The end of the year is always busy, but it is also a time to reflect on the year passing as well as looking ahead.
This year saw the completion of our new AccEase web site, and the development of our Facebook page. During the latter part of the year there was a strong human rights focus in our work, with less emphasis on the web. It is interesting to note that the Convention on the Rights of Disabled People, (CRPD) monitoring report to Parliament revealed that no government web site completely met the web standards. This is rather depressing when they have been bound by the standards, including accessibility, for some time.
The same report also confirmed the reluctance of government departments to engage directly with disabled people and their representative organisations.
Our work at AccEase is becoming more diverse, while still focusing on disability of course. It is always interesting, changing and evolving. For example, our social marketing research, Mapping the Change, was published earlier in the year, we contributed to human rights monitoring, and provided strategic accessibility and human rights advice, delivered workshops as well as our usual web site auditing. We are looking forward to updating some of our workshops in the New Year, and developing some new products as a result of the economic situation and customer demand.
For years there has been talk of the paperless office, and generally talk is all it has been! My own attempts in this direction are proving to be surprisingly successful. The only printing I have done for some time now has been pdf forms for completion and handing on. The iPad is very accessible, weighs less than my diary, and accompanies me almost everywhere. Filing is easier and my tiny office is less cluttered. I can also now read my own notes, even if unnoticed auto correct and auto complete sometimes result in puzzling meanings.
On a personal note, this year I indulged my love of music by joining a book group and singing with two small choirs. As I write this National Radio is playing the usual Christmas schmaltz, and I wonder why we don’t hear some of the really beautiful Christmas music that would uplift the spirit rather than irritate.
Wellington is always pleasantly quiet over Christmas. After our winter Christmas in the UK last year I am looking forward to some serious summer. For those readers who celebrate Christmas, merry Christmas, to those who don’t, my good wishes, and I wish everyone a safe and restful holiday break.