May 20 is Global Accessibility Awareness Day!

communications icons for accessibility

The purpose of GAAD is to get everyone talking, thinking and learning about digital access and inclusion, and the more than One Billion people with disabilities/impairments.

The WC3 Web Accessibility Initiative has produced WCAG Guidelines for making the web accessible. However, as recently as 2020, WebAIM analyzed one million home pages for accessibility issues and found 98.1% had at least one WCAG 2.0 failure, with the average number of errors per home page being 60.9!

Common accessibility failures included:

  • Low contrast text – 86.3%
  • Missing alt text for images – 66%
  • Empty links – 59.9%
  • Missing form input labels – 53.8%
  • Empty buttons – 28.7%
  • Missing document language – 28%

(source: Global Accessibility Awareness Day, 2021)

For those interested in attending an event to learn more about creating digital experiences that are accessible for everyone, the GAAD website provides registration links for a long list of virtual events and webinars. These sessions are presented by international experts, and most are free to attend.

To help celebrate GAAD and raise awareness of accessibility issues, the Library has provided the below list of resources from the collection that focus on web accessibility, the design issues that make using the web challenging for people with a disability, and how to design sites that provide a better user experience for everyone.

Inclusive-Design-Book-Cover

Inclusive Design for a Digital World: Designing with Accessibility in Mind
Author: Regine Gilbert

What is inclusive design? It is simple. It means that your product has been created with the intention of being accessible to as many different users as possible. For a long time, the concept of accessibility has been limited in terms of only defining physical spaces. However, change is afoot: personal technology now plays a part in the everyday lives of most of us, and thus it is a responsibility for designers of apps, web pages, and more public-facing tech products to make them accessible to all. Our digital era brings progressive ideas and paradigm shifts – but they are only truly progressive if everybody can participate. In Inclusive Design for a Digital World, multiple crucial aspects of technological accessibility are confronted, followed by step-by-step solutions from User Experience Design professor and author Regine Gilbert. Think about every potential user who could be using your product. Could they be visually impaired? Have limited motor skills? Be deaf or hard of hearing? This book addresses a plethora of web accessibility issues that people with disabilities face.

Read Inclusive Design for a Digital World online

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Maximum accessibility: making your Web site more usable for everyone

Authors: John Slatin and Sharron Rush

Accessibility is now a legal requirement for all national government Web sites in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and the European Union. Throughout the world, many other organizations – universities, schools, and private companies – are recognizing that accessibility is a moral and business imperative; many are adopting policies aimed at making Web resources accessible to the more than six hundred million people with disabilities worldwide. Maximum Accessibility is a comprehensive resource for creating Web sites that comply with new U.S. accessibility standards and conform to the World Wide Web Consortium’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0. This book offers an overview of key issues, discusses the standards in depth, and presents practical design techniques, up-to-date technologies, and testing methods to implement these standards for maximum accessibility.

Read Maximum accessibility online

Accessible-Web-Sites-Book-Cover

Constructing Accessible Web Sites
Authors: Cynthia Wadell et al.

Accessibility is about making websites that don’t exclude people with visual, aural, or physical disabilities. Through real-world examples, this practical book will teach you how to create or retrofit accessible websites quickly and easily. This book is aimed toward web professionals creating accessible websites or updating existing sites to make them accessible. It’s also useful for corporate, university, and government policy-makers involved in the development and maintenance of websites for their institutions. The thorough and practical accessibility techniques outlined in this book come from some of the best accessibility professionals in the business.

Read Constructing Accessible Web Sites online

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Accessibility Handbook: making 508 websites for everyone
Authors: Katie Cunningham et al.

Get practical guidelines for making your website accessible to people with disabilities. With this handbook, you’ll learn how to design or develop a site that conforms to Section 508 of the US Rehabilitation Act—and in the process you’ll discover how to provide a better user experience for everyone.

Read Accessibility handbook online

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Inclusive Designing: Joining Usability, Accessibility, and Inclusion
Authors: P Langdon et al.

