Monthly Archives: October 2009

Web standards again

I have been a long standing member of the web standards working group. This is a group of Government web people and me as the resident advocate for disabled web users through DPA. We have worked on developing and reviewing the New Zealand Government web standards. The group has not met for a while but we have been resurrected so to speak.

We will be working on thorny issues like the use of social networks, and, yes you have guessed the dreaded pdfs!

Tui billboard says HTML version will be available shortly. Yeah right.

Watch this space…

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Filed under Disability Rights, Information Accessibility, Web Accessibility

Time out down south and across the Tasman

I have been a bit slack about my blog lately, partly because I have been away without access to email. A lot seems to have happened in the last few weeks. My time been particularly taken up with family.

Towards the end of September I spent time with my mother, returning to my rural roots in Canterbury. I took the guided tour around my brother’s new state-of-the-art dairy operation on land that would be as dry as a bone were it not for irrigation. It seemed so strange that I had to pinch myself to make sure this was really true and not a cold-induced hallucination. I wondered what our father would think. Growing up in a traditional Canterbury sheep and cropping farming family we had always scorned “cow cockies” But although Dad was deeply conservative when it came to the behaviour and dress standards of teenage daughters he was never closed-minded about new farming developments. I suspect he would approve.

On Sunday Mum and I went to church. But instead of attending the beautiful neo-gothic St Johns we drove to Lake Coleridge under the lee of Mt Hutt, (Maunga Whare) on a lowering gray day with snow on the tops. The service was a homely spring festival, belied by the temperatures which were distinctly mid winter. A small group of people in a semi-circle around a comfortably crackling fragrant wood fire in the little community hall sang hymns and said prayers which had been refreshingly rewritten for the rural congregation. So instead of “We plough the fields and scatter the good seed on the land” we sang, “We plough the fields with tractors, with drills we sow the land.” It was a delightfully informal service, with one reader being moved to pause and mutter darkly “we could do without them,” to a reference to possums.

The warmth of the service continued in a hospitable high country home nearby where I found myself discussing the inappropriateness of young disabled people living in rest homes and the finer points of web design over a substantial morning tea in an environment where the views from the windows were equaled by the artwork on the walls and a pleasing modern interior of a house that blended satisfyingly into the landscape.

From Canterbury it was a flying visit home to fling the merino out of my bag and substitute some light weight cotton and head off to Brisbane to join other family members for a short holiday. It was below ten degrees in rural Canterbury and hitting thirty in Brisbane! There was relaxing, shopping, swims in the apartment pool, some river trips and of course good eating and drinking, and catching up with a friend.

And then back to the coal face, with two days of workshops and meeting, and a good old freezing Wellington southerly. Just as well I am a tough southern woman!

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Filed under Miscellaneous, Travel