We are proud to congratulate Dr Julie Irish, our Principal Health Writer and editor, on receiving a Special Commendation for Advocacy and Leadership in Professional Editing at the 2019 conference of the Institute of Professional Editors.
Julie spoke on ‘Accessibility: creating content for everyone’.
‘Accessibility is about creating web content that’s usable by a diverse audience, including people with disabilities.
Disability can be permanent, temporary or situational. More than 4 million people in Australia have a sensory, motor or cognitive disability – that’s 1 in 5 people. Add to that the number of people using English-language websites whose first language is not English. Then add the people who have had an accident and temporarily lost function in their dominant arm, the people who are using their mobile at a crowded train station, the people who are distracted by their kids while trying to pay a bill online – these can all temporarily impair the way people use a website.
Many writers and editors used to see accessibility for web content as a compliance burden or an afterthought. Today, accessibility is an integral part of the content development process that improves the web experience for everyone. It’s about good structure, plain language, readability, alt text, descriptive links, writing to the user’s purpose, and writing to the user’s situation at that moment.’