Braille signs, online presentations, and bad translations

Welcome to the first EwK Services newsletter.

I’m aware that people come to EwK services for different reasons. The newsletter is divided into sections so that you can choose whichever information is relevant to you. I’ll share blog posts, tips, news from EwK Services, and interesting articles that I’ve discovered on other sites about communication, presentations, translations, proofreading, transcription or accessibility. If you want to know any more about what I provide in each of these areas, you can have a look on the rest of the EwK Services site, or send me a message using the contact form if you have any questions.

Presentations

Many of us have been on presentation skills training, but there are new things to think about when the person giving the presentation and the audience are not in the same place.
Presenting to online audiences, whether that’s through a webinar, podcast, or live broadcast, feels very different from standing up in front of a room full of people. In this article about recording alone and giving online presentations you’ll find some practical tips and things to consider.

Accessibility

Website accessibility isn’t just a nice-to-have or a box to tick. Recently I didn’t make two online purchases – one because I couldn’t add the item to my basket without using a mouse – and I can’t use a mouse – and the other because the basket was full, but the check-out process was inaccessible to me. If you don’t design your site accessibly, real people like me have real problems. Some may complain – others will just go somewhere else. Website accessibility matters if you want screenreader users to buy your products and services!

From the EwK Services blog

Website accessibility is not just a one-time job. It needs to be built into your design process because most web pages are not static. New features and information are added, and if you don’t have accessibility in mind as you do this, the new parts may not meet the same standard of accessibility as the rest of your site. In this article “it doesn’t matter if your site used to be accessible”, I discuss a first-hand experience of a site update that caused me problems as a screenreader user.

Braille signs can be really useful to visually impaired people who read Braille, but it’s not as easy as just getting the sign translated into Braille and sticking it up somewhere. Find out here why these Braille signs didn’t help me to find my way around.

Communication

One barrier to communication is when we don’t say what we mean, usually because we’re trying to soften the message or avoid hurting the recipient. The problem with that is that sometimes, we water down our message so much that the other person doesn’t understand what we want to tell them. In this article about my discussions with adults who have moved to the UK from Germany, we look at some of the ways what we say and what we really mean don’t match up, and how this can lead to other problems and misunderstandings.
Therefore it’s really important to make sure we say what we mean and mean what we say!

Communication tip

A couple of weeks ago, I was busy looking at wedding venues. We were given some information in which the prices were valid until a date that had already passed.

The information is right at the time you print it or put it online, but it’s easy to forget that some information has a use-by date after which it should be changed or deleted.

  • Have you got links on your site to services that no longer exist?
  • Are there any old promotions up that are no longer running?
  • Do you have any “valid until” text on your website or printed information?

Translation

Translating a text is not just about translating the original text word for word. The translation needs to flow in the other language, be culturally appropriate, and not sound as though it is a translation. Here are some examples of potential problems with translated texts and how you can avoid them.

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