Proceedings of CWUAAT ’14; a unique multi-disciplinary workshop that represents the Inclusive Design Research community Provides a platform for a multidisciplinary approach that reconciles the diverse and sometimes conflicting demands of Design for Ageing and Impairment, Usability and Accessibility and Universal Access Develops methods, technologies, tools and guidance that support product designers and architects to design for the widest possible population.

Read Inclusive Designing online

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Practical Web Inclusion and Accessibility: A Comprehensive Guide to Access Needs
Authors: Ashley Firth.

The web has to be inclusive. From Microsoft’s “inclusive design” movement – creating adaptive controllers for users with a range of disabilities – to Beyoncé’s site being sued for failure to be accessible, the importance of considering access needs is gaining mainstream attention. Recognizing and catering for a range of disabilities in our online platforms is key to achieving a truly inclusive web. You’ll be guided through a broad range of access needs, the barriers users often face, and provided practical advice on how your sites can help rather than hinder. Going beyond advice tailored solely for developers, this book offers potential improvements for designers, developers, user experience professionals, QA and testers, so that everyone involved in building a website can engage with the concepts without the need to understand how to code. Learn about the very latest technology – such as natural language processing and smart home tech – and explore its application accessibly. This book comes complete with practical examples you can use in your own sites and, for the first time in any web accessibility book, access needs experienced by those with mental health disorders and cognitive impairments are comprehensively covered.  Applicable to both new projects and those maintaining existing sites and looking for achievable improvements on them, Practical Web Inclusion and Accessibility gives you all the information you need to ensure that your sites are truly accessible for the modern, inclusive web.

Read Practical Web Inclusion and Accessibility online

Celebrating IDAHOBIT Day 2021

IDAHOBIT reading list news tile

May 17 is International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Interphobia & Transphobia (IDAHOBIT). The day celebrates LGBTQIA+ people globally, raises awareness for the work still needed to combat discrimination. Why is this important?

  • 75% of LGBTQIA+ youth experience some form of discrimination
  • 77% of Trans & Gender Diverse people report being discriminated against in the past 12 months
  • 35% of LGBTQIA+ Australians have experienced verbal abuse in the past 12 months
  • 39% of LGBTQIA+ people have experienced depression in the past 12 months compared to 6.2% of the general population having experienced depression in the past 12 months (source: IDAHOBIT.org.au, 2021)

We have compiled a list of highlights from the Library’s collection to celebrate IDAHOBIT Day and to raise awareness of the types of issues faced by the LGBTQIA+ community.

LGBTQIA READING LIST

We Are Everywhere : Protest, Power, and Pride in the History of Queer Liberation
Authors: Matthew Riemer and Leighton Brown

Through the lenses of protest, power, and pride, We Are Everywhere is an essential and empowering introduction to the history of the fight for queer liberation. Combining exhaustively researched narrative with meticulously curated photographs, the book traces queer activism from its roots in late-nineteenth-century Europe–long before the pivotal Stonewall Riots of 1969–to the gender warriors leading the charge today. Featuring more than 300 images from more than seventy photographers and twenty archives, this inclusive and intersectional book enables us to truly see queer history unlike anything before.
Find the book We Are Everywhere

The Book of Pride : LGBTQ heroes who changed the world
Author: Mason Funk

THE BOOK OF PRIDE captures the true story of the gay rights movement from the 1960s to the present, through richly detailed, stunning interviews with the leaders, activists, and ordinary people who witnessed the movement and made it happen. These individuals fought battles both personal and political, often without the support of family or friends, frequently under the threat of violence and persecution. By shining a light on these remarkable stories of bravery and determination, THE BOOK OF PRIDE not only honors an important chapter in American history, but also empowers young people today (both LGBTQ and straight) to discover their own courage in order to create positive change.
Find the book The Book of Pride: LGBTQ heroes who changed the world

