TechCommNZ Webinar - Accessibility - Why?

As technical communicators we need to know about how to ensure that the documents, intranets and websites we work on can be used easily by the widest possible cross-section of readers. But what if some of those readers have an impairment - how easy would it be for them? Impairments are not just the obvious ones of blindness, deafness or loss of a limb, but also more temporary or progressive conditions. These include age-related changes in cognition, and sight, low vision, dyslexia or even a broken wrist on your mouse hand. Occupational Overuse Syndrome can present major barriers to interacting with online and print information too.

At the next TechCommNZ webinar, Kevin Prince will explain how we need to approach the area of accessibility where it relates to written and graphical content. Kevin will discuss:

  • Why accessibility is important
  • Standards
  • Some key how to’s as they relate to communicators, such as font and colour contrast and how to test it
  • Alternate descriptions
  • Audio description and captions
  • Using multiple channels (or at least not unnecessarily restricting channels) to reach your audience
  • Simple accessible documents and some tools/resources
  • Magnification and what it means to you as a designer
  • Forms

Date and Time

The webinar will be held on Tuesday 31st March from 11:00 am-12:00 noon NZ time.


The costs for this webinar are:

  • TechCommNZ members (and affiliates: ASTC/TWIA, NZATD, PRINZ) - $30 +GST
  • TechCommNZ student members - $20 +GST
  • Non-members - $60 +GST
  • IITP members - $40 + GST


To find out more about the technical requirements for accessing this webinar, please go to the Information for webinar participants page on the TechCommNZ website.

About Kevin Prince

Born sometime last century in a land far away, a varied career in military telecoms, digital broadcasting, interface design, a bit of configuration management and even a fortnight in a tannery led to my escape to New Zealand in 2006.

Since arriving I have been deeply involved with issues around accessibility of information. In particular I have been working with websites and applications to test and implement the principles of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. This also covers printed documents and attached documents – one thing I have found is that it is easy to write accessibly but really difficult to retrofit it as an afterthought. I’ve worked on websites from Government, Health, Commercial and not-for-profit organisations and they all have the common factor that they are required to either give or request information from their users yet you’d often think that was the least important thing in their designers' heads.

I am currently running my own IT/Access Consultancy, Access1in5, which reflects the general statement in the census that 1 in 5 people report an 'impairment' of smoking. Interestingly the latest NZ Census results, released just after settling on my name and logo, give the number as 1 in 4 New Zealanders

When not working, which is as often as possible, I can be found at the Ferrymead Railway and have recently qualified as a signalman as well as driving engineering trains and editing the society newsletter. I am probably one of the few that can genuinely list cat-herding as a skill being co-owner of a very busy boarding cattery.

I have a reasonable command of NZ Sign but make no claims for NZ English.

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