Welcome to the February issue of the Centre for Inclusive Design newsletter.
Firstly, we are excited to announce our new partnership with Leaders for Good. We started this partnership with a conversation, that lead to a podcast and now we’d like to extend that conversation our community. We are hosting complementary Inclusive Leadership online workshop on Tuesday 23 February as a short taster to the work we will be doing together. The workshop will explore why inclusive leadership is a must have, identify the specific traits you have or want to cultivate as an inclusive leader and way for individuals looking to develop their capacity to lead inclusive organisations. I’d love to see you there. Register here.
In other news Nike has just released a new shoe that is more accessible. We’ve included an article below not only about the shoe but also a second article about the use of disability first language. This is a growing movement particularly in the US so watch this space. This article explores the letter Matthew Walzer wrote to Nike, which inspired the shoe. It’s a great story about why Inclusive Design works.
For all of us LEGO lovers, it’s great that Lego Braille bricks have now arrived for educational use through Vision Australia. We look forward to the feedback about this exciting new product.
This newsletter was created on Gadigal Land. We recognise all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and Elders past, present and emerging.
Manisha Amin, CEO, Centre for Inclusive Design
Join our Inclusive Leadership workshop, in collaboration with Leaders for Good
The events of the last 12 months have put an even greater pressure on organisations to create diverse and inclusive workplaces. Not only do organisations and leaders have a very human responsibility to create equitable environments, diverse and inclusive organisations also have a competitive advantage. Team performance improves by 17%, decision making quality by 20%, and team collaboration by 29%. Also a clear link to financial metrics with 35% higher financial returns.* On the flip side, getting D&I wrong poses significant reputational and financial risk for organisations. In our upcoming interactive online workshop with Leaders for Good, we will explore why inclusive leadership is a must have, identify the specific traits of an inclusive leader and provide a roadmap for individuals looking to develop their capacity to lead inclusive organisations. When: Tue 23 Feb 2021, 9:00 am – 10:30 am AEDT. Register here.
Nike has launched its first hands-free shoe, making sneakers more accessible
Nike has launched a new shoe that takes accessible fashion to a whole new level. The Nike GO FlyEase features a bi-stable hinge, making it possible to get into the sneakers without the use of hands, and midsole tensioner, which allows the shoe to remain secure once it’s on. Also check out this interesting article: Why Won’t Nike Use the Word Disabled to Promote Its New Go FlyEase Shoe?
Lego Braille Bricks come to Australia
Lego Braille Bricks allow children with vision impairment to learn maths and literacy by touch. The Lego kits each contain 304 bricks featuring letters, numbers, punctuation and symbols in braille, together with the printed version. Vision Australia has been gifted 1,000 kits of the braille bricks by the Lego Foundation and will be distributed to schools that have students with vision impairment across the country. View the full story by ABC here.
The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Festival kicks off on the 19 Feb
The theme for this year’s Sydney Mardi Gras is RISE. This past year has been a challenging one for so many. There is strength and power of communities that rise together to support others to overcome adversity and inequality. That is what this year’s theme is all about.
Perth Web Accessibility Camp 2021
PWAC is an annual event put on by the Perth Web Accessibility Meet-up group which usually attracts between 80-120 people in person for the Camp. This year with travelling being what it is, we’ll be doing a hybrid experience with both in-person and virtual attendance. We’re also pairing with the W3C Australian Western Region Chapter (CfID’s W3C partners) and have some fantastic W3C speakers as well, including Shawn Henry from the Web Accessibility Initiative, Josh O’Connor talking about accessibility requirements for XR and Bill Kasdorf, ePub evangelist at W3C.
The day, including morning/afternoon tea and lunch, is only $50 per person. A full schedule can be found here.
Accessibility is about affording all users the dignity of equal access
“Larene’s father is blind, and she has “grown up watching how the digital world has forgotten and excluded him and other disabled friends and family.” Greg, meanwhile, has a visual impairment, and Jaesok has worked closely with the hearing impaired in working toward “AI democratization.” Unfortunately, accessibility continues to be an afterthought in the way technology solutions are designed.” The trio, made up of Australian MVPs Larene Legassick and Greg Alchin, and Korean MVP Jaesok Lee, says a “lack of awareness and training results in tech creators who are usually not aware of what accessibility is and why it is important.” Full article available via Microsoft’s MVP Award Program here.
Privacy in a pandemic — the conundrum of COVID-19 check-in solutions
“A recent study conducted by the Consumer Policy Research Centre found that 94% of Australians are concerned about how their personal data is shared online. Can users trust the cavalcade of new app providers? Are these providers regulated? What happens to the data? Does keeping each other safe mean giving up our right to privacy — to not be tracked unnecessarily or receive unwanted marketing?” This article by Tim de Sousa explores this further.
The Inspiration Series
On Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD) in May 2020, we launched our Inspiration Series. We have curated a list of resources that our community and team find inspiring. Things to assist in furthering the conversations on accessibility for the uninitiated and those who live and breathe accessibility. We hope these resources help you help others to think, talk and learn more about digital inclusion. With GAAD 2021 coming up in a few months, please send us your favourite resources so we can share them with our wider community.
Bem Le Hunte, Course Director – Bachelor of Creative Intelligence and Innovation
Recommendation: The radically inclusive teachings of The Swaraj University (Web page with text and images)
Why? “Imagine if the youth of today were equipped with the skills to deal creativity with complexity, uncertainty, collapse and change in the world,” and “had a personal vision of and a commitment to building healthy and resilient communities and lifestyles?” Next, imagine if they “were able to put their ideas and dreams for social change into real action?” Next, imagine these skills are taught in a university that teaches radical inclusivity – has a faculty of hundreds of people teaching everything from expert fishing skills to lost crafts…and didn’t require any qualifications for entry. I’m inspired by Swaraj University and other barefoot learning centres around the world that take learning way, way beyond the domain and control of the institutional setting. Check them out!
Gian Wild, CEO of Accessibility Oz
Recommendation: The Accessibility Factsheets were commissioned by Australian Government and have been released under Creative Commons and have detailed information on how to make certain content accessible.
Why? WCAG2 can be daunting and that’s why we worked with the Australian Government to develop these readable interpretations of how to make forms, images, interactive maps, mobile etc accessible, along with information on how inaccessible content affects people with disabilities.