Butch Heroes
Author: Ria Brodell

Katherina Hetzeldorfer, tried “for a crime that didn’t have a name” (same sex sexual relations) and sentenced to death by drowning in 1477; Charles aka Mary Hamilton, publicly whipped for impersonating a man in eighteenth-century England; Clara, aka “Big Ben,” over whom two jealous women fought in 1926 New York: these are just three of the lives that the artist Ria Brodell has reclaimed for queer history in Butch Heroes. Brodell offers a series of twenty-eight portraits of forgotten but heroic figures, each accompanied by a brief biographical note. They are individuals who were assigned female at birth but whose gender presentation was more masculine than feminine, who did not want to enter into heterosexual marriage, and who often faced dire punishment for being themselves. Brodell did extensive research for each portrait, piecing together a life from historical accounts, maps, journals, paintings, drawings, and photographs, finding the heroic in the forgotten.
Find the book Butch Heroes

Colouring the Rainbow : Blak Queer and Trans Perspectives : Life Stories and Essays by First Nations People of Australia
Editor: Dino Hodge

Colouring the Rainbow uncovers the often hidden world of Queer and Trans Blak Australia and tells it like it is.

Twenty-two First Nations people reveal their inner reflections and outlooks on family and culture, identity and respect, homophobia, transphobia, racism and decolonisation, activism, art, performance and more, through life stories and essays. The contributors to this ground-breaking book not only record the continuing relevance of traditional culture and practices, they also explain the emergence of homonormativity within the context of contemporary settler colonialism.
Find the book Colouring the Rainbow: Blak Queer and Trans Perspectives: Life Stories and Essays by First Nations People of Australia

A Two-Spirit Journey : the Autobiography of a Lesbian Ojibwa-Cree Elder
Authors: Ma-Nee Chacaby and Mary Louisa Plummer

A Two-Spirit Journey is Ma-Nee Chacaby’s extraordinary account of her life as an Ojibwa-Cree lesbian. From her early, often harrowing memories of life and abuse in a remote Ojibwa community riven by poverty and alcoholism, Chacaby’s story is one of enduring and ultimately overcoming the social, economic, and health legacies of colonialism. At twenty, Chacaby moved to Thunder Bay with her children to escape an abusive marriage. Abuse, compounded by racism, continued, but Chacaby found supports to help herself and others. Over the following decades, she achieved sobriety; trained and worked as an alcoholism counsellor; raised her children and fostered many others; learned to live with visual impairment; and came out as a lesbian. In 2013, Chacaby led the first gay pride parade in Thunder Bay.Her memoir provides unprecedented insights into the challenges still faced by many Indigenous people.
Find the book A Two-Spirit Journey: the Autobiography of a Lesbian Ojibwa-Cree Elder

Reclaiming Queer: Activist and Academic Rhetorics of Resistance
Author: Erin Rand

Reclaiming Queer is an examination of the rhetorical linkage of queer theory in the academy with street-level queer activism in the 1980s and early 1990s. The late 1980s and early 1990s were a defining historical moment for both queer activism and queer theory in the United States. LGBT communities, confronted with the alarming violence and homophobia of the AIDS crisis, often responded with angry, militant forms of activism designed not merely to promote acceptance or tolerance, but to forge identity and strength from victimization and assert loudly and forcefully their rights to safety and humanity. The activist reclamation of the word “queer” is one marker of this shift in ideology and practice, and it was mirrored in academic circles by the concurrent emergence of the new field of “queer theory.” That is, as queer activists were mobilizing in the streets, queer theorists were producing a similar foment in the halls and publications of academia, questioning regulatory categories of gender and sexuality, and attempting to illuminate the heteronormative foundations of Western thought.
Find the book Reclaiming Queer: Activist and Academic Rhetorics of Resistance

Disintegrate / Dissociate : Poems
Author: Arielle Twist

In her debut collection of poetry, Arielle Twist unravels the complexities of human relationships after death and metamorphosis. In these spare yet powerful poems, she explores, with both rage and tenderness, the parameters of grief, trauma, displacement, and identity. Arielle Twist poetically navigates through what it means to be an Indigenous trans woman, discovering the possibilities of a hopeful future and a transcendent, beautiful path to regaining softness.
Find the book Disintegrate/Dissociate: Poems

Holy Wild
Author: Gwen Benaway

In her third collection of poetry, Holy Wild, Gwen Benaway explores the complexities of being an Indigenous trans woman in expansive lyric poems.
Find the book Holy Wild

