Peter Nock reports on the July branch event in Christchurch.
Having been to the workshop on accessibility at the last TechCommNZ conference, I was keen to hear more on the topic of accessible documentation. Kevin outlined some of the obvious (plain language, use of styles) and less obvious (text for form boxes, how machine readers assemble PDFs for screen readers) tips and tricks for making documents accessible when read by screen readers.
His presentation is well worth a look. It includes links to some useful websites on checking colour contrast and website accessibility. His job involves being the gatekeeper on content for the Christchurch City Council’s website and ensuring it is accessible in line with council guidelines. Kevin has a charming engineering background and humour, and fielded many questions from a happily captive audience. It was good to attend (great food again Emma!) as I hadn’t been for a while – and good to see some new faces too!
April seems like yesterday but in fact, it’s been more than two months since our wildly successful Collaborate 2017. Meredith Evans challenged us in her blog post here immediately after the conference to do things differently, to use what we’d learned and make some changes – like she was going to. So have you? Did […] Continue reading →
On Tuesday 16 May, Sakthi Ranganathan spoke to TechCommNZ’s Canterbury branch about his work with augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR). He welcomed the audience in English and Māori, an impressive achievement for someone who arrived in NZ 6 years ago with minimal English. During the talk, Sakthi showed several examples of both AR […] Continue reading →
The University of Waikato is in the middle of a 20% teaching staff reduction in the following humanities courses: Anthropology, Geography, History, Political Science, Linguistics, Music, and Screen and Media. Is demand for these subjects drying up, or is there a widespread perception that humanities graduates won’t get jobs? If the liberal arts degrees truly didn’t […] Continue reading →
Collaborate 2017 was a fantastic, inspiring, and educational conference. This was the best conference I’ve ever attended. And I’ve been to a few. From the amazing and vibrant keynote speakers to the enthusiastic and entertaining local gurus, it was all great. This conference had quite the impact on me. I left Shelly’s talk wanting to hug everyone, […] Continue reading →
Presented by Dave Gash www.davegash.com Dave Gash’s recent webinar, CSS Colors Demystified, provides a clear and entertaining explanation of how the hexadecimal color coding system works. For those of you who like to know what lies behind the letters and numbers, Dave explains how the physics of colour relates to the base 16 hexadecimal coding […] Continue reading →
The Christchurch branch of TechCommNZ doesn’t mess around. After a well attended 2016, the 2017 season started with a hiss and roar with a good number turning up to hear James McLaughlin talk about his time in the UK working as a technical communicator in the “chip” industry. James’s funny and informative talk covered his experiences writing […] Continue reading →
Abbreviated language is a bug-bear of mine at the moment. It’s not necessarily that I deplore it, but more that I’m having difficulty locating research into its actual effect on clarity. Does it matter if we cut some of the little words out of sentences? For example, here’s an instruction for general practitioners: Request [a] […] Continue reading →
The Christchurch branch pre-Christmas breakfast meeting is a tradition started in the happy and carefree years before the big earthquakes of 2010/2011. I’ve managed to attend quite a few of these breakfast meetings and have quite strong memories of the 2010 event, where a number of us met at the Crumpet Club to feast on […] Continue reading →
(The following text has been adapted from Wempen, F. (2013). Word 2013 In Depth. USA: Pearson Education, Inc.) This article is a little late because I have just completed one of my bucket list items – cycling the Karakoram Highway from Gilgit, North Pakistan to Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. The adventure was all I had hoped for […] Continue reading →