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The Copy Collective

Tiny business helps Federal Government comply with its own policy

Federal Government departments are required to make their websites comply with standards that make them accessible to people with disabilities.

"At The Copy Collective, we've noticed that many government websites don't comply, as yet, with the guidelines in regards to copy," CEO Dominique Antarakis said. 

"We thought we'd help out by making free training available to everyone, so that the government didn't have any excuses not to comply with its own policy. We also think that accessible websites are great for all businesses, not just government."

The Copy Collective is a 5-person business based in Sydney. As part of the company's Disability Discrimination Act Action Plan, they wanted a practical way to show that small changes could help everyone. The team thought they would start by helping the Federal Government comply with its own Web Accessibility National Transition Strategy.

Today, The Copy Collective announced the release of two training videos designed to assist copywriters and government departments to comply with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0). Federal government agencies are encouraged to meet the guidelines for their website content by December 2014.

"We're not doing this because we want jobs rewriting Federal Government websites; although that would be nice," Ms Antarakis said. "We're doing it because we want to show that simple changes to copy can make a big difference to access."

"The training we offer is in-depth and detailed. The presenter, Monica Seeber, is one of our freelancers from Perth. She has a disability and she has two children with disabilities. Monica is very committed to access and so are we. 

"We've provided 2-hours of training, free of charge. We'd like the Government to make the videos compulsory viewing for all their comms and web teams.

"Making website copy accessible for all just makes good business sense," Ms Antarakis said.

In two hours, the online e-accessibility training takes users through the principles of WCAG 2.0, how these principles will affect websites, and how to create content that meets WCAG 2.0 standards. The YouTube videos are fully captioned and there are downloadable PowerPoint and Text versions of the presentation slides available on Scribd.

Comply by December 2014

The Copy Collective supports governments, NFPs and businesses to comply with the WCAG 2.0. While the compliance imperative is important and it is great to ensure content is available and accessible for all, the steps to make sites accessible have the side benefit of also helping organisations with their search engine optimisation (SEO).

Providing this complimentary training is part of The Copy Collective's commitment to an inclusive society under its Disability Discrimination Act Action Plan.

The Copy Collective encourages people to set aside the time to watch the training videos and understand how the WCAG 2.0 applies to organisations. Trainees will also get the resources and tools they need to make changes to their web copy .

The Copy Collective can be contacted for further support to make website copy accessible. Please note: you don't need to book any work with The Copy Collective to enjoy the complimentary training!

About the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0)

The WCAG 2.0 guidelines were released in 2008 to implement user-friendly web content for people of all abilities.

The guidelines cover the full range of Web content that a user is likely to access — from images and graphs, to videos and podcasts, to the structure and design of each page. Each guideline has three levels of accessibility: A, AA and AAA. Level AAA is the highest level of accessibility.

Compliance with WCAG 2.0 is part of the digital inclusion framework referenced in the Web Accessibility National Transition Strategy.

About The Copy Collective

The Copy Collective is a cloud-based, teleworking business with 80 freelancers, of diverse backgrounds, working in seven countries. The company's five employees are located in Sydney and Perth. 

eAccessibility webinar part1

eAccessibility webinar part2

eAccessibility slides part1

eAccessibility slides part2

For more details contact Maureen Shelley 0412 741186 or mshelley@thecopycollective.com

For interviews contact Dominique Antarakis 0409 911 891 or dantarakis@thecopycollective.com

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