Bi : Notes for a Bisexual Revolution
Author: Shiri Eisner

Depicted as duplicitous, traitorous, and promiscuous, bisexuality has long been suspected, marginalized, and rejected by both straight and gay communities alike. Bi takes a long overdue, comprehensive look at bisexual politics-from the issues surrounding biphobia/monosexism, feminism, and transgenderism to the practice of labeling those who identify as bi as either “too bisexual” (promiscuous and incapable of fidelity) or “not bisexual enough” (not actively engaging romantically or sexually with people of at least two different genders).
Find the book Bi: Notes for a Bisexual Revolution

Life isn’t binary : on being both, beyond, and in-between
Authors: Meg-John Barker, Alex Iantaffy

Much of society’s thinking operates in a highly rigid and binary manner; something is good or bad, right or wrong, a success or a failure, and so on. Challenging this limited way of thinking, this ground-breaking book looks at how non-binary methods of thought can be applied to all aspects of life, and offer new and greater ways of understanding ourselves and how we relate to others. Using bisexual and non-binary gender experiences as a starting point, this book addresses the key issues with binary thinking regarding our relationships, bodies, emotions, wellbeing and our sense of identity and sets out a range of practices which may help us to think in more non-binary, both/and, or uncertain ways. A truly original and insightful piece, this guide encourages reflection on how we view and understand the world we live in and how we all bend, blur or break society’s binary codes.
Find the book Life isn’t binary: on being both, beyond and in-between

The remedy: queer and trans voices on health and health care
Authors: Zena Sharman

The Remedy invites writers and readers to imagine what we need to create healthy, resilient, and thriving LGBTQ communities. This anthology is a diverse collection of real-life stories from queer and trans people on their own health-care experiences and challenges, from gay men living with HIV who remember the systemic resistance to their health-care needs, to a lesbian couple dealing with the experience of cancer, to young trans people who struggle to find health-care providers who treat them with dignity and respect. The book also includes essays by health-care providers, activists and leaders with something to say about the challenges, politics, and opportunities surrounding LGBTQ health issues.
Find the book The Remedy: queer and trans voices on health and health Care

A positive view of LGBTQ: embracing identity and cultivating well-being
Authors: Ellen D. B. Riggle and Sharon Scales Rostosky

A Positive View of LGBTQ starts a new conversation about the strengths and benefits of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGTBQ) identities. Through personal stories from people with a variety of backgrounds and gender and sexual identities, readers will learn more about expressing gender and sexuality; creating strong and intimate relationships; exploring unique perspectives on empathy, compassion, and social justice; belonging to communities and acting as role models and mentors; and enjoying the benefits of living an authentic life.
Find the book A positive view of LGBTQ: embracing identity and cultivating well-being

GAYBCs: a queer alphabet
Author: Rae Congdon

What would happen if someone picked up a classic ABC book, crossed out the words, and replaced them with LGBTQIA+ terms?

A is for ally, B is for bisexual and C is for cisgender in GAYBCs – a playful, progressive alphabet book that celebrates and demystifies queer terminology for everyone. A ladybird gains a matching girlfriend to become lesbian, kiss becomes kink and tie gets a twist to become transgender. GAYBCs also defines less commonly known terms such as femme, Mx and ze, and puts a queer-friendly spin on words like wedding and equality.
Find the book GAYBCs: a queer alphabet

They/Them/Their: a guide to nonbinary and genderqueer identities
Author: Eris Young

Eris Young explores what it’s like to live outside of the gender binary and how it can impact on one’s relationships, sense of identity, use of language and more. Drawing on the author’s own experiences as a non-binary person, as well as interviews and research, it shares common experiences and challenges faced by those who are nonbinary, and what friends, family and other cisgender people can do to support them. Breaking down misconceptions and providing definitions, the history of non-binary identities and gender-neutral language, and information on healthcare, this much-needed guide is for anyone wanting to fully understand non-binary and genderqueer identities.
Find the book They/Them/Their: a guide to nonbinary and genderqueer identities

First queer voices from Thailand: Uncle Go’s advice columns for gays, lesbians and kathoeys
Author: Peter A. Jackson

