) in the Nursing Department. She teaches in health science and supervises Masters and PhD students in nursing, health and computing / health informatics. She has a keen interest in innovation in higher education and student engagement.
Sally's research interests include nursing, health informatics, computer science, and accessibility. This gives her a unique opportunity to work across health, informatics and design disciplines. Sally often consults with organisations around application design, development and accessibility needs. Her mission is to raise public awareness and normalise disability in our society. Sally has a blog and also curates a webpage (although she would like help maintaining this page if anyone is available).
Sally and Guide Dog Sienna in a park. Sally is looking down at Sienna who is a golden retriever.

Guide Dog Sienna

Sally also makes short videos of her and her guide dog Sienna’s journeys around Auckland. The videos help educate people about what a guide dog is, and does. The videos include a voice over to explain the various obstacles and difficulties they come across during their journeys.
You can follow Guide Dog Sienna on Facebook.
Sally also includes some lovely photos of Sienna at play and in awkward sleeping positions.
If you would like to find out more about joining the panel, or recruiting people from our Access Panel, please email Access Advisors or call or text Katherine on 027 265 4207.

Call for research participants

One of our valued clients wants to explore employment issues in the tech sector relating to accessibility. So, we are looking for people working in the tech sector who either have access needs or manage people with access needs.

The research sessions would be in person in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, in the next couple of months. The sessions would be about two hours long and you would get paid for your time.

This is a fantastic opportunity to influence the future of tech education.

If you are interested in participating in this or any of our Access Panel research, please email Katherine.

M-Enabling Summit - AI and Digital Transformation

Every year a (very) large group of Accessibility Professionals gather in Washington DC for three days of accessibility discussions. The theme for this year was ‘AI and Digital Transformation: New Paradigms for Accessibility and Inclusion Strategies.’ As well as keynote speakers, there are also a variety of streams of content with panel discussions, A11y Chats etc. and trade stands. This year almost 600 people attended the summit, including Chandra our Managing Director, soaking up a wealth of information. 
Chandra is the New Zealand Country Network Advisor for the G3ICT and International Association of Accessibility Professionals (IAAP). Attending the summit provided fabulous opportunities to meet the IAAP team and so many
Chandra on stage with James, Hannes and John, ready for the panel discussions to begin
other Accessibility professionals. Chandra was even invited to join one of the panel discussions with James, Hannes and John to discuss embedding digital technology in urban environments to help make things better for disabled people.

Key Conference Themes

Chandra will write a series of posts, so watch out for them. But in the meantime here are some of the big take homes:
  • There are clear pros and cons of AI for disability communities, and they need to be involved in governance to avoid the cons
  • There is an abundance of resources to support accessibility activities, so we don't necessarily need to be re-inventing things in NZ
  • Exciting technology solutions exist to address some access needs, including solutions for touch screen point of sale devices
  • There are huge benefits of effective procurement policies and processes, and helping companies choose accessible solutions
  • Effective accessibility legislation is embedded elsewhere in the world, but waving it as a big stick is not always the best solution
Access Advisors are very grateful for a travel grant from Internet NZ. They have regular rounds of funding to support the endeavours of New Zealanders. We couldn't have done it without their support.
InternetNZ logo
G3ICT logo

Upcoming Events

ATSNZ Disability Expo

Early in November Chandra will be presenting at the annual Assistive Technologies Suppliers New Zealand (ATSNZ) Disability Expo.
She will be presenting a talk Improving digital accessibility for assistive tech suppliers and their users. She is speaking on Thursday 2 November at 2pm so if you are in the neighbourhood, head to the Due Drop Events Centre and provide some moral support and check out the assistive tech on display at the Expo.

Content X

Later in November, Chandra will be speaking at the Aotearoa Content and Marketing Summit. Chandra will talk about Creating Accessibility on your Website.
Chandra will be speaking on Wednesday 29th November at 12pm.
Our friends from NZDEN will also be presenting a workshop on Equity in content creation.
To find out more, or if you are interested in attending the conference or the workshop, you can get tickets on the Content X website
International Day of Persons with Disabilities logo

International Day of People with Disabilities (IDPWD)

Watch this space for our exciting upcoming event on the 4th of December 2023.
Yellow post-it pinned to the post with the words Top Tip

Kev's Top Tip - WCAG 2.2 is here

As you have most likely heard by now, WCAG 2.2, the latest update to web accessibility standards, was released on October 5, 2023. It addresses some gaps around visual and cognitive issues. Key areas that have been updated include target size, consistent help placement, and accessible authentication. Find the new criteria at or get in touch and we can do a review for you.
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.
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