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2020 Chair's Report

OZeWAI aims to become a professional organisation with real value for its members. Many of those members themselves have a lot to offer to each other, as well as to their clients. As a professional association, we will have a special opportunity to involve our ‘clients’. We do not need to think of ourselves as knowing what is required but can maintain a conversation between those who will benefit from our work, and the ways in which we can do our work better and benefit more from it ourselves.


Perhaps an Advisory Committee that includes representatives of the various ‘stakeholders’ could work with a co-ordinator and small sub-committees for the next year on enriching the professional association. There is work to do so the sub-committees could undertake set tasks and feed back to the co-ordinator.

We have events we can share - mainly our conference immediately but other events throughout the year and we can develop podcasts and videocasts that can be made available initially as live online events. We could have a great event calendar - offering our own events and info about others.

We have many, many resources that could be organised in a catalogued library and useful to our constituency - presentations form the past are often still very useful. We include many who have developed guides, how-tos, etc who can share them and many who can point to important resources on the Web and elsewhere that can be useful. We have academics and others who have written about accessibility - their work can be in our catalogue. A rich ‘Professional Library’ would be possible and require only a modest amount of work.

We have contact with many involved in the accessibility world and can make available a good list of those in the field and what they are doing. Such a list can later morph into a place where jobs and availability are advertised. It can also help identify what the many members of OZeWAI are engaged with. Currently it is not clear who is working on what and yet there seems to be a lot of overlap. Knowing the projects, developments, etc would help with networking and possibly better outcomes. Opportunities fro people to get involved are not always widely circulated but this could be a place to find them.

A representative Advisory Committee could meet once a month, or more regularly, to discuss and work on such developments. A paid co-ordinator could then take the discussion, work on it as appropriate, and present a next meeting with an organised draft of what has been achieved, is in train, and is proposed. Such a report would help everyone follow the growth of the association. Meetings of the Advisory Committee need not be closed - anyone should be welcome but the members of that committee should be obliged to give time and attention to the task on a regular basis.

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Given the above, perhaps OZeWAI can spend the next year getting ready for a soft launch in 2021 and then a full-scale professional association in 2022. This means appointing a paid co-ordinator and an Advisory Cttee now, consisting of people with the relevant range of skills, and getting going!

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