The hero of Jackson’s fascinating narrative is “Uncle Go”, which was the pen name of a popular magazine editor who, despite being avowedly heterosexual, was tolerant of all sexual practices and whose “agony uncle” columns in the 1970s provided unique spaces in the national press for Thailand’s gays, lesbians and transgender people (kathoeys) to speak for themselves in the public domain. By allowing the voices of alternative sexualities to be heard, Uncle Go emerged as Thailand’s first champion of gender equality and sexual rights.
Find the book First queer voices from Thailand: Uncle Go’s advice columns for gays, lesbians and kathoeys

Eyes bottle dark with a mouthful of flowers: poems
Author: Jake Skeets

Drunktown, New Mexico, is a place where men “only touch when they fuck in a backseat.” Its landscape is scarred by violence: done to it, done on it, done for it. Under the cover of deepest night, sleeping men are run over by trucks. Navajo bodies are deserted in fields. Resources are extracted. Lines are crossed. Men communicate through beatings, and football, and sex. In this place, “the closest men become is when they are covered in blood / or nothing at all.”

But if Jake Skeets’s collection is an unflinching portrait of the actual west, it is also a fierce reclamation of a living place—full of beauty as well as brutality, whose shadows are equally capable of protecting encounters between boys learning to become, and to love, men. Rooted in Navajo history and thought, these poems show what has been brewing in an often forgotten part of the American literary landscape, an important language, beautiful and bone dense.
Find the book Eyes bottle dark with a mouthful of flowers: poems

Asegi stories: Cherokee queer and two-spirit memory
Author: Qwo-Li Driskill

In Cherokee Asegi udanto refers to people who either fall outside of men’s and women’s roles or who mix men’s and women’s roles. Asegi, which translates as “strange,” is also used by some Cherokees as a term similar to “queer.” For author Qwo-Li Driskill, asegi provides a means by which to reread Cherokee history in order to listen for those stories rendered “strange” by colonial heteropatriarchy.

As the first full-length work of scholarship to develop a tribally specific Indigenous Queer or Two-Spirit critique, Asegi Stories examines gender and sexuality in Cherokee cultural memory, how they shape the present, and how they can influence the future.
Find the book Asegi stories: Cherokee queer and two-spirit memory

Bisexual and pansexual identities : exploring and challenging invisibility and invalidation
Author: Nikki Hayfield

This book explores the invisibility and invalidation of bisexuality from the past to the present and is unique in extending the discussion to focus on contemporary and emerging identities. Nikki Hayfield draws on research from psychology and the social sciences to offer a detailed and in-depth exploration of the invisibility and invalidation of bisexuality, pansexuality, and asexuality. The book discusses how early sexologists’ understood gender and sexuality within a binary model and how this provided the underpinnings of bisexual invisibility. The existing research on biphobia and bisexual marginalisation is synthesised to explore how bisexuality has often been invisible or invalidated. This is fascinating reading for students and academics interested in in bisexuality, pansexuality, and asexual spectrum identities and for those who have a personal interest in bisexuality, pansexuality, and asexuality.
Find the book Bisexual and pansexual identities: exploring and challenging invisibility and invalidation

What is Rare Books & Special Collections?

Aged book nestled on cushion

Thank you for completing our online survey and interview.

Aged book nestled on cushion
An item from the Library’s Rare Books & Special Collections

When you first heard about Rare Books & Special Collections (RBSC) at the University of Sydney Library, what did you expect it to be? What do you think it is now?

We are looking into how RBSC is perceived and used (or not used!) so that we can provide a better experience for people trying to learn about and access it.

We have been seeking feedback from University of Sydney academic staff via an online survey with the option of a 30-60 minute interview over Zoom. We want to hear from academics who have used Rare Books & Special Collections as well as those who haven’t. We heard from academics across different faculties, including those who have used Rare Books & Special Collections as well as those who haven’t.

What the survey covered

  • what you think Rare Books & Special Collections is
  • where you first heard about it
  • if/how you are using it

There was also an optional section about the East Asian Collection, as part of this is located alongside Rare Books & Special Collections.

The interview will be a conversation about your perceptions and experiences of Rare Books & Special Collections: things people like or find frustrating, what they think it is or should be, and if it is useful or relevant to them.

Thank you so much to everyone who completed or shared the survey.


Survey closed 22 May 2021

Seeing the Unseen exhibition

Image of pregnant woman from seeing the unseen exhibition

Our new exhibition, Seeing the Unseen: A history of imaging the pregnant uterus, sourced from The University Library’s Rare Books & Special Collections, features significant works that aided the professional development of midwifery and the practice of obstetrics between the 16th and 19th centuries.

Intended to assist in the instruction of practising midwives, the works describe and illustrate the anatomy of the gravid (pregnant) uterus, as well as discussing possible treatments during complicated labour.

The exhibition was curated by Ben Higginbotham, a fourth-year student in the Faculty of Medicine and Health at the University of Sydney.

Seeing the Unseen is on display at the SciTech Library and Fisher Library (Level 3) until 30 July 2021.

Image from: Cesare, Giulio (Casserius) (1452-1519). Opera quae extant, omnia. Ex recensione Ioh: Antionidae Vander Linden. Amsterdam; Apud Iohannem Blaev: 1645.

Welcome to the new Law Library Learning Commons

Law Library Lounge

Recent visitors to the Law Library might have noticed some construction taking place in the last couple of months. All of this was to create a new space just for you: the Herbert Smith Freehills Law Library Learning Commons. We are happy to announce that this area is opening on Tuesday 13 April!

This space is a great place to collaborate and relax. There are:

  • Three group meeting rooms
  • A range of comfortable seats – both modern and vintage-style
  • High tables with in-built power points and USB points to charge your laptop, tablet or phone
  • Wi-fi throughout the space
  • A water bottle refill station – so you can keep refreshed while you study
  • Hot and cold Zip taps
  • Four microwaves, so you can reheat your meals … once we are able to allow hot food in the library again (after COVID restrictions lift)
  • A new waste management system – including separate recycling, general waste and organics waste bins

Law Library Learning Commons – in pictures

Next time you’re on campus, come and check out the new Law Library Learning Commons in person. You’ll find it on the lowest level of the Herbert Smith Freehills Law Library, under the Law Building.

Sydney Uni Anthology 2021 – call for submissions

Sydney University Anthology 2021 poster art

Creative folk – we want to hear from you! We’re looking for prose, poems and artwork by students, staff and alumni to publish in the Sydney University Anthology 2021.

The anthology is a great opportunity for you to get published and contribute to the creative exploration of the important issues of our times. The theme of this year’s anthology is ‘Networks’.

Why networks?

We live in a world increasingly defined by networks. The pandemic has simultaneously exposed not just the vulnerability of our physical and social networks, but also their adaptability and resilience.

Despite the incredible upheaval in our lives, we have been reminded how connected we all are. While being isolated, quarantined and separated, we still found ways to virtually network, connect and bond. We have also seen ourselves connecting on a much larger scale, uniting through movements and protests, and shared feelings of grief and loss.

The idea of networking cuts across many areas and has been explored as a concept in botany, philosophy, computer science and art. Networks are our communities, our communications and our neural networks, and they define our incredibly complex natural environment.

About the anthology

Published annually since 2007, the Sydney University Anthology showcases the creative talents of our students, staff and alumni. This student-led project is an opportunity for Master of Publishing students to apply their editing, design, marketing and project management skills to a real-life publication consisting of works of fiction, non-fiction, poetry and art by University of Sydney staff, students and alumni.

Each anthology features a foreword written by a renowned literary figure. In past anthologies, this has included Ceridwen Dovey, Kate Forsyth, PM Newton, Mark Tredinnick and Dr Karl Kruszelnicki.


Sydney University Anthology 2021

What you can submit:
Up to 5000 words of prose, five poems or five artistic pieces that focus on the theme of networks.

Deadline for submissions:
Saturday 31 July 2021

Who can contribute:
Students, staff and alumni of the University of Sydney.

How to submit:
Upload your creative work at www.usydanthology.com/submit


For more information, visit usydanthology.com or our Facebook page: @USYDStudentAnthology.